Evolution of Pangea: paleomagnetic constraints from the Southern Alps, Italy

Muttoni, Giovanni; Kent, Dennis V.; Channell, James E. T.

A new early Late Triassic paleopole for Adria has been obtained from the Val Sabbia Sandstone in the Southern Alps. As Early Permian and Jurassic-Cretaceous paleomagnetic data from para-autochthonous regions of Adria such as the Southern Alps are consistent with 'African' APWPs[1–2], paleomagnetic data from this region can be used to bolster the West Gondwana APWP in the poorly known Late Permian-Triassic time interval. The Southern Alpine paleopoles are integrated with the West Gondwana and Laurussia APWPs of Van der Voo [1] and used to generate a tectonic model for the evolution of Pangea. The Early Permian overall mean paleopole for West Gondwana and Adria, in conjunction with the coeval Laurussia paleopole, support Pangea B of Morel and Irving [3]. The Late Permian/Early Triassic and the Middle/Late Triassic paleopoles from Adria and Laurussia support Pangea A-2 of Van der Voo and French [4]. The phase of transcurrent motion between Laurasia and Gondwana[5] that caused the Pangea B to A-2 transition occurred essentially in the Permian (at the end of Variscan orogeny) with an average relative velocity of approximately 10 cm/yr. Finally, the Late Triassic/Early Jurassic paleopoles from West Gondwana and Laurussia agree with Pangea A-1 of Bullard et al. [6], the widely accepted Pangea configuration at the time of the Jurassic breakup.

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Earth and Planetary Science Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
December 6, 2011