Pattern of slow seafloor spreading (<4 mm/year) from breakup (96 Ma) to A20 (44.5 Ma) off the southern margin of Australia

J. J. Veevers, H. M. J. Stagg, J. B. Willcox, H. L. Davies

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    Australia separated from Antarctica by continental extension between the mid-Jurassic (>160 Ma) and mid-Cretaceous (96 Ma), then by slow seafloor spreading (half-rate <4.4 mm/year) on a separation azimuth of 335° until A21 time (49 Ma), at an intermediate half-rate (10 mm/year) until A20 time (44.5 Ma), and then at a fast rate (20 mm/year) on a separation azimuth of 360° to the present. A compilation of seafloor spreading magnetic data for the entire southern margin, confirms the previous work except for the re-interpretation of the oldest anomalies. The phase of slow spreading is characterised by (a) jumps of the spreading ridge to Australia between 131.25°E and Tasmania to accommodate the southeastward offset of the line of separation between Tasmania and Antarctica, and (b) variable azimuths of spreading isochrons within individual spreading segments. The variable azimuth of the spreading isochrons, oblique to the separation azimuth, is interpreted as the response of a slow spreading system to confinement between continental margins whose boundaries are oblique to the separation azimuth.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)499-507
    Number of pages9
    JournalBMR Journal of Australian Geology & Geophysics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1990

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 1990. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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