Detrital zircon U–Pb age data from the Moldanubian part of the Bohemian Massif obtained by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry show variations between the lithotectonic units and point to their formation in spatially close but separated basins that were supplied by detritus from somewhat different source areas, possibly over different periods of time. The youngest detrital zircon component in metasediments of the Monotonous and Varied Units is Early Ordovician and Mid- to Late Devonian in age, respectively, suggesting their deposition in Palaeozoic times. Reliable interpretation of the Mid- to Late Devonian zircons recovered from metasediments of the Gföhl Unit is precluded by their high metamorphic grade and presence of anatectic melt. The Early Carboniferous zircons from the Gföhl Unit are interpreted as being of metamorphic origin. Comparison of detrital zircon age spectra from the Moldanubian, Teplá–Barrandian and Moravo-Silesian metasediments suggests that these were deposited in separate basins but the overall similarity of the Neoproterozoic and Palaeoproterozoic age maxima and sparse Neo- and Mesoarchaean ages suggest that the three crustal segments must have been spatially related prior to the Variscan orogeny. Future tectonic models of the Variscan assembly of the Bohemian Massif must account for nearly synchronous evolution of the Moldanubian, Teplá–Barrandian and Moravo-Silesian Palaeozoic sedimentary basins that shared a common crust and most of their sedimentary sources, as well as for a rapid burial of the Moldanubian sediments to mid- and lower crustal levels that was followed by their rapid exhumation to the upper crust in Mid-Devonian to Early Carboniferous times.

Supplementary material:

Results of LA-ICP-MS U–Pb analyses of zircons extracted from the Moldanubian and Moravo-Silesian metasediments are available at www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18676.

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