WorldWideScience

Sample records for rifted margin earth

  1. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon E; Butterworth, Nathaniel P; Müller, R Dietmar

    2016-08-11

    Rifted margins are formed by persistent stretching of continental lithosphere until breakup is achieved. It is well known that strain-rate-dependent processes control rift evolution, yet quantified extension histories of Earth's major passive margins have become available only recently. Here we investigate rift kinematics globally by applying a new geotectonic analysis technique to revised global plate reconstructions. We find that rifted margins feature an initial, slow rift phase (less than ten millimetres per year, full rate) and that an abrupt increase of plate divergence introduces a fast rift phase. Plate acceleration takes place before continental rupture and considerable margin area is created during each phase. We reproduce the rapid transition from slow to fast extension using analytical and numerical modelling with constant force boundary conditions. The extension models suggest that the two-phase velocity behaviour is caused by a rift-intrinsic strength--velocity feedback, which can be robustly inferred for diverse lithosphere configurations and rheologies. Our results explain differences between proximal and distal margin areas and demonstrate that abrupt plate acceleration during continental rifting is controlled by the nonlinear decay of the resistive rift strength force. This mechanism provides an explanation for several previously unexplained rapid absolute plate motion changes, offering new insights into the balance of plate driving forces through time.

  2. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon E.; Butterworth, Nathaniel P.; Müller, R. Dietmar

    2016-08-01

    Rifted margins are formed by persistent stretching of continental lithosphere until breakup is achieved. It is well known that strain-rate-dependent processes control rift evolution, yet quantified extension histories of Earth’s major passive margins have become available only recently. Here we investigate rift kinematics globally by applying a new geotectonic analysis technique to revised global plate reconstructions. We find that rifted margins feature an initial, slow rift phase (less than ten millimetres per year, full rate) and that an abrupt increase of plate divergence introduces a fast rift phase. Plate acceleration takes place before continental rupture and considerable margin area is created during each phase. We reproduce the rapid transition from slow to fast extension using analytical and numerical modelling with constant force boundary conditions. The extension models suggest that the two-phase velocity behaviour is caused by a rift-intrinsic strength-velocity feedback, which can be robustly inferred for diverse lithosphere configurations and rheologies. Our results explain differences between proximal and distal margin areas and demonstrate that abrupt plate acceleration during continental rifting is controlled by the nonlinear decay of the resistive rift strength force. This mechanism provides an explanation for several previously unexplained rapid absolute plate motion changes, offering new insights into the balance of plate driving forces through time.

  3. Post Rift Evolution of the Indian Margin of Southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baby, Guillaume; Guillocheau, François; Robin, Cécile; Dall'asta, Massimo

    2016-04-01

    The objective of this study is to discuss the evolution of the South African Plateau along the Indian margin of Southern Africa. Since the classical works of A. du Toit and L.C. King and the improvement of thermochronological methods and numerical models, the question of the uplift of South African Plateau was highly debated with numerous scenarios: early Cretaceous at time of rifting (Van der Beek et al., J.Geophys.Res., 2002), late Cretaceous (Braun et al., Solid Earth, 2014), late Cenozoic (Burke & Gunnell, Geol.Soc.of America, 2008). Limited attention has been paid on the constraints provided by the offshore stratigraphic record of the surrounding margins. The objective of our study is to integrate onshore and offshore data (seismic profiles and industrial wells) to (1) analyse the infill of the whole margin (21°S to 31°S) from its hinterland to the distal deep water basin, (2) to constrain and quantify the vertical movements. We discuss the impact on accommodation and sediments partitioning, and their significance on South African Plateau uplift history. 1. Sedimentary basins of the Indian margin of Southern Africa are related to the break-up of Gondwana during late Jurassic, resulting in rifts and flexural basins. First marine incursions started during early Cretaceous times (oldest marine outcropping sediments are of Barremian age ~128 Ma). The region developed as a normal continental shelf at the Aptian-Albian transition (~113 Ma). 2. The Cretaceous geological history of the basins is characterized by differential uplift and subsidence of the basement, controlled by structures inherited from break up. As example, major early Cretaceous depocenters of the margin are located on the north of Save-Limpopo uplift (Forster, Paleogography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, 1975) showing an eastward drainage pattern, maybe related to a proto Limpopo drainage. Those observations suggest that the escarpment bordering the Bushveld depression is an old relief inherited

  4. Magnetotelluric Investigations of Convergent Margins and of Incipient Rifting: Preliminary Results from the EarthScope MT Transportable Array and MT FlexArray Deployments in Cascadia and in the North American Mid-Continent Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, A.; Bedrosian, P.; Key, K.; Livelybrooks, D.; Egbert, G. D.; Bowles-martinez, E.; Wannamaker, P. E.

    2014-12-01

    We report on preliminary analyses of data from the EarthScope MT Transportable Array, and from two high-resolution EarthScope MT studies in Cascadia. The first of these, iMUSH, is acquiring wideband MT data at 150 sites, as well as active and passive seismic data in SW Washington (including Mounts Saint Helens, Adams and Rainier). iMUSH seeks to determine details of crustal magma transport and storage, and to resolve major tectonic controls on volcanism along the arc. iMUSH may help to settle a debate over the origin of the SW Washington Crustal Conductor (SWCC), which covers ~5000 km2and that has alternately been attributed to accreted Eocene metasediments or to an extensive region of partial melt in the lower crust beneath the three volcanoes. The iMUSH array is continguous with an amphibious ~150 station MT experiment (MOCHA) onshore and offshore of the Washington and Oregon forearc. MOCHA iwill image the crust and upper mantle of the subduction system in 3D, constraining the fluid input to the system from offshore and the distribution of fluids released from the down-going slab, including along the transitional zone where Episodic Tremor and Slip occurs. Our goal is to refine our understanding of the segmentation, structure and fluid distribution along the convergent margin segments, and their relationship to the spatial pattern of ETS. In contrast to the active Cascadia margin, the Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) is the trace of a massive igneous event that nearly split North America 1.1 billion years ago. Initial results from 3D inversion of MT Transportable Array data show less fine-scale heterogeneity in the upper mantle (250 km depth) than is evident in western, tectonic North America, but a division at the base of thick lithosphere, with higher conductivities beneath and immediately south of the Great Lakes, than to the south. From the base of the lithosphere to the Moho, this high conductivity feature narrows, ultimately disappearing in the mid-crust. In the

  5. Rifted Continental Margins: The Case for Depth-Dependent Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    Even though many basic properties of non-volcanic rifted margins are predicted by uniform extension of the lithosphere, uniform extension fails to explain other important characteristics. Particularly significant discrepancies are observed at: 1) the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins (Type I), where large tracts of continental mantle lithosphere are exposed at the seafloor, and at; 2) ultra-wide central South Atlantic margins (Type II) where continental crust spans wide regions below which it appears that lower crust and mantle lithosphere were removed. Neither corresponds to uniform extension in which crust and mantle thin by the same factor. Instead, either the crust or mantle lithosphere has been preferentially removed during extension. We show that the Type I and II styles are respectively reproduced by dynamical numerical lithospheric stretching models (Models I-A/C and II-A/C) that undergo depth-dependent extension. In this notation A and C imply underplating of the rift zone during rifting by asthenosphere and lower cratonic lithosphere, respectively. We also present results for models with a weak upper crust and strong lower crust, Models III-A/C, to show that lower crust can also be removed from beneath the rift zone by horizontal advection with the mantle lithosphere. From the model results we infer that these Types I, II, and III margin styles are controlled by the strength of the mid/lower crust, which determines the amount of decoupling between upper and lower lithosphere during extension and the excision of crust or mantle. We also predict the styles of sedimentary basins that form on these margins as a test of the concepts presented

  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. Evolution of magma-poor continental margins from rifting to seafloor spreading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitmarsh, R B; Manatschal, G; Minshull, T A

    2001-09-13

    The rifting of continents involves faulting (tectonism) and magmatism, which reflect the strain-rate and temperature dependent processes of solid-state deformation and decompression melting within the Earth. Most models of this rifting have treated tectonism and magmatism separately, and few numerical simulations have attempted to include continental break-up and melting, let alone describe how continental rifting evolves into seafloor spreading. Models of this evolution conventionally juxtapose continental and oceanic crust. Here we present observations that support the existence of a zone of exhumed continental mantle, several tens of kilometres wide, between oceanic and continental crust on continental margins where magma-poor rifting has taken place. We present geophysical and geological observations from the west Iberia margin, and geological mapping of margins of the former Tethys ocean now exposed in the Alps. We use these complementary findings to propose a conceptual model that focuses on the final stage of continental extension and break-up, and the creation of a zone of exhumed continental mantle that evolves oceanward into seafloor spreading. We conclude that the evolving stress and thermal fields are constrained by a rising and narrowing ridge of asthenospheric mantle, and that magmatism and rates of extension systematically increase oceanward.

  8. Thermochronometric evidence for diffuse extension and two-phase rifting within the Central Arabian Margin of the Red Sea Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymanski, E.; Stockli, D. F.; Johnson, P. R.; Hager, C.

    2016-12-01

    Numerical time-temperature models derived from a 2-D network of apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He ages reveal a three-stage thermotectonic history for the central Arabian rift flank (CARF) of the Red Sea Rift (RSR) system. The pre-rift Arabian-Nubian Shield existed as part of a passive Paleo-Tethyan margin until a widespread tectonic event at 350 Ma exhumed the proto-CARF to mid-to-upper crustal structural levels. After remaining thermally stable through the Mesozoic, the first phase of RSR extension began with a distinct rift pulse at 23 Ma when fault blocks across a 150 km wide area were exhumed along a diffuse set of rift-parallel faults from an average pre-rift flank depth of 1.7 ± 0.8 km. This rift onset age is mirrored in thermochronometric and sequence stratigraphic analyses elsewhere along the Red Sea Nubian and Arabian margins, confirming that rifting occurred concomitantly along the full Red Sea-Gulf of Suez rift system. Diffuse lithospheric extension lasted for 8 Myr before a second rift pulse at 15 Ma, coincident with regional stress realignment, transferred active faulting basinward toward the modern RSR axial trough. CARF time-temperature models indicate that the prevalent rift style during both RSR extensional phases was one of localized, structurally controlled block faulting and contemporaneous dike injection, not wholesale rift flank uplift.

  9. Facies, stratal and stacking patterns of syn-rift sequences along present-day and fossil hyperextended rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribes, Charlotte; Epin, Marie-Eva; Gillard, Morgane; Chenin, Pauline; Ghienne, Jean-Francois; Manatschal, Gianreto; Karner, Garry D.; Johnson, Christopher A.

    2017-04-01

    Research on the formation and evolution of deep-water rifted margins has undergone a major paradigm shift in recent years. An increasing number of studies of present-day and fossil rifted margins allows us to identify and characterize the architecture of hyperextended rifted margins. However, at present, little is known about the depositional environments, sedimentary facies and stacking and stratal patterns in syn-rift sequences within these domains. In this context, characterizing and understanding the spatial and temporal evolution of the stratal and stacking patterns is a new challenge. The syn-rift sequence at rifted margins is deposited during the initial stages of stretching to the onset of oceanic accretion and comprises pre-, syn- and post-kinematic deposits along the margin. A difficulty arises from the fact that the observed stratigraphic geometries and facies relationships result from the complex interplay between sediment supply and creation of accommodation, which in turn are controlled by regional synchronous events (i.e. crustal necking and onset of seafloor spreading) and diachronous events (i.e. migration of deformation during rifting, lags in sediment input to the distal margin). These parameters are poorly constrained in hyperextended rift systems. Indeed, the complex structural evolution of hyperextended systems include an evolution from initially distributed to localized extension (i.e. necking) and the development of poly-phase in-sequence and/or out of sequence extensional faulting associated with mantle exhumation and magmatic activity. This multiphase structural evolution can generate complex accommodation patterns over a highly structured top basement but can only be recognized if there is sufficient sediment input to record the events. In our presentation, we show preliminary results for fossil Alpine Tethys margins exposed in the Alps and seismic examples of the present-day deep water rifted margins offshore Australian-Antarctica, East

  10. 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

    Gop Rift axis. We propose that the conspicuous buoyant central part of the Gop Rift is likely associated with a continental C-Block as described in a recent paper on conjugated VPMs8, at least in the southern part of the Gop Rift. The crust below the Laxmi basin is probably transitional continental i.e. strongly intruded. West of India and west of the Laxmi Ridge, the transition to the Carlsberg Basin occurs along a clearly-expressed transform fault, not through an extended and thinned continental margin. We reinterpret the whole system based on those observations and propositions, giving some explanations on controversial magnetic anomalies based on similar observations from the southern Atlantic Ocean. 1: Collier et al., 2008. Age of the Seychelles-India break-up. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2: Minshull et al., 2008. The relationship between riftingand magmatism in the northeastern Arabian Sea. Nature Geoscience. 3 : Armitage et al., 2010. The importance of rift history for volcanic margin. Nature. 4 : Krishna et al., 2006. Nature of the crust in the Laxmi Basin (14 degrees-20 degrees N), western continental margin of India. Tectonics. 5 : Misra et al., 2015. Repeat ridge jumps and microcontinent separation: insights from NE Arabian Sea. Marine and Petroleum Geology. 6 : Biswas, 1982. Rift basins in the western margin of India and their hydrocarbon prospects. Bull. Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol. 7 : Chatterjee et al., 2013. The longest voyage: Tectonic, magmatic, and paleoclimatic evolution of the Indian plate during its northward flight from Gondwana to Asia. Gondwana Research. 8 : Geoffroy et al., 2015. Volcanic passive margins: anotherway to break up continents. Scientific Reports.

  11. From rifting to passive margin: the examples of the Red Sea, Central Atlantic and Alpine Tethys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favre, P.; Stampfli, G. M.

    1992-12-01

    Evolution of the Red Sea/Gulf of Suez and the Central Atlantic rift systems shows that an initial, transtensive rifting phase, affecting a broad area around the future zone of crustal separation, was followed by a pre-oceanic rifting phase during which extensional strain was concentrated on the axial rift zone. This caused lateral graben systems to become inactive and they evolved into rift-rim basins. The transtensive phase of diffuse crustal extension is recognized in many intra-continental rifts. If controlling stress systems relax, these rifts abort and develop into palaeorifts. If controlling stress systems persist, transtensive rift systems can enter the pre-oceanic rifting stage, during which the rift zone narrows and becomes asymmetric as a consequence of simple-shear deformation at shallow crustal levels and pure shear deformation at lower crustal and mantle-lithospheric levels. Preceding crustal separation, extensional denudation of the lithospheric mantle is possible. Progressive lithospheric attenuation entails updoming of the asthenosphere and thermal doming of the rift shoulders. Their uplift provides a major clastic source for the rift basins and the lateral rift-rim basins. Their stratigraphic record provides a sensitive tool for dating the rift shoulder uplift. Asymmetric rifting leads to the formation of asymmetric continental margins, corresponding in a simple-shear model to an upper plate and a conjugate lower plate margin, as seen in the Central Atlantic passive margins of the United States and Morocco. This rifting model can be successfully applied to the analysis of the Alpine Tethys palaeo-margins (such as Rif and the Western Alps).

  12. Tectonics and sedimentology of post-rift anomalous vertical movements: the rifted margin of Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertotti, Giovanni; Charton, Remi; Luber, Tim; Arantegui, Angel; Redfern, Jonathan

    2016-04-01

    Roughly 15 years ago it was discovered that substantial parts of the Morocco passive continental margin experienced km-scale, post-rift exhumation. It was predicted that the sands resulting from the associated erosion would be present in the offshore and potentially form hydrocarbon reservoirs. At the same time, anomalous post-rift vertical movements have been documented in various localities of the world and rifted continental margins are at present exciting objects of research. Following intense research efforts the knowledge of the kinematics of vertical movements and their implications for sedimentary systems is increasing. The low-T geochronology initially limited to the classical Meseta-Massif Ancien de Marrakech transect has been expanded reaching the Reguibate Massif to the S and covering, possibly more importantly, one transect in E-W direction along the Anti Atlas. Exhumation occurred along two dominant trends. In N-S direction a several hundred-kilometers long exhuming domain developed roughly parallel to the Atlantic margin. Changes in magnitude and timing of exhumation are observed along this elevated domain associated with E-W trending undulations. The timing of main stage of upward movement of E-W trending highs seems to be Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous in the Meseta and High Atlas and somewhat older, Early to Middle Jurassic, in the Anti-Atlas and Reguibate. The discovery of E-W trending highs and lows has major implication for sediment distribution and dispersal. At the large scale, it means that the drainage basins were smaller than initially predicted. This seems to be compatible with the paucity of sands encountered by recent exploration wells drilled offshore Morocco. At the scale of several kilometers, W-E trending anticlines and synclines developed in a generally subsiding coastal environment. These folds often had an expression at the sea floor documented by ravinement surfaces and (Jurassic) reef build-ups on top of the anticlines

  13. Deformation and seismicity associated with continental rift zones propagating toward continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyakhovsky, V.; Segev, A.; Schattner, U.; Weinberger, R.

    2012-01-01

    We study the propagation of a continental rift and its interaction with a continental margin utilizing a 3-D lithospheric model with a seismogenic crust governed by a damage rheology. A long-standing problem in rift-mechanics, known as thetectonic force paradox, is that the magnitude of the tectonic forces required for rifting are not large enough in the absence of basaltic magmatism. Our modeling results demonstrate that under moderate rift-driving tectonic forces the rift propagation is feasible even in the absence of magmatism. This is due to gradual weakening and "long-term memory" of fractured rocks that lead to a significantly lower yielding stress than that of the surrounding intact rocks. We show that the style, rate and the associated seismicity pattern of the rift zone formation in the continental lithosphere depend not only on the applied tectonic forces, but also on the rate of healing. Accounting for the memory effect provides a feasible solution for thetectonic force paradox. Our modeling results also demonstrate how the lithosphere structure affects the geometry of the propagating rift system toward a continental margin. Thinning of the crystalline crust leads to a decrease in the propagation rate and possibly to rift termination across the margin. In such a case, a new fault system is created perpendicular to the direction of the rift propagation. These results reveal that the local lithosphere structure is one of the key factors controlling the geometry of the evolving rift system and seismicity pattern.

  14. Rifting, rotation, detachment faulting, and sedimentation: Miocene evolution of the southern California margin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachman, S.B.; Crouch, J.K. (Crouch, Bachman, and Associates, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA (USA))

    1990-05-01

    The evolution of the Los Angeles and adjacent offshore Santa Monica and San Pedro basins of southern California began during the earliest Miocene. The basins formed as the result of rifting and subsequent large scale rotation of segments within a preexisting Mesozoic-Paleogene forearc basin. Clockwise rotation (less than 90{degree}) of the outer two-thirds of this fore-arc basin during the early and middle Miocene moved these once north-trending forearc strata into an east-west trend (the modern Transverse Ranges). The eastern margin of the initial rift remains in its original location and is best documented from outcrop and subsurface data in the San Joaquin Hills. What was once the western margin of the rift has been rotated to a position north of the rift, along the southern Santa Monica Mountains. The early Miocene Vaqueros sandstones. which that are entirely shallow-marine and thousands of feet thick provide evidence for initial subsidence of the rift. Widening of the rift and separation of the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Joaquin Hills in the early and middle Miocene was accompanied by detachment faulting and volcanism along the rift margins. These detachment faults can be documented in the subsurface of the San Joaquin Hills and in outcrop in the Santa Monica Mountains. A unique aspect of this inner borderland rift is the rapid uplift, exposure, erosion, and then subsidence of high pressure/temperature metamorphic basement blocks (Catalina schist) within the rift itself. These basement rocks were buried 20 to 30 km beneath the ancestral fore arc prior to rifting. They were uplifted, perhaps due to thermal effects, during pervasive early and middle Miocene volcanism within the rift. Evidence of these dramatic events is provided by the distinctive San Onofre breccia deposit exposed along the margins of the rift.

  15. Mesozoic rifting and basin inversion along the northern African Tethyan margin: an overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guiraud, R. [Universite de Montpellier II (France). Laboratoire de Geophysique et Tectonique

    1998-12-31

    The northern African Tethyan margin registered three major rifting episodes from the latest Palaeozoic-earliest Mesozoic to the earliest Cenozoic. Break-up of Gondwana was initiated in the late Carboniferous. Along the northern African-Arabian plate margin rifting propagated westward from the northeastern Arabian margin to Morocco during the Permian and Triasssic, and was accompanied by Mid-Late triassi-earliest Liassic extensive alkaline flow basalts. Rifting continued during the Liassic, e.g. in the Moghrebian Atlas troughs. A second stage of rifting occurred in the Late Jurassic and continued into, or was rejuvenated during the Early Cretaceous. Along the east Mediterranean margin, some large E-W trending rifts formed often with associated volcanism, e.g. southern Sirt and Abu Gharadig. Most researchers believe the oceanization of the eastern Mediterranean basin occurred at this time. During the Mesozoic, therefore, the northern margin of the African-Arabian plate registered both rifting resulting in the oceanization of the Tethys and rifting resulting from the initiation of the closure of the Tethys. The intraplate domain exhibited echoes of the tectonic events affecting the margin. (author)

  16. Comparative riftology: insights from crustal structure into the evolution of continental rifts and passive continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kley, Jonas; Stein, Carol; Stein, Seth; Keller, Randy; Wysession, Michael; Frederiksen, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    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 different evolutionary paths. Of particular interest is how volcanic passive margins evolve. These features are characterized by sequences of volcanic rocks yielding magnetic anomalies landward of and sometimes larger than the oldest spreading anomalies. Seaward-dipping reflectors (SDR) occur in stretched continental crust landward of the oldest oceanic crust and are underplated by high-velocity lower crustal bodies. How and when these features form remains unclear. Insights are given by the Midcontinent Rift (MCR), formed by 1.1 Ga rifting of Amazonia from Laurentia, that failed once 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 highly magnetized volcanic section during rifting. Surface exposures and seismic-reflection data in and 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 strong magnetic anomaly. Because the rift formed as a series of alternating half-grabens, structural asymmetries between conjugate margins can naturally occur. Hence the MCR shows that many features form prior to breakup. Because the MCR was massively inverted by regional compression long after it failed and was uplifted, its structure is better known than failed rifts that incurred lesser degrees of inversion. It provides an end member for the evolution of actively extending rifts, characterized by upwelling mantle and negative gravity anomalies, in contrast to failed and inverted rifts without

  17. The magmatic budget of Atlantic type rifted margins: is it related to inheritance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manatschal, Gianreto; Tugend, Julia; Picazo, Suzanne; Müntener, Othmar

    2016-04-01

    In the past, Atlantic type rifted margins were either classified as volcanic or non-volcanic. An increasing number of high quality reflection and refraction seismic surveys and drill hole data show a divergent style of margin architecture and an evolution in which the quantity and distribution of syn-rift magmatism is variable, independently of the amount of extension. Overgeneralized classifications and models assuming simple relations between magmatic and extensional systems are thus inappropriate to describe the formation of rifted margins. More recent studies show that the magmatic evolution of rifted margins is complex and cannot be characterized based on the volume of observed magma alone. On the one hand, so-called "non-volcanic" margins are not necessarily amagmatic, as shown by the results of ODP drilling along the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins. On the other hand, magma-rich margins, such as the Norwegian, NW Australian or the Namibia rifted margins show evidence for hyper-extension prior to breakup. These observations suggest that the magmatic budget does not only depend on extension rates but also on the composition and temperature of the decompressing mantle. Moreover, the fact 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 inheritance may control the magmatic budget during rifting. In our presentation we will review results from the South and North Atlantic and the Alpine Tethys domain and will discuss the structural and magmatic evolution of so-called magma-rich and magma-poor rifted margins. In particular, we will try to define when, where and how much magma forms during rifting and lithospheric breakup. The key questions that we aim to address

  18. Chapter 34: Geology and petroleum potential of the rifted margins of the Canada Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houseknecht, D.W.; Bird, K.J.

    2011-01-01

    Three sides of the Canada Basin are bordered by high-standing, conjugate rift shoulders of the Chukchi Borderland, Alaska and Canada. The Alaska and Canada margins are mantled with thick, growth-faulted sediment prisms, and the Chukchi Borderland contains only a thin veneer of sediment. The rift-margin strata of Alaska and Canada reflect the tectonics and sediment dispersal systems of adjacent continental regions whereas the Chukchi Borderland was tectonically isolated from these sediment dispersal systems. Along the eastern Alaska-southern Canada margin, termed herein the 'Canning-Mackenzie deformed margin', the rifted margin is deformed by ongoing Brooks Range tectonism. Additional contractional structures occur in a gravity fold belt that may be present along the entire Alaska and Canada margins of the Canada Basin. Source-rock data inboard of the rift shoulders and regional palaeogeographic reconstructions suggest three potential source-rock intervals: Lower Cretaceous (Hauterivian-Albian), Upper Cretaceous (mostly Turonian) and Lower Palaeogene. Burial history modelling indicates favourable timing for generation from all three intervals beneath the Alaska and Canada passive margins, and an active petroleum system has been documented in the Canning-Mackenzie deformed margin. Assessment of undiscovered petroleum resources indicates the greatest potential in the Canning-Mackenzie deformed margin and significant potential in the Canada and Alaska passive margins. ?? 2011 The Geological Society of London.

  19. Simple shear detachment fault system and marginal grabens in the southernmost Red Sea rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfaye, Samson; Ghebreab, Woldai

    2013-11-01

    The NNW-SSE oriented Red Sea rift, which separates the African and Arabian plates, bifurcates southwards into two parallel branches, southeastern and southern, collectively referred to as the southernmost Red Sea rift. The southern branch forms the magmatically and seismo-tectonically active Afar rift, while the less active southeastern branch connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden through the strait of Bab el Mandeb. The Afar rift is characterized by lateral heterogeneities in crustal thickness, and along-strike variation in extension. The Danakil horst, a counterclockwise rotating, narrow sliver of coherent continental relic, stands between the two rift branches. The western margin of the Afar rift is marked by a series of N-S aligned right-lateral-stepping and seismo-tectonically active marginal grabens. The tectonic configuration of the parallel rift branches, the alignment of the marginal grabens, and the Danakil horst are linked to the initial mode of stretching of the continental crust and its progressive deformation that led to the breakup of the once contiguous African-Arabian plates. We attribute the initial stretching of the continental crust to a simple shear ramp-flat detachment fault geometry where the marginal grabens mark the breakaway zone. The rift basins represent the ramps and the Danakil horst corresponds to the flat in the detachment fault system. As extension progressed, pure shear deformation dominated and overprinted the initial low-angle detachment fault system. Magmatic activity continues to play an integral part in extensional deformation in the southernmost Red Sea rift.

  20. Long-lasting hydrothermal fluid flow recorded in the Adriatic distal rifted margin: a multi-disciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incerpi, Nicolò; Martire, Luca; Manatschal, Gianreto; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Czuppon, Gyorgy; Gerdes, Axel

    2017-04-01

    The increasing availability of high resolution seismic and deep drill hole data from deep-water distal rifted margins allow to understand the architecture and evolution of these yet little investigated domain. Nonetheless, the thermal evolution of distal rifted margins is poorly constrained although the presence of hydrothermal systems seems to play a key role in determining the heat fluxes. Because of the weak metamorphic overprint and the spectacular exposure, the Adriatic distal margin actually preserved in SE Switzerland, represents a unique opportunity to observe, sample and understand the fluid flow history recorded in this hyperextended domain. A detailed sampling was carried out on Triassic and Jurassic carbonate rocks in two key areas in the Grison region characterized by the presence of extensional allochthons lying onto extensional detachment faults. The main goal of our study was to investigate breccias, cements, veins and replacement minerals within pre- to post-rift sediments that could testify the space and time evolution of rock-fluid interactions. Field evidence, petrography and cathodoluminescence investigations reveal a strong heterogeneity in the composition of the fluids: dolomitization, calcitization, silicification and Fe-Mn oxides coating widely characterize the multistage evolution of the Adriatic distal margin. Different analytical results point to hot fluid systems. Microthermometry on fluid inclusions (Th up to 150-160°C) coupled with O and C isotopic values (δ13C 0‰ to 3‰ VPDB; δ18O -1.00‰ to -14.00‰ VPDB) suggest a hydrothermal origin of the fluids. These data, moreover, are comparable with those of the present-day Iberia continental margin (ODP-Leg-103) where diffuse dolomitization is documented. Sr87/Sr86 isotopic ratios, higher than those of Triassic-Jurassic seawater, imply an important fluid-basement interaction. Finally, trace elements (e.g. Ba, Cr, Ni, V), rare earth elements and He isotopes suggest the presence of

  1. Modelling of sea floor spreading initiation and rifted continental margin formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tymms, V. J.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

    Recent observations of depth dependent (heterogeneous) stretching where upper crustal extension is much less than that of the lower crust and lithospheric mantle at both non-volcanic and volcanic margins plus the discovery of broad domains of exhumed continental mantle at non-volcanic rifted margins are not predicted by existing quantitative models of rifted margin formation which are usually based on intra-continental rift models subjected to very large stretching factors. New conceptual and quantitative models of rifted margin formation are required. Observations and continuum mechanics suggest that the dominant process responsible for rifted continental margin formation is sea-floor spreading of the young ocean ridge, rather than pre-breakup intra-continental rifting. Simple fluid flow models of ocean ridge processes using analytical iso-viscous corner-flow demonstrate that the divergent motion of the upwelling mantle beneath the ocean ridge, when viewed in the reference frame of the young continental margin, shows oceanward flow of the lower continental crust and lithospheric mantle of the young rifted margin giving rise to depth dependent stretching as observed. Single-phase fluid-models have been developed to model the initiation of sea-floor spreading and the thermal, stretching and thinning evolution of the young rifted continental margin. Finite element fluid-flow modelling incorporating the evolving temperature dependent viscosity field on the fluid flow also show depth dependent stretching of the young continental margin. Two-phase flow models of ocean ridges incorporating the transport of both solid matrix and melt fluid (Spiegelman &Reynolds 1999) predict the divergent motion of the asthenosphere and lithosphere matrix, and the focusing of basaltic melt into the narrow axial zone spreading centre at ocean ridges. We are adapting two-phase flow models for application to the initiation of sea-floor spreading and rifted continental margin formation. i

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiffer, Christian; Petersen, Kenni Dinesen

    underlain by high-velocity and density bodies (“Lower Crustal Bodies”, LCBs). A widely accepted theory of the origin of LCBs is that they were emplaced by magmatic underplating at volcanic margins. At the same time mantle serpentinization is thought to create geophysically similar structures at non...... and shows that such structures can ‘survive’ subsequent rifting and continental break up. Our model is a simple alternative that explains observations at passive margins and rift zones by accounting for the observation that most passive margins are sub-parallel to earlier shortening and extension events...

  3. Seawater storage and element transfer associated with mantle serpentinization in magma-poor rifted margins: A quantitative approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Victor Hugo G.; Manatschal, Gianreto; Karpoff, Anne Marie; Ulrich, Marc; Viana, Adriano R.

    2017-02-01

    Continental breakup in magma-poor rifted margins can develop, in some instances, after the formation of a wide exhumed domain that can be several hundreds of km wide. As exhumation of the continental mantle occurs serpentinization, due to seawater circulation, can extend as far down as 5-6 km, as observed in refraction seismic data. The impact caused by the process of serpentinization within the evolving ocean may have the potential to change: (i) seawater chemistry; (ii) sustain the evolution of primitive life; (iii) control depositional environments; and (iv) form weak zones preferentially used during the formation, reactivation and subduction of distal rifted margins. Based on geological observations, and geophysical and geochemical data from present-day and fossil zones of exhumed continental mantle, we present a first-order quantification showing that approximately 0.380 km3 of water per km2 can be stored in the mantle. Using simple methods, it can be shown that serpentinization may account for a significant loss of Si, Mg, Fe, Mn, Ca, Ni and Cr during serpentinization of mantle rocks. In particular during latest stages of rifting, when basins are often restricted and seaways are not yet connected, exhumation and the serpentinization of large areas of continental mantle may result in a major transfer of elements between the main Earth reservoirs, such as the mantle and seawater.

  4. Formation of the volcanic rifted margin off Argentina/Uruguay, South Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franke, D.; Reichert, C.; Ladage, S.; Schnabel, M.; Schreckenberger, B.; Neben, S.; Hinz, K.

    2009-04-01

    The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany has investigated the passive continental margins offshore Argentina and Uruguay since the early 90ies. Numerous marine geophysical surveys have meanwhile established a databasis of more than 25.000 km of regional multi-channel reflection seismic lines, accompanied with magnetic and gravity profiles. These data document that the Early Cretaceous South Atlantic continental break-up and initial sea-floor spreading were accompanied by large-scale, transient volcanism emplacing voluminous extrusives, manifested in the seismic data by huge wedges of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs). These deeply buried and 60-120 km wide SDRs were emplaced episodically as suggested by at least three superimposed SDRS units. Distinct along-margin variations in the architecture, volume, and width of the SDRs wedges correlate with large scale margin segmentation. We identify at least four domains bounded by the Falkland Fracture Zone/Falkland Transfer, the Colorado Transfer, the Ventana Transfer and the Salado Transfer. The individual transfer zones may have acted as barriers for propagating rifts during the SDR emplacement phase, selectively directing rift segments in left stepping patterns along the western South Atlantic margin. The rift segments are offset systematically in a left stepping pattern along the western South Atlantic margin. Albeit we found extensive variations in the architecture, style and extent of the seaward dipping reflector sequences a general trend is that the largest volumes are emplaced close to the proposed transfer zones and the width of the SDRs wedges decreases northward within the individual margin segments. The different volcano-tectonic architectures of the margin segments and the distribution of the extruded magmas indicates that the emplacement of the volcanic material was controlled by the tectonic setting and the pre-rift lithosphere configuration within individual margin

  5. Numerical Models of Salt Tectonics and Associated Thermal Evolution of Rifted Continental Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goteti, R.; Beaumont, C.; Ings, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    Salt tectonics at rifted continental margins reflects the interplay between the geometry of the initial evaporite basin and subsequent mobilization of the salt which is partly controlled by the density and strength of the overburden. Salt mobility is also influenced by the overall thermo-mechanical evolution of the margin which includes factors such as: initial seaward tilt of the margin basement owing to crustal thinning; an initial thermal anomaly owing to the rifting and the subsequent long-term postrift thermal subsidence; and the flexural isostatic response to sedimentation which may reverse the basal tilt. The high thermal conductivity of salt also has a significant impact on the thermal evolution of rifted margin sedimentary basins. We present two-dimensional thermo-mechanical finite element models designed to assess salt mobility and its impact on the thermal evolution of the surrounding sediments and underlying crust in the context of an evolving rifted margin, that includes the processes listed above. Model experiments include: the initial geometry of the rifted margin and the embedded autochthonous salt basin, and its subsequent thermal subsidence, sedimentation and water loading and their flexural response, erosion and, sediment compaction. Salt is mobilized by aggrading sediments with a sinusoidally perturbed surface that represents natural bathymetric unevenness. The model results indicate that the presence of a highly conductive salt layer perturbs the initial thermal structure of the rifted margin resulting in a negative thermal anomaly beneath the autochthonous salt basin. For a given thickness of the salt layer, the depth of this perturbation increases with the width of the salt basin. Flow of salt initially occurs by gliding owing to the initial seaward tilt of the margin which is enhanced by thermal subsidence as the margin cools and, subsequently by a combination of gliding and gravitational spreading when loaded by aggrading sediments. Uneven

  6. Anomalous subsidence at South China Sea rifted margin: Sediments digging their own hole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, Sascha; Clift, Peter; Quinteros, Javier

    2015-04-01

    Rifted continental margins subside as a consequence of combined crustal thinning and mantle lithosphere cooling. While standard models predict a slowing of subsidence after the end of rifting, the deep basins on the northern margin of the South China Sea, notably the Baiyun Sag exhibit subsidence that accelerated several million years after the end of active extension. Additionally, backstripping analysis at the South China margin has shown that the amount of subsidence is much greater than that predicted from the degree of brittle upper crustal extension seen in seismic profiles. Here we explain these observations by linking climate change onshore and deformation of the crystalline crust offshore: Early Miocene monsoon intensification increased erosion and thus the sediment flux to offshore basins after the cessation of active extension. When the sediment load encountered the weak crust of the South China Sea margin, it induced lower crustal flow away from the basin axis so that the deep Baiyun basin was formed nearly without brittle extension. We corroborate this concept using seismic observations and backstripping techniques, as well as thermo-mechanical forward modeling. The numerical forward model is a 2D version of the finite element code SLIM3D. The code includes nonlinear temperature- and stress-dependent elasto-visco-plastic rheology and is able to reproduces a wide range of rift-related deformation processes such as flexure, lower crustal flow, and faulting. We find that two factors allow to satisfy the observational constraints: (1) Post-rift increase of sediment load: The East Asian Summer Monsoon strengthened around the start of the Miocene (~23 Ma), several million years after continental rupture. Changes in the flora of continental China date from around this time and sedimentation rates across continental margins and deltas in South and Southeast Asia increased, as might be expected under the influence of heavier precipitation driving faster erosion

  7. New Low-Temperature Thermochronology Reveals Contrasting Modes of Continental Extension Across the Sonoran Rifted Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, B. P.; Fletcher, J. M.; Gleadow, A. J.; Calmus, T.; Nourse, J. A.

    2003-12-01

    The Sonoran rifted margin extends 250 km from the western flanks of the Sierra Madre Occidental to the Gulf of California and contains a classic Basin and Range morphology that indicates "broad-rift" mode of continental extension. However, new low-temperature thermochronology reveals that the Sonoran rifted margin is also internally composed of at least two temporally and spatially distinct belts that display other distinct styles of extension. Mountain ranges that lie within a narrow belt (20 km wide) along the coast of the Gulf of California between Puerto Libertad and Bahia Kino yield highly discordant apatite fission track (AFT) ages that range from 5 to 54 Ma and likely reflect the strong tilting of these tectonic blocks. The widespread occurrence of AFT ages between 5 and 7 Ma, which are typically found in the deepest crustal levels of the tilt blocks, and the presence of Quaternary scarps indicate that extension in the coastal region largely occurred from late Miocene to recent times. We infer that this belt is dominated by a "narrow-rift" mode of extension where deformation has been focused to produce the Gulf depression. Well inland from the coast (175 km east) is a belt of metamorphic core complexes that extends more than 200 km from Magdalena to Mazatan and typically yields older and more concordant AFT ages from 14 to 23 Ma. However, the presence of ages as young as 8 to 11 Ma indicate that the "metamorphic-core-complex" mode of extension in this belt likely overlapped in time with the "narrow-rift" mode of extension in the Gulf of California. We conclude that the juxtaposition of major deformation belts each with different modes of continental extension reflects the diverse processes that have affected the Sonoran margin through time.

  8. On the differences in continental rifting at the Earth, Mars and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikishin, A. M.; Milanovsky, E. E.

    1985-01-01

    During the process of continental rifting on Earth, the lower ductile crust stretches, forming a neck, while the upper brittle crust is broken in blocks by faults, and the blocks sink down the thinned lower crust; if the stretching continues, the neck may break and a newly originated oceanic crust is formed at this place. The rift system structure depends on the depth of the boundary surface between the brittle crust and the ductile crust, the litospheric thickness, the tension value, etc.. The rigid brittle rifting when narrow necks form in the lower crust is characteristic of the contemporary Earth; on Mars the brittle rifting with large subsidence was characteristic of the Tharsis upland formation epoch. The ductile rifting is typical of the Venus. The differences in rheologic features of the lithospheres of different planets causes the variation in types of rifting.

  9. Can rifting evolution and passive margins architecture be driven by relative rheological heterogeneities? Insight from analogue modelling focused on South Atlantic margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappelletti, Alessio; Nestola, Yago; Tsikalas, Filippos; Salvi, Francesca; Argnani, Andrea; Cavozzi, Crisitan; Meda, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Crustal transect joined with lithospherical-scale analogue experiments are used to unreveal the evolution of the Central Segment of the South Atlantic margin. Specifically we analized the Santos and Campos basins along the Brazilian margin, where crustal inhomogeneities affects both rifting evolution and structural architecture of the conjugate margins. The results show that heterogeneities located within the lower crust can have a remarkable impact on the along-margin segmentation promoting focused and deeper basins related to a relatively "weak" rheology, and articulated basins with horsts and grabens in response to a relative "strong" rheology on the equivalent parts of the conjugate pairs. At the early-stage of rift evolution the deformation is concentrated at the proximal margin. At this stage, if a weak lower crust rheology heterogeneity exists, a main deep listric half-graben fault and associated thick and wedge shaped syn-rift basin sequences are developed; on the contrary, a strong lower crust rheology produce a more planar, rotated, domino-type faulted basins with thinner sequences directly controlled by the individual fault-blocks. At the late-stage rift evolution, once the effects of the initial crustal rheology inhomogeneities are reduced due to the lithosperic thinning process, the outer margin records a late syn-rift sequence which shows comparable thicknesses for both cases of lower crust rheologies. This tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the rifting process gives rise to along-margin alterations in symmetry versus asymmetry of the width and structural architecture. The presented models show that the tectono-stratigraphic evolution of rifting process can produces along margin switching of width and structural architecture. The change in architecture is due to the relative rheological contrast with respect to the surrounding in the lower crust. This produces a different, "relative", behavior for the lower crust if next to "weak" or to "strong

  10. The Angola-Gabon rifted margin: reappraisal of the upper- and lower-plate concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peron-Pinvidic, Gwenn; Manatschal, Gianreto; Masini, Emmanuel; Sutra, Emilie; Flament, Jean Marie; Haupert, Isabelle; Unternehr, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    In this contribution we summarize observations from the South Atlantic Angola-Gabon rifted margin. Our study is based on interpretation of a selection of deep penetration depth migrated seismic reflection profiles. We describe the dip architecture of the margin under five structural domains (proximal, necking, distal, outer and oceanic), listing their characteristics. We further explain the necking domain and discuss the architecture of the distal domain as a combination of hyper-extended crust and exhumed mantle. The mapping and characterization of these domains permit to illustrate the along strike structural and stratigraphic variability of the margin. We interpret this variability as the result of a shift from an upper-plate setting (central segment, South Congo to North Angola) to lower-plate settings (southward with the inner Kwanza Basin, and northward with the Gabon Basin). The transfer from one setting to the other is either sharp, typified by a major regional normal fault on the northern flank of a (residual) H-block, identified offshore Cabinda-Zaire, or more diffuse southward. First order screening of conjugate profiles confirmed the segmentation and the structural characteristics of the transfer zones. The studied dataset also permitted identifying key sections that can be considered as type-examples of upper-plate and lower-plate settings, what permits us reviewing the characteristics of upper- and lower-plate rifted margins.

  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. Mapping rift domains within an inverted hyperextended rift system: The role of rift inheritance in controlling the present-day structure of the North Iberian margin (Bay of Biscay)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadenas, Patricia; Fernández-Viejo, Gabriela; Álvarez-Pulgar, Javier; Tugend, Julie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Minshull, Tim

    2017-04-01

    This study presents a new rift domain map in the central and western North Iberian margin, in the southern Bay of Biscay. This margin was structured during polyphase Triassic to Lower Cretaceous rifting events which led to hyperextension and exhumation and the formation of oceanic crust during a short-lived seafloor spreading period. Extension was halted due to the Alpine convergence between the Iberian and the European plates which led to the formation of the Cantabrian-Pyrenean orogen during the Cenozoic. In the Bay of Biscay, while the northern Biscay margin was slightly inverted, the North Iberian margin, which is at present-day part of the western branch of the Alpine belt together with the Cantabrian Mountains, exhibits several degrees of compressional reactivation. This makes this area a natural laboratory to study the influence of rift inheritance into the inversion of a passive margin. Relying on the interpretation of geological and geophysical data and the integration of wide-angle results, we have mapped five rift domains, corresponding to the proximal, necking, hyperthinned, exhumed mantle, and oceanic domains. One of the main outcomes of this work is the identification of the Asturian Basin as part of a hyperthinned domain bounded to the north by the Le Danois basement high. We interpret Le Danois High as a rift-related crustal block inherited from the margin structure. Our results suggest that the inherited rift architecture controlled the subsequent compressional reactivation. The hyperextended domains within the abyssal plain focused most of the compression resulting in the development of an accretionary wedge and the underthrusting of part of these distal domains beneath the margin. The presence of the Le Danois continental block added complexity, conditioning the inversion undergone by the Asturian Basin. This residual block of less thinned continental crust acted as a local buttress hampering further compressional reactivation within the platform

  13. Long-distance impact of Iceland plume on Norway's rifted margin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koptev, Alexander; Cloetingh, Sierd; Burov, Evgueni; François, Thomas; Gerya, Taras

    2017-09-04

    Results of a 3D modeling study inspired by recent seismic tomography of the Northern Atlantic mantle suggest that a complex pattern of hot mantle distribution with long horizontal flows originating from the Iceland mantle plume has been the norm in the geological past. In the Northern Atlantic the Iceland plume has a strong long-distance impact on intraplate deformation affecting both onshore and offshore parts of Norway's rifted margin. As a result, this margin is characterized by large magnitude differential topography sustained over at least several tens of Myr. Here we use high-resolution 3D thermo-mechanical modeling to demonstrate that the long-distance plume impact can be explained by its fast lateral propagation controlled by pre-existing lithosphere structures. Numerical models show that these structures strongly affect the style of horizontal flow of plume head material. This results in long-distance propagation of hot material emplaced at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary causing long-wavelength anomalies in onshore topography of Norway's rifted margin. Short-wavelength offshore topographic domes are likely caused by joint occurrence of plume-related thermal perturbations and gravitational forces related to plate thickening (ridge push). Our 3D modeling brings together plume impingement, spreading ridge dynamics, and the formation of anomalous intraplate structures offshore Norway in one scenario.

  14. 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.

    2013-01-01

    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 li

  15. Depth-dependent extension, two-stage breakup and depleted lithospheric counterflow at rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2014-05-01

    Uniform lithospheric extension predicts basic properties of non-volcanic rifted margins but fails to explain other important characteristics. Significant discrepancies are observed at 'type I' margins (such as the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugates), where large tracts of continental mantle lithosphere are exposed at the sea floor, and 'type II' margins (such as some ultrawide central South Atlantic margins), where thin continental crust spans wide regions below which continental lower crust and mantle lithosphere have apparently been removed. Neither corresponds to uniform extension. Instead, either crust or mantle lithosphere has been preferentially removed. Using dynamical models, we demonstrate that these margins are opposite end members: in type I, depth-dependent extension results in crustal-necking breakup before mantle-lithosphere breakup and in type II, the converse is true. These two-layer, two-stage breakup behaviours explain the discrepancies and have implications for the styles of the associated sedimentary basins. Laterally flowing lower-mantle lithosphere may underplate both type I and type II margins, thereby contributing to their anomalous characteristics.

  16. The Role of Magmatic and Volcanic Loads in Generating Seaward Dipping Reflector Structures on Volcanic Rifted Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, X.; Buck, W. R.

    2016-12-01

    The largest volcanic constructs on Earth are the seismically imaged seaward dipping reflector (SDR) units found offshore of many rifted continental margins, including a large portion that border the Atlantic Ocean. There is considerable controversy over whether their formation requires large offset (i.e. 10s of km) normal faults or not. Although there is some evidence for faulting in association with SDRs, we here show that a wide range of SDRs structures can be produced solely by volcanic loading. To do this we first derive a simple analytic description of a particular type of volcanic construct. We assume that the increase in density when fluid magma in a dike solidifies provides load at the rift center onto the end of a lithospheric plate. Extrusives are assumed to form flat-topped layers that fill in the flexural depression produced by the load of the solidified dike. The thin-plate flexure approximation is used to calculate the deflections due to the vertical load. This simple model produces structures similar to the observed SDRs. Expressions for the maximum thickness of the volcanic pile and the dip of an individual SDR are derived in terms of the flexure parameter and material densities. Asymmetry of SDR units seen across some conjugate margins can be explained with this model if periodic offsets, or jumps of the center of magmatism are included. In addition, we developed a numerical model of lithospheric extension, magma intrusion and volcanism with a temperature dependent elasto-viscous and brittle-plastic rheology. Results of these 2D cross-sectional models with fixed thermal structure confirm the qualitative predictions of the analytic model without the simplified uniform plate assumption. Preliminary results suggest that the rapid subsidence of SDRs, inferred for some rifted margins, can occur if magma is supplied only to the brittle upper layer and the hot weak lower crust is thinned by stretching. This numerical approach may also allow us to test

  17. Constraining lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup for the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    A kinematic model of lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation has been used to investigate lithosphere stretching and thinning modes during continental rifting leading to breakup and seafloor spreading. The model has been applied to two conjugate profiles across the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins and quantitatively calibrated using observed present-day water loaded subsidence and crustal thickness, together with observed mantle exhumation, subsidence and melting generation histories. The kinematic model uses an evolving prescribed flow-field to deform the lithosphere and asthenosphere leading to lithospheric breakup from which continental crustal thinning, lithosphere thermal evolution, decompression melt initiation and subsidence are predicted. We explore the sensitivity of model predictions to extension rate history, deformation migration and buoyancy induced upwelling. The best fit calibrated models of lithosphere deformation evolution for the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins require; (1) an initial broad region of lithosphere deformation with passive upwelling, (2) lateral migration of deformation, (3) an increase in extension rate with time, (4) focussing of the deformation and (5) buoyancy induced upwelling. The model prediction of exhumed mantle at the Iberia-Newfoundland margins, as observed, requires a critical threshold of melting to be exceeded before melt extraction. The preferred calibrated models predict faster extension rates and earlier continental crustal separation and mantle exhumation for the Iberia Abyssal Plain-Flemish Pass conjugate margin profile than for the Galicia Bank-Flemish Cap profile to the north. The predicted N-S differences in the deformation evolution give insights into the 3D evolution of Iberia-Newfoundland margin crustal separation.

  18. Late Paleozoic sedimentation and tectonics of rift and limited ocean basin at southern margin of the Qinling

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孟庆任; 张国伟; 于在平; 梅志超

    1996-01-01

    The rifting and occurrence of limited oceanic basin at southern margin of Qinling separated south Qinling from Yangtze Block in late Paleozoic. Detailed sedimentary studies were carried out at two localities at southern flank of this rift-limited oceanic basin zone. and depositional architectures were then established accordingly. The results show that tectono-sedimentary stories are differing in different positions but clearly demonstrate spatial development of the rift. It is obvious that the rift in west part of Mianlue underwent two developmentary phases, early rapid subsidence and late slow subsidence, and there occurred breakup unconformity between the seccessions of the two subsidence phases. Combined with the data of structural, geochemical and chronological studies on the ophiolitic complex within the Mianlue zone. it is demonstrated that the rifting-drifting transition occurred, leading to the development of limited oceanic basin during the late Paleazoic. Spatial and temporal evolution of the

  19. Constraining lithosphere deformation mode evolution for the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    The deformation of lithosphere and asthenosphere and its evolution during continental rifting leading to breakup and seafloor spreading initiation is poorly understood. The resulting margin architecture and OCT structure is complex and diverse, and observations at magma poor margins includes hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, detachments faults, exhumed mantle, continental slivers and scattered embryonic oceanic crust. A coupled kinematic-dynamic model of lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation has been used to investigate the sequence of lithosphere deformation modes for 2 conjugate margin profiles for the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins. We use the observed water-loaded subsidence and crustal thickness, together with subsidence history and the age of melt generation, to test and constrain lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation models. A sequence of lithosphere deformation modes is represented by a succession of flow-fields, which are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FE-Margin), and is used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FE-Margin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the upper 15-20 km of the lithosphere inducing passive upwelling below. Buoyancy enhanced upwelling (e.g. Braun et al. 2000) is also kinematically included. The methodology of Katz et al., 2003 is used to predict melt generation by decompressional melting. The magnitude of extension used in the modelling is consistent with that proposed by Sutra et al (2013). The best fit calibrated models of lithosphere deformation evolution for the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins require (i) an initial broad region of lithosphere deformation and passive upwelling, (ii) lateral migration of deformation, (iii) an increase in extension rate with time, (iv) focussing of deformation and (v) buoyancy induced upwelling. The preferred calibrated models predict faster extension rates and earlier continental crustal rupture and

  20. The Eastern Sardinian Margin (Tyrrhenian Sea, Western Mediterranean) : a key area to study the rifting and post-breakup evolution of a back-arc passive continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaullier, Virginie; Chanier, Frank; Vendeville, Bruno; Maillard, Agnès; Thinon, Isabelle; Graveleau, Fabien; Lofi, Johanna; Sage, Françoise

    2016-04-01

    The Eastern Sardinian passive continental margin formed during the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is a back-arc basin created by continental rifting and oceanic spreading related to the eastward migrating Apennine subduction system (middle Miocene to Pliocene). Up to now, rifting in this key area was considered to be pro parte coeval with the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.96-5.32 Ma). We use the MSC seismic markers and the deformation of viscous salt and its brittle overburden as proxies to better delineate the timing of rifting and post-rift reactivation, and especially to quantify vertical and horizontal movements. On this young, highly-segmented margin, the Messinian Erosion Surface and the Upper and Mobile Units are systematically associated, respectively, to basement highs and deeper basins, showing that a rifted deep-sea domain already existed by Messinian times, therefore a major pre-MSC rifting episode occurred across the entire domain. Data show that there are no signs of Messinian syn-rift sediments, hence no evidence for rifting after Late Tortonian times. Moreover, because salt tectonics creates fan-shaped geometries in sediments, syn-rift deposits have to be carefully re-examined to distinguish the effects of crustal tectonics (rifting) and salt tectonics. We also precise that rifting is clearly diachronous from the upper margin (East-Sardinia Basin) to the lower margin (Cornaglia Terrace) with two unconformities, attributed respectively to the necking and to the lithospheric breakup unconformities. The onshore part of the upper margin has been recently investigated in order to characterize the large crustal faults affecting the Mesozoic series (geometry, kinematics and chronology) and to decipher the role of the structural inheritance and of the early rifting. Seaward, we also try to constrain the architecture and timing of the continent-ocean transition, between the hyper-extended continental crust and the first oceanic crust. Widespread

  1. Major types of deep-water reservoirs from the Eastern Brazilian rift and passive margin basis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruhn, Carlos H.L. [PETROBRAS S.A., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Exploracao e Producao

    1999-07-01

    Turbidites and associated deep-water facies comprise the most important petroleum reservoirs in Brazil. They contain in place volumes of 57.2 billion bbl of oil, and 27.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, and total reserves of 12.5 billion bbl of oil, and 8.3 trillion cubic feet of gas. Brazilian petroleum-bearing turbidites occur in Carboniferous/Permian, glaciomarine pre-rift (interior cratonic) successions, Neocomian to Aptian, lacustrine rift successions and Upper Albian to Lower Miocene, marine passive margin successions. Most of the petroleum accumulations are distributed along the eastern Brazilian margin, which tectonic and sedimentary evolution is linked to the Neocomian breakup of Gondwana and the subsequent opening of the South Atlantic Ocean. Turbidites comprise 553 production zones from 171 oil and/or gas fields, mostly concentrated in the Campos, Reconcavo, Sergipe/Alagoas, and Espirito Santo basins. This paper presents an overview of the sedimentary facies, high-resolution stratigraphy, sand body geometry, and reservoir heterogeneities of the major types of Brazilian deep-water reservoirs, which include gravel/sand-rich, turbidite channel complexes, though-confined, gravel/sand-rich turbidite lobes, gravel/sand-rich turbidite and debrite aprons, deposits of sand-rich, lacustrine density underflows, deposits of sand/mud-rich debris flows, and deposits of sandy bottom currents. (author)

  2. Magma Rich Events at Magma-Poor Rifted Margins: A South-East Indian Example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harkin, Caroline; Kusznir, Nick; Tugend, Julie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Horn, Brian

    2016-04-01

    The south-east Indian continental rifted margin, as imaged by the INE1-1000 deep long-offset seismic reflection section by ION Geophysical, is a classic example of a magma-poor rifted margin, showing highly thinned continental crust, or possibly exhumed mantle, within the ocean-continent transition (OCT). Outboard, the steady-state oceanic crust is between 4 and 5 km thickness, consistent with magma-poor continental breakup and sea-floor spreading. It is therefore surprising that between the hyper-extended crust showing thin or absent continental crust (of approximately 75 km width) and the anomalously thin steady-state oceanic crust, there appears to be a region of thicker magmatic crust of approximately 11 km thickness and 100 km width. Magmatic events, at or just after continental breakup, have also been observed at other magma-poor rifted margins (e.g. NE Brazil). This interpretation of magma-poor OCT structure and thinner than global average oceanic crust separated by thicker magmatic crust on the SE Indian margin is supported by gravity inversion; which uses a 3D spectral technique and includes a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction. Residual depth anomaly (RDA) analysis corrected for sediment loading using flexural backstripping, gives a small negative value (approximately -0.1 km) over the steady-state oceanic crust compared with a positive value (approximately +0.3 km) over the thicker magmatic crust. This RDA difference is consistent with the variation in crustal thickness seen by the seismic reflection interpretation and gravity inversion. We use joint inversion of the time domain seismic reflection and gravity data to investigate the average basement density and seismic velocity of the anomalously thick magmatic crust. An initial comparison of Moho depth from deep long-offset seismic reflection data and gravity inversion suggests that its basement density and seismic velocity are slightly less than that of the outboard steady-state oceanic

  3. A Cambrian Arc Built on the Neoproterozoic Rifted Margin of Gondwana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musgrave, R. J.

    2009-12-01

    Cambrian convergence along the northeastern side of the Curnamona Craton, the Gondwana margin in southeastern Australia, resulted in the development of the Delamerian Orogen. A Neoproterozoic rifted margin, marked by the alkalic Mount Arrowsmith Volcanics, forms the substrate on which is built a NE-facing Cambrian arc, complete with a clearly delineated inner imbricate accretionary prism (the Wonnaminta Zone) and outer thin-skinned wedge (the Kayrunnera Zone). Arc volcanism, represented by the calc-alkaline Mount Wright Volcanics, exhibits mixed arc-rift geochemistry. Interpretation and modelling of magnetic data reveals a chain of volcanic edifices of the Mount Wright Arc, now below 3 to 7 km of Devonian sandstones in the Bancannia Trough. Remarkably, a simple rotation around an Euler pole reconstructs the Wonnaminta Zone against the craton, and aligns structural elements on the two sides of the trough. Arc volcanism evidently occupied a rift in marginal continental crust, and the geometry, geochemistry and geophysical properties of the Mount Wright Arc are closely analogous to the Taupo Zone of New Zealand. Rifting of the arc divided Delamerian structures, indicating that at least part of the Delamerian deformation developed in a subduction accretion setting, rather than in some terminal collision. Below the Wonnaminta Zone a 3 to 5 km thick body can be traced as a large magnetic source along the length of the zone. Overridden by the thrust stack of the accretionary prism, this body is mostly planar and dips towards the east, although it is deformed into a broad antiform in the central part of the zone. Physical properties suggest that this body may be a thick rift-volcanic pile equivalent to the Mount Arrowsmith Volcanics. In the southern part of the belt a re-entrant in the Wonnaminta Zone faces a large magnetic anomaly sourced in the basement of the Kayrunnera Zone. The geometry of the re-entrant, and the development of Silurian and Devonian basins over the

  4. Volcanic margin formation and Mesozoic rift propagators in the Cuvier Abyssal Plain off Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihut, Dona; Müller, R. Dietmar

    1998-11-01

    The western margin of Australia is characterized by synrift and postrift magmatism which is not well understood. A joint interpretation of magnetic anomaly, satellite gravity anomaly and seismic data from the Cuvier Abyssal Plain and margin shows that the breakup between India and Australia started circa 136 Ma (M14) and was followed by two rift propagation events which transferred portions of the Indian Plate to the Australian Plate. Post breakup magmatism continued with the emplacement of the Wallaby and Zenith plateaus (˜17-18 km thick at their centers) along a transform margin. Two narrow magmatic edifices adjacent to the Wallaby Plateau (Sonne and Sonja ridges) represent an extinct ridge and a pseudofault, respectively. They formed by excess volcanism, probably by lateral migration of buoyant melt along upside-down crustal drainage channels from the melt source underneath the Wallaby Plateau. In a mantle plume scenario a small plume (˜400 km diameter) located underneath the rift could have locally uplifted the Bernier Platform and Exmouth Sub-basin in the Early Cretaceous and left a track consistent with the azimuth of the Wallaby and Zenith plateaus. In this case, ridge-plume interaction would have caused two consecutive ridge propagation events towards the plume while the ridge moved away from the hotspot. The abrupt end of the hotspot track west of the Zenith Plateau would be a consequence of the accelerating south-eastward motion of the spreading ridge relative to the mantle after 120 Ma, leaving the mantle plume underneath the Indian Plate. An alternative nonmantle-plume scenario is based on the observation that between breakup and chron M0 (˜120 Ma) the ocean crust in the southern Cuvier Abyssal Plain was formed while the spreading ridge abutted Indian continental crust. Small-scale convection may have been initiated during rifting in the Early Cretaceous and maintained until the Wallaby-Zenith ridge-transform intersection passed by the eastern edge

  5. 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

    of the Moho topography and crustal thickness which were compiled from results of pseudo‐3‐D gravity modelling. The maps show minimum crustal thicknesses (11 km) and maximum Moho uplifts in areas where the NNW‐/NW‐ and NNE‐striking structures interact. Moreover, a strong correlation is found between Moho...... in the Davis Strait, in particular expressed by the ∼1000‐km‐long Ungava Fault Zone. Fylla Bank, part of the southern West Greenland continental margin, is located in the northernmost Labrador Sea at the transition between the normal and shear rifting regimes of the Labrador Sea and Davis Strait. As such...... are interpreted to be the result of an initial late‐Early Cretaceous rift phase, which mainly resulted in the formation of the NNW‐/NW‐striking structures, and a subsequent early Campanian rift phase, mainly resulting in the formation of large NNE‐striking rotated fault blocks. Resumed rifting in the early...

  6. India-East Antarctica conjugate margins: rift-shear tectonic setting inferred from gravity and bathymetry data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chand, Shyam; Radhakrishna, M.; Subrahmanyam, C.

    2001-02-01

    The Eastern Continental Margin of India (ECMI) has evolved as a consequence of breakup of India from East Antarctica during the Early Cretaceous (ca. 130 Ma). The conjugate margin of ECMI in East Antarctica is represented by the margin extending from Gunneris Ridge in the west to about 95°E in the east. To understand the isostatic compensation mechanism operating beneath these conjugate margins, we have examined the cross spectral correlation between gravity and bathymetry along 21 profiles across the ECMI and 16 profiles across the conjugate East Antarctica Margin using both ship and satellite-derived gravity data. The ECMI is considered as a composite of two segments, one north of 16°N extending beyond 20°N, which is based on its rifted margin character, and the other, south of 16°N extending up to Sri Lanka, which has a transform-rift character. Similarly, the conjugate margin of East Antarctica is also considered to be a composite of two segments, west and east of the central bulge at 50-55°E. Admittance analysis and comparison with various isostatic models suggest a flexural plate model with an elastic thickness of 10-25 km for the northern segment of ECMI and its conjugate segment which is the east Enderby land Margin, comparable to results obtained from the eastern North American Margin. For the southern segment of ECMI, low elastic plate thickness of less than 5 km or a local compensation is obtained with matching results for the west Enderby land Margin. These, in turn, appear comparable to the low Te values inferred for the Ghana transform margin of North Africa and Grand Banks Margin of eastern Canada, thereby indicating that the southern segment of ECMI and its conjugate in East Antarctica have developed as a consequence of shearing rather than rifting in the early stages of continental separation.

  7. Complex patterns of faulting revealed by 3D seismic data at the West Galicia rifted margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reston, Timothy; Cresswell, Derren; Sawyer, Dale; Ranero, Cesar; Shillington, Donna; Morgan, Julia; Lymer, Gael

    2015-04-01

    The west Galicia margin is characterised by crust thinning to less than 3 km, well-defined fault blocks, which overlie a bright reflection (the S reflector) generally interpreted as a tectonic Moho. The margin exhibits neither voluminous magmatism nor thick sediment piles to obscure the structures and the amount of extension. As such is represents an ideal location to study the process of continental breakup both through seismic imaging and potentially through drilling. Prestack depth migration of existing 2D profiles has strongly supported the interpretation of the S reflector as both a detachment and as the crust-mantle boundary; wide-angle seismic has also shown that the mantle beneath S is serpentinised. Despite the quality of the existing 2D seismic images, a number of competing models have been advanced to explain the formation of this margin, including sequential faulting, polyphase faulting, multiple detachments and the gravitational collapse of the margin over exhumed mantle. As these models, all developed for the Galicia margin, have been subsequently applied to other margins, distinguishing between them has implications not only for the structure of the Galicia margin but for the process of rifting through to breakup more generally. To address these issues in summer of 2013 we collected a 3D combined seismic reflection and wide-angle dataset over this margin. Here we present some of the results of ongoing processing of the 3D volume, focussing on the internal structure of some of the fault blocks that overlies the S detachment. 2D processing of the data shows a relatively simple series of tilted fault block, bound by west-dipping faults that detach downwards onto the bright S reflector. However, inspection of the 3D volume produced by 3D pre-stack time migration reveals that the fault blocks contain a complex set of sedimentary packages, with strata tilted to the east, west, north and south, each package bound by faults. Furthermore, the top of crustal

  8. Basement - Cover decoupling and progressive exhumation of metamorphic sediments at hot rifted margin. Insights from the Northeastern Pyrenean analog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerc, Camille; Lagabrielle, Yves; Labaume, Pierre; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude; Vauchez, Alain; Nalpas, Thierry; Bousquet, Romain; Ballard, Jean-François; Lahfid, Abdeltif; Fourcade, Serge

    2016-08-01

    We compile field data collected along the eastern part of the North Pyrenean Zone (NPZ) to point to a tectonic evolution under peculiar thermal conditions applying to the basin sediments in relation with the opening of the Cretaceous Pyrenean rift. Based on this compilation, we show that when thinning of the continental crust increased, isotherms moved closer to the surface with the result that the brittle-ductile transition propagated upward and reached sediments deposited at the early stage of the basin opening. During the continental breakup, the pre-rift Mesozoic cover was efficiently decoupled from the Paleozoic basement along the Triassic evaporite level and underwent drastic ductile thinning and boudinage. We suggest that the upper Albian and upper Cretaceous flysches acted as a blanket allowing temperature increase in the mobile pre-rift cover. Finally, we show that continuous spreading of the basin floor triggered the exhumation of the metamorphic, ductily sheared pre-rift cover, thus contributing to the progressive thinning of the sedimentary pile. In a second step, we investigate the detailed geological records of such a hot regime evolution along a reference-section of the eastern NPZ. We propose a balanced restoration from the Mouthoumet basement massif (north) to the Boucheville Albian basin (south). This section shows a north to south increase in the HT Pyrenean imprint from almost no metamorphic recrystallization to more than 600 °C in the pre- and syn-rift sediments. From this reconstruction, we propose a scenario of tectonic thinning involving the exhumation of the pre-rift cover by the activation of various detachment surfaces at different levels in the sedimentary pile. In a third step, examination of the architecture of current distal passive margin domains provides confident comparison between the Pyrenean case and modern analogs. Finally, we propose a general evolutionary model for the pre-rift sequence of the Northeastern Pyrenean rifted

  9. Rheological implications of sediment transport for continental rifting and its impact in margin geometry and major unconformities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andres-Martinez, Miguel; Perez-Gussinye, Marta; Armitage, John; Morgan, Jason

    2016-04-01

    The inner dynamics of the Earth such as mantle convection, geochemical reactions and isostasy have been typically interpreted as the main engine of plate tectonics and crustal deformation. However, nowadays it is well established that processes transporting material along the surface of the Earth influence the inner dynamics. Surface processes play a key role particularly during rifting, where great subsidence rates occur at synrift basins while shoulder uplift provides rock to be eroded for later infilling of these basins. Erosion implies unloading of the crust which favours uplift, and sedimentation at basins results in loading which favours subsidence. Consequently, erosion and sedimentation amplify stresses and the flexural response of the lithosphere in situations with extensive faulting. These changes to the stress field may be large enough to result in changes in the evolution of rifting and its modes of extension. Additionally, higher subsidence rates and thermal blanketing due to sediments may result in higher geotherms and consequently, a weaker/more-viscous behaviour of the crustal rocks. This would also have a large impact on the deformation style during extension. Here, we explore the interactions between surface processes and tectonics using numerical modelling. Experiments are run with the absence of sediment transport and with different sediment transport regimes for 35 and 40 km crustal thicknesses. Tests with higher transport coefficient show more effective localization of deformation into upper crustal faults which results in effective crustal thinning, larger blocks and longer-lived faults. Our experiments also prove that more effective surface processes reduce the length of margins generated by sequential faulting. For our end member situations, high sedimentation rates lead to pure shear extension of the crust induced by high temperatures, which finally results in broad extension and symmetric margins. Furthermore, our model allows for the

  10. Natural resources and their prospects in the closed basins of rift valley marginal grabens in northern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meaza, Hailemariam; Frankl, Amaury; Poesen, Jean; Zenebe, Amanuel; Deckers, Jozef; Vaneetvelde, Veerle; Lanckriet, Sil; Nyssen, Jan

    2016-04-01

    With increasing population, producing more food and fibers has led to an expansion of the area under cultivation. For this, much attention is given to low-lying flat areas in search of suitable agricultural lands. The objectives of this paper are therefore: (1) to review the opportunities and challenges of natural resources in the marginal grabens for rural development; (2) to highlight the knowledge gaps and priorities in research and development in the marginal grabens, and (3) to supplement the literature review through repeat transect walks, focus group discussions and interviews across the western rift valley of northern Ethiopia. The paper shows that marginal grabens along the rift valleys are rich both in blue and green water resources due to their topographical and geological characteristics. Spate irrigation has been a growing water management practice to respond to soil moisture deficit. Besides, marginal grabens are fertile plains as a result of alluvial deposition that could be suitable for agricultural development. However, rainfall variability and groundwater withdrawal lead to graben basin closure and salinization. Notably, riverbed incisions and sediment deposition affects drainage systems and water supply in the marginal grabens. As a result, socioeconomic and natural capital of the marginal graben farmers are continuously threatened. Thus, the benefits of natural resources for rural development in the marginal grabens along the rift valley can be optimized if the current bottlenecks are converted into opportunities. A better understanding of the complex marginal graben system via a robust land evaluation framework will improve livelihoods of the communities that live in the (closed) marginal grabens. Keywords: population pressure, marginal grabens, endorheic lakes, salinization, Ethiopia

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

    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 dippingsteeply 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.

