Early evolution of the Paleoasian ocean: LA-ICP-MS dating of detrital zircon from Late Precambrian sequences of the southern margin of the Siberian craton
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We present U–Pb (LA-ICP-MS) data on detrital zircon from the Late Precambrian terrigenous rocks of the Baikal Group and Ushakovka Formation, western Cisbaikalia (southern flank of the Siberian craton). The sources of clastic material for the studied sediments are interpreted. The youngest group of detrital zircon grains from the upper Baikal Group and Ushakovka Formation permits assigning these sediments to the Vendian. The lack of Mesoproterozoic detrital zircon in most of the analyzed samples confirms the hypothesis of a global (~1 Gyr) break in endogenic activity within the southern flank of the Siberian craton through the Precambrian. The abundance of Neoproterozoic zircon in sandstones from the upper horizons of the Baikal Group and the Ushakovka Formation might be due to the shrinkage of the ocean basin as a result of the convergence of the craton with the microcontinents and island arcs within the Paleoasian ocean.
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