Sample records for early cretaceous subduction-related

  1. Evidence for subduction-related magmatism during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic in Myanmar (United States)

    Sevastjanova, Inga; Sagi, David Adam; Webb, Peter; Masterton, Sheona; Hill, Catherine; Davies, Clare


    Myanmar's complex geological history, numerous controversies around its tectonic evolution and the presence of prospective hydrocarbon basins make it a key area of interest for geologists. Understanding whether a passive or an active margin existed in the region during the Cenozoic is particularly important for the production of accurate basin models; active Cenozoic subduction would imply that hydrocarbon basins in the forearc experienced extension due to slab rollback. The geology of Myanmar was influenced by the regional tectonics associated with the Cretaceous and Cenozoic closure of the Neotethys Ocean. During this time, India travelled rapidly from Gondwana to Asia at speeds up to 20 cm/yr. To accommodate the north-eastward motion of India, the Neotethys Ocean was consumed at the subduction zone along the southern margin of Eurasia. Based on our Global Plate Model, this subduction zone can reasonably be expected to extend for the entire width of the Neotethys Ocean as far as Myanmar and Southeast Asia at their eastern extent. Moreover, a) Cretaceous volcanism onshore Myanmar, b) the middle Cenozoic arc-related extension in the Present Day eastern Andaman Sea and c) the late Cenozoic uplift of the Indo-Burman Ranges are all contemporaneous with the subduction ages predicted by the global plate motions. However, because of the geological complexity of the area, additional evidence would augment interpretations that are based on structural data. In an attempt to reduce the uncertainty in the existing interpretations, we have compiled published zircon geochronological data from detrital and igneous rocks in the region. We have used published zircon U-Pb ages and, where available, published Hf isotope data and CL images (core/rim) in order to distinguish 'juvenile' mantle-derived zircons from those of reworked crustal origin. The compilation shows that Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic zircons, which are interpreted to have a volcanic provenance, are common across the

  2. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous episodic development of the Bangong Meso-Tethyan subduction: Evidence from elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic geochemistry of arc magmatic rocks, Gaize region, central Tibet, China (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Xiu; Li, Zhi-Wu; Yang, Wen-Guang; Zhu, Li-Dong; Jin, Xin; Zhou, Xiao-Yao; Tao, Gang; Zhang, Kai-Jun


    The Bangong Meso-Tethys plays a critical role in the development of the Tethyan realm and the initial elevation of the Tibetan Plateau. However, its precise subduction polarity, and history still remain unclear. In this study, we synthesize a report for the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous two-phase magmatic rocks in the Gaize region at the southern margin of the Qiangtang block located in central Tibet. These rocks formed during the Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous (161-142 Ma) and Early Cretaceous (128-106 Ma), peaking at 146 Ma and 118 Ma, respectively. The presence of inherited zircons indicates that an Archean component exists in sediments in the shallow Qiangtang crust, and has a complex tectonomagmatic history. Geochemical and Sr-Nd isotopic data show that the two-phase magmatic rocks exhibit characteristics of arc magmatism, which are rich in large-ion incompatible elements (LIIEs), but are strongly depleted in high field strength elements (HFSEs). The Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous magmatic rocks mixed and mingled among mantle-derived mafic magmas, subduction-related sediments, or crustally-derived felsic melts and fluids, formed by a northward and steep subduction of the Bangong Meso-Tethys ocean crust. The magmatic gap at 142-128 Ma marks a flat subduction of the Meso-Tethys. The Early Cretaceous magmatism experienced a magma MASH (melting, assimilation, storage, and homogenization) process among mantle-derived mafic magmas, or crustally-derived felsic melts and fluids, as a result of the Meso-Tethys oceanic slab roll-back, which triggered simultaneous back-arc rifting along the southern Qiangtang block margin.

  3. Early Cretaceous MORB-type basalt and A-type rhyolite in northern Tibet: Evidence for ridge subduction in the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean (United States)

    Fan, Jian-Jun; Li, Cai; Sun, Zhen-Ming; Xu, Wei; Wang, Ming; Xie, Chao-Ming


    New zircon U-Pb ages, major- and trace-element data, and Hf isotopic compositions are presented for bimodal volcanic rocks of the Zhaga Formation (ZF) in the western-middle segment of the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone (BNSZ), northern Tibet. The genesis of these rocks is described, and implications for late-stage evolution of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean (BNTO) are considered. Detailed studies show that the ZF bimodal rocks, which occur as layers within a typical bathyal to abyssal flysch deposit, comprise MORB-type basalt that formed at a mid-ocean ridge, and low-K calc-alkaline A-type rhyolite derived from juvenile crust. The combination of MORB-type basalt, calc-alkaline A-type rhyolite, and bathyal to abyssal flysch deposits in the ZF leads us to propose that they formed as a result of ridge subduction. The A-type ZF rhyolites yield LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb ages of 118-112 Ma, indicating formation during the Early Cretaceous. Data from the present study, combined with regional geological data, indicate that the BNTO underwent conversion from ocean opening to ocean closure during the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous. The eastern segment of the BNTO closed during this period, while the western and western-middle segments were still at least partially open and active during the Early Cretaceous, accompanied by ridge subduction within the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean.

  4. Are diamond-bearing Cretaceous kimberlites related to shallow-angle subduction beneath western North America? (United States)

    Currie, C. A.; Beaumont, C.


    The origin of deep-seated magmatism (in particular, kimberlites and lamproites) within continental plate interiors remains enigmatic in the context of plate tectonic theory. One hypothesis proposes a relationship between kimberlite occurrence and lithospheric subduction, such that a subducting plate releases fluids below a continental craton, triggering melting of the deep lithosphere and magmatism (Sharp, 1974; McCandless, 1999). This study provides a quantitative evaluation of this hypothesis, focusing on the Late Cretaceous- Eocene (105-50 Ma) kimberlites and lamproites of western North America. These magmas were emplaced along a corridor of Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere, 1000-1500 km inboard of the plate margin separating the subducting Farallon Plate and continental North America Plate. Kimberlite-lamproite magmatism coincides with tectonic events, including the Laramide orogeny, shut-down of the Sierra Nevada arc, and eastward migration of volcanism, that are commonly attributed to a change in Farallon Plate geometry to a shallow-angle trajectory (subduction that places the Farallon Plate beneath the western edge of the cratonic interior of North America. This geometry is consistent with the observed continental dynamic subsidence that lead to the development of the Western Interior Seaway. The models also show that the subducting plate has a cool thermal structure, and subducted hydrous minerals (serpentine, phengite and phlogopite) remain stable to more than 1200 km from the trench, where they may break down and release fluids that infiltrate the overlying craton lithosphere. This is supported by geochemical studies that indicate metasomatism of the Colorado Plateau and Wyoming craton mantle lithosphere by an aqueous fluid and/or silicate melt with a subduction signature. Through Cretaceous shallow-angle subduction, the Farallon Plate was in a position to mechanically and chemically interact with North American craton lithosphere at the time of

  5. A Triassic to Cretaceous Sundaland-Pacific subduction margin in West Sarawak, Borneo (United States)

    Breitfeld, H. Tim; Hall, Robert; Galin, Thomson; Forster, Margaret A.; BouDagher-Fadel, Marcelle K.


    Metamorphic rocks in West Sarawak are poorly exposed and studied. They were previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement but had never been dated. New 40Ar/39Ar ages from white mica in quartz-mica schists reveal metamorphism between c. 216 to 220 Ma. The metamorphic rocks are associated with Triassic acid and basic igneous rocks, which indicate widespread magmatism. New U-Pb dating of zircons from the Jagoi Granodiorite indicates Triassic magmatism at c. 208 Ma and c. 240 Ma. U-Pb dating of zircons from volcaniclastic sediments of the Sadong and Kuching Formations confirms contemporaneous volcanism. The magmatic activity is interpreted to represent a Triassic subduction margin in westernmost West Sarawak with sediments deposited in a forearc basin derived from the magmatic arc at the Sundaland-Pacific margin. West Sarawak and NW Kalimantan are underlain by continental crust that was already part of Sundaland or accreted to Sundaland in the Triassic. One metabasite sample, also previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement, yielded Early Cretaceous 40Ar/39Ar ages. They are interpreted to indicate resumption of subduction which led to deposition of volcaniclastic sediments and widespread magmatism. U-Pb ages from detrital zircons in the Cretaceous Pedawan Formation are similar to those from the Schwaner granites of NW Kalimantan, and the Pedawan Formation is interpreted as part of a Cretaceous forearc basin containing material eroded from a magmatic arc that extended from Vietnam to west Borneo. The youngest U-Pb ages from zircons in a tuff layer from the uppermost part of the Pedawan Formation indicate that volcanic activity continued until c. 86 to 88 Ma when subduction terminated.

  6. Kinematics of Late Cretaceous subduction initiation in the Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructed from ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria (United States)

    Maffione, Marco; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; de Gelder, Giovanni I. N. O.; van der Goes, Freek C.; Morris, Antony


    Formation of new subduction zones represents one of the cornerstones of plate tectonics, yet both the kinematics and geodynamics governing this process remain enigmatic. A major subduction initiation event occurred in the Late Cretaceous, within the Neo-Tethys Ocean between Gondwana and Eurasia. Suprasubduction zone ophiolites (i.e., emerged fragments of ancient oceanic lithosphere formed at suprasubduction spreading centers) were generated during this subduction event and are today distributed in the eastern Mediterranean region along three E-W trending ophiolitic belts. Several models have been proposed to explain the formation of these ophiolites and the evolution of the associated intra-Neo-Tethyan subduction zone. Here we present new paleospreading directions from six Upper Cretaceous ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria, calculated by using new and published paleomagnetic data from sheeted dyke complexes. Our results show that NNE-SSW subduction zones were formed within the Neo-Tethys during the Late Cretaceous, which we propose were part of a major step-shaped subduction system composed of NNE-SSW and WNW-ESE segments. We infer that this subduction system developed within old (Triassic?) lithosphere, along fracture zones and perpendicular weakness zones, since the Neo-Tethyan spreading ridge formed during Gondwana fragmentation would have already been subducted at the Pontides subduction zone by the Late Cretaceous. Our new results provide an alternative kinematic model of Cretaceous Neo-Tethyan subduction initiation and call for future research on the mechanisms of subduction inception within old (and cold) lithosphere and the formation of metamorphic soles below suprasubduction zone ophiolites in the absence of nearby spreading ridges.

  7. Seismic tomographic constraints on plate-tectonic reconstructions of Nazca subduction under South America since late Cretaceous (˜80 Ma) (United States)

    Chen, Y. W.; Wu, J.; Suppe, J.


    Global seismic tomography has provided new and increasingly higher resolution constraints on subducted lithospheric remnants in terms of their position, depth, and volumes. In this study we aim to link tomographic slab anomalies in the mantle under South America to Andean geology using methods to unfold (i.e. structurally restore) slabs back to earth surface and input them to globally consistent plate reconstructions (Wu et al., 2016). The Andean margin of South America has long been interpreted as a classic example of a continuous subduction system since early Jurassic or later. However, significant gaps in Andean plate tectonic reconstructions exist due to missing or incomplete geology from extensive Nazca-South America plate convergence (i.e. >5000 km since 80 Ma). We mapped and unfolded the Nazca slab from global seismic tomography to produce a quantitative plate reconstruction of the Andes back to the late Cretaceous 80 Ma. Our plate model predicts the latest phase of Nazca subduction began in the late Cretaceous subduction after a 100 to 80 Ma plate reorganization, which is supported by Andean geology that indicates a margin-wide compressional event at the mid-late Cretaceous (Tunik et al., 2010). Our Andean plate tectonic reconstructions predict the Andean margin experienced periods of strike-slip/transtensional and even divergent plate tectonics between 80 to 55 Ma. This prediction is roughly consistent with the arc magmatism from northern Chile between 20 to 36°S that resumed at 80 Ma after a magmatic gap. Our model indicates the Andean margin only became fully convergent after 55 Ma. We provide additional constraints on pre-subduction Nazca plate paleogeography by extracting P-wave velocity perturbations within our mapped slab surfaces following Wu et al. (2016). We identified localized slow anomalies within our mapped Nazca slab that apparently show the size and position of the subducted Nazca ridge, Carnegie ridge and the hypothesized Inca plateau

  8. Geochemical evolution of Cenozoic-Cretaceous magmatism and its relation to tectonic setting, southwestern Idaho, U.S.A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norman, M.D.; Leeman, W.P.


    Magmatism in the western United States spanned a change in tectonic setting from Mesozoic and early Tertiary plate convergence to middle and late Tertiary crustal extension. This paper presents new major element, trace element, and isotopic (Sr, Nd, Pb) data on a diverse suite of Cretaceous to Neogene igneous rocks from the Owyhee area of southwestern Idaho to evaluate possible relationships between the evolving tectonic regime and temporal changes in igneous activity. The oldest studied rocks are Cretaceous granitic intrusives that probably formed by large-scale mixing of Precambrian crust with subduction-related magmas. Silicic Eocene tuffs are also rich in crustal components, but have isotopic compositions unlike the Cretaceous intrusives. These data require at least two crustal sources that may correspond to domains of significantly different age (Archean vs. Proterozoic). The oldest mafic lavas in the study area are Oligocene andesites and basalts compositionally similar to subduction-related magmas derived from asthenospheric mantle and erupted through thick continental crust. Direct crustal involvement during oligocene time was limited to minor interaction with the mafic magmas. Miocene activity produced bimodal basalt-rhyolite suites and minor volumes of hybrid lavas. Compositions of Miocene basalts demonstrate the decline of subduction-related processes, and increased involvement of subcontinental lithospheric mantle as a magma source. Crustally-derived Miocene rhyolites have isotopic compositions similar to those of the Cretaceous granitic rocks but trace element abundances more typical of within-plate magmas. (orig./WB)

  9. Subduction history of the Paleo-Pacific plate beneath the Eurasian continent: Evidence from Mesozoic igneous rocks and accretionary complex in NE Asia (United States)

    Xu, W.


    Mesozoic magmatisms in NE China can be subdivided into seven stages, i.e., Late Triassic, Early Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, Late Jurassic, early Early Cretaceous, late Early Cretaceous, and Late Cretaceous. Late Triassic magmatisms consist of calc-alkaline igneous rocks in the Erguna Massif, and bimodal igneous rocks in eastern margin of Eurasian continent. The former reveals southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate, the latter reveals an extensional environment (Xu et al., 2013). Early Jurassic magmatisms are composed of calc-alkaline igneous rocks in the eastern margin of the Eurasian continent and the Erguna Massif, revealing westward subduction of the Paleo-pacific plate and southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate (Tang et al., 2015), respectively. Middle Jurassic magmatism only occur in the Great Xing'an Range and the northern margin of the NCC, and consists of adakitic rocks that formed in crustal thickening, reflecting the closure of the Mongol-Okhotsk ocean (Li et al., 2015). Late Jurassic and early Early Cretaceous magmatisms only occur to the west of the Songliao Basin, and consist of trackyandesite and A-type of rhyolites, revealing an extensional environment related to delamination of thickened crust. The late Early Cretaceous magmatisms are widespread in NE China, and consist of calc-alkaline volcanics in eastern margin and bimodal volcanics in intracontinent, revealing westward subduction of the Paleo-pacific plate. Late Cretaceous magmatisms mainly occur to the east of the Songliao Basin, and consist of calc-alkaline volcanics in eastern margin and alkaline basalts in intracontinent (Xu et al., 2013), revealing westward subduction of the Paleo-pacific plate. The Heilongjiang complex with Early Jurassic deformation, together with Jurassic Khabarovsk complex in Russia Far East and Mino-Tamba complex in Japan, reveal Early Jurassic accretionary history. Additionally, the Raohe complex with the age of ca. 169 Ma was

  10. Linking Late Cretaceous to Eocene Tectonostratigraphy of the San Jacinto Fold Belt of NW Colombia With Caribbean Plateau Collision and Flat Subduction (United States)

    Mora, J. Alejandro; Oncken, Onno; Le Breton, Eline; Ibánez-Mejia, Mauricio; Faccenna, Claudio; Veloza, Gabriel; Vélez, Vickye; de Freitas, Mario; Mesa, Andrés.


    Collision with and subduction of an oceanic plateau is a rare and transient process that usually leaves an indirect imprint only. Through a tectonostratigraphic analysis of pre-Oligocene sequences in the San Jacinto fold belt of northern Colombia, we show the Late Cretaceous to Eocene tectonic evolution of northwestern South America upon collision and ongoing subduction with the Caribbean Plate. We linked the deposition of four fore-arc basin sequences to specific collision/subduction stages and related their bounding unconformities to major tectonic episodes. The Upper Cretaceous Cansona sequence was deposited in a marine fore-arc setting in which the Caribbean Plate was being subducted beneath northwestern South America, producing contemporaneous magmatism in the present-day Lower Magdalena Valley basin. Coeval strike-slip faulting by the Romeral wrench fault system accommodated right-lateral displacement due to oblique convergence. In latest Cretaceous times, the Caribbean Plateau collided with South America marking a change to more terrestrially influenced marine environments characteristic of the upper Paleocene to lower Eocene San Cayetano sequence, also deposited in a fore-arc setting with an active volcanic arc. A lower to middle Eocene angular unconformity at the top of the San Cayetano sequence, the termination of the activity of the Romeral Fault System, and the cessation of arc magmatism are interpreted to indicate the onset of low-angle subduction of the thick and buoyant Caribbean Plateau beneath South America, which occurred between 56 and 43 Ma. Flat subduction of the plateau has continued to the present and would be the main cause of amagmatic post-Eocene deposition.

  11. Kinematics of Late Cretaceous subduction initiation in the Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructed from ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffione, Marco; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.; de Gelder, Giovanni I.N.O.; van der Goes, Freek C.; Morris, Antony

    Formation of new subduction zones represents one of the cornerstones of plate tectonics, yet both the kinematics and geodynamics governing this process remain enigmatic. A major subduction initiation event occurred in the Late Cretaceous, within the Neo-Tethys Ocean between Gondwana and Eurasia.

  12. Elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic geochemistry of Cretaceous to Early Paleogene granites and volcanic rocks in the Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt (Russian Far East): implications for the regional tectonic evolution (United States)

    Zhao, Pan; Jahn, Bor-ming; Xu, Bei


    The Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt in Russian Far East is an important Late Mesozoic to Early Cenozoic accretionary orogen related to the subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate. This belt was generated by successive accretion of terranes made of accretionary prisms, turbidite basins and island arcs to the continental margin of northeastern Asia (represented by the Bureya-Jiamusi-Khanka Block) from Jurassic to Late Cretaceous. In order to study the tectonic and crustal evolution of this orogenic belt, we carried out zircon U-Pb dating, and whole-rock elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic analyses on granites and volcanic rocks from the Primorye region of southern Sikhote-Alin. Zircon dating revealed three episodes of granitoid emplacement: Permian, Early Cretaceous and Late Cretaceous to Early Paleogene. Felsic volcanic rocks (mainly rhyolite, dacite and ignimbrite) that overlay all tectonostratigraphic terranes were erupted during 80-57 Ma, postdating the accretionary process in the Sikhote-Alin belt. The Cretaceous-Paleogene magmatism represents the most intense tectonothermal event in the Sikhote-Alin belt. Whole-rock major and trace elemental data show arc-like affinity for granitoids and volcanic rocks, indicating that they were likely generated in a supra-subduction setting. Their initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios range from 0.7048 to 0.7114, and εNd(t) values vary from +1.7 to -3.8 (mostly < 0). Thus, the elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic data suggest that the felsic magmas were generated by partial melting of source rocks comprising mantle-derived juvenile component and recycled crustal component. In addition to the occurrence in the Sikhote-Alin orogenic belt, Cretaceous to Early Paleogene magmatic rocks are also widespread in NE China, southern Korean peninsula, Japanese islands and other areas of Russian Far East, particularly along the coastal regions of the Okhotsk and Bering Seas. These rocks constitute an extended magmatic belt along the continental margin of NE Asia. The

  13. Tribosphenic mammal from the North American Early Cretaceous. (United States)

    Cifelli, R L


    The main groups of living mammals, marsupials and eutherians, are presumed to have diverged in the Early Cretaceous, but their early history and biogeography are poorly understood. Dental remains have suggested that the eutherians may have originated in Asia, spreading to North America in the Late Cretaceous, where an endemic radiation of marsupials was already well underway. Here I describe a new tribosphenic mammal (a mammal with lower molar heels that are three-cusped and basined) from the Early Cretaceous of North America, based on an unusually complete specimen. The new taxon bears characteristics (molarized last premolar, reduction to three molars) otherwise known only for Eutheria among the tribosphenic mammals. Morphometric analysis and character comparisons show, however, that its molar structure is primitive (and thus phylogenetically uninformative), emphasizing the need for caution in interpretation of isolated teeth. The new mammal is approximately contemporaneous with the oldest known Eutheria from Asia. If it is a eutherian, as is indicated by the available evidence, then this group was far more widely distributed in the Early Cretaceous than previously appreciated. An early presence of Eutheria in North America offers a potential source for the continent's Late Cretaceous radiations, which have, in part, proven difficult to relate to contemporary taxa in Asia.

  14. Paleomagnetic tests for tectonic reconstructions of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Woyla Group, Sumatra (United States)

    Advokaat, Eldert; Bongers, Mayke; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Rudyawan, Alfend; Marshal, Edo


    Cretaceous Andean margin above a NE dipping subduction zone. We sampled limestones of the Woyla Group, and sediments of the West Sumatra margin for paleomagnetic analyses. Here we present new paleomagnetic data from Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous limestones of the Woyla Arc. Preliminary results suggest that the Woyla Arc was formed near equatorial latitudes. This precludes interpretations that the Woyla arc was derived from Gondwana, near the northern Indian margin. To account for (1) synchronous magmatism at the Woyla Arc and the West Sumatra continental margin, and (2) the juxtaposition of unmetamorphosed units of the Woyla Arc to highly metamorphosed units of the West Sumatra margin, we interpret the Woyla Group to be intra-oceanic arc formed above a SW dipping subduction zone in the Early Cretaceous, which was subsequently thrusted over the West Sumatra margin during the mid-Cretaceous.

  15. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous continental convergence and intracontinental orogenesis in East Asia: A synthesis of the Yanshan Revolution (United States)

    Dong, Shuwen; Zhang, Yueqiao; Zhang, Fuqin; Cui, Jianjun; Chen, Xuanhua; Zhang, Shuanhong; Miao, Laicheng; Li, Jianhua; Shi, Wei; Li, Zhenhong; Huang, Shiqi; Li, Hailong


    The basic tectonic framework of continental East Asia was produced by a series of nearly contemporaneous orogenic events in the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. Commonly, the Late Mesozoic orogenic processes were characterized by continent-continent collision, large-scale thrusting, strike-slip faulting and intense crustal shortening, crustal thickening, regional anatexis and metamorphism, followed by large-scale lithospheric extension, rifting and magmatism. To better understand the geological processes, this paper reviews and synthesizes existing multi-disciplinary geologic data related to sedimentation, tectonics, magmatism, metamorphism and geochemistry, and proposes a two-stage tectono-thermal evolutionary history of East Asia during the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (ca. 170-120 Ma). In the first stage, three orogenic belts along the continental margins were formed coevally at ca. 170-135 Ma, i.e., the north Mongol-Okhotsk orogen, the east paleo-Pacific coastal orogen, and the west Bangong-Nujiang orogen. Tectonism related to the coastal orogen caused extensive intracontinental folding and thrusting that resulted in a depositional hiatus in the Late Jurassic, as well as crustal anatexis that generated syn-kinematic granites, adakites and migmatites. The lithosphere of the East Asian continent was thickened, reaching a maximum during the latest Jurassic or the earliest Cretaceous. In the second stage (ca. 135-120 Ma), delamination of the thickened lithosphere resulted in a remarkable (>120 km) lithospheric thinning and the development of mantle-derived magmatism, mineralization, metamorphic core complexes and rift basins. The Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous subduction of oceanic plates (paleo-Pacific, meso-Tethys, and Mongol-Okhotsk) and continent-continent collision (e.g. Lhasa and Qiangtang) along the East Asian continental margins produced broad coastal and intracontinental orogens. These significant tectonic activities, marked by

  16. Early Cretaceous wedge extrusion in the Indo-Burma Range accretionary complex: implications for the Mesozoic subduction of Neotethys in SE Asia (United States)

    Zhang, Ji'en; Xiao, Wenjiao; Windley, Brian F.; Cai, Fulong; Sein, Kyaing; Naing, Soe


    ± 3 Ma and 115 Ma, which are close to the zircon ages of nearby calc-alkaline granite and diorite, which belong to an active continental margin arc that extends along the western side of the Shan-Thai block. The IBR accretionary complex and the active continental margin arc were generated during Early Cretaceous (115-128 Ma) subduction of the Neotethys Ocean.

  17. The Jurassic-early Cretaceous Ilo batholith of southern coastal Peru: geology, geochronology and geochemistry (United States)

    Boekhout, Flora; Sempere, Thierry; Spikings, Richard; Schaltegger, Urs


    The Ilo batholith (17°00 - 18°30 S) crops out in an area of about 20 by 100 km, along the coast of southern Peru. This batholith is emplaced into the ‘Chocolate‘ Formation of late Permian to middle Jurassic age, which consists of more than 1000 m of basaltic and andesitic lavas, with interbedded volcanic agglomerates and breccias. The Ilo Batholith is considered to be a rarely exposed fragment of the Jurassic arc in Peru. Our aim is to reconstruct the magmatic evolution of this batholith, and place it within the context of long-lasting magma genesis along the active Andean margin since the Paleozoic. Sampling for dating and geochemical analyses was carried out along several cross sections through the batholith that were exposed by post-intrusion eastward tilting of 20-30°. Sparse previous work postulates early to middle Jurassic and partially early Cretaceous emplacement, on the basis of conventional K/Ar and 40Ar/39Ar dating methods in the Ilo area. Twenty new U-Pb zircon ages (LA-ICP-MS and CA-ID-TIMS) accompanied by geochemical data suggests the Ilo batholith formed via the amalgamation of middle Jurassic and early Cretaceous, subduction-related plutons. Preliminary Hf isotope studies reveal a primitive mantle source for middle Jurassic intrusions. Additional Sr, Nd and Hf isotope analyses are planned to further resolve the source regions of different pulses of plutonic activity. We strongly suggest that batholith emplacement was at least partly coeval with the emplacement of the late Permian to middle Jurassic Chocolate Formation, which was deposited in an extensional tectonic regime. Our age results and geochemical signature fit into the scheme of episodic emplacement of huge amounts of subduction related magmatism that is observed throughout the whole Andean event, particularly during the middle Jurassic onset of the first Andean cycle (southern Peru, northern Chile and southern Argentina). Although the exact geodynamic setting remains to be precisely

  18. Early Cretaceous Na-rich granitoids and their enclaves in the Tengchong Block, SW China: Magmatism in relation to subduction of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethys ocean (United States)

    Zhu, Ren-Zhi; Lai, Shao-Cong; Santosh, M.; Qin, Jiang-Feng; Zhao, Shao-Wei


    that mantle-derived magmas played an important role in the genesis of Early Cretaceous intrusions from Tengchong to Lhasa Blocks, although crustal melting is the dominant contributor.

  19. The origin and early evolution of metatherian mammals: the Cretaceous record

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    Thomas E. Williamson


    Full Text Available Metatherians, which comprise marsupials and their closest fossil relatives, were one of the most dominant clades of mammals during the Cretaceous and are the most diverse clade of living mammals after Placentalia. Our understanding of this group has increased greatly over the past 20 years, with the discovery of new specimens and the application of new analytical tools. Here we provide a review of the phylogenetic relationships of metatherians with respect to other mammals, discuss the taxonomic definition and diagnosis of Metatheria, outline the Cretaceous history of major metatherian clades, describe the paleobiology, biogeography, and macroevolution of Cretaceous metatherians, and provide a physical and climatic background of Cretaceous metatherian faunas. Metatherians are a clade of boreosphendian mammals that must have originated by the Late Jurassic, but the first unequivocal metatherian fossil is from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. Metatherians have the distinctive tightly interlocking occlusal molar pattern of tribosphenic mammals, but differ from Eutheria in their dental formula and tooth replacement pattern, which may be related to the metatherian reproductive process which includes an extended period of lactation followed by birth of extremely altricial young. Metatherians were widespread over Laurasia during the Cretaceous, with members present in Asia, Europe, and North America by the early Late Cretaceous. In particular, they were taxonomically and morphologically diverse and relatively abundant in the Late Cretaceous of western North America, where they have been used to examine patterns of biogeography, macroevolution, diversification, and extinction through the Late Cretaceous and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary. Metatherian diversification patterns suggest that they were not strongly affected by a Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, but they clearly underwent a severe extinction across the K-Pg boundary.

  20. Early Cretaceous I-type granites in the Tengchong terrane: New constraints on the late Mesozoic tectonic evolution of southwestern China

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    Yi Fang


    Full Text Available The Early Cretaceous granitoids that are widespread in the Tengchong terrane of Southwest China play a critical role in understanding the tectonic framework associated with the Tethyan oceans. In this study, we present a detailed description of zircon U–Pb ages, whole-rock geochemistry and Hf isotopes for the Laoxiangkeng pluton in the eastern Tengchong terrane and elucidate their petrogenesis and geodynamic implications. Zircon U–Pb dating of the Laoxiangkeng pluton yields ages of 114 ± 1 Ma and 115 ± 1 Ma, which imply an Early Cretaceous magmatic event. The Laoxiangkeng pluton enriched in Si and Na, is calc-alkaline and metaluminous, and has the characteristics of highly fractionated I-type granites. Zircons from the pluton have calculated εHf(t values of −12.7 to −3.7 and two-stage model ages of 1327–1974 Ma, respectively, indicating a mixed source of partial melting of Paleo-Neoproterozoic crust-derived compositions with some inputs of mantle-derived magmas. By integrating all available data for the regional tectonic evolution of the eastern Tethys tectonic domain, we conclude that the Early Cretaceous magmatism in the Tengchong terrane was produced by the northeastward subduction of the Meso-Tethyan Bangong–Nujiang Ocean.

  1. A new Early Cretaceous eutherian mammal from the Sasayama Group, Hyogo, Japan. (United States)

    Kusuhashi, Nao; Tsutsumi, Yukiyasu; Saegusa, Haruo; Horie, Kenji; Ikeda, Tadahiro; Yokoyama, Kazumi; Shiraishi, Kazuyuki


    We here describe a new Early Cretaceous (early Albian) eutherian mammal, Sasayamamylos kawaii gen. et sp. nov., from the 'Lower Formation' of the Sasayama Group, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Sasayamamylos kawaii is characterized by a robust dentary, a distinct angle on the ventral margin of the dentary at the posterior end of the mandibular symphysis, a lower dental formula of 3-4 : 1 : 4 : 3, a robust lower canine, a non-molariform lower ultimate premolar, and a secondarily reduced entoconid on the molars. To date, S. kawaii is the earliest known eutherian mammal possessing only four premolars, which demonstrates that the reduction in the premolar count in eutherians started in the late Early Cretaceous. The occurrence of S. kawaii implies that the relatively rapid diversification of eutherians in the mid-Cretaceous had already started by the early Albian.

  2. Metamorphic history and geodynamic significance of the Early Cretaceous Sabzevar granulites (Sabzevar structural zone, NE Iran

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    M. Nasrabady


    Full Text Available The Iranian ophiolites are part of the vast orogenic suture zones that mark the Alpine-Himalayan convergence zone. Few petrological and geochronological data are available from these ophiolitic domains, hampering a full assessment of the timing and regimes of subduction zone metamorphism and orogenic construction in the region. This paper describes texture, geochemistry, and the pressure-temperature path of the Early Cretaceous mafic granulites that occur within the Tertiary Sabzevar ophiolitic suture zone of NE Iran. Whole rock geochemistry indicates that the Sabzevar granulites are likely derived from a MORB-type precursor. They are thus considered as remnants of a dismembered dynamo-thermal sole formed during subduction of a back-arc basin (proto-Sabzevar Ocean formed in the upper-plate of the Neotethyan slab. The metamorphic history of the granulites suggests an anticlockwise pressure-temperature loop compatible with burial in a hot subduction zone, followed by cooling during exhumation. Transition from a nascent to a mature stage of oceanic subduction is the geodynamic scenario proposed to accomplish for the reconstructed thermobaric evolution. When framed with the regional scenario, results of this study point to diachronous and independent tectonic evolutions of the different ophiolitic domains of central Iran, for which a growing disparity in the timing of metamorphic equilibration and of pressure-temperature paths can be expected to emerge with further investigations.

  3. Petrogenesis of the late Early Cretaceous granodiorite - Quartz diorite from eastern Guangdong, SE China: Implications for tectono-magmatic evolution and porphyry Cu-Au-Mo mineralization (United States)

    Jia, Lihui; Mao, Jingwen; Liu, Peng; Li, Yang


    Comprehensive petrological, zircon U-Pb dating, Hf-O isotopes, whole rock geochemistry and Sr-Nd isotopes data are presented for the Xinwei and Sanrao intrusions in the eastern Guangdong Province, Southeast (SE) China, with an aim to constrain the petrogenesis, tectono-magmatic evolution and evaluate the implication for porphyry Cu-Au-Mo mineralization. The Xinwei intrusion is composed of granodiorite and quartz diorite, whilst the Sanrao intrusion consists of granodiorite. Zircon U-Pb ages show that both intrusions were emplaced at ca. 106-102 Ma. All rocks are metaluminous to weakly peraluminous, high-K calc-alkaline in composition, and they are characterized by LREEs enrichment, depletion in Nb, Ta, P, and Ti, and strongly fractionated LREEs to HREEs. The initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios range from 0.7055 to 0.7059, and εNd(t) values range from -3.9 to -3.0. Together with the relatively high εHf(t) values (-3.2 to 3.3) and low δ18O values (4.9‰ to 6.6‰), these data suggest that the Xinwei and Sanrao intrusions were derived from a mixed source: including the mantle-derived mafic magmas and lower continental crustal magmas. Fractional crystallization played an important role in the magmatic evolution of the Xinwei and Sanrao intrusions. The elemental and isotopic compositions of the Xinwei and Sanrao intrusions, as well as the high water content and oxidation state of their parental magmas, are similar to those of the ore-bearing granodiorites of the Luoboling porphyry Cu-Mo deposit in the Fujian Province, neighbouring east to the Guangdong Province, indicating that the late Early Cretaceous granodioritic intrusions in the eastern Guangdong Province may also have Cu-Au-Mo mineralization potential. The late Early Cretaceous magmatic event is firstly reported in eastern Guangdong, and represents a positive response of large-scale lithosphere extension and thinning, triggered by the changing subduction direction of the Paleo-Pacific plate from oblique subduction to

  4. Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T.


    The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap between Archaeopteryx and crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. PMID:27053742

  5. Early Cretaceous greenhouse pumped higher taxa diversification in spiders. (United States)

    Shao, Lili; Li, Shuqiang


    The Cretaceous experienced one of the most remarkable greenhouse periods in geological history. During this time, ecosystem reorganizations significantly impacted the diversification of many groups of organisms. The rise of angiosperms marked a major biome turnover. Notwithstanding, relatively little remains known about how the Cretaceous global ecosystem impacted the evolution of spiders, which constitute one of the most abundant groups of predators. Herein, we evaluate the transcriptomes of 91 taxa representing more than half of the spider families. We add 23 newly sequenced taxa to the existing database to obtain a robust phylogenomic assessment. Phylogenetic reconstructions using different datasets and methods obtain novel placements of some groups, especially in the Synspermiata and the group having a retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA). Molecular analyses indicate an expansion of the RTA clade at the Early Cretaceous with a hunting predatory strategy shift. Fossil analyses show a 7-fold increase of diversification rate at the same period, but this likely owes to the first occurrences spider in amber deposits. Additional analyses of fossil abundance show an accumulation of spider lineages in the Early Cretaceous. We speculate that the establishment of a warm greenhouse climate pumped the diversification of spiders, in particular among webless forms tracking the abundance of insect prey. Our study offers a new pathway for future investigations of spider phylogeny and diversification. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. The Fairway-Aotea Basin and the New Caledonia Trough, witnesses of the Pacific-Australian plate boundary evolution : from mid-Cretaceous cessation of subduction to Eocene subduction renewal (United States)

    Collot, J.; Geli, L. B.; Lafoy, Y.; Sutherland, R.; Herzer, R. H.; Roest, W. R.


    The geodynamical history of the SW Pacific is controlled since the Mesozoic by the evolution of peri-Pacific subduction zones, in a trench retreat by slab roll-back process, which successively occurred along the Eastern Gondwana margin. In this context, most basins which formed after 45 Ma reached a stage of seafloor spreading, have recorded the inversions of the earth's magnetic field and present typical oceanic crust morphologies. By contrast, the New Caledonia and Fairway basins, which are narrower and present thick sedimentary covers have a less known and more controversial origin. Based on a regional geological synthesis and on interpretation of multichannel seismic reflection and refraction data, combined with drill hole data off New Zealand and a compilation of regional potential data, we distinguish 2 phases of the evolution of the Fairway-Aotea Basin (FAB) and the New Caledonia Trough (NCT), which reflect the evolution of the Gondwana-Pacific plate boundary: Phase 1: Mid Cretaceous formation of the FAB in a continental intra- or back- arc position of the Pacific-Gondwana subduction system. The formation of this shallow basin reflects the onset of continental breakup of the Eastern Gondwana margin during Cenomanian which was most probably caused by a dynamic change of the subduction zone through a « verticalization » of the slab. This event may be the result of the 99 Ma kinematic plate reorganization which probably led to subduction cessation along the Gondwana-Pacific plate boundary. A tectonic escape mechanism, in relation with the locking of the subduction zone by the Hikurangi Plateau, could also be responsible of the trench retreat leading to backarc extension. Phase 2: Regional Eocene-Oligocene uplift followed by rapid subsidence (3-4 km) of the system « Lord Howe Rise - FAB - Norfolk Ridge ». The structural style of this deformation leads us to suggest that detachment of the lower crust is the cause of subsidence. We therefore propose a model in

  7. A long-lived Late Cretaceous-early Eocene extensional province in Anatolia? Structural evidence from the Ivriz Detachment, southern central Turkey (United States)

    Gürer, Derya; Plunder, Alexis; Kirst, Frederik; Corfu, Fernando; Schmid, Stefan M.; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.


    Central Anatolia exposes previously buried and metamorphosed, continent-derived rocks - the Kırşehir and Afyon zones - now covering an area of ∼300 × 400 km. So far, the exhumation history of these rocks has been poorly constrained. We show for the first time that the major, >120 km long, top-NE 'Ivriz' Detachment controlled the exhumation of the HP/LT metamorphic Afyon Zone in southern Central Anatolia. We date its activity at between the latest Cretaceous and early Eocene times. Combined with previously documented isolated extensional detachments found in the Kırşehir Block, our results suggest that a major province governed by extensional exhumation was active throughout Central Anatolia between ∼80 and ∼48 Ma. Although similar in dimension to the Aegean extensional province to the east, the Central Anatolian extensional province is considerably older and was controlled by a different extension direction. From this, we infer that the African slab(s) that subducted below Anatolia must have rolled back relative to the Aegean slab since at least the latest Cretaceous, suggesting that these regions were underlain by a segmented slab. Whether or not these early segments already corresponded to the modern Aegean, Antalya, and Cyprus slab segments remains open for debate, but slab segmentation must have occurred much earlier than previously thought.

  8. Absolute Plate Motion Control Since the Triassic from the Cocos Slab and its Associated Subduction Record in Mexico (United States)

    Boschman, L.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Langereis, C. G.; Molina-Garza, R. S.; Kimbrough, D. L.; Spakman, W.


    A positive wave speed anomaly interpreted as the Cocos slab stretches from the uppermost mantle at the Middle America trench in the west, to the lowermost mantle below the Atlantic in the east. The length and continuity of this slab indicates long-lived, uninterrupted eastward subduction of the attached Cocos Plate and its predecessor, the Farallon Plate. The geological record of Mexico contains Triassic to present day evidence of subduction, of which the post-Late Cretaceous phase is of continental margin-style. Interpretations of the pre-Upper Cretaceous subduction-related rock assemblages are under debate, and vary from far-travelled exotic intra-oceanic island arc character to in-situ extended continental margin origin. We present new paleomagnetic data that show that Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous subduction-related rocks from the Vizcaíno Peninsula and the Guerrero terrane have a paleolatitudinal plate motion history that is equal to that of the North American continent. This suggests that these rock assemblages were part of the overriding plate and were perhaps only separated from the North American continent by temporal fore- or back-arc spreading. The entire Triassic-present day subduction record, and hence, reconstructed trench location, can therefore be linked to the Cocos slab, which provides control on longitudinal plate motion of North America since the time of Pangea. Compared to the latest state of the art mantle frames, in which longitudes are essentially unconstrained for pre-Cretaceous times, our reconstructed absolute position of North America requires a significant westward longitudinal shift for Mesozoic times.

  9. Jurassic arc volcanism on Crimea (Ukraine): Implications for the paleo-subduction zone configuration of the Black Sea region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijers, M.J.M.; Vrouwe, B.; van Hinsbergen, D.J.J.; Kuiper, K.F.; Wijbrans, J.R.; Davies, G.R.; Stephenson, R.A.; Kaymakci, N.; Matenco, L.C.; Saintot, A.N.


    The early Cretaceous and younger opening of the Black Sea has obliterated much of the older record of Tethyan subduction below southeastern Europe. The earlier Mesozoic evolution was dominated by opening and closure of Tethyan oceans between Gondwana and Laurasia with their consumption, at least in

  10. Mid-ocean ridge serpentinite in the Puerto Rico Trench: Accretion, alteration, and subduction of Cretaceous seafloor in the Atlantic Ocean (United States)

    Klein, F.; Marschall, H.; Bowring, S. A.; Horning, G.


    Serpentinite is believed to be one of the main carriers of water and fluid mobile elements into subduction zones, but direct evidence for serpentinite subduction has been elusive. The Antilles island arc is one of only two subduction zones worldwide that recycles slow-spreading oceanic lithosphere where descending serpentinite is both exposed by faulting and directly accessible on the seafloor. Here we examined serpentinized peridotites dredged from the North Wall of the Puerto Rico Trench (NWPRT) to assess their formation and alteration history and discuss geological ramifications resulting from their emplacement and subduction. Lithospheric accretion and serpentinization occurred, as indicated by U-Pb geochronology of hydrothermally altered zircon, at the Cretaceous Mid-Atlantic Ridge (CMAR). In addition to lizardite-rich serpentinites with pseudomorphic textures after olivine and pyroxene typical for static serpentinization at slow spreading mid-ocean ridges, recovered samples include non-pseudomorphic antigorite-rich serpentinites that are otherwise typically associated with peridotite at convergent plate boundaries. Antigorite-serpentinites have considerably lower Fe(III)/Fetot and lower magnetic susceptibilities than lizardite-serpentinites with comparable Fetot contents. Rare earth element (REE) contents of lizardite-serpentinites decrease linearly with increasing Fe(III)/Fetot of whole rock samples, suggesting that oxidation during seafloor weathering of serpentinite releases REEs to seawater. Serpentinized peridotites recorded multifaceted igneous and high- to low-temperature hydrothermal processes that involved extensive chemical, physical, and mineralogical modifications of their peridotite precursors with strong implications for our understanding of the accretion, alteration, and subduction of slow-spreading oceanic lithosphere.

  11. Middle Jurassic - Early Cretaceous rifting of the Danish Central Graben

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    Moeller, J.J.; Rasmussen, E.S.


    During the Jurassic-early Cretaceous, the Danish Central Graben developed as a N-S to NNW-SSE trending Graben bounded by the Ringkoebing-Fyn High towards the east and the Mid North Sea High towards the west. The Graben consists of a system of half-Grabens and evolved by fault-controlled subsidence; three main rift pulses have been recognized. The first pulse ranged from the Callovian to the early Oxfordian, the second pulse was initiated in the latest Late Kimmeridgian and Early Volgian, and the third and final pulse occurred within the Valanginian in the Early Cretaceous. The first pulse was characterized by subsidence along N-S trending faults. During the second pulse, in early Volgian times, subsidence was concentrated along new NNW-SSE trending faults and the main depocentre shifted westward, being most marked within the Tail End Graben, the Arne-Elin Graben, and the Feda Graben. This tectonic event was accompanied by the accumulation of a relatively thick sediment load resulting in the development of salt diapers, especially within the Salt Dome Province. The third tectonic pulse was essentially a reactivation of the NNW-SSE trending structures. This tectonic pulse also shows clear evidence of combined fault-controlled subsidence and salt movements. (EG) 12 figs.; 45 refs.

  12. Evolution of the Late Cretaceous-Paleogene Cordilleran arc magmatism in NW Mexico: a review from updated geochronological studies. (United States)

    Valencia-Moreno, M.; Iriondo, A.; Perez-Segura, E.; Noguez-Alcantara, B.


    During most of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic, the locus of subduction related arc magmatism in northwestern Mexico was relatively mobile, probably due to changes in the mechanical conditions of the Farallon-North America plate convergence. The older Mesozoic events recognized in this region occurred in the Late Triassic and Jurassic, but the associated rocks are poorly preserved. However, a belt of Late Cretaceous through Paleogene magmatic rocks is well exposed along Baja California, Sonora and Sinaloa. Since the late 70's, it was noted that during the Early Cretaceous the igneous activity along this belt remained relatively static in the westernmost part, but migrated eastward in the Late Cretaceous, penetrating more than 1000 km into the continent. The arc magmatism reached western Sonora at about 90 Ma, and then it started to move faster inland, presumably due to flattening of the subducted oceanic slab. Recent U-Pb zircon data revealed unexpected old ages (89-95 Ma) near the eastern edge of Sonora, which are difficult to explain on the basis of the classic tectonic interpretations. A model based on two synchronic sites for magma emplacement may explain the age overlapping observed along the belt; however, a profound re-evaluation a proper geodynamic scenario to support this model is required. Even if restoration of the large Neogene crustal extension is made, particularly for central and northern Sonora, the relatively flat-subduction regime commonly accepted for the Laramide event appears unable to explain the anomalously broad expression of the magmatic belt in northwestern Mexico. An alternative model based on two synchronic sites of magma emplacement, as suggested by the new age data, may better explain the large volume of igneous rocks produced during this time in Sonora and most of Chihuahua. This mechanism may differ southwards in Sinaloa, where the magmatic belt becomes considerably narrower. Moreover, the possible existence of two spatially distinct sites

  13. Tectonic Mechanism for the Mid-Cretaceous - Early Paleogene Intraplate Magmatism from the Gulf of Mexico to Northwestern Canada (United States)

    Liu, Y.; Murphy, M. A.; Snow, J. E.; van Wijk, J.; Cannon, J. M.; Parsons, C.


    Tectonic mechanisms have remained controversial for a number of intraplate igneous suites of mid-Cretaceous - early Paleogene age across North America. They span the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM), through Arkansas and Kansas in the US, to Saskatchewan and Northwestern Territories in Canada, resembling a belt that is located 1000+ km inboard from, and aligned sub-parallel to, the western margin of North America. The northern GoM magmatism is characterized by lamproites, carbonatites, nephelinites, with other alkaline rocks, whereas the rest igneous provinces are dominated by kimberlites. Their geochemical signatures, in general, point to a sub-lithospheric mantle origin. Hypotheses that explain the tectonic origin of these magmatic rocks include: (1) hotspots and mantle plumes, (2) edge-driven convection, (3) lithospheric reactivation, and (4) low-angle subduction. Evaluation based on our integration of published geological and geophysical data shows that contradictions exist in each model between observations and predictions. To explain this plate-scale phenomenon, we propose that the Farallon slab may have stagnated within or around the mantle transition zone during the Early Cretaceous, with its leading edge reaching ca. 1600 km inland beneath the North American plate. Dehydration and decarbonation of the slab produces sporadic, dense, low-degree partial melts at the mantle transition zone depths. As the slab descends into the lower mantle, Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities are induced at slab edges, causing passive upwelling that brings alkali-rich carbonate silicate melts to the base of the overriding plate. Subsequently, the North American lithosphere with varying thicknesses, discontinuities, and compositions interacts with the rising partial melts, generating a spectrum of igneous rocks. Fragments of the once-stagnated slab may still be detectable in the lower mantle beneath eastern US in seismic tomography models. This study highlights a profound plate

  14. A New Sail-Backed Styracosternan (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Early Cretaceous of Morella, Spain. (United States)

    Gasulla, José Miguel; Escaso, Fernando; Narváez, Iván; Ortega, Francisco; Sanz, José Luis


    A new styracosternan ornithopod genus and species is here described based on a partial postcranial skeleton and an associated dentary tooth of a single specimen from the Arcillas de Morella Formation (Early Cretaceous, late Barremian) at the Morella locality, (Castellón, Spain). Morelladon beltrani gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by eight autapomorphic features. The set of autapomorphies includes: very elongated and vertical neural spines of the dorsal vertebrae, midline keel on ventral surface of the second to fourth sacral vertebrae restricted to the anterior half of the centrum, a posterodorsally inclined medial ridge on the postacetabular process of the ilium that meets its dorsal margin and distal end of the straight ischial shaft laterally expanded, among others. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that the new Iberian form is more closely related to its synchronic and sympatric contemporary European taxa Iguanodon bernissartensis and Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis, known from Western Europe, than to other Early Cretaceous Iberian styracosternans (Delapparentia turolensis and Proa valdearinnoensis). The recognition of Morelladon beltrani gen. et sp. nov. indicates that the Iberian Peninsula was home to a highly diverse medium to large bodied styracosternan assemblage during the Early Cretaceous.

  15. Mantle dynamics and Cretaceous magmatism in east-central China: Insight from teleseismic tomograms (United States)

    Jiang, Guoming; Zhang, Guibin; Zhao, Dapeng; Lü, Qingtian; Li, Hongyi; Li, Xinfu


    Both the rich mineralization in the Lower Yangtze Block (LYB) and the post-collisional mafic rocks in the Dabie Orogen (DBO) are closely related to the Cretaceous magmatism in east-central China. Various geodynamic models have been proposed for explaining the mechanism of the Cretaceous magmatism, but these models are controversial and even contradictory with each other, especially on the mechanism of adakites. A unified geodynamic model is required for explaining the magmatism in east-central China, in particular, the spatial and temporal correlations of magmatic activity in the DBO and that in the LYB. For this purpose, we apply teleseismic tomography to study P-wave velocity structure down to 800 km depth beneath east-central China. A modified multiple-channel cross-correlation method is used to collect 28,805 high-quality P-wave arrival-time data from seismograms of distant earthquakes recorded by permanent seismic stations and our temporary stations in the study region. To remove the influence of crustal heterogeneity on the mantle tomography, we used the CRUST1.0 model to correct the teleseismic relative residuals. Our tomography revealed distinct high-velocity (high-V) anomalies beneath the DBO and two flanks of the LYB, and low-velocity (low-V) anomalies above the high-V zones. Combining our tomographic images with previous geological, geochemical and geophysical results, we infer that these high-V and low-V anomalies reflect the detached lithosphere and upwelling asthenospheric materials, respectively, which are associated with the Late Mesozoic dynamic process and the Cretaceous magmatism. We propose a double-slab subduction model that a ridge subduction yielded the adakitic rocks in the LYB during 150-135 Ma and the subsequent Pacific Plate subduction played a crucial role in not only the formation of igneous rocks in the LYB but also remelting of the subducted South China Block beneath the DBO during 135-101 Ma.

  16. A new genus and species of enantiornithine bird from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil

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    Ismar de Souza Carvalho

    Full Text Available The fossil record of birds in Gondwana is almost restricted to the Late Cretaceous. Herein we describe a new fossil from the Araripe Basin, Cratoavis cearensis nov. gen et sp., composed of an articulated skeleton with feathers attached to the wings and surrounding the body. The present discovery considerably extends the temporal record of the Enantiornithes birds at South America to the Early Cretaceous. For the first time, an almost complete and articulated skeleton of an Early Cretaceous bird from South America is documented.

  17. Early cretaceous zircon SHRIMP U-Pb age of the trachyte and its significances of the Gan-Hang belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Feiyu; Wu Jianhua; Liu Shuai


    The Shixi basin was located at Gan-Hang tectonic volcanic uranium deposit of rock-magma belt which belong to a part of the Mesozoic volcanic rocks in the northeastern of China. The appearance of the trachyte in Shixi basin have the majoy elements characteristic of the shoshonite series volcanic rocks. To determine the geological age of trachyte have very important significance on the geodynamics research and the study on the cause of uranium mineralization. The zircons of the trachyte have clear ring and high Th/U ratio which belong to the typical magmatic zircons. The zircon SHRIMP U-Pb dating resules show that 14points' age range is very smaller is 132-144 Ma and the weighted average age is (137.00±0.94)Ma which represents the diagenetic age of volcanic rocks. Accronding to the latest International Stratigraphic Chart the boundary of Jurassic and Cretaceous is (145.4±4.0)Ma. So the trachyte of Shixi Group belong to early Cretaceous. The large-scale acidic volcanic activity occurred in the Early Cretaceous in Southeastern China, and the Volcanic uranium deposit of Gan-Hang tectonic belt relate to Alkali metasomatism Uranium mineralization also occurred in the Early Cretaceous (120-130 Ma). The determined of trachyte in Shixi Group in the Early Cretaceous show that the acidic volcanic activity have connection with magma activity and the early Uranium mineralization consistent with the Alkali magma activity. (authors)

  18. Low ecological disparity in Early Cretaceous birds (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Makovicky, Peter J.


    Ecological divergence is thought to be coupled with evolutionary radiations, yet the strength of this coupling is unclear. When birds diversified ecologically has received much less attention than their hotly debated crown divergence time. Here, we quantify how accurately skeletal morphology can predict ecology in living and extinct birds, and show that the earliest known assemblage of birds (= pygostylians) from the Jehol Biota (≈ 125 Ma) was substantially impoverished ecologically. The Jehol avifauna has few representatives of highly preservable ecomorphs (e.g. aquatic forms) and a notable lack of ecomorphological overlap with the pterosaur assemblage (e.g. no large or aerially foraging pygostylians). Comparisons of the Jehol functional diversity with modern and subfossil avian assemblages show that taphonomic bias alone cannot explain the ecomorphological impoverishment. However, evolutionary simulations suggest that the constrained ecological diversity of the Early Cretaceous pygostylians is consistent with what is expected from a relatively young radiation. Regardless of the proximate biological explanation, the anomalously low functional diversity of the Jehol birds is evidence both for ecological vacancies in Cretaceous ecosystems, which were subsequently filled by the radiation of crown Aves, and for discordance between taxonomic richness and ecological diversity in the best-known Mesozoic ecosystem. PMID:24870044

  19. Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic exhumation history of the Malay Peninsula (United States)

    François, Thomas; Daanen, Twan; Matenco, Liviu; Willingshofer, Ernst; van der Wal, Jorien


    The evolution of Peninsular Malaysia up to the collisional period in the Triassic is well described but the evolution since the collision between Indochina and the Sukhothai Arc in Triassic times is less well described in the literature. The processes affecting Peninsular Malaysia during the Jurassic up to current day times have to explain the emplacement multiple intrusions (the Stong Complex, and the Kemahang granite), the Jurassic/Cretaceous onland basins, the Cenozoic offshore basins, and the asymmetric extension, which caused the exhumation of Taku Schists dome. The orogenic period in Permo-Triassic times, which also formed the Bentong-Raub suture zone, resulted in thickening of the continental crust of current day Peninsular Malaysia due to the collision of the Indochina continental block and the Sukhothai Arc, and is related to the subduction of oceanic crust once present between these continental blocks. The Jurassic/Cretaceous is a period of extension, resulting in the onland Jurassic/Cretaceous basins, synchronous melting of the crust, resulting in the emplacement Stong Complex and the Kemahang granite and thinning of the continental crust on the scale of the Peninsular, followed by uplift of the Peninsular. Different models can explain these observations: continental root removal, oceanic slab detachment, or slab delamination. These models all describe the melting of the lower crust due to asthenospheric upwelling, resulting in uplift and subsequent extension either due to mantle convective movements or gravitational instabilities related to uplift. The Cenozoic period is dominated by extension and rapid exhumation in the area as documented by low temperature thermocrological ages The extension in this period is most likely related to the subduction, which resumed at 45 Ma, of the Australian plate beneath the Eurasian plate after it terminated in Cretaceous times due to the collision of an Australian microcontinental fragment with the Sunda margin in the

  20. Late Cretaceous transition from subduction to collision along the Bangong-Nujiang Tethys: New volcanic constraints from central Tibet (United States)

    Liu, De-Liang; Shi, Ren-Deng; Ding, Lin; Zou, Hai-Bo


    This study deals with arc-type and subsequent bimodal volcanic rocks interbedded with (late) Cretaceous sedimentary formations near Gaize, central Tibet that shed new light on the Tethyan evolution along the Bangong-Nujiang suture. Unit I consists of trachyandesites interbedded with fine-grained sandstone, slate, and limestone. Zircon dating on a trachyandesite sample yields a 206Pb/238U age of 99 ± 1 Ma. The trachyandesites are characterized by strong enrichment in LILE but depletion in HFSE, low zircon saturation temperatures (TZr = 642-727 °C), and high oxygen fugacity (Δ FMQ = - 0.67-0.73), indicating their arc affinities. Unit II comprises a bimodal basalt-rhyolite suite interbedded with coarse-grained sandstone and conglomerate. Zircon dating on two rhyolitic samples yield 206Pb/238U ages of 97.1-87.0 Ma. In contrast with Unit I trachyandesites, Unit II basalts and rhyolites exhibit OIB-like trace element patterns, high temperatures (T = 1298-1379 °C for basalts, TZr = 855-930 °C for rhyolites), and low oxygen fugacity (Δ FMQ = - 3.37 - 0.43), suggesting that Unit II bimodal volcanic rocks probably formed in an extensional setting. The Sr-Nd isotopes of both Unit I (87Sr/86Sri = 0.7052-0.7074, εNd(t) = - 2.21-1.02) and Unit II (87Sr/86Sri = 0.7057-0.7098, εNd(t) = - 3.22-0.88) rocks are similar to mantle-wedge-derived volcanic rocks within the southern Qiangtang block. The parental magma of Unit I trachyandesites was formed by fluid induced melting of the mantle wedge above the subducted Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan slab, and contaminated by crustal materials during MASH process within a deep crustal hot zone; and Unit II bimodal volcanic rocks were derived by melting of upwelling asthenosphere and a mildly metasomatized mantle wedge during the Lhasa-Qiangtang collision. We propose that the transition from the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan subduction to the Lhasa-Qiangtang collision occurred during the Late Cretaceous in central Tibet.

  1. Cretaceous and Eocene Adakites in the Sikhote-Alin area (Russian Far East) and their correlation with adakitic rocks in the East Asia continental margin (United States)

    Wu, T. J.; Jahn, B. M.


    Adakitic rocks of the Sikhote-Alin area were emplaced during two main periods: the Cretaceous (132-98 Ma) and Eocene (46-39 Ma). These rocks primarily occur in the Khanka Block and, less commonly, in the Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt. The adakitic rocks record the following chemical compositions: SiO2 = 57-74%, Al2O3 = 15-18%, Na2O = 3.5-6.1%, K2O = 0.7-3.2%, Na2O/K2O = 1.1-3.9, Sr/Y = 33-145, and (La/Yb)N = 11-53. The HREE and HFSE in these rocks are remarkably depleted. The Early Cretaceous adakites record ɛNd(T) = -1.0 to +3.2 and ISr = 0.7040-0.7090, and the Eocene adakitic rocks record Nd(T) = -2.0 to +2.2 and ISr = 0.7042-0.7058. Adakitic features suggest different modes of magma generation; a comparison of the Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios and geochemical data on Harker diagrams between the two periods of adakitic rocks reveals differences in their petrogenesis. The Cretaceous adakites may have been generated by the partial melting of meta-basic rocks in a subduction zone, accompanied by the emplacement of volcanic arc granitoids. Therefore, the subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate beneath the Sikhote-Alin was probably initiated during this time. The Eocene rocks, which record increasing adakitic features with increasing silica content, are most likely the product of andesite that underwent fractionation of mineral assemblage including clinopyoxene, orthopyroxene, garnet and amphibole. These rocks and associated basalts and rhyolite were formed after Cretaceous arc magmatism in the Sikhote-Alin area and were most likely generated by rollback of the subducting Pacific Plate after the Eocene. Abundant adakitic granitoids of Early Cretaceous and Eocene age occur in the Kitakami and Abukuma Mountains of NE Japan. Consequently, it is highly probable that a geological correlation existed between Sikhote-Alin and North Japan, particularly before the opening of the Japan Sea.

  2. A Mesozoic orogenic cycle from post-collision to subduction in the southwestern Korean Peninsula: New structural, geochemical, and chronological evidence (United States)

    Park, Seung-Ik; Kwon, Sanghoon; Kim, Sung Won; Hong, Paul S.; Santosh, M.


    The Early to Middle Mesozoic basins, distributed sporadically over the Korean Peninsula, preserve important records of the tectonic history of some of the major orogenic belts in East Asia. Here we present a comprehensive study of the structural, geochemical, geochronological, and paleontological features of a volcano-sedimentary package, belonging to the Oseosan Volcanic Complex of the Early to Middle Mesozoic Chungnam Basin, within the Mesozoic subduction-collision orogen in the southwestern Korean Peninsula. The zircon U-Pb data from rhyolitic volcanic rocks of the complex suggest Early to Middle Jurassic emplacement age of ca. 178-172 Ma, harmonious with plant fossil taxa found from the overlying tuffaceous sedimentary rock. The geochemical data for the rhyolitic volcanic rocks are indicative of volcanic arc setting, implying that the Chungnam Basin has experienced an intra-arc subsidence during the basin-expanding stage by subduction of the Paleo-Pacific (Izanagi) Plate. The Jurassic arc-related Oseosan Volcanic Complex was structurally stacked by the older Late Triassic to Early Jurassic post-collisional basin-fill of the Nampo Group by the Jangsan fault during basin inversion. The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous K-feldspar and illite K-Ar ages marked the timing of inversion tectonics, contemporaneous with the magmatic quiescence in the southern Korean Peninsula, likely due to flat-lying or low-angle subduction. The basin evolution history preserved in the Mesozoic Chungnam Basin reflects a Mesozoic orogenic cycle from post-collision to subduction in the southwestern Korean Peninsula. This, in turn, provides a better understanding of the spatial and temporal changes in Mesozoic tectonic environments along the East Asian continental margin.

  3. Bimodal volcanism in northeast Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Greater Antilles Island Arc): Genetic links with Cretaceous subduction of the mid-Atlantic ridge Caribbean spur (United States)

    Jolly, Wayne T.; Lidiak, Edward G.; Dickin, Alan P.


    Bimodal extrusive volcanic rocks in the northeast Greater Antilles Arc consist of two interlayered suites, including (1) a predominantly basaltic suite, dominated by island arc basalts with small proportions of andesite, and (2) a silicic suite, similar in composition to small volume intrusive veins of oceanic plagiogranite commonly recognized in oceanic crustal sequences. The basaltic suite is geochemically characterized by variable enrichment in the more incompatible elements and negative chondrite-normalized HFSE anomalies. Trace element melting and mixing models indicate the magnitude of the subducted sediment component in Antilles arc basalts is highly variable and decreases dramatically from east to west along the arc. In the Virgin Islands, the sediment component ranges between 4% during the Cenomanian-Campanian interval. The silicic suite, consisting predominantly of rhyolites, is characterized by depleted Al 2O 3 (average Virgin Islands on the east, rhyolites comprise up to 80% of Lower Albian strata (112 to 105 Ma), and about 20% in post-Albian strata (105 to 100 Ma). Farther west, in Puerto Rico, more limited proportions (Atlantic Ridge, which was located approximately midway between North and South America until Campanian times. Within this hypothetical setting the centrally positioned Virgin Islands terrain remained approximately fixed above the subducting ridge as the Antilles arc platform swept northeastward into the slot between the Americas. Accordingly, heat flow in the Virgin Islands was elevated throughout the Cretaceous, giving rise to widespread crustal melting, whereas the subducted sediment flux was limited. Conversely, toward the west in central Puerto Rico, which was consistently more remote from the subducting ridge, heat flow was relatively low and produced limited crustal melting, while the sediment flux was comparatively elevated.

  4. Geochemical evidence for subduction in the early Archaean from quartz-carbonate-fuchsite mineralization, Isua Supracrustal Belt, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pope, Emily Catherine; Rosing, Minik Thorleif; Bird, Dennis K.

    Quartz, carbonate and fuchsite (chromian muscovite) is a common metasomatic assemblage observed in orogenic gold systems, both in Phanerozoic convergent margin settings, and within supracrustal and greenstone belts of Precambrian rocks. Geologic and geochemical observations in younger orogenic...... systems suggest that ore-forming metasomatic fluids are derived from subduction-related devolitilization reactions, implying that orogenic Au-deposits in Archaean and Proterozoic supracrustal rock suites are related to subduction-style plate tectonics beginning early in Earth history. Justification...... with Phanerozoic orogenic deposits and that this type of metasomatism is a unique result of subduction-related processes. Fuchsite from the ISB has a δ18O and δD of 7.7 to 17.9‰ and -115 to -61‰, respectively. δ18O of quartz from the same rocks is between 10.3 and 18.6‰. Muscovite-quartz oxygen isotope thermometry...

  5. Mesozoic strike-slip movement of the Dunhua-Mishan Fault Zone in NE China: A response to oceanic plate subduction (United States)

    Liu, Cheng; Zhu, Guang; Zhang, Shuai; Gu, Chengchuan; Li, Yunjian; Su, Nan; Xiao, Shiye


    The NE-striking Dunhua-Mishan Fault Zone (DMFZ) is one of two branches of the continental-scale sinistral Tan-Lu Fault Zone in NE China. The field data presented here indicate that the ca. 1000 km long DMFZ records two phases of sinistral faulting. The structures produced by these two phases of faulting include NE-SW-striking ductile shear belts and brittle faults, respectively. Mylonite-hosted microstructures and quartz c-axis fabrics suggest deformation temperatures of 450 °C-500 °C for the ductile shear belts. Combining new zircon U-Pb dates for 14 igneous rock samples analyzed during this study with the geology of this region indicates these shear belts formed during the earliest Early Cretaceous. This phase of sinistral displacement represents the initial formation of the DMFZ in response to the northward propagation of the Tan-Lu Fault Zone into NE China. A phase of Early Cretaceous rifting was followed by a second phase of sinistral faulting at 102-96 Ma, as evidenced by our new U-Pb ages for associated igneous rocks. Combining our new data with the results of previous research indicates that the DFMZ records a four-stage Cretaceous evolutionary history, where initial sinistral faulting at the beginning of the Early Cretaceous gave way to rifting during the rest of the Early Cretaceous. This was followed by a second phase of sinistral faulting at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous and a second phase of local rifting during the rest of the Late Cretaceous. The Cretaceous evolution of the DMFZ records the synchronous tectonic evolution of the NE China continent bordering the Pacific Ocean. Two phases of regional N-S compression generated the two phases of sinistral faulting within the DMFZ, whereas two-stage regional extension generated the two phases of rifting. The two compressive events were the result of the rapid low-angle subduction of the Izanagi and Pacific plates, whereas the two-stage extension was caused by the roll-back of these respective

  6. Inversion of the Erlian Basin (NE China) in the early Late Cretaceous: Implications for the collision of the Okhotomorsk Block with East Asia (United States)

    Guo, Zhi-Xin; Shi, Yuan-Peng; Yang, Yong-Tai; Jiang, Shuan-Qi; Li, Lin-Bo; Zhao, Zhi-Gang


    A significant transition in tectonic regime from extension to compression occurred throughout East Asia during the mid-Cretaceous and has stimulated much attention. However, the timing and driving mechanisms of the transition remain disputed. The Erlian Basin, a giant late Mesozoic intracontinental petroliferous basin located in the Inner Mongolia, Northeast China, contains important sedimentary and structural records related to the mid-Cretaceous compressional event. The stratigraphical, sedimentological and structural analyses reveal that a NW-SE compressional inversion occurred in the Erlian Basin between the depositions of the Lower Cretaceous Saihan and Upper Cretaceous Erlian formations, causing intense folding of the Saihan Formation and underlying strata, and the northwestward migration of the depocenters of the Erlian Formation. Based on the newly obtained detrital zircon U-Pb data and previously published paleomagnetism- and fossil-based ages, the Saihan and Erlian formations are suggested as latest Aptian-Albian and post-early Cenomanian in age, respectively, implying that the inversion in the Erlian Basin occurred in the early Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian time). Apatite fission-track thermochronological data record an early Late Cretaceous cooling/exhuming event in the basin, corresponding well with the aforementioned sedimentary, structural and chronological analyses. Combining with the tectono-sedimentary evolutions of the neighboring basins of the Erlian Basin, we suggest that the early Late Cretaceous inversional event in the Erlian Basin and the large scale tectonic transition in East Asia shared the common driving mechanism, probably resulting from the Okhotomorsk Block-East Asia collisional event at about 100-89 Ma.

  7. A basal thunnosaurian from Iraq reveals disparate phylogenetic origins for Cretaceous ichthyosaurs (United States)

    Fischer, Valentin; Appleby, Robert M.; Naish, Darren; Liston, Jeff; Riding, James B.; Brindley, Stephen; Godefroit, Pascal


    Cretaceous ichthyosaurs have typically been considered a small, homogeneous assemblage sharing a common Late Jurassic ancestor. Their low diversity and disparity have been interpreted as indicative of a decline leading to their Cenomanian extinction. We describe the first post-Triassic ichthyosaur from the Middle East, Malawania anachronus gen. et sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous of Iraq, and re-evaluate the evolutionary history of parvipelvian ichthyosaurs via phylogenetic and cladogenesis rate analyses. Malawania represents a basal grade in thunnosaurian evolution that arose during a major Late Triassic radiation event and was previously thought to have gone extinct during the Early Jurassic. Its pectoral morphology appears surprisingly archaic, retaining a forefin architecture similar to that of its Early Jurassic relatives. After the initial latest Triassic radiation of early thunnosaurians, two subsequent large radiations produced lineages with Cretaceous representatives, but the radiation events themselves are pre-Cretaceous. Cretaceous ichthyosaurs therefore include distantly related lineages, with contrasting evolutionary histories, and appear more diverse and disparate than previously supposed. PMID:23676653

  8. Melting of subducted continental crust: Geochemical evidence from Mesozoic granitoids in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt, east-central China (United States)

    Zhao, Zi-Fu; Liu, Zhi-Bin; Chen, Qi


    Syn-collisional and postcollisional granitoids are common in collisional orogens, and they were primarily produced by partial melting of subducted continental crust. This is exemplified by Mesozoic granitoids from the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt in east-central China. These granitoids were emplaced in small volumes in the Late Triassic (200-206 Ma) and the Late Jurassic (146-167 Ma) but massively in the Early Cretaceous (111-143 Ma). Nevertheless, all of them exhibit arc-like trace element distribution patterns and are enriched in Sr-Nd-Hf isotope compositions, indicating their origination from the ancient continental crust. They commonly contain relict zircons with Neoproterozoic and Triassic U-Pb ages, respectively, consistent with the protolith and metamorphic ages for ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metaigneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt. Some granitoids show low zircon δ18O values, and SIMS in-situ O isotope analysis reveals that the relict zircons with Neoproterozoic and Triassic U-Pb ages also commonly exhibit low δ18O values. Neoproterozoic U-Pb ages and low δ18O values are the two diagnostic features that distinguish the subducted South China Block from the obducted North China Block. Thus, the magma source of these Mesozoic granitoids has a genetic link to the subducted continental crust of the South China Block. On the other hand, these granitoids contain relict zircons with Paleoproterozoic and Archean U-Pb ages, which are present in both the South and North China Blocks. Taken together, the Mesozoic granitoids in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt and its hanging wall have their magma sources that are predominated by the continental crust of the South China Block with minor contributions from the continental crust of the North China Block. The Triassic continental collision between the South and North China Blocks brought the continental crust into the thickened orogen, where they underwent the three episodes of partial melting in the Late Triassic, Late

  9. Strongly foliated garnetiferous amphibolite clasts in ophiolitic melanges, Yarlung Zangbo Suture Zone, Tibet; Early Cretaceous disruption of a back-arc basin? (United States)

    Guilmette, C.; Hebert, R.; Wang, C.; Indares, A. D.; Ullrich, T. D.; Dostal, J.; Bedard, E.


    Metre to decameter-size clasts of amphibolite are found embedded in ophiolitic melanges underlying the Yarlung Zangbo Suture Zone Ophiolites, South Tibet, China. These ophiolites and melanges occur at the limit between Indian and Tibetan-derived rocks and represent remnants of an Early Cretaceous intraoceanic supra-subduction zone domain, the Neo-Tethys. In the Saga-Dazuka segment (500 km along-strike), we discovered new occurrences of strongly foliated amphibolites found as clasts in the ophiolitic melange. In garnet-free samples, hornblende is green-blue magnesio-hornblende and cpx is low-Al diopside. In garnet- bearing samples, garnet is almandine with a strong pyrope component (up to 30 mol%) whereas coexisting hornblende is brown Ti-rich tschermakite and clinopyroxene is Al-diopside. Plagioclase composition was ubiquitously shifted to albite during a late metasomatic event. Geochemistry of these rocks indicates that their igneous protoliths crystallized from a slightly differentiated tholeiitic basaltic liquid that did not undergo major fractionation. Trace element patterns reveal geochemical characteristics identical to those of the overlying ophiolitic crust. These are 1) trace element abundances similar to that of N-MORBs or BABBs, 2) a slight depletion of LREE and 3) a moderate to strong Ta-Nb negative anomaly and a slight Ti anomaly. Such characteristics suggest genesis over a spreading center close to a subduction zone, possibly a back-arc basin. Step-heating Ar/Ar plateau ages were obtained from hornblende separates. All ages fall in the range of 123-128 Ma, overlapping the crystallization ages from the overlying ophiolite (126-131 Ma). Pseudosections were built with the THERMOCALC software in the system NCFMASH. Results indicate that the observed assemblage Hb+Pl+Gt+Cpx is stable over a wide range of P-T conditions, between 10-18 kbars and at more than 800°C. Measured mineral modes and solid solution compositions were successfully modeled, indicating

  10. Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935, a protostegid turtle from the Early Cretaceous of France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaure Scavezzoni


    Full Text Available Modern marine turtles (chelonioids are the remnants of an ancient radiation that roots in the Cretaceous. The oldest members of that radiation are first recorded from the Early Cretaceous and a series of species are known from the Albian-Cenomanian interval, many of which have been allocated to the widespread but poorly defined genus Rhinochelys, possibly concealing the diversity and the evolution of early marine turtles. In order to better understand the radiation of chelonioids, we redescribe the holotype and assess the taxonomy of Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935 (UJF-ID.11167 from the Late Albian (Stoliczkaia dispar Zone of the Vallon de la Fauge (Isère, France. We also make preliminary assessments of the phylogenetic relationships of Chelonioidea using two updated datasets that widely sample Cretaceous taxa, especially Rhinochelys. Rhinochelys amaberti is a valid taxon that is supported by eight autapomorphies; an emended diagnosisis proposed. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that Rhinochelys could be polyphyletic, but constraining it as a monophyletic entity does not produce trees that are significantly less parsimonious. Moreover, support values and stratigraphic congruence indexes are fairly low for the recovered typologies, suggesting that missing data still strongly affect our understanding of the Cretaceous diversification of sea turtles.

