6 research outputs found

    Terrane history of the Iapetus Ocean as preserved in the northern Appalachians and western Caledonides

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    The Iapetus Ocean was the first ancient ocean to be identified following the development of plate tectonics; its history has been fundamental in relating orogenesis and plate motion. The ocean probably formed following 3-way rifting between Laurentia, Baltica, and Amazonia – West Africa (a block that became incorporated in Gondwana). Closure of the ocean trapped numerous terranes during the development of the Appalachian–Caledonide Orogen. Subsequent deformation, including late Paleozoic strike slip, transpression, and transtension, and Mesozoic stretching during Pangea breakup, must be taken into account in models for orogen development. Traditional analyses of Iapetan terranes have focussed on Cambrian sedimentary successions, and on isotopic criteria, to classify terranes into larger domains: Ganderia, Avalonia and Megumia. Detrital zircon data show that these domains did not cross the Iapetus as single entities, while paleomagnetic data reveal significant vertical-axis terrane rotations. We here review and interpret 17 paleomagnetic poles and >350 published detrital zircon data sets from the northern Appalachians and western Caledonides, using consistent and rigorous criteria for the selection and presentation of data. We place these data on an integrated stratigraphic chart to show timing relations and to seek constraints on the provenance and travel of terranes in the Iapetus Ocean. We distinguish groups of terranes that likely travelled together as terrane assemblages. In the Taconian/Grampian Orogeny, Furongian to Katian continent–arc collision involved off-margin blocks along the hyperextended Laurentian margin. In New England, early Taconian collision by 475 Ma involved the Gondwana-derived Moretown assemblage. An assemblage of the Bronson and Popelogan arc terranes probably arrived at the main Laurentian margin 25-30 Myr later. Subduction polarity reversal then led to the progressive accretion of additional terrane assemblages (Salinian Orogeny). The Miramichi–Victoria assemblage arrived close to the Ordovician–Silurian boundary. The Miramichi terrane underwent partial subduction in the Québec re-entrant, whereas the Victoria terrane was juxtaposed with the Newfoundland promontory without major metamorphism. In mid-Silurian time, an assemblage including the Gander terrane of Newfoundland and related portions of Britain and Ireland was accreted to Laurentia, along with Baltica (Scandian Orogeny). The St. Croix – La Poile assemblage may have been accreted slightly later, but is distinguished by the development of a Silurian arc–backarc system (coastal igneous belt) above a northwest-dipping subduction zone. The Avalon–Brookville assemblage encountered this system in Přídolí to Middle Devonian time (Acadian Orogeny), leading to the collapse of the backarc basin and northwest-vergent thrust emplacement onto Laurentia during sinistral transpression in the Appalachian Orogen. Acadian deformation involved mainly sinistral strike slip in Britain and Ireland. Several of the terranes that were accreted to the Laurentian margin carried internal records of earlier deformation that took place near Amazonia – West Africa in Early Ordovician time and earlier (Monian/Penobscottian Orogeny). The Iapetus Ocean thus contained a complex array of terranes, small ocean basins, arcs, and previously emplaced ophiolites analogous to modern southeast Asia. It closed to form a complex array of sutures in an orogen within which no single Iapetus suture can be clearly identified

    Paleolatitude and Tectonic Rotations of the Early Carboniferous Fountain Lake Group, Cobequid Highlands, Nova Scotia, Canada

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    The ca. 355 Ma Fountain Lake Group, in the Cobequid Highlands of Nova Scotia, is part of the transtensional basin fill which formed during dextral strike-slip motion between Avalonia and the Meguma terranes following the Acadian Orogeny. Paleomagnetic analysis of the Fountain Lake Group offers a paleolatitude estimate for the Laurentian accretionary margin in the Early Carboniferous and locality-specific paleomagnetic directions which indicate clockwise-sense block rotations during dextral strike-slip motion along the Cobequid Fault zone. Stepwise demagnetization of 142 specimens from 20 sites in three Fountain Lake Group localities across the Cobequid Highlands (Squally Point, West Moose River, and Wentworth exposures) reveals remanence consisting of an easily removed component of probable recent origin, and more persistent components carried by magnetite and hematite, which in petrographic and electron beam analysis appear to be of primary igneous and volcanic oxidation origins, respectively. Sites from all three localities carry stable characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) directions that assume similar moderate downward inclinations when tilt-corrected. A Block Rotation Fisher analysis inclination-only fold test demonstrated best agreement at 90% unfolding, showing that remanence acquisition pre-dates Alleghenian deformation in the Late Carboniferous and is most likely of primary 355 Ma age. Paleomagnetic results for the Squally Point, West Moose River and Wentworth localities show relative rotations between the blocks that are variously clockwise-rotated compared with a Laurentia cratonic reference frame. Inclinations at all three localities imply a subtropics paleolatitude for the margin (at Squally Point, 27.2 9.4; N= 7 sites), directly supporting the depicted location of Laurentia and its Appalachian accretionary margin in most Devonian to Early Carboniferous reconstructions.The accepted manuscript in pdf format is listed with the files at the bottom of this page. The presentation of the authors' names and (or) special characters in the title of the manuscript may differ slightly between what is listed on this page and what is listed in the pdf file of the accepted manuscript; that in the pdf file of the accepted manuscript is what was submitted by the author

    Determination of bulk density for small meteorite fragments via visible light 3-D laser imaging

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    Bulk density is an important intrinsic property of meteorites, but the necessary bulk volume measurement is difficult to do in a truly nondestructive way. Archimedean methods involving the displacement of a 40-100μm beads "fluid" are commonly applied, but can encounter systematic errors. Herein, we report a visible light laser imaging technique for the nondestructive measurement of meteorite surface features, allowing for the subsequent assembly of 3-D volumetric models; the method is particularly applicable to small meteorite fragments and to fragile specimens. We have acquired laser image data for 24 fragments from 18 ordinary chondrites, carbonaceous chondrites, and achondrites, with masses ranging from 265.0 to 1.2g. Laser imaging bulk density is consistent between sister fragments of meteorites down to sizes of about 0.5cm3, an order of magnitude smaller than can be reliably measured with Archimedean beads techniques. Uncertainty is less than 2% for fragments >4cm3, and typically between 2 and 4% for small fragments <4cm3. For 10 fragments, 3-D laser imaging volumes are on average 1.3% smaller than those obtained with Archimedean beads. In a wider comparison using 21 meteorite fragments, 3-D laser imaging bulk densities are on average 2.14±2.36% greater than the corresponding Archimedean method literature values for these meteorites. Difficulties in the procedure of 3-D image alignment may lead to a slight overestimation of meteorite bulk density, and so laser imaging-based bulk densities are maximum estimates that can be viewed as being complementary to the minimum bulk density estimates obtained using Archimedean beads methods

    Phanerozoic polar wander, palaeogeography and dynamics

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