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Sample records for rifted continental margins

  1. Comparative Riftology: Insights into the Evolution of Passive Continental Margins and Continental Rifts from the Failed Midcontinent Rift (MCR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elling, R. P.; Stein, C. A.; Stein, S.; Kley, J.; Keller, G. R.; Wysession, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    Continental rifts evolve to seafloor spreading and are preserved in passive margins, or fail and remain as fossil features in continents. Rifts at different stages give insight into these evolutionary paths. Of particular interest is the evolution of volcanic passive margins, which are characterized by seaward dipping reflectors, volcanic rocks yielding magnetic anomalies landward of the oldest spreading anomalies, and are underlain by high-velocity lower crustal bodies. How and when these features form remains unclear. Insights are given by the Midcontinent Rift (MCR), which began to form during the 1.1 Ga rifting of Amazonia from Laurentia, but failed when seafloor spreading was established elsewhere. MCR volcanics are much thicker than other continental flood basalts, due to deposition in a narrow rift rather than a broad region, giving a rift's geometry but a LIP's magma volume. The MCR provides a snapshot of the deposition of a thick and highly magnetized volcanic section during rifting. Surface exposures and reflection seismic data near Lake Superior show a rift basin filled by inward-dipping flood basalt layers. Had the rift evolved to seafloor spreading, the basin would have split into two sets of volcanics with opposite-facing SDRs, each with a magnetic anomaly. Because the rift formed as a series of alternating half-grabens, structural asymmetries between conjugate margins would have naturally occurred had it gone to completion. Hence the MCR implies that many passive margin features form prior to seafloor spreading. Massive inversion of the MCR long after it failed has provided a much clearer picture of its structure compared to failed rifts with lesser degrees of inversion. Seismic imaging as well as gravity and magnetic modeling provide important insight into the effects of inversion on failed rifts. The MCR provides an end member for the evolution of actively extending rifts, characterized by upwelling mantle and negative gravity anomalies, to failed

  2. Kinematic and thermal evolution of the Moroccan rifted continental margin: Doukkala-High Atlas Transect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gouiza, M.; Bertotti, G.V.; Hafid, M.; Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.

    2010-01-01

    The Atlantic passive margin of Morocco developed during Mesozoic times in association with the opening of the Central Atlantic and the Alpine Tethys. Extensional basins formed along the future continental margin and in the Atlas rift system. In Alpine times, this system was inverted to form the High

  3. Orogenic inheritance and continental breakup: Wilson Cycle-control on rift and passive margin evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffer, C.; Petersen, K. D.

    2016-12-01

    Rifts often develop along suture zones between previously collided continents, as part of the Wilson cycle. The North Atlantic is such an example, formed where Pangaea broke apart along Caledonian and Variscan sutures. Dipping upper mantle structures in E. Greenland and Scotland, have been interpreted as fossil subduction zones and the seismic signature indicates the presence of eclogite and serpentinite. We speculate that this orogenic material may impose a rheological control upon post-orogenic extension and we use thermo-mechanical modelling to explore such effects. Our model includes the following features: 1) Crustal thickness anomalies, 2) Eclogitised mafic crust emplaced in the mantle lithosphere, and 3) Hydrated mantle peridotite (serpentinite) formed in a pre-rift subduction setting. Our models indicate that the inherited structures control the location and the structural and magmatic evolution of the rift. Rifting of thin initial crust allows for relatively large amounts of serpentinite to be preserved within the uppermost mantle. This facilitates rapid continental breakup and serpentinite exhumation. Magmatism does not occur before continental breakup. Rifts in thicker crust preserve little or no serpentinite and thinning is more focused in the mantle lithosphere, rather than in the crust. Continental breakup is therefore preceded by magmatism. This implies that pre-rift orogenic properties may determine whether magma-poor or magma-rich conjugate margins are formed. Our models show that inherited orogenic eclogite and serpentinite are deformed and partially emplaced either as dipping structures within the lithospheric mantle or at the base of the thinned continental crust. The former is consistent with dipping sub-Moho reflectors often observed in passive margins. The latter provides an alternative interpretation of `lower crustal bodies' which are often regarded as igneous bodies. An additional implication of our models is that serpentinite, often

  4. Continental Rifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosendahl, B. R.

    Continental Rifts, edited by A. M. Quennell, is a new member of the Benchmark Papers in Geology Series, edited in toto by R. W. Fairbridge. In this series the individual volume editors peruse the literature on a given topic, select a few dozen papers of ostensibly benchmark quality, and then reorder them in some sensible fashion. Some of the original papers are republished intact, but many are chopped into “McNuggets™” of information. Depending upon the volume editor, the chopping process can range from a butchering job to careful and prudent pruning. The collecting, sifting, and reorganizing tasks are, of course, equally editor-sensitive. The end product of this series is something akin to a set of Reader's Digest of Geology.

  5. Interrelation between rifting, faulting, sedimentation, and mantle serpentinization during continental margin formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupke, L.; Schmid, D. W.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Hartz, E. H.

    2013-12-01

    We explore the conditions under which mantle serpentinization may take place during continental rifting with 2D thermotectonostratigraphic basin models. The basic concept follows the idea that the entire extending continental crust has to be brittle for crustal scale faulting and mantle serpentinization to occur. The new model tracks the rheological evolution of the continental crust and allows for kinetically controlled mantle serpentinization processes. The isostatic and latent heat effects of the reaction are fully coupled to the structural and thermal solutions. A systematic parameter study shows that a critical stretching factor exists for which complete crustal embrittlement and serpentinization occurs. Sedimentation shifts this critical stretching factor to higher values as both deeper burial and the low thermal conductivity of sediments lead to higher crustal temperatures. Serpentinization reactions are therefore only likely in settings with low sedimentation rates and high stretching factors. In addition, we find that the rate of sediment supply has first order controls on the rheology of the lower crust, which may control the overall margin geometry. We further test these concepts in ideas in a case study for the Norwegian margin. In particular, we evaluate whether the inner lower crustal bodies (LCB) imaged beneath the More and Voring margin could be serpentinized mantle. For this purpose we reconstruct multiple 2D transects through a 3D data set. This reconstruction of the Norwegian margin shows that serpentinization reactions are indeed possible and likely during the Jurassic rift phase. Predicted present-day thicknesses and locations of partially serpentinized mantle rocks fit well to information on LCBs from seismic and gravity data. We conclude that some of the inner LCBs beneath the Norwegian margin may, in fact, be partially serpentinized mantle.

  6. The composition and structure of volcanic rifted continental margins in the North Atlantic: Further insight from shear waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eccles, Jennifer D.; White, Robert S.; Christie, Philip A. F.

    2011-07-01

    Imaging challenges caused by highly attenuative flood basalt sequences have resulted in the understanding of volcanic rifted continental margins lagging behind that of non-volcanic rifted and convergent margins. Massive volcanism occurred during break-up at 70% of the passive margins bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the causes and dynamics of which are still debated. This paper shows results from traveltime tomography of compressional and converted shear wave arrivals recorded on 170 four-component ocean bottom seismometers along two North Atlantic continental margin profiles. This traveltime tomography was performed using two different approaches. The first, a flexible layer-based parameterisation, enables the quality control of traveltime picks and investigation of the crustal structure. The second, with a regularised grid-based parameterisation, requires correction of converted shear wave traveltimes to effective symmetric raypaths and allows exploration of the model space via Monte Carlo analyses. The velocity models indicate high lower-crustal velocities and sharp transitions in both velocity and Vp/Vs ratios across the continent-ocean transition. The velocities are consistent with established mixing trends between felsic continental crust and high magnesium mafic rock on both margins. Interpretation of the high quality seismic reflection profile on the Faroes margin confirms that this mixing is through crustal intrusion. Converted shear wave data also provide constraints on the sub-basalt lithology on the Faroes margin, which is interpreted as a pre-break-up Mesozoic to Paleocene sedimentary system intruded by sills.

  7. Lateral variations in foreland flexure of a rifted continental margin: The Aquitaine Basin (SW France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angrand, P.; Ford, M.; Watts, A. B.

    2017-12-01

    We study the effects of the inherited Aptian to Cenomanian rift on crustal rheology and evolution of the Late Cretaceous to Neogene flexural Aquitaine foreland basin, northern Pyrenees. We use surface and subsurface geological data to define the crustal geometry and the post-rift thermal subsidence, and Bouguer gravity anomalies and flexural modeling to study the lateral variation of the elastic thickness, flexure of the European plate and controlling loads. The Aquitaine foreland can be divided along-strike into three sectors. The eastern foreland is un-rifted and is associated with a simple flexural subsidence. The central sector is affected by crustal stretching and the observed foreland base is modeled by combining topographic and buried loads, with post-rift thermal subsidence. In the western sector the foreland basin geometry is mainly controlled by post-rift thermal subsidence. These three sectors are separated by major lineaments, which affect both crustal and foreland geometry. These lineaments seem to be part of a larger structural pattern that includes the Toulouse and Pamplona Faults. The European foreland shows lateral variations in flexural behavior: the relative role of surface and sub-surface (i.e., buried) loading varies along-strike and the elastic thickness values decrease from the north-east to the south-west where the plate is the most stretched. We suggest that foreland basins are influenced by the thermal state of the underlying lithosphere if it was initiated soon after rifting and that thermal cooling can contribute significantly to subsidence.

  8. Barite-forming environments along a rifted continental margin, Southern California Borderland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, James R.; Zierenberg, Robert A.; Maynard, J. Barry; Hannington, Mark D.

    2007-01-01

    The Southern California Continental Borderland (SCCB) is part of the broad San Andreas transform-fault plate boundary that consists of a series of fault-bounded, petroleum-generating basins. The SCCB has high heat flow and geothermal gradients produced by thinned continental crust and Neogene volcanism. Barite deposits in the SCCB occur along faults. Barite samples from two sea-cliff sites and four offshore sites in the SCCB were analyzed for mineralogy, chemical (54 elements) and isotopic (S, Sr) compositions, and petrography. Barite from Palos Verdes (PV) Peninsula sea-cliff outcrops is hosted by the Miocene Monterey Formation and underlying basalt; carbonate rocks from those outcrops were analyzed for C, O, and Sr isotopes and the basalt for S isotopes. Cold-seep barite from Monterey Bay, California was analyzed for comparison. SCCB offshore samples occur at water depths from about 500 to 1800 m. Those barites vary significantly in texture and occurrence, from friable, highly porous actively growing seafloor mounds to dense, brecciated, vein barite. This latter type of barite contrasts with cold-seep barite in being much more coarse grained, forms thick veins in places, and completely replaced rock clasts in breccia. The barite samples range from 94 to 99 wt% BaSO4, with low trace-element contents, except for high Sr, Zr, Br, U, and Hg concentrations compared to their crustal abundances. δ34S for SCCB offshore barites range from 21.6‰ to 67.4‰, and for PV barite from 62‰ to 70‰. Pyrite from PV sea-cliff basalt and sedimentary rocks that host the barites averages 7.8‰ and 2.2‰, respectively. Two offshore barite samples have δ34S values (21.6‰, 22.1‰) close to that of modern seawater sulfate, whereas all other samples are enriched to strongly enriched in 34S. 87Sr/86Sr ratios for the barites vary over a narrow range of 0.70830–0.70856 and are much lower than that of modern seawater and also lower than the middle Miocene seawater ratio, the time

  9. Linking the tectonic evolution with fluid history in magma-poor rifted margins: tracking mantle- and continental crust-related fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, V. H. G.; Manatschal, G.; Karpoff, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    The thinning of the crust and the exhumation of subcontinental mantle is accompanied by a series of extensional detachment faults. Exhumation of mantle and crustal rocks is intimately related to percolation of fluids along detachment faults leading to changes in mineralogy and chemistry of the mantle, crustal and sedimentary rocks. Field observation, analytical methods, refraction/reflection and well-core data, allowed us to investigate the role of fluids in the Iberian margin and former Alpine Tethys distal margins and the Pyrenees rifted system. In the continental crust, fluid-rock interaction leads to saussuritization that produces Si and Ca enriched fluids found in forms of veins along the fault zone. In the zone of exhumed mantle, large amounts of water are absorbed in the first 5-6 km of serpentinized mantle, which has the counter-effect of depleting the mantle of elements (e.g., Si, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Ni and Cr) forming mantle-related fluids. Using Cr-Ni-V and Fe-Mn as tracers, we show that in the distal margin, mantle-related fluids used detachment faults as pathways and interacted with the overlying crust, the sedimentary basin and the seawater, while further inward parts of the margin, continental crust-related fluids enriched in Si and Ca impregnated the fault zone and may have affected the sedimentary basin. The overall observations and results enable us to show when, where and how these interactions occurred during the formation of the rifted margin. In a first stage, continental crust-related fluids dominated the rifted systems. During the second stage, mantle-related fluids affected the overlying syn-tectonic sediments through direct migration along detachment faults at the future distal margin. In a third stage, these fluids reached the seafloor, "polluted" the seawater and were absorbed by post-tectonic sediments. We conclude that a significant amount of serpentinization occurred underneath the thinned continental crust, that the mantle-related fluids

  10. Root zone of a continental rift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirsch, Moritz; Svenningsen, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    melt are considered to account for the compositional range exhibited by the KIC igneous rocks. U/Pb SIMS geochronological data from zircon rims yield an emplacement age of 578 ± 9 Ma. The KIC is thus younger and more depleted than coeval mafic rocks found in the Seve Nappe, and is interpreted...... to represent a high-level magma plumbing system in a late-stage continental rift. The composition and volume of rift-related igneous rocks in the Seve Nappes are inconsistent with a mantle plume origin, but are thought to record progressive lithospheric thinning and increasing involvement of an asthenospheric......Mafic magmatic rocks formed between ca. 615 and 560 Ma along the Neoproterozoic margins of Baltica and Laurentia are classically attributed to continental rifting heralding the opening of the Iapetus Ocean. We report new data for the Kebnekaise Intrusive Complex (KIC) exposed in the Seve Nappes...

  11. Variability of the geothermal gradient across two differently aged magma-rich continental rifted margins of the Atlantic Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    Gholamrezaie, Ershad; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena (Dr.); Sippel, Judith (Dr.); Strecker, Manfred R. (Prof. Dr.)

    2018-01-01

    Abstract. The aim of this study is to investigate the shallow thermal field differences for two differently aged passive continental margins by analyzing regional variations in geothermal gradient and exploring the controlling factors for these variations. Hence, we analyzed two previously published 3-D conductive and lithospheric-scale thermal models of the Southwest African and the Norwegian passive margins. These 3-D models differentiate various sedimentary, crustal, and mantle units and i...

  12. Structure and Geochemistry of the Continental-Oceanic Crust Boundary of the Red Sea and the Rifted Margin of Western Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilek, Y.; Furnes, H.; Schoenberg, R.

    2009-12-01

    The continental-oceanic crust boundary and an incipient oceanic crust of the Red Sea opening are exposed within the Arabian plate along a narrow zone of the Tihama Asir coastal plain in SW Saudi Arabia. Dike swarms, layered gabbros, granophyres and basalts of the 22 Ma Tihama Asir (TA) continental margin ophiolite represent products of magmatic differentiation formed during the initial stages of rifting between the African and Arabian plates. Nearly 4-km-wide zone of NW-trending sheeted dikes are the first products of mafic magmatism associated with incipient oceanic crust formation following the initial continental breakup. Gabbro intrusions are composed of cpx-ol-gabbro, cpx-gabbro, and norite/troctolite, and are crosscut by fine-grained basaltic dikes. Granophyre bodies intrude the sheeted dike swarms and are locally intrusive into the gabbros. Regional Bouger gravity anomalies suggest that the Miocene mafic crust represented by the TA complex extends westward beneath the coastal plain sedimentary rocks and the main trough of the Red Sea. The TA complex marks an incipient Red Sea oceanic crust that was accreted to the NE side of the newly formed continental rift in the earliest stages of seafloor spreading. Its basaltic to trachyandesitic lavas and dikes straddle the subalkaline-mildly alkaline boundary. Incompatible trace element relationships (e.g. Zr-Ti, Zr-P) indicate two distinct populations. The REE concentrations show an overall enrichment compared to N-MORB; light REEs are enriched over the heavy ones ((La/Yb)n > 1), pointing to an E-MORB influence. Nd-isotope data show ɛNd values ranging from +4 to +8, supporting an E-MORB melt source. The relatively large variations in ɛNd values also suggest various degrees of involvement of continental crust during ascent and emplacement, or by mixing of another mantle source.

  13. Deep continental margin reflectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, J.; Heirtzler, J.; Purdy, M.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1985-01-01

    In contrast to the rarity of such observations a decade ago, seismic reflecting and refracting horizons are now being observed to Moho depths under continental shelves in a number of places. These observations provide knowledge of the entire crustal thickness from the shoreline to the oceanic crust on passive margins and supplement Consortium for Continental Reflection Profiling (COCORP)-type measurements on land.

  14. Heat flow in the rifted continental margin of the South China Sea near Taiwan and its tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Wei-Zhi; Lin, Andrew T.; Liu, Char-Shine; Oung, Jung-Nan; Wang, Yunshuen

    2014-10-01

    Temperature measurements carried out on 9 hydrocarbon exploration boreholes together with Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) from reflection seismic images are used in this study to derive geothermal gradients and heat flows in the northern margin of the South China Sea near Taiwan. The method of Horner plot is applied to obtain true formation temperatures from measured borehole temperatures, which are disturbed by drilling processes. Sub-seafloor depths of BSRs are used to calculate sub-bottom temperatures using theoretical pressure/temperature phase boundary that marks the base of gas hydrate stability zone. Our results show that the geothermal gradients and heat flows in the study area range from 28 to 128 °C/km and 40 to 159 mW/m2, respectively. There is a marked difference in geothermal gradients and heat flow beneath the shelf and slope regions. It is cooler beneath the shelf with an average geothermal gradient of 34.5 °C/km, and 62.7 mW/m2 heat flow. The continental slope shows a higher average geothermal gradient of 56.4 °C/km, and 70.9 mW/m2 heat flow. Lower heat flow on the shelf is most likely caused by thicker sediments that have accumulated there compared to the sediment thickness beneath the slope. In addition, the continental crust is highly extended beneath the continental slope, yielding higher heat flow in this region. A half graben exists beneath the continental slope with a north-dipping graben-bounding fault. A high heat-flow anomaly coincides at the location of this graben-bounding fault at the Jiulong Ridge, indicating vigorous vertical fluid convection which may take place along this fault.

  15. Physical Processes Contributing To Small-scale Vertical Movements During Changing Inplane Stresses In Rift Basins and At Passive Continental Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulsen, G. E.; Nielsen, S. B.; Hansen, D. L.

    The vertical movements during a regional stress reversal in a rifted basin or on a passive continental margin are examined using a numerical 2D thermo-mechanical finite element model with a visco-elastic-plastic rheology. Three different physical mechanisms are recognized in small-scale vertical movements at small inplane force variations: elastic dilatation, elastic flexure, and permanent deformation. Their rela- tive importance depend on the applied force, the duration of the force, and the thermal structure of the lithosphere. Elastic material dilatation occurs whenever the stress state changes. A reversal from extension to compression therefore immediately leads to elastic dilatation, and re- sults in an overall subsidence of the entire profile. Simultaneously with dilatation the lithosphere reacts with flexure. The significance of the flexural component strongly depends on the thermal structure of the lithosphere. The polarity and amplitude of the flexure depends on the initial (before compression) loading of the lithosphere. Gener- ally, the flexural effects lead to subsidence of the overdeep in the landward part of the basin and a small amount of uplift at the basin flanks. The amplitudes of the flexural response are small and comparable with the amplitudes of the elastic dilatation. With continuing compression permanent deformation and lithospheric thickening becomes increasingly important. Ultimately, the thickened part of the lithosphere stands out as an inverted zone. The amount of permanent deformation is directly connected with the size and duration of the applied force, but even a relatively small force leads to inversion tectonics in the landward part of the basin. The conclusions are: 1) small stress induced vertical movements in rift basins and at passive continental margins are the result of a complex interaction of at least three different processes, 2) the total sediment loaded amplitudes resulting from these pro- cesses are small (2-300 m) for

  16. Regional magnetic anomaly constraints on continental rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonfrese, R. R. B.; Hinze, W. J.; Olivier, R.; Bentley, C. R.

    1985-01-01

    Radially polarized MAGSAT anomalies of North and South America, Europe, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica demonstrate remarkably detailed correlation of regional magnetic lithospheric sources across rifted margins when plotted on a reconstruction of Pangea. These major magnetic features apparently preserve their integrity until a superimposed metamorphoric event alters the magnitude and pattern of the anomalies. The longevity of continental scale magnetic anomalies contrasts markedly with that of regional gravity anomalies which tend to reflect predominantly isostatic adjustments associated with neo-tectonism. First observed as a result of NASA's magnetic satellite programs, these anomalies provide new and fundamental constraints on the geologic evolution and dynamics of the continents and oceans. Accordingly, satellite magnetic observations provide a further tool for investigating continental drift to compliment other lines of evidence in paleoclimatology, paleontology, paleomagnetism, and studies of the radiometric ages and geometric fit of the continents.

  17. Variability of the geothermal gradient across two differently aged magma-rich continental rifted margins of the Atlantic Ocean: the Southwest African and the Norwegian margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Gholamrezaie

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to investigate the shallow thermal field differences for two differently aged passive continental margins by analyzing regional variations in geothermal gradient and exploring the controlling factors for these variations. Hence, we analyzed two previously published 3-D conductive and lithospheric-scale thermal models of the Southwest African and the Norwegian passive margins. These 3-D models differentiate various sedimentary, crustal, and mantle units and integrate different geophysical data such as seismic observations and the gravity field. We extracted the temperature–depth distributions in 1 km intervals down to 6 km below the upper thermal boundary condition. The geothermal gradient was then calculated for these intervals between the upper thermal boundary condition and the respective depth levels (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 km below the upper thermal boundary condition. According to our results, the geothermal gradient decreases with increasing depth and shows varying lateral trends and values for these two different margins. We compare the 3-D geological structural models and the geothermal gradient variations for both thermal models and show how radiogenic heat production, sediment insulating effect, and thermal lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary (LAB depth influence the shallow thermal field pattern. The results indicate an ongoing process of oceanic mantle cooling at the young Norwegian margin compared with the old SW African passive margin that seems to be thermally equilibrated in the present day.

  18. Variability of the geothermal gradient across two differently aged magma-rich continental rifted margins of the Atlantic Ocean: the Southwest African and the Norwegian margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gholamrezaie, Ershad; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Sippel, Judith; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2018-02-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the shallow thermal field differences for two differently aged passive continental margins by analyzing regional variations in geothermal gradient and exploring the controlling factors for these variations. Hence, we analyzed two previously published 3-D conductive and lithospheric-scale thermal models of the Southwest African and the Norwegian passive margins. These 3-D models differentiate various sedimentary, crustal, and mantle units and integrate different geophysical data such as seismic observations and the gravity field. We extracted the temperature-depth distributions in 1 km intervals down to 6 km below the upper thermal boundary condition. The geothermal gradient was then calculated for these intervals between the upper thermal boundary condition and the respective depth levels (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 km below the upper thermal boundary condition). According to our results, the geothermal gradient decreases with increasing depth and shows varying lateral trends and values for these two different margins. We compare the 3-D geological structural models and the geothermal gradient variations for both thermal models and show how radiogenic heat production, sediment insulating effect, and thermal lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) depth influence the shallow thermal field pattern. The results indicate an ongoing process of oceanic mantle cooling at the young Norwegian margin compared with the old SW African passive margin that seems to be thermally equilibrated in the present day.

  19. Long wavelength magnetic anomalies over continental rifts in cratonic region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, S. A.; Persaud, P.; Ferre, E. C.; Martín-Hernández, F.; Feinberg, J. M.

    2017-12-01

    New collections of unaltered mantle xenoliths shed light on potential upper mantle contributions to long wavelength magnetic anomalies (LWMA) in continental rifts in cratonic / shield areas. The new material originates from the East African Rift (Tanzania), the Rio Grande Rift (U.S.A.), the Rhine Rift (Germany), and the West Antarctic Rift (Antarctica). The xenoliths sample the uppermost ( 0.2 or Fe geotherms (>60ºC/km) that are characteristic of rifted regions preclude any contribution to LWMA at depths >10 km. Hence, only upper basalts and hypovolcanic mafic sills would constitute potential magnetic sources. In contrast, the margins of these rifted regions consist of refractory cratonic domains, often characterized by oxidized sublithospheric mantle that host significant concentrations of primary magnetite. The higher NRMs of these peridotites (up to 15 A/m, Qn > 2.5) combined with much lower geotherms (as low as 15ºC/km) allows for a 5 to 10 km layer of uppermost mantle to potentially contribute to LWMA. Assuming that Qn values in rift margins are also gradient across the rift would primarily reflect thermal equilibration over time.

  20. Atlantic continental margin of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grow, John A.; Sheridan, Robert E.; Palmer, A.R.

    1982-01-01

    The objective of this Decade of North American Geology (D-NAG) volume will be to focus on the Mesozoic and Cenozoic evolution of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin, including the onshore coastal plain, related onshore Triassic-Jurassic rift grabens, and the offshore basins and platforms. Following multiple compressional tectonic episodes between Africa and North America during the Paleozoic Era that formed the Appalachian Mountains, the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras were dominated by tensional tectonic processes that separated Africa and North America. Extensional rifting during Triassic and Early Jurassic times resulted in numerous tensional grabens both onshore and offshore, which filled with nonmarine continental red beds, lacustrine deposits, and volcanic flows and debris. The final stage of this breakup between Africa and North America occurred beneath the present outer continental shelf and continental slope during Early or Middle Jurassic time when sea-floor spreading began to form new oceanic crust and lithosophere between the two continents as they drifted apart. Postrift subsidence of the marginal basins continued in response to cooling of the lithosphere and sedimentary loading.Geophysical surveys and oil-exploration drilling along the U.S. Atlantic continental margin during the past 5 years are beginning to answer many questions concerning its deep structure and stratigraphy and how it evolved during the rifting and early sea-floor-spreading stages of the separation of this region from Africa. Earlier geophysical studies of the U.S. continental margin used marine refraction and submarine gravity measurements. Single-channel seismic-reflection, marine magnetic, aeromagnetic, and continuous gravity measurements became available during the 1960s.

  1. The rifted margin of Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClain, J. S.; Orcutt, J. A.

    The structure of rifted continental margins has always been of great scientific interest, and now, with dwindling economic oil deposits, these complex geological features assume practical importance as well. The ocean-continent transition is, by definition, laterally heterogeneous and likely to be extremely complicated. The southernmost shotpoints (4, 5, and 6) in the U.S. Geological Survey seismic refraction profile in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lie within a transition region and thus provide a testing ground for methods that treat wave propagation in laterally heterogeneous media. This portion of the profile runs from the Farasan Islands in the Red Sea across the coast line and the Hijaz-Asir escarpment into the Hijaz-Asir tectonic province. Because the southernmost shotpoint is within the margin of the Saudi sub-continent, the full transition region is not sampled. Furthermore, such an experiment is precluded by the narrowness of the purely oceanic portion of the Red Sea.

  2. Melt Origin Across a Rifted Continental Margin: A Case for Subduction-related Metasomatic Agents in the Lithospheric Source of Alkaline Basalt, Northwest Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panter, K. S.; Castillo, P.; Krans, S. R.; Deering, C. D.; McIntosh, W. C.; Valley, J. W.; Kitajima, K.; Kyle, P. R.; Hart, S. R.; Blusztajn, J.

    2017-12-01

    Alkaline magmatism within the West Antarctic rift system in the NW Ross Sea (NWRS) includes a chain of shield volcanoes extending 260 km along the coast, numerous seamounts located on the continental shelf and hundreds more within the oceanic Adare Basin. Dating and geochemistry confirm that the seamounts are Pliocene‒Pleistocene in age and petrogenetically akin to the mostly Miocene volcanism on the continent as well as to a much broader region of alkaline volcanism that altogether encompasses areas of West Antarctica, Zealandia and Australia. All of these regions were contiguous prior to Gondwana breakup at 100 Ma, suggesting that the magmatism is interrelated. Mafic alkaline magmas (> 6 wt.% MgO) erupted across the transition from continent to ocean in the NWRS show a remarkable systematic increase in Si-undersaturation, P2O5, Sr, Zr, Nb and light rare earth element (LREE) concentrations, LREE/HREE and Nb/Y ratios. Radiogenic isotopes also vary with Nd and Pb ratios increasing and Sr ratios decreasing ocean-ward. The variations are not explained by crustal contamination or by changes in degree of mantle partial melting but are likely a function of the thickness and age of mantle lithosphere. The isotopic signature of the most Si-undersaturated and incompatible element enriched basalts best represent the composition of the sub-lithospheric source with low 87Sr/86Sr (≤ 0.7030) and δ18Oolivine (≤ 5.0 ‰), high 143Nd/144Nd ( 0.5130) and 206Pb/204Pb (≥ 20) ratios. The isotopic `endmember' is derived from recycled material and was transferred to the lithospheric mantle by small degree melts to form amphibole-rich metasomes. Later melting of the metasomes produced silica-undersaturated liquids that reacted with the surrounding peridotite. This reaction occurred to a greater extent as the melt traversed through thicker and older lithosphere continent-ward. Ancient or more recent ( 550‒100 Ma) subduction along the margin of Gondwana supplied the recycled

  3. How does continental lithosphere break-apart? A 3D seismic view on the transition from magma-poor rifted margin to magmatic oceanic lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmanuel, M.; Lescanne, M.; Picazo, S.; Tomasi, S.

    2017-12-01

    In the last decade, high-quality seismic data and drilling results drastically challenged our ideas about how continents break apart. New models address their observed variability and are presently redefining basics of rifting as well as exploration potential along deepwater rifted margins. Seafloor spreading is even more constrained by decades of scientific exploration along Mid Oceanic Ridges. By contrast, the transition between rifting and drifting remains a debated subject. This lithospheric breakup "event" is geologically recorded along Ocean-Continent Transitions (OCT) at the most distal part of margins before indubitable oceanic crust. Often lying along ultra-deepwater margin domains and buried beneath a thick sedimentary pile, high-quality images of these domains are rare but mandatory to get strong insights on the processes responsible for lithospheric break up and what are the consequences for the overlying basins. We intend to answer these questions by studying a world-class 3D seismic survey in a segment of a rifted margin exposed in the Atlantic. Through these data, we can show in details the OCT architecture between a magma-poor hyper-extended margin (with exhumed mantle) and a classical layered oceanic crust. It is characterized by 1- the development of out-of-sequence detachment systems with a landward-dipping geometry and 2- the increasing magmatic additions oceanwards (intrusives and extrusives). Geometry of these faults suggests that they may be decoupled at a mantle brittle-ductile interface what may be an indicator on thermicity. Furthermore, magmatism increases as deformation migrates to the future first indubitable oceanic crust what controls a progressive magmatic crustal thickening below, above and across a tapering rest of margin. As the magmatic budget increases oceanwards, full-rate divergence is less and less accommodated by faulting. Magmatic-sedimentary architectures of OCT is therefore changing from supra-detachment to magmatic

  4. 3D numerical simulations of multiphase continental rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naliboff, J.; Glerum, A.; Brune, S.

    2017-12-01

    Observations of rifted margin architecture suggest continental breakup occurs through multiple phases of extension with distinct styles of deformation. The initial rifting stages are often characterized by slow extension rates and distributed normal faulting in the upper crust decoupled from deformation in the lower crust and mantle lithosphere. Further rifting marks a transition to higher extension rates and coupling between the crust and mantle lithosphere, with deformation typically focused along large-scale detachment faults. Significantly, recent detailed reconstructions and high-resolution 2D numerical simulations suggest that rather than remaining focused on a single long-lived detachment fault, deformation in this phase may progress toward lithospheric breakup through a complex process of fault interaction and development. The numerical simulations also suggest that an initial phase of distributed normal faulting can play a key role in the development of these complex fault networks and the resulting finite deformation patterns. Motivated by these findings, we will present 3D numerical simulations of continental rifting that examine the role of temporal increases in extension velocity on rifted margin structure. The numerical simulations are developed with the massively parallel finite-element code ASPECT. While originally designed to model mantle convection using advanced solvers and adaptive mesh refinement techniques, ASPECT has been extended to model visco-plastic deformation that combines a Drucker Prager yield criterion with non-linear dislocation and diffusion creep. To promote deformation localization, the internal friction angle and cohesion weaken as a function of accumulated plastic strain. Rather than prescribing a single zone of weakness to initiate deformation, an initial random perturbation of the plastic strain field combined with rapid strain weakening produces distributed normal faulting at relatively slow rates of extension in both 2D and

  5. Mastritherium (Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae) from Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia; an earliest Miocene age for continental rift-valley volcanic deposits of the Red Sea margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madden, Gary T.; Schmidt, Dwight Lyman; Whitmore, Frank C.

    1983-01-01

    A lower jaw fragment with its last molar (M/3) from the Baid formation in Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia, represents the first recorded occurrence in the Arabian Peninsula of an anthracotheriid artiodactyl (hippo-like, even-toed ungulate). This fossil is identified as a primitive species of Masritherium, a North and East African genus restricted, previously to the later early Miocene. This identification indicates that the age of the Baid formation, long problematical, is early Miocene and, moreover, shows that the age of the fossil site is earliest Miocene (from 25 to 21Ma). The Wadi Sabya anthracothere is the first species of fossil mammal recorded from western Saudi Arabia, and more important, it indicates an early Miocene age for the volcanic deposits of a continental rift-valley that preceded the initial sea-floor spreading of the Red Sea.

  6. Polyphase Rifting and Breakup of the Central Mozambique Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senkans, Andrew; Leroy, Sylvie; d'Acremont, Elia; Castilla, Raymi

    2017-04-01

    The breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent resulted in the formation of the Central Mozambique passive margin as Africa and Antarctica were separated during the mid-Jurassic period. The identification of magnetic anomalies in the Mozambique Basin and Riiser Larsen Sea means that post-oceanisation plate kinematics are well-constrained. Unresolved questions remain, however, regarding the initial fit, continental breakup process, and the first relative movements of Africa and Antarctica. This study uses high quality multi-channel seismic reflection profiles in an effort to identify the major crustal domains in the Angoche and Beira regions of the Central Mozambique margin. This work is part of the integrated pluri-disciplinary PAMELA project*. Our results show that the Central Mozambique passive margin is characterised by intense but localised magmatic activity, evidenced by the existence of seaward dipping reflectors (SDR) in the Angoche region, as well as magmatic sills and volcanoclastic material which mark the Beira High. The Angoche region is defined by a faulted upper-continental crust, with the possible exhumation of lower crustal material forming an extended ocean-continent transition (OCT). The profiles studied across the Beira high reveal an offshore continental fragment, which is overlain by a pre-rift sedimentary unit likely to belong to the Karoo Group. Faulting of the crust and overlying sedimentary unit reveals that the Beira High has recorded several phases of deformation. The combination of our seismic interpretation with existing geophysical and geological results have allowed us to propose a breakup model which supports the idea that the Central Mozambique margin was affected by polyphase rifting. The analysis of both along-dip and along-strike profiles shows that the Beira High initially experienced extension in a direction approximately parallel to the Mozambique coastline onshore of the Beira High. Our results suggest that the Beira High results

  7. Colorado Basin Structure and Rifting, Argentine passive margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Autin, Julia; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Loegering, Markus; Anka, Zahie; Vallejo, Eduardo; Rodriguez, Jorge; Marchal, Denis; Reichert, Christian; di Primio, Rolando

    2010-05-01

    partly supports this hypothesis and shows two main directions of faulting: margin-parallel faults (~N30°) and rift-parallel faults (~N125°). A specific distribution of the two fault sets is observed: margin-parallel faults are restrained to the most distal part of the margin. Starting with a 3D structural model of the basin fill based on seismic and well data the deeper structure of the crust beneath the Colorado Basin can be evaluate using isostatic and thermal modelling. Franke, D., et al. (2002), Deep Crustal Structure Of The Argentine Continental Margin From Seismic Wide-Angle And Multichannel Reflection Seismic Data, paper presented at AAPG Hedberg Conference "Hydrocarbon Habitat of Volcanic Rifted Passive Margins", Stavanger, Norway Franke, D., et al. (2006), Crustal structure across the Colorado Basin, offshore Argentina Geophysical Journal International 165, 850-864. Gladczenko, T. P., et al. (1997), South Atlantic volcanic margins Journal of the Geological Society, London 154, 465-470. Hinz, K., et al. (1999), The Argentine continental margin north of 48°S: sedimentary successions, volcanic activity during breakup Marine and Petroleum Geology 16(1-25). Hirsch, K. K., et al. (2009), Tectonic subsidence history and thermal evolution of the Orange Basin, Marine and Petroleum Geology, in press, doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.1006.1009

  8. Commercial helium reserves, continental rifting and volcanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballentine, C. J.; Barry, P. H.; Hillegonds, D.; Fontijn, K.; Bluett, J.; Abraham-James, T.; Danabalan, D.; Gluyas, J.; Brennwald, M. S.; Pluess, B.; Seneshens, D.; Sherwood Lollar, B.

    2017-12-01

    Helium has many industrial applications, but notably provides the unique cooling medium for superconducting magnets in medical MRI scanners and high energy beam lines. In 2013 the global supply chainfailed to meet demand causing significant concern - the `Liquid Helium Crisis' [1]. The 2017 closure of Quatar borders, a major helium supplier, is likely to further disrupt helium supply, and accentuates the urgent need to diversify supply. Helium is found in very few natural gas reservoirs that have focused 4He produced by the dispersed decay (a-particle) of U and Th in the crust. We show here, using the example of the Rukwa section of the Tanzanian East African Rift, how continental rifting and local volcanism provides the combination of processes required to generate helium reserves. The ancient continental crust provides the source of 4He. Rifting and associated magmatism provides the tectonic and thermal mechanism to mobilise deep fluid circulation, focusing flow to the near surface along major basement faults. Helium-rich springs in the Tanzanian Great Rift Valley were first identified in the 1950's[2]. The isotopic compositions and major element chemistry of the gases from springs and seeps are consistent with their release from the crystalline basement during rifting [3]. Within the Rukwa Rift Valley, helium seeps occur in the vicinity of trapping structures that have the potential to store significant reserves of helium [3]. Soil gas surveys over 6 prospective trapping structures (1m depth, n=1486) show helium anomalies in 5 out of the 6 at levels similar to those observed over a known helium-rich gas reservoir at 1200m depth (7% He - Harley Dome, Utah). Detailed macroseep gas compositions collected over two days (n=17) at one site allows us to distinguish shallow gas contributions and shows the deep gas to contain between 8-10% helium, significantly increasing resource estimates based on uncorrected values (1.8-4.2%)[2,3]. The remainder of the deep gas is

  9. Orogenic structural inheritance and rifted passive margin formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar Mora, Claudio A.; Huismans, Ritske S.

    2016-04-01

    Structural inheritance is related to mechanical weaknesses in the lithosphere due to previous tectonic events, e.g. rifting, subduction and collision. The North and South Atlantic rifted passive margins that formed during the breakup of Western Gondwana, are parallel to the older Caledonide and the Brasiliano-Pan-African orogenic belts. In the South Atlantic, 'old' mantle lithospheric fabric resulting from crystallographic preferred orientation of olivine is suggested to play a role during rifted margin formation (Tommasi and Vauchez, 2001). Magnetometric and gravimetric mapping of onshore structures in the Camamu and Almada basins suggest that extensional faults are controlled by two different directions of inherited older Brasiliano structures in the upper lithosphere (Ferreira et al., 2009). In the South Atlantic Campos Basin, 3D seismic data indicate that inherited basement structures provide a first order control on basin structure (Fetter, 2009). Here we investigate the role of structural inheritance on the formation of rifted passive margins with high-resolution 2D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments. The numerical domain is 1200 km long and 600 km deep and represents the lithosphere and the sublithospheric mantle. Model experiments were carried out by creating self-consistent orogenic inheritance where a first phase of orogen formation is followed by extension. We focus in particular on the role of varying amount of orogenic shortening, crustal rheology, contrasting styles of orogen formation on rifted margin style, and the time delay between orogeny and subsequent rifted passive formation. Model results are compared to contrasting structural styles of rifted passive margin formation as observed in the South Atlantic. Ferreira, T.S., Caixeta, J.M., Lima, F.D., 2009. Basement control in Camamu and Almada rift basins. Boletim de Geociências da Petrobrás 17, 69-88. Fetter, M., 2009. The role of basement tectonic reactivation on the structural evolution

  10. Magma-poor vs. magma-rich continental rifting and breakup in the Labrador Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouiza, M.; Paton, D.

    2017-12-01

    Magma-poor and magma-rich rifted margins show distinct structural and stratigraphic geometries during the rift to breakup period. In magma-poor margins, crustal stretching is accommodated mainly by brittle faulting and the formation of wide rift basins shaped by numerous graben and half-graben structures. Continental breakup and oceanic crust accretion are often preceded by a localised phase of (hyper-) extension where the upper mantle is embrittled, serpentinized, and exhumed to the surface. In magma-rich margins, the rift basin is narrow and extension is accompanied by a large magmatic supply. Continental breakup and oceanic crust accretion is preceded by the emplacement of a thick volcanic crust juxtaposing and underplating a moderately thinned continental crust. Both magma-poor and magma-rich rifting occur in response to lithospheric extension but the driving forces and processes are believed to be different. In the former extension is assumed to be driven by plate boundary forces, while in the latter extension is supposed to be controlled by sublithospheric mantle dynamics. However, this view fails in explaining observations from many Atlantic conjugate margins where magma-poor and magma-rich segments alternate in a relatively abrupt fashion. This is the case of the Labrador margin where the northern segment shows major magmatic supply during most of the syn-rift phase which culminate in the emplacement of a thick volcanic crust in the transitional domain along with high density bodies underplating the thinned continental crust; while the southern segment is characterized mainly by brittle extension, mantle seprentinization and exhumation prior to continental breakup. In this work, we use seismic and potential field data to describe the crustal and structural architectures of the Labrador margin, and investigate the tectonic and mechanical processes of rifting that may have controlled the magmatic supply in the different segments of the margin.

  11. From continental to oceanic rifting in the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Luca; Bonini, Marco; Martín, Arturo

    2017-11-01

    The continental margin of northwestern Mexico is the youngest example of the transition from a convergent plate boundary to an oblique divergent margin that formed the Gulf of California rift. Subduction of the Farallon oceanic plate during the Cenozoic progressively brought the East Pacific Rise (EPR) toward the North America trench. In this process increasingly younger and buoyant oceanic lithosphere entered the subduction zone until subduction ended just before most of the EPR could collide with the North America continental lithosphere. The EPR segments bounding the unsubducted parts of the Farallón plate remnants (Guadalupe and Magdalena microplates) also ceased spreading (Lonsdale, 1991) and a belt of the North American plate (California and Baja California Peninsula) became coupled with the Pacific Plate and started moving northwestward forming the modern Gulf of California oblique rift (Nicholson et al., 1994; Bohannon and Parsons, 1995). The timing of the change from plate convergence to oblique divergence off western Mexico has been constrained at the middle Miocene (15-12.5 Ma) by ocean floor morphology and magnetic anomalies as well as plate tectonic reconstructions (Atwater and Severinghaus, 1989; Stock and Hodges, 1989; Lonsdale, 1991), although the onset of transtensional deformation and the amount of right lateral displacement within the Gulf region are still being studied (Oskin et al., 2001; Fletcher et al., 2007; Bennett and Oskin, 2014). Other aspects of the formation of the Gulf of California remain not well understood. At present the Gulf of California straddles the transition from continental transtension in the north to oceanic spreading in the south. Seismic reflection-refraction data indicate asymmetric continent-ocean transition across conjugate margins of rift segments (González-Fernández et al., 2005; Lizarralde et al., 2007; Miller and Lizarralde, 2013; Martín-Barajas et al., 2013). The asymmetry may be related to crustal

  12. The Porcupine Basin: from rifting to continental breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reston, Timothy; Gaw, Viola; Klaeschen, Dirk; McDermott, Ken

    2015-04-01

    Southwest of Ireland, the Porcupine Basin is characterized by axial stretching factors that increase southward to values greater than six and typical of rifted margins. As such, the basin can be regarded as a natural laboratory to investigate the evolution and symmetry of rifting leading towards continental separation and breakup, and in particular the processes of mantle serpentinisation, and the onset of detachment faulting. We have processed through to prestack depth migration a series of E-W profiles crossing the basin at different axial stretching factors and linked by a N-S profile running close to the rift axis. Our results constrain the structure of the basin and have implications for the evolution of rifted margins. In the north at a latitude of 52.25N, no clear detachment is imaged, although faults do appear to cut down into the mantle, so that serpentinisation may have started. Further south (51.75N), a bright reflection (here named P) cuts down to the west from the base of the sedimentary section, is overlain by small fault blocks and appears to represent a detachment fault. P may in part follow the top of partially serpentinized mantle: this interpretation is consistent with gravity modelling, with numerical models of crustal embrittlement and mantle serpentinization during extension and with wide-angle data (see posters of Prada and of Watremez). Furthermore, P closely resembles the S reflection west of Iberia, where such serpentinites are well documented. P develops where the crust was thinned to less than 3 km during rifting, again similar to S. Although overall the basin remains symmetrical, the consistent westward structural dip of the detachment implies that, at high stretching factors, extension became asymmetric. Analysis of the depth sections suggests that the detachment may have been active as a rolling hinge rooting at low-angle beneath the Porcupine Bank, consistent with the presence of a footwall of serpentinites. This requires very weak

  13. Cambrian–early Ordovician volcanism across the South Armorican and Occitan domains of the Variscan Belt in France: Continental break-up and rifting of the northern Gondwana margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Pouclet

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The Cambrian–lower Ordovician volcanic units of the South Armorican and Occitan domains are analysed in a tectonostratigraphic survey of the French Variscan Belt. The South Armorican lavas consist of continental tholeiites in middle Cambrian–Furongian sequences related to continental break-up. A significant volcanic activity occurred in the Tremadocian, dominated by crustal melted rhyolitic lavas and initial rifting tholeiites. The Occitan lavas are distributed into five volcanic phases: (1 basal Cambrian rhyolites, (2 upper lower Cambrian Mg-rich tholeiites close to N-MORBs but crustal contaminated, (3 upper lower–middle Cambrian continental tholeiites, (4 Tremadocian rhyolites, and (5 upper lower Ordovician initial rift tholeiites. A rifting event linked to asthenosphere upwelling took place in the late early Cambrian but did not evolve. It renewed in the Tremadocian with abundant crustal melting due to underplating of mixed asthenospheric and lithospheric magmas. This main tectono-magmatic continental rift is termed the “Tremadocian Tectonic Belt” underlined by a chain of rhyolitic volcanoes from Occitan and South Armorican domains to Central Iberia. It evolved with the setting of syn-rift coarse siliciclastic deposits overlain by post-rift deep water shales in a suite of sedimentary basins that forecasted the South Armorican–Medio-European Ocean as a part of the Palaeotethys Ocean.

  14. Post-rift deformation of the Red Sea Arabian margin

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Starting from the Oligocene, the Red Sea rift nucleated within the composite Neoproterozoic Arabian-Nubian shield. After about 30 Ma-long history of continental lithosphere thinning and magmatism, the first pulse of oceanic spreading occurred at around 4.6 Ma at the triple junction of Africa, Arabia, and Danakil plate boundaries and propagated southward separating Danakil and Arabia plates. Ocean floor spreading between Arabia and Africa started later, at about 3 Ma and propagated northward (Schettino et al., 2016). Nowadays the northern part of the Red Sea is characterised by isolated oceanic deeps or a thinned continental lithosphere. Here we investigate the deformation of thinned continental margins that develops as a consequence of the continental lithosphere break-up induced by the progressive oceanisation. This deformation consists of a system of transcurrent and reverse faults that accommodate the anelastic relaxation of the extended margins. Inversion and shortening tectonics along the rifted margins as a consequence of the formation of a new segment of ocean ridge was already documented in the Atlantic margin of North America (e.g. Schlische et al. 2003). We present preliminary structural data obtained along the north-central portion of the Arabian rifted margin of the Red Sea. We explored NE-SW trending lineaments within the Arabian margin that are the inland continuation of transform boundaries between segments of the oceanic ridge. We found brittle fault zones whose kinematics is consistent with a post-rift inversion. Along the southernmost transcurrent fault (Ad Damm fault) of the central portion of the Red Sea we found evidence of dextral movement. Along the northernmost transcurrent fault, which intersects the Harrat Lunayyir, structures indicate dextral movement. At the inland termination of this fault the evidence of dextral movement are weaker and NW-SE trending reverse faults outcrop. Between these two faults we found other dextral transcurrent

  15. Structure and tectonics of western continental margin of India: Implication for geologic hazards

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chaubey, A.K.; Ajay, K.K.

    characteristics of Western Continental Margin of India (WCMI) are closely related to the tectonic history of the Indian subcontinent, its break up during continental rifting, magmatic and sedimentary history, northward movement of India and finally collision... Continental Flood Basalt (DCFB) province on the western and central Indian (Duncan. 1990) as well as continental flood basalt on the Praslin Island in the Seychelles microcontinent (Devey and Stephens, 1991). The DCFB is the largest known continental flood...

  16. Contributions to knowledge of the continental margin of Uruguay. Uruguayan continental margin: Physiographic and seismic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Preciozzi, F

    2014-01-01

    This work is about the kind of continental margins such as a )Atlantic type passive margins which can be hard or soft b) An active or Pacific margins that because of the very frequent earthquakes develop a morphology dominated by tectonic processes. The Uruguayan continental margin belongs to a soft Atlantic margin

  17. Constraints Imposed by Rift Inheritance on the Compressional Reactivation of a Hyperextended Margin: Mapping Rift Domains in the North Iberian Margin and in the Cantabrian Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadenas, P.; Fernández-Viejo, G.; Pulgar, J. A.; Tugend, J.; Manatschal, G.; Minshull, T. A.

    2018-03-01

    The Alpine Pyrenean-Cantabrian orogen developed along the plate boundary between Iberia and Europe, involving the inversion of Mesozoic hyperextended basins along the southern Biscay margin. Thus, this margin represents a natural laboratory to analyze the control of structural rift inheritance on the compressional reactivation of a continental margin. With the aim to identify former rift domains and investigate their role during the subsequent compression, we performed a structural analysis of the central and western North Iberian margin, based on the interpretation of seismic reflection profiles and local constraints from drill-hole data. Seismic interpretations and published seismic velocity models enabled the development of crustal thickness maps that helped to constrain further the offshore and onshore segmentation. Based on all these constraints, we present a rift domain map across the central and western North Iberian margin, as far as the adjacent western Cantabrian Mountains. Furthermore, we provide a first-order description of the margin segmentation resulting from its polyphase tectonic evolution. The most striking result is the presence of a hyperthinned domain (e.g., Asturian Basin) along the central continental platform that is bounded to the north by the Le Danois High, interpreted as a rift-related continental block separating two distinctive hyperextended domains. From the analysis of the rift domain map and the distribution of reactivation structures, we conclude that the landward limit of the necking domain and the hyperextended domains, respectively, guide and localize the compressional overprint. The Le Danois block acted as a local buttress, conditioning the inversion of the Asturian Basin.

  18. Tectonostratigraphy of the Passive Continental Margin Offshore Indus Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslam, K.; Khan, M.; Liu, Y.; Farid, A.

    2017-12-01

    The tectonic evolution and structural complexities are poorly understood in the passive continental margin of the Offshore Indus of Pakistan. In the present study, an attempt has been made to interpret the structural trends and seismic stratigraphic framework in relation to the tectonics of the region. Seismic reflection data revealed tectonically controlled, distinct episodes of normal faulting representing rifting at different ages and transpression in the Late Eocene time. This transpression has resulted in the reactivation of the Pre-Cambrian basement structures. The movement of these basement structures has considerably affected the younger sedimentary succession resulting in push up structures resembling anticlines. The structural growth of the push-up structures was computed. The most remarkable tectonic setting in the region is represented by the normal faulting and by the basement uplift which divides the rifting and transpression stages. Ten mappable seismic sequences have been identified on the seismic records. A Jurassic aged paleo-shelf has also been identified on all regional seismic profiles which is indicative of Indian-African Plates separation during the Jurassic time. Furthermore, the backstripping technique was applied which has been proved to be a powerful technique to quantify subsidence/uplift history of rift-type passive continental margins. The back strip curves suggest that transition from an extensional rifted margin to transpression occurred during Eocene time (50-30 Ma). The backstripping curves show uplift had happened in the area. We infer that the uplift has occurred due to the movement of basement structures by the transpression movements of Arabian and Indian Plates. The present study suggests that the structural styles and stratigraphy of the Offshore Indus Pakistan were significantly affected by the tectonic activities during the separation of Gondwanaland in the Mesozoic and northward movement of the Indian Plate, post-rifting

  19. Concentration of strain in a marginal rift zone of the Japan backarc during post-rift compression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, H.; Ishiyama, T.; Kato, N.; Abe, S.; Shiraishi, K.; Inaba, M.; Kurashimo, E.; Iwasaki, T.; Van Horne, A.; No, T.; Sato, T.; Kodaira, S.; Matsubara, M.; Takeda, T.; Abe, S.; Kodaira, C.

    2015-12-01

    Late Cenozoic deformation zones in Japan may be divided into two types: (1) arc-arc collision zones like those of Izu and the Hokkaido axial zone, and (2) reactivated back-arc marginal rift (BMR) systems. A BMR develops during a secondary rifting event that follows the opening of a back-arc basin. It forms close to the volcanic front and distant from the spreading center of the basin. In Japan, a BMR system developed along the Sea of Japan coast following the opening of the Japan Sea. The BMR appears to be the weakest, most deformable part of the arc back-arc system. When active rifting in the marginal basins ended, thermal subsidence, and then mechanical subsidence related to the onset of a compressional stress regime, allowed deposition of up to 5 km of post-rift, deep-marine to fluvial sedimentation. Continued compression produced fault-related folds in the post-rift sediments, in thin-skin style deformation. Shortening reached a maximum in the BMR system compared to other parts of the back-arc, suggesting that it is the weakest part of the entire system. We examined the structure of the BMR system using active source seismic investigation and earthquake tomography. The velocity structure beneath the marginal rift basin shows higher P-wave velocity in the upper mantle/lower crust which suggests significant mafic intrusion and thinning of the upper continental crust. The syn-rift mafic intrusive forms a convex shape, and the boundary between the pre-rift crust and the mafic intrusive dips outward. In the post-rift compressional stress regime, the boundary of the mafic body reactivated as a reverse fault, forming a large-scale wedge thrust and causing further subsidence of the rift basin. The driver of the intense shortening event along the Sea of Japan coast in SW Japan was the arrival of a buoyant young (15 Ma) Shikoku basin at the Nankai Trough. Subduction stalled and the backarc was compressed. As the buoyant basin cooled, subduction resumed, and the rate of

  20. Asymmetric rifting, breakup and magmatism across conjugate margin pairs: insights from Newfoundland to Ireland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peace, Alexander L.; Welford, J. Kim; Foulger, Gillian R.; McCaffrey, Ken J. W.

    2017-04-01

    Continental extension, subsequent rifting and eventual breakup result in the development of passive margins with transitional crust between extended continental crust and newly created oceanic crust. Globally, passive margins are typically classified as either magma-rich or magma-poor. Despite this simple classification, magma-poor margins like the West Orphan Basin, offshore Newfoundland, do exhibit some evidence of localized magmatism, as magmatism to some extent invariably accompanies all continental breakup. For example, on the Newfoundland margin, a small volcanic province has been interpreted near the termination of the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone, whereas on the conjugate Irish margin within the Rockall Basin, magmatism appears to be more widespread and has been documented both in the north and in the south. The broader region over which volcanism has been identified on the Irish margin is suggestive of magmatic asymmetry across this conjugate margin pair and this may have direct implications for the mechanisms governing the nature of rifting and breakup. Possible causes of the magmatic asymmetry include asymmetric rifting (simple shear), post-breakup thermal anomalies in the mantle, or pre-existing compositional zones in the crust that predispose one of the margins to more melting than its conjugate. A greater understanding of the mechanisms leading to conjugate margin asymmetry will enhance our fundamental understanding of rifting processes and will also reduce hydrocarbon exploration risk by better characterizing the structural and thermal evolution of hydrocarbon bearing basins on magma-poor margins where evidence of localized magmatism exists. Here, the latest results of a conjugate margin study of the Newfoundland-Ireland pair utilizing seismic interpretation integrated with other geological and geophysical datasets are presented. Our analysis has begun to reveal the nature and timing of rift-related magmatism and the degree to which magmatic asymmetry

  1. Continental transform margins : state of art and future milestones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basile, Christophe

    2010-05-01

    to be emphasized. There is not only one type of transform margins, but as for divergent margins huge changes from one margin to another in both structure and evolution. Multiple types have to be evidenced together with the various parameters that should control the variability. As for divergent margins, special attention should be paid to conjugated transform margins as a tool to assess symmetrical / asymmetrical processes in the oceanic opening. Attention should also be focused on the three-dimensional structure of the intersections between transform and divergent margins, such as the one where the giant oil field Jubilee was recently discovered. There is almost no 3D data available in these area, and their structures still have to be described. An other key point to develop is the mechanical behavior of the lithosphere in and in the vicinity of transform margins. The classical behaviors (isostasy, elastic flexure) have be tested extensively. The localization of the deformation by the transform fault, and the coupling of continental and oceanic lithosphere across the transform fault have to be adressed to understand the evolution of these margins. Again as for divergent margins, new concepts are needed to explain the variations in the post-rift and post-transform subsidence, that can not always be explained by classical subsidence models. But the most remarkable advance in our understanding of transform margins may be related to the study of interactions between the lithosphere and adjacent envelops : deep interactions with the mantle, as underplating, tectonic erosion, or possible lateral crustal flow ; surficial interactions between structural evolution, erosion and sedimentation processes in transform margins may affect the topography and bathymetry, thus the oceanic circulation with possible effects on regional and global climate.

  2. Is the Gop rift oceanic? A reevaluation of the Seychelles-India conjugate margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Huixin; Werner, Philippe; Geoffroy, Laurent

    2016-04-01

    Recent studies reevaluated the timing and evolution of the breakup process between the Seychelles continental ridge and India, and the relationship between this evolution and mantle melting associated with the Deccan Igneous Province1,2,3. Those studies, mainly based on gravity and seismic refraction surveys, point that the oceanic domain located between the Seychelles and the Laxmi Ridge (here designed as the Carlsberg Basin) is the youngest oceanic domain between India and the Seychelles. To the East of the Laxmi Ridge, the aborted Gop Rift is considered as an older highly magmatic extensional continental system with magmatism, breakup and oceanic spreading being coeval with or even predating the emplacement of the major pulse of the Deccan trapps. This interpretation on the oceanic nature of the Gop Rift conflicts with other extensive surveys based on magnetic and seismic reflection data4 which suggest that the Gop Rift is an extended syn-magmatic continental domain. In our work based (a) on the existing data, (b) on new deep-seismic reflection surveys (already published by Misra5) down to the Moho and underlying mantle and (c) on new concepts on the geometry of volcanic passive margins, we propose a distinct interpretation of the Seychelles-India system. As proposed by former authors6,7, the Indian margin suffered some continental stretching and thinning before the onset of the Deccan traps during the Mesozoic. Thus continental crust thickness cannot be used easily as a proxy of syn-magmatic stretching-thinning processes or even to infer the presence or not of oceanic-type crust based, solely, on crustal thickness. However, some remarkable features appear on some of the deep penetration seismic lines we studied. We illustrate that the whole Seychelles/India system, before the opening of the present-day "Carlsberg Basin" may simply be regarded as a pair of sub-symmetric conjugate volcanic passive margins (VPMs) with inner and outer SDR wedges dipping towards the

  3. Wilson cycle passive margins: Control of orogenic inheritance on continental breakup

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Kenni D.; Schiffer, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Rifts and passive margins often develop along old suture zones where colliding continents merged during earlier phases of the Wilson cycle. For example, the North Atlantic formed after continental break-up along sutures formed during the Caledonian and Variscan orogenies. Even though suc...

  4. Reconstructing Rodinia by Fitting Neoproterozoic Continental Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, John H.

    2009-01-01

    Reconstructions of Phanerozoic tectonic plates can be closely constrained by lithologic correlations across conjugate margins by paleontologic information, by correlation of orogenic belts, by paleomagnetic location of continents, and by ocean floor magmatic stripes. In contrast, Proterozoic reconstructions are hindered by the lack of some of these tools or the lack of their precision. To overcome some of these difficulties, this report focuses on a different method of reconstruction, namely the use of the shape of continents to assemble the supercontinent of Rodinia, much like a jigsaw puzzle. Compared to the vast amount of information available for Phanerozoic systems, such a limited approach for Proterozoic rocks, may seem suspect. However, using the assembly of the southern continents (South America, Africa, India, Arabia, Antarctica, and Australia) as an example, a very tight fit of the continents is apparent and illustrates the power of the jigsaw puzzle method. This report focuses on Neoproterozoic rocks, which are shown on two new detailed geologic maps that constitute the backbone of the study. The report also describes the Neoproterozoic, but younger or older rocks are not discussed or not discussed in detail. The Neoproterozoic continents and continental margins are identified based on the distribution of continental-margin sedimentary and magmatic rocks that define the break-up margins of Rodinia. These Neoproterozoic continental exposures, as well as critical Neo- and Meso-Neoproterozoic tectonic features shown on the two new map compilations, are used to reconstruct the Mesoproterozoic supercontinent of Rodinia. This approach differs from the common approach of using fold belts to define structural features deemed important in the Rodinian reconstruction. Fold belts are difficult to date, and many are significantly younger than the time frame considered here (1,200 to 850 Ma). Identifying Neoproterozoic continental margins, which are primarily

  5. Plate Speed-up and Deceleration during Continental Rifting: Insights from Global 2D Mantle Convection Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, S.; Ulvrova, M.; Williams, S.

    2017-12-01

    The surface of the Earth is divided into a jigsaw of tectonic plates, some carrrying continents that disperse and aggregate through time, forming transient supercontinents like Pangea and Rodinia. Here, we study continental rifting using large-scale numerical simulations with self-consistent evolution of plate boundaries, where continental break-up emerges spontaneously due to slab pull, basal drag and trench suction forces.We use the StagYY convection code employing a visco-plastic rheology in a spherical annulus geometry. We consider an incompressible mantle under the Boussinesq approximation that is basally and internally heated.We show that continental separation follows a characteristic evolution with three distinctive phases: (1) A pre-rift phase that typically lasts for several hundreds of millions of years with tectonic quiescence in the suture and extensional stresses that are slowly building up. (2) A rift phase that further divides into a slow rift period of several tens of millions of years where stresses continuously increase followed by a rift acceleration period featuring an abrupt stress drop within several millions of years. The speed-up takes place before lithospheric break-up and therefore affects the structural architecture of the rifted margins. (3) The drifting phase with initially high divergence rates persists over tens of millions of years until the system adjust to new conditions and the spreading typically slows down.By illustrating the geodynamic connection between subduction dynamics and rift evolution, our results allow new interpretations of plate tectonic reconstructions. Rift acceleration within the second phase of rifting is compensated by enhanced convergence rates at subduction zones. This model outcome predicts enhanced subduction velocities, e.g. between North America and the Farallon plate during Central Atlantic rifting 200 My ago, or closure of potential back-arc basins such as in the proto-Andean ranges of South America

  6. Evidence for cross rift structural controls on deformation and seismicity at a continental rift caldera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Ryan; Biggs, Juliet; Wilks, Matthew; Nowacki, Andy; Kendall, J.-Michael; Ayele, Atalay; Lewi, Elias; Eysteinsson, Hjálmar

    2018-04-01

    In continental rifts structural heterogeneities, such as pre-existing faults and foliations, are thought to influence shallow crustal processes, particularly the formation of rift faults, magma reservoirs and surface volcanism. We focus on the Corbetti caldera, in the southern central Main Ethiopian Rift. We measure the surface deformation between 22nd June 2007 and 25th March 2009 using ALOS and ENVISAT SAR interferograms and observe a semi-circular pattern of deformation bounded by a sharp linear feature cross-cutting the caldera, coincident with the caldera long axis. The signal reverses in sign but is not seasonal: from June to December 2007 the region south of this structure moves upwards 3 cm relative to the north, while from December 2007 until November 2008 it subsides by 2 cm. Comparison of data taken from two different satellite look directions show that the displacement is primarily vertical. We discuss potential mechanisms and conclude that this deformation is associated with pressure changes within a shallow (statistically consistent with this fault structure, indicating that the fault has also controlled the migration of magma from a reservoir to the surface over tens of thousands of years. Spatial patterns of seismicity are consistent with a cross-rift structure that extents outside the caldera and to a depth of ∼30 km, and patterns of seismic anisotropy suggests stress partitioning occurs across the structure. We discuss the possible nature of this structure, and conclude that it is most likely associated with the Goba-Bonga lineament, which cross-cuts and pre-dates the current rift. Our observations show that pre-rift structures play an important role in magma transport and shallow hydrothermal processes, and therefore they should not be neglected when discussing these processes.

  7. Extensional Fault Evolution and its Flexural Isostatic Response During Iberia-Newfoundland Rifted Margin Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Romeu, J.; Kusznir, N.; Manatschal, G.; Roberts, A.

    2017-12-01

    During the formation of magma-poor rifted margins, upper lithosphere thinning and stretching is achieved by extensional faulting, however, there is still debate and uncertainty how faults evolve during rifting leading to breakup. Seismic data provides an image of the present-day structural and stratigraphic configuration and thus initial fault geometry is unknown. To understand the geometric evolution of extensional faults at rifted margins it is extremely important to also consider the flexural response of the lithosphere produced by fault displacement resulting in footwall uplift and hangingwall subsidence. We investigate how the flexural isostatic response to extensional faulting controls the structural development of rifted margins. To achieve our aim, we use a kinematic forward model (RIFTER) which incorporates the flexural isostatic response to extensional faulting, crustal thinning, lithosphere thermal loads, sedimentation and erosion. Inputs for RIFTER are derived from seismic reflection interpretation and outputs of RIFTER are the prediction of the structural and stratigraphic consequences of recursive sequential faulting and sedimentation. Using RIFTER we model the simultaneous tectonic development of the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate rifted margins along the ISE01-SCREECH1 and TGS/LG12-SCREECH2 seismic lines. We quantitatively test and calibrate the model against observed target data restored to breakup time. Two quantitative methods are used to obtain this target data: (i) gravity anomaly inversion which predicts Moho depth and continental lithosphere thinning and (ii) reverse post-rift subsidence modelling to give water and Moho depths at breakup time. We show that extensional faulting occurs on steep ( 60°) normal faults in both proximal and distal parts of rifted margins. Extensional faults together with their flexural isostatic response produce not only sub-horizontal exhumed footwall surfaces (i.e. the rolling hinge model) and highly rotated (60

  8. Fylla Bank: structure and evolution of a normal-to-shear rifted margin in the northern Labrador Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Døssing, Arne

    2011-01-01

    ‐strike discontinuities in oceanic crust in the Labrador Sea to define margin segmentation in southern West Greenland, including the borders of Fylla Bank. A structural‐kinematic model presented here thus suggests that the Cretaceous–Cenozoic poly‐phase rifting to some extent was controlled by pre‐existing crustal fabric......, the Bank may be compared with the Demerara Plateau, part of the French Guinea‐Northeast Brazil continental margin. Seismic reflection interpretations presented in this study show that Fylla Bank is situated above an extensive basin complex, herein referred to as Fylla Structural Complex, which contains...... an up to 5‐km‐thick Cretaceous–Cenozoic sedimentary succession above an inferred pre‐Cretaceous basement. Seismic mapping of basement structures show that the complex is dominated by NNW‐/NW‐striking rift basins in its southern part and NNE‐striking rift basins in its northern part. The rift basins...

  9. Continentward-Dipping Normal Faults, Boudinage and Ductile Shear at Rifted Passive Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerc, C. N.; Ringenbach, J. C.; Jolivet, L.; Ballard, J. F.

    2017-12-01

    Deep structures resulting from the rifting of the continental crust are now well imaged by seismic profiles. We present a series of recent industrial profiles that allow the identification of various rift-related geological processes such as crustal boudinage, ductile shear of the base of the crust and low-angle detachment faulting. Along both magma-rich and magma-poor rifted margins, we observe clear indications of ductile deformation of the deep continental crust. Large-scale shallow dipping shear zones are identified with a top-to-the-continent sense of shear. This sense of shear is consistent with the activity of the Continentward-Dipping Normal Faults (CDNF) that accommodate the extension in the upper crust. This pattern is responsible for an oceanward migration of the deformation and of the associated syn-tectonic deposits (sediments and/or volcanics). We discuss the origin of the Continentward-Dipping Normal Faults (CDNF) and investigate their implications and the effect of sediment thermal blanketing on crustal rheology. In some cases, low-angle shear zones define an anastomosed pattern that delineates boudin-like structures that seem to control the position and dip of upper crustal normal faults. We present some of the most striking examples from several locations (Uruguay, West Africa, South China Sea…), and discuss their rifting histories that differ from the classical models of oceanward-dipping normal faults.

  10. The role of magmatic loads and rift jumps in generating seaward dipping reflectors on volcanic rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, W. Roger

    2017-05-01

    The largest volcanic constructs on Earth are the seismically imaged seaward dipping reflector (SDR) units found offshore of many rifted continental margins, including most that border the Atlantic Ocean. Whether their formation requires large magnitude (i.e. 10 s of km) of normal fault slip or results from the deflection of the lithosphere by the weight of volcanic flows is controversial. Though there is evidence for faulting associated with some SDRs, this paper considers the range of structures that can be produced by magmatic and volcanic loading alone. To do this an idealized mechanical model for the construction of rift-related volcanic flow structures is developed. Dikes open as plates move away from the center of a model rift and volcanic flows fill the depression produced by the load caused by dike solidification. The thin elastic plate flexure approximation allows a closed form description of the shape of both the contacts between flows and between the flows and underlying dikes. The model depends on two independent parameters: the flexure parameter, α, and the maximum isostatically supported extrusive layer thickness, w0. For reasonable values of these parameters the model reproduces the observed down-dip thickening of flows and the range of reflector dip angles. A numerical scheme using the analytic results allows simulation of the effect of temporal changes in the locus of magmatic spreading as well as changes in the amount of volcanic infill. Either jumps in the location of the center of diking or periods with no volcanism result in separate units or "packages" of model SDRs, in which the flow-dike contact dips landward, consistent with observations previously attributed only to listric normal fault offset. When jumps in the spreading center are small (i.e. less than α) they result in thicker, narrower volcanic units on one side of a rift compared to those on the other side. This is similar to the asymmetric distributions of volcanic packages seen

  11. Normal-Faulting in Madagascar: Another Round of Continental Rifting?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wysession, M. E.; Pratt, M. J.; Tsiriandrimanana, R.; Andriampenomanana Ny Ony, F. S. T.; Nyblade, A.; Durrheim, R. J.; Tilmann, F. J.; Rumpker, G.; Rambolamanana, G.; Aleqabi, G. I.; Shore, P.

