RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES VOL. 4, NO. 4, PAGES 247–257, doi:10.2205/2002ES000099, 2002

Tectonic structure and evolution of East Antarctica in the light of knowledge about supercontinents

G. E. Grikurov, and E. V. Mikhalskii

All-Russia Research Institute of the World Ocean Geology and Mineral Resources, St. Petersburg, Russia


[1]  This paper is based on the study of the new geological, isotopic, and geochemical data that were obtained in the last years on the igneous and metamorphic rocks of East Antarctica, dated from Late Mesoproterozoic to Early Paleozoic. This period of its geological history is believed, based on plate-tectonic paleoreconstructions, to include, first, the origin and breakup of the hypothetical Rodinia Supercontinent and, later, the formation of a new supercontinent, Gondwana. Our review and critical study of extensive foreign literature, as well as the results of our own field and laboratory studies of crystalline rocks from the East Antarctica crystalline basement, suggested a different idea: the supercontinental lithospheric block, including the continents of the Gondwana group, had remained intact throughout the Proterozoic, and perhaps throughout the whole of the Precambrian. Intensity-variable extension pulses, which acted on that primary continental lithosphere, might have caused the origin of some local ocean openings, yet did not result, up to the end of the Mesozoic, in the complete breakup of this sialic megablock with any large-scale spreading development.

Received 26 June 2002; published 2 July 2002.

Keywords: East Antarctica, supercontinents, tectonic structure and evolution.

Citation: Grikurov, G. E., and E. V. Mikhalskii (2002), Tectonic structure and evolution of East Antarctica in the light of knowledge about supercontinents, Russ. J. Earth Sci., 4, No.4, 247-257, doi:10.2205/2002ES000099.

Copyright 2002 by the Russian Journal of Earth Sciences

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