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Fault-gouge dating in the Southern Alps, New Zealand
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 82017 (English)In: Tectonophysics, ISSN 0040-1951, E-ISSN 1879-3266, Vol. 717, p. 321-338Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We report two Ar-40/Ar-39 illite ages from fault gouge directly above the current trace of the Alpine Fault in New Zealand at Gaunt Creek (1.36 +/- 0.27 Ma) and Harold Creek (1.18 +/- 0.47 Ma), and one Ar-40/Ar-39 illite age from fault gouge from the Two Thumbs Fault on the east side of the Southern Alps. Metamorphic muscovite clasts inherited into the Alpine Fault gouge yielded Ar-40/Ar-39 ages of 2.04 +/- 0.3 Ma at Gaunt Creek and 11.46 +/- 0.47 Ma at Harold Creek. We also report Rb-Sr muscovite-based multimineral ages of Alpine Schist mylonite adjacent to the dated fault gouge at Harold Creek (13.1 +/- 43 Ma) and Gaunt Creek (8.9 +/- 3.2 Ma). Ar-40/Ar-39 muscovite ages from the Gaunt Creek mylonite yielded plateau ages of 1.47 +/- 0.08 Ma and 1.57 +/- 0.15 Ma. Finally, we report zircon fission track (0.79 +/- 0.11 and 0.81 +/- 0.17 Ma) and zircon (U-Th)/He ages (0.35 +/- 0.03 and 0.4 +/- 0.06 Ma) from Harold Creek.& para;& para;We interpret the fault gouge ages to date growth of newly formed illite during gouge formation at temperatures of similar to 300-350 degrees C towards the base of the seismogenic zone. Simple backcalculation using current uplift/exhumation and convergence rates, and dip angles of 45-60 degrees at the Alpine Fault support that interpretation. We infer that the fault gouge ages record faulting and gouge formation as the rocks passed very rapidly through the brittle-ductile transition zone on their way to the surface. Rb-Sr and Ar-40/Ar-39 ages on muscovite from Alpine Schist mylonite date muscovite growth at similar to 11 Ma together with a younger phase of cooling/shearing at similar to 1.5-2 Ma. Our ages from the Alpine Schist indicate extremely rapid cooling exceeding 200 degrees C/Ma. The fault gouge age from the Two Thumbs Fault is significantly too old to have formed as part of the late Neogene/Quaternary Southern Alps evolution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 717, p. 321-338
Keywords [en]
Fault gouge dating, Rb-Sr and Ar/Ar dating, Low-T thermochronology, Brittle-ductile transition, Tectonics, Plate-boundary processes
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-180148DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2017.08.007ISI: 000414879200023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-180148DiVA, id: diva2:1416782
Available from: 2020-03-25 Created: 2020-03-25 Last updated: 2020-03-25Bibliographically approved

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Ring, UweGlodny, JohannesThomson, Stuart N.Stübner, Konstanze
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