  11. Porphyry copper deposits distribution along the western Tethyan and Andean subductions: insights from a paleogeographic approach (United States)

    Bertrand, G.


    The genesis of many types of mineral deposits is closely linked to tectonic and petrographic conditions resulting from specific geodynamic contexts. Porphyry deposits, for instance, are associated to calc-alkaline magmatism of subduction zones. In order to better understand the relationships between ore deposit distribution and their tectonic context, and help identifying geodynamic-related criteria of favorability that would, in turn, help mineral exploration, we propose a paleogeographic approach. Paleogeographic reconstructions, based on global or regional plate tectonic models, are crucial tools to assess tectonic and kinematic contexts of the past. We use this approach to study the distribution of porphyry copper deposits along the western Tethyan and Andean subductions since Lower Cretaceous and Paleocene, respectively. For both convergent contexts, databases of porphyry copper deposits, including, among other data, their age and location, were compiled. Spatial and temporal distribution of the deposits is not random and show that they were emplaced in distinct clusters. Five clusters are identified along the western Tethyan suture, from Lower Cretaceous to Pleistocene, and at least three along the Andes, from Paleocene to Miocene. Two clusters in the Aegean-Balkan-Carpathian area, that were emplaced in Upper Cretaceous and Oligo-Miocene, and two others in the Andes, that were emplaced in late Eocene and Miocene, are studied in details and correlated with the past kinematics of the Africa-Eurasia and Nazca-South America plate convergences, respectively. All these clusters are associated with a similar polyphased kinematic context that is closely related to the dynamics of the subductions. This context is characterized by 1) a relatively fast convergence rate, shortly followed by 2) a drastic decrease of this rate. To explain these results, we propose a polyphased genetic model for porphyry copper deposits with 1) a first stage of rapid subduction rate

  12. Early cretaceous dinosaurs from the sahara. (United States)

    Sereno, P C; Wilson, J A; Larsson, H C; Dutheil, D B; Sues, H D


    A major question in Mesozoic biogeography is how the land-based dinosaurian radiation responded to fragmentation of Pangaea. A rich fossil record has been uncovered on northern continents that spans the Cretaceous, when continental isolation reached its peak. In contrast, dinosaur remains on southern continents are scarce. The discovery of dinosaurian skeletons from Lower Cretaceous beds in the southern Sahara shows that several lineages of tetanuran theropods and broad-toothed sauropods had a cosmopolitan distribution across Pangaea before the onset of continental fragmentation. The distinct dinosaurian faunas of Africa, South America, and Asiamerica arose during the Cretaceous by differential survival of once widespread lineages on land masses that were becoming increasingly isolated from one another.

  13. Subduction on Venus and Implications for Volatile Cycling, Early Earth and Exoplanets (United States)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Davaille, A.; Mueller, N. T.; Dyar, M. D.; Helbert, J.; Barnes, H.


    it a good analog of Earth's Archean. There is increasing evidence that Venus is a dynamic planet with possible active and/or recent volcanism and subduction. Studying these processes on Venus provides a window into both early Earth and offers constraints on the conditions needed to initiate plate tectonics on exoplanets.

  14. A complete skull of an early cretaceous sauropod and the evolution of advanced titanosaurians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussam Zaher

    Full Text Available Advanced titanosaurian sauropods, such as nemegtosaurids and saltasaurids, were diverse and one of the most important groups of herbivores in the terrestrial biotas of the Late Cretaceous. However, little is known about their rise and diversification prior to the Late Cretaceous. Furthermore, the evolution of their highly-modified skull anatomy has been largely hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved cranial remains. A new sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil represents the earliest advanced titanosaurian known to date, demonstrating that the initial diversification of advanced titanosaurians was well under way at least 30 million years before their known radiation in the latest Cretaceous. The new taxon also preserves the most complete skull among titanosaurians, further revealing that their low and elongated diplodocid-like skull morphology appeared much earlier than previously thought.

  15. A nearly modern amphibious bird from the Early Cretaceous of northwestern China. (United States)

    You, Hai-Lu; Lamanna, Matthew C; Harris, Jerald D; Chiappe, Luis M; O'connor, Jingmai; Ji, Shu-An; Lü, Jun-Chang; Yuan, Chong-Xi; Li, Da-Qing; Zhang, Xing; Lacovara, Kenneth J; Dodson, Peter; Ji, Qiang


    Three-dimensional specimens of the volant fossil bird Gansus yumenensis from the Early Cretaceous Xiagou Formation of northwestern China demonstrate that this taxon possesses advanced anatomical features previously known only in Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic ornithuran birds. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Gansus within the Ornithurae, making it the oldest known member of the clade. The Xiagou Formation preserves the oldest known ornithuromorph-dominated avian assemblage. The anatomy of Gansus, like that of other non-neornithean (nonmodern) ornithuran birds, indicates specialization for an amphibious life-style, supporting the hypothesis that modern birds originated in aquatic or littoral niches.

  16. A gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China and the early history of squamate viviparity (United States)

    Wang, Yuan; Evans, Susan E.


    Although viviparity is most often associated with mammals, roughly one fifth of extant squamate reptiles give birth to live young. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the trait evolved more than 100 times within Squamata, a frequency greater than that of all other vertebrate clades combined. However, there is debate as to the antiquity of the trait and, until now, the only direct fossil evidence of squamate viviparity was in Late Cretaceous mosasauroids, specialised marine lizards without modern equivalents. Here, we document viviparity in a specimen of a more generalised lizard, Yabeinosaurus, from the Early Cretaceous of China. The gravid female contains more than 15 young at a level of skeletal development corresponding to that of late embryos of living viviparous lizards. This specimen documents the first occurrence of viviparity in a fossil reptile that was largely terrestrial in life, and extends the temporal distribution of the trait in squamates by at least 30 Ma. As Yabeinosaurus occupies a relatively basal position within crown-group squamates, it suggests that the anatomical and physiological preconditions for viviparity arose early within Squamata.

  17. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic results from Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica: Implications for the Weddellia collage of crustal blocks (United States)

    Divenere, Vic; Kent, Dennis V.; Dalziel, Ian W. D.


    A new approximately 117 Ma paleomagnetic pole has been defined from the study of volcanic and plutonic rocks from the eastern portion Marie Byrd Land (MBL). The new pole (185.6 deg E/56.8 deg S, A(sub 95) = 8.7 deg) implies that the eastern portion of MBL was an integral part of Weddellia, which included the ancestral Antarctic Peninsula, Thurston Island, and Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains blocks of West Antarctica. This pole is generally similar to a approximately 125 Ma pole from Thurston Island. Both poles call for major clockwise rotation and poleward motion of eastern MBL and Thurston Island between the Early Cretaceous (125-117 Ma) and the mid-Cretaceous (110-100 Ma). We propose that in the Early Cretaceous, eastern MBL and the Eastern Province of New Zealand were part of a continuous active Pacific margin of Gondwana, connecting with the Antarctic Peninsula, and distinct from western MBL, the Western Province of New Zealand, and North Victoria Land. These western terranes are thought to have accreted to Gondwana in the Devonian. Eastern MBL and the Eastern Province of New Zealand amalgamated with western MBL and the Western Province of New Zealand by the mid-Cretaceous. Major Early Cretaceous motions of the Weddellia blocks postdate the estimated initiation of seafloor spreading in the Weddell Sea and therefore may be the result of plate reorganization during the Cretaceous Quiet Zone.

  18. The contribution of the young Cretaceous Caribbean Oceanic Plateau to the genesis of late Cretaceous arc magmatism in the Cordillera Occidental of Ecuador (United States)

    Allibon, J.; Monjoie, P.; Lapierre, H.; Jaillard, E.; Bussy, F.; Bosch, D.; Senebier, F.


    The eastern part of the Cordillera Occidental of Ecuador comprises thick buoyant oceanic plateaus associated with island-arc tholeiites and subduction-related calc-alkaline series, accreted to the Ecuadorian Continental Margin from Late Cretaceous to Eocene times. One of these plateau sequences, the Guaranda Oceanic Plateau is considered as remnant of the Caribbean-Colombian Oceanic Province (CCOP) accreted to the Ecuadorian Margin in the Maastrichtien. Samples studied in this paper were taken from four cross-sections through two arc-sequences in the northern part of the Cordillera Occidental of Ecuador, dated as (Río Cala) or ascribed to (Macuchi) the Late Cretaceous and one arc-like sequence in the Chogòn-Colonche Cordillera (Las Orquídeas). These three island-arcs can clearly be identified and rest conformably on the CCOP. In all four localities, basalts with abundant large clinopyroxene phenocrysts can be found, mimicking a picritic or ankaramitic facies. This mineralogical particularity, although not uncommon in island arc lavas, hints at a contribution of the CCOP in the genesis of these island arc rocks. The complete petrological and geochemical study of these rocks reveals that some have a primitive island-arc nature (MgO values range from 6 to 11 wt.%). Studied samples display marked Nb, Ta and Ti negative anomalies relative to the adjacent elements in the spidergrams characteristic of subduction-related magmatism. These rocks are LREE-enriched and their clinopyroxenes show a tholeiitic affinity (FeO T-TiO 2 enrichment and CaO depletion from core to rim within a single crystal). The four sampled cross-sections through the island-arc sequences display homogeneous initial Nd, and Pb isotope ratios that suggest a unique mantellic source for these rocks resulting from the mixing of three components: an East-Pacific MORB end-member, an enriched pelagic sediment component, and a HIMU component carried by the CCOP. Indeed, the ankaramite and Mg

  19. EVOLUTION. A four-legged snake from the Early Cretaceous of Gondwana. (United States)

    Martill, David M; Tischlinger, Helmut; Longrich, Nicholas R


    Snakes are a remarkably diverse and successful group today, but their evolutionary origins are obscure. The discovery of snakes with two legs has shed light on the transition from lizards to snakes, but no snake has been described with four limbs, and the ecology of early snakes is poorly known. We describe a four-limbed snake from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian) Crato Formation of Brazil. The snake has a serpentiform body plan with an elongate trunk, short tail, and large ventral scales suggesting characteristic serpentine locomotion, yet retains small prehensile limbs. Skull and body proportions as well as reduced neural spines indicate fossorial adaptation, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing rather than marine ancestors. Hooked teeth, an intramandibular joint, a flexible spine capable of constricting prey, and the presence of vertebrate remains in the guts indicate that this species preyed on vertebrates and that snakes made the transition to carnivory early in their history. The structure of the limbs suggests that they were adapted for grasping, either to seize prey or as claspers during mating. Together with a diverse fauna of basal snakes from the Cretaceous of South America, Africa, and India, this snake suggests that crown Serpentes originated in Gondwana. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Intra-Panthalassa Ocean subduction zones revealed by fossil arcs and mantle structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meer, D.G. van der; Torsvik, T.H.; Spakman, W.; Hinsbergen, D.J.J. van; Amaru, M.L.


    The vast Panthalassa Ocean once surrounded the supercontinent Pangaea. Subduction has since consumed most of the oceanic plates that formed the ocean floor, so classic plate reconstructions based on magnetic anomalies can be used only to constrain the ocean’s history since the Cretaceous period, and

  1. Subduction Drive of Plate Tectonics (United States)

    Hamilton, W. B.


    Don Anderson emphasizes that plate tectonics is self-organizing and is driven by subduction, which rights the density inversion generated as oceanic lithosphere forms by cooling of asthenosphere from the top. The following synthesis owes much to many discussions with him. Hinge rollback is the key to kinematics, and, like the rest of actual plate behavior, is incompatible with bottom-up convection drive. Subduction hinges (which are under, not in front of, thin leading parts of arcs and overriding plates) roll back into subducting plates. The Pacific shrinks because bounding hinges roll back into it. Colliding arcs, increasing arc curvatures, back-arc spreading, and advance of small arcs into large plates also require rollback. Forearcs of overriding plates commonly bear basins which preclude shortening of thin plate fronts throughout periods recorded by basin strata (100 Ma for Cretaceous and Paleogene California). This requires subequal rates of advance and rollback, and control of both by subduction. Convergence rate is equal to rates of rollback and advance in many systems but is greater in others. Plate-related circulation probably is closed above 650 km. Despite the popularity of concepts of plumes from, and subduction into, lower mantle, there is no convincing evidence for, and much evidence against, penetration of the 650 in either direction. That barrier not only has a crossing-inhibiting negative Clapeyron slope but also is a compositional boundary between fractionated (not "primitive"), sluggish lower mantle and fertile, mobile upper mantle. Slabs sink more steeply than they dip. Slabs older than about 60 Ma when their subduction began sink to, and lie down on and depress, the 650-km discontinuity, and are overpassed, whereas younger slabs become neutrally buoyant in mid-upper mantle, into which they are mixed as they too are overpassed. Broadside-sinking old slabs push all upper mantle, from base of oceanic lithosphere down to the 650, back under

  2. Early and late cretaceous magmatism from Sao Sebastiao island (SE-Brazil): geochemistry and petrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bellieni, G.; Cavazzini, G.; Montes-Lauar, C.R.; Melfi, A.J.; Pacca, I.G.; De Min, A.; Piccirillo, E.M.


    The Sao Sebastiao island (236 km 2 ), located along the coast of the Sao Paulo State (Southern Brazil), is characterized by precambrian granitic affected by the Brasiliano tectonic-metamorphic cycle. This crystalline basement is intruded by Early Cretaceous (EC) sub alkaline basic and acid dykes, as well as by Late Cretaceous (LC) alkaline stocks (syenites) and dykes (basanite to phonolite). Geochemical, Sr-isotopic and mineral chemistry data point out that: EC-dykes reveal a basic-acid bimodal character, similar to that of the 'coeval' Parana basin flood volcanics; the acid dykes correspond, in composition, to the acid volcanics of the northern Parana basin: the EC-dykes can represent the eastern extension of the inland Santos-Rio de Janeiro dyke swarm, and LC alkaline stocks and dykes constitute distinct groups, characterized by different Sr-isotope initial ratios (syenites: av. 0.7052 and basanites + tephrites = av. 0.7045), which indicate that they are related to different time-integrated mantle source materials. (author)

  3. Modern mammal origins: evolutionary grades in the Early Cretaceous of North America. (United States)

    Jacobs, L L; Winkler, D A; Murry, P A


    Major groups of modern mammals have their origins in the Mesozoic Era, yet the mammalian fossil record is generally poor for that time interval. Fundamental morphological changes that led to modern mammals are often represented by small samples of isolated teeth. Fortunately, functional wear facets on teeth allow prediction of the morphology of occluding teeth that may be unrepresented by fossils. A major step in mammalian evolution occurred in the Early Cretaceous with the evolution of tribosphenic molars, which characterize marsupials and placentals, the two most abundant and diverse extant groups of mammals. A tooth from the Early Cretaceous (110 million years before present) of Texas tests previous predictions (based on lower molars) of the morphology of upper molars in early tribosphenic dentitions. The lingual cusp (protocone) is primitively without shear facets, as expected, but the cheek side of the tooth is derived (advanced) in having distinctive cusps along the margin. The tooth, although distressingly inadequate to define many features of the organism, demonstrates unexpected morphological diversity at a strategic stage of mammalian evolution and falsifies previous claims of the earliest occurrence of true marsupials.

  4. A diplodocid sauropod survivor from the early cretaceous of South America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo A Gallina

    Full Text Available Diplodocids are by far the most emblematic sauropod dinosaurs. They are part of Diplodocoidea, a vast clade whose other members are well-known from Jurassic and Cretaceous strata in Africa, Europe, North and South America. However, Diplodocids were never certainly recognized from the Cretaceous or in any other southern land mass besides Africa. Here we report a new sauropod, Leikupal laticauda gen. et sp. nov., from the early Lower Cretaceous (Bajada Colorada Formation of Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina. This taxon differs from any other sauropod by the presence of anterior caudal transverse process extremely developed with lateroventral expansions reinforced by robust dorsal and ventral bars, very robust centroprezygapophyseal lamina in anterior caudal vertebra and paired pneumatic fossae on the postzygapophyses in anterior-most caudal vertebra. The phylogenetic analyses support its position not only within Diplodocidae but also as a member of Diplodocinae, clustering together with the African form Tornieria, pushing the origin of Diplodocoidea to the Middle Jurassic or even earlier. The new discovery represents the first record of a diplodocid for South America and the stratigraphically youngest record of this clade anywhere.

  5. The subduction-accretion history of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean: Constraints from provenance and geochronology of the Mesozoic strata near Gaize, central Tibet (United States)

    Li, Shun; Ding, Lin; Guilmette, Carl; Fu, Jiajun; Xu, Qiang; Yue, Yahui; Henrique-Pinto, Renato


    The Mesozoic strata, within the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone in central Tibet, recorded critical information about the subduction-accretion processes of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean prior to the Lhasa-Qiangtang collision. This paper reports detailed field observations, petrographic descriptions, sandstone detrital zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotopic analyses from an accretionary complex (preserved as Mugagangri Group) and the unconformably overlying Shamuluo Formation near Gaize. The youngest detrital zircon ages, together with other age constraints from literature, suggest that the Mugagangri Group was deposited during late Triassic-early Jurassic, while the Shamuluo Formation was deposited during late Jurassic-early Cretaceous. Based on the differences in lithology, age and provenance, the Mugagangri Group is subdivided into the upper, middle and lower subunits. These units are younging structurally downward/southward, consistent with models of progressive off-scrapping and accretion in a southward-facing subduction complex. The upper subunit, comprising mainly quartz-sandstone and siliceous mud/shale, was deposited in abyssal plain environment close to the Qiangtang passive margin during late Triassic, with sediments derived from the southern Qiangtang block. The middle and lower subunits comprise mainly lithic-quartz-sandstone and mud/shale, containing abundant ultramafic/ophiolitic fragments. The middle subunit, of late Triassic-early Jurassic age, records a transition in tectono-depositional setting from abyssal plain to trench-wedge basin, with sudden influx of sediments sourced from the central Qiangtang metamorphic belt and northern Qiangtang magmatic belt. The appearance of ultramafic/ophiolitic fragments in the middle subunit reflects the subduction initiation. The lower subunit was deposited in a trench-wedge basin during early Jurassic, with influx of Jurassic-aged zircons originating from the newly active southern Qiangtang magmatic arc. The lower subunit

  6. Molecular evidence of keratin and melanosomes in feathers of the Early Cretaceous bird Eoconfuciusornis. (United States)

    Pan, Yanhong; Zheng, Wenxia; Moyer, Alison E; O'Connor, Jingmai K; Wang, Min; Zheng, Xiaoting; Wang, Xiaoli; Schroeter, Elena R; Zhou, Zhonghe; Schweitzer, Mary H


    Microbodies associated with feathers of both nonavian dinosaurs and early birds were first identified as bacteria but have been reinterpreted as melanosomes. Whereas melanosomes in modern feathers are always surrounded by and embedded in keratin, melanosomes embedded in keratin in fossils has not been demonstrated. Here we provide multiple independent molecular analyses of both microbodies and the associated matrix recovered from feathers of a new specimen of the basal bird Eoconfuciusornis from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. Our work represents the oldest ultrastructural and immunological recognition of avian beta-keratin from an Early Cretaceous (∼130-Ma) bird. We apply immunogold to identify protein epitopes at high resolution, by localizing antibody-antigen complexes to specific fossil ultrastructures. Retention of original keratinous proteins in the matrix surrounding electron-opaque microbodies supports their assignment as melanosomes and adds to the criteria employable to distinguish melanosomes from microbial bodies. Our work sheds new light on molecular preservation within normally labile tissues preserved in fossils.

  7. Paleozoic subduction complex and Paleozoic-Mesozoic island-arc volcano-plutonic assemblages in the northern Sierra terrane (United States)

    Hanson, Richard E.; Girty, Gary H.; Harwood, David S.; Schweickert, Richard A.


    This field trip provides an overview of the stratigraphic and structural evolution of the northern Sierra terrane, which forms a significant part of the wall rocks on the western side of the later Mesozoic Sierra Nevada batholith in California. The terrane consists of a pre-Late Devonian subduction complex (Shoo Fly Complex) overlain by submarine arc-related deposits that record the evolution of three separate island-arc systems in the Late Sevonian-Early Mississippian, Permian, and Late Triassic-Jurassic. The two Paleozoic are packages and the underlying Shoo Fly Complex have an important bearing on plate-tectonic processes affecting the convergent margin outboard of the Paleozoic Cordilleran miogeocline, although their original paleogeographic relations to North America are controversial. The third arc package represents an overlap assemblage that ties the terrane to North America by the Late Triassic and helps constrain the nature and timing of Mesozoic orogenesis. Several of the field-trip stops examine the record of pre-Late Devonian subduction contained in the Shoo Fly Complex, as well as the paleovolcanology of the overlying Devonian to Jurassic arc rocks. Excellent glaciated exposures provide the opportunity to study a cross section through a tilted Devonian volcano-plutonic association. Additional stops focus on plutonic rocks emplaced during the Middle Jurassic arc magmatism in the terrane, and during the main pulse of Cretaceous magmatism in the Sierra Nevada batholith to the east.

  8. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P Donovan

    Full Text Available Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  9. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA. (United States)

    Donovan, Michael P; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C; Johnson, Kirk R; Peppe, Daniel J


    Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma) in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  10. Seismic observation of a sharp post-garnet phase transition within the Farallon crust: Evidence for oceanic plateau subduction (United States)

    Maguire, R.; Ritsema, J.


    The tectonic evolution of North America over the past 150 million years was heavily influenced by the complex subduction history of the Farallon plate. In particular, Laramide mountain building may have been triggered by the initiation of flat slab subduction in the late Cretaceous. While it has been proposed that the cause of slab flattening is related to the subduction of an oceanic plateau[1], direct geophysical evidence of a subducted oceanic plateau is lacking. Here, using P-to-S receiver functions, we detect a sharp seismic discontinuity at 720-km depth beneath the southeastern United States and Gulf of Mexico. We interpret this discontinuity as a garnet-to-bridgmanite phase transition occurring within a thickened Farallon crust. Our results are consistent with a subducted oceanic plateau (likely the conjugate half of the Hess rise) which is foundering below the base of the mantle transition zone. Additionally, we find a strong 520-km discontinuity beneath the southeastern United States which may indicate a hydrous transition zone due to the release of H2O from the Farallon slab. These results provide insight into the dynamics of flat slab subduction as well as the tectonic history of North America. [1] Livaccari, R. F., Burke, K., & Şengör, A. M. C. (1981). Was the Laramide orogeny related to subduction of an oceanic plateau? Nature, v. 289, p. 276-278, doi: 10.1038/289276a0

  11. Variable sources for Cretaceous to recent HIMU and HIMU-like intraplate magmatism in New Zealand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Meer, Quinten; Waight, Tod Earle; Scott, James


    –100Ma) calc-alkaline lamprophyres are compositionally similar to the preceding arc-magmatism (206Pb/204Pb(i)=18.6, 207Pb/204Pb(i)=15.62, 208Pb/204Pb(i)=38.6, 87Sr/86Sr(i)=0.7063–0.7074, εNd(i)=−2.1 −+0.1 and εHf(i)=−0.2 −+2.3) and are interpreted as melts originating from subduction-modified lithosphere....... Alkaline dikes erupted on the inboard Gondwana margin shortly after cessation of subduction (92–84Ma) have heterogeneous isotopic properties: 206Pb/204Pb(i)=18.7 to 19.4, 207Pb/204Pb(i)=15.60 to 15.65, 208Pb/204Pb(i)=38.6 to 39.4, 87Sr/86Sr(i)=0.7031 to 0.7068, εNd(i)=+4.5 to +8.0 and εHf(i)=+5.1 to +8...... from the complex local subduction history. A coeval episode of alkaline magmatism (mainly 98–82Ma) occurred outboard of Gondwana’s former active margin and on the Hikurangi oceanic plateau (accreted to Zealandia in the Early Cretaceous) with compositions closer to true HIMU (206Pb/204Pb(i)≈20.5, 207Pb...

  12. Early Cretaceous climate change (Hauterivian - Early Aptian): Learning from the past to prevent modern reefs decline (United States)

    Godet, Alexis; Bodin, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl B.


    In the last decades, the anthropogenic increase pCO2atm has been considered as one of the main contributors for the decline of modern coral reefs, and nearly 60% of these marine ecosystems are presently threatened (Bryant et al., 1998). Interactions between anthropogenic change and reef growth can, however, not be reduced to a single factor, and it is essential to look at the Earth's history to understand and counterbalance. During the Early Cretaceous, enhanced pCO2atm may have been responsible, at least in part, for the demise of the carbonate platform along the northern margin of the Tethys through climatic feedback mechanisms. From the Hauterivian to the Early Aptian, increased rainfalls are documented from the clay-mineral association, by a change from a smectite-dominated (most of the Hauterivian), to a kaolinite-dominated assemblage (latest Hauterivian up to the early Late Barremian). This switch is dated to the Pseudothurmannia ohmi ammonozone in the Vocontian Trough of southeastern France (Angles section, Godet et al., 2008). It is immediately followed in time by major nutrient input, as is illustrated by the substantial increase in phosphorus accumulation rates (PAR), not only in this section, but also in the Ultrahelvetic area of Switzerland and in the Umbria-Marche basin of Italy (Bodin et al., 2006). On the other hand, the remainder of the Hauterivian is characterized by PAR mean values characteristic of mesotrophic conditions, whereas the Late Barremian witnesses the return to oligotrophic environments (lower PAR values). Synchronously, these perturbations are mirrored on the platform by changes in the type of carbonate ecosystems. Indeed, a stronger continental runoff, and a subsequent input in the oceanic domain of nutrients (e.g., phosphorus) and clastic material modified marine palaeoenvironmental conditions and triggered changes in ecosystems. A unique archive of the Early Cretaceous carbonate platform is preserved in the Helvetic Alps, where the

  13. Paleolatitudes of the Tibetan Himalaya from primary and secondary magnetizations of Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks (United States)

    Huang, Wentao; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Garzanti, Eduardo; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Lippert, Peter C.; Li, Xiaochun; Maffione, Marco; Langereis, Cor G.; Hu, Xiumian; Guo, Zhaojie; Kapp, Paul


    The Tibetan Himalaya represents the northernmost continental unit of the Indian plate that collided with Asia in the Cenozoic. Paleomagnetic studies on the Tibetan Himalaya can help constrain the dimension and paleogeography of "Greater India," the Indian plate lithosphere that subducted and underthrusted below Asia after initial collision. Here we present a paleomagnetic investigation of a Jurassic (limestones) and Lower Cretaceous (volcaniclastic sandstones) section of the Tibetan Himalaya. The limestones yielded positive fold test, showing a prefolding origin of the isolated remanent magnetizations. Detailed paleomagnetic analyses, rock magnetic tests, end-member modeling of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetization, and petrographic investigation reveal that the magnetic carrier of the Jurassic limestones is authigenic magnetite, whereas the dominant magnetic carrier of the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic sandstones is detrital magnetite. Our observations lead us to conclude that the Jurassic limestones record a prefolding remagnetization, whereas the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic sandstones retain a primary remanence. The volcaniclastic sandstones yield an Early Cretaceous paleolatitude of 55.5°S [52.5°S, 58.6°S] for the Tibetan Himalaya, suggesting it was part of the Indian continent at that time. The size of "Greater India" during Jurassic time cannot be estimated from these limestones. Instead, a paleolatitude of the Tibetan Himalaya of 23.8°S [21.8°S, 26.1°S] during the remagnetization process is suggested. It is likely that the remagnetization, caused by the oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite, was induced during 103-83 or 77-67 Ma. The inferred paleolatitudes at these two time intervals imply very different tectonic consequences for the Tibetan Himalaya.

  14. Long-lived melting of ancient lower crust of the North China Craton in response to paleo-Pacific plate subduction, recorded by adakitic rhyolite (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Song, Shuguang; Niu, Yaoling; Allen, Mark B.; Su, Li; Wei, Chunjing; Zhang, Guibin; Fu, Bin


    Magmatism in eastern China in response to paleo-Pacific plate subduction during the Mesozoic was complex, and it is unclear how and when exactly the magmas formed via thinning and partial destruction of the continental lithosphere. To better understand this magmatism, we report the results of a geochronological and geochemical study of Early Cretaceous adakitic rhyolite (erupted at 125.4 ± 2.2 Ma) in the Xintaimen area within the eastern North China Craton (NCC). In situ zircon U-Pb dating shows that this adakitic rhyolite records a long ( 70 Myrs) and complicated period of magmatism with concordant 206Pb/238U ages from 193 Ma to 117 Ma. The enriched bulk rock Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of the Xintaimen adakitic rhyolite, as well as the enriched zircon Hf and O isotopic compositions, indicate that the magmas parental to the adakitic rhyolite were derived from partial melting of the Paleoproterozoic mafic lower crust, heated by mafic melts derived from the mantle during the paleo-Pacific plate subduction. A minor older basement component is indicated by the presence of captured Neoarchean to Early Paleoproterozoic zircons. The Mesozoic zircons have restricted Hf and O isotopic compositions irrespective of their ages, suggesting that they formed from similar sources at similar melting conditions. The Xintaimen adakitic rhyolite offers an independent line of evidence that the ancient lower crust of eastern China underwent a long period ( 70 Myrs) of destruction, melting or remelting, from 193 to 120 Ma, related to the subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate beneath eastern China.

  15. A new ornithurine from the Early Cretaceous of China sheds light on the evolution of early ecological and cranial diversity in birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiandong Huang


    Full Text Available Despite the increasing number of exceptional feathered fossils discovered in the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous of northeastern China, representatives of Ornithurae, a clade that includes comparatively-close relatives of crown clade Aves (extant birds and that clade, are still comparatively rare. Here, we report a new ornithurine species Changzuiornis ahgmi from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation. The new species shows an extremely elongate rostrum so far unknown in basal ornithurines and changes our understanding of the evolution of aspects of extant avian ecology and cranial evolution. Most of this elongate rostrum in Changzuiornis ahgmi is made up of maxilla, a characteristic not present in the avian crown clade in which most of the rostrum and nearly the entire facial margin is made up by premaxilla. The only other avialans known to exhibit an elongate rostrum with the facial margin comprised primarily of maxilla are derived ornithurines previously placed phylogenetically as among the closest outgroups to the avian crown clade as well as one derived enantiornithine clade. We find that, consistent with a proposed developmental shift in cranial ontogeny late in avialan evolution, this elongate rostrum is achieved through elongation of the maxilla while the premaxilla remains only a small part of rostral length. Thus, only in Late Cretaceous ornithurine taxa does the premaxilla begin to play a larger role. The rostral and postcranial proportions of Changzuiornis suggest an ecology not previously reported in Ornithurae; the only other species with an elongate rostrum are two marine Late Cretacous taxa interpreted as showing a derived picivorous diet.

  16. A new Early Cretaceous relative of Gnetales: Siphonospermum simplex gen. et sp. nov. from the Yixian Formation of Northeast China

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    Friis Else


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knowledge on fossil and evolutionary history of the Gnetales has expanded rapidly; Ephedra and ephedroids as well as the Gnetum-Welwitschia clade are now well documented in the Early Cretaceous. However, hypotheses on evolutionary relationships among living and fossil species are hampered by restricted knowledge of morphological variation in living groups and recent studies indicate that gnetalean diversity and character evolution may be more complex than previously assumed and involve additional extinct groups (Bennettitales, Erdtmanithecales and unassigned fossil taxa. Results Here we describe a new fossil related to Gnetales, Siphonospermum simplex from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation, an impression/compression of a reproductive shoot. The slender main axis bears one pair of opposite and linear leaves with primary parallel venation. The reproductive units are ovoid, without supporting bracts and borne on one median and two lateral branches. The most conspicuous feature of the fossil is the long, thread-like micropylar tube formed by the integument. Each ovule is surrounded by two different layers representing one or two seed envelopes; an inner sclerenchymatous layer and an outer probably parenchymatous layer. Conclusions The vegetative and reproductive features of Siphonospermum simplex exclude a relationship to any other group than the Gnetales. A combination of opposite phyllotaxis, linear leaves and ovules surrounded by seed envelope(s and with a long exposed micropylar tube are known only for extant and extinct Gnetales. Siphonospermum simplex constitutes a new lineage within the Gnetales. Its morphology cannot be directly linked to any previously known plant, but the organization of the reproductive units indicates that it belongs to the Gnetum-Welwitschia clade. Based on the absence of cone bracts and the inferred histology of the seed envelope(s it could be related to Gnetum, however, there are also

  17. Lower Cretaceous Xigaze ophiolites formed in the Gangdese forearc : Evidence from paleomagnetism, sediment provenance, and stratigraphy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, Wentao; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J J; Maffione, Marco; Orme, Devon A.; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Guilmette, Carl; Ding, Lin; Guo, Zhaojie; Kapp, Paul


    The India-Asia suture zone of southern Tibet exposes Lower Cretaceous Xigaze ophiolites and radiolarian cherts, and time-equivalent Asian-derived clastic forearc sedimentary rocks (Xigaze Group). These ophiolites have been interpreted to have formed in the forearc of the north-dipping subduction

  18. The evolution of Early Cretaceous shallow-water carbonate platforms in times of frequent oceanic anoxia (United States)

    Föllmi, Karl; Morales, Chloé; Stein, Melody; Bonvallet, Lucie; Antoine, Pictet


    The Early Cretaceous greenhouse world witnessed different episodes of pronounced paleoenvironmental change, which were associated with substantial shifts in the global carbon and phosphorus cycles. They impacted the growth of carbonate platforms on the shelf, lead to the development of widespread anoxic zones in deeper water, and influenced evolutionary pattern in general. A first phase (the Weissert episode) occurred during the Valanginian, which is indicated by a positive shift in the carbon-isotope record, widespread platform drowning, and evolutionary change. The spreading of anoxic conditions was limited to marginal basins and the positive change in carbon isotopes is linked to the storage of vegetal carbon in coal deposits rather than to organic matter in marine sediments. A second phase (the Faraoni episode) of important environmental change is observed near the end of the Hauterivian, where short and repetitive episodes of anoxia occurred in the Tethyan realm. This phase goes along with a decline in platform growth, but is barely documented in the carbon-isotope record. A third and most important episode (the Selli episode) took place in the early Aptian, and resulted in the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments, a positive carbon-isotope excursion and the disappearance of Urgonian-type carbonate platforms. Often considered to represent short and singular events, these Early Cretaceous phases are in fact preceded by periods of warming, increased continental weathering, and increased nutrient throughput. These preludes in environmental change are important in that they put these three Early Cretaceous episodes into a longer-term, historic perspective, which allow us to better understand the mechanisms leading to these periods of pronounced global change.

  19. Early Cretaceous ribbed aptychi - a proposal for a new systematic classification

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Měchová, L.; Vašíček, Zdeněk; Houša, Václav


    Roč. 85, č. 2 (2010), s. 219-274 ISSN 1214-1119 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30860518; CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Late Jurassic * J/K boundary * Early Cretaceous * aptychi Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.202, year: 2010

  20. Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview (United States)

    Cavin, L.; Tong, H.; Boudad, L.; Meister, C.; Piuz, A.; Tabouelle, J.; Aarab, M.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Dyke, G.; Hua, S.; Le Loeuff, J.


    Fossils of vertebrates have been found in great abundance in the continental and marine early Late Cretaceous sediments of Southeastern Morocco for more than 50 years. About 80 vertebrate taxa have so far been recorded from this region, many of which were recognised and diagnosed for the first time based on specimens recovered from these sediments. In this paper, we use published data together with new field data to present an updated overview of Moroccan early Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages. The Cretaceous series we have studied encompasses three Formations, the Ifezouane and Aoufous Formations, which are continental and deltaic in origin and are often grouped under the name "Kem Kem beds", and the Akrabou Formation which is marine in origin. New field observations allow us to place four recognised vertebrate clusters, corresponding to one compound assemblage and three assemblages, within a general temporal framework. In particular, two ammonite bioevents characterise the lower part of the Upper Cenomanian ( Calycoceras guerangeri Zone) at the base of the Akrabou Formation and the upper part of the Lower Turonian ( Mammites nodosoides Zone), that may extend into the Middle Turonian within the Akrabou Formation, and allow for more accurate dating of the marine sequence in the study area. We are not yet able to distinguish a specific assemblage that characterises the Ifezouane Formation when compared to the similar Aoufous Formation, and as a result we regard the oldest of the four vertebrate "assemblages" in this region to be the compound assemblage of the "Kem Kem beds". This well-known vertebrate assemblage comprises a mixture of terrestrial (and aerial), freshwater and brackish vertebrates. The archosaur component of this fauna appears to show an intriguingly high proportion of large-bodied carnivorous taxa, which may indicate a peculiar trophic chain, although collecting biases alter this palaeontological signal. A small and restricted assemblage, the

  1. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm

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    William Oki Wong


    Full Text Available Archaeamphora longicervia H.Q.Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1 an innermost larval chamber with a distinctive outer wall; (2 an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3 an outermost zone of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the formerly reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G.Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  2. Oxidation state inherited from the magma source and implications for mineralization: Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous granitoids, Central Lhasa subterrane, Tibet (United States)

    Cao, MingJian; Qin, KeZhang; Li, GuangMing; Evans, Noreen J.; McInnes, Brent I. A.; Li, JinXiang; Zhao, JunXing


    Arc magmas are more oxidized than mid-ocean ridge basalts; however, there is continuing debate as to whether this higher oxidation state is inherited from the source magma or developed during late-stage magmatic differentiation processes. Well-constrained Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous arc-related intermediate to felsic rocks derived from distinct magma sources provide us with a good opportunity to resolve this enigma. A series of granitoids from the western Central Lhasa subterrane were analyzed for whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, Fe2O3/FeO ratios, and trace elements in zircon. Compared to Late Jurassic samples (1.8 ± 2.0 × 10-4 emu g-1 oe-1, Fe3+/Fetotal = 0.32 ± 0.07, zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* = 15.0 ± 13.4), Early Cretaceous rocks show higher whole-rock magnetic susceptibility (5.8 ± 2.5 × 10-4 emu g-1 oe-1), Fe3+/Fetotal ratios (0.43 ± 0.04), and zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* values (23.9 ± 22.3). In addition, positive correlations among whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, Fe3+/Fetotal ratios, and zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* reveal a slight increase in oxidation state from fO2 = QFM to NNO in the Late Jurassic to fO2 = ˜NNO in the Early Cretaceous. Obvious linear correlation between oxidation indices (whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, zircon Ce4+/Ce3+*) and source signatures (zircon ɛHf(t), TDM C ages) indicates that the oxidation state was predominantly inherited from the source with only a minor contribution from magmatic differentiation. Thus, the sources for both the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous rocks were probably influenced by mantle wedge-derived magma, contributing to the increased fO2. Compared to ore-forming rocks at giant porphyry Cu deposits, the relatively low oxidation state (QFM to NNO) and negative ɛHf(t) (-16 to 0) of the studied granitoids implies relative infertility. However, this study demonstrates two potential fast and effective indices ( fO2 and ɛHf(t)) to evaluate the fertility of granitoids for porphyry-style mineralization. In an

  3. Post-early cretaceous landform evolution along the western margin of the banca~nnia trough, western nsw (United States)

    Gibson, D.L.


    Previously undated post-Devonian sediments outcropping north of Fowlers Gap station near the western margin of the Bancannia Trough are shown by plant macro- and microfossil determinations to be of Early Cretaceous (most likely Neocomian and/or Aptian) age, and thus part of the Eromanga Basin. They are assigned to the previously defined Telephone Creek Formation. Study of the structural configuration of this unit and the unconformably underlying Devonian rocks suggests that the gross landscape architecture of the area results from post-Early Cretaceous monoclinal folding along blind faults at the western margin of the trough, combined with the effects of differential erosion. This study shows that, while landscape evolution in the area has been dynamic, the major changes that have occurred are on a geological rather than human timescale.

  4. Under Cover at Pre-Angiosperm Times: A Cloaked Phasmatodean Insect from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (United States)

    Wang, Maomin; Béthoux, Olivier; Bradler, Sven; Jacques, Frédéric M. B.; Cui, Yingying; Ren, Dong


    Background Fossil species that can be conclusively identified as stem-relatives of stick- and leaf-insects (Phasmatodea) are extremely rare, especially for the Mesozoic era. This dearth in the paleontological record makes assessments on the origin and age of the group problematic and impedes investigations of evolutionary key aspects, such as wing development, sexual size dimorphism and plant mimicry. Methodology/Principal Findings A new fossil insect species, Cretophasmomima melanogramma Wang, Béthoux and Ren sp. nov., is described on the basis of one female and two male specimens recovered from the Yixian Formation (Early Cretaceous, ca. 126±4 mya; Inner Mongolia, NE China; known as ‘Jehol biota’). The occurrence of a female abdominal operculum and of a characteristic ‘shoulder pad’ in the forewing allows for the interpretation of a true stem-Phasmatodea. In contrast to the situation in extant forms, sexual size dimorphism is only weakly female-biased in this species. The peculiar wing coloration, viz. dark longitudinal veins, suggests that the leaf-shaped plant organ from the contemporaneous ‘gymnosperm’ Membranifolia admirabilis was used as model for crypsis. Conclusions/Significance As early as in the Early Cretaceous, some stem-Phasmatodea achieved effective leaf mimicry, although additional refinements characteristic of recent forms, such as curved fore femora, were still lacking. The diversification of small-sized arboreal insectivore birds and mammals might have triggered the acquisition of such primary defenses. PMID:24646906

  5. Basement control in the development of the early cretaceous West and Central African rift system (United States)

    Maurin, Jean-Christophe; Guiraud, René


    The structural framework of the Precambrian basement of the West and Central African Rift System (WCARS) is described in order to examine the role of ancient structures in the development of this Early Cretaceous rift system. Basement structures are represented in the region by large Pan-African mobile belts (built at ca. 600 Ma) surrounding the > 2 Ga West African, Congo and Sao Francisco cratons. Except for the small Gao trough (eastern Mali) located near the contact nappe of the Pan-African Iforas suture zone along the edge of the West African craton, the entire WCARS is located within the internal domains of the Pan-African mobile belts. Within these domains, two main structural features occur as the main basement control of the WCARS: (1) an extensive network of near vertical shear zones which trend north-south through the Congo, Brazil, Nigeria, Niger and Algeria, and roughly east-west through northeastern Brazil and Central Africa. The shear zones correspond to intra-continental strike-slip faults which accompanied the oblique collision between the West African, Congo, and Sao Francisco cratons during the Late Proterozoic; (2) a steep metamorphic NW-SE-trending belt which corresponds to a pre-Pan-African (ca. 730 Ma) ophiolitic suture zone along the eastern edge of the Trans-Saharian mobile belt. The post-Pan-African magmatic and tectonic evolution of the basement is also described in order to examine the state of the lithosphere prior to the break-up which occurred in the earliest Cretaceous. After the Pan-African thermo-tectonic event, the basement of the WCARS experienced a long period of intra-plate magmatic activity. This widespread magmatism in part relates to the activity of intra-plate hotspots which have controlled relative uplift, subsidence and occasionally block faulting. During the Paleozoic and the early Mesozoic, this tectonic activity was restricted to west of the Hoggar, west of Aïr and northern Cameroon. During the Late Jurassic-Early

  6. Dinosaur trackways from the early Late Cretaceous of western Cameroon (United States)

    Martin, Jeremy E.; Menkem, Elie Fosso; Djomeni, Adrien; Fowe, Paul Gustave; Ntamak-Nida, Marie-Joseph


    Dinosaur trackways have rarely been reported in Cretaceous strata across the African continent. To the exception of ichnological occurrences in Morocco, Tunisia, Niger and Cameroon, our knowledge on the composition of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas mostly relies on skeletal evidence. For the first time, we document several dinosaur trackways from the Cretaceous of the Mamfe Basin in western Cameroon. Small and medium-size tridactyl footprints as well as numerous large circular footprints are present on a single horizon showing mudcracks and ripple marks. The age of the locality is considered Cenomanian-Turonian and if confirmed, this ichnological assemblage could be younger than the dinosaur footprints reported from northern Cameroon, and coeval with or younger than skeletal remains reported from the Saharan region. These trackways were left in an adjacent subsiding basin along the southern shore of the Benue Trough during a time of high-sea stand when the Trans-Saharan Seaway was already disconnecting West Africa from the rest of the continent. We predict that other similar track sites may be occurring along the margin of the Benue Trough and may eventually permit to test hypotheses related to provincialism among African dinosaur faunas.

  7. Vertical slab sinking and westward subduction offshore of Mesozoic North America (United States)

    Sigloch, Karin; Mihalynuk, Mitchell G.


    Subducted slabs in the mantle, as imaged by seismic tomography, preserve a record of ancient subduction zones. Ongoing debate concerns how direct this link is. How long ago did each parcel of slab subduct, and where was the trench located relative to the imaged slab position? Resolving these questions will benefit paleogeographic reconstructions, and restrict the range of plausible rheologies for mantle convection simulations. We investigate one of the largest and best-constrained Mesozoic slab complexes, the "Farallon" in the transition zone and lower mantle beneath North America. We quantitatively integrate observations from whole-mantle P-wave tomography, global plate reconstructions, and land geological evidence from the North American Cordillera. These three data sets permit us to test the simplest conceivable hypothesis for linking slabs to paleo-trenches: that each parcel of slab sank only vertically shortly after entering the trench That is, we test whether within the limits of tomographic resolution, all slab material lies directly below the location where it subducted beneath its corresponding arc. Crucially and in contrast to previous studies, we do not accept or impose an Andean-style west coast trench (Farallon-beneath-continent subduction) since Jurassic times, as this scenario is inconsistent with many geological observations. Slab geometry alone suggests that trenches started out as intra-oceanic because tomography images massive, linear slab "walls" in the lower mantle, extending almost vertically from about 800 km to 2000+ km depth. Such steep geometries would be expected from slabs sinking vertically beneath trenches that were quasi-stationary over many tens of millions of years. Intra-oceanic trenches west of Mesozoic North America could have been stationary, whereas a coastal Farallon trench could not, because the continent moved westward continuously as the Atlantic opened. Overlap of North American west-coast positions, as reconstructed in a

  8. Australian plate motion and topography linked to fossil New Guinea slab below Lake Eyre

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    Schellart, W. P.; Spakman, W.


    Unravelling causes for absolute plate velocity change and continental dynamic topography change is challenging because of the interdependence of large-scale geodynamic driving processes. Here, we unravel a clear spatio-temporal relation between latest Cretaceous-Early Cenozoic subduction at the

  9. A major Early Miocene thermal pulse due to subduction segmentation and rollback in the western Mediterranean region (United States)

    Spakman, W.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J.; Vissers, R.


    Geological studies have shown that Eo-Oligocene subduction related high-pressure, low-temperature metasediments and peridotites of the Alboran region (Spain, Morocco) and the Kabylides (Algeria) experienced a major Early Miocene (~21 Ma) thermal pulse requiring asthenospheric temperatures at ~60 km depth. Despite earlier propositions, the cause of this thermal pulse is still controversial while also the paleogeographic origin of the Alboran and Kabylides units is debated. Here, we relate the thermal pulse to segmentation of the West Alpine-Tethyan slab under the SE Iberian margin (Baleares-Sardinia). We restore the Alboran rocks farther east than previously assumed, to close to the Balearic Islands, adjacent to Sardinia. We identify three major lithosphere faults, the NW-SE trending North Balearic Transform Zone (NBTZ) and the ~W-E trending Emile Baudot and North African transforms that accommodated the Miocene subduction evolution of slab segmentation, rollback, and migration of Alboran and Kabylides rocks to their current positions. The heat pulse occurred S-SE of the Baleares where slab segmentation along the NBTZ triggered radially outgrowing S-SW rollback opening a slab window that facilitated local ascent of asthenosphere below the rapidly extending Alboran-Kabylides accretionary prism. Subsequent slab rollback carried the Kabylides and Alboran domains to their present positions. Our new reconstruction is in line with tomographically imaged mantle structure and focuses attention on the crucial role of evolving subduction segmentation driving HT-metamorphism and subsequent extension, fragmentation, and dispersion of geological terrains.

  10. Unravelling the stratigraphy and sedimentation history of the uppermost Cretaceous to Eocene sediments of the Kuching Zone in West Sarawak (Malaysia), Borneo (United States)

    Breitfeld, H. Tim; Hall, Robert; Galin, Thomson; BouDagher-Fadel, Marcelle K.


    The Kuching Zone in West Sarawak consists of two different sedimentary basins, the Kayan and Ketungau Basins. The sedimentary successions in the basins are part of the Kuching Supergroup that extends into Kalimantan. The uppermost Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) to Lower Eocene Kayan Group forms the sedimentary deposits directly above a major unconformity, the Pedawan Unconformity, which marks the cessation of subduction-related magmatism beneath SW Borneo and the Schwaner Mountains, due to termination of the Paleo-Pacific subduction. The successions consist of the Kayan and Penrissen Sandstones and are dominated by fluvial channels, alluvial fans and floodplain deposits with some deltaic to tidally-influenced sections in the Kayan Sandstone. In the late Early or early Middle Eocene, sedimentation in this basin ceased and a new basin, the Ketungau Basin, developed to the east. This change is marked by the Kayan Unconformity. Sedimentation resumed in the Middle Eocene (Lutetian) with the marginal marine, tidal to deltaic Ngili Sandstone and Silantek Formation. Upsequence, the Silantek Formation is dominated by floodplain and subsidiary fluvial deposits. The Bako-Mintu Sandstone, a potential lateral equivalent of the Silantek Formation, is formed of major fluvial channels. The top of the Ketungau Group in West Sarawak is formed by the fluvially-dominated Tutoop Sandstone. This shows a transition of the Ketungau Group in time towards terrestrial/fluvially-dominated deposits. Paleocurrent measurements show river systems were complex, but reveal a dominant southern source. This suggests uplift of southern Borneo initiated in the region of the present-day Schwaner Mountains from the latest Cretaceous onwards. Additional sources were local sources in the West Borneo province, Mesozoic melanges to the east and potentially the Malay Peninsula. The Ketungau Group also includes reworked deposits of the Kayan Group. The sediments of the Kuching Supergroup are predominantly

  11. Early Cretaceous trypanosomatids associated with fossil sand fly larvae in Burmese amber

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    George Poinar Jr


    Full Text Available Early Cretaceous flagellates with characters typical of trypanosomatids were found in the gut of sand fly larvae, as well as in surrounding debris, in Burmese amber. This discovery supports a hypothesis in which free-living trypanosomatids could have been acquired by sand fly larvae in their feeding environment and then carried transtadially into the adult stage. At some point in time, specific genera were introduced into vertebrates, thus establishing a dixenous life cycle.

  12. Modern mammal origins: evolutionary grades in the Early Cretaceous of North America.


    Jacobs, L L; Winkler, D A; Murry, P A


    Major groups of modern mammals have their origins in the Mesozoic Era, yet the mammalian fossil record is generally poor for that time interval. Fundamental morphological changes that led to modern mammals are often represented by small samples of isolated teeth. Fortunately, functional wear facets on teeth allow prediction of the morphology of occluding teeth that may be unrepresented by fossils. A major step in mammalian evolution occurred in the Early Cretaceous with the evolution of tribo...

  13. Pinaceae-like reproductive morphology in Schizolepidopsis canicularis sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) of Mongolia. (United States)

    Leslie, Andrew B; Glasspool, Ian; Herendeen, Patrick S; Ichinnorov, Niiden; Knopf, Patrick; Takahashi, Masamichi; Crane, Peter R


    Seed cone scales assigned to the genus Schizolepidopsis are widespread in Late Triassic to Cretaceous Eurasian deposits. They have been linked to the conifer family Pinaceae based on associated vegetative remains, but their exact affinities are uncertain. Recently discovered material from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia reveals important new information concerning Schizolepidopsis cone scales and seeds, and provides support for a relationship between the genus and extant Pinaceae. Specimens were collected from Early Cretaceous (probable Aptian-Albian) lignite deposits in central Mongolia. Lignite samples were disaggregated, cleaned in hydrofluoric acid, and washed in water. Specimens were selected for further study using light and electron microscopy. Schizolepidopsis canicularis seed cones consist of loosely arranged, bilobed ovulate scales subtended by a small bract. A single inverted seed with an elongate micropyle is borne on each lobe of the ovulate scale. Each seed has a wing formed by the separation of the adaxial surface of the ovulate scale. Schizolepidopsis canicularis produced winged seeds that formed in a manner that is unique to Pinaceae among extant conifers. We do not definitively place this species in Pinaceae pending more complete information concerning its pollen cones and vegetative remains. Nevertheless, this material suggests that Schizolepidopsis may be important for understanding the early evolution of Pinaceae, and may potentially help reconcile the appearance of the family in the fossil record with results based on phylogenetic analyses of molecular data.

  14. Sr and Nd isotope geochemistry and tectonics during subduction and rifting in Sierra Santa Ursula, Sonora, Northwestern Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mora-Klepeis, G.


    The western margin of North America was affected by a convergent plate boundary from the Cretaceous through the Early Tertiary. Volcanic rocks produced by subduction-related arc magmatism in northwestern Mexico are concentrated in two northwest-trending belts subparallel to the continental margin. One of these is the Sierra Madre Occidental, where mid-Tertiary magmatism consisted mostly of calc-alkaline rhyolitic ignimbrite and minor andesite produced between ∼ 46 and 28 Ma (McDowell et al., 1990). The second (younger) northwest-trending belt is located along the eastern margin of the Baja California Peninsula and in the Gulf of California region of mainland Mexico. This belt is composed mostly of andesite, but includes some basalt and dacite whose ages range from about 24 to 11 Ma (Hausback, 1984). A transition to rifting began after a mid-Tertiary cessation of subduction, eventually creating the Gulf of California extensional province. Four markedly different magma types comprising mainly tholeiitic and alkalic rocks and minor calc-alkaline and peralkaline rocks were erupted throughout the last 13 Ma and record the history of rifting of the Gulf of California (Sawlan, 1991). The aim of the present paper is to distinguish the nature of the 24-8.5 Ma magmatism emplaced on the eastern side of the Gulf of California in the state of Sonora, by the use of stratigraphic, geochemical and isotopic data. Preliminary Sr and Nd results show that three groups of magmas are present in the area suggesting a heterogeneous source. This can be interpreted as the result of magmas being erupted at different stages of subduction and rifting during the tectonic evolution of this part on North America

  15. Cretaceous paleogeography and depositional cycles of western South America (United States)

    Macellari, C. E.

    The western margin of South America was encroached upon by a series of marine advances that increased in extent from the Early Cretaceous to a maximum in the early Late Cretaceous for northern South America (Venezuela to Peru). In southern South America, however, the area covered by the marine advances decreased from a maximum in the Early Cretaceous to a minimum during mid-Cretaceous time, followed by a widespread advance at the end of the period. A series of unconformity-bounded depositional cycles was recognized in these sequences: five cycles in northern South America, and six (but not exactly equivalent) cycles in the Cretaceous back-arc basins of southern South America (Neuquén and Austral, or Magallanes, Basins). Both widespread anoxic facies and maximum flooding of the continent in northern South America coincide in general terms with recognized global trends, but this is not the case in southern South America. Here, anoxic facies are restricted to the Lower Cretaceous and seem to be controlled by local aspects of the basin evolution and configuration. The contrasts observed between northern and southern South America can be explained by differences in tectonic setting and evolution. To the north, sediments were deposited around the tectonically stable Guayana-Brazilian Massifs, and thus registered global "signals" such as anoxic events and major eustatic changes. The southern portion of the continent, on the contrary, developed in an active tectonic setting. Here, the mid-Cretaceous Peruvian Orogeny overprinted, to a large extent, world-wide trends and only the earliest and latest Cretaceous conform to global depositional patterns.

  16. Reconstruction of Northeast Asian Deformation Integrated with Western Pacific Plate Subduction since 200 Ma (United States)

    Liu, S.; Gurnis, M.; Ma, P.; Zhang, B.


    The configuration and kinematics of continental deformation and its marginal plate tectonics on the Earth's surface are intrinsic manifestations of plate-mantle coupling. The complex interactions of plate boundary forces result in plate motions that are dominated by slab pull and ridge push forces and the effects of mantle drag; these interactions also result in continental deformation with a complex basin-mountain architecture and evolution. The kinematics and evolution of the western Pacific subduction and northeast Asian continental-margin deformation are a first-order tectonic process whose nature and chronology remains controversial. This paper implements a "deep-time" reconstruction of the western Pacific subduction, continental accretion or collision and basin-mountain deformation in northeast Asia since 200 Ma based on a newly revised global plate model. The results demonstrate a NW-SE-oriented shortening from 200-137 Ma, a NWW-SEE-oriented extension from 136-101 Ma, a nearly N-S-oriented extension and uplift with a short-term NWW-SEE-oriented compressional inversion in northeast China from 100-67 Ma, and a NW-SE- and nearly N-S-oriented extension from 66 Ma to the present day. The western Pacific oceanic plate subducted forward under East Asia along Mudanjiang-Honshu Island during the Jurassic, and the trenches retreated to the Sikhote-Alin, North Shimanto, and South Shimanto zones from ca. 137-128 Ma, ca. 130-90 Ma, and in ca. 60 Ma, respectively. Our time-dependent analysis of plate motion and continental deformation coupling suggests that the multi-plate convergent motion and ocean-continent convergent orogeny were induced by advance subduction during the Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous. Our analysis also indicates that the intra-continent rifting and back-arc extension were triggered by trench retreat during the Cretaceous and that the subduction of oceanic ridge and arc were triggered by trench retreat during the Cenozoic. Therefore, reconstructing

  17. The conchostracan subgenus Orthestheria (Migransia) from the Tacuarembó Formation (Late Jurassic-?Early Cretaceous, Uruguay) with notes on its geological age (United States)

    Yanbin, Shen; Gallego, Oscar F.; Martínez, Sergio


    Conchostracans from the Tacuarembó Formation s.s. of Uruguay are reassigned to the subgenus Orthestheria (Migransia) Chen and Shen. They show more similarities to genera of Late Jurassic age in the Congo Basin and China than to those of Early Cretaceous age. On the basis of the character of the conchostracans, we suggest that the Tacuarembó Formation is unlikely to be older than Late Jurassic. It is probably Kimmeridgian, but an Early Cretaceous age cannot be excluded. This finding is consistent with isotopic dating of the overlying basalts, as well as the age range of recently described fossil freshwater sharks.

  18. Tectonics of the Qinling (Central China): Tectonostratigraphy, geochronology, and deformation history (United States)

    Ratschbacher, L.; Hacker, B.R.; Calvert, A.; Webb, L.E.; Grimmer, J.C.; McWilliams, M.O.; Ireland, T.; Dong, S.; Hu, Jiawen


    The Qinling orogen preserves a record of late mid-Proterozoic to Cenozoic tectonism in central China. High-pressure metamorphism and ophiolite emplacement (Songshugou ophiolite) assembled the Yangtze craton, including the lower Qinling unit, into Rodinia during the ~1.0 Ga Grenvillian orogeny. The lower Qinling unit then rifted from the Yangtze craton at ~0.7 Ga. Subsequent intra-oceanic arc formation at ~470-490 Ma was followed by accretion of the lower Qinling unit first to the intra-oceanic arc and then to the Sino-Korea craton. Subduction then imprinted a ~400 Ma Andean-type magmatic arc onto all units north of the northern Liuling unit. Oblique subduction created Silurian-Devonian WNW-trending, sinistral transpressive wrench zones (e.g., Lo-Nan, Shang-Dan), and Late Permian-Early Triassic subduction reactivated them in dextral transpression (Lo-Nan, Shang-Xiang, Shang-Dan) and subducted the northern edge of the Yangtze craton. Exhumation of the cratonal edge formed the Wudang metamorphic core complex during dominantly pure shear crustal extension at ~230-235 Ma. Post-collisional south-directed shortening continued through the Early Jurassic. Cretaceous reactivation of the Qinling orogen started with NW-SE sinistral transtension, coeval with large-scale Early Cretaceous crustal extension and sinistral transtension in the northern Dabie Shan; it presumably resulted from the combined effects of the Siberia-Mongolia-Sino-Korean and Lhasa-West Burma-Qiangtang-Indochina collisions and Pacific subduction. Regional dextral wrenching was active within a NE-SW extensional regime between ~60 and 100 Ma. An Early Cretaceous Andean-type continental magmatic arc, with widespread Early Cretaceous magmatism and back-arc extension, was overprinted by shortening related to the collision of Yangtze-Indochina Block with the West Philippines Block. Strike-slip and normal faults associated with Eocene half-graben basins record Paleogene NNE-SSW contraction and WNW-ESE extension

  19. Late Cretaceous tectonothermal evolution of the southern Lhasa terrane, South Tibet: Consequence of a Mesozoic Andean-type orogeny (United States)

    Dong, Xin; Zhang, Ze-ming; Klemd, Reiner; He, Zhen-yu; Tian, Zuo-lin


    The Lhasa terrane of the southern Tibetan Plateau participated in a Mesozoic Andean-type orogeny caused by the northward subduction of the Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere. However, metamorphic rocks, which can unravel details of the geodynamic evolution, are rare and only exposed in the south-eastern part of the Lhasa terrane. Therefore, we conducted a detailed petrological, geochemical and U-Pb zircon geochronological study of the late Cretaceous metamorphic rocks and associated gabbros from the Nyemo inlier of the southern Lhasa terrane. The Nyemo metamorphic rocks including gneisses, schists, marbles and calc-silicate rocks, experienced peak amphibolite-facies contact metamorphism under P-T conditions of 3.5-4.0 kbar and 642-657 °C with a very high geothermal gradient of 45-50 °C/km, revealing a distinct deflection from the steady-state geotherm during low-pressure metamorphism. Inherited magmatic zircon cores from the metamorphic rocks yielded protolith ages of 197-194 Ma, while overgrowth zircon rims yielded metamorphic ages of ca. 86 Ma. Whole-rock chemistry and zircon Hf isotopes suggest that the protoliths of the gneisses and schists are andesites and tuffs of the early Jurassic Sangri Group, which were derived from a depleted mantle source of a continental arc affinity. The coeval intimately-associated gabbro (ca. 86 Ma) crystallized under P-T conditions of 3.5-5.3 kbar and 914-970 °C, supplying the heat flux high enough to cause the contact metamorphism of the Sangri Group rock types. We propose that the intrusion of the gabbro and a simultaneous pressure increase of up to 4.0 kbar, which is related to crustal thickening due to crustal overthrusting and the intrusion of mafic material, resulted in the late Cretaceous metamorphism of the early Jurassic Sangri Group during an Andean-type orogeny. Furthermore the Nyemo metamorphic rocks, which have previously been considered to represent slivers of the Precambrian metamorphic basement of the Lhasa terrane


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    Full Text Available The Cretaceous coral genus Aulastraeopora is being revised, mainly on the basis of sample material. This genus of solitary growth form is characterised by medium-sized to large specimens, compact septa in a regular hexameral or tetrameral symmetry and lonsdaleoid septa. Related genera are Preverastraea and Apoplacophyllia, which only differ by their cerioid-astreoid and phaceloid growth forms. There are four species of Aulastraeopora. The genus, which occurred world-wide, is restricted to the period from the Late Barremian to the Late Cenomanian, being most common in the Aptian to Early Albian. Forty-one samples are either known from the literature or have been to hand. This makes Aulastraeopora a rare genus. 

  1. Reappraisal of Europe’s most complete Early Cretaceous plesiosaurian: Brancasaurus brancai Wegner, 1914 from the “Wealden facies” of Germany

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    Sven Sachs


    Full Text Available The holotype of Brancasaurus brancai is one of the most historically famous and anatomically complete Early Cretaceous plesiosaurian fossils. It derived from the Gerdemann & Co. brickworks clay pit near Gronau (Westfalen in North Rhine-Westphalia, northwestern Germany. Stratigraphically this locality formed part of the classic European “Wealden facies,” but is now more formally attributed to the upper-most strata of the Bückeberg Group (upper Berriasian. Since its initial description in 1914, the type skeleton of B. brancai has suffered damage both during, and after WWII. Sadly, these mishaps have resulted in the loss of substantial information, in particular many structures of the cranium and limb girdles, which are today only evidenced from published text and/or illustrations. This non-confirmable data has, however, proven crucial for determining the relationships of B. brancai within Plesiosauria: either as an early long-necked elasmosaurid, or a member of the controversial Early Cretaceous leptocleidid radiation. To evaluate these competing hypotheses and compile an updated osteological compendium, we undertook a comprehensive examination of the holotype as it is now preserved, and also assessed other Bückeberg Group plesiosaurian fossils to establish a morphological hypodigm. Phylogenetic simulations using the most species-rich datasets of Early Cretaceous plesiosaurians incorporating revised scores for B. brancai, together with a second recently named Bückeberg Group plesiosaurian Gronausaurus wegneri (Hampe, 2013, demonstrated that referral of these taxa to Leptocleididae was not unanimous, and that the topological stability of this clade is tenuous. In addition, the trait combinations manifested by B. brancai and G. wegneri were virtually identical. We therefore conclude that these monotypic individuals are ontogenetic morphs and G. wegneri is a junior synonym of B. brancai. Finally, anomalies detected in the diagnostic features

  2. New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography (United States)

    Poropat, Stephen F.; Mannion, Philip D.; Upchurch, Paul; Hocknull, Scott A.; Kear, Benjamin P.; Kundrát, Martin; Tischler, Travis R.; Sloan, Trish; Sinapius, George H. K.; Elliott, Judy A.; Elliott, David A.


    Australian dinosaurs have played a rare but controversial role in the debate surrounding the effect of Gondwanan break-up on Cretaceous dinosaur distribution. Major spatiotemporal gaps in the Gondwanan Cretaceous fossil record, coupled with taxon incompleteness, have hindered research on this effect, especially in Australia. Here we report on two new sauropod specimens from the early Late Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia, that have important implications for Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography. Savannasaurus elliottorum gen. et sp. nov. comprises one of the most complete Cretaceous sauropod skeletons ever found in Australia, whereas a new specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae includes the first ever cranial remains of an Australian sauropod. The results of a new phylogenetic analysis, in which both Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus are recovered within Titanosauria, were used as the basis for a quantitative palaeobiogeographical analysis of macronarian sauropods. Titanosaurs achieved a worldwide distribution by at least 125 million years ago, suggesting that mid-Cretaceous Australian sauropods represent remnants of clades which were widespread during the Early Cretaceous. These lineages would have entered Australasia via dispersal from South America, presumably across Antarctica. High latitude sauropod dispersal might have been facilitated by Albian–Turonian warming that lifted a palaeoclimatic dispersal barrier between Antarctica and South America. PMID:27763598

  3. Lower Cretaceous Puez key-section in the Dolomites - towards the mid-Cretaceous super-greenhouse (United States)

    Lukeneder, A.; Halásová, E.; Rehákova, D.; Józsa, Š.; Soták, J.; Kroh, A.; Jovane, L.; Florindo, F.; Sprovieri, M.; Giorgioni, M.; Lukeneder, S.


    Investigations on different fossil groups in addition to isotopic, paleomagnetic and geochemical analysis are combined to extract the Early Cretaceous history of environmental changes, as displayed by the sea level and climate changes. Results on biostratigraphy are integrated with other dating methods as magnetostraigraphy, correlation and cyclostratigraphy. The main investigation topics of the submitted project within the above-described framework are the biostratigraphic (Lukeneder and Aspmair, 2006, 2012), palaeoecological (Lukeneder, 2008, 2012), palaeobiogeographic, lithostratigraphic (Lukeneder, 2010, 2011), cyclostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic development of the Early Cretaceous in the Puez area. The main sections occur in expanded outcrops located on the southern margin of the Puez Plateau, within the area of the Puez-Geisler Natural Park, in the northern part of the Dolomites (South Tyrol, North Italy). The cephalopod, microfossil and nannofossil faunas and floras from the marly limestones to marls here indicates Hauterivian to Albian/Cenomanian age. Oxygen isotope values from the Lower Cretaceous Puez Formation show a decreasing trend throughout the log, from -1.5‰ in the Hauterivian to -4.5‰ in the Albian/Cenomanian. The decreasing values mirror an increasing trend in palaeotemperatures from ~ 15-18°C in the Hauterivian up to ~25-30 °C in the Albian/Cenomanian. The trend probably indicates the positive shift in temperature induced by the well known Mid Cretaceous Ocean warming (e.g., Super-Greenhouse). The cooperative project (FWF project P20018-N10; 22 international scientists): An integrative high resolution project. Macro- and microfossils, isotopes, litho-, cyclo-, magneto-and biostratigraphy as tools for investigating the Lower Cretaceous within the Dolomites (Southern Alps, Northern Italy) -The Puez area as a new key region of the Tethyan Realm), is on the way since 2008 by the Natural History Museum in Vienna and the 'Naturmuseum S

  4. Evidence for ˜80-75 Ma subduction jump during Anatolide-Tauride-Armenian block accretion and ˜48 Ma Arabia-Eurasia collision in Lesser Caucasus-East Anatolia (United States)

    Rolland, Yann; Perincek, Dogan; Kaymakci, Nuretdin; Sosson, Marc; Barrier, Eric; Avagyan, Ara


    Orogens formed by a combination of subduction and accretion are featured by a short-lived collisional history. They preserve crustal geometries acquired prior to the collisional event. These geometries comprise obducted oceanic crust sequences that may propagate somewhat far away from the suture zone, preserved accretionary prism and subduction channel at the interplate boundary. The cessation of deformation is ascribed to rapid jump of the subduction zone at the passive margin rim of the opposite side of the accreted block. Geological investigation and 40Ar/39Ar dating on the main tectonic boundaries of the Anatolide-Tauride-Armenian (ATA) block in Eastern Turkey, Armenia and Georgia provide temporal constraints of subduction and accretion on both sides of this small continental block, and final collisional history of Eurasian and Arabian plates. On the northern side, 40Ar/39Ar ages give insights for the subduction and collage from the Middle to Upper Cretaceous (95-80 Ma). To the south, younger magmatic and metamorphic ages exhibit subduction of Neotethys and accretion of the Bitlis-Pütürge block during the Upper Cretaceous (74-71 Ma). These data are interpreted as a subduction jump from the northern to the southern boundary of the ATA continental block at 80-75 Ma. Similar back-arc type geochemistry of obducted ophiolites in the two subduction-accretion domains point to a similar intra-oceanic evolution prior to accretion, featured by slab steepening and roll-back as for the current Mediterranean domain. Final closure of Neotethys and initiation of collision with Arabian Plate occurred in the Middle-Upper Eocene as featured by the development of a Himalayan-type thrust sheet exhuming amphibolite facies rocks in its hanging-wall at c. 48 Ma.

  5. Chlorine isotope constraints on fluid-rock interactions during subduction and exhumation of the Zermatt-Saas ophiolite (United States)

    Selverstone, J.; Sharp, Z. D.


    Chlorine isotope compositions of high-pressure (˜2.3 GPa) serpentinite, rodingite, and hydrothermally altered oceanic crust (AOC) differ significantly from high- and ultrahigh-pressure (> 3.2 GPa) metasedimentary rocks in the Aosta region, Italy. Texturally early serpentinites, rodingites, and AOC have bulk δ37Cl values indistinguishable from those of modern seafloor analogues (δ37Cl = -1.0 to +1.0‰). In contrast, serpentinites and AOC samples that recrystallized during exhumation have low δ37Cl values (-2.7 to -0.5‰); 37Cl depletion correlates with progressive changes in bulk chemistry. HP/UHP metasediments have low δ37Cl values (median = -2.5‰) that differ statistically from modern marine sediments (median = -0.6‰). Cl in metasedimentary rocks is concentrated in texturally early minerals, indicating modification of seafloor compositions early in the subduction history. The data constrain fluid sources during both subduction and exhumation-related phases of fluid-rock interaction: (1) marine sediments at the top of the downgoing plate likely interacted with isotopically light pore fluids from the accretionary wedge in the early stages of subduction. (2) No pervasive interaction with externally derived fluid occurred during subsequent subduction to the maximum depths of burial. (3) Localized mixing between serpentinites and fluids released by previously isotopically modified metasediments occurred during exhumation in the subduction channel. Most samples, however, preserved protolith signatures during subduction to near-arc depths.

