Detrital zircon signatures in Precambrian and Paleozoic sedimentary units in southern New Brunswick – more pieces of the puzzle


  • Sandra M. Barr Acadia University, Wolfville, NS
  • Deanne van Rooyen Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Geology, Cape Breton University, Sydney, NS, B1P 6L2, Canada
  • Brent V. Miller Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • Chris E. White Geological Survey Division, Energy and Mines
  • Susan C. Johnson New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development, Sussex, New Brunswick



U-Pb dating, zircon, Ganderia


Southern New Brunswick consists of a complex collage of fault-bounded belts of Late Neoproterozoic igneous and metamorphic rocks, Early Paleozoic sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous units, and overlying Carboniferous sedimentary rocks. The area also contains the boundary between the Avalonian and Ganderian terranes as interpreted in the northern Appalachian orogen. New detrital zircon ages reported here provide improved understanding of depositional ages and provenance of diverse Neoproterozoic to Carboniferous rocks in this complex area. Detrital zircon data from samples with Neoproterozoic maximum depositional ages indicate a dominantly Gondwanan provenance with a strong influence from the Amazonian craton. However, quartzite from The Thoroughfare Formation on Grand Manan Island contains dominanly 2 Ga zircon grains, consistent with derivation from the West African Craton. The age spectrum is similar to that from the Hutchins Island Quartzite in the Isleboro block in Penobscot Bay, Maine, strengthening the previously proposed correlation between the two areas. Cambrian samples also show prominent peri-Gondwanan provenance with strong influence from Ediacaran to Early Cambrian arc magmatism. The maximum depositional ages of these samples are consistent with previous interpretations of Cambrian ages based on fossil correlations and field data. A Carboniferous sample from Avalonia shows a significant contribution from Devonian magmatism as the youngest detrital component, although its depositional age based on field relationships is Carboniferous. The results exemplify the need to integrate multiple datasets in making interpretations from detrital zircon data.




How to Cite

Barr, S. M., van Rooyen, D., Miller, B. V., White, C. E., & Johnson, S. C. (2019). Detrital zircon signatures in Precambrian and Paleozoic sedimentary units in southern New Brunswick – more pieces of the puzzle. Atlantic Geoscience, 55, 275–322.