Publication Details

Zhang, Q., Buckman, S., Bennett, V. C., Nutman, A. & Song, Y. (2019). Lachlan Orogen, Eastern Australia: Triangle Formation Records the Late Ordovician Arrival of the Macquarie Arc Terrane at the Margin of Eastern Gondwana. Tectonics, 38 (9), 3373-3393.


The Ordovician intraoceanic Macquarie Arc terrane is faulted against coeval, quartz-rich turbidites of the Adaminaby Group within the Lachlan Orogen of eastern Australia. Debates exist concerning the polarity of subduction beneath the Macquarie Arc and the nature of its emplacement, given it is juxtaposed against the Adaminaby Group to both the west and east. We present new provenance and zircon analyses of the Triangle Formation, which consists of interleaved quartz-rich passive margin sandstones and island arc volcaniclastic rocks. In contrast, the structurally underlying Adaminaby Group contains no volcaniclastic detritus and displays a strong passive margin affinity. One sample from the Triangle Formation yielded a youngest zircon age of 456 ± 16 Ma indicating a subtle Macquarie Arc signature among an overwhelmingly Neoproterozoic and older Gondwanan provenance. The Adaminaby Group yielded a youngest zircon age of 481 ± 6 Ma and a strong Gondwanan zircon signature. We compared these results with volcaniclastic rocks from the Weemalla Formation stratigraphically higher in the Macquarie Arc, which yielded a distinctly unimodal zircon age of 451 ± 8 Ma, which is indistinguishable from the youngest zircon in the Triangle Formation. We suggest the Triangle Formation represents trench fill material sourced predominantly from the Gondwana margin but including some younger Macquarie Arc detritus. This constrains the initiation of this arc-continent collision to between 448 and 462 Ma (Late Ordovician).



Link to publisher version (DOI)