Deformation character and palaeo-fluid flow across a wrench fault within a Palaeozoic subduction-accretion system: Waratah fault zone, southeastern Australia

David R. Gray, Christoph Janssen, Yevgeny Vapnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Melange formation, cataclasis, meso- to micro-scale faulting, and veining reflect faulting processes within turbidite and limestone sequences juxtaposed along a steeply dipping, sinistral wrench-fault zone in the Lachlan Orogen, southeastern Australia. Fault damage occurs across a zone up to 600 m wide. Effects of faulting in the turbidites are shown by a 100-150 m wide zone of scaly mudstone-matrix melange, mud-injection `dykes' and veinlets, and refolding of melange fabrics, with minor subsidiary brittle-faulting and cataclasis extending up to 500 m from the major fault plane. Veining and cataclastic zones occur in the limestone and are most pronounced up to 100 m from the main brittle fault. Fluid inclusion data from quartz and calcite veins suggest faulting took place at temperatures between 160 and 200 °C, whereas folding is inferred to have taken place at temperatures above 300 °C. Fluid-assisted, fault zone `weakening' mechanisms (pressure solution/solution transfer) were active over the whole fault zone. Veining, characteristic of fluid-assisted fault zone `strengthening' processes (i.e. rock-mass cementation), is confined to the limestone sequence. Here, calcite precipation led to fault rocks with lower porosity and permeability than in the turbidite sequence. Overprinting between different veins and fractures, and zonation in vein cement suggest cyclic deformation and fluid flow. The repeated change between brittle fracturing and veining/cementation led to a combined conduit-barrier system in the limestone sequence, whereas the melange zone in the turbidites acted as a fluid conduit only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-214
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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