Abstract: The present work, derived from a full global geodynamic reconstruction model over 600 Ma and based on a large database, focuses herein on the interaction between the Pacific, Australian and Antarctic plates since 200 Ma, and proposes integrated solutions for a coherent, physically consistent scenario. The evolution of the Australia–Antarctica–West Pacific plate system is dependent on the Gondwana fit chosen for the reconstruction. Our fit, as defined for the latest Triassic, implies an original scenario for the evolution of the region, in particular for the “early” opening history of the Tasman Sea. The interaction with the Pacific, moreover, is characterised by many magmatic arc migrations and ocean openings, which are stopped by arc–arc collision, arc–spreading axis collision, or arc–oceanic plateau collision, and subduction reversals. Mid-Pacific oceanic plateaus created in the model are much wider than they are on present-day maps, and although they were subducted to a large extent, they were able to stop subduction. We also suggest that adduction processes (i.e., re-emergence of subducted material) may have played an important role, in particular along the plate limit now represented by the Alpine Fault in New Zealand.
Abstract: A full global geodynamical reconstruction model has been developed at the University of Lausanne over the past 20 years, and is used herein to re-appraise the evolution of the Australides from 600 to 200 Ma. Geological information of geodynamical interest associated with constraints on tectonic plate driving forces allow us to propose a consistent scenario for the evolution of Australia–Antarctica–proto-Pacific system. According to our model, most geodynamic units (GDUs) of the Australides are exotic in origin, and many tectonic events of the Delamerian Cycle, Lachlan SuperCycle, and New England SuperCycle are regarded as occurring off-shore Gondwana.
Abstract: Based on the structural style and physiographic criteria, the Central Andes of Peru can be divided into segments running parallel to the Pacific coast. The westernmost segment, the Coastal Belt, consists of a Late Jurassic–Cretaceous volcanic arc sequence that was accreted to the South American craton in Cretaceous times. The Mesozoic strata of the adjacent Western Cordillera represent an ENE-vergent fold-and-thrust belt that formed in Eocene times. Tight upright folds developed above a shallow detachment horizon in the West, while more open folds formed above a deeper detachment horizon towards the East and in the neighboring Central Highlands. A completely different style with steeply dipping reverse faults and open folds affecting the Neoproterozoic crystalline basement is typical for the Eastern Cordillera. The Subandean Zone is characterized by mainly NE-vergent imbricate thrusting which occurred in Neogene times. A quantitative estimate of the shortening of the orogen obtained from balanced cross-sections indicates a total shortening of 120–150 km (24%–27%). This shortening was coevel with the Neogene westward drift of South America, occurred at rates between 3 and 4.7 mm/year and was responsible for the high elevation of the Peruvian Andes.
Abstract: Zircon age peaks at 2100–1650 and 1200–1000 Ma correlate with craton collisions in the growth of supercontinents Nuna and Rodinia, respectively, with a time interval between collisions mostly <50 Myr (range 0–250 Myr). Collisional orogens are two types: those with subduction durations <500 Myr and those ≥500 Myr. The latter group comprises orogens with long-lived accretionary stages between Nuna and Rodinia assemblies. Neither orogen age nor duration of either subduction or collision correlates with the volume of orogen preserved. Most rocks preserved date to the pre-collisional, subduction (ocean-basin closing) stage and not to the collisional stage. The most widely preserved tectonic setting in Proterozoic orogens is the continental arc (10%–90%, mean 60%), with oceanic tectonic settings (oceanic crust, arcs, islands and plateaus, serpentinites, pelagic sediments) comprising <20% and mostly <10%. Reworked components comprise 20%–80% (mean 32%) and microcratons comprise a minor but poorly known fraction. Nd and Hf isotopic data indicate that Proterozoic orogens contain from 10% to 60% of juvenile crust (mean 36%) and 40%–75% reworked crust (mean 64%). Neither the fraction nor the rate of preservation of juvenile crust is related to the collision age nor to the duration of subduction. Regardless of the duration of subduction, the amount of juvenile crust preserved reaches a maximum of about 60%, and 37% of the volume of juvenile continental crust preserved between 2000 and 1000 Ma was produced in the Great Proterozoic Accretionary Orogen (GPAO). Pronounced minima occur in frequency of zircon ages of rocks preserved in the GPAO; with minima at 1600–1500 Ma in Laurentia; 1700–1600 Ma in Amazonia; and 1750–1700 Ma in Baltica. If these minima are due to subduction erosion and delamination as in the Andes in the last 250 Myr; approximately one third of the volume of the Laurentian part of the GPAO could have been recycled into the mantle between 1500 and 1250 Ma. This may have enriched the mantle wedge in incompatible elements and water leading to the production of felsic magmas responsible for the widespread granite-rhyolite province of this age. A rapid decrease in global Nd and in detrital zircon Hf model ages between about 1600 and 1250 Ma could reflect an increase in recycling rate of juvenile crust into the mantle; possibly in response to partial fragmentation of Nuna.
Abstract: The Upper Ordovician (Edenian) Lindsay Formation of the Ottawa Embayment represents the final stage of carbonate platform development in the Taconic foreland periphery inboard of the northern Appalachian orogen. The succession overlies a narrow (~60 km) axis of a Neoproterozoic Laurentian rift extending across the Grenville orogen. The Lindsay Formation consists of a lower heavily bioturbated skeletal limestone that represents a warm-water shoal facies following an underlying outer ramp stratigraphy, and an upper division of renewed deep-water deposition with organic-rich shale and fossiliferous lime mudstone. Pyritic deep-water black shale of the westerly advancing Taconic foreland basin disconformably overlies this platform succession. Stratigraphic correlation through the central embayment identifies likely synsedimentary faults and seaward-directed erosion bounding the Lindsay Formation in a region of older Ordovician faults and a change in the lithotectonic character of the crystalline basement. The Late Ordovician shallowing and localization of structural/erosional features are interpreted to record a structural hinge: a local accommodation to, first, foreland periphery uplift, then rapid subsidence related to westerly diachronous foreland subsidence through the platform interior. Spatial association of structures of differing ages suggests that reactivation of inherited weakened crust influenced Late Ordovician sedimentary patterns.
Abstract: The tectonically active East Sierra Valley System (ESVS), which comprises the westernmost part of the Walker Lane-Eastern California Shear Zone, marks the boundary between the highly extended Basin and Range Province and the largely coherent Sierra Nevada-Great Valley microplate (SN-GVm), which is moving relatively NW. The recent history of the ESVS is characterized by oblique extension partitioned between NNW-striking normal and strike-slip faults oriented at an angle to the more northwesterly relative motion of the SN-GVm. Spatially variable extension and right-lateral shear have resulted in a longitudinally segmented valley system composed of diverse geomorphic and structural elements, including a discontinuous series of deep basins detected through analysis of isostatic gravity anomalies. Extension in the ESVS probably began in the middle Miocene in response to initial westward movement of the SN-GVm relative to the Colorado Plateau. At ca. 3–3.5 Ma, the SN-GVm became structurally separated from blocks directly to the east, resulting in significant basin-forming deformation in the ESVS. We propose a structural model that links high-angle normal faulting in the ESVS with coeval low-angle detachment faulting in adjacent areas to the east.