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Widespread late Mesozoic to Recent remagnetization of Paleozoic and lower Triassic sedimentary rocks from South China

Kent, Dennis V.; Zeng, Xiangshan; Wen, You Zhang; Opdyke, Neil D.

Paleomagnetic results are described from eighteen formations sampled in the Nanjing (Jiangsu Province) and Yichang (Hubei Province) areas of South China. The marine platform carbonates and elastics range in age from early Cambrian to early Triassic. Progressive alternating field and/or thermal demagnetization analyses reveal predominantly single component magnetizations, sometimes of both normal and reverse polarity. These magnetizations, isolated in 457 of the 549 samples studied, typically have directions in geographic coordinates coincident with late Mesozoic to Recent fields. A secondary origin for the magnetizations is supported by negative fold tests in several units. A lower Carboniferous and possibly a lower Triassic limestone may have escaped the pervasive remagnetization; if the remanences isolated are indeed prefolding, a large counterclockwise tectonic rotation of the Nanjing area is implied by comparison with available Carboniferous and Triassic paleopoles reported from elsewhere in South China. This rotation may have been associated with Mesozoic left-lateral motion on the Tancheng-Lujiang fault zone.

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Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
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January 17, 2012
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