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A Positive Test of East Antarctica–Laurentia Juxtaposition Within the Rodinia Supercontinent

Science  11 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5886, pp. 235-240
DOI: 10.1126/science.1159189

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Abstract

The positions of Laurentia and other landmasses in the Precambrian supercontinent of Rodinia are controversial. Although geological and isotopic data support an East Antarctic fit with western Laurentia, alternative reconstructions favor the juxtaposition of Australia, Siberia, or South China. New geologic, age, and isotopic data provide a positive test of the juxtaposition with East Antarctica: Neodymium isotopes of Neoproterozoic rift-margin strata are similar; hafnium isotopes of ∼1.4-billion-year-old Antarctic-margin detrital zircons match those in Laurentian granites of similar age; and a glacial clast of A-type granite has a uraniun-lead zircon age of ∼1440 million years, an epsilon-hafnium initial value of +7, and an epsilon-neodymium initial value of +4. These tracers indicate the presence of granites in East Antarctica having the same age, geochemical properties, and isotopic signatures as the distinctive granites in Laurentia.

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