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Tectonic Evolution of a Metamorphic Core Complex on Misima Island and Implications for the History of Continental Extention in the Woodlark Rift, Southeast Papua New Guinea

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dc.contributor.advisor Little, Tim
dc.contributor.author Peters, Katie J.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-04-26T00:29:03Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-11-01T21:20:48Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-26T00:29:03Z
dc.date.available 2022-11-01T21:20:48Z
dc.date.copyright 2007
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/27943
dc.description.abstract The Woodlark-Australia plate boundary is the only actively extending region within a complex zone of microplates between the Australian and Pacific plates in SE Papua New Guinea. Along the eastern part of this plate boundary, sea floor spreading in the Woodlark Basin has been occurring since ~6 Ma and has propagated westward into the extending continental crust of the Woodlark rift where it is now stalled at 151.4° E. Continental extension rates of ~23 mm/yr (Wallace et al., 2004) west of the spreading tip are among the fastest in the world. The rift to the west of the current spreading tip is a known area of active low-angle normal faulting (e.g., the Moresby fault) and metamorphic core complex (MCC) formation in the D’Entrecasteaux Islands. Misima Island on the southern margin of the oceanic Woodlark Basin is an older MCC situated on the Pocklington Rise, ~75 km to the south of the Woodlark spreading centre and 100 km east of its current tip. In this study geological observations, structural field data, aerial photographs, metamorphic petrology, microstructures, and quartz CPOs, have been used to document the tectonic evolution of Misima Island including the formation of a MCC on the island. Metamorphic basement rocks on Misima Island contain ductile fabrics that I have interpreted to have evolved during a progression from contractional (D₁ and D₂) to extensional (D₃) deformation. In the Miocene deep-seated (lower crustal) collision related fabrics in the continental rocks of the lower plate of the Weipoou detachment fault underwent extensional shearing and a strain-related rotation and intensification in a major (~2.2 km thick) ductile shear zone. This shearing was also expressed by imposition of a new NE dipping mylonitic foliation (S₃ₐ) and NE trending stretching lineation (L₃ₐ) onto these gneisses. The Weipoou shear zone was active at temperatures of ~600º C at depths of 12-20 km and was supplanted in time by the brittle detachment fault that currently bounds its upper surface. The sense of shear in the Weipoou shear zone was top-to-the-NE and the finite strain path was strongly non-coaxial and 3D including an imprint of constrictional deformation. As rocks from the Weipoou shear zone were translated up the Weipoou detachment fault they were brittlely overprinted by faulting, fracturing and brecciation. The upper amphibolite-facies ductile fabrics in the Weipoou shear zone are well preserved on the surface today and did not experience a significant greenschist-facies deformational overprint. This relationship may reflect their exhumation from the lower crust by dominantly brittle processes, involving localised slip on a detachment fault that penetrated deeply into the middle-lower crust. Deep embrittlement and localisation of slip on the fault could have been due to a weakening effect of high strain-rates on a thick (>3-10 m thick) zone of fault gouge material or due to prolonged maintenance of high pore-fluid pressures or high strain rates to cause a deepening in the position of the brittle ductile transition. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Geology - Structural en_NZ
dc.subject Morphotectonics en_NZ
dc.subject Rifts (geology) en_NZ
dc.subject Misima Island en_NZ
dc.title Tectonic Evolution of a Metamorphic Core Complex on Misima Island and Implications for the History of Continental Extention in the Woodlark Rift, Southeast Papua New Guinea en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 260100 en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Geology en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Master of Science en_NZ

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