First palaeomagnetic dating of ferricrete in New Caledonia: new insight on the morphogenesis and palaeoweathering of ‘Grande Terre’

Authors

  • Brice Sevin,

    1. Geological Survey of New Caledonia, Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, 1 ter, rue Unger, BP 465, 98845 Nouméa, New Caledonia
    2. Pôle Pluridisciplinaire de la Matière et de l’Environnement, EA 3325, Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, BP R4, 98851 Nouméa Cedex, New Caledonia
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  • Caroline Ricordel-Prognon,

    1. BRGM (French Geological Survey), Regolith and Reservoirs Unit, 3, Avenue C. Guillemin, BP 36009, 45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France
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  • Florence Quesnel,

    1. BRGM (French Geological Survey), Regolith and Reservoirs Unit, 3, Avenue C. Guillemin, BP 36009, 45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France
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  • Dominique Cluzel,

    1. Pôle Pluridisciplinaire de la Matière et de l’Environnement, EA 3325, Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, BP R4, 98851 Nouméa Cedex, New Caledonia
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  • Stéphane Lesimple,

    1. Geological Survey of New Caledonia, Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, 1 ter, rue Unger, BP 465, 98845 Nouméa, New Caledonia
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  • Pierre Maurizot

    1. BRGM New Caledonia, 1 ter, rue Unger, BP 465, 98845 Nouméa, New Caledonia
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Brice Sevin, Geological Survey of New Caledonia, Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, 1 ter, rue Unger, BP 465, 98845 Nouméa, New Caledonia. e-mail: brice.sevin@gouv.nc

Abstract

Terra Nova, 24, 77–85, 2012

Abstract

Comparing palaeolatitudes estimated from remanent magnetization data of ferricrete developed over laterite at two sites (Goro and Tiébaghi) against the apparent polar wandering path of Australia provides new time constraints for the peridotite weathering in New Caledonia. The Tiébaghi Massif of the West Coast klippes displays a single episode of ferricrete development during latest Oligocene times. By contrast, the Goro site in the southern part of the ‘Massif du Sud' reveals a more complex history with several episodes of ferricrete development from latest Oligocene to Pliocene–Quaternary times. These data have made it possible to constrain the post-obduction geodynamics and associated morphogenesis of New Caledonia since related uplift probably prevented regolith development until latest Oligocene times. Moreover, the later uplift and deep erosion of the West Coast klippes during the Early Miocene probably prevented further regolith preservation.

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