Abstract

The beginning of the Grampian episode of tectonometamorphism in Scotland is dated by collision and obduction of the Ballantrae Ophiolite Complex at 478 ± 8 Ma. For the first time we have used zircon and garnet to radiometrically date the peak of the Caledonian Buchan and Barrovian tectonometamorphism in their type areas as contemporaneous at 467 ± 2.5 Ma. Detrital garnet from the neighboring Southern Uplands flysch terrane has the same radiometric age and occurs in 465 ± 2.5 Ma molasse in the Midland Valley. We show that the entire Grampian episode lasted 15 ± 2.5 m.y. and that it took fewer than 7.6 m.y. to expose high-grade rocks following the peak of metamorphism. Those who study Precambrian orogeny should note the brevity of this Scottish tectonometamorphic episode and the speed of exhumation.

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