Key words incipient metamorphism
Clay mineral crystallinity
Conodont color alteration index (CAI)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The low-temperature thermal history of Paleozoic and Precambrian shales and slates was studied in detail along a NW–SE transect between Ufa and Beloretzk in the western fold-and-thrust belt of the southern Urals, Russia. The aim of the investigations was to compare four thermal parameters, namely illite and chlorite crystallinity, vitrinite reflectance, and Conodont color alteration index (CAI), in order to quantify the finite (i.e. maximum) thermal grade. The transect extends from Devonian to Permian sedimentary units of the pre-Uralian foredeep, crossing Precambrian siliciclastic and carbonate units of the Bashkirian megaanticlinorium into the Paleozoic units of the Ural-Tau antiform. In general, the four methods indicate similar metamorphic grades of the samples. The finite thermal grade ranges from lower diagenesis (Ro=0.9%, CIS-FWHMill001ad=0.770 Δ°2Θ, CIS-FWHMchl002ad=0.447 Δ°2Θ, CAI=1.5) in the pre-Uralian foredeep to epizone (CIS-FWHMill001ad=0.243 Δ°2Θ, CIS-FWHMchl002ad=0.252 Δ°2Θ, CAI=6) in the eastern part of the Bashkirian mega-anticlinorium and the Zilair synclinorium. All parameters show a sudden change in value at thrust boundaries and an increase in metamorphic grade with stratigraphic age within structural units. In comparison, the westernmost Precambrian units of the Ala-Tau-anticlinorium are characterized by thermal grades of lower diagenesis. Magmatic dikes cause a wide variation of the thermal grade in the western part of the Bashkirian megaanticlinorium. Also in areas with an intensive cleavage development (Zilair synclinorium) the finite thermal grade shows a stronger relationship towards the deformation than the stratigraphic position.
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