Phanerozoic tectonic regimes of Australia reflect global events

J. J. Veevers*, C. Mc A Powell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Phanerozoic Australia was marked by three regimes: Uluru (570-320 Ma), Innamincka (320-97 Ma) and Potoroo (97-0 Ma). Each regime, a complex of uniform plate-tectonic and palaeo-climatic events at a similar or slowly changing latitude, generated a depositional sequence of distinct facies bounded by unconformities at the margins and by stratigraphic gaps in the interior. The Uluru sequence in the interior is dominated by low-latitude shallow-water (including marine carbonate) deposits, the Innamincka sequence by high-latitude non-marine (including glacial) deposits, and the Potoroo sequence by increasingly lower latitude deposits confined almost wholly to the margins. On the east a change from Chilean- to Mariana-type subduction marked the boundary between the Innamincka and Potoroo regimes. The Australian regimes resemble those of the other Gondwanaland fragments, and in particular the Innamincka resembles the Gondwana sequence of peninsular India. The Gondwanaland regimes, in turn, reflect those that pertained in the rest of the globe, as part of two Phanerozoic super-cycles, each ca 400 Ma long, the first Palaeozoic-Early Mesozoic, the second Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic. Each reflects a cycle of mantle convection expressed through time variation in plutonism and hence in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 and in greenhouse-icehouse effects, in continental dispersion-aggregation (Pangaea) and eustatic sea level, and in sediment type, from marine platform sediment during high sea level to non-marine during low sea level.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)545-551
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Structural Geology
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


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