Jurassic magmatism in Dronning Maud Land: synthesis of results of the MAMOG project
The Jurassic Karoo large igneous province (LIP) of Antarctica, and its conjugate margin in southern Africa, is critical for investigating important questions about the relationship of basaltic LIPs to mantle plumes. Detailed aerogeophysical, structural, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS), geochronological and geochemical investigations completed under the British Antarctic Survey’s MAMOG project have provided some of the answers. Across most of the area, magma volumes were small compared to those in southern Africa. Jurassic dikes intruding the Archean craton are sparse and the Jutulstraumen trough, a Jurassic rift, is interpreted, from aerogeophysical data, as largely amagmatic. The largest volumes of magma were emplaced along the margin of the craton and close to the Africa-Antarctica rift. Although dikes were emplaced by both vertical and horizontal flow, overwhelmingly magmas in Dronning Maud Land were locally derived, and not emplaced laterally from distant sources. Basaltic magmatism was protracted in Dronning Maud Land (several dike emplacement episodes between ~206 and 175 Ma), and the small magma volumes resulted in highly diverse magma compositions, including picrites and ferropicrites interpreted to have been derived from hot mantle in a mantle plume. The protracted magmatism before the locally ~177 Ma flood lava eruptions, and evidence for a radiating dike swarm, favor a model of mantle plume incubation for 20-30 million years before flood lava eruption.
Authors: Leat, P.T., Curtis, M.L., Riley, T.R., Ferraccioli, F.
In: Cooper, A.K., Raymond, C.R. (eds.). Antarctica: a keystone in a changing world. Online proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences, Santa Barbara, California, August 26 - September 1, 2007., U.S. Geological Survey and National Academies Press, 4 pp.