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Sample records for plate tectonics rocks

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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 ...

  16. Carboniferous Bimodal Volcanic Rocks and Their Plate Tectonic Setting,Hainan Island

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    夏邦栋; 施光宇; 等

    1992-01-01

    The Carboniferous volcanic rocks in western Hainan Island consist of a series of oceanic tholeite and rhyoporphyrite,showing bimodal nature.Similar geochemical characters,in terms of abun-daces and relative rations of incompatible elements and REE and the REE patterns,between the basalt and continental rift-associated tholeiite indicate the occurrence of Late Paleozoic rifting in the area.The basaltic magma,with a low degree of evolution,was originated from deep mantle,show-ing contamination by low crustal material.The rhyolite is thought to be formed from partial melting of the continental crust by higher thermal flow in a rift environment rather than from fractional crystallization of a basaltic magma.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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

    2016-05-06

    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.

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Rheology of rock salt for salt tectonics modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-Yuan Li

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Numerical modeling of salt tectonics is a rapidly evolving field; however, the constitutive equations to model long-term rock salt rheology in nature still remain controversial. Firstly, we built a database about the strain rate versus the differential stress through collecting the data from salt creep experiments at a range of temperatures (20–200 °C in laboratories. The aim is to collect data about salt deformation in nature, and the flow properties can be extracted from the data in laboratory experiments. Moreover, as an important preparation for salt tectonics modeling, a numerical model based on creep experiments of rock salt was developed in order to verify the specific model using the Abaqus package. Finally, under the condition of low differential stresses, the deformation mechanism would be extrapolated and discussed according to microstructure research. Since the studies of salt deformation in nature are the reliable extrapolation of laboratory data, we simplified the rock salt rheology to dislocation creep corresponding to power law creep (n = 5 with the appropriate material parameters in the salt tectonic modeling.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Understanding tectonic stress and rock strength in the Nankai Trough accretionary prism, offshore SW Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huffman, Katelyn A.

    Understanding the orientation and magnitude of tectonic stress in active tectonic margins like subduction zones is important for understanding fault mechanics. In the Nankai Trough subduction zone, faults in the accretionary prism are thought to have historically slipped during or immediately following deep plate boundary earthquakes, often generating devastating tsunamis. I focus on quantifying stress at two locations of interest in the Nankai Trough accretionary prism, offshore Southwest Japan. I employ a method to constrain stress magnitude that combines observations of compressional borehole failure from logging-while-drilling resistivity-at-the-bit generated images (RAB) with estimates of rock strength and the relationship between tectonic stress and stress at the wall of a borehole. I use the method to constrain stress at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 808 and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site C0002. At Site 808, I consider a range of parameters (assumed rock strength, friction coefficient, breakout width, and fluid pressure) in the method to constrain stress to explore uncertainty in stress magnitudes and discuss stress results in terms of the seismic cycle. I find a combination of increased fluid pressure and decreased friction along the frontal thrust or other weak faults could produce thrust-style failure, without the entire prism being at critical state failure, as other kinematic models of accretionary prism behavior during earthquakes imply. Rock strength is typically inferred using a failure criterion and unconfined compressive strength from empirical relations with P-wave velocity. I minimize uncertainty in rock strength by measuring rock strength in triaxial tests on Nankai core. I find strength of Nankai core is significantly less than empirical relations predict. I create a new empirical fit to our experiments and explore implications of this on stress magnitude estimates. I find using the new empirical fit can decrease stress

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.…

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Tectonic constraints on a deep-seated rock slide in weathered crystalline rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrelli, Luigi; Gullà, Giovanni

    2017-08-01

    Deep-seated rock slides (DSRSs), recognised as one of the most important mass wasting processes worldwide, involve large areas and cause several consequences in terms of environmental and economic damage; they result from a complex of controlling features and processes. DSRSs are common in Calabria (southern Italy) where the complex geo-structural setting plays a key role in controlling the geometry of the failure surface and its development. This paper describes an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to investigate a DSRS in Palaeozoic high-grade metamorphic rocks of the Sila Massif; it focuses on the definition of the internal structure and the predisposing factors of the Serra di Buda landslide near the town of Acri, which is a paradigm for numerous landslides in this area. An integrated interdisciplinary study based on geological, structural, and geomorphological investigations-including field observations of weathering grade of rocks, minero-petrographic characterisations, geotechnical investigations and, in particular, fifteen years of displacement monitoring-is presented. Stereoscopic analysis of aerial photographs and field observations indicate that the Serra di Buda landslide consists of two distinct compounded bodies: (i) an older and dormant body ( 7 ha) and (ii) a more recent and active body ( 13 ha) that overlies the previous one. The active landslide shows movement linked to a deep-seated translational rock slide (block slide); the velocity scale ranges from slow (1.6 m/year during paroxysmal stages) to extremely slow (responsible for the formation of this landslide. In particular, the landslide shows a strongly tectonic constraint: the flanks are bounded by high-angle faults, and the main basal failure surface developed inside an E-W southward-dipping thrust fault zone. The entire active rock mass (total volume of approximately 6 Mm3) slid at one time on a failure surface that dipped < 27°, and the maximum depth, as determined by inclinometer

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Lithology and palynology of Neogene sediments on the narrow edge of the Kitakami Massif (basement rocks), northeast Japan: significant change for depositional environments as a result of plate tectonics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koji Yagishita; Akiko Obuse; Hiroshi Kurita [Iwate University, Morioka-City (Japan). Department of Geology, Faculty of Education

    2003-09-01

    A controversial stratigraphic section, the Taneichi Formation, is exposed along the Pacific Coast of northeastern Honshu, the main island of the Japanese Archipelago. Although most sediments of the formation have long been dated as late Cretaceous, the northern section of it has been assigned to (I) the Upper Cretaceous; (ii) the Paleogene; or (iii) the Neogene. In the present report, we present the data of palynological and sedimentological studies, showing that the northern section should be assigned to the Neogene. A more important point in the present study is that we invoke some basic principles of fluvial sedimentology to resolve this stratigraphic subject. The lignite layers full of PaleogeneMiocene dinoflagellate cysts and pollen assemblages drape over the boulder-sized ({gt}40 cm in diameter) clasts in the northern section. However, the layers totally consist of aggregates of small lignite chips, indicating that the lignites are allochthonous materials. The mega-clasts with derived microfossils in the lignites are thought to have been deposited as Neogene fluvial (flood) sediments in the newly formed Japanese Archipelago. Prior to the Miocene, the northern Honshu was part of the Eurasian Plate, thus the boulder-sized clasts cannot be envisaged as long river flood deposits along the continental Paleogene Pacific Coast. Instead, the mega-clasts with the draping lignites were probably derived from nearby Miocene highlands in the newly born island arc.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Sedimentology and Chronology of Paleogene Coarse Clastic Rocks in East-Central Tibet and Their Relationship to Early Tectonic Uplift

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Jiangyu; WANG Jianghai; K. H. BRIAN; A. YIN; M. S. MATTHEW

    2007-01-01

    A systematic sedimentological and chronological study of typical Paleogene basins in eastcentral Tibet suggests that the depositional characteristics of extensively developed huge-bedded,purplish-red coarse clastic rocks formed in a tectonic setting of regional thrusting and strike-slipping represent a typical dry and hot subaerial alluvial fan environment formed in a proximal and rapidaccumulating sediment body in debris flows and a fan-surface braided river. Combining results from basin-fill sequences, sequences of coarse clastic rocks, fauna and sporo-pollen associations and thermochronological data, it is concluded that the coarse clastic rocks formed in the period of 54.2-belt), middle (Batang-Lijiang fault belt), and disintegration of large basins in the southern (LanpingSimao fold belt) segments of Tibet. The widespread massive-bedded coarse clastic rocks, fold thrusting and strike-slip, thrust shortening, and igneous activities in the Paleogene basins of eastcentral Tibet indicate that an early diachronous tectonic uplift might have occurred in the Tibetan Plateau from Middle Eocene to Oligocene, related to the initial stage of collision of the Indian and Asian plates.

  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. The role of tectonic deformation on rock avalanche occurrence in the Pampeanas Ranges, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, Ivanna M.; Abellán, Antonio; Humair, Florian; Jaboyedoff, Michel; Daicz, Sergio; Fauqué, Luis

    2017-07-01

    Both tectonic and long-term gravitational slope deformation in several mountain settings have been shown to be key drivers of large-scale slope instability. The roles of both mechanisms are investigated in this study of the Potrero de Leyes rock avalanche, one of the largest and better preserved slope failures in the Pampeanas ranges in Argentina. This rock avalanche involved 0.25 km3 of highly fractured granitic rocks cropping out on an uplifted planation surface. The rock avalanche left a lobate deposit up to 4 km run out into the piedmont. A field survey, 3D terrestrial LIDAR, photogrammetry, and gigapixel panoramic photos allowed us to map the structures on the headscarp and on the planation surface. We observed a dense network of fractures with joints sets striking NNE-SSW, ENE-WSW, and NW-SE, respectively representing foliation, Riedel, and anti-Riedel structures that developed during the Paleozoic, as suggested by previous studies. The decrease of rock mass strength caused by tectonic fracturing, the exposure of those highly fractured rocks along a tectonically active mountain front, and potential deep-seated gravitational deformation occurring along NNE-SSW foliation planes along the mountain front suggest that tectonic and gravitational processes were key causal factors leading to the occurrence of the Potrero de Leyes rock avalanche.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Paleoceanographic and tectonic controls on deposition of the Monterey formation and related siliceous rocks in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, J.A.

    1986-01-01

    The timing of paleoceanographic and tectonic events that shaped the deposition of the Monterey Formation of California and related siliceous rocks has been determined by application of a refined biochronology. The base of the Monterey at 17.5 Ma coincides with rising global sea level and a switch in biogenous silica deposition from the Caribbean and low-latitude North Atlantic to the North Pacific. Major polar cooling, which began at 15 Ma, postdates the base of the Monterey by more than 2 Ma and cannot be invoked to cause the deposition of diatomaceous sediments occurring in the lowermost Monterey. Later polar cooling in the early late Miocene, however, apparently caused increased upwelling and deposition of purer diatomites in the upper Monterey. The top of the Monterey at about 6 Ma coincides with a major sea level drop and is commonly marked by an unconformity. Equivalent unconformities are widespread around the rim of the North Pacific and typically separate more pelagic sediments from overlying sediments with a greater terrigenous component. Above the Monterey, diatoms persist in California sediments to 4.5-4.0 m.y., where their decline coincides with increased deposition of diatoms in the Antarctic. Carbon isotope records in the Pacific and Indian Oceans record storage of 12C in the Monterey Formation and equivalent organic-rich sediments around the rim of the North Pacific. A +1.0??? excursion in ?? 13C beginning at 17.5 Ma coincides with rising sea level and probably reflects storage of organic material in Monterey-like marginal reservoirs. A reverse -1.0??? shift at 6.2 Ma closely approximates the top of the Monterey and may represent erosion of these marginal reservoirs and reintroduction of stored organic carbon into the ocean-atmosphere system. Initiation of transform faulting and extension in the California margin in the latest Oligocene and early Miocene caused the subsidence of basins which later received Monterey sediments. A major tectonic event

  13. 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

  14. 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. ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Fracture Characteristics Analysis of Double-layer Rock Plates with Both Ends Fixed Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. R. Wang

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to research on the fracture and instability characteristics of double-layer rock plates with both ends fixed, the three-dimension computational model of double-layer rock plates under the concentrated load was built by using PFC3D technique (three-dimension particle flow code, and the mechanical parameters of the numerical model were determined based on the physical model tests. The results showed the instability process of the double-layer rock plates had four mechanical response phases: the elastic deformation stage, the brittle fracture of upper thick plate arching stage, two rock-arch bearing stage and two rock-arch failure stage; moreover, with the rock plate particle radius from small to large change, the maximum vertical force of double rock-arch appeared when the particle size was a certain value. The maximum vertical force showed an upward trend with the increase of the rock plate temperature, and in the case of the same thickness the maximum vertical force increased with the increase of the upper rock plate thickness. When the boundary conditions of double-layer rock plates changed from the hinged support to the fixed support, the maximum horizontal force observably decreased, and the maximum vertical force showed small fluctuations and then tended towards stability with the increase of cohesive strength of double-layer rock plates.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 华北板块北缘东段二叠纪的构造属性:来自火山岩锆石U-Pb年代学与地球化学的制约%Permian tectonic evolution of the eastern section of the northern margin of the North China Plate: Constraints from zircon U-Pb geochronology and geochemistry of the volcanic rocks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    曹花花; 许文良; 裴福萍; 郭鹏远; 王枫

    2012-01-01

    -eastern parts of Jilin Province, with the aim of constraining the tectonic nature of the eastern section of the northern margin of the North China Plate in Late Paleozoic. Zircons from the volcanic rocks in the Daheshen and Guanmenzuizi formations are euhedral-subhedral in shape and display fine-scale oscillatory zoning and striped absorption ( basaltic andesite) as well as high Th/U ratios (0. 31 ~ 1. 56) , implying their magmatic origin. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb age data indicate that the dacite and rhyolites from the Daheshen Formation in Huadian County formed in the Early Permian (279 ± 3 Ma ~ 293 ±2Ma) , whereas the basaltic andesite and basalt from the Guanmenzuizi Formation in the Hunchun and Tumen areas formed in the Early Permian (275 ±7Ma) and Late Permian (250 ±5Ma) , respectively. The volcanic rocks from the Daheshen Formation have SiO2 = 64. 9% -75. 4% , Mg#=0. 21 ~0. 57, belonging chemically to medium- to high-K calc-alkaline series, and display an enrichment in LREEs and LILEs and depletion in HFSEs (such as Nb, Ta, and Ti) and P, similar chemically to those from an active continental margin setting. Their initial Hf isotopic ratios and Hf two-stage model ages range from +0. 9 to + 10. 37 and from 785Ma to 1240Ma, respectively, suggesting that their primary magmas could be mainly derived from partial melting of the Meso-Neoproterozoic accretted lower crust. The Early Permian basaltic andesites from the Guanmenzuizi Formation in Hunchun area, belonging chemically to medium-K calc-alkaline series, are poor in SiO2 (53. 4% ~ 53. 7% ) and HFSEs, rich in A12O3 (16. 4% ~ 16. 8% ) and LILEs, and display low REE abundances and flat REE pattern, similar to those from an island arc setting. The primary magma of the basaltic andesites could be mainly derived from partial melting of the depleted mantle wedge metasomatized by the subducted slab-derived fluid. The Late Permian basalts from the Guanmenzuizi Formation in Tumen area have SiO2 = 48. 7% ~ 49. 6% , Mg# = 0. 64 ~ 0

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. Reconstruction of protoliths of metamorphic rocks and tectonic setting of Wolegen Group

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Parametamorphic rocks from Arong County in southeastern Inner Mongolia-Daxinganling district are regarded as Proterozoic in age,belonging to the Wolegen Group and composed of volcanoclastic and sandstone in origin,and have been disputed in tectonic setting.Because of the stability in metamorphism,the rare earth dements indicate the features of their protoliths.The authors integrated the petrologic methods with the geochemical parameters which include ∑REE,∑LREE/∑HREE,δCe,δEu,La/Yb,Sm/Nd,Th/Sc and the standard values of chondrite.The results show that the protoliths of Wolengen Group may be a group of voleanoclastic and continental margin elastic rocks,and their tectonic setting is the continent island arc.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. Bloc tectonic rotations recorded in the Neogene and Quaternary magmatic rocks from Northwestern Algeria: preliminary paleomagnetic results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Messaoud Derder, Mohamed; Robion, Philippe; Maouche, Said; Bayou, Boualem; Amenna, Mohamed; Henry, Bernard; Missenard, Yves; Ouabadi, Aziouz; Bestandji, Rafik; Ayache, Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    The seismic activity of the Western Mediterranean area is partly concentrated in northern Africa, particularly in northern Algeria, as it was shown by the strong earthquakes of Zemmouri 21 May 2003 Mw=6.9 and the El Asnam 10 October 1980 Ms= 7.3. This seismicity is due to the convergence between Africa and Eurasia plates since the Oligocene. This convergence involves a tectonic transpression with N-S to NNW-SSE shortening direction, which is expressed by active deformation along the plate boundary. Along the Tellian Atlas (Northern Algeria), active structures define NE-SW trending folds and NE-SW sinistral transpressive faults affecting the intermountain and coastal Neogene to Quaternary sedimentary basins (e.g. Cheliff and Mitidja Plioquaternary intramontaneous basins, …). The NE-SW reverse active faults are coupled with NW-SE to E-W trending strike-slip deep faults. The active deformation in northern Algeria can be explained by a kinematics model of blocks rotation: the transpressive tectonics with NNW-SSE direction of convergence defines NE-SW oriented blocks, which have been subjected to clockwise rotation. In north Algeria, paleomagnetic studies were carried out in the central area, on Neogene sedimentary and magmatic formations (Derder et al, 2009, 2011; 2013). They pointed out tectonic rotation of large blocks, in agreement with the kinematic model. Narrow zones represent important shear zone with strong rotation of smaller blocks (Derder et al., 2013). A new paleomagnetic study was conducted on the recent magmatic rocks outcropping in the Northwestern Algeria, in order to validate this model on a regional scale. The study is still in progress and the preliminary results show presence of systematic clockwise blocks rotation. These results confirm that the Africa-Europe convergence is partly accommodated in northern Africa by blocks rotations. They highlight that rotations are not homogeneous in north Algeria and thus the importance of future works in this

  12. Petrography, geochemistry and tectonic setting of Salmabad Tertiary volcanic rocks, southeast of Sarbisheh, eastern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoumeh Goodarzi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction The area reviewed and studied in this paper is located 5 km southeast of Sarbisheh city at eastern border of the Lut block (Jung et al., 1983; Karimpour et al., 2011; Richards et al., 2012 in eastern Iran between 59° 47′ and 59° 53′ E longitude and 32°30′ and 32°34′ N latitude. The magmatic activity in the Lut block began in middle Jurassic (165-162 Ma and reached its peak in Tertiary (Jung et al., 1983. Volcanic and subvolcanic rocks of Tertiary age cover over half of Lut block with up to 2000 m thickness and formed due to subduction prior to the collision of the Arabian and Asian plates (Camp and Griffis, 1982; Tirrul et al., 1983; Berberianet et al., 1982. Most of magmatic activity in the Lut block formed in middle Eocene (Karimpour et al., 2011 The andesitic volcanics were erupted together with the dacites and rhyodacites during a time interval of some 50 Ma from early Cretaceous to early Neogene. It can be assumed that the intensity of the volcanic activity was varying significantly during this time span (Jung et al., 1983.Tertiary volcanic rocks (Eocene-Oligocene to Pliocene with intermediate composition associated with pyroclastic rocks cropped out in eastern parts of Salmabad village, southeast of Sarbisheh. The main purpose of this paper is better understand the tectono-magmatic setting of the Tertiary volcanic rocks in southeast of Sarbisheh, eastern Iran based on geochemical characteristics. Materials and methods Eleven samples were analyzed for major elements by inductively coupled plasma (ICP technologies and trace elements were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS, following a lithium metaborate/tetraborate fusion and nitric acid total digestion, at the SGS Laboratories, Toronto, Canada. Results In the Salmabad area, Tertiary volcanic rocks with mainly intermediate (andesitic composition are exposed associated with pyroclastic deposits such as tuff, breccia and agglomerate

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Geochemistry of meta-volcanic rocks from the Longbohe Cu deposit, Yunnan Province, China: Implications for the genesis and tectonic setting

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CUI Yinliang; QING Dexian; CHEN Yaoguang

    2007-01-01

    The Longbohe Cu deposit, which is located in the southern part of the Honghe ore-forming zone, Yunnan Province, China, belongs to a typical ore field where volcanic rocks are of wide distribution and are associated with Cu mineralization in time and space. The volcanic rocks in the ore field, which have experienced varying degree of alteration or regional metamorphism, can be divided into three types, i.e., meta-andesite, meta-subvolcanic rock and meta-basic volcanic rock in accordance with their mineral assemblages. These three types of volcanic rocks in the ore field are relatively rich in Na and the main samples plot in the area of alkali basalts in the geochemical classification diagram. With the exception of very few elements, these three types of volcanic rocks are similar in the content of trace elements. In comparison to the basalts of different tectonic settings, the meta-volcanic rocks in the ore field are rich in high field strength elements (HFSE) such as Th, Nb, etc. and depleted in large ion lithophile elements (LILE) such as Sr, Ba, etc. and their primary mantle-normalized trace element patterns show remarkable negative Th and Nb anomalies and negative Sr and Ba anomalies. These three types of volcanic rocks are similar in REE content range and chondrite-normalized REE patterns with the exception of Eu anomaly. Various lines of evidence show that these three types of volcanic rocks in the ore field have the same source but are the products of different stages of magmatic evolution, their original magma is a product of partial melting of the metasomatically enriched mantle in the tensional tectonic setting within the continent plate, and the crystallization differentiation plays an important role in the process of magmatic evolution.

