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Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

Contrasting mechanism of crustal growth


Geodynamic evolution of the Paleoproterozoic granite–greenstone
belts of French Guiana
Olivier Vanderhaeghe *, Patrick Ledru, Denis Thiéblemont, Emmanuel Egal,
Alain Cocherie, Monique Tegyey, Jean-Pierre Milési
BRGM, B.P. 6009, 45060 Orléans, Cedex, France
Received 10 January 1997; accepted 8 May 1998

Abstract

The Paleoproterozoic granite–greenstone belts of French Guiana formed during a period of major crustal growth
at the scale of the Earth. Two contrasting mechanisms of crustal growth have been identified by recent structural,
metamorphic, geochronological and geochemical investigations in the Cayenne–Régina region, which is part of the
northern granite–greenstone belt of French Guiana. Following the formation of oceanic crust, which is characterized
by a tholeiitic volcanic sequence dated at 2174±7 Ma, the early stage of crustal generation was marked by successive
building of calc-alkaline plutonic–volcanic complexes, with the formation of the Ile de Cayenne complex dated at
2144±6 Ma to the north, and of the Central Guiana complex dated at 2115±7 Ma to the south. This first period of
crustal generation by accumulation of mantle-derived magmas was followed by a period of crustal recycling and
tectonic accretion. Sediments derived from the granite–greenstone belts were deposited in large marginal basins, such
as the Orapu basin, separating the plutonic–volcanic complexes. Convergence between the newly formed crustal
blocks caused deformation during the Transamazonian orogeny of the Orapu marginal basin caught in between the
Ile de Cayenne and Central Guiana complexes. Oblique convergence is further characterized by the development of
en-echelon pull-apart basins along the North Guiana Trough sinistral strike-slip shear zones, affecting the edges of
the Orapu marginal basin. The lithological succession in these basins is typical of foreland basins, and the metamorphic
and structural evolution of the Kaw and Régina basins in the Cayenne–Régina region indicate burial to depth up to
20 km in a context of heterogeneous transpression. The geochemical signature of small syntectonic granitic plutons
dated at 2093±8 Ma and 2083±8 Ma emplaced along the major strike-slip shear zones is consistent with crustal
thickening and partial melting of an enriched crustal source. These features suggest that the last stage of the
Transamazonian orogeny was marked by oblique convergence, collision and crustal thickening in a similar way to
modern orogens. © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Keywords: Continental collision; Crustal growth; Guiana shield; Granite–greenstone belt; Paleoproterozoic

* Corresponding author. E-mail: olivier@adder.ocean.dal.ca

0301-9268/98/$ – see front matter © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
PII S0 3 0 1 -9 2 6 8 ( 9 8 ) 0 0 07 4 - 6
166 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

1. Introduction ( Teixeira et al., 1989; Bertrand and Jardim de Sa,


1990; Ledru et al., 1994; Feybesse and Milési,
The early stage of continental crust generation 1994).
is marked by the formation of large tonalite– The aim of this paper is to present the case of
trondhjemite batholiths with calc-alkaline geo- a granite–greenstone belt recently characterized in
chemical signatures surrounded by greenstone the northern part of French Guiana (Egal et al.,
belts. These plutonic–volcanic complexes are typi- 1994, 1995; Milési et al., 1995) where the two
cal of Archean provinces ( Windley, 1984) and different styles of crustal accretion are distin-
correspond to accumulation of mantle-derived guished. The early stage of crustal generation
magmas attributed to either (1) upwelling of resulted in the formation of the Ile de Cayenne
mantle plumes ( Kröner, 1984; Kröner and Layer, and Central Guiana plutonic–volcanic complexes,
1992) or (2) active subduction (Condie, 1975, which are typical granite–greenstone belts. The
1995; Hoffmann, 1988). The dome-and-basin source, age, and context of formation of the vol-
structure of several Archean granite–greenstone canic and plutonic series are constrained by
belts reflects diapiric rise of the buoyant granitic updated lithological and structural maps, and new
material with respect to the dense greenstone unit geochemical and geochronological data on the
(Choukroune et al., 1995). This first stage of Cayenne–Régina area. The two granite–greenstone
crustal generation is commonly followed by a belts are separated by the Orapu sedimentary basin
period of crustal recycling characterized by the filled by flysh-like sequences of the Armina forma-
formation of sedimentary basins at the margins of tion. During the first stages of oblique convergence
the belts and then by the formation of large between the newly formed crustal blocks, pull-
continents through tectonic accretion and collision apart foreland basins formed along a major strike-
between the newly formed crustal blocks accom- slip shear zone, the North Guiana Trough (Ledru
modated by thrusting (Shackelton, 1986), and et al., 1991). The structural and metamorphic
strike-slip (Hudleston et al., 1988). evolution of some of these basins indicate signifi-
The development of the circum Atlantic cant burial followed by rapid exhumation. The
Paleoproterozoic provinces illustrates the trans- proposed geodynamic model resulting from this
ition between these two contrasting mechanisms multidisciplinary approach favours the formation
of crustal growth. The early stage of magmatic of two magmatic arcs thickened and accreted with
accretion between 2.2 and 2.1 Ga recognized in their erosional products during oblique collision
South French Guiana and West Africa (Gruau between the Guiana and West Africa provinces.
et al., 1985; Abouchami et al., 1990; Taylor et al.,
1992; Milési et al., 1992) is characterized by the
formation of a new crust composed of volcanic– 2. Previous work and geological setting
plutonic belts similar to Archean granite–green-
stone belts. In contrast, the formation at ~2.0 Ga French Guiana is part of the Guiana shield
of a supercontinent by collision between West composed of granite–greenstone belts accreted to
Africa and Guiana during the Transamazonian a small Archean core — the Imataca complex of
orogeny (Fig. 1, Bullard et al., 1965; Cohen and Venezuela — at about 2.0 Ga during the
Gibbs, 1989; Bertrand and Jardim de Sa, 1990; Transamazonian orogeny ( Teixeira et al., 1989;
Hoffman, 1991; Ledru et al., 1994) shares many Montgomery and Hurley, 1978). In French
characteristics with Phanerozoic orogens. Tectonic Guiana, no Archean basement has been recog-
accretion occurred around Archean cratons, such nized. The greenstone belts appear in two synclino-
as the Imataca complex in Venezuela, the Man ria that converge in Surinam and are pinched in
province in Ivory coast and Liberia, the between large metamorphic and granitic complexes
Gabon–Cameroon Archean units, the Jequié com- ( Fig. 1, Choubert, 1974; Gibbs and Barron, 1983).
plex, and the Gavião block in Brazil; and collision Recent work on the geology of the southern and
resulted in thickening of the continental crust northern belts (Gruau et al., 1985; Ledru et al.,
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 167

Fig. 1. Schematic geologic map of the Guiana Shield. Two greenstone belts alternate with granitic massifs. Pull-apart en-echelon
marginal basins are formed along the sinistral strike-slip North Guiana Trough with, from west to east, the Maroni, the Mana, the
Régina and the Kaw basins. Inset: Schematic tectonic map of circum South Atlantic Paleoproterozoic provinces (from Ledru et al.,
1991) showing the distribution of Archean and Paleoproterozoic terrains.

1991; Egal et al., 1992) provides a lithologic preted to be the age of intrusion in the volcanics.
sequence consistent with the one described in The low initial Sr value (0.7019±4) suggests that
Surinam (Bosma et al., 1983). the granitic magma originated from partial melting
– A Lower Volcanic and Sedimentary Unit of short-lived crustal precursors of basaltic to
(LVSU ) composed of (1) high grade metamor- granodioritic composition.
phic rocks of the Ile de Cayenne, (2) metavol-
canics of the Paramaca formation, (3) flysh-like
sediments of the Armina formation.
– An Upper Sedimentary Unit ( USU ) composed 3. New data on the Cayenne–Régina region
of sandstone and conglomerates deposited in
en-echelon pull-apart basins formed during sinis- A recent multidisciplinary program of explora-
tral strike-slip motion along the North Guiana tion conducted by the BRGM on the Cayenne–
Trough (Fig. 1, Ledru et al., 1991; Manier Régina region [Fig. 2(a)] provides a significant
et al., 1993). amount of new structural, metamorphic, geochem-
The geologic evolution of the southern granite– ical, and geochronological data constraining the
greenstone belt is further constrained by geochemi- geodynamic evolution of the northern part of
cal data (Gruau et al., 1985). The metavolcanic French Guiana. We propose a new definition of
series yields a Sm–Nd isochron of 2.11±0.09 Ga, the litho-tectonic units and distinguish two pluton-
interpreted as the age of volcanism, and a positive ic–volcanic complexes, the Ile de Cayenne and the
S N value (+2.1±1.8) excluding significant Central Guiana from north to south, separated by
d
crustal contamination during magma genesis. A a sedimentary basin, the Orapu basin comprising,
whole-rock Rb–Sr isochron obtained on the gra- from bottom to top, the schists of the Armina
nitic plutons yields an age of 2.00±0.07 Ga inter- formation and the sediments of the USU.
168 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

Fig. 2. (a) Schematic geologic and tectonic map of the Cayenne–Régina area. Localization of the samples used in geochemistry and
geochronology. The Orapu sedimentary basin is folded in between the batholith of the Ile de Cayenne and Central Guiana
complexes. The Kaw and Régina basins of the USU, uncomformably/tectonically overlying the Arima formation of the Orapu basin,
are formed along sinistral strike-slip faults of the North Guiana Trough. Dextral motion along the N–S Imperatrice shear zone causes
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 169

Fig. 2. (continued ) — lateral extrusion of crustal blocks and bending of the North Guiana Trough which is responsible for burial of
the Kaw and Régina basins. (b) Cross-section of the northern granite–greenstone belt of French Guiana. The legend is the same as
(a). The position of the cross-section is indicated in (a) by the letters A, B, C. In the Tortue mountain (Régina basin) the lower
stratigraphic layer with grey ellipses represents the debris flow unit, whereas the layer with white ellipses represents quartz conglomer-
ate. The senses of motion on the sinistral strike-slip zones are indicated by two circles, the one containing a black dot indicating
motion of the block toward the reader.

