The Moine Thrust Zone in the Scottish Highlands developed during the Scandian Event of the Caledonian Orogeny, and now forms the boundary between the Caledonian orogenic belt and the undeformed foreland. The Scandian Event, and the formation of the Moine Thrust Zone, have previously been dated by a range of isotopic methods, and relatively imprecise ages on a suite of alkaline intrusions localized along the thrust zone have provided the best age constraints for deformation. Recent British Geological Survey mapping has improved our understanding of the structural relationships of some of these intrusions, and this work is combined with new U–Pb dates in this paper to provide significantly improved ages for the Moine Thrust Zone. Our work shows that a single early intrusion (the Glen Dessarry Pluton) was emplaced within the orogenic belt to the east of the Moine Thrust Zone at 447.9 ± 2.9 Ma. A more significant pulse of magmatism centred in the Assynt area, which temporally overlapped movement in the thrust zone, occurred at 430.7 ± 0.5 Ma. Movement in the thrust zone had largely ceased by the time of emplacement of the youngest intrusions, the late suite of the Loch Borralan Pluton, at 429.2 ± 0.5 Ma, and the Loch Loyal Syenite Complex.
- Received February 1, 2010.
- Accepted August 23, 2010.
- © The Geological Society of London