  17. Contrasting styles of (U)HP rock exhumation along the Cenozoic Adria-Europe plate boundary (Western Alps, Calabria, Corsica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malusà, Marco G.; Faccenna, Claudio; Baldwin, Suzanne L.; Fitzgerald, Paul G.; Rossetti, Federico; Balestrieri, Maria Laura; Danišík, Martin; Ellero, Alessandro; Ottria, Giuseppe; Piromallo, Claudia

    2015-06-01

    Since the first discovery of ultrahigh pressure (UHP) rocks 30 years ago in the Western Alps, the mechanisms for exhumation of (U)HP terranes worldwide are still debated. In the western Mediterranean, the presently accepted model of synconvergent exhumation (e.g., the channel-flow model) is in conflict with parts of the geologic record. We synthesize regional geologic data and present alternative exhumation mechanisms that consider the role of divergence within subduction zones. These mechanisms, i.e., (i) the motion of the upper plate away from the trench and (ii) the rollback of the lower plate, are discussed in detail with particular reference to the Cenozoic Adria-Europe plate boundary, and along three different transects (Western Alps, Calabria-Sardinia, and Corsica-Northern Apennines). In the Western Alps, (U)HP rocks were exhumed from the greatest depth at the rear of the accretionary wedge during motion of the upper plate away from the trench. Exhumation was extremely fast, and associated with very low geothermal gradients. In Calabria, HP rocks were exhumed from shallower depths and at lower rates during rollback of the Adriatic plate, with repeated exhumation pulses progressively younging toward the foreland. Both mechanisms were active to create boundary divergence along the Corsica-Northern Apennines transect, where European southeastward subduction was progressively replaced along strike by Adriatic northwestward subduction. The tectonic scenario depicted for the Western Alps trench during Eocene exhumation of (U)HP rocks correlates well with present-day eastern Papua New Guinea, which is presented as a modern analog of the Paleogene Adria-Europe plate boundary.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Tectonic contact beetwen Paleozoic and Triassic rocks south of Podolševa (Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogomir Celarc

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Tectonic contact between Paleozoic and Triassic rocks south of Podolševa, which passes prominent cliffs over the left bank of Savinja river (Klemenča peč, Jamnikova peč, Golerjeva peč, Strevčeva peč and Huda peč, is on the basis of the new mapping a steep fault, dipping to the north. In the last phase, the fault was dextral strike – slip active, before was probably reverse, and can represent accompanying structure of Periadriatic lineament. It was under transpresive tectonic regime and complies with model of positive flower structure.We named it Podol{evski prelom (Podol{eva fault.

  6. Coseismic landslides reveal near-surface rock strength in a high-relief tectonically active setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallen, Sean F; Clark, Marin K; Godt, Jonathan W.

    2014-01-01

    We present quantitative estimates of near-surface rock strength relevant to landscape evolution and landslide hazard assessment for 15 geologic map units of the Longmen Shan, China. Strength estimates are derived from a novel method that inverts earthquake peak ground acceleration models and coseismic landslide inventories to obtain material proper- ties and landslide thickness. Aggregate rock strength is determined by prescribing a friction angle of 30° and solving for effective cohesion. Effective cohesion ranges are from 70 kPa to 107 kPa for 15 geologic map units, and are approximately an order of magnitude less than typical laboratory measurements, probably because laboratory tests on hand-sized specimens do not incorporate the effects of heterogeneity and fracturing that likely control near-surface strength at the hillslope scale. We find that strength among the geologic map units studied varies by less than a factor of two. However, increased weakening of units with proximity to the range front, where precipitation and active fault density are the greatest, suggests that cli- matic and tectonic factors overwhelm lithologic differences in rock strength in this high-relief tectonically active setting.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Inferring tectonic provenance of siliciclastic rocks from their chemical compositions: A dissent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Abhijit; Bickford, Marion E.; Deasy, Ryan

    2016-05-01

    Chemical compositions of siliciclastic sedimentary rocks are commonly used to infer their tectonic provenance. We have tested the universal applicability of the underlying principle in a small, but controlled study expecting 100% confirmation of the practice. A comparison is made between the chemical composition of the ~ 1480 Ma Butler Hill Granite in an uplifted cratonic block of the St. Francois Mountain Igneous Complex and that of a small ~ 1-m-thick regolith body, a weathered granite sample, and the basal quartz arenites of the ~ 520 Ma Lamotte Formation immediately above the regolith. The results show that in plots of K2O/Na2O vs. SiO2/Al2O3, the regolith and sandstone samples correctly plot in the Passive Margin field, although the weathered granite plots in the Arc field. In plots of Th-Sc-Zr/10 and La-Th-Sc, the results plot in the Passive and Active Continental Margins and their extensions. In other common plots to discriminate tectonic provenance (e.g., SiO2 vs. K2O/Na2O, Fe2O3 + MgO vs. Al2O3/SiO2, Fe2O3 + MgO vs. TiO2, Sc/Cr vs. La/Y) a few points plot in the Passive Margin field but scatter into and outside of other fields of tectonic provenances. The chondrite-normalized REE distributions show variable degrees of negative Eu anomalies, with flat HREE, conforming to a felsic source. The LREE distributions show both positive and negative Ce anomalies that can be ascribed to the variability of redox conditions during weathering and diagenesis of the original siliciclastic sediments. The variability of the Eu anomaly was likely affected by post-erosion processes in addition to whatever was inherited from the parent rocks. We conclude that chemical compositions can provide good clues, but are neither strong indicators nor unique identifiers of their tectonic provenance. Rather, they indicate a dominantly felsic or dominantly mafic, or a mixed set of source rocks.

  18. Geochemistry of the Ophiolite and Island-Arc Volcanic Rocks in the Mianxian-Lueyang Suture Zone,Southern Qinling and Their Tectonic Significance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1999-01-01

    Ultrabasic rocks in the Mianxian-Lueyang ophiolitic melange zone include harzburgite and dunite which exhibit LREE depletion with remarkable positive Eu anomaly.The diabase dike swarm shows LREE enrichment but slightly negative Eu anomaly.Metamorphosed volcanic rocks can be divided into two groups in terms of their REE geochemistry and trace element ratios of Ti/V,Th/Ta,Th/Yb and Ta/Yb.One is ths MORB-type basalt with LREE depletion,representing the fragments of oceanic crust and implying an association of the MORB-type ophiolite and an ancient ocean basin between the Qinling and Yangtze plates during the Middle Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic era.The oter comprises the island-arc volcanic rocks including tholeiitic basalt and a large amount of calc-alkaline intermediate-acic volcanic rock,which could not be the component of the ancient oceanic crust but the result of magmatism at the continental margin.This indicates that the Mianxian-Lueyang limited ocean basin had undergone a whole process of development,evolution and vanishing from Devonian-Cretaceous to Permian.And the Qinling area had becone an independent lithospheric microplate,on the southern side of which there were exhibited the tectonic characteristics of active continental margins during the Late Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic.That is to say.the Qinling cannot be simply considered as a result of collision between the Yangtze and North China plates.

  19. Stability control of surrounding rocks for a coal roadway in a deep tectonic region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao Tongqiang; Wang Xiangyu; Zhang Zhigao

    2014-01-01

    In order to effectively control the deformation and failure of surrounding rocks in a coal roadway in a deep tectonic region, the deformation and failure mechanism and stability control mechanism were stud-ied. With such methods as numerical simulation and field testing, the distribution law of the displace-ment, stress and plastic zone in the surrounding rocks was analyzed. The deformation and failure mechanisms of coal roadways in deep tectonic areas were revealed:under high tectonic stress, two sides will slide along the roof or floor;while the plastic zone of the two sides will extend along the roof or floor, leading to more serious deformation and failure in the corner of two sides and the bolt supporting the corners is readily cut off by the shear force or tension force. Aimed at controlling the large slippage defor-mation of the two sides, serious deformation and failure in the corners of the two sides and massive bolt breakage, a ‘controlling and yielding coupling support’ control technology is proposed. Firstly, bolts which do not pass through the bedding plane should be used in the corners of the roadway, allowing the two sides to have some degree of sliding to achieve the purpose of ‘yielding’ support, and which avoid breakage of the bolts in the corner. After yielding support, bolts in the corner of the roadway and which pass through the bedding plane should be used to control the deformation and failure of the coal in the corner. ‘Controlling and yielding coupling support’ technology has been successfully applied in engineering practice, and the stability of deep coal roadway has been greatly improved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Stratigraphy, geochemistry and tectonic significance of the Oligocene magmatic rocks of western Oaxaca, southern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martiny, B.; Martinez-Serrano, R. G.; Moran-Zenteno, D. J.; MacIas-Romo, C.; Ayuso, R.A.

    2000-01-01

    the volcanic rocks, from 0.7042 to 0.7046 and 0 +2.6. The range of these isotope ratios and those reported for the basement rocks in this region suggest a relatively low degree of old crustal involvement for most of the studied rocks. The Pb isotopic compositions of the Tertiary magmatic rocks also show a narrow range [(206Pb/204Pb) = 18.67-18.75; (207Pb/204Pb) = 15.59-15.62; (208Pb/204Pb) = 38.44-38.59], suggesting a similar source region for the volcanic and plutonic rocks. Trace elements and isotopic compositions suggest a mantle source in the subcontinental lithosphere that has been enriched by a subduction component. General tectonic features in this region indicate a more active rate of transtensional deformation for the inland volcanic region than along the coastal margin during the main events of Oligocene magmatism. The lower degree of differentiation of the inland volcanic sequences, particularly the upper unit of the northern sector, compared to the plutons of the coastal margin, suggests that the differentiation of the Tertiary magmas in southern Mexico was controlled to a great extent by the characteristics of the different strain domains. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Geochronology and geochemistry of Early Jurassic volcanic rocks in the Erguna Massif, northeast China: Petrogenesis and implications for the tectonic evolution of the Mongol-Okhotsk suture belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Tang, Jie; Xu, Wen-Liang; Wang, Feng

    2015-03-01

    The Mongol-Okhotsk suture belt played an important role in the tectonic evolution of northeast Asia during the Mesozoic. However, few studies have examined the influence of this tectonic belt on the geological evolution of northeast China. In this paper, we present zircon U-Pb geochronology, major and trace element geochemistry, and zircon Hf-O isotopic data for Early Jurassic volcanic rocks in the Erguna Massif of northeast China, with the aim of constraining the evolution of the Mongol-Okhotsk suture belt and its influence on the tectonic history of China during the Early Jurassic. Zircon U-Pb dating indicates that the trachybasalt and basaltic andesite in the study area were erupted between 193 ± 5 Ma and 181 ± 9 Ma (i.e., in the Early Jurassic). These Early Jurassic volcanic rocks belong to the high-K calc-alkaline series and are enriched in large ion lithophile elements and light rare earth elements, as well as being depleted in heavy rare earth elements and high field strength elements such as Nb and Ta. The rocks show a small negative Eu anomaly. The zircon εHf (182 Ma) values of the volcanic rocks range from - 1.9 to + 5.1, corresponding to TDM1 values of 640-901 Ma and TDM2 values of 901-1345 Ma. Zircons from two volcanic rocks yield δ18O values of 7.2‰ ± 1.5‰ (n = 19) and 6.6‰ ± 0.7‰ (n = 35). Geochemically, these Early Jurassic volcanic rocks are similar to those from active continental margin settings, and their primary magmas could have been derived from the partial melting of a lithospheric mantle wedge modified by fluid from a subducted slab. The discovery of Early Jurassic calc-alkaline volcanic rocks in the Erguna Massif, together with the coeval porphyry Cu-Mo deposits, indicates that an active continental margin existed in the Erguna area during the Early Jurassic. Taken together, we conclude that southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate took place beneath the Erguna Massif during the Early Jurassic.

  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. SHRIMP U-Pb dating and geochemistry of the Cretaceous plutonic rocks in the Korean Peninsula: A new tectonic model of the Cretaceous Korean Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sung Won; Kwon, Sanghoon; Park, Seung-Ik; Lee, Changyeol; Cho, Deung-Lyong; Lee, Hong-Jin; Ko, Kyoungtae; Kim, Sook Ju

    2016-10-01

    The Cretaceous tectonomagmatism of the Korean Peninsula was examined based on geochemical and geochronological data of the Cretaceous plutonic rocks, along with distribution of volcano-sedimentary nonmarine N- to NE-trending fault bounded sedimentary basins. We conducted sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) zircon U-Pb ages and whole-rock geochemical compositions of 21 Cretaceous plutonic rocks, together with previously published data, from the central to southern Korean Peninsula. Four age groups of plutonic rocks were identified: Group I (ca. 119-106 Ma) in the northern to central area, Group II (ca. 99-87 Ma) in the central southern area, Group III (ca. 85-82 Ma) in the central to southern area, and Group IV (ca. 76-67 Ma) in the southernmost area. These results indicate a sporadic trenchward-younging trend of the Cretaceous magmatism in the Korean Peninsula. The Group I, II, and III rocks are dominated by high-K calc-alkaline I-type rocks with rift-related A-type granitoids. In contrast, the Group IV rocks are high-K calc-alkaline I-type plutonic rocks with no A-type rocks. The geochemical signatures of the entire groups indicated LREEs (light rare earth elements) enrichments and negative Nb, Ta, and Ti anomalies, indicating normal arc magmatism. A new tectonic model of the Cretaceous Korean Peninsula was proposed based on temporal and spatial distribution of the Cretaceous plutons represented by four age groups; 1) magmatic quiescence throughout the Korean Peninsula from ca. 160 to 120 Ma, 2) intrusions of the I- and A-type granitoids in the northern and central Korean Peninsula (Group I plutonic rocks from ca. 120 to 100 Ma) resulted from the partial melting of the lower continental crust due to the rollback of the Izanagi plate expressed as the conversion from flat-lying subduction to normal subduction. The Gyeongsang nonmarine sedimentary rift basin in the Korean Peninsula and adakite magmatism preserved in the present-day Japanese Islands

  4. 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

  5. A load measuring anchor plate for rock bolt using fiber optic sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Siu Chun Michael; Li, Weijie; Wang, Bo; Song, Gangbing

    2017-05-01

    Rock bolts are the devices that used to reinforce the rock masses in mining tunnels and underground excavation structures. The loading level of the rock bolt indicates the reinforcing efficiency and is able to ensure safe underground operation by giving warnings to the underground miners prior to any accidents. Therefore, it is very important to monitor the load level of the rock bolts. In this short communication, we propose a smart anchor plate, a simple but effective device that uses fiber Bragg gratings (FBG) type optic sensor, to monitor the load level of the rock bolt. Instead of measuring the stress/strain on the rock bolt, which adds more complexity, the proposed method monitors the rock bolt load by measuring the load experience on the rock bolt anchor plate. Such a configuration has the advantages of simple structure and flexible implementation. In experimental observation, the FBG instrumented anchor plate is able to observe the load of the plate with good repeatability. This test will lead to further in-depth studies involving finite element analysis as well as more complex applications.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Trace element geochemistry and tectonic characterization of the granulite facies rocks from Southwest Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ekere E. Ukwang; Barth N. Ekwueme

    2009-01-01

    The trace elements characteristics of the migmatitic gneisses (biotite-garnet- and hornblende-biotite), granulite facies rocks (charnockitic gneisses) and meta-peridotite in the area of Southwest Obudu Plateau indicate that the area exhibits a high degree of geochemical variability. Compatible trace elements (Ni and Cr) are comparatively high in the granulite facies rocks and meta-peridotite. Ni ranges from 28×10-6 to 266×10-6 whilst Cr ranges from 62×10-6 to 481×10-6 for the granulite facies rocks (charnockitic gneisses), and for the meta-peridotite Ni varies between 2045×10-6 and 2060×10-6. Incompatible trace elements show a higher variability in these rocks. The rocks in the area of Southwest Obudu Plateau generally are characterized by the high concentrations of Ba, Ce, Sr, Rb, Ga, Ni, Cr, Co, Zr, Pr and moderate concentrations of Cu, Sm and Th. The available data show that the charnockitic gneisses are of lower crustal origin. The enrichment of the meta-peridotite in compatible trace elements suggests the primitive mantle would be the source region, with slight contamination during ascent. These diverse origins collaborate the tectonic setting of the area as shown by discrimination diagrams. The diverse tectonic settings range from arc to collisional. Alkaline to sub-alkaline magmatism in the area was probably contemporaneous with the tectonic events that occurred in the area during the Proterozoic.

  9. Paleozoic intrusive rocks from the Dunhuang tectonic belt, NW China: Constraints on the tectonic evolution of the southernmost Central Asian Orogenic Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yan; Sun, Yong; Diwu, Chunrong; Zhu, Tao; Ao, Wenhao; Zhang, Hong; Yan, Jianghao

    2017-05-01

    The Dunhuang tectonic belt (DTB) is of great importance for understanding the tectonic evolution of the southernmost Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). In this study, the temporal-spatial distribution, petrogenesis and tectonic setting of the Paleozoic representative intrusive rocks from the DTB were systematically investigated to discuss crustal evolution history and tectonic regime of the DTB during Paleozoic. Our results reveal that the Paleozoic magmatism within the DTB can be broadly divided into two distinct episodes of early Paleozoic and late Paleozoic. The early Paleozoic intrusive rocks, represented by a suite metaluminous-slight peraluminous and medium- to high-K calc-alkaline I-type granitoids crystallized at Silurian (ca. 430-410 Ma), are predominantly distributed along the northern part of the DTB. They were probably produced with mineral assemblage of eclogite or garnet + amphibole + rutile in the residue, and were derived from magma mixing source of depleted mantle materials with various proportions of Archean-Mesoproterozoic continental crust. The late Paleozoic intrusive rocks can be further subdivided into two stages of late Devonian stage (ca. 370-360 Ma) and middle Carboniferous stage (ca. 335-315 Ma). The former stage is predominated by metaluminous to slight peraluminous and low-K tholeiite to high-K calc-alkaline I-type granitic rocks distributed in the central part of the DTB. They were also generated with mineral assemblage of amphibolite- to eclogite-facies in the residue, and originated from magma source of depleted mantle materials mixed with different degrees of old continental crust. The later stage is represented by adakite and alkali-rich granite exposed in the southern part of the DTB. The alkali-rich granites studied in this paper were possibly produced with mineral assemblage of granulite-facies in the residue and were generated by partial melting of thickened lower continental crust. Zircon Hf isotopes and field distribution of

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. Magnetic fabrics and rock magnetism of the Xiong'er volcanic rocks and their implications for tectonic correlation of the North China Craton with other crustal blocks in the Nuna/Columbia supercontinent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Huiru; Yang, Zhenyu; Peng, Peng; Ge, Kunpeng; Jin, Zhenmin; Zhu, Rixiang

    2017-08-01

    The tectonic background of the Paleoproterozoic Xiong'er volcanic rocks (XVR) is important for understanding the tectonic evolution of the North China Craton (NCC), as well as its paleogeographic position during the assembly of the Nuna/Columbia supercontinent. Here we report the results of the first anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) study of the XVR, and use the interpreted flow directions to constrain the emplacement mechanism and to assess its geological significance for the reconstruction of the Nuna/Columbia supercontinent. Thirty lavas were sampled from three sections in western Henan Province. Detailed rock magnetic analyses, including measurements of hysteresis loops, magnetization versus temperature curves and first order reverse curves, were performed to identify the main magnetic phases and grain sizes. The inferred directions from the AMS results reveal a radial flow pattern with an eruption center probably located near Xiong'er Mountain. Our data suggest that the XVR may have been emplaced in a triple-conjugated continental rift on the south margin of the NCC, probably initiated from a paleoplume. Based on this interpretation, a comparison of geological and paleomagnetic results among the proposed crustal blocks in the Nuna/Columbia supercontinent suggests a close linkage of the NCC with São Francisco-Congo, Rio de la Plate and Siberia.

  14. 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.

  15. Masses of Fluid for Cylindrical Tanks in Rock With Partial Uplift of Bottom Plate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Tomoyo; Katayama, Yukihiro

    2016-10-01

    This study proposes the use of a slice model consisting of a set of thin rectangular tanks for evaluating the masses of fluid contributing to the rocking motion of cylindrical tanks; the effective mass of fluid for rocking motion, that for rocking-bulging interaction, effective moment inertia of fluid for rocking motion and its centroid. They are mathematically or numerically quantified, normalized, tabulated, and depicted as functions of the aspect of tanks for different values of the ratio of the uplift width of the tank bottom plate to the diameter of tank for the designer's convenience.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Ages, geochemistry and tectonic implications of the Cambrian igneous rocks in the northern Great Xing'an Range, NE China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Zhiqiang; Liu, Yongjiang; Li, Yanrong; Li, Weimin; Wen, Quanbo; Liu, Binqiang; Zhou, Jianping; Zhao, Yingli

    2017-08-01

    The Xinlin-Xiguitu suture zone, located in the Great Xing'an Range, NE China, in the eastern segment of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), represents the boundary between the Erguna and Xing'an micro-continental blocks. The exact location of the Xinlin-Xiguitu suture zone has been debated, especially, the location of the northern extension of the suture zone. In this study, based on a detailed field, geochemical, geochronological and Sr-Nd-Hf isotope study, we focus our work on the Cambrian igneous rocks in the Erguna-Xing'an block. The Xinglong granitoids, mainly include ∼520 Ma diorite, ∼470 Ma monzogranite and ∼480 Ma pyroxene diorite. The granitoids show medium to high-K calc-alkaline series characteristics with post-collision granite affinity. The circa 500 Ma granitoids have low εHf (t) values (-16.6 to +2.2) and ancient two-stage model (TDM2) ages between 1317 Ma and 2528 Ma. These results indicate the primary magmas of the Xinglong granitoids were probably derived from the partial melting of a dominantly Paleo-Mesoproterozoic ;old; crustal source with possible different degrees of addition of juvenile materials, and formed in a post-collision tectonic setting after the amalgamation of the Erguna and Xing'an blocks. Compared with the Xinglong granitoids, the Duobaoshan igneous rocks are consisted of the approximately coeval rhyolitic tuffs (491 ± 5 Ma) and ultramafic intrusions (497 ± 5 Ma) within the Duobaoshan Formation. They are generally enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and depleted in high field strength elements (HFSEs; e.g., Nb, Ta, and Ti), consistent with the geochemistry of igneous rocks from island arcs or active continental margins. The ultramafic rocks have high positive εHf (t) values (+1.3 to +15) and εNd (t) (+1.86 to +2.28), and relatively young two-stage model (TDM2) ages and low initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70628-0.70853), indicating the partial melting of a depleted mantle source from a subducted slab in

  20. Onset and ending of the late Palaeozoic ice age triggered by tectonically paced rock weathering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goddéris, Yves; Donnadieu, Yannick; Carretier, Sébastien; Aretz, Markus; Dera, Guillaume; Macouin, Mélina; Regard, Vincent

    2017-04-01

    The onset of the late Palaeozoic ice age about 340 million years ago has been attributed to a decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with expansion of land plants, as plants both enhance silicate rock weathering--which consumes CO2--and increase the storage of organic carbon on land. However, plant expansion and carbon uptake substantially predate glaciation. Here we use climate and carbon cycle simulations to investigate the potential effects of the uplift of the equatorial Hercynian mountains and the assembly of Pangaea on the late Palaeozoic carbon cycle. In our simulations, mountain uplift during the Late Carboniferous caused an increase in physical weathering that removed the thick soil cover that had inhibited silicate weathering. The resulting increase in chemical weathering was sufficient to cause atmospheric CO2 concentrations to fall below the levels required to initiate glaciation. During the Permian, the lowering of the mountains led to a re-establishment of thick soils, whilst the assembly of Pangaea promoted arid conditions in continental interiors that were unfavourable for silicate weathering. These changes allowed CO2 concentrations to rise to levels sufficient to terminate the glacial event. Based on our simulations, we suggest that tectonically influenced carbon cycle changes during the late Palaeozoic were sufficient to initiate and terminate the late Palaeozoic ice age.

