U-Pb SHRIMP zircon dating of andesite from the Dolomite area (NE Italy): geochronological evidence for the early onset of Permian Volcanism in the eastern part of the southern Alps

Abstract

The Athesian Volcanic District (AVD), a thick sequence of andesitic to rhyolitic lava and ignimbrite, overlies both the Variscan basement of the Dolomites and, where present, the continental basal conglomerate of Upper Carboniferous(?) to Early Permian age. This volcanic activity is known to mark the margin of the intra-Pangea megashear system between Gondwana and Laurasia, the onset age of which is determined in this study.

SHRIMP U-Pb dating on zircon from Ponte Gardena/Waidbruck (Isarco/Eisack valley) basaltic andesite yields an age of 290.7 ± 3 Ma, providing the oldest record of andesite volcanic activity yet documented in the AVD. Two younger dates (279.9 ± 3.3 and 278.6 ± 3.1 Ma) obtained for the andesitic necks of M. dei Ginepri (Eores/Aferer valley) and Col Quaternà (western Comelico), respectively, probably represent a second pulse of andesite magmatic activity.

Near Chiusa/Klausen, the volcanoclastic deposits at the bottom of the Funes/Villnöss valley volcano-sedimentary complex only contain detrital zircons, dated at 469 ± 6 Ma; these probably derive from erosion of Paleozoic porphyroids. Other zircons from the same sediments and inherited cores of magmatic andesite crystals give Paleoproterozoic (1953.6 ± 22.1, 1834.6 ± 69.3, 1773.6 ± 25.1 Ma), Early Neoproterozoic (1015 ± 14 Ma) and Late Neoproterozoic (728.4 ± 9.6, 687.6 ± 7.6 Ma) ages. These ancient detrital and inherited zircon ages fit the model that envisages the Dolomite region as being tectonically coherent with Africa, at least until the Lower Permian.

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Correspondence to Dario Visonà.

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Manuscript received February 13, 2006 Revision accepted November 4, 2006

Editorial handling: Martin Engi, Edwin Gnos

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Visonà, D., Fioretti, A.M., Poli, M.E. et al. U-Pb SHRIMP zircon dating of andesite from the Dolomite area (NE Italy): geochronological evidence for the early onset of Permian Volcanism in the eastern part of the southern Alps. Swiss j geosci 100, 313–324 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00015-007-1219-z

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Keywords:

  • Permian
  • andesite
  • SHRIMP age
  • Athesian Volcanic District
  • NE Italy