Sample records for sea continental margin

  1. Neogene sedimentation on the outer continental margin, southern Bering Sea (United States)

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


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

  2. Continental Margins of the Arctic Ocean: Implications for Law of the Sea (United States)

    Mosher, David


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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Batang, Zenon B.


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breivik, Asbjoern Johan


    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.

  5. Deep continental margin reflectors (United States)

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


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

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  7. Cretaceous-Eocene provenance connections between the Palawan Continental Terrane and the northern South China Sea margin (United States)

    Shao, Lei; Cao, Licheng; Qiao, Peijun; Zhang, Xiangtao; Li, Qianyu; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.


    The plate kinematic history of the South China Sea opening is key to reconstructing how the Mesozoic configuration of Panthalassa and Tethyan subduction systems evolved into today's complex Southeast Asian tectonic collage. The South China Sea is currently flanked by the Palawan Continental Terrane in the south and South China in the north and the two blocks have long been assumed to be conjugate margins. However, the paleogeographic history of the Palawan Continental Terrane remains an issue of uncertainty and controversy, especially regarding the questions of where and when it was separated from South China. Here we employ detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology and heavy mineral analysis on Cretaceous and Eocene strata from the northern South China Sea and Palawan to constrain the Late Mesozoic-Early Cenozoic provenance and paleogeographic evolution of the region testing possible connection between the Palawan Continental Terrane and the northern South China Sea margin. In addition to a revision of the regional stratigraphic framework using the youngest zircon U-Pb ages, these analyses show that while the Upper Cretaceous strata from the Palawan Continental Terrane are characterized by a dominance of zircon with crystallization ages clustering around the Cretaceous, the Eocene strata feature a large range of zircon ages and a new mineral group of rutile, anatase, and monazite. On the one hand, this change of sediment compositions seems to exclude the possibility of a latest Cretaceous drift of the Palawan Continental Terrane in response to the Proto-South China Sea opening as previously inferred. On the other hand, the zircon age signatures of the Cretaceous-Eocene strata from the Palawan Continental Terrane are largely comparable to those of contemporary samples from the northeastern South China Sea region, suggesting a possible conjugate relationship between the Palawan Continental Terrane and the eastern Pearl River Mouth Basin. Thus, the Palawan Continental

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

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


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

  9. Abbot Ice Shelf, the Amundsen Sea Continental Margin and the Southern Boundary of the Bellingshausen Plate Seaward of West Antarctica (United States)

    Cochran, J. R.; Tinto, K. J.; Bell, R. E.


    The Abbot Ice Shelf extends 450 km along the coast of West Antarctica between 103°W and 89°W and straddles the boundary between the Bellingshausen Sea continental margin, which overlies a former subduction zone, and Amundsen Sea rifted continental margin. Inversion of NASA Operation IceBridge airborne gravity data for sub-ice bathymetry shows that the western part of the ice shelf, as well as Cosgrove Ice Shelf to the south, are underlain by a series of east-west trending rift basins. The eastern boundary of the rifted terrain coincides with the eastern boundary of rifting between Antarctica and Zealandia and the rifts formed during the early stages of this rifting. Extension in these rifts is minor as rifting quickly jumped north of Thurston Island. The southern boundary of the Cosgrove Rift is aligned with the southern boundary of a sedimentary basin under the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf to the west, also formed by Antarctica-Zealandia rifting. The shelf basin has an extension factor, β, of 1.5 - 1.7 with 80 -100 km of extension occurring in an area now ~250 km wide. Following this extension early in the rifting process, rifting centered to the north of the present shelf edge and proceeded to continental rupture. Since then, the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf has been tectonically quiescent and has primarily been shaped though subsidence, sedimentation and the passage of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet back and forth across it. The former Bellingshausen Plate was located seaward of the Amundsen Sea margin prior to its incorporation into the Antarctic Plate at ~62 Ma. During the latter part of its existence, Bellingshausen plate motion had a clockwise rotational component relative to Antarctica producing convergence between the Bellingshausen and Antarctic plates east of 102°W. Seismic reflection and gravity data show that this convergence is expressed by an area of intensely deformed sediments beneath the continental slope from 102°W to 95°W and

  10. Factors controlling late Cenozoic continental margin growth from the Ebro Delta to the western Mediterranean deep sea (United States)

    Nelson, C.H.; Maldonado, A.


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

  11. Past sea level changes along the western continental margins of India: Evidences from morphology of the sea bed

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vora, K.H.

    , foraminifers, etc. and certain geomorphological features such as submarine terraces, reefs, notches, raised marine deposits, beach rocks and buried channels, etc. Glacio-eustatic sea-level fluctuations, along with relief, lithology, sedimentation..., tectonic movements etc., have governed depositional and erosional patterns and thereby, topography of the continental shelf. The continental shelves world over are marked by the presence of a variety of geomorphological features that are the net...

  12. Heat flow in the rifted continental margin of the South China Sea near Taiwan and its tectonic implications (United States)

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


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

  13. Recent Sedimentary Processes Along the Western Continental Margin of the South Korea Plateau, East Sea of Korea (United States)

    Cukur, D.; Um, I. K.; Bahk, J. J.; Chun, J. H.; Lee, G. S.; Soo, K. G.; Horozal, S.; Kim, S. P.


    The continental margins of the marginal seas is largely shaped by a complex interplay of sediment transport processes directed both downslope and along-slope. Factors influence the sediment transport from shelf to the deep basin include: (i) seabed morphology, (ii) climate, (iii) sea level changes, (iv) slope stability, (v) oceanographic regime, and (vi) sediment sources. In order to understand the recent sedimentary processes along the western margin of the South Korea Plateau in the East Sea, we collected multiple geophysical datasets including the subbottom profiler and multibeam echosounder as well as geological sampling. Twelve echo types have been defined and interpreted as deposits formed by shallow marine, hemipelagic sedimentation, bottom currents, combined- (mass-movement/hemipelagic and hemipelagic/turbidites) and mass-movement-processes. Hemipelagic sedimentation, which is reflected as undisturbed layered sediments, appears to have been the primary sedimentary process throughout the study area. Two major slope-parallel channels appear to have acted as major conduits for turbidity currents from shallower shelf into the deep basins. Bottom current deposits, which is expressed as undulating seafloor morphology, are prevalent in the southern mid-slope at water depths between 250 to 450 m. Mass-transport deposits, consisting of chaotic seismic facies, occur in the upper and lower parts of the continental slope. Piston cores confirm the presence of MTDs that are characterized by mud clasts of variable size and shape. Multibeam bathymetry data show that these MTDs chiefly initiate on lower-slopes (400-600 m) where the gradient is up to 3°. In addition, subbottom profiles suggest the presence of numerous faults in close vicinity of headwall scarps; some are extending to the seafloor suggesting their recent activity. Earthquakes associated with tectonic activity are considered as the main triggering mechanism for these MTDs. Overall, the acoustic facies

  14. Cretaceous–Eocene provenance connections between the Palawan Continental Terrane and the northern South China Sea margin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shao, Lei; Cao, Licheng; Qiao, Peijun; Zhang, Xiangtao; Li, Qianyu; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.


    The plate kinematic history of the South China Sea opening is key to reconstructing how the Mesozoic configuration of Panthalassa and Tethyan subduction systems evolved into today's complex Southeast Asian tectonic collage. The South China Sea is currently flanked by the Palawan Continental Terrane

  15. Atlantic continental margin of the United States (United States)

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


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

  16. Evidences of late quaternary neotectonic activity and sea-level changes along the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Veerayya, M.; Thamban, M.; Wagle, B.G.

    The offshore data on sea-level changes along the western margin of India have been reviewed and evidences of Late Quaternary neotectonic activity and subsidence are documented, based on the diagenetic textures of limestones from deeper submarine...

  17. Classification of sea-floor features associated with methane seeps along the Gulf of Cádiz continental margin (United States)

    León, Ricardo; Somoza, Luis; Medialdea, Teresa; Maestro, Adolfo; Díaz-del-Río, Victor; Fernández-Puga, María del Carmen


    Based on recently gathered swath-bathymetry, high- to ultra-high-resolution seismic, and underwater camera data, along with dredging and coring samples, this paper examines the relationship between sea-floor features and the nature of hydrocarbon-enriched fluid and gas leaks from degassing of deeply buried sediments along the continental margin of the Gulf of Cádiz (eastern Central Atlantic). A classification into three main groups is proposed on the basis of the morphology and nature of deposits: (1) mud volcanoes, (2) methane-derived authigenic carbonates (MDAC) mounds, and (3) crater-like pockmarks. Mud volcanoes are, topographically, cone-shaped sea-floor edifices, built up from catastrophic mud and fluid degassing, intercalated with periods of inactivity. So far more than 25 mud volcanoes have been discovered in the Gulf of Cádiz, named in memory of deceased colleagues (e.g., Ginsburg and Baraza), or researchers' birth places (e.g. Faro, Cibeles, Almazán, San Petersburgh, Yuma, Rabat, Bonjardim, Coruña, Gades). These structures range from 800 to 2500 m in diameter and tower 150-300 m above the seabed. The volcanoes consistently feature a well-defined outer ring or circular terrace and an inner dome. All mud volcanoes are built up of episodes of mud-breccia flows, intercalated with deep-current deposits, with evident indications of gas saturation: degassing structures, a strong H 2S smell, and chemosynthetic fauna (such as Pogonophora sp. tube worms and Calyptogena sp.). Commonly observed carbonate crusts and slabs overlying some mud volcanoes are thought to have been formed by slow, diffuse venting during periods of inactivity or slower rates of fluid venting following the ejection of mud. A "fermentation" process, the result of microbial-mediated oxidation of hydrocarbon-enriched fluids, seems to play an important role in the growth of large deep-water carbonate mounds and chimneys during periods of low methane-seep fluid pressure. More than 400 crater

  18. Investigating Continental Margins: An Activity to Help Students Better Understand the Continental Margins of North America (United States)

    Poli, Maria-Serena; Capodivacca, Marco


    Continental margins are an important part of the ocean floor. They separate the land above sea level from the deep ocean basins below and occupy about 11% of Earth's surface. They are also economically important, as they harbor both mineral resources and some of the most valuable fisheries in the world. In this article students investigate North…

  19. Seismic structure and tectonics of the continental margins of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, K.S.; Chaubey, A.K.; Rao, D.G.; Reddy, P.R.

    floor belong to different lithospheric plates. Active margins are commonly the sites of tectonic activity such as earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building and formation of new igneous rocks. Because of the mountainous terrain the continental shelf... greater proportion of the river borne sediments occur on the shelves, continental slopes, and deep sea fans where terrigenous sedimentation is dominant process. On lower slopes and continental rises, fine-grained siliciclastics commonly mixed...

  20. Structural characteristics of pre-Cenozoic erathem on continental margins of the Southwest Sub-basin, South China Sea and its geological implications (United States)

    Zhu, Rongwei; Liu, Hailing; Yan, Pin; Yao, Yongjian; Zhou, Yang; Wang, Yin; Li, Yuhan


    Pre-Cenozoic structural characteristics on the conjugated continental margins, Zhongsha- Xisha block (ZSXSB) in the northwest and Nansha block (NSB) in the southeast, of the Southwest Sub-basin is fundamental to understand their tectonic contact relationship before the formation of the South China Sea. Some unpublished and published multi-channel seismic profiles together with published drillings and dredge data were correlated for interpretation. The strata of the study region can be divided into the upper, middle and lower structural layers. The upper and middle structural layers with extensional tectonics are Cenozoic, while the lower structural layer suffering compression is Mesozoic-Paleozoic in ZSXSB and Mesozoic in NSB, respectively. These compressional structures were formed mainly in Late Mesozoic Era. Further structural restoration was done to remove the Cenozoic tectonic influence and to calculate the pre-Cenozoic tectonic compression ratios. It is shown that tectonic compression ratios of NNW or NWW orientations gradually increase from the south to the north in the ZSXSB and southern NSB. While tectonic compression ratios of SSE orientations southward gradually decrease in the northern NSB. The variations of the compression ratios may be related to a spreading of the proto-South China Sea in late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (then located in south of the NSB), which probably had pushed the NSB drifted northward and led to a soft collision suture between the ZSXSB and NSB. Thus the spreading of the Southwest Sub-basin may have started along suture zone pre-existed between the ZSXSB and NSB, which is tectonically weakness zone. Key words: Southwest Sub-basin of the South China Sea, conjugated continental margins, pre-Cenozoic compressive deformation structure, structural restoration, soft collision suture, proto-South China Sea Key words: Southwest Sub-basin of the South China Sea, Conjugated continental margins, Pre-Cenozoic structure, Structural

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Preciozzi, F


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

  2. Early diagenesis of phosphorus in continental margin sediments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slomp, C.P.


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

  3. Oceanography of marginal seas

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    DileepKumar, M.

    The North Indian Ocean consists of three marginal seas; The Persian Gulf and the Red Sea in the west and the Andaman Sea in the east. Oceanographic features of these semi-enclosed basins have been discussed in this article. While circulation...

  4. Use of Stochastic Modeling of Stratigraphic Relationships in High Resolution Seismic Reflection Data for Prediction of the Distribution of Acoustic and Geotechnical Property Variability in Near Surface Sediments on the East China Sea Continental Margin

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bartek, Louis


    During cruises in May and June of 1999, 7991 km of single channel high resolution seismic data and 5278 km of chirp sub-bottom and side-scan sonar data were collected from the continental margin of the East China Sea (ECS) and Yellow Sea...

  5. Abbot Ice Shelf, structure of the Amundsen Sea continental margin and the southern boundary of the Bellingshausen Plate seaward of West Antarctica (United States)

    Cochran, James R.; Tinto, Kirsty J.; Bell, Robin E.


    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. The copyright line for this article was changed on 5 JUN 2015 after original online publication.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ramana, M.V.

    diagnostic anomaly pattern, and is independent of the location of the boundary with respect to the shelf edge. Robinowitz and Labrecque (1977) computed isostatic gravity anomalies across Argentine and southern African continental margins. The profiles... anomalies over the shelf edge were explained in several ways. For example, Worzel and Shurbet (1955) suggested that that basement ridge and crustal thinning account for gravity high near the shelf edge. High density belts in the basement have been...

  7. Understanding Continental Margin Biodiversity: A New Imperative (United States)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Sibuet, Myriam


    Until recently, the deep continental margins (200-4,000 m) were perceived as monotonous mud slopes of limited ecological or environmental concern. Progress in seafloor mapping and direct observation now reveals unexpected heterogeneity, with a mosaic of habitats and ecosystems linked to geomorphological, geochemical, and hydrographic features that influence biotic diversity. Interactions among water masses, terrestrial inputs, sediment diagenesis, and tectonic activity create a multitude of ecological settings supporting distinct communities that populate canyons and seamounts, high-stress oxygen minimum zones, and methane seeps, as well as vast reefs of cold corals and sponges. This high regional biodiversity is fundamental to the production of valuable fisheries, energy, and mineral resources, and performs critical ecological services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, nursery and habitat support). It is under significant threat from climate change and human resource extraction activities. Serious actions are required to preserve the functions and services provided by the deep-sea settings we are just now getting to know.

  8. Exploration of the continental margins of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    In mid 1970's the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India prepared a plan for systematic regional, geological and geophysical surveys of the continental margins of India. This involved over 75,000 km of underway (bathymetric, side scan sonar...

  9. Comparative biogeochemistry-ecosystem-human interactions on dynamic continental margins (United States)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Liu, Kon-Kee; Emeis, Kay-Christian; Breitburg, Denise L.; Cloern, James; Deutsch, Curtis; Giani, Michele; Goffart, Anne; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Lachkar, Zouhair; Limburg, Karin; Liu, Su-Mei; Montes, Enrique; Naqvi, Wajih; Ragueneau, Olivier; Rabouille, Christophe; Sarkar, Santosh Kumar; Swaney, Dennis P.; Wassman, Paul; Wishner, Karen F.


    The ocean’s continental margins face strong and rapid change, forced by a combination of direct human activity, anthropogenic CO2-induced climate change, and natural variability. Stimulated by discussions in Goa, India at the IMBER IMBIZO III, we (1) provide an overview of the drivers of biogeochemical variation and change on margins, (2) compare temporal trends in hydrographic and biogeochemical data across different margins (3) review ecosystem responses to these changes, (4) highlight the importance of margin time series for detecting and attributing change and (5) examine societal responses to changing margin biogeochemistry and ecosystems. We synthesize information over a wide range of margin settings in order to identify the commonalities and distinctions among continental margin ecosystems. Key drivers of biogeochemical variation include long-term climate cycles, CO2-induced warming, acidification, and deoxygenation, as well as sea level rise, eutrophication, hydrologic and water cycle alteration, changing land use, fishing, and species invasion. Ecosystem responses are complex and impact major margin services including primary production, fisheries production, nutrient cycling, shoreline protection, chemical buffering, and biodiversity. Despite regional differences, the societal consequences of these changes are unarguably large and mandate coherent actions to reduce, mitigate and adapt to multiple stressors on continental margins.

  10. Sulfate reduction and methane oxidation activity below the sulfate-methane transition zone in Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin sediments: Implications for deep sulfur cycling (United States)

    Treude, Tina; Krause, Stefan; Maltby, Johanna; Dale, Andrew W.; Coffin, Richard; Hamdan, Leila J.


    Two ∼6 m long sediment cores were collected along the ∼300 m isobath on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin. Both cores showed distinct sulfate-methane transition zones (SMTZ) at 105 and 120 cm below seafloor (cmbsf). Sulfate was not completely depleted below the SMTZ but remained between 30 and 500 μM. Sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) determined by radiotracer incubations were active throughout the methanogenic zone. Although a mass balance could not explain the source of sulfate below the SMTZ, geochemical profiles and correlation network analyses of biotic and abiotic data suggest a cryptic sulfur cycle involving iron, manganese and barite. Inhibition experiments with molybdate and 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) indicated decoupling of sulfate reduction and AOM and competition between sulfate reducers and methanogens for substrates. While correlation network analyses predicted coupling of AOM to iron reduction, the addition of manganese or iron did not stimulate AOM. Since none of the classical archaeal anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME) were abundant, the involvement of unknown or unconventional phylotypes in AOM is conceivable. The resistance of AOM activity to inhibitors implies deviation from conventional enzymatic pathways. This work suggests that the classical redox cascade of electron acceptor utilization based on Gibbs energy yields does not always hold in diffusion-dominated systems, and instead biotic processes may be more strongly coupled to mineralogy.

  11. Reconstructing Rodinia by Fitting Neoproterozoic Continental Margins (United States)

    Stewart, John H.


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

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

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


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

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, K.S.

    margins of India, with which some of the main geological features of continental margins have been modified. This article provides a brief review on theory of plate tectonics for understanding the process of intra- continental breakup..., thereby the results are discussed for classification of the margins. The Theory of Plate Tectonics The theory of continental drift, which paves the way for discovery of plate tectonics, was put forward by Alfred Lother Wegener as early as in 1912...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Preciozzi, F


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

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

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


    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.

  16. Reliability of AMS and ARM/KARM to reconstruct the relative vigor and variability of sea-bottom currents during the Last Glacial Period in the North-West Iberian Continental Margin. (United States)

    Rey, D.; Plaza-Morlote, M.; Mohamed Falcon, K. J.; Pares, J. M.; Bernabeu, A. M.; El Mekadem, N.; Rubio, B.


    We explore the potential and reliability of the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) to reconstruct the relative vigor of the sea-bottom currents by comparison with the widely-used paleo current proxy `sortable silt' mean (SS) grain size. SS and AMS are used as two independent proxies to determine relative changes in bottom-current speed, and their consistency tested against each other. The suitability of the magnetic grainsize proxy ARM/KARM ratio as a proxy for bottom-current variability is also investigated. The results are based on CI12PC3 core from the Galicia Interior Basin (North West Iberian Continental Margin) spanning the last 80 ka. The majority of AMS ellipsoid minimum axes (K3) in core CI12PC3 are close to vertical (INCmean= 80o) and nearly orthogonal to the bedding plane. Maximum axes (K1) are well-grouped marking two main magnetic lineation directions. Their orientations are consistent with present-day bottom-currents flow directions along the continental margin. Down-core variations in the degree of anisotropy (Pj) showed significantly higher values during Heinrich Stadials (cold) than during interstadials (warm). CI12PC3 also shows systematically lower ARM/KARM values during the stadials than during interstadials, indicating provenance induced coarsening of the magnetic fraction during the cold periods. We have noted that Pj down-core changes are independent of magnetic grain size, and interpreted them as the result of differences in the degree of grain alignment. These changes can be attributed to the variability in the strength of the bottom currents, indicating that they are stronger during stadials, which is consistent with the SS results. Magnetic properties and AMS of core CI12PC3 are climatically modulated on a millennial time scale reflecting the evolution in the near bottom-currents of the North West Iberian Continental Margin. Their variability exposes unchartered links with the AMOC and with the North Atlantic climate variability

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dowdeswell, J. A; Cofaigh, C. Ó


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

  18. U.S. East Coast Continental Margin (CONMAR) Sediment Data (United States)

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

  19. Crustal growth at active continental margins: Numerical modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vogt, Katharina; Gerya, Taras; Castro, Antonio

    The dynamics and melt sources for crustal growth at active continental margins are analyzed by using a 2D coupled petrological–thermomechanical numerical model of an oceanic-continental subduction zone. This model includes spontaneous slab retreat and bending, dehydration of subducted crust, aqueous

  20. Mapping Mesophotic Reefs Along the Brazilian Continental Margin (United States)

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


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

  1. Monsoonal and fertility contols on recent marginal sea and continental shelf coccolith assemblages from the western Pacific and northern Indian Oceans

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Houghton, S.D.; Guptha, M.V.S.

    shelf to offshore basin, western Tasman Sea. Deep-Sea Res., 22:425 431. Charton, B., 1989. Collins Dictionary of the Seas and Oceans, Collins, Glasgow, 458 pp. Chen, M.-P. and Shieh, K.S., 1982. Recent nannofossil assem- blages in sediments from...

  2. Influence of dynamic topography on landscape evolution and passive continental margin stratigraphy (United States)

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


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

  3. Continental transform margins : state of art and future milestones (United States)

    Basile, Christophe


    Transform faults were defined 45 years ago as ‘a new class of fault' (Wilson, 1965), and transform margins were consequently individualized as a new class of continental margins. While transform margins represent 20 to 25 % of the total length of continent-ocean transitions, they were poorly studied, especially when compared with the amount of data, interpretations, models and conceptual progress accumulated on divergent or convergent continental margins. The best studied examples of transform margins are located in the northern part of Norway, south of South Africa, in the gulf of California and on both sides of the Equatorial Atlantic. Here is located the Côte d'Ivoire - Ghana margin, where the more complete data set was acquired, based on numerous geological and geophysical cruises, including ODP Leg 159. The first models that encompassed the structure and evolution of transform margins were mainly driven by plate kinematic reconstructions, and evidenced the diachronic end of tectonic activity and the non-cylindrical character of these margins, with a decreasing strike-slip deformation from the convex to the concave divergent-transform intersections. Further thermo-mechanical models were more specifically designed to explain the vertical displacements along transform margins, and especially the occurrence of high-standing marginal ridges. These thermo-mechanical models involved either heat transfer from oceanic to continental lithospheres across the transform faults or tectonically- or gravity-driven mass transfer in the upper crust. These models were far from fully fit observations, and were frequently dedicated to specific example, and not easily generalizable. Future work on transform continental margins may be expected to fill some scientific gaps, and the definition of working directions can benefit from the studies dedicated to other types of margins. At regional scale the structural and sedimentological variability of transform continental margins has

  4. Identifying the "Foot of the Continental Slope" of high-latitude continental margins influenced by trough mouth fans (United States)

    Sverre Laberg, Jan


    The continental slope of high-latitude margins often include trough mouth fans, which are sediment fans situated in front of large troughs crossing the continental shelf. The troughs acted as corridors for paleo-ice streams, sectors of fast-flowing ice within the large ice sheets of the last glacial maximum as well as previous glacials. The paleo-ice streams were highly efficient erosional agents, eroding and transporting large volumes of sediments to the continental shelf edge. Here, these sediments were released to move downslope as large debris flows, the "building blocks" of these fans. Due to the very large sediment volume included within these fans, they represent prominent depocenters forming low-gradient sectors (axial gradient often being as low as 1 degree or less) with no clear morphological distinction of the continental slope including its lower limit. Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the criteria provided in Article 76 includes the lower limit or "foot" of the continental slope as one important parameter in the extended Continental Shelf delineation (i.e. beyond the 200 M exclusive economic zone). Because of this, the Norwegian submission regarding the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Norwegian Sea and the Arctic Ocean argued that the origin of the sub-sea floor sediments on the slope needed to be considered when identifying the location of the foot of the continental slope. This was done by mapping the outer limits of the large debris flow deposits of the trough mouth fans, deposits that without doubt have their origin from the continental shelf. Thus, in these cases, the foot of the continental slope coincide with the downslope termination of the large debris flow deposits and the outer limit of the continental shelf lies 60 M beyond this point. The data used for mapping includes swath bathymetry, sub-bottom profiles and short sediment samples (< 10 m), and we present and discuss examples from the Bear Island Trough Mouth

  5. Closing the North American Carbon Budget: Continental Margin Fluxes Matter! (United States)

    Najjar, R.; Benway, H. M.; Siedlecki, S. A.; Boyer, E. W.; Cai, W. J.; Coble, P. G.; Cross, J. N.; Friedrichs, M. A.; Goni, M. A.; Griffith, P. C.; Herrmann, M.; Lohrenz, S. E.; Mathis, J. T.; McKinley, G. A.; Pilskaln, C. H.; Smith, R. A.; Alin, S. R.


    Despite their relatively small surface area, continental margins are regions of intense carbon and nutrient processing, export and exchange, and thus have a significant impact on global biogeochemical cycles. In response to recommendations for regional synthesis and carbon budget estimation for North America put forth in the North American Continental Margins workshop report (Hales et al., 2008), the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Program and North American Carbon Program (NACP) began coordinating a series of collaborative, interdisciplinary Coastal CARbon Synthesis (CCARS) research activities in five coastal regions of North America (Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Arctic, Laurentian Great Lakes) to improve quantitative assessments of the North American carbon budget. CCARS workshops and collaborative research activities have resulted in the development of regional coastal carbon budgets based on recent literature- and model-based estimates of major carbon fluxes with estimated uncertainties. Numerous peer-reviewed papers and presentations by involved researchers have highlighted these findings and provided more in-depth analyses of processes underlying key carbon fluxes in continental margin systems. As a culminating outcome of these synthesis efforts, a comprehensive science plan highlights key knowledge gaps identified during this synthesis and provides explicit guidance on future research and observing priorities in continental margin systems to help inform future agency investments in continental margins research. This presentation will provide an overview of regional and flux-based (terrestrial inputs, biological transformations, sedimentary processes, atmospheric exchanges, lateral carbon transport) synthesis findings and key recommendations in the science plan, as well as a set of overarching priorities and recommendations on observations and modeling approaches for continental margin systems.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Laruelle, G. G.


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. G. Laruelle


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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Laruelle, G. G.


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

  9. New Insight Into the Crustal Structure of the Continental Margin offshore NW Sabah/Borneo (United States)

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


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

  10. Authigenic minerals from the continental margins

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.

    . Garrels, RM., Thompson, ME., 1962. A chemical model for sea water at 25 C and one atmospheric pressure. Am. J. Sci., 260, 57-66. Hardie, LA., 1987 Dolomitization: a critical view of some current views. J. Sediment. Petrol., 57, 166-183. Humphery, JD.... Chemistry and environment of dolomitization – a reappraisal. Earth-Sci. Reviews, 23, 175-222. Melim, LA., Scholle, PA., 2002. Dolomitization of the Capitan formation forereef facies (Permian, west Texas and New Mexico): seepage reflux revisited...

  11. Slumping on the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, P.S.

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

  13. Holocene subsurface temperature variability in the eastern Antarctic continental margin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kim, J.H.; Crosta, X.; Willmott, V.; Renssen, H.; Bonnin, J.; Helmke, P.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.


    We reconstructed subsurface (similar to 45-200 m water depth) temperature variability in the eastern Antarctic continental margin during the late Holocene, using an archaeal lipid-based temperature proxy (TEX86 L). Our results reveal that subsurface temperature changes were probably positively

  14. Vertical tectonics at an active continental margin (United States)

    Houlié, N.; Stern, T. A.


    Direct observations of vertical movements of the earth's surface are now possible with space-based GPS networks, and have applications to resources, hazards and tectonics. Here we present data on vertical movements of the Earth's surface in New Zealand, computed from the processing of GPS data collected between 2000 and 2015 by 189 permanent GPS stations. We map the geographical variation in vertical rates and show how these variations are explicable within a tectonic framework of subduction, volcanic activity and slow slip earthquakes. Subsidence of >3 mm/yr is observed along southeastern North Island and is interpreted to be due to the locked segment of the Hikurangi subduction zone. Uplift of 1-3 mm/yr further north along the margin of the eastern North Island is interpreted as being due to the plate interface being unlocked and underplating of sediment on the subduction thrust. The Volcanic Plateau of the central North Island is being uplifted at about 1 mm/yr, which can be explained by basaltic melts being injected in the active mantle-wedge at a rate of ∼6 mm/yr. Within the Central Volcanic Region there is a 250 km2 area that subsided between 2005 and 2012 at a rate of up to 14 mm/yr. Time series from the stations located within and near the zone of subsidence show a strong link between subsidence, adjacent uplift and local earthquake swarms.

  15. A facies distribution model controlled by a tectonically inherited sea bottom topography in the carbonate rimmed shelf of the Upper Tithonian-Valanginian Southern Tethyan continental margin (NW Sicily, Italy) (United States)

    Basilone, Luca; Sulli, Attilio


    The Upper Tithonian-Valanginian shallow-water carbonates outcropping in the Palermo Mts (NW Sicily) consist of several facies associations reflecting different depositional environments of a carbonate rimmed shelf, pertaining to the Southern Tethyan continental margin. The reconstructed depositional model, based on the sedimentological features, cyclic facies arrangement and biota distribution, shows that a wide protected lagoon, dominated by algae, molluscs and scattered patch reefs, was bordered landward by a tidal flat, where stromatolitic algal mats were cyclically subaerial exposed, and seaward by a marine sand belt and reef complex. Oolitic packstone-grainstone lithofacies, cyclically subjected to subaerial exposure, suggests the occurrence of a barrier island, located nearly to the lagoonal carbonate shoreline, allowing the development of narrow embayments with restricted circulation. In the outer platform, the oolitic lithofacies of the marine sand belt pass landward into the protected lagoon, where washover oolite sands occur, and seaward into a high-energy zone (back-reef apron) gradually merging in the reef complex. In the latter, coral framestone occupied the inner sector (reef flat), while the facies association dominated by boundstone with Ellipsactinia sp. developed in the outer sectors (reef wall), adjacent to the fore-reef and upper slope environments. Stratigraphic evidence, associated with the recognized facies associations, helped to reconstruct the geo-tectonic setting of the carbonate platform, where the distribution of the depositional facies along the shelf and their extension were influenced by the tectonically-inherited sea bottom topography. In a regime of extensional tectonics, localized and thin succession of high-energy prograding oolite sand belt depositional facies occupied structural highs (footwall uplift), while the largely diffused and thick low energy aggrading peritidal-to-lagoonal depositional facies developed in subsiding

  16. Constraining Lithosphere Deformation Modes during Continental Breakup for the Iberia-Newfoundland Conjugate Margins (United States)

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


    How the lithosphere and asthenosphere deforms during continental rifting leading to breakup and sea-floor spreading initiation is poorly understood. Observations at present-day and fossil analogue rifted margins show a complex OCT architecture which cannot be explained by a single simplistic lithosphere deformation modes. This OCT complexity includes hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, detachments faults, exhumed mantle, continental slivers and scattered embryonic oceanic crust. We use a coupled kinematic-dynamic model of lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation to determine the sequence of lithosphere deformation modes leading to continental breakup for Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margin profiles. We quantitatively calibrate the models using observed present-day water loaded subsidence and crustal thickness, together with subsidence history and the age of melt generation. Flow fields, representing a sequence of lithosphere deformation modes, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FE-Margin), and 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 (Braun et al. 2000) is also kinematically included. Melt generation by decompressional melting is predicted using the methodology of Katz et al., 2003. The extension magnitudes used in the lithosphere deformation models are taken from 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

  17. The Ebro margin study, northwestern Mediterranean Sea - an introduction (United States)

    Maldonado, A.; Hans, Nelson C.


    The Ebro continental margin from the coast to the deep sea off northeastern Spain was selected for a multidisciplinary project because of the abundant Ebro River sediment supply, Pliocene and Quaternary progradation, and margin development in a restricted basin where a variety of controlling factors could be evaluated. The nature of this young passive margin for the last 5 m.y. was investigated with particular emphasis on marine circulation, sediment dynamics, sediment geochemistry, depositional facies, seismic stratigraphy, geotechnical properties, geological hazards and human influences. These studies show the importance of marine circulation, variation in sediment supply, sea-level oscillation and tectonic setting for the understanding of modern and ancient margin depositional processes and growth patterns. ?? 1990.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Preciozzi, F.


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

  19. Imaging continental shelf shallow stratigraphy by using different high-resolution seismic sources: an example from the Calabro-Tyrrhenian margin (Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleonora Martorelli


    Full Text Available High-resolution seismic reflection profiles of the Calabro-Tyrrhenian continental shelf were collected using different seismic sources (Sub-Bottom Profiler, Uniboom, Sparker 0.5-1-4.5 kJ. Noticeable differences and results were obtained both from a geophysical and geological-interpretative point of view. The availability of different sources permitted the definition of the most suitable seismostratigraphic characterization in terms of resolution, penetration and acoustic facies. Very high resolution stratigraphy was defined through profiles produced by different seismic systems used in parallel. This permitted the application of sequence-stratigraphy concepts with the reconstruction of a thick postglacial depositional sequence, formed by a transgressive and a high-stand systems tract. The thickness distribution of postglacial deposits reveals that the main depocenter (55-65 m is located offshore of the Coastal Range, along a stretch of coast supplied by several small and seasonal streams ("fiumare" and characterized by the lack of a coastal plain. This suggests the greater efficiency of sediment supply and bypass in this area relatively to sectors located offshore of the main rivers. The transgressive systems tract, usually thin or nearly absent, is particularly well developed (up to 33 m and is composed of up to three parasequences with a retrogradational stacking pattern. The high-stand systems tract, up to 30 m thick, is made up of two parasequences and has a quite regular geometry and acoustic facies.Perfis de reflexão sísmica de alta resolução da plataforma continental tirreniana de Calabro foram obtidos utilizando-se recursos sísmicos diversos (Perfilador de Sub-superfície, Uniboom, Sparker 0.5-1-4.5 kJ. Diferenças evidentes foram encontradas sob o ponto de vista geofísico e geológico-interpretativo. A disponibilidade de diferentes fontes permitiu a definição de uma caracterização sismo-estratigráfica mais acurada em termos

  20. Tectonic Evolution of Mozambique Ridge in East African continental margin (United States)

    Tang, Yong


    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

  1. New Insight Into The Crustal Structure of The Continental Margin Off NW Sabah/borneo (United States)

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

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

  2. The Mesozoic-Cenozoic igneous intrusions and related sediment-dominated hydrothermal activities in the South Yellow Sea Basin, the Western Pacific continental margin (United States)

    Yumao, Pang; Xunhua, Zhang; Guolin, Xiao; Luning, Shang; Xingwei, Guo; Zhenhe, Wen


    Various igneous complexes were identified in multi-channel seismic reflection profiles from the South Yellow Sea Basin. It is not rare that magmatic intrusions in sedimentary basins cause strong thermal perturbations and hydrothermal activities. Some intrusion-related hydrothermal vent complexes have been identified and they are considered to originate from the deep sedimentary contact aureole around igneous intrusions and terminate in upper vents structures, and are linked by a vertical conduit system. The upper vent complexes are usually eye-shaped, dome-shaped, fault-related, crater-shaped or pock-shaped in seismic profiles. A schematic model was proposed to illustrate the structures of different types of hydrothermal vent complexes. A conceptual conduit model composed of an upper pipe-like part and a lower branching part was also derived. Hydrothermal vent complexes mainly developed during the Middle-Late Cretaceous, which is coeval with, or shortly after the intrusion. The back-arc basin evolution of the area which is related to the subduction of the Paleo-Pacific plate during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic may be the principal factor for voluminous igneous complexes and vent complexes in this area. It is significant to study the characteristics of igneous complexes and related hydrothermal vent complexes, which will have implications for the future study of this area.

  3. Western Ross Sea continental slope gravity currents (United States)

    Gordon, Arnold L.; Orsi, Alejandro H.; Muench, Robin; Huber, Bruce A.; Zambianchi, Enrico; Visbeck, Martin


    Antarctic Bottom Water of the world ocean is derived from dense Shelf Water that is carried downslope by gravity currents at specific sites along the Antarctic margins. Data gathered by the AnSlope and CLIMA programs reveal the presence of energetic gravity currents that are formed over the western continental slope of the Ross Sea when High Salinity Shelf Water exits the shelf through Drygalski Trough. Joides Trough, immediately to the east, offers an additional escape route for less saline Shelf Water, while the Glomar Challenger Trough still farther east is a major pathway for export of the once supercooled low-salinity Ice Shelf Water that forms under the Ross Ice Shelf. The Drygalski Trough gravity currents increase in thickness from ˜100 to ˜400 m on proceeding downslope from ˜600 m (the shelf break) to 1200 m (upper slope) sea floor depth, while turning sharply to the west in response to the Coriolis force during their descent. The mean current pathway trends ˜35° downslope from isobaths. Benthic-layer current and thickness are correlated with the bottom water salinity, which exerts the primary control over the benthic-layer density. A 1-year time series of bottom-water current and hydrographic properties obtained on the slope near the 1000 m isobath indicates episodic pulses of Shelf Water export through Drygalski Trough. These cold (34.75) pulses correlate with strong downslope bottom flow. Extreme examples occurred during austral summer/fall 2003, comprising concentrated High Salinity Shelf Water (-1.9 °C; 34.79) and approaching 1.5 m s -1 at descent angles as large as ˜60° relative to the isobaths. Such events were most common during November-May, consistent with a northward shift in position of the dense Shelf Water during austral summer. The coldest, saltiest bottom water was measured from mid-April to mid-May 2003. The summer/fall export of High Salinity Shelf Water observed in 2004 was less than that seen in 2003. This difference, if real

  4. Rockall Continental Margin Report. Final geological report (5 volumes)


    Stoker, M.S.; Hitchen, K.


    The Rockall Continental Margin Project was a 3-year research programme, undertaken between April 1992 and March 1995, designed to investigate the geology and resource potential of part of the frontier area west of Scotland. The programme was funded by a consortium comprising the British Geological Survey (BGS) and 8 exploration companies - BP, British Gas, Conoco, EE Caledonia, Elf, Enterprise, Esso and Mobil. The study has focused on the central and northern Rockall Trough, al...

  5. Real-Time PCR Quantification and Diversity Analysis of the Functional Genes aprA and dsrA of Sulfate-Reducing Prokaryotes in Marine Sediments of the Peru Continental Margin and the Black Sea. (United States)

    Blazejak, Anna; Schippers, Axel


    Sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRP) are ubiquitous and quantitatively important members in many ecosystems, especially in marine sediments. However their abundance and diversity in subsurface marine sediments is poorly understood. In this study, the abundance and diversity of the functional genes for the enzymes adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate reductase (aprA) and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA) of SRP in marine sediments of the Peru continental margin and the Black Sea were analyzed, including samples from the deep biosphere (ODP site 1227). For aprA quantification a Q-PCR assay was designed and evaluated. Depth profiles of the aprA and dsrA copy numbers were almost equal for all sites. Gene copy numbers decreased concomitantly with depth from around 10(8)/g sediment close to the sediment surface to less than 10(5)/g sediment at 5 mbsf. The 16S rRNA gene copy numbers of total bacteria were much higher than those of the functional genes at all sediment depths and used to calculate the proportion of SRP to the total Bacteria. The aprA and dsrA copy numbers comprised in average 0.5-1% of the 16S rRNA gene copy numbers of total bacteria in the sediments up to a depth of ca. 40 mbsf. In the zone without detectable sulfate in the pore water from about 40-121 mbsf (Peru margin ODP site 1227), only dsrA (but not aprA) was detected with copy numbers of less than 10(4)/g sediment, comprising ca. 14% of the 16S rRNA gene copy numbers of total bacteria. In this zone, sulfate might be provided for SRP by anaerobic sulfide oxidation. Clone libraries of aprA showed that all isolated sequences originate from SRP showing a close relationship to aprA of characterized species or form a new cluster with only distant relation to aprA of isolated SRP. For dsrA a high diversity was detected, even up to 121 m sediment depth in the deep biosphere.

  6. Cenozoic tectonic jumping and implications for hydrocarbon accumulation in basins in the East Asia Continental Margin (United States)

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


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

  7. Anthropogenic impacts on continental margins: New frontiers and engagement arena for global sustainability research and action (United States)

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


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

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  9. Paleogene continental margin truncation in southwestern Mexico: Geochronological evidence (United States)

    Schaaf, Peter; MoráN-Zenteno, Dante; HernáNdez-Bernal, Maria Del Sol; SolíS-Pichardo, Gabriela; Tolson, Gustavo; KöHler, Hermann


    The reasons for, and mechanisms of, continental margin truncation in SW Mexico where Mesozoic-Cenozoic plutons are situated directly on the Pacific coast, are not yet well understood. Large-scale dextral and/or sinistral displacements of the continental margin terranes, now forming parts of Baja California or the Chortis block, have been proposed. The well-defined along-coast NW-SE decreasing granitoid intrusion age trend (˜1.2 cm/yr in the 100 Ma-40 Ma time interval) between Puerto Vallarta and Zihuatanejo is interpreted by us to be a geometric artifact of oblique continental margin truncation rather than the consequence of a sinistral offset of the Chortis block from those latitudes toward the SE. Changes in the dip and velocity of the NNW-SSE trending Cretaceous-Tertiary subduction zone resulted in a landward migration of the magmatic arc. Taking into account certain stratigraphic affinities of Chortis and the Oaxaca and Mixteca terranes, together with the known displacement rates along the North America-Caribbean Plate boundary, the northwesternmost paleoposition of the Chortis block with respect to SW Mexico was near Zihuatanejo. In contrast, between Zihuatanejo and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the cessation of the Tertiary magmatism decreased more rapidly (˜7.7 cm/yr), although the trend is not so obvious. Starting in the late Eocene, Chortis moved about 1100 km to the SE along a transform boundary associated with the opening of the Cayman Trough. Based on our geochronological data and structural relationships between mylonite zones and plutons in the Acapulco-Tehuantepec area, we propose an approximately 650 km SE movement of Chortis from about 40-25 Ma, with a velocity of 6.5-4.3 cm/yr. Since this is considerably slower than the decreasing age trend obtained by us using the geochronological data, we consider batholith formation in this segment to predate and postdate the offshore passage of the North America-Farallon-Caribbean triple junction. Geological

  10. Geomorphic response of a continental margin to tectonic and eustatic variations, the Levant margin during the Messinian Salinity Crisis (United States)

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


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

  11. Continental margin radiography from a potential field and sediment thickness standpoint: the Iberian Atlantic Margin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Catalan, M.; Martos, Y. M.; Martin-Davila, J.; Munoz-Martin, A.; Carbo, A.; Druet, M.


    This study reviews the state of knowledge in the Iberian Atlantic margin. In order to do this, the margin has been divided into three provinces: the Galicia margin, the southern Iberian abyssal plain, and the Tagus abyssal plain. We have used potential field and sediment thickness data. This has allowed us to study the crust, setting limits for the continental crust domain, and the amplitude of the so-called ocean-continent transition, whose end marks the beginning of the oceanic crust. The study shows the continental crust in the Galician margin to be the widest, about 210 km in length, whilst the ocean-continent transition varies slightly in this province: between 65 km wide in the south and 56 km wide in the north. This result shows up some differences with the hypothesis of other authors. The situation in the southern Iberian abyssal plain is nearly the opposite. Its continental crust extends approximately 60 km, whilst the ocean-continent transition zone is 185 km long. The Tagus abyssal plain study shows a faster morphological evolution than the others, according with the amount of crustal thinning β, the ocean-continent transition domain spanning 100 km. These results support a transitional intermediate character for almost the whole Tagus plain, in contrary to what other authors have stated. (Author)

  12. Tectonostratigraphy of the Passive Continental Margin Offshore Indus Pakistan (United States)

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


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

  13. Importance of Microbial Iron Reduction in River-Dominated Continental Margin Sediments (United States)

    Taillefert, M.; Beckler, J. S.; Eitel, E. M.; Owings, S.; Craig, J. D.; Fields, B.; Cathalot, C.; Rassmann, J.; Bombled, B.; Corvaisier, R.; Michalopoulos, P.; Nuzzio, D. B.; Rabouille, C.


    Remineralization of organic carbon in continental margin sediments exposed to fast deposition processes is thought to proceed primarily via aerobic respiration and sulfate reduction because the supply of nitrate and metal oxides is not usually significant in deep-sea sediments. Dissimilatory metal reduction, on the other hand, may represent a dominant pathway in coastal and continental shelf sediments where delivery of terrigenous Fe(III) and Mn(IV/III) oxides is sufficiently high or mixing processes near the sediment-water interface recycle these minerals efficiently. Passive continental margin sediments receiving outflow from large rivers are well-known deposition centers for organic carbon, but may also be hot spots for metal-reducing microbial activity considering the simultaneous high deposition rates of unconsolidated metal oxides of terrigenous origin. Interestingly, only a few studies have examined the role of microbial metal reduction in carbon remineralization processes in these environments. In this study, a combination of in situ depth profiles, benthic flux measurements, and ex situ measurements in the Rhône River Delta (Metal reduction dominated carbon remineralization processes in the top 20 cm of sediment subject to high deposition, while evidence for sulfate reduction was lacking. These findings suggest that dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction may be more significant than previously thought in continental slope sediments, which may have important implications on carbon cycling in marine environments.

  14. Structure of shumagin continental margin, Western Gulf of Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruns, T.R.; Von Huene, R.; Lewis, S.D.; Ladd, J.W.


    The Shumagin margin is characterized by five major structural features or trends: (1) Shumagin basin, containing about 2.5 km of late Miocene and younger strata above acoustic basement; (2) Sanak basin, containing as much as 8 km of dominantly late Cenozoic strata in two subbasins separated by a basement high; (3) cenozoic shelf-edge and upper-slope sedimentary wedges that are 3-4 km thick and possibly as thick as 6 km; (4) a midslope structural trend, Unimak ridge, that is characterized by numerous surface and subsurface structural highs; and (5) a 30-km wide accretionary complex at the base of the slope. A thin (less than 1-2 km) sediment cover of Miocene and younger age covers the continental shelf areas outside of Shumagin and Sanak basins. The tectonic history of the margin includes: (1)j late Cretaceous or early Tertiary removal of the seaward part of the Cretaceous Alaska Peninsula margin along the Border Ranges fault and accretion of the Shumagin Formation against the truncated margin; (2) Miocene uplift and erosion of the shelf; (3) middle or late Miocene uplift of Unimak ridge; and (4) late Miocene and younger subsidence and infilling of Sanak and Shumagin basins, and subduction-accretion along the Aleutian Trench.

  15. Benthic assemblages of mega epifauna on the Oregon continental margin (United States)

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


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

  16. Benthic assemblages of mega epifauna on the Oregon continental margin (United States)

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


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

  17. Distinguishing Terrestrial Organic Carbon in Marginal Sediments of East China Sea and Northern South China Sea (United States)

    Kandasamy, Selvaraj; Lin, Baozhi; Wang, Huawei; Liu, Qianqian; Liu, Zhifei; Lou, Jiann-Yuh; Chen, Chen-Tung Arthur; Mayer, Lawrence M.


    Knowledge about the sources, transport pathways and behavior of terrestrial organic carbon in continental margins adjoining to large rivers has improved in recent decades, but uncertainties and complications still exist with human-influenced coastal regions in densely populated wet tropics and subtropics. In these regions, the monsoon and other episodic weather events exert strong climatic control on mineral and particulate organic matter delivery to the marginal seas. Here we investigate elemental (TOC, TN and bromine-Br) and stable carbon isotopic (δ13C) compositions of organic matter (OM) in surface sediments and short cores collected from active (SW Taiwan) and passive margin (East China Sea) settings to understand the sources of OM that buried in these settings. We used sedimentary bromine to total organic carbon (Br/TOC) ratios to apportion terrigenous from marine organic matter, and find that Br/TOC may serve as an additional, reliable proxy for sedimentary provenance in both settings. Variations in Br/TOC are consistent with other provenance indicators in responding to short-lived terrigenous inputs. Because diagenetic alteration of Br is insignificant on shorter time scales, applying Br/TOC ratios as a proxy to identify organic matter source along with carbon isotope mixing models may provide additional constraints on the quantity and transformation of terrigenous organics in continental margins. We apply this combination of approaches to land-derived organic matter in different depositional environments of East Asian marginal seas.

  18. Anomalous heat flow belt along the continental margin of Brazil (United States)

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


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

  19. 210Pb and 210Po as tracers of particle transport mechanisms on continental margins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    , and Coastal Processes ofIndian. Coast" Structure and Tectonics ofWestern Continental Margin ofIndia: Implication for Geologic Hazards A.K. Chaubey and K.K. Ajay National Institute ojOceanography. DOM Paula, Goa-403 004 The geomorphological and geological....D., Kroon, D., Gaedicke, c., Craig, J. (Eds.), The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region, vol. 195. Geological Society, London, pp. 71"':85 (Special Publications). Chaubey, A.K., Gopala Rao, D., Srinivas, K., Ramprasad, T., Ramana, M...

  1. Distribution patterns of Recent planktonic foraminifera in surface sediments of the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Naidu, P.D.

    derived from organisms living as benthos on the seafloor, and shells of organisms which once had lived as plankton in the surface waters (Diester-Haass et al., 1973). Thus the sedi- ments of continental margins show features typical 0025... surface waters contrast sharply with low salinity waters along the south Indian coast and in the Bay of Bengal (Fig. 3A). The North Equato- rial Current sets-in during the northeastern mon- soon period and it penetrates into the southern Arabian Sea...

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    This special issue presents case studies of different continental marginswith different settings and problems. The domains examined cover awide spectrumof continental margin environments, fromwatersheds, estuaries and wetlands on the landward side...

  3. Seismic structure of the northern continental margin of Spain from ESCIN deep seismic profiles (United States)

    Alvarez-Marrón, J.; Pérez-Estaún, A.; Danñobeitia, J. J.; Pulgar, J. A.; Martínez^Catalán, J. R.; Marcos, A.; Bastida, F.; Ayarza^Arribas, P.; Aller, J.; Gallart, A.; Gonzalez-Lodeiro, F.; Banda, E.; Comas, M. C.; Córdoba, D.


