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The presence of recently intruded granites at Earth’s surface suggests that their exhumation may have occurred rapidly. The Neogene granites of the Tuscan Magmatic Province (Italy) were emplaced during a period of extensional tectonics and are ideal for determining and quantifying the exhumation process. The peraluminous monzogranite of Giglio Island in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea is characterized by the presence of roof pendants, xenoliths and miarolitic cavities. The petrologic study of metamorphic xenoliths and new zircon U–Pb ages show that the granite was emplaced at 6.4–10 km depth at 5.7 ± 0.4 Ma. Exhumation, constrained by apatite (U–Th)/He ages, was essentially complete in 0.9 Myr at a minimum rate of 6 mm/year. This requires rapid tectonic unroofing, isostatic rebound and thermal softening activity, weakening the upper crust and favouring exhumation at a previously undocumented rate.
A remarkable specimen of the actinopterygian fish Pachycormus macropterus from the Early Jurassic (Toarcian) Posidonienschiefer Formation of Germany exceptionally preserves an unusually large ammonite inside its gut. The ammonite was swallowed by the fish, likely by accident, and represents the first direct evidence for an actinopterygian fish consuming an ammonoid. Exceptional aragonite preservation of the conch retaining partial nacreous lustre, combined with only minor acid etching of the shell, strongly indicates that the ammonite was ingested immediately prior to and was directly responsible for the fish’s death. The fish’s stomach provided a microenvironment protecting the aragonite from chemical dissolution.
Structural analysis, petrochronology and metamorphic petrology enable identification and bracketing of the timing of a newly mapped high-temperature ductile shear zone (Jagat Shear Zone (JSZ)) in the Himalayan metamorphic core in Central-Western Nepal. In situ U-Th-Pb monazite petrochronology constrains the timing of top-to-the-S/SW shearing between 28–27 Ma and 17 Ma. Burial and prograde metamorphisms in footwall rocks were linked to thrust-sense movement along the JSZ, while the hanging wall rocks were retrogressed and exhumed. The identification and age of the JSZ (as part of a regional system of shear zones: the High Himalayan Discontinuity (HHD)) coupled with the localization and timing of activity of the Main Central Thrust (MCT) (i) fills a gap in tracing the HHD along orogenic strike, (ii) supports the identification of the position and timing of the long-debated MCT and (iii) helps to place the boundaries of the Himalayan metamorphic core and its internal architecture. Thus, our study is a significant step towards a precise identification of the burial, assembly and exhumation mechanisms of the Himalayan metamorphic core.
We present kinematic, radiometric, geochemical and PT data, which help to constrain the tectonometamorphic evolution of the Tripolitza Unit (TPU). The age of both the metamorphic peak (P = 0.4 ±0.2 GPa, T = ca. 310 °C) and top-to-the WNW mylonitic thrusting, attributed to the emplacement of the hanging Pindos nappe, has been constrained at 19 ±2.5 Ma using Rb-Sr on synkinematic white mica of a basal mylonite of NW Crete. This early tectonic event is also documented by the oldest generation of veins, which cut through less metamorphic (T = 240 ±15 °C) late Bartonian/Priabonian Nummulite limestone exposed as olistolith in TPU flysch of central Crete. Calcite of these veins yielded a similar U-Pb age at 20 ±6 Ma. U-Pb dating of matrix calcite, on the other hand, reflect the time of sedimentation (38.4 ±5.7 Ma and 37.6 ±1.2 Ma), which is in line with the faunal content of the black limestone. Geochemical data and U-Pb calcite ages of fibres of the Nummulite test (32.3 ±3.1 Ma and 34.6 ±0.9 Ma) suggest unexpected pseudomorphic fibre replacement during late Priabonian/early Rupelian diagenesis. Additional calcite veins, which developed at ca. 10–11 and 7 – 9 Ma (U-Pb on calcite), are attributed to top-to-the S thrusting and subsequent extension, respectively. The resulting anticlockwise rotation of the shortening direction within the TPU from WNW-ESE at ca. 20 Ma to N-S at ca. 10 Ma has significant implications for the geodynamic evolution of the External Hellenides.
An attempt has been made to illustrate the evolution of pelitic granulite from south of the Balaram-Abu road, which lies in the South Delhi Terrane (SDT) of the Aravalli-Delhi Mobile Belt (ADMB), using geochemistry and geochronology. The current work offers a plausible explanation for the protolith of pelitic granulite, nature of the sediments and its provenance. The elemental geochemistry of the pelitic granulites reveals that the protolith is an arkosic to shaley type. The rare earth elements pattern shows that there is a negative Eu anomaly and a small excess of LREE over HREE. This means that the source of sediments probably has the same elements as the upper crust. However, the amounts of Sr, Nd and Pb vary a lot, which shows that the sediments supplied from two different types of sources (felsic and mafic) in different proportions from a Proterozoic terrain. The monazite geochronology indicates that the metamorphic overprint occurred between 797 Ma and 906 Ma. Additionally, the ages correlate to the debris that was formed between the 1188 Ma and 1324 Ma from magmatic/sedimentary sources for pelitic granulite. The present research provides a more in-depth understanding of the evolutionary history of the pelitic granulite that comprises the SDT in the ADMB region during the Proterozoic era.