  1. Geochemistry and tectonic setting of alkaline volcanic rocks in the Antarctic Peninsula: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smellie, J. L.

    1987-06-01

    The numerous Miocene-Recent alkaline volcanic outcrops in the Antarctic Peninsula form a substantial volcanic province, the least well-known part of a major belt of alkaline volcanism that extends between South America and New Zealand. The outcrops consists mainly of aa and pahoehoe lavas and hyaloclastites which locally contain accidental nodules of spinel lherzolite and other mantle-derived lithologies. The province is predominantly basaltic with two major differentiation lineages: (1) a sodic series of olivine and alkali basalt, hawaiite, mugearite, trachy-phonolite and trachyte; and (2) a relatively potassic, highly undersaturated series of basanite, tephrite and phono-tephrite. All the lavas show varying effects of fractionation by crystallization of olivine and clinopyroxene, joined by plagioclase in the hawaiites to trachytes. Fractional crystallization can probably explain most of the chemical variation observed within each outcrop, but variable partial melting is necessary to account for the differences in incompatible element enrichment between the two series, and between the individual outcrops. The degree of partial melting may not have exceeded 3%, as is the case for many other alkaline magmas. The volcanism is an intraplate phenomenon but there is no correlation in timing between the cessation of subduction and the inception of alkaline volcanism. The activity cannot be related to the passage of the coupled Pacific-Antarctic plate over a stationary mantle hot-spot. Although the precise causal relationship with tectonic setting is unknown, regional extension was a prerequisite for giving the magmas rapid access to the surface.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Mine geophysics methods in studying the coal bearing rock mass condition in low magnitude tectonic fault zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexeev, A. D.; Zhitlyonok, D. M.; Pitalenko, E. I.

    2003-04-01

    Disjunctive type tectonic faults are quite serious problem at underground coal winning. In the fault adjacent areas both coal seam and coal bearing rocks are usually essentially fractured that makes them less stable in coalfaces at underground mining. Some researchers have pointed out to enhanced stress state in these areas as well provided that loosening zones are absent. Coal seams are mostly inclined to disjunctive faults in Central region of Donets Coal Basin where tectonic processes were very intense. There are a lot of small faults with magnitudes close to seam thickness about 2 m in this region along with large thrust or fault disjunctives with stratigraphic magnitudes over 10 m (Dyleyev, Northern, Brunvald, Bulavin faults and others). Highest disjunctive dislocation is typical for coalfields near mines "Toretskaya" and "Novodzerzhinskaya", Coal Production Co. "Dzerzhinskugol", where dislocation density reaches about 8.5 faults per 1 km across the field. Small disjunctive faults often coincide with sites of sudden coal and gas outbursts, longwall inrushes, and poor support condition in development workings. It is known that affected zones on either side accommodate each disjunctive fault, these zones being distinctive for increased fissuring, higher stresses, coal and rocks differing strength. Affected zone width dependence on the fault parameters was determined using geological approach. Mine electrical survey and acoustical probing methods were used to study rock mass faulted condition in the vicinity of development workings and stopes intercepting low magnitude (below 5 m) disjunctive faults in coal field of mine "Toretskaya". These findings have allowed to establish a new fault magnitude dependence of rupture tectonic dislocation's affected zone width in the form of B = 3.2 H, where B is dislocation's affected zone width (m); H is the dislocation's stratigraphic magnitude (m). It was established as well that stress level in rock mass near disjunctive

  9. 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.

  10. Petrogenesis and tectonic implication of the Late Triassic post-collisional volcanic rocks in Chiang Khong, NW Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Xin; Wang, Yuejun; Feng, Qinglai; Zi, Jian-Wei; Zhang, Yuzhi; Chonglakmani, Chongpan

    2016-04-01

    The volcanic rocks exposed within the Chiang Khong-Lampang-Tak igneous zone in NW Thailand provide important constraints on the tectonic evolution of the eastern Paleotethys ocean. An andesite sample from the Chiang Khong area yields a zircon U-Pb age of 229 ± 4 Ma, significantly younger than the continental-arc and syn-collisional volcanic rocks (ca. 238-241 Ma). The Chiang Khong volcanic rocks are characterized by low MgO (1.71-6.72 wt.%) and high Al2O3 (15.03-17.76 wt.%). They are enriched in LILEs and LREEs and depleted in HFSEs, and have 87Sr/86Sr (i) ratios of 0.7050-0.7065, εNd (t) of - 0.32 to - 1.92, zircon εHf (t) and δ18O values of 3.5 to - 11.7 and 4.30-9.80 ‰, respectively. The geochemical data for the volcanic rocks are consistent with an origin from the enriched lithospheric mantle that had been modified by slab-derived fluid and recycled sediments. Based on available geochronological and geochemical evidences, we propose that the Late Triassic Chiang Khong volcanic rocks are equivalent to the contemporaneous volcanic rocks in the Lancangjiang igneous zone in SW China. The formation of these volcanic rocks was possibly related to the upwelling of the asthenospheric mantle during the Late Triassic, shortly after slab detachment, which induced the melting of the metasomatized mantle wedge.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Chronological dating and tectonic implications of late Cenozoic volcanic rocks and lacustrine sequence in Oiyug Basin of southern Tibet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Reconstruction of uplift history of the Tibetan Plateau is crucial for understanding its environmental impacts. The Oiyug Basin in southern Tibet contains multiple periods of sedimentary sequences and volcanic rocks that span much of the Cenozoic and has great potential for further studying this issue. However, these strata were poorly dated. This paper presents a chronological study of the 145 m thick and horizontally-distributed lacustrine sequence using paleomagnetic method as well as a K-Ar dating of the underlying volcanic rocks. Based on these dating results, a chronostratigraphic framework and the basin-developmental history have been established for the past 15 Ma, during which three tectonic stages are identified. The period of 15-8.1 Ma is characterized by intense volcanic activities involving at least three major eruptions. Subsequently, the basin came into a tectonically quiescent period and a lacustrine sedimentary sequence was developed. Around 2.5 Ma, an N-S fault occurred across the southern margin of the basin, leading to the disappearance of the lake environment and the development of the Oiyug River. The Gyirong basin on northern slope of the Himalayas shows a similar basin developmental history and thus there is a good agreement in tectonic activities between the Himalayan and Gangdise orogenic belts. Therefore, the tectonic evolution stages experienced by the Oiyug Basin during the past 15 Ma could have a regional significance for southern Tibet. The chronological data obtained from this study may provide some constraints for further studies with regard to the tectonic processes and environmental changes in southern Tibetan Plateau.

  14. Tectonic control in source rock maturation and oil migration in Trinidad

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Persad, K.M.; Talukdar, S.C.; Dow, W.G. (DGSI, The Woodlands, TX (United States))

    1993-02-01

    Oil accumulation in Trinidad were sourced by the Upper Cretaceous calcareous shales deposited along the Cretaceous passive margin of northern South America. Maturation of these source rocks, oil generation, migration and re-migration occurred in a foreland basin setting that resulted from interaction between Caribbean and South American plates during Late Oligocene to recent times. During Middle Miocene-Recent times, the foreland basin experienced strong compressional events, which controlled generation, migration, and accumulation of oil in Trinidad. A series of mature source rock kitchens formed in Late Miocene-Recent times in the Southern and Colombus Basins to the east-southeast of the Central Range Thrust. This thrust and associated fratured developed around 12 m.y.b.p. and served as vertical migration paths for the oil generated in Late Miocene time. This oil migrated into submarine fans deposited in the foreland basin axis and older reservoirs deformed into structural traps. Further generation and migration of oil, and re-migration of earlier oil took place during Pliocene-Holocene times, when later thrusting and wrench faulting served as vertical migration paths. Extremely high sedimentation rates in Pliocene-Pleistocene time, concurrent with active faulting, was responsible for very rapid generation of oil and gas. Vertically migrating gas often mixed with earlier migrated oil in overlying reservoirs. This caused depletion of oil in light hydrocarbons with accompanied fractionation among hydrocarbon types resulting in heavier oil in lower reservoirs, enrichment of light hydrocarbons and accumulation of gas-condensates in upper reservoirs. This process led to an oil-gravity stratification within about 10,000 ft of section.

  15. 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

    There is a wide support that the Inner Mongolia Palaeo-uplift on the northern margin of the North China Craton has undergone an uplifting history. However, when and how did the uplift occurred keeps controversial. Extensive field-based structural, metamorphic, geochemical, geochronological and geophysical investigations on the Inner Mongolia Palaeo-uplift, which suggested that the Inner Mongolia Palaeo-uplift was an uplifted region since the Early Precambrian or range from Late Carboniferous-Early Jurassic. The geochemical characteristics of the Late Paleozoic to Early Mesozoic intrusive rocks indicated that the Inner Mongolia Palaeo-uplift was an Andean-type continental margin that is the extensional tectonic setting. To address the spatial and temporal development of the Inner Mongolia Palaeo-uplift, we have carried out provenance analysis of Permian sedimentary rocks which collected from the Panyangshan basin along the northern margin of the North China Craton. The QFL diagram revealed a dissected arc-recycled orogenic tectonic setting. Moreover, the framework grains are abundant with feldspar (36-50%), indicating the short transport distance and unstable tectonic setting. Detrital zircon U-Pb analysis ascertained possible provenance information: the Precambrian basement ( 2490 and 1840 Ma) and continental arc magmatic action ( 279 and 295 Ma) along the northern margin of the North China Craton. The projection in rose diagrams of the mean palaeocurrent direction, revealing the SSW and SSE palaeoflow direction, also shows the provenance of the Panyangshan basin sources mainly from the Inner Mongolia Palaeo-uplift. The andesite overlying the Naobaogou Formation has yielded U-Pb age of 277.3 ± 1.4 Ma. The additional dioritic porphyry dike intruded the Naobaogou and Laowopu Formations, which has an emplacement age of 236 ± 1 Ma. The above data identify that the basin formed ranges from Early Permian to Middle Triassic (277-236 Ma). Accordingly, the Inner Mongolia

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Fracture system influence on the reservoirs rock formation of Ordovician-Devonian carbonates in West Siberia tectonic depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koveshnikov, A. E.; Nesterova, A. C.; Dolgaya, T. F.

    2016-09-01

    During the Paleozoic period from the beginning of the Cambrian to the end of the Carboniferous in the boundaries of the West Siberia tectonic depression there occurred the sea, where the carbonate platforms were formed by the limestones accumulation. All the area at the end of the Carboniferous period was turned to land. Resulting from Gertsynskaya folding in the times of Permian - Triassic the formed deposits were folded and denudated to a considerable extent. Besides, the reservoir rocks of the crust of weathering including redeposited one, were formed as a result of hypergenesis, during the continental stand of the area in the near-surface zone. A new geological prospecting unit has been suggested which underlies these crusts of weathering and formed during fracture tectonic processes with hydrothermal-metasomatic limestones reworking and the processes of hydrothermal leaching and dolomitization. So, in the carbonate platforms the system of fissure zones related to tectonic disturbance was formed. This has a dendrite profile where the series of tangential, more thinned fractures deviate from the stem and finish in pores and caverns. The carbonate platforms formation in the West Siberia tectonic depression has been analyzed, their dynamics and gradual increasing from the minimal in Ordovician and Silurian to maximal at the end of the Late Devonian has been shown.

  19. 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.

  20. Geochemical and tectonic uplift controls on rock nitrogen inputs across terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morford, Scott L.; Houlton, Benjamin Z.; Dahlgren, Randy A.

    2016-02-01

    Rock contains > 99% of Earth's reactive nitrogen (N), but questions remain over the direct importance of rock N weathering inputs to terrestrial biogeochemical cycling. Here we investigate the factors that regulate rock N abundance and develop a new model for quantifying rock N mobilization fluxes across desert to temperate rainforest ecosystems in California, USA. We analyzed the N content of 968 rock samples from 531 locations and compiled 178 cosmogenically derived denudation estimates from across the region to identify landscapes and ecosystems where rocks account for a significant fraction of terrestrial N inputs. Strong coherence between rock N content and geophysical factors, such as protolith, (i.e. parent rock), grain size, and thermal history, are observed. A spatial model that combines rock geochemistry with lithology and topography demonstrates that average rock N reservoirs range from 0.18 to 1.2 kg N m-3 (80 to 534 mg N kg-1) across the nine geomorphic provinces of California and estimates a rock N denudation flux of 20-92 Gg yr-1 across the entire study area (natural atmospheric inputs ~ 140 Gg yr-1). The model highlights regional differences in rock N mobilization and points to the Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, and the Klamath Mountains as regions where rock N could contribute meaningfully to ecosystem N cycling. Contrasting these data to global compilations suggests that our findings are broadly applicable beyond California and that the N abundance and variability in rock are well constrained across most of the Earth system.

  1. 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.

  2. Geochemistry of meta-igneous rocks from southern Ethiopia: a new insight into neoproterozoic tectonics of northeast Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alene, Mulugeta; Barker, Andrew J.

    1997-04-01

    Utilising geochemical data, various discriminant diagrams have been employed to establish the magma type and original tectonic environment for some Neoproterozoic amphibolites, ultrabasic rocks and gabbros of the Moyale area, southern Ethiopia. The gneissic amphibolites are found to have mixed geochemical characteristics indicative of island arc and/or ocean ridge basalts with tholeiitic composition whereas the porphyritic amphibolites show alkalic features with no clear tectonic setting. The ultrabasic and gabbroic units of the Moyale area are described in terms of their relation with mantle melts and parental material. The majority of ultrabasics relate to a cumulate origin and the gabbroic rocks appear as more differentiated magma from the same source. The mainly dunite bodies in the eastern sub-area at Moyale probably represent refractory residues left after variable degree of partial melting of a periodotite mantle. It is concluded that the gneissic amphibolites were probably part of an accreting arc associated with closure of a pre-existing oceanic basin. The ultrabasic and gabbroic rocks (together with the porphyritic amphibolite) are considered to be remnants of oceanic crust.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. Geochemistry and tectonic setting of the Paleoproterozoic metavolcanic rocks from the Chirano Gold District, Sefwi belt, Ghana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senyah, Gloria A.; Dampare, Samuel B.; Asiedu, Daniel K.

    2016-10-01

    Major and trace elements, including rare earth elements (REEs) data are presented for metavolcanic rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Birimian Sefwi belt to determine the geochemical characteristics as well as the possible tectonic setting of emplacement of these rocks. In order to accomplish the aim of the study, the petrographical characteristics of the rocks were examined coupled with analysis of the rocks for their whole-rock major and trace elements contents by ICP-AES and ICP-MS methods respectively. The rocks have been classified as basalt/basaltic andesites and dolerites based on their textural and mineralogical compositions. It is observed that the rocks have suffered various degrees of alteration evident in the overprinting of primary minerals such as pyroxenes and plagioclase by chlorite, epidote, sericite and others. Generally, the rocks are moderately deformed and may have experienced at least greenschist metamorphism. The basalt/basaltic andesites are derivative magmas [Mg# (20-51), Cr (10-220 ppm) and Ni (5-137 ppm)], and show flat REE to fractionated REE patterns with (La/Sm)N = 1.36-3.90, (La/Yb)N = 1.17-5.32 and strong negative to non-existent Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.51-1.03). N-MORB-normalised multi-element diagrams show that the rocks have geochemical patterns characterised by enrichment in LILE relative to HFSE and in LREE relative to HREE. The basalt/basaltic andesites exhibit characteristics of subduction zone-related magmas, such as pronounced negative Nb-Ta anomalies, slightly negative Hf and variable negative Ti anomalies. The dolerites do not vary much from the basalts and basaltic andesites. The MgO and Fe2O3 values of the dolerite range from 2.97 to 6.93 and 5.98 to 14.35 wt.% respectively, corresponding to Mg#s of 38-62. LREEs enrichment over HREEs with (La/Sm)N ranging from 0.61 to 4.61 and (Gd/Yb)N ranging from 0.99 to 2.91 is also typical of these rocks. The dolerites also exhibit quite invariable Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.81-1.00) and

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Geochemical Signature of Mesozoic Volcanic and Granitic Rocks in Madina Regency Area, North Sumatra, Indonesia, and its Tectonic Implication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iskandar Zulkarnain

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.17014/ijog.vol4no2.20094Five samples consisting of two Permian-Triassic basalts, two Triassic-Jurassic granitic rocks, and a Miocene andesite were collected from the Madina Regency area in North Sumatra that is regionally situated on the West Sumatra Block. Previous authors have proposed three different scenarios for the geological setting of West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt, namely an island-arc, subduction related continental margin arc, and continental break-up. Petrographic analysis of the Mesozoic basaltic samples indicates that they are island-arcs in origin; however their trace element spider diagram patterns (Rock/MORB ratio also show the character of back-arc marginal basin, besides the island-arc. Furthermore, their REE spider diagram patterns (Rock/ Chondrite ratio clearly reveal that they were actually generated in a back-arc marginal basin tectonic setting. Meanwhile, the two Mesozoic granitic rocks and the Miocene andesite reflect the character of an active continental margin. Their spider diagram patterns show a significant enrichment on incompat- ible elements, usually derived from fluids of the subducted slab beneath the subduction zone. The high enrichment on Th makes their plots on Ta/Yb versus Th/Yb diagram are shifted to outside the active continental margin field. Although the volcanic-plutonic products represent different ages, their La/Ce ratio leads to a probability that they have been derived from the same magma sources. This study offers another different scenario for the geological setting of West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt, where the magmatic activities started in a back-arc marginal basin tectonic setting during the Permian-Triassic time and changed to an active continental margin during Triassic to Miocene. The data are collected through petrographic and chemical analyses for major, trace, and REE includ- ing literature studies.  

  11. Geochemical Signature of Mesozoic Volcanic and Granitic Rocks in Madina Regency Area, North Sumatra, Indonesia, and its Tectonic Implication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iskandar Zulkarnain

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.17014/ijog.vol4no2.20094Five samples consisting of two Permian-Triassic basalts, two Triassic-Jurassic granitic rocks, and a Miocene andesite were collected from the Madina Regency area in North Sumatra that is regionally situated on the West Sumatra Block. Previous authors have proposed three different scenarios for the geological setting of West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt, namely an island-arc, subduction related continental margin arc, and continental break-up. Petrographic analysis of the Mesozoic basaltic samples indicates that they are island-arcs in origin; however their trace element spider diagram patterns (Rock/MORB ratio also show the character of back-arc marginal basin, besides the island-arc. Furthermore, their REE spider diagram patterns (Rock/ Chondrite ratio clearly reveal that they were actually generated in a back-arc marginal basin tectonic setting. Meanwhile, the two Mesozoic granitic rocks and the Miocene andesite reflect the character of an active continental margin. Their spider diagram patterns show a significant enrichment on incompat- ible elements, usually derived from fluids of the subducted slab beneath the subduction zone. The high enrichment on Th makes their plots on Ta/Yb versus Th/Yb diagram are shifted to outside the active continental margin field. Although the volcanic-plutonic products represent different ages, their La/Ce ratio leads to a probability that they have been derived from the same magma sources. This study offers another different scenario for the geological setting of West Sumatra Permian Plutonic-Volcanic Belt, where the magmatic activities started in a back-arc marginal basin tectonic setting during the Permian-Triassic time and changed to an active continental margin during Triassic to Miocene. The data are collected through petrographic and chemical analyses for major, trace, and REE includ- ing literature studies.  

  12. Frictional sliding in layered rock: Preliminary experiments on stacked Lexan plates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perry, K.E. Jr.; Epstein, J.S. [Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Fracture Behavior Group; Jung, J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Understanding the mechanical behavior of jointed-rock masses is of critical importance to designing and predicting the performance of a potential nuclear waste repositiry. To this end we have studied the frictional sliding between simulated rock joints using phase shifting moire interferometry. Preliminary calibration models were made from stacks of Lexan plates that were sand-blasted to provide a uniform frictional interface. Load was applied monotonically and phase shifted moire fringe patterns were recorded at three different load states. Plots of slip along the interfaces for the model are presented to demonstrate the ability of the photomechanics technique to provide precise measurements of in-plane displacement, and ultimately the slip between the plates.

  13. Determination of Rock Mass Modulus Using the Plate Loading Method at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Finley, R.E.; George, J.T.; Riggins, M.

