Forging isotopically juvenile metamorphic zircon from and within Archean TTG gneiss: Whole-rock Sr-Nd-Pb and zircon U-Pb-Hf-REE constraints

J. W.D. Strong, P. A. Cawood, A. R. Cruden, O. Nebel, J. Mulder, A. P. Dickin

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The Winnipeg River terrane is one of three plutonic-gneiss terranes that contains the oldest rocks in the Archean Superior Province and is integral to understanding the evolution of Earth's largest Archean craton. We evaluate the evolution of the Winnipeg River terrane using whole-rock Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data for a suite of 17 samples of the Cedar Lake gneiss, along with U-Pb-Lu-Hf isotopes and trace elements in zircon grains from one sample. Most whole-rock Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data trend along 3.25 Ga reference isochrons, which overlap with the dominant population of ca. 3.25 Ga zircon, and are interpreted to mark the igneous crystallization of the protolith to the Cedar Lake gneiss. An older population of zircon aged ca. 3.5–3.4 Ga indicate either Hadean or Eoarchean crust was reworked at ca. 3.25 Ga. At ca. 2.7 Ga, new zircon grew with limited dissolution of older grains resulting in near-chondritic time-integrated Hf isotope signatures and low Th/U ratios relative to the older grains. As a result of the overlap between whole-rock reference isochrons at 3.25 Ga and the dominant zircon population ca. 3.25 Ga, the radiogenic Hf isotope signature of the ca. 2.7 Ga zircon grains imply Hf was recycled from non-zircon constituents within the rock rather than from external input. Additional support is drawn from elevated Nb and Ta concentrations in ca. 2.7 Ga zircon, hornblende and biotite. Our data highlights a complexity in the Lu–Hf isotope systematics of zircon, where metamorphic zircon inherited radiogenic Hf isotope compositions as a result of internal redistribution of Hf from non-zircon phases in the rock rather than juvenile input.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120710
Number of pages20
JournalChemical Geology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2022


  • Radiogenic isotope systematics
  • Trace element systematics
  • Zircon

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