Emergent, long-lived Gondwanaland vs. submergent, short-lived Laurasia: supercontinental and Pan-African heat imparts long-term buoyancy by mafic underplating

J. J. Veevers

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    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Gondwanaland was buoyant, as indicated by nonmarine facies, and Laurasia was depressed, as indicated by marine facies. As a supercontinent, Gondwanaland lasted much longer than Laurasia and was hotter from internal heat. Moreover, the Pan-African orogenic cycle, confined to Gondwanaland, augmented the heat supply, which possibly generated a permanently buoyant lower crust by underplating. A crustal layer in the Australian Proterozoic shield with subhorizontal reflectors and velocity (Vp) > 7.5 km/s is interpreted as mafic underplating beneath latest Neoproterozoic flood basalt. The Pan-African terrane in East Africa also contains evidence of mafic underplating, and most of Gondwanaland (but not Laurasia) was affected by terminal Pan-African (0.5 Ga) uplift and cooling. -Author

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1131-1134
    Number of pages4
    JournalGeology
    Volume23
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

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