    By the end of the Carboniferous, the crust of the continental shelf in northwestern Spain was made up of deeply rooted structures related to the Variscan collision. From Permian to Triassic times the tectonic setting had changed to mainly extensional and the northern Iberian continental margin underwent rifting during Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous times, along with sea-floor spreading and the opening of the Bay of Biscay until the Late Cretaceous. Subsequently, the northern Iberian margin was active during the north-south convergence of Eurasia and Iberia in the Tertiary. A multichannel seismic experiment, consisting of two profiles, one north-south (ESCIN-4) crossing the platform margin offshore Asturias, and another (ESCIN-3) crossing the platform margin to the northwest of Galicia, was designed to study the structure of the northern Iberian margin. The ESCIN-4 stacked section reveals inverted structures in the upper crust within the Le Danois Basin. North of the steep continental slope, ESCIN-4 shows a thick sedimentary package from 6 to 9.5 s, two-way travel time (TWT). Within this latter package, a 40-km-long, north-tapering wedge of inclined, mainly south-dipping reflections is thought to represent a buried, Alpine-age accretionary prism. In the north western part of the ESCIN-3 (ESCIN-3-1) stacked section, horizontal reflections from 6.5 to 8.5 s correspond to an undisturbed package of sediments lying above oceanic-type basement. In this part of the line, a few kilometres long, strong horizontal reflection at 11.2 s within the basement may represent an oceanic Moho reflection. Also, a band of reflections dips gently towards the southeast, from the base of the gently dipping continental slope. The part of ESCIN-3 line that runs parallel to the NW-Galicia coast (ESCIN-3-2), is characterized by bright, continuous lower crustal reflections from 8 to 10 s. Beneath the lower crustal reflectivity, a band of strong reflections dips gently toward the southwest from

  4. Biogeochemistry and ecosystems of continental margins in the western North Pacific Ocean and their interactions and responses to external forcing - an overview and synthesis (United States)

    Liu, K.-K.; Kang, C.-K.; Kobari, T.; Liu, H.; Rabouille, C.; Fennel, K.


    In this special issue we examine the biogeochemical conditions and marine ecosystems in the major marginal seas of the western North Pacific Ocean, namely, the East China Sea, the Japan/East Sea to its north and the South China Sea to its south. They are all subject to strong climate forcing as well as anthropogenic impacts. On the one hand, continental margins in this region are bordered by the world's most densely populated coastal communities and receive tremendous amount of land-derived materials. On the other hand, the Kuroshio, the strong western boundary current of the North Pacific Ocean, which is modulated by climate oscillation, exerts strong influences over all three marginal seas. Because these continental margins sustain arguably some of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, changes in these stressed ecosystems may threaten the livelihood of a large population of humans. This special issue reports the latest observations of the biogeochemical conditions and ecosystem functions in the three marginal seas. The studies exemplify the many faceted ecosystem functions and biogeochemical expressions, but they reveal only a few long-term trends mainly due to lack of sufficiently long records of well-designed observations. It is critical to develop and sustain time series observations in order to detect biogeochemical changes and ecosystem responses in continental margins and to attribute the causes for better management of the environment and resources in these marginal seas.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, L.; Villena, H.


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

  6. Particle flux across the mid-European continental margin

    CERN Document Server

    Antia, A N; Peinert, R


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

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

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. H. Nelson


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

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

  9. Origin of volcanic seamounts at the continental margin of California related to changes in plate margins (United States)

    Davis, A. S.; Clague, D. A.; Paduan, J. B.; Cousens, B. L.; Huard, J.


    Volcanic samples collected with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's ROV Tiburon from eight seamounts at the continental margin offshore central to southern California comprise a diverse suite of mainly alkalic basalt to trachyte but also include rare tholeiitic basalt and basanite. All samples experienced complex crystal fractionation probably near the crust/mantle boundary, based on the presence in some of mantle xenoliths. Incompatible trace elements, poorly correlated with isotopic compositions, suggest variable degrees of partial melting of compositionally heterogeneous mantle sources, ranging from MORB-like to relatively enriched OIB. High-precision 40Ar/39Ar ages indicate episodes of volcanic activity mainly from 16 to 7 Ma but document one eruption as recent as 2.8 Ma at San Juan Seamount. Synchronous episodes of volcanism occurred at geographically widely separated locations offshore and within the continental borderland. Collectively, the samples from these seamounts have age ranges and chemical compositions similar to those from Davidson Seamount, identified as being located atop an abandoned spreading center. These seamounts appear to have a common origin ultimately related to abandonment and partial subduction of spreading center segments when the plate boundary changed from subduction-dominated to a transform margin. They differ in composition, age, and origin from other more widespread near-ridge seamounts, which commonly have circular plans with nested calderas, and from age progressive volcanoes in linear arrays, such as the Fieberling-Guadalupe chain, that occur in the same region. Each volcanic episode represents decompression melting of discrete enriched material in the suboceanic mantle with melts rising along zones of weakness in the oceanic crust fabric. The process may be aided by transtensional tectonics related to continued faulting along the continental margin.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green, Paul F.


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

  11. Sedimentation on continental margins: An integrated program for innovative studies during the 1990s (United States)

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

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

  12. Real-time PCR quantification and diversity analysis of the functional genes aprA and dsrA of sulfate-reducing bacteria in marine sediments of the Peru continental margin and the Black Sea


    Axel eSchippers; Anna eBlazejak


    A quantitative, real-time PCR (Q-PCR) assay for the functional gene adenosine 5´-phosphosulfate reductase (aprA) of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) was designed. This assay was applied together with described Q-PCR assays for dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA) and the 16S rRNA gene of total Bacteria to marine sediments from the Peru margin (0 – 121 meters below seafloor (mbsf)) and the Black Sea (0 – 6 mbsf). Clone libraries of aprA show that all isolated sequences originate from SRB...

  13. 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.

    and rare-earth elements (REEs) by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Total REE contents are very low (8-21 ppm) in western continental margin nodules and only slightly in eastern continental margin nodules (maximum is 42 ppm). REE...

  14. Hydrogenetic Ferromanganese Crusts of the California Continental Margin (United States)

    Conrad, Tracey A.

    Hydrogenetic Ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts grow from seawater and in doing so sequester elements of economic interest and serve as archives of past seawater chemistry. Ferromanganese crusts have been extensively studied in open-ocean environments. However, few studies have examined continent-proximal Fe-Mn crusts especially from the northeast Pacific. This thesis addresses Fe-Mn crusts within the northeast Pacific California continental margin (CCM), which is a dynamic geological and oceanographic environment. In the first of three studies, I analyzed the chemical and mineralogical composition of Fe-Mn crusts and show that continental-proximal processes greatly influence the chemistry and mineralogy of CCM Fe-Mn crusts. When compared to global open-ocean Fe-Mn crusts, CCM crusts have higher concentrations of iron, silica, and thorium with lower concentrations of many elements of economic interest including manganese, cobalt, and tellurium, among other elements. The mineralogy of CCM Fe-Mn crusts is also unique with more birnessite and todorokite present than found in open-ocean samples. Unlike open-ocean Fe-Mn crusts, carbonate-fluorapatite is not present in CCM crusts. This lack of phosphatization makes CCM Fe-Mn crusts excellent candidates for robust paleoceanography records. The second and third studies in this thesis use isotope geochemistry on select CCM Fe-Mn crusts from four seamounts in the CCM to study past terrestrial inputs into the CCM and sources and behavior of Pb and Nd isotopes over the past 7 million years along the northeast Pacific margin. The second study focuses on riverine inputs into the Monterey Submarine Canyon System and sources of the continental material. Osmium isotopes in the crusts are compared to the Cenozoic Os seawater curve to develop an age model for the samples that show the crusts range in age of initiation of crust growth from approximately 20 to 6 Myr. Lead and neodymium isotopes measured in select Fe-Mn crusts show that

  15. Climatic controls on arid continental basin margin systems (United States)

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


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

  16. Evolution of continental slope gullies on the northern california margin (United States)

    Spinelli, G.A.; Field, M.E.


    A series of subparallel, downslope-trending gullies on the northern California continental slope is revealed on high-resolution seismic reflection profiles imaging the uppermost 50 m of sediment. The gullies are typically 100 m wide and have 1 to 3 m of relief. They extend for 10 to 15 km down the slope and merge into larger channels that feed the Trinity Canyon. In the lower half of the 50 m stratigraphic section, the gullies increase in both relief and number up section, to maxima at a surface 5 to 10 m below the last glacial maximum lowstand surface. Gully relief increased as interfluves aggraded more rapidly than thalwegs. Erosion is not evident in the gully bottoms, therefore gully growth was probably due to reduced sediment deposition within the gullies relative to that on interfluves. As the gullies increased in relief, their heads extended upslope toward the shelfbreak. At all times, a minimum of 10 km of non-gullied upper slope and shelf stretched between the heads of the gullies and the paleo-shoreline; the gullies did not connect with a subaerial drainage network at any time. Gully growth occurred when the gully heads were in relatively shallow water (??? 200 m paleo-water depth) and were closest to potential sediment sources. We suggest that prior to the last glacial maximum, the Mad River, then within 10 km of the gully heads, supplied sediment to the upper slope, which fed downslope-eroding sediment flows. These flows removed sediment from nearly parallel gullies at a rate slightly slower than sediment accumulation from the Eel River, 40 km to the south. The process or processes responsible for gully growth and maintenance prior to the last glacial maximum effectively ceased following the lowstand, when sea level rose and gully heads lay in deeper water (??? 300 m water depth), farther from potential sediment sources. During sea-level highstand, the Mad River is separated from the gully heads by a shelf 30 km wide and no longer feeds sediment flows

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pratson, Lincoln


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  19. Subsidence and eustasy at the continental margin of eastern North America (United States)

    Watts, A. B.; Steckler, M. S.


    Biostratigraphic data from the COST B-2 well off New York and four deep commercial wells off Nova Scotia have been used to remove the effect of sediment loading at the Atlantic-type continental margin off the East Coast of North America. The resulting subsidence contains terms due to both 'tectonic' and 'eustatic' effects. By assuming the tectonic subsidence is thermal in origin these effects can be separated. The 'eustatic' effects have been isolated by least squares fitting an exponential curve to the subsidence data. The resulting sea-level curve shows a maximum rise in sea level during the Late Cretaceous era which probably does not exceed 150 m. The tectonic subsidence has been interpreted in terms of a simple thermal model for the cooling lithosphere. Based on this model the thermal thickness of the lithosphere and the total amount of crustal thinning are estimated. These estimates which are consistent with surface ship gravity and GEOS-3 altimeter measurements are used to define the structural elements which control the tectonic evolution of the margin.

  20. Evolution of the Red Sea volcanic margin, western Yemen (United States)

    Menzies, Martin; Baker, Joel; Chazot, Gilles; Al'Kadasi, Mohamed

    The temporal relationships between rifting processes associated with the breakup of the Afro-Arabian Plate and the opening of the Red Sea have been studied on the uplifted volcanic margin in western Yemen. Excellent exposure allows for the application of absolute and relative dating techniques. Magmatism: 40Ar/39Ar dating of feldspars in the volcanic rocks indicates that (a) volcanism began at 29-31 Ma, (b) a change from basic to silicic volcanism occurred at ca. 29 Ma, (c) large volume volcanism lasted until 26.5 Ma, and (d) eruption rates decreased with time. Exhumation: fission track (FT) analyses of apatites from basement metamorphic and sedimentary rocks reveal that the volcanic margin was rapidly and deeply exhumed, at the earliest, in the Oligo-Miocene. This result is consistent with a major erosional break in the volcanic stratigraphy, bracketed by 40Ar/39Ar dating as having formed between 26 and 19 Ma. Extension: field evidence indicates that extension was largely post-volcanic because the volcanic stratigraphy is devoid of major faults. In highly extended terranes 40Ar/39Ar ages of "hanging wall" volcanic rocks and apatite FT ages of "footwall" basement rocks demonstrate that extension occurred in the late Oligocene-early Miocene. Surface uplift: field evidence for surface uplift may exist in the change from marine to continental sedimentation found in the pre-volcanic sedimentary rocks (>31 Ma). Exhumation, the presumed response to surface uplift, occurred some 6 m.y. later, allowing that amount of time for the volcanic margin to be uplifted by >2-3 km. Integration of field and laboratory data reveals that the Red Sea volcanic margin evolved in response to contemporaneous surface uplift and volcanism that predated extension and exhumation by as much as 5 m.y.

  1. Magma-Assisted Continental Break-up Encroached on Previously Stretched Continental Lithosphere - the NE Greenland Composite Passive Margin (United States)

    Mazur, S.; Rippington, S.; Houghton, P.


    Volcanic continental margins have a number of distinctive features that are different from those typical of magma-poor continental margins. However, in some places volcanic margins may develop parallel to older, highly extended rift systems. In such situations the resultant continental margin shows a complex structure that merges the characteristics of volcanic and non-volcanic margins. Furthermore, the evolution of this younger magma-rich margin is restricted by the pre-existing lithospheric architecture, causing it to diverge from the generally assumed formation model. We use the case of NE Greenland to demonstrate the structure of a composite margin firstly subjected to extensive extension and later overprinted by magma-assisted continental break-up. The NE Greenland continental margin is a highly extended margin, that is up to 250km wide, with crystalline crust attaining the maximum thickness near to the coast of Greenland and at the Danmarkshaven Ridge. The latter represents a major basement horst formed during an Early Cretaceous rifting event. To the east of the Danmarkshaven Ridge, crust is stretched and onlapped by the Early Cretaceous sedimentary basin. The effects of Tertiary break-up are observable in a relatively narrow zone 80 km wide that usually includes an extended edge of continental crust and an adjacent section of oceanic crust. A volcano-sedimentary succession produced during the break-up reaches the maximum thickness of c. 8000 m above a continent-ocean transition (COB). Oceanic crust overlain by mixed volcanic and sedimentary rocks is thicker than usual. No observable SDRs or igneous transitional crust are present near to the COB. Instead, a chain of high density bodies follow the COB at the base of crust. The features observed suggest relatively little extension associated with the Tertiary break-up. Instead localised mantle melting presumably led to rapid break-up with crustal dilatation promptly balanced by production of thick oceanic

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chauhan, O.S.

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

  3. Marine geophysical studies along a transect across the continental margin off Bombay coast, west of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, D.G.; Ramana, M.V.; Bhattacharya, G.C.; SubbaRaju, L.V.; KameshRaju, K.A.; Ramprasad, T.

    Study of underway geophysical data along a transect of 415 km across the continental margin off Bombay, (Maharashtra, India), between 800 and 3600 m water depths reveals seven seismic sequences consisting of parallel and continuous wavy reflections...

  4. Morphology of pockmarks along the western continental margin of India: Employing multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Dandapath, S.; Chakraborty, B.; Karisiddaiah, S.M.; Menezes, A.A.A.; Ranade, G.; Fernandes, W.A.; Naik, D.K.; PrudhviRaju, K.N.

    This study addresses the morphology of pockmarks along the western continental margin of India using multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data. Here, for the first time we have utilized the application of ArcGIS (Geographical Information System...

  5. Geology and physiography of the continental margin north of Alaska and implications for the origin of the Canada Basin (United States)

    Grantz, Arthur; Eittreim, Stephen L.; Whitney, O.T.


    The continental margin north of Alaska is of Atlantic type. It began to form probably in Early Jurassic time but possibly in middle Early Cretaceous time, when the oceanic Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean is thought to have opened by rifting about a pole of rotation near the Mackenzie Delta. Offsets of the rift along two fracture zones are thought to have divided the Alaskan margin into three sectors of contrasting structure and stratigraphy. In the Barter Island sector on the east and the Chukchi sector on the west the rift was closer to the present northern Alaska mainland than in the Barrow sector, which lies between them. In the Barter Island and Chukchi sectors the continental shelf is underlain by prisms of clastic sedimentary rocks that are inferred to include thick sections of Jurassic and Neocomian (lower Lower Cretaceous) strata of southern provenance. In the intervening Barrow sector the shelf is underlain by relatively thin sections of Jurassic and Neocomian strata derived from northern sources that now lie beneath the outer continental shelf. The rifted continental margin is overlain by a prograded prism of Albian (upper Lower Cretaceous) to Tertiary clastic sedimentary rocks that comprises the continental terrace of the western Beaufort and northern Chukchi Seas. On the south the prism is bounded by Barrow arch, which is a hingeline between the northward-tilted basement surface beneath the continental shelf of the western Beaufort Sea and the southward-tilted Arctic Platform of northern Alaska. The Arctic platform is overlain by shelf clastic and carbonate strata of Mississippian to Cretaceous age, and by Jurassic and Cretaceous clastic strata of the Colville foredeep. Both the Arctic platform and Colville foredeep sequences extend from northern Alaska beneath the northern Chukchi Sea. At Herald fault zone in the central Chukchi Sea they are overthrust by more strongly deformed Cretaceous to Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of Herald arch, which trends

  6. Distribution, abundance and trail characteristics of acorn worms at Australian continental margins (United States)

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


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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

  8. Holocene phosphorites of the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nair, R.R.

    continental shelf from Saurashtra to Kerala. Prominent apatite peak was present only in the algal limestones off Goa. These occur as nodules and are similar in appearence to rhodoliths. Minerals present, in order of abundance, are high-magnesium calcite...

  9. The influence of tectonic and volcanic processes on the morphology of the Iberian continental margins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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)

  10. Recent progress in Pacific-Asian Marginal Seas (PAMS) studies (United States)

    Matsuno, Takeshi; Hirose, Naoki; Zhang, Jing; Cho, Yang-Ki; Chen, Dake; Yuan, Dongliang; Hung, Chin-Chang; Jan, Sen


    Marginal seas which represent the buffer zones between land and the pelagic ocean are being increasingly influenced by human activity. The role of the marginal seas is important for many reasons, among which are biological resources and climate change. In East Asia, we have marginal seas between the Asian Continent and the Pacific Ocean, where various countries and areas form complicated territories and EEZ. To understand the marine environment of marginal seas, international cooperative scientific activities are necessary, and it is essential to share the latest information and knowledge.

  11. Real-time PCR quantification and diversity analysis of the functional genes aprA and dsrA of sulfate-reducing bacteria in marine sediments of the Peru continental margin and the Black Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel eSchippers


    Full Text Available A quantitative, real-time PCR (Q-PCR assay for the functional gene adenosine 5´-phosphosulfate reductase (aprA of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB was designed. This assay was applied together with described Q-PCR assays for dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA and the 16S rRNA gene of total Bacteria to marine sediments from the Peru margin (0 – 121 meters below seafloor (mbsf and the Black Sea (0 – 6 mbsf. Clone libraries of aprA show that all isolated sequences originate from SRB showing a close relationship to aprA of characterised species or form a new cluster with only distant relation to aprA of isolated SRB. Below 40 mbsf no aprA genes could be amplified. This finding corresponds with results of the applied new Q-PCR assay for aprA. In contrast to the aprA the dsrA gene could be amplified up to sediment depths of 121 mbsf. Even in such an extreme environment a high diversity of this gene was detected. The 16S rRNA gene copy numbers of total Bacteria were much higher than those of the functional genes at all sediment depths and used to calculate the proportion of SRB to the total Bacteria. The aprA and dsrA copy numbers comprised in average 0.5 - 1 % of the 16S rRNA gene copy numbers of total Bacteria in the sediments up to a depth of ca. 40 mbsf. Depth profiles of the aprA and dsrA copy numbers were almost equal for all sites. Gene copy numbers decreased concomitantly with depth from around 108 / g sediment close to the sediment surface to less than 105 / g sediment at 5 mbsf. In the zone without detectable sulfate in the pore water from ca. 40 – 121 mbsf (Peru margin ODP site 1227, only dsrA (but not aprA was detected with copy numbers of less than 104 / g sediment, comprising ca. 14 % of the 16S rRNA gene copy numbers of total Bacteria. In this zone sulfate might be provided for SRB by anaerobic sulfide oxidation.

  12. Crustal structure and inferred extension mode in the northern margin of the South China Sea (United States)

    Gao, J.; Wu, S.; McIntosh, K. D.; Mi, L.; Spence, G.


    Combining multi-channel seismic reflection and satellite gravity data, this study has investigated the crustal structure and magmatic activities of the northern South China Sea (SCS) margin. Results show that a broad continent-ocean transition zone (COT) with more than 140 km wide is characterized by extensive igneous intrusion/extrusion and hyper-extended continental crust in the northeastern SCS margin, a broader COT with 220-265 km wide is characterized by crustal thinning, rift depression, structural highs with igneous rock and perhaps a volcanic zone or a zone of tilted fault blocks at the distal edge in the mid-northern SCS margin, and a narrow COT with 65 km wide bounded seawards by a volcanic buried seamount is characterized by extremely hyper-extended continental crust in the northwestern SCS margin, where the remnant crust with less than 3 km thick is bounded by basin-bounding faults corresponding to an aborted rift below the Xisha Trough with a sub-parallel fossil ridge in the adjacent Northwest Sub-basin. Results from gravity modeling and seismic refraction data show that a high velocity layer (HVL) is present in the outer shelf and slope below extended continental crust in the eastern portion of the northern SCS margin and is thickest (up to 10 km) in the Dongsha Uplift where the HVL gradually thins to east and west below the lower slope and finally terminates at the Manila Trench and Baiyun sag of the Pearl River Mouth Basin. The magmatic intrusions/extrusions and HVL may be related to partial melting caused by decompression of passive, upwelling asthenosphere which resulted primarily in post-rifting underplating and magmatic emplacement or modification of the crust. The northern SCS margin is closer to those of the magma-poor margins than those of volcanic margins, but the aborted rift near the northwestern continental margin shows that there may be no obvious detachment fault like that in the Iberia-Newfoundland type margin. The symmetric aborted

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  15. A Comparison of Continental Extension Estimates Across the Margins of the Woodlark Basin, Papua New Guinea (United States)

    Nazlim, B.; Goodliffe, A. M.


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

  16. Rifting kinematics along the Arabian Margin, Red Sea (United States)

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


    The Red Sea represents a young basin floored by oceanic, transitional, or thinned continental crust that formed between Nubia and Arabia. According to most authors, rifting between Nubia and Arabia started in the late Oligocene ( 27 Ma) and it is still in progress in the northern part of the Red Sea at latitudes greater than 24°N. Conversely, the area south of 20.3°N displays a linear spreading ridge extending as south as 14.8°N, which formed in the early Pliocene (the first pulse of sea floor spreading occurred during chron C3n.2n, 4.62 Ma). A transition zone (between 24°N and 20.3°N, present-day coordinates) exists between the northern and the southern sectors, characterized by a segmented spreading center that started forming at 2.58 Ma (chron 2A, late Pliocene) in the southernmost area and propagated northwards. Some authors suggest that the present-day NE-SW spreading directions can be extended back to the early Miocene. However, we are going to show, on the basis of geological evidence from the Arabian margin, that at least two phases of rifting, characterized by distinct extension directions, are necessary to explain the observed structural pattern of deformation in a wide area extending from 28°N to 20°N. At present, there is no magnetic evidence for the existence of a linear spreading center in the northern Red Sea at latitudes higher than 24°N. In this area, the syn-rift pattern of deformation along the Arabian margin is only partly coherent with the present day NE-SW sea floor spreading directions and with the observed trend of fracture zones in the Red Sea. In fact, an older set of rift structures was found during 3 field trips performed along the northern and central Red Sea Arabian margin (2015-2016), suggesting the existence of an earlier rifting stage characterized by N-S trending strike-slip faults and E-W normal faults. The objective of the field trips was to investigate the hypothesis that an early phase of N-S extension and formation of

  17. Continent-Ocean Interactions Within East Asian Marginal Seas (United States)

    Clift, Peter; Kuhnt, Wolfgang; Wang, Pinxian; Hayes, Dennis

    The study of the complex interactions between continents and oceans has become a leading area for 21st century earth cience. In this volume, continent—ocean interactions in tectonics, arc-continent collision, sedimentology, and climatic volution within the East Asian Marginal Seas take precedence. Links between oceanic and continental climate, the sedimentology of coastal and shelf areas, and the links between deformation of continental and oceanic lithosphere are also discussed. As an introduction to the science presented throughout the volume, Wang discusses many of the possible interactions between the tectonic evolution of Asia and both regional and global climate. He speculates that uplift of central Asia in the Pliocene may have triggered the formation of many of the major rivers that drain north through Siberia into the Arctic Ocean. He also argues that it is the delivery of this fresh water that allows the formation of sea ice in that area and triggered the start of Northern Hemispheric glaciation. This may be one of the most dramatic ways in which Asia has shaped the Earth's climate and represents an alternative to the other competing models that have previously emphasized the role of oceanic gateway closure in Central America. Moreover, his proposal for major uplift of at least part of Tibet and Mongolia as late as the Pliocene, based on the history of drainage evolution in Siberia, supports recent data from the southern Tarim Basin and from the Qilian Shan and Qaidam and Jiuxi Basins in northeast Tibet that indicate surface uplift at that time. Constraining the timing and patterns of Tibetan surface uplift is crucial to testing competing models for strain accommodation in Asia following India—Asia collision.

  18. Air-Sea Interactions in the Marginal Ice Zone (United States)


    Journal article postprint 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 01/01/2012 - 30/09/2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Waves & Fetch in the Marginal Ice Zone...5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Air-sea interactions in the marginal ice zone 5b. GRANT NUMBER N00014-12-1-0113 5c. PROGRAM Air-sea interactions in the marginal ice zoneAir-Sea interactions in the Marginal Ice Zone Seth Zippel1* • Jim Thomson1 1Applied

  19. Vulnerability of marginal seas to sea level rise (United States)

    Gomis, Damia; Jordà, Gabriel


    Sea level rise (SLR) is a serious thread for coastal areas and has a potential negative impact on society and economy. SLR can lead for instance to land loss, beach reduction, increase of the damage of marine storms on coastal infrastructures and to the salinization of underground water streams. It is well acknowledged that future SLR will be inhomogeneous across the globe, with regional differences of up to 100% with respect to global mean sea level (GMSL). Several studies have addressed the projections of SLR at regional scale, but most of them are based on global climate models (GCMs) that have a relatively coarse spatial resolution (>1°). In marginal seas this has proven to be a strong limitation, as their particular configurations require spatial resolutions that are not reachable by present GCMs. A paradigmatic case is the Mediterranean Sea, connected to the global ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow passage of 14 km width. The functioning of the Mediterranean Sea involves a variety of processes including an overturning circulation, small-scale convection and a rich mesoscale field. Moreover, the long-term evolution of Mediterranean sea level has been significantly different from the global mean during the last decades. The observations of present climate and the projections for the next decades have lead some authors to hypothesize that the particular characteristics of the basin could allow Mediterranean mean sea level to evolve differently from the global mean. Assessing this point is essential to undertake proper adaptation strategies for the largely populated Mediterranean coastal areas. In this work we apply a new approach that combines regional and global projections to analyse future SLR. In a first step we focus on the quantification of the expected departures of future Mediterranean sea level from GMSL evolution and on the contribution of different processes to these departures. As a result we find that, in spite of its particularities

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Kenni D.; Schiffer, Christian


    such tectonic inheritance is generally appreciated, causative physical mechanisms that affect the localization and evolution of rifts and passive margins are not well understood. We use thermo-mechanical modeling to assess the role of orogenic structures during rifting and continental breakup. Such inherited...... thinning in the mantle lithosphere rather than in the crust, and continental breakup is therefore preceded by magmatism. This implies that whether passive margins become magma-poor or magma-rich, respectively, is a function of pre-rift orogenic properties. The models show that structures of orogenic...

  1. On the freshening of the northwestern Weddell Sea continental shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. H. Hellmer


    Full Text Available We analyzed hydrographic data from the northwestern Weddell Sea continental shelf of the three austral winters 1989, 1997, and 2006 and two summers following the last winter cruise. During summer a thermal front exists at ~64° S separating cold southern waters from warm northern waters that have similar characteristics as the deep waters of the central basin of the Bransfield Strait. In winter, the whole continental shelf exhibits southern characteristics with high Neon (Ne concentrations, indicating a significant input of glacial melt water. The comparison of the winter data from the shallow shelf off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, spanning a period of 17 yr, shows a salinity decrease of 0.09 for the whole water column, which has a residence time of <1 yr. We interpret this freshening as being caused by a combination of reduced salt input due to a southward sea ice retreat and higher precipitation during the late 20th century on the western Weddell Sea continental shelf. However, less salinification might also result from a delicate interplay between enhanced salt input due to sea ice formation in coastal areas formerly occupied by Larsen A and B ice shelves and increased Larsen C ice loss.

  2. Structure and tectonics of the southwestern continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    and (c) seismic data; (d) composite map. 276 V. Subrahmanyam el all/Tecmnot~hysics 249 (1995) 267-282 feature by Naini and Talwani (1982) who named it the Prathap Ridge Complex (Fig. lb). In places the ridge may have three peaks. A pile of sediments..., another basin with a 2.3-km-thick pile of sediments is also noticed between the Prathap Ridge Complex and the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge system. The inner-shelf graben, mid-shelf basement ridge, shelf-margin basin and the Prathap Ridge Complex (Fig. 8a...

  3. Morphology and lithology of the continental slope north of the Demerara marginal plateau: results from the DRADEM cruise (United States)

    Basile, Christophe; Girault, Igor; Heuret, Arnauld; Loncke, Lies; Poetisi, Ewald; Graindorge, David; Deverchère, Jacques; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Frédéric Lebrun, Jean; Perrot, Julie; Roest, Walter


    The DRADEM scientific cruise was carried out from July 9th to 21th 2016 on board the R/V Pourquoi Pas?, in the Exclusive Economic Zones of Suriname and French Guiana. This cruise is part of a program dedicated to geological investigations of the continental margin, including the Demerara plateau, following the GUYAPLAC (2003) and IGUANES (2013) cruises, and before the MARGATS cruise (2016). The aims of DRADEM were to map the continental slope of the transform margin north of the Demerara plateau, and to dredge the rocks outcropping on the slope. We completed the bathymetric mapping of the continental slope, including part of the edge of the Demerara plateau. These new bathymetric data confirm the segmentation of the transform margin in three parts with very different morphologies. In addition, two circular structures were interpreted as mud volcanoes, one on the northern edge of the plateau, the other one in the distal part of the Orinoco deep sea fan. Twelve dredges were performed between 4700 and 3500 m water depths. Four from these twelve did not recovered rocks. The eight others recovered variable amounts of rocks, often encrusted, but of various nature: sediments (breccia, coarse sandstones, sandstones with plants debris, sandstones with shells, clayey ooze), micro-granular rocks and metamorphic rocks (including mylonite). The nature of the rocks was determined from macroscopic observation of the altered rocks. Of course, these determinations need to be validated and refined by further studies onshore. In any case, most of these rocks were previously unknown in this area, and they will strongly influence our understanding of the structure and evolution of this margin. They provide evidence for large vertical displacements that brought to the surface some of these rocks, that were formed in a deep setting.

  4. Estimated post-Messinian sediment supply and sedimentation rates on the Ebro continental margin, Spain (United States)

    Nelson, C.H.


    Because of the extensive data base of seismic profiles, radiometric ages, and stratigraphic time markers such as the subaerial Messinian surface, sedimentation rates and Ebro River sediment discharge can be estimated for different periods and environments of the Ebro continental margin. New values for sediment discharge (i.e., 6.2 versus previous estimates of 2-3.5 million t/yr) for the Holocene highstand are more reliable but remain minimum estimates because a small proportion of Ebro sediment advected to the Balearic Rise and Abyssal Plain cannot be accounted for, especially during lowstands. The general highstand conditions of the Pliocene, which were similar to those of the Holocene, resulted in a low discharge of Ebro River sediment (ca. 6.5 million t/yr) and an even thickness of sediment across the margin that deposited at rates of about 24-40 cm/ky. In contrast, sediment supply increased two-three times during the Pleistocene, the margin prograded rapidly and deposition occurred at rates of 101-165 cm/ky on the outer shelf and slope, but basin floor rates remained anomalously low (21-26 cm/ky) because sediment was drained and broadly dispersed eastward in Valencia Trough. During the late Pleistocene rise of sea level, the main depocenters progressively shifted shoreward and sedimentation rates greatly decreased from 175 cm/ky on the upper slope during the early transgression to 106 cm/ky on the outer shelf and then to 63 cm/ky on the mid-shelf during the late transgression as the river sediment discharge dropped to half by Holocene time. Maximal sedimentation rates occurred in active depocenters of sediment dispersal such as the Holocene delta (370 cm/ky) or the youngest Pleistocene Oropesa channel-levee complex (705 cm/ky) where deposition rates increased by an order of magnitude or more compared to average Ebro shelf (38 cm/ky) or base-of-slope rates in the Pleistocene (21 cm/ky). The sedimentation rates verify the importance of sea-level control on the

  5. Crustal stress field perturbations in the continental margin around the Korean Peninsula and Japanese islands (United States)

    Lee, Junhyung; Hong, Tae-Kyung; Chang, Chandong


    Seismic activity and focal mechanisms are governed by the effective stress field that is a combined result of regional tectonic processes and local stress perturbation. This study investigates the regional variation in the stress field in the eastern continental margin of the Eurasian plate around the Korean Peninsula and Japanese islands using a damped stress inversion technique based on the focal mechanism solutions of regional earthquakes. The dominant compressional stress is directed ENE-WSW around the Korean Peninsula and eastern China, E-W at the central East Sea and northern and southern Japan, NW-SE at central Japan, and N-S around the northern Nankai trough. The dominant compression direction changes rapidly in the East Sea and Japanese islands, which may be due to the combined effects of tectonic loading in the subduction zones off the Japanese islands and the India-Eurasia plate boundary. The crustal stress fields around the subduction zones off the Japanese islands present characteristic depth-dependent orientations. The orientations of the largest horizontal stress components, σH, in the subduction zones are subparallel with the plate convergence directions at shallow depths. The σH orientations are observed to rotate clockwise with the depth owing to slab subduction and lithospheric deformation. The regional stress field around the Japanese islands was perturbed temporally by the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku-Oki megathrust earthquake. The regional stress field was recovered in a couple of years. The stress field and tectonic structures are mutually affected, causing stress field distortion and a localized mixture of earthquakes in different faulting types.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    Results of six profiles of continuous echosounding, magnetic and gravity data collected across the continental margin of the east coast of India between 10 degrees and 20 degrees N in the Bay of Bengal aboard R.V. Chain in 1973 are presented...

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    The bathymetry, total intensity magnetic and satellite free-air gravity data over the eastern continental margin of India between the latitudes 18 degrees 30 minutes N and 20 degrees N within the water depths of 25-2300 m (between Paradip...

  8. Gravity anomalies and crustal structure of the western continental margin off Goa and Mulki, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    Bathymetric and gravity data totalling 2000 line kilometres on the continental margin off Goa and Mulki, India, have been studied and prominent NNW-SSE and ENE-WSW trending free-air gravity anomalies varying between -60 + 25 mGal have been...

  9. The continental margin is a key source of iron to the HNLC North Pacific Ocean

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lam, P.J.; Bishop, J.K.B


    Here we show that labile particulate iron and manganese concentrations in the upper 500m of the Western Subarctic Pacific, an iron-limited High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) region, have prominent subsurface maxima between 100-200 m, reaching 3 nM and 600 pM, respectively. The subsurface concentration maxima in particulate Fe are characterized by a more reduced oxidation state, suggesting a source from primary volcagenic minerals such as from the Kuril/Kamchatka margin. The systematics of these profiles suggest a consistently strong lateral advection of labile Mn and Fe from redox-mobilized labile sources at the continental shelf supplemented by a more variable source of Fe from the upper continental slope. This subsurface supply of iron from the continental margin is shallow enough to be accessible to the surface through winter upwelling and vertical mixing, and is likely a key source of bioavailable Fe to the HNLC North Pacific.

  10. Total Sediment Thickness of the World's Oceans & Marginal Seas (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A digital total-sediment-thickness database for the world's oceans and marginal seas has been compiled by the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). The data...

  11. Deep-Sea Mega-Epibenthic Assemblages from the SW Portuguese Margin (NE Atlantic) Subjected to Bottom-Trawling Fisheries


    Sofia P. Ramalho; Sofia P. Ramalho; Lidia Lins; Lidia Lins; Juan Bueno-Pardo; Eliana A. Cordova; Joel M. Amisi; Nikolaos Lampadariou; Ann Vanreusel; Marina R. Cunha


    Bottom-trawling fisheries are a common threat to the health of continental margins worldwide. Together with numerous environmental and biological processes, physical disturbance induced by trawlers can largely shape the benthic habitats and their associated assemblages. At the SW Portuguese Margin, crustacean bottom trawlers have exploited deep-sea habitats for a few decades, but its effects on the benthic biodiversity are practically unknown. During the spring-summer of 2013 and 2014, severa...

  12. Rapid response to climate change in a marginal sea. (United States)

    Schroeder, K; Chiggiato, J; Josey, S A; Borghini, M; Aracri, S; Sparnocchia, S


    The Mediterranean Sea is a mid-latitude marginal sea, particularly responsive to climate change as reported by recent studies. The Sicily Channel is a choke point separating the sea in two main basins, the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Western Mediterranean Sea. Here, we report and analyse a long-term record (1993-2016) of the thermohaline properties of the Intermediate Water that crosses the Sicily Channel, showing increasing temperature and salinity trends much stronger than those observed at intermediate depths in the global ocean. We investigate the causes of the observed trends and in particular determine the role of a changing climate over the Eastern Mediterranean, where the Intermediate Water is formed. The long-term Sicily record reveals how fast the response to climate change can be in a marginal sea like the Mediterranean Sea compared to the global ocean, and demonstrates the essential role of long time series in the ocean.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korprobst, J.; Chazot, G.


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

  16. Study of the particulate matter transfer and dumping using 210 Po et le 210 Pb. Application to the Gulf of Biscary (NE Atlantic Ocean) and the Gulf of Lion (NW Mediterranean Sea) continental margins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radakovitch, O.


    210 Po and 210 Pb activities and fluxes were measured on seawater, sediment-trapped material collected during one year and sediment. Focalization of 210 Pb is clearly noticed on the Cap-Ferret canyon (Gulf of Biscary) and the Lacaze-Duthiers canyon (western part of the Gulf of Lion). In both sites, 210 Pb fluxes in traps and sediment are always higher than 210 Pb flux available from atmospheric and in situ production. On the contrary, Grand-Rhone canyon and its adjacent open slope exhibit a 210 Pb budget near equilibrium in the near-bottom sediment traps, but focalization is important in the sediment. For the entire Gulf of Lion margin, focalization of 210 Pb in the sediment occurred principally between 500 and 1500 m water depth on the slope, and on the middle shelf mud-patch. 210 Po and 210 Pb have been used in the Cap Ferret and Grand-Rhone canyons to characterize the origin of the particulate trapped material. Two main sources feed the water column. The first source, localized in surface waters, is constituted by biogenic particles from primary production and lithogenic material. The second source, deeper, is due to resuspension at the shelf break and/or on the open slope. In each site, 210 Po and 210 Pb activities of the trapped particles did not show any relations with the major constituents. Quantity of particles appeared to be the main factor regulating adsorption processes of these nuclides. Sedimentation rates based on 210 Po profiles decreased with increasing water depth, from 0.4 ti 0.06 cm y-1 on the Cap Ferret canyon (400 to 3000 m water depth) and from 0.5 to 0.05 cm y-1 for the entire Gulf of Lion margin (50 to 2000 m water depth). (author)

  17. Deep-sea environment and biodiversity of the West African Equatorial margin (United States)

    Sibuet, Myriam; Vangriesheim, Annick


    The long-term BIOZAIRE multidisciplinary deep-sea environmental program on the West Equatorial African margin organized in partnership between Ifremer and TOTAL aimed at characterizing the benthic community structure in relation with physical and chemical processes in a region of oil and gas interest. The morphology of the deep Congo submarine channel and the sedimentological structures of the deep-sea fan were established during the geological ZAIANGO project and helped to select study sites ranging from 350 to 4800 m water depth inside or near the channel and away from its influence. Ifremer conducted eight deep-sea cruises on board research vessels between 2000 and 2005. Standardized methods of sampling together with new technologies such as the ROV Victor 6000 and its associated instrumentation were used to investigate this poorly known continental margin. In addition to the study of sedimentary environments more or less influenced by turbidity events, the discovery of one of the largest cold seeps near the Congo channel and deep coral reefs extends our knowledge of the different habitats of this margin. This paper presents the background, objectives and major results of the BIOZAIRE Program. It highlights the work achieved in the 16 papers in this special issue. This synthesis paper describes the knowledge acquired at a regional and local scale of the Equatorial East Atlantic margin, and tackles new interdisciplinary questions to be answered in the various domains of physics, chemistry, taxonomy and ecology to better understand the deep-sea environment in the Gulf of Guinea.

  18. Submarine landslides on the north continental slope of the South China Sea (United States)

    Wang, Weiwei; Wang, Dawei; Wu, Shiguo; Völker, David; Zeng, Hongliu; Cai, Guanqiang; Li, Qingping


    Recent and paleo-submarine landslides are widely distributed within strata in deep-water areas along continental slopes, uplifts, and carbonate platforms on the north continental margin of the South China Sea (SCS). In this paper, high-resolution 3D seismic data and multibeam data based on seismic sedimentology and geomorphology are employed to assist in identifying submarine landslides. In addition, deposition models are proposed that are based on specific geological structures and features, and which illustrate the local stress field over entire submarine landslides in deep-water areas of the SCS. The SCS is one of the largest fluvial sediment sinks in enclosed or semi-enclosed marginal seas worldwide. It therefore provides a set of preconditions for the formation of submarine landslides, including rapid sediment accumulation, formation of gas hydrates, and fluid overpressure. A new concept involving temporal and spatial analyses is tested to construct a relationship between submarine landslides and different time scale trigger mechanisms, and three mechanisms are discussed in the context of spatial scale and temporal frequency: evolution of slope gradient and overpressure, global environmental changes, and tectonic events. Submarine landslides that are triggered by tectonic events are the largest but occur less frequently, while submarine landslides triggered by the combination of slope gradient and over-pressure evolution are the smallest but most frequently occurring events. In summary, analysis shows that the formation of submarine landslides is a complex process involving the operation of different factors on various time scales.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

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

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


    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

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

    Zuo, X.; Chan, L. S.


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

  2. Rollback of an intraoceanic subduction system and termination against a continental margin (United States)

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


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

  3. Modelling of Continental Lithosphere Breakup and Rifted Margin Formation in Response to an Upwelling Divergent Flow Field Incorporating a Temperature Dependent Rheology (United States)

    Tymms, V. J.; Kusznir, N. J.


    We numerically model continental lithosphere deformation leading to breakup and sea floor spreading initiation in response to an imposed upwelling and divergent flow field applied to continental lithosphere and asthenosphere. The model is used to predict rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and temperature structure. Model predictions are compared with observed rifted margin structure for four diverse case studies. Prior to application of the upwelling divergent flow field the continental lithosphere is undeformed with a uniform temperature gradient. The upwelling divergent flow field is defined kinematically using boundary conditions consisting of the upwelling velocity Vz at the divergence axis and the half divergence rate Vx . The resultant velocity field throughout the continuum is computed using finite element (FE) code incorporating a Newtonian temperature dependent rheology. The flow field is used to advect the continental lithosphere material and lithospheric and asthenospheric temperatures. Viscosity structure is hence modified and the velocities change correspondingly in a feedback loop. We find the kinematic boundary conditions Vz and Vx to be of first order importance. A high Vz/Vx (greater than10), corresponding to buoyancy assisted flow, leads to minimal mantle exhumation and a well defined continent ocean transition consistent with observations at volcanic margins. For Vz/Vx near unity, corresponding to plate boundary driven divergence, mantle exhumation over widths of up to 100 km is predicted which is consistent with observations at non-volcanic margins. The FE method allows the upwelling velocity Vz to be propagated upwards from the top of the asthenosphere to the Earth's surface without the requirement of imposing Vx. When continental breakup is achieved the half divergence velocity Vx can be applied at the lithosphere surface and the upwelling velocity Vz left free. We find this time and space dependent set of boundary conditions is

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  5. Sources and distributions of tetraether lipids in surface sediments across a large river-dominated continental margin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhu, C.; Weijers, J.W.H.; Wagner, T.; Pan, J.-M.; Chen, J.-F.; Pancost, R.D.


    Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT)-based proxies are increasingly used in modern carbon cycling and palaeoenvironmental investigations. It is therefore crucial to examine the robustness (sources, transport and degradation) of all GDGT-based proxies in continental margins, where

  6. Changing sedimentary environments during Pleistocene-Holocene in a core from the eastern continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Rao, Ch.M.; Mascarenhas, A.; Rao, K.M.; Reddy, N.P.C.; Das, H.C.

    Sedimentological and geochemical investigations of the sediments in a core from the eastern continental margin of India, at a water depth of 1200 m, revealed two distinct types. The Late Pleistocene sediments are greyish-black in colour and consist...

  7. Cenozoic unconformities and depositional supersequences of North Atlantic continental margins: testing the Vail model (United States)

    Poag, C. Wylie; Ward, Lauck W.


    Integrated outcrop, borehole, and seismic reflection stratigraphy from the U.S. and Irish margins of the North Atlantic basin reveals a framework of Cenozoic depositional supersequences and interregional unconformities that resembles the Vail depositional model. Paleo-bathymetric and paleoceanographic analyses of associated microfossil assemblages indicate a genetic link between the depositional framework and the relative position of sea level.

  8. Submesoscale Sea Ice-Ocean Interactions in Marginal Ice Zones (United States)

    Manucharyan, Georgy E.; Thompson, Andrew F.


    Signatures of ocean eddies, fronts, and filaments are commonly observed within marginal ice zones (MIZs) from satellite images of sea ice concentration, and in situ observations via ice-tethered profilers or underice gliders. However, localized and intermittent sea ice heating and advection by ocean eddies are currently not accounted for in climate models and may contribute to their biases and errors in sea ice forecasts. Here, we explore mechanical sea ice interactions with underlying submesoscale ocean turbulence. We demonstrate that the release of potential energy stored in meltwater fronts can lead to energetic submesoscale motions along MIZs with spatial scales O(10 km) and Rossby numbers O(1). In low-wind conditions, cyclonic eddies and filaments efficiently trap the sea ice and advect it over warmer surface ocean waters where it can effectively melt. The horizontal eddy diffusivity of sea ice mass and heat across the MIZ can reach O(200 m2 s-1). Submesoscale ocean variability also induces large vertical velocities (order 10 m d-1) that can bring relatively warm subsurface waters into the mixed layer. The ocean-sea ice heat fluxes are localized over cyclonic eddies and filaments reaching about 100 W m-2. We speculate that these submesoscale-driven intermittent fluxes of heat and sea ice can contribute to the seasonal evolution of MIZs. With the continuing global warming and sea ice thickness reduction in the Arctic Ocean, submesoscale sea ice-ocean processes are expected to become increasingly prominent.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay B. Collins


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

  10. Textures of water-rich mud sediments from the continental margin offshore Costa Rica (IODP expeditions 334 and 344) (United States)

    Kuehn, Rebecca; Stipp, Michael; Leiss, Bernd


    During sedimentation and burial at continental margins, clay-rich sediments develop crystallographic preferred orientations (textures) depending on the ongoing compaction as well as size distribution and shape fabrics of the grains. Such textures can control the deformational properties of these sediments and hence the strain distribution in active continental margins and also the frictional behavior along and around the plate boundary. Strain-hardening and discontinuous deformation may lead to earthquake nucleation at or below the updip limit of the seismogenic zone. We want to investigate the active continental margin offshore Costa Rica where the oceanic Cocos plate is subducted below the Caribbean plate at a rate of approximately 9 cm per year. The Costa Rica trench is well-known for shallow seismogenesis and tsunami generation. As it is an erosive continental margin, both the incoming sediments from the Nazca plate as well as the slope sediments of the continental margin can be important for earthquake nucleation and faulting causing sea-floor breakage. To investigate texture and composition of the sediments and hence their deformational properties we collected samples from varying depth of 7 different drilling locations across the trench retrieved during IODP expeditions 334 and 344 as part of the Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (CRISP). Texture analysis was carried out by means of synchrotron diffraction, as only this method is suitable for water-bearing samples. As knowledge on the sediment composition is required as input parameter for the texture data analysis, additional X-ray powder diffraction analysis on the sample material has been carried out. Samples for texture measurements were prepared from the original drill cores using an internally developed cutter which allows to produce cylindrical samples with a diameter of about 1.5 cm. The samples are oriented with respect to the drill core axis. Synchrotron texture measurements were conducted at the

  11. Structure, mechanical properties and evolution of the lithosphere below the northwest continental margin of India (United States)

    Rao, G. Srinivasa; Kumar, Manish; Radhakrishna, M.


    The continental breakup history at the northwest continental margin of India remained conjectural due to lack of clearly discernable magnetic anomaly identifications and the presence of several enigmatic structural/basement features whose structure was partly obscured by the Late Cretaceous Deccan magmatic event. In this study, a detailed analysis of the existing seismic and seismological data covering both onshore and offshore areas of the northwest Indian margin along with 3-D/2-D constrained potential field (gravity, magnetic and geoid) modeling has been carried out. The crustal structure and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) delineated across the margin provided valuable insights on the mechanism of continental extension. An analysis of the residual geoid anomaly (degree-10) map and the modeled LAB below Deccan volcanic province (DVP) revealed significant variation in upper mantle characteristics between the northwest (NW) and south central (SC) parts of DVP having thinner lithosphere in the NW part. The depth to LAB ranges 80-130 km at the margin with gradual thinning towards the western offshore having sharp gradient in the south (SC part of DVP) and gentle gradient in the north (NW part of DVP). The Moho configuration obtained from seismically constrained 3-D gravity inversion reveals that Moho depths vary 34-42 km below DVP and gradually thins to 16-20 km in the western offshore. The effective elastic thickness (Te) map computed through 3-D flexural modeling indicates that the Te values are in general lower in the region and range 12-25 km. Such lower Te values could be ascribed to the combined effect of the lithosphere stretching during Gondwana fragmentation in the Mesozoic and subsequent thermal influence of the Reunion plume. Based on the crustal stretching factors (β), Te estimates and the modeled lithosphere geometry at the margin in this study, we propose that the lithosphere below Laxmi-Gop basin region (β > 3.0) had undergone continuous

  12. Deglacial sea level history of the East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea margins (United States)

    Cronin, Thomas M.; O'Regan, Matt; Pearce, Christof; Gemery, Laura; Toomey, Michael; Semiletov, Igor


    Deglacial (12.8–10.7 ka) sea level history on the East Siberian continental shelf and upper continental slope was reconstructed using new geophysical records and sediment cores taken during Leg 2 of the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition. The focus of this study is two cores from Herald Canyon, piston core SWERUS-L2-4-PC1 (4-PC1) and multicore SWERUS-L2-4-MC1 (4-MC1), and a gravity core from an East Siberian Sea transect, SWERUS-L2-20-GC1 (20-GC1). Cores 4-PC1 and 20-GC were taken at 120 and 115 m of modern water depth, respectively, only a few meters above the global last glacial maximum (LGM;  ∼  24 kiloannum or ka) minimum sea level of  ∼  125–130 meters below sea level (m b.s.l.). Using calibrated radiocarbon ages mainly on molluscs for chronology and the ecology of benthic foraminifera and ostracode species to estimate paleodepths, the data reveal a dominance of river-proximal species during the early part of the Younger Dryas event (YD, Greenland Stadial GS-1) followed by a rise in river-intermediate species in the late Younger Dryas or the early Holocene (Preboreal) period. A rapid relative sea level rise beginning at roughly 11.4 to 10.8 ka ( ∼  400 cm of core depth) is indicated by a sharp faunal change and unconformity or condensed zone of sedimentation. Regional sea level at this time was about 108 m b.s.l. at the 4-PC1 site and 102 m b.s.l. at 20-GC1. Regional sea level near the end of the YD was up to 42–47 m lower than predicted by geophysical models corrected for glacio-isostatic adjustment. This discrepancy could be explained by delayed isostatic adjustment caused by a greater volume and/or geographical extent of glacial-age land ice and/or ice shelves in the western Arctic Ocean and adjacent Siberian land areas.

