Publication Details

Friend, C. R L., Nutman, A. Phillip., Baadsgaard, H. & Duke, M. (2009). The whole rock Sm-Nd 'age' for the 2825 Ma Ikkattoq gneisses (Greenland) is 800 Ma too young: Insights into Archaean TTG petrogenesis. Chemical Geology, 261 (1-2), 62-76.


The Ikkattoq gneisses of the Archaean gneiss complex in the Nuuk region, southern West Greenland, are the orthogneiss component within the amphibolite facies Tre Brodre terrane. They have mostly granodioritic compositions, with a small amount of quartz diorite. Sm-Nd isotopic data for a quartz diorite and five granodiorite Ikkattoq gneiss samples from within 5 km of the Ikkattoq (fjord) type locality yielded a regression with a slope equivalent to 2005 +/- 52 Ma (MSWD = 0.72). Regardless of the low MSWD, this cannot be the true age of the Ikkattoq gneisses, because all Ikkattoq gneisses yield U-Pb zircon dates of c. 2825 Ma and they are cut by the undeformed 2560 Ma Qorqut granite complex. This anomalously young regression 'age' resulted instead from mixing of different Nd components, indicating that the Ikkattoq gneisses are derived from mixed source materials. Taking the true age of the Ikkattoq gneisses as 2825 Ma from U-Pb zircon dating, the range of initial epsilon(Nd) in the Ikkattoq gneisses is -7.1 to -1.8. The negative initial epsilon(Nd) values mean that older, light rare earth enriched, sialic crust contributed to the igneous precursors of the Ikkattoq gneisses. This Nd evidence for contribution of older sialic crust is supported by positive epsilon(Sr) values for the Ikkattoq gneisses. With epsilon(Nd) values as low as -7.1 this older crustal component has to be Eoarchaean. The presence of scarce quartz diorites (low SiO(2), high MgO) suggests that ultramafic rocks (upper mantle?), metasomatised by the passage of fluids or silicic melts, were another contributing source. The Ikkattoq gneisses are proposed as a complex suite incorporating material derived from melting of much older sialic crust and probably upper mantle. The intercalation of tectonostratigraphic terranes during collisional orogeny at c. 2720 Ma destroyed the architecture of this 2825 Ma magmatic system, and the Ikkattoq gneisses now form a slice tectonically isolated from their source region. In terms of trace element parameters, the Ikkattoq gneisses resemble Phanerozoic volcanic arc granites. Thus an Andean-style arc setting for the generation of the Ikkattoq gneiss precursors is possible. Other Archaean TTG suites of the Nuuk region are generally thought to represent predominantly juvenile additions to the crust. In the broadest sense they do, because isotopic work over the past 30 years has demonstrated that they do not represent wholesale recycling of considerably older crust. However in detail, within these broadly juvenile suites, a contribution from older crust can be detected. Thus, c. 3000 Ma type-Nuk gneisses from around Nuuk town show a spread in epsilon(Nd) values down to -1.7. In this case, the likely older crustal component was 3230 Ma quartz diorite that occurs as enclaves in the c. 3000 Ma suite. Thus to a lesser or greater degree, some Meso- to Neoarchaean TTG suites in the Nuuk region display the same internal complexities and evidence for mixed sources as modem arc suites developed near the margins of older crust. (C) 2008 Elsevier BM. All rights reserved.



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