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Abstract

Major, trace and rare earth element data for sandstones and conglomerates from the Mid-Permian–Mid-Triassic Maitai Group are compared with other tectonostratigraphic units, using discrimination diagrams and comparisons with potential source terranes. Maitai Group sandstones reveal a mainly ophiolitic–oceanic-arc source during the Mid-Permian, followed by a mixed continental margin-arc–terrigenous source during the Late Permian. Latest Permian–Early Triassic sandstones mainly came from little-evolved continental margin-arc extrusives, tending to more evolved (but variable) during the Triassic. Source volcanism of the Murihiku Terrane sandstones was magmatically evolved relative to the Maitai Group generally (except during the Late Triassic). The Maitai Group and Murihiku Terrane are restored as proximal and more distal parts, respectively, of the SE Gondwana forearc basin. The localized Willsher Group shows some Maitai Group affinities. Sandstones in two melanges that formed in an outer forearc–subduction trench setting mainly indicate a mixed terrigenous–continental margin-arc source, similar to the Late Permian Maitai Group. The Caples Terrane, a Triassic accretionary prism, received detritus from little-evolved, to evolved continental margin-arc volcanics and terrigenous sources. Much of the arc-related material in all units is compatible with derivation from the latest Permian–Triassic Median Batholith, or a lateral equivalent along the SE Gondwana active margin.

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