Abstract

New U-Pb SHRIMP ages from East Antarctica point to the existence of a laterally continuous orogenic belt that bisects the East Antarctic craton. This orogenic belt juxtaposes Archean crust to the south and east against Neoproterozoic metamorphic rocks to the north and west. It defines the margin of a separate lithospheric block that consists of a large section of East Antarctica and India that did not form part of east Gondwana or Rodinia as they are currently reconstructed. Instead, this Indo-Antarctic continent accreted with west Gondwana along the Mozambique suture shortly before collision and suturing along a second “Pan-African” suture now cropping out in the southern Prince Charles Mountains and Prydz Bay regions of Antarctica. This scenario is consistent with (1) the abrupt termination of ca. 990–900 Ma tectonism recognized in the northern Prince Charles Mountains–Rayner Complex–Eastern Ghats against Paleozoic orogenic belts, (2) the lack of terranes of equivalent age found elsewhere in either Antarctica or other previously adjacent continents, and (3) the distinct detrital-zircon populations obtained from either side of this proposed suture.

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