Carbonatites as recorders of mantle-derived magmatism and subsequent tectonic events: an example of the Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex, Western Australia

Slezak, Paul, and Spandler, Carl (2019) Carbonatites as recorders of mantle-derived magmatism and subsequent tectonic events: an example of the Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex, Western Australia. Lithos, 328. pp. 212-227.

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The Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex (GCCC), Western Australia contains a diverse suite of alkaline igneous rocks, including magnesiocarbonatites, ferrocarbonatites, phoscorites, fenites, magmatic-hydrothermal peralkaline dykes, and ironstones. This study employs U-Pb, Sm-Nd, and Lu-Hf radiogenic isotope techniques on monazite - (Ce), fluorapatite, and zircon to determine the origin, age, and history of the GCCC.

Zircon crystals found in glimmerite alteration selvages adjacent to ferrocarbonatites exhibit pyramidal crystal morphologies, epsilon Hf values of -1.8 to -4.3, high Th/U, and variable Zr/Hf, all of which are indicative of carbonatitic zircon sourced from an enriched mantle component. Uranium-Pb dating of these zircons returned a definitive magmatic age of similar to 1370 Ma for the GCCC. Monazite hosted in the ferrocarbonatites, phoscorites, and fenite alteration assemblages yielded variable U-Pb ages ranging from ca. 1250 Ma to 815 Ma. Neodymium isotope isochrons determined from coexisting monazite and apatite gave ages between ca. 1310 Ma to ca. 1190 Ma, but all with similar initial Nd-143/Nd-144 values of 0.51078-0.51087.

The 1370 Ma age of the GCCC does not correspond to any known mantle plume activity, but does broadly correlate with the separation of the North China Craton from the West Australian Craton as part of the greater breakup of Nuna. The monazite and apatite epsilon Nd data illustrate that the multiple younger U-Pb monazite and Nd isotope isochron ages are not recording multiple magmatic intrusions into the complex, but rather represent partial recrystallisation/resetting of REE-bearing minerals during the protracted tectonic history of the Western Australia Craton from similar to 1300 Ma to 815 Ma and its involvement in the breakup of Nuna and assembly and disassembly of Rodinia.

The age variability in the U-Pb and the Sm-Nd isotope systems in monazite and apatite reveal that tectonically-induced hydrothermalism can contribute to the isotopic resetting of phosphate minerals. This age resetting, if properly identified, can be used as a thorough geochronological record of tectonism affecting alkaline igneous complexes after initial magmatic emplacement.

Item ID: 58140
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6143
Keywords: Geochronology, Radiogenic isotopes, Carbonatite, Phoscorite, Monazite, Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex
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Copyright Information: © 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 4 of the following PhD thesis: Slezak, Paul R. (2019) Petrology of the Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex and the Yangibana LREE district, Western Australia: new insights from isotope geochemistry and geochronology. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Future Fellowship (FT 120100198)
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2019 07:39
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370503 Igneous and metamorphic petrology @ 50%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370508 Resource geoscience @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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