  6. Trap architecture of the Early Cretaceous Sarir Sandstone in the eastern Sirt Basin, Libya

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    Gras, R. [Schlumberger GeoQuest, Cedex (France); Thusu, B. [Arabian Gulf Oil Company, Benghazi (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)


    The Sarir Sandstone is the principal reservoir for oil accumulations in the eastern Sirt Basin in Libya. The main phase of the rifting in this area took place in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, during which time the Sarir Sandstone was deposited as a non-marine, intra-continental clastic syn-rift sequence. Although successfully explored from 1959 onwards, the prolific eastern Sirt Basin is in a relatively immature stage of exploration regarding wildcat drilling and 3D seismic data acquisition. The most recent phase of exploration, utilizing 3D seismic techniques, revealed a complex structural development. The trap geometries are often related to E-W trending, basement-controlled fault systems, oblique to the NNW-SSE Sirt Basin trend. The fault systems were active during the Sarir Sandstone deposition, giving rise to structural as well as combined structural-traps. An increased understanding of trap architecture has led to both re-evaluation of older fields and new discoveries. (author)

  7. Insight on the anatomy, systematic relationships, and age of the Early Cretaceous ankylopollexian dinosaur Dakotadon lakotaensis

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    Clint A. Boyd


    Full Text Available Knowledge regarding the early evolution within the dinosaurian clade Ankylopollexia drastically increased over the past two decades, in part because of an increase in described taxa from the Early Cretaceous of North America. These advances motivated the recent completion of extensive preparation and conservation work on the holotype and only known specimen of Dakotadon lakotaensis, a basal ankylopollexian from the Lakota Formation of South Dakota. That specimen (SDSM 8656 preserves a partial skull, lower jaws, a single dorsal vertebra, and two caudal vertebrae. That new preparation work exposed several bones not included in the original description and revealed that other bones were previously misidentified. The presence of extensive deformation in areas of the skull is also noted that influenced inaccuracies in prior descriptions and reconstructions of this taxon. In addition to providing an extensive re-description of D. lakotaensis, this study reviews previously proposed diagnoses for this taxon, identifies two autapomorphies, and provides an extensive differential diagnosis. Dakotadon lakotaensis is distinct from the only other ankylopollexian taxon known from the Lakota Formation, Osmakasaurus depressus, in the presence of two prominent, anteroposteriorly oriented ridges on the ventral surfaces of the caudal vertebrae, the only overlapping material preserved between these taxa. The systematic relationships of D. lakotaensis are evaluated using both the parsimony and posterior probability optimality criteria, with both sets of analyses recovering D. lakotaensis as a non-hadrosauriform ankylopollexian that is more closely related to taxa from the Early Cretaceous (e.g., Iguanacolossus, Hippodraco, and Theiophytalia than to more basally situated taxa from the Jurassic (e.g., Camptosaurus, Uteodon. This taxonomic work is supplemented by field work that relocated the type locality, confirming its provenance from unit L2 (lower Fuson Member

  8. The tectonometamorphic evolution of the Apuseni Mountains (Romania): Geodynamic constraints for the evolution of the Alps-Carpathians-Dinaride system of orogens (United States)

    Reiser, Martin; Schuster, Ralf; Fügenschuh, Bernhard


    New structural, thermobarometric and geochronological data allow integrating kinematics, timing and intensity of tectonic phases into a geodynamic model of the Apuseni Mountain, which provides new constraints for the evolution of the Alps-Carpathians-Dinaride system of orogens. Strong differences in terms of deformation directions between Early and Late Cretaceous events provide new constraints on the regional geodynamic evolution during the Cretaceous. Geochronological and structural data evidence a Late Jurassic emplacement of the South Apuseni Ophiolites on top of the Biharia Nappe System (Dacia Mega-Unit), situated in an external position at the European margin. Following the emplacement of the ophiolites, three compressive deformation phases affected the Apuseni Mountains during Alpine orogeny: a) NE-directed in-sequence nappe stacking and regional metamorphic overprinting under amphibolite-facies conditions during the Early Cretaceous ("Austrian Phase"), b) NW-directed thrusting and folding, associated with greenschist-facies overprinting, during the early Late Cretaceous ("Turonian Phase") and c) E-W internal folding together with brittle thrusting during the latest Cretaceous ("Laramian Phase"). Major tectonic unroofing and exhumation at the transition from Early to Late Cretaceous times is documented through new Sm-Nd Grt, Ar-Ar Ms and Rb-Sr Bt ages from the study area and resulted in a complex thermal structure with strong lateral and vertical thermal gradients. Nappe stacking and medium-grade metamorphic overprinting during the Early Cretaceous exhibits striking parallels between the evolution of the Tisza-Dacia Mega-Units and the Austroalpine Nappes (ALCAPA Mega-Unit) and evidences a close connection. However, Late Cretaceous tectonic events in the study area exhibit strong similarities with the Dinarides. Thus, the Apuseni Mountains represent the "missing link" between the Early Cretaceous Meliata subduction (associated with obduction of ophiolites

  9. Micropaleontology and palaeoclimate during the early Cretaceous in the Lishu depression, Songliao basin, Northeast China

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    Wei Yan


    Full Text Available Diverse and abundant microfossils, such as palynomorphs, algae and Ostracoda, were collected from lower Cretaceous strata of Lishu depression, located in southeastern Songliao basin, and were identified and classified in order to provide relevant, detailed records for paleoclimate research. The early Cretaceous vegetation and climate of southeastern Songliao basin have been inferred from the analysis of palynomorph genera, algae and Ostracoda of the LS1 and SW110 wells. The lower Cretaceous strata include, in ascending stratigraphic order, the Shahezi, Yingcheng and Denglouku formations. Palynological assemblages for each formation, based on biostratigraphic and statistical analyses, provide an assessment of their longitudinal variations. During deposition of the Shahezi Formation, the climate was mid-subtropical. Vegetation consisted of coniferous forest and herbage. During deposition of the Yingcheng Formation, the climate was south Asian tropical. Vegetation consisted mainly of coniferous forest and herbal shrub. In addition, fresh and saline non-marine water dominated the lacustrine setting during deposition of these formations. Deposition of the Denglouku Formation, however, occurred under a hot and dry tropical climate. The vegetation was mostly coniferous forest and lake waters became saline. Palaeoclimate variation is correlated by the lake level change and the development of sedimentary facies. Palaeoclimate contribute to the formation of hydrocarbon source rocks and reservoir.

  10. Arc magmatism as a window to plate kinematics and subduction polarity: Example from the eastern Pontides belt, NE Turkey

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    Yener Eyuboglu


    Full Text Available The Eastern Pontides orogenic belt in the Black Sea region of Turkey offers a critical window to plate kinematics and subduction polarity during the closure of the Paleotethys. Here we provide a brief synthesis on recent information from this belt. We infer a southward subduction for the origin of the Eastern Pontides orogenic belt and its associated late Mesozoic–Cenozoic magmatism based on clear spatial and temporal variations in Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic arc magmatism, together with the existence of a prominent south-dipping reverse fault system along the entire southern coast of the Black Sea. Our model is at variance with some recent proposals favoring a northward subduction polarity, and illustrates the importance of arc magmatism in evaluating the geodynamic milieu associated with convergent margin processes.

  11. Late Cretaceous origin of the rice tribe provides evidence for early diversification in Poaceae. (United States)

    Prasad, V; Strömberg, C A E; Leaché, A D; Samant, B; Patnaik, R; Tang, L; Mohabey, D M; Ge, S; Sahni, A


    Rice and its relatives are a focal point in agricultural and evolutionary science, but a paucity of fossils has obscured their deep-time history. Previously described cuticles with silica bodies (phytoliths) from the Late Cretaceous period (67-65 Ma) of India indicate that, by the latest Cretaceous, the grass family (Poaceae) consisted of members of the modern subclades PACMAD (Panicoideae-Aristidoideae-Chloridoideae-Micrairoideae-Arundinoideae-Danthonioideae) and BEP (Bambusoideae-Ehrhartoideae-Pooideae), including a taxon with proposed affinities to Ehrhartoideae. Here we describe additional fossils and show that, based on phylogenetic analyses that combine molecular genetic data and epidermal and phytolith features across Poaceae, these can be assigned to the rice tribe, Oryzeae, of grass subfamily Ehrhartoideae. The new Oryzeae fossils suggest substantial diversification within Ehrhartoideae by the Late Cretaceous, pushing back the time of origin of Poaceae as a whole. These results, therefore, necessitate a re-evaluation of current models for grass evolution and palaeobiogeography.

  12. 118-115 Ma magmatism in the Tethyan Himalaya igneous province: Constraints on Early Cretaceous rifting of the northern margin of Greater India (United States)

    Chen, Sheng-Sheng; Fan, Wei-Ming; Shi, Ren-Deng; Liu, Xiao-Han; Zhou, Xue-Jun


    Understanding the dynamics of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) is critical to deciphering processes associated with rupturing continental lithosphere. Microcontinental calving, the rifting of microcontinents from mature continental rifted margins, is particularly poorly understood. Here we present new insights into these processes from geochronological and geochemical analyses of igneous rocks from the Tethyan Himalaya. Early Cretaceous mafic dikes are widely exposed in the eastern and western Tethyan Himalaya, but no such rocks have been reported from the central Tethyan Himalaya. Here we present an analysis of petrological, geochronological, geochemical, and Sr-Nd-Hf-Os isotopic data for bimodal magmatic rocks from the center-east Tethyan Himalaya. Zircon U-Pb dating yields six weighted-mean concordant 206Pb/238U ages of 118 ± 1.2 to 115 ± 1.3 Ma. Mafic rocks display MORB-like compositions with flat to depleted LREE trends, and positive εNd(t) (+2.76 to +5.39) and εHf(t) (+8.0 to +11.9) values. The negative Nb anomalies and relatively high 187Os/188Os ratios (0.15-0.19) of these rocks are related to variable degrees (up to 10%) of crustal contamination. Geochemical characteristics indicate that mafic rocks were generated by variable degrees (2-20%) of partial melting of spinel lherzolites in shallow depleted mantle. Felsic rocks are enriched in Th and LREE, with negative Nb anomalies and decoupling of Nd (εNd(t) = -13.39 to -12.78) and Hf (εHf(t) = -4.8 to -2.0), suggesting that they were derived mainly from garnet-bearing lower continental crust. The geochemical characteristics of the bimodal magmatic associations are comparable to those of associations that form in a continental rift setting. Results indicate that Early Cretaceous magmatism occurred across the whole Tethyan Himalaya, named here as the "Tethyan Himalaya igneous province". Separation of the Tethyan Himalaya from the Indian craton may have occurred during ongoing Early Cretaceous extension

  13. Early Silurian to Early Carboniferous ridge subduction in NW Junggar: Evidence from geochronological, geochemical, and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic data on alkali granites and adakites (United States)

    Zhang, Chen; Santosh, M.; Liu, Luofu; Luo, Qun; Zhang, Xin; Liu, Dongdong


    The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) evolved through a long-lived orogeny involving multiple episodes of subduction and accretion marking a major phase of continental growth during the Paleozoic. The northern part of the Western Junggar region (NW Junggar) offers a window into these processes, particularly to constrain the timing of closure of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. Here we report geochemical, geochronological, and isotopic data from K-feldspar granites and adakitic rocks from the NW Junggar region. Zircon U-Pb ages suggest that the granites were emplaced during Early Silurian to the Early Carboniferous (434-328 Ma). The granites show geochemical characteristics similar to those of A-type granites, with high SiO2 (71.13-76.72 wt%), Na2O + K2O (8.00-9.59 wt%), and Al2O3 (12.28-14.08 wt%), but depleted Sr, Nb, Ta and Eu. They display moderate to high positive εNd(t) and εHf(t) values (4.26-8.21 and 7.69-14.60, respectively) and young Nd and Hf model ages (T2DM-Nd = 489-740 Ma and T2DM-Hf = 471-845 Ma), suggesting magma derivation through partial melting of lower crust in the Boshchekul-Chingiz and Zharma-Saur arcs. The adakites are characterized by high Sr content (406.5-751.6 ppm), and low Y (13.8-16.4 ppm) and Yb (1.5-1.8 ppm) content, yielding relatively high Sr/Y ratios (25.38-49.41) similar to those of modern adakites. They have high positive εNd(t) and εHf(t) values (7.85-8.25 and 13.23-15.97, respectively) and young Nd and Hf model ages (T2DM-Nd = 429-535 Ma and T2DM-Hf = 355-550 Ma), indicating that their source magmas were likely derived from partial melting of the oceanic crust beneath the Boshchekul-Chingiz arc. The petrogenesis and distribution of the A-type granites and adakites, as well as the tectonic architecture of the region, suggest that a ridge subduction event might have occurred during the Early Silurian to Early Carboniferous. In combination with previous studies in the Chinese Altai, we suggest a two-sided ridge subduction model for the

  14. Early Cretaceous marine sediments of the Lower Saxony Basin. The Gildehaus Sandstone

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    Dellepiane, S.; Weiel, D. [Wintershall Holding GmbH, Barnstorf (Germany); Gerwert, D.; Mutterlose, J. [Bochum Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Geologie, Mineralogie und Geophysik


    During the Early Cretaceous (Berriasian - Aptian) the Lower Saxony Basin (LSB) formed the southernmost extension of the North Sea Basin. Sedimentation patterns of the LSB were controlled by divergent dextral shear movement causing differential subsidence related to early rifting in the North Sea. Up to 2000m of fine grained mudstones accumulated in the basin centre, while marginal marine, coarser grained siliciclastics were deposited along the western and southern margins of the LSB. The western marginal facies, outcropping along the Dutch-German border, is characterised by shallow marine sandstones of Valanginian - Hauterivian age. These units, which are separated by clay rich intervals, include the Bentheim Sdst., the Dichotomites Sdst., the Grenz Sdst., the Noricum Sdst. and the Gildehaus Sdst. These sandstones form a series of overall backstepping units, controlled by a main transgressive trend. Economically important are the Bentheim Sdst. and the Gildehaus Sdst., with a long oil producing history. The Bentheim Sdst. (early Valanginian) has been interpreted as an overall retrograding unit related to an incised valley infill with material mainly coming from the South. Tidal processes dominated the deposition of the Bentheim Sdst. The origin and genesis of the Gildehaus Sdst. (mid Hauterivian) is, however, less well understood. Here we present data from two wells drilled to the Gildehaus Sdst. (Emlichheim oil field) which provide evidence for a two fold subdivision of the unit. A well sorted massive quartz sandstone is followed by an interval composed of reworked coarse clastics of massflow origin. Micropalaeontological evidence suggests a fully marine, hemi-pelagic origin of the mud dominated matrix throughout the Gildehaus Sdst. These findings indicate a depositional environment quite different from that of the Bentheim Sdst. Short termed pulses of substantial input of clastic material from two different sources in the West to Southwest punctuated the overall

  15. Global correlations between maximum magnitudes of subduction zone interface thrust earthquakes and physical parameters of subduction zones

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    Schellart, W. P.; Rawlinson, N.


    The maximum earthquake magnitude recorded for subduction zone plate boundaries varies considerably on Earth, with some subduction zone segments producing giant subduction zone thrust earthquakes (e.g. Chile, Alaska, Sumatra-Andaman, Japan) and others producing relatively small earthquakes (e.g.

  16. Taxonomic diversity dynamics of early cretaceous brachiopods and gastropods in the Azerbaijanian domains of the Lesser Caucasus (Neo-Tethys Ocean

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    Ruban Dmitry A.


    Full Text Available Palaeontological data available from the Azerbaijanian domains (Somkhit-Agdam, Sevan-Karabakh, and Miskhan-Kafan tectonic zones of the Lesser Caucasus permit reconstruction of the regional taxonomic diversity dynamics of two groups of Early Cretaceous marine benthic invertebrates. Stratigraphical ranges of 31 species and 14 genera of brachiopods and 40 species and 31 genera of gastropods are considered. The total number of species and genera of brachiopods was low in the Berriasian-Valanginian and then rose to peak in the Barremian. Then, the diversity declined in the Aptian, and brachiopods are not known regionally from the Albian. Gastropods appeared in the Hauterivian and experienced a strong radiation in the Barremian. The diversity of species and genera declined in the Aptian (with a minor radiation in the Middle Aptian, and no gastropods are reported from the Albian. Globally, the number of brachiopod genera remained stable through the Early Cretaceous, and the number of gastropod genera increased stepwise with the maximum in the Albian. The regional and global patterns of the diversity dynamics differed for the both groups of marine benthic invertebrates. The Barremian maximum of the taxonomic diversity coincided with the regional flourishing of reefal ecosystems. The taxonomic diversity dynamics of brachiopods in the Azerbaijanian domains of the Lesser Caucasus is very similar to those of the Northern Caucasus, which is an evidence of proximity of these regions during the Early Cretaceous.

  17. High resolution chronology of late Cretaceous-early Tertiary events determined from 21,000 yr orbital-climatic cycles in marine sediments (United States)

    Herbert, Timothy D.; Dhondt, Steven


    A number of South Atlantic sites cored by the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) recovered late Cretaceous and early Tertiary sediments with alternating light-dark, high-low carbonate content. The sedimentary oscillations were turned into time series by digitizing color photographs of core segments at a resolution of about 5 points/cm. Spectral analysis of these records indicates prominent periodicity at 25 to 35 cm in the Cretaceous intervals, and about 15 cm in the early Tertiary sediments. The absolute period of the cycles that is determined from paleomagnetic calibration at two sites is 20,000 to 25,000 yr, and almost certainly corresponds to the period of the earth's precessional cycle. These sequences therefore contain an internal chronometer to measure events across the K/T extinction boundary at this scale of resolution. The orbital metronome was used to address several related questions: the position of the K/T boundary within magnetic chron 29R, the fluxes of biogenic and detrital material to the deep sea immediately before and after the K/T event, the duration of the Sr anomaly, and the level of background climatic variability in the latest Cretaceous time. The carbonate/color cycles that were analyzed contain primary records of ocean carbonate productivity and chemistry, as evidenced by bioturbational mixing of adjacent beds and the weak lithification of the rhythmic sequences. It was concluded that sedimentary sequences that contain orbital cyclicity are capable of providing resolution of dramatic events in earth history with much greater precision than obtainable through radiometric methods. The data show no evidence for a gradual climatic deterioration prior to the K/T extinction event, and argue for a geologically rapid revolution at this horizon.

  18. The fate of carbonates along a subducting slab (United States)

    Bouilhol, P.; Debret, B.; Inglis, E.


    Carbon long-term cycling is a subject of recent controversy as new mass balance calculations suggest that most carbon is transferred from the slab to the mantle wedge by fluids during subduction, limiting the efficiency of carbon recycling to the deep mantle. Here, we examine the mobility of carbon at large scale during subduction through field, petrographic and geochemical studies on exhumed portion of the alpine slab that have recorded different metamorphic conditions during subduction. We studied serpentinite samples, metasomatic horizon between serpentinites and sediments, as well as veins hosted in serpentinites. Samples are from the Western Alps (Queyras and Zermatt) and have recorded a prograde metamorphic history from low temperature blueshist to eclogite facies P-T conditions. We show that during subduction there are several stages of carbonate precipitation and dissolution at metasomatic interfaces between metasedimentary and ultramafic rocks in the slab, as well as within the serpentinites. The early stage of subduction sees carbonate precipitation from the sediment derived fluids into the serpentnites. At higher temperature, when the dehydration shift from sediment to serpentinite dominated, the carbonates are dissolved, inducing the release of CO2 rich fluids. This occurs before the eclogite facies is attained, providing strong evidence for the mobility of carbon in fluids during the early stages of subduction. These fluids are a potential metasomatic agent for the fore-arc mantle wedge, corroborating the observation of carbonate bearing veins in sub-arc mantle ultramafic rocks. In eclogite facies conditions, olivine and carbonate veins within the serpentinites witness the mobility of CO2 during serpentinite dehydration, and may provide clues about the large scale recycling of CO2 within the deep mantle, as well as secondary precipitation associated with exhumation. Trace elements, Fe and Zn isotopic composition of the different samples provides

  19. Time, space, and composition relations among northern Nevada intrusive rocks and their metallogenic implications (United States)

    duBray, E.A.


    Northern Nevada contains ∼360 igneous intrusions subequally distributed among three age groups: middle Tertiary, Cretaceous, and Jurassic. These intrusions are dominantly granodiorite and monzogranite, although some are more mafic. Major-oxide and trace-element compositions of intrusion age groups are remarkably similar, forming compositional arrays that are continuous, overlapping, and essentially indistinguishable. Within each age group, compositional diversity is controlled by a combination of fractional crystallization and two-component mixing. Mafic intrusions represent mixing of mantle-derived magma and assimilated continental crust, whereas intermediate to felsic intrusions evolved by fractional crystallization. Several petrologic parameters suggest that the northern Nevada intrusion age groups formed in a variety of subduction-related, magmatic arc settings: Jurassic intrusions were likely formed during backarc, slab-window magmatism related to breakoff of the Mezcalera plate; Cretaceous magmatism was related to rapid, shallow subduction of the Farallon plate and consequent inboard migration of arc magmatism; and Tertiary magmatism initially swept southward into northern Nevada in response to foundering of the Farallon plate and was followed by voluminous Miocene bimodal magmatism associated with backarc continental rifting.

  20. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic and geochronologic results from the Tethyan Himalaya: Insights into the Neotethyan paleogeography and the India-Asia collision. (United States)

    Ma, Yiming; Yang, Tianshui; Bian, Weiwei; Jin, Jingjie; Zhang, Shihong; Wu, Huaichun; Li, Haiyan


    To better understand the Neotethyan paleogeography, a paleomagnetic and geochronological study has been performed on the Early Cretaceous Sangxiu Formation lava flows, which were dated from ~135.1 Ma to ~124.4 Ma, in the Tethyan Himalaya. The tilt-corrected site-mean characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) direction for 26 sites is Ds = 296.1°, Is = -65.7°, ks = 51.7, α95 = 4.0°, corresponding to a paleopole at 5.9°S, 308.0°E with A95 = 6.1°. Positive fold and reversal tests prove that the ChRM directions are prefolding primary magnetizations. These results, together with reliable Cretaceous-Paleocene paleomagnetic data observed from the Tethyan Himalaya and the Lhasa terrane, as well as the paleolatitude evolution indicated by the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of India, reveal that the Tethyan Himalaya was a part of Greater India during the Early Cretaceous (135.1-124.4 Ma) when the Neotethyan Ocean was up to ~6900 km, it rifted from India sometime after ~130 Ma, and that the India-Asia collision should be a dual-collision process including the first Tethyan Himalaya-Lhasa terrane collision at ~54.9 Ma and the final India-Tethyan Himalaya collision at ~36.7 Ma.

  1. Double subduction of continental lithosphere, a key to form wide plateau (United States)

    Replumaz, Anne; Funiciello, Francesca; Reitano, Riccardo; Faccenna, Claudio; Balon, Marie


    The mechanisms involved in the creation of the high and wide topography, like the Tibetan Plateau, are still controversial. In particular, the behaviour of the indian and asian lower continental lithosphere during the collision is a matter of debate, either thickening, densifying and delaminating, or keeping its rigidity and subducting. But since several decades seismicity, seismic profiles and global tomography highlight the lithospheric structure of the Tibetan Plateau, and make the hypotheses sustaining the models more precise. In particular, in the western syntaxis, it is now clear that the indian lithosphere subducts northward beneath the Hindu Kush down to the transition zone, while the asian one subducts southward beneath Pamir (e.g. Negredo et al., 2007; Kufner et al., 2015). Such double subduction of continental lithospheres with opposite vergence has also been inferred in the early collision time. Cenozoic volcanic rocks between 50 and 30 Ma in the Qiangtang block have been interpreted as related to an asian subduction beneath Qiangtang at that time (De Celles et al., 2011; Guillot and Replumaz, 2013). We present here analogue experiments silicone/honey to explore the subduction of continental lithosphere, using a piston as analogue of far field forces. We explore the parameters that control the subductions dynamics of the 2 continental lithospheres and the thickening of the plates at the surface, and compare with the Tibetan Plateau evolution. We show that a continental lithosphere is able to subduct in a collision context, even lighter than the mantle, if the plate is rigid enough. In that case the horizontal force due to the collision context, modelled by the piston push transmitted by the indenter, is the driving force, not the slab pull which is negative. It is not a subduction driving by the weight of the slab, but a subduction induced by the collision, that we could call "collisional subduction".

  2. Exploring Early Angiosperm Fire Feedbacks using Coupled Experiments and Modelling Approaches to Estimate Cretaceous Palaeofire Behaviour (United States)

    Belcher, Claire; Hudpsith, Victoria


    Using the fossil record we are typically limited to exploring linkages between palaeoecological changes and palaeofire activity by assessing the abundance of charcoals preserved in sediments. However, it is the behaviour of fires that primarily governs their ecological effects. Therefore, the ability to estimate variations in aspects of palaeofire behaviour such as palaeofire intensity and rate of spread would be of key benefit toward understanding the coupled evolutionary history of ecosystems and fire. The Cretaceous Period saw major diversification in land plants. Previously, conifers (gymnosperms) and ferns (pteridophytes) dominated Earth's ecosystems until flowering plants (angiosperms) appear in the fossil record of the Early Cretaceous (~135Ma). We have created surface fire behaviour estimates for a variety of angiosperm invasion scenarios and explored the influence of Cretaceous superambient atmospheric oxygen levels on the fire behaviour occurring in these new Cretaceous ecosystems. These estimates are then used to explore the hypothesis that the early spread of the angiosperms was promoted by the novel fire regimes that they created. In order to achieve this we tested the flammability of Mesozoic analogue fuel types in controlled laboratory experiments using an iCone calorimeter, which measured the ignitability as well as the effective heat of combustion of the fuels. We then used the BehavePlus fire behaviour modelling system to scale up our laboratory results to the ecosystem scale. Our results suggest that fire-angiosperm feedbacks may have occurred in two phases: The first phase being a result of weedy angiosperms providing an additional easily ignitable fuel that enhanced both the seasonality and frequency of surface fires. In the second phase, the addition of shrubby understory fuels likely expanded the number of ecosystems experiencing more intense surface fires, resulting in enhanced mortality and suppressed post-fire recruitment of gymnosperms

  3. The palaeogeography of Sundaland and Wallacea since the Late Jurassic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Hall


    Full Text Available The continental core of Southeast (SE Asia, Sundaland, was assembled from Gondwana fragments by the Early Mesozoic. Continental blocks rifted from Australia in the Jurassic [South West (SW Borneo, East Java-West Sulawesi-Sumba], and the Woyla intraoceanic arc of Sumatra, were added to Sundaland in the Cretaceous. These fragments probably included emergent areas and could have carried a terrestrial flora and fauna. Sarawak, the offshore Luconia-Dangerous Grounds areas, and Palawan include Asian continental material. These probably represent a wide accretionary zone at the Asia-Pacific boundary, which was an active continental margin until the mid Cretaceous. Subduction ceased around Sundaland in the Late Cretaceous, and from about 80 Ma most of Sundaland was emergent, physically connected to Asia, but separated by deep oceans from India and Australia. India moved rapidly north during the Late Cretaceous and Early Cenozoic but there is no evidence that it made contact with SE Asia prior to collision with Asia. One or more arc-India collisions during the Eocene may have preceded India-Asia collision. The arcs could have provided dispersal pathways from India into SE Asia before final suturing of the two continents. During the Late Cretaceous and Early Cenozoic there was no significant subduction beneath Sumatra, Java and Borneo. At about 45 Ma Australia began to move north, subduction resumed and there was widespread rifting within Sundaland. During the Paleogene east and north Borneo were largely submerged, the Makassar Straits became a wide marine barrier within Sundaland, and West Sulawesi was separated from Sundaland but included land. By the Early Miocene the proto-South China Sea had been eliminated by subduction leading to emergence of land in central Borneo, Sabah and Palawan. Australia-SE Asia collision began, eliminating the former deep ocean separating the two continents, and forming the region now known as Wallacea. The microplate or

  4. Phylogenetic diversification of Early Cretaceous seed plants: The compound seed cone of Doylea tetrahedrasperma. (United States)

    Rothwell, Gar W; Stockey, Ruth A


    Discovery of cupulate ovules of Doylea tetrahedrasperma within a compact, compound seed cone highlights the rich diversity of fructification morphologies, pollination biologies, postpollination enclosure of seeds, and systematic diversity of Early Cretaceous gymnosperms. Specimens were studied using the cellulose acetate peel technique, three-dimensional reconstructions (in AVIZO), and morphological phylogenetic analyses (in TNT). Doylea tetrahedrasperma has bract/fertile short shoot complexes helically arranged within a compact, compound seed cone. Complexes diverge from the axis as a single unit and separate distally into a free bract tip and two sporophylls. Each sporophyll bears a single, abaxial seed, recurved toward the cone axis, that is enveloped after pollinaton by sporophyll tissue, forming a closed cupule. Ovules are pollinated by bisaccate grains captured by micropylar pollination horns. The unique combination of characters shown by D. tetrahedrasperma includes the presence of cupulate seeds borne in conifer-like compound seed cones, an ovuliferous scale analogue structurally equivalent to the ovulate stalk of Ginkgo biloba, gymnospermous pollination, and nearly complete enclosure of mature seeds. These features characterize the Doyleales ord. nov., clearly distinguish it from the seed fern order Corystospermales, and allow for recognition of another recently described Early Cretaceous seed plant as a second species in genus Doylea. A morphological phylogenetic analysis highlights systematic relationships of the Doyleales ord. nov. and emphasizes the explosive phylogenetic diversification of gymnosperms that was underway at the time when flowering plants may have originated and/or first began to radiate. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  5. Reconciling the shadow of a subduction signature with rift geochemistry and tectonic environment in Eastern Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica (United States)

    LeMasurier, Wesley E.; Choi, Sung Hi; Hart, Stanley R.; Mukasa, Sam; Rogers, Nick


    Basalt-trachyte volcanoes in the Marie Byrd Land (MBL) Cenozoic province lie along the Amundsen Sea coast on the north flank of the West Antarctic rift. Basalts here are characterized by OIB-like geochemistry, restricted ranges of 87Sr/86Sr (0.702535-0.703284) and 143Nd/144Nd (0.512839-0.513008) and a wide range of 206Pb/204Pb (19.357-20.934). Basalts at three MBL volcanoes display two anomalies compared with the above and with all other basalts in West Antarctica. They include 143Nd/144Nd (0.512778-0.512789) values at Mt. Takahe and Mt. Siple that are 2σ lower than other West Antarctic basalts, and Ba/Nb, Ba/La, and Ba/Th values at Mt. Murphy and Mt. Takahe that are 3-8 times higher than normal OIB. Isotope and trace element data do not support crustal and lithospheric mantle contamination, or the presence of residual mantle amphibole or phlogopite as explanations of these anomalies. The apparent coincidence of these anomalies with the site of a pre-Cenozoic convergence zone along the Gondwanaland margin suggests a subduction influence. Major episodes of subduction and granitic plutonism took place in MBL during the Devonian, Permian, and Late Cretaceous. Relicts in the source region, of components from these subducted slabs, provide a credible explanation for the uncoupling of Ba from other large ion lithophile elements (LILE), for its erratic distribution, and for the anomalously low 143Nd/144Nd at Mt. Takahe. The last episode of subduction ended 85 Ma, and was followed by continental break-up, rifting and lithospheric attenuation that produced the West Antarctic rift as we know it today. Thus, the enigmatic geochemical signatures in these three volcanoes seem to have been preserved roughly 61-85 m.y. after subduction ended. New calculations of source melting depth and a new determination of lithospheric thickness suggest that the source of the anomalies resides in a fossil mélange diapir that rose from the Cretaceous subducting slab, became attached to the

  6. Geochronology and geochemistry constraints of the Early Cretaceous Taibudai porphyry Cu deposit, northeast China, and its tectonic significance (United States)

    Zhou, Zhen-Hua; Mao, Jing-Wen; Wu, Xin-Li; Ouyang, Hen-Gen


    The southern Great Xing'an Range (SGXR), located in the southeastern part of Inner Mongolia, China, shows intense Mesozoic tectono-magmatic activity and hosts economically important polymetallic (Cu-Pb-Zn-Sn-Fe-Ag-Au-Mo) mineralization. Here, we present new zircon U-Pb ages, whole-rock geochemical data, Nd-Sr-Hf isotopic data and Re-Os ages for the Taibudai deposit in the SGXR. The Taibudai granitoids show high SiO2 (70.62-72.13 wt.%) and alkali (Na2O + K2O = 7.04-8.60 wt.%) concentrations, low MgO (0.89-1.37 wt.%) and Al2O3 (∼14 wt.%), ASI ratios molybdenite from the deposit yield an ore-forming age of 137.1 ± 1.4 Ma. Re contents range from 4.37 to 41.77 ppm, implying ore material components have a mixed crust-mantle origin. SHRIMP analysis of zircons show that the monzogranitic porphyry and biotite granite in the Taibudai deposit were formed at 137.0 ± 0.9 Ma and 138.3 ± 0.9 Ma, respectively, indicating a temporal link between granitic magmatism and Cu mineralization. This result, combined with the regional geology, tectonic evolution, and age data from the literature, suggests that the Early Cretaceous (∼140 Ma) was the peak metallogenic epoch for the Great Xing'an Range, and the mineralization in this period generally takes the form of porphyry, skarn, or hydrothermal polymetallic ore deposits in an active extensional continental margin environment. The Taibudai porphyry and associated mineralization provides a typical example of magmatism and metallogeny associated with a Paleo-Pacific plate subduction, continental margin, back-arc extensional setting.

  7. Palaeomagnetism of lower cretaceous tuffs from Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region, western Alaska (United States)

    Globerman, B.R.; Coe, R.S.; Hoare, J.M.; Decker, J.


    During the past decade, the prescient arguments1-3 for the allochthoneity of large portions of southern Alaska have been corroborated by detailed geological and palaeomagnetic studies in south-central Alaska 4-9 the Alaska Peninsula10, Kodiak Island11,12 and the Prince William Sound area13 (Fig. 1). These investigations have demonstrated sizeable northward displacements for rocks of late Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and early Tertiary age in those regions, with northward motion at times culminating in collision of the allochthonous terranes against the backstop of 'nuclear' Alaska14,15. A fundamental question is which parts of Alaska underwent significantly less latitudinal translation relative to the 'stable' North American continent, thereby serving as the 'accretionary nucleus' into which the displaced 'microplates'16 were eventually incorporated17,18? Here we present new palaeomagnetic results from tuffs and associated volcaniclastic rocks of early Cretaceous age from the Yukon-Kuskokwin delta region in western Alaska. These rocks were probably overprinted during the Cretaceous long normal polarity interval, although a remagnetization event as recent as Palaeocene cannot be ruled out. This overprint direction is not appreciably discordant from the expected late Cretaceous direction for cratonal North America. The implied absence of appreciable northward displacement for this region is consistent with the general late Mesozoic-early Tertiary tectonic pattern for Alaska, based on more definitive studies: little to no poleward displacement for central Alaska, though substantially more northward drift for the 'southern Alaska terranes' (comprising Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Prince William Sound area, and Matunuska Valley) since late Cretaceous to Palaeocene time. ?? 1983 Nature Publishing Group.

  8. Late cretaceous to early eocene foraminiferal biostratigraphy of the Rakhi Nala area, Sulaiman Range, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Afzal, J.


    Shaly intervals from late cretaceous to early eocene sediments of the Rakhi Nala Section (Sulaiman Range) were analysed for the foraminiferal micro fauna (Planktons, smaller and larger benthics). The faunal record is interpreted for the precise age and paleo environments. These fresh results, in the light of modern bio stratigraphic knowledge, are compared with the previous bio stratigraphic information available about this area. Several discrepancies regarding the litho and biostratigraphy from the previous literature were addressed and tried to remove. (author)

  9. Magnetic fabrics of arc plutons reveal a significant Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous change in the relative plate motions of the Pacific Ocean basin and North America

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žák, J.; Verner, K.; Tomek, Filip; Johnson, K.; Schwartz, J. J.


    Roč. 13, č. 1 (2017), s. 11-21 ISSN 1553-040X Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) MSM100131601 Program:Program na podporu mezinárodní spolupráce začínajících výzkumných pracovníků Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : PB geochronology * Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous * Blue Mountains province Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Geology Impact factor: 2.304, year: 2016

  10. Molecular fossils in Cretaceous condensate from western India (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Dutta, Suryendu; Dutta, Ratul


    The present study reports the biomarker distribution of condensate belonging to the early Cretaceous time frame using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The early Cretaceous palaeoenvironment was inscribed into these molecular fossils which reflected the source and conditions of deposition of the condensate. The saturate fraction of the condensate is characterized by normal alkanes ranging from n-C9 to n-C29 (CPI-1.13), cycloalkanes and C14 and C15 sesquiterpanes. The aromatic fraction comprises of naphthalene, phenanthrene, their methylated derivatives and cyclohexylbenzenes. Isohexylalkylnaphthalenes, a product of rearrangement process of terpenoids, is detected in the condensate. Several aromatic sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids have been recorded. Dihydro- ar-curcumene, cadalene and ionene form the assemblage of sesquiterpenoids which are indicative of higher plant input. Aromatic diterpenoid fraction comprises of simonellite and retene. These compounds are also indicative of higher plants, particularly conifer source which had been a predominant flora during the Cretaceous time.

  11. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic and geochronologic results from the Tethyan Himalaya: Insights into the Neotethyan paleogeography and the India–Asia collision (United States)

    Ma, Yiming; Yang, Tianshui; Bian, Weiwei; Jin, Jingjie; Zhang, Shihong; Wu, Huaichun; Li, Haiyan


    To better understand the Neotethyan paleogeography, a paleomagnetic and geochronological study has been performed on the Early Cretaceous Sangxiu Formation lava flows, which were dated from ~135.1 Ma to ~124.4 Ma, in the Tethyan Himalaya. The tilt-corrected site-mean characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) direction for 26 sites is Ds = 296.1°, Is = −65.7°, ks = 51.7, α95 = 4.0°, corresponding to a paleopole at 5.9°S, 308.0°E with A95 = 6.1°. Positive fold and reversal tests prove that the ChRM directions are prefolding primary magnetizations. These results, together with reliable Cretaceous-Paleocene paleomagnetic data observed from the Tethyan Himalaya and the Lhasa terrane, as well as the paleolatitude evolution indicated by the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of India, reveal that the Tethyan Himalaya was a part of Greater India during the Early Cretaceous (135.1–124.4 Ma) when the Neotethyan Ocean was up to ~6900 km, it rifted from India sometime after ~130 Ma, and that the India-Asia collision should be a dual-collision process including the first Tethyan Himalaya-Lhasa terrane collision at ~54.9 Ma and the final India-Tethyan Himalaya collision at ~36.7 Ma. PMID:26883692

  12. Long distance transport of eclogite and blueschist during early Pacific Ocean subduction rollback (United States)

    Tamblyn, Renee; Hand, Martin; Kelsey, David; Phillips, Glen; Anczkiewicz, Robert


    The Tasmanides in eastern Australia represent a period of continental crustal growth on the western margin of the Pacific Ocean associated with slab rollback from the Cambrian until the Triassic. During rollback numerical models predict that subduction products can become trapped in the forearc (Geyra et al., 2002), and can migrate with the trench as it retreats. In a long-lived subduction controlled regime such as the Tasmanides, this should result in an accumulation of subduction products with protracted geochronological and metamorphic histories. U-Pb, Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd and Ar-Ar geochronology and phase equilibria modelling of lawsonite-eclogite and garnet blueschist in the Southern New England Fold Belt in Australia demonstrate that high-P low-T rocks remained within a subduction setting for c. 40 Ma, from c. 500 to 460 Ma. High-P metamorphic rocks initially formed close to the Australian cratonic margin during the late Cambrian, and were subsequently transported over 1500 Ma oceanward, during which time subducted material continued to accumulate, resulting in the development of complex mélange which records eclogite and blueschist metamorphism and partial exhumation over 40 Ma. The duration of refrigerated metamorphism approximates the extensional evolution of the upper plate which culminated in the development of the Lachlan Fold Belt. The protracted record of eclogite and blueschist metamorphism indicates that rapid exhumation is not necessarily required for preservation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks from subduction systems. Reference: Gerya, T. V., Stockhert, B., & Perchuk, A. L. (2002). Exhumation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks in a subduction channel: A numerical simulation. Tectonics, 21(6), 6-1-6-19. doi:10.1029/2002tc001406

  13. Sandbox Simulations of the Evolution of a Subduction Wedge following Subduction Initiation (United States)

    Brandon, M. T.; Ma, K. F.; DeWolf, W.


    Subduction wedges at accreting subduction zones are bounded by a landward dipping pro-shear zone (= subduction thrust) and a seaward-dipping retro-shear zone in the overriding plate. For the Cascadia subduction zone, the surface trace of the retro-shear zone corresponds to the east side of the Coast Ranges of Oregon and Washington and the Insular Mountains of Vancouver Island. This coastal high or forearc high shows clear evidence of long-term uplift and erosion along its entire length, indicating that it is an active part of the Cascadia subduction wedge. The question addressed here is what controls the location of the retro-shear zone? In the popular double-sided wedge model of Willet et al (Geology 1993), the retro-shear zone remains pinned to the S point, which is interpreted to represent where the upper-plate Moho intersects the subduction zone. For this interpretation, the relatively strong mantle is considered to operate as a flat backstop. That model, however. is somewhat artificial in that the two plates collide in a symmetric fashion with equal crustal thicknesses on both sides. Using sandbox experiments, we explore a more realistic configuration where the upper and lower plate are separated by a gentle dipping (10 degree) pro-shear zone, to simulate the initial asymmetric geometry of the subduction thrust immediately after initiation of subduction. The entire lithosphere must fail along some plane for subduction to begin and this failure plane must dip in the direction of subduction. Thus, the initial geometry of the overriding plate is better approximated as a tapered wedge than as a layer of uniform thickness, as represented in the Willett et al models. We demonstrate this model using time-lapse movies of a sand wedge above a mylar subducting plate. We use particle image velocimetry (PIV) to show the evolution of strain and structure within the overriding plate. Material accreted to the tapered end of the overriding plate drives deformation and causes

  14. Initiation of Extension in South China Continental Margin during the Active-Passive Margin Transition: Thermochronological and Kinematic Constraints (United States)

    Zuo, X.; Chan, L. S.


    The South China continental margin is characterized by a widespread magmatic belt, prominent NE-striking faults and numerous rifted basins filled by Cretaceous-Eocene sediments. The geology denotes a transition from active to passive margin, which led to rapid modifications of crustal stress configuration and reactivation of older faults in this area. Our zircon fission-track data in this region show two episodes of exhumation: The first episode, occurring during 170-120Ma, affected local parts of the Nanling Range. The second episode, a more regional exhumation event, occurred during 115-70Ma, including the Yunkai Terrane and the Nanling Range. Numerical geodynamic modeling was conducted to simulate the subduction between the paleo-Pacific plate and the South China Block. The modeling results could explain the fact that exhumation of the granite-dominant Nanling Range occurred earlier than that of the gneiss-dominant Yunkai Terrane. In addition to the difference in rock types, the heat from Jurassic-Early Cretaceous magmatism in Nanling may have softened the upper crust, causing the area to exhume more readily than Yunkai. Numerical modeling results also indicate that (1) high lithospheric geothermal gradient, high slab dip angle and low convergence velocity favor the reversal of crustal stress state from compression to extension in the upper continental plate; (2) late Mesozoic magmatism in South China was probably caused by a slab roll-back; and (3) crustal extension could have occurred prior to the cessation of plate subduction. The inversion of stress regime in the continental crust from compression to crustal extension imply that the Late Cretaceous-early Paleogene red-bed basins in South China could have formed during the late stage of the subduction, accounting for the occurrence of volcanic events in some sedimentary basins. We propose that the rifting started as early as Late Cretaceous, probably before the cessation of subduction process.

  15. A new dinosaur ichnotaxon from the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Weems, Robert E.; Lockley, Martin G.


    In recent years, numerous dinosaur footprints have been discovered on bedding surfaces within the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia. Among these, distinctive small tracks that display a combination of small manus with five digit impressions and a relatively much larger pes with four toe impressions evidently were made by animals belonging to the ornithischian family Hypsilophodontidae. These tracks differ from any ornithischian ichnotaxon previously described. We here name them Hypsiloichnus marylandicus and provide a description of their diagnostic characteristics. Although hypsilophodontid skeletal remains have not been found in the Patuxent, their skeletal remains are known from Lower Cretaceous strata of similar age in both western North America and Europe. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that an Early Cretaceous representative of this family also existed in eastern North America.

  16. Tectonic origin of serpentinites on Syros, Greece: Geochemical signatures of abyssal origin preserved in a HP/LT subduction complex (United States)

    Cooperdock, Emily H. G.; Raia, Natalie H.; Barnes, Jaime D.; Stockli, Daniel F.; Schwarzenbach, Esther M.


    This study combines whole rock trace and major element geochemistry, and stable isotope (δD and δ18O) analyses with petrographic observations to deduce the origin and tectonic setting of serpentinization of ultramafic blocks from the exhumed HP/LT Aegean subduction complex on Syros, Greece. Samples are completely serpentinized and are characterized by mineral assemblages that consist of variable amounts of serpentine, talc, chlorite, and magnetite. δD and δ18O values of bulk rock serpentinite powders and chips (δD = - 64 to - 33‰ and δ18O = + 5.2 to + 9.0‰) reflect hydration by seawater at temperatures serpentinization by seawater, followed by secondary fluid-rock interactions with a sedimentary source pre- or syn-subduction. Whole rock major element, trace element, and REE analyses record limited melt extraction, exhibit flat REE patterns, and do not show pronounced Eu anomalies. The geochemical signatures preserved in these serpentinites argue against a mantle wedge source, as has been previously speculated for ultramafic rocks on Syros. Rather, the data are consistent with derivation from abyssal peridotites in a hyper-extended margin setting or mid-ocean ridge and fracture zone environment. In either case, the data suggest an extensional and/or oceanic origin associated with the Cretaceous opening of the Pindos Ocean and not a subduction-related derivation from the mantle wedge.

  17. Regional setting and geochronology of the Late Cretaceous Banatitic Magmatic and Metallogenetic Belt (United States)

    Ciobanu, Cristiana L.; Cook, Nigel J.; Stein, Holly


    The 1,500-km-long Banatitic Magmatic and Metallogenetic Belt (BMMB) of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria is a complex calc-alkaline magmatic arc of Late Cretaceous age. It hosts a variety of magmatic-hydrothermal Cu, Au, Mo, Zn, Pb and Fe deposits, including Europe's only world-class porphyry-copper deposits. Regional metallogeny can be linked to subduction of the Vardar Ocean during the Late Cretaceous, as part of the closure of the Neotethys Ocean that had separated Europe and Africa in the Mesozoic. Porphyry Cu-(Au)-(Mo) and intimately associated epithermal massive sulphides dominate in the central segments of the belt in southernmost Banat (Romania), Serbia and north-west Bulgaria. These districts are the economically most important today, including major active Cu-Au mines at Moldova Nouă in Romania, Majdanpek, Veliki Krivelj and Bor in Serbia, and Elatsite, Assarel and Chelopech in Bulgaria. More numerous (and mostly mined in the past) are Fe, Cu and Zn-Pb skarns, which occur mainly at the two ends of the belt, in Eastern Bulgaria and in Romania. This paper summarises some of the deposit characteristics within the geodynamic framework of terminal Vardar subduction. Heterogeneous terranes of the belt, including the Apuseni Mountains at the western end, are aligned parallel to the Vardar front following continental collision of the Dacia and Tisza blocks. All available geochronological data (numerous K-Ar and some U-Pb and Re-Os ages) are compiled, and are complemented by a new high-precision Re-Os date for the Dognecea skarn deposit, south-west Romania (76.6±0.3 Ma). These data indicate that magmatism extended over at least 25 million years, from about 90 to 65 Ma in each segment of the belt. Within Apuseni Mountains and Banat, where magma emplacement was related to syn-collisional extension in the orogenic belt of Carpathians, ore formation seems to be restricted in time and maybe constrained by a shared tectonic event.

  18. Laser Fluorescence Illuminates the Soft Tissue and Life Habits of the Early Cretaceous Bird Confuciusornis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda R Falk

    Full Text Available In this paper we report the discovery of non-plumage soft tissues in Confuciusornis, a basal beaked bird from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota in northeastern China. Various soft tissues are visualized and interpreted through the use of laser-stimulated fluorescence, providing much novel anatomical information about this early bird, specifically reticulate scales covering the feet, and the well-developed and robust pro- and postpatagium. We also include a direct comparison between the forelimb soft tissues of Confuciusornis and modern avian patagia. Furthermore, apparently large, fleshy phalangeal pads are preserved on the feet. The reticulate scales, robust phalangeal pads as well as the highly recurved pedal claws strongly support Confuciusornis as an arboreal bird. Reticulate scales are more rounded than scutate scales and do not overlap, thus allowing for more flexibility in the toe. The extent of the pro- and postpatagium and the robust primary feather rachises are evidence that Confuciusornis was capable of powered flight, contrary to previous reports suggesting otherwise. A unique avian wing shape is also reconstructed based on plumage preserved. These soft tissues combined indicate an arboreal bird with the capacity for short-term (non-migratory flight, and suggest that, although primitive, Confuciusornis already possessed many relatively advanced avian anatomical characteristics.

  19. Early Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia based on food-web and energy-flow models (United States)

    Matsukawa, M.; Saiki, K.; Ito, M.; Obata, I.; Nichols, D.J.; Lockley, M.G.; Kukihara, R.; Shibata, K.


    In recent years, there has been global interest in the environments and ecosystems around the world. It is helpful to reconstruct past environments and ecosystems to help understand them in the present and the future. The present environments and ecosystems are an evolving continuum with those of the past and the future. This paper demonstrates the contribution of geology and paleontology to such continua. Using fossils, we can make an estimation of past population density as an ecosystem index based on food-web and energy-flow models. Late Mesozoic nonmarine deposits are distributed widely on the eastern Asian continent and contain various kinds of fossils such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, bivalves, gastropods, insects, ostracodes, conchostracans, terrestrial plants, and others. These fossil organisms are useful for late Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem reconstruction using food-web and energy-flow models. We chose Early Cretaceous fluvio-lacustrine basins in the Choyr area, southeastern Mongolia, and the Tetori area, Japan, for these analyses and as a potential model for reconstruction of other similar basins in East Asia. The food-web models are restored based on taxa that occurred in these basins. They form four or five trophic levels in an energy pyramid consisting of rich primary producers at its base and smaller biotas higher in the food web. This is the general energy pyramid of a typical ecosystem. Concerning the population densities of vertebrate taxa in 1 km2 in these basins, some differences are recognized between Early Cretaceous and the present. For example, Cretaceous estimates suggest 2.3 to 4.8 times as many herbivores and 26.0 to 105.5 times the carnivore population. These differences are useful for the evaluation of past population densities of vertebrate taxa. Such differences may also be caused by the different metabolism of different taxa. Preservation may also be a factor, and we recognize that various problems occur in

  20. Reconstructing the paleogeography and subduction geodynamics of Greater India: how to apply Ockham's Razor? (United States)

    Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Li, S.; Lippert, P. C.; Huang, W.; Advokaat, E. L.; Spakman, W.


    Key in understanding the geodynamics governing subduction and orogeny is reconstructing the paleogeography of `Greater India', the Indian plate lithosphere that subducted since Tibetan Himalayan continental crustal collision with Asia. Here, we discuss how the principle of Ockham's Razor, favoring the simplest scenario as the most likely, may apply to three perspectives on Greater India's paleogeography. We follow recent constraints suggesting a 58 Ma initial collision and update the kinematic restoration of intra-Asian shortening with a recently proposed Indochina extrusion model that reconciles long-debated large and small estimates of Indochina extrusion. The reconstruction is tested against Tibetan paleomagnetic rotation data, and against seismic tomographic constraints on paleo-subduction zone locations. The resulting restoration shows 1000-1200 km of post-collisional intra-Asian shortening, leaving a 2600-3400 km wide Greater India. Ockham's Razor from a paleogeographic, sediment provenance perspective would prefer a fully continental Greater India, although these sediments may also source from the Paleocene-Eocene west Indian orogen unrelated to the India-Asia collision. Ockham's Razor applied from a kinematic, paleomagnetic perspective, prefers major Cretaceous extension and `Greater India Basin' opening within Greater India, but data uncertainty may speculatively allow for minimal extension. Finally, from a geodynamic perspective, assuming a fully continental Greater India would require that the highest subduction rates recorded in the Phanerozoic would have been driven by a subduction of a lithosphere-crust assemblage more buoyant than the mantle, which seems physically improbable. Ockhams Razor thereby isolates the Greater India Basin hypothesis as the only scenario sustainable from all perspectives. Finally, we infer that the old pre-collisional lithosphere rapidly entered the lower mantle sustaining high subduction rates, whilst post

  1. Reconstructing in space and time the closure of the middle and western segments of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean in the Tibetan Plateau (United States)

    Fan, Jian-Jun; Li, Cai; Wang, Ming; Xie, Chao-Ming


    When and how the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean closed is a highly controversial subject. In this paper, we present a detailed study and review of the Cretaceous ophiolites, ocean islands, and flysch deposits in the middle and western segments of the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone (BNSZ), and the Cretaceous volcanic rocks, late Mesozoic sediments, and unconformities within the BNSZ and surrounding areas. Our aim was to reconstruct the spatial-temporal patterns of the closing of the middle and western segments of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean. Our conclusion is that the closure of the ocean started during the Late Jurassic and was mainly complete by the end of the Early Cretaceous. The closure of the ocean involved both "longitudinal diachronous closure" from north to south and "transverse diachronous closure" from east to west. The spatial-temporal patterns of the closure process can be summarized as follows: the development of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan oceanic lithosphere and its subduction started before the Late Jurassic; after the Late Jurassic, the ocean began to close because of the compressional regime surrounding the BNSZ; along the northern margin of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean, collisions involving the arcs, back-arc basins, and marginal basins of a multi-arc basin system first took place during the Late Jurassic-early Early Cretaceous, resulting in regional uplift and the regional unconformity along the northern margin of the ocean and in the Southern Qiangtang Terrane on the northern side of the ocean. However, the closure of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean cannot be attributed to these arc-arc and arc-continent collisions, because subduction and the development of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan oceanic lithosphere continued until the late Early Cretaceous. The gradual closure of the middle and western segments of Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean was diachronous from east to west, starting in the east in the middle Early Cretaceous, and being mainly

  2. Faunal turnover of marine tetrapods during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition. (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Druckenmiller, Patrick S


    Marine and terrestrial animals show a mosaic of lineage extinctions and diversifications during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition. However, despite its potential importance in shaping animal evolution, few palaeontological studies have focussed on this interval and the possible climate and biotic drivers of its faunal turnover. In consequence evolutionary patterns in most groups are poorly understood. We use a new, large morphological dataset to examine patterns of lineage diversity and disparity (variety of form) in the marine tetrapod clade Plesiosauria, and compare these patterns with those of other organisms. Although seven plesiosaurian lineages have been hypothesised as crossing the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, our most parsimonious topology suggests the number was only three. The robust recovery of a novel group including most Cretaceous plesiosauroids (Xenopsaria, new clade) is instrumental in this result. Substantial plesiosaurian turnover occurred during the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary interval, including the loss of substantial pliosaurid, and cryptoclidid diversity and disparity, followed by the radiation of Xenopsaria during the Early Cretaceous. Possible physical drivers of this turnover include climatic fluctuations that influenced oceanic productivity and diversity: Late Jurassic climates were characterised by widespread global monsoonal conditions and increased nutrient flux into the opening Atlantic-Tethys, resulting in eutrophication and a highly productive, but taxonomically depauperate, plankton. Latest Jurassic and Early Cretaceous climates were more arid, resulting in oligotrophic ocean conditions and high taxonomic diversity of radiolarians, calcareous nannoplankton and possibly ammonoids. However, the observation of discordant extinction patterns in other marine tetrapod groups such as ichthyosaurs and marine crocodylomorphs suggests that clade-specific factors may have been more important than overarching extrinsic drivers of faunal

  3. Early evolution of the angiosperm clade Asteraceae in the Cretaceous of Antarctica. (United States)

    Barreda, Viviana D; Palazzesi, Luis; Tellería, Maria C; Olivero, Eduardo B; Raine, J Ian; Forest, Félix


    The Asteraceae (sunflowers and daisies) are the most diverse family of flowering plants. Despite their prominent role in extant terrestrial ecosystems, the early evolutionary history of this family remains poorly understood. Here we report the discovery of a number of fossil pollen grains preserved in dinosaur-bearing deposits from the Late Cretaceous of Antarctica that drastically pushes back the timing of assumed origin of the family. Reliably dated to ∼76-66 Mya, these specimens are about 20 million years older than previously known records for the Asteraceae. Using a phylogenetic approach, we interpreted these fossil specimens as members of an extinct early diverging clade of the family, associated with subfamily Barnadesioideae. Based on a molecular phylogenetic tree calibrated using fossils, including the ones reported here, we estimated that the most recent common ancestor of the family lived at least 80 Mya in Gondwana, well before the thermal and biogeographical isolation of Antarctica. Most of the early diverging lineages of the family originated in a narrow time interval after the K/P boundary, 60-50 Mya, coinciding with a pronounced climatic warming during the Late Paleocene and Early Eocene, and the scene of a dramatic rise in flowering plant diversity. Our age estimates reduce earlier discrepancies between the age of the fossil record and previous molecular estimates for the origin of the family, bearing important implications in the evolution of flowering plants in general.

  4. Diverse dinosaur-dominated ichnofaunas from the Potomac Group (Lower Cretaceous) Maryland (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Lockley, Martin G.; Weems, Robert E.


    Until recently fossil footprints were virtually unknown from the Cretaceous of the eastern United States. The discovery of about 300 footprints in iron-rich siliciclastic facies of the Patuxent Formation (Potomac Group) of Aptian age is undoubtedly one of the most significant Early Cretaceous track discoveries since the Paluxy track discoveries in Texas in the 1930s. The Patuxent tracks include theropod, sauropod, ankylosaur and ornithopod dinosaur footprints, pterosaur tracks, and miscellaneous mammal and other vertebrate ichnites that collectively suggest a diversity of about 14 morphotypes. This is about twice the previous maximum estimate for any known Early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofauna. Among the more distinctive forms are excellent examples of hypsilophodontid tracks and a surprisingly large mammal footprint. A remarkable feature of the Patuxent track assemblage is the high proportion of small tracks indicative of hatchlings, independently verified by the discovery of a hatchling-sized dinosaur. Such evidence suggests the proximity of nest sites. The preservation of such small tracks is very rare in the Cretaceous track record, and indeed throughout most of the Mesozoic.This unusual preservation not only provides us with a window into a diverse Early Cretaceous ecosystem, but it also suggests the potential of such facies to provide ichnological bonanzas. A remarkable feature of the assemblage is that it consists largely of reworked nodules and clasts that may have previously been reworked within the Patuxent Formation. Such unusual contexts of preservation should provide intriguing research opportunities for sedimentologists interested in the diagenesis and taphonomy of a unique track-bearing facies.

  5. Early cretaceous Obernirchen and Bentheim sandstones from Germany used as dimension stone in the Netherlands: geology physical properties, architectural use and comparative weathering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dubelaar, C.W.; Nijland, T.G.


    The Netherlands, with only scarce occurrences of outcropping or shallow buried natural stone, has over centuries imported huge quantities of Early Cretaceous Bentheim Sandstone and Obernkirchen Sandstone from Germany. The present paper provides an overview of their distribution and properties

  6. Late Cretaceous-recent tectonic assembly of diverse crustal blocks in Central America, the Nicaraguan Rise, the Colombian Basin and northern South America as seen on a 1600-km-long, geologic and structural transect (United States)

    Sanchez, J.; Mann, P.


    We have constructed a 1600-km-long transect from northern Honduras to northern Colombia that crosses northeastward-striking crustal blocks using a combination of offshore seismic data, gravity and magnetic data, well subsidence information, nearby outcrop information, and results from previous thermochronological, geochronological, geochemical and paleostress studies. The transect defines three major crustal and structural provinces: 1) Precambrian-Paleozoic, Chortis continental block whose northern edge is defined by the North America-Caribbean plate boundary. Events in this ~20-25-km-thick province include two major unconformities at the top of the Cretaceous and Eocene, associated southeast-dipping thrust faults related to collision of the Great Arc of the Caribbean (GAC) and Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) with the Chortis continental block. A third event is Eocene to recent subsidence and transtensional basins formed during the opening of the Cayman trough; 2) Late Cretaceous GAC and CLIP of oceanic arc and plateau origin, whose northern, deformed edge corresponds to the mapped Siuna belt of northern Nicaragua. This crustal province has a ~15-20-km-thick crust and is largely undeformed and extends across the Lower Nicaraguan Rise, Hess fault, to the southern limit of the Colombian basin where about 300 km of this province has been subducted beneath the accretionary wedge of the South Caribbean deformed belt of northwestern South America; and 3) Eocene to recent accretionary prism and intramontane basins on continental crust of northern South America, where Miocene accelerated exhumation and erosion of Paleogene and Cretaceous rocks reflect either shallow subduction of the CLIP or the Panama collisional event to the southwest.

  7. The role of changing geodynamics in the progressive contamination of Late Cretaceous to Late Miocene arc magmas in the southern Central Andes (United States)

    Jones, Rosemary E.; Kirstein, Linda A.; Kasemann, Simone A.; Litvak, Vanesa D.; Poma, Stella; Alonso, Ricardo N.; Hinton, Richard; EIMF


    The tectonic and geodynamic setting of the southern Central Andean convergent margin changed significantly between the Late Cretaceous and the Late Miocene, influencing magmatic activity and its geochemical composition. Here we investigate how these changes, which include changing slab-dip angle and convergence angles and rates, have influenced the contamination of the arc magmas with crustal material. Whole rock geochemical data for a suite of Late Cretaceous to Late Miocene arc rocks from the Pampean flat-slab segment (29-31 °S) of the southern Central Andes is presented alongside petrographic observations and high resolution age dating. In-situ U-Pb dating of magmatic zircon, combined with Ar-Ar dating of plagioclase, has led to an improved regional stratigraphy and provides an accurate temporal constraint for the geochemical data. A generally higher content of incompatible trace elements (e.g. Nb/Zr ratios from 0.019 to 0.083 and Nb/Yb from 1.5 to 16.4) is observed between the Late Cretaceous ( 72 Ma), when the southern Central Andean margin is suggested to have been in extension, and the Miocene when the thickness of the continental crust increased and the angle of the subducting Nazca plate shallowed. Trace and rare earth element compositions obtained for the Late Cretaceous to Late Eocene arc magmatic rocks from the Principal Cordillera of Chile, combined with a lack of zircon inheritance, suggest limited assimilation of the overlying continental crust by arc magmas derived from the mantle wedge. A general increase in incompatible, fluid-mobile/immobile (e.g., Ba/Nb) and fluid-immobile/immobile (e.g., Nb/Zr) trace element ratios is attributed to the influence of the subducting slab on the melt source region and/or the influx of asthenospheric mantle. The Late Oligocene ( 26 Ma) to Early Miocene ( 17 Ma), and Late Miocene ( 6 Ma) arc magmatic rocks present in the Frontal Cordillera show evidence for the bulk assimilation of the Permian-Triassic (P

  8. Palaeomagnetic time and space constraints of the Early Cretaceous Rhenodanubian Flysch zone (Eastern Alps) (United States)

    Dallanave, Edoardo; Kirscher, Uwe; Hauck, Jürgen; Hesse, Reinhard; Bachtadse, Valerian; Wortmann, Ulrich Georg


    The Rhenodanubian Flysch zone (RDF) is a Lower Cretaceous-lower Palaeocene turbidite succession extending for ˜500 km from the Danube at Vienna to the Rhine Valley (Eastern Alps). It consists of calcareous and siliciclastic turbidite systems deposited in a trench abyssal plain. The age of deposition has been estimated through micropalaeontologic dating. However, palaeomagnetic studies constraining the age and the palaeolatitude of deposition of the RDF are still missing. Here, we present palaeomagnetic data from the Early Cretaceous Tristel and Rehbreingraben Formations of the RDF from two localities in the Bavarian Alps (Rehbrein Creek and Lainbach Valley, southern Germany), and from the stratigraphic equivalent of the Falknis Nappe (Liechtenstein). The quality of the palaeomagnetic signal has been assessed by either fold test (FT) or reversal test (RT). Sediments from the Falknis Nappe are characterized by a pervasive syntectonic magnetic overprint as tested by negative FT, and are thus excluded from the study. The sediments of the Rehbreingraben Formation at Rehbrein Creek, with positive RT, straddle magnetic polarity Chron M0r and the younger M΄-1r΄ reverse event, with an age of ˜127-123 Ma (late Barremian-early Aptian). At Lainbach Valley, no polarity reversals have been observed, but a positive FT gives confidence on the reliability of the data. The primary palaeomagnetic directions, after correction for inclination shallowing, allow to precisely constrain the depositional palaeolatitude of the Tristel and Rehbreingraben Formations around ˜28°N. In a palaeogeographic reconstruction of the Alpine Tethys at the Barremian/Aptian boundary, the RDF is located on the western margin of the Briançonnais terrain, which was separated from the European continent by the narrow Valais Ocean.

  9. Growth ring analysis of fossil coniferous woods from early cretaceous of Araripe Basin (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etiene F. Pires


    Full Text Available Growth ring analysis on silicified coniferous woods from the Missão Velha Formation (Araripe Basin - Brazil has yielded important information about periodicity of wood production during the Early Cretaceous in the equatorial belt. Despite warm temperatures, dendrological data indicate that the climate was characterized by cyclical alternation of dry and rainy periods influenced by cyclical precipitations, typical of tropical wet and dry or savanna climate. The abundance of false growth rings can be attributed to both occasional droughts and arthropod damage. The present climate data agree with palaeoclimatic models that inferred summer-wet biomes for the Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous boundary in the southern equatorial belt.A partir de análise de anéis de crescimento em lenhos de coníferas silicificadas provenientes da Formação Missão Velha(Bacia do Araripe - Brasil, obteve-se importantes informações a respeito da periodicidade de produção lenhosa duranteo início do Cretáceo, na região do equador. Apesar das estimativas de temperatura apresentarem-se elevadas, os dados dendrológicos indicam que o clima foi caracterizado pela alternância cíclica de períodos secos e chuvosos, influenciado por precipitações periódicas, típico das condições atuais de climatropical úmido e seco ou savana. A abundância de falsosanéis de crescimento pode ser atribuída tanto a secas ocasionais quanto a danos causados por artrópodes. Os dados paleoclimáticos aqui obtidos corroboram com modelos paleoclimáticos que inferem a ocorrência de um bioma de verões úmidos para o limite Neojurássico/Eocretáceo ao sul do equador.

  10. An early cretaceous phase of accelerated erosion on the south-western margin of Africa: evidence from apatite fission track analysis and the offshore sedimentary record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, R.W.; Gleadow, A.J.W.; Rust, D.J.; Summerfield, M.A.; De Wit, M.C.J.


    Apatite fission track ages and confined track length distributions have been determined for rock samples from the south-western continental margin of Africa. The apatite ages fall into two groups, one having early Cretaceous ages and mean confined track lengths of ∼ 14 μm with very few short tracks, and the other having older ages with confined track length distributions containing a significant proportion of strongly annealed tracks (<10 μm). In any particular area the older apatite ages only occur above a critical threshold elevation, forming a regional pattern in the data and indicating cooling of the upper few kilometres of the crust during the early cretaceous. This episode of cooling is shown to have been the consequence of an accelerated phase of erosion associated with the early stages of rifting and break-up of Gondwana, and correlates with sedimentation patterns derived from borehole data for the adjacent offshore basin. (author)

  11. An early cretaceous phase of accelerated erosion on the south-western margin of Africa: evidence from apatite fission track analysis and the offshore sedimentary record

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, R.W.; Gleadow, A.J.W. (La Trobe Univ., Bundoora (Australia)); Rust, D.J.; Summerfield, M.A. (Edinburgh Univ. (UK)); De Wit, M.C.J. (De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., Kimberley (South Africa))


    Apatite fission track ages and confined track length distributions have been determined for rock samples from the south-western continental margin of Africa. The apatite ages fall into two groups, one having early Cretaceous ages and mean confined track lengths of {approx} 14 {mu}m with very few short tracks, and the other having older ages with confined track length distributions containing a significant proportion of strongly annealed tracks (<10 {mu}m). In any particular area the older apatite ages only occur above a critical threshold elevation, forming a regional pattern in the data and indicating cooling of the upper few kilometres of the crust during the early cretaceous. This episode of cooling is shown to have been the consequence of an accelerated phase of erosion associated with the early stages of rifting and break-up of Gondwana, and correlates with sedimentation patterns derived from borehole data for the adjacent offshore basin. (author).

  12. Supra-subduction zone extensional magmatism in Vermont and adjacent Quebec: Implications for early Paleozoic Appalachian tectonics (United States)

    Kim, J.; Coish, R.; Evans, M.; Dick, G.


    Metadiabasic intrusions of the Mount Norris Intrusive Suite occur in fault-bounded lithotectonic packages containing Stowe, Moretown, and Cram Hill Formation lithologies in the northern Vermont Rowe-Hawley belt, a proposed Ordovician arc-trench gap above an east-dipping subduction zone. Rocks of the Mount Norris Intrusive Suite are characteristically massive and weakly foliated, have chilled margins, contain xenoliths, and have sharp contacts that both crosscut and are parallel to early structural fabrics in the host metasedimentary rocks. Although the mineral assemblage of the Mount Norris Intrusive Suite is albite + actinolite + epidote + chlorite + calcite + quartz, intergrowths of albite + actinolite are probably pseudomorphs after plagioclase + clinopyroxene. The metadiabases are subalkaline, tholeiitic, hypabyssal basalts with preserved ophitic texture. A backarc-basin tectonic setting for the intrusive suite is suggested by its LREE (light rare earth element) enrichment, negative Nb-Ta anomalies, and Ta/Yb vs. Th/Yb trends. Although no direct isotopic age data are available, the intrusions are broadly Ordovician because their contacts are clearly folded by the earliest Acadian (Silurian-Devonian) folds. Field evidence and geochemical data suggest compelling along-strike correlations with the Coburn Hill Volcanics of northern Vermont and the Bolton Igneous Group of southern Quebec. Isotopic and stratigraphic age constraints for the Bolton Igneous Group bracket these backarc magmas to the 477-458 Ma interval. A tectonic model that begins with east-dipping subduction and progresses to outboard west-dipping subduction after a syncollisional polarity reversal best explains the intrusion of deformed metamorphosed metasedimentary rocks by backarc magmas.

  13. Highly specialized mammalian skulls from the Late Cretaceous of South America. (United States)

    Rougier, Guillermo W; Apesteguía, Sebastián; Gaetano, Leandro C


    Dryolestoids are an extinct mammalian group belonging to the lineage leading to modern marsupials and placentals. Dryolestoids are known by teeth and jaws from the Jurassic period of North America and Europe, but they thrived in South America up to the end of the Mesozoic era and survived to the beginnings of the Cenozoic. Isolated teeth and jaws from the latest Cretaceous of South America provide mounting evidence that, at least in western Gondwana, dryolestoids developed into strongly endemic groups by the Late Cretaceous. However, the lack of pre-Late Cretaceous dryolestoid remains made study of their origin and early diversification intractable. Here we describe the first mammalian remains from the early Late Cretaceous of South America, including two partial skulls and jaws of a derived dryolestoid showing dental and cranial features unknown among any other group of Mesozoic mammals, such as single-rooted molars preceded by double-rooted premolars, combined with a very long muzzle, exceedingly long canines and evidence of highly specialized masticatory musculature. On one hand, the new mammal shares derived features of dryolestoids with forms from the Jurassic of Laurasia, whereas on the other hand, it is very specialized and highlights the endemic, diverse dryolestoid fauna from the Cretaceous of South America. Our specimens include only the second mammalian skull known for the Cretaceous of Gondwana, bridging a previous 60-million-year gap in the fossil record, and document the whole cranial morphology of a dryolestoid, revealing an unsuspected morphological and ecological diversity for non-tribosphenic mammals.

  14. From nappe stacking to exhumation: Cretaceous tectonics in the Apuseni Mountains (Romania) (United States)

    Reiser, Martin Kaspar; Schuster, Ralf; Spikings, Richard; Tropper, Peter; Fügenschuh, Bernhard


    New Ar-Ar muscovite and Rb-Sr biotite age data in combination with structural analyses from the Apuseni Mountains provide new constraints on the timing and kinematics of deformation during the Cretaceous. Time-temperature paths from the structurally highest basement nappe of the Apuseni Mountains in combination with sedimentary data indicate exhumation and a position close to the surface after the Late Jurassic emplacement of the South Apuseni Ophiolites. Early Cretaceous Ar-Ar muscovite ages from structurally lower parts in the Biharia Nappe System (Dacia Mega-Unit) show cooling from medium-grade conditions. NE-SW-trending stretching lineation and associated kinematic indicators of this deformation phase (D1) are overprinted by top-NW-directed thrusting during D2. An Albian to Turonian age (110-90 Ma) is proposed for the main deformation (D2) that formed the present-day geometry of the nappe stack and led to a pervasive retrograde greenschist-facies overprint. Thermochronological and structural data from the Bihor Unit (Tisza Mega-Unit) allowed to establish E-directed differential exhumation during Early-Late Cretaceous times (D3.1). Brittle detachment faulting (D3.2) and the deposition of syn-extensional sediments indicate general uplift and partial surface exposure during the Late Cretaceous. Brittle conditions persist during the latest Cretaceous compressional overprint (D4).

  15. The earliest evidence for a supraorbital salt gland in dinosaurs in new Early Cretaceous ornithurines. (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Huang, Jiandong; Hu, Yuanchao; Liu, Xiaoyu; Peteya, Jennifer; Clarke, Julia A


    Supraorbital fossae occur when salt glands are well developed, a condition most pronounced in marine and desert-dwelling taxa in which salt regulation is key. Here, we report the first specimens from lacustrine environments of the Jehol Biota that preserve a distinct fossa above the orbit, where the salt gland fossa is positioned in living birds. The Early Cretaceous ornithurine bird specimens reported here are about 40 million years older than previously reported Late Cretaceous marine birds and represent the earliest described occurrence of the fossa. We find no evidence of avian salt gland fossae in phylogenetically earlier stem birds or non-avialan dinosaurs, even in those argued to be predominantly marine or desert dwelling. The apparent absence of this feature in more basal dinosaurs may indicate that it is only after miniaturization close to the origin of flight that excretory mechanisms were favored over exclusively renal mechanisms of salt regulation resulting in an increase in gland size leaving a bony trace. The ecology of ornithurine birds is more diverse than in other stem birds and may have included seasonal shifts in foraging range, or, the environments of some of the Jehol lakes may have included more pronounced periods of high salinity.

  16. Cascadia Seismicity Related to Seamount Subduction as detected by the Cascadia Initiative Amphibious Data (United States)

    Morton, E.; Bilek, S. L.; Rowe, C. A.


    Unlike other subduction zones, the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) is notable for the absence of detected and located small and moderate magnitude interplate earthquakes, despite the presence of recurring episodic tremor and slip (ETS) downdip and evidence of pre-historic great earthquakes. Thermal and geodetic models indicate that the seismogenic zone exists primarily, if not entirely, offshore; therefore the perceived unusual seismic quiescence may be a consequence of seismic source location in relation to land based seismometers. The Cascadia Initiative (CI) amphibious community seismic experiment includes ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) deployed directly above the presumed locked seismogenic zone. We use the CI dataset to search for small magnitude interplate earthquakes previously undetected using the on-land sensors alone. We implement subspace detection to search for small earthquakes. We build our subspace with template events from existing earthquake catalogs that appear to have occurred on the plate interface, windowing waveforms on CI OBS and land seismometers. Although our efforts will target the entire CSZ margin and full 4-year CI deployment, here we focus on a previously identified cluster off the coast of Oregon, related to a subducting seamount. During the first year of CI deployment, this target area yields 293 unique detections with 86 well-located events. Thirty-two of these events occurred within the seamount cluster, and 13 events were located in another cluster to the northwest of the seamount. Events within the seamount cluster are separated into those whose depths place them on the plate interface, and a shallower set ( 5 km depth). These separate event groups track together temporally, and seem to agree with a model of seamount subduction that creates extensive fracturing around the seamount, rather than stress concentrated at the seamount-plate boundary. During CI year 2, this target area yields >1000 additional event detections.

  17. Integrated geophysical and geological study and petroleum appraisal of Cretaceous plays in the Western Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (United States)

    Dkhaili, Noomen; Bey, Saloua; El Abed, Mahmoud; Gasmi, Mohamed; Inoubli, Mohamed Hedi


    An integrated study of available seismic and calibrated wells has been conducted in order to ascertain the structural development and petroleum potential of the Cretaceous Formations of the Western Gulf of Gabes. This study has resulted in an understanding of the controls of deep seated Tethyan tectonic lineaments by analysis of the Cretaceous deposits distribution. Three main unconformities have been identified in this area, unconformity U1 between the Jurassic and Cretaceous series, unconformity U2 separating Early from Late Cretaceous and known as the Austrian unconformity and the major unconformity U3 separating Cretaceous from Tertiary series. The seismic analysis and interpretation have confirmed the existence of several features dominated by an NE-SW extensive tectonic regime evidenced by deep listric faults, asymmetric horst and graben and tilted blocks structures. Indeed, the structural mapping of these unconformities, displays the presence of dominant NW-SE fault system (N140 to N160) bounding a large number of moderate sized basins. A strong inversion event related to the unconformity U3 can be demonstrated by the mapping of the unconformities consequence of the succession of several tectonic manifestations during the Cretaceous and post-Cretaceous periods. These tectonic events have resulted in the development of structural and stratigraphic traps further to the porosity and permeability enhancement of Cretaceous reservoirs.

