Integrating 40Ar-39Ar, 87Rb-87Sr and 147Sm-143Nd geochronology of authigenic illite to evaluate tectonic reactivation in an intraplate setting, central Australia

Middleton, Alexander W., Uysal, I. Tonguc, Bryan, Scott E., Hall, Chris M., & Golding, Suzanne D. (2014) Integrating 40Ar-39Ar, 87Rb-87Sr and 147Sm-143Nd geochronology of authigenic illite to evaluate tectonic reactivation in an intraplate setting, central Australia. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 134, pp. 155-171.

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Abstract

The Warburton-Cooper basins, central Australia, include a multitude of reactivated fracture-fault networks related to a complex, and poorly understood, tectonic evolution. We investigated authigenic illites from a granitic intrusion and sedimentary rocks associated with prominent structural features (Gidgealpa-Merrimelia-Innamincka Ridge and the Nappamerri Trough). These were analysed by 40Ar-39Ar, 87Rb-87Sr and 147Sm-143Nd geochronology to explore the thermal and tectonic histories of central Australian basins. The combined age data provide evidence for three major periods of fault reactivation throughout the Phanerozoic. While Carboniferous (323.3 ± 9.4 Ma) and Late Triassic ages (201.7 ± 9.3 Ma) derive from basin-wide hydrothermal circulation, Cretaceous ages (~128 to ~86 Ma) reflect episodic fluid flow events restricted to the synclinal Nappamerri Trough. Such events result from regional extensional tectonism derived from the transferral of far-field stresses to mechanically and thermally weakened regions of the Australian continent. Specifically, Cretaceous ages reflect continent-wide transmission of tensional stress from a > 2500 km long rifting event on the Eastern (and southern) Australian margin associated with break-up of Gondwana and opening of the Tasman Sea. By integrating 40Ar-39Ar, 87Rb-87Sr and 147Sm-143Nd dating, this study highlights the use of authigenic illite in temporally constraining the tectonic evolution of intracontinental basins that would otherwise remain unknown. Furthermore, combining Sr- and Ar-isotopic systems enables more accurate dating of authigenesis whilst significantly reducing geochemical pitfalls commonly associated with these radioisotopic dating methods.

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ID Code: 69711
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Geochronology, illite dating, Central Australia, Cretaceous
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.02.048
ISSN: 0016-7037
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOLOGY (040300) > Basin Analysis (040301)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOLOGY (040300) > Geochronology (040303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOLOGY (040300) > Tectonics (040313)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, [In Press] DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.02.048
Deposited On: 02 Apr 2014 22:42
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2016 14:11

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