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Early Tertiary gravity field reconstructions of the Southwest Pacific

Marks, K. M. and Stock, J. M. (1997) Early Tertiary gravity field reconstructions of the Southwest Pacific. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 152 (1-4). pp. 267-274. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(97)00139-8.

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The aim of our study is to chronicle the development of plate boundaries in the Southwest Pacific Ocean during the early Tertiary. This region has been the subject of numerous and often conflicting studies that have attempted to construct the history of plate motion and plate boundary evolution as the Australia and Pacific plates separated from Antarctica. Our novel approach entails reconstructing gravity fields from satellite altimeter gravity by first removing anomalies overlying seafloor younger than a selected age, and then rotating the remaining anomalies through appropriate finite rotations. Our reconstructions reveal: (1) an extensional plate boundary (the Iselin rift) existed between West and East Antarctica prior to A24 time; (2) the arrival of the Southeast Indian ridge (SEIR) at the Tasman ridge (prior to A24) led to the extinction of the Iselin rift as well as the conversion of the easternmost portion of the Tasman plate boundary (between the SEIR and the Iselin rift) into a transform fault on the Pacific–Antarctic ridge; and (3) an early (A24 or younger) inception of the Australia–Pacific plate boundary. Our scenario for the opening of the Southwest Pacific Ocean can explain the present-day gravity anomalies and magnetic isochrons observed in the northwest Ross Sea. We find that the East Antarctic seafloor northeast of the Iselin Bank was generated by spreading on the Tasman ridge prior to A24 time.

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Stock, J. M.0000-0003-4816-7865
Additional Information:© 1997 Elsevier Science B.V. Received 10 June 1997; accepted 12 August 1997. We thank David McAdoo and Seymour Laxon for providing us with both preliminary and final versions of their ERS-1 satellite marine gravity field w8x covering the Ross Sea and Southwest Pacific Ocean. We also thank Jeanne Hardebeck for providing her Tasman Sea finite rotation. Reviews from Rupert Sutherland, Steve Cande, and an anonymous referee improved this manuscript. J. Stock was supported by NSF grant OCE-9416779. Contribution 6215, California Institute of Technology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. Images of these reconstructions are on the web at http:rribisrgrdl.noaa. govrSAT under KMM’s directory. [AC]
Group:Seismological Laboratory, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Southwest Pacific; lower Tertiary; gravity anomalies; Geosat; plate tectonics; reconstruction
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences6215
Issue or Number:1-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140411-144331262
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Official Citation:K.M. Marks, J.M. Stock, Early Tertiary gravity field reconstructions of the Southwest Pacific, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 152, Issues 1–4, November 1997, Pages 267-274, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44894
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Apr 2014 22:31
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:57

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