WorldWideScience

Sample records for plate tectonic implications

  1. Petrologic implications of plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, H S

    1971-07-30

    Petrologists can make significant contributions to the plate tectonic concept. Fixing the stability fields of the principal rock types involved will provide the limits of pressure and temperature of the various environments. Experimental determination of the partition coefficients of the trace elements will be helpful. Studies of the partial melting behavior of possible parental materials in the absence and presence of water, especially the undersaturated region, will contribute to the understanding of magma production. Experimental observations on the rheological properties of the peridotites below and just above the solidus will lead to a better evaluation of the convective mechanism. Measurement of the fundamental properties of rocks, such as the density of solids and liquids at high pressures and temperatures, would contribute to understanding the concepts of diapiric rise, magma segregation, and the low-velocity zone. Broader rock sampling of the oceanic areas of all environments will do much to define the petrologic provinces. The field petrologist specializing in the Paleozoic regions and Precambrian shields can contribute by examining those regions for old plate boundaries and devising new criteria for their recognition.

  2. Geoid Data and Implications for Plate Tectonic Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, R. M.; Coblentz, D. D.

    2013-12-01

    It has long been recognized that the motion of the mechanically rigid lithospheric plates of the earth are the surface expression of large-scale convection in the mantle. It is also accepted that the stresses driving plate motion are an amalgam of the basal tractions associated with this convection and long-wavelength density variations within the plates themselves. Parsing the relative contribution from these two sources to the geodynamics of the lithosphere continues to be an important topic of plate dynamics research. Because geoid anomalies are directly related to the local dipole moment of the density-depth distribution, they provide an ideal method for evaluating density variations within the lithosphere and the associated tectonic stresses. The main challenge with this approach is isolating the lithospheric geoid contribution from the full geoid (which is dominated by sources from deeper in the earth, namely the lower mantle). We address this issue by using a high-pass spherical harmonic filtering of the EGM2008-WGS84 geoid (which is complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 2159), with a cosine taper between orders 9 to 13 and 78 to 82 to produce a 'lithospheric' geoid. In the present study we focus on tectonic implications of the lithospheric geoid in three different areas: 1) passive continental margins where we have evaluated over 150 margin-transects spaced roughly every three degrees. The global average geoid anomaly associated with the transition from old oceanic lithosphere to the continent was found to 6-9 meters and appears to be insensitive to a range of geoid filtering degrees and orders; 2) The geoid highs associated with the mid-ocean ridges and the cooling oceanic lithospheric, where we have examined a number of geoid profiles across ridges and find that previous estimates of a geoid anomaly of 10-15 meters associated with ridges to be valid; and 3) continental regions which are characterized by both elevated geoid anomalies (e.g., the

  3. Tectonic Plate Movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landalf, Helen

    1998-01-01

    Presents an activity that employs movement to enable students to understand concepts related to plate tectonics. Argues that movement brings topics to life in a concrete way and helps children retain knowledge. (DDR)

  4. Tectonic Plate Movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landalf, Helen

    1998-01-01

    Presents an activity that employs movement to enable students to understand concepts related to plate tectonics. Argues that movement brings topics to life in a concrete way and helps children retain knowledge. (DDR)

  5. The Plate Tectonics Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Annamae J.

    2011-01-01

    The Plate Tectonics Project is a multiday, inquiry-based unit that facilitates students as self-motivated learners. Reliable Web sites are offered to assist with lessons, and a summative rubric is used to facilitate the holistic nature of the project. After each topic (parts of the Earth, continental drift, etc.) is covered, the students will…

  6. The Plate Tectonics Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Annamae J.

    2011-01-01

    The Plate Tectonics Project is a multiday, inquiry-based unit that facilitates students as self-motivated learners. Reliable Web sites are offered to assist with lessons, and a summative rubric is used to facilitate the holistic nature of the project. After each topic (parts of the Earth, continental drift, etc.) is covered, the students will…

  7. Dynamics of Tectonic Plates

    CERN Document Server

    Pechersky, E; Sadowski, G; Yambartsev, A

    2014-01-01

    We suggest a model that describes a mutual dynamic of tectonic plates. The dynamic is a sort of stick-slip one which is modeled by a Markov random process. The process defines a microlevel of the dynamic. A macrolevel is obtained by a scaling limit which leads to a system of integro-differential equations which determines a kind of mean field systems. Conditions when Gutenberg-Richter empirical law are presented on the mean field level. These conditions are rather universal and do not depend on features of resistant forces.

  8. Dynamics of Tectonic Plates

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    We suggest a model that describes a mutual dynamic of tectonic plates. The dynamic is a sort of stick-slip one which is modeled by a Markov random process. The process defines a microlevel of the dynamic. A macrolevel is obtained by a scaling limit which leads to a system of integro-differential equations which determines a kind of mean field systems. Conditions when Gutenberg-Richter empirical law are presented on the mean field level. These conditions are rather universal and do not depend ...

  9. Structures in the Deep Mantle: Implications for the Onset of Plate Tectonics and the Viscosity Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Claudia; Hansen, Ulrich

    2016-04-01

    Recently deep structures have been studied intensively. The observed large anomalies with reduced seismic velocities (LLSVPs) beneath Africa and the Pacific are obtained in numerical models as an initial dense layer at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) is pushed up to piles by the convective flow (e.g., McNamara et al., EPSL 229, 1-9, 2010). Adding a dense CMB layer to a model featuring active plate tectonics, Trim et al. (EPSL 405, 1-14, 2014) find that surface mobility is strongly hindered by the dense material and can even vanish completely for a CMB layer that has a too high density or too large a volume. In a further study we employed a fully rheological model in which oceanic plates form self-consistently. We observe that an initial dense CMB layer strongly affects the formation of plates and therefore the onset time of plate tectonics. In a systematic 2D parameter study of thermochemical convection we discuss the resulting viscosity structure and time of plate initiation.

  10. The fate of water within Earth and super-Earths and implications for plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikoo, Sonia M; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2017-05-28

    The Earth is likely to have acquired most of its water during accretion. Internal heat of planetesimals by short-lived radioisotopes would have caused some water loss, but impacts into planetesimals were insufficiently energetic to produce further drying. Water is thought to be critical for the development of plate tectonics, because it lowers viscosities in the asthenosphere, enabling subduction. The following issue persists: if water is necessary for plate tectonics, but subduction itself hydrates the upper mantle, how is the upper mantle initially hydrated? The giant impacts of late accretion created magma lakes and oceans, which degassed during solidification to produce a heavy atmosphere. However, some water would have remained in the mantle, trapped within crystallographic defects in nominally anhydrous minerals. In this paper, we present models demonstrating that processes associated with magma ocean solidification and overturn may segregate sufficient quantities of water within the upper mantle to induce partial melting and produce a damp asthenosphere, thereby facilitating plate tectonics and, in turn, the habitability of Earth-like extrasolar planets.This article is part of the themed issue 'The origin, history and role of water in the evolution of the inner Solar System'. © 2017 The Authors.

  11. Intermittent plate tectonics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Paul G; Behn, Mark D

    2008-01-04

    Although it is commonly assumed that subduction has operated continuously on Earth without interruption, subduction zones are routinely terminated by ocean closure and supercontinent assembly. Under certain circumstances, this could lead to a dramatic loss of subduction, globally. Closure of a Pacific-type basin, for example, would eliminate most subduction, unless this loss were compensated for by comparable subduction initiation elsewhere. Given the evidence for Pacific-type closure in Earth's past, the absence of a direct mechanism for termination/initiation compensation, and recent data supporting a minimum in subduction flux in the Mesoproterozoic, we hypothesize that dramatic reductions or temporary cessations of subduction have occurred in Earth's history. Such deviations in the continuity of plate tectonics have important consequences for Earth's thermal and continental evolution.

  12. Plate tectonics conserves angular momentum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Bowin

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available A new combined understanding of plate tectonics, Earth internal structure, and the role of impulse in deformation of the Earth's crust is presented. Plate accelerations and decelerations have been revealed by iterative filtering of the quaternion history for the Euler poles that define absolute plate motion history for the past 68 million years, and provide an unprecedented precision for plate angular rotation variations with time at 2-million year intervals. Stage poles represent the angular rotation of a plate's motion between adjacent Euler poles, and from which the maximum velocity vector for a plate can be determined. The consistent maximum velocity variations, in turn, yield consistent estimates of plate accelerations and decelerations. The fact that the Pacific plate was shown to accelerate and decelerate, implied that conservation of plate tectonic angular momentum must be globally conserved, and that is confirmed by the results shown here (total angular momentum ~1.4 E+27 kgm2s−1. Accordingly, if a plate decelerates, other plates must increase their angular momentums to compensate. In addition, the azimuth of the maximum velocity vectors yields clues as to why the "bend" in the Emperor-Hawaiian seamount trend occurred near 46 Myr. This report summarizes processing results for 12 of the 14 major tectonic plates of the Earth (except for the Juan de Fuca and Philippine plates. Plate accelerations support the contention that plate tectonics is a product of torques that most likely are sustained by the sinking of positive density anomalies due to phase changes in subducted gabbroic lithosphere at depth in the upper lower mantle (above 1200 km depth. The tectonic plates are pulled along by the sinking of these positive mass anomalies, rather than moving at near constant velocity on the crests of convection cells driven by rising heat. These results imply that spreading centers are primarily passive reactive

  13. Tectonics of the Easter plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engeln, J. F.; Stein, S.

    1984-01-01

    A new model for the Easter plate is presented in which rift propagation has resulted in the formation of a rigid plate between the propagating and dying ridges. The distribution of earthquakes, eleven new focal mechanisms, and existing bathymetric and magnetic data are used to describe the tectonics of this area. Both the Easter-Nazca and Easter-Pacific Euler poles are sufficiently close to the Easter plate to cause rapid changes in rates and directions of motion along the boundaries. The east and west boundaries are propagating and dying ridges; the southwest boundary is a slow-spreading ridge and the northern boundary is a complex zone of convergent and transform motion. The Easter plate may reflect the tectonics of rift propagation on a large scale, where rigid plate tectonics requires boundary reorientation. Simple schematic models to illustrate the general features and processes which occur at plates resulting from large-scale rift propagation are used.

  14. Tectonics of the Easter plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engeln, J. F.; Stein, S.

    1984-01-01

    A new model for the Easter plate is presented in which rift propagation has resulted in the formation of a rigid plate between the propagating and dying ridges. The distribution of earthquakes, eleven new focal mechanisms, and existing bathymetric and magnetic data are used to describe the tectonics of this area. Both the Easter-Nazca and Easter-Pacific Euler poles are sufficiently close to the Easter plate to cause rapid changes in rates and directions of motion along the boundaries. The east and west boundaries are propagating and dying ridges; the southwest boundary is a slow-spreading ridge and the northern boundary is a complex zone of convergent and transform motion. The Easter plate may reflect the tectonics of rift propagation on a large scale, where rigid plate tectonics requires boundary reorientation. Simple schematic models to illustrate the general features and processes which occur at plates resulting from large-scale rift propagation are used.

  15. Tectonics: Changing of the plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Alan

    2016-10-01

    The composition of Earth's crust depends on the style of plate tectonics and of the melting regimes in the mantle. Analyses of the oldest identified rocks suggest that these styles and the resulting crust have changed over Earth's history.

  16. Plate tectonics, damage and inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bercovici, David; Ricard, Yanick

    2014-04-24

    The initiation of plate tectonics on Earth is a critical event in our planet's history. The time lag between the first proto-subduction (about 4 billion years ago) and global tectonics (approximately 3 billion years ago) suggests that plates and plate boundaries became widespread over a period of 1 billion years. The reason for this time lag is unknown but fundamental to understanding the origin of plate tectonics. Here we suggest that when sufficient lithospheric damage (which promotes shear localization and long-lived weak zones) combines with transient mantle flow and migrating proto-subduction, it leads to the accumulation of weak plate boundaries and eventually to fully formed tectonic plates driven by subduction alone. We simulate this process using a grain evolution and damage mechanism with a composite rheology (which is compatible with field and laboratory observations of polycrystalline rocks), coupled to an idealized model of pressure-driven lithospheric flow in which a low-pressure zone is equivalent to the suction of convective downwellings. In the simplest case, for Earth-like conditions, a few successive rotations of the driving pressure field yield relic damaged weak zones that are inherited by the lithospheric flow to form a nearly perfect plate, with passive spreading and strike-slip margins that persist and localize further, even though flow is driven only by subduction. But for hotter surface conditions, such as those on Venus, accumulation and inheritance of damage is negligible; hence only subduction zones survive and plate tectonics does not spread, which corresponds to observations. After plates have developed, continued changes in driving forces, combined with inherited damage and weak zones, promote increased tectonic complexity, such as oblique subduction, strike-slip boundaries that are subparallel to plate motion, and spalling of minor plates.

  17. Plate tectonics on Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1981-01-01

    The high surface temperature of Venus implies a permanently buoyant lithosphere and a thick basaltic crust. Terrestrial-style tectonics with deep subduction and crustal recycling is not possible. Overthickened basaltic crust partially melts instead of converting to eclogite. Because mantle magmas do not have convenient access to the surface the Ar-40 abundance in the atmosphere should be low. Venus may provide an analog to Archean tectonics on the earth.

  18. Plate tectonics on Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1981-01-01

    The high surface temperature of Venus implies a permanently buoyant lithosphere and a thick basaltic crust. Terrestrial-style tectonics with deep subduction and crustal recycling is not possible. Overthickened basaltic crust partially melts instead of converting to eclogite. Because mantle magmas do not have convenient access to the surface the Ar-40 abundance in the atmosphere should be low. Venus may provide an analog to Archean tectonics on the earth.

  19. Accelerated plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D L

    1975-03-21

    The concept of a stressed elastic lithospheric plate riding on a viscous asthenosphere is used to calculate the recurrence interval of great earthquakes at convergent plate boundaries, the separation of decoupling and lithospheric earthquakes, and the migration pattern of large earthquakes along an arc. It is proposed that plate motions accelerate after great decoupling earthquakes and that most of the observed plate motions occur during short periods of time, separated by periods of relative quiescence.

  20. Plate Tectonics: A Paradigm under Threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratt, David

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the challenges confronting plate tectonics. Presents evidence that contradicts continental drift, seafloor spreading, and subduction. Reviews problems posed by vertical tectonic movements. (Contains 242 references.) (DDR)

  1. Plate Tectonics: A Paradigm under Threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratt, David

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the challenges confronting plate tectonics. Presents evidence that contradicts continental drift, seafloor spreading, and subduction. Reviews problems posed by vertical tectonic movements. (Contains 242 references.) (DDR)

  2. Comment on "Intermittent plate tectonics?".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korenaga, Jun

    2008-06-06

    Silver and Behn (Reports, 4 January 2008, p. 85) proposed that intermittent plate tectonics may resolve a long-standing paradox in Earth's thermal evolution. However, their analysis misses one important term, which subsequently brings their main conclusion into question. In addition, the Phanerozoic eustasy record indicates that the claimed effect of intermittency is probably weak.

  3. Indonesian Landforms and Plate Tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herman Th. Verstappen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available DOI: 10.17014/ijog.v5i3.103The horizontal configuration and vertical dimension of the landforms occurring in the tectonically unstable parts of Indonesia were resulted in the first place from plate tectonics. Most of them date from the Quaternary and endogenous forces are ongoing. Three major plates – the northward moving Indo-Australian Plate, the south-eastward moving SE-Asian Plate and the westward moving Pacific Plate - meet at a plate triple-junction situated in the south of New Guinea’s Bird’s Head. The narrow North-Moluccan plate is interposed between the Asia and Pacific. It tapers out northward in the Philippine Mobile Belt and is gradually disappearing. The greatest relief amplitudes occur near the plate boundaries: deep ocean trenches are associated with subduction zones and mountain ranges with collision belts. The landforms of the more stable areas of the plates date back to a more remote past and, where emerged, have a more subdued relief that is in the first place related to the resistance of the rocks to humid tropical weathering Rising mountain ranges and emerging island arcs are subjected to rapid humid-tropical river erosions and mass movements. The erosion products accumulate in adjacent sedimentary basins where their increasing weight causes subsidence by gravity and isostatic compensations. Living and raised coral reefs, volcanoes, and fault scarps are important geomorphic indicators of active plate tectonics. Compartmental faults may strongly affect island arcs stretching perpendicular to the plate movement. This is the case on Java. Transcurrent faults and related pull-apart basins are a leading factor where plates meet at an angle, such as on Sumatra. The most complicated situation exists near the triple-junction and in the Moluccas. Modern research methods, such as GPS measurements of plate movements and absolute dating of volcanic outbursts and raised coral reefs are important tools. The mega-landforms resulting

  4. Indonesian Landforms and Plate Tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herman Th. Verstappen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available DOI: 10.17014/ijog.v5i3.103The horizontal configuration and vertical dimension of the landforms occurring in the tectonically unstable parts of Indonesia were resulted in the first place from plate tectonics. Most of them date from the Quaternary and endogenous forces are ongoing. Three major plates – the northward moving Indo-Australian Plate, the south-eastward moving SE-Asian Plate and the westward moving Pacific Plate - meet at a plate triple-junction situated in the south of New Guinea’s Bird’s Head. The narrow North-Moluccan plate is interposed between the Asia and Pacific. It tapers out northward in the Philippine Mobile Belt and is gradually disappearing. The greatest relief amplitudes occur near the plate boundaries: deep ocean trenches are associated with subduction zones and mountain ranges with collision belts. The landforms of the more stable areas of the plates date back to a more remote past and, where emerged, have a more subdued relief that is in the first place related to the resistance of the rocks to humid tropical weathering Rising mountain ranges and emerging island arcs are subjected to rapid humid-tropical river erosions and mass movements. The erosion products accumulate in adjacent sedimentary basins where their increasing weight causes subsidence by gravity and isostatic compensations. Living and raised coral reefs, volcanoes, and fault scarps are important geomorphic indicators of active plate tectonics. Compartmental faults may strongly affect island arcs stretching perpendicular to the plate movement. This is the case on Java. Transcurrent faults and related pull-apart basins are a leading factor where plates meet at an angle, such as on Sumatra. The most complicated situation exists near the triple-junction and in the Moluccas. Modern research methods, such as GPS measurements of plate movements and absolute dating of volcanic outbursts and raised coral reefs are important tools. The mega-landforms resulting

  5. Present-day kinematics of the Rivera plate and implications for tectonics in southwestern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demets, Charles; Stein, Seth

    1990-01-01

    A model for the present-day motion of the Rivera plate relative to the North America, Cocos, and Pacific plates is derived using new data from the Pacific-Rivera rise and Rivera transform fault, together with new estimates of Pacific-Rivera motions. The results are combined with the closure-consistent NUVEL-1 global plate motion model of DeMets et al. (1990) to examine present-day deformation in southwestern Mexico. The analysis addresses several questions raised in previous studies of the Rivera plate. Namely, do plate motion data from the northern East Pacific rise require a distinct Rivera plate? Do plate kinematic data require the subduction of the Rivera plate along the seismically quiescent Acapulco trench? If so, what does the predicted subduction rate imply about the earthquake recurrence interval in the Jalisco region of southwestern Mexico?

  6. Episodic plate tectonics on Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turcotte, Donald

    1992-01-01

    Studies of impact craters on Venus from the Magellan images have placed important constraints on surface volcanism. Some 840 impact craters have been identified with diameters ranging from 2 to 280 km. Correlations of this impact flux with craters on the Moon, Earth, and Mars indicate a mean surface age of 0.5 +/- 0.3 Ga. Another important observation is that 52 percent of the craters are slightly fractured and only 4.5 percent are embayed by lava flows. These observations led researchers to hypothesize that a pervasive resurfacing event occurred about 500 m.y. ago and that relatively little surface volcanism has occurred since. Other researchers have pointed out that a global resurfacing event that ceased about 500 MYBP is consistent with the results given by a recent study. These authors carried out a series of numerical calculations of mantle convection in Venus yielding thermal evolution results. Their model considered crustal recycling and gave rapid planetary cooling. They, in fact, suggested that prior to 500 MYBP plate tectonics was active in Venus and since 500 MYBP the lithosphere has stabilized and only hot-spot volcanism has reached the surface. We propose an alternative hypothesis for the inferred cessation of surface volcanism on Venus. We hypothesize that plate tectonics on Venus is episodic. Periods of rapid plate tectonics result in high rates of subduction that cool the interior resulting in more sluggish mantle convection.

  7. Segmentation of the eastern North Greenland oblique-shear margin – regional plate tectonic implications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Arne Døssing; Stemmerik, Lars; Dahl-Jensen, T.

    2010-01-01

    a highly complex, Paleozoic–early Cenozoic pre-opening setting. However, due to extreme ice conditions, very little is known about the offshore areas seawards of – and between – the peninsulas. Consequently, prevailing structural-tectonic models of the margin tend to be significantly oversimplified...... and inadequate. We present the first, combined onshore–offshore, model of the margin integrating onshore outcrops with potential field data, new offshore seismic reflection data and receiver-function analysis of seismic broad band data. The results reveal a margin which is far more complex than previously...... anticipated. In particular, we interpret strong margin segmentation along N/NE-striking fault structures. The structures are likely to have formed by Late Mesozoic–early Cenozoic strike-slip tectonics and have continued to be active during the late Cenozoic. A more than 8 km deep sedimentary basin...

  8. Plate tectonics, habitability and life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spohn, Tilman; Breuer, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The role of plate tectonics in defining habitability of terrestrial planets is being increasingly discussed (e.g., Elkins-Tanton, 2015). Plate tectonics is a significantly evolved concept with a large variety of aspects. In the present context, cycling of material between near surface and mantle reservoirs is most important. But increased heat transport through mixing of cold lithosphere with the deep interior and formation of continental crust may also matter. An alternative mechanism of material cycling between these reservoirs is hot-spot volcanism combined with crust delamination. Hot-spot volcanism will transport volatiles to the atmosphere while delamination will mix crust, possibly altered by sedimentation and chemical reactions, with the mantle. The mechanism works as long as the stagnant lithosphere plate has not grown thicker than the crust and as long as volcanic material is added onto the crust. Thermal evolution studies suggest that the mechanism could work for the first 1-2 Ga of planetary evolution. The efficiency of the mechanism is limited by the ratio of extrusive to intrusive volcanism, which is thought to be less than 0.25. Plate tectonics would certainly have an advantage by working even for more evolved planets. A simple, most-used concept of habitability requires the thermodynamic stability of liquid water on the surface of a planet. Cycling of CO2between the atmosphere, oceans and interior through subduction and surface volcanism is an important element of the carbonate-silicate cycle, a thermostat feedback cycle that will keep the atmosphere from entering into a runaway greenhouse. Calculations for a model Earth lacking plate tectonics but degassing CO2, N, and H2O to form a surface ocean and a secondary atmosphere (Tosi et al, 2016) suggest that liquid water can be maintained on the surface for 4.5Ga. The model planet would then qualify as habitable. It is conceivable that the CO2 buffering capability of its ocean together with silicate

  9. Time variability in Cenozoic reconstructions of mantle heat flow: plate tectonic cycles and implications for Earth's thermal evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loyd, S J; Becker, T W; Conrad, C P; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C; Corsetti, F A

    2007-09-04

    The thermal evolution of Earth is governed by the rate of secular cooling and the amount of radiogenic heating. If mantle heat sources are known, surface heat flow at different times may be used to deduce the efficiency of convective cooling and ultimately the temporal character of plate tectonics. We estimate global heat flow from 65 Ma to the present using seafloor age reconstructions and a modified half-space cooling model, and we find that heat flow has decreased by approximately 0.15% every million years during the Cenozoic. By examining geometric trends in plate reconstructions since 120 Ma, we show that the reduction in heat flow is due to a decrease in the area of ridge-proximal oceanic crust. Even accounting for uncertainties in plate reconstructions, the rate of heat flow decrease is an order of magnitude faster than estimates based on smooth, parameterized cooling models. This implies that heat flow experiences short-term fluctuations associated with plate tectonic cyclicity. Continental separation does not appear to directly control convective wavelengths, but rather indirectly affects how oceanic plate systems adjust to accommodate global heat transport. Given that today's heat flow may be unusually low, secular cooling rates estimated from present-day values will tend to underestimate the average cooling rate. Thus, a mechanism that causes less efficient tectonic heat transport at higher temperatures may be required to prevent an unreasonably hot mantle in the recent past.

  10. When Did Plate Tectonics Begin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M.

    2015-12-01

    Present-day plate tectonics on Earth is characterized by asymmetric (one-sided) subduction, but how do we recognize the imprint of subduction in the geologic record? How do we weigh global (commonly younger) vs local (commonly older) datasets or distinguish initiation from episodic from continuous subduction? How reliable are data gaps? Characteristics of the Paleozoic record of subduction include calc-alkaline magmatism, blueschist/UHP metamorphism and collisional orogenesis, and ophiolites as representatives of former ocean lithosphere. Are these characteristic rocks preserved in Proterozoic, Archean and Hadean crust? Does a hotter mantle, higher heat production and weaker lithosphere modify or eliminate these features? What preceded subduction and how do we recognize that regime? Are rock associations or geochemical fingerprints reliable? Does reworking and overprinting modify geochemical fingerprints? Proposals for the start of plate tectonics have been based on: persistence of isotope anomalies/fractionated chemical domains in the mantle; changes in chemistry of magmatic rocks, rates of crustal growth vs reworking, and sites of growth; the metamorphic record, particularly the first appearance of contrasting thermal gradients or eclogite (including evidence from mineral inclusions in diamonds) or UHP metamorphic rocks; stabilization of cratonic lithosphere and formation of supercratons, and the beginning of the Proterozoic supercontinent cycle; the end of the flat Earth, emergence of continents, development of significant topography, changes in the style of orogeny and the rise in atmospheric oxygen; and, the appearance of passive margins and changes in the style of sedimentation. Estimates of the timing have varied from the Hadean to Neoproterozoic. I will summarize evidence for a growing consensus that the late Mesoarchean to early Paleoproterozoic was a 700 Myr long period of transition to continuous (?) subduction and global (?) mobile-lid plate tectonics.

  11. Lithospheric Rheology Constrained by Loading of the Hawaiian Islands and its Implications for the Dynamics of Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, S.; Watts, A. B.

    2013-12-01

    Lithospheric rheology is important for understanding crustal and lithospheric dynamics, and the conditions for plate tectonics. For example, numerical modeling studies suggest that plate tectonics emerge from the dynamics of mantle convection when a small coefficient of friction (significantly to match the observations, together with frictional coefficient in the range from 0.1 to 0.7. However, the small coefficient of friction weakens the shallow part of the lithosphere so much that it causes the minima in strain rate and stress to occur at too large depths to be consistent with the depth distribution of seismicity at Hawaii. Our results therefore suggest that the coefficient of friction is between 0.25 and 0.7. Finally, maximum lithospheric stress under Hawaiian loads is about 100-200 MPa for models that match the observations, and this stress may be viewed as the largest lithospheric stress on the Earth.

  12. The margin between Senja and Spitsbergen fracture zones: Implications from plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhre, Annik M.; Eldholm, Olav; Sundvor, Eirik

    1982-10-01

    Analysis of multichannel seismic data from the continental margin off Svalbard between the Senja and Spitsbergen fracture zones suggests that the transition between continental and oceanic crust is located at or close to the Hornsund Fault Zone. In the Late Paleocene/Early Eoeene (57 m.y.) the region between Svalbard and Northeast-Greenland was subjected to regional shear movements associated with a transform system between the young Lofoten-Greenland Basin and the Arctic Ocean. Approximately 50 m.y. ago the spreading axis migrated to the northeast creating a deep basin north of the Greenland-Senja Fracture Zone forming the passive margin between Bear Island and 76.5°N. North of 76.5°N the regional transform was maintained. At the time of the main reorganization of relative plate motion (36 m.y.) the northern margin evolved. A continental fragment was possibly cut off from the Svalbard margin forming a small microcontinent. The microcontinent appears as the submarine ridge which has been associated with the Hovgaard Fracture Zone. It is suggested that the sediments west of the Hornsund Fault Zone are not older than Eocene in the south and mid-Oligocene in the north. The position of the spreading axis has greatly influenced the margin sedimentation.

  13. Plate Tectonic Cycle. K-6 Science Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blueford, J. R.; And Others

    Plate Tectonics Cycle is one of the units of a K-6 unified science curriculum program. The unit consists of four organizing sub-themes: (1) volcanoes (covering formation, distribution, and major volcanic groups); (2) earthquakes (with investigations on wave movements, seismograms and sub-suface earth currents); (3) plate tectonics (providing maps…

  14. Plate tectonics of the Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, D P

    1970-04-18

    The seismicity and fault plane solutions in the Mediterranean area show that two small rapidly moving plates exist in the Eastern Mediterranean, and such plates may be a common feature of contracting ocean basins. The results show that the concepts of plate tectonics apply to instantaneous motions across continental plate boundaries.

  15. Hierarchical self-organization of tectonic plates

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    The Earth's surface is subdivided into eight large tectonic plates and many smaller ones. We reconstruct the plate tessellation history and demonstrate that both large and small plates display two distinct hierarchical patterns, described by different power-law size-relationships. While small plates display little organisational change through time, the structure of the large plates oscillate between minimum and maximum hierarchical tessellations. The organization of large plates rapidly chan...

  16. Continental tectonics in the aftermath of plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar, Peter

    1988-01-01

    It is shown that the basic tenet of plate tectonics, rigid-body movements of large plates of lithosphere, fails to apply to continental interiors. There, buoyant continental crust can detach from the underlying mantle to form mountain ranges and broad zones of diffuse tectonic activity. The role of crustal blocks and of the detachment of crustal fragments in this process is discussed. Future areas of investigation are addressed.

  17. Continental tectonics in the aftermath of plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar, Peter

    1988-01-01

    It is shown that the basic tenet of plate tectonics, rigid-body movements of large plates of lithosphere, fails to apply to continental interiors. There, buoyant continental crust can detach from the underlying mantle to form mountain ranges and broad zones of diffuse tectonic activity. The role of crustal blocks and of the detachment of crustal fragments in this process is discussed. Future areas of investigation are addressed.

  18. Hierarchical self-organization of tectonic plates

    CERN Document Server

    Morra, Gabriele; Müller, R Dietmar

    2010-01-01

    The Earth's surface is subdivided into eight large tectonic plates and many smaller ones. We reconstruct the plate tessellation history and demonstrate that both large and small plates display two distinct hierarchical patterns, described by different power-law size-relationships. While small plates display little organisational change through time, the structure of the large plates oscillate between minimum and maximum hierarchical tessellations. The organization of large plates rapidly changes from a weak hierarchy at 120-100 million years ago (Ma) towards a strong hierarchy, which peaked at 65-50, Ma subsequently relaxing back towards a minimum hierarchical structure. We suggest that this fluctuation reflects an alternation between top and bottom driven plate tectonics, revealing a previously undiscovered tectonic cyclicity at a timescale of 100 million years.

  19. Earth's Decelerating Tectonic Plates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forte, A M; Moucha, R; Rowley, D B; Quere, S; Mitrovica, J X; Simmons, N A; Grand, S P

    2008-08-22

    Space geodetic and oceanic magnetic anomaly constraints on tectonic plate motions are employed to determine a new global map of present-day rates of change of plate velocities. This map shows that Earth's largest plate, the Pacific, is presently decelerating along with several other plates in the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres. These plate decelerations contribute to an overall, globally averaged slowdown in tectonic plate speeds. The map of plate decelerations provides new and unique constraints on the dynamics of time-dependent convection in Earth's mantle. We employ a recently developed convection model constrained by seismic, geodynamic and mineral physics data to show that time-dependent changes in mantle buoyancy forces can explain the deceleration of the major plates in the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres.

  20. Earth's Decelerating Tectonic Plates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forte, A M; Moucha, R; Rowley, D B; Quere, S; Mitrovica, J X; Simmons, N A; Grand, S P

    2008-08-22

    Space geodetic and oceanic magnetic anomaly constraints on tectonic plate motions are employed to determine a new global map of present-day rates of change of plate velocities. This map shows that Earth's largest plate, the Pacific, is presently decelerating along with several other plates in the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres. These plate decelerations contribute to an overall, globally averaged slowdown in tectonic plate speeds. The map of plate decelerations provides new and unique constraints on the dynamics of time-dependent convection in Earth's mantle. We employ a recently developed convection model constrained by seismic, geodynamic and mineral physics data to show that time-dependent changes in mantle buoyancy forces can explain the deceleration of the major plates in the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres.

  1. Plate tectonic raster reconstruction in GPlates

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    We describe a novel method implemented in the GPlates plate tectonic reconstruction software to interactively reconstruct arbitrarily high-resolution raster data to past geological times using a rotation model. The approach is based on the projection of geo-referenced raster data into a cube map followed by a reverse projection onto rotated tectonic plates on the surface of the globe. This decouples the rendering of a geo-referenced raster from its reconstruction, providing ...

  2. How mantle slabs drive plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Clinton P; Lithgow-Bertelloni, Carolina

    2002-10-04

    The gravitational pull of subducted slabs is thought to drive the motions of Earth's tectonic plates, but the coupling between slabs and plates is not well established. If a slab is mechanically attached to a subducting plate, it can exert a direct pull on the plate. Alternatively, a detached slab may drive a plate by exciting flow in the mantle that exerts a shear traction on the base of the plate. From the geologic history of subduction, we estimated the relative importance of "pull" versus "suction" for the present-day plates. Observed plate motions are best predicted if slabs in the upper mantle are attached to plates and generate slab pull forces that account for about half of the total driving force on plates. Slabs in the lower mantle are supported by viscous mantle forces and drive plates through slab suction.

  3. Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomberg, Joan S.; Ludwig, Kristin A.

    2017-06-19

    Most of the world’s earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions are caused by the continuous motions of the many tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s outer shell. The most powerful of these natural hazards occur in subduction zones, where two plates collide and one is thrust beneath another. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) “Reducing Risk Where Tectonic Plates Collide—A USGS Plan to Advance Subduction Zone Science” is a blueprint for building the crucial scientific foundation needed to inform the policies and practices that can make our Nation more resilient to subduction zone-related hazards.

  4. Tectonic Evolution of the Jurassic Pacific Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, M.; Ishihara, T.

    2015-12-01

    We present the tectonic evolution of the Jurassic Pacific plate based on magnetic anomly lineations and abyssal hills. The Pacific plate is the largest oceanic plate on Earth. It was born as a microplate aroud the Izanagi-Farallon-Phoenix triple junction about 192 Ma, Early Jurassic [Nakanishi et al., 1992]. The size of the Pacific plate at 190 Ma was nearly half that of the present Easter or Juan Fernandez microplates in the East Pacific Rise [Martinez et at, 1991; Larson et al., 1992]. The plate boundary surrounding the Pacific plate from Early Jurassic to Early Cretaceous involved the four triple junctions among Pacific, Izanagi, Farallon, and Phoenix plates. The major tectonic events as the formation of oceanic plateaus and microplates during the period occurred in the vicinity of the triple junctions [e.g., Nakanishi and Winterer, 1998; Nakanishi et al., 1999], implying that the study of the triple junctions is indispensable for understanding the tectonic evolution of the Pacific plate. Previous studies indicate instability of the configuration of the triple junctions from Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (155-125 Ma). On the other hand, the age of the birth of the Pacific plate was determined assuming that all triple junctions had kept their configurations for about 30 m.y. [Nakanishi et al., 1992] because of insufficient information of the tectonic history of the Pacific plate before Late Jurassic.Increase in the bathymetric and geomagnetic data over the past two decades enables us to reveal the tectonic evolution of the Pacific-Izanagi-Farallon triple junction before Late Jurassic. Our detailed identication of magnetic anomaly lineations exposes magnetic bights before anomaly M25. We found the curved abyssal hills originated near the triple junction, which trend is parallel to magnetic anomaly lineations. These results imply that the configuration of the Pacific-Izanagi-Farallon triple junction had been RRR before Late Jurassic.

  5. Spreading continents kick-started plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Patrice F; Coltice, Nicolas; Flament, Nicolas

    2014-09-18

    Stresses acting on cold, thick and negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere are thought to be crucial to the initiation of subduction and the operation of plate tectonics, which characterizes the present-day geodynamics of the Earth. Because the Earth's interior was hotter in the Archaean eon, the oceanic crust may have been thicker, thereby making the oceanic lithosphere more buoyant than at present, and whether subduction and plate tectonics occurred during this time is ambiguous, both in the geological record and in geodynamic models. Here we show that because the oceanic crust was thick and buoyant, early continents may have produced intra-lithospheric gravitational stresses large enough to drive their gravitational spreading, to initiate subduction at their margins and to trigger episodes of subduction. Our model predicts the co-occurrence of deep to progressively shallower mafic volcanics and arc magmatism within continents in a self-consistent geodynamic framework, explaining the enigmatic multimodal volcanism and tectonic record of Archaean cratons. Moreover, our model predicts a petrological stratification and tectonic structure of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle, two predictions that are consistent with xenolith and seismic studies, respectively, and consistent with the existence of a mid-lithospheric seismic discontinuity. The slow gravitational collapse of early continents could have kick-started transient episodes of plate tectonics until, as the Earth's interior cooled and oceanic lithosphere became heavier, plate tectonics became self-sustaining.

  6. Crustal Structure at the North Eastern Tip of Rivera Plate, Nayarit- Marias Islands Region: Scenarios and Tectonic Implications. Tsujal Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danobeitia, J.; Bartolome, R.; Barba, D. C., Sr.; Nunez-Cornu, F. J.; Bandy, W. L.; Prada, M.; Cameselle, A. L.; Nunez, D.; Espindola, J. M.; Estrada, F.; Zamora, A.; Gomez, A.; Ortiz, M.

    2014-12-01

    A primarily analysis of marine geophysical data acquired aboard the RRS James Cook in the framework of the project "Characterization of seismic hazard and tsunami associated with cortical contact structure Rivera Jalisco Block Plate (TSUJAL)" is presented. This survey was held in the region of Nayarit-Tres Marias Islands between February and March 2014. The examination of data recorded by 16 OBS 's, deployed along 4 wide angle seismic profiles is presented, using an airgun-array seismic source of 6800 c.i., which allows sampling the crustal structure to the Moho. The profiles are located along the margin off the Marias Islands: a profile of over 200 km NNW-SSE direction and parallel to the western flank of the Islas Marias Islands and three orthogonal thereto. These perpendicular sections sample the lithosphere from the north of Maria Madre Island with a profile of 100 km length, across Maria Magdalena and Mari Cleofas Islands, with a profile of 50 km long, till south of Maria Cleofas with a profile of 100 km long. Coincident multichannel seismic profiles with refraction ones are also surveyed, although shooting with a source of 3,540 c. i., and acquired with a digital "streamer" of 6.0 km long. Simultaneously, multibeam, parametric and potential field data were recorded during seismic acquisition A first analysis shows an anomalously thickened crust in the western flank of the Marias Islands, as indicated by relatively short pre-critical distances of 30-35 km. While the moderate dip of 7 ° of the subduction of the Pacific oceanic plate favors somehow this effect, the existence of a remnant crustal fragment is also likely. Moreover, the images provided by the parametric sounding show abundant mass wasting deposits suggesting of recent active tectonics, possibly generated by earthquakes with moderate magnitude as those reported in the Marias Islands. This set of geophysical data, not only provide valuable information for the seismogenic characterization and

  7. Energy of plate tectonics calculation and projection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. H. Swedan

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Mathematics and observations suggest that the energy of the geological activities resulting from plate tectonics is equal to the latent heat of melting, calculated at mantle's pressure, of the new ocean crust created at midocean ridges following sea floor spreading. This energy varies with the temperature of ocean floor, which is correlated with surface temperature. The objective of this manuscript is to calculate the force that drives plate tectonics, estimate the energy released, verify the calculations based on experiments and observations, and project the increase of geological activities with surface temperature rise caused by climate change.

  8. On the motion and geometry of the Sierra Nevada Great Valley micro-plate: Implications for Walker Lane tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreemer, C.; Hammond, W. C.; Blewitt, G.

    2006-12-01

    The Sierra Nevada Great Valley (SNGV) micro-plate, a.k.a. the Fresno block, has long been recognized as a tectonically stable entity within the Pacific North America plate boundary zone. Some early geodetic studies have confirmed and defined its rigid behavior. However, those studies were based on a very limited amount of geodetic station velocities, and were unable to assess the extent of rigidity towards the edges of the block. The San Andreas and Garlock fault systems define the western and southern edges of the block, but no such features are readily recognizable to the north and east, along the Walker Lane belt. A better assessment of the location of the boundary or transition between the stable SNGV block and the Walker Lane is important for three reasons. It will provide a better understanding of what controls Walker Lane development and evolution, it will provide important boundary conditions in understanding the present-day kinematics of the Walker Lane, and it is contributes to the assessment of seismic hazard levels for the Reno-Carson City area. We analyze data from all the available GPS sites in the greater SNGV region, including data from the SCIGN, BARD and BARGEN networks, semi-continuous data from our own MAGNET network, and campaign-style data (e.g., USGS, SCEC). Also we have started to analyze regional PBO sites, however time-series for most of those sites are at present too short to infer reliable velocity estimates. We use the GIPSY OASIS II software which employs precise point positioning using dual-frequency carrier phase and pseudorange data, and the precise orbit, clock, and reference frame transformation products publicly available from JPL. The analysis includes carrier phase ambiguity resolution and regional filtering. Using these velocities we perform a kinematic analysis of the station velocity solution, solving for an angular velocity that best describes the motion of the SNGV. We analyze the residuals to investigate where the SNGV

  9. Next-generation plate-tectonic reconstructions using GPlates

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Plate tectonics is the kinematic theory that describes the large-scale motions and events of the outermost shell of the solid Earth in terms of the relative motions and interactions of large, rigid, interlocking fragments of lithosphere called tectonic plates. Plates form and disappear incrementally over time as a result of tectonic processes. There are currently about a dozen major plates on the surface of the Earth, and many minor ones. The present-day configuration of tectonic plates is il...

  10. LOWLID FORMATION AND PLATE TECTONICS ON EXOPLANETS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenkovic, V.; Noack, L.; Breuer, D.

    2009-12-01

    The last years of astronomical observation have opened the doors to a universe filled with extrasolar planets. Detection techniques still only offer the possibility to detect mainly Super-Earths above five Earth masses. But detection techniques do steadily improve and are offering the possibility to detect even smaller planets. The observations show that planets seem to exist in many possible sizes just as the planets and moons of our own solar system do. It is only a natural question to ask if planetary mass has an influence on some key habitability factors such as on plate tectonics, allowing us to test which exoplanets might be more likely habitable than others, and allowing us to understand if plate tectonics on Earth is a stable or a critical, instable process that could easily be perturbed. Here we present results derived from 1D parameterized thermal evolution and 2D/3D computer models, showing how planetary mass influences the propensity of plate tectonics for planets with masses ranging from 0.1 to 10 Earth masses. Lately [2, 3] studied the effect of planetary mass on the ability to break plates and hence initiate plate tectonics - but both derived results contradictory to the other. We think that one of the reasons why both studies [2, 3] are not acceptable in their current form is partly due to an oversimplification. Both treated viscosity only temperature-dependent but neglected the effect pressure has on enlarging the viscosity in the deep mantle. More massive planets have therefore a stronger pressure-viscosity-coupling making convection at high pressures sluggish or even impossible. For planets larger than two Earth masses we observe that a conductive lid (termed low-lid) forms above the core-mantle boundary and thus reduces the effective convective part of the mantle when including a pressure-dependent term into the viscosity laws as shown in [1]. Moreover [2, 3] use time independent steady state models neglecting the fact that plate tectonics is a

  11. Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift: Classroom Ideas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Prentice K.

    1983-01-01

    Suggests various classroom studies related to plate tectonics and continental drift, including comments on and sources of resource materials useful in teaching the topics. A complete list of magazine articles on the topics from the Sawyer Marine Resource Collection may be obtained by contacting the author. (JN)

  12. Laboratory plate tectonics: a new experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gans, R F

    1976-03-26

    A "continent" made of a layer of hexagonally packed black polyethylene spheres floating in clear silicon oil breaks into subcontinents when illuminated by an ordinary incandescent light bulb. This experiment may be a useful model of plate tectonics driven by horizontal temperature gradients. Measurements of the spreading rate are made to establish the feasibility of this model.

  13. Plate tectonic raster reconstruction in GPlates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Cannon

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available We describe a novel method implemented in the GPlates plate tectonic reconstruction software to interactively reconstruct arbitrarily high-resolution raster data to past geological times using a rotation model. The approach is based on the projection of geo-referenced raster data into a cube map followed by a reverse projection onto rotated tectonic plates on the surface of the globe. This decouples the rendering of a geo-referenced raster from its reconstruction, providing a number of benefits including a simple implementation and the ability to combine rasters with different geo-referencing or inbuilt raster projections. The cube map projection is accelerated by graphics hardware in a wide variety of computer systems manufactured over the last decade. Furthermore, by integrating a multi-resolution tile partitioning into the cube map we can provide on-demand tile streaming, level-of-detail rendering and hierarchical visibility culling enabling researchers to visually explore essentially unlimited resolution geophysical raster data attached to tectonic plates and reconstructed through geological time. This capability forms the basis for interactively building and improving plate reconstructions in an iterative fashion, particularly for tectonically complex regions.

  14. A kinematic model for Afar Depression lithospheric thinning and its implications for hominid evolution: an exercise in plate-tectonic paleoanthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redfield, T.; Often, M.; Wheeler, W. H.

    2002-12-01

    We present a detailed Nubia-Arabia-Somalia (NU-AR-SOM) kinematic reconstruction based on magnetic sea floor isochrons in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea and piercing points along the Red Sea margins. The reconstruction is combined with digital topographic and depth-to-Moho data to constrain in 4D the Late Oligocene to present-day evolution of the Afar supra-Moho crust. Opposite end-member models for crustal evolution are described. We conclude that less than 20% of the present-day Afar supra-Moho crust was constructed by magmatic processes such as diking and underplating. The reconstructions indicate that the greater percentage of crustal thinning (extension) occurred before 6.2 Ma. We model the thinning of the effective elastic lithosphere that accompanied extension, and show that the regional-scale topographic development of the Afar depression was virtually complete by Mid Pliocene time. The plate-tectonic model has paleoanthropological implications. Prior to 6.2 Ma the proximal positions of NU-SOM, AR, and the Danakil block suggest subaerial conditions prevailed between Yemen and Ethiopia. Uninhibited Africa-Eurasia faunal exchange through Afar and Arabia (corroborated by isotopic and paleontologic data) was tectonically permissible until the time of the earliest hominids. Continued stretching caused the Afar land bridge(s) to disappear during Early to Mid Pliocene time. Primitive hominid populations living within the Afar Depression became isolated from AR sometime before ~3.2 Ma. With the plateau becoming less habitable due to long-term Late Neogene cooling, hominids that remained in the Afar Depression were required to adapt to a smaller range that was effectively bounded by the already well-developed NU-SOM escarpments and the newly opened Straits of Bab el Mandeb. The combination of high quality habitat,topographic confinement, and a gradual (tectonic) reduction in range, exacerbated by potentially severe fluctuations in local climate (well documented by land

  15. Plate tectonics in the late Paleozoic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew Domeier

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available As the chronicle of plate motions through time, paleogeography is fundamental to our understanding of plate tectonics and its role in shaping the geology of the present-day. To properly appreciate the history of tectonics—and its influence on the deep Earth and climate—it is imperative to seek an accurate and global model of paleogeography. However, owing to the incessant loss of oceanic lithosphere through subduction, the paleogeographic reconstruction of ‘full-plates’ (including oceanic lithosphere becomes increasingly challenging with age. Prior to 150 Ma ∼60% of the lithosphere is missing and reconstructions are developed without explicit regard for oceanic lithosphere or plate tectonic principles; in effect, reflecting the earlier mobilistic paradigm of continental drift. Although these ‘continental’ reconstructions have been immensely useful, the next-generation of mantle models requires global plate kinematic descriptions with full-plate reconstructions. Moreover, in disregarding (or only loosely applying plate tectonic rules, continental reconstructions fail to take advantage of a wealth of additional information in the form of practical constraints. Following a series of new developments, both in geodynamic theory and analytical tools, it is now feasible to construct full-plate models that lend themselves to testing by the wider Earth-science community. Such a model is presented here for the late Paleozoic (410–250 Ma together with a review of the underlying data. Although we expect this model to be particularly useful for numerical mantle modeling, we hope that it will also serve as a general framework for understanding late Paleozoic tectonics, one on which future improvements can be built and further tested.

  16. Plate tectonics in the late Paleozoic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mathew Domeier; Trond H. Torsvik

    2014-01-01

    As the chronicle of plate motions through time, paleogeography is fundamental to our understanding of plate tectonics and its role in shaping the geology of the present-day. To properly appreciate the history of tectonicsdand its influence on the deep Earth and climatedit is imperative to seek an accurate and global model of paleogeography. However, owing to the incessant loss of oceanic lithosphere through subduction, the paleogeographic reconstruction of‘full-plates’ (including oceanic lithosphere) becomes increasingly challenging with age. Prior to 150 Ma w60% of the lithosphere is missing and re-constructions are developed without explicit regard for oceanic lithosphere or plate tectonic principles;in effect, reflecting the earlier mobilistic paradigm of continental drift. Although these ‘continental’ re-constructions have been immensely useful, the next-generation of mantle models requires global plate kinematic descriptions with full-plate reconstructions. Moreover, in disregarding (or only loosely applying) plate tectonic rules, continental reconstructions fail to take advantage of a wealth of additional information in the form of practical constraints. Following a series of new developments, both in geo-dynamic theory and analytical tools, it is now feasible to construct full-plate models that lend themselves to testing by the wider Earth-science community. Such a model is presented here for the late Paleozoic (410e250 Ma) together with a review of the underlying data. Although we expect this model to be particularly useful for numerical mantle modeling, we hope that it will also serve as a general framework for understanding late Paleozoic tectonics, one on which future improvements can be built and further tested.

  17. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J; de Santana, Charles N; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-06

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  18. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-01-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics. PMID:27151103

  19. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  20. A window for plate tectonics in terrestrial planet evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Craig; Lenardic, Adrian; Weller, Matthew; Moresi, Louis; Quenette, Steve; Zhang, Siqi

    2016-06-01

    The tectonic regime of a planet depends critically on the contributions of basal and internal heating to the planetary mantle, and how these evolve through time. We use viscoplastic mantle convection simulations, with evolving core-mantle boundary temperatures, and radiogenic heat decay, to explore how these factors affect tectonic regime over the lifetime of a planet. The simulations demonstrate (i) hot, mantle conditions, coming out of a magma ocean phase of evolution, can produce a "hot" stagnant-lid regime, whilst a cooler post magma ocean mantle may begin in a plate tectonic regime; (ii) planets may evolve from an initial hot stagnant-lid condition, through an episodic regime lasting 1-3 Gyr, into a plate-tectonic regime, and finally into a cold, senescent stagnant lid regime after ∼10 Gyr of evolution, as heat production and basal temperatures wane; and (iii) the thermal state of the post magma ocean mantle, which effectively sets the initial conditions for the sub-solidus mantle convection phase of planetary evolution, is one of the most sensitive parameters affecting planetary evolution - systems with exactly the same physical parameters may exhibit completely different tectonics depending on the initial state employed. Estimates of the early Earth's temperatures suggest Earth may have begun in a hot stagnant lid mode, evolving into an episodic regime throughout most of the Archaean, before finally passing into a plate tectonic regime. The implication of these results is that, for many cases, plate tectonics may be a phase in planetary evolution between hot and cold stagnant states, rather than an end-member.

  1. History and Evolution of Precambrian plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Ria; Gerya, Taras

    2014-05-01

    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 tectonics is therefore the upper-mantle temperature, which determines the strength of the upper mantle (Brun, 2002) and the further tectonic 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 buckling and also lithospheric delamination and drip-offs. For upper-mantle temperatures > 250 K above the present day value no subduction occurs any more. The whole lithosphere is delaminating and due to strong volcanism and formation of a thicker crust subduction is inhibited. This stage of 200-250 K higher upper mantle temperature which corresponds roughly to the early Archean (Abbott, 1994) is marked by strong volcanism due to sublithospheric decompression melting which leads to an equal thickness for both oceanic and continental plates. As a consequence subduction is inhibited, but a compressional setup instead will lead to orogeny between a continental or felsic terrain and an oceanic or mafic terrain as well as internal crustal convection. Small-scale convection with plume shaped cold downwellings also in the upper mantle is of increased importance compared to the large-scale subduction cycle observed for present temperature

  2. Lasting mantle scars lead to perennial plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heron, Philip J; Pysklywec, Russell N; Stephenson, Randell

    2016-06-10

    Mid-ocean ridges, transform faults, subduction and continental collisions form the conventional theory of plate tectonics to explain non-rigid behaviour at plate boundaries. However, the theory does not explain directly the processes involved in intraplate deformation and seismicity. Recently, damage structures in the lithosphere have been linked to the origin of plate tectonics. Despite seismological imaging suggesting that inherited mantle lithosphere heterogeneities are ubiquitous, their plate tectonic role is rarely considered. Here we show that deep lithospheric anomalies can dominate shallow geological features in activating tectonics in plate interiors. In numerical experiments, we found that structures frozen into the mantle lithosphere through plate tectonic processes can behave as quasi-plate boundaries reactivated under far-field compressional forcing. Intraplate locations where proto-lithospheric plates have been scarred by earlier suturing could be regions where latent plate boundaries remain, and where plate tectonics processes are expressed as a 'perennial' phenomenon.

  3. Lasting mantle scars lead to perennial plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heron, Philip J.; Pysklywec, Russell N.; Stephenson, Randell

    2016-06-01

    Mid-ocean ridges, transform faults, subduction and continental collisions form the conventional theory of plate tectonics to explain non-rigid behaviour at plate boundaries. However, the theory does not explain directly the processes involved in intraplate deformation and seismicity. Recently, damage structures in the lithosphere have been linked to the origin of plate tectonics. Despite seismological imaging suggesting that inherited mantle lithosphere heterogeneities are ubiquitous, their plate tectonic role is rarely considered. Here we show that deep lithospheric anomalies can dominate shallow geological features in activating tectonics in plate interiors. In numerical experiments, we found that structures frozen into the mantle lithosphere through plate tectonic processes can behave as quasi-plate boundaries reactivated under far-field compressional forcing. Intraplate locations where proto-lithospheric plates have been scarred by earlier suturing could be regions where latent plate boundaries remain, and where plate tectonics processes are expressed as a `perennial' phenomenon.

  4. Relationship between plume and plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puchkov, V. N.

    2016-07-01

    The relationship between plate- and plume-tectonics is considered in view of the growth and breakdown of supercontinents, active rifting, the formation of passive volcanic-type continental margins, and the origin of time-progressive volcanic chains on oceanic and continental plates. The mantle wind phenomenon is described, as well as its effect on plume morphology and anisotropy of the ambient mantle. The interaction of plumes and mid-ocean ridges is discussed. The principles and problems of plume activity analysis in subduction- and collision-related foldbelts are considered and illustrated with examples.

  5. Seismology: tectonic strain in plate interiors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calais, E; Mattioli, G; DeMets, C; Nocquet, J-M; Stein, S; Newman, A; Rydelek, P

    2005-12-15

    It is not fully understood how or why the inner areas of tectonic plates deform, leading to large, although infrequent, earthquakes. Smalley et al. offer a potential breakthrough by suggesting that surface deformation in the central United States accumulates at rates comparable to those across plate boundaries. However, we find no statistically significant deformation in three independent analyses of the data set used by Smalley et al., and conclude therefore that only the upper bounds of magnitude and repeat time for large earthquakes can be inferred at present.

  6. Writing and Visualization for Teaching Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, S. F.

    2004-12-01

    The Theory of Plate Tectonics is probably the most important paradigm for understanding the workings of our planet. As such it is an integral part in any Introductory Geology course. Whereas geology majors usually easily embrace the Theory of Plate Tectonics, the enthusiasm for the coherence and elegance of this theory appears to be much more subdued among the majority of non-science majors. While visual and electronic media certainly support the teaching of the theory, pretty pictures and animations are not sufficient for many non-science majors to grasp the concepts of interacting lithospheric plates. It is well known that students do better in learning scientific concepts if they create their own understanding through research and inquiry-based learning, by working in the field, manipulating real earth-science data, and through writing. Writing assignments give instructors the opportunity to assess their students' learning and to clarify misconceptions yet they also have to be willing to teach students how to craft a science paper. Most electronic media and textbook-added CD-ROMs are not useful for making the structure of a science paper transparent. I found many of the necessary ingredients for effectively teaching plate tectonics in the interactive CD-ROM, "Our Dynamic Planet", developed by Wm. Prothero together with G. Kelly (University of California at Santa Barbara). It allows students to select and manipulate real earth-science data of plate-tectonically active regions, and provides an electronic interface that lets students create graphical representations of their collected data. A downloadable Teacher's Manual provides suggestions on teaching students to write a scientific argument, rooted in sound pedagogy. Originally designed for a large oceanography class, the material was modified for use in a small introductory geology class for non-science majors. Various assignments were given to instruct students in writing a scientific argument based on their

  7. Re-examination of geophysical data off Northwest India: Implications to the Late Cretaceous plate tectonics between India and Africa.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ramana, M.V.; Desa, M.; Ramprasad, T.

    processes. Late Cretaceous seafloor spreading between India and Africa formed the Mascarene Basin, and the plate reconstruction models depict unequal crustal accretion in this basin. Re-interpretation of magnetic data in the Gop and Laxmi Basins suggests...

  8. Quantitative tests for plate tectonics on Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaula, W. M.; Phillips, R. J.

    1981-01-01

    Quantitative comparisons are made between the characteristics of plate tectonics on the earth and those which are possible on Venus. Considerations of the factors influencing rise height and relating the decrease in rise height to plate velocity indicate that the rate of topographic dropoff from spreading centers should be about half that on earth due to greater rock-fluid density contrast and lower temperature differential between the surface and interior. Statistical analyses of Pioneer Venus radar altimetry data and global earth elevation data is used to identify 21,000 km of ridge on Venus and 33,000 km on earth, and reveal Venus ridges to have a less well-defined mode in crest heights and a greater concavity than earth ridges. Comparison of the Venus results with the spreading rates and associated heat flow on earth reveals plate creation rates on Venus to be 0.7 sq km/year or less and indicates that not more than 15% of Venus's energy is delivered to the surface by plate tectonics, in contrast to values of 2.9 sq km a year and 70% for earth.

  9. Caribbean tectonics and relative plate motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, K.; Dewey, J. F.; Cooper, C.; Mann, P.; Pindell, J. L.

    1984-01-01

    During the last century, three different ways of interpreting the tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean have been proposed, taking into account the Bailey Willis School of a permanent pre-Jurassic deep sea basin, the Edward Suess School of a subsided continental terrain, and the Alfred Wegener School of continental separation. The present investigation is concerned with an outline of an interpretation which follows that of Pindell and Dewey (1982). An attempt is made to point out ways in which the advanced hypotheses can be tested. The fit of Africa, North America, and South America is considered along with aspects of relative motion between North and South America since the early Jurasic. Attention is given to a framework for reconstructing Caribbean plate evolution, the evolution of the Caribbean, the plate boundary zones of the northern and southern Caribbean, and the active deformation of the Caribbean plate.

  10. A revised estimate of Pacific-North America motion and implications for Western North America plate boundary zone tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demets, Charles; Gordon, Richard G.; Stein, Seth; Argus, Donald F.

    1987-01-01

    Marine magnetic profiles from the Gulf of Californa are studied in order to revise the estimate of Pacific-North America motion. It is found that since 3 Ma spreading has averaged 48 mm/yr, consistent with a new global plate motion model derived without any data. The present data suggest that strike-slip motion on faults west of the San Andreas is less than previously thought, reducing the San Andreas discrepancy with geodetic, seismological, and other geologic observations.

  11. Inevitability of Plate Tectonics on Super-Earths

    CERN Document Server

    Valencia, Diana; Sasselov, Dimitar D

    2007-01-01

    The recent discovery of super-Earths (masses less or equal to 10 earth-masses) has initiated a discussion about conditions for habitable worlds. Among these is the mode of convection, which influences a planet's thermal evolution and surface conditions. On Earth, plate tectonics has been proposed as a necessary condition for life. Here we show, that super-Earths will also have plate tectonics. We demonstrate that as planetary mass increases, the shear stress available to overcome resistance to plate motion increases while the plate thickness decreases, thereby enhancing plate weakness. These effects contribute favorably to the subduction of the lithosphere, an essential component of plate tectonics. Moreover, uncertainties in achieving plate tectonics in the one earth-mass regime disappear as mass increases: super-Earths, even if dry, will exhibit plate tectonic behaviour.

  12. Crustal thickness controlled by plate tectonics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina M.; Meissner, Rolf

    2012-01-01

    /gabbro–eclogite phase transition in crustal evolution and the links between lithosphere recycling, mafic magmatism, and crustal underplating. We advocate that plate tectonics processes, togetherwith basalt/gabbro–eclogite transition, limit crustal thickness worldwide by providing effective mechanisms of crustal...... (lithosphere) recycling. The processes of crust–mantle interaction have created very dissimilar crustal styles in Europe, as seen by its seismic structure, crustal thickness, and average seismic velocities in the basement. Our special focus is on processes responsible for the formation of the thin crust...

  13. Metamorphism, Plate Tectonics, and the Supercontinent Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Michael

    duality of thermal regimes is the hallmark of modern plate tectonics and the duality of metamorphic belts is the characteristic imprint of plate tectonics in the rock record. The occurrence of both G-UHTM and E-HPGM belts since the Neoarchean manifests the onset of a 'Proterozoic plate tectonics regime', although the style of tectonics likely involved differences. The 'Proterozoic plate tectonics regime' evolved during a Neoproterozoic transition to the 'modern plate tectonics regime' characterized by colder subduction and subduction of continental crust deep into the mantle and its (partial) return from depths of up to 300 km, as chronicled by the appearance of HPM-UHPM in the rock record. The age distribution of metamorphic belts that record extreme conditions of metamorphism is not uniform, and metamorphism occurs in periods that correspond to amalgamation of continental lithosphere into supercratons (e.g. Superia/Sclavia) or supercontinents (e.g. Nuna (Columbia), Rodinia, Gondwana, and Pangea).

  14. A Review of the Isotopic and Trace Element Evidence for Mantle and Crustal Processes in the Hadean and Archean: implications for the Onset of Plate Tectonic Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Katie A.; Tappe, Sebastian; Stern, Richard A.; Webb, Susan J.; Ashwal, Lewis D.

    2016-03-01

    Plate tectonics plays a vital role in the evolution of our planet. Geochemical analysis of Earth’s oldest continental crust suggests that subduction may have begun episodically about 3.8 to 3.2 billion years ago, during the early Archaean or perhaps more than 3.8 billion years ago, during the Hadean. Yet, mantle rocks record evidence for modern-style plate tectonics beginning only in the late Archaean, about 3 billion years ago. Here we analyse the nitrogen abundance, as well as the nitrogen and carbon isotopic signatures of Archaean placer diamonds from the Kaapvaal craton, South Africa, which formed in the upper mantle 3.1 to 3.5 billion years ago. We find that the diamonds have enriched nitrogen contents and isotopic compositions compared with typical mantle values. This nitrogen geochemical fingerprint could have been caused by contamination of the mantle by nitrogen-rich Archaean sediments. Furthermore, the carbon isotopic signature suggests that the diamonds formed by reduction of an oxidized fluid or melt. Assuming that the Archaean mantle was more reduced than the modern mantle, we argue that the oxidized components were introduced to the mantle by crustal recycling at subduction zones. We conclude, on the basis of evidence from mantle-derived diamonds, that modern-style plate tectonics operated as early as 3.5 billion years ago.

  15. Evidence for relative motions between the Indian and Australian Plates during the last 20 m.y. from plate tectonic reconstructions: Implications for the deformation of the Indo-Australian Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, Jean-Yves; Chang, Ted

    1991-07-01

    We use plate tectonic reconstructions to establish whether motions between India and Australia occurred since chron 18 (43 Ma). We test the Africa/Antarctica/Australia/India plate circuit closure at chrons 5 (10 Ma), 6 (21 Ma) and 13 (36 Ma) using a compilation of magnetic anomalies and fracture zone traces from the Southeast, Southwest, Central Indian and the Carlsberg ridges. Additional reconstructions at chrons 23 (55 Ma) and 26 (61 Ma) are used to estimate the overall motion between India and Australia. Relative motions between the Indian and Australian plates are estimated using the plate circuit India → Africa → Australia. A new statistical approach, based on spherical regression analyses, is used to assess the uncertainty of the "best-fitting" finite rotations from the uncertainties in the data. The uncertainty in a rotation is described by a covariance matrix directly related to the geometry of the reconstructed plate boundary, to the distribution and estimated errors of the data points along it. Our parameterization of the rotations allows for simple combination of the rotation uncertainties along a plate circuit path. Results for chron 5 are remarkably consistent with present-day kinematics in the Indian Ocean, except that the Arabian and Indian plates are found to be separate plates. Comparisons of the motions between the Indian and African plates across the Carlsberg Ridge with that between the Australian and African plates across the Central Indian Ridge evidence a significant counterclockwise rotation of the Australian plate relative to the Indian plate about a pole located in the Central Indian Basin. The determinations are consistent for chrons 26, 13, 6 and 5. Determination at chron 23 is different but questionable due to the small number of available data. We propose two alternative solutions that both predict convergence within the Wharton and Central Indian basins and extension in the vicinity of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge. The first

  16. Plate tectonics and hotspots: the third dimension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D L; Tanimoto, T; Zhang, Y S

    1992-06-19

    High-resolution seismic tomographic models of the upper mantle provide powerful new constraints on theories of plate tectonics and hotspots. Midocean ridges have extremely low seismic velocities to a depth of 100 kilometers. These low velocities imply partial melting. At greater depths, low-velocity and high-velocity anomalies record, respectively, previous positions of migrating ridges and trenches. Extensional, rifting, and hotspot regions have deep (> 200 kilometers) low-velocity anomalies. The upper mantle is characterized by vast domains of high temperature rather than small regions surrounding hotspots; the asthenosphere is not homogeneous or isothermal. Extensive magmatism requires a combination of hot upper mantle and suitable lithospheric conditions. High-velocity regions of the upper 200 kilometers of the mantle correlate with Archean cratons.

  17. Crustal thickness controlled by plate tectonics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina M.; Meissner, Rolf

    2012-01-01

    The continental crust on Earth cannot be extracted directly from the mantle, and the primary crust extracted directly from an early magma ocean is not preserved on Earth. We review geophysical and geochemical aspects of global crust–mantle material exchange processes and examine the processes which...... magmatism. While both subduction and delamination recycle crustal material into the mantle, mafic magmatism transports mantle material upward and participates in growth of newoceanic and continental crusts and significant structural and chemicalmodification of the latter. We discuss the role of basalt....../gabbro–eclogite phase transition in crustal evolution and the links between lithosphere recycling, mafic magmatism, and crustal underplating. We advocate that plate tectonics processes, togetherwith basalt/gabbro–eclogite transition, limit crustal thickness worldwide by providing effective mechanisms of crustal...

  18. Is plate tectonics needed to evolve technological species on exoplanets?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Stern

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available As we continue searching for exoplanets, we wonder if life and technological species capable of communicating with us exists on any of them. As geoscientists, we can also wonder how important is the presence or absence of plate tectonics for the evolution of technological species. This essay considers this question, focusing on tectonically active rocky (silicate planets, like Earth, Venus, and Mars. The development of technological species on Earth provides key insights for understanding evolution on exoplanets, including the likely role that plate tectonics may play. An Earth-sized silicate planet is likely to experience several tectonic styles over its lifetime, as it cools and its lithosphere thickens, strengthens, and becomes denser. These include magma ocean, various styles of stagnant lid, and perhaps plate tectonics. Abundant liquid water favors both life and plate tectonics. Ocean is required for early evolution of diverse single-celled organisms, then colonies of cells which specialized further to form guts, appendages, and sensory organisms up to the complexity of fish (central nervous system, appendages, eyes. Large expanses of dry land also begin in the ocean, today produced above subduction zones in juvenile arcs and by their coalescence to form continents, although it is not clear that plate tectonics was required to create continental crust on Earth. Dry land of continents is required for further evolution of technological species, where modification of appendages for grasping and manipulating, and improvement of eyes and central nervous system could be perfected. These bioassets allowed intelligent creatures to examine the night sky and wonder, the beginning of abstract thinking, including religion and science. Technology arises from the exigencies of daily living such as tool-making, agriculture, clothing, and weapons, but the pace of innovation accelerates once it is allied with science. Finally, the importance of plate

  19. Plate tectonics and planetary habitability: current status and future challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korenaga, Jun

    2012-07-01

    Plate tectonics is one of the major factors affecting the potential habitability of a terrestrial planet. The physics of plate tectonics is, however, still far from being complete, leading to considerable uncertainty when discussing planetary habitability. Here, I summarize recent developments on the evolution of plate tectonics on Earth, which suggest a radically new view on Earth dynamics: convection in the mantle has been speeding up despite its secular cooling, and the operation of plate tectonics has been facilitated throughout Earth's history by the gradual subduction of water into an initially dry mantle. The role of plate tectonics in planetary habitability through its influence on atmospheric evolution is still difficult to quantify, and, to this end, it will be vital to better understand a coupled core-mantle-atmosphere system in the context of solar system evolution. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  20. Lasting mantle scars lead to perennial plate tectonics

    OpenAIRE

    Heron, Philip J.; Pysklywec, Russell N.; Stephenson, Randell

    2016-01-01

    Mid-ocean ridges, transform faults, subduction and continental collisions form the conventional theory of plate tectonics to explain non-rigid behaviour at plate boundaries. However, the theory does not explain directly the processes involved in intraplate deformation and seismicity. Recently, damage structures in the lithosphere have been linked to the origin of plate tectonics. Despite seismological imaging suggesting that inherited mantle lithosphere heterogeneities are ubiquitous, their p...

  1. This dynamic earth: the story of plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kious, W. Jacquelyne; Tilling, Robert I.