3.1. Litho-tectonic units like’ interference patterns. F folds range from the
2
centimetre to hectometre scale, and are associated
3.1.1. The Ile de Cayenne complex with the development of a second axial planar
The Ile de Cayenne complex forms a narrow schistosity S . F folds deform intrafolial leuco-
2 2
band of metamorphic rocks in the northern part somes, but leucosomes are also located along the
of French Guiana [Fig. 2(a)]. It is best exposed axial plane schistosity, which suggests that devel-
within the Ile de Cayenne peninsula and in the opment of S occurred in the presence of melts.
2
Gabrielle and Kaw mountains. In contrast to The S carries a lineation defined by preferred
2
Choubert (1974), we consider the gneissic rocks orientation of amphiboles and biotite and by elon-
of the Ile de Cayenne as the equivalent of the gation of quartz. Open metre scale upright folds
neighbouring metavolcanics (Paramaca forma- ( F ), with N–S axis, reorient the previous
3
tion) of the Gabrielle and Kaw mountains. The structures. Metamorphic conditions grade from
metalavas, interlayered with mettuffs, range in greenschist facies in the south-western part of the
composition from basaltic to rhyolitic but are complex at the contact with the Orapu basin to
dominated by dacites and andesites. The volcanic–- amphibolite facies and local anatexis in the Ile de
volcaniclastic sequence is intruded by various Cayenne peninsula.
dikes, sills, of trondhjemites and metagabbros.
Larger plutons form the Mahury mountain domi- 3.1.2. The Central Guiana complex
nated by tonalities and granodiorites, and the The Central Guiana complex forms massive but
Gabrielle mountain dominated by gabbros and smooth mountain ranges covering about a third
norites. In the Ile de Cayenne peninsula ( Fig. 3), of French Guiana. In the Cayenne–Régina region,
a last magmatic event is characterized by the it is best exposed along the largest rivers such as
intrusion of muscovite–garnet pegmatites and leu- the Comté, the Orapu, the Mataroni and the
cogranites. The major fabric in the Ile de Cayenne Approuague [Figs. 2(a) and (b)]. The lithological
peninsula is characterized by transposition of the sequence of the Central Guiana complex is com-
bedding of the Paramaca volcanic–volcaniclastic posed of volcanic–volcaniclastic sequences of the
sequence in a major foliation S , consistent with Paramaca formation intruded by abundant plu-
0–1
axial planes of centimetre to metre scale isoclinal tonic rocks. The metavolcanics of the Paramaca
folds F . The S foliation is folded by a second formation are dominated by intermediate composi-
1 0–1
generation of folds (F ) with horizontal axes, tions. The cores of two distinct volcanoes, centred
2
roughly homoaxial with the F resulting in ‘hook- on Villaflore and Lavillette, are preserved despite
1
170 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

Fig. 3. Geologic map of Paleoproterozoic basement of the Ile de Cayenne peninsula. The lateritic profiles and the Atlantic dikes are
not represented.

intense deformation and metamorphism. They are sequence is characterized by a subvertical compos-
characterized by breccia pipes and coarse pyroclas- ite S foliation which carries a down-dip linea-
0–1–2
tic sequences in the volcanic centres which grade tion and transposes previous layering of the rocks.
into finer grained tuff and epiclastites interlayered Local obliquity between bedding, S , the first
0
with up to centimetre thick cherts and carbonates. schistosity, S , and a vertical axial planar cleavage,
1
The large batholith forming the bulk of the com- S , suggests folding of S at the kilometre scale
2 0–1
plex is dominated by tonalites and granodiorites, with subhorizontal axes. However, as the bedding
but also comprises smaller plutons of gabbros, is not always well defined, it is difficult to distin-
granites and leucogranites. To the south of the guish between these planes. Metamorphism is char-
area the major fabric of the volcanic–volcaniclastic acterized by widespread greenschist to amphibolite
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 171

facies conditions with local anatexis near Mapaou quartz-rich conglomerates and sandstone. In the
for example. Crystallization of andalusite and stau- Tortue area (Régina basin) the sedimentary
rolite porphyroblasts is limited to epiclastites in sequence is thicker and comprises in addition
the vicinity of granitoids. Radially oriented amphi- unstratified polygenic conglomerates forming
boles are probably related to a hydrothermal event pluri-decametre scale lenses interpreted as debris
also marked by crystallization of sulfides. The low flow deposits [Fig. 4(a)]. At the scale of the basin,
pressure and intermediate temperature metamor- the distribution of the sedimentary facies and the
phism suggested by these assemblages and the directions of palleocurrents suggest that an alluvial
deformation/crystallization relationships are con- fan progressed from the southern border of the
sistent with widespread contact metamorphism basin to the north at the back of a system of
related to the intrusion of the plutonic rocks. braided rivers flowing to the northwest (Ledru
et al., 1991; Manier et al., 1993). The major fabric
3.1.3. The Orapu sedimentary basin of the USU is characterized by a steeply dipping
The Orapu basin forms a narrow belt of sedi- foliation, S , in an axial plane position of metre
2
mentary rocks pinched in between the Central to kilometre scale folds with horizontal to slightly
Guiana and the Ile de Cayenne plutonic–volcanic plunging axes, and by a down-dip lineation L ,
2
complexes [Figs. 2(a) and (b)]. The sedimentary marked by kyanite and white micas preferred
sequence is dominated by the flyschs of the Armina orientation and stretched pebbles. In the sediments
formation. To the edges of the Orapu basin, the of Tortue mountain, andalusite porphyroblasts
schists are uncomfortably overlain by coarser clas- preserved a first schistosity S underlined by white
1
tic sediments of the USU deposited in pull-apart micas oblique to the bedding S marked by oxides
0
basins of the North Guiana Trough (Fig. 1) and (magnetite, hematite, illmenite) and millimetre
deformed into two narrow synclinoria (Ledru scale quartzitic and pelitic layers. S is surrounding
2
et al., 1991). The northern synclinorium, referred the andalusite porphyroblasts and the relationship
to as the Kaw basin, encompasses Chevaux and between S outside and inside the porphyroblasts
0
Kaw mountains, the southern synclinorium, called indicates a moderate rotation of the blasts (<90°).
the Régina basin, comprises from west to east, In the debris flow unit, the presence of various
Maripa, Tortue, Genevieve and Trois Pitons types of clasts from round rigid quartz clasts to
mountains [Fig. 2(a)]. cigar shaped passive phyllitic clasts allows qualita-
The schists of the Armina formation constitute tive strain analysis. Crystallization tails around
flysh-like sedimentary sequences characterized by quartz clasts are symmetric and phyllitic clasts are
folded rhythmic alternations of graded greywackes– not sigmoidal, indicating a coaxial regime of defor-
sandstones and tuff layers. The corresponding mation. The phyllitic clasts are marked by a schis-
sediments in Surinam have been interpreted as tosity parallel to the regional schistosity S , which
2
turbidites (Bosma et al., 1983). The bedding of is crenulated with an axis parallel to the elongation
the schists is transposed by a first schistosity, of the clasts and to the regional lineation L . This
2
associated with the crystallization of muscovite, suggests that the clasts were elongated in a direc-
chlorite and biotite, which is axial-planar to macro- tion parallel to the lineation, while they were
scopic isoclinal folds. This S foliation is affected shortened perpendicular to the schistosity and
0–1
by upright chevron folds which form pluri- perpendicular to the lineation in the plane of
kilometre scale and synclines. The anticlines axial schistosity. These features are consistent with the
planes are delineated by a second crenulation cigar shape of the clasts and suggest deformation
schistosity S associated with crystallization of in the constrictional field. In addition, a compo-
2
biotite, chlorite or sericite, suggesting greenschist– nent of sinistral strike-slip is heterogeneously dis-
facies metamorphism. tributed within the stratigraphic sequence and
The sedimentary sequences of the USU in the superimposed on the coaxial deformation. The
Cayenne–Régina region (Ledru et al., 1991; USU also displays a network of veins containing
Manier et al., 1993) are dominated by monogenic amphiboles, tourmaline, quartz, white micas,
172 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

Fig. 4. (a) Geologic and tectonic map of the Régina basin in the Tortue mountain area. The transposed bedding plane (S ) is folded
0–1
with a first axial planar schistosity S consistent with the sinistral strike-slip motion imposed at the boundaries of the basin. Secondary
2
sinistral strike-slip shear zones are responsible for the formation of the S schistosity and fold interference patterns. The lineation is
2∞
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 173

oxides, fuchsite and pyrite, suggesting pervasive The shear zones are characterized by the develop-
hydrothermal activity. ment of a vertical schistosity S cross-cutting S
2∞ 2
and bearing a horizontal lineation L marked by
2∞
3.2. Structural framework the same markers as L . Some phyllitic pebbles
2
show a double crenulation with the horizontal one
The S foliation of the Paramaca volcanic–vol- cross-cutting the vertical one. These S shear zones
0–1 2∞
caniclastics of the Ile de Cayenne and Central accommodate further strain localization along the
Guiana complexes, and of the schists of the North Guiana Trough and are responsible for
Armina formation in the Orapu basin, is domi- complex fold interference patterns [Figs. 4(a) and
nantly steeply dipping over the Cayenne–Régina (b)] and are also associated with the emplacement
region and carries a variably plunging but domi- of small granitic plutons [Fig. 2(a)]. In the eastern
nantly down-dip lineation [Figs. 2(a) and (b)]. part of the Régina basin, in Genevieve and Trois
Even though it is generally cross-cut by the plu- Pitons mountains, the data are scarce but consis-
tonic rocks, S roughly delineates the shape of tent with a similar structural evolution. To the
0–1
the large tonalite–granodiorite batholiths and is west of Tortue mountain, towards Maripa moun-
locally warped around plutons as near Villaflore tain [Fig. 2(a)], the bedding is transposed into the
[Fig. 2(a)]. sinistral strike-slip shear zone and obliquity
Several regional scale steeply-dipping shear between schistosity and bedding is only perceptible
zones are defined by deflection of S and by the in coarse conglomeratic layers. In this area, the
0–1
development of the S foliation associated with homogeneity of the stratigraphic sequence is not
2
mylonitic fabrics. With the exception of a south- favourable to large scale folding and the sinistral
dipping top to the north thrust along the shore of strike-slip component induces discontinuous slic-
the Ile de Cayenne peninsula ( Fig. 3), kinematic ing and repetition of the stratigraphic sequence.
criteria such as S/C fabric, C∞ shear bands, sigmoi- Similarly, the structure of the Kaw basin, charac-
dal microlithons and drag folds (Berthé et al., terized by S/C fabrics, C∞ shear planes, and myloni-
1979; Passchier and Simpson, 1986), suggest that tic shear zones, is dominated by the sinistral strike-
most shear zones have a major strike-slip compo- slip deformation. The horizontal lineation is
nent of displacement, dominantly sinistral in underlined by kyanite, chloritoid, white mica, and
NW–SE trending shear zones (Lavillette and stretched clasts. Kaw mountain shows a large scale
North Guiana Trough shear zones) and dextral on syncline geometry which has not been identified in
N–S trending shear zones (Imperatrice and Chevaux mountain. The major schistosity S is
2
Gabrielle shear zones). locally affected at Maripa and Chevaux mountains
In particular, sinistral strike-slip motion along by kink bands and by N–S trending ductile shear
the NW–SE trending North Guiana Trough is zones resulting in rotation of the schistosity consis-
responsible for the formation of pull-apart fore- tent with dextral sense of shear.
land basins in which the clastic sequences of the The association of these structures suggests a
USU are deposited and deformed (Fig. 1). The context of pure shear dominated transpression
most complex structural evolution is recorded in ( Tikoff and Teyssier, 1994). The pure shear com-
the Tortue area [Figs. 4(a) and (b)] where the ponent with horizontal shortening is recorded by
USU is dissected by sinistral strike-slip shear zones the development of foliations carrying a domi-
several hundred metres thick oriented N150–N160. nantly down-dip lineation, and by folding of the

mostly down-dip, except for the horizontal lineation appearing in the secondary shear zones. The intrusion of leucogranites along
the sinistral strike-slip zones might be responsible for the early crystallization of andalusite porphyroblasts. (b) Schematic block
diagram representing the style of deformation of the sediments of the USU in the Tortue area. The folded layer corresponds to the
conglomeratic layer represented in the map (a). The shear zones S correspond to those marked with white arrows in (a). Note the
2∞
dome-shaped interference figures of folding in the area affected by S and S .
2 2∞
174 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

