Five hundred million years of punctuated addition of juvenile crust during extension in the Goochland Terrane, central Appalachian Piedmont Province

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The Goochland Terrane is an enigmatic crustal block in the Appalachian Piedmont Province of central Virginia, USA. Sparse exposures of terminal Mesoproterozoic and late Neoproterozoic igneous rocks in the central Goochland Terrane offer the opportunity to investigate both the continental affinity of the terrane during the Proterozoic Eon and the timing and mechanisms of crustal growth. We apply multiple geochemical tools to these rocks: tectonic discrimination using whole-rock major and trace element abundances; whole-rock Sm-Nd isotopes; O, U-Pb, and Lu-Hf isotope analyses of spots in zircon; and measurement of O isotopes in multi-grain quartz separates. Eruption of the Sabot Amphibolite protolith is difficult to date, but we tentatively assign an age of 552 ± 11 Ma. Goochland Terrane continental crust first separated from the mantle prior to ca. 1050–1010 Ma intrusion of the Montpelier Anorthosite and the State Farm Gneiss protolith. The granitic magma that became the State Farm Gneiss protolith could have been derived entirely from partial melting of this initial Goochland Terrane crust. In contrast, the magmas that became the Montpelier Anorthosite, Neoproterozoic granitoid, and the Sabot Amphibolite were mixtures of mantle melt and preexisting Goochland Terrane crust. This production of juvenile continental crust occurred during continental extension and, eventually, rifting. The timing and compositions of terminal Mesoproterozoic magmatism in the Goochland Terrane closely match those in the nearby Blue Ridge Province. Although the compositions of the Neoproterozoic magmas in the two regions are similar, intrusion and possibly eruption occurred about 10 M.y. later in the Goochland Terrane.


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