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A variety of evidence has suggested that the enigmatic Australian–Antarctic Discordance is caused by a cold zone beneath the present-day South East Indian Ridge south of Australia. We show that the present position of the subduction zone which surrounded Gondwanaland until the Mesozoic is within a few hundred kilometres of the Australian–Antarctic Discordance. Beneath the Australian–Antarctic Discordance, tomographic inversions show a north-south-trending seismic anomaly with a higher than average shear velocity in the lower mantle and a prominent, nearly circular, high-velocity anomaly within the transition zone. These seismic inversions are consistent with the predictions of three-dimensional models of mantle convection...

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