Synchronous oceanic spreading and continental rifting in West Antarctica
Magnetic anomalies associated with new ocean crust formation in the Adare Basin off north-western Ross Sea (43 – 26 Ma) can be traced directly into the Northern Basin that underlies the adjacent morphological continental shelf, implying a continuity in the emplacement of oceanic crust. Steep gravity gradients along the margins of the Northern Basin, particularly in the east, suggest that little extension and thinning of continental crust occurred before it ruptured and the new oceanic crust formed, unlike most other continental rifts and the Victoria Land Basin further south. A pre-existing weak crust and localisation of strain by strike slip faulting are proposed as the factors allowing the rapid rupture of continental crust.
Authors: Davey, F.J., Granot, R., Cande, S.C., Stock, J.M., Selvans, M., Ferraccioli, F.