Three new U-Pb zircon ages and the Pb-Sr-Nd isotopic systematics of 24 whole-rock samples from mainly plutonic rocks of the Sierra Madre and Medicine Bow Mountains near the Colorado-Wyoming border help establish the Green Mountain magmatic arc as a Paleoproterozoic, variably eroded, island arc terrane. The Green Mountain magmatic arc, a terrane composed of variably metamorphosed volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, minor metasedimentary rocks, high-grade gneisses, and plutons ranging from gabbro to granodiorite, was formed between ca. 1792 and 1744 Ma. It is the northernmost and oldest part of the Colorado province and is separated from Archean rocks to the north by the east-west-trending Cheyenne belt.
New U-Pb zircon ages were determined for two dioritic samples of the Mullen Creek complex (1778 ±2 and 1778 ±17 Ma; an ultramafic/mafic layered intrusion) and for a sample of the Rambler granite (1771 ±3.4 Ma); both units are exposed in the Medicine Bow Mountains. A Sm-Nd internal isochron age of 1750 ±24 Ma (ϵNdi = + 3.8) was determined that is within error of the Sm-Nd whole-rock isochron age for the entire Lake Owen sample database (1775 ±45 Ma). Initial Nd signatures (+ 3.3 to 4.8) indicate that the bulk of the arc rocks was derived from a depleted mantle source at 1.78 Ga. Although the Rb-Sr systematics appear disturbed, data from extremely low Rb/Sr, non-hydrous, ultramafic layered units indicate an initial 87Sr/86Sr value of 0.7024. The range of initial Sr isotopic values for these rocks is elevated relative to depleted mantle sources at 1.78 Ga, an isotopic distinction of modern primitive oceanic island arc systems. The U-Pb data on the same mafic rock samples are consistent with the other isotopic results. The values define average initial Pb values of 206Pb/204Pb = 15.7 and 207Pb/204Pb = 15.3, indicative of a depleted mantle source at 1.78 Ga.
Felsic plutonic arc rocks exhibit disturbed Pb and Sr isotopic behavior. They are characterized by the same depleted mantle signature with initial ϵNd values of ∼2.9–4.4, however, indicating little crustal contamination of source magmas for granites and precluding their derivation by subduction of Archean crustal components during collisional accretion of the arc.