Episodicity of Mesozoic terrane accretion along the Pacific margin of Gondwana: implications for superplume–plate interactions.

A review of evidence for deformation and terrane accretion on the Late Triassic–Early Jurassic margins of Pangea and the mid-Cretaceous margins of the palaeo-Pacific ocean shows that deformation was global and synchronous with probable superplume events. Late Triassic–Early Jurassic deformation appears to be concentrated in the period 202–197 Ma and was coeval with eruption of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, onset of Pangaea break-up, a period of extended normal magnetic polarity and a major mass extinction event, all possible expressions of a superplume event. Mid-Cretaceous deformation occurred in two brief periods, the first from approximately 116 to 110 Ma in the west palaeo-Pacific and the second from roughly 105 to 99 Ma in the east palaeo-Pacific, with both events possibly represented in northeast Siberia. This deformation was coeval with eruption of major oceanic plateaus, core-complex formation and rifting of New Zealand from Gondwana, the Cretaceous normal polarity epoch, and a major radiation of flowering plants and several animal groups, all linked with the mid-Cretaceous superplume event. A simple unifying mechanism is presented suggesting that large continental or oceanic plates, when impacted by a superplume, tend to break-up/reorganize, associated with gravitational spreading away from a broad, thermally generated topographic high and with a resulting short-lived pulse of plate-marginal deformation and terrane accretion.


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Authors: Vaughan, A.P.M., Livermore, R.A.

Editors: Vaughan, A.P.M., Leat, P.T., Pankhurst, R.J.

On this site: Philip Leat
1 January, 2005
In: Vaughan, A.P.M., Leat, P.T., Pankhurst, R.J. (eds.). Terrane processes at the margins of Gondwana, London, Geological Society of London, 143-178.
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