  13. Deglacial sea level history of the East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea margins (United States)

    Cronin, Thomas M.; O'Regan, Matt; Pearce, Christof; Gemery, Laura; Toomey, Michael; Semiletov, Igor; Jakobsson, Martin


    Deglacial (12.8-10.7 ka) sea level history on the East Siberian continental shelf and upper continental slope was reconstructed using new geophysical records and sediment cores taken during Leg 2 of the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition. The focus of this study is two cores from Herald Canyon, piston core SWERUS-L2-4-PC1 (4-PC1) and multicore SWERUS-L2-4-MC1 (4-MC1), and a gravity core from an East Siberian Sea transect, SWERUS-L2-20-GC1 (20-GC1). Cores 4-PC1 and 20-GC were taken at 120 and 115 m of modern water depth, respectively, only a few meters above the global last glacial maximum (LGM; ˜ 24 kiloannum or ka) minimum sea level of ˜ 125-130 meters below sea level (m b.s.l.). Using calibrated radiocarbon ages mainly on molluscs for chronology and the ecology of benthic foraminifera and ostracode species to estimate paleodepths, the data reveal a dominance of river-proximal species during the early part of the Younger Dryas event (YD, Greenland Stadial GS-1) followed by a rise in river-intermediate species in the late Younger Dryas or the early Holocene (Preboreal) period. A rapid relative sea level rise beginning at roughly 11.4 to 10.8 ka ( ˜ 400 cm of core depth) is indicated by a sharp faunal change and unconformity or condensed zone of sedimentation. Regional sea level at this time was about 108 m b.s.l. at the 4-PC1 site and 102 m b.s.l. at 20-GC1. Regional sea level near the end of the YD was up to 42-47 m lower than predicted by geophysical models corrected for glacio-isostatic adjustment. This discrepancy could be explained by delayed isostatic adjustment caused by a greater volume and/or geographical extent of glacial-age land ice and/or ice shelves in the western Arctic Ocean and adjacent Siberian land areas.

  14. Deglacial sea level history of the East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. Cronin


    Full Text Available Deglacial (12.8–10.7 ka sea level history on the East Siberian continental shelf and upper continental slope was reconstructed using new geophysical records and sediment cores taken during Leg 2 of the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition. The focus of this study is two cores from Herald Canyon, piston core SWERUS-L2-4-PC1 (4-PC1 and multicore SWERUS-L2-4-MC1 (4-MC1, and a gravity core from an East Siberian Sea transect, SWERUS-L2-20-GC1 (20-GC1. Cores 4-PC1 and 20-GC were taken at 120 and 115 m of modern water depth, respectively, only a few meters above the global last glacial maximum (LGM;  ∼  24 kiloannum or ka minimum sea level of  ∼  125–130 meters below sea level (m b.s.l.. Using calibrated radiocarbon ages mainly on molluscs for chronology and the ecology of benthic foraminifera and ostracode species to estimate paleodepths, the data reveal a dominance of river-proximal species during the early part of the Younger Dryas event (YD, Greenland Stadial GS-1 followed by a rise in river-intermediate species in the late Younger Dryas or the early Holocene (Preboreal period. A rapid relative sea level rise beginning at roughly 11.4 to 10.8 ka ( ∼  400 cm of core depth is indicated by a sharp faunal change and unconformity or condensed zone of sedimentation. Regional sea level at this time was about 108 m b.s.l. at the 4-PC1 site and 102 m b.s.l. at 20-GC1. Regional sea level near the end of the YD was up to 42–47 m lower than predicted by geophysical models corrected for glacio-isostatic adjustment. This discrepancy could be explained by delayed isostatic adjustment caused by a greater volume and/or geographical extent of glacial-age land ice and/or ice shelves in the western Arctic Ocean and adjacent Siberian land areas.

  15. Thermochronological constraints on the Cambrian to recent geological evolution of the Argentina passive continental margin (United States)

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


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

  16. Map showing bottom topography of the Pacific Continental Margin, Cape Mendocino to Point Conception (United States)

    Chase, T.E.; Wilde, Pat; Normark, W.R.; Evenden, G.I.; Miller, C.P.; Seekins, B.A.; Young, J. D.; Grim, M.S.; Lief, C.J.


    All contours, geographic outlines, and political boundaries shown on this map of the bottom topography, or bathymetry, of the Pacific continental margin between 34? and 41? N. latitudes were plotted from digital data bases in the library of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Joint Office for Mapping and Research (JOMAR). These digital data were obtained and compiled from many sources; consequently, data quality varies within particular data bases as well as from one data base to another.

  17. Sedimentation and potential venting on the rifted continental margin of Dronning Maud Land (United States)

    Huang, Xiaoxia; Jokat, Wilfried


    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.

  18. Phosphorite concretions in a sediment core from a bathymetric high off Goa, western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, Ch.M; Rao, B.R.

    A sediment core collected from a bathymetric high off Goa on the western continental margin of India, has yielded phosphorite concretions with an average Pd2O5 content of 32.75%, the P2O5 concentrations being highest ever reported from the margins...

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    and Prof. Lisa Levin helped in improving the manuscript. Our special thanks to Ms. Jennifer Gonzalez, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California and Andy Gooday, National Oceanography Centre, UK for meticulously going through... caused by El Nino. In: R.V. Tyson & T.H. Pearson (Eds). Modern and Ancient Continental Shelf Anoxia. Geological Society Special Publication No. 58, London, 131-154. Bange H.W., Naqvi S.W.A., Codispoti L.A. (2005) The nitrogen cycle in the Arabian Sea...

  20. First evidence for the presence of iron oxidizing zetaproteobacteria at the Levantine continental margins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxim Rubin-Blum

    Full Text Available During the 2010-2011 E/V Nautilus exploration of the Levantine basin's sediments at the depth of 300-1300 m, densely patched orange-yellow flocculent mats were observed at various locations along the continental margin of Israel. Cores from the mat and the control locations were collected by remotely operated vehicle system (ROV operated by the E/V Nautilus team. Microscopic observation and phylogenetic analysis of microbial 16S and 23S rRNA gene sequences indicated the presence of zetaproteobacterial stalk forming Mariprofundus spp.-like prokaryotes in the mats. Bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing determined that zetaproteobacterial populations were a dominant fraction of microbial community in the biofilm. We show for the first time that zetaproteobacterial may thrive at the continental margins, regardless of crustal iron supply, indicating significant fluxes of ferrous iron to the sediment-water interface. In light of this discovery, we discuss the potential bioavailability of sediment-water interface iron for organisms in the overlying water column.

  1. Ocean-Continent Transition Structure of the Pelotas Magma-Rich Continental Margin, South Atlantic (United States)

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


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

  2. Spatiotemporal relationships between earthquakes of the mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Atlantic continental margins (United States)

    Bolarinwa, Oluwaseyi J.

    The seismicity of the mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) was compared in space and time with the seismicity along the Atlantic continental margins of Europe, Africa, North America, the Carribean and South America in a bid to appraise the level of influence of the ridge push force at the MAR on the Atlantic coastal seismicity. By analyzing the spatial and temporal patterns of many earthquakes (along with the patterns in their stress directions) in diverse places with similar tectonic settings, it is hoped that patterns that might be found indicate some of the average properties of the forces that are causing the earthquakes. The spatial analysis of the dataset set used shows that areas with higher seismic moment release along the north MAR spatially correlate with areas with relatively lower seismic moment release along the north Atlantic continental margins (ACM) and vice versa. This inverse spatial correlation observed between MAR seismicity and ACM seismicity might be due to the time (likely a long time) it takes stress changes from segments of the MAR currently experiencing high seismic activity to propagate to the associated passive margin areas presently experiencing relatively low seismic activity. Furthermore, the number of Atlantic basin and Atlantic coast earthquakes occurring away from the MAR is observed to be independent of the proximity of earthquake's epicenters from the MAR axis. The effect of local stress as noted by Wysession et al. (1995) might have contributed to the independence of Atlantic basin and Atlantic coast earthquake proximity from the MAR. The Latchman (2011) observation of strong earthquakes on a specific section of the MAR being followed by earthquakes on Trinidad and Tobago was tested on other areas of the MAR and ACM. It was found that that the temporal delay observed by Latchman does not exist for the seismicity along other areas along the MAR and ACM. Within the time window used for this study, it appears that seismicity is occurring

  3. Decadal changes in carbon fluxes at the East Siberian continental margin: interactions of ice cover, ocean productivity, particle sedimentation and benthic life (United States)

    Boetius, A.; Bienhold, C.; Felden, J.; Fernandez Mendez, M.; Gusky, M.; Rossel, P. E.; Vedenin, A.; Wenzhoefer, F.


    The observed and predicted Climate-Carbon-Cryosphere interactions in the Arctic Ocean are likely to alter productivity and carbon fluxes of the Siberian continental margin and adjacent basins. Here, we compare field observations and samples obtained in the nineties, and recently in 2012 during the sea ice minimum, to assess decadal changes in the productivity, export and recycling of organic matter at the outer East Siberian margin. In the 90s, the Laptev Sea margin was still largely ice-covered throughout the year, and the samples and measurements obtained represent an ecological baseline against which current and future ecosystem shifts can be assessed. The POLARSTERN expedition IceArc (ARK-XXVII/3) returned in September 2012 to resample the same transects between 60 and 3400 m water depth as well as stations in the adjacent deep basins. Our results suggest that environmental changes in the past two decades, foremost sea ice thinning and retreat, have led to a substantial increase in phytodetritus sedimentation to the seafloor, especially at the lower margin and adjacent basins. This is reflected in increased benthic microbial activities, leading to higher carbon remineralization rates, especially deeper than 3000 m. Besides a relative increase in typical particle degrading bacterial types in surface sediments, bacterial community composition showed little variation between the two years, suggesting that local microbial communities can cope with changing food input. First assessments of faunal abundances suggest an increase in polychaetes,holothurians and bivalves at depth, which fits the prediction of higher productivity and particle deposition rates upon sea ice retreat. The presentation also discusses the controversial issue whether there is evidence for an Arctic-wide increase in carbon flux, or whether we are looking at a spatial shift of the productive marginal ice zone as the main factor to enhance carbon flux to the deep Siberian margin.

  4. 3D thermal modelling within the Lofoten-Vesterålen segment of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin (United States)

    Maystrenko, Yuriy P.; Gernigon, Laurent; Gradmann, Sofie; Olesen, Odleiv


    A lithosphere-scale 3D structural model has been constructed based on the available structural data to reveal a deep structure of the Lofoten-Vesterålen segment and the northern part of the Vøring segment of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin. The constructed model covers the Vestfjorden, Ribban and Røst basins, the northern parts of the Vøring Basin and the Trøndelag Platform. The model also extends from the Fennoscandian Shield to the north-eastern part of the North Atlantic Ocean. The initial 3D structural model has been refined using a 3D gravity modelling over the whole study area. The final gravity-consistent model has been used as a structural base for a further 3D thermal modelling, which has been made by use of commercial software package COMSOL Multiphysics. As an upper thermal boundary condition, time-dependent temperature at the Earth's surface and sea bottom has been set, considering palaeoclimatic changes due to the last two Europe-scale glaciations (the Saalian and Weichselian glacial periods). The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary has been used as a lower thermal boundary which corresponds to the 1300 °C isotherm. In addition to the above-mentioned paleoclimatic scenario, the effects of late Cenozoic erosion onshore and sedimentation offshore have been taken into account during the 3D thermal modelling. Results of this thermal modelling indicate that the continent is generally colder than the basin areas within the upper part of the 3D model. In particular, considering the transient perturbations in the near-surface thermal regime, as a result of the post-Paleogene erosion and sedimentation, helps us to understand additional details of subsurface temperature distribution within the study area. The thermal effects of the simultaneous erosion over the mainland and deposition within the basin areas indicate that a positive thermal anomaly should exist onshore, whereas the negative one must occur in the offshore part. These two thermal

  5. Geology and petroleum potential of Shumagin continental margin, western Gulf of Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruns, T.R.; Von Huene, R.; Culotta, R.D.; Lewis, S.D.; Ladd, J.W.


    Interpretations of multichannel seismic reflection data indicate that the Shumagin continental margin seaward of the Border Ranges fault is underlain by two major seismic sequences, separated by an erosional unconformity beneath the shelf and by the time-correlative conformity seaward. Rocks above the unconformity are late Miocene and younger. Rocks below the unconformity can be as young as middle Miocene beneath the outer shelf and slope, seaward of a paleoshelf break. However, beneath the shelf they are primarily Late Cretaceous turbidites of the Shumagin Formation and Paleocene granodiorite. Late Miocene and younger structures of the Shumagin margin include Shumagin, Sanak, and Unimak basins and Unimak Ridge, a midslope structural high. Strata in Sanak and Unimak basins were deposited on a subsiding outer shelf and slope, and trapped behind Unimak Ridge and its now-buried structural continuation. Sanak and Unimak basins are in part bounded by northwest-trending extensional faults that parallel both the early Tertiary Beringian margin and a transverse tectonic boundary that segments the fore-arc. These faults may have developed during collapse and extension along the southeastward continuation of the old Beringian margin, analogous to the processes that created the Bering Shelf basins. The most promising areas of the Shumagin margin for petroleum potential are Sanak, and Unimak basins, which contain strata 8 and 4.5 km thick, respectively, and beneath the outer shelf and slope. Paleogene source rocks like those on the adjacent Alaska Peninsula may be preserved offshore, seaward of the inferred paleoshelf break. Reservoir rocks might have formed from granitic-rich erosional products derived during Oligocene and Miocene erosion of the shelf plutons.

  6. Quaternary evolution of the northern North Sea margin (United States)

    Batchelor, C.; Ottesen, D.; Dowdeswell, J. A.


    At the start of the Quaternary, about 2.7 M yr ago, the bathymetry of the northern North Sea was dominated by the North Sea Basin, which has been infilled subsequently. The Norwegian Channel Ice Stream (NCIS) of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) extended to the shelf break during several Mid to Late Quaternary full-glacial periods. However, little is known about Early Quaternary sedimentation on this margin. We use 2D and 3D seismic-reflection data to investigate the shelf and slope architecture and the patterns and processes of sedimentation in the northern North Sea through the Quaternary. The Early Quaternary infill of the northern North Sea Basin is shown to consist predominantly of glacigenic debris-flow deposits (GDFs) derived from an ice sheet that flowed perpendicular to the palaeo-shelf break during full-glacial periods, and contourites that were deposited by an ocean current that flowed parallel to the palaeo-shelf break during periods of reduced glaciation and active thermohaline circulation. This sequence of intercalated GDFs and contourites is suggested to record fluctuations in regional climate that are linked to the c. 41k glacial-interglacial cycles of the Early Quaternary. The Early Quaternary infilling of the northern North Sea Basin may have encouraged the initiation of a major ice stream by increasing the shelf width and reducing the water depth. Close to the onset of the Mid Quaternary, the south-western margin of the SIS was drained by an ice stream that was located partly beneath Måløy Plateau, 60 km east of the position of the NCIS during the Last Glacial Maximum. The changing architecture of the northern North Sea margin had an effect on the palaeo-oceanography of this region. The southward-flowing Norwegian Sea Bottom Water current is interpreted to have been directed into the concave, partially-closed northern North Sea Basin during the Early Quaternary, and to have been deflected progressively northwards as the basin became infilled.

  7. The Continental Margin of East Asia: a collage of multiple plates formed by convergence and extension from multiple directions (United States)

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


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

  8. Gas Hydrates Accumulations on the South Shetland Continental Margin: New Detection Possibilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. D. Solovyov


    Full Text Available The results of investigations in 2006–2010 for hydrocarbon and gas hydrates on the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin are given. In 2004 and 2006, the marine geoelectric researches by methods of forming a short-pulsed electromagnetic field (FSPEF and vertical electric-resonance sounding (VERS had been conducted in this region. The “deposit” type anomaly was mapped by FSPEF survey, and anomalous polarized layers of “hydrocarbon deposit” type were chosen by VERS sounding within this anomaly on Antarctic margin in the region of UAS “Academician Vernadsky.” Anomalous zones of “gas hydrate deposit” type were detected on the South Shetland margin due to the special technology of satellite data processing and interpretation using. These results confirm the high gas hydrates potential of the West Antarctica region. Some practical results of the experimental approbation of these original technologies for the “direct” prospecting and exploration of hydrocarbon (HC and gas hydrates accumulations in different oil-and-gas bearing basins of Russia and Gulf of Mexico are proposed. The integration of satellite data processing and materials of FSPEF-VERS methods enable improving their efficiency for different geological and geophysical problems solving.

  9. Air-sea interaction processes over the east-asian marginal seas surrounding the Korean peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Bala Subrahamanyam


    Full Text Available In this article, we describe the seasonal variation of air-sea interface fluxes of heat, momentum and moisture over the East Asian Marginal Seas (EAMS surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Surface layer meteorological observations for a period of about six years obtained from five oceanic buoys deployed in the Yellow Sea, Korean Strait and East (Japan Sea form the database for this study. With the available database, monthly mean of sensible heat flux, latent heat flux and momentum flux obtained from the present analysis is compared with the existing climatological data over the EAMS.

  10. Lithospheric thickness jumps at the S-Atlantic continental margins from satellite gravity data and modelled isostatic anomalies (United States)

    Shahraki, Meysam; Schmeling, Harro; Haas, Peter


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

  11. Identification and inversion of converted shear waves: case studies from the European North Atlantic continental margins (United States)

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


    Wide-angle shear wave arrivals, converted from compressional to shear waves at crustal interfaces, enable crustal Vp/Vs ratios to be determined which provide valuable constraint on geological interpretations. Analysis of the converted shear wave phases represents the next logical step in characterizing the crustal structure and composition following multichannel seismic structural imaging and tomographic inversion of the wide-angle compressional wave phases. In this offshore study across two passive margins extending from stretched continental to fully oceanic crust, the high-data density (2-10 km ocean bottom seismometer, OBS, spacing) and a consistent, efficient conversion interface produced shear wave data sets suitable for traveltime inversion. The shear waves were recorded by three orthogonal geophones in each OBS. Arrival phases, visible to 180 km offset, were identified using their arrival times, moveout velocities and particle motions. Across the North Atlantic volcanic rifted continental margins studied, breakup was accompanied by the eruption of large volumes of basalts of the North Atlantic Igneous Province. The interface between post-volcanic sediments and the top of the basalts provides the dominant conversion boundary across the oceanic crust and the continent-ocean transition. However, the shear wave data quality was significantly diminished at the continental ends of the profiles where the thick basalt flows and hence this conversion interface feathers out and crustal attenuation increases. Initial modelling of the converted shear wave phases was carried out using a layer-based approach with arrivals converted on the way up used to constrain the Vp/Vs ratio of the post-volcanic sedimentary sequence beneath each OBS. To produce a model with continuous crustal S-wave velocities, the compressional wave velocities beneath the sediment-top basalt interface were transformed into starting shear wave velocities using a constant value of Vp/Vs and the

  12. Trace metals and organochlorines in sediments near a major ocean outfall on a high energy continental margin (Sydney, Australia). (United States)

    Matthai, C; Birch, G F


    Sewage effluent from a large ocean outfall south of Sydney, southeastern Australia, is efficiently dispersed on this high energy continental margin. An enrichment of Ag, Cu, Pb and Zn is only detectable in the fine fraction (mud content of surficial sediment, making an identification of the anthropogenic trace metal source difficult using total sediment analyses. The concentrations of HCB and DDE in the total sediment are also slightly elevated near the outfall. In the vicinity of the outfall, the estimated sewage component in the fine fraction of sediment, using Ag, Cu and Zn in a conservative, two-endmember physical mixing model, is sewage to Sydney continental margin sediments.

  13. Chirostylidae of Australia's western continental margin (Crustacea : Decapoda: Anomura), with the description of five new species. (United States)

    Mccallum, Anna W; Poore, Gary C B


    Five new species from the squat lobster family Chirostylidae are described from the continental margin of western Australia: Uroptychus albus sp. nov., Uroptychus bardi sp. nov., Uroptychus jawi sp. nov., Uroptychus taylorae sp. nov., and Uroptychus worrorra sp. nov. New records of Indo-West Pacific species for Australia are: Gastroptychus brachyterus Baba, 2005, Gastroptychus investigatoris Alcock, 1899, Uroptychodes grandirostris (Yokoya, 1933), Uroptychodes inortenseni (Van Dam, 1939), Uroptychus scandens Benedict, 1902, Uroptychus ciliatus (Van Dam, 1933) and Uroptychus vandamae Baba, 1988. New distributional records are given for species previously recorded from Australia: Uroptychus flindersi Ahyong & Poore, 2004, Uroptychus hesperius Ahyong & Poore, 2004, Uroptychusjoloensis Van Dam, 1939, Uroptychus nigricapillis Alcock, 1901, and Uroptychus spinirostris (Ahyong & Poore, 2004). These new records expand the number of chirostylid species in Australia from 34 to 46. Keys to Australian species of the genera Gastroptychus, Uroptychodes and Uroptychus are provided.

  14. Exploring the Continental Margin of Israel: “Telepresence” at Work (United States)

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


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

  15. Earth-System Scales of Biodiversity Variability in Shallow Continental Margin Seafloor Ecosystems (United States)

    Moffitt, S. E.; White, S. M.; Hill, T. M.; Kennett, J.


    High-resolution paleoceanographic sedimentary sequences allow for the description of ecosystem sensitivity to earth-system scales of climate and oceanographic change. Such archives from Santa Barbara Basin, California record the ecological consequences to seafloor ecosystems of climate-forced shifts in the California Current Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). Here we use core MV0508-20JPC dated to 735,000±5,000 years ago (Marine Isotope Stage 18) as a "floating window" of millennial-scale ecological variability. For this investigation, previously published archives of planktonic δ18O (Globigerina bulloides) record stadial and interstadial oscillations in surface ocean temperature. Core MV0508-20JPC is an intermittently laminated archive, strongly influenced by the California Current OMZ, with continuously preserved benthic foraminifera and discontinuously preserved micro-invertebrates, including ophiuroids, echinoderms, ostracods, gastropods, bivalves and scaphopods. Multivariate statistical approaches, such as ordinations and cluster analyses, describe climate-driven changes in both foraminiferal and micro-invertebrate assemblages. Statistical ordinations illustrate that the shallow continental margin seafloor underwent predictable phase-shifts in oxygenation and biodiversity across stadial and interstadial events. A narrow suite of severely hypoxic taxa characterized foraminiferal communities from laminated intervals, including Bolivina tumida, Globobulimina spp., and Nonionella stella. Foraminiferal communities from bioturbated intervals are diverse and >60% similar to each other, and they are associated with echinoderm, ostracod and mollusc fossils. As with climate shifts in the latest Quaternary, there is a sensitive benthic ecosystem response in mid-Pleistocene continental margins to climatically related changes in OMZ strength.

  16. Bubble composition of natural gas seeps discovered along the Cascadia Continental Margin (United States)

    Baumberger, T.; Merle, S. G.; Embley, R. W.; Seabrook, S.; Raineault, N.; Lilley, M. D.; Evans, L. J.; Walker, S. L.; Lupton, J. E.


    Gas hydrates and gas-filled pockets present in sedimentary deposits have been recognized as large reservoirs for reduced carbon in the Earth's crust. This is particularly relevant in geological settings with high carbon input, such as continental margins. During expedition NA072 on the E/V Nautilus (operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust Inc.) in June 2016, the U.S. Cascadia Continental Margin (Washington, Oregon and northern California) was explored for gas seepage from sediments. During this expedition, over 400 bubble plumes at water depths ranging from 125 and 1640 m were newly discovered, and five of them were sampled for gas bubble composition using specially designed gas tight fluid samplers mounted on the Hercules remotely operated vehicle (ROV). These gas bubble samples were collected at four different depths, 494 m (rim of Astoria Canyon), 615 and 620 m (SW Coquille Bank), 849 m (floor of Astoria Canyon) and 1227 m (Heceta SW). At the two deeper sites, exposed hydrate was present in the same area where bubbles were seeping out from the seafloor. Other than the escaping gas bubbles, no other fluid flow was visible. However, the presence of bacterial mats point to diffuse fluid flow present in the affected area. In this study we present the results of the currently ongoing geochemical analysis of the gas bubbles released at the different sites and depths. Noble gas analysis, namely helium and neon, will give information about the source of the helium as well as about potential fractionation between helium and neon associated with gas hydrates. The characterization of these gas samples will also include total gas (CO2, H2, N2, O2, Ar, CH4 and other hydrocarbons) and stable isotope analysis (C and H). This dataset will reveal the chemical composition of the seeping bubbles as well as give information about the possible sources of the carbon contained in the seeping gas.

  17. Crustal structure of the North Iberian continental margin from seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. O'Regan


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

  19. Crustal Structure of the Gulf of Aden Continental Margins, from Afar to Oman, by Ambient Noise Seismic Tomography (United States)

    Korostelev, F.; Weemstra, C.; Boschi, L.; Leroy, S. D.; Ren, Y.; Stuart, G. W.; Keir, D.; Rolandone, F.; Ahmed, A.; Al Ganad, I.; Khanbari, K. M.; Doubre, C.; Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J. M.


    Continental rupture processes under mantle plume influence are still poorly known although extensively studied. The Gulf of Aden presents volcanic margins to the west, where they are influenced by the Afar hotspot, and non volcanic margins east of longitude 46° E. We imaged the crustal structure of the Gulf of Aden continental margins from Afar to Oman to evaluate the role of the Afar plume on the evolution of the passive margin and its extent towards the East. We use Ambient Noise Seismic Tomography to better understand the architecture and processes along the Gulf of Aden. This recent method, developed in the last decade, allows us to study the seismic signal propagating between two seismic stations. Ambient Noise Seismic Tomography is thus free from artifacts related to the distribution of earthquakes. We collected continuous records from about 200 permanent or temporary stations since 1999 to compute Rayleigh phase velocity maps over the Gulf of Aden.

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


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


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

  1. Gas hydrate quantification from ocean-bottom seismometer data along the continental margin of Western Svalbard. (United States)

    Chabert, A.; Minshull, T. A.; Westbrook, G. K.; Berndt, C.


    The stability of shallow gas hydrate in the Arctic region is expected to be affected by the warming of the bottom-water in the next decades. It is, therefore, important to evaluate how the gas hydrate systems will react to future increases in bottom-water temperature and the impact on climate of the spatial and temporal variability of the release of methane from these reservoirs. As part of the International Polar Year initiative, a multidisciplinary marine expedition was carried out in September 2008 along the continental margin west of Svalbard in the Arctic. One of the objectives was to investigate the extent of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) along and across the continental slope and to estimate the quantity of methane present using the geophysical properties of methane hydrate- and gas-bearing sediments, which occur in and beneath the GHSZ. Three seismic experiments employing ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) were carried out across and along the continental margin as part of the project. Seismic data from 13 OBS in closely spaced arrays were acquired from 5 representative sites off west Svalbard, above and below the upper limit of the GHSZ. Two to four OBSs were deployed at each site, with a spacing of 200 m. The high frequency airguns were fired at 5-s intervals, concurrently with the acquisition of multi-channel seismic reflection profiles. The OBSs were equipped with a 3-component 4.5 Hz geophone package and a broadband hydrophone; the data-loggers were operated at 1 kHz sample rate. The OBS experiments were designed to recover P- and S-wave velocities to depths of a few hundreds metres below the seabed in order to estimate the amount of hydrate in the region, hydrate increasing both the P- and S-wave velocities of the sediments in which it is present. The data show clearly recorded P reflections at short offsets, as well as refracted arrivals at larger offsets, from depths of 1 to 2 kilometres below the seabed. S waves, generated by P-S conversion on

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Døssing, Arne


    . Combined with an interpreted interplay between normal stresses in the Labrador Sea and oblique‐shear stresses in the Davis Strait, this resulted in a very complex structural‐tectonic evolution and the formation of several distinct structural styles. The seismic interpretations are supported by maps......Cenozoic seafloor spreading between Greenland and North America is generally considered a major right‐stepping ridge‐transform‐ridge system between NW–SE trending spreading ridge segments in the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. The ridges were linked by N–S/NNE–SSW trending transform motions...... 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...

  3. Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics and Fluxes in the Northwest European Continental Shelf Sea (United States)

    Humphreys, M. P.; Moore, M. M.; Achterberg, E. P.; Griffiths, A.; Smilenova, A.; Chowdhury, M. Z. H.; Kivimae, C.; Hartman, S. E.; Hopkins, J.; Woodward, M. S.


    Despite covering only about 5 % of the Earth's ocean surface area, shallow marginal seas support 15-20 % of global primary productivity, and are the key interface between the land and the open ocean. They are therefore of critical importance to marine biogeochemical cycles, and may have a significant role in ocean uptake and storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). However, their behaviour is significantly more complex than that of the open ocean, because of the greater heterogeneity of the underlying physical, chemical and biological processes acting upon them. Detailed case-studies of individual regions are therefore essential in order to accurately evaluate their net global influence. The Northwest European continental shelf, in particular the Celtic Sea, was the target of extensive hydrographic sampling from March 2014 to September 2015, as part of the UK Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry research programme (UK-SSB). Here, we use the UK-SSB carbonate chemistry and macronutrient measurements to describe the seasonal biogeochemical cycle in the Celtic Sea. The 100-200 m deep water column proceeds from vertically well mixed in winter to a strongly stratified two-layer structure over spring-summer. The associated seasonal cycle in near-surface biological activity removes dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and nutrients, some of which are then exported into the deeper layer. Calculating total inventories of the biogeochemical variables throughout the seasonal cycle, we determine seasonal net CO2 uptake and investigate whether non-Redfieldian macronutrient uptake and remineralisation processes occur. Combining these results with estimated water exchange across the shelf edge further allows us to quantify the strength of the `shelf pump' sink for atmospheric (and anthropogenic) CO2.

  4. Organic matter diagenesis and hydrocarbon generation on outer Continental Margin of northwestern Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyers, P.A.; Snowdon, L.R.; Heggie, D.; Bent, A.


    Organic geochemical analyses of sediments and rocks obtained from drill sites on the Exmouth and Wombat Plateaus and the Argo Abyssal Plain on the northwestern margin of Australia were done onboard the JOIDES Resolution during Ocean Drilling Program Legs 122 and 123. These analyses provide information about the sources of organic matter to these offshore locations from Triassic to Holocene times and also indicate the degree of postdepositional diagenesis and maturation the organic matter has experienced. Because this margin has interest to petroleum explorationists, these data have practical as well as fundamental significance. Triassic claystones (equivalent to the onshore Mungeroo Formation) from the Wombat Plateau contain up to several percent of land-derived organic carbon. Neocomian siltstones and claystones (equivalent to the Barrow Group and Muderong Shale) from the Exmouth Plateau hold similar organic matter but at lower concentrations. Younger sediments are generally very lean in organic matter. Gas chromatographic analysis of extractable hydrocarbons shows a large and often dominant contribution of continental components, notably n-alkanes with a strong odd/even ratio and tricyclic diterpanes. Both Rock-Eval and hydrocarbon results agree in indicating low to moderate levels of thermal maturity. Locations on the Exmouth Plateau typically contain large amounts of thermogenic gaseous hydrocarbons dominated by methane. Concentrations peak in Senonian chalk sequences. In Neocomian siltstones and claystones, methane-ethane ratios diminish as concentrations decrease. The source of these hydrocarbons is likely to be the Triassic coals and coaly material below the Dingo claystone, which was not drilled during these legs but has been characterized from industry wells on this passive margin.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  6. Feeding types of the benthic community and particle transport across the slope of the NW European Continental Margin (Goban Spur)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flach, E.; Lavaleye, M.; De Stigter, H.; Thomsen, L.


    Densities and biomass of feeding guilds of benthic foraminifera, macrofauna and megafauna were estimated at seven stations ranging from 208 m to 4460 m water depth along the OMEX-transect at the continental margin of the Goban Spur N.E. Atlantic. At the same stations flow velocities in the Bottom

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

    Robertson, Alastair


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

  8. City and sea margins. Porto’s Marginal as scale and measure of new spaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Parità


    Full Text Available The city has always been confronting with its own end and the beginning of the water system. Among the different kind of margin areas, the ones that border the cities on their watersides are particularly interesting. These new liminal territories are rich in variety and differences and are set up of several elements made of different morphologies that should be carefully read and interpreted: the need of re-thinking the morphological elements that mark an urban edge leads to the identification of several shapes and forms of the water borderlands. Borders, limits, boundaries, edges, margin areas - usually considered as an obstacle to the construction of the city - turn themselves as new possible “design materials” for building that ambiguous distance between city and the sea. The article aims to focus on the case-study of Porto’s Marginal that well explain how many ways a city can live its water edges. On a large scale, it is configured as a strip of 15 kilometers of public space. Within this continuity, the different extent of the distance between city and water leads to reflect on the different types of relationships (and therefore projects between the end of one side and the beginning of another. For Porto, those are not only urban parts, but also different geographical parts (sea, rivers, topography that distance puts in relation through the design sometimes of the line, at time of the border or of a surface. So, the analysis of these heterogeneous but continuous projects aim to focus on the several techniques of urban composition to build contemporary public spaces. On one hand they give form to a continuous “public figure”, on the other hand each one of the project can be considered as part of a “atlas” of liminal places, giving form to public spaces. 

  9. A sea ice model for the marginal ice zone with an application to the Greenland Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Leif Toudal; Coon, Max D.


    A model is presented that describes the formation, transport, and desalinization of frazil and pancake ice as it is formed in marginal seas. This model uses as input the total ice concentration evaluated from Special Sensor Microwave Imager and wind speed and direction. The model calculates...... the areal concentration, thickness, volume concentration, and salinity of frazil ice as well as the areal concentration, thickness, and salinity of pancakes. A simple parameterization for the Odden region of the Greenland Sea is presented. The model is run for the winter of 1996-1997. There are direct...... observations of the thickness and salinity of pancakes and the volume concentration of frazil ice to compare with the model. The model results compare very well with the measured data. This new ice model can be tuned to work in marginal seas elsewhere to calculate ice thickness, motion, and brine rejection...

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

    Santantonio, Massimo; Fabbi, Simone; Aldega, Luca


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

  11. Germanium-silicon fractionation in a river-influenced continental margin: The Northern Gulf of Mexico (United States)

    Baronas, J. Jotautas; Hammond, Douglas E.; Berelson, William M.; McManus, James; Severmann, Silke


    In this study we have sampled the water column and sediments of the Gulf of Mexico to investigate the effects of high riverine terrigenous load and sediment redox conditions on the cycling of Ge and Si. Water column Ge/Si ratios across the Gulf of Mexico continental shelf range from 1.9 to 25 μmol/mol, which is elevated compared to the global ocean value of 0.7 μmol/mol. The Ge enrichment in the Gulf of Mexico seawater is primarily due to anthropogenic contamination of the Mississippi river, which is the main Ge and Si source to the area, and to a smaller extent due to discrimination against Ge during biogenic silica (bSi) production (Ge/Si = 1.2-1.8 μmol/mol), especially by radiolarians and siliceous sponges (Ge/Si = 0.6-1.1 μmol/mol). Most sediment pore waters (Ge/Si = 0.3-4.5 μmol/mol) and sediment incubation experiments (benthic flux Ge/Si = 0.9-1.2 μmol/mol) indicate precipitation of authigenic phases that sequester Ge from pore waters (non-opal sink). This process appears to be independent of oxidation-reduction reactions and suggests that authigenic aluminosilicate formation (reverse weathering) may be the dominant Ge sink in marine sediments. Compilation of previously published data shows that in continental margins, non-opal Ge burial flux is controlled by bSi supply, while in open ocean sediments it is 10-100 times lower and most likely limited by the supply of lithogenic material. We provide a measurement-based estimate of the global non-opal Ge burial flux as 4-32 Mmol yr-1, encompassing the 2-16 Mmol yr-1 needed to keep the global marine Ge cycle at steady state.

  12. Rifting-to-drifting transition of the South China Sea: Moho reflection characteristics in continental-ocean transition zone (United States)

    Wen, Y.; Li, C.


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

  13. Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Crustal Growth at Active Continental Margins (United States)

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


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

  14. The Hatton Basin and continental margin: Crustal structure from wide-angle seismic and gravity data (United States)

    Vogt, Ulrike; Makris, Jannis; O'Reilly, Brian M.; Hauser, Franz; Readman, Peter W.; Jacob, A. W. Brian; Shannon, Pat M.


    Results from a wide-angle seismic and gravity study between the Rockall Bank and the Iceland Basin in the North Atlantic are presented. Crustal and sedimentary structures are resolved in the Hatton Basin and across the Hatton continental margin (HCM) east of magnetic anomaly 24. The structure of the oceanic crust west of the anomaly is also determined. Gravity data support the seismic model in areas of good seismic coverage and are used to control the model where the wide-angle seismic data are poor. A two-layer sedimentary sequence is present both in the Hatton Basin and across the continental margin. The lower layer, with P wave velocity of about 4 km/s, is interpreted as pre-Eocene synrift sediments and is up to 3.5 km thick. A younger and thinner (1-2.5 km) postrift sequence, with a velocity of about 2 km/s, defines a strong velocity contrast, which suggests an erosional unconformity surface. The sedimentary structure is distinctly different from that in the Rockall Trough, where a third intermediate layer (Vp ≈ 3 km/s) occurs. The three-layer crust, characterized by two intracrustal reflections (PiP1 and PiP2) varies from 30 km thick under the Rockall Bank to about 15 km below the Hatton Basin, where it is stretched by a factor of 2 relative to onshore Ireland. The crust is thinnest below the Hatton Bank, where the presence of a single intracrustal reflection indicates that the lower crustal layer thins to below the seismic resolution limit. Below the HCM a region of thick lower crust with anomalously high velocity (Vp ≈ 7.2 km/s) is resolved by the seismic and gravity data. It is connected (west of anomaly 24) to a region of oceanic crust, which is thicker than in the Iceland Basin. These relationships between the thick lower crust below the HCM and the oceanic crust in the Iceland Basin are interpreted as evidence for magmatic underplating, consistent with previous models for the HCM. The inferred unconformity surface between the synrift and postrift

  15. Modeling Passive Margin Stratigraphy from the Interplay between Sea-level Change, Thermal Subsidence, Precipitation and Dynamic Topography (United States)

    Ding, X.; Salles, T.; Flament, N. E.; Rey, P. F.


    It is generally accepted that the stratigraphic evolution on continental margins results from the interplay of numerous processes, including eustasy, tectonics and sediment supply. Recent research suggests that dynamic topography - the surface expression of time-varying deep Earth processes - also has profound effects on stratigraphic architecture since it influences surface processes and thus the sediment supply to continental margins. It is therefore necessary to investigate the role of dynamic topography and its interplay with other processes in modulating coastal accommodation and building stratigraphic sequences. We use Badlands (Tristan, 2015), a new landscape evolution model that simulates erosion, deposition and changes in sediment supply, to investigate the interplay between sea-level change, thermal subsidence and dynamic topography. We consider a radially symmetric surface with a plateau, a continental plain and continental margin (shelf and slope). We simulate thermal subsidence as tilting about a hinge point and dynamic topography as a linear propagating wave. We set up a series of models with time-varying boundary conditions, allowing landscapes to dynamically evolve for 30-60 Myr. We then analyze key model characteristics such as changes in accommodation, sedimentation rate, the resulting stratal stacking patterns, and the evolving shoreline trajectories. We find that dynamic topography profoundly influences sediment supply and the formation and assemblage of stratigraphic sequences, and lateral shifts of shoreline by changing accommodation space. For instance, a propagating wave of positive (respectively negative) dynamic topography results in increased (respectively decreased) denudation and greater (respectively lesser) sediment accumulation on the continental shelf. We use both the conventional systems tracts approach and the accommodation succession method (Neal & Abreu, 2009) to analyze the simulated stratigraphic architectures.

  16. Gulf of Mexico: Dealing with Change in a Marginal Sea (United States)

    Rabalais, N. N.


    The Gulf of Mexico is shared by the United States, Mexico and Cuba and requires collaborative work for integrated management to conserve its natural assets and derived benefits, as well as to foster the overall regional economic wealth. Many rivers drain into the Gulf, most notably the Mississippi, which ranks among global rivers 4th in discharge, 7th in sediment load and 3rd in drainage area, and accounts for about 90 percent of the freshwater inflow to the Gulf. The Mississippi River proper empties onto a narrow ( 20 km wide) continental shelf, and its tributary, the Atchafalaya River, that carries about one third of the total flow discharges onto the broad ( 200 km) and shallow part of the shelf. The entrainment of the Mississippi River discharge into the Louisiana Coastal Current results in the semblance of an extended estuary across much of the inner to mid continental shelf for much of the year. The nitrogen load from the Mississippi River to the adjacent continental shelf over the last half century has increased by 300 per cent. As a result, eutrophication and hypoxia have developed in this stratified coastal system with implications for biogeochemical cycles and valued resources. While there is recognition that over half of the nitrogen sources come from agricultural practices widespread across the watershed, the environmental goal of bringing a 32-year average 13,800 square kilometers of bottom-water hypoxia to less than 5,000 square kilometers is being realized through voluntary and incentive-based activities, designed within a series of subbasin and state strategies. Some activities funded by the US Department of Agriculture for directed nutrient reduction projects and several small-scale voluntary actions towards sustainable and ecologically sound agriculture show promise, but large-scale social-political solutions do not exist now nor will they for the forseeable future. The coastal waters adjacent to the Mississippi River are just one of many such

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata da Silva Schmitt

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

  18. Conjugate volcanic rifted margins, spreading and micro-continent: Lessons from the Norwegian-Greenland Sea (United States)

    Gernigon, L.; Blischke, A.; Nasuti, A.; Sand, M.


    We have acquired and processed new aeromagnetic data that covers the entire Norway Basin oceanic spreading system located between the Møre volcanic rifted margin and its (intermediate) conjugate system, the Jan Mayen microcontinent (JMMC). The new compilation allows us to revisit its entire structure and spreading evolution from the Early Eocene breakup to the Late Oligocene abortion of the Aegir Ridge. We here discuss the dynamics of conjugate volcanic (rifted) margin formation and reconstruct the subsequent spreading evolution of the Norway Basin until its abortion. We have estimated a new set of Euler poles of rotation for the Norway Basin derived from more than 88,000 km of new magnetic profiles. The new compilation confirms that a fan-shaped spreading evolution of the Norway Basin was particularly active before the cessation of seafloor spreading and abortion of the Aegir Ridge. The Norway Basin shows a more complex system of micro-plates and asymmetric segments locally affected by episodic ridge jumps. The new observations have implications for the syn- and post-breakup stratigraphic and rifted-margin tectonic development of the JMMC and its conjugate margins. In particular, an important Mid-Eocene geodynamic event at around magnetic chron C21r is recognized in the Norway Basin. This event coincides with the onset of diking and rifting between the proto-JMMC and the East Greenland margin, leading to a second phase of breakup in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea ~26 My later in the Oligocene. Restored in its pre-breakup configuration, the new surveys also allow us to discuss further the tectonic and crustal evolution of the conjugate volcanic rifted margins and associated transform and oblique segments. The applicability of magma-poor concepts, off Norway, for example, remains questionable for us. The significant amount of breakup magmatism, the huge amount of pre-breakup sag sedimentation and the presence of thinned and preserved continental crust without the

  19. Evaluation of the safety of vitrified high level waste shipments from the UK to continental Europe by sea. Annex 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lange, F.; Fett, H.J.; Hoermann, E.; Roewekamp, M.; Cheshire, R.; Elston, B.; Slawson, G.; Raffestin, D.; Schneider, T.; Armingaud, F.; Laurent, B.


    The return of vitrified high level waste arising from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield to continental Europe, e.g. Germany, will start around the end of the century. The shipment of the specific flasks will include transportation via the Irish Sea, the English Channel and the North Sea with ships of the Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited (PNTL) classified to the INF 3 standard. The assessment approach is to analyse the severity and the frequency of mechanical impacts, fires and explosions with the potential to affect the package. The results show that there is a high safety margin due to the special safety features of the INF 3 ships compared to conventional ships. The remaining accident probability for a trans-port of vitrified high level waste from UK to the continent is very low. No realistic severe accident scenarios that could seriously affect the flasks and could lead to a radioactivity re-lease have been identified. (author)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  1. Rapid Sedimentation, Overpressure, and Focused Fluid Flow, Gulf of Mexico Continental Margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric M. John


    Full Text Available Expedition 308 of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP was the fi rst phase of a two-component project dedicated to studying overpressure and fl uid fl ow on the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico. We examined how sedimentation, overpressure, fl uid fl ow, and deformation are coupled in a passive margin setting and investigated how extremely rapid deposition of fi ne-grained mud might lead to a rapid build-up of pore pressure in excess of hydrostatic (overpressure, underconsolidation, and sedimentary masswasting. Our tests within the Ursa region, where sediment accumulated rapidly in the late Pleistocene, included the first-ever in situ measurements of how physical properties, pressure, temperature,and pore fluid compositions vary within low-permeability mudstones that overlie a permeable, overpressured aquifer, and we documented severe overpressure in the mudstones overlying the aquifer. We also drilled and logged three references sites in the Brazos-Trinity Basin IV and documented hydrostatic pressure conditions and normalconsolidation. Post-expedition studies will address how the generation and timing of overpressure control slope stability, seafl oor seeps, and large-scale crustal fluid fl ow. The operations ofExpedition 308 provide a foundation for future long-term in situ monitoring experiments in the aquifer and bounding mudstones.

  2. Magma-poor vs. magma-rich continental rifting and breakup in the Labrador Sea (United States)

    Gouiza, M.; Paton, D.


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

  3. Evidence of slope failure in the Sines Contourite Drift area (SW Portuguese Continental Margin) - preliminary results (United States)

    Teixeira, Manuel; Roque, Cristina; Terrinha, Pedro; Rodrigues, Sara; Ercilla, Gemma; Casas, David


    Slope instability, expressed by landslide activity, is an important natural hazard both onshore as well as offshore. Offshore processes create great concern on coastal areas constituting one of the major and most prominent hazards, directly by the damages they generate and indirectly by the possibility of generating tsunamis, which may affect the coast line. The Southwest Portuguese Continental Margin has been identified as an area where several mass movements occurred from Late Pleistocene to Present. Recently, an area of 52 km long by 34 km wide, affected by slope failure has been recognized in the Sines contourite drift located off the Alentejo. SWIM and CONDRIBER multibeam swath bathymetry has been used for the geomorphologic analysis and for recognition of mass movement scars on the seabed. Scars' areas and volumes were calculated by reconstructing paleo-bathymetry. The net gain and net loss were calculated using both paleo and present day bathymetry. Geomorphologically, the study area presents 4 morphologic domains with landslide scars: I) Shelf and upper slope display an irregular boundary with domain II with a sharp step ( 150m - 600m); II) Smooth area with gentle slope angles making the transition from smoother area to the continental slope (scarp), with large scars, suggesting slow rate and distributed mass wasting processes over this area ( 600 - 1200m); III) Scarp with high rates of retrograding instability, where faster processes are verified and a great number of gullies is feeding downslope area (1200m - 3200m); IV) Lebre Basin where mass movements deposits accumulate (> 3200m). A total of 51 landslide scars were identified with a total affected area of 137.67 km2, with 80.9 km2 being located in the continental slope with about 59% of the disrupted area, between 1200 and 3200m, and 41% (56.6 km2) lies in the continental shelf and upper slope, on a range of depths between 150 and 800m. The mean scar area is 2.7 km2 and the maximum area recorded on a

  4. Continental Break-up Above A Mantle Plume: Opening of The Southern Red Sea (United States)

    Ebinger, C.; Eagles, G.; Elders, C.; Gloaguen, R.; McClay, K.; Tiberi, C.; Wolfenden, E.

    Initial rifting in the Red Sea occurred concurrent with, or soon after flood basaltic mag- matism at~31 Ma in the Ethiopia-Yemen plume province. Yet, the development of the ca. 400 km-wide extensional province of the southern Red Sea between 31 Ma and the onset of seafloor spreading at ~4 Ma has been poorly understood, in large part owing to inaccessibility in the Afar depression. The Afar depression is a diffuse extensional province marking a triple point zone between plate boundaries in the Red Sea (Arabia Nubia), the Gulf of Aden (Arabia Somalia); and the Main Ethiopian Rift (Somalia Nu- bia). Complicating this setting, the Danakil horst is a microplate lying between oceanic provinces in the southernmost Red Sea and incipient seafloor spreading in the northern Afar depression. We have integrated exploration seismic, gravity, well, and magnetic data from offshore regions with remote sensing, geological and geophysical data from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Yemen to evaluate models for continental break-up above mantle plumes. Plate kinematic reconstructions using a pole of rotation within the error ellipse of the Chu and Gordon (1999) pole predict real features in remote sensing and gravity data; these reconstructions provide a general framework for our interpretations. Field and geochronology studies along the western margin of Afar show a southward prop- agation of rifting since about 25 Ma when extension commenced offshore Red Sea and in Yemen. We also see an eastward migration of strain from the western border fault to narrow zones of primarily basaltic magmatism since mid-Miocene time. These magmatic sequences, where not onlapped by Pliocene-Recent sedimentary strata, dip steeply seaward and define a regional eastward flexure into transitional oceanic crust, as suggested by gravity models constrained by existing seismic data. Our synthesis suggests that the southern Afar depression, assumed to be most proximal to the plume, was the site of incipient seafloor

  5. Benthic-pelagic coupling: effects on nematode communities along southern European continental margins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen Pape

    Full Text Available Along a west-to-east axis spanning the Galicia Bank region (Iberian margin and the Mediterranean basin, a reduction in surface primary productivity and in seafloor flux of particulate organic carbon was mirrored in the in situ organic matter quantity and quality within the underlying deep-sea sediments at different water depths (1200, 1900 and 3000 m. Nematode standing stock (abundance and biomass and genus and trophic composition were investigated to evaluate downward benthic-pelagic coupling. The longitudinal decline in seafloor particulate organic carbon flux was reflected by a reduction in benthic phytopigment concentrations and nematode standing stock. An exception was the station sampled at the Galicia Bank seamount, where despite the maximal particulate organic carbon flux estimate, we observed reduced pigment levels and nematode standing stock. The strong hydrodynamic forcing at this station was believed to be the main cause of the local decoupling between pelagic and benthic processes. Besides a longitudinal cline in nematode standing stock, we noticed a west-to-east gradient in nematode genus and feeding type composition (owing to an increasing importance of predatory/scavenging nematodes with longitude governed by potential proxies for food availability (percentage of nitrogen, organic carbon, and total organic matter. Within-station variability in generic composition was elevated in sediments with lower phytopigment concentrations. Standing stock appeared to be regulated by sedimentation rates and benthic environmental variables, whereas genus composition covaried only with benthic environmental variables. The coupling between deep-sea nematode assemblages and surface water processes evidenced in the present study suggests that it is likely that climate change will affect the composition and function of deep-sea nematodes.