  18. Early Cretaceous Ductile Deformation of Marbles from the Western Hills of Beijing, North China Craton (United States)

    Feng, H.; Liu, J.


    During the Early Cretaceous tectonic lithosphere extension, the pre-mesozoic rocks from the Western Hills in the central part of the North China Craton suffered from weak metamorphism but intense shear deformation. The prominent features of the deformation structures are the coexisting layer-parallel shear zones and intrafolia folds, and the along-strike thickness variations of the marble layers from the highly sheared Mesoproterozoic Jing'eryu Formation. Platy marbles are well-developed in the thinner layers, while intrafolia folds are often observed in the thicker layers. Most folds are tight recumbent folds and their axial planes are parallel to the foliations and layerings of the marbles. The folds are A-type folds with hinges being always paralleling to the stretching lineations consistently oriented at 130°-310° directions throughout the entire area. SPO and microstructural analyses of the sheared marbles suggest that the thicker layers suffered from deformations homogeneously, while strain localization can be distinguished in the thinner layers. Calcite twin morphology and CPO analysis indicate that the deformation of marbles from both thinner and thicker layers happened at temperatures of 300 to 500°C. The above analysis suggests that marbles in the thicker layers experienced a progressive sequence of thermodynamic events: 1) regional metamorphism, 2) early ductile deformation dominated by relatively higher temperature conditions, during which all the mineral particles elongated and oriented limitedly and the calcite grains are deformed mainly by mechanical twinning, and 3) late superimposition of relatively lower temperature deformation and recrystallization, which superposed the early deformation, and made the calcites finely granulated, elongated and oriented by dynamical recrystallization along with other grains. Marbles from the thinner layers, however, experienced a similar, but different sequence of thermo-dynamic events, i.e. regional

  19. Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous oysters from Siberia: A systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor N. Kosenko


    Full Text Available The present study reviews the taxonomy of Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous oysters from the Northern and the Subpolar Urals (Western Siberia and northern East Siberia. Previous studies have documented 10 species from the genus Liostrea (L. delta, L. cucurbita, L. praeanabarensis, L. anabarensis, L. plastica, L. gibberosa, L. planoconvexa, L. siberica, L. uralensis, L. lyapinensis, and 3 species from the genus Gryphaea (G. borealis and 2 species in open nomenclature. Liostrea gibberosa, L. planoconvexa, L. uralensis, and L. cucurbita are transferred in this study to the genus Pernostrea. Furthermore, two new species of Pernostrea are described: P. mesezhnikovi sp. nov. and P.? robusta sp. nov. Liostrea siberica is transferred to the genus Praeexogyra. Liostrea praeanabarensis and L. anabarensis are attributed to the subgenus Boreiodeltoideum (genus Deltoideum as well as L. delta sensu Zakharov (1966 which is described here as new species Deltoideum (Boreiodeltoideum borealis sp. nov. The similar shell morphology of the genera Deltoideum and Pernostrea provides a basis to establish the new tribe Pernostreini trib. nov. in the subfamily Gryphaeinae. Three species are recorded for the first time from Siberia: Nanogyra? cf. thurmanni, “Ostrea” cf. moreana and Gryphaea (Gryphaea curva.

  20. Sedimentary basin analysis and petroleum potential of the Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in Korea.

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    Son, Jin-Dam; Kwak, Young-Hoon; Bong, Pil-Yoon [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (KR)] (and others)


    Since 1992 sedimentary basin analysis to assess petroleum potential of the Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in the Korean onshore and continental shelf have been carried out. The Cretaceous non-marine strata mainly occupy the Gyeongsang Basin in southeastern part of the Korean Peninsula and small basins such as Haenam and Gyeokpo depressions in western coastal areas. The Tertiary strata are mostly distributed in Domi, Cheju, Socotra subbasins, and Okinawa Trough in the South Continental Shelf, and Kunsan and Heuksan basins in the West. The basin evolution and petroleum potential for each basins are characterized as follow. The Cretaceous Gyeongsang sediments were deposited in three subbasins including Milyang, Euisung and Yongyang subbasins. The black shales in Nakdong and Jinju formations are interpreted to contain abundant organic matter during the deposition, thermal maturity reaching up to the zone of dry gas formation. Because porosity and permeability are too low, the sandstones can act as a tight gas reservoir rather than conventional oil and gas reservoir. The latest Cretaceous strata of Haenam and Kyeokpo depressions in western coastal area are correlated into the Yuchon Volcanic Group of the Gyeongsang Basin. Petroleum potential of the Early Cretaceous basin in the West Continental Shelf could be relatively high in terms of sedimentary basin filled with thick lacustrine sediments. The Kunsan basin in the West Continental Shelf originated in the Early Cretaceous time expanded during the Paleocene time followed by regional erosion at the end of Paleocene on which Neogene sediment have been accumulated. The Paleocene-Eocene sublacustrine shales may play an major role as a source and cap rocks. South Continental Shelf Basin is subdivided by Cheju subbasin in the center, Socotra Subbasin to the west, Domi Subbasin to the northeast and Okinawa Trough to the East. The potential hydrocarbon traps associated with anticline, titled fault blocks, fault, unconformity

  1. Evolution of volcanically-induced palaeoenvironmental changes leading to the onset of OAE1a (early Aptian, Cretaceous) (United States)

    Keller, Christina E.; Hochuli, Peter A.; Giorgioni, Martino; Garcia, Therese I.; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Weissert, Helmut


    During the Cretaceous, several major volcanic events occurred that initiated climate warming, altered marine circulation and increased marine productivity, which in turn often resulted in the widespread black shale deposits of the Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAE). In the sediments underlying the early Aptian OAE1a black shales, a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion is recorded. Its origin had long been controversial (e.g. Arthur, 2000; Jahren et al., 2001) before recent studies attributed it to the Ontong Java volcanism (Méhay et al., 2009; Tejada et al., 2009). Therefore the negative C-isotope excursion covers the interval between the time, when volcanic activity became important enough to be recorded in the C-isotope composition of the oceans to the onset of widespread anoxic conditions (OAE1a). We chose this interval at the locality of Pusiano (N-Italy) to study the effect of a volcanically-induced increase in pCO2 on the marine palaeoenvironment and to observe the evolving palaeoenvironmental conditions that finally led to OAE1a. The Pusiano section (Maiolica Formation) was deposited at the southern continental margin of the alpine Tethys Ocean and has been bio- and magnetostratigraphically dated by Channell et al. (1995). We selected 18 samples from 12 black shale horizons for palynofacies analyses. Palynofacies assemblages consist of several types of particulate organic matter, providing information on the origin of the organic matter (terrestrial/marine) and conditions during deposition (oxic/anoxic). We then linked the palynofacies results to high-resolution inorganic and organic C-isotope values and total organic carbon content measurements. The pelagic Pusiano section consists of repeated limestone-black shale couplets, which are interpreted to be the result of changes in oxygenation of bottom waters. Towards the end of the negative C-isotope excursion we observe enhanced preservation of the fragile amorphous organic matter resulting in increased

  2. New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia (United States)

    Hocknull, Scott A.; White, Matt A.; Tischler, Travis R.; Cook, Alex G.; Calleja, Naomi D.; Sloan, Trish; Elliott, David A.


    Background Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian) Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. Conclusion/Significance The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator) and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus). PMID:19584929

  3. New Mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian dinosaurs fromWinton, Queensland, Australia.

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    Scott A Hocknull

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus.

  4. Early Carboniferous adakite-like and I-type granites in central Qiangtang, northern Tibet: Implications for intra-oceanic subduction and back-arc basin formation within the Paleo-Tethys Ocean (United States)

    Liu, Jin-Heng; Xie, Chao-Ming; Li, Cai; Wang, Ming; Wu, Hao; Li, Xing-Kui; Liu, Yi-Ming; Zhang, Tian-Yu


    Recent studies have proposed that the Late Devonian ophiolites in the central Qiangtang region of northern Tibet were formed in an oceanic back-arc basin setting, which has led to controversy over the subduction setting of the Longmucuo-Shuanghu-Lancangjiang Suture Zone (LSLSZ) during the Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous. In this paper we present new data about a suite of granite plutons that intrude into ophiolite in central Qiangtang. Our aim was to identify the type of subduction and to clarify the existence of an intra-oceanic back-arc basin in the LSLSZ during the Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous. The suite of granites consists of monzogranites, syenogranites, and granodiorites. Our laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry zircon U-Pb data yielded Early Carboniferous crystallization ages of 357.2 Ma, 357.4 Ma and 351.1 Ma. We subsequently investigated the petrogenesis and tectonic setting of these granites based on their geochemical and Hf isotopic characteristics. First, we divided the granites into high Sr/Y (HSG) and low Sr/Y granites (LSG). The HSG group contains monzogranites and granodiorites that have similar geochemical characteristics to adakites (i.e., high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios, low MgO, Y, and Yb contents, and no pronounced negative Eu anomaly), although they have slightly lower Sr and Al2O3 contents, caused by crystal fractionation during late magmatic evolution. Therefore, we define the HSG group as adakite-like granites. The study of the HSG shows that they are adakite-like granites formed by partial melting of oceanic crust and experience fractional crystallization process during late evolution. However, some differences between the monzogranites and granodiorites indicate that there are varying degree contributions of subducted sediments during diagenesis. The LSG group contains syenogranites that have distinct negative correlations between their P2O5 and SiO2 contents, and Y and Th contents have significant positive

  5. New toothed flying reptile from Asia: close similarities between early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas from China and Brazil. (United States)

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Jiang, Shunxing; Cheng, Xin


    Despite the great increase in pterosaur diversity in the last decades, particularly due to discoveries made in western Liaoning (China), very little is known regarding pterosaur biogeography. Here, we present the description of a new pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation that adds significantly to our knowledge of pterosaur distribution and enhances the diversity of cranial anatomy found in those volant creatures. Guidraco venator gen. et sp. nov. has an unusual upward-directed frontal crest and large rostral teeth, some of which surpass the margins of the skull and lower jaw when occluded. The new species is closely related to a rare taxon from the Brazilian Crato Formation, posing an interesting paleobiogeographic problem and supporting the hypothesis that at least some early Cretaceous pterosaur clades, such as the Tapejaridae and the Anhangueridae, might have originated in Asia. The association of the new specimen with coprolites and the cranial morphology suggest that G. venator preyed on fish.

  6. The Subduction of an Exhumed and Serpentinized Magma-Poor Basement Beneath the Northern Lesser Antilles Reveals the Early Tectonic Fabric at Slow-Spreading Mid-Oceanic Ridges (United States)

    Marcaillou, B.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Laurencin, M.; Biari, Y.; Graindorge, D.; Jean-Frederic, L.; Laigle, M.; Lallemand, S.


    Multichannel and wide-angle seismic data as well as heat-flow measurements (ANTITHESIS cruise, 2016) reveal a 200x200km patch of magma-poor oceanic basement in the trench and beneath the outer fore-arc offshore of Antigua to Saint Martin in the Northern Lesser Antilles. These data highlight an oceanic basement with the following features: 1/ Absence of any reflection at typical Moho depth and layer2/layer3 limit depths. 2/ High Velocity Vp at the top (>5.5 km/s), low velocity gradient with depth (serpentinized at the slow-spreading mid-Atlantic Ridge 80 Myr ago, is currently subducting beneath the Northern Lesser Antilles. During the exhumation, early extension triggers penetrative shear zones sub-parallel to the ridge and to the transform fault. Eventually, this early extension generates sliding along the so-called detachment fault, while the other proto-detachment abort. Approaching the trench, the plate bending reactivates these weak zones in normal faults and fluid pathways promoting deep serpentinisation and localizing tectonic deformation at the plate interface. These subducting fluid-rich mechanically weak mantle rocks rise questions about their relation to the faster slab deepening, the lower seismic activity and the pervasive tectonic partitioning in this margin segment.

  7. Petrogenesis of Cretaceous shoshonitic rocks in the northern Wuyi Mountains, South China: A result of the roll-back of a flat-slab? (United States)

    Li, Wu-Xian; Li, Xian-Hua; Wang, Xuan-Ce; Yang, Dong-Sheng


    Potassic magmatism is commonly linked to post-/late-orogenic environments, such as foundering or convection thinning of continental lithosphere. Their petrogenesis is crucial for constraining the chemical and physical properties of the remnant sub-continental lithospheric mantle. Here we report new SHRIMP zircon U-Pb ages, whole rock geochemical results and Sr-Nd and zircon Hf isotope data from four potassic plutons (the Da'an, Yingcheng, Zixi and Honggong plutons) in the northern Wuyi Mountains, South China. SHRIMP U-Pb zircon analyses indicate that these potassic rocks formed at 139-126 Ma. They are characterized by high SiO2 (56-73%) and K2O (3.8-6.7%), with a K2O/Na2O ratio of 2.18-2.04, plotting within the field of high-SiO2 shoshonites. Their ISr and εNd(t) values vary from 0.7077 to 0.7162 and - 5.66 to - 10.52, respectively. The initial zircon εHf(t) values range from 2.3 to - 13.1, corresponding to TDM modal ages between 707 and 1330 Ma. These geochemical and isotope characteristics indicate that these shoshonites derived from a subduction-modified ancient subcontinental lithospheric mantle, and then underwent significantly fractional crystallization of K-feldspar, plagioclase, and accessory minerals, such as apatite and Fe-Ti oxides during magma ascent. We interpret that asthenospheric mantle upwelling (caused by eastward roll-back of a flat-slab?) triggered partial melting of the metasomatized lithospheric mantle to result in the Early Cretaceous shoshonitic magmatism in the northern Wuyi Mountains. An integration of our new results with compiled data from the interior of the South China Block reveals that the arc-like geochemical signature is confined to the Wuyi Mountains region, but becomes little or even invisible toward inland in South China. This implies that the far-field effects of the early Mesozoic subduction only reached the Wuyi Mountains, ca. 500 km away from the trench, consistent with flat or shallow subduction models.

  8. Late Early-Cretaceous quartz diorite-granodiorite-monzogranite association from the Gaoligong belt, southeastern Tibet Plateau: Chemical variations and geodynamic implications (United States)

    Zhu, Ren-Zhi; Lai, Shao-Cong; Qin, Jiang-Feng; Zhao, Shao-Wei; Wang, Jiang-Bo


    Geochemical variations in granitic rocks may be controlled by their source rocks, melting reactions and subsequent magmatic processes, which resulted from various geodynamic processes related to subduction, collision, or slab break-off. Here we report new LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotopes, whole-rock chemistry and Sr-Nd isotopes for the late Early Cretaceous quartz diorite, granodiorite and monzogranite in the Gaoligong belt, southeastern Tibet Plateau. The zircon U-Pb dating yield ages of 113.9 ± 1.6, 111.7 ± 0.8, and 112.8 ± 1.7 Ma for the quartz diorite, granodiorite, and monzogranite, respectively, which are coeval with bimodal magmatism in the central and northern Lhasa sub-terrane. There are the distinct sources regions for the quartz diorite and granodiorite-monzogranite association. The quartz diorites are sodic, calc-alkaline and have high Mg# (52-54) values. They also have elevated initial 87Sr/86Sr (0.707019 to 0.709176) and low εNd(t) (- 5.16 to - 7.63), with variable zircon εHf(t) values (+ 5.65 to - 9.02). Zircon chemical data indicate a typical crustal-derived character with high Th (142-1260 ppm) and U (106-1082 ppm) and moderate U/Yb ratios (0.30 to 2.32) and Y content (705-1888 ppm). Those data suggest that the quartz diorites were derived from partial melting of ancient basaltic lower crust by a mantle-derived magma in source region. The granodiorite-monzogranite association has high-K calc-alkaline, weakly peraluminous characters. They show lower Nb/Ta (5.57 to 13.8), CaO/Na2O (0.62 to 1.21), higher Al2O3/TiO2 (24.4 to 44.4) ratios, more evolved whole-rock Sr-Nd and zircon Hf isotopic signatures, all of which suggest derivation from mixed basaltic and metasedimentary source rocks in a deep crustal zone. We propose that the granitic magmatisms at ca. 113-110 Ma in the Gaologong belt was triggered by the slab break-off of Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan oceanic lithosphere. Supplementary Dataset Table 2. Single-grain zircon Hf isotopic data

  9. Angolan ichnosite in a diamond mine shows the presence of a large terrestrial mammaliamorph, a crocodylomorph, and sauropod dinosaurs in the Early Cretaceous of Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mateus, Octávio; Marzola, Marco; Schulp, Anne S.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Polcyn, Michael J.; Pervov, Vladimir; Gonçalves, António Olímpio; Morais, Maria Luisa


    We report here new and the first mammaliamorph tracks from the Early Cretaceous of Africa. The tracksite, that also bears crocodylomorph and sauropod dinosaurian tracks, is in the Catoca diamond mine, Lunda Sul Province, Angola. The mammaliamorph tracks have a unique morphology, attributed to

  10. The mantle source of island arc magmatism during early subduction: Evidence from Hf isotopes in rutile from the Jijal Complex (Kohistan arc, Pakistan) (United States)

    Ewing, Tanya A.; Müntener, Othmar


    The Cretaceous-Paleogene Kohistan arc complex, northern Pakistan, is renowned as one of the most complete sections through a preserved paleo-island arc. The Jijal Complex represents a fragment of the plutonic roots of the Kohistan arc, formed during its early intraoceanic history. We present the first Hf isotope determinations for the Jijal Complex, made on rutile from garnet gabbros. These lithologies are zircon-free, but contain rutile that formed as an early phase. Recent developments in analytical capabilities coupled with a careful analytical and data reduction protocol allow the accurate determination of Hf isotope composition for rutile with <30 ppm Hf for the first time. Rutile from the analysed samples contains 5-35 ppm Hf, with sample averages of 13-17 ppm. Rutile from five samples from the Jijal Complex mafic section, sampling 2 km of former crustal thickness, gave indistinguishable Hf isotope compositions with εHf(i) ranging from 11.4 ± 3.2 to 20.1 ± 5.7. These values are within error of or only slightly more enriched than modern depleted mantle. The analysed samples record variable degrees of interaction with late-stage melt segregations, which produced symplectitic overprints on the main mineral assemblage as well as pegmatitic segregations of hydrous minerals. The indistinguishable εHf(i) across this range of lithologies demonstrates the robust preservation of the Hf isotope composition of rutile. The Hf isotope data, combined with previously published Nd isotope data for the Jijal Complex garnet gabbros, favour derivation from an inherently enriched, Indian Ocean type mantle. This implies a smaller contribution from subducted sediments than if the source was a normal (Pacific-type) depleted mantle. The Jijal Complex thus had only a limited recycled continental crustal component in its source, and represents a largely juvenile addition of new continental crust during the early phases of intraoceanic magmatism. The ability to determine the Hf

  11. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review (United States)

    Deschamps, Fabien; Godard, Marguerite; Guillot, Stéphane; Hattori, Kéiko


    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zone geodynamics. Their presence and role in subduction environments are recognized through geophysical, geochemical and field observations of modern and ancient subduction zones and large amounts of geochemical database of serpentinites have been created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical data of abyssal, mantle wedge and exhumed serpentinites after subduction. The aim was to better understand the geochemical evolution of these rocks during their subduction as well as their impact in the global geochemical cycle. When studying serpentinites, it is essential to determine their protoliths and their geological history before serpentinization. The geochemical data of serpentinites shows little mobility of compatible and rare earth elements (REE) at the scale of hand-specimen during their serpentinization. Thus, REE abundance can be used to identify the protolith for serpentinites, as well as magmatic processes such as melt/rock interactions before serpentinization. In the case of subducted serpentinites, the interpretation of trace element data is difficult due to the enrichments of light REE, independent of the nature of the protolith. We propose that enrichments are probably not related to serpentinization itself, but mostly due to (sedimentary-derived) fluid/rock interactions within the subduction channel after the serpentinization. It is also possible that the enrichment reflects the geochemical signature of the mantle protolith itself which could derive from the less refractory continental lithosphere exhumed at the ocean-continent transition. Additionally, during the last ten years, numerous analyses have been carried out, notably using in situ approaches, to better constrain the behavior of fluid-mobile elements (FME; e.g. B, Li, Cl, As, Sb, U, Th, Sr) incorporated in serpentine phases

  12. Geologic models and evaluation of undiscovered conventional and continuous oil and gas resources: Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk (United States)

    Pearson, Krystal


    The Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk forms a low-permeability, onshore Gulf of Mexico reservoir that produces oil and gas from major fractures oriented parallel to the underlying Lower Cretaceous shelf edge. Horizontal drilling links these fracture systems to create an interconnected network that drains the reservoir. Field and well locations along the production trend are controlled by fracture networks. Highly fractured chalk is present along both regional and local fault zones. Fractures are also genetically linked to movement of the underlying Jurassic Louann Salt with tensile fractures forming downdip of salt-related structures creating the most effective reservoirs. Undiscovered accumulations should also be associated with structure-controlled fracture systems because much of the Austin that overlies the Lower Cretaceous shelf edge remains unexplored. The Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford Shale is the primary source rock for Austin Chalk hydrocarbons. This transgressive marine shale varies in thickness and lithology across the study area and contains both oil- and gas-prone kerogen. The Eagle Ford began generating oil and gas in the early Miocene, and vertical migration through fractures was sufficient to charge the Austin reservoirs.

  13. Topographic and sedimentary features in the Yap subduction zone and their implications for the Caroline Ridge subduction (United States)

    Dong, Dongdong; Zhang, Zhengyi; Bai, Yongliang; Fan, Jianke; Zhang, Guangxu


    The Yap subduction zone in the western Pacific presents some unique features compared to normal intra-oceanic subduction zones such as the subduction of an oceanic plateau. However, due to the relative paucity of geophysical data, the detailed structure remains unknown in this area. In this study, we present the latest high-quality swath bathymetry and multi-channel seismic data acquired synchronously in 2015 across the Yap subduction zone. The topographic and sedimentary features are intensively investigated and a modified evolutionary model of the Yap subduction zone is proposed. The two-stage evolution of the Parece Vela Basin (PVB) produced fabrics that are N-S trending and NW-SE trending. Our seismic data clearly reveal landslide deposits at the upper slope break of the forearc, to the north of the Yap Island, which was identified as the fault notch denoting a lithological boundary in previous work. The swath bathymetry and seismic profile reveal detailed horst and graben structures, including a crescent-shaped fault zone near the contact between the Yap Trench and the Caroline Ridge. A simple geometric model is proposed to explain the structure formation, indicating that the higher topography of the Caroline Ridge resulted in enhanced bending-related extension. A seismic angular unconformity (named R1) is identified in the Sorol Trough, marking the onset of rifting in the trough. Based on the sequence thickness and deposition rate by Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), it is deduced that the Sorol Trough formed at 10 Ma or even earlier. A modified model for the Yap subduction zone evolution is proposed, incorporating three major tectonic events: the proto-Yap Arc rupture in the Oligocene, the collision of the Caroline Ridge and the Yap Trench in the late Oligocene or middle Miocene, and the onset of the Sorol Trough rifting in the late Miocene.

  14. Variation of b and p values from aftershocks sequences along the Mexican subduction zone and their relation to plate characteristics (United States)

    Ávila-Barrientos, L.; Zúñiga, F. R.; Rodríguez-Pérez, Q.; Guzmán-Speziale, M.


    Aftershock sequences along the Mexican subduction margin (between coordinates 110ºW and 91ºW) were analyzed by means of the p value from the Omori-Utsu relation and the b value from the Gutenberg-Richter relation. We focused on recent medium to large (Mw > 5.6) events considered susceptible of generating aftershock sequences suitable for analysis. The main goal was to try to find a possible correlation between aftershock parameters and plate characteristics, such as displacement rate, age and segmentation. The subduction regime of Mexico is one of the most active regions of the world with a high frequency of occurrence of medium to large events and plate characteristics change along the subduction margin. Previous studies have observed differences in seismic source characteristics at the subduction regime, which may indicate a difference in rheology and possible segmentation. The results of the analysis of the aftershock sequences indicate a slight tendency for p values to decrease from west to east with increasing of plate age although a statistical significance is undermined by the small number of aftershocks in the sequences, a particular feature distinctive of the region as compared to other world subduction regimes. The b values show an opposite, increasing trend towards the east even though the statistical significance is not enough to warrant the validation of such a trend. A linear regression between both parameters provides additional support for the inverse relation. Moreover, we calculated the seismic coupling coefficient, showing a direct relation with the p and b values. While we cannot undoubtedly confirm the hypothesis that aftershock generation depends on certain tectonic characteristics (age, thickness, temperature), our results do not reject it thus encouraging further study into this question.

  15. Identification of a New Hesperornithiform from the Cretaceous Niobrara Chalk and Implications for Ecologic Diversity among Early Diving Birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyssa Bell

    Full Text Available The Smoky Hill Member of the Niobrara Chalk in Kansas (USA has yielded the remains of numerous members of the Hesperornithiformes, toothed diving birds from the late Early to Late Cretaceous. This study presents a new taxon of hesperornithiform from the Smoky Hill Member, Fumicollis hoffmani, the holotype of which is among the more complete hesperornithiform skeletons. Fumicollis has a unique combination of primitive (e.g. proximal and distal ends of femur not expanded, elongate pre-acetabular ilium, small and pyramidal patella and derived (e.g. dorsal ridge on metatarsal IV, plantarly-projected curve in the distal shaft of phalanx III:1 hesperornithiform characters, suggesting it was more specialized than small hesperornithiforms like Baptornis advenus but not as highly derived as the larger Hesperornis regalis. The identification of Fumicollis highlights once again the significant diversity of hesperornithiforms that existed in the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. This diversity points to the existence of a complex ecosystem, perhaps with a high degree of niche partitioning, as indicated by the varying degrees of diving specializations among these birds.

  16. Empirical ground-motion relations for subduction-zone earthquakes and their application to Cascadia and other regions (United States)

    Atkinson, G.M.; Boore, D.M.


    Ground-motion relations for earthquakes that occur in subduction zones are an important input to seismic-hazard analyses in many parts of the world. In the Cascadia region (Washington, Oregon, northern California, and British Columbia), for example, there is a significant hazard from megathrust earthquakes along the subduction interface and from large events within the subducting slab. These hazards are in addition to the hazard from shallow earthquakes in the overlying crust. We have compiled a response spectra database from thousands of strong-motion recordings from events of moment magnitude (M) 5-8.3 occurring in subduction zones around the world, including both interface and in-slab events. The 2001 M 6.8 Nisqually and 1999 M 5.9 Satsop earthquakes are included in the database, as are many records from subduction zones in Japan (Kyoshin-Net data), Mexico (Guerrero data), and Central America. The size of the database is four times larger than that available for previous empirical regressions to determine ground-motion relations for subduction-zone earthquakes. The large dataset enables improved determination of attenuation parameters and magnitude scaling, for both interface and in-slab events. Soil response parameters are also better determined by the data. We use the database to develop global ground-motion relations for interface and in-slab earthquakes, using a maximum likelihood regression method. We analyze regional variability of ground-motion amplitudes across the global database and find that there are significant regional differences. In particular, amplitudes in Cascadia differ by more than a factor of 2 from those in Japan for the same magnitude, distance, event type, and National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) soil class. This is believed to be due to regional differences in the depth of the soil profile, which are not captured by the NEHRP site classification scheme. Regional correction factors to account for these differences are

  17. Remnants of Eoarchean continental crust derived from a subducted proto-arc. (United States)

    Ge, Rongfeng; Zhu, Wenbin; Wilde, Simon A; Wu, Hailin


    Eoarchean [3.6 to 4.0 billion years ago (Ga)] tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) is the major component of Earth's oldest remnant continental crust, thereby holding the key to understanding how continental crust originated and when plate tectonics started in the early Earth. TTGs are mostly generated by partial melting of hydrated mafic rocks at different depths, but whether this requires subduction remains enigmatic. Recent studies show that most Archean TTGs formed at relatively low pressures (≤1.5 GPa) and do not require subduction. We report a suite of newly discovered Eoarchean tonalitic gneisses dated at ~3.7 Ga from the Tarim Craton, northwestern China. These rocks are probably the oldest high-pressure TTGs so far documented worldwide. Thermodynamic and trace element modeling demonstrates that the parent magma may have been generated by water-fluxed partial melting of moderately enriched arc-like basalts at 1.8 to 1.9 GPa and 800° to 830°C, indicating an apparent geothermal gradient (400° to 450°C GPa -1 ) typical for hot subduction zones. They also locally record geochemical evidence for magma interaction with a mantle wedge. Accordingly, we propose that these high-pressure TTGs were generated by partial melting of a subducted proto-arc during arc accretion. Our model implies that modern-style plate tectonics was operative, at least locally, at ~3.7 Ga and was responsible for generating some of the oldest continental nuclei.

  18. Discovery of the early Jurassic Gajia mélange in the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone: Southward subduction of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean? (United States)

    Lai, Wen; Hu, Xiumian; Zhu, Dicheng; An, Wei; Ma, Anlin


    Mélange records a series of geological processes associated with oceanic subduction and continental collision. This paper reports for the first time the presence of Early Jurassic mélange from NW Nagqu in the southern margin of the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone, termed as the Gajia mélange. It shows typically blocks-in-matrix structure with matrix of black shale and siliceous mudstone, and several centimeters to several meters sized blocks of sandstone, silicalite, limestone and basalt. The sandstone blocks consist of homologous sandstone and two types of exotic sandstone, with different modal compositions. The Group 1 of exotic sandstone blocks consists of mainly of feldspar and quartz, whereas the Group 2 is rich in volcanic detritus. The Group 3 of homologous sandstone blocks is rich in feldspar and volcanic detritus with rare occurrence of quartz. U-Pb age data and in situ Hf isotopic compositions of detrital zircons from sandstone blocks are similar to those from the Lhasa terrane, suggesting that the sandstone blocks in the Gajia mélange most probably came from the Lhasa terrane. The YC1σ(2+) age of homologous sandstone blocks is 177 ± 2.4 Ma, suggesting an Early Jurassic depositional age for the sandstones within the Gajia mélange. The Gajia mélange likely records the southward subduction of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean during the Early Jurassic.

  19. The link between great earthquakes and the subduction of oceanic fracture zones

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    R. D. Müller


    Full Text Available Giant subduction earthquakes are known to occur in areas not previously identified as prone to high seismic risk. This highlights the need to better identify subduction zone segments potentially dominated by relatively long (up to 1000 yr and more recurrence times of giant earthquakes. We construct a model for the geometry of subduction coupling zones and combine it with global geophysical data sets to demonstrate that the occurrence of great (magnitude ≥ 8 subduction earthquakes is strongly biased towards regions associated with intersections of oceanic fracture zones and subduction zones. We use a computational recommendation technology, a type of information filtering system technique widely used in searching, sorting, classifying, and filtering very large, statistically skewed data sets on the Internet, to demonstrate a robust association and rule out a random effect. Fracture zone–subduction zone intersection regions, representing only 25% of the global subduction coupling zone, are linked with 13 of the 15 largest (magnitude Mw ≥ 8.6 and half of the 50 largest (magnitude Mw ≥ 8.4 earthquakes. In contrast, subducting volcanic ridges and chains are only biased towards smaller earthquakes (magnitude < 8. The associations captured by our statistical analysis can be conceptually related to physical differences between subducting fracture zones and volcanic chains/ridges. Fracture zones are characterised by laterally continuous, uplifted ridges that represent normal ocean crust with a high degree of structural integrity, causing strong, persistent coupling in the subduction interface. Smaller volcanic ridges and chains have a relatively fragile heterogeneous internal structure and are separated from the underlying ocean crust by a detachment interface, resulting in weak coupling and relatively small earthquakes, providing a conceptual basis for the observed dichotomy.

  20. Barium isotope geochemistry of subduction-zone magmas (United States)

    Yu, H.; Nan, X.; Huang, J.; Wörner, G.; Huang, F.


    Subduction zones are crucial tectonic setting to study material exchange between crust and mantle, mantle partial melting with fluid addition, and formation of ore-deposits1-3. The geochemical characteristics of arc lavas from subduction zones are different from magmas erupted at mid-ocean ridges4, because there are addition of fluids/melts from subducted AOC and its overlying sediments into their source regions in the sub-arc mantle4. Ba is highly incompatible during mantle melting5, and it is enriched in crust (456 ppm)6 relative to the mantle (7.0 ppm)7. The subducted sediments are also enriched in Ba (776 ppm of GLOSS)8. Moreover, because Ba is fluid soluble during subduction, it has been used to track contributions of subduction-related fluids to arc magmas9 or recycled sediments to the mantle10-11. To study the Ba isotope fractionation behavior during subduction process, we analyzed well-characterized, chemically-diverse arc lavas from Central American, Kamchatka, Central-Eastern Aleutian, and Southern Lesser Antilles. The δ137/134Ba of Central American arc lavas range from -0.13 to 0.24‰, and have larger variation than the arc samples from other locations. Except one sample from Central-Eastern Aleutian arc with obviously heavy δ137/134Ba values (0.27‰), all other samples from Kamchatka, Central-Eastern Aleutian, Southern Lesser Antilles arcs are within the range of OIB. The δ137/134Ba is not correlated with the distance to trench, partial melting degrees (Mg#), or subducting slab-derived components. The samples enriched with heavy Ba isotopes have low Ba contents, indicating that Ba isotopes can be fractionated at the beginning of dehydration process with small amount of Ba releasing to the mantle wedge. With the dehydration degree increasing, more Ba of the subducted slab can be added to the source of arc lavas, likely homogenizing the Ba isotope signatures. 1. Rudnick, R., 1995 Nature; 2. Tatsumi, Y. & Kogiso, T., 2003; 3. Sun, W., et al., 2015 Ore

  1. Observations at convergent margins concerning sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and the growth of continental crust (United States)

    von Huene, Roland E.; Scholl, D. W.


    At ocean margins where two plates converge, the oceanic plate sinks or is subducted beneath an upper one topped by a layer of terrestrial crust. This crust is constructed of continental or island arc material. The subduction process either builds juvenile masses of terrestrial crust through arc volcanism or new areas of crust through the piling up of accretionary masses (prisms) of sedimentary deposits and fragments of thicker crustal bodies scraped off the subducting lower plate. At convergent margins, terrestrial material can also bypass the accretionary prism as a result of sediment subduction, and terrestrial matter can be removed from the upper plate by processes of subduction erosion. Sediment subduction occurs where sediment remains attached to the subducting oceanic plate and underthrusts the seaward position of the upper plate's resistive buttress (backstop) of consolidated sediment and rock. Sediment subduction occurs at two types of convergent margins: type 1 margins where accretionary prisms form and type 2 margins where little net accretion takes place. At type 2 margins (???19,000 km in global length), effectively all incoming sediment is subducted beneath the massif of basement or framework rocks forming the landward trench slope. At accreting or type 1 margins, sediment subduction begins at the seaward position of an active buttress of consolidated accretionary material that accumulated in front of a starting or core buttress of framework rocks. Where small-to-mediumsized prisms have formed (???16,300 km), approximately 20% of the incoming sediment is skimmed off a detachment surface or decollement and frontally accreted to the active buttress. The remaining 80% subducts beneath the buttress and may either underplate older parts of the frontal body or bypass the prism entirely and underthrust the leading edge of the margin's rock framework. At margins bordered by large prisms (???8,200 km), roughly 70% of the incoming trench floor section is

  2. Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous foraminiferal biozonation of the Amran Group, eastern Sana'a Basin, Yemen (United States)

    Al-Wosabi, Mohammed; El-Anbaawy, Mohammed; Al-Thour, Khalid


    Two sections of strata assigned to the Amran Group at Jabal Salab and Jabal Yam in the eastern Sana'a governorate were sampled and correlated. These sections are part of a carbonate platform that extends from the city of Marib in the east to Naqil Ibn Ghailan, 20 km east of the city of Sana'a to the west. Palaeontological analysis of samples recovered has resulted in identification of 123 foraminiferal species, which are used to subdivide the sequence of the Amran Group into five biostratigraphic zones, aged between Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) and Berriasian (Early Cretaceous). The proposed biozones are those of Riyadhella rotundata, Kurnubia jurassica, Ammomarginulina sinaica, Alveosepta jaccardi and Pseudocyclammina sulaiyana/Furitilla caspianseis. These biozones were constructed and correlated with the equivalent zones reported from several localities.

  3. Middle Jurassic–Early Cretaceous foraminiferal biozonation of the Amran Group, eastern Sana’a Basin, Yemen

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    Al-Wosabi Mohammed


    Full Text Available Two sections of strata assigned to the Amran Group at Jabal Salab and Jabal Yam in the eastern Sana’a governorate were sampled and correlated. These sections are part of a carbonate platform that extends from the city of Marib in the east to Naqil Ibn Ghailan, 20 km east of the city of Sana’a to the west. Palaeontological analysis of samples recovered has resulted in identification of 123 foraminiferal species, which are used to subdivide the sequence of the Amran Group into five biostratigraphic zones, aged between Bathonian (Middle Jurassic and Berriasian (Early Cretaceous. The proposed biozones are those of Riyadhella rotundata, Kurnubia jurassica, Ammomarginulina sinaica, Alveosepta jaccardi and Pseudocyclammina sulaiyana/Furitilla caspianseis. These biozones were constructed and correlated with the equivalent zones reported from several localities.

  4. U-Pb Detrital Zircon Ages from Sarawak: Changes in Provenance Reflecting the Tectonic Evolution of Southeast Asia (United States)

    Breitfeld, H. T.; Galin, T.; Hall, R.


    Sarawak is located on the northern edge of Sundaland in NW Borneo. Five sedimentary basins are distinguished with ages from Triassic to Cenozoic. New light mineral, heavy mineral and U-Pb detrital zircon ages show differences in provenance reflecting the tectonic evolution of the region. The oldest clastic sediments are Triassic of the Sadong-Kuching Basin and were sourced by a Carnian to Norian volcanic arc and erosion of Cathaysian rocks containing zircons of Paleoproterozoic age. Sandstones of the Upper Jurassic to Cretaceous Bau-Pedawan Basin have distinctive zircon populations indicating a major change of tectonic setting, including initiation of subduction below present-day West Sarawak in the Late Jurassic. A wide range of inherited zircon ages indicates various Cathaysian fragments as major source areas and the arrival of the SW Borneo Block following subduction beneath the Schwaner Mountains in the early Late Cretaceous. After collision of the SW Borneo Block and the microcontinental fragments with Sundaland in the early Late Cretaceous, deep marine sedimentation (Pedawan Formation) ceased, and there was uplift forming the regional Pedawan-Kayan unconformity. Two episodes of extension were responsible for basin development on land from the latest Cretaceous onwards, probably in a strike-slip setting. The first episode formed the Kayan Basin in the Latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) to Early Paleocene, and the second formed the Ketungau Basin and the Penrissen Sandstone in the Middle to Late Eocene. Zircons indicate nearby volcanic activity throughout the Early Cenozoic in NW Borneo. Inherited zircon ages indicate an alternation between Borneo and Tin Belt source rocks. A large deep marine basin, the Rajang Basin, formed north of the Lupar Line fault. Zircons from sediments of the Rajang Basin indicate they are of similar age and provenance as the contemporaneous terrestrial sediments to the south suggesting a narrow steep continental Sundaland margin at the

  5. History and evolution of Subduction in the Precambrium (United States)

    Fischer, R.; Gerya, T.


    Plate tectonics is a global self-organising process driven by negative buoyancy at thermal boundary layers. Phanerozoic plate tectonics with its typical subduction and orogeny is relatively well understood and can be traced back in the geological records of the continents. Interpretations of geological, petrological and geochemical observations from Proterozoic and Archean orogenic belts however (e.g. Brown, 2006), suggest a different tectonic regime in the Precambrian. Due to higher radioactive heat production the Precambrian lithosphere shows lower internal strength and is strongly weakened by percolating melts. The fundamental difference between Precambrian and Phanerozoic subduction is therefore the upper-mantle temperature, which determines the strength of the upper mantle (Brun, 2002) and the further subduction history. 3D petrological-thermomechanical numerical modelling experiments of oceanic subduction at an active plate at different upper-mantle temperatures show these different subduction regimes. For upper-mantle temperatures 250 K above the present day value no subduction occurs any more. The whole lithosphere starts to delaminate and drip-off. But the subduction style is not only a function of upper-mantle temperature but also strongly depends on the thickness of the subducting plate. If thinner present day oceanic plates are used in the Precambrian models, no shallow underplating is observed but steep subduction can be found up to an upper-mantle temperature of 200 K above present day values. Increasing oceanic plate thickness introduces a transition from steep to flat subduction at lower temperatures of around 150 K. Thicker oceanic plates in the Precambrium also agree with results from earlier studies, e.g. Abbott (1994). References: Abbott, D., Drury, R., Smith, W.H.F., 1994. Flat to steep transition in subduction style. Geology 22, 937-940. Brown, M., 2006. Duality of thermal regimes is the distinctive characteristic of plate tectonics since the

  6. Mid-Cretaceous aeolian desert systems in the Yunlong area of the Lanping Basin, China: Implications for palaeoatmosphere dynamics and paleoclimatic change in East Asia (United States)

    Li, Gaojie; Wu, Chihua; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; Yi, Haisheng; Xia, Guoqing; Wagreich, Michael


    extremely lower temperatures and pressure gradients, more arid climate, which is in accordance with the existing morphology of HPC, and the HPC was stable with little movement. Simultaneously, the deserts controlled by the mid-Cretaceous HPC were closer to the equator, indicating the shrinkage of the Hadley Cell relative to the Early Cretaceous.

  7. Initiation of extension in South China continental margin during the active-passive margin transition: kinematic and thermochronological constraints (United States)

    ZUO, Xuran; CHAN, Lung


    The southern South China Block is characterized by a widespread magmatic belt, prominent NE-striking fault zones and numerous rifted basins filled by Cretaceous-Eocene sediments. The geology denotes a transition from an active to a passive margin, which led to rapid modifications of crustal stress configuration and reactivation of older faults in this area. In this study, we used zircon fission-track dating (ZFT) and numerical modeling to examine the timing and kinematics of the active-passive margin transition. Our ZFT results on granitic plutons in the SW Cathaysia Block show two episodes of exhumation of the granitic plutons. The first episode, occurring during 170 Ma - 120 Ma, affected local parts of the Nanling Range. The second episode, a more regional exhumation event, occurred during 115 Ma - 70 Ma. Numerical geodynamic modeling was conducted to simulate the subduction between the paleo-Pacific plate and the South China Block. The modeling results could explain the observation based on ZFT data that exhumation of the granite-dominant Nanling Range occurred at an earlier time than the gneiss-dominant Yunkai Terrane. In addition to the difference in geology between Yunkai and Nanling, the heating from Jurassic-Early Cretaceous magmatism in the Nanling Range may have softened the upper crust, causing the area to exhume more readily. Numerical modeling results also indicate that (1) high slab dip angle, high geothermal gradient of lithosphere and low convergence velocity favor the subduction process and the reversal of crustal stress state from compression to extension in the upper plate; (2) the late Mesozoic magmatism in South China was probably caused by a slab roll-back; and (3) crustal extension could have occurred prior to the cessation of plate subduction. The inversion of stress regime in the continental crust from compression to crustal extension has shed light on the geological condition producing the red bed basins during Late Cretaceous-early

  8. A strong-motion database from the Central American subduction zone (United States)

    Arango, Maria Cristina; Strasser, Fleur O.; Bommer, Julian J.; Hernández, Douglas A.; Cepeda, Jose M.


    Subduction earthquakes along the Pacific Coast of Central America generate considerable seismic risk in the region. The quantification of the hazard due to these events requires the development of appropriate ground-motion prediction equations, for which purpose a database of recordings from subduction events in the region is indispensable. This paper describes the compilation of a comprehensive database of strong ground-motion recordings obtained during subduction-zone events in Central America, focusing on the region from 8 to 14° N and 83 to 92° W, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. More than 400 accelerograms recorded by the networks operating across Central America during the last decades have been added to data collected by NORSAR in two regional projects for the reduction of natural disasters. The final database consists of 554 triaxial ground-motion recordings from events of moment magnitudes between 5.0 and 7.7, including 22 interface and 58 intraslab-type events for the time period 1976-2006. Although the database presented in this study is not sufficiently complete in terms of magnitude-distance distribution to serve as a basis for the derivation of predictive equations for interface and intraslab events in Central America, it considerably expands the Central American subduction data compiled in previous studies and used in early ground-motion modelling studies for subduction events in this region. Additionally, the compiled database will allow the assessment of the existing predictive models for subduction-type events in terms of their applicability for the Central American region, which is essential for an adequate estimation of the hazard due to subduction earthquakes in this region.

  9. Sedimentary Provenance Constraints on the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous Paleogeography of the Sichuan Basin, SW China (United States)

    Li, Y.; He, D.; Li, D.; Lu, R.


    Sedimentary provenance of the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous sediments in the Sichuan Basin is constrained by sandstone petrology and detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology, which provides critical insights into mid-late Mesozoic paleogeographic evolution of the Sichuan Basin. Petrographic analyses of 22 sandstone samples indicate moderate to high mature sediments and are primarily derived from cratonic or recycled sources. U-Pb age data for the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous detrital zircons generally show populations at 130-200, 200-330, 400-490, 680-890, 1730-1960, and 2360-2600 Ma, with up-section variations. The Middle Jurassic sediments contain a relatively high density of 1.85 and 2.5 Ga zircons and a low density of the 800 Ma zircons, which are consistent with derivation mainly from the Songpan-Ganzi terrane and the South Qinling belt, and secondarily from the Western Jiangnan Orogen. The Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous sedimentation with a scattered age distribution shared common multiple-source to sink systems that were predominantly draining towards the south and southeast, but increasingly drained southward, and were later disrupted by a synchronous northeastward drainage capture. Late Cretaceous sediments have a distinct reduction in Block.

  10. A mélange of subduction temperatures: Evidence from Zr-in-rutile thermometry for strengthening of the subduction interface (United States)

    Penniston-Dorland, Sarah C.; Kohn, Matthew J.; Piccoli, Philip M.


    The Catalina Schist contains a spectacular, km-scale amphibolite facies mélange zone, thought to be part of a Cretaceous convergent margin plate interface. In this setting, blocks ranging from centimeters up to ≥100 m in diameter are surrounded by finer-grained matrix that is derived from the blocks. Blocks throughout the mélange represent a diversity of protoliths derived from basalts, cherts and other sediments, and hydrated mantle, but all contain assemblages consistent with upper amphibolite-facies conditions, suggesting a relatively restricted range of depths and temperatures over which material within the mélange was metamorphosed. This apparent uniformity of metamorphic grade contrasts with other mélanges, such as the Franciscan Complex, where coexisting rocks with highly variable peak metamorphic grade suggest extensive mixing of materials along the subduction interface. This mixing has been ascribed to flow of material within relatively low viscosity matrix. The Zr content of rutile in samples from across the amphibolite facies mélange of the Catalina Schist was measured to determine peak metamorphic temperatures, identify whether these temperatures were different among blocks, and whether the spatial distribution of temperatures throughout the mélange was systematic or random. Resolvably different Zr contents, between 290 and 720 (±10-40) ppm, are found among the blocks, corresponding to different peak metamorphic temperatures of 650 to 730 (±2-16) °C at an assumed pressure of 1 GPa. These results are broadly consistent with previous thermobarometric estimates. No systematic distribution of temperatures was found, however. Like other mélange zones, material flow within the Catalina Schist mélange was likely chaotic, but appears to have occurred on a more restricted scale compared to some other localities. Progressive metamorphism of mélange matrix is expected to produce rheologically stiffer matrix minerals (such as amphiboles and pyroxenes

  11. Extensive crustal melting during craton destruction: Evidence from the Mesozoic magmatic suite of Junan, eastern North China Craton (United States)

    Yang, Fan; Santosh, M.; Tang, Li


    The cratonic destruction associated with the Pacific plate subduction beneath the eastern North China Craton (NCC) shows a close relationship with the widespread magmatism during the Late Mesozoic. Here we investigate a suite of intrusive and extrusive magmatic rocks from the Junan region of the eastern NCC in order to evaluate the role of extensive crustal melting related to decratonization. We present petrological, geochemical, zircon U-Pb geochronological and Lu-Hf isotopic data to evaluate the petrogenesis, timing and tectonic significance of the Early Cretaceous magmatism. Zircon grains in the basalt from the extrusive suite of Junan show multiple populations with Neoproterozoic and Early Paleozoic xenocrystic grains ranging in age from 764 Ma to 495 Ma as well as Jurassic grains with an age range of 189-165 Ma. The dominant population of magmatic zircon grains in the syenite defines three major age peaks of 772 Ma, 132 Ma and 126 Ma. Zircons in the granitoids including alkali syenite, monzonite and granodiorite yield a tightly restricted age range of 124-130 Ma representing their emplacement ages. The Neoproterozoic (841-547 Ma) zircon grains from the basalt and the syenite possess εHf(t) values of -22.9 to -8.4 and from -18.8 to -17.3, respectively. The Early Paleozoic (523-494 Ma) zircons from the basalt and the syenite also show markedly negative εHf(t) values of -22.7 to -18.0. The dominant population of Early Cretaceous (134-121 Ma) zircon grains presented in all the samples also displays negative εHf(t) values range from -31.7 to -21.1, with TDM of 1653-2017 Ma and TDMC in the range of 2193-3187 Ma. Accordingly, the Lu-Hf data suggest that the parent magma was sourced through melting of Mesoarchean to Paleoproterozoic basement rocks. Geochemical data on the Junan magmatic suite display features similar to those associated with the arc magmatic rocks involving subduction-related components, with interaction of fluids and melts in the suprasubduction

  12. Subduction in the Southern Caribbean (United States)

    Levander, A.; Schmitz, M.; Bezada, M.; Masy, J.; Niu, F.; Pindell, J.


    The southern Caribbean is bounded at either end by subduction zones: In the east at the Lesser Antilles subduction zone the Atlantic part of the South American plate subducts beneath the Caribbean. In the north and west under the Southern Caribbean Deformed Belt accretionary prism, the Caribbean subducts under South America. In a manner of speaking, the two plates subduct beneath each other. Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography confirms this, imaging the Atlantic and the Caribbean subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America (Bezada et al, 2010). The two subduction zones are connected by the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike-slip fault system, a San Andreas scale system. A variety of seismic probes identify where the two plates tear as they begin to subduct (Niu et al, 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Miller et al. 2009; Masy et al, 2009). The El Pilar system forms at the southeastern corner of the Antilles subduction zone by the Atlantic tearing from South America. The deforming plate edges control mountain building and basin formation at the eastern end of the strike-slip system. In northwestern South America the Caribbean plate tears, its southernmost element subducting at shallow angles under northernmost Colombia and then rapidly descending to transition zone depths under Lake Maracaibo (Bezada et al., 2010). We believe that the flat slab produces the Merida Andes, the Perija, and the Santa Marta ranges. The southern edge of the nonsubducting Caribbean plate underthrusts northern Venezuela to about the width of the coastal mountains (Miller et al., 2009). We infer that the underthrust Caribbean plate supports the coastal mountains, and controls continuing deformation.

  13. Petrological and zircon evidence for the Early Cretaceous granulite-facies metamorphism in the Dabie orogen, China (United States)

    Gao, Xiao-Ying; Zhang, Qiang-Qiang; Zheng, Yong-Fei; Chen, Yi-Xiang


    . The spatial and temporal distribution of Early Cretaceous granulite-facies metamorphic rocks in this region is associated with the bimodal magmatism within a short period of 120-130 Ma in the postcollisional stage. This provides a direct link in petrogenesis between the granulitic, migmatic and magmatic rocks in the collisional orogen to active continental rifting, whereby high heat flow was transferred from the asthenospheric mantle into the thinned orogenic lithosphere for partial melting.

  14. New fossil ants in French Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Nel, André; Néraudeau, Didier; Lacau, Sébastien; Guyot, Thierry


    Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.

  15. Paleoarchean bedrock lithologies across the Makhonjwa Mountains of South Africa and Swaziland linked to geochemical, magnetic and tectonic data reveal early plate tectonic genes flanking subduction margins

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    Maarten de Wit


    Full Text Available The Makhonjwa Mountains, traditionally referred to as the Barberton Greenstone Belt, retain an iconic Paleoarchean archive against which numerical models of early earth geodynamics can be tested. We present new geologic and structural maps, geochemical plots, geo- and thermo-chronology, and geophysical data from seven silicic, mafic to ultramafic complexes separated by major shear systems across the southern Makhonjwa Mountains. All reveal signs of modern oceanic back-arc crust and subduction-related processes. We compare the rates of processes determined from this data and balance these against plate tectonic and plume related models. Robust rates of both horizontal and vertical tectonic processes derived from the Makhonjwa Mountain complexes are similar, well within an order of magnitude, to those encountered across modern oceanic and orogenic terrains flanking Western Pacific-like subduction zones. We conclude that plate tectonics and linked plate-boundary processes were well established by 3.2–3.6 Ga. Our work provides new constraints for modellers with rates of a ‘basket’ of processes against which to test Paleoarchean geodynamic models over a time period close to the length of the Phanerozoic. Keywords: Paleoarchean, Barberton Greenstone Belt, Onverwacht Suite, Geologic bedrock and structural maps, Geochemistry and geophysics, Plate tectonics

  16. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects. (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes


    Insects have evolved diverse methods of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only an ability to recognize, collect, and carry materials but also evolutionary adaptations in related morphological characteristics. However, the fossil record of such behavior is extremely scarce, and only a single Mesozoic example from Spanish amber has been recorded; therefore, little is known about the early evolution of this complicated behavior and its underlying anatomy. We report a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs). These ancient insects used a variety of debris material, including insect exoskeletons, sand grains, soil dust, leaf trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, wood fibers, and other vegetal debris. They convergently evolved their debris-carrying behavior through multiple pathways, which expressed a high degree of evolutionary plasticity. We demonstrate that the behavioral repertoire, which is associated with considerable morphological adaptations, was already widespread among insects by at least the Mid-Cretaceous. Together with the previously known Spanish specimen, these fossils are the oldest direct evidence of camouflaging behavior in the fossil record. Our findings provide a novel insight into early evolution of camouflage in insects and ancient ecological associations among plants and insects.

  17. Dynamics of interplate domain in subduction zones: influence of rheological parameters and subducting plate age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Arcay


    , and eventually jams the subduction process during incipient subduction of a young (20-Myr-old and soft lithosphere under a thick upper plate. Finally, both the BDT depth and the decoupling depth are a function of the subducting plate age, but are not influenced in the same fashion: cool and old subducting plates deepen the BDT but shallow the interplate decoupling depth. Even if BDT and kinematic decoupling are intrinsically related to different mechanisms of deformation, this work shows that they are able to interact closely. Comparison between modelling results and observations suggests a minimum friction coefficient of 0.045 for the interplate plane, even 0.069 in some cases, to model realistic BDT depths. The modelled zdec is a bit deeper than suggested by geophysical observations. Eventually, the better way to improve the adjustment to observations may rely on a moderate to strong asthenosphere viscosity reduction in the metasomatised mantle wedge.

  18. Evidence of cretaceous to recent West African intertropical vegetation from continental sediment spore-pollen analysis (United States)

    Salard-Cheboldaeff, M.; Dejax, J.

    The succession of spore-pollen assemblages during the Cretaceous and Tertiary, as defined in each of the basin from Senegal to Angola, gives the possibility to consider the intertropical African flora evolution for the past 120 M.a. During the Early Cretaceous, xeric-adapted gymnosperms and various ferns were predominant the flora which nevertheless comprises previously unknown early angiosperm pollen. During the Middle Cretaceous, gymnospers were gradually replaced by angiosperms; these became more and more abundant, along with the diversification of new genera and species. During the Paleocene, the radiation of the monocotyledons (mainly that of the palm-trees) as well as a greater diversification among the dicotyledons and ferms are noteworthy. Since gymnosperms had almost disappeared by the Eocene, the diversification of the dicotyledons went on until the neogene, when all extinct pollen types are already present. These important modifications of the vegetation reflect evolutionary trends as well as climatic changes during the Cretaceous: the climate, firstly hot, dry and perhaps arid, did probably induced salt deposition, and later became gradually more humid under oceanic influences which arose in connection with the Gondwana break-up.

  19. A large parasitengonid mite (Acari, Erythraeoidea from the Early Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil

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    J. A. Dunlop


    Full Text Available A new large, fossil mite (Arachnida: Acari, Pararainbowia martilli n. gen. n. sp., is described from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian Crato Formation from Ceará State, Brazil. It is assigned to the Cohort Parasitengona and the superfamily Erythraeoidea, some extant members of which can reach up to seven millimetres in body length. Given that doubts have been raised about the identity of putative Crato feather mite eggs, this new fossil represents the first unequivocal record of Acari from the Crato Formation, the first non-amber record of an erythraeoid mite and the oldest named example of this superfamily. Fossil erythraeoids from Mesozoic and Tertiary ambers are briefly reviewed – including a widely overlooked Late Cretaceous species – with comments on Mesozoic mites in general. Thirteen Baltic amber erythraeoids have been formally described, but much unstudied material from various amber sources remains. Ein neues großes Milbenfossil (Arachnida: Acari, Pararainbowia martilli n. gen. n. sp., wird aus der Crato Formation (Unterkreide, Aptium des Ceará Gebietes in Brasilien beschrieben. Es wird der Kohorte Parasitengona und der Überfamilie Erythraeoidea zugeordnet; die modernen Vertreter erreichen eine Körperlänge bis zu sieben mm. Weil die Identität von Federmilbeneiern aus der Crato Formation in Frage gestellt wurde, ist dieser Neufund der erste klare Hinweis von Acari aus der Crato Formation. Es ist die erste erythraeoide Milbe, die nicht aus dem Bernstein stammt sowie das älteste genannte Beispiel dieser Überfamilie. Fossile erythraeoide Milben aus dem Bernstein des Mesozoikum und des Tertiärs werden kurz zusammengefasst – u. a. eine weitgehend übersehene Art aus der Oberkreide – mit allgemeinen Anmerkungen zu den mesozoischen Milben. Dreizehn erythraeoide Milbenarten sind aus dem baltischen Bernstein genannt und beschrieben worden, aber weiteres unbearbeitetes Material von verschiedenen Bernstein-Fundpunkten liegt noch vor

  20. Transfer of subduction fluids into the deforming mantle wedge during nascent subduction: Evidence from trace elements and boron isotopes (Semail ophiolite, Oman) (United States)

    Prigent, C.; Guillot, S.; Agard, P.; Lemarchand, D.; Soret, M.; Ulrich, M.


    The basal part of the Semail ophiolitic mantle was (de)formed at relatively low temperature (LT) directly above the plate interface during "nascent subduction" (the prelude to ophiolite obduction). This subduction-related LT deformation was associated with progressive strain localization and cooling, resulting in the formation of porphyroclastic to ultramylonitic shear zones prior to serpentinization. Using petrological and geochemical analyses (trace elements and B isotopes), we show that these basal peridotites interacted with hydrous fluids percolating by porous flow during mylonitic deformation (from ∼850 down to 650 °C). This process resulted in 1) high-T amphibole crystallization, 2) striking enrichments of minerals in fluid mobile elements (FME; particularly B, Li and Cs with concentrations up to 400 times those of the depleted mantle) and 3) peridotites with an elevated δ11B of up to +25‰. These features indicate that the metasomatic hydrous fluids are most likely derived from the dehydration of subducting crustal amphibolitic materials (i.e., the present-day high-T sole). The rapid decrease in metasomatized peridotite δ11B with increasing distance to the contact with the HT sole (to depleted mantle isotopic values in <1 km) suggests an intense interaction between peridotites and rapid migrating fluids (∼1-25 m.y-1), erasing the initial high-δ11B subduction fluid signature within a short distance. The increase of peridotite δ11B with increasing deformation furthermore indicates that the flow of subduction fluids was progressively channelized in actively deforming shear zones parallel to the contact. Taken together, these results also suggest that the migration of subduction fluids/melts by porous flow through the subsolidus mantle wedge (i.e., above the plate interface at sub-arc depths) is unlikely to be an effective mechanism to transport slab-derived elements to the locus of partial melting in subduction zones.

  1. Circum-Pacific accretion of oceanic terranes to continental blocks: accretion of the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite to the E Gondwana continental margin, South Island, New Zealand (United States)

    Robertson, Alastair


    Accretionary orogens, in part, grow as a result of the accretion of oceanic terranes to pre-existing continental blocks, as in the circum-Pacific and central Asian regions. However, the accretionary processes involved remain poorly understood. Here, we consider settings in which oceanic crust formed in a supra-subduction zone setting and later accreted to continental terranes (some, themselves of accretionary origin). Good examples include some Late Cretaceous ophiolites in SE Turkey, the Jurassic Coast Range ophiolite, W USA and the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite of South Island, New Zealand. In the last two cases, the ophiolites are depositionally overlain by coarse clastic sedimentary rocks (e.g. Permian Upukerora Formation of South Island, NZ) that then pass upwards into very thick continental margin fore-arc basin sequences (Great Valley sequence, California; Matai sequence, South Island, NZ). Field observations, together with petrographical and geochemical studies in South Island, NZ, summarised here, provide evidence of terrane accretion processes. In a proposed tectonic model, the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite was created by supra-subduction zone spreading above a W-dipping subduction zone (comparable to the present-day Izu-Bonin arc and fore arc, W Pacific). The SSZ oceanic crust in the New Zealand example is inferred to have included an intra-oceanic magmatic arc, which is no longer exposed (other than within a melange unit in Southland), but which is documented by petrographic and geochemical evidence. An additional subduction zone is likely to have dipped westwards beneath the E Gondwana margin during the Permian. As a result, relatively buoyant Early Permian supra-subduction zone oceanic crust was able to dock with the E Gondwana continental margin, terminating intra-oceanic subduction (although the exact timing is debatable). The amalgamation ('soft collision') was accompanied by crustal extension of the newly accreted oceanic slab, and

  2. Cu-Ag Besshi type volcanogenic massive sulfide mineralization in the Late Cretaceous volcano- sedimentary sequence: the case of Garmabe Paein deposit, southeast of Shahrood

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    Majid Tashi


    Full Text Available Introduction Iran hosts numerous types of Volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS deposits that occur within different tectonic assemblages and have formed at discrete time periods (Mousivand et al. 2008. The Sabzevar zone hosts several VMS deposits including the Nudeh Cu-Ag deposit (Maghfouri, 2012 and some deposits in the Kharturan area (Tashi et al., 2014, and the Kharturan area locates in the Sabzevar subzone of the Central East Iranian Microcontinent. The Sabzevar subzone mainly involves Mesozoic and Cenozoic rock unites. The Late Cretaceous ophiolite mellanges and volcano-sedimentary sequences have high extension in the Subzone. Based on Rossetti (Rossetti et al. 2010, the Cretaceous rock units were formed in a back-arc setting due to subduction of the Neo-Tethyan oceanic crust beneath the Iranian plate. The exposed rock units of the Kharturan area from bottom to top are dominated by Early Cretaceous, orbitolina-bearing massive limestone, dacitic-andesitic volcanics and related volcaniclastic rocks٫ chert and radiolarite and Late Cretaceous globotrunkana- bearing limestone, paleocene polygenic conglomerate consisting of the Cretaceous volcanics and limestone pebbles (equal to the Kerman conglomerate, and Pliocene weakly-cemented polygenic conglomerate horizon. The Garmabe Paein copper-silver deposit and the Asbkeshan deposit and a few occurrences, are located at 290 km southeast of Shahrood and they have occurred within the Upper Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary sequence in the Sabzevar subzone. The aim of this study is to discuss the genesis of the Garmabe Paein deposit based on geological, textural and structural, mineralogical and geochemical evidence. Materials and methods A field study and sampling was performed during the year 2013. During the field observations, 94 rock samples were collected from the study area, and 45 thin sections were prepared and studied using a polarizing microscope. Also, 5 samples for the XRD method, 21 samples for

  3. Geochronology and geochemistry of Mesozoic intrusive rocks in the Xing'an Massif of NE China: Implications for the evolution and spatial extent of the Mongol-Okhotsk tectonic regime (United States)

    Li, Yu; Xu, Wen-Liang; Tang, Jie; Pei, Fu-Ping; Wang, Feng; Sun, Chen-Yang


    This study presents new zircon U-Pb-Hf and whole-rock geochemical data for intrusive rocks in the Xing'an Massif of NE China, with the aim of furthering our understanding of the evolution and spatial influence of the Mongol-Okhotsk tectonic regime. Zircon U-Pb dating indicates that five stages of Mesozoic magmatism are recorded in the Xing'an Massif, namely during the Middle Triassic ( 237 Ma), the Late Triassic ( 225 Ma), the Early Jurassic ( 178 Ma), the Middle Jurassic ( 168 Ma), and the late Early Cretaceous ( 130 Ma). The Middle Triassic-Early Jurassic intrusive rocks in the Xing'an Massif are dominantly granodiorites, monzogranites, and syenogranites that formed from magma generated by partial melting of newly accreted continental crust. Geochemistry of the Middle Triassic-Early Jurassic granitoid suites of the Xing'an Massif indicates their formation at an active continental margin setting, related to the southwards subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate. The Middle Jurassic monzogranites in the Xing'an Massif are geochemically similar to adakites and have εHf(t) values (+3.8 to +5.8) and Hf two-stage model ages (TDM2; 979-850 Ma) that are indicative of derivation from magma generated by partial melting of thickened juvenile lower crust. The Middle Jurassic monzogranites formed in a compressional setting related to the closure of the Mongol-Okhotsk Ocean. The late Early Cretaceous intrusive rocks in the Xing'an Massif are dominated by A-type granitoids that are associated with bimodal volcanic rocks, suggesting their formation in an extensional environment related to either (i) delamination of a previously thickened region of the crust, associated with the Mongol-Okhotsk tectonic regime; (ii) the subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate; or (iii) the combined influence of these two tectonic regimes.

  4. Petrogenesis of an Early Cretaceous lamprophyre dike from Kyoto Prefecture, Japan: Implications for the generation of high-Nb basalt magmas in subduction zones (United States)

    Imaoka, Teruyoshi; Kawabata, Hiroshi; Nagashima, Mariko; Nakashima, Kazuo; Kamei, Atsushi; Yagi, Koshi; Itaya, Tetsumaru; Kiji, Michio


    We studied a 107 Ma vogesite (a kind of lamprophyre with alkali-feldspar > plagioclase, and hornblende ± clinopyroxene ± biotite) dike in the Kinki district of the Tamba Belt, Kyoto Prefecture, SW Japan, using petrography, mineralogy, K-Ar ages, and geochemistry to evaluate its petrogenesis and tectonic implications. The dike has the very specific geochemical characteristics of a primitive high-Mg basalt, with 48-50 wt.% SiO2 (anhydrous basis), high values of Mg# (67.3-72.4), and high Cr ( 431 ppm), Ni ( 371 ppm), and Co ( 52 ppm) contents. The vogesite is alkaline and ne-normative with high concentrations of large ion lithophile elements (LILEs: Sr = 1270-2200 ppm, Ba = 3910-26,900 ppm), light rare earth elements (LREEs) [(La/Yb)n = 58-62), and high field strength elements (HFSEs: TiO2 = 1.5-1.8 wt.%, Nb = 24-33 ppm, Zr = 171-251 ppm), and the vogesite can be classified as a high-Nb basalt (HNB). The vogesite was formed by the lowest degree of melting of metasomatized mantle in the garnet stability field, and it may also have been formed at higher melting pressures than other Kyoto lamprophyres. The low degree of melting is the primary reason for the high-Nb content of the vogesite, not mantle metasomatism, and a higher degree of melting would have changed the primary magma composition from a HNB to a Nb-enriched basalt (NEB). The vogesite magma was contaminated at an early stage of its development by melts derived from sediments drawn down a subduction zone, as indicated by some geochemical indices and the initial Nd isotope ratios. The vogesite exhibits positive correlations between εSr(107 Ma) values (5.4-50.9) and its high Ba and Sr concentrations, and it has a limited range of εNd(107 Ma) values (+ 0.97 to + 2.4). The fact that the vogesite contains centimeter-sized xenoliths of chert, which are composed of polycrystalline quartz, calcite, barite, pyrite, and magnetite, indicates that the barium contamination took place during the ascent of the

  5. Biotic and environmental dynamics through the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous transition: evidence for protracted faunal and ecological turnover. (United States)

    Tennant, Jonathan P; Mannion, Philip D; Upchurch, Paul; Sutton, Mark D; Price, Gregory D


    The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous interval represents a time of environmental upheaval and cataclysmic events, combined with disruptions to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Historically, the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary was classified as one of eight mass extinctions. However, more recent research has largely overturned this view, revealing a much more complex pattern of biotic and abiotic dynamics than has previously been appreciated. Here, we present a synthesis of our current knowledge of Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous events, focusing particularly on events closest to the J/K boundary. We find evidence for a combination of short-term catastrophic events, large-scale tectonic processes and environmental perturbations, and major clade interactions that led to a seemingly dramatic faunal and ecological turnover in both the marine and terrestrial realms. This is coupled with a great reduction in global biodiversity which might in part be explained by poor sampling. Very few groups appear to have been entirely resilient to this J/K boundary 'event', which hints at a 'cascade model' of ecosystem changes driving faunal dynamics. Within terrestrial ecosystems, larger, more-specialised organisms, such as saurischian dinosaurs, appear to have suffered the most. Medium-sized tetanuran theropods declined, and were replaced by larger-bodied groups, and basal eusauropods were replaced by neosauropod faunas. The ascent of paravian theropods is emphasised by escalated competition with contemporary pterosaur groups, culminating in the explosive radiation of birds, although the timing of this is obfuscated by biases in sampling. Smaller, more ecologically diverse terrestrial non-archosaurs, such as lissamphibians and mammaliaforms, were comparatively resilient to extinctions, instead documenting the origination of many extant groups around the J/K boundary. In the marine realm, extinctions were focused on low-latitude, shallow marine shelf-dwelling faunas

  6. Composition of Sediment Inputs to the Hikurangi Subduction Margin: A Prelude to IODP Expedition 375 (United States)

    Underwood, M.


    Expedition 375 of the International Ocean Discovery Program is scheduled to begin drilling offshore New Zealand in March 2018. Two sites will be cored seaward of the Hikurangi subduction front (subduction inputs), plus one site at the toe of the accretionary prism, and one site in the forearc above a zone of well-documented slow-slip events. One of the challenges during planning for Expedition 375 has been the total absence of pre-existing compositional data from the region; that lack of basic information impacts such tasks as mixing and analysis of appropriate standards for X-ray diffraction, error analysis, computation of accurate normalization factors, and QA/QC. To help overcome those deficiencies, I analyzed a total of 152 samples from ODP Sites 1123 (Quaternary to Eocene), 1124 (Quaternary to Cretaceous), and 1125 (Quaternary to Miocene), plus piston/gravity-core samples from the repositories at Lamont-Doherty, Oregon State, and NIWA. The results reveal an unusually large range of compositions for the bulk sediments. The relative abundance of total clay minerals ranges from 3 to 64 wt%. Quartz ranges from 0 to 39 wt%. Feldspar ranges from 0 to 40 wt%, and calcite ranges from 0 to 93 wt%. Samples from the Hikurangi Plateau and Chatham Rise are carbonate-rich, with many bordering on almost-pure nannofossil chalk. Hemipelagic muds from the floor of Hikurangi Trough, Ruatoria slide, and the landward slope of the trench are fairly uniform, with averages of 36 wt% total clay minerals, 27 wt% quartz, 24 wt% feldspar, and 13 wt% calcite. Unlike many other subduction zones, this diversity of lithologies will save shipboard scientists from repetitive, mind-numbing descriptions and analyses, and shorebased experiments for frictional properties, permeability, and consolidation will need to pay close attention to the compositional attributes of the specimens. In addition, results from the four IODP boreholes can be interpreted within a broader, regional-scale framework of

  7. Tomographically-imaged subducted slabs and magmatic history of Caribbean and Pacific subduction beneath Colombia (United States)

    Bernal-Olaya, R.; Mann, P.; Vargas, C. A.; Koulakov, I.


    We define the length and geometry of eastward and southeastward-subducting slabs beneath northwestern South America in Colombia using ~100,000 earthquake events recorded by the Colombian National Seismic Network from 1993 to 2012. Methods include: hypocenter relocation, compilation of focal mechanisms, and P and S wave tomographic calculations performed using LOTOS and Seisan. The margins of Colombia include four distinct subduction zones based on slab dip: 1) in northern Colombia, 12-16-km-thick oceanic crust subducts at a modern GPS rate of 20 mm/yr in a direction of 110 degrees at a shallow angle of 8 degrees; as a result of its low dip, Pliocene-Pleistocene volcanic rocks are present 400 km from the frontal thrust; magmatic arc migration to the east records 800 km of subduction since 58 Ma ago (Paleocene) with shallow subduction of the Caribbean oceanic plateau starting ~24-33 Ma (Miocene); at depths of 90-150 km, the slab exhibits a negative velocity anomaly we associate with pervasive fracturing; 2) in the central Colombia-Panama area, we define an area of 30-km-thick crust of the Panama arc colliding/subducting at a modern 30/mm in a direction of 95 degrees; the length of this slab shows subduction/collision initiated after 20 Ma (Middle Miocene); we call this feature the Panama indenter since it has produced a V-shaped indentation of the Colombian margin and responsible for widespread crustal deformation and topographic uplift in Colombia; an incipient subduction area is forming near the Panama border with intermediate earthquakes at an eastward dip of 70 degrees to depths of ~150 km; this zone is not visible on tomographic images; 3) a 250-km-wide zone of Miocene oceanic crust of the Nazca plate flanking the Panama indenter subducts at a rate of 25 mm/yr in a direction of 55 degrees and at a normal dip of 40 degrees; the length of this slab suggests subduction began at ~5 Ma; 4) the Caldas tear defines a major dip change to the south where a 35 degrees

  8. Stress orientations in subduction zones and the strength of subduction megathrust faults. (United States)

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L


    Subduction zone megathrust faults produce most of the world's largest earthquakes. Although the physical properties of these faults are difficult to observe directly, their frictional strength can be estimated indirectly by constraining the orientations of the stresses that act on them. A global investigation of stress orientations in subduction zones finds that the maximum compressive stress axis plunges systematically trenchward, consistently making an angle of 45° to 60° with respect to the subduction megathrust fault. These angles indicate that the megathrust fault is not substantially weaker than its surroundings. Together with several other lines of evidence, this implies that subduction zone megathrusts are weak faults in a low-stress environment. The deforming outer accretionary wedge may decouple the stress state along the megathrust from the constraints of the free surface. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Geomagnetic Reversals of the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous Captured in a North China Core (United States)

    Kuhn, T.; Fu, R. R.; Kent, D. V.; Olsen, P. E.


