Abstract

86 detrital zircon grains from Archaean quartzites from the Mweza and Shurugwi greenstone belts have been dated by the ion probe SHRIMP. Nine of these give ages of 3.75–3.80 Ga, older than any Zimbabwean rocks so far satisfactorily dated, and the Tokwe-Zvishavane gneisses are a possible source for these old grains. However, none are comparable in age with the 4.2 Ga zircons discovered in Western Australia. If such old grains exist in the sample it is unlikely (P>0.05) that their abundance could exceed 3%. Ages of the younger grains are broadly consistent with the presumed age of the quartzites sampled, though some high Th/U grains in the Shurugwi sample may be anomalously young.

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