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How long does it take to make a natural fracture?
Date:8/4/2014

="_blank" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/B30842.1">http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/B30842.1.

This article by Ben McGee and colleagues presents data from a mountain belt in central-western Brazil that indicate that collision between local tectonic plates and subsequent mountain building occurred later than previously thought. The Paraguay Mountain Belt in central South America developed in response to the collision between the Amazonian Craton, the So Francisco Craton and the Paranapanema Block. The alleged ~620 million year age of mountain building has recently been questioned by geologic data that indicate the closing stages of mountain building occurred well into Cambrian time. The timing of deposition and source areas for these sedimentary rocks overlying the Amazonian Craton are investigated here using integrated U-Pb and Hf isotope data of small minerals called zircons from rocks within this sequence. Ben McGee and colleagues analyzed 742 detrital zircon ages from samples taken from the base to the top of this sedimentary succession. Maximum depositional ages from the uppermost part of this sequence of rocks, the Diamantino Formation, indicate that final deposition began no earlier than 560 (plus or minus 13) million years ago and possibly as young as the Cambrian. Given that zircon inheritance in these rocks continues up until this age and that known Amazonian Craton ages are older than ~950 million years, McGee et al. consider other potential sources for these sediments. This is achieved by integrating the U-Pb detrital zircon data with Hf isotopic data from these zircons. The Hf signature is consistent with a predominantly Amazonian source until the early-Neoproterozoic at which point the signal becomes significantly more evolved. These data, when combined with other evidence discussed here, are consistent with an ocean to the east of the present-day Amazonian Craton that didn't close until the latest Ediacaran/Cambrian.


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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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