Synopsis

A U–Pb monazite age of 474 ± 2 Ma has been determined for a weakly foliated granite boulder > 1 m in diameter from the Corsewall conglomerate, SW Scotland. The clast contains xenoliths and partly assimilated xenoliths of regionally metamorphosed rock from which the monazites have been derived. The age constrains the original emplacement of the pluton to between 474 ± 2 and c. 458 Ma, the age of the deposit in which the boulder is found. This age confirms an earlier Rb–Sr muscovite Ordovician age for boulders of this type and contradicts a pre-existing age of 1265 Ma used to suggest a source in Newfoundland and a post-Caradoc major lateral displacement of the Southern Uplands. The monazite age reaffirms that a basement-arc complex once existed north of the Southern Uplands and was the principal contributor of sediment to Ordovician–Silurian basins of southern Scotland. A source for the metamorphic detritus in the Dalradian block is unlikely, as the boulders would have been transported for > 150 km through zones of actively accreting terranes and marginal basins. The possibility of Archaean crust within this basement complex is further suggested by the Sm–Nd systematics of the granite boulders at Corsewall Point.

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