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.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||BMR Journal of Australian Geology & Geophysics|
|Publication status||Published - 1990|