Development of a deep-crustal shear zone in response to syntectonic intrusion of mafic magma into the lower crust, Ivrea-Verbano zone, Italy

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
By: , and 



A 1 to 1.5 km-thick, high-temperature shear zone is localized in wall rocks subparallel to the eastern intrusive contact of the Permian Mafic Complex of the Ivrea-Verbano zone (IVZ), Italy. The shear zone is characterized by concentrated ductile deformation manifested by a penetrative foliation subparallel to the intrusive contact and a northeast-plunging sillimanite lineation. Evidence of noncoaxial strain and transposition is widespread in the shear zone including such features as rootless isoclinal folds, dismemberment of competent layers, and scattered kinematic indicators. The metasedimentary rocks in the shear zone are migmatitic, and the accumulation of leucosome is variable within the shear zone. Near the intrusive contact with the Mafic Complex leucosome forms ~20 vol% of the wall rock, whereas leucosome concentrations may locally reach ~60 vol% of the wall rock near the outer limits of the shear zone. This variation in vol% leucosome suggests melt/magma migration from the inferred site of anatexis along the intrusive contact to lower-strain regions within and near the margins of the shear zone. The leucosome accumulations chiefly occur as layer-parallel concentrations, but are also folded and boudined, and locally are associated with tension gashes and fracture arrays. Networks of granitic dikes and small plutons in the eastern IVZ suggest that some magmas migrated out of the high-temperature shear zone. Some magma apparently migrated laterally along the strike of the shear zone and concentrated in areas of lower strain where the intrusive contact takes a major westward bend. The high-temperature shear zone is interpreted as a 'stretching fault' (or stretching shear zone) after Means [W.D. Means, Stretching faults, Geology 17 (1989) 893-896], whereupon the metasedimentary wall rocks and associated leucosome deformed synchronously with the multistage emplacement and deformation flow of the Mafic Complex. The recognition of a high-temperature shear zone associated with the emplacement of mafic igneous rocks into the deep crust is an example of the progressive stratification of the lower crust during magmatic under- or intraplating that has consequences for seismic imaging and its interpretation.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Development of a deep-crustal shear zone in response to syntectonic intrusion of mafic magma into the lower crust, Ivrea-Verbano zone, Italy
Series title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
DOI 10.1016/S0012-821X(98)00280-5
Volume 166
Issue 1-2
Year Published 1999
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
First page 31
Last page 45
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