Large amplitude magnetic anomalies in the northern sector of the Powell Basin, NE Antarctic Peninsula

Magnetic profiles obtained during the Hesant 92/93 cruise with the R/V Hesperides show large amplitude anomalies (up to 1000 nT) along a 100 km wide band in the northern margin of the Powell Basin. The anomalies, which are also locally identified in the eastern and western margins, are attributed to the continuation of the two branches of the Antarctic Peninsula Pacific Margin Anomaly (PMA). Interactive modelling of two-dimensional bodies in four profiles oriented NNW-SSE allows us to determine the main features of the magnetic source bodies within the continental crust. These are elongated in a N60/degE trend, and their base is located at a depth exceeding 15 km. Equivalent magnetic susceptibilities mostly between 0.07 and 0.1 (SI) are obtained. These values are consistent with the hypothesis that remanent magnetisation of the magnetic source bodies is sub-parallel to the present geomagnetic field (norÍmally magnetised). The general trends of the bathymetry a nd the geometry of the acoustic basement on multichannel seismic profiles are consistent with the upper surface of magnetic bodies. In order to match the observed anomalies it is also necessary to consider a second tabular shaped body with induced magnetisation in almost all the profiles, which could represent layers 2 and 3 of the oceanic crust of the Powell Basin. Three different geometries of connection between the anomalies in the Powell Basin margins and the PMA branches are discussed. The most plausible one is the occurrence of two branches, although they are closer together than in the Bransfield Strait. The northern branch would continue along the fragments of continental crust of the South Scotia Ridge located at the northern boundary of the Powell Basin, whereas the southern branch would be located only in the eastern and western passive margins of the Powell Basin. The apparent splitting of the southern branch of the anomalous body indicates that it was emplaced before Oligo cene times, when the opening of this basin occurred, and that it was subsequently fragmented during the Cenozoic. A possible time of formation of the PMA body would be during the long Cretaceous normal polarity interval, which also coincides with a peak in magmatic activity along the Antarctic Peninsula.


Publication status:
Authors: Surinach, E., Galindo-Zaldivar, J., Maldonado, A., Livermore, R.

1 February, 1997
Marine Geophysical Researches / 19
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