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Geochemistry and provenance of the Turquoise Bluff Slate, northeastern Tasmania: tectonic significance

Berry, RF ORCID: 0000-0002-5547-3396, Goemann, K ORCID: 0000-0002-8136-3617, Thompson, JM ORCID: 0000-0003-3322-0870, Meffre, S ORCID: 0000-0003-2741-6076 and Bottrill, R 2018 , 'Geochemistry and provenance of the Turquoise Bluff Slate, northeastern Tasmania: tectonic significance' , Australian Journal of Earth Sciences , pp. 1-20 , doi:

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The Ordovician Turquoise Bluff Slate in northeastern Tasmania is a 2 km-thick sequence of deep-marine siliceous black slates. It is dominated by meta-siltstones with bimodal grainsize distributions typical of turbidite TE-1 and TE-2 facies. The slates have high SiO2 indicating they are hemipelagites. The high Ba and V indicate they were deposited in an anoxic environment associated with high oceanic productivity. All these features are common in muddy turbidites. U–Th–Pb dating of detrital monazite and authigenic xenotime in the slates supports previous evidence that the dominant cleavage, in this unit, formed during the Benambran Orogeny. The whole-rock composition of the slates is similar to black slates in the Adaminaby Group, NSW. A review of Paleozoic whole-rock compositions from the Lachlan Orogen confirms they all have trace element contents similar to average Australian shale. However, there are subtle differences in composition. The Turquoise Bluff Slate and other Mathinna Supergroup rocks from the Eastern Tasmania Terrane have higher average Cr content than similar age turbidites from Victoria and NSW. This probably reflects a small contribution from Tasmania Cambrian ultramafic rocks in the provenance. If this were correct, northeastern Tasmania was closer to western Tasmania in the Paleozoic than other provinces of the Lachlan Orogen, southeastern Australia. Other subtle features of the whole-rock composition of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks from the Lachlan Orogen indicate it may be possible to recognise provincial variations in composition that will provide new constraints on tectonic models of southeastern Australia.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Berry, RF and Goemann, K and Thompson, JM and Meffre, S and Bottrill, R
Keywords: Tasmania, Mathinna Supergroup, Benambran Orogeny, xenotime, whole-rock geochemistry, hemipelagic, muddy turbidite
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Earth Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
ISSN: 0812-0099
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2018 Geological Society of Australia

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