Abstract

The West Highland granite gneiss suite in Inverness-shire, Scotland, represents a series of S-type, anatectic granites formed by partial melting of host Neoproterozoic metasediments of the Moine Supergroup. U–Pb (SHRIMP) dating of zircons from a member of the suite, the Fort Augustus granite gneiss, indicates that the granitic protolith to the gneiss was intruded at 870±30 Ma. This is indistinguishable from the published age determined by the same method for the Ardgour granite gneiss at Glenfinnan, thus supporting the assumption that the various members of the West Highland granite gneiss are part of a single intrusive suite. The spread of ages from the zircon cores (1626–947 Ma) is interpreted to indicate a Proterozoic source terrain for the Moine sediments that were later melted to form the granitic protolith. A U–Pb age of 470±2 Ma obtained for titanite in the Fort Augustus granite gneiss is interpreted to date amphibolite-facies metamorphism during the early to mid-Ordovician Grampian Orogeny. The emerging similarity in the timing of this event either side of the Great Glen Fault implies that this structure does not juxtapose crustal blocks with significantly different histories with respect to the Grampian Orogeny.

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