Intraplate Transtensional Tectonics in the East Antarctic Craton: Insight from Buried Subglacial Bedrock in the Lake Vostok—Dome C Region


This study presents the results of forward numerical models of a series of sections of the Aurora Trench (East Antarctica) derived from radio echo-sounding data that allowed to reconstruct the 3D shape of the Aurora Fault, a crustal listric normal fault characterized by a length exceeding 100 km. A similar extensional fault setting allows to replicate the asymmetric buried morphology of the magnetic basement at the Lake Vostok depression derived by the available gravity and magnetic profiles. Both the Aurora and Vostok listric fault reach their basal decollment at 34 km depth, possibly the base of the crust in this intracratonic environment. Integration of these results with the existing geologic interpretations of the tectonic origin of the Concordia Trench by normal faulting allowed to frame the Concordia, Aurora and Vostok normal faults within an intraplate transtensional corridor with a left-lateral movement component. The westward projection of the proposed strike-slip deformation belt may develop in correspondence of an older tectonic lineament stretching from the Eastern flanks of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mts to the Lambert rift and characterized by a poly-phased complex tectonic history. The possible Cenozoic reactivation of these structures is discussed in the paper.

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P. Cianfarra and F. Salvini, "Intraplate Transtensional Tectonics in the East Antarctic Craton: Insight from Buried Subglacial Bedrock in the Lake Vostok—Dome C Region," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 9, 2013, pp. 1275-1284. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.49122.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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