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Abstract

The Tasmanides of eastern Australia record the break-up of Rodinia, followed by the growth of orogenic belts along the eastern margin of Gondwana. Spatially, the Tasmanides comprise five orogenic belts, with an internal Permian-Triassic rift-foreland basin system. Temporally, the Tasmanides comprise three (super)cycles, each encompassing relatively long periods of sedimentation and igneous activity, terminated by short deformational events. The Neoproterozoic-earliest Ordovician Delamerian cycle began by rifting, followed by convergent margin tectonism and accretion of island-arc forearc crust and ?island arcs in the Middle-Late Cambrian. The Ordovician-Carboniferous convergent margin Lachlan supercycle consists of three separate cycles, each ending in major deformation. The Ordovician Benambran cycle includes convergent (island-arc) and transform margin activity terminated by terrane accretion in the latest Ordovician-earliest Silurian. The Silurian-Middle Devonian Tabberabberan cycle reflects development of a large back-arc basin system, marked by rift basins and granite batholiths, behind intra-oceanic arcs and an Ordovician-Early Devonian terrane that were accreted in the Middle Devonian. The Middle Devonian to Carboniferous Kanimblan cycle began by rifting, followed by continental sedimentation inboard of a major convergent margin system that forms the early part of the Late Devonian-Triassic Hunter-Bowen supercycle. This supercycle comprises a Late Devonian-Carboniferous continental arc, forearc basin and outboard accreted terranes and subduction complexes intruded by the roots of a Permian-Triassic continental margin arc. Complex deformation ended with accretion of an intra-oceanic arc in the Early Triassic. Key features of the Tasmanides are: continuity of cycles across and along its length, precluding growth by simple eastwards accretion; development of a segmented plate margin in the Late Cambrian, reflected by major rollback of the proto-Pacific plate opposite the southern part of the Tasmanides; rifting of parts of the Delamerian margin oceanwards, to form substrate to outboard parts of the Tasmanides; the presence of five major Ordovician terranes in the Lachlan Orogen; and the generation of deformations either by the accretion of arcs, the largely orogen-parallel ‘transpressive’ accretion of Ordovician turbidite terranes (in the Lachlan Orogen), or by changes in plate coupling.

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