S with vertical axial planes. Where transposition potassic magmas and eventually peraluminous
0–1
of S is not complete, S is slightly oblique to granites.
0–1 2
the axial plane of the folds which further supports
a non-plane-strain deformation. The component 3.3.2.1. Tholeiitic trend: formation of oceanic
of strike-slip deformation is partitioned along ver- basins. Part of the volcanic sequence of the Ile de
tical shear zones. Cayenne and Central Guiana complexes,
To summarize, the structural evolution of represented by trondhjemites (two samples) and
the area is characterized by (1) deformation metalavas (eight samples), show geochemical char-
dominated by the intrusion of the large tonalite– acteristics closely comparable to those of tholeiitic
trondhjemite batholiths (D1), followed by (2) rocks emplaced at mid-oceanic ridges or within
transpression accommodating oblique convergence oceanic back-arc basin (Fig. 5, Miyashiro, 1974;
and collision between the batholiths (D2 and D2∞). Gill, 1981).
Progressive burial of the sedimentary basins occurs The two samples of trondhjemites show gra-
at the edges of the plutonic–volcanic complexes noblastic textures; one (Cay9A) is from a sill
and is followed by lateral south-east extrusion of intrusive in the metavolcanics of the Paramaca
the southern corner of the area. formation, the other (Cay18A) is a felsic gneiss
alternating with amphibolites. The two rocks show
high SiO (>75%) and low K O (<2%) contents,
3.3. Geochemical data 2 2
consistent with their definition as trondhjemites
( Table 1). The Th/Nb and La/Nb ratios are char-
3.3.1. Sampling and analytical methods
acteristically low (<2.5 and <1.5 respectively),
In order to constrain the geodynamical signifi-
well outside the range for subduction related lavas
cance of the volcanism and plutonism that form
(i.e. Th/Ta>6 and La/Nb>2.5) ( Wood et al.,
the northern granite–greenstone belt of French
1979a; Saunders et al., 1980), and typical of mag-
Guiana, geochemical investigations on samples
matic rocks emplaced at mid-oceanic ridges ( Wood
from the Cayenne–Régina area have been con-
et al., 1979a; Pearce et al., 1984). Likewise, the
ducted [Fig. 2(a)]. X-ray fluorescence ( XRF ) and
low Al O (<11.5%), high Yb (>10 ppm)
ICP-MS analysis have been performed at the 2 3
contents, and unfractionated heavy rare earth ele-
BRGM on 27 samples from the Ile de Cayenne
ments (Fig. 6), are characteristics of ‘low-Al O ’,
(five samples) and Central Guiana (22 samples) 2 3
‘oceanic type’ trondhjemites (Arth, 1979). Two
complexes, representing trondhjemites, volcanics
alternative models are classically proposed to
and granitoids (Milési et al., 1992; Egal et al.,
describe the origin of such rocks (e.g. Arth, 1979):
1994, 1995, Table 1). Details about analytical tech-
(1) melting of an amphibolite protolith under low-
niques and precision are given in Thiéblemont
to medium-pressure conditions (<10 kbar); or (2)
et al. (1994).
fractional crystallization of a tholeiitic basalt. The
former is unlikely because under such conditions
3.3.2. Results the stability of Ti-oxides (ilmenite) (Patiño-Douce
Although the Ile de Cayenne and the Central and Beard, 1995) would result in a strong parti-
Guiana plutonic–volcanic complexes constitute tioning of Ta and Nb in the residue (Stimac and
two distinct tectonic units separated by the Orapu Hickmott, 1994) and consequently to high Th/Ta
basin and by the North Guiana Trough, their and La/Nb ratios in the magma. We thus favour
geochemical characteristics indicate a similar geo- a model of fractional crystallization of a tholeiitic
dynamical evolution, with the formation of tholei- basalt for the origin of Paramaca trondhjemites.
itic oceanic basins followed by the building of calc- In addition to the trondhjemites, the volcanics
alkaline complexes. The late evolution of the vol- of the Cayenne–Régina area comprise basalts
canic sequence and of the plutonic complexes (samples Reg88.91, Reg480.93, Cay74.90,
suggests the formation of an enriched source and Cay101e.90, Cay44c.90); basaltic andesites
the development of a thick crust generating high- (samples Cay101d.90, Cay79.90); and andesites
Table 1
Chemical analyses indicating the major and trace contents of rocks from the Paleoproterozoic northern granite–greenstone belt

Sample Ile de Cayenne complex Central Guiana complex

Trondhjemites Plutonic rocks Ultramafic rocks Volcanic rocks Plutonic rocks

Cay9A Cay18A Cay12A Cay12D Cay12C 21.90 82.90 56.90 72.91 74.90 101e.90 44c.90 79.90 88.91 480.93 101d.90 78.90 2.a 1.b 17.c 4.b Reg31A Reg27B Reg27A Reg22 Reg25 Reg26

SiO (%) 75 78.71 59.92 61.98 52.48 52.04 42.81 46.05 40.13 47.78 49.62 47.67 54.27 46.5 49.33 55.44 60.02 63.55 70.33 61.57 47.84 70.11 61.25 68.58 69.07 64.58 72.64
2
TiO 0.37 0.13 0.68 0.61 0.45 0.3 0.43 0.34 0.59 0.76 1.08 1.35 0.88 1.83 1.7 0.91 0.71 0.96 0.32 0.71 1.85 0.31 0.57 0.42 0.45 0.74 0.26
2
Al O 11.47 10.96 17.32 16.42 16.13 5.07 10.18 4.09 8.98 15.5 16.49 12.33 15.94 15.39 14.74 18.12 16.27 15.78 15.81 16.44 20.03 15.78 15.16 15.51 15.62 16.46 14.21
2 3
Fe O 5.35 2.59 6.52 6.28 8.1 9.19 12.61 12.96 11.39 12.7 13.55 14.12 11.73 14.65 17.01 8.36 7.47 6.31 2.17 7.01 10.23 2.64 6.13 3.52 3.69 4.76 2.41
2 3
MnO 0.1 0.09 0.1 0.1 0.14 0.06 0.19 0.09 0.17 0.19 0.19 0.26 0.19 0.22 0.27 0.11 0.1 0.05 0.03 0.09 0.16 0.05 0.13 0.06 0.07 0.09 0.06
MgO 0.25 nd 3.12 3.02 7.57 27.45 20.44 28.14 20.46 6.78 5.45 9.5 2.3 8.27 3.68 3.79 2.08 3.02 0.49 2.87 4.53 1.01 4.24 1.55 1.01 1.32 0.44
CaO 2.03 1.12 6.6 5.74 10.65 0.34 7.7 1.43 9.57 11.65 8.1 11.44 11.8 9.81 9.31 6.98 7.48 3.33 1.9 5.4 5.46 2.76 5.51 3.14 2.7 2.84 1.29
Na O 5.38 4.66 3.92 3.96 2.93 nd nd nd 0.37 nd 2.64 1.38 nd 2.69 2.86 3.41 3.81 4.41 5.66 3.49 4.15 5.2 4.72 5.09 5.2 4.03 3.87
2
KO 0.24 1.64 1.37 1.47 0.58 nd nd nd nd 0.07 0.37 0.28 nd 0.16 0.21 0.69 0.2 1.87 1.78 1.63 3.46 2.19 1.54 2.03 1.98 3.76 4.2
2
PO 0.08 nd 0.18 0.25 0.11 nd nd nd 0.06 0.06 0.17 0.1 0.09 0.19 0.19 0.11 0.12 0.37 0.09 0.16 0.74 0.08 0.21 0.12 0.14 0.44 0.07
2 5
PF nd 0.67 0.58 0.61 1.17 5.66 5.49 6.46 7.85 4.86 2.63 1.92 2.94 0.94 1.37 2.1 1.7 0.82 1 0.69 0.96 0.37 0.53 0.38 0.54 0.67 0.91

Rb (ppm) 5 63 49 38 8 nd nd nd 1 2 9 6 nd 1 2 14 7 62 35 52 108 59 30 36 43 70 162


Ba 190 603 517 460 118 nd nd 14 144 112 273 47 11 91 50 325 1183 482 701 587 1350 637 596 940 990 2512 898
Sr 94 90 556 496 362 7 nd 24 84 51 445 189 170 290 141 327 203 335 821 381 1001 681 706 806 773 831 265
U 0.6 2.7 1.2 0.5 0.7 0.1 nd nd 0.1 0.3 0.2 nd 0.2 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.7 1.9 0.6 0.8 2.5 1.1 0.8 0.6 1 0.9 5.6
Th 1.6 8.7 1.2 2.6 0.8 0.7 0.1 0.1 nd 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 nd nd 0.5 1.4 7.3 2.1 2.9 9.5 5.3 1.9 1.8 4.2 4.4 12.4
Hf 6.9 13.1 3 3 1 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.7 1.1 1.2 1.8 1.3 1.4 2.1 1.6 2.2 4.7 2.6 2.7 6.3 2.4 2.1 2.1 2.9 6 4.8
Zr 209 283 113 107 33 17 16 11 32 38 45 59 50 47 88 62 91 245 127 137 470 76 78 73 97 214 135
Ta 0.9 3.5 0.3 0.2 0.2 nd nd nd nd 0.3 0.2 nd 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 1.1 0.1 0.4 1.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.5 0.6 1.9
Nb 13.6 49.6 4.7 5.1 2.6 0.9 1 1 nd 2 2.5 3.2 3.4 2.3 2.6 3.2 4 19.9 1.4 4.1 17.2 3 3.9 3.6 6.9 7.3 22.7
V nd 90 556 496 362 116 131 93 153 239 265 302 188 264 386 189 124 96 25 123 164 681 706 806 773 831 265
Co 5 nd 19 20 35 93 90 122 82 42 39 49 26 56 42 26 22 22 8 27 35 8 18 8 11 9 6
Cr nd nd 32 31 128 4995 2718 3779 1944 793 50 453 248 85 nd 73 235 44 nd 250 130 nd 119 14 nd nd nd
Ni nd nd 34 41 107 812 875 1525 1088 101 18 144 98 85 nd 17 43 47 nd 145 78 nd 76 nd nd nd nd
La 18.7 58.4 11.6 30 8.3 2.2 16.2 0.6 2.6 10.1 5.4 6.7 17.6 4.6 7.8 6.1 7.6 45.4 9.6 18.7 87.1 21 29.1 21.1 25.8 46.5 63.8
Ce 48.5 136.3 27.8 63.3 20.2 4.7 3.7 1.6 6.2 15.2 14.5 17.7 15.3 13.4 22.3 15.6 18.1 126 29.5 49.2 243 39.5 54.7 34.9 56.9 92.4 84.9
Pr 7 17 3.6 7.3 2.5 0.5 4.7 0.2 0.8 4.1 2.1 2.4 4.5 1.6 2.9 2 2.1 13 3.4 5.8 28.7 4.3 7.2 4.1 6.5 10.6 15.1
Nd 34.5 74.5 16.7 27.8 10.5 2 21 1 4.8 20.8 10.8 11.7 19.5 7.8 14.3 9.5 9 49.5 13.6 23.1 111 15.2 30.1 15.1 25 38.6 57.1
Sm 10.8 19 3.7 5.2 2.2 0.5 5.2 0.3 1.4 5.5 2.7 3.3 4.5 2.4 3.8 2.2 2.1 8.4 2.3 4.5 17.7 2.5 5.5 2.4 4.3 5.5 11.4
Eu 2.6 2.8 1 1.2 0.7 0.2 2.1 0.2 0.4 2.2 1.2 1.4 1.9 1 1.4 1.1 0.6 1.8 0.3 0.9 3.2 0.5 1 0.7 1 1.3 1.5
Gd 13.2 22.6 3 3.3 1.8 0.4 7.1 0.5 2 6.6 3.5 3.7 5 3.4 4.3 2.3 2.1 5.2 1.2 3.1 7.2 1.2 3.8 1.5 2.8 3 10.7
Tb 2.4 3.9 0.5 0.5 0.3 nd 1 nd 0.3 1 0.5 0.6 0.8 0.5 0.7 0.4 0.3 0.5 0.1 0.3 0.7 0.2 0.5 0.2 0.4 0.3 1.8
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

