Palaeomagnetism and K-Ar Ages of the South-west African Basalts and their Bearing on the Time of Initial Rifting of the South Atlantic Ocean

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Palaeomagnetic and isotopic results from the Kaoko lavas, Hoachanas basalts and dolerite sills of South‐West Africa indicate that the Upper Triassic‐Lower Jurassic Stormberg flows of South Africa may have extended into SW‐Africa and that younger igneous events of Lower Cretaceous age were simultaneous with the Serra Geral volcanism in Brazil. Five analyses on three samples of the Keetmanshoop sills gave K‐Ar ages between 178 ± 4 and 199 ± 4 Ma, four analyses of two samples of the Hoachanas basalts gave ages between 161 ± 3 and 173 ± 2 Ma and eight analyses of five samples of Kaoko basalt gave ages between 110±4 and 128 ± 2 Ma. The components of remanent magnetization (RM) used to compute palaeomagnetic pole positions for the Kaoko lavas (48° N, 93° W, A95 = 3°) and for the Hoachanas basalts (61° N, 106° W, A95 = 7° are stable to alternating field (AF) and thermal demagnetization. Correlation on a pre‐drift map and on a map reconstructed for 112 Ma BP (before present) between the palaeomagnetic poles from the Kaoko and Serra Geral lavas suggests that the South Atlantic had not opened appreciably by 112 Ma BP. Cretaceous pole positions for S. America and Africa on a map reconstructed for 80 Ma BP are also discussed.

Publication Title:

Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society

Item Type:
Journal Article

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