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Paleozoic ocean plate stratigraphy unraveled by calcite U-Pb dating of basalt and biostratigraphy

Andjic, Goran, Zhou, Renjie, Buchs, David M. ORCID:, Aitchison, Jonathan C. and Zhao, Jianxin 2022. Paleozoic ocean plate stratigraphy unraveled by calcite U-Pb dating of basalt and biostratigraphy. Communications Earth & Environment 3 (1) , 113. 10.1038/s43247-022-00446-1

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Oceanic mafic volcanic rocks preserve unique information regarding the nature and evolution of tectonic plates. However, constraining their age is commonly challenging because of their lack of datable minerals and high degrees of alteration. We present in situ laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry U-Pb dating of calcite phases in altered basalts in a Paleozoic subduction complex (eastern Australia). Calcite enclosed in amygdules and filled in fractures yielded two distinctive ages with contrasting geochemical signatures. These results, combined with new biostratigraphic and whole-rock geochemical data, suggest that oceanic islands formed in the Panthalassa Ocean at about 365 million years ago, accreted to eastern Gondwana at about 330 million years ago, and underwent brittle deformation at about 305 million years ago. Calcite U-Pb geochronology is valuable to help constrain minimum formation ages of volcanic rocks and their deformation history, ultimately improving ability to unravel the geological record of accretionary complexes, and more generally ancient underwater volcanic systems.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2662-4435
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 April 2022
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 01:29

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