Skip to Main Content

Long-lived transcontinental sediment transport pathways of east Gondwana

Sara Moron, Peter A. Cawood, Peter W. Haines, Stephen J. Gallagher, Sabin Zahirovic, Christopher J. Lewis and Louis Moresi
Long-lived transcontinental sediment transport pathways of east Gondwana
Geology (Boulder) (April 2019) Pre-Issue Publication


Few modern sediment dispersal pathways predate the breakup of Pangea. This suggests that river lifespan can be controlled by continental assembly and dispersal cycles, with the longest-lived river systems present during supercontinent regimes. Based on the strikingly similar age spectra and Hf isotopic array extracted from Paleozoic to early Mesozoic sedimentary sequences from the Paleo-Tethyan margin basins, we argue that a long-lived supercontinental-scale system, with headwaters originating in Antarctica, flowed northward to finally debouch on the margin with the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. Channel-belt thickness scaling relationships, which provide an estimate of drainage area, support the notion that this was a supercontinental-scale system. Sediments were eroded from Proterozoic orogenic belts and flanked resistant kernels of Archean cratons. Remnants of this system, which can still be traced today as topographic lows, controlled post-breakup drainage patterns in Gondwanan fragments in Western Australia. We conclude that supercontinental regimes allow sediment dispersal systems to be long-lived, as they provide both an abundant sediment supply, due to erosion of large-scale, collision-related internal mountain systems, and a stable, large-scale configuration that lasts until breakup.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: Pre-Issue Publication
Title: Long-lived transcontinental sediment transport pathways of east Gondwana
Affiliation: University of Melbourne, School of Earth Sciences, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Published: 20190415
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 33
Accession Number: 2019-038010
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2019188
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
S35°00'00" - S14°00'00", E113°00'00" - E129°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Monash University, AUS, AustraliaGeological Survey of Western Australia, AUS, AustraliaUniversity of Sydney, AUS, AustraliaGeoscience Australia, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 2019
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal