Nineteen single-grain detrital garnet ages from a tributary to the French Broad River (North Carolina, USA) establish a novel approach to Sm-Nd detrital garnet geochronology wherein the equilibrium bulk-rock composition lost during weathering and transport is replaced with the composition of inclusions leached from within each garnet grain. Detrital garnet ages were compared to published detrital zircon and monazite ages from the same river tributary system. Results show that 87% of the zircons have inherited Proterozoic ages; only zircon rims give Paleozoic ages. Monazites are exclusively Ordovician (weighted average: 460.9 ± 3.0 Ma). Our new detrital garnet ages (and the detrital zircon rims) record younger ages spanning the Late Ordovician to Early Devonian, likely reflecting prolonged metamorphic heating. The weighted average age of the detrital garnet population is Silurian (430.1 ± 7.2 Ma). Statistical tests confirm that the garnet population is younger than the monazite. The new detrital garnet ages illuminate a previously uninterpreted Silurian tectonometamorphic signal in this region.
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