    1996-01-01

    In the early 1960s, the emergence of the theory of plate tectonics started a revolution in the earth sciences. Since then, scientists have verified and refined this theory, and now have a much better understanding of how our planet has been shaped by plate-tectonic processes. We now know that, directly or indirectly, plate tectonics influences nearly all geologic processes, past and present. Indeed, the notion that the entire Earth's surface is continually shifting has profoundly changed the way we view our world.People benefit from, and are at the mercy of, the forces and consequences of plate tectonics. With little or no warning, an earthquake or volcanic eruption can unleash bursts of energy far more powerful than anything we can generate. While we have no control over plate-tectonic processes, we now have the knowledge to learn from them. The more we know about plate tectonics, the better we can appreciate the grandeur and beauty of the land upon which we live, as well as the occasional violent displays of the Earth's awesome power.This booklet gives a brief introduction to the concept of plate tectonics and complements the visual and written information in This Dynamic Planet (see Further reading), a map published in 1994 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Smithsonian Institution. The booklet highlights some of the people and discoveries that advanced the development of the theory and traces its progress since its proposal. Although the general idea of plate tectonics is now widely accepted, many aspects still continue to confound and challenge scientists. The earth-science revolution launched by the theory of plate tectonics is not finished.

  2. Looking for Plate Tectonics in all the wrong fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davaille, Anne

    2017-04-01

    Ever since the theory of Plate Tectonics in the 1960's, the dream of the geomodeler has been to generate plate tectonics self-consistently from thermal convection in the laboratory. By selfconsistenly, I mean that the configuration of the plate boundaries is in no way specified a priori, so that the plates develop and are wholly consumed without intervention from the modeler. The reciepe is simple : put a well-chosen fluid in a fishtank heated from below and cooled from above, wait and see. But the « well-chosen » is the difficult part... and the interesting one. Plate tectonics is occuring on Earth because of the characteristics of the lithosphere rheology. The latter are complex to estimate as they depend on temperature, pressure, phase, water content, chemistry, strain rate, memory and scale. As a result, the ingredients necessary for plate tectonics are still debated, and it would be useful to find an analog fluid who could reproduce plate tectonics in the laboratory. I have therefore spent the last 25 years to try out fluids, and I shall present a number of failures to generate plate tectonics using polymers, colloids, ketchup, milk, chocolate, sugar, oils. To understand why they failed is important to narrow down the « well-chosen » fluid.

  3. Plate Tectonics: A Framework for Understanding Our Living Planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achache, Jose

    1987-01-01

    Discusses some of the events leading to the development of the theory of plate tectonics. Describes how seismic, volcanic, and tectonic features observed at the surface of the planet are now seen as a consequence of intense internal activity, and makes suggestions about their further investigation. (TW)

  4. On the breakup of tectonic plates by polar wandering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, H.-S.

    1974-01-01

    The equations for the stresses in a homogeneous shell of uniform thickness caused by a shift of the axis of rotation are derived. The magnitude of these stresses reaches a maximum value of the order of 10 to the 9th power dyn/sq cm, which is sufficient for explaining a tectonic breakup. In order to deduce the fracture pattern according to which the breakup of tectonic plates can be expected the theory of plastic deformation of shells is applied. The analysis of this pattern gives an explanation of the existing boundary systems of the major tectonic plates as described by Morgan (1968), LePichon (1968) and Isacks et al. (1968).

  5. The present-day number of tectonic plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Christopher G. A.

    2016-03-01

    The number of tectonic plates on Earth described in the literature has expanded greatly since the start of the plate tectonic era, when only about a dozen plates were considered in global models of present-day plate motions. With new techniques of more accurate earthquake epicenter locations, modern ways of measuring ocean bathymetry using swath mapping, and the use of space based geodetic techniques, there has been a huge growth in the number of plates thought to exist. The study by Bird (2003) proposed 52 plates, many of which were delineated on the basis of earthquake locations. Because of the pattern of areas of these plates, he suggested that there should be more small plates than he could identify. In this paper, I gather together publications that have proposed a total of 107 new plates, giving 159 plates in all. The largest plate (Pacific) is about 20 % of the Earth's area or 104 Mm2, and the smallest of which (Plate number 5 from Hammond et al. 2011) is only 273 km2 in area. Sorting the plates by size allows us to investigate how size varies as a function of order. There are several changes of slope in the plots of plate number organized by size against plate size order which are discussed. The sizes of the largest seven plates is constrained by the area of the Earth. A middle set of 73 plates down to an area of 97,563 km2 (the Danakil plate at number 80, is the plate of median size) follows a fairly regular pattern of plate size as a function of plate number. For smaller plates, there is a break in the slope of the plate size/plate number plot and the next 32 plates follow a pattern of plate size proposed by the models of Koehn et al. (2008) down to an area of 11,638 km2 (West Mojave plate # 112). Smaller plates do not follow any regular pattern of area as a function of plate number, probably because we have not sampled enough of these very small plates to reveal any clear pattern.

  6. Optimal Planet Properties For Plate Tectonics Through Time And Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenkovic, Vlada; Seager, Sara

    2014-11-01

    Both the time and the location of planet formation shape a rocky planet’s mass, interior composition and structure, and hence also its tectonic mode. The tectonic mode of a planet can vary between two end-member solutions, plate tectonics and stagnant lid convection, and does significantly impact outgassing and biogeochemical cycles on any rocky planet. Therefore, estimating how the tectonic mode of a planet is affected by a planet’s age, mass, structure, and composition is a major step towards understanding habitability of exoplanets and geophysical false positives to biosignature gases. We connect geophysics to astronomy in order to understand how we could identify and where we could find planet candidates with optimal conditions for plate tectonics. To achieve this goal, we use thermal evolution models, account for the current wide range of uncertainties, and simulate various alien planets. Based on our best model estimates, we predict that the ideal targets for plate tectonics are oxygen-dominated (C/O<1) (solar system like) rocky planets of ~1 Earth mass with surface oceans, large metallic cores super-Mercury, rocky body densities of ~7000kgm-3), and with small mantle concentrations of iron 0%), water 0%), and radiogenic isotopes 10 times less than Earth). Super-Earths, undifferentiated planets, and especially hypothetical carbon planets, speculated to consist of SiC and C, are not optimal for the occurrence of plate tectonics. These results put Earth close to an ideal compositional and structural configuration for plate tectonics. Moreover, the results indicate that plate tectonics might have never existed on planets formed soon after the Big Bang—but instead is favored on planets formed from an evolved interstellar medium enriched in iron but depleted in silicon, oxygen, and especially in Th, K, and U relative to iron. This possibly sets a belated Galactic start for complex Earth-like surface life if plate tectonics significantly impacts the build up

  7. Petroleum and natural gas geology and plate tectonics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koebel, B.

    1984-01-01

    Several processes of oil and gas geology are studied in connection with plate-tectonical processes. Thus it becomes clear, that there is a distinct difference between the Paleozoic development of the European plate and the Mesozoic development. One can state, that the Paleozoic development is essentially influenced by the positions of the mobile belts and the cratonized parts of the plates. The development during Meso-Caenozoic is mainly characterized by crustal processes in the result of the disintegration of Pangaea.

  8. Plate Tectonics and Taiwan Orogeny based on TAIGER Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, F. T.; Kuochen, H.; McIntosh, K. D.

    2014-12-01

    Plate tectonics framework is usually complex in a collision zone, where continental lithosphere is involved. In the young Taiwan orogeny, with geologic understanding and large new geodetic and subsurface datasets now available an environment has been created for testing tectonic hypotheses regarding collision and orogeny. Against the background of the commonly accepted view of Taiwan as a southward propagating, self-similar 2-D orogen, a fully 3-D structure is envisaged. Along the whole length of the island the convergence of the Eurasian plate (EUP) the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) takes shape with different plate configurations. In northern Taiwan the convergence occurs with simultaneous collision of the oceanic PSP with continental EUP and the northward subduction of the PSP; in the south, EUP, in the guise of the South China Sea rifted Eurasian continent, subducts toward the east; in central Taiwan collision of oceanic PSP with continental EUP dominates. When relocated seismicity and focal mechanisms are superposed on subsurface P and Vp/Vs velocity images the configurations and the kinematics of the PSP and EUP collision and subduction become clear. While in northern Taiwan the subduction/collision explains well the high peaks and their dwindling (accompanied by crustal thinning) toward the north. In the south, mountains rise above the east-dipping EUP subduction zone as the Eurasian continental shelf veers toward the southwest, divergent from the trend of the Luzon Arc - calling into question the frequently cited arc-continent collision model of Taiwan orogeny. High velocity anomaly and Benioff seismicity coexist in the south. Going north toward Central Taiwan the high velocity anomaly persists for another 150 km or so, but it becomes seismically quiescent. Above the quiescent section the PSP and EUP collide to build the main part of the Central Range and its parallel neighbor the eastern Coastal Range. Key implications regarding orogeny include: 1) Significant

  9. Magma genesis, plate tectonics, and chemical differentiation of the Earth

    OpenAIRE

    Wyllie, Peter J.

    1988-01-01

    Magma genesis, migration, and eruption have played prominent roles in the chemical differentiation of the Earth. Plate tectonics has provided the framework of tectonic environments for different suites of igneous rocks and the dynamic mechanisms for moving masses of rock into melting regions. Petrology is rooted in geophysics. Petrological and geophysical processes are calibrated by the phase equilibria of the materials. The geochemistry of basalts and mantle xenoliths demonstrates that the m...

  10. A planetary perspective on Earth evolution: Lid Tectonics before Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piper, John D. A.

    2013-03-01

    Plate Tectonics requires a specific range of thermal, fluid and compositional conditions before it will operate to mobilise planetary lithospheres. The response to interior heat dispersion ranges from mobile lids in constant motion able to generate zones of subduction and spreading (Plate Tectonics), through styles of Lid Tectonics expressed by stagnant lids punctured by volcanism, to lids alternating between static and mobile. The palaeomagnetic record through Earth history provides a test for tectonic style because a mobile Earth of multiple continents is recorded by diverse apparent polar wander paths, whilst Lid Tectonics is recorded by conformity to a single position. The former is difficult to isolate without extreme selection whereas the latter is a demanding requirement and easily recognised. In the event, the Precambrian palaeomagnetic database closely conforms to this latter property over very long periods of time (~ 2.7-2.2 Ga, 1.5-1.3 Ga and 0.75-0.6 Ga); intervening intervals are characterised by focussed loops compatible with episodes of true polar wander stimulated by disturbances to the planetary figure. Because of this singular property, the Precambrian palaeomagnetic record is highly effective in showing that a dominant Lid Tectonics operated throughout most of Earth history. A continental lid comprising at least 60% of the present continental area and volume had achieved quasi-integrity by 2.7 Ga. Reconfiguration of mantle and continental lid at ~ 2.2 Ga correlates with isotopic signatures and the Great Oxygenation Event and is the closest analogy in Earth history to the resurfacing of Venus. Change from Lid Tectonics to Plate Tectonics is transitional and the geological record identifies incipient development of Plate Tectonics on an orogenic scale especially after 1.1 Ga, but only following break-up of the continental lid (Palaeopangaea) in Ediacaran times beginning at ~ 0.6 Ga has it become comprehensive in the style evident during the

  11. Andean tectonics: Implications for Satellite Geodesy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allenby, R. J.

    1984-01-01

    Current knowledge and theories of large scale Andean tectonics as they relate to site planning for the NASA Crustal Dynamics Program's proposed high precision geodetic measurements of relative motions between the Nazca and South American plates are summarized. The Nazca Plate and its eastern margin, the Peru-Chile Trench, is considered a prototype plate marked by rapid motion, strong seismicity and well defined boundaries. Tectonic activity across the Andes results from the Nazca Plate subducting under the South American plate in a series of discrete platelets with different widths and dip angles. This in turn, is reflected in the tectonic complexity of the Andes which are a multitutde of orogenic belts superimposed on each other since the Precambrian. Sites for Crustal Dynamics Program measurements are being located to investigate both interplate and extraplate motions. Observing operations have already been initiated at Arequipa, Peru and Easter Island, Santiago and Cerro Tololo, Chile. Sites under consideration include Iquique, Chile; Oruro and Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Cuzco, Lima, Huancayo and Bayovar, Peru; and Quito and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Based on scientific considerations, Santa Cruz, Huancayo (or Lima), Quito and the Galapagos Islands should be replaced by Isla San Felix, Chile; Brazilia or Petrolina, Brazil; and Guayaquil, Ecuador. If resources permit, additional important sites would be Buenaventura and Villavicencio or Puerto La Concordia, Colombia; and Mendoza and Cordoba, Argentina.

  12. Andean tectonics: Implications for Satellite Geodesy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allenby, R. J.

    1984-09-01

    Current knowledge and theories of large scale Andean tectonics as they relate to site planning for the NASA Crustal Dynamics Program's proposed high precision geodetic measurements of relative motions between the Nazca and South American plates are summarized. The Nazca Plate and its eastern margin, the Peru-Chile Trench, is considered a prototype plate marked by rapid motion, strong seismicity and well defined boundaries. Tectonic activity across the Andes results from the Nazca Plate subducting under the South American plate in a series of discrete platelets with different widths and dip angles. This in turn, is reflected in the tectonic complexity of the Andes which are a multitutde of orogenic belts superimposed on each other since the Precambrian. Sites for Crustal Dynamics Program measurements are being located to investigate both interplate and extraplate motions. Observing operations have already been initiated at Arequipa, Peru and Easter Island, Santiago and Cerro Tololo, Chile. Sites under consideration include Iquique, Chile; Oruro and Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Cuzco, Lima, Huancayo and Bayovar, Peru; and Quito and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Based on scientific considerations, Santa Cruz, Huancayo (or Lima), Quito and the Galapagos Islands should be replaced by Isla San Felix, Chile; Brazilia or Petrolina, Brazil; and Guayaquil, Ecuador. If resources permit, additional important sites would be Buenaventura and Villavicencio or Puerto La Concordia, Colombia; and Mendoza and Cordoba, Argentina.

  13. Dynamic Analysis of Modifications to Simple Plate Tectonic Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paczkowski, Karen

    A number of geological and geophysical observations suggest significant departures from simple, first-order plate tectonic theory. In this thesis we address the dynamic implications of some of these observations and propose generalized theories to explain their dynamics and conditions of formation. In Chapter 2, we develop a generalized theory and analytic model to predict the conditions under which large-volume removal of continental lithosphere can occur through the formation of drip instabilities. Using damage physics relevant for Earth, we find a large portion of the lithosphere may be mobilized and entrained into growing drip instabilities. For a critical amount of damage, the growth is accelerated sufficiently that large-volume drip instabilities may form within geologically feasible time frames. Our model suggests large-volume lithospheric drip instabilities may arise independently of tectonic settings through damage-assisted mobilization and entrainment of the highly viscous lithosphere. In Chapter 3, we develop a mechanical model independent of volcanism and thermal weakening to explain the initial formation and length scale of rifting and extension near convergent plate boundaries. We conduct a linear stability analysis of a simple viscous necking model, which includes the lithosphere's negative buoyancy, non-Newtonian rheology, and freely moving top surface, to determine which properties of the lithosphere govern the location of rifting. We find that the negative buoyancy of the lithosphere promotes the formation of rifting structures when simple Newtonian viscosities are present. However, localized weakening, introduced through a power law exponent, is required to generate realistic rifting length scales. Our model suggests that the initial location of rifting in the overriding plate at subduction zones is primarily due to the mechanical extension induced by rollback of the subducting slab. In Chapter 4, we propose a theory to explain the seismic

  14. Plate tectonic history of the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

    Tectonic development of the Arctic Ocean is outlined, and geological maps are provided for the Arctic during the mid-Cenozoic, later Cretaceous, late Jurassic, early Cretaceous, early Jurassic and late Devonian. It is concluded that Arctic basin history is moulded by the events of the following intervals: (1) continental collision and immediately subsequent rifting and ocean formation in the Devonian, and continental rifting ocean formation, rapid rotation of microcontinents, and another episode of collision in the latest Jurassic and Cretaceous. It is noted that Cenozoic Arctic basin formation is a smaller scale event superimposed on the late Mesozoic ocean basin.

  15. Plate tectonic history of the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

    Tectonic development of the Arctic Ocean is outlined, and geological maps are provided for the Arctic during the mid-Cenozoic, later Cretaceous, late Jurassic, early Cretaceous, early Jurassic and late Devonian. It is concluded that Arctic basin history is moulded by the events of the following intervals: (1) continental collision and immediately subsequent rifting and ocean formation in the Devonian, and continental rifting ocean formation, rapid rotation of microcontinents, and another episode of collision in the latest Jurassic and Cretaceous. It is noted that Cenozoic Arctic basin formation is a smaller scale event superimposed on the late Mesozoic ocean basin.

  16. Numerical modelling of instantaneous plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minster, J. B.; Haines, E.; Jordan, T. H.; Molnar, P.

    1974-01-01

    Assuming lithospheric plates to be rigid, 68 spreading rates, 62 fracture zones trends, and 106 earthquake slip vectors are systematically inverted to obtain a self-consistent model of instantaneous relative motions for eleven major plates. The inverse problem is linearized and solved iteratively by a maximum-likelihood procedure. Because the uncertainties in the data are small, Gaussian statistics are shown to be adequate. The use of a linear theory permits (1) the calculation of the uncertainties in the various angular velocity vectors caused by uncertainties in the data, and (2) quantitative examination of the distribution of information within the data set. The existence of a self-consistent model satisfying all the data is strong justification of the rigid plate assumption. Slow movement between North and South America is shown to be resolvable.

  17. Plate Tectonism on Early Mars: Diverse Geological and Geophysical Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohm, J. M.; Maruyama, S.; Baker, V. R.; Anderson, R. C.; Ferris, Justin C.; Hare, Trent M.

    2002-01-01

    Mars has been modified by endogenic and exogenic processes similar in many ways to Earth. However, evidence of Mars embryonic development is preserved because of low erosion rates and stagnant lid convective conditions since the Late Noachian. Early plate tectonism can explain such evidence. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  18. Junior Secondary School Students' Conceptions about Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Reece; Tomas, Louisa; Lewthwaite, Brian

    2017-01-01

    There are ongoing calls for research that identifies students' conceptions about geographical phenomena. In response, this study investigates junior secondary school students' (N = 95) conceptions about plate tectonics. Student response data was generated from semi-structured interviews-about-instances and a two-tiered multiple-choice test…

  19. Plate tectonics: Delayed response to mantle pull

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedimović, Mladen R.

    2016-08-01

    At mid-ocean ridges, the directions in which plates spread and the underlying mantle flows were thought to broadly align. A synthesis of results from ridges that spread at a variety of rates reveals that instead there may be a systematic skew.

  20. Extending Alaska's plate boundary: tectonic tremor generated by Yakutat subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wech, Aaron G.

    2016-01-01

    The tectonics of the eastern end of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone are complicated by the inclusion of the Yakutat microplate, which is colliding into and subducting beneath continental North America at near-Pacific-plate rates. The interaction among these plates at depth is not well understood, and further east, even less is known about the plate boundary or the source of Wrangell volcanism. The drop-off in Wadati-Benioff zone (WBZ) seismicity could signal the end of the plate boundary, the start of aseismic subduction, or a tear in the downgoing plate. Further compounding the issue is the possible presence of the Wrangell slab, which is faintly outlined by an anemic, eastward-dipping WBZ beneath the Wrangell volcanoes. In this study, I performed a search for tectonic tremor to map slow, plate-boundary slip in south-central Alaska. I identified ∼11,000 tremor epicenters, which continue 85 km east of the inferred Pacific plate edge marked by WBZ seismicity. The tremor zone coincides with the edges of the downgoing Yakutat terrane, and tremors transition from periodic to continuous behavior as they near the aseismic Wrangell slab. I interpret tremor to mark slow, semicontinuous slip occurring at the interface between the Yakutat and North America plates. The slow slip region lengthens the megathrust interface beyond the WBZ and may provide evidence for a connection between the Yakutat slab and the aseismic Wrangell slab.

  1. Inversion for the driving forces of plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, R. M.

    1983-01-01

    Inverse modeling techniques have been applied to the problem of determining the roles of various forces that may drive and resist plate tectonic motions. Separate linear inverse problems have been solved to find the best fitting pole of rotation for finite element grid point velocities and to find the best combination of force models to fit the observed relative plate velocities for the earth's twelve major plates using the generalized inverse operator. Variance-covariance data on plate motion have also been included. Results emphasize the relative importance of ridge push forces in the driving mechanism. Convergent margin forces are smaller by at least a factor of two, and perhaps by as much as a factor of twenty. Slab pull, apparently, is poorly transmitted to the surface plate as a driving force. Drag forces at the base of the plate are smaller than ridge push forces, although the sign of the force remains in question.

  2. Inversion for the driving forces of plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, R. M.

    1983-01-01

    Inverse modeling techniques have been applied to the problem of determining the roles of various forces that may drive and resist plate tectonic motions. Separate linear inverse problems have been solved to find the best fitting pole of rotation for finite element grid point velocities and to find the best combination of force models to fit the observed relative plate velocities for the earth's twelve major plates using the generalized inverse operator. Variance-covariance data on plate motion have also been included. Results emphasize the relative importance of ridge push forces in the driving mechanism. Convergent margin forces are smaller by at least a factor of two, and perhaps by as much as a factor of twenty. Slab pull, apparently, is poorly transmitted to the surface plate as a driving force. Drag forces at the base of the plate are smaller than ridge push forces, although the sign of the force remains in question.

  3. Scaling of plate-tectonic convection with pseudoplastic rheology

    CERN Document Server

    Korenaga, Jun

    2010-01-01

    The scaling of plate-tectonic convection is investigated by simulating thermal convection with pseudoplastic rheology and strongly temperature-dependent viscosity. The effect of mantle melting is also explored with additional depth-dependent viscosity. Heat-flow scaling can be constructed with only two parameters, the internal Rayleigh number and the lithospheric viscosity contrast, the latter of which is determined entirely by rheological properties. The critical viscosity contrast for the transition between plate-tectonic and stagnant-lid convection is found to be proportional to the square root of the internal Rayleigh number. The relation between mantle temperature and surface heat flux on Earth is discussed on the basis of these scaling laws, and the inverse relationship between them, as previously suggested from the consideration of global energy balance, is confirmed by this fully dynamic approach. In the presence of surface water to reduce the effective friction coefficient, the operation of plate tec...

  4. Beyond plate tectonics - Looking at plate deformation with space geodesy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Thomas H.; Minster, J. Bernard

    1988-01-01

    The requirements that must be met by space-geodetic systems in order to constrain the horizontal secular motions associated with the geological deformation of the earth's surface are explored. It is suggested that in order to improve existing plate-motion models, the tangential components of relative velocities on interplate baselines must be resolved to an accuracy of less than 3 mm/yr. Results indicate that measuring the velocities between crustal blocks to + or - 5 mm/yr on 100-km to 1000-km scales can produce geologically significant constraints on the integrated deformation rates across continental plate-boundary zones such as the western United States.

  5. Beyond plate tectonics - Looking at plate deformation with space geodesy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Thomas H.; Minster, J. Bernard

    1988-01-01

    The requirements that must be met by space-geodetic systems in order to constrain the horizontal secular motions associated with the geological deformation of the earth's surface are explored. It is suggested that in order to improve existing plate-motion models, the tangential components of relative velocities on interplate baselines must be resolved to an accuracy of less than 3 mm/yr. Results indicate that measuring the velocities between crustal blocks to + or - 5 mm/yr on 100-km to 1000-km scales can produce geologically significant constraints on the integrated deformation rates across continental plate-boundary zones such as the western United States.

  6. Global Dynamic Numerical Simulations of Plate Tectonic Reorganizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morra, G.; Quevedo, L.; Butterworth, N.; Matthews, K. J.; Müller, D.

    2010-12-01

    We use a new numerical approach for global geodynamics to investigate the origin of present global plate motion and to identify the causes of the last two global tectonic reorganizations occurred about 50 and 100 million years ago (Ma) [1]. While the 50 Ma event is the most well-known global plate-mantle event, expressed by the bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor volcanic chain, a prominent plate reorganization at about 100 Ma, although presently little studied, is clearly indicated by a major bend in the fracture zones in the Indian Ocean and by a change in Pacific plate motion [2]. Our workflow involves turning plate reconstructions into surface meshes that are subsequently employed as initial conditions for global Boundary Element numerical models. The tectonic setting that anticipates the reorganizations is processed with the software GPlates, combining the 3D mesh of the paleo-plate morphology and the reconstruction of paleo-subducted slabs, elaborated from tectonic history [3]. All our models involve the entire planetary system, are fully dynamic, have free surface, are characterized by a spectacular computational speed due to the simultaneous use of the multi-pole algorithm and the Boundary Element formulation and are limited only by the use of sharp material property variations [4]. We employ this new tool to unravel the causes of plate tectonic reorganizations, producing and comparing global plate motion with the reconstructed ones. References: [1] Torsvik, T., Müller, R.D., Van der Voo, R., Steinberger, B., and Gaina, C., 2008, Global Plate Motion Frames: Toward a unified model: Reviews in Geophysics, VOL. 46, RG3004, 44 PP., 2008 [2] Wessel, P. and Kroenke, L.W. Pacific absolute plate motion since 145 Ma: An assessment of the fixed hot spot hypothesis. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 113, B06101, 2008 [3] L. Quevedo, G. Morra, R. D. Mueller. Parallel Fast Multipole Boundary Element Method for Crustal Dynamics, Proceeding 9th World Congress and 4th Asian

  7. Creep of phyllosilicates at the onset of plate tectonics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amiguet, Elodie; Reynard, Bruno; Caracas, Razvan; Van de Moortele, Bertrand; Hilairet, Nadege; Wang, Yanbin (ENSL); (UC)

    2012-10-24

    Plate tectonics is the unifying paradigm of geodynamics yet the mechanisms and causes of its initiation remain controversial. Some models suggest that plate tectonics initiates when the strength of lithosphere is lower than 20-200 MPa, below the frictional strength of lithospheric rocks (>700 MPa). At present-day, major plate boundaries such as the subduction interface, transform faults, and extensional faults at mid-oceanic ridge core complexes indicate a transition from brittle behaviour to stable sliding at depths between 10 and 40 km, in association with water-rock interactions forming phyllosilicates. We explored the rheological behaviour of lizardite, an archetypal phyllosilicate of the serpentine group formed in oceanic and subduction contexts, and its potential influence on weakening of the lithospheric faults and shear zones. High-pressure deformation experiments were carried out on polycrystalline lizardite - the low temperature serpentine variety - using a D-DIA apparatus at a variety of pressure and temperature conditions from 1 to 8 GPa and 150 to 400 C and for strain rates between 10{sup -4} and 10{sup -6} s{sup -1}. Recovered samples show plastic deformation features and no evidence of brittle failure. Lizardite has a large rheological anisotropy, comparable to that observed in the micas. Mechanical results and first-principles calculations confirmed easy gliding on lizardite basal plane and show that the flow stress of phyllosilicate is in the range of the critical value of 20-200 MPa down to depths of about 200 km. Thus, foliated serpentine or chlorite-bearing rocks are sufficiently weak to account for plate tectonics initiation, aseismic sliding on the subduction interface below the seismogenic zone, and weakening of the oceanic lithosphere along hydrothermally altered fault zones. Serpentinisation easing the deformation of the early crust and shallow mantle reinforces the idea of a close link between the occurrence of plate tectonics and water at

  8. The magma ocean as an impediment to lunar plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul H.

    1993-01-01

    The primary impediment to plate tectonics on the moon was probably the great thickness of its crust and particularly its high crust/lithosphere thickness ratio. This in turn can be attributed to the preponderance of low-density feldspar over all other Al-compatible phases in the lunar interior. During the magma ocean epoch, the moon's crust/lithosphere thickness ratio was at the maximum theoretical value, approximately 1, and it remained high for a long time afterwards. A few large regions of thin crust were produced by basin-scale cratering approximately contemporaneous with the demise of the magma ocean. However, these regions probably also tend to have uncommonly thin lithosphere, since they were directly heated and indirectly enriched in K, Th, and U by the same cratering process. Thus, plate tectonics on the moon in the form of systematic lithosphere subduction was impeded by the magma ocean.

  9. Could plate tectonics on Venus be concealed by volcanic deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaula, W. M.; Muradian, L. M.

    1982-01-01

    The present investigation is supplementary to a study reported by Kaula and Phillips (1981). From an analysis of Pioneer Venus altimetry, Kaula and Phillips had inferred that any heat loss from the planet by plate tectonics must be small compared to that from the earth. However, it has been suggested by others that plate tectonic may exist on Venus, but that the expected 'square root of s' dependence of the topographic drop off is not observed because it is concealed by lava flows. The present investigation has the objective to conduct an examination whether this suggestion of concealment by lava flow is correct. On the basis of the performed analysis, it is concluded that the results obtained by Kaula and Phillips appear to be well justified.

  10. Teaching Earth Dynamics: What's Wrong with Plate Tectonics Theory?

    CERN Document Server

    Herndon, J M

    2005-01-01

    Textbooks frequently extol plate tectonics theory without questioning what might be wrong with the theory or without discussing a competitive theory. How can students be taught to challenge popular ideas when they are only presented a one-sided view? In just a few pages, I describe more than a century of geodynamic ideas. I review what is wrong with plate tectonics theory and with Earth expansion theory, and describe my new Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics Theory, which unifies the two previous dominant theories in a self- consistent manner. Along the way, I disclose details of what real science is all about, details all too often absent in textbooks and classroom discussions. In these few pages, I only touch on highlights and just part the curtain a bit so that teachers might glimpse ways to bring to their students some of the richness and excitement of discovery that becomes evident when one begins to question prevailing, currently popular perceptions of our world.

  11. Could plate tectonics on Venus be concealed by volcanic deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaula, W. M.; Muradian, L. M.

    1982-01-01

    The present investigation is supplementary to a study reported by Kaula and Phillips (1981). From an analysis of Pioneer Venus altimetry, Kaula and Phillips had inferred that any heat loss from the planet by plate tectonics must be small compared to that from the earth. However, it has been suggested by others that plate tectonic may exist on Venus, but that the expected 'square root of s' dependence of the topographic drop off is not observed because it is concealed by lava flows. The present investigation has the objective to conduct an examination whether this suggestion of concealment by lava flow is correct. On the basis of the performed analysis, it is concluded that the results obtained by Kaula and Phillips appear to be well justified.

  12. The magma ocean as an impediment to lunar plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul H.

    1993-01-01

    The primary impediment to plate tectonics on the moon was probably the great thickness of its crust and particularly its high crust/lithosphere thickness ratio. This in turn can be attributed to the preponderance of low-density feldspar over all other Al-compatible phases in the lunar interior. During the magma ocean epoch, the moon's crust/lithosphere thickness ratio was at the maximum theoretical value, approximately 1, and it remained high for a long time afterwards. A few large regions of thin crust were produced by basin-scale cratering approximately contemporaneous with the demise of the magma ocean. However, these regions probably also tend to have uncommonly thin lithosphere, since they were directly heated and indirectly enriched in K, Th, and U by the same cratering process. Thus, plate tectonics on the moon in the form of systematic lithosphere subduction was impeded by the magma ocean.

  13. Plate tectonics and crustal deformation around the Japanese Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Manabu; Jackson, David D.

    1993-01-01

    We analyze over a century of geodetic data to study crustal deformation and plate motion around the Japanese Islands, using the block-fault model for crustal deformation developed by Matsu'ura et al. (1986). We model the area including the Japanese Islands with 19 crustal blocks and 104 faults based on the distribution of active faults and seismicity. Geodetic data are used to obtain block motions and average slip rates of faults. This geodetic model predicts that the Pacific plate moves N deg 69 +/- 2 deg W at about 80 +/- 3 mm/yr relative to the Eurasian plate which is much lower than that predicted in geologic models. Substantial aseismic slip occurs on the subduction boundaries. The block containing the Izu Peninsula may be separated from the rigid part of the Philippine Sea plate. The faults on the coast of Japan Sea and the western part of the Median Tectonic Line have slip rates exceeding 4 mm/yr, while the Fossa Magna does not play an important role in the tectonics of the central Japan. The geodetic model requires the division of northeastern Japan, contrary to the hypothesis that northeastern Japan is a part of the North American plate. Owing to rapid convergence, the seismic risk in the Nankai trough may be larger than that of the Tokai gap.

  14. Plate tectonics and crustal deformation around the Japanese Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Manabu; Jackson, David D.

    1993-01-01

    We analyze over a century of geodetic data to study crustal deformation and plate motion around the Japanese Islands, using the block-fault model for crustal deformation developed by Matsu'ura et al. (1986). We model the area including the Japanese Islands with 19 crustal blocks and 104 faults based on the distribution of active faults and seismicity. Geodetic data are used to obtain block motions and average slip rates of faults. This geodetic model predicts that the Pacific plate moves N deg 69 +/- 2 deg W at about 80 +/- 3 mm/yr relative to the Eurasian plate which is much lower than that predicted in geologic models. Substantial aseismic slip occurs on the subduction boundaries. The block containing the Izu Peninsula may be separated from the rigid part of the Philippine Sea plate. The faults on the coast of Japan Sea and the western part of the Median Tectonic Line have slip rates exceeding 4 mm/yr, while the Fossa Magna does not play an important role in the tectonics of the central Japan. The geodetic model requires the division of northeastern Japan, contrary to the hypothesis that northeastern Japan is a part of the North American plate. Owing to rapid convergence, the seismic risk in the Nankai trough may be larger than that of the Tokai gap.

  15. Learning Plate Tectonics Using a Pre-Analogy Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glesener, G. B.; Sandoval, W. A.

    2011-12-01

    Previous research has shown that children tend to demonstrate lower performance on analogical reasoning tasks at a causal relations level compared to most adults (Gentner & Toupin, 1986). This tendency is an obstacle that geoscience educators must overcome because of the high frequency of analogies used in geoscience pedagogy. In particular, analog models are used to convey complex systems of non-everyday/non-observable events found in nature, such as plate tectonics. Key factors in successful analogical reasoning that have been suggested by researchers include knowledge of the causal relations in the base analog (Brown & Kane, 1988; Gentner, 1988; Gentner & Toupin, 1986), and development of learning strategies and metaconceptual competence(Brown & Kane, 1988). External factors, such as guiding cues and hints have been useful cognitive supports that help students reason through analogical problems (Gick & Holyoak, 1980). Cognitive supports have been seen by researchers to decrease processing demands on retrieval and working memory (Richland, Zur, & Holyoak, 2007). We observed third and fourth graders learning about plate tectonics beginning with a pre-analogy step-a cognitive support activity a student can do before working with an analogy to understand the target. This activity was designed to aid students in developing their understanding of object attributes and relations within an analog model so that more focus can be placed on mapping the corresponding higher-order relations between the base and target. Students learned targeted concepts of plate tectonics, as measured by pre to post gains on items adapted from the Geosciences Concept Inventory. Analyses of classroom interaction showed that students used the object attributes and higher-order relations highlighted in the pre-analogy activity as resources to reason about plate boundaries and plate movement during earthquakes.

  16. Mantle convection and plate tectonics on Earth-like exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotin, C.; Schubert, G.

    2009-12-01

    The likelihood of plate tectonics on exoplanets larger than Earth can be assessed using either scaling laws or numerical models describing mantle thermal convection. We investigate the parameters which control the ratio of convective driving forces to lithosphere resisting forces. Two papers, Valencia et al. (AstroPhys. J., 670, L45-L48, 2007) and O’Neill and Lenardic (Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L19204, 2007), came to opposite conclusions based on scaling laws and numerical calculations, respectively. The different assumptions and parameters used in each study are compared. The definition of thermal boundary layer and lithosphere and the use of their characteristics in the scaling laws are clarified. We show that Valencia et al. (2007) overestimate the ratio of driving forces to resistive forces because they infer too large values for both the thickness of the thermal boundary layer and the length of the plate and too small a value for the yield strength. We show that this ratio is so weakly dependent on the size of an Earth-like planet that other parameters such as presence of water, heating per unit mass, upper mantle thickness, etc., may actually determine the occurrence or not of plate tectonics. The numerical calculations of O’Neill and Lenardic (2007) show the importance of 2D simulations for determining the values of the velocity below the lithosphere, the convective stresses, and the plate dimensions. It demonstrates the need for 3D spherical numerical simulations. Their conclusion that super-Earths would not have plate tectonics depends on a number of assumptions including the constancy of heat-flux as a function of planetary size. We present a 3D spherical scaling including the increase of heat flux with the size of a planet showing that larger Earth-like planets would be marginally in the mobile lid convection regime reinforcing our caution that other factors may tip the balance. The present study points out the importance of the distance between

  17. Organization of the tectonic plates in the last 200 Myr (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morra, G.; Seton, M.; Quevedo, L. E.; Müller, D.

    2013-12-01

    The present tessellation of the Earth's surface into tectonic plates displays a remarkably regular plate size distribution, described by either one (Sornette and Pisarenko, 2003) or two (Bird, 2003) statistically distinct groups, characterised by large and small plate size. A unique distribution implies a hierarchical structure from the largest to the smallest plate. Alternatively, two distributions indicate distinct evolutionary laws for large and small plates, the first tied to mantle flow, the second determined by a hierarchical fragmentation process. We analyse detailed reconstructions of plate boundaries during the last 200 Myr and find that (i) large and small plates display distinct statistical distributions, (ii) the small plates display little organisational change since 60 Ma and (iii) the large plates oscillate between heterogeneous (200-170 Ma and 65-50 Ma) and homogeneous (120-100 Ma) plate tessellations on a timescale of about 100 Myr. Heterogeneous states are reached more rapidly, while the plate configuration decays into homogeneous states following a slower asymptotic curve, suggesting that heterogeneous configurations are excited states while homogeneous tessellations are equilibrium states. We explain this evolution by proposing a model that alternates between bottom- and top-driven Earth dynamics, physically described by fluid-dynamic analogies, the Rayleigh-Benard and Bénard-Marangoni convection, respectively. We discuss the implications for true polar wander (TPW), global kinematic reorganisations (50 and 100 Ma) and the Earth's magnetic field inversion frequency. Earth's present tessellation: grey scale proportional to the logarithm of plate size. Plot: logarithm of complementary 'cumulative plate count' (Y-axis) vs. the logarithm of the plate size (X-axis). Time evolution of the 'standard deviation' of the plate size every one million years.

  18. The San Andreas fault experiment. [gross tectonic plates relative velocity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D. E.; Vonbun, F. O.

    1973-01-01

    A plan was developed during 1971 to determine gross tectonic plate motions along the San Andreas Fault System in California. Knowledge of the gross motion along the total fault system is an essential component in the construction of realistic deformation models of fault regions. Such mathematical models will be used in the future for studies which will eventually lead to prediction of major earthquakes. The main purpose of the experiment described is the determination of the relative velocity of the North American and the Pacific Plates. This motion being so extremely small, cannot be measured directly but can be deduced from distance measurements between points on opposite sites of the plate boundary taken over a number of years.

  19. Mantle Convection, Plate Tectonics, and the Asthenosphere: A Bootstrap Model of the Earth's Internal Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenardic, A.; Hoink, T.

    2008-12-01

    Several studies have highlighted the role of a low viscosity asthenosphere in promoting plate-like behavior in mantle convection models. It has also been argued that the asthenosphere is fed by mantle plumes (Phipps- Morgan et al. 1993; Deffeyes 1972) and that the existence of the specific plume types required for this depends on plate subduction (Lenardic and Kaula 1995; Jellinek et al. 2002). Independent of plumes, plate subduction can generate a non-adiabatic temperature gradient which, together with temperature dependent mantle viscosity, leads to a low viscosity near surface region. The above suggests a conceptual model in which the asthenosphere can not be defined solely in terms of material properties but must also be defined in terms of an active process, plate tectonics, which both maintains it and is maintained by it. The bootstrap aspect of the model is its circular causality between plates and the asthenosphere, neither being more fundamental than the other and the existence of each depending on the other. Several of the feedbacks key to the conceptual model will be quantified. The implications for modeling mantle convection in a plate-tectonic mode will also be discussed: 1) A key is to get numerical simulations into the bootstrap mode of operation and this is dependent on assumed initial conditions; 2) The model implies potentially strong hysteresis effects (e.g., transition between convection states, associated with variable yield stress, will occur at different values depending on whether the yield stress is systematically lowered or raised between successive models).

  20. Late Miocene to recent plate tectonic history of the southern Central America convergent margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morell, Kristin D.

    2015-10-01

    New plate reconstructions constrain the tectonic evolution of the subducting Cocos and Nazca plates across the southern Central American subduction zone from late Miocene to recent. Because of the strong relationships between lower and upper (Caribbean) plate dynamics along this margin, these constraints have wide-ranging implications for the timing and growth of upper plate deformation and volcanism in southern Central America. The reconstructions outline three important events in the Neogene history of this margin: (1) the coeval development of the Panama Triple Junction with the initiation of oblique subduction of the Nazca plate at ˜8.5 Ma; (2) the initiation of seamount and rough crust subduction beginning at ˜3-4 Ma; and (3) Cocos Ridge subduction from ˜2 to 3 Ma. A comparison of these events with independent geologic, geomorphic, volcanic, and stratigraphic data sets reveals that the timing, rates, and origin of subducting crust directly impacted the Neogene growth of upper plate deformation and volcanism in southern Central America. These analyses constrain the timing, geometry, and causes of a number of significant tectonic and volcanic processes, including rapid Plio-Quaternary arc-fore arc contraction due to Cocos Ridge subduction, the detachment of the Panama microplate at ˜1-3 Ma, and the late Miocene cessation of mantle-wedge-derived volcanism across ˜300 km of the subduction zone.

  1. The Biggest Plates on Earth. Submarine Ring of Fire--Grades 5-6. Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC), Rockville, MD.

    This activity is designed to teach how tectonic plates move, what some consequences of this motion are, and how magnetic anomalies document the motion at spreading centers do. The activity provides learning objectives, a list of needed materials, key vocabulary words, background information, day-to-day procedures, internet connections, career…

  2. New 40Ar/39Ar Ages, Biostratigraphic and Geochemical Data from the Sabzevar Ophiolite, North Central Iran: Implications for Tectonic of Iranian Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanipak, A.; Kariminia, M.; Mobasher, K.; Ghazi, M.

    2003-12-01

    The igneous rocks of the Sabzevar ophiolite in north central Iran composed of peridotites, serpentinite, minor pyroxenite, gabbros, and a volcanic sequence that exhibits a wide range of composition from basalts to basaltic andesites to rhyodacite-dacites, rhyolites and basanites. Sedimentary rocks include a variety of Upper Triassic to Lower Cretaceous deep- and shallow-marine rocks. These include pelagic fossiliferous carbonates, which are mixed with the pillow basalts and the basaltic andesite as interlayers or exotic blocks, ranging in size from 10 to 100 meters. Also present are extensive units of radiolarian chert which are interbedded within the basalts and basaltic andesites. A combination of petrographic observations and analyses of incompatible trace elements and rare earth elements indicates the presence of at least four different types of extrusive rocks in the Sabzevar ophiolite. The geochemical data clearly identifies some of the extrusive rocks to have formed from three distinct types of basaltic melts; i) the group-1 basaltic rocks, which formed from an initial melt with N-MORB-like (LREE depleted) chemical signatures and are petrogenetically related to the gabbros, ii) group-2 basaltic rocks which have E-MORB chemical signatures, and iii) group-3 basaltic rocks with LREE-enriched signature and incompatible trace element patterns that suggest an island arc affinity. In addition, the Sabzevar ophiolite contains other volcanic rocks that have non-MORB like geochemical signatures (e.g., within-plate, island arc). The differences between these geochemical signatures could be a result of a differing composition of the upper mantle, or a different degree of partial melting of the same upper mantle. The presence of sizable Nb anomalies in the extended REE patterns for andesites and the group-2 basalts is characteristic of volcanic arc magmas, or those were the composition of the ascending magma was modified by crustal contamination. The presences of the

  3. The efficiency of plate tectonics and nonequilibrium dynamical evolution of planetary mantles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, W. B.; Lenardic, A.

    2015-11-01

    Consideration of the structure of dynamical equilibria in terrestrial planets using simplified descriptions of the relevant heat transport processes (rigid-lid convection, plate tectonics, and heat pipe volcanism) reveals that if the efficiency of plate tectonic heat transport decreases at higher mantle temperature, then it cannot govern quasi-equilibrium dynamical evolution, and the system is always evolving away from the plate tectonic regime. A planet on which plate tectonics is less efficient at higher temperature stays in heat pipe mode longer, spends less time undergoing plate tectonics, and has a low and ever-decreasing Urey number during this phase. These conclusions are based solely on the structure of the equilibria in a system with less efficient plate tectonics in the past and are independent of the mechanisms leading to this behavior. Commonly used quasi-equilibrium approaches to planetary thermal evolution are likely not valid for planets in which heat transport becomes less efficient at higher temperature.

  4. Geochemical characteristics of Mesoproterozoic metabasite dykes from the Chhotanagpur Gneissic Terrain, eastern India: Implications for their emplacement in a plate margin tectonic environment

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Rajesh K Srivastava; Anup K Sinha; Suresh Kumar

    2012-04-01

    A number of mafic intrusive bodies (mostly dykes) are exposed in the Chhotanagpur Gneissic Terrain (CGT). Most dykes trend in ENE–WSW to E–W following major structural trends of the region. These metabasite dykes show granoblastic to grano-nematoblastic textures and contain hornblende, plagioclase, chlorite, quartz and epidote which suggest their metamorphism under amphibolite grade P–T conditions. Although no radiometric age is available for the metabasite dykes, field relationships with host rock and available geochronology on granitoids suggest their emplacement during Mesoproterozoic. Geochemical characteristics of these dykes classify them as low-K tholeiite to medium-K calcalkaline type. At least two types of metabasite dykes are recognized on the basis of their HFSE contents; one group shows entirely calc-alkaline nature, whereas the other group has rocks of tholeiite-calc-alkaline series. High Mg#observed in a number of samples indicates their derivation from primary melt. Multielement spidergrams and rare-earth element patterns observed in these samples also corroborate their derivation from different magma batches. Trace element patterns observed for Nb–Ta, Hf–Zr, Sr and Y suggesting involvement of subduction related processes in the genesis of CGT metabasite dykes. Perceived geochemical characteristics suggest that metamorphism did not affect much on the chemistry of metabasites but source region, responsible for the generation of CGT metabasites, was possibly modified during subduction process. This study suggests that magma generated in a destructive plate setting fed the Mesoproterozoic mafic dykes of the CGT.

  5. Observing tectonic plate motions and deformations from satellite laser ranging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christodoulidis, D. C.; Smith, D. E.; Kolenkiewicz, R.; Klosko, S. M.; Torrence, M. H.

    1985-01-01

    The scope of geodesy has been greatly affected by the advent of artificial near-earth satellites. The present paper provides a description of the results obtained from the reduction of data collected with the aid of satellite laser ranging. It is pointed out that dynamic reduction of satellite laser ranging (SLR) data provides very precise positions in three dimensions for the laser tracking network. The vertical components of the stations, through the tracking geometry provided by the global network and the accurate knowledge of orbital dynamics, are uniquely related to the center of mass of the earth. Attention is given to the observations, the methodologies for reducing satellite observations to estimate station positions, Lageos-observed tectonic plate motions, an improved temporal resolution of SLR plate motions, and the SLR vertical datum.

  6. Observing tectonic plate motions and deformations from satellite laser ranging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christodoulidis, D. C.; Smith, D. E.; Kolenkiewicz, R.; Klosko, S. M.; Torrence, M. H.

    1985-01-01

    The scope of geodesy has been greatly affected by the advent of artificial near-earth satellites. The present paper provides a description of the results obtained from the reduction of data collected with the aid of satellite laser ranging. It is pointed out that dynamic reduction of satellite laser ranging (SLR) data provides very precise positions in three dimensions for the laser tracking network. The vertical components of the stations, through the tracking geometry provided by the global network and the accurate knowledge of orbital dynamics, are uniquely related to the center of mass of the earth. Attention is given to the observations, the methodologies for reducing satellite observations to estimate station positions, Lageos-observed tectonic plate motions, an improved temporal resolution of SLR plate motions, and the SLR vertical datum.

  7. Plate tectonics from VLBI and SLR global data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Christopher G. A.; Robaudo, Stefano

    1992-01-01

    This study is based on data derived from fifteen years of observations of the SLR (side-looking radar) network and six years of the VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) network. In order to use all available information VLBI and SLR global data sets were combined in a least squares fashion to calculate station horizontal velocities. All significant data pertaining to a single site contribute to the station horizontal motion. The only constraint on the solution is that no vertical motion is allowed. This restriction does not greatly affect the precision of the overall solution given the fact that the expected vertical motion for most stations, even those experiencing post glacial uplift, is well under 1 cm/yr. Since the average baseline is under 4,000 km, only a small fraction of the station vertical velocity is translated into baseline rates so that the error introduced in the solution by restricting up-down station movement is minimal. As a reference, station velocities were then compared to the ones predicted by the NUVEL-1 geological model of DeMets et al. (1990). The focus of the study is on analyzing these discrepancies for global plate tectonics as well as regional tectonic settings. The method used also allows us not only to derive horizontal motion for individual stations but also to calculate Euler vectors for those plates that have enough stations located on the stable interior like North America, Pacific, Eurasia, and Australia.

  8. Using the Mesozoic History of the Canadian Cordillera as a Case Study in Teaching Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Valerie Elaine

    1989-01-01

    Reviews a model used in the teaching of plate tectonics which includes processes and concepts related to: terranes and the amalgamation of terranes, relative plate motion and oblique subduction, the effects of continent-continent collision, changes in plate motion, plate configuration, and the type of plate boundary. Diagrams are included.…

  9. Using the Mesozoic History of the Canadian Cordillera as a Case Study in Teaching Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Valerie Elaine

    1989-01-01

    Reviews a model used in the teaching of plate tectonics which includes processes and concepts related to: terranes and the amalgamation of terranes, relative plate motion and oblique subduction, the effects of continent-continent collision, changes in plate motion, plate configuration, and the type of plate boundary. Diagrams are included.…

  10. Why is understanding when Plate Tectonics began important for understanding Earth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korenaga, J.

    2015-12-01

    Almost all kinds of geological activities on Earth depend critically on the operation of plate tectonics, but did plate tectonics initiate right after the solidification of a putative magma ocean, or did it start much later, e.g., sometime during the Archean? This problem of the initiation of plate tectonics in the Earth history presents us a unique combination of observational and theoretical challenges. Finding geological evidence for the onset of plate tectonics is difficult because plate tectonics is a dynamic process that continuously destroys a remnant of the past. We therefore need to rely on more secondary traces, the interpretation of which often involves theoretical considerations. At the same time, it is still hard to predict, on a firm theoretical ground, when plate tectonics should have prevailed, because there is no consensus on why plate tectonics currently takes place on Earth. Knowing when plate tectonics began is one thing, and understanding why it did so is another. The initiation of plate tectonics is one of the last frontiers in earth science, which encourages a concerted effort from both geologists and geophysicists to identify key geological evidence and distinguish between competing theories of early Earth evolution. Such an endeavor is essential to arrive at a self-contained theory for the evolution of terrestrial planets.

  11. Tectonic implications of Mars crustal magnetism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connerney, J E P; Acuña, M H; Ness, N F; Kletetschka, G; Mitchell, D L; Lin, R P; Reme, H

    2005-10-18

    Mars currently has no global magnetic field of internal origin but must have had one in the past, when the crust acquired intense magnetization, presumably by cooling in the presence of an Earth-like magnetic field (thermoremanent magnetization). A new map of the magnetic field of Mars, compiled by using measurements acquired at an approximately 400-km mapping altitude by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, is presented here. The increased spatial resolution and sensitivity of this map provide new insight into the origin and evolution of the Mars crust. Variations in the crustal magnetic field appear in association with major faults, some previously identified in imagery and topography (Cerberus Rupes and Valles Marineris). Two parallel great faults are identified in Terra Meridiani by offset magnetic field contours. They appear similar to transform faults that occur in oceanic crust on Earth, and support the notion that the Mars crust formed during an early era of plate tectonics.

  12. Global strike-slip faults: Bounds from plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, R. G.; Argus, D. F.

    2006-12-01

    According to the tenets of plate tectonics, a transform fault is a strike-slip fault along which neither convergence nor divergence occurs. Analysis of global plate motion data indicates that the only true transform faults are the strike-slip faults that offset segments of mid-ocean ridges. Thus, many of Earth's major strike-slip fault systems are not true transform faults as they accommodate large components of oblique convergence or oblique divergence. This is particularly true for several important ocean-continent systems such as the San Andreas, the strike-slip systems bounding the northern and southern Caribbean plate, the Alpine fault system of New Zealand, the Anatolian fault system, and the Azores-Gibraltar-Alboran sea system. These strike-slip systems are commonly sites of large scale mountain building and basin formation. Here we examine the far-field constraints on the motions of the plates bounding several of these strike-slip systems using both conventional plate motion circuits and results from global positioning system and other space geodetic data. We pay particular attention to the San Andreas fault system in central and northern California, where the San Andreas system is part of the boundary between the Sierran microplate and the Pacific plate. Most of the fault system accommodates obliquely convergent motion, giving rise to the California Coast Range, but in the northern San Francisco Bay Area it is obliquely divergent, producing San Pablo Bay and a gap in the Coast Range that permits the Sierran watershed to drain to the Pacific through the Golden Gate.

  13. Activities for Plate Tectonics using GeoMapApp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwillie, A. M.

    2016-12-01

    The concept of plate tectonics is a fundamental component of our understanding of how Earth works yet authentic, high-quality geoscience data related to plate tectonics may not be readily available to all students. To compound matters, when data is accessible, students may not possess the skills or resources necessary to explore and analyse it. As a result, much emphasis at federal and state level is now placed upon encouraging students to work with more data and more technology more often and more rigourously. Easy-to-use digital platforms offer much potential for promoting inquiry-based learning at all levels of education. GeoMapApp is one such tool. Developed at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, GeoMapApp (http://www.geomapapp.org) is a free resource that integrates a wide range of research-grade geoscience data in one intuitive map-based interface. Simple strategies for data manipulation, visualisation and presentation allow uses to explore the data in meaningful ways. Layering and transparency capabilities further allow learners to use GeoMapApp to compare multiple data sets at once, and high-impact Save Session functionality allows a GeoMapApp project to be saved for sharing or later use. In this presentation, activities related to plate tectonics will be highlighted. One GeoMapApp activity helps students investigate plate boundaries by exploring earthquake and volcano locations. Another requires students to calculate the rate of seafloor spreading using crustal age data in various ocean basins. A third uses the GeoMapApp layering technique to explore the influence of geological forces in shaping the landscape. Each activity shown can be done by students on an individual basis, as pairs, or as groups. Educators report that student use of GeoMapApp fosters an increased sense of data "ownership" amongst students, promotes STEM skills, and provides them with access to authentic research-grade geoscience data using the same cutting

  14. Tectonic plates, D (double prime) thermal structure, and the nature of mantle plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenardic, A.; Kaula, W. M.

    1994-01-01

    It is proposed that subducting tectonic plates can affect the nature of thermal mantle plumes by determining the temperature drop across a plume source layer. The temperature drop affects source layer stability and the morphology of plumes emitted from it. Numerical models are presented to demonstrate how introduction of platelike behavior in a convecting temperature dependent medium, driven by a combination of internal and basal heating, can increase the temperature drop across the lower boundary layer. The temperature drop increases dramatically following introduction of platelike behavior due to formation of a cold temperature inversion above the lower boundary layer. This thermal inversion, induced by deposition of upper boundary layer material to the system base, decays in time, but the temperature drop across the lower boundary layer always remains considerably higher than in models lacking platelike behavior. On the basis of model-inferred boundary layer temperature drops and previous studies of plume dynamics, we argue that generally accepted notions as to the nature of mantle plumes on Earth may hinge on the presence of plates. The implication for Mars and Venus, planets apparently lacking plate tectonics, is that mantle plumes of these planets may differ morphologically from those of Earth. A corollary model-based argument is that as a result of slab-induced thermal inversions above the core mantle boundary the lower most mantle may be subadiabatic, on average (in space and time), if major plate reorganization timescales are less than those acquired to diffuse newly deposited slab material.

  15. Emerging Possibilities and Insuperable Limitations of Exogeophysics: The Example of Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenković, Vlada; Seager, Sara

    2016-07-01

    To understand the evolution and the habitability of any rocky exoplanet demands detailed knowledge about its geophysical state and history—such as predicting the tectonic mode of a planet. Yet no astronomical observation can directly confirm or rule out the occurrence of plate tectonics on a given exoplanet. Moreover, the field of plate tectonics is still young—questioning whether we should study plate tectonics on exoplanets at this point in time. In this work, we determine the limitations and the emerging possibilities of exogeophysics, the science of connecting geophysics to exoplanets, on the example of plate tectonics. Assuming current uncertainties in model and planet parameters, we develop a qualitatively probabilistic and conservative framework to estimate on what kind of planets and where in the Galaxy plate tectonics might occur. This we achieve by modeling how plate yielding, the most critical condition needed for plate mobility and subduction, is affected by directly observable (planet mass, size) or indirectly, to some degree, assessable planet properties (structure and composition). Our framework not only highlights the importance of a planet’s chemistry for the existence of plate tectonics and the path toward practical exogeophysics but also demonstrates how exoplanet science can actually help to better understand geophysics and the fundamentals of plate tectonics on Earth itself.

  16. Developing the plate tectonics from oceanic subduction to continental collision

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG YongFei; YE Kai; ZHANG LiFei

    2009-01-01

    The studies of continental deep subduction and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism have not only promoted the development of solid earth science in China,but also provided an excellent opportunity to advance the plate tectonics theory.In view of the nature of subducted crust,two types of subduction and collision have been respectively recognized in nature.On one hand,the crustal subduction occurs due to underflow of either oceanic crust (Pacific type) or continental crust (Alpine type).On the other hand,the continental collision proceeds by arc-continent collision (Himalaya-Tibet type) or continent-continent collision (Dabie-Sulu type).The key issues in the future study of continental dynamics are the chemical changes and differential exhumation in continental deep subduction zones,and the temporal-spatial transition from oceanic subduction to continental subduction.

  17. Plate tectonics on the Earth triggered by plume-induced subduction initiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerya, T V; Stern, R J; Baes, M; Sobolev, S V; Whattam, S A

    2015-11-12

    Scientific theories of how subduction and plate tectonics began on Earth--and what the tectonic structure of Earth was before this--remain enigmatic and contentious. Understanding viable scenarios for the onset of subduction and plate tectonics is hampered by the fact that subduction initiation processes must have been markedly different before the onset of global plate tectonics because most present-day subduction initiation mechanisms require acting plate forces and existing zones of lithospheric weakness, which are both consequences of plate tectonics. However, plume-induced subduction initiation could have started the first subduction zone without the help of plate tectonics. Here, we test this mechanism using high-resolution three-dimensional numerical thermomechanical modelling. We demonstrate that three key physical factors combine to trigger self-sustained subduction: (1) a strong, negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere; (2) focused magmatic weakening and thinning of lithosphere above the plume; and (3) lubrication of the slab interface by hydrated crust. We also show that plume-induced subduction could only have been feasible in the hotter early Earth for old oceanic plates. In contrast, younger plates favoured episodic lithospheric drips rather than self-sustained subduction and global plate tectonics.

  18. Grain-damage hysteresis and plate tectonic states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bercovici, David; Ricard, Yanick

    2016-04-01

    Shear localization in the lithosphere is an essential ingredient for understanding how and why plate tectonics is generated from mantle convection on terrestrial planets. The theoretical model for grain-damage and pinning in two-phase polycrystalline rocks provides a frame-work for understanding lithospheric shear weakening and plate-generation, and is consistent with laboratory and field observations of mylonites. Grain size evolves through the competition between coarsening, which drives grain-growth, and damage, which drives grain reduction. The interface between crystalline phases controls Zener pinning, which impedes grain growth. Damage to the interface enhances the Zener pinning effect, which then reduces grain-size, forcing the rheology into the grain-size-dependent diffusion creep regime. This process thus allows damage and rheological weakening to co-exist, providing a necessary positive self-weakening feedback. Moreover, because pinning inhibits grain-growth it promotes shear-zone longevity and plate-boundary inheritance. However, the suppression of interface damage at low interface curvature (wherein inter-grain mixing is inefficient and other energy sinks of deformational work are potentially more facile) causes a hysteresis effect, in which three possible equilibrium grain-sizes for a given stress coexist: (1) a stable, large-grain, weakly-deforming state, (2) a stable, small-grain, rapidly-deforming state analogous to ultramylonites, and (3) an unstable, intermediate grain-size state perhaps comparable to protomylonites. A comparison of the model to field data suggests that shear-localized zones of small-grain mylonites and ultra-mylonites exist at a lower stress than the co-existing large-grain porphyroclasts, rather than, as predicted by paleopiezometers or paleowattmeters, at a much higher stress; this interpretation of field data thus allows localization to relieve instead of accumulate stress. The model also predicts that a lithosphere that

  19. Towards implementing plate tectonics in 3D mantle convection simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bollada, Peter; Davies, Huw

    2010-05-01

    One of the great challenges in numerical mantle convection simulations is to achieve models that naturally develop plate tectonic like behaviour at the surface. In this work we are looking to achieve such models by investigating the set of models where a single consistent rheology is used for the whole model. We have started by investigating a viscoelastic rheology, related to the Oldroyd-B model from the field of polymers. The goal will be to have the parameter that controls the relaxation between elastic and viscous behaviour to depend upon temperature, pressure and strain-rate. With an appropriate choice of this dependence we have, on the near surface, high viscous/elastic regions interfaced with lower, pure viscous, regions of high strain-rate; while it also becomes more viscous at depth in the interior. In this way we hope to obtain plate like behaviour at the surface which naturally progresses to viscous convective behaviour in the interior. We have started to implement this model in the established mantle 3D finite element spherical mantle convection code TERRA (Baumgardner, 1984). Some parts of the model have been implemented as a force (to be combined with the gravitational body force) on the right hand side. The work has required us to develop and code in TERRA: (i) methods to overcome the continuity problem of the stress field stemming from the fact that the velocity field is represented by linear finite elements; (ii) new operators to handle stress and its gradients; (iii) methods to analyse plate-like behaviour at the surface (iv) the necessary functional dependence of viscosity and elastic relaxation time on temperature, strain-rate and pressure We will present the background to the work, its implementation and results.

  20. Ongoing glacial-isostatic adjustment and present-day motion of tectonic plates

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    The effect of glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA) on the motion of tectonic plates is usually neglected. Employing a recently developed numerical approach, we examine the effect of glacial loading on the motion of the Earth’s main tectonic plates where we consider an elastic lithosphere of laterally variable strength and the plates losely connected by low viscous zones. Aim of the paper is to show the physical processes which controls the GIA induced horizontal motion and to assess the impact ...

  1. Precambrian plate tectonic setting of Africa from multidimensional discrimination diagrams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Sanjeet K.

    2017-01-01

    New multi-dimensional discrimination diagrams have been used to identify plate tectonic setting of Precambrian terrains. For this work, nine sets of new discriminant-function based multi-dimensional discrimination diagrams were applied for thirteen case studies of Precambrian basic, intermediate and acid magmas from Africa to highlight the application of these diagrams and probability calculations. The applications of these diagrams indicated the following results: For northern Africa: to Wadi Ghadir ophiolite, Egypt indicated an arc setting for Neoproterozoic (746 ± 19 Ma). For South Africa: Zandspruit greenstone and Bulai pluton showed a collision and a transitional continental arc to collision setting at about Mesoarchaean and Neoarchaean (3114 ± 2.3 Ma and 2610-2577 Ma); Mesoproterozoic (1109 ± 0.6 Ma and 1100 Ma) ages for Espungabera and Umkondo sills were consistent with an island arc setting. For eastern Africa, Iramba-Sekenke greenstone belt and Suguti area, Tanzania showed an arc setting for Neoarchaean (2742 ± 27 Ma and 2755 ± 1 Ma). Chila, Bulbul-Kenticha domain, and Werri area indicated a continental arc setting at about Neoproterozoic (800-789 Ma); For western Africa, Sangmelima region and Ebolowa area, southern Cameroon indicated a collision and continental arc setting, respectively for Neoarchaean (∼2800-2900 Ma and 2687-2666 Ma); Finally, Paleoproterozoic (2232-2169 Ma) for Birimian supergroup, southern Ghana a continental arc setting; and Paleoproterozoic (2123-2108 Ma) for Katiola-Marabadiassa, Côte d'Ivoire a transitional continental arc to collision setting. Although there were some inconsistencies in the inferences, most cases showed consistent results of tectonic settings. These inconsistencies may be related to mixed ages, magma mixing, crustal contamination, degree of mantle melting, and mantle versus crustal origin.

  2. Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallard, Claire; Coltice, Nicolas; Seton, Maria; Müller, R Dietmar; Tackley, Paul J

    2016-07-07

    The theory of plate tectonics describes how the surface of Earth is split into an organized jigsaw of seven large plates of similar sizes and a population of smaller plates whose areas follow a fractal distribution. The reconstruction of global tectonics during the past 200 million years suggests that this layout is probably a long-term feature of Earth, but the forces governing it are unknown. Previous studies, primarily based on the statistical properties of plate distributions, were unable to resolve how the size of the plates is determined by the properties of the lithosphere and the underlying mantle convection. Here we demonstrate that the plate layout of Earth is produced by a dynamic feedback between mantle convection and the strength of the lithosphere. Using three-dimensional spherical models of mantle convection that self-consistently produce the plate size–frequency distribution observed for Earth, we show that subduction geometry drives the tectonic fragmentation that generates plates. The spacing between the slabs controls the layout of large plates, and the stresses caused by the bending of trenches break plates into smaller fragments. Our results explain why the fast evolution in small back-arc plates reflects the marked changes in plate motions during times of major reorganizations. Our study opens the way to using convection simulations with plate-like behaviour to unravel how global tectonics and mantle convection are dynamically connected.

  3. Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallard, Claire; Coltice, Nicolas; Seton, Maria; Müller, R. Dietmar; Tackley, Paul J.

    2016-07-01

    The theory of plate tectonics describes how the surface of Earth is split into an organized jigsaw of seven large plates of similar sizes and a population of smaller plates whose areas follow a fractal distribution. The reconstruction of global tectonics during the past 200 million years suggests that this layout is probably a long-term feature of Earth, but the forces governing it are unknown. Previous studies, primarily based on the statistical properties of plate distributions, were unable to resolve how the size of the plates is determined by the properties of the lithosphere and the underlying mantle convection. Here we demonstrate that the plate layout of Earth is produced by a dynamic feedback between mantle convection and the strength of the lithosphere. Using three-dimensional spherical models of mantle convection that self-consistently produce the plate size-frequency distribution observed for Earth, we show that subduction geometry drives the tectonic fragmentation that generates plates. The spacing between the slabs controls the layout of large plates, and the stresses caused by the bending of trenches break plates into smaller fragments. Our results explain why the fast evolution in small back-arc plates reflects the marked changes in plate motions during times of major reorganizations. Our study opens the way to using convection simulations with plate-like behaviour to unravel how global tectonics and mantle convection are dynamically connected.

  4. The provenance and tectonic setting of the Lower Devonian sandstone of the Danlin Formation in southeast Yangtze Plate, with implications for the Wuyi-Yunkai orogeny in South China Block

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiawei; Ye, Taiping; Li, Shuangcheng; Yuan, Guohua; Dai, Chuangu; Zhang, Hui; Ma, Yibo

    2016-12-01

    The South China Block was subject to widespread tectonic and magmatic events during the middle Ordovician to earliest Devonian which are collectively called the Wuyi-Yunkai orogeny. Two different hypotheses were formulated about the origin of the orogeny: collisional orogenesis and intracontinental orogenesis. Ages of 215 detrital zircons were obtained from quartz sandstones in the Lower Devonian Danlin Formation exposed in Dushan County, south Guizhou Province. The results show that the detrital zircons came from multiple source areas but with little indication of the Wuyi-Yunkai orogeny. The detrital zircons of early Paleozoic age account only for 1.9% of all samples. These zircons range from 476 to 402 Ma and originated from the early Paleozoic granites situated east of Dushan County. The mean 206Pb/238U age of the two youngest detrital zircons was 404 Ma, which constrains the maximum depositional age of the Danlin Formation. The detrital zircons are mostly within Neoproterozoic age (59.5%) and in the range 997 to 557 Ma. The zircon age pattern, morphology, and trace element characteristics combined with paleogeographic reconstruction interpret that these detrital zircons were supplied from igneous rocks in the Neoproterozoic Sibao and Danzhou Groups within the west Jiangnan orogen to the east of the study area. Mesoproterozoic zircons made up 20.9% of the grains and range from 1569 to 1055 Ma; the ages of most of these zircons coincide with those of zircons indicating the Grenvillian orogeny (1300-1000 Ma) in the Cathaysia Plate. The detrital zircon age data reveal that the study area was located in an intracontinental tectonic setting, both before and after the Wuyi-Yunkai orogeny. Therefore, the Cathaysia Plate was not separated from the Yangtze Plate by an ocean and the study area received sediments primarily from the Cathaysia Plate located to the southeast since the middle Ordovician. By the early Devonian, the sediments were supplied by the west Jiangnan

  5. Plate Tectonic Consequences of competing models for the origin and history of the Banda Sea subducted oceanic lithosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Heine, Christian; McKay, Hamish; Müller, R Dietmar

    2012-01-01

    The Banda Arc, situated west of Irian Jaya and in the easternmost extension of the Sunda subduction zone system, reveals a characteristic bowl-shaped geometry in seismic tomographic images. This indicates that the oceanic lithosphere still remains attached to the surrounding continental margins of northern Australia and the Bird's Head microcontinent. Major controversies exist between authors proposing an allochthonous or autochthonous origin of the Bird's Head block. Either scenario has important implications for plate kinematic models aiming to reconstruct the tectonic evolution of the region and the late Jurassic seaoor spreading geometry of this now subducted Argo-Tanimbar-Seram (ATS) ocean basin. Wider implications affect the tectonic conguration of the Tethyan-Pacic realm, the distribution of plate boundaries as well as the shape and size of continental blocks which have been rifted off the northeastern Gondwana margin during the Late Jurassic and are now accreted to the SE Asia margin. We apply structu...