  6. Arctic continental shelf morphology related to sea-ice zonation, Beaufort Sea, Alaska (United States)

    Reimnitz, E.; Toimil, L.; Barnes, P.


    Landsat-1 and NOAA satellite imagery for the winter 1972-1973, and a variety of ice and sea-floor data were used to study sea-ice zonation and dynamics and their relation to bottom morphology and geology on the Beaufort Sea continental shelf of arctic Alaska. In early winter the location of the boundary between undeformed fast ice and westward-drifting pack ice of the Pacific Gyre is controlled by major coastal promontories. Pronounced linear pressure- and shear-ridges, as well as hummock fields, form along this boundary and are stabilized by grounding, generally between the 10- and 20-m isobaths. Slippage along this boundary occurs intermittently at or seaward of the grounded ridges, forming new grounded ridges in a widening zone, the stamukhi zone, which by late winter extends out to the 40-m isobath. Between intermittent events along the stamukhi zone, pack-ice drift and slippage is continuous along the shelf edge, at average rates of 3-10 km/day. Whether slippage occurs along the stamukhi zone or along the shelf edge, it is restricted to a zone several hundred meters wide, and ice seaward of the slip face moves at uniform rates without discernible drag effects. A causal relationship is seen between the spatial distribution of major ice-ridge systems and offshore shoals downdrift of major coastal promontories. The shoals appear to have migrated shoreward under the influence of ice up to 400 m in the last 25 years. The sea floor seaward of these shoals within the stamukhi zone shows high ice-gouge density, large incision depths, and a high degree of disruption of internal sedimentary structures. The concentration of large ice ridges and our sea floor data in the stamukhi zone indicate that much of the available marine energy is expended here, while the inner shelf and coast, where the relatively undeformed fast ice grows, are sheltered. There is evidence that anomalies in the overall arctic shelf profile are related to sea-ice zonation, ice dynamics, and bottom

  7. Sediment accumulation on the Southern California Bight continental margin during the twentieth century (United States)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferreira, Paulo A.L.; Figueira, Rubens C.L., E-mail:, E-mail: [Universidade de Sao Paulo (IO/USP), SP (Brazil). Instituto Oceanografico


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Voigt


    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natascha Riedinger


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

  11. Nature of the crust in the Laxmi Basin (14°-20°N), western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, K.S.; Rao, D.G.; Sar, D.

    Kanya, respectively, across the northwest continental margin of India (Figure 1). Line drawings of interpreted seismic reflection profiles are stacked with free-air gravity and magnetic anomaly profiles, thereby an integrated analyses has been carried... for determining the crust below the shelf, Laxmi Basin and Western Basin. 3. Crustal structure ? associated gravity and magnetic anomalies In the present study we have integrated the new datasets with published geophysical data: Conrad 1707 profiles (Naini...

  12. Characterization of a stratigraphically constrained gas hydrate system along the western continental margin of Svalbard from ocean bottom seismometer data


    Chabert, Anne; Minshull, Tim A.; Westbrook, Graham K.; Berndt, Christian; Thatcher, Kate E.; Sarkar, Sudipta


    The ongoing warming of bottom water in the Arctic region is anticipated to destabilize some of the gas hydrate present in shallow seafloor sediment, potentially causing the release of methane from dissociating hydrate into the ocean and the atmosphere. Ocean-bottom seismometer (OBS) experiments were conducted along the continental margin of western Svalbard to quantify the amount of methane present as hydrate or gas beneath the seabed. P- and S-wave velocities were modeled for five sites alon...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor Williams


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

  14. Continental margin subsidence from shallow mantle convection: Example from West Africa (United States)

    Lodhia, Bhavik Harish; Roberts, Gareth G.; Fraser, Alastair J.; Fishwick, Stewart; Goes, Saskia; Jarvis, Jerry


    Spatial and temporal evolution of the uppermost convecting mantle plays an important role in determining histories of magmatism, uplift, subsidence, erosion and deposition of sedimentary rock. Tomographic studies and mantle flow models suggest that changes in lithospheric thickness can focus convection and destabilize plates. Geologic observations that constrain the processes responsible for onset and evolution of shallow mantle convection are sparse. We integrate seismic, well, gravity, magmatic and tomographic information to determine the history of Neogene-Recent (age depths of +2 km and oceanic heat flow anomalies of +16 ± 4 mW m-2 are centered on Cape Verde. Residual depths decrease eastward to zero at the fringe of the Mauritania basin. Backstripped wells and mapped seismic data show that 0.4-0.8 km of water-loaded subsidence occurred in a ∼500 × 500 km region centered on the Mauritania basin during the last 23 Ma. Conversion of shear wave velocities into temperature and simple isostatic calculations indicate that asthenospheric temperatures determine bathymetry from Cape Verde to West Africa. Calculated average excess temperatures beneath Cape Verde are > + 100 °C providing ∼103 m of support. Beneath the Mauritania basin average excess temperatures are < - 100 °C drawing down the lithosphere by ∼102 to 103 m. Up- and downwelling mantle has generated a bathymetric gradient of ∼1/300 at a wavelength of ∼103 km during the last ∼23 Ma. Our results suggest that asthenospheric flow away from upwelling mantle can generate downwelling beneath continental margins.

  15. Rifting and reactivation of a Cretaceous structural belt at the northern margin of the South China Sea (United States)

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


    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.

  16. Variability of the geothermal gradient across two differently aged magma-rich continental rifted margins of the Atlantic Ocean: the Southwest African and the Norwegian margins (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Gholamrezaie


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

  18. Final Scientific/Technical Report: Characterizing the Response of the Cascadia Margin Gas Hydrate Reservoir to Bottom Water Warming Along the Upper Continental Slope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solomon, Evan A. [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Johnson, H. Paul [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Salmi, Marie [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Whorley, Theresa [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)


    The objective of this project is to understand the response of the WA margin gas hydrate system to contemporary warming of bottom water along the upper continental slope. Through pre-cruise analysis and modeling of archive and recent geophysical and oceanographic data, we (1) inventoried bottom simulating reflectors along the WA margin and defined the upper limit of gas hydrate stability, (2) refined margin-wide estimates of heat flow and geothermal gradients, (3) characterized decadal scale temporal variations of bottom water temperatures at the upper continental slope of the Washington margin, and (4) used numerical simulations to provide quantitative estimates of how the shallow boundary of methane hydrate stability responds to modern environmental change. These pre-cruise results provided the context for a systematic geophysical and geochemical survey of methane seepage along the upper continental slope from 48° to 46°N during a 10-day field program on the R/V Thompson from October 10-19, 2014. This systematic inventory of methane emissions along this climate-sensitive margin corridor and comprehensive sediment and water column sampling program provided data and samples for Phase 3 of this project that focused on determining fluid and methane sources (deep-source vs. shallow; microbial, thermogenic, gas hydrate dissociation) within the sediment, and how they relate to contemporary intermediate water warming. During the 2014 research expedition, we sampled nine seep sites between ~470 and 520 m water depth, within the zone of predicted methane hydrate retreat over the past 40 years. We imaged 22 bubble plumes with heights commonly rising to ~300 meters below sea level with one reaching near the sea surface. We collected 22 gravity cores and 20 CTD/hydrocasts from the 9 seeps and at background locations (no acoustic evidence of seepage) within the depth interval of predicted downslope retreat of the methane hydrate stability zone. Approximately 300 pore water

  19. Minimum distribution of subsea ice-bearing permafrost on the US Beaufort Sea continental shelf (United States)

    Brothers, Laura L.; Hart, Patrick E.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.


    Starting in Late Pleistocene time (~19 ka), sea level rise inundated coastal zones worldwide. On some parts of the present-day circum-Arctic continental shelf, this led to flooding and thawing of formerly subaerial permafrost and probable dissociation of associated gas hydrates. Relict permafrost has never been systematically mapped along the 700-km-long U.S. Beaufort Sea continental shelf and is often assumed to extend to ~120 m water depth, the approximate amount of sea level rise since the Late Pleistocene. Here, 5,000 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data acquired between 1977 and 1992 were examined for high-velocity (>2.3 km s−1) refractions consistent with ice-bearing, coarse-grained sediments. Permafrost refractions were identified along sea ice-bearing permafrost, which does not extend seaward of 30 km offshore or beyond the 20 m isobath.

  20. How the structure of a continental margin affects the development of a fold and thrust belt. 1: A case study in south-central Taiwan (United States)

    Brown, Dennis; Alvarez-Marron, Joaquina; Biete, Cristina; Camanni, Giovanni; Kuo-Chen, Hao; Ho, Chun-Wei


    Studies of mountain belts worldwide have shown that the structural, mechanical, and kinematic evolution of their foreland fold and thrust belts are strongly influenced by the structure of the continental margins that are involved in the deformation. The area on and around the island of Taiwan provides an unparalleled opportunity to investigate this because the entire profile of the Eurasian margin, from the shelf in the north to the slope and continent-ocean transition in the south and the offshore, is currently involved in the collision. Taiwan, then, can provide key insights into how such features as rift basins on the shelf, the extensional faults that form the shelf-slope break in the basement, or the structure of the extended crust and morphology of the sedimentary carapace of the slope can be directly reflected in the location and pattern of its seismicity, in its topography, and in its structural architecture, among other things. The continental margin of the Eurasian Plate that is currently involved in the Taiwan orogeny is thought to have evolved from a sub-continental subduction system in the Late Cretaceous to a rifting margin by the Early Eocene and, during the late Early Oligocene, to sea-floor spreading and the formation of the South China Sea, followed by localized extension in the Middle Miocene and, finally, collision with the Luzon Arc by the Early Miocene. Imaging features of the margin's structure in the Taiwan orogen is possible with seismic tomography, which shows, for example, that there are notable changes in velocity that can be directly attributed to structures in the basement. For example, there is a marked increase in Vp beneath the Hsuehshan Range which can be interpreted to be related to the uplift of higher velocity basement rocks by basin inversion. This is accompanied by significant seismicity that reaches a depth of more than 30 km's, and by surface uplift to form the highest topography in Taiwan. Furthermore, beginning at 8 km

  1. Crustal Stretching Style and Lower Crust Flow of the South China Sea Northern Margin (United States)

    Bai, Y.; Dong, D.; Runlin, D.


    There is a controversy about crustal stretching style of the South China Sea (SCS) northern margin mainly due to considerable uncertainty of stretching factor estimation, for example, as much as 40% of upper crust extension (Walsh et al., 1991) would be lost by seismic profiles due to poor resolution. To discover and understand crustal stretching style and lower crustal flow on the whole, we map the Moho and Conrad geometries based on gravity inversion constrained by deep seismic profiles, then according to the assumption of upper and lower crust initial thickness, upper and lower crust stretching factors are estimated. According to the comparison between upper and lower crust stretching factors, the SCS northern margin could be segmented into three parts, (1) sediment basins where upper crust is stretched more than lower crust, (2) COT regions where lower crust is stretched more than upper crust, (3) other regions where the two layers have similar stretching factors. Stretching factor map shows that lower crust flow happened in both of COT and sediment basin regions where upper crust decouples with lower crust due to high temperature. Pressure contrast by sediment loading in basins and erosion in sediment-source regions will lead to lower crust flow away from sediment sink to source. Decoupled and fractured upper crust is stretched further by sediment loading and the following compensation would result in relatively thick lower crust than upper crust. In COT regions with thin sediment coverage, low-viscosity lower crust is easier to thin in extensional environment, also the lower crust tends to flow away induced by magma upwelling. Therefore, continental crust on the margin is not stretching in a constant way but varies with the tectonic setting changes. This work is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41506055, 41476042) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities China (No.17CX02003A).

  2. Morphosedimentary expression of the Giant Pock Mark structure known as the "Gran Burato" (Transitional Zone, Galicia continental margin) (United States)

    Lopez, Angel Enrique; Rubio, Belén; Rey, Daniel; Mohamed, Kais; Alvarez, Paula; Plaza-Morlote, Maider; Bernabeu, Ana; Druet, Maria; Martins, Virginia


    This paper presents the characterization of the sedimentary environment and other sedimentological features of the Transitional Zone of the Galicia continental margin, in the vicinity of the giant pock -mark structure known as the Gran Burato. The area is characterized by marginal platforms and a horst-graben system controlled by NW-SE oriented normal faults. In this zone, three giant pockmark structures, one of them known as the Gran Burato, were reported as associated to large-scale fluid escapes. The study area is located on the Transitional Zone (TZ) of the Galicia passive continental margin, which extends from Cape Finisterre (43o N) in the North to around 40oN in the South. This margin shows a complex structural configuration, which is reflected in the seabed, owing to tectonic movements from Mesozoic rifting phases and Eocene compression (Pyrennean Orogeny). Sedimentological, geochemical and physical properties analysis and 14C AMS-dating of a 4 m piston core extracted in the vicinity of the Gran Burato complemented by multibeam and TOPAS surveys allowed characterizing of the sedimentary environment in the study area. The interpretation of these data showed that the sedimentary and tectonic evolution of the area controlled by the activity of fluid dynamics.

  3. Historical changes in terrestrially derived organic carbon inputs to Louisiana continental margin sediments over the past 150 years (United States)

    Sampere, Troy P.; Bianchi, Thomas S.; Allison, Mead A.


    Major rivers (and associated deltaic environments) provide the dominant pathway for the input of terrestrial-derived organic carbon in sediments (TOCT) to the ocean. Natural watershed processes and land-use changes are important in dictating the amount and character of carbon being buried on continental margins. Seven core sites were occupied on the Louisiana continental margin aboard the R/V Pelican in July 2003 along two major sediment transport pathways south and west of the Mississippi River mouth. Lignin profiles in these age-dated cores (210Pb geochronology) indicate artificial reservoir retention as a primary control on organic carbon quantity and quality reaching the margin post-1950, whereas pre-1950 sediments may reflect soil erosion due to land clearing and farming practices. Lignin (Λ8) concentrations (range 0.2 to 1.7) also indicate that TOCT delivery rates/decay processes have probably remained relatively consistent from proximal to distal stations along transects. The down-core profile at the Canyon station seems to be temporally linked and connected to inner shelf deposition, suggestive of rapid cross-shelf transport. Sources of terrestrially derived organic carbon were reflective of mixed angiosperms over the last 150 years in cores west and south of the Mississippi River delta. The lignin-phenol vegetation index (LPVI) (range 130.0 to 510) proved to be a sensitive indicator of source changes in these sediments and eliminated some of the variability compared to C/V (range 0.01 to 0.4) and S/V (range 0.9 to 2.1) ratios. Stochastic events such as hurricanes and large river floods have a measurable, albeit ephemeral, effect on the shelf TOCT record. Burial of TOCT on the river-dominated Louisiana continental margin is largely driven by anthropogenic land-use alterations in the last 150 years. Land-use changes in the Mississippi River basin and river damming have likely affected carbon cycling and TOCT burial on the Louisiana continental margin over a

  4. The South China Sea Deep: A Research Project on Life History of Marginal Sea (United States)

    Wang, P.


    A major research project has been launched in China to investigate evolution and various processes in the deep-water part a of the South China Sea. The "South China Sea Deep" project (2011-2018) is supported by the NSF of China with a total budget no less than ~23 US Dollar (150 Million Chinese yuan), and covers a broad spectrum of scientific topics. Advanced geophysical and geochemical tools will be applied to re-estimate the age of its oceanic crust, to verify the existence of the "Hainan Mantle Plume", and to explore the origin of volcanic chains in the deep basin. Sedimentary archives, both off-shore and on-shore, will be analyzed to reconstruct the history of sediment response to the basin evolution, with focus on changes of deep-water circulation driven by tectonic deformation of the basin. Deep-water observations will be organized to examine near-bottom sediment transport, methane seepages, and microbial distribution and ecology above and below sea-floor. With a combination of tectonic-magmatic, sedimentologic-paleoceanographic, and microbiological-geochemical approaches, the project is expected to reveal the life history of the South China Sea, the largest low-latitude marginal sea in the modern world. Recent progress of the project will be presented, and perspectives of international cooperation will be discussed.

  5. A model for early diagenetic processes in sediments of the continental shelf of the Black Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijsman, J.W.M.; Herman, P.M.J.; Middelburg, J.J.; Soetaert, K.E.R.


    A numerical model for early diagenetic processes in the sediments of the north-western continental shelf of the Black Sea is presented. The north-western shelf area is influenced by nutrient, organic matter and reactive iron inputs from major rivers such as the Danube, Dnieper and Dniester. Low

  6. Probing magnetic bottom and crustal temperature variations along the Red Sea margin of Egypt (United States)

    Ravat, D.; Salem, A.; Abdelaziz, A.M.S.; Elawadi, E.; Morgan, P.


    Over 50 magnetic bottom depths derived from spectra of magnetic anomalies in Eastern Egypt along the Red Sea margin show variable magnetic bottoms ranging from 10 to 34. km. The deep magnetic bottoms correspond more closely to the Moho depth in the region, and not the depth of 580??C, which lies significantly deeper on the steady state geotherms. These results support the idea of Wasilewski and coworkers that the Moho is a magnetic boundary in continental regions. Reduced-to-pole magnetic highs correspond to areas of Younger Granites that were emplaced toward the end of the Precambrian. Other crystalline Precambrian units formed earlier during the closure of ocean basins are not strongly magnetic. In the north, magnetic bottoms are shallow (10-15. km) in regions with a high proportion of these Younger Granites. In the south, the shoaling of the magnetic bottom associated with the Younger Granites appears to be restricted to the Aswan and Ras Banas regions. Complexity in the variation of magnetic bottom depths may arise due to a combination of factors: i) regions of Younger (Precambrian) Granites with high magnetite content in the upper crust, leaving behind low Curie temperature titanomagnetite components in the middle and lower crust, ii) rise in the depth of 580??C isotherm where the crust may have been heated due to initiation of intense magmatism at the time of the Red Sea rifting (~. 20. Ma), and iii) the contrast of the above two factors with respect to the neighboring regions where the Moho and/or Curie temperature truncates lithospheric ferromagnetism. Estimates of fractal and centroid magnetic bottoms in the oceanic regions of the Red Sea are significantly below the Moho in places suggesting that oceanic uppermost mantle may be serpentinized to the depth of 15-30 km in those regions. ?? 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  7. Sea salt and pollution inputs over the continental United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Y.-H.


    The average deposition rate of sea salt chloride over the world continents is about 10 meq m -2 yr -1 . Only about 14±1% of chloride in the pollution-corrected world average river is contributed by sea salt aerosols and the rest from the dissolution of evaporites. The significant increase of the ion concentrations in the Mississippi river from the year 1905 to 1987 was caused by anthropogenic inputs such as fossil fuel burning, common salt consumption, and dissolution of carbonate and silicate rocks by acids derived from acid precipitation. 29 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs

  8. Hypoxia over the Continental Margin in the Northern California Current: The Role of Shelf-Deep Ocean Exchange (United States)

    Barth, J. A.; Chan, F.; Pierce, S. D.; Adams, K.; Shearman, R. K.; Erofeev, A.


    Near-bottom waters over the continental shelf off Oregon in the northern California Current have become increasingly hypoxic over the last decade, including the appearance of anoxia in summer 2006. Observed ecosystem impacts include the absence of fish and invertebrate die-offs. Near-bottom, inner-shelf hypoxia is driven by upwelling of low-oxygen, nutrient-rich source water onto the continental shelf, followed by the decay of organic matter from surface phytoplankton blooms. We are using data from moorings, ship surveys, and from over 60,000 kilometers of autonomous underwater glider tracks to understand the temporal and spatial distribution of dissolved oxygen over the continental margin off Oregon. The inshore side of Heceta Bank, a submarine bank that deflects the coastal upwelling jet seaward creating a region of weaker velocities inshore, is particularly vulnerable to hypoxia. Near-bottom dissolved oxygen variability is driven by changes in both the dissolved oxygen concentrations in offshore upwelling source water and local wind forcing. "Source water" is defined as being seaward of the continental shelf break on density surfaces that upwell onto the continental shelf. The strength and depth of the onshore source water flux due to wind-driven upwelling can vary through the upwelling season, influencing near-bottom shelf hypoxia. Late in the upwelling season, upwelled source waters can become lower in oxygen due to off-shelf flux of continental shelf water that has undergone respiration and is, therefore, lower in oxygen than unmodified upwelling source water. For present day source water dissolved oxygen concentrations ( 2.3 ml/l), hypoxia over the inner shelf on the inshore side of Heceta Bank during the summer upwelling season is observed about 50% of the time. Given the recent declining trend in source water dissolved oxygen concentration, in 50 years the frequency of the hypoxia over the inner shelf on the inshore side of Heceta Bank is predicted to be

  9. Barite-forming environments along a rifted continental margin, Southern California Borderland (United States)

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


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

  10. Miocene shale tectonics in the Moroccan margin (Alboran Sea) (United States)

    Do Couto, D.; El Abbassi, M.; Ammar, A.; Gorini, C.; Estrada, F.; Letouzey, J.; Smit, J.; Jolivet, L.; Jabour, H.


    The Betic (Southern Spain) and Rif (Morocco) mountains form an arcuate belt that represents the westernmost termination of the peri-mediterranean Alpine mountain chain. The Miocene Alboran Basin and its subbasins is located in the hinterland of the Betic-Rif belt. It is considered to be a back-arc basin that developed during the coeval westward motion of the Alboran domain and the extensional collapse of previously thickened crust of the Betic-Rif belt. The Western Alboran Basin (WAB) is the major sedimentary depocenter with a sediment thickness in excess of 10 km, it is bordered by the Gibraltar arc, the volcanic Djibouti mounts and the Alboran ridge. Part of the WAB is affected by shale tectonics and associated mud volcanism. High-quality 2D seismic profiles acquired on the Moroccan margin of the Alboran Basin during the last decade reveal the multiple history of the basin. This study deals with the analysis of a number of these seismic profiles that are located along and orthogonal to the Moroccan margin. Seismic stratigraphy is calibrated from industrial wells. We focus on the interactions between the gravity-driven tectonic processes and the sedimentation in the basin. Our seismic interpretation confirms that the formation of the WAB began in the Early Miocene (Aquitanian - Burdigalian). The fast subsidence of the basin floor coeval to massive sedimentation induced the undercompaction of early miocene shales during their deposition. Downslope migration of these fine-grained sediments initiated during the deposition of the Langhian siliciclastics. This gravity-driven system was accompanied by continuous basement subsidence and induced disharmonic deformation in Mid Miocene units (i.e. not related to basement deformation). The development of shale-cored anticlines and thrusts in the deep basin is the result of compressive deformation at the front of the gravity-driven system and lasted for ca. 15 Ma. The compressive front has been re-activated by strong

  11. Organic carbon removal in the sea: the continental connection

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ittekkot, V.; Haake, B.; Bartsch, M.; Nair, R.R.; Ramaswamy, V.

    of Bengal show that particle flux patterns are related to the strong monsoon winds and heavy rains. Particle flux maxima in the Arabian Sea are mainly related to wind-induced deeper mixing and nutrient enrichment of surface waters during the SW and NE...

  12. Late Neogene and Quaternary evolution of the northern Albemarle Embayment (mid-Atlantic continental margin, USA) (United States)

    Mallinson, D.; Riggs, S.; Thieler, E.R.; Culver, S.; Farrell, K.; Foster, D.S.; Corbett, D.R.; Horton, B.; Wehmiller, J. F.


    Seismic surveys in the eastern Albemarle Sound, adjacent tributaries and the inner continental shelf define the regional geologic framework and provide insight into the sedimentary evolution of the northern North Carolina coastal system. Litho- and chronostratigraphic data are derived from eight drill sites on the Outer Banks barrier islands, and the Mobil #1 well in eastern Albemarle Sound. Within the study area, parallel-bedded, gently dipping Miocene beds occur at 95 to > 160 m below sea level (m bsl), and are overlain by a southward-thickening Pliocene unit characterized by steeply inclined, southward-prograding beds. The lower Pliocene unit consists of three seismic sequences. The 55–60 m thick Quaternary section unconformably overlies the Pliocene unit, and consists of 18 seismic sequences exhibiting numerous incised channel-fill facies. Shallow stratigraphy (paleo-Roanoke River valley. Radiocarbon and amino-acid racemization (AAR) ages indicate that the valley-fill is latest Pleistocene to Holocene in age. At least six distinct valley-fill units are identified in the seismic data. Cores in the valley-fill contain a 3–6 m thick basal fluvial channel deposit that is overlain by a 15 m thick unit of interlaminated muds and sands of brackish water origin that exhibit increasing marine influence upwards. Organic materials within the interlaminated deposits have ages of 13–11 cal. ka. The interlaminated deposits within the valley are overlain by several units that comprise shallow marine sediments (bay-mouth and shoreface environments) that consist of silty, fine- to medium-grained sands containing open neritic foraminifera, suggesting that this area lacked a fronting barrier island system and was an open embayment from ∼10 ka to ∼4.5 ka. Seismic data show that initial infilling of the paleo-Roanoke River valley occurred from the north and west during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. Later infilling occurred from the south and east and is

  13. 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 (United States)

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


    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

  14. Resolving the fine-scale velocity structure of continental hyperextension at the Deep Galicia Margin using full-waveform inversion (United States)

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


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

  15. Oceanic anoxic events of the Cretaceous period and their role in the formation of source rocks in the basins of continental margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.I. Konyukhov


    Full Text Available The Cretaceous period was marked not only by the dominance of warm climate, vast transgressions of the sea and widespread occurrence of carbonate deposits, but also by the formation of the richest petroleum formations, which are associated with the generation of a huge amount of hydrocarbons in the largest oil and gas basins of modern continental margins. Both early and late Cretaceous epochs were marked by several oceanic anoxic events (OAE of global and regional scale, accompanied by the accumulation of sediments enriched in organic matter, and by significant shifts in the ratios of stable isotopes C, O, and Sr. Various aspects of these events are considered in a huge number of articles published in recent years in major scientific publications. Unfortunately, their role in the formation of oil reservoirs has remained outside the scope of scientific analysis. Meanwhile Cretaceous OAE’s had led to the spreading of black shale and other sediments with high content of organic matter on the floor of Tethys ocean, central part of Atlantic and on the seamounts in the Pacific ocean. Among them only OAE 1a (Selli and OAE 2 (Bonarelli are known as more large anoxic events. The first occurred in the middle of Aptian time, the second near the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (CTB. The analysis of the spreading of source rocks in the largest oil-and-gas bearing basins on the continental margins at that time – the Persian Gulf, Maracaibo, Middle and Upper Magdalena river, Putumayo and other basins – showed that episodes of OAE’s had not always found a reflection in the succession of major source rock’s formations. In the Persian Gulf a list of source rocks includes Hanifa, Garau, Gadvan, Kazhdumi, Ahmadi member and Gurpi formations of Cretaceous age. Thus it is certain that OAE’s were only separate parts of more complex history of accumulation of black shale and carbonate deposits with high content of total organic carbon on the continental margins

  16. Map showing bottom topography of the Pacific Continental Margin, Strait of Juan de Fuca to Cape Mendocino (United States)

    Grim, M.S.; Chase, T.E.; Evenden, G.I.; Holmes, M.L.; Normark, W.R.; Wilde, Pat; Fox, C.J.; Lief, C.J.; Seekins, B.A.


    All contours, geographic outlines, and political boundaries shown on this map of the bottom topography, or bathymetry, of the Pacific continental margin between 34° and 41° N. latitudes were plotted from digital data bases in the library of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Joint Office for Mapping and Research (JOMAR). These digital data were obtained and compiled from many sources; consequently, data quality varies within particular data bases as well as from one data base to another.

  17. Deep crustal structure of the conjugate margins of the SW South China Sea from wide-angle refraction seismic data (United States)

    Pichot, T.; Delescluse, M.; Chamot-Rooke, N. R.; Pubellier, M. F.; Qiu, Y.; Meresse, F.; Savva, D.; Watremez, L.; Auxietre, J.


    The South China Sea (SCS) is the largest marginal basin of SE Asia. Yet its mechanism of formation is still debated. While the NE part of the SCS northern margin exhibits ~400 km of extended continental crust, its SW part shows nearly 800 km of extended continental crust, which makes it one of the widest rifted margin in the world. In June 2011, Chinese and French scientists conducted a joint geophysical experiment on board the R/V Tan Bao across the SW sub-basin of the SCS. A 1000-km-long wide-angle refraction seismic profile was acquired along the conjugate margins using a total of 50 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS). 41,100 first refraction and 6,622 PmP reflection arrival traveltimes have been picked. A joint reflection and refraction traveltime tomography inversion is performed to obtain a 2-D velocity model of the crustal and upper mantle structures. Based on this new tomographic model, northern and southern margins are found genetically linked since they share common structural characteristics: an average 12-km-thick crust and crustal scale lateral velocity variations. These lateral variations correlate well with seismic reflection observations of the crustal structures. Small-scale normal faults (grabens and horsts, with a spacing of ~15-30 km) are often associated with an apparent tilt of the iso-velocity contours affecting the upper crust. The upper-middle crust shows clear high lateral velocity variations defining low velocity bodies (LVB) bounded by large-scale normal faults (also referred as 'Throughgoing crustal faulting'). Major sedimentary basins are located above the LVBs, interpreted as hanging-wall blocks. The Moho interface remains rather flat (less than 4°) over the extended domain, suggesting that large normal faults root in a ductile lower crust, allowing isostatic compensation of the large normal fault blocks. Along the northern margin, the wavelength of the LVBs decreases from 90 to 45 km as the total crust thins toward the Continent

  18. Cenozoic global sea level, sequences, and the New Jersey transect: Results from coastal plain and continental slope drilling (United States)

    Miller, K.G.; Mountain, Gregory S.; Browning, J.V.; Kominz, M.; Sugarman, P.J.; Christie-Blick, N.; Katz, M.E.; Wright, J.D.


    The New Jersey Sea Level Transect was designed to evaluate the relationships among global sea level (eustatic) change, unconformity-bounded sequences, and variations in subsidence, sediment supply, and climate on a passive continental margin. By sampling and dating Cenozoic strata from coastal plain and continental slope locations, we show that sequence boundaries correlate (within ??0.5 myr) regionally (onshore-offshore) and interregionally (New Jersey-Alabama-Bahamas), implicating a global cause. Sequence boundaries correlate with ??18O increases for at least the past 42 myr, consistent with an ice volume (glacioeustatic) control, although a causal relationship is not required because of uncertainties in ages and correlations. Evidence for a causal connection is provided by preliminary Miocene data from slope Site 904 that directly link ??18O increases with sequence boundaries. We conclude that variation in the size of ice sheets has been a primary control on the formation of sequence boundaries since ~42 Ma. We speculate that prior to this, the growth and decay of small ice sheets caused small-amplitude sea level changes (changes on mid-ocean ridges. Although our results are consistent with the general number and timing of Paleocene to middle Miocene sequences published by workers at Exxon Production Research Company, our estimates of sea level amplitudes are substantially lower than theirs. Lithofacies patterns within sequences follow repetitive, predictable patterns: (1) coastal plain sequences consist of basal transgressive sands overlain by regressive highstand silts and quartz sands; and (2) although slope lithofacies variations are subdued, reworked sediments constitute lowstand deposits, causing the strongest, most extensive seismic reflections. Despite a primary eustatic control on sequence boundaries, New Jersey sequences were also influenced by changes in tectonics, sediment supply, and climate. During the early to middle Eocene, low siliciclastic and

  19. Data Assimilation in Hydrodynamic Models of Continental Shelf Seas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Jacob Viborg Tornfeldt


    of a stochastic state propagation step using a numerical hydrodynamic model and an update step based on a best linear unbiased estimator when new measurements are available. The main challenge is to construct a stochastic model of the high dimensional ocean state that provides su cient skill for a proper update....... Assimilation of sea surface temperature and parameter estimation in hydrodynamic models are also considered. The main focus has been on the development of robust and efficient techniques applicable in real operational settings. The applied assimilation techniques all use a Kalman filter approach. They consist...... and forecast skill in the Inner Danish Waters. The framework for combining data assimilation and off-line error correction techniques is discussed and presented. Early results show a potential for such an approach, but a more elaborate investigation is needed to further develop the idea. Finally, work has been...

  20. Differences in meiofauna communities with sediment depth are greater than habitat effects on the New Zealand continental margin: implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norliana Rosli


    Full Text Available Studies of deep-sea benthic communities have largely focused on particular (macro habitats in isolation, with few studies considering multiple habitats simultaneously in a comparable manner. Compared to mega-epifauna and macrofauna, much less is known about habitat-related variation in meiofaunal community attributes (abundance, diversity and community structure. Here, we investigated meiofaunal community attributes in slope, canyon, seamount, and seep habitats in two regions on the continental slope of New Zealand (Hikurangi Margin and Bay of Plenty at four water depths (700, 1,000, 1,200 and 1,500 m. We found that patterns were not the same for each community attribute. Significant differences in abundance were consistent across regions, habitats, water and sediment depths, while diversity and community structure only differed between sediment depths. Abundance was higher in canyon and seep habitats compared with other habitats, while between sediment layer, abundance and diversity were higher at the sediment surface. Our findings suggest that meiofaunal community attributes are affected by environmental factors that operate on micro- (cm to meso- (0.1–10 km, and regional scales (> 100 km. We also found a weak, but significant, correlation between trawling intensity and surface sediment diversity. Overall, our results indicate that variability in meiofaunal communities was greater at small scale than at habitat or regional scale. These findings provide new insights into the factors controlling meiofauna in these deep-sea habitats and their potential vulnerability to anthropogenic activities.

  1. Survival Of Magnetic Paleoclimatic Signals From Shallow To Deep Water Marine Redoxomorphic Sediments Across The Northwest Iberian Continental Margin (United States)

    Mohamed Falcon, K. J.; Rey, D.; Rubio, B.


    The magnetic properties of marine sediments on the North Atlantic Iberian continental Margin are strongly dependent on the organic matter input to the sediments and the onset of reductive diagenesis. An onshore-offshore gradient in the intensity of early diagenesis was recently described for the Ría de Vigo, matched by similar patterns in the adjacent rias of Pontevedra and Muros. In the ria environments of NW Iberia, early diagenetic dissolution of magnetic minerals can lead to magnetite half-lives of a few decades, and virtually obliterates any paleoenvironmental signal carried by magnetic minerals, rendering magnetic properties especially useful for the study of early diagenesis dynamics. Early diagenesis has also been identified in sediments of the adjacent continental shelf and deeper environments of the Galician Bank and Iberian Abyssal Plain. However, in these settings, slower dissolution of magnetic minerals allows the preservation of paleoclimatic signatures on different temporal scales. For instance, magnetic properties of continental shelf sediments reveal periods of enhanced rainfall and continental sediment input to the shelf, coincident with the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Climatic Optimum. On the contrary, cold periods are associated with less detrital input. Furthermore, levels of intensified diagenesis are also recorded during cold periods, which have been interpreted as periods of intensified coastal upwelling probably related to long-term North Atlantic Oscillation positive state. At the Galician Bank and Iberian Abyssal Plain sediments early diagenesis is also pervasive, although a paleoceanographic record of changes in the concentration of magnetic minerals transported by water masses flowing from the Portuguese Margin can still be identified. In addition to the progressive dissolution of magnetic minerals with depth, bulk magnetic properties in these deep marine settings show strong dependence on the pelagic carbonate sedimentation and low

  2. Benthic macroinvertebrate community structure and distribution in the Ayeyarwady continental shelf, Andaman Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ansari Z.A.; Furtado, R.; Badesab, S.; Mehta, P.; Thwin, S.

    got characteristic topographical feature which governs the oceanographic conditions to which the fauna and flora of the area are subjected3. Eastern extension of Andaman sea including coastal waters of Ayeyarwady continental shelf, are among..., biomass and species diversity of macrobenthos was more in the inshore waters than in the offshore areas of Malaysia and Gulf of Thailand. As indicated earlier, a significant amount of the variation in faunal abundances, not unexpectedly, is a function...

  3. Ozone pollution around a coastal region of South China Sea: interaction between marine and continental air (United States)

    Wang, Hao; Lyu, Xiaopu; Guo, Hai; Wang, Yu; Zou, Shichun; Ling, Zhenhao; Wang, Xinming; Jiang, Fei; Zeren, Yangzong; Pan, Wenzhuo; Huang, Xiaobo; Shen, Jin


    Marine atmosphere is usually considered to be a clean environment, but this study indicates that the near-coast waters of the South China Sea (SCS) suffer from even worse air quality than coastal cities. The analyses were based on concurrent field measurements of target air pollutants and meteorological parameters conducted at a suburban site (Tung Chung, TC) and a nearby marine site (Wan Shan, WS) from August to November 2013. The observations showed that the levels of primary air pollutants were significantly lower at WS than those at TC, while the ozone (O3) value was greater at WS. Higher O3 levels at WS were attributed to the weaker NO titration and higher O3 production rate because of stronger oxidative capacity of the atmosphere. However, O3 episodes were concurrently observed at both sites under certain meteorological conditions, such as tropical cyclones, continental anticyclones and sea-land breezes (SLBs). Driven by these synoptic systems and mesoscale recirculations, the interaction between continental and marine air masses profoundly changed the atmospheric composition and subsequently influenced the formation and redistribution of O3 in the coastal areas. When continental air intruded into marine atmosphere, the O3 pollution was magnified over the SCS, and the elevated O3 ( > 100 ppbv) could overspread the sea boundary layer ˜ 8 times the area of Hong Kong. In some cases, the exaggerated O3 pollution over the SCS was recirculated to the coastal inshore by sea breeze, leading to aggravated O3 pollution in coastal cities. The findings are applicable to similar mesoscale environments around the world where the maritime atmosphere is potentially influenced by severe continental air pollution.

  4. Delimitation of the continental shelf and exclusive economic Zone the Sea Border between Romania and Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihai Mereuţă


    Full Text Available Decision I.C.J. from The Hague, since 3rd February 2009, in the case of “Romania vs. Ukraine - the maritime delimitation in the Black Sea”, has an important role in bilateral relations and regional plans of the riparian states and thus also eliminating a potential factor of instability at the sea border between the two countries and in the Black Sea. Drawing a line of demarcation equitable maritime economic zone and continental shelf between the two countries was an example of dispute settlement in the wider Black Sea area. Snake Island was not considered relevant in substantiating the court decision, because the I.C.J. has not declared it a rock, giving it a length of 12 nautical miles territorial sea and has not ruled on the nature of this formation, in accordance with the provisions of art. 121 of the Montego Bay Convention of 1982.

  5. Recent marine microfauna from the continental margin, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Setty, M.G.A.P.

    Neogloboquadrina pachyderma@@ occurs as far north of equator as 23~'N in the Arabian Sea. Similarly, high salinity indicating palnktonic assemblages of Red Sea and Persian Gulf is also observed near Kerala Coast. The edaphic state of some benthonic species on the shelf...

  6. Quantitative restoration the Gulf of Mexico continental margins based on a newly-derived, basin-wide, crustal thickness map (United States)

    Nguyen, L. C.; Mann, P.


    For decades, one of the main difficulties for understanding the tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is quantifying the amount of crustal thinning of its deeply-buried and salt-covered continental margins formed during the Triassic-Jurassic rifting. In this study, we present a new crustal thickness map for the entire GOM and its surrounding areas based on integration of: 1) depth to basement compilation of previous seismic refraction and well data; and 2) regional estimation of Moho depths from 3D gravity inversion. Gravity modeling of salt thickness and Moho depth provide new constraints on crustal thickness in areas where refraction and well data are not available from both the US and Mexican GOM. Our derived crustal thickness map shows a zone of stretched continental crust with an average thickness of 20 km extending 700 km from the Ouachita foldbelt to the Sigsbee escarpment and in a 200-km-wide zone along the north and NW edge of the Yucatan block. To fully reconstruct the GOM to its pre-rift stage, we first close the late Jurassic oceanic part of the deep GOM using the traces of oceanic transform faults mapped from satellite gravity data. We then use our crustal thickness map to restore the thinned continental crust of the conjugate margins. Restoring the Yucatan block in a NW-SE direction produces the optimal, closed-fit model which supports a two-phase, GOM opening concept with early asymmetrical rifting across a broader, more extended, North American lower plate ( 250 km) in the northern, US GOM and a narrower, less extended, Yucatan upper plate ( 100 km) in the southern, Mexican GOM. Our full-fit reconstruction shows a single, post-rift Louann-Campeche salt-filled sag basin and re-aligned Paleozoic magnetic trends between the Yucatan block and Florida.

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

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


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

  8. Tectono-Magmatic Evolution of the South Atlantic Continental Margins with Respect to Opening of the Ocean (United States)

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


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

  9. Sedimentology of seismo-turbidites off the Cascadia and northern California active tectonic continental margins, Pacific Ocean (United States)

    Gutierrez Pastor, Julia; Nelson, Hans; Goldfinger, Chris; Escutia, Carlota


    Holocene turbidites from turbidite channel systems along the active tectonic continental margins of the Cascadia subduction zone (offshore Vancouver Island to Mendocino Triple Junction) and the northern San Andreas Transform Fault (the Triple Junction to San Francisco Bay), have been analyzed for sedimentologic features related to their seismic origin. Centimeter thick silt/sand beds (turbidite base) capped by mud layers (turbidite tail) and interbedded with hemipelagic silty clay intervals with high biogenic content have been characterized by visual core descriptions, grain-size analysis, X-ray radiographs and physical properties. Along the northern California margin in upstream single tributary canyons and channels, most turbidites are uni-pulsed (classic fining up) whereas downstream below multiple tributary canyon and channel confluences, most deposits are stacked turbidites. Because each set of stacked turbidites has no hemipelagic sediment between each turbidite unit and each unit has a distinct mineralogy from a different tributary canyon, we interpret that a stacked turbidite is deposited by several coeval turbidity currents fed by multiple tributary canyons and channels with synchronous triggering from a single San Andreas Fault earthquake. The Cascadia margin is characterized by individual multi-pulsed turbidites that contain multiple coarse-grained sub-units without hemipelagic sediment between pulses. Because the number and character of multiple coarse-grained pulses for each correlative multi-pulsed turbidite is almost always constant both upstream and downstream in different channel systems for 600 km along the margin,we interpret that the earthquake shaking or aftershock signature is usually preserved, for the much stronger Cascadia (≥9 Mw) compared to weaker California (≥8Mw) earthquakes, which result in upstream uni-pulsed turbidites and downstream stacked turbidites. Consequently, both the strongest (≥9 Mw) great earthquakes and downstream

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

    Eisen, Lars; Moore, Chester G


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

  11. Deformation of plate boundaries associated with subduction of continental margins: insights from 3D thermo-mechanical laboratory experiments (Invited) (United States)

    Boutelier, D. A.; Cruden, A. R.


    The general sequence of tectonic events leading to the formation of collisional mountain belts includes closure of an ocean basin through oceanic subduction, subduction of a continental margin and deformation of the lithosphere. Laboratory experiments reproducing this fundamental chain of events investigate the three-dimensional and thermo-mechanical mechanics of the associated processes. Experiments reveal that this basic scenario can be considerably modified at the beginning of continental subduction. The buoyancy of the subducted passive margin causes a strong horizontal compression in the plates, which can lead to the formation of new thrusts in the magmatic arc or back-arc spreading center if the collision was preceded by oceanic subduction in the tensile regime. Several complex scenarios can develop, depending on the polarity of the new thrusts. If the new thrust in the arc or back-arc has the same polarity as the main subduction zone, the entire area located between the trench and the new thrust can be subducted, leaving little evidence of its former existence in the geological record. This process also modifies the thermal and mechanical regime of the subducted lithosphere, resulting in lower temperatures in the subducted crust thereby allowing deeper subduction. If the polarity of the new thrust is opposite to that of the existing subduction zone, the two slabs collide at depth, with the new slab generally cutting through the pre-existing slab. The distribution of convergence across several thrusts necessarily leads to a reduction of the convergence rate on the pre-existing subduction thrust. This leads to a reduction of the viscous coupling supporting the subducted lithosphere, causing an increase in downdip tension in the slab, and a rapid decrease of the slab strength due to temperature increase, eventually leading to slab break-off. Finally, the deformation caused by the subduction of the buoyant continental crust is fundamentally three

  12. Late Pleistocene sequence architecture on the geostrophic current-dominated southwest margin of the Ulleung Basin, East Sea (United States)

    Choi, Dong-Lim; Shin, Dong-Hyeok; Kum, Byung-Cheol; Jang, Seok; Cho, Jin-Hyung; Jou, Hyeong-Tae; Jang, Nam-Do


    High-resolution multichannel seismic data were collected to identify depositional sequences on the southwestern shelf of the Ulleung Basin, where a unidirectional ocean current is dominant at water depths exceeding 130 m. Four aggradational stratigraphic sequences with a 100,000-year cycle were recognized since marine isotope stage (MIS) 10. These sequences consist only of lowstand systems tracts (LSTs) and falling-stage systems tracts (FSSTs). Prograding wedge-shaped deposits are present in the LSTs near the shelf break. Oblique progradational clinoforms of forced regressive deposits are present in the FSSTs on the outer continental shelf. Each FSST has non-uniform forced regressional stratal geometries, reflecting that the origins of sediments in each depositional sequence changed when sea level was falling. Slump deposits are characteristically developed in the upper layer of the FSSTs, and this was used as evidence to distinguish the sequence boundaries. The subsidence rates around the shelf break reached as much as 0.6 mm/year since MIS 10, which contributed to the well-preserved depositional sequence. During the Quaternary sea-level change, the water depth in the Korea Strait declined and the intensity of the Tsushima Current flowing near the bottom of the inner continental shelf increased. This resulted in greater erosion of sediments that were delivered to the outer continental shelf, which was the main cause of sediment deposition on the deep, low-angled outer shelf. Therefore, a depositional sequence formation model that consists of only FSSTs and LSTs, excluding highstand systems tracts (HSTs) and transgressive systems tracts (TSTs), best explains the depositional sequence beneath this shelf margin dominated by a geostrophic current.

  13. Tectonic implications of Mesozoic magmatism to initiation of Cenozoic basin development within the passive South China Sea margin (United States)

    Mai, Hue Anh; Chan, Yu Lu; Yeh, Meng Wan; Lee, Tung Yi


    The South China Sea (SCS) is one of the classical example of a non-volcanic passive margin situated within three tectonic plates of the Eurasian, Indo-Australian and Philippine Sea plate. The development of SCS resulted from interaction of various types of plate boundaries, and complex tectonic assemblage of micro blocks and accretionary prisms. Numerous models were proposed for the formation of SCS, yet none can fully satisfy different aspects of tectonic forces. Temporal and geographical reconstruction of Cretaceous and Cenozoic magmatism with the isochrones of major basins was conducted. Our reconstruction indicated the SE margin of Asia had gone through two crustal thinning events. The sites for rifting development are controlled by localized thermal weakening of magmatism. NW-SE extension setting during Late Cretaceous revealed by magmatism distribution and sedimentary basins allow us to allocate the retreated subduction of Pacific plate to the cause of first crustal thinning event. A magmatic gap between 75 and 65 Ma prior to the initiation of first basin rifting suggested a significant modification of geodynamic setting occurred. The Tainan basin, Pearl River Mouth basin, and Liyue basins started to develop since 65 Ma where the youngest Late Cretaceous magmatism concentrated. Sporadic bimodal volcanism between 65 and 40 Ma indicates further continental extension prior to the opening of SCS. The E-W extension of Malay basin and West Natuna began since late Eocene followed by N-S rifting of SCS as Neotethys subducted. The SCS ridge developed between Pearl River Mouth basin and Liyue basin where 40 Ma volcanic activities concentrated. The interaction of two continental stretching events by Pacific followed by Neotethys subduction with localized magmatic thermal weakening is the cause for the non-volcanic nature of SCS.

  14. Impact of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum on Continental Margins and Implications for the Carbon Cycle in Near-Shore Environments (United States)

    John, C. M.; Bohaty, S. M.; Zachos, J. C.; Sluijs, A.; Gibbs, S.; Brinkhuis, H.; Bralower, T. J.


    We present a multi-proxy study of continental shelf and slope deposits from the eastern and western margins of North America across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, about 55 Ma). The PETM is characterized by rapid global warming, of 5-6 ° C but locally by as much as 8 ° C, and a transient 2.5-6 ‰ global negative excursion in the stable isotopic composition of marine and terrestrial sedimentary carbon (carbon isotope excursion, CIE). The CIE is best explained by the rapid transfer of a large mass of methane from gas hydrate reservoirs into the exogenic carbon pool. The rise in temperature associated with the addition of this carbon appears to have also altered global humidity and precipitation patterns, a feature impacting near-shore depositional facies. The sections investigated are dominanted by siliciclastic sediments with sufficient planktonic and benthic foraminifera, and/or organic matter to construct carbon isotope stratigraphies. Oxygen isotope and TEX86- based estimates of surface water temperatures (SST) on the shelf suggest that average SSTs in mid-latitude near shore environments increased significantly, by more than 5 ° C. Salinities may have decreased as a result of increased runoff. Vertical temperature gradients in the water column appear to have weakened along with deepening of the thermocline, resulting in a weaker stratification The magnitude of the CIE in these coastal sections ranges from 3.5 to 4.5 ‰ , which is slightly larger than in the deep-sea, particularly in planktonic foraminifers. The larger magnitude of the CIE in shelf areas likely reflects a combination of enhanced runoff and higher respiration rates that lowered the mean carbon isotope composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in coastal waters during the CIE relative to the open ocean. However, we must not rule out that there may also be truncation of deep-water records, making the CIE less complete. In addition, sedimentation rates and preservation

  15. Oceanic core complexes in the Philippine Sea: results from Japan's extended continental shelf mapping (United States)

    Ohara, Y.; Yoshida, T.; Nishizawa, A.


    The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) issued its recommendations on Japan's extended continental shelf in April 2012, confirming Japan's rights over the vast areas within the Philippine Sea and Pacific Plates. Japan submitted information on the limits of its continental shelf beyond the EEZ to the CLCS on November 2008, which was the result of 25 years of nation's continental shelf survey project since 1983, involving all of Japan's agency relevant to geosciences. The huge geological and geophysical data obtained through the project give the scientists unprecedented opportunity to study the geology and tectonics of the Philippine Sea and Pacific Plates. In this contribution, we show such an example from the Philippine Sea Plate, relevant to the global mid-ocean ridge problem. Oceanic core complexes (OCC) are dome-shaped bathymetric highs identified in mid-ocean ridges, interpreted as portions of the lower crust and/or upper mantle denuded via low-angle detachment faulting. OCCs are characterized morphologically by axis-normal striations (corrugations, or mullion structure) on the dome, and exposures of mantle peridotite and/or lower crustal gabbro. A strikingly giant OCC (named 'Godzilla Megamullion') was discovered in the Parece Vela Basin by the continental shelf survey project in 2001. Godzilla Megamullion is morphologically the largest OCC in the world, consisting mainly of fertile mantle peridotite along its entire length of over 125 km. Following its discovery in 2001, several academic cruises investigated the structure in detail, providing numerous important findings relevant to mid-ocean ridge tectono-magmatic processes and Philippine Sea evolution, including the slow- to ultraslow-spreading environment for denudation of the detachment fault (< 2.5 cm/y) and associated decreasing degree of partial melting of the peridotites towards the termination of Godzilla Megamullion. In addition to Godzilla Megamullion, several

  16. The upwelling record in the sediments of the westen continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Naidu, P.D.; PrakashBabu, C.; Rao, Ch.M.

    margin of India. In: Petroleum geochemistry and exploration in the Afro-Asian region, R. K. KUMAR et al., editors, Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 347-361. PRELL W. L. (1984) Variation of monsoonal upwelling: a response to changing solar radiation. Climate...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barboza, C. A. M.