  14. Tectono-magmatic evolution at distal magma-poor rifted margins: insights of the lithospheric breakup at the Australia-Antarctica margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillard, Morgane; Autin, Julia; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2015-04-01

    The discovery of large domains of hyper-extended continental crust and exhumed mantle along many present-day magma-poor rifted margins questions the processes that play during the lithospheric breakup and the onset of seafloor spreading. In particular, the amount of magma and its relation to tectonic structures is yet little understood. Trying to find answers to these questions asks to work at the most distal parts of rifted margins where the transition from rifting to steady state seafloor spreading occurred. The Australian-Antarctic conjugated margins provide an excellent study area. Indeed, the central sector of the Great Australian Bight/Wilkes Land developed in a magma-poor probably ultra-slow setting and displays a complex and not yet well understood Ocean-Continent Transition (OCT). This distal area is well imaged by numerous high quality seismic lines covering the whole OCT and the steady-state oceanic crust. The deformation recorded in the sedimentary units along these margins highlights a migration of the deformation toward the ocean and a clear polyphase evolution. In particular, the observation that each tectono-sedimentary unit downlaps oceanwards onto the basement suggests that final rifting is associated with the creation of new depositional ground under conditions that are not yet those of a steady state oceanic crust. These observations lead to a model of evolution for these distal margins implying the development of multiple detachment systems organizing out-of-sequence, each new detachment fault developing into the previously exhumed basement. This spatial and temporal organization of fault systems leads to a final symmetry of exhumed domains at both conjugated margins. Magma appears to gradually increase during the margin development and is particularly present in the more distal domain where we can observe clear magma/fault interactions. We propose that the evolution of such rifted margins is linked to cycles of delocalisation

  15. Post-rift influence of small-scale convection on the landscape evolution at divergent continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacek, Victor

    2017-02-01

    After decades of geological and geophysical data acquisition along with quantitative modeling of the long-term evolution of the landscape at divergent continental margins, the search for an explanation for the formation and evolution of steep escarpments bordering the coast is still a challenging task. One difficult aspect to explain about the evolution of these escarpments is the expressive variability of denudation rate through the post-rift phase observed in many margins. Here I propose that the interaction of small-scale convection in the asthenosphere with the base of the continental lithosphere can create intermittent vertical displacements of the surface with magnitude of a few hundreds of meters at the continental margin. These topographic perturbations are sufficient to produce an expressive variability in the rate of erosion of the landscape through the post-rift phase similar to the exhumation history observed along old divergent margins. I show that the vertical motion of the surface is amplified when a mobile belt is present at the continental margin, with lithospheric mantle less viscous than the cratonic lithosphere and, consequently, more prone to be partially eroded by the convective asthenosphere. I conclude that the influence of small-scale convection is not the primary explanation for the formation of high topographic features at divergent continental margins, but can be an important component contributing to sustain a preexistent escarpment. The present results are based on numerical simulations that combine thermochemical convection in the mantle, flexure of the lithosphere and surface processes of erosion and sedimentation.

  16. Mafic dykes at the southwestern margin of Eastern Ghats belt: Evidence of rifting and collision

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S Bhattacharya; A K Chaudhary; W Teixeira

    2010-12-01

    The southwestern margin of the Eastern Ghats Belt characteristically exposes ma fic dykes intruding massif-type charnockites. Dykes of olivine basalt of alkaline composition have characteristic trace element signatures comparable with Ocean Island Basalt (OIB). Most importantly strong positive Nb anomaly and low values of Zr/Nb ratio are consistent with OIB source of the mafic dykes. K –Ar isotopic data indicate two cooling ages at 740 and 530 Ma. The Pan-African thermal event could be related to reactivation of major shear zones and represented by leuco-granite vein along minor shear bands. And 740 Ma cooling age may indicate the low grade metamorphic imprints, noted in some of the dykes. Although no intrusion age could be determined from the present dataset, it could be constrained by some age data of the host charnockite gneiss and Alkaline rocks of the adjacent Prakasam Province. Assuming an intrusion age of ∼1 .3 Ga, Sr –Nd isotopic composition of the dykes indicate that they preserved time-integrated LREE enrichment. In view of the chemical signatures of OIB source, the ma fic dykes could as well be related to continental rifting, around 1.3 Ga, which may have been initiated by intra-plate volcanism.

  17. Linking deep earth to surface processes in the Woodlark Rift of Papua New Guinea; a framework for understanding (U)HP exhumation globally

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, S.; Fitzgerald, P. G.; Bermudez, M. A.; Webb, L. E.; Moucha, R.; Miller, S. R.; Catalano, J. P.; Zirakparvar, N. A.

    2012-12-01

    During the Cenozoic the leading edge of the AUS plate was subducted northwards beneath the forearc of oceanic island arc(s), during its north-northeast passage over a complexly structured mantle. Sediments and basalts were metamorphosed under (U)HP conditions to form blueschists and eclogites, and lower-grade metamorphic rocks that are now exposed throughout New Guinea, primarily south of, and structurally beneath, obducted ophiolites. In the Woodlark Rift the youngest (2-8 Ma) (U)HP rocks on Earth were exhumed from mantle depths (>90 km) at plate tectonic rates (1-4 cm yr-1) west of the active Woodlark Basin seafloor spreading center rift tip. How these (U)HP rocks were exhumed is the focus of an ongoing collaborative multidisciplinary project which aims to understand linkages between deep earth, plate tectonic, and surface processes in the Woodlark Rift. Since the Late Miocene, a regionally extensive subduction complex was exhumed on the southern-rifted margin of the Woodlark Basin (Pocklington Rise), and in the lower plates of the D'Entrecasteaux, Misima, and Dayman dome metamorphic core complexes. Late Miocene-to-Pliocene metamorphism of sediments and basalts preceded diachronous exhumation from east to west, in the same direction as rift propagation. In contrast the northern-rifted margin (Woodlark Rise) comprises mid-Miocene to Pliocene volcanic flows and pyroclastic material ranging in composition from basalt to rhyolite, with capping limestone. The age of volcanic rocks on the northern-rifted margin also youngs from east to west. Pliocene to active syn-rift volcanism on the Woodlark Rise and in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands is synchronous with (U)HP exhumation, and results from decompression melting of a relict mantle wedge. As lithospheric extension proceeds, volcanic compositions evolve from subduction zone geochemical signatures (i.e., negative HFSE anomalies) toward E-MORB. Preliminary mantle convection models investigate large-scale background mantle

  18. Rifting of the northern margin of the Australian continent and the origin of some microcontinents in Eastern Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigram, C. J.; Panggabean, H.

    1984-08-01

    Continental Australia is bounded on the east, south and west sides by passive margins, and the geological histories of these are well documented (Falvey and Mutter, 1981). The northern margin of the Australian continent is now an active collision margin. Its previous history as a passive margin has rarely been examined. This paper shows how the Late Palaeozoic to Mesozoic sequence which forms the northern margin of the Australian continent, in the island of New Guinea, is readily related to the tectonic stages of a rift-drift sequence. Rifting (start of breakup) began at about 230 m.y. ago at the Permian-Triassic boundary. The onset of seafloor spreading is marked by a post-breakup unconformity and ranges in age along the northern margin of the continent, from 185 m.y. in Papua New Guinea to 170 m.y. in Irian Jaya. From there the age of the post-breakup unconformity continues to young in a southwesterly direction along the western margin of the Australian continent reflecting the opening of the Indian Ocean off Western Australia. The timing of the onset of spreading in central Papua New Guinea is consistent with the timing of the initiation of spreading in the proto-Pacific ocean proposed by Nur and Ben Avraham (1977). By the end of the Jurassic the northern margin of the Australian continent faced a seaway which linked the proto-Indian and proto-Pacific oceans. This newly formed ocean was separated from the pre-existing oceans of the Neo-Tethys and Panthalassa by a screen of continents or microcontinents. The identity of this screen is discussed and it is suggested that part of it is preserved in the microcontinents of Eastern Indonesia.

  19. Accretion of a rifted passive margin: The Late Paleozoic Rhenohercynian fold and thrust belt (Middle European Variscides)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oncken, O.; von Winterfeld, C.; Dittmar, U.

    1999-02-01

    In the western Rhenish Massif, the Rhenohercynian fold and thrust belt of the Middle European Varsicides exposes a telescoped complete Devonian to Early Carboniferous passive margin. This permits the analysis of geometry and kinematic processes of passive margin accretion to an erogenic wedge. During Variscan collision (330-300 Ma), the sedimentary cover of the passive margin was shortened by some 50% or 180 km. Crustal scale balancing and restoration reveals a wide, symmetric rift with a central graben. A marginal plateau separated this failed Lower Devonian rift from an Emsian-Middle Devonian oceanic basin in the south, remnants of which are preserved in the southernmost imbricates and the Giessen-Harz nappes. The seismically well-imaged Aachen-Midi detachment (Faille du Midi) acted as the basal decollement of this thin- to thick-skinned orogenic wedge. It shows a ramp and flat geometry from the blind tip down to middle crustal levels. Owing to its position below the base of the basin fill, the thick synrift sequence and structure controlled structural evolution during contraction by localizing thrust branch lines and by inversion of rift structures, synthetic to the subduction direction, with formation of basement footwall shortcuts. Moreover, the three-dimensional detachment geometry shows large-scale oblique ramp-flat features which control the architecture of the belt and the distribution of metamorphic grade. Rocks and fabrics from the detachment show that the latter was located at the transition into the ductile field at the fossil 300°-400°C isotherm. In the restored section, the detachment trajectory displays a saucershaped geometry rising to the surface at the rear and at the front. This suggests that the basal detachment propagated into the passive margin by ductile failure during lithospheric flexure under the load of an advancing upper plate. The regional pattern of synkinematic metamorphic grade shows varying modes of margin accretion: basal

  20. Source to sink study of non-cylindrical rifted passive margins: the case of the Gulf of Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chardon, Dominique; Rouby, Delphine; Robin, Cécile; Calves, Gérome; Grimaud, Jean-louis; Guillocheau, François; Beauvais, Anicet; Braun, Jean

    2013-04-01

    The aim of our project is to analyze quantitatively the post-rift evolution of a transform margin in order to determine how the spatially complex rifting processes that produced a tridimensional stretching of the lithosphere might impact the post rift evolution of the margin and the associated sedimentary systems. More specifically, we investigate its impact on vertical motion (uplift/subsidence), sediment transfer (erosion/accumulation) and stratigraphic architecture of sedimentary basins. We also intend to characterize the stratigraphic signature of independent geodynamic processes potentially affecting the margin during the post rift phase such as mantle dynamic, change in climate and erosion processes (chemical vs mechanical erosion). In this framework, the Atlantic margin from the Senegal to the Niger Delta is an ideal case study for which we compiled a unique dataset constraining over the Cenozoic: (i) the paleodrainage evolution and the denudation history for the whole area contributing to the sedimentary basins, and (ii) the accumulation history of the latter. From the reconstruction of the 3D geometry of paleo-alteration land surfaces, we show a complete reorganization of the drainage between 45 and 25 Myr. It resulted from the capture by the Niger of a formerly endoreic drainage isolated from the margin by a marginal bulge, as well as, by the incision and downwarp of this bulge by coastal drainage such as the Volta River. This relief had therefore a major impact on the export of sediment to the basins during the Cenozoic and both geomorphologic study and numerical modeling of the 3D flexure of this margin suggest it might be inherited from the rifting phase. Also, we compiled 13 geological sections along the margin to evaluate the accumulation histories of 3 domains: the Senegal basin, the Niger Delta and the Northern Margin of the Gulf of Guinea. All basins showed an acceleration in accumulation rates between 45 and 25 Myr. The 3D numerical modeling of

  1. The influence of rifting on escarpment migration on high elevation passive continental margins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    V. Sacek; J. Braun; P. van der Beek

    2012-01-01

    .... In this configuration, a drainage divide that persists through time appears landward of the initial escarpment in a position close to a secondary bulge that is created during the rifting event...

  2. Progressive changes in rifting directions in the Campania margin (Italy): New constrains for the Tyrrhenian Sea opening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milia, Alfonsa; Torrente, Maurizio Maria; Massa, Bruno; Iannace, Pietro

    2013-10-01

    Current models for the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea invoke a unique extension vector throughout the rift to drift process, accommodated by margin parallel faults, but the role of the Campania margin faults in the opening of the Tyrrhenian back-arc basin is still poorly constrained. Gaeta Bay, located on the Campania margin, was investigated through the interpretation of seismic reflection and borehole data together with a stratigraphic correlation of dated outcropping units. The interpretation of a seismic grid using seismic and sequence stratigraphy and structural geology approaches in a dedicated GIS environment led to the generation of 2-D models of relevant geological surfaces, isochron maps, a 3-D digital model of the subsurface and to the reconstruction of the geological evolution of the margin with a resolution of 100 ka. Gaeta Bay is formed by three basins (northern, central and southern) and features a complex stratigraphic architecture: in the northern and central basins a syn-rift deposit (unit PP) is buried by the oldest aggradational deposit (unit A) that fills the accommodation space; a post 0.7 Ma succession (units B and C) filled the northern basin with a lateral aggradational geometry; a syn-tectonic wedge (unit B) was deposited in the central basin between 0.7 and 0.4 Ma; post 0.4 Ma thick deposits (unit C) are testimony to the collapse of the southern basin. A correlation between the geology of the bathyal basin and that of the Campania margin was established using a CROP seismic section that extended from the Vavilov basin to Gaeta Bay. Based on original and literature data we propose a kinematic evolution of the Tyrrhenian Sea upper plate over the last 10 Ma. This evolution consists of older extensional events (stages 1-2) off Sardinia and in the Vavilov basin (leaving the Campania margin unaffected). Younger events (stages 3-5) developed in the eastern (with a Pliocene-Quaternary change of the extension direction along the Campania Margin

  3. The role of rifting in the development of the continental margins of the southwest subbasin, South China Sea: Insights from an OBS experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Chuanchuan; Hao, Tianyao; Lin, Jian; Qiu, Xuelin

    2017-06-01

    The continental margins of the southwest subbasin in the South China Sea mark a unique transition from multi-stages magma-poor continental rifting to seafloor spreading. We used reflection and refraction profiles across the margins to investigate the rifting process of the crust. Combining with the other seismic profiles acquired earlier, we focused on the comparative geological interpretation from the result of multichannel seismic analysis and wide-angle seismic tomography. Our result provides the evidence of upper crustal layer with abundant fractures below the acoustic basement with a P-wave velocity from 4.0 to 5.5 km s-1. It indicates extensive deformation of the brittle crust during the continental rifting and can make a good explanation for the observed extension discrepancy in the rift margins of the South China Sea. The seismic chronostratigraphic result shows the possibility of the intra-continental extension center stayed focused for quite a long time in Eocene. Additionally, our evidence suggested that continental margin of the southwest subbasin had experienced at least three rifting stages and the existence of the rigid blocks is an appropriate explanation to the asymmetric rifting of the South China Sea.

  4. 3D P-Wave Velocity Structure of the Deep Galicia Rifted Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayrakci, Gaye; Minshull, Timothy; Davy, Richard; Sawyer, Dale; Klaeschen, Dirk; Papenberg, Cord; Reston, Timothy; Shillington, Donna; Ranero, Cesar

    2015-04-01

    The combined wide-angle reflection-refraction and multi-channel seismic (MCS) experiment, Galicia 3D, was carried out in 2013 at the Galicia rifted margin in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain. The main geological features within the 64 by 20 km (1280 km²) 3D box investigated by the survey are the peridotite ridge (PR), the fault bounded, rotated basement blocks and the S reflector, which has been interpreted to be a low angle detachment fault. 44 short period four-component ocean bottom seismometers and 28 ocean bottom hydrophones were deployed in the 3D box. 3D MCS profiles sampling the whole box were acquired with two airgun arrays of 3300 cu.in. fired alternately every 37.5 m. We present the results from 3D first-arrival time tomography that constrains the P-wave velocity in the 3D box, for the entire depth sampled by reflection data. Results are validated by synthetic tests and by the comparison with Galicia 3D MCS lines. The main outcomes are as follows: 1- The 3.5 km/s iso-velocity contour mimics the top of the acoustic basement observed on MCS profiles. Block bounding faults are imaged as velocity contrasts and basement blocks exhibit 3D topographic variations. 2- On the southern profiles, the top of the PR rises up to 5.5 km depth whereas, 20 km northward, its basement expression (at 6.5 km depth) nearly disappears. 3- The 6.5 km/s iso-velocity contour matches the topography of the S reflector where the latter is visible on MCS profiles. Within a depth interval of 0.6 km (in average), velocities beneath the S reflector increase from 6.5 km/s to 7 km/s, which would correspond to a decrease in the degree of serpentinization from ~45 % to ~30 % if these velocity variations are caused solely by variations in hydration. At the intersections between the block bounding normal faults and the S reflector, this decrease happens over a larger depth interval (> 1 km), suggesting that faults act as conduit for the water flow in the upper mantle.

  5. Rift Structure along the Eastern Continental Margin of India - new constraints on style of breakup of the Indian landmass from the eastern Gondwanaland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismaiel, M.; Krishna, K. S.; Karlapati, S.; Mishra, J.; D, S.

    2015-12-01

    The Eastern Continental Margin of India (ECMI), a classical passive margin has evolved after breakup of the Indian landmass from the East Antarctica during the Early Cretaceous. Anomalous thick sediments and lack of cohesive magnetic signatures in the Bay of Bengal hampered delineation of rift-structure and age assignment for the continental breakup between India and East Antarctica. Further, absence of lithological and geochronological information and a few seismic profiles from the margin led to put forward several competing models for the rift initiation and evolution of the ECMI. Here, we analyze long streamer seismic reflection data and deep-water drill well information from the western Bay of Bengal to infer the buried rift structure, crustal architecture and stratigraphy along the ECMI. Following the structural pattern of the margin, the region is divided into four domains as decoupled, coupled, exhumed and oceanic, which in turn helped us to demarcate the variations in rift structure from south to north along the margin. The southern segment in the vicinity of Cauvery Basin consists of steep continental shelf associated with few major normal faults, which indicates that the segment was evolved as mix shear-rifted margin. The central segment off southern part of the Krishna-Godavari Basin is controlled by a series of fault-bounded half-graben structures and presence of thinned continental crust over the exhumed mantle body, revealing that the segment was formed under hyper-rifting process. While the northern segment extends up to Mahanadi Basin shows relatively less gradient continental slope with a few major faults, suggesting that the segment was evolved by hypo-extended process. Variable crustal architecture lying along the ECMI supports each segment of the margin formed in a specific rift process. A breakup unconformity considered as important geological constraint for completion of rift process between India and East Antarctica is clearly mapped on

  6. Rapid post-rift tectonic subsidence events in the Pearl River Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Min; Zhong, Guangfa; Liu, Xuefeng; Liu, Lihua; Shen, Xinping; Wu, Zhe; Huang, Ke

    2017-10-01

    Data from 26 drill wells and 27 regional seismic profiles were integrated to investigate the timing, phase and origin of the post-rift subsidence in the middle to eastern Pearl River Mouth Basin (PRMB) of the northern South China Sea using the traditional 1-D backstripping technique. Different from previous research of backstripped tectonic subsidence in the basin, we calculated the tectonic subsidence using the newly built local porosity-depth relationships for decompaction and updated sedimentological and paleontological data for paleobathymetry reconstruction. Well-data based subsidence curves reveal a roughly decaying pattern in both the magnitude and rate of the post-rift subsidence in the PRMB, which is in accordance with the general decreasing trend of the thermal subsidence typical of a passive margin. Two events of rapid post-rift tectonic subsidence were identified, which occurred in the Early to early Middle Miocene and the Pliocene. The timing of the first rapid post-rift subsidence event varies and is earlier in the southern rather than northern part of the basin. Additionally, the amplitude of contemporaneous tectonic subsidence is greater in the southern part of the basin. The second rapid tectonic subsidence event occurred simultaneously in both the southern and northern parts of the basin, with the amplitude of subsidence being much greater in the southern part. We associate the first rapid subsidence event with the southward jump of the South China Sea spreading ridge, which occurred between the Oligocene and Early Miocene, while the second event with the arc-continent collision at Taiwan since the latest Late Miocene. The southern PRMB in the deep-water slope area shows a much higher magnitude of tectonic subsidence in both events than its northern counterpart in the shelf area, which could be associated with its much thinner lithosphere. The latter could cause upswelling of denser lower crust and upper mantle material, resulting in more rapid

  7. Synthesis and tectonic interpretation of the westernmost Paleozoic Variscan orogen in southern Mexico: From rifted Rheic margin to active Pacific margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keppie, J. Duncan; Dostal, Jaroslav; Murphy, J. Brendan; Nance, R. Damian

    2008-12-01

    Paleozoic rocks in southern Mexico occur in two terranes, Oaxaquia (Oaxacan Complex) and Mixteca (Acatlán Complex) that appear to record: (1) Ordovician rifting on the southern margin of the Rheic Ocean, (2) passive drifting with Amazonia during the Silurian, (3) Devonian-Permian subduction beneath southern Mexico producing an arc complex that was partially removed by subduction erosion, subjected to HP metamorphism and Mississippian extrusion into the upper plate, followed by reestablishment of a Permian arc. In the Oaxaquia terrane, the 920-1300 Ma basement is unconformably overlain by a ˜ 200 m uppermost Cambrian-lowest Ordovician shelf sequence containing Gondwanan fauna (Tiñu Formation), unconformably overlain by 650 m of shallow marine-continental Carboniferous sedimentary rocks containing a Midcontinent (USA) fauna. In the Mixteca terrane, the low-grade Paleozoic sequence is composed of: (a) a ?Cambrian-Ordovician clastic sequence intruded by ca. 480-440 Ma bimodal, rift-related igneous rocks; and (b) a latest Devonian-Permian shallow marine sequence (> 906 m) consisting of metapsammites, metapelites and tholeiitic mafic volcanic rocks. High pressure (HP) metamorphic rocks in the Mixteca terrane consists of: (i) a Cambro-Ordovician rift-shelf intruded by bimodal rift-related intrusions that are similar to the low-grade rocks; (ii) periarc ultramafic rocks, and (iii) arc and MORB rocks. The Ordovician granitoids contain concordant inherited zircons that range in age from ca. 900 to 1300 Ma, indicating a source in the Oaxacan Complex. Concordant ages of detrital zircons in both the low- and high-grade Cambro-Ordovician metasedimentary rocks indicate a provenance in local Ordovician plutons and/or ca. 1 Ga Oaxacan basement, and distal northwestern Gondwana sources with a unique source in the 900-750 Ma Goiás magmatic arc within the Brasiliano orogen. These data combined with the rift-related nature of the Cambro-Ordovician rocks are most consistent with an

  8. Significant Cenozoic faulting, east margin of the Española Basin, Rio Grande rift, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon, James H.; Riecker, Robert E.

    1989-03-01

    Tectonic interpretation of the east margin of the Española Basin, Rio Grande rift, New Mexico, has been controversial. Previous authors have disagreed as to whether significant faulting defines the boundary between the basin and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A more recent geophysical basin transect that suggests no significant faulting and held observation of faceted spurs along the western Sangre de Cristo Mountain front indicating a faulted margin motivate our study. The east margin of the Española Basin for about 37 km north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is marked by a complex array of significant, late Cenozoic high-angle faults. Locally, three parallel, north-trending, high-angle faults cut Precambrian basement and Tertiary basin-fill rocks along the basin margin. Elsewhere along the margin, tilted fault blocks and intersecting faults occur. Fault area, fault attitude with depth, magnitude of fault motion, and timing of fault motion remain uncertain. However, faults studied in detail are 1-2 km long, have minimum dip-slip motion of 33-100 m, and underwent movement during the late Cenozoic. Potentially significant tectonic and seismic hazard implications arise from the possibility of post-150 ka fault motion.

  9. The Cryogenian intra-continental rifting of Rodinia: Evidence from the Laurentian margin in eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClellan, Elizabeth; Gazel, Esteban

    2014-10-01

    The geologic history of the eastern North American (Laurentian) margin encompasses two complete Wilson cycles that brought about the assembly and subsequent disaggregation of two supercontinents, Rodinia and Pangea. In the southern and central Appalachian region, basement rocks were affected by two episodes of crustal extension separated by > 100 m.y.; a Cryogenian phase spanning the interval 765-700 Ma and an Ediacaran event at ~ 565 Ma. During the Cryogenian phase, the Mesoproterozoic continental crust was intruded by numerous A-type felsic plutons and extensional mafic dikes. At ~ 760-750 Ma a bimodal volcanic sequence erupted onto the uplifted and eroded basement. This sequence, known as the Mount Rogers Formation (MRF), comprises a bimodal basalt-rhyolite lower section and an upper section of dominantly peralkaline rhyolitic sheets. Here, we provide new geochemical evidence from the well-preserved volcanic rocks of the Cryogenian lower MRF, with the goal of elucidating the process that induced the initial stage of the break-up of Rodinia and how this affected the evolution of the eastern Laurentian margin. The geochemical compositions of the Cryogenian lavas are remarkably similar to modern continental intra-plate settings (e.g., East African Rift, Yellowstone-Snake River Plain). Geochemical, geophysical and tectonic evidence suggests that the common denominator controlling the melting processes in these settings is deep mantle plume activity. Thus, evidence from the MRF suggests that the initial phase of extension of the Laurentian margin at ~ 760-750 Ma was possibly triggered by mantle plume activity. It is possible that lithospheric weakness caused by a mantle plume that impacted Rodinia triggered the regional extension and produced the intra-continental rifting that preceded the breakup of the Laurentian margin.

  10. Gravity anomalies, crustal structure and rift tectonics at the Konkan and Kerala basins, western continental margin of India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sheena V Dev; M Radhakrishna; Shyam Chand; C Subrahmanyam

    2012-06-01

    Litho-stratigraphic variation of sedimentary units constructed from seismic sections and gravity anomaly in the Konkan and Kerala basins of the western continental margin of India (WCMI) have been used to model processes such as lithospheric rifting mechanism, its strength, and evolution of flank uplift topography that led to the present-day Western Ghats escarpment. Based on the process-oriented approach, two lithospheric models (necking and magmatic underplating) of evolution of the margin were tested. Both, necking and underplating models suggest an effective elastic thickness (Te) of 5 km and 10 km along Konkan and Kerala basins, respectively and a deep level of necking at 20 km at both basins. Model study suggests that the necking model better explains the observed gravity anomalies in the southern part of the WCMI. A synthesis of these results along with the previously published elastic thickness estimates along the WCMI suggests that a low-to-intermediate strength lithosphere and a deeper level of necking explains the observed flank-uplift opography of the Western Ghats. Process-oriented gravity modeling further suggests that the lateral variations in the lithospheric strength, though not very significant, exist from north to south within a distance of 600 km in the Konkan and Kerala basins along the WCMI at the time of rifting. A comparison with previous Te estimates from coherence analysis along the WCMI indicates that the lithospheric strength did not change appreciably since the time of rifting and it is low both onshore and offshore having a range of 5–15 km.

  11. Measurement of sediment and crustal thickness corrected RDA for 2D profiles at rifted continental margins: Applications to the Iberian, Gulf of Aden and S Angolan margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick

    2014-05-01

    Subsidence analysis of sedimentary basins and rifted continental margins requires a correction for the anomalous uplift or subsidence arising from mantle dynamic topography. Whilst different global model predictions of mantle dynamic topography may give a broadly similar pattern at long wavelengths, they differ substantially in the predicted amplitude and at shorter wavelengths. As a consequence the accuracy of predicted mantle dynamic topography is not sufficiently good to provide corrections for subsidence analysis. Measurements of present day anomalous subsidence, which we attribute to mantle dynamic topography, have been made for three rifted continental margins; offshore Iberia, the Gulf of Aden and southern Angola. We determine residual depth anomaly (RDA), corrected for sediment loading and crustal thickness variation for 2D profiles running from unequivocal oceanic crust across the continental ocean boundary onto thinned continental crust. Residual depth anomalies (RDA), corrected for sediment loading using flexural backstripping and decompaction, have been calculated by comparing observed and age predicted oceanic bathymetries at these margins. Age predicted bathymetric anomalies have been calculated using the thermal plate model predictions from Crosby & McKenzie (2009). Non-zero sediment corrected RDAs may result from anomalous oceanic crustal thickness with respect to the global average or from anomalous uplift or subsidence. Gravity anomaly inversion incorporating a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction and sediment thickness from 2D seismic reflection data has been used to determine Moho depth, calibrated using seismic refraction, and oceanic crustal basement thickness. Crustal basement thicknesses derived from gravity inversion together with Airy isostasy have been used to correct for variations of crustal thickness from a standard oceanic thickness of 7km. The 2D profiles of RDA corrected for both sediment loading and non-standard crustal

  12. Geophysical fingerprints of hyper-extended, exhumed and embryonic oceanic domains: the example from the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Natasha; Manatschal, Gianreto; Autin, Julia; Sauter, Daniel; Maia, Marcia; Viana, Adriano

    2016-09-01

    This study investigates the magnetic and gravity signatures and associated seismic character of hyper-extended, exhumed and embryonic oceanic domains along the conjugate Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins. As these margins have been drilled down to basement along their distal parts, it is possible to explore and test different geophysical techniques and interpretations. The aims of this work are twofold: (1) to investigate the location and nature of the two main marginal boundaries—the necking zone and the J Anomaly, which define the limits of major domains; and (2) to map the lateral variations of gravity and magnetic signatures and their detailed correlation with seismic data, from the proximal margin until the first unequivocal oceanic magnetic anomaly (e.g. C34 Anomaly). The results point out that the J Anomaly corresponds to a first-order tectono-magmatic boundary, with a basement formed by polyphase magmatism. It marks the boundary between the exhumed mantle domain, with little magmatic additions, from a domain oceanwards that reveals comparable trends, frequencies and a general magnetic pattern at both sides of the Atlantic, suggesting a coeval evolution. We propose that the domain between the J and the C34 Anomalies was formed by an embryonic spreading system, with intermittent budgets of magma, similar to those observed at very slow spreading systems. The J Anomaly may thus correspond to the location of lithospheric breakup though its origin and the nature of the domain oceanwards remains to be constrained.

  13. Vestiges of an Iapetan rift basin in the New Jersey Highlands: Implfications for the Neoproterozoic Laurentian margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates, A.E.; Volkert, R.A.

    2004-01-01

    Thin, discontinuous remnants of Neoproterozoic intracratonic rift-basin deposits of the Chestnut Hill Formation occur in the western New Jersey Highlands. These deposits form an important link between well-documented Iapetan rift-basins in both the northern and southern Appalachians. The close spatial relations of Chestnut Hill rocks to Paleozoic sedimentary rocks open the possibility that additional Iapetan rift-basins could be concealed beneath the rocks of the Valley and Ridge Province to the west indicating a much broader zone of rifting than has been previously proposed. The Chestnut Hill Formation is intermittently exposed along a 100 km-long band that extends northeast from Pennsylvania nearly to New York State. The lower part of the Chestnut Hill Formation is composed of interbedded lithic pebble- to boulder-conglomerate and feldspathic sandstone grading upward into interbedded phyllite, feldspathic and quartz sandstone, local paleosaprolite, quartz-pebble conglomerate, thin limestone lenses, volcanic, and volcaniclasic rocks, abundant bedded ironstone (hematite ore), and ultimately into diamictites that are interpreted as possible tilloids and containing rounded intra and extrabasinal clasts of the other lithologies. Extensive soft-sediment deformation, cross bedding, and clastic dikes are common in all but the lowest and upper facies. Banded hematite layers occur preferentially in fine-grained tuffs and tuffaceous sediments, but hematitization has affected most lithologies. Volcanic rocks consist of altered rhyolitic tuffs and lapilli tuffs that are interbedded with sediments. The Chestnut Hill Formation is interpreted to have been deposited in early alluvial, and later a complex of fluvial, lacustrine and deltaic environments. Provenance studies based upon petrographic and geochemical analysis of clastic rocks indicate that the sediments are predominantly immature and reflect derivation from local uplifted felsic basement sources in a rifted-margin

  14. Role of Variscan tectonics inheritance in the Jurassic rifting of the passive margin of Adria: insights from the Canavese Zone (Western Southern Alps, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Caroli, Sara; Succo, Andrea; Centelli, Arianna; Barbero, Edoardo; Borghi, Alessandro; Balestro, Gianni; Festa, Andrea

    2017-04-01

    The formation of rifted continental margins by extension of continental lithosphere leading to seafloor spreading is a complex component of the plate tectonic cycle. Geological mapping, supported by multidisciplinary analyses of rifted continental margins may thus provide significant information to better understand and model the related processes, and explain the geometry of those margins as observed by means of seismic imaging. We present here our new findings on the Canavese Zone (Italian Western Alps), which is inferred to represent the remnant of the Jurassic syn-rift stretching, thinning and dismemberment of the distal passive margin of Adria, occurred during the opening of the Northern Alpine Tethys. Through multiscale and multidisciplinary, field- and laboratory-based structural, stratigraphic and petrographic studies (from geological map scale to mesoscale and microscope scale), we document that the tectonic dismemberment of the rifted continental margin of Adria did not simply result from the syn-rift Jurassic extension, but was strongly favored by the inheritance of older (Variscan and post-Variscan) tectonic stages, which controlled earlier lithospheric weakness. Our findings show the existence of two different tectonic units of the pre-Variscan basement, which were deformed, juxtaposed and exhumed already during the Variscan orogeny as constraint by (i) intrusion of early Permian granitoids, (ii) emplacement of volcanic rocks and (iii) unconformable overlie of Permian deposits on those metamorphic units. The syn-extensional (syn-rift) Jurassic faults, which affect the Mesozoic sedimentary succession, show only limited vertical displacement that was ineffective in producing and justifying the crustal thinning observed in pre-Variscan basement units. Finally, Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene and Late Cenozoic strike-slip faulting (i.e. Alpine and Insubric tectonic stages) reactivated previously formed faults, leading to the formation of a complex tectonic

  15. Fault Geometry Evolution and the Flexural Isostatic Response to Faulting in the Ocean-Continent Transition of Magma-Poor Rifted Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Extensional fault geometry and the response to extensional faulting during rifted margin formation are controversial. During the formation of magma-poor rifted margins, lithosphere stretching and thinning progressively evolves through continental rifting, crustal necking, hyper-extension, mantle exhumation and eventual magmatic sea-floor spreading (Mohn et al., 2012). Initially lithosphere extensional faulting is achieved by steep normal faults rheologically decoupled from mantle deformation but, as crustal thickness decreases, extensional faults couple into the mantle. We use a kinematic forward model to examine the evolution of fault geometry and its flexural isostatic response during the formation of the ocean-continent transition at magma-poor rifted margins. In particular we study how this response controls the structural development of hyper-extended crust, exhumed mantle and the resulting sedimentary record. At slow spreading ocean ridges, large extensional faults lead to the isostatic rotation of exhumed footwall (Buck, 1988) and produce sub-horizontal fault footwall and low fault emergence angle (15°-20°). The same process (the rolling-hinge model) is used to explain the formation of extensional allochthon blocks at magma-poor rifted margins, which requires a very low flexural strength (Te < 1km) consistent with work at slow spreading ocean ridges (Smith et al., 2008; Schouten et al., 2010) and low fault footwall emergence angle. Field observations at magma-poor rifted margins suggest that the dimensions of allochthon blocks in the dip sense are not greater than approximately 2-3 km, which is supported by our modelling. One of many remaining questions concerns the geometry of extensional faults within distal hyper-extended continental crust is; are the seismically observed extensional fault blocks in this region allochthons underlain by extensional detachments or are the extensional faults coupled into the mantle?

  16. Up-Scaling Field Observations to Ground Truth Seismic Interpretations and Test Dynamic Models of Deep Water Rifted Margins: What are the Challenges?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manatschal, G.; Nirrengarten, M.; Epin, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent advances on the study of rifted margins resulted from the development of new, high-resolution seismic imaging methods and dynamic modelling that enable to image the crustal scale structure of rifted margins and experiment under what conditions they formed. However, both the used parameter space as well as the seismic interpretations and model results need to be ground truth by direct observations and data. In the case of deep-water rifted margins, the problem is that drill hole data is expensive, rare and only available from a handful of examples worldwide. In contrast, remnants preserving kilometre-scale outcrops of former deep-water rifted margins have been described from the Alps and the Pyrenees in Western Europe. These large-scale outcrops provide a direct access to mantle and crustal rocks and the associated sedimentary sequences and magmatic additions. The combination of world-class outcrops, classical, field-based mapping and analytical methods can provide the missing data that is necessary to calibrate and test dynamic models as well as to ground truth seismic interpretations. In my presentation I will use observations and data from key outcrops from the most distal fossil Alpine Tethys margins exposed in SE Switzerland with the aim to describe the deformation processes and conditions during final rifting and to test rift modes (semi-ductile flow vs. brittle poly-phase faulting). I will in particular focus on the way strain is distributed and the bulk rheology evolves during hyper-extension and mantle exhumation and compare the observations with model results and seismic interpretations. Up-and down scaling observations/data and bridging multiple spatial and temporal scales is a key to understand the large-scale extensional processes that are at the origin of the formation of hyper-extend and exhumed mantle domains. The major challenge is to understand how the learnings obtained from the well-documented examples in the Alps and Pyrenees can be used

  17. Unraveling rift margin evolution and escarpment development ages along the Dead Sea fault using cosmogenic burial ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matmon, A.; Fink, D.; Davis, M.; Niedermann, S.; Rood, D.; Frumkin, A.

    2014-07-01

    The Dead Sea fault (DSF) is one of the most active plate boundaries in the world. Understanding the Quaternary history and sediments of the DSF requires investigation into the Neogene development of this plate boundary. DSF lateral motion preceded significant extension and rift morphology by ~ 10 Ma. Sediments of the Sedom Formation, dated here between 5.0 ± 0.5 Ma and 6.2- 2.1+ inf Ma, yielded extremely low 10Be concentrations and 26Al is absent. These reflect the antiquity of the sediments, deposited in the Sedom Lagoon, which evolved in a subdued landscape and was connected to the Mediterranean Sea. The base of the overlying Amora Formation, deposited in the terminal Amora Lake which developed under increasing relief that promoted escarpment incision, was dated at 3.3- 0.8+ 0.9 Ma. Burial ages of fluvial sediments within caves (3.4 ± 0.2 Ma and 3.6 ± 0.4 Ma) represent the timing of initial incision. Initial DSF topography coincides with the earliest Red Sea MORB's and the East Anatolian fault initiation. These suggest a change in the relative Arabian-African plate motion. This change introduced the rifting component to the DSF followed by a significant subsidence, margin uplift, and a reorganization of relief and drainage pattern in the region resulting in the topographic framework observed today.

  18. Two- and three-dimensional gravity modeling along western continental margin and intraplate Narmada-Tapti rifts: Its relevance to Deccan flood basalt volcanism

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Somdev Bhattacharji; Rajesh Sharma; Nilanjan Chatterjee

    2004-12-01

    The western continental margin and the intraplate Narmada-Tapti rifts are primarily covered by Deccan flood basalts. Three-dimensional gravity modeling of +70 mgal Bouguer gravity highs extending in the north-south direction along the western continental margin rift indicates the presence of a subsurface high density, mafic-ultramafic type, elongated, roughly ellipsoidal body. It is approximately 12.0 ± 1.2 km thick with its upper surface at an approximate depth of 6.0 ± 0.6km, and its average density is 2935 kg/m3. Calculated dimension of the high density body in the upper crust is 300 ± 30km in length and 25 ± 2.5 to 40 ± 4 km in width. Three-dimensional gravity modeling of +10 mgal to −30 mgal Bouguer gravity highs along the intraplate Narmada-Tapti rift indicates the presence of eight small isolated high density mafic bodies with an average density of 2961 kg/m3. These mafic bodies are convex upward and their top surface is estimated at an average depth of 6.5 ± 0.6 (between 6 and 8 km). These isolated mafic bodies have an average length of 23.8 ± 2.4 km and width of 15.9 ± 1.5 km. Estimated average thickness of these mafic bodies is 12.4 ± 1.2 km. The difference in shape, length and width of these high density mafic bodies along the western continental margin and the intraplate Narmada-Tapti rifts suggests that the migration and concentration of high density magma in the upper lithosphere was much more dominant along the western continental margin rift. Based on the three-dimensional gravity modeling, it is conjectured that the emplacement of large, ellipsoidal high density mafic bodies along the western continental margin and small, isolated mafic bodies along the Narmada-Tapti rift are related to lineamentreactivation and subsequent rifting due to interaction of hot mantle plume with the lithospheric weaknesses (lineaments) along the path of Indian plate motion over the R´eunion hotspot. Mafic bodies formed in the upper lithosphere as

  19. Sr isotope geochemistry of megacrysts from continental rift and converging plate margin alkaline volcanism in South Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmer, R.; Johnston, Kate; Ghiara, M. R.; Lirer, L.; Munno, Rosalba

    1981-12-01

    Mineral phases of two-clinopyroxene alkaline lavas from continental rift and plate margin volcanism in South Italy have been analyzed for their Sr isotopic composition and concentration. Sr isotope disequilibria are observed between megacrysts and groundmass in all seven analysed Campanian potassic lavas, but not in a lava from Stromboli, a volcano in the Eolian arc. Variations in 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios for different phases in the lavas are likely to reflect primary Sr isotope variations in the primitive lavas (rather than crustal contamination effects). It is suggested that the observed mineral disequilibria point to the intimate association of a range of primary magmas and small-scale source heterogeneities for the Campanian volcanism. The lack of mineral disequilibria for Stromboli suggests that here source heterogeneities are absent or else exist on a very much larger scale. It is therefore unlikely that there is any genetic connection between these two types of alkaline volcanism in South Italy.

  20. Rifting and reactivation of a Cretaceous structural belt at the northern margin of the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nanni, Ugo; Pubellier, Manuel; Chan, Lung Sang; Sewell, Roderick J.

    2017-04-01

    The Tiu Tang Lung Fault, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - China, is located on the northern stretched continental margin of the South China Sea. Along this fault, Middle Jurassic volcanic rocks of the Tai Mo Shan Formation are tectonically juxtaposed on Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks of the Pat Sin Leng Formation. Both extensional detachments and compressional features are observed and various genetic strain configurations are proposed for the Tiu Tang Lung Fault with implications for understanding the dynamics of the pre-South China Sea rifting during the Cretaceous. We have identified tilted bedding planes in the continental deposits of the Pat Sin Leng Formation which can be related to Early Cretaceous syn-extensional deposition. A mid-Cretaceous penetrative top-to-the-south to top-to-the-west shear fabric is also observed and serves as an indicator of the strain pattern. This deformation is expressed by cleavages, schistosity, S/C fabrics, kink-folds, phacoids and stretched pebbles at both a macroscopic and microscopic scale. Cleavages and bedding are generally sub-parallel to the local shear orientation. The whole sedimentary pile is crosscut by Cenozoic N70 and N150 normal faults. These constraints, together with previous fission track, seismic and structural data, allow us to reinterpret the kinematics of this domain during syn-orogenic to syn-extensional periods. The observed top-to-the-south thrusting event is coeval with NE-SW strike-slip sinistral fault movement. Subsequent N-S extension can be correlated with South China Sea rifting from Eocene to Oligocene. These observations reveal a polyphase history associated with continental margin inversion which witnessed localized extension on previous compressional structures.

  1. Coastal and submarine instabilities distribution in the tectonically active SW margin of the Corinth Rift (Psathopyrgos, Achaia, Greece)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simou, Eirini; Papanikolaou, Dimitrios; Lykousis, Vasilios; Nomikou, Paraskevi; Vassilakis, Emmanuel

    2014-05-01

    The Corinth Rift, one of the most active rifts in the world as local extension trending NE-SW reaches the amount of 14±2 mm/yr, corresponds to one of the largest zones of seismically active normal faulting. The formation, growth and migration southwards of the prevailing fault systems, which evolve simultaneously with the intense morphogenetic processes, are overprinted in the age, facies and thickness of the Plio-Pleistocene sequences constructing the south margin of the western Gulf of Corinth. The dominant fault blocks, defined by east-west trending, north dipping normal faults, are accompanied by several morphological features and anomalies, noticed in both the terrestrial and the marine environment. Our main aim has been to examine how the tectonic evolution, in combination with the attendant fierce erosional and sedimentary processes, has affected the morphology through geodynamic processes expressed as failures in the wider coastal area. High resolution multibeam bathymetry in combination with the available land surface data have contributed to submarine and subaerial morphological mapping. These have been used as a basis for the detection of all those geomorphic features that indicate instabilities probably triggered, directly or indirectly, by the ongoing active tectonic deformation. The interpretation of the combined datasets shows that the southwestern margin of the Corinth Rift towards Psathopyrgos fault zone is characterized by intense coastal relief and a narrow, almost absent, continental shelf, which passes abruptly to steep submarine slopes. These steep slope values denote the effects of the most recent brittle deformation and are related to coastal and submarine instabilities and failures. High uplift rates and rapid sedimentation, indicative of the regional high-energy terrestrial and submarine environment, are subsequently balanced by the transportation of the seafloor currents, especially where slope gradients decrease, disintegrating the

  2. 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

  3. Ductile deformation, boudinage and low angle normal faults. An overview of the structural variability at present-day rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerc, Camille; Jolivet, Laurent; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude; Ballard, Jean-François

    2016-04-01

    High quality industrial seismic profiles acquired along most of the world's passive margins present stunningly increased resolution that leads to unravel an unexpected variety of structures. An important benefit of the increased resolution of recent seismic profiles is that they provide an unprecedented access to the processes occurring in the middle and lower continental crust. We present a series of so far unreleased profiles that allow the identification of various rift-related geological processes such as crustal boudinage, ductile shear and low angle detachment faulting. The lower crust in passive margins appears much more intensely deformed than usually represented. At the foot of both magma-rich and magma-poor margins, we observe clear indications of ductile deformation of the deep continental crust along large-scale shallow dipping shear zones. These shear zones generally show a top-to-the-continent sense of shear consistent with the activity of overlying continentward dipping normal faults observed in the upper crust. This pattern is responsible for a migration of the deformation and associated sedimentation and/or volcanic activity toward the ocean. In some cases, low angle shear zones define an anastomosed pattern that delineates boudin-like structures. The interboudins areas seem to localize the maximum of deformation. The lower crust is intensely boudinaged and the geometry of those boudins seems to control the position and dip of upper crustal normal faults. We present some of the most striking examples (Uruguay, West Africa, Barents sea…) and discuss their implications for the time-temperature-subsidence history of the margins.

  4. Sedimentation and potential venting on the rifted continental margin of Dronning Maud Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xiaoxia; Jokat, Wilfried

    2016-12-01

    The relief of Dronning Maud Land (DML), formed by Middle and Late Mesozoic tectonic activity, had a strong spatial control on the early fluvial and subsequent glacial erosion and deposition. The sources, processes, and products of sedimentation along the DML margin and in the Lazarev Sea in front of the DML mountains have been barely studied. The onshore mountain belt parallel to the coast of the DML margin acts as a barrier to the transport of terrigenous sediments from the east Antarctic interior to the margin and into the Lazarev Sea. Only the Jutul-Penck Graben system allows a localized ice stream controlled transport of material from the interior of DML across its old mountain belt. Offshore, we attribute repeated large-scale debris flow deposits to instability of sediments deposited locally on the steep gradient of the DML margin by high sediment flux. Two types of canyons are defined based on their axial dimensions and originated from turbidity currents and slope failures during glacial/fluvial transport. For the first time, we report pipe-like seismic structures in this region and suggest that they occurred as consequences of volcanic processes. Sedimentary processes on the DML margin were studied using seismic reflection data and we restricted the seismic interpretation to the identification of major seismic sequences and their basal unconformities.

  5. Sedimentation and potential venting on the rifted continental margin of Dronning Maud Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xiaoxia; Jokat, Wilfried

    2016-11-01

    The relief of Dronning Maud Land (DML), formed by Middle and Late Mesozoic tectonic activity, had a strong spatial control on the early fluvial and subsequent glacial erosion and deposition. The sources, processes, and products of sedimentation along the DML margin and in the Lazarev Sea in front of the DML mountains have been barely studied. The onshore mountain belt parallel to the coast of the DML margin acts as a barrier to the transport of terrigenous sediments from the east Antarctic interior to the margin and into the Lazarev Sea. Only the Jutul-Penck Graben system allows a localized ice stream controlled transport of material from the interior of DML across its old mountain belt. Offshore, we attribute repeated large-scale debris flow deposits to instability of sediments deposited locally on the steep gradient of the DML margin by high sediment flux. Two types of canyons are defined based on their axial dimensions and originated from turbidity currents and slope failures during glacial/fluvial transport. For the first time, we report pipe-like seismic structures in this region and suggest that they occurred as consequences of volcanic processes. Sedimentary processes on the DML margin were studied using seismic reflection data and we restricted the seismic interpretation to the identification of major seismic sequences and their basal unconformities.

  6. The evolution of fault geometry and lithosphere mechanical response to faulting during lithosphere hyper-extension at magma-poor rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    The geometry of upper lithosphere extensional faulting and the mechanical response of the lithosphere during continental breakup are controversial. The lithosphere response to extensional faulting at magma-poor rifted margins controls the distribution of thinned continental crust, exhumed mantle, continental allochthons and syn-tectonic sediments leading to the complexity of heterogeneous structure of hyper-extended domain at these margins. In order to better understand the evolving fault geometry and lithosphere mechanics during magma-poor rifted margin formation, we investigate extensional faulting for the tectonic end-members of continental rifting and slow sea-floor spreading. We presume that these end-members faulting styles both contribute to lithosphere thinning during rifted margin evolution as continental rifting evolves into sea-floor spreading. For continental rifting, large extensional faults that rupture the seismogenic brittle upper lithosphere have been shown to be planar and steeply dipping by earthquake seismology and geodesy (Stein and Barrientos 1985; Jackson 1987). These results are supported by seismic reflection imaging and structural modelling of rift basins (Kusznir et al., 1991, 1995). Individual fault heaves for continental rifting seldom exceeds approximately 10 km. The effective elastic thickness, used to parameterize lithosphere flexural strength for syn-tectonic response to extensional faulting during continental rifting, are typically between 1.5 and 3 km. For slow-spreading ocean ridges we examine extensional fault geometry and lithosphere flexural response to cumulative faulting. We focus on the TAG area (deMartin et al., 2007) and the 15°N area (Schroeder et al., 2007) of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge using a flexural isostatic extensional faulting model (Buck 1988; Kusznir et al., 1991). Modelling of fault controlled bathymetry at slow-spreading ocean ridges shows that active extensional faults at depth have a steep dip (50° - 70

  7. Asymmetry of high-velocity lower crust on the South Atlantic rifted margins and implications for the interplay of magmatism and tectonics in continental break-up

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Becker

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available High-velocity lower crust (HVLC and seaward dipping reflector sequences (SDRs are typical features of volcanic rifted margins. However, the nature and origin of HVLC is under discussion. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of deep crustal structures in the southern segment of the South Atlantic and an assessment of HVLC along the margins. Two new seismic refraction lines off South America fill a gap in the data coverage and together with five existing velocity models allow a detailed investigation of the lower crustal properties on both margins. An important finding is the major asymmetry in volumes of HVLC on the conjugate margins. The seismic refraction lines across the South African margin reveal four times larger cross sectional areas of HVLC than at the South American margin, a finding that is in sharp contrast to the distribution of the flood basalts in the Paraná-Etendeka Large Igneous Provinces (LIP. Also, the position of the HVLC with respect to the seaward dipping reflector sequences varies consistently along both margins. Close to the Falkland-Agulhas Fracture Zone a small body of HVLC is not accompanied by seaward dipping reflectors. In the central portion of both margins, the HVLC is below the inner seaward dipping reflector wedges while in the northern area, closer to the Rio Grande Rise/Walvis Ridge, large volumes of HVLC extend far seawards of the inner seaward dipping reflectors. This challenges the concept of a simple extrusive/intrusive relationship between seaward dipping reflector sequences and HVLC, and it provides evidence for formation of the HVLC at different times during the rifting and break-up process. We suggest that the drastically different HVLC volumes are caused by asymmetric rifting in a simple shear dominated extension.

  8. Aeromagnetic signatures reveal a back-arc basin imposed upon the inherited rifted margin of the East Antarctic craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armadillo, E.; Ferraccioli, F.; Jordan, T. A.; Bozzo, E.

    2009-12-01

    The Wilkes Subglacial Basin (WSB) represents a largely unexplored, approximately 1400 km-long and up to 600 km-wide subglacial depression, buried beneath the over 3 km-thick East Antarctic Ice Sheet. During the 2005-06 austral summer an extensive aerogeophysical survey was flown to investigate the WSB adjacent to northern Victoria Land (NVL), and included the acquisition of new airborne radar, aeromagnetic and aerogravity data. Several contrasting models for the origin of the basin have been previously proposed, and are based primarily on relatively sparse gravity data. These range from Cenozoic flexure, to distributed crustal extension of unknown age (possibly Mesozoic to Cenozoic), and even compression along the margin of craton. Our recent aeromagnetic data reveal that the basin is structurally controlled and has a tectonic origin, at least adjacent to NVL. The eastern margin of the basin is imposed upon an Early Paleozoic thrust fault belt, which can be traced under the ice using aeromagnetic signatures from exposures in Oates Land and the Ross Sea coast. Aeromagnetic patterns reveal that the western margin of the basin is imposed upon a Proterozoic-age shear zone mapped in the Mertz Glacier, and that is interpreted from geological studies to represent the continuation of a coeval shear zone in Australia. The broad aeromagnetic and satellite magnetic low over the WSB contrasts with the high over the un-reworked Proterozoic craton to the west of the basin, and is interpreted to reflect Neoproterozoic-age sediments deposited along the rifted margin of the craton. Magnetic intrusions within the WSB are interpreted as back-arc plutons that formed later in response to Cambrian-Ordovician age subduction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana. The aeromagnetic interpretation for a former broad back-arc basin in the WSB is supported by the occurrence of low-grade metasedimentary rocks of back-arc affinity in Oates Land, and also by the similarity in long

  9. Crustal structure and rift tectonics across the Cauvery–Palar basin, Eastern Continental Margin of India based on seismic and potential field modelling

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    D Twinkle; G Srinivasa Rao; M Radhakrishna; K S R Murthy

    2016-03-01

    The Cauvery–Palar basin is a major peri-cratonic rift basin located along the Eastern Continental Margin of India (ECMI) that had formed during the rift-drift events associated with the breakup of eastern Gondwanaland (mainly India–Sri Lanka–East Antarctica). In the present study, we carry out an integrated analysis of the potential field data across the basin to understand the crustal structure and the associated rift tectonics. The composite-magnetic anomaly map of the basin clearly shows the onshore-tooffshore structural continuity, and presence of several high-low trends related to either intrusive rocks or the faults. The Curie depth estimated from the spectral analysis of offshore magnetic anomaly data gave rise to 23 km in the offshore Cauvery–Palar basin. The 2D gravity and magnetic crustal models indicate several crustal blocks separated by major structures or faults, and the rift-related volcanic intrusiverocks that characterize the basin. The crustal models further reveal that the crust below southeast Indian shield margin is ∼36 km thick and thins down to as much as 13–16 km in the Ocean Continent Transition (OCT) region and increases to around 19–21 km towards deep oceanic areas of the basin. Thefaulted Moho geometry with maximum stretching in the Cauvery basin indicates shearing or low angle rifting at the time of breakup between India–Sri Lanka and the East Antarctica. However, the additional stretching observed in the Cauvery basin region could be ascribed to the subsequent rifting of Sri Lanka from India. The abnormal thinning of crust at the OCT is interpreted as the probable zone of emplaced Proto-Oceanic Crust (POC) rocks during the breakup. The derived crustal structure along with other geophysical data further reiterates sheared nature of the southern part of the ECMI.

  10. 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

  11. The Role of Rift Obliquity During Pangea Fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, S.; Butterworth, N. P.; Williams, S.; Müller, D.

    2014-12-01

    Does supercontinent break-up follow specific laws? What parameters control the success and the failure of rift systems? Recent analytical and geodynamic modeling suggests that oblique rifting is energetically preferred over orthogonal rifting. This implies that during rift competition, highly oblique branches proceed to break-up while less oblique ones become inactive. These models predict that the relative motion of Earth's continents during supercontinent break-up is affected by the orientation and shape of individual rift systems. Here, we test this hypothesis based on latest plate tectonic reconstructions. Using PyGPlates, a recently developed Python library that allows script-based access to the plate reconstruction software GPlates, we quantify rift obliquity, extension velocity and their temporal evolution for continent-scale rift systems of the past 200 Myr. Indeed we find that many rift systems contributing to Pangea fragmentation involved strong rift obliquity. East and West Gondwana for instance split along the East African coast with a mean obliquity of 55° (measured as the angle between local rift trend normal and extension direction). While formation of the central and southern South Atlantic segment involved a low obliquity of 10°, the Equatorial Atlantic opened under a high angle of 60°. Rifting between Australia and Antarctica involved two stages with 25° prior to 100 Ma followed by 50° obliquity and distinct increase of extension velocity. Analyzing the entire passive margin system that formed during Pangea breakup, we find a mean obliquity of 40°, with a standard deviation of 20°. Hence 50% of these margins formed with an angle of 40° or more. Considering that many conceptual models of rifting and passive margin formation assume 2D deformation, our study quantifies the degree to which such 2D models are globally applicable, and highlights the importance of 3D models where oblique rifting is the dominant mode of deformation.

  12. Mineralogy and origin of rhizoliths on the margins of saline, alkaline Lake Bogoria, Kenya Rift Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Richard Alastair; Owen, Richard Bernhart; Renaut, Robin W.; Scott, Jennifer J.; Jones, Brian; Ashley, Gail M.

    2008-01-01

    A wide range of rhizoliths occurs around the margins of Lake Bogoria, Kenya. These include root casts, moulds, tubules, rhizocretions, and permineralised root systems. These rhizoliths are variably composed of opaline silica, calcite, zeolites (mainly analcime), fluorite, and possibly fluorapatite, either alone or in combinations. Some rhizoliths are infilled moulds with detrital silicate grains. Most rhizoliths are in situ, showing both vertical and horizontal orientations. Reworked rhizoliths have been concentrated locally to form dense rhizolites. Hot-spring fluids, concentrated by evapotranspiration and capillary evaporation, have provided most of the silica for the permineralisation of the plant tissues. Precipitation involved the growth of silica nanospheres and microspheres that coalesced into homogeneous masses. Calcite rhizoliths formed following evaporative concentration, evapotranspiration, and (or) CO 2 degassing of Ca-bearing runoff water that infiltrated the sediment, or by mixing of runoff with saline, alkaline groundwater. Fluorite precipitated in areas where mixing of hot-spring and meteoric waters occurred, or possibly where hot-spring fluids came into contact with pre-existing calcite. Zeolitic rhizoliths formed during a prolonged period of aridity, when capillary rise and evaporative pumping brought saline, alkaline waters into contact with detrital silicate minerals around roots.

  13. The role of Variscan to pre-Jurassic active extension in controlling the architecture of the rifted passive margin of Adria: the example of the Canavese Zone (Western Southern Alps, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Succo, Andrea; De Caroli, Sara; Centelli, Arianna; Barbero, Edoardo; Balestro, Gianni; Festa, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    The Canavese Zone, in the Italian Western Southern Alps, represents the remnant of the Jurassic syn-rift stretching, thinning and dismemberment of the distal passive margin of Adria during the opening of the Penninic Ocean (i.e., Northern Alpine Tethys). Our findings, based on detailed geological mapping, structural analysis and stratigraphic and petrographic observations, document however that the inferred hyper-extensional dismemberment of this distal part of the passive margin of Adria, up to seafloor spreading, was favored by the inherited Variscan geometry and crustal architecture of the rifted margin, and by the subsequent Alpine-related strike-slip deformation. The new field data document, in fact, that the limited vertical displacement of syn-extensional (syn-rift) Jurassic faults was ineffective in producing and justifying the crustal thinning observed in the Canavese Zone. The deformation and thinning of the continental basement of Adria are constrained to the late Variscan time by the unconformable overlying of Late Permian deposits. Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene and Late Cenozoic strike-slip faulting (i.e., Alpine and Insubric tectonic stages) reactivated previously formed faults, leading to the formation of a complex tectonic jigsaw which only partially coincides with the direct product of the Jurassic syn-rift dismemberment of the distal part of the passive margin of Adria. Our new findings document that this dismemberment of the rifted continental margin of Adria did not simply result from the syn-rift Jurassic extension, but was strongly favored by the inheritance of older (Variscan and post-Variscan) tectonic stages, which controlled earlier lithospheric weakness. The formation of rifted continental margins by extension of continental lithosphere leading to seafloor spreading is a complex and still poorly understood component of the plate tectonic cycle. Geological mapping of rifted continental margins may thus provide significant information to

  14. An improved 3-D constrained stochastic gravity inversion method, adapted to the crustal-scale study of offshore rifted continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Meixia; Welford, J. Kim; Farquharson, Colin

    2017-04-01

    While seismic methods provide the best geophysical methods for characterizing crustal structure, regional potential field studies and, specifically, constrained 3-D potential field inversion studies, provide an efficient means of bridging between seismic lines and obtaining regional views of deep structure. Most existing potential field inversion codes have been developed for the mining industry with the goal of delineating dense bodies within less dense half-spaces. While these codes can be successfully applied to crustal-scale targets, they are not designed to generate models with the kind of depth-dependent layering expected within the crust and upper mantle and consequently, the results must be interpreted with such limitations in mind. The development of improved inversion codes that will produce results that better conform to known density distributions within the crust and uppermost mantle will revolutionize the application of potential field methods for the study of rifted continental margins where only limited seismic constraints are available. Through insights gained from using existing inversion codes, we have developed a 3D inversion algorithm based on the constrained stochastic method and adapted it for use in regional crustal-scale studies. The new method honours existing sparse seismic constraints and generates models that can reproduce sharp boundaries at the base of the crust as well as more gradational density variations with depth for the crust to upper mantle transition. The improved regional crustal models provide crustal thickness estimates and crustal stretching factors that agree with the sparsely available seismic constraints, while also generating more realistic Earth models. Both synthetic and real examples from offshore eastern Canada, will be used to demonstrate the power of the new method.

  15. Differentiating climatic- and tectonic-controlled lake margin in rift system: example of the Plio-Quaternary Nachukui Formation, Turkana depression, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexis, Nutz; Mathieu, Schuster; Abdoulaye, Balde; Jean-Loup, Rubino

    2016-04-01

    The Turkana Depression is part of the eastern branch of the East African Rift System. This area consists of several Oligo-Pliocene north-south oriented half-grabens that connect the Ethiopian and Kenyan rift valleys. Exposed on the west side of the Lake Turkana, the Nachukui Formation represents a Plio-Quaternary syn-rift succession mainly outcropping near the border fault of the North Lake basin. This Formation consists of a > 700 m thick fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine sediments deposited in this area between 4.2 and 0.5 Ma. In this contribution, we present preliminary results from the investigation of the complete succession based on field geology. Facies description and sequence analyses are provided focusing on lake margin evolution through time and deciphering their controlling factors. Two main types of facies association can be distinguished in the Nachukui Fm and reveal two main types of lake margins that alternatively developed in the Turkana basin. Type-1 is characterized by thick conglomeratic proximal alluvial fan fining laterally from the border fault to the central portion of the lake to gravelly distal alluvial fan. Conglomerate and gravel beds display recurrent wave reworking (ripples, clasts sorting, open-work), as well as intercalated shells placer and stromatolites beds. Laterally, facies rapidly grade to offshore siliciclastic muds. These facies are interpreted as aggrading and prograding coarse fan deltas that entered directly in the lake. Their subaqueous parts were then affected by waves and allowed the development of shell placers and stromatolite reefs. This facies association is generally included in thick packages representing long-term prograding trends of several hundred thousand years duration (> 500 ka). Type-2 is characterized by poorly developed alluvial fan near the border fault, rapidly grading laterally to a fluvial plain and then to well-developed wave-dominated coast (beaches, washover fans, coastal wedges), finally connected to

  16. Characterizing the Galicia Bank-Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain rifted margin segment boundary using multichannel seismic and ocean bottom seismometer data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Stephen A.; Sawyer, Dale S.; Austin, James A.; Christeson, Gail L.; Nakamura, Yosio

    2007-03-01

    We present multichannel seismic reflection and ocean bottom seismometer reflection/refraction data from ISE-9, a margin-parallel, north-south oriented profile ˜200 km west of the Portuguese coast. ISE-9 images the boundary between two distinct segments of the Iberia nonvolcanic rifted margin: Galicia Bank (GB) and the Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain (SIAP). The bathymetric contrast between GB (2 km depth) and SIAP (4-5 km depth) spans only 25 km. The crustal thickness transition, however, spans 137 km, from 13-18 km thick beneath GB to <2 km thick beneath SIAP. We define this crustal thickness transition as the segment boundary. Crustal structure along the segment boundary, tilted blocks bounded by normal faults, is surprisingly similar to crustal structure observed along orthogonal, east-west profiles of the Iberia margin. The apparent north-south extension is similar in magnitude to previously calculated east-west extension, implying an overall northeast-southwest extension. However, paleoreconstructions and rift basin orientations constrain lithospheric extension to a nearly east-west direction. We speculate that north-south extension is limited to the crust and is caused by large-scale mass wasting sometime between the Tithonian and Valanginian. This rotational slump spans the 137-km-wide modern segment boundary, emplacing GB continental crust directly onto exhumed, serpentinized mantle of SIAP. Palinspastic reconstruction restores the southern edge of the blocks to coincide within <10 km of a steep Moho transition and a near-vertical fault which extends through the slump and offsets Moho. We interpret this location as the preslump segment boundary that accommodated transform motion between the two rifted margin segments.

