Abstract

The first find of microdiamond in the Nordøyane ultra-high-pressure (UHP) domain of the Western Gneiss Region (WGR) of the Scandinavian Caledonides reshaped tectonic models for the region. Nevertheless, in spite of much progress regarding the meaning and significance of this find, the history of rock that the diamonds were found in is complex and still largely ambiguous. To investigate this, we report U–Pb zircon ages obtained from the exact crushed sample material in which metamorphic diamond was first found. The grains exhibit complicated internal zoning with distinct detrital cores overgrown by metamorphic rims. The cores yielded a range of ages from the Archaean to the late Neoproterozoic / early Cambrian. This detrital zircon age spectrum is broadly similar to detrital signatures recorded by metasedimentary rocks of the Lower and Middle allochthons elsewhere within the orogen. Thus, our dating results support the previously proposed affinity of the studied gneiss to the Seve–Blåhø Nappe of the Middle Allochthon. Metamorphic rims yielded a well-defined peak at 447 ± 2 Ma and a broad population that ranges between c. 437 and 423 Ma. The data reveal a prolonged metamorphic history of the Fjørtoft gneiss that is far more complex then would be expected for a UHP rock that has seen a single burial and exhumation cycle. The data are consistent with a model involving multiple such cycles, which would provide renewed support for the dunk tectonics model that has been postulated for the region.

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