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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof Colin Macpherson

Burton-Johnson, A., Macpherson, C.G., Muraszko, J.R., Harrison, R.J. & Jordan, T.A. (2019). Tectonic strain recorded by magnetic fabrics (AMS) in plutons, including Mt Kinabalu, Borneo: A tool to explore past tectonic regimes and syn-magmatic deformation. Journal of Structural Geology 119: 50-60.

Author(s) from Durham


Tectonic strain commonly overprints magmatic fabrics in AMS (Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility) data for plutonic rocks produced by both compressional and extensional regimes. Mt Kinabalu, Borneo, is a composite pluton with an exceptional vertical range of exposure and clearly defined internal contacts. We show that tectonic fabrics are recorded pervasively throughout the intrusion, even near contacts, and present a workflow distinguishing compressive and extensional syn-magmatic deformation. At Mt Kinabalu this reveals a pervasive tectonic fabric indicating NW-SE Miocene extension in Borneo at 7.9–7.3 Ma, later than previously recognised, oriented NW-SE at 319° ±13.1°. Comparing data from Mt Kinabalu with data from globally distributed studies shows that tectonic strain is commonly recorded by plutons. Therefore, AMS fabric can be used to identify the syn-magmatic tectonic setting and combined with both geochronology and evidence for paleomagnetic rotation to provide a powerful tool for accurate determination of syn-magmatic tectonic regimes and strain orientations within temporal frameworks.