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Devonian volcanics in the New England Orogen: tectonic setting and polarity

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Offler, R. and Murray, C. (2011) Devonian volcanics in the New England Orogen: tectonic setting and polarity. Gondwana Research, 19 (3). pp. 706-715. ISSN 1342-937X

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2010.11.003

Publisher URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1342937X10001954


The tectonic setting of the Devonian rocks in the New England Orogen has been the subject of considerable debate and controversy for many years. Our studies reveal that they have formed in intra-oceanic island arc and back arc basin (BAB) settings based on Th/Yb, Nb/Yb, Ba/La and Zr/Y ratios. Further, many of the samples that formed in a BAB have a mixture of MORB and arc-like characteristics, a few are almost entirely MORB-like. The arc-like features are believed to be due to the presence of a subduction component in the basaltic magma, the amount of which is controlled by the distance from the arc. Those samples with MORB-like compositions are thought to have originated at spreading centres. The compositions of Late Devonian basalts become more arc-like to the west suggesting a west facing polarity. Based on the tectonic setting and spatial relationship of Late Devonian sequences, we propose that two subduction zones existed during the Late Devonian, one dipping west beneath the Lachlan Orogen, the other dipping east beneath a rifted intra oceanic arc. Obduction of this intra oceanic arc over the continental margin of the Lachlan Orogen in the latest Devonian at approximately 375Ma led to the development of a new west dipping subduction zone oceanward and commencement of continental, arc magmatism.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Tectonic setting Devonian Intraoceanic arc Polarity New England Orogen East Gondwana
Live Archive:28 Mar 2019 04:25
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:45

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