The significance of Antarctica for studies of global geodynamics

Open-File Report 2007-1047-KP-10



Antarctica has geometric significance for global plate kinematic studies, because it links seafloor spreading systems of the African hemisphere (Indian and Atlantic Oceans) with those of the Pacific. Inferences of plate motions back to 44 Ma, around the onset of rapid spreading south of Australia and formation of a new boundary through New Zealand, are consistent with Antarctic rifting and formation of the Adare Basin during 44-26 Ma (i.e., no additional plate motions are required in the South Pacific). The time period 52-44 Ma represents a profound global and South Pacific tectonic change, and significant details remain unresolved. For 74 Ma a significant nonclosure of the South Pacific plate-motion circuit is identified if Antarctic motion is not included. Alternate inferences of motion through Antarctica during the interval 74-44 Ma imply significantly different subduction volumes and directions around the Pacific, and imply different relative motions between hotspots

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The significance of Antarctica for studies of global geodynamics
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2007-1047-KP-10
DOI 10.3133/ofr20071047KP10
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher National Academies Press
Publisher location Washington, DC
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World--Online Proceedings for the Tenth International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences. Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.--August 26 to September 1, 2007
First page 115
Last page 124
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details