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Naturaliste Plateau, offshore Western Australia: A submarine window into Gondwana assembly and breakup


Halpin, JA and Crawford, AJ and Direen, N and Coffin, MF and Forbes, CJ and Borissova, I, Naturaliste Plateau, offshore Western Australia: A submarine window into Gondwana assembly and breakup, Geology, 36, (10) pp. 807-810. ISSN 0091-7613 (2008) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2008 Geological Society of America. Geological Society of America, P.O. Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80301-9140 USA (

DOI: doi:10.1130/G25059A.1


The origin of the submarine Naturaliste Plateau off the southwestern coast of Australia is controversial; previous work supports both oceanic and continental affinities for the basement to volcanic and sedimentary sequences. We report the first evidence of reworked Mesoproterozoic (ca. 1230-1190 Ma) continental crust, based on laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis of zircons from granite and orthogneiss samples dredged from the southern margin of the plateau. Thermobarometry of peak metamorphic minerals and electron microprobe chemical dating of monazite reveal that these igneous rocks were metamorphosed to ∼700 °C and ∼6.5 kbar during the Cambrian Pinjarra Orogeny at ca. 515 Ma. These data confirm a continental origin for a significant swathe of the southern Naturaliste Plateau, and suggest that the protoliths may have affinities to Mesoproterozoic crust within the Albany-Fraser-Wilkes Orogen (Australia-Antarctica). The present Naturaliste Plateau basement beneath its volcanic carapace probably represents a middle- to lower-crustal extensional allochthon exhumed during Cretaceous hyperextensional breakup between Australia and Antarctica. © 2008 The Geological Society of America.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Structural geology and tectonics
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Halpin, JA (Dr Jacqueline Halpin)
UTAS Author:Crawford, AJ (Professor Anthony Crawford)
UTAS Author:Direen, N (Dr Nicholas Direen)
UTAS Author:Coffin, MF (Professor Mike Coffin)
ID Code:56636
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:45
Deposited By:Centre for Ore Deposit Research - CODES CoE
Deposited On:2009-05-18
Last Modified:2012-04-03
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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