Proterozoic basement provinces of southern and southwestern Australia, and their correlation with Antarctica
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Three Precambrian basement provinces extend from the southern coast of Australiainto East Antarctica when reconstructed in a Gondwana configuration. These are, from east to west, the Mawson Craton, Albany-Fraser Orogen and Pinjarra Orogen. The Mawson Craton preserves evidence for tectonic activity from the late Archaean until the earliest Mesoproterozoic. It is exposed in the Gawler Craton of South Australia, the Terre Adlie and King George V Land coastline of East Antarctica, and the Miller Range of the central Transantarctic Mountains. It may form a significant part of the ice-covered East Antarctic Shield although insufficient data are available to constrain its lateral extent. The Mawson Craton underwent late Palaeoproterozoic tectonism along its eastern margin (the Kimban Orogeny) and the occurrence of c. 1700 Maeclogites in the Transantarctic Mountains implies that this was in part a collisional event, althoughelsewhere it was characterized by low P/T metamorphism. The western margin of the MawsonCraton collided with a continental fragment comprising the Nawa Domain of the Gawler Craton, the Coompana Block, and the Nornalup Complex of Western Australia at c. 1560 Ma during the Kararan Orogeny. The western edge of the Nornalup Complex later collided with the Biranup Complex, Fraser Complex, and Yilgarn Craton to form the Albany-Fraser Orogen during two stages of tectonism at c. 1350 1260 and c. 1210 1140 Ma. The Pinjarra Orogen truncates the western margin of the Yilgarn Craton and Albany-Fraser Orogen, and contains allochthonous 1100 1000 Ma gneissic blocks transported along the craton margin during at least two stages of Neoproterozoic transcurrent movement. It divides East Gondwana into Australo-Antarctic and Indo-Antarctic domains, which are distinct continental fragments with different Proterozoic histories that were juxtaposed by oblique collision at 550 500 Ma during the assembly of Gondwana. The path taken by the Pinjarra Orogen beneath the Antarctic ice sheet is unknown, but it is of similar width and length to the East African Orogen, and must have been a fundamental Neoproterozoic boundary of critical importance to supercontinent assembly and break-up.
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On the edge: U-Pb, Lu-Hf, and Sm-Nd data suggests reworking of the Yilgarn craton margin during formation of the Albany-Fraser OrogenKirkland, Chris; Spaggiari, C.; Pawley, M.; Wingate, M.; Smithies, R.; Howard, H.; Tyler, I.; Belousova, E.; Poujol, M. (2011)The Albany-Fraser Orogen is considered to be a response to Mesoproterozoic continent–continent collision between the combined North and West Australian Cratons and the combined East Antarctic and South Australian Cratons. ...
Early Cambrian metamorphic zircon in the northern Pinjarra Orogen: Implications for the structure of the West Australian Craton marginMarkwitz, V.; Kirkland, Chris; Evans, N. (2016)The Mesoproterozoic Pinjarra Orogen formed when present-day India and Australia amalgamated to form Gondwana. Outcrop of the Pinjarra Orogen is limited to the Leeuwin, Mullingarra, and Northampton Complexes, which are ...
Early cambrian metamorphic zircon in the Northern Pinjarra Orogen: Implications for the structure of the west Australian craton marginMarkwitz, V.; Kirkland, Chris; Evans, Noreen (2017)© 2016 Geological Society of America.The Mesoproterozoic Pinjarra Orogen formed when present-day India and Australia amalgamated to form Gondwana. Outcrop of the Pinjarra Orogen is limited to the Leeuwin, Mullingarra, and ...