The Skytrain plate and tectonic evolution of southwest Gondwana since Jurassic times


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graeme.eagles [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Uncertainty about the structure of the Falkland Plateau Basin has long hindered understanding of tectonic evolution in southwest Gondwana. New aeromagnetic data from the basin reveal Jurassic-onset seafloor spreading by motion of a single newly-recognized plate, Skytrain, which also governed continental extension in the Weddell Sea Embayment and possibly further afield in Antarctica. The Skytrain plate resolves a nearly century-old controversy by requiring a South American setting for the Falkland Islands in Gondwana. The Skytrain plate’s later motion provides a unifying context for post-Cambrian wide-angle paleomagnetic rotation, Cretaceous uplift, and post-Permian oblique collision in the Ellsworth Mountains of Antarctica. Further north, the Skytrain plate’s margins built a continuous conjugate ocean to the Weddell Sea in the Falkland Plateau Basin and central Scotia Sea. This ocean rules out venerable correlation-based interpretations for a Pacific margin location and subsequent long-distance translation of the South Georgia microcontinent as the Drake Passage gateway opened.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
53297
DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-77070-6

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Eagles, G. and Eisermann, H. (2020): The Skytrain plate and tectonic evolution of southwest Gondwana since Jurassic times , Scientific Reports, 10 . doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-77070-6


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