    Full Text Available The Gorgonocephalidae includes 38 genera, five of them reported for Brazilian waters. Gorgonocephalus chilensishas a wide distribution throughout Antartica and Subantartican regions and its northern limit was restricted to the coast ofUruguay. This work aims to report the first occurrence of the Gorgonocephalus genus for the Brazilian continental marginand extend the northern limit of distribution of G. chilensis to the coast of Santa Catarina. Tolerance to a large temperatureand bathimetric range are crucial to understand the distributions patterns of ophiuroids from the polar circle that alsooccur at southern South America.

  18. Direct observations of American eels migrating across the continental shelf to the Sargasso Sea. (United States)

    Béguer-Pon, Mélanie; Castonguay, Martin; Shan, Shiliang; Benchetrit, José; Dodson, Julian J


    Since inferring spawning areas from larval distributions in the Sargasso Sea a century ago, the oceanic migration of adult American eels has remained a mystery. No adult eel has ever been observed migrating in the open ocean or in the spawning area. Here, we track movements of maturing eels equipped with pop-up satellite archival tags from the Scotian Shelf (Canada) into the open ocean, with one individual migrating 2,400 km to the northern limit of the spawning site in the Sargasso Sea. The reconstructed routes suggest a migration in two phases: one over the continental shelf and along its edge in shallow waters; the second in deeper waters straight south towards the spawning area. This study is the first direct evidence of adult Anguilla migrating to the Sargasso Sea and represents an important step forward in the understanding of routes and migratory cues.

  19. Surficial clay mineral distribution on the southwestern continental margin of India: evidence of input from the Bay of Bengal (United States)

    Chauhan, Onkar S.; Gujar, A. R.


    Analyses of spatial distribution of clay minerals, sediment texture, and > 63 μm fractions of the grab samples from the S W continental margin of India exhibit: (i) higher contents of illite and chlorite on the lower slope and (ii) a well-defined no-clay zone on the entire shelf. Kaolinite and smectite are also present in significant quantities on the slope with traces of gibbsite and palygorskite in some samples. The high contents of illite and chlorite (clay minerals which are not abundant in the soils and estuarine sediments of this region) in the southern region of the study area are evidence for sediment contribution from the Bay of Bengal waters (BBW), which enter this region after the SW monsoon. Distribution trends of kaolinite, smectite, gibbsite, and laterite granules on the slope are suggestive of contribution from chemically weathered soils of Peninsular India.

  20. A water column study of methane around gas flares located at the West Spitsbergen continental margin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gentz, Torben; Damm, Ellen; von Deimling, Jens Schneider


    L1. Our results suggest that the methane dissolved from gas bubbles is efficiently trapped below the pycnocline and thus limits the methane concentration in surface water and the air–sea exchange during summer stratification. During winter the lateral stratification breaks down and fractions...

  1. Characterizing slope morphology using multifractal technique: a study from the western continental margin of India.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chakraborty, B.; Karisiddaiah, S.M.; Menezes, A.A.A.; Haris, K.; Gokul, G.S.; Fernandes, W.A.; Kavitha, G.

    , García-García A (2007) A walk down the Cap de Creus canyon, northwestern Mediterranean Sea: recent processes inferred from morphology and sediment bedforms. Mar Geol 246: 176– 192 Leon R, Somoza L, Medialdea T, Maestro A, Dıaz-del-Rıo V, Fernandez...

  2. Volcano-sedimentary processes operating on a marginal continental arc: the Archean Raquette Lake Formation, Slave Province, Canada (United States)

    Mueller, W. U.; Corcoran, P. L.


    The 200-m thick, volcano-sedimentary Raquette Lake Formation, located in the south-central Archean Slave Province, represents a remnant arc segment floored by continental crust. The formation overlies the gneissic Sleepy Dragon Complex unconformably, is laterally interstratified with subaqueous mafic basalts of the Cameron River volcanic belt, and is considered the proximal equivalent of the turbidite-dominated Burwash Formation. A continuum of events associated with volcanism and sedimentation, and controlled by extensional tectonics, is advocated. A complex stratigraphy with three volcanic and three sedimentary lithofacies constitute the volcano-sedimentary succession. The volcanic lithofacies include: (1) a mafic volcanic lithofacies composed of subaqueous pillow-pillow breccia, and subaerial massive to blocky flows, (2) a felsic volcanic lithofacies representing felsic flows that were deposited in a subaerial environment, and (3) a felsic volcanic sandstone lithofacies interpreted as shallow-water, wave- and storm-reworked pyroclastic debris derived from explosive eruptions. The sedimentary lithofacies are represented by: (1) a conglomerate-sandstone lithofacies consistent with unconfined debris flow, hyperconcentrated flood flow and talus scree deposits, as well as minor high-energy stream flow conglomerates that formed coalescing, steep-sloped, coarse-clastic fan deltas, (2) a sandstone lithofacies, interpreted as hyperconcentrated flood flow deposits that accumulated at the subaerial-subaqueous interface, and (3) a mudstone lithofacies consistent with suspension sedimentation in a small restricted lagoon-type setting. The Raquette Lake Formation is interpreted as a fringing continental arc that displays both high-energy clastic sedimentation and contemporaneous effusive and explosive mafic and felsic volcanism. Modern analogues that develop along active plate margins in which continental crust plays a significant role include Japan and the Baja California

  3. Submarine geo-hazards on the eastern Sardinia-Corsica continental margin based on preliminary pipeline route investigation (United States)

    Cecchini, S.; Taliana, D.; Giacomini, L.; Herisson, C.; Bonnemaire, B.


    The understanding of the morphology and the shallow geo-hazards of the seafloor is a major focus for both academic and private industry research. On November and December 2009 a geophysical pipeline survey was carried out by Fugro Oceansismica S.p.A. (FOSPA) and FUGRO France (FFSA) for DORIS Engineering on behalf of GRTgaz (Engineering centre, Transmission Pipe Department; which are currently investigating the possibility of laying a pipeline between Sardinia and Corsica as a spur line from the planned GALSI Project. The Project, "Alimentation de la Corse en gaz naturel", consists of a corridor 100 km long and 1.0 km wide along the Corsica-Sardinia shelf. The integration of the multibeam, sidescan sonar and sparker data provided a high resolution seafloor mapping for geo-hazard assessment. In this article the data acquired along a break of slope section (approximately 20 km × 1.5 km), in the eastern sector of the Strait of Bonifacio are described. The area was abandoned during the survey, because of its unsuitability. Indeed, in this area the continental shelf, approximately 100 m deep and deepening gently eastward, is characterized by an uneven morphology, with different seabed features such as Beach- rocks mainly NNW-SSE oriented. Also, the continuity of the continental margin, identified around -110/-115 m, is interrupted by four canyon heads which incise the slope and are associated with glide deposits.

  4. Investigating Margin and Grounding Line Dynamics with a Coupled Ice and Sea Level Model (United States)

    Kuchar, J.; Milne, G. A.


    We present results from the coupling of an adaptive mesh glaciological model (BISICLES) with a model of glacial isostatic adjustment and sea level. We apply this coupled model to study the deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from the last glacial maximum. The proximity of the GrIS to the much larger Laurentide results in an east-west gradient in sea level rates across Greenland during the deglaciation. We investigate the impacts of this sea level gradient on ice and grounding line dynamics at the margins, as well as the influence of both local and non-local ice on sea level and ice dynamics.

  5. 76 FR 30956 - Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska OCS Region, Chukchi Sea Planning Area, Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193 (United States)


    ... Point Hope et al., v. Salazar, No. 1:08-cv-00004-RRB (D. Alaska)]. The sale was conducted in February... Continental Shelf, Alaska OCS Region, Chukchi Sea Planning Area, Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193 AGENCY: Bureau of...: BOEMRE announces the availability of a Revised Draft SEIS, OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, Chukchi Sea...

  6. Basement configuration of Visakhapatnam - Paradip continental margin from inversion of magnetic anomalies

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, M.M.M.; Rao, S.J.; Venkateswarlu, K.; Murthy, K.S.R.; Murthy, I.V.R.; Subrahmanyam, A.S.

    . References 1 Curray J R, Emmel F J, Moore D G & Raitt R W, in: Ocean basins and margins, 6 (Plenum, New York) 1982, pp. 399-450. 2 Rao T C S & Murthy K S R, Magnetic surveys over the con- tinental shelf off Visakhapatnam, Mahasagar - Bull Nat Inst... Visakhapatnam, east coast of India, Indian J Earth Sci, 14(1987) 109-113. 8 Murthy K S R, Rao M M M, Rao T C S & Subrahmanyam A S, A comparative study of Werner deconvolution and con- ventional modelling of marine magnetic data, Geophy Res Bull, 25(1987) 152...

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

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


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

  8. Cenozoic sedimentation in the Mumbai Offshore Basin: Implications for tectonic evolution of the western continental margin of India (United States)

    Nair, Nisha; Pandey, Dhananjai K.


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

  9. The stretching amplitude and thermal regime of the lithosphere in the nonvolcanic passive margin of Antarctica in the Mawson Sea region (United States)

    Galushkin, Yu. I.; Leitchenkov, G. L.; Guseva, Yu. B.; Dubinin, E. P.


    The burial history and thermal evolution of the lithosphere within the passive nonvolcanic Antarctic margin in the region of the Mawson Sea are numerically reconstructed for the margin areas along the seismic profile 5909 with the use of the GALO basin modeling system. The amplitudes of the lithosphere stretching at the different stages of continental rifting which took place from 160 to 90 Ma ago are calculated from the geophysical estimates of the thickness of the consolidated crust and the tectonic analysis of the variations in the thickness of the sedimentary cover and sea depths during the evolution of the basin. It is hypothesized that the formation of the recent sedimentary section sequence in the studied region of the Antarctic margin began 140 Ma ago on a basement that was thinned by a factor of 1.6 to 4.5 during the first episode of margin stretching (160-140 Ma) under a fairly high heat flux. The reconstruction of the thermal regime of the lithosphere has shown that the mantle rocks could occur within the temperature interval of serpentinization and simultaneously within the time interval of lithospheric stretching (-160 fractures in these zones is less probable. However, serpentinization could take place in these areas as in the other margin segments at the stage of presedimentation ultra slow basement stretching.

  10. Intense biological phosphate uptake onto particles in subeuphotic continental margin waters (United States)

    Sokoll, S.; Ferdelman, T. G.; Holtappels, M.; Goldhammer, T.; Littmann, S.; Iversen, M. H.; Kuypers, M. M. M.


    Elucidating the processes that affect particulate phosphorus (P) export from the euphotic zone and burial in sediments is important for models of global phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon cycling. We investigated dissolved inorganic Pi incorporation into particles (>0.2 µm) in the subeuphotic zone and benthic boundary layer of high-productivity Mauritanian and Namibian shelf waters, using 33PO43- tracer experiments combined with a sequential chemical extraction analysis. Pi uptake (5.4 to 19.9 nmol P L-1 d-1) by particulate matter was biologically mediated ( 50% into the organic fraction) and similar to estimated rates of heterotrophic growth. Thus, a substantial fraction of Pi must be recycled through a particle-associated microbial pool. Rapid adsorption of 33P in the anoxic waters of Namibia indicated the additional existence of a large pool of surface exchangeable P. Particle-associated Pi recycling and adsorption may influence the export flux and ultimate fate of particle bound P in continental shelf waters.

  11. Authigenic carbonates in the sediments of Goa offshore basin, western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Kocherla, M.

    in all the studied locations. The methane con- centration varied from 0.45–5.25 nM (top) to 11.25 nM (middle) and 0.64–13.23 nM (bottom). The CaCO 3 content of the sediments ranged from 33.6% to 69.9% and TOC varied from 0.21% to 0.86%. The porosity.... G. and Almeida, F., Detection of gas charged sediments and gas hydrate horizons in high resolution seismic profiles from the western con- tinental margin of India. Spec. Publ. Geol. Soc. Lond., 1998, 137, 239–253. 15. Satyavani, N., Thankur, N. K...

  12. Multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis to compare coral bank and seafloor seepage area-related characterization along the central Western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chakraborty, B.; VishnuVardhan, Y.; Haris, K.; Menezes, A.A.A.; Karisiddaiah, S.M.; Fernandes, W.A.; Kurian, J.

    exponent of a second-order moment. The two coral banks are located around the buried channels off Malpe, western continental margin of India (WCMI). The Gaveshani bank is lying on a submerged headland with high backscatter strength. The presence of greater...

  13. Late Quaternary sea level and environmental changes from relic carbonate deposits of the western margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Rajagopalan, G.; Vora, K.H.; Almeida, F.

    the entire margin. The age of these deposits on the continental shelf off Cape Comorin and Mangalore, between 110 and 18m depth, ranges between 12, 610 ¹4C yr BP and 6,390 ¹4C yr BP. On the northwestern margin of India, especially on the carbonate platform...

  14. Megafloods in Marginal Basins: New Data from the Black Sea (United States)

    Giosan, L.; Mart, Y.; McHugh, C. M.; Vachtman, D.; Cagatay, N. M.; Kadir, E. K.; Ryan, W. B.


    One of Jim Kennett's long-standing scientific interests has been the study of abrupt events ranging from destabilization of the gas hydrate reservoir, to volcanism, to megafloods. In appreciation to his contribution to the study of catastrophes in paleoceanography, we present new data on the Holocene reconnection of the Black Sea basin to the ocean, resulting from a July 2005 survey aboard the R/V Mediterranean Explorer of the EcoOcean Foundation. The survey included tightly-spaced Chirp subbottom profiling on the outer shelf northwest of the Bosporus outlet (Istanbul Bogazi), combined with precisely targeted gravity coring. Subbottom horizons are calibrated by radiocarbon and optical luminescence ages on cores. Chirp profiles reveal channels and ridges nearly transversal to the bathymetric contours. Ridges have grown on a seaward-dipping erosion surface that truncates the top of older prograding clinoforms. The ridges are up 12 m in height and have an asymmetrical cross-section, gentler on the west and steeper on the east. Sediment drifting is apparent on the gentler side. In the interiors of the ridges we found highly reflective mounds that are rooted directly on the erosion surface. The mounds organize in both elongated and circular to oval features. Shell-bearing marine mud drapes the mounds. Between the ridges and mounds the drape rests directly on the erosion surface that can be traced seaward to beyond -120 m. High abundance of exceptionally large shells of Mytilus sp. at the base of the drape suggests that bedforms were seeded by a colonization of mollusks building bioherms right on top of the erosion surface beginning at the time of the Mediterranean connection. The Black Sea lacustrine stage experienced an evaporative drawdown below its outlet and has only tracked the global sea level rise since 8.4 ky bp. The saltwater megaflood from the Mediterranean led to dramatic morphologic reorganization of the shelf sea-floor close to the Bosporus and exceptional

  15. Edge-driven Rayleigh Taylor Instabilities at Transtensional Continental Margins: Western North Island, New Zealand (United States)

    Stern, T. A.; Houseman, G. A.; Evans, L.


    At a continental transform system with an element of extension, regular and thinned lithosphere are juxtaposed. Such a system will be gravitationally unstable as negative buoyancy is created by the regular mantle lithosphere terminating at an abrubt edge with less dense asthenospheric mantle. Finite element experiments with dimensionless ratios of viscosity and density show that such a gravitational instability can grow, migrate and eventually drip off into the lower density asthenosphere providing two criteria are met: lithospheric thinning across the edge is at least 30% or more; and that viscosity at the top of the mantle lithosphere is no more than 2.4 or 4.5 x1021 Pa s, for lithospheric thicknesses of 100 and 200 km respectively. These are low values for regular mantle lithosphere, but are in keeping with mantle lithosphere found adjacent to plate boundaries, or paleo subduction zones. As the mantle lithosphere deforms and migrates away from an edge it both thins and thickens different portions of the overlying crust. At the surface regions of subsidence and uplift migrated in concert with the subjacent gravitational instability. A dimensionless variable analysis of instability development shows that 3 critical dimensionless ratios control the shape, migration speed and form of the instability: η' = ratio of viscosity between crust and mantle; m' = ratio of crust to lithosphere thickness; and d' = portion of mantle lithosphere thinning to initiate the instability. Western North Island, New Zealand, displays characteristics of uplift and subsidence in the past 10-12 Ma, which can be explained by a migrating instability that initiated from the Auckland-Hauraki area around 10 Ma. Transtensional faults developed in mid-North Island from 5 Ma as back-arc spreading from the oceanic Lau Havre trough penetrated into the continental lithosphere of New Zealand. It is this transtensional phase that we argue started the edge-driven instability. The present position of

  16. Structural features of the Southwest African continental margin according to results of lithosphere-scale 3D gravity and thermal modelling (United States)

    Maystrenko, Yuriy P.; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Hartwig, Alexander; Anka, Zahie; Watts, Antony B.; Hirsch, Katja K.; Fishwick, Stewart


    To understand the structure of the Southwest African continental margin, a lithosphere-scale 3D structural model has been developed, covering the marginal Cretaceous-Cenozoic Orange, Luderitz, Walvis and Namibe basins, the easternmost Walvis Ridge offshore. Onshore, the model includes two late-Proterozoic Owambo (Etosha) and Nama basins. This 3D model integrates published thickness maps (sediment isopach maps), shallow seismic and well data as well as published deep seismic information and has been additionally constrained by 3D gravity and thermal modelling. Using 3D gravity modelling, the first order configuration of the crystalline crust has been resolved with respect to the location of the continent-ocean boundary. The distribution of a high-density lower crustal layer indicates a continuous body extending below the Cretaceous-Cenozoic depocentres and aligned parallel to the coast line. In addition, high-density zones within the continental crystalline crust had to be included in the model to fit observed and calculated gravity. The obtained Moho topography correlates with the major tectonic units of this continental margin. The results of the 3D thermal modelling indicate that there is a clear relationship between the location of thickened sediments and areas with increased temperatures within the upper 10 km of the 3D model. This indicates that the low thermal conductivity of the sediments increases heat storage within the areas covered by thick sediments. Within the deeper crust, the main feature of the temperature distribution is the transition across the continental margin from the relatively cold oceanic part to the warm continental one. This regional pattern is controlled by the thickness of the crystalline continental crust, which is characterized by an increased radiogenic heat production. At a depth of 80-90 km, the temperature becomes higher beneath the oceanic domain than beneath the continent, reflecting the configuration of the lower thermal

  17. Validation of SeaWiFS and MODIS Aqua/Terra aerosol products in coastal regions of European marginal seas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Mélin


    Full Text Available The aerosol products associated with the ocean colour missions SeaWiFS andMODIS (both Aqua and Terra are assessed with AERONET field measurementscollected in four European marginal seas for which fairly large uncertainties inocean colour in-water products have been documented: the northern Adriatic, theBaltic, Black and North Seas. On average, more than 500 match-ups are foundfor each basin and satellite mission, showing an overall consistency of validationstatistics across the three missions. The median absolute relative differencebetween satellite and field values of aerosol optical thickness τaat 443 nm varies from 12% to 15% for the three missions at the northernAdriatic and Black Sea sites, and from 13% to 26% for the Baltic and North Sea sites. It is in the interval 16-31% for the near-infrared band. The spectral shape of τaiswell reproduced with a median bias of the Ängström exponent varyingbetween -15% and +14%, which represents a clear improvement with respectto previous versions of the atmospheric correction scheme. These results showthat the uncertainty associated with τa in the considered coastalwaters of the European marginal seas is comparable to global validationstatistics

  18. Sediment property changes in response to the glacial activity on the continental slope to the eastern side of Pennell-Iselin Bank in the Ross Sea, Antarctica (United States)

    Ha, Sangbeom; Khim, Boo-Keun; Colizza, Ester; Marci, Patrizia; Sagnotti, Leonardo; Caricchi, Chiara; Langone, Leonardo; Giglio, Federico; Kuhn, Gerhard


    High latitude marine environments including the Antarctic continental margin have sensitively responded to the climate change, and the Ross Sea is one of these examples. Subglacial marine sedimentary changes have been studied extensively in the continental shelf areas of the Ross Sea to understand the growth and retreat of glaciers in response to the glacial-interglacial changes. However, the continental slope areas of the Ross Sea have not been investigated comparatively less. Thus, in order to comprehend the glaciomarine sedimentation change on the continental slope of the Ross Sea, 3 gravity cores (GC1, GC2, GC3) and 3 box cores (BC1, BC2, BC3) were collected from 3 sites (RS14-C1, C2, C3 by decreasing water depth), respectively, across the continental slope to the eastern side of the Pennell-Iselin Bank during XXIX PNRA (Rosslope II) cruise in 2014. A variety of sedimentological (grain size, magnetic susceptibility, XRF) and geochemical (biogenic opal, total organic carbon, CaCO3, δ13C of organic matter) properties were analyzed along with AMS 14C dating of bulk sediments. All core sediments consist of mostly hemipelagic sandy clay or silty clay with scattered IRD (Ice-Rafted Debris). Sediment color of three cores changes consistently downward from brown to gray with some alternations in core GC1. Based on the basic sediment properties such as sediment color, grain size, and magnetic susceptibility, sediment lithology was decided to divide Unit A and Unit B, both of which were further divided into two subunits. Despite old carbon effect, AMS 14C dates confirm that Unit A belongs to the Holocene and Unit B covers the deglacial to last glacial period at the top of cores. Unit A is characterized by low TOC, low CaCO3, low biogenic opal content and low C/N ratios, whereas Unit B is characterized by high TOC, high CaCO3, moderate to high biogenic opal content and high C/N ratios. Consequently, Unit A represents the modern and interglacial sediments deposited mainly

  19. Submarine geomorphology of the Celtic Sea - new observations and hypotheses for the glaciation of a mid-latitude continental shelf (United States)

    Praeg, Daniel; McCarron, Stephen; Dove, Dayton; Cofaigh, Colm Ó.; Monteys, Xavier; Coxon, Peter; Accettella, Daniella; Cova, Andrea; Facchin, Lorenzo; Romeo, Roberto; Scott, Gill


    The southern limit of glaciation of the European continental margin lies in the Celtic Sea, where the full extent and dynamics of the British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) remain in question. This is in part because the broad continental shelf contains no obvious glacial geomorphological features, but is dominated by a system of shelf-crossing sediment ridges, up to 60 m high, 10 km wide and 300 km long, traditionally interpreted as moribund palaeo-tidal sand banks. Ice sheet extent has been constrained by samples of subglacial and glacimarine sediments recovered (in the 1970s) between the ridges, and in places on their flanks, used to propose a tidewater ice margin that advanced to a grounding line on the mid-shelf, overriding a precursor ridge system. New information on the glaciation of the Celtic Sea is available from geophysical and core data acquired during Italian- and Irish-led campaigns in 2009, 2012, and 2014, both from the mid- and outer shelf. On the mid-shelf, multibeam seabed imagery of a 25 x 100 km area reveal a distinctive rectilinear network of en echelon ridge segments giving way laterally and longitudinally to transverse ribs. Seismic correlation to glacigenic sediments previously cored on a ridge flank (at core site 49/-09/44) indicates the ribs to be composed in part of glacimarine sediments, above a till reflection that can be traced across the ridge crest. No change in seabed morphology is observed across the proposed grounding line. On the outer shelf, new cores of glacigenic sediments were obtained from the flank of a shelf-crossing ridge, and provide evidence of ice sheet advance to the shelf edge, 150 km beyond the proposed grounding line. The cores from outer Cockburn Bank contain facies interpreted to record subglacial deformation and glacimarine deposition from turbid meltwater plumes during withdrawal of a tidewater ice sheet margin from the shelf edge by 24,265 ± 195 cal BP. These sediments are inferred to form part of a sheet of

  20. Low temperature thermochronology and topographic evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in the region in eastern Argentina (United States)

    Pfister, Sabrina; Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.


    To understand the evolution of the passive continental margin in Argentina low temperature thermochronology is an appropriate method, which will lead to new conclusions in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills Salado basin is located whereas the Claromecó basin is situated south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the southamerican passive continental margin the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography is fairly flat with altitudes of. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-proterozoic in age and build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons it is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sediments (Cingolani, 2010), like siliciclastics, dolostones, shales and limestones (Demoulin et al., 2005). The aim of the study is to quantify the long-term landscape evolution of the passive continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal history, exhumation and tectonic activities. For that purpose, samples were taken from the Sierra Septentrionales and analyzed with the apatite fission-track method. Further 2-D thermokinematic modeling was conducted with the computer code HeFTy (Ketcham, 2005; Ketcham 2007; Ketcham et al., 2009). The results indicate apatite fission track ages between 101.6 (9.4) to 228.9 (22.3) Ma, what means all measured ages are younger as their formation age. That shows all samples have been reset. Six samples accomplished enough confined tracks and were used to test geological t-T models against the AFT data set. These models give a more detailed insight on the cooling history and tectonic activities in the research area. References: Cingolani C. A. (2010): The Tandilia System of Argentina as a southern extension of the Río de la

  1. The Pan-African continental margin in northeastern Africa: Evidence from a geochronological study of granulites at Sabaloka, Sudan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kroener, A.


    Ion microprobe zircon ages, a Nd model age and Rb-Sr whole-rock dates are reported from the high-grade gneiss terrain at Sabaloka on the River Nile north of Khartoum, formally considered to be part of the Archaean/early Proterozoic Nile craton. The granulites, which are of both sedimentary and igneous derivation, occur as remnants in migmatites. Detrital zircon ages range from ≅ 1000 to ≅ 2650 Ma and prove the existence of Archaean to late Proterozoic continental crust in the sedimentary source region. The Nd model age for one sedimentary granulite is between 1.26 (T CHUR ) and 1.70 (T DM ) Ga and provides a mean crustal residence age for the sedimentary precursor. Igneous zircons in enderbitic gneiss crystallized at 719±81 Ma ago, an age that also corresponds to severe Pb loss in the detrital zircons and whic probably reflects the granulite event at Sabaloka. The Rb-Sr data indicate isotropic homogenization at about 700 Ma ago in the granulites and severe post-granulite disturbance at ≅ 570 Ma in the migmatites. We associate this disturbance with hydration, retrograde metamorphism and anatexis that produced undeformed granites ≅ 540 Ma ago. The ≅ 700 Ma granulite event at Sabaloka suggests that this part of the Sudan belongs to the Pan-African Mozambique belt while the ancient Nile craton lay farther west. The gneisses studied here may represent the infrastructure of the ancient African continental margin onto which the juvenile arc assemblage of the Arabian-Nubian shield was accreted during intense horizontal shortening and crustal interstacking of a major collision event. (orig.)

  2. Reconstruction of an early Paleozoic continental margin based on the nature of protoliths in the Nome Complex, Seward Peninsula, Alaska (United States)

    Till, Alison B.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Ayuso, Robert A.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Amato, Jeffrey M.; Slack, John F.; Shanks, W.C. Pat


    The Nome Complex is a large metamorphic unit that sits along the southern boundary of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane, the largest of several micro continental fragments of uncertain origin located between the Siberian and Laurentian cratons. The Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane moved into its present position during the Mesozoic; its Mesozoic and older movements are central to reconstruction of Arctic tectonic history. Accurate representation of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane in reconstructions of Late Proterozoic and early Paleozoic paleogeography is hampered by the paucity of information available. Most of the Late Proterozoic to Paleozoic rocks in the Alaska–Chukotka terrane were penetratively deformed and recrystallized during the Mesozoic deformational events; primary features and relationships have been obliterated, and age control is sparse. We use a variety of geochemical, geochronologic, paleontologic, and geologic tools to read through penetrative deformation and reconstruct the protolith sequence of part of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane, the Nome Complex. We confirm that the protoliths of the Nome Complex were part of the same Late Proterozoic to Devonian continental margin as weakly deformed rocks in the southern and central part of the terrane, the Brooks Range. We show that the protoliths of the Nome Complex represent a carbonate platform (and related rocks) that underwent incipient rifting, probably during the Ordovician, and that the carbonate platform was overrun by an influx of siliciclastic detritus during the Devonian. During early phases of the transition to siliciclastic deposition, restricted basins formed that were the site of sedimentary exhalative base-metal sulfide deposition. Finally, we propose that most of the basement on which the largely Paleozoic sedimentary protolith was deposited was subducted during the Mesozoic.

  3. The biogeochemistry of carbon in continental slope sediments: The North Carolina margin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blair, N.; Levin, L.; DeMaster, D.; Plaia, G.; Martin, C.; Fornes, W.; Thomas, C.; Pope, R.


    The responses of the continental slope benthos to organic detritus deposition were studied with a multiple trace approach. Study sites were offshore of Cape Fear (I) and Cape Hatteras (III), N.C. (both 850 m water depth) and were characterized by different organic C deposition rates, macrofaunal densities (III>I in both cases) and taxa. Natural abundances of {sup 13}C and {sup 12}C in particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and macrofauna indicate that the reactive organic detritus is marine in origin. Natural abundance levels of {sup 14}C and uptake of {sup 13}C-labeled diatoms by benthic animals indicate that they incorporate a relatively young component of carbon into their biomass. {sup 13}C-labeled diatoms (Thalassiorsira pseudonana) tagged with {sup 210}Pb, slope sediment tagged with {sup 113}Sn and {sup 228}Th-labeled glass beads were emplaced in plots on the seafloor at both locations and the plots were sampled after 30 min., 1-1.5 d and 14 mo. At Site I, tracer diatom was intercepted at the surface primarily by protozoans and surface-feeding annelids. Little of the diatom C penetrated below 2 cm even after 14 months. Oxidation of organic carbon appeared to be largely aerobic. At Site III, annelids were primarily responsible for the initial uptake of tracer. On the time scale of days, diatom C was transported to a depth of 12 cm and was found in animals collected between 5-10 cm. The hoeing of tracer from the surface by the maldanid Praxillela sp. may have been responsible for some of the rapid nonlocal transport. Oxidation of the diatom organic carbon was evident to at least 10 cm depth. Anaerobic breakdown of organic matter is more important at Site III. Horizontal transport, which was probably biologically mediated, was an order of magnitude more rapid than vertical displacement over a year time scale. If the horizontal transport was associated with biochemical transformations of the organic matter, it may represent an

  4. Sea-floor drainage features of Cascadia Basin and the adjacent continental slope, northeast Pacific Ocean (United States)

    Hampton, M.A.; Karl, Herman A.; Kenyon, Neil H.


    Sea-floor drainage features of Cascadia Basin and the adjacent continental slope include canyons, primary fan valleys, deep-sea valleys, and remnant valley segments. Long-range sidescan sonographs and associated seismic-reflection profiles indicate that the canyons may originate along a mid-slope escarpment and grow upslope by mass wasting and downslope by valley erosion or aggradation. Most canyons are partly filled with sediment, and Quillayute Canyon is almost completely filled. Under normal growth conditions, the larger canyons connect with primary fan valleys or deep-sea valleys in Cascadia Basin, but development of accretionary ridges blocks or re-routes most canyons, forcing abandonment of the associated valleys in the basin. Astoria Fan has a primary fan valley that connects with Astoria Canyon at the fan apex. The fan valley is bordered by parallel levees on the upper fan but becomes obscure on the lower fan, where a few valley segments appear on the sonographs. Apparently, Nitinat Fan does not presently have a primary fan valley; none of the numerous valleys on the fan connect with a canyon. The Willapa-Cascadia-Vancouver-Juan de Fuca deep-sea valley system bypasses the submarine fans and includes deeply incised valleys to broad shallow swales, as well as within-valley terraces and hanging-valley confluences. ?? 1989.

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

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


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

  6. Tracing Late Holocene Warm Periods in the Galician Continental Margin (NW Spain): Detrital Control vs. Early Diagenetic Modulation. (United States)

    Mohamed, K.; Rey, D.; Rubio, B.; Vilas, F.


    The sediments of the Galician continental margin (NW Spain) exhibit great but variable degrees of early diagenetic dissolution of magnetic minerals. This process completely erases any detrital magnetic signal at time-scales that range from about 1,000 years to less than 50 years in the highly productive estuarine-like environment of the Galician Rias Baixas. The more open marine conditions encountered in the adjoining continental shelf exhibit however a significantly different behavior. The singular balance between early diagenetic dissolution and lower sedimentation rates allows partial and variable preservation of the also variable detritally controlled magnetic inputs. In this context it is possible to reconstruct the recent environmental history of the area attending to the changes in the concentration of magnetically-interesting iron oxides. High-resolution magnetic and geochemical measurements carried out in 6 cores from the continental self evidenced the occurrence of correlatable peaks of magnetic mineral concentration that were interpreted as periods of enhanced detrital input. Magnetically depleted sediments were related to lower detrital input and/or to enhanced productivity that intensified the reductive conditions. The magnetic concentration peaks occurred within the Medieval (MWP) and Roman Warm Periods. Similar concentrations of hematite in the MWP and the RWP suggest that the lower concentration-dependent magnetic properties in the RWP are most likely caused by a greater degree of dissolution of magnetic detrital oxides due to a longer exposure to reducing conditions. These features could be traced over all the studied area, despite the great heterogeneity of the shelf sediments. This highlights the potential of magnetic properties as proxies of paleoenvironmental conditions in areas of similar complexity. This approach can be used as a rapid and cost-effective tool to screen large areas in the search for suitable settings for more precise, but time

  7. Passive acoustic records of two vigorous bubble-plume methane seeps on the Oregon continental margin (United States)

    Dziak, R. P.; Matsumoto, H.; Merle, S. G.; Embley, R. W.; Baumberger, T.; Hammond, S. R.


    We present preliminary analysis of the acoustic records of two bubble-plume methane seeps recorded by an autonomous hydrophone deployed during the E/V Nautilus expedition (NA072) in June 2016. The goal of the NA072 expedition was to use the Simrad 302 as a survey tool to map bubble plumes at a regional scale along the Oregon and northern California margins, followed by in situ investigation of bubble-plume sites using the ROV Hercules. The exploration carried out during NA072 resulted in the discovery of hundreds of new individual methane seep sites in water depths ranging from 125 to 1725 m depth. A Greenridge Acousonde 3B™ hydrophone was deployed via ROV within two vigorous bubble-plume sites. Despite persistent ship and ROV propeller noise, the acoustic signature of the bubble-plume can be seen in the hydrophone record as a broadband (0.5 - 4.5 kHz) series of short duration ( 0.2-0.5 msec) pulses that occur in clusters of dozens of pulses lasting 2-3 secs. Previous studies of the passive acoustics of seep bubble-plumes indicate sound is generated during bubble formation, where detachment of the gas bubble from the end of a tube or conduit causes the bubble to oscillate, producing sound. The peak frequency f (the zeroth oscillatory mode) and the bubble equivalent spherical radius r for a given pressure P are: f = (2πr)-1 [(3γP/ρ)]1/2 where γ is the ratio of gas specific heat at constant pressure to constant volume and ρ is the water density (Leifer and Tang, 2006). Thus the frequency of a bubble's oscillation is proportional to the bubble's volume, and therefore it may be possible to use our acoustic data to obtain an estimate of the volume of methane being released at these seafloor plume sites.

  8. Influence of the Afar plume on the deep structure of Aden and Red Sea margins - Insight from teleseismic tomography in western Yemen (United States)

    Korostelev, Félicie; Basuyau, Clémence; Leroy, Sylvie; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Keir, Derek; Stuart, Graham; Rolandone, Frédérique; Ganad, Ismail Al; Khanbari, Khaled


    Continental rupture processes under mantle plume influence are still poorly known although extensively studied. The Afar plume has been largely investigated in Ethiopia to study early stages of continental break-up. Here we imaged the lithospheric structure of western continental Yemen to evaluate the role of the Afar plume on the evolution of the continental margin and its extent towards the East. A part of the YOCMAL project (YOung Conjugate MArgins Laboratory) permitted the deployment of twenty-three broadband stations in Yemen (from 2009 to 2010). Using a classical teleseismic tomography (Aki et al., 1974) on these stations together with a permanent GFZ station, we image the relative velocity variations of P-waves in the crust and lithosphere down to 300 km depth, with a maximum lateral resolution of about ~20 km. The model thus obtained shows (1) a dramatic and localized thinning of the crust in the vicinity of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (2) the presence of magmatic underplating related to seaward dipping reflectors under those two volcanic margins (3) two granitic syn-rift intrusions on the border of the great escarpment (4) a low velocity anomaly in which with evidence of partial melting, just below thick Oligocene trapps series and other volcanic events (from 15 Ma to present). This low velocity anomaly could correspond to an abnormally hot mantle and could be responsible for dynamic topography and recent magmatism in western Yemen. (5) Finally, we infer the presence of hot material under the Southwestern corner of Yemen that could be related to Miocene volcanism in Jabal an Nar.

  9. Bacterial and archaeal communities in sediments of the north Chinese marginal seas. (United States)

    Liu, Jiwen; Liu, Xiaoshou; Wang, Min; Qiao, Yanlu; Zheng, Yanfen; Zhang, Xiao-Hua


    Microbial communities of the Chinese marginal seas have rarely been reported. Here, bacterial and archaeal community structures and abundance in the surface sediment of four sea areas including the Bohai Sea (BS), North Yellow Sea (NYS), South Yellow Sea (SYS), and the north East China Sea (NECS) were surveyed by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR. The results showed that microbial communities of the four geographic areas were distinct from each other at the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) level, whereas the microbial communities of the BS, NYS, and SYS were more similar to each other than to the NECS at higher taxonomic levels. Across all samples, Bacteria were numerically dominant relative to Archaea, and among them, Gammaproteobacteria and Euryarchaeota were predominant in the BS, NYS, and SYS, while Deltaproteobacteria and Thaumarchaeota were prevalent in the NECS. The most abundant bacterial genera were putative sulfur oxidizer and sulfate reducer, suggesting that sulfur cycle processes might prevail in these areas, and the high abundance of dsrB (10(7)-10(8) copies g(-1)) in all sites verified the dominance of sulfate reducer in the north Chinese marginal seas. The differences in sediment sources among the sampling areas were potential explanations for the observed microbial community variations. Furthermore, temperature and dissolved oxygen of bottom water were significant environmental factors in determining both bacterial and archaeal communities, whereas chlorophyll a in sediment was significant only in structuring archaeal community. This study presented an outline of benthic microbial communities and provided insights into understanding the biogeochemical cycles in sediments of the north Chinese marginal seas.

  10. The open sea as the main source of methylmercury in the water column of the Gulf of Lions (Northwestern Mediterranean margin) (United States)

    Cossa, Daniel; Durrieu de Madron, Xavier; Schäfer, Jörg; Lanceleur, Laurent; Guédron, Stéphane; Buscail, Roselyne; Thomas, Bastien; Castelle, Sabine; Naudin, Jean-Jacques


    Despite the ecologic and economical importance of coastal areas, the neurotoxic bioaccumulable monomethylmercury (MMHg) fluxes within the ocean margins and exchanges with the open sea remain unassessed. The aim of this paper is to address the questions of the abundance, distribution, production and exchanges of methylated mercury species (MeHgT), including MMHg and dimethylmercury (DMHg), in the waters, atmosphere and sediments of the Northwestern Mediterranean margin including the Rhône River delta, the continental shelf and its slope (Gulf of Lions) and the adjacent open sea (North Gyre). Concentrations of MeHgT ranged from <0.02 to 0.48 pmol L-1 with highest values associated with the oxygen-deficient zone of the open sea. The methylated mercury to total mercury proportion (MeHgT/HgT) increased from 2% to 4% in the Rhône River to up to 30% (averaging 18%) in the North Gyre waters, whereas, within the shelf waters, MeHgT/HgT proportions were the lowest (1-3%). We calculate that the open sea is the major source of MeHgT for the shelf waters, with an annual flux estimated at 0.68 ± 0.12 kmol a-1 (i.e., equivalent to 12% of the HgT flux). This MeHgT influx is more than 80 times the direct atmospheric deposition or the in situ net production, more than 40 times the estimated "maximum potential" annual efflux from shelf sediment, and more than 7 times that of the continental sources. In the open sea, ratios of MMHg/DMHg in waters were always <1 and minimum in the oxygen deficient zones of the water column, where MeHg concentrations are maximum. This observation supports the idea that MMHg could be a degradation product of DMHg produced from inorganic divalent Hg.

  11. Tectonic setting of the pebble and other copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry deposits within the evolving middle cretaceous continental margin of Northwestern North America (United States)

    Goldfarb, Richard J.; Anderson, Eric; Hart, Craig J.R.


    The Pebble Cu-Au-Mo deposit in southwestern Alaska, containing the largest gold resource of any known porphyry in the world, developed in a tectonic setting significantly different from that of the present-day. It is one of a series of metalliferous middle Cretaceous porphyritic granodiorite, quartz monzonite, and diorite bodies, evolved from lower crust and metasomatized lithospheric mantle melts, which formed along much of the length of the North American craton suture with the Peninsular-Alexander-Wrangellia arc. The porphyry deposits were emplaced within the northernmost two of a series of ca. 130 to 80 Ma flysch basins that define the suture, as well as into arc rocks immediately seaward of the two basins. Deposits include the ca. 100 to 90 Ma Pebble, Neacola, and other porphyry prospects along the Kahiltna basin-Peninsula terrane boundary, and the ca. 115 to 105 Ma Baultoff, Carl Creek, Horsfeld, Orange Hill, Bond Creek, and Chisna porphyries along the Nutzotin basin-Wrangellia terrane boundary.The porphyry deposits probably formed along the craton margin more than 1,000 km to the south of their present latitude. Palinspastic reconstructions of plate kinematics from this period are particularly difficult because magmatism overlaps the 119 to 83 Ma Cretaceous Normal Superchron, a period when sea-floor magnetic data are lacking. Our favored scenario is that ore formation broadly overlaps the cessation of sedimentation and contraction and the transition to a transpressional continental margin regime, such that the remnant ocean basins were converted to strike-slip basins. The basins and outboard Peninsular-Alexander-Wrangellia composite superterrane, which are all located seaward of the deep crustal Denali-Farewell fault system, were subjected to northerly dextral transpression for as long as perhaps 50 m.y., beginning at ca. 95 ± 10 Ma. The onset of this transpression was marked by development of the mineralized bodies along fault segments on the seaward side

  12. Continental basement inheritance and multiscale rifted ocean margin architectures: case studies from the N Atlantic-Greenland region (Invited) (United States)

    Holdsworth, R. E.; Wilson, R.; McCaffrey, K. J.; Imber, J.; Jones, R.


    It is widely believed that pre-existing basement structures significantly influence the development of rifts in both intracontinental and margin settings, but this hypothesis remains to be tested in many areas.We first investigate how fault reactivation controls the distribution and growth of individual faults in the post-breakup cover sequence of the Norwegian margin. We then use a combined onshore and offshore approach to address the wider problem of how intraplate basement structures control subsequent regional-scale fault patterns and kinematics. The influence of pre-existing, rift-related normal faults upon the early stages of fault growth in the post-breakup cover sequence is well illustrated offshore in the Vøring basin. Here Maastrichtian to Palaeocene age rift-related normal faults on the Nyk High were blanketed by Plio-Pleistocene sediments, which are cut locally by small (maximum throw directly above points of maximum throw or offsets along underlying rift-related faults, which therefore clearly control the location and architecture of later structures. Both upward and downward fault propagation from basement to cover and vice versa are recognised during this reactivation. Elastic interactions between en-echelon fault segments situated above basement heterogeneities are likely to promote the rapid growth of reactivated fault systems. Basement structures are often oriented significantly oblique to later rifting directions and can lead to transtensional deformation patterns. The Davis Strait of West Greenland contains the Ungava transform fault zone, which separates the failed spreading centres of the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. Detailed onshore studies of fault patterns and kinematics, at regional to outcrop scales, reveal the key roles played by two main transtensional fault systems. An older system of N-S trending en echelon normal faults bound a series of deep sedimentary basins of mid- upper-Cretaceous age that are linked by ESE-trending normal

  13. The Research of Tectonic Framework and the Fault Activity in Large Detachment Basin System on Northern Margin of South China Sea (United States)

    Pan, L., Sr.; Ren, J.


    The South China Sea (SCS) is one of the largest marginal sea on southeast Asia continental margin, developed Paleogene extension-rifting continental margin system which is rare in the world and preserving many deformed characterizes of this kind system. With the investigation of the SCS, guiding by the development of tectonics and geo-physics, especially the development of tectonics and the high quality seismic data based on the development of geo-physics, people gradually accept that the northern margin of the SCS has some detachment basin characterizes. After researching the northern margin of the SCS, we come up with lithosphere profiles across the shelf, slope and deep sea basin in the northeast of the SCS to confirm the tectonic style of ocean-continental transition and the property of the detachment fault. Furthermore, we describe the outline of large detachment basins at northern SCS. Based on the large number of high-quality 2D and 3D deep seismic profile(TWT,10s), drilling and logging data, combined with domestic and international relevant researches, using basin dynamics and tectono-stratigraphy theory, techniques and methods of geology and geophysics, qualitative and quantitative, we describe the formation of the detachment basin and calculate the fault activity rate, stretching factor and settlement. According to the research, we propose that there is a giant and complete detachment basin system in the northern SCS and suggest three conclusions. First of all, the detachment basin system can be divided into three domains: proximal domain covering the Yangjiang Sag, Shenhu uplift and part of Shunde Sag, necking zone covering part of the Shunde Sag and Heshan Sag, distal domain covering most part of Heshan Sag. Second, the difference of the stretching factor is observed along the three domains of the detachment basin system. The factor of the proximal domain is the minimum among them. On the other side, the distal domain is the maximum among them. This

  14. Fission track dating: methodology and thermo-chronological applications in alpine and continental margin contexts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabil, N.


    the thermal history of the massifs considered since the last cooling below 120 C of the samples analysed. In the works done before 1994, we have shown that, on the one hand, the transform margin of Cote d'Ivoire-Ghana had known a heating period between 250 C and 60 C post-dating by far its scanning by an oceanic ridge and on the other hand, in the Elbe Island, we have brought the first 'fission track' data in the cooling history of the Monte Capanne granodiorite. In the beginning of the 90's, the fission track method still lacked good reference samples for volcanic glass dating. At the suggestion of the Geochronology Commission of the International Union of Geological Sciences we have studied macusanites, obsidians of the SE Peru. The results of this work suggest that these glasses are not convenient as potential age standards, even if they keep some value as a material for laboratory intercalibration purposes. (author)

  15. Origin of increased terrigenous supply to the NE South American continental margin during Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Younger Dryas (United States)

    Zhang, Yancheng; Chiessi, Cristiano M.; Mulitza, Stefan; Zabel, Matthias; Trindade, Ricardo I. F.; Hollanda, Maria Helena B. M.; Dantas, Elton L.; Govin, Aline; Tiedemann, Ralf; Wefer, Gerold


    We investigate the redistribution of terrigenous materials in the northeastern (NE) South American continental margin during slowdown events of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The compilation of stratigraphic data from 108 marine sediment cores collected across the western tropical Atlantic shows an extreme rise in sedimentation rates off the Parnaíba River mouth (about 2°S) during Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1, 18-15 ka). Sediment core GeoB16206-1, raised offshore the Parnaíba River mouth, documents relatively constant 143Nd/144Nd values (expressed as εNd(0)) throughout the last 30 ka. Whereas the homogeneous εNd(0) data support the input of fluvial sediments by the Parnaíba River from the same source area directly onshore, the increases in Fe/Ca, Al/Si and Rb/Sr during HS1 indicate a marked intensification of fluvial erosion in the Parnaíba River drainage basin. In contrast, the εNd(0) values from sediment core GeoB16224-1 collected off French Guiana (about 7°N) suggest Amazon-sourced materials within the last 30 ka. We attribute the extremely high volume of terrigenous sediments deposited offshore the Parnaíba River mouth during HS1 to (i) an enhanced precipitation in the catchment region and (ii) a reduced North Brazil Current, which are both associated with a weakened AMOC.

  16. The Two Subduction Zones of the Southern Caribbean: Lithosphere Tearing and Continental Margin Recycling in the East, Flat Slab Subduction and Laramide-Style Uplifts in the West (United States)

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


    The southern Caribbean plate boundary is a complex strike-slip fault system bounded by oppositely vergent subduction zones, the Antilles subduction zone in the east, and a currently locked Caribbean-South American subduction zone in the west (Bilham and Mencin, 2013). Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography images both the Atlanic (ATL) and the Caribbean (CAR) plates subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America. Ps receiver functions show a depressed 660 discontinuity and thickened transition zone associated with each subducting plate. In the east the oceanic (ATL) part of the South American (SA) plate subducts westward beneath the CAR, initiating the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike slip system, a subduction-transform edge propagator (STEP) fault (Govers and Wortel, 2005). The point at which the ATL tears away from SA as it descends into the mantle is evidenced by the Paria cluster seismicity at depths of 60-110 km (Russo et al, 1993). Body wave tomography and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) thickness determined from Sp and Ps receiver functions and Rayleigh waves suggest that the descending ATL also viscously removes the bottom third to half of the SA continental margin lithospheric mantle as it descends. This has left thinned continental lithosphere under northern SA in the wake of the eastward migrating Antilles subduction zone. The thinned lithosphere occupies ~70% of the length of the El Pilar-San Sebastian fault system, from ~64oW to ~69oW, and extends inland several hundred kilometers. In northwestern SA the CAR subducts east-southeast at low angle under northern Colombia and western Venezuela. The subducting CAR is at least 200 km wide, extending from northernmost Colombia as far south as the Bucaramanga nest seismicity. The CAR descends steeply under Lake Maracaibo and the Merida Andes. This flat slab is associated with three Neogene basement cored, Laramide-style uplifts: the Santa Marta

  17. Viral decay and viral production rates in continental-shelf and deep-sea sediments of the Mediterranean Sea. (United States)

    Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Magagnini, Mirko; Danovaro, Roberto


    Here, for the first time, we have carried out synoptic measurements of viral production and decay rates in continental-shelf and deep-sea sediments of the Mediterranean Sea to explore the viral balance. The net viral production and decay rates (1.1-61.2 and 0.6-13.5 x 10(7) viruses g(-1) h(-1), respectively) were significantly correlated, and were also related to prokaryotic heterotrophic production. The addition of enzymes increased the decay rates in the surface sediments, but not in the subsurface sediments. Both the viral production and the decay rates decreased significantly in the deeper sediment layers, while the virus-to-prokaryote abundance ratio increased, suggesting a high preservation of viruses in the subsurface sediments. Viral decay did not balance viral production at any of the sites investigated, accounting on average for c. 32% of the gross viral production in the marine sediments. We estimate that the carbon (C) released by viral decay contributed 6-23% to the total C released by the viral shunt. Because only c. 2% of the viruses produced can infect other prokaryotes, the majority is not subjected to direct lysis and potentially remains as a food source for benthic consumers. The results reported here suggest that viral decay can play an important role in biogeochemical cycles and benthic trophodynamics.

