The tectonic context of the Early Palaeozoic southern margin of Gondwana
The oceanic southern margin of Gondwana, from southern South America through
South Africa, West Antarctica, New Zealand (in its pre break-up position), and Victoria
Land to Eastern Australia is one of the longest and longest-lived active continental
margins known. Its construction was initiated in late Neoproterozoic times following
the break-up of the pre-existing supercontinent of Rodinia. Gondwana was established
by the amalgamation of Australian, Indian, Antarctic, African and South American
continental fragments mostly derived from Rodinia. Its ‘Pacific’ margin continued to
develop as the site of the 18,000 km Terra Australis orogen, predominantly facing
subducting ocean floor and involving some terrane accretion events, through Palaeozoic
and Mesozoic times until, and during, the eventual break-up of Gondwana itself.
Authors: Pankhurst, Robert J., Vaughan, Alan P.M.
Editors: Bassett, M.G.
1 January, 2009
In: Bassett, M.G. (eds.). Early Palaeozoic Peri-Gondwana terranes : new insights from tectonics and biogeography, London, UK, Geological Society of London, 171-176.