International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

The emplacement age of the Muntele Mare Variscan granite (Apuseni Mountains, Romania)

Pages: 495 - 504

Authors: IOAN BALINTONI, CONSTANTIN BALICA, MONICA CLIVETI, LI-QIU LI, HORST PETER HANN, FUKUN CHEN, VOLKER SCHULLER

Abstract: Like the Alps and Western Carpathians, the Apuseni Mountains represent a fragment of the Variscan orogen involved in the Alpine crustal shortenings. Thus the more extensive Alpine tectonic unit in the Apuseni Mountains, the Bihor Autochthonous Unit is overlain by several nappe systems. During the Variscan orogeny, the Bihor Unit was a part of the Somes terrane involved as the upper plate in subduction, continental collision and finally in the orogen collapse and exhumation. The Variscan thermotectonic events were marked in the future Bihor Unit by the large Muntele Mare granitoid intrusion, an S-type anatectic body. Zircon U-Pb laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) dating yielded a weighted mean age of 290.9±3.0 Ma and a concordia age of 291.1±1.1 Ma. U-Pb isotope dilution zircon analyses yielded a lower intercept crystallization age of 296.6+5.7/–6.2 Ma. These two ages coincide in the error limits. Thus, the Muntele Mare granitoid pluton is a sign of the last stage in the Variscan history of the Apuseni Mountains. Many zircon grains show inheritance and/or Pb loss, typical for anatectic granitoid, overprinted by later thermotectonic events.

Keywords: U/Pb geochronology, Variscan orogeny, Apuseni Mountains, Muntele Mare granitoid pluton

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