U-Pb age and Hf-isotope geochemistry of zircon from felsic volcanic rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Aillik Group, Makkovik Province, Labrador

Crystal LaFlamme, Paul J. Sylvester, Alana M. Hinchey, William J. Davis

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U-Pb zircon SHRIMP geochronology and Lu-Hf zircon LA-MC-ICPMS isotope geochemistry are used to constrain the ages of Paleoproterozoic felsic magmatism and their crustal sources in the Aillik Group, Makkovik Province of Labrador. This information is important for understanding the extent of crustal reworking vs. juvenile crustal growth in subduction-related magmatism during the Paleoproterozoic and improves framework knowledge for uranium exploration in the Central Mineral Belt of Labrador. U-Pb SHRIMP zircon geochronology from four felsic tuff samples collected from two different areas of the Aillik Group yield magmatic 207Pb/206Pb ages of 1852±7Ma (2σ), 1854±7Ma (2σ), 1861±7Ma (2σ), and 1862±7Ma (2σ). The ages fall within the range of previous U-Pb zircon dates reported for felsic volcanic rocks of the Aillik Group. Altogether these dates indicate that felsic volcanism spanned at least 30m.y. and was perhaps most intense during the last 10m.y. of that interval. A foliated syn-deformational monzogranite in the Aillik Group (Cross Lake granite) yields a 207Pb/206Pb zircon date of 1805±6Ma (2σ), which indicates that development of a pervasive planar fabric associated with northwestward thrusting of the Aillik Group continued after this time.Initial εHfst values for magmatic zircons from the four felsic tuffs (-4.8 to -1.9, -1.7 to +2.2, -11.8 to +3.8, -9.0 to -4.6) and monzogranite (-4.8 to -1.5) exhibit significant variability, which indicates heterogeneous sources. Most of the zircon grains have negative initial εHfst values and calculated crust formation Hf-isotope TDM model ages point to substantial contributions from melts of ancient crust, ranging in age from ca. 2200 to 2900m.y. and clustering at ca. 2500m.y. Inherited zircon grains in the felsic tuffs and monzogranite, mainly have U-Pb ages of ca. 1880-1920Ma, though others are older, up to ca. 2743Ma. Hf-isotope TDM model ages for the inherited zircons are similar to those of the magmatic zircons. The Hf-isotope results indicate that subduction-related felsic magmatism in the Makkovik Orogen involved significant crustal reworking (∼80%) during formation of the Aillik Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-142
Number of pages14
JournalPrecambrian Research
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Aillik Group
  • Crustal growth
  • LA-MC-ICPMS Hf isotopes
  • Labrador
  • Makkovik Province
  • Paleoproterozoic magmatism
  • SHRIMP U-Pb zircon geochronology


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