  17. Transfer/transform relationships in continental rifts and margins and their control on syn- and post-rift denudation: the case of the southeastern Gulf of Aden, Socotra Island, Yemen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pik, Raphael; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Leroy, Sylvie; Denele, Yoann; Razin, Philippe; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Khanbari, Khaled

    2013-04-01

    Transfer zones are ubiquist features in continental rifts and margins, as well as transform faults in oceanic lithosphere. Here, we present the structural study of such a structure (the Hadibo Transfer Zone, HTZ) from the southeastern Gulf of Aden, in Socotra Island, Yemen. There, from field data, the HTZ is interpreted as being reactivated, obliquely to divergence, since early rifting stages. Then, from a short review of transfer/transform fault zone geometries worldwide, we derive a classification in terms of relative importance (1st, 2nd, 3rd order), geometry, and location. We suggest that the HTZ is a 1st order transfer fault zone as it controls the initiation of a 1st order oceanic transform fault zone. We then investigate the denudation history of the region surrounding the HTZ in order to highlight the interplay of normal and transfer/transform tectonic structures in the course of rift evolution. Samples belong from two distinct East and West domains of the Socotra Island, separated by the (HTZ). Tectonic denudation started during the Priabonian-Rupelian along flat normal faults and removed all the overlying sedimentary formations, allowing basement exhumation up to the surface (~ 1.2 - 1.6 km of exhumation). Forward t-T modelling of the data requires a slightly earlier date and shorter period for development of rifting in the E-Socotra domain (38 - 34 Ma), compared to the W-Socotra domain (34 - 25 Ma), which suggests that the HTZ was already active at that time. A second major event of basement cooling and exhumation (additional ~ 0.7 - 1 km), starting at about ~ 20 Ma, has only been recorded on the E-Socotra domain. This second denudation phase significantly post-dates local rifting period but appears synchronous with Ocean Continent Transition (OCT: 20 - 17.6 Ma). This late syn-OCT uplift is maximum close to the HTZ, in the wedge of hangingwall delimited by this transfer system and the steep north-dipping normal faults that accommodated the vertical

  18. The Teisseyre-Tornquist Zone - early Palaeozoic strike-slip plate boundary or Ediacaran rifted margin of Baltica?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazur, Stanislaw; Krzywiec, Piotr; Malinowski, Michal; Lewandowski, Marek; Buffenmeyer, Vinton; Green, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    area is dominated by high density lower crustal bodies similar to those that are found along present-day passive continental margins. Moreover, an extensive succession of the uppermost Neoproterozoic sediments is emplaced outboard of the southeastern section of the TTZ. These results obtained do not support the occurrence of a Palaeozoic terrane boundary along the TTZ. Instead, it is suggested that the crystalline basement of the EEC extends westward beyond the TTZ and continues in the substratum of the Permo-Mesozoic basin of central and western Poland. If the crustal keel underneath the TTZ indeed represents a fossil plate boundary, it must have formed in the Precambrian during the amalgamation of the Rodinia supercontinent. However, the contrast of crustal thickness across the TTZ between the EEC and the adjacent Palaeozoic Platform may have formed later during the Ediacaran rifting and subsequent break-up of the Tornquist Ocean. The Caledonian collisional suture must be located farther southwest in western Poland or NE Germany and deeply concealed beneath a thick cover of Palaeozoic and younger sediments.

  19. From hyperextended rift to convergent margin types: mapping the outer limit of the extended Continental Shelf of Spain in the Galicia area according UNCLOS Art. 76

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somoza, Luis; Medialdea, Teresa; Vázquez, Juan T.; González, Francisco J.; León, Ricardo; Palomino, Desiree; Fernández-Salas, Luis M.; Rengel, Juan

    2017-04-01

    Spain presented on 11 May 2009 a partial submission for delimiting the extended Continental Shelf in respect to the area of Galicia to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). The Galicia margin represents an example of the transition between two different types of continental margins (CM): a western hyperpextended margin and a northern convergent margin in the Bay of Biscay. The western Galicia Margin (wGM 41° to 43° N) corresponds to a hyper-extended rifted margin as result of the poly-phase development of the Iberian-Newfoundland conjugate margin during the Mesozoic. Otherwise, the north Galicia Margin (nGM) is the western end of the Cenozoic subduction of the Bay of Biscay along the north Iberian Margin (NIM) linked to the Pyrenean-Mediterranean collisional belt Following the procedure established by the CLCS Scientific and Technical Guidelines (CLCS/11), the points of the Foot of Slope (FoS) has to be determined as the points of maximum change in gradient in the region defined as the Base of the continental Slope (BoS). Moreover, the CLCS guidelines specify that the BoS should be contained within the continental margin (CM). In this way, a full-coverage multibeam bathymetry and an extensive dataset of up 4,736 km of multichannel seismic profiles were expressly obtained during two oceanographic surveys (Breogham-2005 and Espor-2008), aboard the Spanish research vessel Hespérides, to map the outer limit of the CM.In order to follow the criteria of the CLCS guidelines, two types of models reported in the CLCS Guidelines were applied to the Galicia Margin. In passive margins, the Commission's guidelines establish that the natural prolongation is based on that "the natural process by which a continent breaks up prior to the separation by seafloor spreading involves thinning, extension and rifting of the continental crust…" (para. 7.3, CLCS/11). The seaward extension of the wGM should include crustal continental blocks and the so

  20. Recognition of hyper-extended rifted margin remnants in the internal zone of the Alpine belt: A tribute to Marco Beltrando

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohn, Geoffroy; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2016-04-01

    Marco Beltrando was part of the young generation of Alpine geologists who challenged the interpretation of the Western Alps by combining a classical field approach and modern techniques (e.g. 40Ar/39Ar and (U-Th)/He thermochronology). His work provides the foundation to re-interpret some of the classical sections through the Alpine belt and may impact the way of thinking about the nature and structure of internal parts of collisional orogens. This contribution will present the main outcomes of the work of Marco Beltrando and their implications for the understanding of Alpine type orogens. Since his PhD, Marco Beltrando focused most of his work on the study of the internal parts of the Western Alps. He investigated in great details the complex, multiphase structural and metamorphic evolution of the Penninic units in the Western Alps. He concluded that these units went through several cycles of shortening and extension during the Alpine orogeny, with major implications for the Alps but also other orogenic belts. After his PhD, he focused his research on the pre-orogenic evolution of the Alpine belt. He first worked on the Petit St. Bernard area, where he identified relics of the former hyper-extended Tethyan rifted margin. Thanks to his work and his amazing knowledge of the Western Alps, he understood the potential importance of rift-inheritance in controlling the architecture and evolution of the Alpine belt. In parallel to the study of the orogenic evolution, he developed a new methodology to recognize rift-related lithostratigraphic units in highly deformed and metamorphosed parts of the Alps. His innovative work allowed a re-assessment of several areas in the Western Alps and demonstrates the importance of rift inheritance. Recently, he started a new research project on the evolution of the Southern Alps highlighting the importance of heating and cooling cycles resulting from complex successions of rifting events. In spite of his young age, Marco Beltrando was at

  1. 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

  2. Middle Neoproterozoic (ca. 705-716 Ma) arc to rift transitional magmatism in the northern margin of the Yangtze Block: Constraints from geochemistry, zircon U-Pb geochronology and Hf isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ruirui; Xu, Zhiqin; Santosh, M.; Xu, Xianbing; Deng, Qi; Fu, Xuehai

    2017-09-01

    The South Qinling Belt in Central China is an important window to investigate the Neoproterozoic tectono-magmatic processes along the northern margin of the Yangtze Block. Here we present whole-rock geochemistry, zircon U-Pb geochronology and Lu-Hf isotopes of a suite of Middle Neoproterozoic intrusion from the Wudang Uplift in South Qinling. Zircon LA-ICP-MS U-Pb ages reveal that these rocks were formed at ca. 705-716 Ma. Geochemical features indicate that the felsic magmatic rocks are I-type granitoids, belong to calcic- to calc-alkaline series, and display marked negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies. Moreover, the enrichment of light rare earth elements (LREEs) and large ion lithophile elements (LILEs), combined with depletion of heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) support that these rocks have affinity to typical arc magmatic rocks formed in Andean-type active continental margins. The REE patterns are highly to moderately fractionated, with (La/Yb)N = 5.13-8.10 in meta-granites, and 2.32-2.35 in granodiorite. The granitoids have a wide range of zircon εHf(t) values (-29.91 to 14.76) and zircon Hf two-stage model ages (696-3482 Ma). We suggest that the ca. 705-716 Ma granitoids were sourced from different degrees of magma mixing between partial melting of the overlying mantle wedge triggered by hydrous fluids released from subducted materials and crustal melting. The hybrid magmas were emplaced in the shallow crust accompanied by assimilation and fractional crystallization (AFC). Both isotopic and geochemical data suggest that the ca. 705-716 Ma felsic magmatic rocks were formed along a continental arc. These rocks as well as the contemporary A-type granite may mark a transitional tectonic regime from continental arc to rifting, probably related to slab rollback during the oceanic subduction beneath the northern margin of Yangtze Block.

  3. Propagating rift tectonics of a Caledonian marginal basin: Multi-stage seafloor spreading history of the Solund-Stavfjord ophiolite in western Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilek, Yildirim; Furnes, Harald; Skjerlie, K. P.

    1997-10-01

    northern and southern parts of the ophiolite complex and are separated by the ENE-trending Domain III, in which isotropic to pegmatitic gabbros and dike swarms are plastically deformed along ENE-striking sinistral shear zones. These shear zones, which locally include fault slivers of serpentinite intrusions, are crosscut by N20°E-striking undeformed basaltic dike swarms that contain xenoliths of gabbroic material. The NW-trending sheeted dike complex in the northern part of Domain II curves into an ENE orientation approaching Domain III in the south. The anomalous nature of deformed crust in Domain III is interpreted to have developed within an oceanic fracture zone or transform fault boundary. REE chemistry of representative extrusive and dike rocks from all three domains indicates N- to E-MORB affinities of their magmas with high Th/Ta ratios that are characteristic of subduction zone environments. The magmatic evolution of Domain I encompasses closed-system fractional crystallization of high-Mg basaltic magmas in small ephemeral chambers, which gradually interconnected to form large chambers in which mixing of primary magmas with more evolved and fractionated magma caused resetting of magma compositions through time. The compositional range from high-Mg basalts to ferrobasalts within Domain I is reminiscent of modern propagating rift basalts. We interpret the NE-trending Domain I as a remnant of an intermediate-spread rift system that propagated northeastwards (in present coordinate system) into a pre-existing oceanic crust, which was developed along the NW-trending doomed rift (Domain II) in the marginal basin. The N20°E dikes laterally intruding into the anomalous oceanic crust in Domain III represent the tip of the rift propagator. The inferred propagating rift tectonics of the Solund-Stavfjord ophiolite is similar to the evolutionary history of the modern Lau back-arc basin in the SW Pacific and suggests a complex magmatic evolution of the Caledonian marginal

  4. Continental breakup and the dynamics of rifting in back-arc basins : The Gulf of Lion margin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jolivet, Laurent; Gorini, Christian; Smit, Jeroen; Leroy, Sylvie

    Deep seismic profiles and subsidence history of the Gulf of Lion margin reveal an intense stretching of the distal margin and strong postrift subsidence, despite weak extension of the onshore and shallow offshore portions of the margin. We revisit this evolution from the geological interpretation of

  5. Prolonged post-rift magmatism on highly extended crust of divergent continental margins (Baiyun Sag, South China Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Fang; Alves, Tiago M.; Wu, Shiguo; Li, Wei; Huuse, Mads; Mi, Lijun; Sun, Qiliang; Ma, Benjun

    2016-07-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) seismic, borehole and geochemical data reveal a prolonged phase of post-rift magmatism on highly extended crust of the Baiyun Sag, South China Sea. Two volcanic complexes are identified and described in the context of continental rifting and diachronous continental breakup of the South China Sea. Biostratigraphic data from exploration wells BY7-1 and BY2, complemented by K-Ar datings from core samples, confirm that magmatic activity in the Baiyun Sag occurred in two main stages: (1) a first episode at the base of the Miocene (23.8 Ma); and (2) a second episode occurring at the end of the Early Miocene (17.6 Ma). The relative location of volcanic complexes in the Baiyun Sag, and their stratigraphic position, reveals prolonged magmatism inboard of the ocean-continent transition zone during continental breakup. We suggest that magmatism in the Baiyun Sag reflects progressive continental breakup in the South China Sea, with the last volcanic episode marking the end of a breakup sequence representing the early post-rift tectonic events associated with the continental breakup process. Seismic and borehole data from this breakup sequence records diachronous magma emplacement and complex changes in depositional environments during continental breakup.

  6. Spatial Analysis of Volcanoes at Convergent Margins on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, R. V.; de Silva, S. L.; Meyers, M.

    2009-12-01

    One of the most obvious patterns seen on the surface of the terrestrial planets is the distribution of volcanoes. On Earth, most volcanoes are distributed in volcanic “arcs” that signal the primary relationship between subduction and volcanism. The distributions of major composite volcanoes in volcanic arcs are thought to reflect the primary magmatic pathways from source to surface. Understanding these patterns therefore may allow fundamental controls on the organization of magmatic plumbing in arcs to be identified. Using a control dataset from the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes (de Silva and Francis, 1991; Springer-Verlag) we have examined several popular approaches to spatial analysis of volcano distribution in several volcanic arcs (Aleutian, Alaskan, Central American, Northern and Southern volcanic zones of the Andes). Restricting our analysis to major volcanoes of similar age, we find that while clustering is visually obvious in many volcanic arcs it has been rejected as a primary signal by previous analytical efforts (e.g. Bremont d'Ars et al (1995)). We show that the fractal box or grid counting method used previously does not detect clusters and statistical methods such as the Kernel Density Analysis or Single-link Cluster Analysis are better suited for cluster detection. Utilizing both ARC GIS and Matlab to conduct density analyses in combination with statistical software SPlus for the appropriate hypothesis testing methods such as the pooled variance t-test, the Welch Modified two sample t-test, and the f-test we find evidence of clustering in four volcanic arcs whose crustal thickness is greater than or equal to 40 kilometres (Central America, CVZ, NVZ, SVZ). We suggest that clustering is the surface manifestation of upper crustal diffusion of primary magmatic pathways, which in other places manifests as a single volcano. The inter-cluster distance is a thus reflection of primary magmatic pathways and thus equivalent to inter-volcano distance

  7. Earth stewardship on rangelands: Coping with ecological, economic, and political marginality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands encompass 30-40 percent of Earth's land surface and support 1-2 billion people. Their predominant use is extensive livestock production by pastoralists and ranchers. But rangelands are characterized by ecological, economic, and political marginality, and higher-value, more intensive land ...

  8. The supra-detachment tectono-sedimentary record of rifted margins: the example of the Los Barriles Basin, SE Baja California Sur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masini, Emmanuel; Robin, Cécile; Geoffroy, Laurent; Strzerzynski, Pierre

    2010-05-01

    The study of rifted margins have shown that the main controlling structures are changing from classical high-angle faults to low-angle detachment fault dominated extension when the crust thins to less than 10 km, which is the case in hyper-extended, magma-poor rifted margins. While the stratigraphic record related to classical high-angle faulting is well constrained, little is known about the tectono-sedimentary evolution of hyper-extended rift systems. A major question remains, how supra-detachment tectono-sedimentary systems are recorded in the stratigraphic record? This remains largely unexplored and must be better constrained by observations. In our poster, we present preliminary results from our study of a rift basin floored by a low-angle detachment system exposed at the southeastern edge of the Baja California Peninsula in the so-called Los Barriles area in the Gulf of California. This area represents one of the best examples of an active transtensional rift system from which the tectono-sedimentary evolution of the rift to drift transition can be studied in the field. The syn-tectonic sedimentary sequence is floored by a detachment fault and is limited oceanward by an extensional allochthon. The syn- to post-tectonic stratigraphy can be summarized into 4 main formations: (1) The Pescadero fluvial fm. (no available ages) evolves upsection from poorly organized polymictic in components and faulted breccias to more granitic and stratified conglomerates. It overlies the extensional allochthon and is tilted continentwards. The channel incisions show EW paleoflows and the upper Pescadero fm. is transitional to the following Refugio fm. (2) The overlying Refugio fm. (Lower Pliocene) occurs as thick marine sandy deposits within the basin axis, is granitic in composition and has average paleocurrents directions trending N-S. The upper part of the fm. is transitional to the following Barriles fm. (3) The Barriles fm. (Upper Miocene - Lower Pleistocene) occurs as very

  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. Sediments overlying exhumed continental mantle: a proxy for the morphotectonic evolution of the Ocean Continent Transition in magma-poor rifted margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpoff, A. M.; Manatschal, G.; Bernoulli, D.; Lagabrielle, Y.

    2003-04-01

    Observations from ancient and present-day magma-poor rifted margins in the Alps and Iberia provide compelling evidence that within the ocean-continent transition (OCT) crustal and sub-continental mantle rocks were exhumed along downward-concave faults which were active during final rifting and accommodated high amounts of extension. The faults are overlain by stranded allochthons of continental origin, pillow basalts, and pelagic sediments, i.e. radiolarites and/or pelagic limestones, and hemipelagic shales. Associated with the faults are tectono-sedimentary breccias and various types of clastic sediments, ranging from debris flow deposits to laminated sandstone, and quartz-rich silt- and claystones. Mineralogical studies of the shales, red jaspers, and red cherts overlying mantle rocks in the Alps of eastern Switzerland are typically quartz-rich and contain variable amounts of phyllosilicates (chlorite and/or mica), feldspars, ± calcite, oxides, pyrite, and epidote. Their main geochemical characteristic is the high silica and low iron and manganese content, which contrasts with that of "metalliferous" Fe-Mn-Si-rich sediments overlying oceanic basalts. High Fe, Ba, REE, U/Th values measured in black shales overlying mantle rocks in the proximal OCT point to a strong hydrothermal activity associated with mantle exhumation. The clastic sediments in the OCT show a wide range of compositions related to mantle, continental crust, and/or pelagic contributions. In particular, the fact that these sediments contain abundant material derived from continental basement rocks seems at odds with their occurrence on top of tectonized mantle rocks. However, drilling in the Iberia margin, where tectonized mantle rocks are overlain by sedimentary breccias (e.g. ODP Sites 1068, 1070), shed new light on the observations in the Alps. Based on drill-hole and seismic data, the tectono-sedimentary breccias drilled in the OCT off Iberia may be interpreted to result from a conveyor

  11. Seismicity of the rocky mountains and Rio Grande Rift from the EarthScope Transportable Array and CREST temporary seismic networks, 2008-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakai, J. S.; Sheehan, A. F.; Bilek, S. L.

    2017-03-01

    We developed a catalog of small magnitude (ML -0.1 to 4.7) seismicity across Colorado and New Mexico from the EarthScope USArray Transportable Array and CREST (Colorado Rocky Mountains Experiment and Seismic Transects) seismic networks from 2008 to 2010 to characterize active deformation in the Rio Grande Rift. We recorded over 900 earthquakes in the Rio Grande Rift region, not including induced earthquakes and mine blasts, and find that the rift is actively deforming both broadly and in distinct regions. Seismic events that are likely induced, mostly in the Raton Basin, make up 66% of the catalog (1837 earthquakes). Neogene faults in the northern rift in north central Colorado are seismically active in the North Park Basin and northwestern Colorado. The central rift from the San Luis Basin (southern Colorado) to south of the Socorro Magma Body is the most seismically active rift region, and seismicity delineates the deformation in the Colorado Plateau transition zone, which is spatially correlated with volcanic vents, dikes, and faults within the western Jemez Lineament. The eastern Jemez Lineament is nearly aseismic and surrounded by a halo of seismicity culminating in boundaries defined by recent moderate (Mw 3.9 and Mw 3.3) earthquakes. The southern rift is characterized by diffuse seismicity in Texas and Mexico. This study provides an updated seismic catalog built with uniformity in seismometer coverage and low epicentral uncertainties ( 2 km) that allows for regional evaluation of seismicity. During this time period, clusters of seismicity and moderate magnitude earthquakes characterize deformation in a low-strain rate extensional environment.

  12. Patterns and Dynamics of Rifting on Passive Continental Margin from Shelf to Slope of the Northern South China Sea:Evidence from 3D Analogue Modeling

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sun Zhen; Zhou Di; Wu Shimin; Zhong Zhihong; Myra Keep; Jiang Jianqun; Fan Hao

    2009-01-01

    Affected by thermal perturbation due to mantle uprising,the rheological structure of the lithosphere could be modified,which could lead to different rifting patterns from shelf to slope in a passive continental margin.From the observed deformation style on the northern South China Sea and analogue modeling experiments,we find that the rift zone located on the shelf is characterized by half grabens or simple grabens controlled mainly by long faults with large vertical offset,supposed to be formed with normal lithasphere extension.On the slope,where the lithosphere is very hot due to mantle upwelling and heating,composite grabens composed of symmetric grabens developed.The boundary and inner faults are all short with small vertical offset.Between the zones with very hot and normal lithosphere,composite half grnbens composed of half grabens or asymmetric grabens formed,whose boundary faults are long with large vertical offset,while the inner faults are relatively short.Along with the thickness decrease of the brittle upper crust due to high temperature,the deformation becomes more sensitive to the shape of a pre-existing weakness zone and shows orientation variation along strike.When there was a bend in the pre-existing weakness zone,and the basal plate was pulled by a clockwise rotating stress,the strongest deformation always occurs along the middle segment and at the transition area from the middle to the eastern segments,which contributes to a hotter lithosphere in the middle segment,where the Baiyun (白云) sag formed.

  13. 3D P-wave velocity structure of the deep Galicia rifted margin: A first analysis of the Galicia 3D wide-angle seismic dataset

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayrakci, Gaye; Minshull, Timothy A.; Davy, Richard G.; Karplus, Marianne S.; Kaeschen, Dirk; Papenberg, Cord; Krabbenhoeft, Anne; Sawyer, Dale; Reston, Timothy J.; Shillington, Donna J.; Ranero, César R.

    2014-05-01

    Galicia 3D, a reflection-refraction and long offset seismic experiment was carried out from May through September 2013, at the Galicia rifted margin (in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain) as a collaboration between US, UK, German and Spanish groups. The 3D multichannel seismic acquisition conducted by R/V Marcus Langseth covered a 64 km by 20 km (1280 km2) zone where the main geological features are the Peridotite Ridge (PR), composed of serpentinized peridotite and thought be upper mantle exhumed to the seafloor during rifting, and the S reflector which has been interpreted to be a low angle detachment fault overlain by fault bounded, rotated, continental crustal blocks. In the 3D box, two airgun arrays of 3300 cu.in. were fired alternately (in flip-flop configuration) every 37.5 m. All shots are recorded by 44 short period four component ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) and 26 ocean bottom hydrophones (OBH) deployed and recovered by R/V Poseidon, as well as four 6 km hydrophone streamers with 12.5 m channel spacing towed by R/V Marcus Langseth. We present the preliminary results of the first arrival time tomography study which is carried out with a subset of the wide-angle dataset, in order to generate a 3D P-wave velocity volume for the entire depth sampled by the reflection data. After the relocation of OBSs and OBHs, an automatic first-arrival time picking approach is applied to a subset of the dataset, which comprises more than 5.5 million source-receiver pairs. Then, the first-arrival times are checked visually, in 3-dimensions. The a priori model used for the first-arrival time tomography is built up using information from previous seismic surveys carried out at the Galicia margin (e.g. ISE, 1997). The FAST algorithm of Zelt and Barton (1998) is used for the first-arrival time inversion. The 3D P-wave velocity volume can be used in interpreting the reflection dataset, as a starting point for migration, to quantify the thinning of the crustal layers

  14. Holocene late Pleistocene non-tropical carbonate sediments and tectonic history of the western rift basin margin of the southern Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halfar, Jochen; Godinez-Orta, Lucio; Goodfriend, Glenn A.; Mucciarone, David A.; Ingle, James C.; Holden, Peter

    2001-10-01

    that late Pleistocene uplift along the eastern side of the island could be as high as 310 mm/ka whereas downdropping along the western side of the island occurred at a rate of up to 15 mm/ka. Isla Espiritu Santo therefore constitutes part of the uplifted shoulder of the western margin of the Gulf of California rift basin. Patterns of vertical tectonic movements of Isla Espiritu Santo together with fault offsets on the surrounding seafloor and slump features on steep submarine slopes, point to continuous activity of the La Paz and Espiritu Santo faults. Results of this study will assist in recognizing and interpreting similar settings along ancient non-tropical rift basin margins worldwide and especially in the Neogene of the Gulf of California.

  15. Spatial patterns of catchment erosion on the Rio Grande Rift margin, Guadalupe Mountains, Texas and New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tranel, L. M.; Schaefer, K.; Happel, A. A.; Rothschild, T. J.

    2016-12-01

    The escarpments of the Guadalupe Mountains serve as distinct landmarks to travelers across the southern US, but they also reflect the eastern boundary of the Rio Grande Rift. As the geoscience community continues to investigate how surface and mantle processes interact, the Guadalupe Mountains provide a valuable landscape to test if and how surface features capture mantle processes at the outer limits of extension. Although the rocks of the Guadalupe Mountains have been well studied for their relationship to petroleum sources and reservoirs, recent faulting and sediment production via erosion is less well understood. This study investigates the timing and spatial distribution of catchment erosion to investigate the spatial variability of erosional and tectonic influences. Analysis of topographic features suggests that eastern catchments are older features that formed prior to initiation of extension in the region. Therefore, we expect erosion rates to be slower in eastern catchments than the more recently exposed catchments to the west. Based on the typical evolution and propagation of normal faults, we also expect faster erosion rates in the center of the range than at the northern or southern ends. In this study, we use catchment averaged erosion rates from a combination of digital elevation models and cosmogenic radionuclides (CRN) to assess spatial variability across the range and along the western escarpment. CRN concentrations suggest erosion may be faster in catchments draining to the east. This could be related to a larger catchment area capturing more rainfall in ephermeral stream systems, and therefore providing more stream power to effectively erode bedrock. Volumetric analyses of catchments throughout the Guadalupe Mountains indicate that the greatest volume of sediment was eroded from catchments at the southern end of the range. The largest catchments drain east, however where faults are mapped, larger catchments formed near complex fault arrays to the

  16. Escarpment evolution on high-elevation rifted margins: Insights derived from a surface processes model that combines diffusion, advection and reaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooi, Henk; Beaumont, Christopher

    1994-01-01

    determined by the ratio of hte short-range diffusive and long range advective transport efficiencies. A low ration (which is interpreted to correspond to a more humid, temperate climate) produces a convex upper slope, and concave lower slope morphology and only major escarpments are predicted to preserve a high scarp gradient. Lithological contrasts in hte model produce more complex morphologies and predict the formation of scarps crowned by an erosionaly resistant caprock. However, resistant caprocks are not an essential requirement for model scarps to retreat. We conclude that the inferred controls and model behavior are both consistent with the present-day morphology of rifted continental margins and with modern conceptual models of landscape evolution.

  17. Discussion on final rifting evolution and breakup : insights from the Mid Norwegian - North East Greenland rifted system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peron-Pinvidic, Gwenn; Terje Osmundsen, Per

    2016-04-01

    In terms of rifted margin studies, the characteristics of the distal and outer domains are among the today's most debated questions. The architecture and composition of deep margins are rarely well constrained and hence little understood. Except from in a handful number of cases (eg. Iberia-Newfoundland, Southern Australia, Red Sea), basement samples are not available to decipher between the various interpretations allowed by geophysical models. No consensus has been reached on the basement composition, tectonic structures, sedimentary geometries or magmatic content. The result is that non-unique end-member interpretations and models are still proposed in the literature. So, although these domains mark the connection between continents and oceans, and thus correspond to unique stages in the Earth's lithospheric life cycle, their spatial and temporal evolution are still unresolved. The Norwegian-Greenland Sea rift system represents an exceptional laboratory to work on questions related to rifting, rifted margin formation and sedimentary basin evolution. It has been extensively studied for decades by both the academic and the industry communities. The proven and expected oil and gas potentials led to the methodical acquisition of world-class geophysical datasets, which permit the detailed research and thorough testing of concepts at local and regional scales. This contribution is issued from a three years project funded by ExxonMobil aiming at better understanding the crustal-scale nature and evolution of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. The idea was to take advantage of the data availability on this specific rift system to investigate further the full crustal conjugate scale history of rifting, confronting the various available datasets. In this contribution, we will review the possible structural and sedimentary geometries of the distal margin, and their connection to the oceanic domain. We will discuss the definition of 'breakup' and introduce a first order conceptual

  18. Sea-ice dynamics strongly promote Snowball Earth initiation and destabilize tropical sea-ice margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Voigt

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The Snowball Earth bifurcation, or runaway ice-albedo feedback, is defined for particular boundary conditions by a critical CO2 and a critical sea-ice cover (SI, both of which are essential for evaluating hypotheses related to Neoproterozoic glaciations. Previous work has shown that the Snowball Earth bifurcation, denoted as (CO2, SI*, differs greatly among climate models. Here, we study the effect of bare sea-ice albedo, sea-ice dynamics and ocean heat transport on (CO2, SI* in the atmosphere–ocean general circulation model ECHAM5/MPI-OM with Marinoan (~ 635 Ma continents and solar insolation (94% of modern. In its standard setup, ECHAM5/MPI-OM initiates a~Snowball Earth much more easily than other climate models at (CO2, SI* ≈ (500 ppm, 55%. Replacing the model's standard bare sea-ice albedo of 0.75 by a much lower value of 0.45, we find (CO2, SI* ≈ (204 ppm, 70%. This is consistent with previous work and results from net evaporation and local melting near the sea-ice margin. When we additionally disable sea-ice dynamics, we find that the Snowball Earth bifurcation can be pushed even closer to the equator and occurs at a hundred times lower CO2: (CO2, SI* ≈ (2 ppm, 85%. Therefore, the simulation of sea-ice dynamics in ECHAM5/MPI-OM is a dominant determinant of its high critical CO2 for Snowball initiation relative to other models. Ocean heat transport has no effect on the critical sea-ice cover and only slightly decreases the critical CO2. For disabled sea-ice dynamics, the state with 85% sea-ice cover is stabilized by the Jormungand mechanism and shares characteristics with the Jormungand climate states. However, there is no indication of the Jormungand bifurcation and hysteresis in ECHAM5/MPI-OM. The state with 85% sea-ice cover therefore is a soft Snowball state rather than a true

  19. Low-temperature thermochronologic constraints on cooling and exhumation trends along conjugate margins, within core complexes and eclogite-bearing gneiss domes of the Woodlark rift system of eastern Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, P. G.; Baldwin, S.; Bermudez, M. A.; Miller, S. R.; Webb, L. E.; Little, T.

    2012-12-01

    In eastern Papua New Guinea, active sea-floor spreading within the Woodlark Basin has been propagating westward since at least 6 Ma into heterogeneous crust of the Woodlark Rift. The seafloor spreading system divides the northern conjugate margin (Woodlark Rise) from the southern margin (Pocklington Rise). West of the seafloor spreading rift-tip are high-standing extensional gneiss domes and core complexes of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands (DEI). Domes comprise amphibolite and eclogite-facies gneisses, and Pleistocene granitoid intrusions. Flanked by mylonitic shear zone carapaces and normal faults, the domes are juxtaposed against an upper plate that includes ultramafic rocks and gabbro, correlated with the Papuan ultramafic belt. Petrologic and structural evidence from the DEI has been interpreted as evidence for diapiric ascent of the largely felsic domes, with thermo-mechanical modeling proposing (U)HP exhumation in terms of diapiric flow aided by propagating extension, with feedback between the two. Core complexes lacking evidence for diapiric-aided exhumation include the Prevost Range (eastern Normanby Island), Dayman Dome (Papuan Peninsula), and Misima Island (southern conjugate margin). Thermochronology is being applied to understand the thermal and exhumation history, and hence help constrain mechanisms of (U)HP exhumation. AFT and AHe ages from samples near sea-level along conjugate margins and DEI range from ca. 12 Ma to Goodenough Island, the western-most and highest-standing dome. On Goodenough Island, samples from the core zone have AFT ages from ~3 - test the relative roles of buoyancy and normal faulting during exhumation of eclogite-bearing domes within the Woodlark rift system.

  20. Re-evaluation of the Mentelle Basin, a polyphase rifted margin basin, offshore southwest Australia: new insights from integrated regional seismic datasets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Maloney

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Vintage 2-D (two-dimensional seismic reflection surveys from the sparsely explored Mentelle Basin (western Australian margin have been reprocessed and integrated with a recent high-quality 2-D seismic survey and stratigraphic borehole data. Interpretation of these data sets allows the internal geometry of the Mentelle Basin fill and depositional history to be reanalysed and new insights into its formation revealed. Basin stratigraphy can be subdivided into several seismically defined megasequences separated by major unconformities related to both breakup between India-Madagascar and Australia-Antarctica in the Valanginian-Late Hauterivian and tectonically-driven switches in deposition through the Albian.

    Resting on the Valanginian-Late Hauterivian breakup unconformity are several kilometre-scale mounded structures that formed during Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous extension. These have previously been interpreted as volcanic edifices although direct evidence of volcanic feeder systems is lacking. An alternative interpretation is that these features may be carbonate build-ups. The latter interpretation carries significant climatic ramifications since carbonate build-ups would have formed at high palaeolatitude, ~60° S.

    Soon after breakup, initial subsidence resulted in a shallow marine environment and deposition of Barremian-Aptian silty-sandy mudstones. As subsidence continued, thick successions of Albian ferruginous black clays were deposited. Internally, seismic megasequences composed of successions of black clays show previously unresolved unconformities, onlapping and downlapping packages, which reflect a complex depositional, rifting and subsidence history at odds with their previous interpretation as open marine sediments.

    Southwestwards migration of the Kerguelen hotspot led to thermal contraction and subsidence to the present day water depth (~3000 m. This was accompanied by Turonian-Santonian deposition of

  1. North America's Midcontinent Rift: when Rift MET Lip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Kley, J.; Keller, G. R., Jr.; Bollmann, T. A.; Wolin, E.; Zhang, H.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Ola, K.; Wysession, M. E.; Wiens, D.; Alequabi, G.; Waite, G. P.; Blavascunas, E.; Engelmann, C. A.; Flesch, L. M.; Rooney, T. O.; Moucha, R.; Brown, E.

    2015-12-01

    Rifts are segmented linear depressions, filled with sedimentary and igneous rocks, that form by extension and often evolve into plate boundaries. Flood basalts, a class of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), are broad regions of extensive volcanism due to sublithospheric processes. Typical rifts are not filled with flood basalts, and typical flood basalts are not associated with significant crustal extension and faulting. North America's Midcontinent Rift (MCR) is an unusual combination. Its 3000-km length formed as part of the 1.1 Ga rifting of Amazonia (Precambrian NE South America) from Laurentia (Precambrian North America) and became inactive once seafloor spreading was established, but contains an enormous volume of igneous rocks. MCR volcanics are significantly thicker than other flood basalts, due to deposition in a narrow rift rather than a broad region, giving a rift geometry but a LIP's magma volume. Structural modeling of seismic reflection data shows an initial rift phase where flood basalts filled a fault-controlled extending basin, and a postrift phase where volcanics and sediments were deposited in a thermally subsiding basin without associated faulting. The crust thinned during rifting and rethickened during the postrift phase and later compression, yielding the present thicker crust. The coincidence of a rift and LIP yielded the world's largest deposit of native copper. This combination arose when a new rift associated with continental breakup interacted with a mantle plume or anomalously hot or fertile upper mantle. Integration of diverse data types and models will give insight into questions including how the magma source was related to the rifting, how their interaction operated over a long period of rapid plate motion, why the lithospheric mantle below the MCR differs only slightly from its surroundings, how and why extension, volcanism, and compression varied along the rift arms, and how successful seafloor spreading ended the rift phase. Papers

  2. Early Cambrian granitoids of North Gondwana margin in the transition from a convergent setting to intra-continental rifting (Ossa-Morena Zone, SW Iberia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-García, T.; Pereira, M. F.; Bellido, F.; Chichorro, M.; Silva, J. B.; Valverde-Vaquero, P.; Pin, Ch.; Solá, A. R.

    2014-07-01

    Two distinct Cambrian magmatic pulses are recognized in the Ossa-Morena Zone (SW Iberia): an early rift-(ER) and a main rift-related event. This Cambrian magmatism is related to intra-continental rifting of North Gondwana that is thought to have culminated in the opening of the Rheic Ocean in Lower Ordovician times. New data of whole-rock geochemistry (19 samples), Sm-Nd-Sr isotopes (4 samples) and ID-TIMS U-Pb zircon geochronology (1 sample) of the Early Cambrian ER plutonic rocks of the Ossa-Morena Zone are presented in this contribution. The ER granitoids (Barreiros, Barquete, Calera, Salvatierra de los Barros and Tablada granitoid Massifs) are mostly peraluminous granites. The Sm-Nd isotopic data show moderate negative ɛNdt values ranging from -3.5 to +0.1 and TDM ages greatly in excess of emplacement ages. Most ER granitoids are crustal melts. However, a subset of samples shows a transitional anorogenic alkaline tendency, together with more primitive isotopic signatures, documenting the participation of lower crust or mantle-derived sources and suggesting a local transient advanced stage of rifting. The Barreiros granitoid is intrusive into the Ediacaran basement of the Ossa-Morena Zone (Série Negra succession) and has yielded a crystallization age of 524.7 ± 0.8 Ma consistent with other ages of ER magmatic pulse. This age: (1) constrains the age of the metamorphism developed in the Ediacaran back-arc basins before the intrusion of granites and (2) defines the time of the transition from the Ediacaran convergent setting to the Lower Cambrian intra-continental rifting in North Gondwana.

  3. Rifts in spreading wax layers

    CERN Document Server

    Ragnarsson, R; Santangelo, C D; Bodenschatz, E; Ragnarsson, Rolf; Ford, J Lewis; Santangelo, Christian D; Bodenschatz, Eberhard

    1995-01-01

    We report experimental results on the rift formation between two freezing wax plates. The plates were pulled apart with constant velocity, while floating on the melt, in a way akin to the tectonic plates of the earth's crust. At slow spreading rates, a rift, initially perpendicular to the spreading direction, was found to be stable, while above a critical spreading rate a "spiky" rift with fracture zones almost parallel to the spreading direction developed. At yet higher spreading rates a second transition from the spiky rift to a zig-zag pattern occurred. In this regime the rift can be characterized by a single angle which was found to be dependent on the spreading rate. We show that the oblique spreading angles agree with a simple geometrical model. The coarsening of the zig-zag pattern over time and the three-dimensional structure of the solidified crust are also discussed.

  4. Rift brittle deformation of SE-Brazilian continental margin: Kinematic analysis of onshore structures relative to the transfer and accommodation zones of southern Campos Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savastano, Vítor Lamy Mesiano; Schmitt, Renata da Silva; Araújo, Mário Neto Cavalcanti de; Inocêncio, Leonardo Campos

    2017-01-01

    High-resolution drone-supported mapping and traditional field work were used to refine the hierarchy and kinematics of rift-related faults in the basement rocks and Early Cretaceous mafic dikes onshore of the Campos Basin, SE-Brazil. Two sets of structures were identified. The most significant fault set is NE-SW oriented with predominantly normal displacement. At mesoscale, this fault set is arranged in a rhombic pattern, interpreted here as a breached relay ramp system. The rhombic pattern is a penetrative fabric from the thin-section to regional scale. The second-order set of structures is an E-W/ESE-WNW system of normal faults with sinistral component. These E-W structures are oriented parallel with regional intrabasinal transfer zones associated with the earliest stages of Campos Basin's rift system. The crosscutting relationship between the two fault sets and tholeiitic dikes implies that the NE-SW fault set is the older feature, but remained active until the final stages of rifting in this region as the second-order fault set is older than the tholeiitic dikes. Paleostresses estimated from fault slip inversion method indicated that extension was originally NW-SE, with formation of the E-W transfer, followed by ESE-WNW oblique opening associated with a relay ramp system and related accommodation zones.

  5. Rare-earth elements and uranium in phosphatic nodules from the continental margins of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nath, B.N.; Rao, B.R.; Rao, K.M.; Rao, Ch.M.

    abundances relative to shale (Sigma REE in sample / Sigma REE in shale) are less than 0.22 and are comparable to phosphatic nodules from the Namibian continental margin, and are slightly lower than the nodules from the Peruvian continental margin. The cerium...

  6. Late Quaternary Normal Faulting and Hanging Wall Basin Evolution of the Southwestern Rift Margin From Gravity and Geology, B.C.S., MX and Exploring the Influence of Text-Figure Format on Introductory Geology Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Melanie M. D.

    2011-12-01

    An array of north-striking, left-stepping, active normal faults is situated along the southwestern margin of the Gulf of California. This normal fault system is the marginal fault system of the oblique-divergent plate boundary within the Gulf of California. To better understand the role of upper-crustal processes during development of an obliquely rifted plate margin, gravity surveys were conducted across the normal-fault-bounded basins within the gulf-margin array and, along with optically stimulated luminescence dating of offset surfaces, fault-slip rates were estimated and fault patterns across basins were assessed, providing insight into sedimentary basin evolution. Additionally, detailed geologic and geomorphic maps were constructed along two faults within the system, leading to a more complete understanding of the role of individual normal faults within a larger array. These faults slip at a low rate (0.1--1 mm/yr) and have relatively shallow hanging wall basins (˜500--3000 m). Overall, the gulf-margin faults accommodate protracted, distributed deformation at a low rate and provide a minor contribution to overall rifting. Integrating figures with text can lead to greater science learning than when either medium is presented alone. Textbooks, composed of text and graphics, are a primary source of content in most geology classes. It is essential to understand how students approach learning from text and figures in textbook-style learning materials and how the arrangement of the text and figures influences their learning approach. Introductory geology students were eye tracked while learning from textbook-style materials composed of text and graphics. Eye fixation data showed that students spent less time examining the figure than the text, but the students who more frequently examined the figure tended to improve more from the pretest to the posttest. In general, students tended to examine the figure at natural breaks in the reading. Textbook-style materials

  7. Geophysical glimpses into the Ferrigno Rift at the northwestern tip of the West Antarctic Rift System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bingham, Robert; Ferraccioli, Fausto

    2014-05-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) forms one of the largest continental rift systems on Earth. The WARS is of major significance as it forms the lithospheric cradle for the marine-based and potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Seismic refraction, reflection, aeromagnetic, gravity and drilling in the Ross Sea have revealed most of what we know about its structure, tectonic and magmatic patterns and sedimentary basins. Aerogeophysical research and passive seismic networks have considerably extended our knowledge of the WARS and its influence on the overlying WAIS in the Siple Coast and Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) regions. The Bellingshausen Sea Embayment region has however remained largely unexplored, and hence the possible extent of the WARS in this sector has remained poorly constrained. Here we use a combination of reconnaissance ground-based and airborne radar observations, airborne gravity, satellite gravity and aeromagnetic data to investigate the WARS in the Bellingshausen Sea Embayment, in the area of the Ferrigno Ice Stream (Bingham et al., 2012, Nature). This region is of high significance, as it one of the main sectors of the WAIS that is currently exhibiting rapid ice loss, thought to be driven primarily by oceanic warming. Assessing geological controls on subice topography and ice dynamics is therefore of prime importance in this part of the WAIS. Ground-based and airborne radar image a subglacial basin beneath the Ferrigno Ice Stream that is up to 1.5 kilometres deep and that connects the ice-sheet interior to the Bellingshausen Sea margin. We interpret this basin as a narrow, glacially overdeepened rift basin that formed at the northwestern tip of the WARS. Satellite gravity data cannot resolve such a narrow rift basin but indicate that the crust beneath the region is likely thinned, lending support to the hypothesis that this area is indeed part of the WARS. Widely-spaced aeromagnetic data image a linear low along the inferred

  8. A preliminary description of the Gan-Hang failed rift, southeastern china

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodell, P. C.; Gilder, S.; Fang, X.

    1991-10-01

    The Gan-Hang failed rift, as defined by present-day topography, extends at least 450 km in length and 50 km in width. It is a northeast-southwest trending series of features spanning from Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang province into Jiangxi province through Fuzhou City. Southwest of Fuzhou, the rift splits into two portions: one continuing along the southwestern trend, and the other diverging westward. The total extent of the rift cannot be defined at this time. The rift is superimposed upon a major suture zone of Caledonian or early Mesozoic age. The suture represents the fusing of the South China (Huanan) and Yangtze cratons. Perhaps in Late Triassic, but for sure by Late-Middle Jurassic time, the rifting was initiated and followed this older suture, in part. This time corresponds roughly to the middle stage of the Yanshanian orogeny and to the subduction of the postulated Pacific- Kula ridge southeast of the continental margin. The total thickness of the sediments and volcanics filling the rift valley reaches more than 10,000 m. Peak intensity of extension was between Late-Middle Jurassic and Middle to Late Cretaceous. Sedimentation within the rift was not continuous and is marked with periodic unconformities. Sediments within the rift include red beds, sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, conglomerates, breccias, tuffs, and ignimbrites. Vertebrate fossils and dinosaur eggs are also found. Contemporaneous volcanics within and flanking the rift include basalts, rhyolites, granites, gabbros, dacites, and andesites. Silicic volcanics are mostly attributed to caldera systems. Early basalts are tholeiitic and later change to alkaline-olivine basalt. Bimodal volcanism is recognized. Peak intensity of volcanism ranges between 135 and 75 Ma. In Early Cenozoic time, the area was a topographic low. Paleocene- Eocene sediments and evaporites are the last rocks to be deposited in the rift. Today the rift is delineated by major, high-angle faults (the Pingxiang-Guangfeng deep fault

  9. 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.

  10. Continental Rifts and Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Holly J.

    2017-04-01

    Nearly all resource-forming systems involve upward mobility of fluids and melts. In fact, one of the most effective means of chemically transforming the earth's crust can be readily observed in the rift environment. Imposition of rifting is based on deeper stresses that play out in the crust. At its most fundamental level, rifting transfers heat and fluids to the crust. Heat delivered by fluids aids both in transport of metal and maturation of hydrocarbons. The oxidizing capacity of fluids on their arrival in the deep crust, whether derived from old slabs, depleted upper mantle and/or deeper, more primitive mantle, is a fundamental part of the resource-forming equation. Oxidizing fluids transport some metals and breakdown kerogen, the precursor for oil. Reducing fluids transport a different array of metals. The tendency is to study the resource, not the precursor or the non-economic footprint. In doing so, we lose the opportunity to discover the involvement and significance of initiating processes; for example, externally derived fluids may produce widespread alteration in host rocks, a process that commonly precedes resource deposition. It is these processes that are ultimately the transferable knowledge for successful mineral and hydrocarbon exploration. Further limiting our understanding of process is the tendency to study large, highly complex, and economically successful ore-forming or petroleum systems. In order to understand their construction, however, it is necessary to put equal time toward understanding non-economic systems. It is the non-economic systems that often clearly preserve key processes. The large resource-forming systems are almost always characterized by multiple episodes of hydrothermal overprints, making it difficult if not impossible to clearly discern individual events. Understanding what geologic and geochemical features blocked or arrested the pathway to economic success or, even worse, caused loss of a resource, are critical to

  11. Inheritance of Jurassic rifted margin architecture into the Apennines Neogene mountain building: a case history from the Lucretili Mts. (Latium, Central Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bollati, Andrea; Corrado, Sveva; Marino, Maurizio

    2012-06-01

    The western Lucretili Mts. in the central Apennines (Latium, Italy) have been recently re-mapped in great detail and are the subject of combined stratigraphic, sedimentological and structural investigations. In this paper, we present a new stratigraphic interpretation of the Jurassic paleogeography of western Lucretili Mts., where a rift-derived intrabasinal paleo-high of the Alpine Tethys has been identified for the first time by means of facies analysis and biostratigraphic dating. Recognised facies associations, combined with dated stratigraphic sections, allow to define the morphology of the structural paleo-high and to identify the associated gravity-driven deposits (olistoliths) accumulated in the surrounding basin. Furthermore, we investigated the modes of interaction between Jurassic extensional structures and the subsequent contractional patterns developed during the Tertiary mountain building. In detail, the role played during Apennines tectonics by the paleo-escarpments bounding the paleo-high and by the surrounding olistoliths has been analysed. The paleo-escarpments either acted as focussing features for ENE-directed frontal thrust ramp localisation and were offset with small shortening amounts or reactivated as NNE striking high angle transpressional faults or preserved the original geometries as a result of variable orientation of paleo-escarpments with respect to the Neogene compressive stress field (with ENE oriented sigma1). Newly formed ENE striking tear faults connect these either inherited or neo-formed discontinuities. This complex stratigraphic and structural pattern is substantially different from the previous interpretations of this portion of the central Apennines based on a hypothesised layer-cake stratigraphy deformed by neo-formed Neogene thrusts. This contribution strengthens the importance of integrating facies analyses and structural investigations to detect the influence of pre-orogenic structures on compressive structural patterns

  12. Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2010 eastern margin of the Australia plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benz, Harley M.; Herman, Matthew; Tarr, Arthur C.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Dart, Richard L.; Rhea, Susan

    2011-01-01

    The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most seismically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3,000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand. Since 1900, there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

  13. An updated global earthquake catalogue for stable continental regions: Reassessing the correlation with ancient rifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, S.M.; Mooney, W.D.

    2005-01-01

    We present an updated global earthquake catalogue for stable continental regions (SCRs; i.e. intraplate earthquakes) that is available on the Internet. Our database contains information on location, magnitude, seismic moment and focal mechanisms for over 1300 M (moment magnitude) ??? 4.5 historic and instrumentally recorded crustal events. Using this updated earthquake database in combination with a recently published global catalogue of rifts, we assess the correlation of intraplate seismicity with ancient rifts on a global scale. Each tectonic event is put into one of five categories based on location: (i) interior rifts/taphrogens, (ii) rifted continental margins, (iii) non-rifted crust, (iv) possible interior rifts and (v) possible rifted margins. We find that approximately 27 per cent of all events are classified as interior rifts (i), 25 per cent are rifted continental margins (ii), 36 per cent are within non-rifted crust (iii) and 12 per cent (iv and v) remain uncertain. Thus, over half (52 per cent) of all events are associated with rifted crust, although within the continental interiors (i.e. away from continental margins), non-rifted crust has experienced more earthquakes than interior rifts. No major change in distribution is found if only large (M ??? 6.0) earthquakes are considered. The largest events (M ??? 7.0) however, have occurred predominantly within rifts (50 per cent) and continental margins (43 per cent). Intraplate seismicity is not distributed evenly. Instead several zones of concentrated seismicity seem to exist. This is especially true for interior rifts/taphrogens, where a total of only 12 regions are responsible for 74 per cent of all events and as much as 98 per cent of all seismic moment released in that category. Of the four rifts/taphrogens that have experienced the largest earthquakes, seismicity within the Kutch rift, India, and the East China rift system, may be controlled by diffuse plate boundary deformation more than by the

  14. Sedimentology and significance of an early syn-rift paleovalley, Wadi Tayiba, Suez Rift, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Christopher Aiden-Lee

    2008-09-01

    Wadi Tayiba is located along the western margin of the Hammam Faraun fault block, western Sinai, Egypt and is generally thought to contain exposures of the 'type-section' for late pre-rift to early syn-rift stratigraphy associated with the Oligo-Miocene Suez Rift. Previous studies have suggested a complex vertical succession of sedimentary facies characterise the late pre-rift to early syn-rift and imply major and abrupt variations in relative sea-level during this time. Detailed sedimentological and stratigraphic analysis of the Wadi Tayiba type-section presented in this study identifies not only a far simpler vertical facies succession than previously suggested but also the development of a major paleovalley system at the base of the early syn-rift succession. It is suggested that this subtle but significant feature is the cause of the complex vertical facies succession previously interpreted. It is concluded that continuous marine sedimentation and only moderate amplitude variations in relative sea-level occurred during the Eocene to Early Oligocene within at least this part of the Suez Rift. A major relative sea-level fall occurred during the middle Oligocene and a regionally developed erosional surface associated with this event marks the contact between late pre-rift and early syn-rift strata. The results of this study have major implications for sub-regional correlations of late pre-rift to early syn-rift stratigraphic units and resultant palaeogeographic reconstructions of the late pre-rift to early syn-rift period.

  15. Kinematics of the South Atlantic rift

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Heine

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The South Atlantic rift basin evolved as branch of a large Jurassic-Cretaceous intraplate rift zone between the African and South American plates during the final breakup of western Gondwana. While the relative motions between South America and Africa for post-breakup times are well resolved, many issues pertaining to the fit reconstruction and particular the relation between kinematics and lithosphere dynamics during pre-breakup remain unclear in currently published plate models. We have compiled and assimilated data from these intraplated rifts and constructed a revised plate kinematic model for the pre-breakup evolution of the South Atlantic. Based on structural restoration of the conjugate South Atlantic margins and intracontinental rift basins in Africa and South America, we achieve a tight fit reconstruction which eliminates the need for previously inferred large intracontinental shear zones, in particular in Patagonian South America. By quantitatively accounting for crustal deformation in the Central and West African rift zone, we have been able to indirectly construct the kinematic history of the pre-breakup evolution of the conjugate West African-Brazilian margins. Our model suggests a causal link between changes in extension direction and velocity during continental extension and the generation of marginal structures such as the enigmatic Pre-salt sag basin and the São Paulo High. We model an initial E–W directed extension between South America and Africa (fixed in present-day position at very low extensional velocities until Upper Hauterivian times (≈126 Ma when rift activity along in the equatorial Atlantic domain started to increase significantly. During this initial ≈17 Myr-long stretching episode the Pre-salt basin width on the conjugate Brazilian and West African margins is generated. An intermediate stage between 126.57 Ma and Base Aptian is characterised by strain localisation, rapid lithospheric weakening in the

  16. The structures, stratigraphy and evolution of the Gulf of Corinth rift, Greece

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Brian; Weiss, Jonathan R.; Goodliffe, Andrew M.; Sachpazi, Maria; Laigle, Mireille; Hirn, Alfred

    2011-06-01

    A multichannel seismic and bathymetry survey of the central and eastern Gulf of Corinth (GoC), Greece, reveals the offshore fault geometry, seismic stratigraphy and basin evolution of one of Earths most active continental rift systems. Active, right-stepping, en-echelon, north-dipping border faults trend ESE along the southern Gulf margin, significantly overlapping along strike. The basement offsets of three (Akrata-Derveni, Sithas and Xylocastro) are linked. The faults are biplanar to listric: typically intermediate angle (˜35° in the centre and 45-48° in the east) near the surface but decreasing in dip and/or intersecting a low- or shallow-angle (15-20° in the centre and 19-30° in the east) curvi-planar reflector in the basement. Major S-dipping border faults were active along the northern margin of the central Gulf early in the rift history, and remain active in the western Gulf and in the subsidiary Gulf of Lechaio, but unlike the southern border faults, are without major footwall uplift. Much of the eastern rift has a classic half-graben architecture whereas the central rift has a more symmetric w- or u-shape. The narrower and shallower western Gulf that transects the >40-km-thick crust of the Hellenides is associated with a wider distribution of overlapping high-angle normal faults that were formerly active on the Peloponnesus Peninsula. The easternmost sector includes the subsidiary Gulfs of Lechaio and Alkyonides, with major faults and basement structures trending NE, E-W and NW. The basement faults that control the rift architecture formed early in the rift history, with little evidence (other than the Vrachonisida fault along the northern margin) in the marine data for plan view evolution by subsequent fault linkage. Several have maximum offsets near one end. Crestal collapse graben formed where the hanging wall has pulled off the steeper onto the shallower downdip segment of the Derveni Fault. The dominant strikes of the Corinth rift faults

  17. Structure of the central Terror Rift, western Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Jerome; Wilson, Terry; Henrys, Stuart

    2007-01-01

    The Terror Rift is a zone of post-middle Miocene faulting and volcanism along the western margin of the West Antarctic Rift System. A new seismic data set from NSF geophysical cruise NBP04-01, integrated with the previous dataset to provide higher spatial resolution, has been interpreted in this study in order to improve understanding of the architecture and history of the Terror Rift. The Terror Rift contains two components, a structurally-controlled rollover anticlinal arch intruded by younger volcanic bodies and an associated synclinal basin. Offsets and trend changes in fault patterns have been identified, coincident with shifts in the location of depocenters that define rift sub-basins, indicating that the Terror Rift is segmented by transverse structures. Multiple phases of faulting all post-date 17 Ma, including faults cutting the seafloor surface, indicating Neogene rifting and possible modern activity.

  18. Rio Grande Rift: History of Tectonic Opening and Magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijk, J.; Axen, G. J.; Koning, D.

    2016-12-01

    We describe the mid-Miocene to present opening history of the Rio Grande rift from tectonic subsidence patterns, published Quaternary fault activity, and spatial, temporal and geochemical distributions of volcanism. Rift opening was quite fast until 8 Ma, with tectonic subsidence rates comparable to those of the pre-rupture phase of rifted continent margins, but post-8 Ma rates are slower in all studied localities. Integration of age control reveals that a rift-margin unconformity formed between 8.5 and 3.5 Ma, its exact duration varying depending on location. This partly coincides with uplift of the Ogallala formation in the western Great Plains. The widespread extent of the unconformity suggest that the unconformity records a region-wide dynamic uplift event, possibly resulting from mantle upwelling below the region. This is supported by geoid analyses. The unconformity postdates a change in relative plate motion between the North American and Pacific plates, which may account for the post-8 Ma decrease in subsidence rates. Distribution of Quaternary fault activity is concentrated on the border faults in the northern basins where the rift is in a juvenile stage, but distributed on intra-basin faults further south in the rift where the crust is thinned more. Our analyses show that volcanism in the Rio Grande rift has been of mainly basaltic composition since the Miocene; volcanism during early rifting ranged from basalt to rhyolite. Volcanism has not been evenly distributed in the rift, but concentrated in three large volcanic fields that were located outside of the main rift prior to rift opening, and along the Jemez Lineament which crosses the Rio Grande rift, with sporadic volcanic activity elsewhere. The southern portion of the rift has experienced less volcanic activity than the northern rift, perhaps because it is underlain by fast seismic wave velocity upper mantle that may be linked to colder or compositionally different (Farallon plate subduction related

  19. Volcanism and sedimentation along the western margin of the Rio Grande rift between caldera-forming eruptions of the Jemez Mountains volcanic field, north-central New Mexico, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Elaine P.; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Kelley, Shari A.; Broxton, David; Ridley, John

    2016-11-01

    The Cerro Toledo Formation (CTF), a series of intracaldera rhyolitic dome complexes and their associated extracaldera tephras and epiclastic sedimentary deposits, records the dynamic interplay between volcanic, tectonic, and geomorphic processes that were occurring along the western margin of the Rio Grande rift between major caldera-forming eruptions of the Bandelier Tuff 1.65-1.26 Ma. The Alamo Canyon and Pueblo Canyon Members differ significantly despite deposition within a few kilometers of each other on the Pajarito Plateau. These differences highlight spatial distinctions in vent sources, eruptive styles, and depositional environments along the eastern side of the Jemez Mountains volcanic field during this ca. 400,000 year interval. Intercalated pyroclastic fall deposits and sandstones of the Pueblo Canyon Member reflect deposition with a basin. Thick Alamo Canyon Member deposits of block-and-ash-flow tuff and pyroclastic fall deposits fill a paleovalley carved into coarse grained sedimentary units reflecting deposition along the mountain front. Chemistry and ages of glass from fall deposits together with clast lithologies of sedimentary units, allow correlation of outcrops, subsurface units, and sources. Dates on pyroclastic fall deposits from Alamo Canyon record deep incision into the underlying Otowi Member in the southern part of the Pajarito Plateau within 100 k.y. of the Toledo caldera-forming eruption. Reconstruction of the CTF surface shows that this period of rapid incision was followed by aggradation where sediments largely filled pre-existing paleocanyons. Complex sequences within the upper portion of the Otowi Member in outcrop and in the subsurface record changes in the style of eruptive activity during the waning stages of the Toledo caldera-forming eruption.

  20. 3D Geodynamic Modelling Reveals Stress and Strain Partitioning within Continental Rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, P. F.; Mondy, L. S.; Duclaux, G.; Moresi, L. N.

    2014-12-01

    The relative movement between two divergent rigid plates on a sphere can be described using a Euler pole and an angular velocity. On Earth, this typically results in extensional velocities increasing linearly as a function of the distance from the pole (for example in the South Atlantic, North Atlantic, Woodlark Basin, Red Sea Basin, etc.). This property has strong implications for continental rifting and the formation of passive margins, given the role that extensional velocity plays on both rift style (wide or narrow), fault pattern, subsidence histories, and magmatism. Until now, this scissor-style opening has been approached via suites of 2D numerical models of contrasting extensional velocities, complimenting field geology and geophysics. New advances in numerical modelling tools and computational hardware have enabled us to investigate the geodynamics of this problem in a 3D self-consistent high-resolution context. Using Underworld at a grid resolution of 2 km over a domain of 500 km x 500 km x 180 km, we have explored the role of the velocity gradient on the strain pattern, style of rifting, and decompression melting, along the margin. We find that the three dimensionality of this problem is important. The rise of the asthenosphere is enhanced in 2D models compared to 3D numerical solutions, due to the limited volume of material available in 2D. This leads to oceanisation occurring significantly sooner in 2D models. The 3D model shows that there is a significant time and space dependent flows parallel to the rift-axis. A similar picture emerges from the stress field, showing time and space partitioning, including regions of compression separating areas dominated by extension. The strain pattern shows strong zonation along the rift axis, with increasingly localised deformation with extension velocity and though time.

  1. The East Greenland rifted volcanic margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Kent Brooks

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The Palaeogene North Atlantic Igneous Province is among the largest igneous provinces in the world and this review of the East Greenland sector includes large amounts of information amassed since previous reviews around 1990.The main area of igneous rocks extends from Kangerlussuaq (c. 67°N to Scoresby Sund (c. 70°N, where basalts extend over c. 65 000 km2, with a second area from Hold with Hope (c. 73°N to Shannon (c. 75°N. In addition, the Ocean Drilling Project penetrated basalt at five sites off South-East Greenland. Up to 7 km thickness of basaltic lavas have been stratigraphically and chemically described and their ages determined. A wide spectrum of intrusions are clustered around Kangerlussuaq, Kialeeq (c. 66°N and Mesters Vig (c. 72°N. Layered gabbros are numerous (e.g. the Skaergaard and Kap Edvard Holm intrusions, as are under- and oversaturated syenites, besides small amounts of nephelinite-derived products, such as the Gardiner complex (c. 69°N with carbonatites and silicate rocks rich in melilite, perovskite etc. Felsic extrusive rocks are sparse. A single, sanidine-bearing tuff found over an extensive area of the North Atlantic is thought to be sourced from the Gardiner complex.The province is famous for its coast-parallel dyke swarm, analogous to the sheeted dyke swarm of ophiolites, its associated coastal flexure, and many other dyke swarms, commonly related to central intrusive complexes as in Iceland. The dyke swarms provide time markers, tracers of magmatic evolution and evidence of extensional events. A set of dykes with harzburgite nodules gives unique insight into the Archaean subcontinental lithosphere.Radiometric dating indicates extrusion of huge volumes of basalt over a short time interval, but the overall life of the province was prolonged, beginning with basaltic magmas at c. 60 Ma and continuing to the quartz porphyry stock at Malmbjerg (c. 72°N at c. 26 Ma. Indeed, activity was renewed in the Miocene with the emplacement of small volumes of basalts of the Vindtoppen Formation to the south of Scoresby Sund.Although the basalts were extruded close to sea level, this part of East Greenland is a plateau raised to c. 2 km, but the timing of uplift is controversial. Superimposed on the plateau is a major dome at Kangerlussuaq.East Greenland presents a rich interplay between magmatic and tectonic events reflecting the birth of the North Atlantic Ocean. It was active over a much longer period (36 Ma than other parts of the province (5 Ma in the Hebrides, Northern Ireland and the Faroe Islands and contains a wider range of products, including carbonatites, and felsic rocks tend to be granitic rather than syenitic. As expected, there are many similarities with Iceland, the present-day expression of activity in the province. Differences are readily explained by higher production rates and the thicker lithospheric lid during the early stages of development in East Greenland. The igneous and related activity clearly results from plate-tectonic factors, but the relationship is not understood in detail. In particular, the nature of the underlying mantle processes, primarily the presence or absence of a plume, is still not resolved.

  2. Oblique rifting at Tempe Fossae, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Carlos; Anguita, Francisco

    2007-09-01

    This work shows the results of a structural study of the faults observed at the Tempe Rift (northeastern Tharsis region), Mars. A new, detailed map of faults and fault systems was used to geometrically characterize the fracture architecture of the Tempe Rift and to measure fault length, displacement, and spacing data, to analyze the spatial distribution of fault centroids, and to investigate the fractal nature of fault trace maps. A comparison with analog models and the use of conventional techniques of fault population analysis show that the Tempe Rift was most probably generated under sinistral oblique-rifting processes, which highlights the importance of the presence of inherited fractures in the tectonic evolution of the Noachian crust. The angle between the extension direction and the rift axis varies along the Tempe Rift, ranging from 50°-60° at its central southern part to 66°-88° to the southwest. Fault scaling relationships are similar to those found at mid-ocean ridges on Earth with exponential fault length-frequency distributions. Localized, inhomogeneous deformation generated weakly interacting faults, spanning the entire thickness of the mechanical layer. This thickness decreased from southwest to northeast along the rift, along with distance from the central part of the Tharsis dome.

  3. The Salton Seismic Imaging Project: Tomographic characterization of a sediment-filled rift valley and adjacent ranges, southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, K.; Hole, J. A.; Stock, J. M.; Fuis, G. S.; Carrick, E.; Tikoff, B.

    2011-12-01

    The Salton Trough in Southern California represents the northernmost rift of the Gulf of California extensional system. Relative motion between the Pacific and North American plates is accommodated by continental rifting in step-over zones between the San Andreas, Imperial, and Cerro Prieto transform faults. Rapid sedimentation from the Colorado River has isolated the trough from the southern portion of the Gulf of California, progressively filling the subsiding rift basin. Based on data from previous seismic surveys, the pre-existing continent has ruptured completely, and a new ~22 km thick crust has been created entirely by sedimentation overlying rift-related magmatism. The MARGINS, EarthScope, and USGS-funded Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) was designed to investigate the nature of this new crust, the ongoing process of continental rifting, and associated earthquake hazards. SSIP, acquired in March 2011, comprises 7 lines of onshore seismic refraction / wide-angle reflection data, 2 lines of refraction / reflection data in the Salton Sea, and a line of broadband stations. This presentation focuses on the refraction / wide-angle reflection line across the Imperial Valley, extending ~220 km across California from Otay Mesa, near Tijuana, to the Colorado River. The data from this line includes seventeen 100-160 kg explosive shots and receivers at 100 m spacing across the Imperial Valley to constrain the structure of the Salton Trough rift basin, including the Imperial Fault. Eight larger shots (600-920 kg) at 20-35 km spacing and receivers at 200-500 m spacing extend the line across the Peninsular Ranges and the Chocolate Mountains. These data will contrast the structure of the rift to that of the surrounding crust and provide constraints on whole-crust and uppermost mantle structure. Preliminary work has included tomographic inversion of first-arrival travel times across the Valley, emphasizing a minimum-structure approach to create a velocity model of the

  4. Tectonics of the West Iberia continental margin from seismic reflection data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Alison Teagan

    Continental rifting is a fundamental component of the plate tectonic cycle. The West Iberia passive margin is a classic example of a nonvolcanic rifted margin. The West Iberia margin contains an enigmatic north-south ridge of serpentinized peridotite located within the ocean-continent transition. Interpretation of multichannel seismic data and tectonic subsidence analyses suggests that the ridge is located within a broad zone of exhumed mantle that has been serpentinized. This implies that seafloor spreading does not immediately follow continental breakup. Where the peridotite ridge is well-developed, it parallels a deeply-penetrating, west-dipping normal fault. Hydrodynamic circulation drove seawater down this fault close to the beginning of seafloor spreading and caused a concentration of serpentinization at its base. This water-driven process of formation accounts for the variability of the ridge along strike. Prestack depth migration of a 340 km long seismic reflection profile across the margin served as the basis for stratigraphic interpretation. The proximal margin displays horsts and grabens, with 1--2 km thick synrift deposits from Early Cretaceous (Valanginian) rifting. The deep water margin displays rotated blocks with distinct internal seismic patterns. These blocks formed during the final Cretaceous rifting event that led to continental breakup, and contain earlier Valanginian synrift deposits as part of the rotated blocks, thus providing evidence of two separate rifting stages along this profile. A large mantle-penetrating fault located seaward of the last rotated block of continental crust provides evidence for a third and final Cretaceous rifting event that may have been coeval with early seafloor spreading. Two independent estimates of crustal thickness along this line indicate stretching factors of 50% on the proximal margin (corresponding to a continental crustal thickness of ˜16 km), increasing to 100% in the deep water. Plate tectonics is one

  5. Structure and kinematics of the Taupo Rift, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seebeck, Hannu; Nicol, Andrew; Villamor, Pilar; Ristau, John; Pettinga, Jarg

    2014-06-01

    The structure and kinematics of the continental intra-arc Taupo Rift have been constrained by fault-trace mapping, a large catalogue of focal mechanisms (N = 202) and fault slip striations. The mean extension direction of ~137° is approximately orthogonal to the regional trend of the rift and arc front (α = 84° and 79°, respectively) and to the strike of the underlying subducting Pacific Plate. Bending and rollback of the subduction hinge strongly influence the location, orientation, and extension direction of intra-arc rifting in the North Island. In detail, orthogonal rifting (α = 85-90°) transitions northward to oblique rifting (α = 69-71°) across a paleovertical-axis rotation boundary where rift faults, extension directions, and basement fabric rotate by ~20-25°. Toward the south, extension is orthogonal to normal faults which are parallel to, and reactivate, steeply dipping basement fabric. Basement reactivation facilitates strain partitioning with a portion of margin-parallel motion in the overriding plate mainly accommodated east of the rift by strike-slip faults in the North Island Fault System (NIFS). Toward the north where the rift and NIFS intersect, ~4 mm/yr strike slip is transferred into the rift with net oblique extension accommodating a component of margin-parallel motion. The trend and kinematics of the Taupo Rift are comparable to late Miocene-Pliocene intra-arc rifting in the Taranaki Basin, indicating that the northeast strike of the subducting plate and the southeast extension direction have been uniform since at least 4 Ma.

