Terrane processes at the margins of Gondwana: introduction
Published:January 01, 2005
Alan P. M. Vaughan, Philip T. Leat, Robert J. Pankhurst, 2005. "Terrane processes at the margins of Gondwana: introduction", Terrane Processes at the Margins of Gondwana, A. P. M. Vaughan, P. T. Leat, R. J. Pankhurst
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The process of terrane accretion is vital to the understanding of the formation of continental crust. Accretionary orogens affect over half of the globe and have a distinctively different evolution to Wilson-type orogens. It is increasingly evident that accretionary orogenesis has played a significant role in the formation of the continents. The Pacific-margin of Gondwana preserves a major orogenic belt, termed here the ‘Australides’, which was an active site of terrane accretion from Neoproterozoic to Late Mesozoic times, and comparable in scale to the Rockies from Mexico to Alaska, or the Variscan-Appalachian orogeny. The New Zealand sector of this orogenic belt was one of the birthplaces of terrane theory and the Australide orogeny overall continues to be an important testing ground for terrane studies. This volume summarizes the history and principles of terrane theory and presents 16 new works that review and synthesize the current state of knowledge for the Gondwana margin, from Australia through New Zealand and Antarctica to South America, examining the evolution of the whole Gondwana margin through time.
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Terrane Processes at the Margins of Gondwana
The Australide orogen, the southern hemisphere Neoproterozoic to Mesozoic terrane accretionary orogen that forms the palaeo-Pacific margin of Gondwana, is one of the largest and longest-lived orogens on Earth. This book brings together a series of reviews and multidisciplinary research papers that comprehensively cover the Australides from the Tasman orogen of eastern Australia to the Neoproterozoic and Palaeozoic orogens of South America, taking in New Zealand and Antarctica along the way. It deals with the evolution of the southern Gondwana margin, as it grew during a series of terrane accretion episodes from the late Proterozoic through to final fragmentation in mid-Cretaceous times. Global perspectives are given by comparison with the Palaeozoic northern Gondwana margin and documentation of world-wide terrane accretion episodes in the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic and mid-Cretaceous. The Tasmanides of eastern Australia, and the terrane histories of New Zealand and souther South America are given comprehensive up-to-date reviews.