U-Pb isotopic evidence for the accretion of different crustal blocks to form the Lewisian Complex of northwest Scotland
Single zircon and titanite U-Pb SHRIMP data presented for tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suite gneisses and an ultramafic rock from the northern and central regions of the Lewisian Complex of northwest Scotland, show that protolith ages of tonalitic gneisses in the northern region (2800-2840Ma) are significantly younger than those in the central region (2960-3030Ma). Further evidence of a major (2490-2480Ma) metamorphic event in the central region is documented by a metamorphic zircon associated with a granulite facies ultramafic body. A dioritic gneiss from the northern region has also been dated at c. 2680Ma. The northern region therefore does not comprise reworked central region rocks and consequently the old models for the evolution of the Lewisian which were based upon this concept need replacing. It is instead proposed that two distinct crustal blocks, now the northern and central regions, were tectonically juxtaposed along a boundary corresponding to the Laxford Front. Juxtaposition would appear to have occurred in Proterozoic times, as it must have postdated the 2490-2480Ma (?Inverian) metamorphism recorded only in the central region, and the emplacement of granite sheets restricted to the northern side of the boundary. The first recorded event common to both regions is resetting of titanite ages associated with c. 1750Ma Laxfordian amphibolite facies metamorphism. Zircon inheritance in rocks of both regions is scarce. Within one zircon from the northern region a c. 3550Ma core was found. This represents the oldest known material from the region.