Evolution of the southwest Australian rifted continental margin during breakup of East Gondwana: results from International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 369
Harry, DL and Tejada, MLG and Lee, EY and Wolfgring, E and Wainman, CC and Brumsack, H-J and Schnetger, B and Kimura, J-I and Riquier, L and Borissova, I and Hobbs, RW and Jiang, T and Li, Y-X and Maritati, A and Martinez, M and Richter, C and Tagliaro, G and White, LT, Evolution of the southwest Australian rifted continental margin during breakup of East Gondwana: results from International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 369, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 21, (12) Article e2020GC009144. ISSN 1525-2027 (2020) [Refereed Article]
nternational Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 369 drilled four sites on the southwestern Australian continental margin, in the deep water Mentelle Basin (MB) and on the neighboring Naturaliste Plateau (NP). The drillsites are located on continental crust that continued rifting after seafloor spreading began further north on the Perth Abyssal Plain (PAP) between magnetochrons M11r and M11n (133–132 Ma), ending when spreading began west of the NP between chrons M5n and M3n (126–124 Ma). Drilling recovered the first in situ samples of basalt flows overlying the breakup unconformity on the NP, establishing a magnetostratigraphically constrained eruption age of >131–133 Ma, and confirming a minimal late Valanginian age for the breakup unconformity (coeval with the onset of PAP seafloor spreading). Petrogenetic modeling indicates the basalts were generated by 25% melting at 1.5 GPa and a potential temperature of 1380°C–1410°C, consistent with proximity of the Kerguelen plume during breakup. Benthic foraminiferal fossils indicate that the NP remained at upper bathyal or shallower depths during the last 6 Myr of rifting and for 3–5 Myr after breakup between India and Australia. The limited subsidence is attributed to heat from the nearby Kerguelen plume and PAP spreading ridge. The margin subsided to middle bathyal depths by Albian time and to lower bathyal (NP) or greater (MB) depths by late Paleogene time. Periods of rapid sedimentation accompanied a westward jump of the PAP spreading ridge (108 Ma), rifting on the southern margin (100–84 Ma), and opening of the southern seaway between Australia and Antarctica (60–47 Ma).
Gondwana, Indian Ocean, continental rifting, passive margin, Australia, ocean drilling