Dy 16.4 27.3 2.7 3 1.8 0.5 6.8 0.4 2.2 6.9 3.5 3.6 5.6 3.5 5.1 2.6 1.8 3 0.4 2.2 5.2 0.9 2.8 1.1 2.1 2.4 11.4
Ho 3.8 6 0.6 0.6 0.4 nd 1.4 nd 0.4 1.4 0.7 0.7 1.1 0.7 1.1 0.6 0.3 0.4 nd 0.4 0.9 0.2 0.5 0.2 0.4 0.5 2.3
Er 10.6 18.1 1.6 1.6 1.1 0.3 4 0.3 1.3 4.8 2.2 2 3.4 2 3.6 1.9 1 1.3 0.2 1.1 2.7 0.4 1.3 0.6 1.1 1.9 6.4
Tm 1.7 2.9 0.3 0.3 0.2 nd 0.5 nd 0.2 0.6 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.1 nd 0.1 0.3 nd 0.2 nd 0.2 0.3 1
Yb 11.3 19.2 1.6 1.5 1.1 0.3 3.5 0.3 1.2 4.7 1.9 1.7 3.1 1.8 4.2 1.7 1.1 1.3 0.2 1.2 2.4 0.4 1 0.4 0.9 3.5 6
Lu 1.7 2.8 0.3 0.2 0.2 nd 0.5 nd 0.1 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.2 0.6 0.3 0.2 0.2 0 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.8
Y 88.1 142.2 14.8 14.5 9.7 2.4 41.9 2.7 14.9 30.4 18.4 18.6 28 15.9 37.4 16.2 9.9 16 3.2 13.5 35.8 5.1 12.3 5.6 11.6 17.5 67.8

( Th/Nb) 0.89 1.33 1.94 3.88 2.34 5.91 0.76 0.76 14.9 1.90 1.52 1.19 1.12 1.19 2.66 2.79 11.41 5.38 4.20 13.43 3.70 3.80 4.63 4.58 4.15
N
(La/Nb) 1.38 1.18 2.47 5.88 3.19 2.44 16.20 0.60 14.9 5.05 2.16 2.09 5.18 2.00 3.00 1.91 1.90 2.28 6.86 4.56 5.06 7.00 7.46 5.86 3.74 6.37 2.81
N
( Zr/Nb) 0.98 0.36 1.53 1.33 0.81 1.20 1.02 0.70 14.9 1.21 1.14 1.17 0.93 1.30 2.15 1.23 1.45 0.78 5.77 2.12 1.74 1.61 1.27 1.29 0.89 1.86 0.38
N
( Y/Nb) 1.02 0.45 0.49 0.45 0.58 0.42 6.57 0.42 14.9 2.38 1.15 0.91 1.29 1.08 2.25 0.79 0.39 0.13 0.36 0.52 0.33 0.27 0.49 0.24 0.26 0.38 0.47
N
( Tb/Nb) 1.16 0.52 0.70 0.64 0.76 6.57 14.9 3.28 1.31 1.23 1.55 1.43 1.77 0.82 0.49 0.17 0.47 0.48 0.27 0.44 0.84 0.36 0.38 0.27 0.52
N
175
176 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

(a)

Fig. 5. SiO vs. FeO /MgO diagram (Miyashiro, 1974) for the
2 t
metalavas of the Paramaca formation. Open square: calc-alka-
line group; full square: tholeiitic group.

(b)

Fig. 6. Chondrite normalized rare earth element patterns (nor-


malization values after Anders and Grevesse, 1989) for two
trondhjemites from the Ile de Cayenne complex.

(sample Cay78.90), that also plot in the tholeiitic


(c)
field of a SiO vs. FeO/MgO diagram (Fig. 5). In
2
two samples (101e.90, 101d.90) positive Eu ano- Fig. 7. Chondrite normalized rare earth element patterns for
malies [Fig. 7(a)] and high Al O (>16%) and Sr the metavolcanics and ultramafic rocks from the Paramaca for-
2 3
(>300 ppm) contents suggest plagioclase cumula- mation. (a) Tholeiitic group. (b) Ultramafic group. (c) Calc-
tion ( Table 1). Two other samples (74.90 and alkaline group and shoshonite.
79.90) show a strong negative anomaly in Ce,
which, together with the very low content in 1985). Finally, one sample of andesitic composi-
Na O (below detection limit) and K O (<0.1%), tion (78.90, SiO ~60%) exhibits a distinct REE
2 2 2
suggests a mobilization of these elements during pattern [Fig. 7(a)] characterized by strong HREE
metamorphism or alteration. The low contents of fractionation and low HREE contents, suggesting
the less mobile elements (Zr, Y, Nb, Ta, Th) are a distinct origin for this rock.
consistent with a tholeiitic affinity (Pearce and The volcanic sequence also contains small elon-
Cann, 1973). The slight enrichment of Th relative gated bodies of basic to ultrabasic rocks
to Nb ([ Th/Nb] ratios from 1.1 to 1.9) is common (SiO ~40–52%) and ultramafic (MgO~20–28%;
N 2
in recent back-arc basins and continental tholeiites Co~80–120 ppm, Cr~2000–5000 ppm, Ni~800–
([Fig. 8] Thiéblemont et al., 1994). However, all 2000 ppm) rocks. Highly variable REE patterns
the lavas plot in the back-arc basin field of the [Fig. 7(b)] preclude a common origin for these
[ Tn/Nb] vs. [ Tb/Nb] diagram (Fig. 8 later, rocks ( Table 1). Sample 72.91 shows some charac-
N N
Thiéblemont et al., 1994). The high [ Y/Nb] and teristics of komatiites, such as a relatively flat REE
N
[Zr/Nb] ratios (>1) suggest derivation from an pattern with a slight negative Eu anomaly (Jensen,
N
oceanic-type depleted source (Schillingh et al., 1976; Viljoen et al., 1982). On the other hand, a
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 177

Fig. 9. Primordial Mantle normalized trace element patterns


( Wood et al., 1979b; Hoffmann, 1988) for the calc-alkaline
Fig. 8. ( Th/Nb) vs. ( Tb/Nb) diagram (adapted from
N N group of rocks and shoshonite from the Paramaca formation.
Thiéblemont et al., 1994) for the basic metavolcanics
(SiO ≤55%) of the Paramaca formation. Discriminant fields
2
are indexed as follows. N-type MORB: normal MORB; E-type
MORB: enriched MORB; WRAB: within-plate alkaline and
transitional basalts; BAB: back-arc basin basalts; CFB: conti-
nental tholeiites; IAT: island-arc basalts; CAB: subduction-
related calc-alkaline basalts.

magmatic origin is very unlikely for sample 82.90


which shows a pronounced negative Ce anomaly
and high La/Th (162) ratio. Finally, two samples
(a)
(21.90 and 56.90) showing enriched (21.90) to flat
(56.90) REE patterns and positive Eu anomalies
may be interpreted as cumulates (plagio-
clase–olivine?).

3.3.2.2. Calc-alkaline trend: building of plutonic–


volcanic complexes. The development of more
differentiated plutonic complexes following the for-
mation of the Lower Paramaca oceanic crust is
attested by the calc-alkaline to shoshonitic affinity (b)
of lavas forming the top of the lithologic sequence
in the Régina area, and by tonalitic to dioritic
plutons intrusion in the volcanic/volcaniclastic
sequences (Fig. 5).
The calc-alkaline lavas include a rhyolite (1.b),
and andesite (17.c), a basic shoshonite or absaro-
kite (4.b), and a dacite (2.a), which are all charac-
terized by fractionated REE patterns [ Table 1,
Fig. 7(c)]. The pronounced Ta–Nb anomaly shown
(c)
especially by samples 1.b and 17.c in a Primordial
Mantle normalized diagram is characteristic of Fig. 10. Chrondrite normalized rare earth element patterns for
recent subduction-related lavas (Fig. 9 Briqueu several plutonic rocks from French Guiana. (a) Plutonic rocks
et al., 1984). Rhyolite 1.b exhibits all the character- from the Ile de Cayenne complex, Mahury mountain, compari-
istics of adakites (i.e. Al O >15.5%, son with one calc-alkaline dacite from the Paramaca formation
2 3 (sample 17.c). (b) Plutonic rocks, tonalites and biotite–granites
Yb<1.5 ppm, Y<15 ppm, SR/Y>40, Defant of the Central Guiana complex. (c) High-K porphyritic granite
et al., 1991) interpreted in terms of high-pressure (Reg25) and peraluminous leucogranite (Reg26) of the Central
partial melting of a garnet–amphibolite or eclogite Guiana complex.
178 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

protolith (Drummond and Defant, 1993; Peacock


et al., 1994). The low Ta and Nb contents and
high (Zr/Nb) ratio of the andesite 17.c suggest
N
the involvement of a Nb–Ta depleted reservoir
(Schillingh et al., 1985), which favours a mantle
origin. The shoshonite 4.b (Peccerillo and Taylor,
1976; Gill, 1981) is characterized by a high LREE
content, a strongly fractionated REE pattern, and
(a)
high ( Th/Ta) and (La/Nb) ratios ( Fig. 9). Its
N N
low SiO content suggests a mantle origin and
2
precludes any contamination by felsic fluids
derived from partial melting of the crust. Thus the
high contents of incompatible elements may be
attributed to the involvement of a strongly Th-,
LREE-enriched mantle source. Finally, the dacite
(2.a) differs from the other samples by its slighter
Ta–Nb anomaly ( Fig. 9), despite higher Th and
La contents. This sample is also characterized by (b)
a low (Zr/Nb) ratio (<1) suggesting the involve-
N
ment of an enriched (crustal?) source ( Thiéblemont
and Tegyey, 1994). Thus the calc-alkaline lavas of
the upper part of the Paramaca series show highly
variable trace element characteristics which suggest
variable petrologic processes and/or sources for
the original magmas. Nevertheless, the range of
observed compositions is consistent with the devel-
opment of a magmatic arc in a subduction context.
(c)
The major part of the batholiths of the
Cayenne–Régina area is composed of tonalites Fig. 11. Primordial Mantle normalized trace element patterns
(Cay12A, Cay12D, Reg27A, Reg27B), diorites for several plutonic rocks from French Guiana. (a) Mahury
(Cay12C ), and granites ( Reg31A, Reg22). These mountain, comparison with one calc-alkaline dacite from the
samples plot in the medium-K field of the Paramaca formation (sample 17.c). (b) Tonalites and biotite–-
granites of the Central Guiana complex. (c) High-K porphyritic
SiO /K O diagram (Peccerillo and Taylor, 1976)
2 2 granite and peraluminous leucogranite of the Central Guiana
and are defined as calc-alkaline in the SiO vs. complex.
2
FeO /MgO plot (Fig. 5). Their Primordial Mantle
t
normalized trace element patterns ( Wood et al.,
1979a,b; Hoffmann, 1988) show pronounced nega- Paramaca formation with very low Nb (≤5 ppm)
tive anomalies in Ta and Nb. and Ta (≤0.3 ppm) contents and high (La/Nb)
N
The tonalites (Cay12A and Cay12D, (≥2.5) and (Zr/Nb) (>0.8) ratios. These are
N
SiO ~60–62%) and diorite (Cay12C, characteristics of recent subduction-related lavas
2
SiO ~52.5%) of the northern part of French and plutonic rocks (Saunders et al., 1980;
2
Guiana [Mahury mountain, Fig. 2(a)] show rather Thiéblemont and Tegyey, 1994). The low Nb and
low K O (<1.5%) contents and FeO /MgO ratios Ta contents and high ( Zr/Nb) preclude a deriva-
2 t N
(≤2), which indicate a low- to medium-K and tion from an enriched crustal source. Thus, the
calc-alkaline affinity (Peccerillo and Taylor, 1976; tonalites and diorites are probably derived from a
Miyashiro, 1974). Their REE [Fig. 10(a)] and mantle source.
Primordial Mantle normalized patterns [Fig. 11] Amongst the plutonic rocks of the Central
are equivalent to those of the dacite 17.c from the Guiana complex [Fig. 2(a)], two tonalites
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 179

