U-Pb geochronologic, Nd isotopic, and geochemical evidence for the correlation of the Chopawamsic and Milton Terranes, Piedmont zone, Southern Appalachian Orogen

D. G. Coler, G. L. Wortman, S. D. Samson, J. P. Hibbard, R. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report U-Pb crystallization ages from four metavolcanic rocks and two granitic gneiss samples as well as whole-rock chemical analyses and Sm-Nd isotopic ratios from 25 metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks from the Chopawamsic and Milton terranes, southern Appalachian Orogen. A metarhyolite sample from the Chopawamsic Formation and a metabasalt sample from the Ta River Formation in the Chopawamsic terrane have indistinguishable U-Pb crystallization ages of 471.4 ± 1.3 Ma and 470.0 + 1.3/-1.5 Ma, respectively. A sample from the Prospect granite that intruded metavolcanic rocks of the Ta River Formation yields a younger U-Pb date of 458.0 ± 1 Ma. Metarhyolite and granitic gneiss samples from the northern part of the Milton terrane yield U-Pb dates of 458.5 + 3.8/-1.0 Ma and 450 ± 1.8 Ma, respectively. Metavolcanic and metaplutonic rocks from both terranes span a range in major element composition from basalt to rhyolite. Trace element concentrations in these samples show enrichment in large-ion lithophile elements K, Ba, and Rb and depletion in high field strength elements Ti and Nb, similar to those from island arc volcanic rocks. Initial ε(Nd) values and T(DM) ages of the metaigneous and metasedimentary samples range from 0.2 to - 7.2 and from 1200 to 1700 Ma for the Chopawamsic terrane and from 3.7 to - 7.2 and from 850 to 1650 Ma for the Milton terrane. The crystallization ages for the metavolcanic and metaplutonic samples from both terranes indicate that Ordovician magmatism occurred in both. Similar ε(Nd) values from representative samples from both terranes suggest that both were generated from an isotopically similar source. Xenocrystic zircons from metavolcanic rocks in the Chopawamsic terrane have predominately Mesoproterozoic 207Pb/206Pb ages (600-1300 Ma), but a single Archean (2.56 Ga) core was also present. The xenocrystic zircons and the generally negative ε(Nd) values indicate that both terranes are composed of isotopically evolved continental crust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-380
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geology
Volume108
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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