Ordovician high-grade metamorphism of a newly recognised late Neoproterozoic terrane in the northern Harts Range, Central Australia

I. S. Buick, J. A. Miller*, I. S. Williams, I. Cartwright

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    Granulite facies rocks from the northernmost Harts Range Complex (Arunta Inlier, central Australia) have previously been interpreted as recording a single clockwise cycle of presumed Palaeoproterozoic metamorphism (800-875 °C and >9-10 kbar) and subsequent decompression in a kilometre-scale, E-W striking zone of noncoaxial, high-grade (c. 700-735 °C and 5.8-6.4 kbar) deformation. However, new SHRIMP U-Pb age determinations of zircon, monazite and titanite from partially melted metabasites and metapelites indicate that granulite facies metamorphism occured not in the Proterozoic, but in the Ordovician (c. 470 Ma). The youngest metamorphic zircon overgrowths from two metabasites (probably meta-volcaniclastics) yield 206Pb/238U ages of 478±4 Ma and 471±7 Ma, whereas those from two metapelites yield ages of 463±5 Ma and 461±4 Ma. Monazite from the two metapelites gave ages equal within error to those from metamorphic zircon rims in the same rock (457±5 Ma and 462±5 Ma, respectively). Zircon, and possibly monazite ages are interpreted as dating precipitation of these minerals from crystallizing melt within leucosomes. In contrast, titanite from the two metabasites yield 206Pb/238U ages that are much younger (411±5 Ma & 417±7 Ma, respectively) than those of coexisting zircon, which might indicate that the terrane cooled slowly following final melt crystallization. One metabasite has a second titanite population with an age of 384±7 Ma, which reflects titanite growth and/or recrystallization during the 400-300 Ma Alice Springs Orogeny. The c. 380 Ma titanite age is indistinguishable from the age of magmatic zircon from a small, late and weakly deformed plug of biotite granite that intruded the granulites at 387±4 Ma. These data suggest that the northern Harts Range has been subject to at least two periods of reworking (475-460 Ma & 400-300 Ma) during the Palaeozoic. Detrital zircon from the metapelites and metabasites, and inherited zircon from the granite, yield similar ranges of Proterozoic ages, with distinct age clusters at c. 1300-1000 and c. 650 Ma. These data imply that the deposition ages of the protoliths to the Harts Range Complex are late Neoproterozoic or early Palaeozoic, not Palaeoproterozoic as previously assumed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)373-394
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ordovician high-grade metamorphism of a newly recognised late Neoproterozoic terrane in the northern Harts Range, Central Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this