Trace element and Pb isotopic constraints on the provenance of the Rosroe and Derryveeny formations, South Mayo, Ireland

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The Rosroe Formation comprises a series of Lower Ordovician (Llanvirn) conglomerates and sandstones, that lies on the southern limb of the South Mayo Trough, within the Iapetus Suture Zone of western Ireland. Trace element chemistry of granite boulders within the formation indicates a continental, rather than a volcanic arc character that can be correlated to latest Precambrian granites within the Dalradian Metamorphic Block, part of the deformed Laurentian margin. A minority of the clasts may correlate with syn-collisional granites, similar to, but older than, the Oughterard Granite of Connemara. Pb isotope compositions of K-feldspar grains within the sandstones, measured by both ion microprobe and conventional mass spectrometry, show a clear Laurentian affinity, albeit with greater source variability in the sand grains compared to a limited range in the proximal boulders. Palaeo-current indicators demonstrate dominant derivation from the NE, with a significant axial E-W flow. We propose that the Rosroe Formation records unroofing of a rapidly exhuming Dalradian metamorphic belt in North Mayo, following extensional collapse of the Grampian Orogen starting at ∼468 Ma, with minor input from a southerly are source. The lack of metamorphic input from the S until deposition of the Derryeeny Conglomerate argues that the Connemara terrane was not positioned S of South Mayo Trough through strike-slip faulting until after the end of Rosroe sedimentation (460-443 Ma).

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Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Earth Sciences

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