Radical changes in bulk shortening directions during orogenesis: significance for progressive development of regional folds and thrusts

Abu Sharib, A.S.A.A., and Bell, T.H. (2011) Radical changes in bulk shortening directions during orogenesis: significance for progressive development of regional folds and thrusts. Precambrian Research, 188 (1-4). pp. 1-20.

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Polyphase folding and metamorphism of rocks in the eastern Mount Isa Inlier resulted from four distinct orogenic cycles. These consist of NE–SW shortening (Oοο) from 1672 to ~1648 Ma, involving a succession of five phases of deformation, which was responsible for the development of the first generation NW–SE striking macroscopic folds, plus cleavages that are mainly only preserved in porphyroblasts. N–S shortening (O1) followed to 1600 Ma, involving at least three phases of deformation. This period of N–S directed orogenesis rotated large portions of the NW–SE trending regional folds into W–E trends and the dominance of locally well-preserved W–E trending sub-vertical matrix foliations as well as the intensification of foliation parallel to bedding. Subsequent W–E shortening (O2) from 1600 to~1515 Ma was accompanied by the development of N–S trending folds. These dominate the Mount Isa Inlier and where best developed involved the formation of at least three near orthogonal foliations. Where these large-scale folds regionally are weakly developed or not visible, only one sub-vertical foliation has developed. Finally NW–SE shortening (O3) produced locally developed SW–NE trending folds and weak crenulations until not, ~1500 Ma.

The asymmetry of steep to gentle pitch changes in inclusion trails preserved in garnet porphyroblasts that developed during O00 indicates thrusting to the SW. Similar inclusion trail asymmetries in garnet, staurolite and andalusite porphyroblasts that developed in O1, indicate thrusting to the N confirming a change in thrust direction across the Wonga Duchess belt to the W. Formation of the Meerenurker roof thrust near Mount Isa by thrusting to the SW during O00 with subsequent development of the Kokkalukkanurker duplex below by thrusting to the S during O1 reduces the displacement required for the roof thrust from 234 to ~65 kms. Foliations preserved in O00 garnets are truncated by foliations associated with the development of O1 in the matrix. O1 garnet, staurolite and andalusite porphyroblasts preserve inclusion trails that are commonly truncated against a differentiated crenulation cleavage in the matrix that formed during O2. The inclusion trails entrapped within Oοο and O1 generated porphyroblasts reveal that the foliations that progressively developed in the matrix during these orogenies were composite fabrics resulting from the effects of multiple discrete orthogonal increments in each case. Numerous phases of sub-vertical foliation development due to horizontal bulk shortening were followed by phases of gently dipping foliation formation due to gravitational collapse that accompanied thrusting during Oοο and O1.

Item ID: 17424
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-7433
Keywords: deformation partitioning, inclusion trails, porphyroblasts, thrusting, shear sense, Mount Isa Inlier
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2011 02:06
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040312 Structural Geology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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