Supercontinental Inheritance and its Influence on Supercontinental Breakup: The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province and the Breakup of Pangea
Whalen, Lisa Marie
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The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) is the large igneous province (LIP) that coincides with the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea. Major and trace element data, Sr-Nd-Pb radiogenic isotopes, and high-precision olivine chemistry were collected on primitive CAMP dikes from Virginia (VA). These new samples were used in conjunction with a global CAMP data set to elucidate different mechanisms for supercontinent breakup and LIP formation. On the Eastern North American Margin, CAMP flows are found primarily in rift basins that can be divided into northern or southern groups based on differences in tectonic evolution, rifting history, and supercontinental inheritance. Geochemical signatures of CAMP suggest an upper mantle source modified by subduction processes. We propose that the greater number of accretionary events, or metasomatism by sediment melts as opposed to fluids on the northern versus the southern Laurentian margin during the formation of Pangea led to different subduction-related signatures in the mantle source of the northern versus southern CAMP lavas. CAMP samples have elevated Ni and low Ca in olivine phenocrysts indicating a significant pyroxenite component in the source, interpreted here as a result of subduction metasomatism. Different collisional styles during the Alleghanian orogeny in the North and South may have led to the diachroneity of the rifting of Pangea. Furthermore, due to a low angle of subduction, the Rheic Plate may have underplated the lithosphere then delaminated, triggering both the breakup of Pangea and the formation of CAMP.
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