    1999-08-02

    A suite of plate loading tests has recently been conducted by Sandia National Laboratories at the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Fielding of these in situ tests as well as other approaches undertaken for the determination of rock mass modulus are described. The various methodologies are evaluated and their data compared. Calculation by existing empirical methods and numerical modeling are compared to each other as well as to field data.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Ladinian radiolarian fauna, siliceous rock from the Xianshuihe Belt, West Sichuan and their tectonic significance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG Bin; FENG Qinglai; WANG Quanwei; GUO Jianqiu; ZHONG Changhong; LI Zhenjiang

    2005-01-01

    Ladinian radiolarian fauna, including Muelleritortis, Baumgartneria, Oertlispongus,Paroertlispongus, Pseudoertlispongus, etc., was discovered from the siliceous rock of the Runiange Formation in the Xianshuihe belt, West Sichuan Province. Geochemical test on five samples from the siliceous rock indicates that SiO2 content varies in 71.16%-90.06% and Si/Al ratio, in 49-71, which shows that the siliceous rock contains more terrigenous mud sediments.The siliceous rock is characterized by the large ratios of Al203/(Al203+Fe203) (0.63-0.81) and TiN (>26), the low ratio of V/Y (<2.8), and low vanadium content (<23 μg/g), which are similar to the geochemical characteristics of continental margin siliceous rock. The Ce/Ce* ratios of the four samples vary in 1.02-1.47 and the LaN/CeN ratio, in 0.75-1.07, which imply that the siliceous rock was deposited in the continental margin basin. But only one sample is similar to the oceanic siliceous rock in REE. Turbidite-siliceous rock bearing radiolarian-basalt assemblage and the geochemical characteristics of the siliceous rock indicate that the Xianshuihe belt is in the strong rift stage in the Ladinian age.

  17. 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

  18. Analysis of tectonic structures and excavation induced fractures in the Opalinus Clay, Mont Terri underground rock laboratory (Switzerland)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nussbaum, Ch.; Bossart, P. [Federal Office of Topography swisstopo, Wabern (Switzerland); Amann, F. [Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Aubourg, Ch. [Laboratoire des fluides complexes et leurs reservoirs, Centre National de la Recherche Scientitfique CNRS, Universite de Pau, Pau (France)

    2011-09-15

    Excavated in the Opalinus Clay formation, the Mont Terri underground rock laboratory in the Jura Mountains of NW Switzerland is an important international test site for researching argillaceous formations, particularly in the context of deep geological disposal of radioactive waste. The rock laboratory is intersected by naturally formed tectonic structures, as well as artificial fractures primarily formed as a consequence of tunnel excavation and the associated stress redistribution. The description and characterisation of tectonic and artificial structures is, in many cases, of key importance for interpreting the results of the various in situ experiments conducted in the rock laboratory. Systematic small-scale mapping of the tunnel walls and floor, and adjacent niches, provides basic information about the geometry and the kinematics of the geological fractures intersecting the underground laboratory. A compilation of all tectonic structures identified is presented in this paper. The underground laboratory is located in the backlimb of the Mont Terri anticline, a NNW-vergent imbricate fault-bend fold, which is characterised by a pronounced along-strike asymmetry resulting from variously oriented inherited faults. The total shortening accommodated by this structure was estimated by mass (area) balancing to be approximately 2.1 km. The Mont Terri area is significantly affected by N- to NNE-striking normal faults of the Eo-Oligocene Rhine-Bresse transfer zone and by ENE-striking faults of Late Variscan age. Depending on their orientation with respect to the transport direction towards the NNW, these faults served as oblique and frontal ramps during the subsequent Jura thrusting in the Late Miocene. The various fault systems identified in the underground rock laboratory clearly correlate with the regional-scale structures. In addition to classical structural analysis, the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility was measured to determine the magnetic fabric and strain

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Tectonic subsidence history and source-rock maturation in the Campos Basin, Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beglinger, S.E.; Wees, J.D. van; Cloetingh, S.; Doust, H.

    2012-01-01

    The Campos Basin is a petroleum-productive, marginal sag basin along the Brazilian margin. It contains a stratigraphic sequence recording lithospheric extension and rift tectonics developing to a fully evolved postbreakup setting. We present a combined approach using subsidence analysis and basin hi

  2. 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

  3. Cyclic Sequences, Events and Evolution of the Sino-Korean Plate,with a Discussion on the Evolution of Molar-tooth Carbonates,Phosphorites and Source Rocks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MENG Xianghua; GE Ming

    2003-01-01

    This paper gives an account of the research that the authors conducted on the cyclic sequences, events and evolutionary history from Proterozoic to Meso-Cenozoic in the Sino-Korean plate based on the principle of the Cosmos-Earth System. The authors divided this plate into 20 super-cyclic or super-mega-cyclic periods and more than 100 Oort periods. The research focused on important sea flooding events, uplift interruption events, tilting movement events, molar-tooth carbonate events, thermal events, polarity reversal events, karst events, volcanic explosion events and storm events, as well as types of resource areas and paleotectonic evolution. By means of the isochronous theory of the Cosmos-Earth System periodicity and based on long-excentricity and periodicity, the authors elaborately studied the paleogeographic evolution of the aulacogen of the Sino-Korean plate, the oolitic beach platform formation, the development of foreland basin and continental rift valley basin, and reconstructed the evolution of tectonic paleogeography and stratigraphic framework in the Sino-Korean plate in terms of evolutionary maps. Finally, the authors gave a profound discussion on the formation and development of molar-tooth carbonates, phosphorites and source rocks.

  4. Tectonic Setting and Nature of the Provenance of Sedimentary Rocks in Lanping Mesozoic-Cenozoic Basin: Evidence from Geochemistry of Sandstones

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李志明; 刘家军; 胡瑞忠; 何明勤; 刘玉平; 李朝阳

    2003-01-01

    The geochemical composition of sandstones in the sedimentary basin is controlled mainly by the tectonic setting of the provenance,and it is therefore possible to reveal the tectonic setting of the provenance and the nature of source rocks in terms of the geochemical composition of sandstones. The major elements,rare-earth elements and trace elements of the MesozoicCenozoic sandstones in the Lanping Basin are studied in this paper,revealing that the tectonic settings of the provenance for Mesozoic-Cenozoic sedimentary rocks in the Lanping Basin belong to a passive continental margin and a continental island arc. Combined with the data on sedimentary facies and palaeogeography,it is referred that the eastern part of the basin is located mainly at the tectonic setting of the passive continental margin before Mesozoic,whereas the western part may be represented by a continental island arc. This is compatible with the regional geology data. The protoliths of sedimentary rocks should be derived from the upper continental crust,and are composed mainly of felsic rocks,mixed with some andesitic rocks and old sediment components. Therefore,the Lanping Mesozoic-Cenozoic Basin is a typical continental-type basin. This provides strong geochemical evidence for the evolution of the paleo-Tethys and the basin-range transition.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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).

  8. The age and tectonic environment of the rhyolitic rocks on the western side of Wuyi Mountain, South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHU LiangShu; DENG Ping; YU JinHai; WANG YanBin; JIANG ShaoYong

    2008-01-01

    During the geological survey of the metamorphic rocks in Xingning-Wuhua region on the western side of Wuyi Mountain, South China, we discovered the Neoproterozoic rhyolite and rhyolitic greywacke for the first time that outcrop in the Proterozoic metamorphic rocks near Jingnan Town of Xingning County,eastern Guangdong Province. A systematic research on petrology, geochemistry and geochronology of rhyolitic rocks was conducted to understand their tectonic setting and formation age. The Jingnan rhyolite is interbedded with a coeval greywacke, with a total thickness of 60 m; both rhyolite and greywacke display a similar folding and metamorphic pattern. Meta-rhyolite consists of groundmass and phenocrystals including sanidine, orthoclase, and quartz with distinct undulose extinction; the groundmass has been re-crystallized into fine-grain feldspar, quartz and sericite aggregation.Meta-greywacke is composed of crystallinoclastic grains (sanidine, orthoclase, quartz and oligoclase)and clay groundmass. Zircon grains used for the SHRIMP U-Pb analysis are light brown-colored and euhedral or sub-euhedral. Dating data suggest two age groups; eight grains of magma-type zircon with an idiomorphic form yield an age of 972±8 Ma, and the other seven weakly corroded grains of zircon with euhedral to subeuhedral shape construct an average age of 1097±11 Ma, which were captured from older rocks by an uplifting magma, implying that a late Mesoproterozoic basement exists in the Nanling region. In addition, one Paleoproterozoic age, 2035±11 Ma, is obtained from a rounded detrital zircon,indicating that a Paleoproterozoic thermal event took place in the South China. Geochemically, the Jingnan rhyolitic rocks are characterized by high K2O content, intermediate Al2O3 content, with the ACNK value 0.98-1.11, and belonging to high-K alkaline series. They are rich in ∑REE, Rb, Th and Ce,depleted in Ba, Sr, Eu, Ti, P and Nb-Ta, and with moderate negative Eu and Sr anomalies. These features

  9. The age and tectonic environment of the rhyolitic rocks on the western side of Wuyi Mountain,South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    During the geological survey of the metamorphic rocks in Xingning-Wuhua region on the western side of Wuyi Mountain, South China, we discovered the Neoproterozoic rhyolite and rhyolitic greywacke for the first time that outcrop in the Proterozoic metamorphic rocks near Jingnan Town of Xingning County, eastern Guangdong Province. A systematic research on petrology, geochemistry and geochronology of rhyolitic rocks was conducted to understand their tectonic setting and formation age. The Jingnan rhyolite is interbedded with a coeval greywacke, with a total thickness of 60 m; both rhyolite and greywacke display a similar folding and metamorphic pattern. Meta-rhyolite consists of groundmass and phenocrystals including sanidine, orthoclase, and quartz with distinct undulose extinction; the groundmass has been recrystallized into fine-grain feldspar, quartz and sericite aggregation. Meta-greywacke is composed of crystallinoclastic grains (sanidine, orthoclase, quartz and oligoclase) and clay groundmass. Zircon grains used for the SHRIMP U-Pb analysis are light brown-colored and euhedral or subeuhedral. Dating data suggest two age groups; eight grains of magmatype zircon with an idiomorphic form yield an age of 972±8 Ma, and the other seven weakly corroded grains of zircon with euhedral to subeuhedral shape construct an average age of 1097±11 Ma, which were captured from older rocks by an uplifting magma, implying that a late Mesoproterozoic basement exists in the Nanling region. In addition, one Paleoproterozoic age, 2035±11 Ma, is obtained from a rounded detrital zircon, indicating that a Paleoproterozoic thermal event took place in the South China. Geochemically, the Jingnan rhyolitic rocks are characterized by high K2O content, intermediate Al2O3 content, with the ACNK value 0.98―1.11, and belonging to high-K alkaline series. They are rich in ΣREE, Rb, Th and Ce, depleted in Ba, Sr, Eu, Ti, P and Nb-Ta, and with moderate negative Eu and Sr anomalies. These

  10. Uplifted ophiolitic rocks on Isla Gordon, southernmost Chile: implications for the closure history of the Rocas Verdes marginal basin and the tectonic evolution of the Beagle Channel region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, W. D.

    1994-04-01

    A succession of mafic rocks that includes gabbro, sheeted dikes and deformed pillow basalts has been mapped in detail on Isla Gordon, southernmost Chile and is identified as an upper ophiolitic complex representing the uplifted floor of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Rocas Verdes marginal basin. The complex was uplifted, deformed, and regionally metamorphosed prior to the intrusion of an undeformed 90 Ma granodiorite that cuts the complex. The complex appears para-autochthonous, is gently tilted to the northeast and is internally sheared by near-vertical foliation zones. No evidence for obduction was observed although the base of the complex is not exposed. The ophiolitic rocks have been regionally metamorphosed to mid-upper greenschist levels. Isla Gordon is bounded by the northwest and southwest arms of the Beagle Channel, two important structural boundaries in the southernmost Andes that are interpreted to have accommodated north-side-up and left-lateral displacements. Directly north of Isla Gordon is the Cordillera Darwin metamorphic complex that exposes the highest grade metamorphic rocks in the Andes south of Peru. On the north coast of Isla Gordon a volcaniclastic turbidite sequence that is interpreted to have been deposited above the mafic floor is metamorphosed to lower greenschist levels in strong metamorphic contrast to amphibolite-grade othogneisses exposed in Cordillera Darwin only 2 km away across the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel. The profound metamorphic break across the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel and the regional northeast tilt of the ophiolitic complex are consistent with the previously proposed hypothesis that Isla Gordon represents the upper plate to an extensional fault that accommodated tectonic unroofing of Cordillera Darwin. However, limited structural evidence for extension was identified in this study to support the model and further work is needed to determine the relative importance of contractional, extensional and

  11. Petrogenesis of Early-Middle Jurassic intrusive rocks in northern Liaoning and central Jilin provinces, northeast China: Implications for the extent of spatial-temporal overprinting of the Mongol-Okhotsk and Paleo-Pacific tectonic regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hai-Hong; Wang, Feng; Xu, Wen-Liang; Cao, Hua-Hua; Pei, Fu-Ping

    2016-07-01

    continental crust of the XMOB, respectively. The above findings, combined with regional geologic data, suggest that the Early Jurassic bimodal igneous rocks formed in an extensional tectonic environment related to subduction of the Paleo-Pacific plate beneath the Eurasian continent. The Middle Jurassic bimodal igneous rocks possibly formed in an extensional environment related to the collapse of a thickened region of the lower crust after closure of the Mongol-Okhotsk Ocean.

  12. Petrogenesis and Tectonic Implications of Paleoproterozoic Metapelitic Rocks in the Archean Kongling Complex from the Northern Yangtze Craton, South China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y.; Zheng, J.; Wang, W.; Xiong, Q.

    2015-12-01

    The Archean Kongling Complex in the northern Yangtze Craton is an ideal target to investigate the Precambrian accretion and evolution of continental crust in South China. This study aims to unravel the crustal evolution and tectonic setting of the Yangtze Craton during the Paleoproterozoic time, using integrated studies of petrography, zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopes and whole-rock geochemistry of Paleoproterozoic metapelitic rocks in the Kongling Complex. These rocks contain garnet, sillimanite, biotite, plagioclase, minor graphite and ilmenite. Zircons from the samples show nebulous sector-zoning and rim-core structure, suggesting both metamorphic origin and detrital origin with metamorphic overprints. The metamorphic zircons and metamorphic overprints have concordant 207Pb/206Pb age at ~2.0 Ga, while detrital grains yield three distinct concordant-age populations of >2.5 Ga, 2.4-2.2 Ga and 2.2-2.1 Ga. The age patterns indicate that the depositional age of the metasedimentary rocks was 2.1-2.0 Ga. Those 2.2-2.1 Ga detrital zircons with variable ɛHf(t) values (-7.28 to 2.97) suggest the addition of juvenile materials from depleted mantle to the crust during 2.2-2.1 Ga. The 2.4-2.2 Ga zircons have Hf model ages (TDM2) of ~2.6-3.5 Ga and >2.5 Ga zircons have TDM2 ages varying from 2.9 Ga to 3.3 Ga. The new data suggest that the Kongling Complex was originally a Paleoarchean (old up to 3.5 Ga) continental nucleus, which experienced multiple episodes of growth and reworking events at 3.3-3.2 Ga, 2.9 Ga, 2.7-2.6 Ga, 2.4-2.2 Ga and 2.2-2.1 Ga. In combination with available data, the new results in this study suggest a continent-arc-continent evolution model to explain the tectonic evolution of the Yangtze Craton during the Paleoproterozoic time: the western margin of Yangtze Craton was originally an individual continent, which underwent a reworking event during 2.4-2.2 Ga and a crust growth event caused by continent-arc collision during 2.2-2.1 Ga; it subsequently collided

  13. 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.

  14. Modeling tectonic heat flow and source rock maturity in the Rub' Al-Khali Basin (Saudi Arabia), with the help of GOCE satellite gravity data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abdul Fattah, R.; Meekes, S.; Bouman, J.; Ebbing, J.; Haagmans, R.

    2014-01-01

    A 3D basin modeling study was carried out to reconstruct the regional heat flow and source rock maturity in the Rub'al-Khali basin. Gravity gradient data from the GOCE satellite were used to model deep structures, such as the Moho interface. Tectonic heat flow was modeled using the GOCE-based Moho i

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Characteristics of Magmatic Rocks and Tectonic Setting of Mazhuangshan Area,East Tianshan,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈世忠; 周济元; 等

    2000-01-01

    The Mazhuangshan area lies in northeast to Aqikekuduke,where are distributed in-termediate-acid rocks,which were formed in the Middle-Late Carboniferous epoch.The magmatic rocks are peraluminous and belong to calcareous series.All values of ACNK(1.03-2.12),ANK(1.67-2.93),SI(4.1-33),δ(0.71-4.82),La/∑REE(0.09-0.26) ∑LREE/∑HREE(1.76-11.01),(La/Sm)N(1.60-6.35),(Sm/Nd)N(0.33-0.58),(La/Yb)N(4.7-12.1),LaN/Lux(5.9-11.8),(Ce/Yb)N(3.14-6.64),δEu(0.38-1.06),RbN/SrN(41-120)and Sr(0.02-0.2)demonstrate they vary with D_I(45-90).S-B diagram also shows that the lithophile elements are abundant in acidic magmatic rocks,Moreover,it is concluded that the primitive magma originated from a subduction zone at the continental edge,and underwent fractional crystallization and contamination,then generated the magmatic rocks,The multi-cation index(R:3055-3993,R2:286-438) shows that the primitive magma originated from the mantle,All these conclusions are beneficial for exploring gold deposits in the area.

  18. Age, petrogenesis, and tectonic setting of the Permian bimodal volcanic rocks in the eastern Jiamusi Massif, NE China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Jun-Hui; Ge, Wen-Chun; Yang, Hao; Wang, Zhi-Hui; Dong, Yu; Liu, Xi-Wen; Ji, Zheng

    2017-02-01

    We present new in situ zircon U-Pb and Hf isotope, whole-rock geochemical, and Sr-Nd isotopic data for volcanic rocks from the Jiejinkou and Baoqing areas in the eastern Jiamusi Massif. These volcanic rocks are bimodal and consist of basalts, basaltic andesites, rhyolites, and rhyolitic tuffs that can be subdivided into mafic and silicic groups. Zircon U-Pb dating by LA-ICP-MS indicates that these volcanic rocks were erupted between the Early and Middle Permian (290-267 Ma). The mafic rocks in this area have positive εNd(t) (+0.07 to +6.43) values, and are enriched in light rare earth elements (LREEs) and depleted in heavy REE, Nb, and Ta. From these rocks, the meta-basalt of Jinlu and basaltic andesite of Taipinggou and Haojiatun were derived from parental magmas generated by the partial melting of depleted mantle wedge material that was metasomatized by subduction-related melts. These magmas then underwent variable degrees of fractional crystallization and assimilated insignificant amounts of crustal material. The meta-basalt of Liming likely originated from the metasomatized mantle-derived melts hybridized by the convective asthenosphere during the evolution of the magmas. In comparison, the silicic rocks have negative εNd(t) and variable zircon εHf(t) values, are enriched in the large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and LREE, and are depleted in high-field-strength elements (e.g., Nb, Ta, and Ti), yielding arc-like geochemical signatures. The geochemical and zircon εHf(t) characteristics of Jiangfeng and Longtouqiao rhyolites are indicative of formation from magmas generated by the partial melting of mafic lower crustal material, whereas the Liming meta-rhyolite was probably produced from a source involving some depleted mantle components. The bimodal volcanic rocks provide convincing evidence that the Early-Middle Permian volcanism in the Jiamusi Massif occurred in an extensional environment probably associated with slab break-off during the westward

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Petrogenesis of Volcanic Rocks in the Khabr-Marvast Tectonized Ophiolite: Evidence for Subduction Processes in the South-Western Margin of Central Iranian Microcontinent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Azam SOLTANMOHAMMADI; Mohammad RAHGOSHAY; Morteza KHALATBARI-JAFARI

    2009-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous Khabr-Marvast tectonized ophiolite is located in the middle part of the Nain-Baft ophiolite belt, at the south-western edge of the central Iranian microcontinent. Although all the volcanic rocks in the study area indicate subduction-related magmatism (e.g. high LILE (large ion lithophile elements)/ HFSE (high field strenght elements) ratios and negative anomalies in Nb and Ta), geological and geochemical data clearly distinguish two distinct groups of volcanic rocks in the tectonized association: (1) group 1 is comprised of hyaloclustic breccias, basaltic pillow iavas, and andesite sheet flows. These rocks represent the Nain-Baft oceanic crust; and (2) group 2 is alkaline iavas from the top section of the ophiolite suite. These lavas show shoshonite affinity, but do not support the propensity of ophiolite.

