New constraints on the Neogene plate kinematics of West and East Antarctica

Roi Granot, Jerome Dyment, Florent Szitkar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The motion between East and West Antarctic Plates during the last 26 million years (post-Adare seafloor spreading) is loosely constrained, and although it is often considered negligible, accumulating observations from along the rift system suggest that significant faulting and transtensional motion have occurred in that period. Part of the reason for this uncertainty is the complicated kinematic evolution of the oceanic crust found north of the Ross Sea and the lack of proper magnetic anomaly data at key tectonic locations. We have conducted a series of two cruises (TACT project) aboard M/V L'Astrolabe, the supply ship of Dumont d'Urville French Antarctic station, in February-March of 2012 and 2016 during which we have acquired total field magnetic profiles oriented along flowline direction and straddling the Tasman spreading corridor, located between Tasmania and the Balleny Islands and the Tasman and Balleny FZs. The new data allow us to refine the overall motion of the Macquarie Plate relative to Australia. After correction of this motion, the Tasman corridor, lying west of the Balleny FZ uncovers the Australia-East Antarctic plate motion, and the Balleny corridor, lying east of the FZ uncovers the Australia-West Antarctic plate motion, reveal a mismatched anomaly pattern that result from the Neogene relative plate motion between East and West Antarctica. We combine these new observations together with geological constraints from within the west Antarctic rift system to compute new rotation parameters that describe the relative plate motion between West and East Antarctica for the last 26 million years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2016
StatePublished - 2016


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