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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-182
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-182
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 17 Jan 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal SE.

Precambrian faulting episodes and insights into the tectonothermal history of North Australia: Microstructural evidence and K–Ar, 40Ar–39Ar, and Rb–Sr dating of syntectonic illite from the intracratonic Millungera Basin

I. Tonguç Uysal1, Claudio Delle Piane1, Andrew Todd1, and Horst Zwingmann2 I. Tonguç Uysal et al.
  • 1CSIRO Energy, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington WA 6151, Australia
  • 2Department of Geology and Mineralogy, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa Oiwake-cho, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan

Abstract. Australian terranes concealed beneath Mesozoic cover record complex Precambrian tectonic histories involving a successive development of several Proterozoic to Paleozoic orogenic systems. This study presents an integrated approach combining K–Ar, 40Ar–39Ar, and Rb–Sr geochronology of Precambrian authigenic illites from the recently discovered Millungera Basin in north-central Australia. Brittle deformation and repeated fault activity are evident from the sampled cores and their microstructures, probably associated with the large-scale faults inferred from interpretations of seismic survey. Rb–Sr isochron, 40Ar–39Ar total gas, and K–Ar ages are largely consistent indicating late Mesoproterozoic and early Proterozoic episodes (~ 1115 ± 26 Ma, ~ 1070 ± 25 Ma, ~ 1040 ± 24 Ma, ~ 1000 ± 23 Ma, and ~ 905 ± 21 Ma) of active tectonics in north-central Australia. K–Ar results show that illites from fault gouges and authigenic matrix illites in undeformed adjacent sandstones precipitated contemporaneously, indicating that advection of tectonically mobilised fluids extended into the undeformed wall rocks above or below the fracture and shear (fault gouge) zones. This study provides insight into the enigmatic time-space distribution of Precambrian tectonic zones in central Australia, which are responsible for the formation of a number of sedimentary basins with significant energy and mineral resources.

I. Tonguç Uysal et al.

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I. Tonguç Uysal et al.

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