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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Professor Yaoling Niu

Bruce, M.C. & Niu, Yaoling (2000). Early Permian supra-subduction assemblage of the South Island terrane, Percy Isles, New England Fold Belt, Queensland. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 47: 1077-1086.

Author(s) from Durham


Ultramafic–intermediate rocks exposed on the South Island of the Percy Isles have been previously
grouped into the ophiolitic Marlborough terrane of the northern New England Fold Belt. However,
petrological, geochemical and geochronological data all suggest a different origin for the South
Island rocks and a new terrane, the South Island terrane, is proposed. The South Island terrane rocks
differ from ultramafic–mafic rocks of the Marlborough terrane not only in lithological association, but
also in geochemical features and age. These data demonstrate that the South Island terrane is genetically
unrelated to the Marlborough terrane but developed in a supra-subduction zone environment
probably associated with an Early Permian oceanic arc. There is, however, a correlation between
the South Island terrane rocks and intrusive units of the Marlborough ophiolite. This indicates that the
two terranes were in relative proximity to one another during Early Permian times. A K/Ar age of
277 6 7 Ma on a cumulative amphibole-rich diorite from the South Island terrane suggests possible
affinities with the Gympie and Berserker terranes of the northern New England Fold Belt.