  6. Mantle convection and plate tectonics: toward an integrated physical and chemical theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tackley

    2000-06-16

    Plate tectonics and convection of the solid, rocky mantle are responsible for transporting heat out of Earth. However, the physics of plate tectonics is poorly understood; other planets do not exhibit it. Recent seismic evidence for convection and mixing throughout the mantle seems at odds with the chemical composition of erupted magmas requiring the presence of several chemically distinct reservoirs within the mantle. There has been rapid progress on these two problems, with the emergence of the first self-consistent models of plate tectonics and mantle convection, along with new geochemical models that may be consistent with seismic and dynamical constraints on mantle structure.

  7. Plate tectonic regulation of global marine animal diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaffos, Andrew; Finnegan, Seth; Peters, Shanan E.

    2017-05-01

    Valentine and Moores [Valentine JW, Moores EM (1970) Nature 228:657-659] hypothesized that plate tectonics regulates global biodiversity by changing the geographic arrangement of continental crust, but the data required to fully test the hypothesis were not available. Here, we use a global database of marine animal fossil occurrences and a paleogeographic reconstruction model to test the hypothesis that temporal patterns of continental fragmentation have impacted global Phanerozoic biodiversity. We find a positive correlation between global marine invertebrate genus richness and an independently derived quantitative index describing the fragmentation of continental crust during supercontinental coalescence-breakup cycles. The observed positive correlation between global biodiversity and continental fragmentation is not readily attributable to commonly cited vagaries of the fossil record, including changing quantities of marine rock or time-variable sampling effort. Because many different environmental and biotic factors may covary with changes in the geographic arrangement of continental crust, it is difficult to identify a specific causal mechanism. However, cross-correlation indicates that the state of continental fragmentation at a given time is positively correlated with the state of global biodiversity for tens of millions of years afterward. There is also evidence to suggest that continental fragmentation promotes increasing marine richness, but that coalescence alone has only a small negative or stabilizing effect. Together, these results suggest that continental fragmentation, particularly during the Mesozoic breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea, has exerted a first-order control on the long-term trajectory of Phanerozoic marine animal diversity.

  8. Plate tectonic regulation of global marine animal diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaffos, Andrew; Finnegan, Seth; Peters, Shanan E

    2017-05-30

    Valentine and Moores [Valentine JW, Moores EM (1970) Nature 228:657-659] hypothesized that plate tectonics regulates global biodiversity by changing the geographic arrangement of continental crust, but the data required to fully test the hypothesis were not available. Here, we use a global database of marine animal fossil occurrences and a paleogeographic reconstruction model to test the hypothesis that temporal patterns of continental fragmentation have impacted global Phanerozoic biodiversity. We find a positive correlation between global marine invertebrate genus richness and an independently derived quantitative index describing the fragmentation of continental crust during supercontinental coalescence-breakup cycles. The observed positive correlation between global biodiversity and continental fragmentation is not readily attributable to commonly cited vagaries of the fossil record, including changing quantities of marine rock or time-variable sampling effort. Because many different environmental and biotic factors may covary with changes in the geographic arrangement of continental crust, it is difficult to identify a specific causal mechanism. However, cross-correlation indicates that the state of continental fragmentation at a given time is positively correlated with the state of global biodiversity for tens of millions of years afterward. There is also evidence to suggest that continental fragmentation promotes increasing marine richness, but that coalescence alone has only a small negative or stabilizing effect. Together, these results suggest that continental fragmentation, particularly during the Mesozoic breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea, has exerted a first-order control on the long-term trajectory of Phanerozoic marine animal diversity.

  9. Rheological decoupling at the Moho and implication to Venusian tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azuma, Shintaro; Katayama, Ikuo; Nakakuki, Tomoeki

    2014-03-18

    Plate tectonics is largely responsible for material and heat circulation in Earth, but for unknown reasons it does not exist on Venus. The strength of planetary materials is a key control on plate tectonics because physical properties, such as temperature, pressure, stress, and chemical composition, result in strong rheological layering and convection in planetary interiors. Our deformation experiments show that crustal plagioclase is much weaker than mantle olivine at conditions corresponding to the Moho in Venus. Consequently, this strength contrast may produce a mechanical decoupling between the Venusian crust and interior mantle convection. One-dimensional numerical modeling using our experimental data confirms that this large strength contrast at the Moho impedes the surface motion of the Venusian crust and, as such, is an important factor in explaining the absence of plate tectonics on Venus.

  10. [Comment on “Plate tectonics: Scientific revolution or scientific program?” by Jean-Claude Mareschal] Development of plate tectonics theory: The missing piece

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doe, Bruce R.

    The recent article by Jean-Claude Mareschal (“Plate Tectonics: Scientific Revolution or Scientific Program?” in Eos, May 19, 1987, p. 529) adds to the interesting literature on the evolution of the theory of plate tectonics. It is curious that an aspect of the general theory that seems to be little considered and mentioned by Mareschal or others who write about the history of development of the theory, but that was vitally important in my own acceptance of the theory, was the discovery of subduction and, to a lesser extent, abduction.

  11. Paleogene plate tectonic evolution of the Arabian and Eastern Somali basins

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Royer, J.-Y.; Chaubey, A; Dyment, J.; Bhattacharya, G.C.; Srinivas, K.; Yatheesh, V.; Ramprasad, T.

    Previous models reviewed for the Paleogene tectonic evolution of the Arabian and Eastern Somali basins and present a model based on a new compilation of magnetic and gravity data. Using plate reconstructions, a self-consistent set of isochrons...

  12. The Earth's Mantle Is Solid: Teachers' Misconceptions About the Earth and Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Chris

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the misconceptions revealed by the teachers' answers and outlines more accurate answers and explanations based on established evidence and uses these to provide a more complete understanding of plate tectonic process and the structure of Earth. (Author/YDS)

  13. The Earth's Mantle Is Solid: Teachers' Misconceptions About the Earth and Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Chris

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the misconceptions revealed by the teachers' answers and outlines more accurate answers and explanations based on established evidence and uses these to provide a more complete understanding of plate tectonic process and the structure of Earth. (Author/YDS)

  14. Tectonic Plate Parameters Estimated in the International Terrestrial Reference Frame ITRF2008 Based on SLR Stations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kraszewska Katarzyna

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper concerns an analysis of the accuracy of estimated parameters Ω(Φ, Λ, ω which define the tectonic plate motions. The study is based on the velocities of station positions published by ITRF2008 for Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR technique. The Eurasian, African, North American and Australian plates were used in the analysis. Influence of the number and location of stations on the plate surface on estimation accuracy of the tectonic plate motion parameters was discussed. The results were compared with the APKIM 2005 IGN model. In general, a remarkable concurrence agreement between our solutions and the APKIM 2005 model was found.

  15. When and how did plate tectonics begin? Theoretical and empirical considerations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    R. J. STERN

    2007-01-01

    Plate tectonics is the horizontal motion of Earth's thermal boundary layer (lithosphere) over the convecting mantle (asthenosphere) and is mostly driven by lithosphere sinking in subduction zones. Plate tectonics is an outstanding example of a self organizing, far from equilibrium complex system (SOFFECS), driven by the negative buoyancy of the thermal boundary layer and controlled by dissipation in the bending lithosphere and viscous mantle. Plate tectonics is an unusual way for a silicate planet to lose heat, as it exists on only one of the large five silicate bodies in the inner solar system. It is not known when this mode of tectonic activity and heat loss began on Earth. All silicate planets probably experienced a short-lived magma ocean stage. After this solidified, stagnant lid behavior is the common mode of planetary heat loss, with interior heat being lost by delamination and "hot spot" volcanism and shallow intrusions. Decompression melting in the hotter early Earth generated a different lithosphere than today, with thicker oceanic crust and thinner mantle lithosphere; such lithosphere would take much longer than at present to become negatively buoyant, suggesting that plate tectonics on the early Earth occurred sporadically if at all. Plate tectonics became sustainable (the modern style) when Earth cooled sufficiently that decompression melting beneath spreading ridges made thin oceanic crust, allowing oceanic lithosphere to become negatively buoyant after a few tens of millions of years. Ultimately the question of when plate tectonics began must be answered by information retrieved from the geologic record. Criteria for the operation of plate tectonics includes ophiolites, blueschist and ultra-high pressure metamorphic belts, eclogites, passive margins, transform faults, paleomagnetic demonstration of different motions of different cratons, and the presence of diagnostic geochemical and isotopic indicators in igneous rocks. This record must be

  16. The importance of temporal stress variation and dynamic disequilibrium for the initiation of plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenković, V.; Höink, T.; Lenardic, A.

    2016-06-01

    We use 1-D thermal history models and 3-D numerical experiments to study the impact of dynamic thermal disequilibrium and large temporal variations of normal and shear stresses on the initiation of plate tectonics. Previous models that explored plate tectonics initiation from a steady state, single plate mode of convection concluded that normal stresses govern the initiation of plate tectonics, which based on our 1-D model leads to plate yielding being more likely with increasing interior heat and planet mass for a depth-dependent Byerlee yield stress. Using 3-D spherical shell mantle convection models in an episodic regime allows us to explore larger temporal stress variations than can be addressed by considering plate failure from a steady state stagnant lid configuration. The episodic models show that an increase in convective mantle shear stress at the lithospheric base initiates plate failure, which leads with our 1-D model to plate yielding being less likely with increasing interior heat and planet mass. In this out-of-equilibrium and strongly time-dependent stress scenario, the onset of lithospheric overturn events cannot be explained by boundary layer thickening and normal stresses alone. Our results indicate that in order to understand the initiation of plate tectonics, one should consider the temporal variation of stresses and dynamic disequilibrium.

  17. Geodynamic evolution of the Earth over the Phanerozoic:Plate tectonic activity and palaeoclimatic indicators

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christian Vérard; Cyril Hochard; Peter O. Baumgartner; Gérard M. Stamplfi

    2015-01-01

    During the last decades, numerous local reconstructions based on ifeld geol-ogy were developed at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). Team members of the UNIL partici-pated in the elaboration of a 600 Ma to present global plate tectonic model deeply rooted in geological data, controlled by geometric and kinematic constraints and coherent with forces acting at plate boundaries. In this paper, we compare values derived from the tectonic model (ages of oceanic lfoor, production and subduction rates, tectonic activity) with a combination of chemical proxies (namely CO2, 87Sr/86Sr, glaciation evidence, and sea-level variations) known to be strongly in-lfuenced by tectonics. One of the outstanding results is the observation of an overall decreas-ing trend in the evolution of the global tectonic activity, mean oceanic ages and plate velocities over the whole Phanerozoic. We speculate that the decreasing trend relfects the global cooling of the Earth system. Additionally, the parallel between the tectonic activity and CO2 together with the extension of glaciations conifrms the generally accepted idea of a primary control of CO2 on climate and highlights the link between plate tectonics and CO2 in a time scale greater than 107 yr. Last, the wide variations observed in the reconstructed sea-lfoor production rates are in contradiction with the steady-state model hypothesized by some.

  18. Plate tectonics on the early Earth: Limitations imposed by strength and buoyancy of subducted lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hunen, Jeroen; van den Berg, Arie P.

    2008-06-01

    The tectonic style and viability of modern plate tectonics in the early Earth is still debated. Field observations and theoretical arguments both in favor and against the uniformitarian view of plate tectonics back until the Archean continue to accumulate. Here, we present the first numerical modeling results that address for a hotter Earth the viability of subduction, one of the main requirements for plate tectonics. A hotter mantle has mainly two effects: 1) viscosity is lower, and 2) more melt is produced, which in a plate tectonic setting will lead to a thicker oceanic crust and harzburgite layer. Although compositional buoyancy resulting from these thick crust and harzburgite might be a serious limitation for subduction initiation, our modeling results show that eclogitization significantly relaxes this limitation for a developed, ongoing subduction process. Furthermore, the lower viscosity leads to more frequent slab breakoff, and sometimes to crustal separation from the mantle lithosphere. Unlike earlier propositions, not compositional buoyancy considerations, but this lithospheric weakness could be the principle limitation to the viability of plate tectonics in a hotter Earth. These results suggest a new explanation for the absence of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism (UHPM) and blueschists in most of the Precambrian: early slabs were not too buoyant, but too weak to provide a mechanism for UHPM and exhumation.

  19. A plate tectonics oddity: Caterpillar-walk exhumation of subducted continental crust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tirel, C.; Brun, J.-P.; Burov, E.; Wortel, M.J.R.; Lebedev, S.

    2013-01-01

    Since plate tectonics began on Earth, grandiose "subduction factories" have continually shaped the continents, accreting continental blocks and new crust at the convergent plate boundaries. An enigmatic product of subduction factories is the high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure (HP-UHP) metamorphic

  20. A plate tectonics oddity: Caterpillar-walk exhumation of subducted continental crust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tirel, C.; Brun, J.-P.; Burov, E.; Wortel, M.J.R.; Lebedev, S.

    2013-01-01

    Since plate tectonics began on Earth, grandiose "subduction factories" have continually shaped the continents, accreting continental blocks and new crust at the convergent plate boundaries. An enigmatic product of subduction factories is the high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure (HP-UHP) metamorphic c

  1. A plate tectonics oddity: Caterpillar-walk exhumation of subducted continental crust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tirel, C.; Brun, J.-P.; Burov, E.; Wortel, M.J.R.; Lebedev, S.

    2013-01-01

    Since plate tectonics began on Earth, grandiose "subduction factories" have continually shaped the continents, accreting continental blocks and new crust at the convergent plate boundaries. An enigmatic product of subduction factories is the high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure (HP-UHP) metamorphic c

  2. Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    International audience; The theory of plate tectonics describes how the surface of the Earth is split into an organized jigsaw of seven large plates 1 of similar sizes and a population of smaller plates, whose areas follow a fractal distribution 2,3. The reconstruction of global tectonics during the past 200 My 4 suggests that this layout is probably a long-term feature of our planet, but the forces governing it are unknown. Previous studies 3,5,6 , primarily based on statistical properties o...

  3. Linking mantle dynamics, plate tectonics and surface processes in the active plate boundary zones of eastern New Guinea (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, S.; Moucha, R.; Fitzgerald, P. G.; Hoke, G. D.; Bermudez, M. A.; Webb, L. E.; Braun, J.; Rowley, D. B.; Insel, N.; Abers, G. A.; Wallace, L. M.; Vervoort, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Eastern New Guinea lies within the rapidly obliquely converging Australian (AUS)- Pacific (PAC) plate boundary zone and is characterized by transient plate boundaries, rapidly rotating microplates and a globally significant geoid high. As the AUS plate moved northward in the Cenozoic, its leading edge has been a zone of subduction and arc accretion. The variety of tectonic settings in this region permits assessment of the complex interplay among mantle dynamics, plate tectonics, and surface processes. Importantly, the timescale of tectonic events (e.g., subduction, (U)HP exhumation, seafloor spreading) are within the valid bounds of mantle convection models. A record of changes in bathymetry and topography are preserved in high standing mountain belts, exhumed extensional gneiss domes and core complexes, uplifted coral terraces, and marine sedimentary basins. Global seismic tomography models indicate accumulation of subducted slabs beneath eastern New Guinea at the bottom of the upper mantle (i.e., 250-300 km). Preliminary global-scale backward advected mantle convection models, driven by density inferred from joint seismic-geodynamic tomography models, exhibit large-scale flow associated with these subducted slab remnants and predict the timing and magnitude (up to 1500 m) of dynamic topography change (both subsidence and uplift) since the Oligocene. In this talk we will explore the effects of large-scale background mantle flow and plate tectonics on the evolution of topography and bathymetry in eastern New Guinea, and discuss possible mechanisms to explain basin subsidence and surface uplift in the region.

  4. Initiation of Plate Tectonics from Post-Magma Ocean Thermo-Chemical Convection

    CERN Document Server

    Foley, Bradford J; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2014-01-01

    Leading theories for the presence of plate tectonics on Earth typically appeal to the role of present day conditions in promoting rheological weakening of the lithosphere. However, it is unknown whether the conditions of the early Earth were favorable for plate tectonics, or any form of subduction, and thus how subduction begins is unclear. Using physical models based on grain-damage, a grainsize-feedback mechanism capable of producing plate-like mantle convection, we demonstrate that subduction was possible on the Hadean Earth (hereafter referred to as proto-subduction or proto-plate tectonics), that proto-subduction differed from modern day plate tectonics, and that it could initiate rapidly. Scaling laws for convection with grain-damage show that, though either higher mantle temperatures or higher surface temperatures lead to slower plates, proto-subduction, with plate speeds of $\\approx 1.75$ cm/yr, can still be maintained in the Hadean, even with a CO$_2$ rich primordial atmosphere. Furthermore, when the...

  5. Models of convection-driven tectonic plates - A comparison of methods and results

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Scott D.; Gable, Carl W.; Weinstein, Stuart A.

    1992-01-01

    Recent numerical studies of convection in the earth's mantle have included various features of plate tectonics. This paper describes three methods of modeling plates: through material properties, through force balance, and through a thin power-law sheet approximation. The results obtained are compared using each method on a series of simple calculations. From these results, scaling relations between the different parameterizations are developed. While each method produces different degrees of deformation within the surface plate, the surface heat flux and average plate velocity agree to within a few percent. The main results are not dependent upon the plate modeling method and herefore are representative of the physical system modeled.

  6. Constraints on plate tectonics initiation from scaling laws for single-cell convection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Teresa; Solomatov, Viatcheslav S.

    2016-08-01

    The Earth is the only planet known to have plate tectonics, while other planets are covered with a stagnant lid. On the Earth, the initiation of subduction, which is thought to be the fundamental process for plate tectonics initiation, is caused not only by the negative buoyancy of the lithosphere but also by the forces from plate motions. However, for planets which do not have plate tectonics, the very first episode of lithospheric failure has to be caused by forces other than plate motions. Sublithospheric convection has been proposed as a possible mechanism that provides lithospheric instability through inducing stresses in the lithosphere, and lithospheric failure can occur when the yield stress is below a critical value. We test the applicability of scaling laws for the critical yield stress obtained in single-cell convection simulations to strongly time-dependent multi-cell systems. We show that with an appropriate choice of characteristic aspect ratio for the convective system, the scaling laws from single-cell simulations can be used to evaluate the conditions on the terrestrial planets in the inner Solar System for plate tectonics to exist. In agreement with previous studies, the estimated values for critical yield stress and coefficient of friction are much lower than the expected values for the Earth's lithosphere.

  7. Origins of Japan : the 'Big Picture' Revisited : A Review of New Plate Tectonics Research

    OpenAIRE

    BARNES, Gina L.

    2013-01-01

    This review essay mainly compares two articles by G. L. Barnes on Japanese geology, previously published in Japan Review (2003, 2008), with a series of articles on 'New Paradigms' in Japanese plate tectonics published in Chigaku zasshi in 2009-2010. The first purpose is to update and add new details to flesh out the previous Japan Review overviews. A discussion about collisional and accretionary tectonics then follows, outlining problems of interpretation by scholars coming from different a...

  8. Neogene Caribbean plate rotation and associated Central American tectonic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadge, G.; Burke, K.

    1983-01-01

    A theoretical model of the opening of the Cayman Trough is developed on the basis of geological evidence from a wide area. It is proposed that strike slip motion began about 30 Myr ago and proceeded at a rate of 37 + or - 6 mm/yr for a total of 1100 km of relative plate displacement, and that Central America Underwent an anticlockwise rotation with internal plate deformation. Maps of the reconstructed motion are provided.

  9. Neogene Caribbean plate rotation and associated Central American tectonic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadge, G.; Burke, K.

    1983-01-01

    A theoretical model of the opening of the Cayman Trough is developed on the basis of geological evidence from a wide area. It is proposed that strike slip motion began about 30 Myr ago and proceeded at a rate of 37 + or - 6 mm/yr for a total of 1100 km of relative plate displacement, and that Central America Underwent an anticlockwise rotation with internal plate deformation. Maps of the reconstructed motion are provided.

  10. Barrel organ of plate tectonics - a new tool for outreach and education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broz, Petr; Machek, Matěj; Šorm, Zdar

    2016-04-01

    Plate tectonics is the major geological concept to explain dynamics and structure of Earth's outer shell, the lithosphere. In the plate tectonic theory processes in the Earth lithosphere and its dynamics is driven by the relative motion and interaction of lithospheric plates. Geologically most active regions on Earth often correlate with the lithospheric plate boundaries. Thus for explaining the earth surface evolution, mountain building, volcanism and earthquake origin it is important to understand processes at the plate boundaries. However these processes associated with plate tectonics usually require significant period of time to take effects, therefore, their entire cycles cannot be directly observed in the nature by humans. This makes a challenge for scientists studying these processes, but also for teachers and popularizers trying to explain them to students and to the general public. Therefore, to overcome this problem, we developed a mechanical model of plate tectonics enabling demonstration of most important processes associated with plate tectonics in real time. The mechanical model is a wooden box, more specifically a special type of barrel organ, with hand painted backdrops in the front side. These backdrops are divided into several components representing geodynamic processes associated with plate tectonics, specifically convective currents occurring in the mantle, sea-floor spreading, a subduction of the oceanic crust under the continental crust, partial melting and volcanism associated with subduction, a formation of magmatic stripes, an ascent of mantle plume throughout the mantle, a volcanic activity associated with hot spots, and a formation and degradation of volcanic islands on moving lithospheric plate. All components are set in motion by a handle controlled by a human operator, and the scene is illuminated with colored lights controlled automatically by an electric device embedded in the box. Operation of the model may be seen on www

  11. Active faulting and transpression tectonics along the plate boundary in North Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Mustapha Meghraoui; Silvia Pondrelli

    2012-01-01

    International audience; We present a synthesis of the active tectonics of the northern Atlas Mountains , and suggest a kinematic model of transpression and block rotation that illustrates the mechanics of this section of the Africa–Eurasia plate boundary. Neotectonic structures and significant shallow seismicity (with Mw >5.0) indicate that coeval E-W-trending, right-lateral faulting and NE-SW, thrust-related folding result from oblique convergence at the plate boundary, which forms a transpr...

  12. Plate-tectonic evolution of the western U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, W.

    1987-01-01

    Changing interactions of lithospheric plates provide the framework for this review of the 3100 m.y. geological history of some 3 million km2 of mountains, deserts, plateaux and plains. The Precambrian to Neogene development of the western U.S.A. is outlined in terms of plate collisions, subduction events and deformation of lithospheric slabs, with some interpretations based on SE Asia and other regions of complex tectonics.-R.A.H.

  13. Geodynamic evolution of the Earth over the Phanerozoic: Plate tectonic activity and palaeoclimatic indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Vérard

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, we compare values derived from the tectonic model (ages of oceanic floor, production and subduction rates, tectonic activity with a combination of chemical proxies (namely CO2, 87Sr/86Sr, glaciation evidence, and sea-level variations known to be strongly influenced by tectonics. One of the outstanding results is the observation of an overall decreasing trend in the evolution of the global tectonic activity, mean oceanic ages and plate velocities over the whole Phanerozoic. We speculate that the decreasing trend reflects the global cooling of the Earth system. Additionally, the parallel between the tectonic activity and CO2 together with the extension of glaciations confirms the generally accepted idea of a primary control of CO2 on climate and highlights the link between plate tectonics and CO2 in a time scale greater than 107 yr. Last, the wide variations observed in the reconstructed sea-floor production rates are in contradiction with the steady-state model hypothesized by some.

  14. Tectonics of the Nazca-Antarctic plate boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Fontana, Sandra; Larson, Roger L.; Engeln, Joseph F.; Lundgren, Paul; Stein, Seth

    1987-01-01

    A new bathymetric chart of part of the Chile transform system is constructed, based mainly on an R/V Endeavor survey from 100 deg W to its intersection with the East Ridge of the Juan Fernandez microplate. A generally continuous lineated trend can be followed through the entire region, with the transform valley being relatively narrow and well-defined from 109 deg W to approximately 104 deg 30 min W. The fracture zone then widens to the east, with at least two probable en echelon offsets to the south at 104 deg and 102 deg W. Six new strike-slip mechanisms along the Chile Transform and one normal fault mechanism near the northern end of the Chile Rise, inverted together with other plate-motion data from the eastern portion of the boundary, produce a new best-fit Euler pole for the Nazca-Antarctic plate pair, providing tighter constraints on the relative plate motions.

  15. Tectonics of the Nazca-Antarctic plate boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Fontana, Sandra; Larson, Roger L.; Engeln, Joseph F.; Lundgren, Paul; Stein, Seth

    1987-01-01

    A new bathymetric chart of part of the Chile transform system is constructed, based mainly on an R/V Endeavor survey from 100 deg W to its intersection with the East Ridge of the Juan Fernandez microplate. A generally continuous lineated trend can be followed through the entire region, with the transform valley being relatively narrow and well-defined from 109 deg W to approximately 104 deg 30 min W. The fracture zone then widens to the east, with at least two probable en echelon offsets to the south at 104 deg and 102 deg W. Six new strike-slip mechanisms along the Chile Transform and one normal fault mechanism near the northern end of the Chile Rise, inverted together with other plate-motion data from the eastern portion of the boundary, produce a new best-fit Euler pole for the Nazca-Antarctic plate pair, providing tighter constraints on the relative plate motions.

  16. A diffuse plate boundary model for Indian Ocean tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, D. A.; Demets, C.; Gordon, R. G.; Stein, S.; Argus, D.

    1985-01-01

    It is suggested that motion along the virtually aseismic Owen fracture zone is negligible, so that Arabia and India are contained within a single Indo-Arabian plate divided from the Australian plate by a diffuse boundary. The boundary is a zone of concentrated seismicity and deformation commonly characterized as 'intraplate'. The rotation vector of Australia relative to Indo-Arabia is consistent with the seismologically observed 2 cm/yr of left-lateral strike-slip along the Ninetyeast Ridge, north-south compression in the Central Indian Ocean, and the north-south extension near Chagos.

  17. Early impact basins and the onset of plate tectonics. Ph.D. Thesis - Maryland Univ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, H.

    1977-01-01

    The fundamental crustal dichotomy of the Earth (high and low density crust) was established nearly 4 billion years ago. Therefore, subductable crust was concentrated at the surface of the Earth very early in its history, making possible an early onset for plate tectonics. Simple thermal history calculations spanning 1 billion years show that the basin forming impact thins the lithosphere by at least 25%, and increases the sublithosphere thermal gradients by roughly 20%. The corresponding increase in convective heat transport, combined with the highly fractured nature of the thinned basin lithosphere, suggest that lithospheric breakup or rifting occurred shortly after the formation of the basins. Conditions appropriate for early rifting persisted from some 100,000,000 years following impact. We suggest a very early stage of high temperature, fast spreading "microplate" tectonics, originating before 3.5 billion years ago, and gradually stabilizing over the Archaean into more modern large plate or Wilson Cycle tectonics.

  18. Plate Tectonics: The Way the Earth Works. Teacher's Guide. LHS GEMS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuff, Kevin

    This teacher guide presents a unit on plate tectonics and introduces hands-on activities for students in grades 6-8. In each unit, students act as real scientists and gather evidence by using science process skills such as observing, graphing, analyzing data, designing and making models, visualizing, communicating, theorizing, and drawing…

  19. Introduction of the Concepts of Plate Tectonics into Secondary-School Earth Science Textbooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, William Harold

    1992-01-01

    Secondary school earth-science textbooks in print from 1960 through 1979 were examined to determine how rapidly concepts of plate tectonics were incorporated into those texts during the period when scientists' views about these concepts were evolving most rapidly. Suggests that delays were probably due to an unwillingness to engage in speculation…

  20. Plate tectonic controls on atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Meer, D.G.; Zeebe, R.; van Hinsbergen, D.J.J.; Sluijs, A.; Spakman, W.; Torsvik, T.H.

    2014-01-01

    Climate trends on timescales of 10s to 100s of millions of years are controlled by changes in solar luminosity, continent distribution, and atmosphere composition. Plate tectonics affect geography, but also atmosphere composition through volcanic degassing of CO2 at subduction zones and midocean rid

  1. Plate Tectonics: The Way the Earth Works. Teacher's Guide. LHS GEMS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuff, Kevin

    This teacher guide presents a unit on plate tectonics and introduces hands-on activities for students in grades 6-8. In each unit, students act as real scientists and gather evidence by using science process skills such as observing, graphing, analyzing data, designing and making models, visualizing, communicating, theorizing, and drawing…

  2. ADOPT: A tool for automatic detection of tectonic plates at the surface of convection models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallard, C.; Jacquet, B.; Coltice, N.

    2017-08-01

    Mantle convection models with plate-like behavior produce surface structures comparable to Earth's plate boundaries. However, analyzing those structures is a difficult task, since convection models produce, as on Earth, diffuse deformation and elusive plate boundaries. Therefore we present here and share a quantitative tool to identify plate boundaries and produce plate polygon layouts from results of numerical models of convection: Automatic Detection Of Plate Tectonics (ADOPT). This digital tool operates within the free open-source visualization software Paraview. It is based on image segmentation techniques to detect objects. The fundamental algorithm used in ADOPT is the watershed transform. We transform the output of convection models into a topographic map, the crest lines being the regions of deformation (plate boundaries) and the catchment basins being the plate interiors. We propose two generic protocols (the field and the distance methods) that we test against an independent visual detection of plate polygons. We show that ADOPT is effective to identify the smaller plates and to close plate polygons in areas where boundaries are diffuse or elusive. ADOPT allows the export of plate polygons in the standard OGR-GMT format for visualization, modification, and analysis under generic softwares like GMT or GPlates.

  3. Seismicity and plate tectonics in south central Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Wormer, J. D.; Davies, J.; Gedney, L.

    1974-01-01

    Hypocenter distribution shows that the Benioff zone associated with the Aleutian arc terminates in interior Alaska some 75 km north of the Denali fault. There appears to be a break in the subducting Pacific plate in the Yentna River-Prince William Sound area which separates two seismically independent blocks, similar to the segmented structure reported for the central Aleutian arc.

  4. A seismic reflection image for the base of a tectonic plate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, T A; Henrys, S A; Okaya, D; Louie, J N; Savage, M K; Lamb, S; Sato, H; Sutherland, R; Iwasaki, T

    2015-02-05

    Plate tectonics successfully describes the surface of Earth as a mosaic of moving lithospheric plates. But it is not clear what happens at the base of the plates, the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). The LAB has been well imaged with converted teleseismic waves, whose 10-40-kilometre wavelength controls the structural resolution. Here we use explosion-generated seismic waves (of about 0.5-kilometre wavelength) to form a high-resolution image for the base of an oceanic plate that is subducting beneath North Island, New Zealand. Our 80-kilometre-wide image is based on P-wave reflections and shows an approximately 15° dipping, abrupt, seismic wave-speed transition (less than 1 kilometre thick) at a depth of about 100 kilometres. The boundary is parallel to the top of the plate and seismic attributes indicate a P-wave speed decrease of at least 8 ± 3 per cent across it. A parallel reflection event approximately 10 kilometres deeper shows that the decrease in P-wave speed is confined to a channel at the base of the plate, which we interpret as a sheared zone of ponded partial melts or volatiles. This is independent, high-resolution evidence for a low-viscosity channel at the LAB that decouples plates from mantle flow beneath, and allows plate tectonics to work.

  5. The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow: from local to global scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadler, Georg; Gurnis, Michael; Burstedde, Carsten; Wilcox, Lucas C; Alisic, Laura; Ghattas, Omar

    2010-08-27

    Plate tectonics is regulated by driving and resisting forces concentrated at plate boundaries, but observationally constrained high-resolution models of global mantle flow remain a computational challenge. We capitalized on advances in adaptive mesh refinement algorithms on parallel computers to simulate global mantle flow by incorporating plate motions, with individual plate margins resolved down to a scale of 1 kilometer. Back-arc extension and slab rollback are emergent consequences of slab descent in the upper mantle. Cold thermal anomalies within the lower mantle couple into oceanic plates through narrow high-viscosity slabs, altering the velocity of oceanic plates. Viscous dissipation within the bending lithosphere at trenches amounts to approximately 5 to 20% of the total dissipation through the entire lithosphere and mantle.

  6. Plate Tectonics as a Far-From-Equilibrium Self-Organized Dissipative System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.

    2001-12-01

    A fluid above the critical Rayleigh number is far from equilibrium and spontaneously organizes itself into patterns involving the collective motion of large numbers of molecules which are resisted by the viscosity of the fluid. No external template is involved in forming the pattern. In 1928 Pearson showed that Bénard's experiments were driven by variations in surface tension at the top of the fluid and the surface motions drove convection in the fluid. In this case, the surface organized itself AND the underlying fluid. Both internal buoyancy driven flow and flow driven by surface forces can be far-from-equilibrium self-organized open systems that receive energy and matter from the environment. In the Earth, the cold thermal boundary layer at the surface drives plate tectonics and introduces temperature, shear and pressure gradients into the mantle that drive mantle convection. The mantle provides energy and material but may not provide the template. Plate tectonics is therefore a candidate for a far-from-equilibrium dissipative self-organizing system. Alternatively, one could view mantle convection as the self-organized system and the plates as simply the surface manifestation. Lithospheric architecture also imposes lateral temperature gradients onto the mantle which can drive and organize flow. Far-from-equilibrium self-organization requires; an open system, interacting parts, nonlinearities or feedbacks, an outside steady source of energy or matter, multiple possible states and a source of dissipation. In uniform fluids viscosity is the source of dissipation. Sources of dissipation in the plate system include bending, breaking, folding, shearing, tearing, collision and basal drag. These can change rapidly, in contrast to plate driving forces, and introduce the sort of fluctuations that can reorganize far-from-equilibrium systems. Global plate reorganizations can alternatively be thought of as convective overturns of the mantle, or thermal weakening of plates

  7. The rapid drift of the Indian tectonic plate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Prakash; Yuan, Xiaohui; Kumar, M Ravi; Kind, Rainer; Li, Xueqing; Chadha, R K

    2007-10-18

    The breakup of the supercontinent Gondwanaland into Africa, Antarctica, Australia and India about 140 million years ago, and consequently the opening of the Indian Ocean, is thought to have been caused by heating of the lithosphere from below by a large plume whose relicts are now the Marion, Kerguelen and Réunion plumes. Plate reconstructions based on palaeomagnetic data suggest that the Indian plate attained a very high speed (18-20 cm yr(-1) during the late Cretaceous period) subsequent to its breakup from Gondwanaland, and then slowed to approximately 5 cm yr(-1) after the continental collision with Asia approximately 50 Myr ago. The Australian and African plates moved comparatively less distance and at much lower speeds of 2-4 cm yr(-1) (refs 3-5). Antarctica remained almost stationary. This mobility makes India unique among the fragments of Gondwanaland. Here we propose that when the fragments of Gondwanaland were separated by the plume, the penetration of their lithospheric roots into the asthenosphere were important in determining their speed. We estimated the thickness of the lithospheric plates of the different fragments of Gondwanaland around the Indian Ocean by using the shear-wave receiver function technique. We found that the fragment of Gondwanaland with clearly the thinnest lithosphere is India. The lithospheric roots in South Africa, Australia and Antarctica are between 180 and 300 km deep, whereas the Indian lithosphere extends only about 100 km deep. We infer that the plume that partitioned Gondwanaland may have also melted the lower half of the Indian lithosphere, thus permitting faster motion due to ridge push or slab pull.

  8. Gravity anomalies, plate tectonics and the lateral growth of Precambrian North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, M. D.; Grieve, R. A. F.; Sharpton, V. L.

    1988-01-01

    The widespread gravity coverage of North America provides a picture of the gross structural fabric of the continent via the trends of gravity anomalies. The structural picture so obtained reveals a mosaic of gravity trend domains, many of which correlate closely with structural provinces and orogenic terranes. The gravity trend map, interpreted in the light of plate-tectonic theory, thus provides a new perspective for examining the mode of assembly and growth of North America. Suture zones, palaeosubduction directions, and perhaps, contrasting tectonic histories may be identified using gravity patterns.

  9. Plate tectonic setting and genetic types of gas (oil)-bearing basins in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张一伟; 陈发景; 陆克政; 漆家福

    1997-01-01

    The plate tectonic setting and genetic types of the gas (oil)-bearing basins in China are studied. Based on the history of break-up and amalgamation of Pangea, the three tectonic evolutionary megastages can be divided and the sedimentary basins in China are classified as Palaeozoic and Meso-Cenozoic basins. The Palaeozoic gas(oil)-bearing basins are mainly located in intracratonic basins, on which different types of Meso-Cenozoic basins are superimposed, and located in cratonic marginal basins and aulacogens destroyed with a slight degree, (n contrast, the Mesozoic and Cenozoic gas (oil)-bearing basins mainly formed in extensional foreland and intracontmental shortening flexural basins.

  10. Gravity anomalies, plate tectonics and the lateral growth of Precambrian North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, M. D.; Grieve, R. A. F.; Sharpton, V. L.

    1988-01-01

    The widespread gravity coverage of North America provides a picture of the gross structural fabric of the continent via the trends of gravity anomalies. The structural picture so obtained reveals a mosaic of gravity trend domains, many of which correlate closely with structural provinces and orogenic terranes. The gravity trend map, interpreted in the light of plate-tectonic theory, thus provides a new perspective for examining the mode of assembly and growth of North America. Suture zones, palaeosubduction directions, and perhaps, contrasting tectonic histories may be identified using gravity patterns.

  11. Towards an Integrated Model of Earth's Thermo-Chemical Evolution and Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tackley, P. J.; Xie, S.

    2001-05-01

    It has long been a challenge for geodynamicists, who have typically modeled homogeneous mantles, to explain the geochemical evidence for the existence of several distinct chemical reservoirs, in terms of a dynamically and chemically self-consistent model. While the mixing behavior of generalized tracers has received much attention in the modeling community, a recent trend has been towards mantle convection models that track the evolution of specific chemical species, both major and minor, and can thus be related to geochemical observations. However, obtaining realistic chemical evolution in such models is dependent on their having a reasonable representation of plate tectonic behavior since the recycling of oceanic crust and complementary depleted residuum is a key process in Earth that other terrestrial planets may lack. In general, this has required inserting plate motions by hand in models. In recent years, however, we have learned how to perform numerical simulations of mantle convection in which plate tectonic behavior is introduced self-consistently through plastic yielding of the lithosphere. In this presentation, models of mantle convection that combine a treatment of geochemical evolution with self-consistently generated plate tectonics, will be presented. Preliminary results indicate that the system can self-consistently evolve regions which have a HIMU-like signature as well as regions with a high He3/He4 ratio.

  12. Global plate tectonics and the secular motion of the pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, T.

    1977-01-01

    Astronomical data compiled during the last 70 years by the international organizations providing the coordinates of the instantaneous pole clearly shows a persistent drift of the mean pole. The differential contributions to the earth's second-order tensor of inertia were obtained and applied, resulting in no significant displacement of the earth's principal axis. In view of the above, the effect that theoretical geophysical models for absolute plate velocities may have on an apparent displacement of the mean pole as a consequence of station drifting was analyzed. The investigation also reports new values for the crustal tensor of inertia (assuming an ellipsoidal earth) and the orientation of its axis of figure, reopening the old speculation of a possible sliding of the whole crustover the upper mantle, including the supporting geophysical and astronomic evidence.

  13. Earthquake stress drops, ambient tectonic stresses and stresses that drive plate motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanks, T.C.

    1977-01-01

    A variety of geophysical observations suggests that the upper portion of the lithosphere, herein referred to as the elastic plate, has long-term material properties and frictional strength significantly greater than the lower lithosphere. If the average frictional stress along the non-ridge margin of the elastic plate is of the order of a kilobar, as suggested by the many observations of the frictional strength of rocks at mid-crustal conditions of pressure and temperature, the only viable mechanism for driving the motion of the elastic plate is a basal shear stress of several tens of bars. Kilobars of tectonic stress are then an ambient, steady condition of the earth's crust and uppermost mantle. The approximate equality of the basal shear stress and the average crustal earthquake stress drop, the localization of strain release for major plate margin earthquakes, and the rough equivalence of plate margin slip rates and gross plate motion rates suggest that the stress drops of major plate margin earthquakes are controlled by the elastic release of the basal shear stress in the vicinity of the plate margin, despite the existence of kilobars of tectonic stress existing across vertical planes parallel to the plate margin. If the stress differences available to be released at the time of faulting are distributed in a random, white fasbion with a mean-square value determined by the average earthquake stress drop, the frequency of occurrence of constant stress drop earthquakes will be proportional to reciprocal faulting area, in accordance with empirically known frequency of occurrence statistics. ?? 1977 Birkha??user Verlag.

  14. Topography of Venus and earth - A test for the presence of plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, J. W.; Yuter, S. E.; Solomon, S. C.

    1981-01-01

    Comparisons of earth and Venus topography by use of Pioneer/Venus radar altimetry are examined. Approximately 93% of the Venus surface has been mapped with a horizontal resolution of 200 km and a vertical resolution of 200 m. Tectonic troughs have been indicated in plains regions which cover 65% of Venus, and hypsometric comparisons between the two planets' elevation distributions revealed that while the earth has a bimodal height distribution, Venus displays a unimodal configuration, with 60% of the planet surface within 500 m of the modal planet radius. The effects of mapping the earth at the same resolution as the Venus observations were explored. Continents and oceans were apparent, and although folded mountains appeared as high spots, no indications of tectonic activity were discernible. A NASA Venus Orbiting Imaging radar is outlined, which is designed to detect volcanoes, folded mountain ranges, craters, and faults, and thereby allow definition of possible plate-tectonic activity on Venus.

  15. Topography of Venus and earth - A test for the presence of plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, J. W.; Yuter, S. E.; Solomon, S. C.

    1981-01-01

    Comparisons of earth and Venus topography by use of Pioneer/Venus radar altimetry are examined. Approximately 93% of the Venus surface has been mapped with a horizontal resolution of 200 km and a vertical resolution of 200 m. Tectonic troughs have been indicated in plains regions which cover 65% of Venus, and hypsometric comparisons between the two planets' elevation distributions revealed that while the earth has a bimodal height distribution, Venus displays a unimodal configuration, with 60% of the planet surface within 500 m of the modal planet radius. The effects of mapping the earth at the same resolution as the Venus observations were explored. Continents and oceans were apparent, and although folded mountains appeared as high spots, no indications of tectonic activity were discernible. A NASA Venus Orbiting Imaging radar is outlined, which is designed to detect volcanoes, folded mountain ranges, craters, and faults, and thereby allow definition of possible plate-tectonic activity on Venus.

  16. Titanium isotopic evidence for felsic crust and plate tectonics 3.5 billion years ago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greber, Nicolas D; Dauphas, Nicolas; Bekker, Andrey; Ptáček, Matouš P; Bindeman, Ilya N; Hofmann, Axel

    2017-09-22

    Earth exhibits a dichotomy in elevation and chemical composition between the continents and ocean floor. Reconstructing when this dichotomy arose is important for understanding when plate tectonics started and how the supply of nutrients to the oceans changed through time. We measured the titanium isotopic composition of shales to constrain the chemical composition of the continental crust exposed to weathering and found that shales of all ages have a uniform isotopic composition. This can only be explained if the emerged crust was predominantly felsic (silica-rich) since 3.5 billion years ago, requiring an early initiation of plate tectonics. We also observed a change in the abundance of biologically important nutrients phosphorus and nickel across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary, which might have helped trigger the rise in atmospheric oxygen. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  17. JaMBES: A "New" Way of Calculating Plate Tectonic Reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambord, A. I.; Smith, E. G. C.; Sutherland, R.

    2014-12-01

    Calculating the paleoposition of tectonic plates using marine geophysical data has been usually done by using the Hellinger criterion [Hellinger, 1981]. However, for the Hellinger software [Kirkwood et al., 1999] to produce stable results, we find that the input data must be abundant and spatially well distributed. Although magnetic anomalies and fracture zone data have been increasingly abundant since the 1960s, some parts of the globe remain too sparsely explored to provide enough data for the Hellinger code to provide satisfactory rotations. In this poster, we present new software to calculate the paleopositions of tectonic plates using magnetic anomalies and fracture zone data. Our method is based on the theory of plate tectonics as introduced by [Bullard et al., 1965] and [Morgan, 1968], which states that ridge segments (ie. magnetic lineations) and fracture zones are at right angles to each other. In order to test our software, we apply it to a region of the world where climatic conditions hinder the acquisition of magnetic data: the Southwest Pacific, between New Zealand and Antarctica from breakup time to chron 20 (c43Ma). Bullard, E., J. E. Everett, and A. G. Smith (1965), The fit of continents around the atlantic, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 258(1088), 41-51. Hellinger, S. J. (1981), The uncertainties of finite rotations in plate tectonics, Journal of Geophysical Research, 86(B10), 9312-9318. Kirkwood, B. H., J. Y. Royer, T. C. Chang, and R. G. Gordon (1999), Statistical tools for estimating and combining finite rotations and their uncertainties, Geophysical Journal International, 137(2), 408-428. Morgan, W. J. (1968), Rises, trenches, great faults, and crustal blocks, Journal of Geophysical Research, 73(6), 1959-1982.

  18. Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H

    2013-06-27

    Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time.

  19. Deep Structures and Initiation of Plate Tectonics in Thermochemical Mantle Convection Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, U.; Stein, C.

    2015-12-01

    Recently deep thermochemical structures have been studied intensively. The observed large anomalies with reduced seismic velocities (LLSVPs) beneath Africa and the Pacific are obtained in numerical models as an initial dense layer at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) is pushed up to piles by the convective flow (e.g., McNamara et al., EPSL 229, 1-9, 2010). Adding a dense CMB layer to a model featuring active plate tectonics, Trim et al. (EPSL 405, 1-14, 2014) find that surface mobility is strongly hindered by the dense material and can even vanish completely for a CMB layer that has a too high density or too large a volume.In a further study we employed a fully rheological model in which oceanic plates form self-consistently. We observe that an initial dense CMB layer strongly affects the formation of plates and therefore the onset time of plate tectonics. We present a systematic 2D parameter study exploring the time of plate initiation and discuss the resulting deep thermal and thermochemical structures in a self-consistent thermochemical mantle convection system.

  20. Study provides data on active plate tectonics in southeast Asia region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, P.; Rais, J.; Reigber, Ch.; Reinhart, E.; Ambrosius, B. A. C.; Le Pichon, X.; Kasser, M.; Suharto, P.; Majid, Dato'Abdul; Yaakub, Dato'Paduka Awang Haji Othman Bin Haji; Almeda, R.; Boonphakdee, C.

    A major geodynamic study has provided significant new information about the location of active plate boundaries in and around Southeast Asia, as well as deformation processes in the Sulawesi region of Indonesia and tectonic activity in the Philippine archipelago. Results also have confirmed the existence of the so-called Sunda Block, which appears to be rotating with respect to adjacent plates.The study, known as the Geodynamics of South and South-East Asia (GEODYSSEA) project, has been a joint venture of the European Commission and the Association of South- East Asian Nations. It began in 1991 and involved a large team of European and Asian scientists and technicians studying the complex geodynamic processes and natural hazards of the region from the Southeast Asia mainland to the Philippines to northern Australia. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and tectonically induced landslides endanger the lives of millions of people in the region, and the tectonic activity behind these natural hazards results from the convergence and collision of the Eurasian, Philippine, and Indo-Australian Plates at relative velocities of up to 10 cm per year.

  1. Determination of the tectonic plate motion by satellite laser ranging in 1999-2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schillak, S.; Wnuk, E.

    The paper presents results of the tectonic plates motion determination from satellite laser ranging in the period 1999-2003 The SLR station velocities were calculated from station geocentric coordinates determined from one month orbital arcs of Lageos-1 and Lageos-2 satellites for the first day of each arc The mean orbital RMS-of-fit for 5 years was equal to 15 mm The station velocities were determined for 29 stations and points in 1999-2003 it means for all SLR stations with data time span longer than 20 months The accuracy of station velocities determination varied from 0 4 mm year to 3 mm year dependent on quality of data and data span The difference of station velocities between ITRF2000 and the presented results were in the range 0-5 mm year Only for four stations Riyad Maidanak-2 Beijng and Arequipa after earthquake in 2001 the differences were statistically significant For the most stations is a good agreement with the NUVEL1A model of tectonic plates motion The significant differences were detected for stations Arequipa Concepcion Shanghai and Simosato The results differs from the model NUVEL1A in the station velocities and azimuths for South America tectonic plate and Japan

  2. This Dynamic Planet: World map of volcanoes, earthquakes, impact craters and plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkin, Tom; Tilling, Robert I.; Vogt, Peter R.; Kirby, Stephen H.; Kimberly, Paul; Stewart, David B.

    2006-01-01

    Our Earth is a dynamic planet, as clearly illustrated on the main map by its topography, over 1500 volcanoes, 44,000 earthquakes, and 170 impact craters. These features largely reflect the movements of Earth's major tectonic plates and many smaller plates or fragments of plates (including microplates). Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are awe-inspiring displays of the powerful forces of nature and can be extraordinarily destructive. On average, about 60 of Earth's 550 historically active volcanoes are in eruption each year. In 2004 alone, over 160 earthquakes were magnitude 6.0 or above, some of which caused casualties and substantial damage. This map shows many of the features that have shaped--and continue to change--our dynamic planet. Most new crust forms at ocean ridge crests, is carried slowly away by plate movement, and is ultimately recycled deep into the earth--causing earthquakes and volcanism along the boundaries between moving tectonic plates. Oceans are continually opening (e.g., Red Sea, Atlantic) or closing (e.g., Mediterranean). Because continental crust is thicker and less dense than thinner, younger oceanic crust, most does not sink deep enough to be recycled, and remains largely preserved on land. Consequently, most continental bedrock is far older than the oldest oceanic bedrock. (see back of map) The earthquakes and volcanoes that mark plate boundaries are clearly shown on this map, as are craters made by impacts of extraterrestrial objects that punctuate Earth's history, some causing catastrophic ecological changes. Over geologic time, continuing plate movements, together with relentless erosion and redeposition of material, mask or obliterate traces of earlier plate-tectonic or impact processes, making the older chapters of Earth's 4,500-million-year history increasingly difficult to read. The recent activity shown on this map provides only a present-day snapshot of Earth's long history, helping to illustrate how its present surface came to

  3. Filling in the juvenile magmatic gap: Evidence for uninterrupted Paleoproterozoic plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partin, C. A.; Bekker, A.; Sylvester, P. J.; Wodicka, N.; Stern, R. A.; Chacko, T.; Heaman, L. M.

    2014-02-01

    Despite several decades of research on growth of the continental crust, it remains unclear whether the production of juvenile continental crust has been continuous or episodic throughout the Precambrian. Models for episodic crustal growth have gained traction recently through compilations of global U-Pb zircon age frequency distributions interpreted to delineate peaks and lulls in crustal growth through geologic time. One such apparent trough in zircon age frequency distributions between ∼2.45 and 2.22 Ga is thought to represent a pause in crustal addition, resulting from a global shutdown of magmatic and tectonic processes. The ∼2.45-2.22 Ga magmatic shutdown model envisions a causal relationship between the cessation of plate tectonics and accumulation of atmospheric oxygen over the same period. Here, we present new coupled U-Pb, Hf, and O isotope data for detrital and magmatic zircon from the western Churchill Province and Trans-Hudson orogen of Canada, covering an area of approximately 1.3 million km2, that demonstrate significant juvenile crustal production during the ∼2.45-2.22 Ga time interval, and thereby argue against the magmatic shutdown hypothesis. Our data is corroborated by literature data showing an extensive 2.22-2.45 Ga record in both detrital and magmatic rocks on every continent, and suggests that the operation of plate tectonics continued throughout the early Paleoproterozoic, while atmospheric oxygen rose over the same time interval. We argue that uninterrupted plate tectonics between ∼2.45 and 2.22 Ga would have contributed to efficient burial of organic matter and sedimentary pyrite, and the consequent rise in atmospheric oxygen documented for this time interval.

  4. Destruction geodynamics of the North China Craton and its Paleoproterozoic plate tectonics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU RiXiang; ZHENG TianYu

    2009-01-01

    Much attention has been paid in the last two decades to the physical and chemical processes as well as temporal-spatial variations of the lithospheric mantle beneath the North China Craton. In order to provide insights into the geodynamics of this variation, it is necessary to thoroughly study the state and structure of the lithospheric crust and mantle of the North China Craton and its adjacent regions as an integrated unit. Based on the velocity structure of the crust and upper mantle constrained from seismological studies, this paper presents various available geophysical results regarding the lithosphere thickness, the nature of crust-mantle boundary, the upper mantle structure and deformation characteristics as well as their tectonic features and evolution systematics. Combined with the obtained data from petrology and geochemistry, a mantle flow model is proposed for the tectonic evolution of the North China Craton during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic. We suggest that subduction of the Pacific plate made the mantle underneath the eastern Asian continent unstable and able to flow faster. Such a regional mantle flow system would cause an elevation of melt/fluid content in the upper mantle of the North China Craton and the lithospheric softening, which, subsequently resulted in destruction of the North China Craton in different ways of delamination and thermal erosion in Yanshan, Taihang Mountains and the Tan-Lu Fault zone. Multiple lines of evidence recorded in the crust of the North China Craton, such as the amalgamation of the Archean eastern and western blocks, the subduction of Paleo-oceanic crust and Paleo-continental residue, indicate that the Earth in the Paleoproterozoic had already evolved into the plate tectonic system similar to the present plate tectonics.

  5. Integrating Geochemical and Geodynamic Numerical Models of Mantle Evolution and Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tackley, P. J.; Xie, S.

    2001-12-01

    The thermal and chemical evolution of Earth's mantle and plates are inextricably coupled by the plate tectonic - mantle convective system. Convection causes chemical differentiation, recycling and mixing, while chemical variations affect the convection through physical properties such as density and viscosity which depend on composition. It is now possible to construct numerical mantle convection models that track the thermo-chemical evolution of major and minor elements, and which can be used to test prospective models and hypotheses regarding Earth's chemical and thermal evolution. Model thermal and chemical structures can be compared to results from seismic tomography, while geochemical signatures (e.g., trace element ratios) can be compared to geochemical observations. The presented, two-dimensional model combines a simplified 2-component major element model with tracking of the most important trace elements, using a tracer method. Melting is self-consistently treated using a solidus, with melt placed on the surface as crust. Partitioning of trace elements occurs between melt and residue. Decaying heat-producing elements and secular cooling of the mantle and core provide the driving heat sources. Pseudo-plastic yielding of the lithosphere gives a first-order approximation of plate tectonics, and also allows planets with a rigid lid or intermittent plate tectonics to be modeled simply by increasing the yield strength. Preliminary models with an initially homogeneous mantle show that regions with a HIMU-like signature can be generated by crustal recycling, and regions with high 3He/4He ratios can be generated by residuum recycling. Outgassing of Argon is within the observed range. Models with initially layered mantles will also be investigated. In future it will be important to include a more realistic bulk compositional model that allows continental crust as well as oceanic crust to form, and to extend the model to three dimensions since toroidal flow may alter

  6. Duality of thermal regimes is the distinctive characteristic of plate tectonics since the Neoarchean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Michael

    2006-11-01

    Ultrahigh-temperature (UHT) granulite metamorphism is documented predominantly in the Neoarchean to Cambrian rock record, but UHT granulite metamorphism also may be inferred at depth in Cenozoic orogenic systems. The first occurrence of UHT granulite metamorphism in the record signifies a change in geodynamics that generated transient sites of very high heat flow. Many UHT granulite metamorphic belts may have developed in settings analogous to modern continental backarcs; on a warmer Earth, destruction of oceans floored by thinner lithosphere may have generated hotter backarcs than those associated with the modern Pacific ring of fire. Medium-temperature eclogite high- pressure (EHP) granulite metamorphism is documented in the Neoarchean rock record and at intervals throughout the Proterozoic and Paleozoic record. EHP granulite metamorphic belts are complementary to UHT granulite metamorphic belts in that they are generally inferred to record subduction-to-collision orogenesis. Blueschists become evident in the Neoproterozoic rock record, but lawsonite blueschist eclogite metamorphism (high pressure [HP]) and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism (UHP) characterized by coesite or diamond are predominantly Phanerozoic phenomena. HP-UHP metamorphism registers the low thermal gradients and deep subduction of continental crust during the early stage of subduction-to-collision orogenesis. A duality of metamorphic belts—reflecting a duality of thermal regimes—appears in the record only since the Neoarchean Era. A duality of thermal regimes is the hallmark of modern plate tectonics, and the duality of metamorphic belts is the characteristic imprint of plate tectonics in the rock record. The occurrence of both UHT and EHP granulite metamorphism since the Neoarchean marks the onset of a “Proterozoic plate tectonics” regime, which evolved during a Neoproterozoic transition to the modern plate tectonics regime, characterized by colder subduction as chronicled by HP

  7. Plate tectonics

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chaubey, A.K.

    of magnetic reversals. Matuyama's study, based on available age information of the rock samples, has revealed that during early part of the Quaternary period the earth's magnetic field was reversely magnetized and that has gradually changed over to normal...). While Heirtzler et al. (1968) proposed a magnetic polarity reversal time scale for the Late Cretaceous to 211 Recent, about 75 Ma (anomaly 32), based on the distribution of oceanic magnetic anomalies on a few long magnetic profiles. This time...

  8. Development of the Plate Tectonics and Seismology markup languages with XML

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babaie, H.; Babaei, A.

    2003-04-01

    The Extensible Markup Language (XML) and its specifications such as the XSD Schema, allow geologists to design discipline-specific vocabularies such as Seismology Markup Language (SeismML) or Plate Tectonics Markup Language (TectML). These languages make it possible to store and interchange structured geological information over the Web. Development of a geological markup language requires mapping geological concepts, such as "Earthquake" or "Plate" into a UML object model, applying a modeling and design environment. We have selected four inter-related geological concepts: earthquake, fault, plate, and orogeny, and developed four XML Schema Definitions (XSD), that define the relationships, cardinalities, hierarchies, and semantics of these concepts. In such a geological concept model, the UML object "Earthquake" is related to one or more "Wave" objects, each arriving to a seismic station at a specific "DateTime", and relating to a specific "Epicenter" object that lies at a unique "Location". The "Earthquake" object occurs along a "Segment" of a "Fault" object, which is related to a specific "Plate" object. The "Fault" has its own associations with such things as "Bend", "Step", and "Segment", and could be of any kind (e.g., "Thrust", "Transform'). The "Plate" is related to many other objects such as "MOR", "Subduction", and "Forearc", and is associated with an "Orogeny" object that relates to "Deformation" and "Strain" and several other objects. These UML objects were mapped into XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) formats, which were then converted into four XSD Schemas. The schemas were used to create and validate the XML instance documents, and to create a relational database hosting the plate tectonics and seismological data in the Microsoft Access format. The SeismML and TectML allow seismologists and structural geologists, among others, to submit and retrieve structured geological data on the Internet. A seismologist, for example, can submit peer-reviewed and

  9. Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ming; Chen, Kang; Rudnick, Roberta L

    2016-01-22

    The Archean Eon witnessed the production of early continental crust, the emergence of life, and fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust, which was the interface between the surface and deep Earth, has been obscured by the weathering, erosion, and tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co and Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks and Archean igneous/metaigneous rocks to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3.0 billion years ago to a felsic bulk composition by 2.5 billion years ago. This compositional change was attended by a fivefold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3.0 billion years ago. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  10. Numerical simulation of tectonic plates motion and seismic process in Central Asia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peryshkin, A. Yu., E-mail: alexb700@yandex.ru [Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science SB RAS, Tomsk, 634055 (Russian Federation); Makarov, P. V., E-mail: bacardi@ispms.ru; Eremin, M. O., E-mail: bacardi@ispms.ru [Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science SB RAS, Tomsk, 634055, Russia and National Research Tomsk State University, Tomsk, 634050 (Russian Federation)

    2014-11-14

    An evolutionary approach proposed in [1, 2] combining the achievements of traditional macroscopic theory of solid mechanics and basic ideas of nonlinear dynamics is applied in a numerical simulation of present-day tectonic plates motion and seismic process in Central Asia. Relative values of strength parameters of rigid blocks with respect to the soft zones were characterized by the δ parameter that was varied in the numerical experiments within δ = 1.1–1.8 for different groups of the zonal-block divisibility. In general, the numerical simulations of tectonic block motion and accompanying seismic process in the model geomedium indicate that the numerical solutions of the solid mechanics equations characterize its deformation as a typical behavior of a nonlinear dynamic system under conditions of self-organized criticality.

  11. Students' mental model development during historically contextualized inquiry: how the `Tectonic Plate' metaphor impeded the process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolphin, Glenn; Benoit, Wendy

    2016-01-01

    At present, quality earth science education in grade school is rare, increasing the importance of post-secondary courses. Observations of post-secondary geoscience indicate students often maintain errant ideas about the earth, even after direct instruction. This qualitative case study documents model-building activities of students as they experienced classroom instruction that braids history, inquiry, and model-based-learning within the context of earth dynamics. Transcripts of students' conversations, and their written work indicate students primarily employed model accretion to enhance their mental models. Instances of accretion were descriptive, pertaining to what their model consisted of, as opposed to how it explained the target phenomenon. Participants also conflated "continent" with "tectonic plate" and had difficulty attributing elastic properties - the mechanism for earthquakes - to rocks or "plates". We assert that the documented learning difficulties resulted from use of the metaphor "tectonic plate", reinforced by other everyday experiences and meanings. We suggest students need time with new models or concepts to develop strong descriptions before developing explanations. They need concrete experiences and explicit discussions concerning mapping those experiences to concepts. Lastly, because students often apply common meanings to scientific terms, we should not ask if they understand, but ask how they understand the concept.

  12. Tertiary plate tectonics and high-pressure metamorphism in New Caledonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, R.N.; Blake, M.C.

    1973-01-01

    The sialic basement of New Caledonia is a Permian-Jurassic greywacke sequence which was folded and metamorphosed to prehnite-pumpellyite or low-grade greenschist facies by the Late Jurassic. Succeeding Cretaceous-Eocene sediments unconformably overlie this basement and extend outwards onto oceanic crust. Tertiary tectonism occurred in three distinct phases. 1. (1) During the Late Eocene a nappe of peridotite was obducted onto southern New Caledonia from northeast to southwest, but without causing significant metamorphism in the underlying sialic rocks. 2. (2) Oligocene compressive thrust tectonics in the northern part of the island accompanied a major east-west subduction zone, at least 30 km wide, which is identified by an imbricate system of tectonically intruded melanges and by development of lawsonite-bearing assemblages in adjacent country rocks; this high-pressure mineralogy constituted a primary metamorphism for the Cretaceous-Eocene sedimentary pile, but was overprinted on the Mesozoic prehnite-pumpellyite metagreywackes. 3. (3) Post-Oligocene transcurrent faulting along a northwest-southeast line (the sillon) parallel to the west coast caused at least 150 km of dextral offset of the southwest frontal margin of the Eocene ultramafic nappe. At the present time, the tectonics of the southwest Pacific are related to a series of opposite facing subduction (Benioff) zones connected by transform faults extending from New Britain-Solomon Islands south through the New Hebrides to New Zealand and marking the boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates. Available geologic data from this region suggest that a similar geometry existed during the Tertiary and that the microcontinents of New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand all lay along the former plate boundary which has since migrated north and east by a complex process of sea-floor spreading behind the active island arcs. ?? 1973.

  13. Initiation of modern-style plate tectonics recorded in Mesoarchean marine chemical sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satkoski, Aaron M.; Fralick, Philip; Beard, Brian L.; Johnson, Clark M.

    2017-07-01

    The chemistry of the oceans in part reflects a balance between inputs from the continents and mantle. Traditionally, it has been thought that Archean ocean chemistry was dominated by mantle sources, but recent work has suggested that continental weathering during the Archean provided a much higher flux to the oceans than previously recognized. Here, we present new Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotope compositions on carbonate (dolomite and limestone) from the 2.94 Ga Red Lake and 2.80 Ga Steep Rock groups in the Superior Province, Canada to assess the potential impact continental weathering had on ocean chemistry during the Mesoarchean, a time when initiation of modern-style plate tectonics has been proposed to have occurred. The low Rb contents of all carbonate samples suggest that clastic contamination does not affect the Sr isotope compositions. Using O and Sr isotope modeling, we identified unaltered samples and estimate a 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.70173 for seawater at 2.94 Ga and 0.70182 at 2.80 Ga. Strontium isotope compositions from both Red Lake and Steep Rock indicate that seawater was significantly more radiogenic than contemporaneous mantle, and suggests that weathering of evolved continental crust was an important input to seawater. Continental weathering likely affected seawater chemistry through uplift of continental lithosphere during the initiation of modern-style plate tectonics at 3.2 Ga, a model that is contrary to those that suggest the Archean continents were small in extent and largely submerged. Initiation of modern-style plate tectonics and associated continental weathering had an important effect on the biosphere, including increased nutrient delivery, as well as creation of ecological niches that allowed development of the first biologically produced shallow marine redox gradients.

  14. Pliocene eclogite exhumation at plate tectonic rates in eastern Papua New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Suzanne L; Monteleone, Brian D; Webb, Laura E; Fitzgerald, Paul G; Grove, Marty; Hill, E June

    2004-09-16

    As lithospheric plates are subducted, rocks are metamorphosed under high-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure conditions to produce eclogites and eclogite facies metamorphic rocks. Because chemical equilibrium is rarely fully achieved, eclogites may preserve in their distinctive mineral assemblages and textures a record of the pressures, temperatures and deformation the rock was subjected to during subduction and subsequent exhumation. Radioactive parent-daughter isotopic variations within minerals reveal the timing of these events. Here we present in situ zircon U/Pb ion microprobe data that dates the timing of eclogite facies metamorphism in eastern Papua New Guinea at 4.3 +/- 0.4 Myr ago, making this the youngest documented eclogite exposed at the Earth's surface. Eclogite exhumation from depths of approximately 75 km was extremely rapid and occurred at plate tectonic rates (cm yr(-1)). The eclogite was exhumed within a portion of the obliquely convergent Australian-Pacific plate boundary zone, in an extending region located west of the Woodlark basin sea floor spreading centre. Such rapid exhumation (> 1 cm yr(-1)) of high-pressure and, we infer, ultrahigh-pressure rocks is facilitated by extension within transient plate boundary zones associated with rapid oblique plate convergence.

  15. Plate tectonics 2.5 billion years ago: evidence at kolar, South India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krogstad, E J; Balakrishnan, S; Mukhopadhyay, D K; Rajamani, V; Hanson, G N

    1989-03-10

    The Archean Kolar Schist Belt, south India, is a suture zone where two gneiss terranes and at least two amphibolite terranes with distinct histories were accrted. Amphibolites from the eastern and western sides of the schist belt have distinct incompatible element and isotopic characteristics sugesting that their volcanic protoliths were derived from dint mantle sources. The amphibolite and gneiss terranes were juxtaposed by horizontal compression and shearing between 2530 and 2420 million years ago (Ma) along a zone marked by the Kolar Schist Belt. This history of accretion of discrete crustal terranes resembles those of Phanerozoic convergent margins and thus suggests that plate tectonics operated on Earth by 2500 Ma.

  16. Plate tectonics 2.5 billion years ago - Evidence at Kolar, south India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krogstad, E. J.; Hanson, G. N.; Balakrishnan, S.; Rajamani, V.; Mukhopadhyay, D. K.

    1989-01-01

    The Archean Kolar Schist Belt, south India, is a suture zone where two gneiss terranes and at least two amphibolite terranes with distinct histories were accreted. Amphibolites from the eastern and western sides of the schist belt have distinct incompatible element and isotopic characteristics suggesting that their volcanic protoliths were derived from different mantle sources. The amphibolite and gneiss terranes were juxtaposed by horizontal compression and shearing between 2530 and 2420 million years ago (Ma) along a zone marked by the Kolar Schist Belt. This history of accretion of discrete crustal terranes resembles those of Phanerozoic convergent margins and thus suggests that plate tectonics operated on earth by 2500 Ma.

  17. Ever deeper phylogeographies: trees retain the genetic imprint of Tertiary plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampe, Arndt; Petit, Rémy J

    2007-12-01

    Changes in species distributions after the last glacial maximum (c. 18 000 years bp) are beginning to be understood, but information diminishes quickly as one moves further back in time. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Magri et al. (2007) present the fascinating case of a Mediterranean tree species whose populations preserve the genetic imprints of plate tectonic events that took place between 25 million years and 15 million years ago. The study provides a unique insight into the pace of evolution of trees, which, despite interspecific gene flow, can retain a cohesive species identity over timescales long enough to allow the diversification of entire plant and animal genera.

  18. Plate tectonics 2.5 billion years ago - Evidence at Kolar, south India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krogstad, E. J.; Hanson, G. N.; Balakrishnan, S.; Rajamani, V.; Mukhopadhyay, D. K.

    1989-01-01

    The Archean Kolar Schist Belt, south India, is a suture zone where two gneiss terranes and at least two amphibolite terranes with distinct histories were accreted. Amphibolites from the eastern and western sides of the schist belt have distinct incompatible element and isotopic characteristics suggesting that their volcanic protoliths were derived from different mantle sources. The amphibolite and gneiss terranes were juxtaposed by horizontal compression and shearing between 2530 and 2420 million years ago (Ma) along a zone marked by the Kolar Schist Belt. This history of accretion of discrete crustal terranes resembles those of Phanerozoic convergent margins and thus suggests that plate tectonics operated on earth by 2500 Ma.

  19. Tectonic escape of the Caribbean plate since the Paleocene: a consequence of the Chicxulub meteor impact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangin, C.; Martinez-Reyes, J.; Crespy, A.; Zitter, T. A. C.