    2017-12-01

    Analyses of seismicity and seismic structure within Madagascar suggest the current occurrence of crustal extension, which may be related to continental rifting associated with a diffuse boundary between the Somalia and Lwandle tectonic plates. Madagascar has participated in two major rifting events as part of the break-up of Gondwana: the break-away of Greater India (Madagascar, India, the Seychelles) away from mainland Africa during the Jurassic and the break-away of India from Madagascar during the Cretaceous. Seismic activity and the structures obtained from it, using data from the 2-year (2011-2013) MACOMO project, suggest that this break-up may not be finished, and that continental rifts may be developing again. There are fairly high levels of intraplate seismicity within Madagascar: over 800 events located during the 22 months of the deployment. For comparison, a 2-year deployment of seismometers within the upper Midwest of the U.S. yielded just 12 intraplate earthquakes. While the Madagascar seismicity occurs across the island, it is strongly concentrated in the central region, where Cenozoic volcanism has occurred through the Holocene, and earthquakes align along N-S-trending lineations associated with N-S-trending pull-apart graben structures. The thickness of the crust is still >40 km in this region, but it is underlain by a large low-velocity structure within the lithosphere and asthenosphere that is observed in our studies of surface-wave, body-wave, and Pn-phase tomography. Normal faulting is not observed everywhere on the island, however; seismicity in the north is largely strike-slip, and seismicity in the south appears to be largely reverse faulting. Several studies have suggested that the diffuse boundary between the Somalia and Lwandle plates runs roughly E-W across Madagascar. Extensional faulting seems to predominate only within central Madagascar, likely associated with the current volcanic activity, which also appears to be associated with the

  12. Compressional reactivation of hyperextended domains on a rifted margin: a requirement for a reappraisal of traditional restoration procedures?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadenas Martínez, P.; Fernandez Viejo, G.; Pulgar, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    The North Iberian margin is an inverted hyperextended rifted margin that preserves the initial stages of compressional reactivation. Rift inheritance conditioned in a determinant way the contractional reactivation. The underthrusting of the hyperextended distal domains beneath the platform and the formation of an accretionary wedge at the toe of the slope focused most of the compression. The underthrusting gave place to the formation of a crustal root and the uplifting of the Cantabrian Mountains onshore. Meanwhile, the main rift basins within the continental platform were slightly inverted. Plate kinematic reconstructions and palinspatic restorations have provided different shortening values. Thereby, the amount of shortening linked with the Cenozoic compression is still unclear and a matter of debate on this area.In this work, we present a full cross-section at the central part of the North Iberian margin developed from the restoration of a high quality depth migrated seismic profile running from the continental platform to the Biscay abyssal plain. A shortening calculation gives an estimate of about 1 km within the Asturian Basin, in the continental platform, while in the accretionary wedge at the bottom of the slope, shortening values ranges between 12 km and 15 km. The limited values estimated within the Asturian Basin support the mild inversion observed within this basin, which preserves most of the extensional imprint. Within the abyssal plain, shortening values differ from previous estimations and cannot account for a high amount of compression in the upper crust. Deformation of the hyperextended crust and the exhumed mantle domains inherited from the rifting processes would have accommodated most of the compression. Restoration of these domains seems to be the key to decipher the structure and the tectonic evolution of the reactivated rifted margin but cannot be solved accurately using traditional restoration methods. This leads to a reappraisal of the

  13. ODP Leg 210 Drills the Newfoundland Margin in the Newfoundland-Iberia Non-Volcanic Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucholke, B. E.; Sibuet, J.

    2003-12-01

    The final leg of the Ocean Drilling Project (Leg 210, July-September 2003) was devoted to studying the history of rifting and post-rift sedimentation in the Newfoundland-Iberia rift. For the first time, drilling was conducted in the Newfoundland Basin along a transect conjugate to previous drill sites on the Iberia margin (Legs 149 and 173) to obtain data on a complete `non-volcanic' rift system. The prime site during this leg (Site 1276) was drilled in the transition zone between known continental crust and known oceanic crust at chrons M3 and younger. Extensive geophysical work and deep-sea drilling have shown that this transition-zone crust on the conjugate Iberia margin is exhumed continental mantle that is strongly serpentinized in its upper part. Transition-zone crust on the Newfoundland side, however, is typically a kilometer or more shallower and has much smoother topography, and seismic refraction data suggest that the crust may be thin (about 4 km) oceanic crust. A major goal of Site 1276 was to investigate these differences by sampling basement and a strong, basinwide reflection (U) overlying basement. Site 1276 was cored from 800 to 1737 m below seafloor with excellent recovery (avg. 85%), bottoming in two alkaline diabase sills >10 m thick that are estimated to be 100-200 meters above basement. The sills have sedimentary contacts that show extensive hydrothermal metamorphism. Associated sediment structural features indicate that the sills were intruded at shallow levels within highly porous sediments. The upper sill likely is at the level of the U reflection, which correlates with lower Albian - uppermost Aptian(?) fine- to coarse-grained gravity-flow deposits. Overlying lower Albian to lower Oligocene sediments record paleoceanographic conditions similar to those on the Iberia margin and in the main North Atlantic basin, including deposition of `black shales'; however, they show an extensive component of gravity-flow deposits throughout.

  14. Geometry of the neoproterozoic and paleozoic rift margin of western Laurentia: Implications for mineral deposit settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, K.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. and Canadian Cordilleran miogeocline evolved during several phases of Cryogenian-Devonian intracontinental rifting that formed the western mangin of Laurentia. Recent field and dating studies across central Idaho and northern Nevada result in identification of two segments of the rift margin. Resulting interpretations of rift geometry in the northern U.S. Cordillera are compatible with interpretations of northwest- striking asymmetric extensional segments subdivided by northeast-striking transform and transfer segments. The new interpretation permits integration of miogeoclinal segments along the length of the western North American Cordillera. For the U.S. Cordillera, miogeoclinal segments include the St. Mary-Moyie transform, eastern Washington- eastern Idaho upper-plate margin, Snake River transfer, Nevada-Utah lower-plate margin, and Mina transfer. The rift is orthogonal to most older basement domains, but the location of the transform-transfer zones suggests control of them by basement domain boundaries. The zigzag geometry of reentrants and promontories along the rift is paralleled by salients and recesses in younger thrust belts and by segmentation of younger extensional domains. Likewise, transform transfer zones localized subsequent transcurrent structures and igneous activity. Sediment-hosted mineral deposits trace the same zigzag geometry along the margin. Sedimentary exhalative (sedex) Zn-Pb-Ag ??Au and barite mineral deposits formed in continental-slope rocks during the Late Devonian-Mississippian and to a lesser degree, during the Cambrian-Early Ordovician. Such deposits formed during episodes of renewed extension along miogeoclinal segments. Carbonate-hosted Mississippi Valley- type (MVT) Zn-Pb deposits formed in structurally reactivated continental shelf rocks during the Late Devonian-Mississippian and Mesozoic due to reactivation of preexisting structures. The distribution and abundance of sedex and MVT deposits are controlled by the

  15. Contributions to knowledge of the continental margin of Uruguay. Description of background samples in the continental margin of Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Preciozzi, F

    2015-01-01

    This study provide data concerning of the background sediments of the continental margin of Uruguay. There were carried out different works with witnesses in order to extract various sediment samples from the continental shelf

  16. Geodetic constraints on continental rifting along the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilinger, R.; McClusky, S.; Arrajehi, A.; Mahmoud, S.; Rayan, A.; Ghebreab, W.; Ogubazghi, G.; Al-Aydrus, A.

    2006-12-01

    We are using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to monitor and quantify patterns and rates of tectonic and magmatic deformation associated with active rifting of the continental lithosphere and the transition to sea floor spreading in the Red Sea. Broad-scale motions of the Nubian and Arabian plates indicate coherent plate motion with internal deformation below the current resolution of our measurements (~ 1-2 mm/yr). The GPS-determined Euler vector for Arabia-Nubia is indistinguishable from the geologic Euler vector determined from marine magnetic anomalies, and Arabia-Eurasia relative motion from GPS is equal within uncertainties to relative motion determined from plate reconstructions, suggesting that Arabia plate motion has remained constant (±10%) during at least the past ~10 Ma. The approximate agreement between broad-scale GPS rates of extension (i.e., determined from relative plate motions) and those determined from magnetic anomalies along the Red Sea rift implies that spreading in the central Red Sea is primarily confined to the central rift (±10-20%). Extension appears to be more broadly distributed in the N Red Sea and Gulf of Suez where comparisons with geologic data also indicate a relatively recent (between 500 and 125 kyr BP) change in the motion of the Sinai block that is distinct from both Nubia and Arabia. In the southern Red Sea, GPS results are beginning to define the motion of the "Danakil micro-plate". We investigate and report on a model involving CCW rotation of the Danakil micro-plate relative to Nubia and magmatic inflation below the Afar Triple Junction that is consistent with available geodetic constraints. Running the model back in time suggests that the Danakil micro-plate has been an integral part of rifting/triple junction processes throughout the history of separation of the Arabian and Nubian plates. On the scale of Nubia-Arabia-Eurasia plate interactions, we show that new area formed at spreading centers roughly equals that

  17. Extensional fault geometry and its flexural isostatic response during the formation of the Iberia - Newfoundland conjugate rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Romeu, Júlia; Kusznir, Nick; Manatschal, Gianreto; Roberts, Alan

    2017-04-01

    Despite magma-poor rifted margins having been extensively studied for the last 20 years, the evolution of extensional fault geometry and the flexural isostatic response to faulting remain still debated topics. We investigate how the flexural isostatic response to faulting controls the structural development of the distal part of rifted margins in the hyper-extended domain and the resulting sedimentary record. In particular we address an important question concerning the geometry and evolution of extensional faults within distal hyper-extended continental crust; are the seismically observed extensional fault blocks in this region allochthons from the upper plate or are they autochthons of the lower plate? In order to achieve our aim we focus on the west Iberian rifted continental margin along the TGS and LG12 seismic profiles. Our strategy is to use a kinematic forward model (RIFTER) to model the tectonic and stratigraphic development of the west Iberia margin along TGS-LG12 and quantitatively test and calibrate the model against breakup paleo-bathymetry, crustal basement thickness and well data. RIFTER incorporates the flexural isostatic response to extensional faulting, crustal thinning, lithosphere thermal loads, sedimentation and erosion. The model predicts the structural and stratigraphic consequences of recursive sequential faulting and sedimentation. The target data used to constrain model predictions consists of two components: (i) gravity anomaly inversion is used to determine Moho depth, crustal basement thickness and continental lithosphere thinning and (ii) reverse post-rift subsidence modelling consisting of flexural backstripping, decompaction and reverse post-rift thermal subsidence modelling is used to give paleo-bathymetry at breakup time. We show that successful modelling of the structural and stratigraphic development of the TGS-LG12 Iberian margin transect also requires the simultaneous modelling of the Newfoundland conjugate margin, which we

  18. Rifting-to-drifting transition of the South China Sea: Moho reflection characteristics in continental-ocean transition zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Y.; Li, C.

    2017-12-01

    Dispute remains on the process of continental rifting to subsequent seafloor spreading in the South China Sea (SCS). Several crust-scale multi-channel seismic reflection profiles acquired in the continent-ocean transition zone (COT) of the SCS provide a detailed overview of Moho and deep crustal reflectors and give key information on rifting-to-drifting transition of the area. Moho has strong but discontinuous seismic reflection in COT. These discontinuities are mainly located in the landward side of continent-ocean boundary (COB), and may own to upwelling of lower crustal materials during initial continental extension, leading to numerous volcanic edifices and volcanic ridges. The continental crust in COT shows discontinuous Moho reflections at 11-8.5 s in two-way travel time (twtt), and thins from 18-20.5 km under the uppermost slope to 6-7 km under the lower slope, assuming an average crustal velocity of 6.0 km/s. The oceanic crust has Moho reflections of moderate to high continuity mostly at 1.8-2.2 s twtt below the top of the igneous basement, which means that the crustal thickness excluding sediment layer in COT is 5.4-6.6 km. Subhorizontal Moho reflections are often abruptly interrupted by large seaward dipping normal faults in southern COT but are more continuous compared with the fluctuant and very discontinuous Moho reflections in northern COT. The thickness of thinned continental crust (4.2-4.8 km) is smaller than that of oceanic crust (5.4-6.0 km) near southern COB, indicating that the continental crust has experienced a long period of rifting before seafloor spreading started. The smaller width of northern COT (0-40 km) than in southern COT (0-60 km), and thinner continental crust in southern COT, all indicate that the continental margin rifting and extension was asymmetric. The COT width in the SCS is narrower than that found in other magma-poor continental margins, indicating a swift transition from the final stage of rifting to the inception of

  19. Kinematic evolution of the southwestern Arabian continental margin: implications for the origin of the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voggenreiter, W.; Hötzl, H.

    The tectonic and magnetic evolution of the Jizan coastal plain (Tihama Asir) in southwest Arabia was dominated by SW-NE lithospheric extension related to the development of the Red Sea Rift. A well-exposed, isotopically-dated succession of magmatic rocks (Jizan Group volcanics, Tihama Asir Magmatic Complex) allows a kinematic analysis for this part of the Arabian Red Sea margin. A mafic dyke swarm and several generations of roughly NW-trending normal faults characterized the continental rift stage from Oligocene to early Miocene time. Major uplift of the Arabian graben shoulder probably began about 14 Ma ago. By this time, extension and magmatism ceased in the Jizan area and were followed by an approximately 10 Ma interval of tectonic and magmatic quiescence. A second phase of extension began in the Pliocene and facilitated a vast outpouring of alkaliolivine basalts on the coastal plain. The geometry of faulting in the Jizan area supports a Wernicke-type simple-shear mechanism of continental rifting for the southern Arabian continental margin of the Red Sea.

  20. Generation of continental rifts, basins, and swells by lithosphere instabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fourel, Loïc.; Milelli, Laura; Jaupart, Claude; Limare, Angela

    2013-06-01

    Continents may be affected simultaneously by rifting, uplift, volcanic activity, and basin formation in several different locations, suggesting a common driving mechanism that is intrinsic to continents. We describe a new type of convective instability at the base of the lithosphere that leads to a remarkable spatial pattern at the scale of an entire continent. We carried out fluid mechanics laboratory experiments on buoyant blocks of finite size that became unstable due to cooling from above. Dynamical behavior depends on three dimensionless numbers, a Rayleigh number for the unstable block, a buoyancy number that scales the intrinsic density contrast to the thermal one, and the aspect ratio of the block. Within the block, instability develops in two different ways in an outer annulus and in an interior region. In the outer annulus, upwellings and downwellings take the form of periodically spaced radial spokes. The interior region hosts the more familiar convective pattern of polygonal cells. In geological conditions, such instabilities should manifest themselves as linear rifts striking at a right angle to the continent-ocean boundary and an array of domal uplifts, volcanic swells, and basins in the continental interior. Simple scaling laws for the dimensions and spacings of the convective structures are derived. For the subcontinental lithospheric mantle, these dimensions take values in the 500-1000 km range, close to geological examples. The large intrinsic buoyancy of Archean lithospheric roots prevents this type of instability, which explains why the widespread volcanic activity that currently affects Western Africa is confined to post-Archean domains.

  1. Opening of the Central Atlantic Ocean: Implications for Geometric Rifting and Asymmetric Initial Seafloor Spreading after Continental Breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klingelhoefer, F.; Biari, Y.; Sahabi, M.; Funck, T.; Benabdellouahed, M.; Schnabel, M.; Reichert, C. J.; Gutscher, M. A.; Bronner, A.; Austin, J. A., Jr.

    2017-12-01

    The structure of conjugate passive margins provides information about rifting styles, the initial phases of the opening of an ocean and the formation of its associated sedimentary basins. The study of the deep structure of conjugate passive continental margins combined with precise plate kinematic reconstructions can provide constraints on the mechanisms of rifting and formation of initial oceanic crust. In this study the Central Atlantic conjugate margins are compared, based on compilation of wide-angle seismic profiles from the NW-Africa Nova Scotian and US passive margins. Plate cinematic reconstructions were used to place the profiles in the position at opening and at the M25 magnetic anomaly. The patterns of volcanism, crustal thickness, geometry, and seismic velocities in the transition zone. suggest symmetric rifting followed by asymmetric oceanic crustal accretion. Conjugate profiles in the southern Central Atlantic image differences in the continental crustal thickness. While profiles on the eastern US margin are characterized by thick layers of magmatic underplating, no such underplate was imaged along the NW-African continental margin. It has been proposed that these volcanic products form part of the CAMP (Central Atlantic Magmatic Province). In the north, two wide-angle seismic profiles acquired in exactly conjugate positions show that the crustal geometry of the unthinned continental crust and the necking zone are nearly symmetric. A region including seismic velocities too high to be explained by either continental or oceanic crust is imaged along the Nova Scotia margin off Eastern Canada, corresponding on the African side to an oceanic crust with slightly elevated velocities. These might result from asymmetric spreading creating seafloor by faulting the existing lithosphere on the Canadian side and the emplacement of magmatic oceanic crust including pockets of serpentinite on the Moroccan margin. A slightly elevated crustal thickness along the

  2. Development of continental margins of the Atlantic Ocean and successive breakup of the Pangaea-3 supercontinent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melankholina, E. N.; Sushchevskaya, N. M.

    2017-01-01

    Comparative tectonic analysis of passive margins of the Atlantic Ocean has been performed. Tectonotypes of both volcanic and nonvolcanic margins are described, and their comparison with other passive Atlantic margins is given. The structural features of margins, peculiarities of magmatism, its sources and reasons for geochemical enrichment of melts are discussed. The important role of melting of the continental lithosphere in the development of magmatism is demonstrated. Enriched EM I and EM II sources are determined for the lower parts of the volcanic section, and a depleted or poorly enriched source is determined for the upper parts of the volcanic section based on isotope data. The conclusions of the paper relate to tectonic settings of the initial occurrence of magmatism and rifting and breakup during the period of opening of the Mesozoic Ocean. It was found out that breakup and magmatism at proximal margins led only to insignificant structural transformations and reduction of the thickness of the ancient continental crust, while very important magmatic events happened later in the distal zone. New growth of magmatic crust at the stage of continental breakup is determined as a typical feature of distal zones of the margins under study. The relationship of development of margins with the impact of deep plumes as the source of magmatic material or a heat source only is discussed. Progradation of the zone of extension and breakup into the areas of cold lithosphere of the Atlantic and the formation of a single tectonomagmatic system of the ocean are under consideration.

  3. Glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dowdeswell, J. A; Cofaigh, C. Ó

    2002-01-01

    This book examines the process and patterns of glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins and the geophysical and geological signatures of the resulting sediments and landform...

  4. U.S. East Coast Continental Margin (CONMAR) Sediment Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The USGS/WHOI Continental Margin (CONMAR) Data set was compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as a joint program of...

  5. Exploration of the continental margins of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Siddiquie, H.N.; Hashimi, N.H.; Vora, K.H.; Pathak, M.C.

    impetus from sponsored surveys of other organizations, chiefly the oil industry, ports and harbours as well as industries disposing of their effluents in the marine environment. By now the entire western continental shelf and a large part...

  6. The Sidi Ifni transect across the rifted margin of Morocco (Central Atlantic): Vertical movements constrained by low-temperature thermochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charton, Rémi; Bertotti, Giovanni; Arantegui, Angel; Bulot, Luc

    2018-05-01

    The occurrence of km-scale exhumations during syn- and post-rift stages has been documented along Atlantic continental margins, which are also characterised by basins undergoing substantial subsidence. The relationship between the exhuming and subsiding domains is poorly understood. In this study, we reconstruct the evolution of a 50 km long transect across the Moroccan rifted margin from the western Anti-Atlas to the Atlantic basin offshore the city of Sidi Ifni. Low-temperature thermochronology data from the Sidi Ifni area document a ca. 8 km exhumation between the Permian and the Early/Middle Jurassic. The related erosion fed sediments to the subsiding Mesozoic basin to the NW. Basement rocks along the transect were subsequently buried by 1-2 km between the Late Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous. From late Early/Late Cretaceous onwards, rocks present along the transect were exhumed to their present-day position.

  7. Basement tectonics and flexural subsidence along western continental margin of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.K. Pandey

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The Paleocene-recent post-rift subsidence history recorded in the Mumbai Offshore Basin off western continental margin of India is examined. Results obtained through 2-D flexural backstripping modelling of new seismic data reveal considerable thermo-tectonic subsidence over last ca. 56 Myr. Reverse post-rift subsidence modelling with variable β stretching factor predicts residual topography of ca. 2000 m to the west of Shelf Margin Basin and fails to restore late Paleocene horizon and the underlying igneous basement to the sea level. This potentially implies that: (1 either the igneous basement formed during the late Cretaceous was emplaced under open marine environs; or (2 a laterally varying cumulative subsidence occurred within Mumbai Offshore Basin (MOB during ca. 68 to ca. 56 Ma. Pre-depositional topographic variations at ca. 56 Ma across the basin could be attributed to the extensional processes such as varied lower crustal underplating along Western Continental Margin of India (WCMI. Investigations about basement tectonics after unroofing of sediments since late Paleocene from this region support a transitional and heavily stretched nature of crust with high to very high β factors. Computations of past sediment accumulation rates show that the basin sedimentation peaked during late Miocene concurrently with uplift of Himalayan–Tibetan Plateau and intensification of Indian monsoon system. Results from basin subsidence modelling presented here may have significant implications for further studies attempting to explore tectono–climatic interactions in Asia.

  8. Thermomechanical Controls on the Success and Failure of Continental Rift Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, S.

    2017-12-01

    Studies of long-term continental rift evolution are often biased towards rifts that succeed in breaking the continent like the North Atlantic, South China Sea, or South Atlantic rifts. However there are many prominent rift systems on Earth where activity stopped before the formation of a new ocean basin such as the North Sea, the West and Central African Rifts, or the West Antarctic Rift System. The factors controlling the success and failure of rifts can be divided in two groups: (1) Intrinsic processes - for instance frictional weakening, lithospheric thinning, shear heating or the strain-dependent growth of rift strength by replacing weak crust with strong mantle. (2) External processes - such as a change of plate divergence rate, the waning of a far-field driving force, or the arrival of a mantle plume. Here I use numerical and analytical modeling to investigate the role of these processes for the success and failure of rift systems. These models show that a change of plate divergence rate under constant force extension is controlled by the non-linearity of lithospheric materials. For successful rifts, a strong increase in divergence velocity can be expected to take place within few million years, a prediction that agrees with independent plate tectonic reconstructions of major Mesozoic and Cenozoic ocean-forming rift systems. Another model prediction is that oblique rifting is mechanically favored over orthogonal rifting, which means that simultaneous deformation within neighboring rift systems of different obliquity and otherwise identical properties will lead to success and failure of the more and less oblique rift, respectively. This can be exemplified by the Cretaceous activity within the Equatorial Atlantic and the West African Rifts that lead to the formation of a highly oblique oceanic spreading center and the failure of the West African Rift System. While in nature the circumstances of rift success or failure may be manifold, simplified numerical and

  9. Contrasted continental rifting via plume-craton interaction : Applications to Central East African Rift

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koptev, Alexander; Burov, Evgueni; Calais, Eric; Leroy, Sylvie; Gerya, Taras; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Cloetingh, Sierd

    The East African Rift system (EARS) provides a unique system with the juxtaposition of two contrasting yet simultaneously formed rift branches, the eastern, magma-rich, and the western, magma-poor, on either sides of the old thick Tanzanian craton embedded in a younger lithosphere. Data on the

  10. Initiation of Extension in South China Continental Margin during the Active-Passive Margin Transition: Thermochronological and Kinematic Constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, X.; Chan, L. S.

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Seaward dipping reflectors along the SW continental margin of India: Evidence for volcanic passive margin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ajay, K.K.; Chaubey, A.K.; Krishna, K.S.; Rao, D.G.; Sar, D.

    Multi-channel seismic reflection profiles across the southwest continental margin of India (SWCMI) show presence of westerly dipping seismic reflectors beneath sedimentary strata along the western flank of the Laccadive Ridge-northernmost part...

  12. New Insight Into the Crustal Structure of the Continental Margin offshore NW Sabah/Borneo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barckhausen, U.; Franke, D.; Behain, D.; Meyer, H.

    2002-12-01

    The continental margin offshore NW Sabah/Borneo (Malaysia) has been investigated with reflection and refraction seismics, magnetics, and gravity during the recent cruise BGR01-POPSCOMS. A total of 4000 km of geophysical profiles has been acquired, thereof 2900 km with reflection seismics. The focus of investigations was on the deep water areas. The margin looks like a typical accretionary margin and was presumably formed during the subduction of a proto South China Sea. Presently, no horizontal movements between the two plates are being observed. Like in major parts of the South China Sea, the area seaward of the Sabah Trough consists of extended continental lithosphere which is characterised by a pattern of rotated fault blocks and half grabens and a carbonate platform of Early Oligocene to Early Miocene age. We found evidence that the continental crust also underlies the Sabah Trough and the adjacent continental slope, a fact that raises many questions about the tectonic history and development of this margin. The tectonic pattern of the Dangerous Grounds' extended continental crust can be traced a long way landward of the Sabah Trough beneath the sedimentary succession of the upper plate. The magnetic anomalies which are dominated by the magnetic signatures of relatively young volcanic features also continue under the continental slope. The sedimentary rocks of the upper plate, in contrast, seem to generate hardly any magnetic anomalies. Based on the new data we propose the following scenario for the development of the NW Sabah continental margin: Seafloor spreading in the present South China Sea started at about 30 Ma in the Late Oligocene. The spreading process separated the Dangerous Grounds area from the SE Asian continent and ceased in late Early Miocene when the oceanic crust of the proto South China Sea was fully subducted in eastward direction along the Borneo-Palawan Trough. During Lower and/or Middle Miocene, Borneo rotated counterclockwise and was

  13. Thermochronological constraints on the Cambrian to recent geological evolution of the Argentina passive continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Rossello, Eduardo A.; Stockli, Daniel F.; Schad, Sabrina; Pereyra, Ricardo E.

    2017-10-01

    Passive continental margins are geo-archives that store information from the interplay of endogenous and exogenous forces related to continental rifting, post-breakup history, and climate changes. The recent South Atlantic passive continental margins (SAPCMs) in Brazil, Namibia, and South Africa are partly high-elevated margins ( 2000 m a.s.l.), and the recent N-S-trending SAPCM in Argentina and Uruguay is of low elevation. In Argentina, an exception in elevation is arising from the higher topography (> 1000 m a.s.l.) of the two NW-SE-trending mountain ranges Sierras Septentrionales and Sierras Australes. Precambrian metamorphic and intrusive rocks, and siliciclastic rocks of Ordovician to Permian age represent the geological evolution of both areas. The Sierras Australes have been deformed and metamorphosed (incipient - greenschist) during the Gondwanides Orogeny. The low-temperature thermochronological (LTT) data (history of the Gondwanides and the Mesozoic and Cenozoic South Atlantic geological evolution. Upper Carboniferous zircon (U-Th/He)-ages (ZHe) indicate the earliest cooling below 180 °C/1 Ma. Most of the ZHe-ages are of Upper Triassic to Jurassic age. The apatite fission-track ages (AFT) of Sierras Septentrionales and the eastern part of Sierras Australes indicate the South Atlantic rifting and, thereafter. AFT-ages of Middle to Upper Triassic on the western side of the Sierras Australes are in contrast, indicating a Triassic exhumation caused by the eastward thrusting along the Sauce Grande wrench. The corresponding t-T models report a complex subsidence and exhumation history with variable rates since the Ordovician. Based on the LTT-data and the numerical modelling we assume that the NW-SE-trending mountain ranges received their geographic NW-SE orientation during the syn- to post-orogenic history of the Gondwanides.

  14. Continental rift architecture and patterns of magma migration: a dynamic analysis based on centrifuge models.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Corti, G.; Bonini, M.; Sokoutis, D.; Innocenti, F.; Manetti, P.; Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.; Mulugeta, G.

    2004-01-01

    Small-scale centrifuge models were used to investigate the role of continental rift structure in controlling patterns of magma migration and emplacement. Experiments considered the reactivation of weakness zones in the lower crust and the presence of magma at Moho depths. Results suggest that

  15. Gravity study of the Central African Rift system: a model of continental disruption 2. The Darfur domal uplift and associated Cainozoic volcanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermingham, P. M.; Fairhead, J. D.; Stuart, G. W.

    1983-05-01

    Gravity studies of the Darfur uplift, Western Sudan, show it to be associated with a circular negative Bouguer anomaly, 50 mGal in amplitude and 700 km across. A three-dimensional model interpretation of the Darfur anomaly, using constraints deduced from geophysical studies of similar but more evolved Kenya and Ethiopia domes, suggests either a low-density laccolithic body at mid-lithospheric depth (~ 60 km) or a thinned lithosphere with emplacement at high level of low-density asthenospheric material. The regional setting of the Darfur uplift is described in terms of it being an integral part of the Central African Rift System which is shown to be broadly equivalent to the early to middle Miocene stage in the development of the Afro-Arabian Rift System. Comparisons between these rift systems suggest that extensional tectonics and passive rifting, resulting in the subsiding sedimentary rift basins associated with the Ngaoundere, Abu Gabra, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rifts, are more typical of the early stage development of passive continental margins than the active domal uplift and development of rifted features associated with the Darfur, Kenya and Ethiopia domes.

  16. Lithosphere/asthenosphere interaction during continental breakup: preliminary isotopic date on the passive Galicia margin (North-Atlantic)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Charpentier, S.; Kornprobst, J.; Chazot, G.; Cornen, G.

    1998-01-01

    The Galicia Margin ultramafic ridge has been cross-cut by diorites, pyroxenites and gabbros before the end of the rifting stage, and then by dolerites, after the continental break-full; it has been further overlaid by basaltic lava flows. The younger the rocks, the higher the initial ξ Nd (2.2-8.8). This evolution would be the result of the contamination of liquids extracted from the asthenosphere, by the enriched (ξ Ndi =4.0) and partially melted previous continental lithosphere. Time-decreasing contamination is related to progressive lithospheric thinning from the end to the beginning of oceanic spreading. (authors)

  17. Neogene sedimentation on the outer continental margin, southern Bering Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallier, T.L.; Underwood, M.B.; Gardner, J.V.; Barron, J.A.

    1980-01-01

    Neogene sedimentary rocks and sediments from sites on the outer continental margin in the southern Bering Sea and on the Alaska Peninsula are dominated by volcanic components that probably were eroded from an emergent Aleutian Ridge. A mainland continental source is subordinate. Most sediment in the marine environment was transported to the depositional sites by longshore currents, debris flows, and turbidity currents during times when sea level was near the outermost continental shelf. Fluctuations of sea level are ascribed both to worldwide glacio-eustatic effects and to regional vertical tectonics. Large drainage systems, such as the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, had little direct influence on sedimentation along the continental slope and Unmak Plateau in the southern Bering Sea. Sediments from those drainage systems probably were transported to the floor of the Aleutian Basin, to the numerous shelf basins that underlie the outer continental shelf, and to the Arctic Ocean after passing through the Bering Strait. Environments of deposition at the sites along the outer continental margin have not changed significantly since the middle Miocene. The site on the Alaska Peninsula, however, is now emergent following shallow-marine and transitional sedimentation during the Neogene. ?? 1980.

  18. Early diagenesis of phosphorus in continental margin sediments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slomp, C.P.

    1997-01-01

    Most of the organic material in the oceans that reaches the sea floor is deposited on continental margins and not in the deep sea. This organic matter is the principal carrier of phosphorus (P) to sediments. A part of the organic material is buried definitely. The other part decomposes,

  19. Ooid turbidites from the Central Western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, P.S.

    Gravity displaced debris flows/turbidites have been observed in five box cores collected between water depths of 649 and 3,627 m from the Central Western continental margin of India. Studies on grain size, carbonate content, and coarse fraction...

  20. Slumping on the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Guptha, M.V.S.; Mohan, R.; Muralinath, A.S.

    continental margin is believed to have set in motion during the beginning of Holocene. Besides, it infers that after 6 k.y. B.P. the magnitude of slumping is minimal. The slumping may be attributed to the evolution of methane gas as one of the important causes...

  1. Crustal structure and development of the SW Barents Sea and the adjacent continental margin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breivik, Asbjoern Johan

    1998-12-31

    Because of its expected petroleum potential, the western Barents Sea has been extensively mapped and investigated. The present thesis deals with many aspects of the geological development of this area. The emphasis is on Late Paleozoic structuring, Late Mesozoic basin formation, and early Tertiary margin formation including geodynamical response to the late Cenozoic sedimentation. The thesis begins with a review of the literature on the Late Palaeozoic structural development of the south-western Barents Sea, Svalbard and eastern Greenland. A structural map is developed for the Upper Carboniferous rift system in the southwestern Barents Sea that shows the interference of the northeasterly and the northerly structural grain. A discussion of the Ottar Basin uses a combination of seismic interpretation and gravity modelling to investigate this important structural element of the Upper Palaeozoic rift system. Previous work on Late Mesozoic basin formation in the southwestern Barents Sea is extended by incorporating new seismic reflection data and gravity modelling. Finally, the focus is shifted from the Barents Sea shelf to the continental-ocean transition and the oceanic basin. Gridded free-air gravity data from the ERS-1 enables the construction of a Bouguer gravity map of unprecedented resolution. The relationship between isostacy and gravity was resolved by modelling the thermal structure across the margin. Admittance analysis of the relationship between bathymetry and free-air gravity indicates an elastic thickness of the oceanic Lithosphere of 15-20 km, which is compatible with the depth to the 450{sup o}C isotherm obtained from thermal modelling. It is concluded that the southwestern Barents Sea margin does not deviate in any significant respects from passive rifted margins, except for a very straight and narrow continent-ocean transition zone. 332 refs., 55 figs., 7 tabs.

  2. Continental margin evolution of the northern Arabian platform in Syria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Best, J.A.; Barazangi, M. (Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)); Al-Saad, D.; Sawaf, T.; Gebran, A. (Syrian Petroleum Company, Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic))

    1993-02-01

    Synthesis of available geological and geophysical data in the Syrian Arab Republic permits a descriptive account of the pre-Cenozoic geologic history of the northern Arabian platform. The northern Arabian platform appears to be a composite plate similar up to that interpreted in the rocks of the Arabian shield. The structural and stratigraphic relationships of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary sections in Syria record the transformation of an eastward-facing Gondwana passive margin in the early Paleozoic into a westward-facing Levantine margin in the Mesozoic, at which time the northern platform was closely associated with the creation of the eastern Mediterranean basin. Timing of the margin transformation is inferred from the orientation and thickness variations of Lower Triassic rocks, but the transformation may have initiated as early as the Permian. The diversity and timing of geological features in Syria suggest that the northern Arabian platform did not behave as a rigid plate throughout its geological history. The present-day Palmyride mountain belt, located within the northern Arabian platform in Syria and initiated in the early Mesozoic as a northeast-trending rift nearly perpendicular to the Levantine margin, subsequently was inverted in the Cenozoic by transpression. The location of the rift may be associated with the reactivation of a zone of crustal weakness, i.e., a Proterozoic suture zone previously proposed from modeling of Bouguer gravity data. Thus, the northern and southern parts of the Arabian platform are similar in their respective geologic histories during the Proterozoic and Paleozoic; however, the northern Arabian platform was greatly affected by Mesozoic rifting and the creation of the eastern Mediterranean basin during the Mesozoic. 13 figs.

  3. Stratigraphic landscape analysis, thermochronology and the episodic development of elevated, passive continental margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green, Paul F.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The continental margin of West Greenland is similar in many respects to other elevated, passive continental margins (EPCMs around the world. These margins are characterised by extensive regions of low relief at elevations of 1–2 kilometres above sea level sloping gently inland, with a much steeper, oceanward decline, often termed a 'Great Escarpment', terminating at a coastal plain. Recent studies, based on integration of geological, geomorphological and thermochronological evidence, have shown that the high topography of West Greenland was formed by differential uplift and dissection of an Oligo-Miocene peneplain since the late Miocene, many millions of years after continental break-up between Greenland and North America. In contrast, many studies of other EPCMs have proposed a different style of development in which the high plateaux and the steep, oceanward decline are regarded as a direct result of rifting and continental separation. Some studies assume that the elevated regions have remained high since break-up, with the high topography continuously renewed by isostasy. Others identify the elevated plains as remnants of pre-rift landscapes. Key to understanding the development of the West Greenland margin is a new approach to the study of landforms, stratigraphic landscape analysis, in which the low-relief, high-elevation plateaux at EPCMs are interpreted as uplifted peneplains: low-relief surfaces of large extent, cutting across bedrock of different age and resistance, and originally graded to sea level. Identification of different generations of peneplain (re-exposed and epigene from regional mapping, combined with geological constraints and thermochronology, allows definition of the evolution leading to the formation of the modern-day topography. This approach is founded particularly on results from the South Swedish Dome, which document former sea levels as base levels for the formation of peneplains. These results support the view

  4. Contrasted continental rifting via plume-craton interaction: Applications to Central East African Rift

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Koptev

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The East African Rift system (EARS provides a unique system with the juxtaposition of two contrasting yet simultaneously formed rift branches, the eastern, magma-rich, and the western, magma-poor, on either sides of the old thick Tanzanian craton embedded in a younger lithosphere. Data on the pre-rift, syn-rift and post-rift far-field volcanic and tectonic activity show that the EARS formed in the context of the interaction between a deep mantle plume and a horizontally and vertically heterogeneous lithosphere under far-field tectonic extension. We bring quantitative insights into this evolution by implementing high-resolution 3D thermo-mechanical numerical deformation models of a lithosphere of realistic rheology. The models focus on the central part of the EARS. We explore scenarios of plume-lithosphere interaction with plumes of various size and initial position rising beneath a tectonically pre-stretched lithosphere. We test the impact of the inherited rheological discontinuities (suture zones along the craton borders, of the rheological structure, of lithosphere plate thickness variations, and of physical and mechanical contrasts between the craton and the embedding lithosphere. Our experiments indicate that the ascending plume material is deflected by the cratonic keel and preferentially channeled along one of its sides, leading to the formation of a large rift zone along the eastern side of the craton, with significant magmatic activity and substantial melt amount derived from the mantle plume material. We show that the observed asymmetry of the central EARS, with coeval amagmatic (western and magmatic (eastern branches, can be explained by the splitting of warm material rising from a broad plume head whose initial position is slightly shifted to the eastern side of the craton. In that case, neither a mechanical weakness of the contact between the craton and the embedding lithosphere nor the presence of second plume are required to

  5. Pre-existing oblique transfer zones and transfer/transform relationships in continental margins: New insights from the southeastern Gulf of Aden, Socotra Island, Yemen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellahsen, N.; Leroy, S.; Autin, J.; Razin, P.; d'Acremont, E.; Sloan, H.; Pik, R.; Ahmed, A.; Khanbari, K.

    2013-11-01

    Transfer zones are ubiquitous features in continental rifts and margins, as are transform faults in oceanic lithosphere. Here, we present a structural study of the Hadibo Transfer Zone (HTZ), located in Socotra Island (Yemen) in the southeastern Gulf of Aden. There, we interpret this continental transfer fault zone to represent a reactivated pre-existing structure. Its trend is oblique to the direction of divergence and it has been active from the early up to the latest stages of rifting. One of the main oceanic fracture zones (FZ), the Hadibo-Sharbithat FZ, is aligned with and appears to be an extension of the HTZ and is probably genetically linked to it. Comparing this setting with observations from other Afro-Arabian rifts as well as with passive margins worldwide, it appears that many continental transfer zones are reactivated pre-existing structures, oblique to divergence. We therefore establish a classification system for oceanic FZ based upon their relationship with syn-rift structures. Type 1 FZ form at syn-rift structures and are late syn-rift to early syn-OCT. Type 2 FZ form during the OCT formation and Type 3 FZ form within the oceanic domain, after the oceanic spreading onset. The latter are controlled by far-field forces, magmatic processes, spreading rates, and oceanic crust rheology.

  6. Early evolution of the southern margin of the Neuquén Basin, Argentina: Tectono-stratigraphic implications for rift evolution and exploration of hydrocarbon plays

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Elia, Leandro; Bilmes, Andrés; Franzese, Juan R.; Veiga, Gonzalo D.; Hernández, Mariano; Muravchik, Martín

    2015-12-01

    Long-lived rift basins are characterized by a complex structural and tectonic evolution. They present significant lateral and vertical stratigraphic variations that determine diverse basin-patterns at different timing, scale and location. These issues cause difficulties to establish facies models, correlations and stratal stacking patterns of the fault-related stratigraphy, specially when exploration of hydrocarbon plays proceeds on the subsurface of a basin. The present case study corresponds to the rift-successions of the Neuquén Basin. This basin formed in response to continental extension that took place at the western margin of Gondwana during the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic. A tectono-stratigraphic analysis of the initial successions of the southern part of the Neuquén Basin was carried out. Three syn-rift sequences were determined. These syn-rift sequences were located in different extensional depocentres during the rifting phases. The specific periods of rifting show distinctly different structural and stratigraphic styles: from non-volcanic to volcanic successions and/or from continental to marine sedimentation. The results were compared with surface and subsurface interpretations performed for other depocentres of the basin, devising an integrated rifting scheme for the whole basin. The more accepted tectono-stratigraphic scheme that assumes the deposits of the first marine transgression (Cuyo Cycle) as indicative of the onset of a post-rift phase is reconsidered. In the southern part of the basin, the marine deposits (lower Cuyo Cycle) were integrated into the syn-rift phase, implying the existence of different tectonic signatures for Cuyo Cycle along the basin. The rift climax becomes younger from north to south along the basin. The post-rift initiation followed the diachronic ending of the main syn-rift phase throughout the Neuquén Basin. Thus, initiation of the post-rift stage started in the north and proceeded towards the south, constituting a

  7. Tectonic inheritance and continental rift architecture: Numerical and analogue models of the East African Rift System.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Corti, G.; van Wijk, J.W.; Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.; Morley, C.

    2007-01-01

    The western branch of the East African Rift is composed of an arcuate succession of elongate asymmetric basins, which differ in terms of interaction geometry, fault architecture and kinematics, and patterns of uplift/subsidence and erosion/sedimentation. The basins are located within Proterozoic

  8. Contributions to knowledge of the continental margin of Uruguay. Uruguayan continental margin: morphology, geology and identification of the base of the slope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Preciozzi, F.

    2014-01-01

    This work is about the morphology, geology and the identification of the base of the slope in the The Uruguayan continental margin which corresponds to the the type of divergent, volcanic and segmented margins. Morphologically is constituted by a clearly defined continental shelf, as well as a continental slope that presents configuration changes from north to south and passes directly to the abyssal plain

  9. PRE-RIFT COMPRESSIONAL STRUCTURES AS A CONTROL ON PASSIVE MARGIN FORMATION

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiffer, Christian; Petersen, Kenni Dinesen

    Passive margins are commonly separated into volcanic and non-volcanic modes, each with a distinct formation mechanism and structure. Both form the transition from continental to oceanic crust. Large amounts of geophysical data at passive margins show that the tapering continental crust is often u...

  10. Ocean-Continent Transition Structure of the Pelotas Magma-Rich Continental Margin, South Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harkin, Caroline; Kusznir, Nick; Roberts, Alan; Manatschal, Gianreto; McDermott, Ken

    2017-04-01

    Rifted continental margins in the southern South Atlantic are magma-rich showing well developed volcanic extrusives known as seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs). Here we examine the magma-rich continental rifted margin of the Pelotas Basin, offshore Brazil. Deep seismic reflection data displays a large package of seaward dipping reflectors with an approximate width of 200 km and a varying thickness of 10 km to 17 km that have previously been interpreted as volcanic SDRs. We examine these SDRs to explore if they are composed predominantly of basaltic or sedimentary-volcaniclastic material. We also study the thickness of the crustal basement beneath the SDRs. Additionally we investigate if these SDRs are underlain by thin 'hyper-extended' continental crust or if they have been deposited on new magmatic basement. The answers to these questions are important in understanding the structure and formation processes of magma-rich continental margins. We use gravity inversion to investigate SDR composition by varying the proportion of basalt to sediments-volcaniclastics (basalt fraction) which determines the SDR densities in the gravity inversion. By matching the Moho depth and two-way travel time from gravity inversion and deep seismic reflection data, we determine the lateral variation in basalt fraction of the SDRs. Our analysis suggests: 1) There is an overall pattern of SDR basalt fraction and bulk density decreasing oceanward. This could be due to increasing sediment content oceanward or it could result from the change in basalt flows to hyaloclastites as water depth increases. 2) The SDR package can be split into two distinct sub packages based on the basalt fraction results, where the proximal side of each package has a higher basalt fraction and density. 3) The inner SDR package contains reflectors that bear a resemblance to the SDRs described by Hinz (1981) corresponding to syn-tectonic volcanic eruptions into an extensional basin, while the outer SDR package has

  11. Implementing real-time GNSS monitoring to investigate continental rift initiation processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. R.; Stamps, D. S.; Wauthier, C.; Daniels, M. D.; Saria, E.; Ji, K. H.; Mencin, D.; Ntambila, D.

    2017-12-01

    Continental rift initiation remains an elusive, yet fundamental, process in the context of plate tectonic theory. Our early work in the Natron Rift, Tanzania, the Earth's archetype continental rift initiation setting, indicates feedback between volcanic deformation and fault slip play a key role in the rift initiation process. We found evidence that fault slip on the Natron border fault during active volcanism at Ol Doniyo Lengai in 2008 required only 0.01 MPa of Coulomb stress change. This previous study was limited by GPS constraints 18 km from the volcano, rather than immediately adjacent on the rift shoulder. We hypothesize that fault slip adjacent to the volcano creeps, and without the need for active eruption. We also hypothesize silent slip events may occur over time-scales less than 1 day. To test our hypotheses we designed a GNSS network with 4 sites on the flanks of Ol Doinyo Lengai and 1 site on the adjacent Natron border fault with the capability to calculate 1 second, 3-5 cm precision positions. Data is transmitted to UNAVCO in real-time with remote satellite internet, which we automatically import to the EarthCube building block CHORDS (Cloud Hosted Real-time Data Services for the Geosciences) using our newly developed method. We use CHORDS to monitor and evaluate the health of our network while visualizing the GNSS data in real-time. In addition to our import method we have also developed user-friendly capabilities to export GNSS positions (longitude, latitude, height) with CHORDS assuming the data are available at UNAVCO in NMEA standardized format through the Networked Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol (NTRIP). The ability to access the GNSS data that continuously monitors volcanic deformation, tectonics, and their interactions on and around Ol Doinyo Lengai is a crucial component in our investigation of continental rift initiation in the Natron Rift, Tanzania. Our new user-friendly methods developed to access and post-process real-time GNSS

  12. Western Continental Margin of India - Re-look using potential field data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaram, M.; S P, A.

    2008-05-01

    The Western Continental Margin of India (WCMI) evolved as a result of rifting between India and Madagascar that took place during mid Cretaceous (~88Ma).The WCMI is equally important in terms of natural resources as well as research point of view. The major tectonic elements in the western offshore includes the Laxmi and Chagos- Laccadive ridge dividing the WCMI and the adjoining Arabian sea into two basins, Pratap Ridge, Alleppey platform etc. Different theories have been proposed for the evolution of each of these tectonic elements. In the current paper we look at geopotential data on the west coast of India and the western off-shore. The data sets utilized include Satellite derived High Resolution Free Air Gravity data over the off-shore, Bouguer data onland, Champ Satellite Magnetic data, published Marine Magnetic data collected by ONGC, NIO, ground magnetic data over west cost collected by IIG and available aeromagnetic data. From the free air gravity anomaly the structural details of the western offshore can be delineated. The Euler depths of FAG depict deep solutions associated with Pratap Ridge, Comorin Ridge, the west coast fault and the Laxmi Ridge. These may be associated with continental margin and continental fragments. From the aeromagnetic and marine magnetic data it is evident that the West Coast Fault is dissected at several places. The shallow circular feature associated with Bombay High is evident both on the FAG and the analytic signal derived from satellite Magnetic data. The crustal magnetic thickness from MF5 lithospheric model of the Champ appears to suggest that the continental crust extends up to the Chagos- Laccadive ridge. Based on the analysis of these geopotential data sets the various theories for the evolution of the WCMI will be evaluated and these results will be presented.

  13. Comparison of hydrothermal activity between the Adriatic and the Red Sea rift margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Philip; Incerpi, Nicolò; Birkle, Peter; Lacsamana, Elizabeth; Manatschal, Gianreto; Agar, Susan; Zhang, Shuo; Borsato, Ron

    2017-04-01

    Detailed field studies, and access to high-quality seismic reflection and refraction data have led to an improved understanding of the architecture and evolution of magma poor and magma rich margins. Associated with the spatial-temporal evolution of the rift, it is evident that there are evolving, extensive, fluid-rock interactions due to the infiltration of fluids within the sediment, basement and lithospheric mantle. Key questions therefore arise: What are the different fluid-rock reactions that can be typed to different geodynamic stages of the rift evolution? What are their compositions and how do they interact with their environment (basement, sediments, evaporites, hydrosphere, and magmatism)? What are the implications for the evolution of the margin rheology, thermal structure, depositional environments/organic matter maturity, and reservoir quality? The Adriatic paleo-rifted margin is preserved in both SE Switzerland and northern Italy. The field exposures provide a unique opportunity to study the fluid flow history of a hyperextended magma poor extensional margin. Analysis of breccias, cement veins and replacement minerals reveal that the margin records a complex, long-lasting history of dolomitization, calcification and silicification during the Jurassic rifting. The Red Sea by contrast is a young rifted margin. It differs from the paleo-Adriatic margin by several characteristics: volcanism is more evident, and syn-tectonic sediments, including evaporites (halite and anhydrite) are thicker. Several core and fluid samples are available from both onshore and offshore wells, which reveal rift-related hydrothermal alteration. In addition, we find evidence for the presence of an extreme dynamic hydraulic system with infiltration of surface water into sub-salt units during Late Pleistocene. In this study we present results from petrographic and geochemical analysis of basement and sedimentary rocks from Adriatic field-derived samples and core/subsurface fluid

  14. Crustal thinning and exhumation along a fossil magma-poor distal margin preserved in Corsica: A hot rift to drift transition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltrando, Marco; Zibra, Ivan; Montanini, Alessandra; Tribuzio, Riccardo

    2013-05-01

    Rift-related thinning of continental basement along distal margins is likely achieved through the combined activity of ductile shear zones and brittle faults. While extensional detachments responsible for the latest stages of exhumation are being increasingly recognized, rift-related shear zones have never been sampled in ODP sites and have only rarely been identified in fossil distal margins preserved in orogenic belts. Here we report evidence of the Jurassic multi-stage crustal thinning preserved in the Santa Lucia nappe (Alpine Corsica), where amphibolite facies shearing persisted into the rift to drift transition. In this nappe, Lower Permian meta-gabbros to meta-gabbro-norites of the Mafic Complex are separated from Lower Permian granitoids of the Diorite-Granite Complex by a 100-250 m wide shear zone. Fine-grained syn-kinematic andesine + Mg-hornblende assemblages in meta-tonalites of the Diorite-Granite Complex indicate shearing at T = 710 ± 40 °C at P Lucia basement. These results imply that middle to lower crustal rocks can be cooled and exhumed rapidly in the last stages of rifting, when significant crustal thinning is accommodated in less than 5 Myr through the consecutive activity of extensional shear zones and detachment faults. High thermal gradients may delay the switch from ductile shear zone- to detachment-dominated crustal thinning, thus preventing the exhumation of middle and lower crustal rocks until the final stages of rifting.

  15. Crustal structure of the rifted volcanic margins and uplifted plateau of Western Yemen from receiver function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Tiberi, Christel; Leroy, Sylvie; Stuart, Graham W.; Keir, Derek; Sholan, Jamal; Khanbari, Khaled; Al-Ganad, Ismael; Basuyau, Clémence

    2013-06-01

    We analyse P-wave receiver functions across the western Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea continental margins in Western Yemen to constrain crustal thickness, internal crustal structure and the bulk seismic velocity characteristics in order to address the role of magmatism, faulting and mechanical crustal thinning during continental breakup. We analyse teleseismic data from 21 stations forming the temporary Young Conjugate Margins Laboratory (YOCMAL) network together with GFZ and Yemeni permanent stations. Analysis of computed receiver functions shows that (1) the thickness of unextended crust on the Yemen plateau is ˜35 km; (2) this thins to ˜22 km in coastal areas and reaches less than 14 km on the Red Sea coast, where presence of a high-velocity lower crust is evident. The average Vp/Vs ratio for the western Yemen Plateau is 1.79, increasing to ˜1.92 near the Red Sea coast and decreasing to 1.68 for those stations located on or near the granitic rocks. Thinning of the crust, and by inference extension, occurs over a ˜130-km-wide transition zone from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts to the edges of the Yemen plateau. Thinning of continental crust is particularly localized in a <30-km-wide zone near the coastline, spatially co-incident with addition of magmatic underplate to the lower crust, above which on the surface we observe the presence of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs) and thickened Oligo-Miocene syn-rift basaltic flows. Our results strongly suggest the presence of high-velocity mafic intrusions in the lower crust, which are likely either synrift magmatic intrusion into continental lower crust or alternatively depleted upper mantle underplated to the base of the crust during the eruption of the SDRs. Our results also point towards a regional breakup history in which the onset of rifting was synchronous along the western Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea volcanic margins followed by a second phase of extension along the Red Sea margin.

  16. Peridotites and mafic igneous rocks at the foot of the Galicia Margin: an oceanic or continental lithosphere? A discussion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korprobst, J.; Chazot, G.

    2016-10-01

    An ultramafic/mafic complex is exposed on the sea floor at the foot of the Galicia Margin (Spain and Portugal). It comprises various types of peridotites and pyroxenites, as well as amphibole-diorites, gabbros, dolerites and basalts. For chronological and structural reasons (gabbros were emplaced within peridotites before the continental break-up) this unit cannot be assigned to the Atlantic oceanic crust. The compilation of all available petrological and geochemical data suggests that peridotites are derived from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle, deeply transformed during Cretaceous rifting. Thus, websterite dykes extracted from the depleted MORB mantle reservoir (DMM), were emplaced early within the lithospheric harzburgites; subsequent boudinage and tectonic dispersion of these dykes in the peridotites, during deformation stages at the beginning of rifting, resulted in the formation of fertile but isotopically depleted lherzolites. Sterile but isotopically enriched websterites, would represent melting residues in the peridotites, after significant partial melting and melt extraction related to the thermal erosion of the lithosphere. The latter melts are probably the source of brown amphibole metasomatic crystallization in some peridotites, as well as of the emplacement of amphibole-diorite dykes. Melts directly extracted from the asthenosphere were emplaced as gabbro within the sub-continental mantle. Mixing these DMM melts together with the enriched melts extracted from the lithosphere, provided the intermediate isotopic melt-compositions - in between the DMM and Oceanic Islands Basalts reservoir - observed for the dolerites and basalts, none of which are characterized by a genuine N-MORB signature. An enriched lithospheric mantle, present prior to rifting of the Galicia margin, is in good agreement with data from the Messejana dyke (Portugal) and more generally, with those of all continental tholeiites of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP

  17. A Crustal Cross Section over the Central North Iberian Margin: New Insights into the Bay of Biscay Inverted Hyperextended Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadenas Martínez, P.; Fernandez Viejo, G.; Pulgar, J. A.; Minshull, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Bay of Biscay is a V-shape failed arm of the Atlantic rift which was opened during the Mesozoic and partially closed during the Alpine orogeny in the Cenozoic, when the convergence of the Iberian and European Plates drove to the formation of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian realm in the North Iberian peninsula. A complete crustal cross section through the central part of the North Iberian Margin, representing the southern margin of the Bay of Biscay, is presented here from the interpretation of a high quality deep seismic reflection profile together with boreholes and well logs, acquired for oil and gas exploration purposes. The studied segment of this margin includes a basement high so called Le Danois Bank, and the Asturian basin, one of the sedimentary basins developed during the Mesozoic extensional processes, which was subsequently inverted during the Alpine orogeny. Most of the compression seems to have taken place through uplift of the continental platform and slope and the formation of an accretionary wedge at the bottom of the slope, so it is still possible to elucidate both extensional and compressional features. The basin appears as an asymmetric bowl bounded by synsedimentary normal faults with a maximum thickness of about 6 s TWT, which has been estimated to be equivalent to about 7 km. Depth migration of the seismic profile has revealed the presence of a deeper trough, with a maximum thickness of 13. 5 km at its main depocenter, which closely resembles the sedimentary thickness proposed for other contemporaneous proximal basins. These results support the high degree of extension and the exhumation processes proposed for this margin, deduced from refraction velocities and from the upper crustal and mantle rocks dredged at the slopes of Le Danois High. They will bring new insights to, and further constraints on, geodynamical models for this margin, where the amount of shortening linked with Cenozoic compression and the role of the rift structure during the

  18. Deeply concealed half-graben at the SW margin of the East European Craton (SE Poland) — Evidence for Neoproterozoic rifting prior to the break-up of Rodinia

    OpenAIRE

    P. Krzywiec; P. Poprawa; M. Mikołajczak; S. Mazur; M. Malinowski

    2018-01-01

    Baltica was one of continents formed as a result of Rodinia break-up 850–550 Ma. It was separated from Amazonia(?) by the Tornquist Ocean, the opening of which was preceded by Neoproterozoic extension in a network of continental rifts. Some of these rifts were subsequently aborted whereas the Tornquist Rift gave rise to splitting of Rodinia and formation of the Tornquist Ocean. The results of 1-D subsidence analysis at the fossil passive margin of Baltica provided insight in the timing and ki...

  19. Deeply concealed half-graben at the SW margin of the East European Craton (SE Poland — Evidence for Neoproterozoic rifting prior to the break-up of Rodinia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Krzywiec

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Baltica was one of continents formed as a result of Rodinia break-up 850–550 Ma. It was separated from Amazonia(? by the Tornquist Ocean, the opening of which was preceded by Neoproterozoic extension in a network of continental rifts. Some of these rifts were subsequently aborted whereas the Tornquist Rift gave rise to splitting of Rodinia and formation of the Tornquist Ocean. The results of 1-D subsidence analysis at the fossil passive margin of Baltica provided insight in the timing and kinematics of continental rifting that led to break-up of Rodinia. Rifting was associated with Neoproterozoic syn-rift subsidence accompanied by deposition of continental coarse-grained sediments and emplacement of continental basalts. Transition from a syn-rift to post-rift phase in the latest Ediacaran to earliest early Cambrian was concomitant with deposition of continental conglomerates and arkoses, laterally passing into mudstones. An extensional scenario of the break-up of Rodinia along the Tornquist Rift is based on the character of tectonic subsidence curves, evolution of syn-rift and post-rift depocenters in time, as well as geochemistry and geochronology of the syn-rift volcanics. It is additionally reinforced by the high-quality deep seismic reflection data from SE Poland, located above the SW edge of the East European Craton. The seismic data allowed for identification of a deeply buried (11–18 km, well-preserved extensional half-graben, developed in the Palaeoproterozoic crystalline basement and filled with a Neoproterozoic syn-rift volcano-sedimentary succession. The results of depth-to-basement study based on integration of seismic and gravity data show the distribution of local NE–SW elongated Neoproterozoic depocenters within the SW slope of the East European Craton. Furthermore, they document the rapid south-eastwards thickness increase of the Neoproterozoic succession towards the NW–SE oriented craton margin. This provides evidence

  20. Chronobiology of deep-water decapod crustaceans on continental margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguzzi, Jacopo; Company, Joan B

    2010-01-01

    Species have evolved biological rhythms in behaviour and physiology with a 24-h periodicity in order to increase their fitness, anticipating the onset of unfavourable habitat conditions. In marine organisms inhabiting deep-water continental margins (i.e. the submerged outer edges of continents), day-night activity rhythms are often referred to in three ways: vertical water column migrations (i.e. pelagic), horizontal displacements within benthic boundary layer of the continental margin, along bathymetric gradients (i.e. nektobenthic), and endobenthic movements (i.e. rhythmic emergence from the substrate). Many studies have been conducted on crustacean decapods that migrate vertically in the water column, but much less information is available for other endobenthic and nektobenthic species. Also, the types of displacement and major life habits of most marine species are still largely unknown, especially in deep-water continental margins, where steep clines in habitat factors (i.e. light intensity and its spectral quality, sediment characteristics, and hydrography) take place. This is the result of technical difficulties in performing temporally scheduled sampling and laboratory testing on living specimens. According to this scenario, there are several major issues that still need extensive research in deep-water crustacean decapods. First, the regulation of their behaviour and physiology by a biological clock is almost unknown compared to data for coastal species that are easily accessible to direct observation and sampling. Second, biological rhythms may change at different life stages (i.e. size-related variations) or at different moments of the reproductive cycle (e.g. at egg-bearing) based on different intra- and interspecific interactions. Third, there is still a major lack of knowledge on the links that exist among the observed bathymetric distributions of species and selected autoecological traits that are controlled by their biological clock, such as the

  1. Geological features and geophysical signatures of continental margins of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, K.S.

    of crustal movement had been introduced to the scientific community; and it has laid the groundwork for the development of modern plate tectonics. As years passed, more and more evidences were uncovered to support the idea that the plates were moving... to build-up of the wide and low-relief (flat) continental shelf (covered by shelf seas), slope and rise. Initially passive margins form at divergent plate boundary following break-up of the continent, then they move away with the accretion of new...

  2. Preface: Biogeochemistry–ecosystem interaction on changing continental margins in the Anthropocene

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Liu, K-K.; Emeis, K.-C.; Levin, L.A.; Naqvi, S.W.A.; Roman, M.

    and hypercapnia in upwelling systems • Interactions between natural and social sciences for better steward- ship of continental margins. It has long been acknowledged (e.g., Doney, 2010; Liu et al., 2010) that marine ecosystems on continental margins, including... and possibly manage margin ecosystems in a changing world. Effective governance of social–ecological systems on continental margins is key to reducing the pervasive over- exploitation, depletion and destruction of marine resources and http://dx.doi.org/10...

  3. The Magmatic Budget of Rifted Margins: is it Related to Inheritance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manatschal, G.; Tugend, J.; Gillard, M.; Sauter, D.

    2017-12-01

    High quality reflection and refraction seismic surveys show a divergent style of margin architecture often referred to as magma-poor or magma-rich. More detailed studies show, however, that the evolution of these margins can be similar, despite the variable quantity and distribution of magmatism. These observations suggest that simple relations between magmatic and extensional systems are inappropriate to describe the magmatic history of rifted margins. Moreover, the study of magmatic additions indicates that they may occur, prior to, during or after lithospheric breakup. Furthermore, the observation that the magmatic budget may change very abruptly along strike and across the margin is difficult to reconcile with the occurrence of plumes or other deep-seated large-scale mantle phenomena only. These overall observations result in questions on how magmatic and tectonic processes are interacting during rifting and lithospheric breakup and on how far the inherited composition and temperature of the decompressing mantle may control the magmatic budget during rifting. In our presentation we will review examples from present-day and fossil rifted margins to discuss their structural and magmatic evolution and whether they are considered as magma-rich or magma-poor. The key questions that we aim to address are: 1) whether decompression melting is the driving force, or rather the consequence of extension, 2) how far the magmatic budget is controlled by inherited mantle composition and temperature, and 3) how important magma storage is during initial stages of rifting. Eventually, we will discuss to what extent the evolution of margins may reflect the interplay between inheritance (innate/"genetic code") and the actual physical processes (acquired/external factors).

  4. Crustal structure variations along the NW-African continental margin: A comparison of new and existing models from wide-angle and reflection seismic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Biari, Youssef; Sahabi, Mohamed; Aslanian, Daniel; Schnabel, Michael; Matias, Luis; Benabdellouahed, Massinissa; Funck, Thomas; Gutscher, Marc-André; Reichert, Christian; Austin, James A.

    2016-04-01

    Deep seismic data represent a key to understand the geometry and mechanism of continental rifting. The passive continental margin of NW-Africa is one of the oldest on earth, formed during the Upper Triassic-Lower Liassic rifting of the central Atlantic Ocean over 200 Ma. We present new and existing wide-angle and reflection seismic data from four study regions along the margin located in the south offshore DAKHLA, on the central continental margin offshore Safi, in the northern Moroccan salt basin, and in the Gulf of Cadiz. The thickness of unthinned continental crust decreases from 36 km in the North to about 27 km in the South. Crustal thinning takes place over a region of 150 km in the north and only 70 km in the south. The North Moroccan Basin is underlain by highly thinned continental crust of only 6-8 km thickness. The ocean-continent transition zone shows a variable width between 40 and 70 km and is characterized by seismic velocities in between those of typical oceanic and thinned continental crust. The neighbouring oceanic crust is characterized by a thickness of 7-8 km along the complete margin. Relatively high velocities of up to 7.5 km/s have been imaged between magnetic anomalies S1 and M25, and are probably related to changes in the spreading velocities at the time of the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian plate reorganization. Volcanic activity seems to be mostly confined to the region next to the Canary Islands, and is thus not related to the initial opening of the ocean, which was associated to only weak volcanism. Comparison with the conjugate margin off Nova Scotia shows comparable continental crustal structures, but 2-3 km thinner oceanic crust on the American side than on the African margin.

  5. A Comparison of Continental Extension Estimates Across the Margins of the Woodlark Basin, Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazlim, B.; Goodliffe, A. M.

    2016-12-01

    Previous studies have shown that depth dependent extension is commonly observed across rifted margins. This has resulted in a discrepancy between the estimates of extension made through whole lithosphere/crust vs fault heave calculations (for example northwest Australia, South China Sea, Galicia). In the Woodlark Basin, the amount of extension estimated from observed subsidence and brittle extension also do not match. Taking into account sub-seismic resolution and poly-phase faulting reduces this mismatch. In the Woodlark Basin continental extension can also be estimated by extending Euler pole kinematics from the oceanic domain. Previous studies show that this predicts almost double the extension calculated from subsidence and brittle extension. Extension in the Woodlark Basin began at 8.4 Ma and transitioned to sea-floor spreading in the east at 6 Ma. The basin is an ideal place to study the extension discrepancy because of its young age and thin sediments. Seismic reflection easily images basement and fault structures. High resolution bathymetry permits tracing of major faults on the seafloor. A previous study focused on the extension discrepancy at the rifting to spreading transition. This study will focus on the discrepancy further east where seafloor spreading began just after 2 Ma and opening rates are faster. Data used in this study include bathymetry, magnetics, gravity, and low-fold 2-D seismic reflection data. Using the available data, extension estimates have been calculated through brittle extension and subsidence. Euler pole derived extension rates from previous studies were used for comparison. Results indicate that Euler pole kinematics predict far more extension than estimates calculated through subsidence and brittle extension. This provides important insights into processes in the low crust and supports earlier hypotheses that the mantle lithosphere and upper crust may be moving at different rates prior to continental breakup.

  6. Anomalous heat flow belt along the continental margin of Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamza, Valiya M.; Vieira, Fabio P.; Silva, Raquel T. A.

    2018-01-01

    A comprehensive analysis of thermal gradient and heat flow data was carried out for sedimentary basins situated in the continental margin of Brazil (CMB). The results point to the existence of a narrow belt within CMB, where temperature gradients are higher than 30 °C/km and the heat flow is in excess of 70 mW/m2. This anomalous geothermal belt is confined between zones of relatively low to normal heat flow in the adjacent continental and oceanic regions. The width of the belt is somewhat variable, but most of it falls within the range of 100-300 km. The spatial extent is relatively large in the southern (in the basins of Pelotas, Santos and Campos) and northern (in the basins of Potiguar and Ceará) parts, when compared with those in the central parts (in the basins of South Bahia, Sergipe and Alagoas). The characteristics of heat flow anomalies appear to be compatible with those produced by thermal sources at depths in the lower crust. Hence, magma emplacement at the transition zone between lower crust and upper mantle is considered the likely mechanism producing such anomalies. Seismicity within the belt is relatively weak, with focal depths less than 10 km for most of the events. Such observations imply that "tectonic bonding" between continental and oceanic segments, at the transition zone of CMB, is relatively weak. Hence, it is proposed that passive margins like CMB be considered as constituting a type of plate boundary that is aseismic at sub-crustal levels, but allows for escape of significant amounts of earth's internal heat at shallow depths.

  7. Extensional tectonics and sedimentary response of the Early–Middle Cambrian passive continental margin, Tarim Basin, Northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiqian Gao

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The fact that several half-grabens and normal faults developed in the Lower–Middle Cambrian of Tazhong (central Tarim Basin and Bachu areas in Tarim Basin, northwest China, indicates that Tarim Basin was under extensional tectonic setting at this time. The half-grabens occur within a linear zone and the normal faults are arranged in en echelon patterns with gradually increasing displacement eastward. Extensional tectonics resulted in the formation of a passive continental margin in the southwest and a cratonic margin depression in the east, and most importantly, influenced the development of a three-pronged rift in the northeast margin of the Tarim Basin. The fault system controlled the development of platform – slope – bathyal facies sedimentation of mainly limestone-dolomite-gypsum rock-saline rock-red beds in the half-grabens. The NW-SE trending half-grabens reflect the distribution of buried basement faults.

  8. The tectonic significance of the Cabo Frio Tectonic Domain in the SE Brazilian margin: a Paleoproterozoic through Cretaceous saga of a reworked continental margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata da Silva Schmitt

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The Cabo Frio Tectonic Domain is composed of a Paleoproterozoic basement tectonically interleaved with Neoproterozoic supracrustal rocks (Buzios-Palmital successions. It is in contact with the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Ribeira Orogen along the SE Brazilian coast. The basement was part of at least three continental margins: (a 1.97 Ga; (b 0.59 - 0.53 Ga; (c 0.14 Ga to today. It consists of continental magmatic arc rocks of 1.99 to 1.94 Ga. Zircon cores show a 2.5 - 2.6 Ga inheritance from the ancient margin of the Congo Craton. During the Ediacaran, this domain was thinned and intruded by tholeiitic mafic dykes during the development of an oceanic basin at ca. 0.59 Ma. After the tectonic inversion, these basin deposits reached high P-T metamorphic conditions, by subduction of the oceanic lithosphere, and were later exhumed as nappes over the basement. The Cabo Frio Tectonic Domain collided with the arc domain of the Ribeira Orogen at ca. 0.54 Ga. It is not an exotic block, but the eastern transition between this orogen and the Congo Craton. Almost 400 m.y. later, the South Atlantic rift zone followed roughly this suture, not coincidently. It shows how the Cabo Frio Tectonic Domain was reactivated as a continental margin in successive extensional and convergent events through geological time.

  9. Magma-maintained rift segmentation at continental rupture in the 2005 Afar dyking episode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Tim J; Ebinger, Cindy; Biggs, Juliet; Ayele, Atalay; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Keir, Derek; Stork, Anna

    2006-07-20

    Seafloor spreading centres show a regular along-axis segmentation thought to be produced by a segmented magma supply in the passively upwelling mantle. On the other hand, continental rifts are segmented by large offset normal faults, and many lack magmatism. It is unclear how, when and where the ubiquitous segmented melt zones are emplaced during the continental rupture process. Between 14 September and 4 October 2005, 163 earthquakes (magnitudes greater than 3.9) and a volcanic eruption occurred within the approximately 60-km-long Dabbahu magmatic segment of the Afar rift, a nascent seafloor spreading centre in stretched continental lithosphere. Here we present a three-dimensional deformation field for the Dabbahu rifting episode derived from satellite radar data, which shows that the entire segment ruptured, making it the largest to have occurred on land in the era of satellite geodesy. Simple elastic modelling shows that the magmatic segment opened by up to 8 m, yet seismic rupture can account for only 8 per cent of the observed deformation. Magma was injected along a dyke between depths of 2 and 9 km, corresponding to a total intrusion volume of approximately 2.5 km3. Much of the magma appears to have originated from shallow chambers beneath Dabbahu and Gabho volcanoes at the northern end of the segment, where an explosive fissural eruption occurred on 26 September 2005. Although comparable in magnitude to the ten year (1975-84) Krafla events in Iceland, seismic data suggest that most of the Dabbahu dyke intrusion occurred in less than a week. Thus, magma intrusion via dyking, rather than segmented normal faulting, maintains and probably initiated the along-axis segmentation along this sector of the Nubia-Arabia plate boundary.

