A Paleozoic arc that formed by southward subduction of the Rheic oceanic plate beneath northern Gondwana has long been inferred, but its history and geochemical signatures remain poorly understood. New U-Pb ages, juvenile εHf signatures, and trace-element composition data of young zircons from tuffs at two southern Laurentia sites indicate their derivation from a continental arc that was active from ca. 328 to ca. 317 Ma and permit correlation of sedimentary sequences 800 km apart in southern Laurentia. These include the Stanley tuffs in the Ouachita Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas and the newly discovered Barnett tuff in the subsurface of the Midland Basin in west Texas (USA). The Barnett tuff has a zircon chemical abrasion–isotope dilution–thermal ionization mass spectrometry U-Pb date of 327.8 ± 0.8 Ma, similar to the oldest Stanley tuff in the Ouachita Mountains. Zircon Hf isotope depleted mantle model ages further suggest that the source was a continental arc on basement with both Grenville and Pan-African affinities, pointing to northern Gondwana or peri-Gondwana terranes. The new data link the tuffs to granitoids (326 Ma) of the Maya block in southern Mexico, which was part of northern Gondwana. Correlation of the Stanley-Barnett tuffs across southern Laurentia suggests the likely presence of Mississippian tuffs over a broad region in southern Laurentia, and their usefulness for constraining absolute ages of basin fills and characterizing the Gondwanan arc.

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