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Tracking the Late Jurassic apparent (or true) polar shift in U-Pb-dated kimberlites from cratonic North America (Superior Province of Canada)

Kent, Dennis V.; Kjarsgaard, Bruce A.; Gee, Jeffrey S.; Muttoni, Giovanni; Heaman, Larry M.

Different versions of a composite apparent polar wander (APW) path of variably selected global poles assembled and averaged in North American coordinates using plate reconstructions show either a smooth progression or a large (∼30°) gap in mean paleopoles in the Late Jurassic, between about 160 and 145 Ma. In an effort to further examine this issue, we sampled accessible outcrops/subcrops of kimberlites associated with high-precision U-Pb perovskite ages in the Timiskaming area of Ontario, Canada. The 154.9 ± 1.1 Ma Peddie kimberlite yields a stable normal polarity magnetization that is coaxial within less than 5° of the reverse polarity magnetization of the 157.5 ± 1.2 Ma Triple B kimberlite. The combined ∼156 Ma Triple B and Peddie pole (75.5°N, 189.5°E, A95 = 2.8°) lies about midway between igneous poles from North America nearest in age (169 Ma Moat volcanics and the 146 Ma Ithaca kimberlites), showing that the polar motion was at a relatively steady yet rapid (∼1.5°/Myr) pace. A similar large rapid polar swing has been recognized in the Middle to Late Jurassic APW path for Adria-Africa and Iran-Eurasia, suggesting a major mass redistribution. One possibility is that slab breakoff and subduction reversal along the western margin of the Americas triggered an episode of true polar wander.

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Published In
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Publisher DOI
https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GC005734
Volume
16
Issue
4
Pages
983 - 994
Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
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