The chronology and kinematics of late Palaeozoic deformation in the NW contact metamorphic aureole of the Land's End Granite
Geoscience in South-West England
The Ussher Society
A structural investigation of coastal exposures between Cape Cornwall and Pendeen Watch, in the NW contact metamorphic aureole of the Land’s End Granite, has confirmed a similar deformation chronology as in a reference section around Porthleven. D1 deformation is represented by an ubiquitous bedding-parallel S1 cleavage although F1 folds have not been recognised. D2 deformation is more localised and characterised by open F2 folds that verge WSW to NW and are associated with an ENE to SE dipping S2 crenulation cleavage. These structures are commonly obscured by later deformation and contact metamorphism and have not been described previously. A set of steeply inclined NNW-SSE trending, and subordinate set of moderately SE dipping, post-D2 metamorphic quartz veins formed coevally during an episode of strike-slip deformation prior to, or during, the early stages of D3 deformation. D3 deformation is widespread and represented by F3 folds and a WNW to NW dipping S3 crenulation cleavage; it has been recorded previously as D2 deformation. Two orders of F3 folds are developed; first order folds have a wavelength of up to 50 m, verge ESE, and result in vertical or steeply inclined bedding and S1 cleavage on their short limbs. Second order folds usually have a wavelength of 1 m or less and usually verge ESE, unless on the short limb of first order folds, where they verge WNW. Previously published data, indicating a dominant NW to WNW vergence of F3 folds on the northern flank of the Land’s End Granite are incorrect. D3 structures are consistent with formation during the extensional reactivation of large-scale thrust faults. Granite emplacement post-dates all three episodes of ductile deformation but granites and their host rocks are deformed by a late brittle expression of D3 deformation. The Land’s End pluton has been accommodated, at the current exposure level, primarily by roof uplift that has resulted in the tilting of D3 and earlier structures to the NW by 40-50º; this may have been accompanied by differential vertical axis rotations of the host rock. The last significant Palaeozoic deformation episode formed F4 folds and S4 cleavage and was a consequence of Mid- to Late Permian ENE-WSW shortening.
Vol. 12 (2), pp. 140 - 152