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Cone-in-cone (CIC) and beef (BF) carbonate lenses ornament detachment zone faults underlying Triassic growth basins on Edgeøya. Field relationships place CIC and BF growth as during early diagenesis and a transition from hydroplastic to a later brittle-style of faulting that is marked by coarser calcite veining. Deformation is constrained to have occurred at <300 m depth. Multiple models exist for CIC formation. For the Edgeøya example, textural analysis of thin-sections suggests that small tensile fractures and carbonate shell fragments nucleated development of calcite aggregates with CIC and BF morphology within unconsolidated to poorly consolidated sediment to form asymmetric antitaxial tensile aggregates subparallel to bedding and fault surfaces. The conical forms result from differential growth on stepped, cleavage-parallel faces of fibres facing host sediment, with preferential inclusion incorporation at inner corners. The preferred directions of calcite growth are attributed to local stresses and seepage flow associated with pore pressure gradients. Substantial framboidal pyrite in the sediments represents an early phase of microbially driven sulphate reduction, which may have induced calcite mineralization. The transition to brittle-style faulting was marked by development of deformation twins in CIC/BF fibres, and a transition to coarse, blocky calcite growth in relay arrays of steeply oriented microveins. This indicates local fault-related stresses substantially changed during shallow diagenesis and lithification, an evolution attributed to changing pore pressures, seepage forces and material moduli. Calcite mineralizations at Edgeøya track the very significant changes in mechanical properties and stress states that occur during synlithification deformation at very shallow crustal levels.
Alkaline rock and carbonatite complexes, including the Prairie Lake complex (NW Ontario), are widely distributed in the Canadian region of the Midcontinent Rift in North America. It has been suggested that these complexes were emplaced during the main stage of rifting magmatism and are related to a mantle plume. The Prairie Lake complex is composed of carbonatite, ijolite and potassic nepheline syenite. Two samples of baddeleyite from the carbonatite yield U–Pb ages of 1157.2±2.3 and 1158.2±3.8 Ma, identical to the age of 1163.6±3.6 Ma obtained for baddeleyite from the ijolite. Apatite from the carbonatite yields the same U–Pb age of ~1160 Ma using TIMS, SIMS and laser ablation techniques. These ages indicate that the various rocks within the complex were synchronously emplaced at about 1160 Ma. The carbonatite, ijolite and syenite have identical Sr, Nd and Hf isotopic compositions with a 87Sr/86Sr ratio of ~0.70254, and positive εNd(t)1160 and εHf(t)1160 values of ~+3.5 and ~+4.6, respectively, indicating that the silicate and carbonatitic rocks are co-genetic and related by simple fractional crystallization from a magma derived from a weakly depleted mantle. These age determinations extend the period of magmatism in the Midcontinent Rift in the Lake Superior area to 1160 Ma, but do not indicate whether the magmatism is associated with passive continental rifting or the initial stages of plume-induced rifting.
The Saxonian Cretaceous Basin constitutes an important source of rare Late Cretaceous marine amniote fossils from Germany. It is also historically famous, having been documented in a series of monographic works published by the distinguished German palaeontologist Hanns Bruno Geinitz in the nineteenth century. The most productive rock units include the upper Cenomanian Dölzschen Formation and upper Turonian Strehlen and Weinböhla limestones (lower Strehlen Formation). A survey of curated specimens recovered from these deposits has now identified isolated teeth of probable polycotylid and elasmosaurid plesiosaurians, as well as several humeri that are referred to protostegid marine turtles. The Saxonian Cretaceous Basin formed a continuous epeiric seaway with the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin during late Cenomanian – Turonian time. A western connection to the North Sea Basin also existed via the North German and Münsterland Cretaceous basins. The Mesozoic marine amniote remains from these regions therefore record a coeval northern European fauna that was probably homogeneous across the northern peri-Tethyan margin during Late Cretaceous time.
The stratigraphic variability and geochemistry of Llandovery/Wenlock (L/W) Series boundary sediments in Poland reveals that hemipelagic sedimentation under an anoxic/euxinic water column was interrupted by low-density bottom currents or detached diluted turbid layers that resulted in intermittent seafloor oxygenation. Total organic carbon values and inorganic proxies throughout the Wilków 1 borehole section suggest variable redox conditions. U/Mo ratios > 1 throughout much of the Aeronian and Telychian stages, together with an absence of pyrite framboids, suggest oxygenated conditions prevailed. However, elevated total organic carbon near the Aeronian/Telychian boundary, together with increased U/Th and V/(V + Ni) ratios and populations of small pyrite framboids are consistent with the development of dysoxic/anoxic conditions at that time. U/Th, V/Cr and V/(V + Ni) ratios, as well as Uauthig and Mo concentrations, suggest that during the Ireviken black shale deposition, bottom-water conditions deteriorated from oxic during Telychian time to mostly suboxic/anoxic immediately prior to the L/W boundary, before a brief reoxygenation at the end of the Ireviken black shale sedimentation in the Sheinwoodian Stage. Rapid fluctuations in U/Mo during the Ireviken Event are characteristic of fluctuating redox conditions that culminated in an anoxic/euxinic seafloor in Sheinwoodian time. Following Ireviken black shale deposition, conditions once again became oxygen deficient with the development of a euxinic zone in the water column. The Aeronian to Sheinwoodian deep-water redox history was unstable, and rapid fluctuations of the chemocline across the L/W Series boundary probably contributed to the Ireviken Event extinctions, which affected mainly pelagic and hemipelagic fauna.