(Reg27A, Reg27B, SiO ~61–68.5%) and one bio- nous leucogranitic plutons intruding along the
2
tite–granite (Reg31A, SiO ~70.1%) from a large major shear zones. A sample from a peraluminous
2
pluton, and a granite (Reg22, SiO ~69%) from leucogranite emplaced along the Mataroni river
2
another pluton, show a medium-K and calc-alka- (Reg26) shows a mildly fractionated REE pattern
line affinity similar to the samples from the Mahury and does not show strong Nb and Ta anomalies
mountain. Likewise, they show marked negative [Fig. 10(c)]. The high Nb (22.7 ppm) and Ta
Nb–Ta anomaly [Fig. 11(b)] and low Nb (1.9 ppm) contents [Fig. 11(c)] are common fea-
(<7 ppm) and Ta (<0.5 ppm) contents typical of tures of recent collision-related peraluminous gran-
recent subduction-related magmatic rocks. Despite ites (Pearce et al., 1984; Thiéblemont and Cabanis,
moderate LREE contents (e.g. La~20–30 ppm), 1990) and the low ( Zr/Nb) ratio (~0.4) indicates
N
these rocks show strongly fractionated REE pat- an enriched source. These characteristics suggest
terns ([La/Yb] >15), which reflect low HREE an origin of the leucogranite by crustal partial
N
contents [Fig. 10(b)]. Like the rhyolite 1.b melting. Slight fractionation between the HREE
from the Paramaca formation, these plutonic suggests that garnet was not an important phase
rocks exhibit features typical of adakites (i.e. in the residue, implying melting at pressure
Al O >15.5%, Yb<1.5 ppm, Y<15 ppm, <8–10 kbar (Green, 1976).
2 3
SR/Y>40, Defant et al., 1991). According to
recent work, this suggests an origin by high-pres-
sure partial melting of a garnet–amphibolite or 3.4. Geochronology
eclogite protolith (Drummond and Defant, 1993;
Peacock et al., 1994). 3.4.1. Sampling and analytical methods
In contrast to the above plutonic rocks, a The plutonic rocks of the Cayenne–Régina area
restricted massif of porphyroid granite (sample have been dated by the zircon evaporation tech-
Reg25) is classified as highly potassic. This rock nique ( Kober, 1986, 1987). Details on the pro-
shows an unusual REE pattern [Fig. 10(c)], char- cedure followed and age calculations are given by
acterized by a relative depletion from Gd to Er. Cocherie et al. (1992). Isotope measurements were
The MREE depletion could be attributed to the carried out on a Finnigan MAT 261 mass spec-
fractionation of titanite and/or apatite. The REE trometer at the BRGM in Orléans. Data acquisi-
content of the porphyroid granite is higher than tion is performed by peak switching using a
those of the tonalites and granites. On the other secondary electron multiplier (SEM ). Errors in
hand, the Nb, Ta, and Th contents [Fig. 11(c)] are age calculations are taken as one standard devia-
comparable and rather low. The (Zr/Nb) (~2), tion (1s), which leads to much larger errors than
N
( Th/Nb) (~3), and (La/Nb) (~6) ratios are the conventional error of 2s used in isotope ratio
N N m
high and comparable to those of recent subduc- determination involving n, the number of analyses
tion-related lavas and plutonic rocks (Saunders (2s =2s/앀n). As an example, a 2s error in the
m m
et al., 1980; Briqueu et al., 1984; Thiéblemont and age of tonalite CAY 12A would give an unrealistic
Tegyey, 1994). Similarly to the calc-alkaline lavas calculated error of 2×6/앀495#0.5 (i.e.
of the upper part of the Paramaca formation, the 2144±0.5 Ma). The zircon evaporation technique
above plutonic rocks exhibit geochemical charac- consists of exposing a single zircon to increasing
teristics consistent with an emplacement in a sub- temperature during a step-heat experiment. Ages
duction setting. The high-K affinity of the are calculated for a single grain at several temper-
porphyroid granite could reflect a progressive ature steps. Step ages are either constant during
thickening of the crust. the experiment and reflect the homogeneity of the
zircon, or increase with temperature indicating
that the zircon did not record a simple history. A
3.3.2.3. Peraluminous trend: crustal thickening and zircon age is obtained only if at least two steps
partial melting. The late evolution of the orogen give similar ages or if the age of the high-temper-
is marked by the emplacement of small peralumi- ature step obtained on one grain is also obtained
180 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

on another grain of the same sample. In addition, ing to partial (Zr A and Zr F ) or complete
the 208Pb/206Pb ratio, which reflects the value of recrystallization ( Zr C and Zr D) of the
the Th/U ratio of the magma in equilibrium with zircons.
the zircon at the time of crystallization, is used to Inheritance is suggested by the higher
detect similarities among the zircons from the same 208Pb/206Pb ratio associated with steps of grains
sample. Finally, all the step ages obtained from Zr A and Zr F yielding old ages than for steps
several grains which fall within the 1s analytical obtained for the younger zircons [ Table 2(a)].
error are used for the determination of the mean Furthermore, the 208Pb/206Pb ratio associated with
207Pb*/206Pb* age ( Table 2). young ages obtained on Zr A and Zr F are
comparable with the 208Pb/206Pb ratio of the youn-
ger zircons, suggesting that all represent the growth
3.4.2. Results and overgrowth of zircon around old cores during
All the zircons selected for analysis indicate the 2174 Ma magmatic event. However, the lack
crystallization at high temperature following the of visible cores, the primitive character of such
morphologic analysis of Pupin (1980). The zircon trondhjemitic magma and the high temperature of
analysed did not show any Archean inheritance crystallization of all the grains do not favour this
and yield ages comprised between 2.17 Ga and hypothesis.
2.08 Ga. The ages are consistently younger in the
Central Guiana plutonic–volcanic complex than 3.4.2.2. Age of the calc-alkaline plutons. Tonalite
in the Ile de Cayenne plutonic–volcanic complex, (Cay12A) yields two zircon populations
suggesting successive development of magmatic [ Table 2(a)]. One consists of rounded and dark
arcs and progressive northward tectonic accretion. zircon but non-metamict zircons, the other consists
of clear homogeneous zircons. The analysis of one
dark zircon ( Zr A) provides a well-defined mean
3.4.2.1. Age of the tholeiitic trondhjemites. Six zir- age of 2128±7 Ma for three temperature steps.
cons of trondhjemite (Cay18A) were selected for An older mean age of 2144±6 Ma is obtained for
analysis at the mass spectrometer and provided four grains from the clear zircons ( Zr B, C, D, E)
isotopic ratios for three temperature steps which show a remarkable homogeneity of the
[ Table 2(a)], leading to three distinct mean ages. 208Pb/206Pb isotopic ratios. These different mean
– A mean age of 2216±4 Ma is obtained at ages obtained for two distinct zircon populations
high temperature for two grains ( Zr A and Zr probably result from a mixture of two sources of
F ). Younger ages obtained at lower temperature zircons. We interpret 2144±6 Ma as the crystalli-
are interpreted as due to radiogenic lead loss. zation age of the tonalite and propose that the
– A mean age of 2174±7 Ma is obtained for younger age obtained on the dark zircon corres-
several high-temperature steps of two other ponds to a subsequent thermal event implying
grains ( Zr C and Zr D). crystallization of a second population of zircons
– A third age is measured at two high temper- possibly from fluids enriched in incompatible
atures of grain Zr E (2199±7 Ma). This age is elements.
not confirmed by data from any other grain. Most of the zircons obtained from the tonali-
The sixth zircon ( Zr B) gives increasing ages te–diorite batholith of the Mataroni river (Reg27)
with increasing temperature, which typically are dark and rounded [ Table 2(a)]. However, four
cannot be used to determine the crystallization age grains, with well-developed crystal faces, were
of the grain. Two interpretations are proposed. selected for mass spectrometry. A well-defined
(1) 2174±7 Ma is the crystallization age of the mean age of 2115±7 Ma is obtained on two
trondhjemite and the older age (2216±4 Ma) zircons ( Zr B and Zr C ). The other two zircons
is a minimum age of inherited cores. ( Zr A and Zr E ) yield a less constrained but
(2) 2216±4 Ma is the crystallization age of the significantly older age of 2129±6 Ma. The
trondhjemite followed by a thermal event lead- 208Pb/206Pb ratio obtained for the temperature step
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 181

Table 2
Isotopic data obtained by lead evaporation on single zircon from various plutons from Guiana. Errors in mean age of the rocks are
equal to the standard deviation over the whole individual ages. Data in italics are not considered for the calculation of the mean age
of the rocks

Zircon Size Type T (°C ) No. of 206Pb/ 208Pb/ 207Pb*/ Step age Zircon age Mean age
(mm) (Pupin, 1980) step ratios 204Pb 206Pb 206Pb* (±s) (Ma±s) (Ma±s) (Ma±s)

(a) Trondhjemite Cay18A


Zr A 320 D-P5 1/ 1440 53 31954 0.105 0.13636±25 2182±3
2/ 1460 55 90807 0.149 0.13914±15 2117±2
3/ 1480 62 106340 0.163 0.13920±25 2217±3 2217±3
Zr F 190 D-J5 1/ 1440 11 2812 0.129 0.13487±55 2162±7 2216±4
2/ 1460 54 8957 0.162 0.13850±39 2209±5 (141 ratios)
3/ 1480 24 15789 0.180 0.13890±44 2214±5 2214±5

