Isotopic insight into the Proterozoic crustal evolution of the Rudall Province, Western Australia

N. J. Gardiner*, D. W. Maidment, C. L. Kirkland, S. Bodorkos, R. H. Smithies, H. Jeon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The Proterozoic assembly of Australia involved the convergence of three main Archean cratonic entities: the North, West and South Australian Cratons, and is recorded in the Proterozoic orogenic belts surrounding these continental nuclei. The Rudall Province of northern Western Australia is the sole exposure of a Paleo- to Mesoproterozoic orogen lying between the North and West Australian Cratons, and may record the effects of their amalgamation. We present new zircon O, U–Pb and Lu–Hf isotope data from magmatic rocks across the Rudall Province, to which we add existing isotope data to yield a crustal evolution overview. Hf evolution trends for the ca. 1804–1762 Ma Kalkan Supersuite, the ca. 1589–1549 Ma Krackatinny Supersuite and the ca. 1310–1286 Ma Camel Suite, indicate a significant input of Archean East Pilbara Basement material, albeit as a mix with more juvenile material, including a possible ca. 1900 Ma component. Zircon δ18O data suggest a contribution from supracrustal material into the magmatic source of the Kalkan Supersuite, which may have been emplaced in an extensional setting. In contrast, the Krackatinny Supersuite and Camel Suite have mantle-like δ18O which may reflect partial melting of deeper Archean sources. Geochemical data for the Krackatinny Supersuite shows geochemical trends implying that melting of thickened mafic crust progressed from deeper to shallower levels, possibly in a rift setting. Camel Suite K-rich leucogranites may also have been emplaced in an extensional setting towards the end of high-P metamorphism. All terranes of the Rudall Province are para-autochthonous with respect to the Pilbara Craton, with no requirement for arc-related magmatism. We outline two potential scenarios for the Paleo- to Mesoproterozoic geodynamic evolution of the Rudall Province: an early cratonic amalgamation between the West and North Australian Cratons ca. 1680 Ma followed by Mesoproterozoic intraplate events; or a later assembly ca. 1377–1275 Ma. We lean towards this later amalgamation scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-50
Number of pages20
JournalPrecambrian Research
Early online date4 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • North Australian Craton
  • Pilbara
  • Proterozoic belt
  • West Australian Craton
  • Zircon Hf O isotopes


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