Open Access

Tectonic and magmatic patterns in the Jutulstraumen rift (?) region, East Antarctica, as imaged by high-resolution aeromagnetic data

Earth, Planets and Space201457:BF03351856

Received: 1 March 2004

Accepted: 20 February 2005

Published: 20 June 2014


The Jutulstraumen ice stream in western Dronning Maud Land may conceal a Jurassic continental rift. Delineating the geometry and the magmatic patterns of this inferred glaciated rift in East Antarctica is important to improve our understanding of the regional tectonic and magmatic processes associated with Gondwana break-up. A high-resolution aeromagnetic survey provides new insights over the largely buried tectonic and magmatic patterns of the Jutulstraumen area. Prominent NE-SW oriented aeromagnetic trends are detected over the Jutulstraumen. These trends delineate major inherited structural boundaries, active in Grenvillian (about 1.1 Ga) and Pan-African times (about 500 Ma), which appear to strongly control the location of the later Jurassic rift. The postulated eastern flank of the rift is marked by a broad positive anomaly over H. U. Sverdrupfjella. Buried Grenvillian age rocks may be the source of the long-wavelength anomaly. However, the higher frequency components correlate with granitoids of late Pan-African age. The inferred western flank of the rift features short-wavelength anomalies over the Borgmassivet and Ahlmannryggen areas, indicating a considerably greater extent of mid-Proterozoic tholeiitic sills than apparent in outcrop. In contrast, aeromagnetic signatures suggest that alkaline plutons, which relate to Jurassic rifting, are restricted to outcrop areas along the eastern rift flank. The prominent magnetic low over the Jutulstraumen indicates either a largely amagmatic rift, or perhaps subglacial sediments within the rift basin.

Key words

Aeromagnetic anomalies rift Jutulstraumen East Antarctica