Coats Land crustal block, East Antarctica: a tectonic tracer for Laurentia?

S. Loewry, I. Dalziel, S. Pisarevsky, J. Connelly, J. Tait, R. Hanson, Dean Bullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Undeformed rhyolite and granophyre in the Coats Land crustal block of East Antarctica, dated as 1112 ± 4 Ma, are identical in age to both the Umkondo large igneous province (LIP) of the Kalahari craton (southern Africa) and the early Keweenawan LIP of Laurentia (North America). Although marine and satellite data demonstrate that Coats Land was close to Kalahari within the Gondwana supercontinent, the Coats Land rocks yield Pb isotope compositions strikingly distinct from those of the Umkondo province, yet indistinguishable from rocks of the Keweenawan province. The anorogenic Red Bluff granitic suite, along the present-day southern Laurentian margin in the Franklin Mountains (Texas, USA), is of comparable age, general rock type, and Pb isotope composition to rocks of Coats Land and may provide a piercing point for a Coats Land–Laurentia link. Paleomagnetic poles permit the Coats Land block to be close to this part of Laurentia ca. 1100 Ma and allow juxtaposition of Kalahari and southern Laurentia ca. 1000 Ma. The Coats Land crustal block may therefore be a critical tectonic tracer for placing Laurentia within late Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic paleogeographic reconstructions. If this hypothesis is correct, Laurentia collided with the Kalahari craton along Antarctica's Maud orogen, which would represent a continuation of the ca. 1000 Ma Grenville orogen of eastern and southern Laurentia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-862
Number of pages4
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


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