  6. 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

    Cenozoic ice sheet formation and stability. References Chappell, A.R. & Kusznir, N.J. 2008. Three-dimensional gravity inversion for Moho depth at rifted continental margins incorporating a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction. Geophysical Journal International, 174 (1), 1-13. Ferraccioli, F., Finn, C.A., Jordan, T.A., Bell, R.E., Anderson, L.M. & Damaske, D. 2011. East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains Nature, 479, 388-392. Golynsky, A.V. & Golynsky, D.A. 2009. Rifts in the tectonic structure of East Antarctica (in Russian). Russian Earth Science Research in Antarctica, 2, 132-162. Vaughan, A.P.M., Kusznir, N.J., Ferraccioli, F. & Jordan, T.A.R.M. 2012. Regional heat-flow prediction for Antarctica using gravity inversion mapping of crustal thickness and lithosphere thinning. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 14, EGU2012-8095.

  7. Expanding earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carey, S.W.

    1976-01-01

    Arguments in favor of an expanding earth are presented. The author believes that the theory of plate tectonics is a classic error in the history of geology. The case for the expanding earth is organized in the following way: introductory review - face of the earth, development of expanding earth concept, necessity for expansion, the subduction myth, and definitions; some principles - scale of tectonic phenomena, non-uniformitarianism, tectonic profile, paleomagnetism, asymmetry of the earth, rotation of the earth, and modes of crustal extension; regional studies - western North America, Central America, South-East Asia, and the rift oceans; tests and cause of expansion. 824 references, 197 figures, 11 tables. (RWR)

  8. Kinematics of the South Atlantic rift

    CERN Document Server

    Heine, Christian; Müller, R Dietmar

    2013-01-01

    The South Atlantic rift basin evolved as branch of a large Jurassic-Cretaceous intraplate rift zone between the African and South American plates during the final breakup of western Gondwana. By quantitatively accounting for crustal deformation in the Central and West African rift zone, we indirectly construct the kinematic history of the pre-breakup evolution of the conjugate West African-Brazilian margins. Our model suggests a causal link between changes in extension direction and velocity during continental extension and the generation of marginal structures such as the enigmatic Pre-salt sag basin and the S\\~ao Paulo High. We model an initial E-W directed extension between South America and Africa (fixed in present-day position) at very low extensional velocities until Upper Hauterivian times ($\\approx$126 Ma) when rift activity along in the equatorial Atlantic domain started to increase significantly. During this initial $\\approx$17 Myr-long stretching episode the Pre-salt basin width on the conjugate Br...

  9. How a Curvilinear Continental Margin Influences Its Subsidence History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacek, V.; Ussami, N.

    2012-12-01

    Current one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) thermo-mechanical models successfully explain the first-order vertical motions of sedimentary basins created by lithospheric extension. However, the modeling of second-order effects such as extra-subsidence, non-monotonic-subsidence or protracted-subsidence still remains controversial. One aspect that has not been fully considered in the current models is that the rifting direction leading to the continental break-up does not always follow a straight line, which demands a three-dimensional (3D) approach. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the importance of using a 3D model that takes into account the curvature of rifting along the margin and theoretically predicts some of the second-order subsidence observations. Our results indicate that concave oceanward margins tend to subside faster than convex ones. This differential subsidence of the margin is a result of the combined effect of lateral thermal conduction, small-scale mantle (or edge driven) convection and the curvature of the rifting. We have used the finite element code CITCOM (Moresi & Gurnis, 1996; Zhong et al., 2000) to construct 3D numerical models of the mantle convection and its effect on the surface evolution. We observed that the differential subsidence along a curved margin is dependent on the viscosity structure of the mantle: for an asthenospheric viscosity of 5×1020 Pa.s the differential subsidence can reach more than 700 m assuming a sediment filled basin; however, for low asthenospheric viscosity (geometry. As an application of this 3D conceptual model for curved margin, we analysed the stratigraphic evolution of the Santos Basin, offshore Southeastern Brazil, and we propose that the variations in the subsidence history along the margin can be explained by its 3D geometry and the dynamical evolution of the mantle. We conclude that the incorporation of the third dimension in the study of the subsidence history of divergent margins may

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Haemoragisk Rift Valley Fever

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabiansen, Christian; Thybo, Søren

    2007-01-01

    A case of fatal hemorrhagic Rift Valley fever during an epidemic in Kenya's North Eastern Province in January 2007 is described.......A case of fatal hemorrhagic Rift Valley fever during an epidemic in Kenya's North Eastern Province in January 2007 is described....

  12. Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-transmitted virus or arbovirus that is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. In the last decade, Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks have resulted in loss of human and animal life, as well as had significant economic impact. The disease in livestock is primarily a...

  13. New insights into continental rifting from a damage rheology modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyakhovsky, Vladimir; Segev, Amit; Weinberger, Ram; Schattner, Uri

    2010-05-01

    parameters of the crustal rocks. Results of the modeling also demonstrate how the lithosphere structure and especially depth to the Moho interface affects the geometry of the propagating rift system. With the same boundary conditions and physical properties of rocks as in the case of the flat continental structure, a rift terminates above the passive continental margin and a new fault system is created normal to the direction of the rift propagation. These results demonstrate that the local lithosphere structure is one of the major key factors controlling the geometry of the evolving rift system, faulting and seismicity pattern. Results of simulations suggest that under wide range of conditions a rift propagating through a continental lithosphere might cease before it reaches the margin where transition to oceanic lithosphere occurs. Close to the margin different tectonic styles might take over the propagation. This behavior has been suggested for the NW continuation of the active Red Sea-Suez rift system and initiation of the Dead Sea Transform (Steckler and ten Brink, 1986). With the onset of the Red Sea opening (about Oligocene) the sub-parallel Azraq-Sirhan rift was also activated and propagated in a NW direction from the Arabian continent toward the Levant basin oceanic crust. By applying our 3-D lithosphere-scale numerical simulations on the Azraq-Sirhan rift system, we conclude that thinning of the crystalline crust and strengthening of the Arabian lithosphere led to a decrease or even termination of the rate of rift propagation next to the continental margin.

  14. European Cenozoic rift system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Peter A.

    1992-07-01

    The European Cenozoic rift system extends from the coast of the North Sea to the Mediterranean over a distance of some 1100 km; it finds its southern prolongation in the Valencia Trough and a Plio-Pleistocene volcanic chain crossing the Atlas ranges. Development of this mega-rift was paralleled by orogenic activity in the Alps and Pyrenees. Major rift domes, accompanied by subsidence reversal of their axial grabens, developed 20-40 Ma after beginning of rifting. Uplift of the Rhenish Shield is related to progressive thermal lithospheric thinning; the Vosges-Black Forest and the Massif Central domes are probably underlain by asthenoliths emplaced at the crust/mantle boundary. Evolution of this rift system, is thought to be governed by the interaction of the Eurasian and African plates and by early phases of a plate-boundary reorganization that may lead to the break-up of the present continent assembly.

  15. Geodynamic models of plumes from the margins of large thermo-chemical piles in the Earth's lowermost mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberger, B. M.; Gassmoeller, R.; Mulyukova, E.

    2012-12-01

    We present geodynamic models featuring mantle plumes that are almost exclusively created at the margins of large thermo-chemical piles in the lowermost mantle. The models are based on global plate reconstructions since 300 Ma. Sinking subducted slabs not only push a heavy chemical layer ahead, such that dome-shaped structures form, but also push the thermal boundary layer (TBL) toward the chemical domes. At the steep edges it is forced upwards and begins to rise — in the lower part of the mantle as sheets, which then split into individual plumes higher in the mantle. The models explain why Large Igneous Provinces - commonly assumed to be caused by plumes forming in the TBL above the core-mantle boundary (CMB) - and kimberlites during the last few hundred Myr erupted mostly above the margins of the African and Pacific Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) of the lowermost mantle, which are probably chemically distinct from and heavier than the overlying mantle. Computations are done with two different codes, one based on spherical harmonic expansion, and CITCOM-S. The latter is combined with a self-consistent thermodynamic material model for basalt, harzburgite, and peridotite, which is used to derive a temperature- and presssure dependent database for parameters like density, thermal expansivity and specific heat. In terms of number and distribution of plumes, results are similar in both cases, but in the latter model, plume conduits are narrower, due to consideration of realistic lateral - in addition to radial - viscosity variations. For the latter case, we quantitatively compare the computed plume locations with actual hotspots and find that the good agreement is very unlikely (probability geometry, we also show results obtained with a 2-D finite element code. These results allow us to assess how much the computed long-term stability of the piles is affected by numerical diffusion. We have also conducted a systematic investigation, which configurations

  16. Augmented Reality Oculus Rift

    OpenAIRE

    Höll, Markus; Heran, Nikolaus; Lepetit, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    This paper covers the whole process of developing an Augmented Reality Stereoscopig Render Engine for the Oculus Rift. To capture the real world in form of a camera stream, two cameras with fish-eye lenses had to be installed on the Oculus Rift DK1 hardware. The idea was inspired by Steptoe \\cite{steptoe2014presence}. After the introduction, a theoretical part covers all the most neccessary elements to achieve an AR System for the Oculus Rift, following the implementation part where the code ...

  17. Magma-compensated crustal thinning in continental rift zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thybo, H; Nielsen, C A

    2009-02-12

    Continental rift zones are long, narrow tectonic depressions in the Earth's surface where the entire lithosphere has been modified in extension. Rifting can eventually lead to rupture of the continental lithosphere and creation of new oceanic lithosphere or, alternatively, lead to formation of wide sedimentary basins around failed rift zones. Conventional models of rift zones include three characteristic features: surface manifestation as an elongated topographic trough, Moho shallowing due to crustal thinning, and reduced seismic velocity in the uppermost mantle due to decompression melting or heating from the Earth's interior. Here we demonstrate that only the surface manifestation is observed at the Baikal rift zone, whereas the crustal and mantle characteristics can be ruled out by a new seismic profile across southern Lake Baikal in Siberia. Instead we observe a localized zone in the lower crust which has exceptionally high seismic velocity and is highly reflective. We suggest that the expected Moho uplift was compensated by magmatic intrusion into the lower crust, producing the observed high-velocity zone. This finding demonstrates a previously unknown role for magmatism in rifting processes with significant implications for estimation of stretching factors and modelling of sedimentary basins around failed rift structures.

  18. Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Carter, Jason

    2017-01-01

    This curriculum-based, easy-to-follow book teaches young readers about Earth as one of the eight planets in our solar system in astronomical terms. With accessible text, it provides the fundamental information any student needs to begin their studies in astronomy, such as how Earth spins and revolves around the Sun, why it's uniquely suitable for life, its physical features, atmosphere, biosphere, moon, its past, future, and more. To enhance the learning experience, many of the images come directly from NASA. This straightforward title offers the fundamental information any student needs to sp

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulvrova, Martina; Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon

    2017-04-01

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

  20. A mechanism to thin the continental lithosphere at magma-poor margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavier, Luc L; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2006-03-16

    Where continental plates break apart, slip along multiple normal faults provides the required space for the Earth's crust to thin and subside. After initial rifting, however, the displacement on normal faults observed at the sea floor seems not to match the inferred extension. Here we show that crustal thinning can be accomplished in such extensional environments by a system of conjugate concave downward faults instead of multiple normal faults. Our model predicts that these concave faults accumulate large amounts of extension and form a very thin crust (< 10 km) by exhumation of mid-crustal and mantle material. This transitional crust is capped by sub-horizontal detachment surfaces over distances exceeding 100 km with little visible deformation. Our rift model is based on numerical experiments constrained by geological and geophysical observations from the Alpine Tethys and Iberia/Newfoundland margins. Furthermore, we suggest that the observed transition from broadly distributed and symmetric extension to localized and asymmetric rifting is directly controlled by the existence of a strong gabbroic lower crust. The presence of such lower crustal gabbros is well constrained for the Alpine Tethys system. Initial decoupling of upper crustal deformation from lower crustal and mantle deformation by progressive weakening of the middle crust is an essential requirement to reproduce the observed rift evolution. This is achieved in our models by the formation of weak ductile shear zones.

  1. From rifting to subduction: the role of inheritance in the Wilson Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaussier, Stéphane; Gerya, Taras; Burg, Jean-Pierre

    2017-04-01

    The Wilson Cycle entails that oceans close and reopen. This cycle is a fundamental principle in plate tectonics, inferring continuity from divergence to convergence and that continental rifting takes place along former suture zones. This view questions the role of inherited structures at each stage of the Wilson Cycle. Using the 3D thermo-mechanical code, I3ELVIS (Gerya and Yuen 2007) we present a high-resolution continuous model of the Wilson cycle from continental rifting, breakup and oceanic spreading to convergence and spontaneous subduction initiation. Therefore, all lateral and longitudinal structures of the lithospheres are generated self-consistently and are consequences of the initial continental structure, tectono-magmatic inheritance and material rheology. In the models, subduction systematically initiates off-ridge and is controlled by the convergence-induced swelling of the ridge. Geometry and dynamics of the developing off-ridge subduction is controlled by four main factors: (1) the obliquity of the ridge with respect to the convergence direction; (2) fluid-induced weakening of the oceanic crust; (3) irregularity of ridge and margins inherited from rifting and spreading; (4) strain localization at transform faults formed during ocean floor spreading. Further convergence can lead to obduction of the oceanic crust and segments of ridge after the oceanic lithosphere is entrained into subduction. We show that the main parameters controlling the occurrence and geometry of obducted ophiolite are the convergence rate and the inherited structure of the passive margins and ridge. Our numerical experiments results show the essential role played by inheritance during the Wilson Cycle and are consistent with nature observations such as the tectonic history of the Oman subduction-obduction system. REFERENCES Gerya, T. V., and D. A. Yuen. 2007: "Robust Characteristics Method for Modelling Multiphase Visco-Elasto-Plastic Thermo-Mechanical Problems, Physics of the

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, K.S.

    and classification of continental margins are in general dependent on style of continental splitting, rifting, subsidence and their proximity to the tectonic plate boundaries, at times the margins undergo for modifications by sediment deposition and volcanic... by Deccan-Reunion hotspot volcanism and Bengal Fan sedimentation respectively. Volcanism has dominated on the western continental margin of India, thereby the margin had been turned into a volcanic passive continental margin, while eastern continental...

  3. Iberian Atlantic Margins Group investigates deep structure of ocean margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Iberian Atlantic Margins Group; Banda, Enric; Torne, Montserrat

    With recent seismic reflection data in hand, investigators for the Iberian Atlantic Margins project are preparing images of the deep continental and oceanic margins of Iberia. In 1993, the IAM group collected near vertical incidence seismic reflection data over a total distance of 3500 km along the North and Western Iberian Margins, Gorringe Bank Region and Gulf of Cadiz (Figure 1). When combined with data on the conjugate margin off Canada, details of the Iberian margin's deep structure should aid in distinguishing rift models and improve understanding of the processes governing the formation of margins.The North Iberian passive continental margin was formed during a Permian to Triassic phase of extension and matured during the early Cretaceous by rotation of the Iberian Peninsula with respect to Eurasia. From the late Cretaceous to the early Oligocene period, Iberia rotated in a counterclockwise direction around an axis located west of Lisbon. The plate boundary between Iberia and Eurasia, which lies along the Pyrenees, follows the north Spanish marginal trough, trends obliquely in the direction of the fossil Bay of Biscay triple junction, and continues along the Azores-Biscay Rise [Sibuet et al., 1994]. Following the NE-SW convergence of Iberia and Eurasia, the reactivation of the North Iberian continental margin resulted in the formation of a marginal trough and accretionary prism [Boillot et al., 1971].

  4. Geochemical and geochronological constraints on the origin and evolution of rocks in the active Woodlark Rift of Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zirakparvar, Nasser Alexander

    Tectonically active regions provide important natural laboratories to glean information that is applicable to developing a better understanding of the geologic record. One such area of the World is Papua New Guinea, much of which is situated in an active and transient plate boundary zone. The focus of this PhD research is to develop a better understanding of rocks in the active Woodlark Rift, situated in Papua New Guinea's southernmost reaches. In this region, rifting and lithospheric rupture is occurring within a former subduction complex where there is a history of continental subduction and (U)HP metamorphism. The lithostratigraphic units exposed in the Woodlark Rift provide an opportunity to better understand the records of plate boundary processes at many scales from micron-sized domains within individual minerals to regional geological relationships. This thesis is composed of three chapters that are independent of one another but are all related to the overall goal of developing a better understanding of the record of plate boundary processes in the rocks currently exposed in the Woodlark Rift. The first chapter, published in its entirety in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2011 v. 309, p. 56 - 66), is entitled 'Lu-Hf garnet geochronology applied to plate boundary zones: Insights from the (U)HP terrane exhumed within the Woodlark Rift'. This chapter focuses on the use of the Lu-Hf isotopic system to date garnets in the Woodlark Rift. Major findings of this study are that some of the rocks in the Woodlark Rift preserve a Lu-Hf garnet isotopic record of initial metamorphism and continental subduction occurring in the Late Mesozoic, whereas others only preserve a record of tectonic processes related to lithospheric rupture during the initiation of rifting in the Late Cenozoic. The second chapter is entitled 'Geochemical and geochronological constraints on the origin of rocks in the active Woodlark Rift of Papua New Guinea: Recognizing the dispersed

  5. Rifts in the tectonic structure of East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golynsky, Dmitry; Golynsky, Alexander

    2010-05-01

    It was established that riftogenic and/or large linear tectonic structures in East Antarctica are distributed with a steady regularity with average distance between them about 650 km. All these structures (13) represent objects of undoubted scientific and practical interest and might be considered as immediate objects for conducting integrated geological and geophysical investigations. Analysis and generalization of the RADARSAT satellite system imagery and radio-echosounding survey data collected in the eastern part of Princess Elizabeth Land allow us to distinguish spatial boundaries of previously unknown continental rift system that was proposed to name Gaussberg (Golynsky & Golynsky, 2007). The rift is about 500 km long, and taking into consideration its western continuation in the form of short (fragmented) faults, may exceed 700 km. The elevation difference between depressions and horsts reaches 3 km. The rift structure consists of two sub-parallel depressions separated by segmented horst-like rises (escarpments). Deep depressions within the rift reach more than 800 m bsl near the West Ice Shelf and within the central graben occupied by the Phillipi Glacier. The width of the Gaussberg Rift system varies from 60 km in the south-western area to 150 km near the West Ice Shelf. The Gaussberg rift is considered as a part of the Lambert rift system, which has a complicated structure clearly recognized over both the continent and also its margin. The Gaussberg rift probably exploited a weak zone between the Proterozoic mobile belt and the Archaean Vestfold-Rauer cratonic block. Supposedly it initiated at the turn of Jurassic and Permian epoch or a little bit earlier as in case of the Lambert rift where the Permian graben formation with coal-bearing deposits predetermined the subsequent development of submeridional rift zone. The Gaussberg and also the Scott rift developed in the Queen Marie Land, may be considered as continuations of the Mahanadi Valley rift and

  6. Rifting Thick Lithosphere - Canning Basin, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czarnota, Karol; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

    The subsidence histories and architecture of most, but not all, rift basins are elegantly explained by extension of ~120 km thick lithosphere followed by thermal re-thickening of the lithospheric mantle to its pre-rift thickness. Although this well-established model underpins most basin analysis, it is unclear whether the model explains the subsidence of rift basins developed over substantially thick lithosphere (as imaged by seismic tomography beneath substantial portions of the continents). The Canning Basin of Western Australia is an example where a rift basin putatively overlies lithosphere ≥180 km thick, imaged using shear wave tomography. Subsidence modelling in this study shows that the entire subsidence history of the Canning Basin is adequately explained by mild Ordovician extension (β≈1.2) of ~120 km thick lithosphere followed by post-rift thermal subsidence. This is consistent with the established model, described above, albeit with perturbations due to transient dynamic topography support which are expressed as basin-wide unconformities. In contrast the Canning Basin reveals an almost continuous period of normal faulting between the Ordovician and Carboniferous (βCanning Basin to rifting of thick lithosphere beneath the eastern part, verified by the presence of ~20 Ma diamond-bearing lamproites intruded into the basin depocentre. In order to account for the observed subsidence, at standard crustal densities, the lithospheric mantle is required to be depleted in density by 50-70 kg m-3, which is in line with estimates derived from modelling rare-earth element concentrations of the ~20 Ma lamproites and global isostatic considerations. Together, these results suggest that thick lithosphere thinned to > 120 km is thermally stable and is not accompanied by post-rift thermal subsidence driven by thermal re-thickening of the lithospheric mantle. Our results show that variations in lithospheric thickness place a fundamental control on basin architecture

  7. On the relationship between sequential faulting, margin asymmetry and highly thinned continental crust

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    The architecture of magma-poor continental margins is remarkably variable. The width of highly thinned continental crust (with a thickness material; (2) Formation of a low viscosity exhumation channel adjacent to the rift centre that is generated by heat transfer from the upwelling mantle and enhanced by viscous strain softening. Rift migration takes place in a steady-state manner and is accomplished by oceanward-younging sequential faults within the upper crust and balanced through lower crustal flow. We demonstrate that the rate of extension has paramount control on margin width. Since higher velocities lead to elevated heat flow within the rift and hence to hot and weak lower crust, a larger low-viscosity exhumation channel is generated that facilitates rift migration leading to wider margins. The South Atlantic is an ideal test bed for the hypothesis of velocity-dependent margin width since rifting was fast in the south, but slow in the northern part. As predicted by our numerical models, the maximum present-day margin width increases almost linearly from the conjugate Equatorial margin segments to the Florianopolis/Walvis ridge. Even though the polarity of the magma-poor South Atlantic margins alternates, the asymmetry and the width of the wider margin are in very good agreement with our simulations. The described rift evolution has three fundamental implications: (1) It implies sustained transfer of material across the extensional plate boundary thereby predicting that large portions of a wide margin originate from its conjugate side. (2) Migration of the deformation locus causes faulting in the distal parts of the margin to postdate that of the proximal parts by as much as 10 million years. This means that syn-rift and post-rift phase are location-dependent. (3) Lateral movement of the rift centre generates drastically different peak heat flow and subsidence histories at the proximal and the distal margin.

  8. Rift-to-collision transition recorded by tectonothermal evolution of the northern Pyrenees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vacherat, Arnaud; Mouthereau, Frédéric; Pik, Raphaël.; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Gautheron, Cécile; Bernet, Matthias; Daudet, Maxime; Balansa, Jocelyn; Tibari, Bouchaib; Pinna Jamme, Rosella; Radal, Julien

    2016-04-01

    The impact of rift-related processes on tectonic and thermal evolution of collisional orogens is poorly documented. Here, we study the northern Pyrenees, a region that has preserved a geological record of the transition from rifting to collision. Using modeling of new low-temperature thermochronological data, including fission track and (U-Th)/He on apatite and zircon, we propose a temporal reconstruction of the inversion of the European rifted margin. Our data confirm that rifting and related cooling started in the Late Paleozoic-Triassic. Throughout the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous the European margin recorded slow heating during postrift subdsidence. Modeling of thermochronological data allows distinguishing subsidence and denudation controlled by south dipping normal faults in granitic massifs that reflect a second episode of crustal thinning at 130-110 Ma. Following onset of convergence at 83 Ma, shortening accumulated into the weak and hot Albian-Cenomanian rift basins floored by both hyperextended continental crust and exhumed subcontinental mantle. The lack of cooling during this initial stage of convergence is explained by the persistence of a high geothermal gradient. The onset of exhumation-related cooling is recognized in the whole Pyrenean region at 50-35 Ma. This timing reveals that the main phase of mountain building started when hyperextended rift basins closed and collision between proximal domains of the rifted margin occurred.

  9. The transition from rifting to spreading in the Red Sea: No sign of discrete spreading nodes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustin, N.; Devey, C. W.; Feldens, P.; van der Zwan, F. M.; Bantan, R.; Kwasnitschka, T.

    2012-12-01

    The rifting of a continent and its eventual splitting by the formation of an ocean basin is one of the decisive processes in plate tectonics - it is responsible for the formation of continental margins (home to most of the world's submarine hydrocarbon reserves) and has repeatedly divided and re-distributed the continental plates. The Red Sea is one of the few places on Earth where this process is presently occurring, with continental rifting occurring in the northern Red Sea (north of 23°N) and ocean floor creation in the south (south of 19.5°N). In the central region it has been proposed that the extension is accommodated in a series of discrete seafloor spreading cells in the so called "transition-" or "multi-deeps region". This suggestion is mainly based on interpretations of bathymetric, magnetic, gravimetric and seismic observations made in the late 1970's and mid 1980's at resolutions far below those possible today. During two major expeditions with the German and Dutch research vessels Poseidon (cruise #408) and Pelagia (cruise #350/51) in 2011 and 2012 we collected a continuous multibeam bathymetric dataset over and between the Red Sea deeps from the Thetis Deep at 23°N to the Red Sea Rift at 16.5°N, with a spatial acoustic resolution of 15-30 m over a total N-S distance of about 700 km. This data enables us to view in detail the bathymetric structures formed during extension and to make a detailed interpretation of the structural, tectonic, magmatic and sedimentary evolution of the Red Sea rift. Based on an analysis of the bathymetric datasets, combined with acoustic backscatter, shallow seismics, ground truthing sampling, and magmatic geochemical information, we arrive at a much simplier and less exotic model of the transition from rifting to spreading than previously proposed. Geomorphological features strongly indicate a continuous oceanic rift valley at least from Nereus Deep at 23°N southwards to the Danakil triple junction at 17°N. We can

  10. A refinement of the chronology of rift-related faulting in the Broadly Rifted Zone, southern Ethiopia, through apatite fission-track analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestrieri, Maria Laura; Bonini, Marco; Corti, Giacomo; Sani, Federico; Philippon, Melody

    2016-03-01

    To reconstruct the timing of rift inception in the Broadly Rifted Zone in southern Ethiopia, we applied the fission-track method to basement rocks collected along the scarp of the main normal faults bounding (i) the Amaro Horst in the southern Main Ethiopian Rift and (ii) the Beto Basin in the Gofa Province. At the Amaro Horst, a vertical traverse along the major eastern scarp yielded pre-rift ages ranging between 121.4 ± 15.3 Ma and 69.5 ± 7.2 Ma, similarly to two other samples, one from the western scarp and one at the southern termination of the horst (103.4 ± 24.5 Ma and 65.5 ± 4.2 Ma, respectively). More interestingly, a second traverse at the Amaro northeastern terminus released rift-related ages spanning between 12.3 ± 2.7 and 6.8 ± 0.7 Ma. In the Beto Basin, the ages determined along the base of the main (northwestern) fault scarp vary between 22.8 ± 3.3 Ma and 7.0 ± 0.7 Ma. We ascertain through thermal modeling that rift-related exhumation along the northwestern fault scarp of the Beto Basin started at 12 ± 2 Ma while in the eastern margin of the Amaro Horst faulting took place later than 10 Ma, possibly at about 8 Ma. These results suggest a reconsideration of previous models on timing of rift activation in the different sectors of the Ethiopian Rift. Extensional basin formation initiated more or less contemporaneously in the Gofa Province (~ 12 Ma) and Northern Main Ethiopian Rift (~ 10-12 Ma) at the time of a major reorganization of the Nubia-Somalia plate boundary (i.e., 11 ± 2 Ma). Afterwards, rift-related faulting involved the Southern MER (Amaro Horst) at ~ 8 Ma, and only later rifting seemingly affected the Central MER (after ~ 7 Ma).

  11. Metallogeny of the midcontinent rift system of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, S.W.; Cannon, W.F.; Schulz, K.J.

    1992-01-01

    The 1.1 Ga Midcontinent rift system of North America is one of the world's major continental rifts and hosts a variety of mineral deposits. The rocks and mineral deposits of this 2000 km long rift are exposed only in the Lake Superior region. In the Lake Superior region, the rift cuts across Precambrian basement terranes ranging in age from ??? 1850 Ma to more than 3500 Ma. Where exposed, the rift consists of widespread tholeiitic basalt flows with local interlayered rhyolite and clastic sedimentary rocks. Beneath the center of Lake Superior the volcanic and sedimentary rocks are more than 30 km deep as shown by recent seismic reflection profiles. This region hosts two major classes of mineral deposits, magmatic and hydrothermal. All important mineral production in this region has come from hydrothermal deposits. Rift-related hydrothermal deposits include four main types: (1) native copper deposits in basalts and interflow sediments; (2) sediment-hosted copper sulfide and native copper; (3) copper sulfide veins and lodes hosted by rift-related volcanic and sedimentary rocks; and (4) polymetallic (five-element) veins in the surrounding Archean country rocks. The scarcity of sulfur within the rift rocks resulted in the formation of very large deposits of native metals. Where hydrothermal sulfides occur (i.e., shale-hosted copper sulfides), the source of sulfur was local sedimentary rocks. Magmatic deposits have locally supported exploration and minor production, but most are subeconomic presently. These deposits occur in intrusions exposed near the margins of the rift and include CuNiPGE and TiFe (V) in the Duluth Complex, U-REE-Nb in small carbonatites, and breccia pipes resulting from local hydrothermal activity around small felsic intrusions. Mineralization associated with some magmatic bodies resulted from the concentration of incompatible elements during fractional crystallization. Most of the sulfide deposits in intrusions, however, contain sulfur derived from

  12. Neogene Development of the Terror Rift, western Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauli, C.; Sorlien, C. C.; Busetti, M.; De Santis, L.; Wardell, N.; Henrys, S. A.; Geletti, R.; Wilson, T. J.; Luyendyk, B. P.

    2015-12-01

    Terror Rift is a >300 km-long, 50-70 km-wide, 14 km-deep sedimentary basin at the edge of the West Antarctic Rift System, adjacent to the Transantarctic Mountains. It is cut into the broader Victoria Land Basin (VLB). The VLB experienced 100 km of mid-Cenozoic extension associated with larger sea floor spreading farther north. The post-spreading (Neogene) development of Terror Rift is not well understood, in part because of past use of different stratigraphic age models. We use the new Rossmap seismic stratigraphy correlated to Cape Roberts and Andrill cores in the west and to DSDP cores in the distant East. This stratigraphy, and new fault interpretations, was developed using different resolutions of seismic reflection data included those available from the Seismic Data Library System. Depth conversion used a new 3D velocity model. A 29 Ma horizon is as deep as 8 km in the south, and a 19 Ma horizon is >5 km deep there and 4 km-deep 100 km farther north. There is a shallower northern part of Terror Rift misaligned with the southern basin across a 50 km right double bend. It is bounded by steep N-S faults down-dropping towards the basin axis. Between Cape Roberts and Ross Island, the Oligocene section is also progressively-tilted. This Oligocene section is not imaged within northern Terror Rift, but the simplest hypothesis is that some of the Terror Rift-bounding faults were active at least during Oligocene through Quaternary time. Many faults are normal separation, but some are locally vertical or even reverse-separation in the upper couple of km. However, much of the vertical relief of the strata is due to progressive tilting (horizontal axis rotation) and not by shallow faulting. Along the trend of the basin, the relief alternates between tilting and faulting, with a tilting margin facing a faulted margin across the Rift, forming asymmetric basins. Connecting faults across the basin form an accommodation zone similar to other oblique rifts. The Neogene basin is

  13. Tectonics and Petroleum Potential of the East China Sea Shelf Rift Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    There are two Cenozoic sedimentary basins in the East China Sea. They are the East China Sea shelf basin and the Okinawa Trough basin. The former can be divided into a western and an eastern rift region. The development of the shelf basin underwent continental-margin fault depression, post-rift and then tectonic inversion stages. Available exploration results show that the distribution of source rocks is controlled by the basin architecture and its tectonic evolution. In the Xihu depression, mudstones and coals are the main source rocks. The eastern rift region has good geological conditions for the formation of large oil and gas fields.

  14. ETHIOPIAN RIFT AND ADJACENT HIGHLANDS

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    of the kinetic temperature of the central Ethiopian rift lakes and adjacent highlands. ... component of the surface radiation balance from only one surface measurement derived from NOAA. TM and ... The basin studied is part of the Ethiopian Rift system bounded within the limits .... Topographic conditions, which determine ...

  15. Formation and evolution of magma-poor margins, an example of the West Iberia margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Gussinye, Marta; Andres-Martinez, Miguel; Morgan, Jason P.; Ranero, Cesar R.; Reston, Tim

    2016-04-01

    The West Iberia-Newfoundland (WIM-NF) conjugate margins have been geophysically and geologically surveyed for the last 30 years and have arguably become a paradigm for magma-poor extensional margins. Here we present a coherent picture of the WIM-NF rift to drift evolution that emerges from these observations and numerical modeling, and point out important differences that may exist with other magma-poor margins world-wide. The WIM-NF is characterized by a continental crust that thins asymmetrically and a wide and symmetric continent-ocean transition (COT) interpreted to consist of exhumed and serpentinised mantle with magmatic products increasing oceanward. The architectural evolution of these margins is mainly dominated by cooling under very slow extension velocities (crust that most probably was not extremely weak at the start of rifting. These conditions lead to a system where initially deformation is distributed over a broad area and the upper, lower crust and lithosphere are decoupled. As extension progresses upper, lower, crust and mantle become tightly coupled and deformation localizes due to strengthening and cooling during rifting. Coupling leads to asymmetric asthenospheric uplift and weakening of the hanginwall of the active fault, where a new fault forms. This continued process leads to the formation of an array of sequential faults that dip and become younger oceanward. Here we show that these processes acting in concert: 1) reproduce the margin asymmetry observed at the WIM-NF, 2) explain the fault geometry evolution from planar, to listric to detachment like by having one common Andersonian framework, 3) lead to the symmetric exhumation of mantle with little magmatism, and 4) explain the younging of the syn-rift towards the basin centre and imply that unconformities separating syn- and post-rift may be diachronous and younger towards the ocean. Finally, we show that different lower crustal rheologies lead to different patterns of extension and to an

  16. 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.

  17. How rifting and spreading center interaction created the architecture of the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameselle, Alejandra L.; Ranero, César R.; Franke, Dieter; Barckhausen, Udo

    2016-04-01

    Recent advances in understanding the formation of rifted continental margins suggest a wider range of structural evolution that challenges the classical extensional models. State-of-the-art of processing techniques - including multiple attenuation by both radon filtering and wave-equation-based surface-related multiple elimination and time migration - have been used to reprocess regional multichannel seismic profiles from the NW, SW and E subbasins of the South China Sea. The resulting seismic images show the geometry and crustal architecture of the rifted margin. A range of features including post-rift and syn-rift sediments, the structure of fault-bounded basement blocks, intra-basement fault reflections, and crust-mantle boundary reflections are visible in the images. Differences in crustal thickness and its lateral variations, internal basement reflectivity, morphology of the top of the basement, faulting style, fault-block geometry, and geometry of overlying sediments permit to distinguish the continental and oceanic domains. The improved resolution of the images allows interpreting the relationship between the changes in tectonic structure and crustal thickness as deformation focused across the ocean continent boundary (COB). The structure, extension and location of the COB has been used to study the role of strain localization throughout the rift history. The clear definition of the COB and high-quality images of the crustal structure support that rifting was largely a-magmatic, but that seafloor spreading occurred abruptly after break up. The regional character of the seismic lines - crossing over the entire basin - permits to study the symmetry/asymmetry of conjugated margins, and to study the processes controlling their contrasting geometry and crustal architecture. The COB can be interpreted in seismic profiles in both conjugated margins of the subbasins. The several transects along the strike of the margins provide the variation of crustal structure

  18. On the global geodynamic model of the earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedoma, J.

    A geodynamic-evolution model based on plate tectonics, the assumed gradual density differentiation of the earth's masses, their phase transitions in response to high temperature and pressure, and the theory of thermoelastoviscoplasticity is developed and illustrated with diagrams. In the model, an unstable layer of light materials enriched with Fe, Mg, and other elements arises at the outer core-mantle boundary by density differentiation of the molten materials and migrates upward through channels of greater temperature and lower viscosity between the mantle convective cells to generate rift zones which eventually break the lithosphere into colliding megaplates. The model is shown to provide explanations of such phenomena as the primary geomagnetic field and its fluctuations; the origin of the protocontinent Pangaea; the basifications of the beds of the original oceans, the present inland and marginal seas, and marginal subduction regions of continents; recent tectonic movements; the unfolded sediments of the deep-sea trenches; and the Conrad, Mohorovicic, and other transitional zones.

  19. East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraccioli, Fausto; Finn, Carol A; Jordan, Tom A; Bell, Robin E; Anderson, Lester M; Damaske, Detlef

    2011-11-16

    The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains are the least understood tectonic feature on Earth, because they are completely hidden beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Their high elevation and youthful Alpine topography, combined with their location on the East Antarctic craton, creates a paradox that has puzzled researchers since the mountains were discovered in 1958. The preservation of Alpine topography in the Gamburtsevs may reflect extremely low long-term erosion rates beneath the ice sheet, but the mountains' origin remains problematic. Here we present the first comprehensive view of the crustal architecture and uplift mechanisms for the Gamburtsevs, derived from radar, gravity and magnetic data. The geophysical data define a 2,500-km-long rift system in East Antarctica surrounding the Gamburtsevs, and a thick crustal root beneath the range. We propose that the root formed during the Proterozoic assembly of interior East Antarctica (possibly about 1 Gyr ago), was preserved as in some old orogens and was rejuvenated during much later Permian (roughly 250 Myr ago) and Cretaceous (roughly 100 Myr ago) rifting. Much like East Africa, the interior of East Antarctica is a mosaic of Precambrian provinces affected by rifting processes. Our models show that the combination of rift-flank uplift, root buoyancy and the isostatic response to fluvial and glacial erosion explains the high elevation and relief of the Gamburtsevs. The evolution of the Gamburtsevs demonstrates that rifting and preserved orogenic roots can produce broad regions of high topography in continental interiors without significantly modifying the underlying Precambrian lithosphere.

  20. The development of extension and magmatism in the Red Sea rift of Afar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keir, Derek; Bastow, Ian D.; Pagli, Carolina; Chambers, Emma L.

    2013-11-01

    Despite the importance of continental breakup in plate tectonics, precisely how extensional processes such as brittle faulting, ductile plate stretching, and magma intrusion evolve in space and time during the development of new ocean basins remains poorly understood. The rifting of Arabia from Africa in the Afar depression is an ideal natural laboratory to address this problem since the region exposes subaerially the tectonically active transition from continental rifting to incipient seafloor spreading. We review recent constraints on along-axis variations in rift morphology, crustal and mantle structure, the distribution and style of ongoing faulting, subsurface magmatism and surface volcanism in the Red Sea rift of Afar to understand processes ultimately responsible for the formation of magmatic rifted continental margins. Our synthesis shows that there is a fundamental change in rift morphology from central Afar northward into the Danakil depression, spatially coincident with marked thinning of the crust, an increase in the volume of young basalt flows, and subsidence of the land towards and below sea-level. The variations can be attributed to a northward increase in proportion of extension by ductile plate stretching at the expense of magma intrusion. This is likely in response to a longer history of localised heating and weakening in a narrower rift. Thus, although magma intrusion accommodates strain for a protracted period during rift development, the final stages of breakup are dominated by a phase of plate stretching with a shift from intrusive to extrusive magmatism. This late-stage pulse of decompression melting due to plate thinning may be responsible for the formation of seaward dipping reflector sequences of basalts and sediments, which are ubiquitous at magmatic rifted margins worldwide.

  1. Anatomy of lithosphere necking during orthogonal rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestola, Yago; Cavozzi, Cristian; Storti, Fabrizio

    2013-04-01

    The evolution of lithosphere necking is a fundamental parameter controlling the structural architecture and thermal-state of rifted margin. The necking shape depends on several parameters, including the extensional strain-rate and thermal layering of the lithosphere. Despite a large number of analogue and numerical modelling studies on lithosphere extension, a quantitative description of the evolution of necking through time is still lacking. We used analogue modelling to simulate in three-dimension the progression of lithosphere thinning and necking during orthogonal rifting. In our models we simulated a typical "cold and young" 4-layer lithosphere stratigraphy: brittle upper crust (loose quartz sand), ductile lower crust (silicon-barite mixture), brittle upper mantle (loose quartz sand), and ductile lower mantle (silicon-barite mixture). The experimental lithosphere rested on a glucose syrup asthenosphere. We monitored model evolution by periodic and coeval laser scanning of both the surface topography and the lithosphere base. After model completion, each of the four layers was removed and the top of the underlying layer was scanned. This technical approach allowed us to quantify the evolution in space and time of the thinning factors for both the whole lithosphere (βz) and the crust (γ). The area of incremental effective stretching (βy) parallel to the extensional direction was obtained from the βz maps.

  2. DOBRE studies the evolution of inverted intracratonic rifts in Ukraine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grad, M.; Gryn, D.; Guterch, A. [and others

    2003-07-01

    DOBRE is a multinational study of the Donbas Foldbelt (DF) of Ukraine. The DF is the uplifted and deformed part of the more than 20-km thick Dniepr-Donets Basin (DDB) that formed as the result of rifting of the Eastern European Craton (EEC) in the late Devonian in what is now eastern Ukraine and southern Russia. The DF, especially its southern margin, was uplifted in Early Permian times, in a (trans)tensional tectonic stress regime while folding and reverse faulting occurred later, during the Triassic and late Cretaceous. In order to investigate this classic example of the tectonic inversion of a continental rift zone, DOBRE includes seismic refraction and reflection profiling as well as new geological mapping and geochemical studies. DOBRE is aimed at the study in general of the processes governing intracratonic rifting and inversion (uplift and shortening) of intracratonic rift basins and the DF displays exceptional characteristics for the study of the destabilisation of cratonic interiors, both extensionally and compressionally. Thus, DOBRE is expected to elucidate the evolution (destruction/replacement or deformation) of the Moho as well as other lower crustal/upper mantle processes that occur during rifting and rift reactivation and basin uplift and inversion. Furthermore, DOBRE should clarify the relationship between the craton and accreted terranes to the south, and evolutionary connection of these to central Europe. Finally, DOBRE can provide fundamental background information in support of further oil and gas exploration in Ukraine and the definition of environmental problems within the coal-mining province of the Donbas region. In this regard, preliminary findings of the highly complementary DOBRE datasets indicate that the basic crustal structure of the DF and the tectonic processes involved in its formation require fundamental revision. (BA)

  3. Permo-Triassic anatexis, continental rifting and the disassembly of western Pangaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, Ryan; Spikings, Richard; Gerdes, Axel; Ulianov, Alexey; Mora, Andres; Villagómez, Diego; Putlitz, Benita; Chiaradia, Massimo

    2014-03-01

    Crustal anatectites are frequently observed along ocean-continent active margins, although their origins are disputed with interpretations varying between rift-related and collisional. We report geochemical, isotopic and geochronological data that define an ~ 1500 km long belt of S-type meta-granites along the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, which formed during 275-223 Ma. These are accompanied by amphibolitized tholeiitic basaltic dykes that yield concordant zircon U-Pb dates ranging between 240 and 223 Ma. A model is presented which places these rocks within a compressive Permian arc setting that existed during the amalgamation of westernmost Pangaea. Anatexis and mafic intrusion during 240-223 Ma are interpreted to have occurred during continental rifting, which culminated in the formation of oceanic crust and initiated the break-up of western Pangaea. Compression during 275-240 Ma generated small volumes of crustal melting. Rifting during 240-225 Ma was characterized by basaltic underplating, the intrusion of tholeiitic basalts and a peak in crustal melting. Tholeiitic intrusions during 225-216 Ma isotopically resemble depleted mantle and yield no evidence for contamination by continental crust, and we assign this period to the onset of continental drift. Dissected ophiolitic sequences in northern Colombia yield zircon U-Pb dates of 216 Ma. The Permo-Triassic margin of Ecuador and Colombia exhibits close temporal, faunal and geochemical similarities with various crustal blocks that form the basement to parts of Mexico, and thus these may represent the relict conjugate margin to NW Gondwana. The magmatic record of the early disassembly of Pangaea spans ~ 20 Ma (240-216 Ma), and the duration of rifting and rift-drift transition is similar to that documented in Cretaceous-Tertiary rift settings such as the West Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins, and the Taupo-Lau-Havre System, where rifting and continental disassembly also occurred over periods lasting ~ 20 Ma.

  4. 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.

  5. Seismicity of the northern part of the Kenya Rift Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pointing, A. J.; Maguire, P. K. H.; Khan, M. A.; Francis, D. J.; Swain, C. J.; Shah, E. R.; Griffiths, D. H.

    1985-07-01

    During the first eight months of 1981 earthquake data were recorded during a passive seismic experiment (KRISP 81) in northern Kenya. An eight station, small aperture, short period seismic array was located on the eastern margin of the Rift at 1.7°N, 37.3°E. Two single-point, three component stations were also located north and west of the array, forming a triangular network with approximately 150 km length sides. 2329 events were recorded during the 231 days of recording. A preliminary micro-earthquake seismicity map of the central and northern parts of the country has been produced, using a uniform half space velocity model derived from the analysis of apparent velocities, azimuths and P-S times of event arrivals at the small aperture array. Events located within the Rift show a marked north-south linearity extending from Lakes Bogoria and Baringo in the south, into the Sugata Valley to the north. Around the southern part of Lake Turkana the seismicity becomes more diffuse. However, there is little seismic activity associated with the broad zone of splay faulting that exists in northern Kenya. The seismicity observed along the axis of the Rift suggests a continuation to about 2.5°N of the tectonic style observed over the apex of the Kenya dome. A relatively quiet zone separates the activity within the Rift from a second, diffuse, north-south zone of seismicity approximately 150 km further to the east.

  6. Three-dimensional frictional plastic strain partitioning during oblique rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duclaux, Guillaume; Huismans, Ritske S.; May, Dave

    2017-04-01

    Throughout the Wilson cycle the obliquity between lithospheric plate motion direction and nascent or existing plate boundaries prompts the development of intricate three-dimensional tectonic systems. Where oblique divergence dominates, as in the vast majority of continental rift and incipient oceanic domains, deformation is typically transtensional and large stretching in the brittle upper crust is primarily achieved by the accumulation of displacement on fault networks of various complexity. In continental rift depressions such faults are initially distributed over tens to hundreds of kilometer-wide regions, which can ultimately stretch and evolve into passive margins. Here, we use high-resolution 3D thermo-mechanical finite element models to investigate the relative timing and distribution of localised frictional plastic deformation in the upper crust during oblique rift development in a simplified layered lithosphere. We vary the orientation of a wide oblique heterogeneous weak zone (representing a pre-existing geologic feature like a past orogenic domain), and test the sensitivity of the shear zones orientation to a range of noise distribution. These models allow us to assess the importance of material heterogeneities for controlling the spatio-temporal shear zones distribution in the upper crust during oblique rifting, and to discuss the underlying controls governing oblique continental breakup.

  7. Extensional tectonics and collapse structures in the Suez Rift (Egypt)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenet, P. Y.; Colletta, B.; Desforges, G.; Ousset, E.; Zaghloul, E. A.

    1985-01-01

    The Suez Rift is a 300 km long and 50 to 80 km wide basin which cuts a granitic and metamorphic shield of Precambrian age, covered by sediments of Paleozoic to Paleogene age. The rift structure is dominated by tilted blocks bounded by NW-SE normal faults. The reconstruction of the paleostresses indicates a N 050 extension during the whole stage of rifting. Rifting began 24 My ago with dikes intrusions; main faulting and subsidence occurred during Early Miocene producing a 80 km wide basin (Clysmic Gulf). During Pliocene and Quaternary times, faulting is still active but subsidence is restricted to a narrower area (Present Gulf). On the Eastern margin of the gulf, two sets of fault trends are predominant: (1) N 140 to 150 E faults parallel to the gulf trend with pure dip-slip displacement; and (2) cross faults, oriented NOO to N 30 E that have a strike-slip component consistent with the N 050 E distensive stress regime. The mean dip cross fault is steeper (70 to 80 deg) than the dip of the faults parallel to the Gulf (30 to 70 deg). These two sets of fault define diamond shaped tilted block. The difference of mechanical behavior between the basement rocks and the overlying sedimentary cover caused structural disharmony and distinct fault geometries.

  8. 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.

  9. Triassic rift-related sedimentary basins in northern Chile (24° 29°S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, M.; Bell, C. M.

    1992-10-01

    Triassic rocks in northern Chile (latitude 24°-29°S) include marine and continental rift-related sedimentary deposits, associated with basaltic, andesitic, and silicic volcanic rocks. Five main successions include the deposits of two marine basins (Profeta and San Félix) separated by three continental basins (Cifuncho, La Ternera, and La Coipa). The marine strata include turbidites and debris flow deposits interpreted as coarse-grained fan-delta sediments. The continental sediments include lacustrine fan delta, open lake, braided river, alluvial fan, and sabkha deposits. The widespread fan-delta systems (both marine and lacustrine), together with abrupt lateral and vertical facies discontinuities and large-scale depositional cycles, are indicative of rift-controlled sedimentation. The associated magmatic activity indicates that this rifting was the product of subduction-related extension or strike-slip movement on the active plate margin. Triassic rifting was followed in Late Triassic to Early Jurassic times by widespread thermotectonic subsidence.

  10. Tectonic Evolution of Mozambique Ridge in East African continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yong

    2017-04-01

    Tectonic Evolution of Mozambique Ridge in East African continental margin Yong Tang He Li ES.Mahanjane Second Institute of Oceanography,SOA,Hangzhou The East Africa passive continental margin is a depression area, with widely distributed sedimentary wedges from southern Mozambique to northern Somali (>6500km in length, and about 6km in thickness). It was resulted from the separation of East Gondwana, and was developed by three stages: (1) rifting in Early-Middle Jurassic; (2) spreading from Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous; (3) drifting since the Cretaceous period. Tectonic evolution of the Mozambique continental margin is distinguished by two main settings separated by a fossil transform, the Davie Fracture Zone; (i) rifting and transform setting in the northern margin related to opening of the Somali and Rovuma basins, and (ii) rifting and volcanism setting during the opening of the Mozambique basin in the southern margin. 2D reflection seismic investigation of the crustal structure in the Zambezi Delta Depression, provided key piece of evidence for two rifting phases between Africa and Antarctica. The magma-rich Rift I phase evolved from rift-rift-rift style with remarkable emplacement of dyke swarms (between 182 and 170 Ma). Related onshore outcrops are extensively studied, the Karoo volcanics in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, all part of the Karoo "triple-junction". These igneous bodies flow and thicken eastwards and are now covered by up to 5 km of Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments and recorded by seismic and oil exploration wells. Geophysical and geological data recorded during oceanographic cruises provide very controversial results regarding the nature of the Mozambique Ridge. Two conflicting opinions remains open, since the early expeditions to the Indian Ocean, postulating that its character is either magmatic (oceanic) or continental origin. We have carried out an China-Mozambique Joint Cruise(CMJC) on southern Mozambique Basin on 1st June to

  11. Middle Jurassic - Early Cretaceous rifting on the Chortis Block in Honduras: Implications for proto-Caribbean opening (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, R. D.; Emmet, P. A.

    2009-12-01

    Regional mapping integrated with facies analysis, age constraints and airborne geophysical data reveal WNW and NE trends of Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous basins which intersect in southeast Honduras that we interpret as the result of rifting associated with the breakup of the Americas and opening of the proto-Caribbean seaway. The WNW-trending rift is 250 km long by 90 km wide and defined by a basal 200 to 800 m thick sequence of Middle to Late Jurassic fluvial channel and overbank deposits overlain by transgressive clastic shelf strata. At least three sub-basins are apparent. Flanking the WNW trending rift basins are fault bounded exposures of the pre-Jurassic continental basement of the Chortis block which is the source of the conglomeratic channel facies that delineate the axes of the rifts. Cretaceous terrigenous strata mantle the exposed basement-cored rift flanks. Lower Cretaceous clastic strata and shallow marine limestone strata are dominant along this trend indicating that post-rift related subsidence continued through the Early Cretaceous. The rifts coincide with a regional high in the total magnetic intensity data. We interpret these trends to reflect NNE-WSW extension active from the Middle Jurassic through Early Cretaceous. These rifts were inverted during Late Cretaceous shortening oriented normal to the rift axes. To the east and at a 120 degree angle to the WNW trending rift is the 300 km long NE trending Guayape fault system that forms the western shoulder of the Late Jurassic Agua Fria rift basin filled by > 2 km thickness of clastic marine shelf and slope strata. This NE trending basin coincides with the eastern extent of the surface exposure of continental basement rocks and a northeast-trending fabric of the Jurassic (?) metasedimentary basement rocks. We have previously interpreted the eastern basin to be the Jurassic rifted margin of the Chortis block with the Guayape originating as a normal fault system. These two rifts basin intersect

  12. Root zone of a continental rift: the Neoproterozoic Kebnekaise Intrusive Complex, northern Swedish Caledonides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirsch, Moritz; Svenningsen, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    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 i...

  13. Mapping hyper-extended rift systems offshore and onshore: insights from the Bay of Biscay- Western Pyrenees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tugend, Julie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Kusznir, Nicolas J.; Masini, Emmanuel; Thinon, Isabelle

    2013-04-01

    Research conducted at present-day passive continental margins shows more varied crustal architectures than previously assumed. New seismic data together with drill-holes have revealed the occurrence of extremely thinned continental crust in the distal part of the margin as well as exhumed serpentinised sub-continental mantle oceanwards. In addition the understanding of the formation of hyper-extended rift systems has also greatly benefited from the study of onshore analogs preserved in mountain belts. The Bay of Biscay and Western Pyrenees correspond to a Lower Cretaceous rift system leading to the development of hyper-extended domains and ultimately oceanic crust in the Bay of Biscay. This domain represents one of the best natural laboratories to study the formation processes and evolution of hyper-extended domains. During late Cretaceous compression, these rifted domains were inverted resulting in the present-day Pyrenean mountain belt. In this contribution, we present a new paleogeographic map of the Bay of Biscay-Pyrenean rift system. We integrate results from previous works and new work using different mapping methods to distinguish distinctive crustal domains related to hyper-extended systems both offshore and onshore. We combine seismic interpretations with gravity anomaly inversion and residual depth anomaly analysis to distinguish the different crustal domains across the offshore margin. Onshore, we use an innovative approach based on observations from present-day rifted margin architecture associated with classical field work to map the former hyper-extended domains. Another outcome of this work is the creation of a crustal thickness map using gravity inversion linking offshore and onshore domains from the Bay of Biscay to that of the Western-Pyrenees. This multidisciplinary approach enables us to investigate the spatial and temporal evolution of the Bay of Biscay rift system with the aim of better understanding the formation of hyper-extended domains

  14. Venus: Geology of Beta Regio rift system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikishin, A. M.; Borozdin, V. K.; Bobina, N. N.

    1992-01-01

    Beta Regio is characterized by the existence of rift structures. We compiled new geologic maps of Beta Regio according to Magellan data. There are many large uplifted tesserae on beta upland. These tesserae are partly buried by younger volcanic cover. We can conclude, using these observations, that Beta upland formed mainly due to lithospheric tectonic uplifting and was only partly constructed by volcanism. Theia Mons is the center of the Beta rift system. Many rift belts are distributed radially to Theia Mons. Typical widths of rifts are 40-160 km. Rift valleys are structurally represented by crustal grabens or half-grabens. There are symmetrical and asymmetrical rifts. Many rifts have shoulder uplifts up to 0.5-1 km high and 40-60 km wide. Preliminary analysis for rift valley structural cross sections lead to the conclusion that rifts originated due to 5-10 percent crustal extension. Many rifts traverse Beta upland and spread to the surrounding lowlands. We can assume because of these data that Beta rift system has an active-passive origin. It formed due to regional tectonic lithospheric extension. Rifting was accelerated by upper-mantle hot spot origination under the center of passive extension (under the Beta Regio).

  15. The Central Lake Malawi (Nyasa) Rift: single or multiple rift segments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney, T.; Scholz, C. A.; Shillington, D. J.; Accardo, N. J.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Kamihanda, G.

    2015-12-01

    Accommodation zones connect rift segments, which are fundamental elements of continental rift architecture. The sedimentary record aids our assessment of the evolution of this linkage. The central basin of Lake Malawi is one of the most structurally complex regions of the Malawi Rift. Border fault margins have been interpreted on both shorelines; three structures within the basin have been interpreted as segments of a corresponding accommodation zone. We investigate these structures by integrating single- and multi-channel reflection seismic data, including new MCS acquired in 2015 for the SEGMeNT project. The stratigraphic record in the central basin, inferred from seismic reflection profiles, provides compelling evidence that most fault-related subsidence is accommodated by the western border fault. Strata on both sides of all three structures dip to the west. The pre-rift basement in the sub-basin west of the central structure is considerably deeper (~ 4 s TWTT sub-bottom) than that in the broader eastern sub-basin (~ 2.5 s TWTT sub-bottom). A syncline in the eastern sub-basin shows little variation in seismic facies, particularly over the last 1.3 m.y. In contrast, the western sub-basin exhibits seismic facies indicative of fluvial input from two major rivers, siliciclastic input from the border fault footwall rising > 1000 m above lake level, and mud diapirs in the deepest part of the sub-basin. Horizons pierced by these diapirs onlap the central structure, suggesting diapir rise postdates relative uplift of the structure. Correlations with the age model from a 2005 scientific drilling project will better constrain this timing. The structural high helps focus siliciclastic sediments into the sub-basin, resulting in the overpressure conditions required for mud diapirism. We hypothesize that the diapirs are the result of sediment loading in the deep main depocenter of the central basin rather than fault mechanisms. The basement highs in the central basin control

  16. Peridotite xenoliths from Ethiopia: inferences on mantle processes from Plume to Rift settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beccaluva, Luigi; Bianchini, Gianluca; Ellam, Robert Mark; Natali, Claudio; Santato, Alessandro; Siena, Franca; Stuart, Finlay

    2010-05-01

    A comprehensive petrological study has been carried out on Ethiopian mantle xenoliths entrained in Neogene-Quaternary alkaline lavas both overlying the Continental Flood Basalt area (Dedessa River - Wollega Region, Injibara - Gojam Region) and from southern Main Ethiopian Rift (MER - Mega, Sidamo Region) in order to investigate the mantle evolution from plume to rift settings. Mantle xenoliths from the plateau area (Injibara, Dedessa River) range in composition from spinel lherzolite to harzburgite and olivine websterite, showing P-T equilibration conditions in the range of 1-2 GPa/950-1050 °C. These xenoliths show flat chondrite-normalized bulk-rock REE patterns, with only few LREE-enriched samples (LaN/YbN up to 5). Clinopyroxene (cpx) REE patterns are generally flat or LREE depleted (LaN/YbN down to 0.6). Sr-Nd isotopes on separated cpx mainly show compositions (87Sr/86Sr 0.5132) approaching the Depleted Mantle end-member, or displaced (87Sr/86Sr 0.7033-0.7034; 143Nd/144Nd 0.5129-0.5128) toward the Enriched Mantle components which also characterize the Ethiopian Oligocene plateau basalts. These characteristics indicate that most xenoliths reflect complex asthenosphere/lithosphere interactions due to plume-related refertilization processes, whose agents may be envisaged as mafic subalkaline melts that infiltrated and reacted with the pristine parageneses ultimately leading to the formation of olivine-websterite domains. On the other hand, mantle xenoliths from southern MER (Mega) consist of spinel lherzolite to harzburgites showing various degree of deformation and recrystallization coupled with an extremely wide incompatible element distribution. Bulk rock Rare Earth Element (REE) patterns show generally flat HREE ranging from 0.1 x chondrite (ch) in harzburgites up to 2 x ch in fertile lherzolites, and are variably enriched in LREE, with LaN/YbN up to 41.5. The constituent clinopyroxenes have flat HREE distribution and LaN/YbN between 0.1 and 55, in general

  17. The youngest magmatic event in Eastern North America: A window in the post rift evolution of continents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazza, S. E.; Gazel, E.; Johnson, E. A.; Schmandt, B.

    2014-12-01

    The rifted Eastern North American Margin (ENAM) provides important clues to the long-term evolution of continental margins. An Eocene (ca. 47-48 Ma) volcanic swarm exposed in the Appalachian Valley and Ridge Province of Virginia and West Virginia, contains the youngest known igneous rocks in the ENAM. These magmas are bimodal in composition, and provide the only window into the most recent deep processes contributing to the post-rift evolution of this margin. We expand on the data presented in Mazza et al., 2014, with new geochemical data that further constrains the magmatic evolution of the ENAM. Using integrated radiogenic isotopic data, petrologic modeling, and regional geomorphology, we determine source domains, melting conditions, and regional implications. Modeling of the melting conditions on primitive basalts yielded an average temperature and pressure of 1412±25°C and 2.32±0.31 GPa, corresponding to a mantle potential temperature of ~1410°C, suggesting melting conditions slightly higher than ambient mantle but not as high as expected from plume activity. When compared with magmas from Atlantic hotspots, the Eocene ENAM samples share isotopic signatures with the Azores and Cape Verde. This similarity suggests the possibility of a large-scale dissemination of similar sources in the upper mantle left over from the opening of the Atlantic. Asthenosphere upwelling related to localized lithospheric delamination is a possible process that can explain the intraplate signature of these magmas that lack evidence of a thermal anomaly. This process can also explain the Cenozoic dynamic topography and rejuvenation of the Central Appalachians. New P- and S-wave tomography using data from EarthScope's USArray shows that a low-velocity anomaly persists in the upper mantle beneath the Eocene volcanic swarm, indicating that the magmatic event substantially modified regional lithospheric structure. Our geochemical and petrologic constraints will be vital for a

  18. Rift border system: The interplay between tectonics and sedimentation in the Reconcavo basin, northeastern Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magnavita, L.P.; Silva, T.F. da [Petrobras/E & P - BA, Bahia (Brazil)

    1995-11-01

    A geometric and depositional model is proposed to explain the tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the main border of the Reconcavo basin. The architecture of the rift margin is characterized by a rift border system constituted by (1) a master fault, (2) a step, and (3) a clastic wedge. This footwall-derived clastic wedge is interpreted as alluvial fans and fan deltas composed of conglomerates that interfinger with hanging-wall strata. The analysis of the vertical distribution of coarse-grained components of this wedge suggests that its composition is geographically controlled, and no regular inverted stratigraphy is commonly described for this type of succession. During an initial lacustrine phase, turbidites accumulated farther from and parallel to the rift margin. The mapping of marker beds that bound these lacustrine turbidite deposits may be used to infer major periods of clastic influx and, therefore, to correlate with periods of fault-related subsidence or climatic fluctuations in the depositional basin and erosion of the sediment source area. Periods of limited back-faulting and basin expansion toward the main border are distinguished through patterns of progradation and aggradation indicating progressive retreat of the rift border and younging; in the footwall direction. The overall evolution of the rift border seems to be related to extension, block rotation, hanging-wall subsidence, and footwall uplift associated with the initial master fault, with limited propagation of faults away from the basin into the footwall.

  19. Geometry and kinematics of the Triassic rift basin in Jameson Land (East Greenland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarnieri, Pierpaolo; Brethes, Anaïs.; Rasmussen, Thorkild M.

    2017-04-01

    The Triassic rift basin along the east Greenland margin described in this paper is represented by NE-SW trending basins and highs segmented by NW-SE trending transfer zones. Coarse-grained sediments along the eastern side of Jameson Land are shown to be hosted in half-graben structures belonging to the Carlsberg Fjord Basin that is bounded by NW dipping normal faults mapped and described after fieldwork in the Klitdal area in Liverpool Land. New aeromagnetic and electromagnetic data together with new drill cores allow the reinterpretation of available seismic lines showing the continuation of the Triassic rift basin toward the SW where it is buried under the Upper Triassic postrift sediments and the Jurassic successions of the Jameson Land Basin. The N-S trending Liverpool Land, interpreted as the boundary block of the Triassic basin, is shown to represent a structural high inherited from the Late Carboniferous tectonics and faulted during the Triassic rifting. The Carlsberg Fjord Basin and the Klitdal Fault System described in this paper should be seen as analogues to the Helgeland Basin in the Norwegian offshore that is bounded by the Ylvingen Fault Zone and to the Papa and West of Shetlands Basins that are bounded by the Spine Fault. The Triassic rift zone and transfer faults on both conjugate margins show a straightforward correlation with the trends of the initial spreading line and fracture zones of the northeast Atlantic indicating a possible inheritance of the Triassic rifting.

  20. Dating fluid flow in developing passive margins using low-temperature thermochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleadow, A. J.; Seiler, C.; Kohn, B. P.

    2012-12-01

    Despite the importance of fluid flow for mass flux and remobilisation in the Earth's crust, the age of past fluid flow events is often difficult to determine, particularly in the low-temperature environment of the shallow crust. This is partly because mineral phases precipitated by low-temperature fluids are either lacking or not very easy to date. Low-temperature thermochronometers such as apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He (AHe) systems are, in theory, ideally suited to investigate the temperature interval of hydrothermal fluids near the Earth's surface and could be used to date fluid flow in the shallow crust. In passive margins, however, rift-related faulting, exhumation and post-breakup erosion often result in a much stronger regional cooling signal that relates to tectonic events rather than fluid flow. Moreover, the response of low-temperature thermochronometers to transient and potentially short-lived thermal events associated with hydrothermal fluids has not been studied systematically and is poorly known. In this study, we report AFT and AHe results from two young, regionally important faults that were active at different stages of passive margin evolution in the Gulf of California rift system. In the first case, we investigate the thermal history of the Libertad fault in central Baja California, which represents the breakaway fault for Late Miocene to recent rifting. Regional background AFT and AHe ages range between ~60-35Ma, they predate rifting and are likely associated with steady erosional unroofing of the basement. In contrast, a closely spaced 3D grid of samples from the Libertad escarpment records a distinct Late Miocene thermal event at ~9-8Ma that can be traced several kilometres along the base and a few hundred metres up the escarpment face. In the second case, we collected a 2D grid of samples orthogonal to the Ballenas transform, a transform fault located ~3-5km offshore the coast of central Baja California that is part of the current

  1. Propagated rifting in the Southwest Sub-basin, South China Sea: Insights from analogue modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Weiwei; Li, Jiabiao

    2016-10-01

    How the South China Sea rifted has long been a puzzling question that is still debated, particularly with reference to the Southwest Sub-basin (SWSB). Analogue modelling remains one of the most useful tools for testing rift models and processes. Here, we present and discuss a series of analogue modelling experiments designed to investigate the rifting process of the SWSB. Convincing geophysical results were compiled to provide realistic constraints to test the experimental results and interpretations. A heterogeneous lithosphere model with a varied lithospheric structure showed tectono-morphological features similar to the natural case of the SWSB, indicating that the initial thermal condition and rheological stratification of the lithosphere should have a dominant effect on the rifting process of the SWSB. Rigid tectonic blocks existed in the continental margin, such as the Macclesfield Bank and the Reed Bank, and they played important roles in both the shaping of the continent-ocean boundary and the coupling between the crust and mantle. The initial thermal condition and rheological stratification of the lithosphere under the South China Sea controlled the propagated rifting process of the SWSB. Extension was centred on the deep troughs between the rigid blocks, and the break-up occurred in these areas between them. The westward rifting propagation is best explained with a heterogeneous lithosphere model characterized by varied lithospheric structure, and it was responsible for producing the V-shaped configuration of the SWSB.

  2. Cenozoic rift formation in the northern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, P.; Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

    Rifts form in many different tectonic environments where the lithosphere is put into extension. An outline is provided of the distribution, orientation, and relative ages of 16 Cenozoic rifts along the northern edge of the Caribbean plate and it is suggested that these structures formed successively by localized extension as the Caribbean plate moved eastward past a continental promontory of North America. Evidence leading to this conclusion includes (1) recognition that the rifts become progressively younger westward; (2) a two-phase subsidence history in a rift exposed by upthrusting in Jamaica; (3) the absence of rifts east of Jamaica; and (4) the observation that removal of 1400 km of strike-slip displacement on the Cayman Trough fault system places the Paleogene rifts of Jamaica in an active area of extension south of Yucatan where the rifts of Honduras and Guatemala are forming today.

