Cambrian palaeomagnetic data confirm a Natal Embayment location for the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains, Antarctica, in Gondwana reconstructions
The Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains (EWM) are one of five terranes that form West Antarctica. Constraining the positions of these terranes in pre-break up Gondwana is crucial to understanding the history of the palaco-Pacific Gondwana margin. We report the results of a detailed palaeomagnetic investigation of the EWM, which comprises some 150 sites in six formations, ranging in age from Cambrian to Permian. Five of the studied units yield only viscous remnant magnetizations of recent age, or unstable natural remanent magnetizations. The remaining unit, the mid-late Cambrian Frazier Ridge Formation, yielded stable magnetizations at 16 of 35 sites. This component passes a fold test at the 95 per cent confidence level, indicating that it pre-dates Permian deformation, and we argue that it is of primary origin. The resulting palaeopole (9degreesN; 293degreesE; A(95) = 5.1degrees) is in good agreement with two previously published palaeopoles from similarly aged rocks in the EWM. Collectively these data indicate that the EWM were located in the Natal Embayment prior to Gondwana break-up, and underwent 90degrees of anticlockwise rotation during break-up. All three studies, however, yield inclinations that are slightly too shallow when compared with coeval Gondwana reference poles.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.