  18. The distribution and origin of PAHs over the Asian marginal seas, the Indian, and the Pacific Oceans: Implications for outflows from Asia and Africa (United States)

    Liu, Junwen; Xu, Yue; Li, Jun; Liu, Di; Tian, Chongguo; Chaemfa, Chakra; Zhang, Gan


    Aerosol samples were collected aboard the R/V Dayang Yihao from 8 January to 7 August 2007 to investigate the geographical distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) over oceans and to assess their continental origins. The highest concentrations were found over the marginal seas in Asia, especially the East and South China Seas, indicating that China is a top source of emissions into the marine atmosphere in the areas monitored on this cruise. PAH concentrations over the west oceanic region in the South Indian Ocean were noticeably higher than in other areas of the Indian Ocean, most likely because air masses from Africa, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal exert a negative impact on those regions through long-range atmospheric transport. The PAH isomer ratio values varied over the oceans that were impacted by continental sources but remained relatively uniform over most of the remote oceans. Using diagnostic ratio analysis, we found PAHs emitted from China were mainly associated with biomass/coal burning. The measurements of levoglucosan were consistent with the results mentioned above. The western part of the South Indian Ocean atmosphere was likely affected by wildfire emissions from Africa, while the northern part was by petroleum combustion, biofuel, and wildfire burning, because the winter monsoon most likely carries aerosol from the Arabian Peninsula and India across the equator. Using the monthly images of fire activity and aerosol optical depth, it can be confirmed biomass burning from Africa can significantly influence the aerosol over the Indian Ocean.

  19. The wide-angle seismic image of a complex rifted margin, offshore North Namibia: Implications for the tectonics of continental breakup (United States)

    Planert, Lars; Behrmann, Jan; Jokat, Wilfried; Fromm, Tanja; Ryberg, Trond; Weber, Michael; Haberland, Christian


    Voluminous magmatism during the South Atlantic opening has been considered as a classical example for plume related continental breakup. We present a study of the crustal structure around Walvis Ridge, near the intersection with the African margin. Two wide-angle seismic profiles were acquired. One is oriented NNW-SSE, following the continent-ocean transition and crossing Walvis Ridge. A second amphibious profile runs NW-SE from the Angola Basin into continental Namibia. At the continent-ocean boundary (COB) the mafic crust beneath Walvis Ridge is up to 33 km thick, with a pronounced high-velocity lower crustal body. Towards the south there is a smooth transition to 20-25 km thick crust underlying the COB in the Walvis Basin, with a similar velocity structure, indicating a gabbroic lower crust with associated cumulates at the base. The northern boundary of Walvis Ridge towards the Angola Basin shows a sudden change to oceanic crust only 4-6 km thick, coincident with the projection of the Florianopolis Fracture Zone, one of the most prominent tectonic features of the South Atlantic ocean basin. In the amphibious profile the COB is defined by a sharp transition from oceanic to rifted continental crust, with a magmatic overprint landward of the intersection of Walvis Ridge with the Namibian margin. The continental crust beneath the Congo Craton is 40 km thick, shoaling to 35 km further SE. The velocity models show that massive high-velocity gabbroic intrusives are restricted to a narrow zone directly underneath Walvis Ridge and the COB in the south. This distribution of rift-related magmatism is not easily reconciled with models of continental breakup following the establishment of a large, axially symmetric plume in the Earth's mantle. Rift-related lithospheric stretching and associated transform faulting play an overriding role in locating magmatism, dividing the margin in a magma-dominated southern and an essentially amagmatic northern segment.

  20. Increase in Export Production in the Marginal Seas of the Northwestern Pacific in Response to Anthropogenic N Input (United States)

    Lee, K.; Ko, Y. H.; Moon, J. Y.


    The relative abundance of nitrate (N) over phosphorus (P) has increased significantly over the period since 1980 in the marginal seas (Yellow, East China and East seas) bordering the northwestern Pacific Ocean, located downstream of the populated and industrialized Asian continent. Analysis of datasets for anthropogenic N input, satellite chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), and seawater nutrient data ( 200,000 data points) reveal that transport of N originating from China has been responsible for enhancements of Chl-a in the marginal seas of the northwestern Pacific Ocean. In particular, the contribution of anthropogenic N to new production in these marginal seas is expected to grow considerably in the coming decades. This anthropogenically driven increase in the N content may potentially lead to a long-term change of these marginal seas from being N-limited to P-limited.

  1. Resolving the fine-scale deformation structure of continental hyperextension at the deep Galicia rift margin using seismic full waveform inversion. (United States)

    Davy, R. G.; Morgan, J. V.; Minshull, T. A.; Bull, J. M.; Bayrakci, G.


    Hyperextension of the continental crust during ultra-slow, magma-poor rifting is accommodated by a series of complex fault geometries, preceding continental breakup. At such margins there exists a discrepancy between the extension observed along these fault systems and the total observed thinning of the continental lithosphere, with several competing hypotheses on the responsible mechanism. Despite this, it is agreed that a significant amount of the observed discrepancy is the result of unaccounted sub-seismic fault structure. In order to seismically image these fine scale structures it is imperative to develop accurate and well resolved velocity models of the subsurface, for the purpose of migrating reflection seismic images. Velocity models with the required resolution are unattainable using classic travel time tomography. However, seismic full waveform inversion could provide a suitable alternative to produce the required velocity models, with the method having the ability to resolve velocity structure up to an order of magnitude greater than that of travel time tomography. In this study we apply acoustic full waveform inversion to a 2D wide-angle seismic data set, collected at the hyperextended domain of the deep Galicia rift margin. Despite the challenging environment and dataset, our results show promising increases in the resolution of existing velocity models, particularly in correlation to the normal faulting associated with highly deformed continental fault blocks in the distal hyperextended domain.

  2. Role of carbonate platforms, continental margin sediments/volcanics and oceanic units in Tethyan assembly: evidence from the Eastern Taurides, Turkey (United States)

    Robertson, A. H. F.; Metin, Y.; Parlak, O.; Vergili, O.; Taslı, K.; Inan, N.; Soycan, H.


    We focus here on the palaeotectonic development of the Eastern Tauride region in its wider regional setting related to the opening and closure of Neotethys. Continental margin-type, ophiolitic and melange units are widely exposed in eastern central Turkey (Gürün, Darende, Hekimhan and Pinarbaşı areas). These units restore as a Triassic rifted continental margin that underwent passive margin subsidence during Jurassic-Early Cretaceous. Ophiolitic rocks (e.g. Pınarbaşı, Gürün area, Kuluncak, Hekimhan, Divriği) formed by spreading above a northward-dipping intra-oceanic subduction zone during Late Cretaceous time. Melanges associated with the emplaced ophiolites are interpreted as parts of the former rifted margins and the early formed (Triassic) oceanic crust that were assembled into an accretionary prism during latest Cretaceous time. The emplacement of the continental margin units, melanges and ophiolites onto the Eastern Tauride platform (e.g. Gürün Autochthon) was driven by trench-margin collision during latest Cretaceous time (Campanian-Maastrichtian). The allochthonous units were re-thrust further south during Early to Mid-Eocene time related to regional continental collision. Eocene thrusting strongly affected the western (Pınarbaşı) and central (Gürün) areas of the region studied, whereas areas further east mainly experienced folding. Specifically, there is little evidence of Eocene thrusting Darende Basin in the east. This suggests that the thrusting was focused by the collision of irregularly shaped microcontinents while intervening areas remained less affected. The complex present-day Eastern Tauride outcrop then reflects post-collisional suture tightening (Miocene) and Plio-Quaternary strike-slip (transpression/transtension) related to the westward 'escape' of Anatolia. As a result of this, different levels of the thrust stack are commonly juxtaposed complicating reconstruction. After taking account of several alternative tectonic models

  3. Noble metals in ferromanganese crusts from marginal seas of the Northwest Pacific (United States)

    Astakhova, N. V.


    Based on data on the concentration of noble metals (Au, Ag, Pt, Os, Ir, and Ru) in bulk samples of ferromanganese crusts, the presence of inclusions of micro- and nanosized grains of Ag, Au, Pd, and Pt, often with impurities of other elements, as well as their chaotic distribution, three sources of incorporation of these metals into ore crusts of Far Eastern seas are suggested: seawater, postvolcanic gas-hydrothermal fluids, and hydrothermal plumes. The presence of grains of platinoids and gold in ferromanganese crusts on only some mounts may result from peculiarities in the formation of volcanic rocks on the ancient continental basement.

  4. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Quattrini

    Full Text Available The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa, demersal fish (69 taxa, and decapod crustacean (34 taxa assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While

  5. Contributions of groundwater pumping to global sea level rise: Continental-scale and interannual analysis (United States)

    Yeh, P. J. F.; Chen, Y.; Lo, M. H.; Wada, Y.; Famiglietti, J. S.; Reager, J. T., II; Zhang, C.; Wu, R. J.


    Groundwater depletion (GWD) is an anthropogenic driver of changes in terrestrial water storage (TWS). Despite small in magnitudes comparing to most terrestrial hydrologic fluxes, it has important long-term contributions to global sea level rise (SLR). Past studies on the evaluation of the contributions from GWD to SLR were generally limited to a global-scale context and a long-term average perspective. This study examines the impacts of GWD on both terrestrial and atmospheric water balances and quantify the respective contribution to global sea level rise (SLR) using a global climate modelling approach. The annual contributions to global SLR from each continent during the modelling period 1900-1999 are quantified and compared. The contribution from each continent can be decomposed into a direct effect via the change in continental river discharges (R) and an indirect effect via the change in atmosphere water vapour convergence from ocean to land (C). An increase in R and a reduction in C would contribute positively to global SLR. The contribution due to GWD to SLR is compared with the contribution due to natural variability of TWS. Through this study, different dynamics and mechanisms responsible for the GWD contribution to SLR in different continents and time horizons can be identified for better understanding this globally significant environmental issue under warming climate.

  6. Sedimentology and geochemistry of surface sediments, outer continental shelf, southern Bering Sea (United States)

    Gardner, J.V.; Dean, W.E.; Vallier, T.L.


    Present-day sediment dynamics, combined with lowerings of sea level during the Pleistocene, have created a mixture of sediments on the outer continental shelf of the southern Bering Sea that was derived from the Alaskan Mainland, the Aleutian Islands, and the Pribilof ridge. Concentrations of finer-grained, higher-organic sediments in the region of the St. George basin have further modified regional distribution patterns of sediment composition. Q-mode factor analysis of 58 variables related to sediment size and composition - including content of major, minor, and trace elements, heavy and light minerals, and clay minerals - reveals three dominant associations of sediment: 1. (1) The most significant contribution, forming a coarse-grained sediment scattered over most of the shelf consists of felsic sediment derived from the generally quartz-rich rocks of the Alaskan mainland. This sediment contains relatively high concentrations of Si, Ba, Rb, quartz, garnet, epidote, metamorphic rock fragments, potassium feldspar, and illite. 2. (2) The next most important group, superimposed on the felsic group consists of andesitic sediment derived from the Aleutian Islands. This more mafic sediment contains relatively high concentrations of Na, Ca, Ti, Sr, V, Mn, Cu, Fe, Al, Co, Zn, Y, Yb, Ga, volcanic rock fragments, glass, clinopyroxene, smectite, and vermiculite. 3. (3) A local group of basaltic sediment, derived from rocks of the Pribilof Islands, is a subgroup of the Aleutian andesite group. Accumulation of fine-grained sediment in St. George basin has created a sediment group containing relatively high concentrations of C, S, U, Li, B, Zr, Ga, Hg, silt, and clay. Sediment of the Aleutian andesite group exhibits a strong gradient, or "plume", with concentrations decreasing away from Unimak Pass and toward St. George basin. The absence of present-day currents sufficient to move even clay-size material as well as the presence of Bering submarine canyon between the Aleutian

  7. Syn-collisional felsic magmatism and continental crust growth: A case study from the North Qilian Orogenic Belt at the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau (United States)

    Chen, Shuo; Niu, Yaoling; Xue, Qiqi


    The abundant syn-collisional granitoids produced and preserved at the northern Tibetan Plateau margin provide a prime case for studying the felsic magmatism as well as continental crust growth in response to continental collision. Here we present the results from a systematic study of the syn-collisional granitoids and their mafic magmatic enclaves (MMEs) in the Laohushan (LHS) and Machangshan (MCS) plutons from the North Qilian Orogenic Belt (NQOB). Two types of MMEs from the LHS pluton exhibit identical crystallization age ( 430 Ma) and bulk-rock isotopic compositions to their host granitoids, indicating their genetic link. The phase equilibrium constraints and pressure estimates for amphiboles from the LHS pluton together with the whole rock data suggest that the two types of MMEs represent two evolution products of the same hydrous andesitic magmas. In combination with the data on NQOB syn-collisional granitoids elsewhere, we suggest that the syn-collisional granitoids in the NQOB are material evidence of melting of ocean crust and sediment. The remarkable compositional similarity between the LHS granitoids and the model bulk continental crust in terms of major elements, trace elements, and some key element ratios indicates that the syn-collisional magmatism in the NQOB contributes to net continental crust growth, and that the way of continental crust growth in the Phanerozoic through syn-collisional felsic magmatism (production and preservation) is a straightforward process without the need of petrologically and physically complex processes.

  8. Monthly CO2 at A4HDYD station in a productive shallow marginal sea (Yellow Sea) with a seasonal thermocline: Controlling processes (United States)

    Xu, Xuemei; Zang, Kunpeng; Zhao, Huade; Zheng, Nan; Huo, Cheng; Wang, Juying


    Based upon 21 field surveys conducted from March 2011 to November 2013, monthly variation of carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2) and other carbon system parameters were investigated for the first time (to our knowledge) at A4HDYD station (38°40‧N, 122°10‧E) located in the North Yellow Sea, a region with a seasonal thermocline. Surface pCO2 was undersaturated from March to May and nearly in equilibrium with the atmosphere from June to August. During September and November, pCO2 declined to a lower level than that from June to August, but reached the highest level in December. In contrast, pCO2 declined to atmospheric CO2 levels in February. Overall, the study area was a net CO2 sink at a rate of 0.85 ± 0.59 mol C m- 2 yr- 1. The underlying processes governing the variation of pCO2 were also examined. In general, temperature had an important influence on the monthly variation of pCO2, but its effect was counterbalanced by biological production in spring and vertical mixing in early winter. Our study indicated that dynamic mechanism studies based on high temporal resolution observations are urgently needed to understand the complexity of the carbon cycle and detect biogeochemical changes or ecosystem responses to climate change on continental margins.

  9. Late Pleistocene Sea level on the New Jersey Margin: Implications to eustasy and deep-sea temperature (United States)

    Wright, J.D.; Sheridan, R.E.; Miller, K.G.; Uptegrove, J.; Cramer, B.S.; Browning, J.V.


    We assembled and dated a late Pleistocene sea-level record based on sequence stratigraphy from the New Jersey margin and compared it with published records from fossil uplifted coral reefs in New Guinea, Barbados, and Araki Island, as well as a composite sea-level estimate from scaling of Red Sea isotopic values. Radiocarbon dates, amino acid racemization data, and superposition constrain the ages of large (20-80??m) sea-level falls from New Jersey that correlate with Marine Isotope Chrons (MIC) 2, 3b, 4, 5b, and 6 (the past 130??kyr). The sea-level records for MIC 1, 2, 4, 5e, and 6 are similar to those reported from New Guinea, Barbados, Araki, and the Red Sea; some differences exist among records for MIC 3. Our record consistently provides the shallowest sea level estimates for MIC3 (??? 25-60??m below present); it agrees most closely with the New Guinea record of Chappell (2002; ??? 35-70??m), but contrasts with deeper estimates provided by Araki (??? 85-95??m) and the Red Sea (50-90??m). Comparison of eustatic estimates with benthic foraminiferal ??18O records shows that the deep sea cooled ??? 2.5????C between MIC 5e and 5d (??? 120-110??ka) and that near freezing conditions persisted until Termination 1a (14-15??ka). Sea-level variations between MIC 5b and 2 (ca. 90-20??ka) follow a well-accepted 0.1???/10??m linear variation predicted by ice-growth effects on foraminiferal ??18O values. The pattern of deep-sea cooling follows a previously established hysteresis loop between two stable modes of operation. Cold, near freezing deep-water conditions characterize most of the past 130??kyr punctuated only by two warm intervals (the Holocene/MIC 1 and MIC 5e). We link these variations to changes in Northern Component Water (NCW). ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Ophiolitic basement to the Great Valley forearc basin, California, from seismic and gravity data: Implications for crustal growth at the North American continental margin (United States)

    Godfrey, N.J.; Beaudoin, B.C.; Klemperer, S.L.; Levander, A.; Luetgert, J.; Meltzer, A.; Mooney, W.; Tréhu, A.


    The nature of the Great Valley basement, whether oceanic or continental, has long been a source of controversy. A velocity model (derived from a 200-km-long east-west reflection-refraction profile collected south of the Mendocino triple junction, northern California, in 1993), further constrained by density and magnetic models, reveals an ophiolite underlying the Great Valley (Great Valley ophiolite), which in turn is underlain by a westward extension of lower-density continental crust (Sierran affinity material). We used an integrated modeling philosophy, first modeling the seismic-refraction data to obtain a final velocity model, and then modeling the long-wavelength features of the gravity data to obtain a final density model that is constrained in the upper crust by our velocity model. The crustal section of Great Valley ophiolite is 7-8 km thick, and the Great Valley ophiolite relict oceanic Moho is at 11-16 km depth. The Great Valley ophiolite does not extend west beneath the Coast Ranges, but only as far as the western margin of the Great Valley, where the 5-7-km-thick Great Valley ophiolite mantle section dips west into the present-day mantle. There are 16-18 km of lower-density Sierran affinity material beneath the Great Valley ophiolite mantle section, such that a second, deeper, "present-day" continental Moho is at about 34 km depth. At mid-crustal depths, the boundary between the eastern extent of the Great Valley ophiolite and the western extent of Sierran affinity material is a near-vertical velocity and density discontinuity about 80 km east of the western margin of the Great Valley. Our model has important implications for crustal growth at the North American continental margin. We suggest that a thick ophiolite sequence was obducted onto continental material, probably during the Jurassic Nevadan orogeny, so that the Great Valley basement is oceanic crust above oceanic mantle vertically stacked above continental crust and continental mantle.

  11. Cretaceous high-pressure metamorphic belts of the Central Pontides (northern Turkey): pre-collisional Pacific-type accretionary continental growth of Laurasian Margin (United States)

    Aygul, Mesut; Okay, Aral I.; Oberhaensli, Roland; Sudo, Masafumi


    Cretaceous blueschist-facies metamorphic rocks crop out widely in the central part of the Pontides, an east-west trending mountain belt in northern Turkey. They comprise an accretionary wedge along to the southern Laurasian active continental margin and predate the opening of Black Sea basin. From North to South, the wedge consists of a low grade metaflysch unit with marble, Na-amphibole-bearing metabasite and serpentinite blocks. An extensional shear zone separates the accreted distal terrigenous sediments from HP/LT micaschists and metabasites of oceanic origin, known as Domuzdaǧ Complex. The shear zone reaches up to one km in thickness and consists of tectonic slices of serpentinite, metabasite, marble, phyllite and micaschist with top to the NW sense of shear. The Domuzdaǧ Complex predominantly consists of carbonaceous micaschist and metabasite with serpentinite, and minor metachert, marble and metagabbro. Metabasites consist mainly of epidote-blueschists sometimes with garnet. Fresh lawsonite-blueschists are found as blocks within the shear zone. Peak metamorphic assemblages in the micaschists are chloritoid-glaucophane and garnet-chloritoid-glaucophane-lawsonite in addition to phengite, paragonite, quartz, chlorite and rutile (P: 17 ± 1 Kbar, T: 390-450 °C). To the south, lithologies change slightly, with metabasite and thick, pale marble with few metachert and metapelitic horizons. The degree of metamorphism also changes. The metabasites range from high-pressure upper-greenschist facies with growth of sodic-amphibole to lower greenschist without any HP index mineral, suggesting a general decrease in pressure toward south within the prism. While Domuzdaǧ Complex represents deep-seated underplated oceanic sediments and basalts, the carbonate-rich southern parts can be interpreted as seamounts integrated into the accretionary prism. Ar/Ar dating on phengite separates both from terrigenous and oceanic metasediments give consistent plateau ages of 100 ± 2

  12. Benthic Oxygen Uptake in the Arctic Ocean Margins - A Case Study at the Deep-Sea Observatory HAUSGARTEN (Fram Strait.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecile Cathalot

    Full Text Available The past decades have seen remarkable changes in the Arctic, a hotspot for climate change. Nevertheless, impacts of such changes on the biogeochemical cycles and Arctic marine ecosystems are still largely unknown. During cruises to the deep-sea observatory HAUSGARTEN in July 2007 and 2008, we investigated the biogeochemical recycling of organic matter in Arctic margin sediments by performing shipboard measurements of oxygen profiles, bacterial activities and biogenic sediment compounds (pigment, protein, organic carbon, and phospholipid contents. Additional in situ oxygen profiles were performed at two sites. This study aims at characterizing benthic mineralization activity along local bathymetric and latitudinal transects. The spatial coverage of this study is unique since it focuses on the transition from shelf to Deep Ocean, and from close to the ice edge to more open waters. Biogeochemical recycling across the continental margin showed a classical bathymetric pattern with overall low fluxes except for the deepest station located in the Molloy Hole (5500 m, a seafloor depression acting as an organic matter depot center. A gradient in benthic mineralization rates arises along the latitudinal transect with clearly higher values at the southern stations (average diffusive oxygen uptake of 0.49 ± 0.18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 compared to the northern sites (0.22 ± 0.09 mmol O2 m-2 d-1. The benthic mineralization activity at the HAUSGARTEN observatory thus increases southward and appears to reflect the amount of organic matter reaching the seafloor rather than its lability. Although organic matter content and potential bacterial activity clearly follow this gradient, sediment pigments and phospholipids exhibit no increase with latitude whereas satellite images of surface ocean chlorophyll a indicate local seasonal patterns of primary production. Our results suggest that predicted increases in primary production in the Arctic Ocean could induce a larger

  13. Influence of the Atlantic inflow and Mediterranean outflow currents on late Quaternary sedimentary facies of the Gulf of Cadiz continental margin (United States)

    Nelson, C.H.; Baraza, J.; Maldonado, A.; Rodero, J.; Escutia, C.; Barber, J.H.


    facies is composed of gravelly, shelly coarse to medium sand lags and large sand dunes on the valley margins. By comparison, the northwestern drift contains coarse silt interbeds and the adjacent valley floors exhibit small to medium sand dunes of fine sand. Because of the complex pattern of contour-parallel and valley-perpendicular flow paths of the Mediterranean outflow current, the larger-scale bedforms and coarser-grained sediment of valley facies trend perpendicular to the smaller-scale bedforms and finer-grained contourite deposits of adjacent sediment drift facies. Radiocarbon ages verify that the inner shelf shoreface sand facies (sedimentation rate 7.1 cm/kyr), mid-shelf mud facies (maximum rate 234 cm/kyr) and surface sandy contourite layer of 0.2-1.2 m thickness on the Cadiz slope (1-12 cm/kyr) have deposited during Holocene time when high sea level results in maximum water depth over the Gibraltar sill and full development of the Atlantic inflow and Mediterranean outflow currents. The transgressive sand sheet of the shelf, and the mud layer underlying the surface contourite sand sheet of the slope, correlate, respectively, with the late Pleistocene sea level lowstand and apparent weak Mediterranean outflow current.

  14. Barium as a productivity proxy in continental margin sediments: A study from the eastern Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    PrakashBabu, C.; Brumsack, H.-J.; Schnetger, B.; Boettcher, M.E.

    measurements by ICP-MS is men- tioned elsewhere (Schnetger, 1997). Calcium car- bonate was determined following the procedure described in Prakash Babu et al. (1999). Sulfur isotope measurements were carried out by combustion isotope ratio-monitoring mass... spectrometry as described by Bo«ttcher et al. (1998) for BaSO 4 and Bo«ttcher and Schnetger (2002) for total sedimentary sulfur. Samples were combusted in an elemental analyzer (Carlo Erba Ea 1108) connected to a Finnigan MAT 252 mass spectrometer via a...

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    %) was found at slope sites within the OMZ of similar depth and near-identical bottom-water O2 concentrations. A strong re- lationship between %Corg and sediment grain size was seen for sediments within the OMZ, but lower relative Corg con- tents were found... by O2 availability, can explain the large ma- jority of %Corg variability when the shelf and slope are con- sidered as a whole. However, while O2 becomes the primary influence on %Corg for sediments below the OMZ, %Silt is the primary influence across...

  16. Meiofaunal distribution across the oxygen minimum zone of continental margin, North East Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ansari, Z.A.; Badesab, S.; Singh, R.; Kitazato, H.

    with the organic enrichment, from which these epistratum feeders scrape off bacteria and unicellular eukaryotes. Further, because of the coarser sediment at the shelf, the upper sediment layers dry out faster and are therefore disadvantageous to a deposit...

  17. Sea level anomaly on the Patagonian continental shelf: Trends, annual patterns and geostrophic flows (United States)

    Saraceno, M.; Piola, A. R.; Strub, P. T.


    Abstract We study the annual patterns and linear trend of satellite sea level anomaly (SLA) over the southwest South Atlantic continental shelf (SWACS) between 54ºS and 36ºS. Results show that south of 42°S the thermal steric effect explains nearly 100% of the annual amplitude of the SLA, while north of 42°S it explains less than 60%. This difference is due to the halosteric contribution. The annual wind variability plays a minor role over the whole continental shelf. The temporal linear trend in SLA ranges between 1 and 5 mm/yr (95% confidence level). The largest linear trends are found north of 39°S, at 42°S and at 50°S. We propose that in the northern region the large positive linear trends are associated with local changes in the density field caused by advective effects in response to a southward displacement of the South Atlantic High. The causes of the relative large SLA trends in two southern coastal regions are discussed as a function meridional wind stress and river discharge. Finally, we combined the annual cycle of SLA with the mean dynamic topography to estimate the absolute geostrophic velocities. This approach provides the first comprehensive description of the seasonal component of SWACS circulation based on satellite observations. The general circulation of the SWACS is northeastward with stronger/weaker geostrophic currents in austral summer/winter. At all latitudes, geostrophic velocities are larger (up to 20 cm/s) close to the shelf‐break and decrease toward the coast. This spatio‐temporal pattern is more intense north of 45°S. PMID:27840784

  18. Evidence of a Neoproterozoic active continental margin - Geochemistry and isotope geology of high-grade paragneiss from the Ribeira Orogen, SE Brazil (United States)

    Capistrano, G. G.; Schmitt, R. S.; Medeiros, S. R.; Fernandes, G. L. F.


    Ediacaran paragneisses from the Palmital Unit are located in a key region, between two major tectonic domains of the Ribeira Orogen (in Rio de Janeiro, SE Brazil): the Cabo Frio Tectonic Domain and the Oriental Terrane. We present here petrographic, geochemical and isotopic data in order to partially unravel the origin and tectonic nature of the protoliths from these metamorphic rocks. Litharenites interpreted as immature sediments, mostly derived from the erosion of felsic rocks (granites/rhyolites and diorites/andesites) are here described. Multi-elements patterns and trace elements ratios reinforce an upper continental crust nature for the composition of the protoliths. These were probably located close to the source area and accommodated in semi-arid climate and high topography conditions. Tectonic discrimination diagrams indicate that the Palmital basin developed in an active continental margin, corroborated by the zircon detrital spectra. The main population of detrital zircon (ca. 750-550 Ma) is partially coeval with the age of the Rio Negro continental magmatic arc, resident in the Oriental Terrane. The Palmital basin could represent a forearc environment with no oceanic crust material, but only a continuous sedimentation of turbidites derived from the arc, with gradational bedding signifying a subaqueous environment, without outside tectonic disturbances. On the other hand, TDM ages of 1.6-1.8 Ga suggest that these sediments are not juvenile, indicating also a contribution from an ancient crust. This recycled continental crust could come either from the basement of the Oriental Terrane (which was not identified yet) or from the basement of the Cabo Frio Tectonic Domain. In the last assumption the Palmital deposition would be concomitant with the initiation of continental collision and the subduction of the passive margin of the Cabo Frio Tectonic Domain towards west. This unit was subsequently metamorphosed/deformed during the ca. 540 Ma collision between

  19. Comparison of hydrothermal activity between the Adriatic and the Red Sea rift margins (United States)

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


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

  20. Transport process of Pu isotope in marginal seas of the western North Pacific Ocean

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamada, Masatoshi [Department of Radiation Chemistry, Institute of Radiation Emergency Medicine, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki, 036-8564, Aomori (Japan); Zheng, Jian [Research Center for Radiation Protection, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, 4-9-1 Anagawa, Inage, 263-8555, Chiba (Japan)


    Significant quantities of Pu isotopes have been released into the marine environment as the result of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. Most radionuclides globally dispersed in atmospheric nuclear weapons testing were released into the environment during the 1950's and 1960's. In the western North Pacific Ocean, the principal source can be further distinguished as two distinct sources of Pu: close-in tropospheric fallout from nuclear weapons testing at the Pacific Proving Grounds (PPG) in the Marshall Islands and global stratospheric fallout. Since the {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratio is characteristic for the Pu emission source, information on Pu isotopic signature is very useful to better understand the transport process in the oceans and to identify the sources of Pu. The mean atom ratio of {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu from the global stratospheric fallout is 0.180 ±0.014 based on soil sample data, whereas that from close-in tropospheric fallout from the PPG is 0.33 - 0.36. The {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratios in seawater samples collected in marginal seas of the western North Pacific Ocean will provide important and useful data for understanding the process controlling Pu transport and for distinguishing future Pu sources. The objectives of this study were to measure the {sup 239+240}Pu concentrations and {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratios in seawater from the Sea of Okhotsk, Japan Sea, South China Sea and Sulu Sea and to discuss the transport process of Pu. Large-volume seawater samples (250 L each) were collected from the surface to the bottom in marginal seas of the western North Pacific Ocean with acoustically triggered quadruple PVC sampling bottles during the R/V Hakuho-Maru cruise. The {sup 239}Pu and {sup 240}Pu concentrations and {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratios were measured with a double-focusing SF-ICP-MS, which was equipped with a guard electrode to eliminate secondary discharge in the plasma and to enhance overall sensitivity. In

  1. Distribution and composition of verdine and glaucony facies from the sediments of the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thamban, M.; Rao, V.P.

    on the outer shelf. The distribution of verdine and glaucony facies on the southwestern margin of India is different from those of the distribution along the east coast of India, Senegal, and French Guiana margins, suggesting different paleogeography...

  2. Budget and residence time of {sup 210}Pb along the Gulf of Lion`s continental slope (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abassi, A.; Radakovitch, O.; Heussner, S.; Monaco, A. [Perpignan Univ., 66 (France). Lab. de Sedimentologie et Geochimie Marines


    Concentration of {sup 210}Pb has been measured in water and sediment trap samples collected on 7 experimental sites representative of the Gulf of Lion`s continental margin. This marine system is characterised by a major continental input through the Rhone river and a powerful along-slope cyclonic current (Northern Current). From the distribution of bulk {sup 210}Pb activities, it was intended to gain some information on the processes controlling the transport of trace metals at the ocean/continent boundary. Residence times of {sup 210}Pb relative to scavenging in surface waters (0-100 m) showed a constant along-slope (i.e., downstream) decrease that can be related to increasing concentrations in suspended particles. Annual time-series of {sup 210}Pb activities in settling particles were determined on samples collected by traps at 500 and 1000 m depth. From this data set, a budget for {sup 210}Pb on this margin was established which permitted to determine the flux of {sup 210}Pb theoretically adsorbed onto particles. This theoretical flux was compared, at each site, with fluxes effectively measured by traps and revealed that exchange processes - mainly in the form of large inputs of this nuclide (import of 47 to 93% of measured flux) - largely affect the {sup 210}Pb distribution on this continental margin. (author) 12 refs.

  3. Budget and residence time of 210Pb along the Gulf of Lion's continental slope (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abassi, A.; Radakovitch, O.; Heussner, S.; Monaco, A.


    Concentration of 210 Pb has been measured in water and sediment trap samples collected on 7 experimental sites representative of the Gulf of Lion's continental margin. This marine system is characterised by a major continental input through the Rhone river and a powerful along-slope cyclonic current (Northern Current). From the distribution of bulk 210 Pb activities, it was intended to gain some information on the processes controlling the transport of trace metals at the ocean/continent boundary. Residence times of 210 Pb relative to scavenging in surface waters (0-100 m) showed a constant along-slope (i.e., downstream) decrease that can be related to increasing concentrations in suspended particles. Annual time-series of 210 Pb activities in settling particles were determined on samples collected by traps at 500 and 1000 m depth. From this data set, a budget for 210 Pb on this margin was established which permitted to determine the flux of 210 Pb theoretically adsorbed onto particles. This theoretical flux was compared, at each site, with fluxes effectively measured by traps and revealed that exchange processes - mainly in the form of large inputs of this nuclide (import of 47 to 93% of measured flux) - largely affect the 210 Pb distribution on this continental margin. (author)

  4. 16 Years, 16 Cruises, 1.6 Billion Soundings: a Compilation of High-Resolution Multibeam Bathymetry of the Active Plate Boundary Along the Chilean Continental Margin (United States)

    Weinrebe, W.; Flueh, E. R.; Hasert, M.; Behrmann, J. H.; Voelker, D.; Geersen, J.; Ranero, C. R.; Diaz-Naveas, J. L.


    Chile, a country stranding the active plate boundary between the South-American and the Nazca Plate is afflicted by recurrent earthquakes and hazardous volcanic eruptions. The strongest earthquake ever recorded occurred here, and volcanic hazards are frequent. Consequently, this area has been studied by geoscientists for many years to improve the understanding of subduction zone processes. Swath bathymetry mapping of the ocean floor has proven to bear a large potential for the interpretation of subduction-related processes, such as tectonic deformation of the marine forearc, release and migration of fluids as well as earthquake-triggered mass wasting. Multibeam bathymetry data of 16 major cruises of German, British, and Chilean research vessels recorded between 1995 and December 2010, in total more than 10,000 data files comprising about 1.6 billion soundings, have now been carefully reprocessed, compiled and merged into a unifying set of high-resolution bathymetric maps of the Chilean continental margin from latitude 40°S to 20°S. The imprint of subsurface processes on the surface morphology is well displayed in the case of the Chilean continental margin. The 3,500 km long Chilean convergent margin is not uniform, as various segments with different tectonic characteristics can be distinguished. Major factors that control margin morphology and thus the style of subduction are (1) relief and structure of the incoming oceanic plate, (2) supply of trench sediment, (3) turbidite transport within the trench, and (4) the input of terrigeneous sediments down the continental slope. A major segment boundary occurs at latitude 32°-33° S where the hotspot-related volcanic chain of Juan Fernandez is presently subducting. South of the area of ridge subduction the trench is filled with turbidites, and accretionary ridges develop across the base of the slope along most of the segment, whereas north of this boundary the turbiditic infill is reduced and subduction erosion is

  5. SMOS sea ice product: Operational application and validation in the Barents Sea marginal ice zone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaleschke, Lars; Tian-Kunze, Xiangshan; Maaß, Nina


    Brightness temperatures at 1.4. GHz (L-band) measured by the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) Mission have been used to derive the thickness of sea ice. The retrieval method is applicable only for relatively thin ice and not during the melting period. Hitherto, the availability of ground...

  6. Structure and function of nematode communities across the Indian western continental margin and its oxygen minimum zone (United States)

    Singh, R.; Ingole, B. S.


    We studied patterns of nematode distribution along the western Indian continental margin to determine the influence of habitat heterogeneity and low oxygen levels on the community's taxonomic and functional structure. A single transect, perpendicular to the coast at 14° N latitude was sampled from 34 to 2546 m depth for biological and environmental variables during August 2007. The oxygen minimum zone extended from 102 to 1001 m. Nematodes (described and undescribed) were identified to species and classified according to biological and functional traits. A total of 110 nematode species belonging to 24 families were found along the transect. Three depth zones were identified: the shelf (depth range: 34-102 m; highest nematode mean density: 176.6 ± 37 ind 10 cm-2), the slope (525-1524 m; 124.3 ± 16 ind 10 cm-2), and the basin (2001-2546 m; 62.9 ± 2 ind 10 cm-2). Across the entire study area, the dominant species were Terschellingia longicaudata, Desmodora sp. 1, Sphaerolaimus gracilis, and Theristus ensifer; their maximum density was at shelf stations. Nematode communities in different zones differed in species composition. Chromadorita sp. 2 (2.78 %) and Sphaerolaimus gracilis (2.21 %) were dominant on the shelf, whereas Terschellingia longicaudata (4.73 %) and Desmodora sp. 1 (4.42 %) were dominant on the slope, but in the basin, Halalaimus sp. 1(1.11 %) and Acantholaimus elegans (1.11 %) were dominant. The information in a particular functional group was not a simple reflection of the information in species abundance. Ecological information captured by adult length, adult shape, and life-history strategy was less site-specific and thus differed notably from information contained in other taxonomic groups. The functional composition of nematodes was strongly linked to the organic-carbon and dissolved-oxygen concentration. Seven species were found exclusively in the oxygen minimum zone: Pselionema sp. 1, Choanolaimus sp. 2, Halichoanolaimus sp. 1, Cobbia dentata

  7. Fish community diversity in the middle continental shelf of the East China Sea (United States)

    Shan, Xiujuan; Jin, Xianshi; Zhou, Zhipeng; Dai, Fangqun


    The status of fishery stocks in the coastal waters of China is far from ideal, mainly due to climate change and the impacts of human activities (e.g., pollution and overfishing). Thus, the restoration and protection of fishery resources have become critical and complex. The stability and balanced structure of the fish community is a basic foundation for the protection of fishery resources. Based on data collected from bottom trawls by the R/V Beidou in continental shelf of the East China Sea in November 2006 and February 2007, changes in the composition and diversity of fish species and functional groups were analyzed. The research area was divided into offshore waters and inshore waters by the two-way indicator species analysis (TWIA). The results showed that the dominant species were different between offshore waters and inshore waters and also varied with the survey time. The most abundant family was Sciaenidae and Teraponidae in November 2006, Sciaenidae, Engraulidae and Triglidae were most abundant in February 2007. The species belonged mainly to mobile piscivores (G6), benthivores/piscivores (G4), benthivores (G3) and planktivores (G1), and the dominant species in November 2006 were commercial species (e.g. Larimichthys polyactis and Trichiurus japonicus), but small-sized species were dominant in February 2007 (e.g., Harpadon nehereus, Benthosema pterotum, Champsodon capensis, and Acropoma japonicum). The species diversity showed a similar trend as the functional group diversity. Stations with higher diversity were mainly distributed in inshore waters in February 2007, whereas higher diversity was found in offshore waters in November 2006. The highest biomass and species number were found in G6 group, followed by the G4, G5 and G1 groups. The distribution of the number of individuals of each functional group showed the opposite trend as that of the biomass distribution. In addition, the size spectra were mainly concentrated around 3-29 cm, and the individual

  8. Uplift history of a transform continental margin revealed by the stratigraphic record: The case of the Agulhas transform margin along the Southern African Plateau (United States)

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


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

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

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


    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.

  10. Mineralogy and Origin of Sediments From Drill Holes on the Continental Margin Off Florida, 1965-1969 (NODC Accession 7100714) (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Drill cores obtained during the Joint Oceanographic Institutions' Deep Earth Sampling Program from the continental shelf, the Florida-Hatteras Slope, and the Blake...

  11. EX1205L2: Northeast Canyons and Continental Margins Exploration on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer between 20120728 and 20120803 (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — EX1205 Leg 2 is the final cruise of the 2012 season for Okeanos Explorer (EX). It will be primarily focused on supplementing Northeast canyon and continental shelf...

  12. EX1204: Northeastern Canyons and Continental Margins Exploration on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer between 20120529 and 20120613 (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — During the Okeanos Explorer (EX) mission EX1204, the vessel will sail from Norfolk, VA, along the continental shelf break of the U.S. East Coast from Virginia to...

  13. The Precipitation Response Over the Continental United States to Cold Tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures (United States)

    Wang, Hailan; Schubert, Siegfried D.


    The dominant pattern of annual mean SST variability in the Pacific (in its cold phase) produces pronounced precipitation deficits over the continental United States (U.S.) throughout the annual cycle. This study investigates the physical and dynamical processes through which the cold Pacific pattern affects the U.S. precipitation, particularly the causes for the peak dry impacts in fall, as well as the nature of the differences between the summer and fall responses. Results, based on observations and reanalyses, show that the peak precipitation deficit over the U.S. during fall is primarily due to reduced atmospheric moisture transport from the Gulf of Mexico into the central and eastern U.S., and secondarily due to a reduction in local evaporation from land-atmosphere feedback. The former is associated with a strong and systematic low-level northeasterly flow anomaly over the southeastern U.S. that counteracts the northwest branch of the climatological flow associated with the north Atlantic subtropical high. The above northeasterly anomaly is maintained by both diabatic heating anomalies in the nearby Intra-American Seas and diabatic cooling anomalies in the tropical Pacific. In contrast, the modest summertime precipitation deficit over the U.S. is mainly the result of local land-atmosphere feedback; the rather weak and disorganized atmospheric circulation anomalies over and to the south of the U.S. make little contribution. An evaluation of NSIPP-1 AGCM simulations shows it to be deficient in simulating the warm season tropical convection responses over the Intra-American Seas to the cold Pacific pattern and thereby the precipitation responses over the U.S., a problem that appears to be common to many AGCMs.

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

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


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

  15. 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.


    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)

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

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


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

  17. The role of tectonic inheritance in the morphostructural evolution of the Galicia continental margin and adjacent abyssal plains from digital bathymetric model (DBM) analysis (NW Spain) (United States)

    Maestro, A.; Jané, G.; Llave, E.; López-Martínez, J.; Bohoyo, F.; Druet, M.


    The identification of recent major tectonic structures in the Galicia continental margin and adjacent abyssal plains was carried out by means of a quantitative analysis of the linear structures having bathymetric expression on the seabed. It was possible to identify about 5800 lineaments throughout the entire study area, of approximately 271,500 km2. Most lineaments are located in the Charcot and Coruña highs, in the western sector of the Galicia Bank, in the area of the Marginal Platforms and in the northern sector of the margin. Analysis of the lineament orientations shows a predominant NE-SW direction and three relative maximum directions: NW-SE, E-W and N-S. The total length of the lineaments identified is over 44,000 km, with a mode around 5000 m and an average length of about 7800 m. In light of different tectonic studies undertaken in the northwestern margin of the Iberian Peninsula, we establish that the lineaments obtained from analysis of the digital bathymetric model of the Galicia continental margin and adjacent abyssal plains would correspond to fracture systems. In general, the orientation of lineaments corresponds to main faults, tectonic structures following the directions of ancient faults that resulted from late stages of the Variscan orogeny and Mesozoic extension phases related to Triassic rifting and Upper Jurassic to Early Cretaceous opening of the North Atlantic Ocean. The N-S convergence between Eurasian and African plates since Palaeogene times until the Miocene, and NW-SE convergence from Neogene to present, reactivated the Variscan and Mesozoic fault systems and related physiography.

  18. Characterization of Sedimentary Deposits Using usSEABED for Large-scale Mapping, Modeling and Research of U.S.Continental Margins (United States)

    Williams, S. J.; Reid, J. A.; Arsenault, M. A.; Jenkins, C.


    Geologic maps of offshore areas containing detailed morphologic features and sediment character can serve many scientific and operational purposes. Such maps have been lacking, but recent computer technology and software to capture diverse marine data are offering promise. Continental margins, products of complex geologic history and dynamic oceanographic processes, dominated by the Holocene marine transgression, contain landforms which provide a variety of important functions: critical habitats for fish, ship navigation, national defense, and engineering activities (i.e., oil and gas platforms, pipeline and cable routes, wind-energy sites) and contain important sedimentary records. Some shelf areas also contain sedimentary deposits such as sand and gravel, regarded as potential aggregate resources for mitigating coastal erosion, reducing vulnerability to hazards, and restoring ecosystems. Because coastal and offshore areas are increasingly important, knowledge of the framework geology and marine processes is useful to many. Especially valuable are comprehensive and integrated digital databases based on data from original sources in the marine community. Products of interest are GIS maps containing thematic information such as seafloor physiography, geology, sediment character and texture, seafloor roughness, and geotechnical engineering properties. These map products are useful to scientists modeling nearshore and shelf processes as well as planners and managers. The USGS with partners is leading a Nation-wide program to gather a wide variety of extant marine geologic data into the usSEABED system (http://walrus.wr.usgs/usseabed). This provides a centralized, fully integrated digital database of marine geologic data collected over the past 50 years by USGS, other federal and state agencies, universities and private companies. To date, approximately 325,000 data points from the U.S. EEZ reside in usSEABED. The usSEABED, which combines a broad array of physical data

  19. Holocene Paleoceanography of the Chukchi Sea / Alaskan Margin, Western Arctic Ocean (United States)

    McKay, J. L.; Hillaire-Marcel, C.; de Vernal, A.; Polyak, L.; Darby, D.


    A multi-proxy approach to the analysis of deep-sea sediment cores has been used to investigate paleoceanographical changes in the western Arctic. This approach includes stable isotopic analysis of{ \\it Neogloboquadrina pachyderma} (Np), the dominant planktonic foraminifera in the Arctic, which lives along the pycnocline that separates the cold, low salinity surface water from the underlying warmer water mass of North Atlantic origin. Palynological analyses focus on dinocyst assemblages that are usually well preserved in Arctic seas and include several species, thus allowing treatment of data (modern analogue technique) for quantitative reconstruction of sea-surface parameters, including maximum summer temperature and seasonal extent of sea-ice cover (cf. de Vernal et al., Paleoceanography, 2005). Work in the Chukchi Sea has shown that larger (i.e., heavier, possibly mature) specimens of Np are characterized by a lower oxygen isotopic composition relative to smaller (i.e., possibly juvenile) specimens that live at shallower depths, reflecting calcification of larger Np shells on top of the warmer North Atlantic Water mass (cf. Hillaire-Marcel et al., Quat. Sci. Rev., 2004). These results suggest that a reverse thermocline (warmer water underlying colder water) persisted throughout the Holocene, and that the gradients between surface and subsurface waters were stronger during the early Holocene, which may indicate greater influx of North Atlantic Water at this time. It is also possible that the isotopic composition of the planktonic foraminifera was influenced by enhanced sea-ice formation and sinking of isotopically-light brines during the early Holocene. This second hypothesis is compatible with reconstructions from dinocysts that suggest maximum sea-ice extent during the early Holocene. Preliminary results from core HLY0501-05 collected in the Beaufort Sea off the Alaskan Margin during Leg 1 of the HOTRAX 2005 Expedition show results consistent with those of the

  20. {sup 137}Cs as tracer of the origin of allochthonous sediments in the Southeast Continental Margin of Brazil; {sup 137}Cs como tracador da origem de sedimentos aloctones na Margem Continental Sudeste do Brasil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferreira, Paulo A.L.; Mahiques, Michel M.; FIgueira, Rubens C.L., E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail: [Universidade de Sao Paulo (IO/USP), SP (Brazil). Instituto Oceanografico; Franca, Elvis J., E-mail: [Centro Regional de Ciencias Nucleares do Nordeste (CRCN-NE/CNEN-PE), Recife, PE (Brazil)


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

  1. Deep-Sea Mega-Epibenthic Assemblages from the SW Portuguese Margin (NE Atlantic Subjected to Bottom-Trawling Fisheries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia P. Ramalho


    Full Text Available Bottom-trawling fisheries are a common threat to the health of continental margins worldwide. Together with numerous environmental and biological processes, physical disturbance induced by trawlers can largely shape the benthic habitats and their associated assemblages. At the SW Portuguese Margin, crustacean bottom trawlers have exploited deep-sea habitats for a few decades, but its effects on the benthic biodiversity are practically unknown. During the spring-summer of 2013 and 2014, several Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV video transects were used to investigate mega-epibenthic abundance, composition, and diversity in soft-sediment areas subjected to varying trawling pressures off Sines and Setúbal (200–800 m. Differences in mega-epibenthic assemblages were linked with environmental changes (depth, grain size, primary productivity and trawling disturbance. The effect of trawling was assessed between segments with similar habitat characteristics, i.e., muddy-sand bottoms between 300 and 500 m. Areas subjected to intensive trawling pressure showed a generally flattened seabed, with abundant recent trawl marks (up to 3 scars.100 m−1, indicating that the seabed physical integrity was compromised. Significant negative correlations were detected between various mega-epibenthic diversity indices [S, H′, and ET(20] and trawling pressure (h.cell−1.y−1. Furthermore, the distinct mega-epibenthic assemblages and absence of several sessile erect morphospecies at both low and highly disturbed locations by trawling off Sines, namely all seapen morphospecies found in non-trawled areas, demonstrates the negative influence of trawling fisheries on the benthic component of the study area. Also, low dissimilarity between assemblages from the main fishing grounds and the adjacent low-disturbance locations, suggests that the potentially negative influence of trawling can extend beyond the targeted areas (e.g., by the plumes of re-suspended sediments. The

  2. The Floe Size Distribution in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (United States)

    Schweiger, A. J. B.; Stern, H. L., III; Stark, M.; Zhang, J.; Steele, M.; Hwang, P. B.


    Several key processes in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) of the Arctic Ocean are related to the size of the ice floes, whose diameters range from meters to tens of kilometers. The floe size distribution (FSD) influences the mechanical properties of the ice cover, air-sea momentum and heat transfer, lateral melting, and light penetration. However, no existing sea-ice/ocean models currently simulate the FSD in the MIZ. Model development depends on observations of the FSD for parameterization, calibration, and validation. To support the development and implementation of the FSD in the Marginal Ice Zone Modeling and Assimilation System (MIZMAS), we have analyzed the FSD in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas using multiple sources of satellite imagery: NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra and Aqua satellites (250 m pixel size), the USGS Landsat 8 satellite (80 m pixel size), the Canadian Space Agency's synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on RADARSAT (50 meter pixel size), and declassified National Technical Means imagery from the Global Fiducials Library (GFL) of the USGS (1 m pixel size). The procedure for identifying ice floes in the imagery begins with manually delineating cloud-free regions (if necessary). A threshold is then chosen to separate ice from water. Morphological operations and other semi-automated techniques are used to identify individual floes, whose properties are then easily calculated. We use the mean caliper diameter as the measure of floe size. The FSD is adequately described by a power-law in which the exponent characterizes the relative number of large and small floes. Changes in the exponent over time and space reflect changes in physical processes in the MIZ, such as sea-ice deformation, fracturing, and melting. We report results of FSD analysis for the spring and summer of 2013 and 2014, and show how the FSD will be incorporated into the MIZMAS model.

  3. An upwelling model for the Phosphoria sea: A Permian, ocean-margin sea in the northwest United States (United States)

    Piper, D.Z.; Link, P.K.


    The Permian Phosphoria Formation, a petroleum source rock and world-class phosphate deposit, was deposited in an epicratonic successor basin on the western margin of North America. We calculate the seawater circulation in the basin during deposition of the lower ore zone in the Meade Peak Member from the accumulation rates of carbonate fluorapatite and trace elements. The model gives the exchange rate of water between the Phosphoria sea and the open ocean to the west in terms of an upwelling rate (84 m yr-1) and residence time (4.2 yr) of seawater in the basin. These hydrographic properties supported a mean rate of primary productivity of 0.87 g m-2 d-1 of carbon in the uppermost few tens of meters of the water column (the photic zone) and denitrifying redox conditions in the bottom water (below approximately 150 m depth). High rain rates, onto the sea floor, of the organic matter that hosted the phosphate and several trace elements contributed to the accumulation of phosphorite, chert, and black shales and mudstones. Evaporation in the Goose Egg basin to the east of the Phosphoria basin ensured the import of surface seawater from the Phosphoria sea. Budgets of water, salt, phosphate, and oxygen, plus the minor accumulation of the biomarker gammacerane, show that exchange of water between the two basins was limited, possibly by the shallow carbonate platform that separated the two basins.

