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Crustal architecture of the Capricorn Orogen, Western Australia and associated metallogeny

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A 581 km vibroseis-source, deep seismic reflection survey was acquired through the Capricorn Orogen of Western Australia and, for the first time, provides an unprecedented view of the deep crustal architecture of the West Australian Craton. The survey has imaged three principal suture zones, as well as several other lithospheric-scale faults. The suture zones separate four seismically distinct tectonic blocks, which include the Pilbara Craton, the Bandee Seismic Province (a previously unrecognised tectonic block), the Glenburgh Terrane of the Gascoyne Province and the Narryer Terrane of the Yilgarn Craton. In the upper crust, the survey imaged numerous Proterozoic granite batholiths as well as the architecture of the Mesoproterozoic Edmund and Collier basins. These features were formed during the punctuated reworking of the craton by the reactivation of the major crustal structures. The location and setting of gold, base metal and rare earth element deposits across the orogen are closely linked to the major lithospheric-scale structures, highlighting their importance to fluid flow within mineral systems by the transport of fluid and energy direct from the mantle into the upper crust.
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Keywords: Ashburton Basin; Capricorn Orogen; Collier Basin; Edmund Basin; Fortescue Basin; Gascoyne Province; Glenburgh Orogeny; Glenburgh Terrane; Hamersley Basin; Narryer Terrane; Ophthalmian Orogeny; Pilbara Craton; West Australian Craton; Yilgarn Craton; intracontinental reworking; mineralisation; seismic reflection study; suture zone

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Geological Survey of Western Australia, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Mineral House, 100 Plain Street, East Perth, WA, 6004, Australia 2: Minerals and Natural Hazards Division, Geoscience Australia, GPO Box 378, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia 3: Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia 4: Centre for Exploration Targeting, School of Earth and Environment, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia 5: School of Earth Sciences and CODES Centre of Excellence, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 79, Hobart, TAS, 7001, Australia 6: Centre for Tectonics, Resources and Exploration, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, 5005, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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