  6. 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

    (in Chinese), 1998, 27 (3): 236.[11]Muller, D., Rock, N. M. S., Groves, D. I., Geochemical discrimination between shoshonitic and potassic volcanic rocks from different tectonic setting: a pilot study, Mineral. Petrol., 1992, (46): 259.[12]Liu Huairen, Observation in East Africa Rift, Tectonic Evolution and Mineralization of the Tethys in Western China (ed. Chengdu Institute of Geological and Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences)(in Chinese), Chengdu: Electron University of Science and Technology Publishing House, 1991, 366.[13]He Yunzhong, Remote sensing geological characteristics and looking for ore deposit in Yulong porphyry copper zone, Eastern Tibet, Tibet Geology (in Chinese), 1992, (1): 22.[14]Tang Renli, Luo Huaisong, The Geology of Yulong Porphyry Cu (Mo) Ore Belt, Tibet (in Chinese), Beijing: Geological Publishing House, 1995, 1-40.[15]Yan Xianfu, Geological characteristics of certain rift basin in Yunnan Province and their apply effect for geophisic survey, Yunnan Geology(in Chinese), 1982, 1 (1): 47.[16]Fei Ding, On the structural feature and the oceanization in the north part of South China Sea , Acta Geophysical Sinica(in Chinese), 1983, 26 (5): 459.[17]Yu Wenjie, Geological features of the middle section of the joint zone in Jinsha River, Tibet Geology, 1993, (2): 26.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Advances in Structural Geology and Tectonics in the Late 20th Century: A Review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Based on analyses of the share of documents of structural geology and tectonics in the GeoRef system over 100 years in the last century, and the historical change of international (31 years) and domestic (16 years) document counts of various topics in structural geology and tectonics, the position of structural geology and tectonics in the geosciences is evaluated and the major advaces in fields of plate tectonics, continental dynamics and global dynamics are reviewed. Our attention mainly focuses on the advances in studies of structural analysis, deformation mechanisms and rheology of rocks,contractional tectonics and late- and post-orogenic extensional collapse in orogens, large-scale strikeslip faults and indentation-extrusion tectonics, active tectonics and natural hazards. The relationships of structural geology and tectonics with petrology and geochronology are also discussed in terms of intersection of scientific disciplines. Finally, some suggestions are proposed for the further development of structural geology and tectonics in China.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Geological, Geochemical Characteristics and Tectonic Significance of Mafic and Ultramafic Rocks in the Northeast Segment of Antalya Complex, SW Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elitok, O.

    2005-12-01

    The area of SW Turkey known as the Isparta Angle include autochthonous and allochthonous units (from west to east the Lycian nappes, Beydaglari-Karacahisar autochthonous, the Antalya Complex, Anamas-Akseki autochthonous, and the Beysehir-Hoyran nappes). Emplacement of the nappes during Neotectonic evolution of Eastern Mediterranean region resulted in the formation of the Isparta Angle which has played an important role in tectonic evolution of Turkey and Eastern Mediterranean region. The study area is located in the northeast segment of Antalya Complex and covers an area of approximately 300 km2. Mainly carbonate rock unites constitute the autochthonous basement and overlain tectonicaly by the Obektas formation in olistostromal melange character, Kizildag Peridotite with ophiolitic melange and ophiolite-related metamorphic rocks, Pazarkoy group, and Dulup limestones. Pazarkoy group (Upper Triassic-Lower Cretaceous) include slope, basinal sedimantery rocks formed within passive margin environment, volcanic rocks characterized by different tectonomagmatic environments and serpentinites. Volcanic rocks are observed mainly as massive or pillow lavas at different locations in Pazarkoy group (at Akpinar Tepe, Havutlu, Ayvalipinar). The volcanics outcropping in the vicinity of Akpinar Tepe in alkaline basalt to trachyandesite composition and Ayvalipinar in alkaline basalt composition display nearly OIB-like pattern on the N-MORB normalized spider diagram with slightly negative Nb anomaly reflecting subduction zone affinity. But, on the tectonomagmatic discrimination diagrams (Zr/Y vs. Zr, V vs. Ti/1000), these volcanics plot within WPB field. The volcanics exposed around Havutlu, in Obektas formation and in ophiolitic melange have subalkaline basalt composition and on the primitive-mantle normalized spider diagram they show parallel pattern in HFSE with negative Nb-Ta anomaly. On the Chondrite-normalized REE pattern, volcanics taken from Havutlu display slightly

  20. 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.

  1. Tectonic implications of paleomagnetic poles from Lower Tertiary Volcanic Rocks, south central Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillhouse, John W.; Grommé, C. Sherman; Csejtey, Bela, Jr.

    1985-12-01

    We have determined the paleolatitude of lower Tertiary volcanic rocks in southern Alaska to measure possible poleward translation of the Wrangellia and the Peninsular terranes after 50 m.y. ago. Previous paleomagnetic studies have shown that in Triassic and Jurassic time these terranes were located near the equator and have moved at least 3000 km poleward relative to the North American craton. Our sample localities are in the northern Talkeetna Mountains in mildly deformed andesite and dacite flows (50.4, 51.3, 53.9, and 56.3 m.y. by K-Ar) that overlap Lower Cretaceous flysch, Lower Permian volcanic rocks of Wrangellia, and Upper Triassic pillow basalt of the Susitna terrane. Results from 26 cooling units (23 of reversed polarity and 3 of normal polarity) give a mean paleomagnetic pole at 69.5°N, 179.6°E, α95 = 12.2°. Stratigraphic sections from opposite limbs of a syncline yield directional paths that pass the fold test, satisfying a necessary condition for primary origin of the magnetization. The corresponding mean paleolatitude (76°N) of the northern Talkeetna Mountains is 8°±10° higher than the latitude predicted from the Eocene reference pole for North America. Therefore, northward drift of the Talkeetna superterrane, which is the amalgamation of the Wrangellia and Peninsular terranes during and after Middle Jurassic time, was probably complete by 50 m.y. ago. Our results are consistent with paleomagnetic poles from uppermost Cretaceous and Paleocene volcanic sequences in Denali National Park, the Lake Clark region, northern Bristol Bay region, and near McGrath. These poles generally lie south of the cratonic poles, suggesting that the region between the Kaltag, Bruin Bay, and Castle Mountain faults has rotated counterclockwise relative to North America since the early Eocene.

  2. 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

  3. Combined geophysical techniques for detailed groundwater flow investigation in tectonically deformed fractured rocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Alexopoulos

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we present a combination of several near surface geophysical investigation techniques with high resolution remote sensing image interpretations, in order to define the groundwater flow paths and whether they can be affected by future seismic events. A seasonal spring (Amvrakia located at the foot of Meteora pillars near the village of Kastraki (Greece was chosen as a test site. The Meteora conglomeratic formations crop out throughout the study area and are characterized by large discontinuities caused by post Miocene till present tectonic deformation [Ferriere et al. 2011, Royden and Papanikolaou 2011]. A network of groundwater pathways has been developed above the impermeable marls underlying the conglomeratic strata. Our research aims to define these water pathways in order to investigate and understand the exact mechanism of the spring by mapping the exposed discontinuity network with classic field mapping and remote sensing image interpretation and define their underground continuity with the contribution of near surface geophysical techniques. Five Very Low Frequency (VLF profiles were conducted with different directions around the spring aiming to detect possible conductive zones in the conglomeratic formations that the study area consists of. Moreover, two Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT sections of a total length of 140m were carried out parallel to the VLF profiles for cross-checking and verifying the geophysical information. Both techniques revealed important conductive zones (<200 Ohm m within the conglomerate strata, which we interpret as discontinuities filled with water supplying the spring, which are quite vulnerable to displacements as the hydraulic connections between them might be easily disturbed after a future seismic event.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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....

  7. Extensional deformation of the Guadalquivir Basin: rate of WSW-ward tectonic displacement from Upper Tortonian sedimentary rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roldán, Francisco J.; Azañón, Jose Miguel; Rodríguez-Fernández, Jose; María Mateos, Rosa

    2016-04-01

    The Guadalquivir Basin (Upper Tortonian-Quaternary sedimentary infilling) has been considered the foreland basin of the Betic Orogen built up during its collision with the Sudiberian margin. The basin is currently restricted to its westernmost sector, in the Cadiz Gulf, because the Neogene-Quaternary uplift of the Betic Cordillera has produced the emersion of their central and eastern parts. The upper Tortonian chronostratigraphic unit is the oldest one and it was indistinctly deposited on the South Iberian paleomargin and the External units from the Betic Cordillera. However, these rocks are undeformed on the Sudiberian paleomargin while they are deeply affected by brittle deformation on the External Betic Zone. Outcrops of Upper Tortonian sedimentary rocks on External Betic Zone are severely fragmented showing allocthonous characters with regard to those located on the Sudiberian paleomargin. This post- Upper Tortonian deformation is not well known in the External Zones of the Cordillera where the most prominent feature is the ubiquity of a highly deformed tecto-sedimentary unit outcropping at the basement of the Guadalquivir sedimentary infilling. This tecto-sedimentary unit belongs to the Mass Wasting Extensional Complex (Rodríguez-Fernández, 2014) formed during the collision and westward migration of the Internal Zone of the Betic Cordillera (15-8,5 Ma). In the present work, we show an ensemble of tectonic, geophysical and cartographic data in order to characterize the post-Upper Tortonian deformation. For this, seismic reflection profiles have been interpreted with the help of hidrocarbon boreholes to define the thickness of the Upper Tortonian sedimentary sequence. All these data provide an estimation of the geometrical and kinematic characteristics of the extensional faults, direction of movement and rate of displacement of these rocks during Messinian/Pliocene times. References Rodríguez-Fernández, J., Roldan, F. J., J.M. Azañón y Garcia-Cortes, A

  8. 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.

  9. Development of a Highly Portable Plate Loading Device and In Situ Modulus Measurements in Weak Rock Masses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallu, Raj R.; Keffeler, Evan R.; Watters, Robert J.; Warren, Sean N.

    2016-02-01

    In recent years, underground mines in Nevada are increasingly exploiting in weak mineralized zones at greater depths that are intensely fractured and highly altered. The mechanical behavior of these rock masses ranges between weak rock and very stiff soil. A common limitation for design of underground mining excavations in these types of rock masses is absence of in situ geotechnical data. This limitation is generally overcome by estimating in situ mechanical behavior from empirical relationships so that the continuum-based numerical methods can be used to evaluate ground support designs. Because of the cost, time, and specialized equipment involved, historically in situ tests have not been performed in these underground mines. Predictive rock mass modulus relationships that are currently available in the literature are derived from field testing of predominantly good-quality rock masses. Consequently, there is limited confidence in using these models for rock masses with Rock Mass Ratings less than 45. In order to overcome some of these limitations, a portable plate loading device (PPLD) was designed and fabricated. The PPLD allows one to perform low cost and relatively quick in situ deformability tests to be performed on weak rock masses in underground mines. Test procedures and data reduction methods were developed to limit potential sources of error associated with the PPLD test. A total of fourteen plate loading tests were performed in weak rock masses at two different active underground mines in Nevada, USA. The resulting the test data were compared to eight published empirical rock mass modulus relationships to determine which, if any, of these relationships are sufficiently accurate for estimating modulus in similar geotechnical conditions. Only two of these relationships were found to be sufficient for first-order estimations of in situ modulus.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Deformation and Metasomatic Evolution at the Subduction Plate Interface As Viewed from Study of HP/UHP Metamorphic Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, G. E.; Penniston-Dorland, S.

    2014-12-01

    We provide a view of lithologic makeup, deformation, and fluid-rock interaction along the deep forearc to subarc plate interface, based on insights gained from study of HP/UHP metamorphic rocks. Exposures of plate-boundary shear zones on which we base our perspective represent 30-80 km depths and are on Catalina Island and at Monviso, Syros, and New Caledonia. Each contains highly deformed zones with schistose matrix, commonly with a large ultramafic component, containing bodies of less deformed mafic, sedimentary, and ultramafic rocks. These "blocks" have varying geometries, are up to km-scale, and can preserve disparate P-T histories reflecting dynamics of incorporation and entrainment. Sheared matrices contain high-variance, hydrous mineral assemblages in some cases resembling metasomatic zones ("rinds") at block-matrix contacts, and rinds and matrices have homogenized isotopic compositions reflecting extensive fluid-rock interaction. Shearing and related physical juxtaposition of disparate metasomatic rocks can result in mixed or 'hybrid' chemical compositions. The chlorite-, talc-, and amphibole-rich schists developed by these processes can stabilize H2O to great depth and influence its cycling. Fluids (hydrous fluids, silicate melts) released within slabs necessarily interact with highly deformed, lithologically hybridized zones at the plate interface as they ascend to potentially enter mantle wedges. Fluids bearing chemical/isotopic signatures of hybrid rocks appear capable of producing arc magma compositions interpreted as reflecting multiple, chemically distinct fluids sources. Geophysical signatures of these rheologically weak zones are equivocal but many recognize the presence of zones of low seismic velocity at/near the top of slabs and attribute them to hydrated rocks. Whether rocks from this interface buoyantly ascend into mantle wedges, indicated in some theoretical models, remains largely untested by field and geophysical observations.

  14. Host rock geochemistry and tectonic setting of the El Roble volcanogenic massive Cu sulfide deposit, Republic of Colombia; Colombia kyowakoku El Roble kazan seikaijo do ryukabutsu kosho bogan no chikyu kagaku to kosho no tectonic setting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shinozuka, M. [Waseda University, Tokyo (Japan). School of Science and Engineering; Mariko, T. [Waseda University, Tokyo (Japan). School of Education

    1997-06-30

    Major and minor elements and mineral chemistry are presented for 19 green rock samples from the El Roble mining area. These rocks are compositionally bimodal ranging from 47.4 to 52.5% SiO2 and from 56.2 to 62.7% SiO2. The basic rocks are divided into three types according to TiO2 content. The type 1 rocks are richest in TiO2 (2.4-2.8%), and their multi-element spider diagrams normalized against N-MORB and other geochemical discrimination diagrams indicate that they are similar to T-MORB or OIB. The type 2 rocks are lower in TiO2 (1.3-1.6%) than those of the type 1, and their multi-element spider diagrams resemble N-MORB, but merge the island arc characteristics together in rather high content of LIL elements. The type 3 rocks are lowest in TiO2 (1.1-1.3%) among the basic rocks and are transitional between MORB and island arc basalt in their multi-element spider diagrams and minor element (Ti, Zr, V and Sr) chemistry. The intermediate rocks, the type 4, are lower in TiO2 (0.2-0.8%) than the type 3 rocks and include boninite. They have the typical characteristics of island arc and/or fore arc in their multi-element spider diagrams with distinct minus anomaly of Nb, and in Ti, Zr, V and Sr contents. The El Roble ore deposit occurs closely related with the type 2 and 3 rocks which have suffered the ocean-floor alteration ranging from greenschist facies to a transition state from greenschist to amphibolite facies. In contrast, the mineral assemblage of alteration minarals in the type 1 and 4 rocks indicate the prehnite-pumpellyite facies. Comparing with the geochemical data for the Recent volcanic rocks at variable tectonic settings, it is estimated that the type 1, 2 and 3 rocks were formed at the back-arc rift and the type 4 rocks at the island arc and/or fore arc. In the process of spreading and closing of the Colombian back-arc basin of Cretaceous age, the El Roble ore deposit probably formed at the spreading axis when it approached to the subduction zone

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Origin of organic matter from tectonic zones in the Western Tatra Mountains Crystalline Basement, Poland: An example of bitumen-source rock correlation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marynowski, Leszek; Gaweda, Aleksandra [Faculty of Earth Sciences, Department of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Silesia, ul. Bedzinska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec (Poland); Poprawa, Pawel [Department of Regional and Petroleum Geology, Polish Geological Institute, ul. Rakowiecka 4, 00-975 Warszawa (Poland); Zywiecki, Michal M. [Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology, Warsaw University, al. Zwirki i Wigury 93, 02-089 Warszawa (Poland); Kepinska, Beata [Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Wybickiego 7, 30-950 Cracow (Poland); Merta, Halina [Polish Oil and Gas Company, Geonafta Warsaw, 76 ul. Jagiellonska, 03-301 Warsaw (Poland)

    2006-02-15

    Solid bitumens of unknown origin, found in brittle tectonic shear zones cutting the crystalline basement of the Western Tatra Mts, show uniform geochemical characteristics that suggest a uniform source for the original hydrocarbons. On the basis of GC-MS data, a similarity between these solid bitumens and organic matter dispersed in the Mesozoic source rocks of Podhale Trough and sedimentary cover of the northern Tatra Mts is observed. The organic matter in the Mesozoic source rocks shows a higher maturation level than that in the solid bitumens. The molecular composition of the organic matter in both the solid bitumens and the basement rocks is significantly different from that in the Paleogene sedimentary rocks infilling the Podhale Trough. These immature to early mature Paleogene sedimentary rocks contain organic compounds typical of terrestrial plants, both conifers (simonellite and retene) and angiosperms (lupane, oleanane and taraxastene), which are absent in the solid bitumens and in the Mesozoic source rocks. Water-CO{sub 2} fluid inclusions in quartz sealing the shear zones have marine-like salinity, a dominance of CaCl{sub 2} and Mg{sup 2+} depletion, suggesting genetic affinity to dolomitised carbonate rocks such as potential Middle Triassic source rocks. The low maturity of the solid bitumen in the shear zones relative to its Mesozoic source can be explained by continued maturation of the Mesozoic source rocks after expulsion and migration into the shear zones. The results of hydrocarbon-generation modeling indicate that oil expulsion from the Mesozoic source rocks, its migration through the shear zones, and the subsequent maturation of the Mesozoic source rocks all occurred within a short Oligocene time interval. (author)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Rocking curve FWHM maps of a chemically etched (0 0 1) oriented HPHT type Ib diamond crystal plate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhong, Y; Macrander, A T; Krasnicki, S; Chu, Y S; Maj, J; Assoufid, L; Qian, J [Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States)

    2007-09-07

    Synchrotron radiation and a CCD detector were employed to map the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of rocking curves for a synthetic (0 0 1) oriented type Ib diamond plate. The plate was sawed from a diamond grown in the high-pressure-high-temperature (HPHT) process. Maps for broadening relative to a reference point on the diamond for the (2 2 4) reflection at 12 keV are reported before and after chemical etching. Significant rocking curve narrowing over most of the diamond was found, and we conclude that the diffraction performance of (0 0 1) oriented type Ib diamonds can be significantly improved over a large area by chemical etching. Stripes in the map before etching corresponded to grooves formed in the process of sawing the plate out of the as-grown stone. The FWHM map did not correlate with the surface height profile measured after {approx}10 {mu}m were removed from the surface by etching.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Geological, petrogical and geochemical characteristics of granitoid rocks in Burma: with special reference to the associated WSn mineralization and their tectonic setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaw, Khin

    The granitoid rocks in Burma extend over a distance of 1450 km from Putao, Kachin State in the north, through Mogok, Kyaukse, Yamethin and Pyinmana in the Mandalay Division, to Tavoy and Mergui areas, Tenasserim Division, in the south. The Burmese granitoids can be subdivided into three N-S trending, major belts viz. western granitoid belt, central graniotoid belt and eastern granitoid belt. The Upper Cretaceous-Lower Eocene western belt granitoids are characterized by high-level intrusions associated with porphyry Cu(Au) related, younger volcanics; these plutonic and volcanic rocks are thought to have been emplaced as a magmatic-volcanic arc (inner magmatic-volcanic arc) above an east-dipping, but westwardly migrating, subduction zone related to the prolonged plate convergence which occurred during Upper Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The central granitoid belt is characterized by mesozonal, Mostly Upper Cretaceous to Lower Eocene plutons associated with abundant pegmalites and aplites, numerous vein-type W-Sn deposits and rare co-magmatic volcanics. The country rocks are structurally deformed, metamorphic rocks of greenschist to upper amphibolite facies ranging in age as early as Upper Precambrian to Upper Paleozoic and locally of fossiliferous, metaclastic rocks (Mid Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous). Available K/Ar radiometric data indicate significant and possibly widespread thermal disturbances in the central granitoid belt during the Tertiary (mostly Miocence). In this study, the distribution, lithological, textural and structural characteristics of the central belt granitoids are reviewed, and their mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical features are presented. A brief description of W-Sn ore veins associated with these granitoid plutons is also reported. Present geological, petrological and geochemical evidences demonstrate that the W-Sn related, central belt granitoids are mostly granodiorite and granite which are commonly transformed into granitoid gneisses

  6. Elemental geochemistry and Nd isotopic characteristics of the metasedimentary rocks from the metamorphic belt in central Jiangxi: Provenance and tectonically environmental constraints

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Gongren; LIU Congqiang; ZHANG Bangtong; TANG Hongfeng; YU Ruilian

    2005-01-01

    The metamorphic belt in central Jiangxi, located in the compound terrain within the Cathaysia, Yangtze Block and Caledonian fold zone of South China, is composed dominantly of meta-argillo-arenaceous rocks, with minor amphibolite. These rocks underwent amphibolite-facies metamorphism. The meta-argillo-arenaceous rocks show large variations in major element composition, but have similar REE patterns and trace element composition, incompatible element and LIE enrichments [ high Th/Sc (0.57-3.59) , La/Sc ( 1.46 - 12.4), La/Yb (5.84 - 19.0) ] and variable Th/U ratios, with ∑REE = 129-296μg/g, δEu =0.51 -0.86, and (La/Yb)N = 3.95 -12.9. The Nd isotopic model ages tDM of these rocks vary from 1597 to 2124 Ma. Their 143 Nd/144 Nd values are low [εNd (0) = - 11.4 to -- 15.8]. Some conclusions have been drawn as follows: (1) The metamorphic rocks in central Jiangxi Province are likely formed in a tectonic environment at the passive continental margin of the Cathaysia massif. (2) The metamorphosed argillo-arenaceous rocks are composed dominantly of upper crustal-source rocks (Al- and Krich granitic or/and sedimentary rocks of Early Proterozoic), which experienced good sorting, slow deposition and more intense chemical weathering. (3) According to the whole-rock Sm-Nd isochron ages (1113±49 to 1199 ± 26 Ma) of plagioclase-amphibole (schist) and Nd isotopic model age tDM ( 1597 - 2124Ma) of meta-argillo-arenaceous rocks, the metamorphic belt in central Jiangxi Province was formed during the Middle Proterozoic ( 1100 - 1600 Ma).

