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Gebelin A.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center and Senckenberg | Teyssier C.,University of Minnesota | Heizler M.T.,Bureau of Mineral Resources | Mulch A.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center and Senckenberg | Mulch A.,Goethe University Frankfurt
Bulletin of the Geological Society of America | Year: 2015

Combined petrofabric, microstructural, stable isotopic, and 40Ar/39Ar geochronologic data provide a new perspective on the Cenozoic evolution of the northern Snake Range metamorphic core complex in east-central Nevada. This core complex is bounded by the northern Snake Range detachment, interpreted as a rolling-hinge detachment, and by an underlying shear zone that is dominated by muscovite-bearing quartzite mylonite and interlayered micaschist. In addition to petrofabric, microstructural analysis, and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, we use hydrogen isotope ratios (δD) in synkinematic white mica to characterize fluid-rock interaction across the rolling-hinge detachment. Results indicate that the western flank of the range preserves mostly Eocene deformation (49-45 Ma), characterized by coaxial quartz fabrics and the dominant presence of metamorphic fluids, although the imprint of meteoric fluids increases structurally downward and culminates in a shear zone with a white mica 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of ca. 27 Ma. In contrast, the eastern flank of the range displays pervasive noncoaxial (top-tothe-east) fabrics defined by white mica that formed in the presence of meteoric fluids and yield Oligo cene-Miocene 40Ar/39Ar ages (27-21 Ma). Evolution of the Oligocene-Miocene rolling-hinge detachment controlled where and when faulting was active or became inactive owing to rotation, and therefore where fluids were able to circulate from the surface to the brittle-ductile transition. On the western flank (rotated detachment), faulting became inactive early, while continued active faulting on the eastern flank of the detachment allowed surface fluids to reach the mylonitic quartzite. The combined effects of synkinematic recrystallization and fluid inter action reset argon and hydrogen isotope ratios in white mica until the early Miocene (ca. 21 Ma), when the brittle-ductile transition was exhumed beneath the detachment. © 2014 Geological Society of America. Source


Gottardi R.,University of Louisiana at Lafayette | Gottardi R.,University of Minnesota | Teyssier C.,University of Minnesota | Mulch A.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center and Senckenberg | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Structural Geology | Year: 2015

Combined geochronological and stable isotope data of quartzite mylonite from the footwall of the Raft River detachment shear zone (NW Utah, USA) reveal that an important phase of ductile deformation and infiltration of meteoric water in the shear zone occurred in Miocene time. 40Ar/39Ar release spectra are complex, and plateau ages decrease systematically from 31.1±0.8Ma at the top to 20.2±0.6Ma at the bottom of the quartzite mylonite section, capturing a segment of the ~40-15Ma geochronologic record that has been documented regionally and is likely related to partial to total overprinting of Eocene white mica 40Ar/39Ar ages in the Miocene. Hydrogen stable isotope values of syn-kinematic muscovite range from-123‰ to-88‰ and suggest that meteoric water infiltrated the detachment shear zone during mica (re)crystallization and mylonite development. Bulk stable isotope analyses from fluid inclusions in quartz support a meteoric origin for the fluid (low D/H and 18O/16O ratios). Quartz and muscovite oxygen isotope analyses show varying degrees of 18O depletion, suggesting spatially variable time-integrated interaction of meteoric fluids with recrystallizing shear zone minerals. The overall pattern of D/H and 18O/16O ratios indicates that fluids were channelized along restricted layers or shear zones within the deforming detachment system. The variability in 18O/16O ratios of both quartz and muscovite and the fluid-rock isotopic exchange results can be explained by variations in the shear zone permeability (confined versus diffuse flow) along with strain variations along the transport direction (from flattening to constriction). Source


Quilichini A.,University of Lausanne | Siebenaller L.,Institute Of Recherche Pour Le Developpement | Nachlas W.O.,University of Minnesota | Teyssier C.,University of Minnesota | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Structural Geology | Year: 2015

We document the interplay between meteoric fluid flow and deformation processes in quartzite-dominated lithologies within a ductile shear zone in the footwall of a Cordilleran extensional fault (Kettle detachment system, Washington, USA). Across 150m of shear zone section, hydrogen isotope ratios (δD) from synkinematic muscovite fish are constant (δD~-130‰) and consistent with a meteoric fluid source. Quartz-muscovite oxygen isotope thermometry indicates equilibrium fractionation temperatures of ~365±30°C in the lower part of the section, where grain-scale quartz deformation was dominated by grain boundary migration recrystallization. In the upper part of the section, muscovite shows increasing intragrain compositional zoning, and quartz microstructures reflect bulging recrystallization, solution-precipitation, and microcracking that developed during progressive cooling and exhumation. The preserved microstructural characteristics and hydrogen isotope fingerprints of meteoric fluids developed over a short time interval as indicated by consistent mica 40Ar/39Ar ages ranging between 51 and 50Ma over the entire section. Pervasive fluid flow became increasingly channelized during detachment activity, leading to microstructural heterogeneity and large shifts in quartz δ18O values on a meter scale. Ductile deformation ended when brittle motion on the detachment fault rapidly exhumed the mylonitic footwall. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Rohrmann A.,University of Potsdam | Strecker M.R.,University of Potsdam | Bookhagen B.,University of Potsdam | Bookhagen B.,University of California at Santa Barbara | And 8 more authors.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2014

Globally, changes in stable isotope ratios of oxygen and hydrogen (δO18 and δD) in the meteoric water cycle result from distillation and evaporation processes. Isotope fractionation occurs when air masses rise in elevation, cool, and reduce their water-vapor holding capacity with decreasing temperature. As such, δO18 and δD values from a variety of sedimentary archives are often used to reconstruct changes in continental paleohydrology as well as paleoaltimetry of mountain ranges. Based on 234 stream-water samples, we demonstrate that areas experiencing deep convective storms in the eastern south-central Andes (22-28° S) do not show the commonly observed relationship between δO18 and δD with elevation. These convective storms arise from intermontane basins, where diurnal heating forces warm air masses upward, resulting in cloudbursts and raindrop evaporation. Especially at the boundary between the tropical and extra-tropical atmospheric circulation regimes where deep-convective storms are very common (~26° to 32° N and S), the impact of such storms may yield non-systematic stable isotope-elevation relationships as convection dominates over adiabatic lifting of air masses. Because convective storms can reduce or mask the depletion of heavy isotopes in precipitation as a function of elevation, linking modern or past topography to patterns of stable isotope proxy records can be compromised in mountainous regions, and atmospheric circulation models attempting to predict stable isotope patterns must have sufficiently high spatial resolution to capture the fractionation dynamics of convective cells. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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