High-pressure metamorphism in Antarctica from the Proterozoic to the Cenozoic: A review and geodynamic implications | INSTITUT DE PHYSIQUE DU GLOBE DE PARIS


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  High-pressure metamorphism in Antarctica from the Proterozoic to the Cenozoic: A review and geodynamic implications

Type de publication:

Journal Article


Gondwana Research, Volume 23, Ticket 3, p.844-864 (2013)






Géobiosphère actuelle et primitive ; Antarctica; Eclogite; Garnet peridotite; Blueschist-facies rocks; Rodinia; Gondwana; Nimrod–Kimban Orogen; Grenvillian Orogen; Pan-African Orogen; Ross–Delamerian Orogen; Andean Orogen, UMR 7154


The survey of high-P metamorphic rocks in Antarctica can help clarify the geodynamic evolution of the continent by pointing out palaeo-suture zones and constraining the age of subduction and collision events. There are eclogite-facies rocks along the eastern margin of the ‘Mawson block’ (e.g., in the Nimrod Glacier region and George V Land). Some of these have been long forgotten (George V Land; Eyre Peninsula in Australia). Stillwell (1918) described rocks from George V Land containing glaucophane, lawsonite, garnet coronas and symplectites possibly after omphacite. These high-P rocks were apparently involved in the Nimrod-Kimban orogenic cycle and therefore provide a record of convergence along the eastern margin of the Mawson block at ~ 1700 Ma; they could represent one of the oldest blueschist-facies imprint. Many terranes in East Antarctica underwent a tectonometamorphic evolution during the Grenvillian (1300–900 Ma) and/or the Pan-African (600–500 Ma) orogenies, corresponding to the amalgamation of Rodinia and Gondwana, respectively. High-P relicts have been described or are suspected to occur in these terranes. Garnet-bearing coronitic metagabbros, in some cases possibly containing omphacite, are common in Dronning Maud Land and the Rayner Complex. They formed under high-P granulite-facies or eclogite-facies conditions and recall similar metabasites from the Grenville mobile belt of Canada. Note that some reconstructions of the Rodinia supercontinent consider these two Antarctic regions as an extension of the Grenvillian belt of Canada. Other eclogite-facies metamorphic rocks and ophiolites (Shackleton Range and possibly Sverdrupfjella) belong to the Pan-African mobile belt extending from Tanzania to East Antarctica. Since the Cambrian, the terranes of West Antarctica have been accreted along the palaeo-Pacific margin of Gondwana/Antarctica during several subduction-accretion orogenies. The ultrahigh-P metamorphic rocks of Northern Victoria Land formed through the accretion of an arc-backarc system during the Cambrian-Ordovician Ross orogeny; eclogites of the same orogeny also exist in Tasmania and Australia. Lastly, on the western edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Mesozoic–Cenozoic Andean orogeny generated a subduction-accretionary complex containing blueschist-facies rocks.


Times Cited: 1 SI