  7. The Quaternary volcanic rocks of the northern Afar Depression (northern Ethiopia): Perspectives on petrology, geochemistry, and tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagos, Miruts; Koeberl, Christian; van Wyk de Vries, Benjamin

    2016-05-01

    The northern Afar Depression is one of the most volcano-tectonically active parts of the East African Rift system, a place where oceanic rifting may be beginning to form an incipient oceanic crust. In its center, over an area that is ∼80 km long and ∼50 km wide, there are seven major NNW-SSE-aligned shield volcanoes/volcanic edifices surrounded by compositionally distinct fissure-fed basalts. The Quaternary lavas in this area range from transitional to tholeiitic basalts, with significant across-axis variation both in mineralogy and chemistry. The variation in the contents of the major elements (TiO2, Al2O3, and Fe2O3), incompatible trace elements (Nd, Hf, Th, Ta), and the contents and ratios of the rare earth elements (REE) (e.g., (La/Yb)n = 5.3-8.9) indicate some variation in the petrogenetic processes responsible for the formation of these basalts. However, the variation in isotopic compositions of the mafic lavas is minimal (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7036-0.7041, 143Nd/144Nd = 0.51286-0.51289), which suggests only one source for all the Danakil Depression basalts. These basalts have isotope and incompatible trace element ratios that overlap with those of the Oligocene High-Ti2 flood basalts from the Ethiopian Plateau, interpreted as being derived from the last phase/tail of the Afar mantle plume source. Moreover, the Ce/Pb, Ba/U ratios indicate that the involvement of continental crust in the petrogenesis of the basaltic rocks is minimal; instead, both depth and degree of melting of the source reservoir underneath the northern Afar Depression played a major role for the production of incompatible element-enriched basalts (e.g., AleBagu Shield basalts) and the incompatible element-depleted tholeiitic basalts (e.g., Erta'Ale and Alu Shield basalts).

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 从变质作用观看板块构造何时在华北克拉通开始%WHEN DID PLATE TECTONICS BEGIN ON THE NORTH CHINA CRATON? INSIGHTS FROM METAMORPHISM

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵国春

    2007-01-01

    Understanding when and why plate tectonics began on Earth is one of the most important unresolved problems in earth sciences. As a final result of plate tectonics, continental collisional orogens are formed, and the identification of such orogens is regarded as a milestone in recognizing the operation of plate tectonics in Earths history. Metamorphism of continental collisional belts is generally characterized by clockwise p - T paths, especially for those involving isothermal decompression following the peak metamorphism. Therefore, clockwise p - T paths involving isothermal decompression are considered one of the important indicators for recognition of plate tectonics, especially in the early history of the earth. As one of the oldest continental blocks in the world, the North China Craton is considered a promising area for applying the large-scale synthesis approach of metamorphic p - T paths to understand tectonic settings or processes since extensive investigations have been undertaken on the p - T - t evolution of the basement rocks over the craton. Tectonically, the North China Craton is composed of three small continental blocks (Eastern Block, Yinshan Block, and Ordos Block) and three Paleoproterozoic mobile belts (Trans-North China Orogen, Khondalite Belt, and Jiao - Liao - Ji Belt). Metamorphism of Late Archean basement rocks in the Eastern and Yinshan Blocks is characterized by anticlockwise p - T paths, mostly involving isobaric cooling, suggesting that the heating source of the metamorphism was related to the underplating or intrusion of large volumes of mantle-derived magmas. Although theoretically such mantle-derived magmas form under continental magmatic arc, mantle plume or continental rift environments, only a mantle plume model can reasonably explain spatial and temporal distribution, lithological association, and structural features of the Late Archean basement rocks in the Eastern and Yinshan Blocks. Therefore, mantle plumes may be the

  12. Geochemistry, geochronology, and tectonic setting of Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks in the northern segment of the Tan-Lu Fault region, northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Yi-Yun; Zhang, Jin-Jiang; Liu, Kai; Ge, Mao-Hui; Wang, Meng; Wang, Jia-Min

    2017-08-01

    We present new geochemical and geochronological data for volcanic and related rocks in the regions of the Jia-Yi and Dun-Mi faults, in order to constrain the late Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the northern segment of the Tan-Lu Fault. Zircon U-Pb dating shows that rhyolite and intermediate-mafic rocks along the southern part of the Jia-Yi Fault formed at 124 and 113 Ma, respectively, whereas the volcanic rocks along the northern parts of the Jia-Yi and Dun-Mi faults formed at 100 Ma. The rhyolite has an A-type granitoid affinity, with high alkalis, low MgO, Ti, and P contents, high rare earth element (REE) contents and Ga/Al ratios, enrichments in large-ion lithophile (LILEs; e.g., Rb, Th, and U) and high-field-strength element (HFSEs; e.g., Nb, Ta, Zr, and Y), and marked negative Eu anomalies. These features indicate that the rhyolites were derived from partial melting of crustal material in an extensional environment. The basaltic rocks are enriched in light REEs and LILEs (e.g., Rb, K, Th, and U), and depleted in heavy REEs, HFSEs (e.g., Nb, Ta, Ti, and P), and Sr. These geochemical characteristics indicate that these rocks are calc-alkaline basalts that formed in an intraplate extensional tectonic setting. The dacite is a medium- to high-K, calc-alkaline, I-type granite that was derived from a mixed source involving both crustal and mantle components in a magmatic arc. Therefore, the volcanic rocks along the Jia-Yi and Dun-Mi faults were formed in an extensional regime at 124-100 Ma (Early Cretaceous), and these faults were extensional strike-slip faults at this time.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    mantle boundary layer habitually assumed, but its LVZ content gives it (i) residual heat content, (ii) corresponding buoyancy, and (iii) a flexural strength which demands a reconsideration of its mode of downbend, hitherto widely regarded as flexural, but still be able to explain outer rises and their differences. Solutions for (ii) and (iii) are convincingly supported by widespread exposure of the resulting rocks in the Alps, telling us how they and other UHP metamorphic mountain belts have been built [11]. I will illustrate the essential points. In particular, the buoyancy (ii) provides the upward mechanical contact essential for the shallow basal subduction tectonic erosion of the upper plate as preparation of thin imbricate crustal slices to subduct to UHP. And a seismologically supported through-plate step-faulting mode of downbend copes with the flexure problem (iii) and provides the tectonic erosion mechanism. In tackling these matters, important intrinsic properties of the materials are, notably:- (1) the thermal conductivity of non-migrating interstitial melt is >20 times less than its parent rock, so the LVZ heat is effectively trapped during the plate's journey across the ocean, only to be released when subduction raises the pressure and the melt freezes; (2) the garnet-to-spinel peridotite phase change, typically at 50 to 90 km depth, gives some 50 times more volume change per joule than pure expansivity, and it does so with the big force of solid-state recrystallization. This force is the crack-wall push-apart force provided by our thick-plate MOR model, which thereby develops at least an order more ridge push than the divergent flow model. We now consider the post-downbend evolution of the subducting plate, recognizing both the heat content of its ex-LVZ material and that, within the 2-layer mantle picture established by the plate dynamics of 'deep-keeled cratons' [2 - 5], there is no substantial mantle transport across the 660 km level. Examination of

  15. Volcanism and Tectonic Evolution in the North Qilian Mountains during Ordovician Period

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1998-01-01

    The Ordovician marine volcanic rocks in the north Qilian mountains are discussed in this paper. According to geology, petrotectonic assemblage and geochemistry, a new model about plate tectonic evolution of the north Qilian mountains is set up. The Ordovician marine volcanic rocks in the north Qilian mountains which characterized by the geological features of tectonic melange of continent to continent collision underwent complicated tectonic movement, and can be classified into three main kinds of petrotectonic assemblages. During Ordovician period, north Qilian area was a polyisland ocean which consisted of three ocean basins separated by the middle microcontinental blocks.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Using earthquake-triggered landslides as a hillslope-scale shear strength test: Insights into rock strength properties at geomorphically relevant spatial scales in high-relief, tectonically active settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallen, Sean; Clark, Marin; Godt, Jonathan; Lowe, Katherine

    2016-04-01

    The material strength of rock is known to be a fundamental property in setting landscape form and geomorphic process rates as it acts to modulate feedbacks between earth surface processes, tectonics, and climate. Despite the long recognition of its importance in landscape evolution, a quantitative understanding of the role of rock strength in affecting geomorphic processes lags our knowledge of the influence of tectonics and climate. This gap stems largely from the fact that it remains challenging to quantify rock strength at the hillslope scale. Rock strength is strongly scale dependent because the number, size, spacing, and aperture of fractures sets the upper limit on rock strength, making it difficult to extrapolate laboratory measurements to landscape-scale interpretations. Here we present a method to determine near-surface rock strength at the hillslope-scale, relying on earthquake-triggered landslides as a regional-scale "shear strength" test. We define near-surface strength as the average strength of rock sample by the landslides, which is typically present results from two well-documented case-studies of earthquakes that caused widespread mass-wasting; the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan Earthquake, Sichuan Province, China and the 1994 Mw. 6.8 Northridge Earthquake, CA, USA. We show how this model can be used to determine near-surface rock strength and reproduce mapped landslide patterns provided the spatial distribution of local hillslope gradient, earthquake peak ground acceleration (PGA), and coseismic landsliding are well constrained. Results suggest that near-surface rock strength in these tectonically active settings is much lower than that obtained using typical laboratory shear strength measurements on intact rock samples. Furthermore, the near-surface material strength is similar between the study areas despite differences in tectonic, climatic, and lithologic conditions. Variations in near-surface strength within each setting appear to be more strongly

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Yanshanian Magma-Tectonic-Metallogenic Belt in East China of Circum-Pacific Domain (Ⅰ):Igneous Rocks and Orogenic Processes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1999-01-01

    Yanshanian igneous rocks in the East China, on an orogenic belt scale, are characterized by the continental marginal arc in petrology and geochemistry as Andes and West USA, except for the Hercyn-type biotite-two mica-muscovite granite belt in the Nanling region. Three segments of the Yanshanian igneous rocks along the belt are recognized. In terms of magma-tectonic event sequence, the north, middle and south segments have counter-clockwise (ccw), clockwise (cw) and ccw+cw pTt paths of the orogenic process, respectively. A genetic model of the lithospheric delamination (loss of the lithospheric root in about 120 km) in combination with the oceanic subduction for the Yanshanian Andes-like orogenic belt and both the crust and lithosphere thickening for the Yanshanian Hercyn-type Nanling orogenic belt in the East China is suggested.

  3. 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

  4. LA-ICP-MS U-Pb Zircon Geochronology of Basic Dikes within Maxianshan Rock Group in the Central Qilian Orogenic Belt and Its Tectonic Implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    He Shiping; Wang Hongliang; Chen Junlu; Xu Xueyi; Zhang Hongfei; Ren Guangming; Yu Jiyuan

    2007-01-01

    A large number of basic dikes, which indicate an important tectonic-magmatic event in the eastern part of the Central Qilian (祁连) orogenic belt, were found from Maxianshan (马衔山) rock group, Yongjing (永靖) county, Gansu (甘肃) Province, China. According to the research on the characteristics of geology and petrology, the basic dike swarms, widely intruded in Maxianshan rock group,are divided into two phases by the authors. U-Pb isotope of zircons from the basic dikes above two phases is separately determined by LA-ICP-MS in the Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics of Northwest University, China and the causes of formation of the zircons are studied using CL images.The formation age of the earlier phase of metagabbro dikes is (441.1±1.4) Ma (corresponding to the early stage of Early Silurian), and the age of the main metamorphic period is (414.3±1.2) Ma (corresponding to the early stage of Early Devonian). The formation age of the later phase of diabase dike swarms is (434±1.0) Ma (corresponding to the late stage of Early Silurian). The cap- tured-zircons from diabase dike swarms saved some information of material interfusion by Maxianshan rock group (207pb/206Pb apparent ages are (2325±3)-(2573±6) Ma), and some zircons from diabase dike swarms also saved impacted information by tectonic thermal event during the late period of Caledonian movement (206pb/238U apparent ages are (400±2)-(429±2) Ma). By combining the results of the related studies, the basic dikes within Maxianshan rock group were considered to be formed in the transfer period, from subductional orogeny towards collisional orogeny, which represents geological records of NW-SE extension during regional NE-SW towards intense compression in the Central Qilian block.

  5. 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.

  6. Rheological and structural inheritance : key parameters for intra-plate deformation. A study based on analogue models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calignano, E.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain ranges are impressive tectonic features that characterize the Earth’s surface. Their formation is often associated with regions where two tectonic plates, making up the Earth surface, collide, as in the case of the Himalaya. While the surface is forced to uplift, the displacement of rocks a

  7. Rheological and structural inheritance : key parameters for intra-plate deformation. A study based on analogue models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calignano, E.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain ranges are impressive tectonic features that characterize the Earth’s surface. Their formation is often associated with regions where two tectonic plates, making up the Earth surface, collide, as in the case of the Himalaya. While the surface is forced to uplift, the displacement of rocks a

  8. 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,

  9. 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.

  10. Petrology, Magnetic susceptibility, Tectonic setting and mineralization associated with Plutonic and Volcanic Rocks, Eastern Bajestan and Taherabad, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malihe Ghoorchi

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Study area is located in district of Bajestan and Ferdows cities, NE of Iran. Structurally, this area is part of Lut block. The oldest exposed rocks, to the north of intrusive rocks and in Eastern Bajestan, are meta-chert, slate, quartzite, thin-bedded crystalline limestone and meta-argillite. The sedimentary units are: Sardar Formation (Carboniferous, Jamal Formation (Permian, Sorkh Shale and Shotori Formations (Triassic, carbonateous rocks (Cretaceous and lithostratigraphically equivalent to Kerman conglomerate (Cretaceous-Paleocene are exposed in this area. Based on relative age, magmatism in eastern Bajestan and Taherabad started after Late Cretaceous and it has been active and repeated during Tertiary time. At least, three episodes of volcanic activities are recognized in this area. The first stage was mainly volcanic flow with mafic composition and minor intermediate. The second episode was mainly intermediate in composition. The third stage was changed to acid-intermediate in composition. Since the plutonic rocks intruded the volcanic rocks, therefore they may be Oligo-Miocene age. Bajestan intrusive rocks are granite-granodiorite-quartz monzonite. Taherabad intrusive rocks are diorite-quartz diorite- monzonite-latite. Bajestan intrusive rocks are reduced type (ilmenite series and Taherabad intrusive rocks are oxidized type (magnetite series.Based on geochemical analysis including trace elements, REE and isotopic data, Bajestan intrusive rocks formed in continental collision zone and the magma has crustal origin. Taherabad intrusive rocks were formed in subduction zone and magma originated from oceanic crust. Taherabad intrusive rock has exploration potential for Cu-Au and pb.

  11. Discriminating four tectonic settings: Five new geochemical diagrams for basic and ultrabasic volcanic rocks based on log–ratio transformation of major-element data

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Surendra P Verma; Mirna Guevara; Salil Agrawal

    2006-10-01

    We present five new discriminant function diagrams based on an extensive database representative of basic and ultrabasic rocks from four tectonic settings of island arc, continental rift, ocean-island, and mid-ocean ridge. These diagrams were obtained after loge-transformation of concentration ratios of major-elements – a technique recommended for a correct statistical treatment of compositional data. Higher % success rates (overall values from ∼83 to 97%) were obtained for proposing these new diagrams as compared to those (∼82 to 94%) obtained from the discriminant analysis of the raw major-element concentration data (i.e., without the loge-transformation and without taking ratios of the compositional data, but using exactly the same database to provide an unbiased comparison), suggesting that such a data transformation constitutes a statistically correct and recommended technique. The new diagrams also resulted in less mis-classification of basic and ultrabasic rocks from known tectonic settings than the diagrams obtained from the raw data. The use of these highly successful new discriminant function diagrams is illustrated using Miocene to Recent basic and ultrabasic rocks from three areas of Mexico with complex or controversial tectonic settings (Mexican Volcanic Belt, Los Tuxtlas volcanic field, and Eastern Alkaline Province), as well as older rocks from three areas (Deccan, Malani, and Bastar) of India. Additionally, the major-element data from two ‘known’ continental arc settings are used to show that they are similar to those from the island arc setting. Continental rift setting is inferred for all Mexican cases and for one cratonic area of India (Malani) and an IAB setting for the Bastar craton. The Deccan flood basalt province of India is used to warn against an indiscriminate use of those discrimination diagrams that do not explicitly include the likely setting of the area under evaluation. An Excel template is also provided for an easy

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Vertical tectonics at a continental crust-oceanic plateau plate boundary zone: Fission track thermochronology of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villagómez, Diego; Spikings, Richard; Mora, AndréS.; GuzmáN, Georgina; Ojeda, GermáN.; CortéS, Elizabeth; van der Lelij, Roelant

    2011-08-01

    The topographically prominent Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta forms part of a faulted block of continental crust located along the northern boundary of the South American Plate, hosts the highest elevation in the world (˜5.75 km) whose local base is at sea level, and juxtaposes oceanic plateau rocks of the Caribbean Plate. Quantification of the amount and timing of exhumation constrains interpretations of the history of the plate boundary, and the driving forces of rock uplift along the active margin. The Sierra Nevada Province of the southernmost Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta exhumed at elevated rates (≥0.2 Km/My) during 65-58 Ma in response to the collision of the Caribbean Plateau with northwestern South America. A second pulse of exhumation (≥0.32 Km/My) during 50-40 Ma was driven by underthrusting of the Caribbean Plate beneath northern South America. Subsequent exhumation at 40-25 Ma (≥0.15 Km/My) is recorded proximal to the Santa Marta-Bucaramanga Fault. More northerly regions of the Sierra Nevada Province exhumed rapidly during 26-29 Ma (˜0.7 Km/My). Further northward, the Santa Marta Province exhumed at elevated rates during 30-25 Ma and 25-16 Ma. The highest exhumation rates within the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta progressed toward the northwest via the propagation of NW verging thrusts. Exhumation is not recorded after ˜16 Ma, which is unexpected given the high elevation and high erosive power of the climate, implying that rock and surface uplift that gave rise to the current topography was very recent (i.e., ≤1 Ma?), and there has been insufficient time to expose the fossil apatite partial annealing zone.

  16. Geochemistry of fine-grained clastic rocks in the Mesoproterozoic Kawabulake Group: implications for provenance and the tectonic model of the Eastern Tianshan, Xinjiang, NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Deng-Feng; Chen, Hua-Yong; Zhang, Li; Fralick, Philip; Hollings, Pete; Mi, Mei; Lu, Wan-Jian; Han, Jin-Sheng; Wang, Cheng-Ming; Fang, Jing

    2017-01-01

    The Mesoproterozoic Kawabulake Group, which is unconformably overlain by the Lower Cambrian Huangshan Formation and conformably overlies the Mesoproterozoic Xingxingxia Group in the Eastern Tianshan area, NW China, is comprised mainly of siltstone, slate, sandstone and phyllite. New geochemical data for the clastic rocks from the Kawabulake Group were investigated to constrain the provenance and weathering history of the source rocks, in order to evaluate the tectonic evolution of the Eastern Tianshan area. Kawabulake Group rocks are compositionally similar to PAAS (average Post-Archean Australian Shale), indicating derivation from a felsic source that is characterized by depletion in some HFSEs such as Nb, Ta and Ti. The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) for the sandstone, siltstone and slate samples (CIA = 60 on average) suggests intensely weathered sources. Light REE-enrichment patterns ((La/Yb)CN = 4-20) coupled with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* between 0.44 and 0.89 with an average of 0.62) are similar to those of PAAS, consistent with cratonic sources. The major and trace element compositions imply a dominantly Precambrian felsic source region with a minor contribution from mafic materials. The Sr-Nd isotopic compositions and the ages of T DM2 ( 3.4, 2.5-1.8, 1.2 and 1.0 Ga) are consistent with the evolutionary history of Kuluketage in the northern Tarim, suggesting that the Tarim Craton was the main source area for the Kawabulake Group.

  17. Geochemistry of fine-grained clastic rocks in the Mesoproterozoic Kawabulake Group: implications for provenance and the tectonic model of the Eastern Tianshan, Xinjiang, NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Deng-Feng; Chen, Hua-Yong; Zhang, Li; Fralick, Philip; Hollings, Pete; Mi, Mei; Lu, Wan-Jian; Han, Jin-Sheng; Wang, Cheng-Ming; Fang, Jing

    2016-02-01

    The Mesoproterozoic Kawabulake Group, which is unconformably overlain by the Lower Cambrian Huangshan Formation and conformably overlies the Mesoproterozoic Xingxingxia Group in the Eastern Tianshan area, NW China, is comprised mainly of siltstone, slate, sandstone and phyllite. New geochemical data for the clastic rocks from the Kawabulake Group were investigated to constrain the provenance and weathering history of the source rocks, in order to evaluate the tectonic evolution of the Eastern Tianshan area. Kawabulake Group rocks are compositionally similar to PAAS (average Post-Archean Australian Shale), indicating derivation from a felsic source that is characterized by depletion in some HFSEs such as Nb, Ta and Ti. The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) for the sandstone, siltstone and slate samples (CIA = 60 on average) suggests intensely weathered sources. Light REE-enrichment patterns ((La/Yb)CN = 4-20) coupled with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* between 0.44 and 0.89 with an average of 0.62) are similar to those of PAAS, consistent with cratonic sources. The major and trace element compositions imply a dominantly Precambrian felsic source region with a minor contribution from mafic materials. The Sr-Nd isotopic compositions and the ages of T DM2 (~3.4, 2.5-1.8, 1.2 and 1.0 Ga) are consistent with the evolutionary history of Kuluketage in the northern Tarim, suggesting that the Tarim Craton was the main source area for the Kawabulake Group.

