Geological studies in the Baalsrudfjellet nunatak between the Schirmacher Oasis and the Wohlthat Mountains to establish the continuation of the East African Orogen (EAO) in central Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica
S. K. Roy, N. C. Pant, A. Kundu, A. Dharwadkar, P. K. Kumar, Sonalika Joshi, Raghuram, Mohd. Sadiq, Mayuri Pandey, 2017. "Geological studies in the Baalsrudfjellet nunatak between the Schirmacher Oasis and the Wohlthat Mountains to establish the continuation of the East African Orogen (EAO) in central Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica", Crustal Evolution of India and Antarctica: The Supercontinent Connection, N. C. Pant, S. Dasgupta
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The 600–660 Ma East African Orogen (EAO) granulites of the Mozambique Belt were correlated and extended into a coast marginal area of East Antarctica through the NNW–SSW-trending granulite-bearing Schirmacher Oasis. Tracing similarities in lithological association, granulite-facies metamorphism and geochronological data, the 640 Ma EAO was extended by another 110 km south of Schirmacher into the Humboldt Mountains in central Dronning Maud Land (cDML). Based on younger anorogenic magmatism east and west of the Humboldt Mountains, a 10–20 km-wide linear corridor of the EAO from the Schirmacher to the Humboldt Mountains was proposed.
There are eight nunataks between Schirmacher and the Humboldt Mountains projected above the ice sheet. These nunataks are strategically placed because they represent the small (4–10 km2), isolated rock exposures in approximately 5000 km2 of ice-covered area. Baalsrudfjellet is one of these nunataks that is located at the easternmost margin of the proposed EAO corridor and represents a significant outcrop to validate the presence of the EAO between Schirmacher and the Humboldt Mountains. This study brings out a two-stage metamorphic evolution (c. 660–680 Ma and c. 580 Ma) with melt generation associated with the younger event. Geochronological constraints by monazite chemical dating from metapelites confirm and validate the continuation of the EAO in-between the Schirmacher Oasis and the Humboldt Mountains.
Supplementary material: Monazite analyses, computed ages and age errors of three grains from the high- and low-melt metapelite are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3738362
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The Proterozoic aeon involved at least three major continental readjustments. India and Antarctica appear in most models of supercontinent reconstructions, but their relative position has been the subject of debate. High-resolution petrological and geochronological data, especially from the Proterozoic mobile belts, provide the principal means of resolving this issue. The ice-covered nature of Antarctica allows only limited access to the rocks, and then only in coastal tracts, so detailed studies in more accessible Proterozoic terrains in India assume added significance.
This volume, a follow-up to the XII International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Science, Goa (a SCAR symposium), provides new data from selected locations in east Antarctica (Enderby Land and Dronning Maud Land) and from India, including the Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt (EGMB), Chota Nagpur Gneissic Complex, the Khasi Hills and the Aravalli–Delhi Mobile Belt. The presented geochronological data, constrained by petrological studies, are expected to provide new insights, especially into the EGMB–east Antarctica connection and the rate of continental readjustments in the post-Rodinia break-up.