A major synmetamorphic Early Devonian thrust and extensional fault system in the Mid Norway Caledonides: relevance to exhumation of HP and UHP rocks

Peter Robinson*, David Roberts, David G. Gee, Arne Solli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The study of complex orogenic belts commonly begins in the frontal regions with welldefined tectonostratigraphy, and relatively simple structure and metamorphism, and proceeds into the progressively more complex hinterland, which nevertheless may contain the best geochronological record of the most intense orogenic events. The northern part of the Western Gneiss Region in the hinterland of the Scandian orogen contains a robust U-Pb zircon geochronological framework on rocks subjected to high-pressure (HP) and ultra-high-pressure (UHP) metamorphism that has implications for tectonic development both there and towards the foreland. HP and UHP eclogite crystallization occurred at 415-410 Ma (Early Devonian, Lochkovian to Pragian), followed by pegmatite crystallization at c. 395 Ma (Late Emsian) during exhumation and return to amphibolite-facies conditions, thus limiting the process to 15-20 myr. The nature and sequence of events are much more complex than in the foreland, causing difficulty in correlation, yet the combined tectonics in the two regions provides the necessary context to explain, for example, how rocks were subjected to deep-seated, high-temperature metamorphism and then exhumed to shallower levels. Here, we suggest how a recently recognized extensional detachment fault and a recently recognized out-of-sequence thrust might be linked to the timing of HP metamorphism and later exhumation. The postulated Agdenes extensional detachment in its footwall has basement gneisses containing Mesoproterozoic igneous titanite fully reset at 395 Ma, as well as Devonian pegmatites, and in the hanging wall Ordovician to Early Silurian granitoids of the Støren Nappe containing igneous titanite barely influenced by Devonian recrystallization and no evidence of post-Ordovician melts. This implies removal of a significant crustal section on a large-scale detachment. Rocks both above and below are overprinted by the same late, subhorizontal, sinistral ductile extensional fabric, obscuring any fabrics produced during development of the detachment itself. Eastern Trollheimen escaped the late, strong, subhorizontal overprint, and shows: (1) early emplacement of thrust nappes of Lower and Middle Allochthons over Baltican basement and its Late Neoproterozoic quartzite cover; (2) major, SE-directed, recumbent folding of the entire thrust-imbricated sequence; and (3) major, out-of-sequence, SE-directed thrusting (Storli Thrust), for an 80 km minimum transport across-strike, of the recumbent-folded sequence over deeper, less deformed, lower basement gneisses and unconformable Neoproterozoic quartzite cover. The upper basement contains boudins of eclogite and garnet-corona gabbro lacking in the lower basement. Similar basement imbrications occurred in the Tømmerås window, the Skarddøra Antiform, the Mullfjället Antiform and the Grong-Olden Culmination, up to 240 km NE of Trollheimen, as well as in the Reksdalshesten antiform 100 km west, all within the postulated minimum 400×180 km area of the Agdenes detachment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-270
Number of pages30
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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