Using palaeomagnetism to determine late Mesoproterozoic palaeogeographic history and tectonic relations of the Sinclair terrane, Namaqua orogen, Namibia
Published:January 01, 2016
J. E. Panzik, D. A. D. Evans, J. J. Kasbohm, R. Hanson, W. Gose, J. Desormeau, 2016. "Using palaeomagnetism to determine late Mesoproterozoic palaeogeographic history and tectonic relations of the Sinclair terrane, Namaqua orogen, Namibia", Supercontinent Cycles Through Earth History, Z. X. Li, D. A. D. Evans, J. B. Murphy
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The Sinclair terrane is an important part of the Namaqua orogenic province in southern Namibia containing well-preserved Mesoproterozoic volcano-sedimentary successions suitable for palaeomagnetic and geochronological studies. The Guperas Formation in the upper part of the Sinclair stratigraphic assemblage contains both volcanic and sedimentary rocks cut by a bimodal dyke swarm with felsic members dated herein by U–Pb on zircon at c. 1105 Ma. Guperas igneous rocks yield a pre-fold direction and palaeomagnetic pole similar to that previously reported. Guperas sedimentary rocks yield positive conglomerate and fold tests, with a maximum concentration of characteristic remanence directions at 100% untilting. The combined Guperas data generate a palaeomagnetic pole of 69.8° N, 004.1° E (A95=7.4°, N=9). The 1105 Ma post-Guperas dykes yield stable remanence directions with positive baked-contact tests and a palaeomagnetic pole at 62.3° N, 031.9° E (A95=6.9°, N=26), which is coincident with that of the Kalahari-wide Umkondo large igneous province, demonstrating tectonic coherence of the Sinclair terrane with the Kalahari craton at the time of dyke emplacement. These results show that palaeomagnetic and geochronological studies of the Sinclair terrane can provide kinematic constraints on the tectonic evolution of the Namaqua–Natal–Maud orogenic belt and its role in the formation of the Rodinia supercontinent.
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Supercontinent Cycles Through Earth History
The supercontinent-cycle hypothesis attributes planetary-scale episodic tectonic events to an intrinsic self-organizing mode of mantle convection, governed by the buoyancy of continental lithosphere that resists subduction during the closure of old ocean basins, and the consequent reorganization of mantle convection cells leading to the opening of new ocean basins. Characteristic timescales of the cycle are typically 500 to 700 million years. Proposed spatial patterns of cyclicity range from hemispheric (introversion) to antipodal (extroversion), to precisely between those end members (orthoversion). Advances in our understanding can arise from theoretical or numerical modelling, primary data acquisition relevant to continental reconstructions, and spatiotemporal correlations between plate kinematics, geodynamic events and palaeoenvironmental history. The palaeogeographic record of supercontinental tectonics on Earth is still under development. The contributions in this Special Publication provide snapshots in time of these investigations and indicate that Earth’s palaeogeographic record incorporates elements of all three end-member spatial patterns.