Abstract

We use an updated model for global relative plate motions during the past 130 m.y. together with a compilation of bathymetry and recently published radiometric dates of major hotspot tracks to derive a plate-motion model relative to major hotspots in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Interactive computer graphics were used to find the best fit of dated hotspot tracks on the Australian, Indian, African, and North and South American plates relative to present-day hotspots assumed fixed in the mantle. One set of rotation parameters can be found that satisfies all data constraints back to chron 34 (84 Ma) and supports little motion between the major hotspots in this hemisphere. For times between 130 and 84 Ma, the plate model is based solely on the trails of the Tristan da Cunha and Great Meteor hotspots. This approach results in a location of the Kerguelen hotspot distinct from and south of the Rajmahal Traps for this time interval. Between 115 and 105 Ma, our model locates the hotspot underneath the southern Kerguelen Plateau, which is compatible with an age estimate of this part of the plateau of 115-95 Ma. Our model suggests that the 85°E ridge between lat 10°N and the Afanasiy Nikitin seamounts may have been formed by a hotspot now located underneath the eastern Conrad rise.

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