Paleomagnetism and U–Pb age of the 2.4 Ga Erayinia mafic dykes in the south-western Yilgarn, Western Australia: Paleogeographic and geodynamic implications
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We present results from a paleomagnetic study of the previously undated Erayinia dykes intruding the south-western Yilgarn Craton. The U–Pb TIMs baddeleyite age of these dykes is now 2401 ± 1 Ma, which is about 10 m.y. younger than the 2418–2410 Ma Widgiemooltha dyke swarm. The paleomagnetic study isolated a stable primary remanence with steep downward direction, and the paleomagnetic pole (22.7° S, 150.5° E, A95 = 11.4°) is similar, but not identical to that of the previously studied Widgiemooltha dykes. We interpret this difference as the result of the movement of the Yilgarn Craton toward the pole at ∼1°/m.y. angular speed, which is comparable with tectonic plates’ velocities during the Phanerozoic. Paleomagnetic polarities of Widgiemooltha and Erayinia dykes suggest that at least one geomagnetic reversal occurred between these two magmatic events. The estimated amplitude of geomagnetic secular variations at c. 2400 Ma is slightly higher than predicted by the existing models for the last 5 m.y. at the c. 64° latitude. The paleomagnetic data and patterns of c. 2.6–2.1 Ga mafic dyke swarms permit the recently suggested reconstruction of the Paleoproterozoic supercontinent.
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