  10. Relief evolution of the Continental Rift of Southeast Brazil revealed by in situ-produced 10Be concentrations in river-borne sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado, André Augusto Rodrigues; Rezende, Eric de Andrade; Bourlès, Didier; Braucher, Régis; da Silva, Juliana Rodrigues; Garcia, Ricardo Alexandrino

    2016-04-01

    This study aims to quantify the denudation dynamics of the Brazilian passive margin along a segment of the Continental Rift of Southeast Brazil. The denudation rates of 30 basins that drain both horsts of the continental rift, including the mountain ranges of the Serra do Mar (seaside horst); and the Serra da Mantiqueira (continental horst); were derived from 10Be concentrations measured in sand-sized river sediment. The mean denudation rate ranges from 9.2 m Ma-1 on the plateau of the Serra do Mar to 37.1 m Ma-1 along the oceanic escarpment of the Serra do Mar. The seaward-facing scarps of both mountain ranges exhibit mean denudation rates that are approximately 1.5 times those of the inland-facing scarps. The escarpments of the horst nearer to the ocean (Serra do Mar) exhibit higher denudation rates (mean 30.2 m Ma-1) than the escarpments of the continental horst (Serra da Mantiqueira) (mean 16.5 m Ma-1). The parameters that impact these denudation rates include the catchment relief, the slope gradient, the rock and the climate. The incongruent combination of a mountainous landscape and moderate to low 10Be-based denudation rates averaging at ∼20 m Ma-1 suggests a reduction in intraplate tectonic activity beginning in the Middle Quaternary or earlier.

  11. Tectonic history and the biogeography of the freshwater fishes from the coastal drainages of eastern Brazil: an example of faunal evolution associated with a divergent continental margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Cunha Ribeiro

    Full Text Available The eastern Brazilian coastal drainages are of great biogeographical significance, because of their highly endemic fish faunas. Phylogenetic patterns suggest a close biotic relationship between the rivers that flow into the Atlantic and those on the adjacent upland crystalline shield. However, little has been said on the dynamics of the geological processes causally related to the cladogenetic events between these areas. Distributional and phylogenetic patterns suggest a close association with the geological history of the passive continental margin of South America, from the Cretaceous to the present day. In this area megadome uplifts, rifting, vertical movements between rifted blocks and the erosive retreat of the South American eastern continental margin are hypothesized as the main geological forces controlling the distribution of freshwater fishes. The tectonic activity associated with the break-up of Gondwana and separation of South America and Africa formed six megadomes that control most of the current courses of the main crystalline shield river basins. Except for basins located at the edges of such megadomes, these river systems developed long, circuitous routes over the ancient Brazilian crystalline shield before emptying into the recently opened Atlantic Ocean. Initial cladogenetic events between upland crystalline drainages and Atlantic tributaries were probably associated with vicariant processes, and some ancient basal sister-groups of widespread inclusive taxa are found in these coastal hydrographic systems. Later, generalized erosive denudation resulted in an isostatic adjustment of the eastern margin of the platform. These, along with reactivations of ancient rifts led to vertical movements between rifted blocks and gave rise, in southeastern Brazil, to taphrogenic (rift related basins. These basins, such as the Taubaté, São Paulo, Curitiba and Volta Redonda basins, among others, captured adjacent upland drainages and fauna

  12. Hydrothermal Petroleum in Active Continental Rift: Lake Chapala, Western Mexico, Initial Results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarate-del Valle, P. F.; Simoneit, B. R.; Ramirez-Sanchez, H. U.

    2003-12-01

    Lake Chapala in western Mexico is located partially in the Citala Rift, which belongs to the well-known neotectonic Jalisco continental triple junction. The region is characterized by active volcanism (Ceboruco, Volcan de Fuego), tectonic (1995 earthquake, M=8, 40-50 mm to SW) and hydrothermal (San Juan Cosala & Villa Corona spas and La Calera sinter deposit) activities. Hydrothermal petroleum has been described in active continental rift (East African Rift) and marine spreading zones (Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California). In 1868 the Mexican local press reported that manifestations of bitumen were appearing in front of the Columba Cap on the mid south shore of Lake Chapala. This bitumen is linked to the lake bottom and when the water level decreases sufficiently it is possible to access these tar bodies as islands. Because of these manifestations the Mexican oil company (PEMEX) drilled an exploration well (2,348m) at Tizapan El Alto without success. Hydrothermal activity is evident in the tar island zone as three in-shore thermal springs (26.8 m depth, 48.5° C, pH 7.8 and oriented N-S). The preliminary analyses by GC-MS of the tar from these islands indicate hydrothermal petroleum derived from lake sedimentary organic matter, generated at low temperatures (150° -200° C). The tars contain no n-alkanes, no PAH or other aromatics, but a major UCM of branched and cyclic hydrocarbons and mature biomarkers derived from lacustrine biota. The biomarkers consist of mainly 17α (H),21β (H)-hopanes ranging from C27 to C34 (no C28), gammacerane, tricyclic terpanes (C20-C26), carotane and its cracking products, and drimanes (C14-C16). The biomarker composition indicates an organic matter source from bacteria and algae, typical of lacustrine ecosystems. 14C dating of samples from two tar islands yielded ages exceeding 40 kyrs, i.e., old carbon from hydrothermal/tectonic remobilization of bitumen from deeper horizons to the surface. The occurrence of hydrothermal petroleum in

  13. Mapping Mesophotic Reefs Along the Brazilian Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, A.; Moura, R.; Amado Filho, G.; Ferreira, L.; Boni, G.; Vedoato, F.; D'Agostini, D.; Lavagnino, A. C.; Leite, M. D.; Quaresma, V.

    2017-12-01

    Submerged or drowned reefs constitute an important geological record of sea level variations, forming the substrate for the colonization of modern benthic mesophotic communities. Although mapping mesophotic reefs has increased in the last years, their spatial distribution is poorly known and the worldwide occurrence of this reef habitat maybe underestimated. The importance in recognizing the distribution of mesophotic reefs is that they can act as a refuge for corals during unsuitable environmental conditions and a repository for shallow water corals. Here we present the result of several acoustic surveys that mapped and discovered new mesophotic reefs along the Eastern and Equatorial Brazilian Continental Margin. Seabed mapping was carried out using multibeam and side scan sonars. Ground truthing was obtained using drop camera or scuba diving. Mesophotic reefs were mapped in water depths varying from 30 to 100m and under distinct oceanographic conditions, especially in terms of river load input and shelf width. Reefs showed distinct morphologies, from low relief banks and paleovalleys to shelf edge ridges. Extensive occurrence of low relief banks were mapped along the most important coralline complex province in the South Atlantic, the Abrolhos Shelf. These 30 to 40m deep banks, have no more than 3 meters in height and may represent fringing reefs formed during sea level stabilization. Paleovalleys mapped along the eastern margin showed the occurrence of coralgal ledges along the channel margins. Paleovalleys are usually deeper than 45m and are associated with outer shelf rhodolith beds. Shelf edge ridges (80 to 120m deep) were mapped along both margins and are related to red algal encrusting irregular surfaces that have more than 3m in height, forming a rigid substrate for coral growth. Along the Equatorial Margin, off the Amazon mouth, shelf edge patch reefs and rhodolith beds forming encrusting surfaces and shelf edge ridges were mapped in water depths greater

  14. The Role of the Submarine Channel Pernambuco in the Brazilian Continental Margin East

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, L.; Villena, H.

    2010-01-01

    The Brazilian Continental Margin, which coastline measures more than 8,500km gives to Brazil continental dimensions. This huge region is conditioned by the action of process such as, sedimentals, tectonics, geomorphological and climatical, as example, which direct or in conjunction with other ones, since of continental break up between South America and Africa are going on and may be responsible for the current morphology of the margin. In accordance with this point of view, the Oriental part of the Brazilian Continental Margin, presents characteristics of a passive margin and fisiographically ''starved'', in which the continental break occur no more than 100km from de coastline and the sedimentary coverage is mainly carbonatic. The continental slope does not present great extension if compared with other parts of the Brazilian Margin and sharp gradient. The remark presence of the continental plateaus (Rio Grande Plateau and Pernambuco Plateau), which link with the continental rise and additionally the Paraiba, Pernambuco e Bahia seamounts, are the majors features in the morphology of the region between the slope and the continental rise. This paper will concentrate its focus on Bahia Seamount, with emphasis in the mainly erosive feature which cut transversally the seamounts, named Pernambuco Submarine Channel. It will be employed bathymetric multibeam and seismic data carried out by the Brazilian Continental Shelf Project (LEPLAC) in the current year and pieces of information from bibliographic researches in order to present a discussion by the hole of the Pernambuco Submarine Channel in the Occidental region of the Brazilian Continental Margin

  15. Geophysical studies over the continental margins of the east coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, T.C.S.; Rao, V.B.

    . Continuity of surface and subsurface features from profile to profile is indicated. Two major structural elements - viz. The "Marginal High", situated at the foot of the continental slope and extending along the east coast of India, and the "Marginal Basin...

  16. Using crustal thickness and subsidence history on the Iberia-Newfoundland margins to constrain lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanniot, Ludovic; Kusznir, Nick; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy

    2014-05-01

    Observations at magma-poor rifted margins such as Iberia-Newfoundland show a complex lithosphere deformation history during continental breakup and seafloor spreading initiation leading to complex OCT architecture with hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, exhumed mantle and scattered embryonic oceanic crust and continental slivers. Initiation of seafloor spreading requires both the rupture of the continental crust and lithospheric mantle, and the onset of decompressional melting. Their relative timing controls when mantle exhumation may occur; the presence or absence of exhumed mantle provides useful information on the timing of these events and constraints on lithosphere deformation modes. A single lithosphere deformation mode leading to continental breakup and sea-floor spreading cannot explain observations. We have determined the sequence of lithosphere deformation events for two profiles across the present-day conjugate Iberia-Newfoundland margins, using forward modelling of continental breakup and seafloor spreading initiation calibrated against observations of crustal basement thickness and subsidence. Flow fields, representing a sequence of lithosphere deformation modes, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FeMargin), and used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FeMargin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the upper 15-20 km of the lithosphere inducing passive upwelling beneath that layer; extensional faulting and magmatic intrusions deform the topmost upper lithosphere, consistent with observations of deformation processes occurring at slow spreading ocean ridges (Cannat, 1996). Buoyancy enhanced upwelling, as predicted by Braun et al. (2000) is also kinematically included in the lithosphere deformation model. Melt generation by decompressional melting is predicted using the parameterization and methodology of Katz et al. (2003). The distribution of lithosphere deformation, the

  17. Particle flux across the mid-European continental margin

    CERN Document Server

    Antia, A N; Peinert, R

    1999-01-01

    Results are presented from particle flux studies using sediment trap and current meter moorings along a transect at the European continental margin at 49 degrees N within the Ocean Margin Exchange (OMEX) project. Two moorings were placed, at the mid- and outer slope in water depths of 1500 and 3660 m, with traps at 600 and 1050 m and at 580, 1440 and 3220 m, respectively. Residual currents at the mid- slope follow the slope contour, whereas seasonal off-slope flow was registered at the outer slope. At 600 m on the slope fluxes are similar to those in the abyssal North Atlantic. The flux of all components (bulk dry weight, particulate organic and inorganic carbon, lithogenic matter and opal) increased with water depth. Highest fluxes were recorded at 1440 m at the outer slope, where off- slope residual currents mediate particle export. The injection of biogenic and lithogenic particles below the depth of winter mixing results in the export of particles from shallower waters. Calculated lateral fluxes of partic...

  18. Re-appraisal of the Magma-rich versus Magma-poor Paradigm at Rifted Margins: consequences for breakup processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tugend, J.; Gillard, M.; Manatschal, G.; Nirrengarten, M.; Harkin, C. J.; Epin, M. E.; Sauter, D.; Autin, J.; Kusznir, N. J.; McDermott, K.

    2017-12-01

    Rifted margins are often classified based on their magmatic budget only. Magma-rich margins are commonly considered to have excess decompression melting at lithospheric breakup compared with steady state seafloor spreading while magma-poor margins have suppressed melting. New observations derived from high quality geophysical data sets and drill-hole data have revealed the diversity of rifted margin architecture and variable distribution of magmatism. Recent studies suggest, however, that rifted margins have more complex and polyphase tectono-magmatic evolutions than previously assumed and cannot be characterized based on the observed volume of magma alone. We compare the magmatic budget related to lithospheric breakup along two high-resolution long-offset deep reflection seismic profiles across the SE-Indian (magma-poor) and Uruguayan (magma-rich) rifted margins. Resolving the volume of magmatic additions is difficult. Interpretations are non-unique and several of them appear plausible for each case involving variable magmatic volumes and mechanisms to achieve lithospheric breakup. A supposedly 'magma-poor' rifted margin (SE-India) may show a 'magma-rich' lithospheric breakup whereas a 'magma-rich' rifted margin (Uruguay) does not necessarily show excess magmatism at lithospheric breakup compared with steady-state seafloor spreading. This questions the paradigm that rifted margins can be subdivided in either magma-poor or magma-rich margins. The Uruguayan and other magma-rich rifted margins appear characterized by an early onset of decompression melting relative to crustal breakup. For the converse, where the onset of decompression melting is late compared with the timing of crustal breakup, mantle exhumation can occur (e.g. SE-India). Our work highlights the difficulty in determining a magmatic budget at rifted margins based on seismic reflection data alone, showing the limitations of margin classification based solely on magmatic volumes. The timing of

  19. Sedimentation on continental margins: An integrated program for innovative studies during the 1990s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nittrourer, Charles A.; Coleman, James M.; Rouge, Baton; Flood, Roger D.; Ginsburg, Robert N.; Gorsline, Donn S.; Hine, Albert C.; Sternberg, Richard W.; Swift, Donald J. P.; Wright, L. Donelson

    Continental margins are of great scientific interest, and they represent the focus of human interaction with the ocean. Their deep structure forms the transition from continental to oceanic crust, and their surface expression extends from coastal environments of estuaries and shorelines across the continental shelf and slope to either the base of a continental rise or a marginal trough. Modern continental margins represent natural laboratories for investigation of complex relationships between physical, chemical, and biological phenomena, which are sensitive to environmental conditions both on the land and in the ocean. The history of these conditions is preserved within the sedimentary deposits of continental margins. The deposits form repositories for much of the particulate material transported off the world's land masses and produced from dissolved components in the world ocean. Past deposits of continental margins have been uplifted to form many mountain ranges and sedimentary terrains of the world, which record details of Earth history and contain valuable natural resources, such as petroleum and natural gas. Modern deposits of continental margins record the more recent events that have influenced Earth and also contain natural resources (for instance, minerals, sand, and gravel), as well as anthropogenic pollutants (for example, heavy metals and pesticides). The fates of many materials beneficial and deleterious to humans are dependent on the pathways followed by sedimentary particles on continental margins.

  20. Fault-magma interactions during early continental rifting: Seismicity of the Magadi-Natron-Manyara basins, Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, A.; Oliva, S. J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Roecker, S.; Tiberi, C.; Aman, M.; Lambert, C.; Witkin, E.; Albaric, J.; Gautier, S.; Peyrat, S.; Muirhead, J. D.; Muzuka, A. N. N.; Mulibo, G.; Kianji, G.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Msabi, M.; Rodzianko, A.; Hadfield, R.; Illsley-Kemp, F.; Fischer, T. P.

    2017-10-01

    Although magmatism may occur during the earliest stages of continental rifting, its role in strain accommodation remains weakly constrained by largely 2-D studies. We analyze seismicity data from a 13 month, 39-station broadband seismic array to determine the role of magma intrusion on state-of-stress and strain localization, and their along-strike variations. Precise earthquake locations using cluster analyses and a new 3-D velocity model reveal lower crustal earthquakes beneath the central basins and along projections of steep border faults that degas CO2. Seismicity forms several disks interpreted as sills at 6-10 km below a monogenetic cone field. The sills overlie a lower crustal magma chamber that may feed eruptions at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. After determining a new ML scaling relation, we determine a b-value of 0.87 ± 0.03. Focal mechanisms for 65 earthquakes, and 13 from a catalogue prior to our array reveal an along-axis stress rotation of ˜60° in the magmatically active zone. New and prior mechanisms show predominantly normal slip along steep nodal planes, with extension directions ˜N90°E north and south of an active volcanic chain consistent with geodetic data, and ˜N150°E in the volcanic chain. The stress rotation facilitates strain transfer from border fault systems, the locus of early-stage deformation, to the zone of magma intrusion in the central rift. Our seismic, structural, and geochemistry results indicate that frequent lower crustal earthquakes are promoted by elevated pore pressures from volatile degassing along border faults, and hydraulic fracture around the margins of magma bodies. Results indicate that earthquakes are largely driven by stress state around inflating magma bodies.

  1. Fault-Magma Interactions during Early Continental Rifting: Seismicity of the Magadi-Natron-Manyara basins, Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, A.; Oliva, S. J.; Ebinger, C.; Aman, M.; Lambert, C.; Roecker, S. W.; Tiberi, C.; Muirhead, J.

    2017-12-01

    Although magmatism may occur during the earliest stages of continental rifting, its role in strain accommodation remains weakly constrained by largely 2D studies. We analyze seismicity data from a 13-month, 39-station broadband seismic array to determine the role of magma intrusion on state-of-stress and strain localization, and their along-strike variations. Precise earthquake locations using cluster analyses and a new 3D velocity model reveal lower crustal earthquakes along projections of steep border faults that degas CO2. Seismicity forms several disks interpreted as sills at 6-10 km below a monogenetic cone field. The sills overlie a lower crustal magma chamber that may feed eruptions at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. After determining a new ML scaling relation, we determine a b-value of 0.87 ± 0.03. Focal mechanisms for 66 earthquakes, and a longer time period of relocated earthquakes from global arrays reveal an along-axis stress rotation of 50 o ( N150 oE) in the magmatically active zone. Using Kostrov summation of local and teleseismic mechanisms, we find opening directions of N122ºE and N92ºE north and south of the magmatically active zone. The stress rotation facilitates strain transfer from border fault systems, the locus of early stage deformation, to the zone of magma intrusion in the central rift. Our seismic, structural, and geochemistry results indicate that frequent lower crustal earthquakes are promoted by elevated pore pressures from volatile degassing along border faults, and hydraulic fracture around the margins of magma bodies. Earthquakes are largely driven by stress state around inflating magma bodies, and more dike intrusions with surface faulting, eruptions, and earthquakes are expected.

  2. Inward migration of faulting during continental rifting: Effects of pre-existing lithospheric structure and extension rate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Corti, G.; Ranalli, G.; Agostini, A.; Sokoutis, D.

    Lithospheric-scale analogue models are used to analyse the parameters controlling the typical evolution of deformation during continental narrow rifting, characterized by early activation of large boundary faults and basin subsidence, followed by localization of tectonic activity in internal faults

  3. Thermo-rheological aspects of crustal evolution during continental breakup and melt intrusion : The Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lavecchia, Alessio; Beekman, Fred; Clark, Stuart R.; Cloetingh, Sierd A P L

    2016-01-01

    The Cenozoic-Quaternary Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is characterized by extended magmatic activity. Although magmatism has been recognized as a key element in the process of continental breakup, the interaction between melts and intruded lithosphere is still poorly understood. We have performed a 2D

  4. Morphotectonics of a high plateau on the northwestern flank of the Continental Rift of southeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modenesi-Gauttieri, May Christine; Takashi Hiruma, Silvio; Riccomini, Claudio

    2002-03-01

    Integration of landform and structural analysis allowed the identification of Late Pleistocene-Holocene pulses of tectonic activity in the Campos do Jordão Plateau with ages and regimes similar to the ones from the continental rift. Fault reactivation along Precambrian shear zones give rise to a series of conspicuous morphotectonic features, determine the formation of stream piracy phenomena, and divide the plateau into smaller blocks. Recognition of these tectonic pulses as well as of their effects in landform development—particularly clear on the Campos de São Francisco at the highest area of the SE edge of the plateau—show that besides the climate-related Quaternary environmental changes significant neotectonic instability should be considered in the geomorphic evolution of the Campos do Jordão Plateau.

  5. The influence of tectonic and volcanic processes on the morphology of the Iberian continental margins; Influencia de los procesos tectonicos y volcanicos en la morfologia de los margenes continentales ibericos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maestro, A.; Bohoyo, F.; Lopez-Martinez, J.; Acosta, J.; Gomez-Ballesteros, M.; Llaave, E.; Munoz, A.; Terrinha, P. G.; Dominguez, M.; Fernandez-Saez, F.

    2015-07-01

    The Iberian continental margins are mainly passive margins. Nevertheless, the northern sector of the margin was active during some stages of its geological evolution. The southern sector is considered as a transformed margin, which defines the boundary between the Iberian and African plates. This margin was also an active margin in the past. The different types, origins and intensities of the endogenic processes that have affected he Iberian continental margins have led to the development of various tectonic and volcanic morphologies. The North Atlantic rifting allowed the development of large marginal platforms in the Cantabrian and Galician margins the North-Atlantic Ocean spreading. The reactivation of Variscan faults during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic controlled the strike of some of the largest canyons in the Iberian margins. The Gulf of Cadiz margin is characterized by the development of morphologies related to salt tectonic, fluid seepage, thrust fronts and strike-slip fault lineaments hundreds of kilometres long. The Alboran basin and the Betic margin show morphologies connected with the Miocene rift phase, which generated volcanic edifices and various structural reliefs, and with the subsequent compressive phase, when folds and strike-slip, reverse faults, diapirs and mud volcanoes were developed. Finally, the Catalan-Valencian margin and the Balearic promontory are characterized by the presence of horst and graben structures related to the development of the Valencia trough during the Paleogene. The morphological features of endogenic origin have largely controlled the location and extent of the sedimentary processes and morphological products along the Iberian margins. (Author)

  6. Latest Miocene transtensional rifting of northeast Isla Tiburón, eastern margin of the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Scott E. K.; Oskin, Michael E.; Iriondo, Alexander

    2017-11-01

    Details about the timing and kinematics of rifting are crucial to understand the conditions that led to strain localization, continental rupture, and formation of the Gulf of California ocean basin. We integrate detailed geologic and structural mapping, basin analysis, and geochronology to characterize transtensional rifting on northeastern Isla Tiburón, a proximal onshore exposure of the rifted North America margin, adjacent to the axis of the Gulf of California. Slip on the Kunkaak normal fault tilted its hanging wall down-to-the-east 70° and formed the non-marine Tecomate basin, deposited across a 20° angular unconformity. From 7.1-6.4 Ma, the hanging wall tilted at 35 ± 5°/Myr, while non-marine sandstone and conglomerate accumulated at 1.4 ± 0.2 mm/yr. At least 1.8 ± 0.1 km of sediments and pyroclastic deposits accumulated in the Tecomate basin concurrent with clockwise vertical-axis block rotation and 2.8 km of total dip-slip motion on the Kunkaak fault. Linear extrapolation of tilting and sedimentation rates suggests that faulting and basin deposition initiated 7.6-7.4 Ma, but an older history involving initially slower rates is permissible. The Kunkaak fault and Tecomate basin are truncated by NW-striking, dextral-oblique structures, including the Yawassag fault, which accrued > 8 km of post-6.4 Ma dextral displacement. The Coastal Sonora fault zone on mainland Sonora, which accrued several tens of kilometers of late Miocene dextral offset, continues to the northwest, across northeastern Isla Tiburón and offshore into the Gulf of California. The establishment of rapid, latest Miocene transtension in the Coastal Sonora fault zone was synchronous with the 8-7 Ma onset of transform faulting and basin formation along the nascent Pacific-North America plate boundary throughout northwestern Mexico and southern California. Plate boundary strain localized into this Gulf of California shear zone, a narrow transtensional belt that subsequently hosted the

  7. Climatic controls on arid continental basin margin systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Amy; Clarke, Stuart; Richards, Philip; Milodowski, Antoni

    2016-04-01

    Alluvial fans are both dominant and long-lived within continental basin margin systems. As a result, they commonly interact with a variety of depositional systems that exist at different times in the distal extent of the basin as the basin evolves. The deposits of the distal basin often cycle between those with the potential to act as good aquifers and those with the potential to act as good aquitards. The interactions between the distal deposits and the basin margin fans can have a significant impact upon basin-scale fluid flow. The fans themselves are commonly considered as relatively homogeneous, but their sedimentology is controlled by a variety of factors, including: 1) differing depositional mechanisms; 2) localised autocyclic controls; 3) geometrical and temporal interactions with deposits of the basin centre; and, 4) long-term allocyclic climatic variations. This work examines the basin margin systems of the Cutler Group sediments of the Paradox Basin, western U.S.A and presents generalised facies models for the Cutler Group alluvial fans as well as for the zone of interaction between these fans and the contemporaneous environments in the basin centre, at a variety of scales. Small-scale controls on deposition include climate, tectonics, base level and sediment supply. It has been ascertained that long-term climatic alterations were the main control on these depositional systems. Models have been constructed to highlight how both long-term and short-term alterations in the climatic regime can affect the sedimentation in the basin. These models can be applied to better understand similar, but poorly exposed, alluvial fan deposits. The alluvial fans of the Brockram Facies, northern England form part of a once-proposed site for low-level nuclear waste decommissioning. As such, it is important to understand the sedimentology, three-dimensional geometry, and the proposed connectivity of the deposits from the perspective of basin-scale fluid flow. The developed

  8. New interpretations based on seismic and modelled well data and their implications for the tectonic evolution of the west Greenland continental margin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mcgregor, E.D.; Nielsen, S.B.; Stephenson, R.A.

    Davis Strait is situated between Baffin Island and Greenland and forms part of a sedimentary basin system, linking Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay, developed during Cretaceous and Palaeocene rifting that culminated in a brief period of sea-floor spreading in the late Palaeocene and Eocene. Seismic...... reflection profiles and exploration wells along the Greenland margin of Davis Strait have been analysed in order to elucidate uplift events affecting sedimentary basin development during the Cenozoic with a focus on postulated Neogene (tectonic) uplift affecting the west Greenland continental margin...... tectonic event. An interpretation in which the inferred onshore cooling is related to erosion of pre-existing topography is more consistent with our new results from the offshore region. These results will have important implications for other continental margins developed throughout the Atlantic...

  9. A quantitative analysis of transtensional margin width

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanniot, Ludovic; Buiter, Susanne J. H.

    2018-06-01

    Continental rifted margins show variations between a few hundred to almost a thousand kilometres in their conjugated widths from the relatively undisturbed continent to the oceanic crust. Analogue and numerical modelling results suggest that the conjugated width of rifted margins may have a relationship to their obliquity of divergence, with narrower margins occurring for higher obliquity. We here test this prediction by analysing the obliquity and rift width for 26 segments of transtensional conjugate rifted margins in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We use the plate reconstruction software GPlates (http://www.gplates.org) for different plate rotation models to estimate the direction and magnitude of rifting from the initial phases of continental rifting until breakup. Our rift width corresponds to the distance between the onshore maximum topography and the last identified continental crust. We find a weak positive correlation between the obliquity of rifting and rift width. Highly oblique margins are narrower than orthogonal margins, as expected from analogue and numerical models. We find no relationships between rift obliquities and rift duration nor the presence or absence of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs).

  10. Organic carbon-sulfur relationships in sediment cores from the western and eastern continental margins of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, P.S.; Mascarenhas, A.; Paropkari, A.L.; Rao, Ch.M.

    Two sediment cores from the western continental margin (WMI, WM2) and one core from the eastern continental margin (EM) of India have been analysed to determine the relativ importance of factors such as oxidizing/reducing environment, mass...

  11. Role of magmatism in continental lithosphere extension: an introduction to tectnophysics special issue

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Wijk, Jolante W [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2008-01-01

    The dynamics and evolution of rifts and continental rifted margins have been the subject of intense study and debate for many years and still remain the focus of active investigation. The 2006 AGU Fall Meeting session 'Extensional Processes Leading to the Formation of Basins and Rifted Margins, From Volcanic to Magma-Limited' included several contributions that illustrated recent advances in our understanding of rifting processes, from the early stages of extension to breakup and incipient seafloor spreading. Following this session, we aimed to assemble a multi-disciplinary collection of papers focussing on the architecture, formation and evolution of continental rift zones and rifted margins. This Tectonophysics Special Issue 'Role of magmatism in continental lithosphere extension' comprises 14 papers that present some of the recent insights on rift and rifted margins dynamics, emphasising the role of magmatism in extensional processes. The purpose of this contribution is to introduce these papers.

  12. Tectono-stratigraphy of the Lower Cretaceous Syn-rift Succession in Bongor Basin, Chad: Insights into Structural Controls on Sedimentary Infill of a Continental Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, C.; Ji, Y.; Wei, X.; An, F.; Li, D.; Zhu, R.

    2017-12-01

    In a rift basin, the dispersal and deposition of sediments is significantly influenced by the paleo-topography, which is highly controlled by the evolution and interaction of normal faults in different scales. To figure out the impact of faults evolution and topographic elements towards sedimentary fillings, we investigated the Lower Cretaceous syn-rift package in Bongor Basin, south of Chad Republic. Constrained with 2D and 3D seismic data, core data and logging information, a sequence stratigraphy architecture and a variety of depositional systems are recognized, including fan delta, braided delta, sub-lacustrine fan and lacustrine system. We also studied the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of clastic depositional systems of the syn-rift complex, and valuable insights into structural controls of sequence architectures and depositional systems are provided. During the evolution of rift basin, marginal structures such as relay ramps and strike-slipping boundary transfer fault are major elements that influence the main sediments influx points. Release faults in the hanging-wall could form a differential evolution pattern for accommodation, and effect the deposition systems in the early stage of rift evolution. Oblique crossing-faults, minor faults that develop on the erosional uplift in the interior foot-wall, would cut the uplifts and provide faulted-through paths for the over-filled sediments in the accommodation space, making it possible to develop sedimentary systems towards the center of basin during the early stage of rift evolution, although the origins of such minor faults still need further discussion. The results of this research indicate that different types of fault interactions have a fundamental control on patterns of sediment dispersal during early stage of rift basins.

  13. Cenozoic sedimentation in the Mumbai Offshore Basin: Implications for tectonic evolution of the western continental margin of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Nisha; Pandey, Dhananjai K.

    2018-02-01

    Interpretation of multichannel seismic reflection data along the Mumbai Offshore Basin (MOB) revealed the tectonic processes that led to the development of sedimentary basins during Cenozoic evolution. Structural interpretation along three selected MCS profiles from MOB revealed seven major sedimentary sequences (∼3.0 s TWT, thick) and the associated complex fault patterns. These stratigraphic sequences are interpreted to host detritus of syn- to post rift events during rift-drift process. The acoustic basement appeared to be faulted with interspaced intrusive bodies. The sections also depicted the presence of slumping of sediments, subsidence, marginal basins, rollover anticlines, mud diapirs etc accompanied by normal to thrust faults related to recent tectonics. Presence of upthrusts in the slope region marks the locations of local compression during collision. Forward gravity modeling constrained with results from seismic and drill results, revealed that the crustal structure beneath the MOB has undergone an extensional type tectonics intruded with intrusive bodies. Results from the seismo-gravity modeling in association with litholog data from drilled wells from the western continental margin of India (WCMI) are presented here.

  14. Off-axis volcano-tectonic activity during continental rifting: Insights from the transversal Goba-Bonga lineament, Main Ethiopian Rift (East Africa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corti, Giacomo; Sani, Federico; Agostini, Samuele; Philippon, Melody; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst

    2018-03-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa, is characterized by the presence of major, enigmatic structures which strike approximately orthogonal to the trend of the rift valley. These structures are marked by important deformation and magmatic activity in an off-axis position in the plateaus surrounding the rift. In this study, we present new structural data based on a remote and field analysis, complemented with analogue modelling experiments, and new geochemical analysis of volcanic rocks sampled in different portions of one of these transversal structures: the Goba-Bonga volcano-tectonic lineament (GBVL). This integrated analysis shows that the GBVL is associated with roughly E-W-trending prominent volcano-tectonic activity affecting the western plateau. Within the rift floor, the approximately E-W alignment of Awasa and Corbetti calderas likely represent expressions of the GBVL. Conversely, no tectonic or volcanic features of similar (E-W) orientation have been recognized on the eastern plateau. Analogue modelling suggests that the volcano-tectonic features of the GBVL have probably been controlled by the presence of a roughly E-W striking pre-existing discontinuity beneath the western plateau, which did not extend beneath the eastern plateau. Geochemical analysis supports this interpretation and indicates that, although magmas have the same sub-lithospheric mantle source, limited differences in magma evolution displayed by products found along the GBVL may be ascribed to the different tectonic framework to the west, to the east, and in the axial zone of the rift. These results support the importance of the heterogeneous nature of the lithosphere and the spatial variations of its structure in controlling the architecture of continental rifts and the distribution of the related volcano-tectonic activity.

  15. A Spatial Model of Erosion and Sedimentation on Continental Margins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pratson, Lincoln

    1999-01-01

    .... A computer model that simulates the evolution of continental slope morphology under the interaction of sedimentation, slope failure, and sediment flow erosion has been constructed and validated...

  16. Quaternary volcano-tectonic activity in the Soddo region, western margin of the Southern Main Ethiopian Rift

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Corti, G.; Sani, F.; Philippon, M.; Sokoutis, D.; Willingshofer, E.; Molin, P.

    We present an analysis of the distribution, timing, and characteristics of the volcano-tectonic activity on the western margin of the Southern Main Ethiopian Rift in the Soddo area (latitudes between ~7°10'N and ~6°30'N). The margin is characterized by the presence of numerous normal faults, with

  17. Initiation of extension in South China continental margin during the active-passive margin transition: kinematic and thermochronological constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    ZUO, Xuran; CHAN, Lung

    2015-04-01

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

  18. The Lower Triassic Sorkh Shale Formation of the Tabas Block, east central Iran: Succesion of a failed-rift basin at the Paleotethys margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasemi, Y.; Ghomashi, M.; Amin-Rasouli, H.; Kheradmand, A.

    2008-01-01

    The Lower Triassic Sorkh Shale Formation is a dominantly red colored marginal marine succession deposited in the north-south trending Tabas Basin of east central Iran. It is correlated with the unconformity-bounded lower limestone member of the Elika Formation of the Alborz Mountains of northern Iran. The Sorkh Shale is bounded by the pre-Triassic and post-Lower Triassic interregional unconformities and consists mainly of carbonates, sandstones, and evaporites with shale being a minor constituent. Detailed facies analysis of the Sorkh Shale Formation resulted in recognition of several genetically linked peritidal facies that are grouped into restricted subtidal, carbonate tidal flat, siliciclastic tidal flat, coastal plain and continental evaporite facies associations. These were deposited in a low energy, storm-dominated inner-ramp setting with a very gentle slope that fringed the Tabas Block of east central Iran and passed northward (present-day coordinates) into deeper water facies of the Paleotethys passive margin of northern Cimmerian Continent. Numerous carbonate storm beds containing well-rounded intraclasts, ooids and bioclasts of mixed fauna are present in the Sorkh Shale Formation of the northern Tabas Basin. The constituents of the storm beds are absent in the fair weather peritidal facies of the Sorkh Shale Formation, but are present throughout the lower limestone member of the Elika Formation. The Tabas Block, a part of the Cimmerian continent in east central Iran, is a rift basin that developed during Early Ordovician-Silurian Paleotethys rifting. Facies and sequence stratigraphic analyses of the Sorkh Shale Formation has revealed additional evidence supporting the Tabas Block as a failed rift basin related to the Paleotethys passive margin. Absence of constituents of the storm beds in the fair weather peritidal facies of the Sorkh Shale Formation, presence of the constituents of the storm beds in the fair weather facies of the Elika Formation (the

  19. Oblique strike-slip motion off the Southeastern Continental Margin of India: Implication for the separation of Sri Lanka from India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desa, Maria Ana; Ismaiel, Mohammad; Suresh, Yenne; Krishna, Kolluru Sree

    2018-05-01

    The ocean floor in the Bay of Bengal has evolved after the breakup of India from Antarctica since the Early Cretaceous. Recent geophysical investigations including updated satellite derived gravity map postulated two phases for the tectonic evolution of the Bay of Bengal, the first phase of spreading occurred in the NW-SE direction forming its Western Basin, while the second phase occurred in the N-S direction resulting in its Eastern Basin. Lack of magnetic data along the spreading direction in the Western Basin prompted us to acquire new magnetic data along four tracks (totaling ∼3000 km) to validate the previously identified magnetic anomaly picks. Comparison of the synthetic seafloor spreading model with the observed magnetic anomalies confirmed the presence of Mesozoic anomalies M12n to M0 in the Western Basin. Further, the model suggests that this spreading between India and Antarctica took place with half-spreading rates of 2.7-4.5 cm/yr. The trend of the fracture zones in the Western Basin with respect to that of the Southeastern Continental Margin of India (SCMI) suggests that SCMI is an oblique transform margin with 37° obliquity. Further, the SCMI consists of two oblique transform segments separated by a small rift segment. The strike-slip motion along the SCMI is bounded by the rift segments of the Northeastern Continental Margin of India and the southern margin of Sri Lanka. The margin configuration and fracture zones inferred in its conjugate Western Enderby Basin, East Antarctica helped in inferring three spreading corridors off the SCMI in the Western Basin of the Bay of Bengal. Detailed grid reconstruction models traced the oblique strike-slip motion off the SCMI since M12n time. The strike-slip motion along the short northern transform segment ended by M11n time. The longer transform segment, found east of Sri Lanka lost its obliquity and became a pure oceanic transform fault by M0 time. The eastward propagation of the Africa

  20. Meso-Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the SE Brazilian continental margin: Petrographic, kinematic and dynamic analysis of the onshore Araruama Lagoon Fault System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Pricilla Camões Martins de; Schmitt, Renata da Silva; Stanton, Natasha

    2017-09-01

    The Ararauama Lagoon Fault System composes one of the most prominent set of lineaments of the SE Brazilian continental margin. It is located onshore in a key tectonic domain, where the basement inheritance rule is not followed. This fault system is characterized by ENE-WSW silicified tectonic breccias and cataclasites showing evidences of recurrent tectonic reactivations. Based on field work, microtectonic, kinematic and dynamic analysis, we reconstructed the paleostresses in the region and propose a sequence of three brittle deformational phases accountable for these reactivations: 1) NE-SW dextral transcurrence; 2) NNW-SSE dextral oblique extension that evolved to NNW-SSE "pure" extension; 3) ENE-WSW dextral oblique extension. These phases are reasonably correlated with the tectonic events responsible for the onset and evolution of the SE onshore rift basins, between the Neocretaceous and Holocene. However, based on petrographic studies and supported by regional geological correlations, we assume that the origin of this fault system is older, related to the Early Cretaceous South Atlantic rifting. This study provides significant information about one of the main structural trends of the SE Brazilian continental margin and the tectonic events that controlled its segmentation, since the Gondwana rifting, and compartmentalization of its onshore sedimentary deposits during the Cenozoic.

  1. ACADEMICIAN N.A. LOGATCHEV AND HIS SCIENTIFIC SCHOOL: CONTRUBITION TO STUDIES OF THE CENOZOIC CONTINENTAL RIFTING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey V. Rasskazov

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available N.A. Florensov and N.A. Logatchev pioneered development of fundamental concepts of the structure and evolution of the Baikal system of rift basins. At the turn to the 21st century, in view of the wide availability of scientific research data on the Cenozoic continental rift zones located in Eurasia, Africa and North America, and taking into account the application of new research methods and options to process and analyze huge amounts of geological and geophysical data, a priority was comprehensive modeling of rifting from its origin to the current period of time. This scientific challenge was addressed by the research team under the leadership of N.A. Logachev.

  2. Resolving the fine-scale velocity structure of continental hyperextension at the Deep Galicia Margin using full-waveform inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davy, R. G.; Morgan, J. V.; Minshull, T. A.; Bayrakci, G.; Bull, J. M.; Klaeschen, D.; Reston, T. J.; Sawyer, D. S.; Lymer, G.; Cresswell, D.

    2018-01-01

    Continental hyperextension during magma-poor rifting at the Deep Galicia Margin is characterized by a complex pattern of faulting, thin continental fault blocks and the serpentinization, with local exhumation, of mantle peridotites along the S-reflector, interpreted as a detachment surface. In order to understand fully the evolution of these features, it is important to image seismically the structure and to model the velocity structure to the greatest resolution possible. Traveltime tomography models have revealed the long-wavelength velocity structure of this hyperextended domain, but are often insufficient to match accurately the short-wavelength structure observed in reflection seismic imaging. Here, we demonstrate the application of 2-D time-domain acoustic full-waveform inversion (FWI) to deep-water seismic data collected at the Deep Galicia Margin, in order to attain a high-resolution velocity model of continental hyperextension. We have used several quality assurance procedures to assess the velocity model, including comparison of the observed and modeled waveforms, checkerboard tests, testing of parameter and inversion strategy and comparison with the migrated reflection image. Our final model exhibits an increase in the resolution of subsurface velocities, with particular improvement observed in the westernmost continental fault blocks, with a clear rotation of the velocity field to match steeply dipping reflectors. Across the S-reflector, there is a sharpening in the velocity contrast, with lower velocities beneath S indicative of preferential mantle serpentinization. This study supports the hypothesis that normal faulting acts to hydrate the upper-mantle peridotite, observed as a systematic decrease in seismic velocities, consistent with increased serpentinization. Our results confirm the feasibility of applying the FWI method to sparse, deep-water crustal data sets.

  3. Scenario of gas-charged sediments and gas hydrates in the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Karisiddaiah, S.M.; SubbaRaju, L.V.

    Echosounding, high-resolution shallow seismic data were collected along track lines spaced at 20 km interval across the western continental margin of India. A detailed analysis of the underway data revealed the occurrence of methane-bearing gas...

  4. Macrofaunal community structure in the western Indian continental margin including the oxygen minimum zone

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.; Sautya, S.; Sivadas, S.; Singh, R.; Nanajkar, M.

    (H`) showed a significant negative (P < 0.01) relationship between sediment Chl-a and C sub(org), suggesting food availability as a critical factor in species dominance. Results of multivariate analyses suggest that for continental margin fauna...

  5. Holocene sea level fluctuations on western Indian continental margin: An update

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Hashimi, N.H.; Nigam, R.; Nair, R.R.; Rajagopalan, G.

    A new Holocene curve is generated for the western Indian continental margin. While constructing this curve careful selection of the dates were made by giving due considerations to the genetic characteristics of the dated material. This new curve...

  6. Aeolian deposition of Arabia and Somalia sediments on the southwestern continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chauhan, O.S.

    Kaolinite, smectite, illite and chlorite as major clay minerals and palygorskite and gibbsite in minor quantities have been recorded from the slope of southwestern continental margin of India. Contribution of kaolinite, smectite and gibbsite is from...

  7. Nutrient Distributions, Transports, and Budgets on the Inner Margin of a River-Dominated Continental Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-02

    Nutrient distributions, transports, and budgets on the inner margin of a river-dominated continental shelf John C. Lehrter,1 Dong S. Ko,2 Michael C...and D. C. Biggs (1993), The influence of advec- tion on the spatial variability of nutrient concentrations on the Texas- Louisiana continental shelf

  8. Crustal structure variations along the NW-African continental margin: a comparison of new and existing models from wide angle and reflection seismic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biari, Y.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Sahabi, M.; Aslanian, D.; Philippe, S.; Louden, K. E.; Berglar, K.; Moulin, M.; Mehdi, K.; Graindorge, D.; Evain, M.; Benabellouahed, M.; Reichert, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Deep seismic data represent a key to understand the geometry and mechanism of continental rifting. The passive continental margin of NW-Africa is one of the oldest on earth, formed during the Upper Triassic-Lower Liassic rifting of the central Atlantic Ocean over 200 Ma. We present new and existing wide-angle and reflection seismic data from three study regions along the margin located in the North Moroccan salt basin, on the central continental margin offshore Safi and in the south, offshore Dakhla. In each of the study areas several combined wide-angle and reflection seismic profiles perpendicular and parallel to the margin have been acquired and forward modelled using comparable methods. The thickness of unthinned continental crust decreases from 36 km in the North to about 27 km in the South. In the North Moroccan Basin continental crust thins from originally 36 km to about 8 km in a 150 km wide zone. The basin itself is underlain by highly thinned continental crust. Offshore safi thinning of the continental crust is confined to a 130 km wide zone with no neighboring sedimentary basin underlain by continental crust. In both areas the zone of crustal thinning is characterised by the presence of large blocks and abundant salt diapirs. In the south crustal thinning is more rapid in a zone of 90 km and asymmetric with the upper crust thinning more closely to the continent than the lower crust, probably due to depth-dependent stretching and the presence of the precambrian Reguibat Ridge on land. Oceanic crust is characterised by a thickness of 7-8 km along the complete margin. Relatively high velocities of up to 7.5 km/s have been imaged between magnetic anomalies S1 and M25, and are probably related to changes in the spreading velocities at the time of the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian plate reorganisation. Volcanic activity seems to be confined to the region next to the Canary Islands, and is thus not related to the initial opening of the oceanic, which was related to no

  9. Influence of margin segmentation and anomalous volcanism upon the break-up of the Hatton Bank rifted margin, west of the UK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, G. M.; Parson, L. M.

    2007-12-01

    The Hatton Bank margin, flanking the Iceland Basin is a widely cited example of a volcanic rifted margin. Prior to this study insights into the break-up history of the margin have been limited to profiles in the north and south, yet whilst valuable, the along margin tectono-magmatic variability has not been revealed. Over 5660 line km of high quality reflection seismic profiles with supplementary multibeam bathymetry were collected to support the UK's claim to Hatton region under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Integration of this new data with existing profiles, allowed the margin to be divided into three segments, each of which are flanked by oceanic crust with a smooth upper surface and internal dipping reflectors. The southernmost segment is characterised by a series of inner and outer seaward dipping reflector (SDR) packages, which are separated by an outer high feature. The outer SDR are truncated by Endymion Spur, a chain of steep sided, late stage volcanic cones linked with necks. The central sector has no inner SDR package and is characterised by the presence of a highly intruded continental block, the Hatton Bank Block (HBB). The northern sector is adjacent to Lousy Bank, with a wider region of SDR recognised than to the south and a high amount of volcanic cones imaged. The variations in the distribution of the SDR's along the margin, the presence of the HBB and Endymion Spur all suggest that the break-up process was not uniform alongstrike. The division of the margin into three sectors reveals that structural segmentation played an important role in producing the variations along the margin. Break- up initiated in the south and progressed north producing the SDR packages witnessed, when the HBB was encountered the focus of break-up moved seaward of the block. The northern sector was closer to the Iceland Hotspot and hence a greater amount of volcanism is encountered. The smooth oceanic basement also indicates a high thermal flux

  10. Wintertime phytoplankton bloom in the Subarctic Pacific supported by continental margin iron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Bishop, James K.B.; Henning, Cara C.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Waychunas, Glenn A.; Fung, Inez

    2004-01-01

    Heightened biological activity was observed in February 1996 in the high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) subarctic North Pacific Ocean, a region that is thought to be iron-limited. Here we provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that Ocean Station Papa (OSP) in the subarctic Pacific received a lateral supply of particulate iron from the continental margin off the Aleutian Islands in the winter, coincident with the observed biological bloom. Synchrotron X-ray analysis was used to describe the physical form, chemistry, and depth distributions of iron in size fractionated particulate matter samples. The analysis reveals that discrete micron-sized iron-rich hotspots are ubiquitous in the upper 200m at OSP, more than 900km from the closest coast. The specifics of the chemistry and depth profiles of the Fe hot spots trace them to the continental margins. We thus hypothesize that iron hotspots are a marker for the delivery of iron from the continental margin. We confirm the delivery of continental margin iron to the open ocean using an ocean general circulation model with an iron-like tracer source at the continental margin. We suggest that iron from the continental margin stimulated a wintertime phytoplankton bloom, partially relieving the HNLC condition

  11. Evolution of basin architecture in an incipient continental rift: the Cenozoic Most Basin, Eger Graben (Central Europe)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rajchl, M.; Uličný, David; Grygar, R.; Mach, K.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 3 (2009), s. 269-294 ISSN 0950-091X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3012705; GA ČR GA205/01/0629; GA ČR(CZ) GA205/06/1823 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : Cenozoic Most Basin * continental rift * Eger Graben Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.161, year: 2009

  12. 3D crustal model of the US and Canada East Coast rifted margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowla, N.; Bird, D. E.; Murphy, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    We integrate seismic reflection and refraction data with gravity and magnetic data to generate a continent-scale 3D crustal model of the US and Canada East Coast, extending north from the Straits of Florida to Newfoundland, and east from the Appalachian Mountains to the Central Atlantic Ocean. The model includes five layers separated by four horizons: sea surface, topography, crystalline basement, and Moho. We tested magnetic depth-to-source techniques to improve the basement morphology, from published sources, beneath the continental Triassic rift basins and outboard to the Jurassic ocean floor. A laterally varying density grid was then produced for the resultant sedimentary rock layer thickness based on an exponential decay function that approximates sedimentary compaction. Using constant density values for the remaining layers, we calculated an isostatically compensated Moho. The following structural inversion results of the Moho, controlled by seismic refraction depths, advances our understanding of rift-to-drift crustal geometries, and provides a regional context for additional studies.

  13. Isotopic characterisation of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle beneath Zealandia, a rifted fragment of Gondwana

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Waight, Tod Earle; Scott, James M.; van der Meer, Quinten Har Adriaan

    2013-01-01

    The greater New Zealand region, known as Zealandia, represents an amalgamation of crustal fragments accreted to the paleo-Pacific Gondwana margin and which underwent significant thinning during the subsequent split from Australia and Antarctica in the mid-Cretaceous following opening of the Tasma...... Sea and the Southern Ocean. We present Sr, Nd and Pb isotopes and laser ablation trace element data for a comprehensive suite of clinopyroxene separates from spinel peridotite xenoliths (lherzolite to harzburgite) from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle across southern New Zealand...... composition, age or geographical separation. These isotopic compositions indicate that the sub-continental lithospheric mantle under southern New Zealand has a regionally distinct and pervasive FOZO to HIMU – like signature. The isotopic signatures are also similar to those of the alkaline magmas...... that transported the xenoliths and suggest that most of the HIMU signature observed in the volcanics could be derived from a major source component in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle. Trace element abundances in clinopyroxene are highly heterogeneous and vary from LREE-enriched, relatively flat and MORB...

  14. Using crustal thickness, subsidence and P-T-t history on the Iberia-Newfoundland & Alpine Tethys margins to constrain lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanniot, L.; Kusznir, N. J.; Manatschal, G.; Mohn, G.; Beltrando, M.

    2013-12-01

    Observations at magma-poor rifted margins such as Iberia-Newfoundland show a complex lithosphere deformation history and OCT architecture, resulting in hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, exhumed mantle and scattered embryonic oceanic crust before continental breakup and seafloor spreading. Initiation of seafloor spreading requires both the rupture of the continental crust and lithospheric mantle, and the onset of decompressional melting. Their relative timing controls when mantle exhumation may occur; the presence or absence of exhumed mantle provides useful information on the timing of these events and constraints on lithosphere deformation modes. A single kinematic lithosphere deformation mode leading to continental breakup and sea-floor spreading cannot explain observations. We have determined the sequence of lithosphere deformation events, using forward modelling of crustal thickness, subsidence and P-T-t history calibrated against observations on the present-day Iberia-Newfoundland and the fossil analogue Alpine Tethys margins. Lithosphere deformation modes, represented by flow fields, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FeMargin), and used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FeMargin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the topmost upper lithosphere inducing passive upwelling beneath that layer; the upper lithosphere is assumed to deform by extensional faulting and magmatic intrusions, consistent with observations of deformation processes occurring at slow spreading ocean ridges (Cannat, 1996). Buoyancy enhanced upwelling is also included in the kinematic model as predicted by Braun et al (2000). We predict melt generation by decompressional melting using the parameterization and methodology of Katz et al., 2003. We use a series of numerical experiments, tested and calibrated against crustal thicknesses and subsidence observations, to determine the distribution of lithosphere

  15. Origin, Composition and Relative Timing of Seaward Dipping Reflectors on the Pelotas Rifted Margin, South Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harkin, C. J.; Kusznir, N.; Roberts, A.; Manatschal, G.; McDermott, K.

    2017-12-01

    Deep-seismic reflection data from the Pelotas Basin, offshore Brazil displays a large package of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs) with an approximate width of 200 km and a varying thickness of 10km to 17km. These have previously been interpreted as volcanic SDRs, a common feature of magma-rich rifted margins. Detailed observations show a change in seismic character within the SDR package possibly indicating a change depositional environments as the package evolved. Using gravity anomaly inversion, we examine the SDRs to investigate whether they are likely to be composed predominantly of massive basaltic flows or sedimentary-volcaniclastic material through the use of gravity inversion. By matching the Moho in depth and two-way travel time from gravity and seismic data, we test the likely proportion of sediments to basalt (the basalt fraction). The results are used to determine the lateral variation in basalt fraction within the SDRs. In addition, we use 2D flexural-backstripping and reverse thermal-subsidence modelling for palaeobathymetric analysis, investigating whether each sub-package was deposited in a sub-aerial or marine environment. Our analysis suggests that the overall SDR basalt fraction and bulk density decrease oceanwards, possibly due to increasing sediment content or perhaps resulting from a change in basalt flows to hyaloclastites as water depth increases. Additionally, we find that the SDRs can be split into two major sub-packages. The inner SDR package consists of lava flows from syn-tectonic eruptions in a sub-aerial environment, associated with the onshore Paraná Large Igneous Province, flowing eastwards into an extensional basin. The outer SDR package has reflectors that appear to progressively offlap oceanwards in a similar fashion to those described previously, inferring extrusion within a marine environment sourced from an eastwards migrating ocean ridge. We are able to determine that two separate and independently-sourced SDR packages

  16. Continental Margins of the Arctic Ocean: Implications for Law of the Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, David

    2016-04-01

    A coastal State must define the outer edge of its continental margin in order to be entitled to extend the outer limits of its continental shelf beyond 200 M, according to article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The article prescribes the methods with which to make this definition and includes such metrics as water depth, seafloor gradient and thickness of sediment. Note the distinction between the "outer edge of the continental margin", which is the extent of the margin after application of the formula of article 76, and the "outer limit of the continental shelf", which is the limit after constraint criteria of article 76 are applied. For a relatively small ocean basin, the Arctic Ocean reveals a plethora of continental margin types reflecting both its complex tectonic origins and its diverse sedimentation history. These factors play important roles in determining the extended continental shelves of Arctic coastal States. This study highlights the critical factors that might determine the outer edge of continental margins in the Arctic Ocean as prescribed by article 76. Norway is the only Arctic coastal State that has had recommendations rendered by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). Russia and Denmark (Greenland) have made submissions to the CLCS to support their extended continental shelves in the Arctic and are awaiting recommendations. Canada has yet to make its submission and the US has not yet ratified the Convention. The various criteria that each coastal State has utilized or potentially can utilize to determine the outer edge of the continental margin are considered. Important criteria in the Arctic include, 1) morphological continuity of undersea features, such as the various ridges and spurs, with the landmass, 2) the tectonic origins and geologic affinities with the adjacent land masses of the margins and various ridges, 3) sedimentary processes, particularly along continental slopes, and 4) thickness and

  17. Pliocene granodioritic knoll with continental crust affinities discovered in the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc: Syntectonic granitic crust formation during back-arc rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tani, Kenichiro; Dunkley, Daniel J.; Chang, Qing; Nichols, Alexander R. L.; Shukuno, Hiroshi; Hirahara, Yuka; Ishizuka, Osamu; Arima, Makoto; Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki

    2015-08-01

    A widely held hypothesis is that modern continental crust of an intermediate (i.e. andesitic) bulk composition forms at intra-oceanic arcs through subduction zone magmatism. However, there is a critical paradox in this hypothesis: to date, the dominant granitic rocks discovered in these arcs are tonalite, rocks that are significantly depleted in incompatible (i.e. magma-preferred) elements and do not geochemically and petrographically represent those of the continents. Here we describe the discovery of a submarine knoll, the Daisan-West Sumisu Knoll, situated in the rear-arc region of the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc. Remotely-operated vehicle surveys reveal that this knoll is made up entirely of a 2.6 million year old porphyritic to equigranular granodiorite intrusion with a geochemical signature typical of continental crust. We present a model of granodiorite magma formation that involves partial remelting of enriched mafic rear-arc crust during the initial phase of back-arc rifting, which is supported by the preservation of relic cores inherited from initial rear-arc source rocks within magmatic zircon crystals. The strong extensional tectonic regime at the time of intrusion may have allowed the granodioritic magma to be emplaced at an extremely shallow level, with later erosion of sediment and volcanic covers exposing the internal plutonic body. These findings suggest that rear-arc regions could be the potential sites of continental crust formation in intra-oceanic convergent margins.

  18. High resolution 2D numerical models from rift to break-up: Crustal hyper-extension, Margin asymmetry, Sequential faulting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, Sascha; Heine, Christian; Pérez-Gussinyé, Marta; Sobolev, Stephan

    2013-04-01

    Numerical modelling is a powerful tool to integrate a multitude of geological and geophysical data while addressing fundamental questions of passive margin formation such as the occurrence of crustal hyper-extension, (a-)symmetries between conjugate margin pairs, and the sometimes significant structural differences between adjacent margin segments. This study utilises knowledge gathered from two key examples of non-magmatic, asymmetric, conjugate margin pairs, i.e. Iberia-New Foundland and Southern Africa-Brazil, where many published seismic lines provide solid knowledge on individual margin geometry. While both margins involve crustal hyper-extension, it is much more pronounced in the South Atlantic. We investigate the evolution of these two margin pairs by carefully constraining our models with detailed plate kinematic history, laboratory-based rheology, and melt fraction evaluation of mantle upwelling. Our experiments are consistent with observed fault patterns, crustal thickness, and basin stratigraphy. We conduct 2D thermomechanical rift models using the finite element code SLIM3D that operates with nonlinear stress- and temperature-dependent elasto-visco-plastic rheology, with parameters provided by laboratory experiments on major crustal and upper mantle rocks. In our models we also calculate the melt fraction within the upwelling asthenosphere, which allows us to control whether the model indeed corresponds to the non-magmatic margin type or not. Our modelling highlights two processes as fundamental for the formation of hyper-extension and margin asymmetry at non-magmatic margins: (1) Strain hardening in the rift center due to cooling of upwelling mantle material (2) The formation of a weak crustal domain adjacent to the rift center caused by localized viscous strain softening and heat transfer from the mantle. Simultaneous activity of both processes promotes lateral rift migration in a continuous way that generates a wide layer of hyper-extended crust on

  19. Gravity anomalies over a segment of Pratap ridge and adjoining shelf margin basin, western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Subrahmanyam, V.; Rao, D.G.; Ramprasad, T.; KameshRaju, K.A.; Rao, M.G.

    Bathymetric and gravity data totalling 2000 line km on the continental margin off Goa and Mulki, west of India have been studied. The free-air gravity anomalies vary between -60 to 25 mgals with prominent NNW-SSE trends in the outer shelf region...

  20. Influence of dynamic topography on landscape evolution and passive continental margin stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Xuesong; Salles, Tristan; Flament, Nicolas; Rey, Patrice

    2017-04-01

    Quantifying the interaction between surface processes and tectonics/deep Earth processes is one important aspect of landscape evolution modelling. Both observations and results from numerical modelling indicate that dynamic topography - a surface expression of time-varying mantle convection - plays a significant role in shaping landscape through geological time. Recent research suggests that dynamic topography also has non-negligible effects on stratigraphic architecture by modifying accommodation space available for sedimentation. In addition, dynamic topography influences the sediment supply to continental margins. We use Badlands to investigate the evolution of a continental-scale landscape in response to transient dynamic uplift or subsidence, and to model the stratigraphic development on passive continental margins in response to sea-level change, thermal subsidence and dynamic topography. We consider a circularly symmetric landscape consisting of a plateau surrounded by a gently sloping continental plain and a continental margin, and a linear wave of dynamic topography. We analyze the evolution of river catchments, of longitudinal river profiles and of the χ values to evaluate the dynamic response of drainage systems to dynamic topography. We calculate the amount of cumulative erosion and deposition, and sediment flux at shoreline position, as a function of precipitation rate and erodibility coefficient. We compute the stratal stacking pattern and Wheeler diagram on vertical cross-sections at the continental margin. Our results indicate that dynamic topography 1) has a considerable influence on drainage reorganization; 2) contributes to shoreline migration and the distribution of depositional packages by modifying the accommodation space; 3) affects sediment supply to the continental margin. Transient dynamic topography contributes to the migration of drainage divides and to the migration of the mainstream in a drainage basin. The dynamic uplift

  1. Constraints on the Lithospheric Strength at Volcanic Rifted Margins from the Geometry of Seaward Dipping Reflectors Using Analytic and Numerical Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, X.; Buck, W. R.

    2017-12-01

    Seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs) are found at many rifted margins. Drilling indicates SDRs are interbedded layers of basalts and sediments. Multi-channel seismic reflection data show SDRs with various width (2 100 km), thickness (1 15 km) and dip angles (0 30). Recent studies use analytic thin plate models (AtPM) to describe plate deflections under volcanic loads. They reproduce a wide range of SDRs structures without detachment faulting. These models assume that the solidified dikes provide downward loads at the rifting center. Meanwhile, erupted lava flows and sediments fill in the flexural depression and further load the lithosphere. Because the strength of the lithosphere controls the amount and wavelength of bending, the geometries of SDRs provide a window into the strength of the lithosphere during continental rifting. We attempt to provide a quantitative mapping between the SDR geometry and the lithospheric strength and thickness during rifting. To do this, we first derive analytic solutions to two observables that are functions of effective elastic thickness (Te). One observable (Xf) is the horizontal distance for SDRs to evolve from flat layers to the maximum bent layers. Another observable is the ratio between the thickness and the tangent of the maximum slope of SDRs at Xf. We then extend the AtPM to numerical thin plate models (NtPM) with spatially restricted lava flows. AtPM and NtPM show a stable and small relative difference in terms of the two observables with different values of Te. This provides a mapping of Te between NtPM and AtPM models. We also employ a fully two-dimensional thermal-mechanical treatment with elasto-visco-plastic rheology to simulate SDRs formation. These models show that brittle yielding due to bending can reduce the Te of the lithosphere by as much as 50% of the actual brittle lithospheric thickness. Quantification of effects of plastic deformation on bending allow us to use Te to link SDRs geometries to brittle lithospheric

  2. Continental margin of Andhra Pradesh: Some new problems and perspectives

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Murthy, K.S.R.

    the Krishna - Godavari basin and the Nizampatnam Bay. Extensive bathymetric, magnetic, high resolution seismic reflection and gravity data were collected over the margin by the National Institute of Oceanography for the last one decade. Analysis of the data...

  3. The crustal structure and tectonic development of the continental margin of the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica: implications from geophysical data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalberg, Thomas; Gohl, Karsten

    2014-07-01

    The Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica represents a key component in the tectonic history of Antarctic-New Zealand continental breakup. The region played a major role in the plate-kinematic development of the southern Pacific from the inferred collision of the Hikurangi Plateau with the Gondwana subduction margin at approximately 110-100 Ma to the evolution of the West Antarctic Rift System. However, little is known about the crustal architecture and the tectonic processes creating the embayment. During two `RV Polarstern' expeditions in 2006 and 2010 a large geophysical data set was collected consisting of seismic-refraction and reflection data, ship-borne gravity and helicopter-borne magnetic measurements. Two P-wave velocity-depth models based on forward traveltime modelling of nine ocean bottom hydrophone recordings provide an insight into the lithospheric structure beneath the Amundsen Sea Embayment. Seismic-reflection data image the sedimentary architecture and the top-of-basement. The seismic data provide constraints for 2-D gravity modelling, which supports and complements P-wave modelling. Our final model shows 10-14-km-thick stretched continental crust at the continental rise that thickens to as much as 28 km beneath the inner shelf. The homogenous crustal architecture of the continental rise, including horst and graben structures are interpreted as indicating that wide-mode rifting affected the entire region. We observe a high-velocity layer of variable thickness beneath the margin and related it, contrary to other `normal volcanic type margins', to a proposed magma flow along the base of the crust from beneath eastern Marie Byrd Land-West Antarctica to the Marie Byrd Seamount province. Furthermore, we discuss the possibility of upper mantle serpentinization by seawater penetration at the Marie Byrd Seamount province. Hints of seaward-dipping reflectors indicate some degree of volcanism in the area after break-up. A set of gravity anomaly data

  4. Incorporating Cutting Edge Scientific Results from the Margins-Geoprisms Program into the Undergraduate Curriculum, Rupturing Continental Lithosphere Part II: Introducing Euler Poles Using Baja-North America Relative Plate Motion Across the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loveless, J. P.; Bennett, S. E. K.; Cashman, S. M.; Dorsey, R. J.; Goodliffe, A. M.; Lamb, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The NSF-MARGINS Program funded a decade of research on continental margin processes. The NSF-GeoPRISMS Mini-lesson Project, funded by NSF-TUES, is designed to integrate the significant findings from the MARGINS program into open-source college-level curriculum. The Gulf of California (GOC) served as the focus site for the Rupturing Continental Lithosphere (RCL) initiative, which addressed several scientific questions: What forces drive rift initiation, localization, propagation and evolution? How does deformation vary in time and space, and why? How does crust evolve, physically and chemically, as rifting proceeds to sea-floor spreading? What is the role of sedimentation and magmatism in continental extension? We developed two weeks of curriculum, including lectures, labs, and in-class activities that can be used as a whole or individually. This component of the curriculum introduces students to the Euler pole description of relative plate motion (RPM) by examining the tectonic interactions of the Baja California microplate and North American plate. The plate boundary varies in rift obliquity along strike, from highly oblique and strike-slip dominated in the south to slightly less oblique and with a larger extensional component in the north. This Google Earth-based exercise provides students with a visualization of RPM using small circle contours of the local direction and magnitude of Baja-North America movement on a spherical Earth. Students use RPM to calculate the fault slip rates on transform, normal, and oblique-slip faults and examine how the varying faulting styles combine to accommodate RPM. MARGINS results are integrated via comparison of rift obliquity with the structural style of rift-related faults around the GOC. We find this exercise to fit naturally into courses about plate tectonics, geophysics, and especially structural geology, given the similarity between Euler pole rotations and stereonet-based rotations of structural data.

  5. Global multi-scale segmentation of continental and coastal waters from the watersheds to the continental margins

    KAUST Repository

    Laruelle, G. G.; Dü rr, H. H.; Lauerwald, R.; Hartmann, J.; Slomp, C. P.; Goossens, N.; Regnier, P. A. G.

    2013-01-01

    Past characterizations of the land-ocean continuum were constructed either from a continental perspective through an analysis of watershed river basin properties (COSCATs: COastal Segmentation and related CATchments) or from an oceanic perspective, through a regionalization of the proximal and distal continental margins (LMEs: large marine ecosystems). Here, we present a global-scale coastal segmentation, composed of three consistent levels, that includes the whole aquatic continuum with its riverine, estuarine and shelf sea components. Our work delineates comprehensive ensembles by harmonizing previous segmentations and typologies in order to retain the most important physical characteristics of both the land and shelf areas. The proposed multi-scale segmentation results in a distribution of global exorheic watersheds, estuaries and continental shelf seas among 45 major zones (MARCATS: MARgins and CATchments Segmentation) and 149 sub-units (COSCATs). Geographic and hydrologic parameters such as the surface area, volume and freshwater residence time are calculated for each coastal unit as well as different hypsometric profiles. Our analysis provides detailed insights into the distributions of coastal and continental shelf areas and how they connect with incoming riverine fluxes. The segmentation is also used to re-evaluate the global estuarine CO2 flux at the air-water interface combining global and regional average emission rates derived from local studies. © 2013 Author(s).

  6. Global multi-scale segmentation of continental and coastal waters from the watersheds to the continental margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. G. Laruelle

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Past characterizations of the land–ocean continuum were constructed either from a continental perspective through an analysis of watershed river basin properties (COSCATs: COastal Segmentation and related CATchments or from an oceanic perspective, through a regionalization of the proximal and distal continental margins (LMEs: large marine ecosystems. Here, we present a global-scale coastal segmentation, composed of three consistent levels, that includes the whole aquatic continuum with its riverine, estuarine and shelf sea components. Our work delineates comprehensive ensembles by harmonizing previous segmentations and typologies in order to retain the most important physical characteristics of both the land and shelf areas. The proposed multi-scale segmentation results in a distribution of global exorheic watersheds, estuaries and continental shelf seas among 45 major zones (MARCATS: MARgins and CATchments Segmentation and 149 sub-units (COSCATs. Geographic and hydrologic parameters such as the surface area, volume and freshwater residence time are calculated for each coastal unit as well as different hypsometric profiles. Our analysis provides detailed insights into the distributions of coastal and continental shelf areas and how they connect with incoming riverine fluxes. The segmentation is also used to re-evaluate the global estuarine CO2 flux at the air–water interface combining global and regional average emission rates derived from local studies.

  7. Global multi-scale segmentation of continental and coastal waters from the watersheds to the continental margins

    KAUST Repository

    Laruelle, G. G.

    2012-10-04

    Past characterizations of the land–ocean continuum were constructed either from a continental perspective through an analysis of watershed river basin properties (COSCATs: COastal Segmentation and related CATchments) or from an oceanic perspective, through a regionalization of the proximal and distal continental margins (LMEs: large marine ecosystems). Here, we present a global-scale coastal segmentation, composed of three consistent levels, that includes the whole aquatic continuum with its riverine, estuarine and shelf sea components. Our work delineates comprehensive ensembles by harmonizing previous segmentations and typologies in order to retain the most important physical characteristics of both the land and shelf areas. The proposed multi-scale segmentation results in a distribution of global exorheic watersheds, estuaries and continental shelf seas among 45 major zones (MARCATS: MARgins and CATchments Segmentation) and 149 sub-units (COSCATs). Geographic and hydrologic parameters such as the surface area, volume and freshwater residence time are calculated for each coastal unit as well as different hypsometric pro- files. Our analysis provides detailed insights into the distributions of coastal and continental shelf areas and how they connect with incoming riverine fluxes. The segmentation is also used to re-evaluate the global estuarine CO2 flux at the air–water interface combining global and regional average emission rates derived from local studies.

  8. Global multi-scale segmentation of continental and coastal waters from the watersheds to the continental margins

    KAUST Repository

    Laruelle, G. G.

