The timing of and tectonic controls on Ordovician magmatism and deformation within accreted terranes are key elements in reconstructing the generation of the Caledonian-Appalachian orogen. This paper addresses the topic through integrated geochronological, structural, and multi-isotope geochemical investigation of magmatic arc–related peri-Gondwanan rocks of Ganderian affinity in the Leinster-Lakesman terrane in SE Ireland and the Isle of Man.
A basaltic andesite from a previously unrecognized volcaniclastic sequence in the Manx Group at Port-e-Vullen on the Isle of Man yielded an age of 472.7 ± 2.8 Ma (secondary ion mass spectrometry [SIMS] zircon U-Pb), and an arc-related rhyolite from the Avoca volcanic sequence in SE Ireland was dated at 463.6 ± 2.6 Ma. Two granitoids from Graiguenamanagh (SE Ireland) yielded ages of 462.0 ± 2.7 Ma (augen gneiss) and 460.5 ± 3.2 Ma (equigranular granite), whereas the Dhoon granite (Isle of Man) was dated at 457.2 ± 1.2 Ma. Each of the granitic rocks from Graiguenamanagh and Dhoon was previously considered to be of Silurian–Devonian age. In addition, two sheets of the Croghan Kinshelagh granite (SE Ireland) yielded indistinguishable ages of 456.9 ± 2.4 Ma and 455.4 ± 2.8 Ma.
Multi-isotopic analyses (SIMS zircon oxygen, laser ablation–multi-collector–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry [LA-MC-ICP-MS] zircon Lu-Hf, whole-rock Sm-Nd) on the rocks of the Leinster-Lakesman terrane suggest a significant source contribution from the Ganderian microcontinent, represented by the Early Ordovician metasedimentary Ribband and Manx Groups.
Structural relationships at Graiguenamanagh demonstrate a late Middle Ordovician deformation event at ca. 460 Ma. This deformation appears to be equivalent to the widespread D1 event that affected Early Ordovician rocks in SE Ireland and corresponds to the early structures within the East Carlow deformation zone, previously interpreted as an exclusively Devonian structure. Along strike, the early deformation is spatially associated with serpentinite emplacement. The East Carlow deformation zone is interpreted as an intra-Ganderian suture along which separate fragments of a peri-Gondwanan magmatic arc were juxtaposed at ca. 460 Ma. This deformation represents a Caledonian tectonic event that has not been recognized within Ganderia in the Appalachian sector of the orogen.