Tectonics of the new Guinea region

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The New Guinea region evolved within the obliquely and rapidly converging Australian and Pacific plate boundary zone. It is arguably one of the most tectonically complex regions of the world, and its geodynamic evolution involved microplate formation and rotation, lithospheric rupture to form ocean basins, arc-continent collision, subduction polarity reversal, collisional orogenesis, ophiolite obduction, and exhumation of (ultra)high-pressure metamorphic rocks. We describe the major onshore and offshore tectonic and geologic components, including plate boundaries, seismicity, faults, and magmatism, and we integrate these with emerging ideas about mantle dynamics to evaluate the Cenozoic tectonic evolution of New Guinea. Future research opportunities to resolve the mantle structure beneath New Guinea will enable mantle dynamics to be linked to lithospheric and surface processes. Virtually all plate tectonic and mantle processes have been active in the New Guinea region throughout the Cenozoic, and, as such, its tectonic evolution has global significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-520
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Volume40
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

Fingerprint

New Guinea (island)
plate boundary
tectonic evolution
tectonics
Earth mantle
mantle process
mantle
arc-continent collision
Australian plate
obduction
magnetic reversal
mantle structure
microplate
Pacific plate
ocean basin
plate tectonics
ophiolite
exhumation
orogeny
metamorphic rock

Keywords

  • Blueschists
  • Collisional orogenesis
  • Eclogites
  • Microplates
  • Ophiolites
  • Plate boundaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Tectonics of the new Guinea region. / Baldwin, Suzanne L; Fitzgerald, Paul G; Webb, Laura E.

In: Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 40, 05.2012, p. 495-520.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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