    2013-05-29

    Past characterizations of the land-ocean continuum were constructed either from a continental perspective through an analysis of watershed river basin properties (COSCATs: COastal Segmentation and related CATchments) or from an oceanic perspective, through a regionalization of the proximal and distal continental margins (LMEs: large marine ecosystems). Here, we present a global-scale coastal segmentation, composed of three consistent levels, that includes the whole aquatic continuum with its riverine, estuarine and shelf sea components. Our work delineates comprehensive ensembles by harmonizing previous segmentations and typologies in order to retain the most important physical characteristics of both the land and shelf areas. The proposed multi-scale segmentation results in a distribution of global exorheic watersheds, estuaries and continental shelf seas among 45 major zones (MARCATS: MARgins and CATchments Segmentation) and 149 sub-units (COSCATs). Geographic and hydrologic parameters such as the surface area, volume and freshwater residence time are calculated for each coastal unit as well as different hypsometric profiles. Our analysis provides detailed insights into the distributions of coastal and continental shelf areas and how they connect with incoming riverine fluxes. The segmentation is also used to re-evaluate the global estuarine CO2 flux at the air-water interface combining global and regional average emission rates derived from local studies. © 2013 Author(s).

  9. 118-115 Ma magmatism in the Tethyan Himalaya igneous province: Constraints on Early Cretaceous rifting of the northern margin of Greater India

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  10. Comparative biogeochemistry–ecosystem–human interactions on dynamic continental margins..

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Levin, L.A.; Liu, K-K.; Emeis, K.-C.; Breitburg, D.L.; Cloern, J.; Deutsch, C.; Giani, M.; Goffart, A.; Hofmann, E.E.; Lachkar, Z.; Limburg, K.; Liu, Su-Mei; Montes, E.; Naqvi, S.W.A.; Ragueneau, O.; Rabouille, C.; Sarkar, S.K.; Swaney, D.P.; Wassman, P.; Wishner, K.F.

    aswitnessed by diverse case studies (Table 1, Fig. 1). Intensified nitrogen loading is widespread in coastal ecosystems receiving effluents from catchments with dense human populations (Glavovic et al., submitted for publication; Rabalais, 2004). This yields... margins high-frequency climate oscillations are the domi- nant driver of biogeochemical variation and consequently, ecosystem structure. In the Bay of Calvi in the Ligurian Sea of the NWMediterra- nean (Goffart et al., submitted for publication...

  11. Benthic assemblages of mega epifauna on the Oregon continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemery, Lenaïg G.; Henkel, Sarah K.; Cochrane, Guy R.

    2018-01-01

    Environmental assessment studies are usually required by a country's administration before issuing permits for any industrial activities. One of the goals of such environmental assessment studies is to highlight species assemblages and habitat composition that could make the targeted area unique. A section of the Oregon continental slope that had not been previously explored was targeted for the deployment of floating wind turbines. We carried out an underwater video survey, using a towed camera sled, to describe its benthic assemblages. Organisms were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible and assemblages described related to the nature of the seafloor and the depth. We highlighted six invertebrate assemblages and three fish assemblages. For the invertebrates within flat soft sediments areas we defined three different assemblages based on primarily depth: a broad mid-depth (98–315 m) assemblage dominated by red octopus, sea pens and pink shrimps; a narrower mid-depth (250–270 m) assemblage dominated by box crabs and various other invertebrates; and a deeper (310–600 m) assemblage dominated by sea urchins, sea anemones, various snails and zoroasterid sea stars. The invertebrates on mixed sediments also were divided into three different assemblages: a shallow (~100 m deep) assemblage dominated by plumose sea anemones, broad mid-depth (170–370 m) assemblage dominated by sea cucumbers and various other invertebrates; and, again, a narrower mid-depth (230–270 m) assemblage, dominated by crinoids and encrusting invertebrates. For the fish, we identified a rockfish assemblage on coarse mixed sediments at 170–370 m and another fish assemblage on smaller mixed sediments within that depth range (250–370 m) dominated by thornyheads, poachers and flatfishes; and we identified a wide depth-range (98–600 m) fish assemblage on flat soft sediments dominated by flatfishes, eelpouts and thornyheads. Three of these assemblages (the two

  12. Benthic assemblages of mega epifauna on the Oregon continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemery, Lenaïg G.; Henkel, Sarah K.; Cochrane, Guy R.

    2018-05-01

    Environmental assessment studies are usually required by a country's administration before issuing permits for any industrial activities. One of the goals of such environmental assessment studies is to highlight species assemblages and habitat composition that could make the targeted area unique. A section of the Oregon continental slope that had not been previously explored was targeted for the deployment of floating wind turbines. We carried out an underwater video survey, using a towed camera sled, to describe its benthic assemblages. Organisms were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible and assemblages described related to the nature of the seafloor and the depth. We highlighted six invertebrate assemblages and three fish assemblages. For the invertebrates within flat soft sediments areas we defined three different assemblages based on primarily depth: a broad mid-depth (98-315 m) assemblage dominated by red octopus, sea pens and pink shrimps; a narrower mid-depth (250-270 m) assemblage dominated by box crabs and various other invertebrates; and a deeper (310-600 m) assemblage dominated by sea urchins, sea anemones, various snails and zoroasterid sea stars. The invertebrates on mixed sediments also were divided into three different assemblages: a shallow ( 100 m deep) assemblage dominated by plumose sea anemones, broad mid-depth (170-370 m) assemblage dominated by sea cucumbers and various other invertebrates; and, again, a narrower mid-depth (230-270 m) assemblage, dominated by crinoids and encrusting invertebrates. For the fish, we identified a rockfish assemblage on coarse mixed sediments at 170-370 m and another fish assemblage on smaller mixed sediments within that depth range (250-370 m) dominated by thornyheads, poachers and flatfishes; and we identified a wide depth-range (98-600 m) fish assemblage on flat soft sediments dominated by flatfishes, eelpouts and thornyheads. Three of these assemblages (the two broad fish assemblages and the deep

  13. The Thermal Evolution of the Southeast Baffin Island Continental Margin: An Integrated Apatite Fission Track and Apatite (U-Th)/He Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jess, S.; Stephenson, R.; Brown, R. W.

    2017-12-01

    The elevated continental margins of the North Atlantic continue to be a focus of considerable geological and geomorphological debate, as the timing of major tectonic events and the age of topographic relief remain controversial. The West Greenland margin, on the eastern flank of Baffin Bay, is believed by some authors to have experienced tectonic rejuvenation and uplift during the Neogene. However, the opposing flank, Baffin Island, is considered to have experienced a protracted erosional regime with little tectonic activity since the Cretaceous. This work examines the thermal evolution of the Cumberland Peninsula, SE Baffin Island, using published apatite fission track (AFT) data with the addition of 103 apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) ages. This expansion of available thermochronological data introduces a higher resolution of thermal modelling, whilst the application of the newly developed `Broken Crystals' technique provides a greater number of thermal constraints for an area dominated by AHe age dispersion. Results of joint thermal modelling of the AFT and AHe data exhibit two significant periods of cooling across the Cumberland Peninsula: Devonian/Carboniferous to the Triassic and Late Cretaceous to present. The earliest phase of cooling is interpreted as the result of major fluvial systems present throughout the Paleozoic that flowed across the Canadian Shield to basins in the north and south. The later stage of cooling is believed to result from rift controlled fluvial systems that flowed into Baffin Bay during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic during the early stages and culmination of rifting along the Labrador-Baffin margins. Glaciation in the Late Cenozoic has likely overprinted these later river systems creating a complex fjordal distribution that has shaped the modern elevated topography. This work demonstrates how surface processes, and not tectonism, can explain the formation of elevated continental margins and that recent methodological developments in the field of

  14. Mesozoic architecture of a tract of the European-Iberian continental margin: Insights from preserved submarine palaeotopography in the Longobucco Basin (Calabria, Southern Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santantonio, Massimo; Fabbi, Simone; Aldega, Luca

    2016-01-01

    The sedimentary successions exposed in northeast Calabria document the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous tectonic-sedimentary evolution of a former segment of the European-Iberian continental margin. They are juxtaposed today to units representing the deformation of the African and Adriatic plates margins as a product of Apenninic crustal shortening. A complex pattern of unconformities reveals a multi-stage tectonic evolution during the Early Jurassic, which affected the facies and geometries of siliciclastic and carbonate successions deposited in syn- and post-rift environments ranging from fluvial to deep marine. Late Sinemurian/Early Pliensbachian normal faulting resulted in exposure of the Hercynian basement at the sea-floor, which was onlapped by marine basin-fill units. Shallow-water carbonate aprons and reefs developed in response to the production of new accommodation space, fringing the newborn islands which represent structural highs made of Paleozoic crystalline and metamorphic rock. Their drowning and fragmentation in the Toarcian led to the development of thin caps of Rosso Ammonitico facies. Coeval to these deposits, a thick (> 1 km) hemipelagic/siliciclastic succession was sedimented in neighboring hanging wall basins, which would ultimately merge with the structural high successions. Footwall blocks of the Early Jurassic rift, made of Paleozoic basement and basin-margin border faults with their onlapping basin-fill formations, are found today at the hanging wall of Miocene thrusts, overlying younger (Middle/Late Jurassic to Late Paleogene) folded basinal sediments. This paper makes use of selected case examples to describe the richly diverse set of features, ranging from paleontology to sedimentology, to structural geology, which are associated with the field identification of basin-margin unconformities. Our data provide key constraints for restoring the pre-orogenic architecture of a continental margin facing a branch of the Liguria-Piedmont ocean in the

  15. Organic geochemistry of continental margin and deep ocean sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whelan, J.K.; Hunt, J.M.; Eglinton, T.; Dickinson, P.; Johnson, C.; Buxton, L.; Tarafa, M.E.

    1990-08-01

    The objective of this research continues to be the understanding of the complex processes of fossil fuel formation and migration. DOE funded research to date has focused on case histories'' of down-hole well profiles of light hydrocarbons, pyrograms, pyrolysis-GC and -GCMS parameters, and biomarker data from wells in the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coasts the Alaskan North Slope. In the case of the Alaskan North Slope, geological data and one-dimensional maturation modeling have been integrated in order to better constrain possible source rocks, timing, and migration routes for oil and gas generation and expulsion processes.This period, biomarker analyses and organic petrographic analyses were completed for the Ikpikpuk well. In the case of the Gulf Coast, we have obtained a one-dimensional maturation model of the Cost B-1 well in E. Cameron field of the Louisiana Gulf Coast. The completed E. Cameron data set adds to the enigma of the Gulf Coast oils found on the continental shelf of Louisiana. If significant quantities of the oil are coming from relatively organic lean Tertiary rocks, then non-conventional'' expulsion and migration mechanisms, such as gas dissolved in oil must be invoked to explain the Gulf Coast oils reservoired on the Louisiana continental shelf. We are designing and starting to assemble a hydrous pyrolysis apparatus to follow, the laboratory, rates of generation and expulsion of sediment gases. Initiation of some new research to examine {delta}{sup 13}C of individual compounds from pyrolysis is also described. We are beginning to examine both the laboratory and field data from the Gulf Coast in the context of a Global Basin Research Network (GBRN). The purpose is to better understand subsurface fluid flow processes over geologic time in sedimentary basins and their relation to resource accumulation (i.e., petroleum and metal ores). 58 refs.

  16. Uranium-polymetallic ore-forming system and mechanism of the black rock series in the southeast continental margin of Yangtze plate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qi Fucheng; Zhang Zilong; He Zhongbo; Li Zhixing; Wang Wenquan; Su Xiangli; Zhang Chao

    2011-01-01

    It is the indisputable fact that the large scale uranium-polymetallic mineralization had happen in the southeast continental margin of Yangtze plate. The rations of Fe/Ti, (Fe+Mn)/Ti, Al/(Al+Fe+Mn), and Ni-Co-Zn diagrams show that the siliceous rocks and phosphorites are the products of hydrothermal sedimentation in these area. In La/Yb-REE diagrams the data of phosphorites are clustered in the area of basales. Obviously, the source of phophorite's ore-forming materials is closely related with the geological processes at depth. REE patterns are characterized by a low content in total and a gradually increasing with the increasing of REE atomic number, and the NASC-normalized value ranging between the upper and the lower limits of typical hydrothermal deposits. The large scale uranium-polymetallic mineralization was controlled by the environment of continental margin rifting. The authors propose that thermal sedimentation or exhalation-sedimentation is the mechanism of the large scale uranium-polymetallic mineralization in the southeast continental margin of the Yangtze plate. (authors)

  17. Convergent tectonics and coastal upwelling: a history of the Peru continental margin ( Pacific).

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Huene, Roland E.; Suess, E.; Emeis, K.C.

    1987-01-01

    Late in 1986, scientists on the ODP drillship JOIDES Resolution confirmed that the upper slope of the Peruvian margin consists of continental crust whereas the lower slope comprises an accretionary complex. An intricate history of horizontal and vertical movements can be detected, and the locations of ancient centers of upwelling appear to have varied, partly due to tectonic movements of the margin. In this review of Leg 112, the 3 scientific leaders on this cruise discuss their results. -from Journal Editor

  18. Relations between tectonics and sedimentation along the Eastern Sardinian margin (Western Tyrrhenian Sea) : from rifting to reactivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaullier, Virginie; Chanier, Frank; Vendeville, Bruno; Lymer, Gaël; Maillard, Agnès; Thinon, Isabelle; Lofi, Johanna; Sage, Françoise; Giresse, Pierre; Bassetti, Maria-Angela

    2014-05-01

    The offshore-onshore project "METYSS-METYSAR" aims at better understand the Miocene-Pliocene relationships between crustal tectonics, salt tectonics, and sedimentation along the Eastern Sardinian margin, Western Tyrrhenian Sea. In this key-area, the Tyrrhenian back-arc basin underwent recent rifting (9-5 Ma), pro parte coeval with the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.96-5.33 Ma), sea-floor spreading starting during Pliocene times. Thereby, the Tyrrhenian basin and the Eastern Sardinian margin are excellent candidates for studying the mechanisms of extreme lithospheric stretching and thinning, the role of pre-existing structural fabric during and after rifting, and the reactivation of a passive margin and the associated deformation and sedimentation patterns during the MSC. We looked at the respective contributions of crustal and salt tectonics in quantifying vertical and horizontal movements, using especially the seismic markers of the MSC. Overall, we delineate the history of rifting and tectonic reactivation in the area. The distribution maps respectively of the Messinian Erosion Surface and of Messinian units (Upper Unit and Mobile Unit) show that a rifted basin already existed by Messinian time. This reveals a major pre-MSC rifting across the entire domain. Because salt tectonics can create fan-shaped geometries in sediments, syn-rift deposits have to be carefully re-examined in order to decipher the effects of crustal tectonics (rifting) and thin-skinned salt tectonics. Our data surprisingly show that there are no clues for Messinian syn-rift sediments along the East-Sardinia Basin and Cornaglia Terrace, hence no evidence for rifting after Late Tortonian times. Nevertheless, widespread deformation occurred during the Pliocene and can only be attributed to post-rift reactivation. This reactivation is characterized not only by normal faulting but also by contractional structures. Some Pliocene vertical movements caused localized gravity gliding of the mobile

  19. New Insight Into The Crustal Structure of The Continental Margin Off NW Sabah/borneo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barckhausen, U.; Franke, D.; Behain, D.; Meyer, H.

    The continental margin offshore NW Sabah/Borneo (Malaysia) has been investigated with reflection and refraction seismics, magnetics, and gravity during the recent cruise BGR01-POPSCOMS. A total of 4000 km of geophysical profiles has been acquired, thereof 2900 km with reflection seismics. Like in major parts of the South China Sea, the area seaward of the Sabah Trough consists of extended continental lithosphere. We found evidence that the continental crust also underlies the continental slope land- ward of the Trough, a fact that raises many questions about the tectonic history and development of this margin. The characteristic pattern of rotated fault blocks and half grabens and the carbon- ates which are observed all over the Dangerous Grounds can be traced a long way landward of the Sabah Trough beneath the sedimentary succession of the upper plate. The magnetic anomalies which are dominated by the magnetic signatures of relatively young volcanic features also continue under the continental slope. The sedimentary rocks of the upper plate, in contrast, seem to generate hardly any magnetic anoma- lies. We suspect that the volcanic activity coincided with the collision of Borneo and the Dangerous Grounds in middle or late Miocene time. The emplacement of an al- lochtonous terrane on top of the extended continental lithosphere could be explained by overthrusting as a result of the collision or it could be related to gravity sliding following a broad uplift of NW Borneo at the same time.

  20. Deep-sea Lebensspuren of the Australian continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Przeslawski, Rachel; Dundas, Kate; Radke, Lynda; Anderson, Tara J.

    Much of the deep sea comprises soft-sediment habitats dominated by comparatively low abundances of species-rich macrofauna and meiofauna. Although often not observed, these animals bioturbate the sediment during feeding and burrowing, leaving signs of their activities called Lebensspuren ('life traces'). In this study, we use still images to quantify Lebensspuren from the eastern (1921 images, 13 stations, 1300-2200 m depth) and western (1008 images, 11 stations, 1500-4400 m depth) Australian margins using a univariate measure of trace richness and a multivariate measure of Lebensspuren assemblages. A total of 46 Lebensspuren types were identified, including those matching named trace fossils and modern Lebensspuren found elsewhere in the world. Most traces could be associated with waste, crawling, dwellings, organism tests, feeding, or resting, but the origin of 15% of trace types remains unknown. Assemblages were significantly different between the two regions and depth profiles, with five Lebensspuren types accounting for over 95% of the differentiation (ovoid pinnate trace, crater row, spider trace, matchstick trace, mesh trace). Lebensspuren richness showed no strong relationships with depth, total organic carbon, or mud, although there was a positive correlation to chlorin index (i.e., organic freshness) in the eastern margin, with richness increasing with organic freshness. Lebensspuren richness was not related to epifauna either, indicating that epifauna may not be the primary source of Lebensspuren. Despite the abundance and distinctiveness of several traces both in the current and previous studies (e.g., ovoid pinnate, mesh, spider), their origin and distribution remains a mystery. We discuss this and several other considerations in the identification and quantification of Lebensspuren. This study represents the first comprehensive catalogue of deep-sea Lebensspuren in Australian waters and highlights the potential of Lebensspuren as valuable and often

  1. Morphology and tectonics of Mahanadi Basin, northeastern continental margin of India from geophysical studies

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Subrahmanyam, V.; Subrahmanyam, A.S.; Murty, G.P.S.; Murthy, K.S.R.

    the breakup of India from Antarctica. The model studies suggest that the northern part of the 85 degrees E Ridge abuts the coast at Chilika Lake. The shape of 2000 m isobath over the northeastern continental margin of India closely resembles to that of 2000 m...

  2. Recent sediment transport and deposition in the Nazaré Canyon, Portuguese continental margin.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Stigter, H.C.; Boer, W.; de Jesus Mendes, P.A.; Jesus, C.C.; Thomsen, L.; van den Bergh, G.D.; van Weering, T.C.E.

    2007-01-01

    Processes, pathways and fluxes of sediment transport and deposition in the Nazaré submarine canyon, Portuguese continental margin, were investigated by water column profiling of suspended particulate matter, recording of near-bottom currents and suspended particulate matter fluxes with benthic

  3. Early Eocene climatic optimum: Environmental impact on the North Iberian continental margin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Payros, A.; Ortiz, S.; Millán, I.; Arostegi, J.; Orue-Etxebarria, X.; Apellaniz, E.

    2015-01-01

    The early Eocene climatic optimum, which constituted the peak of the long-term early Cenozoic global warming, had a significant impact on the environmental evolution of terrestrial and oceanic areas. Surprisingly, however, its influence on continental margins is poorly known. New insights are

  4. Geology of the Elephanta Island fault zone, western Indian rifted margin, and its significance for understanding the Panvel flexure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samant, Hrishikesh; Pundalik, Ashwin; D'souza, Joseph; Sheth, Hetu; Lobo, Keegan Carmo; D'souza, Kyle; Patel, Vanit

    2017-02-01

    The Panvel flexure is a 150-km long tectonic structure, comprising prominently seaward-dipping Deccan flood basalts, on the western Indian rifted margin. Given the active tectonic faulting beneath the Panvel flexure zone inferred from microseismicity, better structural understanding of the region is needed. The geology of Elephanta Island in the Mumbai harbour, famous for the ca. mid-6th century A.D. Hindu rock-cut caves in Deccan basalt (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is poorly known. We describe a previously unreported but well-exposed fault zone on Elephanta Island, consisting of two large faults dipping steeply east-southeast and producing easterly downthrows. Well-developed slickensides and structural measurements indicate oblique slip on both faults. The Elephanta Island fault zone may be the northern extension of the Alibag-Uran fault zone previously described. This and two other known regional faults (Nhava-Sheva and Belpada faults) indicate a progressively eastward step-faulted structure of the Panvel flexure, with the important result that the individual movements were not simply downdip but also oblique-slip and locally even rotational (as at Uran). An interesting problem is the normal faulting, block tectonics and rifting of this region of the crust for which seismological data indicate a normal thickness (up to 41.3 km). A model of asymmetric rifting by simple shear may explain this observation and the consistently landward dips of the rifted margin faults.

  5. Conditions of formation for carbonaceous silicites of the continental margins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bazhenova, O.K.

    1986-06-01

    Carbonaceous silicites occur in virtually all systems in Phanerozoic folded regions. They are of practical interest as concentrators of silver, molybdenum, vanadium, and nickel and as source and occasionally reservoir beds for petroleum. Some small oil pools occur in them in basins in Japan (Niigata and Akita), California, and East Sakhalin. Recently, interest has increased because a major pool was discovered in silicites of the Monterey formation: Point Arguello Hueso in the offshore part of the Santa Maria basin. Here the authors consider carbonaceous silicates in the western part of the Pacific active margin, which include Silurian and Devonian phthanites in the Mongolia-Okhotsk belt, and Triassic and Jurassic phthanites in the Sikhote-Alin area, although these rocks are of fairly local occurrence in the section. The authors have examined silicites in Kamchatka, Sakhalin, and Chukotka: diatomites, tuff-diatomites, and opokas, together with their recrystallized analogs. They occur in the Paleogene, but they are most abundant in the Miocene and Pliocene, as well as in the Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene, particularly in the Miocene of California and Japan. 16 references.

  6. Wintertime pytoplankton bloom in the Subarctic Pacific supportedby continental margin iron

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Bishop, James K.B.; Henning, Cara C.; Marcus,Matthew A.; Waychunas, Glenn A.; Fung, Inez

    2004-06-08

    Heightened biological activity was observed in February 1996in the high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) subarctic North PacificOcean, a region that is thought to beiron-limited. Here we provideevidence supporting the hypothesis that Ocean Station Papa (OSP) in thesubarctic Pacific received a lateral supply of particulate iron from thecontinental margin off the Aleutian Islands in the winter, coincidentwith the observed biological bloom. Synchrotron X-ray analysis was usedto describe the physical form, chemistry, and depth distributions of ironin size fractionated particulate matter samples. The analysis revealsthat discrete micron-sized iron-rich hotspots are ubiquitous in the upper200m at OSP, more than 900km from the closest coast. The specifics of thechemistry and depth profiles of the Fe hot spots trace them to thecontinental margins. We thus hypothesize that iron hotspots are a markerfor the delivery of iron from the continental margin. We confirm thedelivery of continental margin iron to the open ocean using an oceangeneral circulation model with an iron-like tracer source at thecontinental margin. We suggest that iron from the continental marginstimulated a wintertime phytoplankton bloom, partially relieving the HNLCcondition.

  7. Shyok Suture Zone, N Pakistan: late Mesozoic Tertiary evolution of a critical suture separating the oceanic Ladakh Arc from the Asian continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Alastair H. F.; Collins, Alan S.

    2002-02-01

    The Shyok Suture Zone (Northern Suture) of North Pakistan is an important Cretaceous-Tertiary suture separating the Asian continent (Karakoram) from the Cretaceous Kohistan-Ladakh oceanic arc to the south. In previously published interpretations, the Shyok Suture Zone marks either the site of subduction of a wide Tethyan ocean, or represents an Early Cretaceous intra-continental marginal basin along the southern margin of Asia. To shed light on alternative hypotheses, a sedimentological, structural and igneous geochemical study was made of a well-exposed traverse in North Pakistan, in the Skardu area (Baltistan). To the south of the Shyok Suture Zone in this area is the Ladakh Arc and its Late Cretaceous, mainly volcanogenic, sedimentary cover (Burje-La Formation). The Shyok Suture Zone extends northwards (ca. 30 km) to the late Tertiary Main Karakoram Thrust that transported Asian, mainly high-grade metamorphic rocks southwards over the suture zone. The Shyok Suture Zone is dominated by four contrasting units separated by thrusts, as follows: (1). The lowermost, Askore amphibolite, is mainly amphibolite facies meta-basites and turbiditic meta-sediments interpreted as early marginal basin rift products, or trapped Tethyan oceanic crust, metamorphosed during later arc rifting. (2). The overlying Pakora Formation is a very thick (ca. 7 km in outcrop) succession of greenschist facies volcaniclastic sandstones, redeposited limestones and subordinate basaltic-andesitic extrusives and flow breccias of at least partly Early Cretaceous age. The Pakora Formation lacks terrigenous continental detritus and is interpreted as a proximal base-of-slope apron related to rifting of the oceanic Ladakh Arc; (3). The Tectonic Melange (ocean ridge-type volcanics and recrystallised radiolarian cherts, interpreted as accreted oceanic crust. (4). The Bauma-Harel Group (structurally highest) is a thick succession (several km) of Ordovician and Carboniferous to Permian-Triassic, low

  8. The crust and upper mantle of central East Greenland - implications for continental accretion and rift evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffer, Christian; Balling, Niels; Ebbing, Jörg; Holm Jacobsen, Bo; Bom Nielsen, Søren

    2016-04-01

    The geological evolution of the North Atlantic Realm during the past 450 Myr, which has shaped the present-day topographic, crustal and upper mantle features, was dominated by the Caledonian orogeny and the formation of the North Atlantic and associated igneous activity. The distinct high altitude-low relief landscapes that accompany the North Atlantic rifted passive margins are the focus of a discussion of whether they are remnant and modified Caledonian features or, alternatively, recently uplifted peneplains. Teleseismic receiver function analysis of 11 broadband seismometers in the Central Fjord Region in East Greenland indicates the presence of a fossil subduction complex, including a slab of eclogitised mafic crust and an overlying wedge of hydrated mantle peridotite. This model is generally consistent with gravity and topography. It is shown that the entire structure including crustal thickness variations and sub-Moho heterogeneity gives a superior gravity and isostatic topographic fit compared to a model with a homogeneous lithospheric layer (1). The high topography of >1000 m in the western part of the area is supported by the c. 40 km thick crust. The eastern part requires buoyancy from the low velocity/low density mantle wedge. The geometry, velocities and densities are consistent with structures associated with a fossil subduction zone. The spatial relations with Caledonian structures suggest a Caledonian origin. The results indicate that topography is isostatically compensated by density variations within the lithosphere and that significant present-day dynamic topography seems not to be required. Further, this structure is suggested to be geophysically very similar to the Flannan reflector imaged north of Scotland, and that these are the remnants of the same fossil subduction zone, broken apart and separated during the formation of the North Atlantic in the early Cenozoic (2). 1) Schiffer, C., Jacobsen, B.H., Balling, N., Ebbing, J. and Nielsen, S

  9. Potential of radioactive and other waste disposals on the continental margin by natural dispersal processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryan, W.B.F.; Farre, J.A.

    1983-01-01

    Mass wasting, an erosional process, has recently been active at deepwater waste disposal sites on the mid-Atlantic margin of the United States. On the continental slope there is a subsea drainage network consisting of canyons, gullies, and chutes, and there are meandering channels, erosional scars, and debris aprons present on the continental rise. Fresh-looking blocks of 40 to 45 million-year-old marl and chalk (from cobble to boulder size) are strewn among canisters of low-level radioactive wastes. Some of the blocks have traveled from their original place of deposition for distances in excess of 170 km. Waste containers on the continental slope and rise cannot be considered to be disposed of permanently. The drainage network of the slope provides a natural process for collecting wastes over a catchment area, and for concentrating it with interim storage in canyons. Erosion by slumping, sliding, and debris flows ultimately will transport the wastes from the continental slope and disperse it over potentially large areas on the continental rise and abyssal plain. If it is desirable that the wastes be buried in the seafloor and isolated from the environment, then the continental slope and rise are not attractive repositories. If, however, it is deemed beneficial that the wastes ultimately be dispersed over a wide area, then the continental slope could be used as a disposal site

  10. Shallow gas in the Iberian continental margin; Gas somero en el margen continental Iberico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Gil, S.; Cartelle, V.; Blas, E. de; Carlos, A. de; Diez, R.; Duran, R.; Ferrin, A.; Garcia-Moreiras, I.; Garcia-Garcia, A.; Iglesias, J.; Martinez-Carreno, N.; Munoz Sobrino, C.; Ramirez-Perez, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    The shallow gas reservoirs in marine sediments from the Iberian margin or their escapes can be detected by using direct methods: (1) the measurement of high concentrations of methane or other hydrocarbons in the water column or sediment cores, (2) the identification of chemosynthetic communities and/or authigenic car- bonates in the seafloor, and (3) identification (using underwater videos) of pockmarks or carbonate mounds and mud volcanoes associated with the fluid escapes; or by indirect technical characterization of anomalies in acoustic records such as: (1) the presence of acoustic plumes in echo-sounders records, (2) the identification of acoustic blanking and/or acoustic turbidity in the high resolution seismic records, (3) the interpretation of reflectivity and (4) morphologies of pockmarks or seamounts in sidescan sonar and multibeam echo sounder records. This article is a compilation of acoustic-seismic, sedimentologic and morphologic evidence associated to the presence of shallow gas (accumulations or escapes) that appear in the Iberian margin and hat have been published in various papers. The description is divided into geographical sectors, beginning in the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean margin and ending at the easternmost area of the Cantabrian margin, following a clockwise direction around the Iberian Peninsula. (Author)

  11. Deep structure of the continental margin and basin off Greater Kabylia, Algeria - New insights from wide-angle seismic data modeling and multichannel seismic interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aïdi, Chafik; Beslier, Marie-Odile; Yelles-Chaouche, Abdel Karim; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Bracene, Rabah; Galve, Audrey; Bounif, Abdallah; Schenini, Laure; Hamai, Lamine; Schnurle, Philippe; Djellit, Hamou; Sage, Françoise; Charvis, Philippe; Déverchère, Jacques

    2018-03-01

    During the Algerian-French SPIRAL survey aimed at investigating the deep structure of the Algerian margin and basin, two coincident wide-angle and reflection seismic profiles were acquired in central Algeria, offshore Greater Kabylia, together with gravimetric, bathymetric and magnetic data. This 260 km-long offshore-onshore profile spans the Balearic basin, the central Algerian margin and the Greater Kabylia block up to the southward limit of the internal zones onshore. Results are obtained from modeling and interpretation of the combined data sets. The Algerian basin offshore Greater Kabylia is floored by a thin oceanic crust ( 4 km) with P-wave velocities ranging between 5.2 and 6.8 km/s. In the northern Hannibal High region, the atypical 3-layer crustal structure is interpreted as volcanic products stacked over a thin crust similar to that bordering the margin and related to Miocene post-accretion volcanism. These results support a two-step back-arc opening of the west-Algerian basin, comprising oceanic crust accretion during the first southward stage, and a magmatic and probably tectonic reworking of this young oceanic basement during the second, westward, opening phase. The structure of the central Algerian margin is that of a narrow ( 70 km), magma-poor rifted margin, with a wider zone of distal thinned continental crust than on the other margin segments. There is no evidence for mantle exhumation in the sharp ocean-continent transition, but transcurrent movements during the second opening phase may have changed its initial geometry. The Plio-Quaternary inversion of the margin related to ongoing convergence between Africa and Eurasia is expressed by a blind thrust system under the margin rising toward the surface at the slope toe, and by an isostatic disequilibrium resulting from opposite flexures of two plates decoupled at the continental slope. This disequilibrium is likely responsible for the peculiar asymmetrical shape of the crustal neck that may thus

  12. Rift magmatism on the Eurasia basin margin: U–Pb baddeleyite ages of alkaline dyke swarms in North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thórarinsson, Sigurjón B.; Söderlund, Ulf; Døssing, Arne

    2015-01-01

    The opening of the Arctic Ocean involved multiple stages of continental rifting and intrusion of extensive dyke swarms. To trace tectonomagmatic processes of the High Arctic, we present the first U–Pb ages for alkaline dyke swarms of North Greenland. Concordia ages of 80.8 ± 0.6 and 82.1 ± 1.5 Ma...... indicate that north–south and east–west dykes are coeval. The north–south dykes reflect initial east–west rifting that led to break-up along the Gakkel Ridge and formation of the Eurasia Basin. The east–west dykes reflect local variations in the stress field associated with reactivated Palaeozoic faults...

  13. Anthropogenic impacts on continental margins: New frontiers and engagement arena for global sustainability research and action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, K. K.; Glavovic, B.; Limburg, K.; Emeis, K. C.; Thomas, H.; Kremer, H.; Avril, B.; Zhang, J.; Mulholland, M. R.; Glaser, M.; Swaney, D. P.

    2014-12-01

    There is an urgent need to design and implement transformative governance strategies that safeguard Earth's life-support systems essential for long-term human well-being. From a series of meetings of the Continental Margins Working Group co-sponsored by IMBER and LOICZ of IGBP, we conclude that the greatest urgency exists at the ocean-land interface - the continental margins or the Margin - which extends from coastlands over continental shelves and slopes bordering the deep ocean. The Margin is enduring quadruple squeeze from (i) Population growth and rising demands for resources; (ii) Ecosystem degradation and loss; (iii) Rising CO2, climate change and alteration of marine biogeochemistry and ecosystems; and (iv) Rapid and irreversible changes in social-ecological systems. Some areas of the Margin that are subject to the greatest pressures (e.g. the Arctic) are also those for which knowledge of fundamental processes remains most limited. Aside from improving our basic understanding of the nature and variability of the Margin, priority issues include: (i) investment reform to prevent lethal but profitable activities; (ii) risk reduction; and (iii) jurisdiction, equity and fiscal responsibility. However, governance deficits or mismatches are particularly pronounced at the ocean-edge of the Margin and the prevailing Law of the Sea is incapable of resolving these challenges. The "gold rush" of accelerating demands for space and resources, and variability in how this domain is regulated, move the Margin to the forefront of global sustainability research and action. We outline a research strategy in 3 engagement arenas: (a) knowledge and understanding of dynamic Margin processes; (b) development, innovation and risk at the Margin; and (c) governance for sustainability on the Margin. The goals are (1) to better understand Margin social-ecological systems, including their physical and biogeochemical components; (2) to develop practical guidance for sustainable development

  14. Rift propagation at craton margin.: Distribution of faulting and volcanism in the North Tanzanian Divergence (East Africa) during Neogene times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Gall, B.; Nonnotte, P.; Rolet, J.; Benoit, M.; Guillou, H.; Mousseau-Nonnotte, M.; Albaric, J.; Deverchère, J.

    2008-02-01

    A revised kinematic model is proposed for the Neogene tectono-magmatic development of the North Tanzanian Divergence where the axial valley in S Kenya splits southwards into a wide diverging pattern of block faulting in association with the disappearance of volcanism. Propagation of rifting along the S Kenya proto-rift during the last 8 Ma is first assumed to have operated by linkage of discrete magmatic cells as far S as the Ngorongoro-Kilimanjaro transverse volcanic belt that follows the margin of cratonic blocks in N Tanzania. Strain is believed to have nucleated throughout the thermally-weakened lithosphere in the transverse volcanic belt that might have later linked the S Kenya and N Tanzania rift segments with marked structural changes along-strike. The North Tanzanian Divergence is now regarded as a two-armed rift pattern involving: (1) a wide domain of tilted fault blocks to the W (Mbulu) that encompasses the Eyasi and Manyara fault systems, in direct continuation with the Natron northern trough. The reactivation of basement fabrics in the cold and intact Precambrian lithosphere in the Mbulu domain resulted in an oblique rift pattern that contrasts with the orthogonal extension that prevailed in the Magadi-Natron trough above a more attenuated lithosphere. (2) To the E, the Pangani horst-like range is thought to be a younger (< 1 Ma) structure that formed in response to the relocation of extension S of the Kilimanjaro magmatic center. A significant contrast in the mechanical behaviour of the stretched lithosphere in the North Tanzanian diverging rift is assumed to have occurred on both sides of the Masai cratonic block with a mid-crustal decoupling level to the W where asymmetrical fault-basin patterns are dominant (Magadi-Natron and Mbulu), whereas a component of dynamical uplift is suspected to have caused the topographic elevation of the Pangani range in relation with possible far-travelled mantle melts produced at depth further N.

  15. Geomorphic response of a continental margin to tectonic and eustatic variations, the Levant margin during the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Moshe, Liran; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Enzel, Yehouda; Uri, Schattner

    2017-04-01

    During the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.97±0.01-5.33 Ma) the Mediterranean Levant margin experienced major eustatic and sedimentary cycles as well as tectonic motion along the nearby Dead Sea fault plate boundary. New structures formed along this margin with morphology responding to these changes. Our study focuses on changes in this morphology across the margin. It is based on interpretation of three 3D seismic reflection volumes from offshore Israel. Multi-attribute analysis aided the extraction of key reflectors. Morphologic analysis of these data quantified interacting eustasy, sedimentation, and tectonics. Late Messinian morphologic domains include: (a) continental shelf; (b) 'Delta' anticline, forming a ridge diagonal to the strike of the margin; (c) southward dipping 'Hadera' valley, separating between (a) and (b); (d) 'Delta Gap' - a water gap crossing perpendicular to the anticline axis, exhibiting a sinuous thalweg; (e) continental slope. Drainage across the margin developed in several stages. Remains of turbidite flows crossing the margin down-slope were spotted across the 'Delta' anticline. These flows accumulated with the MSC evaporate sequence and prior to the anticline folding. Rising of the anticline, above the then bathymetry, either blocked or diverted the turbidites. That rising also defined the Hadera valley. In-situ evaporates, covering the valley floor, are, in turn covered by a fan-delta at the distal end of the valley. The fan-delta complex contains eroded evaporites and Lago-Mare fauna. Its top is truncated by dendritic fluvial channels that drained towards the Delta Gap. The Delta Gap was carved through the Delta ridge in a morphological and structural transition zone. We propose that during the first stages of the MSC (5.97±0.01-5.59 ma) destabilization of the continental slope due to oscillating sea level produced gravity currents that flowed through the pre-existing Delta anticline. Subsequent folding of the Delta anticline

  16. Structural inversion in the northern South China Sea continental margin and its tectonic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chin-Da Huang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The northern South China Sea (SCS continental margin was proposed to be an active margin during the Mesozoic. However, only a few papers discussed the Mesozoic structural evolution in this region. Here, we provide information based on the seismic profile interpretations with age control from biostratigraphic studies and detrital zircon U-Pb dates of well MZ-1-1 in the western Dongsha-Penghu Uplift of the northern SCS continental margin. The industrial seismic profiles reveal evidence for structural inversion as represented by folds and high-angle reverse faults, formed by reactivation of pre-existing normal faults. The inversion event likely started after the Early Cretaceous, and developed in Late Cretaceous, but ceased before the Cenozoic. The areal extent of the structural inversion was restricted in the western Dongsha-Penghu Uplift and was approximately 100 km in width. Based on the paleogeographic reconstruction of SCS, the structural inversion was likely formed by a collision between the seamount (volcanic islands swarm of the current North Palawan block (mainly the Calamian Islands and the northern SCS continental margin around Late Cretaceous.

  17. Subduction and exhumation of a continental margin in the Scandinavian Caledonides: Insights from ultrahigh pressure metamorphism, late orogenic basins and 3D numerical modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, Simon

    2017-04-01

    The Scandinavian Caledonides (SC) represents a plate collision zone of Himalayan style and scale. Three fundamental characteristics of this orogen are: (1) early foreland-directed, tectonic transport and stacking of nappes; (2) late, wholesale reversal of tectonic transport; (3) ultrahigh pressure metamorphism of felsic crust derived from the underthrusting plate at several levels in the orogenic wedge and below the main thrust surface, indicating subduction of continental crust into the mantle. The significance of this for crustal evolution is the profound remodeling of continental crust, direct geochemical interaction of such crust and the mantle and the opening of accommodation space trapping large volumes of clastic detritus within the orogen. The orogenic wedge of the SC was derived from the upper crust of the Baltica continental margin (a hyper-extended passive margin), plus terranes derived from an assemblage of outboard arcs and intra-oceanic basins and, at the highest structural level, elements of the Laurentian margin. Nappe emplacement was driven by Scandian ( 430Ma) collision of Baltica with Laurentia, but emerging Middle Ordovician ages for diamond-facies metamorphism for the most outboard (or rifted) elements of Baltica suggest prior collision with an arc or microcontinent. Nappes derived from Baltica continental crust were subducted, in some cases to depths sufficient to form diamond. These then detached from the upper part of the down-going plate along major thrust faults, at which time they ceased to descend and possibly rose along the subduction channel. Subduction of the remaining continental margin continued below these nappes, possibly driven by slab-pull of the previously subducted Iapetus oceanic lithosphere and metamorphic densification of subducted felsic continental margin. 3D numerical modelling based upon a Caledonide-like plate scenario shows that if a continental corner or promontory enters the subduction zone, the continental margin

  18. {sup 210}Pb-Excess and Sediment Accumulation Rates at the Iberian Continental Margin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carvalho, F. P.; Oliveira, J. M.; Soares, A. M. [Nuclear and Technological Institute, Sacavem (Portugal)

    2013-07-15

    Sediments from the continental shelf, slope, and rise at the continental margin of northern Portugal and the adjacent Iberian abyssal basin were analysed for 210Pb, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 137}Cs and {sup 14}C. Pb-210 derived sedimentation rates at the continental shelf off the Portuguese coast were 0.2-0.6 cm/a. In some cores from fine sediment deposits at the outer shelf, the {sup 210}Pb excess continuum was interrupted and sediment layers were missing, suggesting that events such as sediment slides could have occurred. Higher sedimentation rates were determined in locations at the rise of the continental slope, confirming enhanced deposition by sediment slides. In the deeper Iberian Abyssal Basin, using the {sup 14}C age of sediment layers the sedimentation rate was determined at 3.2 cm/ka, thus four orders of magnitude lower than at the continental shelf. The spatial distribution of sedimentation rates determined by radionuclide based chronologies, suggested that fine sediments from river discharges are deposited mainly at the outer continental shelf. These deposits may became unstable with time and, occasionally, originate sediment slides that are drained by the canyons and reach the deep sea. The Iberian abyssal basin receives some advective contribution of these sediment slides and the sedimentation rate is one order of magnitude higher than in other abyssal basins of the NE Atlantic Ocean. (author)

  19. Numerical model of the transition from continental rifting to oceanization: the case study of the Ligure-Piemontese ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roda, M.; Marotta, A. M.; Conte, K.; Spalla, M. I.

    2015-12-01

    The transition from continental rifting to oceanization has been investigated by mean of a 2D thermo-mechanical numerical model in which the formation of oceanic crust by mantle serpentinization, due to the hydration of the uprising peridotite, as been implemented. Model predictions have been compared with natural data related to the Permian-Triassic thinning affecting the continental lithosphere of the Alpine domain, in order to identify which portions of the present Alpine-Apennine system, preserving the imprints of Permian-Triassic high temperature (HT) metamorphism, is compatible, in terms of lithostratigraphy and tectono-metamorphic evolution, with a lithospheric extension preceding the opening of the Ligure-Piemontese oceanic basin. At this purpose age, petrological and structural data from the Alpine and Apennine ophiolite complexes are compared with model predictions from the oceanization stage. Our comparative analysis supports the thesis that the lithospheric extension preceding the opening of the Alpine Tethys did not start on a stable continental lithosphere, but developed by recycling part of the old Variscan collisional suture. The HT Permian-Triassic metamorphic re-equilibration overprints an inherited tectonic and metamorphic setting consequent to the Variscan subduction and collision, making the Alps a key case history to explore mechanisms responsible for the re-activation of orogenic scars.

  20. CENOZOIC CONTINENTAL RIFTING SYMPOSIUM DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ACADEMICIAN N.A. LOGATCHEV, IRKUTSK, RUSSIA, JUNE 7–11, 2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V. Sklyarov

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The information on the «Cenozoic Continental Rifting» Symposium dedicated to the memory of Academician N.A. Logachev is presented. It was held on June 7–11, 2010 at the Institute of the Earth’s Crust, Irkutsk. The scope of conference is presented.

  1. Influence of submarine morphology on bottom water flow across the western Ross Sea continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davey, F.J.; Jacobs, S.S.

    2007-01-01

    Multibeam sonar bathymetry documents a lack of significant channels crossing outer continental shelf and slope of the western Ross Sea. This indicates that movement of bottom water across the shelf break into the deep ocean in this area is mainly by laminar or sheet flow. Subtle, ~20 m deep and up to 1000 m wide channels extend down the continental slope, into tributary drainage patterns on the upper rise, and then major erosional submarine canyons. These down-slope channels may have been formed by episodic pulses of rapid down slope water flow, some recorded on bottom current meters, or by sub-ice melt water erosion from an icesheet grounded at the margin. Narrow, mostly linear furrows on the continental shelf thought to be caused by iceberg scouring are randomly oriented, have widths generally less than 400 m and depths less than 30m, and extend to water depths in excess of 600 m.

  2. Thermochronological Record of a Jurassic Heating-Cooling Cycle Within a Distal Rifted Margin (Calizzano Massif, Ligurian Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seno, S.; Decarlis, A.; Fellin, M. G.; Maino, M.; Beltrando, M.; Ferrando, S.; Manatschal, G.; Gaggero, L.; Stuart, F. M.

    2017-12-01

    The aim of the present study is to analyse, through thermochronological investigations, the thermal evolution of a fossil distal margin owing to the Alpine Tethys rifting system. The studied distal margin section consists of a polymetamorphic basement (Calizzano basement) and of a well-developed Mesozoic sedimentary cover (Case Tuberto unit) of the Ligurian Alps (NW Italy). The incomplete reset of zircon (U-Th)/He ages and the non-reset of the zircon fission track ages during the Alpine metamorphism indicate that during the subduction and the orogenic stages these rocks were subjected to temperatures lower than 200 ºC. Thus, the Alpine metamorphic overprint occurred during a short-lived, low temperature pulse. The lack of a pervasive orogenic reset, allowed the preservation of an older heating-cooling event that occurred during Alpine Tethys rifting. Zircon fission-track data indicate, in fact, that the Calizzano basement records a cooling under 240 °C, at 156 Ma (early Upper Jurassic). This cooling followed a Middle Jurassic syn-rift heating at temperatures of about 300-350°C, typical of greenschist facies conditions occurred at few kilometres depth, as indicated by stratigraphic and petrologic constraints. Thus, in our interpretation, major crustal thinning likely promoted high geothermal gradients ( 60-90°C/km) triggering the circulation of hot, deep-seated fluids along brittle faults, causing the observed thermal anomaly at shallow crustal level.

  3. Reactivation of precambrian faults on the southwestern continental margin of India: Evidence from gravity anomalies

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Subrahmanyam, V.; Ramana, M.V.; Rao, D.G.

    con- fi~ration of the western continental margin, with various structural styles, has been considered as a single unit, even though there exists a difference of opinion about the origin and evolution of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge complex...’tVATION OF PRECAMBRIAN FAULTS ON THE SW CON~~E~AL MARGIN OF INDIA 337 shelf break due to the steep topographic relief of shelf. Furthermore, the gradients might have played a dominant role in shaping the bathymetry when the block movement took place along the pre...

  4. Velocity Model for CO2 Sequestration in the Southeastern United States Atlantic Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollmann, J.; Knapp, C. C.; Almutairi, K.; Almayahi, D.; Knapp, J. H.

    2017-12-01

    The sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) is emerging as a major player in offsetting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. With 40% of the United States' anthropogenic CO2 emissions originating in the southeast, characterizing potential CO2 sequestration sites is vital to reducing the United States' emissions. The goal of this research project, funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), is to estimate the CO2 storage potential for the Southeastern United States Atlantic Continental Margin. Previous studies find storage potential in the Atlantic continental margin. Up to 16 Gt and 175 Gt of storage potential are estimated for the Upper Cretaceous and Lower Cretaceous formations, respectively. Considering 2.12 Mt of CO2 are emitted per year by the United States, substantial storage potential is present in the Southeastern United States Atlantic Continental Margin. In order to produce a time-depth relationship, a velocity model must be constructed. This velocity model is created using previously collected seismic reflection, refraction, and well data in the study area. Seismic reflection horizons were extrapolated using well log data from the COST GE-1 well. An interpolated seismic section was created using these seismic horizons. A velocity model will be made using P-wave velocities from seismic reflection data. Once the time-depth conversion is complete, the depths of stratigraphic units in the seismic refraction data will be compared to the newly assigned depths of the seismic horizons. With a lack of well control in the study area, the addition of stratigraphic unit depths from 171 seismic refraction recording stations provides adequate data to tie to the depths of picked seismic horizons. Using this velocity model, the seismic reflection data can be presented in depth in order to estimate the thickness and storage potential of CO2 reservoirs in the Southeastern United States Atlantic Continental Margin.

  5. Rollback of an intraoceanic subduction system and termination against a continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, S. M.; Simmons, N. A.; Moucha, R.

    2017-12-01

    The Southeast Indian Slab (SEIS) seismic anomaly has been suggested to represent a Tethyan intraoceanic subduction system which operated during the Jurassic until its termination at or near the margin of East Gondwana (Simmons et al., 2015). As plate reconstructions suggest the downgoing plate remained coupled to the continental margin, this long-lived system likely experienced a significant amount of slab rollback and trench migration (up to 6000 km). Using a 2D thermomechanical numerical code that includes the effects of phase transitions, we test this interpretation by modeling the long-term subduction, transition zone stagnation, and rollback of an intraoceanic subduction system in which the downgoing plate remains coupled to a continental margin. In addition, we also investigate the termination style of such a system, with a particular focus on the potential for some continental subduction beneath an overriding oceanic plate. This work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. LLNL-ABS-735738

  6. Submarine slope failures along the convergent continental margin of the Middle America Trench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harders, Rieka; Ranero, CéSar R.; Weinrebe, Wilhelm; Behrmann, Jan H.

    2011-06-01

    We present the first comprehensive study of mass wasting processes in the continental slope of a convergent margin of a subduction zone where tectonic processes are dominated by subduction erosion. We have used multibeam bathymetry along ˜1300 km of the Middle America Trench of the Central America Subduction Zone and deep-towed side-scan sonar data. We found abundant evidence of large-scale slope failures that were mostly previously unmapped. The features are classified into a variety of slope failure types, creating an inventory of 147 slope failure structures. Their type distribution and abundance define a segmentation of the continental slope in six sectors. The segmentation in slope stability processes does not appear to be related to slope preconditioning due to changes in physical properties of sediment, presence/absence of gas hydrates, or apparent changes in the hydrogeological system. The segmentation appears to be better explained by changes in slope preconditioning due to variations in tectonic processes. The region is an optimal setting to study how tectonic processes related to variations in intensity of subduction erosion and changes in relief of the underthrusting plate affect mass wasting processes of the continental slope. The largest slope failures occur offshore Costa Rica. There, subducting ridges and seamounts produce failures with up to hundreds of meters high headwalls, with detachment planes that penetrate deep into the continental margin, in some cases reaching the plate boundary. Offshore northern Costa Rica a smooth oceanic seafloor underthrusts the least disturbed continental slope. Offshore Nicaragua, the ocean plate is ornamented with smaller seamounts and horst and graben topography of variable intensity. Here mass wasting structures are numerous and comparatively smaller, but when combined, they affect a large part of the margin segment. Farther north, offshore El Salvador and Guatemala the downgoing plate has no large seamounts but

  7. Great earthquakes along the Western United States continental margin: implications for hazards, stratigraphy and turbidite lithology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, C. H.; Gutiérrez Pastor, J.; Goldfinger, C.; Escutia, C.

    2012-11-01

    We summarize the importance of great earthquakes (Mw ≳ 8) for hazards, stratigraphy of basin floors, and turbidite lithology along the active tectonic continental margins of the Cascadia subduction zone and the northern San Andreas Transform Fault by utilizing studies of swath bathymetry visual core descriptions, grain size analysis, X-ray radiographs and physical properties. Recurrence times of Holocene turbidites as proxies for earthquakes on the Cascadia and northern California margins are analyzed using two methods: (1) radiometric dating (14C method), and (2) relative dating, using hemipelagic sediment thickness and sedimentation rates (H method). The H method provides (1) the best estimate of minimum recurrence times, which are the most important for seismic hazards risk analysis, and (2) the most complete dataset of recurrence times, which shows a normal distribution pattern for paleoseismic turbidite frequencies. We observe that, on these tectonically active continental margins, during the sea-level highstand of Holocene time, triggering of turbidity currents is controlled dominantly by earthquakes, and paleoseismic turbidites have an average recurrence time of ~550 yr in northern Cascadia Basin and ~200 yr along northern California margin. The minimum recurrence times for great earthquakes are approximately 300 yr for the Cascadia subduction zone and 130 yr for the northern San Andreas Fault, which indicates both fault systems are in (Cascadia) or very close (San Andreas) to the early window for another great earthquake. On active tectonic margins with great earthquakes, the volumes of mass transport deposits (MTDs) are limited on basin floors along the margins. The maximum run-out distances of MTD sheets across abyssal-basin floors along active margins are an order of magnitude less (~100 km) than on passive margins (~1000 km). The great earthquakes along the Cascadia and northern California margins cause seismic strengthening of the sediment, which

  8. Great earthquakes along the Western United States continental margin: implications for hazards, stratigraphy and turbidite lithology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. H. Nelson

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available We summarize the importance of great earthquakes (Mw ≳ 8 for hazards, stratigraphy of basin floors, and turbidite lithology along the active tectonic continental margins of the Cascadia subduction zone and the northern San Andreas Transform Fault by utilizing studies of swath bathymetry visual core descriptions, grain size analysis, X-ray radiographs and physical properties. Recurrence times of Holocene turbidites as proxies for earthquakes on the Cascadia and northern California margins are analyzed using two methods: (1 radiometric dating (14C method, and (2 relative dating, using hemipelagic sediment thickness and sedimentation rates (H method. The H method provides (1 the best estimate of minimum recurrence times, which are the most important for seismic hazards risk analysis, and (2 the most complete dataset of recurrence times, which shows a normal distribution pattern for paleoseismic turbidite frequencies. We observe that, on these tectonically active continental margins, during the sea-level highstand of Holocene time, triggering of turbidity currents is controlled dominantly by earthquakes, and paleoseismic turbidites have an average recurrence time of ~550 yr in northern Cascadia Basin and ~200 yr along northern California margin. The minimum recurrence times for great earthquakes are approximately 300 yr for the Cascadia subduction zone and 130 yr for the northern San Andreas Fault, which indicates both fault systems are in (Cascadia or very close (San Andreas to the early window for another great earthquake.

    On active tectonic margins with great earthquakes, the volumes of mass transport deposits (MTDs are limited on basin floors along the margins. The maximum run-out distances of MTD sheets across abyssal-basin floors along active margins are an order of magnitude less (~100 km than on passive margins (~1000 km. The great earthquakes along the Cascadia and northern California margins

  9. Interpretation of free-air gravity anomaly data for determining the crustal structure across the continental margins and aseismic ridges: Some examples from Indian continental margins and deep-sea basins

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ramana, M.V.

    Content-Type text/plain; charset=UTF-8 202 Interpretation of free-air gravity anomaly data for determining the crustal structure across the continental margins and aseismic ridges: Some examples from Indian continental margins and deep... will undertake either regional, reconnaissance or detail gravity surveys. We generally deal with free air gravity anomalies in oceans. The free air gravity anomalies mostly mimic the seabed configuration and at times, the deviation observed in the free air...

  10. Uplift history of a transform continental margin revealed by the stratigraphic record: The case of the Agulhas transform margin along the Southern African Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baby, Guillaume; Guillocheau, François; Boulogne, Carl; Robin, Cécile; Dall'Asta, Massimo

    2018-04-01

    The south and southeast coast of southern Africa (from 28°S to 33°S) forms a high-elevated transform passive margin bounded to the east by the Agulhas-Falkland Fracture Zone (AFFZ). We analysed the stratigraphic record of the Outeniqua and Durban (Thekwini) Basins, located on the African side of the AFFZ, to determine the evolution of these margins from the rifting stage to present-day. The goal was to reconstruct the strike-slip evolution of the Agulhas Margin and the uplift of the inland high-elevation South African Plateau. The Agulhas transform passive margin results from four successive stages: Rifting stage, from Late Triassic to Early Cretaceous ( 200?-134 Ma), punctuated by three successive rifting episodes related to the Gondwana breakup; Wrench stage (134-131 Ma), evidenced by strike- and dip-slip deformations increasing toward the AFFZ; Active transform margin stage (131-92 Ma), during which the Falkland/Malvinas Plateau drifts away along the AFFZ, with an uplift of the northeastern part of the Outeniqua Basin progressively migrating toward the west; Thermal subsidence stage (92-0 Ma), marked by a major change in the configuration of the margin (onset of the shelf-break passive margin morphology). Two main periods of uplift were documented during the thermal subsidence stage of the Agulhas Margin: (1) a 92 Ma short-lived margin-scale uplift, followed by a second one at 76 Ma located along the Outeniqua Basin and; (2) a long-lasting uplift from 40 to 15 Ma limited to the Durban (Thekwini) Basin. This suggests that the South African Plateau is an old Upper Cretaceous relief (90-70 Ma) reactivated during Late Eocene to Early Miocene times (40-15 Ma).

  11. Velocity and AVO analysis for the investigation of gas hydrate along a profile in the western continental margin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Dewangan, P.; Ramprasad, T.

    The occurrence of gas hydrate has been inferred from the presence of Bottom-Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) along the western continental margin of India. In this paper, we assess the spatial and vertical distribution of gas hydrates by analyzing...

  12. Occurrence of gas hydrates along the continental margins of India, particularly the Krishna-Godavari offshore basin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ramana, M.V.; Ramprasad, T.; KameshRaju, K.A.; Desa, M.

    carried out in the Krishna-Godavari offshore area along the eastern continental margin of India, which is known for its hydrocarbon potential. Processed multibeam data provided a high-resolution seafloor mosaic with a fine scale geomorphology. Deep tow...

  13. Geomorphology and Neogene tectonic evolution of the Palomares continental margin (Western Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez de la Peña, Laura; Gràcia, Eulàlia; Muñoz, Araceli; Acosta, Juan; Gómez-Ballesteros, María; R. Ranero, César; Uchupi, Elazar

    2016-10-01

    The Palomares continental margin is located in the southeastern part of Spain. The margin main structure was formed during Miocene times, and it is currently part of the wide deformation zone characterizing the region between the Iberian and African plates, where no well-defined plate boundary occurs. The convergence between these two plates is here accommodated by several structures, including the left lateral strike-slip Palomares Fault. The region is characterized by sparse, low to moderate magnitude (Mw shallow instrumental earthquakes, although large historical events have also occurred. To understand the recent tectonic history of the margin we analyze new high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data and re-processed three multichannel seismic reflection profiles crossing the main structures. The analysis of seafloor morphology and associated subsurface structure provides new insights of the active tectonic features of the area. In contrast to other segments of the southeastern Iberian margin, the Palomares margin contains numerous large and comparatively closely spaced canyons with heads that reach near the coast. The margin relief is also characterized by the presence of three prominent igneous submarine ridges that include the Aguilas, Abubacer and Maimonides highs. Erosive processes evidenced by a number of scars, slope failures, gullies and canyon incisions shape the present-day relief of the Palomares margin. Seismic images reveal the deep structure distinguishing between Miocene structures related to the formation of the margin and currently active features, some of which may reactivate inherited structures. The structure of the margin started with an extensional phase accompanied by volcanic accretion during the Serravallian, followed by a compressional pulse that started during the Latemost Tortonian. Nowadays, tectonic activity offshore is subdued and limited to few, minor faults, in comparison with the activity recorded onshore. The deep Algero

  14. Factors influencing seismic wave attenuation in the lithosphere in continental rift zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    А. А. Dobrynina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Attenuation of seismic waves in the crust and the upper mantle has been studied in three global rift systems: the Baikal rift system (Eurasia, the North Tanzanian divergence zone (Africa and the Basin and Range Province (North America. Using the records of direct and coda waves of regional earthquakes, the single scattering theory [Aki, Chouet, 1975], the hybrid model from [Zeng, 1991] and the approach described in [Wennerberg, 1993], we estimated the seismic quality factor (QC, frequency parameter (n, attenuation coefficient (δ, and total attenuation (QT. In addition, we evaluated the contributions of two components into total attenuation: intrinsic attenuation (Qi, and scattering attenuation (Qsc. Values of QC are strongly dependent on the frequency within the range of 0.2–16 Hz, as well as on the length of the coda processing window. The observed increase of QC with larger lengths of the coda processing window can be interpreted as a decrease in attenuation with increasing depth. Having compared the depth variations in the attenuation coefficient (δ and the frequency (n with the velocity structures of the studied regions, we conclude that seismic wave attenuation changes at the velocity boundaries in the medium. Moreover, the comparison results show that the estimated variations in the attenuation parameters with increasing depth are considerably dependent on utilized velocity models of the medium. Lateral variations in attenuation of seismic waves correlate with the geological and geophysical characteristics of the regions, and attenuation is primarily dependent on the regional seismic activity and regional heat flow. The geological inhomogeneities of the medium and the age of crust consolidation are secondary factors. Our estimations of intrinsic attenuation (Qi and scattering attenuation (Qsc show that in all the three studied regions, intrinsic attenuation is the major contributor to total attenuation. Our study shows that the

  15. Tectonic characteristics and structural styles of a continental rifted basin: Revelation from deep seismic reflection profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Li

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Fushan Depression is a half-graben rifted sub-basin located in the southeast of the Beibuwan Basin, South China Sea. The Paleogene Liushagang sequence is the main hydrocarbon-bearing stratigraphic unit in the sub-basin. Using three-dimensional (3-D seismic data and logging data over the sub-basin, we analyzed structural styles and sedimentary characteristics of the Liushagang sequence. Five types of structural styles were defined: ancient horst, traditional slope, flexure slope-break, faulted slope-break and multiple-stage faults slope, and interpretations for positions, background and development formations of each structural style were discussed. Structural framework across the sub-basin reveals that the most remarkable tectonic setting is represented by the central transfer zone (CTZ which divides the sub-basin into two independent depressions, and two kinds of sequence architectures are summarized: (i the western multi-stage faults slope; (ii the eastern flexure slope break belt. Combined with regional stress field of the Fushan Depression, we got plane combinations of the faults, and finally built up plan distribution maps of structural system for main sequence. Also, we discussed the controlling factors mainly focused on subsidence history and background tectonic activities such as volcanic activity and earthquakes. The analysis of structural styles and tectonic evolution provides strong theoretical support for future prospecting in the Fushan sub-basin and other similar rifted basins of the Beibuwan Basin in South China Sea.

  16. The Transition from Volcanic to Rift Dominated Crustal Breakup - From the Vøring Plateau to the Lofoten Margin, Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breivik, A. J.; Faleide, J. I.; Mjelde, R.; Flueh, E.; Murai, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The Vøring Plateau was part of the Northeast Atlantic igneous province (NAIP) during early Cenozoic crustal breakup. Crustal breakup at the Vøring Plateau occurred marginal to the deep Cretaceous basins on the shelf, with less extension of the crust. Intrusive magmatism and oceanic crust up to three times normal thickness caused a period of sub-aerial magmatism around breakup time. The transition to the Lofoten Margin is rapid to a deep-water plain. Still, there is some excess magmatism north of this transition, where early oceanic crustal thickness is reduced to half of that of the Vøring Plateau 150 km away. Our estimates of the earliest seafloor spreading rates using new ship-track magnetic profiles on different margin segments offer a clue to what caused this rapid transition. While crustal breakup occurred within the magnetic polarity C24r in other parts of the NAIP, there is a delayed breakup for the Lofoten/Vesterålen margin. Modeling of the earliest seafloor spreading with geomagnetic reversals, indicate a breakup within C24n.3n (anomaly 24b), approximately 1 m.y. later. Both old wide-angle seismic models (from Ocean Bottom Seismometers) off southern Lofoten and a newly published profile farther north show a strongly extended outer margin. Applying early seafloor half-spreading rates ( 30 mm/y) from other NAIP margin segments for 1 m.y. can account for 30 km extra extension, giving a factor of three crustal thinning, and gives a high strain rate of 3.2 ·10-14. Crustal breakup at the magma-poor Iberian Margin occurred at a low strain rate of 4.4·10-15, allowing the ascending mantle to cool, favoring tectonic extension over magmatism. Similar strain rates are found within the main Ethiopian Rift, but there is much magmatism and crustal separation is dominated by dike injection. Mantle tomography models show an exceptionally low seismic velocity below the area interpreted as an unusually hot upper mantle, which will favor magmatism. The transition from

  17. Cenozoic tectonic jumping and implications for hydrocarbon accumulation in basins in the East Asia Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suo, Yanhui; Li, Sanzhong; Yu, Shan; Somerville, Ian D.; Liu, Xin; Zhao, Shujuan; Dai, Liming

    2014-07-01

    Tectonic migration is a common geological process of basin formation and evolution. However, little is known about tectonic migration in the western Pacific margins. This paper focuses on the representative Cenozoic basins of East China and its surrounding seas in the western Pacific domain to discuss the phenomenon of tectonic jumping in Cenozoic basins, based on structural data from the Bohai Bay Basin, the South Yellow Sea Basin, the East China Sea Shelf Basin, and the South China Sea Continental Shelf Basin. The western Pacific active continental margin is the eastern margin of a global convergent system involving the Eurasian Plate, the Pacific Plate, and the Indian Plate. Under the combined effects of the India-Eurasia collision and retrogressive or roll-back subduction of the Pacific Plate, the western Pacific active continental margin had a wide basin-arc-trench system which migrated or ‘jumped’ eastward and further oceanward. This migration and jumping is characterized by progressive eastward younging of faulting, sedimentation, and subsidence within the basins. Owing to the tectonic migration, the geological conditions associated with hydrocarbon and gashydrate accumulation in the Cenozoic basins of East China and its adjacent seas also become progressively younger from west to east, showing eastward younging in the generation time of reservoirs, seals, traps, accumulations and preservation of hydrocarbon and gashydrate. Such a spatio-temporal distribution of Cenozoic hydrocarbon and gashydrate is significant for the oil, gas and gashydrate exploration in the East Asian Continental Margin. Finally, this study discusses the mechanism of Cenozoic intrabasinal and interbasinal tectonic migration in terms of interplate, intraplate and underplating processes. The migration or jumping regimes of three separate or interrelated events: (1) tectonism-magmatism, (2) basin formation, and (3) hydrocarbon-gashydrate accumulation are the combined effects of the

  18. The role of deep-water sedimentary processes in shaping a continental margin: The Northwest Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, David C.; Campbell, D.C.; Gardner, J.V.; Piper, D.J.W.; Chaytor, Jason; Rebesco, M.

    2017-01-01

    The tectonic history of a margin dictates its general shape; however, its geomorphology is generally transformed by deep-sea sedimentary processes. The objective of this study is to show the influences of turbidity currents, contour currents and sediment mass failures on the geomorphology of the deep-water northwestern Atlantic margin (NWAM) between Blake Ridge and Hudson Trough, spanning about 32° of latitude and the shelf edge to the abyssal plain. This assessment is based on new multibeam echosounder data, global bathymetric models and sub-surface geophysical information.The deep-water NWAM is divided into four broad geomorphologic classifications based on their bathymetric shape: graded, above-grade, stepped and out-of-grade. These shapes were created as a function of the balance between sediment accumulation and removal that in turn were related to sedimentary processes and slope-accommodation. This descriptive method of classifying continental margins, while being non-interpretative, is more informative than the conventional continental shelf, slope and rise classification, and better facilitates interpretation concerning dominant sedimentary processes.Areas of the margin dominated by turbidity currents and slope by-pass developed graded slopes. If sediments did not by-pass the slope due to accommodation then an above grade or stepped slope resulted. Geostrophic currents created sedimentary bodies of a variety of forms and positions along the NWAM. Detached drifts form linear, above-grade slopes along their crests from the shelf edge to the deep basin. Plastered drifts formed stepped slope profiles. Sediment mass failure has had a variety of consequences on the margin morphology; large mass-failures created out-of-grade profiles, whereas smaller mass failures tended to remain on the slope and formed above-grade profiles at trough-mouth fans, or nearly graded profiles, such as offshore Cape Fear.

  19. The origin and evolution of silicic magmas during continental rifting: new constraints from trace elements and oxygen isotopes from Ethiopian volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, W.; Boyce, A.; Mather, T. A.; Pyle, D. M.; Yirgu, G.; Gleeson, M. L.

    2017-12-01

    The petrologic diversity of rift magmas is generated by two key processes: interaction with the crust via partial melting or assimilation; and closed-system fractional crystallization of the parental magma. It is not yet known whether these two petrogenetic processes vary spatially between different rift settings, and whether there are any significant secular variations during rift evolution. The Ethiopian Rift is the ideal setting to test these hypotheses because it captures the transition from continental rifting to sea-floor spreading and has witnessed the eruption of large volumes of mafic and silicic volcanic rocks since 30 Ma. We use new oxygen isotope (δ18O) and trace element data to fingerprint fractional crystallisation and partial crustal melting processes in Ethiopia and evaluate spatial variations between three active rift segments. δ18O measurements are used to examine partial crustal melting processes. We find that most δ18O data from basalts to rhyolites fall within the bounds of modelled fractional crystallization trajectories (i.e., 5.5-6.5 ‰). Few samples deviate from this trend, emphasising that fractional crystallization is the dominant petrogenetic processes and that little fusible Precambrian crustal material (δ18O of 7-18 ‰) remain to be assimilated beneath the magmatic segments. Trace element systematics (e.g., Ba, Sr, Rb, Th and Zr) further underscore the dominant role of fractional crystallization but also reveal important variations in the degree of melt evolution between the volcanic systems. We find that the most evolved silicic magmas, i.e., those with greatest peralkalinity (molar Na2O+K2O>Al2O3), are promoted in regions of lowest magma flux off-axis and along rift. Our findings provide new information on the nature of the crust beneath Ethiopia's active magmatic segments and also have relevance for understanding ancient rift zones and the geotectonic settings that promote genesis of economically-valuable mineral deposits.

  20. Continental Margins and the Law of the Sea - an `Arranged Marriage' with Huge Research Potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parson, L.

    2005-12-01

    The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) requires coastal states intending to secure sovereignty over continental shelf territory extending beyond 200 nautical miles to submit geological/geophysical data, along with their analysis and synthesis of the relevant continental margin in support of their claim. These submissions are scrutinised and assessed by a UN Commission of experts who decide if the claim is justified, and thereby ultimately allowing the exploitation of non-living resources into this extended maritime space. The amount of data required to support the case will vary from margin to margin, depending on the local geological evolution, but typically will involve the running of new, dedicated marine surveys, mostly bathymetric and seismic. Key geological/geophysical issues revolve around proof of `naturalness' of the prolongation of land mass (cue - wide-angle seismics, deep drilling and sampling programmes) and shelf and slope morphology and sediment section thickness (cue - swath bathymetry and multichannel seismics programmes). These surveys, probably primarily funded by government agencies anxious not to lose out on the `land grab', will generate datasets which will inevitably boost not only the research effort leading to increased understanding of margin evolution in academic terms, but also contribute to wider applied aspects of the work such as those leading to refinement of deepwater hydrocarbon resource potential. It is conservatively estimated that in the region of fifty coastal states world-wide have a significant potential for claiming continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, and that the total area available as extended shelf could easily exceed 7 million square kilometres. However, while for the vast majority of these states a UNCLOS deadline of 2009 exists for submitting a claim - to date only four have done so (Russia, Brazil, Australia and Ireland). It is therefore predictable, if not inevitable, that within the

  1. Evolution of the Southern Margin of the Donbas (Ukraine) from Devonian to early Carboniferous Times.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McCann, T.; Saintot, A.N.

