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New constraints on the tectonic evolution of the eastern Indian Ocean

Authors
Journal
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
0012-821X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
65
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0012-821x(83)90171-1

Abstract

Abstract From marine magnetic anomaly studies, a fossil spreading ridge is identified beneath the Nicobar Fan in the northwestern Wharton Basin. Several north-south-trending transform faults offset this ridge left-laterally east of the 86°E transform fault. Our findings show that this ridge, which was part of the plate boundary between the Indian and Australian plates, ceased its spreading shortly after formation of magnetic anomaly 20 (∼ 45.6m.y. B.P.). Since the breakup of Australia and Antarctica probably occurred sometime between 110 and 90 m.y. B.P., we suggest that the Indian, Australian, and Antarctic plates were moving relative to one another from about 90 to 45 m.y. B.P. A triple junction would have existed in the southeastern Indian Ocean during that period of time. At anomaly 19 time (∼ 45m.y. B.P.), the junction became inactive, and Australia and India became a single plate. The northwest-southeast-trending Southeast Indian Ridge was formed by connecting the India-Antarctica spreading center with the Australia-Antarctica spreading center. Its activity has continued to the present time.

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