The Falkland Plateau in the context of Gondwana breakup

Wilfried.Jokat [ at ]


During the Jurassic, the Falkland Plateau was part of Gondwana and occupied a position between the African and Antarctic plates. Several contrasting models exist for the breakup of Gondwana that depend on assumptions about the currently unknown crustal structure of the Falkland Plateau. Here, we present the results of recently acquired wide-angle seismic data along the entire plateau that provide sound constraints on its role in geodynamic reconstructions. In contrast to published crustal models, the new data show that the Falkland Plateau Basin consists of up to 20 km thick oceanic crust, which is bounded to the east by a continental fragment, the Maurice Ewing Bank. In a refined geodynamic model, rifting started between the Falkland Islands and the Maurice Ewing Bank at ~178 Ma and ceased at around ~154 Ma. The plateau's exceptionally thick oceanic crust likely results from its position in an extensional back-arc-regime situated over a mantle thermal anomaly that was also responsible for the extensive onshore Karoo-Ferrar and Chon Aike volcanic provinces.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1016/

Cite as
Schimschal, C. and Jokat, W. (2019): The Falkland Plateau in the context of Gondwana breakup , Gondwana Research, 68 , pp. 108-115 . doi: 10.1016/

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Geographical region

Research Platforms

ANT > XXIX > 5

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