Skip to content > BAS > Data > Explore polar data > Our publications Geochronology and geochemistry of the northern Scotia Sea: a revised interpretation of the North and West Scotia ridge junction Geochronology and geochemistry of the northern Scotia Sea: a revised interpretation of the North and West Scotia ridge junction Understanding the tectonic evolution of the Scotia Sea is critical to interpreting how ocean gateways developed during the Cenozoic and their influence on ocean circulation patterns and water exchange between the Atlantic and Southern oceans. We examine the geochronology and detrital age history of lithologies from the prominent, submerged Barker Plateau of the North Scotia Ridge. Metasedimentary rocks of the North Scotia Ridge share a strong geological affinity with the Fuegian Andes and South Georgia, indicating a common geological history and no direct affinity to the Antarctic Peninsula. The detrital zircon geochronology indicates that deposition was likely to have taken place during the mid – Late Cretaceous. A tonalite intrusion from the Barker Plateau has been dated at 49.6 ±0.3Ma and indicates that magmatism of the Patagonian–Fuegian batholith continued into the Eocene. This was coincident with the very early stages of Drake Passage opening, the expansion of the proto Scotia Sea and reorganization of the Fuegian Andes. The West Scotia Ridge is an extinct spreading centerthat shaped the Scotia Sea and consists of seven spreading segments separated by prominent transform faults. Spreading was active from 30–6Ma and ceased with activity on the W7 segment at the junction with the North Scotia Ridge. Reinterpretation of the gravity and magnetic anomalies indicate that the architecture of the W7 spreading segment is distinct to the other segments of the West Scotia Ridge. Basaltic lava samples from the eastern flank of the W7 segment have been dated as Early – mid Cretaceous in age (137–93Ma) and have a prominent arc geochemical signature indicating that seafloor spreading did not occur on the W7 segment. Instead the W7 segment is likely to represent a downfaulted block of the North Scotia Ridge of the Fuegian Andes continental margin arc, or is potentially related to the putative Cretaceous Central Scotia Sea.
©2019 The Details Publication status: Published Author(s): Authors: Riley, Teal R. ORCID ORCID record for Teal R. Riley, Carter, Andrew, Leat, Philip T., Burton-Johnson, Alex ORCID ORCID record for Alex Burton-Johnson, Bastias, Joaquin, Spikings, Richard A., Tate, Alex J. ORCID ORCID record for Alex J. Tate, Bristow, Charlie S. On this site: Alexander Tate, Alex Burton-Johnson, Philip Leat, Teal Riley Date: 15 July, 2019 Journal/Source: Earth and Planetary Science Letters / 518 Page(s): 136-147 Link to published article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2019.04.031