The close spatial relationship between Devonian high-pressure rocks (eclogites) and Ordovician–Silurian calc-alkaline plutonic rocks, as observed in Liverpool Land, NE Greenland, is not easily explained by existing tectonic models for the Caledonide orogen. New field studies and isotope dilution–thermal ionization mass spectrometry U-Pb geochronology demonstrate, however, that the association is just coincidental, because the two rock groups are located within distinct terranes separated by a composite structure. The major element is the Gubbedalen shear zone, a N-dipping shear zone dominated by a penetrative top-up-to-the-S ductile fabric. Superimposed brittle-ductile top-down-to-the-N shear zones are typical of the structurally uppermost part of the shear zone. The contact against the hanging wall is the N-dipping, brittle Gubbedalen extensional detachment fault. A zircon age of 399.5 ± 0.9 Ma for an eclogite body is interpreted to represent the time of high-pressure metamorphism of the footwall. The host gneiss was migmatized between ca. 388 Ma and ca. 385 Ma, as constrained by the ages of a pegmatite predating migmatization and crosscutting granites. Coeval synkinematic granites intrude along amphibolite-grade, top-to-the-S high-strain zones in the Gubbedalen shear zone.
Juxtaposition of the Ordovician–Silurian plutonic terrane (hanging wall) against the Early to mid-Devonian eclogite terrane (footwall) is best explained by a tectonic model involving early mid-Devonian buoyancy-driven exhumation followed by late mid-Devonian syncontractional extension related to thrusting on the Gubbedalen shear zone in a dextral strike-slip zone. Subsequent exhumation through the brittle-ductile transition occurred by extension on early semiductile structures and the overprinting Gubbedalen extensional detachment fault, and erosion.
- Received 18 August 2009.
- Revision received 27 April 2010.
- Accepted 18 May 2010.
- © 2010 Geological Society of America