    The Tuchengzi formation in North China nominally spans nearly 20 million years of the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, an interval during which age calibration of the Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale (GPTS) based on seafloor magnetic anomalies is poorly known. The overlying Yixian formation is of special paleontological interest due to an abundance of spectacularly preserved macrofossils of feathered non-avian dinosaurs, birds, mammals, and insects. Scarce fossils in the Tuchengzi, sparse accurate radiometric dates on both the Tuchengzi and overlying Yixian formation, and scant previous paleomagnetic studies on these formations motivated our application of magnetostratigraphy as a geochronological tool. We constructed a geomagnetic reversal sequence from the upper 142m of a 200m core extracted in Liaoning Province at Huangbanjigou spanning the lower Yixian Formation and the unconformably underlying Tuchengzi Formation. Thermal demagnetization up to 680°C in steps of 25-50°C revealed predominantly normal overprints consistent with the modern day field with unblocking temperatures between 125°C and as high as 550°C, as well as normal and reverse characteristic components with unblocking temperatures between 500°C and 680°C. Going up from the base of the core, there is a reverse polarity magnetozone >6m thick, followed by a 5m normal magnetozone, a 10m reverse magnetozone, a 25m normal magnetozone, and a 6m reverse magnetozone truncated by the Yixian-Tuchengzi unconformity. Above the unconformity, all 81m of core were normal. These results indicate that a meaningful polarity stratigraphy can be recovered from the Tuchengzi and Yixian formations that will be invaluable for correlations across the Tuchengzi and potentially the Yixian formations, which span thousands of square kilometers and vary in thickness by many hundreds of meters. The results also demonstrate that, in combination with accurate and precise radiometric dates, the Tuchengzi Formation has the

  10. Heterogeneous subduction structure within the Pacific plate beneath the Izu-Bonin arc (United States)

    Gong, Wei; Xing, Junhui; Jiang, Xiaodian


    The Izu-Bonin subduction zone is a subduction system formed in early Eocene. The structure of the subduction zone becomes complicated with the evolution of the surrounding plate motion, and many aspects are still unkown or ambiguous. The geodynamic implications are further investigated in related to published seismic observations and geochemical characters of the Izu-Bonin subduction zone. As indicated by seismic tomography and epicentral distributions, the dip angle of the plate beneath the segment to the south of 29°-30°N (the southern Izu-Bonin) is much steeper than the northern one (the northern Izu-Bonin). Deep focus events in the southern segment extend to the depth of ∼600 km, whereas in the northern section deep events just terminate at 420-450 km. Particularly, tomographic images show an obvious boundary between the northern and southern Izu-Bonin at depths of 150-600 km neglected in the previous studies. The northern and southern segments are even separated by a wide range of low-velocity anomaly in P and S wave tomography at 380 km and 450 km depths. In this depth range, three events near 30°N are characterized by strike-slip mechanisms with slab parallel σ1 and horizontally north-south trending σ3, which differ with the typical down-dip compression mechanisms for neighboring events. These events could be attributed to an abrupt change of the morphology and movement of the slab in the transition segment between the northern and southern Izu-Bonin. Indicated by the focal mechanisms, the northern and southern Izu-Bonin exhibits an inhomogeneous stress field, which is closely related to age differences of the downgoing slab. Because of the reheating process, the thermal age of the Pacific plate entering the Izu-Bonin trench in the past 10 Ma, is only 60-90 ± 20 Ma, along with the younger plate subducting in the northern segment. The seismic anisotropy implies that mantle wedge flow orientation is between the motion direction of the Pacific plate and

  11. Length Scales and Types of Heterogeneities Along the Deep Subduction Interface: Insights From an Exhumed Subduction Complex on Syros Island, Greece (United States)

    Kotowski, A. J.; Behr, W. M.; Tong, X.; Lavier, L.


    The rheology of the deep subduction interface strongly influences the occurrence, recurrence, and migration of episodic tremor and slow slip (ETS) events. To better understand the environment of deep ETS, we characterize the length scales and types of rheological heterogeneities that decorate the deep interface using an exhumed subduction complex. The Cycladic Blueschist Unit on Syros, Greece, records Eocene subduction to 60 km, partial exhumation along the top of the slab, and final exhumation along Miocene detachment faults. The CBU reached 450-580˚C and 14-16 kbar, PT conditions similar to where ETS occurs in several modern subduction zones. Rheological heterogeneity is preserved in a range of rock types on Syros, with the most prominent type being brittle pods embedded within a viscous matrix. Prograde, blueschist-facies metabasalts show strong deformation fabrics characteristic of viscous flow; cm- to m-scale eclogitic lenses are embedded within them as massive, veined pods, foliated pods rotated with respect to the blueschist fabric, and attenuated, foliation-parallel lenses. Similar relationships are observed in blueschist-facies metasediments interpreted to have deformed during early exhumation. In these rocks, metabasalts form lenses ranging in size from m- to 10s of m and are distributed at the m-scale throughout the metasedimentary matrix. Several of the metamafic lenses, and the matrix rocks immediately adjacent to them, preserve multiple generations of dilational veins and shear fractures filled with quartz and high pressure minerals. These observations suggest that coupled brittle-viscous deformation under high fluid pressures may characterize the subduction interface in the deep tremor source region. To test this further, we modeled the behavior of an elasto-plastic pod in a viscous shear zone under high fluid pressures. Our models show that local stress concentrations around the pod are large enough to generate transient dilational shear at seismic

  12. Internal structure of the Supragetic Unit basement in the Serbian Carpathians and its significance for the late Early Cretaceous nappe-stacking

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    Krstekanić Nemanja


    Full Text Available Fault-related folds and hanging-wall structures reflect the geometry of the main thrusts in foldthrust belts. The results of the structural analysis of the Supragetic Unit metamorphic basement in eastern Serbia at map-, outcrop- and thin-section scale, and its importance for the late Early Cretaceous nappe-stacking are presented in this paper. The Supragetic Unit metamorphic basement includes various volcano-sedimentary rocks of Ordovician-Silurian protolith age. They were metamorphosed to the low greenschist facies with temperatures reaching 300-350°C and pressure reaching 0.3-0.5 GPa. The microscale studies show that quartz and albite demonstrate dominantly bulging and locally subgrain rotation recrystallisation, while chlorite, sericite and muscovite define spaced to continuous foliation recognised both at the outcrop- and the thin-section-scale. The statistical analysis based on the available map data shows low- to high-angle west-dipping foliation which is interpreted as an indicator of flat-ramp geometry of the Supragetic thrust, rather than east-vergent tight to isoclinal folding. At the thin-section scale ductile to semi-ductile C’-S structures indicate top to ESE thrusting. Subsequent kinking, recognised both at the outcrop- and the thin-section-scale, deform the older foliation. Those kink bands are the result of WNW-ESE to NW-SE compression and could represent the later stage of a continuous deformation event during which C’-S structures were formed. The youngest, brittle deformation is represented by subvertical joints with no offset recognised in thin-sections. The structural characteristics of the Supragetic Unit low-grade metamorphic basement in the studied areas, combined with tectonothermal events recognised elsewhere in Dacia mega-unit, could imply a possible initiation of the late Early Cretaceous nappe-stacking in the ductile to semi-ductile/semi-brittle domain. [Project of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and

  13. Paleomagnetism of Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks in central Patagonia: a key to constrain the timing of rotations during the breakup of southwestern Gondwana? (United States)

    Geuna, Silvana E.; Somoza, Rubén; Vizán, Haroldo; Figari, Eduardo G.; Rinaldi, Carlos A.


    A paleomagnetic study in Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks from the Cañadón Asfalto basin, central Patagonia, indicates the occurrence of about 25-30° clockwise rotation in Upper Jurassic-lowermost Cretaceous rocks, whereas the overlying mid-Cretaceous rocks do not show evidence of rotation. This constrains the tectonic rotation to be related to a major regional unconformity in Patagonia, which in turn seems to be close in time with the early opening of the South Atlantic Ocean. The sense and probably the timing of this rotation are similar to those of other paleomagnetically detected rotations in different areas of southwestern Gondwana, suggesting a possible relationship between these and major tectonic processes related with fragmentation of the supercontinent. On the other hand, the mid-Cretaceous rocks in the region yield a paleopole located at Lat. 87° South, Long. 159° East, A95=3.8°. This pole position is consistent with coeval high-quality paleopoles of other plates when transferred to South American coordinates, implying it is an accurate determination of the Aptian (circa 116 Ma) geomagnetic field in South America.

  14. Geothermics of the Apenninic subduction

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    G. Zito


    Full Text Available The subduction of the Adriatic microplate is analysed from a geothermal point of view. In particular four main geodynamic units are distinguished: foreland, foredeep and slab, accretionary prism, and back-arc basin. Each of them is examined from a geothermal point of view and the related open question are discussed. The most relevant results are the determination of the undisturbed geothermal gradient in the aquifer of the foreland; the discovery of a « hot » accretionary prism; and a new model of instantaneous extension of the back-arc basins. The main conclusion is that geothermal data are consistent with a westward dipping subduction that migrated eastward producing a sequence of several episodes at the surface.

  15. Tomography and Dynamics of Western-Pacific Subduction Zones (United States)

    Zhao, D.


    We review the significant recent results of multiscale seismic tomography of the Western-Pacific subduction zones and discuss their implications for seismotectonics, magmatism, and subduction dynamics, with an emphasis on the Japan Islands. Many important new findings are obtained due to technical advances in tomography, such as the handling of complex-shaped velocity discontinuities, the use of various later phases, the joint inversion of local and teleseismic data, tomographic imaging outside a seismic network, and P-wave anisotropy tomography. Prominent low-velocity (low-V) and high-attenuation (low-Q) zones are revealed in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath active arc and back-arc volcanoes and they extend to the deeper portion of the mantle wedge, indicating that the low-V/low-Q zones form the sources of arc magmatism and volcanism, and the arc magmatic system is related to deep processes such as convective circulation in the mantle wedge and dehydration reactions in the subducting slab. Seismic anisotropy seems to exist in all portions of the Northeast Japan subduction zone, including the upper and lower crust, the mantle wedge and the subducting Pacific slab. Multilayer anisotropies with different orientations may have caused the apparently weak shear-wave splitting observed so far, whereas recent results show a greater effect of crustal anisotropy than previously thought. Deep subduction of the Philippine Sea slab and deep dehydration of the Pacific slab are revealed beneath Southwest Japan. Significant structural heterogeneities are imaged in the source areas of large earthquakes in the crust, subducting slab and interplate megathrust zone, which may reflect fluids and/or magma originating from slab dehydration that affected the rupture nucleation of large earthquakes. These results suggest that large earthquakes do not strike anywhere, but in only anomalous areas that may be detected with geophysical methods. The occurrence of deep earthquakes under

  16. Tyrant dinosaur evolution tracks the rise and fall of Late Cretaceous oceans. (United States)

    Loewen, Mark A; Irmis, Randall B; Sertich, Joseph J W; Currie, Philip J; Sampson, Scott D


    The Late Cretaceous (∼95-66 million years ago) western North American landmass of Laramidia displayed heightened non-marine vertebrate diversity and intracontinental regionalism relative to other latest Cretaceous Laurasian ecosystems. Processes generating these patterns during this interval remain poorly understood despite their presumed role in the diversification of many clades. Tyrannosauridae, a clade of large-bodied theropod dinosaurs restricted to the Late Cretaceous of Laramidia and Asia, represents an ideal group for investigating Laramidian patterns of evolution. We use new tyrannosaurid discoveries from Utah--including a new taxon which represents the geologically oldest member of the clade--to investigate the evolution and biogeography of Tyrannosauridae. These data suggest a Laramidian origin for Tyrannosauridae, and implicate sea-level related controls in the isolation, diversification, and dispersal of this and many other Late Cretaceous vertebrate clades.

  17. Isotopic evaluation of ocean circulation in the Late Cretaceous North American seaway (United States)

    Coulson, Alan B.; Kohn, Matthew J.; Barrick, Reese E.


    During the mid- and Late Cretaceous period, North America was split by the north-south oriented Western Interior Seaway. Its role in creating and maintaining Late Cretaceous global greenhouse conditions remains unclear. Different palaeoceanographic reconstructions portray diverse circulation patterns. The southward extent of relatively cool, low-salinity, low-δ18O surface waters critically distinguishes among these models, but past studies of invertebrates could not independently assess water temperature and isotopic compositions. Here we present oxygen isotopes in biophosphate from coeval marine turtle and fish fossils from western Kansas, representing the east central seaway, and from the Mississippi embayment, representing the marginal Tethys Ocean. Our analyses yield precise seawater isotopic values and geographic temperature differences during the main transition from the Coniacian to the early Campanian age (87-82 Myr), and indicate that the seaway oxygen isotope value and salinity were 2‰ and 3‰ lower, respectively, than in the marginal Tethys Ocean. We infer that the influence of northern freshwater probably reached as far south as Kansas. Our revised values imply relatively large temperature differences between the Mississippi embayment and central seaway, explain the documented regional latitudinal palaeobiogeographic zonation and support models with relatively little inflow of surface waters from the Tethys Ocean to the Western Interior Seaway.

  18. Earthquakes, fluid pressures and rapid subduction zone metamorphism (United States)

    Viete, D. R.


    High-pressure/low-temperature (HP/LT) metamorphism is commonly incomplete, meaning that large tracts of rock can remain metastable at blueschist- and eclogite-facies conditions for timescales up to millions of years [1]. When HP/LT metamorphism does take place, it can occur over extremely short durations (the role of fluids in providing heat for metamorphism [2] or catalyzing metamorphic reactions [1]. Earthquakes in subduction zone settings can occur to depths of 100s of km. Metamorphic dehydration and the associated development of elevated pore pressures in HP/LT metamorphic rocks has been identified as a cause of earthquake activity at such great depths [3-4]. The process of fracturing/faulting significantly increases rock permeability, causing channelized fluid flow and dissipation of pore pressures [3-4]. Thus, deep subduction zone earthquakes are thought to reflect an evolution in fluid pressure, involving: (1) an initial increase in pore pressure by heating-related dehydration of subduction zone rocks, and (2) rapid relief of pore pressures by faulting and channelized flow. Models for earthquakes at depth in subduction zones have focussed on the in situ effects of dehydration and then sudden escape of fluids from the rock mass following fracturing [3-4]. On the other hand, existing models for rapid and incomplete metamorphism in subduction zones have focussed only on the effects of heating and/or hydration with the arrival of external fluids [1-2]. Significant changes in pressure over very short timescales should result in rapid mineral growth and/or disequilibrium texture development in response to overstepping of mineral reaction boundaries. The repeated process of dehydration-pore pressure development-earthquake-pore pressure relief could conceivably produce a record of episodic HP/LT metamorphism driven by rapid pressure pulses. A new hypothesis is presented for the origins of HP/LT metamorphism: that HP/LT metamorphism is driven by effective pressure

  19. Paleomagnetism of Cretaceous Oceanic Red Beds (CORBs) from Gyangze, northern Tethys Himalaya: Evidence for Intra-oceanic Subduction System and Southern Paleolatitute Limit for the Lhasa Block (United States)

    Tan, Xiaodong


    indicate a paleolatitude of 10±2 degree north, ~2000 km distance from the southern Tethys Himalaya. Therefore, the formation is not deposited near the greater Indian continental margins. Based on recent plate tectonic reconstruction, the CORBs are very likely formed within a back-arc basin between the equatorial intra-oceanic subduction system and the Asian continental margin. Due to coeval development of abundant red beds in the Lhasa block, the characteristic pigments of hematite born in the CORBs are likely of terrestrial origin. In addition, the new data indicate that the Lhasa block is unlikely to be at low paleolatitude in the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary as some of the paleomagnetic results show.

  20. Cretaceous Crocodyliforms from the Sahara

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    Paul Sereno


    Full Text Available Diverse crocodyliforms have been discovered in recent years in Cretaceous rocks on southern landmasses formerly composing Gondwana.  We report here on six species from the Sahara with an array of trophic adaptations that significantly deepen our current understanding of African crocodyliform diversity during the Cretaceous period.  We describe two of these species (Anatosuchus minor, Araripesuchus wegeneri from nearly complete skulls and partial articulated skeletons from the Lower Cretaceous Elrhaz Formation (Aptian-Albian of Niger. The remaining four species (Araripesuchus rattoides sp. n., Kaprosuchus saharicus gen. n. sp. n., Laganosuchus thaumastos gen. n. sp. n., Laganosuchus maghrebensis gen. n. sp. n. come from contemporaneous Upper Cretaceous formations (Cenomanian in Niger and Morocco.

  1. Shallow magnetic inclinations in the Cretaceous Valle Group, Baja California: remagnetization, compaction, or terrane translation? (United States)

    Smith, Douglas P.; Busby, Cathy J.


    Paleomagnetic data from Albian to Turonian sedimentary rocks on Cedros Island, Mexico (28.2° N, 115.2° W) support the interpretation that Cretaceous rocks of western Baja California have moved farther northward than the 3° of latitude assignable to Neogene oblique rifting in the Gulf of California. Averaged Cretaceous paleomagnetic results from Cedros Island support 20 ± 10° of northward displacement and 14 ± 7° of clockwise rotation with respect to cratonic North America. Positive field stability tests from the Vizcaino terrane substantiate a mid-Cretaceous age for the high-temperature characteristic remanent magnetization in mid-Cretaceous strata. Therefore coincidence of characteristic magnetization directions and the expected Quaternary axial dipole direction is not due to post mid-Cretaceous remagnetization. A slump test performed on internally coherent, intrabasinal slump blocks within a paleontologically dated olistostrome demonstrates a mid-Cretaceous age of magnetization in the Valle Group. The in situ high-temperature natural remanent magnetization directions markedly diverge from the expected Quaternary axial dipole, indicating that the characteristic, high-temperature magnetization was acquired prior to intrabasinal slumping. Early acquisition of the characteristic magnetization is also supported by a regional attitude test involving three localities in coherent mid-Cretaceous Valle Group strata. Paleomagnetic inclinations in mudstone are not different from those in sandstone, indicating that burial compaction did not bias the results toward shallow inclinations in the Vizcaino terrane.

  2. The initial superposition of oceanic and continental units in the southern Western Alps: constraints on geometrical restoration and kinematics of the continental subduction wedge (United States)

    Dumont, Thierry; Schwartz, Stéphane; Matthews, Steve; Malusa, Marco; Jouvent, Marine


    The tectonic contact separating continental and oceanic units is preserved at outcrop in many locations within the Western Alps. The contact has experienced prolonged and progressive deformation during Oligocene collision and subsequent 'extrusive' contraction which is approximately westerly-directed (Dumont et al., 2012). Despite variable metamorphic grade, this tectonic contact displays a relative consistency of tectonostratigraphic and structural characteristics. Removal of the Oligocene and younger deformation is a critical requirement to allow assessment of the kinematic evolution during the Eocene continental subduction phase. The best preserved relationships are observed near the base of the Helminthoid Flysch nappes, in the footwall of the Penninic thrust, or in the external part of the Briançonnais zone. Here, the oceanic units are composed of detached Cretaceous sediments, but they are underlain locally by an olistostrome containing basaltic clasts. Further to the east, the internal boundary of the Briançonnais zone s.l. (including the 'Prepiedmont units'), is frequently marked by breccia or megabreccia, but is strongly affected by blueschist-facies metamorphism and by approximately easterly directed backfolding and backthrusting. At one locality, there is compelling evidence that the oceanic and continental units were already tectonically stacked and metamorphosed (together) 32Ma ago. Some megabreccias of mixed continental/oceanic provenance can be interpreted as a metamorphic equivalent of the external olistostrome, products of the initial pulses of tectonic stacking. The overlying units are composed dominantly of metasediments, containing distributed ophiolitic megaboudins (Tricart & Schwartz, 2006). Further east again, the tectonic contact separates the Dora-Maira continental basement from the Mt. Viso units which are predominantly composed of oceanic lithosphere. Both the Dora-Maira and Mt. Viso units are eclogitic, but the HP peak is apparently


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    Ali SARI


    Full Text Available - Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Akkuyu formation was deposited in a marine carbonate platform in Central Tarurids. The organic material of the unit is composed of Type III kerogen which is woody material transported from the land. Late Jurassic- Early Cretaceous is an important period which great anoxic events in deep sea bottom occurred due to the primary organic productivity in global sea surface. Use of several trace elements values (Ni, V, U, Cr, Co, Th revealed that Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Akkuyu formation shows oxic, disoxic and anoxic paleoredox conditions. In this period the primary productivity was considerably high. Examination of specimen derived from Akkuyu formation revealed that there exists a very good positive relationship between the major oxides of Al2O3, SiO2, Fe2O3, TiO2, and K2O. These combinations of major oxides indicate a detrital origin of source rock. Chemical weathering evaluations of Central Taurids in the Jurassic-Cretaceous period indicated moderate and strong weathering of source rock. K2O/Na2O versus SiO2; SiO2/Al2O3 versus K2O/Na2O; Al2O3/ SiO2 versus Fe2O3 + MgO ve TiO2 versus Fe2O3 + MgO diagrams indicated that Akkuyu formation was deposited along active and/or passive continental margin and derived from basalt and basalt+granite mixed rocks.

  4. Evidence of reworked Cretaceous fossils and their bearing on the existence of Tertiary dinosaurs

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    Eaton, J.G. (Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff (USA)); Kirkland, J.I. (Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln (USA)); Doi, K. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (USA))


    The Paleocene Shotgun fauna of Wyoming includes marine sharks as well as mammals. It has been suggested that the sharks were introduced from the Cannonball Sea. It is more likely that these sharks were reworked from a Cretaceous rock sequence that included both marine and terrestrial deposits as there is a mixture of marine and freshwater taxa. These taxa have not been recorded elsewhere after the Cretaceous and are not known from the Cannonball Formation. Early Eocene localities at Raven Ridge, Utah, similarly contain teeth of Cretaceous marine and freshwater fish, dinosaurs, and Eocene mammals. The Cretaceous teeth are well preserved, variably abraded, and serve to cast doubts on criteria recently used to claim that dinosaur teeth recovered from the Paleocene of Montana are not reworked. Another Eocene locality in the San Juan Basin has produced an Eocene mammalian fauna with diverse Cretaceous marine sharks. Neither the nature of preservation nor the degree of abrasion could be used to distinguish reworked from contemporaneous material. The mixed environments represented by the fish taxa and recognition of the extensive pre-Tertiary extinction of both marine and freshwater fish were employed to recognize reworked specimens.

  5. Post Cretaceous cooling trend documented in the gastropods (Turritella Sp.) from the Cenozoic startigraphic successions of India (United States)

    Banerjee, Y.; Ghosh, P.; Halder, K.; Malarkodi, N.; Pathak, P.


    The aftermath of the Himalyan orogeny and subsequent cooling is documented in the deep sea sedimentary record from the Oceanic realm (1). Here we attempt to reconstruct the temperature pattern based on marine gastropods i.e. Turritella sp. which became abundant during the post Cretaceous period and have successfully been used for the reconstruction of climate by measuring the stable isotopic composition (2,3,4). Well preserved specimens of Cretaceous Turritella from the Rajamundry Infratrappean beds and those from the Miocene, Holocene succession of Kutch, western India were analysed along with specimen from the modern time scale (also from Kutch). The Cretaceous, early to mid Miocene, early Holocene and modern shells recorded δ13C variability from 0.36 to 4.94‰, -1.83 to -4.83‰, -3.26 to 0.40‰, -1.47 to -4.70‰ respectively suggesting drop in the productivity during mid Miocene and subsequent period of rapid growth. The Variability in terms of δ18O ranges from -2.28 to -4.99‰, -2.66 to -7.06‰, -2.86 to 0.96‰, -1.05 to -3.23‰ for the Cretaceous, early to mid Miocene, early Holocene and modern shells respectively. Corbula sp. collected from the same strata with that of the early to mid Holocene Turritella showed a similar δ13C and δ18O values denoting similar environmental condition during deposition. Absence of any significant correlation between δ13C vs δ18O support equilibrium precipitation of shell growth bands. We used Epstein oxygen isotope thermometry to derive temperature from the oxygen isotope of carbonate and adopted water isotopic composition (1‰ for the Cretaceous and -0.7‰ for the Miocene) from the literature. Our observation captured an overall cooling trend from the Cretaceous to the Holocene time period (especially in between mid Miocene to Holocene) and a subsequent warming trend in modern time. Validation with other thermometry method will be displayed at the time of presentation. References: [1] Zachos et al., 2001

  6. Late Cretaceous extension and exhumation of the Stong Complex and Taku Schist, NE Peninsular Malaysia (United States)

    François, Thomas; Afiq Md, Muhammad; Matenco, Liviu; Willingshofer, Ernst; Fatt Ng, Tham; Iskandar Taib, N.; Kamal Shuib, Mustaffa


    Dismembering large continental areas by post-orogenic extension requires favourable geodynamic conditions and frequently occurs along pre-existing suture zones or nappe contacts as exemplified by the Stong Complex and Taku Schist of northern Peninsular Malaysia. For this particular case we have employed a field and microstructural kinematic study combined with low temperature thermo-chronology to analyse the tectonic and exhumation history. The results show that the late Palaeozoic - Triassic Indosinian orogeny created successive phases of burial related metamorphism, shearing and contractional deformation. This orogenic structure was then dismembered during a Cretaceous thermal event that culminated in the formation of a large scale late Santonian - early Maastrichtian extensional detachment, genetically associated with crustal melting, the emplacement of syn-kinematic plutons and widespread migmatisation. The emplacement of these magmatic rocks led to an array of simultaneously formed structures that document deformation conditions over a wide temperature range, represented by amphibolite-facies mylonites and more brittle structures, such as cataclastic zones and normal faults that formed during exhumation in the footwall of the detachment. The formation of this detachment and a first phase of Late Cretaceous cooling was followed by renewed Eocene - Oligocene exhumation evidenced from our apatite fission track ages. We infer that an initial Cretaceous thermal anomaly was responsible for the formation of an extensional gneiss dome associated with simple shear and normal fault rotation. These Cretaceous processes played a critical role in the establishment of the presently observed crustal structure of Peninsular Malaysia.

  7. New Patagonian Cretaceous theropod sheds light about the early radiation of Coelurosauria

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    Fernando E Novas


    Full Text Available Here we describe a new theropod, Bicentenaria argentina nov. gen. et nov. sp., from the early Late Cretaceous of Patagonia. It is represented by more than a hundred bones belonging to different sized individuals, which were buried together in disarticulation after little transportation. The available association of skeletal elements suggests a gregarious behaviour for Bicentenaria, an ethological trait also recorded among other theropod clades. Increasing documentation of monospecific assemblages of different groups of theropods suggests that a gregarious behaviour may have constituted the ancestral condition for Theropoda, at least. Bicentenaria characterizes for the surangular bone with a high dorsal margin and a prominent lateral shelf, a retroarticular process that is low, wide and spoon-shaped, and quadrate bone with its lateral condyle larger than the medial one. Phylogenetic analysis found the Chinese Tugulusaurus and the Patagonian Bicentenaria as successive sister taxa of all other coelurosaurs, thus revealing the importance of the new taxon in the understanding of the early diversification of Coelurosauria. In particular, Bicentenaria amplifies the array of basal coelurosaurs that inhabited Gondwana during the Cretaceous, also including compsognathids, Aniksosaurus and Santanaraptor. Although still restricted to a handful of forms, available information indicates that Gondwana was a cradle for the evolution of different lineages of basal coelurosaurs, different from those documented in Upper Cretaceous beds in the northern landmasses. Analysis of body size distribution in averostran theropods results in the identification of two main episodes of drastic size reduction in the evolutionary history of Coelurosauria: one occurred at the initial radiation of the group (as represented by Bicentenaria, Zuolong, Tugulusaurus, compsognathids, and Aniksosaurus, and a second episode occurred at the early diverification of Paraves or avialans

  8. Late Mesozoic basin and range tectonics and related magmatism in Southeast China

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    Dezi Wang


    Full Text Available During the Late Mesozoic Middle Jurassic–Late Cretaceous, basin and range tectonics and associated magmatism representative of an extensional tectonic setting was widespread in southeastern China as a result of Pacific Plate subduction. Basin tectonics consists of post-orogenic (Type I and intra-continental extensional basins (Type II. Type I basins developed in the piedmont and intraland during the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic, in which coarse-grained terrestrial clastic sediments were deposited. Type II basins formed during intra-continental crustal thinning and were characterized by the development of grabens and half-grabens. Graben basins were mainly generated during the Middle Jurassic and were associated with bimodal volcanism. Sediments in half-grabens are intercalated with rhyolitic tuffs and lavas and are Early Cretaceous in age with a dominance of Late Cretaceous–Paleogene red beds. Ranges are composed of granitoids and bimodal volcanic rocks, A-type granites and dome-type metamorphic core complexes. The authors analyzed lithological, geochemical and geochronological features of the Late Mesozoic igneous rock assemblages and proposed some geodynamical constraints on forming the basin and range tectonics of South China. A comparison of the similarities and differences of basin and range tectonics between the eastern and western shores of the Pacific is made, and the geodynamical evolution model of the Southeast China Block during Late Mesozoic is discussed. Studied results suggest that the basin and range terrane within South China developed on a pre-Mesozoic folded belt was derived from a polyphase tectonic evolution mainly constrained by subduction of the western Pacific Plate since the Late Mesozoic, leading to formation of various magmatism in a back-arc extensional setting. Its geodynamic mechanism can compare with that of basin and range tectonics in the eastern shore of the Pacific. Differences of basin and range

  9. Life and death of the resurrection plate: Evidence for its existence and subduction in the northeastern Pacific in Paleocene-Eocene time (United States)

    Haeussler, P.J.; Bradley, D.C.; Wells, R.E.; Miller, M.L.


    Onshore evidence suggests that a plate is missing from published reconstructions of the northeastern Pacific Ooean in Paleocene- Eocene time. The Resurrection plate, named for the Resurrection Peninsula ophiolite near Seward, Alaska, was located east of the Kula plate and north of the Farallon plate. We interpret coeval near-trench magmatism in southern Alaska and the Cascadia margin as evidence for two slab windows associated with trench-ridge-trench (TRT) triple junctions, which formed the western and southern boundaries of the Resurrection plate. In Alaska, the Sanak-Baranof belt of near-trench intrusions records a west-to-east migration, from 61 to 50 Ma, of the northern TRT triple junction along a 2100-km-long section of coastline. In Oregon, Washington, and southern Vancouver Island, voluminous basaltic volcanism of the Siletz River Volcanics, Crescent Formation, and Metchosin Volcanics occurred between ca. 66 and 48 Ma. Lack of a clear age progression of magmatism along the Cascadia margin suggests that this southern triple junction did not migrate significantly. Synchronous near-trench magmatism from southeastern Alaska to Puget Sound at ca. 50 Ma documents the middle Eocene subduction of a spreading center, the crest of which was subparallel to the margin. We interpret this ca. 50 Ma event as recording the subduction-zone consumption of the last of the Resurrection plate. The existence and subsequent subduction of the Resurrection plate explains (1) northward terrane transport along the southeastern Alaska-British Columbia margin between 70 and 50 Ma, synchronous with an eastward-migrating triple junction in southern Alaska; (2) rapid uplift and voluminous magmatism in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia prior to 50 Ma related to subduction of buoyant, young oceanic crust of the Resurrection plate; (3) cessation of Coast Mountains magmatism at ca. 50 Ma due to cessation of subduction, (4) primitive mafic magmatism in the Coast Mountains and Cascade

  10. Quaternary volcanism in Deception Island (Antarctica): South Shetland Trench subduction-related signature in the Bransfield Basin back arc domain

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    Gale, C.; Ubide, T.; Lago, M.; Gil-Imaz, A.; Gil-Pena, I.; Galindo-Zaldivar, J.; Rey, J.; Maestro, A.; Lopez-Martinez, J.


    Deception Island shows a volcanism related to the Phoenix Plate subduction and roll-back under South Shetland Block in the present times. The development of the island is related to the evolution and collapse of a volcanic caldera, and this study is focused on the petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry of the post-caldera rocks. We have made a study of the lava flows, dikes and the youngest historic eruption in 1970. These rocks range from dacite to rhyolite and have a microporphyritic texture with olivine and minor clinopyroxene. A pre-caldera basaltic andesite has also been studied. It has a microporphyritic texture with clinopyroxene. The intermediate and acid compositions alternating in the volcanostratigraphic sequence suggest either mafic recharge events or melt extraction from different levels in the deep magmatic system. All the studied compositions share a subduction-related signature similar to other magmatics from the Bransfield Basin. However, compositional differences between pre-caldera and post-caldera rocks indicate a different magma source and depth of crystallisation. According to the geothermobarometric calculations the pre-caldera magmas started to crystallise at deeper levels (13.5-15 km) than the post-caldera magmas (6.2-7.8 km). Specifically, the postcaldera magmas indicate a smaller influence of the subducting slab in the southwestern part of the Bransfield Basin in respect to the available data from other sectors as well as the involvement of crustal contamination in the genesis of the magmas. (Author)

  11. Glendonites as a paleoenvironmental tool: Implications for early Cretaceous high latitudinal climates in Australia (United States)

    De Lurio, Jennifer L.; Frakes, L. A.


    Glendonites, calcite pseudomorphs after the metastable mineral ikaite (CaCO 3 · 6H 2O), occur in the Late Aptian interval of the Bulldog Shale in the Eromanga Basin, Australia and in other Early Cretaceous basins at high paleolatitudes. Ikaite precipitation in the marine environment requires near-freezing temperatures (not higher than 4°C), high alkalinity, increased levels of orthophosphate, and high P CO2. The rapid and complete transformation of ikaite to calcite at temperatures between 5 and 8°C provides an upper limit on the oxygen isotopic composition of the pore waters: -2.6 ikaite precipitation. Data previously reported as 11 to 16°C (assuming δ w = 0.0‰SMOW) yield paleotemperatures ranging from -1 to 5°C, squarely in the range of ikaite stability. The low δ w indicates hyposaline conditions, most likely caused by mixing high latitude meteoric waters with seawater. The 18O depleted, low temperature waters suggest that the region was at least seasonally colder than previously accepted.

  12. Philippine Sea Plate inception, evolution, and consumption with special emphasis on the early stages of Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction (United States)

    Lallemand, Serge


    We compiled the most relevant data acquired throughout the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) from the early expeditions to the most recent. We also analyzed the various explanatory models in light of this updated dataset. The following main conclusions are discussed in this study. (1) The Izanagi slab detachment beneath the East Asia margin around 60-55 Ma likely triggered the Oki-Daito plume occurrence, Mesozoic proto-PSP splitting, shortening and then failure across the paleo-transform boundary between the proto-PSP and the Pacific Plate, Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction initiation and ultimately PSP inception. (2) The initial splitting phase of the composite proto-PSP under the plume influence at ˜54-48 Ma led to the formation of the long-lived West Philippine Basin and short-lived oceanic basins, part of whose crust has been ambiguously called "fore-arc basalts" (FABs). (3) Shortening across the paleo-transform boundary evolved into thrusting within the Pacific Plate at ˜52-50 Ma, allowing it to subduct beneath the newly formed PSP, which was composed of an alternance of thick Mesozoic terranes and thin oceanic lithosphere. (4) The first magmas rising from the shallow mantle corner, after being hydrated by the subducting Pacific crust beneath the young oceanic crust near the upper plate spreading centers at ˜49-48 Ma were boninites. Both the so-called FABs and the boninites formed at a significant distance from the incipient trench, not in a fore-arc position as previously claimed. The magmas erupted for 15 m.y. in some places, probably near the intersections between back-arc spreading centers and the arc. (5) As the Pacific crust reached greater depths and the oceanic basins cooled and thickened at ˜44-45 Ma, the composition of the lavas evolved into high-Mg andesites and then arc tholeiites and calc-alkaline andesites. (6) Tectonic erosion processes removed about 150-200 km of frontal margin during the Neogene, consuming most or all of the Pacific ophiolite

  13. Using open sidewalls for modelling self-consistent lithosphere subduction dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Chertova


    Full Text Available Subduction modelling in regional model domains, in 2-D or 3-D, is commonly performed using closed (impermeable vertical boundaries. Here we investigate the merits of using open boundaries for 2-D modelling of lithosphere subduction. Our experiments are focused on using open and closed (free slip sidewalls while comparing results for two model aspect ratios of 3:1 and 6:1. Slab buoyancy driven subduction with open boundaries and free plates immediately develops into strong rollback with high trench retreat velocities and predominantly laminar asthenospheric flow. In contrast, free-slip sidewalls prove highly restrictive on subduction rollback evolution, unless the lithosphere plates are allowed to move away from the sidewalls. This initiates return flows pushing both plates toward the subduction zone speeding up subduction. Increasing the aspect ratio to 6:1 does not change the overall flow pattern when using open sidewalls but only the flow magnitude. In contrast, for free-slip boundaries, the slab evolution does change with respect to the 3:1 aspect ratio model and slab evolution does not resemble the evolution obtained with open boundaries using 6:1 aspect ratio. For models with open side boundaries, we could develop a flow-speed scaling based on energy dissipation arguments to convert between flow fields of different model aspect ratios. We have also investigated incorporating the effect of far-field generated lithosphere stress in our open boundary models. By applying realistic normal stress conditions to the strong part of the overriding plate at the sidewalls, we can transfer intraplate stress to influence subduction dynamics varying from slab roll-back, stationary subduction, to advancing subduction. The relative independence of the flow field on model aspect ratio allows for a smaller modelling domain. Open boundaries allow for subduction to evolve freely and avoid the adverse effects (e.g. forced return flows of free-slip boundaries. We

  14. The Caribbean-Colombian cretaceous igneous province: The internal anatomy of an oceanic plateau (United States)

    Kerr, Andrew C.; Tarney, John; Marriner, Giselle F.; Nivia, Alvaro; Saunders, Andrew D.

    The Late Cretaceous Caribbean—Colombian igneous province is one of the world's best-exposed examples of a plume-derived oceanic plateau. The buoyancy of the plateau (resulting from residual heat and thick crust) kept it from being totally subducted as it moved eastward with the Farallon Plate from its site of generation in the eastern Pacific and encountered a destructive plate margin. In effect, the plateau makes up much of the Caribbean Plate; it is well exposed around its margins, but more so in accreted terranes in western Colombia (including the well-known Gorgona komatiites and Bolívar mafic/ultramafic cumulates). Compositionally, the lavas of the plateau form three groups: (a) basalts, picrites, and komatiites with light-rare-earth-element (LREE)-depleted chondrite-normalised patterns; (b) basalts with LREE-enriched patterns; and (c) basalts with essentially flat REE patterns (the most dominant type) similar to many of the basalts from the Ontong Java Plateau. These three types demonstrate the heterogeneous nature of the mantle plume source region. The picrites and the komatiites seem to lie nearer the base of the plateau than the more homogeneous basalts; thus, the more MgO-rich melts may have been erupted before large magma chambers had a chance to develop. A reconstructed crustal cross section through the plateau consists of dunitic and pyroxenitic cumulates near the base which are overlain by layered olivine-rich gabbros and more isotropic gabbros. The lowermost eruptive sequence comprises compositionally heterogeneous picrites/komatiites overlain by more homogeneous pillow basalts. Spectacular hornblende-plagioclase veins cut the Bolívar assemblage and these may represent local partial melts of the plateau's base as it was thrusted onto the continent. Subduction-related batholiths and extrusive rocks found around the margin of the province are of two distinct ages; one suite represents pre-plateau collision-related volcanism whereas the other suite

  15. Late Cenomanian - Early Turonian Hardgrounds and nearshore Depositional Environments (Bohemian Cretaceous Basin)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Bosák, Pavel; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela

    Colloque sur le Cénomanien/Colloquium on the Cenomanian Stage, - (2001), s. 105-107 ISSN 0766-5946. [Colloque sur le Cénomanien/Colloquium on the Cenomanian Stage. Rouen, 20.10.2001-21.10.2001] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/1315 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3013912 Keywords : Upper Cretaceous * Hardgrounds Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  16. Geodynamics of the Amirante Ridge and Trench Complex, Western Indian Ocean

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mukhopadhyay, R.; Karisiddaiah, S.M.; Ghosh, A.K.

      fault,  or  a  fracture  zone  or  a  tensional  rift  as  a  result  of  seafloor  spreading,  or  wrench  faulting  caused  due  to  plate  rotation and reorganization.   Some...  north  to  south,  a  Late  Cretaceous  transform  fault,  an  Early  Cretaceous  lineament,  and  an  Early  Tertiary tensional rift (Damuth and Johnson 1989).  (b) Subduction: The  second  hypothesis  argues  in  favour  of  ARTC  representing  a...

  17. The clasts of Cretaceous marls in the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation (Pöchlau quarry, Gresten Klippen Zone, Austria) (United States)

    Ślączka, Andrzej; Gasiñski, M. Adam; Bąk, Marta; Wessely, Godfrid


    Investigations were carried out on foraminiferids and radiolaria from redeposited clasts within the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation (Gresten Klippen Zone) in the area of the Pöchlau hill, east of Maria Neustift. These shales and marls are of Middle to Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous age. In the latter clasts, foraminiferal assemblages with Tritaxia ex gr. gaultina as well as radiolaria species Angulobracchia portmanni Baumgartner, Dictyomitra communis (Squinabol), Hiscocapsa asseni (Tan), Pseudodictyomitra lodogaensis Pessagno, Pseudoeucyrtis hanni (Tan), Rhopalosyringium fossile (Squinabol) were found. In one block from the uppermost part of the sequence there is an assemblage with Caudammina (H) gigantea, Rotalipora appenninica and Globotruncana bulloides. However, the brecciated character of this block and occurrence near a fault suggest that it was probably wedged into the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation during tectonic movements. In pelitic siliceous limestones below the Konradsheim Limestone radiolarian assemblages of Middle Callovian to Early Tithonian age were found. They enable correlation with the Scheibbsbach Formation. In a marly sequence, above the conglomeratic limestone, the foraminiferal assemblages contain taxa from mid-Cretaceous up to Paleocene. The present biostratigraphic investigation confirmed the previous stratigraphic assignments and imply clearly that the sedimentation of deposits similar to the Konradsheim Formation also occurred at the end of the Early Cretaceous and deposition of conglomeratic limestones within the Gresten Klippen Zone, and especially within the Konradsheim Formation, was repeated several times during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous.

  18. Depositional environments and oil potential of Jurassic/Cretaceous source rocks within the Seychelles microcontinent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plummer, P.S.; Joseph, P.R.; Samson, P.J. [Seychelles National Oil Co., Mahe (Seychelles)


    The Seychelles microcontinent became isolated between the Somali, Mascarene and Arabian basins of the Indian Ocean as a result of the Mesozoic fragmentation of Gondwana. Major rifting events occurred during the Triassic-Middle Jurassic and Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Santonian and Maastrichtian) during which shaly source rock facies accumulated in principally marginal marine/deltaic environments. Between these times, post-rift passive margin deposition within restricted to open marine environments produced shaly source rocks during late Middle Jurasic-Early Cretaceous, Campanian-Maastrichtian and Paleocene times. Recent geochemical analysis of cuttings from the Seagull Shoals-1 well has identified an oil-prone liptinitic (Type II) coaly shale within early Middle Jurassic abandoned deltaic deposits. This coaly source rock is regionally developed, having also been identified in the Majunja and Morondava basins of Madagascar. Oil-prone Type II organic matter has also been identified in the Owen Bank A-1 well within restricted marine shales of late Middle Jurassic age. These shales are part of a thick post-rift source rock sequence that extends into the Early Cretaceous and is in part correlative with the proven Late Jurassic Uarandab Shale of Somalia. Analysis of Campanian marine shales from Reith Bank-1 well identified significant dilution of total organic carbon content in composite, compared to picked, well cuttings samples. This finding supports a published inference that these post-rift shales have source rock potential. (author)

  19. Neogene subduction beneath Java, Indonesia: Slab tearing and changes in magmatism (United States)

    Cottam, Michael; Hall, Robert; Cross, Lanu; Clements, Benjamin; Spakman, Wim


    Java is a Neogene calc-alkaline volcanic island arc formed by the northwards subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate beneath Sundaland, the continental core of SE Asia. The island has a complex history of volcanism and displays unusual subduction characteristics. These characteristics are consistent with the subduction of a hole in the down going slab that was formed by the arrival of a buoyant oceanic plateau at the trench. Subduction beneath Java began in the Eocene. However, the position and character of the calc-alkaline arc has changed over time. An older Paleogene arc ceased activity in the Early Miocene. Volcanic activity resumed in the Late Miocene producing a younger arc to the north of the older arc, and continues to the present day. An episode of Late Miocene thrusting at about 7 Ma is observed throughout Java and appears to be linked to northward movement of the arc. Arc rocks display typical calc-alkaline characteristics and reflect melting of the mantle wedge and subducted sediments associated with high fluid fluxes. Between West Java and Bali the present arc-trench gap is unusually wide at about 300 km. Seismicity identifies subducted Indian Ocean lithosphere that dips north at about 20° between the trench and the arc and then dips more steeply at about 60-70° from 100 to 600 km depth. In East Java there is gap in seismicity between about 250 and 500 km. Seismic tomography shows that this gap is not an aseismic section of the subduction zone but a hole in the slab. East Java is also unusual in the presence of K-rich volcanoes, now inactive, to the north of the calc-alkaline volcanoes of the active arc. In contrast to the calc-alkaline volcanism of the main arc, these K-rich melts imply lower fluid fluxes and a different mantle source. We suggest that all these observations can be explained by the tearing of the subducting slab when a buoyant oceanic plateau arrived at the trench south of East Java at about 8 Ma. With the slab unable to subduct

  20. Stratigraphy, provenance, and diagenesis of the Cretaceous Horse Range Formation, east Otago, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, M.; Craw, D.; Landis, C.A.; Frew, R.


    The Horse Range Formation is a structurally controlled late Early Cretaceous to early Late Cretaceous nonmarine unit in east Otago, South Island, New Zealand, containing immature lithic debris. Clasts are generally rounded, with only minor subangular material. The formation contains clasts derived from two principal basement sources: schist and greywacke. Schist debris is most abundant at the base of the described section, and this material is dominated (>60%) by quartz from the greenschist facies core of the Otago Schist belt. Conglomerates with >70% greywacke clasts constitute most of the upper part of the Horse Range Formation. These greywacke conglomerates have a matrix of sand derived mainly from schist. A 60 m thick wedge of quartz-rich, locally carbonaceous sand occurs interlayered with greywacke conglomerates. The Horse Range Formation rests on sub-greenschist facies semischist, which forms only a small proportion ( 18 O SMOW near +24 permil and δ 13 C PDB near -2 permil, and was partly dissolved and redeposited from the immature basement debris (metamorphic calcite) and partly introduced from overlying Late Cretaceous and Teriary marine sediments by groundwater. (author). 43 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Modulation of Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic climate by variable drawdown of atmospheric pCO2 from weathering of basaltic provinces on continents drifting through the equatorial humid belt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Kent


    Full Text Available The small reservoir of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (pCO2 that modulates climate through the greenhouse effect reflects a delicate balance between large fluxes of sources and sinks. The major long-term source of CO2 is global outgassing from sea-floor spreading, subduction, hotspot activity, and metamorphism; the ultimate sink is through weathering of continental silicates and deposition of carbonates. Most carbon cycle models are driven by changes in the source flux scaled to variable rates of ocean floor production, but ocean floor production may not be distinguishable from being steady since 180 Ma. We evaluate potential changes in sources and sinks of CO2 for the past 120 Ma in a paleogeographic context. Our new calculations show that decarbonation of pelagic sediments by Tethyan subduction contributed only modestly to generally high pCO2 levels from the Late Cretaceous until the early Eocene, and thus shutdown of this CO2 source with the collision of India and Asia at the early Eocene climate optimum at around 50 Ma was inadequate to account for the large and prolonged decrease in pCO2 that eventually allowed the growth of significant Antarctic ice sheets by around 34 Ma. Instead, variation in area of continental basalt terranes in the equatorial humid belt (5° S–5° N seems to be a dominant factor controlling how much CO2 is retained in the atmosphere via the silicate weathering feedback. The arrival of the highly weatherable Deccan Traps in the equatorial humid belt at around 50 Ma was decisive in initiating the long-term slide to lower atmospheric pCO2, which was pushed further down by the emplacement of the 30 Ma Ethiopian Traps near the equator and the southerly tectonic extrusion of SE Asia, an arc terrane that presently is estimated to account for 1/4 of CO2 consumption from all basaltic provinces that account for ~1/3 of the total CO2 consumption by continental silicate weathering (Dessert et al., 2003. A negative climate

  2. Oxygen isotopes in garnet and accessory minerals to constrain fluids in subducted crust (United States)

    Rubatto, Daniela; Gauthiez-Putallaz, Laure; Regis, Daniele; Rosa Scicchitano, Maria; Vho, Alice; Williams, Morgan


    Fluids are considered a fundamental agent for chemical exchanges between different rock types in the subduction system. Constraints on the sources and pathways of subduction fluids thus provide crucial information to reconstruct subduction processes. Garnet and U-Pb accessory minerals constitute some of the most robust and ubiquitous minerals in subducted crust and can preserve multiple growth zones that track the metamorphic evolution of the sample they are hosted in. Microbeam investigation of the chemical (major and trace elements) and isotopic composition (oxygen and U-Pb) of garnet and accessory minerals is used to track significant fluid-rock interaction at different stages of the subduction system. This approach requires consideration of the diffusivity of oxygen isotopes particularly in garnet, which has been investigated experimentally. The nature of the protolith and ocean floor alteration is preserved in relict accessory phases within eclogites that have been fully modified at HP conditions (e.g. Monviso and Dora Maira units in the Western Alps). Minerals in the lawsonite-blueschists of the Tavsanli zone in Turkey record pervasive fluid exchange between mafic and sedimentary blocks at the early stage of subduction. High pressure shear zones and lithological boundaries show evidence of intense fluid metasomatism at depth along discontinuities in Monviso and Corsica. In the UHP oceanic crust of the Zermatt-Saas Zone, garnet oxygen isotopes and tourmaline boron isotopes indicate multistage fluid infiltration during prograde metamorphism. Localized exchanges of aqueous fluids are also observed in the subducted continental crust of the Sesia-Lanzo Zone. In most cases analyses of distinct mineral zones enable identification of multiple pulses of fluids during the rock evolution.

  3. Early history and reactivation of the rand thrust, southern California (United States)

    Postlethwaite, Clay E.; Jacobson, Carl E.

    The Rand thrust of the Rand Mountains in the northwestern Mojave Desert separates an upper plate of quartz monzonite and quartzofeldspathic to amphibolitic gneiss from a lower plate of metagraywacke and mafic schist (Rand Schist). The Rand thrust is considered part of the regionally extensive Vincent/Chocolate Mountain thrust system, which is commonly believed to represent a Late Cretaceous subduction zone. The initial direction of dip and sense of movement along the Vincent/Chocolate Mountain thrust are controversial. Microfabrics of mylonites and quartzites from the Rand Mountains were analyzed in an attempt to determine transport direction for this region, but the results are ambiguous. In addition, the southwestern portion of the Rand thrust was found to have been reactivated as a low-angle normal fault after subduction. Reactivation might have occurred shortly after subduction, in which case it could account for the preservation of high-pressure mineral assemblages in the Rand Schist, or it could be related to mid-Tertiary extension in the western United States. In either event, the reactivation might be responsible for the complicated nature of the microfabrics. The Rand Schist exhibits an inverted metamorphic zonation. Isograds in the schist are not significantly truncated by the reactivated segment of the Rand thrust. This indicates that other segments of the Vincent/Chocolate Mountain thrust should be re-evaluated for the possibility of late movement, even if they show an apparently undisturbed inverted metamorphic zonation.

  4. Results from CAT/SCAN, the Calabria-Apennine-Tyrrhenian/Subduction-Accretion-Collision Network (United States)

    Steckler, M. S.; Amato, A.; Guerra, I.; Armbruster, J.; Baccheschi, P.; Diluccio, F.; Gervasi, A.; Harabaglia, P.; Kim, W.; Lerner-Lam, A.; Margheriti, L.; Seeber, L.; Tolstoy, M.; Wilson, C. K.


    The Calabrian Arc region is the final remnant of a Western Mediterranean microplate driven by rollback. Calabria itself is an exotic block that rifted off Sardinia and opened the Tyrrhenian Sea back-arc basin in its wake. The Calabrian Arc rapidly advanced to the southeast, with subduction ahead and extension behind, following subduction rollback of the Mesozoic seafloor. The subduction zone meanwhile collided progressively with the Apulia to form the Apennines in peninsular Italy and with the Africa to form the Maghrebides in Sicily. The Calabrian Arc is where the transition from subduction to continental collision is occurring. The collisions on either side of Calabria have restricted oceanic subduction to a narrow 200-km salient with well-defined edges and seismicity that extends to over 500 km depth. The collisions have also slowed, or possibly even halted, the rapid advance of the arc. Whether rollback of the oceanic lower plate of the Ionian Sea continues and whether the upper plate of Calabria continues to move as an independent plate are both uncertain. The Calabrian-Apennine-Tyrrhenian/Subduction-Collision-Accretion Network (CAT/SCAN) is a passive experiment to study of the Calabrian Arc and the transition to the southern Apennines. The land deployment consisted of three phases. The initial phase included an array of 39 broadband seismometers onshore, deployed in the winter of 2003/4. In September 2004, the array was reduced to 28 broadband and 8 short-period instruments. In April 2005, the array was reduced once again to 20 broadband and 2 short-period instruments. The field deployment was completed in October 2005. Offshore, 12 broadband Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) were deployed in the beginning of October 2004. Data from 4 OBSs have been recovered so far with deployment durations from a few weeks to almost one year. Fishing activity has been strongly implicated in the early recoveries, (with one instrument returned by fishermen), and is suspected

  5. Geochemistry of serpentinites in subduction zones: A review (United States)

    Deschamps, Fabien; Godard, Marguerite; Guillot, Stéphane; Hattori, Kéiko


    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zones geodynamics. Their presence and effective role in this environment is acknowledged notably by geophysical, geochemical and field observations of (paleo-) subduction zones. In this context, with the increasing amount of studies concerning serpentinites in subduction environments, a huge geochemical database was created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical analyses of abyssal, mantle wedge and subducted serpentinites. The aim was to better understand the geochemical evolution of these rocks during their subduction history as well as their impact in the global geochemical cycle. When studying serpentinites, it is often a challenge to determine the nature of the protolith and their geological history before serpentinisation. The present-day (increasing) geochemical database for serpentinites indicates little to no mobility of incompatible elements at the scale of the hand-sample in most serpentinized peridotites. Thus, Rare Earth Elements (REE) distribution can be used to identify the initial protolith for abyssal and mantle wedge serpentinites, as well as magmatic processes such as melt/rock interactions taking place before serpentinisation. In the case of subducted serpentinites, the interpretation of trace element data is more difficult due to secondary enrichments independent of the nature of the protolith, notably in (L)REE. We propose that these enrichments reflect complex interactions probably not related to serpentinisation itself, but mostly to fluid/rock or sediment/rock interactions within the subduction channel, as well as intrinsic feature of the mantle protolith which could derive from the continental lithosphere exhumed at the ocean-continent transition. Additionally, during the last ten years, numerous studies have been carried out, notably using in situ approaches, to better

  6. Organochemical characteristics of carbonaceous materials as indicators of heat recorded on an ancient plate-subduction fault (United States)

    Kaneki, S.; Hirono, T.; Mukoyoshi, H.; Sampei, Y.; Ikehara, M.


    Coseismic shear stress and slip distance affect subduction-related earthquake processes. They need to be understood to evaluate the earthquake's mechanism and the tsunami generation potential near trenches. The amount of frictional heat generated depends on the shear stress and slip distance, which are therefore able to be derived from the temperature recorded in the fault. Here we developed a new temperature proxy for carbonaceous materials by performing spectroscopic, thermogravimetric, and organic elemental analyses in conjunction with heating experiments. We found marked anomalies in the infrared and Raman spectra and atomic compositions of carbonaceous materials retrieved from the slip zone of an ancient megasplay fault in the Cretaceous Shimanto accretionary complex, Japan: the infrared spectra show extinction of aliphatic C-H bonding and very weak aromatic C=C bonding, and the Raman spectra show a slightly elevated ratio of disordered band intensity to graphitic band intensity and relatively low H/C and O/C ratios. These correlate well with the spectral and elemental features of host-rock carbonaceous materials after heating to 600°C. Thus, we conclude that the slip zone experienced a temperature of 600°C during a past earthquake event, indicating coseismic slip of 2-9 m, which could have generated a large tsunami if the ruptures propagated to the seafloor.

  7. Scattering beneath Western Pacific subduction zones: evidence for oceanic crust in the mid-mantle (United States)

    Bentham, H. L. M.; Rost, S.


    Small-scale heterogeneities in the mantle can give important insight into the dynamics and composition of the Earth's interior. Here, we analyse seismic energy found as precursors to PP, which is scattered off small-scale heterogeneities related to subduction zones in the upper and mid-mantle. We use data from shallow earthquakes (less than 100 km depth) in the epicentral distance range of 90°-110° and use array methods to study a 100 s window prior to the PP arrival. Our analysis focuses on energy arriving off the great circle path between source and receiver. We select coherent arrivals automatically, based on a semblance weighted beampower spectrum, maximizing the selection of weak amplitude arrivals. Assuming single P-to-P scattering and using the directivity information from array processing, we locate the scattering origin by ray tracing through a 1-D velocity model. Using data from the small-aperture Eielson Array (ILAR) in Alaska, we are able to image structure related to heterogeneities in western Pacific subduction zones. We find evidence for ˜300 small-scale heterogeneities in the region around the present-day Japan, Izu-Bonin, Mariana and West Philippine subduction zones. Most of the detected heterogeneities are located in the crust and upper mantle, but 6 per cent of scatterers are located deeper than 600 km. Scatterers in the transition zone correlate well with edges of fast features in tomographic images and subducted slab contours derived from slab seismicity. We locate deeper scatterers beneath the Izu-Bonin/Mariana subduction zones, which outline a steeply dipping pseudo-planar feature to 1480 km depth, and beneath the ancient (84-144 Ma) Indonesian subduction trench down to 1880 km depth. We image the remnants of subducted crustal material, likely the underside reflection of the subducted Moho. The presence of deep scatterers related to past and present subduction provides evidence that the subducted crust does descend into the lower mantle at

  8. Dynamics of intraoceanic subduction initiation : 1. Oceanic detachment fault inversion and the formation of supra-subduction zone ophiolites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffione, Marco; Thieulot, Cedric; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.; Morris, Antony; Plümper, Oliver; Spakman, Wim

    Subduction initiation is a critical link in the plate tectonic cycle. Intraoceanic subduction zones can form along transform faults and fracture zones, but how subduction nucleates parallel to mid-ocean ridges, as in e.g., the Neotethys Ocean during the Jurassic, remains a matter of debate. In

  9. Discovery of a Triassic magmatic arc source for the Permo-Triassic Karakaya subduction complex, NW Turkey (United States)

    Ayda Ustaömer, Petek; Ustaömer, Timur; Gerdes, Axel; Robertson, Alastair H. F.; Zulauf, Gernold


    The Permo-Triassic Karakaya Complex is well explained by northward subduction of Palaeotethys but until now no corresponding magmatic arc has been identified in the region. With the aim of determining the compositions and ages of the source units, ten sandstone samples were collected from the mappably distinct Ortaoba, Hodul, Kendirli and Orhanlar Units. Zircon grains were extracted from these sandstones and >1300 were dated by the U-Pb method and subsequently analysed for the Lu-Hf isotopic compositions by LA-MC-ICPMS at Goethe University, Frankfurt. The U-Pb-Hf isotope systematics are indicative of two different sediment provenances. The first, represented by the Ortaoba, Hodul and Kendirli Units, is dominated by igneous rocks of Triassic (250-220 Ma), Early Carboniferous-Early Permian (290-340 Ma) and Early to Mid-Devonian (385-400 Ma) ages. The second provenance, represented by the Orhanlar Unit, is indicative of derivation from a peri-Gondwanan terrane. In case of the first provenance, the Devonian and Carboniferous source rocks exibit intermediate eHf(t) values (-11 to -3), consistent with the formation at a continental margin where juvenile mantle-derived magmas mixed with (recycled) old crust having Palaeoproterozoic Hf model ages. In contrast, the Triassic arc magma exhibits higher eHf(t) values (-6 to +6), consistent with the mixing of juvenile mantle-derived melts with (recycled) old crust perhaps somewhat rejuvanated during the Cadomian period. We have therefore identified a Triassic magmatic arc as predicted by the interpretation of the Karakaya Complex as an accretionary complex related to northward subduction (Carboniferous and Devonian granites are already well documented in NW Turkey). Possible explanations for the lack of any outcrop of the source magmatic arc are that it was later subducted or the Karakaya Complex was displaced laterally from its source arc (both post 220 Ma). Strike-slip displacement (driven by oblique subduction?) can also

  10. Petroleum system elements within the Late Cretaceous and Early Paleogene sediments of Nigeria's inland basins: An integrated sequence stratigraphic approach (United States)

    Dim, Chidozie Izuchukwu Princeton; Onuoha, K. Mosto; Okeugo, Chukwudike Gabriel; Ozumba, Bertram Maduka


    Sequence stratigraphic studies have been carried out using subsurface well and 2D seismic data in the Late Cretaceous and Early Paleogene sediments of Anambra and proximal onshore section of Niger Delta Basin in the Southeastern Nigeria. The aim was to establish the stratigraphic framework for better understanding of the reservoir, source and seal rock presence and distribution in the basin. Thirteen stratigraphic bounding surfaces (consisting of six maximum flooding surfaces - MFSs and seven sequence boundaries - SBs) were recognized and calibrated using a newly modified chronostratigraphic chart. Stratigraphic surfaces were matched with corresponding foraminiferal and palynological biozones, aiding correlation across wells in this study. Well log sequence stratigraphic correlation reveals that stratal packages within the basin are segmented into six depositional sequences occurring from Late Cretaceous to Early Paleogene age. Generated gross depositional environment maps at various MFSs show that sediment packages deposited within shelfal to deep marine settings, reflect continuous rise and fall of sea levels within a regressive cycle. Each of these sequences consist of three system tracts (lowstand system tract - LST, transgressive system tract - TST and highstand system tract - HST) that are associated with mainly progradational and retrogradational sediment stacking patterns. Well correlation reveals that the sand and shale units of the LSTs, HSTs and TSTs, that constitute the reservoir and source/seal packages respectively are laterally continuous and thicken basinwards, due to structural influences. Result from interpretation of seismic section reveals the presence of hanging wall, footwall, horst block and collapsed crest structures. These structural features generally aid migration and offer entrapment mechanism for hydrocarbon accumulation. The combination of these reservoirs, sources, seals and trap elements form a good petroleum system that is viable

  11. Geochronology, geochemistry and tectonic evolution of the Western and Central cordilleras of Colombia (United States)

    Villagómez, Diego; Spikings, Richard; Magna, Tomas; Kammer, Andreas; Winkler, Wilfried; Beltrán, Alejandro


    Autochthonous rocks of the pre-Cretaceous continental margin of NW South America (the Tahami Terrane) are juxtaposed against a series of para-autochthonous rock units that assembled during the Early Cretaceous. Allochthonous, oceanic crust of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province collided with and accreted onto the margin during the Late Cretaceous. We present the first regional-scale dataset of zircon U-Pb LA-ICP-MS ages for intrusive and metamorphic rocks of the autochthonous Tahami Terrane, Early Cretaceous igneous para-autochthonous rocks and accreted oceanic crust. The U-Pb zircon data are complemented by multiphase 40Ar/ 39Ar crystallization and cooling ages. The geochronological data are combined with whole rock major oxide, trace element and REE data acquired from the same units to constrain the tectonic origin of the rock units and terranes exposed in the Western Cordillera, Cauca-Patía Valley and the Central Cordillera of Colombia. The Tahami Terrane includes lower Paleozoic orthogneisses (~ 440 Ma) that may have erupted during the active margin stage of the Rheic Ocean. Basement gneisses were intruded by Permian, continental arc granites during the final assembly of Pangea. Triassic sedimentary rocks were subsequently deposited in rift basins and partially melted during high-T metamorphism associated with rifting of western Pangea during 240-220 Ma. Continental arc magmatism during 180-145 Ma is preserved along the whole length of the Central Cordillera and was followed by an Early Cretaceous out-board step of the arc axis and the inception of the Quebradagrande Arc that fringed the continental margin. Back-stepping of the arc axis may have been caused by the collision of buoyant seamounts, which were coeval with plateau rocks exposed in the Nicoya Peninsular of Costa Rica. Rapid westward drift of South America closed the Quebradagrande basin in the late Aptian and caused medium-high P-T metamorphic rocks of the Arquía Complex to exhume and obduct onto

  12. Estimating Latest Cretaceous and Tertiary Atmospheric PCO2 from Stomatal Indices (United States)

    Royer, D. L.; Wing, S. L.; Beerling, D. J.


    Most modern C3 seed plants show an inverse relationship between PCO2 and stomatal index (SI), where SI is the proportion of epidermal cells that are stomatal packages. This plant-atmosphere response therefore provides a reliable approach for estimating paleo-CO2 levels. Since stomatal responses to CO2 are generally species-specific, one is limited in paleo-reconstructions to species that exist both in the fossil record and living today. Fossils morphologically similar to living Ginkgo biloba and Metasequoia glyptostroboides extend back to the early and late Cretaceous, respectively, indicating that the fossil and living forms are very closely related. Measurements of SI made on fossil Ginkgo and Metasequoia were calibrated with historical collections of G. biloba and M. glyptostroboides leaves from sites that developed during the anthropogenically-driven CO2 increases of the past 145 years (288-369 ppmv) and with saplings of G. biloba and M. glyptostroboides grown in CO2 controlled growth chambers (350-800 ppmv). Both nonlinear regressions are highly significant (Ginkgo: n = 40, r2 = 0.91; Metasequoia: n = 18; r2 = 0.85). Results from a sequence of 23 latest Cretaceous to early Eocene-aged Ginkgo-bearing sites indicate that CO2 remained between 300 and 450 ppmv with the exception of one high estimate ( ~800 ppmv) near the Paleocene/Eocene boundary, and results from 4 middle Miocene-aged Ginkgo- and Metasequoia-bearing sites indicate that CO2 was between 320 and 400 ppmv. If correct, the CO2 values estimated here are too low to explain via the CO2 greenhouse effect alone the higher global mean temperatures (e.g., 3-4 ° C for the early Eocene) inferred from models and geological data for these two intervals.

  13. Heterogeneity in Subducting Slab Influences Fluid Properties, Plate Coupling and Volcanism: Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand (United States)

    Eberhart-Phillips, D. M.; Reyners, M.; Bannister, S. C.


    Seismicity distribution and 3-D models of P- and S-attenuation (1/Q) in the Hikurangi subduction zone, in the North Island of New Zealand, show large variation along-arc in the fluid properties of the subducting slab. Volcanism is also non-uniform, with extremely productive rhyolitic volcanism localized to the central Taupo Volcanic zone, and subduction without volcanism in the southern North Island. Plate coupling varies with heterogeneous slip deficit in the northern section, low slip deficit in the central section, and high slip deficit (strong coupling) in the south. Heterogeneous initial hydration and varied dehydration history both are inferred to play roles. The Hikurangi Plateau (large igneous province) has been subducted beneath New Zealand twice - firstly at ca. 105-100 Ma during north-south convergence with Gondwana, and currently during east-west convergence between the Pacific and Australian plates along the Hikurangi subduction zone. It has an uneven downdip edge which has produced spatially and temporally localized stalls in subduction rate. The mantle wedge under the rhyolitic section has a very low Q feature centred at 50-125 km depth, which directly overlies a 150-km long zone of dense seismicity. This seismicity occurs below a sharp transition in the downdip extent of the Hikurangi Plateau, where difficulty subducting the buoyant plateau would have created a zone of increased faulting and hydration that spent a longer time in the outer-rise yielding zone, compared with areas to the north and south. At shallow depths this section has unusually high fracture permeability from the two episodes of bending, but it did not experience dehydration during Gondwana subduction. This central section at plate interface depths less than 50-km has low Q in the slab crust, showing that it is extremely fluid rich, and it exhibits weak plate coupling with both deep and shallow slow-slip events. In contrast in the southern section, where there is a large deficit in

  14. Metamorphic Perspectives of Subduction Zone Volatiles Cycling (United States)

    Bebout, G. E.


    Field study of HP/UHP metamorphic rocks provides "ground-truthing" for experimental and theoretical petrologic studies estimating extents of deep volatiles subduction, and provides information regarding devolatilization and deep subduction-zone fluid flow that can be used to reconcile estimates of subduction inputs and arc volcanic outputs for volatiles such as H2O, N, and C. Considerable attention has been paid to H2O subduction in various bulk compositions, and, based on calculated phase assemblages, it is thought that a large fraction of the initially structurally bound H2O is subducted to, and beyond, subarc regions in most modern subduction zones (Hacker, 2008, G-cubed). Field studies of HP/UHP mafic and sedimentary rocks demonstrate the impressive retention of volatiles (and fluid-mobile elements) to depths approaching those beneath arcs. At the slab-mantle interface, high-variance lithologies containing hydrous phases such as mica, amphibole, talc, and chlorite could further stabilize H2O to great depth. Trench hydration in sub-crustal parts of oceanic lithosphere could profoundly increase subduction inputs of particularly H2O, and massive flux of H2O-rich fluids from these regions into the slab-mantle interface could lead to extensive metasomatism. Consideration of sedimentary N concentrations and δ15N at ODP Site 1039 (Li and Bebout, 2005, JGR), together with estimates of the N concentration of subducting altered oceanic crust (AOC), indicates that ~42% of the N subducting beneath Nicaragua is returned in the corresponding volcanic arc (Elkins et al., 2006, GCA). Study of N in HP/UHP sedimentary and basaltic rocks indicates that much of the N initially subducted in these lithologies would be retained to depths approaching 100 km and thus available for addition to arcs. The more altered upper part of subducting oceanic crust most likely to contribute to arcs has sediment-like δ15NAir (0 to +10 per mil; Li et al., 2007, GCA), and study of HP/UHP eclogites

  15. Constraining the hydration of the subducting Nazca plate beneath Northern Chile using subduction zone guided waves (United States)

    Garth, Tom; Rietbrock, Andreas


    Guided wave dispersion is observed from earthquakes at 180-280 km depth recorded at stations in the fore-arc of Northern Chile, where the 44 Ma Nazca plate subducts beneath South America. Characteristic P-wave dispersion is observed at several stations in the Chilean fore-arc with high frequency energy (>5 Hz) arriving up to 3 s after low frequency (accounted for if dipping low velocity fault zones are included within the subducting lithospheric mantle. A grid search over possible LVL and faults zone parameters (width, velocity contrast and separation distance) was carried out to constrain the best fitting model parameters. Our results imply that fault zone structures of 0.5-1.0 km thickness, and 5-10 km spacing, consistent with observations at the outer rise are present within the subducted slab at intermediate depths. We propose that these low velocity fault zone structures represent the hydrated structure within the lithospheric mantle. They may be formed initially by normal faults at the outer rise, which act as a pathway for fluids to penetrate the deeper slab due to the bending and unbending stresses within the subducting plate. Our observations suggest that the lithospheric mantle is 5-15% serpentinised, and therefore may transport approximately 13-42 Tg/Myr of water per meter of arc. The guided wave observations also suggest that a thin LVL (∼1 km thick) interpreted as un-eclogitised subducted oceanic crust persists to depths of at least 220 km. Comparison of the inferred seismic velocities with those predicted for various MORB assemblages suggest that this thin LVL may be accounted for by low velocity lawsonite-bearing assemblages, suggesting that some mineral-bound water within the oceanic crust may be transported well beyond the volcanic arc. While older subducting slabs may carry more water per metre of arc, approximately one third of the oceanic material subducted globally is of a similar age to the Nazca plate. This suggests that subducting oceanic

  16. Non-marine carbonate facies, facies models and palaeogeographies of the Purbeck Formation (Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous) of Dorset (Southern England). (United States)

    Gallois, Arnaud; Bosence, Dan; Burgess, Peter


    Non-marine carbonates are relatively poorly understood compared with their more abundant marine counterparts. Sedimentary facies and basin architecture are controlled by a range of environmental parameters such as climate, hydrology and tectonic setting but facies models are few and limited in their predictive value. Following the discovery of extensive Early Cretaceous, non-marine carbonate hydrocarbon reservoirs in the South Atlantic, the interest of understanding such complex deposits has increased during recent years. This study is developing a new depositional model for non-marine carbonates in a semi-arid climate setting in an extensional basin; the Purbeck Formation (Upper Jurassic - Lower Cretaceous) in Dorset (Southern England). Outcrop study coupled with subsurface data analysis and petrographic study (sedimentology and early diagenesis) aims to constrain and improve published models of depositional settings. Facies models for brackish water and hypersaline water conditions of these lacustrine to palustrine carbonates deposited in the syn-rift phase of the Wessex Basin will be presented. Particular attention focusses on the factors that control the accumulation of in-situ microbialite mounds that occur within bedded inter-mound packstones-grainstones in the lower Purbeck. The microbialite mounds are located in three units (locally known as the Skull Cap, the Hard Cap and the Soft Cap) separated by three fossil soils (locally known as the Basal, the Lower and the Great Dirt Beds) respectively within three shallowing upward lacustrine sequences. These complex microbialite mounds (up to 4m high), are composed of tabular small-scale mounds (flat and long, up to 50cm high) divided into four subfacies. Many of these small-scale mounds developed around trees and branches which are preserved as moulds (or silicified wood) which are surrounded by a burrowed mudstone-wackestone collar. Subsequently a thrombolite framework developed on the upper part only within

  17. Age and provenance of Triassic to Cenozoic sediments of West and Central Sarawak, Malaysia (United States)

    Breitfeld, H. Tim; Galin, Thomson; Hall, Robert


    Sarawak is located on the northern edge of Sundaland in NW Borneo. West and Central Sarawak include parts of the Kuching and Sibu Zones. These contain remnants of several sedimentary basins with ages from Triassic to Cenozoic. New light mineral, heavy mineral and U-Pb detrital zircon ages show differences in provenance reflecting the tectonic evolution of the region. The oldest clastic sediments are Triassic (Sadong Formation and its deep marine equivalent Kuching Formation). They were sourced by a Triassic (Carnian to Norian) volcanic arc and reworked Paleoproterozoic detritus derived from Cathaysialand. The Upper Jurassic to Cretaceous Pedawan Formation is interpreted as forearc basin fill with distinctive zircon populations indicating subduction beneath present-day West Sarawak which initiated in the Late Jurassic. Subsequent subduction until the early Late Cretaceous formed the Schwaner Mountains magmatic arc. After collision of SW Borneo and other microcontinental fragments with Sundaland in the early Late Cretaceous, deep marine sedimentation (Pedawan Formation) ceased, and there was uplift forming the regional Pedawan-Kayan unconformity. Two episodes of extension followed and were responsible for basin development on land in West Sarawak from the latest Cretaceous onwards, probably in a pull-apart setting. The first episode is associated with sediments of the Kayan Group, deposited in the Latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) to Eocene, and the second episode with Upper Eocene sediments of the Ketungau Basin. Zircon ages indicate volcanic activity throughout the Early Cenozoic in NW Borneo, and inherited zircon ages indicate reworking of Triassic and Cretaceous rocks. A large deep marine basin, the Rajang Basin, was north of the Lupar Line Fault in Central Sarawak (Sibu Zone) from the Late Cretaceous to the Late Eocene. Zircons from sediments of the Rajang Basin indicate they have similar ages and provenance to contemporaneous terrestrial sediments of the Kayan

  18. Introduction to the structures and processes of subduction zones (United States)

    Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Zi-Fu


    Subduction zones have been the focus of many studies since the advent of plate tectonics in 1960s. Workings within subduction zones beneath volcanic arcs have been of particular interest because they prime the source of arc magmas. The results from magmatic products have been used to decipher the structures and processes of subduction zones. In doing so, many progresses have been made on modern oceanic subduction zones, but less progresses on ancient oceanic subduction zones. On the other hand, continental subduction zones have been studied since findings of coesite in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal origin in 1980s. It turns out that high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks in collisional orogens provide a direct target to investigate the tectonism of subduction zones, whereas oceanic and continental arc volcanic rocks in accretionary orogens provide an indirect target to investigate the geochemistry of subduction zones. Nevertheless, metamorphic dehydration and partial melting at high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure conditions are tectonically applicable to subduction zone processes at forearc to subarc depths, and crustal metasomatism is the physicochemical mechanism for geochemical transfer from the slab to the mantle in subduction channels. Taken together, these provide us with an excellent opportunity to find how the metamorphic, metasomatic and magmatic products are a function of the structures and processes in both oceanic and continental subduction zones. Because of the change in the thermal structures of subduction zones, different styles of metamorphism, metasomatism and magmatism are produced at convergent plate margins. In addition, juvenile and ancient crustal rocks have often suffered reworking in episodes independent of either accretionary or collisional orogeny, leading to continental rifting metamorphism and thus rifting orogeny for mountain building in intracontinental settings. This brings complexity to distinguish the syn-subduction

  19. Gateways and Water Mass Mixing in the Late Cretaceous North Atlantic (United States)

    Asgharian Rostami, M.; Martin, E. E.; MacLeod, K. G.; Poulsen, C. J.; Vande Guchte, A.; Haynes, S.