The basaltic pillow lavas in the Liuyuan region of NW China, considered to be part of an ophiolitic suite, have been central to the models on tectonic setting, evolution and timing of the final closure of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean. New field evidence on the sedimentary units associated with the basalts reveals comparable sequences in the northern and southern flanks of the Liuyuan Volcanic Belt with coarse to fine sediments from periphery to the centre. The dacites and rhyolites formed coevally with the pillow basalts. The pillow basalts are interlayered with lacustrine sandstone, claystone and clayey lake deposits. Detrital zircons from these sediments yield zircon U–Pb ages of 291–285 Ma. Andesites, dacites and rhyolites from the basaltic sequence yield U–Pb ages of 280–277 Ma, similar to the 282–280 Ma ages of gabbros that intrude the pillow lavas. All these rocks cover the 460–440 Ma granite and greenschist basement and have been intruded by gabbros of c. 272 Ma age, with subsequent (230–227 Ma) north–south contractional thrusting and folding. The data from our study are incompatible with the existing models that consider the basalts as part of an ophiolitic suite. Along the northern continental margin of China from west to east, the Tarim, Dunhuang-Alxa and North China cratonic areas all show evidence for regional extension through rifting during early–middle Permian time. These rift features and basaltic eruptions occurred coevally with the assembly of various microcontinental blocks against the Siberian craton at c. 300–250 Ma, synchronous with amalgamation of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) on the northern side of the Liuyuan Rift. These events were also broadly synchronous with formation of the global supercontinent Pangea.
The late Palaeoproterozoic to early Mesoproterozoic igneous rocks of southwestern China are characterized by a number of mafic intrusions and dykes. However, the origin and tectonic implications of these mafic intrusions and dykes remain unclear. The Hekou mafic intrusion, intruding into the Hekou Group in the Hekou area, SW China, is the biggest and most representative one. The intrusion is mainly composed of coarse-grained in the central zone (CZ) and medium- to fine-grained gabbroic rocks in the outer zone (OZ). Cameca secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) U–Pb zircon ages, and geochemical and Nd isotopic results for the intrusion are reported in this paper. SIMS U–Pb zircon ages indicate that the gabbroic rocks from the CZ and OZ were emplaced at 1735±6.5 Ma and 1736±4.0 Ma, respectively. This suggests that the Hekou intrusion originated from c. 1.7 Ga mafic magmatism in the southwestern Yangtze Block. The coarse-grained rocks in the CZ of the intrusion show fairly homogeneous major- and trace-element compositions. In contrast, the medium- to fine-grained rocks from the OZ display slightly evolved compositions, with relatively lower Mg nos, MgO, Al2O3, Cr and Ni contents, and higher SiO2, CaO and Zr concentrations than those of the rocks from the CZ. Although the gabbroic rocks of the intrusion have low total rare earth element (REE) contents (REE = 29.3–40.2 ppm) with slightly light REE (LREE)-enriched and heavy REE (HREE)-depleted patterns, they exhibit distinct trace-element and Nd isotopic features. The rocks from the CZ are characterized by slightly LREE-enriched and ‘convex upwards’ incompatible trace-element patterns with significant Th depletion and insignificant Nb and Ta depletion relative to La. However, the rocks from the OZ have relatively flatter REE patterns than those of the rocks from the CZ. In addition, the rocks from the OZ are slightly enriched in Th and depleted in Nb and Ta relative to La. The εNd(T) values of the CZ and the OZ rocks are +0.70 to +2.3 and −0.30 to +0.24, respectively. The parental magma for the Hekou gabbroic intrusion exhibits affinity with a subalkaline basaltic magma, which was possibly generated by relatively high degrees of partial melting of a slightly depleted asthenospheric mantle source. Their geochemical and isotopic variations were due to slight crystal fractionation with varying degrees of crustal contamination. The Hekou intrusion was therefore supposed to form in an anorogenic extensional environment. It is further suggested that c. 1.7 Ga is an important onset timing of widespread anorogenic magmatism in the southwestern Yangtze Block. We interpret the late Palaeoproterozoic gabbroic intrusion to represent anorogenic mafic magmatism, which was most likely related to the break-up of the Columbia supercontinent.
