Abstract

The regionally significant 0.5–2 km thick Høybakken detachment in central Norway bounds the southern margin of the Central Norway Basement Window and exhibits a well-developed top-to-the-WSW fabric characteristic of late Scandian, Devonian ductile extension. 40Ar–39Ar data obtained from hornblende, mica and K-feldspar mineral separates of rocks collected in a transect through the Høybakken detachment yield well-defined plateau and isochron mineral ages. Early Devonian exhumation and cooling of the Høybakken detachment footwall is recorded by hornblende ages of ~ 400 Ma and mica ages of ~ 390 Ma. The mylonitic fabric overlying the footwall records younger Middle Devonian mica crystallization ages of 384–381 Ma that are among the youngest extensional ductile fabrics dated in the Caledonides and suggest prolonged extensional activity on the Høybakken detachment. After inferred cessation of ductile extension at 381 Ma, the rate of uplift and cooling was reduced, and the footwall records Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous K-feldspar ages of 371–356 Ma. Prolonged extensional activity at Høybakken is compatible with recent U–Pb ages of deformed titanite crystals and established Rb–Sr ages of white mica in shear-related pegmatites, both from the southwestern part of the Fosen Peninsula, and 40Ar–39Ar ages of syn-tectonic mica overgrowth from the adjacent Hitra–Snasa Fault. Together, these ages suggest the onset of ductile extension soon after ~ 401 Ma, and with the Middle Devonian crystallization ages determined here, suggest that ductile extension on the Høybakken detachment had a duration of 11–20 Ma. The youngest age of 320 Ma was obtained from a K-feldspar in a cataclastic granite of the Høybakken detachment’s hangingwall and is considered to date a phase of post-Scandian brittle deformation that overprinted the mylonitic shear fabric.

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