  4. IODP workshop: developing scientific drilling proposals for the Argentina Passive Volcanic Continental Margin (APVCM) - basin evolution, deep biosphere, hydrates, sediment dynamics and ocean evolution (United States)

    Flood, Roger D.; Violante, Roberto A.; Gorgas, Thomas; Schwarz, Ernesto; Grützner, Jens; Uenzelmann-Neben, Gabriele; Hernández-Molina, F. Javier; Biddle, Jennifer; St-Onge, Guillaume; Workshop Participants, Apvcm


    The Argentine margin contains important sedimentological, paleontological and chemical records of regional and local tectonic evolution, sea level, climate evolution and ocean circulation since the opening of the South Atlantic in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous as well as the present-day results of post-depositional chemical and biological alteration. Despite its important location, which underlies the exchange of southern- and northern-sourced water masses, the Argentine margin has not been investigated in detail using scientific drilling techniques, perhaps because the margin has the reputation of being erosional. However, a number of papers published since 2009 have reported new high-resolution and/or multichannel seismic surveys, often combined with multi-beam bathymetric data, which show the common occurrence of layered sediments and prominent sediment drifts on the Argentine and adjacent Uruguayan margins. There has also been significant progress in studying the climatic records in surficial and near-surface sediments recovered in sediment cores from the Argentine margin. Encouraged by these recent results, our 3.5-day IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program) workshop in Buenos Aires (8-11 September 2015) focused on opportunities for scientific drilling on the Atlantic margin of Argentina, which lies beneath a key portion of the global ocean conveyor belt of thermohaline circulation. Significant opportunities exist to study the tectonic evolution, paleoceanography and stratigraphy, sedimentology, and biosphere and geochemistry of this margin.

  5. Habitat compression and expansion of sea urchins in response to changing climate conditions on the California continental shelf and slope (1994-2013) (United States)

    Sato, Kirk N.; Levin, Lisa A.; Schiff, Kenneth


    Echinoid sea urchins with distributions along the continental shelf and slope of the eastern Pacific often dominate the megafauna community. This occurs despite their exposure to naturally low dissolved oxygen (DO) waters (calcium carbonate (ΩCaCO3<1). Here we present vertical depth distribution and density analyses of historical otter trawl data collected in the Southern California Bight (SCB) from 1994 to 2013 to address the question: Do changes in echinoid density and species' depth distributions along the continental margin in the SCB reflect observed secular or interannual changes in climate? Deep-dwelling burrowing urchins (Brissopsis pacifica, Brisaster spp. and Spatangus californicus), which are adapted to low-DO, low-pH conditions appeared to have expanded their vertical distributions and populations upslope over the past decade (2003-2013), and densities of the deep pink urchin, Strongylocentrotus fragilis, increased significantly in the upper 500 m of the SCB. Conversely, the shallower urchin, Lytechinus pictus, exhibited depth shoaling and density decreases within the upper 200 m of the SCB from 1994 to 2013. Oxygen and pH in the SCB also vary inter-annually due to varying strengths of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Changes in depth distributions and densities were correlated with bi-monthly ENSO climate indices in the region. Our results suggest that both a secular trend in ocean deoxygenation and acidification and varying strength of ENSO may be linked to echinoid species distributions and densities, creating habitat compression in some and habitat expansion in others. Potential life-history mechanisms underlying depth and density changes observed over these time periods include migration, mortality, and recruitment. These types of analyses are needed for a broad suite of benthic species in order to identify and manage climate-sensitive species on the margin.

  6. Shallow methylmercury production in the marginal sea ice zone of the central Arctic Ocean. (United States)

    Heimbürger, Lars-Eric; Sonke, Jeroen E; Cossa, Daniel; Point, David; Lagane, Christelle; Laffont, Laure; Galfond, Benjamin T; Nicolaus, Marcel; Rabe, Benjamin; van der Loeff, Michiel Rutgers


    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a neurotoxic compound that threatens wildlife and human health across the Arctic region. Though much is known about the source and dynamics of its inorganic mercury (Hg) precursor, the exact origin of the high MeHg concentrations in Arctic biota remains uncertain. Arctic coastal sediments, coastal marine waters and surface snow are known sites for MeHg production. Observations on marine Hg dynamics, however, have been restricted to the Canadian Archipelago and the Beaufort Sea (Ocean (79-90 °N) profiles for total mercury (tHg) and MeHg. We find elevated tHg and MeHg concentrations in the marginal sea ice zone (81-85 °N). Similar to other open ocean basins, Arctic MeHg concentration maxima also occur in the pycnocline waters, but at much shallower depths (150-200 m). The shallow MeHg maxima just below the productive surface layer possibly result in enhanced biological uptake at the base of the Arctic marine food web and may explain the elevated MeHg concentrations in Arctic biota. We suggest that Arctic warming, through thinning sea ice, extension of the seasonal sea ice zone, intensified surface ocean stratification and shifts in plankton ecodynamics, will likely lead to higher marine MeHg production.

  7. Long-term subsidence, cooling, and exhumation history along the South Atlantic passive continental margin in NW-Namibia (United States)

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


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

  8. Acoustic wipeouts over the continental margins off Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi river basins, East coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Murthy, K.S.R.; Rao, T.C.S.

    wipeouts. Behrens (1988) reported occurrence of gas/oil seepages beneath such ridges associated with underlying salt diapir ofT Gulf of Mexico. Acoustic wipeouts in the sub-surface layers due to a faulted continental slope are also observed of... the figures. References BEHRESS, E. W., (1988) Geology of a continental slope oil seep, Northern Gulf of Mexico. Amer. Assoc. Petrot Geo!. Bulletin. v. 72, pp. 105-114. 568 K. S. R. MURTHY AND T. C. S. RAO BRYANT, W. R. and L. B. ROEMER, (1983) Structure...

  9. Assessment of canyon wall failure process from multibeam bathymetry and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) observations, U.S. Atlantic continental margin: Chapter 10 in Submarine mass movements and their consequences: 7th international symposium part II (United States)

    Chaytor, Jason D.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Baxter, Christopher D. P.; Quattrini, Andrea M.; Brothers, Daniel S.; Lamarche, Geoffroy; Mountjoy, Joshu; Bull, Suzanne; Hubble, Tom; Krastel, Sebastian; Lane, Emily; Micallef, Aaron; Moscardelli, Lorena; Mueller, Christof; Pecher, Ingo; Woelz, Susanne


    Over the last few years, canyons along the northern U.S. Atlantic continental margin have been the focus of intensive research examining canyon evolution, submarine geohazards, benthic ecology and deep-sea coral habitat. New high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives in the major shelf-breaching and minor slope canyons, provided the opportunity to investigate the size of, and processes responsible for, canyon wall failures. The canyons cut through thick Late Cretaceous to Recent mixed siliciclastic and carbonate-rich lithologies which impart a primary control on the style of failures observed. Broad-scale canyon morphology across much of the margin can be correlated to the exposed lithology. Near vertical walls, sedimented benches, talus slopes, and canyon floor debris aprons were present in most canyons. The extent of these features depends on canyon wall cohesion and level of internal fracturing, and resistance to biological and chemical erosion. Evidence of brittle failure over different spatial and temporal scales, physical abrasion by downslope moving flows, and bioerosion, in the form of burrows and surficial scrape marks provide insight into the modification processes active in these canyons. The presence of sessile fauna, including long-lived, slow growing corals and sponges, on canyon walls, especially those affected by failure provide a critical, but as yet, poorly understood chronological record of geologic processes within these systems.

  10. Heat Flow and Gas Hydrates on the Continental Margin of India: Building on Results from NGHP Expedition 01

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trehu, Anne; Kannberg, Peter


    The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 01 presented the unique opportunity to constrain regional heat flow derived from seismic observations by using drilling data in three regions on the continental margin of India. The seismic bottom simulating reflection (BSR) is a well-documented feature in hydrate bearing sediments, and can serve as a proxy for apparent heat flow if data are available to estimate acoustic velocity and density in water and sediments, thermal conductivity, and seafloor temperature. Direct observations of temperature at depth and physical properties of the sediment obtained from drilling can be used to calibrate the seismic observations, decreasing the uncertainty of the seismically-derived estimates. Anomalies in apparent heat flow can result from a variety of sources, including sedimentation, erosion, topographic refraction and fluid flow. We constructed apparent heat flow maps for portions of the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin, the Mahanadi basin, and the Andaman basin and modeled anomalies using 1-D conductive thermal models. Apparent heat flow values in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin and Mahanadi basin are generally 0.035 to 0.055 watts per square meter (W/m2). The borehole data show an increase in apparent heat flow as water depth increases from 900 to 1500 m. In the SW part of the seismic grid, 1D modeling of the effect of sedimentation on heat flow shows that ~50% of the observed increase in apparent heat flow with increasing water depth can be attributed to trapping of sediments behind a "toe-thrust" ridge that is forming along the seaward edge of a thick, rapidly accumulating deltaic sediment pile. The remainder of the anomaly can be explained either by a decrease in thermal conductivity of the sediments filling the slope basin or by lateral advection of heat through fluid flow along stratigraphic horizons within the basin and through flexural faults in the crest of the anticline. Such flow probably plays a role in

  11. Heat Flow and Gas Hydrates on the Continental Margin of India: Building on Results from NGHP Expedition 01

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anne Trehu; Peter Kannberg


    The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 01 presented the unique opportunity to constrain regional heat flow derived from seismic observations by using drilling data in three regions on the continental margin of India. The seismic bottom simulating reflection (BSR) is a well-documented feature in hydrate bearing sediments, and can serve as a proxy for apparent heat flow if data are available to estimate acoustic velocity and density in water and sediments, thermal conductivity, and seafloor temperature. Direct observations of temperature at depth and physical properties of the sediment obtained from drilling can be used to calibrate the seismic observations, decreasing the uncertainty of the seismically-derived estimates. Anomalies in apparent heat flow can result from a variety of sources, including sedimentation, erosion, topographic refraction and fluid flow. We constructed apparent heat flow maps for portions of the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin, the Mahanadi basin, and the Andaman basin and modeled anomalies using 1-D conductive thermal models. Apparent heat flow values in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin and Mahanadi basin are generally 0.035 to 0.055 watts per square meter (W/m{sup 2}). The borehole data show an increase in apparent heat flow as water depth increases from 900 to 1500 m. In the SW part of the seismic grid, 1D modeling of the effect of sedimentation on heat flow shows that {approx}50% of the observed increase in apparent heat flow with increasing water depth can be attributed to trapping of sediments behind a 'toe-thrust' ridge that is forming along the seaward edge of a thick, rapidly accumulating deltaic sediment pile. The remainder of the anomaly can be explained either by a decrease in thermal conductivity of the sediments filling the slope basin or by lateral advection of heat through fluid flow along stratigraphic horizons within the basin and through flexural faults in the crest of the anticline. Such flow

  12. Late Pleistocene to Holocene sea surface temperature development in the NW-Pacific and its marginal seas (United States)

    Max, L.; Riethdorf, J.; Tiedemann, R.; Nuernberg, D.; Abelmann, A.


    The subarctic N-Pacific acts as terminus of the modern ocean circulation with water masses highly enriched in dissolved nutrients and carbon dioxide. Today a permanent halocline results in strong upper-ocean stratification, which hampers the atmospheric-oceanic gas exchange and the supply of nutrients into the photic zone. Past changes in sea surface conditions in the subarctic Pacific are proposed to impact climate but are less well known than in the N-Atlantic. The onset and timing of past oceanographic changes are suggested to be driven by changes in oceanic circulation and/or atmospheric teleconnections. Here, we present a suite of sediment records from the continental slope off Kamchatka (NW-Pacific), the western Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. All cores were obtained well above the shallow carbonate compensation depth (CCD) and provide sufficient material for detailed late Pleistocene to Holocene reconstructions of past changes in oceanographic conditions. The stratigraphy is based on high-resolution X-ray fluorescence scans (XRF) together with spectrophotographic measurements (color b*), which were aligned to the NGRIP oxygen isotope record and further confirmed by AMS 14C ages. Alkenone measurements were applied to reconstruct sea surface temperatures (SST) by use of the Uk'37 index (Müller et al., 1998). Our SST reconstructions span the last ˜15 ka BP. Prior alkenone concentrations were below the detection limit and thus indicate the absence of coccolithophoride blooms during the last glacial. After ˜14.7 ka BP the SST records in the NW-Pacific and western Bering Sea indicate an early increase in SST (Bolling/Allerod), followed by a cold spell at ˜12.8 ka BP (Younger Dryas) and the onset of warm Holocene climate conditions around ˜10.7 ka BP. During the early Holocene the SST increased by up to 4°C. This pronounced warming is interpreted as amplified stratification of the upper water column, which is paralleled by laminae formation at the sea

  13. Diverse origins and pre-depositional histories of organic matter in contemporary Chinese marginal sea sediments (United States)

    Tao, Shuqin; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Montluçon, Daniel B.; McIntyre, Cameron; Zhao, Meixun


    Marginal seas are estimated to account for up to 90% of organic carbon (OC) burial in marine sediments, and thus play an important role in global carbon cycle. However, comprehensive assessments of carbon budgets for marginal sea systems are challenging due to their inherent complexity, with spatial and temporal variability in carbon inputs and dispersal processes. We examine the Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea (BS-YS) in order to further our understanding of sedimentary OC delivery, translocation and accumulation in a shallow marginal sea system. Bulk properties and the content and isotopic compositions (Δ14C, δ13C) of source-specific plant wax n-alkyl lipid biomarkers were determined for a suite of surficial sediment samples. Variable δ13C values (-25.1‰ to -28.5‰) and contemporary radiocarbon ages of short-chain n-fatty acids (FAs; C16, C18) reflect modern autochthonous marine and/or fresh terrestrial plant input. In contrast, extremely depleted Δ14C values (-932‰ to -979‰) of short-chain n-alkanes (C16, C18) suggest a predominant input from sedimentary rocks (petrogenic OC) or petroleum. Abundance-weighted average δ13C and Δ14C values of long-chain leaf wax lipids (C26+28+30n-FAs, C24+26+28n-alkanols, C27+29+31n-alkanes) are -29.1 ± 1.1‰ to -30.2 ± 0.3‰, and -286 ± 150‰ to -442 ± 119‰, respectively, illustrating that terrestrial OC delivery is dominated by pre-aged (∼3000-5000 14C yrs) C3 vegetation sources. A coupled carbon-isotopic mixing model, based on the bulk and compound-specific biomarker δ13C and Δ14C values, is used to partition the BS-YS sedimentary OC into three components that reflect both origins and transport processes. For all sampling sites, 31-64% is modern/contemporary OC, 24-49% is pre-aged terrestrial OC, and 7-26% is fossil OC, the latter likely derived from both physical erosion of ancient sedimentary rocks and fossil fuel sources. Pre-aged soil OC is most prominent in front of the modern and old Huanghe (Yellow

  14. Submarine landslide identified in DLW3102 core of the northern continental slope, South China Sea (United States)

    Xu, Yuanqin; Liu, Lejun; Zhou, Hang; Huang, Baoqi; Li, Ping; Ma, Xiudong; Dong, Feiyin


    In this paper, we take DLW3101 core obtained at the top of the canyon (no landslide area) and DLW3102 core obtained at the bottom of the canyon (landslide area) on the northern continental slope of the South China Sea as research objects. The chronostratigraphic framework of the DLW3101 core and elemental strata of the DLW3101 core and the DLW3102 core since MIS5 are established by analyzing oxygen isotope, calcium carbonate content, and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) scanning elements. On the basis of the information obtained by analyzing the sedimentary structure and chemical elements in the landslide deposition, we found that the DLW3102 core shows four layers of submarine landslides, and each landslide layer is characterized by high Si, K, Ti, and Fe contents, thereby indicating terrigenous clastic sources. L1 (2.15-2.44 m) occurred in MIS2, which is a slump sedimentary layer with a small sliding distance and scale. L2 (15.48-16.00 m) occurred in MIS5 and is a debris flow-deposited layer with a scale and sliding distance that are greater than those of L1. L3 (19.00-20.90 m) occurred in MIS5; its upper part (19.00-20.00 m) is a debris flow-deposited layer, and its lower part (20.00-20.90 m) is a sliding deposition layer. The landslide scale of L3 is large. L4 (22.93-24.27 m) occurred in MIS5; its upper part (22.93-23.50 m) is a turbid sedimentary layer, and its lower part (23.50-24.27 m) is a slump sedimentary layer. The landslide scale of L4 is large.

  15. Structural lineaments from the magnetic anomaly maps of the eastern continental margin of India (ECMI) and NW Bengal Fan

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Murthy, K.S.R.; Rao, T.C.S.; Subrahmanyam, A.S.; Rao, M.M.M.; Lakshminarayana, S.

    degrees E. Analysis of magnetic data associated with these trends suggests that (1) trend1, located at the foot of the continental slope (around 3000 m water depth) represents the ocean-continent boundary (OCB) of ECMI, (2) trend 2 represents the northern...

  16. 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.

    are hence more predominant on the east coast. Recent geophysical studies delineated land-ocean tectonics (LOTs) over the eastern margin, in some cases associated with moderate seismicity as a result of the compressional stress acting on the Indian Plate...

  17. Deep structure of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin (the Vøring and Møre basins) according to 3-D density and magnetic modelling (United States)

    Maystrenko, Yuriy Petrovich; Gernigon, Laurent; Nasuti, Aziz; Olesen, Odleiv


    A lithosphere-scale 3-D density/magnetic structural model of the Møre and Vøring segments of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin and the adjacent areas of the Norwegian mainland has been constructed by using both published, publically available data sets and confidential data, validated by the 3-D density and magnetic modelling. The obtained Moho topography clearly correlates with the major tectonic units of the study area where a deep Moho corresponds to the base of the Precambrian continental crust and the shallower one is located in close proximity to the younger oceanic lithospheric domain. The 3-D density modelling agrees with previous studies which indicate the presence of a high-density/high-velocity lower-crustal layer beneath the Mid-Norwegian continental margin. The broad Jan Mayen Corridor gravity low is partially related to the decreasing density of the sedimentary layers within the Jan Mayen Corridor and also has to be considered in relation to a possible low-density composition- and/or temperature-related zone in the lithospheric mantle. According to the results of the 3-D magnetic modelling, the absence of a strong magnetic anomaly over the Utgard High indicates that the uplifted crystalline rocks are not so magnetic there, supporting a suggestion that the entire crystalline crust has a low magnetization beneath the greater part of the Vøring Basin and the northern part of the Møre Basin. On the contrary, the crystalline crust is much more magnetic beneath the Trøndelag Platform, the southern part of the Møre Basin and within the mainland, reaching a culmination at the Frøya High where the most intensive magnetic anomaly is observed within the study area.

  18. MIZMAS: Modeling the Evolution of Ice Thickness and Floe Size Distributions in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas (United States)


    Size Distributions in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas Jinlun Zhang Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington...high-resolution coupled sea ice–ocean modeling and assimilation system that is capable of accurately predicting sea ice conditions in the marginal ice...the scientific objectives, we plan to develop, implement, and validate a new coupled ice– ocean Marginal Ice Zone Modeling and Assimilation System

  19. Role of submarine canyons in sediment transport on active Taiwan and passive Chinese margins in northernmost South China Sea (United States)

    Wu, Y.; Hsiung, K.; Yu, H.


    The basin floor of the northernmost South China Sea (SCS) is manifested by flexure of the Chinese margin under the westward migrating overthrust belt of Taiwan, forming two distinct slopes facing each other: the SCS Slope to the Chinese margin and the Kaoping Slope to the Taiwan orogen, respectively. The oblique arc-continental collision being actively propagating from north to south, and consequently the basin floor of the northernmost SCS deepens and tilts towards south, forming a linear marine transport route along the basin axis. The Penghu Canyon is located along the tilting basin axis where is the physiographic boundary separating the SCS and Kaoping slopes. This canyon extends southward and continues to a deep-sea Penghu Channel around 21°N, and finally merges into the northern Manila Trench. The Kaoping Canyon is a distinctive canyon on the Kaoping Shelf/Slope and is the major sediment conduit for delivering Taiwan orogenic sediment to the SCS basin. On the passive margin, the Formosa Canyon is the major sediment pathway on the SCS Slope where it extends from the upper slope to the lower slope and merges into the lower Penghu Canyon. These three main canyons are draining sediment flows southward to the basin floor of SCS and finally to the Manila Trench. Longitudinal profiles for these three canyons are presented to interpret conditions of sedimentary processes in canyon floors. The longitudinal profile of Kaoping Canyon is characterized by linear geometry which is suggested to be erosion dominated. Similarly, the Penghu Canyon shows a linear curve in longitudinal profile indicating the canyon to be erosion type. In contrast, the longitudinal profile of Formosa Canyon shows nearly concave shape which indicates to be deposition dominated. Erosion of these three canyons is suggested to be removal of sediments on the canyon floor and transport down-canyon rather than to be down-cutting of canyon floor. These three main canyons provide sediment input from

  20. GEM in the marine atmosphere and air-sea exchange of Hg during late autumn and winter cruise campaigns over the marginal seas of China (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Liu, Ruhai; Li, Yanping; Cui, Xueqing; Zhou, Jianping; Liu, Shixuan; Zhang, Yuqing


    East Asia is one of the primary sources of atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) among the world. In this study, GEM concentrations were measured during two cruises in late autumn and winter of 2012 and 2013 which passed through the marginal seas of China. The results show that the mean GEM concentration was 1.65 ng/m3 from the South China Sea to the Yellow Sea during the 2012 cruise. While the mean GEM concentration was 2.38 ng/m3 in the South Yellow Sea, and 1.75 ng/m3 in the North Yellow and Bohai Seas during the 2013 cruise. High GEM contents were detected when the steering wind was offshore. There is a significant positive relationship between GEM and air temperature for these two cruises. Low GEM content was presented when the cold northerly monsoon prevailed while air masses mainly came from the clean northern oceanic region. Dissolved gaseous mercury (DGM) concentration in the surface water of the south Yellow and Bohai seas were 74.4 ± 28 pg/L. DGM concentrations were correlated with water temperature (r = 0.244, p polluted air and low wind speed. High flux values were caused by the northerly monsoon which carried remote clean air to the sea, with large wind speeds. The northerly monsoon is an important factor affecting the GEM transport offshore to marginal sea and the cycle of mercury in the sea in late autumn and winter.

  1. The Red Sea structural architecture assessment based on yield strength spatial variations and Arabian margin preexisting structures (United States)

    Alotaibi, T.; Furlong, K. P.


    Rift initiation and localization might reflect spatial changes in the lithospheric yield strength. However, this does not appear to be the case in the Red Sea extensional system where fission track analysis shows no significant changes in the geothermal gradient prior to the Red Sea rift onset. In contrast, though the whole Red Sea rift initiated 25 Ma ago, its extensional architecture changes dramatically along strike from narrow localized spreading in the south to asymmetrical diffuse extension north of 21° latitude. This onset of diffuse extension has been recorded in the north-western Arabian margin as old as 33 Ma. Such diversity in the extensional style might reflect along strike yield strength variations as a consequence of the geological setting in the Arabian margin. The north-western Arabian basin, which is part of the Arabian margin, bounded by Qiba high from the east, the Arabian shield from the south and the west and Syrian plateau from the north. The basin accommodates part of the Red Sea diffuse extension and has a preexisting structural architecture represented in the Cenozoic failed rift that called Sarhan graben. Our goal is to analyze the current lithospheric yield strength spatial variations along the Red Sea rift and emphasize their relationship with the Arabian margin structural architecture. We hypothesize that the north-western Arabian margin's lithospheric weakness and structural diversity are playing an important role in producing region of diffuse extension by their interaction with the forces applied by far field stresses represented by the New Tethys slab pull. On the other hand, the south-western Arabian margin interacts with the far field stresses as a single strong block in which led to localize the extension in the southern Red Sea. Our work may improve the scientific community understanding for how rifts initiate and evolve over time.

  2. Chemical composition of aerosol, sea fog, and rainwater in the marine boundary layer of the northwestern North Pacific and its marginal seas (United States)

    Sasakawa, Motoki; Uematsu, Mitsuo


    Samples of aerosol, sea fog, and rainwater were collected during a research cruise in the northwestern North Pacific, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Sea of Japan in the summer of 1998. High concentrations of NO3-, nss-SO42- and NH4+ in aerosol over the Sea of Japan suggest that anthropogenic substances were transported to this region. Although the Sea of Okhotsk was covered with a clean marine air mass, the concentration of nss-SO42- was comparatively high in the aerosol samples. This nss-SO42- is probably of marine biogenic origin. The pH values of fogwater samples were measured to be fogwater collected over the Sea of Japan were higher than those in the other regions, suggesting that the sea fog scavenged anthropogenic substances. The concentration of nss-SO42- in fogwater over the Sea of Okhotsk was equivalent to that over the Sea of Japan, probably because nss-SO42- and SO2 of marine biogenic origin were scavenged by the sea fog over the Sea of Okhotsk. The pH values of rainwater samples ranged from 6.1 to 7.2 during the cruise, and acidification of the rain was not significant. The concentrations of nss-Ca2+ in the rainwater were higher than those of the fogwater. This suggests that the rain-scavenged continental CaCO3 may have existed above the lower marine boundary layer, where sea fog appeared. Comparisons of the composition of aerosol and fogwater indicated that coarse particles, such as sea salts predominantly act as condensation nuclei of sea fog droplets rather than fine particles such as (NH4)2SO4.

  3. Modeling sulfate reduction in methane hydrate-bearing continental margin sediments: Does a sulfate-methane transition require anaerobic oxidation of methane? (United States)

    Malinverno, A.; Pohlman, J.W.


    The sulfate-methane transition (SMT), a biogeochemical zone where sulfate and methane are metabolized, is commonly observed at shallow depths (1-30 mbsf) in methane-bearing marine sediments. Two processes consume sulfate at and above the SMT, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and organoclastic sulfate reduction (OSR). Differentiating the relative contribution of each process is critical to estimate methane flux into the SMT, which, in turn, is necessary to predict deeper occurrences of gas hydrates in continental margin sediments. To evaluate the relative importance of these two sulfate reduction pathways, we developed a diagenetic model to compute the pore water concentrations of sulfate, methane, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). By separately tracking DIC containing 12C and 13C, the model also computes ??13C-DIC values. The model reproduces common observations from methane-rich sediments: a well-defined SMT with no methane above and no sulfate below and a ??13C-DIC minimum at the SMT. The model also highlights the role of upward diffusing 13C-enriched DIC in contributing to the carbon isotope mass balance of DIC. A combination of OSR and AOM, each consuming similar amounts of sulfate, matches observations from Site U1325 (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 311, northern Cascadia margin). Without AOM, methane diffuses above the SMT, which contradicts existing field data. The modeling results are generalized with a dimensional analysis to the range of SMT depths and sedimentation rates typical of continental margins. The modeling shows that AOM must be active to establish an SMT wherein methane is quantitatively consumed and the ??13C-DIC minimum occurs. The presence of an SMT generally requires active AOM. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. Errors of Mean Dynamic Topography and Geostrophic Current Estimates in China's Marginal Seas from GOCE and Satellite Altimetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jin, Shuanggen; Feng, Guiping; Andersen, Ole Baltazar


    The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) and satellite altimetry can provide very detailed and accurate estimates of the mean dynamic topography (MDT) and geostrophic currents in China's marginal seas, such as, the newest high-resolution GOCE gravity field model GO...... and geostrophic current estimates from satellite gravimetry and altimetry are investigated and evaluated in China's marginal seas. The cumulative error in MDT from GOCE is reduced from 22.75 to 9.89 cm when compared to the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) gravity field model ITG-Grace2010 results...

  5. Life on the margin: genetic isolation and diversity loss in a peripheral marine ecosystem, the Baltic Sea. (United States)

    Johannesson, Kerstin; André, Carl


    Marginal populations are often isolated and under extreme selection pressures resulting in anomalous genetics. Consequently, ecosystems that are geographically and ecologically marginal might have a large share of genetically atypical populations, in need of particular concern in management of these ecosystems. To test this prediction, we analysed genetic data from 29 species inhabiting the low saline Baltic Sea, a geographically and ecologically marginal ecosystem. On average Baltic populations had lost genetic diversity compared to Atlantic populations: a pattern unrelated to dispersal capacity, generation time of species and taxonomic group of organism, but strongly related to type of genetic marker (mitochondrial DNA loci had lost c. 50% diversity, and nuclear loci 10%). Analyses of genetic isolation by geographic distance revealed clinal patterns of differentiation between Baltic and Atlantic regions. For a majority of species, clines were sigmoid with a sharp slope around the Baltic Sea entrance, indicating impeded gene flows between Baltic and Atlantic populations. Some species showed signs of allele frequencies being perturbed at the edge of their distribution inside the Baltic Sea. Despite the short geological history of the Baltic Sea (8000 years), populations inhabiting the Baltic have evolved substantially different from Atlantic populations, probably as a consequence of isolation and bottlenecks, as well as selection on adaptive traits. In addition, the Baltic Sea also acts a refuge for unique evolutionary lineages. This marginal ecosystem is thus vulnerable but also exceedingly valuable, housing unique genes, genotypes and populations that constitute an important genetic resource for management and conservation.

  6. Exploring the Hg pollution in global marginal seas by trophic biomagnification in demersal fishes (United States)

    Tseng, C. M.; Hsieh, Y. C.; Chiang, C. Y.; Lamborg, C. H.; Chang, N. N.; Shiao, J. C.


    Limited knowledge still exists concerning the effects of size composition and trophic level (TL) on mercury levels in the demersal fishes associated with human activities in the marginal seas. In this study, we found evidence of strong control of TL on the Hg in fish and its biomagnification via food webs in the ECS. Total Hg in seven selected fish species, collected during the cruise OR1- 890 in July 2009, ranged from 2.6 and 256.2 ng g-1 (n=72). There were good linear relationships between Hg concentrations and fish body length (R2 = 0.79) and weight (R2 = 0.82), respectively, other than environmental variables (R2 = 0 0.03). It indicates that the Hg concentration in fish is mainly controlled by the growth mechanism of the fish itself through food chain transfer. In order to investigate how Hg levels in fish through trophic magnification associated with environmental changes, we hence developed the empirical method to calculate Hg accumulation rate (MAR) via the relationship of Hg concentration with the fish age for each fish species. The results further showed a significantly positive correlation of MAR with trophic levels, which relationship is Ln MAR =6.1 TL-15.8 (R2 = 0.89) in the ECS shelf. The magnitude of the slope (δMAR/δTL) as a biomagnification index of demersal fish shall provide the feasibility to compare Hg pollution situation among different marine ecosystems. Globally, the biomagnification indicator in the demersal fishes of the ECS is much greater than those in other marginal seas, suggesting high regional Hg pollution impacts from Mainland China.

  7. Relic carbonate deposits along the western margin of India: Sea level and environmental changes during the Late Quaternary

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.

    to the combined influence of sea level and neo-tectonic changes. Area-wise interpretations are necessary to better understand the sea level changes. Fig. 1 Location of samples along the western margin of India Fig. 2. A... terraces, pristine dolomite crusts of 20.3 kaBP , vadose diagenetic limestones of Holocene age and age range of aragonite sands can not be explained by any other single mechanism without invoking neo-tectonic activity. It is amazing how carbonates...

  8. P-wave velocity models of continental shelf of East Siberian Sea using the Laplace-domain full waveform inversion (United States)

    Kang, S. G.; Hong, J. K.; Jin, Y. K.; Jang, U.; Niessen, F.; Baranov, B.


    2016 IBRV ARAON Arctic Cruise Leg-2, Expedition ARA07C was a multidisciplinary undertaking carried out in the East Siberian Sea (ESS) from August 25 to September 10, 2016. The program was conducted as a collaboration between the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology (IORAS), and Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). During this expedition, the multi-channel seismic (MCS) data were acquired on the continental shelf and the upper slope of the ESS, totaling 3 lines with 660 line-kilometers. The continental shelf of ESS is one of the widest shelf seas in the world and it is believed to cover the largest area of sub-sea permafrost in the Arctic. According to the present knowledge of the glacial history of the western Arctic Ocean, it is likely that during the LGM with a sea level approximately 120 m below present, the entire shelf area of the ESS was exposed to very cold air temperatures so that thick permafrost should have formed. Indeed, in water depths shallower than 80 m, sub-bottom profiles in the ESS recorded from the shelf edge to a latitude of 74°30' N in 60 m water depth exhibited acoustic facies, suggesting that at least relicts of submarine permafrost are present. In order to identify the existence and/or non-existence of subsea permafrost in our study area, we analyze the MCS data using the Laplace domain full waveform inversion (FWI). In case of the Canadian continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea, subsea permafrost has high seismic velocity values (over 2.6 km/sec) and strong refraction events were found in the MCS shotgathers. However, in the EES our proposed P-wave velocity models derived from FWI have neither found high velocity structures (over 2.6 km/sec) nor indicate strong refraction events by subsea permafrost. Instead, in 300 m depth below sea floor higher P-wave velocity structures (1.8 2.2 km/s) than normal subsea sediment layers were found, which are interpreted as cemented strata by glaciation activities.

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

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


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

  10. Surficial clay mineral distribution on the southwestern continental margin of India: Evidence of input from the Bay of Bengal

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chauhan, O.S.; Gujar, A.R.

    Continental Shelf Research, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 321-333, 1996 Copyright © 1995 Elsevier Science Ltd Printed in Great Britain. All rights reserved 0278-4343/96 $9.50 + 0.00 0278-4343(95)00015-1 Surficial clay mineral distribution on the southwestern...) having nickel-filtered CuKa radiation (21.514 A). 326 O.S. Chauhan and A. R. Gujar Standard methods of ethylene glycol treatment were used to aid in identification of expanded clay minerals (Biscaye, 1965; Carol, 1970; Brindly et al., 1968). Weighted...

  11. The Floe Size Distribution in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (United States)

    Schweiger, A. J. B.; Stern, H. L., III; Stark, M.; Zhang, J.; Hwang, P. B.; Steele, M.


    In order to support the calibration and validation of our high-resolution coupled sea ice/ocean modeling and assimilation system, which now includes a floe size distribution (FSD), we have analyzed the FSD in 256 MODIS satellite images from 2013 and 2014 in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Proper characterization of the FSD is important for modeling the MIZ. We find that the FSD (the number of floes in different size categories) obeys a power-law distribution with an exponent that varies systematically over the course of spring, summer, and fall. The exponent (or slope in log-log space) is relatively shallow in spring but becomes steeper in summer, reflecting the fact that floes break up, resulting in fewer large floes relative to the number of small floes. In late summer the slope becomes shallower again, since small floes melt more quickly than large floes. The spatial resolution of MODIS limits our analysis to floes larger than about 1 km in diameter. To investigate smaller scales, we calculated the FSD in satellite images from radar (SAR, 50-meter resolution) and optical (MEDEA, 1-meter resolution) sensors that overlap in space and time with MODIS images, to see whether the power-law FSD in the MODIS images extends to smaller scales. We present the results of those calculations, as well as comparisons between the modeled and observed FSD.

  12. The occurrence of macro- and mesoscopic methane hydrate in the eastern margin of Japan Sea (United States)

    Matsumoto, R.; Kakuwa, Y.; Tanahashi, M.; Hiruta, A.


    Shallow methane hydrate is known to occur in muddy sediments that were deposited in the eastern margin of Japan Sea. In such settings, the hydrate occurs just below the seabed or is exposed directly on the seabed. Its presence is quite different from the pore-filling type of hydrate typically found in sandstone of the Pacific Ocean side of the Japanese islands. This presentation focuses on categorizing the distribution of gas hydrate in Japan Sea which, until recently, has been poorly understood. Macroscopic occurrence: Numerous gas chimney structures, which are characterized by an acoustic blanking on sub-bottom profiler images, have been discovered in the eastern margin of Japan Sea. We carried out seafloor drilling at several topographic highs that showed gas chimney structures. The results confirm that, while methane hydrate does not occur in the well-stratified part of SBP images, it does occur uniquely in the gas chimney structure-bearing mounds and pockmarks. Several horizons of methane hydrate-concentrated layers are identified by our LWD data and are traceable over lateral distances of as much as a kilometer.. In another case, the methane hydrate-concentrated layers occur stratigraphically in a regular manner with methane-derived carbonate nodules. We interpret the second case as one in which methane gas was supplied by regularly repeated movements of active fault(s). Mesoscopic occurrence: Methane hydrate is classified into 5 types that are readily observable in drilled cores: granular, nodular, platy, veiny and massive. The granular type is common over shallower intervals, while platy and veiny types are more common in the deeper intervals. Nevertheless, a significant fraction of the granular type may have possibly originated from the destruction and dissociation of other types during drilling and recovery. The massive type hydrate that characterizes highly-concentrated layers transitions to other types laterally as methane hydrate becomes poorly

  13. Factors controlling phytoplankton ice-edge blooms in the marginal ice-zone of the northwestern Weddell Sea during sea ice retreat 1988 : field observations and mathematical modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lancelot, Christiane; Mathot, Sylvie; Veth, Cornelis; Baar, Hein de


    The factors controlling phytoplankton bloom development in the marginal ice zone of the northwestern Weddell Sea were investigated during the EPOS (Leg 2) expedition (1988). Measurements were made of physical and chemical processes and biological activities associated with the process of ice-melting

  14. Spatial variations of prokaryotic communities in surface water from India Ocean to Chinese marginal seas and their underlining environmental determinants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaowei eZheng


    Full Text Available To illustrate the biogeographic patterns of prokaryotic communities in surface sea water, 24 samples were systematically collected across a large distance from Indian Ocean to Chinese marginal seas, with an average distance of 453 km between two adjacent stations. A total of 841,364 quality reads was produced by the high throughput DNA sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Proteobacteria were predominant in all samples, with Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria being the two most abundant components. Cyanobacteria represented the second largest fraction of the total quality reads, and mainly included Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. The semi-closed marginal seas, including South China Sea (SCS and nearby regions, exhibited a transition in community composition between oceanic and coastal seas, based on the distribution patterns of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus as well as a non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS analysis. Distinct clusters of prokaryotes from coastal and open seas, and from different water masses in Indian Ocean were obtained by Bray-Curtis dissimilarity analysis at the OTU level, revealing a clear spatial heterogeneity. The major environmental factors correlated with the community variation in this broad scale were identified as salinity, temperature and geographic distance. Community comparison among regions shows that anthropogenic contamination is another dominant factor in shaping the biogeographic patterns of the microorganisms. These results suggest that environmental factors involved in complex interactions between land and sea act synergistically in driving spatial variations in coastal areas.

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

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


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

  16. Esker ridges and seismostratigraphic evidence for a southerly ice flow extending onto the present nearshore continental shelf of the Celtic Sea, SE Ireland (United States)

    Tóth, Z.; Wheeler, A. J.; McCarron, S. G.; Monteys, X.


    New evidence is presented supporting a reappraisal of the glacial history of south-east Ireland favouring a southerly flowing ice mass extending beyond the present coastline onto the Irish continental shelf in the Celtic Sea during the last glaciation. The Celtic Sea was not only glaciated, but likely experienced ice-marginal oscillations and multiple phases of ice cover from different sources of the British-Irish Ice Sheet. This is supported by recent sedimentological and chronological constraints upon the south coast stratigraphy. However, ice flow directional information is sparse in the south of Ireland; NNW-SSE and NNE-SSW oriented striae at the coast are the only direct indicators of offshore trending flows. The nearshore area in the Celtic Sea between Dungarvan and Waterford Harbour in southern Ireland was mapped using acoustic Sparker and Pinger data, and the multibeam bathymetry data produced by the INFOMAR programme. The acoustic data reveal evidence of glacial activity in the area: several valleys and large depressions cut into the bedrock, and a buried esker-like ridge at the base of a 20 m deep depression. This ridge is oriented in an N-S direction and its length can be traced in the acoustic profiles for 6 km. The seismic appearance observed in the Sparker data inside the ridge shows stratification, but also large boulders in places. The ridge is covered with a sedimentary unit characterized by a homogeneous and in places weakly laminated seismic unit. Two other elongate linear ridges are observed on the seafloor in the bathymetry data NNE and NNW from the buried ridge. These are oriented in a NNE-SSW and N-S direction and are 6-7 km long. The western ridge on the seabed has a sedimentary fan at its southern end. We interpret these ridges as eskers formed by the sedimentary infilling of subglacial conduits following surges. They were likely deposited during deglaciation behind the northwards retreating margin of the ice sheet or its locally formed

  17. Large spatial scale variability in bathyal macrobenthos abundance, biomass, α- and β-diversity along the Mediterranean continental margin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Baldrighi

    Full Text Available The large-scale deep-sea biodiversity distribution of the benthic fauna was explored in the Mediterranean Sea, which can be seen as a miniature model of the oceans of the world. Within the framework of the BIOFUN project ("Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Contrasting Southern European Deep-sea Environments: from viruses to megafauna", we investigated the large spatial scale variability (over >1,000 km of the bathyal macrofauna communities that inhabit the Mediterranean basin, and their relationships with the environmental variables. The macrofauna abundance, biomass, community structure and functional diversity were analysed and the α-diversity and β-diversity were estimated across six selected slope areas at different longitudes and along three main depths. The macrobenthic standing stock and α-diversity were lower in the deep-sea sediments of the eastern Mediterranean basin, compared to the western and central basins. The macrofaunal standing stock and diversity decreased significantly from the upper bathyal to the lower bathyal slope stations. The major changes in the community composition of the higher taxa and in the trophic (functional structure occurred at different longitudes, rather than at increasing water depth. For the β-diversity, very high dissimilarities emerged at all levels: (i between basins; (ii between slopes within the same basin; and (iii between stations at different depths; this therefore demonstrates the high macrofaunal diversity of the Mediterranean basins at large spatial scales. Overall, the food sources (i.e., quantity and quality that characterised the west, central and eastern Mediterranean basins, as well as sediment grain size, appear to influence the macrobenthic standing stock and the biodiversity along the different slope areas.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    -filled depression of ~0.2 km wide. Over all the seafloor relief’s shows a broad anticline with gentle and evenly deepening flanks on either side overlain by ~2 s (TWT) thick sediments. The seismic reflectors of relatively wide structure E (Fig. 7) show a series... 'horst' structure that is bounded on both sides by steep faults. Sediments thickness patterns and faulted basement are confirmed from the fault-bounded trough, named the 'Kori-Comorin Depression' (Biswas, 1989) or "eastern part of shelf margin basin...

  19. Sea?level fingerprint of continental water and ice mass change from GRACE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riva, R.E.M.; Bamber, J.L.; Lavallée, D.A.; Wouters, B.


    The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites (GRACE) provide, for the first time, a method to directly measure mass exchange between the land and oceans over time. The dominant components of this exchange are due to continental ice loss/gain and land hydrology. Here, we determine the

  20. Oceanic sources of continental precipitation and the correlation with sea surface temperature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Ent, R.J.; Savenije, H.H.G.


    Identifying the sources of continental precipitation has received increasing attention in recent years. With the use of various numerical methods, sources of precipitation have been identified from local to global scales. In this paper we identify the oceanic sources based on an atmospheric

  1. Shelf Clinoforms and Suspended Sediments at the Northern and Western Margin of the South China Sea (United States)

    Stattegger, K.; Unverricht, D.; Szczucinski, W.; Liu, Z.; Heinrich, C.; Nguyen, T. C.; Lahajnar, N.


    Sediment plumes and shelf clinoforms can be traced almost continuously from the Yangtse until the Mekong Delta as a unique morphodynamics feature of the northern and western marginal parts of the South China Sea. Major sediment plumes originate at the mouths of large rivers, namely the Yangtse, Pearl, Red and Mekong Rivers and extend several hundred kilometers in downdrift direction which is governed mainly by the monsoonal system with the prevailing winter-monsoon winds from NE. Outside the zone of influence of these large rivers we find numerous small mountainous rivers between the Yangtse and Pearl Rivers in SE China and between the Red and Mekong Rivers in central Vietnam providing high amounts of detrital sediments as well. Age control provides clear evidence that the shelf clinoforms developed after 8200 calendar years BP together with a re-organization of the coastal zone and the onset of major modern river deltas after the last phase of accelerated sea-level rise in the Early Holocene, 9000 - 8200 calendar years BP. For the last century 210-Pb activity profiles reveal complex sedimentary processes with event deposition and frequent erosion and re-deposition with average accumulation rates up to 1.5 cm/yr. Suspended sediment contents (SSC) were measured on the Vietnam Shelf. Key regions like the Gulf of Tonkin and the Mekong delta show a strong monsoonal signal as well as a strong tidal signal in the inter-monsoonal period by significant areas of SSCs greater than 25 μl/l even in the inter-monsoonal season. Suspended sediments exhibit distinct seasonal variability while the deposits of shelf clinoforms reflect the average long-term accumulation patterns of terrigenous sediments sometimes winnowed by marine sedimentation and/or masked by bioturbation.

  2. Adjustments of a global Finite-Element Sea Ice Ocean Model configuration to improve the general ocean circulation in the North Pacific and its marginal seas. (United States)

    Scholz, Patrick; Lohmann, Gerrit


    The sub-Arctic oceans like the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea, the Labrador Sea or the Greenland- Irminger-Norwegian (GIN) Sea react particularly sensitive to global climate changes and have the potential to reversely regulate climate change by CO2 uptake in the other areas of the world. So far, the natural processes in the Arctic and Subarctic system, especially over the Pacific realm, remain poorly understood in terms of numerical modeling. As such, in this study we focus on the North Pacific and its adjacent marginal seas (e.g. the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Japan), which have nowadays a significant role in the climate system of the Northwest Pacific by influencing the atmospheric and oceanic circulation as well as the hydrology of the Pacific water masses. The Sea of Okhotsk, in particular, is characterized by a highly dynamical sea-ice coverage, where, in autumn and winter, due to massive sea ice formation and brine rejection, the Sea of Okhotsk Intermediate Water (SOIW) is formed which contributes to the mid-depth (500-1000m) water layer of the North Pacific known as newly formed North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW). By employing a Finite-Element Sea-Ice Ocean Model (FESOM), in a global configuration, but with high resolution over the marginal seas of the Northwest Pacific Ocean ( 7 km), we tested different meshes and forcing improvements to correct the general ocean circulation in the North Pacific realm towards a more realistic pattern. By using different forcing data (e.g. CORE2, ERA-40/interim, CCMP-correction), adapting the mesh resolutions in the tropical and subtropical North Pacific and changing the bathymetry over important inflow straits (e.g. Amukta Passage, Kruzenstern Strait), we show that the better results are obtained (when compared with observational data) via a combination of CCMP corrected COREv2 forcing with increased resolution in the pathway of the Kuroshio Extension Current and Northern Equatorial Current.

  3. Mercury profiles in sediment from the marginal high of Arabian Sea: an indicator of increasing anthropogenic Hg input. (United States)

    Chakraborty, Parthasarathi; Vudamala, Krushna; Chennuri, Kartheek; Armoury, Kazip; Linsy, P; Ramteke, Darwin; Sebastian, Tyson; Jayachandran, Saranya; Naik, Chandan; Naik, Richita; Nath, B Nagender


    Total Hg distributions and its speciation were determined in two sediment cores collected from the western continental marginal high of India. Total Hg content in the sediment was found to gradually increase (by approximately two times) towards the surface in both the cores. It was found that Hg was preferentially bound to sulfide under anoxic condition. However, redox-mediated reactions in the upper part of the core influenced the total Hg content in the sediment cores. This study suggests that probable increase in authigenic and allogenic Hg deposition attributed to the increasing Hg concentration in the surface sediment in the study area.

  4. Geotechnical Properties of Submarine Sediments from Submarine Landslides on the Eastern Australian Continental Margin and Implications for Slide Initiation (United States)

    Clarke, S. L.; Hubble, T.; Airey, D.


    Geomechanical test data are presented for 12 gravity cores, up to 5 m long, taken at sites from the upper slope (Soil Classification System - USCS). Total unit weight varies between 14.1 to 17.4 kNm-3, bulk density 715-2065 kgm-3, water content 43-90+%, and specific gravity 2.5-2.74. Sediments present low plasticity, liquid limits 43-63%, and plasticity indices of 8.7-34%. Measured strength values, friction angle (Ф') and apparent cohesion (c'), vary between 30-40°, and 0-10 kPa respectively. One slide-adjacent core, and four within-landslide cores present boundary surfaces located at depths of 0.8 to 2.2 meters below the present-day seafloor that are identified by a sharp, colour-change boundary; small increases in sediment stiffness; slight increases in sediment bulk density of 0.1 gcm-3; and distinct gaps in AMS 14C age of at least 25 ka. Compression testing indicates that the sediment above and below the boundary surface is slightly overconsolidated. Triaxial tests indicate a significant increase in the brittleness of the shear response of the sediment with increasing vertical stress, which would cause a progressive increase of pore pressure if the sediment was subjected to cyclic (earthquake) loading. The boundary surfaces are interpreted to represent detachment surfaces or slide plane surfaces. Slope stability models based on classical soil mechanics and measured sediment shear-strengths indicate that the upper slope sediments should be stable. However, multibeam bathymetry data reveal that many upper slope landslides occur across the margin and that submarine landsliding is a common process. We infer from these results that: a) the margin experiences seismic events that act to destabilise the slope sediments, and/or b) an unidentified mechanism regularly acts to reduce the shear resistance of these sediments to the very low values required to enable slope failure.

  5. Analysis of the circulation and shelf-slope exchanges in the continental margin of the northwestern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Jordi


    Full Text Available In this paper, we present the results from a high horizontal resolution numerical simulation of the northwestern Mediterranean using a z-level, non-hydrostatic, primitive equation ocean model (DieCAST. The high resolution allows an accurate representation of the submarine canyons that presides in the region. The model is one-way coupled to a large scale model of the Mediterranean Sea through open boundaries and uses the atmospheric forcing fields provided in terms of HIRLAM outputs by the Spanish National Institute of Meteorology. Results show that the model can successfully reproduce the complex general circulation characteristics of the area, including the modifications induced by canyons in their vicinity and other phenomena observed such as instabilities and coastal trapped waves. The sea surface temperature is similar to satellite observations except that simulated temperatures are slightly warmer near the coast than observations and colder near the open boundaries. An important topic of this work is the computation of the shelf-slope exchanges, which are able to renew shelf waters in a few months.

  6. Sponge assemblages on the deep Mediterranean continental shelf and slope (Menorca Channel, Western Mediterranean Sea) (United States)

    Santín, Andreu; Grinyó, Jordi; Ambroso, Stefano; Uriz, Maria J.; Gori, Andrea; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Gili, Josep-Maria


    Sponge assemblages on continental shelves and slopes around the world have been known about for centuries. However, due to limitations of the traditional sampling systems, data about individual sponge species rather than assemblages have been reported. This study characterizes sponge assemblages over a wide bathymetric range ( 50-350 m depth) and covering the entire continental shelf and the upper slope of the Menorca Channel, an area soon to be declared a Marine Protected Area (MPA) as part of the Natura 2000 Network. Quantitative analysis of 85 video-transects (a total linear distance of 75 km), together with representative collections to confirm species identifications, allowed us to discriminate six major assemblages. Differences in the assemblages mainly corresponded to differences in substrate type and depth. On the inner continental shelf, a semi-sciaphilous Axinellid assemblage dominated the rocky outcrops. Maërl beds on the inner continental shelf were dominated by Haliclona (Reniera) mediterranea, whereas the horny sponge Aplysina cavernicola and several other haliclonids mostly dominated maërl beds and rocky substrates of the outer shelf. Soft sediments on the shelf break hosted a monospecific Thenea muricata assemblage, whereas rocky substrates of the shelf break were characterized by a mixture of encrusting, columnar and fan-shaped sponges. Finally, the upper slope was dominated by Hamacantha (Vomerula) falcula and the hexactinellid Tretodictyum reiswigi. Overall, sponge diversity showed its highest values above the shelf break, plummeting severely on the upper slope. Despite this diversity decrease, we found very high densities (> 70 ind./m2) of sponges over vast areas of both the shelf break and the upper slope.