    2003-01-01

    A Devonian-Early Carboniferous succession comprising thick clastic and carbonate sediments with interbedded volcanics was examined along the southern margin of the Donbas fold belt. Ukraine. Following initial rifting and subsidence, a continental (fluvial, lacustrine) succession was established.

  2. Tectono-sedimentary evolution of the eastern Gulf of Aden conjugate passive margins: Narrowness and asymmetry in oblique rifting context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonn, Chloé; Leroy, Sylvie; Khanbari, Khaled; Ahmed, Abdulhakim

    2017-11-01

    Here, we focus on the yet unexplored eastern Gulf of Aden, on Socotra Island (Yemen), Southeastern Oman and offshore conjugate passive margins between the Socotra-Hadbeen (SHFZ) and the eastern Gulf of Aden fracture zones. Our interpretation leads to onshore-offshore stratigraphic correlation between the passive margins. We present a new map reflecting the boundaries between the crustal domains (proximal, necking, hyper-extended, exhumed mantle, proto-oceanic and oceanic domains) and structures using bathymetry, magnetic surveys and seismic reflection data. The most striking result is that the magma-poor conjugate margins exhibit asymmetrical architecture since the thinning phase (Upper Rupelian-Burdigalian). Their necking domains are sharp ( 40-10 km wide) and their hyper-extended domains are narrow and asymmetric ( 10-40 km wide on the Socotra margin and 50-80 km wide on the Omani margin). We suggest that this asymmetry is related to the migration of the rift center producing significant lower crustal flow and sequential faulting in the hyper-extended domain. Throughout the Oligo-Miocene rifting, far-field forces dominate and the deformation is accommodated along EW to N110°E northward-dipping low angle normal faults. Convection in the mantle near the SHFZ may be responsible of change in fault dip polarity in the Omani hyper-extended domain. We show the existence of a northward-dipping detachment fault formed at the beginning of the exhumation phase (Burdigalien). It separates the northern upper plate (Oman) from southern lower plate (Socotra Island) and may have generated rift-induced decompression melting and volcanism affecting the upper plate. We highlight multiple generations of detachment faults exhuming serpentinized subcontinental mantle in the ocean-continent transition. Associated to significant decompression melting, final detachment fault may have triggered the formation of a proto-oceanic crust at 17.6 Ma and induced late volcanism up to 10 Ma

  3. 210Pb and 210Po as tracers of particle transport mechanisms on continental margins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radakovitch, O.; Heussner, S.; Biscaye, P.; Abassi, A.

    1997-01-01

    The natural radionuclides 210 Po and 210 Pb, members of the 238 U decay chain, are particularly helpful to the understanding of particle transport processes in the ocean. These isotopes were analysed on sediment trap particles collected during 3 one-year experiments on continental margins. In the Bay of Biscay (Northeastern Atlantic) and in the Gulf of Lion (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea) both as part of the French ECOMARGE programme, and in the Middle Atlantic Bight (Northwestern Atlantic) as part of the SEEP programme. They yielded great insights into scenarios of particle transfer at each site, mainly based on the spatial and temporal distribution of 210 Pb particulate concentrations and fluxes. (author)

  4. Relationship between radionuclides and sedimentological variables in the South Atlantic Continental Margin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferreira, Paulo A.L.; Figueira, Rubens C.L.

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of information regarding marine radioactivity in sediments of the Continental Margin of the South Atlantic. "1"3"7Cs and "4"0K radioactivity and sedimentological variables were determined in superficial sediment samples. It was demonstrated that "4"0K is a good indicator for sediment granulometry, whilst "1"3"7Cs presents a good correlation with its chemical composition. Moreover, it was identified through the radiometric data the occurrence of input of allochtonous matter to the Brazilian southernmost compartment from the Rio de La Plata estuary, as previously reported in the literature. (author)

  5. Regional gravity and magnetic studies over the continental margin of the Central West Coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    SubbaRaju, L.V.; KameshRaju, K.A.; Subrahmanyam, V.; Rao, D.G.

    Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa 403 004, India Abstract Gravity studies over the continental margin of the central west coast of India show a sediment thickness of 2-3 km on the shelf associated with deeper hoest and graben structures, of 6 km... sequence ranges from Palaeocene to Recent. Stratigraphy as obtained from the explor atory wells BH-I, DCS-IA, HI2-1, and R6-110cated in the Bombay offshore basin is shown in Figure 2. Figure 3 depicts the seismogeological section of the Bombay offshore...

  6. First discovery of a cold seep on the continental margin of the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Batang, Zenon B.

    2012-06-01

    A new cold brine seep system with microbial mats and metazoan assemblages was discovered by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on the Saudi continental margin of central Red Sea. Now named as Thuwal Seeps, it has a shallow brine pool between 840 and 850. m water depths that is formed by focused brine expulsions from two sites (Seep I: 22°17.3\\'N, 38°53.8\\'E; Seep II: 22°16.9\\'N, 38°53.9\\'E). The seep is located at the base of a steep wall rock closer to the shore (20. km) than to the axial trough (120. km). The brine pool does not exhibit a significant thermal anomaly (<. 0.3°C) and is so far the coldest (21.7°C) and least saline (74‰) among brine pools in the Red Sea. This discovery provides the first direct evidence of a cold seep with associated biota on the continental margin of the Red Sea. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  7. Seismic investigation on the Littoral Faults Zone in the northern continental margin of South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, J.; Xu, H.; Xia, S.; Cao, J.; Wan, K.

    2017-12-01

    The continental margin of the northern South China Sea (SCS) had experienced continuous evolution from an active continental margin in the late Mesozoic to a passive continental margin in the Cenozoic. The 1200km-long Littoral Faults Zone (LFZ) off the mainland South China was suggested to represent one of the sub-plate boundaries and play a key role during the evolution. Besides, four devastating earthquakes with magnitude over 7 and another 11 destructive events with M>6 were documented to have occurred along the LFZ. However, its approximity to the shoreline, the shallow water depth, and the heavy fishing activities make it hard to conduct a marine seismic investigation. As a result, understandings about the LFZ before 2000 were relatively poor and mostly descriptive. After two experiments of joint onshore-offshore wide-angle seismic surveys in the 1st decade of this century, several cruses aiming to unveil the deep structure of the LFZ were performed in the past few years, with five joint onshore-offshore wide-angle seismic survey profiles completed. Each of these profiles is perpendicular to the shoreline, with four to five seismometers of campaign mode deployed on the landside and over ten Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) spacing at 20km deployed on the seaside. Meanwhile, multi-channel seismic (MCS) data along these profiles were obtained simultaneously. Based on these data, velocity models from both forward modeling and inversion were obtained. According to these models, the LFZ was imaged to be a low-velocity fractured zone dipping to the SSE-SE at a high-angle and cutting through the thinned continental crust at some locations. Width of the fractured zone varies from 6km to more than 10km from site to site. With these results, it is suggested that the LFZ accommodates the stresses from both the east side, where the Eurasia/Philippine Sea plate converging and mountain building is ongoing, and the west side, where a strike-slip between the Indochina

  8. Morphology and sedimentology of glacigenic submarine fans on the west Greenland continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Cofaigh, Colm; Hogan, Kelly A.; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Jennings, Anne E.; Noormets, Riko; Evans, Jeffrey

    2014-05-01

    Along the West Greenland continental margin adjoining Baffin Bay, bathymetric data show a series of large submarine fans located at the mouths of cross-shelf troughs. Two of these fans, the Uummannaq Fan and the Disko Fan are trough-mouth fans built largely of debris delivered from ice sheet outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet during past glacial maxima. On the Uummannaq Fan glacigenic debris flow deposits occur on the upper slope and extend to at least 1800 m water depth in front of the trough-mouth. The debris flow deposits are related to the remobilisation of subglacial debris that was delivered onto the upper slope at times when an ice stream was positioned at the shelf edge. In contrast, sedimentary facies from the northern sector of the fan are characterised by hemipelagic and ice-rafted sediments and turbidites; glacigenic debris flows are notably absent in cores from this region. Further south along the Greenland continental margin the surface of the Disko Fan is prominently channelised and associated sediments are acoustically stratified. Although glacigenic debris flow deposits do occur on the upper Disko Fan, sediments recovered in cores from elsewhere on the fan record the influence of turbidity current and meltwater sedimentation. The channelised form of the Disko fan contrasts markedly with that of the Uummannaq Fan and, more widely, with trough mouth fans from the Polar North Atlantic. Collectively these data highlight the variability of glacimarine depositional processes operating on trough-mouth fans on high-latitude continental slopes and show that glacigenic debris flows are but one of a number of mechanisms by which such large glacially-influenced depocentres form.

  9. The evolution of magma during continental rifting: New constraints from the isotopic and trace element signatures of silicic magmas from Ethiopian volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, William; Mather, Tamsin A.; Pyle, David M.; Boyce, Adrian J.; Gleeson, Matthew L. M.; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Blundy, Jon D.; Ferguson, David J.; Vye-Brown, Charlotte; Millar, Ian L.; Sims, Kenneth W. W.; Finch, Adrian A.

    2018-05-01

    Magma plays a vital role in the break-up of continental lithosphere. However, significant uncertainty remains about how magma-crust interactions and melt evolution vary during the development of a rift system. Ethiopia captures the transition from continental rifting to incipient sea-floor spreading and has witnessed the eruption of large volumes of silicic volcanic rocks across the region over ∼45 Ma. The petrogenesis of these silicic rocks sheds light on the role of magmatism in rift development, by providing information on crustal interactions, melt fluxes and magmatic differentiation. We report new trace element and Sr-Nd-O isotopic data for volcanic rocks, glasses and minerals along and across active segments of the Main Ethiopian (MER) and Afar Rifts. Most δ18 O data for mineral and glass separates from these active rift zones fall within the bounds of modelled fractional crystallization trajectories from basaltic parent magmas (i.e., 5.5-6.5‰) with scant evidence for assimilation of Pan-African Precambrian crustal material (δ18 O of 7-18‰). Radiogenic isotopes (εNd = 0.92- 6.52; 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7037-0.7072) and incompatible trace element ratios (Rb/Nb productivity or where crustal structure inhibits magma ascent). This has important implications for understanding the geotectonic settings that promote extreme melt evolution and, potentially, genesis of economically-valuable mineral deposits in ancient rift-settings. The limited isotopic evidence for assimilation of Pan-African crustal material in Ethiopia suggests that the pre-rift crust beneath the magmatic segments has been substantially modified by rift-related magmatism over the past ∼45 Ma; consistent with geophysical observations. We argue that considerable volumes of crystal cumulate are stored beneath silicic volcanic systems (>100 km3), and estimate that crystal cumulates fill at least 16-30% of the volume generated by crustal extension under the axial volcanoes of the MER and Manda Hararo

  10. Observations at convergent margins concerning sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and the growth of continental crust

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  11. Geomorphological and sedimentary processes of the glacially influenced northwestern Iberian continental margin and abyssal plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llave, Estefanía; Jané, Gloria; Maestro, Adolfo; López-Martínez, Jerónimo; Hernández-Molina, F. Javier; Mink, Sandra

    2018-07-01

    The offshore region of northwestern Iberia offers an opportunity to study the impacts of along-slope processes on the morphology of a glacially influenced continental margin, which has traditionally been conceptually characterised by predominant down-slope sedimentary processes. High-resolution multibeam bathymetry, acoustic backscatter and ultrahigh-resolution seismic reflection profile data are integrated and analysed to describe the present-day and recent geomorphological features and to interpret their associated sedimentary processes. Seventeen large-scale seafloor morphologies and sixteen individual echo types, interpreted as structural features (escarpments, marginal platforms and related fluid escape structures) and depositional and erosional bedforms developed either by the influence of bottom currents (moats, abraded surfaces, sediment waves, contourite drifts and ridges) or by gravitational features (gullies, canyons, slides, channel-levee complexes and submarine fans), are identified for the first time in the study area (spanning 90,000 km2 and water depths of 300 m to 5 km). Different types of slope failures and turbidity currents are mainly observed on the upper and lower slopes and along submarine canyons and deep-sea channels. The middle slope morphologies are mostly determined by the actions of bottom currents (North Atlantic Central Water, Mediterranean Outflow Water, Labrador Sea Water and North Atlantic Deep Water), which thereby define the margin morphologies and favour the reworking and deposition of sediments. The abyssal plains (Biscay and Iberian) are characterised by pelagic deposits and channel-lobe systems (the Cantabrian and Charcot), although several contourite features are also observed at the foot of the slope due to the influence of the deepest water masses (i.e., the North Atlantic Deep Water and Lower Deep Water). This work shows that the study area is the result of Mesozoic to present-day tectonics (e.g. the marginal platforms

  12. The Continental Margin of East Asia: a collage of multiple plates formed by convergence and extension from multiple directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, J.; Wang, T.; Ludington, S.; Qiu, Z.; Li, Z.

    2017-12-01

    East Asia is one of the most complex regions in the world. Its margin was divided into 4 parts: Northeast Asia, North China, South China and Southeast Asia. During the Phanerozoic, continental plates of East Asia have interacted successively with a) the Paleo Tethyan Ocean, b) the Tethyan and Paleo Pacific Oceans and c) the Pacific and Indian. In the Early Mesozoic, the Indosinian orogeny is characterized by the convergence and extension within multiple continental plates, whereas the Late Mesozoic Yanshanian orogeny is characterized by both convergence and compression due to oceanic subduction and by widespread extension. We propose this combination as "East Asia Continental Margin type." Except in Northeast Asia, where Jurassic and Cretaeous accretionary complexes are common, most magmatic rocks are the result of reworking of ancient margins of small continental plates; and oceanic island arc basalts and continental margin arc andesites are largely absent. Because South China is adjacent to the western margin of the Pacific Plate, some effects of its westward subduction must be unavoidable, but juvenile arc-related crust has not been identified. The East Asian Continental Margin is characterized by magmatic rocks that are the result of post-convergent tectonics, which differs markedly from the active continental margins of both South and North America. In summary, the chief characteristics of the East Asian Continental Margin are: 1) In Mesozoic, the periphery of multiple blocks experienced magmatism caused by lithospheric delamination and thinning in response to extension punctuated by shorter periods of convergence. 2) The main mechanism of magma generation was the partial melting of crustal rocks, due to underplating by upwelling mafic magma associated with the collapse of orogenic belts and both extension and compression between small continental blocks. 3) During orogeny, mostly high Sr/Y arc-related granitoids formed, whereas during post-orogenic times, A

  13. Lithospheric thickness jumps at the S-Atlantic continental margins from satellite gravity data and modelled isostatic anomalies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahraki, Meysam; Schmeling, Harro; Haas, Peter

    2018-01-01

    Isostatic equilibrium is a good approximation for passive continental margins. In these regions, geoid anomalies are proportional to the local dipole moment of density-depth distributions, which can be used to constrain the amount of oceanic to continental lithospheric thickening (lithospheric jumps). We consider a five- or three-layer 1D model for the oceanic and continental lithosphere, respectively, composed of water, a sediment layer (both for the oceanic case), the crust, the mantle lithosphere and the asthenosphere. The mantle lithosphere is defined by a mantle density, which is a function of temperature and composition, due to melt depletion. In addition, a depth-dependent sediment density associated with compaction and ocean floor variation is adopted. We analyzed satellite derived geoid data and, after filtering, extracted typical averaged profiles across the Western and Eastern passive margins of the South Atlantic. They show geoid jumps of 8.1 m and 7.0 m for the Argentinian and African sides, respectively. Together with topography data and an averaged crustal density at the conjugate margins these jumps are interpreted as isostatic geoid anomalies and yield best-fitting crustal and lithospheric thicknesses. In a grid search approach five parameters are systematically varied, namely the thicknesses of the sediment layer, the oceanic and continental crusts and the oceanic and the continental mantle lithosphere. The set of successful models reveals a clear asymmetry between the South Africa and Argentine lithospheres by 15 km. Preferred models predict a sediment layer at the Argentine margin of 3-6 km and at the South Africa margin of 1-2.5 km. Moreover, we derived a linear relationship between, oceanic lithosphere, sediment thickness and lithospheric jumps at the South Atlantic margins. It suggests that the continental lithospheres on the western and eastern South Atlantic are thicker by 45-70 and 60-80 km than the oceanic lithospheres, respectively.

  14. {sup 210}Pb and {sup 210}Po as tracers of particle transport mechanisms on continental margins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radakovitch, O.; Heussner, S. [Perpignan Univ., 66 (France). Lab. de Sedimentologie et Geochimie Marines; Biscaye, P.; Abassi, A. [Columbia Univ., Palisades, NY (United States). Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

    1997-12-31

    The natural radionuclides {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb, members of the {sup 238}U decay chain, are particularly helpful to the understanding of particle transport processes in the ocean. These isotopes were analysed on sediment trap particles collected during 3 one-year experiments on continental margins. In the Bay of Biscay (Northeastern Atlantic) and in the Gulf of Lion (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea) both as part of the French ECOMARGE programme, and in the Middle Atlantic Bight (Northwestern Atlantic) as part of the SEEP programme. They yielded great insights into scenarios of particle transfer at each site, mainly based on the spatial and temporal distribution of {sup 210}Pb particulate concentrations and fluxes. (author) 11 refs.

  15. Exploring the Continental Margin of Israel: “Telepresence” at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Dwight F.; Austin, James A., Jr.; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Ballard, Robert D.

    2011-03-01

    A multidisciplinary team of American and Israeli scientists conducted ocean exploration with a “telepresence” component offshore Israel in September 2010 on board the new E/V Nautilus, which is a reincarnation of the former East German R/V Alexander von Humboldt. This was the first comprehensive geological and biological exploration of the Israel continental margin using deep submergence vehicle systems. Diverse seafloor environments in water depths between 500 and 1300 meters were sampled and imaged using two remotely operated vehicle (ROV) systems, Hercules and Argus. The ROV dives within three areas (Figure 1) investigated high-priority acoustic targets representing geological, biological, or archaeological features as identified by the onboard scientific team. During the dives, biological and geological samples and more than 100 kilometers of high-resolution side-scan sonar data were collected.

  16. Crustal structure of the North Iberian continental margin from seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, M.; Díaz, J.; Pedreira, D.; Gallart, J.; Pulgar, J. A.

    2017-10-01

    The structure and geodynamics of the southern margin of the Bay of Biscay have been investigated from a set of 11 multichannel seismic reflection profiles, recorded also at wide angle offsets in an onshore-offshore network of 24 OBS/OBH and 46 land sites. This contribution focuses on the analysis of the wide-angle reflection/refraction data along representative profiles. The results document strong lateral variations of the crustal structure along the margin and provide an extensive test of the crustal models previously proposed for the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Offshore, the crust has a typical continental structure in the eastern tip of the bay, which disappears smoothly towards the NW to reach crustal thickness close to 10 km at the edge of the studied area ( 45°N, 6°W). The analysis of the velocity-depth profiles, altogether with additional information provided by the multichannel seismic data and magnetic surveys, led to the conclusion that the crust in this part of the bay should be interpreted as transitional from continental to oceanic. Typical oceanic crust has not been imaged in the investigated area. Onshore, the new results are in good agreement with previous results and document the indentation of the Bay of Biscay crust into the Iberian crust, forcing its subduction to the North. The interpreted profiles show that the extent of the southward indentation is not uniform, with an Alpine root less developed in the central and western sector of the Basque-Cantabrian Basin. N-S to NE-SW transfer structures seem to control those variations in the indentation degree.

  17. The De Long Trough: a newly discovered glacial trough on the East Siberian continental margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. O'Regan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Ice sheets extending over parts of the East Siberian continental shelf have been proposed for the last glacial period and during the larger Pleistocene glaciations. The sparse data available over this sector of the Arctic Ocean have left the timing, extent and even existence of these ice sheets largely unresolved. Here we present new geophysical mapping and sediment coring data from the East Siberian shelf and slope collected during the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition (SWERUS-C3: Swedish – Russian – US Arctic Ocean Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere-Carbon Interactions. The multibeam bathymetry and chirp sub-bottom profiles reveal a set of glacial landforms that include grounding zone formations along the outer continental shelf, seaward of which lies a  >  65 m thick sequence of glacio-genic debris flows. The glacial landforms are interpreted to lie at the seaward end of a glacial trough – the first to be reported on the East Siberian margin, here referred to as the De Long Trough because of its location due north of the De Long Islands. Stratigraphy and dating of sediment cores show that a drape of acoustically laminated sediments covering the glacial deposits is older than ∼ 50 cal kyr BP. This provides direct evidence for extensive glacial activity on the Siberian shelf that predates the Last Glacial Maximum and most likely occurred during the Saalian (Marine Isotope Stage (MIS 6.

  18. Record of Permian-Early Triassic continental arc magmatism in the western margin of the Jiamusi Block, NE China: petrogenesis and implications for Paleo-Pacific subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Ge, Wenchun; Dong, Yu; Bi, Junhui; Wang, Zhihui; Ji, Zheng; Yang, H.; Ge, W. C.; Dong, Y.; Bi, J. H.; Wang, Z. H.; Ji, Z.

    2017-09-01

    In this paper, we report zircon U-Pb ages, Hf isotopes and whole-rock geochemical data for the Permian to Early Triassic granitoids from the western margin of the Jiamusi Block (WJB), NE China. The intermediate to felsic (SiO2 = 59.67-74.04 wt%) granitoids belong to calc-alkaline series and are characterized by enrichments in light rare earth elements and large ion lithophile elements with pronounced negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies, revealing typical continental magmatic arc geochemical signatures. The zircon U-Pb determinations on the granodiorite, monzogranite, syenogranite and quartz diorite samples yielded ages between ca. 275-245 Ma, which, together with the published coeval intrusive rocks, indicates that Permian to Early Triassic continental arc magmatism occurred extensively in the WJB. The low and mainly negative zircon ɛ Hf( t) values between -7.6 and +1.6 and the zircon Hf model ages of 1.2-1.8 Ga, which are significantly older than their crystallization ages, suggest that they were mainly derived from reworking of ancient crustal materials with a limited input of juvenile components. The geochemical systematics and petrogenetic considerations indicate that the studied granitoids were generated from a zone of melting, assimilation, storage, and homogenization, i.e., a MASHed zone at the base of Paleo- to Mesoproterozoic continental crust, where large portions of igneous rocks and minor clay-poor sediments involved in the source region. In combination with regional geological data, we argue that the Jiamusi Block was unlikely the rifted segment of the Songliao Block and two possible geodynamical models were proposed to interpret the formation of the ca. 275-245 Ma granitoids in the WJB. In the context of Permian global plate reconstruction, we suggest that Paleo-Pacific plate subduction was initiated in the Permian to Early Triassic beneath the Jiamusi Block, and even whole eastern NE China.

  19. Geology of the continental margin beneath Santa Monica Bay, Southern California, from seismic-reflection data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, M.A.; Normark, W.R.; Bohannon, R.G.; Sliter, R.W.; Calvert, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    We interpret seismic-reflection data, which were collected in Santa Monica Bay using a 70-in3 generator-injector air gun, to show the geologic structure of the continental shelf and slope and of the deep-water, Santa Monica and San Pedro Basins. The goal of this research is to investigate the earthquake hazard posed to urban areas by offshore faults. These data reveal that northwest of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Palos Verdes Fault neither offsets the seafloor nor cuts through an undeformed sediment apron that postdates the last sea level rise. Other evidence indicates that this fault extends northwest beneath the shelf in the deep subsurface. However, other major faults in the study area, such as the Dume and San Pedro Basin Faults, were active recently, as indicated by an arched seafloor and offset shallow sediment. Rocks under the lower continental slope are deformed to differing degrees on opposite sides of Santa Monica Canyon. Northwest of this canyon, the continental slope is underlain by a little-deformed sediment apron; the main structures that deform this apron are two lower-slope anticlines that extend toward Point Dume and are cored by faults showing reverse or thrust separation. Southeast of Santa Monica Canyon, lower-slope rocks are deformed by a complex arrangement of strike-slip, normal, and reverse faults. The San Pedro Escarpment rises abruptly along the southeast side of Santa Monica Canyon. Reverse faults and folds underpinning this escarpment steepen progressively southeastward. Locally they form flower structures and cut downward into basement rocks. These faults merge downward with the San Pedro Basin fault zone, which is nearly vertical and strike slip. The escarpment and its attendant structures diverge from this strike-slip fault zone and extend for 60 km along the margin, separating the continental shelf from the deep-water basins. The deep-water Santa Monica Basin has large extent but is filled with only a thin (less than 1.5-km

  20. DELP Symposium: Tectonics of eastern Asia and western Pacific Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastern Asia and the western Pacific make up a broad region of active plate tectonic interaction. The area is a natural laboratory for studying the processes involved in the origin and evolution of volcanic island arcs, marginal basins, accretionary prisims, oceanic trenches, accreted terranes, ophiolite emplacement, and intracontinental deformation. Many of our working concepts of plate tectonics and intraplate deformation were developed in this region, even though details of the geology and geophysics there must be considered of a reconnaissance nature.During the past few years researchers have accumulated a vast amount of new and detailed information and have developed a better understanding of the processes that have shaped the tectonic elements in this region. To bring together scientists from many disciplines and to present the wide range of new data and ideas that offer a broader perspective on the interrelations of geological, geochemical, geophysical and geodetic studies, the symposium Tectonics of Eastern Asia and Western Pacific Continental Margin was held December 13-16, 1988, at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, under the auspicies of DELP (Dynamics and Evolution of the Lithosphere Project).

  1. Seamounts along the Iberian continental margins; Los montes submarinos en los margenes continentales de Iberia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vazquez, J. T.; Alonso, B.; Fernandez-Puga, M. C.; Gomez-Ballesteros, M.; Iglesias, J.; Palomino, D.; Roque, C.; Ercilla, G.; Diaz-del-Rio, V.

    2015-07-01

    Seamounts are first-order morphological elements on continental margins and in oceanic domains, which have been extensively researched over recent decades in all branches of oceanography. These features favour the development of several geological processes, and their study gives us a better understanding of their geological and morphological domains. The seamounts around Iberia are numerous and provide excellent examples of the geo diversity of these morphological elements. Here we present a compilation of 15 seamounts around the Iberian Peninsula. These seamounts have different origins related to the geodynamic evolution (volcanism, extensional or compressive tectonics, and diapirism) of the domains where they are located. The current configuration of their relief has been influenced by Neogene-Quaternary tectonics. Their positioning controls the current morpho-sedimentary processes in the basins and on the margins, and high- lights the fact that downslope processes on seamount flanks (mass flows, turbidite flows, and landslides) and processes parallel to seamounts (contouritic currents) correspond to the major geological features they are associated with them. Biogenic structures commonly develop on the tops of seamounts where occasionally isolated shelves form that have carbonate-dominated sedimentation. (Author)

  2. Continental rift formation and transition to ocean sea floor spreading : A case study of the Afar triple junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lavecchia, A.L.

    2017-01-01

    Lithosphere extension, thinning and breakup are fundamental processes in geodynamics. During rift development, both the lithosphere and the mantle are involved in a coupled system, in which the main mechanisms and the forces associated with them often vary during the rift evolution. Furthermore, the

  3. Distribution, abundance and trail characteristics of acorn worms at Australian continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, T. J.; Przeslawski, R.; Tran, M.

    2011-04-01

    Acorn worms (Enteropneusta), which were previously thought to be a missing link in understanding the evolution of chordates, are an unusual and potentially important component of many deep-sea benthic environments, particularly for nutrient cycling. Very little is known about their distribution, abundance, or behaviour in deep-sea environments around the world, and almost nothing is known about their distribution within Australian waters. In this study, we take advantage of two large-scale deep-sea mapping surveys along the eastern (northern Lord Howe Rise) and western continental margins of Australia to quantify the distribution, abundance and trail-forming behaviour of this highly unusual taxon. This is the first study to quantify the abundance and trail behaviour of acorn worms within Australian waters and provides the first evidence of strong depth-related distributions. Acorn worm densities and trail activity were concentrated between transect-averaged depths of 1600 and 3000 m in both eastern and western continental margins. The shallow limit of their depth distribution was 1600 m. The deeper limit was less well-defined, as individuals were found in small numbers below 3000 down to 4225 m. This distributional pattern may reflect a preference for these depths, possibly due to higher availability of nutrients, rather than a physiological constraint to greater depths. Sediment characteristics alone were poor predictors of acorn worm densities and trail activity. High densities of acorn worms and trails were associated with sandy-mud sediments, but similar sediment characteristics in either shallower or deeper areas did not support similar densities of acorn worms or trails. Trail shapes varied between eastern and western margins, with proportionally more meandering trails recorded in the east, while spiral and meandering trails were both common in the west. Trail shape varied by depth, with spiral-shaped trails dominant in areas of high acorn worm densities

  4. U-Pb thermochronology of rutile from Alpine Corsica: constraints on the thermal evolution of the European margin during Jurassic continental breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, T. A.; Beltrando, M.; Müntener, O.

    2017-12-01

    U-Pb thermochronology of rutile can provide valuable temporal constraints on the exhumation history of the lower crust, given its moderate closure temperature and the occurrence of rutile in appropriate lithologies. We present an example from Alpine Corsica, in which we investigate the thermal evolution of the distal European margin during Jurassic continental rifting that culminated in the opening of the Alpine Tethys ocean. The Belli Piani unit of the Santa Lucia nappe (Corsica) experienced minimal Alpine overprint and bears a striking resemblance to the renowned Ivrea Zone lower crustal section (Italy). At its base, a 2-4 km thick gabbroic complex contains slivers of granulite facies metapelites that represent Permian lower crust. Zr-in-rutile temperatures and U-Pb ages were determined for rutile from three metapelitic slivers from throughout the Mafic Complex. High Zr-in-rutile temperatures of 850-950 °C corroborate textural evidence for rutile formation during Permian granulite facies metamorphism. Lower Zr-in-rutile temperatures of 750-800 °C in a few grains are partly associated with elongate strings of rutile within quartz ribbons, which record recrystallisation of some rutile during high-temperature shearing. Zr thermometry documents that both crystallisation and re-crystallisation of rutile occurred above the closure temperature of Pb in rutile, such that the U-Pb system can be expected to record cooling ages uncomplicated by re-crystallisation. Our new high-precision single-spot LA-ICPMS U-Pb dates are highly consistent between and within samples. The three samples gave ages from 160 ± 1 Ma to 161 ± 2 Ma, with no other age populations detected. The new data indicate that the Santa Lucia lower crust last cooled through 550-650 °C at 160 Ma, coeval with the first formation of oceanic crust in the Tethys. The new data are compared to previous depth profiling rutile U-Pb data for the Belli Piani unit1, and exploited to cast light on the tectonothermal

  5. Quantitative distribution of metazoan meiofauna in continental margin sediments of the Skagerrak (Northeastern North Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Bovée, F.; Hall, P. O. J.; Hulth, S.; Hulthe, G.; Landén, A.; Tengberg, A.

    1996-02-01

    A quantitative survey of metazoan meiofauna in continental-margin sediments of the Skagerrak was carried out using virtually undisturbed sediment samples collected with a multiple corer. Altogether 11 stations distributed along and across the Norwegian Trench were occupied during three cruises. Abundance ranged from 155 to 6846 ind·10 cm -2 and revealed a sharply decreasing trend with increasing water depth. The densities were high on the upper part of the Danish margin (6846 ind·10 cm -2 at 194 m depth) and low in the central part of the deep Skagerrak (155 ind·10 cm -2 at 637 m depth). Also body lengths were significantly shorter on the Danish margin then elsewhere in the Skagerrak, indicating a greater importance of juveniles in this area. We suggest that the high densities may be explained by a stimulated renewal of the fauna, possibly induced by an adequate food supply. The low abundances found in sediments from the deepest part of the Norwegian Trench cannot be attributed to any lack of oxygen. We suggest that the low meiofaunal abundances are caused by a decrease in the food supply (accentuated in this area by lower sedimentation rates) and/or by the very high concentrations of dissolved manganese in the pore water of these sediments. The metazoan meiofauna was largely dominated by nematodes. Comparison of the respiration rates of the nematode population with the total benthic respiration (0.5 to 14%) suggests that the relative importance of metazoan meiofauna decreased with water depth.

  6. PRELIMINARY PALEOMAGNETIC RESULTS FROM OUTFLOW EOCENE-OLIGOCENE ASH FLOW TUFFS FROM THE WESTERN MARGIN OF THE SAN LUIS BASIN: IMPLICATION FOR THE KINEMATIC EVOLUTION OF THE RIO GRANDE RIFT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, S. N.; Geissman, J. W.; Sussman, A. J.

    2009-12-01

    In the Rio Grande rift (RGR), a late Cenozoic continental rift from central Colorado to southern New Mexico, hanging wall margins typically contain en echelon normal fault systems with intervening areas of typically complex structure, called relay zones. Relay zones transfer displacement through complex strain patterns and eventual linkage of faults and hold clues as to how fault zones initiate and grow. The western margin of the RGR at the latitude of the San Luis basin (SLB) exposes laterally continuous Eocene-Oligocene volcanic rocks, well-correlated by 40Ar/39Ar data, and well-preserved rift structures. Ash flow tuffs are usually excellent recorders of the instantaneous geomagnetic field and five ash flow tuffs (ca. 32.3 to 27.3 Ma; including the Saguache Creek, La Jara Canyon, Masonic Park, Fish Canyon, and Carpenter Ridge tuffs) have been sampled in spatial detail along west to east transects of the eastern San Juan volcanic field to the westernmost margin of the RGR at the SLB. Data obtained from our sampling approach will yield a comprehensive definition of relative vertical-axis rotations across the area and will be used to assess the timing of RGR fault linkages. Preliminary paleomagnetic data from the Masonic Park tuff (ca. 28.2 Ma) suggest up to ~17° clockwise rotation between sample locations on the Colorado Plateau and locations to the east, nearest the western margin of the RGR. Preliminary data from the Fish Canyon tuff (ca. 27.8 Ma) show a ~12° clockwise rotation. The relative clockwise vertical-axis rotation of sampling sites in both ash flow tuffs nearest the RGR margin suggests that relay zone development with attending vertical-axis rotation played an important role in the opening of the northern RGR. Our data set is not sufficiently robust at present to test the hypothesis that rotation was taking place concurrently with eruption of these large-volume ash flow tuffs in the early Oligocene, but it is a possibility and if so, the RGR at the

  7. Structural interpretation of the Konkan basin, southwestern continental margin of India, based on magnetic and bathymetric data

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Subrahmanyam, V.; Krishna, K.S.; Murty, G.P.S.; Rao, D.G.; Ramana, M.V.; Rao, M.G.

    Magnetic and bathymetric studies on the Konkan basin of the southwestern continental margin of India reveal prominent NNW-SSE, NW-SE, ENE-WSW, and WNE-ESE structural trends. The crystalline basement occurs at about 5-6 km below the mean sea level. A...

  8. Influence of marginal highs on the accumulation of organic carbon along the continental slope off western India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, B.R.; Veerayya, M.

    and 743E (after De Sousa, unpublished data). by the gasometric method using the &karbonate-bombe’ (Muller and Gastner, 1971) and organic carbon by the wet oxidation method (El Wakeel and Riley, 1957). Some samples from the upper continental slope, marginal...

  9. Late-Quaternary variations in clay minerals along the SW continental margin of India: Evidence of climatic variations

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chauhan, O.S.; Sukhija, B.S.; Gujar, A.R.; Nagabhushanam, P.; Paropkari, A.L.

    Down-core variations in illite, chlorite, smectite and kaolinite (the major clays) in two sup(14)C-dated cores collected along the SW continental margin of India show that illite and chlorite have enhanced abundance during 20-17, 12.5, 11-9.5, and 5...

  10. Bathymetric highs in the mid-slope region of the western continental margin of India - Structure and mode of origin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, D.G.; Paropkari, A.L.; Krishna, K.S.; Chaubey, A.K.; Ajay, K.K.; Kodagali, V.N.

    Analysis of the multi- and single beam bathymetric, seismic, magnetic and free-air gravity (ship-borne and satellite derived) data from the western continental margin of India between 12 degrees 40 minutes N and 15 degrees N had revealed...

  11. Crustal-Scale Fault Interaction at Rifted Margins and the Formation of Domain-Bounding Breakaway Complexes: Insights From Offshore Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmundsen, P. T.; Péron-Pinvidic, G.

    2018-03-01

    The large-magnitude faults that control crustal thinning and excision at rifted margins combine into laterally persistent structural boundaries that separate margin domains of contrasting morphology and structure. We term them breakaway complexes. At the Mid-Norwegian margin, we identify five principal breakaway complexes that separate the proximal, necking, distal, and outer margin domains. Downdip and lateral interactions between the faults that constitute breakaway complexes became fundamental to the evolution of the 3-D margin architecture. Different types of fault interaction are observed along and between these faults, but simple models for fault growth will not fully describe their evolution. These structures operate on the crustal scale, cut large thicknesses of heterogeneously layered lithosphere, and facilitate fundamental margin processes such as deformation coupling and exhumation. Variations in large-magnitude fault geometry, erosional footwall incision, and subsequent differential subsidence along the main breakaway complexes likely record the variable efficiency of these processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Alastair

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Large-scale landslide triggering mechanisms in Debre Sina area, Central Ethiopian Highlands at the western Afar rift margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiros, T.; Wohnlich, S.; Hussien, B.

    2017-12-01

    The Central Highlands of Ethiopia have repeatedly experiencing large-scale landslide events. Debre Sina area is one of the most landslide prone areas located along the western Afar rift margin of Ethiopia, which is frequently affected by large-scale and deep-seated landslides. Despite that, urban and rural development is currently taking place in almost all constricted valleys as well as on the imposing cliffs. Therefore, understanding the major triggering factors and failure mechanisms in the Debre Sina area and surroundings is of critical importance. In the present study, we investigate the landslide in the area using geological and topographic analysis, structural settings, geophysical investigation (seismic refraction), rainfall data and seismicity. Furthermore, petrographical as well as X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis are conducted to explain the mineral composition of parent rock and its weathering products. The topographic analysis result revealed that the slope range from 100 - 400, with elevation of 1,800 - 2,500m, with aspect to east and southeast are highly prone to landslide. The seismic refraction method identified four main layers of geomaterials which contained a subsurface landslides anomaly within the layers. The results consist of clay, loosely cemented colluvial sediments and highly weathered agglomerates (1000-1500m/s) 7-15m, highly to moderately fractured porphyritic basalt, ignimbrite, rhyolite/trachyte and volcanic ash (1500-2500m/s) 10-30m, moderately to slightly fractured ignimbrite, rhyolite/trachyte and basalt (2500-3500m/s) 30-50m and very strong, massive, fresh rock/bed rock (>3500m/s) from 45m depth. The large-scale and deep-seated landslides problem in the study area appears to be caused by heavy rainfall, complex geology and rugged topography, the presence of geological structures oriented parallel to the rift margin N-S fault (NNE-SSW trending) of the central Ethiopian highlands and coinciding with the head scarp of the slides and

  14. Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Crustal Growth at Active Continental Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, G.; Gerya, T.; Tackley, P. J.

    2011-12-01

    Active margins are important sites of new continental crust formation by magmatic processes related to the subduction of oceanic plates. We investigate these phenomena using a three-dimensional coupled petrological-geochemical-thermomechanical numerical model, which combines a finite-difference flow solver with a non-diffusive marker-in-cell technique for advection (I3ELVIS code, Gerya and Yuen, PEPI,2007). The model includes mantle flow associated with the subducting plate, water release from the slab, fluid propagation that triggers partial melting at the slab surface, melt extraction and the resulting volcanic crustal growth at the surface. The model also accounts for variations in physical properties (mainly density and viscosity) of both fluids and rocks as a function of local conditions in temperature, pressure, deformation, nature of the rocks, and chemical exchanges. Our results show different patterns of crustal growth and surface topography, which are comparable to nature, during subduction at active continental margins. Often, two trench-parallel lines of magmatic activity, which reflect two maxima of melt production atop the slab, are formed on the surface. The melt extraction rate controls the patterns of new crust at different ages. Moving free water reflects the path of fluids, and the velocity of free water shows the trend of two parallel lines of magmatic activity. The formation of new crust in particular time intervals is distributed in finger-like shapes, corresponding to finger-like and ridge-like cold plumes developed atop the subducting slabs (Zhu et al., G-cubed,2009; PEPI,2011). Most of the new crust is basaltic, formed from peridotitic mantle. Granitic crust extracted from melted sediment and upper crust forms in a line closer to the trench, and its distribution reflects the finger-like cold plumes. Dacitic crust extracted from the melted lower crust forms in a line farther away from the trench, and its distribution is anticorrelated with

  15. Large-scale variation in lithospheric structure along and across the Kenya rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Kaminski, W.; Fuchs, K.; Grosse, C.; Hoffmann, H.; Stangl, R.; Stellrecht, R.; Khan, M.A.; Maguire, Peter K.H.; Kirk, W.; Keller, Gordon R.; Githui, A.; Baker, M.; Mooney, W.; Criley, E.; Luetgert, J.; Jacob, B.; Thybo, H.; Demartin, M.; Scarascia, S.; Hirn, A.; Bowman, J.R.; Nyambok, I.; Gaciri, S.; Patel, J.; Dindi, E.; Griffiths, D.H.; King, R.F.; Mussett, A.E.; Braile, L.W.; Thompson, G.; Olsen, K.; Harder, S.; Vees, R.; Gajewski, D.; Schulte, A.; Obel, J.; Mwango, F.; Mukinya, J.; Riaroh, D.

    1991-01-01

    The Kenya rift is one of the classic examples of a continental rift zone: models for its evolution range from extension of the lithosphere by pure shear1, through extension by simple shear2, to diapiric upwelling of an asthenolith3. Following a pilot study in 19854, the present work involved the shooting of three seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection profiles along the axis, across the margins, and on the northeastern flank of the rift (Fig. 1). These lines were intended to reconcile the different crustal thickness estimates for the northern and southern parts of the rift4-6 and to reveal the structure across the rift, including that beneath the flanks. The data, presented here, reveal significant lateral variations in structure both along and across the rift. The crust thins along the rift axis from 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; there are abrupt changes in Mono depth and uppermost-mantle seismic velocity across the rift margins, and crustal thickening across the boundary between the Archaean craton and PanAfrican orogenic belt immediately west of the rift. These results suggest that thickened crust may have controlled the rift's location, that there is a decrease in extension from north to south, and that the upper mantle immediately beneath the rift may contain reservoirs of magma generated at greater depth.

  16. Passive recording of an active transform, an example from the Levant continental margin and the Dead Sea Fault

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Guy; Lazar, Michael; Schattner, Uri

    2017-04-01

    Transform faults accommodate lateral motion between two adjacent plates. Records of plate motion and consequent boundary development on land is, at times, scarce and limited to structures along the fault axis. Investigation of a passive continental margin adjacent to the plate boundary might broaden the scope and provide estimates for its structural development. To examine this hypothesis, we analyzed depth and time migrated 3D seismic data together with four boreholes located along the southern Levant continental margin, ca. 100 Km from the continental Dead Sea fault (DSF). The analysis focus on the Plio-Pleistocene sequence, a key period in the development of the DSF. It includes formation of structural maps, stacking pattern investigation and calculation of sedimentation rates based on decompacted 3D depth data. These, in turn, enabled the reconstruction of margin development. This includes Messinian-earliest Zanclean NNE-SSW sinistral strike-slip faulting followed by Zanclean-Late Gelasian syn-depositional folding striking in the same direction. Abrupt change is marked by the Top Gelasian surface that shows indications of regional mass slumping. Successive Mid-Late Pleistocene progradation marks a basinward shift of the depocenter. Progradation controls margin sedimentation rates during the mid-late Pleistocene. These were found to increase throughout the whole Plio-Pleistocene, in contrast to reported sediment discharge from the Nile, which was shown to decrease after the Gelasian. Correlations to onshore findings, suggest that the continental margin records strain localization on the DSF during the Pliocene-Gelasian. This trend peaked at 1.8 Ma when short wavelength strain ceased along the margin, and differential subsidence commenced basinwards. This is attributed to consequent deepening of the DSF plate boundary.

  17. Potential tsunamigenic hazard associated to submarine mass movement along the Ionian continental margin (Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceramicola, S.; Tinti, S.; Praeg, D.; Zaniboni, F.; Planinsek, P.

    2012-04-01

    Submarine mass movements are natural geomorphic processes that transport marine sediment down continental slopes into deep-marine environments. Type of mass wasting include creep, slides, slump, debris flows, each with its own features and taking place over timescale from seconds to years. Submarine landslides can be triggered by a number of different causes, either internal (such as changes in physical chemical sediment properties) or external (e.g. earthquakes, volcanic activity, salt movements, sea level changes etc.). Landslides may mobilize sediments in such a way as to form an impulsive vertical displacement of a body of water, originating a wave or series of waves with long wavelengths and long periods called tsunamis ('harbor waves'). Over 600 km of continental margin has been investigated by OGS in the Ionian sea using geophysical data - morpho-bathymetry (Reson 8111, 8150) and sub-bottom profiles (7-10 KHz) - collected aboard the research vessel OGS Explora in the framework of the MAGIC Project (Marine Geohazard along the Italian Coasts), funded by the Italian Civil Protection. The objective of this project is the definition of elements that may constitute geological risk for coastal areas. Geophysical data allowed the recognition of four main types of mass wasting phenomena along the slopes of the ICM: 1) mass transport complexes (MTCs) within intra-slope basins. Seabed imagery show the slopes of all the seabed ridges to be marked by headwall scarps recording widespread failure, multiple debris flows in several basins indicate one or more past episodes of failure that may be linked to activity on the faults bounding the structural highs. 2) submarine landslide - a multiple failure event have been identified (Assi landslide) at about 6 km away from the coastline nearby Riace Marina. Headwall scars up to 50 m high across water depths of 700 to 1400 m, while sub-bottom profiles indicate stacked slide deposits at and near seabed. 4) canyon headwalls - in the

  18. Impacts of flamingos on saline lake margin and shallow lacustrine sediments in the Kenya Rift Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Jennifer J.; Renaut, Robin W.; Owen, R. Bernhart

    2012-11-01

    Studies of modern, Holocene, and Pleistocene sediments around saline to hypersaline, alkaline Lake Bogoria and Lake Magadi show that evidence of flamingo activity in marginal areas of these lakes is nearly ubiquitous. Flamingos produce discrete structures such as webbed footprints (~ 9 cm long, ~ 11 cm wide) and nest mounds (~ 30 cm wide, ~ 20 cm high), and they also extensively rework sediments in delta front, delta plain, and shoreline areas. Large (~ 0.5-2 cm in diameter), pinched, 'bubble pores' and ped-like mud clumps are formed by the trampling and churning of wet clay-rich sediments in these settings. Flamingo nest mounds, although superficially similar to some thrombolite mounds, are typically internally structureless, unless formed on pre-existing sediments that preserve internal structures. The flamingo mounds consist of a dense, packed oval-shaped core, a surrounding 'body' of packed sediment, and an external layer with a ped-like texture of clumped mud. The nests may contain open holes from roots or feather shafts incorporated into the nest, and (or) burrows produced once the nests are abandoned. In areas with high densities of flamingos, lake margin sediments may be preferentially compacted, particularly at breeding sites, and become resistant to subaerial erosion and the effects of transgressive ravinement on time scales ranging from seasons to tens of thousands of years. The relatively well-compacted nest mounds and associated sediments also contribute to the stability of delta distributary channels during regressive-transgressive cycles, and can lead to the minor channelization of unconfined flows where currents are diverted around nest mounds. Pleistocene exhumed surfaces of relatively well-indurated lake margin sediments at Lake Bogoria and Lake Magadi that are interpreted as combined regressive and transgressive surfaces (flooding surface/sequence boundary) preserve evidence of flamingo activities, and are overlain by younger, porous lacustrine

  19. Global multi-scale segmentation of continental and coastal waters from the watersheds to the continental margins

    KAUST Repository

    Laruelle, G. G.; Dü rr, H. H.; Lauerwald, R.; Hartmann, J.; Slomp, C. P.; Regnier, P. A. G.

    2012-01-01

    files. Our analysis provides detailed insights into the distributions of coastal and continental shelf areas and how they connect with incoming riverine fluxes. The segmentation is also used to re-evaluate the global estuarine CO2 flux at the air–water interface combining global and regional average emission rates derived from local studies.

  20. Global multi-scale segmentation of continental and coastal waters from the watersheds to the continental margins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laruelle, G.G.; Dürr, H.H.; Lauerwald, R.; Hartmann, J.; Slomp, C.P.; Goossens, N.; Regnier, P.A.G.

    2013-01-01

    Past characterizations of the land–ocean continuum were constructed either from a continental perspective through an analysis of watershed river basin properties (COSCATs: COastal Segmentation and related CATchments) or from an oceanic perspective, through a regionalization of the proximal and

  1. Genesis of giant promontories during two-stage continental breakup and implications for post-Rodinia circum-Arctic margins (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, D. C.

    2013-12-01

    Giant promontories are a seldom-noted feature of the present-day population of passive margins. A number of them formed during the breakup of Pangea: the South Tasman Rise and Naturaliste Plateau off Australia, the Grand Banks and Florida off North America, the Falkland Plateau off South America, and the Horn of Africa. Giant promontories protrude hundreds of kms seaward from a corner of the continent and are not to be confused with the low-amplitude irregularies that occur at intervals along most passive margins. Giant promontories that might have formed during the breakup of the earlier supercontinents, Rodinia and Nuna, have not been recognized. Properties of the modern examples suggest some identifying criteria. They are cored by continental crust that was created or last reworked during the previous collisional cycle. Judging from the examples listed, the early histories of the two flanks of a promontory will differ because separate continents or microcontinents drift away in different directions at different times. For example, the eastern flank of the >500-km-long South Tasman Rise formed when the Lord Howe Rise separated from Australia at ca. 85 Ma, whereas the western flank formed when Antarctica moved past at ca. 65-33 Ma. (Age spans of various passive margins quoted herein are from Bradley, 2008, Earth Sci. Rev. 91:1-26.) During ocean closure (typically, arc-passive margin collision), a promontory may be exposed to earlier and more intense tectonism than elsewhere along the margin. Unique events are also possible. For example, the tip of Florida experienced a glancing collision with Cuba during the Paleogene, an event that was not felt elsewhere along the Gulf or Atlantic margins of the southeastern U.S. Giant promontories are unlikely to have deep lithospheric keels and may be prone to being dislodged and rotated during collision. Thus, what starts as a promontory may end up as a microcontinent in an orogen. The case for giant promontories in the circum

  2. Comparative organic geochemistry of Indian margin (Arabian Sea) sediments: estuary to continental slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowie, G.; Mowbray, S.; Kurian, S.; Sarkar, A.; White, C.; Anderson, A.; Vergnaud, B.; Johnstone, G.; Brear, S.; Woulds, C.; Naqvi, S. W.; Kitazato, H.

    2014-02-01

    Surface sediments from sites across the Indian margin of the Arabian Sea were analysed for their carbon and nitrogen compositions (elemental and stable isotopic), grain size distributions and biochemical indices of organic matter (OM) source and/or degradation state. Site locations ranged from the estuaries of the Mandovi and Zuari rivers to depths of ~ 2000 m on the continental slope, thus spanning nearshore muds and sands on the shelf and both the semi-permanent oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) on the upper slope (~ 200-1300 m) and the seasonal hypoxic zone that impinges on the shelf. Source indices showed mixed marine and terrigenous OM within the estuaries, and overwhelming predominance (80%+) of marine OM on the shelf and slope. Thus, riverine OM is heavily diluted by autochthonous marine OM and/or is efficiently remineralised within or immediately offshore of the estuaries. Any terrigenous OM that is exported appears to be retained in nearshore muds; lignin phenols indicate that the small terrigenous OM content of slope sediments is of different origin, potentially from rivers to the north. Organic C contents of surface shelf and slope sediments varied from winnowing and/or dilution) on the shelf and progressive OM degradation with increasing oxygen exposure below the OMZ. Reduced oxygen exposure may contribute to OM enrichment at some sites within the OMZ, but hydrodynamic processes are the overriding control on sediment OM distribution.

  3. New insights on the geological evolution of the continental margin of Southeastern Brazil derived from zircon and apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He and fission-track data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krob, Florian; Stippich, Christian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Hackspacher, Peter

    2017-04-01

    New insights on the geological evolution of the continental margin of Southeastern Brazil derived from zircon and apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He and fission-track data Krob, F.C.1, Stippich, C. 1, Glasmacher, U.A.1, Hackspacher, P.C.2 (1) Institute of Earth Sciences, Research Group Thermochronology and Archaeometry, Heidelberg University, INF 234, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany (2) Instituto de Geociências e Ciências Exatas, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Av. 24-A, 1515 Rio Claro, SP, 13506-900, Brazil Passive continental margins are important geoarchives related to mantle dynamics, the breakup of continents, lithospheric dynamics, and other processes. The main concern yields the quantifying long-term lithospheric evolution of the continental margin between São Paulo and Laguna in southeastern Brazil since the Neoproterozoic. We put special emphasis on the reactivation of old fracture zones running into the continent and their constrains on the landscape evolution. In this contribution, we represent already consisting thermochronological data attained by fission-track and (U-Th-Sm)/He analysis on apatites and zircons. The zircon fission-track ages range between 108.4 (15.0) and 539.9 (68.4) Ma, the zircon (U-Th-Sm)/He ages between 72.9 (5.8) and 427.6 (1.8) Ma whereas the apatite fission-track ages range between 40.0 (5.3) and 134.7 (8.0) Ma, and the apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He ages between 32.1 (1.52) and 92.0 (1.86) Ma. These thermochronological ages from metamorphic, sedimentary and intrusive rocks show six distinct blocks (Laguna, Florianópolis, Curitiba, Ilha Comprida, Peruibe and Santos) with different evolution cut by old fracture zones. Furthermore, models of time-temperature evolution illustrate the differences in Pre- to post-rift exhumation histories of these blocks. The presented data will provide an insight into the complex exhumation history of the continental margin based on the existing literature data on the evolution of the Paraná basin in Brazil and the latest

  4. Footwall degradation styles and associated sedimentary facies distribution in SE Crete: Insights into tilt-block extensional basins on continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Tiago M.; Cupkovic, Tomas

    2018-05-01

    Depositional facies resulting from footwall degradation in extensional basins of SE Crete are studied based on detailed geological maps, regional transects, lithological columns and outcrop photos. During an extensional episode affecting Crete in the late Miocene-early Pliocene, depocentres trending N20°E and N70°E were filled with fan deltas, submarine mass-wasting deposits, sandy turbidites and fine-grained hemipelagites sourced from both nearby and distal sediment sources. Deposition of proximal continental and shallow-marine units, and relatively deep (marine) turbidites and mass-transport deposits, occurred within a complex mosaic of tectonically controlled depocentres. The new geological maps and transects in this work reveal that depositional facies in SE Crete were controlled by: a) their relative proximity to active faults and uplifting footwall blocks, b) the relative position (depth and relative height above sea level) of hanging-wall basins, and c) the nature of the basement units eroded from adjacent footwall blocks. Distal sediment sources supplied background siliciclastic sediment ('hemipelagites'), which differ markedly from strata sourced from local footwalls. In parallel, mass-transport of sediment was ubiquitous on tectonically active slopes, and so was the presence of coarse-grained sediment with sizes varying from large blocks > 50 m-wide to heterolithic mass-transport deposits and silty-sandy turbidites. We expect similar tectono-sedimentary settings to have predominated in tectonically active Miocene basins of the eastern Mediterranean, in which hydrocarbon exploration is occurring at present, and on rifted continental margins across the world.

  5. Continental rupture and the creation of new crust in the Salton Trough rift, Southern California and northern Mexico: Results from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Liang; Hole, John A.; Stock, Joann M.; Fuis, Gary S.; Kell, Annie; Driscoll, Neal W.; Kent, Graham M.; Harding, Alistair J.; Rymer, Michael J.; González-Fernández, Antonio; Lázaro-Mancilla, Octavio

    2016-10-01

    A refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic profile along the axis of the Salton Trough, California and Mexico, was analyzed to constrain crustal and upper mantle seismic velocity structure during active continental rifting. From the northern Salton Sea to the southern Imperial Valley, the crust is 17-18 km thick and approximately one-dimensional. The transition at depth from Colorado River sediment to underlying crystalline rock is gradual and is not a depositional surface. The crystalline rock from 3 to 8 km depth is interpreted as sediment metamorphosed by high heat flow. Deeper felsic crystalline rock could be stretched preexisting crust or higher-grade metamorphosed sediment. The lower crust below 12 km depth is interpreted to be gabbro emplaced by rift-related magmatic intrusion by underplating. Low upper mantle velocity indicates high temperature and partial melting. Under the Coachella Valley, sediment thins to the north and the underlying crystalline rock is interpreted as granitic basement. Mafic rock does not exist at 12-18 km depth as it does to the south, and a weak reflection suggests Moho at 28 km depth. Structure in adjacent Mexico has slower midcrustal velocity, and rocks with mantle velocity must be much deeper than in the Imperial Valley. Slower velocity and thicker crust in the Coachella and Mexicali valleys define the rift zone between them to be >100 km wide in the direction of plate motion. North American lithosphere in the central Salton Trough has been rifted apart and is being replaced by new crust created by magmatism, sedimentation, and metamorphism.

  6. Continental rupture and the creation of new crust in the Salton Trough rift, southern California and northern Mexico: Results from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Liang; Hole, John A.; Stock, Joann M.; Fuis, Gary S.; Kell, Annie; Driscoll, Neal W.; Kent, Graham M.; Rymer, Michael J.; Gonzalez-Fernandez, Antonio; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio

    2016-01-01

    A refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic profile along the axis of the Salton Trough, California and Mexico, was analyzed to constrain crustal and upper mantle seismic velocity structure during active continental rifting. From the northern Salton Sea to the southern Imperial Valley, the crust is 17-18 km thick and approximately one-dimensional. The transition at depth from Colorado River sediment to underlying crystalline rock is gradual and is not a depositional surface. The crystalline rock from ~3 to ~8 km depth is interpreted as sediment metamorphosed by high heat flow. Deeper felsic crystalline rock could be stretched pre-existing crust or higher grade metamorphosed sediment. The lower crust below ~12 km depth is interpreted to be gabbro emplaced by rift-related magmatic intrusion by underplating. Low upper-mantle velocity indicates high temperature and partial melting. Under the Coachella Valley, sediment thins to the north and the underlying crystalline rock is interpreted as granitic basement. Mafic rock does not exist at 12-18 depth as it does to the south, and a weak reflection suggests Moho at ~28 km depth. Structure in adjacent Mexico has slower mid-crustal velocity and rocks with mantle velocity must be much deeper than in the Imperial Valley. Slower velocity and thicker crust in the Coachella and Mexicali valleys define the rift zone between them to be >100 km wide in the direction of plate motion. North American lithosphere in the central Salton Trough has been rifted apart and is being replaced by new crust created by magmatism, sedimentation, and metamorphism.

  7. Spatial Extent of Wave-Supported Fluid Mud on the Waipaoa Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, R. P.; Ogston, A. S.; Walsh, J. P.; Orpin, A. R.

    2013-12-01

    Data from acoustic and optical sensors provide a powerful tool to connect near-bed water-column processes with the deposits they generate. Ideally, the product of water-column and seabed interactions can then be applied more broadly to understand systems as a whole, in both space and time. Recent observational research has allowed for an improved understanding of shelf sediment-transport dynamics in many coastal systems, including the dynamic Waipaoa Sedimentary System (WSS), on the east coast of the north island of New Zealand. This narrow shelf (~20 km) on an active continental margin is subject to strong environmental forcings in the form of high waves (>5 m), strong currents (>50 cm/s), and frequent floods of the Waipaoa River, which delivers an average of 15 MT of sediment to Poverty Bay and the coastal environment each year. A year-long study of the WSS during 2010-2011 combined observational data from instrumented tripods at three locations on the continental shelf, with repeat sediment cores collected in four-month intervals, to identify and assess the mechanisms of cross- and off-shelf sediment transport. Observational data identified that cross-shelf sediment transport is stochastic, typically driven by high-wave events, with 40% of the net annual cross-shelf flux for one tripod location occurring during a single wave-supported fluid mud (WSFM) in July 2010. Fortunately, this event was recorded in the instrument data, and the resulting deposit was plainly visible in x-radiograph images. This particular WSFM was observed in x-radiographs collected as deep as ~50 m, and as far as ~28 km from the mouth of the Waipaoa River, and is more prevalent on the northern portion of the shelf. A critical water depth is not the only criteria for WSFM deposition, as some shallower areas on the southern shelf, which were subject to high bed stress, show no evidence of WSFM in this event, while cores collected in deeper areas (e.g. lower bed stress) on the northern shelf

  8. Magmatism and deformation during continental breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keir, Derek

    2013-04-01

    The rifting of continents and the transition to seafloor spreading is characterised by extensional faulting and thinning of the lithosphere, and is sometimes accompanied by voluminous intrusive and extrusive magmatism. In order to understand how these processes develop over time to break continents apart, we have traditionally relied on interpreting the geological record at the numerous fully developed, ancient rifted margins around the world. In these settings, however, it is difficult to discriminate between different mechanisms of extension and magmatism because the continent-ocean transition is typically buried beneath thick layers of volcanic and sedimentary rocks, and the tectonic and volcanic activity that characterised breakup has long-since ceased. Ongoing continental breakup in the African and Arabian rift systems offers a unique opportunity to address these problems because it exposes several sectors of tectonically active rift sector development spanning the transition from embryonic continental rifting in the south to incipient seafloor spreading in the north. Here I synthesise exciting, multidisciplinary observational and modelling studies using geophysical, geodetic, petrological and numerical techniques that uniquely constrain the distribution, time-scales, and interactions between extension and magmatism during the progressive breakup of the African Plate. This new research has identified the previously unrecognised role of rapid and episodic dike emplacement in accommodating a large proportion of extension during continental rifting. We are now beginning to realise that changes in the dominant mechanism for strain over time (faulting, stretching and magma intrusion) impact dramatically on magmatism and rift morphology. The challenge now is to take what we're learned from East Africa and apply it to the rifted margins whose geological record documents breakup during entire Wilson Cycles.

  9. Sediment accumulation on the Southern California Bight continental margin during the twentieth century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, C.R.; Lee, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    Sediment discharged into the portion of the Southern California Bight extending from Santa Barbara to Dana Point enters a complex system of semi-isolated coastal cells, narrow continental shelves, submarine canyons, and offshore basins. On both the Santa Monica and San Pedro margins, 210Pb accumulation rates decrease in an offshore direction (from ??0.5 g cm-2yr-1 to 0.02 g cm-2yr -1), in concert with a fining in sediment grain size (from 4.5?? to 8.5??), suggesting that offshore transport of wave-resuspended material occurs as relatively dilute nepheloid layers and that hemiplegic sedimentation dominates the supply of sediment to the outer shelf, slope, and basins. Together, these areas are effectively sequestering up to 100% of the annual fluvial input. In contrast to the Santa Monica margin, which does not display evidence of mass wasting as an important process of sediment delivery and redistribution, the San Pedro margin does provide numerous examples of failures and mass wasting, suggesting that intraslope sediment redistribution may play a more important role there. Basin deposits in both areas exhibit evidence of turbidites tentatively associated with both major floods and earthquakes, sourced from either the Redondo Canyon (San Pedro Basin) or Dume Canyon (Santa Monica Basin). On the Palos Verdes shelf, sediment-accumulation rates decrease along and across the shelf away from the White's Point outfall, which has been a major source of contaminants to the shelf deposits. Accumulation rates prior to the construction of the outfall were ??0.2 g cm-2yr-1 and increased 1.5-3.7 times during peak discharges from the outfall in 1971. The distal rate of accumulation has decreased by ??50%, from 0.63 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1971-1992 to 0.29 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1992-2003. The proximal rate of accumulation, however, has only decreased ??10%, from 0.83 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1971-1992 to 0.73 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1992-2003. Effluent

  10. Relationship between radionuclides and sedimentological variables in the South Atlantic Continental Margin; Relacoes entre radionuclideos e variaveis sedimentologicas na Margem Continental do Atlantico Sul

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferreira, Paulo A.L.; Figueira, Rubens C.L., E-mail: paulo.alves.ferreira@usp.br, E-mail: rfigueira@usp.br [Universidade de Sao Paulo (IO/USP), SP (Brazil). Instituto Oceanografico

    2015-07-01

    There is a lack of information regarding marine radioactivity in sediments of the Continental Margin of the South Atlantic. {sup 137}Cs and {sup 40}K radioactivity and sedimentological variables were determined in superficial sediment samples. It was demonstrated that {sup 40}K is a good indicator for sediment granulometry, whilst {sup 137}Cs presents a good correlation with its chemical composition. Moreover, it was identified through the radiometric data the occurrence of input of allochtonous matter to the Brazilian southernmost compartment from the Rio de La Plata estuary, as previously reported in the literature. (author)

  11. High-resolution and Deep Crustal Imaging Across The North Sicily Continental Margin (southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agate, M.; Bertotti, G.; Catalano, R.; Pepe, F.; Sulli, A.

    Three multichannel seismic reflection profiles across the North Sicily continental mar- gin have been reprocessed and interpreted. Data consist of an unpublished high pene- tration seismic profile (deep crust Italian CROP Project) and a high-resolution seismic line. These lines run in the NNE-SSW direction, from the Sicilian continental shelf to the Tyrrhenian abyssal plain (Marsili area), and are tied by a third, high penetration seismic line MS104 crossing the Sisifo High. The North Sicily continental margin represents the inner sector of the Sicilian-Maghrebian chain that is collapsed as con- sequence of extensional tectonics. The chain is formed by a tectonic wedge (12-15 km thick. It includes basinal Meso-Cenozoic carbonate units overthrusting carbonate platform rock units (Catalano et al., 2000). Presently, main culmination (e.g. Monte Solunto) and a number of tectonic depressions (e.g. Cefalù basin), filled by >1000 m thick Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary wedge, are observed along the investigated tran- sect. Seismic attributes and reflector pattern depicts a complex crustal structure. Be- tween the coast and the M. Solunto high, a transparent to diffractive band (assigned to the upper crust) is recognised above low frequency reflective layers (occurring be- tween 9 and 11 s/TWT) that dips towards the North. Their bottom can be correlated to the seismological (African?) Moho discontinuity which is (26 km deep in the Sicilian shelf (Scarascia et al., 1994). Beneath the Monte Solunto ridge, strongly deformed re- flectors occurring between 8 to 9.5 s/TWT (European lower crust?) overly the African (?) lower crust. The resulting geometry suggests underplating of the African crust respect to the European crust (?). The already deformed crustal edifice is dissected by a number of N-dipping normal faults that open extensional basins and are associ- ated with crustal thinning. The Plio-Pleistocene fill of the Cefalù basin can be subdi- vided into three subunits by

  12. Geomorphic Thresholds of Submarine Canyons Along the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, D. S.; ten Brink, U. S.; Andrews, B. D.; Chaytor, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    Vast networks of submarine canyons and associated channels are incised into the U.S. Atlantic continental slope and rise. Submarine canyons form by differential erosion and deposition, primarily from sedimentary turbidity flows. Theoretical and laboratory studies have investigated the initiation of turbidity flows and their capacity to erode and entrain sedimentary material at distances far from the shelf edge. The results have helped understand the nature of turbidite deposits on the continental slope and rise. Nevertheless, few studies have examined the linkages between down-canyon sediment transport and the morphology of canyon/channel networks using mesoscale analyses of swath bathymetry data. We present quantitative analysis of 100-m resolution multibeam bathymetry data spanning ~616,000 km2 of the slope and rise between Georges Banks and the Blake Plateau (New England to North Carolina). Canyons are categorized as shelf-indenting or slope-confined based on spatial scale, vertical relief and connection with terrestrial river systems during sea level low stands. Shelf-indenting canyons usually represent the trunk-canyon of submerged channel networks. On the rise, shelf-indenting canyons have relatively well-developed channel-levees and sharp inner-thalwag incision suggesting much higher frequency and volume of turbidity flows. Because of the similarities between submarine canyon networks and terrestrial river systems, we apply methods originally developed to study fluvial morphology. Along-canyon profiles are extracted from the bathymetry data and the power-law relationship between thalwag gradient and drainage area is examined for more than 180 canyons along an ~1200 km stretch of the US Atlantic margin. We observe distinct thresholds in the power-law relationship between drainage area and gradient. Almost all canyons with heads on the upper slope contain at least two linear segments when plotted in log-log form. The first segment along the upper slope is flat

  13. Physics-based and statistical earthquake forecasting in a continental rift zone: the case study of Corinth Gulf (Greece)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segou, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    I perform a retrospective forecast experiment in the most rapid extensive continental rift worldwide, the western Corinth Gulf (wCG, Greece), aiming to predict shallow seismicity (depth statistics, four physics-based (CRS) models, combining static stress change estimations and the rate-and-state laboratory law and one hybrid model. For the latter models, I incorporate the stress changes imparted from 31 earthquakes with magnitude M ≥ 4.5 at the extended area of wCG. Special attention is given on the 3-D representation of active faults, acting as potential receiver planes for the estimation of static stress changes. I use reference seismicity between 1990 and 1995, corresponding to the learning phase of physics-based models, and I evaluate the forecasts for six months following the 1995 M = 6.4 Aigio earthquake using log-likelihood performance metrics. For the ETAS realizations, I use seismic events with magnitude M ≥ 2.5 within daily update intervals to enhance their predictive power. For assessing the role of background seismicity, I implement a stochastic reconstruction (aka declustering) aiming to answer whether M > 4.5 earthquakes correspond to spontaneous events and identify, if possible, different triggering characteristics between aftershock sequences and swarm-type seismicity periods. I find that: (1) ETAS models outperform CRS models in most time intervals achieving very low rejection ratio RN = 6 per cent, when I test their efficiency to forecast the total number of events inside the study area, (2) the best rejection ratio for CRS models reaches RN = 17 per cent, when I use varying target depths and receiver plane geometry, (3) 75 per cent of the 1995 Aigio aftershocks that occurred within the first month can be explained by static stress changes, (4) highly variable performance on behalf of both statistical and physical models is suggested by large confidence intervals of information gain per earthquake and (5) generic ETAS models can adequately

  14. Sulfur Cycling in an Iron Oxide-Dominated, Dynamic Marine Depositional System: The Argentine Continental Margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natascha Riedinger

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The interplay between sediment deposition patterns, organic matter type and the quantity and quality of reactive mineral phases determines the accumulation, speciation, and isotope composition of pore water and solid phase sulfur constituents in marine sediments. Here, we present the sulfur geochemistry of siliciclastic sediments from two sites along the Argentine continental slope—a system characterized by dynamic deposition and reworking, which result in non-steady state conditions. The two investigated sites have different depositional histories but have in common that reactive iron phases are abundant and that organic matter is refractory—conditions that result in low organoclastic sulfate reduction rates (SRR. Deposition of reworked, isotopically light pyrite and sulfurized organic matter appear to be important contributors to the sulfur inventory, with only minor addition of pyrite from organoclastic sulfate reduction above the sulfate-methane transition (SMT. Pore-water sulfide is limited to a narrow zone at the SMT. The core of that zone is dominated by pyrite accumulation. Iron monosulfide and elemental sulfur accumulate above and below this zone. Iron monosulfide precipitation is driven by the reaction of low amounts of hydrogen sulfide with ferrous iron and is in competition with the oxidation of sulfide by iron (oxyhydroxides to form elemental sulfur. The intervals marked by precipitation of intermediate sulfur phases at the margin of the zone with free sulfide are bordered by two distinct peaks in total organic sulfur (TOS. Organic matter sulfurization appears to precede pyrite formation in the iron-dominated margins of the sulfide zone, potentially linked to the presence of polysulfides formed by reaction between dissolved sulfide and elemental sulfur. Thus, SMTs can be hotspots for organic matter sulfurization in sulfide-limited, reactive iron-rich marine sedimentary systems. Furthermore, existence of elemental sulfur and iron

  15. Land-ocean tectonics (LOTs) and the associated seismic hazard over the Eastern Continental Margin of India (ECMI)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Murthy, K.S.R.; Subrahmanyam, V.; Subrahmanyam, A.S.; Murty, G.P.S.; Sarma, K.V.L.N.S.