A rationalized lithostratigraphy for the Great Scar Limestone Group of the southeast Askrigg Block is established. The basal Chapel House Limestone Formation, assessed from boreholes, comprises shallow-marine to supratidal carbonates that thin rapidly northwards across the Craven Fault System, onlapping a palaeotopographical high of Lower Palaeozoic strata. The formation is of late Arundian age in the Silverdale Borehole, its northernmost development. The overlying Kilnsey Formation represents a southward-thickening and upward-shoaling carbonate development on a S-facing carbonate ramp. Foraminiferal/algal assemblages suggest a late Holkerian and early Asbian age, respectively, for the uppermost parts of the lower Scaleber Force Limestone and upper Scaleber Quarry Limestone members, significantly younger than previously interpreted. The succeeding Malham Formation comprises the lower Cove Limestone and upper Gordale Limestone members. Foraminiferal/algal assemblages indicate a late Asbian age for the formation, contrasting with the Holkerian age previously attributed to the Cove Limestone. The members reflect a change from a partially shallow-water lagoon (Cove Limestone) to more open-marine shelf (Gordale Limestone), coincident with the onset of marked sea-level fluctuations and formation of palaeokarstic surfaces with palaeosoils in the latter. Facies variations along the southern flank of the Askrigg Block, including an absence of fenestral lime-mudstone in the upper part of the Cove Limestone and presence of dark grey cherty grainstone/packstone in the upper part the Gordale Limestone are related to enhanced subsidence during late Asbian movement on the Craven Fault System. This accounts for the marked thickening of both members towards the Greenhow Inlier.
One of the few and most complete records of the MDICE (Middle Darriwilian Isotope Carbon Excursion) is herein documented from Baltoscandia. Based on a core section penetrating the condensed Lower–Middle Ordovician succession (~46 m) on the island of Öland, southeastern Sweden, we provide an integrated scheme for carbon isotope chemostratigraphy (313 samples) and conodont biostratigraphy (29 samples) for this period. The carbonate succession in the Tingskullen core records 12 conodont zones and 6 subzones, including the Oepikodus evae, Trapezognathus diprion, Baltoniodus triangularis, B. navis, B. norrlandicus, Lenodus antivariabilis, L. variabilis, Yangtzeplacognathus crassus, Eoplacognathus pseudoplanus (Microzarkodina hagetiana and Microzarkodina ozarkodella subzones), E. suecicus, Pygodus serra (E. foliaceus, E. reclinatus, E. robustus and E. lindstroemi subzones) and Pygodus anserinus zones in ascending order. The δ13Ccarb record reveals an apparently complete record of the MDICE, including a rising limb, a well-defined peak and a falling limb. The anomaly covers a thickness of c. 27 m in the core and spans the Eoplacognathus pseudoplanus, E. suecicus, Pygodus serra and P. anserinus conodont zones. Combined with the new, detailed conodont biostratigraphy, the MDICE in the Tingskullen core can be used for detailed correlation with successions from Baltica, North America, the Argentine Precordillera, South China and North China.
The Podolsko complex, Bohemian Massif, is a high-grade dome that is exposed along the suprastructure–infrastructure boundary of the Variscan orogen and records snapshots of its protracted evolution. The dome is cored by leucocratic migmatites and anatectic granites that enclose relics of high- to ultrahigh-pressure rocks and is mantled by biotite migmatites and paragneisses whose degree of anatexis decreases outwards. Our new U–Pb zircon ages indicate that the leucocratic migmatites were derived from Early Ordovician (c. 480 Ma) felsic igneous crust; the same age is inferred for melting the proto-source of the metapelitic migmatites. The relics of high- to ultrahigh-pressure rocks suggest that at least some portions of the complex witnessed an early Variscan subduction to mantle depths, followed by high-temperature anatexis and syntectonic growth of the Podolsko dome in the middle crust at c. 340–339 Ma. Subsequently, the dome exhumation was accommodated by crustal-scale extensional detachments. Similar c. 340 Ma ages have also been reported from other segments of the Variscan belt, yet the significance of this tectonothermal event remains uncertain. Here we conclude that the 340 Ma age post-dates the high-pressure metamorphism; the high temperatures required to cause the observed isotopic resetting and new growth of zircon were probably caused by heat input from the underlying mantle and, finally, the extensional unroofing of the complex requires a minimum throw of about 8–10 km. We use this as an argument for significant early Carboniferous palaeotopography in the interior of the Variscan orogen.
Gravitational collapse occurs during the mature evolution of orogenic belts, but its signature is difficult to discriminate in macroscopic structures from that of pre-, syn- or late-/post-orogenic extension, so reliable mesoscopic examples are particularly useful. A composite fabric developed along a lateral thrust ramp in the Apennines reveals mesoscopic normal faults that truncate the thrust surface, overprint the S-fabric and merge downwards in a foreland-directed splay, leaving the thrust footwall undeformed. These relationships indicate syn-/late-thrusting extension, which we interpret as induced by hanging-wall gravitational collapse. Our study provides critical constraints for reconstructing the kinematic evolution of collapsing thrust fronts.
Southwestern Europe is one of the best regions for characterizing the dinosaur assemblages that prevailed just before the end-Cretaceous extinction. Aiming to better document this scenario, we provide the first evidence of dinosaur skin impressions in the red-beds of the Tremp Formation (southern Pyrenees). The impressions are assigned to sauropods (probably titanosaurians) on the basis of their scale morphology, arrangement and size. They represent a valuable tool for analysing the last occurrences of the sauropod clade before the K–Pg extinction, as they fall within chron C29r (latest Maastrichtian), thus representing some of the last in situ remains of this clade worldwide.