Cambro-Ordovician magmatism in the Delamerian orogeny: implications for tectonic development of the southern Gondwanan margin

John Foden*, Marlina Elburg, Simon Turner, Chris Clark, Morgan L. blades, Grant Cox, Allan S. Collins, Keryn Wolff, Christian George

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The Delamerian Orogen formed at the final stages of assembly of the Gondwana supercontinent. This system marks the initiation of subduction of the Pacific oceanic lithosphere along a prior rifted and extended passive margin. This paper explores the magmatic consequences following the early Cambrian initiation at the palaeo-Pacific margin in South Australia (SA) and western Victoria. Our data reveal a 50 Ma syn- to post-Delamerian tectono-magmatic history. Sampled from drill core from beneath the eastern Murray Basin cover in eastern SA, boninitic high Mg andesite from drill hole KTH12 and 516.1 ± 2 Ma quartz diorite suggest that first subduction established a volcanic arc within easternmost SA. Pacific-ward trench retreat then resulted in arc migration to reach the Mt Stavely Belt and Stawell Zones in western Victoria by ~510 Ma where boninitic arc magmatism continued until ~490 Ma. In the SA foreland of the Delamerian Orogen, early (522 ± 4 Ma) alkali basalt gave way to intrusion and extrusion of MORB-like tholeiites of back-arc basalt character. Through much of the middle and late Cambrian the SA Delamerian was in the back-arc and under extension but with periodic compression resulting from periodic Pacific-Australian plate coupling beneath the forearc in western Victoria. In SA syn-tectonic I- and S-type granites reflect interaction of MORB-like back-arc magmas and their transported heat with continental-derived sediment of the Kanmantoo Group. The termination of the Delamerian orogeny at ~490 Ma was accompanied by buoyancy-controlled, exhumation and erosion. This was driven by delamination of a mafic, crustal underplate, whose re-melting at 1.5 to 2 GPa and 1050 °C generated the unique 495 ± 1 Ma Kinchina/Monarto adakite. Delamination resulted in lithospheric mantle thinning and local convective overturn allowing upwelling of the asthenosphere to drive the post-kinematic magmatic phase of the Delamerian, yielding voluminous 490 Ma–470 Ma A-type granites.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)490-521
    Number of pages32
    JournalGondwana Research
    Publication statusPublished - May 2020

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cambro-Ordovician magmatism in the Delamerian orogeny: implications for tectonic development of the southern Gondwanan margin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this