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The Jurassic-Cretaceous Bouvet triple junction

Centrepiece of Gondwana dispersion

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Our model places events off SE Africa above the Bouvet mantle plume throughout Jurassic and Cretaceous times. From early in the break-up until about 125 Ma, published marine magnetic anomalies define the relative positions of Antarctica and Africa closely within the Africa-Antarctica Corridor (AAC). We use the continuity of fracture zones across the active mid-ocean ridges as well as constraints from events in the surrounding Gondwana fragments to interpolate positions from M0 (121.4 Ma, GTS2020) to C34 (83.64 Ma) when magnetic anomalies resume.
The transfer of Limpopia from Antarctica to Africa (to become the Mozambique Ridge) and of the Maurice Ewing Bank (MEB) from Africa to South America led eventually to a ridge-ridge-ridge triple junction positioned south of the Mozambique Ridge (Limpopia) at about 129 Ma that proved to be long-lived. Note the onset of rapid spreading at a new mid-ocean ridge location in the Weddell Sea at the start of the Cretaceous (142.3 Ma). The westward movement of the Malvinas Plateau and Falkland Islands (FIs) had already started much earlier (165 Ma, Callovian) from sedimentalogical evidence in the coastal basins of South Africa.
The model was presented at the European Geophysical Union in Vienna on 27 April 2023 - download the abstract -. A copy of the Powerpoint is available on request. A second presentations was given at the GESGB/GSH 'Africa' meeting in London on September 20 News item and a webinar was given for the Yorkshire Geological Society on November 1.
Last updated: 2024 February 1