Abstract

Antarctica's Lambert graben, Australia's North West Shelf, and the eastern Indian Peninsula all host thick, fault-bounded Permian-Triassic successions. These terranes were adjacent to each other in Gondwana. The Lambert graben intersects the modern coastline, strikes oblique to shelf architecture, and has a geophysical signature that can be traced >1000 km inland. Vitrinite reflectance data from the graben margins record Permian-Triassic infill. Australia's North West Shelf is the relict of an intracontinental Carboniferous-Permian rift that was infilled during the Permian-Triassic then driven to oceanic completion during Jurassic-Cretaceous Gondwana breakup. This rift was compartmentalized over length scales of ∼650 km, corresponding to accommodation zones, margin-normal geophysical lineaments, and long-lived crustal weaknesses. In eastern India, similar compartmentalization is marked by extensive coal-bearing graben systems. Gondwana reconstructions indicate that the Lambert graben corresponds to the orientation and length scale of Carboniferous-Permian rift compartmentalization. The Lambert graben represents an accommodation zone of a wide intracontinental rift that extended from Australia's North West Shelf, between India and Antarctica, to southern Africa. This rift collected Gondwana's thick Permian-Triassic sedimentary blanket and rich alluvial coal deposits.

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