Detrital zircon age distribution from Devonian and Carboniferous sandstone in the Southern Variscan Fold-and-Thrust belt (Montagne Noire, French Massif Central), and their bearings on the Variscan belt evolution

Abstract : In the Southern French Massif Central, the Late Paleozoic sedimentary sequences of the Montagne Noire area provide clues to decipher the successive tectonic events that occurred during the evolution of the Variscan belt. Previous sedimentological studies already demonstrated that the siliciclastic deposits were supplied from the northern part of the Massif Central. In this study, detrital zircon provenance analysis has been investigated in Early Devonian (Lochkovian) conglomerate and sandstone, and in Carboniferous (Visean to Early Serpukhovian) sandstone from the recumbent folds and the foreland basin of the Variscan Southern Massif Central in Montagne Noire. The zircon grains from all of the samples yielded U–Pb age spectra ranging from Neoarchean to Late Paleozoic with several age population peaks at 2700 Ma, 2000 Ma, 980 Ma, 750 Ma, 620 Ma, 590 Ma, 560 Ma, 480 Ma, 450 Ma, and 350 Ma. The dominant age populations concentrate on the Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic. The dominant concordant detrital zircon age populations in the Lochkovian samples, the 480–445 Ma with a statistical peak around 450 Ma, are interpreted as reflecting the rifting event that separated several continental stripes, such as Armorica, Mid-German Crystalline Rise, and Avalonia from the northern part of Gondwana. However, Ediacaran and Cambrian secondary peaks are also observed. The detrital zircons with ages at 352 − 340 Ma, with a statistical peak around 350 Ma, came from the Early Carboniferous volcanic and plutonic rocks similar to those exposed in the NE part of the French Massif Central. Moreover, some Precambrian grains recorded a more complex itinerary and may have experienced a multi-recycling history: the Archean and Proterozoic grains have been firstly deposited in Cambrian or Ordovician terrigenous rocks, and secondly re-sedimented in Devonian and/or Carboniferous formations. Another possibility is that ancient grains would be inherited grains, scavenged from an underlying but not exposed Precambrian basement.
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Wei Lin, Michel Faure, Xian-Hua Li, Yang Chu, Wenbin Ji, et al.. Detrital zircon age distribution from Devonian and Carboniferous sandstone in the Southern Variscan Fold-and-Thrust belt (Montagne Noire, French Massif Central), and their bearings on the Variscan belt evolution. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2016, 677-678, pp.1-33. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2016.03.032⟩. ⟨insu-01303804⟩

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