Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM


ORLANDINI, Omero F.1, MAHAN, Kevin2, REGAN, Sean3, WILLIAMS, Michael4 and LEITE, Ana1, (1)Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Colorado Boulder Geological Sciences UCB 399 2200 Colorado Ave, Boulder, CO 80309-0399, (2)Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Campus Box 399, 2200 Colorado Ave, Boulder, CO 80309, (3)Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 611 North Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002, (4)Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 611 North Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01003-9297,

The Athabasca Granulite Terrane is an exhumed section of deep continental crust exposed in the western Canadian shield. The terrane hosts the 1.88 Ga Cora Lake shear zone, a several kilometer-wide sinistral and extensional oblique-slip system that was active at high-pressure granulite-grade conditions ( ~1.0 GPa, >800°C to ~0.8 GPa and 700 °C). Pseudotachylyte (PST) veins are common in ultramylonitic strands of the shear zone, where veins run for tens of meters subparallel to foliation. Some but not all PST veins have been overprinted with the Cora Lake shear zone foliation, and undeformed PST locally bears microlitic garnet.

Host-rock mylonites contain abundant garnet and pyroxene sigma clasts indicating sinistral shear, and where PST-bearing slip surfaces are found at low angles to the foliation, they display sinistral offset. The host rock contains abundant macroscopic and microscopic sinistral shear fracture systems (e.g., Riedel [R], Y, and P displacement surfaces) within the immediate proximity of PST veins, indicating a complex interplay of brittle and ductile behavior that is interpreted to be genetically related to the formation of the PST. The shear fracture systems are characterized by sharply bounded surfaces or zones populated by equant 1-15 µm grains, including orthopyroxene. These grains show no evidence of fracturing under backscatter-electron images and preserve cohesion with all surrounding grains, suggesting crystal-plastic behavior. There is evidence for multiple generations of subparallel shear fracture sets, as R shears of an earlier fracture set are cut by Y shears of a later set. The PST generation veins are overprinted in much the same way, and are consistently found in an orientation that suggests they nucleated on Y shear surfaces

The ultramylonite, shear fracture systems, and PST are three significantly different expressions of strain found here to be both kinematically compatible and overprinting one another at similar high temperatures (due to mineral stabilities). Given the established cooling history of the Cora Lake shear zone this implies that the overprinting occurred in a very short period of geologic time, and under conditions far deeper and hotter than those where brittle behavior is typically predicted.