A geochronological and geochemical study of rocks from Gjelsvikfjella, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica - implications for Mesoproterozoic correlations and assembly of Gondwana

Oskar Paulsson, H Austrheim

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The Jutulsessen nunataks (72degrees00'S; 2degrees30'E), Gjelsvikfjella, Dronning Maud Land (DML), consist mainly of migmatites of two types. A heterogeneous banded amphibolite facies gneisses; and a more homogeneous part. In the more homogeneous part, partial melts form along axial planes to tight folds. Numerous pegmatitic dykes occur in both migmatites. The homogeneous part of the migmatite has a granodiorite composition. It displays the depletion of Nb-Ta typical for rocks from destructive plate margins and a strongly fractionated REE pattern, specially in LREE (La/Lu ratios varying between 500 and 800). SIMS dating of zircon from the homogeneous migmatite and two pegmatite dykes resulted in two age groups. A concordant age of 1163 +/- 6Ma is calculated from zircon crystals with no rim/core structure and from cores from structurally complex crystals. This age represents the age of the protolith of the migmatite. A Cambrian age of 504 +/- 6 Ma is obtained from zircon rims and from sector-zoned zircons. This age represent the time of migmatisation. Sm-Nd depleted mantle model ages range from 1390 to 1770 Ma and suggest that the protolith to the migmatites contained components of older crust (pre-1163 Ma). An igneous complex consisting of a syenite plug (Stabben syenite), gabbroic rocks and aptitic dykes intrudes the metamorphic complex. The syenite and the aplitic dykes are neither deformed nor migmatised or penetrated by pegmatitic dykes. These rocks have elevated LREE and LILE concentrations with an La/Lu ratio of 450 and an Nb-Ta trough. The gabbroic rocks range in composition from melagabbro to monzogabbro and host numerous pegmatitic dykes. SIMS zircon U-Pb data from the Stabben syenite give an age of 500 8 Ma. This age is regarded as the intrusive age of the Stabben syenite. By the single zircon-Pb evaporation method an age of 495 14 Ma is obtained from the aplitic dykes. Sm-Nd depleted mantle model ages between 1800 and 2220 Ma indicate that the dykes formed from a Paleoproterozoic source. A Mesoproterozoic volcanic arc setting of DML and a correlation with the Natal Province, as suggested by several authors, is supported by data in this study. The studied area has consequently been a part of the Kaapvaal/Kalahari craton since Mesoproterozoic time. The Cambrian migmatisation and the intrusions are interpreted as a result of post-collision activity related to the collision between the Kalahari craton and the combined block of Antarctica and Australia during the final assembly of Gondwana. This collision is suggested to be included in the Kuunga Orogeny introduced by Meerat and Van der Voo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-138
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geology


  • Mesoproterozoic
  • Kuunga Orogeny
  • Gondwana
  • Antarctica
  • Dronning Maud Land
  • zircon U-Pb geochronology


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