Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Antarctica - East Antarctica, Major Components

The East Antarctic Craton comprises most of the area of East Antarctica, and its western margin overlies a mobile belt from the Palaeozoic which terminates at the present Transantarctic Mountains. The history of the East Antarctic Craton is obscured by a thick layer of ice as well as by time, most of the detailed descriptions coming from exposures that are small and isolated. These localised studies have provided some information about the evolution of the craton. The author1 suggests Tingey's 1991 review as a source for Antarctica's Precambrian geology. The craton began to form in the Early Archaean (Borg et al., 1987), reaching its full development by the Middle Proterozoic (Mesoproterozoic) (Elliot, 1975a; Grikurov, 1982; Black, James & Harley, 1983). Individual continents stabilised and merged to form the initial configuration that was Gondwana-like (Borg & DePaolo, 1994). In general lithology and structural style the Antarctic shield is similar to shield regions of Australia, South Africa, India, Madagascar, India, and Sri Lanka (Brown, Campbell & Crook, 1968; Crawford & Oliver, 1969; Haughton, 1969; Katz, 1973; Hoffman, 1978); Jackson, 1979; Plumb, 1979; Hunter & Pretorius, 1981; Rollison, Windley & Ramakrishnan, 1981; Rutland, 1981; Sivaprakash, 1981; Grew & Manton, 1986; Tingey, 1991). Evidence has also been found suggesting the southwestern US was contiguous with East Antarctica during the Late Precambrian and early Palaeozoic, known as the Southwest United States-East Antarctic (SWEAT) hypothesis (Dalziel, 1991; Moores, 1991).

Sources & Further reading

  1. Anderson, John B., 1999, Antarctic Marine Geology, Cambridge University Press
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated 29/07/2013
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