TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space
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Earth Planets Space, Vol. 57 (No. 8), pp. 767-780, 2005

Tectonic and magmatic patterns in the Jutulstraumen rift (?) region, East Antarctica, as imaged by high-resolution aeromagnetic data

F. Ferraccioli, P. C. Jones, M. L. Curtis, P. T. Leat, and T. R. Riley

British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK

(Received March 1, 2004; Revised February 18, 2005; Accepted February 20, 2005)

Abstract: The Jutulstraumen ice stream in western Dronning Maud Land may conceal a Jurassic continental rift. Delin-eating the geometry and the magmatic patterns of this inferred glaciated rift in East Antarctica is important to im-prove our understanding of the regional tectonic and magmatic processes associated with Gondwana break-up. A high-resolution aeromagnetic survey provides new insights over the largely buried tectonic and magmatic patterns of the Jutulstraumen area. Prominent NE-SW oriented aeromagnetic trends are detected over the Jutulstraumen. These trends delineate major inherited structural boundaries, active in Grenvillian (about 1.1 Ga) and Pan-African times (about 500 Ma), which appear to strongly control the location of the later Jurassic rift. The postulated east-ern flank of the rift is marked by a broad positive anomaly over H. U. Sverdrupfjella. Buried Grenvillian age rocks may be the source of the long-wavelength anomaly. However, the higher frequency components correlate with granitoids of late Pan-African age. The inferred western flank of the rift features short-wavelength anoma-lies over the Borgmassivet and Ahlmannryggen areas, indicating a considerably greater extent of mid-Proterozoic tholeiitic sills than apparent in outcrop. In contrast, aeromagnetic signatures suggest that alkaline plutons, which relate to Jurassic rifting, are restricted to outcrop areas along the eastern rift flank. The prominent magnetic low over the Jutulstraumen indicates either a largely amagmatic rift, or perhaps subglacial sediments within the rift basin.
Key words: Aeromagnetic anomalies, rift, Jutulstraumen, East Antarctica.


Corresponding author E-mail: ffe@bas.ac.uk


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