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Formation and emplacement of the Dolodrook serpentinite body, Lachlan Orogen, Victoria

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Serpentinised peridotite and ultramafic breccia make up an approximately 5 km‐long, 1 km‐wide fault slice within turbidites in the Dolodrook River region of the central Lachlan Orogen. The serpentinite body is surrounded by juvenile, mafic‐ultramafic sedimentary rocks with Cambrian limestone olistoliths representative of locally derived debris flows, and Middle to Upper Ordovician black shale, chert, sandstone and mudstone. The antiformal geometry and nature of the ultramafic breccia and mafic‐ultramafic sedimentary rocks (Garvey Gully Formation) indicate that the serpentinite body may have been either a former oceanic transform fault zone, a Marianas‐style serpentine seamount or a combination of these. Observations of modern‐day forearc regions show that faulting processes have led to the exposure of serpentinised peridotite horst blocks and serpentine mud volcanoes that have intruded along fault conduits (e.g. Marianas and Izu‐Bonin forearcs). At Dolodrook, the structural and metamorphic relationships with the surrounding rocks, and the lithological associations, have much in common with these observations and indicate that Dolodrook may be an ancient, on‐land example of an accreted seamount or oceanic topographic high. Structural relationships, the very low metamorphic grade of all rocks at Dolodrook, and the presence of broken formation developed in not‐fully lithified Middle to Upper Ordovician sandstone and mudstone indicate that the serpentinite body was emplaced at shallow crustal levels within the turbidite wedge (Tabberabbera Zone), possibly as an offscraped topographic high during marginal basin closure. The Dolodrook serpentinite has previously been inferred as part of the Cambrian igneous sequence (‘greenstones') exposed in the Governor, Mt Wellington and Heathcote Fault Zones, but structural and metamorphic relationships with surrounding rocks, and the Cambrian tectonic setting in which it formed, have remained speculative.
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Keywords: Dolodrook; Governor Fault Zone; Lachlan Orogen; seamount; serpentinite; transform faults

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Applied Geology, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia 2: School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia 3: Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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