Grenvillian-aged orogenesis in the Palaeoproterozoic Gascoyne Complex, Western Australia: 1030-950 Ma reworking of the Proterozoic Capricorn Orogen

S Sheppard, B Rasmussen, Janet Muhling, TR Farrell, IR Fletcher

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72 Citations (Scopus)


In situ SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology of monazite and xenotime in pelitic schists from the central Gascoyne Complex, Western Australia, shows that greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphism occurred between c. 1030 and c. 990 Ma. Monazite from an undeformed rare-element pegmatite from the same belt gives a Pb-207/Pb-206 age of c. 950 Ma, suggesting that peak metamorphism and deformation was followed by pegmatite intrusion and coeval granite magmatism. Metamorphism in the central Gascoyne Complex was previously interpreted as Barrovian, largely based on the identification of kyanite in peak metamorphic assemblages, and has been attributed to intense crustal shortening and substantial tectonic thickening during Palaeoproterozoic continent-continent collision. However, the stable Al2SiO5 polymorph has been identified in this study as andalusite rather than kyanite, and the prograde assemblages of staurolite-garnet-andalusite-biotite-muscovite-quartz indicate temperatures of 500-550 degrees C and pressures of 3-4 kbar. These data show that the Palaeoproterozoic Gascoyne Complex underwent an episode of Grenvillian-aged intracontinental reworking concentrated in a NW-SE striking corridor, during the Edmundian Orogeny. Until now, the Edmundian Orogeny was thought to have involved only reactivation of structures in the Gascoyne Complex, along with deformation and very low- to low-grade metamorphism of Mesoproterozoic cover rocks some time between 1070 and 755 Ma. However, we suggest that it involved regional amphibolite facies metamorphism and deformation, granite magmatism and pegmatite intrusion between c. 1030 and c. 950 Ma. Therefore, the Capricorn Orogen experienced a major phase of tectonic reworking c. 600 Myr later than previously recognized. Our results emphasize the importance of in situ geochronology integrated with petrological studies in order to link the metamorphic history of a terrane with causally related tectonic events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-494
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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