The glaciogenic nature of the Yudnamutana Subgroup was first recognized over a century ago, and its global significance was recognized shortly after, with the eventual postulation of a global Sturtian Glaciation and Snowball Earth theory. Much debate on the origin and timing of these rocks, locally and globally, has ensued in the years since. A significant corpus of research on the lithology, sedimentology, geochronology and formal lithostratigraphy of these sequences globally has attempted to resolve many of these debates. In the type area for the Sturtian Glaciation, South Australia’s Adelaide Superbasin, the lithostratigraphy and sedimentology are well understood; however, formal stratigraphic nomenclature has remained complicated and contested. Absolute dates on the stratigraphy are also extremely sparse in this area. The result of these longstanding issues has been disagreement as to whether the sedimentary rocks of the Yudnamutana Subgroup are truly correlative throughout South Australia, and if they were deposited in the same time span recently defined for Sturtian glacial rocks globally, c. 717 Ma to c. 660 Ma. This study presents a large detrital zircon study, summarizes and compiles existing global geochronology for the Sturtian Glaciation and revises the formal lithostratigraphic framework of the Yudnamutana Subgroup. We show equivalence of the rocks that comprise the revised Sturt Formation, the main glaciogenic unit of the Yudnamutana Subgroup, and that it was deposited within the time span globally defined for the Sturtian Glaciation.
Paleoproterozoic massive Cu-Zn±Pb±Au±Ag sulphide deposits metamorphosed to the middle-upper amphibolite facies in central-south Colorado formed in a volcanic arc setting on the edge of the Yavapai crustal province. Previously published U-Pb ages on spatially related granitoids range from ∼1.9 to ∼1.1 Ga, while Pb isotope studies on galena from massive sulphides suggest mineralization formed at around 1.8–1.7 Ga. Some deposits in the Dawson-Green Mountain trend (DGMT) and the Gunnison belt are composed of Cu-Zn-Au-(Pb-Ag) mineralization that were overprinted by later Au-(Ag-Cu-Bi-Se-Te) mineralization. Sulphide mineralization is spatially related to amphibolite and bimodal, mafic-felsic volcanic rocks (gabbro, amphibolite, rhyolite and dacite) and granitoids, but it occurs mostly in biotite-garnet-quartz±sillimanite±cordierite schists and gneisses, spatially related to nodular sillimanite rocks, and in some locations, exhalative rocks (iron formations, gahnite-rich rocks and quartz-garnetite). The major metallic minerals of the massive sulphides include chalcopyrite, sphalerite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, and magnetite, with minor galena and gahnite. Altered rocks intimately associated with mineralization primarily consist of various amphiboles (gedrite, tremolite and hornblende), gahnite, biotite, garnet, cordierite, carbonate and rare högbomite. The Zn/Cd ratios of sphalerite (44 to 307) in deposits in the DGMT fall within the range of global volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits but overlap with sphalerite from sedimentary exhalative (Sedex) deposits. Sulphur isotope values of sulphides (δ34S = −3.3 to +6.5) suggest sulphur was largely derived from magmatic sources, and that variations in isotopic values resulting from thermochemical sulphate reduction are due to small differences in physicochemical conditions. The preferred genetic model is for the deposits to be bimodal-mafic (Gunnison) to mafic-siliciclastic VMS deposits (Cotopaxi, Cinderella-Bon Ton, DGMT).
The Hindu Raj region of northern Pakistan is situated between the Karakoram to the east and the Hindu Kush to the west. Both the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush are better studied and have well-documented, distinct geological histories. Investigation of the Hindu Raj region has been mainly limited to reconnaissance exploration and as such little is known about its tectonometamorphic history and whether that history is similar to its neighbouring areas. Analysis of new specimens collected along the Yasin Valley within the Hindu Raj region outline mid-to-Late Cretaceous pluton emplacement (ca. 105 and 95 Ma). Some of those plutonic rocks were metamorphosed to ∼750 ± 30 °C and 0.65 ± 0.05 GPa during the ca. 80–75 Ma docking of the Kohistan arc. A record of this collisional event is well-preserved to the west in the Hindu Kush and variably so to the east in the Hunza Karakoram. A subsequent, ca. 61 Ma, thermal event is partially preserved in Rb–Sr geochronology from the Hindu Raj, which overlaps with sillimanite-grade metamorphism in the Hunza portion of the Karakoram region to the east. Finally, apatite U–Pb and in situ Rb–Sr both record a late Eocene thermal/fluid event likely related to the India-Asia collision. These new data outline a complex geological history within the Hindu Raj, one that shares similarities with both adjacent regions. The information about the tectonometamorphic development of the Hindu Raj is important to gaining a detailed view of the geological characteristics of the southern Asian margin prior to the India-Asia collision.
