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Continental growth and reworking on the edge of the Columbia and Rodinia supercontinents; 1.86–0.9 Ga accretionary orogeny in southwest Fennoscandia

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posted on 26.11.2014, 00:00 by Nick M.W. Roberts, Trond Slagstad

Geological history from the late Palaeoproterozoic to early Neoproterozoic is dominated by the formation of the supercontinent Columbia, and its break-up and re-amalgamation into the next supercontinent, Rodinia. On a global scale, major orogenic events have been tied to the formation of either of these supercontinents, and records of extension are commonly linked to break-up events. Presented here is a synopsis of the geological evolution of southwest Fennoscandia during the ca. 1.9–0.9 Ga period. This region records a protracted history of continental growth and reworking in a long-lived accretionary orogen. Three major periods of continental growth are defined by the Transscandinavian Igneous Belt (1.86–1.66 Ga), Gothian (1.66–1.52 Ga), and Telemarkian (1.52–1.48 Ga) domains. The 1.47–1.38 Ga Hallandian–Danopolonian period featured reorganization of the subduction zone and over-riding plates, with limited evidence for continental collision. During the subsequent 1.38–1.15 Ga interval, the region is interpreted as being located inboard of a convergent margin that is not preserved today and hosted magmatism and sedimentation related to inboard extensional events. The 1.15–0.9 Ga period is host to Sveconorwegian orogenesis that marks the end of this long-lived accretionary orogen and features significant crustal deformation, metamorphism, and magmatism. Collision of an indenter, typically Amazonia, is commonly inferred for the cause of widespread Sveconorwegian orogenesis, but this remains inconclusive. An alternative is that orogenesis merely represents subduction, terrane accretion, crustal thickening, and burial and exhumation of continental crust, along an accretionary margin. During the Mesoproterozoic, southwest Fennoscandia was part of a much larger accretionary orogen that grew on the edge of the Columbia supercontinent and included Laurentia and Amazonia amongst other cratons. The chain of convergent margins along the western Pacific is the best analogue for this setting of Proterozoic crustal growth and tectonism.