  3. Rio Grande Rift GPS Measurements 2006-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berglund, H.; Sheehan, A. F.; Nerem, R.; Choe, J.; Lowry, A. R.; Roy, M.; Blume, F.; Murray, M.

    2009-12-01

    We use three years of measurements from 25 continuous GPS stations across the Rio Grande Rift in New Mexico and Colorado to estimate surface velocities, time series, baselines, and strain rates. The stations are part of the EarthScope Rio Grande Rift experiment, a collaboration between researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of New Mexico, and Utah State University. The network includes 5 east-west station profiles transecting the rift, with the southernmost line in southern New Mexico and the northernmost line in northern Colorado. Most of the stations have shallow-drilled braced monuments installed in 2006-2007 and will remain occupied until 2010-2011 or longer. We also estimate station coordinates and velocities from the 2001 and 2008 High Accuracy Reference Network (HARN) campaigns conducted in Colorado. Initial 72-hour observations were made in the summer of 2001 and were repeated in the summer of 2008. Data from regional Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) GPS stations are included in the processing to increase station density and extend profiles further to the east and west of the Rio Grande Rift. We use GAMIT/GLOBK to process regional sub-networks that share several common sites well determined in the Stable North America Reference Frame (SNARF). These common sites are used as a tie between the sub-networks and SNARF. Our time series from the first three years of the experiment show excellent monument stability. We have solved for baseline distance as a function of time across each of these lines. Despite what might be expected for a rigid Colorado Plateau moving away from rigid North America about a pole near Colorado, we find no evidence of an increase in Rio Grande Rift opening to the south. Our results suggest that steady-state extension across the rift from northern Colorado to southern New Mexico has an upper bound less than ~1 mm/yr with strain rates less than ~20 nanostrain/yr, although these results are still preliminary

  4. 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

  5. Magma ascent and emplacement in a continental rift setting: lessons from alkaline complexes in active and ancient rift zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, William; Lloyd, Ryan; Birhanu, Yelebe; Biggs, Juliet; Mather, Tamsin; Pyle, David; Lewi, Elias; Yirgu, Gezahgen; Finch, Adrian

    2017-04-01

    A key feature of continental rift evolution is the development of large chemically-evolved alkaline magmatic systems in the shallow crust. At active alkaline systems, for example in the East African Rift, the volcanic complexes pose significant hazards to local populations but can also sustain major geothermal resources. In ancient rifts, for example the Gardar province in Southern Greenland, these alkaline magma bodies can host some of the world's largest rare element deposits in resources such as rare earths, niobium and tantalum. Despite their significance, there are major uncertainties about how such magmas are emplaced, the mechanisms that trigger eruptions and the magmatic and hydrothermal processes that generate geothermal and mineral resources. Here we compare observations from active caldera volcanoes in the Ethiopian Rift with compositionally equivalent ancient (1300-1100 Ma) plutonic systems in the Gardar Rift province (Greenland). In the Ethiopian Rift Valley we use InSAR and GPS data to evaluate the temporal and spatial evolution of ground deformation at Aluto and Corbetti calderas. We show that unrest at Aluto is characterized by short (3-6 month) accelerating uplift pulses likely caused by magmatic fluid intrusion at 5 km. At Corbetti, uplift is steady ( 6.6 cm/yr) and sustained over many years with analytical source models suggesting deformation is linked to sill intrusion at depths of 7 km. To evaluate the validity of these contrasting deformation mechanisms (i.e. magmatic fluid intrusion and sill emplacement) we carried out extensive field, structural and geochemical analysis in the roof zones of two alkaline plutons (Ilímaussaq and Motzfeldt) in Greenland. Our results show that the volatile contents (F, Cl, OH and S) of these magmas were exceptionally high and that there is evidence for ponding of magmatic fluids in the roof zone of the magma reservoir. We also identified extensive sill networks at the contact between the magma reservoir and the

  6. 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

  7. Is the Proterozoic Ladoga Rift (SE Baltic Shield) a rift?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina; Shulgin, Alexey

    2015-01-01

    The southern part of the Baltic Shield hosts a series of mafic dykes and sills of Mesoproterozoic ages, including a ca. 1.53-1.46 Ga sheet-like gabbro-dolerite sills and the Salmi plateau-basalts from the Lake Ladoga region. Based on chiefly geochemical data, the region is conventionally interpre......The southern part of the Baltic Shield hosts a series of mafic dykes and sills of Mesoproterozoic ages, including a ca. 1.53-1.46 Ga sheet-like gabbro-dolerite sills and the Salmi plateau-basalts from the Lake Ladoga region. Based on chiefly geochemical data, the region is conventionally...... 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......, 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...

  8. Magmatism in rifting and basin formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thybo, H.

    2008-12-01

    Whether heating and magmatism cause rifting or rifting processes cause magmatic activity is highly debated. The stretching factor in rift zones can be estimated as the relation between the initial and the final crustal thickness provided that the magmatic addition to the crust is insignificant. Recent research demonstrates substantial magmatic intrusion into the crust in the form of sill like structures in the lowest crust in the presently active Kenya and Baikal rift zones and the DonBas palaeo-rift zone in Ukraine. This result may be surprising as the Kenya Rift is associated with large amounts of volcanic products, whereas the Baikal Rift shows very little volcanism. Identification of large amounts of magmatic intrusion into the crust has strong implications for estimation of stretching factor, which in the case of Baikal Rift Zone is around 1.7 but direct estimation gives a value of 1.3-1.4 if the magmatic addition is not taken into account. This may indicate that much more stretching has taken place on rift systems than hitherto believed. Wide sedimentary basins may form around aborted rifts due to loading of the lithosphere by sedimentary and volcanic in-fill of the rift. This type of subsidence will create wide basins without faulting. The Norwegian- Danish basin in the North Sea area also has subsided gradually during the Triassic without faulting, but only few rift structures have been identified below the Triassic sequences. We have identified several mafic intrusions in the form of large batholiths, typically more than 100 km long, 20-40 km wide and 20 km thick. The associated heating would have lifted the surface by about 2 km, which may have been eroded before cooling. The subsequent contraction due to solidification and cooling would create subsidence in a geometry similar to basins that developed by loading. These new aspects of magmatism will be discussed with regard to rifting and basin formation.

  9. Classification of the rift zones of venus: Rift valleys and graben belts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guseva, E. N.

    2016-05-01

    The spatial distribution of rift zones of Venus, their topographic configuration, morphometric parameters, and the type of volcanism associating with rifts were analyzed. This allowed the main characteristic features of rifts to be revealed and two different types of rift-forming structures, serving for classification of rift zones as rift valleys and graben belts, to be isolated. These structural types (facies) of rift zones are differently expressed in the relief: rift valleys are individual deep (several kilometers) W-shaped canyons, while graben belts are clusters of multiple V-shaped and rather shallow (hundreds of meters) depressions. Graben belts are longer and wider, as compared to rift valleys. Rift valleys are spatially associated with dome-shaped volcanic rises and large volcanos (concentrated volcanic sources), while graben belts do not exhibit such associations. Volcanic activity in the graben belts are presented by spacious lava fields with no apparent sources of volcanism. Graben belts and rift valleys were formed during the Atlian Period of geologic history of Venus, and they characterized the tectonic style of the planet at the late stages of its geologic evolution. Formation of this or that structural facies of the rift zones of Venus were probably governed by the thickness of the lithosphere, its rheological properties, and the development degree of the mantle diapirs associating with rift zones.

  10. Sequential faulting explains the asymmetry and extension discrepancy of conjugate margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranero, César R; Pérez-Gussinyé, Marta

    2010-11-11

    During early extension, cold continental lithosphere thins and subsides, creating rift basins. If extension continues to final break-up, the split and greatly thinned plates subside deep below sea level to form a conjugate pair of rifted margins. Although basins and margins are ubiquitous structures, the deformation processes leading from moderately extended basins to highly stretched margins are unclear, as studies consistently report that crustal thinning is greater than extension caused by brittle faulting. This extension discrepancy might arise from differential stretching of brittle and ductile crustal layers, but that does not readily explain the typical asymmetric structure of conjugate margins-in cross-section, one margin displays gradual thinning accompanied by large faults, and the conjugate margin displays abrupt thinning but smaller-scale faulting. Whole-crust detachments, active from early in the rifting, could in theory create both thinning and asymmetry, but are mechanically problematical. Furthermore, the extension discrepancy occurs at both conjugate margins, leading to the apparent contradiction that both seem to be upper plates to a detachment fault. Alternative models propose that much brittle extension is undetected because of seismic imaging limitations caused either by subseismic-resolution faulting, invisible deformation along top-basement 100-km-scale detachments or the structural complexity of cross-cutting arrays of faults. Here we use depth-migrated seismic images to accurately measure fault extension and compare it with crustal thinning. The observations are used to create a balanced kinematic model of rifting that resolves the extension discrepancy by producing both fault-controlled crustal thinning which progresses from a rift basin to the asymmetric structure, and extreme thinning of conjugate rifted margins. Contrary to current wisdom, the observations support the idea that thinning is to a first degree explained by simple

  11. From hyper-extended rifts to orogens: the example of the Mauléon rift basin in the Western Pyrenees (SW France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masini, E.; Manatschal, G.; Tugend, J.

    2011-12-01

    An integral part of plate tectonic theory is that the fate of rifted margins is to be accreted into mountain belts. Thus, rift-related inheritance is an essential parameter controlling the evolution and architecture of collisional orogens. Although this link is well accepted, rift inheritance is often ignored. The Pyrenees, located along the Iberian and European plate boundary, can be considered as one of the best places to study the reactivation of former rift structures. In this orogen the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary convergence overprints a Late Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous complex intracontinental rift system related to the opening of the North Atlantic. During the rifting, several strongly subsiding basins developed in the axis of the Pyrenees showing evidence of extreme crustal extension and even locale mantle exhumation to the seafloor. Although the exact age and kinematics of rifting is still debated, these structures have an important impact in the subsequent orogenic overprint. In our presentation we discuss the example of the Mauléon basin, which escaped from the most pervasive deformations because of its specific location at the interface between the western termination of the chain and the Bay of Biscay oceanic realm. Detailed mapping combined with seismic reflection, gravity data and industry wells enabled to determine the 3D rift architecture of the Mauléon basin. Two major diachronous detachment systems can be mapped and followed through space. The Southern Mauléon Detachment (SMD) develops first, starts to thin the crust and floors the Southern Mauléon sub-Basin (SMB). The second, the Northern Mauléon Detachment (SMD) is younger and controls the final crustal thinning and mantle exhumation to the north. Both constitute the whole Mauléon basin. Like at the scale of the overall Pyrenees, the reactivation of the Mauléon Basin increases progressively from west to east, which enables to document the progressive reactivation of an aborted hyper

  12. East Antarctic Rift Systems - key to understanding of Gondwana break-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golynsky, D. A.; Golynsky, A. V.

    2012-04-01

    fragmentary horsts. The spatial correlation of the Aurora-Scott rift system, Permian basins of the Western Australia margin and coal-bearing basins in Rajmahal Hills allows suggesting that this East Antarctic structure was also formed during Permian time and about the existence of triple junction rift systems (Aurora-Scott, Perth, Rajmahal) in the pre-breakup Gondwana.

  13. Asymmetry and basin migration in the dead sea rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zak, I.; Freund, R.

    1981-12-01

    The Dead Sea depression sensu stricto, forms the deepest continental part of the Dead Sea rift, a transfer which separates the Levanthine and Arabian plates. It is occupied by three distinct sedimentary bodies, deposited in basins whose depocenters are displaced northward with time. They are: the continental red beds of the Hazeva Formation (Miocene), the Bira-Lido-Gesher marls and the exceptionally thick rocksalt of the Sedom Formation (Pliocene—Early Pleistocene), and the successive Amora, Lisan and Dead Sea evaporites and clastics (Early Pleistocene—Recent). Lengthwise and crosswise asymmetries of these sedimentary basins and their respective depocenters are due to: leftlateral shear combined with anticlockwise rotation of the Arabian (eastern) plate; steeper faulting of the crustal eastern margin than of the western sedimentary margin, and modification of depositional pattern by twice filling up of basins, by Hazeva red beds during Late Miocene pause of shear and by Sedom rocksalt during Pliocene marine ingression.

  14. The Active Solid Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebinger, Cynthia

    2016-04-01

    Dynamic processes in Earth's crust, mantle and core shape Earth's surface and magnetic field over time scales of seconds to millennia, and even longer time scales as recorded in the ca. 4 Ga rock record. Our focus is the earthquake-volcano deformation cycles that occur over human time scales, and their comparison with time-averaged deformation studies, with emphasis on mantle plume provinces where magma and volatile release and vertical tectonics are readily detectable. Active deformation processes at continental and oceanic rift and back arc zones provide critical constraints on mantle dynamics, the role of fluids (volatiles, magma, water), and plate rheology. For example, recent studies of the East African rift zone, which formed above one of Earth's largest mantle upwellings reveal that magma production and volatile release rates are comparable to those of magmatic arcs, the archetypal zones of continental crustal creation. Finite-length faults achieve some plate deformation, but magma intrusion in the form of dikes accommodates extension in continental, back-arc, and oceanic rifts, and intrusion as sills causes permanent uplift that modulates the local time-space scales of earthquakes and volcanoes. Volatile release from magma intrusion may reduce fault friction and permeability, facilitating aseismic slip and creating magma pathways. We explore the implications of active deformation studies to models of the time-averaged structure of plume and extensional provinces in continental and oceanic plate settings.

  15. Rayleigh Wave Tomography of Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) using Earthquake and Ambient Noise Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleqabi, G. I.; Wiens, D.; Wysession, M. E.; Shen, W.; van der Lee, S.; Revenaugh, J.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Darbyshire, F. A.; Stein, S. A.; Jurdy, D. M.; Wolin, E.; Bollmann, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    The structure of the North American Mid-Continent Rift Zone (MCRZ) is examined using Rayleigh waves from teleseismic earthquakes and ambient seismic noise recorded by the Superior Province Rifting EarthScope Experiment (SPREE). Eighty-four broadband seismometers were deployed during 2011-2013 in Minnesota and Wisconsin, USA, and Ontario, CA, along three lines; two across the rift axis and the third along the rift axis. These stations, together with the EarthScope Transportable Array, provided excellent coverage of the MCRZ. The 1.1 Ga Mesoproterozoic failed rift consists of two arms, buried under post-rifting sedimentary formations that meet at Lake Superior. We compare two array-based tomography methods using teleseismic fundamental mode Rayleigh waves phase and amplitude measurements: the two-plane wave method (TPWM, Forsyth, 1998) and the automated surface wave phase velocity measuring system (ASWMS, Jin and Gaherty, 2015). Both array methods and the ambient noise method give relatively similar results showing low velocity zones extending along the MCRZ arms. The teleseismic Rayleigh wave results from 18 - 180 s period are combined with short period phase velocity results (period 8-30 s) obtained from ambient noise by cross correlation. Phase velocities from the methods are very similar at periods of 18-30 where results overlap; in this period range we use the average of the noise and teleseismic results. Finally the combined phase velocity curve is inverted using a Monte-Carlo inversion method at each geographic point in the model. The results show low velocities at shallow depths (5-10 km) that are the result of very deep sedimentary fill within the MCRZ. Deeper-seated low velocity regions may correspond to mafic underplating of the rift zone.

  16. A seismic refraction study of the crustal structure of the South Kenya Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, W.; Mechie, J.; Maguire, P. K. H.; Patel, J.; Keller, G. R.; Prodehl, C.; Khan, M. A.

    This extended abstract of a forthcoming paper [Henry et al, unpublished manuscript] describes the results from the explosion part of the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP 85). This consisted of two lines, each with 50 3-component recording stations [KRISP Working Group,1987; Henry, 1987]. Along the N-S line, the stations were deployed along the rift axis at 3.5 km intervals for about 200 km from Lake Baringo (BAR) to Susua (SUS) (Fig 1), with a few additional stations at the southern end of the line near Magadi (MAG). On the E-W line the stations were deployed at 1 km intervals from Mt. Margaret (MAR), beneath the eastern margin of the rift, westwards for 50 km to Ntulelei (NTU) at the western edge. A few additional stations were deployed further west to Ewaso Nyiro (EWA).

  17. The lithosphere of the Appalachian orogen and Atlantic passive margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, K. M.; MacDougall, J. G.; Hawman, R. B.; Parker, E. H.; Wagner, L. S.

    2012-12-01

    The lithosphere of the Appalachian orogen and Atlantic passive margin has recorded repeated episodes of continental collision and break-up. Improved resolution of crust and mantle structure in this region holds promise for better understanding of orogenesis, rifting and passive margin development. At a broad scale, tomographic models manifest a decrease in lithospheric thickness from the central U.S. craton into the Appalachian orogen. Migration of Sp scattered waves indicates that a significant drop in shear-wave velocity typically occurs at depths of 80-120 km in the eastern U.S., and where these phases fall within the transition from high velocity lid to lower velocity mantle obtained from tomography, they are interpretable as the seismological lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Beneath the Appalachians and coastal plain, Sp-derived lithospheric thicknesses are larger than those found in the tectonically active western U.S. where values range from 40-90 km. The vertical shear velocity gradients required to produce the observed Sp phases are sharp (drops of 4-10% over governed solely by temperature, but they may be explained by small amounts of partial melt or enhanced volatile content in the asthenosphere. While an asthenospheric low velocity zone appears to be ubiquitous beneath the continent, minimum velocities (and likely viscosities) within the eastern U.S. asthenosphere are not as low as those in the western U.S. At smaller scales, Sp imaging hints at lithospheric thickness variations that are correlated with tectonic features (e.g. orogenic boundaries, failed rifts) but resolution will be vastly improved with analysis of data from USArray Transportable and Flexible Arrays. The goal of the Southeastern Suture of the Appalachian Margin Experiment (SESAME) is to better understand lithospheric structures produced by accretion and rifting processes, with a particular focus on the Laurentia-Gondwana suture proposed in southern Georgia, adjacent regions of

  18. Fault growth and propagation during incipient continental rifting: Insights from a combined aeromagnetic and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission digital elevation model investigation of the Okavango Rift Zone, northwest Botswana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinabo, B. D.; Hogan, J. P.; Atekwana, E. A.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Modisi, M. P.

    2008-06-01

    Digital Elevation Models (DEM) extracted from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data and high-resolution aeromagnetic data are used to characterize the growth and propagation of faults associated with the early stages of continental extension in the Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ), northwest Botswana. Significant differences in the height of fault scarps and the throws across the faults in the basement indicate extended fault histories accompanied by sediment accumulation within the rift graben. Faults in the center of the rift either lack topographic expressions or are interpreted to have become inactive, or have large throws and small scarp heights indicating waning activity. Faults on the outer margins of the rift exhibit either (1) large throws or significant scarp heights and are considered older and active or (2) throws and scarp heights that are in closer agreement and are considered young and active. Fault linkages between major fault systems through a process of "fault piracy" have combined to establish an immature border fault for the ORZ. Thus, in addition to growing in length (by along-axis linkage of segments), the rift is also growing in width (by transferring motion to younger faults along the outer margins while abandoning older faults in the middle). Finally, utilization of preexisting zones of weakness allowed the development of very long faults (>100 km) at a very early stage of continental rifting, explaining the apparent paradox between the fault length versus throw for this young rift. This study clearly demonstrates that the integration of the SRTM DEM and aeromagnetic data provides a 3-D view of the faults and fault systems, providing new insight into fault growth and propagation during the nascent stages of continental rifting.

  19. South Atlantic continental margins of Africa: a comparison of the tectonic vs climate interplay on the evolution of equatorial west Africa and SW Africa margins

    CERN Document Server

    Seranne, M; Seranne, Michel; Anka, Zahie

    2005-01-01

    The comparative review of 2 representative segments of Africa continental margin: the equatorial western Africa and the SW Africa margins, helps in analysing the main controlling factors on their development. Early Cretaceous active rifting S of the Walvis Ridge resulted in the formation of the SW Africa volcanic margin. The non-volcanic rifting N of the Walvis ridge, led to the formation of the equatorial western Africa margin, with thick and extensive, synrift basins. Regressive erosion of SW Africa prominent shoulder uplift accounts for high clastic sedimentation rate in Late Cretaceous - Eocene, while dominant carbonate production on equatorial western Africa shelf suggests little erosion of a low hinterland. The early Oligocene climate change had contrasted response in both margins. Emplacement of the Congo deep-sea fan reflects increased erosion in equatorial Africa, under the influence of wet climate, whereas establishment of an arid climate over SW Africa induced a drastic decrease of denudation, and ...

  20. Constraints for timing of extensional tectonics in the western margin of the Red Sea in Eritrea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghebreab, Woldai; Carter, Andrew; Hurford, Anthony J.; Talbot, Christopher J.

    2002-06-01

    Recent work on asthenosphere-lithosphere coupling reinforces past observations that active and passive rifting models do not adequately describe real rifts. There remains insufficient knowledge of fundamental controls on rift architecture. In the actively extending Red Sea margin of eastern Eritrea, which lies at the Red Sea/Danakil-Gulf of Aden and the East African rift triple junction zone, the geometry and kinematics of extension are complex and poorly defined due to large data gaps. Extension and sea-floor spreading in both the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden have influenced the Neogene tectonic development of Eritrea but many of the structures have Pan-African origins and do not follow normal plate opening geometries. To constrain the rifting history in eastern Eritrea, apatite fission-track thermochronologic data were measured for 22 Pan-African rock samples. Results identify late Oligocene-early Miocene cooling coincident with extension and erosion along the conjugate margin in Yemen. A younger age group, confined to Mt Ghedem, relates to an episode of fault reactivation and dyke injection that began ˜10 Ma coincident with rotation of the nearby Danakil block. Initially this was driven by onset of sea-floor spreading in the Gulf of Aden and later, in the Pliocene, aided by northward rifting in the Afar depression concomitant with spreading in the Red Sea. These different processes highlight the complex linkage between different extensional events and rift architecture.

  1. Toward self-consistent tectono-magmatic numerical model of rift-to-ridge transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerya, Taras; Bercovici, David; Liao, Jie

    2017-04-01

    Natural data from modern and ancient lithospheric extension systems suggest three-dimensional (3D) character of deformation and complex relationship between magmatism and tectonics during the entire rift-to-ridge transition. Therefore, self-consistent high-resolution 3D magmatic-thermomechanical numerical approaches stand as a minimum complexity requirement for modeling and understanding of this transition. Here we present results from our new high-resolution 3D finite-difference marker-in-cell rift-to-ridge models, which account for magmatic accretion of the crust and use non-linear strain-weakened visco-plastic rheology of rocks that couples brittle/plastic failure and ductile damage caused by grain size reduction. Numerical experiments suggest that nucleation of rifting and ridge-transform patterns are decoupled in both space and time. At intermediate stages, two patterns can coexist and interact, which triggers development of detachment faults, failed rift arms, hyper-extended margins and oblique proto-transforms. En echelon rift patterns typically develop in the brittle upper-middle crust whereas proto-ridge and proto-transform structures nucleate in the lithospheric mantle. These deep proto-structures propagate upward, inter-connect and rotate toward a mature orthogonal ridge-transform patterns on the timescale of millions years during incipient thermal-magmatic accretion of the new oceanic-like lithosphere. Ductile damage of the extending lithospheric mantle caused by grain size reduction assisted by Zenner pinning plays critical role in rift-to-ridge transition by stabilizing detachment faults and transform structures. Numerical results compare well with observations from incipient spreading regions and passive continental margins.

  2. Structure of the Gabon Margin from integrated seismic reflection and gravity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupré, Stéphanie; Cloetingh, Sierd; Bertotti, Giovanni

    2011-06-01

    In the South Gabon Basin, deep multi-channel seismic reflection and gravity modeling analysis have shed light on key features of the structure of the margin. The thinned continental crust beneath the Gabon Margin appears to be composed of two distinct layers, separated by a clear, strong and more or less continuous reflector running in the 7-10 s TWT window. The lower crust is characterized by a higher density, intermediate between the lower values of the upper crust and the denser values of the mantle. The lower crust is irregularly shaped and presents lateral thickness variations along the direction of thinning and along the coast. In the offshore thinned continental domain, the lower and upper crust form a 20-25 km thick body. Crustal thicknesses point to a relatively sharp and narrow transition, along a few tens of kilometers, between the unthinned and the thinned continental crust. The high density layer identified offshore Gabon presents similar characteristics in density, geometry and spatial distribution, as the underplated magmatic bodies observed along volcanic margins, e.g. along the South Atlantic Namibia Margin or the North Atlantic Vøring Margin. Although this lower crustal body could possibly represent ultra mafic serpentinized rocks or high grade metamorphic crustal rocks, we suggest that it could be composed of mafic rocks. Magmas resulting from partial melting during rifting may underplate the crust and/or be intruded in the lower crust through a system of dykes and sills. In this view, the present-day crustal thicknesses along rifted margins, characterized by magmatic underplating and/or intrusion, are not representative of the thinning that the crust experienced during rifting. Results of this study point to relatively shallow sedimentary basins along the South Gabon Margin. The deepest offshore depocenters located under the westernmost side of the continental platform appear to be associated with the deepest syn-rift basins These basins seem

  3. The rift architecture and extensional tectonics of the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameselle, Alejandra L.; Ranero, César R.; Barckhausen, Udo; Franke, Dieter

    2016-04-01

    Non-volcanic rifted continental margins are classically described as the product of lithospheric stretching and breakup leading to mantle exhumation, and subsequent seafloor spreading. However, recent studies question this model and indicate a wider range of structural evolutions, that challenge the existing model (e.g. Australia-Antarctic Rift System (Direen et al. 2007, 2011); the Tyrrhenian basin (Prada et al., 2014) or the South China Sea (Cameselle et al. 2015)). Rifting in the South China Sea developed from a series of extensional events, from early Eocene to Late Oligocene, resulting in a V-shape oceanic basin affected by the occurrence of several spreading centers, ridges, transform faults and post-spreading volcanism. In recent years, this marginal basin - the largest in East Asia - has increasingly become one of the key sites for the study of rifting and continental break-up. Its relative small size - compared to many classic, Atlantic-type continental margin settings - allows to easily match conjugated rifted margins and its relative youth promotes the preservation of its original nature. To examine the rifting evolution of the South China Sea, we have reprocessed with modern algorithms multichannel seismic profiles acquired during Sonne49 and BGR84 cruises across the three major subbasins: NW, SW and East subbasins. State-of-the-art of processing techniques have been used to increase the signal to noise ratio, including Tau-P and Wiener predictive deconvolution, multiple attenuation by both radon filtering and wave-equation-based surface-related multiple elimination (SRME) and time migration. To complement seismic interpretation, available vintage multichannel seismic data have been reprocessed with a post-stack flow, including Wiener deconvolution, FK-filtering, space and time variant band-pass filter and time migration. The improving quality of the seismic images shows a range of features including post-rift and syn-rift sediments, the structure of

  4. Diachronism in the late Neoproterozoic-Cambrian arc-rift transition of North Gondwana: A comparison of Morocco and the Iberian Ossa-Morena Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvaro, J. Javier; Bellido, Félix; Gasquet, Dominique; Pereira, M. Francisco; Quesada, Cecilio; Sánchez-García, Teresa

    2014-10-01

    In the northwestern border of the West African craton (North Gondwana), a transition from late Neoproterozoic subduction/collision to Cambrian rift processes was recorded in the Anti-Atlas (Morocco) and in the Ossa-Morena Zone (Iberia). Cambrian rifting affected both Pan-African and Cadomian basements in a stepwise and diachronous way. Subsequently, both areas evolved into a syn-rift margin episodically punctuated by uplift and tilting that precluded Furongian sedimentation. A comparison of sedimentary, volcanic and geodynamic evolution is made in the late Neoproterozoic (Pan-African and Cadomian) belts and Cambrian rifts trying to solve the apparent diachronous (SW-NE-trending) propagation of an early Palaeozoic rifting regime that finally led to the opening of the Rheic Ocean.

  5. Reconstructing conjugate margins of the Canada-Amerasian basin: New tectonic constraints from deep seismic data and gravity profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helwig, J.; Ady, B.; Kumar, N.; Granath, J. W.; Dinkelman, M. G.; Bird, D. E.; Emmet, P. A.

    2010-12-01

    Over the past 5 years, decreasing sea ice and increasing scientific and economic interest in the Arctic have prompted new geological and geophysical studies that advance knowledge of the northern continental margins of North America. We report here on ArcticSPAN™ 40-km deep, PSDM (Pre-Stack Depth Migrated) marine seismic reflection profiles and gravity data from the Beaufort Sea of Canada and the US Chukchi Sea that constrain the position of the continent-ocean boundary and the relict spreading center of the Canada Basin, displaying significant variations in the orientation, geometry and deep crustal structure of the passive margin facing the Arctic Ocean. In the Canadian Beaufort Sea three distinct segments of the margin correspond to contrasts of pre-rift foundations: 1. the rifted, rotated Arctic Alaska Terrane west of the Mackenzie Delta (Beaufort segment); 2. the transform-faulted Laurentian crust of the Tuktoyaktuk margin (Tuk segment); and, 3. the rifted Laurentian crust of the Banks Island segment. The thick late Mesozoic-Cenozoic clastic prism of the continental margin was centered in the Mackenzie delta area by Mesozoic rifting of the Canada Basin. The northerly Paleocene-Miocene sweep of Cordilleran deformation modified the passive margin, overprinting the offshore Mackenzie Delta. The interpreted tectonic architecture of the three segments of the Beaufort passive margin demonstrates their distinct roles in opening of the Canada Basin. Two conjugate rifted margin segments (Beaufort and Banks Island) and a linking transform fault margin (Tuk) formed during the separation of the Arctic Alaska Terrane from northwestern Laurentia, in accord with a Jurassic-Aptian rotational model of Canada Basin opening. But the orientation of the Tuk transform segment indicates that a single pole of rotation cannot describe the opening of the basin. Additional seismic profiles from investigations of the Chukchi Sea margin display passive margin structures and rift to pre-rift

  6. Geochemical and isotopic characteristics of volcanic rocks from the northern East China Sea shelf margin and the Okinawa Trough

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZENG Zhigang; YU Shaoxiong; WANG Xiaoyuan; FU Yongtao; YIN Xuebo; ZHANG Guoliang; WANG Xiaomei; CHEN Shuai

    2010-01-01

    Volcanic rocks both from the northern East China Sea (NECS) shelf margin and the northern Okinawa Trough are subalkaline less aluminous,and lower in High Field Strength Elements (HFSE).These rocks are higher in Large Ion Lithophile Elements (LILE),thorium and uranium contents,positive lead anomalies,negative Nb-Ta anomalies,and enrichment in Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE).Basalts from the NECS shelf margin are akin to Indian Ocean Mid-Ocean Ridge Basalt (MORB),and rhyolites from the northern Okinawa Trough have the highest 207Pb/204Pb and 208Pb/204Pb ratios.The NECS shelf margin basalts have lower 87Sr/86Sr ratios,εNd and σ18O than the northern Okinawa Trough silicic rocks.According to 40K-40Ar isotopic ages of basalts from the NECS shelf margin,rifting of the Okinawa Trough may have been active since at least 3.65-3.86 Ma.The origin of the NECS shelf margin basalt can be explained by the interaction of melt derived from Indian Ocean MORB-like mantle with enriched subcontinental lithosphere.The basalts from both sides of the Okinawa Trough may have a similar origin during the initial rifting of the Okinawa Trough,and the formation of basaltic magmas closely relates to the thinning of continental crust.The source of the formation of the northern Okinawa Trough silicic rocks was different from that of the middle Okinawa Trough,which could have been generated by the interaction of basaltic melt with an enriched crustal component.From the Ryukyu island arc to East China,the Cenozoic basalts have apparently increasing trends of MgO contents and ratios of LREE to Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE),suggesting that the trace element variabilities of basalts may have been influenced by the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate,and that the effects of subduction of the Philippine Sea plate on the chemical composition of basaltic melts have had a decreasing effect from the Ryukyu island arc to East China.

  7. Seismic hazard of the Kivu rift (western branch, East African Rift system): new neotectonic map and seismotectonic zonation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delvaux, Damien; Mulumba, Jean-Luc; Sebagenzi Mwene Ntabwoba, Stanislas; Fiama Bondo, Silvanos; Kervyn, François; Havenith, Hans-Balder

    2017-04-01

    setting, with the lowest value in the volcanically active Virunga - Rutshuru zone, highest in the currently non-volcanic parts of Lake Kivu, Rusizi valley and North Tanganyika rift zone, and intermediate in the regions flanking the axial rift zone. Those are to be considered as preliminary values, as there are a number of important uncertainties such as the heterogeneity and relatively short duration of the instrumental seismic catalogue used (60 years), the absence of locally derived attenuation laws and thus the choice of the attenuation laws used, and the seismic zonation scheme. Delvaux, D. et al., 2016. Journal of African Earth Sciences, doi: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2016.10.004.

  8. Deep structure of the northern Rio Grande rift beneath the San Luis basin (Colorado) from a seismic reflection survey: implications for rift evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tandon, Kush; Brown, Larry; Hearn, Thomas

    1999-02-01

    A seismic reflection survey by Chevron across the San Luis basin (northern Rio Grande rift) and San Juan volcanic field of southern Colorado is reprocessed with extended correlation to search for basement structure. The trace of the main bounding fault of the basin, a high-angle normal fault against the Sangre de Cristo Range, can be correlated to a wide zone of dipping reflection fabric and soles out at lower crustal depths (26-28 km). The deeper reflection fabric represent either broad extensional strain or pre-existing structure, such as a Laramide thrust system. The Sangre de Cristo bounding fault in San Luis basin does not sole out at mid-crustal depths but continues into the lower crust with a shallower dip. The basin architecture in the northern Rio Grande rift (San Luis basin) provides little if any evidence that the Sangre de Cristo bounding fault should flatten in a shallow listric fashion. This fault geometry is quite similar to the high-angle bounding fault in the Espanola basin but contrasts with less deeply-rooted faults in the Albuquerque basin in the central Rio Grande rift. Deeper soling out of the Sangre de Cristo bounding fault could be due to less extension in the northern Rio Grande rift and/or greater strength of the lithosphere compared to the central Rio Grande rift. Unequivocal Moho reflections beneath the San Luis basin cannot be identified, probably due to limited signal penetration or a gradational nature of the Moho. The majority of rift-related movement observed on the Sangre de Cristo bounding fault is post-Eocene. Either the western margin of the basin is marked by a tight monocline or a low-angle normal fault.

  9. GPS constraints on broad scale extension in the Ethiopian Highlands and Main Ethiopian Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birhanu, Yelebe; Bendick, Rebecca; Fisseha, Shimeles; Lewi, Elias; Floyd, Michael; King, Robert; Reilinger, Robert

    2016-07-01

    Measurements from GPS sites spanning the Ethiopian Highlands, Main Ethiopian Rift, and Somali Platform in Ethiopia and Eritrea show that present-day finite strain rates throughout NE Africa can be approximated at the continent scale by opening on the MER. Most sites in the Ethiopian Highlands are consistent with the motion of the Nubian plate at the level of 1 mm/yr with 95% confidence. However, sites at least as far as 60 km west of the rift show higher velocities relative to the stable Nubian frame of 1-2 mm/yr, requiring a combination of localized and distributed deformation to accommodate the African extensional domain. Off-rift velocities are consistent with ongoing strain related to either high gravitational potential energy or intrusive magmatism away from midrift magmatic segments either on the western rift margin or within the Ethiopian Highlands, especially when combined with likely rheological differences between the Ethiopian Rift and Highlands. Velocities from the Somali Platform are less well determined with uncertainties and residuals from a Somali frame definition at the level of 2-3 mm/yr but without spatially correlated residuals.

  10. Margin requirements, margin loans, and margin rates: practice and principles

    OpenAIRE

    Peter Fortune

    2000-01-01

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System establishes initial margin requirements under Regulations T, U, and X. Recent margin loan increases, both in aggregate value and relative to market capitalization, have rekindled the debate about using margin requirements as an instrument to affect the prices of common stocks. Proponents of a more active margin requirement policy see the regulations as instruments for affecting the level and volatility of stock prices by influencing investo...

  11. Stratigraphic Modelling of Continental Rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondy, Luke; Duclaux, Guillaume; Salles, Tristan; Thomas, Charmaine; Rey, Patrice

    2013-04-01

    Interlinks between deformation and sedimentation have long been recognised as an important factor in the evolution of continental rifts and basins development. However, determining the relative impact of tectonic and climatic forcing on the dynamics of these systems remains a major challenge. This problem in part derives from a lack of modelling tools capable of simulated high detailed surface processes within a large scale (spatially and temporally) tectonic setting. To overcome this issue an innovative framework has been designed using two existing numerical forward modelling codes: Underworld, capable of simulating 3D self-consistent tectonic and thermal lithospheric processes, and Tellus, a forward stratigraphic and geomorphic modelling framework dedicated to simulating highly detailed surface dynamics. The coupling framework enables Tellus to use Underworld outputs as internal and boundary conditions, thereby simulating the stratigraphic and geomorphic evolution of a realistic, active tectonic setting. The resulting models can provide high-resolution data on the stratigraphic record, grain-size variations, sediment provenance, fluvial hydrometric, and landscape evolution. Here we illustrate a one-way coupling method between active tectonics and surface processes in an example of 3D oblique rifting. Our coupled model enables us to visualise the distribution of sediment sources and sinks, and their evolution through time. From this we can extract and analyse at each simulation timestep the stratigraphic record anywhere within the model domain. We find that even from a generic oblique rift model, complex fluvial-deltaic and basin filling dynamics emerge. By isolating the tectonic activity from landscape dynamics with this one-way coupling, we are able to investigate the influence of changes in climate or geomorphic parameters on the sedimentary and landscape record. These impacts can be quantified in part via model post-processing to derive both instantaneous and

  12. Ambient noise tomography of the East African Rift in Mozambique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingues, Ana; Silveira, Graça; Ferreira, Ana M. G.; Chang, Sung-Joon; Custódio, Susana; Fonseca, João F. B. D.

    2016-03-01

    Seismic ambient noise tomography is applied to central and southern Mozambique, located in the tip of the East African Rift (EAR). The deployment of MOZART seismic network, with a total of 30 broad-band stations continuously recording for 26 months, allowed us to carry out the first tomographic study of the crust under this region, which until now remained largely unexplored at this scale. From cross-correlations extracted from coherent noise we obtained Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves for the period range 5-40 s. These dispersion relations were inverted to produce group velocity maps, and 1-D shear wave velocity profiles at selected points. High group velocities are observed at all periods on the eastern edge of the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons, in agreement with the findings of previous studies. Further east, a pronounced slow anomaly is observed in central and southern Mozambique, where the rifting between southern Africa and Antarctica created a passive margin in the Mesozoic, and further rifting is currently happening as a result of the southward propagation of the EAR. In this study, we also addressed the question concerning the nature of the crust (continental versus oceanic) in the Mozambique Coastal Plains (MCP), still in debate. Our data do not support previous suggestions that the MCP are floored by oceanic crust since a shallow Moho could not be detected, and we discuss an alternative explanation for its ocean-like magnetic signature. Our velocity maps suggest that the crystalline basement of the Zimbabwe craton may extend further east well into Mozambique underneath the sediment cover, contrary to what is usually assumed, while further south the Kaapval craton passes into slow rifted crust at the Lebombo monocline as expected. The sharp passage from fast crust to slow crust on the northern part of the study area coincides with the seismically active NNE-SSW Urema rift, while further south the Mazenga graben adopts an N-S direction

  13. Rift Valley fever outbreak, southern Mauritania, 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sow, Abdourahmane; Faye, Ousmane; Ba, Yamar; Ba, Hampathé; Diallo, Diawo; Faye, Oumar; Loucoubar, Cheikh; Boushab, Mohamed; Barry, Yahya; Diallo, Mawlouth; Sall, Amadou Alpha

    2014-02-01

    After a period of heavy rainfall, an outbreak of Rift Valley fever occurred in southern Mauritania during September-November 2012. A total of 41 human cases were confirmed, including 13 deaths, and 12 Rift Valley fever virus strains were isolated. Moudjeria and Temchecket Departments were the most affected areas.

  14. Tectonic Evolution of the Northern Continental Margin of North China Platform in Middle Proterozoic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xu Zhongyuan; Liu Zhenghong

    2000-01-01

    An orogenic belt developed in late middle Proterozoic in the northern margin of North China Plate extends from Inner Mongolia to Western Liaoning Province and Eastern Jilin Province. It is over 2000km long. The orogenic belt was formed by collision between North China Platform and Siberia Platform during the Rodinian Super- Continent period. From sedimentary formation, magmatic activity and crustal tectonic deformation, it is suggested that along the tectonic belt the paleocontinental margin experienced four stages of tectonic evolution in middle Proterozoic, they are: continental margin rift,passive continental margin, active continental margin and collisional orogenic stages.

  15. Determining the COB location along the Iberian margin and Galicia Bank from gravity anomaly inversion, residual depth anomaly and subsidence analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2015-11-01

    Knowledge and understanding of the ocean-continent transition (OCT) structure, continent-ocean boundary (COB) location and crustal type are of critical importance in evaluating rifted continental margin formation and evolution. OCT structure, COB location and magmatic type also have important implications for the understanding of the geodynamics of continental breakup and in the evaluation of petroleum systems in deep-water frontier oil and gas exploration at rifted continental margins. Mapping the distribution of thinned continental crust and lithosphere, its distal extent and the start of unequivocal oceanic crust and hence determining the OCT structure and COB location at rifted continental margins is therefore a generic global problem. In order to assist in the determination of the OCT structure and COB location, we present methodologies using gravity anomaly inversion, residual depth anomaly (RDA) analysis and subsidence analysis, which we apply to the west Iberian rifted continental margin. The west Iberian margin has one of the most complete data sets available for deep magma-poor rifted margins, so there is abundant data to which the results can be calibrated. Gravity anomaly inversion has been used to determine Moho depth, crustal basement thickness and continental lithosphere thinning; subsidence analysis has been used to determine the distribution of continental lithosphere thinning; and RDAs have been used to investigate the OCT bathymetric anomalies with respect to expected oceanic bathymetries at rifted continental margins. These quantitative analytical techniques have been applied to the west Iberian rifted continental margin along profiles IAM9, Lusigal 12 (with the TGS-extension) and ISE-01. Our predictions of OCT structure, COB location and magmatic type (i.e. the volume of magmatic addition, whether the margin is `normal' magmatic, magma-starved or magma-rich) have been tested and validated using ODP wells (Legs 103, 149 and 173), which provide

  16. Evolution of high Arctic ocean basins and continental margins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engen, Oeyvind

    2005-08-01

    Taking advantage of the much increased detail offered by new data, the dissertation attempts to answer some of the remaining questions about the ocean basins and continental margins flanking the Eurasia-North America plate boundary. Its four constituent papers result from integrated geophysical analysis of gravity and magnetic anomalies, bathymetry, seismic reflection and refraction profiles, earthquake locations and focal mechanisms, and onshore and offshore geological data. The overall objectives are to: 1) Elucidate aspects of the structure, composition and evolution of the Eurasia Basin and Norwegian-Greenland Sea and their passive continental margins. 2) Relate the findings to fundamental Earth processes, specifically associated with lithospheric break-up and seafloor spreading. Summary of Papers: The present-day global seismograph network is capable of detecting earthquakes with nearly uniform magnitude threshold throughout the Eurasia Basin region. Given that the location of each earthquake is constrained by at least 12 recording stations, global earthquake catalogues confidently show that 1) earthquakes along the oceanic part of the plate boundary occur in swarms; 2) plate boundary stress decreases eastwards, in accordance with decreasing spreading rates; and 3) deformation takes place in a narrow zone in the oceanic domain but is abruptly defocused at the transition to the Laptev Sea continental rift system. When integrated with bathymetry and potential field data, the earthquake distribution indicates four distinct plate boundary provinces. The Spitsbergen Transform System is a series of oblique ridges and transform faults where the seismicity becomes increasingly diffuse to the north. The western Gakkel Ridge (west of 60{sup E}) has clustered and focused seismicity, accentuated topography and highamplitude magnetic anomalies, whereas the eastern Gakkel Ridge has smoother topographic relief, lower magnetic amplitudes, and slightly more focused seismicity

  17. A pulse of mid-Pleistocene rift volcanism in Ethiopia at the dawn of modern humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, William; Fusillo, Raffaella; Pyle, David M.; Mather, Tamsin A.; Blundy, Jon D.; Biggs, Juliet; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Cohen, Benjamin E.; Brooker, Richard A.; Barfod, Dan N.; Calvert, Andrew T.

    2016-10-01

    The Ethiopian Rift Valley hosts the longest record of human co-existence with volcanoes on Earth, however, current understanding of the magnitude and timing of large explosive eruptions in this region is poor. Detailed records of volcanism are essential for interpreting the palaeoenvironments occupied by our hominin ancestors; and also for evaluating the volcanic hazards posed to the 10 million people currently living within this active rift zone. Here we use new geochronological evidence to suggest that a 200 km-long segment of rift experienced a major pulse of explosive volcanic activity between 320 and 170 ka. During this period, at least four distinct volcanic centres underwent large-volume (>10 km3) caldera-forming eruptions, and eruptive fluxes were elevated five times above the average eruption rate for the past 700 ka. We propose that such pulses of episodic silicic volcanism would have drastically remodelled landscapes and ecosystems occupied by early hominin populations.

  18. Mesozoic-Cenozoic rift-drift sequence of Asian fragments from Gondwanaland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audley-Charles, M. G.; Ballantyne, P. D.; Hall, R.

    1988-12-01

    The University of Cambridge Atlas map-plotting computer program has been used to plot a reconstruction of the dispersal of continental blocks from eastern Gondwanaland from the Late Jurassic (160 Ma) until the Late Miocene (10 Ma). The geological basis for the reconstruction rests on the concept of South Tibet, Burma, western Thailand, Malaya and Sumatra having been part of the eastern Gondwana continent during the late Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic. The reconstruction is also based on the view that these Asian continental blocks were rifted from eastern Gondwanaland in the Late Jurassic. This rifting episode gave rise to the continental margin of central New Guinea and northern Australia. It was associated with the sea-floor spreading anomalies preserved in the floor of the northeastern Indian Ocean. The model considers the indication of crustal uplift in the Middle Jurassic followed by profound subsidence in the Cretaceous and Palaeogene, exposed in the islands of the Outer Banda Arc from Seram to Timor, and the similar Jurassic-Cretaceous facies in eastern Sulawesi implies that these areas formed part of this rifted northern margin of Australia in the Jurassic. Subsequent tectonic collision and associated major strike-slip movements have deformed and disrupted these rock sequences during the Cainozoic. The date of the rifting that removed South Tibet, Burma, western Thailand and Malaya from Gondwanaland is controversial. The indications in favour of the rifting episode having occurred in the Jurassic rather than in the Permo-Triassic are stratigraphie-structural observations on the northwestern Australian shelf, in the Banda Arc and in central New Guinea. The identification of the continental blocks removed by this rifting is based partly on stratigraphie correlation with the Banda Arc and New Guinea and partly on indications that the age of collision of Tibet, Burma, western Thailand and Malaya with Asia was a Late Cretaceous event and not Triassic-Jurassic as

  19. Salt tectonics and its relationship to hydrocarbon accumulation in salt basins with a lower rifted section and an upper continental marginal section:A case study of the Lower Congo-Congo Fan basins and the Kwanza Basin in West Africa%裂谷与被动陆缘叠合盆地的盐构造与油气成藏——以西非下刚果—刚果扇盆地和宽扎盆地为例

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙自明; 何治亮

    2016-01-01

    西非海岸的加蓬、下刚果—刚果扇和宽扎等盆地均为典型的裂谷与被动陆缘叠合含盐含油气盆地,经历了裂谷期(早白垩世凡兰吟期—巴列姆期)、过渡期(阿普第期—早阿尔必期)和被动陆缘期(早白垩世阿尔必期—现今)3个演化阶段,沉积了裂谷期陆相地层、过渡期蒸发岩和被动陆缘期海相地层3套地层层序.古近纪以来,受非洲大陆隆升和大西洋被动陆缘持续沉降的影响,以过渡期蒸发岩为滑脱层,形成了变形特征迥异的盐上和盐下构造变形层;前者为盖层滑脱型构造,变形强烈,盐构造样式类型多样,从陆向海具有明显的构造分带特征;后者属于基底卷入型构造,变形微弱,基本保持了裂谷盆地的原始构造面貌.盐构造变形不仅控制盐上层系储层发育和圈闭形成,而且盐岩层本身又是盐下层系良好的区域盖层,尤其是盐岩层急剧增厚的深水—超深水地区,客观上对盐下和盐上油气系统具有明显的分隔作用,即盐下层系生成的油气仅在盐下层系运移聚集;但在盐岩层厚度急剧减薄或缺失的浅水至陆上地区,盐窗发育,加之断裂的垂向沟通,盐下油气可以向盐上层系运移并聚集成藏.%The West African coastal basins, such as the Gabon Coastal Basin, Lower Congo Basin and Kwanza Ba?sin, are typical oil?bearing salt basins with a lower rifted section and an upper continental marginal section. Three evolution stages can be identified in those basins, including a rifting period ( the Early Cretaceous Valanginian to Barremian), a transitional period (Aptian to the early Albian) and a passive continental margin period (the early Cretaceous Albian to present), thus developing three tectono?sedimentary sequences from base to top: pre?salt, evaporites, and post?salt. On one hand, under the influence of the uplifting African craton and the continuing sub?sidence of the Atlantic passive margin from Paleogene to

  20. Crustal thinning in the northern Tyrrhenian Rift: Insights from multichannel and wide-angle seismic data across the basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, S.; Grevemeyer, I.; Ranero, C. R.; Berndt, C.; Klaeschen, D.; Sallares, V.; Zitellini, N.; Franco, R.

    2014-03-01

    Extension of the continental lithosphere leads to the formation of rift basins or rifted continental margins if breakup occurs. Seismic investigations have repeatedly shown that conjugate margins have asymmetric tectonic structures and different amount of extension and crustal thinning. Here we compare two coincident wide-angle and multichannel seismic profiles across the northern Tyrrhenian rift system sampling crust that underwent different stages of extension from north to south and from the flanks to the basin center. Tomographic inversion reveals that the crust has thinned homogeneously from ~24 km to ~17 km between the Corsica Margin and the Latium Margin implying a β factor of ~1.3-1.5. On the transect 80 km to the south, the crust thinned from ~24 km beneath Sardinia to a maximum of ~11 km in the eastern region near the Campania Margin (β factor of ~2.2). The increased crustal thinning is accompanied by a zone of reduced velocities in the upper crust that expands progressively toward the southeast. We interpret that the velocity reduction is related to rock fracturing caused by a higher degree of brittle faulting, as observed on multichannel seismic images. Locally, basalt flows are imaged intruding sediment in this zone, and heat flow values locally exceed 100 mW/m2. Velocities within the entire crust range 4.0-6.7 km/s, which are typical for continental rocks and indicate that significant rift-related magmatic underplating may not be present. The characteristics of the pre-tectonic, syn-tectonic and post-tectonic sedimentary units allow us to infer the spatial and temporal evolution of active rifting. In the western part of the southern transect, thick postrift sediments were deposited in half grabens that are bounded by large fault blocks. Fault spacing and block size diminish to the east as crustal thinning increases. Recent tectonic activity is expressed by faults cutting the seafloor in the east, near the mainland of Italy. The two transects show

  1. Extension velocity partitioning, rheological crust-mantle and intra-crustal decoupling and tectonically inherited structures: consequences for continental rifting dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Kun; Mezri, Leila; Burov, Evgueni; Le Pourhiet, Laetitia

    2015-04-01

    rheological layers may tend to stick together resulting in step-like strengthening of the lithosphere and deceleration of subsidence. Hence, the entire rift system may exhibit polyphase subsidence behavior, which may be entirely conditioned by its internal structure and not by external factors. In addition, velocity partitioning may also have strong impact on rift evolution. For example, symmetric partitioning of half-velocities on both rift sides does not result in the same evolution as in the case when the same total extension rate is applied at one side only. In particular, asymmetric velocity partitioning results in the development of asymmetric rift evolution without any need in rheological softening. This differences in rift evolution stem from different thermal advection rates that both influence partitioning of thermally dependent rheological strength, phase transitions and buoyancy. The experiments confirm the importance of the above mentioned factors, which have strong implications for continental rifting processes and formation of passive margins.

  2. Neotectonics in the northern equatorial Brazilian margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossetti, Dilce F.; Souza, Lena S. B.; Prado, Renato; Elis, Vagner R.

    2012-08-01

    An increasing volume of publications has addressed the role of tectonics in inland areas of northern Brazil during the Neogene and Quaternary, despite its location in a passive margin. Hence, northern South America plate in this time interval might have not been as passive as usually regarded. This proposal needs further support, particularly including field data. In this work, we applied an integrated approach to reveal tectonic structures in Miocene and late Quaternary strata in a coastal area of the Amazonas lowland. The investigation, undertaken in Marajó Island, mouth of the Amazonas River, consisted of shallow sub-surface geophysical data including vertical electric sounding and ground penetrating radar. These methods were combined with morphostructural analysis and sedimentological/stratigraphic data from shallow cores and a few outcrops. The results revealed two stratigraphic units, a lower one with Miocene age, and an upper one of Late Pleistocene-Holocene age. An abundance of faults and folds were recorded in the Miocene deposits and, to a minor extent, in overlying Late Pleistocene-Holocene strata. In addition to characterize these structures, we discuss their origin, considering three potential mechanisms: Andean tectonics, gravity tectonics related to sediment loading in the Amazon Fan, and rifting at the continental margin. Amongst these hypotheses, the most likely is that the faults and folds recorded in Marajó Island reflect tectonics associated with the history of continental rifting that gave rise to the South Atlantic Ocean. This study supports sediment deposition influenced by transpression and transtension associated with strike-slip divergence along the northern Equatorial Brazilian margin in the Miocene and Late Pleistocene-Holocene. This work records tectonic evidence only for the uppermost few ten of meters of this sedimentary succession. However, available geological data indicate a thickness of up to 6 km, which is remarkably thick for

  3. The Evolution of the Continental Margin Rift Basin and Its Relationship to VMS Deposit:A Case Study of the Luchun Copper Deposit, Yunnan Province%陆缘裂谷盆地的形成演化与 VMS 矿床形成特征和成因类型的关系:以云南鲁春铜矿为例

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    韩思宇; 刘家军; 杨喜安; 陈思尧; 程文斌

    2013-01-01

    云南鲁春铜矿位于“三江”地区金沙江造山带内的鲁春-红坡牛场裂谷盆地。研究发现,鲁春铜矿赋存于一套以长英质为主的双峰式火山岩中,矿体分布呈“上层下脉”状,具有“上黄下黑”的金属分带特征,矿石矿物以方铅矿、闪锌矿和黄铜矿为主。而地球化学特征显示矿石与蚀变围岩及矿区火山岩的微量元素配分特征具有良好的相似性。矿石硫化物的δ34 S 值为11.5‰~17.8‰,矿石铅同位素比值为206 Pb /204 Pb =18.498~18.626,207 Pb /204 Pb =15.588~15.760,208 Pb /204 Pb =38.430~38.974。阐述了鲁春-红坡牛场裂谷盆地的演化历史以及盆地内大量双峰式火山岩具有洋脊或板内拉张的特征,陆缘火山弧中重新拉张塌陷形成裂谷盆地,造成基底玄武岩浆上侵,从而导致大规模双峰式火山岩的喷发,这一系列特殊的构造背景和成矿环境促进了地壳内热液循环系统的形成,含矿热液的上升喷流和矿质沉淀集积,最终导致矿床形成。%The Luchun massive sulfide deposit is located in the Luchun-Hongponiuchang rift basin.The Lu-chun copper deposit occurs in a series of bimodal volcanic rocks which are dominated by acidic volcanics.There are upper and lower orebodies in the ore district:the upper is black and lower is yellow.The assemblage of minerals,with higher contents of sphalerite,galena and chalcopyrite,is simple.Trace elements and REEs geo-chemical data on the minerals are similar to the volcanics.The result of sulfur isotopic analyses shows that the 34 S values vary from 11.5‰ to 17.8‰.Ore lead isotopic compositions are rather uniform,as evidenced by the Pb isotopic ratios:206 Pb /204 Pb =18.498 to 18.626;207 Pb /204 Pb =15.588 to 15.760;208 Pb /204 Pb =38.430 to 38.974.It is clear that the evolution history of the rift basin.And the bimodal volcanics in the basin are typical of oceanic ridges or intraplate extensional

  4. Tectonic inheritance in the development of the Kivu - north Tanganyika rift segment of the East African Rift System: role of pre-existing structures of Precambrian to early Palaeozoic origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delvaux, Damien; Fiama Bondo, Silvanos; Ganza Bamulezi, Gloire

    2017-04-01

    , and the Kivu-Ruzizi accommodation zone connected the northern half of the former Kivu rift basin to the northern extremity of the Tanganyika basin. This process was influenced by the highly heterogeneous basement, formed during a long geological history with a dominantly brittle structuration during the Pan-African. The local stress field revealed by earthquake focal mechanisms appears strongly influenced by this heterogeneous structure but also by the transition towards the Congo basin on the western side of the rift and towards the Tanzanian carton on its eastern side. Delvaux, D. et al., 2016. Journal of African Earth Sciences. doi: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2016.10.004

  5. The pre-Caledonian margin of Baltica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Torgeir B.; Jørgen Kjøll, Hans; Jakob, Johannes; Corfu, Fernando; Tegner, Christian

    2017-04-01

    It is well-documented that the pre-Caledonian margin of Baltica constituted a several hundred-km wide and more than 2000 km long passive margin. Its vestiges occur at low- to intermediate structural levels in the mountain belt, and are variably overprinted by the early- to end-Caledonian orogenic deformation and extension. Attempts to reconstruct the Caledonian margin of Baltica must be based on detailed maps integrated with studies of the rock-complexes that originally constituted the passive margin. The proximal parts of pre-Caledonian margin of Baltica are dominated by continental rift basins with coarse to fine-grained sediments deposited in the late Proterozoic through the Ediacaran and into the Lower Palaeozoic. The youngest dated clastic zircons probably record magmatism associated with initial contraction near or in the distal margin. The 'margin nappes' also comprise Baltican basement slivers and coarse to fine-grained sedimentary units as well as deep-marine basin deposits. A major change in the architecture of the passive margin units takes place across a transvers zone, which is sub-parallel to the present-day Gudbrandsdalen of South Norway. The transition is roughly parallel to the major basement lineament of the Sveconorwegian orogenic front in south Norway. The most important change across this transverse lineament is that the NE segment is magma-rich, characterized by abundant basaltic magmatism. The SW segment is magma-poor, and characterised by numerous (>100) solitary meta-peridotites, mostly meta-dunites and meta-harzburgites as well as a number of detrital serpentinites and soapstones. These are interpreted as fragments of exhumed mantle and their erosion products, respectively. The meta-peridotites emplaced structurally, and covered by dominantly deep-basin sediments, but also by coarser sedimentary breccias and conglomerates, as part of the rifted margin development. This mixed unit (mélange) was locally intruded by Late Cambrian to Early

  6. Probing the age and temperature of rifting in Afar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, John; Goes, Saskia; Ferguson, David; Hammond, James; Calais, Eric

    2014-05-01

    Rifting along the southern part of the Red Sea margin in NE Africa (leading to formation of Afar) has been closely associated with magmatic activity since the initiation of extension at around ~ 25Ma. Numerous active volcanoes are currently found along rift zones here and magma intrusion into the crust has potentially accommodated significant amounts of extension. This extensive present-day volcanism has been linked to elevated mantle temperature, perhaps due to a thermal plume, or as a consequence of passive flow in the mantle beneath the extending lithosphere. Geochemical evidence for basaltic lavas erupted in Afar have been used to suggest that mantle temperatures are in the range 1370 to 1490°C, and that the region is currently experiencing late stage rifting. Analysis of changes in shear wave seismic velocities and relative travel time tomography suggests mantle temperatures are within a similar range, yet the region has greater similarities to a young spreading centre. The range in potential temperature estimates is however very large, with different implications for the volcanic history of the region and hence timing of break-up. Rather than focusing a single observable, we use a relatively straight forward model of extension and decompression melting to predict the seismic-velocity and attenuation structure of the asthenosphere and lithosphere, synthetic receiver functions as a result of this seismic structure, crustal thickness as a result of decompression and finally the melt composition. From this combined study we find that melt composition and seismic structure are dependent on both temperature and time. If mantle potential temperature is 1350°C then both the seismic structure and melt composition can be matched if the duration of extension is more than 30 Myr. However this is longer than the estimated duration of extension from plate reconstructions, and given the low rate of extension in Afar, this cold model only generates up to 5 km of igneous

  7. 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

  8. Geochemical signals of progressive continental rupture in the Main Ethiopian Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furman, T.; Bryce, J.; Yirgu, G.; Ayalew, D.; Cooper, L.

    2003-04-01

    Mafic volcanics of the Main Ethiopian Rift record the development of magmatic rift segments during continental extension. The Ethiopian Rift is one arm of a triple junction that formed above a Paleogene mantle plume, concurrent with eruption of flood basalts ca. 30 Ma across northern Ethiopian and Yemen. The geochemistry of Ethiopian Rift lavas thus provides insight into processes associated with the shift from mechanical (lithospheric) to magmatic (asthenospheric) segmentation in the transitional phase of continental rifting. Quaternary basalts from five volcanic centers representing three magmatic segments display along-axis geochemical variations that likely reflect the degree of rifting and magma supply, which increase abruptly with proximity to the highly-extended Afar region. To first order, the geochemical data indicate a decreasing degree of shallow-level fractionation and greater involvement of depleted or plume-like mantle source materials in basalts sampled closer to the Afar. These spatially controlled geochemical signatures observed in contemporaneous basalts are similar to temporal variations documented in southern Ethiopia, where Quaternary lavas indicate a greater degree of crustal extension than those erupted at the onset of plume activity. Primitive Ethiopian Rift basalts have geochemical signatures (e.g., Ce/Pb, La/Nb, Ba/Nb, Ba/Rb, U/Th) that overlap ocean island basalt compositions, suggesting involvement of sub-lithospheric source materials. The estimated depth of melting (65-75 km) is shallower than values obtained for young primitive mafic lavas from the Western Rift and southern Kenya as well as Oligocene Ethiopian flood basalts from the onset of plume-driven activity. Basalts from the Turkana region (N. Kenya) and Erta 'Ale (Danakil depression) reflect melting at shallower levels, corresponding to the greater degree of crustal extension in these provinces. Preliminary Sr and Nd isotopic data trend towards primitive earth values, consistent

  9. Deepening, and repairing, the metabolic rift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Mindi; McMichael, Philip

    2010-01-01

    This paper critically assesses the metabolic rift as a social, ecological, and historical concept describing the disruption of natural cycles and processes and ruptures in material human-nature relations under capitalism. As a social concept, the metabolic rift presumes that metabolism is understood in relation to the labour process. This conception, however, privileges the organisation of labour to the exclusion of the practice of labour, which we argue challenges its utility for analysing contemporary socio-environmental crises. As an ecological concept, the metabolic rift is based on outmoded understandings of (agro) ecosystems and inadequately describes relations and interactions between labour and ecological processes. Historically, the metabolic rift is integral to debates about the definitions and relations of capitalism, industrialism, and modernity as historical concepts. At the same time, it gives rise to an epistemic rift, insofar as the separation of the natural and social worlds comes to be expressed in social thought and critical theory, which have one-sidedly focused on the social. We argue that a reunification of the social and the ecological, in historical practice and in historical thought, is the key to repairing the metabolic rift, both conceptually and practically. The food sovereignty movement in this respect is exemplary.

  10. Thermochronological investigation of the timing of rifting and rift segmentation in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosworth, W.; Stockli, D. F.

    2006-12-01

    The Tertiary Gulf of Suez rift system is one of the best-studied continental rift systems and has inspired many fundamental geodynamic models for continental rifting. However, our limited knowledge of how extensional strain is spatially and temporally distributed has made it difficult to adequately evaluate models for the dynamic evolution of this rift. A critical aspect of constraining the evolution of rifting and rift segmentation in the Gulf of Suez involves acquiring reliable geochronological constraints on extensional faulting. This study has commenced a systematic investigation of the timing and spatial distribution of rifting, lateral rift segmentation, and rift localization within the Gulf of Suez, Egypt, employing apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronometry. (U-Th)/He thermochronometric analysis of sample transects from exhumed fault blocks within the rift integrated with structural data will allow us to directly determine the timing, distribution, and magnitude of extension. The onset of major rifting (~24-19 Ma) in the Gulf of Suez was marked by the development of crustal domino-style tilt blocks and syn-rift deposition of the late Oligocene non-marine Abu Zenima Fm and non-marine to restricted marine Nukhul Fm. Development of the Gulf of Aqaba-Dead Sea transform cut off the rift from the Red Sea rift at an early extensional stage. Apatite (AHe) and zircon (ZHe) (U- Th)/He data were collected from basement and pre-rift sedimentary sample transects from the central and southern Sinai Peninsula portion and the Gebel El Zeit area in the southern Gulf of Suez as well as from basement samples from selected drill cores off Gebel El Zeit. Preliminary data exhibit partially reset ages trending as old as ~70 Ma (AHe) and ~450 Ma (ZHe) from shallower structural levels (Proterozoic basement and Phanerozoic cover sequence). Structurally deeper samples yield abundant AHe ages of ~22-24 Ma, indicative of rapid cooling and exhumation during the early Miocene. More

  11. Incipient continental rifting: Insights from the Okavango Rift Zone, northwestern Botswana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinabo, Baraka Damas

    In this dissertation aeromagnetic, gravity, and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Digital Elevation Model (SRTM DEM) data from the Okavango Rift Zone in northwest Botswana are used to map the distribution of rift and basement structures. The distribution of these structures provide useful insights into the early stages of continental rifting. The objectives of this study are (1) assessing the role of pre-existing structures on rift basin development, (2) characterizing the geometry of the nascent rift basins, (3) documenting fault growth and propagation patterns, and (4) investigating the border fault development. Potential field data especially aeromagnetic data are used to map out structures in the sediment covered basement, whereas SRTM DEM data express the surface morphology of the structures. The azimuth of rift faults parallel the orientation of the fold axes and the prominent foliation directions of the basement rocks. This indicates that pre-existing structures in the basement influenced the development of the rift structures. NE dipping faults consistently exhibit greater displacements than SE dipping faults, suggesting a developing half-graben geometry. Individual faults grow by along axis linkage of small segments that develop from soft linkage (under lapping to overlapping segments) to hard linkage (hooking, fused segments). Major rifts faults are also linking through transfer zones by the process of "fault piracy" to establish an immature border fault system. The relationships between scam heights and vertical throws reveal that the young and active faults are located outside the rift while the faults with no recent activities are in the middle suggesting that the rift is also growing in width. This study demonstrates the utility of potential field data and SRTM DEM to provide a 3-D view of incipient continental rifting processes such as fault growth and propagation.

  12. Subsidence history, crustal structure, and evolution of the Somaliland-Yemen conjugate margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, M. Y.; Watts, A. B.

    2013-04-01

    We have used biostratigraphic data from deep exploration wells to determine the tectonic subsidence history of the Somaliland (northwestern Somalia)-Yemen conjugate margin, a poorly known margin in the central part of the Gulf of Aden. Bathymetry and magnetic anomaly data suggest the Gulf of Aden is a young feature that formed following the rifting apart and breakup of the African and Arabian plates ~32 Ma. Our tectonic subsidence data suggest, however, that the present-day Gulf of Aden developed on an earlier Mesozoic rift system. The oldest episode of rifting initiated at ~156 Ma and lasted for ~10 Ma and had a NW-SE trend. We interpret the rift as a late stage event associated with the breakup of Gondwana and the separation of Africa and Madagascar. At ~80 Ma, there is evidence of an intermediate rift event which correlates with a rapid increase in spreading rate on the ridges separating the African and Indian and African and Antarctica plates and a contemporaneous slowing down of Africa's plate motion. The combined effect of all three rifting events has been to thin the crust and upper mantle by up to a factor of 2. The amount of thinning deduced from the wells is in accord with the crustal structure inferred from available seismic refraction data and process-oriented gravity and flexure modeling. The margin is asymmetric with a steeper gradient in the Moho on the Yemen side than the Somaliland side. The main discrepancy is on the Yemen side where the gravity-derived Moho is 10 km deeper than the well-derived Moho. We attribute the discrepancy to the addition of material at the base of the crust since rifting, possibly magma sourced from the Afar plume.