    2012-04-01

    The debate for Pacific exotic origin versus in situ inter American plate Atlantic origin of the Caribbean plate is active in the scientific community since decades. Independently of the origin of this plate, its fast motion towards the east at a present rate of 2cm/yr is accepted to have been initiated during the early-most Cenozoic. The Paleocene is a key period in the global evolution of Central America mainly marked also by the Chicxulub multiring meteor impact in Yucatan. We question here the genetic relationship between this impact event and the incipient tectonic escape of the Caribbean plate. The mostly recent published models suggest this impact has affected the whole crust down to the Moho, the upper mantle being rapidly and considerably uplifted. The crust was then fragmented 600km at least from the point of impact, and large circular depressions were rapidly filled by clastic sediments from Cantarell to Western Cuba via Chiapas and Belize. North of the impact, the whole Gulf of Mexico was affected by mass gravity sliding, initiated also during the Paleocene in Texas, remaining active in this basin up to present time. South of the impact, in the Caribbean plate, the Yucatan basin was rapidly opened, indicating a fast escape of the crustal material towards the unique free boundary, the paleo-Antilles subduction zone. Shear waves velocity data below the Caribbean plate suggest this crustal tectonic escape was enhanced by the fast eastward flowing mantle supporting a fragmented and stretched crust. The proposed model suggests Chicxulub impact (but also the hypothetic Beata impact) have fragmented brittle crust, then easily drifted towards the east. This could explain the Paleogene evolution of the Caribbean plate largely stretched during its early evolution. Geologically, this evolution could explain the absence of evident Paleogene oblique subduction along the Caribbean plate northern and southern margins, marked only by Mid Cretaceous dragged volcanic

  20. Tectonic plate under a localized boundary stress: fitting of a zero-range solvable model

    CERN Document Server

    Petrova, L

    2008-01-01

    We suggest a method of fitting of a zero-range model of a tectonic plate under a boundary stress on the basis of comparison of the theoretical formulae for the corresponding eigenfunctions/eigenvalues with the results extraction under monitoring, in the remote zone, of non-random (regular) oscillations of the Earth with periods 0.2-6 hours, on the background seismic process, in case of low seismic activity. Observations of changes of the characteristics of the oscillations (frequency, amplitude and polarization) in course of time, together with the theoretical analysis of the fitted model, would enable us to localize the stressed zone on the boundary of the plate and estimate the risk of a powerful earthquake at the zone.

  1. Tectonics of the Indo-Australian plate near the Ninetyeast Ridge constrained from marine gravity and magnetic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jie; Zhang, Jinchang

    2017-06-01

    Although the Indo-Australian plate near the Ninetyeast Ridge is important for understanding the formation of new plate boundaries, its tectonic problems are complex and most of them are poorly known. This paper made a detailed tectonic analysis based on the data of bathymetry, gravity and magnetics. Bathymetry and gravity maps show morphological features of many folds, which are related to the intraplate deformation of the Indo-Australian plate due to the collision between the Indian and Asian plates. Gravity anomalies show the structure of fracture zones, which are caused by the seafloor spreading and transform faulting. The characteristics of the folds and fracture zones are consistent with the hypothesis that diffuse plate boundaries and redefined plate components would occur within the Indo-Australian plate. In addition, compiled magnetic data demonstrate magnetic lineations, abandoned spreading centers, southward ridge jumps and plate motions. These features provide useful information for rebuilding the tectonic evolution history of the study area. Magnetic anomalies suggest that an additional plate boundary of transform fault type is developing.

  2. Thermochronology and tectonics of the Leeward Antilles: Evolution of the southern Caribbean Plate boundary zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Lelij, Roelant; Spikings, Richard A.; Kerr, Andrew C.; Kounov, Alexandre; Cosca, Michael; Chew, David; Villagomez, Diego

    2010-01-01

    Tectonic reconstructions of the Caribbean Plate are severely hampered by a paucity of geochronologic and exhumation constraints from anastomosed basement blocks along its southern margin. New U/Pb, 40Ar/39Ar, apatite fission track, and apatite (U-Th)/He data constrain quantitative thermal and exhumation histories, which have been used to propose a model for the tectonic evolution of the emergent parts of the Bonaire Block and the southern Caribbean Plate boundary zone. An east facing arc system intruded through an oceanic plateau during ~90 to ~87 Ma and crops out on Aruba. Subsequent structural displacements resulted in >80°C of cooling on Aruba during 70–60 Ma. In contrast, exhumation of the island arc sequence exposed on Bonaire occurred at 85–80 Ma and 55–45 Ma. Santonian exhumation on Bonaire occurred immediately subsequent to burial metamorphism and may have been driven by the collision of a west facing island arc with the Caribbean Plate. Island arc rocks intruded oceanic plateau rocks on Gran Roque at ~65 Ma and exhumed rapidly at 55–45 Ma. We attribute Maastrichtian-Danian exhumation on Aruba and early Eocene exhumation on Bonaire and Gran Roque to sequential diachronous accretion of their basement units to the South American Plate. Widespread unconformities indicate late Eocene subaerial exposure. Late Oligocene–early Miocene dextral transtension within the Bonaire Block drove subsidence and burial of crystalline basement rocks of the Leeward Antilles to ≤1 km. Late Miocene–recent transpression caused inversion and ≤1 km of exhumation, possibly as a result of the northward escape of the Maracaibo Block.

  3. Characteristics of helium isotopes in natural gas and its tectonic implication in Bohai Bay Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Weiwei; DAI Jinxin; YANG Shufeng; CHEN Hanlin

    2006-01-01

    Analysis on helium isotopes in natural gas in Bohai Bay Basin showed their mantle-origin indicated by high 3He/4He ratio. The span of 3He/4He ratio increased from west to east. This pattern implied a close relationship to the local tectonic setting. Bohai Bay Basin experienced intensive neo-tectonic activities in the Cenozoic. Widespread faulted-depressions and strong volcanic eruptions manifested its extensional tectonics. Abiogenic natural gas could be released from magmas and migrate upward through deep faults during the extension. Tectonic conditions in the area would favor upward invasion and reservation of mantle-originated helium. Furthermore, with decrease of convergence rate between the Pacific and the Eurasia Plate, the subduction slab of the Pacific Plate rolled back and became steeper, resulting in mantle flow and other tectonic activities migrating from west to east in nature, and caused the variation in isotopic helium ratios.

  4. The ultra low frequency electromagnetic radiation observed in the topside ionosphere above boundaries of tectonic plates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A. Athanasiou

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we present results of a comparison between ultra low frequency (ULF electromagnetic (EM radiation, recorded by an electric field instrument onboard the satellite detection of electromagnetic emissions transmitted from earthquake regions in the topside ionosphere, and the seismicity of regions with high and low seismic activity. In particular, we evaluated the energy variations of the ULF Ezelectric field component during a period of four years (2006-2009, in order to examine the possible relation of ULF EM radiation with seismogenic regions located in Central America, Indonesia, the Eastern Mediterranean Basin and Greece. As a tool for evaluating the ULF Ez energy variations we used singular spectrum analysis techniques. The results of our analysis clearly show a significant increase of the ULF EM energy emitted from regions of highest seismic activity at the boundaries tectonic plates. Furthermore, we found that higher electromagnetic radiation was detected in a region above the northern- western Greek Arc (R1 than above the adjacent region including Athens and its urban area. We interpret these results of the present study as suggesting that: i the seismogenic regions at the boundary of tectonic plates radiate ULF EM emissions observed by satellites in the topside ionosphere; and ii that this EM radiation is not only related with the occurrence time of great (M≥5 earthquakes, but it is often present in intermediate times and it appears as a quasi-permanent phenomenon.

  5. 3-D thermo-mechanical laboratory modelling of plate-tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Boutelier

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We present an experimental apparatus for 3-D thermo-mechanical analogue modelling of plate-tectonics processes such as oceanic and continental subductions, arc-continent or continental collisions. The model lithosphere, made of temperature-sensitive elasto-plastic with softening analogue materials, is submitted to a constant temperature gradient producing a strength reduction with depth in each layer. The surface temperature is imposed using infrared emitters, which allows maintaining an unobstructed view of the model surface and the use of a high resolution optical strain monitoring technique (Particle Imaging Velocimetry. Subduction experiments illustrate how the stress conditions on the interplate zone can be estimated using a force sensor attached to the back of the upper plate and changed because of the density and strength of the subducting lithosphere or the lubrication of the plate boundary. The first experimental results reveal the potential of the experimental set-up to investigate the three-dimensional solid-mechanics interactions of lithospheric plates in multiple natural situations.

  6. Evolution of the western segment of Juan Fernández Ridge (Nazca Plate): plume vs. plate tectonic processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Luis E.; Rodrigo, Cristián; Reyes, Javier; Orozco, Gabriel

    2014-05-01

    The Juan Fernandez Ridge (Eastern Pacific, Nazca Plate) is thought to be a classic hot spot trail because of the apparent age progression observed in 40Ar-39Ar data. However, geological evidence and some thermochronological data suggest a more complex pattern with a rejuvenation stage in Robinson Crusoe Island, the most eroded of the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. In fact, a postshield stage at 900-700 ka separates the underlying shield-related pile from the post-erosional alkaline succession (Ba/Yb=38.15; La/Yb=15.66; Ba/Y=20.27; Ba/Zr=2.31). Shield volcanoes grew at high effusion rate at ca. 5-4 Ma erupting mostly tholeiitic to transitional magmas (Ba/Yb=18.07-8.32; La/Yb=4.59-9.84; Ba/Y=4.24-8.18; Ba/Zr=0.73-1.09). Taken together, shield volcanoes form a continuous plateau with a base at ca. 3900 mbsl. However, a more complex structural pattern can be inferred from geophysical data, which suggest some intracrustal magma storage and a more extended area of magma ascent. A role for the Challenger Fracture Zone is hypothesized fueling the controversy between pristine plume origin and the effect of plate tectonic processes in the origin of intraplate volcanism. This research is supported by FONDECYT Project 1110966.

  7. The emergence of seismic cycles from stress feedback between intra-plate faulting and far-field tectonic loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    So, Byung-Dal; Capitanio, Fabio A.

    2016-08-01

    Using numerical modeling we show the emergence of cyclic slip behavior of faults from stress feedback through an idealized fault, its surrounding plates and far-field tectonic stress. The tectonic stress is exerted on the fault through a force applied along an idealized plate margin, acting on the fault, resulting from the interactions of viscous embedding and external plates. We find that, in such coupled system, the interaction of plates results into feedback with periodic deformation, slip along the fault and episodic plate margin motions. The viscosity of the embedding and loading plates primarily control the stress-loading time and hence the slip recurrence interval. For an Earth-like range of lithospheric viscosities, we derive a power-law with negative exponent, -0.99 to -0.5, scaling the recurrence period with loading-rate, providing an explanation for the observables from paleoseismology and geodesy. The feedback between single fault and far-field stress that arises from interactions of deforming plates provides a context to understand the earthquake cycle within continents, while reconciling the short-term seismic deformation to the long-term plate tectonics frame.

  8. Active faulting and transpression tectonics along the plate boundary in North Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustapha Meghraoui

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a synthesis of the active tectonics of the northern Atlas Mountains, and suggest a kinematic model of transpression and block rotation that illustrates the mechanics of this section of the Africa–Eurasia plate boundary. Neotectonic structures and significant shallow seismicity (with Mw >5.0 indicate that coeval E-W-trending, right-lateral faulting and NE-SW, thrust-related folding result from oblique convergence at the plate boundary, which forms a transpressional system. The strain distribution obtained from fault–fold structures and P axes of focal mechanism solutions, and the geodetic (NUVEL-1 and GPS convergence show that the shortening and convergence directions are not coaxial. The transpressional strain is partitioned along the strike and the quantitative description of the displacement field yields a compression-to-transcurrence ratio varying from 33% near Gibraltar, to 50% along the Tunisian Atlas. Shortening directions oriented NNE and NNW for the Pliocene and Quaternary, respectively, and the S shape of the Quaternary anticline axes, are in agreement with the 2.24˚/Myr to 3.9˚/Myr modeled clockwise rotation of the small tectonic blocks and with the paleomagnetic data. The convergence between Africa and Eurasia is absorbed along the Atlas Mountains at the upper crustal level, by means of thrusting above decollement systems, which are controlled by subdued transcurrent faults. The Tell Atlas of northwest Algeria, which has experienced numerous large earthquakes with respect to the other regions, is interpreted as a restraining bend that localizes the strain distribution along the plate boundary.

  9. The life cycle of continental rifts: Numerical models of plate tectonics and mantle convection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulvrova, Martina; Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon

    2017-04-01

    Plate tectonic processes and mantle convection form a self-organized system whose surface expression is characterized by repeated Wilson cycles. Conventional numerical models often capture only specific aspects of plate-mantle interaction, due to imposed lateral boundary conditions or simplified rheologies. Here we study continental rift evolution using a 2D spherical annulus geometry that does not require lateral boundary conditions. Instead, continental extension is driven self-consistently by slab pull, basal drag and trench suction forces. We use the numerical code StagYY to solve equations of conservation of mass, momentum and energy and transport of material properties. This code is capable of computing mantle convection with self-consistently generated Earth-like plate tectonics using a pseudo-plastic rheology. Our models involve an incompressible mantle under the Boussinesq approximation with internal heat sources and basal heating. Due to the 2D setup, our models allow for a comparably high resolution of 10 km at the mantle surface and 15 km at the core mantle boundary. Viscosity variations range over 7 orders of magnitude. We find that the causes for rift initiation are often related to subduction dynamics. Some rifts initiate due to increasing slab pull, others because of developing trench suction force, for instance by closure of an intra-oceanic back-arc basin. In agreement with natural settings, our models reproduce rifts forming in both young and old collision zones. Our experiments show that rift dynamics follow a characteristic evolution, which is independent of the specific setting: (1) continental rifts initiate during tens of million of years at low extension rates (few millimetres per year) (2) the extension velocity increases during less than 10 million years up to several tens of millimetres per year. This speed-up takes place before lithospheric break-up and affects the structural architecture of rifted margins. (3) high divergence rates

  10. Past and present seafloor age distributions and the temporal evolution of plate tectonic heat transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Thorsten W.; Conrad, Clinton P.; Buffett, Bruce; Müller, R. Dietmar

    2009-02-01

    Variations in Earth's rates of seafloor generation and recycling have far-reaching consequences for sea level, ocean chemistry, and climate. However, there is little agreement on the correct parameterization for the time-dependent evolution of plate motions. A strong constraint is given by seafloor age distributions, which are affected by variations in average spreading rate, ridge length, and the age distribution of seafloor being removed by subduction. Using a simplified evolution model, we explore which physical parameterizations of these quantities are compatible with broad trends in the area per seafloor age statistics for the present-day and back to 140 Ma from paleo-age reconstructions. We show that a probability of subduction based on plate buoyancy (slab-pull, or "sqrt(age)") and a time-varying spreading rate fits the observed age distributions as well as, or better than, a subduction probability consistent with an unvarying "triangular" age distribution and age-independent destruction of ocean floor. Instead, we interpret the present near-triangular distribution of ages as a snapshot of a transient state of the evolving oceanic plate system. Current seafloor ages still contain hints of a ˜ 60 Myr periodicity in seafloor production, and using paleoages, we find that a ˜ 250 Myr period variation is consistent with geologically-based reconstructions of production rate variations. These long-period variations also imply a decrease of oceanic heat flow by ˜ - 0.25%/Ma during the last 140 Ma, caused by a 25-50% decrease in the rate of seafloor production. Our study offers an improved understanding of the non-uniformitarian evolution of plate tectonics and the interplay between continental cycles and the self-organization of the oceanic plates.

  11. Modeling the Philippine Mobile Belt: Tectonic blocks in a deforming plate boundary zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galgana, G. A.; Hamburger, M. W.; McCaffrey, R.; Bacolcol, T. C.; Aurelio, M. A.

    2007-12-01

    The Philippine Mobile Belt, a seismically active, rapidly deforming plate boundary zone situated along the convergent Philippine Sea/Eurasian plate boundary, is examined using geodetic and seismological data. Oblique convergence between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian plate is accommodated by nearly orthogonal subduction along the Philippine Trench and the Manila Trench, as well as by strike-slip faulting along the Philippine Fault system. We develop a model of active plate boundary deformation in this region, using elastic block models constrained by known fault geometries, published GPS observations and focal mechanism solutions. We then present an estimate of block rotations, fault coupling, and intra-block deformation, based on the best-fit model that minimizes the misfit between observed and predicted geodetic vectors and earthquake slip vectors. Slip rates along the Philippine fault vary from ~22 - 36 mm/yr in the Central Visayas and about 10 to 40 mm/yr in Luzon, trending almost parallel to the fault trace. In northern Luzon, Philippine Fault splays accommodate transpressional strain. The Central Visayas block experiences convergence with the Sundaland block along the Negros Trench and the Mindoro-Palawan collision zone. On the eastern side of Central Visayas, sinistral strike-slip faulting occurs along the NNW-SSE-trending Philippine Fault. Mindanao Island in southern Philippines is dominated by east-verging subduction along the Cotabato Trench, and strain partitioning (strike- slip faulting with west-verging subduction) in eastern Mindanao along the southern Philippine Fault and Philippine Trench, respectively. Oblique active sinistral strike slip faults in Central and Eastern Mindanao that were hypothesized to be responsible for basin formation are obvious boundaries for tectonic blocks. Located south of Mindanao Island we define an adjoining oceanic block defined by the N-S trending complex dual subduction zone of Sangihe and Halmahera

  12. Feeling and Understanding Plate Tectonics - How can We attract Museum Visitors Attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Gilla; Apel, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Earthquakes, volcano eruptions and other natural hazards are commonly paid attention to, if news about disastrous events reach us. The mission of an Earth Science or Natural History Museum, however, goes beyond explaining the causes of natural disasters, but should also present science history and cutting edge research. Since dealing with a subject, especially with one, which seems to be in the abstract, is more effective, we realised two new projects where our visitors can feel and understand plate tectonics in a more exciting way. In 2015 we installed an earthquake simulator in our permanent exhibition to allow our visitors the physical experience of an earthquake. Because of static restrictions the simulator is housed in a container outside the building where it can be visited as a booked program upon prior reservation or by joining public tours on Sundays and special occasions. The simulation of six real earthquakes in two spatial directions is accompanied by a movie presenting facts about the earthquake itself (e.g. location, magnitude, damage and victims), but also general information about plate tectonics. This standard program takes about 20 minutes. During an educational program, however, not only the simulator is visited, but also the permanent exhibition, where the guide can focus on different aspects and then might choose specific earthquakes and information blocs in the simulator. In addition workshops with experiments are offered for school classes and other groups. This allows us to offer an individual program fitting to the visitor group. In 2016 we converted an old movie room to a state of the art media room. In cooperation with Media Informatics students we developed a quiz for three different levels and various themes like earthquakes, volcanoes, history and plate tectonics in general. Starting the quiz, a virtual earthquake destroys a building which will be reconstructed if the participants answer multiple choice questions correctly. Though, the

  13. New Paleomagnetic Justification for the Plate Tectonic Reconstruction of the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metelkin, D. V.; Vernikovskiy, V. A.; Matushkin, N. Y.; Zhdanova, A.; Mikhaltsov, N. E.; Abashev, V. V.; Kulakov, E.

    2015-12-01

    We report paleomagnetic and geologic data that support a new plate tectonic reconstruction for the Arctic from the Neoproterozoic to Mesozoic. We propose a new outlook on the history of the Arctida paleocontinent, which combined sialic blocks of the present Eurasian shelf of the Arctic Ocean. Our model implies two Arctidas at that time. The earlier Arctida-I was located near equator and connected the continental margins of Laurentia, Baltica and Siberia within the supercontinent of Rodinia. The Arcrtida-I disintegration was caused by a breakup of Rodinia. As a result, small plates like on Svalbard, Kara, New Siberia Island (NSI) terrane and others were formed. We have reconstructed the main stages of later remobilization and global drift of these plates before Pangea assemblage. In contrast to traditional interpretation of the NSI as a part of the Chukchi-Alaska terrane, our observation suggest a linkage between the NSI and Kolyma-Omolon terrane that framed Siberia. As a result of Pangea assembly at Paleozoic-Mesozoic boundary the second recovery of Arctida took place. We assume that Arctida-II also connected Laurentia, Baltica, and Siberia but constituted the Pangean periphery in the temperate latitudes. The later Arctida-II disintegrated during the Mesozoic during the opening of Arctic Ocean.

  14. The boundary between the Indian and Asian tectonic plates below Tibet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Junmeng; Yuan, Xiaohui; Liu, Hongbing; Kumar, Prakash; Pei, Shunping; Kind, Rainer; Zhang, Zhongjie; Teng, Jiwen; Ding, Lin; Gao, Xing; Xu, Qiang; Wang, Wei

    2010-06-22

    The fate of the colliding Indian and Asian tectonic plates below the Tibetan high plateau may be visualized by, in addition to seismic tomography, mapping the deep seismic discontinuities, like the crust-mantle boundary (Moho), the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), or the discontinuities at 410 and 660 km depth. We herein present observations of seismic discontinuities with the P and S receiver function techniques beneath central and western Tibet along two new profiles and discuss the results in connection with results from earlier profiles, which did observe the LAB. The LAB of the Indian and Asian plates is well-imaged by several profiles and suggests a changing mode of India-Asia collision in the east-west direction. From eastern Himalayan syntaxis to the western edge of the Tarim Basin, the Indian lithosphere is underthrusting Tibet at an increasingly shallower angle and reaching progressively further to the north. A particular lithospheric region was formed in northern and eastern Tibet as a crush zone between the two colliding plates, the existence of which is marked by high temperature, low mantle seismic wavespeed (correlating with late arriving signals from the 410 discontinuity), poor Sn propagation, east and southeast oriented global positioning system displacements, and strikingly larger seismic (SKS) anisotropy.

  15. Layer-block tectonics of Cenozoic basements and formation of intra-plate basins in Nansha micro-plate,southern South China Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Hailing; XIE Guofa; LIN Qiujin; ZHENG Hongbo; LIU Yingchun

    2009-01-01

    Layer-block tectonics (LBT) concept, with the core of pluralistic geodynamic outlook and multi-layer-sliding tectonic outlook, is one of new keys to study 3-dimensional solid and its 4-dimensional evolution history of global tectonic system controlled by global geodynamics system. The LBT concept is applied to study the lithospheric tectonics of the southern South China Sea (SCS). Based on the analysis of about 30 000 km of geophysical and geological data, some layer-blocks in the Nansha micro-plate can be divided as Nansha ultra-crustal layer-block, Zengmu crustal layer-block, Nanwei (Rifleman bank)-Andu (Ardasier bank) and Liyue (Reed bank)-North Palawan crustal layer-blocks, Andu-Bisheng and Liyue-Banyue basemental layer-blocks. The basic characteristics of the basemental layer-blocks have been dicussed, and three intra-plate basin groups are identified. The intra-plate basins within Nansha micro-plate can be divided into three basin groups of Nanwei-Andu, Feixin-Nanhua, and Liyue-North Palawan based on the different geodynamics. In the light of pluralistic geodynamic concept, the upheaving force induced by the mid-crust plastic layer is proposed as the main dynamical force which causes the formation of the intra-plate basins within the Nansha micro-plate. Finally, models of a face-to-face dip-slip-detachment of basemental layer-block and a unilateral dip-slip-detachment of basemental layer-block are put forward for the forming mechanisms of the Nanwei-Andu and Liyue-North Palawan intra-plate basin groups, respectively.

  16. Satellite Elevation Magnetic and Gravity Models of Major South American Plate Tectonic Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonfrese, R. R. B.; Hinze, W. J.; Braile, L. W.; Lidiak, E. G.; Keller, G. R. (Principal Investigator); Longacre, M. B.

    1984-01-01

    Some MAGSAT scalar and vector magnetic anomaly data together with regional gravity anomaly data are being used to investigate the regional tectonic features of the South American Plate. An initial step in this analysis is three dimensional modeling of magnetic and gravity anomalies of major structures such as the Andean subduction zone and the Amazon River Aulacogen at satellite elevations over an appropriate range of physical properties using Gaus-Legendre quadrature integration method. In addition, one degree average free-air gravity anomalies of South America and adjacent marine areas are projected to satellite elevations assuming a spherical Earth and available MAGSAT data are processed to obtain compatible data sets for correlation. Correlation of these data sets is enhanced by reduction of the MAGSAT data to radial polarization because of the profound effect of the variation of the magnetic inclination over South America.

  17. Plate tectonics and offshore boundary delimitation: Tunisia-Libya case at the International Court of Justice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Daniel Jean

    1982-03-01

    The first major offshore boundary dispute where plate tectonics constituted a significant argument was recently brought before the International Court of Justice by Libya and Tunisia concerning the delimitation of their continental shelves. Libya placed emphasis on this concept to determine natural prolongation of its land territory under the sea. Tunisia contested use of the entire African continental landmass as a reference unit and views geography, geomorphology and bathymetry as relevant as geology. The Court pronounced that “It is the outcome, not the evolution in the long-distant past, which is of importance.” Moreover, it is the present-day configuration of coasts and seabed that are the main factors, not geology.

  18. Satellite Elevation Magnetic and Gravity Models of Major South American Plate Tectonic Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonfrese, R. R. B.; Hinze, W. J.; Braile, L. W.; Lidiak, E. G.; Keller, G. R. (Principal Investigator); Longacre, M. B.

    1984-01-01

    Some MAGSAT scalar and vector magnetic anomaly data together with regional gravity anomaly data are being used to investigate the regional tectonic features of the South American Plate. An initial step in this analysis is three dimensional modeling of magnetic and gravity anomalies of major structures such as the Andean subduction zone and the Amazon River Aulacogen at satellite elevations over an appropriate range of physical properties using Gaus-Legendre quadrature integration method. In addition, one degree average free-air gravity anomalies of South America and adjacent marine areas are projected to satellite elevations assuming a spherical Earth and available MAGSAT data are processed to obtain compatible data sets for correlation. Correlation of these data sets is enhanced by reduction of the MAGSAT data to radial polarization because of the profound effect of the variation of the magnetic inclination over South America.

  19. A PILOT SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE OF EXTRASOLAR EARTH-ANALOG PLATE TECTONICS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jura, M.; Klein, B.; Xu, S. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1562 (United States); Young, E. D., E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: kleinb@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: sxu@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: eyoung@ess.ucla.edu [Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2014-08-20

    Relative to calcium, both strontium and barium are markedly enriched in Earth's continental crust compared to the basaltic crusts of other differentiated rocky bodies within the solar system. Here, we both re-examine available archived Keck spectra to place upper bounds on n(Ba)/n(Ca) and revisit published results for n(Sr)/n(Ca) in two white dwarfs that have accreted rocky planetesimals. We find that at most only a small fraction of the pollution is from crustal material that has experienced the distinctive elemental enhancements induced by Earth-analog plate tectonics. In view of the intense theoretical interest in the physical structure of extrasolar rocky planets, this search should be extended to additional targets.

  20. A Pilot Search for Evidence of Extrasolar Earth-analog Plate Tectonics

    CERN Document Server

    Jura, M; Xu, S; Young, E D

    2014-01-01

    Relative to calcium, both strontium and barium are markedly enriched in Earth's continental crust compared to the basaltic crusts of other differentiated rocky bodies within the solar system. Here, we both re-examine available archived Keck spectra to place upper bounds on n(Ba)/n(Ca) and revisit published results for n(Sr)/n(Ca) in two white dwarfs that have accreted rocky planetesimals. We find that at most only a small fraction of the pollution is from crustal material that has experienced the distinctive elemental enhancements induced by Earth-analog plate tectonics. In view of the intense theoretical interest in the physical structure of extrasolar rocky planets, this search should be extended to additional targets.

  1. Plate Tectonics 2.0: Using GPS to Refine Global Crustal Kinematics and Rewrite Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreemer, C.; Blewitt, G.; Stamps, D. S.; Saria, E.

    2015-12-01

    Any model of the Earth's inner workings should be consistent with the observed motion and deformation at its surface. The whole idea that the entire Earth's surface comprises of a dozen or so tectonic plates with no deformation in between them (as most textbooks will tell you) is embarrassingly outdated. The advent of high-precision GNSS measurements of crustal motion has led to the direct observation of plate motion, the confirmation of plate rigidity, and the refinement of crustal kinematics in diffuse plate boundary zones. With the rapidly growing number of continuous GPS (cGPS) stations (as well as campaign-style measurements) some of the earlier results can now be reassessed while at the same time we can continue to quantify the motion and deformation of a large part of the Earth's surface. We present the latest version (v. 2.2) of the Global Strain Rate Model (GSRM), which is almost entirely constrained by horizontal GPS velocities. The model contains the rigid-body rotations of 50 plates as well as strain rate and vorticity estimates at a high spatial resolution for the ~14% of the Earth's surface that is caught up in between the plates. Resulting global or regional maps of dilatation, vorticity, and strain tensor amplitude and style, are poised to augment standard textbook images of plate motions, and we anticipate that they will foster further scientific and educational inquiry. GSRM v2.2 is constrained by >24,000 velocities. Of those ~7900 were determined by us from time-series that we obtained through a routine processing of all globally available RINEX data. Many of these stations were not installed with the intention to track crustal motions, but often are very usable. This station category is currently the biggest contributor to the data explosion; our solution has >1100 more stations compared with the previous solution of just 18 months ago. We transform to our solution GPS velocities from >250 published studies, >30 more than in the previous

  2. Early Paleozoic tectonics of Asia: A preliminary full-plate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domeier, Mat

    2017-04-01

    One of the largest and longest evolving orogens on Earth, the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB; alt. the Altaids) is as endlessly fascinating as it is astonishingly complex. By the slow grind of tectonics, the CAOB was forged over hundreds of millions of years, with a spectacular climax during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic, when a series of terrane collisions first melded a mosaic of island arcs and continental blocks into a colossal landmass that we now know as Asia. Unsurprisingly, that dynamic late Paleozoic to early Mesozoic interval has garnered tremendous interest, stimulated a great wealth of studies, and instigated captivating ongoing debates. But what set the stage for this action-packed display? Here I report on an ongoing initiative to weave together a self-consistent, full-plate tectonic model of the building blocks of Asia in the early Paleozoic ( 500-400 Ma), this will provide a testable and freely-available geodynamic framework for early CAOB genesis that can focus new work and foster new insights into the nature and evolution of Asia.

  3. Jules Verne Voyager, Jr: An Interactive Map Tool for Teaching Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamburger, M. W.; Meertens, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    We present an interactive, web-based map utility that can make new geological and geophysical results accessible to a large number and variety of users. The tool provides a user-friendly interface that allows users to access a variety of maps, satellite images, and geophysical data at a range of spatial scales. The map tool, dubbed 'Jules Verne Voyager, Jr.', allows users to interactively create maps of a variety of study areas around the world. The utility was developed in collaboration with the UNAVCO Consortium for study of global-scale tectonic processes. Users can choose from a variety of base maps (including "Face of the Earth" and "Earth at Night" satellite imagery mosaics, global topography, geoid, sea-floor age, strain rate and seismic hazard maps, and others), add a number of geographic and geophysical overlays (coastlines, political boundaries, rivers and lakes, earthquake and volcano locations, stress axes, etc.), and then superimpose both observed and model velocity vectors representing a compilation of 2933 GPS geodetic measurements from around the world. A remarkable characteristic of the geodetic compilation is that users can select from some 21 plates' frames of reference, allowing a visual representation of both 'absolute' plate motion (in a no-net rotation reference frame) and relative motion along all of the world's plate boundaries. The tool allows users to zoom among at least three map scales. The map tool can be viewed at http://jules.unavco.org/VoyagerJr/Earth. A more detailed version of the map utility, developed in conjunction with the EarthScope initiative, focuses on North America geodynamics, and provides more detailed geophysical and geographic information for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The ‘EarthScope Voyager’ can be accessed at http://jules.unavco.org/VoyagerJr/EarthScope. Because the system uses pre-constructed gif images and overlays, the system can rapidly create and display maps to a large number of users

  4. Inherited segmentation of the Iberian-African margins and tectonic reconstruction of a diffuse plate boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernàndez, Manel; Torne, Montserrat; Vergés, Jaume; Casciello, Emilio

    2016-04-01

    Diffuse plate-boundary regions are characterized by non-well defined contacts between tectonic plates thus making difficult their reconstruction through time. The Western Mediterranean is one of these regions, where the convergence between the African and Iberian plates since Late Cretaceous resulted in the Betic-Rif arcuate orogen, the Gulf of Cadiz imbricate wedge, and the Alboran back-arc basin. Whereas the Iberia-Africa plate boundary is well defined west to the Gorringe Bank and along the Gloria Fault, it becomes much more diffuse eastwards with seismicity spreading over both the south-Iberian and north-African margins. Gravity data, when filtered for short wavelengths, show conspicuous positive Bouguer anomalies associated with the Gorringe Bank, the Gulf of Cadiz High and the Ronda/Beni-Bousera peridotitic massifs reflecting an inherited Jurassic margin segmentation. The subsequent Alpine convergence between Africa and Iberia reactivated these domains, producing crustal-scale thrusting in the Atlantic segments and eventually subduction in the proto-Mediterranean segments. The Jurassic segmentation of the Iberia-Africa margins substantiates the double-polarity subduction model proposed for the region characterized by a change from SE-dipping polarity in the Gorringe, Gulf of Cadiz and Betic-Rif domains, to NW-dipping polarity in the proto-Algerian domain. Therefore, the Algerian and Tyrrhenian basins in the east and the Alboran basin in the west are the result of SSE-E and NW-W retreating slabs of oceanic and/or hyper-extended Tethyan domains, respectively.

  5. Geodetic and tectonic analyses along an active plate boundary: The central Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortlieb, L.; Ruegg, J. C.; Angelier, J.; Colletta, B.; Kasser, M.; Lesage, P.

    1989-06-01

    The Gulf of California is traversed by the shear plate boundary between Pacific and North American plates and, because of several islands in its central part, offers the possibility of direct geodetic measurements of plate motion. A geodetic network of 150 km aperture, and comprising 11 stations, was measured in 1982 and 1986 by laser trilateration methods. The deformations deduced from the comparison of the two epochs indicate right-lateral shear strain covering the entire gulf rather than localized movements. In the eastern part of the network, between the axial islands and the Sonoran coast, significant right-lateral shear deformation occurs with a relative displacement of about 23 ± 12 cm over 4 years. In the northwestern region (Canal de Ballenas) a right-lateral displacement of about 17 ± 4 cm is observed, whereas in the southwestern part of the network (Canal Sal-si-Puedes), the deformation remains very weak. This suggests that south of the Canal de Ballenas the plate boundary is locked. A tectonic analysis of Neogene and Quaternary faults in Baja California, Sonora, and the central islands of the gulf, permitted the reconstruction of the stress pattern evolution of this area. These data also indicate the predominance of right-lateral motion on a NW-SE trending zone within a regional framework characterized by an approximately N-S compression and an E-W extension. The geodetic results are discussed in comparison with the neotectonic analysis and the seismic data available in the area. The data suggest a broad strain accumulation zone covering the totality of the central Gulf of California. A NW-SE relative velocity of about 8 ± 3 cm/yr is found between the two sides of the gulf during the 1982-1986 interval.

  6. A plate tectonic-paleoceanographic hypothesis for Cretaceous source rocks and cherts of northern South America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Villamil, T.; Arango, C. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States))

    1996-01-01

    New paleocontinental reconstructions show a northern migration of the South American Plate with respect to the paleoequator from the Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous. This movement caused the northern margin of South America to migrate from a position south to a position north of the paleoequator. Ekman transport generated net surface water movement towards the south during times when northern South America was south of the paleoequator. This situation favored downwelling and prevented Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous marine source rocks from being deposited. When northern South America was north of the paleoequator Ekman transport forced net water movement to the north favoring upwelling, paleoproductivity, and the deposition of one of the best marine source rocks known (the La Luna, Villeta, and equivalents). This plate tectonic paleoceanographic hypothesis explains the origin of hydrocarbons in northern South America. The stratigraphic record reflects this increase in paleoproductivity through time. This can be observed in facies (non-calcareous shales to calcareous shales to siliceous shales and finally to bedded cherts) and in changing planktic communities which were initially dominated by healthy calcareous foraminifer assemblages, followed by stressed foraminifer populations and finally by radiolarians. Total organic carbon and source rock quality were affected by this long term increase in paleoproductivity but also, and more markedly, by a punctuated sequence stratigraphic record dominated by low- frequency changes in relative sea level. The magnitude of transgressive episodes caused by rise in sea level determined the extent of source rock intervals and indirectly the content of organic carbon.

  7. A plate tectonic-paleoceanographic hypothesis for Cretaceous source rocks and cherts of northern South America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Villamil, T.; Arango, C. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)

    1996-12-31

    New paleocontinental reconstructions show a northern migration of the South American Plate with respect to the paleoequator from the Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous. This movement caused the northern margin of South America to migrate from a position south to a position north of the paleoequator. Ekman transport generated net surface water movement towards the south during times when northern South America was south of the paleoequator. This situation favored downwelling and prevented Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous marine source rocks from being deposited. When northern South America was north of the paleoequator Ekman transport forced net water movement to the north favoring upwelling, paleoproductivity, and the deposition of one of the best marine source rocks known (the La Luna, Villeta, and equivalents). This plate tectonic paleoceanographic hypothesis explains the origin of hydrocarbons in northern South America. The stratigraphic record reflects this increase in paleoproductivity through time. This can be observed in facies (non-calcareous shales to calcareous shales to siliceous shales and finally to bedded cherts) and in changing planktic communities which were initially dominated by healthy calcareous foraminifer assemblages, followed by stressed foraminifer populations and finally by radiolarians. Total organic carbon and source rock quality were affected by this long term increase in paleoproductivity but also, and more markedly, by a punctuated sequence stratigraphic record dominated by low- frequency changes in relative sea level. The magnitude of transgressive episodes caused by rise in sea level determined the extent of source rock intervals and indirectly the content of organic carbon.

  8. Geochemistry of Mesoproterozoic Volcanic Rocks in the Western Kunlun Mountains:Evidence for Plate Tectonic Evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Chuanlin; DONG Yongguan; ZHAO Yu; WANG Aiguo; GUO Kunyi

    2003-01-01

    Mesoproterozoic volcanic rocks occurring in the north of the western Kunlun Mountains can be divided into two groups. The first group (north belt) is an reversely-evolved bimodal series. Petrochemistry shows that the alkalinity of the rocks decreases from early to late: alkaline→calc-alkaline→tholeiite, and geochemistry proves that the volcanic rocks were formed in rifting tectonic systems. The sedimentary facies shows characteristics of back-arc basins. The second (south belt) group, which occurs to the south of Yutian-Minfeng-Cele, is composed of calc-alkaline island arc (basaltic) andesite and minor rhyolite. The space distribution, age and geochemistry of the two volcanite groups indicate that they were formed in a back-arc basin (the first group) and an island arc (the second group) respectively and indicate the plate evolution during the Mesoproterozoic. The orogeny took place at ~1.05 Ga, which was coeval with the Grenville orogeny. This study has provided important geological data for exploring the position of the Paleo-Tarim plate in the Rodinia super-continent.

  9. Supercontinents, mantle dynamics and plate tectonics: A perspective based on conceptual vs. numerical models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki; Santosh, M.

    2011-03-01

    The periodic assembly and dispersal of supercontinents through the history of the Earth had considerable impact on mantle dynamics and surface processes. Here we synthesize some of the conceptual models on supercontinent amalgamation and disruption and combine it with recent information from numerical studies to provide a unified approach in understanding Wilson Cycle and supercontinent cycle. Plate tectonic models predict that superdownwelling along multiple subduction zones might provide an effective mechanism to pull together dispersed continental fragments into a closely packed assembly. The recycled subducted material that accumulates at the mantle transition zone and sinks down into the core-mantle boundary (CMB) provides the potential fuel for the generation of plumes and superplumes which ultimately fragment the supercontinent. Geological evidence related to the disruption of two major supercontinents (Columbia and Gondwana) attest to the involvement of plumes. The re-assembly of dispersed continental fragments after the breakup of a supercontinent occurs through complex processes involving 'introversion', 'extroversion' or a combination of both, with the closure of the intervening ocean occurring through Pacific-type or Atlantic-type processes. The timescales of the assembly and dispersion of supercontinents have varied through the Earth history, and appear to be closely linked with the processes and duration of superplume genesis. The widely held view that the volume of continental crust has increased over time has been challenged in recent works and current models propose that plate tectonics creates and destroys Earth's continental crust with more crust being destroyed than created. The creation-destruction balance changes over a supercontinent cycle, with a higher crustal growth through magmatic influx during supercontinent break-up as compared to the tectonic erosion and sediment-trapped subduction in convergent margins associated with supercontinent

  10. Why Understanding When and How Plate Tectonics Began Is Essential for a Robust Theory of the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, R. J.; Gerya, T.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding when and how Plate Tectonics (PT) began and what came before has profound implications for understanding the Earth because the transition to PT from the previous tectonic regime - some variant of deformable lid tectonics (DLT)- resulted in faster cooling and enhanced recycling of surface materials to depth. The transition to PT also would have impacted ocean chemistry, climate and life evolution. There is no consensus about when PT began on Earth; estimates range from >4.2 Ga to ~0.85 Ga. Three pillars of a robust Theory of the Earth illustrate the importance of answering this question: (1) the solid Earth volatile cycle; (2) the Urey ratio; and (3) the kimberlite enigma. For (1), it is now clear that subduction injects more H2O (and probably CO2) into Earth's mantle- where it is stored - than is released to the surface by igneous activity. Presumably the volatile flux from the surface into the mantle was lower during DLT episodes, although delamination and Rayleigh-Taylor drippings would have sent some. Constraining PT H2O and CO2 fluxes requires knowing when PT began and interior soaking accelerated. Regarding (2), estimating Earth's Urey ratio (Ur; heat production/heat loss) evolution requires avoiding the "thermal catastrophe" implying that if Earth has been cooling off as fast as presently (Ur ~0.2) then it must have been totally molten 1-2 Ga; a transition from DLT (high Ur) to PT (low Ur) may resolve the paradox. Finally (3), why are the vast majority of kimberlites of Phaneozoic age? Is it because erosion has removed the evidence or because sufficient H2O-CO2 rich fluids that drive such eruptions have only been delivered below cratonic lithosphere since deep subduction associated with PT began? Determining when did PT start, what was Earth's DLT-regime before this, and how did the transition occur will require the insights of the entire geoscientific community, providing a worthy set of 21st Century geoscientific research priorities.

  11. Tectonic lineaments in the cenozoic volcanics of southern Guatemala: Evidence for a broad continental plate boundary zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baltuck, M.; Dixon, T. H.

    1984-01-01

    The northern Caribbean plate boundary has been undergoing left lateral strike slip motion since middle Tertiary time. The western part of the boundary occurs in a complex tectonic zone in the continental crust of Guatemala and southernmost Mexico, along the Chixoy-Polochic, Motogua and possibly Jocotan-Chamelecon faults. Prominent lineaments visible in radar imagery in the Neogene volcanic belt of southern Guatemala and western El Salvador were mapped and interpreted to suggest southwest extensions of this already broad plate boundary zone. Because these extensions can be traced beneath Quaternary volcanic cover, it is thought that this newly mapped fault zone is active and is accommodating some of the strain related to motion between the North American and Caribbean plates. Onshore exposures of the Motoqua-Polochic fault systems are characterized by abundant, tectonically emplaced ultramafic rocks. A similar mode of emplacement for these off shore ultramafics, is suggested.

  12. Plate tectonic controls on atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Der Meer, Douwe G; Zeebe, Richard E; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J J; Sluijs, Appy; Spakman, Wim; Torsvik, Trond H

    2014-03-25

    Climate trends on timescales of 10s to 100s of millions of years are controlled by changes in solar luminosity, continent distribution, and atmosphere composition. Plate tectonics affect geography, but also atmosphere composition through volcanic degassing of CO2 at subduction zones and midocean ridges. So far, such degassing estimates were based on reconstructions of ocean floor production for the last 150 My and indirectly, through sea level inversion before 150 My. Here we quantitatively estimate CO2 degassing by reconstructing lithosphere subduction evolution, using recent advances in combining global plate reconstructions and present-day structure of the mantle. First, we estimate that since the Triassic (250-200 My) until the present, the total paleosubduction-zone length reached up to ∼200% of the present-day value. Comparing our subduction-zone lengths with previously reconstructed ocean-crust production rates over the past 140 My suggests average global subduction rates have been constant, ∼6 cm/y: Higher ocean-crust production is associated with longer total subduction length. We compute a strontium isotope record based on subduction-zone length, which agrees well with geological records supporting the validity of our approach: The total subduction-zone length is proportional to the summed arc and ridge volcanic CO2 production and thereby to global volcanic degassing at plate boundaries. We therefore use our degassing curve as input for the GEOCARBSULF model to estimate atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic. Our calculated CO2 levels for the mid Mesozoic differ from previous modeling results and are more consistent with available proxy data.

  13. The interpretation of crustal dynamics data in terms of plate interactions and active tectonics of the Anatolian plate and surrounding regions in the Middle East

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toksoz, M. Nafi; Reilinger, Robert

    1992-01-01

    A detailed study was made of the consequences of the Arabian plate convergence against Eurasia and its effects on the tectonics of Anatolia and surrounding regions of the eastern Mediterranean. A primary source of information is time rates of change of baseline lengths and relative heights determined by repeated SLR measurements. These SLR observations are augmented by a network of GPS stations in Anatolia, Aegea, and Greece, established and twice surveyed since 1988. The existing SLR and GPS networks provide the spatial resolution necessary to reveal the details of ongoing tectonic processes in this area of continental collision. The effort has involved examining the state of stress in the lithosphere and relative plate motions as revealed by these space based geodetic measurements, seismicity, and earthquake mechanisms as well as the aseismic deformations of the plates from conventional geodetic data and geological evidence. These observations are used to constrain theoretical calculations of the relative effects of: (1) the push of the Arabian plate; (2) high topography of Eastern Anatolia; (3) the geometry and properties of African-Eurasian plate boundary; (4) subduction under the Hellenic Arc and southwestern Turkey; and (5) internal deformation and rotation of the Anatolian plate.

  14. Plate Tectonics Constrained by Evidence-Based Magmatic Temperatures and Phase Relations of Fertile Lherzolite (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D. H.; Falloon, T.

    2010-12-01

    In order to understand Earth’s plate tectonics we must interpret the most direct probes for mantle composition and temperature distribution i.e. the primitive basaltic magmas and peridotites representing partial melts and mantle residues. An evidence-based approach to identification of parental magmas and determination of their temperatures requires glass and phenocryst compositions and experimentally calibrated Fe/Mg partitioning between olivine and melt. We have compared magmatic crystallization temperatures between ‘hot-spot’(proposed to be plume-related) and normal mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) parental liquids, by examining three representative magmatic suites from both ocean island (Hawaii, Iceland, and Réunion) and mid-ocean ridge settings (Cocos-Nazca, East Pacific Rise, and Mid-Atlantic Ridge). We have glass and olivine phenocryst compositions, including volatile (H2O) contents, and have calculated parental liquid compositions at 0.2GPa by incrementally adding olivine back into the glass compositions until a liquid in equilibrium with the most-magnesian olivine phenocryst composition is obtained. The results of these calculations demonstrate that there is very little difference (maximum of ~20°C) between the ranges of crystallization temperatures of the parental liquids (MORB:1243-1351°C versus OIB:1286-1372°C) when volatile contents are taken into account. However while lacking temperature contrast, the source regions for ‘hot-spot’ parental magmas contain geochemical signatures of old subducted crust/lithosphere. The mantle depths of origin determined for both the MORB and OIB suites are similar (MORB:1-2 GPa; OIB:1-2.5 GPa). Calculations of mantle potential temperatures (Tp) are model dependent, particularly to melt fraction from an inferred source. Assuming similar fertile lherzolite sources, the differences in Tp values between the hottest MORB and the hottest ocean island tholeiite sources are ~80°C. These differences disappear if the

  15. The Proto Southern Gulf of California represented by GIS Plate Tectonic Reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, L. A.; Umhoefer, P. J.; Kluesner, J. W.

    2012-12-01

    We present GIS-based plate tectonic reconstruction maps for the southern Gulf of California oblique rift. The maps track plate boundary deformation back to 14 Ma. Tectonic blocks are defined by faults, geology, seismic data, and bathymetry/topography. Spreading center and fault-slip rates were acquired from geologic data, cross-Gulf tie points, and GPS studies. Baja California-North America GPS rates (47 mm/yr across the Gulf; 4 mm/yr in the borderland) agree remarkably with ~6 Ma geologic offsets across the Gulf and are used during reconstruction steps back to 6 Ma. The Alarcon and Guaymas spreading centers initiated at 2.4 Ma and 6 Ma (Lizarralde et al., 2007), respectively, while the Farallon, Pescadero, and Carmen spreading centers began between ~2-1 Ma (Lonsdale, 1989). Therefore, the 2, 4, and 6 Ma reconstruction steps include a long transtensional fault zone along much of the southern Gulf, connecting the Guaymas spreading center with either the Alarcon spreading center or East Pacific Rise. For reconstructions at 8, 10, and 12 Ma, a range of across-Gulf and borderland fault rates fit the current constraints, but all models suggest an increase in across-Gulf faulting rates at 8 - 6 Ma. We used 30 mm/yr across the Gulf and 20 mm/yr across the borderland. These models result in ~470 km northwestward offset across the Gulf (we also account for a minor E-W offset) and ~145 km offset across the borderland. The 12 - 14 Ma reconstructions suggest that the Gulf of California formed along a 100 x 1600 km volcanic arc and narrow extensional belt between the Cretaceous batholith and the Sierra Madre Occidental. The initial seaway at 8 - 6.5 Ma was only ~200-250 km wide by 1600 km long. We will also combine our 12 Ma map with the McQuarrie and Werrnicke (2005) reconstruction to present a new reconstruction for the whole Walker Lane to Gulf of California belt.

  16. Morphological characteristics in the area off eastern Taiwan Island and their tectonic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIUBaohua; ZHENGYanpeng; WUJinlong; HANGuozhong; ZHANGDeyu

    2004-01-01

    On the basis of bathymetric data and other geological and geophysical data obtained during the first survey conducted by Chinese Mainland in the area off eastern Taiwan Island from May to June in 2000, the morphological features of the region, the tectonic control to the seafloor topography and their tectonic implication are studied and discussed. The results have revealed that both the slope zone of the Ryukyu arc and the Ryukyu Trench present a typical morphotectonic characteristics controlled by the trench-arc system in the West Pacific Ocean. At the slope of eastern Taiwan Island the isobathic lines parallel to the coastline and distribute densely in nearly N-S direction and the slope gradient of topography is large. Such a unique feature is attributed to the collision of the Luzon arc and Eurasia continent. In the Huatung Basin, turbidity fans and submarine canyons are well developed, the formations of which are mainly related to the steep topography of the slope of the Luzon arc and the abundant supply of sediments. These submarine canyons are controlled by basement highs and strike-slip faults. On eastern side and western side of the Gagua Ridge, both the water depth and morphological features are different, but the basement of Gagua Ridge belongs to the Huatung Basin. The eastern side of the Gagua Ridge (123°12' E) corresponds to the boundary of two plates with different ages. In the West Philippine Basin, linear ridges and troughs in a NW trending are identified, which are dissected by a NE trending transform fault. According to the seafloor topography features, the direction of the transform fault and the magnetic anomaly lineations, the seafloor of this region was formed during 60-45 Ma B.P when the West Philippine Basin was spreading along NE-SW relative to the present orientation.

  17. Paleomagnetic Study of Azores Archipelago: Volcano-Tectonic Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, P. F.; Henry, B.; Marques, F. O.; Madureira, P.; Miranda, J. M. A.; Lourenco, N. V.; Madeira, J.; Hildenbrand, A.; Nunes, J. C.; Roxerová, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Oceanic islands are by nature unstable volcanic buildings generally marked by rapid growth that alternates with destruction due to a variety of mass-wasting processes, including giant sector collapses, vertical caldera subsidence, fault generation/propagation, shallow landslides and coastal erosion. Due to its diverse volcanic and tectonic frameworks, the Azores archipelago represents an excellent case study for geophysical and geological proposes. Main results of a paleomagnetic study, conducted on oriented samples from approximately 60 accessible lava piles of three islands of Azores archipelago central group (Faial, Pico and Terceira islands) and covering as much as possible spatially and temporally these islands are: i) The paleomagnetic polarity is in close agreement with the radiometric results known for these islands; ii) Onshore volcanic activity began during the Matuyama geochron for Faial and during Brunhes for Terceira and Pico; iii) The mean ChRMs from Terceira and Pico islands result in a paleomagnetic pole similar to the ones retrieved from the studies of Johnson et al (1998) and Silva et al (2012), from S. Miguel and S. Jorge islands (other islands of Azores archipelago), respectively; iv) ChRMs from Faial show an elliptical distribution perpendicular to the WNW-ESE grabben that is the major structure of the island, suggesting tilting towards SSW of the southern wall and towards NNE of the northern one. The presence of listric faults plunging towards the middle of the grabben and aligned along the N110º azimuth could explain the elliptical distribution of paleomagnetic directions. This study is a contribution for the research project REGENA (PTDC/GEO-FIQ/3648/2012). References Johnson, C.L., Wijbrans, J.R., Constable, C.G., Gee, J., Staudigel, H., Tauxe, L., Forjaz, V.-H., Salgueiro, M., 1998. 40Ar/39Ar ages and paleomagnetism of S. Miguel lavas,Azores, Earth planet. Sci. Lett., 160, 637-649. Silva, PF; Henry, B; Marques, FO; Hildenbrand, A

  18. Dredged Rock Samples from the Alpha Ridge, Arctic Ocean: Implications for the Tectonic History and Origin of the Amerasian Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumley, K.; Mayer, L.; Miller, E. L.; Coakley, B.

    2008-12-01

    The Amerasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean conceals one of the few unresolved plate tectonic puzzles on Earth, with important implications for the geologic history of the vast adjoining shelfal regions. Until we are able to scientifically drill the most controversial parts of the Amerasian Basin seafloor, many questions about its age and origin will remain unanswered. To address the plate tectonic origin of the Amerasian Basin, we dredged steep escarpments along the Alpha Ridge, a bathymetric ridge that extends across the Amerasian Basin. The Alpha Ridge is dissected by structures that have been characterized by seismic reflection and which appear to be normal fault-bound linear ridges and basins. The Alpha Ridge has been described as a hot spot track, an oceanic plateau, and a possible spreading center. Dredged samples taken in 1985 from the central Alpha Ridge were determined to be highly altered fragmental basalt and yielded a Late Cretaceous 40Ar/39Ar whole rock age which agreed with the conventional models for a purely volcanic/oceanic origin of the Alpha Ridge (Forsythe and others, 1986; Lawver et al., 2002). Dredged rock samples were taken by the icebreaker USCGC Healy (HLY0805, Mayer and Armstrong, 2008) and included samples from a steep slope of a subsidiary ridge in the south central Alpha/Mendeleev Ridge complex. The fresh broken surfaces of large blocks of rock and the lithologic similarity of the rocks recovered suggest an outcrop was sampled. The recovered rocks included interbedded red sandstones and ochre mudstones with well-defined bedding and sedimentary structures. Preliminary shipboard analysis suggests they may be tuffaceous and/or derived from volcanic sources, and may possibly be continental in origin. Further analysis and descriptions will be carried out in the coming months to determine their age and depositional environment. The results of this analysis and their possible implications for the origin of the Alpha Ridge and tectonic history of

  19. Origin and evolution of marginal basins of the NW Pacific: Diffuse-plate tectonic reconstructions

    CERN Document Server

    Xu, Junyuan; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Yu, Ho-Shing

    2012-01-01

    Formation of the gigantic linked dextral pull-apart basin system in the NW Pacific is due to NNE- to ENE-ward motion of east Eurasia. This mainly was a response to the Indo-Asia collision which started about 50 Ma ago. The displacement of east Eurasia can be estimated using three aspects: (1) the magnitude of pull-apart of the dextral pull-apart basin system, (2) paleomagnetic data from eastern Eurasia and the region around the Arctic, and (3) the shortening deficits in the Large Tibetan Plateau. All the three aspects indicate that there was a large amount (about 1200 km) of northward motion of the South China block and compatible movements of other blocks in eastern Eurasia during the rifting period of the basin system. Such large motion of the eastern Eurasia region contradicts any traditional rigid plate tectonic reconstruction, but agrees with the more recent concepts of non-rigidity of both continental and oceanic lithosphere over geological times. Based on these estimates, the method developed for resto...

  20. Miocene uplift of the NE Greenland margin linked to plate tectonics: Seismic evidence from the Greenland Fracture Zone, NE Atlantic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Døssing Andreasen, Arne; Japsen, Peter; Watts, Anthony B.

    2016-01-01

    Tectonic models predict that, following breakup, rift margins undergo only decaying thermal subsidence during their post-rift evolution. However, post-breakup stratigraphy beneath the NE Atlantic shelves shows evidence of regional-scale unconformities, commonly cited as outer margin responses to ...... by plate tectonic forces, induced perhaps by a change in the Iceland plume (a hot pulse) and/or by changes in intra-plate stresses related to global tectonics.......Tectonic models predict that, following breakup, rift margins undergo only decaying thermal subsidence during their post-rift evolution. However, post-breakup stratigraphy beneath the NE Atlantic shelves shows evidence of regional-scale unconformities, commonly cited as outer margin responses...... to inner margin episodic uplift, including the formation of coastal mountains. The origin of these events remains enigmatic. We present a seismic reflection study from the Greenland Fracture Zone – East Greenland Ridge (GFZ-EGR) and the NE Greenland shelf. We document a regional intra-Miocene seismic...

  1. Effect of Rheology on Mantle Dynamics and Plate Tectonics in Super-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tackley, P. J.; Ammann, M. W.; Brodholt, J. P.; Dobson, D. P.; Valencia, D. C.

    2011-12-01

    The discovery of extra-solar "super-Earth" planets with sizes up to twice that of Earth has prompted interest in their possible lithosphere and mantle dynamics and evolution. Simple scalings [1,2] suggest that super-Earths are more likely than an equivalent Earth-sized planet to be undergoing plate tectonics. Generally, viscosity and thermal conductivity increase with pressure while thermal expansivity decreases, resulting in lower convective vigor in the deep mantle, which, if extralopated to the largest super-Earths might, according to conventional thinking, result a very low effective Rayleigh number in their deep mantles and possibly no convection there. Here we evaluate this. (i) As the mantle of a super-Earth is made mostly of post-perovskite we here extend the density functional theory (DFT) calculations of post-perovskite activation enthalpy of [3] to a pressure of 1 TPa. The activation volume for diffusion creep becomes very low at very high pressure, but nevertheless for the largest super-Earths the viscosity along an adiabat may approach 10^30 Pa s in the deep mantle, which would be too high for convection. (ii) We use these DFT-calculated values in numerical simulations of mantle convection and lithosphere dynamics of planets with up to ten Earth masses. The models assume a compressible mantle including depth-dependence of material properties and plastic yielding induced plate-like lithospheric behavior, solved using StagYY [4]. Results confirm the likelihood of plate tectonics and show a novel self-regulation of deep mantle temperature. The deep mantle is not adiabatic; instead internal heating raises the temperature until the viscosity is low enough to facilitate convective loss of the radiogenic heat, which results in a super-adiabatic temperature profile and a viscosity increase with depth of no more than ~3 orders of magnitude, regardless of what is calculated for an adiabat. It has recently been argued [5] that at very high pressures, deformation

  2. Emergence of silicic continents as the lower crust peels off on a hot plate-tectonic Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, Priyadarshi; Gerya, Taras; Chakraborty, Sumit

    2017-09-01

    The rock record and geochemical evidence indicate that continental recycling has been occurring since the early history of the Earth. The stabilization of felsic continents in place of Earth's early mafic crust about 3.0 to 2.0 billion years ago, perhaps due to the initiation of plate tectonics, implies widespread destruction of mafic crust during this time interval. However, the physical mechanisms of such intense recycling on a hotter, (late) Archaean and presumably plate-tectonic Earth remain largely unknown. Here we use thermomechanical modelling to show that extensive recycling via lower crustal peeling-off (delamination but not eclogitic dripping) during continent-continent convergence was near ubiquitous during the late Archaean to early Proterozoic. We propose that such destruction of the early mafic crust, together with felsic magmatism, may have caused both the emergence of silicic continents and their subsequent isostatic rise, possibly above the sea level. Such changes in the continental character have been proposed to influence the Great Oxidation Event and, therefore, peeling-off plate tectonics could be the geodynamic trigger for this event. A transition to the slab break-off controlled syn-orogenic recycling occurred as the Earth aged and cooled, leading to reduced recycling and enhanced preservation of the continental crust of present-day composition.

  3. Whole-mantle convection with tectonic plates preserves long-term global patterns of upper mantle geochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, T L; Davies, J H; Wolstencroft, M; Millar, I L; Zhao, Z; Jian, P; Safonova, I; Price, M

    2017-05-12

    The evolution of the planetary interior during plate tectonics is controlled by slow convection within the mantle. Global-scale geochemical differences across the upper mantle are known, but how they are preserved during convection has not been adequately explained. We demonstrate that the geographic patterns of chemical variations around the Earth's mantle endure as a direct result of whole-mantle convection within largely isolated cells defined by subducting plates. New 3D spherical numerical models embedded with the latest geological paleo-tectonic reconstructions and ground-truthed with new Hf-Nd isotope data, suggest that uppermost mantle at one location (e.g. under Indian Ocean) circulates down to the core-mantle boundary (CMB), but returns within ≥100 Myrs via large-scale convection to its approximate starting location. Modelled tracers pool at the CMB but do not disperse ubiquitously around it. Similarly, mantle beneath the Pacific does not spread to surrounding regions of the planet. The models fit global patterns of isotope data and may explain features such as the DUPAL anomaly and long-standing differences between Indian and Pacific Ocean crust. Indeed, the geochemical data suggests this mode of convection could have influenced the evolution of mantle composition since 550 Ma and potentially since the onset of plate tectonics.

  4. Shrinking of the Cocos and Nazca Plates due to Horizontal Thermal Contraction and Implications for Plate Non-rigidity and the Non-closure of the Pacific-Cocos-Nazca Plate Motion Circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, R. G.; Kreemer, C.

    2015-12-01

    Plate rigidity is the central tenet of plate tectonics. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that significant intraplate deformation occurs in oceanic lithosphere due to horizontal thermal contraction, the rate of which decreases as ≈ 1/age [Kumar & Gordon 2009]. Support for this hypothesis comes from the azimuths of submarine transform faults, which are fit significantly better assuming shrinking plates than by assuming rigid plates [Mishra & Gordon 2015]. Previously we estimated the intraplate velocity field of the Pacific plate accounting for horizontal thermal contraction. The ≈2 mm/yr southeastward motion predicted for the northeastern part of the plate relative to the Pacific-Antarctic Rise may contribute to the non-closure of the Pacific-North America plate motion circuit. In a reference frame in which fix the oldest portion of the Pacific plate, some sites on the plate move up to ≈2 mm/yr [Kreemer & Gordon 2014]. Here we present intraplate velocity fields of the Cocos and Nazca plates and discuss their implications for the non-rigidity of plates and the non-closure of the Pacific-Cocos-Nazca plate circuit, which fails closure by a stunning 14 ±5 mm/yr [DeMets et al. 2010]. If we fix the oldest part of the Cocos plate, intraplate velocities of up to ≈2 mm/yr are estimated, with the fastest motion occurring at the northern end of the plate. If we fix the oldest part of the Nazca plate, displacement rates up to 2 mm/yr are estimated, with the fastest motion occurring in the northeasternmost portion of the plate. In the velocity fields for both plates, the lithosphere adjacent to transform faults along the East Pacific Rise tends to move to the south, which would skew the azimuths of the transform faults clockwise of the values expected for rigid plates, which is the same as the sense of misfit between observed azimuths of transform faults and the azimuths calculated from the MORVEL global set of relative angular velocities [DeMets et al. 2010]. Direct

  5. Tectonic Storytelling with Open Source and Digital Object Identifiers - a case study about Plate Tectonics and the Geopark Bergstraße-Odenwald

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löwe, Peter; Barmuta, Jan; Klump, Jens; Neumann, Janna; Plank, Margret

    2014-05-01

    The communication of advances in research to the common public for both education and decision making is an important aspect of scientific work. An even more crucial task is to gain recognition within the scientific community, which is judged by impact factor and citation counts. Recently, the latter concepts have been extended from textual publications to include data and software publications. This paper presents a case study for science communication and data citation. For this, tectonic models, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), best practices for data citation and a multimedia online-portal for scientific content are combined. This approach creates mutual benefits for the stakeholders: Target audiences receive information on the latest research results, while the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) increases the recognition and citation of underlying scientific data. This creates favourable conditions for every researcher as DOI names ensure citeability and long term availability of scientific research. In the developed application, the FOSS tool for tectonic modelling GPlates is used to visualise and manipulate plate-tectonic reconstructions and associated data through geological time. These capabilities are augmented by the Science on a Halfsphere project (SoaH) with a robust and intuitive visualisation hardware environment. The tectonic models used for science communication are provided by the AGH University of Science and Technology. They focus on the Silurian to Early Carboniferous evolution of Central Europe (Bohemian Massif) and were interpreted for the area of the Geopark Bergstraße Odenwald based on the GPlates/SoaH hardware- and software stack. As scientific story-telling is volatile by nature, recordings are a natural means of preservation for further use, reference and analysis. For this, the upcoming portal for audiovisual media of the German National Library of Science and Technology TIB is expected to become a critical service

  6. Punctuated Neogene tectonics and stratigraphy of the African-Iberian plate-boundary zone: concurrent development of Betic-Rif basins (southern Spain, northern Morocco)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sissingh, W.

    2008-01-01

    This paper integrates the sequence stratigraphic and tectonic data related to the Neogene geodynamic and palaeogeographic development of the African-Iberian plate boundary zone between Spain and Morocco. Though the dating of individual tectonostratigraphic sequences and their delimiting sequence

  7. The 2.0 Ga Usagaran eclogites, Tanzania: the onset of modern plate tectonics or a continuation of the norm?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchan, C.; Collins, A. S.; Reddy, S. M.; Mruma, A.

    2003-04-01

    Phanerozoic eclogites are widely interpreted to have formed in subduction zone environments where fragments of oceanic crust have been buried to depths greater than 50 km. The formation and preservation of Phanerozoic eclogites is demonstrably linked to plate convergence and their study of eclogite-facies rocks underpins our understanding of subduction zones and plate tectonic models. Our understanding of more ancient, Precambrian tectonics is based on a uniformitarian model, which assumes that modern day tectonic processes are good analogues of those in the past. This assumption is limited because numerical modelling has shown that the driving force of plate tectonics, the thermal structure of the Earth, has changed dramatically over geological time. For example, at the start of the Palaeoproterozoic (2.5 Ga) the Earth's heat production was twice as high as at present. If these models are true then it is difficult to reconcile the formation of low-med temperature eclogite facies rocks in the Early Earth. The Palaeoproterozoic Usagaran orogenic belt of Tanzania contains the Earth’s oldest reported examples (2.0 Ga) of low/med temperature eclogites. The eclogites are reported to have MORB-like geochemical characteristics, which coupled with P-T estimates for their formation, suggests that they are subduction related. In this study detailed structural analysis and U-Th-Pb SHRIMP zircon dating of gneisses exposed in the high-grade, eclogite bearing part of the orogen (the Isimani Suite), has demonstrated that detrital grains in paragneisses yield ages between 2.4 &2.9 Ga. These are intercalated with 2.7 Ga orthogneisses of a similar age to the Tanzanian craton. The extensive distribution of 2.7 Ga crust in both the footwall and hangingwall of the Usagaran Orogen suggests that the most likely tectonic setting for the protoliths of the mafic eclogites was as oceanic crust in a marginal basin. The identification of Palaeoproterozoic subduction related eclogites that

  8. Plate tectonics and offshore boundary delimitation: Tunisia-Libya case at the International Court of Justice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stanley, D.J.

    1983-03-01

    Advances in the technology for exploiting resources of the oceans, particularly recovery of hydrocarbons and minerals in deep water, is benefiting a growing number of nations. At the same time, however, economic and political pressures have induced concern and there is now a much increased emphasis on jurisdiction to divide the offshore areas between the 132 coastal nations. Negotiations affect research operations at sea and, in consequence, marine scientists have been made aware of offshore problems as highlighted by the Law of the Sea Treaty (UNCLOS III) and complications arising from the legal versus scientific definitions of continental shelves and margins. The first major offshore boundary case of international scope where plate tectonics has constituted a significant argument is the one recently brought before the International Court of Justice by Libya and Tunisia concerning the delimitation of their continental shelves. Of the two parties, Libya placed the greatest emphasis on this concept as a means to determine natural prolongation of its land territory into and under the sea. Tunisia contested Libya's use of the whole of the African continental landmass as a reference unit; in Tunisia's view, considerations of geography, geomorphology, and bathymetry are at least as relevant as are those of geology. In its landmark judgment (February 1982) - which almost certainly will have far-reaching consequences in future such boundary delimitation cases - the court pronounced that It is the outcome, not the evolution in the long-distant past, which is of importance, and that it is the present-day configuration of the coasts and sea bed which are the main factors to be considered, not geology.

