Trace inheritance—Clarifying the zircon O-Hf isotopic fingerprint of I-type granite sources: Implications for the restite model

Heejin Jeon*, Ian S. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Early to mid Carboniferous I-type granites distributed in a broad meridional belt west of Sydney, southeastern Australia, represent the last phase of granite magmatism in the southern Lachlan Fold Belt. Rare inherited zircon in the granites, in combination with zircon precipitated from the melt phase of the magmas, provides direct evidence of the nature and age of the source rocks from which the granites were derived, and the isotopic compositions of those rocks. Most granites from the north and central parts of the belt, represented by the Wuuluman, Home Rule, Oberon and Lett plutons (334 ± 3, 328 ± 4, 339 ± 2 and 328 ± 2 Ma, respectively), are characterized by scarce inherited zircon dominantly of Siluro-Devonian age, consistent with all being derived from a common zircon-poor source rock of mid to late Devonian age. Based on the isotopic compositions of the igneous zircon rims, that source was relatively homogeneous and immature (δ18Ozrn 6–7‰ εHf(t) 0–+4). Two samples of the Tarana pluton (331 ± 2 Ma), near the centre of the belt, show evidence for heterogeneity in that source and the presence of a more evolved component that is also more zircon rich. Together with the Lett pluton from the same geochemical suite, their zircon rim compositions define a mixing array between more and less evolved end members (δ18Ozrn 5.5–9.5‰ εHf(t) -4–+4). Only in the southern Chapmans Creek pluton (327 ± 3 Ma) is there clear evidence that the source of the granite also contained a minor component with a similar older protolith to the LFB early Palaeozoic sediments that host most of the LFB pre-Carboniferous granites. Presence of that component, which overwhelmingly dominates the inheritance in the pre-Carboniferous granites, is also reflected in a slightly elevated whole rock initial 87Sr/86Sr (> 0.7050) and igneous δ18Ozrn (ca. 7.5‰), but not in the igneous zircon εHf(t) (ca. +2). The amount of restitic zircon in granite is determined by not only the proportion of restite present but also the zircon contents of the various source rock components. The process of restite unmixing does not necessarily mean that more mafic, restite-rich granites will contain more inherited zircon.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)456-468
    Number of pages13
    JournalChemical Geology
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2018


    Dive into the research topics of 'Trace inheritance—Clarifying the zircon O-Hf isotopic fingerprint of I-type granite sources: Implications for the restite model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this