The Tasmanides of eastern Australia
Published:January 01, 2005
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.
Figures & Tables
Terrane Processes at the Margins of Gondwana
The Australide orogen, the southern hemisphere Neoproterozoic to Mesozoic terrane accretionary orogen that forms the palaeo-Pacific margin of Gondwana, is one of the largest and longest-lived orogens on Earth. This book brings together a series of reviews and multidisciplinary research papers that comprehensively cover the Australides from the Tasman orogen of eastern Australia to the Neoproterozoic and Palaeozoic orogens of South America, taking in New Zealand and Antarctica along the way. It deals with the evolution of the southern Gondwana margin, as it grew during a series of terrane accretion episodes from the late Proterozoic through to final fragmentation in mid-Cretaceous times. Global perspectives are given by comparison with the Palaeozoic northern Gondwana margin and documentation of world-wide terrane accretion episodes in the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic and mid-Cretaceous. The Tasmanides of eastern Australia, and the terrane histories of New Zealand and souther South America are given comprehensive up-to-date reviews.