Australian provenance for Upper Permian to Cretaceous rocks forming accretionary complexes on the New Zealand sector of the Gondwanaland margin

A.L. Pickard, C.J. Adams, Mark Barley

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56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

U-Pb (SHRIMP) detrital zircon age patterns are reported for 12 samples of Permian to Cretaceous turbiditic quartzo-feldspathic sandstone from the Torlesse and Waipapa suspect terranes of New Zealand. Their major Permian to Triassic, and minor Early Palaeozoic and Mesoproterozoic, age components indicate that most sediment was probably derived from the Carboniferous to Triassic New England Orogen in northeastern Australia. Rapid deposition of voluminous Torlesse/Waipapa turbidite fans during the Late Permian to Late Triassic appears to have been directly linked to uplift and exhumation of the magmatically active orogen during the 265-230 Ma Hunter-Bowen event. This period of cordilleran-type orogeny allowed transport of large volumes of quartzo-feldspathic sediment across the convergent Gondwanaland margin. Post-Triassic depocentres also received (recycled?) sediment from the relict orogen as well as from Jurassic and Cretaceous volcanic provinces now offshore from southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. The detailed provenance-age fingerprints provided by the detrital zircon data are also consistent with progressive southward derivation of sediment: from northeastern Queensland during the Permian, southeastern Queensland during the Triassic, and northeastern New South Wales - Lord Howe Rise - Norfolk Ridge during the Jurassic to Cretaceous. Although the dextral sense of displacement is consistent with the tectonic regime during this period, detailed characterisation of source terranes at this scale is hindered by the scarcity of published zircon age data for igneous and sedimentary rocks in Queensland and northern New South Wales. Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic age components cannot be adequately matched with likely source terranes in the Australian-Antarctic Precambrian craton, and it is possible they originated in the Proterozoic cores of the Cathaysia and Yangtze Blocks of southeast China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1007
JournalAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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