  13. The deep structure of Alpine-type orogens: how important is rift-inheritance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tugend, Julie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy

    2016-04-01

    Collisional belts are commonly thought to result from the closure of oceanic basins and subsequent inversion of former rifted margins. The formation and evolution of collisional belts should therefore be closely interlinked with the initial architecture of former rifted margins. Reflection and refraction seismic data from present-day magma-poor rifted margins show the omnipresence of hyperextended domains (severely thinned continental crust (continental and oceanic domains. Integrating these new observations and exploring their impact on mountain building processes may result in alternative interpretations of the lithospheric structure of collisional orogens. We focus on the Pyrenees and Western to Central Alps, respectively resulting from the inversion of a Late Jurassic to Mid Cretaceous and an Early to Mid Jurassic rift system eventually floored by hyperextended crust, exhumed mantle or proto-oceanic crust. The rift-related pre-collisional architecture of the Pyrenees shows many similarities with that proposed for the Alps; although the width of the hyperextended and in particular of the proto-oceanic domains is little constrained. Contrasting with the Pyrenees, remnants of these domains are largely affected by orogeny-related deformation and show a HP-LT to HT-MP metamorphic overprint in the Alps. Nevertheless, in spite of the occurrence of these highly deformed and metamorphosed rocks constituting the internal parts of the Alps, the overall crustal and lithospheric structure looks surprisingly comparable. High resolution tomographic images across both orogens unravel the occurrence of a velocity anomaly dipping underneath the internal domains and progressively attenuated at depth that we interpret as former hyperextended domains subducted/underthrusted during collision. This interpretation contrasts with the classical assumption that the subducted material is made of lower crustal rocks only and may explain the emplacement of remnants of hyperextended domains

  14. Broad accommodation of rift-related extension recorded by dyke intrusion in Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Pallister, John S.

    2010-09-26

    The extensive harrat lava province of Arabia formed during the past 30 million years in response to Red Sea rifting and mantle upwelling. The area was regarded as seismically quiet, but between April and June 2009 a swarm of more than 30,000 earthquakes struck one of the lava fields in the province, Harrat Lunayyir, northwest Saudi Arabia. Concerned that larger damaging earthquakes might occur, the Saudi Arabian government evacuated 40,000 people from the region. Here we use geologic, geodetic and seismic data to show that the earthquake swarm resulted from magmatic dyke intrusion. We document a surface fault rupture that is 8 km long with 91 cm of offset. Surface deformation is best modelled by the shallow intrusion of a north-west trending dyke that is about 10 km long. Seismic waves generated during the earthquakes exhibit overlapping very low- and high-frequency components. We interpret the low frequencies to represent intrusion of magma and the high frequencies to represent fracturing of the crystalline basement rocks. Rather than extension being accommodated entirely by the central Red Sea rift axis, we suggest that the broad deformation observed in Harrat Lunayyir indicates that rift margins can remain as active sites of extension throughout rifting. Our analyses allowed us to forecast the likelihood of a future eruption or large earthquake in the region and informed the decisions made by the Saudi Arabian government to return the evacuees. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  15. Broad accommodation of rift-related extension recorded by dyke intrusion in Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallister, J.S.; McCausland, W.A.; Jonsson, Sigurjon; Lu, Zhiming; Zahran, H.M.; El, Hadidy S.; Aburukbah, A.; Stewart, I.C.F.; Lundgren, P.R.; White, R.A.; Moufti, M.R.H.

    2010-01-01

    The extensive harrat lava province of Arabia formed during the past 30 million years in response to Red Sea rifting and mantle upwelling. The area was regarded as seismically quiet, but between April and June 2009 a swarm of more than 30,000 earthquakes struck one of the lava fields in the province, Harrat Lunayyir, northwest Saudi Arabia. Concerned that larger damaging earthquakes might occur, the Saudi Arabian government evacuated 40,000 people from the region. Here we use geologic, geodetic and seismic data to show that the earthquake swarm resulted from magmatic dyke intrusion. We document a surface fault rupture that is 8 km long with 91 cm of offset. Surface deformation is best modelled by the shallow intrusion of a north-west trending dyke that is about 10 km long. Seismic waves generated during the earthquakes exhibit overlapping very low- and high-frequency components. We interpret the low frequencies to represent intrusion of magma and the high frequencies to represent fracturing of the crystalline basement rocks. Rather than extension being accommodated entirely by the central Red Sea rift axis, we suggest that the broad deformation observed in Harrat Lunayyir indicates that rift margins can remain as active sites of extension throughout rifting. Our analyses allowed us to forecast the likelihood of a future eruption or large earthquake in the region and informed the decisions made by the Saudi Arabian government to return the evacuees.

  16. Broad accommodation of rift-related extension recorded by dyke intrusion in Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallister, John S.; McCausland, Wendy A.; Jónsson, Sigurjón; Lu, Zhong; Zahran, Hani M.; Hadidy, Salah El; Aburukbah, Abdallah; Stewart, Ian C. F.; Lundgren, Paul R.; White, Randal A.; Moufti, Mohammed R. H.

    2010-10-01

    The extensive harrat lava province of Arabia formed during the past 30 million years in response to Red Sea rifting and mantle upwelling. The area was regarded as seismically quiet, but between April and June 2009 a swarm of more than 30,000 earthquakes struck one of the lava fields in the province, Harrat Lunayyir, northwest Saudi Arabia. Concerned that larger damaging earthquakes might occur, the Saudi Arabian government evacuated 40,000 people from the region. Here we use geologic, geodetic and seismic data to show that the earthquake swarm resulted from magmatic dyke intrusion. We document a surface fault rupture that is 8km long with 91cm of offset. Surface deformation is best modelled by the shallow intrusion of a north-west trending dyke that is about 10km long. Seismic waves generated during the earthquakes exhibit overlapping very low- and high-frequency components. We interpret the low frequencies to represent intrusion of magma and the high frequencies to represent fracturing of the crystalline basement rocks. Rather than extension being accommodated entirely by the central Red Sea rift axis, we suggest that the broad deformation observed in Harrat Lunayyir indicates that rift margins can remain as active sites of extension throughout rifting. Our analyses allowed us to forecast the likelihood of a future eruption or large earthquake in the region and informed the decisions made by the Saudi Arabian government to return the evacuees.

  17. The mode of rifting of the Tyrrhenian Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milia, Alfonsa; Torrente, Maurizio M.

    2014-05-01

    The back-arc evolution of the Tyrrhenian Sea has mainly been attributed to the roll-back towards the south-east of the subducting Ionian plate that could have provided the bulk of the space required for this extension. The Tyrrhenian Sea is a triangular basin characterized by two large bathyal basins (Vavilov and Marsili basins) that are covered by some hundred meters of sediments, and a number of peri- Tyrrhenian basins filled by thousands of meters of clastic and/or volcaniclastic sediments. The stratigraphic record of these basins offers an opportunity to study the timing and kinematics of the basin-forming faults that are relevant for the creation of a model on the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Basin analysis was performed using interpretation of seismic reflection profiles and well logs. The interpretation of these data was made using seismic and sequence stratigraphy and structural geology in a GIS-dedicated environment. The sequence stratigraphy interpretation of the deepest wells were performed using discontinuities and trends in wireline log pattern. Systems tracts and transgressive-regressive cycles were identified in well log succession and seismic profiles. The sequence stratigraphy approach allows the identification of 4th-order depositional sequences (100 ka). The geologic evolution, in terms of age of basin formation, style of deformation, timing of activity of the fault bounding basins, tectonic subsidence, post-rift infill and volcanic activity, was analyzed for several peri-Tyrrhenian basins. The study reconstructed the three-dimensional architecture of the peri-Tyrrhenian basins and illustrated the link between the bathyal basin and the Tyrrhenian margin. We document that during the evolution of the Tyrrhenian region several basins opened contemporaneously with different direction of extension and a progressive change in rifting direction occurred along the Campania Margin. The mode of rifting of the Tyrrhenian Sea was characterized by different

  18. Tectonic-sedimentary evolution of the eastern Brazilian marginal basins: Implications in their petroleum systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Francisco, N.F.; Azambuja, N.C.; Mello, M.R. (Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil))

    1993-02-01

    A geological survey of eastern Brazilian marginal basins using sedimentological, tectonic and geochemical data has been carried out. The almost 4000 km long set of basins can be classified as component of a typical divergent, mature Atlantic-continental margin. Based on their tectonic-sedimentary sequence, they can be linked to a single evolutionary history, which can be divided in three main stages: pre-rift, rift, and drift. The integration of all data allowed the characterization of two major petroleum systems that represent about 90% of the known Brazilian hydrocarbons reserves: (1) the rift (Early Cretaceous) and the drift (Late Cretaceous-Paleogene). With respect to the oil-in-place volume and production, the most significant one is the drift system associated with the siliciclastic deep water turbidites reservoirs deposited in bathyal environments. Such reservoirs are clearly controlled by a favorable relationship of stratigraphic and tectonic settings.

  19. Mode of rifting in magmatic-rich setting: Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Central Afar rift system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stab, Martin; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Pik, Raphaël; Leroy, Sylvie; Ayalew, Dereje

    2014-05-01

    Observation of deep structures related to break-up processes at volcanic passive margins (VPM) is often a troublesome exercise: thick pre- to syn-breakup seaward-dipping reflectors (SDR) usually mask the continent-ocean boundary and hide the syn-rift tectonic structures that accommodate crustal stretching and thinning. Some of the current challenges are about clarifying 1) if tectonic stretching fits the observed thinning and 2) what is the effect of continuous magma supply and re-thickening of the crust during extension from a rheological point of view? The Afar region in Ethiopia is an ideal natural laboratory to address those questions, as it is a highly magmatic rift that is probably close enough to breakup to present some characteristics of VPM. Moreover, the structures related to rifting since Oligocene are out-cropping, onshore and well preserved. In this contribution, we present new structural field data and lavas (U-Th/He) datings along a cross-section from the Ethiopian Plateau, through the marginal graben down to the Manda-Hararo active rift axis. We mapped continent-ward normal fault array affecting highly tilted trapp series unconformably overlain by tilted Miocene (25-7 Ma) acid series. The main extensional and necking/thinning event took place during the end of this Miocene magmatic episode. It is itself overlain by flat lying Pliocene series, including the Stratoid. Balanced cross-sections of those areas allow us to constrain a surface stretching factor of about 2.1-2.9. Those findings have the following implications: - High beta factor constrained from field observations is at odd with thinning factor of ~1.3 predicted by seismic and gravimetric studies. We propose that the continental crust in Central Afar has been re-thickened by the emplacement of underplated magma and SDR. - The deformation in Central Afar appears to be largely distributed through space and time. It has been accommodated in a 200-300 km wide strip being a diffuse incipient

  20. Mesozoic evolution of the northeast African shelf margin, Libya and Egypt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aadland, R.K.; Schamel, S.

    1988-08-01

    The present tectonic features of the northeast African shelf margin between the Nile delta and the Gulf of Sirte are products of (1) precursory late Paleozoic basement arches, (2) early Mesozoic rifting and plate separation, and (3) Late Cretaceous structural inversion. Isopach and structural maps, cross sections, and sediment accumulation (geohistory) curves constructed from 89 wells in the Western Desert and 27 wells in northeastern Libya depict the structural and stratigraphic development of the northeast African shelf margin.

  1. Morphotectonics of the Tunka rift and its bordering mountains in the Baikal rift system, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shchetnikov, Alexander

    2016-11-01

    The Tunka section of the Baikal rift system presents a uniform alternation of the following neostructural forms: tilted horsts and asymmetrical block uplifts on the northern flank; the central system of the rift valleys; and the arched uplift of the southern flank. This is a standard set of morphostructural elements for the Baikal rift system. The main morphological feature of the Tunka rift is the strong inclination of its floor, ranging from 900 m to 200 km in general elevation above Lake Baikal. Such traits of recent geodynamics as volcanism, thermal activity, and seismicity are also different from other parts of the rift zone. All of these features of the Tunka rift are related to the deep structure of the rift zone. The peculiarities of the neotectonic structure of the Tunka rift, which are clearly expressed morphologically as is typical of the Baikal rift system, as well as its unique features are in accordance with deep geodynamic processes of the region. On the other hand, the development of the rift basin structures of the southwestern area near Baikal is complicated by inversion deformations. Local uplifts followed by deformations of the basin sedimentary cover and inverted morphostructures expressed in relief are fixed against the background of the general subsidence of blocks of the pre-Cenozoic basement grabens. The Tunka rift has repeatedly experienced inversion deformations throughout its history. The last wave of such deformations involved the southwestern region near Baikal in the second half of the late Pleistocene. During the Quaternary, the positive component prevailed in the whole range of vertical movements of the inter-rift and interbasin blocks; since the late Neogene, these structures have experienced a slow but steady uplift, accompanied by their extension at the expense of the bordering basins. The remote influence of the India-Asia collision on the formation of the southwestern section of the Baikal rift system is very significant and

  2. Government Regulation and Dual Margins of China’ s Rare-earth Product Export Growth-Based on the Micro Trade Data from 2001-2012%政府规制与中国稀土产品出口增长的二元边际∗--对2001-2012年微观贸易数据的实证分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张群卉

    2015-01-01

    采用HS⁃6位数级微观贸易数据,计算2001—2012年中国稀土产品出口增长的二元边际,并进一步分析相对出口规制程度、相对产量与出口增长二元边际之间的相互影响,结果表明:中国稀土产品出口规制政策对稀土产品出口增长的集约边际和扩展边际都有促进作用,其中对集约边际的影响更大;而相对产量对二元边际有负面影响。在中国经济新常态下,随着稀土产品出口规制政策的逐步弱化,应加强对稀土产业的生产规制,提高产品附加值,实现从规模速度型粗放增长向质量效率型集约增长的转变;并积极开拓新的出口市场,促进稀土产业的良性扩张。%This paper calculates the dual margins of China’ s export growth with HS⁃6 digit micro trade data of rare⁃earth industry from 2001 to 2012, and analyzes the impact of export regulation and relative yield on these dual margins. The results show that export regulation can improve extensive and intensive margins, and the impact on intensive margin is greater, while relative yield negatively influences dual margins. Under China’ s economic new normal situation, with the play⁃down of rare⁃earth product export regulation, regulations on the production of rare earth industry should be strengthened and additional value of product should be improved to realize the shift from extensive growth of size and speed to intensive growth of quality and efficiency. Export market should be expanded to promote the health expansion of rare⁃earth industry.

  3. How the Extension-Rate of Rifting Influences an Alpine-Type Orogens: insights from 3D analog models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestola, Y.; Storti, F.; Cavozzi, C.

    2015-12-01

    Alpine-type orogens are interpreted as result from the collision of former rifted margins. Recent studies showed that the rift-architecture inheritance could play a critical role in controlling the 4D evolution of Alpine-type orogens. In this framework, differences of inversion modes between the internal and external zones of the Western Alps can be related to the pre-orogenic rift-related domains. The external zone is affected by mild reactivation of the former proximal margin domain. On the other hand, the internal zone results from the reactivation of the former distal margin domain. This caused the stacking of a complex pile of pre- and syn-rift sequences against the 'necking zone', that is the locus where the lithosphere dramatically thins. The 'necking zone' separates the proximal and distal domains and acts as a buttress for shortening. Indeed, both rift architecture and shape of necking play a fundamental role in the building up of an Alpine-type orogen. In this study, we use analog modeling to investigate the role of extension-rate in rift-architecture. We simulated an ideal 4-layer lithosphere where brittle and ductile crustal layers rest on top of brittle and ductile mantle layers. The entire experimental lithosphere floats over a fluid analogue of the asthenosphere. Models were deformed pulling apart a mobile wall of the sandbox that confined the experimental lithosphere. We investigated three different extensional velocities, spanning one-order of magnitude. At the end of deformation, rift architectures show severe differences as a function of extension-rates, at both crustal and lithospheric scales. In particular, at lithospheric scales, localized necking occurred at low extension-rates, while a more distributed deformation happened with increasing the extensional velocity. At crustal scale, well-developed and localized necking zones formed for low and intermediate extension-rates, while tapering occurred over a wide cross-sectional length in high

  4. Stratigraphy of two conjugate margins (Gulf of Lion and West Sardinia): modeling of vertical movements and sediment budgets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroux, Estelle; Gorini, Christian; Aslanian, Daniel; Rabineau, Marina; Blanpied, Christian; Rubino, Jean-Loup; Robin, Cécile; Granjeon, Didier; Taillepierre, Rachel

    2016-04-01

    The post-rift (~20-0 Ma) vertical movements of the Provence Basin (West Mediterranean) are quantified on its both conjugate (the Gulf of Lion and the West Sardinia) margins. This work is based on the stratigraphic study of sedimentary markers using a large 3D grid of seismic data, correlations with existing drillings and refraction data. The post-rift subsidence is measured by the direct use of sedimentary geometries analysed in 3D [Gorini et al., 2015; Rabineau et al., 2014] and validated by numerical stratigraphic modelling. Three domains were found: on the platform (1) and slope (2), the subsidence takes the form of a seaward tilting with different amplitudes, whereas the deep basin (3) subsides purely vertically [Leroux et al., 2015a]. These domains correspond to the deeper crustal domains respectively highlighted by wide angle seismic data. The continental crust (1) and the thinned continental crust (2) are tilted, whereas the intermediate crust, identified as lower continental exhumed crust [Moulin et al., 2015, Afhilado et al., 2015] (3) sagged. The post-break-up subsidence re-uses the initial hinge lines of the rifting phase. This striking correlation between surface geologic processes and deep earth dynamic processes emphasizes that the sedimentary record and sedimentary markers is a window into deep geodynamic processes and dynamic topography. Pliocene-Pleistocene seismic markers enabled high resolution quantification of sediment budgets over the past 6 Myr [Leroux et al., in press]. Sediment budget history is here completed on the Miocene interval. Thus, the controlling factors (climate, tectonics and eustasy) are discussed. Afilhado, A., Moulin, M., Aslanian, D., Schnürle, P., Klingelhoefer, F., Nouzé, H., Rabineau, M., Leroux, E. & Beslier, M.-O. (2015). Deep crustal structure across a young 1 passive margin from wide-angle and reflection seismic data (The SARDINIA Experiment) - II. Sardinia's margin. Bull. Soc. géol. France, 186, ILP Spec. issue, 4

  5. Reactivation of a segmented hyper-extended rift system: the example of the Pamplona transfer zone in the western Pyrenees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescoutre, Rodolphe; Schaeffer, Frédéric; Masini, Emmanuel; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies have revealed the importance of rift-inheritance on the formation of orogens but little consideration was given to rift segmentation and the role of transfer zones on the architecture of mountain chains. Indeed, structural mapping of passive margins pointed out the occurrence of a strong variability in the rift architecture along the margin when crossing through peculiar features that represent transfer zones. These transfer zones are generally oriented in the extension direction and relay the deformation between rift segments. The aim of this study is twofold: 1) characterize and define the Pamplona fault system as well as the structures and architecture of the basins bounding this major paleo-transfer fault located in the Western Pyrenees, and 2) understand its role during the subsequent Pyrenean convergence. The influence of the Pamplona fault system on the structuration of the Mauléon basin to the northeast and the Basque-Cantabrian basin to the southwest is substantial as expressed by their large offset and the occurrence of exhumed deep crustal and mantle rocks flooring the two basins. On the one hand, field work in the Labourd Massif and the western termination of the Mauléon basin enabled to describe faults and their relations to sedimentary sequences. This work also allowed describing the formation and reactivation of faults according to their orientation and their activity with respect to key markers (pre-Trias and post-Cenomanian). A strong relationship between rift architecture (proximal to distal domains) and structural inheritance is suggested. On the other hand, preliminary results from fieldwork, literature compilation and new tomographic imaging enable to determine the role and the history of the Pamplona fault system during Late Cretaceous compression. A significant work of this starting PhD project will be to determine the rift structures that have been reactivated and to assess their influence on the final architecture of the

  6. On the Evolution of Glaciated Continental Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sverre Laberg, Jan; Rydningen, Tom Arne; Safronova, Polina A.; Forwick, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Glaciated continental margins, continental margins where a grounded ice sheet repeatedly has been at or near the shelf break, are found at both northern and southern high-latitudes. Their evolution are in several aspects different from their low-latitude counterparts where eustatic sea-level variations possess a fundamental control on their evolution and where fluvial systems provide the main sediment input. From studies of the Norwegian - Barents Sea - Svalbard and NE Greenland continental margins we propose the following factors as the main control on the evolution of glaciated continental margins: 1) Pre-glacial relief controlling the accommodation space, 2) Ice sheet glaciology including the location of fast-flowing ice streams where source area morphology exerts a fundamental control, 3) Composition of the glacigenic sediments where the clay content in previous studies have been found to be important, and 4) Sea-level controlled both by eustacy and isostacy. From three case studies, 1) the western Barents Sea, 2) part of the North Norwegian (Troms), and 3) the Mid-Norwegian margin, the influence on these factors for the sea-floor morphology, sedimentary processes of the continental slope - deep sea and continental margin architecture are discussed. The pre-glacial relief of the mid-Norwegian and Troms margins relates to the onset of rifting and plate break-up from the early Cenozoic while for the SW Barents Sea, plate shear was followed by rifting. A wide zone of extended continental crust occurs offshore mid-Norway while this zone is much narrower offshore Troms leading to a more pronounced pre-glacial relief. Regarding sediment delivery and ice sheet glaciology the western Barents Sea exemplifies very high sediment input corresponding to an estimated average erosion of the source area of ~0.4 mm/yr (SW Barents Sea), much of which is related to subglacial erosion of Mesozoic - Cenozoic sedimentary rocks from large paleo-ice streams. The mid-Norwegian margin

  7. How inheritance, geochemical and geophysical properties of the lithospheric mantle influence rift development and subsequent collision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picazo, Suzanne; Chenin, Pauline; Müntener, Othmar; Manatschal, Gianreto; Karner, Garry; Johnson, Christopher

    2017-04-01

    In magma-poor rifted margins, the rift structures, width of necking zones and overall geometry are controlled by the heterogeneities of geochemical and geophysical properties of the crust and mantle. In this presentation we focus on the mantle heterogeneities and their major implications on the closure of a hyper-extended rifted system. In our study, we review the clinopyroxene and spinel major element composition from the Liguria-Piemonte domain, the Pyrenean domain, the Dinarides and Hellenides ophiolites and the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins (Picazo et al, 2016). It would seem that during an extensional cycle i.e., from post-orogenic collapse to polyphase rifting to seafloor spreading, the mineral compositions of mantle peridotites are systematically modified. The initially heterogeneous subcontinental mantle cpx (inherited mantle type 1) equilibrated in the spinel peridotite field and is too enriched in Na2O and Al2O3 to be a residue of syn-rift melting. The heterogeneous inherited subcontinental mantle becomes progressively homogenized due to impregnation by MORB-type melts (refertilized mantle-type 2) during extensional thinning of the lithosphere. At this stage, cpx equilibrate with plagioclase and display lower Na2O and Al2O3 and high Cr2O3 contents. The system might evolve into breakup and oceanization (mantle type 3) i.e., self-sustained steady-state seafloor spreading. The different mantle-types are present in various reconstructed sections of magma-poor margins and display a systematic spatial distribution from mantle type 1 to 3 going oceanwards in Western and Central Europe. We estimated the density of the three identified mantle types using idealized modal peridotite compositions using the algorithm by Hacker et al, (2003). The density of the refertilized plagioclase peridotite is predicted to be lower than that of inherited subcontinental and depleted oceanic mantle. This has some interesting consequences on the reactivation of rifted margins

  8. Geodynamic setting and geochemical signatures of Cambrian?Ordovician rift-related igneous rocks (Ossa-Morena Zone, SW Iberia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-García, T.; Bellido, F.; Quesada, C.

    2003-04-01

    An important rifting event, accompanied by massive igneous activity, is recorded in the Ossa-Morena Zone of the SW Iberian Massif (European Variscan Orogen). It likely culminated in the formation of a new oceanic basin (Rheic ocean?), remnants of which appear presently accreted at the southern margin of the Ossa-Morena Zone. Rifting propagated diachronously across the zone from the Early Cambrian to the Late Ordovician, but by Early Ordovician time, the existence of a significant tract of new ocean is evidenced by a breakup unconformity. Although early stages of rifting were not accompanied by mantle-derived igneous activity, a pronounced increase of the geothermal gradient is indicated by partial melting of metasedimentary protoliths in the upper and middle crust, and by coeval core-complex formation. Geochemistry of the main volume of igneous rocks, emplaced some million years later during more mature stages of rifting, suggests an origin in a variably enriched asthenospheric source, similar to that of many OIB, from which subsequent petrogenetic processes produced a wide range of compositions, from basalt to rhyolite. A tectonic model involving collision with, and subsequent overriding of, a MOR is proposed to account for the overall evolution, a present-day analogue for which lies in the overriding of the East Pacific Rise by North America and the rifting of Baja California.

  9. Tectonism and sedimentation in the southwestern portion of the Potiguar Rift - onshore Potiguar Basin, Brazil; Tectonismo e sedimentacao na porcao SW do Rifte Potiguar - Bacia Potiguar emersa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soares, Ubiraci Manoel [PETROBRAS S.A., Rio Grande do Norte e Ceara, Natal, RN (Brazil). Unidade de Negocio de Exploracao e Producao], E-mail: ubiraci@petrobras.com.br; Rossetti, Enio Luiz

    2005-05-15

    Through an integrated approach, using lithostratigraphic, chronostratigraphic and biostratigraphic data the relative importance of climatic variations and tectonics has been recognized in rift sediments of the onshore Potiguar Basin, Northeast Brazil. Sequence stratigraphy concepts have been applied as a template to integrate sedimentological, geochemical (oxygen isotopes) and biostratigraphic (quantitative palynology) data, as well as back stripping and sedimentary basin modeling techniques to address and recognize the main depositional patterns produced in a rift basin. The main objective is to distinguish the effects of climatic changes and tectonics to the resulting stratigraphic architecture. The studied section includes a Late Valanginian- Early Barremian (Lower Cretaceous) rift interval from the Pendencia Formation, located in the southwestern portion of Umbuzeiro Graben in the onshore Potiguar Basin. The depositional setting is interpreted as a progradational fluvial-deltaic system entering a lake through its flexural margin. Seismic stratigraphic and well logs analysis provided an interpretation of two regressive intervals (Green and Yellow sequences), separated by a broad transgressive interval (Orange Sequence), known as the Livramento Shale. The depositional history encompasses three stages: two tectonically active phases, during the deposition of the Green and Yellow sequences, and a tectonically quiescent phase, during the deposition of the Orange Sequence. Paleoclimatic interpretation, based on quantitative palynology and geochemical data ({delta}{sup 18}O), suggests a tendency to arid conditions during the tectonically active phases and wet conditions during the tectonically quiescent phase (author)

  10. Tectono-stratigraphic evolution and crustal architecture of the Orphan Basin during North Atlantic rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouiza, Mohamed; Hall, Jeremy; Welford, J. Kim

    2016-06-01

    The Orphan Basin is located in the deep offshore of the Newfoundland margin, and it is bounded by the continental shelf to the west, the Grand Banks to the south, and the continental blocks of Orphan Knoll and Flemish Cap to the east. The Orphan Basin formed in Mesozoic time during the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean between eastern Canada and western Iberia-Europe. This work, based on well data and regional seismic reflection profiles across the basin, indicates that the continental crust was affected by several extensional episodes between the Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous, separated by events of uplift and erosion. The preserved tectono-stratigraphic sequences in the basin reveal that deformation initiated in the eastern part of the Orphan Basin in the Jurassic and spread towards the west in the Early Cretaceous, resulting in numerous rift structures filled with a Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous syn-rift succession and overlain by thick Upper Cretaceous to Cenozoic post-rift sediments. The seismic data show an extremely thinned crust (4-16 km thick) underneath the eastern and western parts of the Orphan Basin, forming two sub-basins separated by a wide structural high with a relatively thick crust (17 km thick). Quantifying the crustal architecture in the basin highlights the large discrepancy between brittle extension localized in the upper crust and the overall crustal thinning. This suggests that continental deformation in the Orphan Basin involved, in addition to the documented Jurassic and Early Cretaceous rifting, an earlier brittle rift phase which is unidentifiable in seismic data and a depth-dependent thinning of the crust driven by localized lower crust ductile flow.

  11. Crustal structure and extension mode in the northwestern margin of the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jinwei; Wu, Shiguo; McIntosh, Kirk; Mi, Lijun; Liu, Zheng; Spence, George

    2016-06-01

    Combining multi-channel seismic reflection and gravity modeling, this study has investigated the crustal structure of the northwestern South China Sea margin. These data constrain a hyper-extended crustal area bounded by basin-bounding faults corresponding to an aborted rift below the Xisha Trough with a subparallel fossil ridge in the adjacent Northwest Sub-basin. The thinnest crust is located in the Xisha Trough, where it is remnant lower crust with a thickness of less than 3 km. Gravity modeling also revealed a hyper-extended crust across the Xisha Trough. The postrift magmatism is well developed and more active in the Xisha Trough and farther southeast than on the northwestern continental margin of the South China Sea; and the magmatic intrusion/extrusion was relatively active during the rifting of Xisha Trough and the Northwest Sub-basin. A narrow continent-ocean transition zone with a width of ˜65 km bounded seaward by a volcanic buried seamount is characterized by crustal thinning, rift depression, low gravity anomaly and the termination of the break-up unconformity seismic reflection. The aborted rift near the continental margin means that there may be no obvious detachment fault like that in the Iberia-Newfoundland type margin. The symmetric rift, extreme hyper-extended continental crust and hotter mantle materials indicate that continental crust underwent stretching phase (pure-shear deformation), thinning phase and breakup followed by onset of seafloor spreading and the mantle-lithosphere may break up before crustal-necking in the northwestern South China Sea margin.

  12. Lithosphere destabilization by melt percolation during pre-oceanic rifting: Evidence from Alpine-Apennine ophiolitic peridotites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccardo, Giovanni; Ranalli, Giorgio

    2017-04-01

    conditions. This indicates that thermal advection by percolation of hot asthenospheric melts significantly heated the lithospheric mantle column above the melting asthenosphere. Numerical and analogue models show that infiltration of melts results in considerable softening of mantle rocks. Total ithospheric strength can be decreased from 10 to 1 TN m-1 as orders of magnitude and the sin-rift thermo-mechanical erosion of the lithospheric mantle induces significant rheological softening along the axial zone of extension (Corti et al., 2007; Ranalli et al., 2007). Softening of the lithospheric mantle may lead to whole lithospheric failure and consequently to transition from continental extension to oceanic spreading. Therefore, rheological softening caused destabilization of the lithospheric mantle between the future continental margins (Piccardo et al., 2014; Piccardo, 2016) of the Ligurian Tethys. The wedge of destabilized lithosphere favored faster divergence of the continental blocks and enhanced doming and thermal buoyancy of deeper/hotter asthenosphere that rose between the future continental margins and originated aggregated MORB melts (i.e., the oceanic magmatism that formed olivine-gabbro intrusions and pillowed basalt extrusions). Lithosphere destabilization by melt percolation can play a fundamental role in the geodynamic evolution of lithosphere extension causing transition from continental extension to continental break-up to oceanic spreading. Corti, G., Bonini, M., Innocenti, F., Manetti, P., Piccardo, G.B., Ranalli, G., 2007. Journal of Geodynamics, 43, 465-483. Piccardo, G.B., Padovano, M., Guarnieri, L. 2014. Earth-Science Reviews, 138, 409-434. Piccardo, G.B., 2016. Gondwana Research, 39, 230-249. Piccardo, G.B., Vissers, R.L.M., 2007. Journal of Geodynamics, 43, 417-449. Piccardo, G.B., Guarnieri, L., 2011. Lithos, 124, 210-214. Ranalli, G., Piccardo, G.B., Corona-Chavez, P., 2007. Journal of Geodynamics, 43, 450-464.

  13. The distribution of petroleum reserves in basins of the South Atlantic margins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coward, M.P. [Ries-Coward Associates Ltd, Reading (United Kingdom); Imperial College, London (United Kingdom). T.H. Huxley School of the Environment, Earth Sciences and Engineering; Purdy, E.G. [PetroQuest International Inc., Weybridge (United Kingdom); Ries, A.C. [Ries-Coward Associates Ltd, Reading (United Kingdom); Smith, D.G. [Petroconsultants (UK) Ltd, London (United Kingdom)

    1999-07-01

    The opening of the South Atlantic created a series of passive margin basins on both sides of the new ocean. This paper reviews the distribution of petroleum reserves in these basins in terms of their tectono-stratigraphic position within the framework of the rift-drift succession. Seven megasequences are recognised. Three are in the drift succession, three are in the rift succession and one comprises the pre-rift succession. Ninety-three per cent of the presently discovered recoverable hydrocarbons are reservoired in the drift succession, 6% are located in the rift succession and 1% is associated with the pre-rift units. The basins group geographically into seven sectors within which both margins share some common features. Sixty-five per cent of the reserves are contained in Sector V which is dominated by the Niger Delta, and 28% are positioned in Sector III, which includes the Campos and Lower Congo Basins. The new deepwater giant discoveries of Angola, which are located in Sector III, are the Africa counterparts of the earlier deepwater Campos Basin discoveries. In general sectors III-V, located between the Walvis Ridge and the Equatorial Atlantic transforms, are most favourable as they are characterized by the most prolific source rocks at all horizons.

  14. The development of the East African Rift system in north-central Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackman, B. D.; Charsley, T. J.; Key, R. M.; Wilkinson, A. F.

    1990-11-01

    Between 1980 and 1986 geological surveying to produce maps on a scale of 1:250,000 was completed over an area of over 100,000 km 2 in north-central Kenya, bounded by the Equator, the Ethiopian border and longitudes 36° and 38 °E. The Gregory Rift, much of which has the structure of an asymmetric half-graben, is the most prominent component of the Cenozoic multiple rift system which extends up to 200 km to the east and for about 100 km to the west, forming the Kenya dome. On the eastern shoulder and fringes two en echelon arrays of late Tertiary to Quaternary multicentre shields can be recognized: to the south is the Aberdares-Mount Kenya-Nyambeni Range chain and, to the north the clusters of Mount Kulal, Asie, Huri Hills and Marsabit, with plateau lavas and fissure vents south of Marsabit in the Laisamis area. The Gregory Rift terminates at the southern end of Lake Turkana. Further north the rift system splays: the arcuate Kinu Sogo fault zone forms an offset link with the central Ethiopian Rift system. In the rifts of north-central Kenya volcanism, sedimentation and extensional tectonics commenced and have been continuous since the late Oligocene. Throughout this period the Elgeyo Fault acted as a major bounding fault. A comparative study of the northern and eastern fringes of the Kenya dome with the axial graben reinforces the impression of regional E-W asymmetry. Deviations from the essential N-trend of the Gregory Rift reflect structural weaknesses in the underlying Proterozoic basement, the Mozambique Orogenic Belt: thus south of Lake Baringo the swing to the southeast parallels the axes of the ca. 620 Ma phase folds. Secondary faults associated with this flexure have created a "shark tooth" array, an expression of en echelon offsets of the eastern margin of the Gregory Rift in a transtensional stress regime: hinge zones where major faults intersect on the eastern shoulder feature intense box faulting and ramp structures which have counterparts in the rift

  15. Early-stage rifting of the northern Tyrrhenian Sea Basin: Results from a combined wide-angle and multichannel seismic study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, S.; Grevemeyer, I.; Ranero, C. R.; Berndt, C.; Klaeschen, D.; Sallares, V.; Zitellini, N.; Franco, R.

    2013-08-01

    Extension of the continental lithosphere leads to the formation of rift basins and ultimately may create passive continental margins. The mechanisms that operate during the early stage of crustal extension are still intensely debated. We present the results from coincident multichannel seismic and wide-angle seismic profiles that transect across the northern Tyrrhenian Sea Basin. The profiles cross the Corsica Basin (France) to the Latium Margin (Italy) where the early-rift stage of the basin is well preserved. We found two domains, each with a distinct tectonic style, heat flow and crustal thickness. One domain is the Corsica Basin in the west that formed before the main rift phase of the northern Tyrrhenian Sea opening (˜8-4 Ma). The second domain is rifted continental crust characterized by tilted blocks and half-graben structures in the central region and at the Latium Margin. These two domains are separated by a deep (˜10 km) sedimentary complex of the eastern portion of the Corsica Basin. Travel-time tomography of wide-angle seismic data reveals the crustal architecture and a subhorizontal 15-17 ± 1 km deep Moho discontinuity under the basin. To estimate the amount of horizontal extension we have identified the pre-, syn-, and post-tectonic sedimentary units and calculated the relative displacement of faults. We found that major faults initiated at angles of 45°-50° and that the rifted domain is horizontally stretched by a factor of β ˜ 1.3 (˜8-10 mm/a). The crust has been thinned from ˜24 to ˜17 km indicating a similar amount of extension (˜30%). The transect represents one of the best imaged early rifts and implies that the formation of crustal-scale detachments, or long-lived low-angle normal faults, is not a general feature that controls the rift initiation of continental crust. Other young rift basins, like the Gulf of Corinth, the Suez Rift or Lake Baikal, display features resembling the northern Tyrrhenian Basin, suggesting that half

  16. 5TH BIOTECHNOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS OCEAN MARGINS PROGRAM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DR. ARTURO MASSOL, PROGRAM CHAIR; DR. ROSA BUXEDA, PROGRAM CO-CHAIR

    2004-01-08

    BI-OMP supports DOE's mission in Climate Change Research. The program provides the fundamental understanding of the linkages between carbon and nitrogen cycles in ocean margins. Researchers are providing a mechanistic understanding of these cycles, using the tools of modern molecular biology. The models that will allow policy makers to determine safe levels of greenhouse gases for the Earth System.

  17. Off-axis magmatism along a subaerial back-arc rift: Observations from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamling, Ian J; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrun; Bannister, Stephen; Palmer, Neville

    2016-06-01

    Continental rifting and seafloor spreading play a fundamental role in the generation of new crust. However, the distribution of magma and its relationship with tectonics and volcanism remain poorly understood, particularly in back-arc settings. We show evidence for a large, long-lived, off-axis magmatic intrusion located on the margin of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. Geodetic data acquired since the 1950s show evidence for uplift outside of the region of active extension, consistent with the inflation of a magmatic body at a depth of ~9.5 km. Satellite radar interferometry and Global Positioning System data suggest that there was an increase in the inflation rate from 2003 to 2011, which correlates with intense earthquake activity in the region. Our results suggest that the continued growth of a large magmatic body may represent the birth of a new magma chamber on the margins of a back-arc rift system.

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular epidemiology of Rift Valley fever virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grobbelaar, Antoinette A; Weyer, Jacqueline; Leman, Patricia A; Kemp, Alan; Paweska, Janusz T; Swanepoel, Robert

    2011-12-01

    Phylogenetic relationships were examined for 198 Rift Valley fever virus isolates and 5 derived strains obtained from various sources in Saudi Arabia and 16 countries in Africa during a 67-year period (1944-2010). A maximum-likelihood tree prepared with sequence data for a 490-nt section of the Gn glycoprotein gene showed that 95 unique sequences sorted into 15 lineages. A 2010 isolate from a patient in South Africa potentially exposed to co-infection with live animal vaccine and wild virus was a reassortant. The potential influence of large-scale use of live animal vaccine on evolution of Rift Valley fever virus is discussed.

  20. Wave speed structure of the eastern North American margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, B.; Covellone, B. M.; Shen, Y.

    2017-02-01

    The eastern North American margin (ENAM) is the result of nearly a billion years of continental collision and rifting. To the west of this margin lies thick continental lithosphere of the North American craton, and to the east is oceanic lithosphere in the Atlantic. The substantial changes in lithosphere thickness at this boundary are thought to drive asthenosphere upwelling along the edge of the continent. Through iterative, full-waveform, ambient noise tomography, we observe a heterogeneous low wave speed margin along the continent in the upper mantle. Multiple low wave speed features imaged within the margin are consistent with asthenospeheric upwelling due to edge-driven convection. Also within the margin are high wave speed anomalies that maybe the remnants of eclogitic delamination of the Appalachian crustal root, which contribute to convection at the margin. Edge driven, small-scale convection keeps the margin weak and thus controls the large scale plate tectonic patterns and the crustal deformation. The imaged mantle wave speed anomalies, interpreted as edge-driven convection, correlate with and may increase the likelihood of damaging earthquakes in the eastern portion of North America.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Tectonomorphic evolution of Marie Byrd Land - Implications for Cenozoic rifting activity and onset of West Antarctic glaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Cornelia; Lindow, Julia; Kamp, Peter J. J.; Meisel, Ove; Mukasa, Samuel; Lisker, Frank; Kuhn, Gerhard; Gohl, Karsten

    2016-10-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System is one of the largest continental rifts on Earth. Because it is obscured by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, its evolution is still poorly understood. Here we present the first low-temperature thermochronology data from eastern Marie Byrd Land, an area that stretches ~ 1000 km along the rift system, in order to shed light on its development. Furthermore, we petrographically analysed glacially transported detritus deposited in the marine realm, offshore Marie Byrd Land, to augment the data available from the limited terrestrial exposures. Our data provide information about the subglacial geology, and the tectonic and morphologic history of the rift system. Dominant lithologies of coastal Marie Byrd Land are igneous rocks that intruded (presumably early Paleozoic) low-grade meta-sedimentary rocks. No evidence was found for un-metamorphosed sedimentary rocks exposed beneath the ice. According to the thermochronology data, rifting occurred in two episodes. The earlier occurred between ~ 100 and 60 Ma and led to widespread tectonic denudation and block faulting over large areas of Marie Byrd Land. The later episode started during the Early Oligocene and was confined to western Pine Island Bay area. This Oligocene tectonic activity may be linked kinematically to previously described rift structures reaching into Bellingshausen Sea and beneath Pine Island Glacier, all assumed to be of Cenozoic age. However, our data provide the first direct evidence for Cenozoic tectonic activity along the rift system outside the Ross Sea area. Furthermore, we tentatively suggest that uplift of the Marie Byrd Land dome only started at ~ 20 Ma; that is, nearly 10 Ma later than previously assumed. The Marie Byrd Land dome is the only extensive part of continental West Antarctica elevated above sea level. Since the formation of a continental ice sheet requires a significant area of emergent land, our data, although only based on few samples, imply that extensive

  3. Geothermal resources of rifts: A comparison of the rio grande rift and the salton trough

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanberg, Chandler A.

    1983-05-01

    The Rio Grande Rift and the Salton Trough are the best developed rift systems in the United States and both share many features common to rifts in general, including geothermal resources. These two rifts have different tectonic and magmatic histories, however, and these differences are reflected in the nature of their geothermal resources. The Salton Trough is a well developed and successful rift. It is the landward extension of the Gulf of California spreading center, which has separated Baja, California, from the remainder of Mexico. Quaternary silicic magmatization has occurred and several of the geothermal resources are associated with recent rhyolitic intrusions. Such resources tend to be high temperature (> 200°C). Greenschist facies metamorphism has been observed in several of the geothermal wells. Localized upper crustal melting is a distinct possibility and there is increasing speculation that very high temperature (> 300°C) geothermal fluids may underlie a large portion of the central trough at depths in excess of 4 km. Low temperature geothermal resources associated with shallow hydrothermal convection are less common and tend to be located on the flanks of the trough or in the Coachella Valley to the north of the zone of active rifting. In contrast, the Rio Grande Rift is less well developed. Recent volcanism consists primarily of mantle-derived basalts, which have not had sufficient residence time within the crust to generate significant crustal melting. The geothermal resources within the Rio Grande Rift do not correlate well with these young basalts. Rather, the quantity of geothermal resources are low temperature (geothermal exploration targets.

  4. The continent-ocean transition of the Pearl River margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameselle, A. L.; Ranero, C. R.; Franke, D.; Barckhausen, U.

    2013-12-01

    Rifted continental margins form by lithospheric extension and break-up. The continent to ocean transition (COT) architecture depends on the interplay between tectonic and magmatic processes, and thus, to study the COT variability of different systems is key to understand rifting. We use MCS data and magnetic lineations across the Pearl River margin (PRM) of South China Sea to investigate a previously poorly defined COT. The structure of the PRM presents different amounts of extension allowing the study of conjugate pairs of continental margins and their COT in a relative small region. We reprocessed about 2250 km of MCS data along 4 regional, crustal-scale lines and found that 3 of them possibly display the COT. The time-migrated seismic sections show differences in internal reflectivity, faulting style, fault-block geometry, the seismic character of the top of the basement, in the geometry of sediment deposits, and Moho reflections, that we interpret to represent clear continental and oceanic domains. The continental domain is characterized by arrays of normal faults and associated tilted blocks overlaid by syn-rift sedimentary units. The Moho is imaged as sub-horizontal reflections that define a fairly continuous boundary typically at 8-10 s TWT. Estimation of the thickness of the continental crust using 6 km/s average velocity indicates a ~22 km-thick continental crust under the uppermost slope passing abruptly to ~9-6 km under the lower slope. Comparatively the oceanic crust has a highly reflective top of basement, little-faulting, not discernible syn-tectonic strata, and fairly constant thickness (4-8 km) defined by usually clear Moho reflections. The COT occurs across a ~5-10 km narrow zone. Rifting resulted in asymmetric conjugate margins. The PRM shows arrays of tilted fault blocks covered by abundant syn-rift sediment, whereas the conjugate Macclesfield Bank margin displays abrupt thinning and little faulting. Seismic profiles also show a change in the

  5. Diagnostic approaches for Rift Valley Fever

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disease outbreaks caused by arthropod-borne animal viruses (arboviruses) resulting in significant livestock and economic losses world-wide appear to be increasing. Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus (RVFV) is an important arbovirus that causes lethal disease in cattle, camels, sheep and goats in Sub-Saha...

  6. Unexpected Rift Valley fever outbreak, northern Mauritania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Mamy, Ahmed B O; Baba, Mohamed Ould; Barry, Yahya; Isselmou, Katia; Dia, Mamadou L; El Kory, Mohamed O B; Diop, Mariam; Lo, Modou Moustapha; Thiongane, Yaya; Bengoumi, Mohammed; Puech, Lilian; Plee, Ludovic; Claes, Filip; de La Rocque, Stephane; Doumbia, Baba

    2011-10-01

    During September-October 2010, an unprecedented outbreak of Rift Valley fever was reported in the northern Sahelian region of Mauritania after exceptionally heavy rainfall. Camels probably played a central role in the local amplification of the virus. We describe the main clinical signs (hemorrhagic fever, icterus, and nervous symptoms) observed during the outbreak.

  7. Reemergence of Rift Valley fever, Mauritania, 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faye, Ousmane; Ba, Hampathé; Ba, Yamar; Freire, Caio C M; Faye, Oumar; Ndiaye, Oumar; Elgady, Isselmou O; Zanotto, Paolo M A; Diallo, Mawlouth; Sall, Amadou A

    2014-02-01

    A Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak in humans and animals occurred in Mauritania in 2010. Thirty cases of RVF in humans and 3 deaths were identified. RVFV isolates were recovered from humans, camels, sheep, goats, and Culex antennatus mosquitoes. Phylogenetic analysis of isolates indicated a virus origin from western Africa.

  8. Groundwater links between Kenyan Rift Valley lakes

    OpenAIRE

    Becht, Robert; Mwango, Fred; Muno, Fred Amstrong

    2006-01-01

    The series of lakes in the bottom of the Kenyan Rift valley are fed by rivers and springs. Based on the water balance, the relative positions determining the regional groundwater flow systems and the analysis of natural isotopes it can be shown that groundwater flows from lake Naivasha to lake Magadi, Elementeita, Nakuru and Bogoria.

  9. Rift Valley fever: A neglected zoonotic disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a serious viral disease of animals and humans in Africa and the Middle East that is transmitted by mosquitoes. First isolated in Kenya during an outbreak in 1930, subsequent outbreaks have had a significant impact on animal and human health, as well as national economies. ...

  10. Molecular Rift: Virtual Reality for Drug Designers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norrby, Magnus; Grebner, Christoph; Eriksson, Joakim; Boström, Jonas

    2015-11-23

    Recent advances in interaction design have created new ways to use computers. One example is the ability to create enhanced 3D environments that simulate physical presence in the real world--a virtual reality. This is relevant to drug discovery since molecular models are frequently used to obtain deeper understandings of, say, ligand-protein complexes. We have developed a tool (Molecular Rift), which creates a virtual reality environment steered with hand movements. Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display, is used to create the virtual settings. The program is controlled by gesture-recognition, using the gaming sensor MS Kinect v2, eliminating the need for standard input devices. The Open Babel toolkit was integrated to provide access to powerful cheminformatics functions. Molecular Rift was developed with a focus on usability, including iterative test-group evaluations. We conclude with reflections on virtual reality's future capabilities in chemistry and education. Molecular Rift is open source and can be downloaded from GitHub.

  11. Assessing the Threat of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in the Albertine Rift: Past, Present and Future.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracie A Seimon

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, the cause of chytridiomycosis, is a pathogenic fungus that is found worldwide and is a major contributor to amphibian declines and extinctions. We report results of a comprehensive effort to assess the distribution and threat of Bd in one of the Earth's most important biodiversity hotspots, the Albertine Rift in central Africa. In herpetological surveys conducted between 2010 and 2014, 1018 skin swabs from 17 amphibian genera in 39 sites across the Albertine Rift were tested for Bd by PCR. Overall, 19.5% of amphibians tested positive from all sites combined. Skin tissue samples from 163 amphibians were examined histologically; of these two had superficial epidermal intracorneal fungal colonization and lesions consistent with the disease chytridiomycosis. One amphibian was found dead during the surveys, and all others encountered appeared healthy. We found no evidence for Bd-induced mortality events, a finding consistent with other studies. To gain a historical perspective about Bd in the Albertine Rift, skin swabs from 232 museum-archived amphibians collected as voucher specimens from 1925-1994 were tested for Bd. Of these, one sample was positive; an Itombwe River frog (Phrynobatrachus asper collected in 1950 in the Itombwe highlands. This finding represents the earliest record of Bd in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We modeled the distribution of Bd in the Albertine Rift using MaxEnt software, and trained our model for improved predictability. Our model predicts that Bd is currently widespread across the Albertine Rift, with moderate habitat suitability extending into the lowlands. Under climatic modeling scenarios our model predicts that optimal habitat suitability of Bd will decrease causing a major range contraction of the fungus by 2080. Our baseline data and modeling predictions are important for comparative studies, especially if significant changes in amphibian health status or climactic conditions

  12. Assessing the Threat of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in the Albertine Rift: Past, Present and Future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seimon, Tracie A; Ayebare, Samuel; Sekisambu, Robert; Muhindo, Emmanuel; Mitamba, Guillain; Greenbaum, Eli; Menegon, Michele; Pupin, Fabio; McAloose, Denise; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa; Meirte, Danny; Lukwago, Wilbur; Behangana, Mathias; Seimon, Anton; Plumptre, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the cause of chytridiomycosis, is a pathogenic fungus that is found worldwide and is a major contributor to amphibian declines and extinctions. We report results of a comprehensive effort to assess the distribution and threat of Bd in one of the Earth's most important biodiversity hotspots, the Albertine Rift in central Africa. In herpetological surveys conducted between 2010 and 2014, 1018 skin swabs from 17 amphibian genera in 39 sites across the Albertine Rift were tested for Bd by PCR. Overall, 19.5% of amphibians tested positive from all sites combined. Skin tissue samples from 163 amphibians were examined histologically; of these two had superficial epidermal intracorneal fungal colonization and lesions consistent with the disease chytridiomycosis. One amphibian was found dead during the surveys, and all others encountered appeared healthy. We found no evidence for Bd-induced mortality events, a finding consistent with other studies. To gain a historical perspective about Bd in the Albertine Rift, skin swabs from 232 museum-archived amphibians collected as voucher specimens from 1925-1994 were tested for Bd. Of these, one sample was positive; an Itombwe River frog (Phrynobatrachus asper) collected in 1950 in the Itombwe highlands. This finding represents the earliest record of Bd in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We modeled the distribution of Bd in the Albertine Rift using MaxEnt software, and trained our model for improved predictability. Our model predicts that Bd is currently widespread across the Albertine Rift, with moderate habitat suitability extending into the lowlands. Under climatic modeling scenarios our model predicts that optimal habitat suitability of Bd will decrease causing a major range contraction of the fungus by 2080. Our baseline data and modeling predictions are important for comparative studies, especially if significant changes in amphibian health status or climactic conditions are encountered

  13. Morphotectonic architecture of the Transantarctic Mountains rift flank between the Royal Society Range and the Churchill Mountains based on geomorphic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demyanick, Elizabeth; Wilson, Terry J.

    2007-01-01

    Extensional forces within the Antarctic Plate have produced the Transantarctic Mountains rift-flank uplift along the West Antarctic rift margin. Large-scale linear morphologic features within the mountains are controlled by bedrock structure and can be recognized and mapped from satellite imagery and digital elevation models (DEMs). This study employed the Antarctic Digital Database DEM to obtain slope steepness and aspect maps of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) between the Royal Society Range and the Churchill Mountains, allowing definition of the position and orientation of the morphological axis of the rift-flank. The TAM axis, interpreted as a fault-controlled escarpment formed by coast-parallel retreat, provides a marker for the orientation of the faulted boundary between the TAM and the rift system. Changes in position and orientation of the TAM axis suggests the rift flank is segmented into tectonic blocks bounded by relay ramps and transverse accommodation zones. The transverse boundaries coincide with major outlet glaciers, supporting interpretation of rift structures between them. The pronounced morphological change across Byrd Glacier points to control by structures inherited from the Ross orogen.

  14. DOBRE studies evolution of inverted intra-cratonic rifts in Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    DOBREflection-2000 Working Groups,; DOBREfraction'99 Working Groups,

    Donbas Refraction and Reflection (DOBRE) is a multinational study of the Donbas Foldbelt (DF) of Ukraine (Figure l). The DF is the uplifted and deformed part of the more than 20-km-thick Dniepr-Donets Basin (DDB) that formed due to Late Devonian rifting of the East European Craton (EEC) in eastern Ukraine and southern Russia. The DF; especially its southern margin, was uplifted in Early Permian times in a (trans) tensional tectonic stress regime. Folding and reverse faulting occurred later, during the Triassic and Late Cretaceous.

  15. Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Herndon, J M

    2005-01-01

    The principles of Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics are disclosed leading to a new way to interpret whole-Earth dynamics. Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics incorporates elements of and unifies the two seemingly divergent dominant theories of continential displacement, plate tectonics theory and Earth expansion theory. Whole-Earth decompression is the consequence of Earth formation from within a Jupiter-like protoplanet with subsequent loss of gases and ices and concomitant rebounding. The initial whole-Earth decompression is expected to result in a global system of major primary decompression cracks appearing in the rigid crust which persist as the basalt feeders for the global, mid-oceanic ridge system. As the Earth subsequently decompresses, the area of the Earth's surface increases by the formation of secondary decompression cracks, often located near the continental margins, presently identified as oceanic trenches. These secondary decompression cracks are subsequently in-filled with basalt, extruded fr...

  16. Marginalization of the Youth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Niels Rosendal

    2009-01-01

    The article is based on a key note speach in Bielefeld on the subject "welfare state and marginalized youth", focusing upon the high ambition of expanding schooling in Denmark from 9 to 12 years. The unintended effect may be a new kind of marginalization.......The article is based on a key note speach in Bielefeld on the subject "welfare state and marginalized youth", focusing upon the high ambition of expanding schooling in Denmark from 9 to 12 years. The unintended effect may be a new kind of marginalization....

  17. Peak discharges in steep mountain catchments in relation to rainfall variability, vegetation cover and geomorphology of the Rift Valley Escarpment of Northern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebreyohannes, Tesfaalem; Frankl, Amaury; Haile, Mitiku; Abraha, Amanuel; Monsieurs, Elise; Nyssen, Jan

    2015-04-01

    The hydrological characteristics of steep mountain streams are often considered to be mainly influenced by rainfall distribution and topography. In this study, with the objective of analyzing the runoff response of mountain catchments, a total of 340 peak stage discharges were recorded in three rainy seasons (2012-2014) in 11 sloping (27-65%) mountain catchments (0.4 - 25 km²) of the marginal western Rift Valley escarpment of Northern Ethiopia. Daily rainfall data were collected using 7 rain gauges installed at different altitudes (1623 - 2851 m a.s.l) in and nearby the catchments, and used to calculate weighted average daily rain depths over the catchments. Event peak discharges were calculated from daily measurements by 11 crest stage gauges using the Manning's equation. Percentages of land use and cover classes were detected from high resolution (0.6 m) Google Earth imagery (February 1, 2014). Morphometric characteristics of the catchments were computed from ASTER digital elevation model and topographic maps. Correlation analysis between daily rainfall and peak discharge showed direct relationship (R² = 0.5-0.94, Pfloods in mountain catchments is not only influenced by the morphometric characteristics of the catchments and by rainfall, but more importantly even by vegetation cover (forest and grasses).

  18. Evolution of the Mariana Convergent Plate Margin System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fryer, Patricia

    1996-02-01

    volcano chains extending from the base of the fault westward into the back arc basin. The western boundary is the West Mariana Ridge, the western portion of the volcanic arc active prior to formation of the Mariana Trough. The trough evolved in a two-stage extension process of rifting and subsequent seafloor spreading. The back arc basin varies along strike from rifted arc lithosphere with scattered volcanoes but no real spreading center in the north to a complex mid-ocean-type spreading center south of 20°N. The change from initial rifting to true seafloor spreading is also evident across the Mariana Trough from rifted topography near the West Mariana Ridge to spreading ridges in the central to eastern basin south of 20°N. This morphologic change indicates an early stage of extension with basin-and-range-type topography predominant and volcanism restricted to fissure eruptions along fault block boundaries. The spreading ridges and abyssal hill morphology evolved later as new lithosphere was generated at elongate volcanic ridges located in the center of rift valleys. The center of extension intersects the active volcanic front differently at either end of the Mariana Trough. In the north, extension is by rifting of arc lithosphere where it intersects the arc. In the south a major strike-slip fault extends from the trench axis across the forearc, through the volcanic arc, and into the back arc basin. Arc magmas apparently leak along this fault zone into the forearc and the back arc spreading center. The complexity of interrelated tectonism and magmatism in this convergent margin is daunting, but studies of arc systems such as this provide the best hope of interpreting many of the exposed terranes accreted to continents. Comparison of subaerial terranes with recent studies of intraoceanic convergent margins will add to our understanding of plate interactions and of the evolution of the volcanic arcs and extensional back arc basins generated within such environments.

  19. Rare earth minerals and resources in the world

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kanazawa, Yasuo [Human Resource Department, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba 305-8568 (Japan)]. E-mail: y.kanazawa@aist.go.jp; Kamitani, Masaharu [Institute for Geo-Resources and Environment, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba 305-8567 (Japan)

    2006-02-09

    About 200 rare earth (RE) minerals are distributed in a wide variety of mineral classes, such as halides, carbonates, oxides, phosphates, silicates, etc. Due to the large ionic radii and trivalent oxidation state, RE ions in the minerals have large coordination numbers (c.n.) 6-10 by anions (O, F, OH). Light rare earth elements (LREEs) tend to occupy the larger sites of 8-10 c.n. and concentrate in carbonates and phosphates. On the other hand, heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) and Y occupy 6-8 c.n. sites and are abundant in oxides and a part of phosphates. Only a few mineral species, such as bastnaesite (Ce,La)(CO{sub 3})F, monazite (Ce,La)PO{sub 4}, xenotime YPO{sub 4}, and RE-bearing clay have been recovered for commercial production. Bayan Obo, China is the biggest RE deposit in the world. One of probable hypotheses for ore geneses is that the deposit might be formed by hydrothermal replacement of carbonate rocks of sedimentary origin. The hydrothermal fluid may be derived from an alkaline-carbonatite intrusive series. Following Bayan Obo, more than 550 carbonatite/alkaline complex rocks constitute the majority of the world RE resources. The distribution is restricted to interior and marginal regions of continents, especially Precambrian cratons and shields, or related to large-scale rift structures. Main concentrated areas of the complexes are East African rift zones, northern Scandinavia-Kola peninsula, eastern Canada and southern Brazil. Representative sedimentary deposits of REE are placer- and conglomerate-types. The major potential countries are Australia, India, Brazil, and Malaysia. Weathered residual deposits have been formed under tropical and sub-tropical climates. Bauxite and laterite nickel deposit are the representative. Ion adsorption clay without radioactive elements is known in southern China. Weathering processes concentrate REE in a particular clay mineral-layer in the weathered crusts whose source were originally REE-rich rocks like granite

  20. Mesozoic Source-to-Sink of the African margin of the Equatorial Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    ye, jing; Chardon, Dominique; rouby, delphine; Guillocheau, François; Robin, Cecile; Loparev, Artiom; Huyghe, damien; Dall'Asta, Massimo; Brown, Roderick; wildman, mark; webster, david

    2016-04-01

    The objective of the Transform Source to Sink Project (TS2P) is to link the dynamics of the erosion of the West African Craton to the offshore sedimentary basins of the African margin of the Equatorial Atlantic at geological time scales. This margin, alternating transform and oblique segments from Guinea to Nigeria, shows a strong structural variability in the margin width, continental geology and relief, drainage networks and subsidence/accumulation patterns. We analyzed this system combining onshore geology and geomorphology as well as offshore sub-surface data. We produced paleogeographic maps at the scale of West Africa spanning the continental domain and offshore basins since 200 Ma. Mapping spatial and temporal distribution of domains either in erosion (sources) or in accumulation (sinks) document the impact of the successive rifting of Central and Equatorial Atlantic on the physiography of the area. We use low temperature thermochronology dating along three transects perpendicular to the margin (Guinea, Ivory Coast and Benin) to determine periods and domains of denudation in that framework. We compare these data to the Mesozoic accumulation histories in passive margin basins and discuss their stratigraphic expression according to the type of margin segment they are preserved in. Syn-rift architectures (Early Cretaceous) are largely impacted by transform faults that define sub-basins with contrasted width of crustal necking zone (narrower in transform segments than in oblique/normal segments). During the Late Cretaceous post-rift, sedimentary wedges record a transgression along the all margin. Proximal parts of the sedimentary wedge are preserved in basins developing on segments with wide crustal necking zone while they were eroded away in basins developing on narrow segments. As a difference, the Cenozoic wedge is everywhere preserved across the whole width of the margin.

  1. Phanerozoic polycyclic evolution of the southwestern Angola margin: New insights for apatite fission track and (U-Th)/He methodologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venancio da Silva, Bruno; Hackspacher, Peter; Carina Siqueira Ribeiro, Marli; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton

    2016-04-01

    , respectively (8,9). Our preliminary data suggest a polycyclic evolution of the southewestern Angola margin and support the importance of the Cenozoic event in the area which has been widely reported along the Angolan margin (2,4,10,11) but has not been evident in other regions of southern Africa where it has been documented mean Cretaceous events (12,13,14,15). Differences in magnitude of Late Cretaceous events between southern Angola and northern Namibia (16,17) suggest a likely basement control linked to different tectonic-denudation episodes, with the Neoproterozoic shear zones absorbing more deformation than the Congo craton during the shortening events of the margin during Late Cretaceous times. Acknowledgments: Capes /AULP 2012 (Proc. 28/13). Professor Antonio Olimpio Gonçalves, FCT/Univ. Agostinho Neto, Angola References 1. Giresse, P., Hoang, C. T., & Kouyoumontzakis, G., 1984. Analysis of vertical movements deduced from a geochronological study of marine Pleistocene deposits, southern coast of Angola. Journal of African Earth Sciences (1983), 2(2), 177-187. 2. Guiraud, M., Buta-Neto, A., & Quesne, D., 2010. Segmentation and differential post-rift uplift at the Angola margin as recorded by the transform-rifted Benguela and oblique-to-orthogonal-rifted Kwanza basins. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 27(5), 1040-1068. 3 Hudec, M. R., & Jackson, M. P., 2002. Structural segmentation, inversion, and salt tectonics on a passive margin: Evolution of the Inner Kwanza Basin, Angola. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 114(10), 1222-1244. 4. Jackson, M. P. A., Hudec, M. R., & Hegarty, K. A., 2005. The great West African Tertiary coastal uplift: Fact or fiction? A perspective from the Angolan divergent margin. Tectonics, 24(6). 5. Donelick, R. A., O'Sullivan, P. B., & Ketcham, R. A., 2005. Apatite fission-track analysis. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 58(1), 49-94. 6. Ketcham, R. A., 2003. Observations on the relationship between crystallographic orientation and

  2. Magmatic cycles pace tectonic and morphological expression of rifting (Afar depression, Ethiopia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medynski, Sarah; Pik, Raphael; Burnard, Peter; Blard, Pierre-Henri

    2016-04-01

    Dyking and faulting at mid-oceanic ridges are concentrated in narrow axial volcanic zones due to focussing of both melt distribution and tectonic strain along the plate boundary. Due to the predominantly submarine location of oceanic ridges, the interplay between these processes remain poorly constrained in time and space. In this study, we use the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo (DMH) magmatic rift segment (MRS) (Afar, Ethiopia) to answers the long debated chicken-egg question about magmatic and tectonic processes in extensive context: which on comes first, and how those two processes interplay to finally form oceanic ridges? The DMH MRS is an oceanic ridge analogue and here we present quantitative slip rates on major and minor normal fault scarps for the past 40 kyr in the vicinity of a recent (September 2005) dike intrusion. Our data show that the long-term-vertical slip rates of faults that ruptured in 2005 are too low to explain the present rift topography and that the 2005 strain distribution is not the main stress accommodating mechanism in the DMH segment. Instead, we show that the axial valley topography is created by enhanced slip rates which occur only when the amount of magma available in magma reservoirs is limited, thus preventing dykes from reaching the surface. Our results suggest that development of the axial valley topography is regulated by the magma reservoir lifetime and, thus, to the magmatic cycles of replenishment/differentiation (< 100 ky). This implies that in the DMH rift system (with a magma supply typical of an intermediate spreading centre), significant topography of the axial rift valley is transient, and is expressed only when magma available in the reservoirs decreases. The absence of tilting on the rift margins over the last 200 kyr also suggests that amagmatic accommodation of extension is not required over this time period. Extension instead is accommodated by dykes injected laterally from multiple ephemeral reservoirs located along the DMH

  3. Initial Rifting Process and Dynamics Mechanism of Huaguang Sag:Evidence from a Numerical Modeling Method

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhourong Cai; Bin Xia; Baofeng L; Weiqi Yao; Jianfeng Li

    2015-01-01

    Huaguang Sag is located in the deep seawater area of Qiongdongnan Basin, and its tec-tonic position belongs to the intersection of NE-trending, SN-trending and NW-trending tectonic sys-tems in the continental margin of the Northwest South China Sea. To investigate the initial rifting process and further more the dynamics mechanism of Huaguang Sag, this paper sets up the structure model of basement which mainly makes up with several depression-controlling faults, and simulates the initial rifting process of Huaguang Sag by the FLAC software. The simulation results show that only affected by the S-N trending extensional stress, the rifting center appears in northern boundary base-ment faults (two NEE-trending and NWW-trending faults) of Huaguang Sag while does not take place at the NNE-trending and NE-trending basement fault zone in the middle sag, and doesn’t match the current pattern that the basement fault plays a main role in controlling the sediment. In the other case, affected by the S-N trending and E-W trending extensional stress at the same time, the areas of the northern boundary faults zone and internal NNE-trending basement faults zone come to be rifting cen-ter quickly, the sedimentary is controlled by the main basement faults to different degrees, and is con-sistent with the tectonic-sedimentary framework of Huaguang Sag which obtained by the data of geo-physical interpretation. In combination with the analysis of regional tectonic background, the paper proposes that two remote tectonic effects occurred by the collision of India-Eurasian Plate:One remote effect was the rotational extrusion of IndoChina Block, which led to form a series of NE-trending and NNE-trending basement faults, as well as the E-W trending tensile stress field in Huaguang Sag. The other remote effect was that the deep mantle material of South China Block flowed southward, which resulted in the S-N trending extensional rifting of the lithosphere in northern South China Sea, and fi

  4. Sismotectonics in the western branch of the East African Rift System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delvaux, Damien; Kervyn, François; Mulumba, Jean-Luc; Kipata, Louis; Sebagenzi, Stanislas; Mavonga, Georges; Macheyeki, Athanas; Temu, Elly Bryan

    2013-04-01

    The western branch of the East African rift system is known of its particular seismic activity with larger magnitude (up to Ms 7.3) and more frequent destructive earthquakes than in the eastern branch. As a contribution to the IGCP 601 project Seismotectonic Map of Africa, we compiled the known active faults, thermal springs and historical seismicity in Central Africa. Using the rich archives of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, publications and own field observations, we present a compilation of available data relative to the current seismotectonic activity along the western branch of the East African rift system, in DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. Neotectonic activity related to the western rift branch is in general well expressed and relatively well studied in the eastern flank of this rift branch, in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. In contrast, the western flank of this rift branch, largely exposed in the DRC, has attracted less attention. However, data collected during the colonial times show significant sismotectonic activity in East DRC, not only in the western flank of the western rift branch, but extending far westwards up to the margin of the Congo basin. In particular, our predecessors paid a special attention to the mapping and description of thermal springs, noticing that they are often controlled by active faults. In addition, the operators of the relatively dense network of meteorological stations installed in the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi also recorded were with variable level of completeness and detail the earthquakes that they could felt. This provides a rich database that is used to complete the existing knowledge on historical seismicity. An important effort has still to be paid to identify and map potentially active fault due to poor field accessibility, tropical climate weathering and vegetation coverage. The main problem in the compilation of active fault data is that very few of them have been investigated by paleoseismic trenching

  5. Practical Marginalized Multilevel Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griswold, Michael E; Swihart, Bruce J; Caffo, Brian S; Zeger, Scott L

    2013-01-01

    Clustered data analysis is characterized by the need to describe both systematic variation in a mean model and cluster-dependent random variation in an association model. Marginalized multilevel models embrace the robustness and interpretations of a marginal mean model, while retaining the likelihood inference capabilities and flexible dependence structures of a conditional association model. Although there has been increasing recognition of the attractiveness of marginalized multilevel models, there has been a gap in their practical application arising from a lack of readily available estimation procedures. We extend the marginalized multilevel model to allow for nonlinear functions in both the mean and association aspects. We then formulate marginal models through conditional specifications to facilitate estimation with mixed model computational solutions already in place. We illustrate the MMM and approximate MMM approaches on a cerebrovascular deficiency crossover trial using SAS and an epidemiological study on race and visual impairment using R. Datasets, SAS and R code are included as supplemental materials.

