|Title:||Monazite geochronology in central New England: evidence for a fundamental terrane boundary|
|Authors:||F.S. Spear, J.T. Cheney, J.M. Pyle, T.M. Harrison, and G. Layne|
|Publication:||Jour. Metamorph. Geol., v. 26, p. 317‐329.|
Monazite crystallization ages have been measured in situ using SIMS and EMP analysis of samples from the Bronson Hill anticlinorium in central New England. In west‐central New Hampshire, each major tectonic unit (nappe) displays a distinctive P‐T path and metamorphic history that requires significant post‐metamorphic faulting to place them in their current juxtaposition, and monazite ages were determined to constrain the timing of metamorphism and nappe assembly. Monazite ages from the low‐pressure, high‐temperature Fall Mountain nappe range from c. 455 to 355 Ma, and Y zoning indicates that these ages comprise three to four distinct age domains, similar to that found in the overlying Chesham Pond nappe. The underlying Skitchewaug nappe contains monazite ages that range from c. 417 to 307 Ma. 40Ar/39Ar ages indicate rapid cooling of the Chesham Pond and Fall Mountain nappes after 350 Ma, which is believed to represent the time of emplacement of the high‐level Chesham Pond and Fall Mountain nappes onto rocks of the underlying Skitchewaug nappe. Garnet zone rocks from western New Hampshire contain monazite that display a range of ages (c. 430‐340 Ma). Both the metamorphic style and monazite ages suggest that the low‐grade belt in western New Hampshire is continuous with the Vermont sequence to the west. Rocks of the Big Staurolite nappe in western New Hampshire contain monazite that crystallized between c. 370 and 290 Ma and the same unit along strike in northern New Hampshire and central Connecticut records ages of c. 257‐300 Ma. Conspicuously absent from this nappe are the older age populations that are found in both the overlying nappes and underlying garnet zone rocks. These monazite ages confirm that the metamorphism observed in the Big Staurolite nappe occurred significantly later than that in the units structurally above and below. These data support the hypothesis that the Big Staurolite nappe represents a major tectonic boundary, along which rocks of the New Hampshire metamorphic series were juxtaposed against rocks of the Vermont series during the Alleghanian.