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Middle and Late Ordovician magmatic evolution of the Macquarie Arc, Lachlan Orogen, New South Wales

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Crawford, AJ and Meffre, S and Squire, RJ and Barron, LM and Falloon, TJ (2007) Middle and Late Ordovician magmatic evolution of the Macquarie Arc, Lachlan Orogen, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 54 (2 & 3). pp. 181-214. ISSN 0812-0099

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Abstract

Early Ordovician (Phase 1) magmatism in the Macquarie Arc was followed by a magmatic hiatus of~9 million years, between late Bendigonian and early Darriwilian (i.e. between ca 475 and ca 466 Ma).
Resumption of magmatism in the Middle Ordovician produced Phase 2 rocks, recorded by three major rock suites: (i) medium-K calc-alkaline lavas in the Cargo block (Molong Volcanic Belt) have primitive eNd values (+6.9 to +7.8) and volcanic facies suggesting eruption in an intra-oceanic arc stratovolcano; lavas in the fault-bounded Parkes Volcanics in the Junee-Narromine Volcanic Belt are compositionally
identical to those in the Cargo block, suggesting that similar Phase 2 Middle Ordovician arc-type lavas
may underlie the Cowra Trough; (ii) medium- to high-K dioritic to monzodioritic intrusions in the
Narromine and Cowal Igneous Complexes of the Junee-Narromine Volcanic Belt have ages that cluster in the 470-460 Ma interval, and intrude presumed Phase 1 lavas and volcaniclastics; and (iii) in all three main volcanic belts, Middle Ordovician lavas range from medium-K to dominantly high-K calcalkaline compositions with a clear trend to shoshonitic compositions late in the Phase 2 magmatic episode. Phase 2 units in the Molong Volcanic Belt (lower Blayney, Byng and lower Fairbridge Volcanics) and Rockley-Gulgong Volcanic Belt (Rockley and lower Sofala Volcanics) are dominated by significantly more unfractionated high-MgO lava compositions than contemporaneous lavas in the Cargo block or Junee-Narromine Volcanic Belt, suggesting that rifting of the arc had occurred by this time, and that the main extensional zone lay along the eastern side of the Macquarie Arc. Identical
compositions of unusual shoshonitic ultramafic lavas in the Byng Volcanics of the Molong Volcanic Belt and the Rockley Volcanics of the Rockley-Gulgong Volcanic Belt provide strong evidence that these volcanic belts were once contiguous and were disrupted during Silurian-Devonian opening of the Hill End Trough. Phase 3 magmatism in the Macquarie Arc is represented by a widespread but relatively
small volume magmatic event, dominated by shallow intrusive rocks of the Copper Hill Suite, emplaced in the Eastonian-Bolindian, between 456 and 441 Ma. These distinctive porphyritic dacites and associated holocrystalline diorites and granodiorites show medium-K calc-alkaline compositions, and their emplacement was intimately linked to an episode of regional uplift, erosion and limestone deposition in the Junee-Narromine Volcanic Belt and western Molong Volcanic Belt. Phase 4 magmatism extended from late Eastonian or Bolindian until Early Silurian time, and was dominated by
relatively evolved (compared with Phase 2 lavas) shoshonitic lavas until the end of the Bolindian and
porphyries in the Early Silurian. Collision-related shut-down of the arc, and initiation of arc extension and
dismemberment, occurred around 438 Ma in the latest Ordovician. Post-arc magmatism during the Early Silurian is represented by high-Th, high-Nb lavas of the shoshonitic Nash Hill Volcanics in the Junee-Narromine Volcanic Belt, and Alaskan-type zoned ultramafic intrusions of the Fifield complexes farther west. The latter were emplaced through deformed Ordovician turbidites of the Girilambone Group, and their radiogenic isotope signatures show significant crustal involvement.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Lachlan Orogen, Macquarie Arc, magmatism, Ordovician, shoshonites.
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Earth Sciences
Page Range: pp. 181-214
ISSN: 0812-0099
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1080/08120090701227471
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:19
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