  6. the role of magmatism and segmentation in the structural evolution of the Afar Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stab, Martin; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Pik, Raphaël; Quidelleur, Xavier; Ayalew, Dereje; Leroy, Sylvie

    2015-04-01

    A common issue at volcanic passive margins (VPM) is the lack of observation of the structures that accommodate stretching and thinning. Indeed, the most distal parts and the Ocean-Continent Transition is often masked by thick seaward-dipping reflectors (SDR) sequences. Some current challenges are then to know if the observed thinning fit the divergence (thinning vs dyking); and what is the rheological effect of magma supply that re-thickens the crust during extension? In the Central Afar magmatic rift (Ethiopia), the structures related to rifting since Oligocene are cropping out onshore and are well preserved. We present here a new structural model based on field data and lavas (U-Th/He and K/Ar) datings along a balanced cross-section of the Central Afar Western Margin. We mapped continent-ward normal fault array affecting highly tilted trapp series (29-30 Ma) unconformably overlain by tilted Oligo-Miocene (25-7 Ma) acid series. The main extensional and necking/thinning event took place during the end of this Miocene magmatic episode. The Pliocene flood basalt (Stratoid series) is erupted over an already thinned crust. The bulk extension for the Afar Western Margin is ß ~ 2.50. Our main findings are: - Oligo-Miocene deformation in Central Afar appears to be largely distributed through space and time ("magmatic wide rift"). It has been accommodated in a 200-300 km wide strip being a diffuse incipient plate boundary during the whole rifting history until the formation of present-day magmatic segments. There is a period of tectonic quiescence accompanied with few magma erupted at the surface between 25 Ma and 7 Ma. We suggest that tectonic and magmatic activity was focused at that time on the highly faulted Danakil block and Southern Red Sea, away from our study zone. - ß ~ 2.50 is higher than the thinning factor of ~1.30 observed in geophysical studies. We propose that the continental crust in Central Afar has been re-thickened during extension by the syn-rift

  7. South Atlantic Margin Processes and Links with Onshore Evolution: Overview of the German Priority Program SAMPLE (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbull, R. B.

    2013-12-01

    Since 2009 the SAMPLE program (www.spp-sample.de) provides a platform for research into the causes and effects of continental breakup and the evolution of passive margins. SAMPLE encompasses 28 projects from 13 German institutions and many international partnerships. The 6-year program will run through 2015. At the core of the program are observational studies that are interlinked by modelling projects examining the interplay of deep mantle dynamics, lithospheric stress fields, pre-rift fabric and melt-weaking on localizing rifting. Geophysics teams collect and integrate existing data from wide-angle seismic profiles, reprocessed multichannel seismics, as well as gravity, magnetics and heat-flow studies to construct self-consistent lithospheric-scale 3-D models along the conjugate margins. Key interests are variations in margin architecture, distribution of magmatic features and the evolution of sedimentary basins (subsidence and thermal histories). An exciting new contribution of SAMPLE geophysics is a linked set of seismic, seismologic and magnetotelluric experiments along the Walvis Ridge, including onshore NW Namibia and the Tristan da Cunha hotspot. In the deep mantle, we examine evidence from global seismic tomography for dramatic low seismic-velocity regions near the core-mantle boundary beneath southern Africa and their implications for dynamics in the deep Earth and the thermo-chemical nature of plumes. Petrologic studies focus on near-primary mantle melts represented by Mg-rich mafic dikes. Projects address the origin of magmas and crust-mantle interaction, and the environmental impact of mega-scale volcanism during breakup. Thermobarometry results from the African margin reveal a N-to-S decrease in mantle potential temperatures from 1520°C (N) to 1380° (S), which supports a thermal plume origin for excessive melt production in the north. Thermochronology data from both conjugate margins reveal complex and puzzling patterns in the denudation history

  8. SHRIMP U-Pb dating of recurrent Cryogenian and Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician alkalic magmatism in central Idaho: Implications for Rodinian rift tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, K.; Aleinikoff, J.N.; Evans, K.V.; duBray, E.A.; deWitt, E.H.; Unruh, D.M.

    2010-01-01

    Composite alkalic plutonic suites and tuffaceous diamictite, although discontinuously exposed across central Idaho in roof pendants and inliers within the Idaho batholith and Challis volcanic-plutonic complex, define the >200-km-long northwest-aligned Big Creek-Beaverhead belt. Sensitive highresolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) U-Pb zircon dates on these igneous rocks provide direct evidence for the orientation and location of the Neoproterozoic-Paleozoic western Laurentian rift margin in the northern U.S. Cordillera. Dating delimits two discrete magmatic pulses at ca. 665-650 Ma and 500-485 Ma at the western and eastern ends, respectively, of this belt. Together with the nearby 685 Ma volcanic rocks of the Edwardsburg Formation, there is a 200 Ma history of recurrent extensional magmatic pulses along the belt. A similar history of recurrent uplift is reflected in the stratigraphic record of the associated miogeoclinal and cratonal platform basins, suggesting that the Big Creek-Beaverhead belt originated as a border fault during continental rift events. The magmatic belt is paired with the recurrently emergent Lemhi Arch and narrow miogeoclinal facies belts and it lies inboard of a northwest-striking narrow zone of thinned continental crust. These features define a northeast-extending upper-plate extensional system between southeast Washington and southeast Idaho that formed a segment of the Neoproterozoic-Paleozoic miogeocline. This segment was flanked on the north by the St. Mary-Moyie transform zone (south of a narrow southern Canadian upper-plate margin) and on the south by the Snake River transfer zone (north of a broad Great Basin lower-plate margin). These are the central segments of a zigzagshaped Cordilleran rift system of alternating northwest-striking extensional zones offset by northeast-striking transfers and transforms. The data substantiate polyphase rift and continental separation events that included (1) pre-and syn-Windermere rifting, (2) Windermere

  9. Origin of the Blue Ridge escarpment along the passive margin of Eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spotila, J.A.; Bank, G.C.; Reiners, P.W.; Naeser, C.W.; Naeser, N.D.; Henika, B.S.

    2004-01-01

    The Blue Ridge escarpment is a rugged landform situated within the ancient Appalachian orogen. While similar in some respects to the great escarpments along other passive margins, which have evolved by erosion following rifting, its youthful topographic expression has inspired proposals of Cenozoic tectonic rejuvenation in eastern North America. To better understand the post-orogenic and post-rift geomorphic evolution of passive margins, we have examined the origin of this landform using low-temperature thermochronometry and manipulation of topographic indices. Apatite (U-Th)/He and fission-track analyses along transects across the escarpment reveal a younging trend towards the coast. This pattern is consistent with other great escarpments and fits with an interpretation of having evolved by prolonged erosion, without the requirement of tectonic rejuvenation. Measured ages are also comparable specifically to those measured along other great escarpments that are as much as 100 Myr younger. This suggests that erosional mechanisms that maintain rugged escarpments in the early post-rift stages may remain active on ancient passive margins for prolonged periods. The precise erosional evolution of the escarpment is less clear, however, and several end-member models can explain the data. Our preferred model, which fits with all data, involves a significant degree of erosional escarpment retreat in the Cenozoic. Although this suggests that early onset of topographic stability is not required of passive margin evolution, more data are required to better constrain the details of the escarpment's development. ?? 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Early Pleistocene lake formation and hominin origins in the Turkana-Omo rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepre, Christopher J.

    2014-10-01

    Prior research has correlated the formation of Plio-Pleistocene lakes in East Africa to global/regional climate changes and interpreted the lacustrine basins as significant settings of hominin evolution. Paleo-Lake Lorenyang from the Turkana-Omo rift is important to these issues, as its marginal deposits contain some of, if not the earliest currently known specimens of Acheulian stone tools and African Homo erectus. Magnetostratigraphic and sedimentological evidence indicates that the oldest preserved paleo-Lake Lorenyang deposits are dated at 2.148-2.128 Ma and derive from the NW Turkana basin, predating those from the Omo basin by ˜100 kyr and the NE Turkana basin by ˜190 kyr. Apparently, the lake expanded asynchronously in the rift, potentially due to a volcano-tectonic influence on the location of drainage networks, depositional slopes, or topographic elevation differences within and between the basins at the time of flooding. The onset of the lake temporally coincides with the eruption of basalt lava flows dated to 2.2-2.0 Ma that blocked the southeast outlet of the Turkana basin. This provides a plausible mechanism for hydrologic closure and lacustrine basin formation through volcano-tectonic impounding. It also points to a non-climatic cause for the initial formation of paleo-Lake Lorenyang at ˜2.14 Ma. First appearances for African H. erectus (˜1.87 Ma) and Acheulian tools (˜1.76 Ma) in the Turkana-Omo rift postdate the lake's initial formation by about 270 kyr and 380 kyr, respectively. Such timing differences contrast with studies that correlate all three to the 400-kyr-eccentricity maximum at 1.8 Ma. Although the Turkana-Omo rift is just one example, it does provide alternative insights to views that link climate, hominin evolution, and lake formation in East Africa.

  11. Chronology and origin of Au-Cu deposits related to Paleozoic intracontinental rifting in West Tianshan Mountains, NW China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李华芹; 陈富文

    2002-01-01

    Located between the Tarim platform and Junggar massif, the West Tianshan intracontinental rift abuts against the China-Kazakhstan boundary in the west part, borders on the Yilianhabierga late Paleozoic relic ocean basin and the South Tianshan late Paleozoic ocean basin respectively in the northeast separated by the Aibi Lake fault and in the southeast by the fault along the southern margin of the Yili massif. During the development and after the close of the West Tianshan intracontinental rifting in the Carboniferous-Permian period, a series of nonferrous and precious metal mineralizations occurred with the Au-Cu deposits being the most important. Isotopic chronologic study of representative deposits of different types shows that gold-copper mineralization in the West Tianshan intracontinental rift zone mainly happened during the middle-late Hercynian Period, among which the Axi volcanic hydrothermal type gold deposit was formed during the Carboniferous with a fluid inclusion Rb-Sr isochron age of (339 ± 28) Ma; the Qiabukanzhuota quartzolite type gold deposit has a Rb-Sr isochron age of (312 ± 46) Ma; the Tawuerbieke porphyry type gold deposit has a Rb-Sr isochron age of (295 ± 16) Ma; the Jingbulak magmatic liquation Cu-Ni deposit and the Musizaote porphyry type Cu deposit have the forming ages of 300 Ma ± and 250 Ma ±, respectively. Analyses of crustal evolution and metallogenetic geological backgrounds of Au-Cu mineralizations in the studied area shows a close correlation with the rifting.

  12. NW Africa post-rift tectonics: fieldwork constraints from an "unfitting" anticline in west Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Blanco, David; Gouiza, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    The evolution of the Moroccan Atlantic rifted margin is marked by a period of abnormal and excessive early post-rift subsidence during the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous affecting the proximal coastal basins, the continental shelf and the distal deep basins, which acted coevally to km-scale uplift and erosion of large domains to the east. The tectonics of the uplift event are still unclear, as it took place 30 to 50 Myr after lithospheric breakup between Morocco and Nova Scotia and prior to the Atlas/Alpine contraction, which gave rise to the Atlas and the Rif mountain belts. The Essaouira-Haha basin, located on the coastal plain of the Atlantic rifted margin of Morocco, and bounded by two uplifted Paleozoic basement highs (i.e. the Massif Ancien of Marrakech, to the east, and the Jebilet, to the northeast), is an ideal location to investigate the tectonic processes that might have triggered these vertical movements. Although most of the deformation observed in the basin is classically attributed to Upper Cretaceous halokinesis and Neogene Atlas contraction, recent works have shown the existence of contractional structures. We carry out a structural analysis of the Jbel Amsittene Anticline, located in the middle of the Essaouira-Haha basin to investigate the tectonics of its formation and its relationship with the above-mentioned exhumation. We show structural field data along several cross-sections transecting the anticline, and characterize a salt-cored fault propagation fold verging north, with a Triassic salt acting as a detachment plane. Regional kinematic indicators and structures show overall NNW-SSE to NNE-SSW shortening and active tectonics during the postrift phase, as indicated by syn-tectonic wedges seen for the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous period. These facts discard the "salt-drives-tectonics" theory to let "tectonic-drives-salt" one to rise, and point to factors other than small-cell mantle convection acting during the evolution of the Moroccan

  13. Deep crustal structure and continent-ocean boundary along the Galicia continental margin (NW Iberia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druet, María; Muñoz-Martín, Alfonso; Carbó, Andrés; Acosta, Juan; Granja Bruña, José Luis; Llanes, Pilar; Vázquez, Juan-Tomás; Ercilla, Gemma

    2016-04-01

    The Galicia continental margin is a magma-poor rifted margin with an extremely complex structure. Its formation involves several rifting episodes during the Mesozoic in the vicinity of a ridge triple junction, which produces a change in the orientation of the main structures. In addition, there is an overimposed Cenozoic partial tectonic inversion along its northern border. Although this continental margin has been widely studied since the 70's, most studies have focused on its western part in the transition to the Iberia Abyssal Plain, and there is a significant lack of information on the north and northwestern flanks of this margin. This fact, along with its great structural complexity, has resulted in the absence of a previous comprehensive regional geodynamic model integrating all the processes observed. In the present study we integrate a large volume of new geophysical data (gravity, swath bathymetry and 2D multichannel reflection seismic). Data come from the systematic mapping of the Spanish EEZ project which provides a dense grid of gravity data and full seafloor coverage with swath bathymetry, and from the ERGAP project which provides serially-arranged 2D seismic reflection profiles across the NW Iberia margin. The combined interpretation and modelling of this new information has arisen significant constraints on the origin, the deep crustal structure and the physiographic complexity of the margin, as well as on the characterization of the along- and across-strike variation of the ocean-continent transition along NW Iberia margin. The analysis of this information leads us to propose a conceptual model for the initiation of the tectonic inversion of a magma-poor rifted margin. Finally, a framework for the geodynamic evolution of the Galicia margin has been constructed, involving three main stages: A) an early stage from the end of rifting and oceanic drift in the Bay of Biscay (Santonian); B) an intermediate stage with the beginning of tectonic inversion in

  14. New insights into lithology and hydrogeology of the northern Newark Rift Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakharova, N. V.; Goldberg, D. S.; Olsen, P. E.; Kent, D. V.; Morgan, S.; Yang, Q.; Stute, M.; Matter, J. M.

    2016-06-01

    The marginal facies of the Triassic rift basins in the eastern United States are poorly documented, particularly on the hinge or hanging wall margins. This study presents a lithological description and multiscale petrophysical analysis of basement rocks, overlying marginal facies of the early synrift strata, and the basal contact of the Palisade Sill that were drilled and cored in the northeastern part of the Newark Basin, near its terminus. The expression of the Stockton Formation differs from that in the central basin in having thinner layers, with uncertain temporal relationship to the type area. The bottom 50 m is lithologically distinct with brick-red to dark-purple mudstones and sandstones, abundant gypsum-filled fractures, and a thin zone with anomalously high uranium concentration, not associated with organic-rich mudstones as other occurrences in the basin. The crystalline basement is apparently Fordham gneiss, overlain by a thin sandstone layer and a dark-purple hydrophilic mudstone. Despite the abundance of coarse-grained strata and multiple sets of tectonic fractures, hydraulically transmissive zones are sparse, and do not uniquely correlate to fracture and/or matrix characteristics. Enhanced transmissivity may exist along intrusion boundaries due to enhanced thermal fracturing, but more hydraulic data are needed to verify it. Comparison of petrophysical data in two boreholes ˜210 m apart shows no direct correlation of individual lithological units and their hydraulic properties, although the overall formation characteristics are similar. The results highlight challenges for outcrop correlation at the marginal edges of the rift basins and estimating reservoir properties of these heterogeneous formations.

  15. Ocean margins workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1990-12-31

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing the refocusing of its marine research program to emphasize the study of ocean margins and their role in modulating, controlling, and driving Global Change phenomena. This is a proposal to conduct a workshop that will establish priorities and an implementation plan for a new research initiative by the Department of Energy on the ocean margins. The workshop will be attended by about 70 scientists who specialize in ocean margin research. The workshop will be held in the Norfolk, Virginia area in late June 1990.

  16. "We call ourselves marginalized"

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Nanna Jordt

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, indigenous knowledge has been added to the environmental education agenda in an attempt to address the marginalization of non-western perspectives. While these efforts are necessary, the debate is often framed in terms of a discourse of victimization that overlooks the agency o...... argue that researchers not only need to pay attention to how certain voices are marginalized in Environmental Education research and practice, but also to how learners as agents respond to, use and negotiate the marginalization of their perspectives....

  17. Did Paleogene North Atlantic rift-related eruptions drive early Eocene climate cooling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolley, David W.; Widdowson, Mike

    2005-02-01

    The delivery of volcanogenic sulphur into the upper atmosphere by explosive eruptions is known to cause significant temporary climate cooling. Therefore, phreatomagmatic and phreatoplinian eruptions occurring during the final rifting stages of active flood basalt provinces provide a potent mechanism for triggering climate change. During the early Eocene, the northeast Atlantic margin was subjected to repeated ashfall for 0.5 m.y. This was the result of extensive phreatomagmatic activity along 3000 km of the opening northeast Atlantic rift. These widespread, predominantly basaltic ashes are now preserved in marine sediments of the Balder Formation and its equivalents, and occur over an area extending from the Faroe Islands to Denmark and southern England. These ash-bearing sediments also contain pollen and spore floras derived from low diversity forests that grew in cooler, drier climates than were experienced either before or after these highly explosive eruptions. In addition, coeval plant macrofossil evidence from the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, USA, also shows a comparable pattern of vegetation change. The coincidence of the ashes and cooler climate pollen and spore floras in northwest Europe identifies volcanism as the primary cause of climate cooling. Estimates show that whilst relatively few phreatomagmatic eruptive centres along the 3000 km opening rift system could readily generate 0.5-1 °C cooling, on an annual basis, only persistent or repeated volcanic phases would have been able to achieve the long-term cooling effect observed in the floral record. We propose that the cumulative effect of repeated Balder Formation eruptions initiated a biodiversity crisis in the northeast Atlantic margin forests. Only the decline of this persistent volcanic activity, and the subsequent climatic warming at the start of the Eocene Thermal Maximum allowed the growth of subtropical forests to develop across the region.

  18. Mechanism of Paleo-Mesoproterozoic rifts related to breakup of Columbia supercontinent: A paleostress field modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shuai; Hou, Guiting; Hari, K. R.; Liu, Shuwen; Guan, Shuwei

    2017-06-01

    The Paleo-Mesoproterozoic Zhongtiao aulacogen in the North China Craton and Cuddapah basin in the Indian Craton, have both been interpreted as intra-continental rift formed by a mantle plume that led to the breakup of Columbia supercontinent, but the mechanism has not been completely deciphered. In this paper, the mechanism of the Zhongtiao aulacogen and Cuddapah basin related to initial breakup of Columbia has been evaluated with 2D elastic finite element models of the North China Craton and the Indian Craton. The trajectories of the horizontal maximum principal compressive stress of the best-fit model fit well with the trends of dyke swarms in the North China Craton and the Indian Craton. When the other three models generated were compared with the best-fit model, it can be found that a mantle plume beneath the Zhongtiao and Cuddapah areas played the most vital role in developing the Zhongtiao aulacogen, Cuddapah basin and initial breakup of Columbia supercontinent. The boundary subduction forces, including the northern margin of the NCC, the northwest and southwest margins of the Indian Craton are indispensable factors for the rifting and breakup, whereas the mechanical properties have little influence on these modeling results. The initial breakup of Columbia supercontinent might have been resulted from the coupling between a mantle plume upwelling and some plate tectonic forces.

  19. Magmatism evolution on the last Neoproterozoic development stage of the western Siberian active continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernikovskaya, Antonina E.; Vernikovsky, Valery A.; Matushkin, Nikolay Yu.; Kadilnikov, Pavel I.; Romanova, Irina V.

    2017-04-01

    .B., Kovach V.P. Neoproterozoic accretionary and collisional events on the western margin of the Siberian craton: new geological and geochronological evidence from the Yenisey Ridge // Tectonophysics, 2003, V. 375, P. 147-168. Vernikovsky V.A., Vernikovskaya A.E., Sal'nikova E.B., Berezhnaya N.G., Larionov A.N., Kotov A.B., Kovach V.P., Vernikovskaya I.V., Matushkin N.Yu., Yasenev A.M. Late Riphean alkaline magmatism in the western margin of the Siberian Craton: A result of continental rifting or accretionary events? // Doklady Earth Sciences, 2008, V. 419, Iss. 1, P. 226-230. Khanchuk A.I., Kemkin I.V., Kruk N.N. The Sikhote-Alin orogenic belt, Russian South East: Terranes and the formation of continental lithosphere based on geological and isotopic Data // Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 2016, V. 120, P. 117-138.

  20. Indian Ocean margins

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Naqvi, S.W.A.

    The most important biogeochemical transformations and boundary exchanges in the Indian Ocean seem to occur in the northern region, where the processes originating at the land-ocean boundary extend far beyond the continental margins. Exchanges across...

  1. Learning unbelievable marginal probabilities

    CERN Document Server

    Pitkow, Xaq; Miller, Ken D

    2011-01-01

    Loopy belief propagation performs approximate inference on graphical models with loops. One might hope to compensate for the approximation by adjusting model parameters. Learning algorithms for this purpose have been explored previously, and the claim has been made that every set of locally consistent marginals can arise from belief propagation run on a graphical model. On the contrary, here we show that many probability distributions have marginals that cannot be reached by belief propagation using any set of model parameters or any learning algorithm. We call such marginals `unbelievable.' This problem occurs whenever the Hessian of the Bethe free energy is not positive-definite at the target marginals. All learning algorithms for belief propagation necessarily fail in these cases, producing beliefs or sets of beliefs that may even be worse than the pre-learning approximation. We then show that averaging inaccurate beliefs, each obtained from belief propagation using model parameters perturbed about some le...

  2. 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

  3. Australia's southern margin: a product of oblique extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willcox, J. B.; Stagg, H. M. J.

    1990-02-01

    Recently developed detachment models of continental margin formation interpret the southern margin of Australia to have formed when the lower-plate Australian margin was pulled out from beneath the upper-plate Antarctic margin. Data now available and summarised in this paper, point very strongly to a generally NW-SE direction of initial continental extension for the southern margin, in contrast to the widely held picture of simple N-S rifting. The evidence for this extension direction comes from the analysis of deep Seismic data acquired by the Bureau of Mineral Resources in 1986 in the central Great Australian Bight (GAB), the gravity field of the GAB, Seismic and magnetic basement structures in the Eyre Sub-basin, Polda Trough, Ceduna Depocentre and Duntroon Basin and from the analysis of the magnetic seafloor spreading anomalies produced during the slow first phase of drifting between Australia and Antarctica. Further, it is now believed that the formation of the southern margin of Australia can be described in terms of three phases of continental extension (El to E3) and two phases of drifting (D1 and D2). In summary, these phases were as follows. E1: approximately 300 km of Late Jurassic (?or older) to Early Cretaceous NW-SE-oriented extension in the GAB, with strike-slip motion in the nascent Otway Basin and along the Tasmanian margin. E2: 120 km of Early Cretaceous NNE-SSW-oriented extension which formed the basins of southeastern Australia (Otway, Bass, Gippsland) and which probably produced a structural overprinting in the GAB Basin. E3/D1: minor continental extension and the first 500 km of slow drift between Australia and Antarctica on an azimuth of 165°; wrenching on the Tasmanian margin. D2: 2600 km of fast drifting between Australia and Antarctica on a N-S azimuth.

  4. Integrating rift inheritance and different plate kinematic scenarios in Alpine models: implications for the interpretation of the deep structures of the Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manatschal, Gianreto; Tugend, Julie; Chenin, Pauline; Nirrengarten, Michael; Epin, Marie-Eva; Picazo, Suzanne; Mohn, Geoffroy

    2017-04-01

    The Alps result from the imbrication of its former rifted margins and intervening oceanic basins. Thus, the formation and evolution of this orogen depends, among other factors, on the overall kinematic evolution, nature and size of the oceanic domain, and on the occurrence of inherited rift structures. Most Alpine models mainly focus on the compressional history. Only few of them integrate plate kinematic scenarios and rift/oceanic models based on the latest observations and concepts derived from the research developed at rifted margins. In this presentation we will mainly focus on three recent outcomes of this research that may significantly impact the interpretation of the Alps. 1) The nature of the J-magnetic anomaly (including anomaly M0) as an oceanic isochron is questioned as a result of the re-evaluation of the breakup processes offshore Iberia-Newfoundland. As a consequence, classical kinematic models proposed for the Iberia plate and used also for the Alpine domain need to be revised. 2) The size of the oceanic basins prior to their subduction in the Alpine domain indeed depends on the plate kinematic model. New plate kinematic models, in line with studies of the mantle rocks derived from the Alpine ophiolites, do not show any evidence for an unequivocal mature oceanic domain with depleted mantle lithosphere. 3) Hyperextended magma-poor rifted margins, such as the fossil Alpine Tethys margins, include extremely thinned continental crust (<10 km) and exhumed serpentinized mantle with minor magmatic additions. Rheological weaknesses inherited from hyperextension are likely to control the location of decoupling levels and formation of buttresses during orogeny resulting in important implications for the nature of orogenic roots and restorations. In our presentation we will review different plate kinematic scenarios and their consequences for Alpine restorations (i.e., maximum vs. minimum size of the oceanic domains, widths of hyper-extended domains and timing

  5. The metallogeny of Late Triassic rifting of the Alexander terrane in southeastern Alaska and northwestern British Columbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, C.D.; Premo, W.R.; Meier, A.L.; Taggart, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    , to sulfosalt-enriched VMS occurrences exhibiting characteristics of vein, diagenetic replacement, and exhalative styles of mineralization, and finally to Cu-Zn-(Co-Au) occurrences with larger and more clearly stratiform orebody morphologies. Occurrences in the middle of the belt are transitional in nature between structurally controlled types of mineralization that formed in a shallow-water, near-arc setting, to those having a more stratiform appearance, formed in a deeper water, rift-basin setting. The geologic setting in the south is consistent with shallow subaqueous emplacement on the flanks of the Alexander terrane. Northward, the setting changes to an increasingly deeper back- or intra-arc rift basin. Igneous activity in the Alexander Triassic metallogenic belt is characterized by a bimodal suite of volcanic rocks and a previously unrecognized association with mafic-ultramafic hypabyssal intrusions. Immobile trace and rare earth element (BEE) geochemical data indicate that felsic rocks in the southern portion of the belt are typical calc-alkaline rhyolites, which give way in the middle of the belt to peralkaline rhyolites. Rhyolites are largely absent in the northern part of the belt. Throughout the belt, the capping basaltic rocks have transitional geochemical signatures. Radiogenic isotope data for these rocks are also transitional (basalts and gabbros: ??-Nd = 4-9 and 87Sr/86Sr initial at 215 Ma = 0.7037-0.7074). Together these data are interpreted to reflect variable assimilation of mature island-arc crust by more primitive melts having the characteristics of either mid-ocean ridge (MORB) or intraplate (within-plate) basalts (WPB). The ore and host-rock geochemistry and the sulfosalt-rich mineralogy of the deposits are strikingly similar to recent descriptions of active sea-floor hydrothermal (white smoker) systems in back arcs of the southwest Pacific Ocean. These data, in concert with existing faunal ages, record the formation of a belt of VMS deposits

  6. 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.

  7. The topology of evolving rift fault networks: Single-phase vs multi-phase rifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Oliver B.; Nixon, Casey W.; Bell, Rebecca E.; Jackson, Christopher A.-L.; Gawthorpe, Rob L.; Sanderson, David J.; Whipp, Paul S.

    2017-03-01

    Rift fault networks can be complex, particularly those developed by multiple periods of non-coaxial extension, comprising non-colinear faults with many interactions. Thus, topology, rather than simple geometry, is required to characterise such networks, as it provides a way to describe the arrangement of individual faults in the network. Topology is analysed here in terms of nodes (isolated I nodes or connected Y or X nodes) and branches (I-I, I-C, C-C branches). In map view, the relative proportions of these parameters vary in natural single- and multi-phase rift fault networks and in scaled physical models at different stages of development and strain. Interactions in single-phase rifting are limited to fault splays and along-strike fault linkage (I node and I-I or I-C branch dominated networks), whereas in multi-phase rifting the topology evolves towards Y node and C-C branch dominated networks, with the degree of connectivity increasing with greater strain. The changes in topology and network connectivity have significant implications for fluid flow and reservoir compartmentalisation studies. Furthermore, topology helps to distinguish single and multiple phase extension (i.e. tectonic histories), and thus provide constraints on the geodynamic context of sedimentary basins.

  8. Hydrothermal bitumen generated from sedimentary organic matter of rift lakes - Lake Chapala, Citala Rift, western Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zarate del Valle, Pedro F. [Departamento de Quimica, Universidad de Guadalajara - CUCEI, Ap. Postal 4-021, Guadalajara, Jalisco CP 44410 (Mexico); Simoneit, Bernd R.T. [Environmental and Petroleum Geochemistry Group, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Building 104, Corvallis, OR 97331-5503 (United States)]. E-mail: simoneit@coas.oregonstate.edu

    2005-12-15

    Lake Chapala is in the Citala Rift of western Mexico, which in association with the Tepic-Zacoalco and Colima Rifts, form the well-known neotectonic Jalisco continental triple junction. The rifts are characterized by evidence for both paleo- and active hydrothermal activity. At the south shore of the lake, near the Los Gorgos sublacustrine hydrothermal field, there are two tar emanations that appear as small islands composed of solid, viscous and black bitumen. Aliquots of tar were analyzed by GC-MS and the mixtures are comprised of geologically mature biomarkers and an UCM. PAH and n-alkanes are not detectable. The biomarkers consist mainly of hopanes, gammacerane, tricyclic terpanes, carotane and its cracking products, steranes, and drimanes. The biomarker composition and bulk C isotope composition ({delta} {sup 13}C = -21.4%) indicate an organic matter source from bacteria and algae, typical of lacustrine ecosystems. The overall composition of these tars indicates that they are hydrothermal petroleum formed from lacustrine organic matter in the deeper sediments of Lake Chapala exceeding 40 ka ({sup 14}C) in age and then forced to the lakebed by tectonic activity. The absence of alkanes and the presence of an UCM with mature biomarkers are consistent with rapid hydrothermal oil generation and expulsion at temperatures of 200-250 deg. C. The occurrence of hydrothermal petroleum in continental rift systems is now well known and should be considered in future energy resource exploration in such regions.

  9. The evolution of the southern margin of the East European Craton based on seismic and potential field data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostyuchenko, S. L.; Morozov, A. F.; Stephenson, R. A.; Solodilov, L. N.; Vedrentsev, A. G.; Popolitov, K. E.; Aleshina, A. F.; Vishnevskaya, V. S.; Yegorova, T. P.

    2004-03-01

    This paper presents an integrated geophysical study of the southern margin of the East European Craton (EEC) in the Karpinksy Swell-North Caucasus area. It presents new interpretations of deep refraction and wide-angle reflection "deep seismic sounding" (DSS) data as well as conventional seismic and CDP profiling and new analyses of potential field data, including three-dimensional gravity and magnetic modelling. An integrated model of the physical properties and structure of the Earth's crust and, partially, upper mantle displays distinct features that are related to tectonic history of the study area. The Voronezh Massif (VM), the Ukrainian Shield and Rostov Dome (RD) of the EEC as well as the Donbas Foldbelt (DF), Karpinsky Swell (KS), Scythian Plate (SP) and Precaspian Basin (PCB) constitute the geodynamic ensemble that developed on the southern margin of the continent Baltica. There proposed evolutionary model comprises a stage of rifting during the middle to late Devonian, post-rift extension and subsidence during Carboniferous-early Permian times (synchronous with and related to the southward displacement of the Rostov Dome and extension in a palaeo-Scythian back-arc basin), and subsequent Mesozoic and younger evolution. A pre-Ordovician, possibly Riphean (?), mafic magmatic complex is inferred on a near vertical reflection seismic cross-section through the western portion of the Astrakhan Dome in the southwest part of the Precaspian Basin. This complex combined with evidence of a subducting slab in the upper mantle imply the presence of pre-Ordovician (Riphean?) island arc, with synchronous extension in a Precaspian back-arc basin is suggested. A middle Palaeozoic back-arc basin ensemble in what is now the western Karpinsky Swell was more than 100 km to the south from its present location. The Stavropol High migrated northwards, dislocating and moving fragments of this back-arc basin sometime thereafter. Linear positive magnetic anomalies reflect the

  10. Cenozoic magmatism in the northern continental margin of the South China Sea: evidence from seismic profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qiao; Wu, Shiguo; Dong, Dongdong

    2016-06-01

    Igneous rocks in the northern margin of the South China Sea (SCS) have been identified via high resolution multi-channel seismic data in addition to other geophysical and drilling well data. This study identified intrusive and extrusive structures including seamounts and buried volcanoes, and their seismic characteristics. Intrusive features consist of piercement and implicit-piercement type structures, indicating different energy input associated with diapir formation. Extrusive structures are divided into flat-topped and conical-topped seamounts. Three main criteria (the overlying strata, the contact relationship and sills) were used to distinguish between intrusive rocks and buried volcanos. Three criteria are also used to estimate the timing of igneous rock formation: the contact relationship, the overlying sedimentary thickness and seismic reflection characteristics. These criteria are applied to recognize and distinguish between three periods of Cenozoic magmatism in the northern margin of the SCS: before seafloor spreading (Paleocene and Eocene), during seafloor spreading (Early Oligocene-Mid Miocene) and after cessation of seafloor spreading (Mid Miocene-Recent). Among them, greater attention is given to the extensive magmatism since 5.5 Ma, which is present throughout nearly all of the study area, making it a significant event in the SCS. Almost all of the Cenozoic igneous rocks were located below the 1500 m bathymetric contour. In contrast with the wide distribution of igneous rocks in the volcanic rifted margin, igneous rocks in the syn-rift stage of the northern margin of the SCS are extremely sporadic, and they could only be found in the southern Pearl River Mouth basin and NW sub-sea basin. The ocean-continent transition of the northern SCS exhibits high-angle listric faults, concentrated on the seaward side of the magmatic zone, and a sharply decreased crust, with little influence from a mantle plume. These observations provide further evidence to

  11. 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)

  12. Polyphase tectono-magmatic and fluid history related to mantle exhumation in an ultra-distal rift domain: example of the fossil Platta domain, SE Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epin, Marie-Eva; Manatschal, Gianreto; Amann, Méderic; Lescanne, Marc

    2017-04-01

    Despite the fact that many studies have investigated mantle exhumation at magma-poor rifted margins, there are still numerous questions concerning the 3D architecture, magmatic, fluid and thermal evolution of these ultra-distal domains that remain unexplained. Indeed, it has been observed in seismic data from ultra-distal magma-poor rifted margins that top basement is heavily structured and complex, however, the processes controlling the morpho-tectonic and magmatic evolution of these domains remain unknown. The aim of this study is to describe the 3D top basement morphology of an exhumed mantle domain, exposed over 200 km2 in the fossil Platta domain in SE Switzerland, and to define the timing and processes controlling its evolution. The examined Platta nappe corresponds to a remnant of the former ultra-distal Adriatic margin of the Alpine Tethys. The rift-structures are relatively well preserved due to the weak Alpine tectonic and metamorphic overprint during the emplacement in the Alpine nappe stack. Detailed mapping of parts of the Platta nappe enabled us to document the top basement architecture of an exhumed mantle domain and to investigate its link to later, rift/oceanic structures, magmatic additions and fluids. Our observations show a polyphase and/or complex: 1) deformation history associated with mantle exhumation along low-angle exhumation faults overprinted by later high-angle normal faults, 2) top basement morphology capped by magmato-sedimentary rocks, 3) tectono-magmatic evolution that includes gabbros, emplaced at deeper levels and subsequently exhumed and overlain by younger extrusive magmatic additions, and 4) fluid history including serpentinization, calcification, hydrothermal vent, rodingitization and spilitization affecting exhumed mantle and associated magmatic rocks. The overall observations provide important information on the temporal and spatial evolution of the tectonic, magmatic and fluid systems controlling the formation of ultra

  13. The mesoproterozoic midcontinent rift system, Lake Superior region, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojakangas, R.W.; Morey, G.B.; Green, J.C.

    2001-01-01

    Exposures in the Lake Superior region, and associated geophysical evidence, show that a 2000 km-long rift system developed within the North American craton ??? 1109-1087 Ma, the age span of the most of the volcanic rocks. This system is characterized by immense volumes of mafic igneous rocks, mostly subaerial plateau basalts, generated in two major pulses largely by a hot mantle plume. A new ocean basin was nearly formed before rifting ceased, perhaps due to the remote effect of the Grenville continental collision to the east. Broad sagging/subsidence, combined with a system of axial half-grabens separated along the length of the rift by accommodation zones, provided conditions for the accumulation of as much as 20 km of volcanic rocks and as much as 10 km of post-rift clastic sediments, both along the rift axis and in basins flanking a central, post-volcanic horst. Pre-rift mature, quartzose sandstones imply little or no uplift prior to the onset of rift volcanism. Early post-rift red-bed sediments consist almost entirely of intrabasinally derived volcanic sediment deposited in alluvial fan to fluvial settings; the exception is one gray to black carbon-bearing lacustrine(?) unit. This early sedimentation phase was followed by broad crustal sagging and deposition of progressively more mature red-bed, fluvial sediments with an extra-basinal provenance. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Continental Rifts: Lithospheric Weakness and Strength Contrasts as Triggers for Necking Instabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenker, S.; Beaumont, C.

    2014-12-01

    Rifted margin geometry is too complex and diverse to be explained by simple kinematic models. Instead, we consider the effects of strain localization and the growth of necking instabilities as they apply to rifted margins. The intrinsic layering of the lithosphere will affect the growth rate of necking instabilities, leading to depth-dependent extension. In addition, continents are far from homogeneous after multiple cycles of collision, strike-slip motion and rifting. The resulting inherited heterogeneities may serve to localize strain and initiate necking instabilities. We use 2D finite element models containing embedded finite weak zones in the crust and/or mantle as well as a vertical lithospheric boundary across which lithospheric layering changes resulting in an overall strength contrast. We show that there are two controls on the style of rifting: Control 1, the stiff/pliable nature of the lithospheric layers and; Control 2, the distribution of the background strain rate in the lithosphere. Control 1 depends on the lithospheric rheology, such that necking instabilities grow faster in a stiff, dominantly plastic, layer than in equivalent layers with a pliable, mostly viscous, rheology. Control 2 is important where a strength contrast at a lithospheric boundary influences the distribution of the background strain rate. Necking is a mechanism that amplifies the background strain rate, which implies faster necking in parts of the lithosphere where background strain rates are highest. In a laterally homogeneous lithosphere, the background strain rate will be uniform in each layer and Control 1 will dominate giving necking in stiff layers. However, juxtaposed lithospheres with different strengths will distribute strain giving the weaker lithosphere the higher strain rate, implying the fastest necking may occur under Control 2 in pliable layers with the higher strain rate. An end-member case is where strong lithosphere acts as a rigid block. Here, no necking

  15. Description of Along Strike Structural Styles and Implications of Deep Crustal Reflections in the Galicia Segment of the Offshore Iberia Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappano, P. A.; Sawyer, D. S.; Zelt, C. A.; Henning, A.

    2001-12-01

    The offshore Iberia passive margin is recognized as an ideal location for studying the evolution of rifting because of its thin sedimentary cover, absence of salt and limited magmatism, which often make imaging crustal and sub-crustal reflections difficult. Seismic line ISE 5, which was shot in 1997 as part of the Iberia Seismic Project, images some deep crustal reflection geometries that might have important consequences with regard to understanding the evolution of rifting that broke up Pangea. Based on reflection character, the upper sedimentary section can be divided into two parts: an upper, uniformly dipping, sub-parallel post-rift sedimentary section and an underlying transparent post-rift sedimentary section. Beneath the post-rift sedimentary section, syn- and possible pre-rift, sedimentary rocks are imaged on top of crystalline basement and between apparent "pods" of crystalline basement bounded by faults on all sides. A bright sub-parallel reflection regarded locally as the S reflector images the detachment upon which most of the extension occurred. Refraction modelling results from OBS data suggest Moho velocities below this horizon. Several reflections that splay from S dip northward into the mantle. This geometry is probably related to northward propagation of the rift, which is consistent with radiometric analyses of localized intrusives that finds younger 40Ar-39Ar ages progressing from Gorringe Bank northward to Galicia Bank. Alternatively, these reflections are related to multiphase rifting along the margin. Most interesting are 1 second (~ 3.5 km) thick sub-parallel reflections that might be part of a shear zone associated either with horizontal displacement along the S detachment or from the northward dipping splays. Alternatively, these reflections might represent underplating of upwelling mafics, which rose during decompression as continental crust attenuated along the relatively flat sub-horizontal S reflector. This interpretation supports the

  16. Syn-Rift Stratigraphic Architecture Reveals the Growth History of a Sub-basinal Fault Population in the Outer Moray Firth, North Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, K.; Gupta, S.; Trudgill, B.; Johnson, H.

    2003-12-01

    Processes of normal fault propagation and linkage are recorded in the stratigraphic record by syn-rift sedimentary deposits that fill the generated accommodation volume. Using 3D seismic stratigraphic analysis, supported by well log and core interpretation, we investigate how the growth of an intrabasinal fault population led to the progressive development of an extensional sub-basin in the Moray Firth rift arm of the North Sea. The North Halibut Graben sub-basin has an E-W to WNW-ESE orientation and formed through the interaction of two main structural trends during late Jurassic rifting. E-W trending structural barriers bound the sub-basin to the north (Tartan and Petronella Ridges) and south (Halibut Horst Spur) whilst major NE-SW trending structures occur at the eastern margin. Spatial and temporal changes in syn-rift stratigraphic architecture reflect the history of faulting within the North Halibut Graben sub-basin. Fault parallel seismic profiles and intra-syn rift isochron maps demonstrate how faults initially developed as separate segments and subsequently linked to form longer strands through progressive growth and propagation. They also provide clear evidence that a major change in the structural framework occurred during rifting, supporting earlier studies advocating sequential rather than synchronous normal fault activity. The syn-rift sequence can be divided into at least two phases based on shifts in sedimentary packages and reorganistation of sequence thicknesses. Isochron maps illustrate that from late Oxfordian times (syn-rift phase I), early syn-rift sedimentation was controlled solely by NE-SW trending faults at the eastern margin of the basin. Strain was initially accommodated across several distributed, highly segmented faults but, with progressive linkage, stress became localised on one or two major through-going fault strands whilst shorter surrounding segments were switched off. From early-mid Volgian times we observe a progressive switch

  17. Multiphased extension along continental margins: a case study of the Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulois, Cédric; Shannon, Patrick, M.; Manuel, Pubellier; Nicolas, Chamot-Rooke; Louise, Watremez; Jacques, Deverchère

    2017-04-01

    Mesozoic faulting has been recognised in several Irish sedimentary basins as part of the northward propagation of the Atlantic rift system. However, the contribution of older structural elements remains poorly constrained. The present study documents the succession of extensional phases in the northern part of the Porcupine Basin sensu largo, offshore west of Ireland, in which structural inheritance and fault reactivation is commonly observed. The correlation of 2D and 3D seismic lines with exploration wells enables the precise definition of four overprinted extensional systems that link to specific tectonic stages identified along the Irish margin. The Porcupine Basin opened through a thickened continental crust that evolved during the Palaeozoic with the Caledonian and Variscan orogenic cycles. Extension initiated during the Carboniferous by reactivation of old structures, resulting in the migration of depocentres bounded by E-W, NE-SW and N-S structural trends. Subsequent episodic rifting occurred during several discrete events. The first rift episode, of Late Triassic to Early Jurassic age, is restricted to the North Porcupine Basin and most likely reactivated E-W structures of Caledonian age. Synrift sediments were generally deposited in a littoral setting that progressively deepened through time. The second episode, much more pronounced, occurred during the Upper Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous (Neocomian). It resulted in shallow to deep marine deposition controlled by structural directions recognised in Caledonian and Variscan terranes. A third rift phase, evidenced by thick clastic deposition, locally occurred during the Aptian and finally died out with the opening of the Bay of Biscay located to the south of the region. A series of extensional megacycles are recognised from seismic unconformities and faulting geometries. Initial extension strongly followed the structural architecture of the continental crust (i.e. ancient folds, thrusts or orogenic fronts

  18. Late Cenozoic evolution of the East China continental margin: Insights from seismic, gravity, and magnetic analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Lu-Ning; Zhang, Xun-Hua; Jia, Yong-Gang; Han, Bo; Yang, Chuan-Sheng; Geng, Wei; Pang, Yu-Mao

    2017-02-01

    Seismic reflection profiles reveal the structural characteristics beneath the East China Sea shelf margin and the Okinawa Trough, and provide new constraints on the Late Cenozoic evolution of the East China continental margin. The Frontal Shelf Basin between the Taiwan-Sinzi Uplift and the trough axis occupies the western half of the Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough. In this basin, the Middle-Late Miocene sediments are confined to grabens or half-grabens dominated by listric faults, whereas the overlying Pliocene-Quaternary sequence is characterized by a uniform thickness and dense planar-type faults, suggesting that rifting of the Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough initiated during the Middle Miocene but slowed down during the earliest Pliocene. Since that time, the opening of the Okinawa Trough has been dominated by diffuse rifting. The Southern Okinawa Trough is predominately filled by Quaternary sediments, indicating that its back-arc rifting began during the earliest Pleistocene. Contractional structures identified in the pre-Quaternary sequence beneath the continental slope, along with an erosional Pleistocene-pre-Pleistocene unconformity in the Southern Okinawa Trough, demonstrate the existence of pre-rifting compression and uplifting in this region. We use this evidence and previously published results, to propose an evolutionary model of the East China continental margin during the Late Cenozoic. The Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough began rifting during the Middle Miocene on a paleo-uplift. The Luzon Arc initially impinged upon the Eurasian continental margin during the Late Miocene near the southeastern end of the Miyako Fault Belt and activated the proto-Taiwan Orogeny in today's Southern Okinawa Trough and adjacent regions. During the Late Miocene-Pliocene, the orogeny quickly propagated southwestward along with the west-northwest-moving Philippine Sea Plate. Subsequently, the rifting of the Southern Okinawa Trough was initiated during the earliest Pleistocene

  19. Creating global comparative analyses of tectonic rifts, monogenetic volcanism and inverted relief

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wyk de Vries, Benjamin

    2016-04-01

    I have been all around the world, and to other planets and have travelled from the present to the Archaean and back to seek out the most significant tectonic rifts, monogenetic volcanoes and examples of inverted relief. I have done this to provide a broad foundation of the comparative analysis for the Chaîne des Puys - Limagne fault nomination to UNESCO world Heritage. This would have been an impossible task, if not for the cooperation of the scientific community and for Google Earth, Google Maps and academic search engines. In preparing global comparisons of geological features, these quite recently developed tools provide a powerful way to find and describe geological features. The ability to do scientific crowd sourcing, rapidly discussing with colleagues about features, allows large numbers of areas to be checked and the open GIS tools (such as Google Earth) allow a standardised description. Search engines also allow the literature on areas to be checked and compared. I will present a comparative study of rifts of the world, monogenetic volcanic field and inverted relief, integrated to analyse the full geological system represented by the Chaîne des Puys - Limagne fault. The analysis confirms that the site is an exceptional example of the first steps of continental drift in a mountain rift setting, and that this is necessarily seen through the combined landscape of tectonic, volcanic and geomorphic features. The analysis goes further to deepen the understanding of geological systems and stresses the need for more study on geological heritage using such a global and broad systems approach.

  20. Lithospheric Thermal Isostasy of North Continental Margin of the South China Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Shi; Zhang Jian; Sun Yujun; Shi Yaolin

    2009-01-01

    Accompanied with rifting and detaching of the north continental margin of the South China Sea,the ernst and the lithosphere become thinner away from the continental margin resulting from the tectonic activities,such as tensile deformation,thermal uplift,and cooling subsidence,etc..Integrated with thermal,gravimetric,and isostatic analysis techniques,based on the seismic interpretation of the deep penetration seismic soundings across the northern margin of the South China Sea,we reconstructed the lithospheric thermal structure and derived the variation of the crust boundary in the east and west parts of the seismic profde by using gravity anomaly data.We mainly studied the thermal isostasy problems using the bathymetry of the profiles and calculated the crust thinning effect due to the thermal variety in the rifting process.The results Indicate that the thermal isostasy may reach 2.5 kin,and the compositional variations in the ilthospheric density and thickness may produce a variation of 4.0 kin.Therefore,the compositional isostatic correction is very important to recover the relationship between surface heat flow and topography.Moreover,because of the high heat flow characteristic of the continental margin,building the model of lithospheric geotherm in this region is of great importan for studying the Cenozoic tectonic thermal evolution of the north passive continental margin of the South China Sea.

  1. Numerical modeling of the development of southeastern Red Sea continental margin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sunil Kumar Dwivedi; Daigoro Hayashi

    2009-01-01

    The Red Sea continental margin (RSCM) corresponds to a wide hinge zone between Red Sea and Arabian plate. This margin has been studied through geological and geophysical observations primarily in regard to the evolution of Red Sea rift. This margin is characterized by occurrence of thin sediments, significant onshore uplift, tectonic subsidence of the offshore sedimentary basin, active faulting and seismicity. Studies indicate that sedimentary sequences of the margin are deformed by faults and folds resulting from at least two phases of extension and a phase of uplift. During the two phases of extension due to regional plate stress the sequence was cut by set of extensional faults. While during the phase of uplift the sequence was deformed by folding and faulting. The present paper aims to clear the structural development of RSCM during these tectonic episodes, taken as particular tectonic event, by two-dimensional finite element modeling on plane strain condition. Elastic rheology is assumed for the oceanic, continental and transitional crust along with syntectonic deposits. Stress field, shear stress and fault distribution suggests that mantle plume weakened the crust following rifting due to regional stress and developed the margin. These results are well consistent with those from present seismicity, active faulting and neotec-tonic studies.

  2. Crustal thinning and tectonic geomorphology: redefining the passive margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redfield, T.; Osmundsen, P. T.

    2012-04-01

    engendered by isostatically-induced flexure. Fault reactivation in the inner proximal margin may contribute to stabilize the location of the escarpment over time at sharply tapering margins. In this model the principal driver behind accomodation is the shifting of loads that commenced during the main phases of rifting and that has continued to present day.

  3. Slip history of the La Cruz fault: Development of a late Miocene transform in response to increased rift obliquity in the northern Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    The Gulf of California rift has accommodated oblique divergence of the Pacific and North America plates in northwestern México since Miocene time. Due to its infancy, its rifted margins preserve a rare onshore record of early continental break-up processes and an opportunity to investigate the role of rift obliquity in strain localization. We map rift-related structures and syn-tectonic basins on southern Isla Tiburón, a proximal onshore exposure of the rifted North America margin. We integrate analysis and geochronology of syn-tectonic sedimentary basins and mapping of crosscutting relationships to characterize the style and timing of fault activity. On southern Isla Tiburón, an early phase of extension initiated between 19-17 Ma and 12.2 Ma. Subsequently, these normal faults and related basins were cut by the La Cruz strike-slip fault and buried by deposits of the La Cruz basin, an elongate, fault-controlled trough coextensive with the La Cruz fault. Crosscutting relationships show that the NW-striking La Cruz fault accrued 5 ± 2 km of dextral slip 8-4 Ma. The La Cruz fault and parallel Tiburón transform were kinematically linked to detachment faulting that accommodated latest Miocene to Pliocene oblique opening of the offshore Upper Tiburón pull-apart basin. The onset of strike-slip faulting on Isla Tiburón was synchronous with the 8-6 Ma onset of transform faulting and basin formation along > 1000 km of the reconstructed Pacific-North America plate boundary. This transition coincides with the commencement of a clockwise azimuthal shift in Pacific-North America relative plate motion that increased the obliquity of the Gulf of California rift and formed the Gulf of California shear zone. The record from the proto-Gulf of California illustrates how highly oblique rift geometries, where transform faults are kinematically linked to pull-apart basins, enhance the ability of continental lithosphere to rupture and, ultimately, hasten the formation of new oceanic

  4. Masculinity at the margins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Sune Qvotrup

    2010-01-01

    This article analyses how young marginalized ethnic minority men in Denmark react to the othering they are subject to in the media as well as in the social arenas of every day life. The article is based on theoretically informed ethnographic fieldwork among such young men as well as interviews an...

  5. From Borders to Margins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parker, Noel

    2009-01-01

    upon Deleuze's philosophy to set out an ontology in which the continual reformulation of entities in play in ‘post-international' society can be grasped.  This entails a strategic shift from speaking about the ‘borders' between sovereign states to referring instead to the ‘margins' between a plethora...

  6. Marginally Deformed Starobinsky Gravity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Codello, A.; Joergensen, J.; Sannino, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    We show that quantum-induced marginal deformations of the Starobinsky gravitational action of the form $R^{2(1 -\\alpha)}$, with $R$ the Ricci scalar and $\\alpha$ a positive parameter, smaller than one half, can account for the recent experimental observations by BICEP2 of primordial tensor modes....

  7. "We call ourselves marginalized"

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Nanna Jordt

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, indigenous knowledge has been added to the environmental education agenda in an attempt to address the marginalization of non-western perspectives. While these efforts are necessary, the debate is often framed in terms of a discourse of victimization that overlooks the agency o...

  8. Late Permian basalts in the northwestern margin of the Emeishan Large Igneous Province: Implications for the origin of the Songpan-Ganzi terrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongbo; Zhang, Zhaochong; Santosh, M.; LÜ, Linsu; Han, Liu; Liu, Wei; Cheng, Zhiguo

    2016-07-01

    SHRIMP zircon U-Pb ages, geochemical and Sr-Nd isotopic data are reported for two types of basalts (Type I and Type II) from a Permian volcanic-pyroclastic succession in the Tubagou section, Baoxing area along the southeastern margin of the Songpan-Ganzi terrane (SGT) in the Sichuan province of SW China. Zircons from the uppermost basaltic flows yield crystallization age of 257.3 ± 2.0 Ma, which may represent the time of culmination the basaltic eruption. Type I shows alkaline affinity with εNd(t) values of + 2.4 to + 2.9, and is characterized by oceanic island basalt (OIB)-type light rare earth element (LREE) and trace-element patterns. In contrast, Type II rocks are tholeiitic, and close to initial rift tholeiite (IRT)-like REE and trace element patterns, and are relatively depleted in highly incompatible elements with slightly negative Nb-Ta anomaly. The εNd(t) values of Type II are between + 1.8 to + 2.2. The geochemical characteristics suggest the Type I has not been significantly crustally contaminated, whereas Type II maybe have experienced minor crustal contamination. Clinopyroxene crystallization temperature is ~ 80-120°C higher than that of the normal asthenospheric mantle, implying anomalous thermal input from mantle source and a possible plume-head origin for the Tubagou lava. The geochemical and isotopic fes, reflecting progressive lithosphere thinning probably through plume-lithosphere interaction. The spatial and temporal coincidence between the Dashibao basalt eruptions, reflecting progressive lithosphere thinning probably through plume-lithosphere interaction. The spatial and temporal coincidence between the Dashibao basalt eruption and continental rifting suggest that continental break-up and the opening of an extensional basin was probably related to the Late Permian Emeishan plume, which triggered the breakup between the SGT and the Yangtze craton.

  9. The Ni-Cu-PGE mineralized Brejo Seco mafic-ultramafic layered intrusion, Riacho do Pontal Orogen: Onset of Tonian (ca. 900 Ma) continental rifting in Northeast Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado, Silas Santos; Ferreira Filho, Cesar Fonseca; Caxito, Fabrício de Andrade; Uhlein, Alexandre; Dantas, Elton Luiz; Stevenson, Ross

    2016-10-01

    The Brejo Seco mafic-ultramafic Complex (BSC) occurs at the extreme northwest of the Riacho do Pontal Orogen Internal Zone, in the northern margin of the São Francisco Craton in Northeast Brazil. The stratigraphy of this medium size (3.5 km wide and 9 km long) layered intrusion consists of four main zones, from bottom to top: Lower Mafic Zone (LMZ; mainly troctolite), Ultramafic Zone (UZ; mainly dunite and minor troctolite); Transitional Mafic Zone (TMZ; mainly troctolite) and an Upper Mafic Zone (UMZ; gabbro and minor anorthosite, troctolite, and ilmenite magnetitite). Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization occurs at the contact of the UZ with the TMZ, consisting of an up to 50 m thick stratabound zone of disseminated magmatic sulfides. An Mg-tholeiitic affinity to the parental magma is indicated by the geochemical fractionation pattern, by the magmatic crystallization sequence and by the elevated Fo content in olivine. A Smsbnd Nd isochron yielded an age of 903 ± 20 Ma, interpreted as the age of crystallization, with initial εNd = 0.8. Evidence of interaction of the BSC parental magma with sialic crust is given by the Rare Earth and trace element patterns, and by slightly negative and overall low values of εNd(900 Ma) in between -0.2 and +3.3. Contrary to early interpretations that it might constitute an ophiolite complex, based mainly on the geochemistry of the host rocks (Morro Branco metavolcanosedimentary complex), here we interpret the BSC as a typical layered mafic-ultramafic intrusion in continental crust, related to an extensional regime. The BSC is chrono-correlated to mafic dyke swarms, anorogenic granites and thick bimodal volcanics of similar age and tectonic setting in the São Francisco Craton and surrounding areas. Intrusion of the BSC was followed by continued lithospheric thinning, which led to the development of the Paulistana Complex continental rift volcanics around 888 Ma and ultimately to plate separation and the generation of new oceanic crust (Monte

  10. Thermal history and evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in northern Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menges, Daniel; Karl, Markus; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton

    2013-04-01

    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 (Coward and Daly 1984, Daly et al. 1991), and the deposition of the Nama Group sediments and the Karoo megasequence. The lithostratigraphic units consist of Proterozoic and Cambrian metamorphosed rocks with ages of 534 (7) Ma to 481 (25) Ma (Miller 1983, Haack 1983), as well as Mesozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks. The Early Jurassic Karoo flood basalt lavas erupted rapidly at 183 (1) Ma (Duncan et al. 1997). 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 (Renne et al. 1992, Milner et al. 1995, Stewart et al. 1996, Turner et al. 1996). The "passive" continental margin in northern Namibia is a perfect location to quantify exhumation and uplift rates, model the long-term landscape evolution and provide information on the influence of mantle processes on a longer time scale. The poster will provide first information on the long-term landscape evolution and thermochronological data. References Coward, M. P. and Daly, M. C., 1984. Crustal lineaments and shear zones in Africa: Their relationships to plate movements, Precambrian Research 24: 27-45. Duncan, R., Hooper, P., Rehacek, J., March, J. and Duncan, A. (1997). The timing and duration of the Karoo igneous event, southern Gondwana, Journal of Geophysical Research 102: 18127-18138. Haack, U., 1983. Reconstruction of the cooling history of the Damara Orogen by correlation of radiometric ages with geography and altitude, in H. Martin and F. W. Eder (eds), Intracontinental fold belts, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 837-884. Miller, R. M., 1983. Evolution of the Damara Orogen, Vol. 11, Geological Society, South Africa Spec. Pub.. Milner, S. C., le Roex, A. P. and O'Connor, J. M., 1995. Age of Mesozoic igneous rocks in

  11. Groundwater fluoride enrichment in an active rift setting: Central Kenya Rift case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olaka, Lydia A., E-mail: lydiaolaka@gmail.com [Department of Geology, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 30197, Nairobi (Kenya); Wilke, Franziska D.H. [Geoforschungs Zentrum, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam (Germany); Olago, Daniel O.; Odada, Eric O. [Department of Geology, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 30197, Nairobi (Kenya); Mulch, Andreas [Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt (Germany); Institut für Geowissenschaften, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Altenhöferallee 1, 60438 Frankfurt (Germany); Musolff, Andreas [UFZ-Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Hydrogeology, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig (Germany)

    2016-03-01

    Groundwater is used extensively in the Central Kenya Rift for domestic and agricultural demands. In these active rift settings groundwater can exhibit high fluoride levels. In order to address water security and reduce human exposure to high fluoride in drinking water, knowledge of the source and geochemical processes of enrichment are required. A study was therefore carried out within the Naivasha catchment (Kenya) to understand the genesis, enrichment and seasonal variations of fluoride in the groundwater. Rocks, rain, surface and groundwater sources were sampled for hydrogeochemical and isotopic investigations, the data was statistically and geospatially analyzed. Water sources have variable fluoride concentrations between 0.02–75 mg/L. 73% exceed the health limit (1.5 mg/L) in both dry and wet seasons. F{sup −} concentrations in rivers are lower (0.2–9.2 mg/L) than groundwater (0.09 to 43.6 mg/L) while saline lake waters have the highest concentrations (0.27–75 mg/L). The higher values are confined to elevations below 2000 masl. Oxygen (δ{sup 18}O) and hydrogen (δD) isotopic values range from − 6.2 to + 5.8‰ and − 31.3 to + 33.3‰, respectively, they are also highly variable in the rift floor where they attain maximum values. Fluoride base levels in the precursor vitreous volcanic rocks are higher (between 3750–6000 ppm) in minerals such as cordierite and muscovite while secondary minerals like illite and kaolinite have lower remnant fluoride (< 1000 ppm). Thus, geochemical F{sup −} enrichment in regional groundwater is mainly due to a) rock alteration, i.e. through long residence times and natural discharge and/or enhanced leakages of deep seated geothermal water reservoirs, b) secondary concentration fortification of natural reservoirs through evaporation, through reduced recharge and/or enhanced abstraction and c) through additional enrichment of fluoride after volcanic emissions. The findings are useful to help improve water management

  12. Mesozoic evolution of northeast African shelf margin, Libya and Egypt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aadland, R.K.; Schamel, S.

    1989-03-01

    The present tectonic features of the northeast African shelf margin between the Nile delta and the Gulf of Sirte are products of (1) precursory late Paleozoic basement arches, (2) early Mesozoic rifting and plate separation, and (3) Late Cretaceous structural inversion. The 250 km-wide and highly differentiated Mesozoic passive margin in the Western Desert region of Egypt is developed above a broad northwest-trending Late Carboniferous basement arch. In northeastern Libya, in contrast, the passive margin is restricted to just the northernmost Cyrenaica platform, where subsidence was extremely rapid in the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. The boundary between the Western Desert basin and the Cyrenaica platform is controlled by the western flank of the basement arch. In the middle Cretaceous (100-90 Ma), subsidence accelerated over large areas of the Western desert, further enhancing a pattern of east-west-trending subbasins. This phase of rapid subsidence was abruptly ended about 80 Ma by the onset of structural inversion that uplifted the northern Cyrenaica shelf margin and further differentiated the Western Desert subbasin along a northeasterly trend.

  13. Rifting and lower crustal reflectivity: A case study of the intracratonic Dniepr-Donets rift zone, Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyngsie, Stig B.; Thybo, Hans; Lang, Rasmus

    2007-12-01

    Intracratonic rifting, caused by late Devonian extensional stresses in the East European Craton, created the largest rift zone in Europe, the Pripyat-Dniepr-Donets rift (southeast Ukraine). The rift basin is approximately 2000 km long, up to 170 km wide, and 22 km deep. Wide-angle refraction and reflection seismic data from the Donbas Basin deep seismic Refraction and Reflection Experiments (DOBRE'99) project together with gravity and magnetic data are analyzed for the structure and evolution of the Donbas Fold Belt, which is the uplifted and deformed part of the Dniepr-Donets Basin. The seismic data are used for identification of large-scale crustal structures and modeling of the seismic velocities of the crust and uppermost mantle. A ray-trace-based velocity and density model is derived by joint inversion of gravity and traveltime data. The inversion result reveals a zone of high density and velocity beneath the basin at middle to lower crustal levels, slightly offset to the NE of the rift axis. Full waveform synthetic seismograms, matching the observed data, show high-amplitude and low-frequency arrivals from this high-density body as well as from the Moho. We interpret the high-amplitude, low-frequency signals as reflections from layered magmatic rocks, which intruded into the ductile lower crust during the main rift phase and subsequently were sorted by fractional crystallization. The intrusive material thickened the lower crust by approximately 50%. This may explain the enigmatic flat Moho topography across the rift zone which has been significantly stretched (β = 1.3). The rifting initiated in the late Devonian (Frasnien) as a consequence of back-arc extension in relation to subduction of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. The subducting oceanic slab may have enriched the mantle with volatiles and created convection, leading to strong partial melting, upwelling, and continued rifting in the Famennien. We interpret the asymmetrical rift geometry as a combination of

  14. Hierarchical segmentation of the Malawi Rift: The influence of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity and kinematics in the evolution of continental rifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laó-Dávila, Daniel A.; Al-Salmi, Haifa S.; Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.; Atekwana, Estella A.

    2015-12-01

    We used detailed analysis of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission-digital elevation model and observations from aeromagnetic data to examine the influence of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity and kinematics in the segmentation of largely amagmatic continental rifts. We focused on the Cenozoic Malawi Rift, which represents the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. This north trending rift traverses Precambrian and Paleozoic-Mesozoic structures of different orientations. We found that the rift can be hierarchically divided into first-order and second-order segments. In the first-order segmentation, we divided the rift into Northern, Central, and Southern sections. In its Northern Section, the rift follows Paleoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic terrains with structural grain that favored the localization of extension within well-developed border faults. The Central Section occurs within Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic terrain with regional structures oblique to the rift extent. We propose that the lack of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity favoring extension localization resulted in the development of the rift in this section as a shallow graben with undeveloped border faults. In the Southern Section, Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic rocks were reactivated and developed the border faults. In the second-order segmentation, only observed in the Northern Section, we divided the section into five segments that approximate four half-grabens/asymmetrical grabens with alternating polarities. The change of polarity coincides with flip-over full-grabens occurring within overlap zones associated with ~150 km long alternating border faults segments. The inherited lithospheric heterogeneity played the major role in facilitating the segmentation of the Malawi Rift during its opening resulting from extension.

  15. Tracing the thermal evolution of the Corsican lower crust during Tethyan rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Nikki M.; Stockli, Daniel F.; Beltrando, Marco; Smye, Andrew J.

