An Hypothesis for an Australian-Canadian Connection in the Late Proterozoic and the Birth of the Pacific Ocean

Jefferson CW,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Middle-to-Late Proterozoic stratigraphy and metallogeny in the eastern part of the Canadian Cordillera and in South Australia are strikingly similar. In both areas, thick, predominantly shallow-water strata and their contained mineral deposits can be divided into three sequences (A, B, C) that record episodic and prolonged continental rifting. It is proposed that Adelaidean strata of Australia were deposited adjacent to Belt-Purcell, Mackenzie Mountains and Windermere strata of the Canadian Cordillera within an epicontinental trough of a "Hudsonia" regacontinent. With the final rifting of this trough, the paleo-Pacific ocean was born. By Early Cambrian time, Australia- Antarctica was on the trailing "east" side of the nascent megacontinent, Gondwana, and was being modified on the "west" by accretion in the Pan-African event. North America, more or less surrounded by trailing edges at this time, was analogous to the Cenozoic African plate. This hypothesis accommodates the available paleomagnetic and radiometric data. It has implications for pre-Pangean plate tectonics, paleogeography, and the predictive metallogeny of both areas.
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