Early geophysical studies hypothesized a continental rift structure beneath the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Recent models favour a flexural origin for the basin linked to Transantarctic Mountains uplift and to East Antarctic Craton lithospheric rigidity. Flexural modelling predicts crustal thickening beneath the basin. Gravity modelling along the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition traverse (1998/99), however, reveals crustal thinning beneath the basin. At 75°S the crust thins from 37 km beneath the Transantarctic Mountains to 31 ± 2 km beneath the Wilkes Basin. The western flank of the basin features a sharp magnetic break. This signature may arise from a fault separating highly magnetic Precambrian craton crust from weakly magnetic Neoproterozoic(?) crust. Much later crustal extension may have focussed along the craton margin. The eastern flank of the Wilkes Basin exhibits a prominent aeromagnetic signature. Potential field modelling predicts 1-4 km thick sedimentary infill within the Wilkes extended terrane, interpreted mainly as Beacon Supergroup intruded by Jurassic Ferrar tholeiites. The adjacent Adventure Subglacial Trench is a narrow rift basin with 25±5 km thick crust and a 10±4 km sedimentary infill. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Ferraccioli, F., Coren, F., Bozzo, E., Zanolla, C., Gandolfi, S., Tabacco, I., et al. (2001). Rifted(?) crust at the East Antarctic Craton margin: Gravity and magnetic interpretation along a traverse across the Wilkes Subglacial Basin region. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 192(3), 407-421 [10.1016/S0012-821X(01)00459-9].