Long-lived (1.8-1.0 Ga) convergent orogen in southern Laurentia, its extensions to Australia and Baltica, and implications for refining Rodinia
Between 1.8 and 1.0 Ga (Grenville-age), a series of subparallel accretionary orogens were added progressively to the southern edge of Laurentia. These belts now extend from Greenland/Labrador to southern California and are truncated at late Precambrian passive margins, suggesting that they once extended farther. We propose that Australia and Baltica contain their continuations. Together they comprise a long-lived orogenic system, >10 000 km long, that preserves a record of 800 million years of convergent margin tectonism. This tectonism culminated during Grenvillian continent–continent collisions in the assembly of the supercontinent Rodinia. Our reconstruction of the Australia–western US part of this assembly (AUSWUS) differs from the SWEAT reconstruction in that Australia is adjacent to the southwestern US rather than to northern Canada. The AUSWUS reconstruction is supported by a distinctive ‘fingerprint’ of geologic similarities between Australia and the southwestern US from 1.8 to 1.0 Ga, by numerous possible piercing points, and by an arguably better agreement between 1.45 and 1.0 Ga paleomagnetic poles between Australia and Laurentia. Geologic and paleomagnetic data suggest that separation between Laurentia and Australia took place ∼800–755 Ma and between Laurentia and Baltica ∼610 Ma. The proposed association of Australia, Laurentia, and Baltica, and the long-lived convergent margin they expose, provide a set of testable implications for the tectonic evolution of these cratons, and an important constraint for Proterozoic plate reconstructions.
KE Karlstrom, KI Ahall, SS Harlan, ML Williams, J McLelland, and JW Geissman. "Long-lived (1.8-1.0 Ga) convergent orogen in southern Laurentia, its extensions to Australia and Baltica, and implications for refining Rodinia" Precambrian Research 111.1-4 (2001): 5-30.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_williams/88
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