Oceanic tholeiitic basalts were dredged from 2500 to 3000 m depth on each flank of the Amirante Ridge, 1200 km southeast of Somalia in the western Indian Ocean, by R.V. Argo in 1964. One sample, probably shed from a flow or dike in basement beneath the coralline cap, gave a wholerock KAr age of 82??16??106 years. The age is similar to those reported by others for agglomerate from Providence Reef, nearer Madagascar, and for gabbro from Chain Ridge, the southwest member of Owen Fracture Zone, nearer the Somali coast. The Amirante Cretaceous-Early Tertiary occurrence lies between the "continental" 650 ?? 106 years granites of Seychelles Archipelago and the large Precambrian "continental" block of Madagascar. Trends of major structures and distribution of the related topographic and magnetic-anomaly lineations in 7-8 ?? 106 km2of the surrounding Indian Ocean suggest that in addition to spreading of the seafloor from the seismically-active Mid-Indian Ocean Ridge-Carlsberg Ridge complex there has been, since mid-Mesozoic time, distributed left-lateral shear along 52??-54??E that has moved Madagascar at least 700 km south relative to Seychelles Bank. Measurements by other indicate the absolute movement of Madagascar has been southward as well. The emplacement of oceanic tholeiitic basalts at shallow depth, the development of volcanic topography between the sedimented Somali and Mascarene basins, and the existence of the faulted Amirante Trench and Ridge are consequences of the displacement. ?? 1968.
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Basalts dredged from the Amirante ridge, western Indian ocean