Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 148, Issue 2, pp 216–235 | Cite as

Devonian to Carboniferous collision in the Greenland Caledonides: U-Pb zircon and Sm-Nd ages of high-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism

  • Jane A. GilottiEmail author
  • Allen P. Nutman
  • Hannes K. Brueckner
Original Paper


A variety of eclogites from an east-west transect across the North-East Greenland eclogite province have been studied to establish the timing of high pressure (HP) and ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphism in this northern segment of the Laurentian margin. Garnet + omphacite ± amphibole + whole rock Sm-Nd isochrons from a quartz eclogite, a garnet + omphacite + rutile eclogite and a partially melted zoisite eclogite in the western HP belt are 401±2, 402±9 and 414±18 Ma, respectively. Corresponding sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) 206Pb/238U ages of metamorphic zircon in the same samples are 401±7, 414±13, and 393 ±10 Ma. Metamorphic zircon domains were identified using morphology, cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging, U, Th, Th/U and trace element contents. Zircon from the quartz eclogite and the garnet + omphacite + rutile eclogite are typical of eclogite facies zircon with rounded to subhedral shapes, patchy to homogenous CL domains, low U, and very low Th and Th/U. The partially melted eclogite contains euhedral zircons with dark, sector-zoned, higher U, Th and Th/U inherited cores. Three cores give a Paleoproterozoic 207Pb/206Pb age of 1,962±27 Ma, interpreted as the age of the leucogabbroic protolith. CL images of the bright overgrowths show faint oscillatory zoning next to homogenous areas that indicate zircon growth in the presence of a HP melt and later recrystallization. Additional evidence that zircon grew during eclogite facies conditions is the lack of a Eu anomaly in the trace element data for all the samples. These results, combined with additional less precise Sm-Nd ages and our earlier work, point to a Devonian age of HP metamorphism in the western and central portions of the eclogite province. An UHP kyanite eclogite from the eastern part of the transect contains equant metamorphic zircon with homogeneous to patchy zoning in CL and HP inclusions of garnet, omphacite and kyanite. These zircons have slightly higher U, Th and Th/U values than the HP ones, no Eu anomaly, and are thus comparable to UHP zircons in the literature. The 206Pb/238U age of these zircons is 360±5 Ma, much younger than the HP eclogites. The same sample gives a Sm-Nd age of 342±6 Ma. Unlike the HP eclogites, the Sm-Nd age of the UHP rock is ca. 20 Ma younger than the U-Pb zircon age and most likely records slow cooling through the closure temperature, since peak temperatures were in excess of 900°C. Widespread HP metamorphism of both the Laurentian and Baltica continental margins marks the culmination of this continent–continent collision in the Devonian. Carboniferous UHP conditions, though localized in the east, suggest a prolonged collisional history rather than a short-lived Scandian orogeny. The traditional Silurian Scandian orogeny should thus be extended through the Devonian.


Zircon Devonian Kyanite Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometer Isochron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland for funding the field work, and to Niels Henriksen for organizing the mapping expeditions in North-East Greenland. National Science Foundation grants EAR-9508218 and EAR-0208236 to Gilotti funded the analytical work for this project. We thank Synnøve Elvevold for her help in the field and Charlotte Allen for assistance with the LA-ICP-MS analyses. Discussions with Bill McClelland, Synnøve Elvevold and Joseph Hull were helpful. Reviews by Bor-ming Jahn, Xiaochun Liu and Daniela Rubatto improved the manuscript. The paper is published with permission from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane A. Gilotti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Allen P. Nutman
    • 2
  • Hannes K. Brueckner
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of GeoscienceUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Research School of Earth SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesQueens CollegeCUNY, FlushingUSA
  4. 4.Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA

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