Tectonic significance of structural successions preserved within low-strain pods: implications for thin- to thick-skinned tectonics vs. multiple near-orthogonal folding events in the Palaeo-Mesoproterozoic Mount Isa Inlier (NE Australia)

Sayab, Mohammad (2009) Tectonic significance of structural successions preserved within low-strain pods: implications for thin- to thick-skinned tectonics vs. multiple near-orthogonal folding events in the Palaeo-Mesoproterozoic Mount Isa Inlier (NE Australia). Precambrian Research, 175 (1-4). pp. 169-186.

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Abstract

Event-wise structural successions and their regional correlation across the orogenic belts are always been problematic, resulting in construction of conflicting tectonic models. However, in recent years, it has been demonstrated that complex deformation and metamorphic overprinting relationships and their correlation across large regions can be resolved through careful quantitative analysis of fabrics preserved within low-strain pods at different scales. In this study, integrated macro, meso and microstructural analyses of the southern Selwyn Range of the Palaeo-Mesoproterozoic Mount Isa Inlier, NE Australia, have revealed that the tectonic evolution involved four dominant fabric-generating events. These differ from those reported previously based on interpretation of the Mount Isa deep seismic section. D1 is preserved in low-strain zones as outcrop-scale recumbent folds (S1 subparallel S0) with E–W trending fold axes. D2 is characterized by upright to inclined N–S trending folds with a pervasive regional foliation (S2), subparallel to S0/S1. D3 was very heterogeneously developed in the region and appears to be controlled by rheological contrast. Three structural domains are recognized. The Eastern Domain (ED) and Central Domain (CD) are characterized by shallow dipping S3 foliation. S3 foliation is rare in the Western Domain (WD). Deformation during D4 was intense in the WD and produced complex overprinting patterns. All these observations from macro to microscopic scale suggest that the regional S2 initially formed as a steep foliation and was deflected to shallow to moderate dips due to the effect of subvertical shortening (D3). These observations are difficult to reconcile with previously suggested thin- to thick-skinned nappestyle tectonics in the region. Metamorphic field gradient is higher (sillimanite zone) in the ED, which represents deeper crustal levels than the rocks exposed in theCDandWDseparated by pre-existing faults. Andalusite porphyroblasts in the WD preserve steeply dipping S2, whereas staurolite porphyroblasts preserve gently dipping S3, suggesting staurolite grew after andalusite. This interpretation is consistent with the appearance of mineral phases in the KFMASH system along a prograde P–T path (M2) for D2 and D3. An earlier higher pressure P–T path (M1) is proposed for D1 based on the metamorphic mineral assemblages in the MnNCKFMASH system.

Item ID: 10601
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Mount Isa; Eastern Fold Belt; low-strain pods; folds; MnNCKFMASH
ISSN: 1872-7433
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2010 22:13
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040312 Structural Geology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040313 Tectonics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840102 Copper Ore Exploration @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 5
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