Abstract

The Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains terrane is a large geologically and geophysically defined crustal block that lies between the Transantarctic Mountains and West Antarctica. The Cambrian position of the terrane is controversial, with many workers placing it between East Antarctica and southern Africa and distant from Cambrian orogenic belts. We present structural and stratigraphic evidence for Cambrian deformation in the Heritage Range, Ellsworth Mountains. From our revised stratigraphy and structural history of the Heritage Range, we propose that the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains block was located within the belt of Pan-African deformation, within the Late Cambrian continental arc, and was part of a collage of allochthonous terranes that included the Queen Maud terrane and probably the Bowers terrane of Antarctica. These terranes were situated outboard of Coats Land in the Cambrian and were subsequently translated and accreted to East Antarctica, probably during early Paleozoic time.

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