    , Subrahmanyam AS, Murty GPS, Murthy KSR (2009) Tectonic significance of Gundlakamma river (Krishna Basin) over Eastern Continental Margin of India – A qualitative appraisal (Communicated to Current Science) Subrahmanya K (1996) Active Intraplate deformation... for his suggestions to improve the MS. Thanks are also due to Miss.T.Madhavi for her help in preparing the illustrations This is N.I.O. (C.S.I.R.) contribution No. References Banerjee PK, Vaz VV, Sengupta BJ, Bagchi A (2001) A qualitative...

  16. Assessment of Submarine Slope Stability on the Continental Margin off SW Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Huai-Houh; Dong, Jia-Jyun; Cheng, Win-Bin; Su, Chih-Chieh

    2017-04-01

    The abundant gas hydrate reservoirs are distributed in the southwest (SW) off Taiwan. To explore this new energy, geological methods were systematically used and mainly emphasized on the storage potential evaluation. On the other hand, the correlation between gas hydrate dissociation and submarine slope stability is also an important issue. In this study, three submarine profiles on the active and passive continental margin were selected and assessed their slope stabilities by considering two influence factors (seismic forces and number of sedimentary layers). The gravity corers obtained from these three sites (Xiaoliuqiu, Yuan-An Ridge, and Pointer Ridge) to conduct soil laboratory tests. The physical property tests and isotropically consolidated undrained (CIU) triaxial tests were carried out to establish reference properties and shear strength parameters. Before the stability analysis is performed, it is also necessary to construct the seabed profile. For each submarine profile, data from P-waves and from S-waves generated by P-S conversion on reflection from airgun shots recorded along one line of ocean bottom seismometers were used to construct 2-D velocity sections. The seabed strata could be simplified to be only one sedimentary layer or to be multilayer in accordance with the velocity structure profile. Results show the safety factors (FS) of stability analysis are obviously different in considering the number of sedimentary layers, especially for a very thin layer of sediments on a steep slope. The simplified strata condition which treated all seabed strata as only one sedimentary layer might result in the FS lower than 1 and the slope was in an unstable state. On the contrary, the FS could be higher than 10 in a multilayer condition.

  17. Calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminiferal assemblages from the Nazare Canyon (Portuguese continental margin): Preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guerreiro, C; Oliveira, A; Rodrigues, A; Rosa, F; Cachao, M; Fatela, F

    2009-01-01

    Submarine canyons are assumed to play an important role in oceanic/neritic circulation, marine productivity and sedimentary processes, acting as preferential conduits between the littoral and deep oceanic domain. Here we present first results of a comparative micropalaeontological study on calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminifera from surface sediments from the surroundings of the upper Nazare Canyon (Portuguese continental margin) and from the shelf north of the canyon. Regardless of the difficulty to distinguish taphonomical from (palaeo)ecological effects in such a complex and still poorly known marine system, the first results suggest that the canyon's hydro-sedimentary dynamic regime act as a prolongation of the shore/inner shelf hydrodynamic conditions towards west, preventing deposition and/or preservation of the smaller and fragile species of calcareous nannoplankton (e.g. E. huxleyi and G. ericsonii) and enhancing the record of the larger and more opportunistic ones (e.g. G. oceanica); and disturbing benthic foraminiferal productivity and/or diversity, or their preservation in the fossil record. Both calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminifera are more abundant off the canyon's domain, suggesting that its highly energetic thalweg conditions are probably filtering the fossil record in the sediment. Still, preliminary results suggest that the occurrence of persistent physical phenomena related with the canyon's morphology and proximity to the coast (e.g. solitary internal waves) may be locally promoting favourable conditions for calcareous nannoplankton, as shown by high values of nannoliths, chlorophyll a and 19' hexanoyloxyfucoxantine (unpublished data) north of the canyon's head. It is our goal to test this hypothesis in the near future by (a) studying multicore and surficial sediments from more recent surveys, and (b) calibrating the sediment results with water column data presently in process at the Institute of Oceanography (IO).

  18. Calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminiferal assemblages from the Nazare Canyon (Portuguese continental margin): Preliminary results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guerreiro, C; Oliveira, A; Rodrigues, A [Division of Marine Geology, Portuguese Hydrographic Institute (IH), Rua das Trinas 49, 1249-093 Lisboa (Portugal); Rosa, F [CIACOMAR, Algarve University, Av. 16 de Julho s/n 8700-311 Olhao (Portugal); Cachao, M; Fatela, F [Geology Center and Geology Department, FCUL, Bloco C6, 3o Piso, sala 6.3.57 Campo Grande 1749-016 Lisboa (Portugal)], E-mail: catarina.guerreiro@hidrografico.pt

    2009-01-01

    Submarine canyons are assumed to play an important role in oceanic/neritic circulation, marine productivity and sedimentary processes, acting as preferential conduits between the littoral and deep oceanic domain. Here we present first results of a comparative micropalaeontological study on calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminifera from surface sediments from the surroundings of the upper Nazare Canyon (Portuguese continental margin) and from the shelf north of the canyon. Regardless of the difficulty to distinguish taphonomical from (palaeo)ecological effects in such a complex and still poorly known marine system, the first results suggest that the canyon's hydro-sedimentary dynamic regime act as a prolongation of the shore/inner shelf hydrodynamic conditions towards west, preventing deposition and/or preservation of the smaller and fragile species of calcareous nannoplankton (e.g. E. huxleyi and G. ericsonii) and enhancing the record of the larger and more opportunistic ones (e.g. G. oceanica); and disturbing benthic foraminiferal productivity and/or diversity, or their preservation in the fossil record. Both calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminifera are more abundant off the canyon's domain, suggesting that its highly energetic thalweg conditions are probably filtering the fossil record in the sediment. Still, preliminary results suggest that the occurrence of persistent physical phenomena related with the canyon's morphology and proximity to the coast (e.g. solitary internal waves) may be locally promoting favourable conditions for calcareous nannoplankton, as shown by high values of nannoliths, chlorophyll a and 19' hexanoyloxyfucoxantine (unpublished data) north of the canyon's head. It is our goal to test this hypothesis in the near future by (a) studying multicore and surficial sediments from more recent surveys, and (b) calibrating the sediment results with water column data presently in process at the Institute of

  19. IODP Expedition 307 Drills Cold-Water Coral Mound Along the Irish Continental Margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor Williams

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Over the past decade, oceanographic and geophysical surveys along the slope of the Porcupine Seabight off the southwestern continental margin of Ireland have identified upwards of a thousand enigmatic mound-like structures (Figs. 1 and 2. The mounds of the Porcupine Seabight rise from the seafl oor in water depths of 600–900 m and formimpressive conical bodies several kilometers wide and up to 200 m high. Although a few mounds such as Thérèse Mound and Galway Mound are covered by a thriving thicket of coldwater corals, most mound tops and fl anks are covered by dead coral rubble or are entirely buried by sediment (De Mol et al., 2002; Fig. 2, Beyer et al., 2003. Lophelia pertusa (Fig.3 and Madrepora oculata are the most prominent cold-water corals growing without photosynthetic symbionts. The widespread discovery of large and numerous coral-bearing banks and the association of these corals with the mounds have generated signifi cant interest as to the composition, origin and development of these mound structures.Challenger Mound, in the Belgica mound province, has an elongated shape oriented along a north-northeast to south-southwest axis and ispartially buried under Pleistocene drift sediments. In high-resolution seismic profiles the mounds appear to root on an erosion surface (van Rooij et al., 2003. During IODP Expedition307 the Challenger Mound in the Porcupine Seabight was drilled with the goal of unveiling the origin and depositional processes withinthese intriguing sedimentary structures. Challenger Mound, unlike its near neighbors the Thérèse and Galway mounds, has little to no livecoral coverage and, therefore, was chosen as the main target for drilling activities, so that no living ecosystem would be disturbed.

  20. Tectono-thermal Evolution of a Distal Rifted Margin: Constraints From the Calizzano Massif (Prepiedmont-Briançonnais Domain, Ligurian Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decarlis, Alessandro; Fellin, Maria Giuditta; Maino, Matteo; Ferrando, Simona; Manatschal, Gianreto; Gaggero, Laura; Seno, Silvio; Stuart, Finlay M.; Beltrando, Marco

    2017-12-01

    The thermal evolution of distal domains along rifted margins is at present poorly constrained. In this study, we show that a thermal pulse, most likely triggered by lithospheric thinning and asthenospheric rise, is recorded at upper crustal levels and may also influence the diagenetic processes in the overlying sediments, thus representing a critical aspect for the evaluation of hydrocarbon systems. The thermal history of a distal sector of the Alpine Tethys rifted margin preserved in the Ligurian Alps (Case Tuberto-Calizzano unit) is investigated with thermochronological methods and petrologic observations. The studied unit is composed of a polymetamorphic basement and a sedimentary cover, providing a complete section through the prerift, synrift, and postrift system. Zircon fission track analyses on basement rocks samples suggest that temperatures exceeding 240 ± 25°C were reached before 150-160 Ma (Upper Jurassic) at few kilometer depth. Neoformation of green biotite, stable at temperatures of 350 to 450°C, was synkinematic with this event. The tectonic setting of the studied unit suggests that the heating-cooling cycle took place during the formation of the distal rifted margin and terminated during Late Jurassic (150-160 Ma). Major crustal and lithospheric thinning likely promoted high geothermal gradients ( 60-90°C/km) and triggered the circulation of hot, deep-seated fluids along brittle faults, causing the observed thermal anomaly. Our results suggest that rifting can generate thermal perturbations at relatively high temperatures (between 240 and 450°C) at less than 3 km depth in the distal domains during major crustal thinning preceding breakup and onset of seafloor spreading.

  1. Long-term subsidence, cooling, and exhumation history along the South Atlantic passive continental margin in NW-Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menges, Daniel; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Salomon, Eric; Hackspacher, Peter Christian; Schneider, Gabi

    2017-04-01

    In northwestern Namibia the Kaoko Belt is one of the most important Precambrian crustal segments that have stored the subsidence, cooling, and exhumation history of Namibia since the Neoproterozoic. ZFT-ages, with ages between 292.7 (46.0) and 436.8 (45.9) Ma, are giving new insights on this early evolution. Paleozoic to Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Karoo Supergroup and the Lower Cretaceous volcanic rocks of the Etendeka sequence overlay the Proterozoic metamorphic and intrusive rocks (1). New apatite fission-track (AFT) ages range from 390.9 (17.9) Ma to 80.8 (6.0) Ma. Along the coast apatites of Proterozoic rock samples reveal the youngest ages. Further inland the ages increase significantly. In addition, rapid change of AFT-ages occurs on both sides of major thrust and shear zones. Using the oldest thermochronological data the revealed t-T paths indicate a long era of exhumation, starting at the end of the Pan-African Orogeny in the Neoproterozoic and continuing into the Permo-Carboniferous. The subsequent sedimentation of the Karoo Supergroup initiates a new era of subsidence until the end of Triassic (2).The subsequent period of denudation ends abruptly with the rapid deposition of the Etendeka basalts in the Early Cretaceous (3). The maximum thickness of the Etendeka volcanic suite has been estimated, using the apatite fission-track data, to about 3.2 (1.2) km. With the ongoing opening of the South Atlantic and the formation of the continental margin the Kaoko Belt went through a rapid cooling event starting 130 Ma and ending 80 Ma, at a mean rate of 0.034 km/Ma for the western, and 0.018 km/Ma for the northern and eastern Kaoko Belt. This cooling event was accompanied by a reactivation of major fault zones, like the Purros Mylonite Zone (4). Thereafter, stable conditions were established, with denudation rates generally lower than 0.010 km/Ma, until the Neogene, where a second cooling event led to increased exhumation rates around 0.042 km/Ma. The total

  2. Tectonics and stratigraphy of the East Brazil Rift system: an overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung Kiang Chang; Kowsmann, Renato Oscar; Figueiredo, Antonio Manuel Ferreira; Bender, AndréAdriano

    1992-10-01

    The East Brazilian Rift system (Ebris) constitutes the northern segment of the South Atlantic rift system which developed during the Mesozoic breakup of South America and Africa. Following crustal separation in the Late Aptian, it evolved into a passive continental margin. Along the continental margin six basins are recognized, while three onshore basins form part of an aborted rift. Three continental syn-rift stratigraphic sequences are recognized, spanning Jurassic to Barremian times. The Jurassic (Syn-rift I) and Neocomian (Syn-rift II) phases were most active in the interior rift basins. During the Barremian (Syn-rift III), rift subsidence rates were twice as large as during the Neocomian (Syn-rift II), both in the interior rift and in the marginal rift segments, indicating that rift axis did not migrate from the interior to the marginal setting. Rift magmatism was centered on the southern EBRIS and peaked between 130 and 120 Ma during syn-rift phase II. Rift phase III was followed by a transitional marine, evaporitic megasequence of Aptian age, which directly overlies the rift unconformity and a marine drift megasequence which spans Albian to Recent times. During the Late Cretaceous, sedimentation rates responded to first-order eustatic sea-level fluctuations. Tertiary accelerated sedimentation rates can be related to local clastic supply which filled in spaces inherited from previous starved conditions. Between 60 and 40 Ma, post-rift magmatism, centered on the Abrolhos and Royal Charlotte banks, is probably related to development of a hot spot associated with the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain. Although crossing three distinct Precambrian tectono-thermal provinces, ranging from Archean through Late Proterozoic, rift structures follow a general NE trend, subparallel to the principal basement fabric. A NW-SE oriented stress field appears to be compatible with both Neocomian and Barremian phases of crustal extension. Profiles transverse to the rift axis

  3. Quaternary development of resilient reefs on the subsiding kimberley continental margin, Northwest Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay B. Collins

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The Kimberley region in remote northwest Australia has poorly known reef systems of two types; coastal fringing reefs and atoll-like shelf-edge reefs. As a major geomorphic feature (from 12ºS to 18ºS situated along a subsiding continental margin, the shelf edge reefs are in a tropical realm with warm temperatures, relatively low salinity, clear low nutrient waters lacking sediment input, and Indo-West Pacific corals of moderate diversity. Seismic architecture of the Rowley Shoals reveals that differential pre-Holocene subsidence and relative elevation of the pre-Holocene substrate have controlled lagoon sediment infill and reef morphology, forming an evolutionary series reflecting differential accommodation in three otherwise similar reef systems. The Holocene core described for North Scott Reef confirms previous seismic interpretations, and provides a rare ocean-facing reef record. It demonstrates that the Indo-Pacific reef growth phase (RG111 developed during moderate rates of sea level rise of 10 mm/year from 11 to about 7-6.5 ka BP until sea level stabilization, filling the available 27 m of pre-Holocene accommodation. Despite the medium to high hydrodynamic energy imposed by the 4m tides, swell waves and cyclones the reef-building communities represent relatively low-wave energy settings due to their southeast facing and protection afforded by the proximity of the South Reef platform. This study demonstrates the resilience of reefs on the subsiding margin whilst linking Holocene reef morphology to the relative amount of pre-Holocene subsidence.Kimberly é uma região remota e pouco conhecida, localizada no noroeste da Austrália, ali são encontrados dois sistemas recifais: recifes costeiros de franja e os tipo-atois localizados na margem da plataforma continental. Esses recifes formam a feição geomórfica mais importante entre 12ºS a 18ºS estando localizados ao longo de uma margem continental em subsidência. Esses recifes encontram

  4. Unravel Spurious Bathymetric Highs on the Western Continental Margin of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahale, V. P.

    2017-12-01

    Swath mapping multibeam echosounder systems (MBES) have become a de-facto-standard component on today's research vessel (RV). Modern MBES provide high temporal and spatial resolution for mapping the seabed morphology. Improved resolution capabilities requires large hull mounted transceivers, which after installation undergoes calibration procedure during the sea acceptance test (SAT). To accurately estimate various vessel offsets and lever-arm corrections, the installer runs calibration lines over a prominent seabed feature. In the year 2014, while conducting SAT for the RV Sindhu Sadhana and calibrate the ATLAS make MBES system, a hunt was on to find suitable bathymetric highs in the region of operation. Regional hydrographic charts published by the National Hydrographic Office, in India were referred to locate such features. Two bathymetric highs were spotted on the chart that are 20 km apart and 40 km west of the shelf-edge on the Western Continental Margin of India. The charted depth on these highs are 252 m and 343 m on a relatively even but moderately sloppy seabed, representing an isolated elevations of 900 m. The geographic locations of these knolls were verified with the GEBCO's 30-arc second gridded bathymetry, before heading out for the waypoints. There were no signs of knolls at those locations, indicating erroneous georeferencing. Hence, the region was subsequently revisited in the following years until an area of 3000 sq. km was mapped. Failing to locate the bathymetric highs they are referred to as 'spurious'. Investigation was planned to unravel the rationale of existence and sustenance of these knolls in the hydrographic charts since historic time. Tweaking the MBES settings reveals existence of strong acoustic scattering layer, to which even the depth tracking gate gets locked-on and is documented. Analogically, in the past, ships transecting the region equipped with single beam echosounder tuned for shallow depth operations might have charted the

  5. Hydrogeological Modelling of the Geothermal Waters of Alaşehir in the Continental Rift Zone of the Gediz, Western Anatolia, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ӧzgür, Nevzat; Bostancı, Yesim; Anilır Yürük, Ezgi

    2017-12-01

    In western Anatolia, Turkey, the continental rift zones of the Büyük Menderes, Küçük Menderes and Gediz were formed by extensional tectonic features striking E-W generally and representing a great number of active geothermal systems, epithermal mineralizations and volcanic rocks from Middle Miocene to recent. The geothermal waters are associated with the faults which strike preferentially NW-SE and NE-SW and locate diagonal to general strike of the rift zones of the Menderes Massif. These NW-SE and NE-SW striking faults were probably generated by compressional tectonic regimes which leads to the deformation of uplift between two extensional rift zones in the Menderes Massif. The one of these rift zones is Gediz which is distinguished by a great number of geothermal waters such as Alaşehir, Kurşunlu, Çamurlu, Pamukkale and Urganlı. The geothermal waters of Alaşehir form the biggest potential in the rift zone of Gediz with a capacity of about 100 to 200 MWe. Geologically, the gneisses from the basement rocks in the study area which are overlain by an Paleozoic to Mesozoic intercalation of mica schists, quartzites and marbles, a Miocene intercalation of conglomerates, sandstones and clay stones and Plio-Quaternary intercalation of conglomerates, sandstones and clay stones discordantly. In the study area, Paleozoic to Mesozoic quartzites and marbles form the reservoir rocks hydrogeologically. The geothermal waters anions with Na+K>Ca>Mg dominant cations and HCO3>Cl> dominant anions are of Na-HCO3 type and can be considered as partial equilibrated waters. According to the results of geochemical thermometers, the reservoir temperatures area of about 185°C in accordance with measured reservoir temperatures. Stabile isotopes of δ18O versus δ2H of geothermal waters of Alaşehir deviate from the meteoric water line showing an intensive water-rock interaction under high temperature conditions. These data are well correlated with the results of the

  6. Factors controlling late Cenozoic continental margin growth from the Ebro Delta to the western Mediterranean deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, C.H.; Maldonado, A.

    1990-01-01

    The Ebro continental margin sedimentation system originated with a Messinian fluvial system. This system eroded both a major subaerial canyon cutting the margin southeastward from the present Ebro Delta and an axial valley that drained northeastward down Valencia Trough. Post-Messinian submergence of this topography and the Pliocene regime of high sea levels resulted in a marine hemipelagic drape over the margin. Late Pliocene to Pleistocene glacial climatic cycles, drainagebasin deforestation, and sea-level lowstands combined to increase sediment supply, cause the margin to prograde, and create a regime of lowstand sediment-gravity flows in the deeper margin. The depositional patterns of regressive, transgressive and highstand sea-level regimes suggest that location of the sediment source near the present Ebro Delta throughout the late Cenozoic, southward current advection of sediment, and greater subsidence in the southern margin combined to cause generally asymmetric progradation of the margin to the southeast. Thicker, less stable deposits filling the Messinian subaerial canyon underwent multiple retrograde failures, eroded wide gullied canyons and formed unchanneled base-of-slope sediment aprons in the central margin area; other margin areas to the north and south developed a series of channel-levee complexes. On the basin floor, the formation of Valencia Valley over the Messinian subaerial valley and earlier faults led to draining of about 20% of the Ebro Pleistocene sediment from channel-levee complexes through the valley to prograde Valencia Fan as much as 500 km northeast of the margin. Thus, the Ebro margin has two growth directions, mainly southeastward during higher sea levels, and eastward to northeastward during lower sea levels. The northeastward draining of turbidity currents has produced unusually thin and widely dispersed turbidite systems compared to those on ponded basin floors. During the past few centuries, man's impact has exceeded natural

  7. Crustal structure and rift tectonics across the Cauvery–Palar basin ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The Cauvery–Palar basin is a major peri-cratonic rift basin located along the Eastern Continental. Margin of India ..... density P(k) of a magnetized body having infinite extensions in the .... aly data must be brought down to the sea level through ...

  8. HyFlux - Part I: Regional Modeling of Methane Flux From Near-Seafloor Gas Hydrate Deposits on Continental Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Asper, V.; Garcia, O. P.; Kastner, M.; Leifer, I.; Naehr, T.; Solomon, E.; Yvon-Lewis, S.; Zimmer, B.

    2008-12-01

    HyFlux - Part I: Regional modeling of methane flux from near-seafloor gas hydrate deposits on continental margins MacDonald, I.R., Asper, V., Garcia, O., Kastner, M., Leifer, I., Naehr, T.H., Solomon, E., Yvon-Lewis, S., and Zimmer, B. The Dept. of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) has recently awarded a project entitled HyFlux: "Remote sensing and sea-truth measurements of methane flux to the atmosphere." The project will address this problem with a combined effort of satellite remote sensing and data collection at proven sites in the Gulf of Mexico where gas hydrate releases gas to the water column. Submarine gas hydrate is a large pool of greenhouse gas that may interact with the atmosphere over geologic time to affect climate cycles. In the near term, the magnitude of methane reaching the atmosphere from gas hydrate on continental margins is poorly known because 1) gas hydrate is exposed to metastable oceanic conditions in shallow, dispersed deposits that are poorly imaged by standard geophysical techniques and 2) the consumption of methane in marine sediments and in the water column is subject to uncertainty. The northern GOM is a prolific hydrocarbon province where rapid migration of oil, gases, and brines from deep subsurface petroleum reservoirs occurs through faults generated by salt tectonics. Focused expulsion of hydrocarbons is manifested at the seafloor by gas vents, gas hydrates, oil seeps, chemosynthetic biological communities, and mud volcanoes. Where hydrocarbon seeps occur in depths below the hydrate stability zone (~500m), rapid flux of gas will feed shallow deposits of gas hydrate that potentially interact with water column temperature changes; oil released from seeps forms sea-surface features that can be detected in remote-sensing images. The regional phase of the project will quantify verifiable sources of methane (and oil) the Gulf of Mexico continental margin and selected margins (e.g. Pakistan Margin, South China Sea

  9. Terrigenous sediment supply along the Chilean continental margin: modern regional patterns of texture and composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, F.; Hebbeln, D.; Wefer, G.

    The regional patterns of texture and composition of modern continental slope and pelagic sediments off Chile between 25°S and 43°S reflect the latitudinal segmentation of geological, morphological, and climatic features of the continental hinterland. Grain-size characteristics are controlled by the grain-size of source rocks, the weathering regime, and mode of sediment input (eolian off northern Chile vs fluvial further south). Bulk-mineral assemblages reveal a low grade of maturity. Regional variations are governed by the source-rock composition of the different geological terranes and the relative source-rock contribution of the Coastal Range and Andes, as controlled by the continental hydrology. The relative abundance of clay minerals is also predominantly influenced by the source-rock composition and partly by continental smectite neoformation. Latitudinal variations of illite crystallinities along the Chilean continental slope (and west of the Peru-Chile trench) clearly reflect modifications of the weathering regime which correspond to the strong climatic zonation of Chile.

  10. Modeling the conversion of hydroacoustic to seismic energy at island and continental margins: preliminary analysis of Ascension Island data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harben, P.; Rodgers, A.

    1999-01-01

    Seismic stations at islands and continental margins will be an essential component of the International Monitoring System (IMS) for event location and identification in support of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) monitoring. Particularly important will be the detection and analysis of hydroacoustic-to-seismic converted waves (T-phases) at island or continental margins. Acoustic waves generated by sources in or near the ocean propagate for long distances very efficiently due to the ocean sound speed channel (SOFAR) and low attenuation. When ocean propagating acoustic waves strike an island or continental margin they are converted to seismic (elastic) waves. We are using a finite difference code to model the conversion of hydroacoustic T-waves at an island or continental margin. Although ray-based methods are far more efficient for modeling long-range ( and gt; 1000 km) high-frequency hydroacoustic propagation, the finite difference method has the advantage of being able to model both acoustic and elastic wave propagation for a broad range of frequencies. The method allows us to perform simulations of T-phases to relatively high frequencies (( and gt;=)10 Hz). Of particular interest is to identify factors that affect the efficiency of T-phase conversion, such as the topographic slope and roughness at the conversion point and elastic velocity structure within the island or continent. Previous studies have shown that efficient T-phase conversion occurs when the topographic slope at the conversion point is steep (Cansi and Bethoux, 1985; Talandier and Okal, 1998). Another factor impacting T-phase conversion may be the near-shore structure of the sound channel. It is well known that the depth to the sound channel axis decreases in shallow waters. This can weaken the channeled hydroacoustic wave. Elastic velocity structure within the island or continent will impact how the converted seismic wave is refracted to recording stations at the surface and thus impact

  11. Bottom current processes along the Iberian continental margin; Procesos sedimentarios por corrientes de fondo a lo largo del margen continental iberico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Llave, E.; Hernandez-Molina, F. J.; Ercilla, G.; Roque, C.; Van Rooij, D.; Garcia, M.; Juan, C.; Mena, A.; Brackenridge, R.; Jane, G.; Stow, D.; Gomez-Ballesteros, M.

    2015-07-01

    The products of bottom current circulation around the Iberian continental margin are characterised by large erosional and depositional features formed under a variety of geological and oceanographic contexts. The Iberian margins are influenced by several water masses that mainly interact along the upper and middle con- tinental slopes, as well as along the lower slope with the abyssal plains being influenced to a lesser extent. The main depositional features occur along the Ceuta Contourite Depositional System (CDS) within the SW Alboran Sea, in the Gulf of Cadiz (the most studied so far), the western margins of the Portugal/Galician mar- gin, the Ortegal Spur and the Le Danois Bank or Cachucho. Moreover, erosional contourite features have also been recently indentified, most notably terraces, abraded surfaces, channels, furrows and moats. The majority of these features are formed under the influence of the Mediterranean water masses, especially by the interaction of the Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW) with the seafloor. The MOW is characterized as relatively warm (13 degree centigrade) and with a high salinity (∼36.5), giving it a high density relative to the surrounding water masses, hence constituting an important contribution to the global thermohaline circulation, making it one of the most studied water masses surrounding Iberia. The development of both depositional and ero- sional contourite features does not only depend on the bottom-current velocity but also on several other important controlling factors, including: 1) local margin morphology affected by recent tectonic activity; 2) multiple sources of sediment supply; 3) water-mass interphases interacting with the seafloor; and 4) glacioeustatic changes, especially during the Quaternary, when the increasing influence of the bottom cur- rent has been observed during the cold stages. The main objective of this special volume contribution is to provide a review and description of the regional along

  12. 137Cs as tracer of the origin of allochthonous sediments in the Southeast Continental Margin of Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferreira, Paulo A.L.; Mahiques, Michel M.; FIgueira, Rubens C.L.

    2015-01-01

    The distribution of 137 Cs, artificial radionuclide for which there is no current source, can inform on the origin and destination of sediments. This study analyzed about 60 samples of surface sediment to generate a model of spatial distribution of 137 Cs in the Southeast Continental Margin of Brazil and surroundings for evaluating possible sediment sources for this region. The model showed that the levels of 137 Cs in the southern compartment of the Southeast Brazilian Margin (south of Sao Sebastiao Island) are statistically similar to those of the Rio de la Plata river mouth region, indicating sediment entry due to the seasonal intrusion of the plume of Rio de la Plata, a phenomenon already studied by other authors

  13. Seabed fluid expulsion along the upper slope and outer shelf of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, D.S.; Ruppel, C.; Kluesner, J.W.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Chaytor, J.D.; Hill, J.C.; Andrews, B.D.; Flores, C.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying the spatial distribution of seabed fluid expulsion features is crucial for understanding the substrate plumbing system of any continental margin. A 1100 km stretch of the U.S. Atlantic margin contains more than 5000 pockmarks at water depths of 120 m (shelf edge) to 700 m (upper slope), mostly updip of the contemporary gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). Advanced attribute analyses of high-resolution multichannel seismic reflection data reveal gas-charged sediment and probable fluid chimneys beneath pockmark fields. A series of enhanced reflectors, inferred to represent hydrate-bearing sediments, occur within the GHSZ. Differential sediment loading at the shelf edge and warming-induced gas hydrate dissociation along the upper slope are the proposed mechanisms that led to transient changes in substrate pore fluid overpressure, vertical fluid/gas migration, and pockmark formation.

  14. Structure across the northeastern margin of Flemish Cap, offshore Newfoundland from Erable multichannel seismic reflection profiles: evidence for a transtensional rifting environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welford, J. Kim; Hall, Jeremy; Sibuet, Jean-Claude; Srivastava, Shiri P.

    2010-11-01

    We present the results from processing and interpreting nine multichannel seismic reflection lines collected during the 1992 Erable experiment over the northeastern margin of Flemish Cap offshore Newfoundland. These lines, combined into five cross-sections, provide increased seismic coverage over this lightly probed section of the margin and reveal tectonically significant along-strike variations in the degree and compartmentalization of crustal thinning. Similar to the southeastern margins of Flemish Cap and the Grand Banks, a transitional zone of exhumed serpentinized mantle is interpreted between thinned continental and oceanic crust. The 25 km wide transitional zone bears similarities to the 120 km wide transitional zone interpreted as exhumed serpentinized mantle on the conjugate Irish Atlantic margin but the significant width difference is suggestive of an asymmetric conjugate pair. A 40-50 km wide zone of inferred strike-slip shearing is interpreted and observed to extend along most of the northeastern margin of Flemish Cap. Individual shear zones (SZs) may represent extensions of SZs and normal faults within the Orphan Basin providing further evidence for the rotation and displacement of Flemish Cap out of Orphan Basin. The asymmetry between the Flemish Cap and Irish conjugate pairs is likely due in large part to the rotation and displacement of Flemish Cap which resulted in the Flemish Cap margin displaying features of both a strike-slip margin and an extensional margin.

  15. 3D Numerical Rift Modeling with Application to the East African Rift System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glerum, A.; Brune, S.; Naliboff, J.

    2017-12-01

    As key components of plate tectonics, continental rifting and the formation of passive margins have been extensively studied with both analogue models and numerical techniques. Only recently however, technical advances have enabled numerical investigations into rift evolution in three dimensions, as is actually required for including those processes that cause rift-parallel variability, such as structural inheritance and oblique extension (Brune 2016). We use the massively parallel finite element code ASPECT (Kronbichler et al. 2012; Heister et al. 2017) to investigate rift evolution. ASPECT's adaptive mesh refinement enables us to focus resolution on the regions of interest (i.e. the rift center), while leaving other areas such as the asthenospheric mantle at coarse resolution, leading to kilometer-scale local mesh resolution in 3D. Furthermore, we implemented plastic and viscous strain weakening of the nonlinear viscoplastic rheology required to develop asymmetric rift geometries (e.g. Huismans and Beaumont 2003). Additionally created plugins to ASPECT allow us to specify initial temperature and composition conditions based on geophysical data (e.g. LITHO1.0, Pasyanos et al. 2014) or to prescribe more general along-strike variation in the initial strain seeding the rift. Employing the above functionality, we construct regional models of the East African Rift System (EARS), the world's largest currently active rift. As the EARS is characterized by both orthogonal and oblique rift sections, multi-phase extension histories as well as magmatic and a-magmatic branches (e.g. Chorowicz 2005; Ebinger and Scholz 2011), it constitutes an extensive natural laboratory for our research into the 3D nature of continental rifting. References:Brune, S. (2016), in Plate boundaries and natural hazards, AGU Geophysical Monograph 219, J. C. Duarte and W. P. Schellart (Eds.). Chorowicz, J. (2005). J. Afr. Earth Sci., 43, 379-410. Ebinger, C. and Scholz, C. A. (2011), in Tectonics of

  16. Receiver function and magnetotelluric analysis to understand the first stage of a continental lithospheric break-up : case of the North Tanzanian Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plasman, M.; Tiberi, C.; Tarits, P.; Hautot, S.; Gautier, S.; Ebinger, C. J.; Mulibo, G. D.; Khalfan, M.

    2015-12-01

    First stage of continental break-up, though intensively studied, is yet poorly understood. This is partly because actual rifting areas are either too mature (more than 10 My) or not easily accessible (thick sediment cover or under water). The North Tanzania part of the East African Rift is the place of a lithosphere's early break-up (less than 5My) in response to a combination of regional pulling forces and mantle upwelling. Deformation there results from complex interactions between magmatic intrusions, faulting, asthenospheric dynamics and far field stresses. CoLiBrEA (ANR) and CRAFTI (NSF) are two multidisciplinary projects which collaboratively focus on this area to understand the interactions between faults and magma, the role of inherited structures and rheological heterogeneities of the lithosphere. For that purpose, we deployed 38 broadband seismic stations in the Natron and Ngorongoro areas from January 2013 to December 2014 and carried out a 120 km East-West magnetotelluric (MT) profile to image the crustal and mantle structures. The 3D resistivity model, obtained from the inversion of the MT data along the profile, shows an highly heterogeneous crust with three-dimensional structures over a more homogeneous upper mantle. The first inversion result from the receiver function (RF) by the Zhu and Kanamori's inversion method show a thick crust (~35 km) with important variations (maximum 15km) especially in the Ngorongoro area, and an average Vp/Vs ratio of 1.75. We then completed this study by combining the MT data and the RF at the 11 sites of the EW profile. For each site, we built a 1D velocity model (Vs and VpVs) obtained by combining the Sambridge forward solution with a non linear descent research algorithm and constrained by the resistivity structure. The inversion shows an heterogeneous crust obviously dominated by the Moho interface at different depths, with low velocity layers mainly corresponding to low resistivity features.

  17. Images of the East Africa Rift System from the Joint Inversion of Body Waves, Surface Waves, and Gravity: Investigating the Role of Magma in Early-Stage Continental Rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roecker, S. W.; Ebinger, C. J.; Tiberi, C.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Muzuka, A.; Khalfan, M.; Kianji, G.; Gautier, S.; Albaric, J.; Peyrat, S.

    2015-12-01

    With several rift segments at different stages of the rifting cycle, and the last orogenic episode more than 500 Mya, the young (Ngorongoro caldera appears to be physically cut off from the magma beneath the main part of the rift zone by a relatively thin (< 10 km) wide zone of higher shear wave speeds that lies along the western edge of the fault-bounded rift. The narrow ridge of higher velocity lower crustal material may be a consequence of flexural uplift of the rift flank in response to stretching of strong, cratonic lithosphere.

  18. The potential for satellite and marginal field developments on the Norwegian continental shelf

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raustein, O.; Abrahamsen, L.E.; Einang, G.

    1994-01-01

    Norway is faced with decreasing field sizes in hostile waters. On the other hand, approximately 620 billion 1993-NOK have been invested in field installations and transport systems. These installations will have significant available processing and transport capacity in the future, and thus represent a valuable infrastructure. This paper describes the resource situation and the installed infrastructure on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Then the potential of still maintaining a high activity level in field developments is outlined

  19. Indian continental margin gas hydrate prospects : results of the Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) expedition 01

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collett, T [United States Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Riedel, M. [McGill Univ., Montreal, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Cochran, J.R. [Columbia Univ., Palisades, NY (United States). Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory; Boswell, R. [United States Dept. of Energy, Morgantown, WV (United States). National Energy Technology Lab; Kumar, P. [Pushpendra Kumar Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd., Mumbai (India). Inst. of Engineering and Ocean Technology; Sathe, A.V. [Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd., Uttaranchal (India). KDM Inst. of Petroleum Exploration

    2008-07-01

    The geologic occurrence of gas hydrate deposits along the continental margins of India were investigated in the first expedition of the Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP). The objective was to determine the regional context and characteristics of the gas hydrate deposits through scientific ocean drilling, logging, and analytical activities. A research drill ship was the platform for the drilling operation. The geological and geophysical studies revealed 2 geologically distinct areas with inferred gas hydrate occurrences, notably the passive continental margins of the Indian Peninsula and along the Andaman convergent margin. The NGHP Expedition 01 focused on understanding the geologic and geochemical controls on the occurrence of gas hydrate in these 2 diverse settings. The study established the presence of gas hydrates in Krishna-Godavari, Mahanadi and Andaman basins. Site 10 in the Krishna-Godavari Basin was discovered to be the one of the richest gas hydrate accumulations yet documented, while site 17 in the Andaman Sea had the thickest and deepest gas hydrate stability zone yet known. The existence of a fully-developed gas hydrate system in the Mahanadi Basin was also discovered. Most of the gas hydrate occurrences discovered during this expedition appeared to contain mostly methane which was generated by microbial processes. However, there was also evidence of a thermal origin for a portion of the gas within the hydrates of the Mahanadi Basin and the Andaman offshore area. Gas hydrate in the Krishna-Godavari Basin appeared to be closely associated with large scale structural features, in which the flux of gas through local fracture systems, generated by the regional stress regime, controlled the occurrence of gas hydrate. 3 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs.

  20. Geomorphic characterization of four shelf-sourced submarine canyons along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obelcz, Jeffrey; Brothers, Daniel S.; Chaytor, Jason D.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    Shelf-sourced submarine canyons are common features of continental margins and are fundamental to deep-sea sedimentary systems. Despite their geomorphic and geologic significance, relatively few passive margin shelf-breaching canyons worldwide have been mapped using modern geophysical methods. Between 2007 and 2012 a series of geophysical surveys was conducted across four major canyons of the US Mid-Atlantic margin: Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, and Norfolk canyons. More than 5700 km2 of high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and 890 line-km of sub-bottom CHIRP profiles were collected along the outer shelf and uppermost slope (depths of 80-1200 m). The data allowed us to compare and contrast the fine-scale morphology of each canyon system. The canyons have marked differences in the morphology and orientation of canyon heads, steepness and density of sidewall gullies, and the character of the continental shelf surrounding canyon rims. Down-canyon axial profiles for Washington, Baltimore and Wilmington canyons have linear shapes, and each canyon thalweg exhibits morphological evidence for recent, relatively small-scale sediment transport. For example, Washington Canyon displays extremely steep wall gradients and contains ~100 m wide, 5–10 m deep, v-shaped incisions down the canyon axis, suggesting modern or recent sediment transport. In contrast, the convex axial thalweg profile, the absence of thalweg incision, and evidence for sediment infilling at the canyon head, suggest that depositional processes strongly influence Norfolk Canyon during the current sea-level high-stand. The north walls of Wilmington, Washington and Norfolk canyons are steeper than the south walls due to differential erosion, though the underlying cause for this asymmetry is not clear. Furthermore, we speculate that most of the geomorphic features observed within the canyons (e.g., terraces, tributary canyons, gullies, and hanging valleys) were formed during the Pleistocene, and show only

  1. Tectono-Magmatic Evolution of the South Atlantic Continental Margins with Respect to Opening of the Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melankholina, E. N.; Sushchevskaya, N. M.

    2018-03-01

    The history of the opening of the South Atlantic in Early Cretaceous time is considered. It is shown that the determining role for continental breakup preparation has been played by tectono-magmatic events within the limits of the distal margins that developed above the plume head. The formation of the Rio Grande Rise-Walvis Ridge volcanic system along the trace of the hot spot is considered. The magmatism in the South Atlantic margins, its sources, and changes in composition during the evolution are described. On the basis of petrogeochemical data, the peculiarities of rocks with a continental signature are shown. Based on Pb-Sr-Nd isotopic studies, it is found that the manifestations of magmatism in the proximal margins had features of enriched components related to the EM I and EM II sources, sometimes with certain participation of the HIMU source. Within the limits of the Walvis Ridge, as magmatism expanded to the newly formed oceanic crust, the participation of depleted asthenospheric mantle became larger in the composition of magmas. The role played by the Tristan plume in magma generation is discussed: it is the most considered as the heat source that determined the melting of the ancient enriched lithosphere. The specifics of the tectono-magmatic evolution of the South Atlantic is pointed out: the origination during spreading of a number of hot spots above the periphery of the African superplume. The diachronous character of the opening of the ocean is considered in the context of northward progradation of the breakup line and its connection with the northern branch of the Atlantic Ocean in the Mid-Cretaceous.

  2. Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti in the continental United States: a vector at the cool margin of its geographic range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Lars; Moore, Chester G

    2013-05-01

    After more than a half century without recognized local dengue outbreaks in the continental United States, there were recent outbreaks of autochthonous dengue in the southern parts of Texas (2004-2005) and Florida (2009-2011). This dengue reemergence has provoked interest in the extent of the future threat posed by the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.), the primary vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses in urban settings, to human health in the continental United States. Ae. aegypti is an intriguing example of a vector species that not only occurs in the southernmost portions of the eastern United States today but also is incriminated as the likely primary vector in historical outbreaks of yellow fever as far north as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, from the 1690s to the 1820s. For vector species with geographic ranges limited, in part, by low temperature and cool range margins occurring in the southern part of the continental United States, as is currently the case for Ae. aegypti, it is tempting to speculate that climate warming may result in a northward range expansion (similar to that seen for Ixodes tick vectors of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in Scandinavia and southern Canada in recent decades). Although there is no doubt that climate conditions directly impact many aspects of the life history of Ae. aegypti, this mosquito also is closely linked to the human environment and directly influenced by the availability of water-holding containers for oviposition and larval development. Competition with other container-inhabiting mosquito species, particularly Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse), also may impact the presence and local abundance of Ae. aegypti. Field-based studies that focus solely on the impact of weather or climate factors on the presence and abundance of Ae. aegypti, including assessments of the potential impact of climate warming on the mosquito's future range and abundance, do not consider the potential confounding

  3. Structure of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary Onshore and Offshore the California Continental Margin from Three-Dimensional Seismic Anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, C. D.; Escobar, L., Sr.; Rathnayaka, S.; Weeraratne, D. S.; Kohler, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    The California continental margin, a major transform plate boundary in continental North America, is the locus of complex tectonic stress fields that are important in interpreting both remnant and ongoing deformational strain. Ancient subduction of the East Pacific Rise spreading center, the rotation and translation of tectonic blocks and inception of the San Andreas fault all contribute to the dynamic stress fields located both onshore and offshore southern California. Data obtained by the ALBACORE (Asthenospheric and Lithospheric Broadband Architecture from the California Offshore Region Experiment) and the CISN (California Integrated Seismic Network) seismic array are analyzed for azimuthal anisotropy of Rayleigh waves from 80 teleseismic events at periods 16 - 78 s. Here we invert Rayleigh wave data for shear wave velocity structure and three-dimensional seismic anisotropy in the thee regions designated within the continental margin including the continent, seafloor and California Borderlands. Preliminary results show that seismic anisotropy is resolved in multiple layers and can be used to determine the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) in offshore and continental regions. The oldest seafloor in our study at age 25-35 Ma indicates that the anisotropic transition across the LAB occurs at 73 km +/- 25 km with the lithospheric fast direction oriented WNW-ESE, consistent with current Pacific plate motion direction. The continent region west of the San Andreas indicates similar WNW-ESE anisotropy and LAB depth. Regions east of the San Andreas fault indicate NW-SE anisotropy transitioning to a N-S alignment at 80 km depth north of the Garlock fault. The youngest seafloor (15 - 25 Ma) and outer Borderlands indicate a more complex three layer fabric where shallow lithospheric NE-SW fast directions are perpendicular with ancient Farallon subduction arc, a mid-layer with E-W fast directions are perpendicular to remnant fossil fabric, and the deepest layer

  4. Verdine and glaucony facies from surficial sediments of the eastern continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Thamban, M.; Lamboy, M.

    -trioctahedral Fe-rich 1:l clay mineral. Clay Miner., 23: 237-247. Murthy, K.S.R., 1989. Seismic stratigraphy of Ongole-Paradip continental shelf East coast of India. Indian J. Mar. Sci., 16: 47-58. Murthy, K.S.R., Rao, T.C.S., Subramanyam, AS., Rao, M... at the continent- ocean boundary: the verdine facies. Clay Miner. 25: 477-483. Rao, K.M. and Rao, T.C.S., 1994. Holocene sea levels of Visakhapatnam shelf, East Coast of India. J. Geol. Sot. India, 44: 685-689. Rao, V.P., 1991. Clay mineral distribution...

  5. Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea, Gorgonocephalus Leach, 1815: First report of the genus for the Brazilian continental margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barboza, C. A. M.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The Gorgonocephalidae includes 38 genera, five of them reported for Brazilian waters. Gorgonocephalus chilensishas a wide distribution throughout Antartica and Subantartican regions and its northern limit was restricted to the coast ofUruguay. This work aims to report the first occurrence of the Gorgonocephalus genus for the Brazilian continental marginand extend the northern limit of distribution of G. chilensis to the coast of Santa Catarina. Tolerance to a large temperatureand bathimetric range are crucial to understand the distributions patterns of ophiuroids from the polar circle that alsooccur at southern South America.

  6. Characterizing slope morphology using multifractal technique: a study from the western continental margin of India.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chakraborty, B.; Karisiddaiah, S.M.; Menezes, A.A.A.; Haris, K.; Gokul, G.S.; Fernandes, W.A.; Kavitha, G.

    margin of India. Geo-Mar Lett 26: 114–119. doi: 10.1007/s00367-006-0022-6 Cheng Q, Agterberg FP (1996) Comparison between two types of multifractal modeling. Math Geol 28 (8): 1001–1015 Dandapath S, Chakraborty B, Maslov N, Karisiddaiah SM...

  7. Magnetic anomalies of offshore Krishna–Godavari basin, eastern continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Swamy, K.V.; Murthy, I.V.R.; Krishna, K.S.; Murthy, K.S.R.; Subrahmanyam, A.S.; Rao, M.M.M.

    with the volcanic material. Inversion of the magnetic and gravity anomalies was also carried out to establish the similarity of anomalies of the two geological features (structural high on the margin and the 85 degrees E Ridge) and their interpretations. In both...

  8. The Volcanic Myths of the Red Sea - Temporal Relationship Between Magmatism and Rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockli, D. F.; Bosworth, W.

    2017-12-01

    The Cenozoic Red Sea is one of the premier examples of continental rifting and active break-up. It has been cited as an example for both prototypical volcanic, pure shear rift systems with limited crustal stretching as well as magma-poor simple-shear rifting and highly asymmetric rift margins characterized by low-angle normal faults. In light of voluminous Oligocene continental flood basalts in the Afar/Ethiopian region, the Red Sea has often been viewed as a typical volcanic rift, despite evidence for asymmetric extension and hyperextended crust (Zabargad Island). An in-depth analysis of the timing, spatial distribution, and nature of Red Sea volcanism and its relationship to late Cenozoic extensional faulting should shed light on some of the misconceptions. The Eocene appearance of the East African super-plume was not accompanied by any recognized significant extensional faulting or rift-basin formation. The first phase of volcanism more closely associated with the Red Sea occurred in northern Ethiopia and western Yemen at 31-30 Ma and was synchronous with the onset of continental extension in the Gulf of Aden. Early Oligocene volcanism has also been documented in southern and central Saudi Arabia and southern Sudan. However, this voluminous Oligocene volcanism entirely predates Red Sea extensional faulting and rift formation. Marking the onset of Red Sea rifting, widespread, spatially synchronous intrusion of basaltic dikes occurred at 24-21 Ma along the entire Red Sea-Gulf of Suez rift and continuing into northern Egypt. While the initiation of lithospheric extension in the central and northern and central Red Sea and Gulf of Suez was accompanied by only sparse basaltic volcanism and possible underplating, the main phase of rifting in the Miocene Red Sea/Gulf of Suez completely lacks any significant rift-related volcanism, suggesting plate-boundary forces probably drove overall separation of Arabia from Africa. During progressive rifting, there is also no

  9. A shifting rift—Geophysical insights into the evolution of Rio Grande rift margins and the Embudo transfer zone near Taos, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grauch, V.J.S.; Bauer, Paul W.; Drenth, Benjamin J.; Kelson, Keith I.

    2017-01-01

    We present a detailed example of how a subbasin develops adjacent to a transfer zone in the Rio Grande rift. The Embudo transfer zone in the Rio Grande rift is considered one of the classic examples and has been used as the inspiration for several theoretical models. Despite this attention, the history of its development into a major rift structure is poorly known along its northern extent near Taos, New Mexico. Geologic evidence for all but its young rift history is concealed under Quaternary cover. We focus on understanding the pre-Quaternary evidence that is in the subsurface by integrating diverse pieces of geologic and geophysical information. As a result, we present a substantively new understanding of the tectonic configuration and evolution of the northern extent of the Embudo fault and its adjacent subbasin.We integrate geophysical, borehole, and geologic information to interpret the subsurface configuration of the rift margins formed by the Embudo and Sangre de Cristo faults and the geometry of the subbasin within the Taos embayment. Key features interpreted include (1) an imperfect D-shaped subbasin that slopes to the east and southeast, with the deepest point ∼2 km below the valley floor located northwest of Taos at ∼36° 26′N latitude and 105° 37′W longitude; (2) a concealed Embudo fault system that extends as much as 7 km wider than is mapped at the surface, wherein fault strands disrupt or truncate flows of Pliocene Servilleta Basalt and step down into the subbasin with a minimum of 1.8 km of vertical displacement; and (3) a similar, wider than expected (5–7 km) zone of stepped, west-down normal faults associated with the Sangre de Cristo range front fault.From the geophysical interpretations and subsurface models, we infer relations between faulting and flows of Pliocene Servilleta Basalt and older, buried basaltic rocks that, combined with geologic mapping, suggest a revised rift history involving shifts in the locus of fault activity as

  10. Structure and petroleum potential of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruns, T.R.

    1982-01-01

    Major structural features of the Yakutat segment, the segment of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska, are delineated by multichannel seismic reflection data. A large structural high is centered on Fairweather Ground and lies generally at the edge of the shelf from Cross Sound to west of the Alsek Valley. A basement uplift, the Dangerous River zone, along which the seismic acoustic basement shallows by up to two kilometers, extends north from the western edge of Fairweather Ground towards the mouth of the Dangerous River. The Dangerous River zone separates the Yakutat segment into two distinct subbasins. The eastern subbasin has a maximum sediment thickness of about 4 km, and the axis of the basin is near and parallel to the coast. Strata in this basin are largely of late Cenozoic age (Neogene and Quaternary) and approximately correlate with the onshore Yakataga Formation. The western subbasin has a maximum of at least 9 km of sediment, comprised of a thick (greater than 4.5 km) Paleogene section overlain by late Cenozoic strata. The Paleogene section is truncated along the Dangerous River zone by a combination of erosion, faulting, and onlap onto the acoustic basement. Within the western subbasin, the late Cenozoic basin axis is near and parallel to the coast, but the Paleogene basin axis appears to trend in a northwest direction diagonally across the shelf. Sedimentary strata throughout the Yakutat shelf show regional subsidence and only minor deformation except in the vicinity of the Fairweather Ground structural high, near and along the Dangerous River zone, and at the shoreline near Lituya Bay. Seismic data across the continental slope and adjacent deep ocean show truncation at the continental slope of Paleogene strata, the presence of a thick (to 6 km) undeformed or mildly deformed abyssal sedimentary section at the base of the slope that in part onlaps the slope, and a relatively narrow zone along the slope or at

  11. Methane Migration and Its Influence on Sulfate Reduction in the Good Weather Ridge Region, South China Sea Continental Margin Sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saulwood Lin

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria sulfate reduction is a major pathway for organic carbon oxidation in marine sediments. Upward diffusion of methane from gas hydrate deep in the sedimentary strata might be another important source of carbon for sulfate reducing bacteria and subsequently induce higher rates of sulfate reduction in sediments. Since abundant gas may migrate upward to the surface as a result of tectonic activity occurring in the accretionary wedge, this study investigates the effect of methane migration on the sulfate reduction process in continental margin sediments offshore southwestern Taiwan. Piston and gravity core samples were taken in order to evaluate vertical and spatial variations of sulfate and methane. Pore water sulfate, sulfide, methane, sediment pyrite, and organic carbon were extracted and analyzed.

  12. Structural lineaments from the magnetic anomaly maps of the eastern continental margin of India (ECMI) and NW Bengal Fan

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Murthy, K.S.R.; Rao, T.C.S.; Subrahmanyam, A; Rao, M.M.M.; Lakshminarayana, S.

    extension of 85 degrees E ridge, abutting the continental shelf off Chilka Lake and (3) trend 3, locted over the continental shelf/slope between Visakhapatnm and Paradip represents a folded (ridges and depressions) nature of the continental basement...

  13. Deposition and Burial Efficiency of Terrestrial Organic Carbon Exported from Small Mountainous Rivers to the Continental Margin, Southwest of Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, F.; Lin, S.; Wang, C.; Huh, C.

    2007-12-01

    Terrestrial organic carbon exported from small mountainous river to the continental margin may play an important role in global carbon cycle and it?|s biogeochemical process. A huge amount of suspended materials from small rivers in southwestern Taiwan (104 million tons per year) could serve as major carbon source to the adjacent ocean. However, little is know concerning fate of this terrigenous organic carbon. The purpose of this study is to calculate flux of terrigenous organic carbon deposited in the continental margin, offshore southwestern Taiwan through investigating spatial variation of organic carbon content, organic carbon isotopic compositions, organic carbon deposition rate and burial efficiency. Results show that organic carbon compositions in sediment are strongly influenced by terrestrial material exported from small rivers in the region, Kaoping River, Tseng-wen River and Er-jan Rver. In addition, a major part of the terrestrial materials exported from the Kaoping River may bypass shelf region and transport directly into the deep sea (South China Sea) through the Kaoping Canyon. Organic carbon isotopic compositions with lighter carbon isotopic values are found near the Kaoping River and Tseng-wen River mouth and rapidly change from heavier to lighter values through shelf to slope. Patches of lighter organic carbon isotopic compositions with high organic carbon content are also found in areas west of Kaoping River mouth, near the Kaoshiung city. Furthermore, terrigenous organic carbons with lighter isotopic values are found in the Kaoping canyon. A total of 0.028 Mt/yr of terrestrial organic carbon was found in the study area, which represented only about 10 percent of all terrestrial organic carbon deposited in the study area. Majority (~90 percent) of the organic carbon exported from the Kaoping River maybe directly transported into the deep sea (South China Sea) and become a major source of organic carbon in the deep sea.

  14. Submarine geo-hazards on the eastern Sardinia-Corsica continental margin based on preliminary pipeline route investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cecchini, S.; Taliana, D.; Giacomini, L.; Herisson, C.; Bonnemaire, B.

    2011-03-01

    The understanding of the morphology and the shallow geo-hazards of the seafloor is a major focus for both academic and private industry research. On November and December 2009 a geophysical pipeline survey was carried out by Fugro Oceansismica S.p.A. (FOSPA) and FUGRO France (FFSA) for DORIS Engineering on behalf of GRTgaz (Engineering centre, Transmission Pipe Department; http://www.grtgaz.com) which are currently investigating the possibility of laying a pipeline between Sardinia and Corsica as a spur line from the planned GALSI Project. The Project, "Alimentation de la Corse en gaz naturel", consists of a corridor 100 km long and 1.0 km wide along the Corsica-Sardinia shelf. The integration of the multibeam, sidescan sonar and sparker data provided a high resolution seafloor mapping for geo-hazard assessment. In this article the data acquired along a break of slope section (approximately 20 km × 1.5 km), in the eastern sector of the Strait of Bonifacio are described. The area was abandoned during the survey, because of its unsuitability. Indeed, in this area the continental shelf, approximately 100 m deep and deepening gently eastward, is characterized by an uneven morphology, with different seabed features such as Beach- rocks mainly NNW-SSE oriented. Also, the continuity of the continental margin, identified around -110/-115 m, is interrupted by four canyon heads which incise the slope and are associated with glide deposits.

  15. Numerical modelling of edge-driven convection during rift-to-drift transition: application to the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierro, Elisa; Capitanio, Fabio A.; Schettino, Antonio; Morena Salerno, V.

    2017-04-01

    We use numerical modeling to investigate the coupling of mantle instabilities and surface tectonics along lithospheric steps developing during rifting. We address whether edge driven convection (EDC) beneath rifted continental margins and shear flow during rift-drift transition can play a role in the observed post-rift compressive tectonic evolution of the divergent continental margins along the Red Sea. We run a series of 2D simulations to examine the relationship between the maximum compression and key geometrical parameters of the step beneath continental margins, such as the step height due to lithosphere thickness variation and the width of the margins, and test the effect of rheology varying temperature- and stress-dependent viscosity in the lithosphere and asthenosphere. The development of instabilities is initially illustrated as a function of these parameters, to show the controls on the lithosphere strain distribution and magnitude. We then address the transient evolution of the instabilities to characterize their duration. In an additional suite of models, we address the development of EDC during plate motions, thus accounting for the mantle shearing due to spreading. Our results show an increase of strain with the step height as well as with the margin width up to 200 km. After this value the influence of ridge margin can be neglected. Strain rates are, then, quantified for a range of laboratory-constrained constitutive laws for mantle and lithosphere forming minerals. These models propose a viable mechanism to explain the post-rift tectonic inversion observed along the Arabian continental margin and the episodic ultra-fast sea floor spreading in the central Red Sea, where the role of EDC has been invoked.

  16. 3D thermal modelling within the Lofoten-Vesterålen segment of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maystrenko, Yuriy P.; Gernigon, Laurent; Gradmann, Sofie; Olesen, Odleiv

    2017-04-01

    A lithosphere-scale 3D structural model has been constructed based on the available structural data to reveal a deep structure of the Lofoten-Vesterålen segment and the northern part of the Vøring segment of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin. The constructed model covers the Vestfjorden, Ribban and Røst basins, the northern parts of the Vøring Basin and the Trøndelag Platform. The model also extends from the Fennoscandian Shield to the north-eastern part of the North Atlantic Ocean. The initial 3D structural model has been refined using a 3D gravity modelling over the whole study area. The final gravity-consistent model has been used as a structural base for a further 3D thermal modelling, which has been made by use of commercial software package COMSOL Multiphysics. As an upper thermal boundary condition, time-dependent temperature at the Earth's surface and sea bottom has been set, considering palaeoclimatic changes due to the last two Europe-scale glaciations (the Saalian and Weichselian glacial periods). The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary has been used as a lower thermal boundary which corresponds to the 1300 °C isotherm. In addition to the above-mentioned paleoclimatic scenario, the effects of late Cenozoic erosion onshore and sedimentation offshore have been taken into account during the 3D thermal modelling. Results of this thermal modelling indicate that the continent is generally colder than the basin areas within the upper part of the 3D model. In particular, considering the transient perturbations in the near-surface thermal regime, as a result of the post-Paleogene erosion and sedimentation, helps us to understand additional details of subsurface temperature distribution within the study area. The thermal effects of the simultaneous erosion over the mainland and deposition within the basin areas indicate that a positive thermal anomaly should exist onshore, whereas the negative one must occur in the offshore part. These two thermal

  17. Distribution and sources of organic matter in surface sediments of the eastern continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, M.S.; Naidu, S.A.; Subbaiah, Ch.V.; Sarma, V.V.S.S.; Reddy, N.P.C.

    of the northern and western Gulf of Mexico, the north coast of Alaska and the Niger Delta [Gearing et al., 1977], surface sediments from the Beaufort shelf, Beaufort Sea [Goni et al., 2000], coastal sediments from the Gulf of Trieste, N Adriatic Sea [Ogrinc et... the chemical composition of SOC off the Washington margin [Keil et al. 1994; Prahl et al. 1994], Amazon [Goni, 1997], Bengal fans [Lanord and Derry, 1994], and Gulf of Mexico [Goni et al. 1997]. Other possible reason could be preferential removal of N...

  18. Basement configuration of Visakhapatnam - Paradip continental margin from inversion of magnetic anomalies

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, M.M.M.; Rao, S.J.; Venkateswarlu, K.; Murthy, K.S.R.; Murthy, I.V.R.; Subrahmanyam, A.S.

    . References 1 Curray J R, Emmel F J, Moore D G & Raitt R W, in: Ocean basins and margins, 6 (Plenum, New York) 1982, pp. 399-450. 2 Rao T C S & Murthy K S R, Magnetic surveys over the con- tinental shelf off Visakhapatnam, Mahasagar - Bull Nat Inst... Visakhapatnam, east coast of India, Indian J Earth Sci, 14(1987) 109-113. 8 Murthy K S R, Rao M M M, Rao T C S & Subrahmanyam A S, A comparative study of Werner deconvolution and con- ventional modelling of marine magnetic data, Geophy Res Bull, 25(1987) 152...

  19. Long-term landscape evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin along the Kaoko- and Damara Belts, NW-Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menges, Daniel; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Hackspacher, Peter; Schneider, Gabriele; Salomon, Eric

    2015-04-01

    The Kaoko Belt in northwestern Namibia originates in the collision of the Rio de la Plata and Kongo Craton during the Pan-African Orogeny in the Neoproterozoic (1) and represents the northern arm of the Damara Orogen. NW-Namibias continental crust mainly consists of the NE-SW striking intracontinental branch of the Pan-African Damara mobile belt, which separates the Congo from the Kalahari craton. The Damara Orogen is divided into several tectonostratigraphic zones that are bounded by steeply dipping, ductile shear zones. These regional lineaments can be traced at least 150 km offshore (2). The lithostratigraphic units consist of Proterozoic and Cambrian metamorphosed rocks (534 (7) Ma - 481 (25) Ma (3) as well as Mesozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks. From Permo-Carboniferous to Mid Jurassic northern Namibia was affected by deep erosion of the Damara Orogen, Permo-Triassic collisional processes along the southern margin of Gondwana and eastern margin of Africa (4), and the deposition of the Nama Group sediments and the Karoo megasequence (5). Between the Otjihorongo and the Omaruru Lineament-Waterberg Thrust early Mesozoic tectonic activity is recorded by coarse clastic sediments deposited within NE trending half-graben structures. The Early Jurassic Karoo flood basalt lavas erupted rapidly at 183±1 Ma (6). The Early Cretaceous Paraná-Etendeka flood basalts (132±1 Ma) and mafic dike swarms mark the rift stage of the opening of the South Atlantic (7). Early Cretaceous alkaline intrusions (137-124 Ma) occur preferentially along Mesozoic half-graben structures and are called the Damaraland Igneous Province (8). Late Cretaceous alkaline intrusions and kimberlite pipes occur in northern Namibia. Post Early Paleocene siliciclastic sedimentation in Namibia was largely restricted to a 150 km wide zone (9) and is represented by the Tsondab Sandstone Formation (~ 300 m thickness). The oldest part has an age of early Paleocene and the upper part span from middle Miocene

  20. Recent Sedimentary Processes Along the Western Continental Margin of the South Korea Plateau, East Sea of Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cukur, D.; Um, I. K.; Bahk, J. J.; Chun, J. H.; Lee, G. S.; Soo, K. G.; Horozal, S.; Kim, S. P.

    2017-12-01

    The continental margins of the marginal seas is largely shaped by a complex interplay of sediment transport processes directed both downslope and along-slope. Factors influence the sediment transport from shelf to the deep basin include: (i) seabed morphology, (ii) climate, (iii) sea level changes, (iv) slope stability, (v) oceanographic regime, and (vi) sediment sources. In order to understand the recent sedimentary processes along the western margin of the South Korea Plateau in the East Sea, we collected multiple geophysical datasets including the subbottom profiler and multibeam echosounder as well as geological sampling. Twelve echo types have been defined and interpreted as deposits formed by shallow marine, hemipelagic sedimentation, bottom currents, combined- (mass-movement/hemipelagic and hemipelagic/turbidites) and mass-movement-processes. Hemipelagic sedimentation, which is reflected as undisturbed layered sediments, appears to have been the primary sedimentary process throughout the study area. Two major slope-parallel channels appear to have acted as major conduits for turbidity currents from shallower shelf into the deep basins. Bottom current deposits, which is expressed as undulating seafloor morphology, are prevalent in the southern mid-slope at water depths between 250 to 450 m. Mass-transport deposits, consisting of chaotic seismic facies, occur in the upper and lower parts of the continental slope. Piston cores confirm the presence of MTDs that are characterized by mud clasts of variable size and shape. Multibeam bathymetry data show that these MTDs chiefly initiate on lower-slopes (400-600 m) where the gradient is up to 3°. In addition, subbottom profiles suggest the presence of numerous faults in close vicinity of headwall scarps; some are extending to the seafloor suggesting their recent activity. Earthquakes associated with tectonic activity are considered as the main triggering mechanism for these MTDs. Overall, the acoustic facies

  1. Authigenic carbonates in the sediments of Goa offshore basin, western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Kocherla, M.

    in all the studied locations. The methane con- centration varied from 0.45–5.25 nM (top) to 11.25 nM (middle) and 0.64–13.23 nM (bottom). The CaCO 3 content of the sediments ranged from 33.6% to 69.9% and TOC varied from 0.21% to 0.86%. The porosity.... G. and Almeida, F., Detection of gas charged sediments and gas hydrate horizons in high resolution seismic profiles from the western con- tinental margin of India. Spec. Publ. Geol. Soc. Lond., 1998, 137, 239–253. 15. Satyavani, N., Thankur, N. K...

  2. The biogeochemistry of carbon in continental slope sediments: The North Carolina margin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blair, N.; Levin, L.; DeMaster, D.; Plaia, G.; Martin, C.; Fornes, W.; Thomas, C.; Pope, R.

    1999-12-01

    The responses of the continental slope benthos to organic detritus deposition were studied with a multiple trace approach. Study sites were offshore of Cape Fear (I) and Cape Hatteras (III), N.C. (both 850 m water depth) and were characterized by different organic C deposition rates, macrofaunal densities (III>I in both cases) and taxa. Natural abundances of {sup 13}C and {sup 12}C in particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and macrofauna indicate that the reactive organic detritus is marine in origin. Natural abundance levels of {sup 14}C and uptake of {sup 13}C-labeled diatoms by benthic animals indicate that they incorporate a relatively young component of carbon into their biomass. {sup 13}C-labeled diatoms (Thalassiorsira pseudonana) tagged with {sup 210}Pb, slope sediment tagged with {sup 113}Sn and {sup 228}Th-labeled glass beads were emplaced in plots on the seafloor at both locations and the plots were sampled after 30 min., 1-1.5 d and 14 mo. At Site I, tracer diatom was intercepted at the surface primarily by protozoans and surface-feeding annelids. Little of the diatom C penetrated below 2 cm even after 14 months. Oxidation of organic carbon appeared to be largely aerobic. At Site III, annelids were primarily responsible for the initial uptake of tracer. On the time scale of days, diatom C was transported to a depth of 12 cm and was found in animals collected between 5-10 cm. The hoeing of tracer from the surface by the maldanid Praxillela sp. may have been responsible for some of the rapid nonlocal transport. Oxidation of the diatom organic carbon was evident to at least 10 cm depth. Anaerobic breakdown of organic matter is more important at Site III. Horizontal transport, which was probably biologically mediated, was an order of magnitude more rapid than vertical displacement over a year time scale. If the horizontal transport was associated with biochemical transformations of the organic matter, it may represent an

  3. Low temperature thermochronology and topographic evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in the region in eastern Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfister, Sabrina; Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2014-05-01

    To understand the evolution of the passive continental margin in Argentina low temperature thermochronology is an appropriate method, which will lead to new conclusions in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills Salado basin is located whereas the Claromecó basin is situated south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the southamerican passive continental margin the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography is fairly flat with altitudes of. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-proterozoic in age and build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons it is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sediments (Cingolani, 2010), like siliciclastics, dolostones, shales and limestones (Demoulin et al., 2005). The aim of the study is to quantify the long-term landscape evolution of the passive continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal history, exhumation and tectonic activities. For that purpose, samples were taken from the Sierra Septentrionales and analyzed with the apatite fission-track method. Further 2-D thermokinematic modeling was conducted with the computer code HeFTy (Ketcham, 2005; Ketcham 2007; Ketcham et al., 2009). The results indicate apatite fission track ages between 101.6 (9.4) to 228.9 (22.3) Ma, what means all measured ages are younger as their formation age. That shows all samples have been reset. Six samples accomplished enough confined tracks and were used to test geological t-T models against the AFT data set. These models give a more detailed insight on the cooling history and tectonic activities in the research area. References: Cingolani C. A. (2010): The Tandilia System of Argentina as a southern extension of the Río de la

  4. The Pan-African continental margin in northeastern Africa: Evidence from a geochronological study of granulites at Sabaloka, Sudan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kroener, A.

    1987-01-01

    Ion microprobe zircon ages, a Nd model age and Rb-Sr whole-rock dates are reported from the high-grade gneiss terrain at Sabaloka on the River Nile north of Khartoum, formally considered to be part of the Archaean/early Proterozoic Nile craton. The granulites, which are of both sedimentary and igneous derivation, occur as remnants in migmatites. Detrital zircon ages range from ≅ 1000 to ≅ 2650 Ma and prove the existence of Archaean to late Proterozoic continental crust in the sedimentary source region. The Nd model age for one sedimentary granulite is between 1.26 (T CHUR ) and 1.70 (T DM ) Ga and provides a mean crustal residence age for the sedimentary precursor. Igneous zircons in enderbitic gneiss crystallized at 719±81 Ma ago, an age that also corresponds to severe Pb loss in the detrital zircons and whic probably reflects the granulite event at Sabaloka. The Rb-Sr data indicate isotropic homogenization at about 700 Ma ago in the granulites and severe post-granulite disturbance at ≅ 570 Ma in the migmatites. We associate this disturbance with hydration, retrograde metamorphism and anatexis that produced undeformed granites ≅ 540 Ma ago. The ≅ 700 Ma granulite event at Sabaloka suggests that this part of the Sudan belongs to the Pan-African Mozambique belt while the ancient Nile craton lay farther west. The gneisses studied here may represent the infrastructure of the ancient African continental margin onto which the juvenile arc assemblage of the Arabian-Nubian shield was accreted during intense horizontal shortening and crustal interstacking of a major collision event. (orig.)

