Palaeomagnetic dating of fluid-flow events in dolomitized rocks along the Highland Boundary Fault, central Scotland

R. D. Elmore, John Parnell, M. H. Engel, M. Baron, S. Woods, M. Abraham, M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Palaeomagnetic and geochemical studies of Cambrian-Ordovician serpentinite in the Highland Border Complex (HBC), a tectonic terrane along the Highland Boundary Fault (HBF) in Scotland, indicate that the HBF was a conduit for fluids in the Carboniferous-Permian. The fluids caused dolomitization, silicification, and haematite authigenesis. Both red dolomitized serpentinite and relatively unaltered serpentinite were sampled at multiple localities. The unaltered serpentinite contains a poorly defined magnetization with westerly declinations that resides in magnetite and has a pole which plots well off the apparent polar wander path. Most specimens of the red dolomitized serpentinite contain a magnetization with southerly declinations and negative inclinations that resides in haematite. A regional fold test suggests that this magnetization post-dates tilting and the pole positions for the different locations fall on the Carboniferous to Permian part of the apparent polar wander path. In some specimens of red dolomitized serpentinite, alternating field (AF) demagnetization prior to thermal treatment removes a component with a similar direction. Dolomitized basement rocks along the fault contain a similar although apparently slightly older magnetization. Fluid inclusion and geochemical studies indicate that the fluids were hydrothermal in origin (110-240degreesC) and had a range of sources. The Carboniferous-Permian magnetization in haematite is interpreted as a chemical remanent magnetization that formed when warm fluids moved along the fault zone and caused haematite authigenesis. The component removed by AF treatment is interpreted as a thermal resetting of primary magnetite by the fluids. The variability of the palaeomagnetic, fluid inclusion, and stable isotope results suggests that there were probably multiple flow events that caused the alteration. The origin of the fluids could be related to the intrusion of late Carboniferous dikes in central Scotland and/or to reactivation of the HBF in the Carboniferous-Permian.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-314
Number of pages15
JournalGeoFluids
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • dolomitization
  • fluid-flow
  • Highland Boundary Fault
  • palaeomagnetic dating
  • CAMBRIAN LENY LIMESTONE
  • BORDER COMPLEX
  • DALRADIAN SUPERGROUP
  • PALEOMAGNETIC DATA
  • SOUTHERN OKLAHOMA
  • EXOTIC STATUS
  • REMAGNETIZATION
  • REASSESSMENT
  • CALEDONIDES
  • PERTHSHIRE

Cite this

Palaeomagnetic dating of fluid-flow events in dolomitized rocks along the Highland Boundary Fault, central Scotland. / Elmore, R. D.; Parnell, John; Engel, M. H.; Baron, M.; Woods, S.; Abraham, M.; Davidson, M.

In: GeoFluids, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2002, p. 299-314.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Elmore, R. D. ; Parnell, John ; Engel, M. H. ; Baron, M. ; Woods, S. ; Abraham, M. ; Davidson, M. / Palaeomagnetic dating of fluid-flow events in dolomitized rocks along the Highland Boundary Fault, central Scotland. In: GeoFluids. 2002 ; Vol. 2, No. 4. pp. 299-314.
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AB - Palaeomagnetic and geochemical studies of Cambrian-Ordovician serpentinite in the Highland Border Complex (HBC), a tectonic terrane along the Highland Boundary Fault (HBF) in Scotland, indicate that the HBF was a conduit for fluids in the Carboniferous-Permian. The fluids caused dolomitization, silicification, and haematite authigenesis. Both red dolomitized serpentinite and relatively unaltered serpentinite were sampled at multiple localities. The unaltered serpentinite contains a poorly defined magnetization with westerly declinations that resides in magnetite and has a pole which plots well off the apparent polar wander path. Most specimens of the red dolomitized serpentinite contain a magnetization with southerly declinations and negative inclinations that resides in haematite. A regional fold test suggests that this magnetization post-dates tilting and the pole positions for the different locations fall on the Carboniferous to Permian part of the apparent polar wander path. In some specimens of red dolomitized serpentinite, alternating field (AF) demagnetization prior to thermal treatment removes a component with a similar direction. Dolomitized basement rocks along the fault contain a similar although apparently slightly older magnetization. Fluid inclusion and geochemical studies indicate that the fluids were hydrothermal in origin (110-240degreesC) and had a range of sources. The Carboniferous-Permian magnetization in haematite is interpreted as a chemical remanent magnetization that formed when warm fluids moved along the fault zone and caused haematite authigenesis. The component removed by AF treatment is interpreted as a thermal resetting of primary magnetite by the fluids. The variability of the palaeomagnetic, fluid inclusion, and stable isotope results suggests that there were probably multiple flow events that caused the alteration. The origin of the fluids could be related to the intrusion of late Carboniferous dikes in central Scotland and/or to reactivation of the HBF in the Carboniferous-Permian.

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