Marine Geophysical Researches

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 225–247 | Cite as

The sea-floor spreading history of the eastern Indian Ocean

  • Thomas S. Powell
  • Bruce P. Luyendyk


The geologic history of the eastern Indian Ocean between northwest Australia and the Java Trench is known to involve two separate events of rifting and sea-floor spreading. Late Jurassic spreading in the Argo Abyssal Plain off northwest Australia was followed by Early Cretaceous spreading in the Cuvier and Perth Abyssal Plains off west Australia. However, the evolution and interaction of these events has not been clear. Mesozoic sea-floor spreading anomalies have been identified throughout the Argo Abyssal Plain that define a rifting event and subsequent northward spreading on the northwestern Australian margin at 155 m.y.b.p. Magnetic anomalies northwest of the Argo Abyssal Plain indicate a ridge jump to the south at about 130 m.y.b.p. that is approximately synchronous with east-west rifting along the southwestern Australian margin. The Joey Rise in the Argo Plain was probably formed by volcanism at the intersection of this new rift and the spreading ridge to the north. The southern and northern spreading systems were connected through the Exmouth Plateau which was stretched and faulted as spreading progressed. The RRR triple junction was formed at the intersection of the two spreading systems and appears to have migrated west along the northern edge of the Gascoyne Abyssal Plain. Spreading off northwest Australia cannot be easily related to simultaneous spreading in the west central Pacific via any simple tectonic scheme.


Early Cretaceous Magnetic Anomaly Late Jurassic Argo Eastern Indian Ocean 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas S. Powell
    • 1
  • Bruce P. Luyendyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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