U-Pb geochronology and Hf-Nd isotope compositions of the oldest Neoproterozoic crust within the Cadomian orogen: New evidence for a unique juvenile terrane

S. D. Samson, R. S. D'Lemos, J. Blichert-Toft, J. Vervoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


New U-Pb dates, combined with Nd and Hf isotopic data, from rocks within the Port Morvan area of the Baie de St Brieuc region of Brittany identify a unique portion of the Neoproterozoic Cadomia terrane. Two gneisses near Port Morvan yielded U-Pb dates of 754.6±0.8 Ma and 746.0±0.9 Ma, ages that are more than 130 Myr older than the oldest units formed during the main phase of early Cadomian magmatism. Two trondhjemite boulders from the monogenetic facies of the Cesson conglomerate yielded identical ages of 665.2±0.5 Ma and 665.5±0.7 Ma, and a cobble from the polygenetic facies yields a 207Pb-206Pb date of 637±2 Ma. Individual detrital zircons from a sandstone associated with the Cesson conglomerates yield concordant U-Pb dates ranging from 650±3 Ma to 624.1±0.6 Ma. Initial ε Nd values for the rocks in this region range from +5.0 to +6.6, indicative of a substantial input from depleted mantle. Initial ε Hf values determined on zircons from these Neoproterozoic rocks, including the detrital zircons, range from +6.7 to +14.5, consistent with the Nd isotopic results. Maximum initial εHf values for two 2 Ga Icartian gneisses, considered basement to Cadomia, average +8.4 and +8.7. In contrast to the results of the Port Morvan rocks, 616-608 Ma syn-tectonic intrusions from Normandy and the British Channel Islands all have negative initial εNd values (-10.4 to -8.3) consistent with significant contamination by ancient crust such as the 2 Ga gneisses. The oldest arc-related magmas should have interacted most extensively with Cadomian basement, buffering younger mantle-derived magmas that were generated in subsequent magmatic episodes. The rocks within the Port Morvan region are thus inconsistent as examples of the earliest Cadomian intrusions as they show no evidence of interaction with 2 Ga basement. Instead, the older ages and mantle-like isotopic composition of these rocks suggest they are part of an independent terrane that formed prior to, and independently from, the Cadomian arc. Possible terrane-scale structural boundaries have recently been identified, including the newly recognized Port Morvan thrust fault and the NW-dipping Main Cadomian thrust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 30 2003


  • Cadomia
  • Geochronology
  • Hafnium
  • Neoproterozoic
  • Zircon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'U-Pb geochronology and Hf-Nd isotope compositions of the oldest Neoproterozoic crust within the Cadomian orogen: New evidence for a unique juvenile terrane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this