Abstract

Numerous studies have shown that large quantities of Grenville-age detritus dominate Neoproterozoic to Cambrian arenites in southwest Laurentia (southwestern United States). U-Pb ages and Hf isotopic compositions of zircons and 40Ar/39Ar ages of white mica from clastic sedimentary rocks of the Neoproterozoic Uinta Mountain Group also indicate significant Mesoproterozoic detritus mixed with a variably abundant Archean component. Zircons with ages representative of the Paleoproterozoic basement in the eastern Uinta Mountains or the younger Paleoproterozoic rocks of the adjacent Yavapai-Mazatzal terranes were not observed. A limited range of initial ϵHf (∼90% between –3 and +3) for Mesoproterozoic zircons suggests derivation from a source region (or regions) characterized by mixing between juvenile and reworked older crust during Grenville orogenesis. The enriched Grenville-age basement proposed to underlie much of southeastern North America may be this source based on similarities of Hf isotopic data from Mesoproterozoic zircons in Mississippi River sand and available paleocurrent data. If so, then disruption of this supply in the Cambrian may be related to Iapetan rifting and, perhaps, the separation of the Precordillera terrane from Laurentia.

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