Structural studies of Lower Permian sequences exposed on wave-cut platforms within the Nambucca Block, indicate that one to two ductile and two to three brittle — ductile/brittle events are recorded in the lower grade (sub-greenschist facies) rocks; evidence for four, possibly five, ductile and at least three brittle — ductile/brittle events occurs in the higher grade (greenschist facies) rocks. Veins formed prior to the second ductile event are present in some outcrops. Further, the studies reveal a change in fold style from west-southwest-trending, open, south-southeast-verging, inclined folds (F₁⁰) at Grassy Head in the south, to east-northeast-trending, recumbent, isoclinal folds (F₁⁰; F₂⁰) at Nambucca Heads to the north, suggesting that strain increases towards the Coffs Harbour Block. A solution cleavage formed during D₁ in the lower grade rocks and cleavages defined by neocrystalline white mica developed during D₁ and D₂ in the higher grade rocks. South- to south-southwest-directed tectonic transport and north-south shortening operated during these earlier events. Subsequently, north-northeast-trending, open, upright F₃² folds and inclined, northwest-verging, northeast-trending F₄² folds developed with poorly to moderately developed axial planar, crenulation cleavage (S₃ and S₄) formed by solution transfer processes. These folds formed heterogeneously in S₂ throughout the higher grade areas. Later northeast-southwest shortening resulted in the formation of en chelon vein arrays and kink bands in both the lower and higher grade rocks. Shortening changed to east-northeast-west-southwest during later north-northeast to northeast, dextral, strike-slip faulting and then to approximately northwest-southeast during the formation of east-southeast to southeast-trending, strike-slip faults. Cessation of faulting occurred prior to the emplacement of Triassic (229 Ma) granitoids. On a regional scale, S₁ trends east-west and dips moderately to the north in areas unaffected by later events. S₂ has a similar trend to S₁ in less-deformed areas, but is refolded about east-west axes during D₃. S₃ is folded about east-west axes in the highest grade, multiply deformed central part of the Nambucca Block. The deformation and regional metamorphism in the Nambucca Block is believed to be the result of indenter tectonics, whereby south-directed movement of the Coffs Harbour Block during oroclinal bending, sequentially produced the east-west-trending structures. The effects of the Coffs Harbour Block were greatest during D₁ and D₂.
Australian Journal of Earth Sciences Vol. 49, Issue 2, p. 407-421