New paleomagnetic constraints on the Cretaceous tectonic framework of the Antarctic Peninsula

Understanding the tectonic framework of the Antarctic Peninsula is hindered by a paucity of paleomagnetic data from key locations. In this study, we present paleomagnetic data from the South Shetland Islands, to the northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula, which provides valuable paleoposition constraints on the Western domain of the Antarctic Peninsula. We report a key reliable paleopole (58.1°S, 354.3°E, A95=6.3°) from Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands at ∼102 Ma. Plate reconstruction models from the Early Cretaceous attach the South Shetland Islands to the Pacific margin of southern Patagonia-Fuegian Andes at ∼140 Ma. The South Shetland Islands then experienced southward translation to its current position to the northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula following counterclockwise rotation during ∼100-90 Ma. A similar counterclockwise rotation has also been identified from southern Patagonia-Fuegian Andes but is absent in the Antarctic Peninsula, suggesting a direct affinity between the South Shetland Islands and southern Patagonia-Fuegian Andes. However, the consistent, almost northward Cretaceous paleomagnetic declination in the Antarctic Peninsula, and the near-synchronous tectonic-magmatic history between the Antarctic Peninsula and the southern Patagonia-Fuegian Andes support an autochthonous continental subduction model for most of the Antarctic Peninsula.


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Authors: Gao, Liang, Pei, Junling, Zhao, Yue, Yang, Zhenyu, Riley, Teal R. ORCIDORCID record for Teal R. Riley, Liu, Xiaochun, Zhang, Shuan-Hong, Liu, Jian-Min

On this site: Teal Riley
1 November, 2021
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth / 126
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