Archaeocyathan limestone blocks of likely Antarctic origin in Gondwanan tillite from the Falkland Islands
Published:January 01, 2005
P. Stone, M. R. A. Thomson, 2005. "Archaeocyathan limestone blocks of likely Antarctic origin in Gondwanan tillite from the Falkland Islands", Terrane Processes at the Margins of Gondwana, A. P. M. Vaughan, P. T. Leat, R. J. Pankhurst
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Cambrian limestone clasts containing a rich, well-preserved archaeocyathan fauna have been recovered from the late Carboniferous Fitzroy Tillite Formation of the Falkland Islands. Since neither Cambrian strata nor limestone are present anywhere in the indigenous rock succession, the clasts are regarded as exotic erratics introduced during the Permo-Carboniferous Gondwana-wide glaciation. Most recent reconstructions of Gondwana rotate the Falklands into proximity with the Eastern Cape, South Africa and the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica. In both of these areas, Permo-Carboniferous diamictites correlated with the Fitzroy Tillite Formation also contain rare, exotic clasts of archaeocyathan limestone. The Transantarctic Mountains seem the most likely source for all of these unusual erratics. This interpretation sustains the requirement for substantial rotation of the Falklands microplate into Gondwana reconstructions and illustrates the extent of the late Carboniferous ice sheet. Apparent differences in the tillite clast assemblages between East and West Falkland suggest variable provenance within the regional ice-flow regime.
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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.