Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/13718
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Type: Journal article
Title: Tectonic feedback, intraplate orogeny and the geochemical structure of the crust: a central Australian perspective
Author: Sandiford, M.
Hand, M.
McLaren, S.
Citation: Geological Society Special Publication, 2001; 184(1):195-218
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0305-8719
2041-4927
Statement of
Responsibility: 
M. Sandiford, M. Hand & S. McLaren
Abstract: The geological record of intraplate deformation in central Australia implies that past tectonic activity (basin formation, deformation and erosion) has modulated the response of the lithosphere during subsequent tectonic activity. In particular, there is a correspondence between the localization of deformation during intraplate orogeny and the presence of thick sedimentary successions in the preserved remnants of a formerly widespread intracratonic basin. This behaviour can be understood as a kind of ‘tectonic feedback’, effected by the long-term thermal and mechanical consequences of changes in the distribution of heat producing elements induced by earlier tectonism. From a geochemical point of view, one of the most dramatic effects of intraplate orogeny in central Australia has been the exposure, in the cores of the orogens, of deep crustal rocks largely depleted in the heat producing elements. The geochemical structuring of the crust associated with the erosion of the heat-producing upper crust resulted in long-term cooling of the deep crust and upper mantle with associated lithospheric strengthening. This is illustrated here by mapping the consequences of deformation and associated tectonic responses onto the h-qc plane, where h is the characteristic length-scale for heat production distribution, and qc is the total crustal heat production. Because rates of intraplate deformation in central Australia appear to be much slower than that typical of plate margin orogens, it is possible that the ongoing geochemical structuring of the crust has played an important role in terminating intraplate orogeny in central Australia by providing a ‘thermal lock’. The diagnostic geophysical signature of this lock may be the extraordinary gravity anomalies of the central Australian intraplate orogens.
Description: Copyright © 2001 Geological Society of London
RMID: 0020012530
DOI: 10.1144/GSL.SP.2001.184.01.10
Appears in Collections:Geology & Geophysics publications
Environment Institute publications

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