Paleoproterozoic juvenile crust formation and stabilisation in the south-eastern West African Craton (Ghana); New insights from U-Pb-Hf zircon data and geochemistry

Sylvain Block, Lenka Baratoux, Armin Zeh, Oscar Laurent, Olivier Bruguier, Mark Jessell, Laurent Ailleres, Raymond Sagna, Luis A. Parra-Avila, Delphine Bosch

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Abstract

The crust of the Paleoproterozoic West African Craton in northern Ghana is dominantly made of Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG) suites, low-K to high-K calc-alkaline granites, with minor LILE-enriched diorites, and chemically related lavas. Results of zircon U-Pb dating indicate that all these different rock types were formed together over a prolonged period of ca. 100 Ma, between 2.21 and 2.11 Ga. Zircon Hf isotope compositions of five samples are supra-chondritic (εHft from +1 to +6) indicating that the granitoids derive from the reworking of juvenile crustal components as old as 2.60 Ga. Geochemical data show that the TTGs were derived from the reworking of a low-K mafic crust, while biotite granites formed by the reworking of older felsic crustal rocks, and diorites derived from the melting of LILE-enriched mantle sources. The combined datasets support a three-step model for the formation of the crust of the West African craton in northern Ghana: (1) a juvenile, mafic proto-crust was extracted from the depleted mantle between 2.60 and 2.30 Ga, in an oceanic environment remote from any pre-existing continental nucleus; (2) the mafic proto-crust was reworked in several primitive magmatic arcs or in accreted oceanic plateaux. Crustal reworking initially produced minor felsic magmatism between 2.35 and 2.21 Ga, followed by the 2.21–2.15 Ga emplacement of low- to medium-P TTG and K-rich calc-alkaline granitoid suites, and was coeval with the formation of an enriched mantle source. (3) Various proto-continental terranes collided during the Eburnean orogeny between 2.14 and 2.11 Ga, triggering intense reworking of the composite crust and mantle reservoirs formed in the previous two steps, i.e. remnants of the juvenile mafic crust, older TTGs and biotite granites, and previously enriched mantle sources. The emplacement of high-P TTGs, granites and LILE-enriched diorites resulted from lower crustal heating in response to the delamination of the lower crust and lithospheric mantle. The Eburnean collision therefore marks the final stages of a 200–500 Ma long period of juvenile continental crust formation and stabilisation. The datasets further reveal that the Paleoproterozoic West African Craton comprises a minimum of two distinct crustal blocks, with north-western Ghana lying at their interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalPrecambrian Research
Volume287
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Crustal evolution
  • Granitoid
  • Paleoproterozoic
  • UPb-Hf isotopes
  • West African Craton
  • Zircon

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