Abstract

The first U–Pb dating of detrital zircons from the Lower Carboniferous sandstones in the frontal part of the northern Verkhoyansk fold-and-thrust belt showed that detrital zircon age spectra for the Lower Visean (Krestyakh Formation) and the Upper Visean–Serpukhovian (Tiksi Formation) rocks are quite different. The Early Visean sandstones contain up to 95% detrital zircons of Precambrian age, while those of Late Visean–Serpukhovian age, only 55%. The shape of age distribution plots of Precambrian zircons for both samples is similar, indicating that reworking of terrigenous sediments of the Krestyakh Formation or the same sources dominated in Early Visean time (crystalline basement of the craton, eroded Meso- and Neoproterozoic sedimentary complexes, and igneous rocks of Central Taimyr) contributed significantly to the accumulation of the Late Visean–Serpukhovian deposits. In the rocks of the Tiksi Formation, 45% of detrital zircons are of Paleozoic age, while 24% are Early Paleozoic, with prevailing Cambrian and Ordovician ages. Possible provenance areas with abundant igneous rocks of this age could be the Taimyr–Severnaya Zemlya and Central Asian fold belts extending along the northern, western or southwestern margins of the Siberia. The presence of Middle–Late Devonian zircons is thought to be related to the erosion of granitoids of the Yenisei Ridge and the Altai–Sayan region. Early Carboniferous detrital zircons probably had a provenance in igneous rocks of the Taimyr–Severnaya Zemlya fold belt, on the assumption that collision between the Kara block and the northern margin of the Siberian continent had already occurred by that time. In Early Visean time, sedimentation occurred in small deltaic fans, likely along steep fault scarps that formed as a result of Middle Paleozoic (Devonian–Carboniferous) rifting. The clastic material came from small rivers that eroded the nearby area. Late Visean–Serpukhovian time was marked by a sharp increase in the amount of clastic material and by the appearance of detrital zircons coming from new provenance regions, such as fold belts extending along the northern and southwestern margins of the Siberian continent. A large river system, which was able to transport clastic material over large distances to deposit it in submarine fans on the northern Verkhoyansk passive continental margin, had already existed by that time.

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