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A plate-tectonics model for the Paleozoic assembly of Pangea based on paleomagnetic data

By
Rob Van der Voo
Rob Van der Voo
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Published:
January 01, 1983

Paleomagnetic data have become available in the past decade that enable us to constrain better the motions of the continental blocks involved in the Paleozoic assembly of Pangea. Drawing upon various aspects of earlier models for this assembly, this paper briefly outlines a new model that is fully compatible with the currently available paleomagnetic poles. In this new model, the last two major collisions are between Gondwana and the northern continents in the Carboniferous and between the more northerly cratonic blocks of Asia (Siberia and Kazakhstan) and the combined Atlantic-bordering continents in the Permian. Earlier, the northern continents (the North American craton, the Baltic Shield-Russian Platform, and Hercynian Europe, herein called Armorica) assembled. The timing of this coalescing of the northern continents cannot be precisely identified by the available paleo-poles, but the orogenic belts that mark the collision zones formed during the time between the Late Ordovician (Taconic orogeny) and the Middle Devonian (Acadian orogeny), that is, between 440 and 380 Ma. It should be noted, furthermore, that the northern continents assembled in a configuration different from that of the fit by Bullard and coworkers; the paleomagnetic data argue for a Carboniferous megashear between the North American craton, on the one hand, and the Baltic Shield, Russian platform and Armorica, on the other hand.

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GSA Memoirs

Contributions to the Tectonics and Geophysics of Mountain Chains

Robert D. Hatcher, Jr.
Robert D. Hatcher, Jr.
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Harold Williams
Harold Williams
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Isidore Zietz
Isidore Zietz
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Geological Society of America
Volume
158
ISBN print:
9780813711584
Publication date:
January 01, 1983

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