    Regions of intermediate/deep water formation and water-mass mixing in the North Atlantic are poorly defined for the Late Cretaceous, a time of gateway evolution and cooler conditions following the Mid Cretaceous greenhouse. Improved proxy data combined with modeling efforts are required to effectively evaluate the relationship between CO2, paleogeography, and circulation during this cooler interval. We analyzed and compiled latest Cretaceous (79 - 66 Ma) ɛNd and δ13C records from seven bathyal (paleodepths 0.2 - 2 km) and eight abyssal (paleodepths > 2 km) sites in the North Atlantic. Data suggest local downwelling of Northern Component Water (NCW; ɛNd -9.5 and δ13C 1.7 ‰) is the primary source of intermediate/deep water masses in the basin. As this water flows southward and ages, δ13C values decrease and ɛNd values increase; however, additional chemical changes at several sites require mixing with contributions from several additional water masses. Lower ɛNd ( -10) and higher δ13C ( 1.9 ‰) values in the deep NW part of the basin indicate proximal contributions from a region draining old continental crust, potentially representing deep convection following opening of the Labrador Sea. In the deep NE Iberian Basin, higher ɛNd ( -7) and lower δ13C ( 0.8 ‰) during the Campanian suggest mixing with a Tethyan source (ɛNd -7 and δ13C 0.1 ‰) whose importance decreased with restriction of that gateway in the Maastrichtian. Data from bathyal sites suggest additional mixing. In the SE Cape Verde region, observed ɛNd variations from -10 in the Campanian to -13 and -12 in the early and late Maastrichtian, respectively, may record variations in output rates of Tethyan and/or NCW sources and Demerara Bottom Water (ɛNd -16), a proposed warm saline intermediate water mass formed in shallow, equatorial seas. Pacific inflow through the Caribbean gateway impacts intermediate sites at Blake Nose (ɛNd values -8), particularly the shallowest site during the late

  20. A Paleozoic Japan-type subduction-accretion system in the Beishan orogenic collage, southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (United States)

    Song, Dongfang; Xiao, Wenjiao; Windley, Brian F.; Han, Chunming; Tian, Zhonghua


    Carboniferous back-arc basin formed as a result of slab rollback ascribed to northward subduction of the Niujuanzi oceanic lithosphere. Subduction of this back-arc basin probably took place in the early Carboniferous, generating the widespread arc-related granitoids including adakitic plutons, and overlapping earlier arc assemblages. The Beishan orogenic collage is not the eastern extension of the Chinese Central Tianshan, but it was generated by the same north-dipping subduction system separated by the Xingxingxia transform fault, as revealed by available regional data. This contribution implies that in addition to fore-arc accretion, back-arc accretion ascribed to opening and closure of a back-arc basin may also have been a common process in the construction of the CAOB, resembling that of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic subduction-accretion system in the SW pacific.

  1. The Transhimalaya (Gangdese) plutonism in the Ladakh region: A U-Pb and Rb-Sr study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaerer, U.; Hamet, J.; Allegre, C.J.


    The age and origin of the Transhimalaya (Gangdese) plutonic belt in the Ladakh area has been studied by high-resolution U-Pb analyses of accessory minerals (zircon and monazite/allanite) and Rb-Sr measurements on whole rock samples. The ages determined of 101+-2 m.y. for a granodiorite and of 60.7+-0.4 m.y. for a granite substantiate that the Transhimalaya plutonism was active at least in mid-Cretaceous (Albian) and earliest Tertiary (Palaeocene) times. A Rb-Sr isochron of 73.4+-2.4 m.y. might be fortuitous because the Rb-Sr systematics shows important heterogeneities on the whole rock scale. The inherited radiogenic lead in zircon demonstrates that anatexis of continental crust was involved in magma genesis. The thus recycled continental material was heterogeneous with respect to its primary ages and/or metamorphic history; the approximate minimum ages of the continental sources range from 350 to 590 m.y. The 101+-2 m.y. old Transhimalaya granodiorite, which intrudes a series of mainly basaltic island arc rocks (Dras Series) shows that this island arc was attached to the continental margin at that times. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the ''Ladakh Tethys'' closed through two subduction regimes: (1) an early Cretaceous subduction, which formed the Dras island arc, and (2) a late Cretaceous to Palaeocene subduction at the continental margin, which caused the emplacement of the Transhimalaya plutonic belt. (orig.)

  2. Fluid and mass transfer at subduction interfaces-The field metamorphic record (United States)

    Bebout, Gray E.; Penniston-Dorland, Sarah C.


    The interface between subducting oceanic slabs and the hanging wall is a structurally and lithologically complex region. Chemically disparate lithologies (sedimentary, mafic and ultramafic rocks) and mechanical mixtures thereof show heterogeneous deformation. These lithologies are tectonically juxtaposed at mm to km scales, particularly in more intensely sheared regions (mélange zones, which act as fluid channelways). This juxtaposition, commonly in the presence of a mobile fluid phase, offers up huge potential for mass transfer and related metasomatic alteration. Fluids in this setting appear capable of transporting mass over scales of kms, along flow paths with widely varying geometries and P-T trajectories. Current models of arc magmatism require km-scale migration of fluids from the interface into mantle wedge magma source regions and implicit in these models is the transport of any fluids generated in the subducting slab along and ultimately through the subduction interface. Field and geochemical studies of high- and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks elucidate the sources and compositions of fluids in subduction interfaces and the interplay between deformation and fluid and mass transfer in this region. Recent geophysical studies of the subduction interface - its thickness, mineralogy, density, and H2O content - indicate that its rheology greatly influences the ways in which the subducting plate is coupled with the hanging wall. Field investigation of the magnitude and styles of fluid-rock interaction in metamorphic rocks representing "seismogenic zone" depths (and greater) yields insight regarding the roles of fluids and elevated fluid pore pressure in the weakening of plate interface rocks and the deformation leading to seismic events. From a geochemical perspective, the plate interface contributes to shaping the "slab signature" observed in studies of the composition of arc volcanic rocks. Understanding the production of fluids with hybridized chemical

  3. Island life in the Cretaceous - faunal composition, biogeography, evolution, and extinction of land-living vertebrates on the Late Cretaceous European archipelago


    Csiki Sava,Zoltan; Buffetaut,Eric; Ősi,Attila; Pereda-Suberbiola,Xabier; Brusatte,Stephen


    Abstract The Late Cretaceous was a time of tremendous global change, as the final stages of the Age of Dinosaurs were shaped by climate and sea level fluctuations and witness to marked paleogeographic and faunal changes, before the end-Cretaceous bolide impact. The terrestrial fossil record of Late Cretaceous Europe is becoming increasingly better understood, based largely on intensive fieldwork over the past two decades, promising new insights into latest Cretaceous faunal evolution. We revi...

  4. Highly derived eutherian mammals from the earliest Cretaceous of southern Britain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven C. Sweetman


    Full Text Available Eutherian mammals (Placentalia and all mammals phylogenetically closer to placentals than to marsupials comprise the vast majority of extant Mammalia. Among these there is a phenomenal range of forms and sizes, but the origins of crown group placentals are obscure. They lie within the generally tiny mammals of the Mesozoic, represented for the most part by isolated teeth and jaws, and there is strongly conflicting evidence from phenomic and molecular data as to the date of origin of both Eutheria and Placentalia. The oldest purported eutherians are Juramaia from the Upper Jurassic of China, and Eomaia and Acristatherium from the Lower Cretaceous, also of China. Based on dental characters and analyses of other morphological and molecular data, doubt has recently been cast on the eutherian affinities of the Chinese taxa and consequently on the date of emergence of Eutheria. Until now, the only tribosphenic mammal recorded from the earliest Cretaceous (Berriasian Purbeck Group of Britain was the stem tribosphenidan Tribactonodon. Here we document two new tribosphenic mammals from the Purbeck Group, Durlstotherium gen. nov. and Durlstodon gen. nov., showing highly derived eutherian molar characters that support the early emergence of this clade, prior to the Cretaceous.

  5. A new crested pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Spain: the first European tapejarid (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchoidea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain Vullo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Tapejaridae is a group of unusual toothless pterosaurs characterized by bizarre cranial crests. From a paleoecological point of view, frugivorous feeding habits have often been suggested for one of its included clades, the Tapejarinae. So far, the presence of these intriguing flying reptiles has been unambiguously documented from Early Cretaceous sites in China and Brazil, where pterosaur fossils are less rare and fragmentary than in similarly-aged European strata. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Europejara olcadesorum gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by a unique combination of characters including an unusual caudally recurved dentary crest. It represents the oldest known member of Tapejaridae and the oldest known toothless pterosaur. The new taxon documents the earliest stage of the acquisition of this anatomical feature during the evolutionary history of the Pterodactyloidea. This innovation may have been linked to the development of new feeding strategies. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The discovery of Europejara in the Barremian of the Iberian Peninsula reveals an earlier and broader global distribution of tapejarids, suggesting a Eurasian origin of this group. It adds to the poorly known pterosaur fauna of the Las Hoyas locality and contributes to a better understanding of the paleoecology of this Konservat-Lagerstätte. Finally, the significance of a probable contribution of tapejarine tapejarids to the early angiosperm dispersal is discussed.

  6. Origin of ophiolite complexes related to intra-oceanic subduction initiation: implications of IODP Expedition 352 (Izu-Bonin fore arc) (United States)

    Robertson, Alastair; Avery, Aaron; Carvallo, Claire; Christeson, Gail; Ferré, Eric; Kurz, Walter; Kutterolf, Steffen; Morgan, Sally; Pearce, Julian; Reagan, Mark; Sager, William; Shervais, John; Whattam, Scott; International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 352 (Izu-Bonin-Mariana Fore Arc), the Scientific Party of


    modern arc formed c. 200 km westwards of the trench. The new drilling evidence proves that both fore arc-type basalt and boninite formed in a fore arc setting soon after subduction initiation (c.52 Ma). Comparisons with ophiolites reveal many similarities, especially the presence of fore arc-type basalts and low calcium boninites. The relative positions of the fore arc basalts, boninites and arc basalts in the Izu Bonin and Mariana forearc (based on previous studies) can be compared with the positions of comparable units in a range of ophiolite complexes in orogenic belts including the Troodos, Oman, Greek (e.g. Vourinos), Albanian (Mirdita), Coast Range (California) and Bay of Islands (Newfoundland) ophiolites. The comparisons support the interpretation that all of the ophiolites formed during intra-oceanic subduction initiation. There are also some specific differences between the individual ophiolites suggesting that ophiolites should be interpreted individually in their regional tectonic settings.

  7. Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Davis, Katie E; Pisani, Davide; Tarver, James E; Ruta, Marcello; Sakamoto, Manabu; Hone, David W.E; Jennings, Rachel; Benton, Michael J


    The observed diversity of dinosaurs reached its highest peak during the mid- and Late Cretaceous, the 50 Myr that preceded their extinction, and yet this explosion of dinosaur diversity may be explained largely by sampling bias. It has long been debated whether dinosaurs were part of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR), from 125–80 Myr ago, when flowering plants, herbivorous and social insects, squamates, birds and mammals all underwent a rapid expansion. Although an apparent explosion of dinosaur diversity occurred in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the emergence of new groups (e.g. neoceratopsians, ankylosaurid ankylosaurs, hadrosaurids and pachycephalosaurs), results from the first quantitative study of diversification applied to a new supertree of dinosaurs show that this apparent burst in dinosaurian diversity in the last 18 Myr of the Cretaceous is a sampling artefact. Indeed, major diversification shifts occurred largely in the first one-third of the group's history. Despite the appearance of new clades of medium to large herbivores and carnivores later in dinosaur history, these new originations do not correspond to significant diversification shifts. Instead, the overall geometry of the Cretaceous part of the dinosaur tree does not depart from the null hypothesis of an equal rates model of lineage branching. Furthermore, we conclude that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR. PMID:18647715

  8. New ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous demonstrate extensive ichthyosaur survival across the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosauria is a diverse clade of marine amniotes that spanned most of the Mesozoic. Until recently, most authors interpreted the fossil record as showing that three major extinction events affected this group during its history: one during the latest Triassic, one at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary (JCB, and one (resulting in total extinction at the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. The JCB was believed to eradicate most of the peculiar morphotypes found in the Late Jurassic, in favor of apparently less specialized forms in the Cretaceous. However, the record of ichthyosaurs from the Berriasian-Barremian interval is extremely limited, and the effects of the end-Jurassic extinction event on ichthyosaurs remains poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Based on new material from the Hauterivian of England and Germany and on abundant material from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, we name a new ophthalmosaurid, Acamptonectes densus gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous features with Ophthalmosaurus, a genus now restricted to the Callovian-Berriasian interval. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Ophthalmosauridae diverged early in its history into two markedly distinct clades, Ophthalmosaurinae and Platypterygiinae, both of which cross the JCB and persist to the late Albian at least. To evaluate the effect of the JCB extinction event on ichthyosaurs, we calculated cladogenesis, extinction, and survival rates for each stage of the Oxfordian-Barremian interval, under different scenarios. The extinction rate during the JCB never surpasses the background extinction rate for the Oxfordian-Barremian interval and the JCB records one of the highest survival rates of the interval. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There is currently no evidence that ichthyosaurs were affected by the JCB extinction event, in contrast to many other marine groups. Ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs remained diverse from their rapid radiation in the Middle

  9. New Ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous Demonstrate Extensive Ichthyosaur Survival across the Jurassic–Cretaceous Boundary (United States)

    Fischer, Valentin; Maisch, Michael W.; Naish, Darren; Kosma, Ralf; Liston, Jeff; Joger, Ulrich; Krüger, Fritz J.; Pérez, Judith Pardo; Tainsh, Jessica


    Background Ichthyosauria is a diverse clade of marine amniotes that spanned most of the Mesozoic. Until recently, most authors interpreted the fossil record as showing that three major extinction events affected this group during its history: one during the latest Triassic, one at the Jurassic–Cretaceous boundary (JCB), and one (resulting in total extinction) at the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. The JCB was believed to eradicate most of the peculiar morphotypes found in the Late Jurassic, in favor of apparently less specialized forms in the Cretaceous. However, the record of ichthyosaurs from the Berriasian–Barremian interval is extremely limited, and the effects of the end-Jurassic extinction event on ichthyosaurs remains poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Based on new material from the Hauterivian of England and Germany and on abundant material from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, we name a new ophthalmosaurid, Acamptonectes densus gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous features with Ophthalmosaurus, a genus now restricted to the Callovian–Berriasian interval. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Ophthalmosauridae diverged early in its history into two markedly distinct clades, Ophthalmosaurinae and Platypterygiinae, both of which cross the JCB and persist to the late Albian at least. To evaluate the effect of the JCB extinction event on ichthyosaurs, we calculated cladogenesis, extinction, and survival rates for each stage of the Oxfordian–Barremian interval, under different scenarios. The extinction rate during the JCB never surpasses the background extinction rate for the Oxfordian–Barremian interval and the JCB records one of the highest survival rates of the interval. Conclusions/Significance There is currently no evidence that ichthyosaurs were affected by the JCB extinction event, in contrast to many other marine groups. Ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs remained diverse from their rapid radiation in the Middle Jurassic to

  10. Jurassic-Paleogene intraoceanic magmatic evolution of the Ankara Mélange, north-central Anatolia, Turkey (United States)

    Sarifakioglu, E.; Dilek, Y.; Sevin, M.


    Oceanic rocks in the Ankara Mélange along the Izmir-Ankara-Erzincan suture zone (IAESZ) in north-central Anatolia include locally coherent ophiolite complexes (∼ 179 Ma and ∼ 80 Ma), seamount or oceanic plateau volcanic units with pelagic and reefal limestones (96.6 ± 1.8 Ma), metamorphic rocks with ages of 256.9 ± 8.0 Ma, 187.4 ± 3.7 Ma, 158.4 ± 4.2 Ma, and 83.5 ± 1.2 Ma indicating northern Tethys during the late Paleozoic through Cretaceous, and subalkaline to alkaline volcanic and plutonic rocks of an island arc origin (∼ 67-63 Ma). All but the arc rocks occur in a shale-graywacke and/or serpentinite matrix, and are deformed by south-vergent thrust faults and folds that developed in the middle to late Eocene due to continental collisions in the region. Ophiolitic volcanic rocks have mid-ocean ridge (MORB) and island arc tholeiite (IAT) affinities showing moderate to significant large ion lithophile elements (LILE) enrichment and depletion in Nb, Hf, Ti, Y and Yb, which indicate the influence of subduction-derived fluids in their melt evolution. Seamount/oceanic plateau basalts show ocean island basalt (OIB) affinities. The arc-related volcanic rocks, lamprophyric dikes and syenodioritic plutons exhibit high-K shoshonitic to medium- to high-K calc-alkaline compositions with strong enrichment in LILE, rare earth elements (REE) and Pb, and initial ɛNd values between +1.3 and +1.7. Subalkaline arc volcanic units occur in the northern part of the mélange, whereas the younger alkaline volcanic rocks and intrusions (lamprophyre dikes and syenodioritic plutons) in the southern part. The late Permian, Early to Late Jurassic, and Late Cretaceous amphibole-epidote schist, epidote-actinolite, epidote-chlorite and epidote-glaucophane schists represent the metamorphic units formed in a subduction channel in the northern Neotethys. The Middle to Upper Triassic neritic limestones spatially associated with the seamount volcanic rocks indicate that the northern

  11. 15N/14N variations in Cretaceous Atlantic sedimentary sequences: implication for past changes in marine nitrogen biogeochemistry (United States)

    Rau, G.H.; Arthur, M.A.; Dean, W.E.


    At two locations in the Atlantic Ocean (DSDP Sites 367 and 530) early to middle Cretaceous organic-carbon-rich beds ("black shales") were found to have significantly lower ??15N values (lower 15N/14N ratios) than adjacent organic-carbon-poor beds (white limestones or green claystones). While these lithologies are of marine origin, the black strata in particular have ??15N values that are significantly lower than those previously found in the marine sediment record and most contemporary marine nitrogen pools. In contrast, black, organic-carbon-rich beds at a third site (DSDP Site 603) contain predominantly terrestrial organic matter and have C- and N-isotopic compositions similar to organic matter of modern terrestrial origin. The recurring 15N depletion in the marine-derived Cretaceous sequences prove that the nitrogen they contain is the end result of an episodic and atypical biogeochemistry. Existing isotopic and other data indicate that the low 15N relative abundance is the consequence of pelagic rather than post-depositional processes. Reduced ocean circulation, increased denitrification, and, hence, reduced euphotic zone nitrate availability may have led to Cretaceous phytoplankton assemblages that were periodically dominated by N2-fixing blue-green algae, a possible source of this sediment 15N-depletion. Lack of parallel isotopic shifts in Cretaceous terrestrially-derived nitrogen (Site 603) argues that the above change in nitrogen cycling during this period did not extend beyond the marine environment. ?? 1987.

  12. Subduction and vertical coastal motions in the eastern Mediterranean (United States)

    Howell, Andy; Jackson, James; Copley, Alex; McKenzie, Dan; Nissen, Ed


    Mediterranean are supported by mantle convection. However, whether the convection is time dependent and whether its pattern moves relative to Nubia are uncertain, and its contribution to present-day rates of vertical coastal motions is therefore hard to constrain. The observed extension of the overriding material in the subduction system is probably partly related to buoyancy forces arising from topographic contrasts between the Aegean, Anatolia and the Mediterranean seafloor, but the reasons for regional variations are less clear.

  13. Syn-sedimentary tectonics and facies analysis in a rift setting: Cretaceous Dalmiapuram Formation, Cauvery Basin, SE India

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    Nivedita Chakraborty


    Full Text Available The Cretaceous (Albian–Cenomanian Dalmiapuram Formation is one of the economically significant constituents in the hydrocarbon-producing Cauvery rift basin, SE India that opened up during the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous Gondwanaland fragmentation. The fossil-rich Dalmiapuram Formation, exposed at Ariyalur within the Pondicherry sub-basin of Cauvery Basin, rests in most places directly on the Archean basement and locally on the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian–Aptian Basal Siliciclastic Formation. In the Dalmiapuram Formation, a facies association of tectonically-disturbed phase is sandwiched between two drastically quieter phases. The early syn-rift facies association (FA 1, records the first carbonate marine transgression within the basin, comprising a bar–lagoon system with occasionally storms affecting along the shore and a sheet-like non-recurrent biomicritic limestone bed on the shallow shelf that laterally grades into pyrite–glauconite-bearing dark-colored shale in the deeper shelf. Spectacular breccias together with varied kinds of mass-flow products comprise the syn-rift facies association (FA 2. While the breccias occur at the basin margin area, the latter extend in the deeper inland sea. Clast composition of the coarse clastics includes large, even block-sized limestone fragments and small fragments of granite and sandstone from the basement. Marl beds of quieter intervals between tectonic pulses occur in alternation with them. Faulted basal contact of the formation, and small grabens filled by multiple mass-flow packages bear the clear signature of the syntectonic activity localized contortions, slump folds, and pillow beds associated with mega slump/slide planes and joints, which corroborates this contention further. This phase of tectonic intervention is followed by another relatively quieter phase and accommodates the late syn-rift facies association (FA 3. A tidal bar–interbar shelf depositional system allowed a

  14. Teeth of embryonic or hatchling sauropods from the Berriasian (Early Cretaceous of Cherves-de-Cognac, France

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    Paul M. Barrett


    Full Text Available The Cherves-de-Cognac site (Charente, France has yielded a diverse continental microvertebrate fauna of Berriasian (earliest Cretaceous age. Dinosaur remains are rare, but include three teeth that are referrable to an indeterminate sauropod, which might represent either a titanosauriform, a non-titanosauriform macronarian or a non-neosauropod. The small size of these teeth (with a maximum length of 3 mm, as preserved and the almost complete absence of emanel wrinkling suggests that they pertained to embryonic or hatchling individuals. The Cherves-de-Cognac sauropod represents a rare occurrence of sauropod embryos/hatchlings, a new sauropod record from the poorly-known terrestrial Berriasian and another possible instance of the persistence of non-diplodocoid, non-titanosauriform sauropods into the Cretaceous.

  15. Foreland sedimentary record of Andean mountain building during advancing and retreating subduction (United States)

    Horton, Brian K.


    -skinned basement inversion with geometrically and kinematically linked thin-skinned thrust structures at shallower levels in the eastern foreland, including well-dated late Miocene growth strata. The mid-Cenozoic hiatus potentially signifies nondeposition during passage of a flexural forebulge or nondeposition during neutral to extensional conditions possibly driven by a transient retreating-slab configuration along the western margin of South America. Similar long-lived stratigraphic gaps are commonly observed in other foreland records of continental convergent margins. It is proposed that Andean orogenesis along the South American convergent margin has long been sensitive to variations in subduction dynamics throughout Mesozoic-Cenozoic time, such that shifts in relative convergence and degree of mechanical coupling along the subduction interface (i.e., transitions between advancing versus retreating modes of subduction) have governed fluctuating contractional, extensional, and neutral conditions. Unclear is whether these various modes affected the entire convergent margin simultaneously due to continental-scale changes (e.g., temporal shifts in plate convergence, absolute motion of upper plate, or mantle wedge circulation) or whether parts of the margin behaved independently due to smaller-scale fluctuations (e.g., spatial variations in the age of the subducted plate, buoyant asperities in the downgoing slab, or asthenospheric anomalies).

  16. Subduction of a buoyant plateau at the Manila Trench: Tomographic evidence and geodynamic implications (United States)

    Fan, Jianke; Zhao, Dapeng; Dong, Dongdong


    We determined P-wave tomographic images by inverting a large number of arrival-time data from 2749 local earthquakes and 1462 teleseismic events, which are used to depict the three-dimensional morphology of the subducted Eurasian Plate along the northern segment of the Manila Trench. Dramatic changes in the dip angle of the subducted Eurasian Plate are revealed from the north to the south, being consistent with the partial subduction of a buoyant plateau beneath the Luzon Arc. Slab tears may exist along the edges of the buoyant plateau within the subducted plate induced by the plateau subduction, and the subducted lithosphere may be absent at depths greater than 250 km at ˜19°N and ˜21°N. The subducted buoyant plateau is possibly oriented toward NW-SE, and the subducted plate at ˜21°N is slightly steeper than that at ˜19°N. These results may explain why the western and eastern volcanic chains in the Luzon Arc are separated by ˜50 km at ˜18°N, whereas they converge into a single volcanic chain northward, which may be related to the oblique subduction along the Manila Trench caused by the northwestern movement of the Philippine Sea Plate. A low-velocity zone is revealed at depths of 20-200 km beneath the Manila Accretionary Prism at ˜22°N, suggesting that the subduction along the Manila Trench may stop there and the collision develops northward. The Taiwan Orogeny may originate directly from the subduction of the buoyant plateau, because the initial time of the Taiwan Orogeny is coincident with that of the buoyant plateau subduction.


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    Full Text Available The Provençal and Dauphinois Mesozoic successions cropping out at the southeastern margin of the Argentera Massif (Maritime Alps, NW Italy were deposited at the transition between the Provençal platform and the Dauphinois basin, marked in the study area by a partly preserved Mesozoic palaeoescarpment. These successions show important lateral variations occurring over relatively short distances, probably related to syndepositional tectonics. Different stratigraphic intervals of the pelagic-hemipelagic Dauphinois succession contain resedimented deposits, made up of both intra- and extrabasinal material, which provide a twofold evidence of syndepositional tectonics indicating both tectonically-triggered gravitational processes and a tectonically-driven evolution of the source areas. Two stages of syndepositional tectonics have been recognized: the first in the earliest Cretaceous, which is related to the deposition of carbonate breccias in the Dauphinois succession and to hydrothermal dolomitization of the Middle Triassic-Jurassic Provençal carbonates, and the second in the Late Cretaceous, which triggered the deposition of different detrital lithozones in the Upper Cretaceous Puriac Limestone. The cited evidence indicates that syndepositional tectonics continued to influence the evolution of the Alpine Tethys European passive margin long after the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic syn-rift stage, which caused the differentiation between the Dauphinois basin and the Provençal platform.

  18. Modelling guided waves in the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone (United States)

    Coulson, Sophie; Garth, Thomas; Reitbrock, Andreas


    . The velocity structure of this relatively young subducting plate is compared to the velocity structure resolved in the older oceanic lithosphere subducted beneath Northern Japan. We also use guided wave observations to investigate the thickness and low velocity structure of the subducting Yakutat terrain. Additionally we discuss the dependence of the inferred slab geometry on the earthquake catalogues that are used.

  19. How long-term dynamics of sediment subduction controls short-term dynamics of seismicity (United States)

    Brizzi, S.; van Zelst, I.; van Dinther, Y.; Funiciello, F.; Corbi, F.


    Most of the world's greatest earthquakes occur along the subduction megathrust. Weak and porous sediments have been suggested to homogenize the plate interface and thereby promote lateral rupture propagation and great earthquakes. However, the importance of sediment thickness, let alone their physical role, is not yet unequivocally established. Based on a multivariate statistical analysis of a global database of 62 subduction segments, we confirm that sediment thickness is one of the key parameters controlling the maximum magnitude a megathrust can generate. Moreover, Monte Carlo simulations highlighted that the occurrence of great earthquakes on sediment-rich subduction segments is very unlikely (p-value≪0.05) related to pure chance. To understand how sediments in the subduction channel regulate earthquake size, this study extends and demystifies multivariate, spatiotemporally limited data through numerical modeling. We use the 2D Seismo-Thermo-Mechanical modeling approach to simulate both the long- and short-term dynamics of subduction and related seismogenesis (van Dinther et al., JGR, 2013). These models solve for the conservation of mass, momentum and energy using a visco-elasto-plastic rheology with rate-dependent friction. Results show that subducted sediments have a strong influence on the long-term evolution of the convergent margin. Increasing the sediment thickness on the incoming plate from 0 to 6 km causes a decrease of slab dip from 23° to 10°. This, in addition to increased radiogenic heating, extends isotherms, thereby widening the seismogenic portion of the megathrust from 80 to 150 km. Consequently, over tens of thousands of years, we observe that the maximum moment magnitude of megathrust earthquakes increases from 8.2 to 9.2 for these shallower and warmer interfaces. In addition, we observe more and larger splay faults, which could enhance vertical seafloor displacements. These results highlight the primary role of subducted sediments in

  20. The mid-Cretaceous super plume, carbon dioxide, and global warming (United States)

    Caldeira, Ken; Rampino, Michael R.


    Carbon-dioxide releases associated with a mid-Cretaceous super plume and the emplacement of the Ontong-Java Plateau have been suggested as a principal cause of the mid-Cretaceous global warming. A carbonate-silicate cycle model is developed to quantify the possible climatic effects of these CO2 releases, utilizing four different formulations for the rate of silicate-rock weathering as a function of atmospheric CO2. CO2 emissions resulting from super-plume tectonics could have produced atmospheric CO2 levels from 3.7 to 14.7 times the modern preindustrial value of 285 ppm. Based on the temperature sensitivity to CO2 increases used in the weathering-rate formulations, this would cause a global warming of from 2.8 to 7.7 C over today's glogal mean temperature. Altered continental positions and higher sea level may have been contributed about 4.8 C to mid-Cretaceous warming. Thus, the combined effects of paleogeographic changes and super-plume related CO2 emissions could be in the range of 7.6 to 12.5 C, within the 6 to 14 C range previously estimated for mid-Cretaceous warming. CO2 releases from oceanic plateaus alone are unlikely to have been directly responsible for more than 20 percent of the mid-Cretaceous increase in atmospheric CO2.

  1. Paleoenvironments of the Jurassic and Cretaceous Oceans: Selected Highlights (United States)

    Ogg, J. G.


    There are many themes contributing to the sedimentation history of the Mesozoic oceans. This overview briefly examines the roles of the carbonate compensation depth (CCD) and the associated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, of the evolution of marine calcareous microplankton, of major transgressive and regressive trends, and of super-plume eruptions. Initiation of Atlantic seafloor spreading in the Middle Jurassic coincided with an elevated carbonate compensation depth (CCD) in the Pacific-Tethys mega-ocean. Organic-rich sediments that would become the oil wealth of regions from Saudi Arabia to the North Sea were deposited during a continued rise in CCD during the Oxfordian-early Kimmeridgian, which suggests a possible increase in carbon dioxide release by oceanic volcanic activity. Deep-sea deposits in near-equatorial settings are dominated by siliceous shales or cherts, which reflect the productivity of siliceous microfossils in the tropical surface waters. The end-Jurassic explosion in productivity by calcareous microplankton contributed to the lowering of the CCD and onset of the chalk ("creta") deposits that characterize the Tithonian and lower Cretaceous in all ocean basins. During the mid-Cretaceous, the eruption of enormous Pacific igneous provinces (Ontong Java Plateau and coeval edifices) increased carbon dioxide levels. The resulting rise in CCD terminated chalk deposition in the deep sea. The excess carbon was progressively removed in widespread black-shale deposits in the Atlantic basins and other regions - another major episode of oil source rock. A major long-term transgression during middle and late Cretaceous was accompanied by extensive chalk deposition on continental shelves and seaways while the oceanic CCD remained elevated. Pacific guyots document major oscillations (sequences) of global sea level superimposed on this broad highstand. The Cretaceous closed with a progressive sea-level regression and lowering of the CCD that again enabled

  2. Geological constraints on continental arc activity since 720 Ma: implications for the link between long-term climate variability and episodicity of continental arcs (United States)

    Cao, W.; Lee, C. T.


    Continental arc volcanoes have been suggested to release more CO2 than island arc volcanoes due to decarbonation of wallrock carbonates in the continental upper plate through which the magmas traverse (Lee et al., 2013). Continental arcs may thus play an important role in long-term climate. To test this hypothesis, we compiled geological maps to reconstruct the surface distribution of granitoid plutons and the lengths of ancient continental arcs. These results were then compiled into a GIS framework and incorporated into GPlates plate reconstructions. Our results show an episodic nature of global continental arc activity since 720 Ma. The lengths of continental arcs were at minimums during most of the Cryogenian ( 720-670 Ma), the middle Paleozoic ( 460-300 Ma) and the Cenozoic ( 50-0 Ma). Arc lengths were highest during the Ediacaran ( 640-570 Ma), the early Paleozoic ( 550-430 Ma) and the entire Mesozoic with peaks in the Early Triassic ( 250-240 Ma), Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous ( 160-130 Ma), and Late Cretaceous ( 90-65 Ma). The extensive continental arcs in the Ediacaran and early Paleozoic reflect the Pan-African events and circum-Gondwana subduction during the assembly of the Gondwana supercontinent. The Early Triassic peak is coincident with the final closure of the paleo-Asian oceans and the onset of circum-Pacific subduction associated with the assembly of the Pangea supercontinent. The Jurassic-Cretaceous peaks reflect the extensive continental arcs established in the western Pacific, North and South American Cordillera, coincident with the initial dispersal of the Pangea. Continental arcs are favored during the final assembly and the early-stage dispersal of a supercontinent. Our compilation shows a temporal match between continental arc activity and long-term climate at least since 720 Ma. For example, continental arc activity was reduced during the Cryogenian icehouse event, and enhanced during the Early Paleozoic and Jurassic-Cretaceous greenhouse

  3. Lower Cretaceous smarl turbidites of the Argo Abyssal Plain, Indian Ocean (United States)

    Dumoulin, Julie A.; Stewart, Sondra K.; Kennett, Diana; Mazzullo, Elsa K.


    Sediments recovered during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 123 from the Argo Abyssal Plain (AAP) consist largely of turbidites derived from the adjacent Australian continental margin. The oldest abundant turbidites are Valanginian-Aptian in age and have a mixed (smarl) composition; they contain subequal amounts of calcareous and siliceous biogenic components, as well as clay and lesser quartz. Most are thin-bedded, fine sand to mud-sized, and best described by Stow and Piper's model (1984) for fine-grained biogenic turbidites. Thicker (to 3 m), coarser-grained (medium-to-coarse sand-sized) turbidites fit Bouma's model (1962) for sandy turbidites; these generally are base-cut-out (BCDE, BDE) sequences, with B-division parallel lamination as the dominant structure. Parallel laminae most commonly concentrate quartz and/or calcispheres vs. lithic clasts or clay, but distinctive millimeter to centimeter-thick, radiolarian-rich laminae occur in both fine and coarse-grained Valanginian-Hauterivian turbidites.AAP turbidites were derived from relatively deep parts of the continental margin (outer shelf, slope, or rise) that lay below the photic zone, but above the calcite compensation depth (CCD). Biogenic components are largely pelagic (calcispheres, foraminifers, radiolarians, nannofossils); lesser benthic foraminifers are characteristic of deep-water (abyssal to bathyal) environments. Abundant nonbiogenic components are mostly clay and clay clasts; smectite is the dominant clay species, and indicates a volcanogenic provenance, most likely the Triassic-Jurassic volcanic suite exposed along the northern Exmouth Plateau.Lower Cretaceous smarl turbidites were generated during eustatic lowstands and may have reached the abyssal plain via Swan Canyon, a submarine canyon thought to have formed during the Late Jurassic. In contrast to younger AAP turbidites, however, Lower Cretaceous turbidites are relatively fine-grained and do not contain notably older reworked fossils. Early

  4. Tectonics of the Philippine Sea plate before and after 52 Ma subduction initiation to form the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc (United States)

    Ishizuka, O.; Tani, K.; Harigane, Y.; Umino, S.; Stern, R. J.; Reagan, M. K.; Hickey-Vargas, R.; Yogodzinski, G. M.; Kusano, Y.; Arculus, R. J.


    Robust tectonic reconstruction of the evolving Philippine Sea Plate for the period immediately before and after subduction initiation 52 Ma to form the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc is prerequisite to understand cause of subduction initiation (SI) and test competing hypotheses for SI such as spontaneous or induced nucleation. Understanding of nature and origin of overriding and subducting plates is especially important because plate density is a key parameter controlling SI based on numerical modeling (e.g., Leng and Gurnis 2015). There is increasing evidence that multiple geological events related to changing stress fields took place in and around Philippine Sea plate about the time of SI 52 Ma (Ishizuka et al., 2011). For our understanding of the early IBM arc system to increase, it is important to understand the pattern and tempo of these geological events, particularly the duration and extent of seafloor spreading in the proto arc associated with SI, and its temporal relationship with spreading in the West Philippine Basin (WPB). IODP Exp. 351 provided evidence of SI-related seafloor spreading west of the Kyushu-Palau Ridge (Arculus et al., 2015). Planned age determination of the basement crust at Site U1438 will constrain the timing and geometry of SI-related spreading and its relationship to variation in mode of spreading in the WPB including rotation of spreading axis. Some tectonic reconstructions suggest that part of the IBM arc could have formed on "young" WPB crust. Dredging of the northern Mariana forearc crust and mantle in 2014 aimed to test this hypothesis. Preliminary data indicates that early arc crustal section of the N. Mariana forearc is geochemically and temporally similar to that exposed in the Bonin and southern Mariana forearcs. New tectonic reconstructions for the nascent IBM system will be presented based on these observations.

  5. Mantle hydration and Cl-rich fluids in the subduction forearc (United States)

    Reynard, Bruno


    In the forearc region, aqueous fluids are released from the subducting slab at a rate depending on its thermal state. Escaping fluids tend to rise vertically unless they meet permeability barriers such as the deformed plate interface or the Moho of the overriding plate. Channeling of fluids along the plate interface and Moho may result in fluid overpressure in the oceanic crust, precipitation of quartz from fluids, and low Poisson ratio areas associated with tremors. Above the subducting plate, the forearc mantle wedge is the place of intense reactions between dehydration fluids from the subducting slab and ultramafic rocks leading to extensive serpentinization. The plate interface is mechanically decoupled, most likely in relation to serpentinization, thereby isolating the forearc mantle wedge from convection as a cold, potentially serpentinized and buoyant, body. Geophysical studies are unique probes to the interactions between fluids and rocks in the forearc mantle, and experimental constrains on rock properties allow inferring fluid migration and fluid-rock reactions from geophysical data. Seismic velocities reveal a high degree of serpentinization of the forearc mantle in hot subduction zones, and little serpentinization in the coldest subduction zones because the warmer the subduction zone, the higher the amount of water released by dehydration of hydrothermally altered oceanic lithosphere. Interpretation of seismic data from petrophysical constrain is limited by complex effects due to anisotropy that needs to be assessed both in the analysis and interpretation of seismic data. Electrical conductivity increases with increasing fluid content and temperature of the subduction. However, the forearc mantle of Northern Cascadia, the hottest subduction zone where extensive serpentinization was first demonstrated, shows only modest electrical conductivity. Electrical conductivity may vary not only with the thermal state of the subduction zone, but also with time for

  6. First complete sauropod dinosaur skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas and the evolution of sauropod dentition. (United States)

    Chure, Daniel; Britt, Brooks B; Whitlock, John A; Wilson, Jeffrey A


    Sauropod dinosaur bones are common in Mesozoic terrestrial sediments, but sauropod skulls are exceedingly rare--cranial materials are known for less than one third of sauropod genera and even fewer are known from complete skulls. Here we describe the first complete sauropod skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas, Abydosaurus mcintoshi, n. gen., n. sp., known from 104.46 +/- 0.95 Ma (megannum) sediments from Dinosaur National Monument, USA. Abydosaurus shares close ancestry with Brachiosaurus, which appeared in the fossil record ca. 45 million years earlier and had substantially broader teeth. A survey of tooth shape in sauropodomorphs demonstrates that sauropods evolved broad crowns during the Early Jurassic but did not evolve narrow crowns until the Late Jurassic, when they occupied their greatest range of crown breadths. During the Cretaceous, brachiosaurids and other lineages independently underwent a marked diminution in tooth breadth, and before the latest Cretaceous broad-crowned sauropods were extinct on all continental landmasses. Differential survival and diversification of narrow-crowned sauropods in the Late Cretaceous appears to be a directed trend that was not correlated with changes in plant diversity or abundance, but may signal a shift towards elevated tooth replacement rates and high-wear dentition. Sauropods lacked many of the complex herbivorous adaptations present within contemporaneous ornithischian herbivores, such as beaks, cheeks, kinesis, and heterodonty. The spartan design of sauropod skulls may be related to their remarkably small size--sauropod skulls account for only 1/200th of total body volume compared to 1/30th body volume in ornithopod dinosaurs.

  7. Late Cretaceous extension and exhumation of the Stong and Taku magmatic and metamorphic complexes, NE Peninsular Malaysia (United States)

    François, T.; Md Ali, M. A.; Matenco, L.; Willingshofer, E.; Ng, T. F.; Taib, N. I.; Shuib, M. K.


    Fragmentation of large continental areas by post-orogenic extension requires favourable geodynamic conditions and frequently occurs along pre-existing suture zones or nappe contacts, as exemplified by the Stong and Taku magmatic and metamorphic complexes of northern Peninsular Malaysia. For this case, we have employed a field and microstructural kinematic study combined with low temperature thermo-chronology to analyse the tectonic and exhumation history. The results show that the Late Palaeozoic - Triassic Indosinian orogeny created successive phases of burial related metamorphism, shearing and contractional deformation. This orogenic structure was subsequently dismembered during a Cretaceous thermal event that culminated in the formation of a large scale Late Santonian - Early Maastrichtian extensional detachment, genetically associated with crustal melting, the emplacement of syn-kinematic plutons and widespread migmatisation. The emplacement of these magmatic rocks led to an array of simultaneously formed structures that document deformation conditions over a wide temperature range, represented by amphibolite- and greenschist- facies mylonites and as well as brittle structures, such as cataclastic zones and normal faults that formed during exhumation in the footwall of the detachment. The formation of this detachment and a first phase of Late Cretaceous cooling was followed by renewed Eocene - Oligocene exhumation, as evidenced from our fission track ages. We infer that an initial Cretaceous thermal anomaly was responsible for the formation of an extensional gneiss dome associated with simple shear and rotation of normal faults. These Cretaceous processes played a critical role in the establishment of the presently observed crustal structure of Peninsular Malaysia.

  8. Rib fracture in Prognathodon saturator (Mosasauridae, Late Cretaceous)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, Anne S.; Walenkamp, G. H I M; Hofman, P.A.M.; Rothschild, B. M.; Jagt, J. W M


    Two unusual bumps occur on the internal surface of a rib of the marine reptile Prognathodon saturator from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of Maastricht, The Netherlands. These bumps are interpreted as stress fractures, possibly related to agonistic behaviour.

  9. Origin of depleted basalts during subduction initiation and early development of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana island arc: Evidence from IODP expedition 351 site U1438, Amami-Sankaku basin (United States)

    Hickey-Vargas, R.; Yogodzinski, G. M.; Ishizuka, O.; McCarthy, A.; Bizimis, M.; Kusano, Y.; Savov, I. P.; Arculus, R.


    The Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) island arc formed following initiation of subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the Philippine Sea plate at about 52 Ma. Site U1438 of IODP Expedition 351 was drilled to sample the oceanic basement on which the IBM arc was constructed, to better understand magmatism prior to and during the subduction initiation event. Site U1438 igneous basement Unit 1 (150 m) was drilled beneath 1460 m of primarily volcaniclastic sediments and sedimentary rock. Basement basalts are microcrystalline to fine-grained flows and form several distinct subunits (1a-1f), all relatively mafic (MgO = 6.5-13.8%; Mg# = 52-83), with Cr = 71-506 ppm and Ni = 62-342 ppm. All subunits are depleted in non-fluid mobile incompatible trace elements. Ratios such as Sm/Nd (0.35-0.44), Lu/Hf (0.19-0.37), and Zr/Nb (55-106) reach the highest values found in MORB, while La/Yb (0.31-0.92), La/Sm (0.43-0.91) and Nb/La (0.39-0.59) reach the lowest values. Abundances of fluid-mobile incompatible elements, K, Rb, Cs and U, vary with rock physical properties, indicating control by post-eruptive seawater alteration, but lowest abundances are typical of fresh, highly depleted MORBs. Mantle sources for the different subunits define a trend of progressive incompatible element depletion. Inferred pressures of magma segregation are 0.6-2.1 GPa with temperatures of 1280-1470 °C. New 40Ar/39Ar dates for Site U1438 basalts averaging 48.7 Ma (Ishizuka et al., 2018) are younger that the inferred age of IBM subduction initiation based on the oldest ages (52 Ma) of IBM forearc basalts (FAB) from the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. FAB are hypothesized to be the first magma type erupted as the Pacific plate subsided, followed by boninites, and ultimately typical arc magmas over a period of about 10 Ma. Site U1438 basalts and IBM FABs are similar, but Site U1438 basalts have lower V contents, higher Ti/V and little geochemical evidence for involvement of slab-derived fluids. We

  10. Previously Unrecognized Ornithuromorph Bird Diversity in the Early Cretaceous Changma Basin, Gansu Province, Northwestern China (United States)

    Wang, Ya-Ming; O'Connor, Jingmai K.; Li, Da-Qing; You, Hai-Lu


    Here we report on three new species of ornithuromorph birds from the Lower Cretaceous Xiagou Formation in the Changma Basin of Gansu Province, northwestern China: Yumenornis huangi gen. et sp. nov., Changmaornis houi gen. et sp. nov., and Jiuquanornis niui gen. et sp. nov.. The last of these is based on a previously published but unnamed specimen: GSGM-05-CM-021. Although incomplete, the specimens can be clearly distinguished from each other and from Gansus yumenensis Hou and Liu, 1984. Phylogenetic analysis resolves the three new taxa as basal ornithuromorphs. This study reveals previously unrecognized ornithuromorph diversity in the Changma avifauna, which is largely dominated by Gansus but with at least three other ornithuromorphs. Body mass estimates demonstrate that enantiornithines were much smaller than ornithuromorphs in the Changma avifauna. In addition, Changma enantiornithines preserve long and recurved pedal unguals, suggesting an arboreal lifestyle; in contrast, Changma ornithuromorphs tend to show terrestrial or even aquatic adaptions. Similar differences in body mass and ecology are also observed in the Jehol avifauna in northeastern China, suggesting niche partitioning between these two clades developed early in their evolutionary history. PMID:24147058

  11. Geochemical and isotopic characteristics and magma sources of the early Cretaceous trachybasalts of the Goby-Altai rift zone: an example of grabens in the Arts-Bogdo range

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    Samojlov, V.S.; Yarmolyuk, V.V.; Kovalenko, V.I.; Ivanov, V.G.; Pakhol'chenko, Yu.A.


    Geochemical and isotopic-geochemical characteristics of the basalts of Early Cretaceous (Hoby-Altai rift zone; Arts-Bogdo region, Mongolia). Atomic absorption spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, photometry, mass spectroscopy and other methods were used. Mantle nature of the basalt geochemical specificity is shown as well as their initial melts. Data on the rubidium-strontium isotopic composition of Neocomian basalts are the following ones: 87 Sr/ 86 Sr 87 Sr/ 86 Sr > 0.707 and Rb/Sr > 0.06 [ru

  12. Cretaceous plutonic rocks in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area, northern Sierra Nevada, California (United States)

    Kulow, Matthew J.; Hanson, Richard E.; Girty, Gary H.; Girty, Melissa S.; Harwood, David S.


    The northernmost occurrences of extensive, glaciated exposures of the Sierra Nevada batholith occur in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area of the northern Sierra Nevada. The plutonic rocks in this area, which are termed here the Castle Valley plutonic assemblage, crop out over an area of 225 km2 and for the most part are shown as a single undifferentiated mass on previously published geological maps. In the present work, the plutonic assemblage is divided into eight separate intrusive units or lithodemes, two of which each consist of two separate plutons. Compositions are dominantly granodiorite and tonalite, but diorite and granite form small plutons in places. Spectacular examples of comb layering and orbicular texture occur in the diorites. U-Pb zircon ages have been obtained for all but one of the main units and range from ~120 to 114 Ma, indicating that the entire assemblage was emplaced in a narrow time frame in the Early Cretaceous. This is consistent with abundant field evidence that many of the individual phases were intruded penecontemporaneously. The timing of emplacement correlates with onset of major Cretaceous plutonism in the main part of the Sierra Nevada batholith farther south. The emplacement ages also are similar to isotopic ages for gold-quartz mineralization in the Sierran foothills west of the study area, suggesting a direct genetic relationship between the voluminous Early Cretaceous plutonism and hydrothermal gold mineralization.

  13. A transitional snake from the Late Cretaceous period of North America. (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Gauthier, Jacques A


    Snakes are the most diverse group of lizards, but their origins and early evolution remain poorly understood owing to a lack of transitional forms. Several major issues remain outstanding, such as whether snakes originated in a marine or terrestrial environment and how their unique feeding mechanism evolved. The Cretaceous Coniophis precedens was among the first Mesozoic snakes discovered, but until now only an isolated vertebra has been described and it has therefore been overlooked in discussions of snake evolution. Here we report on previously undescribed material from this ancient snake, including the maxilla, dentary and additional vertebrae. Coniophis is not an anilioid as previously thought a revised phylogenetic analysis of Ophidia shows that it instead represents the most primitive known snake. Accordingly, its morphology and ecology are critical to understanding snake evolution. Coniophis occurs in a continental floodplain environment, consistent with a terrestrial rather than a marine origin; furthermore, its small size and reduced neural spines indicate fossorial habits, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing lizards. The skull is intermediate between that of lizards and snakes. Hooked teeth and an intramandibular joint indicate that Coniophis fed on relatively large, soft-bodied prey. However, the maxilla is firmly united with the skull, indicating an akinetic rostrum. Coniophis therefore represents a transitional snake, combining a snake-like body and a lizard-like head. Subsequent to the evolution of a serpentine body and carnivory, snakes evolved a highly specialized, kinetic skull, which was followed by a major adaptive radiation in the Early Cretaceous period. This pattern suggests that the kinetic skull was a key innovation that permitted the diversification of snakes.

  14. Discovery of fossil lamprey larva from the Lower Cretaceous reveals its three-phased life cycle. (United States)

    Chang, Mee-mann; Wu, Feixiang; Miao, Desui; Zhang, Jiangyong


    Lampreys are one of the two surviving jawless vertebrate groups and one of a few vertebrate groups with the best exemplified metamorphosis during their life cycle, which consists of a long-lasting larval stage, a peculiar metamorphosis, and a relatively short adulthood with a markedly different anatomy. Although the fossil records have revealed that many general features of extant lamprey adults were already formed by the Late Devonian (ca. 360 Ma), little is known about the life cycle of the fossil lampreys because of the lack of fossilized lamprey larvae or transformers. Here we report the first to our knowledge discovery of exceptionally preserved premetamorphic and metamorphosing larvae of the fossil lamprey Mesomyzon mengae from the Lower Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia, China. These fossil ammocoetes look surprisingly modern in having an eel-like body with tiny eyes, oral hood and lower lip, anteriorly positioned branchial region, and a continuous dorsal skin fin fold and in sharing a similar feeding habit, as judged from the detritus left in the gut. In contrast, the larger metamorphosing individuals have slightly enlarged eyes relative to large otic capsules, thickened oral hood or pointed snout, and discernable radials but still anteriorly extended branchial area and lack a suctorial oral disk, which characterize the early stages of the metamorphosis of extant lampreys. Our discovery not only documents the larval conditions of fossil lampreys but also indicates the three-phased life cycle in lampreys emerged essentially in their present mode no later than the Early Cretaceous.

  15. Earth history. U-Pb geochronology of the Deccan Traps and relation to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. (United States)

    Schoene, Blair; Samperton, Kyle M; Eddy, Michael P; Keller, Gerta; Adatte, Thierry; Bowring, Samuel A; Khadri, Syed F R; Gertsch, Brian


    The Chicxulub asteroid impact (Mexico) and the eruption of the massive Deccan volcanic province (India) are two proposed causes of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, which includes the demise of nonavian dinosaurs. Despite widespread acceptance of the impact hypothesis, the lack of a high-resolution eruption timeline for the Deccan basalts has prevented full assessment of their relationship to the mass extinction. Here we apply uranium-lead (U-Pb) zircon geochronology to Deccan rocks and show that the main phase of eruptions initiated ~250,000 years before the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and that >1.1 million cubic kilometers of basalt erupted in ~750,000 years. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the Deccan Traps contributed to the latest Cretaceous environmental change and biologic turnover that culminated in the marine and terrestrial mass extinctions. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. The geochemistry and tectonic setting of late Cretaceous Caribbean and Colombian volcanism (United States)

    Kerr, Andrew C.; Tarney, John; Marriner, Giselle F.; Nivia, Alvaro; Klaver, Gerard Th.; Saunders, Andrew D.


    Late Cretaceous mafic volcanic sequences in Western Colombia and in the southern Caribbean have a striking coherence in their chemistry and compositional range which suggests they are part of the same magmatic province. The chemical characteristics of the majority of the mafic lavas are totally unlike those of island arc or marginal basin basalts, so the sequences cannot represent accreted arc terranes. On the other hand their trace element characteristics closely resemble those of Icelandic/Reykjanes Ridge basalts that represent an oceanic plateau formed by extensive decompression melting of an uprising deep mantle plume. The occurrence of komatiites on Gorgona and high-MgO picritic lavas in S.E. Colombia and on Curaçao, representing high temperature melts of the plume tail, confirms this analogy. Likewise, late stage rhyolites within the Colombian mafic volcanics may well be the equivalent of the extensive silicic magmas on Iceland and at Galapagos, possibly formed by remelting of the deep parts of the overthickened basaltic crust above the plume head. These volcanics, plus others around the Caribbean, including the floor of the Central Caribbean, probably all represent part of an oceanic plateau that formed rapidly at the Galapagos hotspot at 88 Ma, and that was too hot and buoyant to subduct beneath the margin of S. America as it migrated westwards with the opening of the South Atlantic, and so was imbricated along the continental margin. Minor arc-like volcanics, tonalites and hornblende leucogabbro veins may represent the products of subduction-flip of normal ocean crust against the buoyant plateau, or hydrous melts developed during imbrication/obduction.

  17. Migration Imaging of the Java Subduction Zones (United States)

    Dokht, Ramin M. H.; Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Sacchi, Mauricio D.


    Imaging of tectonically complex regions can greatly benefit from dense network data and resolution enhancement techniques. Conventional methods in the analysis of SS precursors stack the waveforms to obtain an average discontinuity depth, but smearing due to large Fresnel zones can degrade the fine-scale topography on the discontinuity. To provide a partial solution, we introduce a depth migration algorithm based on the common scattering point method while considering nonspecular diffractions from mantle transition zone discontinuities. Our analysis indicates that, beneath the Sunda arc, the depth of the 410 km discontinuity (the 410) is elevated by 30 km and the 660 km discontinuity (the 660) is depressed by 20-40 km; the region of the strongest anticorrelation is correlated with the morphology of the subducting Indo-Australian slab. In eastern Java, a "flat" 410 coincides with a documented slab gap, showing length scales greater than 400 km laterally and 200 km vertically. This observation could be explained by the arrival of a buoyant oceanic plateau at the Java trench at approximately 8 Ma ago, which may have caused a temporary cessation of subduction and formed a tear in the subducting slab. Our results highlight contrasting depths of the 410 and 660 along the shallow-dipping slab below the Banda trench. The 660, however, becomes significantly uplifted beneath the Banda Sea, which is accompanied by enhanced reflection amplitudes. We interpret these observations as evidence for a subslab low-velocity zone, possibly related to the lower mantle upwelling beneath the subducting slab.

  18. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review


    DESCHAMPS, Fabien; GODARD, Marguerite; GUILLOT, Stéphane; HATTORI, Kéiko


    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zone geodynamics. Their presence and role in subduction environments are recognized through geophysical, geochemical and field observations of modern and ancient subduction zones and large amounts of geochemical database of serpentinites have been created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical data of abyssal, mantle wedge ...

  19. Late Cretaceous seasonal ocean variability from the Arctic. (United States)

    Davies, Andrew; Kemp, Alan E S; Pike, Jennifer


    The modern Arctic Ocean is regarded as a barometer of global change and amplifier of global warming and therefore records of past Arctic change are critical for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Little is known of the state of the Arctic Ocean in the greenhouse period of the Late Cretaceous epoch (65-99 million years ago), yet records from such times may yield important clues to Arctic Ocean behaviour in near-future warmer climates. Here we present a seasonally resolved Cretaceous sedimentary record from the Alpha ridge of the Arctic Ocean. This palaeo-sediment trap provides new insight into the workings of the Cretaceous marine biological carbon pump. Seasonal primary production was dominated by diatom algae but was not related to upwelling as was previously hypothesized. Rather, production occurred within a stratified water column, involving specially adapted species in blooms resembling those of the modern North Pacific subtropical gyre, or those indicated for the Mediterranean sapropels. With increased CO(2) levels and warming currently driving increased stratification in the global ocean, this style of production that is adapted to stratification may become more widespread. Our evidence for seasonal diatom production and flux testify to an ice-free summer, but thin accumulations of terrigenous sediment within the diatom ooze are consistent with the presence of intermittent sea ice in the winter, supporting a wide body of evidence for low temperatures in the Late Cretaceous Arctic Ocean, rather than recent suggestions of a 15 degrees C mean annual temperature at this time.

  20. Sedimentary succesion of the Lower Cretaceous deposits from the north-western part of Pădurea Craiului (Apuseni Mountains, Romania

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    Daniel F. Lazar


    Full Text Available Within the general succession of the Lower Cretaceous deposits from the Vârciorog-Dobreşti area (Pădurea Craiului Mountains, carbonate and terrigenous deposits were identified. The limestones were assigned to two distinctive lithostratigraphic units: the Valea Măgurii and Vârciorog formations. Based on the orbitolinids Palorbitolina lenticularis and Mesorbitolina texana their ages are assigned to the early Aptian, and respectively late Aptian–Albian. The terrigenous facies mainly include fine grained deposits (clays, siltites, marls and, to a lesser extent, coarser ones (glauconitic sandstones and conglomerates, and they are attributed to the Ecleja and Vârciorog formations. The marls of the Ecleja Formation have been observed in a single section. The lack of fossils prevents assigning an age to this marl succession. Based on their relative location, i.e., at the base of the late Bedoulian Valea Măgurii Limestones, they may be assigned to the early Aptian (early Bedoulian. The siliciclastic deposits of Vârciorog Formation cover the largest areas in the region. Their late Aptian–Albian age is established based on the presence of Mesorbitolina texana. Additional arguments are represented by an ammonite fauna assigned to the terminal Bedoulian–early Gargasian. This fauna is located at the base of the Vârciorog Formation. The Lower Cretaceous deposits cropping out in this area have been investigated in seven geological sections. The data interpretation allowed a synthetic reconstruction of the succession and of the depositional environments.

  1. Velocities of Subducted Sediments and Continents (United States)

    Hacker, B. R.; van Keken, P. E.; Abers, G. A.; Seward, G.


    shallow depths through trench-parallel at moderate depths to down-dip approaching sub-arc depths. Vertically incident waves have VP/ VS of 1.7-1.3 over the same range of depths, waves propagating up dip have VP/ VS of 1.7-1.3, and waves propagating along the slab at constant depth have VP/ VS of 1.7-1.45. These remarkably low VP/ VS ratios are due to the anomalous elastic behavior of quartz. More aluminous lithologies have elevated VP/ VS ratios: 1.85 for slab-normal waves, 1.75 for trench-parallel waves, and 1.65 for down-dip waves. Subducted continental crust that is too dry to transform to high-pressure minerals has relatively ordinary VP/ VS ratio of 1.71-1.75 for vertically incident waves, 1.6-1.7 for waves propagating up dip, and 1.65-1.75 for waves propagating along the slab. Thus, subducted mica-rich sediments can have high VP/ VS ratios, whereas quartzose lithologies generate low VP/ VS ratios.

  2. Tracing halogen and B cycling in subduction zones based on obducted, subducted and forearc serpentinites of the Dominican Republic. (United States)

    Pagé, Lilianne; Hattori, Keiko


    Serpentinites are important reservoirs of fluid-mobile elements in subduction zones, contributing to volatiles in arc magmas and their transport into the Earth's mantle. This paper reports halogen (F, Cl, Br, I) and B abundances of serpentinites from the Dominican Republic, including obducted and subducted abyssal serpentinites and forearc mantle serpentinites. Abyssal serpentinite compositions indicate the incorporation of these elements from seawater and sediments during serpentinization on the seafloor and at slab bending. During their subduction and subsequent lizardite-antigorite transition, F and B are retained in serpentinites, whilst Cl, Br and I are expelled. Forearc mantle serpentinite compositions suggest their hydration by fluids released from subducting altered oceanic crust and abyssal serpentinites, with only minor sediment contribution. This finding is consistent with the minimal subduction of sediments in the Dominican Republic. Forearc mantle serpentinites have F/Cl and B/Cl ratios similar to arc magmas, suggesting the importance of serpentinite dehydration in the generation of arc magmatism in the mantle wedge.

  3. Structure of an inverted basin from subsurface and field data: the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Maestrat Basin (Iberian Chain)

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    Nebot, M.; Guimera, J.


    The Maestrat Basin experienced two main rifting events: Late Permian-Late Triassic and Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, and was inverted during the Cenozoic Alpine orogeny. During the inversion, an E-W-trending, N-verging fold-and-thrust belt developed along its northern margin, detached in the Triassic evaporites, while southwards it also involved the Variscan basement. A structural study of the transition between these two areas is presented, using 2D seismic profiles, exploration wells and field data, to characterize its evolution during the Mesozoic extension and the Cenozoic contraction. The S-dipping Maestrat basement thrust traverses the Maestrat Basin from E to W; it is the result of the Cenozoic inversion of the lower segment–within the acoustic basement–of the Mesozoic extensional fault system that generated the Salzedella sub-basin. The syn-rift Lower Cretaceous rocks filling the Salzedella sub-basin thicken progressively northwards, from 350m to 1100m. During the inversion, a wide uplifted area –40km wide in the N-S direction– developed in the hanging wall of the Maestrat basement thrust. This uplifted area is limited to the North by the E-W-trending Calders monocline, whose limb is about 13km wide in its central part, dips about 5ºN, and generates a vertical tectonic step of 800-1200m. We interpreted the Calders monocline as a fault-bend fold; therefore, a flat-ramp-flat geometry is assumed in depth for the Maestrat basement thrust. The northern synformal hinge of the Calders monocline coincides with the transition from thick-skinned to thin-skinned areas. The vast uplifted area and the low-dip of the monocline suggest a very low-dip for the basement ramp, rooted in the upper crust. The Calders monocline narrows and disappears laterally, in coincidence with the outcrop of the Maestrat basement thrust. The evaporitic Middle Muschelkalk detachment conditioned the structural style. Salt structures are also related to it; they developed during the

  4. Zircon U-Pb age of the Pescadero felsite: A late Cretaceous igneous event in the forearc, west-central California Coast Ranges (United States)

    Ernst, W.G.; Martens, U.C.; McLaughlin, R.J.; Clark, J.C.; Moore, Diane E.


    forearc units of the Transverse Ranges. Based on zircon U-Pb ages, geologic and petrographic relations, the Pescadero felsite and a capping, sheared metaconglomerate underlie the Pigeon Point Formation. We infer that the magma formed by anatexis of Franciscan or Great Valley clastic sedimentary rocks originating from a parental Mesozoic Sierran-Mojave-Salinian calcalkaline arc. The felsite erupted during Late Cretaceous time, was metamorphosed to pumpellyite-prehnite grade within the subduction zone, and then was rapidly exhumed, weakly zeolitized, and exposed before Pigeon Point forearc deposition. Pescadero vol canism apparently reflects a previously unrecognized ca. 86-90 Ma felsic igneous event in the accretionary margin. ?? 2011 Geological Society of America.

  5. Imaging Shear Strength Along Subduction Faults (United States)

    Bletery, Quentin; Thomas, Amanda M.; Rempel, Alan W.; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.


    Subduction faults accumulate stress during long periods of time and release this stress suddenly, during earthquakes, when it reaches a threshold. This threshold, the shear strength, controls the occurrence and magnitude of earthquakes. We consider a 3-D model to derive an analytical expression for how the shear strength depends on the fault geometry, the convergence obliquity, frictional properties, and the stress field orientation. We then use estimates of these different parameters in Japan to infer the distribution of shear strength along a subduction fault. We show that the 2011 Mw9.0 Tohoku earthquake ruptured a fault portion characterized by unusually small variations in static shear strength. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that large earthquakes preferentially rupture regions with relatively homogeneous shear strength. With increasing constraints on the different parameters at play, our approach could, in the future, help identify favorable locations for large earthquakes.

  6. Imaging shear strength along subduction faults (United States)

    Bletery, Quentin; Thomas, Amanda M.; Rempel, Alan W.; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.


    Subduction faults accumulate stress during long periods of time and release this stress suddenly, during earthquakes, when it reaches a threshold. This threshold, the shear strength, controls the occurrence and magnitude of earthquakes. We consider a 3-D model to derive an analytical expression for how the shear strength depends on the fault geometry, the convergence obliquity, frictional properties, and the stress field orientation. We then use estimates of these different parameters in Japan to infer the distribution of shear strength along a subduction fault. We show that the 2011 Mw9.0 Tohoku earthquake ruptured a fault portion characterized by unusually small variations in static shear strength. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that large earthquakes preferentially rupture regions with relatively homogeneous shear strength. With increasing constraints on the different parameters at play, our approach could, in the future, help identify favorable locations for large earthquakes.

  7. Recycling of Amazonian detrital zircons in the Mixteco terrane, southern Mexico: Paleogeographic implications during Jurassic-Early Cretaceous and Paleogene times (United States)

    Silva-Romo, Gilberto; Mendoza-Rosales, Claudia Cristina; Campos-Madrigal, Emiliano; Morales-Yáñez, Axél; de la Torre-González, Alam Israel; Nápoles-Valenzuela, Juan Ivan


    In the northeastern Mixteco terrane of southern Mexico, in the Ixcaquixtla-Atzumba region, the recycling of Amazonian detrital zircons records the paleogeography during the Mesozoic period in the context of the breakup of Pangea, a phenomenon that disarticulated the Sanozama-La Mora paleo-river. The clastic units of southern Mexico in the Ayuquila, Otlaltepec and Zapotitlán Mesozoic basins, as well as in the Atzumba Cenozoic basin, are characterized by detrital zircon contents with ages specific to the Amazonian craton, ranging between 3040 and 1278 Ma. The presence of zircons of Amazonian affinity suggests a provenance by recycling from carrier units such as the La Mora Formation or the Ayú Complex. In the area, the Ayú and Acatlán complexes form the Cosoltepec block, a paleogeographic element that during Early Cretaceous time acted as the divide between the slopes of the paleo-Gulf of Mexico and the paleo-Pacific Ocean. The sedimentological characteristics of the Jurassic-Cenozoic clastic successions in the Ixcaquixtla-Atzumba region denote relatively short transport in braided fluvial systems and alluvial fans. In this way, several basins are recognized around the Cosoltepec block. At the southeastern edge of the Cosoltepec block, the Ayuquila and Tecomazúchil formations accumulated in the Ayuquila continental basin on the paleo-Pacific Ocean slope. On the other hand, within the paleo-Gulf of Mexico slope, in the Otlaltepec continental basin, the Piedra Hueca and the Otlaltepec formations accumulated. The upper member of the Santa Lucía Formation accumulated in a transitional environment on the southwestern shoulder of the Zapotitlán basin, as well as on the paleo-Gulf of Mexico slope. In the Ayuquila basin, a marine transgression is recognized that advanced from south to north during the Late Jurassic. At the northeastern edge of the Cosoltepec block, we propose that the Santa Lucía formation attests to a transgression from the paleo-Gulf of Mexico

  8. A model of diffuse degassing at three subduction-related volcanoes (United States)

    Williams-Jones, Glyn; Stix, John; Heiligmann, Martin; Charland, Anne; Sherwood Lollar, Barbara; Arner, N.; Garzón, Gustavo V.; Barquero, Jorge; Fernandez, Erik

    Radon, CO2 and δ13C in soil gas were measured at three active subduction-related stratovolcanoes (Arenal and Poás, Costa Rica; Galeras, Colombia). In general, Rn, CO2 and δ13C values are higher on the lower flanks of the volcanoes, except near fumaroles in the active craters. The upper flanks of these volcanoes have low Rn concentrations and light δ13C values. These observations suggest that diffuse degassing of magmatic gas on the upper flanks of these volcanoes is negligible and that more magmatic degassing occurs on the lower flanks where major faults and greater fracturing in the older lavas can channel magmatic gases to the surface. These results are in contrast to findings for Mount Etna where a broad halo of magmatic CO2 has been postulated to exist over much of the edifice. Differences in radon levels among the three volcanoes studied here may result from differences in age, the degree of fracturing and faulting, regional structures or the level of hydrothermal activity. Volcanoes, such as those studied here, act as plugs in the continental crust, focusing magmatic degassing towards crater fumaroles, faults and the fractured lower flanks.

  9. A diverse ant fauna from the mid-cretaceous of Myanmar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

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    Phillip Barden

    Full Text Available A new collection of 24 wingless ant specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Albian-Cenomanian, 99 Ma comprises nine new species belonging to the genus Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi. Described taxa vary considerably with regard to total size, head and body proportion, cuticular sculpturing, and petiole structure while all species are unified by a distinct shared character. The assemblage represents the largest known diversification of closely related Cretaceous ants with respect to species number. These stem-group ants exhibit some characteristics previously known only from their extant counterparts along with presumed plesiomorphic morphology. Consequently, their morphology may inform hypotheses relating to basal relationships and general patterns of ant evolution. These and other uncovered Cretaceous species indicate that stem-group ants are not simply wasp-like, transitional formicids, but rather a group of considerable adaptive diversity, exhibiting innovations analogous to what crown-group ants would echo 100 million years later.

  10. Structure and evolution of the northern Oman margin: gravity and seismic constraints over the Zagros-Makran-Oman collision zone (United States)

    Ravaut, P.; Bayer, R.; Hassani, R.; Rousset, D.; Yahya'ey, A. Al


    The obduction process in Oman during Late Cretaceous time, and continental-to-oceanic subduction along the Zagros-Makran region during the Tertiary are consequences of the Arabian-Eurasian collision, resulting in construction of complex structures composed of the Oman ophiolite belt, the Zagros continental mountain belt and the Makran subduction zone with its associated accretionary wedge. In this paper, we jointly interpret Bouguer anomaly and available petroleum seismic profiles in terms of crustal structures. We show that the gravity anomaly in northern Oman is characterized by a high-amplitude negative-positive couple. The negative anomaly is coincident with Late Cretaceous (Fiqa) and Tertiary (Pabdeh) foreland basins and with the Zagros-Oman mountain belts, whereas the positive anomaly is correlated to the ophiolite massifs. The Bouguer anomaly map indicates the presence of a post-Late Cretaceous sedimentary basin, the Sohar basin, centred north of the Batinah plain. We interpret the negative/positive couple in terms of loading of the elastic Arabian lithosphere. We estimate the different Cretaceous-to-Recent loads, including topography, ophiolite nappes, sedimentary fill and the accretionary prism of the Makran trench. A new method, using Mindlin's elastic plate theory, is proposed to model the 2D deflection of the heterogeneous elastic Arabian plate, taking into account boundary conditions at the ends of the subducted plate. We show that remnant ophiolites are isolated from Tethyan oceanic lithosphere in the Gulf of Oman by a continental basement ridge, a NW prolongation of the Saih-Hatat window. Loading the northward-limited ophiolite blocks explains the deflection of the Fiqa foredeep basin. West of the Musandam Peninsula, the Tertiary Pabdeh foredeep is probably related to the emplacement of a 8-km-thick tectonic prism located on the Musandam Peninsula and in the Strait of Hormuz. Final 2D density models along profiles through the Oman mountain belt and

  11. Melt Origin Across a Rifted Continental Margin: A Case for Subduction-related Metasomatic Agents in the Lithospheric Source of Alkaline Basalt, Northwest Ross Sea, Antarctica (United States)

    Panter, K. S.; Castillo, P.; Krans, S. R.; Deering, C. D.; McIntosh, W. C.; Valley, J. W.; Kitajima, K.; Kyle, P. R.; Hart, S. R.; Blusztajn, J.


    subduction-related residue to the asthenosphere. Metasomatism was triggered by major episodes of extension beginning in the Late Cretaceous but did not produce alkaline magmatism directly. Significant delay of 30 to 20 Ma between extension and magmatism was likely controlled by conductive heating and the rate of thermal migration at the base of the lithosphere.

  12. Positive geothermal anomalies in oceanic crust of Cretaceous age offshore Kamchatka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Delisle


    Full Text Available Heat flow measurements were carried out in 2009 offshore Kamchatka during the German-Russian joint-expedition KALMAR. An area with elevated heat flow in oceanic crust of Cretaceous age – detected ~30 yr ago in the course of several Russian heat flow surveys – was revisited. One previous interpretation postulated anomalous lithospheric conditions or a connection between a postulated mantle plume at great depth (>200 km as the source for the observed high heat flow. However, the positive heat flow anomaly – as our bathymetric data show – is closely associated with the fragmentation of the western flank of the Meiji Seamount into a horst and graben structure initiated during descent of the oceanic crust into the subduction zone offshore Kamchatka. This paper offers an alternative interpretation, which connects high heat flow primarily with natural convection of fluids in the fragmented rock mass and, as a potential additional factor, high rates of erosion, for which evidence is available from our collected bathymetric image. Given high erosion rates, warm rock material at depth rises to nearer the sea floor, where it cools and causes temporary elevated heat flow.

