Plutonic rocks of the Median Batholith in southwest Fiordland, New Zealand: field relations, geochemistry, and correlation

Allibone, A.H., Turnbull, I.M., Tulloch, A.J., and Cooper, A.F. (2007) Plutonic rocks of the Median Batholith in southwest Fiordland, New Zealand: field relations, geochemistry, and correlation. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 50 (4). pp. 283-314.

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This paper provides a first description of all major plutonic rock units between Resolution Island and Lake Poteriteri in southwest Fiordland. Plutonic rocks, of which c. 95% are granitoids, comprise c. 60% of the basement in southwest Fiordland. Approximately 50% of the plutonic rocks were emplaced between c. 355 and 348 Ma, 5% at c. 164 Ma, 25% between c. 140 and 125 Ma, and 20% between c. 125 and 110 Ma. These episodes of plutonism occurred in response to terrane amalgamation, continental thickening, and subduction along the convergent margin of Gondwana. Correlatives of Devonian plutonic rocks which occur in Nelson are absent from the area described here.

A wide variety of plutonic rocks were emplaced at c. 355–348 Ma. These include relatively small plutons of K- and Rb-rich gabbro-diorite and members of at least three distinct suites of granitoids. Plutons of two-mica ± garnet granodiorite, granite, and minor tonalite share affinities with the S-type Ridge Suite and are the most widespread c. 355–348 Ma old granitoids in southern Fiordland. Plutons rich in Ca, Fe and Zr, depleted in K and Na, and containing quartz diorite, tonalite, and minor granodiorite with the unusual assemblage red-brown biotite, garnet ± hornblende ± clinopyroxene also occur widely in southern Fiordland. These plutons are similar to peraluminous A-type granitoids, indicating A as well as I and S-type plutonism occurred in the Western Province at this time. The Newton River and Mt Evans Plutons have no correlatives amongst c. 355–348 Ma granitoids in southern Fiordland, but their chemistry is similar to that of the older Karamea Suite.

Three regional-scale metasedimentary units—locally fossiliferous Fanny Bay Group Buller Terrane rocks in southern Fiordland, Edgecumbe and Cameron Group Takaka Terrane rocks in south-central Fiordland, and undifferentiated Deep Cove Gneiss high-grade metasedimentary rocks of western Fiordland—are all stitched by c. 355–348 Ma old plutons, indicating they have been in close proximity since at least c. 355–348 Ma. In south-central Fiordland, c. 355–348 Ma old plutons cut across fabrics defined by upper amphibolite facies mineral assemblages, indicating low pressure/high temperature metamorphism in this area before this time.

The c. 164 Ma old leucocratic Lake Mike Granite is a unique pluton in southwest Fiordland with no obvious correlatives. Plutons emplaced between c. 140 and 125 Ma are similar to the Rahu Suite, although isotopic data are required to confirm this correlation. Rahu Suite plutonism may therefore have begun by c. 140 Ma, rather than c. 120 Ma as previously suggested. Plutons emplaced between c. 125 and 110 Ma have high Sr/Y ratios comparable with the Separation Point Suite. They occur in both an outboard location around Lake Poteriteri and an inboard location around the western end of Dusky Sound. The c. 115 Ma two-mica garnet granites of the Anchor Island Intrusives #2 probably formed by partial melting of adjacent ortho- and paragneisses, indicating that upper amphibolite facies metamorphism in western Dusky Sound occurred during the Early Cretaceous.

The Dusky Fault does not pass directly out to the coast through outer Dusky Sound as previously mapped. Instead it merges with the major northeast-striking Lake Fraser Fault at Cascade Cove, which crosses the outer coast near West Cape. The Last Cove Fault is a minor structure which cannot be traced beyond Last Cove rather than a major fault of regional extent as has been previously suggested.

Item ID: 2826
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0028-8306
Keywords: Fiordland; Anchor Island, Tower Intrusives; Bald Peaks, Big, Brothers, Cascade, Fannin, Five Fingers, Grace Burn, Houseroof, Mouat, Indian Island, Jeanie, Lake 773, Mid Poteriteri, Mt Evans, Newton River, Red Head, Spot 59, Treble Mountain, Prices, Widgeon, Trevaccoon Plutons; Lake Mike, Revolver, North Port, Lake Monk Granites; Staircase Tonalite; Thundercleft Quartz Diorite; Only Islands Diorite; dikes; migmatites; gabbro; diorite; tonalite; granodiorite; granite; Ridge, Tobin, Separation Point, Rahu Suites; Median Batholith; Dusky, Lake Fraser Fault; new lithologic names
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With permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.

Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2009 05:47
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040304 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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