Left-lateral transpressive deformation and its tectonic implications, Sveconorwegian orogen, Baltic Shield, southwestern Sweden

Michael B. Stephens, Carl Henric Wahlgren, Ruud Weijermars, Alexander R. Cruden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The Mylonite Zone (MZ) is a major, ductile deformation zone in the Sveconorwegian orogen (Baltic Shield) of southwestern Sweden and southeastern Norway which has a strike length of over 400 km and an across-strike width which often exceeds 5 km. It is an orogen-parallel deformation zone which formed under retrogressive metamorphic conditions relative to the higher-grade structures in the surrounding crustal units. The MZ marks a conspicuous metamorphic break in the area south of lake Vänem and a distinct lithological break in the area north of this lake. Regional metamorphic considerations suggest that its surface exposure represents an oblique section through the crust with deeper levels exposed along the southern parts of the zone and shallower levels exposed farther north. Structural studies in three areas north of lake Vänem (Värmlandsnäs, Kil and Torsby-Charlottenberg) suggest that the MZ displays coeval, left-lateral, strike-slip and reverse, dip-slip senses of shear characteristic of a transpressive tectonic regime active under upper greenschist-facies conditions. In the northernmost Torsby-Charlottenberg area, at relatively shallow crustal levels, the MZ splays out to form two left-lateral, contractional strike-slip duplexes which together define a positive flower structure. Regionally, the MZ defines the western flank of an east-verging thrust system which formed in the eastern part of the Sveconorwegian orogen. The structures within this thrust system preceded the MZ, contain a subordinate, left-lateral strike-slip component of movement and were rotated into the Sveconorwegian Frontal Deformation Zone (SFDZ) in the frontal part of the orogen. The MZ is inferred to have formed in an extrusive (dispersive) tectonic environment which developed in connection with a slightly oblique collision and crustal shortening in a WNW-ESE direction. The initial stages of this collision produced the east-verging thrust system and shortening was absorbed, at this stage, by crustal thickening. Late, possibly out-of-sequence thrusting with a right-lateral, strike-slip sense of shear along the SFDZ marked the waning stages of crustal shortening in the Sveconorwegian orogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-279
Number of pages19
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

Cite this