  5. Some aspects of the role of rift inheritance on Alpine-type orogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tugend, Julie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy; Chevrot, Sébastien

    2017-04-01

    Processes commonly recognized as fundamental for the formation of collisional orogens include oceanic subduction, arc-continent and continent-continent collision. As collisional belts result from the closure of oceanic basins and subsequent inversion of former rifted margins, their formation and evolution may also in theory be closely interlinked with the initial architecture of the former rifted margins. This assumption is indeed more likely to be applicable in the case of Alpine-type orogens, mainly controlled by mechanical processes and mostly devoid of arc-related magmatism. More and more studies from present-day magma-poor rifted margins illustrate the complex evolution of hyperextended domains (i.e. severely thinned continental crust (images across the Pyrenees (PYROPE) and the Alps (CIFALPS) reveal a surprisingly comparable present-day overall crustal and lithospheric structure. Based on the comparison between the two orogens we discuss: (1) the nature and depth of decoupling levels inherited from hyperextension; (2) the implications for restorations and interpretations of orogenic roots (former hyperextended domains vs. lower crust only); and (3) the nature and major role of buttresses in controlling the final stage of collisional processes. Eventually, we discuss the variability of the role of rift-inheritance in building Alpine-type orogens. The Pyrenees seem to represent one extreme, where rift-inheritance is important at different stages of collisional processes. In contrast, in the Alps the role of rift-inheritance is subtler, likely because of its more complex and polyphase compressional deformation history.

  6. Benthic-pelagic coupling: effects on nematode communities along southern European continental margins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen Pape

    Full Text Available Along a west-to-east axis spanning the Galicia Bank region (Iberian margin and the Mediterranean basin, a reduction in surface primary productivity and in seafloor flux of particulate organic carbon was mirrored in the in situ organic matter quantity and quality within the underlying deep-sea sediments at different water depths (1200, 1900 and 3000 m. Nematode standing stock (abundance and biomass and genus and trophic composition were investigated to evaluate downward benthic-pelagic coupling. The longitudinal decline in seafloor particulate organic carbon flux was reflected by a reduction in benthic phytopigment concentrations and nematode standing stock. An exception was the station sampled at the Galicia Bank seamount, where despite the maximal particulate organic carbon flux estimate, we observed reduced pigment levels and nematode standing stock. The strong hydrodynamic forcing at this station was believed to be the main cause of the local decoupling between pelagic and benthic processes. Besides a longitudinal cline in nematode standing stock, we noticed a west-to-east gradient in nematode genus and feeding type composition (owing to an increasing importance of predatory/scavenging nematodes with longitude governed by potential proxies for food availability (percentage of nitrogen, organic carbon, and total organic matter. Within-station variability in generic composition was elevated in sediments with lower phytopigment concentrations. Standing stock appeared to be regulated by sedimentation rates and benthic environmental variables, whereas genus composition covaried only with benthic environmental variables. The coupling between deep-sea nematode assemblages and surface water processes evidenced in the present study suggests that it is likely that climate change will affect the composition and function of deep-sea nematodes.

  7. PROMESS 1: Past Global Changes Investigated by Drilling Mediterranean Continental Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berne, S.

    2004-12-01

    Between June, 24th and July, 22nd, 2004, a team of European scientists embarked from Brindisi (Italy) to Barcelona (Spain) onboard the Russian vessel "Bavenit", operated by the Dutch geotechnical company FUGRO, for a drilling expedition in the Adriatic Sea and the NW Mediterranean Sea. The purpose of this cruise was to collect long sediment sections and in situ measurements from two deltaic margins where the history of global changes during the last ca. 400 kyr is particularly well preserved. In the Adriatic, two boreholes were drilled at site PRAD1 (water depth 184 m), where the objective was to study the record of the last 4 glacial cycles. A pilot hole was first drilled for assessing the risk of shallow gases, a downhole logging was carried out in this borehole. A second site allowed continuous coring to the targeted depth (71m below sea-floor) with excellent recovery (better than 95%). Very preliminary interpretation indicates that seismic sequences previously identified correspond to 100 kyr glacial cycles. Downhole logging and physical properties of cores allow to identify magnetic events, and tephras. Site PRAD2 was devoted to the study of the recent most sediments (last 12,000 yrs) near the coastline, at a water depth of 56m. The targeted depth was 32 m below sea floor, sufficient to obtain a good record for the last ca 12,000 years. All together, six boreholes were drilled at PRAD2, including a pilot hole, one for continuous sediment recovery, and additional holes for in situ geotechnical tests and sampling. One of the objectives of these tests is to determine whether the wavy features shaping the sedimentary sequences are caused by near-bottom currents or result from liquefaction of unstable sediments triggered by earthquakes or storms. Site PRGL1 in the Gulf of Lion is at 298 m water depth, and the targeted depth below sea floor was 300 m, allowing to reach an expected age of about 430 kyr BP. A pilot hole was drilled down to 310 mbsf, and logged. Two

  8. Fission track dating: methodology and thermo-chronological applications in alpine and continental margin contexts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabil, N.

    1995-06-01

    the thermal history of the massifs considered since the last cooling below 120 C of the samples analysed. In the works done before 1994, we have shown that, on the one hand, the transform margin of Cote d'Ivoire-Ghana had known a heating period between 250 C and 60 C post-dating by far its scanning by an oceanic ridge and on the other hand, in the Elbe Island, we have brought the first 'fission track' data in the cooling history of the Monte Capanne granodiorite. In the beginning of the 90's, the fission track method still lacked good reference samples for volcanic glass dating. At the suggestion of the Geochronology Commission of the International Union of Geological Sciences we have studied macusanites, obsidians of the SE Peru. The results of this work suggest that these glasses are not convenient as potential age standards, even if they keep some value as a material for laboratory intercalibration purposes. (author)

  9. Petrology and isotopic composition of Quaternary basanites dredged from the Bering Sea continental margin near Navarin Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, A.S.; Gunn, S.H.; Gray, L.-B.; Marlow, M. S.; Wong, F.L.

    1993-01-01

    Quaternary basanites were recovered from the continental margin of the Bering Sea near Navarin Basin. The basanites are highly vesicular flow rock and hyaloclastites similar to other alkalic volcanic rocks erupted repeatedly during the last Cenozoic on islands in the Bering Sea region and in mainland Alaska. K-Ar ages for the basanites indicate at least two episodes of volcanism at about 1.1 and 0.4 Ma. Trace-element data indicate these alkalic lavas have been generated by small, but variable, amounts of partial melting of a metasomatized lherzolite source. The relativley primitive compositions (MgO >9%), presence of mantle-derived xenoliths in some alkalic lavas, and presence of forsteritic olivine with low CaO and high NiO suggest that magma rose rapidly from great depth without spending time in large, long-lived magma chambers. Alkalic volcanism apparently resulted from upwelling and decompressional melting of small isolated mantle diapirs in response to local lithospheric attenuation associated with jostling of blocks during adjustment to regional stresses. -from Authors

  10. Re-assessing the nitrogen signal in continental margin sediments: New insights from the high northern latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knies, Jochen; Brookes, Steven; Schubert, Carsten J.

    2007-01-01

    Organic and inorganic nitrogen and their isotopic signatures were studied in continental margin sediments off Spitsbergen. We present evidence that land-derived inorganic nitrogen strongly dilutes the particulate organic signal in coastal and fjord settings and accounts for up to 70% of the total nitrogen content. Spatial heterogeneity in inorganic nitrogen along the coast is less likely to be influenced by clay mineral assemblages or various substrates than by the supply of terrestrial organic matter (TOM) within eroded soil material into selected fjords and onto the shelf. The δ15N signal of the inorganic nitrogen ( δ15N inorg) in sediments off Spitsbergen seems to be appropriate to trace TOM supply from various climate- and ecosystem zones and elucidates the dominant transport media of terrigenous sediments to the marine realm. Moreover, we postulate that with the study of sedimentary δ15N inorg in the Atlantic-Arctic gateway, climatically induced changes in catchment's vegetations in high northern latitudes may be reconstructed. The δ15N org signal is primarily controlled by the availability of nitrate in the dominating ocean current systems and the corresponding degree of utilization of the nitrate pool in the euphotic zone. Not only does this new approach allow for a detailed view into the nitrogen cycle for settings with purely primary-produced organic matter supply, it also provides new insights into both the deposition of marine and terrestrial nitrogen and its ecosystem response to (paleo-) climate changes.

  11. Conference on Continental margin mass wasting and Pleistocene sea-level changes, August 13-15, 1980

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folger, David W.; Hathaway, J.C.

    1987-01-01

    A conference on Continental Margin Mass Wasting and Pleistocene Sea-Level Changes was held in Woods Hole, Mass., August 13-15, 1980. Forty-seven participants, representing many government, academic, and industrial organizations, discussed the current state of knowledge of the features of marine mass wasting and of the interrelations of factors influencing them. These factors include sediment source, composition, textures, sedimentation rates, climatic and sea-level changes, gas and gas hydrate (clathrate) contents of sediments, geotechnical characteristics, oceanographic and morphological factors, ground-water processes, and seismic events. The part played by these factors in the processes and features of mass movement and the engineering considerations imposed by the emplacement of manmade structures on the sea floor were considered vital to the evaluation of hazards involved in offshore exploration and development. The conference concluded with a call for bold programs to establish the probability of occurrence and the quantitative importance of these factors and to devise more reliable means of measurement, particularly in place, of the characteristics of the sediment and features involved.

  12. The George V Land Continental Margin (East Antarctica): new Insights Into Bottom Water Production and Quaternary Glacial Processes from the WEGA project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caburlotto, A.; de Santis, L.; Lucchi, R. G.; Giorgetti, G.; Damiani, D.; Macri', P.; Tolotti, R.; Presti, M.; Armand, L.; Harris, P.

    2004-12-01

    The George Vth Land represents the ending of one of the largest subglacial basin (Wilkes Basin) of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Furthermore, its coastal areas are zone of significant production of High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW). Piston and gravity cores and high resolution echo-sounding (3.5 kHz) and Chirp profiles collected in the frame of the joint Australian and Italian WEGA (WilkEs Basin GlAcial History) project provide new insights into the Quaternary history of the EAIS and the HSSW across this margin: from the sediment record filling and draping valleys and banks along the continental shelf, to the continuous sedimentary section of the mound-channel system on the continental rise. The discovery of a current-lain sediment drift (Mertz Drift, MD) provides clues to understanding the age of the last glacial erosive events, as well as to infer flow-pathways of bottom-water masses changes. The MD shows disrupted, fluted reflectors due to glacial advance during the LGM (Last Glacial Maximum) in shallow water, while undisturbed sediment drift deposited at greater water depth, indicates that during the LGM the ice shelf was floating over the deep sector of the basin. The main sedimentary environment characterising the modern conditions of the continental rise is dominated by the turbiditic processes with a minor contribution of contour currents action. Nevertheless, some areas (WEGA Channel) are currently characterised by transport and settling of sediment through HSSW, originating in the shelf area. This particular environment likely persisted since pre-LGM times. It could indicate a continuous supply of sedimentary material from HSSW during the most recent both glacial and interglacial cycles. This would be consistent with the results obtained in the continental shelf suggesting that the Ice Sheet was not grounding over some parts of the continental shelf. Furthermore, the comparison of the studied area with other Antarctic margins indicate that, contrary

  13. CONTINENTAL RIFTING, ACCOMPANYING PROCESSES” SYMPOSIUM DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF N.A. LOGACHEV AND E.E. MILANOVSKY, ‘ACADEMICIANS OF RIFTING’, 20–23 AUGUST 2013, IRKUTSK, RUSSIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. V. Rasskazov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available  The article provides information about “Continental rifting, accompanying processes” Symposium dedicated to the memory of N.A. Logachev and E.E. Milanovsky, ‘Academicians of Rifting’. The symposium took place on 20–23 August 2013. It was initiated and arranged by the Institute of the Earth's Crust SB RAS and the Geological Faculty of the Irkutsk State University (Irkutsk with participation of the Geological Faculty of Moscow State University. Topics of the symposium are reviewed.  

  14. Extension parallel to the rift zone during segmented fault growth: application to the evolution of the NE Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bubeck

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The mechanical interaction of propagating normal faults is known to influence the linkage geometry of first-order faults, and the development of second-order faults and fractures, which transfer displacement within relay zones. Here we use natural examples of growth faults from two active volcanic rift zones (Koa`e, island of Hawai`i, and Krafla, northern Iceland to illustrate the importance of horizontal-plane extension (heave gradients, and associated vertical axis rotations, in evolving continental rift systems. Second-order extension and extensional-shear faults within the relay zones variably resolve components of regional extension, and components of extension and/or shortening parallel to the rift zone, to accommodate the inherently three-dimensional (3-D strains associated with relay zone development and rotation. Such a configuration involves volume increase, which is accommodated at the surface by open fractures; in the subsurface this may be accommodated by veins or dikes oriented obliquely and normal to the rift axis. To consider the scalability of the effects of relay zone rotations, we compare the geometry and kinematics of fault and fracture sets in the Koa`e and Krafla rift zones with data from exhumed contemporaneous fault and dike systems developed within a > 5×104 km2 relay system that developed during formation of the NE Atlantic margins. Based on the findings presented here we propose a new conceptual model for the evolution of segmented continental rift basins on the NE Atlantic margins.

  15. Thermal evolution of a hyperextended rift basin, Mauléon Basin, western Pyrenees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Nicole R.; Stockli, Daniel F.; Lavier, Luc L.; Hayman, Nicholas W.

    2017-06-01

    Onshore and offshore geological and geophysical observations and numerical modeling have greatly improved the conceptual understanding of magma-poor rifted margins. However, critical questions remain concerning the thermal evolution of the prerift to synrift phases of thinning ending with the formation of hyperextended crust and mantle exhumation. In the western Pyrenees, the Mauléon Basin preserves the structural and stratigraphic record of Cretaceous extension, exhumation, and sedimentation of the proximal-to-distal margin development. Pyrenean shortening uplifted basement and overlying sedimentary basins without pervasive shortening or reheating, making the Mauléon Basin an ideal locality to study the temporal and thermal evolution of magma-poor hyperextended rift systems through coupling bedrock and detrital zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronometric data from transects characterizing different structural rifting domains. These new data indicate that the basin was heated during early rifting to >180°C with geothermal gradients of 80-100°C/km. The proximal margin recorded rift-related exhumation/cooling at circa 98 Ma, whereas the distal margin remained >180°C until the onset of Paleocene Pyrenean shortening. Lithospheric-scale numerical modeling shows that high geothermal gradients, >80°C/km, and synrift sediments >180°C, can be reached early in rift evolution via heat advection by lithospheric depth-dependent thinning and blanketing caused by the lower thermal conductivity of synrift sediments. Mauléon Basin thermochronometric data and numerical modeling illustrate that reheating of basement and synrift strata might play an important role and should be considered in the future development of conceptual and numerical models for hyperextended magma-poor continental rifted margins.

  16. Thermo chronology by fission tracks of the conjugated rift margins of the Liguro-Provencal basin: Corsica and the Maures-Tanneron Massif

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jakni, B.

    2000-01-01

    We have employed apatite fission-track (AFT) thermo-chronology on granitic and metamorphic samples taken from Corsican and Maures-Tanneron basement rocks as well as alpine 'schistes lustres' units in Corsica, in order to constrain the cooling histories and the tectonic evolution of the Liguro-Provencal basin margins. The AFT data indicate that: -) the Tanneron massif (AFT ages 145- 150 My) appears to record the earliest cooling history, reflecting thermal relaxation related to opening of the Tethys; -) the Maures basement (AFT ages 20-25 My) clearly records a thermo- tectonic evolution associated with Liguro-Provencal rifting; -) the island of Corsica, which was the main focus of this work and which shows a complex geomorphology and a poly-phased tectonic evolution. shows a remarkable zoning in the distribution of AFT ages, reflecting the signature of at least two post-Oligocene thermal events. Those events are related to the opening of Liguro-Provencal basin (20-25 My) in the west, and exhumation of the Hercynian basement related to Tyrrhenian extension (12- 16 My) in the east. In the east-Tenda shear zone, which forms the contact between the alpine units and Hercynian basement in northern Corsica, our results indicate that the Tenda Massif was being exhumed from about 21 Ma onwards. (author)

  17. Mid-Continent Rift: Rift, LIP, or Both?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Kley, J.; Hindle, D.; Keller, G. R., Jr.

    2014-12-01

    North America's Midcontinent Rift (MCR) is traditionally considered to have formed by midplate extension and volcanism ~1.1 Ga that ended due to compression from the Grenville orogeny, the ~1.3 - ~0.98 Ga assembly of Amazonia (Precambrian northeast South America), Laurentia (Precambrian North America), and other continents into the supercontinent of Rodinia. We find that a more plausible scenario is that it formed as part of the rifting of Amazonia from Laurentia and became inactive once seafloor spreading was established. The MCR has aspects both of a continental rift - a segmented linear depression filled with sedimentary and igneous rocks - and a large igneous province (LIP). Comparison of areas and volumes for a range of continental LIPS shows that the MCR volcanic rocks are significantly thicker than the others. The MCR flood basalts have steeper dips and thicker overlying sediments than other continental flood basalts, and were deposited in a subsiding basin after most extension ended, indicating that they are better viewed as post-rift than syn-rift rocks. Hence we view the MCR as a LIP deposited in crust weakened by rifting, and thus first a rift and then a LIP.

  18. Ore-controlling mechanism of carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock type uranium deposits with down-faulted red basins in the southeast continental margin of Yangtze plate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Zilong; Qi Fucheng; He Zhongbo; Li Zhixing; Wang Wenquan; Yu Jinshui

    2012-01-01

    One of the important ore-concentrated areas of carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock type uranium deposits is the Southeast continental margin of Yangtze plate. Sedimentary-exogenously transformed type and sedimentary- hydrothermal superimposed transformed type uranium deposits are always distributed at or near the edge of down-faulted red ba sins. In this paper, the distributions of the deposits are analyzed with the relation to down-faulted red basins. The connective effect and ore-controlling mechanism are proposed of carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock type uranium deposits with marginal fractures of red basins. (authors)

  19. Subsurface images of the Eastern Rift, Africa, from the joint inversion of body waves, surface waves and gravity: investigating the role of fluids in early-stage continental rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roecker, S.; Ebinger, C.; Tiberi, C.; Mulibo, G.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Mtelela, K.; Kianji, G.; Muzuka, A.; Gautier, S.; Albaric, J.; Peyrat, S.

    2017-08-01

    The Eastern Rift System (ERS) of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, where a cratonic lithosphere is in the early stages of rifting, offers an ideal venue for investigating the roles of magma and other fluids in such an environment. To illuminate these roles, we jointly invert arrival times of locally recorded P and S body waves, phase delays of ambient noise generated Rayleigh waves and Bouguer anomalies from gravity observations to generate a 3-D image of P and S wave speeds in the upper 25 km of the crust. While joint inversion of gravity and arrival times requires a relationship between density and wave speeds, the improvement in resolution obtained by the combination of these disparate data sets serves to further constrain models, and reduce uncertainties. The most significant features in the 3-D model are (1) P and S wave speeds that are 10-15 per cent lower beneath the rift zone than in the surrounding regions, (2) a relatively high wave speed tabular feature located along the western edge of the Natron and Manyara rifts, and (3) low (∼1.71) values of Vp/Vs throughout the upper crust, with the lowest ratios along the boundaries of the rift zones. The low P and S wave speeds at mid-crustal levels beneath the rift valley are an expected consequence of active volcanism, and the tabular, high-wave speed feature is interpreted to be an uplifted footwall at the western edge of the rift. Given the high levels of CO2 outgassing observed at the surface along border fault zones, and the sensitivity of Vp/Vs to pore-fluid compressibility, we infer that the low Vp/Vs values in and around the rift zone are caused by the volcanic plumbing in the upper crust being suffused by a gaseous CO2 froth on top of a deeper, crystalline mush. The repository for molten rock is likely located in the lower crust and upper mantle, where the Vp/Vs ratios are significantly higher.

  20. Continentward-dipping detachment fault system and asymmetric rift structure of the Baiyun Sag, northern South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhichao; Mei, Lianfu; Liu, Jun; Zheng, Jinyun; Chen, Liang; Hao, Shihao

    2018-02-01

    The rift architecture and deep crustal structure of the distal margin at the mid-northern margin of the South China Sea have been previously investigated by using deep seismic reflection profiles. However, one fundamental recurring problem in the debate is the extensional fault system and rift structure of the hyperextended rift basins (Baiyun Sag and Liwan Sag) within the distal margin because of the limited amount of seismic data. Based on new 3D seismic survey data and 2D seismic reflection profiles, we observe an array of fault blocks in the Baiyun Sag, which were tilted towards the ocean by extensional faulting. The extensional faults consistently dip towards the continent. Beneath the tilted fault blocks and extensional faults, a low-angle, high-amplitude and continuous reflection has been interpreted as the master detachment surface that controls the extension process. During rifting, the continentward-dipping normal faults evolved in a sequence from south to north, generating the asymmetric rift structure of the Baiyun Sag. The Baiyun Sag is separated from the oceanic domain by a series of structural highs that were uplifted by magmatic activity in response to the continental breakup at 33 Ma and a ridge jump to the south at 26-24 Ma. Therefore, we propose that magmatism played a significant role in the continental extension and final breakup in the South China Sea.

  1. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Quattrini

    Full Text Available The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa, demersal fish (69 taxa, and decapod crustacean (34 taxa assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While

  2. Multiphase Structural Evolution of a Continental Margin During Obduction Orogeny: Insights From the Jebel Akhdar Dome, Oman Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grobe, A.; Virgo, S.; von Hagke, C.; Urai, J. L.; Littke, R.

    2018-03-01

    The structural evolution of the carbonate platform in the footwall of the Semail ophiolite emplaced onto the passive continental margin of Arabia helps to better understand the early stages of obduction-related orogens. These early stages are rarely observable in other orogens as they are mostly overprinted by later mountain building phases. We present an extensive structural analysis of the Jebel Akhdar anticline, the largest tectonic window of the Oman Mountains, and integrate it on different scales. Outcrop observations can be linked to plate motion data, providing an absolute timeframe for structural generations consistent with radiometric dating of veins. Top-to-S overthrusting of the Semail ophiolite and Hawasina nappes onto the carbonate platform during high plate convergence rates between Arabia and Eurasia caused rapid burial and overpressure, generation and migration of hydrocarbons, and bedding-confined veins, but no major deformation in the carbonate platform. At reduced convergence rates, subsequent tectonic thinning of the ophiolite took place above a top-to-NNE, crustal-scale ductile shear zone, deforming existing veins and forming a cleavage in clay-rich layers in early Campanian times. Ongoing extension occurred along normal- to oblique-slip faults, forming horst-graben structures and a precursor of the Jebel Akhdar dome (Campanian to Maastrichtian). This was followed by NE-SW oriented ductile shortening and the formation of the Jebel Akhdar dome, deforming the earlier structures. Thereafter, exhumation was associated with low-angle normal faults on the northern flank of the anticline. We correlate the top-to-NNE crustal-scale shear zone with a similar structure in the Saih Hatat window to develop a unified model of the tectonic evolution of the Oman Mountains.

  3. Petrogenesis and tectonic setting of an basalt-Trachyte-Rhyolite suite in the Spilli area (south of Siahkal, north of Iran: evidences of continental rift-related bimodal magmatism in Alborz

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahrooz Haghnazar

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The spilli volcanic rocks suite consisting of Basalt- Trachyte- Rhyolite with upper Cretaceous, outcrop in the northern part of Alborz and south of Siahkal area (east of the Guilan province. Based on geochemical data, the studied suite attributed to transitional to alkali series. Negative correlation of Al2O3, CaO, P2O5 and positive correlation of Rb and Th versus SiO2 reveal the occurrence of fractional crystallization process. Also, the negative correlation of Sr versus Y, Sr/Zr versus Sr and CaO/Al2O3 versus SiO2 show that fractionation of plagioclase has played an important role in petrogenesis of the spilli Suite. The hypotheses is supported by the negative anomalies of Eu, Ba and Sr. The overall geochemical evidences indicate that the basic rocks belong to intra-continental rift zone whereas the felsic rocks are classified as A1 type derived from parent basaltic magmas via fractional crystallization in an anorogenic setting. The studied magmatism share many similarities with bimodal magmatism in continental rift zones.

  4. Surface analogue outcrops of deep fractured basement reservoirs in extensional geological settings. Examples within active rift system (Uganda) and proximal passive margin (Morocco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Bastien; Géraud, Yves; Diraison, Marc

    2014-05-01

    structures). Two field cases, located in Morocco and Uganda, allow us to investigate basement complexes at different stages of an extension process and give us analog geological data of similar fractured basement reservoirs. Border faults and associated fracture networks of an active rifting system propagated in Proterozoic basement rocks are analyzed in the Albertine rift system in Uganda. Brittle structures developed along a proximal passive margin of the Atlantic domain are analyzed in Proterozoic basements rocks in Western Anti-Atlas in Morocco.

  5. Syn-collisional felsic magmatism and continental crust growth: A case study from the North Qilian Orogenic Belt at the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shuo; Niu, Yaoling; Xue, Qiqi

    2018-05-01

    The abundant syn-collisional granitoids produced and preserved at the northern Tibetan Plateau margin provide a prime case for studying the felsic magmatism as well as continental crust growth in response to continental collision. Here we present the results from a systematic study of the syn-collisional granitoids and their mafic magmatic enclaves (MMEs) in the Laohushan (LHS) and Machangshan (MCS) plutons from the North Qilian Orogenic Belt (NQOB). Two types of MMEs from the LHS pluton exhibit identical crystallization age ( 430 Ma) and bulk-rock isotopic compositions to their host granitoids, indicating their genetic link. The phase equilibrium constraints and pressure estimates for amphiboles from the LHS pluton together with the whole rock data suggest that the two types of MMEs represent two evolution products of the same hydrous andesitic magmas. In combination with the data on NQOB syn-collisional granitoids elsewhere, we suggest that the syn-collisional granitoids in the NQOB are material evidence of melting of ocean crust and sediment. The remarkable compositional similarity between the LHS granitoids and the model bulk continental crust in terms of major elements, trace elements, and some key element ratios indicates that the syn-collisional magmatism in the NQOB contributes to net continental crust growth, and that the way of continental crust growth in the Phanerozoic through syn-collisional felsic magmatism (production and preservation) is a straightforward process without the need of petrologically and physically complex processes.

  6. Ophiolitic basement to the Great Valley forearc basin, California, from seismic and gravity data: Implications for crustal growth at the North American continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, N.J.; Beaudoin, B.C.; Klemperer, S.L.; Levander, A.; Luetgert, J.; Meltzer, A.; Mooney, W.; Tréhu, A.

    1997-01-01

    The nature of the Great Valley basement, whether oceanic or continental, has long been a source of controversy. A velocity model (derived from a 200-km-long east-west reflection-refraction profile collected south of the Mendocino triple junction, northern California, in 1993), further constrained by density and magnetic models, reveals an ophiolite underlying the Great Valley (Great Valley ophiolite), which in turn is underlain by a westward extension of lower-density continental crust (Sierran affinity material). We used an integrated modeling philosophy, first modeling the seismic-refraction data to obtain a final velocity model, and then modeling the long-wavelength features of the gravity data to obtain a final density model that is constrained in the upper crust by our velocity model. The crustal section of Great Valley ophiolite is 7-8 km thick, and the Great Valley ophiolite relict oceanic Moho is at 11-16 km depth. The Great Valley ophiolite does not extend west beneath the Coast Ranges, but only as far as the western margin of the Great Valley, where the 5-7-km-thick Great Valley ophiolite mantle section dips west into the present-day mantle. There are 16-18 km of lower-density Sierran affinity material beneath the Great Valley ophiolite mantle section, such that a second, deeper, "present-day" continental Moho is at about 34 km depth. At mid-crustal depths, the boundary between the eastern extent of the Great Valley ophiolite and the western extent of Sierran affinity material is a near-vertical velocity and density discontinuity about 80 km east of the western margin of the Great Valley. Our model has important implications for crustal growth at the North American continental margin. We suggest that a thick ophiolite sequence was obducted onto continental material, probably during the Jurassic Nevadan orogeny, so that the Great Valley basement is oceanic crust above oceanic mantle vertically stacked above continental crust and continental mantle.

  7. Crustal structure and inferred extension mode in the northern margin of the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, J.; Wu, S.; McIntosh, K. D.; Mi, L.; Spence, G.

    2016-12-01

    Combining multi-channel seismic reflection and satellite gravity data, this study has investigated the crustal structure and magmatic activities of the northern South China Sea (SCS) margin. Results show that a broad continent-ocean transition zone (COT) with more than 140 km wide is characterized by extensive igneous intrusion/extrusion and hyper-extended continental crust in the northeastern SCS margin, a broader COT with 220-265 km wide is characterized by crustal thinning, rift depression, structural highs with igneous rock and perhaps a volcanic zone or a zone of tilted fault blocks at the distal edge in the mid-northern SCS margin, and a narrow COT with 65 km wide bounded seawards by a volcanic buried seamount is characterized by extremely hyper-extended continental crust in the northwestern SCS margin, where the remnant crust with less than 3 km thick is bounded by basin-bounding faults corresponding to an aborted rift below the Xisha Trough with a sub-parallel fossil ridge in the adjacent Northwest Sub-basin. Results from gravity modeling and seismic refraction data show that a high velocity layer (HVL) is present in the outer shelf and slope below extended continental crust in the eastern portion of the northern SCS margin and is thickest (up to 10 km) in the Dongsha Uplift where the HVL gradually thins to east and west below the lower slope and finally terminates at the Manila Trench and Baiyun sag of the Pearl River Mouth Basin. The magmatic intrusions/extrusions and HVL may be related to partial melting caused by decompression of passive, upwelling asthenosphere which resulted primarily in post-rifting underplating and magmatic emplacement or modification of the crust. The northern SCS margin is closer to those of the magma-poor margins than those of volcanic margins, but the aborted rift near the northwestern continental margin shows that there may be no obvious detachment fault like that in the Iberia-Newfoundland type margin. The symmetric aborted

  8. The Role of Rift Obliquity in Formation of the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Scott Edmund Kelsey

    The Gulf of California illustrates how highly oblique rift geometries, where transform faults are kinematically linked to large-offset normal faults in adjacent pull-apart basins, enhance the ability of continental lithosphere to rupture and, ultimately, hasten the formation of new oceanic basins. The Gulf of California rift has accommodated oblique divergence of the Pacific and North America tectonic plates in northwestern Mexico since Miocene time. Due to its infancy, the rifted margins of the Gulf of California preserve a rare onshore record of early continental break-up processes from which to investigate the role of rift obliquity in strain localization. Using new high-precision paleomagnetic vectors from tectonically stable sites in north-central Baja California, I compile a paleomagnetic transect of Miocene ignimbrites across northern Baja California and Sonora that reveals the timing and distribution of dextral shear associated with inception of this oblique rift. I integrate detailed geologic mapping, basin analysis, and geochronology of pre-rift and syn-rift volcanic units to determine the timing of fault activity on Isla Tiburon, a proximal onshore exposure of the rifted North America margin, adjacent to the axis of the Gulf of California. The onset of strike-slip faulting on Isla Tiburon, ca. 8 - 7 Ma, was synchronous with the onset of transform faulting along a significant length of the nascent plate boundary within the rift. This tectonic transition coincides with a clockwise azimuthal shift in Pacific-North America relative motion that increased rift obliquity. I constrain the earliest marine conditions on southwest Isla Tiburon to ca. 6.4 - 6.0 Ma, coincident with a regional latest Miocene marine incursion in the northern proto-Gulf of California. This event likely flooded a narrow, incipient topographic depression along a ˜650 km-long portion of the latest Miocene plate boundary and corresponds in time and space with formation of a newly

  9. Post-rift uplift, paleorelief and sedimentary fluxes: the case example of the African margin of the South Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillocheau, F.; Dauteuil, O.

    2012-04-01

    volume of eroded sediments. This can explain abnormal stratigraphic response along the African South Atlantic passive margins, such as thin clayey basin floor fans at time of uplift and erosion of weathering profiles. Keywords: Africa, Cenozoic, Siliciclastic sediment fluxes, Tectonics, Climate

  10. Classification of sea-floor features associated with methane seeps along the Gulf of Cádiz continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    León, Ricardo; Somoza, Luis; Medialdea, Teresa; Maestro, Adolfo; Díaz-del-Río, Victor; Fernández-Puga, María del Carmen

    2006-06-01

    Based on recently gathered swath-bathymetry, high- to ultra-high-resolution seismic, and underwater camera data, along with dredging and coring samples, this paper examines the relationship between sea-floor features and the nature of hydrocarbon-enriched fluid and gas leaks from degassing of deeply buried sediments along the continental margin of the Gulf of Cádiz (eastern Central Atlantic). A classification into three main groups is proposed on the basis of the morphology and nature of deposits: (1) mud volcanoes, (2) methane-derived authigenic carbonates (MDAC) mounds, and (3) crater-like pockmarks. Mud volcanoes are, topographically, cone-shaped sea-floor edifices, built up from catastrophic mud and fluid degassing, intercalated with periods of inactivity. So far more than 25 mud volcanoes have been discovered in the Gulf of Cádiz, named in memory of deceased colleagues (e.g., Ginsburg and Baraza), or researchers' birth places (e.g. Faro, Cibeles, Almazán, San Petersburgh, Yuma, Rabat, Bonjardim, Coruña, Gades). These structures range from 800 to 2500 m in diameter and tower 150-300 m above the seabed. The volcanoes consistently feature a well-defined outer ring or circular terrace and an inner dome. All mud volcanoes are built up of episodes of mud-breccia flows, intercalated with deep-current deposits, with evident indications of gas saturation: degassing structures, a strong H 2S smell, and chemosynthetic fauna (such as Pogonophora sp. tube worms and Calyptogena sp.). Commonly observed carbonate crusts and slabs overlying some mud volcanoes are thought to have been formed by slow, diffuse venting during periods of inactivity or slower rates of fluid venting following the ejection of mud. A "fermentation" process, the result of microbial-mediated oxidation of hydrocarbon-enriched fluids, seems to play an important role in the growth of large deep-water carbonate mounds and chimneys during periods of low methane-seep fluid pressure. More than 400 crater

  11. Structure and function of nematode communities across the Indian western continental margin and its oxygen minimum zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, R.; Ingole, B. S.

    2016-01-01

    We studied patterns of nematode distribution along the western Indian continental margin to determine the influence of habitat heterogeneity and low oxygen levels on the community's taxonomic and functional structure. A single transect, perpendicular to the coast at 14° N latitude was sampled from 34 to 2546 m depth for biological and environmental variables during August 2007. The oxygen minimum zone extended from 102 to 1001 m. Nematodes (described and undescribed) were identified to species and classified according to biological and functional traits. A total of 110 nematode species belonging to 24 families were found along the transect. Three depth zones were identified: the shelf (depth range: 34-102 m; highest nematode mean density: 176.6 ± 37 ind 10 cm-2), the slope (525-1524 m; 124.3 ± 16 ind 10 cm-2), and the basin (2001-2546 m; 62.9 ± 2 ind 10 cm-2). Across the entire study area, the dominant species were Terschellingia longicaudata, Desmodora sp. 1, Sphaerolaimus gracilis, and Theristus ensifer; their maximum density was at shelf stations. Nematode communities in different zones differed in species composition. Chromadorita sp. 2 (2.78 %) and Sphaerolaimus gracilis (2.21 %) were dominant on the shelf, whereas Terschellingia longicaudata (4.73 %) and Desmodora sp. 1 (4.42 %) were dominant on the slope, but in the basin, Halalaimus sp. 1(1.11 %) and Acantholaimus elegans (1.11 %) were dominant. The information in a particular functional group was not a simple reflection of the information in species abundance. Ecological information captured by adult length, adult shape, and life-history strategy was less site-specific and thus differed notably from information contained in other taxonomic groups. The functional composition of nematodes was strongly linked to the organic-carbon and dissolved-oxygen concentration. Seven species were found exclusively in the oxygen minimum zone: Pselionema sp. 1, Choanolaimus sp. 2, Halichoanolaimus sp. 1, Cobbia dentata

  12. 16 Years, 16 Cruises, 1.6 Billion Soundings: a Compilation of High-Resolution Multibeam Bathymetry of the Active Plate Boundary Along the Chilean Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinrebe, W.; Flueh, E. R.; Hasert, M.; Behrmann, J. H.; Voelker, D.; Geersen, J.; Ranero, C. R.; Diaz-Naveas, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    Chile, a country stranding the active plate boundary between the South-American and the Nazca Plate is afflicted by recurrent earthquakes and hazardous volcanic eruptions. The strongest earthquake ever recorded occurred here, and volcanic hazards are frequent. Consequently, this area has been studied by geoscientists for many years to improve the understanding of subduction zone processes. Swath bathymetry mapping of the ocean floor has proven to bear a large potential for the interpretation of subduction-related processes, such as tectonic deformation of the marine forearc, release and migration of fluids as well as earthquake-triggered mass wasting. Multibeam bathymetry data of 16 major cruises of German, British, and Chilean research vessels recorded between 1995 and December 2010, in total more than 10,000 data files comprising about 1.6 billion soundings, have now been carefully reprocessed, compiled and merged into a unifying set of high-resolution bathymetric maps of the Chilean continental margin from latitude 40°S to 20°S. The imprint of subsurface processes on the surface morphology is well displayed in the case of the Chilean continental margin. The 3,500 km long Chilean convergent margin is not uniform, as various segments with different tectonic characteristics can be distinguished. Major factors that control margin morphology and thus the style of subduction are (1) relief and structure of the incoming oceanic plate, (2) supply of trench sediment, (3) turbidite transport within the trench, and (4) the input of terrigeneous sediments down the continental slope. A major segment boundary occurs at latitude 32°-33° S where the hotspot-related volcanic chain of Juan Fernandez is presently subducting. South of the area of ridge subduction the trench is filled with turbidites, and accretionary ridges develop across the base of the slope along most of the segment, whereas north of this boundary the turbiditic infill is reduced and subduction erosion is

  13. Geodynamic modelling of the rift-drift transition: Application to the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierro, E.; Schettino, A.; Capitanio, F. A.; Ranalli, G.

    2017-12-01

    The onset of oceanic accretion after a rifting phase is generally accompanied by an initial fast pulse of spreading in the case of volcanic margins, such that the effective spreading rate exceeds the relative far-field velocity between the two plates for a short time interval. This pulse has been attributed to edge-driven convention (EDC), although our numerical modelling shows that the shear stress at the base of the lithosphere cannot exceed 1 MPa. In general, we have developed a 2D numerical model of the mantle instabilities during the rifting phase, in order to determine the geodynamic conditions at the rift-drift transition. The model was tested using Underworld II software, variable rheological parameters, and temperature and stress-dependent viscosity. Our results show an increase of strain rates at the top of the lithosphere with the lithosphere thickness as well as with the initial width of the margin up to 300 km. Beyond this value, the influence of the initial rift width can be neglected. An interesting outcome of the numerical model is the existence of an axial zone characterized by higher strain rates, which is flanked by two low-strain stripes. As a consequence, the model suggests the existence of an area of syn-rift compression within the rift valley. Regarding the post-rift phase, we propose that at the onset of a seafloor spreading, a phase of transient creep allows the release of the strain energy accumulated in the mantle lithosphere during the rifting phase, through anelastic relaxation. Then, the conjugated margins would be subject to post-rift contraction and eventually to tectonic inversion of the rift structures. To explore the tenability of this model, we introduce an anelastic component in the lithosphere rheology, assuming both the classical linear Kelvin-Voigt rheology and a non-linear Kelvin model. The non-linear model predicts viable relaxation times ( 1-2Myrs) to explain the post-rift tectonic inversion observed along the Arabian

  14. Mineralogy and Origin of Sediments From Drill Holes on the Continental Margin Off Florida, 1965-1969 (NODC Accession 7100714)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Drill cores obtained during the Joint Oceanographic Institutions' Deep Earth Sampling Program from the continental shelf, the Florida-Hatteras Slope, and the Blake...

  15. EX1204: Northeastern Canyons and Continental Margins Exploration on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer between 20120529 and 20120613

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — During the Okeanos Explorer (EX) mission EX1204, the vessel will sail from Norfolk, VA, along the continental shelf break of the U.S. East Coast from Virginia to...

  16. Constraining the dynamic response of subcontinental lithospheric mantle to rifting using Re-Os model ages in the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, C.; Class, C.; Goldstein, S. L.; Shirey, S. B.; Martin, A. P.; Cooper, A. F.; Berg, J. H.; Gamble, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    lithosphere extends beneath the TAM. With further analyses we hope to determine if there is lateral flow of cratonic lithosphere into the rift. Huismans, R., Beaumount, C., 2011. Depth-dependent extension, two stage breakup and cratonic underplating at rifted margins. Nature 473, 74-78. Reisberg, L.C., Lorand, J.P., 1995. Longevity of sub-continental mantle lithosphere from osmium isotope systematics in orogenic peridotite massifs. Nature 376, 159-162. Rudnick, R.L., Walker, R.J., 2009. Interpreting ages from Re-Os isotopes in peridotites. Lithos 1125, 1083-1095.

  17. Microstructural and seismic properties of the upper mantle underneath a rifted continental terrane (Baja California): An example of sub-crustal mechanical asthenosphere?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palasse, L.N.; Vissers, R.L.M.; Paulssen, H.; Basu, A.R.; Drury, M.R.

    2012-01-01

    The Gulf of California rift is a young and active plate boundary that links the San Andreas strike-slip fault system in California to the oceanic spreading system of the East Pacific Rise. The xenolith bearing lavas of the San Quintin volcanic area provide lower crust and upper mantle samples from

  18. {sup 137}Cs as tracer of the origin of allochthonous sediments in the Southeast Continental Margin of Brazil; {sup 137}Cs como tracador da origem de sedimentos aloctones na Margem Continental Sudeste do Brasil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferreira, Paulo A.L.; Mahiques, Michel M.; FIgueira, Rubens C.L., E-mail: paulo.alves.ferreira@usp.br, E-mail: mahiques@usp.br, E-mail: rfigueira@usp.br [Universidade de Sao Paulo (IO/USP), SP (Brazil). Instituto Oceanografico; Franca, Elvis J., E-mail: ejfranca@cnen.gov.br [Centro Regional de Ciencias Nucleares do Nordeste (CRCN-NE/CNEN-PE), Recife, PE (Brazil)

    2015-07-01

    The distribution of {sup 137}Cs, artificial radionuclide for which there is no current source, can inform on the origin and destination of sediments. This study analyzed about 60 samples of surface sediment to generate a model of spatial distribution of {sup 137}Cs in the Southeast Continental Margin of Brazil and surroundings for evaluating possible sediment sources for this region. The model showed that the levels of {sup 137}Cs in the southern compartment of the Southeast Brazilian Margin (south of Sao Sebastiao Island) are statistically similar to those of the Rio de la Plata river mouth region, indicating sediment entry due to the seasonal intrusion of the plume of Rio de la Plata, a phenomenon already studied by other authors.

  19. Oligocene to Holocene sediment drifts and bottom currents on the slope of Gabon continental margin (west Africa). Consequences for sedimentation and southeast Atlantic upwelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Séranne, Michel; Nzé Abeigne, César-Rostand

    1999-10-01

    Seismic reflection profiles on the slope of the south Gabon continental margin display furrows 2 km wide and some 200 m deep, that develop normal to the margin in 500-1500 m water depth. Furrows are characterised by an aggradation/progradation pattern which leads to margin-parallel, northwestward migration of their axes through time. These structures, previously interpreted as turbidity current channels, display the distinctive seismic image and internal organisation of sediment drifts, constructed by the activity of bottom currents. Sediment drifts were initiated above a major Oligocene unconformity, and they developed within a Oligocene to Present megasequence of general progradation of the margin, whilst they are markedly absent from the underlying Late Cretaceous-Eocene aggradation megasequence. The presence of upslope migrating sediment waves, and the northwest migration of the sediment drifts indicate deposition by bottom current flowing upslope, under the influence of the Coriolis force. Such landwards-directed bottom currents on the slope probably represent coastal upwelling, which has been active along the west Africa margin throughout the Neogene.

  20. On causal links between flood basalts and continental breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtillot, V.; Jaupart, C.; Manighetti, I.; Tapponnier, P.; Besse, J.

    1999-03-01

    Temporal coincidence between continental flood basalts and breakup has been noted for almost three decades. Eight major continental flood basalts have been produced over the last 300 Ma. The most recent, the Ethiopian traps, erupted in about 1 Myr at 30 Ma. Rifting in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and possibly East African rift started at about the same time. A second trap-like episode occurred around 2 Ma and formation of true oceanic crust is due in the next few Myr. We find similar relationships for the 60 Ma Greenland traps and opening of the North Atlantic, 65 Ma Deccan traps and opening of the NW Indian Ocean, 132 Ma Parana traps and South Atlantic, 184 Ma Karoo traps and SW Indian Ocean, and 200 Ma Central Atlantic Margin flood basalts and opening of the Central Atlantic Ocean. The 250 Ma Siberian and 258 Ma Emeishan traps seem to correlate with major, if aborted, phases of rifting. Rifting asymmetry, apparent triple junctions and rift propagation (towards the flood basalt area) are common features that may, together with the relative timings of flood basalt, seaward dipping reflector and oceanic crust production, depend on a number of plume- and lithosphere- related factors. We propose a mixed scenario of `active/passive' rifting to account for these observations. In all cases, an active component (a plume and resulting flood basalt) is a pre-requisite for the breakup of a major oceanic basin. But rifting must be allowed by plate-boundary forces and is influenced by pre-existing heterogeneities in lithospheric structure. The best example is the Atlantic Ocean, whose large-scale geometry with three large basins was imposed by the impact points of three mantle plumes.

  1. Initiation of continental accretion: metamorphic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Conand; Frederic, Mouthereau; Gianreto, Manatschal; Adbeltif, Lahfid

    2017-04-01

    The physical processes involved at the beginning of the continental collision are largely unknown because they are transient and therefore hardly identifiable from the rock record. Despite the importance of key parameters for understanding mountain building processes, especially the formation of deep mountain roots and their impacts on earthquakes nucleation, rock/fluid transfers and oil/gas resources in the continental crust, observations from the earliest collision stages remain fragmentary. Here, we focus on the example of Taiwan, a young and active mountain belt where the transition from oceanic subduction, accretion of the first continental margin to mature collision can be followed in space and time. We present preliminary results and provide key questions regarding the reconstruction of time-pressure-temperature paths of rocks & fluids to allow discriminating between rift-related thermal/rheological inheritance and burial/heating phases during convergence. Previous studies have focused on peak temperatures analyzed by Raman Spectrometry of Carbonaceous Matter from the deeper structural layers exposed in the Central Range of Taiwan. In the pre-rift sediments, these studies reported a positive gradient from West to Est, and values from geothermal gradients (up to 60°C/km) known in the region, and higher temperature closer to the pre-rift units. Cross sections and maps with high resolution peak temperatures are in process as well as pressure estimations to determine how the sediments were metamorphosed. In addition to this work, we report a few inherited temperatures in the 390-570 °C range, indicating recycling of organic matter from metasediments that recorded HT events, likely originated from higher grade metamorphic units of mainland China, which have been eroded and deposited in the post-rift sediments.

  2. Multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis to compare coral bank and seafloor seepage area-related characterization along the central Western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chakraborty, B.; VishnuVardhan, Y.; Haris, K.; Menezes, A.A.A.; Karisiddaiah, S.M.; Fernandes, W.A.; Kurian, J.

    ], [9]. In the western continental margin off Malpe, Karnataka coast, India, two living coral banks were identified using an EM 1002 multibeam echo sounder (MBES), namely, 1) the Gaveshani bank [10] and 2) an unnamed coral bank [11]. The other important.... MATERIALS AND METHODS The MBES data system for the present study was used to acquire a dataset during a survey (in 2006) onboard coastal research vessel (CRV) Sagar Sukti. The EM 1002 system operates at a frequency of 95 kHz and acquires the bathymetry 1545...

  3. Acoustic wipeouts over the continental margins off Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi river basins, East coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Murthy, K.S.R.; Rao, T.C.S.

    wipeouts. Behrens (1988) reported occurrence of gas/oil seepages beneath such ridges associated with underlying salt diapir ofT Gulf of Mexico. Acoustic wipeouts in the sub-surface layers due to a faulted continental slope are also observed of... the figures. References BEHRESS, E. W., (1988) Geology of a continental slope oil seep, Northern Gulf of Mexico. Amer. Assoc. Petrot Geo!. Bulletin. v. 72, pp. 105-114. 568 K. S. R. MURTHY AND T. C. S. RAO BRYANT, W. R. and L. B. ROEMER, (1983) Structure...

  4. A new perspective on evolution of the Baikal Rift

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor D. Mats

    2011-07-01

    The three-stage model of the rift history does not rule out the previous division into two major stages but rather extends its limits back into time as far as the Maastrichtian. Our model is consistent with geological, stratigraphic, structural, and geophysical data and provides further insights into the understanding of rifting in the Baikal region in particular and continental rifting in general.

  5. Land degradation trends in upper catchments and morphological developments of braided rivers in drylands: the case of a marginal graben of the Ethiopian Rift Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demissie, Biadgilgn; Frankl, Amaury; Haile, Mitiku; Nyssen, Jan

    2014-05-01

    Braided rivers have received relatively little attention in research and development activities in drylands. However, they strongly impact agroecology and agricultural activities and thereby local livelihoods. The Raya Graben (3750 km² including the escarpment) is a marginal graben of the Ethiopian Rift Valley located in North Ethiopia. In order to study the dynamics of braided rivers and the relationship with biophysical controls, 20 representative catchments were selected, ranging between 15 and 311 km². First, the 2005 morphology (length, area) of the braided rivers was related to biophysical controls (vegetation cover, catchment area and slope gradient in the steep upper catchments and gradient in the graben bottom). Second, the changes in length of the braided rivers were related to vegetation cover changes in the upper catchments since 1972. Landsat imagery was used to calculate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and to map vegetation cover and the total length of the braided rivers. Spot CNES imagery available from Google Earth was used to identify the total area of the braided rivers in 2005. A linear regression analysis revealed that the length of braided rivers was positively related to the catchment area (R²=0.32, p<0.01), but insignificantly related to vegetation cover in the upper catchments. However, there is an indication that it is an important factor in the relationship calculated for 2005 (R²=0.2, p=0.064). Similarly, the area occupied by the braided rivers was related to NDVI (R²=0.24, p<0.05) and upper catchment area (R²=0.447, p<0.01). Slope gradient is not an important explanatory factor. This is related to the fact that slope gradients are steep (average of 38.1%) in all upper and gentle (average of 3.4%) in graben bottom catchments. The vegetation cover in the upper catchments shows a statistically insignificant increasing trend (R²=0.73, p=0.067) over the last 40 years, whereas length of rivers in the graben bottom

  6. Heat Flow and Gas Hydrates on the Continental Margin of India: Building on Results from NGHP Expedition 01

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anne Trehu; Peter Kannberg

    2011-06-30

    The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 01 presented the unique opportunity to constrain regional heat flow derived from seismic observations by using drilling data in three regions on the continental margin of India. The seismic bottom simulating reflection (BSR) is a well-documented feature in hydrate bearing sediments, and can serve as a proxy for apparent heat flow if data are available to estimate acoustic velocity and density in water and sediments, thermal conductivity, and seafloor temperature. Direct observations of temperature at depth and physical properties of the sediment obtained from drilling can be used to calibrate the seismic observations, decreasing the uncertainty of the seismically-derived estimates. Anomalies in apparent heat flow can result from a variety of sources, including sedimentation, erosion, topographic refraction and fluid flow. We constructed apparent heat flow maps for portions of the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin, the Mahanadi basin, and the Andaman basin and modeled anomalies using 1-D conductive thermal models. Apparent heat flow values in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin and Mahanadi basin are generally 0.035 to 0.055 watts per square meter (W/m{sup 2}). The borehole data show an increase in apparent heat flow as water depth increases from 900 to 1500 m. In the SW part of the seismic grid, 1D modeling of the effect of sedimentation on heat flow shows that {approx}50% of the observed increase in apparent heat flow with increasing water depth can be attributed to trapping of sediments behind a 'toe-thrust' ridge that is forming along the seaward edge of a thick, rapidly accumulating deltaic sediment pile. The remainder of the anomaly can be explained either by a decrease in thermal conductivity of the sediments filling the slope basin or by lateral advection of heat through fluid flow along stratigraphic horizons within the basin and through flexural faults in the crest of the anticline. Such flow

  7. Heat Flow and Gas Hydrates on the Continental Margin of India: Building on Results from NGHP Expedition 01

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trehu, Anne; Kannberg, Peter

    2011-06-30

    The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 01 presented the unique opportunity to constrain regional heat flow derived from seismic observations by using drilling data in three regions on the continental margin of India. The seismic bottom simulating reflection (BSR) is a well-documented feature in hydrate bearing sediments, and can serve as a proxy for apparent heat flow if data are available to estimate acoustic velocity and density in water and sediments, thermal conductivity, and seafloor temperature. Direct observations of temperature at depth and physical properties of the sediment obtained from drilling can be used to calibrate the seismic observations, decreasing the uncertainty of the seismically-derived estimates. Anomalies in apparent heat flow can result from a variety of sources, including sedimentation, erosion, topographic refraction and fluid flow. We constructed apparent heat flow maps for portions of the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin, the Mahanadi basin, and the Andaman basin and modeled anomalies using 1-D conductive thermal models. Apparent heat flow values in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin and Mahanadi basin are generally 0.035 to 0.055 watts per square meter (W/m2). The borehole data show an increase in apparent heat flow as water depth increases from 900 to 1500 m. In the SW part of the seismic grid, 1D modeling of the effect of sedimentation on heat flow shows that ~50% of the observed increase in apparent heat flow with increasing water depth can be attributed to trapping of sediments behind a "toe-thrust" ridge that is forming along the seaward edge of a thick, rapidly accumulating deltaic sediment pile. The remainder of the anomaly can be explained either by a decrease in thermal conductivity of the sediments filling the slope basin or by lateral advection of heat through fluid flow along stratigraphic horizons within the basin and through flexural faults in the crest of the anticline. Such flow probably plays a role in

  8. Final Scientific/Technical Report: Characterizing the Response of the Cascadia Margin Gas Hydrate Reservoir to Bottom Water Warming Along the Upper Continental Slope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solomon, Evan A. [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Johnson, H. Paul [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Salmi, Marie [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Whorley, Theresa [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2017-11-10

    The objective of this project is to understand the response of the WA margin gas hydrate system to contemporary warming of bottom water along the upper continental slope. Through pre-cruise analysis and modeling of archive and recent geophysical and oceanographic data, we (1) inventoried bottom simulating reflectors along the WA margin and defined the upper limit of gas hydrate stability, (2) refined margin-wide estimates of heat flow and geothermal gradients, (3) characterized decadal scale temporal variations of bottom water temperatures at the upper continental slope of the Washington margin, and (4) used numerical simulations to provide quantitative estimates of how the shallow boundary of methane hydrate stability responds to modern environmental change. These pre-cruise results provided the context for a systematic geophysical and geochemical survey of methane seepage along the upper continental slope from 48° to 46°N during a 10-day field program on the R/V Thompson from October 10-19, 2014. This systematic inventory of methane emissions along this climate-sensitive margin corridor and comprehensive sediment and water column sampling program provided data and samples for Phase 3 of this project that focused on determining fluid and methane sources (deep-source vs. shallow; microbial, thermogenic, gas hydrate dissociation) within the sediment, and how they relate to contemporary intermediate water warming. During the 2014 research expedition, we sampled nine seep sites between ~470 and 520 m water depth, within the zone of predicted methane hydrate retreat over the past 40 years. We imaged 22 bubble plumes with heights commonly rising to ~300 meters below sea level with one reaching near the sea surface. We collected 22 gravity cores and 20 CTD/hydrocasts from the 9 seeps and at background locations (no acoustic evidence of seepage) within the depth interval of predicted downslope retreat of the methane hydrate stability zone. Approximately 300 pore water

  9. Cretaceous–Eocene provenance connections between the Palawan Continental Terrane and the northern South China Sea margin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shao, Lei; Cao, Licheng; Qiao, Peijun; Zhang, Xiangtao; Li, Qianyu; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.

    2017-01-01

    The plate kinematic history of the South China Sea opening is key to reconstructing how the Mesozoic configuration of Panthalassa and Tethyan subduction systems evolved into today's complex Southeast Asian tectonic collage. The South China Sea is currently flanked by the Palawan Continental Terrane

  10. Effective elastic thickness along the conjugate passive margins of India, Madagascar and Antarctica: A re-evaluation using the Hermite multitaper Bouguer coherence application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratheesh-Kumar, R. T.; Xiao, Wenjiao

    2018-05-01

    Gondwana correlation studies had rationally positioned the western continental margin of India (WCMI) against the eastern continental margin of Madagascar (ECMM), and the eastern continental margin of India (ECMI) against the eastern Antarctica continental margin (EACM). This contribution computes the effective elastic thickness (Te) of the lithospheres of these once-conjugated continental margins using the multitaper Bouguer coherence method. The results reveal significantly low strength values (Te ∼ 2 km) in the central segment of the WCMI that correlate with consistently low Te values (2-3 km) obtained throughout the entire marginal length of the ECMM. This result is consistent with the previous Te estimates of these margins, and confirms the idea that the low-Te segments in the central part of the WCMI and along the ECMM represents paleo-rift inception points of the lithospheric margins that was thermally and mechanically weakened by the combined action of the Marion hotspot and lithospheric extension during the rifting. The uniformly low-Te value (∼2 km) along the EACM indicates a mechanically weak lithospheric margin, probably due to considerable stretching of the lithosphere, considering the fact that this margin remained almost stationary throughout its rift history. In contrast, the ECMI has comparatively high-Te variations (5-11 km) that lack any correlation with the regional tectonic setting. Using gravity forward and inversion applications, we find a leading order of influence of sediment load on the flexural properties of this marginal lithosphere. The study concludes that the thick pile of the Bengal Fan sediments in the ECMI masks and has erased the signal of the original load-induced topography, and its gravity effect has biased the long-wavelength part of the observed gravity signal. The hence uncorrelated flat topography and deep lithospheric flexure together contribute a bias in the flexure modeling, which likely accounts a relatively high Te

  11. Keweenaw hot spot: Geophysical evidence for a 1.1 Ga mantle plume beneath the Midcontinent Rift System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, D.R.; White, R.S.; Cannon, W.F.; Schulz, K.J.

    1990-01-01

    The Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System of North America is remarkably similar to Phanerozoic rifted continental margins and flood basalt provinces. Like the younger analogues, the volcanism within this older rift can be explained by decompression melting and rapid extrusion of igneous material during lithospheric extension above a broad, asthenospheric, thermal anomaly which we call the Keweenaw hot spot. Great Lakes International Multidisciplinary Program on Crustal Evolution seismic reflection profiles constrain end-member models of melt thickness and stretching factors, which yield an inferred mantle potential temperature of 1500°–1570°C during rifting. Combined gravity modeling and subsidence calculations are consistent with stretching factors that reached 3 or 4 before rifting ceased, and much of the lower crust beneath the rift consists of relatively high density intruded or underplated synrift igneous material. The isotopic signature of Keweenawan volcanic rocks, presented in a companion paper by Nicholson and Shirey (this issue), is consistent with our model of passive rifting above an asthenospheric mantle plume.

  12. Crustal structure and sedimentation history over the Alleppey platform, southwest continental margin of India: Constraints from multichannel seismic and gravity data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Unnikrishnan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The Alleppey Platform is an important morphological feature located in the Kerala-Konkan basin off the southwest coast of India. In the present study, seismic reflection data available in the basin were used to understand the sedimentation history and also to carry out integrated gravity interpretation. Detailed seismic reflection data in the basin reveals that: (1 the Alleppey Platform is associated with a basement high in the west of its present-day geometry (as observed in the time-structure map of the Trap Top (K/T boundary, (2 the platform subsequently started developing during the Eocene period and attained the present geometry by the Miocene and, (3 both the Alleppey platform and the Vishnu fracture zone have had significant impact on the sedimentation patterns (as shown by the time-structure and the isochron maps of the major sedimentary horizons in the region. The 3-D sediment gravity effect computed from the sedimentary layer geometry was used to construct the crustal Bouguer anomaly map of the region. The 3-D gravity inversion of crustal Bouguer anomaly exhibits a Moho depression below the western border of the platform and a minor rise towards the east which then deepens again below the Indian shield. The 2-D gravity modelling across the Alleppey platform reveals the geometry of crustal extension, in which there are patches of thin and thick crust. The Vishnu Fracture Zone appears as a crustal-scale feature at the western boundary of the Alleppey platform. Based on the gravity model and the seismic reflection data, we suggest that the basement high to the west of the present day Alleppey platform remained as a piece of continental block very close to the mainland with the intervening depression filling up with sediments during the rifting. In order to place the Alleppey platform in the overall perspective of tectonic evolution of the Kerala-Konkan basin, we propose its candidature as a continental fragment.

  13. Sediment-infill volcanic breccia from the Neoarchean Shimoga greenstone terrane, western Dharwar Craton: Implications on pyroclastic volcanism and sedimentation in an active continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manikyamba, C.; Saha, Abhishek; Ganguly, Sohini; Santosh, M.; Lingadevaru, M.; Rajanikanta Singh, M.; Subba Rao, D. V.

    2014-12-01

    We report sediment-infill volcanic breccia from the Neoarchean Shimoga greenstone belt of western Dharwar Craton which is associated with rhyolites, chlorite schists and pyroclastic rocks. The pyroclastic rocks of Yalavadahalli area of Shimoga greenstone belt host volcanogenic Pb-Cu-Zn mineralization. The sediment-infill volcanic breccia is clast-supported and comprises angular to sub-angular felsic volcanic clasts embedded in a dolomitic matrix that infilled the spaces in between the framework of volcanic clasts. The volcanic clasts are essentially composed of alkali feldspar and quartz with accessory biotite and opaques. These clasts have geochemical characteristics consistent with that of the associated potassic rhyolites from Daginkatte Formation. The rare earth elements (REE) and high field strength element (HFSE) compositions of the sediment-infill volcanic breccia and associated mafic and felsic volcanic rocks suggest an active continental margin setting for their generation. Origin, transport and deposition of these rhyolitic clasts and their aggregation with infiltrated carbonate sediments may be attributed to pyroclastic volcanism, short distance transportation of felsic volcanic clasts and their deposition in a shallow marine shelf in an active continental margin tectonic setting where the rhyolitic clasts were cemented by carbonate material. This unique rock type, marked by close association of pyroclastic volcanic rocks and shallow marine shelf sediments, suggest shorter distance between the ridge and shelf in the Neoarchean plate tectonic scenario.

  14. Burial, Uplift and Exhumation History of the Atlantic Margin of NE Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Japsen, Peter; Bonow, Johan M.; Green, Paul F.; Cobbold, Peter R.; Chiossi, Dario; Lilletveit, Ragnhild

    2010-05-01

    We have undertaken a regional study of landscape development and thermo-tectonic evo-lution of NE Brazil. Our results reveal a long history of post-Devonian burial and exhuma-tion across NE Brazil. Uplift movements just prior to and during Early Cretaceous rifting led to further regional denudation, to filling of rift basins and finally to formation of the Atlantic margin. The rifted margin was buried by a km-thick post-rift section, but exhumation began in the Late Cretaceous as a result of plate-scale forces. The Cretaceous cover probably extended over much of NE Brazil where it is still preserved over extensive areas. The Late Cretaceous exhumation event was followed by events in the Paleogene and Neogene. The results of these events of uplift and exhumation are two regional peneplains that form steps in the landscape. The plateaux in the interior highlands are defined by the Higher Surface at c. 1 km above sea level. This surface formed by fluvial erosion after the Late Cretaceous event - and most likely after the Paleogene event - and thus formed as a Paleogene pene-plain near sea level. This surface was reburied prior to the Neogene event, in the interior by continental deposits and along the Atlantic margin by marine and coastal deposits. Neo-gene uplift led to reexposure of the Palaeogene peneplain and to formation of the Lower Surface by incision along rivers below the uplifted Higher Surface that characterise the pre-sent landscape. Our results show that the elevated landscapes along the Brazilian margin formed during the Neogene, c. 100 Myr after break-up. Studies in West Greenland have demonstrated that similar landscapes formed during the late Neogene, c. 50 Myr after break-up. Many passive continental margins around the world are characterised by such elevated plateaus and it thus seems possible, even likely, that they may also post-date rifting and continental separation by many Myr.

  15. Evidences of late quaternary neotectonic activity and sea-level changes along the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Veerayya, M.; Thamban, M.; Wagle, B.G.

    The offshore data on sea-level changes along the western margin of India have been reviewed and evidences of Late Quaternary neotectonic activity and subsidence are documented, based on the diagenetic textures of limestones from deeper submarine...

  16. Deep structure of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin (the Vøring and Møre basins) according to 3-D density and magnetic modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maystrenko, Yuriy Petrovich; Gernigon, Laurent; Nasuti, Aziz; Olesen, Odleiv

    2018-03-01

    A lithosphere-scale 3-D density/magnetic structural model of the Møre and Vøring segments of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin and the adjacent areas of the Norwegian mainland has been constructed by using both published, publically available data sets and confidential data, validated by the 3-D density and magnetic modelling. The obtained Moho topography clearly correlates with the major tectonic units of the study area where a deep Moho corresponds to the base of the Precambrian continental crust and the shallower one is located in close proximity to the younger oceanic lithospheric domain. The 3-D density modelling agrees with previous studies which indicate the presence of a high-density/high-velocity lower-crustal layer beneath the Mid-Norwegian continental margin. The broad Jan Mayen Corridor gravity low is partially related to the decreasing density of the sedimentary layers within the Jan Mayen Corridor and also has to be considered in relation to a possible low-density composition- and/or temperature-related zone in the lithospheric mantle. According to the results of the 3-D magnetic modelling, the absence of a strong magnetic anomaly over the Utgard High indicates that the uplifted crystalline rocks are not so magnetic there, supporting a suggestion that the entire crystalline crust has a low magnetization beneath the greater part of the Vøring Basin and the northern part of the Møre Basin. On the contrary, the crystalline crust is much more magnetic beneath the Trøndelag Platform, the southern part of the Møre Basin and within the mainland, reaching a culmination at the Frøya High where the most intensive magnetic anomaly is observed within the study area.

  17. The role of long-term strain history on the generation and amplification of inherited heterogeneities in continental lithosphere extensional settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morena Salerno, V.; Capitanio, Fabio A.

    2017-04-01

    The Earth's lithosphere is characters by various types of heterogeneities, at different scales and located at variable depth. They can be represented at crustal level by remnants of earlier tectonics evolution, such as previous orogenetic structures, remains of passive margins and magmatic bodies intrusion, or at deeper level by mantle anisotropies. These heterogeneities can severely affect the stress and strain localization in subsequent continental lithospheric extension and rift basins evolution, hence contributing to the formation of diverse and complex rift basin types and architectures. In order to explain the difference in rift basin and passive margin types, their subsidence patterns and melt production, previous studies have exanimated the role of initial heterogeneities, rheological layering, geothermal gradients, and extension rates during a single rifting event. However, this approach does not consider the previous strain history of many basins that are characterized by multiple rifting events. In this study we use numerical models of a pristine lithosphere undergoing two rifting events separated by cooling, to show the effect of early events on later evolution. The strain histories are controlled by the variation of velocity of boundary displacement during two rifting events. We use both fast and slow first rifting events, followed by a cooling period, producing diverse mechanical heterogeneities at Moho level that represent inherited initial conditions for the second rifting event. These inherited heterogeneities range from several small perturbations distributed along the numerical domain at the end of the slowest first rifting event, to a single large perturbation at the end of first fastest rifting event. In the second rifting event, the inherited heterogeneities are amplified at different degree and time, depending on the velocity of boundary displacement used. To highlight the role of previous strain history, we parametrize the inherited

  18. Is the Proterozoic Ladoga Rift (SE Baltic Shield) a rift?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina; Shulgin, Alexey

    2015-01-01

    , and geophysical characteristics typical of continental rifts in general and demonstrate that, except for magmatic and, perhaps, some gravity signature, the Lake Ladoga region lacks any other rift features. We also compare the geophysical data from the Lake Ladoga region with similar in age Midcontinent and Valday...... interpreted as an intracratonic Ladoga rift (graben). We question the validity of this geodynamic interpretation by analyzing regional geophysical data (crustal structure, heat flow, Bouguer gravity anomalies, magnetic anomalies, and mantle Vs velocities). We provide a complete list of tectonic, magmatic...... rifts, and provide alternative explanations for Mesoproterozoic geodynamic evolution of the southern Baltic Shield. We propose that Mesoproterozoic mafic intrusions in southern Fennoscandia may be associated with a complex deformation pattern during reconfiguration of (a part of) Nuna (Columbia...

  19. Spatial and Temporal Strain Distribution Along the Central Red Sea Rift - A Study of the Hamd-Jizil Basin in Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymanski, E.; Stockli, D.; Johnson, P.; Kattan, F. H.; Al Shamari, A.

    2006-12-01

    Numerous models exploring the rupturing modes and mechanisms of continental lithosphere are based on geological evidence from the Red Sea/Gulf of Suez rift system. Individually, the Red Sea basin is the prototype for many models of orthogonal continental rifting. Despite being a classic example of continental extension, many temporal and spatial strain distribution aspects, as well as the dynamic evolution of the rift architecture of the Red Sea, remain poorly constrained. Critical data come mostly from the Gulf of Suez and the Egyptian and Yemeni margins of the Red Sea; the rift flanks in Sudan and Saudi Arabia have remained largely unstudied, leaving a large information gap along the central portions of the rift system. Improving continental lithosphere rupture models requires an absolute understanding of the timing and magnitude of strain partitioning along the full rift flank. This study focuses on the development of extensional structures, syn- extensional sedimentary deposits, and rift-related Tertiary basaltic volcanism along the central flank of the rift system in Saudi Arabia. Geo- and thermochronometric techniques are used to elucidate the evolution of inboard and outboard strain markers manifested by structurally-controlled extensional basins that parallel the trend of the main Red Sea rift. Constraints on the dynamics of rift flank deformation are achieved through the collection of thermochronometric transects that traverse both the entire Arabian shield and individual normal faults that bound inland basins. Preliminary results show inland basins as asymmetric half-grabens filled by tilted Cenozoic sedimentary strata and separated by exhumed basement fault blocks. The most prominent extensional basin is the NW-trending Hamd-Jizil basin, located north of Madinah, measuring ~200 km along strike and up to 20 km in width. The Hamd-Jizil basin is structurally characterized by two half-grabens exposing a series of syn-rift siliciclastic sedimentary sections

  20. Syn-tectonic emplacement of deep-marine reservoir sands at rifting margins : Including a case study from the Vøring Basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Athmer, W.

