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The Journal of Geology



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The northeastern portion of the Idaho batholith (NIB) intruded Proterozoic rocks of the Belt-Purcell supergroup between SO and 90 Ma. Whole-rock Sm-Nd isotopic analyses of batholithic rocks yield depleted mantle model ages (T oM) between 1. 72 and 1.93 Ga and values of eNd between -17. 7 and - 21.2, similar to associated metamorphic rocks and within the range for Belt-Purcell sedimentary rocks. Premagmatic zircons from one sample of the NIB were analyzed individually using the SHRIMP ion microprobe and yielded a single age population at 1.74 Ga. This apparently single-aged source contrasts with the range of ages reported for zircons from sedimentary rocks of the Belt-Purcell supergroup and suggests that the batholith was not the product of melting Belt-Purcell sediments, nor was it significantly contaminated with these sediments. The source of the batholith, however, appears to be of appropriate age and composition to be a major contributor of sediment to the Belt basin. In addition, the near coincidence of TOM and the age derived from premagmatic zircons in one sample suggests the source of at least part of the batholith was extracted largely from 1.74 Ga depleted mantle, with little or no input from older rocks. If so, this crust may represent a possible continuation of crust of similar age and character exposed to the north in the Canadian cordillera and to the south in Nevada, Arizona, and southeastern California.

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