Zr B 230 D-J5 1/ 1440 59 27195 0.089 0.13493±25 2163±3


2/ 1460 45 40679 0.123 0.13732±21 2194±3
3/ 1480 38 40449 0.153 0.13836±32 2207±4
Zr E 230 P5 1/ 1440 58 2392 0.065 0.13325±67 2141±9
2/ 1460 53 7319 0.146 0.13777±31 2199±4
3/ 1480 58 22460 0.112 0.13720±52 2192±7 2196±7

Zr C 240 P5 1/ 1440 6 10526 0.065 0.13557±75 2171±10


2/ 1460 45 25656 0.073 0.13597±83 2177±11 2175±11
3/ 1480 14 19804 0.064 0.13560±82 2172±11 2174±7
Zr D 260 D-P5 1/ 1440 31 14177 0.072 0.13429±42 2155±5 (181 ratios)
2/ 1460 54 25103 0.096 0.13568±21 2173±3
3/ 1480 62 18163 0.105 0.13577±36 2174±5 2173±4

Tonalite Cay12A
Zr B 300 S22–S23 1/ 1440 51 6300 0.138 0.13300±69 2138±9
2/ 1460 59 8610 0.218 0.13354±46 2145±6 2145±6
Zr C 360 S23–S24 1/ 1460 59 19670 0.240 0.13377±46 2148±6
2/ 1480 58 24070 0.226 0.13346±31 2144±4 2146±6
Zr D 430 S24 1/ 1440 56 31090 0.200 0.13331±53 2142±7
2/ 1460 54 46140 0.202 0.13338±31 2143±4 2142±6 2144±6
Zr E 370 S22–S24 1/ 1440 55 15510 0.201 0.13339±61 2143±8 (495 ratios)
2/ 1460 58 40550 0.214 0.13361±45 2146±6
3/ 1480 56 39280 0.222 0.13354±46 2145±6 2144±7
4/ 1620 40 13260 0.213 0.13338±53 2143±7

Zr A 460 ‘dark’ 1/ 1440 59 2530 0.174 0.13157±45 2119±6


2/ 1460 53 4730 0.164 0.13232±61 2129±8
3/ 1500 55 4760 0.179 0.13255±53 2132±7 2128±7
4/ 1540 54 6044 0.176 0.13187±38 2123±5

Tonalite Reg27
Zr A 320 S7–S12 1/ 1440 10 626 0.144 0.12781±55 2068±8
2/ 1460 60 2090 0.121 0.13147±39 2118±5
3/ 1480 54 3620 0.122 0.13246±31 2131±4 2131±4 2129±6
Zr E 290 S3–S7 1/ 1460 49 18090 0.129 0.13213±41 2127±5 (137 ratios)
2/ 1480 34 20560 0.131 0.13231±55 2129±7 2127±6

Zr B 340 S8 1/ 1480 35 2030 0.212 0.13123±70 2115±9


2/ 1500 54 2540 0.297 0.13139±55 2117±7 2116±9 2115±7
3/ 1560 6 1605 0.368 0.13142±87 2117±12 (142 ratios)
Zr C 260 S7 1480 47 2450 0.212 0.13121±24 2114±3 2114±3
182 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

Table 2 (continued )
Isotopic data obtained by lead evaporation on single zircon from various plutons from Guiana. Errors in mean age of the rocks are
equal to the standard deviation over the whole individual ages. Data in italics are not considered for the calculation of the mean age
of the rocks

Zircon Size Type T (°C ) No. of 206Pb/ 208Pb/ 207Pb*/ Step age Zircon age Mean age
(mm) (Pupin, 1980) step ratios 204Pb 206Pb 206Pb* (±s) (Ma±s) (Ma±s) (Ma±s)

(b) Granite de Maripa


Zr A 500 S24 1/ 1500 50 10460 0.129 0.12880±18 2082±3
2/ 1520 51 10730 0.129 0.12935±12 2089±2
3/ 1560 33 12440 0.116 0.12991±39 2097±5 2097±5
Zr B 450 S24–S25 1/ 1500 51 3520 0.124 0.12818±42 2073±6
2/ 1520 52 9570 0.118 0.12949±25 2091±3
3/ 1560 58 9020 0.132 0.12971±33 2094±5 2093±4 2094±5
Zr C 340 S24–S25 1/ 1500 53 730 0.192 0.12783±54 2068±8 (304 ratios)
2/ 1560 64 7090 0.124 0.12963±30 2093±4 2093±4
ZR F 370 S24–J4 1520 38 9780 0.121 0.12966±39 2093±5 2093±5
Zr G 380 S24–S25 1500 59 12140 0.116 0.12982±36 2096±5 2096±5

Granite Reg25
Zr D 300 S17 1520 59 1250 0.164 0.12958±60 2092±8 2092±8
Zr E 360 S7 1/ 1500 51 4780 0.140 0.12884±36 2082±5
2/ 1520 61 13490 0.091 0.13016±53 2100±7 2100±7 2093±8
Zr F 370 ? 1/ 1500 60 4670 0.095 0.12941±44 2090±6 (361 ratios)
2/ 1520 62 8820 0.133 0.12967±28 2094±4 2092±5
Zr G 300 S11–S12 1/ 1500 60 3600 0.073 0.12933±64 2089±9
2/ 1520 59 9510 0.136 0.12962±30 2092±4 2091±6

Zr B 430 S11–S12 1500 54 4690 0.091 0.12855±50 2078±7


Zr C 370 ? 1560 54 2130 0.135 0.12804±56 2071±8

Leucogranite Reg26
Zr C 260 S25 1520 11 10180 0.099 0.12947±63 2091±9 2091±9
ZR F 350 S25–P5 1500 55 4590 0.098 0.12868±61 2080±8 2080±8
Zr G 230 ? 1/ 1440 61 6830 0.108 0.12781±34 2068±5
2/ 1460 57 11930 0.106 0.12883±44 2082±6 2082±6 2083±8
Zr I 300 P1–P2 1/ 1440 61 2400 0.097 0.12875±30 2081±4 (233 ratios)
2/ 1460 39 3690 0.096 0.12952±44 2091±6 2085±7

Zr E 360 P1–P2 1/ 1500 47 776 0.129 0.1254±55 2035±8


2/ 1520 61 789 0.123 0.12560±67 2037±9 2036±9

Zr A 360 P5 1/ 1500 54 259 0.217 0.11553±96 1888±15


2/ 1520 59 2930 0.098 0.12821±43 2074±6
Zr B 310 S19 1500 45 356 0.159 0.11781±70 1923±11
Zr D 430 P1–P2 1500 50 682 0.135 0.12236±128 1991±19
Zr H 370 P5–S25 1440 55 606 0.146 0.11912±47 1943±7

used for the calculation of the mean ages are obtained on zircons from the Cay12A tonalite),
similar for the two grains analysed and significantly and 2115±7 Ma is interpreted to be the age of
different from the ones obtained for the younger crystallization of the tonalite.
zircons. Therefore we attribute the 2129±6 Ma The Maripa granite yields clear zircons. Within
mean age to an inherited population of zircons the analytical precision the ages of five grains are
(note that it is similar to the 2128±7 Ma age identical with error and provide a mean age of
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 183

2094±5 Ma [ Table 2(b)]. Some moderate radio- cal composition of the sediments:
genic lead loss appears for three ( Zr A, Zr B, and
Zr C ) of the five grains, whereas all the high- quartz+muscovite+andalusite+kyanite
temperature steps lead to the same age. Therefore, +garnet+oxides
we interpret 2094±5 Ma to be the crystallization
age of the granite. quartz+muscovite+andalusite+chloritoid
Zircons from the high-K porphyritic granite +garnet+oxides
(Reg25) are dark and often rounded [ Table 2(b)]
and only 30% exhibit well-developed crystal faces. Andalusite and kyanite are expected in any meta-
Four of the six grains analysed ( Zr D, E, F, G) pelite rich in silica and aluminium, whereas crystal-
lead to a mean age of 2093±8 Ma obtained in six lization of chloritoid requires a high FeO/MgO
temperature steps. This age is consistent with the ratio (Hoschek, 1969), and a high Mn content.
age of 2094±5 Ma obtained on a sample from a Accordingly, the chloritoid shows a high
similar facies at Maripa, and we interpret it as the FeO/MgO ratio in the sediments of Kaw mountain
crystallization age of the granite. and a high Mn content in the Kaw and Trois
Pitons mountains, where in addition the garnet is
3.4.3. Age of the peraluminous leucogranite spessartine-rich ( Table 3). However, in order to
Half of the zircons from leucogranite ( Reg26) definitely test the hypothesis of a chemically-con-
are too dark to be identified in the morphologic trolled crystallization of chloritoid, the bulk com-
diagram. The others are widely scattered indicating position of the sediments should be compared.
very different temperatures of crystallization Note the absence of feldspar, staurolite and biotite.
(Pupin, 1980). Nine grains representing the various Accessory minerals are similar for both associa-
types of zircons were selected for mass spectrome- tions: zircon, tourmaline, pyrite, and graphite.
ter analysis [ Table 2(b)]. The results present no Mineral associations are relatively well-preserved
correlation between ages calculated and the mor- and retrograde muscovite locally appears as pseu-
phology of the zircons. Several zircons ( Zr A, B, domorphs after kyanite or andalusite, while chlo-
D, E, H ) are rich in common Pb, and therefore rite replaces garnet and chloritoid.
not appropriate for dating because that implies The variability of metamorphic assemblages
large errors in 207Pb*/206Pb* ages. Furthermore, allows the partial reconstruction of contrasted
the lower 207Pb*/206Pb* for these zircons than for pressure and temperature evolution within the
the others indicates a loss of Pb*. The other grains sedimentary basins. This is illustrated by the dis-
(Zr C, F, G, I ) lead to zircon ages ranging from tinct metamorphic evolution recorded by the Trois
2080 to 2091 Ma. The regularity of the Pitons and Maripa–Tortue area. For aluminosili-
208Pb/206Pb ratio recorded for these four zircons, cate-bearing rocks, andalusite is replaced by kya-
showing the homogeneity of the Th/U ratio in the nite, except locally in the Trois Pitons area where
magma in equilibrium with the zircons during andalusite is stable. The paragonite content of the
crystallization, confirms their cogenetic origin white mica solid-solutions provides a tool to better
despite the variability of their morphologies. constrain the temperature ( Eugster and Yoder,
Therefore, the mean age of 2083±8 Ma is interpre- 1955; Guidotti, 1984) and pressure (Chaterjee and
ted as the crystallization age of the leucogranite Froese, 1975). The high paragonite content of
which is significantly younger than the ages several samples, attributed to exsolution of parago-
obtained from the calc-alkaline plutons in the area. nite and mixing with muscovite, suggests that the
samples are close to solvus compositions, and the
3.5. Thermobarometry of conglomerates from the presence of paragonite satisfies the condition of
USU Na O saturation ( Table 4). In Tortue and Maripa
2
mountains, the paragonite content of the samples
The USU displays two distinct mineral associa- (~20–25%) is within the range predicted by the
tions, which probably reflect differences in chemi- diagram of Chaterjee and Froese (1975) obtained
184 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

Table 3
Representative microprobe analyses of samples from the Kaw basin. (a) Analyses of garnets from Kaw mountain. Formula with
eight cations for 12 oxygens. (b) Analyses of chloritoid from Kaw mountain (O=12; H O=2)
2
Kaw mountain

