From opening to subduction of an oceanic domain constrained by LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon dating (Variscan belt, Southern Armorican Massif, France)

Abstract : In the Variscan belt of Western Europe, the lifetime and evolution of the oceanic domain is poorly constrained by sparse, outdated and unreliable multigrain ID-TIMS U-Pb zircon dating. In this article, we present a complete in situ LA-ICP-MS dataset of about 300 U-Pb zircon analyses obtained on most of the ophiolitic and eclogitic outcrops of Southern Brittany, comprising new dating of previously published zircon populations and newly discovered rock samples. In situ dating and cathodo-luminescence imaging of each zircon grain yields new absolute time-constraints on the evolution of the Galicia-Moldanubian Ocean. The new results confirm that the opening of this oceanic domain is well defined at about 490 Ma. In contrast, the generally-quoted 400-410 Ma-age for the high-pressure event related to the subduction of the oceanic crust is definitely not recorded in the zircons of the eclogites. In light of these new data, we propose that the obduction of oceanic rocks occurred at about 370-380 Ma while the high-pressure event is recorded at 355 Ma in only a few zircon grains of some eclogite samples. Additionally, this large scale dating project demonstrates that the zircons from eclogites do not systematically recrystallise during the high pressure event and consequently their U-Pb systems do not record that metamorphism systematically. These zircons rather preserve the isotopic memory of the magmatic crystallization of their igneous protolith. Another example of an eclogite sample from the French Massif Central illustrates the frequent mistake in the interpretation of the ages of the early hydrothermal alteration of zircons in the oceanic crust versus partial or complete recrystallization during eclogite facies metamorphism.
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Lithos, Elsevier, 2017, 294-295, pp.418-437. 〈10.1016/j.lithos.2017.10.005〉
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Jean-Louis Paquette, Michel Ballèvre, Jean-Jacques Peucat, G. Cornen. From opening to subduction of an oceanic domain constrained by LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon dating (Variscan belt, Southern Armorican Massif, France). Lithos, Elsevier, 2017, 294-295, pp.418-437. 〈10.1016/j.lithos.2017.10.005〉. 〈insu-01622141〉

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