Two distinct Late Mesoproterozoic/Early Neoproterozoic basement provinces in central/eastern Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica: The missing link, 15-21°E

Joachim Jacobs, Marlina Elburg, Andreas Läufer, Ilka C. Kleinhanns, Friedhelm Henjes-Kunst, Solveig Estrada, Antonia S. Ruppel, Detlef Damaske, Pilar Montero, Fernando Bea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


This article highlights the field geology, geochronology and geochemistry of an important and previously unstudied region between eastern (Sør Rondane Mountains) and central Dronning Maud Land (DML). The area allows the characterisation and ground-truthing of a large and mostly ice-covered area that is geophysically distinct and which was previously interpreted as a potentially older cratonic block south of a Late Neoproterozoic/Early Paleozoic (LN/EP) mobile belt, as exposed in the Sør Rondane Mts. (SRM). SHRIMP/SIMS zircon analyses of 20 samples together with new geochemistry indicate that the exposed basement consists of a ca. 1000-900. Ma juvenile terrane that is very similar to the juvenile rocks of the SW-Terrane of the SRM, a characteristic gabbro-trondhjemite-tonalite-granite (GTTG) suite, with normalised trace element patterns typical for subduction-related magmas and mostly positive initial epsilon Nd values. The area shows strong LN/EP crustal reworking, migmatisation and melt production, including 560-530. Ma A-type magmatism. Therefore, this area is very similar to the SW-Terrane and differs only in the degree of LN/EP reworking. We interpret the SW-Terrane of Sør Rondane as a mega-boudin sandwiched in between rheologically weaker portions of similar oceanic arc terranes. Therefore, the study area, and thereby the aeromagnetically distinct SE DML province does neither represent the foreland of a LN/EP mobile belt, nor a craton, as speculated based on geophysical data alone. Instead, a large Tonian Oceanic Arc Super Terrane (TOAST) with significant extent emerges. Its western limit is represented by the Forster Magnetic Anomaly, which represents a suture to the Grenville-age Maud Belt. East of the TOAST, the Rayner Complex is similar in age but otherwise distinctly different. The Rayner Complex has a much longer history of island arc accretions with continent-continent collision at ca. 950. Ma and it has markedly more evolved crust. In contrast, the TOAST has a pronounced juvenile character without significant inheritance and lacks metamorphic overprint immediately following crust formation. This indicates that it has not been an integral part of Rodinia. The eastern boundary of the TOAST is probably in the vicinity of the Yamato Mts., whilst its northern extension might be seen in the Vohibori Terrane (SW Madagascar), which in turn could correlate with the Arabian Nubian Shield. The LN/EP tectono-metamorphic overprint of the TOAST shows a slight decrease in ages from W to E, possibly indicating that it first amalgamated on its Kalahari side before it was attached to Rukerland/Indo-Antarctica.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-272
Number of pages24
JournalPrecambrian Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Dronning Maud Land
  • Magnetic anomaly
  • Mesoproterozoic/Early Neoproterozoic
  • Oceanic arc terrane
  • SHRIMP zircon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Two distinct Late Mesoproterozoic/Early Neoproterozoic basement provinces in central/eastern Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica: The missing link, 15-21°E'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this