Age of the Acadian deformation and Devonian granites in northern England reviewed
Field evidence shows that emplacement of Devonian granites in northern England overlaps in space and time with the end of the supposed Acadian deformation in their country rocks. The age of this Acadian event in England and Wales is in need of review because of revised Rb-Sr and K-Ar decay constants and recently acquired radiometric ages on the granites.
Published K-Ar and Ar-Ar cleavage ages recalculated to the new decay constants range from 404 to 394 Ma (Emsian, Early Devonian). Emplacement of the Skiddaw and Weardale granites at 398.8 ± 0.4 and 399.3 ± 0.7 Ma respectively is indicated by U-Pb zircon ages, and is compatible with the field evidence. However, emplacement of the Shap Granite at a Re-Os molybdenite age of 405.2 ± 1.8 Ma and at the youngest U-Pb zircon age of 403 ± 8 Ma matches the field evidence less well. The apparent paradox in these ages is resolved if the K-Ar ages record only the end of millions of years of cleavage formation. An earlier cluster of K-Ar and Ar-Ar cleavage ages at 426–420 Ma (Ludlow to Přídolí, late Silurian) dates a pre-Acadian resetting event soon after Iapetus closure, an event of uncertain significance.
Ion microprobe U-Pb zircon ages for the Shap Granite have a mean of 415.6 ± 1.4 Ma but a range of 428–403 Ma, compatible with a long magmatic history. Thermal considerations suggest that this history was not at the upper crustal emplacement site but in a mid-crustal mush zone, now preserved at about 10 km depth as a component of the Lake District and North Pennine batholiths.
CitationProceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 62, 238-253, 8 April 2019, https://doi.org/10.1144/pygs2018-009
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
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