Flow of partially molten crust and the internal dynamics of a migmatite dome, Naxos, Greece

Seth C. Kruckenberg, Olivier Vanderhaeghe, Eric C. Ferré, Christian Teyssier, Donna L. Whitney

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105 Scopus citations


Migmatite domes are common in metamorphic core complexes. Dome migmatites deform in the partially molten or magmatic state and commonly record complex form surfaces, folds, and fabrics while units mantling the dome display a simpler geometry, typically formed by transposition during crustal extension. We use field observations and magnetic fabrics in the Naxos dome (Greece) to quantify the complex flow of anatectic crust beneath an extensional detachment system. The internal structure of the Naxos dome is characterized by second-order domes (subdomes), pinched synforms, and curved lineation trajectories, which suggest that buoyancy-driven flow participated in dome evolution. Subdomes broadly occur within two compartments that are separated by a steep, N-S oriented, high-strain zone. This pattern has been recognized in domes formed by polydiapirism and in models of isostasy-dominated flow. The preferred model involves a combination of buoyancy- and isostasy-driven processes: the Naxos dome may have been generated by regional N-S extension that triggered convergent flow of partially molten crust at depth and the upwelling of anatectic migmatites within the dome. This pattern is complicated by gravitational instabilities and/or overturning of the high melt fraction crust leading to the growth of subdomes. As the migmatites within the Naxos dome reached a higher structural level, they were affected by regional top-to-the-NNE kinematics of the detachment system. Dome formation therefore occurred by a combination of coeval and coupled processes: upper crustal extension, deep crust contraction during convergent flow of anatectic crust, diapirism and/or density-driven crustal convection forming subdomes, and north directed detachment kinematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberTC3001
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


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