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U-Pb zircon constraints on obduction initiation of the Unst Ophiolite: an oceanic core complex in the Scottish Caledonides?

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The Unst Ophiolite is the best exposed of a chain of early Ordovician ophiolites in the Scottish Caledonides and is widely regarded as having formed in a supra-subduction zone setting within the Iapetus Ocean. Reinterpretation of sheeted dykes suggests that it formed as an oceanic core complex, presumably during subduction roll-back immediately prior to obduction onto the Laurentian margin. A new U–Pb zircon age of 484 ± 4 Ma for development of the metamorphic sole places a lower limit on the timing of obduction, which was subsequently followed by regional-scale crustal thickening and Barrovian metamorphism during the Grampian orogenic event.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-282
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Issue number3
Early online date19 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015


  • U-Pb zircon

    Rights statement: Journal of the Geological Society 2015 volume 172 © Geological Society of London [2015].”

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 405 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-SA

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