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Origin of the Rheic Ocean; rifting along a Neoproterozoic suture?

J. Brendan Murphy, Gabriel Gutierrez Alonso, R. Damian Nance, Javier Fernandez Suarez, J. Duncan Keppie, Cecilio Quesada, Rob A. Strachan and Jarda Dostal
Origin of the Rheic Ocean; rifting along a Neoproterozoic suture?
Geology (Boulder) (May 2006) 34 (5): 325-328


The Rheic Ocean is widely believed to have formed in the Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician as a result of the drift of peri-Gondwanan terranes, such as Avalonia and Carolina, from the northern margin of Gondwana, and to have been consumed in the Devonian Carboniferous by continent-continent collision during the formation of Pangea. Other peri-Gondwanan terranes (e.g., Armorica, Ossa-Morena, northwest Iberia, Saxo-Thuringia, Moldanubia) remained along the Gondwanan margin at the time of Rheic Ocean formation. Differences in the Neoproterozoic histories of these peri-Gondwanan terranes suggest the location of the Rheic Ocean rift may have been inherited from Neoproterozoic lithospheric structures formed by the accretion and dispersal of peri-Gondwanan terranes along the northern Gondwanan margin prior to Rheic Ocean opening. Avalonia and Carolina have Sm-Nd isotopic characteristics indicative of recycling of a juvenile ca. 1 Ga source, and they were accreted to the northern Gondwanan margin prior to voluminous late Neoproterozoic arc magmatism. In contrast, Sm-Nd isotopic characteristics of most other peri-Gondwanan terranes closely match those of Eburnian basement, suggesting they reflect recycling of ancient (2 Ga) West African crust. The basements of terranes initially rifted from Gondwana to form the Rheic Ocean were those that had previously accreted during Neoproterozoic orogenesis, suggesting the rift was located near the suture between the accreted terranes and cratonic northern Gondwana. Opening of the Rheic Ocean coincided with the onset of subduction beneath the Laurentian margin in its predecessor, the Iapetus Ocean, suggesting geodynamic linkages between the destruction of the Iapetus Ocean and the creation of the Rheic Ocean.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 34
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Origin of the Rheic Ocean; rifting along a Neoproterozoic suture?
Affiliation: Saint Francis Xavier University, Department of Earth Sciences, Antigonish, NS, Canada
Pages: 325-328
Published: 200605
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 25
Accession Number: 2006-049725
Categories: Solid-earth geophysicsGeochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
Secondary Affiliation: Universidad de Salamanca, ESP, SpainOhio University, USA, United StatesUniversidad Complutense, ESP, SpainUniversidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, MEX, MexicoIGME, ESP, SpainUniversity of Portsmouth, GBR, United KingdomSaint Marys University, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200627
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