The Norumbega Fault Zone, Maine: crustal profile of a transcurrent boundary

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Atlantic Geology





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From studies of structure, metamorphism, and geochronology we have evidence that the Norumbega Fault Zone represents a transition from mid- to shallow crustal levels in a dextral, transcurrent shear zone within the northern Appalachian Orogen. The Norumbega Fault Zone strikes parallel to the orogen (northeast-southwest), is ~5 to 30 km wide, and is characterized by distributed ductile dextral shear fabrics in the southwestern section with a transition to brittle fabrics toward the northeast. Within the zone of distributed shear, deformation is partitioned into local zones of very high strain. Upright, isoclinal folds are common in areas of high and low strain. Metamorphic grade decreases from amphibolite facies in the southwest to sub-green schist facies in the northeast. 40Ar/39Ar mineral ages from recrystallized minerals in a high strain zone, regional cooling ages in areas of lower strain, and metamorphic textures are consistent with a polyphase history of deformation. We interpret a younging trend in 40Ar/39Ar cooling ages toward the northeast, together with the deformational fabrics andmetamorphic features, to represent exhumation of the southwestern section of the Norumbega Fault Zone from mid-crustal levels during the polyphase history of this transcurrent zone. The Norumbega Fault Zone may therefore serve as a model for deformational processes at mid- to shallow crustal levels in active strike-slip systems

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