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Late Carboniferous dextral transpressional reactivation of the crustal-scale Walls Boundary Fault, Shetland : the role of pre-existing structures and lithological heterogeneities.

Armitage, Timothy B. and Watts, Lee M. and Holdsworth, Robert E. and Strachan, Robin A. (2020) 'Late Carboniferous dextral transpressional reactivation of the crustal-scale Walls Boundary Fault, Shetland : the role of pre-existing structures and lithological heterogeneities.', Journal of the Geological Society. . jgs2020-078.

Abstract

The Walls Boundary Fault (WBF) in Shetland, Scotland, formed during the Ordovician-Devonian Caledonian orogeny and underwent dextral reactivation in the Late Carboniferous. In a well-exposed section at Ollaberry, westerly verging, gently plunging regional folds in the Neoproterozoic Queyfirth Group on the western side of the WBF are overprinted by faults and steeply-plunging Z-shaped brittle-ductile folds that indicate contemporaneous right-lateral and top-to-the W reverse displacement. East of the WBF, the Early Silurian Graven granodiorite complex exhibits fault-parallel fractures with Riedel, P and conjugate shears indicating N-S striking dextral deformation and an additional contemporaneous component of E-W shortening. In the Queyfirth Group, the structures are arranged in geometrically and kinematically distinct fault-bounded domains that are interpreted to result from two superimposed tectonic events, the youngest of which displays evidence for bulk dextral transpressional strain partitioning into end-member wrench and contractional strain domains. During dextral transpressional deformation, strain was focussed into pelite horizons and favourably aligned pre-existing structures, leaving relics of older deformation in more competent lithologies. This study highlights the importance of pre-existing structures and lithological heterogeneity during reactivation and suggests the development of a regional transpressional tectonic environment during the Late Carboniferous on the Shetland Platform.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2020-078
Publisher statement:© 2020 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/).
Date accepted:22 September 2020
Date deposited:28 September 2020
Date of first online publication:23 October 2020
Date first made open access:03 December 2020

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