Precambrian evolution of the Salalah Crystalline Basement from structural analysis and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology
The Salalah Crystalline Basement (SCB) is the largest Precambrian exposure in Oman located on the southern margin of the Arabian Plate at the Arabian Sea shore. This work used remote sensing, detailed structural analysis and the analysis of ten samples using 40Ar/39Ar age dating to establish the Precambrian evolution of the SCB by focusing on its central and southwestern parts. This work found that the SCB evolved through four deformational events that shaped its final architecture: (1) Folding and thrusting event that resulted in the emplacement of the Sadh complex atop the Juffa complex. This event resulted in the formation of possibly N-verging nappe structure; (2) Regional folding event around SE- and SW-plunging axes that deformed the regional fabric developed during the N-verging nappe structure and produced map-scale SE- and SW-plunging antiforms shaping the complexes into a semi-dome structure; (3) Strike-slip shearing event that produced a conjugate set of NE-trending sinistral and NW-trending dextral strike-slip shear zones; and (4) Localized SE-directed gravitational collapse manifested by top-to-the-southeast kinematic indicators. Deformation within the SCB might have ceased by 752.2+/-2.7 Ma as indicated by an age given by an undeformed granite. The thermochron of samples collected throughout the SCB complexes shows a single cooling event that occurred between about 800 and 760 Ma. This cooling event could be accomplished by crustal exhumation resulting in regional collapse following the prolonged period of the contractional deformation of the SCB. This makes the SCB a possible metamorphic core complex.
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- Geology;Geophysics;Asian Studies