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TitleDetrital-zircon provenance of a Torridonian fluvial-aeolian sandstone: the 1.2 Ga Meall Dearg Formation, Stoer Group (Scotland)
AuthorLebeau, L E; Ielpi, A; Krabbendam, M; Davis, W JORCID logo
SourcePrecambrian Research vol. 346, 0301-9268, 2020 p. 1-19,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200105
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
AreaScotland; Northern Highlands; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Lat/Long WENS -7.7161 -4.5608 58.6483 56.7044
Subjectsgeochronology; sedimentology; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; radiometric dating; uranium lead dating; zircon dates; detrital minerals; zircon; provenance; source areas; sediment transfer; fluvial deposits; eolian deposits; bedrock geology; lithology; sandstones; electron probe analyses; paleocurrents; paleogeography; tectonic setting; rifting; basin evolution; Archean; Stoer Group; Meall Dearg Formation; Lewisian Gneiss Complex; Rhiconich Terrane; Gruinard Terrane; Assynt Terrane; Gairloch Terrane; Ialltaig Terrane; Loch Maree Group; Ard Gneiss; Columbia Supercontinent; Gardar Rift; Precambrian; Proterozoic
Illustrationslocation maps; graphs; diagrams
Released2020 06 10
AbstractThe Meall Dearg Formation is a 1.2 Ga fluvial-aeolian sandstone exposed in the northwestern Highlands of Scotland, and represents one of the least studied rock units in the Torridonian succession, especially in terms of sedimentary provenance. Three hundred and nine detrital zircon grains were analysed from four samples of the Meall Dearg Formation using sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe, allowing for its provenance to be resolved at the terrane scale. Ages range from c. 3,100 to c. 1,750 Ma, with dominant proportions between c. 2,900 and c. 2,650 Ma, and subordinate fractions of c. 2,500 Ma and c. 1,900 Ma. U-Pb protolith-zircon ages from eight previous studies across the Lewisian Gneiss Complex were compiled and compared to detrital-age distributions of the Meall Dearg Formation. Strong similarities in age trends and palaeocurrent data corroborates the hypothesis of sedimentary provenance from the Lewisian Gneiss Complex. Detritus was prevalently derived from the Rhiconich and Gruinard terranes, and subordinately from the Assynt, Gairloch (including the Loch Maree Group and Ard Gneiss), and Ialltaig terranes. Age distributions from the fluvial and aeolian samples show near-matching distributions, indicating sediment transfer between adjacent depositional environments, and possibly derivation from similar source regions. The Meall Dearg Formation, part of the Stoer Group, is postulated to record the overfilling stage of a rift basin near the eastern flank of the Columbia Supercontinent at c. 1.2 Ga. Critical comparisons can be drawn between the Stoer Group and Gardar Rift of southern Greenland, based on their age, palaeogeography, and patterns of rift-basin development.

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