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Is a Cryptic Late Cretaceous Suture Hidden in the Otago Schist?

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.

Details

Academic background
Sciences
Host campus
Dunedin
Qualification
Master’s
Department
Geology
Supervisors
Dr Mike Palin, Emeritus Professor Alan Cooper

Overview

Geology_Cryptic_Suture_Image

Detrital zircons from the Alpine Schist (Cooper et al., 2013; 2015; Cooper and Palin, 2018) suggest accretion of the Late Cretaceous Pounamu Terrane took place from the west. The metamorphic core of the Otago Schist has recently yielded detrital zircons as young as 108 Ma (Mortimer et al., 2015) whereas overlying sedimentary sequences include 112 Ma volcanics (Tulloch et al. 2009). Together, these findings challenge the prevailing paradigm for building Zealandia solely by accretion of tectonostratigraphic terranes from the east.

The goal of this project is to extend the detrital zircon database into central and eastern Otago. The work will involve field mapping and sampling, petrography, and zircon imaging by SEM and U-Pb dating by LA-ICP-MS.

Recommended preparation

GEOL x62 and x74

Contact

Mike Palin
Email   michael.palin@otago.ac.nz