  9. Cretaceous alkaline intra-plate magmatism in the Ecuadorian Oriente Basin: Geochemical, geochronological and tectonic evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barragán, Roberto; Baby, Patrice; Duncan, Robert

    2005-08-01

    Small volumes of Cretaceous alkaline basaltic magmas have been identified in the sedimentary infill of the Ecuadorian Oriente foreland basin. They are characterized by a restricted range of compositional variation, low LILE/HFSE ratios and Sr-Nd isotope values within the range of oceanic island basalts (OIB). Reflection seismic data show that a pre-existing NNE-SSW Triassic and Jurassic rift controls the location and occurrence of these alkaline eruptive sites. Radiometric ages ( 40Ar- 39Ar, incremental heating method) and the biostratigraphic record of their surrounding sediments indicate a NNE-SSW systematic age variation for the emplacement of this alkaline volcanism: from Albian (110 ± 5.2 Ma) in the northern part of the Oriente Basin, to Campanian (82.2 ± 2.0 Ma) in the west-central part. The geochemical, geochronological and tectonic evidences suggest that asthenospheric mantle has upwelled and migrated to the SSW, into the region underlying the pre-existing Triassic and Jurassic rift (thin-spot?). We propose that subduction was abandoned, subsequent to the accretion of allochthonous terranes onto the Ecuadorian and Colombian margin in the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous, causing the relict slab material, corresponding to the eastwards-directed leading plate, to roll-back. Unmodified asthenospheric mantle migrated into the region previously occupied by the slab. This resulted in partial melting and the release of magmatic material to the surface in the northern part of the Oriente Basin since at least Aptian times. Then, magmatism migrated along the SSW-trending Central Wrench Corridor of the Oriente Basin during the Upper Cretaceous, probably as a consequence of the lateral propagation of the transpressive inversion of the Triassic-Jurassic rift. Eventually, the Late Cretaceous east-dipping Andean subduction system was renewed farther west, and the development of the compressional retro-foreland Oriente Basin system halted the Cretaceous alkaline

  10. Closure of the Africa-Eurasia-North America plate motion circuit and tectonics of the Gloria fault

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argus, Donald F.; Gordon, Richard G.; Demets, Charles; Stein, Seth

    1989-01-01

    The current motions of the African, Eurasian, and North American plates are examined. The problems addressed include whether there is resolvable motion of a Spitsbergen microplate, the direction of motion between the African and North American plates, whether the Gloria fault is an active transform fault, and the implications of plate circuit closures for rates of intraplate deformation. Marine geophysical data and magnetic profiles are used to construct a model which predicts about 4 mm/yr slip across the Azores-Gibraltar Ridge, and west-northwest convergence near Gibraltar. The analyzed data are consistent with a rigid plate model with the Gloria fault being a transform fault.

  11. Lesser Himalayan sequences in Eastern Himalaya and their deformation: Implications for Paleoproterozoic tectonic activity along the northern margin of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dilip Saha

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Substantial part of the northern margin of Indian plate is subducted beneath the Eurasian plate during the Caenozoic Himalayan orogeny, obscuring older tectonic events in the Lesser Himalaya known to host Proterozoic sedimentary successions and granitic bodies. Tectonostratigraphic units of the Proterozoic Lesser Himalayan sequence (LHS of Eastern Himalaya, namely the Daling Group in Sikkim and the Bomdila Group in Arunachal Pradesh, provide clues to the nature and extent of Proterozoic passive margin sedimentation, their involvement in pre-Himalayan orogeny and implications for supercontinent reconstruction. The Daling Group, consisting of flaggy quartzite, meta-greywacke and metapelite with minor mafic dyke and sill, and the overlying Buxa Formation with stromatolitic carbonate-quartzite-slate, represent shallow marine, passive margin platformal association. Similar lithostratigraphy and broad depositional framework, and available geochronological data from intrusive granites in Eastern Himalaya indicate strikewise continuity of a shallow marine Paleoproterozoic platformal sequence up to Arunachal Pradesh through Bhutan. Multiple fold sets and tectonic foliations in LHS formed during partial or complete closure of the sea/ocean along the northern margin of Paleoproterozoic India. Such deformation fabrics are absent in the upper Palaeozoic–Mesozoic Gondwana formations in the Lesser Himalaya of Darjeeling-Sikkim indicating influence of older orogeny. Kinematic analysis based on microstructure, and garnet composition suggest Paleoproterozoic deformation and metamorphism of LHS to be distinct from those associated with the foreland propagating thrust systems of the Caenozoic Himalayan collisional belt. Two possibilities are argued here: (1 the low greenschist facies domain in the LHS enveloped the amphibolite to granulite facies domains, which were later tectonically severed; (2 the older deformation and metamorphism relate to a Pacific type

  12. Miocene uplift of the NE Greenland margin linked to plate tectonics: Seismic evidence from the Greenland Fracture Zone, NE Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Døssing, Arne; Japsen, Peter; Watts, Anthony; Nielsen, Tove; Jokat, Wilfried; Thybo, Hans

    2016-04-01

    Tectonic models predict that, following breakup, rift margins undergo only decaying thermal subsidence during their post-rift evolution. However, post-breakup stratigraphy beneath the NE Atlantic shelves shows evidence of regional-scale unconformities, commonly cited as outer margin responses to inner margin episodic uplift, including the formation of coastal mountains. The origin of these events remains enigmatic. We present a seismic reflection study from the Greenland Fracture Zone - East Greenland Ridge (GFZ-EGR) and the NE Greenland shelf. We document a regional intra-Miocene seismic unconformity (IMU), which marks the termination of syn-rift deposition in the deep-sea basins and onset of: (i) thermo-mechanical coupling across the GFZ, (ii) basin compression, and (iii) contourite deposition, north of the EGR. The onset of coupling across the GFZ is constrained by results of 2-D flexural backstripping. We explain the thermo-mechanical coupling and the deposition of contourites by the formation of a continuous plate boundary along the Mohns and Knipovich ridges, leading to an accelerated widening of the Fram Strait. We demonstrate that the IMU event is linked to onset of uplift and massive shelf-progradation on the NE Greenland margin. Given an estimated middle-to-late Miocene (~15-10 Ma) age of the IMU, we speculate that the event is synchronous with uplift of the East and West Greenland margins. The correlation between margin uplift and plate-motion changes further indicates that the uplift was triggered by plate tectonic forces, induced perhaps by a change in the Iceland plume (a hot pulse) and/or by changes in intra-plate stresses related to global tectonics.

  13. Global crustal movement and tectonic plate boundary deformation constrained by the ITRF2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Ze

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of the newly released International Terrestrial Reference Frame(ITRF2008 by the International Earth Rotation Service (IERS, a new global plate model ITRF2008 plate for the major plates is established. This ITRF2008-derived model is analyzed in comparison with NNR-NUVEL1A model, which is mainly based on geological and geophysical data. The Eurasia and Pacific plates display obvious differences in terms of the velocity fields derived from the two plate motion models. Plate acceleration is also introduced to characterize the differences of the two velocity fields which obtained from ITRF2008 -plate and NNR-NUVEL1A models for major individual plates. The results show that the Africa, South America and Eurasia plates are undergoing acceleration, while the North America and Australia plates are in the state of deceleration motion.

  14. Zircon U-Pb ages for Wulian granites in northwest Sulu and their tectonic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    The Wulian complex occurring in the north-western part of the Sulu orogen consists of metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks at greenschist-facies. Zircon U-Pb dating for three granite intrusions within it yields concordant ages of (672±4), (742±9) and (747±14) Ma, respectively. These ages indicate that the granites are the Neoproterozoic intrusions in the northern margin of the Yangtze plate, and correspond to the magmatic complex at Luzhenguan in the eastern part of the Beihuaiyang belt in the Dabie orogen. They were tectonic slices scraped off from the Yangtze plate during Triassic subduction and thus belong to a part of the accretionary wedge of the Yangtze plate subduction. The discovery of extensive Neoproterozoic magmatic rocks in the Wulian area suggests that the suture location between the North China and the Yangtze plates lies north of the Wulian complex.

  15. Linking geological evidence from the Eurasian suture zones to a regional Indian Ocean plate tectonic model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbons, A.; Aitchison, J.; Müller, R.; Whittaker, J.

    2012-12-01

    We present a revised regional plate tectonic model for the Indian Ocean from the Late Jurassic to present, which assimilates both marine geophysical data constraining the seafloor spreading history as well as a variety of geological observations from the Eurasian collision zone. This model includes relative motion between Greater India, Sri Lanka, West Australia, East Antarctica, East Madagascar, the Seychelles and Argoland, a continental sliver which began migrating towards Eurasia in the Late Jurassic, forming the northern margins of Greater India and western Australia. Recently collected data offshore northwest Australia suggest that the majority of Greater India reached only halfway along the West Australian margin in an Early Mesozoic reconstruction, bounded by the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone. The revised geometries and relative motion histories redefine the timing and nature of collisional events, as well as the history of back-arc basins and intra-oceanic arcs, such as the Kohistan-Ladakh intra-oceanic arc in northwest India and Pakistan. Abundant ophiolites have been identified throughout the Yarlung-Tsangpo Suture Zone, between the Indian-Himalaya and Tibet, several have boninitic compositions and almost all date to either the Mid Jurassic or late Early Cretaceous. Further evidence suggests that an intra-oceanic arc collided with Greater India before colliding with Eurasia. Our model features a transform boundary running north of East Africa, which initiated an oceanic arc following short-lived compression between the western and central Mesotethys in the Late Jurassic, coinciding with the initial motion of Argoland. The arc developed through extension and ophiolite generation until at least the mid-Cretaceous and consumed a narrow thinned sliver of West Argoland between ~120-65 Ma. The arc remained active in the same position until its eventual collision with Greater India ~55 Ma. The eastern portion of the intra-oceanic arc accreted to eastern Eurasia

  16. Kinematics and age of Early Tertiary trench parallel volcano-tectonic lineaments in southern Mexico: Tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, M.; Ferrari, L.; Lopez Martinez, M.; Cerca Martinez, M.; Serrano Duran, L.

    2007-05-01

    We present new geological, structural, and geochronological data that constrain the timing and geometry of Early Tertiary strike slip deformation in southwestern Mexico and its relation with the concurrent magmatic activity. Geologic mapping in Guerrero and Michoacan States documented two regional WNW trending volcano-tectonic lineaments sub parallel to the present trench. The southernmost lineament runs for ~140 km from San Miguel Totolapan area (NW Guerrero) to Sanchiqueo (SE Michoacan), and passes through Ciudad Altamirano. Its southeastern part is marked by the alignment of at least eleven silicic to intermediate major domes as well as by the course of the Balsas River. The northwestern part of the lineament is characterized by ductile left lateral shear zones in Early Tertiary plutonic rocks observed in the Rio Chiquito valley. Domes near Ciudad Altamirano are unaffected by ductile shearing and yielded a ~42 Ma 40Ar/39Ar age, setting a minimum age for this deformation. The northern volcano-tectonic lineament runs for ~190 km between the areas of Huitzuco in northern Guerrero and the southern part of the Tzitzio fold in eastern Michoacan. The Huautla, Tilzapotla, Taxco, La Goleta and Nanchititla silicic centers (all in the range 37-34 Ma) are emplaced along this lineament, which continues to the WNW trough a mafic dike swarm exposed north of Tiquicheo (37-35 Ma) and the Purungueo subvolcanic body (~42 Ma). These rocks, unaffected by ductile shearing, give a minimum age of deformation similar to the southern Totolapan-Sanquicheo lineament. Post ~42 Ma deformation is essentially brittle and is characterized by several left lateral and right lateral transcurrent faults with typical Riedel patterns. Other trench-parallel left lateral shear zones active in pre-Oligocene times were recently reported in western Oaxaca. The recognizing of Early Tertiary trench-parallel and left-lateral ductile shearing in internal areas of southern Mexico suggest a field of widely

  17. 3-D simulation for the tectonic evolution around the Kanto Region of Japan using the kinematic plate subduction model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashima, A.; Sato, T.; Ito, T.; Miyauchi, T.; Kameo, K.; Yamamoto, S.

    2011-12-01

    In the Kanto region of Japan, we can observe one of the most active crustal deformations on the earth. In the southern part of the Boso peninsula to the south, the uplift rate is estimated to be 5 mm/yr from the height of marine terraces. From geological evidence, the Kanto mountains to the west are considered to uplift at 1mm/yr. In contrast, the center part of the Kanto region is stable or subsiding, covered by the Holocene sediments. The depth of the basement reaches 3 km at the deepest. Vertical deformation in the timescale of 1 Myr is being revealed by the analysis of the recent seismic reflection experiments compared with the heights of the dated sediment layers exposed on land. These crustal deformation occurs in a highly complex tectonic setting with four plates interacting with each other: beneath Kanto, situated on the Eurasian and North American plates, the Philippine sea plate subducts and the Pacific plate further descends beneath the North American and Philippine sea plates, forming the unique trench-trench-trench triple junction on the earth. In addition, the Izu-Bonin (Ogasawara) arc on the Philippine sea plate is colliding with the Japan islands due to the buoyancy of the arc crust. At the plate boundaries near the Izu-Bonin arc, large interplate earthquakes occurred at the Sagami trough in 1703 and 1923 (Kanto earthquake) and at the Nankai trough in 1707, 1854 and 1944. To reveal the crustal deformation under these plate-to-plate interactions, we use the kinematic plate subduction model based on the elastic dislocation theory. This model is based on the idea that mechanical interaction between plates can rationally be represented by the increase of the displacement discontinuity (dislocation) across plate interfaces. Given the 3-D geometry of plate interfaces, the distribution of slip rate vectors for simple plate subduction can be obtained directly from relative plate velocities. In collision zones, the plate with arc crust cannot easily descend

  18. Seismic tomographic constraints on plate-tectonic reconstruction of Nazca subduction under South America since late Cretaceous (~80 Ma)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-Wei; Wu, Jonny; Suppe, John; Liu, Han-Fang

    2016-04-01

    Our understanding of the global plate tectonics is based mainly on seafloor spreading and hotspot data obtained from the present earth surface, which records the growth of present ocean basins. However, in convergent tectonic settings vast amounts of lithosphere has been lost to subduction, contributing to increasing uncertainty in plate reconstruction with age. However, subducted lithosphere imaged in seismic tomography provides important information. By analyzing subducted slabs we identify the loci of subduction and assess the size and shape of subducted slabs, giving better constrained global plate tectonic models. The Andean margin of South America is a classic example of continuous subduction up to the present day, providing an opportunity to test the global plate prediction that ~24×10e6 km2 (4.7% of earth surface) lithosphere has been subducted since ~80 Ma. In this study, we used 10 different global seismic tomographies and Benioff zone seismicity under South America. To identify slabs, we first compared all data sets in horizontal slices and found the subducted Nazca slab is the most obvious structure between the surface and 750 km depth, well imaged between 10°N and 30°S. The bottom of the subducted Nazca slab reaches its greatest depth at 1400 km at 3°N (Carnegie Andes) and gradually shallows towards the south with 900 km minimum depth at 30°S (Pampean Andes). To assess the undeformed length of subducted slab, we used a refined cross-sectional area unfolding method from Wu et al. (in prep.) in the MITP08 seismic tomography (Li et al., 2008). Having cut spherical-Earth tomographic profiles that parallel to the Nazca-South America convergence direction, we measured slab areas as a function of depth based on edges defined by steep velocity gradients, calculating the raw length of the slab by the area and dividing an assumed initial thickness of oceanic lithosphere of 100km. Slab areas were corrected for density based on the PREM Earth model

  19. Tracking the evolution of mantle sources with incompatible element ratios in stagnant-lid and plate-tectonic planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condie, Kent C.; Shearer, Charles K.

    2017-09-01

    The distribution of high field strength incompatible element ratios Zr/Nb, Nb/Th, Th/Yb and Nb/Yb in terrestrial oceanic basalts prior to 2.7 Ga suggests the absence or near-absence of an enriched mantle reservoir. Instead, most oceanic basalts reflect a variably depleted mantle source similar in composition to primitive mantle. In contrast, basalts from hydrated mantle sources (like those associated with subduction) exist from 4 Ga onwards. The gradual appearance of enriched mantle between 2 and 3 Ga may reflect the onset and propagation of plate tectonics around the globe. Prior to 3 Ga, Earth may have been in a stagnant-lid regime with most basaltic magmas coming from a rather uniform, variably depleted mantle source or from a non-subduction hydrated mantle source. It was not until the extraction of continental crust and accompanying propagation of plate tectonics that ;modern type; enriched and depleted mantle reservoirs developed. Consistent with the absence of plate tectonics on the Moon is the near absence of basalts derived from depleted (DM) and enriched (EM) mantle reservoirs as defined by the four incompatible element ratios of this study. An exception are Apollo 17 basalts, which may come from a mixed source with a composition similar to primitive mantle as one end member and a high-Nb component as the other end member. With exception of Th, which requires selective enrichment in at least parts of the martian mantle, most martian meteorites can be derived from sources similar to terrestrial primitive mantle or by mixing of enriched and depleted mantle end members produced during magma ocean crystallization. Earth, Mars and the Moon exhibit three very different planetary evolution paths. The mantle source regions for Mars and the Moon are ancient and have HFS element signatures of magma ocean crystallization well-preserved, and differences in these signatures reflect magma ocean crystallization under two distinct pressure regimes. In contrast, plate

  20. On the relationship between tectonic plates and thermal mantle plume morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenardic, A.; Kaula, W. M.

    1993-01-01

    Models incorporating plate-like behavior, i.e., near uniform surface velocity and deformation concentrated at plate boundaries, into a convective system, heated by a mix of internal and basal heating and allowing for temperature dependent viscosity, were constructed and compared to similar models not possessing plate-like behavior. The simplified numerical models are used to explore how plate-like behavior in a convective system can effect the lower boundary layer from which thermal plumes form. A principal conclusion is that plate-like behavior can significantly increase the temperature drop across the lower thermal boundary layer. This temperature drop affects the morphology of plumes by determining the viscosity drop across the boundary layer. Model results suggest that plumes on planets possessing plate-like behavior, e.g., the Earth, may differ in morphologic type from plumes on planets not possessing plate-like behavior, e.g., Venus and Mars.

  1. A source-sink model of the generation of plate tectonics from non-Newtonian mantle flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bercovici, David

    1995-01-01

    A model of mantle convection which generates plate tectonics requires strain rate- or stress-dependent rheology in order to produce strong platelike flows with weak margins as well as strike-slip deformation and plate spin (i.e., toroidal motion). Here, we employ a simple model of source-sink driven surface flow to determine the form of such a rheology that is appropriate for Earth's present-day plate motions. In this model, lithospheric motion is treated as shallow layer flow driven by sources and sinks which correspond to spreading centers and subduction zones, respectively. Two plate motion models are used to derive the source sink field. As originally implied in the simpler Cartesian version of this model, the classical power law rheologies do not generate platelike flows as well as the hypothetical Whitehead-Gans stick-slip rheology (which incorporates a simple self-lubrication mechanism). None of the fluid rheologies examined, however, produce more than approximately 60% of the original maximum shear. For either plate model, the viscosity fields produced by the power law rheologies are diffuse, and the viscosity lows over strike-slip shear zones or pseudo-margins are not as small as over the prescribed convergent-divergent margins. In contrast, the stick-slip rheology generates very platelike viscosity fields, with sharp gradients at the plate boundaries, and margins with almost uniformly low viscosity. Power law rheologies with high viscosity contrasts, however, lead to almost equally favorable comparisons, though these also yield the least platelike viscosity fields. This implies that the magnitude of toroidal flow and platelike strength distributions are not necessarily related and thus may present independent constraints on the determination of a self-consistent plate-mantle rheology.

  2. The Curious Decoupling of Magmatism and Plate Tectonics During the Cenozoic in Western North America: Insight From the NAVDAT Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glazner, A. F.; Walker, J. D.; Farmer, G. L.; Bowers, T. D.

    2004-12-01

    Since the widespread acceptance of plate tectonics, magmatism in the western U.S. has been explained by subduction along the west coast of North America and destruction of the subduction system by development of the San Andreas transform fault system. However, re-analysis of space-time patterns of magmatism in western North America calls many of these inferred patterns of magmatism into question. Animation of space-time patterns found in the developing NAVDAT dataset (which currently hosts about 10,000 Cenozoic age and/or geochemical analyses; navdat.geongrid.org), demonstrates that: (1) subduction-type (e.g., intermediate) volcanism is poorly linked to the subduction system; (2) there is little evidence that slab windows controlled magmatism; (3) magmatism was clearly migratory, but not in ways that can be explained by plate-tectonic processes; and (4) magmatism was migratory at length scales ranging from 1000s of km (continental) to 10s of km (county). Several space-time patterns are evident in the NAVDAT animations, including: (1) a sweep from Montana into Nevada from 50 to about 20 Ma; (2) a clockwise sweep around the Colorado Plateau from New Mexico to southern Nevada, from about 30 to 15 Ma; (3) a burst of magmatism at about 16 Ma in northern Nevada, followed by outward sweeps to Yellowstone, central Oregon, and the Sierra Nevada; (4) a burst of magmatism in the Sierra Nevada at 3.5 Ma; and (5) several local migrations, including from Phoenix north onto the Colorado Plateau and from the San Francisco Bay area north to the Geysers geothermal field. Some of these patterns have been tied to specific events (e.g., impingement of the Yellowstone plume and Pliocene delamination), but the others are difficult to relate to plate-tectonic events. They may be caused by local tectonic events (propagating rifts?), minor convective rolls in the asthenosphere, lithospheric delamination, or delamination of a flat Laramide slab. Whatever their origin, database animation

  3. 3-D thermo-mechanical laboratory modeling of plate-tectonics: modeling scheme, technique and first experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Boutelier

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We present an experimental apparatus for 3-D thermo-mechanical analogue modeling of plate tectonic processes such as oceanic and continental subductions, arc-continent or continental collisions. The model lithosphere, made of temperature-sensitive elasto-plastic analogue materials with strain softening, is submitted to a constant temperature gradient causing a strength reduction with depth in each layer. The surface temperature is imposed using infrared emitters, which allows maintaining an unobstructed view of the model surface and the use of a high resolution optical strain monitoring technique (Particle Imaging Velocimetry. Subduction experiments illustrate how the stress conditions on the interplate zone can be estimated using a force sensor attached to the back of the upper plate and adjusted via the density and strength of the subducting lithosphere or the lubrication of the plate boundary. The first experimental results reveal the potential of the experimental set-up to investigate the three-dimensional solid-mechanics interactions of lithospheric plates in multiple natural situations.

  4. Application of Laser Ranging and VLBI Data to a Study of Plate Tectonic Driving Forces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, S. C.

    1980-01-01

    The conditions under which changes in plate driving or resistive forces associated with plate boundary earthquakes are measurable with laser ranging or very long base interferometry were investigated. Aspects of plate forces that can be characterized by such measurements were identified. Analytic solutions for two dimensional stress diffusion in a viscoelastic plate following earthquake faulting on a finite fault, finite element solutions for three dimensional stress diffusion in a viscoelastic Earth following earthquake faulting, and quantitative constraints from modeling of global intraplate stress on the magnitude of deviatoric stress in the lithosphere are among the topics discussed.

  5. Characteristics, structural styles and tectonic implications of Mesozoic-Cenozoic faults in the eastern Heilongjiang basins (NE China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xueqin; Chen, Hanlin; Zhang, Fengqi; Sun, Mingdao; Yang, Jianguo; Tan, Baode

    2017-09-01

    The Eastern Heilongjiang Basins (EHBs) are the assemblage of a series of meso-Cenozoic residual basins located in the northeastern corner of China. The deformation pattern of the EHBs has significant implications for the history of the Pacific Plate subduction beneath the Eurasia since the Late Mesozoic. In this paper, research on the characteristics and structural styles of the meso-Cenzoic faults in the EHBs has been conducted on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of field geology, drilling data and seismic reflection profiles. As a result, five different stages of the meso-Cenozoic faults in the EHBs have been recognized. These are in accordance with the time and relevant characteristics of fault movements, i.e. the early-stage of the Early Cretaceous normal fault, the early-stage of the Late Cretaceous thrust fault, the late-stage of the Late Cretaceous thrust fault, the Cenozoic synsedimentary normal fault and the late-stage Cenozoic shear fault. A regional geological section has been generated across the EHBs by linking four local seismic profiles together. A step-by-step reconstruction has been made to help better understand the Mesozoic-Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the EHBs. Two phases of extension (rifting) in the early Cretaceous Period and the Paleogene, respectively, are demonstrated to be interfered with two phases of regional uplift (compression) and erosion in the Late Cretaceous Period. The complicated development of multiple fault systems within the EHBs has reflected the evolution of a complex tectonic subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Eurasia since the Cretaceous Period.

  6. Geothermal Characteristics and Geological Implications of Major Tectonic Units in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    On the basis of more than 900 heat flow data in China and the surrounding seas, the authors study the geothermal characteristics of major tectonic units in China. The spatial pattern of heat flow and other thermal parameters for lithosphere exhibit significant lateral variation, originating from the Cenozoic tectonothermal activities related to the subduction of the Pacific plate and the collision between India and Asia. The mechanical strength of the crust and the seismicity of tectonic units were strongly affected by geothermal characteristics of units. The crustal eat production rate also shows the lateral heterogeneity, implying the significant lateral variation of bulk composition of the crust in China. KEY WORDS heat flow, effective elastic thickness, heat production rate of crust, China.

  7. Pre-plate tectonics and structure of the Archean mantle lithosphere imaged by seismic anisotropy - inferences from the LAPNET array in northern Fennoscandia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plomerova, Jaroslava; Vecsey, Ludek; Babuska, Vladislav; Lapnet Working Group

    2013-04-01

    Various studies of seismic anisotropy clearly demonstrate the Archean mantle lithosphere consists of domains with different fabrics reflecting fossil anisotropic structures. We detect anisotropic signal both in the P-wave travel-time deviations and shear-wave splitting recorded by the LAPNET array (2007-2009) in the Archean craton of Fennoscandia (Plomerova et al., 2011). The anisotropic parameters change across the array and stations with similar characteristics form groups. The geographical variations of seismic-wave anisotropy delimit individual sharply bounded domains of the mantle lithosphere, each of them having a consistent fabric. The domains can be modelled in 3D by peridotite aggregates with dipping lineation a, or foliation (a,c). Also radial anisotropy of the Archean lithosphere derived from surface waves indicates inclined structure of all the cratonic regions of the continents, though with less detailed lateral resolution in comparison with body-wave anisotropy. These findings allow us to interpret the domains as micro-plate fragments retaining fossil fabrics in the mantle lithosphere, reflecting thus an olivine LPO created before the micro-plates assembled. Successive subductions of oceanic lithosphere is a mechanism which can work in modern-style plate tectonics as we know it now, being considered as widespread since 2.7 Ga. Though the modern plate tectonics is the most distinct tectonic style acting up to now, we have to consider a mechanism creating oriented structures (fabrics) in a pre-plate-tectonic style. The early lithosphere formed in dynamic conditions far from simple cooling which would result in sub-horizontal layered structure of the lithosphere. Earlier tectonic modes in a hotter and more dynamic Earth might be similar in some respects to those of the modern-plate tectonics. Basaltic "rockbergs" on convecting magma ocean in the Hadean Earth are supposed to turn to either proto-plate tectonics with platelets and supercratonal, or, to

  8. The Lord Howe Rise continental ribbon: a fragment of eastern Gondwana that reveals the drivers of continental rifting and plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, S.; Hackney, R. I.; Bryan, S. E.; Kimura, J. I.; Müller, D.; Arculus, R. J.; Mortimer, N. N.; Collot, J.; Tamura, Y.; Yamada, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Plate tectonics and resulting changes in crustal architecture profoundly influence global climate, oceanic circulation, and the origin, distribution and sustainability of life. Ribbons of continental crust rifted from continental margins are one product of plate tectonics that can influence the Earth system. Yet we have been unable to fully resolve the tectonic setting and evolution of huge, thinned, submerged, and relatively inaccessible continental ribbons like the Lord Howe Rise (LHR), which formed during Cretaceous fragmentation of eastern Gondwana. Thinned continental ribbons like the LHR are not easily explained or predicted by plate-tectonic theory. However, because Cretaceous rift basins on the LHR preserve the stratigraphy of an un-accreted and intact continental ribbon, they can help to determine whether plate motion is self-organised—passively driven by the pull of negatively-buoyant subducting slabs—or actively driven by convective flow in the mantle. In a self-organising scenario, the LHR formed in response to ocean-ward retreat of the long-lived eastern Gondwana subduction zone and linked upper-plate extension. In the mantle-driven scenario, the LHR resulted from rifting near the eastern edge of Gondwana that was triggered by processes linked to emplacement of a silicic Large Igneous Province. These scenarios can be distinguished using the ribbon's extensional history and the composition and tectonic affinity of igneous rocks within rift basins. However, current knowledge of LHR rift basins is based on widely-distributed marine and satellite geophysical data, limited dredge samples, and sparse shallow drilling (<600 m below-seafloor). This limits our ability to understand the evolution of extended continental ribbons, but a recent deep crustal seismic survey across the LHR and a proposed IODP deep stratigraphic well through a LHR rift basin provide new opportunities to explore the drivers behind rifting, continental ribboning and plate tectonics.

  9. Rubidium-strontium geochronology and plate-tectonic evolution of the southern part of the Arabian Shield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleck, Robert J.; Greenwood, W.R.; Hadley, D.G.; Anderson, R.E.; Schmidt, D.L.

    1980-01-01

    Rubidium-strontium studies of Precambrian volcanic and plutonic rocks of the Arabian Shield document an early development of the Arabian craton between 900 and 680 m.y. (million years) ago. Geologic studies indicate an island-arc environment characterized by andesitic (dioritic) magmas, volcaniclastic sedimentation, rapid deposition, and contemporaneous deformation along north or northwest-trending axes. Magmatic trends show consistent variation in both composition and geographic location as a function of age. The oldest units belong to an assemblage of basaltic strata exposed in western Saudi Arabia that yield an age of 1165:!:110 m.y. The oldest andesitic strata studied yield an age of 912:!:76 m.y. The earliest plutonic units are diorite to trondhjemite batholiths that range from 800 to 9,00 m.y. in age and ,occur along the western and southern parts of Saudi Arabia. Younger plutonic units, 680 to 750 m.y. in age, range from quartz diorite to granodiodte and become more abundant in the central and northeastern parts of the Arabian Shield. Initial 'Sr/ 86 Sr ratios for both dioritic groups range from 0.7023 to 0.7030 and average 0.7027. The absence of sialic detritus in sedimentary units and the evidence for an island-arc environment suggest the early development of the Arabian craton at a convergent plate margin between plates of oceanic lithosphere. Active subduction apparently extended from at least 900 m.y. to about 680 m.y. Subsequent to this subduction-related magmatism and tectonism, called the Hijaz tectonic cycle, the Arabian craton was sutured to the late Precambrian African plate in a collisional event. This period of orogeny, represented in Arabia and eastern Africa by the Mozambiquian or Pan-African event, extended from some time before 650 m.y. to at least 540 m.y. and perhaps 520 m.y. B.P. Although the tectonic processes of subduction and continental collision during the 900+ to 500-m.y. period require similar directions of plate convergence, the

  10. Philippine Sea and East Asian plate tectonics since 52 Ma constrained by new subducted slab reconstruction methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jonny; Suppe, John; Lu, Renqi; Kanda, Ravi

    2016-06-01

    We reconstructed Philippine Sea and East Asian plate tectonics since 52 Ma from 28 slabs mapped in 3-D from global tomography, with a subducted area of ~25% of present-day global oceanic lithosphere. Slab constraints include subducted parts of existing Pacific, Indian, and Philippine Sea oceans, plus wholly subducted proto-South China Sea and newly discovered "East Asian Sea." Mapped slabs were unfolded and restored to the Earth surface using three methodologies and input to globally consistent plate reconstructions. Important constraints include the following: (1) the Ryukyu slab is ~1000 km N-S, too short to account for ~20° Philippine Sea northward motion from paleolatitudes; (2) the Marianas-Pacific subduction zone was at its present location (±200 km) since 48 ± 10 Ma based on a >1000 km deep slab wall; (3) the 8000 × 2500 km East Asian Sea existed between the Pacific and Indian Oceans at 52 Ma based on lower mantle flat slabs; (4) the Caroline back-arc basin moved with the Pacific, based on the overlapping, coeval Caroline hot spot track. These new constraints allow two classes of Philippine Sea plate models, which we compared to paleomagnetic and geologic data. Our preferred model involves Philippine Sea nucleation above the Manus plume (0°/150°E) near the Pacific-East Asian Sea plate boundary. Large Philippine Sea westward motion and post-40 Ma maximum 80° clockwise rotation accompanied late Eocene-Oligocene collision with the Caroline/Pacific plate. The Philippine Sea moved northward post-25 Ma over the northern East Asian Sea, forming a northern Philippine Sea arc that collided with the SW Japan-Ryukyu margin in the Miocene (~20-14 Ma).

  11. Geological evidence for the geographical pattern of mantle return flow and the driving mechanism of plate tectonics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvarez, W.

    1982-08-10

    Tectonic features at the earth's surface can be used to test models for mantle return flow and to determine the geographic pattern of this flow. A model with shallow return and deep continental roots places the strongest constraints on the geographical pattern of return flow and predicts recognizable surface manifestations. Because of the progressive shrinkage of the Pacific (averaging 0.5 km/sup 2//yr over the last 180 m.y.) this model predicts upper mantle outflow through the three gaps in the chain of continents rimming the Pacific (Carribbean, Drake Passage, Australian-Antartic gap). In this model, upper mantle return flow streams originating at the western Pacific trenches and at the Java Trench meet south of Australia, filling in behind this rapidly northward-moving continent and provding an explanation for the negative bathymetric and gravity anomalies of the 'Australian-Antarctic-Discordance'. The long-continued tectonic movements toward the east that characterize the Caribbean and the eastenmost Scotia Sea may be produced by viscous coupling to the predicted Pacific outflow through the gaps, and the Caribbean floor slopes in the predicted direction. If mantle outflow does not pass through the gaps in the Pacific perimeter, it must pass beneath three seismic zones (Central America, Lesser Antiles, Scotia Sea); none of these seismic zones shows foci below 200 km. Mantle material flowing through the Caribbean and Drake Passage gaps would supply the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, while the Java Trench supplies the Indian Ocean ridges, so that deep-mantle upwellings need not be centered under spreading ridges and therefore are not required to move laterally to follow ridge migrations. The analysis up to this point suggests that upper mantle return flow is a response to the motion of the continents. The second part of the paper suggest driving mechanism for the plate tectonic process which may explain why the continents move.

  12. Faunal breaks and species composition of Indo-Pacific corals: the role of plate tectonics, environment and habitat distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, S A; Baird, A H; Hughes, T P; Madin, J S; Connolly, S R

    2013-07-22

    Species richness gradients are ubiquitous in nature, but the mechanisms that generate and maintain these patterns at macroecological scales remain unresolved. We use a new approach that focuses on overlapping geographical ranges of species to reveal that Indo-Pacific corals are assembled within 11 distinct faunal provinces. Province limits are characterized by co-occurrence of multiple species range boundaries. Unexpectedly, these faunal breaks are poorly predicted by contemporary environmental conditions and the present-day distribution of habitat. Instead, faunal breaks show striking concordance with geological features (tectonic plates and mantle plume tracks). The depth range over which a species occurs, its larval development rate and genus age are important determinants of the likelihood that species will straddle faunal breaks. Our findings indicate that historical processes, habitat heterogeneity and species colonization ability account for more of the present-day biogeographical patterns of corals than explanations based on the contemporary distribution of reefs or environmental conditions.

  13. Global coupling at 660 km is proposed to explain plate tectonics and the generation of the earth's magnetic field

    CERN Document Server

    Garai, Jozsef

    2007-01-01

    The presence of low viscosity layers in the mantle is supported by line of geological and geophysical observations. Recent high pressure and temperature investigations indicated that partial carbonate melt should exist at the bottom of the lithosphere and at 660 km. The presence of few percent carbonate melt reduces the viscosity by several order of magnitude. The globally existing 660 km very low viscosity layer allows the development of differential rotation between the upper and lower mantle. This differential rotation between the 660 km outer shell and the rest of the earth offers a plausible explanation for plate tectonics and for the generation of the earth's magnetic field. Simple dynamo model is proposed, which able to reproduce all of the features of the contemporary and, within reasonable uncertainty, the paleomagnetic field. The model is also consistent with geological and geophysical observations.

  14. Formation and tectonic evolution of the Cretaceous Jurassic Muslim Bagh ophiolitic complex, Pakistan: Implications for the composite tectonic setting of ophiolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mehrab; Kerr, Andrew C.; Mahmood, Khalid

    2007-10-01

    The Muslim Bagh ophiolitic complex Balochistan, Pakistan is comprised of an upper and lower nappe and represents one of a number of ophiolites in this region which mark the boundary between the Indian and Eurasian plates. These ophiolites were obducted onto the Indian continental margin around the Late Cretaceous, prior to the main collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates. The upper nappe contains mantle sequence rocks with numerous isolated gabbro plutons which we show are fed by dolerite dykes. Each pluton has a transitional dunite-rich zone at its base, and new geochemical data suggest a similar mantle source region for both the plutons and dykes. In contrast, the lower nappe consists of pillow basalts, deep-marine sediments and a mélange of ophiolitic rocks. The rocks of the upper nappe have a geochemical signature consistent with formation in an island arc environment whereas the basalts of the lower nappe contain no subduction component and are most likely to have formed at a mid-ocean ridge. The basalts and sediments of the lower nappe have been intruded by oceanic alkaline igneous rocks during the northward drift of the Indian plate. The two nappes of the Muslim Bagh ophiolitic complex are thus distinctively different in terms of their age, lithology and tectonic setting. The recognition of composite ophiolites such as this has an important bearing on the identification and interpretation of ophiolites where the plate tectonic setting is less well resolved.

  15. Effects of Student-Generated Diagrams versus Student-Generated Summaries on Conceptual Understanding of Causal and Dynamic Knowledge in Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobert, Janice D.; Clement, John J.

    1999-01-01

    Grade five students' (n=58) conceptual understanding of plate tectonics was measured by analysis of student-generated summaries and diagrams, and by posttest assessment of both the spatial/static and causal/dynamic aspects of the domain. The diagram group outperformed the summary and text-only groups on the posttest measures. Discusses the effects…

  16. Punctuated Neogene tectonics and stratigraphy of the African-Iberian plate-boundary zone: concurrent development of Betic-Rif basins (southern Spain, northern Morocco)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sissingh, W.

    2008-01-01

    This paper integrates the sequence stratigraphic and tectonic data related to the Neogene geodynamic and palaeogeographic development of the African-Iberian plate boundary zone between Spain and Morocco. Though the dating of individual tectonostratigraphic sequences and their delimiting sequence bou

  17. The Role of Plate Tectonic-Climate Coupling and Exposed Land Area in the Development of Habitable Climates on Rocky Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Foley, Bradford J

    2015-01-01

    The long-term carbon cycle is vital for maintaining liquid water oceans on rocky planets due to the negative climate feedbacks involved in silicate weathering. Plate tectonics plays a crucial role in driving the long-term carbon cycle because it is responsible for CO$_2$ degassing at ridges and arcs, the return of CO$_2$ to the mantle through subduction, and supplying fresh, weatherable rock to the surface via uplift and orogeny. However, the presence of plate tectonics itself may depend on climate according to recent geodynamical studies showing that cool surface temperatures are important for maintaining vigorous plate tectonics. Using a simple carbon cycle model, I show that the negative climate feedbacks inherent in the long-term carbon cycle are uninhibited by climate's effect on plate tectonics. Furthermore, initial atmospheric CO$_2$ conditions do not impact the final climate state reached when the carbon cycle comes to equilibrium, as long as liquid water is present and silicate weathering can occur. ...

  18. Punctuated Neogene tectonics and stratigraphy of the African-Iberian plate-boundary zone: concurrent development of Betic-Rif basins (southern Spain, northern Morocco)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sissingh, W.

    2008-01-01

    This paper integrates the sequence stratigraphic and tectonic data related to the Neogene geodynamic and palaeogeographic development of the African-Iberian plate boundary zone between Spain and Morocco. Though the dating of individual tectonostratigraphic sequences and their delimiting sequence bou

  19. Effects of Student-Generated Diagrams versus Student-Generated Summaries on Conceptual Understanding of Causal and Dynamic Knowledge in Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobert, Janice D.; Clement, John J.

    1999-01-01

    Grade five students' (n=58) conceptual understanding of plate tectonics was measured by analysis of student-generated summaries and diagrams, and by posttest assessment of both the spatial/static and causal/dynamic aspects of the domain. The diagram group outperformed the summary and text-only groups on the posttest measures. Discusses the effects…

  20. Rotational Inerfia of Continents: A Proposed Link between Polar Wandering and Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, M F

    1972-03-24

    A mechanism is proposed whereby displacement between continents and the earth's pole of rotation (polar wandering) gives rise to latitudinal transport of continental plates (continental drift) because of their relatively greater rotational inertia. When extended to short-term polar wobble, the hypothesis predicts an energy change nearly equivalent to the seismic energy rate.

  1. An Experimental Study of Incremental Surface Loading of an Elastic Plate: Application to Volcano Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, K. K.; Zuber, M. T.

    1995-01-01

    Models of surface fractures due to volcanic loading an elastic plate are commonly used to constrain thickness of planetary lithospheres, but discrepancies exist in predictions of the style of initial failure and in the nature of subsequent fracture evolution. In this study, we perform an experiment to determine the mode of initial failure due to the incremental addition of a conical load to the surface of an elastic plate and compare the location of initial failure with that predicted by elastic theory. In all experiments, the mode of initial failure was tension cracking at the surface of the plate, with cracks oriented circumferential to the load. The cracks nucleated at a distance from load center that corresponds the maximum radial stress predicted by analytical solutions, so a tensile failure criterion is appropriate for predictions of initial failure. With continued loading of the plate, migration of tensional cracks was observed. In the same azimuthal direction as the initial crack, subsequent cracks formed at a smaller radial distance than the initial crack. When forming in a different azimuthal direction, the subsequent cracks formed at a distance greater than the radial distance of the initial crack. The observed fracture pattern may explain the distribution of extensional structures in annular bands around many large scale, circular volcanic features.

  2. Mantle Convection, Plate Tectonics, and Volcanism on Hot Exo-Earths

    CERN Document Server

    van Summeren, Joost; Gaidos, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Recently discovered exoplanets on close-in orbits should have surface temperatures of 100's to 1000's of K. They are likely tidally locked and synchronously rotating around their parent stars and, if an atmosphere is absent, have surface temperature contrasts of many 100's to 1000's K between permanent day and night sides. We investigated the effect of elevated surface temperature and strong surface temperature contrasts for Earth-mass planets on the (i) pattern of mantle convection, (ii) tectonic regime, and (iii) rate and distribution of partial melting, using numerical simulations of mantle convection with a composite viscous/pseudo-plastic rheology. Our simulations indicate that, if a close-in rocky exoplanet lacks an atmosphere to redistribute heat, a >~ 400 K surface temperature contrast can maintain an asymmetric degree 1 pattern of mantle convection in which the surface of the planet moves preferentially toward subduction zones on the cold night side. The planetary surface features a hemispheric dicho...

  3. Recent kinematics of the tectonic plates surrounding the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schettino, Antonio; Macchiavelli, Chiara; Pierantoni, Pietro Paolo; Zanoni, Davide; Rasul, Najeeb

    2016-10-01

    The Red Sea and Gulf of Aden represent two young basins that formed between Africa and Arabia since the early Oligocene, floored by oceanic crust or by transitional and thinned continental crust. While in the easternmost Gulf of Aden, the rift-drift transition can be dated chron C6 (˜20.1 Ma), here we show that in the Red Sea the first pulse of seafloor spreading occurred during chron C3n.2n (˜4.6 Ma) around ˜17.1°N (present-day coordinates) and propagated southwards from this location, separating the Danakil microplate from Arabia. It is also shown that seafloor spreading between Arabia and Nubia started later, around chron 2A (˜2.58 Ma), and propagated northwards. At present, there is no magnetic evidence for the existence of a linear spreading centre in the northern Red Sea at latitudes higher than ˜24°N and in the southern Red Sea below ˜14.8°N. The present-day plate kinematics of this region can be described with high accuracy by a network of five interacting plates (Nubia, Arabia, Somalia, Sinai and Danakil) and six triple junctions. For times older than anomaly 2A (˜2.58 Ma) and up to anomaly 3, the absence of marine magnetic anomalies between Arabia and Nubia prevents a rigorous kinematic description of the five-plates system. However, there is strong evidence that the unique changes in plate motions during the last 5 Myr were a dramatic slowdown at chron C2 (˜1.77 Ma) in the spreading or extension rates along the ridge and rift axes, thereby a good representation of the real plate motions can be obtained anyway by backward extension of the oldest Arabia-Nubia and Arabia-Danakil stage rotations determined on the basis of marine magnetic anomalies, respectively, C2-C2A and C2A-C3. The proposed kinematic reconstructions are accompanied by a geodynamic explanation for the genesis of large continent-continent fracture zones at the rift-drift transition and by an analysis of the strain associated with plate motions in Afar, northeastern Egypt and

  4. Magnetic and bathymetric investigations over the Vema Region of the Central Indian Ridge: Tectonic implications

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Drolia, R.K.; Ghose, I.; Subrahmanyam, A.S.; Rao, M.M.M.; Kessarkar, P.M.; Murthy, K.S.R.

    investigations over the Vema Region of the Central Indian Ridge: tectonic implications R.K. Drolia a, * , I. Ghose b , A.S. Subramanyam c , M.M. Malleswara Rao c , P. Kessarkar b , K.S.R. Murthy c a National Geophysical Research Institute, Uppal Road, Hyderabad... of the time variation of the spreading R.K. Drolia et al. / Marine Geology 167 (2000) 413–423420 Fig. 4. (continued) rate and asymmetry, nor constrain the asymmetry by evaluating its transient or steady character. It has to await further data. We have...

  5. What Controls Space-Time Patterns of Magmatism in Western North America: Plate Tectonics, Delamination, or Convection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glazner, A. F.

    2007-05-01

    Mesozoic and Cenozoic magmatism in western North America is commonly explained by shallowing and steepening of subduction along the west coast of North America, and progressive destruction of the subduction system by development of the San Andreas transform fault system. This hypothesis makes several specific predictions about space-time patterns of magmatism, including eastward and westward sweeps, development of slab-window magmatism, and progressive northward extinction of an ancestral Cascade arc. However, analysis of space-time patterns using the NAVDAT database indicates that these predicted patterns are curiously obscure in the magmatic record, although other unexplained patterns are strong. Animation of about 29,000 Cenozoic U.S. points from NAVDAT (www.navdat.org) demonstrates that: (1) calc- alkaline, intermediate volcanism is poorly linked to the subduction system; (2) there is little evidence for slab- window magmatism; (3) there was no ancestral Cascade arc south of Oregon until ca. 10 Ma; (4) magmatism shifted from primarily silicic to dominantly basaltic throughout the Miocene; and (5) magmatism was clearly migratory in several directions in ways that cannot be explained by plate-tectonic processes, at length scales ranging from 1000s to 10s of km. Space-time patterns that cannot be readily linked to plate-tectonic control include: (1) a silicic sweep from Montana into Nevada from 50 to 20 Ma; (2) a clockwise sweep around the Colorado Plateau from New Mexico to southern Nevada from about 30 to 15 Ma; (3) a burst of magmatism at about 16 Ma in northern Nevada, followed by outward sweeps to Yellowstone, Oregon, and the Sierra Nevada; (4) progressive encroachment of basaltic magmatism onto the Colorado Plateau, and (5) several local migrations, including from Phoenix north onto the Colorado Plateau and from the San Francisco Bay area north to the Geysers geothermal field. These migrations typically occurred at 20-50 mm/yr. Possible origins include

  6. The effect of plumes and a free surface on mantle dynamics with continents and self-consistent plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Charitra; Rozel, Antoine; Tackley, Paul

    2014-05-01

    Rolf et al. (EPSL, 2012) and Coltice et al. (Science, 2012) investigated the thermal and dynamical influences of continents on plate tectonics and the thermal state of Earth's mantle, but they did not explicitly consider the influence of mantle plumes. When present, strong mantle plumes arising from the deep mantle can impose additional stresses on the continents, thereby facilitating continental rifting (Storey, Nature 1995; Santosh et al., Gondwana Research 2009) and disrupting the supercontinent cycle (Philips and Bunge, Geology 2007). In recent years, several studies have characterized the relation between the location of the plumes and the continents, but with contradicting observations. While Heron and Lowman (GRL, 2010; Tectonophysics, 2011) propose regions where downwelling has ceased (irrespective of overlying plate) as the preferred location for plumes, O'Neill et al. (Gondwana Research, 2009) show an anti-correlation between the average positions of subducting slabs at continental margins, and mantle plumes at continental/oceanic interiors. Continental motion is attributed to the viscous stresses imparted by the convecting mantle and the extent of this motion depends on the heat budget of the mantle. Core-mantle boundary (CMB) heat flux, internal heating from decay of radioactive elements, and mantle cooling contribute to this heat budget. Out of these sources, CMB heat flux is not well defined; however, the recent determination that the core's thermal conductivity is much higher than previously thought requires a CMB heat flow of at least 12 TW (de Koker et al., PNAS 2012; Pozzo et al., Nature 2012; Gomi et al., PEPI 2013), much higher than early estimates of 3-4 TW (Lay et al., Nature 2008). Thus, it is necessary to characterize the effect of increased CMB heat flux on mantle dynamics. In almost all mantle convection simulations, the top boundary is treated as a free-slip surface whereas Earth's surface is a deformable free surface. With a free

  7. The Northern Caribbean Plate Boundary Offshore Hispaniola: Strike-slip and Compressive Tectonic Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbeau, J.; Rolandone, F.; Leroy, S. D.; Mercier De Lepinay, B. F.; Meyer, B.; Ellouz, N.

    2014-12-01

    The boundary between the Caribbean plate and the North American plate is transpressive due to the oblique collision between these two plates. The transpressive movement is partitioned and accommodated in the Hispaniola region along two left-lateral strike-slip structures surrounding a fold-and-thrust belt. New multibeam bathymetry data and multichannel seismic reflection profiles have been recently collected during the Haiti-SIS and Haiti-SIS 2 cruises, along part of the northern Caribbean plate boundary between Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola. From the north to the south, three types of deformations are observed. In the Windward Passage, the analysis of the data set reveals that the movement on the Oriente fault between Cuba and Hispaniola is purely left-lateral strike-slip according to the GPS measurements. In the Gonave basin, west of Hispaniola, the deformation is compressive. A series of folds is identified and moves toward the southwest. The Enriquillo-Plantain-Garden Fault (EPGF) is localized in the Jamaica Passage, between Jamaica and Hispaniola. The analysis of the data set reveals that the left-lateral EPGF recently intersects inherited basins from the eastern Cayman Trough margin. The study of the actual EPGF active trace shows that this fault moves with a pure strike-slip component, at least in its western part: the presence of a little push-up structure and a set of three en echelon folds is highlighting in the western part of the Jamaica Passage. The shortening rate in the inherited basins crossed by the EPGF increases from west to east (5.8% to 8.5%), indicating that a thrusting component is also accommodated around the EPGF.

  8. Plate Tectonics at 3.8-3.7 Ga: Field Evidence from the Isua Accretionary Complex, Southern West Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komiya; Maruyama; Masuda; Nohda; Hayashi; Okamoto

    1999-09-01

    Archean oceanic lithosphere was rigid. These conclusions-rigidity and lateral plate movement-support the idea that the modern style of plate tectonics was in operation only 0.7-0.8 G.yr. after the formation of the Earth.

  9. Global tectonics and the plate motion obtained from the ITRF97 station velocity vectors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MA; Zongjin(马宗晋); REN; Jinwei(任金卫); ZHANG; Jin(张进)

    2003-01-01

    By studying the characteristics of current crustal motion by using the ITRF97 station velocity vectors, it has been found that the ITRF97 station velocity vectors are coherent with those of NUVEL-1A model. Both the ITRF97 and NUVEL-1A velocity vectors show that the northern hemisphere is moving towards northeast and northwest along the North Atlantic Ridge. The Eurasian plate is moving to northeast, east, and southeast. The North American continent is moving to northwest, west, and southwest. The movement in the southern hemisphere is different completely.The movements of African, South American and Indian-Australian plates almost all direct to NE-NNE. The three plates take the South Atlantic Ridge and the Indian Ridge as boundaries, and the movement vectors increase gradually, showing a "lag" type stretch movement as the result of the superimposition of the whole movement of the southern hemisphere and the spreading of ocean ridges. The difference of velocity fields between the northern and southern hemispheres is obvious, and there is a disharmony zone between the two hemispheres. The geological data show that there is an oblique and discontinuous shear zone between the two hemispheres. Along this shear zone, eight large earthquakes (Ms≥7.8) took place from August 1999 to January 2001, while in the same time period, the seismic activities along the western and southern Pacific subduction zone is low, showing the significance of the shear zone on the global scale. The results in this paper indicate the relative shear motion between the northern and southern hemispheres.

  10. Mantle-derived peridotites in southwestern Oregon: relation to plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medaris, L G; Dott, R H

    1970-09-04

    A group of peridotites in southwestern Oregon contains high-pressure mineral assemblages reflecting recrystallization at high temperatures (1100 degrees to 1200 degrees C) over a range of pressure decreasing from 19 to 5 kilobars. It is proposed that the peridotites represent upper-mantle material brought from depth along the ancestral Gorda-Juan de Fuca ridge system, transported eastward by the spreading Gorda lithosphere plate, and then emplaced by thrust-faulting in the western margin of the Cordillera during late Mesozoic time.

  11. Correlation between abnormal trends in the spontaneous fields of tectonic plates and strong seismicities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Da-Cheng; Xin, Jian-Cun

    2017-06-01

    Tectonic activities, electrical structures, and electromagnetic environments are major factors that affect the stability of spontaneous fields. The method of correlating regional synchronization contrasts (CRSC) can determine the reliability of multi-site data trends or short-impending anomalies. From 2008 to 2013, there were three strong earthquake cluster periods in the North-South seismic belt that lasted for 8-12 months. By applying the CRSC method to analyze the spontaneous field E SP at 25 sites of the region in the past 6 years, it was discovered that for each strong earthquake cluster period, the E SP strength of credible anomalous trends was present at minimum 30% of the stations. In the southern section of the Tan-Lu fault zone, the E SP at four main geoelectric field stations showed significant anomalous trends after June 2015, which could be associated with the major earthquakes of the East China Sea waters (M S 7.2) in November 2015 and Japan's Kyushu island (M S 7.3) in April 2016.

  12. Plate tectonics and the origin of the Juan Fernández Ridge: analysis of bathymetry and magnetic patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristián Rodrigo

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Juan Fernández Ridge (JFR is a cα. 800 km long alignment of seamounts and islands which is thought to be fed by a deep mantle plume. JFR includes the Friday and Domingo seamounts in the western active edge close to the active hotspot, and the O'Higgins Seamount and Guyot at the eastern limit just in front of the Chile-Perú trench. Recent bathymetric (Global Topography and magnetic (EMAG-2 datasets were interpreted both qualitatively and quantitatively by means of 3D inverse modeling and 2D direct modeling for geometry and susceptibility, together with an interpretation of the synthetic anomalies related to the classical hypothesis of deep seafloor spreading. Topographic and magnetic patterns are used to understand the tectonic evolution and origin of the JFR, especially in the western segment. Results show a continuous corridor with a base at ~3900 m depth formed by four groups of seamounts/islands with a number of summits. The deep ocean floor is ~22 to ~37 Myr old and is younger to the south of the Challenger Fracture Zone that runs in a SW-NE direction. The magnetic pattern of the western JFR segment, which is different than the eastern one, has no correlation with bathymetry and does not present a common polarity nor fit with magnetic models for isolated bodies. This superposition of magnetic patterns indicates a role of the faults/fractures of the Nazca Plate. Geological evidence supports the hypothesis of a fixed mantle plume for the origin of JFR but our data suggest that tectonic processes play a role, thus fueling the global controversy about these competing processes.

  13. The Fossils in Shangxi Group and Its Implication for Tectonics, Southern Anhui, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐树桐; 陈冠宝; 陶正; 石永红; 孙枢; Kenneth J.Hsu; 尹磊明; 欧阳舒; 廖卓庭

    1994-01-01

    The Shangxi Group is the local name in southern Anhui Province and it is believed to be the equivalence of the well-known Banxi Group in Hunan Province, southern China. So the area occupied by the Shangxi Group was regarded as a part of the "Jiangnan old land" of Presinian till it was challenged by the present authors years ago. After we postulated that there may be some strata of Palaeozoic Era in Shangxi Group, some microfossils and then macrofossils of Palaeozoic were found in some part of it. The macrof os-sils, Lingula sp. , Conulariid and the microfossils indicate that most units of the Shangxi Group are Palaeozoic strata. Based on the discovery of these fossils and the recognition of the tectonic-setting of the different tectono-petrologic units in the Shangxi Group, three different stratigraphic sequences (island-arc volcanics, back-arc sediments and the cover of passive margin of Yangtze Continental Plate) are established and the tectonic evolution of them is postulated in the present paper. Al

  14. Geochemical characteristics and tectonic implications of HP-UHP eclogites and blueschists in southwestern Tianshan, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    AI Yongliang; ZHANG Lifei; LI Xuping; QU Junfeng

    2006-01-01

    Four rock assemblages in correspondence with two different tectonic settings have been recognized in the NEE-SWW extending HP-UHP metamorphic belt in southwestern Tianshan, northwest China. Eclogite assemblage EC1 is geochemically akin to alkaline within-plate oceanic island basalt (OIB). EC2 shows affinity to enriched mid-oceanic ridge basalt (EMORB). Rare earth element (REE) and other immobile trace element characteristics of blueschist assemblage BS1 resemble those of normal mid-oceanic ridge basalt (NMORB). These three assemblages are likely formed on a seamount setting, and the prevalent presence of carbonate minerals and omphacite quartzite stripes/gobbets suggests ancient pelagic sediments including marls are probably developed upon the basaltic seamount.Whereas the geochemical characteristics of BS2 assemblage are of volcanic arc basalt-type. The seamount with the pelagic sediments on it is brought into the subduction zone, and volcanic arc basalts formed on the active continental margin and trench sediments are eroded and enwrapped in the subducting mass, they are altogether subjected to high to ultrahigh pressure metamorphism and subsequent exhumation towards surface. The HP-UHP metamorphic belt is thus interpreted as a subduction-accretionary complex formed by tectonic juxtaposition and imbrication of seamount, seafloor, trench and volcanic arc sequences during oceanic crust subduction.

  15. Three-dimensional density structures of Taiwan and tectonic implications based on the analysis of gravity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Hsien-Hsiang; Yen, Horng-Yuan

    2016-07-01

    Taiwan is located in a collision and subduction area and has a complex tectonic history. To better understand the complicated structure beneath Taiwan, gravity studies, in addition to seismic and geological studies, provide useful geophysical information for studying shallow depths. Previous gravity studies of Taiwan in the last 30 years focused on local regionalized explanations and 2-D profile modeling. This study is the first to complete a 3-D gravity inversion of Taiwan, and it provides a more comprehensive and large-scale tectonic analysis. Following 3-D gravity inversion using the least squares method, we sliced horizontal and vertical profiles from the 3-D density model to visualize tectonic changes. The low Bouguer anomaly was caused by thick sediment and crust layers. The high-density layers are located in special tectonic areas such as the Peikang and Kuanying basement highs. The deepest Moho depth beneath the middle of the Central Range is 45-50 km. The high gradient changes of the eastern section of the Moho relief are shown by the complex mechanism of plate collision. The geometry of plate subduction is apparent in northeastern Taiwan, and the oceanic crust is observable under eastern Taiwan, showing arc-collision boundaries. Our 3-D density model, when combined with updated gravity data and seismic tomography, offers better resolution for deep structures than the previous 2-D forward results and serves as a physical property reference to better understand the tectonic structure beneath Taiwan.

  16. Active tectonic deformation of the western Indian plate boundary: A case study from the Chaman Fault System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crupa, Wanda E.; Khan, Shuhab D.; Huang, Jingqiu; Khan, Abdul S.; Kasi, Aimal

    2017-10-01

    Collision of the Eurasian and Indian plates has resulted in two spatially offset subduction zones, the Makran subduction zone to the south and the Himalayan convergent margin to the north. These zones are linked by a system of left-lateral strike-slip faults known as the Chaman Fault System, ∼1200 km, which spans along western Pakistan. Although this is one of the greatest strike-slip faults, yet temporal and spatial variation in displacement has not been adequately defined along this fault system. This study conducted geomorphic and geodetic investigations along the Chaman Fault in a search for evidence of spatial variations in motion. Four study areas were selected over the span of the Chaman Fault: (1) Tarnak-Rud area over the Tarnak-Rud valley, (2) Spinatizha area over the Spinatizha Mountain Range, (3) Nushki area over the Nushki basin, and (4) Kharan area over the northern tip of the Central Makran Mountains. Remote sensing data allowed for in depth mapping of different components and faults within the Kohjak group. Wind and water gap pairs along with offset rivers were identified using high-resolution imagery and digital-elevation models to show displacement for the four study areas. The mountain-front-sinuosity ratio, valley height-to-width-ratio, and the stream-length-gradient index were calculated and used to determine the relative tectonic activity of each area. These geomorphic indices suggest that the Kharan area is the most active and the Tarnak-Rud area is the least active. GPS data were processed into a stable Indian plate reference frame and analyzed. Fault parallel velocity versus fault normal distance yielded a ∼8-10 mm/yr displacement rate along the Chaman Fault just north of the Spinatizha area. InSAR data were also integrated to assess displacement rates along the fault system. Geodetic data support that ultra-slow earthquakes similar to those that strike along other major strike-slip faults, such as the San Andreas Fault System, are

  17. Subduction Zone Geometry and Pre-seismic Tectonic Constraints From the Andaman Micro- plate Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnest, A.; Freymueller, J. T.; Rajendran, K.; C. P, R.

    2007-12-01

    The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman mega-thrust rupture broke along the narrow fore-arc sliver boundary of the Indo- Burmese collision. Earlier events of 1679 (M~7.5), 1941 (M 7.7), 1881 (M~7.9) and 2002 (Mw 7.3) generated spatially restricted ruptures along this margin. Spatio-temporal analysis of the pre-seismic earthquakes showed dense seismicity in the back-arc region but negligible activity towards the trench. The hypocentral distribution highlights the shallow subduction at the northern segment, which becomes steeper and deeper to the south. The pre-earthquake stress distribution, inferred from the P and T-axes of earthquake faulting mechanisms, represents the compressional fore-arc and extensional back-arc stress regimes. Shallow NNE-SSW under- thrusting and NNW-SSE opening up of the marginal sea basin stresses were observed and this trend changes to NE-SW to N-S at intermediate depths. We collected three epochs of campaign mode GPS data along the arc from May 2002 to September 2004. These observations show nearly pure convergence along the Andaman trench prior to the earthquake. During this period the GPS sites moved westward relative to India at ~5.5 mm/yr, consistent with the earlier results. Along arc GPS velocity vectors suggest that the Andaman trench is part of a purely slip partitioned boundary, with the strike- slip component of the India-Sunda relative plate motion being taken up on the transform fault in the Andaman Sea or on the West Andaman Fault, and the convergent component on the Andaman trench. Although near normal convergence was observed, it sampled only a fraction of a possible full Andaman microplate convergence velocity, because elastic deformation from the locked shallow megathrust caused displacements toward the overriding plate, that is, away from India. Based on the Indian plate velocity and Andaman spreading rates, this component amounts to ~85% of the pre-seismic convergence. These geodetic velocities represent the present day geologic

  18. Dinosaur tectonics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graversen, Ole; Milàn, Jesper; B. Loope, David

    2007-01-01

    to crustal scale tectonics associated with plate tectonics and foreland fold-thrust belts. A structural analysis of the dinosaur tracks shows the timing and direction of the forces exercised on the substrate by the animal's foot during the stride. Based on the structural analysis, we establish a scenario...... of the undertrack. The total length of the tectonic disturbance created by the dinosaur is up to three times that of the original footprint. Early, near-surface cementation gave the substrate the rheological properties necessary for development of the observed structures....

  19. Tectonic controls on the Karlıova triple junction (Turkey): Implications for tectonic inversion and the initiation of volcanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karaoğlu, Özgür; Selçuk, Azad Sağlam; Gudmundsson, Agust

    2017-01-01

    Few places on Earth are tectonically as active as the Karlıova region of eastern Turkey which comprises a triple junction (KTJ). Triple junctions result in complex kinematic and mechanical interactions within the lithosphere generating tectonic inversions and uplift, extensive seismicity and volcanism. Here we present new data, and summarize existing data, on the tectonic evolution of the KTJ in eastern Turkey over the past 6 Ma. In particular, we present a kinematic model for the KTJ and the surrounding area as well as new structural maps. The deformation or strain rate has varied over this 6 million year period. The maximum strain rate occurred between 6 Ma and 3 Ma, a period that coincides with the initiation of activity in Varto Volcano. We suggest that increased strain rate and the initiation of activity at the Varto Volcano may be tectonically related. Subsequent to its formation, the Varto Volcano was dissected by active faults associated with the Varto Fault Zone, including reverse, normal and strike-slip faults. During the past 3 Ma, however, the KTJ area was deformed dominantly through dextral crustal movements associated to right-lateral faults. This deformation resulted in the development of a NE-SW-trending extensional/transtensional regime, together with a complementary NW-SE-trending contractional regime. In the past 6 Ma the east end of the KTJ has been subjected to incremental deformation. This deformation has resulted in many episodes of faulting during (i) ongoing shortening phases driven by a regional-scale thrust tectonic regime, and (ii) local-scale transtensional phases caused by westward extrusion.

  20. Testing Absolute Plate Reference Frames and the Implications for the Generation of Geodynamic Mantle Heterogeneity Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shephard, G. E.; Bunge, H.; Schuberth, B. S.; Müller, D.; Talsma, A.; Moder, C.

    2010-12-01

    Several absolute reference frames for Cretaceous-Tertiary plate tectonic reconstructions have been proposed over the last decade. They include reference frames based on hotspot tracks displaying age progression, and assuming either fixed or moving hotspots, as well as palaeomagnetically-based reference frames, a subduction reference frame and hybrid reference frames. All these alternative reference frames imply a particular history of the location of subduction zones through time, the associated subduction history, and the evolution of mantle heterogeneity via the mixing of subducted slab material with the mantle. Therefore it is possible to evaluate the observed distribution of subducted slab material in the mantle versus that predicted by a forward geodynamic model in which the plate kinematic history given by a particular absolute plate is coupled with a mantle convection model. We present a comparison of five alternative absolute plate motion models in terms of their consequences for global deep mantle structure by utilizing the 3-D spherical finite element mantle convection code TERRA, coupled with the global plate tectonic reconstruction software GPlates. We impose global palaeo-plate boundaries and plate velocities back to 140 Ma as surface boundary conditions for each absolute rotation model and forward model the associated subduction history. The correlation of seismic tomography with the predicted present-day mantle structure from each of plate models is then assessed using well-imaged slabs. We will present and discuss a comparison of geodynamically predicted mantle heterogeneity and seismic tomography to infer the robustness of each absolute reference frame through time, thus providing additional constraints for the integration of plate tectonics and mantle dynamics.

  1. Gravity modeling of the Muertos Trough and tectonic implications (north-eastern Caribbean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granja, Bruna J. L.; Munoz-Martin, A.; ten Brink, U.S.; Carbó-Gorosabel, Andrés; Llanes, Estrada P.; Martin-Davila, J.; Cordoba-Barba, D.; Catalan, Morollon M.

    2010-01-01

    The Muertos Trough in the northeast Caribbean has been interpreted as a subduction zone from seismicity, leading to infer a possible reversal subduction polarity. However, the distribution of the seismicity is very diffuse and makes definition of the plate geometry difficult. In addition, the compressive deformational features observed in the upper crust and sandbox kinematic modeling do not necessarily suggest a subduction process. We tested the hypothesized subduction of the Caribbean plate's interior beneath the eastern Greater Antilles island arc using gravity modeling. Gravity models simulating a subduction process yield a regional mass deficit beneath the island arc independently of the geometry and depth of the subducted slab used in the models. This mass deficit results from sinking of the less dense Caribbean slab beneath the lithospheric mantle replacing denser mantle materials and suggests that there is not a subducted Caribbean plateau beneath the island arc. The geologically more realistic gravity model which would explain the N-S shortening observed in the upper crust requires an overthrusted Caribbean slab extending at least 60 km northward from the deformation front, a progressive increase in the thrusting angle from 8?? to 30?? reaching a maximum depth of 22 km beneath the insular slope. This new tectonic model for the Muertos Margin, defined as a retroarc thrusting, will help to assess the seismic and tsunami hazard in the region. The use of gravity modeling has provided targets for future wide-angle seismic surveys in the Muertos Margin. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  2. Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Briestenský Miloš

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The EU-TecNet monitoring network uses customized three-dimensional extensometers to record transient deformations across individual faults. This paper presents the first results from two newly established monitoring points in the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. The data from Saeva Dupka, recorded across an EEN-WWS striking fault, show sinistral strike-slip along the fault and subsidence of the southern block. Much of the subsidence occurred around the time of the distal MW = 5.6 Pernik Earthquake. An important transient deformation event, which began in autumn 2012, was reflected by significant compression and following extension, across the monitored fault. The data from Bacho Kiro, recorded across a NE–SW striking fault, show sinistral strike-slip along the fault and subsidence of the north-western block. The same important deformation event was reflected by changes in the strike-slip, dip-slip, and horizontal opening/closing trends. These results have been compared to data from other monitoring points in the Western Carpathians, External Dinarides, and Tian Shan. Many of the sites show evidence of simultaneous displacement anomalies and this observation is interpreted as a reflection of the plate-wide propagation of a tectonic pressure pulse towards the end of 2012.

  3. The Wisconsin magmatic terrane: An Early Proterozoic greenstone-granite terrane formed by plate tectonic processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, K. J.; Laberge, G. L.

    1986-01-01

    The Wisconsin magmatic terrane (WMT) is an east trending belt of dominantly volcanic-plutonic complexes of Early Proterozoic age (approx. 1850 m.y.) that lies to the south of the Archean rocks and Early Proterozoic epicratonic sequence (Marquette Range Supergroup) in Michigan. It is separated from the epicratonic Marquette Range Supergroup by the high-angle Niagara fault, is bounded on the south, in central Wisconsin, by Archean gneisses, is truncated on the west by rocks of the Midcontinent rift system, and is intruded on the east by the post-orogenic Wolf river batholith. The overall lithologic, geochemical, metallogenic, metamorphic, and deformational characteristics of the WMT are similar to those observed in recent volcanic arc terranes formed at sites of plate convergence. It is concluded that the WMT represents an evolved oceanic island-arc terrane accreated to the Superior craton in the Early Proterozoic. This conclusion is strengthened by the apparent absence of Archean basement from most of the WMT, and the recent recognition of the passive margin character of the epicratonic Marquette Range Supergroup.

