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Mesoproterozoic Tasmania: witness to the East Antarctica-Laurentia connection within Nuna
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-18, 12:08 authored by Mulder, JA, Jacqueline HalpinJacqueline Halpin, Daczko, NR
Most recent paleogeographic reconstructions of the supercontinent Nuna juxtapose the North Australian craton, Mawson continent (South Australia–East Antarctica), and Laurentia between 1.6 Ga and 1.3 Ga but differ in their relative positioning. The > 10-km-thick siliciclastic Rocky Cape Group of Tasmania was deposited in an opening marine basin on the margin of East Antarctica during Nuna breakup. Based on a similar detrital zircon signature and depositional age, the Rocky Cape Group has been correlated with the upper Belt-Purcell Supergroup in Laurentia, thus representing a key tie point within Nuna. Here the detrital zircon age signature of Mesoproterozoic Rocky Cape Group quartzites is investigated by comparing new detrital zircon U-Pb-Hf isotopic data to an extensive compilation of zircon isotopic data from Australia, East Antarctica, and Laurentia. Our analysis demonstrates that the Rocky Cape Group is unlikely to have been sourced from any geological terrane exposed in presentday Australia. Instead, zircon U-Pb-Hf isotopic data from basement terranes in Laurentia and East Antarctica show striking similarities to the Rocky Cape Group detrital signature. Paleocurrent data indicate that the majority of sediment in the Rocky Cape Group was sourced from Laurentia, which was to the southeast (present-day coordinates) of Tasmania, supporting a SWEAT-like (southwest United States–East Antarctica) configuration for Nuna. We suggest that rifting left a thinned continental connection between East Antarctica and Laurentia onto which the lower-middle Rocky Cape Group was deposited between 1.45 and 1.30 Ga.
Department/SchoolSchool of Natural Sciences
PublisherGeological Society of America
Place of publicationPO Box 9140, Boulder, USA, Co, 80301-9140
Rights statementCopyright 2015 Geological Society of America