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J Geol. 1999 Sep;107(5):555-568.

U-Pb Geochronology of Devonian Granites in the Meguma Terrane of Nova Scotia, Canada: Evidence for Hotspot Melting of a Neoproterozoic Source.


U-Pb isotopic analyses of monazite and zircon from six granitic plutons in the Meguma Terrane yield nearly concordant ages of 373+/-3 Ma, interpreted as the time of intrusion. U-Pb analyses of euhedral zircons with thick rims overgrowing cores, which were abraded to remove all or most of the rim, plot on chords between 370+/-3 and 628+/-33 Ma (Larrys River and Halfway Cove plutons), 372+/-3 and approximately 660 Ma (Shelburne pluton), and 373+/-2 and approximately 732 Ma (Barrington Passage pluton). The upper intercepts are interpreted as the age of magma source, correlatives of which are present in the Avalon Composite Terrane to the north. This basement may be either in depositional or tectonic contact with the overlying Cambro-Ordovician Meguma Group. Other zircons in the granites are generally irregular-euhedral with thin rims, and most U-Pb isotopic analyses fall between two chords from 373-2040 and 373-2300 Ma, with a few lying outside this field. These zircons are probably derived from the country rock (Goldenville Formation), which a previous study has shown contains detrital zircons with concordant U-Pb ages of 3000, 2000, and 600 Ma, and numerous intermediate discordant ages. These new ages, along with published data, document a relatively short (5-10 m.yr.) but voluminous period of magmatism. This age is approximately synchronous with intrusion of mafic rocks and lamprophyre dikes and regional low-pressure metamorphism and was followed by rapid denudation of 5-12 km. These observations may be interpreted in terms of shallowly dipping subduction and overriding of a mantle plume that eventually penetrates through the subducting plate to melt the overriding continental plate. Subsequent northward migration of the plume could explain both the approximately 360 Ma magmatism in the Cobequid Highlands (Avalon Composite Terrane) and the mid-Carboniferous plume-related intrusions around the Magdalen Basin.


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