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Published June 1978 | public
Journal Article

The Precambrian-Cambrian boundary problem: paleomagnetic directions from the Amadeus Basin, Central Australia


Late Precambrian to early Cambrian sediments of the Amadeus Basin, Central Australia, contain two stable directions of magnetization. Lithologies are diverse and include red beds, green beds, and carbonates, all of which respond to thermal cleaning. Positive fold and unconformity tests, and a well-defined polarity zonation reveal the primary component and direction of magnetization. This direction lies between those reported for the Proterozoic lower Pound Quartzite and the lower Cambrian Antrim Plateau Volcanics of Australia. Poles calculated from the primary direction of magnetization for three stratigraphic units in the sequence overlap at the 95% confidence level, indicating that little apparent polar wander occurred in the Australian part of Gondwana at this time.

Additional Information

This work was supported through a fellowship for overseas study from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. The author is grateful to E.M. Shoemaker of Caltech for the loan and use of a superconducting rock magnetometer. G. Green and D. Green of Ross River Tours, Pty., Ltd., gave valuable encouragement during the sampling. C.T. Klootwijk and M.A. Vincent of the Australian National University helped in various parts of the sampling. Magnetic measurements were made in the laboratory of M.W. McElhinny at the Australian National University, Dr. D.P. Elston of the U.S. Geological Survey edited and substantially improved the manuscript.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023