Journal article

Long-lived transcontinental sediment transport pathways of East Gondwana

Sara Moron, Peter A Cawood, Peter W Haines, Stephen J Gallagher, Sabin Zahirovic, Christopher J Lewis, Louis Moresi



Few modern sediment dispersal pathways predate the breakup of Pangea. This suggests that river lifespan can be controlled by continental assembly and dispersal cycles, with the longest-lived river systems present during supercontinent regimes. Based on the strikingly similar age spectra and Hf isotopic array extracted from Paleozoic to early Mesozoic sedimentary sequences from the Paleo-Tethyan margin basins, we argue that a long-lived supercontinental- scale system, with headwaters originating in Antarctica, flowed northward to finally debouch on the margin with the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. Channel-belt thickness scaling relationships, which provide an estimate of drainage area, support the noti..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council's Industrial Transformation Research Hubs project

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Australian Research Council's Industrial Transformation Research Hubs project IH130200012 and grant FL160100168. Moron acknowledges support from the University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher grant. We thank Geoscience Australia for providing access to the zircons used for further Hf analyses, and J.D. Woodhead and R. Maas for their help with the Hf isotopic analysis. Moron thanks M.R. Gibling for his helpful discussions about the longevity of sediment dispersal systems and M. Blum for his comments about the scaling analysis. We thank three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. Haines publishes with the permission of the Executive Director of the Geological Survey of Western Australia. Lewis publishes with the permission of the Chief Executive Officer of Geoscience Australia.