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Provenance of Paleozoic diamictites in the southern Black Forest: petrography, geochemistry and detrital U-Pb-zircon chronology

In the Badenweiler-Lenzkirch Zone (BLZ) of the southern Black Forest, lower Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Sengalenkopfschiefer Formation contain intercalations of diamictites which have been linked to the Hirnantian glaciation. This interpretation is based on lithological arguments and rare palynological remains showing Ordovician to Devonian Acritarch and Chitinozoa associations. This interpretation is challenged by new results of U-Pb dating of detrital zircon grains from four samples of diamictites and associated fine-grained schists. The diamictite layer consists of strongly elongated clasts up to 5 cm in diameter, comprising vein quartz, volcanic detritus, pelites, and minor magmatic pebbles. In total 509 detrital zircon grains were dated by LA-ICP-MS at KIT. These reveal similar age spectra for all four samples, characterized by significant age peaks at ~ 380 Ma, ~ 400 Ma, ~ 480-500 Ma, ~ 600-620 Ma, ~ 700-750 Ma and ~ 1.8-2.2 Ga, and ~ 2.6 Ga, and very small peaks at 0.9-1.1 Ga. The pre-Silurian age populations correspond to the spectra of West Gondwana with minor Mesoproterozoic and very minor Grenville zircons (ca. 1.0 Ga). The two younger age populations fit to a subduction model with an active magmatic arc and published ages for the adjacent Randgranite nappe. The youngest zircon grains reveal maximum depositional ages of ca. 360 Ma, which is close to the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary. This discards the former assumption of Hirnantian glaciation. Instead we hypothesize that the diamictites are linked to the Upper Devonian glaciation which affected North America, South America and West Africa.


Calvin Diehl1, Johannes Lukas1, Henri Paul Meinaß1, Armin Zeh2, Matthias Hinderer1
1TU Darmstadt, Germany; 2Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023