Silicic magmatism, minor overall in the ∼65.5 Ma Deccan Traps continental flood basalt (CFB) province of India, was widespread in the Saurashtra region. We describe the physical volcanology of silicic volcanics and dykes exposed around Rajula–Savarkundla–Gariyadhar–Talaja towns in southeastern Saurashtra. The silicic volcanics conformably overlie basaltic lavas, suggesting rapid subaerial volcanism, and the sequence shows gentle tectonic dips (∼15°) towards the Arabian Sea. Rhyolites and dacites with preserved thicknesses of tens of metres show intense internal rheomorphic deformation, and a dacite shows a well-formed basal autobreccia. The rheomorphic rhyolites, and vitrophyres which often underlie them, lack vitroclasts (glass shards and pumice clasts). They have very similar mineral assemblages (quartz and alkali feldspar phenocrysts, and crystal cargoes dominated by calcic plagioclase and clinopyroxene or orthopyroxene, sometimes with olivine). The rheomorphic units are thus flood rhyolite and dacite lavas, apparently common in the northern-northwestern Deccan, and the vitrophyres their basal chilled parts. Tuffs (including crystal-vitric Plinian fallout ash) and eutaxitic ignimbrites formed from pyroclastic density currents; one tuff contains extraordinary numbers of lithophysae. Ridges of rhyolitic tuff breccias with pervasive secondary silicification and ferruginization represent pyroclastic eruptive fissures. The area thus records large-scale effusive and explosive silicic eruptions. Mafic and silicic dykes intrude the basaltic lavas and rarely the silicic volcanics. Mafic enclaves in several silicic dykes and some volcanics indicate magma mingling as a common phenomenon. The seaward-dipping volcanic units define a regional-scale flexure comparable to coastal flexures in CFB provinces worldwide, suggesting extensive block-faulting of this classical volcanic rifted margin.
As the southernmost part of the central segment of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt, the northern Alxa area is characterized by abundant Permian magmatism and records key information on the geological evolution of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean. This study reports new zircon U–Pb and Lu–Hf isotopic and whole-rock geochemical data of the early Permian (285–286 Ma) Huisentala gabbro and Huodonghaer diorites from the Zhusileng–Hangwula Belt in the northern Alxa area. The gabbro is characterized by high Al, Ca, Mg# and light rare-earth elements, and low K, P and high field strength elements (e.g., Ti, Nb and Ta). Furthermore, the gabbro shows heterogeneous zircon ϵHf(t) value (−2.5 to +2.6). The Huodonghaer diorites show high MgO (3.46–6.32 wt%), Mg# (49–58), Sr (408–617 ppm) and Ba (223–419 ppm), and low FeOT/MgO (1.27–1.83) and TiO2 (0.48–0.90 wt%), with geochemical features similar to the high-Mg andesite/diorite. They show radiogenic zircon ϵHf(t) values of +1.2 to +4.9 and high Th/Nb ratios. These features suggest that the Huisentala gabbro and the Huodonghaer diorites were derived from the partial melting of mantle peridotite that was metasomatized by subduction-related fluids and by subducted sediment-derived melts, respectively.
Modern grasslands on the Indian subcontinent, North and South America, and East Africa expanded widely during the late Miocene – earliest Pleistocene, likely in response to increasing aridity. Grasses utilizing the C4 photosynthetic pathway are more tolerant of high temperatures and dry conditions, and because they induce less C isotope fractionation than plants using the C3 pathway, the expansion of C4 grasslands can be traced through the δ13C of organic matter in soils and terrigenous marine sediments. We present a high-resolution record of the elemental and isotopic composition of bulk organic matter in the Nicobar Fan sediments from IODP Site U1480, off western Sumatra, to elucidate the timing and pace of the C3–C4 plant transition within the ∼1.5 × 106 km2 catchments of the Ganges/Brahmaputra river system, which continue to supply voluminous Himalaya-derived sediments to the Bay of Bengal. Using a multi-proxy approach to correct for the effects of marine organic matter and account for major sources of uncertainty, we recognize two phases of C4 expansion starting at ∼7.1 Ma, and at ∼3.5 Ma, with a stepwise transition at ∼2.5 Ma. These intervals appear to coincide with periods of Indian Ocean and East Asian monsoon intensification, as well as the expansion of Northern Hemisphere glaciation starting at ∼2.7 Ma. Our data from the deep sea for a multi-phased C4 expansion on the Indian subcontinent are in agreement with terrestrial data from the Indian Siwaliks.