We report new LA-ICP-MS U–Pb detrital zircon ages and sedimentary petrology of silty to sandy limestones and dolostones, as well as calcareous to dolomitic sandstones of the Devonian–Carboniferous (Mississippian) Chaffee Group. We also report new detrital zircon ages from the late Cambrian Sawatch Quartzite, and a U–Pb zircon crystallization age on a late Mesoproterozoic (1087.9 ± 13.5 Ma) granitoid of underlying basement from the Eagle Basin of northwest Colorado. Grain populations in the Chaffee Group are mostly bimodal. More than 84% of zircons centered around a Paleoproterozoic (ca. 1.78 Ga) mode typical of the Yavapai province that forms much of the basement of Colorado and an early Mesoproterozoic (ca. 1.42 Ga) mode typical of A-type granites that intrude this region. A notable late Mesoproterozoic (ca. 1.08 Ga) mode exists in some Chaffee samples, giving those samples a trimodal detrital zircon age distribution. These bipartite or tripartite detrital zircon age modes exist in Cambrian, Devonian, and Carboniferous strata from paleogeographically adjacent successions, but the correlation between the Chaffee zircons is highest with the region’s basal Cambrian sandstones of the Sawatch Quartzite, Flathead Sandstone, and Ignacio Quartzite, which have similar (ca. 1.08 Ga, 1.43 Ga, 1.70 Ga, respectively) zircon populations, and a paucity of > 1.8 Ga grains. This similarity suggests that most grains in the Chaffee Group derive from recycling of these basal sandstones, and that little sediment was derived directly from thenexposed Precambrian basement highs, from the Wyoming craton to the north, or from Paleoproterozoic arcs and orogens to the west and northeast. Minor Mesoarchean to early Paleoproterozoic (ca. 3.00 to 2.40 Ga) grains exist in the Chaffee Group, an attribute shared by the Late Ordovician Harding Sandstone of Colorado’s Front Range, but that is absent from the region’s underlying Cambrian sandstones—suggesting some recycled mixture of Cambrian and Ordovician sedimentary rocks. No near-depositional age grains are present in the Chaffee Group. The youngest grain is Early Devonian (~417 Ma), > 45 million years (m.y.) older than these strata. Additionally, Paleozoic grains are extremely uncommon (< 0.1%; n = 2,927 grains).

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