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An Australian source for Pacific-Gondwana zircon

A study of sediment provenance across Australia using U-Pb-Hf systematics in zircon revealed the Paterson-Petermann Orogen of Central Australia to be the major source for the so-called “characteristic Pacific-Gondwana zircons” found in eastern Australia. These data also re-affirmed links between Western Australia and the Lhasa Terrane in the Ediacaran-Paleozoic time, and led us to re-evaluate the tectonic drivers of the Paterson-Petermann Orogen. We conclude that the Orogen was likely subduction driven, and may represent a Neoproterozoic suture in the middle of Australia.

Northeastern Gondwana
Northeastern Gondwana at 550 Ma showing collision of North Australian craton–Asian terranes into West Australian craton–Lhasa terrane. Large arrows show movement of outboard terranes during Paterson-Petermann orogen. Small arrows show sediment transport across Pacific-Gondwana region.

Relevant publication:

Martin, E. L., Collins, W. J., and Kirkland, C. L.. An Australian source for Pacific-Gondwanan zircons: Implications for the assembly of northeastern Gondwana: Geology, v. 45, no. 8, p. 699-702 (2017).