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A new grand mean palaeomagnetic pole for the 1.11 ga umkondo large igneous province with implications for palaeogeography and the geomagnetic field

  • Author(s): Swanson-Hysell, NL
  • Kilian, TM
  • Hanson, RE
  • et al.

© The Authors 2015. We present a new grand mean palaeomagnetic pole (Plong: 222.1°, Plat: -64.0°, A95: 2.6°, N = 49) for the ca. 1110 Ma Umkondo large igneous province (LIP) of the Kalahari Craton. Newpalaeomagnetic data from 24 sills in Botswana and compiled reprocessed existing data are used to develop a palaeomagnetic pole as the Fisher mean of cooling unit virtual geomagnetic poles (VGPs). The mean and its associated uncertainty provide the best-constrained pole yet developed for the province. Comparing data from individual cooling units allows for evaluation of palaeosecular variation at this time in the Mesoproterozoic. The elongation of the population of VGPs is consistent with that predicted by the TK03.GAD model lending support to the dipolar nature of the field in the late Mesoproterozoic. In our new compilation, 4 of 59 (~7 per cent) of the igneous units have northerly declinations while the rest are southdirected indicating that a geomagnetic reversal occurred duringmagmatic activity. Interpreting which of these polarities corresponds with a normal or reversed geomagnetic field relative to other continents can constrain the relative orientations between cratons with time-equivalent data. This interpretation is particularly important in comparison to Laurentia as it bears on Kalahari's involvement and position in the supercontinent Rodinia. The dominance of southdirected declinations within the Umkondo Province was previously used to suggest that these directions are the same polarity as reversed directions from the early magmatic stage of the Keweenawan Midcontinent Rift of Laurentia. Two Umkondo sills with northerly declinations have U-Pb baddeleyite ages of ca. 1109 Ma that are temporally close to dated Midcontinent Rift units having reversed directions. Based on this comparison, and palaeomagnetic data from younger units in the Kalahari Craton, we favour the option in which the sites with northerly declinations from the Umkondo Province correspond to the reversed polarity directions from the early magmatic stage in the Midcontinent Rift. This interpretation allows for the Namaqua-Natal metamorphic belt of Kalahari to be a conjugate to the Grenville margin of North America and for Kalahari to have become conjoined with Laurentia within the supercontinent Rodinia subsequent to Umkondo LIP magmatic activity.

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