(a) Sample K6 C-1 K 22 K 22 (b) Sample K6 C-1 K6 C-1 CJ 11 CJ 13

SiO 24.27 24.39 24.76 SiO 36.44 36.61 36.66 36.67


2 2
TiO 0.00 0.00 0.00 TiO 0.00 0.00 0.08 0.17
2 2
Al O 39.99 39.91 40.25 Al O 20.24 20.43 20.51 20.76
2 3 2 3
FeO 21.62 24.57 23.52 Cr O 0.12 0.01 0.15 0.00
t 2 3
MnO 3.81 1.34 1.79 FeO 15.10 15.42 5.60 4.45
MgO 2.01 2.05 2.08 MnO 27.42 26.94 35.31 34.88
CaO 0.02 0.00 0.00 MgO 0.52 0.47 0.84 0.81
KO 0.01 0.05 0.00 CaO 0.61 0.59 1.46 1.66
2
HO 7.17 7.21 7.26
2
Total 100.45 100.47 100.61 99.40
Total 98.90 99.52 99.66
Si 2.98 3.00 2.98 3.00
Si 2.03 2.03 2.05 AlIV 0.02 0.00 0.02 0.00
Ti 0.00 0.00 0.00 Ti 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Al 3.94 3.91 3.92 AlVI 1.93 1.97 1.95 2.00
Fe 1.51 1.71 1.63 Cr 0.01 0.00 0.01 0.00
Mn 0.27 0.10 0.13 Fe3+ 0.08 0.04 0.06 0.00
Mg 0.25 0.25 0.26 Fe2+ 0.96 1.02 0.33 0.31
Ca 0.00 0.00 0.00 Mn 1.90 1.87 2.43 2.42
K 0.00 0.01 0.00 Mg 0.06 0.01 0.10 0.10
Ca 0.05 0.05 0.13 0.15
OH 4.00 4.00 4.00
FM 0.88 0.88 0.87 Total 8.00 7.95 8.00 7.99

Ouvarovite 0.39 0.03 0.49 0.00


Andradite 1.40 1.70 2.71 0.00
Pyrope 2.13 1.91 3.41 3.33
Spessartine 63.80 62.36 81.47 81.50
Grosulaire 0.00 0.00 0.93 4.91
Almandine 32.28 34.00 10.86 10.27
Shorlomite 0.00 0.00 0.14 0.00
% Cations 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

at 7 kbar (kyanite field ) thus indicating a temper- sistent with temperatures less than 550°C as extrap-
ature of about 650°C ( Figs. 12 and 13). The white olated from the diagrams of Chaterjee and Froese
micas with the highest paragonite contents corre- (1975) between 4 and 7 kbar (Figs. 12 and 13).
spond to large lamellas developed in late sinistral Similarly to the Régina basin, the USU in the
shear zones, which are also characterized by stable Kaw basin displays both mineral assemblages with
kyanite. In the Trois Pitons mountain, to the east the presence of chloritoid instead of kyanite to the
of Tortue mountain, both mineral assemblages east ( Kaw mountain). Since the type of deforma-
(chloritoid/kyanite) are represented. The fact that tion is more homogeneous and dominated by the
the chloritoid is not transformed into staurolite or strike-slip component, we expect less lateral varia-
cordierite suggests that the temperature was not tion in the amount of burial than in the Régina
exceeding 575°C (Ganguly and Newton, 1969). In basin. Chevaux mountain is marked by widespread
addition, the paragonite content (~7–9%) is con- kyanite but no analysis of the white micas is
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 185

Table 4
Representative microprobe analyses of white micas from the USU. % Na-paragonite represents the proportion of paragonite–musco-
vite in the K–Na line

Tortue Kaw Trois Pitons

Sample JLL JLL JLL JLL JLL K6 K6 K6 K K CJ CJ CJ CJ CJ


608 609 619 619 619 Cl Cl Cl 22 22 11 11 13 13 13

SiO 46.88 48.27 46.61 46.19 45.45 45.55 47.50 44.82 49.30 45.53 45.56 45.65 44.64 47.05 45.06
2
Al O 36.73 35.49 36.68 36.51 40.06 35.42 34.91 36.13 33.67 36.05 35.76 35.88 36.17 36.45 35.99
2 3
TiO 0.06 0.08 0.01 0.00 0.05 0.11 0.06 0.09 0.00 0.14 0.07 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.10
2
FeO 0.20 1.57 1.97 1.69 0.73 2.29 1.84 2.04 1.91 2.08 2.58 1.62 1.65 1.70 2.06
MgO 2.00 0.25 0.34 0.24 0.07 0.15 0.10 0.12 0.10 0.12 0.15 0.17 0.12 0.17 0.18
KO 8.11 7.17 8.90 8.55 0.80 8.74 8.38 8.78 8.55 8.99 10.03 9.88 9.52 9.65 10.12
2
Na O 1.96 1.96 1.68 20.02 6.73 1.55 1.56 1.80 1.57 1.68 0.69 0.70 0.73 0.74 0.78
2
CaO 0.08 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.94 0.00 0.03 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.36 0.10 0.00 0.00 0.00
BaO 0.39 0.89 0.00 0.04 0.33 0.00 0.89 0.46 0.38

Total 96.46 94.80 97.09 95.26 94.88 93.88 94.40 93.78 95.10 94.63 95.53 94.08 93.80 96.30 94.67

Si 6.13 6.34 6.11 6.11 5.86 6.14 6.31 6.05 6.49 6.09 6.10 6.14 6.06 6.18 6.07
AlIV 1.87 1.66 1.89 1.89 2.14 1.86 1.69 1.95 1.95 1.91 1.90 1.86 1.94 1.82 1.93
Tet. 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00

AlVI 3.80 3.83 3.77 3.81 3.95 3.76 3.78 3.80 3.72 3.78 3.73 3.83 3.84 3.83 3.79
Fe 0.22 0.17 0.21 0.19 0.08 0.26 0.20 0.23 0.21 0.23 0.29 0.18 0.19 0.19 0.23
Mg 0.04 0.05 0.07 0.05 0.01 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.03 0.04
Oct. 4.06 4.05 4.05 4.05 4.04 4.05 4.00 4.05 3.95 4.03 4.05 4.04 4.06 4.05 4.06

K 1.35 1.20 1.49 1.44 0.13 1.50 1.42 1.51 1.44 1.53 1.71 1.70 1.65 1.62 1.74
Na 0.50 0.50 0.43 0.52 1.68 0.40 0.40 0.47 0.40 0.44 0.18 0.8 0.19 0.19 0.20
Ca 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.13 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.00
Int. 1.86 1.70 1.91 1.96 1.94 1.90 1.82 1.98 1.84 1.97 1.94 1.89 1.84 1.81 1.93

Muscovite 59.83 52.76 65.68 64.14 5.24 65.51 61.19 67.77 57.31 68.00 75.26 77.60 77.65 74.62 79.30
Na-paragonite 25.77 25.62 22.13 26.32 84.86 21.07 20.35 23.56 19.58 22.04 8.86 9.64 10.63 10.11 10.57
Ca-paragonite 3.67 1.96 0.43 0.72 9.40 2.37 1.04 3.56 0.20 4.23 3.25 3.56 2.33 0.89
Fe-celedonite 9.16 7.21 7.31 7.94 0.51 11.06 9.82 8.67 11.68 9.75 11.65 7.82 6.83 7.69 9.24
Mg-celedonite 0.07 0.99 0.00 0.89 0.54 2.18 0.36 0.89
% Na-paragonite 22.06 20.08 19.43 23.81 76.45 18.24 16.59 21.52 15.05 19.85 7.45 8.41 9.39 8.56 9.50

available. However, Kaw mountain, which is char- 4. Discussion and interpretation


acterized by the presence of chloritoid, shows
paragonite content (15–21%) consistent with a A new geodynamical model is presented for the
pressure of about 7 kbar since the temperature is formation of the Paleoproterozoic granite–green-
limited to 575°C by the presence of chloritoid stone belt of northern French Guiana (Figs. 14
(Figs. 12 and 13, Ganguly and Newton, 1969; and 15). The first constraint is the absence of
Chaterjee and Froese, 1975). The absence of silli- Archean basement in the northern granite–green-
manite and the preservation of the relatively high- stone belt. This is consistent with the data
pressure/low-temperature mineral assemblages described for the southern belt where a positive
suggest that exhumation of the sediments rapidly S N value excludes any significant crustal contam-
d
followed burial and peak metamorphism. ination (Gruau et al., 1985). Geochronological
186 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

Fig. 12. Temperature/composition diagram [T−X( KNa )] depicting the muscovite–paragonite and alkali feldspar solvi, and the
−1
binary loop defined by the assemblage white mica+alkali felspar+alumino silicate+quartz, +H O, for a pressure of 4 kbar and
2
7 kbar (from Chaterjee and Froese, 1975). The grey boxes indicate the range of paragonitic content corresponding to the samples of
Tortue, Trois Pitons and Kaw mountains. The white mica chemical analyses are reported in Table 4.

data indicate a southward younging trend for the


magmatic events from the Ile de Cayenne complex
(this work) to the southern synclinorium (Gruau
et al., 1985). Two stages of crustal growth are
distinguished following the formation of oceanic
crust: (1) an early stage of crustal generation
marked by the accumulation of mantle-derived
magmas; followed by (2) a later stage of crustal
recycling and tectonic accretion.

4.1. Early stage of crustal generation: formation of


plutonic–volcanic calc-alkaline complexes

Geochemical and geochronological investiga-


tions on the metavolcanic and plutonic rocks of
the Ile de Cayenne and Central Guiana complexes,
combined with petrologic and structural analysis,
Fig. 13. Pressure–temperature evolution of the sediments of the characterize the early stages of the geodynamic
USU. Al SiO triple point (Holdaway, 1971). Staurolite-in evolution of the granite–greenstone belt, from the
2 5
curve ( Winkler, 1979). The dashed lines represent the temper- accretion of oceanic crust to the first stages of
ature inferred from the paragonitic content of the white micas convergence between the plutonic–volcanic com-
shown in Fig. 12. The boxes delimit approximately pressure and plexes ( Fig. 14).
temperature fields recorded by the successive mineral assem-
blages preserved in the conglomerates from Trois Pitons, Kaw The size of the basins that separate the plutonic–
and Tortue mountains. D1, D2, and D2∞ indicate the progressive volcanic complexes is not constrained but the
stages of deformation associated with each mineral assemblage. geochemistry of the metavolcanics of the Ile de
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 187