  18. 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)

    2001-01-01

    The Cenozoic magmatic rocks of shoshonitic series in the easternQinghai-Tibet Plateau include potassic alkaline plutonic rocks, volcanic rocks, lamprophyres and acidic porphyries. Analytical results show that these different lithological rocks are extremely similar in Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic compositions with the range of 0.705 187-0.707 254 for 87Sr/86Sr, 0.512 305-0.512 630 for 143Nd/144Nd, 18.53-18.97 for 206Pb/204Pb, 15.51-15.72 for 207Pb/204Pb and 38.38-39.24 for 208Pb/204Pb. They are isotopically similar to the EMII end-member. This indicates that mantle metasomatism must have taken place in their source region. The formation of these particular rocks is related to crustal thinning and mantle upwelling in a large-scale strike-slip and pull-apart fault zone at about 40 Ma in northern and eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

  19. Early Cretaceous bimodal volcanic rocks in the southern Lhasa terrane, south Tibet: Age, petrogenesis and tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Ding, Lin; Liu, Zhi-Chao; Zhang, Li-Yun; Yue, Ya-Hui

    2017-01-01

    Limited geochronological and geochemical data from Early Cretaceous igneous rocks of the Gangdese Belt have resulted in a dispute regarding the subduction history of Neo-Tethyan Ocean. To approach this issue, we performed detailed in-situ zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopic, whole-rock elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic analyses on Late Mesozoic volcanic rocks exposed in the Liqiongda area, southern Lhasa terrane. These volcanic rocks are calc-alkaline series, dominated by basalts, basaltic andesites, and subordinate rhyolites, with a bimodal suite. The LA-ICPMS zircon U-Pb dating results of the basaltic andesites and rhyolites indicate that these volcanic rocks erupted during the Early Cretaceous (137-130 Ma). The basaltic rocks are high-alumina (average > 17 wt.%), enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and light rare earth elements (LREEs), and depleted in high field strength elements (HFSEs), showing subduction-related characteristics. They display highly positive zircon εHf(t) values (+ 10.0 to + 16.3) and whole-rock εNd(t) values (+ 5.38 to + 7.47). The silicic suite is characterized by low Al2O3 (extracted from a source metasomatized by slab-derived components for the petrogenesis of mafic rocks, whereas the subsequent mafic magma underplating triggered partial melting of the juvenile crust to generate acidic magma. Our results confirm the presence of Early Cretaceous volcanism in the southern Lhasa terrane. Combined with the distribution of the contemporary magmatism, deformation style, and sedimentary characteristics in the Lhasa terrane, we favor the suggestion that the Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere was flat-lying beneath the Lhasa terrane during the Early Cretaceous.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Provenance and tectonic setting of siliciclastic rocks associated with the Neoproterozoic Dahongliutan BIF: Implications for the Precambrian crustal evolution of the Western Kunlun orogenic belt, NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jun; Wang, He; Wang, Min

    2017-10-01

    The Late Neoproterozoic Dahongliutan BIF is associated with siliciclastic rocks in the Tianshuihai terrane of the Western Kunlun orogenic belt (WKO), NW China. The sedimentary rocks have various weathering indices (e.g., CIA = 57-87, PIA = 61-96 and Th/U = 4.85-12.45), indicative of varying degrees of weathering in the source area. The rocks have trace element ratios, such as Th/Sc = 0.60-1.21 and Co/Th = 0.29-1.67, and light rare earth element (LREE) enriched chondrite-normalized REE patterns, suggesting that they were mainly sourced from intermediate and felsic rocks. Available U-Pb ages of detrital zircon from these rocks reveal that the detrital sources may have been igneous and metamorphic rocks from the WKO and the Tarim Block. Our study suggests that the Dahongliutan BIF and hosting siliciclastic rocks may have deposited in a setting transitional from a passive to active continental margin, probably related to the Late Neoproterozoic-Early Cambrian seafloor spreading and subduction of the Proto-Tethys Ocean. U-Pb dating of 163 detrital zircons defines five major age populations at 2561-2329 Ma, 2076-1644 Ma, 1164-899 Ma, 869-722 Ma and 696-593 Ma. These age groups broadly correspond to the major stages of supercontinent assembly and breakup events widely accepted for Columbia, Rodinia and Gondwana. Some zircons have TDM2 model ages of 3.9-1.8 Ga and negative εHf(t) values, suggesting that the Archean to Paleoproterozoic (as old as Eoarchean) crustal materials were episodically reworked and incorporated into the late magmatic process in the WKO. Some Neoproterozoic zircons have TDM2 model ages of 1.47-1.07 Ga and 1.81-1.53 Ga and positive εHf(t) values, indicating juvenile crustal growth during the Mesoproterozoic. Our new results, combined with published data, imply that both the Tianshuihai terrane in the WKO and the Tarim Block share the same Precambrian tectonic evolution history.

  5. Geochemistry of Late Triassic pelitic rocks in the NE part of Songpan-Ganzi Basin, western China: Implications for source weathering, provenance and tectonic setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Tang

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Major, trace and rare earth element (REE concentrations of Late Triassic sediments (fine-grained sandstones and mudstones from Hongcan Well 1 in the NE part of the Songpan-Ganzi Basin, western China, are used to reveal weathering, provenance and tectonic setting of inferred source areas. The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA reflects a low to moderate degree of chemical weathering in a cool and somewhat dry climate, and an A-CN-K plot suggests an older upper continental crust provenance dominated by felsic to intermediate igneous rocks of average tonalite composition. Based on the various geochemical tectonic setting discrimination diagrams, the Late Triassic sediments are inferred to have been deposited in a back-arc basin situated between an active continental margin (the Kunlun-Qinling Fold Belt and a continental island arc (the Yidun Island Arc. The Triassic sediments in the study area underwent a rapid erosion and burial in a proximal slope-basin environment by the petrographic data, while the published flow directions of Triassic turbidites in the Aba-Zoige region was not supported Yidun volcanic arc source. Therefore, we suggest that the Kunlun-Qinling terrane is most likely to have supplied source materials to the northeast part of the Songpan-Ganzi Basin during the Late Triassic.

  6. The human impact on natural rock reserves using basalt, anorthosite, and carbonates as raw materials in insulation products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl, Tais Wittchen; Clausen, Anders U.; Hansen, Peter B.

    2011-01-01

    lithosphere or subducted with oceanic crust and recycled through the mantle by plate tectonics. Insulation products have a chemical composition similar to average crustal rocks and participate in the natural rock cycle. However, these products need not accumulate in nature, inasmuch as old insulation...

  7. Rock Cycle Sagas: The STRATegy COLUMN for Precollege Science Teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, Ellen Pletcher

    1994-01-01

    Reviews The Best of BAESI: Earth Science Activities & Recommended Resources from the Bay Area Earth Science Institute. The Best of BAESI is divided into two parts. Part I contains 19 classroom activities on topographic maps, rocks and minerals, earthquakes, volcanoes, and plate tectonics. Part II describes resources and identifies government…

  8. 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.

  9. Tectonics of China: Continental scale cataclastic flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, John J., Jr.

    Stratigraphic, structural, and earthquake evidence indicates that cataclastic flow, that is, flow by brittle mechanisms (e.g., fracture and slip), was dominant in China from late Paleozoic. This process has operated over a range of scales including the continental scale. China is made up of large brittle basement elements immersed in ductile zones which are analogous to porphyroclasts (large, often brittle fragments) surrounded by fluxion (foliation or flow) structures in cataclastic rocks, respectively. This basement fabric for China is seen on Landsat imagery and on tectonic maps and is comparable to cataclastic rock fabrics seen in fault zones, on outcrops, and in thin sections. Brittle basement elements are broken into two or more large rigid blocks, and the dimensions of elements and blocks are within 1 order of magnitude of each other. Ductile zones are made up of fragments which are many orders of magnitude smaller than the ductile zones. Rigid blocks and fragments are identified, and their dimensions are measured through earthquake, fault, and fracture patterns. Rigid basement blocks are surrounded by earthquakes. The sedimentary rocks over the basement faults at the block boundaries seem to be affected by fault movements because they are characterized by facies changes, thickness changes, high-angle faults, and forced folds. Ductile basement zones are earthquake prone, and deformation of the ductile basement affects the overlying sedimentary rocks, as is demonstrated by unconformities and by a wide variety of structures. Thrust faults, buckle folds, and strike slip faults are common in and adjacent to western ductile zones. Structures are most intensely developed where ductile zones abut brittle elements. Both brittle elements and ductile zones are rifted and cut by strike slip faults in eastern China. The mechanical fabric of China and the boundary conditions acting on China are now and always have been determined by its plate tectonic history. This

  10. STABLE OR UNSTABLE CRACK GROWTHS IN THIN ROCK PLATE UNDER COMPRESSION FOR PREDICTING BUCKLING ROCKBURST%岩爆的屈曲失稳机制

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘小明

    2003-01-01

    Underground cavern opening can cause the surrounding rock tangential compressive stress to raise rapidly. Such high compressive stress increase can result in some original pre-existing cracks growing parallelly to the free surface of the remaining rock. This paper presents a model of crack stable or unstable propagation under compressive stress in thin layers that are separated from the main rock mass due to crack growth. Based on this analysis of flat plate buckling,a rock burst mechanism is presented. Immediate and delayed rock burst mechanism are proposed to explain time dependency in brittle rock sub-critical crack growth under compression. Influence of free surface on the surface-parallel crack growth is also discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Tectonic Setting and Provenance Analysis of Late Paleozoic Sedimentary Rocks in the Ordos Basin%鄂尔多斯盆地晚古生代沉积岩源区构造背景及物源分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈全红; 李文厚; 胡孝林; 李克永; 庞军刚; 郭艳琴

    2012-01-01

    The provenances of Ordos Basin and its surrounding regions, which all comes from the upper crust, are dominated by felsic rocks, which consist of ancient metamorphic rocks, such as metamorphic volcanic rocks and sedimentary rock of Archaeozoic and Proterozoic, and certain amount of granite and alkali basalt. But compositions of source and structural setting of provenances in the north and south are different. Compositions of major and rare earth elements suggest that sedimentary rocks in both north and south show some differences in area and stratum, and the changes of major element, REE and Eu anomaly are in accordance with the variation trend from oceanic island arc, continental island arc, and active continental margin to passive continental margin. Analysis of major elements indicates that the north provenance derived mainly from plate subduction zones and were related to active continental margin and passive continental margin, with minor related to the island arc of passive continental margin, and were related to tectonic setting of active continental margin and passive continental margin until middle-late Paleozoic. REE contrast analysis shows that the source for the northern basin has affinities to Archeozoic and Proterozoic metamorphotic rocks, such as granitic gneiss, diorite gneiss, adamellite, metamorphotic litharenite, phyllite, etc; that for the southern basin was deeply affected by passive continental margin source, characterized by high SiO2, low Na2 O features, and K2 O/Na2 O > 1. All these features are consistent to those (high SiO2 and K2O/Na2O>l) of rocks of Archean-Proterozoic Taihua Group, Qinling Group and Kuanping Group. Until the end of Late Paleozoic, the provenance was not affected gradually by active continental margin. Beiqinling intermontane basins characterized by rapid accumulation m langes belong to the outer margin of Ordos Basin and have continuous transitional relationship with the basin. Therefore, both show some inherited

  15. Compaction history of Upper Cretaceous shale (Al-Khod Formation) and its relationship to plate margin tectonics, Arabian Plate, Sultanate of Oman

    Science.gov (United States)

    AL-Sarmi, Musaab; Mattern, Frank; Scharf, Andreas; Pracejus, Bernhard; Al-Mamari, Amira; Al-Hinaai, Al-Shima

    2017-04-01

    Conglomerates of the late Cretaceous Al-Khod Formation have been intruded by older shale of the same formation along faults, which were opened/widened by extension, thus, resulting in shale dike formation. Following intrusion the shale was behaving plastically as its fissility follows the contact contours of the conglomeratic host rock and as stoped sandstone blocks are floating within the shale. Vertical calcite veins were ptygmatically folded with subhorizontal fold axial planes. All these aspects show that the shale contained a high water content in the beginning. The ptygmatically folded calcite veins display vertical shortening amounts of 40 % corresponding to 35 % to 45 % of water loss during compaction. Incalculable numbers of calcite veins of different orientations and thicknesses within the conglomerate along the shale contact indicate that the fluid was expelled from the shale into the conglomerate host rock under high pressure (overpressure?). Shale dyke formation took place after the late Cretaceous obduction of the Semail Ophiolite, before the deposition of early Tertiary carbonate rocks, and during the latest Cretaceous doming of the Saih Hatat area which was caused by deformation and slab breakoff, likely associated with gravitational collapse and elastic rebound. Shale intrusion was followed by deposition of 100 to 200 m thick sediments of the upper part of Al-Khod Formation, leading to compaction and water loss. The shale retained much of its water during the uppermost Cretaceous-late Paleocene stratigraphic hiatus as this interval is marked by erosion and a reduction of overburden, which was probably due to the elastic rebound. Folding of calcite veins together with a high amount of water loss was a consequence of compaction caused by the overburden of 1000 m thick shallow marine limestones which were deposited from the Eocene to Oligocene.

  16. Provenance and tectonic setting of the Neoproterozoic clastic rocks hosting the Banana Zone Cu-Ag mineralisation, northwest Botswana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelepile, Tebogo; Bineli Betsi, Thierry; Franchi, Fulvio; Shemang, Elisha; Suh, Cheo Emmanuel

    2017-05-01

    Petrographic and geochemical data were combined in order to decipher the petrogenesis of the Neoproterozoic sedimentary succession associated with the Banana Zone Cu-Ag mineralisation (northwest Botswana), in the Kalahari Copperbelt. The investigated Neoproterozoic sedimentary succession is composed of two formations including the Ngwako Pan and the D'kar Formations. The Ngwako Pan Formation is made up of continental siliciclastic sediments, mainly sandstones interbedded with siltstones and mudstones, whereas the D'kar Formation is comprised of shallow marine laminated siltstones, sandstones and mudstones, with subordinate limestone. Copper-Ag mineralisation is essentially confined at the base of the D'kar Formation, which bears reduced organic components, likely to have controlled Cu-Ag precipitation. Sandstones of both the Ngwako Pan and the D'kar Formations are arkoses and subarkoses, composed of quartz (Q), feldspars (F) and lithic fragments (L). Moreover, geochemically the sandstones are considered as potassic and classified as arkoses. On the other hand, mudrocks of the D'kar Formation are finely laminated and are dominated by muscovite, sericite, chlorite and quartz. The modified chemical index of weathering (CIW‧) values indicated an intense chemical weathering of the source rock. The dominance of detrital quartz and feldspar grains coupled with Al2O3/TiO2 ratios (average 29.67 and 24.52 for Ngwako Pan and D'kar Formations, respectively) and Ni and Cr depletion in the sandstones, suggest a dominant felsic source. However, high concentrations of Ni and Cr and a low Al2O3/TiO2 ratio (diagrams) and geochemical characteristics of the sandstones of both the Ngwako Pan and D'kar Formations indicate that the detritus were probably supplied from a heavily weathered felsic continental block and deposited in a continental rift setting (passive margin) in a humid environment. The source rocks might have been the Palaeoproterozoic basement rocks (granitoids and

  17. Provenance analysis of the Late Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Xilinhot Terrane, NE China, and their tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jie; Zhou, Jian-Bo; Wilde, Simon A.; Song, Min-Chun

    2017-08-01

    The Xilinhot Terrane is located in the eastern segment of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt in NE China, and is a key to a hotly debated issue on the Paleozoic tectonic evolution of this giant progenic belt. To constrain the tectonic evolution of the Xilinhot Terrane in the Late Paleozoic, we undertook zircon U-Pb dating and geochemical analyses of the Zhesi and Benbatu formations in the Suolun and Xi Ujimqin areas in the Xilinhot Terrane. Samples of the Benbatu Formation yield detrital zircon U-Pb ages ranging from 2659 Ma to 316 Ma, with four age populations at: 2659-1826 Ma, 1719-963 Ma, 590-402 Ma, and 396-316 Ma, whereas samples from the Zhesi Formation yield detrital zircon U-Pb ages ranging from 1967 Ma to 250 Ma, with four age populations at: 1967-1278 Ma, 971-693 Ma, 561-403 Ma, and 399-250 Ma. The age groups of both the Benbatu and Zhesi formations in the Xilinhot Terrane are similar to those in other parts of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). This evidence indicates that the Xilinhot Terrane is a microcontinent, and not an accretionary complex as previously thought. Furthermore, the youngest zircon grains in the Benbatu and Zhesi formations yield weighted mean 206Pb/238U ages of 322 ± 12 Ma (MSDW = 0.12, n = 4) and 257 ± 2.8 Ma (MSDW = 1.6, n = 8), respectively. Combined with fossil data, our new data suggest that the Benbatu and Zhesi formations in the Xilinhot Terrane were possibly deposited at ∼322 Ma and ∼257 Ma, respectively. Based on the provenance of the Carboniferous-Permian sandstones came from the blocks of NE China, we speculate that the Xilinhot Terrane is the western part of the Songliao block.

  18. Geochronology and geochemistry of a suite of mafic rocks in Chencai area, South China: Implications for petrogenesis and tectonic setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lei; Zhai, Mingguo; Zhou, Xiwen; Santosh, M.; Ma, Xudong

    2015-11-01

    Paleozoic crust-mantle interaction and geodynamic setting of the South China Block have remained largely elusive due to the scarcity of mafic rock suites. Here we report data from a suite of mafic rocks including norite, mafic granulite, garnet-bearing amphibolite, biotite-bearing amphibolite, and amphibolite from the Chencai region in the northeastern Cathaysia Block of South China, that mostly record amphibolite to granulite facies metamorphism. U-Pb dating of zircons from the mafic granulite and biotite-bearing amphibolite show broadly coeval magmatism, and amphibolite- to granulite-facies metamorphism during 435-438 Ma. The garnet-bearing amphibolite also records metamorphism at 436 Ma and the magmatic age of its protolith is constrained to be between 436 Ma and 496 Ma. The norite has an emplacement age of 422 Ma. Geochemically, the amphibolite and granulite have high Al2O3 contents and belong to the high-alumina group. The garnet-bearing amphibolite belongs to the intermediate-alumina group, whereas the norite and biotite-bearing amphibolite belong to the low-alumina group. A cumulate origin is proposed for the norite with orthopyroxene as the main cumulus phase. Based on their similar trace element and Lu-Hf isotopic signatures, it is inferred that the protoliths of amphibolite and granulite belonging to high-alumina group were likely generated from the same source. Furthermore, their LREE enrichment relative to HREE, positive Eu anomaly, and negative Nb, Ta and Zr anomalies suggest derivation from the same enriched mantle source, perhaps in a continental arc environment. Zircons from the garnet-bearing amphibolite belonging to intermediate-alumina group have high positive ɛHf (t) values with a peak of + 14 and trace element signatures similar to N-MORB, suggesting a depleted asthenospheric mantle source. The rock suite from Chencai suggests formation in an active continental margin, with the garnet-bearing amphibolite representing relics of the Paleozoic

  19. Geochemical and zircon isotopic evidence for extensive high level crustal contamination in Miocene to mid-Pleistocene intra-plate volcanic rocks from the Tengchong field, western Yunnan, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linlin; Shi, Yuruo; Williams, Ian S.; Anderson, J. Lawford; Wu, Zhonghai; Wang, Shubing

    2017-08-01

    SHRIMP zircon Pb/U dating of Cenozoic volcanic rocks in the Tengchong area, western Yunnan Province, China, shows that the dacite and andesitic breccia lavas from Qushi village were intruded at 480 ± 10 ka and 800 ± 40 ka, respectively. Moreover, Pb/U dating of trachyandesite from Tuantian village and olivine basalt from Wuhe village give weighted mean 206Pb/238U ages of 2.82 ± 0.08 Ma and 12.28 ± 0.30 Ma. Corrections for initial 230Th disequilibrium of zircon were used for the former two younger ages. The Tengchong volcanic rocks have a large range of SiO2 (48.6-66.9 wt.%) and mostly belong to a high-K calc-alkaline series. The lavas originated from heterogeneous sources and were modified by subsequent fractional crystallization. The REE and other trace element patterns of the Tengchong volcanic rocks resemble magmas having a large component of continental crust. All have similar degrees of LREE and HREE fractionation and are enriched in LILE, La, Ce and Pb, with depletions in Nb, Ta, Ti, Sr and P relative to primitive mantle. Zircon δ18O values of 6.96 ± 0.17 and 7.01 ± 0.24‰ and highly varied negative εHf(t) values of - 1.5 to - 11.0 and - 10.3 to - 13.7, as well as the presence of inherited zircon grains in the studied samples, indicate that the magmas contain crustal material on a large scale. The Tengchong volcanic rocks have HFSE ratios (e.g., Nb/Ta, La/Nb, Zr/Y) similar to continental flood basalts, indicative of an intra-plate extensional tectonic setting. Widespread distributed faults might have facilitated upwelling of mantle-derived melts and eruptions from shallow crustal magma chambers to form the large volcanic field.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Further Study on Geochemical Characteristics and Genesis of the Boninitic Rocks from Bikou Group, Northern Yangtze Plate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Yongfei; Lai Shaocong; Qin Jiangfeng

    2006-01-01

    Compared with the major and trace elements of typical boninite, the metabasalts collected boninite characterized by low-Si, low-Ti, low-P, high-Mg# and high Al2O3/TiO2, consistent with geochemical features of boninite. The normal mid-ocean ridge basalt (N-MORB) normalized spider diagram displays fairly depleted high field strong elements (HFSE) (Zr, Y, Ti). Enriched refractory elements (Cr, Co, Ni) as well as light rare earth elements (LREE)-depleted chondrite-normalized REE distribution patterns suggest the boninitic magmas are derived from an extremely depleted mantle wedge in the presence of a hydrous fluid, meanwhile signifying the source region had previously undergone a high degree partial melting process yielding primary magmas with enriched large ion lithophile elements (LILE). In addition, almost all the samples in the Nb-Zr-Y and Ti-Zr-Y discrimination diagrams were plotted in the island arc basalt (IAB) field. Coupled with the island arc tholeiitic (IAT) basalt in the study region, therefore, the geochemical characteristics of the studied rocks indicate the meta-basalts probably occurred in a fore-arc subduction setting. This conclusion may be of great significance for the further study of the tectonic background of the Bikou volcanism.

