Fission-Track Thermochronology in Structural Geology and Tectonic Studies
Apatite fission-track (AFT) and zircon fission-track (ZFT) data along with other low-temperature thermochronologic data are widely used in the fields of structural geology and tectonics to determine the timing/duration of events, the amount of exhumation in mountain belts, rates of slip on faults, and the geometries of fault networks. In this chapter, I review applications of AFT and ZFT data in extensional tectonic settings. Examples of data sets and interpretations are summarized from the Cenozoic-Recent North American Basin and Range Province. These data constrain displacements of normal faults, rates of slip on faults, paleogeothermal gradients, and the original dip of low-angle normal faults.
I would like to thank Stephanie Brichau and Paul Fitzgerald for helpful reviews of the original manuscript and the many collaborators that contributed to the studies summarized in this chapter.
- Brown RW, Summerfield MA, Gleadow AJW (1994) Apatite fission track analysis: its potential for the estimation of denudation rates and implications for models of long-term landscape development. In: Kirkby MJ (ed) Process models and theoretical geomorphology. Wiley, New York, pp 23–53Google Scholar
- Dickinson WR (1991) Tectonic setting of faulted tertiary strata associated with the Catalina core complex in southern Arizona. Geol Soc Am Sp Paper 264Google Scholar
- Fitzgerald PG, Malusà MG (2018) Chapter 9. Concept of the exhumed partial annealing (retention) zone and age-elevation profiles in thermochronology. In: Malusà MG, Fitzgerald PG (eds) Fission-track thermochronology and its application to geology. SpringerGoogle Scholar
- Fitzgerald PG, Reynolds SJ, Stump E, Foster DA, Gleadow AJW (1993) Thermochronologic evidence for timing of denudation and rate of crustal extension of the South Mountain metamorphic core complex and Sierra Estrella, Arizona. Nucl Tracks 21:555–563Google Scholar
- Fitzgerald PG, Duebendorfer EM, Faulds JE, O’Sullivan P (2009) South virgin—white hills detachment fault system of SE Nevada and NW Arizona: applying apatite fission track thermochronology to constrain the tectonic evolution of a major continental detachment system. Tectonics 28 TC2001Google Scholar
- Foster DA, Harrison TM, Miller CF, Howard KA (1990) The 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of the eastern Mojave Desert, California and adjacent western Arizona with implications for the evolution of metamorphic core complexes. J Geophys Res 95:20, 005–20, 024Google Scholar
- Malusà MG, Fitzgerald PG (2018) Chapter 8. From cooling to exhumation: setting the reference frame for the interpretation of thermocronologic data. In: Malusà MG, Fitzgerald PG (eds) Fission-track thermochronology and its application to geology. SpringerGoogle Scholar
- Malusà MG, Fitzgerald PG (2018) Chapter 10. Application of thermochronology to geologic problems: bedrock and detrital approaches. In: Malusà MG, Fitzgerald PG (eds) Fission-track thermochronology and its application to geology. SpringerGoogle Scholar
- McQuarrie N, Barns JB, Ehlers TA (2008) Geometric, kinematic, and erosional history of the central Andean Plateau, Bolivia (15–17˚S). Tectonics 27 TC3007Google Scholar
- O’Sullivan PB, Green PF, Bergman SC, Decker J, Duddy IR, Gleadow AJW, Turner DL (1993) Multiple phases of Tertiary uplift and erosion in the National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, revealed by apatite fission track analysis. AAPG Bull 77:359–385Google Scholar
- Pease V, Foster D, O’Sullivan P, Wooden J, Argent J, Fanning C (1999) The Northern Sacramento Mountains, Part II: Exhumation history and detachment faulting. In: Mac Niocaill C, Ryan PD (eds) Continental Tectonics. Geol Soc (London) Sp Pub 164:199–237Google Scholar
- Stockli DF (2005) Application of low-temperature thermochronometry to extensional tectonic settings. In: Reiners PW, Ehlers TA (eds) Low-temperature thermochronology: techniques, interpretations, and applications. Rev Min Geochem 58:411–448. Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, VirginiaCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wells ML, Snee LW, Blythe AE (2000) Dating of major normal fault systems using thermochronology: an example from the Raft River detachment, Basin and Range, western United States. J Geophys Res 105:16, 303–16, 327Google Scholar