New palaeomagnetic results from the 'cap dolomite' of the Neoproterozoic Walsh Tillite, northwestern Australia

Zheng-Xiang Li

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    57 Citations (Scopus)


    An interpreted primary magnetic remanence that passed a fold test has been revealed from six sampling sites in the pink 'cap dolomite' of the Neoproterozoic Walsh Tillite, southern Kimberley, northwestern Australia. A palaeomagnetic pole (WTC) at (21.5 degrees S, 282.4 degrees E) with dp = 12.2 degrees and dm = 15.4 degrees, based on results of the five best sites, gives a palaeolatitude of 45 +/- 12 degrees for the sampling region, and ca 25 +/- 12 degrees for the Adelaide Fold Belt where two Neoproterozoic glaciations occur. This palaeopole falls 58 degrees away from the Marinoan glaciation (the Elatina Formation) pole, and the palaeolatitude for the region studied is around 30 degrees higher than that predicted by the Marinoan and younger Neoproterozoic poles from Australia. If the WTC pole is accepted as a palaeopole at the end of the Walsh glaciation, the Walsh Tillite is thus likely to be of Sturtian (ca 770-750 Ma) rather than Marinoan age. A comparison of the revised late Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic apparent polar wander path (APWP) for East Gondwana with that of Laurentia suggests that supercontinent Rodinia broke apart by about 750 Ma, after the Sturtian glaciation. The new data do not discriminate between the snowball Earth model and the high-obliquity Earth model for the Neoproterozoic time. The revised APWP suggests a 'stop-and-go' fashion of movement for East Gondwana during the Neoproterozoic. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)359-370
    JournalPrecambrian Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


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