Abstract

For more than 25 yr, the Mazatzal orogeny has been a central component of virtually all tectonic models involving the Proterozoic rocks of the southwestern United States. Recent recognition that some sedimentary sequences and some major structures are Mesoproterozoic rather than Paleoproterozoic has led to new questions about the nature, even the existence, of the Mazatzal orogeny. This study aims to clarify the relationship between Mazatzal (ca. 1.65 Ga) and Picuris (ca. 1.45 Ga) orogenic activity. New U-Pb geochronology of variably deformed igneous and metasedimentary rocks constrains several periods of deformation at ca. 1.68 Ga, 1.66 Ga, and 1.49–1.45 Ga in the Four Peaks area of central Arizona. Detrital zircon analyses and field relationships indicate the deposition of a rhyolite-sandstone-shale assemblage at ca. 1.660 Ga with renewed deposition at 1.502–1.490 Ga and a significant disconformity, but no recognized angular unconformity, between these episodes. Three populations of monazite growth at 1.484 ± 0.003 Ga, 1.467 ± 0.004 Ga, and 1.457 ± 0.005 Ga indicate prolonged Mesoproterozoic metamorphism. The ca. 1.485 Ga population is associated with the formation of the Four Peaks syncline during Mesoproterozoic orogenesis and subsequent amphibolite-facies contact metamorphism. Rocks in the Four Peaks area record polyphase deformation, sedimentation, and plutonism from the Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic. Hf-isotopic data suggest the involvement of older, nonjuvenile crust. In this area, effects of the Mazatzal (ca. 1.65 Ga) and Picuris orogenies (ca. 1.49–1.45 Ga) are entwined and involved sedimentation, deformation, pluton emplacement, and pluton-enhanced metamorphism.

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