Microcontinent formation around Australia
Published:January 01, 2003
Microcontinents are common in the accreted continental geological record, but relatively rare in modern settings. Many of today's microcontinents are found in the Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean. These include the East Tasman Rise, the Gilbert Seamount Complex, the Seychelles, Elan Bank (Kerguelen Plateau), and possibly fragments of the Lord Howe Rise and Norfolk Ridge, and the Wallaby Plateau. We review their history of formation, and propose that the mechanisms that led to their isolation were mostly plume-related. Tasman Sea continental fragments formed by ridge jumps onto adjacent continental margins after sea-floor spreading in the southern Tasman Sea commenced. The...