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Enigmatic well-characterized remanent magnetization of silicified Lower Devonian rocks from the Tadrart area (Murzuq basin, SE Algeria)

Abstract : To improve the poor Gondwana paleomagnetic database for Devonian times, detailed paleomagnetic analyses were performed on red chert-like rocks and partly silicified paleosols within the Lower Devonian Ikniouen level (fine-grained sandstones including red ironstone) in conformity within the sub-horizontal Tadrart coarse white formations of the Murzuq basin. Silicification, limited to this level that is only a few meters thick, was probably due to tropical warm climatic conditions during and shortly after the rock deposition. In two sections 40 km away each other, paleomagnetic data point out a high-temperature Characteristic Remanent Magnetization (ChRM) with very well-defined mean direction, positive reversal test and relatively high (5) Q and R scores. Rock magnetic data indicate minerals of the hematite family, but the presence of a minor amount of other mineral phases remains possible. At least part of the ChRMs are Chemical Remanent Magnetizations, likely acquired during or shortly after deposition. The corresponding paleomagnetic results (paleomagnetic pole at 28.6° E and 71.1° S, with K = 1004, A95 = 1.5°) could have major geodynamical implications for the Gondwana supercontinent. In fact, ChRM acquired in this level during or shortly after deposition should imply a much-unexpected fast latitudinal continental drift of the Gondwana during the Lower Devonian or a significant and fast true polar wander. Though much more difficult to match with the ChRM and geological characteristics, the only possible alternative interpretation for the Ikniouen data should be a chemical remagnetization acquired during the Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene times.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 15, 2022 - 2:01:54 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 8:53:34 AM

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M. Derder, B. Henry, S. Maouche, M. Amenna, A. Ouabadi, et al.. Enigmatic well-characterized remanent magnetization of silicified Lower Devonian rocks from the Tadrart area (Murzuq basin, SE Algeria). International Journal of Earth Sciences, 2022, ⟨10.1007/s00531-022-02173-6⟩. ⟨insu-03643032⟩

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