The University of Texas logo
The Dispersal of East Gondwana from Breakup to the Start of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron

UTIG Seminars

The Dispersal of East Gondwana
from Breakup to the Start of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron

Joshua ("Bud") Davis
UTIG PhD student

Friday, 08 May, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Join us for coffee beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Seminar Conference Room, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196-ROC, Austin, Texas 78758
Lawrence Lawver and
Terry Quinn, UTIG

Click for a Live Broadcast.

image related Bud Davis' talk

Existing plate models for the breakup of Africa and East Gondwana (Australia, East Antarctica, India, Madagascar, the Seychelles, and Sri Lanka) are problematic and require revision. Specific problems include the utilization of dubious Gondwana configurations, improbable plate motion, and/or a failure to satisfy the holistic marine magnetic anomaly data. I present here a new model for the breakup of East Gondwana. This new model begins from a constrained, pre-breakup, Gondwana configuration. Out of this initial "tight-fit" configuration, East Gondwana rifts from West Gondwana (Africa & South America) as a cohesive unit. During this breakup and subsequent seafloor spreading, East Gondwana is devoid of any internal compression or anomalous plate motion. The overall motion of East Gondwana is constrained by seafloor spreading in the coeval Somali Basin and Mozambique/Riiser Larsen Basins. Seafloor spreading in these basins is modeled using existing marine magnetic anomaly interpretations and satellite-derived gravity data. Our model is uniquely able to satisfy the magnetic anomaly observations in both of the aforementioned basins without invoking improbable plate motion or configurations. Additionally, this plate model provides insight about the formation of two previously enigmatic systems, the hydrocarbon-rich Davie Ridge offshore East Africa, and the tectonically contentious Enderby Basin offshore East Antarctica. Predictions from our plate model agree well with geophysical observations from both regions and can greatly aid our future work understanding the evolution of regional scale continental rift systems.