Cayenne and Central Guiana complexes indicates granite–greenstone belts in West Africa ( Feybesse
a signature similar to tholeiitic lavas emplaced in and Milési, 1994; Hirdes et al., 1996) prior to the
recent mid-oceanic ridge or back-arc basin context deposition of the main flyshoid sequences. These
[Fig. 14(a)]. The ages of 2216±4 Ma and latter sedimentary formations belonging to the
2174±7 Ma obtained on the trondhjemite of the upper part of the first accretionary event of the
Ile de Cayenne mark the onset of this accretion Birimian (B1 sedimentary sequence of Milési et al.,
which can be compared to the Nd/Sm age of 1992) could be the equivalent to the Armina
2110±70 Ma obtained in the southern synclino- formation of the northern Guiana province. In
rium on rocks with similar geochemical signatures contrast with the Guiana province, the West Africa
(Gruau et al., 1985). province is marked by the accretion of several
The formation of volcanic centres with calc- volcanic belts following this event at 2100 Ma.
alkaline tuff lavas and pyroclastites deposited on
top of the tholeiitic lavas represents a major change
in the geochemical evolution of this oceanic-type 4.2. Late stage of crustal accretion: crustal
basin. Differentiation of continental crust is further recycling and tectonic accretion
achieved by emplacement of tonalitic to dioritic
calc-alkaline plutons intruding the volcanic The presence of relatively rigid and light crustal
sequences of the Ile de Cayenne and Central blocks profoundly modifies the processes associ-
Guiana complexes respectively at 2144 Ma and ated with crustal accretion in convergent systems.
2115 Ma [Fig. 14(b)]. The late evolution of the The formation of voluminous and light plutonic
plutonic complexes is marked by the emplacement complexes results in relief formation. The erosional
products of these newly formed belts are deposited
at 2093±8 Ma of highly potassic granitoids with
in en-echelon pull-apart basins associated with
a geochemical signature indicating an enrichment
sinistral strike-slip shear zones of the North
of the magmatic source and suggesting thickening
Guiana Trough developed along the borders of
of the crust [Fig. 14(c)].
the plutonic–volcanic complexes and reflecting
The initial size of the Orapu basin and the
oblique convergence between the crustal blocks.
nature of its substratum are not known. It occupies
The lithologic succession within the basins with
a marginal position with respect to the plutonic–-
asymmetric lateral and upward transition from
volcanic complexes and is filled by turbidites of debris flow and conglomerates to coarse sandstone
the Armina formation derived from volcanic–vol- mostly derived from the plutonic rocks, indicating
caniclastics of the Paramaca formation. Closure close proximity of the sediment source, and the
of the Orapu basin with homogeneous flattening position of the basins at the front of the belts, are
and horizontal shortening of the less competent typical of foreland basins [Fig. 14(c)].
volcanic–volcaniclastic and flyschs sequences The last stages of oblique convergence are
accommodates the emplacement of the calc-alka- marked by thrusting and burial of the units located
line batholiths and the early stages of convergence in between the moving blocks, as exemplified by
between the newly formed crustal blocks. the structural and metamorphic evolution of the
At the scale of the Earth, this period between USU deposited in pull-apart basins formed along
2220 and 2000 Ma corresponds to one of the most the North Guiana Trough. They show kyani-
important events of crustal generation and green- te–white mica and chloritoid–white mica paragene-
stone belt formation recognized so far in West sis, indicating a temperature of approximately
Africa and Venezuela ( Taylor and MacLennan, 575–645°C and pressure between 4 and 7 kbar,
1985; Abouchami et al., 1990; Milési et al., 1992; that we interpret in terms of burial to depth up to
Taylor et al., 1992; Cox et al., 1993; Condie, 1975). 15–20 km in the area of Maripa and Tortue moun-
The ages obtained in French Guiana are compara- tains. We relate the evolution of these basins to
ble to the ages between 2200 and 2100 Ma SSE lateral extrusion of the eastern part of the
dating the onset of accretion and formation of the Central Guiana complex achieved by continued
188 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 189

Fig. 15. (a) Timing of the major events marking the geodynamic evolution of the Paleoproterozoic granite–greenstone belts of French
Guiana. Ages described in this paper are given with error bars and ages obtained from the southern granite–greenstone belt (Gruau
et al., 1985) are given for comparison. The boxes indicate the range of duration of events as constrained by geologic data. The
colours and patterns are the same as those used in the schematic lithostratigraphic column. (b) given as an inset to the right. Black
boxes correspond to the range for deformation events (D1, D2, D2∞).

sinistral strike-slip motion along the North Guiana shortening of the incompetent flyschs of the
Trough, and conjugate dextral strike-slip along the Armina formation, and is prolonged by the
Imperatrice shear zone [Fig. 14(d )]. We propose Gabrielle shear zone in the Ile de Cayenne area
that the dextral strike-slip motion of the [Fig. 2(a)]. Lateral extrusion and bending of the
Imperatrice shear zone is accommodated by bend- North Guiana Trough creates a restraining bend
ing of the North Guiana Trough and horizontal causing local burial of the Régina and Kaw basins

Fig. 14. Geodynamic evolution of French Guiana during the Transamazonian orogeny, Paleoproterozoic. Crustal growth by magmatic
accretion. (a) Formation of an oceanic basin of unknown size. (b) Successive formation of magmatic arcs related to subduction zones
(?) of unknown polarity or to mantle plumes. Crustal recycling. (c) Oblique convergence between the magmatic arcs. Thickening of
the arcs is attested by the emplacement of highly potassic plutons. The erosional products of the newly formed blocks are deposited
in the pull-apart en-echelon basins opened along the North Guiana Trough. (d) Late stage of oblique convergence with lateral
extrusion of crustal blocks responsible for the burial of part of the marginal basins. The emplacement of leucogranites is controlled
by the strike-slip shear zones.
190 O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193

at the edges of the plutonic–volcanic complexes. tion recorded in modern accretionary prisms (e.g.
The shear zones also localize the emplacement of Taira et al., 1992); and (3) the high-pressure/low-
potassic granitoids and peraluminous leucogran- temperature metamorphism recorded by the sedi-
ites respectively dated at 2094–2093 Ma and ments of the USU. High-pressure/low-temperature
2083 Ma. Note also that the geochemical signature units are typically exhumed at the front of major
of the leucogranites attests for crustal partial melt- orogenic belts due to overthrusting of cold material
ing. In contrast, the basins located to the north of during convergence and followed by rapid exhu-
the plutonic belt, exemplified by the Mana basin, mation related to the buoyancy of the less dense
only reflect opening of the basin in pull-apart crustal material (Platt, 1987; Chemenda, 1994).
related to sinistral strike-slip ( Fig. 1). On the west- The short time period of 30 Ma separating the
ern side of the Central Guiana complex, the formation of oceanic crust and emplacement of
Maroni basin is bordered by a west-dipping listric calc-alkaline plutons in the Ile de Cayenne penin-
normal fault, which is also consistent with eastern sula would imply subduction of a young oceanic
motion of the complex (Fig. 1). This period of crust which would not be very dense or very
oblique collision can be correlated to northward buoyantly unstable (Parsons and Sclater, 1977;
thrusting identified on the shore of the Ile de Cloos, 1993). The polarity of subduction cannot
Cayenne peninsula (Fig. 3). be reconstructed from the magmatic succession or
Concerning the burial of the Kaw and Régina the map distribution of the lithologic facies.
basins, it is worth noting that the overthrusting
unit has not been identified. In addition, a striking
feature is the low grade of metamorphism shown 5. Conclusions
by the volcanic–volcaniclastic and flyschs
sequences surrounding the foreland basins. This The data presented in this paper can be summa-
might be due to pervasive retrograde metamor- rized by the following results ( Figs. 14 and 15).
phism or may simply imply that these rocks were (1) No Archean basement has been found in
not as deeply buried. In addition, the mechanisms French Guiana, and inherited zircons of the
of exhumation of the foreland basins have not trondhjemite sampled in the Ile de Cayenne
been elucidated. A temperature of 675°C for a provide, with 2216±5 Ma, the oldest age
pressure of 7 kbar represents a geotherm of about obtained yet in French Guiana.
32°C/km, typical in a context of stable continental (2) The formation of mid-oceanic ridge or back-
crust. However, the preservation of paragenesis arc basins is marked by the emplacement of
reflecting these conditions without an imprint of trondhjemites of the Ile de Cayenne at
any thermal relaxation implies that the sedi- 2174±7 Ma and by the emplacement of bas-
mentary sequences were exhumed very rapidly. altic and andesitic tholeiitic lavas in the
Central Guiana plutonic–volcanic complex
4.3. Subduction versus mantle plumes [Fig. 14(a)].
(3) Early continental crust accretion is charac-
The mechanism of crustal accretion during terized by the formation of volcanic centres
Archean–Paleoproterozoic time is a subject of cur- with calc-alkaline tuff lavas and pyroclastites,
rent debate and it is not clear whether or not it is associated with the emplacement of plutonic–-
related to the presence of subducting slabs or to volcanic complexes composed by calc-alkaline
the upwelling of mantelic plumes (e.g. Condie, tonalite–diorite batholith dated at
1975, 1995; Kröner and Layer, 1992; Hoffmann, 2144±6 Ma in the Ile de Cayenne complex
1988). In French Guiana, a subduction model is and 2115±7 Ma in the Central Guiana com-
favored by (1) the calc-alkaline geochemical signa- plex. The deep Orapu flysch-like basin was
ture of the plutonic–volcanic complexes which is formed between the plutonic–volcanic com-
typical of modern subduction-related magmatism; plexes, collecting the first volcaniclastic ero-
(2) the convergence recorded by deformation of sional products as well as cherts and
the turbidites, which is comparable to the deforma- carbonates [Fig. 14(b)].
O. Vanderhaeghe et al. / Precambrian Research 92 (1998) 165–193 191

(4) Thickening of the continental crust is sug- Acknowledgment


gested by the emplacement, at 2093±8 Ma, of
porphyritic grandioritic and granitic plutons This work, BRGM Contribution No. 97023, was
with an increasing potassic composition, and financially supported by the BRGM research pro-
by the formation, in a context of oblique ject: ‘Facteurs de concentration de l’or dans l’évo-
convergence, of marginal basins where the lution géodynamique des chaines aciennes et
erosional products of the plutonic complexes modernes’. O.V. would like to express his thanks
are deposited [Fig. 14(c)]. to the staff in Orléans and the local base in
(5) Oblique collision between the newly formed Cayenne of the Bureau de Recherche Géologique
continental blocks is accommodated by lateral et Miniere. The ideas developed in this paper
extrusion to the south-east of part of the benefitted from helpful reviews from J. Martignole
Central Guiana complex along conjugate and J.M. Bertrand, spirited discussions with
shear zones and by burial of part of the Michel Donzeau, Bruno Martel-Jantin, Lucien
plutonic–volcanic complexes and of the mar- Toux, and Pierre Sabaté, and the careful analysis
ginal basins to depth up to 15–20 km. of thin sections performed by Anne-Marie Hottin.
Subsequent crustal thickening is followed by The pilot project ERS1 supervised by Jean-Pierre
crustal partial melting and the formation of Rudant provided a radar image which comple-
peraluminous leucogranites emplaced at mented the bad outcrop conditions. O.V. is also
2083±8 Ma along the conjugate shear zones indebted to the many intrepid people who made
[Fig. 14(d )]. fieldwork possible (François Mounié, Oswaldo,
These results indicate a similar sequence of Jean-Pierre Caira, Pierre Baysset, Eric Capmartin,
Christian Toinon, Raphael Lucchini, and David
events to the one described in the West Africa
Barriere). Special thanks to Gaston Brugnot; with-
province and provide new insights into the timing
out his devotion and acute experience of the
of crustal generation during the Earth history.
appealing but treacherous rivers of French Guiana,
Two contrasting periods of crustal accretion are
the field missions would not have been so enjoya-
responsible for the formation of the northern
ble. He shares today the secrets of the virgin forest
granite–greenstone belts of French Guiana.
and of greenstone belt formation with the Creator.
(1) An early accretion of crustal blocks by accu-
mulation of mantle-derived magmas and
building of calc-alkaline plutonic–volcanic References
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