Recognition of common Precambrian polar wandering reveals a conflict with plate tectonics [10]

B. J J Embleton*, P. W. Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    The controversy concerning the applicability of plate tectonics to Earth processes during Precambrian time has centred on discussions of geological aspects of continental evolution, particularly the significance of mobile belts which seem to separate large tracts of cratonic nuclei1-4 and on analyses of palaeomagnetic data5-8 which could provide quantitative evidence defining the spatial relationships of the cratonic nuclei comprising continental mosaics. Briden9 has described the salient features of the plate tectonic model in relation to geological processes for Earth history in pre-Mesozoic time. The results of the published palaeomagnetic analyses for North America5,8,10, Africa6,8 and Australia7,8 strongly suggest that the cratons which comprise the individual continents retained their relationships for much of Precambrian time and that the younger, intervening mobile belts and major sutures did not result from convergence of previously widely separated microcontinents; their origin is ensialic. The implication is that tectonic styles have changed through geological time 8.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)705-707
    Number of pages3
    Issue number5740
    Publication statusPublished - 1979


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