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Age-constraints on fabric reactivation in the Tusas Range, northern New Mexico, using electron-microprobe monazite geochronology; implications for the nature of regional approximately 1400 Ga deformation

TitleAge-constraints on fabric reactivation in the Tusas Range, northern New Mexico, using electron-microprobe monazite geochronology; implications for the nature of regional approximately 1400 Ga deformation
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsKopera, JP, Williams, ML, Jercinovic, MJ
Conference NameAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America
Pagination180 - 180
Date Published2002/10/01/
PublisherGeological Society of America (GSA) : Boulder, CO, United States
Conference LocationUnited States
ISBN Number00167592
Keywords#StaffPubs, dates, deformation, electron probe data, fabric, folds, geochronology, Geochronology 03, geometry, in situ, Laurentia, Mesoproterozoic, metamorphism, monazite, New Mexico, northern New Mexico, orogeny, Ortega Group, overgrowths, phosphates, Precambrian, preferred orientation, proterozoic, reactivation, Southwestern U.S., strain, structural analysis, Structural geology 16, synclines, tectonics, Tusas Mountains, United States, upper Precambrian, zoning

A key issue in constructing models for the southward growth of Laurentia during the Proterozoic is distinguishing the effects of approximately 1650 Ma and approximately 1400 Ma tectonism. These events share similar styles of deformation and metamorphism, making it difficult to assign structures, fabrics, and metamorphic phases to a particular event. The fundamental geometry of this orogen in the southwestern United States is defined in many areas by fold-fault pairs and isolated synclines of thick approximately 1700 Ma quartzite. In-situ EMP chemical dating of monazite, combined with detailed structural analysis, indicates that such synclines within the Tusas Range of northern New Mexico (locally F (sub 3) ) were substantially modified, if not developed, during approximately 1400 Ma tectonism. Monazite grains from the Ortega quartzite in the central Tusas Range display a shape preferred orientation parallel to the axial-planar fabric of these folds (S (sub 3) ), with overgrowth rims preferentially developed in the X direction of strain. These monazite grains have either >1700 Ma cores or approximately 1650 Ma cores with approximately 1400 Ma overgrowth rims, or are entirely approximately 1400 Ma in age. Field and microstructural observations show that the upright, east-west trending F (sub 3) and S (sub 3) are reactivations of older, northwest-trending fabrics and structures. The presence of approximately 1650 Ma overgrowth rims on monazite grains from the central and northern Tusas Range implies that these folds and fabrics may have nucleated prior to approximately 1400 Ma tectonism. Previous studies have shown an increase in approximately 1400 Ma monazite ages from north to south within the range, consistent with a similar increase in metamorphic grade. This gradient suggests that the central and northern Tusas may have been at progressively shallower crustal levels during approximately 1400 Ma tectonism, thus increasing the preservation of older fabrics, structures, and metamorphic monazite from south to north within the range. These observations support the hypothesis that approximately 1400 Ma tectonism locally reactivated and utilized pre-existing structures and fabrics, but had also profoundly shaped the geometry and metamorphic character of the orogen.

Short TitleAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America
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