  4. Thick shell tectonics on one-plate planets - Applications to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.; Saunders, R. S.; Phillips, R. J.; Sleep, N. H.

    1982-01-01

    Using the zero frequency equations of a self-gravitating elastic spherical shell overlying a strengthless fluid, a theory for stress distribution in thick lithospheric shells on one-plate planets is developed. For both the compensated and flexural modes, stress distributions in lithospheres are reviewed. For compensated modes, surface stresses depend only on surface topography, whereas for flexural modes it is shown that, for long wavelengths, stress trajectories are mainly dependent on the lithospheric lateral density distribution and not on elastic properties. Computational analyses are performed for Mars, and it is found that isostatically compensated models correctly predict the graben structure in the immediate Tharsis region and a flexural loading model is satisfactory in explaining the graben in the regions surrounding Tharsis. A three-stage model for the evolution of Tharsis is hypothesized: isostasy with north-south graben formation on Tharsis, followed by flexural loading and radial graben formation on the perimeter of Tharsis, followed by a last stage of loading with little or no regional deformation.

  5. Thick shell tectonics on one-plate planets - Applications to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.; Saunders, R. S.; Phillips, R. J.; Sleep, N. H.

    1982-01-01

    Using the zero frequency equations of a self-gravitating elastic spherical shell overlying a strengthless fluid, a theory for stress distribution in thick lithospheric shells on one-plate planets is developed. For both the compensated and flexural modes, stress distributions in lithospheres are reviewed. For compensated modes, surface stresses depend only on surface topography, whereas for flexural modes it is shown that, for long wavelengths, stress trajectories are mainly dependent on the lithospheric lateral density distribution and not on elastic properties. Computational analyses are performed for Mars, and it is found that isostatically compensated models correctly predict the graben structure in the immediate Tharsis region and a flexural loading model is satisfactory in explaining the graben in the regions surrounding Tharsis. A three-stage model for the evolution of Tharsis is hypothesized: isostasy with north-south graben formation on Tharsis, followed by flexural loading and radial graben formation on the perimeter of Tharsis, followed by a last stage of loading with little or no regional deformation.

  6. Reidar Løvlie and Plate Tectonic consequences of sedimentary inclination shallowing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torsvik, Trond H.

    2014-05-01

    Reidar Løvlie was my mentor and supervisor in the early 1980s and he thought me all about laboratory experiments and palaeomagnetic methods, but also various aspects of science philosophy. My first fieldworks were together with him and I enjoyed memorable trips to the Bear Island, Spitsbergen and Scotland. Acquisition of magnetism in sediments was always a favourite topic of Reidar and in the early 1980s he was particularly interested in sedimentary inclination shallowing. From one of our fieldtrips to Spitsbergen we sampled unconsolidated flood-plain deposits of hematite-bearing Devonian red sand/siltstone from Dicksonfjorden. These were used for redeposition experiments in a coil system that could simulate different latitudes (field inclinations) and in 1994 we published a paper entitled"Magnetic remanence and fabric properties of laboratory-deposited hematite-bearing red sandstone" that demonstrated the tangent relationship between inclinations of detrital remanent magnetization and the ambient magnetic field. Inclination (I) error in sediments is latitude dependent, antisymmetric and the bias closely mimics errors produced by octupole fields of the same sign as the dipole field. Inclination shallowing is commonly predicted from tan (Observed Inclination) = f * tan (Field Inclination) where f is the degree of inclination error. In our study we calculated a f value of 0.4 and this laboratory value (and many others) is significant lower than those estimated from the E/I or the magnetic fabric methods developed in the past decade (f typically around 0.6). There is now little doubt that inclination shallowing in detrital sediments is a serious problem that affects plate reconstructions and apparent polar wander paths. As an example, a f value of 0.6 amounts to a latitude error of 1600 km at around 50 degrees N or S (comparable to the effects of octupole contributions as high as 22%) and this have led to erroneous Pangea reconstructions.

  7. Relation of Isotope Geochemical Steep Zones with Geophysical Fields and Tectonics in the Junction Area of the Cathaysian, Yangtze and Indochina Plates

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Through lead isotope geochemical mapping in the Yunnan-Guizhou area geochemical steep zones (GSZ) have been established, which clearly reveal the junction relationship of the Cathaysian, Yangtze and Indo-China plates. GSZ are closey related to gravity Moho gradient zones and lithospheric thickness. The GSZ between the Yangtze and Cathaysian plates is consistent with the Shizong-Mile tectonic belt, where island arc basalts are well developed. The Yangtze-Indo-China GSZ is parallel to the Jingdong-Mojiang volcanic belt in rift-island arc environments. The evidence of geology, geophysics and geochemistry all indicates that Cathaysia was subducted towards the Yangtze plate and that the Yangtze plate was underthrust beneath the Indo-China, which took place from the Early Carboniferous to the Early Triassic.

  8. Early development of the south Central American margin: mechanisms and tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchs, D. M.; Baumgartner, P. O.; Arculus, R.; Montes, C.; Bayona, G.; Cardona, A.

    2012-04-01

    The south Central American margin forms the SW border of the Caribbean Plate on top of the subducting Cocos and Nazca Plates between Nicaragua and Colombia. New and previous tectonostratigraphic, age and geochemical results show that the forearc basement between south Costa Rica and east Panama is composed of autochthonous and accreted sequences that provide important constraints on the development of the south Central American margin, the evolution of the Caribbean Plate and the formation of an inter-American land bridge. Autochtonous sequences in the forearc include three tectonostratigraphic units that occur at a regional scale: (1) a Late Cretaceous oceanic plateau considered to represent an extension of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) at the base of the arc; (2) Late Campanian to Maastrichtian protoarc sequences that cover or intrude the oceanic plateau; and (3) Maastrichtian to Eocene sequences of a more mature volcanic arc that overlies or intrude preceding units. These units clearly indicate that subduction initiation along the margin and, thus, the birth of the Caribbean Plate occurred in the Campanian. Incipient subduction was possibly triggered or facilitated by contrasted lithospheric strength across the edge of the CLIP and collision between the CLIP and South America during westward migration of South America. Accreted sequences in the forearc include mostly Late Cretaceous to Eocene seamount fragments between south Costa Rica and west Panama, with additional Eocene to Miocene olistostromal and hemipelagic sediments in south Costa Rica. The age and tectonostratigraphic relationships of accreted sequences, autochtonous sequences, and overlying forearc slope sediment suggest that subduction erosion, punctuated by local seamount or sediment accretion was the dominant process controlling the evolution of the outer margin at least until the Miocene. A major tectonic event affected the margin in the Middle Eocene, which is indicated by a

  9. Plate Tectonic Setting and Eruptive Characteristics of the K—rich Volcanic Belt in HeilingJiang Province,Northeast China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邱家骧; 吴志勤; 等

    1990-01-01

    Various lines of geological,geophysical and geochemical evidence indicate that the K-rich volcanic belt in Northeast China as represented by the volcanic groups at Wudalianchi,Erkeshan and Kelo was developed,in terms of plate tectonics,in a rift valley system within the continental plate,The volcanic material includes effusive lavas and explosive pyroclastics whose characteristics and flowing/accumulation mechanisms were studied in detail,The distribution of pyroclastics shows that the eruption is of Strombolian type with increasing intensity towards the late stages.

  10. Paleomagnetism of the Late Paleogene and Neogene rocks of the Serbian Carpatho-Balkanides: Tectonic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marović Milun

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on results of the paleomagnetic research conducted in the territory of Serbian Carpatho-Balkanides, within the following basinal domains: Babušnica-Koritnik (the Oligocene deposits, Žagubica (the upper part of the Lower Miocene and the lower part of the Middle Miocene deposits and Dacian (the Pontian deposits. The clockwise rotations are established for each basinal region: Babušnica-Koritnik 10°, Žagubica 5-10° and Dacia 5-20°. On the basis of these results and the available data on rotations in the Romanian Southern Carpathians, new tectonic implications are discussed as a contribution to understanding the genesis of the Paleogene-Neogene and Neogene fabric of the Carpatho-Balkanides in Serbia. It is shown that this region has been subjected not only to vertical, but also to horizontal mobility during the latest stage of its geological development.

  11. A harbinger of plate tectonics: a commentary on Bullard, Everett and Smith (1965) 'The fit of the continents around the Atlantic'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewey, John F

    2015-04-13

    In the 1960s, geology was transformed by the paradigm of plate tectonics. The 1965 paper of Bullard, Everett and Smith was a linking transition between the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics. They showed, conclusively, that the continents around the Atlantic were once contiguous and that the Atlantic Ocean had grown at rates of a few centimetres per year since the Early Jurassic, about 160 Ma. They achieved fits of the continental margins at the 500 fathom line (approx. 900 m), not the shorelines, by minimizing misfits between conjugate margins and finding axes, poles and angles of rotation, using Euler's theorem, that defined the unique single finite difference rotation that carried congruent continents from contiguity to their present positions, recognizing that the real motion may have been more complex around a number of finite motion poles. Critically, they were concerned only with kinematic reality and were not restricted by considerations of the mechanism by which continents split and oceans grow. Many of the defining features of plate tectonics were explicit or implicit in their reconstructions, such as the torsional rigidity of continents, Euler's theorem, closure of the Tethyan ocean(s), major continental margin shear zones, the rapid rotation of small continental blocks (Iberia) around nearby poles, the consequent opening of small wedge-shaped oceans (Bay of Biscay), and misfit overlaps (deltas and volcanic piles) and underlaps (stretched continental edges). This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

  12. Kinematic History and Tectonic Evolution of the Amerasian Basin: Investigating Palaeo-Plate Boundaries around the Chukchi Borderlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumley, K.; Coakley, B.; Stone, D.; Wallace, W.

    2007-12-01

    The multi-stage opening of the Arctic Ocean's Amerasian Basin is only partially understood due to the difficulty of utilizing traditional marine geologic and geophysical techniques in ice-covered waters. While the kinematic development of the Eurasian Basin is well-understood to be the northernmost extension of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the history of the morphologically complex Amerasian Basin may be due to multiple events, significantly complicating interpretation of its history. Any detailed model for the opening of the Amerasian Basin must both incorporate structures that accommodate spreading as well as explain the tectonic mechanisms that drove basin development. Cretaceous-age tholeiitic flood basalts and associated radiating dike swarms of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP), found along the basin margin, provide a tectonic mechanism and geometry to substantiate sound reconstruction. Detailed models need also consider pre-existing zones of weakness such as the deformation front of the Devonian Caledonides, which may underlie Barents Shelf sediments (Gee and Bogolepova, 2003). Reactivation of these ancient structural trends along this suture zone may explain the motion of Mendeleev Ridge as it rifted from Lomonosov Ridge and created the rectangular pull-apart basin between them. We propose a revised plate model for the development of the Amerasian Basin. A Cretaceous magmatic source localized under the Alpha Ridge accompanied the onset of rifting. This generated the HALIP radiating dike swarms and tholeiitic flood basalts found on the DeLong Islands, Svalbard, Franz Joseph Land, Greenland, Sverdrup Basin and, possibly, the Alpha and Mendeleev Ridges. New bathymetric and sub-bottom profiling data also suggests the existence of igneous dikes on Chukchi Cap. The subsequent development of a triple junction resulted in dilational opening of the Canada Basin. Spreading was accommodated by the migration of the southern edges of the northeastern Siberian

  13. Azimuthal seismic anisotropy in the Earth's upper mantle and the thickness of tectonic plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, A. J.; Lebedev, S.; Becker, T. W.

    2016-11-01

    Azimuthal seismic anisotropy, the dependence of seismic wave speeds on propagation azimuth, is largely due to fabrics within the Earth's crust and mantle, produced by deformation. It thus provides constraints on the distribution and evolution of deformation within the upper mantle. Here, we present a new global, azimuthally anisotropic model of the crust, upper mantle and transition zone. Two versions of this new model are computed: the rough SL2016svAr and the smooth SL2016svA. Both are constrained by a very large data set of waveform fits (˜750 000 vertical component seismogram fits). Automated, multimode waveform inversion was used to extract structural information from surface and S wave forms in broad period ranges (dominantly from 11 to 450 s, with the best global sampling in the 20-350 s range), yielding resolving power from the crust down to the transition zone. In our global tomographic inversion, regularization of anisotropy is implemented to more uniformly recover the amplitude and orientation of anisotropy, including near the poles. Our massive waveform data set, with complementary large global networks and high-density regional array data, produces improved resolution of global azimuthal anisotropy patterns. We show that regional scale variations, related to regional lithospheric deformation and mantle flow, can now be resolved by the global models, in particular in densely sampled regions. For oceanic regions, we compare quantitatively the directions of past and present plate motions and the fast-propagation orientations of anisotropy. By doing so, we infer the depth of the boundary between the rigid, high-viscosity lithosphere (preserving ancient, frozen fabric) and the rheologically weak asthenosphere (characterized by fabric developed recently). The average depth of thus inferred rheological lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) beneath the world's oceans is ˜115 km. The LAB depth displays a clear dependence on the age of the oceanic

  14. An integrated geochronology and paleomagnetic study from Michoacan Block: tectonic implications for the Guadalajara triple junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa-Elguera, J.; Gogichaishvili, A.; Alva-Valdivia, L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.

    2002-12-01

    Three alternatives were proposed to expain the Guadalajara triple junction: (a) mantle plume beneath Guadalajara area provoking a regional uplifting, (b) relocation of the East Pacific Rise, and (c) transfer to the SE of rifting-related structure of the California Gulf. However, a different interpretation can be advanced if we consider the tectonics of the northern-Colima and western-Chapala rifts together with counterclockwise rotation of the Michoacan block. We carried out a detailed tectonic and paleomagnetic analysis along the Chapala rift and the Michoacan block. The trend of the measured mesofaults in the Chapala rift displays a dominant E-W direction. These faults represent everywhere the last tectonic event corresponding to Late Miocene to Quaternary times. Western Chapala rift is formed with three normal faults southward dipping which form a "domino-like" fault system. The most southern block of this system is a gently NW-tilted volcanic plateau of Early Pliocene basaltic rocks which belongs to the NW-part of the Michoacan block. Although some faults present a lateral component of motion, the great majority of them have pitches higher than 45° and dip ranging between 45° and 75°. Paleo-stress tensors computed from fault slip data measured at twelve sites in the Chapala rift indicate that average direction of the minimum principal stress is 160°. Paleomagnetic and geochronological sampling were carried out on the Cotija area (nothern part of the of the Michoacan block). Oldest studied rock gave an age of 9.17 +/- 0.92 Ma, whereas youngest one, located above the ancient fault zone, is 3.8 Ma old. A total of 65 oriented samples (12 sites) from the late Miocene lava flows were collected from Cotija area for paleomagnetic analyses. Typically, 5 to 6 samples per flow were subjected to alternating magnetic field treatment. Most sites are characterized by normal polarity and stable single component magnetizations. The Michoacan block yield the mean

  15. Resistivity Structure of the Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ) from Multiple Magnetotelluric (MT) Profiles and Tectonic Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Azeez, K. K.; Unsworth, Martyn J.; Patro, Prasanta K.; Harinarayana, T.; Sastry, R. S.

    2013-12-01

    The Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ) is a major tectonic feature extending across the Indian subcontinent. It was formed in the Paleoproterozoic when the Bastar Craton and the Bundelkhand Craton were sutured together. This region is recognized in the geological record as a persistent zone of weakness with many tectonothermal events occurring over geologic time. The weakness of this region may have caused the late Cretaceous/early Tertiary Deccan volcanism to have been localized in the CITZ. The zone is still tectonically active, as evidenced by sustained levels of seismic activity. This paper presents the first systematic investigation of the resistivity structure of the CITZ using multiple magnetotelluric (MT) transects. Two-dimensional (2D) resistivity models were generated for five north-south profiles that cross the CITZ and encompass an area of ~60,000 km2. The models were based on the joint inversion of transverse electric (TE), transverse magnetic (TM) and tipper (Hz) data. All the profiles showed a low resistive (10-80 Ωm) middle to lower crust beneath the CITZ with a crustal conductance of 300-800 S. The presence of an interconnected fluid phase and/or hydrous/metallic minerals appears to be the most likely explanation for the elevated conductivity that is observed beneath the CITZ. The presence of fluids is significant because it may indicate the cause of persistent weakness at crustal depths. A northward dip of both the crustal conductive layer and coincident seismic reflections favor a northward polarity of the subduction process associated with the formation of the CITZ.

  16. Late stage thermal history of the Songliao Basin and its tectonic implications: Evidence from apatite fission track (AFT) analyses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Apatite Fission Track (AFT) data from the Songliao Basin indicates that the late stage tectonic movements in the Songliao Basin have zoning in space and episodes in time. The late stage tectonic movements started from the east part of the basin and migrated westward. AFT ages in the east part of the basin are older than those in the west part of the basin, suggesting that the uplift occurred earlier in the east than in the west. The denudation thickness in the east part of the basin is significantly greater than that in the centre and west. The thermal history evolved two episodes of rapid cooling and subsequent slow cooling processes. Age-depth relationship derived from the AFT data indicates a four-episode denudation history. Further Monte Carlo random simulation of the AFT data reveals the four changing points of the thermal evolution at 65 Ma, 43.5 Ma, 28 Ma and 15 Ma, respectively. The uplifting and denudation rates from different episodes of evolution are proportional to the plate convergence rate. Based on the above analyses and the regional geologic background, it is concluded that the late stage thermal events in the Songliao Basin are the far field response to the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Eurasian Plate. The first episode of the rapid cooling probably started at the end of the Nenjiang Formation, climaxed at the end of the Cretaceous and ceased at the Late Eocene. The subsequent slow cooling lasts another 15 Ma. The first episode of the evolution is the far field response to the major episode of the Yanshan Movement and subsequent series of the tectonic reorganization, especially the directional change of the Pacific Movement and also the subduction of the Indian Plate underneath the Eurasian Plate. While the second episode of the evolution is the far field response to the extension and closure of the Sea of Japan. Extension led to the migration and converging of the mantle heat flow to the Sea of Japan and resulted in the rapid cooling

  17. Congruency of scapula locking plates: implications for implant design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Andrew Y; DiStefano, James G; Nguyen, Thuc-Quyen; Buckley, Jenni M; Montgomery, William H; Grimsrud, Chris D

    2012-04-01

    We conducted a study to evaluate the congruency of fit of current scapular plate designs. Three-dimensional image-processing and -analysis software, and computed tomography scans of 12 cadaveric scapulae were used to generate 3 measurements: mean distance from plate to bone, maximum distance, and percentage of plate surface within 2 mm of bone. These measurements were used to quantify congruency. The scapular spine plate had the most congruent fit in all 3 measured variables. The lateral border and glenoid plates performed statistically as well as the scapular spine plate in at least 1 of the measured variables. The medial border plate had the least optimal measurements in all 3 variables. With locking-plate technology used in a wide variety of anatomical locations, the locking scapula plate system can allow for a fixed-angle construct in this region. Our study results showed that the scapular spine, glenoid, and lateral border plates are adequate in terms of congruency. However, design improvements may be necessary for the medial border plate. In addition, we describe a novel method for quantifying hardware congruency, a method that can be applied to any anatomical location.

  18. The Effect of Plumes on the Dynamics of Supercontinents in a Self-Consistent Plate Tectonics Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, C.; Rozel, A.; Tackley, P. J.

    2014-12-01

    Strong mantle plumes arising from the deep mantle can impose stresses on the continents, thereby facilitating continental rifting and disrupting the supercontinent cycle (Storey, Nature 1995; Santosh et al., Gondwana Research 2009). In recent years, several studies have characterized the relation between the location of the plumes and the continents, but with contradicting observations. While Heron and Lowman (GRL, 2010; Tectonophysics, 2011) propose regions where downwelling has ceased (irrespective of overlying plate) as the preferred location for plumes, O'Neill et al. (Gondwana Research, 2009) show an anti-correlation between the average positions of subducting slabs at continental margins, and mantle plumes at continental/oceanic interiors. Extent of continental motion depends on the heat budget of the mantle (CMB heat flux, radiogenic heating, mantle cooling). CMB heat flux is not well defined; however, the recent determination of core's high thermal conductivity requires a CMB heat flow of at least 12 TW (de Koker et al., PNAS 2012; Pozzo et al., Nature 2012; Gomi et al., PEPI 2013), much higher than early estimates of 3-4 TW (Lay et al., Nature 2008). Thus, it is necessary to characterize the effect of increased CMB heat flux on mantle dynamics. In almost all mantle convection simulations, the top boundary is treated as a free-slip surface whereas Earth's surface is a deformable free surface. Unlike free-slip, a free surface boundary condition allows for the development of topography and leads to realistic single-sided (asymmetric) subduction (Crameri et al., GJI 2012; Crameri et al., GRL 2012). Using StagYY code (Tackley, PEPI 2008), we test (i) the impact of increased basal heating on mantle dynamics with continents and self-consistent plate tectonics, including whether plumes prefer to develop under continents; (ii) the influence of a free surface on continents using the 'sticky air' approach, in which a low density and a small viscosity fluid layer is

  19. Student Misconceptions: A Qualitative Study of Conceptual Barriers in Plate Tectonics and in the Solar System among Upper Elementary Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodsky, L. M.; Corrigan, S.

    2010-12-01

    Constructivist theory points to the importance of recognizing student conceptions and the need to address them if students are going to move from their first conceptions to scientifically accepted understandings. Research into students’ conceptions has therefore been conducted in the disciplines of physics, biology and chemistry, but so far has been limited in the earth sciences. In addition to this gap in the literature, there is a growing interest in making such research more accessible and useful to practitioners. Helpful to both of these needs are recent efforts to describe a particular class of students’ geoscience misconceptions termed “conceptual barriers”. Conceptual barriers are foundational or fundamental misconceptions in the sense that they bare relationships with many other concepts in a domain and stand to seriously impede students’ conceptual understanding. Rather than investigating discrete misconceptions, studies of conceptual barriers investigate the ramifications of such fundamental misconceptions for students’ understanding and reasoning throughout a topic. Where examples of students’ ill- or misconceived patterns of reasoning can be generated, they stand to aid practitioners in not only diagnosing students misconceptions but also in responding to them. We have conducted interviews with over twenty upper elementary and middle school students in order to investigate and describe conceptual barriers to student understanding in the earth sciences - specifically plate tectonics and gravity in the solar system. Student interviews were analyzed using a constant comparative method. Through this work we have been able to identify several possible conceptual barriers in students’ understandings and to describe the ways these barriers impact students’ understanding of related phenomena.

  20. Late Carboniferous tectonic subsidence in South Wales: implications for Variscan basin evolution and tectonic history in SW Britain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burgess, P.M.; Gayer, R.A. [University of Cardiff, Cardiff (United Kingdom). Dept. of Earth Sciences

    2000-01-01

    Detailed stratigraphic data were used to backstrip seven sections from the Carboniferous South Wales coal basin. Resulting tectonic subsidence curves for the interval 319-305 Ma (Namurian-Westphalian D) are convex-up, indicating increasing subsidence rate with time, with rates between 130 and 250 m Ma{sup -1} suggesting a foreland basin setting. Forward modelling of subsidence due to flexural loading in front of a propagating orogenic wedge shows that an orogenic load migrating in a north-northeasterly direction across SW England between 319 and 305 Ma could have generated the backstripped subsidence patterns. Sensitivity tests show that while many of the forward model parameters are poorly constrained, and the model results non-unique, backstripped subsidence patterns allow reasonable constraint on the different model cases, so that model predictions can be treated as one possibility in a limited range. The predicted load evolution is consistent with current knowledge of tectonic and stratigraphic features of SW England. These results suggest that subsidence in other Late Carboniferous UK basins may also have been influenced by flexure due to a propagating orogenic load.

  1. Orogen-perpendicular structures in the central Tasmanides and implications for the Paleozoic tectonic evolution of eastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Rashed; Rosenbaum, Gideon

    2017-01-01

    The curvilinear E-W structures of the southern Thomson Orogen are approximately orthogonal to the general N-S structural trend of the Tasmanides of eastern Australia. The origin of these orogen-perpendicular structures and their implications to tectonic reconstructions of eastern Gondwana are not fully understood. Here we use geophysical data to unravel the geometry, kinematics and possible timing of major structures along the boundary between the Thomson Orogen and the southern Tasmanides (Delamerian and Lachlan orogens). Aeromagnetic data from the southern Thomson Orogen show WNW, E-W and/or ENE trending structural grains, corresponding to relatively long wavelength linear geophysical anomalies. Kinematic analyses indicate strike-slip and transpressional deformation along these geophysically defined faults. Structural relationships indicate that faulting took place during the Benambran (Late Ordovician to Middle Silurian) and Tabberabberan (late Early to Middle Devonian) orogenies. However, some of the described crustal-scale structures may have developed in the Cambrian during the Delamerian Orogeny. Interpretation of deep seismic data shows that the crust of the southern Thomson Orogen is substantially thicker than the Lachlan Orogen crust, which is separated from the Thomson Orogen by the north-dipping Olepoloko Fault. A major lithospheric-scale change across this boundary is also indicated by a contrast in seismic velocities. Together with evidence for the occurrence of Delamerian deformation in both the Koonenberry Belt and northeastern Thomson Orogen, and a significant contrast in the width of the northern Tasmanides versus the southern Tasmanides, it appears that the southern Thomson Orogen may represent the locus of orogen-perpendicular segmentation, which may have occurred in response to along-strike plate boundary variations.

  2. Epeirogeny and plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menard, H. W.

    1975-01-01

    Vertical motions of the earth crust and their causes are considered in relation to epeirogenic phenomena. Factors discussed include: external loading and unloading; bending at subduction zones; internal density changes; and dynamic effects of mantle motion. The relationship between epeirogeny and drift is briefly reviewed along with oceanic epeirogeny.

  3. Tectonic Plates of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-04-01

    following two featuies are noteworthy: (i) The 4,000-5,000 m contour almost coincides with the West Kunlun- Arkin-North Chilien- Lungmen -Kantien...The 50-55 km isopack coinciden with the border of the Chinhai-Tibet highland. It coincides with the West Kunlun-Arkin-North Chilien- Lungmen range

  4. Plate Margin Deformation and Active Tectonics Along the Northern Edge of the Yakutat Terrane in the Saint Elias Orogen, Alaska and Yukon, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruhn, Ronald L.; Sauber, Jeanne; Cotton, Michele M.; Pavlis, Terry L.; Burgess, Evan; Ruppert, Natalia; Forster, Richard R.

    2012-01-01

    The northwest directed motion of the Pacific plate is accompanied by migration and collision of the Yakutat terrane into the cusp of southern Alaska. The nature and magnitude of accretion and translation on upper crustal faults and folds is poorly constrained, however, due to pervasive glaciation. In this study we used high-resolution topography, geodetic imaging, seismic, and geologic data to advance understanding of the transition from strike-slip motion on the Fairweather fault to plate margin deformation on the Bagley fault, which cuts through the upper plate of the collisional suture above the subduction megathrust. The Fairweather fault terminates by oblique-extensional splay faulting within a structural syntaxis, allowing rapid tectonic upwelling of rocks driven by thrust faulting and crustal contraction. Plate motion is partly transferred from the Fairweather to the Bagley fault, which extends 125 km farther west as a dextral shear zone that is partly reactivated by reverse faulting. The Bagley fault dips steeply through the upper plate to intersect the subduction megathrust at depth, forming a narrow fault-bounded crustal sliver in the obliquely convergent plate margin. Since . 20 Ma the Bagley fault has accommodated more than 50 km of dextral shearing and several kilometers of reverse motion along its southern flank during terrane accretion. The fault is considered capable of generating earthquakes because it is linked to faults that generated large historic earthquakes, suitably oriented for reactivation in the contemporary stress field, and locally marked by seismicity. The fault may generate earthquakes of Mw <= 7.5.

  5. Wiring the deep ocean: planned 'observatory' covering Juan de Fuca tectonic plate generating interest in the oilpatch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, M.

    2005-03-01

    Following in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Southeast Asia, calls for an urgent need to upgrade warning systems and improve ability to monitor, and even predict, such devastating earthquakes and killer waves are heard around the world. Calls for action are particularly urgent in the Northeast Pacific, which is not only one of the most seismically active area of the planet, but is widely considered to be due for a tremor of equal or greater magnitude in the near future. Accompanying this concern is increased curiosity about the likelihood of a bonanza of hydrocarbons awaiting discovery under the frigid waters, and if so, what are the obstacles to their removal and how these obstacles may be overcome. As if to respond to both types of concerns, the Royal Society of Canada's Expert Panel on Science Related to Oil and Gas Activities in its 2004 Annual Report warned of 'gaps in knowledge' and suggested a better network of earthquake activity recorders to be built as soon as possible. Such a network is about to become a reality with NEPTUNE, a 3,000 km network of optic/power cables encircling and crossing the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. Between 30 and 50 experimental sites will be established at nodes along the cable and will be instrumented to interact with physical, chemical and biological phenomena that operate across multiple scales of space and time. Many of the technologies going into this project are of definite interest to the oil industry, since much of future oil and gas exploration is expected to be in deep water. Researchers believe that the offshore Hydrate Ridge is an ideal location to study gas hydrate dynamics and free gas expulsion. Data captured by means of the NEPTUNE network instruments may also have significant influence on any lifting of the drilling moratorium in the Queen Charlotte Straits. Two smaller prototype projects, VENUS (shallow water) and MARS (deep water) currently under construction off southern

  6. Proterozoic Tectonic History of Borborema Province, NE Brazil: Implications For Assembly of West Gondwana

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schmus, W. R.; Brito Neves, B. B.

    The Borborema Province of NE Brazil comprises the west-central part of a wide Pan- African - Brasiliano continental collision belt that formed during ca. 600 Ma assembly of West Gondwana. Our studies over the past decade, in collaboration with many other workers, demonstrate a complex Proterozoic history that created or modified crustal domains at 2.1, 1.7, 1.0, 0.8, and 0.6 Ga. Although NE Brazil contains a few small Archean domains included within early Paleoproterozoic orogens, the first major event was formation of extensive continental crust about 2.35 to 2.1 Ga, before and during the so-called Transamazonian orogeny. We believe that this occurred in conjunction with formation of a larger Paleoproterozoic continent about 2.05 Ga that included present-day West African, Amazonian, Congo, and São Francisco cratons. Incipient extension within this continent occurred in Brazil about 1.8 to 1.7 Ga, resulting in intracratonic sedimentation and bimodal volcanism, but equivalent rocks are less well known in Africa. A successful breakup occurred before or about 1.1 Ga, resulting in separation of parts of this continent into two major stable masses containing (a) the Amazon-West African craton, and (b) the São Francisco-Congo (SF/C) craton. The break-up also created many smaller fragments between these two large masses, particularly in the east (present-day NE Brazil and Saharan Africa) and including the Ceará-Rio Grande do Norte (CE/RN) craton in NE Brazil. About 1.0 Ga a magmatic arc more than 700 km long (Cariris Velhos orogen) developed in NE Brazil, possibly as a result of convergence between the CE/RN and SF/C cratons; eastward extension of the 1.0 Ga Cariris Velhos orogen into West Africa is presently unknown. About 850 to 700 Ma several extensional basins developed in NE Brazil, with intraplate bimodal volcanism and clastic sedimentation; coeval basins may have formed in west-central Africa. From 700 to 600 Ma plate convergence among the CE/RN craton, SF

  7. Mesozoic metamorphism and its tectonic implication along the Solonker suture zone in central Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinrui; Wei, Chunjing; Chu, Hang; Chen, Yaping

    2016-09-01

    The Xing'an-Inner Mongolia Orogenic Belt (XIMOB) exposed in the eastern section of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) is generally thought to have resulted from closure of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. However, disputations still exist on the age and detailed tectonic processes involved in its final amalgamation. The Solonker suture zone in the central Inner Mongolia, once recognized as the major paleo-plate boundary recording the terminal collision of the XIMOB, is characterized by extensive regional low-temperature metamorphism of greenschist to epidote-amphibolite facies with local presence of blueschists, which lacks systematic study. Four metabasite and garnet-mica schist samples were studied for determination of metamorphic P-T evolution using pseudosection and conventional thermobarometry. The two metabasite samples from Wulangou and Daqing Pasture contain actinolite, albite, epidote, chlorite and hornblende (in Daqing Pasture) and are estimated to have peak P-T conditions of 5.2-5.9 kbar/415-450 °C in Wulangou and 7.0-7.9 kbar/470-475 °C in Daqing Pasture. Two garnet-mica schist samples from Shuangjing (or Shuangjing schist) contain garnet porphyroblasts, muscovite, quartz, plagioclase, chlorite with or without potassium feldspar, biotite, and calcite, and are modeled to record prograde P-T vectors respectively of 3.0 kbar/482 °C-3.3 kbar/495 °C and 4.2 kbar/478 °C-4.8 kbar/483 °C, followed by near-isothermal decompression. The zircon U-Pb dating analyses suggest that the metamorphism probably occurred soon afterwards in the Early Mesozoic. The peak P-T conditions for the metabasite and garnet-mica schist samples yield thermal gradients respectively of 18-22 °C/km and 26-33 °C/km, being intermediate and low P/T series, and the metamorphic evolution in these rocks characteristic of clockwise P-T paths may correspond to tectonic thickening and thinning processes. The extensive low-temperature metamorphism of intermediate to low P/T types along the

  8. A harbinger of plate tectonics: a commentary on Bullard, Everett and Smith (1965) ‘The fit of the continents around the Atlantic’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewey, John F.

    2015-01-01

    In the 1960s, geology was transformed by the paradigm of plate tectonics. The 1965 paper of Bullard, Everett and Smith was a linking transition between the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics. They showed, conclusively, that the continents around the Atlantic were once contiguous and that the Atlantic Ocean had grown at rates of a few centimetres per year since the Early Jurassic, about 160 Ma. They achieved fits of the continental margins at the 500 fathom line (approx. 900 m), not the shorelines, by minimizing misfits between conjugate margins and finding axes, poles and angles of rotation, using Euler's theorem, that defined the unique single finite difference rotation that carried congruent continents from contiguity to their present positions, recognizing that the real motion may have been more complex around a number of finite motion poles. Critically, they were concerned only with kinematic reality and were not restricted by considerations of the mechanism by which continents split and oceans grow. Many of the defining features of plate tectonics were explicit or implicit in their reconstructions, such as the torsional rigidity of continents, Euler's theorem, closure of the Tethyan ocean(s), major continental margin shear zones, the rapid rotation of small continental blocks (Iberia) around nearby poles, the consequent opening of small wedge-shaped oceans (Bay of Biscay), and misfit overlaps (deltas and volcanic piles) and underlaps (stretched continental edges). This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750142

  9. Tectonic Implication of the 5th March 2005, Doublet Earthquake in Ilan, Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    En-Chao Yeh

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The 5th March 2005 earthquake doublet focal mechanism was determined as strike-slip faulting from Harvard and BATS moment tensor inversion. However, based on first motion polarities, the first shock has a normal focal mechanism (Wu et al. 2008a. This discrepancy has caused a debate over the focal mechanism solution because different focal mechanisms have different tectonic implications. Based on the dislocation determination from Global Position System (GPS measurements, we find this event includes both tensile and strike-slip components. This finding illustrates the reason for the differences in the determined focal mechanisms using two different types of seismic data and analyzing methods. Field mapping and microstructure examination results indicate that the ductile deformation around the study area was characterized by the evolution from transpression to transtension with a predominant strike-slip component, but present-day active structures may be dominated by normal faulting. Thus, the active tensile slip result determined from dislocation modeling strongly suggests that the back arc extension of the Okinawa trough influences the stress state in this region, and changes the major transtension from strike-slip faulting to normal faulting.

  10. Current regional stress field and the resultant crustal deformation in SE Korea and their tectonic implication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, M. C.; Cho, H.; Son, M.

    2014-12-01

    To determine current regional stress field and to characterize the resultant crustal deformation in SE Korea, Quaternary fault, focal mechanism, and geotechnical in-situ stress data were synthetically analyzed. The Quaternary faults are extensively observed along major inherited fault zones and show compatible orientations with general trends of the inherited faults. Most of the Quaternary faults have a top-to-the-west thrust geometry and kinematics and show a tendency of upward-decreasing dip angle and upward-narrowing gouge zone. Slip-sense indicators and paleo-stress field reconstructions indicate that the faults resulted from reverse or transpressional faulting under an E-W compression. All the magnetic fabrics (AMS) of the fault gouges also indicate the prevailing reverse-slip faulting under an ENE-WNW compression. The dominant oblate magnetic fabrics parallel to fault plane and the degrees of anisotropy increasing in proportion to their oblatenesses indicate that the fabrics have formed by a progressive deformation due to continuous simple shear during the last reactivation stage as reverse faulting. The focal mechanism study in and around the Korean Peninsula show the horizontally clustered P-axes in ENE-WSW direction and the girdle-distributed T-axes in NNW trend. The geotechnical in-situ stress data in south Korea also show NE- or ENE-trending maximum horizontal stress. The current crustal deformation in Korea thus can be characterized by contractional structures produced under a regional E-W or ENE-WSW compression stress field, and most of the Quaternary faults resulted from the local re-activation of appropriately oriented inherited major faults. Considering the tectonic setting and structural features in Asia during the Neogene, the current stress regime is interpreted to have been caused by the cooperation of westward shallow subduction of Pacific Plate and collision of Indian and Eurasian continents since about 5-3.5 Ma.

  11. Tectonic implications and seismicity triggering during the 2008 Baluchistan, Pakistan earthquake sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, R. B. S.; Gahalaut, V. K.; Chopra, Sumer; Shan, Bin

    2012-02-01

    A damaging and widely felt moderate earthquake (Mw 6.4) hit the rural, mountainous region of southwestern Pakistan on October 28, 2008. The main shock was followed by another earthquake of identical magnitude (Mw 6.4) on the next day. The spatial distribution of aftershocks and focal mechanism revealed a NW-SE striking rupture with right-lateral strike-slip motion which is sympathetic to the NNW-SSE striking active mapped Urghargai Fault. The occurrence of strike-slip earthquakes suggests that along with the thrust faults, strike slip faults too are present beneath the fold-and-thrust belt of Sulaiman-Kirthar ranges and accommodates some of the relative motion of the Indian and Eurasian plates. To assess the characteristics of this sequence, the statistical parameters like aftershocks temporal decay, b-value of G-R relationship, partitioning of radiated seismic energy due to aftershocks, and spatial fractal dimension (D-value) have been examined. The b-value is estimated as 1.03 ± 0.42 and suggests the tectonic genesis of the sequence and crustal heterogeneity within rock mass. The low p-value of 0.89 ± 0.07 implies slow decay of aftershocks activity which is probably an evidence for low surface heat flow. A value of spatial fractal dimension of 2.08 ± 0.02 indicates random spatial distribution and that the source is a two-dimensional plane filled-up by fractures. The static coseismic Coulomb stress changes due to the foreshock (Mw 5.3) were found to increase stress by more than 0.04 bars at the hypocenter of the main shock, thus promoting the failure. The cumulative coseismic Coulomb stress changes due to the foreshock and mainshocks suggest that most of the aftershocks occurred in the region of increased Coulomb stress, and to the SE to the mainshock rupture.

  12. Upper plate deformation and seismic barrier in front of Nazca subduction zone: The Chololo Fault System and active tectonics along the Coastal Cordillera, southern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audin, Laurence; Lacan, Pierre; Tavera, Hernando; Bondoux, Francis

    2008-11-01

    The South America plate boundary is one of the most active subduction zone. The recent Mw = 8.4 Arequipa 2001 earthquake ruptured the subduction plane toward the south over 400 km and stopped abruptly on the Ilo Peninsula. In this exact region, the subduction seismic crisis induced the reactivation of continental fault systems in the coastal area. We studied the main reactivated fault system that trends perpendicular to the trench by detailed mapping of fault related-geomorphic features. Also, at a longer time scale, a recurrent Quaternary transtensive tectonic activity of the CFS is expressed by offset river gullies and alluvial fans. The presence of such extensional fault systems trending orthogonal to the trench along the Coastal Cordillera in southern Peru is interpreted to reflect a strong coupling between the two plates. In this particular case, stress transfer to the upper plate, at least along the coastal fringe, appears to have induced crustal seismic events that were initiated mainly during and after the 2001 earthquake. The seafloor roughness of the subducting plate is usually thought to be a cause of segmentation along subduction zones. However, after comparing and discussing the role of inherited structures within the upper plate to the subduction zone segmentation in southern Peru, we suggest that the continental structure itself may exert some feedback control on the segmentation of the subduction zone and thus participate to define the rupture pattern of major subduction earthquakes along the southern Peru continental margin.

  13. 3-D simulation of temporal change in tectonic deformation pattern and evolution of the plate boundary around the Kanto Region of Japan due to the collision of the Izu-Bonin Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashima, A.; Sato, T.; Ito, T.; Miyauchi, T.; Furuya, H.; Tsumura, N.; Kameo, K.; Yamamoto, S.

    2010-12-01

    The Kanto region of Japan is in a highly complex tectonic setting with four plates interacting with each other: beneath Kanto, situated on the Eurasian and North American plates, the Philippine sea plate subducts and the Pacific plate further descends beneath the North American and Philippine sea plates, forming the unique trench-trench-trench triple junction on the earth. In addition, the Izu-Bonin (Ogasawara) arc on the Philippine sea plate is colliding with the Japan islands, which is considered to be a significant effect on the tectonics of Kanto. To reveal the present crustal structure and the present internal stress fields in such a complex tectonic setting, it is essential to comprehend them through the long-term tectonic evolution process. In this study, we estimate the temporal change in tectonic deformation pattern along with the geometry of the plate boundary around Kanto by numerical simulation with a kinematic plate subduction model based on the elastic dislocation theory. This model is based on the idea that mechanical interaction between plates can rationally be represented by the increase of the displacement discontinuity (dislocation) across plate interfaces. Given the 3-D geometry of plate interfaces, the distribution of slip rate vectors for simple plate subduction can be obtained directly from relative plate velocities. In collision zones, the plate with arc crust cannot easily descend because of its buoyancy. This can be represented by giving slip-rate deficit. When crustal deformation occurs, it also causes change in geometry of the plate boundary itself. This geometry change sensitively affects mechanical interaction at the plate boundary. Then the renewed plate-to-plete interaction alters crustal deformation rates. This feedback system has a large effect on collision zones. Indeed, the plate boundary around the Izu peninsula, the northernmost end of the Izu-Bonin arc, intends landward as large as 100 km. Iterating this effect sequentially

  14. Application of laser ranging and VLBI data to a study of plate tectonic driving forces. [finite element method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, S. C.

    1980-01-01

    The measurability of changes in plate driving or resistive forces associated with plate boundary earthquakes by laser rangefinding or VLBI is considered with emphasis on those aspects of plate forces that can be characterized by such measurements. Topics covered include: (1) analytic solutions for two dimensional stress diffusion in a plate following earthquake faulting on a finite fault; (2) two dimensional finite-element solutions for the global state of stress at the Earth's surface for possible plate driving forces; and (3) finite-element solutions for three dimensional stress diffusion in a viscoelastic Earth following earthquake faulting.

  15. Tectonic regional subdivision of China in the light of plate theory%中国的板块构造区划

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘训; 游国庆

    2015-01-01

    Since the 1960’s,the plate tectonic theory has been widely Prevailing in China. Having been popularly adopted by Chinese geologists, this theory has been applied to different related fields. In the work of new“regional geology”, it has become the dominant idea. The theory of plate tectonics argues that a plate is formed by its core and its margins. Its core is a craton usually made of stable continental massif, whereas its margins include different active and passive continental margins. In the process of convergence of plates, the continental margins became different orogenic belts through their different convergences and collisions. There are different convergent zones between plates, among which the Convergent Crustal Consumption Zone is dominant. In the historical process of crustal development, huge changes of the plate tectonic framework took place. Based on the plate tectonic framework of Paleozoic, the authors discussed some problems concerning the regional subdivicion of China and suggested a tentative plan for regional subdivicion of China in this paper. According to the plan, China is divided into 7 first class units (plates), 30 second class units (cratons and orogenic belts) and 103 third class units.%提20世纪60年代板块构造学说传入中国,为广大地学工作者所接受并应用于相关的地质工作中。在新一代地质志的研究中,以板块学说为主导,已经成为共识。从板块构造来认识,板块的组成包括其核心及边缘。其核心为克拉通,由稳定的陆块组成;边缘包含了不同的活动大陆边缘和被动大陆边缘。边缘在后期板块汇聚的过程中,常由汇聚或碰撞等不同方式而成为不同的造山带。板块之间具有不同形式的汇聚带,其中主要是地壳对接消减带。在地球发展历史的过程中,不同时期的板块构造格局常有很大的变化。因此,本文以古生代的构造格架为主,

  16. Is subduction really in the plate tectonics driving seat, or do two other global mechanisms do the driving? A review in the 'deep-keeled cratons' frame for global dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmaston, M. F.

    2012-04-01

    of the upper mantle? Nature 319, 309-310. [7] Hirth G. & Kohlstedt D. L. (1996) Water in the oceanic upper mantle: implication for rheology, melt extraction, and the evolution of the lithosphere. EPSL 144, 93-108. [8] Osmaston M. F. (2010) On the actual variety of plate dynamical mechanisms and how mantle evolution affected them through time, from core formation to the Indian collision. Geophys. Res. Abstr. 12, EGU2010-6101. [9] Osmaston M. F. (1995) A straightness mechanism for MORs: a new view of ocean plate genesis and evolution XXI IUGG, Abstracts p. A472. [10] Osmaston M. (2005) The ridge push mechanism of MORs as the agent of seismic coupling, tsunami, convergence partitioning and landward thrusting at subduction zones; insights on an interactive family of mostly-jerky mechanisms. IASPEI 2005 Gen. Assy, Santiago, Chile, Abstr. No 303. [11] Osmaston M. F. (2008) Basal subduction tectonic erosion (STE), butter mélanges and the construction and exhumation of HP-UHP belts: the Alps example and some comparisons. Internat. Geol. Rev. 50(8), 685-754 DOI: 10.2747/00206814.50.8.685. [12] Osmaston M. F. (2012) Did clockwise rotation of Antarctica cause the break-up of Gondwanaland? An investigation in the 'deep-keeled cratons' frame for global dynamics. GD6.1. Geophys. Res. Abstr. 14, EGU2012-2170.

  17. Plate flexure and volcanism: Late Cenozoic tectonics of the Tabar-Lihir-Tanga-Feni alkalic province, New Ireland Basin, Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindley, I. D.

    2016-05-01

    Late Cenozoic Tabar-Lihir-Tanga-Feni (TLTF) alkaline volcanism, New Ireland Basin, PNG, is associated with extensional cracks along the crests of flexed ridges developed on the New Ireland Microplate (New name). The tectonic alignment of the TLTF volcanic arc is essentially perpendicular to the flexed ridges, suggesting that fractures parallel to the direction of maximum horizontal compression facilitated the rapid ascent of alkaline magmas from the mantle region, perhaps 60-70 km depth. The mainly Pliocene to Pleistocene volcanoes were localized at the intersection of ridge-parallel Kabang structures and arc-parallel Niffin structures, suggesting that the Kabang-Niffin structural intersections underlying each of the TLTF island groups provided a well developed, clustered network of open conduits which tapped the mantle source region. Periodic post-Miocene locking and unlocking along the strike-slip Kilinailau Fault (New name) are thought to have functioned as a valve, turning on (Pliocene) and then turning off (Pleistocene) volcanic activity, respectively. Partial locking of the Kilinailau Fault during the Pliocene resulted in the accumulation of intraplate stresses within the New Ireland Microplate, and caused plate flexure and ridge development, plate-cracking along ridge crests and the development of arc-parallel regional fractures parallel to the direction of maximum compression. Unlocking of the Kilinailau Fault in the Pleistocene resulted in the release of intraplate stresses in the New Ireland Microplate and a cessation of volcanic activity across most of the TLTF arc. The style and scale of plate flexure and cracking, accompanied by within-plate alkaline volcanism from equally spaced ridge-top eruptive centers confined to a narrow, linear volcanic arc are unknown from any other tectonic province.

  18. Linking serpentinite geochemistry with tectonic evolution at the subduction plate-interface: The Voltri Massif case study (Ligurian Western Alps, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannaò, E.; Scambelluri, M.; Agostini, S.; Tonarini, S.; Godard, M.

    2016-10-01

    , whereas mylonitic serpentinite is reset in its concentrations of FME and its B, Sr and Pb isotope compositions, due to interaction with sediment- and crust-derived fluids. The environment of this interaction is either compatible with (i) an outer-rise zone setting, with percolation of seawater-derived fluids enriched in sedimentary components into bending-related fault structures, or with (ii) subduction channel domains, where ascending sediment-derived slab fluids infiltrate slices of former oceanic serpentinite accreted to the plate interface domain. Influx of sediment-derived subduction fluids along major deformation zones in serpentinite modifies the element budget of the rocks, with important implications for element recycling and the tectonic history of serpentinite. The B, Sr and Pb isotopic systematics, coupled with FME concentration in serpentinites are particularly helpful geochemical tracers of interaction between different reservoirs in subduction-interface environments, and are more sensitive than the traditionally applied stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions.

  19. Mixing in mantle convection models with self-consistent plate tectonics and melting and crustal production: Application to mixing in the early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tackley, Paul

    2016-04-01

    It is generally thought that the early Earth's mantle was hotter than today, which using conventional convective scalings should have led to vigorous convection and mixing. Geochemical observations, however, suggest that mixing was not as rapid as would be expected, leading to the suggestion that early Earth had stagnant lid convection (Debaille et al., EPSL 2013). Additionally, the mantle's thermal evolution is difficult to explain using conventional scalings because early heat loss would have been too rapid, which has led to the hypothesis that plate tectonics convection does not follow the conventional convective scalings (Korenaga, GRL 2003). One physical process that could be important in this context is partial melting leading to crustal production, which has been shown to have the major effects of buffering mantle temperature and carrying a significant fraction of the heat from hot mantle (Nakagawa and Tackley, EPSL 2012), making plate tectonics easier (Lourenco et al., submitted), and causing compositional differentiation of the mantle that can buffer core heat loss (Nakagawa and Tackley, GCubed 2010). Here, the influence of this process on mantle mixing is examined, using secular thermo-chemical models that simulate Earth's evolution over 4.5 billion years. Mixing is quantified both in terms of how rapidly stretching occurs, and in terms of dispersion: how rapidly initially close heterogeneities are dispersed horizontally and vertically through the mantle. These measures are quantified as a function of time through Earth's evolution. The results will then be related to geochemically-inferred mixing rates.

  20. Plate tectonic reconstruction of South and East Asia since 43 Ma using seismic tomographic constraints: role of the subducted ';East Asia Sea' (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, J. E.; Suppe, J.; Renqi, L.; Kanda, R. V.

    2013-12-01

    Lithosphere that subducts at convergent plate boundaries provides a potentially decipherable plate tectonic record. In this study we use global seismic tomography to map subducted slabs in the upper and lower mantle under South and East Asia to constrain plate reconstructions. The mapped slabs include the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and Banda Sea, the Molucca Sea, Celebes Sea, the Philippine Sea and Eurasia, New Guinea and other lower mantle detached slabs. The mapped slabs were restored to the earth surface and used with Gplates software to constrain a globally-consistent, fully animated plate reconstruction of South and East Asia. Three principal slab elements dominate possible plate reconstructions: [1] The mapped Pacific slabs near the Izu-Bonin and the Marianas trenches form a subvertical slab curtain or wall extending down to 1500 km in the lower mantle. The ';slab curtain' geometry and restored slabs lengths indicate that the Pacific subduction zone has remained fixed within +/- 250 km of its present position since ~43 Ma. In contrast, the Tonga Pacific slab curtain records at least 1000 km trench rollback associated with expansion of back-arc basins. [2] West of the Pacific slab curtain, a set of flat slabs exist in the lower mantle and record a major 8000km by 2500-3000km ocean that existed at ~43 Ma. This now-subducted ocean, which we call the ';East Asian Sea', existed between the Ryukyu Asian margin and the Lord Howe hotspot, present-day eastern Australia, and fills a major gap in Cenozoic plate reconstructions between Indo-Australia, the Pacific Ocean and Asia. [3] An observed ';picture puzzle' fit between the restored edges of the Philippine Sea, Molucca Sea and Indian Ocean slabs suggests that the Philippine Sea was once part of a larger Indo-Australian Ocean. Previous models of Philippine Sea plate motions are in conflict with the location of the East Asian Sea lithosphere. Using the mapped slab constraints, we propose the following 43 Ma to 0 plate

  1. Early Cretaceous high-Mg diorites in the Yanji area, northeastern China: Petrogenesis and tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xing-Hua; Cao, Rui; Zhou, Zhen-Hua; Zhu, Wen-Ping

    2015-01-01

    Mesozoic granitic rocks are widely distributed in northeast (NE) China. However, high-Mg dioritic rocks are considerably rare. Here, we report a newly recognized high-Mg diorite (the Xintun diorite) in the Yanji area, NE China, to constrain its origin and implications for the tectonic evolution of eastern Asian continental margin. Zircon U-Pb dating yields a crystallization age of 128 ± 1 Ma for the Xintun diorite. The diorites are characterized by high MgO (4.4-6.6 wt.%), Cr (119-239 ppm), Ba (419-514 ppm) and Sr (649-747 ppm) contents and Mg# values (59-64), but low FeOtotal/MgO ratios (1.2-1.4), with geochemical features similar to those of sanukitic high-Mg andesites (HMAs). They show moderate radiogenic Sr (ISr = 0.7047-0.7050) and Nd (εNd = 0.3-1.1), with high La/Sm ratios, which are indicative of contributions from sediment components. The mineral assemblage of euhedral hornblende, magnetite and titanite, implies a water-rich and oxidized signature for their primitive magmas. These features suggest that the Xintun high-Mg diorites were probably formed via partial melting of the subducting sediments and subsequent interaction of mantle peridotites with both melts and aqueous fluids. Geochemical modeling reveals that hornblende-dominated fractional crystallization under water-sufficient conditions enabled the evolved magmas to acquire adakitic signatures. We believe that the Paleo-Pacific subduction beneath eastern Asian continental margin caused large-scale back-arc extension of NE China in the Early Cretaceous, and, consequently, induced the asthenospheric flow toward the mantle wedge, reheating subducting sediments enough to cause melting. Therefore, the occurrence of the Xintun high-Mg diorites signifies the onset of extensive back-arc extension of eastern Asian continental margin at ca. 128 Ma.

  2. Frustration and disorder in granular media and tectonic blocks: implications for earthquake complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Sornette

    1994-01-01

    Full Text Available We present exploratory analogies and speculations on the mechanisms underlying the organization of faulting and earthquake in the earth crust. The mechanical properties of the brittle lithosphere at scales of the order or larger than a few kilometers are proposed to be analogous to those of non-cohesive granular media, since both systems present stress amplitudes controlled by gravity, and shear band (faulting localization is determined by a type of friction Mohr-Coulomb rupture criterion. here, we explore the implications of this correspondence with respect to the origin of tectonic and earthquake complexity, on the basis of the existing experimental data on granular media available in the mechanical literature. An important observation is that motions and deformations of non-cohesive granular media are characterized by important fluctuations both in time (sudden breaks, avalanches, which are analogous to earthquakes and space (strain localizations, yield surfaces forming sometimes complex patterns. This is in apparent contradiction with the conventional wisdom in mechanics, based on the standard tendency to homogenize, which has led to dismiss fluctuations as experimental noise. On the basis of a second analogy with spinglasses and neural networks, based on the existence of block and grain packing disorder and block rotation "frustration", we suggest that these fluctuations observed both at large scales and at the block scale constitute an intrinsic signature of the mechanics of granular media. The space-time complexity observed in faulting and earthquake phenomenology is thus proposed to result form the special properties of the mechanics of granular media, dominated by the "frustration" of the kinematic deformations of its constitutive blocks.

  3. Evolution of the North China Craton and Early Plate Tectonics%华北克拉通的形成以及早期板块构造

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    翟明国

    2012-01-01

    The oldset rock discovered on the Earth is the TTG gneiss but whether there was oldest oceanic crust and how continental crust formed deal with all aspects of continental dynamics. Among them is when the plate tectonics started , "which has been a front scientific question for decades. The popular answer is from Neoproterozoic, others suggest Paleoproterozoic or Neoarchean, or even some believe the plate tectonics started from the occurrence of water. In various marks identifying the plate tectonics, ophiolite and high-pressure metamorphic belt are no doubt the most important issues. The former implies that the old oceanic crust slab was involved in orogenic belt, and the latter probably indicates that supracrustal rock unit was subducted under deep crust or mantle and can be lithological evidence of subduction, denudation and collision. Based on the discussion and comparison between Archean greenstone belt and ophiolite and between UH-HP/UT-UHT granulites and Phanerozoic HP metamorphic belt, authors come to a primitive conclusion that these two can not be used as the convincing evidence to support plate tectonics. The paper also discussed Archean continental formation and rift-subdution-collision tectonic process of Paleoproterozoic mobile belts of the NCC. It is proposed that the Neoarchean tectonic pattern of greenstone belt-high grade region in the NCC probably indicates a dominant heat tectonic regime (mantle plume) with limited transverse movement. The micro-blocks were welded by greenstone belts, followed by metamorphism and granitization, completing craton process of stable continent. The tectonic regime is likely controlled by frequent moderate-scale mantle plumbs, accompanied by small-scale horizontal tectonic movement. The Paleoproterozoic supracrustal rocks in the NCC occur as a linear mobile belt with middle-grade metamorphism, multi-stage deformation, intruded by nearly synchronous or little later granitic intrusion and associated by Cu

  4. Late Pleistocene and Holocene uplift history of Cyprus: implications for active tectonics along the southern margin of the Anatolian microplate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, R.W.; Tsiolakis, E.; Stone, B.D.; Lord, A.; McGeehin, J.P.; Mahan, S.A.; Chirico, P.

    2013-01-01

    The nature of the southern margin of the Anatolian microplate during the Neogene is complex, controversial and fundamental in understanding active plate-margin tectonics and natural hazards in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Our investigation provides new insights into the Late Pleistocene uplift history of Cyprus and the Troodos Ophiolite. We provide isotopic (14C) and radiogenic (luminescence) dates of outcropping marine sediments in eastern Cyprus that identify periods of deposition during marine isotope stages (MIS) 3, 4, 5 and 6. Past sea-levels indicated by these deposits are c. 95±25 m higher in elevation than estimates of worldwide eustatic sea-level. An uplift rate of c. 1.8 mm/year and possibly as much as c. 4.1 mm/year in the past c. 26–40 ka is indicated. Holocene marine deposits also occur at elevations higher than those expected for past SL and suggest uplift rates of c. 1.2–2.1 mm/year. MIS-3 marine deposits that crop out in southern and western Cyprus indicate uniform island-wide uplift. We propose a model of tectonic wedging at a plate-bounding restraining bend as a mechanism for Late Pleistocene to Holocene uplift of Cyprus; uplift is accommodated by deformation and seismicity along the margins of the Troodos Ophiolite and re-activation of its low-angle, basal shear zone.

  5. Tectonic evolution of Tarim basin in Cambrian–Ordovician and its implication for reservoir development, NW China

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Yu Bingsong; Ruan Zhuang; Zhang Cong; Pan Yinglu; Lin Changsong; Wang Lidong

    2016-03-01

    In order to find the impact of regional tectonic evolution of Tarim basin on the inside distribution of sedimentary facies and reservoir development, this paper, based on the research of plate-tectonic evolution of Tarim basin, conducts an in-depth analysis on the basin’s inside sedimentary response to the Eopaleozoicregional geodynamic reversion from extension to convergence around Tarim plate, and concludes that the regional geodynamic environment of surrounding areas closely contributes to the formation and evolution of paleo-uplifts, differentiation of sedimentary facies in platform, distribution of high-energyreef and bank facies belts, conversion of sedimentary base level from fall to rise, obvious change of lithology from dolomite to limestone, and formation of several unconformity surfaces in Ordovician system in the basin. A series of sedimentary responses in the basin are controlled by regional dynamic setting, which not only controls the distribution of reservoirs in reef and bank facies but also restricts the development and distribution of karst reservoirs controlled by the unconformity surfaces. This offers the macro geological evidences for us to further analyze and evaluate the distribution of favorable reservoirs.

  6. The energetics and convective vigor of mixed-mode heating: Velocity scalings and implications for the tectonics of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, Matthew B.; Lenardic, Adrian

    2016-09-01

    The discovery of large terrestrial (~1 Earth mass (Me) to extrasolar planets has prompted a debate as to the likelihood of plate tectonics on these planets. Canonical models assume classic basal heating scaling relationships remain valid for mixed heating systems with an appropriate internal temperature shift. Those scalings predict a rapid increase of convective velocities (Vrms) with increasing Rayleigh numbers (Ra) and non-dimensional heating rates (Q). To test this we conduct a sweep of 3-D numerical parameter space for mixed heating convection in isoviscous spherical shells. Our results show that while Vrms increases with increasing thermal Ra, it does so at a slower rate than predicted by bottom heated scaling relationships. Further, the Vrms decreases asymptotically with increasing Q. These results show that independent of specific rheologic assumptions (e.g., viscosity formulations, water effects, and lithosphere yielding), the differing energetics of mixed and basally heated systems can explain the discrepancy between different modeling groups. High-temperature, or young, planets with a large contribution from internal heating will operate in different scaling regimes compared to cooler-temperature, or older, planets that may have a larger relative contribution from basal heating. Thus, differences in predictions as to the likelihood of plate tectonics on exoplanets may well result from different models being more appropriate to different times in the thermal evolution of a terrestrial planet (as opposed to different rheologic assumptions as has often been assumed).

  7. Tectonic evolution of Tarim basin in Cambrian-Ordovician and its implication for reservoir development, NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bingsong, Yu; Zhuang, Ruan; Cong, Zhang; Yinglu, Pan; Changsong, Lin; Lidong, Wang

    2016-03-01

    In order to find the impact of regional tectonic evolution of Tarim basin on the inside distribution of sedimentary facies and reservoir development, this paper, based on the research of plate-tectonic evolution of Tarim basin, conducts an in-depth analysis on the basin's inside sedimentary response to the Eopaleozoic regional geodynamic reversion from extension to convergence around Tarim plate, and concludes that the regional geodynamic environment of surrounding areas closely contributes to the formation and evolution of paleo-uplifts, differentiation of sedimentary facies in platform, distribution of high-energy reef and bank facies belts, conversion of sedimentary base level from fall to rise, obvious change of lithology from dolomite to limestone, and formation of several unconformity surfaces in Ordovician system in the basin. A series of sedimentary responses in the basin are controlled by regional dynamic setting, which not only controls the distribution of reservoirs in reef and bank facies but also restricts the development and distribution of karst reservoirs controlled by the unconformity surfaces. This offers the macro geological evidences for us to further analyze and evaluate the distribution of favorable reservoirs.

  8. CARBONIFEROUS FORAMINIFERAL PALEOBIOGEOGRAPHY IN TURKEY AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR PLATE TECTONIC RECONSTRUCTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JIRÍ KALVODA

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Four foraminiferal paleobiogeographic realms are distinguished in the Carboniferous – North Paleotethyan, Perigondwanian, Siberian and North American. The Carboniferous foraminiferal faunas of both the Istanbul and Anatolide-Tauride zones distinctly differ from both Cimmerian terranes (Central Afghanistan, Qiangtang and Libya and Egypt of the Perigondwana Realm and show close relation to the North Paleotethyan Realm, especially to the Fennosarmatian Province of southeastern Laurussia (Moesian and Scythian platforms or to the Central Asiatic Province. A model that best fits with available evidence is that the Anatolide-Tauride Zone was either a part or located close to Laurasia in Carboniferous. The Istanbul Zone represents an equivalent of the Rhenohercynian Zone of the Central Europe and can not be compared with Intra-Alpine or south Variscan terranes which may be correlated with the Anatolide-Tauride Zone. Later, in the Permian, the Anatolide -Tauride Zone may has been separated from the Eurasian mainland by the Karakaya back-arc ocean. 

  9. Morphometric analysis of El Salvador Fault Zone. Implications to the tectonic evolution. Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Henar, Jorge; Jesús Martínez-Díaz, José; Álvarez-Gómez, José Antonio

    2013-04-01

    It is considered that the study of the recent topography development, and the use of geomorphological indexes are good tools for the quantification of the active tectonics. We have used quantitative geomorphology in order to improve our understanding of the recent activity and tectonic evolution of the El Salvador Fault Zone (ESFZ); an E-W oriented strike-slip fault zone that extends 150 km through El Salvador (Martínez-Díaz et al. 2004). Previous studies propose a transtensive tectonic regime at the Central America Volcanic Arc in El Salvador, which induces relative vertical motions on the faults within El Salvador Fault Zone (i.e. Álvarez-Gómez et al., 2008, Cáceres et al. 2005,). This relative vertical displacement can be quantified with the use of hypsometry as a geomorphological character. The morphometric analysis done contributes to a better understanding of the ESFZ. We have defined km scale tectonic block relative displacements that may be useful to constrain the strain distribution along the ESFZ, length of segments with homogeneous vertical movements and lateral relay of active structures. This study supports the hypothesis of a recent migration in the maximum shortening direction, and the accomodation of the current deformation through the reactivation of pre-existing structures inherited from a previous tectonic frame. A similar tectonic evolution as described Weinberg (1992) in Nicaragua, is interpreted from the results of this study.

  10. Petrogenesis of the Dalongkai ultramafic-mafic intrusion and its tectonic implication for the Paleotethyan evolution along the Ailaoshan tectonic zone (SW China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huichuan; Wang, Yuejun; Zi, Jian-Wei

    2017-06-01

    Layered ultramafic-mafic intrusions are usually formed in an arc/back-arc or intra-plate tectonic environment, or genetically related to a mantle plume. In this paper, we report on an ultramafic-mafic intrusion, the Dalongkai intrusion in the Ailaoshan tectonic zone (SW China), whose occurrence is closely associated with arc/back-arc magmatic rocks. The Dalongkai intrusion is composed of plagioclase-lherzolite, hornblende-peridotite, lherzolite and wehrlite at the bottom, cumulate plagioclase-pyroxenite at the middle part, changing to fine-grained gabbro towards the upper part of the intrusion, forming layering structure. Zircons from the plagioclase-pyroxenites and gabbros yielded U-Pb ages of 272.1 ± 1.7 Ma and 266.4 ± 5.8 Ma, respectively. The plagioclase-pyroxenites show cumulate textures, and are characterized by high MgO (25.0-28.0 wt.%; mg# = 80.6-82.3), Cr (1606-2089 ppm) and Ni (893-1203 ppm) contents, interpreted as early cumulate phases. By contrast, the gabbros have relatively lower mg# values (56.3-62.7), and Cr (157-218 ppm) and Ni (73-114 ppm) concentrations, and may represent frozen liquids. The plagioclase-pyroxenites and gabbros share similar chondrite-normalized REE patterns and primitive mantle-normalized trace element profiles which are analogous to those of typical back-arc basin basalts. The εNd(t) values for both rock types range from +2.20 to +4.22. These geochemical and isotopic signatures suggest that the Dalongkai ultramafic-mafic rocks originated from a MORB-like mantle source metasomatized by subduction-related, sediment-derived fluids. Our data, together with other geological evidence, indicate that the emplacement of the Dalongkai ultramafic-mafic intrusion most likely occurred in a back-arc extensional setting associated with subduction of the Ailaoshan Paleotethyan branch ocean during the Middle Permian, thus ruling out the previously speculated linkage to the Emeishan mantle plume, or to an intra-continental rift.

  11. Far-Field Deformation Resulting from Rheologic Differences Interacting with Tectonic Stresses: An Example from the Pacific/Australian Plate Boundary in Southern New Zealand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phaedra Upton

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The Miocene in Southern New Zealand was dominated by strike-slip tectonics. Stratigraphic evidence from this time attests to two zones of subsidence in the south: (a a middle Cenozoic pull-apart basin and (b a regionally extensive subsiding lake complex, which developed east and distal to the developing plate boundary structure. The lake overlay a block of crust with a significantly weak mid-crustal section and we pose the question: can rheological transitions at an angle to a plate boundary produce distal subsidence and/or uplift? We use stratigraphic, structural and geophysical observations from Southern New Zealand to constrain three-dimensional numerical models for a variety of boundary conditions and rheological scenarios. We show that coincident subsidence and uplift can result from purely strike-slip boundary conditions interacting with a transition from strong to weak to strong mid-crustal rheology. The resulting pattern of vertical displacement is a function of the symmetry or asymmetry of the boundary conditions and the extent and orientation of the rheological transitions. For the Southern New Zealand case study, subsidence rates of ~0.1 mm/yr are predicted for a relative plate motion of 25 mm/yr, leading to ~500 m of subsidence over a 5 Ma time period, comparable to the thickness of preserved lacustrine sediments.

  12. SqueeSAR™ and GPS ground deformation monitoring of Santorini Volcano (1992-2012): Tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagios, E.; Sakkas, V.; Novali, F.; Bellotti, F.; Ferretti, A.; Vlachou, K.; Dietrich, V.

    2013-05-01

    The Santorini Volcanic Complex (SVC) has been in a dormant state for the last 60 years until January 2011 when upward influx of magma reawakened the volcano with intense radial ground deformation and inter-caldera seismicity that lasted until January 2012 but declined afterwards. This paper aims to study the ground deformation and the inferred tectonic implications of the SVC for the period 1992-2012 mainly based on the SqueeSAR™ technique and DGPS campaign results of our local network which incorporates available data on Internet from several continuous GPS stations established on the island. The spatial deformation of the SVC during the quiet period 1992-2010 was deduced by joint analysis of ERS1 and 2 and ENVISAT. It was found that the intra caldera Palaea Kammeni shield volcano was being uplifted (2-3 mm/yr) with increasing rate, whilst the adjacent Nea Kammeni shield volcano was being subsided (up to 6 mm/yr) with increasing rate. The rest of the SVC showed a velocity field varying from - 1 to + 2 mm/yr, indicating a rather linear deformation during that period. The results from the GPS network are in full agreement with the SqueeSAR results. Based on the results of SqueeSAR analysis of 12 ENVISAT images, and DGPS/CGPS data to end 2012, the deformation for the unrest period 2011-2012 was non-linear being characterized by strong radial deformation in the northern part of the caldera (50-120 mm/yr), and accelerating values (> 130 mm/yr2). Combined GPS/SqueeSAR Mogi modeling indicated a source located north of Nea Kammeni at a shallow depth. However, a progressively decreasing rate in deformation was noted at most GPS/CGPS station components after January 2012, indicating magma settlement consistent with the constantly decreasing rate of the inter-caldera seismicity. The faulting features seem to have a key role in the evolution of the deformation, which continues up the end 2012, but at a very low level.