    2010-01-01

    This study focuses on the interplay between large-scale relay ramps and sedimentladen flows, specifically low-density turbidity currents that form one end-member of subaqueous sediment gravity flows. The main objective is to better understand the impact of syn-rift faulting on subaqueous sediment

  1. Post-rift magmatism in the Pearl River Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, H.; Zhao, F.; Xia, S.; Sun, J.; Fan, C.

    2017-12-01

    Multi-beam, 2D seismic reflection and borehole data reveal that post-rift magmatism are widespread in the northern margin of South China Sea. A large-scale volcanic complex was identified at water depths of 500 to 3000 m, covering an area of ca. 8000 km2. This volcanic complex includes seamounts, igneous sills, dykes and intruded volcanic bodies. Combining data from exploration wells BY7-1 and BY2 with published seismic stratigraphic data, we can highlight multiple extrusive events from the Early Oligocene to Early Miocene, reflecting progressive continental breakup in the South China Sea. Most intruded magma through the continental crust also uplifted sediments up to the T6 unconformity. Given the evidence in this work that Early Miocene magmatic bodies were developed above or along faults, we suggest that post-rift magmatism in the northern margin of the South China Sea was largely controlled by the faults. Reactivation events in the faults are suggested to have generated preferential vertical pathways for the ascent of magma within a context of progressive continental breakup and thinned continental crust, as the South China Sea was being formed.

  2. A multi-factor approach for process-based seabed characterization: example from the northeastern continental margin of the Korean peninsula (East Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cukur, Deniz; Um, In-Kwon; Chun, Jong-Hwa; Kim, So-Ra; Lee, Gwang-Soo; Kim, Yuri; Kong, Gee-Soo; Horozal, Senay; Kim, Seong-Pil

    2018-04-01

    This study investigates sediment transport and depositional processes from a newly collected dataset comprising sub-bottom chirp profiles, multibeam bathymetry, and sediment cores from the northeastern continental margin of Korea in the East Sea (Japan Sea). Twelve echo-types and eleven sedimentary facies have been defined and interpreted as deposits formed by shallow-marine, hemipelagic sedimentation, bottom current, and mass-movement processes. Hemipelagic sedimentation, which is acoustically characterized by undisturbed layered sediments, appears to have been the primary sedimentary process throughout the study area. The inner and outer continental shelf (shallow-marine sedimentary processes. Two slope-parallel canyons, 0.2-2 km wide and up to 30 km long, appear to have acted as possible conduits for turbidity currents from the shallower shelf into the deep basins. Bottom current deposits, expressed as erosional moats immediately below topographic highs, are prevalent on the southern lower slope at water depths of 400-450 m. Mass-movements (i.e., slides/slumps, debris flow deposits) consisting of chaotic facies characterize the lower slope and represent one of the most important sedimentary processes in the study area. Piston cores confirm the presence of mass-transport deposits (MTDs) that are characterized by mud clasts of variable size, shape, and color. Multibeam bathymetry shows that large-scale MTDs are chiefly initiated on the lower slope (400-600 m) with gradients up to 3° and where they produce scarps on the order of 100 m in height. Sandy MTDs also occur on the upper continental slope adjacent to the seaward edge of the shelf terrace. Earthquakes associated with tectonic activity and the development of fluid overpressure is considered as the main conditioning factor for destabilizing the slope sediments. Overall, the sedimentary processes show typical characteristics of a fine-grained clastic slope apron and change down-slope and differ within each

  3. Verdine and other associated authigenic (glaucony, phosphate) facies from the surficial sediments of the southwestern continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Lamboy, M.; Dupeuble, P.A.

    spaced contorted clay blades and globules. X-ray mineralogy suggests that these grains are a mixture of verdine dominated minerals. Phyllite C is the principal verdine mineral in the shelf zone. On the continental slope phyllite V dominates between 100... grains from the shelf are mostly homogeneous at low magnification (Fig. 4A). However, at high magnification the authigenic clays are characterized by small con- torted blades (1 Ixm long) at some places and compact clays (Fig. 4B and C) at others...

  4. Rotation, narrowing and preferential reactivation of brittle structures during oblique rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huismans, R. S.; Duclaux, G.; May, D.

    2017-12-01

    Occurrence of multiple faults populations with contrasting orientations in oblique continental rifts and passive margins has long sparked debate about relative timing of deformation events and tectonic interpretations. Here, we use high-resolution three-dimensional thermo-mechanical numerical modeling to characterize the evolution of the structural style associated with moderately oblique rifting in the continental lithosphere. Automatic analysis of the distribution of active extensional shears at the surface of the model demonstrates a characteristic deformation sequence. We show that upon localization, Phase 1 wide oblique en-échelon grabens develop, limited by extensional shears oriented orthogonal to σ3. Subsequent widening of the grabens is accompanied by a progressive rotation of the Phase 1 extensional shears that become sub-orthogonal the plate motion direction. Phase 2 is marked by narrowing of active deformation resulting from thinning of the continental lithosphere and development of a second-generation of extensional shears. During Phase 2 deformation localizes both on plate motion direction-orthogonal structures that reactivate rotated Phase 1 shears, and on new oblique structures orthogonal to σ3. Finally, Phase 3 consists in the oblique rupture of the continental lithosphere and produces an oceanic domain where oblique ridge segments are linked with highly oblique accommodation zones. We conclude that while new structures form normal to σ3 in an oblique rift, progressive rotation and long-term reactivation of Phase 1 structures promotes orthorhombic fault systems, critical to accommodate upper crustal extension and control oblique passive margin architecture. The distribution, orientation, and evolution of frictional-plastic structures observed in our models is remarkably similar to documented fault populations in the Gulf of Aden conjugate passive margins, which developed in moderately oblique extensional settings.

  5. Polyphased rifting to post-breakup evolution of the Coral Sea region, Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulois, Cédric; Pubellier, Manuel; Chamot-Rooke, Nicolas; Delescluse, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    The Coral Sea Basin, offshore Papua New Guinea, is generally described as a rift propagator that opened through the Australian craton during the Late Cretaceous. Rifting was later followed by spreading activity during Palaeocene to lowermost Eocene times and basin inversion during the Cenozoic. Herein, we specifically describe the extensional structures and show that the area has actually a much longer history that dates back from the Late Palaeozoic. A special focus is made on the northern margin of the Coral Sea Basin along which subsurface and HD topographic data were recently acquired. Extension took place discontinuously from the Late Palaeozoic to the Lower Cenozoic through several rift megacycles that include extensional pulses and relaxation episodes. The first rift megacycle (R1), poorly documented, occurred during the Triassic along an old Permo-Triassic, NS-trending structural fabric. Evidence of Permo-Triassic features is principally observed in the western part of the Coral Sea near the Tasman Line, a major lithospheric discontinuity that marks the eastern limit of the underlying Australian craton in Papua New Guinea. This early Triassic framework was reactivated during a Jurassic rifting stage (R2), resulting in small (~10/20km) tilted basins bounded by major NS, NE-SW and EW normal faults. Extension formed a large basin, floored by oceanic crust that might have connected with the Tethys Ocean. The Owen Stanley Oceanic Basin containing deep-marine sediments now obducted in the Ocean Stanley Thrust Belt are likely to represent this oceanic terrane. Both R1 and R2 megacycles shaped the geometry of the Jurassic Australian margin. A third Cretaceous extensional megacycle (R3) only reactivated the largest faults, cutting through the midst of this early stretched continental margin. It formed wider, poorly tilted basins and terminated with the onset of the Coral Sea seafloor spreading from Danian to Ypresian times (61.8 to 53.4 Myr). Then, the overall

  6. Devonian magmatism in the Timan Range, Arctic Russia - subduction, post-orogenic extension, or rifting?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pease, V.; Scarrow, J. H.; Silva, I. G. Nobre; Cambeses, A.

    2016-11-01

    Devonian mafic magmatism of the northern East European Craton (EEC) has been variously linked to Uralian subduction, post-orogenic extension associated with Caledonian collision, and rifting. New elemental and isotopic analyses of Devonian basalts from the Timan Range and Kanin Peninsula, Russia, in the northern EEC constrain magma genesis, mantle source(s) and the tectonic process(es) associated with this Devonian volcanism to a rift-related context. Two compositional groups of low-K2O tholeiitic basalts are recognized. On the basis of Th concentrations, LREE concentrations, and (LREE/HREE)N, the data suggest two distinct magma batches. Incompatible trace elements ratios (e.g., Th/Yb, Nb/Th, Nb/La) together with Nd and Pb isotopes indicate involvement of an NMORB to EMORB 'transitional' mantle component mixed with variable amounts of a continental component. The magmas were derived from a source that developed high (U,Th)/Pb, U/Th and Sm/Nd over time. The geochemistry of Timan-Kanin basalts supports the hypothesis that the genesis of Devonian basaltic magmatism in the region resulted from local melting of transitional mantle and lower crust during rifting of a mainly non-volcanic continental rifted margin.

  7. A Middle-Upper Miocene fluvial-lacustrine rift sequence in the Song Ba Rift, Vietnam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lars H., Nielsen; Henrik I., Petersen; Nguyen D., Dau

    2007-01-01

    The small Neogene Krong Pa graben is situated within the continental Song Ba Rift, which is bounded by strike-slip faults that were reactivated as extensional faults in Middle Miocene time. The 500 m thick graben-fill shows an overall depositional development reflecting the structural evolution...... subsidence rate and possibly a higher influx of water from the axial river systems the general water level in the graben rose and deep lakes formed. High organic preservation in the lakes prompted the formation of two excellent oil-prone lacustrine source-rock units. In the late phase of the graben...... as carrier beds, whereas the braided fluvial sandstones and conglomerates along the graben margins may form reservoirs. The Krong Pa graben thus contains oil-prone lacustrine source rocks, effective conduits for generated hydrocarbons and reservoir sandstones side-sealed by the graben faults toward...

  8. How the structural architecture of the Eurasian continental margin affects the structure, seismicity, and topography of the south central Taiwan fold-and-thrust belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Dennis; Alvarez-Marron, Joaquina; Biete, Cristina; Kuo-Chen, Hao; Camanni, Giovanni; Ho, Chun-Wei

    2017-07-01

    Studies of mountain belts worldwide show that along-strike changes are common in their foreland fold-and-thrust belts. These are typically caused by processes related to fault reactivation and/or fault focusing along changes in sedimentary sequences. The study of active orogens, like Taiwan, can also provide insights into how these processes influence transient features such as seismicity and topography. In this paper, we trace regional-scale features from the Eurasian continental margin in the Taiwan Strait into the south central Taiwan fold-and-thrust belt. We then present newly mapped surface geology, P wave velocity maps and sections, seismicity, and topography data to test the hypothesis of whether or not these regional-scale features of the margin are contributing to along-strike changes in structural style, and the distribution of seismicity and topography in this part of the Taiwan fold-and-thrust belt. These data show that the most important along-strike change takes place at the eastward prolongation of the upper part of the margin necking zone, where there is a causal link between fault reactivation, involvement of basement in the thrusting, concentration of seismicity, and the formation of high topography. On the area correlated with the necking zone, the strike-slip reactivation of east northeast striking extensional faults is causing sigmoidal offset of structures and topography along two main zones. Here basement is not involved in the thrusting; there is weak focusing of seismicity and localized development of topography. We also show that there are important differences in structure, seismicity, and topography between the margin shelf and its necking zone.

  9. Mass-physical properties of surficial sediments on the Rhoˆne continental margin: implications for the nepheloid benthic layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefiere, Bernard

    1990-09-01

    Mass-physical properties of the surficial (upper 5 m) sediments on the Gulf of Lions continental margin were analysed, from more than 100 short (1 m) and longer (5 m) cores obtained during several cruises. Data include water content, unit weight, Atterberg limits (liquid limit, plastic limit, plasticity index), shear strength and compression index, and are used to determine: first, the mass property distribution, according to the main parameters influencing mass-physical properties; the relationships between these properties and the nepheloid layer on the shelf. The shoreline (lagoons) and inner shelf are characterized by low density and shear strength and high water content deposits, due to electrochemical flocculation of the sediment. The outer shelf is blanketed by higher density and shear strength and lower water content deposits generated by normal settling of suspended particles. On the inner shelf, during river peak discharges, a short-term thin bottom layer of "yogurt-like" [ FASS (1985) Geomarine Letters, 4, 147-152; FASS (1986) Continental Shelf Research, 6, 189-208] fluid-mud (unit weight lower than 1.3 mg m -3) is supplied, by a bottom nepheloid layer. During stormy periods, this "yogurt-like" layer (about 10 cm thick) partly disappears by resuspension of suspended particulate matter; this is advected, in the bottom nepheloid layer, over the shelf and the canyons within the upper slope.

  10. Study of southern CHAONAN sag lower continental slope basin deposition character in Northern South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Northern South China Sea Margin locates in Eurasian plate,Indian-Australia plate,Pacific Plates.The South China Sea had underwent a complicated tectonic evolution in Cenozoic.During rifting,the continental shelf and slope forms a series of Cenozoic sedimentary basins,including Qiongdongnan basin,Pearl River Mouth basin,Taixinan basin.These basins fill in thick Cenozoic fluviolacustrine facies,transitional facies,marine facies,abyssal facies sediment,recording the evolution history of South China Sea Margin rifting and ocean basin extending.The studies of tectonics and deposition of depression in the Southern Chaonan Sag of lower continental slope in the Norther South China Sea were dealt with,based on the sequence stratigraphy and depositional facies interpretation of seismic profiles acquired by cruises of“China and Germany Joint Study on Marine Geosciences in the South China Sea”and“The formation,evolution and key issues of important resources in China marginal sea",and combining with ODP 1148 cole and LW33-1-1 well.The free-air gravity anomaly of the break up of the continental and ocean appears comparatively low negative anomaly traps which extended in EW,it is the reflection of passive margin gravitational effect.Bouguer gravity anomaly is comparatively low which is gradient zone extended NE-SW.Magnetic anomaly lies in Magnetic Quiet Zone at the Northern Continental Margin of the South China Sea.The Cenozoic sediments of lower continental slope in Southern Chaonan Sag can be divided into five stratum interface:SB5.5,SB10.5,SB16.5,SB23.8 and Hg,their ages are of Pliocene-Quaternary,late Miocene,middle Miocene,early Miocene,paleogene.The tectonic evolution of low continental slope depressions can be divided into rifting,rifting-depression transitional and depression stages,while their depositional environments change from river to shallow marine and abyssa1,which results in different topography in different stages.The topographic evolvement in the study

  11. Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2013 East African Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    The East African Rift system (EARS) is a 3,000-km-long Cenozoic age continental rift extending from the Afar triple junction, between the horn of Africa and the Middle East, to western Mozambique. Sectors of active extension occur from the Indian Ocean, west to Botswana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is the only rift system in the world that is active on a continent-wide scale, providing geologists with a view of how continental rifts develop over time into oceanic spreading centers like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

  12. Geology and metallogeny of the Ar Rayn terrane, eastern Arabian shield: Evolution of a Neoproterozoic continental-margin arc during assembly of Gondwana within the East African orogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doebrich, J.L.; Al-Jehani, A. M.; Siddiqui, A.A.; Hayes, T.S.; Wooden, J.L.; Johnson, P.R.

    2007-01-01

    characteristics of the Ar Rayn terrane are analogous to the Andean continental margin of Chile, with opposite subduction polarity. The Ar Rayn terrane represents a continental margin arc that lay above a west-dipping subduction zone along a continental block represented by the Afif composite terrane. The concentration of epithermal, porphyry Cu and IOCG mineral systems, of central arc affiliation, along the AAF suggests that the AAF is not an ophiolitic suture zone, but originated as a major intra-arc fault that localized magmatism and mineralization. West-directed oblique subduction and ultimate collision with a land mass from the east (East Gondwana?) resulted in major transcurrent displacement along the AAF, bringing the eastern part of the arc terrane to its present exposed position, juxtaposed across the AAF against a back-arc basin assemblage represented by the Abt schist of the Ad Dawadimi terrane. Our findings indicate that arc formation and accretionary processes in the Arabian shield were still ongoing into the latest Neoproterozoic (Ediacaran), to about 620-600 Ma, and lead us to conclude that evolution of the Ar Rayn terrane (arc formation, accretion, syn- to postorogenic plutonism) defines a final stage of assembly of the Gondwana supercontinent along the northeastern margin of the East African orogen. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Ostracoda and Foraminifera associated with macrofauna of marginal marine origin in continental sabkha sediments of Tayma (NW Saudi Arabia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pint, Anna; Frenzel, Peter; Engel, Max; Plessen, Birgit; Melzer, Sandra; Brückner, Helmut

    2016-04-01

    The oasis Tayma in northwestern Saudi Arabia (27°38'N, 38°33'E) is well known for its rich archaeological heritage and also hosts a key sedimentary record of Holocene environmental change.The palaeontologically investigated material comes from two 5.5 m long sediment cores taken in the northeastern and central part of the sabkha and two outcrops of shoreline deposits at the northeastern and southwestern margin of a large lake. Microfossil-rich layers have an age of about 9.2-ca. 8 ka BP. The sandy and carbonate-dominated sediments contain autochthonous balanids, the gastropods Melanoides tuberculatus and hydrobiids as well as the foraminifers Ammonia tepida (Cushman, 1926), Quinqueloculina seminula (Linnaeus, 1758), and Flintionoides labiosa (d'Orbigny, 1839). This brackish water association is completed by partially mass-occurrence of Cyprideis torosa (JONES, 1850), an euryhaline and generally widely tolerant ostracod species. Only the smooth shelled morphotype littoralis occurs. The association indicates a large brackish water lake with temporary freshwater inflows. All species documented originate in the marginal marine environment of the Red or Mediterranean Sea within the intertidal zone and hence they are adapted for strong environmental changes. We assume negative water balance under arid climatic conditions as cause for the high salinity of this athalassic lake. Sieve-pore analyses and shell chemistry suppose a trend of increasing salinity towards the top of the studied microfossil-bearing sections. This pattern is confirmed by increasing test malformation ratios of foraminifers. The marine origin of the fauna is surprising in this area 250 km away from the sea in an altitude of about 800 m a.s.l. We assume an avian-mediated transport of eggs, larvae or even adult animals to this site. The brackish water character of the lake enabled a permanent settling of marginal marine foraminifers, ostracods and even macrofauna as gastropods and balanids. The studied

  14. Crustal structure and rift tectonics across the Cauvery–Palar basin, eastern continental margin of India based on seismic and potential field modelling

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Twinkle, D.; Rao, G.S.; Radhakrishna, M.; Murthy, K.S.R.

    . The presence of pull-apart basin geometry and the structural high observed in section MCS1 further support the characteristics of sheared mar- gin (Edwards et al. 1997; Krishna et al. 2009). In the onshore Cauvery basin, Rangaraju et al. (1993) have mapped a...

  15. Erosion of continental margins in the Western Mediterranean due to sea-level stagnancy during the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Just, Janna; Hübscher, Christian; Betzler, Christian; Lüdmann, Thomas; Reicherter, Klaus

    2011-02-01

    High-resolution multi-channel seismic data from continental slopes with minor sediment input off southwest Mallorca Island, the Bay of Oran (Algeria) and the Alboran Ridge reveal evidence that the Messinian erosional surface is terraced at an almost constant depth interval between 320 and 380 m below present-day sea level. It is proposed that these several hundred- to 2,000-m-wide terraces were eroded contemporaneously and essentially at the same depth. Present-day differences in these depths result from subsidence or uplift in the individual realms. The terraces are thought to have evolved during one or multiple periods of sea-level stagnancy in the Western Mediterranean Basin. According to several published scenarios, a single or multiple periods of relative sea-level stillstand occurred during the Messinian desiccation event, generally known as the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Some authors suggest that the stagnancy started during the refilling phase of the Mediterranean basins. When the rising sea level reached the height of the Sicily Sill, the water spilled over this swell into the eastern basin. The stagnancy persisted until sea level in the eastern basin caught up with the western Mediterranean water level. Other authors assigned periods of sea-level stagnancy to drawdown phases, when inflowing waters from the Atlantic kept the western sea level constant at the depth of the Sicily Sill. Our findings corroborate all those Messinian sea-level reconstructions, forwarding that a single or multiple sea-level stagnancies at the depth of the Sicily Sill lasted long enough to significantly erode the upper slope. Our data also have implications for the ongoing debate of the palaeo-depth of the Sicily Sill. Since the Mallorcan plateau experienced the least vertical movement, the observed terrace depth of 380 m there is inferred to be close to the Messinian depth of this swell.

  16. A temperature-limited assessment of the risk of Rift Valley fever transmission and establishment in the continental United States of America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K. Konrad

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The rapid spread of West Nile virus across North America after its introduction in 1999 highlights the potential for foreign arboviruses to become established in the United States of America. Of particular concern is Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV, which has been responsible for multiple African epidemics resulting in death of both humans and livestock, as well as major economic disruption due to livestock loss and trade restrictions. Modern globalization, travel, and commerce allow viruses to easily jump from one continent to another; and it is likely only a matter of time before RVFV reaches North American shores. We used a degree-day model in combination with livestock population data and a pathways analysis to identify regions and times where RVFV is most likely to enter and become established in the United States of America. Transmission risk of the disease varies across the country from 325 annual risk days in parts of Florida to zero risk days in the far North and in high mountain regions. Areas of particular concern are where there are a high number of possible transmission days, a large livestock population, and proximity to likely locations for the disease to enter the country via mosquito vector or human host. These areas should be monitored closely during transmission “risk seasons” so that if the virus does enter the country and begins to become established, it can be quickly controlled and eliminated before spreading further. Areas most at risk include the Baltimore and New York City metro areas as well as much of the region between these urban centers; most of Texas, especially around Houston; Florida; Atlanta; southwest Nebraska; southern California and Arizona; and the central valley of California.

  17. Lithology and temperature: How key mantle variables control rift volcanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shorttle, O.; Hoggard, M.; Matthews, S.; Maclennan, J.

    2015-12-01

    Continental rifting is often associated with extensive magmatic activity, emplacing millions of cubic kilometres of basalt and triggering environmental change. The lasting geological record of this volcanic catastrophism are the large igneous provinces found at the margins of many continents and abrupt extinctions in the fossil record, most strikingly that found at the Permo-Triassic boundary. Rather than being considered purely a passive plate tectonic phenomenon, these episodes are frequently explained by the involvement of mantle plumes, upwellings of mantle rock made buoyant by their high temperatures. However, there has been debate over the relative role of the mantle's temperature and composition in generating the large volumes of magma involved in rift and intra-plate volcanism, and even when the mantle is inferred to be hot, this has been variously attributed to mantle plumes or continental insulation effects. To help resolve these uncertainties we have combined geochemical, geophysical and modelling results in a two stage approach: Firstly, we have investigated how mantle composition and temperature contribute to melting beneath Iceland, the present day manifestation of the mantle plume implicated in the 54Ma break up of the North Atlantic. By considering both the igneous crustal production on Iceland and the chemistry of its basalts we have been able to place stringent constraints on the viable temperature and lithology of the Icelandic mantle. Although a >100°C excess temperature is required to generate Iceland's thick igneous crust, geochemistry also indicates that pyroxenite comprises 10% of its source. Therefore, the dynamics of rifting on Iceland are modulated both by thermal and compositional mantle anomalies. Secondly, we have performed a global assessment of the mantle's post break-up thermal history to determine the amplitude and longevity of continental insulation in driving excess volcanism. Using seismically constrained igneous crustal

  18. Deep seismic studies of conjugate profiles from the Nova Scotia - Moroccan and the Liguro-Provencal margin pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klingelhoefer, F.; Biari, Y.; Sahabi, M.; Aslanian, D.; Philippe, S.; Schnabel, M.; Moulin, M.; Louden, K. E.; Funck, T.; Reichert, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    The structure of conjugate passive margins provides information about rifting styles, opening of an ocean and formation of it's associated sedimentary basins. In order to distinguish between tectonic inheritance and structures directly related to rifting of passive margins conjugate profiles have to be acquired on margins on diverse locations and different ages. In this study we use new and existing reflection and wide-angle seismic data from two margin pairs, the 200 Ma year old Nova-Scotia - Morocco margin pair and the only 20 Ma Gulf of Lions - Sardinia margin pair. On both margin pairs wide-angle seismic data combined with reflection seismic data were acquired on conjugate profiles on sea and extended on land. Forward modelling of the deep crustal structure along the four transects indicates that a high velocity zone (HVZ) (> 7.2 km/s) is present at the base of the lower crust on all four margins along the ocean-continental transition zone (OCT). This may represent either exhumed upper mantle material or injection of upper mantle material into proto-oceanic crust at the onset of sea-floor spreading. However the width of the HVZ might strongly differ between conjugates, which may be the result of tectonic inheritance, for example the presence of ancient subduction zones or orogens. Both margin pairs show a similar unthinned continental crustal thickness. Crustal thinning and upper-to-lower crustal thickness vary between margin pairs, but remain nearly symmetric on conjugate profiles and might therefore depend on the structure and mechanical properties of the original continental crust. For the Mediterranean margin pair, the oceanic crust is similar on both sides, with a thickness of only 4-5 km. For the Atlantic margin pair, oceanic crustal thickness is higher on the Moroccan Margin, a fact that can be explained by either asymmetric spreading or by the volcanic underplating, possibly originating from the Canary Hot Spot.

  19. Ocean Drilling Program Leg 112, Peru continental margin: Part 2, Sedimentary history and diagenesis in a coastal upwelling environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suess, E.; von Huene, R.

    1988-10-01

    On the shelf and upper slope off Peru the signal of coastal upwelling productivity and bottom-water oxygen is well preserved in alternately laminated and bioturbated diatomaceous Quaternary sediments. Global sea-level fluctuations are the ultimate cause for these cyclic facies changes. During late Miocene time, coastal upwelling was about 100 km west of the present centers, along the edge of an emergent structure that subsequently subsided to form the modern slope. The sediments are rich in organic carbon, and intense microbially mediated decomposition of organic matter is evident in sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. These processes are accompanied by the formation of diagenetic carbonates, mostly Ca-rich dolomites and Mg-calcites. The downhole isotopic signatures of these carbonate cements display distinct successions that reflect the vertical evolution of the pore fluid environment. From the association of methane gas hydrates, burial depth, and low-chloride interstitial fluids, we suggest an additional process that could contribute to the characteristic chloride depletion in pore fluids of active margins: release of interlayer water from clays without a mineral phase change. The shelf sediments also contain a subsurface brine that stretches for more than 500 km from north to south over the area drilled. The source of the brine remains uncertain, although the composition of the oxygen isotopes suggests dissolution of evaporites by seawater.

  20. Long-term landscape evolution of the South Atlantic "passive" continental margin in Eastern Argentina using apatite fission-track thermochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfister, Sabrina; Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2015-04-01

    To understand the evolution of the "passive" continental margin in Argentina low temperature thermochronology is an appropriate method, which might lead to new insights in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills the Salado basin is located whereas the Claromecó basin is situated south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the South American "passive" continental margin, the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography is fairly flat with altitudes up to 350 m. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-Proterozoic in age and build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons. It is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sedimentary rocks (Cingolani 2011), like siliciclastic rocks, dolostones, shales and limestones (Demoulin 2005). The aim of the study is to quantify the long-term landscape evolution of the "passive" continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal, exhumation and tectonic evolution. For that purpose, samples were taken from the basement of the Sierra Septentrionales and analyzed with the apatite fission-track method. Further 2-D thermokinematic modeling was conducted with the computer code HeFTy (Ketcham 2005; Ketcham 2007; Ketcham et al. 2009). Because there are different hypotheses in literature regarding the geological evolution of this area two different models were generated, one after Demoulin et al. (2005) and another after Zalba et al.(2007). All samples were taken from the Neoproterozoic igneous-metamorphic basement. Apatite fission-track ages range from 101.6 (9.4) to 228.9 (22.3) Ma, and, therefore, are younger than their formation age, indicating all samples have been thermally reset. Six samples accomplished enough confined

  1. 3D Numerical Model of Continental Breakup via Plume Lithosphere Interaction Near Cratonic Blocks: Implications for the Tanzanian Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koptev, A.; Calais, E.; Burov, E. B.; Leroy, S. D.; Gerya, T.

    2014-12-01

    Although many continental rift basins and their successfully rifted counterparts at passive continental margins are magmatic, some are not. This dichotomy prompted end-member views of the mechanism driving continental rifting, deep-seated and mantle plume-driven for some, owing to shallow lithospheric stretching for others. In that regard, the East African Rift (EAR), the 3000 km-long divergent boundary between the Nubian and Somalian plates, provides a unique setting with the juxtaposition of the eastern, magma-rich, and western, magma-poor, branches on either sides of the 250-km thick Tanzanian craton. Here we implement high-resolution rheologically realistic 3D numerical model of plume-lithosphere interactions in extensional far-field settings to explain this contrasted behaviour in a unified framework starting from simple, symmetrical initial conditions with an isolated mantle plume rising beneath a craton in an east-west tensional far field stress. The upwelling mantle plume is deflected by the cratonic keel and preferentially channelled along one of its sides. This leads to the coeval development of a magma-rich branch above the plume head and a magma-poor one along the opposite side of the craton, the formation of a rotating microplate between the two rift branches, and the feeding of melt to both branches form a single mantle source. The model bears strong similarities with the evolution of the eastern and western branches of the central EAR and the geodetically observed rotation of the Victoria microplate. This result reconciles the passive (plume-activated) versus active (far-field tectonic stresses) rift models as our experiments shows both processes in action and demonstrate the possibility of developing both magmatic and amagmatic rifts in identical geotectonic environments.

  2. Lower crustal strength controls on melting and type of oceanization at magma-poor margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ros, E.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Araujo, M. N.; Thoaldo Romeiro, M.; Andres-Martinez, M.; Morgan, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Geodynamical models have been widely used to explain the variability in the architectonical style of conjugate rifted margins as a combination of lithospheric deformation modes, which are strongly influenced by lower crustal strength. We use 2D numerical models to show that the lower crustal strength also plays a key role on the onset and amount of melting and serpentinization during continental rifting. The relative timing between melting and serpentinization onsets controls whether the continent-ocean transition (COT) of margins will be predominantly magmatic or will mainly consist of exhumed and serpentinized mantle. Based on our results for magma-poor continental rifting, we propose a genetic link between margin architecture and COT styles that can be used as an additional tool to help interpret and understand the processes leading to margin formation. Our results show that strong lower crusts and very slow extension velocities (architecture of the magma-poor section of the South Atlantic, we suggest that the COT of the northern sector, Camamu-Gabon basins, is more likely to consist of exhumed mantle with intruded magmatism, while to the South, the Camamu-Kwanza and North Santos-South Kwanza conjugates, may be better characterized by a predominantly magmatic COT.

  3. The Brazilian marginal basins: current state of knowledge; As bacias marginais brasileiras: estagio atual de conhecimento

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ponte, Francisco Celso; Asmus, Haroldo Erwin

    2004-11-01

    Based on distinctive stratigraphic and/or structural characteristics, the brazilian continental margin can be divided into two main provinces : (1)The southeastern-eastern province, extending from the Pelotas to the Recife - Joao Pessoa Basin, presents a tensional tectonic style of Late Jurassic - Early Cretaceous age, paralleling the structural alignments of the Precambrian basement, except in the northeastern segment where the Mesozoic faults of the Recife - Joao Pessoa Basin cut across the east west basement directions. The basin-fill, Upper Jurassic through Recent, consists, where complete, of three stratigraphic sequences, each of a distinct depositional environment: (a) a lower clastic non-marine sequence; (b) a middle evaporitic sequence, and (c) an upper clastic paralic and open marine sequence. (2)The northern province, extending from the Potiguar Basin to the Amazon Submarine Basin, displays both tensional and compressional tectonic styles of Upper Jurassic (?) to Upper Cretaceous age either paralleling or cutting transversally the basement alignments. The stratigraphic column differs from the southeastern - eastern province in lacking the Lower Cretaceous evaporitic rocks. The integration of the stratigraphic and structural data allows one to determine in the eastern Brazilian marginal basins the main evolutionary stages of a typical pull-apart continental margin: a continental pre-rift and rift stage, an evaporitic proto-ocean stage, and a normal open ocean stage. In the northern province it is possible to infer a continental rift valley stage, a marine transform - movement stage and an open ocean stage. The relationship between the rift valley and transform movement stages is not clear. (author)

  4. Rifting and Subsidence in the Gulf of Mexico: Implications for Syn-rift, Sag, and Salt Sections, and Subsequent Paleogeography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pindell, J. L.; Graham, R.; Horn, B.

    2013-05-01

    Thick (up to 5 km), rapid (depression where basement had already subsided tectonically, and thus could receive up to 5 km of salt, roughly the isostatic maximum on exhumed mantle, hyper-thinned continent, or new ocean crust. ION-GXT and other seismic data along W Florida and NW Yucatán show that (1) mother salt was only 1 km thick in these areas, (2) that these areas were depositionally connected to areas of thicker deposition, and (3) the top of all salt was at global sea level, and hence the sub-salt unconformity along Florida and Yucatán was only 1 km deep by end of salt deposition. These observations fit the air-filled chasm hypothesis; however, two further observations make that mechanism highly improbable: (1) basinward limits of sub-salt unconformities along Florida/Yucatán are deeper than top of adjacent ocean crust emplaced at ~2.7 km subsea (shown by backstripping), and (2) deepest abyssal sediments over ocean crust onlap the top of distal salt, demonstrating that the salt itself was rapidly drowned after deposition. Study of global ION datasets demonstrates the process of "rapid outer marginal collapse" at most margins, which we believe is achieved by low-angle detachment on deep, landward-dipping, Moho-equivalent surfaces such that outer rifted margins are hanging walls of crustal scale half-grabens over mantle. The tectonic accommodation space produced (up to 3 km, < 3 Ma) can be filled by ~5 km of sag/salt sequences with little apparent hanging wall rifting. When salt (or other) deposition lags behind, or ends during, outer marginal collapse, deep-water settings result. We suggest that this newly identified, "outer marginal detachment phase", normally separates the traditional "rift" from "drift" stages during continental margin creation. Importantly, this 2-3 km of subsidence presently is neither treated as tectonic nor as thermal in traditional subsidence analysis; thus, Beta estimates may be excessive at many outer margins. Outer marginal

  5. 3-D thermal effect of late Cenozoic erosion and deposition within the Lofoten-Vesterålen segment of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maystrenko, Yuriy Petrovich; Gernigon, Laurent; Olesen, Odleiv; Ottesen, Dag; Rise, Leif

    2018-05-01

    A 3-D subsurface temperature distribution within the Lofoten-Vesterålen segment of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin and adjacent areas has been studied to understand the thermal effect of late Cenozoic erosion of old sedimentary and crystalline rocks and subsequent deposition of glacial sediments during the Pleistocene. A lithosphere-scale 3-D structural model of the Lofoten-Vesterålen area has been used as a realistic approximation of the geometries of the sedimentary infill, underlying crystalline crust and lithospheric mantle during the 3-D thermal modelling. The influence of late Cenozoic erosion and sedimentation has been included during the 3-D thermal calculations. In addition, the 3-D thermal modelling has been carried out by taking also into account the influence of early Cenozoic continental breakup. The results of the 3-D thermal modelling demonstrate that the mainland is generally colder than the basin areas within the upper part of the 3-D model. The thermal influence of the early Cenozoic breakup is still clearly recognizable within the western and deep parts of the Lofoten-Vesterålen margin segment in terms of the increased temperatures. The thermal effects of the erosion and deposition within the study area also indicate that a positive thermal anomaly exists within the specific subareas where sedimentary and crystalline rocks were eroded. A negative thermal effect occurs in the subareas affected by subsidence and sedimentation. The erosion-related positive thermal anomaly reaches its maximum of more than +27 °C at depths of 17-22 km beneath the eastern part of the Vestfjorden Basin. The most pronounced deposition-related negative anomaly shows a minimum of around -70 °C at 17-20 km depth beneath the Lofoten Basin. The second negative anomaly is located within the northeastern part of the Vøring Basin and has minimal values of around -48 °C at 12-14 km depth. These prominent thermal anomalies are associated with the subareas where

  6. Early Jurassic Volcanism in the South Lhasa Terrane, Southern Tibet: Record of Back-arc Extension in the Active Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Y.; Zhao, Z.; Zhu, D. C.; Wang, Z.; Liu, D.; Mo, X.

    2015-12-01

    Indus-Yarlung Zangbo Suture Zone (IYZSZ) represents the Mesozoic remnants of the Neo-Tethyan Ocean lithosphere after its northward subduction beneath the Lhasa Terrane. The evolution of the Neo-Tethyan Ocean prior to India-Asia collision remains unclear. To explore this period of history, we investigate zircon U-Pb geochronology, geochemistry and Nd-Hf isotopes of the Early Jurassic bimodal-like volcanic sequence around Dagze area, south Tibet. The volcanic sequence comprises calc-alkaline basalts to rhyolites whereas intermediate components are volumetrically restricted. Zircons from a basaltic andesite yielded crystallization age of 178Ma whereas those from 5 silicic rocks were dated at 183-174Ma, which suggest that both the basaltic and the silicic rocks are coeval. The basaltic rocks are enriched in LREE and LILE, and depleted in HFSE, with Epsilon Nd(t) of 1.6-4.0 and zircon Epsilon Hf(t) of 0.7-11.8, which implies that they were derived from a heterogenetic mantle source metasomatized by subduction components. Trace element geochemistry shows that the basaltic rocks are compositionally transitional from normal mid-ocean ridge basalts (N-MORB) to island arc basalts (IAB, e.g. Zedong arc basalts of ~160-155Ma in the south margin of Lhasa Terrane), with the signature of immature back-arc basin basalts. The silicic rocks display similar Nd-Hf isotopic features of the Gangdese batholith with Epsilon Nd(t) of 0.9-3.4 and zircon Epsilon Hf(t) of 2.4-17.7, indicating that they were possibly generated by anatexis of basaltic juvenile lower crust, instead of derived from the basaltic magma. These results support an Early to Middle Jurassic (183-155Ma) model that the back-arc extension tectonic setting were existing in the active continental margin in the south Lhasa Terrane.

  7. The Cenozoic western Svalbard margin: sediment geometry and sedimentary processes in an area of ultraslow oceanic spreading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundsen, Ingrid Marie Hasle; Blinova, Maria; Hjelstuen, Berit Oline; Mjelde, Rolf; Haflidason, Haflidi

    2011-12-01

    The northeastern high-latitude North Atlantic is characterised by the Bellsund and Isfjorden fans on the continental slope off west Svalbard, the asymmetrical ultraslow Knipovich spreading ridge and a 1,000 m deep rift valley. Recently collected multichannel seismic profiles and bathymetric records now provide a more complete picture of sedimentary processes and depositional environments within this region. Both downslope and alongslope sedimentary processes are identified in the study area. Turbidity currents and deposition of glacigenic debris flows are the dominating downslope processes, whereas mass failures, which are a common process on glaciated margins, appear to have been less significant. The slide debrite observed on the Bellsund Fan is most likely related to a 2.5-1.7 Ma old failure on the northwestern Barents Sea margin. The seismic records further reveal that alongslope current processes played a major role in shaping the sediment packages in the study area. Within the Knipovich rift valley and at the western rift flank accumulations as thick as 950-1,000 m are deposited. We note that oceanic basement is locally exposed within the rift valley, and that seismostratigraphic relationships indicate that fault activity along the eastern rift flank lasted until at least as recently as 1.5 Ma. A purely hemipelagic origin of the sediments in the rift valley and on the western rift flank is unlikely. We suggest that these sediments, partly, have been sourced from the western Svalbard—northwestern Barents Sea margin and into the Knipovich Ridge rift valley before continuous spreading and tectonic activity caused the sediments to be transported out of the valley and westward.

  8. Satellite-Derived Distributions, Inventories and Fluxes of Dissolved and Particulate Organic Matter Along the Northeastern U.S. Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannino, A.; Hooker, S. B.; Hyde, K.; Novak, M. G.; Pan, X.; Friedrichs, M.; Cahill, B.; Wilkin, J.

    2011-01-01

    Estuaries and the coastal ocean experience a high degree of variability in the composition and concentration of particulate and dissolved organic matter (DOM) as a consequence of riverine and estuarine fluxes of terrigenous DOM, sediments, detritus and nutrients into coastal waters and associated phytoplankton blooms. Our approach integrates biogeochemical measurements, optical properties and remote sensing to examine the distributions and inventories of organic carbon in the U.S. Middle Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Maine. Algorithms developed to retrieve colored DOM (CDOM), Dissolved (DOC) and Particulate Organic Carbon (POC) from NASA's MODIS-Aqua and SeaWiFS satellite sensors are applied to quantify the distributions and inventories of DOC and POC. Horizontal fluxes of DOC and POC from the continental margin to the open ocean are estimated from SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua distributions of DOC and POC and horizontal divergence fluxes obtained from the Northeastern North Atlantic ROMS model. SeaWiFS and MODIS imagery reveal the importance of estuarine outflow to the export of CDOM and DOC to the coastal ocean and a net community production of DOC on the shelf.

  9. Sulfate reduction and methane oxidation activity below the sulfate-methane transition zone in Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin sediments: Implications for deep sulfur cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treude, Tina; Krause, Stefan; Maltby, Johanna; Dale, Andrew W.; Coffin, Richard; Hamdan, Leila J.

    2014-11-01

    Two ∼6 m long sediment cores were collected along the ∼300 m isobath on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin. Both cores showed distinct sulfate-methane transition zones (SMTZ) at 105 and 120 cm below seafloor (cmbsf). Sulfate was not completely depleted below the SMTZ but remained between 30 and 500 μM. Sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) determined by radiotracer incubations were active throughout the methanogenic zone. Although a mass balance could not explain the source of sulfate below the SMTZ, geochemical profiles and correlation network analyses of biotic and abiotic data suggest a cryptic sulfur cycle involving iron, manganese and barite. Inhibition experiments with molybdate and 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) indicated decoupling of sulfate reduction and AOM and competition between sulfate reducers and methanogens for substrates. While correlation network analyses predicted coupling of AOM to iron reduction, the addition of manganese or iron did not stimulate AOM. Since none of the classical archaeal anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME) were abundant, the involvement of unknown or unconventional phylotypes in AOM is conceivable. The resistance of AOM activity to inhibitors implies deviation from conventional enzymatic pathways. This work suggests that the classical redox cascade of electron acceptor utilization based on Gibbs energy yields does not always hold in diffusion-dominated systems, and instead biotic processes may be more strongly coupled to mineralogy.

  10. Differences in meiofauna communities with sediment depth are greater than habitat effects on the New Zealand continental margin: implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norliana Rosli

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Studies of deep-sea benthic communities have largely focused on particular (macro habitats in isolation, with few studies considering multiple habitats simultaneously in a comparable manner. Compared to mega-epifauna and macrofauna, much less is known about habitat-related variation in meiofaunal community attributes (abundance, diversity and community structure. Here, we investigated meiofaunal community attributes in slope, canyon, seamount, and seep habitats in two regions on the continental slope of New Zealand (Hikurangi Margin and Bay of Plenty at four water depths (700, 1,000, 1,200 and 1,500 m. We found that patterns were not the same for each community attribute. Significant differences in abundance were consistent across regions, habitats, water and sediment depths, while diversity and community structure only differed between sediment depths. Abundance was higher in canyon and seep habitats compared with other habitats, while between sediment layer, abundance and diversity were higher at the sediment surface. Our findings suggest that meiofaunal community attributes are affected by environmental factors that operate on micro- (cm to meso- (0.1–10 km, and regional scales (> 100 km. We also found a weak, but significant, correlation between trawling intensity and surface sediment diversity. Overall, our results indicate that variability in meiofaunal communities was greater at small scale than at habitat or regional scale. These findings provide new insights into the factors controlling meiofauna in these deep-sea habitats and their potential vulnerability to anthropogenic activities.

  11. Characterising East Antarctic Lithosphere and its Rift Systems using Gravity Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Alan P. M.; Kusznir, Nick J.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Leat, Phil T.; Jordan, Tom A. R. M.; Purucker, Michael E.; Golynsky, A. V. Sasha; Rogozhina, Irina

    2013-04-01

    Since the International Geophysical Year (1957), a view has prevailed that East Antarctica has a relatively homogeneous lithospheric structure, consisting of a craton-like mosaic of Precambrian terranes, stable since the Pan-African orogeny ~500 million years ago (e.g. Ferracioli et al. 2011). Recent recognition of a continental-scale rift system cutting the East Antarctic interior has crystallised an alternative view of much more recent geological activity with important implications. The newly defined East Antarctic Rift System (EARS) (Ferraccioli et al. 2011) appears to extend from at least the South Pole to the continental margin at the Lambert Rift, a distance of 2500 km. This is comparable in scale to the well-studied East African rift system. New analysis of RadarSat data by Golynsky & Golynsky (2009) indicates that further rift zones may form widely distributed extension zones within the continent. A pilot study (Vaughan et al. 2012), using a newly developed gravity inversion technique (Chappell & Kusznir 2008) with existing public domain satellite data, shows distinct crustal thickness provinces with overall high average thickness separated by thinner, possibly rifted, crust. Understanding the nature of crustal thickness in East Antarctica is critical because: 1) this is poorly known along the ocean-continent transition, but is necessary to improve the plate reconstruction fit between Antarctica, Australia and India in Gondwana, which will also better define how and when these continents separated; 2) lateral variation in crustal thickness can be used to test supercontinent reconstructions and assess the effects of crystalline basement architecture and mechanical properties on rifting; 3) rift zone trajectories through East Antarctica will define the geometry of zones of crustal and lithospheric thinning at plate-scale; 4) it is not clear why or when the crust of East Antarctica became so thick and elevated, but knowing this can be used to test models of

  12. Age and composition of the UHP garnet peridotites in the Dabie orogenic belt (central China) record complex crust-mantle interaction in continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Y.; Zheng, J.; Wang, B.

    2017-12-01

    The Dabie-Sulu UHP belt was created by the collision between the North and South China cratons in Middle Triassic time (240-225 Ma). There are lots of garnet-bearing ultramafic body occurs as a lens in the belt. Age and composition of the Maowu garnet peridotites in the Dabie orogenic belt are reported. The garnet harzburgites are main moderately refractory (Mg#Ol=92) and minor fertile (Mg#Ol=88) with high Ni (2344-2603 ppm) and low Al2O3 (0.35-0.54 wt.%), CaO (0.76-2.19 wt.%) and TiO2 (˜0.01 wt.%). Zircons in the harzburgites mainly document metamorphism at 230 ± 2 Ma, 275 ± 5 Ma, 357 ± 4 Ma, and complex minor populations of ages including: 1.8 Ga, 1.3 Ga, and Neoproterozic-early Paleozoic ages (901-420 Ma). The early Meszosic and late Paleozoic zircons have similar trace-element patterns and ranges in ɛHf(t) (+0.6 to +3.4), Th/U ratio (0.2-0.7) and Hf depleted-mantle model ages (TDM ) mainly cluster in the interval 1.2-0.9 Ga. In contrast, the Paleo-Mesoproterozoic zircons have negative ɛHf(t) (-24.9 to -2.7) and oldest Hf TDM = 3.4Ga. Zircons of Neoproterozic-early Paleozoic have a wide range of Hf depleted-mantle model ages (2.4-0.7Ga) and ɛHf(t) (-15.3 to +9.5). Above of the all, we suggest that the Maowu garnet harzburgites are interpreted as a fragment of the metasomatized ancient lithospheric mantle beneath the southern margin of the North China Craton. They experienced the Proterozoic thermal event (1.9-1.8Ga), which is coeval with the assembly of the supercontinent Columbia. And then 1.3Ga mantle metasomatism with asthenospheric materials resulted in the final breakup of the Columbia supercontinent. Neoproterozic-early Paleozoic (901-420 Ma), deep parts of the south margin of the craton were metasomatized during the assembly and breakup of the Rodinia supercontinent. Then, the southern margin of the craton occurred oceanic crust subduction ( 357 Ma), subsequent continental deep subduction and final continent-continent collision in Triassic.

  13. FATORES CONTROLADORES DA EVOLUÇÃO DO RELEVO NO FLANCO NNW DO RIFT CONTINENTAL DO SUDESTE DO BRASIL: UMA ANÁLISE BASEADA NA MENSURAÇÃO DOS PROCESSOS DENUDACIONAIS DE LONGO-TERMO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Éric Andrade Rezende

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available O presente trabalho tem como objetivo estudar os fatores controladores da evolução do relevo de um trecho do interflúvio entre a bacia interiorana do rio Grande, um dos formadores do rio Paraná, e a bacia do rio Paraíba do Sul. Este divisor hidrográfico está contido em uma das porções mais elevadas da Serra da Mantiqueira e coincide com o flanco NNW do Rift Continental do Sudeste do Brasil. Para este estudo foram selecionadas nove sub-bacias localizadas no extremo sul de Minas Gerais, entre os municípios de Itamonte e Bocaina de Minas. Essas sub-bacias tiveram suas taxas denudacionais estimadas pela mensuração da produção do isótopo cosmogênico 10Be em sedimentos fluviais. Os resultados mostram que a taxa média de denudação das sub-bacias do rio Paraíba do Sul, voltadas para o gráben (17,39 m/Ma, é superior a das sub-bacias dos rios Grande e Aiuruoca, voltadas para o interior continental (12,24 m/Ma. Entre os fatores controladores das taxas de denudação, se destaca a boa correlação existente entre as taxas e dois parâmetros morfométricos: amplitude de relevo e declividade média das sub-bacias. A influência da litologia também se mostra importante, já que a resistência dos granitos frente aos processos erosivos é um dos fatores que condiciona taxas denudacionais bastante baixas na área. Os resultados indicam que o granito Maromba é a unidade litológica mais resistente entre aquelas presentes nas sub-bacias amostradas. As baixas taxas mensuradas, referentes às últimas dezenas de milhares de anos, contrastam com o relevo rejuvenescido e com as elevadas altitudes desse setor da Mantiqueira, onde há um reconhecido papel da neotectônica na morfogênese. Deste modo, é provável que tenha havido uma atenuação da atividade tectônica no Quaternário Superior, com a consequente estabilização dos níveis de base e diminuição dos processos denudacionais.

  14. Preferential rifting of continents - A source of displaced terranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vink, G. E.; Morgan, W. J.; Zhao, W.-L.

    1984-01-01

    Lithospheric rifting, while prevalent in the continents, rarely occurs in oceanic regions. To explain this preferential rifting of continents, the total strength of different lithospheres is compared by integrating the limits of lithospheric stress with depth. Comparisons of total strength indicate that continental lithosphere is weaker than oceanic lithosphere by about a factor of three. Also, a thickened crust can halve the total strength of normal continental lithosphere. Because the weakest area acts as a stress guide, any rifting close to an ocean-continent boundary would prefer a continental pathway. This results in the formation of small continental fragments or microplates that, once accreted back to a continent during subduction, are seen as displaced terranes. In addition, the large crustal thicknesses associated with suture zones would make such areas likely locations for future rifting episodes. This results in the tendency of new oceans to open along the suture where a former ocean had closed.

  15. Gravity anomalies, crustal structure and rift tectonics at the Konkan ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    trolled by the mode of extension and thinning of continental ... facilitates to evaluate the mechanism of rifting, thermal as ..... estimated as the median depth between the back- stripped .... and gravity modeling with an application to the Gulf of.

  16. Contrasting basin architecture and rifting style of the Vøring Basin, offshore mid-Norway and the Faroe-Shetland Basin, offshore United Kingdom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schöpfer, Kateřina; Hinsch, Ralph

    2017-04-01

    The Vøring and the Faroe-Shetland basins are offshore deep sedimentary basins which are situated on the outer continental margin of the northeast Atlantic Ocean. Both basins are underlain by thinned continental crust whose structure is still debated. In particular the nature of the lower continental crust and the origin of high velocity bodies located at the base of the lower crust are a subject of discussion in recent literature. Regional interpretation of 2D and 3D seismic reflection data, combined with well data, suggest that both basins share several common features: (i) Pre-Cretaceous faults that are distributed across the entire basin width. (ii) Geometries of pre-Jurassic strata reflecting at least two extensional phases. (iii) Three common rift phases, Late Jurassic, Campanian-Maastrichtian and Palaeocene. (iv) Large pre-Cretaceous fault blocks that are buried by several kilometres of Cretaceous and Cenozoic strata. (iii). (v) Latest Cretaceous/Palaeocene inversion. (vi) Occurrence of partial mantle serpentinization during Early Cretaceous times, as proposed by other studies, seems improbable. The detailed analysis of the data, however, revealed significant differences between the two basins: (i) The Faroe-Shetland Basin was a fault-controlled basin during the Late Jurassic but also the Late Cretaceous extensional phase. In contrast, the Vøring Basin is dominated by the late Jurassic rifting and subsequent thermal subsidence. It exhibits only minor Late Cretaceous faults that are localised above intra-basinal and marginal highs. In addition, the Cretaceous strata in the Vøring Basin are folded. (ii) In the Vøring Basin, the locus of Late Cretaceous rifting shifted westwards, affecting mainly the western basin margin, whereas in the Faroe-Shetland Basin Late Cretaceous rifting was localised in the same area as the Late Jurassic phase, hence masking the original Jurassic geometries. (iii) Devono-Carboniferous and Aptian/Albian to Cenomanian rift phases

  17. Time evolution of a rifted continental arc: Integrated ID-TIMS and LA-ICPMS study of magmatic zircons from the Eastern Srednogorie, Bulgaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiev, S.; von Quadt, A.; Heinrich, C. A.; Peytcheva, I.; Marchev, P.

    2012-12-01

    -arc basin led to the formation of an intra-arc rift in the Yambol-Burgas region, which now separates the East Balkan region from the Strandzha region. In this extensional environment, crustal thinning lead to decompression and increased heat flow, facilitating large-scale melting of lower crustal rocks and the formation of 81-78 Ma magmas. The unusual calcic composition of the parent magmas, their isotopic character and distinct xenocrystic population are consistent with a component of re-melting of hydrous lower-crustal cumulates, which probably formed in part during the first stage of the evolving arc.

  18. The Two Subduction Zones of the Southern Caribbean: Lithosphere Tearing and Continental Margin Recycling in the East, Flat Slab Subduction and Laramide-Style Uplifts in the West

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    The southern Caribbean plate boundary is a complex strike-slip fault system bounded by oppositely vergent subduction zones, the Antilles subduction zone in the east, and a currently locked Caribbean-South American subduction zone in the west (Bilham and Mencin, 2013). Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography images both the Atlanic (ATL) and the Caribbean (CAR) plates subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America. Ps receiver functions show a depressed 660 discontinuity and thickened transition zone associated with each subducting plate. In the east the oceanic (ATL) part of the South American (SA) plate subducts westward beneath the CAR, initiating the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike slip system, a subduction-transform edge propagator (STEP) fault (Govers and Wortel, 2005). The point at which the ATL tears away from SA as it descends into the mantle is evidenced by the Paria cluster seismicity at depths of 60-110 km (Russo et al, 1993). Body wave tomography and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) thickness determined from Sp and Ps receiver functions and Rayleigh waves suggest that the descending ATL also viscously removes the bottom third to half of the SA continental margin lithospheric mantle as it descends. This has left thinned continental lithosphere under northern SA in the wake of the eastward migrating Antilles subduction zone. The thinned lithosphere occupies ~70% of the length of the El Pilar-San Sebastian fault system, from ~64oW to ~69oW, and extends inland several hundred kilometers. In northwestern SA the CAR subducts east-southeast at low angle under northern Colombia and western Venezuela. The subducting CAR is at least 200 km wide, extending from northernmost Colombia as far south as the Bucaramanga nest seismicity. The CAR descends steeply under Lake Maracaibo and the Merida Andes. This flat slab is associated with three Neogene basement cored, Laramide-style uplifts: the Santa Marta

  19. COBBOOM: The Continental Breakup and Birth of Oceans Mission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joann M. Stock

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The rupture of continents and creation of new oceans is a fundamental yet primitively understood aspect of the plate tectonic cycle. Building upon past achievements by ocean drilling and geophysical and geologic studies, we propose “The Continental Breakup and Birth of Oceans Mission (COBBOOM” as the next major phase of discovery, for which sampling by drilling will be essential.In September 2006, fifty-one scientists from six continents gathered in Pontresina, Switzerland to discuss current knowledge of continental breakup and sedimentary basin formation and how the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP can deepen that knowledge Coffin et al., 2006. Workshop participants discussed a global array of rifted margins (Fig. 1, formulated the critical problems to beaddressed by future drilling and related investigations, and identified key rift systems poised for IODP investigations. 

  20. Sr-Nd-Pb isotope systematics of the Permian volcanic rocks in the northern margin of the Alxa Block (the Shalazhashan Belt) and comparisons with the nearby regions: Implications for a Permian rift setting?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Guanzhong; Wang, Hua; Liu, Entao; Huang, Chuanyan; Zhao, Jianxin; Song, Guangzeng; Liang, Chao

    2018-04-01

    the northern margins of the Alxa Block and the North China Craton. The magmatic rock types, isotopic features and their temporal, spatial distributions suggest an extensional regime probably related to rifting.

  1. A comparison of geochemical exploration techniques and sample media within accretionary continental margins: an example from the Pacific Border Ranges, Southern Alaska, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutley, S.J.; Goldfarb, R.J.; O'Leary, R. M.; Tripp, R.B.

    1990-01-01

    The Pacific Border Ranges of the southern Alaskan Cordillera are composed of a number of allochthonous tectonostratigraphic terranes. Within these terranes are widespread volcanogenic, massive sulfide deposits in and adjacent to portions of accreted ophiolite complexes, bands and disseminations of chromite in accreted island-arc ultramafic rocks, and epigenetic, gold-bearing quartz veins in metamorphosed turbidite sequences. A geochemical pilot study was undertaken to determine the most efficient exploration strategy for locating these types of mineral deposits within the Pacific Border Ranges and other typical convergent continental margin environments. High-density sediment sampling was carried out in first- and second-order stream channels surrounding typical gold, chromite and massive sulfide occurrences. At each site, a stream-sediment and a panned-concentrate sample were collected. In the laboratory, the stream sediments were sieved into coarse-sand, fine- to medium-sand, and silt- to clay-size fractions prior to analysis. One split of the panned concentrates was retained for analysis; a second split was further concentrated by gravity separation in heavy liquids and then divided into magnetic, weakly magnetic and nonmagnetic fractions for analysis. A number of different techniques including atomic absorption spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and semi-quantitative emission spectrography were used to analyze the various sample media. Comparison of the various types of sample media shows that in this tectonic environment it is most efficient to include a silt- to clay-size sediment fraction and a panned-concentrate sample. Even with the relatively low detection limits for many elements by plasma spectrometry and atomic absorption spectrometry, anomalies reflecting the presence of gold veins could not be identified in any of the stream-sediment fractions. Unseparated panned-concentrate samples should be analyzed by emission

  2. Instability and deformation in the sedimentary cover on the upper slope of the southern Aquitaine continental margin, north of the Capbreton canyon (Bay of Biscay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Gonthier

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Acoustic and core data have recently been collected on the shelf break and the upper part of the slope of the south Aquitaine continental margin. They reveal the major role played by mass-flow gravity processes in deposit erosion and redistribution, modelling of the sea-bed, and transfer of sediment toward the deep-sea. The study region is bounded in the south by the Capbreton canyon. The northern area, which shows a smooth morphology, is characterised by small-scale deformations due to sediment creep or low-amplitude slide processes. The deformations are associated with mini listric-like faults that bound packets of sediments in which the deposit geometry is typical of constructional sediment waves. These sediment waves result from the interaction of depositional and gravity deformation processes. In the southern area, closer to the canyon, wave-like structures are still present but mostly of smaller size. They only result from gravity deformation processes without any evidence of constructional processes. In the vicinity of the Capbreton canyon, the shelf break and upper slope have a much more uneven morphology with sedimentary reliefs, escarpments and depressions directed toward the canyon thalweg. The depressions look like slide scars, and could be the result of regressive slides initiated at the top of the canyon flank. The age of the sliding event responsible for the formation of the depression observed today could be middle to upper Quaternary. Since their formation, these depressions act as conduits that channel the transfer of shelf sediment into the canyon, as demonstrated by the occurrence of a meandering channel on the sea-floor of one depression.

  3. The impact of proto- and metazooplankton on the fate of organic carbon in continental ocean margins. Final progress report, May 1992--July 1995

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paffenhofer, G.A.; Verity, P.G.

    1995-12-31

    Three fates potentially consume primary production occurring on ocean margins: portions can be oxidized within the water column, portions can sediment to shelf/slope depots, and portions can be exported to the interior ocean. Zooplankton mediate all three of these processes and thus can alter the pathway and residence time of particulate organic carbon, depending on the size structure and composition of the zooplankton (and phytoplankton). To achieve the long-term goal of quantifying the role of proto- and metazooplankton in removing newly formed POC (primary production), the authors must accomplish two major component objectives: (a) determine plankton carbon biomass at relevant temporal and spatial scales; and (b) measure zooplankton carbon consumption rates and (for metazoan zooplankton) fecal pellet production. These measurements will specify the importance of different zooplankton groups as consumers and transformers of phytoplankton carbon. During Phase 1, they concentrated on methodological and technological developments prerequisite to an organized field program. Specifically, they proposed to develop and test an optical zooplankton counter, and to fully enhance the color image analysis system. In addition, they proposed to evaluate a solid-phase enzyme-linked immunospot assay to quantify predation by metazoan zooplankton on protozoans; and to improve methodology to determine ingestion and growth rates of salps, and accompanying pellet production rates, under conditions which very closely resemble their environment. The image analyzer data provide insights on basic ecosystem parameters relevant to carbon flux from the continental ocean to the deep ocean. Together these approaches provide a powerful set of tools to probe food web relationships in greater detail, to increase the accuracy and speed of carbon biomass and rate measurements, and to enhance data collection and analysis.

  4. The East African rift system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chorowicz, Jean

    2005-10-01

    This overview paper considers the East African rift system (EARS) as an intra-continental ridge system, comprising an axial rift. It describes the structural organization in three branches, the overall morphology, lithospheric cross-sections, the morphotectonics, the main tectonic features—with emphasis on the tension fractures—and volcanism in its relationships with the tectonics. The most characteristic features in the EARS are narrow elongate zones of thinned continental lithosphere related to asthenospheric intrusions in the upper mantle. This hidden part of the rift structure is expressed on the surface by thermal uplift of the rift shoulders. The graben valleys and basins are organized over a major failure in the lithospheric mantle, and in the crust comprise a major border fault, linked in depth to a low angle detachment fault, inducing asymmetric roll-over pattern, eventually accompanied by smaller normal faulting and tilted blocks. Considering the kinematics, divergent movements caused the continent to split along lines of preexisting lithospheric weaknesses marked by ancient tectonic patterns that focus the extensional strain. The hypothesis favored here is SE-ward relative divergent drifting of a not yet well individualized Somalian plate, a model in agreement with the existence of NW-striking transform and transfer zones. The East African rift system comprises a unique succession of graben basins linked and segmented by intracontinental transform, transfer and accommodation zones. In an attempt to make a point on the rift system evolution through time and space, it is clear that the role of plume impacts is determinant. The main phenomenon is formation of domes related to plume effect, weakening the lithosphere and, long after, failure inducing focused upper mantle thinning, asthenospheric intrusion and related thermal uplift of shoulders. The plume that had formed first at around 30 Ma was not in the Afar but likely in Lake Tana region (Ethiopia

  5. Phanerozoic Rifting Phases And Mineral Deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassaan, Mahmoud

    2016-04-01

    connected with NW,WNW and N-S faults genetically related to volcano-hydrothermal activity associated the Red Sea rifting. At Sherm EL-Sheikh hydrothermal manganese deposit occurs in Oligocene clastics within fault zone. Four iron-manganese-barite mineralization in Esh-Elmellaha plateau are controlled by faults trending NW,NE and nearly E-W intersecting Miocene carbonate rocks. Barite exists disseminated in the ores and as a vein in NW fault. In Shalatee - Halaib district 24 manganese deposits and barite veins with sulphide patches occur within Miocene carbonates distributed along two NW fault planes,trending 240°and 310° and occur in granite and basalt . Uranium -lead-zinc sulfide mineralization occur in Late Proterozoic granite, Late Cretaceous sandstones, and chiefly in Miocene clastic-carbonate-evaporate rocks. The occurrences of uranium- lead-zinc and iron-manganese-barite mineralization have the characteristic features of hypogene cavity filling and replacement deposits correlated with Miocene- Recent Aden volcanic rocks rifting. In western Saudi Arabia barite-lead-zinc mineralization occurs at Lat. 25° 45' and 25° 50'N hosted by Tertiary sediments in limestone nearby basaltic flows and NE-SW fault system. The mineralized hot brines in the Red Sea deeps considered by the author a part of this province. The author considers the constant rifting phases of Pangea and then progressive fragmentation of Western Gondwana during the Late Carboniferous-Lias, Late Jurassic-Early Aptian, Late Aptian - Albian and Late Eocene-Early Miocene and Oligocene-Miocene, responsible for formation of the mineral deposits constituting the M provinces. During these events, rifting, magmatism and hydrothermal activities took place in different peri-continental margins.

  6. The evolution of the passive continental margin of Norway and its adjacent mainland - using the sub-Cambrian peneplain as a reference surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielsen, R. H.; Faleide, J. I.; Jarsve, E. M.

    2012-04-01

    The structuring, uplift and subsidence of the passive margin and shelf of Norway and its adjacent mainland were affected by several profound geological processes, including inherited basement structural grain related to the Proterozoic and Caledonian orogens and also including the extensional collapse of the Caledonides (Gabrielsen et al. 2000). This has been followed by several stages of late Palaoezoic - Cenozoic rifting and associated thermotectonic activity, Cenozoic accelerated uplift of uncertain origin of the hinterland, creating an irregular pattern of upheaval and, finally Pleistocene - Holocene glacial loading and unloading (Gabrielsen et al. 2010). These processes have strongly influenced the topography of the hinterland, thus causing and acting in concert with climate fluctuations (Nielsen et al. 2009). The correlation of erosional surfaces of regional significance on the shelf and on the mainland is a key to the evaluating the total topography of the margin. Because of the lack of datable surfaces on the mainland, this is problematic. The so-called Paleic surface has been used in this context, but its age and nature is not well constrained and the absence of post-Caledonian rocks in the western and central mainland of southern Norway adds to this complexity. In contrast, the sub-Cambrian peneplain, which is found in larger parts of Scandinavia, is well established when it comes to dating and development (e.g. Strøm 1948). It is generally accepted that this surface had only a minor topography, if any, throughout Scandinavia at the earliest Cambrian. Hence, its present relief is the result of the accumulated vertical displacements from the Caledonian to the Present. Still, even though it was well established through regional mapping already in the late 19th century, much remains in the detailed documentation of this important surface. To improve the topographic accuracy in its characterization, fieldwork has been initiated to establish a detailed WNW

  7. Lower Crustal Strength Controls on Melting and Serpentinization at Magma-Poor Margins: Potential Implications for the South Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ros, Elena; Pérez-Gussinyé, Marta; Araújo, Mario; Thoaldo Romeiro, Marco; Andrés-Martínez, Miguel; Morgan, Jason P.

    2017-12-01

    Rifted continental margins may present a predominantly magmatic continent-ocean transition (COT), or one characterized by large exposures of serpentinized mantle. In this study we use numerical modeling to show the importance of the lower crustal strength in controlling the amount and onset of melting and serpentinization during rifting. We propose that the relative timing between both events controls the nature of the COT. Numerical experiments for half-extension velocities serpentinized mantle underlain by some magmatic products. In contrast, a weak lower crust promotes margins with a gentle crustal tapering, small faults dipping both ocean- and landward and small syn-rift subsidence. Their COT is predominantly magmatic at any ultra-slow extension velocity and perhaps underlain by some serpentinized mantle. These margins can also be either symmetric or asymmetric. Our models predict that magmatic underplating mostly underlies the wide margin at weak asymmetric conjugates, whereas the wide margin is mainly underlain by serpentinized mantle at strong asymmetric margins. Based on this conceptual template, we propose different natures for the COTs in the South Atlantic.

  8. Mesozoic tectonics of the Otway Basin region: The legacy of Gondwana and the active Pacific margin: a review and ongoing research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, K.A. [Monash Univ., Clayton, VIC (Australia). Department of Earth Sciences; Finlayson, D.M. [Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Canberra, ACT (Australia); Hill, K.C. [La Trobe Univ., Bundoora, VIC (Australia). School of Earth Sciences; Cooper, G.T. [Monash Univ., Clayton, VIC (Australia). Department of Earth Sciences

    1995-12-31

    Recent plate tectonic models for SE Australia and the formerly contiguous parts of Gondwana are reviewed in this paper in order to assess the Mesozoic evolution of the Otway Basin. Research around the Otway Basin is summarised to demonstrate how the application of new technology can address some of the outstanding questions regarding the Basin`s evolution on local to lithospheric scales. The geometry and geology of Australia`s southern margin are compared with Atlantic rift-drift margins to provide analogues for tectonics and hydrocarbon exploration in the Otway Basin. At least two stages of rifting were found to be evident in the Cretaceous and in the deep structure of the Otway basin. These are Early Cretaceous rifting which is manifested in numerous half-graben and accommodation zones, and Late Cretaceous rifting in the deep seismic data seaward of the Tartwaup, Timboon and Sorell fault zones. Major offsets of the spreading axis during break up, at the Tasman and Spencer Fracture Zones were probably controlled by the location of Paleozoic terrace boundaries. The Tasman Fracture System was reactivated during break-up, with considerable uplift and denudation of the Bass failed rift to the east, which controlled Otway Basin facies distribution. Paleozoic structures also had a significant effect in determining the half graben orientations within a general N-S extensional regime during early Cretaceous rifting. The late Cretaceous second stage of rifting, seaward of the Tartwaup, Timboon and Sorell fault zones, left stable failed rift margin to the north, but the attenuated lithosphere of the Otway-Sorell microplate to the south records repeated extension that led to continental separation and may be part of an Antarctic upper plate. 1 table. 16 figs., 4 photos., refs.

  9. Extension style in the Orphan Basin during the Mesozoic North Atlantic rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouiza, Mohamed; Hall, Jeremy

    2013-04-01

    The Orphan Basin, lying along the Newfoundland passive continental margin, has formed in Mesozoic time during the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean and the breakup of Iberia/Eurasia from North America. Regional deep seismic reflection profiles across the basin indicate that the Neoproterozoic basement has been affected by repeated extensional episodes between the Late Triassic/Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous. Deformation initiated in the eastern part of the Orphan basin in the Jurassic and migrated toward the west in the Early Cretaceous, resulting in numerous rift structures filled with Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous syn-rift successions and sealed by thick Upper Cretaceous-Cenozoic post-rift sediments. The seismic data show an extremely attenuated crust underneath the eastern and western part of the deep basin, forming two sub-basins associated with the development of rifting. The two sub-basins are separated by a wide structural high with a relatively thick crust and are bounded to the west by the continental shelf domain. Restoration of the Orphan Basin along a 2D crustal section (520 km long), yields a total amount of stretching of about 144 km, while the total crustal thinning indicates an extensio