Paleomagnetism and paleothermometry of the Sydney Basin 1. Thermoviscous and chemical overprinting of the Milton Monzonite

D. J. Dunlop*, P. W. Schmidt, Ö Özdemir, D. A. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The Early Triassic (∼245 Ma) Milton Monzonite of the Sydney Basin, Australia, has four distinct components of natural remanent magnetization (NRM) with only slightly overlapping ranges of unblocking temperatures. The low-temperature (LT) component, the first to be thermally demagnetized, is thought to be a Late Cretaceous (≈100 Ma) thermoviscous overprint acquired in slow cooling during uplift. The high-temperature (HT) component, the second to be demagnetized, is probably the primary thermoremanent magnetization (TRM) of the Milton intrusion but could possibly be a Jurassic overprint. LT and HT are usually carried by magnetite and occasionally by pyrrhotite. Samples from nine sites have a further NRM component which unblocks at higher temperatures than HT but below the magnetite Curie temperature of 580°C. This component is argued to be a chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) because of its discrete range of high unblocking temperatures, above those of the thermal components HT and LT, and is called CRM1. CRM1 has almost the same direction as LT and is likely carried by authigenic magnetite produced during uplift ∼100 Ma. Samples from five sites have a fourth NRM component, with a direction resembling that of HT but carried by hematite. This fourth component could be a primary TRM but is more likely a CRM and is therefore called CRM2. The HT-CRM2 mean direction is D= 50°, I= 75.5°, defining a paleopole at 16°S, 172°E. The HT-CRM2 paleopole falls near 150 Ma on the Australian apparent polar wander path but is a considerable distance from paleopoles of Permian and Early Triassic age. There is no known tectonic or other remagnetizing event in the Sydney Basin around 150 Ma. For this reason, we propose that the HT-CRM2 paleopole defines a new Triassic segment of the Australian polar wander path. The LT-CRM1 mean direction is D= 348°, I=-79°, with a paleopole falling at 56°S, 158°E, near 100 Ma on the polar wander path. This age is consistent with uplift and cooling related to initial rifting of the Tasman Sea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27271-27283
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB12
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


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