Detrital zircon provenance and Ordovician terrane amalgamation, western Ireland

Brian Mcconnell, Nancy Riggs, Quentin G. Crowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Detrital zircon analysis of sandstones interbedded with c. 464 Ma ignimbrites in the lower Mweelrea Formation of the South Mayo Trough, western Ireland, suggests Ordovician source-rock provenance that corresponds to two distinct volcanic-arc phases on the Laurentian margin. East-derived sandstones contain a suite of zircons with a mean age of c. 487 Ma that suggests derivation from the Cambrian to early Ordovician Baie Verte Oceanic Tract arc-ophiolite complex, locally represented by the Lough Nafooey arc rocks and the Clew Bay Complex. Zircons from south-derived sandstones within the Bunnacunneen conglomerate fan have average ages of c. 467-474 Ma, and correspond to the Notre Dame arc and locally the Connemara metagabbro and orthogneiss suite. Granite clasts in the Bunnacunneen conglomerate are similar to the Connemara orthogneiss suite, in terms of both their geochemistry and their age (c. 471 Ma). The southerly derived sedimentary strata also include Archaean and Proterozoic zircon age spectra consistent with a Dalradian source. A southern provenance from the Notre Dame arc and Dalradian rocks suggests that the Connemara terrane lay to the south of the South Mayo Trough during middle Llanvirn times, from at least 464 Ma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-484
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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