Rapid extension recorded by cooling‐age patterns and brittle deformation, Naxos, Greece

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
By:  and 



The metamorphic core complex exposed as the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea records an unusually complete sequence of structures developed as a result of continental extension. The structures formed during Miocene rise and cooling from ductile, upper amphibolite facies and anatectic conditions to brittle near‐surface conditions beneath the Naxos detachment fault. Top‐to‐the‐north ductile fabrics in the footwall, which initially developed during amphibolite facies prograde metamorphism, were overprinted by a succession of north directed, normal sense lower‐temperature brittle structures as the footwall was tectonically unloaded and unroofed. Pseudotachylite and cataclasite formation, brittle faulting, alteration, and erosion of the footwall occurred during continued slip and tectonic denudation. Neogene conglomerate and megabreccia, in part derived from exhumation of this footwall, lie structurally above the peripheral Naxos fault. Published K‐Ar and 40Ar/39Ar ages for hornblende, white mica, and biotite in the footwall decrease northwestward; apparent ages 17–50 Ma in the southeast correspond to areas of low metamorphic grade where preextension argon was partially retained. Published ages 16–10 Ma in higher‐grade rocks of the domal core in the north are cooling ages that for each of the three minerals show a component of younging in the NNE direction of extension. Assuming this is the direction of unroofing, we interpret the rate of this younging as the fault slip rate as the footwall rocks moved >20 km SSW relative to their hanging wall along the base of the Naxos detachment fault. The calculated rates of slip average 5–8 mm/yr, comparable to maximum rates reported in the Basin and Range province.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Rapid extension recorded by cooling‐age patterns and brittle deformation, Naxos, Greece
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/95JB00665
Volume 100
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 9969
Last page 9979
Country Greece
Other Geospatial Naxos
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