  13. Tectonic-sedimentary evolution of the eastern Brazilian marginal basins: Implications in their petroleum systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Francisco, N.F.; Azambuja, N.C.; Mello, M.R. (Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil))

    1993-02-01

    A geological survey of eastern Brazilian marginal basins using sedimentological, tectonic and geochemical data has been carried out. The almost 4000 km long set of basins can be classified as component of a typical divergent, mature Atlantic-continental margin. Based on their tectonic-sedimentary sequence, they can be linked to a single evolutionary history, which can be divided in three main stages: pre-rift, rift, and drift. The integration of all data allowed the characterization of two major petroleum systems that represent about 90% of the known Brazilian hydrocarbons reserves: (1) the rift (Early Cretaceous) and the drift (Late Cretaceous-Paleogene). With respect to the oil-in-place volume and production, the most significant one is the drift system associated with the siliciclastic deep water turbidites reservoirs deposited in bathyal environments. Such reservoirs are clearly controlled by a favorable relationship of stratigraphic and tectonic settings.

  14. Cretaceous and Paleogene granitoid suites of the Sikhote-Alin area (Far East Russia): Geochemistry and tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebennikov, Andrei V.; Khanchuk, Alexander I.; Gonevchuk, Valeriy G.; Kovalenko, Sergey V.

    2016-09-01

    The Mesozoic and Cenozoic geological history of NE Asia comprises alternating episodes of subduction or transform strike-slip movement of the oceanic plate along the continental margin of Eurasia. This sequence resulted in the regular generation of granitoid suites that are characterized by different ages, compositions, and tectonic settings. The Hauterivian-Aptian orogenic stage of the Sikhote-Alin, associated with the strike-slip displacement of the early Paleozoic continental blocks, the successive deformation of the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous terranes, and the injection of the earliest S-type granitoids. During late Albian, the area underwent syn-strike-slip compression caused by collision with the Aptian island arc and resulted in the injection of voluminous magmas of calc-alkaline magnesian (S- and I-type) and alkali-calcic ferroan (A-type) granitoids into syn-faulting compressional and extensional basins, respectively. Northwestward to westward movement of the Izanagi Plate resulted in the initiation of frontal subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate during the Cenomanian-Maastrichtian. In turn, this resulted in the generation of plateau-forming ignimbrites and their intrusive analogs formed from metaluminous I-type felsic magmas. Paleocene-Eocene magmatism in the Sikhote-Alin area commenced after the termination of subduction in a rifting regime related to strike-slip movement of the oceanic plate relative to the continent. The break-off of the subducted plate and the injection of oceanic asthenospheric material into the subcontinental lithosphere resulted in the eruption of lamproites and fayalite rhyolites, and coeval intrusions of gabbro and alkali feldspar granites (B-type). The A-type granitic-rocks and coeval gabbro-monzonites are considered to be reliable indicators of the transform continental margin geodynamic settings.

  15. Interseismic interactions in geometrically complex fault systems: Implications for San Francisco Bay Area fault creep and tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, E. L.; Meade, B. J.; Loveless, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    Fault systems at active plate boundaries accommodate the differential motion of tectonic plates through slip on anastomosing faults within the seismogenic upper crust. The partitioning of slip across fault systems can be inferred from models of space-based geodetic measurements to estimate both fault slip rates and interseismic fault creep. Covariance between slip rate estimates on sub-parallel faults may be significant but can be reduced with the addition of the fundamental constraint that total slip across a fault system must sum to the differential plate motion rate. The importance of ensuring such kinematic consistency becomes increasingly important in strike-slip fault systems such as in the San Francisco Bay Area, where slip is localized across 4-8 sub-parallel faults with San Francisco Bay Area constrained by both GPS and InSAR observations and find that this effect may lead to a substantial revision of interseismic creep estimates on the Hayward fault by as much as 6 mm/yr at depth.

  16. The distribution and composition characteristics of siliceous rocks from Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt, South China: constraint on the tectonic evolution of plates in South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongzhong; Zhai, Mingguo; Zhang, Lianchang; Zhou, Yongzhang; Yang, Zhijun; He, Junguo; Liang, Jin; Zhou, Liuyu

    2013-01-01

    The Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt is a significant tectonic zone between the Yangtze and Cathaysian plates, where plentiful hydrothermal siliceous rocks are generated. Here, the authors studied the distribution of the siliceous rocks in the whole tectonic zone, which indicated that the tensional setting was facilitating the development of siliceous rocks of hydrothermal genesis. According to the geochemical characteristics, the Neopalaeozoic siliceous rocks in the north segment of the Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt denoted its limited width. In comparison, the Neopalaeozoic Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt was diverse for its ocean basin in the different segments and possibly had subduction only in the south segment. The ocean basin of the north and middle segments was limited in its width without subduction and possibly existed as a rift trough that was unable to resist the terrigenous input. In the north segment of the Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt, the strata of hydrothermal siliceous rocks in Dongxiang copper-polymetallic ore deposit exhibited alternative cycles with the marine volcanic rocks, volcanic tuff, and metal sulphide. These sedimentary systems were formed in different circumstances, whose alternative cycles indicated the release of internal energy in several cycles gradually from strong to weak.

  17. The Distribution and Composition Characteristics of Siliceous Rocks from Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay Joint Belt, South China: Constraint on the Tectonic Evolution of Plates in South China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongzhong Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt is a significant tectonic zone between the Yangtze and Cathaysian plates, where plentiful hydrothermal siliceous rocks are generated. Here, the authors studied the distribution of the siliceous rocks in the whole tectonic zone, which indicated that the tensional setting was facilitating the development of siliceous rocks of hydrothermal genesis. According to the geochemical characteristics, the Neopalaeozoic siliceous rocks in the north segment of the Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt denoted its limited width. In comparison, the Neopalaeozoic Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt was diverse for its ocean basin in the different segments and possibly had subduction only in the south segment. The ocean basin of the north and middle segments was limited in its width without subduction and possibly existed as a rift trough that was unable to resist the terrigenous input. In the north segment of the Qinzhou Bay-Hangzhou Bay joint belt, the strata of hydrothermal siliceous rocks in Dongxiang copper-polymetallic ore deposit exhibited alternative cycles with the marine volcanic rocks, volcanic tuff, and metal sulphide. These sedimentary systems were formed in different circumstances, whose alternative cycles indicated the release of internal energy in several cycles gradually from strong to weak.

  18. Plate convergence, crustal delamination, extrusion tectonics and minimization of shortening work as main controlling factors of the recent Mediterranean deformation pattern

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Babbucci

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available It is argued that the time-space distribution of major post middle Miocene deformation events in the Central-Eastern Mediterranean region, deduced from the relevant literature, can be coherently explained as a consequence of the convergence between the Africa/Arabia and Eurasia blocks. This plate convergence has mainly been accommodated by the consumption of the thinnest parts of the Northern African (Ionian and Levantine basins and peri-Adriatic margins. During each evolutionary phase the space distribution of trench zones is controlled by the basic physical requirement of minimizing the work of horizontal forces, induced by plate convergence, against the resisting forces, i.e., the cohesion of the upper brittle crustal layer and the buoyancy forces at the consuming boundaries. The significant changes of tectonic styles which determined the transition from one phase to the next, like those which occurred around the Messinian and the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene, were determined by the suture of consuming boundaries. When such an event occurs, the system must activate alternative consuming processes to accommodate the convergence of the major confining blocks. The observed deformations in the study area suggest that this tectonic reorganization mostly developed by the lateral extrusion of crustal wedges away from the sutured borders. This mechanism allowed the translation of maximum horizontal stresses from the locked collisional fronts to the zones where consumable lithosphere was still present, in order to activate the next consuming processes. The extensional episodes which led to the formation of basins and troughs in the Tyrrhenian and Aegean zones are interpreted as secondary effects of the outward escape of crustal wedges, like those which occurred in response to longitudinal compressional regimes in the Apennines and Aegean regions.

  19. Tectonic heat flow modelling for basin maturation - Implications for frontier areas in the mediterranean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wees, J.D. van; Bonte, D.; Nelskamp, S.

    2009-01-01

    Basement heat flow is one of the most influential parameters on basin maturity. Although rapid progress has been made in the development of tectonic models capable of modelling the thermal consequences of basin formation, these models are hardly used in basin modelling. To better predict heat flows

  20. Tectonic implications of tomographic images of subducted lithosphere beneath northwestern South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilst, R.D. van der; Mann, P.

    1994-01-01

    We used seismic tomography to investigate the complex structure of the upper mantle below northwestern South America. Images of slab structure not delineated by previous seismicity studies help us to refine existing tectonic models of subducted Caribbean-Pacific lithosphere beneath the study area. B

  1. A Paleomagnetic Study of Late Cretaceous Ophiolites in SE Turkey: implications for palaeolatitudes of S Neotethyan spreading centers and emplacement-related tectonic rotations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mualla, Cinku; Timur, Ustaömer; Osman, Parlak; Mumtaz, Hisarli

    2016-04-01

    Two E-W trending ophiolite belts crop out in SE Turkey, The southerly located ophiolites (Hatay, Koçali) were emplaced onto the Arabian Platform in Late Cretaceous whereas the northerly located ophiolites (Göksun, İspendere, Kömürhan, Guleman) were underthrust the S Tauride margin (i.e. Malatya-Keban Platform) in Late Cretaceous. Different tectonic models exist in the literature for the origin of these different ophiolite belts that we test here by a detailed palaomagnetic study: a) all the ophiolites in Turkey, including those in the study area were rooted from a single ocean basin to the N (i.e. the N Neotethyan Ocean Basin); b) all the ophiolites in SE Turkey were derived from the S Neotethyan Ocean Basin; c) the two ophiolite belts in SE Turkey are believed to have rooted from two different ocean basins; the Berit ocean to the north and the S Neotethys to the S. Our palaeomagnetic study from 72 different sites was focused on to the sheeted dyke complex, cumulate gabbros and extrusive sequences where available of each ophiolite from the N and S belts. We also sampled the unconformable cover units to distinguish emplacement related tectonic rotations from post-emplacement tectonic rotations. Here we report our first results obtained from the Göksun Ophiolite of the northern belt and the Hatay Ophiolite of the southern belt. Rock magnetic experiments showed evidence od magnetite/titanomagnetite as the main magnetic carriers at the majority of sites. Progressive thermal and alternating demagnetization revealed that the characteristic remanent component is removed between 500 and 580 ?C or 30-100 mT, respectively. Our new paleomagnetic results from the ophiolitic rocks emplaced in Arabian platform and the SE Anatolia show important implications to the spreading centre of the former ocean (s). Large counterclockwise rotations up to 100° are obtained from the sheeded dykes of the Hatay ophiolite in the Arabian plate with a paleolatitude of ˜16° , in contrast

  2. Kinematic evidence for the effect of changing plate boundary conditions on the tectonics of the northern U.S. Rockies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmeelk, Dylan; Bendick, Rebecca; Stickney, Michael; Bomberger, Cody

    2017-06-01

    We derive surface velocities from GPS sites in the interior Northwest U.S. relative to a fixed North American reference frame to investigate surface tectonic kinematics from the Snake River Plain (SRP) to the Canadian border. The Centennial Tectonic Belt (CTB) on the northern margin of the SRP exhibits west directed extensional velocity gradients and strain distributions similar to the main Basin and Range Province (BRP) suggesting that the CTB is part of the BRP. North of the CTB, however, the vergence of velocities relative to North America switches from westward to eastward along with a concomitant rotation of the principal stress axes based on available seismic focal mechanisms, revealing paired extension in the northern Rockies and shortening across the Rocky Mountain Front. This change in orientation of surface velocities suggests that the change in the boundary conditions on the western margin of North America influences the direction of gravitational collapse of Laramide thickened crust. Throughout the study region, fault slip rate estimates calculated from the new geodetic velocity field are consistently larger than previously reported fault slip rates determined from limited geomorphic and paleoseismic studies.

  3. An Early Aged Ophiolite in the Western Kunlun Mts.,NW Tibetan Plateau and Its Tectonic Implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIAO Xuchang; WANG Jun; SU Li; JI Wenhua; SONG Shuguang

    2005-01-01

    The early aged ophiolites have attracted attention of many geologists in recent decades, because the early aged ophiolites can provide the information about the ancient oceanic processes relevant to the evolution of plate tectonics in the early period of the earth, and also concern such problems as whether there existed a "Proto-Tethys" and the break-up and convergence of the Rodinian Supercontinent. This paper reveals a definite complete ophiolite of Neoproterozoic-Early Paleozoic, named Kuda ophiolite in the western Kunlun Mts., NW Tibetan Plateau, and reports the recent reasonable SHRIMP zircon U-Pb ages of 510±4 Ma, and 502±13 Ma for the cumulates of the Kuda ophiolite, using the most powerful dating tool, the SHRIMP-Ⅱ. The geochemical and geochronology data integrating with the geological setting suggest that the Kuda ophiolite might have formed in an archipelago oceanic basin, not in a vast ocean, the so-called "Proto-Tethys",and was tectonically emplaced during the Early Paleozoic.

  4. Understanding seismic heterogeneities in the lower mantle beneath the Americas from seismic tomography and plate tectonic history

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ren, Y.; Stutzmann, E.; Hilst, R.D. van der; Besse, J.

    2007-01-01

    We combine results from seismic tomography and plate motion history to investigate slabs of subducted lithosphere in the lower mantle beneath the Americas. Using broadband waveform cross correlation, we measured 37,000 differential P and S traveltimes, 2000 PcP-P and ScS-S times along a wide corrido

  5. Understanding seismic heterogeneities in the lower mantle beneath the Americas from seismic tomography and plate tectonic history

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ren, Y.; Stutzmann, E.; Hilst, R.D. van der; Besse, J.

    2007-01-01

    We combine results from seismic tomography and plate motion history to investigate slabs of subducted lithosphere in the lower mantle beneath the Americas. Using broadband waveform cross correlation, we measured 37,000 differential P and S traveltimes, 2000 PcP-P and ScS-S times along a wide corrido

  6. Geochronological and sedimentological evidences of Panyangshan foreland basin for tectonic control on the Late Paleozoic plate marginal orogenic belt along the northern margin of the North China Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jialiang; Zhou, Zhiguang; He, Yingfu; Wang, Guosheng; Wu, Chen; Liu, Changfeng; Yao, Guang; Xu, Wentao; Zhao, Xiaoqi; Dai, Pengfei

    2017-08-01

    Palaeo-uplift also was developed in the Early Permian to Middle Triassic (277-236 Ma), related to the final closure of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. Furthermore, we advocate that the tectonic setting of Inner Mongolia Palaeo-uplift probably belonged to the plate marginal orogenic belt during Early Permian-Middle Triassic.

  7. The Contraction/Expansion History of Charon with implication for its Planetary Scale Tectonic Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Malamud, Uri; Schubert, Gerald

    2016-01-01

    The New-Horizons mission to the Kuiper Belt has recently revealed intriguing features on the surface of Charon, including a network of chasmata, cutting across or around a series of high topography features, conjoining to form a belt. It is proposed that this tectonic belt is a consequence of contraction/expansion episodes in the moon's evolution associated particularly with compaction, differentiation and geophysical reactions of the interior. The proposed scenario involves no need for solidification of a vast subsurface ocean and/or a warm initial state. This scenario is based on a new, detailed thermo-physical evolution model of Charon that includes multiple processes. According to the model, Charon experiences two contraction/expansion episodes in its history that may provide the proper environment for the formation of the tectonic belt. This outcome remains qualitatively the same even if we assume a different initial composition and mass. Two alternative explanations for the precise localization and orie...

  8. Strike-slip tectonics within the northernmost Philippine Sea plate in an arc-continent collisional setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Wei; Jiang, Xiaodian; Guo, Yufan; Xing, Junhui; Li, Congying; Sun, Yang

    2017-09-01

    The geological processes in the northernmost Philippine Sea plate, which is bounded by the Suruga and Sagami troughs, are a typical example of an active collision zone. We attempt to illustrate the stress field through seismic estimations and geodetic analysis and propose the kinematic mode of the northernmost tip of the Philippine Sea plate. Seven events (M ≥ 4.0) are chosen for waveform inversion by the ISOLA software to distinguish the stress field. In particular, six of the chosen events, which exhibit strike-slip motion, are distributed in the eastern area, where few focal mechanisms have been reported by previous studies. According to the available focal mechanisms, strike-slip faults with similar P and T axes are widely distributed in the study area. The stress inversion suggests that the northern area is characterized by a NW-SE compression and a NE-SW extension stress regime, although some spatial differences exist. As indicated by an analysis of the geodesy, epicenters, focal mechanisms, gravity anomalies and velocity structure, the deformation in the northernmost tip is mainly accommodated by several conjugate strike-slip fault systems with steep dips that center on the Izu volcanic line. Generally, the maximum principal stress of the kinematics is derived from the collision between the Philippine Sea plate and Central Japan. Because of the different subduction angles, rates and directions of the down-going plate, diverging slab-pull forces along the Suruga and Sagami troughs may be causing the NE-NNE extension in most of the areas that are bounded by the two troughs. The extension propagates southwards along the Izu volcanic line and reaches the area adjacent to Miyake-jima.

  9. Source mechanism studies of earthquakes in the Ibero-Maghrebian region and their tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buforn, E.; Udías, A.; Pro, C.

    2016-10-01

    Seismicity of the Ibero-Maghrebian region includes the occurrence of shallow, intermediate depth, and very deep earthquakes. This is a very rare occurrence for a region not associated to an active subduction zone. Detailed studies of the source mechanism of these three types of earthquakes have been made possible through the collaboration with Prof. Madariaga. They give important information about the complex tectonic of the region. Shallow earthquakes at the west and east ends of the region have predominant reverse faulting with NW-SE trending horizontal pressure axes. The center part is the most tectonically complex. At the Strait of Gibraltar, there is a change on focal mechanisms from reverse faulting to strike-slip motion in northern Morocco, conserving the horizontal compression on NW-SE direction. In the Alboran Sea, mechanisms are of normal faulting with E-W trending horizontal tension axes, and in south Spain, mechanisms are of mixed solutions. The intermediate depth earthquakes (40-130 km) are located at both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar, at the western part distributed in E-W direction. The most important concentration, however, is located at the east of Gibraltar in a N-S trending thin vertical body and has different mechanisms. The very deep earthquakes (650 km) are concentrated at a small volume, and their mechanism corresponds to N-S vertical planes or horizontal ones. A tectonic model for the region is presented to explain the shallow, intermediate, and deep earthquakes.

  10. Discovery of the Longriba Fault Zone in Eastern Bayan Har Block, China and its tectonic implication

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Re-measured GPS data have recently revealed that a broad NE trending dextral shear zone exists in the eastern Bayan Har block about 200 km northwest of the Longmenshan thrust on the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The strain rate along this shear zone may reach up to 4-6 mm/a. Our interpretation of satellite images and field observations indicate that this dextral shear zone corresponds to a newly generated NE trending Longriba fault zone that has been ignored before. The northeast segment of the Longriba fault zone consists of two subparallel N54°±5°E trending branch faults about 30 km apart, and late Quaternary offset landforms are well developed along the strands of these two branch faults. The northern branch fault, the Longriqu fault, has relatively large reverse component, while the southern branch fault, the Maoergai fault, is a pure right-lateral strike slip fault. According to vector synthesizing principle, the average right-lateral strike slip rate along the Longriba fault zone in the late Quaternary is calculated to be 5.4±2.0 mm/a, the vertical slip rate to be 0.7 mm/a, and the rate of crustal shortening to be 0.55 mm/a. The discovery of the Longriba fault zone may provide a new insight into the tectonics and dynamics of the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Taken the Longriba fault zone as a boundary, the Bayan Har block is divided into two sub-blocks: the Ahba sub-block in the west and the Longmenshan sub-block in the east. The shortening and uplifting of the Longmenshan sub-block as a whole reflects that both the Longmenshan thrust and Longriba fault zone are subordinated to a back propagated nappe tectonic system that was formed during the southeastward motion of the Bayan Har block owing to intense resistance of the South China block. This nappe tectonic system has become a boundary tectonic type of an active block supporting crustal deformation along the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from late Cenozoic

  11. Discovery of the Longriba Fault Zone in Eastern Bayan Har Block, China and its tectonic implication

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU XiWei; WEN XueZe; CHEN GuiHua; YU GuiHua

    2008-01-01

    Re-measured GPS data have recently revealed that a broad NE trending dextral shear zone exists in the eastern Bayan Har block about 200 km northwest of the Longmenshan thrust on the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.The strain rate along this shear zone may reach up to 4-6 mm/a.Our interpretation of satellite images and field observations indicate that this dextral shear zone corresponds to a newly generated NE trending Longriba fault zone that has been ignored before.The northeast segment of the Longriba fault zone consists of two subparallel N54°±5°E trending branch faults about 30 km apart, and late Quaternary offset landforms are well developed along the strands of these two branch faults.The northern branch fault, the Longriqu fault, has relatively large reverse component, while the southern branch fault, the Maoergai fault, is a pure right-lateral strike slip fault.According to vector synthesizing principle, the average right-lateral strike slip rate along the Longriba fault zone in the late Quaternary is calculated to be 5.4±2.0 mm/a, the vertical slip rate to be 0.7 mm/a, and the rate of crustal shortening to be 0.55 mm/a.The discovery of the Longriba fault zone may provide a new insight into the tectonics and dynamics of the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.Taken the Longriba fault zone as a boundary, the Bayan Har block is divided into two sub-blocks: the Ahba sub-block in the west and the Longmenshan sub-block in the east.The shortening and uplifting of the Longmenshan sub-block as a whole reflects that both the Longmenshan thrust and Longriba fault zone are subordinated to a back propagated nappe tectonic system that was formed during the southeastward motion of the Bayan Har block owing to intense resistance of the South China block.This nappe tectonic system has become a boundary tectonic type of an active block supporting crustal deformation along the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from late Cenozoic till now

  12. Aeromagnetic interpretation in the south-central Zimbabwe Craton: (reappraisal of) crustal structure and tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranganai, Rubeni T.; Whaler, Kathryn A.; Ebinger, Cynthia J.

    2016-11-01

    Regional aeromagnetic data from the south-central Zimbabwe Craton have been digitally processed and enhanced for geological and structural mapping and tectonic interpretation integrated with gravity data, to constrain previous interpretations based on tentative geologic maps and provide new information to link these structural features to known tectonic events. The derived maps show excellent correlation between magnetic anomalies and the known geology, and extend lithological and structural mapping to the shallow/near subsurface. In particular, they reveal the presence of discrete crustal domains and several previously unrecognised dykes, faults, and ultramafic intrusions, as well as extensions to others. Five regional structural directions (ENE, NNE, NNW, NW, and WNW) are identified and associated with trends of geological units and cross-cutting structures. The magnetic lineament patterns cut across the >2.7 Ga greenstone belts, which are shown by gravity data to be restricted to the uppermost 10 km of the crust. Therefore, the greenstone belts were an integral part of the lithosphere before much of the upper crustal (brittle) deformation occurred. Significantly, the observed magnetic trends have representatives craton-wide, implying that our interpretation and inferences can be applied to the rest of the craton with confidence. Geological-tectonic correlation suggests that the interpreted regional trends are mainly 2.5 Ga (Great Dyke age) and younger, and relate to tectonic events including the reactivation of the Limpopo Belt at 2.0 Ga and the major regional igneous/dyking events at 1.8-2.0 Ga (Mashonaland), 1.1 Ga (Umkondo), and 180 Ma (Karoo). Thus, their origin is here inferred to be inter- and intra-cratonic collisions and block movements involving the Zimbabwe and Kaapvaal Cratons and the Limpopo Belt, and later lithospheric heating and extension associated with the break-up of Gondwana. The movements produced structures, or reactivated older fractures

  13. Inversions for earthquake focal mechanisms and regional stress in the Kachchh Rift Basin, western India: Tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, A. P.; Zhao, L.; Kumar, Santsoh; Mishra, Smita

    2016-03-01

    More than a decade after the 2001 MW 7.7 Bhuj earthquake in western India, aftershocks up to MW 5.0 are still continuing around the rupture zone in the Kachchh Rift Basin. Over the years, some surrounding faults in the region have been activated, and a transverse fault generated an MW 5.1 earthquake in 2012. Most of the earthquakes occur in the lower crust at depths between 15 and 35 km. We have determined focal mechanism solutions of 47 earthquakes (MW 3.2-5.1) that were recorded by a 60-station broadband network during 2007-2014 within an area of 50 km radius of the 2001 main shock. South dipping nodal planes in most of the solutions correlate well with the active faults. The earthquakes near the epicenter of the 2001 main shock primarily show reverse-faulting mechanisms. The surrounding earthquakes in the area, however, show predominantly strike-slip mechanisms. The P axes of the earthquakes mostly oriented in north-south, and the T axes in east-west. However, the orientations of the P and T axes exhibit more complexity near the source area of the main shock. Stress field inversion of the solutions yields a dominant north-south compression, which is consistent with the ambient tectonic stress field owing to the northward movement of the Indian Plate with respect to the Eurasian Plate. The geodetic measurements are in reasonable agreement with our results.

  14. Detrital Thermochronology of the Indus-Yarlung suture zone and implications for the tectonic and surface evolution of southern Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrapa, B.; Hassim, F.; Kapp, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Detrital thermochronology has the unique potential to resolve the timing of source cooling associated with magmatic, tectonic and surface processes. Correct interpretation of the detrital signature requires a multi-dating approach involving chronometers sensitive to different temperatures and processes. A multi-dating study of modern river sands from southern Tibet reveals distinct cooling signals that provide significant information about tectonic and erosional evolution of the Indus-Yarlung suture (IYS) after the India-Asia collision with implications for the Cenozoic topographic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau. Modern sands from tributaries of the Yarlung River provide an opportunity to broadly sample source rocks exposed within the suture zone, including the Gangdese batholith, Xigaze forearc, Cenozoic basins, and Tethyan Himalayan rocks, and to investigate their regional geochemical signatures. Samples from rivers along the IYS in southern Tibet, between Xigaze and Mt. Kailas, were analyzed for detrital geochronology and low-temperature thermochronology. Comparison between ages recorded in the source and the detrital signature indicates that both the ages and their proportions directly reflect the ages and relative areas of source rocks in the catchment basins. Apatite fission track ages show two main cooling signals at 22-18 Ma and 12 Ma, which are consistent with accelerated exhumation of the Gangdese batholith and Oligo-Miocene Kailas basin and indicate significant regional exhumation of the IYS during the Miocene. Regional exhumation recorded throughout the IYS is likely the combined product of active Miocene tectonics and erosion of a paleo-Yarlung River. Efficient incision and evacuation of material from the IYS zone by a paleo-Yarlung River during the Miocene suggests a significantly different paleoenvironment than that which exists today. Miocene capture of the Yarlung River by the Brahmaputra River may have enhanced erosion in the IYS zone.

  15. Thermochronology in southeast Alaska and southwest Yukon: Implications for North American Plate response to terrane accretion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enkelmann, Eva; Piestrzeniewicz, Adam; Falkowski, Sarah; Stübner, Konstanze; Ehlers, Todd A.

    2017-01-01

    This study presents the first comprehensive dataset of low-temperature thermochronology from 43 bedrock samples collected north of the active Yakutat-North American plate boundary. Our apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He and fission-track data reveal the cooling history of the inboard Wrangellia Composite Terrane that is dominated by rapid cooling after Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous arc magmatism followed by very little cooling and exhumation until today. Deformation resulting in rock exhumation due to the collision of the Yakutat microplate is spatially very limited (20-30 km) and is concentrated mainly in the Chugach-Prince William Terrane and rocks near the Border Ranges Fault. Focused exhumation from greater depths of ca. 10 km with very high rates (>5 km/Myr) is localized at the syntaxis region, starting ca. 10 Ma and shifted south through time. The rapid exhumation rates are explained by the development of strong feedbacks between tectonically driven surface uplift and erosion, which started already before glaciation of the area. The shift in the location towards the south is a consequence of continuous readjusting between tectonics and climate, which is changing on local and global scales since the Late Miocene.

  16. Structural and Tectonic Map Along the Pacific-North America Plate Boundary in Northern Gulf of California, Sonora Desert and Valle de Mexicali, Mexico, from Seismic Reflection Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Escobar, M.; Suarez-Vidal, F.; Mendoza-Borunda, R.; Martin Barajas, A.; Pacheco-Romero, M.; Arregui-Estrada, S.; Gallardo-Mata, C.; Sanchez-Garcia, C.; Chanes-Martinez, J.

    2012-12-01

    Between 1978 and 1983, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) carried on an intense exploration program in the northern Gulf of California, the Sonora Desert and the southern part of the Mexicali Valley. This program was supported by a seismic reflection field operation. The collected seismic data was 2D, with travel time of 6 s recording, in 48 channels, and the source energy was: dynamite, vibroseis and air guns. Since 2007 to present time, the existing seismic data has been re-processing and ire-interpreting as part of a collaboration project between the PEMEX's Subdirección de Exploración (PEMEX) and CICESE. The study area is located along a large portion of the Pacific-North America plate boundary in the northern Gulf of California and the Southern part of the Salton Trough tectonic province (Mexicali Valley). We present the result of the processes reflection seismic lines. Many of the previous reported known faults were identify along with the first time described located within the study region. We identified regions with different degree of tectonic activity. In structural map it can see the location of many of these known active faults and their associated seismic activity, as well as other structures with no associated seismicity. Where some faults are mist placed they were deleted or relocated based on new information. We included historical seismicity for the region. We present six reflection lines that cross the aftershocks zone of the El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake of April 4, 2010 (Mw7.2). The epicenter of this earthquake and most of the aftershocks are located in a region where pervious to this earthquake no major earthquakes are been reported. A major result of this study is to demonstrate that there are many buried faults that increase the seismic hazard.

  17. Occurrences of large-magnitude earthquakes in the Kachchh region, Gujarat, western India: Tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Prosanta Kumar; Mohanty, Sarada Prasad; Sinha, Sushmita; Singh, Dhananjay

    2016-06-01

    Moderate-to-large damaging earthquakes in the peninsular part of the Indian plate do not support the long-standing belief of the seismic stability of this region. The historical record shows that about 15 damaging earthquakes with magnitudes from 5.5 to ~ 8.0 occurred in the Indian peninsula. Most of these events were associated with the old rift systems. Our analysis of the 2001 Bhuj earthquake and its 12-year aftershock sequence indicates a seismic zone bound by two linear trends (NNW and NNE) that intersect an E-W-trending graben. The Bouguer gravity values near the epicentre of the Bhuj earthquake are relatively low (~ 2 mgal). The gravity anomaly maps, the distribution of earthquake epicentres, and the crustal strain-rate patterns indicate that the 2001 Bhuj earthquake occurred along a fault within strain-hardened mid-crustal rocks. The collision resistance between the Indian plate and the Eurasian plate along the Himalayas and anticlockwise rotation of the Indian plate provide the far-field stresses that concentrate within a fault-bounded block close to the western margin of the Indian plate and is periodically released during earthquakes, such as the 2001 MW 7.7 Bhuj earthquake. We propose that the moderate-to-large magnitude earthquakes in the deeper crust in this area occur along faults associated with old rift systems that are reactivated in a strain-hardened environment.

  18. Topographyc metrics in the southern sector of the Marche foothills: implication for active tectonic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Materazzi, Marco; Aringoli, Domenico; Carducci, Tamara; Cavitolo, Paolo; Farabollini, Piero; Giacopetti, Marco; Pambianchi, Gilberto; Tondi, Emanuele; Troiani, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Quantitative geomorphic analysis can be provided a useful contribution to the study of recent tectonics. Some parameters, that quantify the channels morphology, as the Stream Length-Gradient (SL) Index (Hack, 1973) and the Steepness (Ks) Index (Flint, 1974), are generally used to detect anomalies on the expected concave-up equilibrium stream-profile, which can result in local abrupt changes in stream gradient (i.e., knickpoints) and/or broad convexities on stream long-profiles extending for tens of kilometres (i.e., knickzones). The main goal of this work is the study of the morphological and morphometrical features in the southern sector of the Marche Region, with the aim to gain new knowledge on the influences of rock resistance and rock uplift on the fluvial and topographic system. The investigated area is situated in central Italy and it extends from the axial zone of the Umbria-Marche Apennines to the Adriatic Sea, including the southern sector of the Marche Region and belongs to the foredeep domain of the Apennines orogenic system, which has affected by tectonic activity up to very recent times. The rheology of outcropping deposits doesn't allow the strain to be easily recorded at the outcrop scale. The analyses have been aimed at to test the sensitivity of both SL and Ks for evaluating active crustal deformations, acting at different wavelengths on land surface, within a low tectonically active thrust-and-fold belt. Additional purpose was the understanding of the pattern of regional differential crustal activity in the topographic arrangement of the study area In this research project two sets of analysis were conducted. References Hack J.T. 1973. Stream-profile analysis and stream-gradient index. Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey, 1, 421-429. Flint J.J. 1974. Stream gradient as a function of order, magnitude and discharge. Water Resources Research, 10, 969-973.

  19. Towards community-driven paleogeographic reconstructions: integrating open-access paleogeographic and paleobiology data with plate tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Wright

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A variety of paleogeographic reconstructions have been published, with applications ranging from paleoclimate, ocean circulation and faunal radiation models to resource exploration; yet their uncertainties remain difficult to assess as they are generally presented as low-resolution static maps. We present a methodology for ground-truthing the digital Palaeogeographic Atlas of Australia by linking the GPlates plate reconstruction tool to the global Paleobiology Database and a Phanerozoic plate motion model. We develop a spatio-temporal data mining workflow to validate the Phanerozoic Palaeogeographic Atlas of Australia with paleoenvironments derived from fossil data. While there is general agreement between fossil data and the paleogeographic model, the methodology highlights key inconsistencies. The Early Devonian paleogeographic model of southeastern Australia insufficiently describes the Emsian inundation that may be refined using biofacies distributions. Additionally, the paleogeographic model and fossil data can be used to strengthen numerical models, such as the dynamic topography and the associated inundation of eastern Australia during the Cretaceous. Although paleobiology data provide constraints only for paleoenvironments with high preservation potential of organisms, our approach enables the use of additional proxy data to generate improved paleogeographic reconstructions.

  20. Structure and tectonics of western continental margin of India: Implication for geologic hazards

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chaubey, A.K.; Ajay, K.K.

    for the Cretaceousffertiary (KIf) biological mass extinction, must have had a profound influence on the crustal evolution (Ajay and Cbaubey, 2008) including the present-day configuration of the continental margin concealing the pre-existing geology and crustal structure....K., Sudhakar, T. and Nair, R.R., 1994b. Swath bathymetric investigation of the seamounts located in the Laxmi Basin, eastern Arabian Sea. Mar. Geodesy, 17:169 182. Biswas, S.K., 1987. Regional tectonic framework, structure and evolution of the western marginal...

  1. Tectonic implications of Late Paleozoic stratigraphic distribution in Northeast China and adjacent region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG ChengWen; SUN YueWu; LI Ning; ZHAO GuoWei; MA XiaoQin

    2009-01-01

    An analysis of the distribution of the Late Paleozoic strata on Northeast Chinaand adjacent region re-veals a zonal pattern of the distribution around the core of the Jiamusi-Mongolia Block. The main part of Late Paleozoic marine strata in this area is considered the continental margin deposits of the Jia-musi-Mongolia Block by analyzing the stratigraphic contact relationship, lithofacies, etc. The results are exhibited in a series of tectonic paleogeographic maps. This presents an important proof for the foundation of the Jiamusi-Mongolia Block, and confines the forming time of Jiamusi-Mongolia Block to the Late Silurian.

  2. Analysis of geometry of volcanoes and faults in Terceira Island (Azores): Evidence for reactivation tectonics at the EUR/AFR plate boundary in the Azores triple junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, A.; Lourenço, N.; Chorowicz, J.; Miranda, J. M.; Catalão, J.

    2009-02-01

    The late Pliocene to Quaternary (5 Ma) volcanism in the central and eastern Azores Archipelago is related to the Eurasia/Africa divergence, but a clear deformation pattern has not yet been established at this location. This work focuses on the contribution of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) scenes and Digital Elevation Models (DEM), complemented with geophysical, geodetic and morpho-structural data, to establish the geometric relationships between volcanic edifices and tectonic structures in the central and eastern Azores Archipelago. Bathymetric data were also used to extend field observations to the significant submarine area of the Azores plateau. Strikes of extension fractures, directly observed or inferred from elongated volcanic vents or linear volcanic clusters in Terceira Island, indicate that volcanism is mainly controlled by regional extension as given by NUVEL-1A plate motion model. Additionally, other directions were also detected for extension fractures around the Santa Barbara volcano (defining a radial pattern) and in the central part of the island (exhibiting an S-shape pattern). Although most of the volcanic vents are controlled by extension fractures, some seem to be controlled by faulting, such as the case of the ones rooted in releasing bends along strike-slip or oblique-slip faults in the central part of the island. Concerning the Azores plateau, most of the structures have directions that do not directly fit with present-day direction of relative motion (˜ N70°) between Eurasia and Africa. Directions ranging from N110° to N125°, found mainly along the Terceira rift, are interpreted as ancient transform directions, reactivating as transtensional fault zones due to the present-day plate motion. N-S directions are also visible in the plateau, being interpreted as former middle-oceanic rift faults reactivated as left-lateral fault zones. These results contrast with the volcanic expression in other hotspot dominated oceanic islands such as the

  3. PLATE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kling, Joyce; Hjulmand, Lise-Lotte

    2008-01-01

    ’s level of English is sufficient for the increasing number of courses offered in English each semester. This paper addresses these concerns and describes a pilot project initiated in 2003 at CBS to gauge the overall English language proficiency of those teaching content courses in English. Through......Copenhagen Business School (CBS) finds itself needing to address the issue of English-medium instruction for its increasing number of foreign exchange and full degree students. With internationalisation as a main pillar of the institution’s agenda, there are concerns whether the teaching faculty...... the Project in Language Assessment for Teaching in English (PLATE) language professionals from CBS’s Language Center observe teachers and provide feedback using evaluation criteria from the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR) supplemented by some additional criteria which take the LSP nature...

  4. PLATE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kling, Joyce; Hjulmand, Lise-Lotte

    2008-01-01

    Copenhagen Business School (CBS) finds itself needing to address the issue of English-medium instruction for its increasing number of foreign exchange and full degree students. With internationalisation as a main pillar of the institution’s agenda, there are concerns whether the teaching faculty......’s level of English is sufficient for the increasing number of courses offered in English each semester. This paper addresses these concerns and describes a pilot project initiated in 2003 at CBS to gauge the overall English language proficiency of those teaching content courses in English. Through...... the Project in Language Assessment for Teaching in English (PLATE) language professionals from CBS’s Language Center observe teachers and provide feedback using evaluation criteria from the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR) supplemented by some additional criteria which take the LSP nature...

  5. Channel morphometry, sediment transport, and implications for tectonic activity and surficial ages of Titan basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Richard; Clayton, Jordan A.; Kirk, Randolph L.

    2011-01-01

    Fluvial features on Titan and drainage basins on Earth are remarkably similar despite differences in gravity and surface composition. We determined network bifurcation (Rb) ratios for five Titan and three terrestrial analog basins. Tectonically-modified Earth basins have Rb values greater than the expected range (3.0–5.0) for dendritic networks; comparisons with Rb values determined for Titanbasins, in conjunction with similarities in network patterns, suggest that portions of Titan's north polar region are modified by tectonic forces. Sufficient elevation data existed to calculate bed slope and potential fluvial sedimenttransport rates in at least one Titanbasin, indicating that 75 mm water ice grains (observed at the Huygens landing site) should be readily entrained given sufficient flow depths of liquid hydrocarbons. Volumetric sedimenttransport estimates suggest that ~6700–10,000 Titan years (~2.0–3.0 x 105 Earth years) are required to erode this basin to its minimum relief (assuming constant 1 m and 1.5 m flows); these lowering rates increase to ~27,000–41,000 Titan years (~8.0–12.0 x 105 Earth years) when flows in the north polar region are restricted to summer months.

  6. Emplacement age and tectonic implications of the Xilinhot A-type granite in Inner Mongolia, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHI Guanghai; MIAO Laicheng; ZHANG Fuqing; JIAN Ping; FAN Weiming; LIU Dunyi

    2004-01-01

    A new rock type of granite, approximate 45 km2 in area and located about 10 km south of Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia, was found in the Sunitezuoqi (or called Suzuoqi)-Xilinhot tectonic belt and identified as an A-type mia- rolitic intrusion. The pluton has miarolitic structure and is composed chiefly of perthite, quartz, euhedral albite and potassium feldspar. Various types of textures occur in the pluton, such as perthitie, graphic and myrmekite textures. Only quartz is found in miarolitic cavity. This A-type granite with seagull-shaped REE patterns and obvious negative Eu anomaly (δEu = 0.24-0.28) is high in SiO2 (76%-77%), K and Na (Na2O + K2O = 7.75%-8.15%) and low in Ca (CaO = 0.20%-0.22%), Fe and Mg. Both petrographical observations and chemical compositions indicate that it is an A-type granite. Zircon SHRIMP U-Pb analyses indicate that this A-type granite was emplaced at 276 ( 2 Ma and coeval with the same type of granites in the adjacent areas. Therefore, it suggests that this pluton was likely formed in a post-orogenic extensional setting and probably related to break-off of subducted slabs in Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), which indicate that the Sunitezuoqi-Xilinhot belt was tectonically evolved into post-orogenic stage since early Permian.

  7. Seismic Interpretation of the Nam Con Son Basin and its Implication for the Tectonic Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen Quang Tuan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The Nam Con Son Basin covering an area of circa 110,000 km2 is characterized by complex tectonic settings of the basin which has not fully been understood. Multiple faults allowed favourable migration passageways for hydrocarbons to go in and out of traps. Despite a large amount of newly acquired seismic and well data there is no significant update on the tectonic evolution and history of the basin development. In this study, the vast amount of seismic and well data were integrated and reinterpreted to define the key structural events in the Nam Con Son Basin. The results show that the basin has undergone two extentional phases. The first N - S extensional phase terminated at around 30 M.a. forming E - W trending grabens which are complicated by multiple half grabens filled by Lower Oligocene sediments. These grabens were reactivated during the second NW - SE extension (Middle Miocene, that resulted from the progressive propagation of NE-SW listric fault from the middle part of the grabens to the margins, and the large scale building up of roll-over structure. Further to the SW, the faults of the second extentional phase turn to NNE-SSW and ultimately N - S in the SW edge of the basin. Most of the fault systems were inactive by Upper Miocene except for the N - S fault system which is still active until recent time.

  8. Seismic Interpretation of the Nam Con Son Basin and its Implication for the Tectonic Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen Quang Tuan

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available DOI:10.17014/ijog.3.2.127-137The Nam Con Son Basin covering an area of circa 110,000 km2 is characterized by complex tectonic settings of the basin which has not fully been understood. Multiple faults allowed favourable migration passageways for hydrocarbons to go in and out of traps. Despite a large amount of newly acquired seismic and well data there is no significant update on the tectonic evolution and history of the basin development. In this study, the vast amount of seismic and well data were integrated and reinterpreted to define the key structural events in the Nam Con Son Basin. The results show that the basin has undergone two extentional phases. The first N - S extensional phase terminated at around 30 M.a. forming E - W trending grabens which are complicated by multiple half grabens filled by Lower Oligocene sediments. These grabens were reactivated during the second NW - SE extension (Middle Miocene, that resulted from the progressive propagation of NE-SW listric fault from the middle part of the grabens to the margins, and the large scale building up of roll-over structure. Further to the SW, the faults of the second extentional phase turn to NNE-SSW and ultimately N - S in the SW edge of the basin. Most of the fault systems were inactive by Upper Miocene except for the N - S fault system which is still active until recent time.

  9. Geochemical Signatures of Potassic to Sodic Adang Volcanics, Western Sulawesi: Implications for Their Tectonic Setting and Origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Godang Shaban

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available DOI:10.17014/ijog.3.3.195-214The Adang Volcanics represent a series of (ultra potassic to sodic lavas and tuffaceous rocks of predominantly trachytic composition, which forms the part of a sequence of Late Cenozoic high-K volcanic and associated intrusive rocks occurring extensively throughout Western Sulawesi. The tectonic setting and origin of these high-K rocks have been the subject of considerable debates. The Adang Volcanics have mafic to mafitic-intermediate characteristics (SiO2: 46 - 56 wt% and a wide range of high alkaline contents (K2O: 0.80 - 9.08 %; Na2O: 0.90 - 7.21 % with the Total Alkali of 6.67 - 12.60 %. Al2O3 values are relatively low (10.63 - 13.21 % and TiO2 values relatively high (1.27 - 1.91 %. Zr and REE concentrations are also relatively high (Zr: 1154 - 2340 ppm; Total REE (TREY = TRE: 899.20 - 1256.50 ppm; TRExOy: 1079.76 - 1507.97 ppm, with an average Zr/TRE ratio of ~ 1.39. The major rock forming minerals are leucite/pseudoleucite, diopside/aegirine, and high temperature phlogopite. Geochemical plots (major oxides and trace elements using various diagrams suggest the Adang Volcanics formed in a postsubduction, within-plate continental extension/initial rift tectonic setting. It is further suggested magma was generated by minor (< 0.1 % partial melting of depleted MORB mantle material (garnet-lherzolite with the silicate melt having undergone strong metasomatism. Melt enrichment is reflected in the alkaline nature of the rocks and geochemical signatures such as Nb/Zr > 0.0627 and (Hf/SmPM > 1.23. A comparison with the Vulsini ultrapotassic volcanics from the Roman Province in Italy shows both similarities (spidergram pattern indicating affinity with Group III ultrapotassics volcanics and differences (nature of mantle metasomatism.

  10. Geochemistry and geochronology of the Rathjen Gneiss: implications for the early tectonic evolution of the Delamerian Orogen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foden, J.; Sandiford, M.; Dougherty-Page, J. [University of Adelaide, SA (Australia). Department of Geology; Williams, I. [Australian National University, ACT (Australia). Research School of Earth Sciences

    1999-06-01

    The Rathjen Gneiss is the oldest and structurally most complex of the granitic intrusives in the southern Adelaide Fold-Thrust Belt and therefore provides an important constraint on the timing of the Delamerian Orogen. Zircons in the Rathjen Gneiss show a complex growth history, reflecting inheritance, magmatic crystallisation and metamorphism. Both single zircon evaporation (`Kober` technique) and SHRIMP analysis yield best estimates of igneous crystallisation of 514 {+-} 5 Ma, substantially older than other known felsic intrusive ages in the southern Adelaide Fold-Thrust Belt. This age places an older limit on the start of the Delamerian metamorphism and is compatible with known stratigraphic constraints suggesting the Early Cambrian Kanmantoo Group was deposited, buried and heated in less than 20 million years. High-U overgrowths on zircons were formed during subsequent metamorphism and yield a {sup 206}Pb/{sup 238}U age of 503 {+-} 7 Ma. The Delamerian Orogeny lasted no more than 35 million years. The emplacement of the Rathjen Gneiss as a pre- or early syntectonic granite is emphasised by its geochemical characteristics, which show affiliations with within-plate or anorogenic granites. In contrast, younger syntectonic granites in the southern Adelaide Fold-Thrust Belt have geochemical characteristics more typical of granites in convergent orogens. The Early Ordovician post-tectonic granites then mark a return to anorogenic compositions. The sensitivity of granite chemistry to changes in tectonic processes is remarkable and clearly reflects changes in the contribution of crust and mantle sources. Copyright (1999) Blackwell Science Pty Ltd 35 refs., 3 tabs., 11 figs.

  11. Studies on 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of strike-slip time of the Tan-Lu fault zone and their tectonic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU; Guang

    2001-01-01

    [1]Xu, J. W., Ma, G. E, Ten years review on studies on the Tan-Lu fault zone, Geological Review (in Chinese), 1992, 38(4):316-324.[2]Xu, J. W., The Tancheng-Lujiang Wrench Fault System, Chichester(UK): John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1993, 177-183.[3]Zhu, G., Xu, J. W., Tectonic relationships between the Tan-Lu fault zone and the Dabie-Jiaonan orogenic belt, in Research Progress in Structural Geology and Lithosphere Dynamics (ed., Ma. Z. J.) (in Chinese), Beijing: Seismological Publishing House, 1999,164-170.[4]Dou, L. R., Song, J. G., Wang, Y., Chronology of formation of the northern part of the Tan-Lu fault zone and its implications, Geological Review (in Chinese), 1996,42(6): 508-512.[5]Yin, A., Nie, S. Y., An indendation model for the North and South China collision and the development of the Tan-Lu and Honam fault system, eastern Asia, Tectonics, 1993, 12(4): 801-813.[6]Wan, T. F., Zhu, H., The maximum sinistral strike-slip displacement and formation time of the Tan-Lu fault zone, Geological Journal of China Universities (in Chinese), 1996, 2(1): 14-27.[7]Wang, X. F., Li, Z. J., Chen, B. L. et al., Formation and evolution of the Tan-Lu strike-slip fault system and its geological significance, in Proceedings of 30th International Geological Congress (ed., Zheng, Y. Z.), Beijing: Geological Publishing House, 1998, 14: 176-196.[8]Xu, J. W., Zhu, G., Tectonic models of the Tan-Lu fault zone,eastern China, International Geology Review, 1994,36:771-784.[9]Zhu, G., Xu, J. W., Displacement, timing and tectonic models of the Tan-Lu fault zone, in Proceedings of 30th International Geological Congress (ed., Zheng, Y. D.), Beijing: Geological Publishing House, 1998, 14: 167-175.[10]Zhang, Z. M., Liou, J. G., Coleman, R. G., An outline of the plate tectonics of China, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 1984, 95:295-312.[11]Watson, M. P., Hayward, A. B., Parkinson, D. N. et al., Plate tectonics history, basin development and petroleum source rock

  12. METAMORPHISM, PLATE TECTONICS, AND THE SUPERCONTINENT CYCLE%变质作用、板块构造及超级大陆旋回

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michael; Brown

    2007-01-01

    Era. A duality of thermal regimes is the hallmark of modern plate tectonics and the duality of metamorphic belts is the characteristic imprint of plate tectonics in the rock record. The occurrence of both G - UHTM and E - HPGM belts since the Neoarchean manifests the onset of a "Proterozoic plate tectonics regime", although the style of tectonics likely involved differences. The "Proterozoic plate tectonics regime" evolved during a Neoproterozoic transition to the "modern plate tectonics regime" characterized by colder subduction and subduction of continental crust deep into the mantle and its (partial) return from depths of up to 300 km, as chronicled by the appearance of HPM - UHPM in the rock record. The age distribution of metamorphic belts that record extreme conditions of metamorphism is not uniform, and metamorphism occurs in periods that correspond to amalgamation of continental lithosphere into supercratons (e.g. Superia/Sclavia) or supercontinents (e.g. Nuna (Columbia), Rodinia, Gondwana, and Pangea).%麻粒岩相超高温变质作用(G - UHTM)主要发育于新太古代至寒武纪岩石中;推测在深部较年轻的,特别是新生代造山带岩石中也会有G - UHTM存在.岩石中最初出现G - UHTM记录意味着产生瞬时极高热流处的地球动力学发生了改变.许多G - UHTM带可能发育于类似现代大陆弧后的构造背景中.在较热的地球上,超大陆及其裂解形成的循环组合,尤其是经岩石圈减薄的洋盆卷入到其外翻过程中可能产生比现代太平洋边缘更热的大陆弧后.中温榴辉岩-高压麻粒岩相变质作用(E - HPGM)也是最先发现于新太古代岩石记录中,并发育于从元古宙至古生代岩石中.E - HPGM带是对G - UHTM带的补充,并经常认为是记录了从俯冲至碰撞造山作用的过程.在元古宙岩石记录中的蓝片岩明显记录了与现代俯冲作用相关的低热流梯度.以发育柯石英(±硬柱石)或金刚石

  13. Geology of the Eoarchean, > 3.95 Ga, Nulliak supracrustal rocks in the Saglek Block, northern Labrador, Canada: The oldest geological evidence for plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komiya, Tsuyoshi; Yamamoto, Shinji; Aoki, Shogo; Sawaki, Yusuke; Ishikawa, Akira; Tashiro, Takayuki; Koshida, Keiko; Shimojo, Masanori; Aoki, Kazumasa; Collerson, Kenneth D.

    2015-11-01

    The Earth is a unique planet, which has been highly evolved, diversified and complicated through geologic time, and underwent many key events, including giant impact, magma ocean, core formation, large-scale mantle differentiation and late heavy bombardment, especially in its dawn. But, our knowledge of early Earth is limited due to the lack of the Hadean supracrustal rocks. The supracrustal rocks with the Eoarchean ages provide key evidence for the Earth's early evolution, but few supracrustal rocks have been comprehensively investigated. Therefore, we mapped in seven areas of the Saglek Block, northern Labrador, where ancient supracrustal sequences are interleaved with a diverse assemblage of orthogneisses. Early studies suggested that some of them have the Mesoarchean ages because of the lack of the Mesoarchean Saglek dyke, but we found the Saglek dykes in the areas to recognize the Eoarchean Nulliak supracrustal rocks and Uivak Gneiss in all the areas. Recent reassessment of U-Pb dating and cathodoluminescence observation of zircons from the oldest suites of the Uivak Gneiss showed that the Uivak Gneiss has the Eoarchean age, > 3.95 Ga, and forms the Iqaluk-Uivak Gneiss series. Because our geological survey clearly showed that the Iqaluk-Uivak Gneisses were intruded into the Nulliak supracrustal belts, the Nulliak supracrustal rocks are the oldest supracrustal rock in the world. The supracrustal belts consist of piles of fault-bounded blocks, which are composed of the ultramafic rocks, mafic rocks and sedimentary rocks in ascending order, similar to modern ocean plate stratigraphy (OPS). In addition, small-scale duplex structures are found over the areas. The presence of duplex structure and OPS indicates that the > 3.95 Ga Nulliak supracrustal belts originate from an accretionary complex. The presence of the accretionary complex, ophiolite and granitic continental crust provides the oldest evidence for the plate tectonics on the early Earth.

  14. The Floral Response to the Permian Tectonic Evolution in Tarim Plate%塔里木板块二叠纪构造演化的古植物群(大植物、孢粉)响应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱怀诚

    2001-01-01

    The Tarim plate drifted constantly northward and collided with the Kazakhstan Plate during Permo-Carboniferous. In Carboniferous, the Tarim Plate was pieced together with the Yili Terrane of the Kazakhstan Plate. Then the Tarim-Yili Plate collided with the Kazakhstan Plate, and the Junggar Ocean finished subduction during Late Carboniferous and Early Permian. At last, the two plates were united into the southern part of the Angaran Land of the Pangea. The plate drifting resulted in the disappearance of the ocean between the Tarim Plate, the Kazakhstan Plate and the Junggar Plate. The plant distribution is mainly controlled by the climatic condition, and the geographic barriers also have an effect on the plant migration. The northward drift of the Tarim Plate led to the elevation of the plate and the cooling of climate there. As a result, the Euramerican flora of the plate was replaced by the exotic flora during the Permian. The northward drift of theTarim Plate is thought to be the principal impetus to the floral provincial succession of the plate. The Permian dry climate inthe northern hemisphere and the plant migration might have played positive roles in this succession. The whole floral succession of the Tarim Plate from the Euramerican stage to the Angara stage as described in this paper was recorded in the Permian deposits. The Permian floral succession of the Tarim Plate was controlled by the tectonic setting then and reflected the corresponding history of the plate drift. Three developing stages of the floral succession of the Tarim Plate have been recognized, viz.,①the Euramerican flora stage (Asselian-Roadian);②the Euramerican and Angara mixed flora stage (Wordian-Early Wuchiapingian);③the Angara flora stage (Middle-Late Wuchiapingian-Changhsingian).%塔里木板块二叠纪的构造演化导致板块古地理位置、古地貌和古环境的演变(包括气候条件的改变),相应地塔里木板块的植物群在区系性质方面发

  15. Earth's youngest exposed granite and its tectonic implications: the 10-0.8 Ma Kurobegawa Granite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Hisatoshi; Yamada, Ryuji; Tamura, Akihiro; Arai, Shoji; Horie, Kenji; Hokada, Tomokazu

    2013-01-01

    Although the quest for Earth's oldest rock is of great importance, identifying the youngest exposed pluton on Earth is also of interest. A pluton is a body of intrusive igneous rock that crystallized from slowly cooling magma at depths of several kilometers beneath the surface of the Earth. Therefore, the youngest exposed pluton represents the most recent tectonic uplift and highest exhumation. The youngest exposed pluton reported to date is the Takidani Granodiorite (~ 1.4 Ma) in the Hida Mountain Range of central Japan. Using LA-ICP-MS and SHRIMP U-Pb zircon dating methods, this study demonstrates that the Kurobegawa Granite, also situated in the Hida Mountain Range, is as young as ~ 0.8 Ma. In addition, data indicate multiple intrusion episodes in this pluton since 10 Ma with a ~ 2-million-year period of quiescence; hence, a future intrusion event is likely within 1 million years.

  16. 4D Arctic: A Glimpse into the Structure and Evolution of the Arctic in the Light of New Geophysical Maps, Plate Tectonics and Tomographic Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaina, Carmen; Medvedev, Sergei; Torsvik, Trond H; Koulakov, Ivan; Werner, Stephanie C

    Knowledge about the Arctic tectonic structure has changed in the last decade as a large number of new datasets have been collected and systematized. Here, we review the most updated, publicly available Circum-Arctic digital compilations of magnetic and gravity data together with new models of the Arctic's crust. Available tomographic models have also been scrutinized and evaluated for their potential to reveal the deeper structure of the Arctic region. Although the age and opening mechanisms of the Amerasia Basin are still difficult to establish in detail, interpreted subducted slabs that reside in the High Arctic's lower mantle point to one or two episodes of subduction that consumed crust of possibly Late Cretaceous-Jurassic age. The origin of major igneous activity during the Cretaceous in the central Arctic (the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge) and in the proximity of rifted margins (the so-called High Arctic Large Igneous Province-HALIP) is still debated. Models of global plate circuits and the connection with the deep mantle are used here to re-evaluate a possible link between Arctic volcanism and mantle plumes.

  17. Paleomagnetic data from the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt: implications for tectonics and volcanic stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alva-Valdivia, L. M.; Goguitchaichvili, A.; Ferrari, L.; Rosas-Elguera, J.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Zamorano-Orozco, J. J.

    2000-07-01

    We report a paleomagnetic and rock-magnetic study of Miocene volcanic rocks from the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. A total of 32 sites (238 oriented samples) were collected from three localities: Queretaro, Guadalajara and Los Altos de Jalisco basaltic plateaux, which span from 11 to 7.5 Ma. Several rock-magnetic experiments were carried out in order to identify the magnetic carriers and to obtain information about their paleomagnetic stability. Microscopic observation of polished sections shows that the main magnetic mineral is Ti-poor titanomagnetite associated with exsolved ilmenite. Continuous susceptibility measurements with temperature yield in most cases reasonably reversible curves with Curie points close to that of magnetite. Judging from the ratios of hysteresis parameters, it seems that all samples fall in the pseudo-single domain (PSD) grain size region, probably indicating a mixture of multidomain (MD) and a significant amount of single domain (SD) grains. Based on our paleomagnetic and available radiometric data, it seems that the volcanic units have been emplaced during a relatively short time span of 1 to 2 My at each locality. The mean paleomagnetic directions obtained from each locality differ significantly from that expected for the Middle Miocene. The mean paleomagnetic direction calculated from 28 sites discarding those of intermediate polarity is I= 32.46°, D= 341.2°, k= 7.2 and a95= 11.6°. Comparison with the expected direction indicates some 20° anticlockwise tectonic rotations for the studied area, in accordance with the proposed left-lateral transtensional tectonic regime already proposed for this period.

  18. Integrated Analysis on Gravity and Magnetic Fields of the Hailar Basin, NE China: Implications for Basement Structure and Deep Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, B.; Wang, L.; Dong, P.; Scientific Team Of Applied Geophysics

    2010-12-01

    The Hailar Basin is one of the most representative basins among the Northeast China Basin Group, which is situated in the east of East Asia Orogene between the Siberia Plate and the North China Plate. Based on the detailed analysis of the Bouguer gravity anomaly, aeromagnetic anomaly as well as petrophysical data, we studied the features of gravity-magnetic fields in the basin and its neighboring areas. A combined approach of Wavelet Multi-scale Decomposition and Power Spectrum Analysis was adopted to quantitatively grade the gravity and magnetic anomalies into four levels. Accordingly, the apparent depths of the source fields can be assessed. The results reveal the crustal density and magnetic structures of the Hailar Basin. Low-order wavelet details of gravity-magnetic anomalies were carried out on studying basin basement structure. Seven major basement faults of the basin were identified, and the basement lithology was discussed and predicted. Three major uplifts and 14 depressions were delineated according to basement depth inversion by the Park method. High-order wavelet approximations of gravity-magnetic anomalies were carried out on studying deep tectonics of the basin. The average Moho depth of the study area is about 40 km, with a mantle uplift located in the northeast of the basin. The average depth of the Curie interface is about 19 km, while the uplift of the Curie interface is in the basin center and its east and west sides are depressions. Finally, inversion of Bouguer gravity anomalies was conducted on an across-basin GGT profile using the Wavelet Multi-scale Decomposition. The inversion results are consistent with those of GGT seismic inversion, suggesting that the Wavelet Multi-scale Decomposition can be applied to distinguish major crustal density interfaces.

  19. Three-dimensional modeling of pull-apart basins: implications for the tectonics of the Dead Sea Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katzman, Rafael; ten Brink, Uri S.; Lin, Jian

    1995-01-01

    We model the three-dimensional (3-D) crustal deformation in a deep pull-apart basin as a result of relative plate motion along a transform system and compare the results to the tectonics of the Dead Sea Basin. The brittle upper crust is modeled by a boundary element technique as an elastic block, broken by two en echelon semi-infinite vertical faults. The deformation is caused by a horizontal displacement that is imposed everywhere at the bottom of the block except in a stress-free “shear zone” in the vicinity of the fault zone. The bottom displacement represents the regional relative plate motion. Results show that the basin deformation depends critically on the width of the shear zone and on the amount of overlap between basin-bounding faults. As the width of the shear zone increases, the depth of the basin decreases, the rotation around a vertical axis near the fault tips decreases, and the basin shape (the distribution of subsidence normalized by the maximum subsidence) becomes broader. In contrast, two-dimensional plane stress modeling predicts a basin shape that is independent of the width of the shear zone. Our models also predict full-graben profiles within the overlapped region between bounding faults and half-graben shapes elsewhere. Increasing overlap also decreases uplift near the fault tips and rotation of blocks within the basin. We suggest that the observed structure of the Dead Sea Basin can be described by a 3-D model having a large overlap (more than 30 km) that probably increased as the basin evolved as a result of a stable shear motion that was distributed laterally over 20 to 40 km.

  20. Low-Stress Upper Plate Near Subduction Zones and Implications for Temporal Changes in Loading Forces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, K.; Hu, Y.; Yoshida, K.

    2016-12-01

    Subduction megathrusts are weak, often with effective friction coefficients as low as 0.03. Consequently, differential stress (S1 - S3) in the nearby upper plate is low. Compression due to plate coupling and tension due to gravity are in a subtle balance that can be tipped by small perturbations. For example, the 2011 M=9 Tohoku-oki earthquake, which has a rupture-zone-average stress drop of only a few MPa, switched offshore margin-normal stress from compression to tension and affected seismicity pattern and stress directions of various parts of the land area. The low differential stress is also reflected in spatial variations of stresses, such as with changes in topography. In the Andes, crustal earthquake focal mechanisms change from thrust-faulting in low-elevation areas to normal-faulting in high-elevation areas. Given the lack of evidence for a pervasively weak crust, the low differential stress may indicate that in general the crust near subduction zones is not critically stressed. If so, crustal earthquakes do not represent pervasive failure but only local failure due to stress, material, and fluid pressure heterogeneity. If distributed permanent deformation that creates topography is not the norm, it either happens in brief episodes or took place in the past. The outer wedge may enter a compressively or extensionally critical state due to coseismic strengthening or weakening, respectively, of the shallow megathrust in largest interplate earthquakes. Temporal changes in loading forces must occur also at much larger temporal and spatial scales in response to changes in the nature of the subducting plate and other tectonic conditions. We propose that submarine wedges and high topography in the upper plate attain their geometry in geologically brief episodes of high differential stress. They normally stay in a low-stress stable state, but their geometry often reflects high-stress episodes of critical states in the past. In other words, rocks have a sustained

  1. 论菲律宾海板块大地构造分区%Discussion on the tectonic division of the Philippine Sea Plate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴时国; 范建柯; 董冬冬

    2013-01-01

    菲律宾海板块是毗邻中国大陆的一个独特的小型板块.除南端表现十分复杂外,它的构造边界多以海沟为界,比较清楚,然而次级大地构造单元划分则比较复杂.本文根据近年来的研究成果,按照块体构造理论注重统一的地球物理场、相似的地壳结构、有机的成因联系等3个基本原则,将菲律宾海板块划分为3个具有不同构造演化特征的单元,即西菲律宾海块体、四国—帕里西维拉块体和伊豆—博宁—马里亚纳块体.西菲律宾海块体包括两部分:一个是西菲律宾海盆,始新世以来受太平洋板块和印澳板块近南北向的相对俯冲作用影响,并顺时针旋转形成了现今的构造样式,于30 Ma左右停止扩张.另一个包括大东盆岭、花东盆地、帕劳海盆和吕宋岛弧蛇绿岩等洋壳在内的白垩纪洋盆.根据形成年代和形成时的扩张方向可将四国—帕里西维拉块体分为两部分:四国海盆和帕里西维拉海盆,两者以索夫干断裂为界.伊豆—博宁—马里亚纳块体沿博宁高原南缘分为南北两部分,两者表现出不同的地质特征.%Philippine Sea Plate(PSP) is a unique minor plate close to China mainland.Except for the complicated southern part,the tectonic boundaries of the PSP are clear,most of which consist of trenches.However,it is hard to divide the plate into the secondary even three-level units.Based on the research in the recent years and referring to block tectonic theory with the principals of unitary geophysical field,similar crustal structure and organic genesis,the PSP is partitioned into three units with different evolutionary history,i.e.West Philippine Sea Block (WPSB),Shikoku-Parece Vela Block (SPB)and Izu-Bonin-Mariana Block (IBMB).The WPSB consists of two major parts,Cenozoic oceanic basin (west Philippine Basin)which was opened between two opposed subduction zones,rotated clockwise to the present place and culminated at ca.30 Ma

  2. Stratigraphic assessment of the Arcelia Teloloapan area, southern Mexico: implications for southern Mexico's post-Neocomian tectonic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral-Cano, E.; Lang, H. R.; Harrison, C. G. A.

    2000-10-01

    Stratigraphic assessment of the "Tierra Caliente Metamorphic Complex" (TCMC) between Arcelia and Teloloapan in southern Mexico, based on photo interpretation of Landsat Thematic Mapper images and field mapping at the 1:100,000 scale, tests different tectonic evolution scenarios that bear directly on the evolution of the southern North American plate margin. The regional geology, emphasizing the stratigraphy of a portion of the TCMC within the area between Arcelia and Teloloapan is presented. Stratigraphic relationships with units in adjacent areas are also described. The base of the stratigraphic section is a chlorite grade metamorphic sequence that includes the Taxco Schist, the Roca Verde Taxco Viejo Formation, and the Almoloya Phyllite Formation. These metamorphic units, as thick as 2.7 km, are covered disconformably by a sedimentary sequence, 2.9 km thick, composed of the Cretaceous marine Pochote, Morelos, and Mexcala Formations, as well as undifferentiated Tertiary continental red beds and volcanic rocks. The geology may be explained as the evolution of Mesozoic volcanic and sedimentary environments developed upon attenuated continental crust. Our results do not support accretion of the Guerrero terrane during Laramide (Late Cretaceous-Paleogene) time.

  3. Field Observations of Crustal Seismic Anisotropy: Implications for Mapping Tectonic Structure in Metamorphic Terranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, N. I.; Okaya, D.; Meltzer, A.; Brocher, T.; Holbrook, W. S.