  13. Influence of the subducting plate velocity on the geometry of the slab and migration of the subduction hinge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, Wouter P.


    Geological observations indicate that along two active continental margins (East Asia and Mediterranean) major phases of overriding plate extension, resulting from subduction hinge-retreat, occurred synchronously with a reduction in subducting plate velocity. In this paper, results of fluid

  14. The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous provide insights on snake evolution. (United States)

    Caldwell, Michael W; Nydam, Randall L; Palci, Alessandro; Apesteguía, Sebastián


    The previous oldest known fossil snakes date from ~100 million year old sediments (Upper Cretaceous) and are both morphologically and phylogenetically diverse, indicating that snakes underwent a much earlier origin and adaptive radiation. We report here on snake fossils that extend the record backwards in time by an additional ~70 million years (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). These ancient snakes share features with fossil and modern snakes (for example, recurved teeth with labial and lingual carinae, long toothed suborbital ramus of maxillae) and with lizards (for example, pronounced subdental shelf/gutter). The paleobiogeography of these early snakes is diverse and complex, suggesting that snakes had undergone habitat differentiation and geographic radiation by the mid-Jurassic. Phylogenetic analysis of squamates recovers these early snakes in a basal polytomy with other fossil and modern snakes, where Najash rionegrina is sister to this clade. Ingroup analysis finds them in a basal position to all other snakes including Najash.

  15. Incorporating Cutting Edge Scientific Results from the Margins-Geoprisms Program into the Undergraduate Curriculum: The Subduction Factory (United States)

    Penniston-Dorland, S.; Stern, R. J.; Edwards, B. R.; Kincaid, C. R.


    The NSF-MARGINS Program funded a decade of research on continental margin processes. The NSF-GeoPRISMS Mini-lesson Project, funded by NSF-TUES, is designed to integrate fundamental results from the MARGINS program into open-source college-level curriculum. Three Subduction Factory (SubFac) mini-lessons were developed as part of this project. These include hands-on examinations of data sets representing 3 key components of the subduction zone system: 1) Heat transfer in the subducted slab; 2) Metamorphic processes happening at the plate interface; and 3) Typical magmatic products of arc systems above subduction zones. Module 1: "Slab Temperatures Control Melting in Subduction Zones, What Controls Slab Temperature?" allows students to work in groups using beads rolling down slopes as an analog for the mathematics of heat flow. Using this hands-on, exploration-based approach, students develop an intuition for the mathematics of heatflow and learn about heat conduction and advection in the subduction zone environment. Module 2: "Subduction zone metamorphism" introduces students to the metamorphic rocks that form as the subducted slab descends and the mineral reactions that characterize subduction-related metamorphism. This module includes a suite of metamorphic rocks available for instructors to use in a lab, and exercises in which students compare pressure-temperature estimates obtained from metamorphic rocks to predictions from thermal models. Module 3: "Central American Arc Volcanoes, Petrology and Geochemistry" introduces students to basic concepts in igneous petrology using the Central American volcanic arc, a MARGINS Subduction Factory focus site, as an example. The module relates data from two different volcanoes - basaltic Cerro Negro (Nicaragua) and andesitic Ilopango (El Salvador) including hand sample observations and major element geochemistry - to explore processes of mantle and crustal melting and differentiation in arc volcanism.

  16. High diversity in cretaceous ichthyosaurs from Europe prior to their extinction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosaurs are reptiles that inhabited the marine realm during most of the Mesozoic. Their Cretaceous representatives have traditionally been considered as the last survivors of a group declining since the Jurassic. Recently, however, an unexpected diversity has been described in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous deposits, but is widely spread across time and space, giving small clues on the adaptive potential and ecosystem control of the last ichthyosaurs. The famous but little studied English Gault Formation and 'greensands' deposits (the Upper Greensand Formation and the Cambridge Greensand Member of the Lower Chalk Formation offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate this topic, containing thousands of ichthyosaur remains spanning the Early-Late Cretaceous boundary. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To assess the diversity of the ichthyosaur assemblage from these sedimentary bodies, we recognized morphotypes within each type of bones. We grouped these morphotypes together, when possible, by using articulated specimens from the same formations and from new localities in the Vocontian Basin (France; a revised taxonomic scheme is proposed. We recognize the following taxa in the 'greensands': the platypterygiines 'Platypterygius' sp. and Sisteronia seeleyi gen. et sp. nov., indeterminate ophthalmosaurines and the rare incertae sedis Cetarthrosaurus walkeri. The taxonomic diversity of late Albian ichthyosaurs now matches that of older, well-known intervals such as the Toarcian or the Tithonian. Contrasting tooth shapes and wear patterns suggest that these ichthyosaurs colonized three distinct feeding guilds, despite the presence of numerous plesiosaur taxa. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Western Europe was a diversity hot-spot for ichthyosaurs a few million years prior to their final extinction. By contrast, the low diversity in Australia and U.S.A. suggests strong geographical disparities in the diversity pattern of Albian-early

  17. Subduction Initiation Existed Along the Ancient Continent Margins? Evidence of U-Pb ages of zircons from the Bonin Trench, Japan (United States)

    Li, Y. B.; Pearce, J. A.; Ryan, J. G.; Li, X. H.; Haraguchi, S.; Iizuka, T.; Kon, Y.; Yamamoto, S.; Sawaki, Y.; Ishii, T.; Maruyama, S.


    Although it is not cleanly known when and where the subduction initiation began on the Paleo-Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) Trench, Jurassic and Cretaceous plutonic rocks, such as gabbroic, granitic and metamorphic rocks had been sampled from the Amami Plateau-Daito Ridge-Okidaito Ridge (ADO) in the Philippine Sea Plate. Furthermore, Mesozonic to Paleozonic ages zircons were obtained from volcaniclastic sandstones collected from northern Izu-Bonin forarc (Tani et al., 2012). We present U-Pb ages, Hf-O isotopes and trace element compositions of zircon grains separated from sediment, volcanic rock, dolerite and gabbro, collected from Chichijima Island and Bonin forearc seafloor (KH03-3, KT04-28 cruise of the University of Tokyo, IODP Leg 352). In the zircon age histogram, several age groups were identified. The age peaks are 0-3 Ma and 13 Ma (Hahajima Seamount: soft mud and volcanic tuff); 38 Ma (Oomachi Seamount: sandstone); 45 Ma (Chichijima Island: volcanic rock); 40 Ma, 48 Ma and 52 Ma (Hahajima Seamount: dolerite and gabbro); 45 Ma and 164-165 Ma (IODP Leg 352: volcanic rock), respectively. Zircon U-Pb ages ranging 0-52 Ma correspond well to the multi-stages of magmatism in the IBM. However, 164-165 Ma maybe represent the ages of zircon xenocryst including in forearc volcanic rock , which pre-existing in ancient continent crustal materials (SE China Continent Crust?) as the basement of Paleo-IBM. It seems reasonable to suppose that the subduction initiation of IBM existed along the ancient SE China Continent margins. The initiation of subduction zone is a consequence of lateral compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere, that advocated by Niu et al. (2003, 2016).

  18. The Lower Cretaceous Way Group of northern Chile: An alluvial fan-fan delta complex (United States)

    Flint, S.; Clemmey, H.; Turner, P.


    Alluvial fan sediments of the Lower Cretaceous Coloso Basin in northern Chile were deposited in a half-graben and derived from andesitic volcanics of a former island arc. Transport directions were towards the east, away from the present-day Peru-Chile trench. Grain flow, density modified grain flow and sheetflow processes were responsible for most of the sediment deposition with cohesive debris flows playing only a minor part. An early phase of conglomerate deposition (Coloso Formation) into a restricted basin records the transition from proximal fan facies with abundant grain flows and remobilized screes to mid-fan facies dominated by sheetflows. Stratiform copper mineralization near the top of the lower conglomerates is related to the unroofing of the Jurassic island arc. This mineralization comprises copper sulphide-cemented sands and gravels and formed by the reaction of mineralized detritus with diagenetic and hydrothermal solutions. A later phase of deposition (Lombriz Formation) includes sandstones, siltstones and conglomerates with a source area different from the Coloso Formation. This change in source may be related to strike-slip tectonics as the basin extended. The Lombriz conglomerates pass distally (eastwards) into red sandstones and purple siltstones with thin limestones deposited under marine conditions. This sequence is interpreted as a major fan delta complex. It passes conformably into marine carbonates of the Tableado Formation signifying the complete drowning of the basin in lower Cretaceous times.

  19. Immature intra-oceanic arc-type volcanism on the Izanagi Plate revealed by the geochemistry of the Daimaruyama greenstones in the Hiroo Complex, southern Hidaka Belt, central Hokkaido, Japan (United States)

    Yamasaki, Toru; Nanayama, Futoshi


    The Izanagi Plate is assumed to have underlain the western Panthalassa Ocean to the east of Eurasia, and to have been subducting under the Eurasian continent. Although the Izanagi Plate has been lost to subduction, the subduction complexes of the circum-Panthalassa continental margins provide evidence that subduction-related volcanism occurred within the Panthalassa Ocean, and not just along its margins. The Daimaruyama mass is a kilometer-sized allochthonous greenstone body in the Hiroo Complex in the southeastern part of the Nakanogawa Group in the southern Hidaka Belt, northern Japan. The Hiroo Complex is a subduction complex that formed within the Paleo-Kuril arc-trench system at 57-48 Ma. The Daimaruyama greenstones consist mainly of coarse volcaniclastic rocks with lesser amount of lava. Red bedded chert, red shale, and micritic limestone are also observed as blocks associated with the greenstones. The presence of Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) radiolaria in red bedded cherts within the greenstones indicates that the Daimaruyama greenstones formed after this time. An integrated major and trace element geochemical dataset for whole-rocks and clinopyroxenes of the greenstones indicates a calc-alkaline magmatic trend with low TiO2 contents and increases in SiO2 and decreases in FeO* with increasing differentiation. Negative anomalies of Nb, Ta, and Ti in normal mid-ocean-ridge basalt type normalized patterns are interpreted as "arc-signatures". Using "rhyolite-MELTS", we conducted a numerical simulation of magmatic differentiation under conditions of 1.5 kbar and H2O = 3 wt% to reproduce the liquid line of descent of the Daimaruyama greenstones. Back-calculations of the equilibrium melt compositions from the trace element chemistry of the clinopyroxenes generally agree with the whole-rock rare earth element compositions of the Daimaruyama greenstones, therefore providing support for the conditions used for the rhyolite-MELTS calculations as well as the actual

  20. Post-Cretaceous kinematics of the Atlas and Tell systems in central Algeria: Early foreland folding and subduction-related deformation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benaouali-Mebarek, N.; Frizon de Lamotte, D.; Roca, E.; Bracene, R.; Faure, J.L.; Sassi, W.; Roure, F.


    Available surface and industrial subsurface data provide the basis for a general balanced cross-section from the Sahara platform to the Mediterranean Sea in central Algeria. This section gives an overview of the whole Maghrebian orogen comprising from south to north the following structural domains:

  1. Chemostratigraphy of Late Cretaceous deltaic and marine sedimentary rocks from high northern palaeolatitudes in the Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenniger, Marc; Pedersen, Gunver Krarup; Bjerrum, Christian J.

    The Nuussuaq Basin in the Baffin Bay area in West Greenland formed as a result of the opening of the Labrador Sea in Late Mesozoic to Early Cenozoic times. The first rifting and the development of the Nuussuaq Basin took place during the Early Cretaceous and was followed by a second rifting phase...

  2. Seismic attenuation structure beneath Nazca Plate subduction zone in southern Peru (United States)

    Jang, H.; Kim, Y.; Clayton, R. W.


    We estimate seismic attenuation in terms of quality factors, QP and QS using P and S phases, respectively, beneath Nazca Plate subduction zone between 10°S and 18.5°S latitude in southern Peru. We first relocate 298 earthquakes with magnitude ranges of 4.0-6.5 and depth ranges of 20-280 km. We measure t*, which is an integrated attenuation through the seismic raypath between the regional earthquakes and stations. The measured t* are inverted to construct three-dimensional attenuation structures of southern Peru. Checkerboard test results for both QP and QS structures ensure good resolution in the slab-dip transition zone between flat and normal slab subduction down to a depth of 200 km. Both QP and QS results show higher attenuation continued down to a depth of 50 km beneath volcanic arc and also beneath the Quimsachata volcano, the northernmost young volcano, located far east of the main volcanic front. We also observe high attenuation in mantle wedge especially beneath the normal subduction region in both QP and QS (100-130 in QP and 100-125 in QS) and slightly higher QP and QS beneath the flat-subduction and slab-dip transition regions. We plan to relate measured attenuation in the mantle wedge to material properties such as viscosity to understand the subduction zone dynamics.

  3. High geomagnetic intensity during the mid-Cretaceous from Thellier analyses of single plagioclase crystals. (United States)

    Tarduno, J A; Cottrell, R D; Smirnov, A V


    Recent numerical simulations have yielded the most efficient geodynamo, having the largest dipole intensity when reversal frequency is low. Reliable paleointensity data are limited but heretofore have suggested that reversal frequency and paleointensity are decoupled. We report data from 56 Thellier-Thellier experiments on plagioclase crystals separated from basalts of the Rajmahal Traps (113 to 116 million years old) of India that formed during the Cretaceous Normal Polarity Superchron. These data suggest a time-averaged paleomagnetic dipole moment of 12.5 +/- 1.4 x 10(22) amperes per square meter, three times greater than mean Cenozoic and Early Cretaceous-Late Jurassic dipole moments when geomagnetic reversals were frequent. This result supports a correlation between intervals of low reversal frequency and high geomagnetic field strength.

  4. Lead transport in intra-oceanic subduction zones: 2D geochemical-thermo-mechanical modeling of isotopic signatures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baitsch-Ghirardello, B.; Stracke, A.; Connolly, J.A.D.; Nikolaeva, K.M.; Gerya, T.V.


    Understanding the physical-chemical mechanisms and pathways of geochemical transport in subduction zones remains a long-standing goal of subduction-related research. In this study, we perform fully coupled geochemical-thermo-mechanical (GcTM) numerical simulations to investigate Pb isotopic

  5. Cretaceous to present paleothermal gradients, central Negev, Israel: constraints from fission track dating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kohn, B.P.; Feinstein, S.; Eyal, M.


    Apatite and zircon fission track ages (FTA), vitrinite reflectance (VR) data and burial history curves were integrated for reconstruction of Early Cretaceous to present maximum thermal gradients in four deep boreholes in the central Negev, Isreal. The most complete data set is available from the Ramon 1 borehole. Supplementary data were obtained from Hameishar 1, Makhtesh Qatan 2, and Kurnub 1 boreholes. Between ca. 122-90 Ma the constraints on thermal gradient obtained from apatite FTA overlap with those derived from zircon FT and VR data, restricting them to 0 C km -l . Apatite FTA between 90 and 80 Ma in Ramon 1 and Hameishar 1 suggest rapid cooling at the time recorded or earlier. Constraints on thermal gradient history derived from these ages are considerably strengthened over a short time span. From 80 Ma to the present, FTA data indicate that gradients had probably decayed to present-day regional levels (ca. 20 0 C km -1 ) by Early Tertiary time. Thermal constraints derived from apatite FTA and VR data in Makhtesh Qatan 2 and Kurnub 1 boreholes are consistent with those obtained post-56 Ma for Ramon 1. For pre-56 Ma, only VR data are available and these indicate considerably lower maximum gradients than those obtained for the same time period from Ramon 1. This dichotomy reflects different Early Cretaceous-Early Tertiary thermal regimes between the northern and southern parts of the study area. (author)

  6. Subduction zone guided waves in Northern Chile (United States)

    Garth, Thomas; Rietbrock, Andreas


    Guided wave dispersion is observed in subduction zones as high frequency energy is retained and delayed by low velocity structure in the subducting slab, while lower frequency energy is able to travel at the faster velocities associated with the surrounding mantle material. As subduction zone guided waves spend longer interacting with the low velocity structure of the slab than any other seismic phase, they have a unique capability to resolve these low velocity structures. In Northern Chile, guided wave arrivals are clearly observed on two stations in the Chilean fore-arc on permanent stations of the IPOC network. High frequency (> 5 Hz) P-wave arrivals are delayed by approximately 2 seconds compared to the low frequency (young subducting lithosphere also has the potential to carry much larger amounts of water to the mantle than has previously been appreciated.

  7. Carbon Retention and Isotopic Evolution in Deeply Subducted Sediments: Evidence from the Italian Alps (United States)

    Cook-Kollars, J.; Bebout, G. E.; Agard, P.; Angiboust, S.


    Subduction-zone metamorphism of oceanic crust and carbonate-rich seafloor sediments plays an important regulatory role in the global C cycle by controlling the fraction of subducting C entering long-term storage in the mantle and the fraction of subducting C emitted into the atmosphere in arc volcanic gases. Modeling studies suggest that the extent of decarbonation of subducting sediments could be strongly affected by extents of infiltration by external H2O-rich fluids and that, in cool subduction zones, the dehydration of subducting oceanic slabs may not release sufficient H2O to cause significant decarbonation of overlying sediments [Gorman et al. (2006), G-cubed; Hacker (2008), G-cubed]. Metasedimentary suites in the Western Alps (sampled from the Schistes Lustres, Zermatt-Saas ophiolite, and at Lago di Cignana) were subducted to depths corresponding to 1.5-3.2 GPa, over a range of peak temperatures of 350-600°C, and are associated with HP/UHP-metamorphosed Jurassic ophiolitic rocks [Agard et al. (2001), Bull. soc. geol. France; Frezzotti et al. (2011), Nature Geoscience]. These metasedimentary suites are composed of interlayered metapelites and metacarbonates and represent a range of peak P-T conditions experienced in modern, relatively cool subduction zones. Integrated petrologic and isotopic study of these rocks allows an analysis of decarbonation and isotopic exchange among oxidized and reduced C reservoirs along prograde subduction-zone P-T paths. Petrographic work on Schistes Lustres metacarbonates indicates only minor occurrences of calc-silicate phases, consistent with the rocks having experienced only very minor decarbonation during prograde metamorphism. Carbonate δ13CVPDB values (-1.5 to 1‰) are similar to values typical of marine carbonates. Higher grade, UHP-metamorphosed carbonates at Cignana show mineralogic evidence of decarbonation; however, the δ13C of the calcite in these samples remains similar to that of marine carbonate. With

  8. Kinematics and Dynamics of the Makran Subduction Zone (United States)

    Penney, C.; Tavakoli, F.; Sobouti, F.; Copley, A.; Priestley, K. F.; Jackson, J. A.


    The Makran subduction zone, along the southern coasts of Iran and Pakistan, hosts the world's largest exposed accretionary prism. In contrast to the circum-Pacific subduction zones, the Makran has not been extensively studied, with seismic data collected in the offshore region presenting only a time-integrated picture of the deformation. We investigate spatio-temporal variations in the deformation of the accretionary prism and the insights these offer into subduction zone driving forces and megathrust rheology. We combine seismology, geodesy and field observations to study the 2013 Mw 6.1 Minab earthquake, which occurred at the western end of the accretionary prism. We find that the earthquake was a left-lateral rupture on an ENE-WSW plane, approximately perpendicular to the previously mapped faults in the region. The causative fault of the Minab earthquake is one of a series of left-lateral faults in the region which accommodate a velocity field equivalent to right-lateral shear on N-S planes by rotating clockwise about vertical axes. Another recent strike-slip event within the Makran accretionary wedge was the 2013 Mw 7.7 Balochistan earthquake, which occurred on a fault optimally oriented to accommodate the regional compression by thrusting. The dominance of strike-slip faulting within the onshore prism, on faults perpendicular to the regional compression, suggests that the prism may have reached the maximum elevation which the megathrust can support, with the compressional forces which dominated in the early stages of the collision now balanced by gravitational forces. This observation allows us to estimate the mean shear stress on the megathrust interface and its effective coefficient of friction.

  9. Causes and consequences of short-term sea-level changes in the Cretaceous green- and "hothouse": Topics and context of IGCP Project 609 (United States)

    Sames, Benjamin; Wagreich, Michael


    In contrast to the well-understood process of glacial eustasy, controlled mainly by waxing and waning of continental ice sheets, significant short-term, i.e. 10s kyr to a few myr (3rd to 4th order cycles) sea-level changes during the Cretaceous major greenhouse episode remain enigmatic. Such cyclic changes are often explained by the presence of ephemeral ice sheets even during the hottest greenhouse phases ("hothouse periods"), such as the mid-Cretaceous. Though Cretaceous global eustasy involves processes like brief glacial episodes (glacio-eustasy) for which evidence was given - at least for the Early Cretaceous and the late Late Cretaceous - other mechanisms have to be taken into consideration for the "hothouse periods" during which continental ice shields are highly improbable, like the storage and release of groundwater (termed "limno-eustasy" or "aquifer-eustasy"), the possible effect and magnitude of which might have been highly underestimated. Investigation of the timing, the causes, and the consequences of significant short-term (i.e. mainly kyr to 100s of kyr) sea-level changes during the last major greenhouse episode of Earth history, the Cretaceous, is the ultimate goal of the UNESCO IGCP (International Geoscience Programme) project number 609 "Climate-environmental deteriorations during greenhouse phases: Causes and consequences of short-term Cretaceous sea-level changes" (2013-2017; This also comprises the global versus regional correlation and extent of the sequences, their cyclicities, as well as the processes and triggering mechanisms for these, and marine to non-marine correlations. Recent refinements of the geological time scale have made major advances for the Cretaceous to yield a resolution comparable to that of younger Earth history. It is now for the first time possible to correlate and date short-term Cretaceous sea-level records with a resolution appropriate for their detailed analysis. Recognized

  10. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site (United States)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.


    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  11. Tectonic setting of Cretaceous basins on the NE Tibetan Plateau: Insights from the Jungong basin (United States)

    Craddock, W.H.; Kirby, E.; Dewen, Z.; Jianhui, L.


    Quantifying the Cenozoic growth of high topography in the Indo-Asian collision zone remains challenging, due in part to significant shortening that occurred within Eurasia before collision. A growing body of evidence suggests that regions far removed from the suture zone experienced deformation before and during the early phases of Himalayan orogenesis. In the present-day north-eastern Tibetan Plateau, widespread deposits of Cretaceous sediment attest to significant basin formation; however, the tectonic setting of these basins remains enigmatic. We present a study of a regionally extensive network of sedimentary basins that are spatially associated with a system of SE-vergent thrust faults and are now exposed in the high ranges of the north-eastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau. We focus on a particularly well-exposed basin, located ~20km north of the Kunlun fault in the Anyemaqen Shan. The basin is filled by ~900m of alluvial sediments that become finer-grained away from the basin-bounding fault. Additionally, beds in the proximal footwall of the basin-bounding fault exhibit progressive, up-section shallowing and several intraformational unconformities which can be traced into correlative conformities in the distal part of the basin. The observations show sediment accumulated in the basin during fault motion. Regional constraints on the timing of sediment deposition are provided by both fossil assemblages from the Early Cretaceous, and by K-Ar dating of volcanic rocks that floor and cross-cut sedimentary fill. We argue that during the Cretaceous, the interior NE Tibetan Plateau experienced NW-SE contractional deformation similar to that documented throughout the Qinling-Dabie orogen to the east. The Songpan-Ganzi terrane apparently marked the southern limit of this deformation, such that it may have been a relatively rigid block in the Tibetan lithosphere, separating regions experiencing deformation north of the convergent Tethyan margin from regions deforming

  12. Tholeitic basalts and ophiolitic complexes of the Mesorif Zone (External Rif, Morocco) at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary and the importance of the Ouerrha Accident in the palaeogeographic and geodynamic evolution of the Rif Mountains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benzaggagh, M.


    The stratigraphical series around the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary of the External Rif Mountains, in particular those in the Mesorif Zone, exhibits many outcrops with volcanic materials spread westwards over 200 km. These materials show diverse aspects: basalt lithoclasts reworked into calcareous breccia beds or in marly matrix breccia, interstratified lava flows and volcanoclastic complexes incorporated within the Berriasian marls. In the Central Rif, several magmatic blocks outcrop, usually regarded as granite scales from the Paleozoic basement or as intrusive gabbros of Barremian age. Actually these magmatic massifs display typical ophiolitic sequences and they are overlaid by mega-olistoliths of Jurassic materials and locally by radiolarite layers. Geochemical analysis of several basalt and gabbro samples belonging to the Mesorif Zone evidenced that both display a typical E-MORB magma indicating at least partial oceanization of the Mesorif basement. Concerning geodynamics, the Mesorif Zone had undergone, at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary interval, two successive palaeogeographic phases: an uplift, close to emersion during the Kimmeridgian-Early Tithonian interval, stressed by important submarine volcanic activities and intense brecciation of the carbonate formations, followed by a general collapse at the Late Tithonian, underlined by lava flows, slumping as mega-olistoliths and the formation of an oceanic crust, at least in the Central Rif. These magmatic materials, distributed on both sides of the Ouerrha Valley, evidence that this westwards extending valley (the Nekor Accident), may correspond in the Central Rif, to two palaeo-subduction planes which become two major overlapping thrusts in the western part of the Rif Mountains. (Author)

  13. Suitability of Open-Ocean Instrumentation for Use in Near-Field Tsunami Early Warning Along Seismically Active Subduction Zones (United States)

    Williamson, Amy L.; Newman, Andrew V.


    Over the past decade, the number of open-ocean gauges capable of parsing information about a passing tsunami has steadily increased, particularly through national cable networks and international buoyed efforts such as the Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART). This information is analyzed to disseminate tsunami warnings to affected regions. However, most current warnings that incorporate tsunami are directed at mid- and far-field localities. In this study, we analyze the region surrounding four seismically active subduction zones, Cascadia, Japan, Chile, and Java, for their potential to facilitate local tsunami early warning using such systems. We assess which locations currently have instrumentation in the right locations for direct tsunami observations with enough time to provide useful warning to the nearest affected coastline—and which are poorly suited for such systems. Our primary findings are that while some regions are ill-suited for this type of early warning, such as the coastlines of Chile, other localities, like Java, Indonesia, could incorporate direct tsunami observations into their hazard forecasts with enough lead time to be effective for coastal community emergency response. We take into account the effect of tsunami propagation with regard to shallow bathymetry on the fore-arc as well as the effect of earthquake source placement. While it is impossible to account for every type of off-shore tsunamigenic event in these locales, this study aims to characterize a typical large tsunamigenic event occurring in the shallow part of the megathrust as a guide in what is feasible with early tsunami warning.

  14. Thermal structure and geodynamics of subduction zones (United States)

    Wada, Ikuko

    The thermal structure of subduction zones depends on the age-controlled thermal state of the subducting slab and mantle wedge flow. Observations indicate that the shallow part of the forearc mantle wedge is stagnant and the slab-mantle interface is weakened. In this dissertation, the role of the interface strength in controlling mantle wedge flow, thermal structure, and a wide range of subduction zone processes is investigated through two-dimensional finite-element modelling and a global synthesis of geological and geophysical observations. The model reveals that the strong temperature-dependence of the mantle strength always results in full slab-mantle decoupling along the weakened part of the interface and hence complete stagnation of the overlying mantle. The interface immediately downdip of the zone of decoupling is fully coupled, and the overlying mantle is driven to flow at a rate compatible with the subduction rate. The sharpness of the transition from decoupling to coupling depends on the rheology assumed and increases with the nonlinearity of the flow system. This bimodal behaviour of the wedge flow gives rise to a strong thermal contrast between the cold stagnant and hot flowing parts of the mantle wedge. The maximum depth of decoupling (MDD) thus dictates the thermal regime of the forearc. Observed surface heat flow patterns and petrologically and geochemically estimated mantle wedge temperatures beneath the volcanic arc require an MDD of 70--80 km in most, if not all, subduction zones regardless of their thermal regime of the slab. The common MDD of 70--80 km explains the observed systematic variations of the petrologic, seismological, and volcanic processes with the thermal state of the slab and thus explains the rich diversity of subduction zones in a unified fashion. Models for warm-slab subduction zones such as Cascadia and Nankai predict shallow dehydration of the slab beneath the cold stagnant part of the mantle wedge, which provides ample fluid

  15. Terrane-Scale Metastability in Subducted Himalayan Continental Crust as Revealed by Integrated Petrological and Geodynamic Modeling (United States)

    Palin, R. M.; Reuber, G. S.; White, R. W.; Kaus, B. J. P.; Weller, O. M.


    The Tso Morari massif, northwest India, is one of only two regions in the Himalayan Range that exposes subduction-related ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks. The tectonic evolution of the massif is strongly debated, however, as reported pressure estimates for peak metamorphism range between 2.4 GPa and 4.8 GPa. Such ambiguity hinders effective lithospheric-scale modeling of the early stages of the orogen's evolution. We present the results of integrated petrological and geodynamic modeling (Palin et al., 2017, EPSL) that provide new quantitative constraints on the prograde-to-peak pressure-temperature-time (P-T-t) path, and predict the parageneses that felsic and mafic components of the massif crust should have formed under equilibrium conditions. Our model shows that peak P-T conditions of 2.6-2.8 GPa and 600-620 °C, representative of subduction to 90-100 km depth (assuming lithostatic pressure), were reached just 3 Myr after the onset of collision. These P-T-t constraints correlate well with those reported for similar UHP eclogite in the along-strike Kaghan Valley, Pakistan, suggesting that the northwest Himalaya contains dismembered remnants of a 400-km long UHP terrane comparable in size to the Western Gneiss Region, Norway, and the Dabie-Sulu belt, China. The extremely high pressures (up to 4.8 GPa) for peak metamorphism reported by some workers are likely to be unreliable due to thermobarometry having been performed on minerals that did not represent equilibrium assemblages. Furthermore, key high-P minerals predicted to form in subducted Tso Morari continental crust (e.g. jadeite, Mg-rich garnet) are absent from natural samples in the region, reflecting the widespread metastable preservation of lower-pressure protolith assemblages during subduction and exhumation. This result questions the reliability of geodynamic simulations of orogenesis that are commonly predicated on equilibrium metamorphism operating continuously throughout tectonic cycles.

  16. Numerical modeling of convective erosion and peridotite-melt interaction in big mantle wedge: Implications for the destruction of the North China Craton (United States)

    He, Lijuan


    The deep subduction of the Pacific Plate underneath East Asia is thought to have played a key role in the destruction of the North China Craton (NCC). To test this hypothesis, this paper presents a new 2-D model that includes an initial stable equilibrated craton, the formation of a big mantle wedge (BMW), and erosion by vigorous mantle convection. The model shows that subduction alone cannot thin the cold solid craton, but it can form a low-viscosity BMW. The amount of convective erosion is directly proportional to viscosity within the BMW (η0bmw), and the rheological boundary layer thins linearly with decreasing log10(η0bmw), thereby contributing to an increase in heat flow at the lithospheric base. This model also differs from previous modeling in that the increase in heat flow decays linearly with t1/2, meaning that the overall thinning closely follows a natural log relationship over time. Nevertheless, convection alone can only cause a limited thinning due to a minor increase in basal heat flow. The lowering of melting temperature by peridotite-melt interaction can accelerate thinning during the early stages of this convection. The two combined actions can thin the craton significantly over tens of Myr. This modeling, combined with magmatism and heat flow data, indicates that the NCC evolution has involved four distinct stages: modification in the Jurassic by Pacific Plate subduction and BMW formation, destruction during the Early Cretaceous under combined convective erosion and peridotite-melt interaction, extension in the Late Cretaceous, and cooling since the late Cenozoic.

  17. Seismological observations at the Northern Andean region of Colombia: Evidence for a shallowly subducting Caribbean Slab and an extensional regime in the upper plate (United States)

    Monsalve, G.; Cardona, A.; Yarce, J.; Alvira, D.; Poveda, E.


    A number of seismological observations, among which we can mention teleseismic travel time residuals, P to S receiver functions and Pn velocity quantification, suggest a clear distinction between the seismic structure of the crust and uppermost mantle between the plains on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and the mountains at the Northern Andean region. Absolute and relative travel time residuals indicate the presence of a seismically fast material in the upper mantle beneath northern Colombia; preliminary results of Pn studies show a region of relatively slow Pn velocities (between 7.8 and 7.9 km/s) underneath the Caribbean coast, contrasting with values greater than 8 km/s beneath the Central and Western cordilleras of Colombia, and the Pacific coast; receiver functions suggest a significantly thinner crust beneath the Caribbean coast, with a crustal thickness between 25 and 30 km, than beneath the Northern Andean zone at the cordilleras of Colombia, where it exceeds 40 km and reaches about 57 km at the location of Bogota. Besides the obviuos discrepancies that appear in response to different topography, we think that the seismological observations are a consequence of the presence of two very distinct slab segments beneath Colombia and contrasting behaviors of the upper plate, which correspond to Caribbean and Nazca subductions. Our seismic observations can be explained by a shallowly subducting Caribbean Plate, in the absence of an asthenospheric wedge, that steepens at about the location of the Bucaramanga nest, and a thinned continental crust that reflects an extensional component linked to oblique convergence of the Caribbean, which contrasts with the crustal thickening in the Andean Cordillera linked to crustal shortening and Nazca plate subuction. These new data are consistent with the idea of of a relatively warm Nazca slab of Neogene age which seems to have a relatively frontal convergence, and a colder, more buoyant Caribbean slab which represents an

  18. Imaging megathrust zone and Yakutat/Pacific plate interface in Alaska subduction zone (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Abers, G. A.; Li, J.; Christensen, D. H.; Calkins, J. A.


    We image the subducted slab underneath a 450 km long transect of the Alaska subduction zone. Dense stations in southern Alaska are set up to investigate (1) the geometry and velocity structure of the downgoing plate and their relation to slab seismicity, and (2) the interplate coupled zone where the great 1964 (magnitude 9.3) had greatest rupture. The joint teleseismic migration of two array datasets (MOOS, Multidisciplinary Observations of Onshore Subduction, and BEAAR, Broadband Experiment Across the Alaska Range) based on teleseismic receiver functions (RFs) using the MOOS data reveal a shallow-dipping prominent low-velocity layer at ~25-30 km depth in southern Alaska. Modeling of these RF amplitudes shows a thin (<6.5 km) low-velocity layer (shear wave velocity of ~3 km/s), which is ~20-30% slower than normal oceanic crustal velocities, between the subducted slab and the overriding North American plate. The observed low-velocity megathrust layer (with P-to-S velocity ratio (Vp/Vs) exceeding 2.0) may be due to a thick sediment input from the trench in combination of elevated pore fluid pressure in the channel. The subducted crust below the low-velocity channel has gabbroic velocities with a thickness of 11-12 km. Both velocities and thickness of the low-velocity channel abruptly increase as the slab bends in central Alaska, which agrees with previously published RF results. Our image also includes an unusually thick low-velocity crust subducting with a ~20 degree dip down to 130 km depth at approximately 200 km inland beneath central Alaska. The unusual nature of this subducted segment has been suggested to be due to the subduction of the Yakutat terrane. We also show a clear image of the Yakutat and Pacific plate subduction beneath the Kenai Peninsula, and the along-strike boundary between them at megathrust depths. Our imaged western edge of the Yakutat terrane, at 25-30 km depth in the central Kenai along the megathrust, aligns with the western end of the


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    Full Text Available A Jurassic- Cretaceous carbonate succession crops out along the Zyghosti Rema, Kozani (Northern Greece. The substratum consists of the ophiolitic succession of the Vourinos Massif (Pelagonian Domain: serpentinites tectonically overlain by basalts, with thin lenses of radiolarian cherts of middle Bathonian age. The contact with the overlying Jurassic limestones is tectonic. Eight informal units have been distinguished within the Mesozoic limestones, from the base upwards. (A bioclastic, intraclastic and oolitic packstone (Callovian- Oxfordian. (B bioclastic packstone and coral boundstone (Oxfordian . (C bioclastic and oncoidal wackestone with Clypeina jurassica (Oxfordian- Upper Kimmeridgian. (D (Upper Kimmeridgian- Portlandian: oncoidal packstone and rudstone (facies D1; intraclastic and bioclastic grainstone and packstone (facies D2; neptunian dykes with intraclastic and bioclastic wackestone and packstone filling (facies D3; neptunian dykes with Fe-Mn rich laterite filling and with pink silty filling of early Late Cretaceous age. An unconformity surface, due to emersion and erosion of the platform during the latest Jurassic- Early Cretaceous, is overlain by (E intraclastic, bioclastic packstone and grainstone (Cenomanian. (F massive body of debrites with coral, echinoderm, algae and rudist large clasts (facies F1 (Cenomanian; turbiditic beds of bioclastic, intraclastic and lithoclastic rudstone and grainstone (facies F2. (G thin bedded bioclastic mudstone and wackestone with planktonic foraminifers and radiolarians, alternating with turbiditic beds of bioclastic, intraclastic packstone and rudstone and with conglomeratic levels and slumped beds of the previous turbidites (upper Santonian- lower Campanian. (H: bioclastic packstone with planktonic foraminifers (facies H1 (lower Campanian - ?Maastrichtian; amalgamated turbiditic beds of bioclastic wackestone and packstone with planktonic foraminifers (facies H2; turbiditic beds of bioclastic

  20. Deep mantle seismic heterogeneities in Western Pacific subduction zones (United States)

    Bentham, H. L. M.; Rost, S.


    In recent years array seismology has been used extensively to image the small scale (~10 km) structure of the Earth. In the mantle, small scale structure likely represents chemical heterogeneity and is essential in our understanding of mantle convection and especially mantle mixing. As subduction is the main source of introducing crustal material into the Earth's mantle, it is of particular interest to track the transport of subducted crust through the mantle to resolve details of composition and deformation of the crust during the subduction process. Improved knowledge of subduction can help provide constraints on the mechanical mixing process of crustal material into the ambient mantle, as well as constraining mantle composition and convection. This study uses seismic array techniques to map seismic heterogeneities associated with Western Pacific subduction zones, where a variety of slab geometries have been previously observed. We use seismic energy arriving prior to PP, a P-wave underside reflection off the Earth's surface halfway between source and receiver, to probe the mantle for small-scale heterogeneities. PP precursors were analysed at Eielson Array (ILAR), Alaska using the recently developed Toolkit for Out-of-Plane Coherent Arrival Tracking (TOPCAT) algorithm. The approach combines the calculated optimal beampower and an independent semblance (coherency) measure, to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of coherent arrivals. 94 earthquakes with sufficient coherent precursory energy were selected and directivity information of the arrivals (i.e. slowness and backazimuth) was extracted from the data. The scattering locations for 311 out-of-plane precursors were determined by ray-tracing and minimising the slowness, backazimuth and differential travel time misfit. Initial analyses show that deep scattering (>1000 km) occurs beneath the Izu-Bonin subduction zone, suggesting that subducted crust does continue into the lower mantle in this location. Other

  1. Subduction and Plate Edge Tectonics in the Southern Caribbean (United States)

    Levander, A.; Schmitz, M.; Niu, F.; Bezada, M. J.; Miller, M. S.; Masy, J.; Ave Lallemant, H. G.; Pindell, J. L.; Bolivar Working Group


    The southern Caribbean plate boundary consists of a subduction zone at at either end of a complex strike-slip fault system: In the east at the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, the Atlantic part of the South American plate subducts beneath the Caribbean. In the north and west in the Colombia basin, the Caribbean subducts under South America. In a manner of speaking, the two plates subduct beneath each other. Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography confirms this, imaging the Atlantic and the Caribbean plates subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America (Bezada et al, 2010). The two subduction zones are connected by the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike-slip fault system, a San Andreas scale system that has been cut off at the Bocono fault, the southeastern boundary fault of the Maracaibo block. A variety of seismic probes identify subduction features at either end of the system (Niu et al, 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Miller et al. 2009; Growdon et al., 2009; Huang et al., 2010; Masy et al, 2011). The El Pilar system forms at the southeastern corner of the Antilles subduction zone with the Atlantic plate tearing from South America. The deforming plate edges control mountain building and basin formation at the eastern end of the strike-slip system. Tearing the Atlantic plate from the rest of South America appears to cause further lithospheric instability continentward. In northwestern South America the Caribbean plate very likely also tears, as its southernmost element subducts at shallow angles under northernmost Colombia but then rapidly descends to the transition zone under Lake Maracaibo (Bezada et al., 2010). We believe that the flat slab controls the tectonics of the Neogene Merida Andes, Perija, and Santa Marta ranges. The nonsubducting part of the Caribbean plate also underthrusts northern Venezuela to about the width of the coastal mountains (Miller et al., 2009). We infer that the edge of the underthrust

  2. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana. (United States)

    Simões, Tiago R; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Kellner, Alexander W A


    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized.

  3. Interaction between two subducting plates under Tokyo and its possible effects on seismic hazards (United States)

    Wu, Francis; Okaya, David; Sato, Hiroshi; Hirata, Naoshi


    Underneath metropolitan Tokyo the Philippine Sea plate (PHS) subducts to the north on top of the westward subducting Pacific plate (PAC). New, relatively high-resolution tomography images the PHS as a well-defined subduction zone under western Kanto Plain. As PAC shoals under eastern Kanto, the PHS lithosphere is being thrusted into an increasingly tighter space of the PAC-Eurasian mantle wedge. As a result, zones of enhanced seismicity appear under eastern Kanto at the top of PHS, internal to PHS and also at its contact with PAC. These zones are located at depths greater than the causative fault of the disastrous 1923 Great Tokyo ``megathrust'' earthquake, in the vicinity of several well-located historical, damaging (M6 and M7) earthquakes. Thus a rather unique interaction between subducting plates under Tokyo may account for additional seismic hazards in metropolitan Tokyo.

  4. The Molybdenum Isotope System as a Tracer of Slab Input in Subduction Zones: An Example From Martinique, Lesser Antilles Arc (United States)

    Gaschnig, Richard M.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Planavsky, Noah J.; Wang, Xiangli; Asael, Dan; Chauvel, Catherine


    Molybdenum isotopes are fractionated by Earth-surface processes and may provide a tracer for the recycling of crustal material into the mantle. Here, we examined the Mo isotope composition of arc lavas from Martinique in the Lesser Antilles arc, along with Cretaceous and Cenozoic Deep Sea Drilling Project sediments representing potential sedimentary inputs into the subduction zone. Mo stable isotope composition (defined as δ98Mo in ‰ deviation from the NIST 3134 standard) in lavas older than ˜7 million years (Ma) exhibits a narrow range similar to and slightly higher than MORB, whereas those younger than ˜7 Ma show a much greater range and extend to unusually low δ98Mo values. Sediments from DSDP Leg 78A, Site 543 have uniformly low δ98Mo values whereas Leg 14, Site 144 contains both sediments with isotopically light Mo and Mo-enriched black shales with isotopically heavy Mo. When coupled with published radiogenic isotope data, Mo isotope systematics of the lavas can be explained through binary mixing between a MORB-like end-member and different sedimentary compositions identified in the DSDP cores. The lavas older than ˜7 Ma were influenced by incorporation of isotopically heavy black shales into the mantle wedge. The younger lavas are the product of mixing isotopically light sedimentary material into the mantle wedge. The change in Mo isotope composition of the lavas at ˜7 Ma is interpreted to reflect the removal of the Cretaceous black shale component due to the arrival of younger ocean crust where the age-equivalent Cretaceous sediments were deposited in shallower oxic waters. Isotopic fractionation of Mo during its removal from the slab is not required to explain the observed systematics in this system.

  5. A new pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco.

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    Nizar Ibrahim

    Full Text Available The Kem Kem beds in South Eastern Morocco contain a rich early Upper (or possibly late Lower Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage. Fragmentary remains, predominantly teeth and jaw tips, represent several kinds of pterosaur although only one species, the ornithocheirid Coloborhynchus moroccensis, has been named. Here, we describe a new azhdarchid pterosaur, Alanqa saharica nov. gen. nov. sp., based on an almost complete well preserved mandibular symphysis from Aferdou N'Chaft. We assign additional fragmentary jaw remains, some of which have been tentatively identified as azhdarchid and pteranodontid, to this new taxon which is distinguished from other azhdarchids by a remarkably straight, elongate, lance-shaped mandibular symphysis that bears a pronounced dorsal eminence near the posterior end of its dorsal (occlusal surface. Most remains, including the holotype, represent individuals of approximately three to four meters in wingspan, but a fragment of a large cervical vertebra, that probably also belongs to A. saharica, suggests that wingspans of six meters were achieved in this species. The Kem Kem beds have yielded the most diverse pterosaur assemblage yet reported from Africa and provide the first clear evidence for the presence of azhdarchids in Gondwana at the start of the Late Cretaceous. This, the relatively large size achieved by Alanqa, and the additional evidence of variable jaw morphology in azhdarchids provided by this taxon, indicates a longer and more complex history for this clade than previously suspected.

  6. Chemical Remagnetization of Jurassic Carbonates and a Primary Paleolatitude of Lower Cretaceous Volcaniclastic Rocks of the Tibetan Himalaya (United States)

    Huang, W.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Dekkers, M. J.; Garzanti, E.; Dupont Nivet, G.; Lippert, P. C.; Li, X.; Maffione, M.; Langereis, C. G.; Hu, X.; Guo, Z.; Kapp, P. A.


    Paleolatitudes for the Tibetan Himalaya Zone based on paleomagnetic inclinations provide kinematic constraints of the passive northern Indian margin and the extent of 'Greater India' before the India-Asia collision. Here, we present a paleomagnetic investigation of the Jurassic (carbonates) to Lower Cretaceous (volcaniclastic rocks) Wölong section of the Tibetan Himalaya in the Everest region. The carbonates yield positive fold tests, suggesting that the remanent magnetizations have a pre-folding origin. However, detailed paleomagnetic analyses, rock magnetic tests, end-member modeling of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetization, and petrographic studies reveal that the magnetic carrier of the Jurassic carbonates is authigenic magnetite, whereas the dominant magnetic carrier of the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic rocks is detrital magnetite. We conclude that the Jurassic carbonates were remagnetized, whereas the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastics retain a primary remanence. We hypothesize that remagnetization of the Jurassic carbonates was probably caused by the oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite within the time interval at ~86-84 Ma during the latest Cretaceous Normal Superchron and earliest deposition of Cretaceous oceanic red beds in the Tibetan Himalaya. The remagnetization of the limestones prevents determining the size of 'Greater India' during Jurassic time. Instead, a paleolatitude of the Tibetan Himalaya of 23.8±2.1° S at ~86-84 Ma is suggested. This value is lower than the expected paleolatitude of India from apparent polar wander path (APWP). The volcaniclastic rocks with the primary remanence, however, yielded a Lower Cretaceous paleolatitude of Tibetan Himalaya of 55.5±3° S, fitting well with the APWP of India.

  7. Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co-evolution. (United States)

    Butler, R J; Barrett, P M; Kenrick, P; Penn, M G


    Palaeobiologists frequently attempt to identify examples of co-evolutionary interactions over extended geological timescales. These hypotheses are often intuitively appealing, as co-evolution is so prevalent in extant ecosystems, and are easy to formulate; however, they are much more difficult to test than their modern analogues. Among the more intriguing deep time co-evolutionary scenarios are those that relate changes in Cretaceous dinosaur faunas to the primary radiation of flowering plants. Demonstration of temporal congruence between the diversifications of co-evolving groups is necessary to establish whether co-evolution could have occurred in such cases, but is insufficient to prove whether it actually did take place. Diversity patterns do, however, provide a means for falsifying such hypotheses. We have compiled a new database of Cretaceous dinosaur and plant distributions from information in the primary literature. This is used as the basis for plotting taxonomic diversity and occurrence curves for herbivorous dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Stegosauria, Ankylosauria, Ornithopoda, Ceratopsia, Pachycephalosauria and herbivorous theropods) and major groups of plants (angiosperms, Bennettitales, cycads, cycadophytes, conifers, Filicales and Ginkgoales) that co-occur in dinosaur-bearing formations. Pairwise statistical comparisons were made between various floral and faunal groups to test for any significant similarities in the shapes of their diversity curves through time. We show that, with one possible exception, diversity patterns for major groups of herbivorous dinosaurs are not positively correlated with angiosperm diversity. In other words, at the level of major clades, there is no support for any diffuse co-evolutionary relationship between herbivorous dinosaurs and flowering plants. The diversification of Late Cretaceous pachycephalosaurs (excluding the problematic taxon Stenopelix) shows a positive correlation, but this might be spuriously related to

  8. How weak is the subduction zone interface?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, João C.; Schellart, Wouter P.; Cruden, Alexander R.


    Several lines of evidence suggest that subduction zones are weak and that the unique availability of water on Earth is a critical factor in the weakening process. We have evaluated the strength of subduction zone interfaces using two approaches: (i) from empirical relationships between shear stress

  9. Tectonostratigraphic reconstruction Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary in the northwestern Andes: from extensional tectonics to arc accretion. (United States)

    Zapata, S.; Patino, A. M.; Cardona, A.; Mejia, D.; Leon, S.; Jaramillo, J. S.; Valencia, V.; Parra, M.; Hincapie, S.


    Active continental margins characterized by continuous convergence experienced overimposed tectonic configurations that allowed the formation of volcanic arcs, back arc basins, transtensional divergent tectonics or the accretion of exotic volcanic terranes. Such record, particularly the extensional phases, can be partially destroyed and obscure by multiple deformational events, the accretion of exotic terranes and strike slip fragmentation along the margin. The tectonic evolution of the northern Andes during the Mesozoic is the result of post Pangea extension followed by the installation of a long-lived Jurassic volcanic arc (209 - 136 ma) that apparently stops between 136 Ma and 110 Ma. The Quebradagrande Complex has been define as a single Lower Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary unit exposed in the western flank of the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes that growth after the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous magmatic hiatus. The origin of this unit have been related either to an oceanic volcanic arc or a marginal basin environment. The existence of such contrasting models reflect the regional perspective followed in published studies and the paucity of detail analysis of the volcano-sedimentary sequences.We integrate multiple approaches including structural mapping, stratigraphy, geochemistry, U-Pb provenance and geochronology to improve the understanding of this unit and track the earlier phases of accumulation that are mask on the overimposed tectonic history. Our preliminary results suggest the existence of different volcano-sedimentary units that accumulated between 100 Ma and 82 Ma.The older Lower Cretaceous sequences was deposited over Triassic metamorphic continental crust and include a upward basin deepening record characterized by thick fan delta conglomerates, followed by distal turbidites and a syn-sedimentary volcanic record at 100 ma. The other sequence include a 85 - 82 Ma fringing arc that was also formed close to the continental margin or

  10. Hafnium at subduction zones: isotopic budget of input and output fluxes; L'hafnium dans les zones de subduction: bilan isotopique des flux entrant et sortant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marini, J.Ch


    Subduction zones are the primary regions of mass exchanges between continental crust and mantle of Earth through sediment subduction toward the earth's mantle and by supply of mantellic magmas to volcanic arcs. We analyze these mass exchanges using Hafnium and Neodymium isotopes. At the Izu-Mariana subduction zone, subducting sediments have Hf and Nd isotopes equivalent to Pacific seawater. Altered oceanic crust has Hf and Nd isotopic compositions equivalent to the isotopic budget of unaltered Pacific oceanic crust. At Luzon and Java subduction zones, arc lavas present Hf isotopic ratios highly radiogenic in comparison to their Nd isotopic ratios. Such compositions of the Luzon and Java arc lavas are controlled by a contamination of their sources by the subducted oceanic sediments. (author)

  11. Diagenesis and reservoir properties of Cretaceous-Lower Tertiary sandstones: the GANT-1 well, western Nuussuaq, central West Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kierkegaard, Thomas


    The main purpose of this study is to describe the diagenetic alterations occurring in the Cretaceous to Lower Paleocene sedimentary succession of the GANT-1 well, and to determine the diagenetic and detrital factors which control present porosity and permeability. The GANT-1 well is located on north-western Nuussuaq, central West Greenland. The West Greenland margin is a continental margin subdivided into linked basins where Cretaceous to Lower Tertiary and probably older sediments have been deposited. In the Nuussuaq area these sediments are overlain by a succession of Early Tertiary basaltic volcanic rocks which reaches a combined thickness of around 2-2.5 km. Although the reservoir properties of the sandstone intervals in the GANT-1 and GANE-1 wells are generally relatively poor, it is suggested that moderate to good properties may be found in certain intervals within the Maastrichtian-Paleocene succession. However, the reason for the locally enhanced reservoir properties in GANT-1 was not clarified by this study due to the lack of regional petrographical data. (EG) EFP-96. 41 refs., 3 maps

  12. What controls intermediate depth seismicity in subduction zones? (United States)

    Florez, M. A.; Prieto, G. A.


    Intermediate depth earthquakes seem to cluster in two distinct planes of seismicity along the subducting slab, known as Double Seismic Zones (DSZ). Precise double difference relocations in Tohoku, Japan and northern Chile confirm this pattern with striking accuracy. Furthermore, past studies have used statistical tests on the EHB global seismicity catalog to suggest that DSZs might be a dominant global feature. However, typical uncertainties associated with hypocentral depth prevent us from drawing meaningful conclusions about the detailed structure of intermediate depth seismicity and its relationship to the physical and chemical environment of most subduction zones. We have recently proposed a relative earthquake relocation algorithm based on the precise picking of the P and pP phase arrivals using array processing techniques [Florez and Prieto, 2017]. We use it to relocate seismicity in 24 carefully constructed slab segments that sample every subduction zone in the world. In all of the segments we are able to precisely delineate the structure of the double seismic zone. Our results indicate that whenever the lower plane of seismicity is active enough the width of the DSZ decreases in the down dip direction; the two planes merge at depths between 140 km and 300 km. We develop a method to unambiguously pick the depth of this merging point, the end of the DSZ, which appears to be correlated with the slab thermal parameter. We also confirm that the width of the DSZ increases with plate age. Finally, we estimate b-values for the upper and lower planes of seismicity and explore their relationships to the physical parameters that control slab subduction.

  13. Tectonics and geology of spreading ridge subduction at the Chile Triple Junction: a synthesis of results from Leg 141 of the Ocean Drilling Program (United States)

    Behrmann, J.H.; Lewis, S.D.; Cande, S.C.


    An active oceanic spreading ridge is being subducted beneath the South American continent at the Chile Triple Junction. This process has played a major part in the evolution of most of the continental margins that border the Pacific Ocean basin. A combination of high resolution swath bathymetric maps, seismic reflection profiles and drillhole and core data from five sites drilled during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 141 provide important data that define the tectonic, structural and stratigraphic effects of this modern example of spreading ridge subduction. A change from subduction accretion to subduction erosion occurs along-strike of the South American forearc. This change is prominently expressed by normal faulting, forearc subsidence, oversteepening of topographic slopes and intensive sedimentary mass wasting, overprinted on older signatures of sediment accretion, overthrusting and uplift processes in the forearc. Data from drill sites north of the triple junction (Sites 859-861) show that after an important phase of forearc building in the early to late Pliocene, subduction accretion had ceased in the late Pliocene. Since that time sediment on the downgoing oceanic Nazca plate has been subducted. Site 863 was drilled into the forearc in the immediate vicinity of the triple junction above the subducted spreading ridge axis. Here, thick and intensely folded and faulted trench slope sediments of Pleistocene age are currently involved in the frontal deformation of the forearc. Early faults with thrust and reverse kinematics are overprinted by later normal faults. The Chile Triple Junction is also the site of apparent ophiolite emplacement into the South American forearc. Drilling at Site 862 on the Taitao Ridge revealed an offshore volcanic sequence of Plio-Pleistocene age associated with the Taitao Fracture Zone, adjacent to exposures of the Pliocene-aged Taitao ophiolite onshore. Despite the large-scale loss of material from the forearc at the triple junction

  14. Subduction, Extension, and a Mantle Plume in the Pacific Northwest (United States)

    Hawley, W. B.; Allen, R. M.; Richards, M. A.


    Subduction zones are some of the most important systems that control the dynamics and evolution of the earth. The Cascadia Subduction Zone offers a unique natural laboratory for understanding the subduction process, and how subduction interacts with other large-scale geodynamical phenomena. The small size of the Juan de Fuca (JdF) plate and the proximity of the system to the Yellowstone Hotspot and the extensional Basin and Range province allow for detailed study of the effects these important systems have on each other. We present both a P-wave and an S-wave tomographic model of the Pacific Northwestern United States using regional seismic arrays, including the amphibious Cascadia Initiative. These models share important features, such as the Yellowstone plume, the subducting JdF slab, a gap in the subducting slab, and a low-velocity feature beneath the shallowest portions of the slab. But subtle differences in these features between the models—the size of the gap in the subducting JdF slab and the shape of the Yellowstone plume shaft above the transition zone, for example—provide physical insight into the interpretation of these models. The physics that we infer from our seismic tomography and other studies of the region will refine our understanding of subduction zones worldwide, and will help to identify targets for future amphibious seismic array studies. The discovery of a pronounced low-velocity feature beneath the JdF slab as it subducts beneath the coastal Pacific Northwest is, thus far, the most surprising result from our imaging work, and implies a heretofore unanticipated regime of dynamical interaction between the sublithospheric oceanic asthenosphere and the subduction process. Such discoveries are made possible, and rendered interpretable, by ever-increasing resolution that the Cascadia Initiative affords seismic tomography models.

  15. Exhumation History Of Brasilian Highlands After Late Cretaceous Alcaline Magmatism (United States)

    Doranti Tiritan, Carolina; Hackspacher, Peter Christian; Carina Siqueira Ribeiro, Marli; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Françoso de Godoy, Daniel


    The southeast Brazilian margin recorded a long history of tectonic and magmatic events after the Gondwana continent break up. The drifting of the South American Platform over a thermal anomaly generated a series of alkaline intrusions that are distributed from the interior to the coast from west to east. Several exhumation events are recorded on the region and we are providing insights on the landscape evolution of the region since Late Cretaceous, comparing low temperature thermochronology results from two alkaline intrusions regions. Poços de Caldas Alkaline Massif (PCAM), is lied in the interior, 300km from the coastline, covering over 800km2 intruding the Precambrian basement around 83Ma, nepheline syenites, phonolites and tinguaites intruded in a continuous and rapid sequence lasting between 1 to 2 Ma. São Sebastião Island (SSI) on the other hand is located at the coast, 200 km southeast of São Paulo. It is characterized by an intrusion in Precambrian/Brazilian orogen and intruded by Early Cretaceous sub-alkaline basic and acid dykes, as well as by Late Cretaceous alkaline stocks (syenites) and dykes (basanite to phonolite). Will be presenting the apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He results that shows the main difference between the areas is that PCAM region register older history then the coastal area of SSI, where thermal history starts register cooling event after the South Atlantic rifting process, while in the PCAM area register a previous history, since Carboniferous. The results are giving support to studies that indicate the development of the relief in Brazil being strongly influenced by the local and regional tectonic movements and the lithological and structural settings. The landscape at the Late Cretaceous was witness of heating process between 90 and 60Ma due the intense uplift of South American Platform. The elevation of the isotherms is associated with the mantellic plumes and the crustal thickness that caused thermal anomalies due

  16. Jurassic-Paleogene intra-oceanic magmatic evolution of the Ankara Mélange, North-Central Anatolia, Turkey (United States)

    Sarifakioglu, E.; Dilek, Y.; Sevin, M.


    Oceanic rocks in the Ankara Mélange along the Izmir-Ankara-Erzincan suture zone (IAESZ) in North-Central Anatolia include locally coherent ophiolite complexes (~179 Ma and ~80 Ma), seamount or oceanic plateau volcanic units with pelagic and reefal limestones (96.6 ± 1.8 Ma), metamorphic rocks with ages of 187.4 ± 3.7 Ma, 158.4 ± 4.2 Ma, and 83.5 ± 1.2 Ma, and subalkaline to alkaline volcanic and plutonic rocks of an island arc origin (~67-63 Ma). All but the arc rocks occur in a shaly-graywacke and/or serpentinite matrix, and are deformed by south-vergent thrust faults and folds that developed in the Middle to Late Eocene due to continental collisions in the region. Ophiolitic volcanic rocks have mid-ocean ridge (MORB) and island arc tholeiite (IAT) affinities showing moderate to significant LILE enrichment and depletion in Nb, Hf, Ti, Y and Yb, which indicate the influence of subduction-derived fluids in their melt evolution. Seamount/oceanic plateau basalts show ocean island basalt (OIB) affinities. The arc-related volcanic rocks, lamprophyric dikes and syeno-dioritic plutons exhibit high-K shoshonitic to medium-to high-K calc-alkaline compositions with strong enrichment in LILE, REE and Pb, and initial ϵNd values between +1.3 and +1.7. Subalkaline arc volcanic units occur in the northern part of the mélange, whereas the younger alkaline volcanic rocks and intrusions (lamprophyre dikes and syeno-dioritic plutons) in the southern part. The Early to Late Jurassic and Late Cretaceous epidote-actinolite, epidote-chlorite and epidote-glaucophane schists represent the metamorphic units formed in a subduction channel in the Northern Neotethys. The Middle to Upper Triassic neritic limestones spatially associated with the seamount volcanic rocks indicate that the Northern Neotethys was an open ocean with its MORB-type oceanic lithosphere by the Early Triassic. The Latest Cretaceous-Early Paleocene island arc volcanic, dike and plutonic rocks with

  17. Evolution and diversity of subduction zones controlled by slab width

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Freeman, J.A.; Stegman, D. R.; Moresi, L.; May, D.


    Subducting slabs provide the main driving force for plate motion and flow in the Earth's mantle, and geodynamic, seismic and geochemical studies offer insight into slab dynamics and subduction-induced flow. Most previous geodynamic studies treat subduction zones as either infinite in trench-parallel

  18. Noble gases recycled into the mantle through cold subduction zones (United States)

    Smye, Andrew J.; Jackson, Colin R. M.; Konrad-Schmolke, Matthias; Hesse, Marc A.; Parman, Steve W.; Shuster, David L.; Ballentine, Chris J.


    Subduction of hydrous and carbonated oceanic lithosphere replenishes the mantle volatile inventory. Substantial uncertainties exist on the magnitudes of the recycled volatile fluxes and it is unclear whether Earth surface reservoirs are undergoing net-loss or net-gain of H2O and CO2. Here, we use noble gases as tracers for deep volatile cycling. Specifically, we construct and apply a kinetic model to estimate the effect of subduction zone metamorphism on the elemental composition of noble gases in amphibole - a common constituent of altered oceanic crust. We show that progressive dehydration of the slab leads to the extraction of noble gases, linking noble gas recycling to H2O. Noble gases are strongly fractionated within hot subduction zones, whereas minimal fractionation occurs along colder subduction geotherms. In the context of our modelling, this implies that the mantle heavy noble gas inventory is dominated by the injection of noble gases through cold subduction zones. For cold subduction zones, we estimate a present-day bulk recycling efficiency, past the depth of amphibole breakdown, of 5-35% and 60-80% for 36Ar and H2O bound within oceanic crust, respectively. Given that hotter subduction dominates over geologic history, this result highlights the importance of cooler subduction zones in regassing the mantle and in affecting the modern volatile budget of Earth's interior.

  19. Dinosaur morphological diversity and the end-Cretaceous extinction. (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Norell, Mark A


    The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago is a perpetual topic of fascination, and lasting debate has focused on whether dinosaur biodiversity was in decline before end-Cretaceous volcanism and bolide impact. Here we calculate the morphological disparity (anatomical variability) exhibited by seven major dinosaur subgroups during the latest Cretaceous, at both global and regional scales. Our results demonstrate both geographic and clade-specific heterogeneity. Large-bodied bulk-feeding herbivores (ceratopsids and hadrosauroids) and some North American taxa declined in disparity during the final two stages of the Cretaceous, whereas carnivorous dinosaurs, mid-sized herbivores, and some Asian taxa did not. Late Cretaceous dinosaur evolution, therefore, was complex: there was no universal biodiversity trend and the intensively studied North American record may reveal primarily local patterns. At least some dinosaur groups, however, did endure long-term declines in morphological variability before their extinction.

  20. Ontong Java volcanism initiated long-term climate warming that caused substantial changes in terrestrial vegetation several tens of thousand years before the onset of OAE1a (Early Aptian, Cretaceous) (United States)

    Keller, Christina E.; Hochuli, Peter A.; Giorgioni, Martino; Garcia, Therese I.; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Weissert, Helmut


    During Cretaceous times, several intense volcanic episodes are proposed as trigger for episodic climate warming, for changes in marine circulation patterns and for elevated marine productivity, which resulted in the widespread black shale deposits of the Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAE). In the sediments underlying the early Aptian OAE1a black shales, a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion is recorded. Its origin had long been controversial (e.g. Arthur, 2000; Jahren et al., 2001) before recent studies attributed it to the Ontong Java volcanism (Méhay et al., 2009; Tejada et al., 2009). Volcanic outgassing results in an increased pCO2 and should lead to a rise in global temperatures. We therefore investigated if the volcanically-induced increase in pCO2 at the onset of OAE1a in the early Aptian led to a temperature rise that was sufficient to affect terrestrial vegetation assemblages. In order to analyse changes in terrestrial palynomorph assemblages, we examined 15 samples from 12 black shale horizons throughout the early Aptian negative C-isotope spike interval of the Pusiano section (Maiolica Formation; N-Italy). These sediments were deposited at the southern continental margin of the alpine Tethys Ocean and have been bio- and magnetostratigraphically dated by Channell et al. (1995). In order to obtain a continuous palynological record of the negative C-isotope spike interval and the base of OAE1a, we combined this pre-OAE1a interval of Pusiano with the OAE1a interval of the nearby Cismon section (Hochuli et al., 1999). The sporomorph assemblages at the base of this composite succession feature abundant bisaccate pollen, which reflects a warm-temperate climate. Rather arid conditions are inferred from low trilete spore percentages. Several tens of thousand years before the onset of OAE1a, C-isotope values started to decrease. Some thousand years later, bisaccate pollen began to decrease, whereas an increase of Classopollis spp. and Araucariacites spp

  1. Hafnium at subduction zones: isotopic budget of input and output fluxes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marini, J.Ch.


    Subduction zones are the primary regions of mass exchanges between continental crust and mantle of Earth through sediment subduction toward the earth's mantle and by supply of mantellic magmas to volcanic arcs. We analyze these mass exchanges using Hafnium and Neodymium isotopes. At the Izu-Mariana subduction zone, subducting sediments have Hf and Nd isotopes equivalent to Pacific seawater. Altered oceanic crust has Hf and Nd isotopic compositions equivalent to the isotopic budget of unaltered Pacific oceanic crust. At Luzon and Java subduction zones, arc lavas present Hf isotopic ratios highly radiogenic in comparison to their Nd isotopic ratios. Such compositions of the Luzon and Java arc lavas are controlled by a contamination of their sources by the subducted oceanic sediments. (author)

  2. Crustal Gravitational Potential Energy Change and Subduction Earthquakes (United States)

    Zhu, P. P.


    Crustal gravitational potential energy (GPE) change induced by earthquakes is an important subject in geophysics and seismology. For the past forty years the research on this subject stayed in the stage of qualitative estimate. In recent few years the 3D dynamic faulting theory provided a quantitative solution of this subject. The theory deduced a quantitative calculating formula for the crustal GPE change using the mathematic method of tensor analysis under the principal stresses system. This formula contains only the vertical principal stress, rupture area, slip, dip, and rake; it does not include the horizontal principal stresses. It is just involved in simple mathematical operations and does not hold complicated surface or volume integrals. Moreover, the hanging wall vertical moving (up or down) height has a very simple expression containing only slip, dip, and rake. The above results are significant to investigate crustal GPE change. Commonly, the vertical principal stress is related to the gravitational field, substituting the relationship between the vertical principal stress and gravitational force into the above formula yields an alternative formula of crustal GPE change. The alternative formula indicates that even with lack of in situ borehole measured stress data, scientists can still quantitatively calculate crustal GPE change. The 3D dynamic faulting theory can be used for research on continental fault earthquakes; it also can be applied to investigate subduction earthquakes between oceanic and continental plates. Subduction earthquakes hold three types: (a) crust only on the vertical up side of the rupture area; (b) crust and seawater both on the vertical up side of the rupture area; (c) crust only on the vertical up side of the partial rupture area, and crust and seawater both on the vertical up side of the remaining rupture area. For each type we provide its quantitative formula of the crustal GPE change. We also establish a simplified model (called

  3. Using thermal and compositional modeling to assess the role of water in Alaskan flat slab subduction (United States)

    Robinson, S. E.; Porter, R. C.; Hoisch, T. D.


    Although plate tectonic theory is well established in the geosciences, the mechanisms and details of various plate-tectonics related phenomena are not always well understood. In some ( 10%) convergent plate boundaries, subduction of downgoing oceanic plates is characterized by low angle geometries and is termed "flat slab subduction." The mechanism(s) driving this form of subduction are not well understood. The goal of this study is to explore the role that water plays in these flat slab subduction settings. This is important for a better understanding of the behavior of these systems and for assessing volcanic hazards associated with subduction and slab rollback. In southern Alaska, the Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the North American plate at a shallow angle. This low-angle subduction within the region is often attributed to the subduction of the Yakutat block, a terrane accreting to the south-central coast of Alaska. This flat slab region is bounded by the Aleution arc to the west and the strike-slip Queen Charlotte fault to the east. Temperature and compositional models for a 500-km transect across this subduction zone in Alaska were run for ten million years (the length of time that flat slab subduction has been ongoing in Alaska) and allow for interpretation of present-day conditions at depth. This allows for an evaluation of two hypotheses regarding the role of water in flat-slab regions: (1) slab hydration and dehydration help control slab buoyancy which influences whether flat slab subduction will be maintained or ended. (2) slab hydration/dehydration of the overlying lithosphere impacts deformation within the upper plate as water encourages plate deformation. Preliminary results from thermal modeling using Thermod8 show that cooling of the mantle to 500 °C is predicted down to 100 km depth at 10 million years after the onset of low-angle subduction (representing present-day). Results from compositional modeling in Perple_X show the maximum amount

  4. Slab1.0: A three-dimensional model of global subduction zone geometries (United States)

    Hayes, Gavin P.; Wald, David J.; Johnson, Rebecca L.


    We describe and present a new model of global subduction zone geometries, called Slab1.0. An extension of previous efforts to constrain the two-dimensional non-planar geometry of subduction zones around the focus of large earthquakes, Slab1.0 describes the detailed, non-planar, three-dimensional geometry of approximately 85% of subduction zones worldwide. While the model focuses on the detailed form of each slab from their trenches through the seismogenic zone, where it combines data sets from active source and passive seismology, it also continues to the limits of their seismic extent in the upper-mid mantle, providing a uniform approach to the definition of the entire seismically active slab geometry. Examples are shown for two well-constrained global locations; models for many other regions are available and can be freely downloaded in several formats from our new Slab1.0 website, We describe improvements in our two-dimensional geometry constraint inversion, including the use of ‘average’ active source seismic data profiles in the shallow trench regions where data are otherwise lacking, derived from the interpolation between other active source seismic data along-strike in the same subduction zone. We include several analyses of the uncertainty and robustness of our three-dimensional interpolation methods. In addition, we use the filtered, subduction-related earthquake data sets compiled to build Slab1.0 in a reassessment of previous analyses of the deep limit of the thrust interface seismogenic zone for all subduction zones included in our global model thus far, concluding that the width of these seismogenic zones is on average 30% larger than previous studies have suggested.

  5. Extending the fossil record of Polytrichaceae: Early Cretaceous Meantoinea alophosioides gen. et sp. nov., permineralized gametophytes with gemma cups from Vancouver Island. (United States)

    Bippus, Alexander C; Stockey, Ruth A; Rothwell, Gar W; Tomescu, Alexandru M F


    Diverse in modern ecosystems, mosses are dramatically underrepresented in the fossil record. Furthermore, most pre-Cenozoic mosses are known only from compression fossils, lacking detailed anatomical information. When preserved, anatomy vastly improves resolution in the systematic placement of fossils. Lower Cretaceous deposits at Apple Bay (Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada) contain a diverse anatomically preserved flora that includes numerous bryophytes, many of which have yet to be characterized. Among them is a polytrichaceous moss that is described here. Fossil moss gametophytes preserved in four carbonate concretions were studied in serial sections prepared using the cellulose acetate peel technique. We describe Meantoinea alophosioides gen. et sp. nov., a polytrichaceous moss with terminal gemma cups containing stalked, lenticular gemmae. Leaves with characteristic costal anatomy, differentiated into sheathing base and free lamina and bearing photosynthetic lamellae, along with a conducting strand in the stem, place Meantoinea in family Polytrichaceae. The bistratose leaf lamina with an adaxial layer of mamillose cells, short photosynthetic lamellae restricted to the costa, and presence of gemma cups indicate affinities with basal members of the Polytrichaceae, such as Lyellia , Bartramiopsis , and Alophosia . Meantoinea alophosioides enriches the documented moss diversity of an already-diverse Early Cretaceous plant fossil assemblage. This is the third moss described from the Apple Bay plant fossil assemblage and represents the first occurrence of gemma cups in a fossil moss. It is also the oldest unequivocal record of Polytrichaceae, providing a hard minimum age for the group of 136 million years. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  6. Mesozoic to Cenozoic tectonic transition process in Zhanhua Sag, Bohai Bay Basin, East China (United States)

    Cheng, Yanjun; Wu, Zhiping; Lu, Shunan; Li, Xu; Lin, Chengyan; Huang, Zheng; Su, Wen; Jiang, Chao; Wang, Shouye


    The Zhanhua sag is part of the Bohai Bay intracontinental basin system that has developed since the Mesozoic in East China. The timing of this basin system coincides with the final assembly of East Asia and the development of Western Pacific-type plate margin. Here we use 3-D seismic and core log data to investigate the evolution of this basin and discuss its broad tectonic settings. Our new structural study of Zhanhua sag suggests that there are four major tectonic transitions occurred in the Bohai Bay Basin during Mesozoic and Cenozoic: (1) The first tectonic transition was from stable Craton to thrusting during the Triassic, mainly caused by the South China Block's subduction northward beneath the North China Block, which induced the formation of the NW-striking thrust faults. (2) The second tectonic transition was mainly characterized by a change from compression to extension, which can be further divided into two-stages. At the first stage, two episodes of NW-SE shortening occurred in East Asia during Early-Middle Jurassic and Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous, respectively. At the second stage, the extension and left-lateral shearing took place during Early Cretaceous while compression occurred during Late Cretaceous. The NW-striking thrust faults changed to normal faults and the NNE-striking left-lateral strike-slip faults started to influence the eastern part of the basin. (3) The third transition occurred when the NW-SE extension and NNE-striking right-lateral shearing started to form during Paleogene, and the peak deformation happen around 40 Ma due to the change of the subduction direction of Pacific Plate relative to Eurasia Plate. The NE-striking normal faults are the main structure, and the pre-existing NNE-striking strike-slip faults changed from left-lateral to right-lateral. (4) The fourth transition saw the regional subsidence during Neogene, which was probably caused by the India-Asia "Hard collision" between 25 and 20 Ma.

  7. Paleomagnetism of the Cretaceous Galula Formation and implications for vertebrate evolution (United States)

    Widlansky, Sarah J.; Clyde, William C.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Roberts, Eric M.; Stevens, Nancy J.


