The geochemistry and petrogenesis of the Paleoproterozoic Green Mountain arc: A composite(?), bimodal, oceanic, fringing arc

Daniel S. Jones, Calvin G. Barnes, Wayne R. Premo, Arthur W. Snoke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

The inferred subduction affinity of the ~1780-Ma Green Mountain arc, a dominantly bimodal igneous terrane (together with immature marine and volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks) accreted to the southern margin of the Wyoming province, is integral to arc-accretion models of the Paleoproterozoic growth of southern Laurentia. Conversely, the dominantly bimodal nature of many putative arc-related igneous suites throughout southern Laurentia, including the Green Mountain arc, has also been used to support models of growth by extension of pre-existing crust. We report new geochemical and isotopic data from ~1780-Ma gabbroic and granodioritic to tonalitic rocks of the Big Creek Gneiss, interpreted as consanguineous with previously studied metavolcanic rocks of the Green Mountain Formation.The ~1780-Ma Big Creek Gneiss mafic rocks show clear geochemical signatures of a subduction origin and provide no supporting evidence for extensional tectonism. The ~1780-Ma Big Creek Gneiss felsic rocks are attributed to partial melting of mafic and/or mixed lower-crustal material. The bimodal nature of the suite results from the combination of arc basalts and felsic crustal melts. The lack of andesite is consistent with the observed tholeiitic differentiation trend of the mafic magmas. The lower e{open}Nd(1780Ma) values for the felsic rocks vs. the mafic rocks suggest that the unexposed lower crust of the arc may be older than the arc and that Trans-Hudson- or Penokean-aged rocks possibly form the substratum of the arc. Our results reinforce previous interpretations that arc-related magmatism played a key role in the Paleoproterozoic crustal growth of southern Laurentia, but also support the possibility of unexposed older crust as basement to the arcs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-249
Number of pages19
JournalPrecambrian Research
Volume185
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Big Creek Gneiss
  • Crustal growth
  • Geochemistry
  • Green Mountain arc
  • Proterozoic
  • Yavapai

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