    2003-12-01

    The study of seismic anisotropy within continental tectonic provinces provides earth scientists with a powerful tool for measuring and quantifying deformation within the crust. Preferred mineral alignment observed in metamorphic terranes produced by recrystallization during metamorphism is associated with planar structures such as slaty cleavage, schistosity, and gneissic layering. These structures are often pervasive for tens to hundreds of kilometers and produce significant compressional wave seismic anisotropy as well as shear wave splitting. Observations of crustal anisotropy within (1) slates of the chlorite subzone of the Haast schist terrane of South Island, New Zealand, (2) lower greenschist facies phyllites and metagraywackes of the Valdez Group Chugach terrane in southern Alaska, (3) amphibolite facies mica schists within the Yukon-Tanana terrane in the eastern Alaska range and (4) amphibolite facies quartzofeldspathic gneisses, approaching granulite grade, within the Nanga Parbat-Haramosh massif demonstrate that crustal anisotropy is not limited to rocks of any particular metamorphic grade and thus can be present at all crustal levels. Two refraction lines at approximately right angles shown up to 10% compressional wave anisotropy in relatively low grade metapelites of the Haast schist terrane. Fast velocities parallel the strike of the upturned slaty cleavage. Measured field velocities in the Chugach terrane, obtained from observed first arrival travel times, demonstrate significant compressional wave anisotropy (~9%) with fastest directions oriented approximately east-west and parallel to foliations observed in outcrops. Within the Alaskan Yukon-Tanana terrane variations in seismic velocities of the first arrivals correlate with field observations of regional dips of foliated schists. A northward shallowing of foliation dips produces an observed northward increasing seismic velocity. The core of the Nanga-Parbat massif forms a large-scale antiformal

  4. Petrogenesis and tectonic implications of Early Jurassic volcanic rocks of the Raohe accretionary complex, NE China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhi-Hui; Ge, Wen-Chun; Yang, Hao; Bi, Jun-Hui; Ji, Zheng; Dong, Yu; Xu, Wen-Liang

    2017-02-01

    The Raohe accretionary complex, located at the border between the Russian Far East and Northeastern China, is a significant part of the western Pacific Oceanic tectonic regime. Due to lack of precise age and geochemical constraints, the tectonic setting and petrogenesis of the magmatic rocks in this area remain undefined, resulting in debate about crustal growth mechanisms and subduction-related accretionary processes in Northeastern China. Here, we report whole-rock major and trace element and Sr-Nd isotope data, together with zircon U-Pb ages and in situ zircon Hf isotope data for calc-alkaline andesites, dacites, rhyolites, rhyolitic crystal tuffs, Nb-enriched andesites and basaltic andesites, and high-Mg andesites of the Raohe accretionary complex in NE China. Samples were collected from Late Triassic to Early Jurassic strata. However, geochronological results in this study indicated that the studied magmatism occurred in the Early Jurassic (187-174 Ma). The calc-alkaline volcanic rocks possess geochemical characteristics typical of arc magmas that form at active continental margins, such as moderate enrichments in large ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and light rare earth elements (LREEs), and depletions in high field strength elements (HFSEs). They have positive εHf(t) values of +3.4 to +10.6 and relatively high (87Sr/86Sr)i values of 0.7047-0.7102. While the Nb-enriched andesites and basaltic andesites have higher TiO2, Hf, Nb, and Zr contents and higher Nb/Ta (24.0-87.6), Nb/U (11.9-75.9), (Nb/Th)PM (0.67-2.70), and (Nb/La)PM (1.95-5.00) ratios than typical arc basalts. They have negative εNd(t) values (-5.5 to -6.0) and relatively variable (87Sr/86Sr)i values of 0.7047-0.7114, suggesting an origin via the partial melting of mantle wedge peridotite that had been metasomatized by slab-derived melt. The high-Mg volcanic rocks, characterized by high MgO and Mg#, TiO2, Al2O3, Cr, Ni, (La/Yb)N and (La/Sm)N, but low Ba/Th ratios, are geochemically similar to

  5. Tectonic isolation of the Levant basin offshore Galilee-Lebanon effects of the Dead Sea fault plate boundary on the Levant continental margin, eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schattner, U.; Ben-Avraham, Z.; Lazar, M.; Hüebscher, C.

    2006-11-01

    The continental margin of the central Levant, offshore northern Israel and southern Lebanon is characterized by a sharp continental-oceanic crustal transition, exhibited on the bathymetry as a steep continental slope. At the base of the slope a narrow zone of faulting deforms the upper Messinian-recent sedimentary sequence. Further into the basin no major deformations are observed. However, onland a restraining bend along the Dead Sea fault plate boundary results in the formation of the Lebanon and anti-Lebanon mountain ranges, which exhibit a large positive isostatic anomaly not compensated at depth. All these geologic features follow a NNE-SSW trend. A dense network of multi-channel and single-channel seismic profiles, covering 5000 km of ship-track offshore northern Israel and southern Lebanon, was analyzed for the purpose of characterizing the continental margin. Additional seismic surveys covering the area between the Levant margin and the Cyprean arc were examined. Data were then incorporated with magnetic, gravity and earthquake measurements to reveal the deep crustal structure of the area and integrated with bathymetry data to describe the behavior of the young sedimentary basin fill. Results indicate that the Levant basin, offshore northern Israel and southern Lebanon (up to Beirut) is more-or-less unaffected by the intense tectonic deformation occurring onland. The transition between the deformed area onland and the undeformed Levant basin occurs along the base of the continental slope. Along the base, the upper Messinian-recent sedimentary sequence is cut by two sets of faults: shallow growth faults resulting from salt tectonics and high angle faults, marking the surface expression of a deeper crustal discontinuity - the marine extension of the Carmel fault zone. The central Levant continental margin is being reactivated by transpressional faulting of the marine continuation of the Carmel fault, at the base of the continental slope. This fault system

  6. Postcrystallization thermal evolution history of Gangdese batholithic zone and its tectonic implication

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈文寄; 李齐; 郝杰; 周新华; 万京林; 孙敏

    1999-01-01

    Using cooling curves of K-feldspars obtained by using specific 40Ar/39Ar stepe heating procedure and multiple diffusion domain modeling (MDD model), together with results of dating hornblends, biotite, and apatite, further work has been done to examine the characteristics of the postcrystallization thermal evolution history of Gangdese batholithic zone, to compare the starting times of rapid cooling events with the variation regularities of apatite fission track (FT) ages in the eastern and western parts of Gangdese batholithic zone, and to provide the evidence for mass transport and energy transfers in the lithosphere after the collision between Indian and Eurasian plates.

  7. Paleomagnetic investigation of the Early Permian Panjal Traps of NW India; regional tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stojanovic, Denis; Aitchison, Jonathan C.; Ali, Jason R.; Ahmad, Talat; Dar, Reyaz Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    The ∼289 Ma Panjal Traps of NW India (Kashmir) are part of a series of rift-related mafic suites (Abor, Sikkim etc.) that were erupted onto northern India (present-day coordinates) around the same time as separation of the Cimmerian blocks of Qiangtang and Sibumasu. We report new data from only the second paleomagnetic investigation of this unit. Standard alternating field and thermal demagnetization methods were used to isolate characteristic magnetizations from seven outcrops at three locations within the Kashmir Valley, NW India. Analysis of four sections (14 individual cooling units) from close to Srinagar, that together form a tectonically coherent sequence spanning ∼3 km of stratigraphy, yield a single-component, primary magnetization with a mean direction of Dec: 134.8°, Inc: 55.3° (α95 = 8.9°, k = 21.0). An inclination-only mean of 52.5° (α95 = 8.9°, k = 47.2) gives a paleolatitude of ∼33°S (±5°). A paleopole of 110.5°E 8.4°S (A95 = 10.7) is also calculated. Assuming the magnetization records a portion of the reverse polarity Kiaman Superchron, the new result indicates extrusion of the Panjal Traps basalts at mid-latitudes in the southern hemisphere. By inference this constrains the location of central Gondwana, and informs debates related to Cimmeria's detachment from Gondwana.

  8. Faulting at Thebes Gap, Mo. -Ill. : Implications for New Madrid tectonism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrison, R.W.; Schultz, A.P. (Geological Survey, Reston, VA (United States))

    1992-01-01

    Recent geologic mapping in the Thebes Gap area has identified numerous NNE- and NE-striking faults having a long-lived and complex structural history. The faults are located in an area of moderate recent seismicity at the northern margin of the Mississippi embayment, approximately 45 km north of the New Madrid seismic zone. Earliest deformation occurred along dextral strike-slip faults constrained as post-Devonian and pre-Cretaceous. Uplift and erosion of all Carboniferous strata suggest that this faulting is related to development of the Pascola arch (Ouachita orogeny). This early deformation is characterized by strongly faulted and folded Ordovician through Devonian rocks overlain in places with angular unconformity by undeformed Cretaceous strata. Elsewhere, younger deformation involves Paleozoic, Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Eocene formations. These units have experienced both minor high-angle normal faulting and major, dextral strike-slip faulting. Quaternary-Tertiary Mounds Gravel is also involved in the latest episode of strike-slip deformation. Enechelon north-south folds, antithetic R[prime] shears, and drag folds indicate right-lateral motion. Characteristic positive and negative flower structures are commonly revealed in cross section. Right-stepping fault strands have produced pull-apart basins where Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Cretaceous, and Tertiary units are downdropped several hundreds of meters and occur in chaotic orientations. Similar fault orientations and kinematics, as well as recent seismicity and close proximity, clearly suggest a structural relationship between deformation at Thebes Gap and tectonism associated with the New Madrid area.

  9. Fault plane solutions of the 1993 and 1995 Gulf of Aqaba earthquakes and their tectonic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Ibrahim

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available The stereographic projection of P-wave first motions for the 3 August 1993 Gulf of Aqaba earthquake, its largest aftershock (16 h 33 min, and for the 22 November 1995 earthquake were constructed using the polarity readings of regional and teleseismic stations. The focal mechanism solutions of the 3 August 1993 mainshock and its largest aftershock represent a normal faulting mechanism with some left lateral strike slip component. The nodal planes selected as the fault imply high similarity in strike and dip. They are related to a local fault striking NW-SE and dipping to the SW. The selected fault planes are in good agreement with the aftershock distribution. For the main shock of the 22 November 1995, the fault plane solution displays the same mechanism (normal faulting with left lateral strike slip component with a plane striking N-S and dipping to the west. The fault plane is greatly conformable with the direction of the regional tectonics and also with the aftershock distribution. The main trend of the extension stress pattern is in a NE-SW direction, corresponding to the rifting direction of the Gulf of Suez and may be related to the paleostress along the Gulf of Suez and Aqaba during the Middle to Late Miocene.

  10. Caledonian granitoids in the Jinxiu area, Guangxi, South China: Implications for their tectonic setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaofeng; Yu, Yong; Wang, Chunzeng

    2017-02-01

    Jinxiu area is tectonically located between the Cathaysia and Yangtze blocks of South China. The area has three granitic plutons, Dajin, Boquan, and Lingzu plutons. Geochemically the plutons are high-K calc-alkaline, depleted in Ba, Sr, P, and Ti and rich in Pb, with decoupled Nb and Ta, and show non-island-arc magmatic affinity. Biotite monzogranite samples collected from the Dajin, Boquan, and Lingzu plutons yield zircon SHRIMP 206Pb/238U ages of 419.0 ± 5.0 Ma, 436.0 ± 4.0 Ma, and 446.1 ± 8.2 Ma, respectively, indicating that the plutons were emplaced during the Late Ordovician to Late Silurian of the Caledonian time. The granodiorite within the Lingzu biotite monzogranite pluton yields a zircon 206Pb/238U age of 174.5 ± 1.9 Ma, indicating a superimposed Late Jurassic magmatic event. The monzogranites and their enclaves show εNd(t) values of - 14.7 to - 11.1 and - 8.0 respectively and TDM2 values of 2.1-2.4 Ga and 1.8 Ga, respectively, demonstrating that the magmas were derived from re-melted Paleoproterozoic continental crust. Based on geochronology and geochemistry of the granitic plutons, as well as regional stratigraphy and paleontology, it is concluded that any existence of oceanic crust and oceanic subduction was unlikely in the Jinxiu area and vicinity during the Paleozoic Caledonian Ordovician-Silurian time.

  11. Tectonic Implications of Canyon Directions Over the Northeast Atlantic Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallemand, Serge; Sibuet, Jean-Claude

    1986-12-01

    The basis of this study is a new bathymetric map of the northeast Atlantic compiled from previously published maps made from conventional echosounder data, plus all Sea Beam data acquired on board the R/V JEAN CHARCOT since 1977. As most of the Sea Beam data have been obtained on the continental margin from Porcupine Seabight to the south of the Iberian Peninsula, a precise picture of the continental slope is given. A statistical analysis of the canyons, based on 750 measurements, reveals that many of the canyons present sharp changes in their direction, indicating a structural control mainly linked to the late Hercynian trends, especially around the Iberian Peninsula. Nevertheless, the paths of canyons may merely reflect recent gravity processes, as in the Porcupine Seabight. Canyons locally follow the directions of listric and associated transecting faults (Permian to Triassic and upper Jurassic to lower Cretaceous), as on the Celtic margin, and every type of tectonic lineament—for example, the North Pyrenean Paleogene thrust front which fringes the Gouf of Cap Breton. A comparison of diagrams for the northern and southern Bay of Biscay margin (especially trends predating the opening) is compatible with a 25° rotation of Iberia with respect to Europe.

  12. Cambrian Kherlen ophiolite in northeastern Mongolia and its tectonic implications: SHRIMP zircon dating and geochemical constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, Laicheng; Baatar, Munkhtsengel; Zhang, Fochin; Anaad, Chimedtseren; Zhu, Mingshuai; Yang, Shunhu

    2016-09-01

    The Kherlen terrane, which contains the Kherlen ophiolitic complex, is located between two Precambrian continental blocks in the northeastern Mongolia. We present new geochemical and SHRIMP zircon U-Pb data for the Kherlen ophiolitic complex and for granitic plutons intruding the complex, providing constraints on the regional evolution in Early Paleozoic time. The Kherlen ophiolite, which is geochemically similar to SSZ-type ophiolites, was originated from two distinct mantle sources, a N-MORB-like source and an E-MORB-like source. A gabbro and a plagiogranite dike intruding the gabbro from the Kherlen ophiolite yielded similar SHRIMP zircon U-Pb ages of ca. 500 Ma, suggesting that the ophiolite formed in Late Cambrian time. Post- or syn-collisional granites intruding the ophiolitic complex yielded crystallization ages of ca. 440 Ma, which is interpreted to record the minimum age of the tectonic emplacement of the ophiolite. These new data demonstrate that the Kherlen ophiolite belt is an Early Paleozoic suture between the Ereendavaa and the Idermeg continental terranes, which is generally coeval with the Bayankhongor belt in central Mongolia, indicating that they are regionally correlated, and thus they define a major Early Paleozoic suture between two Precambrian continental blocks in the central-northeastern Mongolia.

  13. U-Pb (Zircon Ages of Metavolcanic Rocks From the Itaiacoca Group: Tectonic Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswaldo Siga Jr.

    2003-08-01

    Full Text Available The main aim of this work is to present and discuss the U-Pb ages obtained for zircon grains from metavolcanic rocks of theItaiacoca Group. The Itaiacoca Group is a metavolcano-sedimentary sequence, which occurs as a narrow belt between theCunhaporanga granitic batholith to the northwest and the Itapirapuã shear zone to the south and southwest, which separates thesequence from the Três Córregos granite batholith and metasedimentary rocks of the Açungui Group. Geological studies of thesouthern part of the Itaiacoca belt led to the recognition of three units, represented (from base to top by metawackes with animportant volcanic component, metacarbonate, and metapelitic and metapsammitic rocks. The U-Pb geochronological analyses ofzircon grains from two outcrops of metavolcanic rocks yield ages of 628 ± 18 Ma (SHRIMP and 636 ± 30 Ma (conventional multigrainanalyses. These ages are quite close to the metamorphic event recorded in the Itaiacoca Group (628 – 610 Ma, suggesting ashort interval between the formation of these rocks and closure of the basin. Furthermore, this volcanism is very close to the age offormation of the Três Córregos (630 Ma and Cunhaporanga (590 Ma granitic batholiths, admitted as associated with a probablemagmatic arc. Such an isotopic pattern characterizes a Neoproterozoic tectonic scenario involving volcanism, metamorphism andgranitic plutonism, interpreted here as the final stages in the evolution of the Itaiacoca Basin.

  14. Geomorphic observations from southwestern terminus of Palghat Gap, south India and their tectonic implications

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Yogendra Singh; Biju John; G P Ganapathy; Abhilash Abhilash George; S Harisanth; K S Divyalakshmi; Sreekumari Kesavan

    2016-06-01

    The region around Wadakkancheri, Trichur District, Kerala is known for microseismic activity, since1989. Studies, subsequent to 2nd December 1994 (M=4.3) earthquake, identified a south dippingactive fault (Desamangalam Fault) that may have influenced the course of Bharathapuzha River. Theongoing seismicity is concentrated on southeast of Wadakkancheri and the present study concentratedfurther south of Desamangalam Fault. The present study identifies the northwestern continuity of NW–SE trending Periyar lineament, which appears to have been segmented in the area. To identify the subtlelandform modifications induced by ongoing tectonic adjustments, we focused on morphometric analysis.The NW–SE trending lineaments appear to be controlling the sinuosity of smaller rivers in the area,and most of the elongated drainage basins follow the same trend. The anomalies shown in conventionalmorphometric parameters, used for defining basins, are also closely associated with the NW–SE trendingPeriyar lineament/s. A number of brittle faults that appear to have been moved are consistent withthe present stress regime and these are identified along the NW–SE trending lineaments. The currentseismic activities also coincide with the zone of these lineaments as well as at the southeastern endof Periyar lineament. These observations suggest that the NW–SE trending Periyar lineaments/faultsmay be responding to the present N–S trending compressional stress regime and reflected as the subtlereadjustments of the drainage configuration in the area.

  15. Climatic and tectonic implications of the late Miocene Jakokkota flora, Bolivian Altiplano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory-Wodzicki, Kathryn M.; McIntosh, W. C.; Velasquez, Kattia

    1998-12-01

    When compared to a database of modern foliar physiognomy and climate, the physiognomy of a new collection of dicotyledonous leaves from the 10.66±0.06 Ma Jakokkota flora, Bolivian Altiplano, implies a mean annual temperature (MAT) of 18.6-21.0±2.5°C. Similarly, a literature-derived sample of the early-middle Miocene Potosı´flora, Cordillera Oriental, implies a MAT of 21.5-21.7±2.1°C. We estimate that both floras experienced a growing season precipitation of 50±40 cm. The paleoclimate thus appears considerably warmer than the current highland climate, with MATs of 8-9°C; the paleoprecipitation is indistinguishable from modern levels. A comparison of the Miocene MATs with the modern MATs, with the effects of latitudinal continental drift and global climate change subtracted, suggests that the Jakokkota flora grew at an elevation of 590-1610±1000 m, and the Potosı´flora grew at an elevation of 0-1320±1000 m. Both paleoelevation estimates are significantly lower than the present elevations of 3940 and 4300 m, respectively, requiring a substantial component of Andean uplift since 10.7 Ma. This uplift history is consistent with two-stage tectonic models of Andean orogeny.

  16. Neogene marine isotopic evolution and the erosion of Lesser Himalayan strata: Implications for Cenozoic tectonic history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myrow, Paul M.; Hughes, Nigel C.; Derry, Louis A.; Ryan McKenzie, N.; Jiang, Ganqing; Webb, A. Alexander G.; Banerjee, Dhiraj M.; Paulsen, Timothy S.; Singh, Birendra P.

    2015-05-01

    An extensive, northward deepening blanket of Neoproterozoic and Cambrian sedimentary rocks once extended from the Himalayan margin far onto the Indian craton. Cambrian deposits of this "upper Lesser Himalayan" succession, which include deposits of the "outer" Lesser Himalaya tectonic unit, are enriched in radiogenic 187Os. They make up part of a proximal marine facies belt that extends onto the craton and along strike from India to Pakistan. By contrast, age-equivalent facies in the Tethyan Himalaya are more distal in nature. Neoproterozoic to Cambrian strata of the upper Lesser Himalayan succession are now missing in much of the Lesser Himalaya, with their erosion exposing older Precambrian Lesser Himalayan strata. We suggest that exhumation and weathering of the upper Lesser Himalaya and related strata caused dramatic changes in the 187Os/188Os and 87Sr/86Sr Neogene record of seawater starting at ∼ 16 Ma. First-order estimates for the volume of upper Himalayan strata, as well as the volume of all LH rock eroded since this time, and geochemical box modeling, support this idea. Exhumation at 16 Ma is a fundamental event in the evolution of the Himalayan orogeny and the geochemical evolution of the oceans, and will be a critical part of the construction of future models of Himalayan thrust belt evolution.

  17. The Deep Electrical Structure of Southern Taiwan and Its Tectonic Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Wen Chiang

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The Taiwan orogen has formed as a result of the arc-continent collision between the Eurasian continental margin and the Luzon volcanic arc over the last 5 million years and is the type example of an arc-continent collision. The tectonic processes at work beneath Taiwan are still debated; the available data have been interpreted with both thin-skinned and lithospheric collision models. In 2004, the Taiwan Integrated Geodynamical Research (TAIGER project began a systematic investigation of the crustal and upper mantle structure beneath Taiwan. TAIGER magnetotelluric (MT data from central Taiwan favor a thick-skinned model for that region. The Taiwan orogen becomes younger to the south, so the earlier stages of collision were investigated with a 100-km-long MT profile in southern Taiwan at latitude of 23.3¢XN. Data were recorded at 15 MT sites and tensor decomposition and two-dimensional inversion were applied to the MT data. The shallow electrical resistivity structure is in good agreement with surface geology. The deeper structure shows a major conductor in the mid-crust that can be explained by fluid content of 0.4 - 1.4%. A similar feature was observed in central Taiwan, but with a higher fluid content. The conductor in southern Taiwan extends to lower crustal depths and is likely caused by fluids generated by metamorphic reactions in a thickened crust. Together the central and southern Taiwan MT profiles show a crustal root beneath the Central Range.

  18. Crustal radial anisotropy in Northeast China and its implications for the regional tectonic extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Zhen; Yang, Yingjie; Chen, Y. John

    2016-10-01

    We obtain high-resolution Rayleigh and Love wave phase velocity maps from ambient noise tomography using data recorded by NECESSArray in Northeast China. The resulting radial anisotropic model from the joint inversion of Rayleigh and Love wave dispersion curves reveals strong relationship between the crustal radial anisotropy and tectonic provinces, that is, strong positive anisotropy (Vsh > Vsv) beneath the Songliao Basin and weak radial anisotropy beneath the Xinmeng Belt and Changbaishan Region. The Songliao Basin experienced widespread crustal extension during the late Mesozoic. We interpret the lower crustal anisotropy beneath the Songliao Basin as a result of ductile deformation during the rifting stage, which may lead to the alignment of anisotropic minerals and the observed strong radial anisotropy at present. In the northern Songliao Basin, where thick syn-rift and post-rift sediments (≥4 km) are believed to be present, we observe a broader lateral distribution of anisotropy with stronger amplitude compared with the southern basin. We suggest that the broader distribution of crustal radial anisotropy in the northern basin could be the consequence of outward lower crustal flow driven by the sedimentary loading during the post-rift stage, which is also proposed by previous numerical modeling.

  19. First-order estimate of the Canary Islands plate-scale stress field: Implications for volcanic hazard assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geyer, A.; Martí, J.; Villaseñor, A.

    2016-06-01

    In volcanic areas, the existing stress field is a key parameter controlling magma generation, location and geometry of the magmatic plumbing systems and the distribution of the resulting volcanism at surface. Therefore, knowing the stress configuration in the lithosphere at any scale (i.e. local, regional and plate-scale) is fundamental to understand the distribution of volcanism and, subsequently, to interpret volcanic unrest and potential tectonic controls of future eruptions. The objective of the present work is to provide a first-order estimate of the plate-scale tectonic stresses acting on the Canary Islands, one of the largest active intraplate volcanic regions of the World. In order to obtain the orientation of the minimum and maximum horizontal compressive stresses, we perform a series of 2D finite element models of plate scale kinematics assuming plane stress approximation. Results obtained are used to develop a regional model, which takes into account recognized archipelago-scale structural discontinuities. Maximum horizontal compressive stress directions obtained are compared with available stress, geological and geodynamic data. The methodology used may be easily applied to other active volcanic regions, where a first order approach of their plate/regional stresses can be essential information to be used as input data for volcanic hazard assessment models.

  20. Geochemical and tectonic relationships in the east Indonesian arc-continent collision region: Implications for the subduction of the Australian passive margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bergen, M. J.; Vroon, P. Z.; Hoogewerff, J. A.

    1993-07-01

    Van Bergen, M.J., Vroon, P.Z. and Hoogewerff, J.A., 1993. Geochemical and tectonic relationships in the east Indonesian arc-continent collision region: implications for the subduction of the Australian passive margin. In: M.J.R. Wortel, U. Hansen and R. Sabadini (Editors), Relationships between Mantle Processes and Geological Processes at or near The Earth's Surface. Tectonophysics, 223: 97-116. Variations in the isotopic signatures of volcanics along the East Sunda Banda Arc reflect changes in the nature and amount of sedimentary material supplied by the northeast Indian Ocean floor and the adjacent Australian passive continental margin, which form the two major domains of the Indian Ocean plate that approach the arc system. A compilation of isotopic data for 200-500-km-long arc sectors shows that the trend in magmatic signatures follows distinct subduction/collision stages reached by the corresponding oceanic and continental-margin sections entering the trench system. Maximum amounts of magma source contamination are inferred for volcanics near an extinct sector north of Timor, where the Australian continent started to collide with the arc first. Pb-Nd isotopic source mixing models point to contamination by sediments with variations in composition, similar to observed along-arc changes in sediments entering the trench. The results indicate an increasing contribution of subducted continental material in the direction of the collision region. Mass-balance calculations, considering the magmatic output and minimum input of subducted continental material required to generate the composition of the volcanic arc in the collision region, are difficult to reconcile with subduction of ocean-floor sediments alone. Thicknesses of sediments presently covering oceanic crust near the margin are close to calculated thicknesses of the sediments fluxed into the trench and magmatically returned to the arc crust, but cannot account for the additional volumes of material accreted on

  1. Genesis of the Hongzhen metamorphic core complex and its tectonic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Guang; XIE ChengLong; XIANG BiWei; HU ZhaoQi; WANG YongSheng; LI Xing

    2007-01-01

    The Hongzhen metamorphic core complex is situated in the Yangtze plate to the east of the Dabie orogenic belt. Its ductile detachment zone in the foot wall overprints on the metamorphic complex of the Proterozoic Dongling Group. The present profile of the ductile shear zone with consistent SW-dipping mineral elongation lineation shows antiform and reversed S-shape from northeast to southwest respectively. Exposure structures, microstructures and quartz C-axis fabric all indicate top-to-SW movement for the ductile shear zone. Recrystallisation types of quartz and feldspar in the mylonites demonstrate that the shear zone was developed under the amphibolite facies condition and at mid-crust levels. The metamorphic core complex formed in the Early Cretaceous with a muscovite plateau age of 124.8±1.2 Ma. Regional NE-SW extension along a SW-dipping, gentle detachment zone was responsible for formation of the core complex. Intrusion of the Hongzhen granite with a biotite plateau age of 124.8±1.2 Ma rendered the ductile shear zone curved, uplifted and final localization of the core complex. The Hongzhen metamorphic core complex suggests that the Early Cretaceous magmatism in this region took place under the condition of regional extension and the eastern Yangtze plate also experienced lithospheric thinning.

  2. Genesis of the Hongzhen metamorphic core complex and its tectonic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The Hongzhen metamorphic core complex is situated in the Yangtze plate to the east of the Dabie oro- genic belt. Its ductile detachment zone in the foot wall overprints on the metamorphic complex of the Proterozoic Dongling Group. The present profile of the ductile shear zone with consistent SW-dipping mineral elongation lineation shows antiform and reversed S-shape from northeast to southwest respectively. Exposure structures, microstructures and quartz C-axis fabric all indicate top-to-SW movement for the ductile shear zone. Recrystallisation types of quartz and feldspar in the mylonites demonstrate that the shear zone was developed under the amphibolite facies condition and at mid-crust levels. The metamorphic core complex formed in the Early Cretaceous with a muscovite plateau age of 124.8±1.2 Ma. Regional NE-SW extension along a SW-dipping, gentle detachment zone was responsible for formation of the core complex. Intrusion of the Hongzhen granite with a biotite plateau age of 124.8±1.2 Ma rendered the ductile shear zone curved, uplifted and final localization of the core complex. The Hongzhen metamorphic core complex suggests that the Early Cretaceous magma- tism in this region took place under the condition of regional extension and the eastern Yangtze plate also experienced lithospheric thinning.

  3. Faulting within the Pacific plate at the Mariana Trench: Implications for plate interface coupling and subduction of hydrous minerals

    OpenAIRE

    Emry, E.L; Wiens, D.A; García-Castellanos, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    We investigate faulting within the incoming Pacific plate at the Mariana subduction trench to understand stresses within the bending plate, regional stresses acting upon the plate interface, and the extent of possible faulting-induced mantle serpentinization. We determine accurate depths by inverting teleseismic P and SH waveforms for earthquakes occurring during 1990-2011 with Global Centroid Moment Tensor (GCMT) solutions. For earthquakes with Mw 5.0+, we determine centroid depths and sourc...

  4. Structure of Palaeogene sediments in east Ellesmere Island: Constraints on Eurekan tectonic evolution and implications for the Nares Strait problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saalmann, K.; Tessensohn, F.; Piepjohn, K.; von Gosen, W.; Mayr, U.

    2005-08-01

    The "Nares Strait problem" represents a debate about the existence and magnitude of left-lateral movements along the proposed Wegener Fault within this seaway. Study of Palaeogene Eurekan tectonics at its shorelines could shed light on the kinematics of this fault. Palaeogene (Late Paleocene to Early Eocene) sediments are exposed at the northeastern coast of Ellesmere Island in the Judge Daly Promontory. They are preserved as elongate SW-NE striking fault-bounded basins cutting folded Early Paleozoic strata. The structures of the Palaeogene exposures are characterized by broad open synclines cut and displaced by steeply dipping strike-slip faults. Their fold axes strike NE-SW at an acute angle to the border faults indicating left-lateral transpression. Weak deformation in the interior of the outliers contrasts with intense shearing and fracturing adjacent to border faults. The degree of deformation of the Palaeogene strata varies markedly between the northwestern and southeastern border faults with the first being more intense. Structural geometry, orientation of subordinate folds and faults, the kinematics of faults, and fault-slip data suggest a multiple stage structural evolution during the Palaeogene Eurekan deformation: (1) The fault pattern on Judge Daly Promontory is result of left-lateral strike-slip faulting starting in Mid to Late Paleocene times. The Palaeogene Judge Daly basin formed in transtensional segments by pull-apart mechanism. Transpression during progressive strike-slip shearing gave rise to open folding of the Palaeogene deposits. (2) The faults were reactivated during SE-directed thrust tectonics in Mid Eocene times (chron 21). A strike-slip component during thrusting on the reactivated faults depends on the steepness of the fault segments and on their obliquity to the regional stress axes. Strike-slip displacement was partitioned to a number of sub-parallel faults on-shore and off-shore. Hence, large-scale lateral movements in the sum of 80

  5. Chronology and Geochemistry of Mesozoic Volcanic Rocks in the Linjiang Area, Jilin Province and their Tectonic Implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Yang; XU Wenliang; PEI Fuping; YANG Debin; ZHAO Quanguo

    2009-01-01

    Zircon U-Pb ages and geochemical analytical results are presented for the volcanic rocks of the Naozhigou, Ergulazi, and Sidaogou Formations in the Linjiang area, southeastern Jilin Province to constrain the nature of magma source and their tectonic settings. The Naozhigou Formation is composed mainly of andesite and rhyolite and its weighted mean 206Pb/238U age for 13 zircon grains is 2224±1 Ma. The Ergulazi Formation consists of basaltic andesite, basaltic trachyandesite, and andesite, and six grains give a weighted mean 206Pb/238U age of 131±4 Ma. The Sidaogou Formation consists mainly of trachyandesite and rhyolite, and six zircon grains yield a weighted mean 206Pb/238U age of113±4 Ma. The volcanic rocks have SiO2=60.24%-77.46%, MgO=0.36%-1.29% (Mg#=0.32-0.40) for the Naozhigou Formation, SiO2=51.60%-59.32 %, MgO=3.70 %-5.54% (Mg#=0.50-0.60) for the Ergulazi Formation, and SiO2=58.28%-76.32%, MgO=0.07%-1.20% (Mg#=0.14-0.46) for the Sidaogou Formation. The trace element analytical results indicate that these volcanic rocks are characterized by enrichment in light rare earth elements (LREEs) and large ion lithophile elements (LILEs), relative depletion in heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) and high field strength elements (HFSEs, Nb, Ta, and Ti), and negative Eu anomalies. Compared with the primitive mantle, the Mesozoic volcanic rocks in the Linjiang area have relatively high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7053-0.7083) and low eNd(t) values (-8.38 to -2.43), and display an EMII trend. The late Triassic magma for the Naozhigou Formation could be derived from partial melting of a newly accretional crust with the minor involvement of the North China Craton basement and formed under an extensional environment after the collision of the Yangtze Craton and the North China Craton. The Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks for the Ergulazi and Sidaogou Formations could be formed under the tectonic setting of an active continental margin related to the westward snbduction of

  6. Strike-slip faulting at Thebes Gap, Missouri and Illinois: Implications for New Madrid tectonism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Richard W.; Schultz, Art

    1994-04-01

    Numerous NNE and NE striking strike-slip faults and associated normal faults, folds, and transtensional grabens occur in the Thebes Gap area of Missouri and Illinois. These structures developed along the northwestern margin of the buried Reelfoot rift of Precambrian-Cambrian age at the northern edge of the Mississippi embayment. They have had a long-lived and complex structural history. This is an area of recent moderate seismicity, approximately 45 km north of the New Madrid seismic zone. Stratigraphic evidence suggests that these faults were active during the Middle Ordovician. They were subsequently reactivated between the Early Devonian and Late Cretaceous, probably in response to both the Acadian and Ouachita orogenies. Deformation during this period was characterized by strongly faulted and folded Ordovician through Devonian rocks. In places, these deformed rocks are overlain with angular unconformity by undeformed Cretaceous strata. Fault motion is interpreted as dominantly strike slip. A still younger period of reactivation involved Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic formations as young as the Miocene or Pliocene Mounds Gravel. These formations have experienced both minor high-angle normal faulting and subsequent major, right-lateral strike-slip faulting. En echelon north-south folds, ENE striking normal faults, regional fracture patterns, and drag folds indicate the right-lateral motion for this major episode of faulting which predates deposition of Quaternary loess. Several nondefinitive lines of evidence suggest Quaternary faulting. Similar fault orientations and kinematics, as well as recent seismicity and proximity, clearly suggest a structural relationship between deformation at Thebes Gap and tectonism associated with the New Madrid area.

  7. New paleomagnetic data from late Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of Novaya Zemlya Archipelago: tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abashev, Victor V.; Metelkin, Dmitry V.; Mikhaltsov, Nikolay E.; Vernikovsky, Valery A.; Matushkin, Nikolay Yu.

    2017-04-01

    New paleomagnetic data for Novaya Zemlya archipelago were obtained by processing the samples collection gathered during the 2014 field season. The paleomagnetic directions and paleomagnetic poles were determined from the Paleozoic sedimentary complexes located on the Southern Island (Upper Permian) and the Northern Island (Lower and Upper Devonian, Upper Carboniferous) of the archipelago. Positive fold and reversal tests indicate that the isolated paleomagnetic directions correspond to the primary magnetization components. The corresponding paleomagnetic pole are in good agreement with poles obtained earlier in the 1980s by E.L. Gurevich and I.A. Pogarskaya. Considering the confidence ovals, the paleomagnetic poles obtained for the sites of the Northern Island are located close to the corresponding path segment of the APWP of Europe. This means that at least since the early Devonian, the northern part of Novaya Zemlya Archipelago had a position that was close to its current position relatively to the Arctic margin of Europe and has not undergone significant shifts or rotations. However, the upper Permian paleomagnetic pole for the Southern Island is very different from the corresponding part of the European APWP. We are considering this pole position within a model, involving significant intraplate movement between the structures of the European and Siberian tectonic provinces until the Late Cretaceous. The sinistral strike-slips inferred by the model could have caused or were accompanying the opening of the Mesozoic rift system in Western Siberia. This event has reached its maximum within the South Kara basin and resulted in the north-westward (in geographic coordinates) displacement of the southern part of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago in relation to the Arctic margin of Europe and in the deformation of the Pay-Khoy-Novaya Zemlya margin, which caused its modern curved form. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, grant No. 14-37-00030 and the

  8. Geology of the Santa Elena Peninsula, Costa Rica and its implications for the tectonic evolution of the Central America-Caribbean region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lew, L.R.

    1985-01-01

    The Santa Elena Peninsula of Costa Rice represents an Aptian to Middle Eocene intraoceanic volcanic arc formed on a basement of serpentinized periodotite. This peridotite was probably part of the oceanic lithosphere formed at a spreading ridge which began to separate South America from North America in pre-Jurassic time. The arc resulted from northward subduction of oceanic crust along one ENE-trending trench about 70 km south of Santa Elena. The first phase of tectonism, arc volcanism, and sedimentation occurred in the area from Aptian to Campanian time. Carbonate bank limestone were deposited on the peridotite, which had been tilted and uplifted along E-W-trending high angle faults. A second volcanic arc developed above the limestone and was active until the Middle Eocene. From the Campanian to the Middle Eocene a forearc basin evolved south of the arc and a backarc basin north of it. A major Middle Eocene tectonic episode was associated with termination of activity of the Santa Elena subduction zone. This involved both thin-skinned deformation and reactivation of the steep basement faults to juxtapose peridotite and Campanian to Middle Eocene sediments. Existing models of the early plate tectonic evolution of the region, postulating initiation of spreading in the Jurassic, and development of a major transform in the Santa Elena area in the Cretaceous, are incompatible with the geology of the Santa Elena area. New models have been formulated genetically relating the structures in the Santa Elena tectonic province to northward subduction.

  9. Spiral tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan Asadiyan, Mohammad

    2014-05-01

    Spiral Tectonics (ST) is a new window to global tectonics introduced as alternative model for Plate Tectonics (PT). ST based upon Dahw(rolling) and Tahw(spreading) dynamics. Analogues to electric and magnetic components in the electromagnetic theory we could consider Dahw and Tahw as components of geodynamics, when one component increases the other decreases and vice versa. They are changed to each other during geological history. D-component represents continental crust and T-component represents oceanic crust. D and T are two arm of spiral-cell. T-arm 180 degree lags behind D-arm so named Retard-arm with respect to D or Forward-arm. It seems primary cell injected several billions years ago from Earth's center therefore the Earth's core was built up first then mantel and finally the crust was build up. Crust building initiate from Arabia (Mecca). As the universe extended gravitation wave swirled the earth fractaly along cycloid path from big to small scale. In global scale (order-0) ST collect continents in one side and abandoned Pacific Ocean in the other side. Recent researches also show two mantels upwelling in opposite side of the Earth: one under Africa (tectonic pose) and the other under Pacific Ocean (tectonic tail). In higher order (order-1) ST build up Africa in one side and S.America in the other side therefore left Atlantic Ocean meandered in between. In order-n e.g. Khoor Musa and Bandar-Deylam bay are seen meandered easterly in the Iranian part but Khoor Abdullah and Kuwait bay meandered westerly in the Arabian part, they are distributed symmetrically with respect to axis of Persian Gulf(PG), these two are fractal components of easterly Caspian-wing and westerly Black Sea-wing which split up from Anatoly. Caspian Sea and Black Sea make two legs of Y-like structure, this shape completely fitted with GPS-velocity map which start from PG and split up in the Catastrophic Point(Anatoly). We could consider PG as remnants of Ancient Ocean which spent up

  10. Paleomagnetism of Jurassic-Cretaceous basalts from the Franz Josef Land Archipelago: tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abashev, Victor; Mikhaltsov, Nikolay; Vernikovsky, Valery

    2015-04-01

    New paleomagnetic data were obtained from a total of 158 oriented samples collected from the Jurassic magmatic complexes exposed on the Franz Joseph Land Archipelago (FJL). The field work was conducted during 2011 field season. Present study was focused on the tholeiitic basaltic lava flows that crop out on the Hooker Island. The samples were subjected to a detailed step-wise thermal demagnetization in temperatures up to 600 deg C or alternating field demagnetization with maximum filed up to 140 mT. Natural remanent magnetization (NRM) was measured with a 2G cryogenic magnetometer or a JR-6A spin-magnetometer housed in a magnetically shielded room at the Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences. The main NRM carriers in the FJL samples are titanomagnetites with varying Ti-content. Magnetic remanence was unblocked in temperatures of 350-400 deg C. Some samples are characterized by unblocking temperatures of 560 deg C. The new paleomagnetic data were combined with those previously obtained from the early Cretaceous volcanics exposed on the FJL. A new mean paleomagnetic direction for the Jurassic rocks was calculated as D=78.3 deg, I=74.7 deg, a95=3.1 deg, k=194.3, N=13. A corresponding paleomagnetic pole is now located at Plat=62.1 deg; Plon=136.5 deg, A95=5.5 deg, K=63.6. New results suggest that the JFL occupied a significantly different position from that of the present day. However, in early Cretaceous the JFL was already located close to its present day position. We propose a rifting event between the North Barentz terrane (FJL and possibly Svalbard) and the counterpart of European tectonic domain. The rifting occurred during Early-Middle Jurassic. This event was accompanied by a significant shift of the FJL to the north-east for approximately 500 km. New results are in good agreement with a hypothesis that the FJL was passing over the Icelandic-Siberian hot spot during the Jurassic-Cretaceous time

  11. Tectonic implications of a paleomagnetic study of the Sarmiento Ophiolitic Complex, southern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapalini, A. E.; Calderón, M.; Singer, S.; Hervé, F.; Cordani, U.

    2008-06-01

    A paleomagnetic study was carried out on the Late Jurassic Sarmiento Ophiolitic Complex (SOC) exposed in the Magallanes fold and thrust belt in the southern Patagonian Andes (southern Chile). This complex, mainly consisting of a thick succession of pillow-lavas, sheeted dikes and gabbros, is a seafloor remnant of the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Rocas Verdes basin that developed along the south-western margin of South America. Stepwise thermal and alternating field demagnetization permitted the isolation of a post-folding characteristic remanence, apparently carried by fine grain (SD?) magnetite, both in the pillow-lavas and dikes. The mean "in situ" direction for the SOC is Dec: 286.9°, Inc: - 58.5°, α95: 6.9°, N: 11 (sites). Rock magnetic properties, petrography and whole-rock K-Ar ages in the same rocks are interpreted as evidence of correlation between remanence acquisition and a greenschist facies metamorphic overprint that must have occurred during latest stages or after closure and tectonic inversion of the basin in the Late Cretaceous. The mean remanence direction is anomalous relative to the expected Late Cretaceous direction from stable South America. Particularly, a declination anomaly over 50° is suggestively similar to paleomagnetically interpreted counter clockwise rotations found in thrust slices of the Jurassic El Quemado Fm. located over 100 km north of the study area in Argentina. Nevertheless, a significant ccw rotation of the whole SOC is difficult to reconcile with geologic evidence and paleogeographic models that suggest a narrow back-arc basin sub-parallel to the continental margin. A rigid-body 30° westward tilting of the SOC block around a horizontal axis trending NNW, is considered a much simpler explanation, being consistent with geologic evidence. This may have occurred as a consequence of inverse reactivation of old normal faults, which limit both the SOC exposures and the Cordillera Sarmiento to the East. The age of tilting

  12. Rodinian granulites from southern Qiangtang terrane: Implications for tectonic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingyuan Yuan

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Bordered by the Longmu Co-Shuang Hu-Lancangjiang suture zone in the north and east, as well as the Bangong Nujiang suture zone in the south and west, the southern Qiangtang terrane is one of the least-studied blocks in the Tibetan region. The early tectonic evolution of the southern Qiangtang terrane has remained a controversy for a long time. Here we report granulites from the Tongka high-grade metamorphic complexes in the southern Qiangtang terrane. The mafic granulites occur as small lenses in the felsic granulites and leucogranites with peak mineral assemblage including garnet (core + diopside + low An plagioclase + quartz. The retrograde assemblage is represented by garnet (rim + pargasite + high An plagioclase + quartz. The fine-grained aggregates of feldspar + garnet + aluminosilicates + rutile around reddish-brown biotite relics in the felsic granulites are interpreted as products of partial melting of biotites. Thermobarometric estimates for the peak assemblages of the mafic rocks are P = 17.5 kbar and T = 811 °C, whereas the retrograde assemblages of the mafic rocks experienced decompression to P = 10.4 kbar, at T = 674 °C. Zircon texture and SIMS U-Pb data reveal that the felsic granulites were derived from Achaean to Proterozoic sedimentary rocks that underwent high-temperature metamorphism and transformation to paragneisses or granitoids at 1100 to 1000 Ma. During 950–900 Ma, the crystalline rocks were further buried deeply to be transformed into the felsic granulites. We therefore interpret the Tongka high-grade metamorphic complexes to be a portion of the Rodinian continental collision belt. Evidently some domains of the Rodinian continental crust were thickened during the Grenville events, similar to the more recent processes in the Himalaya and Tibetan plateau. The Tongka high-grade metamorphic complexes which form the basement of the southern Qiangtang terrane was subsequently disrupted and

  13. Geochronology and Geochemistry of Mafic Dikes from Hainan Island and Tectonic Implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAO Jianjin; HU Ruizhong; LIU Shen; XIE Guiqing

    2009-01-01

    In the present study, the major and trace element compositions, as well as Sr, Nd isotopic compositions and K-Ar age data in mafic dikes from Hainan Island, China, have been analyzed. Whole-rock K-Ar dating yielded a magmatic duration of 61-98 Ma for mafic dikes. Mafic dikes have a very high concentration of incompatible elements, for example, Ba, Rb, Sr, K, rare earth elements, and especially light rare earth elements (LREE), and negative anomalies of Nb, Ta, and Ti in the normalized trace element patterns. The initial ~(87)Sr/~(86)Sr ratios and εSr(t) of the mafic dikes are 0.70634-0.71193 and +27.7 to +112.2, respectively. In the ~(87)Sr/~(86)Sr versus εNd(t) diagram, the Hainan Island mafic dikes plot between fields for depleted mantle and enriched mantle type 2. All these characteristics show that the mantle (source region) of mafic dikes in this area experienced metasomatism by fluids relatively enriched in LREE and large ion lithophile elements. The genesis of Hainan Island mafic dikes is explained as a result of the mixing of asthenospheric mantle with lithospheric mantle that experienced metasomatism by the subduction of the Pacific Plate. This is different from the Hainan Island Cenozoic basaits mainly derived from depleted asthenospheric mantle, and possibly, minor metasomatised lithospheric mantle. This study suggests that the Mesozoic and Cenozoic lithospheric revolutions in Hainan Island can be divided into three stages: (1) the compression orogenesis stage before 98 Ma. The dominant factor during this stage is the subduction of the ancient Pacific Plate beneath this area. The lithospheric mantle changed into enriched mantle type 2 by metasomatism; (2) the thinning and extension stage during 61-98 Ma. The dominant factor during this stage is that the asthenospheric mantle invaded and corroded the lithospheric mantle; and (3) the large-scale thinning and extension stage after 61 Ma. The large-scale asthenospheric upwelling results in the strong

  14. Anomalous directional behaviour of the real parts of the induction arrows in the Eastern Alps: tectonic and palaeogeographic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Schnegg

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available The electromagnetic induction pattern in the Eastern Alps is characterised by a (continuous large-scale zone on which the real parts of the induction arrows show anomalous directional behaviour. This zone extends from the Penninic Domain of Eastern Switzerland (Graubünden probably into the Carpathian ranges. A coarse mesh of a Magnetotelluric (MT and Geomagnetic Deep Sounding (GDS station in the Alps of Graubünden and Valais (Western Switzerland indicates that this electromagnetic anomaly is restricted to the Mesozoic sediments of the North Penninic Bündnerschiefer-facies that begins in Eastern Switzerland and extends towards the east beneath Austroalpine, South Penninic and Southalpine units. Striking similarities in position and arrangement between this zone and the magnetic signature in the Eastern Alps are found. The analysis of the GDS data with the method of the Hypothetical Event Analysis (HEA shows that current channelling affects the electromagnetic fields in this zone and causes the anomalous direction of induction arrows. Based on the combined interpretation of GDS data from the Eastern Alps and West Hungary together with our recent data from Switzerland, the following geological implications are discussed: i a spatial decoupling of induction processes from the upper to the lower crust; ii a lower crustal conductive structure caused by the indentation of the Northern Adriatic promontory or terrane; iii the eastward continuation of the Bündnerschiefer-facies at least to the tectonic window of Rechnitz.

  15. Madagascar's escape from Africa: A high-resolution plate reconstruction for the Western Somali Basin and implications for supercontinent dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phethean, Jordan J. J.; Kalnins, Lara M.; van Hunen, Jeroen; Biffi, Paolo G.; Davies, Richard J.; McCaffrey, Ken J. W.

    2016-12-01

    Accurate reconstructions of the dispersal of supercontinent blocks are essential for testing continental breakup models. Here, we provide a new plate tectonic reconstruction of the opening of the Western Somali Basin during the breakup of East and West Gondwana. The model is constrained by a new comprehensive set of spreading lineaments, detected in this heavily sedimented basin using a novel technique based on directional derivatives of free-air gravity anomalies. Vertical gravity gradient and free-air gravity anomaly maps also enable the detection of extinct mid-ocean ridge segments, which can be directly compared to several previous ocean magnetic anomaly interpretations of the Western Somali Basin. The best matching interpretations have basin symmetry around the M0 anomaly; these are then used to temporally constrain our plate tectonic reconstruction. The reconstruction supports a tight fit for Gondwana fragments prior to breakup, and predicts that the continent-ocean transform margin lies along the Rovuma Basin, not along the Davie Fracture Zone (DFZ) as commonly thought. According to our reconstruction, the DFZ represents a major ocean-ocean fracture zone formed by the coalescence of several smaller fracture zones during evolving plate motions as Madagascar drifted southwards, and offshore Tanzania is an obliquely rifted, rather than transform, margin. New seismic reflection evidence for oceanic crust inboard of the DFZ strongly supports these conclusions. Our results provide important new constraints on the still enigmatic driving mechanism of continental rifting, the nature of the lithosphere in the Western Somali Basin, and its resource potential.

  16. Faulting within the Pacific plate at the Mariana Trench: Implications for plate interface coupling and subduction of hydrous minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emry, Erica L.; Wiens, Douglas A.; Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel

    2014-04-01

    We investigate faulting within the incoming Pacific plate at the Mariana subduction trench to understand stresses within the bending plate, regional stresses acting upon the plate interface, and the extent of possible faulting-induced mantle serpentinization. We determine accurate depths by inverting teleseismic P and SH waveforms for earthquakes occurring during 1990-2011 with Global Centroid Moment Tensor (GCMT) solutions. For earthquakes with Mw 5.0+, we determine centroid depths and source time functions and refine the fault parameters. Results from Central Mariana indicate that all earthquakes are extensional and occur at centroid depths down to 11 km below the Moho. At the Southern Mariana Trench, extensional earthquakes continue to 5 km below the Moho. One compressional earthquake at 34 km below the seafloor suggests stronger plate interface coupling here. In addition, we model the stress distribution within the Pacific plate along two bathymetric profiles extending seaward from the Mariana subduction trench axis to better understand whether our earthquake depth solutions match modeled scenarios for plate bending under applied external forces. Results from our flexure models match the locations of extensional and compressional earthquakes and suggest that the Pacific plate at Southern Mariana is experiencing larger, compressional stresses, possibly due to greater interplate coupling. Additionally, we conclude that if extensional faulting promotes the infiltration of water into the subducting plate mantle, then the top 5-15 km of the Pacific plate mantle are partially serpentinized, and a higher percentage of serpentinization is located near the Central Mariana trench where extensional events extend deeper.

  17. Petrogenesis and tectonic implications of Permian post-collisional granitoids in the Chinese southwestern Tianshan, NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Bin; Zhang, Lifei; Zhang, Lu

    2016-11-01

    Permian porphyritic granite and leucogranite from the Kekesu and Muzhaerte Valleys in the southwestern (SW) Tianshan orogenic belt, NW China have been studied to decipher their petrogenesis and tectonic implications. For porphyritic granite in the Kekesu Valley, in situ LA-ICPMS zircon U-Pb dating yields crystallization ages of 295-291 Ma. The granite is a high potassic calc-alkaline, slightly peraluminous type, enriched in large ion lithosphere elements (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE), but depleted in high field strength elements (HFSE). Zircon Hf isotopic analysis (zircon εHf(t) of -5.8 to -0.2, two-stage Hf model ages of 1323-1680 Ma) and Ti-in-zircon thermometry, which yields crystallization temperatures of 744-749 °C, indicate the parent magma was likely formed by partial melting of a Mesoproterozoic crustal source. By contrast, leucogranite in the Kekesu valley yields crystallization ages of 274-267 Ma. It contains muscovite and garnet, has high silicon and potassium, and is strongly peraluminous. Multiple inherited zircon cores and low zircon crystallization temperatures (687-701 °C), combined with negative zircon εHf(t) values (-7.0 to -4.0), indicate its parent magma was sourced from supracrustal metasedimentary rocks by muscovite-breakdown partial melting. In the Muzhaerte Valley, porphyritic granite has similar major and trace elements characteristics to the Kekesu porphyritic granite. However, its higher zircon εHf(t) values (-0.9 to +3.8) and corresponding lower two-stage Hf model ages (1070-1367 Ma) indicate that the parent magma likely included an input from a more juvenile mantle source. Ti-in-zircon thermometry gives lower crystallization temperature of ∼705 °C. The intrusive relationships between the Permian granitoids and Paleozoic arc plutons, and the LP-HT and (U)HP metamorphic belts, combined with geochronological studies, suggest that these Permian granitoids were generated in a post-collisional environment. It is

  18. Plate tectonics: Crustal recycling evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magni, Valentina

    2017-09-01

    The processes that form and recycle continental crust have changed through time. Numerical models reveal an evolution from extensive recycling on early Earth as the lower crust peeled away, to limited recycling via slab break-off today.

  19. Tectonic stress in the plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, R. M.; Solomon, S. C.; Sleep, N. H.

    1979-01-01

    In the present paper, the basic set of global intraplate stress orientation data is plotted and tabulated. Although the global intraplate stress field is complicated, several large-scale patterns can be seen. Much of stable North America is characterized by an E-W to NE-SW trend for the maximum compressive stress. South American lithosphere beneath the Andes, and perhaps farther east in the stable interior, has horizontal compressive stresses trending E-W to NW-SE. Western Europe north of the Alps is characterized by a NW-SE trending maximum horizontal compression, while Asia has the maximum horizontal compressive stress trending more nearly N-S, especially near the Himalayan front.

  20. Tectonic stress in the plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, R. M.; Solomon, S. C.; Sleep, N. H.

    1979-01-01

    In the present paper, the basic set of global intraplate stress orientation data is plotted and tabulated. Although the global intraplate stress field is complicated, several large-scale patterns can be seen. Much of stable North America is characterized by an E-W to NE-SW trend for the maximum compressive stress. South American lithosphere beneath the Andes, and perhaps farther east in the stable interior, has horizontal compressive stresses trending E-W to NW-SE. Western Europe north of the Alps is characterized by a NW-SE trending maximum horizontal compression, while Asia has the maximum horizontal compressive stress trending more nearly N-S, especially near the Himalayan front.

  1. Paleomagnetism of the Oligocene Kangtuo Formation red beds (Central Tibet): Inclination shallowing and tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jikai; Zhang, Shihong; Chen, Weiwei; Zhang, Junhong; Yang, Tianshui; Jiang, Gaolei; Zhang, Kexin; Li, Haiyan; Wu, Huaichun

    2015-05-01

    A paleomagnetic study on the red beds of the Oligocene Kangtuo Formation (Fm) was carried out in the Gerze Basin of the Lhasa terrane. A total of 700 samples were collected from 37 sites. Stepwise thermal demagnetization revealed that the main magnetic carrier is hematite. The natural remnant magnetization (NRM) consists of two components. A low-temperature component (LTC) is identified below 300 °C and is interpreted to be a recent viscous overprint, whereas a high temperature component (HTC) unblocks at ∼665-690 °C and is interpreted to be the primary magnetization. The HTC distributions show a clear east-west elongated distribution, which is considered as reflecting inclination flattening of deposited magnetic remanence carriers. After inclination calibration using the E/I method, the HTC could pass both a reversal test and a fold test at 95% confidence level, showing the mean direction at Ds = 340.3°, Is = 44.2°, with k = 63.0, and α95 = 3.1°, corresponding to a paleopole at 71.7°N, 339.3°E (A95 = 3.1°), and the paleolatitude of the sampling site at 25.9 ± 3.1°N. The paleolatitude is consistent with that expected from the coeval pole of the Qiangtang terrane obtained from volcanic rocks, suggesting that there has been no paleomagnetically-discernable latitudinal motion between the Qiantang and Lhasa terranes since ∼30 Ma. Comparing our new data with the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of East Asian blocks (Cogné et al., 2013), Europe, and India (Besse and Courtillot, 2002), we have reached the following conclusions. (1) There is no significant paleolatitudinal difference observed between the Lhasa terrane and other central and northern Asian terranes at ∼30 Ma. (2) The observed paleolatitude of the Kangtuo Fm is 8.0 ± 4.9° lower than the expected paleolatitude deduced from the data of stable Europe, highlighting the 'Asian inclination anomaly' phenomenon, but is 4.6 ± 5.1° higher than that deduced from the data of the India Plate

  2. Tectonic implications of post-folding Permian magnetizations in the Carapacha Basin, La Pampa province, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomezzoli, Renata N.; Melchor, Ricardo N.; MacDonald, William D.

    2006-10-01

    Paleomagnetic results from Permian clastic and igneous rocks of the Carapacha Basin of the Gondwáides orogenic zone of central Argentina are mainly consistent with results reported previously from the same zone further east, e.g., in the Sierra de la Ventana. Three lithologic entities were analysed: the lower member and upper member of the Carapacha Formation, and an andesite intrusive into the upper member. The directions of their characteristic remanences are similar, differ significantly from the present field direction, and are post-folding. The in situ magnetization directions are moreover consistent with directions expected for late Permian poles of the APWP for South America. The in situ pole for the lower Carapacha Formation is 70°S, 049°E, A95=11° (San Roberto pole); the pole for the upper Carapacha, combined with similar directions from the intrusive, is 64°S, 005°E, A95=5° (Río Curacó pole). These magnetizations imply that the Carapacha Formation, with a minimum age of early Late Permian (about 260 Ma.), was deformed before the end of the Permian. Structural evidence, as well as paleomagnetic, IRM, and AMS experimental results, support the interpretations. The paleogeographic implications of these results are interpreted as a significant counterclockwise movement of Gondwana between the early and the late Permian.

  3. U-Pb ages related to uranium mineralization of Lagoa Real, Bahia - Brazil: tectonic implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaves, Alexandre O.; Rios, Francisco J.; Oliveira, Lucilia A.R.; Alves, James V.; Fuzikawa, Kazuo; Neves, Jose M.C.; Chaves, Adriana M.D.V.; Prates, Sonia P. [Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN/CNEN-MG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil)]. E-mail: aoc@cdtn.br; Tubrett, Michael [Memorial University of Newfoundland, NL (Canada). Inco Innovation Centre. MicroAnalysis Facility; Matos, Evando C. [Industrias Nucleares do Brasil S.A. (INB), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2007-07-01

    The uranium from Lagoa Real (Bahia/Brazil) is associated with syenitic magmatism (1904 {+-}44 Ma minimum age from upper intercept of zircon U-Pb discordia by LA-ICP-MS) belonging to a mafic/ felsic lithologic association linked to the final stages of 2.05-1.80 Ga Orosirian Orogeny, which acted in the Paramirim Block. These syenitic rocks are rich not only in albite, but also in U-rich titanite (source of uranium). In association with the development of the Orosirian ductile shear zones, the syenites were crystallized and deformed. The metamorphic reactions, which include intense recrystallization of magmatic minerals, led uraninite to precipitate (1868 {+-} 69 Ma; U-Pb by LA-ICP MS) under Redox control. A second population of uraninites was also generated by shear zones reactivation during 0.6-0.5 Ga Brasiliano Orogeny (605 {+-} 170 Ma; U-Pb by LA-ICP-MS). The geotectonic implications are: a) the importance of the Orosirian event in the Paramirim Block during paleoproterozoic Sao Francisco/Congo Craton edification and b) the influence of the Brasiliano event in the Paramirim Block during the West-Gondwana assembly processes, indicated by the 605 {+-} 170 Ma uraninite (second population) age and by the 483 {+-} 100 Ma lower intercept of the metamorphosed syenite U-Pb discordia. (author)

  4. Active tectonics of the western tethyan himalaya above the underthrusting indian plate: The upper sutlej river basin as a pull-apart structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, James; Barazangi, Muawia

    1985-03-01

    Fault-bounded blocks and structural elements were mapped in the eastern Ladakh-Spiti and upper Sutlej River Basin located within the Tethyan Himalaya and to the southwest of the Karakorum fault zone mainly using LANDSAT Multispectral Scanner (MSS) band 5, band 7 (near-infrared) images with detailed analysis of smaller areas by interactive digital processing of false color images, and Returned Beam Vidicon (RBV) imagery in conjunction with available topographical, geological and seismological data. For the first time the Leo Pargil Horst and other nearby fault-bounded blocks located at the northwestern end of the upper Setlej River Basin were clearly revealed on the LANDSAT color composites. Shallow crustal seismicity is systematically related to the NNE-trending and N-trending normal faults of the Leo Pargil and nearby regions. Some of the aftershocks of the Kinnaur earthquake of January 19,1975 ( Ms = 6.8), appear to be associated with movement along the NNE-trending westbound fault of the Leo Pargil Horst and the nearby Kaurik-Chango fault. The main shock, however, is teleseismically located at about 30 km to the northwest of the Kaurik-Chango fault. Fault plane solutions of the main shock and two aftershocks indicate a large component of normal faulting. In map view, the upper Sutlej River Basin has an approximately rhomboidal shape and is located to the southwest of the Karakorum fault system. We suggest that this basin is a pull-apart between the NW-SE oriented, right-lateral, strike-slip Karakorum fault system and the high-angle faults near the southern boundary of the Tethyan Himalaya. The Leo Pargil Horst is the northwestern bounding fault block of this pull-apart. The active tectonic features in this part of the Tethyan Himalaya appear to reflect right-shear within the crust, and this is probably a consequence of oblique underthrusting of the Indian continental plate beneath the western Himalaya and southwestern Tibet during the Neogene and Quaternary

  5. Tectonic geomorphology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Burbank, Douglas West; Anderson, Robert S

    2012-01-01

    Tectonic geomorphology is the study of the interplay between tectonic and surface processes that shape the landscape in regions of active deformation and at times scales ranging from days to millions of years...

  6. 阿尔泰南缘晚石炭世淡色花岗岩的发现及其构造意义%Discovery of the Late Carboniferous Leucogranite in the Southern Altay Range and its Tectonic Implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    沈晓明; 张海祥; 马林

    2013-01-01

    在阿尔泰南缘的多摩拉克布拉克地区,新发现含石榴子石和白云母的淡色花岗岩侵入于早石炭世南明水组火山沉积地层中。LA-ICP-MS锆石U-Pb测年结果表明,淡色花岗岩形成于311±3 Ma的晚石炭世早期。该淡色花岗岩的发现及其年龄的确定,结合区域岩浆岩、变质岩和沉积学等资料分析,表明阿尔泰造山带南缘在~311 Ma前完成碰撞过程,并从此进入后碰撞时代。该发现为进一步研究阿尔泰造山带晚古生代构造演化提供了新的证据。%The time frame for the collision between Siberia Plate and Kazakhstan-Junggar Plate and the initiation of post-collision of the Southern Altay Range in the Late Paleozoic remain controversial. Paleozoic granitoid magmatism played an important role in the tectonic evolution of the Southern Altay Range and various origins of granitoids have been found in this region, including I-, S-, A-and M-type granitoids. Here, we report the newly discovered Duomolakebulake garnet-and muscovite-bearing leucogranite which intruded the Early Carboniferous Nanmingshui volcanic-sedimentary formation in the southern Altay Range. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating indicates that the leucogranite was generated in the early Late Carboniferous (311±3 Ma). As an important rock type for tectonic implications, leucogranite is considered to be generated in a post-collision setting. In combination with lithology data in this region, we suggest that the collision ended prior to~311 Ma in the southern Altay Range, and then evolved into the post-collisional stage. This new discovery may shed lights on the tectonic evolution of the Altay Range in the Late Paleozoic.

  7. Rates and Mechanisms of Solidification in Large Magma Bodies: Implications for Melt Extraction in all Tectonic Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanTongeren, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    As is observed in both experiment and theory, in the absence of hydrothermal convection, the majority of magma chamber heat loss occurs via conduction through the roof of the intrusion and into the cold country rock above. The formation of an upper solidification front (or Upper Border Series, UBS), recorded in the rocks both geochemically and texturally, is a natural outcome of the progression of the solidification front from the cold roof to the hot center of the magma chamber. There are, however, a few unique layered mafic intrusions for which little or no UBS exists. In this study, I examine the thermal evolution and crystallization rates of several classic layered intrusions as it is recorded in the extent of the preserved UBS. For those intrusions that have experienced crystallization at the roof, such as the Skaergaard Intrusion, the development of a UBS reduces the temperature gradient at the roof and effectively slows the rate of heat loss from the main magma body. However, for those intrusions that do not have an UBS, such as the Bushveld Complex, the cooling rate is controlled only by the maximum rate of conductive heat loss through the overlying roof rocks, which decreases with time. The implications are two-fold: (1) The relative thickness of the UBS in large intrusions may be the key to quantifying their cooling and solidification rates; and (2) The nature of the magma mush zone near the roof of an intrusion may depend principally on the long-term thermal evolution of the magma body. Particularly at the end stages of crystallization, when the liquids are likely to be highly evolved and high viscosities may inhibit convection, intrusions lacking a well-defined UBS may provide important insights into the mechanics of crystal-liquid separation, melt extraction, and compaction in felsic plutons as well as mafic intrusions. These results are important for long-lived (>500 kyr) or repeatedly replenished magma chambers in all tectonic settings.

  8. Performative Tectonics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holst, Malene Kirstine; Mullins, Michael; Kirkegaard, Poul Henning

    2010-01-01

    This paper studies two digital generative tools in terms of Performative Tectonics. Performative Tectonics is a term developed in the paper, which links the contemporary development of digital tools to the tectonic tradition of architecture. Within the theoretical framework of this definition...

  9. Geochemistry of the Caledonian Basic Volcanic Rocks at the South Margin of the Qinling Orogenc Belt,and Its Tectonic Implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1999-01-01

    The geochemistry of the basic volcanic rocks at the south margin of the Qinling orogenic belt(SMQOB) suggests that they were formed in an intraplate tectonic setting.The REE distribution patterns show these rocks are strongly enriched in LREE with high ∑REE, and their trace elements geochemistry is similar to that of contimental flood basalt.All the above evidence suggests that the Caledonian basic volcanic rocks in the SMQOB were tholeiitic basalts formed in an intraplate spreading-initial rift tectonic setting.The characteristics of regional geology and geochemistry indicate that there was an intraplate spreading-rift tectonic setting between the South Qingling block and the Yangtze block in the Caledonian epoch.The dynamic spreading in this district began in the Early Caledonian and then the intraplate spreadinginitial rifts were formed in the Late Caledonian.As a result of spreading of the Tethys and geodynamic processes in deep mantle ,the Mianlue-Huashan oceanic basin was formed between the Qinling block and the Yangtze block in Devonian,and the Qinling microplate was separated from the northern part of the Yangtze plate.

  10. Isotopic characteristics of shoshonitic rocks in eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau: Petrogenesis and its tectonic implication Isotopic characteristics of shoshonitic rocks in eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau: Petrogenesis and its tectonic implication

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG; Yuquan

    2001-01-01

    [1]Ding Chaojian, Wang Zeng, Shentu Baoyong, Nd, Sr isotopic characteristics of main mineralization rock bodies for the Yulong Cu ( Mo ) ore belt in eartern Tibet, Contribution to the Geology of the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Plateau (20) (in Chinese), [2]Beijing: Geological Publishing House, 1990, 226-230.[2]Zhang Yuquan, Xie Yingwen, Geochronology of Ailaoshan-Jinshajiang alkali-rich intrusive rocks and their Sr and Nd isotopic characteristics, Science in China, Ser. D, 1997, 40 (5): 522.[3]Ma Hongwen, Petrology and Mineralization of Granites in Yulong Porphyry Copper Belt (in Chinese), Tibet, Wuhan: China University of Geosciences Press, 1990, 112-119.[4]Zhang Yuquan, Xie Yingwen, Qiu Huaning et al., Shoshonitic series: Sr,Nd and Pb isotopic compositions of ore-bearing porphyry for Yulong copper ore belt in the eastern Tibet, Scientia Geological Sinica (in Chinese), 1998, 33 (3): 359.[5]Dosso, L., Murthy, V. R., A Nd isotopic study of the Kerguelen Island: Inference on riched oceanic mantle sources, Earth Planet Sci. Lett., 1980, (48): 268.[6]Lameyre, J., Marot, A., Ziminesv et al., Chronological evolution of the Kerguelen Island, syenite-granite ring complex, Nature, 1976, GB(26): 306. [7]Vollmer, R., Norry, M. J., Possible origin of K-rich volcanic rocks from Virunga, East Africa, by metasomatism of continental crustal materical: Pb Nd and Sr isotopic evidences, Earth Planet Sci. Lett., 1983, (64): 374.[8]Sun, S. S., McDonough, W. F., Chemical and isotopic systematics of oceanic basalts: implications for mantle composition and processes, in Magmatism in the Ocean Basins, (eds. Saunders, A. D., Norry, M. J.), Geological Society Special Publication, 1989, 42: 313.[9]Hart, S. R., A large-scale isotope anomaly in the southern Hemisphere mantle, Nature, 1984, 309: 753.[10]Zhang Yuquan, Xie Yingwen, Liang Huaying et al., Petrogenesis series and ore-bearing porphyries of the Yulong ccopper ore belt in eastern Tibet, Geochimica

  11. Implications for the tectonic transition zone of active orogeny in Hoping drainage basin, by landscape evolution at the multi-temporal timescale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Q.; Chen, R. F.; Lin, W.; Hsieh, P. S.

    2015-12-01

    In an actively orogeny the landscape are transient state of disequilibrium in response to climatic and tectonic inputs. At the catchment scale, sensitivity of river systems plays an important role in landscape evolution. Hoping drainage basin is located at the tectonic transition zone in the north-eastern Taiwan, where the behavior of Philippine Sea plate switches from overriding above the east-dipping Eurasian Continental plate to northward subducting under the Ryukyu arc. However, extensive deep-seated landslides, debris flow, and numerous large alluvial terraces can be observed, suggesting strong surface processes in t