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The Dadeville Complex of Alabama and Georgia (southeastern United States) represents the largest suite of exposed mafic-ultramafic rocks in the southern Appalachians. Due to poor preservation, chemical alteration, and tectonic reworking, a specific tectonic origin for the Dadeville Complex has been difficult to deduce. We obtained new whole-rock and mineral geochemistry coupled with zircon U-Pb geochronology to investigate the magmatic and metamorphic processes recorded by the Dadeville Complex, as well as the timing of these processes. Our data reveal an up-stratigraphic evolution in the geochemistry of the volcanic rocks, from forearc basalts to boninites. Our new U-Pb zircon crystallization data—obtained from three amphibolite samples—place the timing of forearc/protoarc volcanism no later than ca. 467 Ma. New thermobarometry suggests that the Dadeville Complex rocks subsequently experienced deep, high-grade metamorphism, at pressure-temperature conditions of >7 kbar and >760 °C. The data presented here support a model for formation of the Dadeville Complex in the forearc region of a subduction zone during subduction initiation and protoarc development, followed by deep burial/underthrusting of the complex during orogenesis.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License