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SZI in the Scotia Sea region: When and why?

Suzanna van de Lagemaat and her colleagues provide us with an overview and new perspective on the South Sandwich SZI event:

We present an updated kinematic reconstruction of the Scotia Sea region using the latest published marine magnetic anomaly constraints, and place this in a South America-Africa-Antarctica plate circuit in which we take intracontinental deformation into account. We show that a change in marine magnetic anomaly orientation in the Weddell Sea requires that previously inferred initiation of subduction of South American oceanic crust of the northern Weddell Sea below the eastern margin of South Orkney Islands continental crust (SOM), then still attached to the Antarctic Peninsula, already occurred around 80 Ma. Subsequently, between ~71–50 Ma, we propose that the trench propagated northwards into South America by delamination of South American lithosphere.

van de Lagemaat et al. (2021, Earth-Science Reviews)

Topography and bathymetry around the South Sandwich subduction zone
The South Sandwich SZI event location

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