    2016-10-01

    Continental rifting requires thinning the continental lithosphere from 120 km to processes which each impart a characteristic thermal signature to the extending lithosphere. Here high-resolution thermochronology is used to trace the synrift thermal evolution within a lower crustal section of an upper plate hyperextended margin sampled in Corsica. Novel zircon, rutile, and apatite 206Pb/238U depth profiling coupled with garnet trace element diffusion modeling provide compelling evidence for rift-related crustal reheating. A Jurassic thermal pulse is recorded in the footwall of the Belli Piani Shear Zone (BPSZ), where 200-180 Ma zircon 206Pb/238U overgrowth ages on Permian core populations and the preservation of stranded diffusion profiles in resorbed garnets implies the dominant footwall fabric formed as a result of high-temperature (T 800°C) ductile thinning of the lower crust. Conductive reheating of middle crustal rocks in the immediate BPSZ hanging wall, demonstrated by Jurassic apatite 206Pb/238U ages, was likely achieved by synkinematic juxtaposition against the hot footwall and wholesale conductive steepening of geothermal gradients. Subsequent rapid cooling from 180 to 160 Ma, coeval with extensional unroofing of the footwall, underscores the importance of extreme ductile thinning during crustal hyperextension. The results of this study suggest that early lithospheric-scale depth-dependent thinning follows an early phase of diffuse rifting and tectonic subsidence and triggers crustal reheating during early hyperextension. Continued extension results in rapid exhumation and cooling of the lower crust, extreme crustal attenuation, and mantle exhumation followed by relaxation to a steady state thermal field coeval with the start of seafloor spreading.

  16. Structural pattern at the northwestern sector of the Tepic-Zacoalco rift and tectonic implications for the Jalisco block, western Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime; González-Morán, Tomás

    2006-10-01

    Analysis of the aeromagnetic anomalies over the northwestern sector of the Tepic-Zacoalco rift documents a NE-SW pattern of lineaments that are perpendicular to the inferred NW-SE boundary between the Jalisco block and the Sierra Madre Occidental. The boundary lies within the central sector of the Tepic-Zacoalco rift immediately north of the Ceboruco and Tepetiltic stratovolcanoes and extends up to the San Juan stratovolcano, where it intersects the NE-SW magnetic anomaly lineament that runs toward the Pacific coast (which intersects two volcanic centers). This N35°E lineament separates the central rift zone of low amplitude mainly negative anomalies (except those positive anomalies over the stratovolcanoes) from the zone to the north and west characterized by high amplitude positive long wavelength anomalies. The NE-SW lineament is parallel to the western sector of the Ameca graben and the offshore Bahia de Banderas graben and to the structural features of the Punta Mita peninsula at the Pacific coast, and thus seems to form part of a regional NE-SW pattern oblique to the proposed westward or northwestward motion of the Jalisco block. The orientation of this regional structural pattern at the northern end of the Tepic-Zacoalco rift seems consistent with proposed dominant SW-directed extension along the rift during the Pliocene and Quaternary, rather than with NW-SE lateral strike-slip faulting. The orthogonal pattern that characterizes the northernmost boundary of the Tepic-Zacoalco rift is oblique to the pattern observed in the Grande de Santiago river (which conforms the northern limit of the rift) and for the central-eastern sectors of the Ameca graben (south of the rift). This spatial arrangement of major lineaments and structural elements points to a complex tectonic history for the region that includes the rifting of the Gulf of California and margin deformation due to plate convergence and kinematic re-organization events, and which may have resulted in

  17. Multiple uplift phases inferred from the Southwest African Atlantic margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Cacace, Mauro; Dressel, Ingo

    2015-04-01

    The South Atlantic basins offshore Namibia and South Africa stored more than 10 km thick sedimentary successions that are separated by major unconformities into several sequences. These sedimentary units rest on a thinned continental crust of a magmatic passive margin. Using a 3D forward modelling approach considering flexural compensation of a rheologically differentiated lithosphere in response to sedimentary loading after stretching on one hand and the thermal feed-back between cooling of the stretched lithosphere and insulating sediments on the other hand we derive quantitative estimates on how vertical movements have influenced the margin after stretching. The approach combines the consideration of observations on sediment configuration as well as on crustal thickness (ß-factor) with the process of lithosphere thinning and subsequent thermal re-equilibration. These estimates are conservative estimates as they are based on the preserved sediments only whereas eroded sediments are not considered. Nevertheless, the approach considers thermo-mechanical coupling in 3D and both initial conditions as well as sedimentary history are constrained by observations. Specific effects include the delayed thermal re-equilibration of the thinned lithosphere due to deposition of insulating sediments and the related thermal feedback on lithosphere rheology and therefore on the flexural response to sediment loading. Our results indicate that in addition to predominantly continuous subsidence also phases of uplift have affected the southwestern African margin during the syn-rift and post-rift evolution. The spatio-temporal variation of vertical movements is controlled by the amount of initial thinning of the lithosphere, the variation of rheological characteristics (lithology and temperature) but also by the distribution of sediment supply (loading and thermal insulation).

  18. Active transcurrent fault system along the north African passive margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Nur, Amos; Giuseppe, Cello

    1987-09-01

    Along the southern boundary of the eastern Mediterranean extends a WNW-trending narrow zone, about 1000 km long, of possible transcurrent faulting. It terminates on both sides at areas of crustal extension, the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west-northwest and the Gulf of Suez on the east-southeast. From the southern Tyrrhenian Sea the fault zone runs through the Strait of Sicily rift zone, the Ionian Sea, the base of the continental margin of eastern Lybia and western Egypt, into the land area through the apex of the Nile Delta and eventually into the Gulf of Suez. Studies of the fault pattern in the Strait of Sicily indicate that the rifting processes there are associated with a major dextral shear zone. Right-lateral movement is also consistent with the deformation along the southeastern extension of the fault zone: i.e., the sense of offset of a series of bathymetric depressions located along the base of the continental margin of eastern Lybia and western Egypt which we interpret as pull-apart basins formed by transcurrent faulting. Crustal structure may play an important role in controlling the location of the fault zone. On both ends, adjacent to the zones of crustal extension in the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Suez, the fault is located within a continental crust, in the Strait of Sicily and in northern Egypt. In between, in the Ionian Sea and at the base of the continental margin of eastern Lybia and western Egypt, it is located in between provinces of continental crust on the south and oceanic crust on the north.

  19. Structural style and tectonic evolution of the easternmost Gulf of Aden conjugate margins (Socotra - Southern Oman)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonn, Chloe; Leroy, Sylvie; Castilla, Raymi; de Clarens, Philippe; Lescanne, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Observations from distal rifted margins in present day magma-poor rifted margins led to the discovery of hyperextended crust and exhumed sub-continental mantle. This finding allowed to better figure out how thinning process are accommodate by tectonic structures, forming various crustal domains, as the deformation localized towards the future area of breakup. However, some of the current challenges are about clarifying how factors as oblique kinematic, pre-existing structures and volcanism can control the 3D geometry and crustal architecture of the passive margins? A key to better understand the rifting evolution in its entirety is to study conjugate margins. The gulf of Aden is a young oceanic basin (with a global trend about N75°E) oblique to the divergence (about 30°N), separating Arabia from Somalia of less than 800 km. Thanks to its immerged margins and its thin post-rift sediment cover, the gulf of Aden basin is a natural laboratory to investigate conjugate margins and strain localisation throughout the rift history. In this contribution, we focus our interest on offshore Socotra Island (Yemen) and its conjugate in Southeastern Oman. This area extends from Socotra-Hadbeen (SHFZ) and the eastern Gulf of Aden fault zones (EGAFZ). In the easternmost part of the gulf of Aden, we provide new insights into crustal deformation and emplacement of the new oceanic crust thanks to bathymetric, magnetic, gravimetric data and single-, multi-channel, high speed seismic reflection data collected during Encens-Sheba (2000), Encens (2006) and the more recent Marges-Aden (2012) cruises respectively. The results obtained after compilation of these data, previous geological (field works) and geophysical (receiver functions, Pn-tomography, magnetic anomalies, heat flow) studies on the focused area, allowed us to provide new structural mapping and stratigraphic correlation between onshore and offshore parts of Socotra and Oman margins. We precisely defined and map crustal

  20. Seismic hazard assessment of the Kivu rift segment based on a new sismo-tectonic zonation model (Western Branch of the East African Rift system)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havenith, Hans-Balder; Delvaux, Damien

    2015-04-01

    In the frame of the Belgian GeoRisCA multi-risk assessment project focused on the Kivu and Northern Tanganyika Region, a seismic hazard map has been produced for this area. It is based on a on a recently re-compiled catalogue using various local and global earthquake catalogues. The use of macroseismic epicenters determined from felt earthquakes allowed to extend the time-range back to the beginning of the 20th century, thus spanning about 100 years. The magnitudes have been homogenized to Mw and the coherence of the catalogue has been checked and validated. The seismo-tectonic zonation includes 10 seismic source areas that have been defined on the basis of the regional geological structure, neotectonic fault systems, basin architecture and distribution of earthquake epicenters. The seismic catalogue was filtered by removing obvious aftershocks and Gutenberg-Richter Laws were determined for each zone. On the basis of this seismo-tectonic information and existing attenuation laws that had been established by Twesigomwe (1997) and Mavonga et al. (2007) for this area, seismic hazard has been computed with the Crisis 2012 (Ordaz et al., 2012) software. The outputs of this assessment clearly show higher PGA values (for 475 years return period) along the Rift than the previous estimates by Twesigomwe (1997) and Mavonga (2007) while the same attenuation laws had been used. The main reason for these higher PGA values is likely to be related to the more detailed zonation of the Rift structure marked by a strong gradient of the seismicity from outside the rift zone to the inside. Mavonga, T. (2007). An estimate of the attenuation relationship for the strong ground motion in the Kivu Province, Western Rift Valley of Africa. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 62, 13-21. Ordaz M, Martinelli F, Aguilar A, Arboleda J, Meletti C, D'Amico V. (2012). CRISIS 2012, Program for computing seismic hazard. Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de M

  1. Tectonic Framework of the Kachchh Rift Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talwani, P.; Gangopadhyay, A. K.

    2001-05-01

    Evaluation of available geological data has allowed us to determine the tectonic framework of the Kachchh rift basin (KRB), the host to the 1819 Kachchh (MW 7.8), 1956 Anjar ( M 6.0) and the recent January 26, 2001 Bhachau (MW 7.6) earthquakes. The ~ 500 km x 200 km east-west trending KRB was formed during the Mesozoic following the break-up of Gondwanaland. It is bounded to the north and south by the Nagar Parkar and Kathiawar faults which separate it from the Precambrian granitic rocks of the Indian craton. The eastern border is the Radanpur-Barmer arch (defined by an elongate belt of gravity highs) which separates it from the early Cretaceous Cambay rift basin. KRB extends ~ 150 km offshore to its western boundary, the continental shelf. Following India's collision with Eurasia, starting ~ 50 MY ago, there was a stress reversal, from an extensional to the (currently N-S) compressional regime. Various geological observations attest to continuous tectonic activity within the KRB. Mesozoic sediments were uplifted and folded and then intruded by Deccan trap basalt flows in late Cretaceous. Other evidence of continuous tectonic activity include seismically induced soft sediment deformation features in the Upper Jurassic Katrol formation on the Kachchh Mainland and in the Holocene sequences in the Great Rann. Pleistocene faulting in the fluvial sequence along the Mahi River (in the bordering Cambay rift) and minor uplift during late Quaternary at Nal Sarovar, prehistoric and historic seismicity associated with surface deformation further attest to ongoing tectonic activity. KRB has responded to N-S compressional stress regime by the formation of east-west trending folds associated with Allah Bund, Kachchh Mainland, Banni, Vigodi, Katrol Hills and Wagad faults. The Allah Bund, Katrol Hill and Kachchh Mainland faults were associated with the 1819, 1956 and 2001 earthquakes. Northeast trending Median High, Bhuj fault and Rajkot-Lathi lineament cut across the east

  2. Biogeochemistry of Kenyan Rift Valley Lake Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grewe, Sina; Kallmeyer, Jens

    2013-04-01

    The numerous lakes in the Kenyan Rift Valley show strong hydrochemical differences due to their varying geologic settings. There are freshwater lakes with a low alkalinity like Lake Naivasha on the one hand and very salt-rich lakes with high pH values like Lake Logipi on the other. It is known that the underlying lake sediments are influenced by the lake chemistry and by the microorganisms in the sediment. The aim of this work is to provide a biogeochemical characterization of the lake sediments and to use these data to identify the mechanisms that control lake chemistry and to reconstruct the biogeochemical evolution of each lake. The examined rift lakes were Lakes Logipi and Eight in the Suguta Valley, Lakes Baringo and Bogoria south of the valley, as well as Lakes Naivasha, Oloiden, and Sonachi on the Kenyan Dome. The porewater was analysed for different ions and hydrogen sulphide. Additionally, alkalinity and salinity of the lake water were determined as well as the cell numbers in the sediment, using fluorescent microscopy. The results of the porewater analysis show that the overall chemistry differs considerably between the lakes. In some lakes, concentrations of fluoride, chloride, sulphate, and/or hydrogen sulphide show strong concentration gradients with depth, whereas in other lakes the concentrations show only minor variations. Fluoride is present in all lakes; the lowest concentration is found in Lake Oloiden (60 - 90 mg/l), the highest one in Lake Bogoria (1,025 - 1,930 mg/l). The lakes show also large differences in sulphate concentrations. The values vary between 2 mg/l in Lake Baringo and 15,250 mg/l in Lake Eight. In all cores, sulphate concentration does not change significantly with depth; however, there is a distinct peak in each core, raising the question of synchronicity. As expected, chloride concentrations correlate with total salinity. There is no hydrogen sulphide present in the porewater of Lakes Naivasha, Baringo, and Oloiden, whereas in

  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. The 1996 Mw 6.6 Lijiang earthquake: Application of JERS-1 SAR interferometry on a typical normal-faulting event in the northwestern Yunnan rift zone, SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Lingyun; Wang, Qingliang; Xu, Jing; Feng, Jiangang

    2017-09-01

    The northwestern Yunnan rift zone in the Yunnan Province of China is a seismically active region located along the western boundary of the Sichuan-Yunnan Block on the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 (Mw) occurred in this region on February 3, 1996. The Lijiang earthquake was the largest normal-faulting event to occur along the western boundary of the Sichuan-Yunnan Block in the last 40 years. In this study, we used L-band JERS-1 (Japanese Earth Resources Satellite-1) SAR data sets from two descending orbits to detect surface deformation signals surrounding the epicentral region in order to estimate the source parameters through an inversion of the displacement fields. The results indicated that the earthquake can be explained by slip along two segments of the ∼N-S trending listric normal fault, named the Lijiang-Daju fault. Coseismic deformation patterns and slip distributions revealed that the earthquake consisted of two sub-events, which were also suggested by seismological results. Based on an analysis of the static Coulomb stress change, the second sub-event was likely triggered by the first sub-event. The central segment of the Lijiang-Daju fault, which has an eastward-convex geometry, did not rupture during the earthquake. This phenomenon was probably related to a geometrical discontinuity at the fault-bend area of the Lijiang-Daju fault.

  5. Masculinity at the margins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Sune Qvotrup

    2010-01-01

    of critique although in a masculinist way. These reactions to othering represent a challenge to researchers interested in intersectionality and gender, because gender is reproduced as a hierarchical form of social differentiation at the same time as racism is both reproduced and resisted.......This article analyses how young marginalized ethnic minority men in Denmark react to the othering they are subject to in the media as well as in the social arenas of every day life. The article is based on theoretically informed ethnographic fieldwork among such young men as well as interviews...... and other types of material. Taking the concepts of othering, intersectionality and marginality as point of departure the article analyses how these young men experience othering and how they react to it. One type of reaction, described as stylization, relies on accentuating the latently positive symbolic...

  6. Actively stressed marginal networks

    CERN Document Server

    Sheinman, M; MacKintosh, F C

    2012-01-01

    We study the effects of motor-generated stresses in disordered three dimensional fiber networks using a combination of a mean-field, effective medium theory, scaling analysis and a computational model. We find that motor activity controls the elasticity in an anomalous fashion close to the point of marginal stability by coupling to critical network fluctuations. We also show that motor stresses can stabilize initially floppy networks, extending the range of critical behavior to a broad regime of network connectivities below the marginal point. Away from this regime, or at high stress, motors give rise to a linear increase in stiffness with stress. Finally, we demonstrate that our results are captured by a simple, constitutive scaling relation highlighting the important role of non-affine strain fluctuations as a susceptibility to motor stress.

  7. Actively stressed marginal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheinman, M; Broedersz, C P; MacKintosh, F C

    2012-12-07

    We study the effects of motor-generated stresses in disordered three-dimensional fiber networks using a combination of a mean-field theory, scaling analysis, and a computational model. We find that motor activity controls the elasticity in an anomalous fashion close to the point of marginal stability by coupling to critical network fluctuations. We also show that motor stresses can stabilize initially floppy networks, extending the range of critical behavior to a broad regime of network connectivities below the marginal point. Away from this regime, or at high stress, motors give rise to a linear increase in stiffness with stress. Finally, we demonstrate that our results are captured by a simple, constitutive scaling relation highlighting the important role of nonaffine strain fluctuations as a susceptibility to motor stress.

  8. Rift Valley fever: the Nigerian story

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adewale A. Adeyeye

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Rift Valley fever (RVF is an arthropod-borne zoonotic disease of livestock. It is characterised by fever, salivation, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, mucopurulent to bloody nasal discharge, abortion, rapid decrease in milk production and death in animals. Infected humans experience an influenza-like illness that is characterised by fever, malaise, headaches, nausea and epigastric pain followed by recovery, although mortality can occur. RVF was thought to be a disease of sub-Saharan Africa but with the outbreaks in Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, it may be extending its range further afield. Virological and serological evidence indicates that the virus exists in Nigeria and, with the warning signal sent by international organisations to countries in Africa about an impending outbreak, co-ordinated research between veterinarians and physicians in Nigeria is advocated.

  9. An epidemiological model of Rift Valley fever

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole P. Leahy

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available We present and explore a novel mathematical model of the epidemiology of Rift Valley Fever (RVF. RVF is an Old World, mosquito-borne disease affecting both livestock and humans. The model is an ordinary differential equation model for two populations of mosquito species, those that can transmit vertically and those that cannot, and for one livestock population. We analyze the model to find the stability of the disease-free equlibrium and test which model parameters affect this stability most significantly. This model is the basis for future research into the predication of future outbreaks in the Old World and the assessment of the threat of introduction into the New World.

  10. Volume estimation of rift-related magmatic features using seismic interpretation and 3D inversion of gravity data on the Guinea Plateau, West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kardell, Dominik A.

    The two end-member concept of mantle plume-driven versus far field stress-driven continental rifting anticipates high volumes of magma emplaced close to the rift-initiating plume, whereas relatively low magmatic volumes are predicted at large distances from the plume where the rifting is thought to be driven by far field stresses. We test this concept at the Guinea Plateau, which represents the last area of separation between Africa and South America, by investigating for rift-related volumes of magmatism using borehole, 3D seismic, and gravity data to run structural 3D inversions in two different data areas. Despite our interpretation of igneous rocks spanning large areas of continental shelf covered by the available seismic surveys, the calculated volumes in the Guinea Plateau barely match the magmatic volumes of other magma-poor margins and thus endorse the aforementioned concept. While the volcanic units on the shelf seem to be characterized more dominantly by horizontally deposited extrusive volcanic flows distributed over larger areas, numerous paleo-seamounts pierce complexly deformed pre and syn-rift sedimentary units on the slope. As non-uniqueness is an omnipresent issue when using potential field data to model geologic features, our method faced some challenges in the areas exhibiting complicated geology. In this situation less rigid constraints were applied in the modeling process. The misfit issues were successfully addressed by filtering the frequency content of the gravity data according to the depth of the investigated geology. In this work, we classify and compare our volume estimates for rift-related magmatism between the Guinea Fracture Zone (FZ) and the Saint Paul's FZ while presenting the refinements applied to our modeling technique.

  11. Aulacogens, the Donets Basin (Eastern Ukraine, Southwestern Russia, and the new classification of rifts: Towards a proper terminology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruban Dmitry A.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Some intra-cratonic basins are traditionally called “aulacogens”. This term has persisted in the geoscience literature since its invention by Soviet geologists in the mid-20th century before the triumph of the plate tectonics, but its meaning has evolved. Attempts to change its meaning from descriptive to genetic have led to a broad spectrum of opinions on the definition of aulacogens. Some specialists related them to continental rifts, while others have restricted aulacogens to the only particular rift systems or peculiar stages in the evolution of young cratons. The Donets Basin is a typical aulacogen stretching across the southern margin of the East European Craton. A brief review of present knowledge of this basin shows that its nature is rather incompatible with the present understanding of aulacogens. Instead, the new classification of rifts offers a more precise terminology for its exact characteristics. It is suggested that the term “aulacogen” should only be restricted to those basins for which it has been applied historically.

  12. Teleseismic body wave tomography within a highly extended continental rift: the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilon, Z.; Abers, G. A.; Jin, G.; Kim, Y.; Gaherty, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    The Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea, has been a region of westward-propagating continental extension for 6-8 Ma, grading westward from seafloor spreading to newly thinned continent. The D'Entrecasteaux Islands (DIs) lie immediately to the west of the youngest spreading centres in continental crust that has undergone 140-190 km of extension. These islands are dominated by metamorphic core complexes (MCCs) containing 5-6 Ma ultra-high pressure (UHP) coesite-eclogite exhumed at ~20 mm/yr coeval with extension. An array of 31 PASSCAL broadband seismometers and 8 broadband OBSs was installed around the region from 2010-2011 to investigate the thinned continent close to the onset of seafloor spreading. We present results of a teleseismic P- and S- wave tomography study that images the mantle beneath the rapidly extending continent. Preliminary observations include strong azimuthal dependence of differential travel times, indicating significant lateral velocity variations and inferred thermal gradients. Using Ps receiver functions and SsPmP reflections, we estimate variations in Moho depth to correct for the crustal effect on travel times. We observe large (>1s) travel time delays beneath the DIs in both P and S arrivals, while stations on the Trobriand Islands and Papuan Peninsula exhibit travel time deficits of 1-2 s. This indicates that lithosphere is thinnest beneath the DIs, along the axis of the rift, in agreement with the location of Quaternary volcanism and consistent with results from surface waves [Ge et al., AGU2013 abstract] and a previous, lower-resolution tomographic study nearby. There is also evidence for moderately thinned lithosphere in the basin immediately south of the DIs. We have previously established strong, spreading-parallel anisotropy from SKS splitting caused by mantle olivine fabric beneath the DIs and the Trobriand Platform, inferred to represent asthenospheric flow in response to rifting. Detailed tomography will reveal how thinning of

  13. Crustal structure of the Gulf of Aden southern margin: Evidence from receiver functions on Socotra Island (Yemen)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Leroy, Sylvie; Keir, Derek; Korostelev, Félicie; Khanbari, Khaled; Rolandone, Frédérique; Stuart, Graham; Obrebski, Mathias

    2014-12-01

    Breakup of continents in magma-poor setting occurs primarily by faulting and plate thinning. Spatial and temporal variations in these processes can be influenced by the pre-rift basement structure as well as by early syn-rift segmentation of the rift. In order to better understand crustal deformation and influence of pre-rift architecture on breakup we use receiver functions from teleseismic recordings from Socotra which is part of the subaerial Oligo-Miocene age southern margin of the Gulf of Aden. We determine variations in crustal thickness and elastic properties, from which we interpret the degree of extension related thinning and crustal composition. Our computed receiver functions show an average crustal thickness of ~ 28 km for central Socotra, which decreases westward along the margin to an average of ~ 21 km. In addition, the crust thins with proximity to the continent-ocean transition to ~ 16 km in the northwest. Assuming an initial pre-rift crustal thickness of 35 km (undeformed Arabian plate), we estimate a stretching factor in the range of ~ 2.1-2.4 beneath Socotra. Our results show considerable differences between the crustal structure of Socotra's eastern and western sides on either side of the Hadibo transfer zone; the east displays a clear intracrustal conversion phase and thick crust when compared with the western part. The majority of measurements across Socotra show Vp/Vs ratios of between 1.70 and 1.77 and are broadly consistent with the Vp/Vs values expected from the granitic and carbonate rock type exposed at the surface. Our results strongly suggest that intrusion of mafic rock is absent or minimal, providing evidence that mechanical thinning accommodated the majority of crustal extension. From our observations we interpret that the western part of Socotra corresponds to the necking zone of a classic magma-poor continental margin, while the eastern part corresponds to the proximal domain.

  14. Regional comparison of syn- and post-rift sequences in salt and salt-free basins offshore Brazil and Angola/Namibia, South Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strozyk, Frank; Back, Stefan; Kukla, Peter

    2015-04-01

    The large South Atlantic basins offshore South America and Africa record a highly variable syn- to post-breakup tectono-stratigraphic development. The present-day diversity in the structural and sedimentary architecture of the conjugate margins offshore southern Brazil, Namibia and Angola reflects variations in the interplay of a number of controlling factors, of which the most important are i) the structural configuration of each margin segment at the time of break-up, ii) the post break-up geodynamic history including tectonics and magmatism, and iii) variations in the type, quantity and distribution of sediment input to the respective margin segment. Particularly the basins around the Rio Grande Rise - Walvis Ridge volcanic complex show a pronounced tectono-stratigraphic asymmetry both along the respective continental margin and across the Atlantic. Only a few attempts exist to establish a regional tectono-stratigraphic correlation framework across the South Atlantic Ocean, mainly because of the lack of data across entire margin segments and limited resolution of basin wide geophysics. Still unresolved issues particularly concern the explanation of the basin-specific geological evolution of respective margin segments along the same continental margin, as well as the correlation of conjugate basins and margin segments across the Atlantic Ocean. In our study we present interpretations and first-pass restorations of regional 2D seismic-reflectivity data from the large basins offshore Brazil (Pelotas Basin, Santos Basin, Campos Basin, Espirito Santo Basin), and offshore Namibia and Angola (Walvis Basin, Namibe Basin, Benguela Basin, Kwanza Basin), which represent four adjacent pairs of conjugate basins on both sides of the South Atlantic. Results are used to document and compare on a basin-scale the contrasting styles of rift and post-rift settings during and after the continental breakup.

  15. Lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions of Southern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lekic, Vedran; French, Scott W; Fischer, Karen M

    2011-11-11

    The stretching and break-up of tectonic plates by rifting control the evolution of continents and oceans, but the processes by which lithosphere deforms and accommodates strain during rifting remain enigmatic. Using scattering of teleseismic shear waves beneath rifted zones and adjacent areas in Southern California, we resolve the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and lithospheric thickness variations to directly constrain this deformation. Substantial and laterally abrupt lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions suggests efficient strain localization. In the Salton Trough, either the mantle lithosphere has experienced more thinning than the crust, or large volumes of new lithosphere have been created. Lack of a systematic offset between surface and deep lithospheric deformation rules out simple shear along throughgoing unidirectional shallow-dipping shear zones, but is consistent with symmetric extension of the lithosphere.

  16. Seismicity near Lake Bogoria in the Kenya Rift valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Philippa; Maguire, Peter; Evans, Russ; Laffoley, Nicholas

    An analysis of a local earthquake data set from within the Kenya Rift Valley has provided constraints on the crustal structure and rheology of the Rift as a whole. A 15 station seismic network operated for three months near Lake Bogoria in the central trough of the Kenya Rift (Fig.1). The project was part of the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project of 1985 (KRISP 85). The principal aim of the network was to record local seismicity. The network covered a 20 × 20 km2 area including the southern part of Lake Bogoria and had a station spacing of approximately 5 km. This extended abstract of a forthcoming paper [P.A.V. Cooke et al.,unpublished ms.] describes activity which occurred within an area of about 70 km diameter centred on the network.

  17. SALT LAKES OF THE AFRICAN RIFT SYSTEM: A VALUABLE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    dell

    salts from lake brines as demonstrated herein have a direct industrial value addition to Tanzanian ... Table 1: Trend of brine ionic concentrations in Tanzanian rift valley lakes (Kameka 2006). ..... chemical investigative work, it is needed to.

  18. Origination and death of petroleum systems along the Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous northern Tethyan margin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Golonka, J. [Mobil Research and Development Corp., Dallas, TX (United States); Kiessling, W. [Erlangen-Nuernberg Univ., Erlangen (Germany). Inst. fuer Geologie und Mineralogie; Krobicki, M. [Academy of Mining and Metallurgy, Cracow (Poland). Inst. of Petroleum Engineering; Bocharova, N.Y. [Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation). Center for Program Studies

    1997-09-01

    Breakup of Pangea during Jurassic and Cretaceous times created a system of rifts along the northern Tethyan margin. Some of these rifts developed into oceanic basins while others developed on continental crust and turned into aulacogenes. The basins were separated from the main Tethys ocean by several plates and ridges. Partial uplift of the main European plate and late Kimmerian orogeny resulted in the establishment of restricted conditions in the marginal Tethyan basins. The paleogeographic and paleoclimatic setting favoured upwelling along the ridges and continental margins. Source rock prediction value modelling placed Tethyan marginal basins among the best Jurassic source rocks of the world. Self-contained petroleum systems consisting of source rocks, carbonate reservoirs and evaporitic seals occur in the area east of Poland. Actual hydrocarbon production is ongoing in Afghanistan and the Amu-Daria province. Some of Carpathian oils might also be sourced by Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous rocks. In the western area, petroleum systems were destroyed during the Alpine orogeny.

  19. TDRS satellite over African Rift Valley, Kenya, Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-01-01

    This post deploy view of a TDRS satellite shows a segment of the African Rift Valley near Lake Baringo, Kenya, Africa (3.0S, 36.0E). The African Rift Valley system is a geologic fault having its origins in southern Turkey, through the near east forming the bed of the Jordan River, Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea and down through east Africa. The line of lakes and valleys of east Africa are the result of the faulting activity.

  20. Interpretation and attribute analysis of the S-reflector from Galicia Margin, offshore Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuba, C. N.; Sawyer, D. S.; Gray, G. G.; Shillington, D. J.; Minshull, T. A.; Morgan, J.

    2016-12-01

    The majority of our understanding of rift evolution comes from passive continental margins and interpretations of their tectonic framework. The Galicia Margin, located in offshore western Spain, is an archetypical magma-poor rift margin that is part of the Newfoundland-Iberia rift system. Here we focus on the major low-angle detachment fault in the hyperextended Deep Galicia Margin, called the S-reflector. Interpretations, attribute and isopach maps are presented from a 3-D seismic reflection dataset that was acquired in 2013 and processed to prestack time migration by Repsol S.A. in 2015. The prestack time migrated volume has an azimuth direction of 87 degrees, and is 68 km wide (E-W) and 20 km long (N-S). The record length is 15 seconds, which penetrates well into the upper mantle.The S-reflector detachment fault is mapped as two distinct, non-parallel surfaces that define the top and bottom of a zone with a thickness range of 0-429 m. A new nomenclature for this zone, which we term the "S-interval" is presented, and this reflection package is interpreted as the top and base of a thick gouge zone. This area has morphological and tectonic similarities to both oceanic and continental core complexes, including highly rotated, 'domino-style' fault blocks in the hanging wall and corrugations in patches on the fault surface. The corrugations trend at 109, 103 and 128 degrees suggesting that there were local variations in the minimum stress directions during rifting. These angles are on average perpendicular to the M0 magnetic anomaly ( 121 Ma), which supports an interpretation that the corrugations formed +/- perpendicular to the rift axis. The S-interval splays into three branches towards the continent. These splays are interpreted as older remnants of the S detachment fault that were active between mid-crustal and translithospheric scales. Taken together, we interpret this area as a unique type of blended continental/oceanic core complex system.

  1. Evolution of the Latir volcanic field, Northern New Mexico, and its relation to the Rio Grande Rift, as indicated by potassium-argon and fission track dating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipman, Peter W.; Mehnert, Harald H.; Naeser, Charles W.

    1986-05-01

    Remnants of the Latir volcanic field and cogenetic plutonic rocks are exceptionally exposed along the east margin of the present-day Rio Grande rift by topographic and structural relief in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. Evolution of the magmatic system associated with the Latir field, which culminated in eruption of a regional ash flow sheet (the Amalia Tuff) and collapse of the Questa caldera 26 m.y. ago, has been documented by 74 new potassium-argon (K-Ar) and fission track (F-T) ages. The bulk of the precaldera volcanism, ash flow eruptions and caldera formation, and initial crystallization of the associated shallow granitic batholith took place between 28 and 25 Ma; economically important molybdenum mineralization is related to smaller granitic intrusions along the south margin of the Questa caldera at about 23 Ma. Interpretation of the radiogenic ages within this relatively restricted time span is complicated by widespread thermal resetting of earlier parts of the igneous sequence by later intrusions. Many samples yielded discordant ages for different mineral phases. Thermal blocking temperatures decrease in the order: K-Ar sanidine > K-Ar biotite > F-T zircon ≫ F-T apatite. The F-T results are especially useful indicators of cooling and uplift rates. Upper portions of the subvolcanic batholith, that underlay the Questa caldera, cooled to about 100°C within about a million years of emplacement; uplift of the batholith increases to the south along this segment of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Activity in the Latir volcanic field was concurrent with southwest directed extension along the early Rio Grande rift zone in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The geometry of this early rifting is compatible with interpretation as back arc extension related to a subduction system dipping gently beneath the cordilleran region of the American plate. The Latir field lies at the southern end of a southward migrating Tertiary magmatic

  2. Strain Localisation at Rift Segment Boundaries: An Example from the Bocana Transfer Zone in Central Baja California, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiler, C.; Gleadow, A. J.; Kohn, B. P.

    2012-12-01

    Rifts are commonly segmented into several hundred kilometre long zones of opposing upper-plate transport direction with boundaries defined by accommodation and transfer zones. A number of such rift segments have been recognized in the northern Gulf of California, a youthful oceanic basin that is currently undergoing the rift-drift transition. However, detailed field studies have so far failed to identify suitable structures that could accommodate the obvious deformation gradients between different rift segments, and the nature of strain transfer at segment boundaries remains enigmatic. The situation is even less clear in central and southern Baja California, where a number of rift segments have been hypothesized but it is unknown whether the intervening segment boundaries facilitate true reversals in the upper-plate transport direction, or whether they simply accommodate differences in the timing, style or magnitude of deformation. The Bocana transfer zone (BTZ) in central Baja California is a linear, WNW-ESE striking structural discontinuity separating two rift segments with different magnitudes and styles of extensional deformation. North of the BTZ, the Libertad fault is part of the Main Gulf Escarpment, which represents the breakaway fault that separates the Gulf of California rift to the east from the relatively stable western portion of the Baja peninsula. The N-striking Libertad escarpment developed during the Late Miocene (~10-8Ma) and exhibits a topographic relief of ca. 1,000m along a strike-length of ca. 50km. Finite displacement decreases from ~1000m in the central fault segment to ~500m further south, where the fault bends SE and merges with the BTZ. In the hanging wall of the Libertad fault, a series of W-tilted horsts are bound along their eastern margins by two moderate-displacement E-dipping normal faults. South of the BTZ, extension was much less than further north, which explains the comparatively subdued relief and generally shallower tilt of

  3. Geodynamics and synchronous filling of rift-type basin evolved through compression tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papdimitriou, Nikolas; Nader, Fadi; Gorini, Christian; Deschamps, Remy

    2016-04-01

    The Levant Basin falls in the category of frontier basins, and is bounded by the Eratosthenes seamount to the West, the Nile cone delta to the south, Cyprus to the north and Lebanon to the east. The Levant Basin was initially a rift type basin, which is located at a major plate boundary since the Late Triassic. It evolved later on through compression tectonics. The post-rift phase prevailed since the Late Jurassic and is expressed by the gradual initiation of a passive margin. A thick infill, mostly of deep water sediments (about 12 km thick) is accounted for the Levant Basin. The post-rift sediments are pinching-out along the slope of the well preserved (and imaged) eastern margin of the Eratosthenes seamount, which is essentially made up of Mesozoic platform carbonates (about 5 km). Thus, the Eratosthenes carbonate platform was adjacent to the deep marine facies of the Levant Basin until the late Cretaceous/Cenozoic. At that time, both the Eratosthenes seamount and the Levant Basin became part of a foreland basin along the Cyprus Arc zone as a result of the collision of the African and Eurasian plates. The objective of this contribution is to investigate the timing and the mechanisms of flexural subsidence as well as the sedimentary filling of Levant Basin (through a source-to-sink approach) in a well-deformed tectonic region. The interpretation of twenty-four 2D seismic profiles coupled with the available ODP wells, offshore Cyprus, aims to define the primary reflectors and seismic packages. Then, concepts of seismic stratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy are applied to achieve a better understanding of the tectonostratigraphy and sedimentary architecture of the Eratosthenes seamount (as an isolated carbonate platform) and its surroundings. Recent offshore discoveries south of the Eratosthenes seamount (e.g., Zhor) have confirmed the presence of gas accumulations exceeding 30Tcf in subsalt Lower Miocene carbonate buildups, making out the understanding of the

  4. Post-breakup evolution of the Namibian margin: Constraints from numerical modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauteuil, O.; Rouby, D.; Braun, J.; Guillocheau, F.; Deschamps, F.

    2013-09-01

    The Namibian margin evolution started 130 Myr ago after the breakup between South America and southern Africa. Today, it shows specific features: (i) an elevation and a bathymetry about 1000 m higher than the surrounding areas, (ii) a significant sediment supply during the Late Cretaceous following the first sedimentary peak that occurred during rifting and just afterwards, and (iii) a long-term progradation since the Mid-Cretaceous. This present configuration results in couplings between several processes and the inherited structure. We constrained this evolution using a numerical simulation applied both onshore and offshore integrating different couplings: i) a thermal adjustment of a lithosphere driven by conductivity, ii) a flexural isostasy, and iii) the loading/unloading effects of surface matter transfer. Three processes were investigated: rock-uplift, a change in the erosion efficiency and a sea-level fall. The results were compared to some pertinent observations made on the Namibian margin such as the vertical displacements, the sediment transfers, the denudation and the stratigraphic architecture in the marginal basin. In each simulation, rift-related reliefs were rapidly relaxed resulting in an exponentially decreasing denudation and sediment accumulation. Sixty Myr after the breakup, we simulated an additional uplift, an increase in the transfer efficiency of the sediment and a sea-level fall. The subsidence increased by loading, inducing a new progradational trend. Nonetheless, the three types of events differed in the duration of this progradation trend. The larger the additional uplift, the longer the progradation. The transfer efficiency increase and sea-level fall only resulted in a transient progradation trend. From these results, we suggest that the post-rift evolution of the Namibian margin was associated, during the Upper Cretaceous, to the rejuvenation of its continental relief triggered by a climate change during the Turonian and by a slow

  5. 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.

  6. Lithospheric rheological heterogeneity across an intraplate rift basin (Linfen Basin, North China) constrained from magnetotelluric data: Implications for seismicity and rift evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Yaotian; Jin, Sheng; Wei, Wenbo; Ye, Gaofeng; Jing, Jian'en; Zhang, Letian; Dong, Hao; Xie, Chengliang; Liang, Hongda

    2017-10-01

    We take the Linfen Basin, which is the most active segment of the Cenozoic intraplate Shanxi Rift, as an example, showing how to use magnetotelluric data to constrain lithospheric rheological heterogeneities of intraplate tectonic zones. Electrical resistivity models, combined with previous rheological numerical simulation, show a good correlation between resistivity and rheological strength, indicating the mechanisms of enhanced conductivity could also be reasons of reduced viscosity. The crust beneath the Linfen Basin shows overall stratified features in both electrical resistivity and rheology. The uppermost crustal conductive layer is dominated by friction sliding-type brittle fracturing. The high-resistivity mid-crust is inferred to be high-viscosity metamorphic basement being intersected by deep fault. The plastic lower crust show significantly high-conductivity feature. Seismicity appears to be controlled by crustal rheological heterogeneity. Micro-earthquakes mainly distribute at the brittle-ductile transition zones as indicated by high- to low-resistivity interfaces or the high pore pressure fault zones while the epicenters of two giant destructive historical earthquakes occur within the high-resistivity and therefore high-strength blocks near the inferred rheological interfaces. The lithosphere-scale lateral rheological heterogeneity along the profile can also be illustrated. The crust and upper mantle beneath the Ordos Block, Lüliang Mountains and Taihang Mountains are of high rheological strength as indicated by large-scale high-resistivity zones while a significant high-conductivity, lithosphere-scale weak zone exists beneath the eastern margin of the Linfen Basin. According to previous geodynamic modeling works, we suggest that this kind of lateral rheological heterogeneity may play an essential role for providing driving force for the formation and evolution of the Shanxi Rift, regional lithospheric deformation and earthquake activities under the

  7. Orthorhombic faults system at the onset of the Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic Barents Sea rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collanega, Luca; Breda, Anna; Massironi, Matteo

    2016-04-01

    The structures of the Late Mesozoic/Cenozoic Barents Sea rifting have been investigated with multichannel 3D seismics, covering an area of 7700 sqKm in the Hoop Fault Complex, a transitional area between the platform and the marginal basins. The main structural lineaments have been mapped in a time domain 3D surface and their activity ranges have been constrained through the sin-sedimentary thickness variations detected in time-thickness maps. Two main fault systems have been identified: an orthorhombic fault system consisting of two fault sets trending almost perpendicularly one to the other (WNW-ESE and NNE-SSW) and a graben/half-graben system, elongated approximately N-S in the central part of the study area. While the graben/half-graben system can be explained through the theory of Anderson, this landmark theory fails to explain the simultaneous activity of the two fault sets of the orthorhombic system. So far, the models that can better explain orthorhombic fault arrangements are the slip model by Reches (Reches, 1978; Reches, 1983; Reches and Dieterich, 1983) and the odd-axis model by Krantz (Krantz, 1988). However, these models are not definitive and a strong quest to better understand polymodal faulting is actual (Healy et al., 2015). In the study area, the presence of both a classical Andersonian and an orthorhombic system indicates that these models are not alternative but are both effective and necessary to explain faulting in different circumstances. Indeed, the Andersonian plain strain and the orthorhombic deformation have affected different part of the succession during different phases of the rifting. In particular, the orthorhombic system has affected only the Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic interval of the succession and it was the main active system during the initial phase of the rifting. On the other hand, the graben/half-graben system has affected the whole sedimentary succession, with an increasing activity during the development of the rifting. It has

  8. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Luan C.; Hall, Stuart A.; Bird, Dale E.; Ball, Philip J.

    2016-06-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana and Pangea. Previous reconstruction models contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean-boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate Antarctic margin near the Riiser-Larsen Sea. Satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Crustal thicknesses together with fracture zone terminations reveal COBs that are significantly closer to the African and Antarctic coasts than previously recognized. Correlation of fracture zone azimuths and identified COBs suggests Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. An areal-balancing method has been used to restore the crust to a uniform prerift thickness so as to perform a nonrigid reconstruction for both nonvolcanic and volcanic margins. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Our results suggest Africa underwent extension of 60-120 km, while Antarctic crust was stretched by 105-180 km. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica moved away from Africa in a WNW-ESE direction during the period between 184 and 171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

  9. New results from a 3D seismic academic dataset across the west Galicia margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lymer, Gaël; Cresswell, Derren; Reston, Tim; Stevenson, Carl; Sawyer, Dale

    2016-04-01

    The west Galicia margin (western Spain) is a magma-poor margin and has limited sedimentary cover, providing ideal conditions to study the processes of continental extension and break-up through seismic imaging. The margin is characterised by hyper-extended continental crust, well defined rotated faults blocks with associated syn-kinematic sedimentary wedges, and exhumed serpentinized continental mantle. Faulted blocks overlie a bright reflection, the S reflector, generally interpreted as both a detachment and the crust-mantle boundary. But open questions remain concerning the role of the S detachment in extension leading to breakup. To study further the S reflection and its role in continental breakup, a new 3D high-resolution multi-channel seismic dataset has been acquired over the Galicia margin during summer 2013. It consists in 800 inlines and 5000 crosslines distributed on a ~680 km2 areal. This 3D dataset is thus the largest academic one of its kind. It extends across the edge of the continental crust and captures the 3D nature of extension and break-up of the northern Atlantic continental margins. Here we present some results from our interpretations of the 3D volume, which allow various horizons, including the base of the post-rift sedimentary cover, the top basement and the S reflector, to be mapped out in 3D. These maps provide 3D views of the margin structure and also reveal the texture of each horizon. We also focus on the internal structure of some of the faulted blocks through interpretation of the crustal normal faults. The main normal faults are generally connected downward on the S reflector, revealing strong interactions between crustal thinning and the S. The half-grabens and the fault blocks are dominantly N-S oriented, but the crustal structures vary both along strike and cross strike. We particularly observe an intriguingly NW-SE trend, highlighted by a pronounced low within the crest of the fault blocks. We also observe this trend from

  10. Petrogenesis of coeval sodic and potassic alkaline magmas at Spanish Peaks, Colorado: Magmatism related to the opening of the Rio Grande rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lord, A. Brooke Hamil; McGregor, Heath; Roden, Michael F.; Salters, Vincent J. M.; Sarafian, Adam; Leahy, Rory

    2016-07-01

    Approximately coeval, relatively primitive (∼5-10% MgO with exception of a trachyandesite) alkaline mafic dikes and sills at or near Spanish Peaks, CO are divided into relatively sodic and potassic varieties on the basis of K2O/Na2O. Many of these dikes are true lamprophyres. In spite of variable alkali element ratios, the alkaline rocks share a number of geochemical similarities: high LIL element contents, high Ba and similar Sr, Nd and Hf isotope ratios near that of Bulk Earth. One important difference is that the potassic rocks are characterized by lower Al2O3 contents, typically less than 12 wt.%, than the sodic dikes/sills which typically have more than 13 wt.% Al2O3, and this difference is independent of MgO content. We attribute the distinct Al2O3 contents to varying pressure during melting: a mica-bearing, Al-poor vein assemblage for the potassic magmas melted at higher pressure than an aluminous amphibole-bearing vein assemblage for the sodic magmas. Remarkable isotopic and trace element similarities with approximately contemporaneous, nearby Rio Grande rift-related basalts in the San Luis Valley, indicate that the magmatism at Spanish Peaks was rift-related, and that lithosphere sources were shared between some rift magmas and those at Spanish Peaks. High Zn/Fe ratios in the Spanish Peaks mafic rocks point to a clinopyroxene- and garnet-rich source such as lithosphere veined by pyroxenite or eclogite. Lithospheric melting was possibly triggered by foundering of cool, dense lithosphere beneath the Rio Grande rift during the initiation of rifting with the potassic parent magmas generated by higher pressure melting of the foundered lithosphere than the sodic parent magmas. This process, caused by gravitational instability of the lithosphere (Elkins-Tanton, 2007) may be common beneath active continental rifts.

  11. He and Ne isotopic ratios along the Terceira Rift: implications for the Azores mantle source

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madureira, P.; Moreira, M. A.; Nunes, J.; Lourenco, N.; Carvalho, M.; Mata, J.; Pinto de Abreu, M.

    2010-12-01

    Noble gas data (He and Ne) on olivine phenocrysts obtained from Azores’ lavas sampled along the Terceira Rift will be presented in this work. The Terceira Rift is considered as one of the slowest spreading system in the world (Vogt & Jung, 2004). Lava samples were collected inland at S. Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, Pico and Faial Islands as well at sea at D. João de Castro Bank and south Hirondelle basin, the latter being sampled by the ROV cruises in 2008 and 2009. Noble gas data were analyzed in the Noblesse mass spectrometer housed at the IPGP. The most primitive He isotopic ratios were obtained from Pico, Terceira and Hirondelle olivines. Most Ne isotopic ratios are similar to the present-day atmosphere, but distinct 20Ne/22Ne ratios were found for the majority of submarine samples and also Pico and Faial Islands, defining mixing lines with the atmospheric end-member with slopes greater than that defined from MORB lavas. The He-Ne systematics shows that most of the new noble gas data fit in a mixing model between a dominant MORB-type mantle source and a relatively primitive mantle source related with the regional Azores component. However, data from the D. João de Castro Bank argue for the presence of a radiogenic He end-member distinct from MORB. References: Vogt, P. & Jung W. (2004). Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 218: 77 90.

  12. Abbot Ice Shelf, structure of the Amundsen Sea continental margin and the southern boundary of the Bellingshausen Plate seaward of West Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, James R; Tinto, Kirsty J; Bell, Robin E

    2015-05-01

    Inversion of NASA Operation IceBridge airborne gravity over the Abbot Ice Shelf in West Antarctica for subice bathymetry defines an extensional terrain made up of east-west trending rift basins formed during the early stages of Antarctica/Zealandia rifting. Extension is minor, as rifting jumped north of Thurston Island early in the rifting process. The Amundsen Sea Embayment continental shelf west of the rifted terrain is underlain by a deeper, more extensive sedimentary basin also formed during rifting between Antarctica and Zealandia. A well-defined boundary zone separates the mildly extended Abbot extensional terrain from the deeper Amundsen Embayment shelf basin. The shelf basin has an extension factor, β, of 1.5-1.7 with 80-100 km of extension occurring across an area now 250 km wide. Following this extension, rifting centered north of the present shelf edge and proceeded to continental rupture. Since then, the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf appears to have been tectonically quiescent and shaped by subsidence, sedimentation, and the advance and retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The Bellingshausen Plate was located seaward of the Amundsen Sea margin prior to incorporation into the Antarctic Plate at about 62 Ma. During the latter part of its independent existence, Bellingshausen plate motion had a clockwise rotational component relative to Antarctica producing convergence across the north-south trending Bellingshausen Gravity Anomaly structure at 94°W and compressive deformation on the continental slope between 94°W and 102°W. Farther west, the relative motion was extensional along an east-west trending zone occupied by the Marie Byrd Seamounts. Abbot Ice Shelf is underlain by E-W rift basins created at ∼90 Ma Amundsen shelf shaped by subsidence, sedimentation, and passage of the ice sheet Bellingshausen plate boundary is located near the base of continental slope and rise.

  13. Marginally Stable Nuclear Burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strohmayer, Tod E.; Altamirano, D.

    2012-01-01

    Thermonuclear X-ray bursts result from unstable nuclear burning of the material accreted on neutron stars in some low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). Theory predicts that close to the boundary of stability oscillatory burning can occur. This marginally stable regime has so far been identified in only a small number of sources. We present Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) observations of the bursting, high-inclination LMXB 4U 1323-619 that reveal for the first time in this source the signature of marginally stable burning. The source was observed during two successive RXTE orbits for approximately 5 ksec beginning at 10:14:01 UTC on March 28, 2011. Significant mHz quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO) at a frequency of 8.1 mHz are detected for approximately 1600 s from the beginning of the observation until the occurrence of a thermonuclear X-ray burst at 10:42:22 UTC. The mHz oscillations are not detected following the X-ray burst. The average fractional rms amplitude of the mHz QPOs is 6.4% (3 - 20 keV), and the amplitude increases to about 8% below 10 keV.This phenomenology is strikingly similar to that seen in the LMXB 4U 1636-53. Indeed, the frequency of the mHz QPOs in 4U 1323-619 prior to the X-ray burst is very similar to the transition frequency between mHz QPO and bursts found in 4U 1636-53 by Altamirano et al. (2008). These results strongly suggest that the observed QPOs in 4U 1323-619 are, like those in 4U 1636-53, due to marginally stable nuclear burning. We also explore the dependence of the energy spectrum on the oscillation phase, and we place the present observations within the context of the spectral evolution of the accretion-powered flux from the source.

  14. The Fenwei rift and its recent periodic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing-Ming

    1987-02-01

    The Fenwei rift on the southern sector of the Jin—Shaan rift system of China is marked by a crescent-shaped valley 600 km in length and 30-90 km in width depressed up to 10 km and filled with about 7000 m of Cenozoic deposits, bounded on both northern and southern sides by majestic mountain ranges. The geometry of the rift valley is characterized by six branch depressions and five intervening swells extending east-northeastward in a dextral en-echelon pattern and bounded on both sides by abrupt topographic slopes reflecting the underlying faults. These are typically a system of growth faults having downthrows ranging from 800 m to 10 km and dipping toward the centre of the valley forming an asymmetric graben structure. The geometry, kinematics and evolution of these faults have had controlling influences on the neotectonic movement of the rift and its recent periodic activity as the present overall form of the rift valley. Estimates of the amount of extension across the rift for various recent geological periods were obtained from calculations made on the fault separation of corresponding stratigraphie horizons. The total amount of extension in response to tensile stresses, acting in a direction varying from 25° NW on the west to 70° NW on the northeast is estimated to be 9065 m, since the beginning of the rift formation in the Eocene whereas the rate of extension in the Recent is 4.5 mm/yr and in modern times it is 8-24 mm/yr. The amount of left-lateral displacement across the rift during various stages of its development was also calculated from the observed effects of strike-slip movement on the drainage system. The left-lateral offset since the mid-Pleistocene is approximately 7170 m and the offset rate in modern times is 6 mm/yr. These estimates suggest that the Fenwei rift has been a place of intense neotectonic activity. Details of more recent activity of the rift were investigated in terms of the various rift-related phenomena such as seismic events

  15. Chapter 27: Geology and petroleum potential of the north and east margins of the Siberian Craton, north of the Arctic Circle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klett, T.R.; Wandrey, C.J.; Pitman, J.K.

    2011-01-01

    The Siberian Craton consists of crystalline rocks and superimposed Precambrian sedimentary rocks deposited in rift basins. Palaeozoic rocks, mainly carbonates, were deposited along the margins of the craton to form an outwardly younger concentric pattern that underlies an outward-thickening Mesozoic sedimentary section. The north and east margins of the Siberian Craton subsequently became foreland basins created by compressional deformation during collision with other tectonic plates. The Tunguska Basin developed as a Palaeozoic rift/sag basin over Proterozoic rifts. The geological provinces along the north and east margins of the Siberian Craton are immature with respect to exploration, so exploration-history analysis alone cannot be used for assessing undiscovered petroleum resources. Therefore, other areas from around the world having greater petroleum exploration maturity and similar geological characteristics, and which have been previously assessed, were used as analogues to aid in this assessment. The analogues included those of foreland basins and rift/sag basins that were later subjected to compression. The US Geological Survey estimated the mean undiscovered, technically recoverable conventional petroleum resources to be approximately 28 billion barrels of oil equivalent, including approximately 8 billion barrels of crude oil, 103 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 3 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. ?? 2011 The Geological Society of London.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Gaussian quantum marginal problem

    CERN Document Server

    Eisert, J; Sanders, B C; Tyc, T

    2007-01-01

    The quantum marginal problem asks what local spectra are consistent with a given state of a composite quantum system. This setting, also referred to as the question of the compatibility of local spectra, has several applications in quantum information theory. Here, we introduce the analogue of this statement for Gaussian states for any number of modes, and solve it in generality, for pure and mixed states, both concerning necessary and sufficient conditions. Formally, our result can be viewed as an analogue of the Sing-Thompson Theorem (respectively Horn's Lemma), characterizing the relationship between main diagonal elements and singular values of a complex matrix: We find necessary and sufficient conditions for vectors (d1, ..., dn) and (c1, ..., cn) to be the symplectic eigenvalues and symplectic main diagonal elements of a strictly positive real matrix, respectively. More physically speaking, this result determines what local temperatures or entropies are consistent with a pure or mixed Gaussian state of ...

  18. Thermal history from both sides of the South Atlantic passive margin - A comparison: Argentinean pampa vs. South African escarpement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2014-05-01

    The eastern Argentina South Atlantic passive continental margin is distinguished by a very flat topography. Out of the so called Pampean flat two mountain ranges are arising. These mountain ranges, the Sierras Australes and the Sierras Septentrionales, are located in the State of Buenos Aires south of the capital Buenos Aires. In existing literature the Sierras Australes are correlated with the South African cape fold belt (Torsvik 2009; Lopez Gamundi & Rossello 1998). Existing thermochronological data shows different post-breakup cooling histories for both areas and different AFT-ages. Published thermochronological ages (e.g. Raab et al. 2002, 2005, Gallagher et al et al. 1998)from the south African escarpement vary around 150 and 100 Ma (Gallagher et al. 1998). Only some spots in the eastern part of South Africa towards the pacific margin show older ages of 250 Ma and older than 350 Ma (Gallagher et al. 1998). New thermochronological data (AHe, AFT and ZHe) from the Sierras Australes indicate a different cooling history by revealing a range of varying ages due to younger tectonic activity. By comparing the data sets from both areas it is getting clear that the post-rift evolution of both continents is differing very strong. Gallagher, K., Brown, R. and Johnson, C. 1998. Fission track analysis and its application to geological problems. Annual review of Earth and Planetary Science, 26, 519-572. Lopez Gamundi, O.R., Rossello, E.A. (1998): Basin fill evolution and paleotectonic patterns along the Samfrau geosyncline: the Sauce Grande basin-Ventana foldbelt (Argentina) and Karoo basin-Cape foldbelt (South Africa) revisited. Geol Rundsch 86 :819-834. Raab, M.J., Brown, R.W., Gallagher, K., Carter, A. and Webber, K. 2002. late Cretaceous reactivation of major crustal shear zones in northern Namibia: constraints from apatite fission track analysis. Tectonophysics. 349, 75-92. Raab, M.J., Brown, R.W., Gallagher, K., Webber, K. and Gleadow, A.J.W. 2005. denudational and

  19. 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.

    of negligible tectonic activity like earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, etc. The Eastern Continental Margin of India (ECMI) is considered as a passive margin, though the geodynamic processes and the resultant seismo- tectonics prevalent in the vicinity...-up seems to have occurred at the bight of the present day Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin (Ramana et.al 2003), in two major stages along two different segments; the northern (K-G) rifted segment and the southern (Cauvery) sheared or transform segment...

  20. Fault architecture in the Main Ethiopian Rift and comparison with experimental models: Implications for rift evolution and Nubia-Somalia kinematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostini, Andrea; Bonini, Marco; Corti, Giacomo; Sani, Federico; Mazzarini, Francesco

    2011-01-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) offers a complete record of the time-space evolution of a continental rift. We have characterized the brittle deformation in different rift sectors through the statistical analysis of a new database of faults obtained from the integration between satellite images and digital elevation models, and implemented with field controls. This analysis has been compared with the results of lithospheric-scale analogue models reproducing the kinematical conditions of orthogonal and oblique rifting. Integration of these approaches suggests substantial differences in fault architecture in the different rift sectors that in turn reflect an along-axis variation of the rift development and southward decrease in rift evolution. The northernmost MER sector is in a mature stage of incipient continental rupture, with deformation localised within the rift floor along discrete tectono-magmatic segments and almost inactive boundary faults. The central MER sector records a transitional stage in which migration of deformation from boundary faults to faults internal to the rift valley is in an incipient phase. The southernmost MER sector is instead in an early continental stage, with the largest part of deformation being accommodated by boundary faults and almost absent internal faults. The MER thus records along its axis the typical evolution of continental rifting, from fault-dominated rift morphology in the early stages of extension toward magma-dominated extension during break-up. The extrapolation of modelling results suggests that a variable rift obliquity contributes to the observed along-axis variations in rift architecture and evolutionary stage, being oblique rifting conditions controlling the MER evolution since its birth in the Late Miocene in relation to a constant post ca. 11 Ma ~ N100°E Nubia-Somalia motion.

  1. Mid-lithospheric Discontinuity Beneath the Malawi Rift, Deduced from Gravity Studies and its Relation to the Rifting Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njinju, E. A.; Atekwana, E. A.; Mickus, K. L.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Atekwana, E. A.; Laó-Dávila, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The World Gravity Map satellite gravity data were used to investigate the lithospheric structure beneath the Cenozoic-age Malawi Rift which forms the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. An analysis of the data using two-dimensional (2D) power spectrum methods indicates the two distinctive discontinuities at depths of 31‒44 km and 64‒124 km as defined by the two steepest slopes of the power spectrum curves. The shallower discontinuity corresponds to the crust-mantle boundary (Moho) and compares well with Moho depth determined from passive seismic studies. To understand the source of the deeper discontinuity, we applied the 2D power spectrum analysis to other rift segments of the Western Branch as well as regions with stable continental lithospheres where the lithospheric structure is well constrained through passive seismic studies. We found that the deeper discontinuity corresponds to a mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD), which is known to exist globally at depths between 60‒150 km and as determined by passive seismic studies. Our results show that beneath the Malawi Rift, there is no pattern of N-S elongated crustal thinning following the surface expression of the Malawi Rift. With the exception of a north-central region of crustal thinning (Malawi Rift forming a N-S trending zone with depths of 64‒80 km, showing a broad and gentle topography. We interpret the MLD as representing a sharp density contrast resulting from metasomatized lithosphere due to lateral migration along mobile belts of hot mantle melt or fluids from a distant plume and not from an ascending asthenosphere. These fluids weaken the lithosphere enhancing rift nucleation. The availability of satellite gravity worldwide makes gravity a promising technique for determining the MLD globally.

  2. Geotectonic Settings of Large and Superlarge Mineral Deposits on the Southwestern Margin of the North China Plate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汤中立; 白云来; 李志林

    2002-01-01

    The geotectonic setting refers to the three-dimensional space and related events based on which a metallogenic system is formed and an ore-forming process takes place. This paper discusses the tectonic evolution of the southwestern margin of the North China paleocontinent and related geotectonic settings in which large or superlarge deposits are formed. Emphasis is put on the geodynamic conditions of the Jinchuan nickel-copper deposit, the Baiyin copper-polymetallic deposit and the Hanshan gold deposit. It is significant that the three deposits occur together as a "trinity" on the same paleocontinental margin. The Jinchuan nickel-copper deposit was formed during the early stage of rifting of the paleocontinental margin; the Baiyin copper-polymetallic deposit was formed during the splitting stage of a continental-margin arc. The continental-margin arc spitting resulted in an "island arc rift" in the early stage of evolution. The Hanshan gold deposit was formed within the Altun sinistral strike-slip fault system and its provenance is the "intraoceanic arc" volcanic rocks.

  3. Post-rift volcanic structures of the Pernambuco Plateau, northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buarque, Bruno V.; Barbosa, José A.; Magalhães, José R. G.; Cruz Oliveira, Jefferson T.; Filho, Osvaldo J. Correia

    2016-10-01

    formed during the post rift Cretaceous and Cenozoic intervals and point to the continuation of magmatic events after the rifting process. The findings presented in this report provide a better understanding of the magmatism on the northeastern passive margin of Brazil and can also be useful for future modelling of the Pernambuco Basin petroleum system.

  4. Earth\\'s Mass Variability

    CERN Document Server

    Mawad, Ramy

    2014-01-01

    The perturbation of the Earth caused by variability of mass of Earth as additional reason with gravity of celestial bodies and shape of the Earth. The Earth eating and collecting matters from space and loss or eject matters to space through its flying in the space around the Sun. The source of the rising in the global sea level is not closed in global warming and icebergs, but the outer space is the additional important source for this rising. The Earth eats waters from space in unknown mechanism. The mass of the Earth become greater in November i.e. before transit apoapsis two months, and become latter in February i.e. after transit apoapsis to two months.

  5. Does the Earth grow up? Maybe!

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Almeida Maria Castelhano, Paula Cristina

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Earth Sciences syllabus stipulates the use of analogue physical models to promote the learning of geological phenomena because the characteristics of geological knowledge, problems usually arise such as scale, representative of materials and speed of processes. The model on the mobility of tectonic plates, such as rifts and subduction zones, was built with material that allows easy acquisition not only its manipulation by the students but also the understanding of the relationship between the physical and geological concepts. Its use must be accompanied by discussion of the assumptions underlying the model, to allow understanding of their limitations.

  6. Crustal architecture of the oblique-slip conjugate margins of George V Land and southeast Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stagg, H.M.J.; Reading, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    A conceptual, lithospheric-scale cross-section of the conjugate, oblique-slip margins of George V Land, East Antarctica, and southeast Australia (Otway Basin) has been constructed based on the integration of seismic and sample data. This cross-section is characterised by asymmetry in width and thickness, and depth-dependent crustal extension at breakup in the latest Maastrichtian. The broad Antarctic margin (~360 km apparent rift width) developed on thick crust (~42 km) of the Antarctic craton, whereas the narrow Otway margin (~220 km) developed on the thinner crust (~31 km) of the Ross–Delamerian Orogen. The shallow basement (velocities ~5.5 km.s-1) and the deep continental crust (velocities >6.4 km.s-1) appear to be largely absent across the central rift, while the mid-crustal, probably granitic layer (velocities ~6 km.s-1) is preserved. Comparison with published numerical models suggests that the shallow basement and deep crust may have been removed by simple shear, whereas the mid-crust has been ductilely deformed.

  7. Climate modulated erosion and sediment flux control offshore crustal structure at South China Sea continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clift, P. D.; Brune, S.; Quinteros, J.

    2015-12-01

    Rifted continental lithosphere subsides as a consequence of combined crustal thinning and mantle lithosphere cooling yet basins on some continental margins experience anomalous subsidence events that postdate active extension. Deep basins on the northern margin of the South China Sea, notably the Baiyun Sag, show basement subsidence accelerating after ~21 Ma, postdating extension by several million years. Similar subsidence events are seen after 5 Ma in the Song Hong Basin and after 11 Ma in the Qiongdongnan Basin. We combine geophysical observations and numerical forward modeling to show that loading of the offshore basins by increased sediment flux caused by faster onshore erosion following Early Miocene monsoon intensification is a viable trigger for ductile flow after the cessation of active extension. Loading works in conjunction with onshore uplift to drive flow of the lower crust away from the rift axis. As well as sediment supply rates distribution patterns and drainage capture can be significant in controlling crustal flow and thinning. This illustrates that offshore basin dynamics at continental margins with weak crust can be controlled by onshore surface processes in a newly recognized form of climate-tectonic coupling.

  8. Morphotectonic evolution of passive margins undergoing active surface processes: large-scale experiments using numerical models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beucher, Romain; Huismans, Ritske S.

    2016-04-01

    Extension of the continental lithosphere can lead to the formation of a wide range of rifted margins styles with contrasting tectonic and geomorphological characteristics. It is now understood that many of these characteristics depend on the manner extension is distributed depending on (among others factors) rheology, structural inheritance, thermal structure and surface processes. The relative importance and the possible interactions of these controlling factors is still largely unknown. Here we investigate the feedbacks between tectonics and the transfers of material at the surface resulting from erosion, transport, and sedimentation. We use large-scale (1200 x 600 km) and high-resolution (~1km) numerical experiments coupling a 2D upper-mantle-scale thermo-mechanical model with a plan-form 2D surface processes model (SPM). We test the sensitivity of the coupled models to varying crust-lithosphere rheology and erosional efficiency ranging from no-erosion to very efficient erosion. We discuss how fast, when and how the topography of the continents evolves and how it can be compared to actual passive margins escarpment morphologies. We show that although tectonics is the main factor controlling the rift geometry, transfers of masses at the surface affect the timing of faulting and the initiation of sea-floor spreading. We discuss how such models may help to understand the evolution of high-elevated passive margins around the world.

  9. Inter-rifting Deformation in an Extensional Rift Segment; the Northern Volcanic Zone, Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, R.; Masterlark, T.; Sigmundsson, F.; Arnadottir, T.; Feigl, K. L.

    2006-12-01

    The Northern Volcanic Zone (NVZ) in Iceland is an extensional rift segment, forming a sub-aerial exposure of a part of the Mid-Atlantic ridge. The NVZ is bounded to the south by the Icelandic mantle plume, currently beneath the Vatnajökull ice cap, and to the north by the Tjörnes Fracture zone, a transform zone connecting the offset on- and offshore rift segments of the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Based on geologic and tectonic mapping, the NVZ has been divided into five partly overlapping en-echelon fissure swarms, each with a central main volcanic production area. The two fissure swarms with known activity in historic time are, based on geodetic and seismic data, interpreted to have associated shallow crustal magma chambers. These central volcanoes are furthermore the only with caldera collapses associated, reflecting on the maturity of the systems. A series of newly formed InSAR images of the NVZ, spanning the interval from 1993-2006, have been formed, revealing a complex interplay of several tectonic and magmatic processes. Deformation from two subsiding shallow sources appear at the sites of the known crustal magma chambers. Furthermore, subsidence is occurring at varying degrees within the associated relatively narrow fissure swarms (15-20 km). However, the horizontal plate spreading signal is not confined to the fissure systems, and appears to be distributed over a much wider zone (about 100 km). This wide zone of horizontal spreading has previously been measured with campaign GPS surveys. A broad area of uplift situated about 18 km to the north of one of the subsidence centres (Krafla) suggests a deep seated pressurization source near the crust mantle boundary. Movements on previously unrecognized faults are apparent in the data, correlating well with the location of earthquake epicentres from minor seismic activity. Finally, utilization of geothermal resources in the Krafla area affects the deformation fields created by magmatic and tectonic processes, further

  10. The geomorphic development of the escarpment of the Eritrean rift flank (southern Red Sea): combined use of apatite fission-track and (U-Th)/He thermochronometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestrieri, M. L.; Stuart, F. M.

    2003-04-01

    The Eritrean continental margin along the southern Red Sea has a morphology typical of high-elevation rifted margins. A steeply rising escarpment separates a low relief coastal plain from a high plateau t