Date of Thesis

5-8-2014

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Christopher Daniel

Abstract

Preliminary detrital zircon age distributions from Mazatzal crustal province quartzite and schist exposed in the Manzano Mountains and Pedernal Hills of central New Mexico are consistent with a mixture of detritus from Mazatzal age (ca. 1650 Ma), Yavapai age (ca. 1720 Ma.), and older sources. A quartzite sample from the Blue Springs Formation in the Manzano Mountains yielding 67 concordant grain analyses shows two dominant age peaks of 1737 Ma and 1791 Ma with a minimum peak age of 1652 Ma. Quartzite and micaceous quartzite samples from near Pedernal Peak give unimodal peak ages of ca. 1695 Ma and 1738 Ma with minimum detrital zircon ages of ca. 1625 Ma and 1680 Ma, respectively. A schist sample from the southern exposures of the Pedernal Hills area gives a unimodal peak age of 1680 Ma with a minimum age of ca. 1635 Ma. Minor amounts of older detritus (>1800 Ma) possibly reflect Trans-Hudson, Wyoming, Mojave Province, and older Archean sources and aid in locating potential source terrains for these detrital zircon. The Blue Springs Formation metarhyolite from near the top of the Proterozoic section in the Manzano Mountains yields 71 concordant grains that show a preliminary U-Pb zircon crystallization age of 1621 ¿ 5 Ma, which provides a minimum age constraint for deposition in the Manzano Mountains. Normalized probability plots from this study are similar to previously reported age distributions in the Burro and San Andres Mountains in southern New Mexico and suggest that Yavapai Province age detritus was deposited and intermingled with Mazatzal Province age detritus across much of the Mazatzal crustal province in New Mexico. This data shows that the tectonic evolution of southwestern Laurentia is associated with multiple orogenic events. Regional metamorphism and deformation in the area must postdate the Mazatzal Orogeny and ca. 1610 Ma ¿ 1620 Ma rhyolite crystallization and is attributed to the Mesoproterozoic ca. 1400 ¿ 1480 Ma Picuris Orogeny.

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