Unravelling complex geologic histories using U–Pb and trace element systematics of titanite
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Unravelling the spatio-temporal evolution of orogenic terranes requires a comprehensive understanding of the duration and extent of metamorphic events and hydrothermal alteration. Commonly used minerals such as zircon and monazite may not fully record geological histories in complex tectonic settings because their elemental constituents do not react under many metamorphic and metasomatic conditions. Here, we complement the current geochronological record of the Capricorn Orogen, Western Australia, with titanite U–Pb geochronology and geochemistry of felsic intrusive rocks to draw conclusions about the use of titanite in understanding the evolution of orogenic terranes. Because titanite usually incorporates common-Pb and may be variably reset by multiple metamorphic and hydrothermal events, a workflow is provided here for the systematic and robust interpretation of titanite U-Pb data. The addition of trace element data in titanite is particularly effective for differentiating whether a grain is igneous, recrystallized or metamorphic. We have developed several petrogenetic indices to differentiate these three types of titanite using Zr-in-titanite temperature, Th/U, Th/Pb, Al/(Al + Fe), light to heavy rare earth element ratio, and Eu anomalies. The addition of trace element geochemistry can also highlight anomalously radiogenic 207Pb/206Pb reservoirs. Utilization of our workflow in the Capricorn Orogen reveals that titanite ages from the same samples as published zircon U–Pb data range from coeval to several hundreds of Myr of age difference between the two minerals. Titanite geochronology and trace element geochemistry indicates ~20 Myr of previously unrecognized prolonged cooling for the Capricorn Orogeny to ca. 1750 Ma. The spatial extent of the ca. 1210–1170 Ma part of the Mutherbukin Tectonic Event is also broadened significantly farther north and south than previously recognized. Incorporating titanite geochronology and trace geochemistry with more commonly used techniques (e.g., zircon and monazite petrochronology) extends our ability to resolve the complete history of large-scale orogenic terranes.
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Scibiorski, E.; Kirkland, Chris; Kemp, A.; Tohver, E.; Evans, Noreen (2019)© 2019 The petrological information preserved in the trace element signature of titanite is a valuable complement to in situ U/Pb geochronology, and can be used to refine interpretations on the growth of this mineral. We ...
Kirkland, Chris; Fougerouse, Denis; Reddy, Steven; Hollis, Julie; Saxey, David (2018)Common Pb, the portion of non-radiogenic Pb within a U bearing mineral, needs to be accurately accounted for in order to subtract its effect on U-Pb isotopic ratios so that meaningful ages can be calculated. The propensity ...
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