Structural, metamorphic, and geochronological constraints on alternating compression and extension in the Early Paleozoic Gondwanan Pacific margin, northeastern Australia

Fergusson, C.L., Henderson, R.A., Withnall, I.W., Fanning, C.M., Phillips, D., and Lewthwaite, K.J. (2007) Structural, metamorphic, and geochronological constraints on alternating compression and extension in the Early Paleozoic Gondwanan Pacific margin, northeastern Australia. Tectonics, 26. pp. 1-20.

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Abstract

The Ross-Delamerian orogenic belt formed along the early Paleozoic active Pacific margin of the newly merged Gondwana supercontinent. In its northernmost segment in the Townsville region of northeastern Australia, we have identified a short contractional phase of the Delamerian orogeny in the Argentine Metamorphics postdating formation of a mafic breccia with a U-Pb zircon age of 500 ± 4 Ma. Contraction was followed by widespread inferred extensional deformation with formation of flat-lying foliation, domal features, and amphibolite grade and greenschist retrograde metamorphism all synchronous with latest Cambrian to Early Ordovician extensional back-arc volcanism, sedimentation, and intrusions. One of these intrusions gives a U-Pb zircon age of 480 ± 4 Ma. Foliation related to the extensional deformation is crosscut by a late granodiorite dike with a U-Pb zircon age of 461 ± 4 Ma. Late east-west contractional deformation affected the higher-grade part of the assemblage. In contrast to the Ross-Delamerian orogenic belt in the Transantarctic Mountains and southeastern Australia, the orogenic belt in northeastern Australia was affected by a short episode of contraction at ~495 Ma followed by long-lived back-arc extension from ~490 Ma to 460 Ma with subsequent contractional deformation.

Item ID: 2206
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: tectonics; extension; back arc; geochronology; Tasman Orogenic Zone
ISSN: 1944-9194
Date Deposited: 21 May 2009 03:57
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040313 Tectonics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 6
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