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Brown, PE,Ryan, PD,Soper, NJ,Woodcock, NH
Geological Magazine
The Newer Granite problem revisited: a transtensional origin for the Early Devonian Trans-Suture Suite
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granite transtension trans-suture suite lamprophyre Acadian
The origin of the Newer Granites is long-standing problem. In the Caledonian orthotectonic zone the intrusions span the period of late orogenic convergence and uplift, but attempts to relate them as a group to late Iapetan subduction have been unsuccessful. A range of rock types is represented, mainly with I-type affinities, and granodiorite is the most voluminous. In contrast, granitic intrusions south of the Moniaive shear zone in Scotland and also in the north of England have significant S-type characteristics, span the trace of the Iapetus suture and have ages in the range 400-390 Ma, significantly younger than intrusions to the north. We refer to these younger granitic intrusions, along with others of similar character along-strike to the southwest, as the Trans-Suture Suite. We explore the link between the Trans-Suture Suite and recently recognized orogen-wide sinistral transtension in the Early Devonian period. Importantly, the Trans-Suture Suite intrusions are accompanied by an intense suite of lamprophyre dykes, the origin of which is to be sought in extension, decompression and heating of enriched Avalonian sub-continental lithosphere. In some instances the granite intrusions carry clots of lamprophyric origin and the Criffel body is particularly important in being continuously zoned from an 1-type with lamprophyric enclaves to an S-type interior. We propose that generation of these lamprophyres during transtension advected heat into the base of the crust to produce the S-type component of the Trans-Suture Suite. Modelling presented shows that generation of voluminous S-type magmas requires the coincidence of several factors: hydrated sub-continental lithospheric mantle preserved during 'soft' collision under the Trans-Suture Suite zone; thermal relaxation to remove any subduction refrigeration; crust composed of juvenile volcanogenic material; and Devonian transtension. Our models suggest that if hydration pre-dated transtension then only small granitic bodies could be produced, unless the zone of lamprophyre generation extends beyond the rift zone. The emplacement of the Trans-Suture Suite intrusions overlapped the Acadian deformation period that succeeded the transtensional episode during which the granite magmas were generated.
DOI 10.1017/S0016756807004219
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