Abstract

The Macquarie Island ophiolite is an uplifted block of oceanic crust formed at the Australia-Pacific spreading center between 12 and 9 Ma. The sense of motion and geological processes across this plate boundary reflect an evolution from orthogonal spreading through progressively more oblique spreading to the present-day transpressional regime. The crust that makes up the island was formed during an interval of oblique spreading along east-trending spreading segments punctuated by a series of northwest-trending discontinuities. The discontinuities are accommodation zones marked by oblique-slip dextral-normal faults, localized dikes and lava flows, and extensive hydrothermal alteration, indicating that these zones were active near the spreading axis. These features provide a window into the internal structure of oceanic crust generated by oblique spreading.

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