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Cenozoic motion between East and West Antarctica

Cande, Steven C. and Stock, Joann M. and Müller, R. Dietmar and Ishihara, Takemi (2000) Cenozoic motion between East and West Antarctica. Nature, 404 (6774). pp. 145-150. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/35004501.

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The West Antarctic rift system is the result of late Mesozoic and Cenozoic extension between East and West Antarctica, and represents one of the largest active continental rift systems on Earth. But the timing and magnitude of the plate motions leading to the development of this rift system remain poorly known, because of a lack of magnetic anomaly and fracture zone constraints on seafloor spreading. Here we report on magnetic data, gravity data and swath bathymetry collected in several areas of the south Tasman Sea and northern Ross Sea. These results enable us to calculate mid-Cenozoic rotation parameters for East and West Antarctica. These rotations show that there was roughly 180 km of separation in the western Ross Sea embayment in Eocene and Oligocene time. This episode of extension provides a tectonic setting for several significant Cenozoic tectonic events in the Ross Sea embayment including the uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains and the deposition of large thicknesses of Oligocene sediments. Inclusion of this East–West Antarctic motion in the plate circuit linking the Australia, Antarctic and Pacific plates removes a puzzling gap between the Lord Howe rise and Campbell plateau found in previous early Tertiary reconstructions of the New Zealand region. Determination of this East–West Antarctic motion also resolves a long standing controversy regarding the contribution of deformation in this region to the global plate circuit linking the Pacific to the rest of the world.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Stock, Joann M.0000-0003-4816-7865
Müller, R. Dietmar0000-0002-3334-5764
Additional Information:© 2000 Macmillan Magazines Ltd. Received 30 August 1999; accepted 24 January 2000. We thank the captains, officers, crews and scientific staff of the RV Ewing and RVIB Palmer for their dedicated efforts. We also thank B. Luyendyk and R. Sutherland for helpful comments. The project was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (S. C. C. and J. M. S.).
Group:Seismological Laboratory, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:6774
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140415-074414969
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Official Citation:Cenozoic motion between East and West Antarctica p145 Steven C. Cande, Joann M. Stock, R. Dietmar Müller and Takemi Ishihara doi:10.1038/35004501
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44941
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:15 Apr 2014 15:03
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:58

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