Origin of the Lyme Dome and implications for the timing of multiple Alleghanian deformational and intrusive events in southern Connecticut

American Journal of Science
By: , and 



Geologic mapping, structural analysis, and geochronology in the area of the Lyme dome, southern Connecticut provides constraints on the origin of the rocks in the core of the dome, the absolute timing of the principal deformational and thermal events attributed to Alleghanian orogenesis, and the processes that generated the dome. Detrital zircon geochronology in combination with ages on intrusive rocks brackets the deposition of quartzite in the core of the dome sometime between ca. 925 and 620 Ma. Granite and granodiorite intruded the Neoproteorozic metasedimentary rocks in the core of the dome at ca. 620 to 610 Ma. Four major early Permian events associated with the Alleghanian orogeny affected the rocks in the Lyme dome area. Syn-tectonic migmatization and widespread penetrative deformation (D1, ca. 300 - 290 Ma) included emplacement of alaskite at 290 ?? 4 Ma during regional foliation development and aluminosilicate-orthoclase metamorphic conditions. Rocks of the Avalon terrane may have wedged between Gander cover rocks and Gander basement in the core of the Lyme during D1. Limited structural evidence for diapiric uplift of the Lyme dome indicates that diapirism started late in D1 and was completed by D2 (ca. 290 - 280 Ma) when horizontal WNW contractional stresses dominated over vertical stresses. Second sillimanite metamorphism continued and syn-tectonic D2 granite pegmatite (288 ?? 4 Ma) and the Joshua Rock Granite Gniess (284 ?? 3 Ma) intruded at this time. North-northwest extension during D3 (ca. 280 - 275 Ma) led to granitic pegmatite intrusion along S3 cleavage planes and in extensional zones in boudin necks during hydraulic failure and decompression melting. Intrusion of a Westerly Granite dike at 275 ?? 4 Ma suggests that D3 extension was active, and perhaps concluding, by ca. 275 Ma. Late randomly oriented but gently dipping pegmatite dikes record a final stage of intrusion during D4 (ca. 275 - 260 Ma), and a switch from NNW extension to vertical unloading and exhumation. Monazite and metamorphic zircon rim ages record this event at ca. 259 Ma. The evolution of the Lyme dome involved D1 mylonitization, intrusion, and migmatization during north-directed contraction, limited late D1 diapirism, D2 migmatization during WNW contraction with associated flexural flow and fold interference, D3 NNW horizontal extension and decompression melting, and final D4 vertical extension and rapid exhumation. Late regional uplift, extension, and normal faulting at higher crustal levels may have been caused by diapiric rise of the lower crust, below the structural level of the Lyme dome. The rocks record no evidence of Acadian metamorphism or deformation, suggesting that the Gander zone here was not tectonically juxtaposed with Avalon until the Alleghanian orogeny.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Origin of the Lyme Dome and implications for the timing of multiple Alleghanian deformational and intrusive events in southern Connecticut
Series title American Journal of Science
DOI 10.2475/06.2007.06
Volume 307
Issue 1
Year Published 2007
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title American Journal of Science
First page 168
Last page 215
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