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Two‐Stage Cooling and Exhumation of Deeply Subducted Continents
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology. (Vegacenter)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5827-8043
2019 (English)In: Tectonics, ISSN 0278-7407, E-ISSN 1944-9194Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The burial and exhumation of continental crust during collisional orogeny exert a strong controlon the dynamics of mountain belts and plateaus. Constraining the rates and style of exhumation of deeply buried crust has proven difficult due to complexities in the local geology and thermochronometric methods typically used. To advance this field, we applied trace‐element and U‐Pb laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analyses to rutile from eclogite and amphibolite samples from the Western Gneiss Complex of Norway—an archetypal continental (ultra)high‐pressure (UHP) terrane. Peak temperature and timing of midcrustal cooling were constrained for samples collected along a subduction‐ and exhumation‐parallel transect, using Zr‐in‐rutile thermometry and U‐Pb rutile geochronology, respectively. Peak temperatures decrease from 830 °C in the UHP domain to 730 °C at the UHP‐HP transition, remain constant at 730 °C across most of the terrane, and decrease to 620 °C at the eclogite‐out boundary. U‐Pb results show that most of the terrane cooled through 500 °C at 380–375 Ma except for the lowest grade region, where cooling occurred approximately 20 million years earlier. The results indicate that exhumation was a two stage process, involving (1) flexural rebound and slab flattening at depth combined with foreland‐directed extrusion, followed by (2) synchronous cooling below 500 °C across the, by then, largely flat‐lying Western Gneiss Complex. The latter implies and requires relatively homogeneous mass removal across a large area, consistent with erosion of an overlying orogenic plateau. The Caledonides were at near‐equatorial latitudes at the time. A Caledonian paleo‐plateau thus may represent a so far unrecognized factor in Devonian and Carboniferous atmospheric circulation and climate forcing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Geology
Research subject
The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3618OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3618DiVA, id: diva2:1376003
Available from: 2019-12-06 Created: 2019-12-06 Last updated: 2019-12-06Bibliographically approved

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