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Raab, M.J., Brown, R.W., Gallagher, K., Carter, A. and Weber, K. 2002. Late Cretaceous reactivation of major crustal shear zones in northern Namibia: constraints from apatite fission track analysis. Tectonophysics, 349(1–4): 75–92


Description:

Late Cretaceous reactivation of major crustal shear zones in northern Namibia: constraints from apatite fission track analysis.

Summary / Notes:

Namibia's passive continental margin records a long history of tectonic activity since the Proterozoic. The orogenic belt produced during the collision of the Congo and Kalahari Cratons in the Early Proterozoic led to a zone of crustal weakness, which became the preferred location for tectonism during the Phanerozoic. The Pan-African Damara mobile belt forms this intraplate boundary in Namibia and its tectonostratigraphic zones are defined by ductile shear zones, where the most prominent is described as the Omaruru Lineament–Waterberg Thrust (OML–WT). The prominance of the continental margin escarpment is diminished in the area of the Central and Northern Zone of the Damara belt where the shear zones are located. This area has been targeted with a set of 66 outcrop samples over a 550-km-long, 60-km-broad coast-parallel transect from the top of the escarpment in the south across the Damara sector to the Kamanjab Inlier in the north. Apatite fission track age and length data from all samples reveal a regionally consistent cooling event. Thermal histories derived by forward modelling bracket this phase of accelerated cooling in the Late Cretaceous. Maximum palaeotemperatures immediately prior to the onset of cooling range from ca. 120 to ca. 60 °C with the maximum occurring directly south of the Omaruru Lineament. Because different palaeotemperatures indicate different burial depth at a given time, the amount of denudation can be estimated and used to constrain vertical displacements of the continental crust. We interpret this cooling pattern as the geomorphic response to reactivation of basement structures caused by a change in spreading geometry in the South Atlantic and South West Indian Oceans. Keywords: Apatite fission track thermochronology, Tectonics, Reactivation, Denudation, Omaruru Lineament–Waterberg Thrust, Namibia.

Year: 2002

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040195102000471


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