Abstract

Detrital-zircon age spectra have been determined for sedimentary rocks from the Delamerian orogen, southern Australia. In Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks, patterns progressively change from Mesoproterozoic- to Neoproterozoic-dominated detritus and there are few zircons that are close to the depositional age. The base of the Cambrian Kanmantoo Group marks an abrupt change in provenance to detrital patterns dominated by Ross and Delamerian (600–500 Ma) and Grenvillean ages (1200–1000 Ma). These patterns are strikingly similar to those obtained from Lachlan fold belt sedimentary rocks, indicating that the sedimentation recorded in the Kanmantoo Group marks a change from deposition of sediments derived from the Australian cratons to those representative of the early Paleozoic Gondwana mudpile. If sedimentary rocks with zircon-provenance characteristics such as those of the Kanmantoo rocks extend under elements of the Lachlan fold belt, they would provide suitable protoliths for the S-type granites of southeastern Australia.

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