How do supercontinents break up? — assessing the continental large igneous province (LIP) record of the break-up of Pangea

Groflin, Stefan & Bryan, Scott Edward (2012) How do supercontinents break up? — assessing the continental large igneous province (LIP) record of the break-up of Pangea. In Proceedings of the 34th International Geological Congress 2012, Australian Geoscience Council, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia, p. 3823.

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Abstract

LIP emplacement is linked to the timing and evolution of supercontinental break-up. LIP-related break-up produces volcanic rifted margins, new and large (up to 108 km2) ocean basins, and new, smaller continents that undergo dispersal and potentially reassembly (e.g., India). However, not all continental LIPs lead to continental rupture. We analysed the <330 Ma continental LIP record(following final assembly of Pangea) to find relationships between LIP event attributes (e.g., igneous volume, extent, distance from pre-existing continental margin) and ocean basin attributes (e.g., length of new ocean basin/rifted margin) and how these varied during the progressive break up of Pangea. No correlation exists between LIP magnitude and size of the subsequent ocean basin or rifted margin. Our review suggests a three-phased break-up history of Pangea: 1) “Preconditioning” phase (∼330–200 Ma): LIP events (n=7) occurred largely around the supercontinental margin clustering today in Asia, with a low (<20%) rifting success rate. The Panjal Traps at ∼280 Ma may represent the first continental rupturing event of Pangea, resulting in continental ribboning along the Tethyan margin; 2) “Main Break-up” phase (∼200–100 Ma): numerous large LIP events(n=10) in the supercontinent interior, resulting in highly successful fragmentation (90%) and large, new ocean basins(e.g., Central/South Atlantic, Indian, >3000 km long); 3) “Waning” phase (∼100–0 Ma): Declining LIP magnitudes (n=6), greater proximity to continental margins (e.g., Madagascar, North Atlantic, Afro-Arabia, Sierra Madre) producing smaller ocean basins (<2600 km long). How Pangea broke up may thus have implications for earlier supercontinent reconstructions and LIP record.

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ID Code: 58554
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: 040313, 040304, 040303
ISBN: 9780646578002
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Australian Geosciences Council
Deposited On: 21 Mar 2013 04:22
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2013 20:31

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