  3. Magnetic fabric of the rocks from the Klodzko Metamorphic Complex (West Sudetes, Poland) and relation to tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadzialko-Hofmokl, M.; Werner, T.; Kruczyk, J.; Mazur, S.

    2003-04-01

    The Klodzko Metamorphic Complex KMC consists of metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks of Early Paleozoic and Precambrian age occurring as fragments of a nappe pile lying between the weakly metamorphosed Givetian sediments and Frasnian-Fammenian limestones and shales. At the basis of the Givetian sediments lies a fragment of the Silurian Sudetic ophiolite from which some pillow lavas were sampled. The study concerns the 5 KMC units, Silurian pillow lavas and both Devonian sets of sediments. According to Mazur the rocks under study underwent 6 deformational episodes out of which four D1-D4 took place at the Middle/Late Devonian and two other D5 and D6 - after the Namurian A. The D1 episode was connected with the WNW thrusting, the D2 and subsequent episodes - to dextral transpression or NNE-SSW compression. The mesoscopic mineral lineations L1 and L3 have an azimuth 90-135°E with dip ranging between 15° and 45°. This direction is common in the Sudetes and compatible with the direction of the Intrasudetic and Boundary Sudetic faults. The results of the AMS study agree with the structural conclusions. The Kmax directions calculated in situ for metaigneous rocks, part of metasediments, pillow lavas and Givetian limestones agree well with the mineral lineations. In metasediments from the passive continental margin where the diamagnetics prevail inversion of the anisotropy axes was observed in the fresh specimens. After heating them to 650°C, directions of Kmax became similar to the lineation. Directions of maximum axes of anisotropy of remanence were similar to magnetic lineation in the unheated specimens supporting the conclusion about the inversion of the AMS axes. In the Frasnian-Fammenian limestones the directions of Kmax axes are similar to the results from other units only after correction .for bedding. The results obtained lead to the following conclusions: the magnetic fabric of all studied rock units reflects one or more deformational episodes described by

  4. Zircon age and geochemistry of the Tost bimodal volcanic rocks: Constraints on the Early Carboniferous tectonic evolution of the South Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shunhu; Miao, Laicheng; Zhang, Fochin; Meng, Qingren; Zhu, Mingshuai; Baatar, Munkhtsengel; Anaad, Chimedtseren

    2016-04-01

    SIMS zircon U-Pb dating, geochemical and Sr-Nd isotopic data are presented for the Late Paleozoic volcanic rocks from Tost area in Mongolia, the southern portion of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). The Tost volcanic rocks show a bimodal feature characterized by a mafic member of basalt and a felsic component of rhyolite, which are temporally and spatially related each other, implying a genetic relationship. Zircon U-Pb isotopic data of the rhyolite constrain the Tost bimodal magmatism occurring from 355 Ma to 320 Ma. The Tost basalt is characterized by high abundances in Th, U and Pb, slightly enriched LREE patterns and low HFSE/LREE ratios. These features, together with their OIB-like isotopic signature ((87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7039378-0.704397, εNd(t) = 3.55-5.02), suggest that they were likely derived from low-degree partial melting of a metasomatized asthenospheric mantle source with subordinate input of subduction components. The Tost rhyolite, which displays an intimate affinity to Tost basalt, with enrichment in Th, U and Pb, depleted in Nb, Ta and Ti, and gently right-tilted REE patterns, is inferred to be generated by partial melting of a juvenile lower crustal source heated by underplating mafic magmas which rise from asthenosphere during continued rifting. The Tost bimodal volcanic rocks are comparable both in age and composition with those in the East Tianshan, which together constitute an E-W-oriented belt of bimodal volcanic rocks, marking an Early Carboniferous rifting event. Considering regional geology, we propose that the rifting took place in a back-arc extensional setting, probably induced by the subduction of the Dzungaria Ocean between the East Tianshan and Junggar-Kazakhstan plate during the Early Carboniferous.

  5. Ar-Ar geochronology of Late Mesozoic volcanic rocks from the Yanji area,NE China and tectonic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI ChaoWen; GUO Feng; FAN WeiMing; GAO XiaoFeng

    2007-01-01

    Ar-Ar dating results of late Mesozoic-Cenozoic volcanic rocks from the Yanji area, NE China provide a new volcano-sedimentary stratigraphic framework. The previously defined "Triassic-Jurassic" volcanic rocks(including those from Sanxianling, Tuntianying, Tianqiaoling and Jingouling Fms.)were erupted during 118-106Ma,corresponding to Early Cretaceous. The new eruption age span is slightly younger than the main stage(130-120 Ma)of the extensive magmatism in the eastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt and its adjacent regions. Subduction-related adakites occurring in the previously defined Quanshuicun Fm. Were extruded at ca.55 Ma. Based on these new Ar-Ar ages, the late Mesozoic to Palaeocene volcano-sedimentary sequences is rebuilt as:Tuopangou Fm., Sanxianling/Tuntianying Fm.(118-115 Ma),Malugou/Tianqiaoling Fm.(K1),Huoshanyan/Jingouling Fm.(108-106 Ma),Changcai Fm.(K2),Quanshuicun Fm.(~55 Ma)and Dalazi Fm. Our results suggest that subduction of the Palaeo-Pacific Ocean beneath the East Asian continental margin occurred during 106to 55 Ma. Consistent with the paleomagnetic observations and magmatic records which indicated that the Izanagi-Farallon ridge subduction beneath the southwestern Japan took place during 95-65 Ma.

  6. Ar-Ar geochronology of Late Mesozoic volcanic rocks from the Yanji area, NE China and tectonic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Ar-Ar dating results of late Mesozoic-Cenozoic volcanic rocks from the Yanji area, NE China provide a new volcano-sedimentary stratigraphic framework. The previously defined “Triassic-Jurassic” volcanic rocks (including those from Sanxianling, Tuntianying, Tianqiaoling and Jingouling Fms.) were erupted during 118―106 Ma, corresponding to Early Cretaceous. The new eruption age span is slightly younger than the main stage (130―120 Ma) of the extensive magmatism in the eastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt and its adjacent regions. Subduction-related adakites occurring in the previously defined Quanshuicun Fm. were extruded at ca. 55 Ma. Based on these new Ar-Ar ages, the late Mesozoic to Palaeocene volcano-sedimentary sequences is rebuilt as: Tuopangou Fm., Sanxianling/Tuntianying Fm. (118―115 Ma), Malugou/Tianqiaoling Fm. (K1), Huoshanyan/Jingouling Fm. (108―106 Ma), Changcai Fm. (K2), Quanshuicun Fm. (~55 Ma) and Dalazi Fm. Our results suggest that subduction of the Pa- laeo-Pacific Ocean beneath the East Asian continental margin occurred during 106 to 55 Ma, consistent with the paleomagnetic observations and magmatic records which indicated that the Izanagi-Farallon ridge subduction beneath the southwestern Japan took place during 95―65 Ma.

  7. Tectonic subsidence modelling and Gondwana source rock hydrocarbon potential, Northwest Bangladesh modelling of Kuchma, Singra and Hazipur wells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frielingsdorf, J. [Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria Limited, P.O. Box 23, Port Harcourt, Rivers State (Nigeria); Aminul Islam, Sk.; Mizanur Rahman, Md. [BAPEX, Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Ltd., Shahjalal Tower, 80/A-B Siddeshwari Circular Road, Dhaka 1217 (Bangladesh); Block, Martin [Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover (Germany); Golam Rabbani, Md. [Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7491 Trondheim (Norway)

    2008-06-15

    The northwestern part of Bangladesh is in terms of hydrocarbon exploration still under-explored. This paper presents the basin development from a structural point of view and includes the results of thermal and maturity modelling using numerical tools of basin modelling. One regional seismic section and three exploration wells have been investigated to unravel a conceptual model for the subsidence and thermal history of the region. According to the findings it is very likely that up to 2900 m of Triassic/Jurassic and partly Permian sediments have been eroded prior to the break-up of Gondwana. During continental break-up a peak heat flow is considered. This was necessary for calibrating maturity profiles using vitrinite reflectance (VR) derived from modelled wells. A significant gas generation phase during Lower Jurassic is predicted. At modelled well locations, although renewed subsidence occurred during Tertiary to present day, a second phase of gas generation has not occurred, as past maximum temperatures were not exceeded. According to the interpreted regional seismic sections in the region, the area southeast of the 'Hinge Zone' can be regarded as the main kitchen area for gas generation from the Gondwana source rock. The petroleum system in the northwestern part of Bangladesh remains high risk due to uncertainties in source rock distribution and generation. (author)

  8. 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.

  9. Detrital zircon record of the early Paleozoic meta-sedimentary rocks in Russian Altai: Implications on their provenance and the tectonic nature of the Altai-Mongolian terrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming; Sun, Min; Cai, Keda; Buslov, Mikhail M.; Zhao, Guochun; Rubanova, Elena S.; Voytishek, Elena E.

    2015-09-01

    An integrated U-Pb and Hf-isotope study on detrital zircons from the early Paleozoic meta-sedimentary rocks along the Charysh-Terekta-Ulagan-Sayan suture zone in Russian Altai was conducted in order to trace their provenance and tectonic setting. Most of the zircons possess oscillatory zoning and high Th/U ratios (> 0.1), indicating their magmatic origin. The investigated samples yield similar zircon populations, i.e., dominant groups with late Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic ages, followed by those from Mesoproterozoic to late Neoproterozoic and minor ones from Archean to middle Mesoproterozoic, indicating multiple tectono-thermal events in the source area. Comparison with surrounding tectonic units shows that the Tuva-Mongolian terrane and its adjacent island arcs possibly provided substantial materials to the sedimentary basin. These rocks show detrital zircon age patterns and Hf-isotope compositions similar to their counterparts in the Chinese Altai and Tseel terrane in western Mongolia, but different from those in the Gorny Altai terrane. Therefore, the investigated meta-sedimentary units possibly represented the northernmost segment of the Altai-Mongolian terrane. With combination of previous studies in the Chinese Altai and Tseel terrane, our data suggest that the Altai-Mongolian terrane possibly represents a coherent continental arc-accretionary prism system built upon the active margin of the western Mongolia during the Cambrian to Ordovician and thus does not support the micro-continent model with a passive margin. A compilation of U-Pb and Hf-isotope data of detrital zircons from the whole Altai-Mongolian terrane shows that the source area (i.e., the western Mongolia) underwent two most extensive magmatic activities at ca. 1.02-0.67 Ga and 0.67-0.43 Ga. These zircons possess both positive and negative εHf(t) values, suggesting significant crustal growth and reworking during the magmatic activities. Our study underlines a crucial role of Precambrian

  10. 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.

  11. Relative influence of surficial, climatic, and plate tectonic processes on the development of thick Paleoproterozoic quartz arenite successions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcoran, P.; Bynoe, L.

    2010-12-01

    Quartz arenites are significant components of the rock record and appear to be most abundant during specific time intervals in Earth history. Thick quartz arenite successions are typical in Precambrian strata and have been associated with extensive cratonization during the late Archean to early Proterozoic. These supermature sandstones can also be attributed to the intense weathering conditions of early Earth’s atmosphere, source rocks rich in quartz, recycling and diagenesis, or simply the higher preservation potential of quartz compared with other minerals. Modern quartz-rich sands develop in low relief settings where high residence times contribute to chemical breakdown of labile grains. The lack of land vegetation during the Precambrian would have precluded confined sedimentation patterns and stabilization of soils, both of which enhance sediment residence times. Thus, the generation of first-cycle late Archean quartz arenites in fault-controlled, high relief basins necessitates periods of intense chemical weathering. The inferred change from a greenhouse to oxygenated atmosphere at around 2.3-2.2 Ga could have been the major control on the relative change to thinner units of pure sandstones with time. In order to test this hypothesis, detailed facies and compositional analyses are being conducted on the ca. 2.2 Ga Bar River Formation of the Huronian Supergroup, Canada. Four groups comprise Huronian stratigraphy, three of which contain basal glaciogenic conglomerates, followed by mudstone-dominated then quartz-rich formations. It has been suggested that these tripartite cycles could have been climatically controlled. Detailed facies analysis of the 500-750 m thick quartz arenite indicates shallow water, wave-influenced settings, akin to shoreface environments along extensive stable shelves. Thin mudstone interbeds, representing brief periods of suspension sedimentation, have been sampled for geochemical analysis in order to determine the degree of chemical

  12. Geochemical study of laterites of the Jamnagar district, Gujarat, India: Implications on parent rock, mineralogy and tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meshram, R. R.; Randive, K. R.

    2011-11-01

    The laterite deposits occur in a linear stretch along the northern Arabian Sea coast in the Jamnagar and Porbandar districts of, Gujarat state, India. These deposits are characterised by presence of gibbsite, kaoline, calcite, quartz, anatase, natroalunite, goethite and hematite, and relicts of mafic minerals and plagioclase. On the basis of petro-mineralogy and geochemistry, these deposits are grouped as aluminous laterites (Fe 2O 3 - 1.45-3.84%, Av. 3.13, Al 2O 3 - 39.31-57.24, Av. 45.80) and laterites (Fe 2O 3 - 9.84-32.21, Av. 25.13%, Al 2O 3 - 34.74-49.59, Av. 41.27). The major, trace and REE characteristics of laterites indicate that these were formed in situ by the alteration of parent rocks of trachytic/andesitic composition, and the process of bauxitisation followed the path of destruction of kaolinite and deferruginisation. The correlation patterns of several trace and rare earth elements and their preferential enrichment have indicated that there is an influence of precursor rock on the distribution of trace elements. The Jamnagar laterite deposits occur as capping over the Deccan Trap basaltic lava flows and pyroclasic deposits. Lateritisation prevailed during Palaeocene age when India was separated from the Seychelles and passing over the equator. During this time climate, morphology and drainage conditions were favourable for lateritisation that result in the formation of Jamnagar and other laterite deposits within the Deccan Province. Flood basaltic provinces of Deccan, Columbia, North Australia and Hawaii appear good location for hosting laterite deposits due to their wide areal extent, small geological time span and uniform chemical composition. However, comparison of the major flood basaltic provinces of the world has indicated that their palaeopositions along with palaeoclimate, morphology and drainage are equally important factors for facilitating lateritisation.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Tectonic and regional metamorphic implications of the discovery of Middle Ordovician conodonts in cover rocks east of the Green Mountain massif, Vermont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratcliffe, N.M.; Harris, A.G.; Walsh, G.J.

    1999-01-01

    Middle Ordovician (late Arenigian - early Caradocian) conodonts were recovered from a dolostone lens in carbonaceous schist 30 m below the base of the Pinney Hollow Formation in the Eastern Cover sequence near West Bridgewater, Vermont. These are the first reported fossils from the metamorphic cover sequence rocks east of the Green Mountain, Berkshire, and Housatonic massifs of western New England. The conodonts are recrystallized, coated with graphitic matter, thermally altered to a color alteration index (CAI) of at least 5, and tectonically deformed. The faunule is nearly monospecific, consisting of abundant Periodon aculeatus Hadding? and rare Protopanderodus. The preponderance of Periodon and the absence of warm, shallow-water species characteristic of the North American Midcontinent Conodont Province suggest a slope or basin depositional setting. The conodont-bearing carbonaceous schist is traceable 3 km southeast to the Plymouth area, where it had been designated the uppermost member of the Plymouth Formation, previously regarded as Early Cambrian in age. The age and structural position of the carbonaceous schist above dolostones of the Plymouth Formation but below the Pinney Hollow Formation (upper Proterozoic and Lower Cambrian?) suggest that this unit may be correlative or time transgressive with the Ira Formation, which underlies the Taconic allochthons in the Vermont Valley. Such a correlation supports the concept of placing the western limit of the root zone of the Taconic allochthons beneath the Pinney Hollow Formation. An approximate absolute age assignment for the conodont-bearing rock is between 470 and 454 Ma. This suggests that dynamothermal metamorphism during the Taconian orogeny on the east flank of the Green Mountains was younger than early Caradocian, which is in accord with the middle Caradocian age of the Ira Formation west of the Green Mountain massif.

  17. WAVE TECTONICS OF THE EARTH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Yu. Tveretinova

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Earth's lithosphere, wavy alternation of positive and negative heterochronous structures is revealed; such structures are variable in ranks and separated by vergence zones of fractures and folds. In the vertical profile of the lithosphere, alternating are layers characterized by relatively plastic or fragile rheological properties and distinguished by different states of stress. During the Earth’s evolution, epochs of compression and extension are cyclically repeated, including planetary-scale phenomena which are manifested by fluctuating changes of the planet’s volume. Migration of geological and geophysical (geodynamic processes takes place at the Earth's surface and in its interior. The concept of the wave structure and evolution of the Earth's lithosphere provides explanations to the abovementioned regularities. Wavy nature of tectonic structures of the lithosphere, the cyclic recurrence of migration and geological processes in space and time can be described in terms of the multiple-order wave geodynamics of the Earth's lithosphere that refers to periodical variations of the state of stress. Effects of structure-forming tectonic forces are determined by «interference» of tangential and radial stresses of the Earth. The tangential stresses, which occur primarily due to the rotational regime of the planet, cause transformations of the Earth’s shape, redistributions of its substance in depths, the westward drift of the rock mass in its upper levels, and changes of structural deformation plans. The radial stresses, which are largely impacted by gravity, determine the gravitational differentiation of the substance, vertical flattening and sub-horizontal flow of the rock masses, and associated fold-rupture deformation. Under the uniform momentum geodynamic concept proposed by [Vikulin, Tveritinova, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008], it is possible to provide consistent descriptions of seismic and volcanic, tectonic and geological processes

  18. Stratigraphic and tectonic settings of Proterozoic glaciogenic rocks and banded iron-formations: relevance to the snowball Earth debate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Grant M.

    2002-11-01

    Among Palaeoproterozoic glacial deposits on four continents, the best preserved and documented are in the Huronian on the north shore of Lake Huron, Ontario, where three glaciogenic formations have been recognized. The youngest is the Gowganda Formation. The glacial deposits of the Gowganda Formation were deposited on a newly formed passive margin. To the west, on the south side of Lake Superior, the oldest Palaeoproterozoic succession (Chocolay Group) begins with glaciogenic diamictites that have been correlated with the Gowganda Formation. The >2.2 Ga passive margin succession (Chocolay Group=upper Huronian) is overlain, with profound unconformity, by a >1.88 Ga succession that includes the superior-type banded iron-formations (BIFs). The iron-formations are therefore not genetically associated with Palaeoproterozoic glaciation but were deposited ˜300 Ma later in a basin that formed as a result of closure of the "Huronian" ocean. In Western Australia, Palaeoproterozoic glaciogenic deposits of the Meteorite Bore Member appear to have formed part of a similar basin fill. The glaciogenic rocks are, however, separated from underlying BIF by a thick siliciclastic succession. In both North America and Western Australia, BIF-deposition took place in compressional (possibly foreland basin) settings but the iron-formations are of greatly different age, suggesting that the most significant control on their formation was not oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere but rather, emplacement of Fe-rich waters (uplifted as a result of ocean floor destruction?) in a siliciclastic-starved environment where oxidation (biogenic?) could take place. Some of the Australian BIFs appear to predate the appearance of red beds in North American Palaeoproterozoic successions and are therefore unlikely to be related to oxygenation of the atmosphere. Neoproterozoic glaciogenic deposits are widespread on the world's continents. Some are associated with iron-formations. Two theories have emerged

  19. U-Pb zircon dating constraints on formation time of Qilian high-grade metamorphic rock and its tectonic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU WangChun; ZHANG HongFei; LIU XiaoMing

    2007-01-01

    In order to constrain the formation time of high-grade metamorphic rocks in the Qilian Mountains, U-Pb zircon dating was carried out by using LA-ICPMS technique for a paragneiss of the Hualong Group in the Qilian Mountains basement series and a weakly foliated granite that intruds into the Hualong Group. Zircons from the paragneiss consist dominantly of detrital magma zircons with round or sub-round shape. They have 207Pb/206Pb ages mostly ranging from 880 to 900 Ma, with a weighted mean age of 891±9 Ma, which is interpreted as the magma crystallization age of its igneous provenance and can be taken as a lower age limit for the Hualong Group. Magma crystallization age for the weak-foliated granite is 875±8 Ma, which can be taken as an upper age limit for the Hualong Group. Accordingly, the formation time of the Hualong Group is constrained at sometime between 875 and 891 Ma. A few zircons from both paragneiss and weak-foliated granite display old inherited ages of 1000 to 1700 Ma and young metamorphic ages of Early Paleozoic. The zircon age distribution pattern confirms that the Qilian Mountains and the northern margin of Qaidam Basin had a united basement, with geotectonic affinity to the Yangtze Block. The results also reveal that sediments of the Hualong Group formed by rapid accumulation due to rapid crustal uplift-erosion. This process may result from intensive Neoproterozoic orogenesis due to assembly of the suppercontinent Rodinia.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Potassic volcanic rocks and adakitic intrusions in southern Tibet: Insights into mantle-crust interaction and mass transfer from Indian plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dong; Zhao, Zhidan; DePaolo, Donald J.; Zhu, Di-Cheng; Meng, Fan-Yi; Shi, Qingshang; Wang, Qing

    2017-01-01

    Elucidating geodynamic processes at depth relies on a correct interpretation of petrological and geochemical features in magmatic records. In southern Tibet, both potassic volcanic rocks and adakitic intrusions exhibit high Sr/Y and La/Yb, and low Y and Yb co