    This study uses magnetostratigraphy to help constrain the age of the paleontologically important Galula Formation (Rukwa Rift Basin, southwestern Tanzania). The formation preserves a Cretaceous vertebrate fauna, including saurischian dinosaurs, a putative gondwanatherian mammal, and notosuchian crocodyliforms. With better dating, the Galula Formation and its fossils help fill a temporal gap in our understanding of vertebrate evolution in continental Africa, enabling better evaluation of competing paleobiogeographic hypotheses concerning faunal exchange throughout Gondwana during the Cretaceous. Paleomagnetic samples for this study were collected from the Namba (higher in section) and Mtuka (lower in section) members of the Galula Formation and underwent stepwise thermal demagnetization. All samples displayed a strong normal magnetic polarity overprint, and maximum unblocking temperatures at approximately 690 °C. Three short reversed intervals were identified in the Namba Member, whereas the Mtuka Member lacked any clear reversals. Given the relatively limited existing age constraints, one interpretation correlates the Namba Member to Chron C32. An alternative correlation assigns reversals in the Namba Member to recently proposed short reversals near the end of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron (Chron C34), a time that is traditionally interpreted as having stable normal polarity. The lack of reversals in the Mtuka Member supports deposition within Chron C34. These data suggest that the Namba Member is no older than Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Campanian), with the Mtuka Member less well constrained to the middle Cretaceous (Aptian-Cenomanian). The paleomagnetic results are supported by the application of fold and reversal tests for paleomagnetic stability, and paleomagnetic poles for the Namba (246.4°/77.9°, α95 5.9°) and Mtuka (217.1°/72.2°, α95 11.1°) members closely matching the apparent polar wander path for Africa during the Late Cretaceous. These

  8. A record of spontaneous subduction initiation in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arculus, Richard J.; Ishizuka, Osamu; Bogus, Kara A.; Gurnis, Michael; Hickey-Vargas, Rosemary; Aljahdali, Mohammed H.; Bandini-Maeder, Alexandre N.; Barth, Andrew P.; Brandl, Philipp A.; Drab, Laureen; Do Monte Guerra, Rodrigo; Hamada, Morihisa; Jiang, Fuqing; Kanayama, Kyoko; Kender, Sev; Kusano, Yuki; Li, He; Loudin, Lorne C.; Maffione, Marco; Marsaglia, Kathleen M.; McCarthy, Anders; Meffre, Sebastién; Morris, Antony; Neuhaus, Martin; Savov, Ivan P.; Sena, Clara; Tepley, Frank J.; Van Der Land, Cees; Yogodzinski, Gene M.; Zhang, Zhaohui


    The initiation of tectonic plate subduction into the mantle is poorly understood. If subduction is induced by the push of a distant mid-ocean ridge or subducted slab pull, we expect compression and uplift of the overriding plate. In contrast, spontaneous subduction initiation, driven by subsidence

  9. Shear heating and metamorphism in subduction zones, 1. Thermal models (United States)

    Kohn, M. J.; Castro, A. E.; Spear, F. S.


    Popular thermal-mechanical models of modern subduction systems are 100-500 °C colder at c. 50 km depth than pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions determined from exhumed metamorphic rocks. This discrepancy has been ascribed by some to profound bias in the rock record, i.e. metamorphic rocks reflect only anomalously warm subduction, not normal subduction. Accurately inferring subduction zone thermal structure, whether from models or rocks, is crucial for predicting depths of seismicity, fluid release, and sub-arc melting conditions. Here, we show that adding realistic shear stresses to thermal models implies P-T conditions quantitatively consistent with those recorded by exhumed metamorphic rocks, suggesting that metamorphic rock P-T conditions are not anomalously warm. Heat flow measurements from subduction zone fore-arcs typically indicate effective coefficients of friction (µ) ranging from 0.025 to 0.1. We included these coefficients of friction in analytical models of subduction zone interface temperatures. Using global averages of subducting plate age (50 Ma), subduction velocity (6 cm/yr), and subducting plate geometry (central Chile), temperatures at 50 km depth (1.5 GPa) increase by c. 200 °C for µ=0.025 to 700 °C for µ=0.1. However, at high temperatures, thermal softening will reduce frictional heating, and temperatures will not increase as much with depth. Including initial weakening of materials ranging from wet quartz (c. 300 °C) to diabase (c. 600 °C) in the analytical models produces concave-upward P-T distributions on P-T diagrams, with temperatures c. 100 to 500 °C higher than models with no shear heating. The absolute P-T conditions and concave-upward shape of the shear-heating + thermal softening models almost perfectly matches the distribution of P-T conditions derived from a compilation of exhumed metamorphic rocks. Numerical models of modern subduction zones that include shear heating also overlap metamorphic data. Thus, excepting the

  10. The age and diversification of terrestrial New World ecosystems through Cretaceous and Cenozoic time. (United States)

    Graham, Alan


    Eight ecosystems that were present in the Cretaceous about 100 Ma (million years ago) in the New World eventually developed into the 12 recognized for the modern Earth. Among the forcing mechanisms that drove biotic change during this interval was a decline in global temperatures toward the end of the Cretaceous, augmented by the asteroid impact at 65 Ma and drainage of seas from continental margins and interiors; separation of South America from Africa beginning in the south at ca. 120 Ma and progressing northward until completed 90-100 Ma; the possible emission of 1500 gigatons of methane and CO(2) attributed to explosive vents in the Norwegian Sea at ca. 55 Ma, resulting in a temperature rise of 5°-6°C in an already warm world; disruption of the North Atlantic land bridge at ca. 45 Ma at a time when temperatures were falling; rise of the Andes Mountains beginning at ca. 40 Ma; opening of the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica at ca. 32 Ma with formation of the cold Humboldt at ca. 30 Ma; union of North and South America at ca. 3.5 Ma; and all within the overlay of evolutionary processes. These processes generated a sequence of elements (e.g., species growing in moist habitats within an overall dry environment; gallery forests), early versions (e.g., mangrove communities without Rhizophora until the middle Eocene), and essentially modern versions of present-day New World ecosystems. As a first approximation, the fossil record suggests that early versions of aquatic communities (in the sense of including a prominent angiosperm component) appeared early in the Middle to Late Cretaceous, the lowland neotropical rainforest at 64 Ma (well developed by 58-55 Ma), shrubland/chaparral-woodland-savanna and grasslands around the middle Miocene climatic optimum at ca. 15-13 Ma, deserts in the middle Miocene/early Pliocene at ca. 10 Ma, significant tundra at ca. 7-5 Ma, and alpine tundra (páramo) shortly thereafter when cooling temperatures were augmented

  11. Sources of Magmatic Volatiles Discharging from Subduction Zone Volcanoes (United States)

    Fischer, T.


    Subduction zones are locations of extensive element transfer from the Earth's mantle to the atmosphere and hydrosphere. This element transfer is significant because it can, in some fashion, instigate melt production in the mantle wedge. Aqueous fluids are thought to be the major agent of element transfer during the subduction zone process. Volatile discharges from passively degassing subduction zone volcanoes should in principle, provide some information on the ultimate source of magmatic volatiles in terms of the mantle, the crust and the subducting slab. The overall flux of volatiles from degassing volcanoes should be balanced by the amount of volatiles released from the mantle wedge, the slab and the crust. Kudryavy Volcano, Kurile Islands, has been passively degassing at 900C fumarole temperatures for at least 40 years. Extensive gas sampling at this basaltic andesite cone and application of CO2/3He, N2/3He systematics in combination with C and N- isotopes indicates that 80% of the CO2 and approximately 60% of the N 2 are contributed from a sedimentary source. The mantle wedge contribution for both volatiles is, with 12% and 17% less significant. Direct volatile flux measurements from the volcano using the COSPEC technique in combination with direct gas sampling allows for the calculation of the 3He flux from the volcano. Since 3He is mainly released from the astenospheric mantle, the amount of mantle supplying the 3He flux can be determined if initial He concentrations of the mantle melts are known. The non-mantle flux of CO2 and N2 can be calculated in similar fashion. The amount of non-mantle CO2 and N2 discharging from Kudryavy is balanced by the amount of CO2 and N2 subducted below Kudryavy assuming a zone of melting constrained by the average spacing of the volcanoes along the Kurile arc. The volatile budget for Kudryavy is balanced because the volatile flux from the volcano is relatively small (75 t/day (416 Mmol/a) SO2, 360 Mmol/a of non-mantle CO2 and

  12. Tomographic Imaging of the Lesser Antilles Subducted Slab and its Significance for Estimating the Age and Amount of Eastward Motion of the Overriding Caribbean Plate (United States)

    Mann, P.; Chen, Y. W.; Wu, J.; Suppe, J.


    The idea of a Pacific-derived and eastward-transported Caribbean and Scotia plates was first proposed by J. Tuzo Wilson in 1966. Wilson proposed that the motion of these two, small plates was analogous to "ice rafting" observed on frozen lakes and oceans when a narrow ( 50 m) strip of ice is forced over a lower plate of ice. In the Caribbean the upper plate corresponds to the 750 km-long, north-south length of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc ranging in thickness from 20-30 km while its subducting plate is Atlantic Cretaceous oceanic crust of 8-10 km thickness and subducting at an angle of 45º to a depth of 300 km into the mantle. We estimated the length of the Lesser Antilles slab from MIT P-wave global tomography (MITP08; Li et al., 2008) and compared to published transects from Utrecht UUP-07 global tomography (van Bentham et al., 2013). The measured slab lengths vary from 1550 km (Utrecht) to 1250 km (MIT). We then unfolded both slabs to the Earth's surface, and used GPlates to restore the leading edge of the Caribbean plate at the time of the Lesser Antilles slab's initial subduction. The Middle Eocene (49 Ma) reconstruction realigns the proto-Lesser Antilles arc and leading edge of the Caribbean plate in a continuous arc with older arc rocks in Cuba. During this Middle Eocene period of abrupt tectonic transition, the Cuban arc segment was terminated on its northeastward path by collision with the Bahama carbonate platform with subsequent reorientation onto its present, east-west path into the central Atlantic Ocean from 49-0 Ma. This collision/plate reorientation event is independently recorded by: 1) a poorly defined Greater Antilles slab seen on tomography that is aligned with the Cuban arc; 2) identical initiation ages of 49 Ma for the Cayman trough pull-apart and the Lesser Antilles slab; and 3) similarity in lengths for the length of the subducted, Lesser Antilles slab ( 1250-1550 km) and the length of the Cayman trough pull-apart basin ( 1100 km). East

  13. Definition of Greater Gulf Basin Lower Cretaceous and Upper Cretaceous Lower Cenomanian Shale Gas Assessment Unit, United States Gulf of Mexico Basin Onshore and State Waters (United States)

    Dennen, Kristin O.; Hackley, Paul C.


    An assessment unit (AU) for undiscovered continuous “shale” gas in Lower Cretaceous (Aptian and Albian) and basal Upper Cretaceous (lower Cenomanian) rocks in the USA onshore Gulf of Mexico coastal plain recently was defined by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The AU is part of the Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous-Tertiary Composite Total Petroleum System (TPS) of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. Definition of the AU was conducted as part of the 2010 USGS assessment of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources in Gulf Coast Mesozoic stratigraphic intervals. The purpose of defining the Greater Gulf Basin Lower Cretaceous Shale Gas AU was to propose a hypothetical AU in the Cretaceous part of the Gulf Coast TPS in which there might be continuous “shale” gas, but the AU was not quantitatively assessed by the USGS in 2010.

  14. Subducted bathymetric features linked to variations in earthquake apparent stress along the northern Japan Trench (United States)

    Moyer, P. A.; Bilek, S. L.; Phillips, W. S.


    Ocean floor bathymetric features such as seamounts and ridges are thought to influence the earthquake rupture process when they enter the subduction zone by causing changes in frictional conditions along the megathrust contact between the subducting and overriding plates. Once subducted, these features have been described as localized areas of heterogeneous plate coupling, with some controversy over whether these features cause an increase or decrease in interplate coupling. Along the northern Japan Trench, a number of bathymetric features, such as horst and graben structures and seamounts, enter the subduction zone where they may vary earthquake behavior. Using seismic coda waves, scattered energy following the direct wave arrivals, we compute apparent stress (a measure of stress drop proportional to radiated seismic energy that has been tied to the strength of the fault interface contact) for 329 intermediate magnitude (3.2 earthquake spectra for path and site effects and compute apparent stress using the seismic moment and corner frequency determined from the spectra. Preliminary results indicate apparent stress values between 0.3 - 22.6 MPa for events over a depth range of 2 - 55 km, similar to those found in other studies of the region although within a different depth range, with variations both along-strike and downdip. Off the Sanriku Coast, horst and graben structures enter the Japan Trench in an area where a large number of earthquakes occur at shallow (< 30 km) depth. These shallow events have a mean apparent stress of 1.2 MPa (range 0.3 - 3.8 MPa) which is approximately 2 times lower then the mean apparent stress for other events along the northern portion of this margin in the same shallow depth range. The relatively low apparent stress for events related to subducting horst and graben structures suggests weak interplate coupling between the subducting and overriding plates due to small, irregular contact zones with these features at depth. This is in

  15. A comparison of seismicity in world's subduction zones: Implication by the difference of b-values (United States)

    Nishikawa, T.; Ide, S.


    Since the pioneering study of Uyeda and Kanamori (1979), it has been thought that world's subduction zones can be classified into two types: Chile and Mariana types. Ruff and Kanamori (1980) suggested that the maximum earthquake size within each subduction zone correlates with convergence rate and age of subducting lithosphere. Subduction zones with younger lithosphere and larger convergence rates are associated with great earthquakes (Chile), while subduction zones with older lithosphere and smaller convergence rates have low seismicity (Mariana). However, these correlations are obscured after the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and the 2009 Tohoku earthquake. Furthermore, McCaffrey (2008) pointed out that the history of observation is much shorter than the recurrence times of very large earthquakes, suggesting a possibility that any subduction zone may produce earthquakes larger than magnitude 9. In the present study, we compare world's subduction zones in terms of b-values in the Gutenberg-Richer relation. We divided world's subduction zones into 146 regions, each of which is bordered by a trench section of about 500 km and extends for 200 km from the trench section in the direction of relative plate motion. In each region, earthquakes equal to or larger than M4.5 occurring during 1988-2009 were extracted from ISC catalog. We find a positive correlation between b-values and ages of subducting lithosphere, which is one of the two important variables discussed in Ruff and Kanamori (1980). Subduction zones with younger lithosphere are associated with high b-values and vice versa, while we cannot find a correlation between b-values and convergence rates. We used the ages determined by Müller et al. (2008) and convergence rate calculated using PB2002 (Bird, 2003) for convergence rate. We also found a negative correlation between b-values and the estimates of seismic coupling, which is defined as the ratio of the observed seismic moment release rate to the rate calculated

  16. Dental Disparity and Ecological Stability in Bird-like Dinosaurs prior to the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction. (United States)

    Larson, Derek W; Brown, Caleb M; Evans, David C


    The causes, rate, and selectivity of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction continue to be highly debated [1-5]. Extinction patterns in small, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including birds) are important for understanding extant biodiversity and present an enigma considering the survival of crown group birds (Neornithes) and the extinction of their close kin across the end-Cretaceous boundary [6]. Because of the patchy Cretaceous fossil record of small maniraptorans [7-12], this important transition has not been closely examined in this group. Here, we test the hypothesis that morphological disparity in bird-like dinosaurs was decreasing leading up to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, as has been hypothesized in some dinosaurs [13, 14]. To test this, we examined tooth morphology, an ecological indicator in fossil reptiles [15-19], from over 3,100 maniraptoran teeth from four groups (Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae, Richardoestesia, and cf. Aves) across the last 18 million years of the Cretaceous. We demonstrate that tooth disparity, a proxy for variation in feeding ecology, shows no significant decline leading up to the extinction event within any of the groups. Tooth morphospace occupation also remains static over this time interval except for increased size during the early Maastrichtian. Our data provide strong support that extinction within this group occurred suddenly after a prolonged period of ecological stability. To explain this sudden extinction of toothed maniraptorans and the survival of Neornithes, we propose that diet may have been an extinction filter and suggest that granivory associated with an edentulous beak was a key ecological trait in the survival of some lineages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Mantle flow influence on subduction evolution (United States)

    Chertova, Maria V.; Spakman, Wim; Steinberger, Bernhard


    The impact of remotely forced mantle flow on regional subduction evolution is largely unexplored. Here we investigate this by means of 3D thermo-mechanical numerical modeling using a regional modeling domain. We start with simplified models consisting of a 600 km (or 1400 km) wide subducting plate surrounded by other plates. Mantle inflow of ∼3 cm/yr is prescribed during 25 Myr of slab evolution on a subset of the domain boundaries while the other side boundaries are open. Our experiments show that the influence of imposed mantle flow on subduction evolution is the least for trench-perpendicular mantle inflow from either the back or front of the slab leading to 10-50 km changes in slab morphology and trench position while no strong slab dip changes were observed, as compared to a reference model with no imposed mantle inflow. In experiments with trench-oblique mantle inflow we notice larger effects of slab bending and slab translation of the order of 100-200 km. Lastly, we investigate how subduction in the western Mediterranean region is influenced by remotely excited mantle flow that is computed by back-advection of a temperature and density model scaled from a global seismic tomography model. After 35 Myr of subduction evolution we find 10-50 km changes in slab position and slab morphology and a slight change in overall slab tilt. Our study shows that remotely forced mantle flow leads to secondary effects on slab evolution as compared to slab buoyancy and plate motion. Still these secondary effects occur on scales, 10-50 km, typical for the large-scale deformation of the overlying crust and thus may still be of large importance for understanding geological evolution.

  18. Geological and technological characterization of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous clay deposits (Jebel Ammar, northeastern Tunisia) for ceramic industry (United States)

    Ben M'barek-Jemaï, Moufida; Sdiri, Ali; Ben Salah, Imed; Ben Aissa, Lassaad; Bouaziz, Samir; Duplay, Joelle


    Late Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous clays of the Jebel Ammar study site were used as raw materials for potential applications in ceramic industry. Physico-chemical characterization of the collected samples was performed using atomic absorption spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetry and dilatometry (Bugot's curve). Geotechnical study was also undertaken by the assessment of plasticity and liquidity limits. It was found that high concentrations of silica, alumina with SiO2/Al2O3 ratio characterized the studied clays; its high amounts of CaO and Fe2O3 in the Late Jurassic clays indicated their calcareous nature. In addition, technological tests indicated moderate to low plasticity values for the Late Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous clays, respectively. Clay fraction (<2 μm) reached 50% of the natural clay in some cases. Mineralogical analysis showed that Jurassic clays were dominated by smectite, illite and kaolinite, as clay mineral species; calcite was the main associated mineral. Lower Cretaceous clays were mainly composed of abundant illite accompanied by well-crystallized smectite and kaolinite. Kaolinite gradually increased upwards, reaching 70% of the total clay fraction (i.e. <2 μm). Quartz, calcite and feldspar were the main non-clay minerals. Based on these analyses, the clays meet technological requirements that would allow their use in the ceramic industry and for the manufacturing of ceramic tiles.

  19. New and revised maimetshid wasps from Cretaceous ambers (Hymenoptera, Maimetshidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Perrichot


    Full Text Available New material of the wasp family Maimetshidae (Apocrita is presented from four Cretaceous amber deposits – the Neocomian of Lebanon, the Early Albian of Spain, the latest Albian/earliest Cenomanian of France, and the Campanian of Canada. The new record from Canadian Cretaceous amber extends the temporal and paleogeographical range of the family. New material from France is assignable to Guyotemaimetsha enigmatica Perrichot et al. including the first females for the species, while a series of males and females from Spain are described and figured as Iberomaimetsha Ortega-Blanco, Perrichot, and Engel gen. n., with the two new species Iberomaimetsha rasnitsyni Ortega-Blanco, Perrichot, and Engel sp. n. and I. nihtmara Ortega-Blanco, Delclòs, and Engel sp. n.; a single female from Lebanon is described and figured as Ahiromaimetsha najlae Perrichot, Azar, Nel, and Engel gen. et sp. n., and a single male from Canada is described and figured as Ahstemiam cellula McKellar and Engel gen. et sp. n. The taxa are compared with other maimetshids, a key to genera and species is given, and brief comments made on the family.

  20. Cretaceous origin and repeated tertiary diversification of the redefined butterflies. (United States)

    Heikkilä, Maria; Kaila, Lauri; Mutanen, Marko; Peña, Carlos; Wahlberg, Niklas


    Although the taxonomy of the ca 18 000 species of butterflies and skippers is well known, the family-level relationships are still debated. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the superfamilies Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea and Hedyloidea to date based on morphological and molecular data. We reconstructed their phylogenetic relationships using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. We estimated times and rates of diversification along lineages in order to reconstruct their evolutionary history. Our results suggest that the butterflies, as traditionally understood, are paraphyletic, with Papilionidae being the sister-group to Hesperioidea, Hedyloidea and all other butterflies. Hence, the families in the current three superfamilies should be placed in a single superfamily Papilionoidea. In addition, we find that Hedylidae is sister to Hesperiidae, and this novel relationship is supported by two morphological characters. The families diverged in the Early Cretaceous but diversified after the Cretaceous-Palaeogene event. The diversification of butterflies is characterized by a slow speciation rate in the lineage leading to Baronia brevicornis, a period of stasis by the skippers after divergence and a burst of diversification in the lineages leading to Nymphalidae, Riodinidae and Lycaenidae.

  1. Evolution of Meso-Cenozoic lithospheric thermal-rheological structure in the Jiyang sub-basin, Bohai Bay Basin, eastern North China Craton (United States)

    Xu, Wei; Qiu, Nansheng; Wang, Ye; Chang, Jian


    The Meso-Cenozoic lithospheric thermal-rheological structure and lithospheric strength evolution of the Jiyang sub-basin were modeled using thermal history, crustal structure, and rheological parameter data. Results indicate that the thermal-rheological structure of the Jiyang sub-basin has exhibited obvious rheological stratification and changes over time. During the Early Mesozoic, the uppermost portion of the upper crust, middle crust, and the top part of the upper mantle had a thick brittle layer. During the early Early Cretaceous, the top of the middle crust's brittle layer thinned because of lithosphere thinning and temperature increase, and the uppermost portion of the upper mantle was almost occupied by a ductile layer. During the late Early Cretaceous, the brittle layer of the middle crust and the upper mantle changed to a ductile one. Then, the uppermost portion of the middle crust changed to a thin brittle layer in the late Cretaceous. During the early Paleogene, the thin brittle layer of the middle crust became even thinner and shallower under the condition of crustal extension. Currently, with the decrease in lithospheric temperature, the top of the upper crust, middle crust, and the uppermost portion of the upper mantle are of a brittle layer. The total lithospheric strength and the effective elastic thickness ( T e) in Meso-Cenozoic indicate that the Jiyang sub-basin experienced two weakened stages: during the late Early Cretaceous and the early Paleogene. The total lithospheric strength (approximately 4-5 × 1013 N m-1) and T e (approximately 50-60 km) during the Early Mesozoic was larger than that after the Late Jurassic (2-7 × 1012 N m-1 and 19-39 km, respectively). The results also reflect the subduction, and rollback of Pacific plate is the geodynamic mechanism of the destruction of the eastern North China Craton.

  2. Heterogeneous coupling along Makran subduction zone (United States)

    Zarifi, Z.; Raeesi, M.


    The Makran subduction zone, located in the southeast of Iran and southern Pakistan, extends for almost 900 km along the Eurasian-Arabian plate boundary. The seismic activities in the eastern and western Makran exhibit very different patterns. The eastern Makran characterized by infrequent large earthquakes and low level of seismicity. The only large instrumentally recorded earthquake in the eastern Makran, the 27 Nov. 1945 (Mw=8.1) earthquake, was followed by tsunami waves with the maximum run-up height of 13 m and disastrous effects in Pakistan, India, Iran and Oman. The western Makran, however, is apparently quiescent without strong evidence on occurrence of large earthquakes in historical times, which makes it difficult to ascertain whether the slab subducts aseismically or experiences large earthquakes separated by long periods exceeding the historical records. We used seismicity and Trench Parallel Free air and Bouguer Anomalies (TPGA and TPBA) to study the variation in coupling in the slab interface. Using a 3D mechanical Finite Element (FE) model, we show how heterogeneous coupling can influence the rate of deformation in the overriding lithosphere and the state of stress in the outer rise, overriding, and subducting plates within the shortest expected cycle of earthquake. We test the results of FE model against the observed focal mechanism of earthquakes and available GPS measurements in Makran subduction zone.

  3. Astronomical calibration of the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husson, Dorothée; Galbrun, Bruno; Laskar, Jacques


    /Pg boundary, considering the uncertainty of the long-term variation of the 405 ka eccentricity cycle. The first proposal provides a Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary age of 65.59 ± 0.07 Ma and the second an age of 66 ± 0.07 Ma, which is coherent with the most recent radio-isotopic datings. Magnetochron boundaries...... and the Campanian/Maastrichtian boundary are dated relative to these numerical ages of the K/Pg boundary....

  4. The relational of Mesozoic volcanism to uranium mineralization in Guyuan-Hongshanzi area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Rengui; Xu Zhe; Yu Zhenqing; Jiang Shan; Shen Kefeng


    Based on the time of Mesozoic volcanism,the characteristic of major and trace element, and REE pattern of the volcanic rocks in Guyuan-Hongshanzi area, The Mesozoic volcanism can be divided into the early cycle and later cycle during the Early Cretaceous, and it's magma series is classified in two sub-series, one is alkaline series of trachyte dominated and another is subalkaline series of rhyolite dominated. The relations between Mesozoic volcanism and uranium mineralization is mainly shown in four aspects: (1) Uranium mineralization controlled by the coexist of two magma series; (2) Uranium mineralization controlled by superhypabyssal porphyry body in later cycle volcanism during the Early Cretaceous; (3) The porphyry body close to uranium mineralization,bearing the genesis characteristics of crust-mantle action; and (4) High Si and K content in the chemical composition of the mineralization volcanic rocks. (authors)

  5. The Taitao Granites: I-type granites formed by subduction of the Chile Ridge and its implication in growth of continental crusts (United States)

    Anma, Ryo


    Late Miocene to Early Pliocene granite plutons are exposed at the tip of the Taitao peninsula, the westernmost promontory of the Chilean coast, together with a contemporaneous ophiolite with a Penrose-type stratigraphy. Namely, the Taitao granites and the Taitao ohiolite, respectively, are located at ~30 km southeast of the Chile triple junction, where a spreading center of the Chile ridge system is subducting underneath the South America plate. This unique tectonic setting provides an excellent opportunity to study the generation processes of granitic magmas at a ridge subduction environment, and the complex magmatic interactions between the subducting ridge, overlying crust and sediments, and mantle. This paper reviews previous studies on the Taitao ophiolite/granite complex and use geochemical data and U-Pb age distributions of zircons separated from igneous and sedimentary rocks from the area to discuss the mechanism that formed juvenile magma of calc-alkaline I-type granites during ridge subduction. Our model implies that the magmas of the Taitao granites formed mainly due to partial melting of hot oceanic crust adjacent to the subducting mid-oceanic ridge that has been under influence of deep crustal contamination and/or metasomatized sub-arc mantle through slab window. The partial melting took place under garnet-free-amphibolite conditions. The juvenile magmas then incorporated a different amount of subducted sediments to form the I-type granites with various compositions. The Taitao granites provide an ideal case study field that shows the processes to develop continental crusts out of oceanic crusts through ridge subduction.

  6. Taxonomic composition and trophic structure of the continental bony fish assemblage from the early late cretaceous of Southeastern Morocco. (United States)

    Cavin, Lionel; Boudad, Larbi; Tong, Haiyan; Läng, Emilie; Tabouelle, Jérôme; Vullo, Romain


    The mid-Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage from south-eastern Morocco is one of the most diversified continental vertebrate assemblages of this time worldwide. The bony fish component (coelacanths, lungfishes and ray-finned fishes) is represented by relatively complete specimens and, mostly, by fragmentary elements scattered along 250 kilometres of outcrops. Here we revisit the bony fish assemblage by studying both isolated remains collected during several fieldtrips and more complete material kept in public collections. The assemblage comprises several lungfish taxa, with the first mention of the occurrence of Arganodus tiguidiensis, and possibly two mawsoniid coelacanths. A large bichir cf. Bawitius, is recorded and corresponds to cranial elements initially referred to 'Stromerichthys' from coeval deposits in Egypt. The ginglymodians were diversified with a large 'Lepidotes' plus two obaichthyids and a gar. We confirm here that this gar belongs to a genus distinctive from Recent gars, contrary to what was suggested recently. Teleosteans comprise a poorly known ichthyodectiform, a notopterid, a probable osteoglossomorph and a large tselfatiiform, whose cranial anatomy is detailed. The body size and trophic level for each taxon are estimated on the basis of comparison with extant closely related taxa. We plotted the average body size versus average trophic level for the Kem Kem assemblage, together with extant marine and freshwater assemblages. The Kem Kem assemblage is characterized by taxa of proportionally large body size, and by a higher average trophic level than the trophic level of the extant compared freshwater ecosystems, but lower than for the extant marine ecosystems. These results should be regarded with caution because they rest on a reconstructed assemblage known mostly by fragmentary remains. They reinforce, however, the ecological oddities already noticed for this mid-Cretaceous vertebrate ecosystem in North Africa.

  7. Tensor-guided fitting of subduction slab depths (United States)

    Bazargani, Farhad; Hayes, Gavin P.


    Geophysical measurements are often acquired at scattered locations in space. Therefore, interpolating or fitting the sparsely sampled data as a uniform function of space (a procedure commonly known as gridding) is a ubiquitous problem in geophysics. Most gridding methods require a model of spatial correlation for data. This spatial correlation model can often be inferred from some sort of secondary information, which may also be sparsely sampled in space. In this paper, we present a new method to model the geometry of a subducting slab in which we use a data‐fitting approach to address the problem. Earthquakes and active‐source seismic surveys provide estimates of depths of subducting slabs but only at scattered locations. In addition to estimates of depths from earthquake locations, focal mechanisms of subduction zone earthquakes also provide estimates of the strikes of the subducting slab on which they occur. We use these spatially sparse strike samples and the Earth’s curved surface geometry to infer a model for spatial correlation that guides a blended neighbor interpolation of slab depths. We then modify the interpolation method to account for the uncertainties associated with the depth estimates.

  8. Carbonate deposition and salt diapirism during the Cretaceous in the Persian Gulf, offshore Iran


    U. P. Baaske; M. Mutti; F. Baioni; R. Buonaguro; G. Bertozzi; M. A. Naini; C. M. Krawczyk; P. Kukla; R. Littke; H. Stollhofen; D. Schwarzer;  


    The Cretaceous deposits in the Persian Gulf area are part of one of the largest hydrocarbon systems in the world. The stratigraphic evolution of the northern part of the Gulf is, however, poorly constrained. Seismic data from offshore Iran reveal that the shallow water deposition is marked by topographic features like the NNE-SSW trending Qatar-Fars-Arch and salt-related structures (diapirs and salt walls) of smaller scale. These structures were active during the Cretaceous. To examine the ef...

  9. Metal sources in Jurassic to miocene ore deposits of Ecuador

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chiaradia, M.; Fontbote, L


    The Ecuadorian crust is a mosaic of NNE-SSW-trending terranes representing different geotectonic domains. These terranes, composed by oceanic and continental crust, were formed during the Triassic separation of the North and South American continents and were accreted to the Amazon craton during subduction of the Farallon/Nazca plate, from Early Cretaceous to Early Tertiary (Litherland et al., 1994). In the southwestern part of Ecuador, EW-striking crustal-scale faults, related to the Huancabamba deflection, mark the transition between the Central and Northern Andes. In this study we discuss more than 200 lead isotope compositions of ores as well as magmatic and metamorphic rocks of Ecuador. The interest of carrying out a large-scale isotope survey in the Northern Andes derives from a geotectonic evolution characterized by multi-accretionary episodes which is not recognized in the Central Andes (au)

  10. Petrogenesis of early cretaceous silicic volcanism in SE Uruguay. The role of mantle and crustal sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lustrino, Michele; Morbidelli, Lucio; Marrazzo, Marianna; Melluso, Leone; Brotzu, Pietro; Tassinari, Colombo C.G.; Gomes, Celso B.; Ruberti, Excelso


    Early Cretaceous (∼129 Ma) silicic rocks crop out in SE Uruguay between the Laguna Merin and Santa Lucia basins in the Lascano, Sierra Sao Miguel, Salamanca and Minas areas. They are mostly rhyolites with minor quartz-trachytes and are nearly contemporaneous with the Parana-Etendeka igneous province and with the first stages of South Atlantic Ocean opening. A strong geochemical variability (particularly evident from Rb/Nb, Nb/Y trace element ratios) and a wide range of Sr-Nd isotopic ratios ( 143 Nd/ 144 Nd (129) =0.51178-0.51209; 87 Sr/ 86 Sr (129) =0.70840-0.72417) characterize these rocks. Geochemistry allows to distinguish two compositional groups, corresponding to the north-eastern (Lascano and Sierra Sao Miguel, emplaced on the Neo-Proterozoic southern sector of the Dom Feliciano mobile belt) and south-eastern localities (Salamanca, Minas, emplaced on the much older (Archean) Nico Perez terrane or on the boundary between the Dom Feliciano and Nico Perez terranes). These compositional differences between the two groups are explained by variable mantle source and crust contributions. The origin of the silicic magmas is best explained by complex processes involving assimilation and fractional crystallization and mixing of a basaltic magma with upper crustal lithologies, for Lascano and Sierra Sao Miguel rhyolites. In the Salamanca and Minas rocks genesis, a stronger contribution from lower crust is indicated. (author)

  11. New seismic observation on the lithosphere and slab subduction beneath the Indo-Myanmar block: Implications for continent oblique subduction and transition to oceanic slab subduction (United States)

    Jiang, M.; He, Y.; Zheng, T.; Mon, C. T.; Thant, M.; Hou, G.; Ai, Y.; Chen, Q. F.; Sein, K.


    The Indo-Myanmar block locates to the southern and southeastern of the Eastern Himalayan Syntax (EHS) and marks a torsional boundary of the collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates. There are two fundamental questions concerned on the tectonics of Indo-Myanmar block since the Cenozoic time. One is whether and how the oblique subduction is active in the deep; the other is where and how the transition from oceanic subduction and continental subduction operates. However, the two problems are still under heated debate mainly because the image of deep structure beneath this region is still blurring. Since June, 2016, we have executed the China-Myanmar Geophysical Survey in the Myanmar Orogen (CMGSMO) and deployed the first portable seismic array in Myanmar in cooperation with Myanmar Geosciences Society (MGS). This array contains 70 stations with a dense-deployed main profile across the Indo-Myanmar Range, Central Basin and Shan State Plateau along latitude of 22° and a 2-D network covering the Indo-Myanmar Range and the western part of the Central Basin. Based on the seismic data collected by the new array, we conducted the studies on the lithospheric structure using the routine surface wave tomography and receiver function CCP stacking. The preliminary results of surface wave tomography displayed a remarkable high seismic velocity fabric in the uppermost of mantle beneath the Indo-Myanmar Range and Central Basin, which was interpreted as the subducted slab eastward. Particularly, we found a low velocity bulk within the high-velocity slab, which was likely to be a slab window due to the slab tearing. The preliminary results of receiver function CCP stacking showed the obvious variations of the lithospheric structures from the Indo-Myanmar Range to the Central Basin and Shan State Plateau. The lithospheric structure beneath the Indo-Myanmar Range is more complex than that beneath the Central Basin and Shan State Plateau. Our resultant high-resolution images

  12. Effects of Flat Slab Subduction on Andean Thrust Kinematics and Foreland Basin Evolution in Western Argentina (United States)

    Horton, B. K.; Fuentes, F.; McKenzie, N. R.; Constenius, K. N.; Alvarado, P. M.


    Debate persists over the effects of flat-slab subduction on the kinematics of overriding plate deformation and the evolution of retroarc sedimentary basins. In western Argentina, major spatial and temporal variations in the geometry of the subducting Nazca slab since ~15 Ma provide opportunities to evaluate the late Cenozoic response of the Andean fold-thrust belt and foreland basin to subhorizontal subduction. Preliminary results from several structural and sedimentary transects spanning the frontal thrust belt and foreland basin system between 31°S and 35°S reveal Oligocene-middle Miocene hinterland exhumation during normal-slab subduction followed thereafter by progressive slab shallowing with initial rapid cratonward propagation of ramp-flat thrust structures (prior to basement-involved foreland uplifts) and accompanying wholesale exhumation and recycling of the early Andean foreland basin (rather than regional dynamic subsidence). Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronologic data prove instrumental for revealing shifts in thrust-belt exhumation, defining depositional ages within the foreland basin, and constraining the timing of activity along frontal thrust structures. In both the San Juan (31-32°S) and Malargüe (34-35°S) segments of the fold-thrust belt, geochronological results for volcaniclastic sandstones and syndeformational growth strata are consistent with a major eastward advance in shortening at 12-9 Ma. This episode of rapid thrust propagation precedes the reported timing of Sierras Pampeanas basement-involved foreland uplifts and encompasses modern regions of both normal- and flat-slab subduction, suggesting that processes other than slab dip (such as inherited crustal architecture, critical wedge dynamics, and arc magmatism) are additional regulators of thrust-belt kinematics and foreland basin evolution.

  13. Highly resolved early Eocene food webs show development of modern trophic structure after the end-Cretaceous extinction. (United States)

    Dunne, Jennifer A; Labandeira, Conrad C; Williams, Richard J


    Generalities of food web structure have been identified for extant ecosystems. However, the trophic organization of ancient ecosystems is unresolved, as prior studies of fossil webs have been limited by low-resolution, high-uncertainty data. We compiled highly resolved, well-documented feeding interaction data for 700 taxa from the 48 million-year-old latest early Eocene Messel Shale, which contains a species assemblage that developed after an interval of protracted environmental and biotal change during and following the end-Cretaceous extinction. We compared the network structure of Messel lake and forest food webs to extant webs using analyses that account for scale dependence of structure with diversity and complexity. The Messel lake web, with 94 taxa, displays unambiguous similarities in structure to extant webs. While the Messel forest web, with 630 taxa, displays differences compared to extant webs, they appear to result from high diversity and resolution of insect-plant interactions, rather than substantive differences in structure. The evidence presented here suggests that modern trophic organization developed along with the modern Messel biota during an 18 Myr interval of dramatic post-extinction change. Our study also has methodological implications, as the Messel forest web analysis highlights limitations of current food web data and models.

  14. Lower Cretaceous fossils from China shed light on the ancestral body plan of crown softshell turtles (Trionychidae, Cryptodira). (United States)

    Brinkman, Donald; Rabi, Márton; Zhao, Lijun


    Pan-trionychids or softshell turtles are a highly specialized and widespread extant group of aquatic taxa with an evolutionary history that goes back to the Early Cretaceous. The earliest pan-trionychids had already fully developed the "classic" softshell turtle morphology and it has been impossible to resolve whether they are stem members of the family or are within the crown. This has hindered our understanding of the evolution of the two basic body plans of crown-trionychids. Thus it remains unclear whether the more heavily ossified shell of the cyclanorbines or the highly reduced trionychine morphotype is the ancestral condition for softshell turtles. A new pan-trionychid from the Early Cretaceous of Zhejiang, China, Perochelys hengshanensis sp. nov., allows a revision of softshell-turtle phylogeny. Equal character weighting resulted in a topology that is fundamentally inconsistent with molecular divergence date estimates of deeply nested extant species. In contrast, implied weighting retrieved Lower Cretaceous Perochelys spp. and Petrochelys kyrgyzensis as stem trionychids, which is fully consistent with their basal stratigraphic occurrence and an Aptian-Santonian molecular age estimate for crown-trionychids. These results indicate that the primitive morphology for soft-shell turtles is a poorly ossified shell like that of crown-trionychines and that shell re-ossification in cyclanorbines (including re-acquisition of peripheral elements) is secondary.

  15. Stable Isotopes Reveal Rapid Enamel Elongation (Amelogenesis) Rates for the Early Cretaceous Iguanodontian Dinosaur Lanzhousaurus magnidens. (United States)

    Suarez, Celina A; You, Hai-Lu; Suarez, Marina B; Li, Da-Qing; Trieschmann, J B


    Lanzhousaurus magnidens, a large non-hadrosauriform iguanodontian dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group of Gansu Province, China has the largest known herbivorous dinosaur teeth. Unlike its hadrosauriform relatives possessing tooth batteries of many small teeth, Lanzhousaurus utilized a small number (14) of very large teeth (~10 cm long) to create a large, continuous surface for mastication. Here we investigate the significance of Lanzhousaurus in the evolutionary history of iguanodontian-hadrosauriform transition by using a combination of stable isotope analysis and CT imagery. We infer that Lanzhousaurus had a rapid rate of tooth enamel elongation or amelogenesis at 0.24 mm/day with dental tissues common to other Iguanodontian dinosaurs. Among ornithopods, high rates of amelogenesis have been previously observed in hadrosaurids, where they have been associated with a sophisticated masticatory apparatus. These data suggest rapid amelogenesis evolved among non-hadrosauriform iguanodontians such as Lanzhousaurus, representing a crucial step that was exapted for the evolution of the hadrosaurian feeding mechanism.

  16. Subseafloor fluid mixing and fossilized microbial life in a Cretaceous 'Lost City'-type hydrothermal system at the Iberian Margin (United States)

    Klein, F.; Humphris, S. E.; Guo, W.; Schubotz, F.; Schwarzenbach, E. M.; Orsi, W.


    Subseafloor mixing of reduced hydrothermal fluids with seawater is believed to provide the energy and substrates needed to support autotrophic microorganisms in the hydrated oceanic mantle (serpentinite). Despite the potentially significant implications for the distribution of microbial life on Earth and other water-bearing planetary bodies, our understanding of such environments remains elusive. In the present study we examined fossilized microbial communities and fluid mixing processes in the subseafloor of a Cretaceous 'Lost City'-type hydrothermal system at the passive Iberia Margin (ODP Leg 149, Hole 897D). Brucite and calcite co-precipitated from mixed fluids ca. 65m below the Cretaceous palaeo-seafloor at temperatures of 32±4°C within steep chemical gradients (fO2, pH, CH4, SO4, ΣCO2, etc) between weathered, carbonate-rich serpentinite breccia and serpentinite. Mixing of oxidized seawater and strongly reducing hydrothermal fluid at moderate temperatures created conditions capable of supporting microbial activity within the oceanic basement. Dense microbial colonies are fossilized in brucite-calcite veins that are strongly enriched in organic carbon but depleted in 13C. We detected a combination of bacterial diether lipid biomarkers, archaeol and archaeal tetraethers analogous to those found in brucite-carbonate chimneys at the active Lost City hydrothermal field. The exposure of mantle rocks to seawater during the breakup of Pangaea fueled chemolithoautotrophic microbial communities at the Iberia Margin during the Cretaceous, possibly before the onset of seafloor spreading in the Atlantic. 'Lost City'-type serpentinization systems have been discovered at mid-ocean ridges, in forearc settings of subduction zones and at continental margins. It appears that, wherever they occur, they can support microbial life, even in deep subseafloor environments as demonstrated in the present study. Because equivalent systems have likely existed throughout most of Earth

  17. A Look Inside of Diamond-Forming Media in Deep Subduction Zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobrzhinetskaya, L.; Wirth, R.; Green, H. II


    Geologists have 'known' for many years that continental crust is buoyant and cannot be subducted very deep. Microdiamonds 10-80 μm in size discovered in the 1980s within metamorphic rocks related to continental collisions clearly refute this statement, suggesting that material of continental crust has been subducted to a minimum depth of > 150 km and incorporated into mountain chains during tectonic exhumation. Over the past decade, the rapidly moving technological advancement has made it possible to examine these diamonds in detail, and to learn that they contain nanometric multiphase inclusions of crystalline and fluid phases and are characterized by a 'crustal' signature of carbon stable isotopes. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy, focused ion beam techniques, synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, and nano-secondary ion mass spectrometry studies of these diamonds provide evidence that they were crystallized from a supercritical carbon-oxygen-hydrogen fluid. These microdiamonds preserve evidence of the pathway by which carbon and water can be subducted to mantle depths and returned back to the earth's surface

  18. Effects of deep basins on structural collapse during large subduction earthquakes (United States)

    Marafi, Nasser A.; Eberhard, Marc O.; Berman, Jeffrey W.; Wirth, Erin A.; Frankel, Arthur


    Deep sedimentary basins are known to increase the intensity of ground motions, but this effect is implicitly considered in seismic hazard maps used in U.S. building codes. The basin amplification of ground motions from subduction earthquakes is particularly important in the Pacific Northwest, where the hazard at long periods is dominated by such earthquakes. This paper evaluates the effects of basins on spectral accelerations, ground-motion duration, spectral shape, and structural collapse using subduction earthquake recordings from basins in Japan that have similar depths as the Puget Lowland basin. For three of the Japanese basins and the Puget Lowland basin, the spectral accelerations were amplified by a factor of 2 to 4 for periods above 2.0 s. The long-duration subduction earthquakes and the effects of basins on spectral shape combined, lower the spectral accelerations at collapse for a set of building archetypes relative to other ground motions. For the hypothetical case in which these motions represent the entire hazard, the archetypes would need to increase up to 3.3 times its strength to compensate for these effects.

  19. Structural variation along the southwestern Nankai seismogenic zone related to various earthquake phenomena (United States)

    Nakanishi, A.; Shimomura, N.; Kodaira, S.; Obana, K.; Takahashi, T.; Yamamoto, Y.; Sato, T.; Kashiwase, K.; Fujimori, H.; Kaneda, Y.; Mochizuki, K.; Kato, A.; Iidaka, T.; Kurashimo, E.; Shinohara, M.; Takeda, T.; Shiomi, K.


    In the Nankai Trough subduction seismogenic zone, the Nankai and Tonankai earthquakes had often occurred simultaneously, and caused a great event. In order to reduce a great deal of damage to coastal area from both strong ground motion and tsunami generation, it is necessary to understand rupture synchronization and segmentation of the Nankai megathrust earthquake. For a precise estimate of the rupture area of the Nankai megathrust event, it is important to know the geometry of the subducting Philippine Sea plate and deep subduction structure along the Nankai Trough. To obtain the deep subduction structure of the coseismic rupture area of the Nankai earthquake in 1946 off Shikoku area, the large-scale high-resolution wide-angle seismic study was conducted in 2009 and 2010. In this study, 201 and 200 ocean bottom seismographs were deployed off the Shikoku Island and the Kii channel respectively. A tuned airgun system (7800 cu. in.) shot every 200m along 13 profiles. Airgun shots were also recorded along an onshore seismic profile (prepared by ERI, univ. of Tokyo and NIED) prolonged from the offshore profile off the Kii Peninsula. Long-term observation was conducted for ~9 months by 21 OBSs off the Shikoku area and 20 OBSs off the Kii channel.This research is part of 'Research concerning Interaction Between the Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai Earthquakes' funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Structural images of the overriding plate indicate the old accreted sediments (the Cretaceous-Tertiary accretionary prism) with the velocity greater than 6km/s extend seaward from off the Shikoku to the Hyuga-nada. Moreover, the young accreted sediments become relatively thinner eastward from off the cape Ashizuri to Muroto. These structural variations might be related to the different rupture pattern of the Nankai event. Structural image of the deep low frequency earthquakes and tremors is shown by using the airgun shots recorded at onshore

  20. Are glendonites reliable indicators of cold conditions? Evidence from the Lower Cretaceous of Spitsbergen (United States)

    Vickers, Madeleine; Price, Gregory; Watkinson, Matthew; Jerrett, Rhodri


    Glendonites are pseudomorphs after the mineral ikaite, and have been found in marine sediments throughout geological time. Ikaite is a metastable, hydrated form of calcium carbonate, which is only stable under specific conditions: between -2 and +5 °C, and with high alkalinity and phosphate concentrations. Glendonites are often associated with cold climates due to the strong temperature control on ikaite growth, and the coincidence in the geological record with episodes of global cooling. Glendonites are found in the Lower Cretaceous succession in Spitsbergen. During the Early Cretaceous, Spitsbergen was at a palaeolatitude of 60°N, and was part of a shallow epicontinental sea that formed during the Mesozoic as Atlantic rifting propagated northwards. Though the Early Cretaceous was generally characterised by greenhouse climate conditions, episodic cold snaps occurred during the Valanginian (the "Weissert Event") and during Aptian-Albian. Using high resolution carbon-isotope stratigraphy, we show that the first occurrences of glendonites are in the upper Lower Hauterivian and in the very upper Upper Hauterivian, stratigraphically higher than the Valanginian cooling event. Glendonites are also found in horizons in the Upper Aptian, coincident with the Aptian-Albian cold snap. Petrological analysis of the glendonite structure reveals differences between the Hauterivian and Aptian glendonites, with evidence for multiple diagenetic phases of growth in the Hauterivian glendonites, suggesting oscillating chemical conditions. This evidence suggests that local environmental conditions may have a stronger control on glendonite formation and preservation than global climate. We present a new model for ikaite growth and slow transformation to glendonite in marine sediments, which points to a more complex suite of diagenetic transformations than previously modelled. Furthermore, we critically assess whether such pseudomorphs after marine sedimentary ikaite may be indicators

  1. Rapid exhumation of Cretaceous arc-rocks along the Blue Mountains restraining bend of the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault, Jamaica, using thermochronometry from multiple closure systems (United States)

    Cochran, William J.; Spotila, James A.; Prince, Philip S.; McAleer, Ryan J.


    The effect of rapid erosion on kinematic partitioning along transpressional plate margins is not well understood, particularly in highly erosive climates. The Blue Mountains restraining bend (BMRB) of eastern Jamaica, bound to the south by the left-lateral Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault (EPGF), offers an opportunity to test the effects of highly erosive climatic conditions on a 30-km-wide restraining bend system. No previous thermochronometric data exists in Jamaica to describe the spatial or temporal pattern of rock uplift and how oblique (> 20°) plate motion is partitioned into vertical strain. To define the exhumation history, we measured apatite (n = 10) and zircon (n = 6) (U-Th)/He ages, 40Ar/39Ar (n = 2; amphibole and K-spar) ages, and U/Pb zircon (n = 2) crystallization ages. Late Cretaceous U/Pb and 40Ar/39Ar ages (74–68 Ma) indicate rapid cooling following shallow emplacement of plutons during north-south subduction along the Great Caribbean Arc. Early to middle Miocene zircon helium ages (19–14 Ma) along a vertical transect suggest exhumation and island emergence at ~ 0.2 mm/yr. Older zircon ages 10–15 km to the north (44–35 Ma) imply less rock uplift. Apatite helium ages are young (6–1 Ma) across the entire orogen, suggesting rapid exhumation of the BMRB since the late Miocene. These constraints are consistent with previous reports of restraining bend formation and early emergence of eastern Jamaica. An age-elevation relationship from a vertical transect implies an exhumation rate of 0.8 mm/yr, while calculated closure depths and thermal modeling suggests exhumation as rapid as 2 mm/yr. The rapid rock uplift rates in Jamaica are comparable to the most intense transpressive zones worldwide, despite the relatively slow (5–7 mm/yr) strike-slip rate. We hypothesize highly erosive conditions in Jamaica enable a higher fraction of plate motion to be accommodated by vertical deformation. Thus, strike-slip restraining bends may evolve differently

  2. The Rise of Flowering Plants and Land Surface Physics: The Cretaceous and Eocene Were Different (United States)

    Upchurch, G. R.; Feild, T.


    The Cretaceous and Eocene have served as the poster children of past greenhouse climates. One difference between the two time periods is that angiosperms (flowering plants) underwent a major diversification and rise to dominance during the mid-Cretaceous to Paleocene. Flowering plants differ from all other living and fossil plants in having significantly higher rates of transpiration and photosynthesis, which in modern leaves correlate with the density of venation (Dv), a feature that can be measured directly from fossils. This increase in Dv, coupled with an increase in the abundance of angiosperms, is thought to have had major impact on the climate system. This is, in part, because transpiration plays an important role in determining the ratio of sensible to latent heat flux from the land surface and in determining precipitation rate in regions such as the equatorial rainforest. Analysis of Dv in fossil leaves indicates two phases of increase in transpiration rate for angiosperms during the Cretaceous-Paleocene. The oldest known angiosperms (Aptian-early Albian) have a low Dv characteristic of extant and fossil ferns and gymnosperms. At this time angiosperms are low-stature plants of minor importance in terms of relative abundance and diversity (ferns, and maximum Dv reaches levels characteristic of many trees from the temperate zone. This first phase coincides with the first local dominance of angiosperms, the first occurrence of moderate to large angiosperm trees (up to 1 m in diameter) , and the first common occurrence of angiosperms in the Arctic. The second phase of Dv increase occurs during the Maastrichtian to Paleocene, where average Dv reaches levels characteristic of modern tropical forests and maximum Dv reaches the level found in highly productive modern vegetation. This second phase coincides with the rise to dominance of angiosperms in regional vegetation, a corresponding decline of conifers and ferns, and the modernization of hydraulic architecture


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The Cretaceous coral genus Preverastraea is being revised, mainly on the basis of sample material. This cerioid, occasionally astreoid or phaceloid, genus is characterised by round or polygonal calices, compact septa in a regular hexameral symmetry and lonsdaleoid septa. The wall is of the same structure as the septa. The genera Bogdanovicoenia, Paraacanthogyra, and Saxuligyra are considered synonyms of Preverastraea. Related genera are Aulastraeopora and Apoplacophyllia, which only differ by their solitary or dendroid growth forms. There are altogether 13 species of Preverastraea. The genus, which occurred worldwide, is restricted to the period from the Late Barremian to the Late Cenomanian, being most common in the Aptian to Early Albian. Eighty-three samples are either known from the literature or have been to hand. This makes Preverastraea a rather rare genus. 


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Pamić


    Full Text Available In the paper are presented basic geological, petrologieca1, geochemi-cal and mineral deposit data for five main magmatic-metallogenic formations of the northwestern and central Dinarides: (lThe Permo Triassic rifting related andesite-diorite formations; (2 The Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous accretionary (ophiolite formations; (3 The Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene subduction related basalt-rhyohite formations; (4 The Paleogene collisional granite formations, and (5 The Oligo-cene-Neogene postsubduction andesite formations. All these magmatic-metallogenic formations originated in different geotectonic settings during the Alpine evolution of the Dinaridic parts of thc Tethys and the postorogenic evolution of the Paratethys and the Pannonian Basin, respectively.

  5. Ages and petrogenesis of Jurassic and Cretaceous intrusive rocks in the Matsu Islands: Implications for lower crust modification beneath southeastern China (United States)

    Chen, Jing-Yuan; Yang, Jin-Hui; Ji, Wei-Qiang


    Major and trace element, whole-rock Sr-, Nd- and Hf-isotope, zircon U-Pb age and Hf-O isotope data are reported for the intrusive rocks from the Matsu Islands in the coastal area of southeastern (SE) China, in order to study the ages, sources and petrogenesis of these rocks and evolution of the lower crust. The rocks include gneissic granite, massive granite, brecciated granite and diabase. Secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) zircon U-Pb dating reveals that the rocks in the Matsu Islands were emplaced at ∼160 Ma, ∼130 Ma and ∼94 Ma. The Jurassic granites (∼160 Ma) have high SiO2 (74.1-74.5 wt%) and K2O + Na2O (8.32-8.33 wt%) contents and high Rb/Sr ratios of 0.6-1.2 and (La/Yb)CN ratios of 12.6-19.4. Their relatively high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7074-0.7101), variable and negative εNd(t) values (-9.2 to -5.4), and variable zircon εHf(t) (-17.0 to +5.2) and δ18O (4.7-8.1‰) values indicate they were mainly derived from an ancient lower crustal source, but with involvement of high εHf(t) and low δ18O materials. The Early Cretaceous diabase (∼130 Ma) has SiO2 content of 56.5 wt%, relatively high MgO concentration, low initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio and negative εNd(t) value, similar to geochemical features of other Cretaceous mafic rocks in the coastal area of SE China. Zircons from the diabase have high εHf(t) values (-5.5 to +0.2) and relatively low δ18O values of 4.2-5.0‰. These characteristics indicate that the parental magma of the diabase was generated by partial melting of enriched lithospheric mantle, which have been metasomatised by altered oceanic crust-derived low-δ18O fluids. For the Cretaceous granitoids (∼130 Ma and 94 Ma), they have relatively low SiO2 (68.0-71.3 wt%) and K2O + Na2O (5.30-7.55 wt%) contents and low Rb/Sr ratios and (La/Yb)CN ratios of 5.8-7.1. They have low initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7071-0.7082), homogeneous εNd(t) (-4.3 to -4.5) and relatively high zircon εHf(t) values (-3.7 to +1.2) and low δ18O values (4

  6. Tectonic evolution of a part of the Tethyside orogenic collage: The Kargi Massif, northern Turkey (United States)

    Tüysüz, Okan


    The central part of the Rhodope-Pontide fragment, one of the major tectonic units in Turkey, provides critical data for evaluating the Cimmeride and Alpide evolution of the Mediterranean Tethysides. Tectonic events that affected the central part of the Rhodope-Pontide fragment since the end of the Paleozoic, generated east-west trending belts with the event of every episode redeforming and partly obliterating the structures of previous episodes. This evolution may be conveniently described in terms of three major episodes: (1) Two different realms of pre-Dogger oceanic rocks are present in the area. The northern realm coincided with main branch of Paleo-Tethys that was being actively destroyed by south dipping subduction. The southern realm, the Karakaya ocean, a back arc basin related to this subduction, began opening by rifting of a retroarc carbonate platform during the Permo-Triassic. To the west a continental domain with sparse magmatism seperated the two oceanic areas. Toward the east the two oceans become united by the wedging out of the continental domain. These two pre-Dogger oceans closed during the Lias, and their remnants were emplaced between the southern margin of Laurasia and the fragments of the Cimmerian continent. (2) The second episode partly overlapped the first with rifting south of the Cimmerian continent fragment during the Lias. This rifting was followed by a transgression which covered the ruins of the Cimmeride orogenic belt by the Malm. This rifting concurrently led to the development of the northern branch of the Neo-Tethys and a south facing Atlantic-type continental margin. A southerly thickening sedimentary prism developed on this margin during the Lias to early Cretaceous interval. (3) The floor of the northern branch of Neo-Tethys began to be consumed along the north dipping subduction zone beneath the previosly constructed continental margin. This convergent margin generated a magmatic arc to the north and to the south a subduction

  7. Amphibious Shear Velocity Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (United States)

    Janiszewski, H. A.; Gaherty, J. B.; Abers, G. A.; Gao, H.


    The amphibious Cascadia Initiative crosses the coastline of the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) deploying seismometers from the Juan de Fuca ridge offshore to beyond the volcanic arc onshore. This allows unprecedented seismic imaging of the CSZ, enabling examination of both the evolution of the Juan de Fuca plate prior to and during subduction as well as the along strike variability of the subduction system. Here we present new results from an amphibious shear velocity model for the crust and upper mantle across the Cascadia subduction zone. The primary data used in this inversion are surface-wave phase velocities derived from ambient-noise Rayleigh-wave data in the 10 - 20 s period band, and teleseismic earthquake Rayleigh wave phase velocities in the 20 - 160 s period band. Phase velocity maps from these data reflect major tectonic structures including the transition from oceanic to continental lithosphere, Juan de Fuca lithosphere that is faster than observations in the Pacific for oceanic crust of its age, slow velocities associated with the accretionary prism, the front of the fast subducting slab, and the Cascades volcanic arc which is associated with slower velocities in the south than in the north. Crustal structures are constrained by receiver functions in the offshore forearc and onshore regions, and by active source constraints on the Juan de Fuca plate prior to subduction. The shear-wave velocities are interpreted in their relationships to temperature, presence of melt or hydrous alteration, and compositional variation of the CSZ.

  8. Vizualization Challenges of a Subduction Simulation Using One Billion Markers (United States)

    Rudolph, M. L.; Gerya, T. V.; Yuen, D. A.


    Recent advances in supercomputing technology have permitted us to study the multiscale, multicomponent fluid dynamics of subduction zones at unprecedented resolutions down to about the length of a football field. We have performed numerical simulations using one billion tracers over a grid of about 80 thousand points in two dimensions. These runs have been performed using a thermal-chemical simulation that accounts for hydration and partial melting in the thermal, mechanical, petrological, and rheological domains. From these runs, we have observed several geophysically interesting phenomena including the development of plumes with unmixed mantle composition as well as plumes with mixed mantle/crust components. Unmixed plumes form at depths greater than 100km (5-10 km above the upper interface of subducting slab) and consist of partially molten wet peridotite. Mixed plumes form at lesser depth directly from the subducting slab and contain partially molten hydrated oceanic crust and sediments. These high resolution simulations have also spurred the development of new visualization methods. We have created a new web-based interface to data from our subduction simulation and other high-resolution 2D data that uses an hierarchical data format to achieve response times of less than one second when accessing data files on the order of 3GB. This interface, WEB-IS4, uses a Javascript and HTML frontend coupled with a C and PHP backend and allows the user to perform region of interest zooming, real-time colormap selection, and can return relevant statistics relating to the data in the region of interest.

  9. Geology of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (United States)

    Rankin, Douglas W.


    The rocks of St. John, which is located near the eastern end of the Greater Antilles and near the northeastern corner of the Caribbean plate, consist of Cretaceous basalt, andesite, keratophyre, their volcaniclastic and hypabyssal intrusive equivalents, and minor calcareous rocks and chert. These rocks were intruded by Tertiary mafic dikes and tonalitic plutons. The oldest rocks formed in an extensional oceanic environment characterized by abundant keratophyre and sheeted dikes. Subduction-related volcanism of the east-west-trending marine Greater Antilles volcanic arc began on St. John near the transition between the Early and Late Cretaceous. South-directed compression, probably caused by the initial collision between the Greater Antilles arc of the Caribbean plate and the Bahama platform of the North American plate, deformed the Cretaceous strata into east-west-trending folds with axial-plane cleavage. Late Eocene tonalitic intrusions, part of the Greater Antilles arc magmatism, produced a contact aureole that is as much as two kilometers wide and that partly annealed the axial-plane cleavage. East-west compression, possibly related to the relative eastward transport of the Caribbean plate in response to the beginning of spreading at the Cayman Trough, produced long-wavelength, low-amplitude folds whose axes plunge gently north and warp the earlier folds. A broad north-plunging syncline-anticline pair occupies most of St. John. The last tectonic event affecting St. John is recorded by a series of post-late Eocene sinistral strike-slip faults related to the early stages of spreading at the Cayman Trough spreading center and sinistral strike-slip accommodation near the northern border of the Caribbean plate. Central St. John is occupied by a rhomb horst bounded by two of these sinistral faults. Unlike other parts of the Greater Antilles, evidence for recent tectonic movement has not been observed on St. John.

  10. Preliminary Depositional and Provenance Records of Mesozoic Basin Evolution and Cenozoic Shortening in the High Andes, La Ramada Fold-Thrust Belt, Southern-Central Andes (32-33°S) (United States)

    Mackaman-Lofland, C.; Horton, B. K.; Fuentes, F.; Constenius, K. N.; McKenzie, R.; Alvarado, P. M.


    The Argentinian Andes define key examples of retroarc shortening and basin evolution above a zone of active subduction. The La Ramada fold-thrust belt (RFTB) in the High Andes provides insights into the relative influence and temporal records of diverse convergent margin processes (e.g. flat-slab subduction, convergent wedge dynamics, structural inversion). The RFTB contains Mesozoic extensional basin strata deformed by later Andean shortening. New detrital zircon U-Pb analyses of Mesozoic rift sediments reveal: (1) a dominant Permo-Triassic age signature (220-280 Ma) associated with proximal sources of effective basement (Choiyoi Group) during Triassic synrift deposition; (2) upsection younging of maximum depositional ages from Late Triassic through Early Cretaceous (230 to 100 Ma) with the increasing influence of western Andean arc sources; and (3) a significant Late Cretaceous influx of Paleozoic (~350-550 Ma) and Proterozoic (~650-1300 Ma) populations during the earliest shift from back-arc post-extensional subsidence to upper-plate shortening. The Cenozoic detrital record of the Manantiales foreland basin (between the Frontal Cordillera and Precordillera) records RFTB deformation prior to flat-slab subduction. A Permo-Triassic Choiyoi age signature dominates the Miocene succession, consistent with sources in the proximal Espinacito range. Subordinate Mesozoic (~80-250 Ma) to Proterozoic (~850-1800 Ma) U-Pb populations record exhumation of the Andean magmatic arc and recycling of different structural levels in the RFTB during thrusting/inversion of Mesozoic rift basin strata and subjacent Paleozoic units. Whereas maximum depositional ages of sampled Manantiales units cluster at 18-20 Ma, the Estancia Uspallata basin (~50 km to the south) shows consistent upsection younging of Cenozoic populations attributed to proximal volcanic centers. Ongoing work will apply low-temperature thermochronology to pinpoint basin accumulation histories and thrust timing.

  11. Diapir versus along-channel ascent of crustal material during plate convergence: constrained by the thermal structure of subduction zones (United States)

    Liu, M. Q.; Li, Z. H.


    Crustal rocks can be subducted to mantle depths, interact with the mantle wedge, and then exhume to the crustal depth again, which is generally considered as the mechanism for the formation of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks in nature. The crustal rocks undergo dehydration and melting at subarc depths, giving rise to fluids that metasomatize and weaken the overlying mantle wedge. There are generally two ways for the material ascent from subarc depths: one is along subduction channel; the other is through the mantle wedge by diapir. In order to study the conditions and dynamics of these contrasting material ascent modes, systematic petrological-thermo-mechanical numerical models are constructed with variable thicknesses of the overriding and subducting continental plates, ages of the subducting oceanic plate, as well as the plate convergence rates. The model results suggest that the thermal structures of subduction zones control the thermal condition and fluid/melt activity at the slab-mantle interface in subcontinental subduction channels, which further strongly affect the material transportation and ascent mode. Thick overriding continental plate and low-angle subduction style induced by young subducting oceanic plate both contribute to the formation of relatively cold subduction channels with strong overriding mantle wedge, where the along-channel exhumation occurs exclusively to result in the exhumation of HP-UHP metamorphic rocks. In contrast, thin overriding lithosphere and steep subduction style induced by old subducting oceanic plate are the favorable conditions for hot subduction channels, which lead to significant hydration and metasomatism, melting and weakening of the overriding mantle wedge and thus cause the ascent of mantle wedge-derived melts by diapir through the mantle wedge. This may corresponds to the origination of continental arc volcanism from mafic to ultramafic metasomatites in the bottom of the mantle wedge. In addition, the plate

  12. A record of spontaneous subduction initiation in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc (United States)

    Arculus, Richard J.; Ishizuka, Osamu; Bogus, Kara A.; Gurnis, Michael; Hickey-Vargas, Rosemary; Aljahdali, Mohammed H.; Bandini-Maeder, Alexandre N.; Barth, Andrew P.; Brandl, Philipp A.; Drab, Laureen; Do Monte Guerra, Rodrigo; Hamada, Morihisa; Jiang, Fuqing; Kanayama, Kyoko; Kender, Sev; Kusano, Yuki; Li, He; Loudin, Lorne C.; Maffione, Marco; Marsaglia, Kathleen M.; McCarthy, Anders; Meffre, Sebastién; Morris, Antony; Neuhaus, Martin; Savov, Ivan P.; Sena, Clara; Tepley, Frank J., III; van der Land, Cees; Yogodzinski, Gene M.; Zhang, Zhaohui


    The initiation of tectonic plate subduction into the mantle is poorly understood. If subduction is induced by the push of a distant mid-ocean ridge or subducted slab pull, we expect compression and uplift of the overriding plate. In contrast, spontaneous subduction initiation, driven by subsidence of dense lithosphere along faults adjacent to buoyant lithosphere, would result in extension and magmatism. The rock record of subduction initiation is typically obscured by younger deposits, so evaluating these possibilities has proved elusive. Here we analyse the geochemical characteristics of igneous basement rocks and overlying sediments, sampled from the Amami Sankaku Basin in the northwest Philippine Sea. The uppermost basement rocks are areally widespread and supplied via dykes. They are similar in composition and age--as constrained by the biostratigraphy of the overlying sediments--to the 52-48-million-year-old basalts in the adjacent Izu-Bonin-Mariana fore-arc. The geochemical characteristics of the basement lavas indicate that a component of subducted lithosphere was involved in their genesis, and the lavas were derived from mantle source rocks that were more melt-depleted than those tapped at mid-ocean ridges. We propose that the basement lavas formed during the inception of Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction in a mode consistent with the spontaneous initiation of subduction.

  13. A New Species of Pengornithidae (Aves: Enantiornithes) from the Lower Cretaceous of China Suggests a Specialized Scansorial Habitat Previously Unknown in Early Birds (United States)

    Hu, Han; O’Connor, Jingmai K.; Zhou, Zhonghe


    We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new specimen elucidates the morphology of this element for the clade, which is unique in pengornithids among Mesozoic birds. Similarities with modern scansores such as woodpeckers may indicate a specialized vertical climbing and clinging behavior that has not previously been inferred for early birds. The new specimen preserves a pair of fully pennaceous rachis-dominated feathers like those in the holotype of Eopengornis martini; together with the unique morphology of the pygostyle, this discovery lends evidence to early hypotheses that rachis-dominated feathers may have had a functional significance. This discovery adds to the diversity of ecological niches occupied by enantiornithines and if correct reveals are remarkable amount of locomotive differentiation among Enantiornithes. PMID:26039693

  14. A new species of pengornithidae (aves: enantiornithes from the lower cretaceous of China suggests a specialized scansorial habitat previously unknown in early birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Hu

    Full Text Available We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new specimen elucidates the morphology of this element for the clade, which is unique in pengornithids among Mesozoic birds. Similarities with modern scansores such as woodpeckers may indicate a specialized vertical climbing and clinging behavior that has not previously been inferred for early birds. The new specimen preserves a pair of fully pennaceous rachis-dominated feathers like those in the holotype of Eopengornis martini; together with the unique morphology of the pygostyle, this discovery lends evidence to early hypotheses that rachis-dominated feathers may have had a functional significance. This discovery adds to the diversity of ecological niches occupied by enantiornithines and if correct reveals are remarkable amount of locomotive differentiation among Enantiornithes.

  15. Paleoenvironmental changes across the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in the northern Clarence valley, southeastern Marlborough, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollis, C.J.; Rodgers, K.A.; Strong, C.P.; Field, B.D.; Rogers, K.M.


    Strata outcropping in Mead and Branch Streams, northern Clarence valley, provide important records of pelagic-hemipelagic sedimentation through the Cretaceous-Paleocene transition in a southern high-latitude, upwelling system flanking a carbonate platform. The two stream sections, 13 C) indicate that high biological productivity continued across the K/T boundary and through the biosiliceous episode. Siliceous plankton thrived in the Marlborough upwelling zone during the Early Paleocene. Fluctuations in abundance and lithofacies can be related to significant changes in sea level, which may be the result of local tectonic or global climate changes. The delayed recovery of calcareous plankton after mass extinction at the K/T boundary, in both outer neritic and bathyal settings, indicates a relatively cool oceanic regime for the first 1.5 m.y. of the Paleocene. (author). 68 refs., 11 figs., 6 tabs

  16. Environmental change during the Late Berriasian - Early Valanginian: a prelude to the late Early Valanginian carbon-isotope event? (United States)

    Morales, Chloé; Schnyder, Johann; Spangenberg, Jorge; Adatte, Thierry; Westermann, Stephane; Föllmi, Karl


    European basins show that the climate became more humid during the Late Berriasian (Hallam et al., 1991, Schnyder et al., 2009). The aim of this project is to precisely characterize and date paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic change during the latest Berriasian-Early Valanginian time interval in order to decipher if they can be viewed as precursor events, linked with the late Early Valanginian δ13C event. Three key sections have been studied: Capriolo (N Italy), Montclus (SE France) and Musfallen (E Switzerland) located in the Lombardian and Vocontian basins and on the Helvetic platform, respectively. Phosphorus and stable-isotope analyses have been performed, in addition to clay-mineralogy and facies determinations. The three sections show similar and comparable trends: The phosphorus content (in ppm) is higher in Late Berriasian sediments (compared to Early Berriasian and Valanginian deposits) and this period is also characterised by a decrease in δ13C values. This is interpreted as the result of enhanced continental weathering, which would be coeval with a change to a more humid climate during the Late Berriasian (Schnyder et al., 2009). References: Bornemann, A. and Mutterlose, J. (2008). "Calcareous nannofossil and d13C records from the Early Cretaceous of the Western Atlantic ocean: evidence of enhanced fertilization accross the Berriasian-Valanginian transition." palaios 23: 821-832. Duchamp-Alphonse, S., Gardin, S., Fiet, N., Bartolini, A., Blamart, D. and Pagel, M. (2007). "Fertilization of the northwestern Tethys (Vocontian basin, SE France) during the Valanginian carbon isotope perturbation: Evidence from calcareous nannofossils and trace element data." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 243(1-2): 132-151. Föllmi, K.B., Weissert, H., Bisping, M. & Funk, H. 1994: Phosphogenesis, carbon-isotope stratigraphy, and carbonate-platform evolution along the Lower Cretaceous northern tethyan margin. Geological Society of America, Bulletin 106, 729

  17. Subduction of Proterozoic to Late Triassic continental basement in the Guatemala suture zone: A petrological and geochronological study of high-pressure metagranitoids from the Chuacús complex (United States)

    Maldonado, Roberto; Ortega-Gutiérrez, Fernando; Ortíz-Joya, Guillermo A.


    Many continental subduction complexes contain abundant granitic rocks coexisting with minor volumes of eclogite-facies rocks. Characterization of granitic protoliths is crucial to decipher the origin of subducted continental crust, whereas knowledge of its metamorphic evolution is required to constrain the mechanisms of burial and exhumation. In this work we present geochronological and petrological evidence that demonstrate the occurrence of a subducted Proterozoic to Late Triassic granitic basement in the Chuacús complex of central Guatemala. Metagranitoids exposed in this area are interlayered with eclogite and other high-pressure rocks, and their structure is considerably variable due to strain partitioning during deformation. Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry U-Pb zircon data from two ferroan metagranites yield protolith crystallization ages of ca. 1.1 Ga and their trace-element abundances suggest an origin related to intraplate magmatism, while a high-silica, peraluminous metagranite is dated at 1.0 Ga and was probably originated by partial melting of a high-grade continental crust. On the other hand, two megacrystic to augen metagranitoids yield protolith crystallization ages of ca. 224 Ma, which are identical within errors to the protolith age of hosted eclogitic metabasites. Their high incompatible trace element abundances together with the observed spatial-temporal relationships with mafic protoliths suggest that Late Triassic bimodal magmatism in the Chuacús complex was probably originated in a within-plate setting. Regardless of their age or structure, the studied metagranites preserve evidences for high-pressure metamorphic equilibration, such as the occurrence of Ca-rich garnet (XCa up to 0.52) in association with phengite (Si contents of up to 3.4 pfu) and rutile. The integration of Zr-in-rutile thermometry and phengite barometry allows the peak metamorphic conditions to be constrained at 640-680 °C and 13 kbar. This

  18. Cretacic tectonics in Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Rifas, C.


    This work is about