  7. Long-term landscape evolution of the South Atlantic "passive" continental margin in Eastern Argentina using apatite fission-track thermochronology (United States)

    Pfister, Sabrina; Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.


    To understand the evolution of the "passive" continental margin in Argentina low temperature thermochronology is an appropriate method, which might lead to new insights in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills the Salado basin is located whereas the Claromecó basin is situated south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the South American "passive" continental margin, the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography is fairly flat with altitudes up to 350 m. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-Proterozoic in age and build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons. It is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sedimentary rocks (Cingolani 2011), like siliciclastic rocks, dolostones, shales and limestones (Demoulin 2005). The aim of the study is to quantify the long-term landscape evolution of the "passive" continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal, exhumation and tectonic evolution. For that purpose, samples were taken from the basement of the Sierra Septentrionales and analyzed with the apatite fission-track method. Further 2-D thermokinematic modeling was conducted with the computer code HeFTy (Ketcham 2005; Ketcham 2007; Ketcham et al. 2009). Because there are different hypotheses in literature regarding the geological evolution of this area two different models were generated, one after Demoulin et al. (2005) and another after Zalba et al.(2007). All samples were taken from the Neoproterozoic igneous-metamorphic basement. Apatite fission-track ages range from 101.6 (9.4) to 228.9 (22.3) Ma, and, therefore, are younger than their formation age, indicating all samples have been thermally reset. Six samples accomplished enough confined

  8. Generation of felsic rocks of bimodal volcanic suites from thinned and rifted continental margins: Geochemical and Nd, Sr, Pb-isotopic evidence from Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada (United States)

    Dostal, Jaroslav; Hamilton, Tark S.; Shellnutt, J. Gregory


    The compositionally bimodal volcanic rocks of the Eocene-Miocene Masset Formation from Queen Charlotte basin, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada, underlie an area greater than 5000 km2 where their exposed sections are up to 1.6 km thick. The suite of mafic and felsic rocks (dacites and rhyolites) that erupted closely spaced in time, in both submarine and subaerial conditions, was associated with significant crustal extension and thin continental crust ( 19-24 km thick), with volcanism persisting for 35 Ma (from 46 to 11 Ma). Predominant mafic types (mafic:felsic 2:1) are moderately enriched mid-ocean-ridge-like basalts that were derived by a partial melting of a heterogeneous spinel peridotite source. Felsic rocks are plagioclase-phyric, two pyroxene-bearing, mainly peraluminous types which have Nd, Pb and Sr isotopic compositions overlapping those of basalts including high positive ƐNd(t) values (up to >+6). The chondrite-normalized REE patterns show light REE enrichment but flat heavy REE along with a variable negative Eu anomaly. Mineralogy, major and trace elements, Nd-Sr-Pb isotopic data and model calculations using MELTS are consistent with a derivation of felsic rocks from the basalts by fractional crystallization. The intercalation of basaltic and felsic rocks suggests the existence of separate, simultaneously active plumbing and feeder systems and relatively stable magma chamber(s) to generate large volumes of differentiated felsic magmas by fractional crystallization. The Masset rocks provide an example for the generation of felsic magmas of bimodal volcanic suites during rifting along a thinned continental margin. Appendix 1b Representative analyses of minerals of the Masset Formation felsic rocks

  9. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research'sOkeanos Explorer Program 2014 Discoveries - U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin and Gulf of Mexico (United States)

    Lobecker, E.; McKenna, L.; Sowers, D.; Elliott, K.; Kennedy, B.


    NOAA ShipOkeanos Explorer, the only U.S. federal vessel dedicated to global ocean exploration, made several important discoveries in U.S. waters of the North Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico during the 2014 field season. Based on input received from a broad group ofmarine scientists and resource managers, over 100,000 square kilometers of seafloor and associated water column were systematically explored using advanced mapping sonars. 39 ROV diveswere conducted, leading to new discoveries that will further ourunderstanding of biologic, geologic, and underwater-cultural heritage secrets hidden withinthe oceans. In the Atlantic, season highlights include completion of a multi-year submarine canyons mapping effort of the continental shelf break from North Carolina to the U.S.-Canada maritime border;new information on the ephemerality of recently discovered and geographically extensive cold water seeps; and continued exploration of the New England Seamount chain; and mapping of two potential historically significant World War II wreck sites. In the Gulf of Mexico, season highlights includecompletion of a multi-year mapping effort of the West Florida Escarpment providing new insight into submarine landslides and detachment zones;the discovery of at least two asphalt volcanoes, or 'tar lilies'; range extensions of deep-sea corals; discovery of two potential new species of crinoids; identification of at least 300 potential cold water seeps; and ROV exploration of three historically significant19th century shipwrecks. In both regions, high-resolution mapping led to new insight into the geological context in which deep sea corals develop,while ROV dives provided valuable observations of deep sea coral habitats and their associated organisms, and chemosynthetic habitats. All mapping and ROV data is freely available to the public in usable data formats and maintained in national geophysical and oceanographic data archives.

  10. Study of the particulate matter transfer and dumping using {sup 210} Po et le {sup 210} Pb. Application to the Gulf of Biscary (NE Atlantic Ocean) and the Gulf of Lion (NW Mediterranean Sea) continental margins; Etude du transfert et du depot du materiel particulaire par le {sup 210} Po et le {sup 210} Pb. Application aux marges continentales du Golfe de Gascogne (NE Atlantique) et du Golfe du Lion (NW Mediterranee)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radakovitch, O.


    {sup 210} Po and {sup 210} Pb activities and fluxes were measured on seawater, sediment-trapped material collected during one year and sediment. Focalization of {sup 210} Pb is clearly noticed on the Cap-Ferret canyon (Gulf of Biscary) and the Lacaze-Duthiers canyon (western part of the Gulf of Lion). In both sites, {sup 210} Pb fluxes in traps and sediment are always higher than {sup 210} Pb flux available from atmospheric and in situ production. On the contrary, Grand-Rhone canyon and its adjacent open slope exhibit a {sup 210} Pb budget near equilibrium in the near-bottom sediment traps, but focalization is important in the sediment. For the entire Gulf of Lion margin, focalization of {sup 210} Pb in the sediment occurred principally between 500 and 1500 m water depth on the slope, and on the middle shelf mud-patch. {sup 210} Po and {sup 210} Pb have been used in the Cap Ferret and Grand-Rhone canyons to characterize the origin of the particulate trapped material. Two main sources feed the water column. The first source, localized in surface waters, is constituted by biogenic particles from primary production and lithogenic material. The second source, deeper, is due to resuspension at the shelf break and/or on the open slope. In each site, {sup 210} Po and {sup 210} Pb activities of the trapped particles did not show any relations with the major constituents. Quantity of particles appeared to be the main factor regulating adsorption processes of these nuclides. Sedimentation rates based on {sup 210} Po profiles decreased with increasing water depth, from 0.4 ti 0.06 cm y-1 on the Cap Ferret canyon (400 to 3000 m water depth) and from 0.5 to 0.05 cm y-1 for the entire Gulf of Lion margin (50 to 2000 m water depth). (author). 243 refs.

  11. Marginal sea surface temperature variation as a pre-cursor of heat waves over the Korean Peninsula (United States)

    Ham, Yoo-Geun; Na, Hye-Yun


    This study examines the role of the marginal sea surface temperature (SST) on heat waves over Korea. It is found that sea surface warming in the south sea of Korea/Japan (122-138°E, 24- 33°N) causes heat waves after about a week. Due to the frictional force, the positive geopotential height anomalies associated with the south sea warming induce divergent flows over the boundary layer. This divergent flow induces the southerly in Korea, which leads to a positive temperature advection. On the other hand, over the freeatmosphere, the geostrophic wind around high-pressure anomalies flows in a westerly direction over Korea during the south sea warming, which is not effective in temperature advection. Therefore, the positive temperature advection in Korea due to the south sea warming decreases with height. This reduces the vertical potential temperature gradient, which indicates a negative potential vorticity (PV) tendency over Korea. Therefore, the high-pressure anomaly over the south sea of Korea is propagated northward, which results in heat waves due to more incoming solar radiation.

  12. U-Pb thermochronology of rutile from Alpine Corsica: constraints on the thermal evolution of the European margin during Jurassic continental breakup (United States)

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


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

  13. 3D thermal effect of late Cenozoic erosion and deposition within the Lofoten-Vesterålen segment of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin (United States)

    Maystrenko, Yuriy Petrovich; Gernigon, Laurent; Olesen, Odleiv; Ottesen, Dag; Rise, Leif


    A 3D subsurface temperature distribution within the Lofoten-Vesterålen segment of the Mid-Norwegian continental margin and adjacent areas has been studied to understand the thermal effect of late Cenozoic erosion of old sedimentary and crystalline rocks and subsequent deposition of glacial sediments during the Pleistocene. A lithosphere-scale 3D structural model of the Lofoten-Vesterålen area has been used as a realistic approximation of the geometries of the sedimentary infill, underlying crystalline crust and lithospheric mantle during the 3D thermal modelling. The influence of late Cenozoic erosion and sedimentation has been included during the 3D thermal calculations. In addition, the 3D thermal modelling has been carried out by taking also into account the influence of early Cenozoic continental breakup. The results of the 3D thermal modelling demonstrate that the mainland is generally colder than the basin areas within the upper part of the 3D model. The thermal influence of the early Cenozoic breakup is still clearly recognisable within the western and deep parts of the Lofoten-Vesterålen margin segment in terms of the increased temperatures. The thermal effects of the erosion and deposition within the study area also indicate that a positive thermal anomaly exists within the specific sub-areas where sedimentary and crystalline rocks were eroded. A negative thermal effect occurs in the sub-areas affected by subsidence and subsequent sedimentation. The erosion-related positive thermal anomaly reaches its maximum of more than + 27° C at depths of 17-22 km beneath the eastern part of the Vestfjorden Basin. The most pronounced deposition-related negative anomaly shows a minimum of around -70° C at 17-20 km depth beneath the Lofoten Basin. The second negative anomaly is located within the northeastern part of the Vøring Basin and has minimal values of around -48° C at 12-14 km depth. These prominent thermal anomalies are associated with the sub-areas where

  14. Synchronizing early Eocene deep-sea and continental records - cyclostratigraphic age models for the Bighorn Basin Coring Project drill cores (United States)

    Westerhold, Thomas; Röhl, Ursula; Wilkens, Roy H.; Gingerich, Philip D.; Clyde, William C.; Wing, Scott L.; Bowen, Gabriel J.; Kraus, Mary J.


    A consistent chronostratigraphic framework is required to understand the effect of major paleoclimate perturbations on both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Transient global warming events in the early Eocene, at 56-54 Ma, show the impact of large-scale carbon input into the ocean-atmosphere system. Here we provide the first timescale synchronization of continental and marine deposits spanning the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and the interval just prior to the Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (ETM-2). Cyclic variations in geochemical data come from continental drill cores of the Bighorn Basin Coring Project (BBCP, Wyoming, USA) and from marine deep-sea drilling deposits retrieved by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). Both are dominated by eccentricity-modulated precession cycles used to construct a common cyclostratigraphic framework. Integration of age models results in a revised astrochronology for the PETM in deep-sea records that is now generally consistent with independent 3He age models. The duration of the PETM is estimated at ˜ 200 kyr for the carbon isotope excursion and ˜ 120 kyr for the associated pelagic clay layer. A common terrestrial and marine age model shows a concurrent major change in marine and terrestrial biota ˜ 200 kyr before ETM-2. In the Bighorn Basin, the change is referred to as Biohorizon B and represents a period of significant mammalian turnover and immigration, separating the upper Haplomylus-Ectocion Range Zone from the Bunophorus Interval Zone and approximating the Wa-4-Wa-5 land mammal zone boundary. In sediments from ODP Site 1262 (Walvis Ridge), major changes in the biota at this time are documented by the radiation of a second generation of apical spine-bearing sphenolith species (e.g., S. radians and S. editus), the emergence of T. orthostylus, and the marked decline of D. multiradiatus.

  15. Long-term landscape evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin along the Kaoko- and Damara Belts, NW-Namibia (United States)

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


    The Kaoko Belt in northwestern Namibia originates in the collision of the Rio de la Plata and Kongo Craton during the Pan-African Orogeny in the Neoproterozoic (1) and represents the northern arm of the Damara Orogen. NW-Namibias continental crust mainly consists of the NE-SW striking intracontinental branch of the Pan-African Damara mobile belt, which separates the Congo from the Kalahari craton. The Damara Orogen is divided into several tectonostratigraphic zones that are bounded by steeply dipping, ductile shear zones. These regional lineaments can be traced at least 150 km offshore (2). The lithostratigraphic units consist of Proterozoic and Cambrian metamorphosed rocks (534 (7) Ma - 481 (25) Ma (3) as well as Mesozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks. From Permo-Carboniferous to Mid Jurassic northern Namibia was affected by deep erosion of the Damara Orogen, Permo-Triassic collisional processes along the southern margin of Gondwana and eastern margin of Africa (4), and the deposition of the Nama Group sediments and the Karoo megasequence (5). Between the Otjihorongo and the Omaruru Lineament-Waterberg Thrust early Mesozoic tectonic activity is recorded by coarse clastic sediments deposited within NE trending half-graben structures. The Early Jurassic Karoo flood basalt lavas erupted rapidly at 183±1 Ma (6). The Early Cretaceous Paraná-Etendeka flood basalts (132±1 Ma) and mafic dike swarms mark the rift stage of the opening of the South Atlantic (7). Early Cretaceous alkaline intrusions (137-124 Ma) occur preferentially along Mesozoic half-graben structures and are called the Damaraland Igneous Province (8). Late Cretaceous alkaline intrusions and kimberlite pipes occur in northern Namibia. Post Early Paleocene siliciclastic sedimentation in Namibia was largely restricted to a 150 km wide zone (9) and is represented by the Tsondab Sandstone Formation (~ 300 m thickness). The oldest part has an age of early Paleocene and the upper part span from middle Miocene

  16. Effective inundation of continental United States communities with 21st century sea level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina A. Dahl


    Full Text Available Recurrent, tidally driven coastal flooding is one of the most visible signs of sea level rise. Recent studies have shown that such flooding will become more frequent and extensive as sea level continues to rise, potentially altering the landscape and livability of coastal communities decades before sea level rise causes coastal land to be permanently inundated. In this study, we identify US communities that will face effective inundation—defined as having 10% or more of livable land area flooded at least 26 times per year—with three localized sea level rise scenarios based on projections for the 3rd US National Climate Assessment. We present these results in a new, online interactive tool that allows users to explore when and how effective inundation will impact their communities. In addition, we identify communities facing effective inundation within the next 30 years that contain areas of high socioeconomic vulnerability today using a previously published vulnerability index. With the Intermediate-High and Highest sea level rise scenarios, 489 and 668 communities, respectively, would face effective inundation by the year 2100. With these two scenarios, more than half of communities facing effective inundation by 2045 contain areas of current high socioeconomic vulnerability. These results highlight the timeframes that US coastal communities have to respond to disruptive future inundation. The results also underscore the importance of limiting future warming and sea level rise: under the Intermediate-Low scenario, used as a proxy for sea level rise under the Paris Climate Agreement, 199 fewer communities would be effectively inundated by 2100.

  17. Meso-/Cenozoic long-term landscape evolution at the southern Moroccan passive continental margin, Tarfaya Basin, recorded by low-temperature thermochronology (United States)

    Sehrt, Manuel; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Stockli, Daniel F.; Jabour, Haddou; Kluth, Oliver


    This paper presents the first regional study of low-temperature thermochronology to be undertaken in the Tarfaya Basin at the southern Moroccan passive continental margin. The basin is characterised by vast subsidence since Mid-Triassic times, whereby up to 12 km of Meso- to Cenozoic sedimentary rocks accumulated. The study focused on the post-rift vertical movements along a typical ;passive; margin and besides dealt with the timing and maximum temperature reached by potential source rocks of the basin. To unravel the t-T development, thermochronological analyses were performed on 50 outcrop and well samples from Meso-Cenozoic rocks. Thermochronological data reveal a continuous subsidence phase in the offshore basin from Mid-Triassic to recent times. In contrast, apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He and apatite fission-track data as well as thermal modelling point to an inversion of the northeastern onshore basin starting in the Palaeogene at 65-55 Ma. The rock uplift and exhumation period resulted in the erosion of a 1.0-1.4 km thick Cretaceous-Palaeogene sedimentary pile contemporaneously with peak Atlas surface uplift in the Cenozoic. The exhumation stage could be an explanation for the increasing periodic influx of detrital material into the offshore and southern onshore Tarfaya Basin since Palaeocene. Detrital apatite fission-track ages from 92 (± 16) to 237 (± 35) Ma of the Upper Cretaceous-Neogene succession indicate no heating above 60 °C confirming immature to early mature Cenomanian to Campanian and Eocene source rocks in the onshore Tarfaya Basin.

  18. High resolution seismic stratigraphy and Mass Transport Deposits of the proximal continental margin, offshore Quarteira, South Portugal: Preliminary Results. (United States)

    Duarte, Débora; Santos, Joana; Terrinha, Pedro; Brito, Pedro; Noiva, João; Ribeiro, Carlos; Roque, Cristina


    More than 300 nautical miles of multichannel seismic reflection data were acquired in the scope of the ASTARTE project (Assessment Strategy and Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe), off Quarteira, Algarve, South Portugal. The main goal of this very high resolution multichannel seismic survey was to obtain high-resolution images of the sedimentary record to try to discern the existence of high energy events, possibly tsunami backwash deposits associated with large magnitude earthquakes generated at the Africa-Eurasia plate boundary This seismic dataset was processed at the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), with the SeisSpace PROMAX Seismic Processing software. A tailor-made processing flow was applied, focusing in the removal of the seafloor multiple and in the enhancement of the superficial layers. A sparker source, using with 300 J of energy and a fire rate of 0,5 s was used onboard Xunauta, an 18 m long vessel. The preliminary seismostratigraphic interpretation of the Algarve ASTARTE seismic dataset allowed the identification of a complex sequence seismic units of progradational and agradational bodies as well as Mass Transported Deposits (MTD). The MTD package of sediments has a very complex internal structure, 20m of thickness, is apparently spatially controlled by an escarpment probably associated to past sea level low stands. The MTD covers across an area, approximately parallel to an ancient coastline, with >30 km (length) x 5 km (across). Acknowledgements: This work was developed as part of the project ASTARTE (603839 FP7) supported by the grant agreement No 603839 of the European Union's Seventh. The Instituto Portugues do Mar e da Atmosfera acknowledges support by Landmark Graphics (SeisWorks) via the Landmark University Grant Program.

  19. Diversity, abundance and niche differentiation of ammonia-oxidizing prokaryotes in mud deposits of the eastern China marginal seas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaolan eYu


    Full Text Available The eastern China marginal seas are prominent examples of river-dominated ocean margins, whose most characteristic feature is the existence of isolated mud patches on sandy sediments. Ammonia-oxidizing prokaryotes play a crucial role in the nitrogen cycles of many marine environments, including marginal seas. However, few studies have attempted to address the distribution patterns of ammonia-oxidizing prokaryotes in mud deposits of these seas. The horizontal and vertical community composition and abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA and bacteria (AOB were investigated in mud deposits of the South Yellow Sea (SYS and the East China Sea (ECS by using amoA clone libraries and quantitative PCR. The diversity of AOB was comparable or higher in the mud zone of SYS and lower in ECS when compared with AOA. Vertically, surface sediments had generally higher diversity of AOA and AOB than middle and bottom layers. Diversity of AOA and AOB showed significant correlation with latitude. Nitrosopumilus and Nitrosospira lineages dominated AOA and AOB communities, respectively. Both AOA and AOB assemblages exhibited greater variations across different sites than those among various depths at one site. The abundance of bacterial amoA was generally higher than that of archaeal amoA, and both of them decreased with depth. Niche differentiation, which was affected by dissolved oxygen, salinity, ammonia and silicate (SiO32-, was observed between AOA and AOB and among different groups of them. The spatial distribution of AOA and AOB was significantly correlated with δ15NTN and SiO32-, and nitrate and δ13C, respectively. Both archaeal and bacterial amoA abundance correlated strongly with SiO32-. This study improves our understanding of spatial distribution of AOA and AOB in ecosystems featuring oceanic mud deposits.

  20. Modelling passive margin sequence stratigraphy (United States)

    Steckler, M.S.; Reynolds, D.; Coakley, B.; Swift, B.A.; Jarrard, R.D.


    We have modelled stratigraphic sequences to aid in deciphering the sedimentary response to sea-level change. Sequence geometry is found to be most sensitive to sea level, but other factors, including subsidence rate and sediment supply, can produce similar changes. Sediment loading and compaction also play a major role in generating accommodation, a factor often neglected in sequence-stratigraphic models. All of these parameters can control whether a type 1 or type 2 sequence boundary is produced. The models indicate that variations in margin characteristics produce systematic shifts in sequence boundary timing and systems tract distribution. The timing of the sequence boundary formation and systems tracts may differ by up to one-half of a sea-level cycle. Thus correlative sequence boundaries will not be synchronous. While rates of sea-level change may exceed the rate of thermal subsidence, isostasy and compaction may amplify the rate of total subsidence to several times greater than the thermal subsidence. Thus, total subsidence does not vary uniformly across the margin since it is modified by the sediment load. The amplitude of sea-level changes cannot be determined accurately without accounting for the major processes that affect sediment accumulation. Backstripping of a seismic line on the New Jersey margin is used to reconstruct continental margin geometry. The reconstructions show that the pre-existing ramp-margin geometry, rather than sea level, controls clinoform heights and slopes and sedimentary bypass. Backstripping also reveals progressive deformation of sequences due to compaction. Further work is still needed to understand quantitatively the role of sea level and the tectonic and sedimentary processes controlling sequence formation and influencing sequence architecture.

  1. Otoliths in continental shelf and slope surficial sediments off Saurashtra, Arabian Sea, India and their significance

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nigam, R.; John, S.; Rana

    surficial sediment samples from the shelf and slope region (depth) upto 100 m) off Saurashtra, Arabian Sea were examined to study to otoliths. The study revealed the existence of a number of species belonging to 21 genera viz. Acropoma, Apogon, Ariosoma...

  2. Shelf-Basin Exchange over the Continental Slope of the Chukchi Sea 2003/04 vs. 2016/17 (United States)

    Muenchow, A.; Elmer, C.; Badiey, M.; Eickmeier, J.; Ryan, P.


    The US Navy faces the "New Arctic" as a challenge to predict acoustic propagation from deep to shallow waters, because a less ice-covered Arctic Ocean is more dynamic and creates new and more complex sound channels. We here present context and preliminary results from the Canada Basin Acoustic Propagation Experiment (CANAPE) and focus on the Chukchi Sea between 100-m and 800-m isobaths. We explore temperature and density fields using ocean survey and mooring data that we collected in 2016 and 2017. We compare these "new" data to observations from prior decades.Remote sensing (SSMI and Sentinel-1) of sea ice, winds, and ocean hydrography all document change in large scale ocean forcing in our study area about 150 km west of Barrow, Alaska. The "new" surface forcing impacts both ocean dynamics and sound propagation over the Chukchi Slope. More specifically, we find warm water intrusions at 80-m depth near the 1026 kg/m3 density surface at 160 W longitude. Spatial extend and structure of this water varies both along and across the continental with eddy trains dispersing offshore. Temperature and sound speed signals exceed 1 C and 5 m/s, respectively, and have not been observed before. We note, that our study area is generally ice-covered in November, but was free of ice in 2016.

  3. Age and composition of the UHP garnet peridotites in the Dabie orogenic belt (central China) record complex crust-mantle interaction in continental margin (United States)

    Zhao, Y.; Zheng, J.; Wang, B.


    The Dabie-Sulu UHP belt was created by the collision between the North and South China cratons in Middle Triassic time (240-225 Ma). There are lots of garnet-bearing ultramafic body occurs as a lens in the belt. Age and composition of the Maowu garnet peridotites in the Dabie orogenic belt are reported. The garnet harzburgites are main moderately refractory (Mg#Ol=92) and minor fertile (Mg#Ol=88) with high Ni (2344-2603 ppm) and low Al2O3 (0.35-0.54 wt.%), CaO (0.76-2.19 wt.%) and TiO2 (˜0.01 wt.%). Zircons in the harzburgites mainly document metamorphism at 230 ± 2 Ma, 275 ± 5 Ma, 357 ± 4 Ma, and complex minor populations of ages including: 1.8 Ga, 1.3 Ga, and Neoproterozic-early Paleozoic ages (901-420 Ma). The early Meszosic and late Paleozoic zircons have similar trace-element patterns and ranges in ɛHf(t) (+0.6 to +3.4), Th/U ratio (0.2-0.7) and Hf depleted-mantle model ages (TDM ) mainly cluster in the interval 1.2-0.9 Ga. In contrast, the Paleo-Mesoproterozoic zircons have negative ɛHf(t) (-24.9 to -2.7) and oldest Hf TDM = 3.4Ga. Zircons of Neoproterozic-early Paleozoic have a wide range of Hf depleted-mantle model ages (2.4-0.7Ga) and ɛHf(t) (-15.3 to +9.5). Above of the all, we suggest that the Maowu garnet harzburgites are interpreted as a fragment of the metasomatized ancient lithospheric mantle beneath the southern margin of the North China Craton. They experienced the Proterozoic thermal event (1.9-1.8Ga), which is coeval with the assembly of the supercontinent Columbia. And then 1.3Ga mantle metasomatism with asthenospheric materials resulted in the final breakup of the Columbia supercontinent. Neoproterozic-early Paleozoic (901-420 Ma), deep parts of the south margin of the craton were metasomatized during the assembly and breakup of the Rodinia supercontinent. Then, the southern margin of the craton occurred oceanic crust subduction ( 357 Ma), subsequent continental deep subduction and final continent-continent collision in Triassic.

  4. Carbon flux during the last interglacial cycle in the inner continental shelf of the South China Sea off Hong Kong (United States)

    Yim, W. W.-S.; Chan, L. S.; Hsieh, M.; Philp, R. P.; Ridley Thomas, W. N.


    Information obtained from previous studies has been used to study carbon flux during the last interglacial cycle in the siliciclastics-dominated inner continental shelf of the South China Sea off Hong Kong. The information included grab sampling surveys, many kilometres of high-resolution reflection seismic profiles and numerous boreholes. During the high sea-level stand of the Holocene and the last interglacial period, the inner shelf of Hong Kong was a net carbon sink. This is particularly so in the present day mainly through the discharge of anthropogenic sewage. The offshore dredging of mud and the offshore mining of sand and gravel deposits have nevertheless led to the release of methane and other gases either trapped beneath Holocene deposits or originating from the bacterial breakdown of plant matter within Pleistocene deposits contributing greenhouse gases. During the last glacial period, significant quantities of carbon dioxide formed by the dissolution of carbonates through acid-sulphate development on the subaerially marine deposits of last interglacial age, and biogenic methane formed by the bacterial breakdown of fossilized plant matter in the underlying deposits was released into the atmosphere from the exposed shelf. Due mainly to the poor drainage conditions, the exposed shelf was unlikely to support a dense vegetation cover causing a lowering of carbon storage through terrestrial plants. The role of greenhouse gases generated, trapped and escaping from the present-day continental shelves during the last interglacial cycle requires consideration in the estimation of global carbon flux. Reflection seismic profiling is useful as a method for mapping the present-day shelves to permit the identification of areas affected by acoustic turbidity. For the interval between the Holocene and the last interglacial, the geochemical characterization of sediment extracts is needed for the estimation of carbon flux and for obtaining information on past vegetation

  5. Continental Flood Basalts of Bennett Island, East Siberian Sea: High Arctic Geodynamics (United States)

    Tegner, Christian; Pease, Victoria


    Volcanism provides a means of tracing mantle melting events and crustal evolution. The High Arctic includes a rich portfolio of volcanic rocks outcropping in the Circum-Arctic borderlands and imaged geophysically beneath the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge that have been lumped together as a High-Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP). However, the ages (c. 440-60 Ma) and compositions (tholeiitic-alkaline-calc-alkaline) reported varies considerably and geological correlations remain elusive. One of the possible correlative events is the formation of continental flood basalts and sills in the Canadian Arctic Islands, Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Bennett Island. These flood basalts have previously been linked to mantle plume melting and may represent a short-lived LIP event at c. 124-122 Ma. We present new data for a 350 m thick continental flood basalt succession at Bennett Island examined during fieldwork in Septemer 2013 on a joint Russian (VSEGEI) - Swedish (SWEDARCTIC) expedition to the De Long Archipelago. This volcanic succession is composed of 20 near-horisontal, undeformed flow units overlying a thin sedimentary succession of Cretaceous age (?) including coal seams and possibly volcaniclastic material that, in turn, unconformably overlies a more steeply dipping succession of Cambrian and Ordovician sediments. The flows are thinnest (c. 2-10 m) and aphyric to very-sparsely olivine-phyric in the lower portion. In contrast, the flows in the upper portion are thicker (>20 m) and aphyric to sparsely plagioclase-phyric. We will discuss new petrographic and compositional data for the Bennett Island flood basalts, possibly including new U-Pb age data. The aim is to evaluate their petrogenesis, to discuss their possible correlation to the flood basalt and sill successions of the Canadian Arctic Islands, Svalbard and Franz Josef Land and evaluate the geodynamic evolution of the High Arctic.

  6. Mid-Cenozoic post-breakup deformation in the 'passive' margins bordering the Norwegian-Greenland Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lundin, E. [Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim (Norway); Dore, A.G. [Statoil UK Ltd., London (United Kingdom)


    Since the initial breakup of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea in Early Eocene time (Chron 24B, 53.7Ma), the conjugate 'passive' margins have been subject to compression, extension, magmatism, and broad uplifts and subsidence. Mid- to Late-Cenozoic compressional doming basin inversion and reverse faulting occurred predominantly offshore within the rheologically weak deep Cretaceous depocenters. On the Norwegian margin, the domes seem to have formed primarily in Middle Eocene to Early Oligocene, and in Early Miocene, while doming in the Faroes-Rockall region developed in Late Paleocene to Early Eocene, Oligocene, and Mid- to Late-Miocene. We suggest that the main driving force was plume-enhanced ridge push. A testable working hypothesis is that discrete phases of compression were associated with periods of high plume flux. In addition, the Oligocene (Chron 13, 35Ma) change in plate motion appears to have generated local shear adjustments along pre-existing basement weaknesses, forming compressional structures in the overlying sedimentary section. This change in plate motion was first manifest by significant extension between the SW Barents Sea and the conjugate NNE Greenland margin, and led to spreading along the Knipovitch Ridge. Mid-Cenozoic extension and magmatism also preceded the development of the Kolbeinsey Ridge. The associated separation of the Jan Mayen microcontinent from East Greenland must have been strongly influenced by the position of the Iceland Plume center, in addition to the change in extension direction. With respect to initial breakup of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea in Early Eocene time, the mid-Cenozoic extension and magmatism is a post-breakup phenomena. Widely spaced areas of Neogene uplift occurred along all bordering margins. These enigmatic uplifted areas acted as nucleation sites for growth of ice caps, and initiated large glacial deposits that built out on the adjacent shelves. (author)

  7. The Structure Difference in the Southern Margin of the Dangerous Grounds: Implications for the Final Evolution of the South China Sea (United States)

    Xi, P.; Shen, C.; Zhao, Z.; Xie, X.; Mei, L.; Gong, J.; Huang, X.


    We interpret two multi-channel seismic reflection profiles, more than 900 km across the entire Dangerous Grounds, locating in east and west of the southern margin of the South China Sea respectively. Eight Cenozoic sequence boundaries are determined as well as three tectono-stratigraphic units. Detailed analysis of extensional features and unconformities revealed the tectonic in the east and west. Early extension (syn-rifting sequence) occurred in the two profiles during continental rifting, which lasted from Palaeocene to Early Oligocene, and resulted in formation of half-grabens and rotated fault-blocks. Late extension (drift-rifting sequence) has the significant difference in the both profiles. The eastern Dangerous Grounds entered rifting-depression stage and some compressional deformation occurred in the Reed Bank basin at about the beginning of Early Miocene, probably resulting from the collision of the Dangerous Grounds and the Sabah-Cagayan Arc. The western Dangerous Grounds was still in rifting until the end of Early Miocene, forming the MMU or DRU which is strongly erosional and represents a major break in sedimentation and/or erosion in partial area. Denudation fold and inverted fault can be distinguished blow the MMU, indicating the cessation of the South China Sea accompanied the NW compression, while the boundary corresponding the MMU is nearly a plano-conformity in the east. The thermal sag (post-rifting sequence) is characterized by non-faulted draping strata in the whole area. The different structure in east and west may be related to the final evolution of the SCS. When the proto-SCS closed in a scissor fashion plus the clockwise rotation of Borneo, the initial collision (c.20Ma) appeared in east part building the NW foreland basin system from Palawan Trough to Reed Bank in a short-live process, while the west part was drifting southwards until c.15Ma to form the even more remarkable foreland system from Borneo Trough to deep-water Sarawak.

  8. Regionalized global budget of the CO2 exchange at the air-water interface in continental shelf seas (United States)

    Laruelle, Goulven G.; Lauerwald, Ronny; Pfeil, Benjamin; Regnier, Pierre


    Over the past decade, estimates of the atmospheric CO2 uptake by continental shelf seas were constrained within the 0.18-0.45 Pg C yr-1 range. However, most of those estimates are based on extrapolations from limited data sets of local flux measurements (n Atlas), atmospheric CO2 values from GlobalVIEW and calculating gas transfer rates using readily available global temperature, salinity, and wind speed fields. We then aggregate our results using a global segmentation of the shelf in 45 units and 152 subunits to establish a consistent regionalized CO2 exchange budget at the global scale. Within each unit, the data density determines the spatial and temporal resolutions at which the air-sea CO2 fluxes are calculated and range from a 0.5° resolution in the best surveyed regions to a whole unit resolution in areas where data coverage is limited. Our approach also accounts, for the first time, for the partial sea ice cover of polar shelves. Our new regionalized global CO2 sink estimate of 0.19 ± 0.05 Pg C yr-1 falls in the low end of previous estimates. Reported to an ice-free surface area of 22 · 106 km2, this value yields a flux density of 0.7 mol C m-2 yr-1, 40% more intense than that of the open ocean. Our results also highlight the significant contribution of Arctic shelves to this global CO2 uptake (0.07 Pg C yr-1).

  9. Sediment texture, distribution and transport on the Ayeyarwady continental shelf, Andaman Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, P.S.; Ramaswamy, V.; Thwin, S.

    (Ramaswamy et al., 2004) we reported suspended sediment concen- trations in the northern Andaman sea and oscillation of the turbid front by about 150 km, in phase with spring-neap tidal cycle in the Gulf of Martaban. In this paper, we investigate textural... induced coastal currents aided by the prevailing westerly currents generated by the SW monsoon. Tidal currents further push the sediments into the waters of the Gulf of Martaban, where most of the suspended sediment is deposited (Fig. 4). Negligible...

  10. Using tetraether lipids archived in North Sea Basin sediments to extract North Western European Pliocene continental air temperatures (United States)

    Dearing Crampton-Flood, Emily; Peterse, Francien; Munsterman, Dirk; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.


    The Pliocene is often regarded as a suitable analogue for future climate, due to an overall warmer climate (2-3 °C) coupled with atmospheric CO2 concentrations largely similar to present values (∼400 ppmv). Numerous Pliocene sea surface temperature (SST) records are available, however, little is known about climate in the terrestrial realm. Here we generated a Pliocene continental temperature record for Northwestern Europe based on branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (brGDGT) membrane lipids stored in a marine sedimentary record from the western Netherlands. The total organic carbon (TOC) content of the sediments and its stable carbon isotopic composition (δ13Corg) indicate a strong transition from primarily marine derived organic matter (OM) during the Pliocene, to predominantly terrestrially derived OM after the transition into the Pleistocene. This trend is supported by the ratio of branched and isoprenoid tetraethers (BIT index). The marine-terrestrial transition indicates a likely change in brGDGT sources in the core, which may complicate the applicability of the brGDGT paleotemperature proxy in this setting. Currently, the application of the brGDGT-based paleothermometer on coastal marine sediments has been hampered by a marine overprint. Here, we propose a method to disentangle terrestrial and marine sources based on the degree of cyclization of tetramethylated brGDGTs (#rings) using a linear mixing model based on the global soil calibration set and a newly developed coastal marine temperature transfer function. Application of this method on our brGDGT record resulted in a 'corrected' terrestrial temperature record (MATterr). This latter record indicates that continental temperatures were ∼12-14 °C during the Early Pliocene, and 10.5-12 °C during the Mid Pliocene, confirming other Pliocene pollen based terrestrial temperature estimates from Northern and Central Europe. Furthermore, two colder (Δ 5-7 °C) periods in the Pliocene MATterr

  11. Ingestion of marine litter by loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in Portuguese continental waters. (United States)

    Nicolau, Lídia; Marçalo, Ana; Ferreira, Marisa; Sá, Sara; Vingada, José; Eira, Catarina


    The accumulation of litter in marine and coastal environments is a major threat to marine life. Data on marine litter in the gastrointestinal tract of stranded loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, found along the Portuguese continental coast was presented. Out of the 95 analysed loggerheads, litter was present in 56 individuals (59.0%) and most had less than 10 litter items (76.8%) and less than 5 g (dm) (96.8%). Plastic was the main litter category (frequency of occurrence=56.8%), while sheet (45.3%) was the most relevant plastic sub-category. There was no influence of loggerhead stranding season, cause of stranding or size on the amount of litter ingested (mean number and dry mass of litter items per turtle). The high ingested litter occurrence frequency in this study supports the use of the loggerhead turtle as a suitable tool to monitor marine litter trends, as required by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Significance of the Autumn Bloom within the Seasonal Cycle of Primary Production in a Temperate Continental Shelf Sea (United States)

    Wihsgott, Juliane U.; Sharples, Jonathan; Hopkins, Joanne; Woodward, Malcolm; Greenwood, Naomi; Sivyer, Dave; Hull, Tom


    Autumnal phytoplankton blooms are considered characteristic features of the seasonal cycle of primary productivity in most temperate and subpolar oceans. While observations of their occurrence and strength have been documented extensively, their significance within the seasonal cycle of primary production is not well quantified. Our aim is to establish the role the autumn bloom plays within the seasonal cycle and estimate its contribution to the annual primary production of a temperate continental shelf. In particular, we will illustrate that the autumn bloom has the potential to be as productive as the well-studied summer sub-surface chlorophyll maximum (SCM) and the capacity to significantly contribute to the drawdown of atmospheric CO2. We do this by combining long-term, high resolution observations of water column structure, meteorological forcing, nitrate and chlorophyll fluorescence over the entire seasonal cycle observed in a temperate shelf sea. We present a new series of continuous measurements spanning 17 months (March 2014 - July 2015), which were collected in a temperate shelf sea on the North West European Shelf. A long-term mooring array recorded full depth vertical density structure, dynamics and meteorological data as well as surface chlorophyll fluorescence biomass and inorganic nutrient data over a full seasonal cycle at a station 120 km north-east from the continental shelf break. Eight process cruises supplied additional full depth profiles of chlorophyll fluorescence biomass and macronutrients. The breakdown of stratification in 2014 commenced in early October due to increased winds compared to summer months, and a predominantly negative net heat flux (the ocean lost heat to the overlying atmosphere). Vertical mixing in autumn not only transformed the vertical density structure but also the vertical structure of chlorophyll biomass and surface nutrients. The SCM became eroded and instead a vertically homogeneous profile of chlorophyll biomass

  13. Sensitivity analysis of a variability in rock thermal conductivity concerning implications on the thermal evolution of the Brazilian South Atlantic passive continental margin (United States)

    Stippich, Christian; Krob, Florian; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Hackspacher, Peter Christian


    The aim of the research is to quantify the long-term evolution of the western South Atlantic passive continental margin (SAPCM) in SE-Brazil. Excellent onshore outcrop conditions and extensive pre-rift to post-rift archives between São Paulo and Laguna allow a high precision quantification of exhumation, and rock uplift rates, influencing physical parameters, long-term acting forces, and process-response systems. The research integrates published (Karl et al., 2013) and partly published thermochronological data from Brazil, and test lately published new concepts on causes of long-term landscape and lithospheric evolution in southern Brazil. Six distinct lithospheric blocks (Laguna, Florianópolis, Curitiba, Ilha Comprida, Peruibe and Santos), which are separated by fracture zones (Karl et al., 2013) are characterized by individual thermochronological age spectra. Furthermore, the thermal evolution derived by numerical modeling indicates variable post-rift exhumation histories of these blocks. In this context, we will provide information on the causes for the complex exhumation history of the Florianópolis, and adjacent blocks. Following up on our latest publication (Braun et al., 2016) regarding the effect of variability in rock thermal conductivity on exhumation rate estimates we performed a sensitivity analysis to quantify the effect of a differentiated lithospheric crust on the thermal evolution of the Florianópolis block versus exhumation rates estimated from modelling a lithospheric uniform crustal block. The long-term landscape evolution models with process rates were computed with the software code PECUBE (Braun, 2003; Braun et al., 2012). Testing model solutions obtained for a multidimensional parameter space against the real thermochronological and geomorphological data set, the most likely combinations of parameters, values, and rates can be constrained. References Braun, J., 2003. Pecube: A new finite element code to solve the 3D heat transport

  14. Local Effects of Ice Floes on Skin Sea Surface Temperature in the Marginal Ice Zone from UAVs (United States)

    Zappa, C. J.; Brown, S.; Emery, W. J.; Adler, J.; Wick, G. A.; Steele, M.; Palo, S. E.; Walker, G.; Maslanik, J. A.


    Recent years have seen extreme changes in the Arctic. Particularly striking are changes within the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean, and especially in the seas north of the Alaskan coast. These areas have experienced record warming, reduced sea ice extent, and loss of ice in areas that had been ice-covered throughout human memory. Even the oldest and thickest ice types have failed to survive through the summer melt period in areas such as the Beaufort Sea and Canada Basin, and fundamental changes in ocean conditions such as earlier phytoplankton blooms may be underway. Marginal ice zones (MIZ), or areas where the "ice-albedo feedback" driven by solar warming is highest and ice melt is extensive, may provide insights into the extent of these changes. Airborne remote sensing, in particular InfraRed (IR), offers a unique opportunity to observe physical processes at sea-ice margins. It permits monitoring the ice extent and coverage, as well as the ice and ocean temperature variability. It can also be used for derivation of surface flow field allowing investigation of turbulence and mixing at the ice-ocean interface. Here, we present measurements of visible and IR imagery of melting ice floes in the marginal ice zone north of Oliktok Point AK in the Beaufort Sea made during the Marginal Ice Zone Ocean and Ice Observations and Processes EXperiment (MIZOPEX) in July-August 2013. The visible and IR imagery were taken from the unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) ScanEagle. The visible imagery clearly defines the scale of the ice floes. The IR imagery show distinct cooling of the skin sea surface temperature (SST) as well as a intricate circulation and mixing pattern that depends on the surface current, wind speed, and near-surface vertical temperature/salinity structure. Individual ice floes develop turbulent wakes as they drift and cause transient mixing of an influx of colder surface (fresh) melt water. The upstream side of the ice floe shows the coldest skin SST, and

  15. A comparison of geochemical exploration techniques and sample media within accretionary continental margins: an example from the Pacific Border Ranges, Southern Alaska, U.S.A. (United States)

    Sutley, S.J.; Goldfarb, R.J.; O'Leary, R. M.; Tripp, R.B.


    The Pacific Border Ranges of the southern Alaskan Cordillera are composed of a number of allochthonous tectonostratigraphic terranes. Within these terranes are widespread volcanogenic, massive sulfide deposits in and adjacent to portions of accreted ophiolite complexes, bands and disseminations of chromite in accreted island-arc ultramafic rocks, and epigenetic, gold-bearing quartz veins in metamorphosed turbidite sequences. A geochemical pilot study was undertaken to determine the most efficient exploration strategy for locating these types of mineral deposits within the Pacific Border Ranges and other typical convergent continental margin environments. High-density sediment sampling was carried out in first- and second-order stream channels surrounding typical gold, chromite and massive sulfide occurrences. At each site, a stream-sediment and a panned-concentrate sample were collected. In the laboratory, the stream sediments were sieved into coarse-sand, fine- to medium-sand, and silt- to clay-size fractions prior to analysis. One split of the panned concentrates was retained for analysis; a second split was further concentrated by gravity separation in heavy liquids and then divided into magnetic, weakly magnetic and nonmagnetic fractions for analysis. A number of different techniques including atomic absorption spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and semi-quantitative emission spectrography were used to analyze the various sample media. Comparison of the various types of sample media shows that in this tectonic environment it is most efficient to include a silt- to clay-size sediment fraction and a panned-concentrate sample. Even with the relatively low detection limits for many elements by plasma spectrometry and atomic absorption spectrometry, anomalies reflecting the presence of gold veins could not be identified in any of the stream-sediment fractions. Unseparated panned-concentrate samples should be analyzed by emission

  16. Strong depth-related zonation of megabenthos on a rocky continental margin (∼700-4000 m off southern Tasmania, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Thresher

    Full Text Available Assemblages of megabenthos are structured in seven depth-related zones between ∼700 and 4000 m on the rocky and topographically complex continental margin south of Tasmania, southeastern Australia. These patterns emerge from analysis of imagery and specimen collections taken from a suite of surveys using photographic and in situ sampling by epibenthic sleds, towed video cameras, an autonomous underwater vehicle and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV. Seamount peaks in shallow zones had relatively low biomass and low diversity assemblages, which may be in part natural and in part due to effects of bottom trawl fishing. Species richness was highest at intermediate depths (1000-1300 m as a result of an extensive coral reef community based on the bioherm-forming scleractinian Solenosmilia variabilis. However, megabenthos abundance peaked in a deeper, low diversity assemblage at 2000-2500 m. The S. variabilis reef and the deep biomass zone were separated by an extensive dead, sub-fossil S. variabilis reef and a relatively low biomass stratum on volcanic rock roughly coincident with the oxygen minimum layer. Below 2400 m, megabenthos was increasingly sparse, though punctuated by occasional small pockets of relatively high diversity and biomass. Nonetheless, megabenthic organisms were observed in the vast majority of photographs on all seabed habitats and to the maximum depths observed--a sandy plain below 3950 m. Taxonomic studies in progress suggest that the observed depth zonation is based in part on changing species mixes with depth, but also an underlying commonality to much of the seamount and rocky substrate biota across all depths. Although the mechanisms supporting the extraordinarily high biomass in 2000-2500 m depths remains obscure, plausible explanations include equatorwards lateral transport of polar production and/or a response to depth-stratified oxygen availability.

  17. An improved 3-D constrained stochastic gravity inversion method, adapted to the crustal-scale study of offshore rifted continental margins (United States)

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


    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.

  18. Seasonal Dynamics of Dissolved Organic Carbon Under Complex Circulation Schemes on a Large Continental Shelf: The Northern South China Sea (United States)

    Meng, Feifei; Dai, Minhan; Cao, Zhimian; Wu, Kai; Zhao, Xiaozheng; Li, Xiaolin; Chen, Junhui; Gan, Jianping


    We examined the distribution and seasonality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) based on a large data set collected from the northern South China Sea (NSCS) shelf under complex circulation schemes influenced by river plume, coastal upwelling, and downwelling. The highest surface values of ˜117 μmol L-1 were observed nearshore in summer suggesting high DOC supplies from the river inputs, whereas the lowest surface values of ˜62 μmol L-1 were on the outer shelf in winter due to entrainment of DOC-poor subsurface water under strengthened vertical mixing. While the summer coastal upwelling brought lower DOC from offshore depth to the nearshore surface, the winter coastal downwelling delivered higher surface DOC to the midshelf deep waters from the inner shelf fueled by the China Coastal Current (CCC) transporting relatively high DOC from the East China Sea to the NSCS. The intensified winter downwelling generated a cross-shelf DOC transport of 3.1 × 1012 g C over a large shelf area, which induced a significant depression of the NSCS DOC inventory in winter relative to in autumn. In addition to the variable physical controls, net biological production of DOC was semiquantified in both the river plume (2.8 ± 3.0 μmol L-1) and coastal upwelling (3.1 ± 1.3 μmol L-1) in summer. We demonstrated that the NSCS shelf had various origins of DOC including riverine inputs, inter-shelf transport and in situ production. Via cross-shelf transport, the accumulated DOC would be exported to and stored in the deep ocean, suggesting that continental shelves are a potentially effective carbon sink.

  19. Comprehensive investigation of submarine slide zones and mass movements at the northern continental slope of South China Sea (United States)

    Chen, Hongjun; Liang, Jin; Gong, Yuehua


    Multi-beam bathymetry and seismic sequence surveys in the northern slope of the South China Sea reveal detailed geomorphology and seismic stratigraphy characteristics of canyons, gullies, and mass movements. Modern canyons and gullies are roughly elongated NNW-SSW with U-shaped cross sections at water depths of 400-1000 m. Mass movements include slide complexes, slide scars, and debris/turbidity flows. Slide complexes and slide scars are oriented in the NE-SW direction and cover an area of about 1790 and 926 km2, respectively. The debris/turbidity flows developed along the lower slope. A detailed facies analysis suggests that four seismic facies exist, and the late Cenozoic stratigraphy above the acoustic basement can be roughly subdivided into three sequences separated by regional unconformities in the study area. The occurrence of gas hydrates is marked by seismic velocity anomalies, bottom-simulating reflectors, gas chimneys, and pockmarks in the study area. Seismic observations suggest that modern canyons and mass movements formed around the transition between the last glacial period and the current interglacial period. The possible existence and dissociation of gas hydrates and the regional tectonic setting may trigger instability and mass movements on the seafloor. Canyons may be the final result of gas hydrate dissociation. Our study aims to contribute new information that is applicable to engineering construction required for deep-water petroleum exploration and gas hydrate surveys along any marginal sea.

  20. Megabenthic assemblages in the continental shelf edge and upper slope of the Menorca Channel, Western Mediterranean Sea (United States)

    Grinyó, Jordi; Gori, Andrea; Greenacre, Michael; Requena, Susana; Canepa, Antonio; Lo Iacono, Claudio; Ambroso, Stefano; Purroy, Ariadna; Gili, Josep-Maria


    Highly diverse megabenthic assemblages dominated by passive and active suspension feeders have been recently reported in shelf edge environments of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to their frequent association with species of commercial interest, these assemblages have been heavily impacted by fishing. The vulnerability and low resilience of these assemblages, composed mainly by long-living and slow-growing species, have motivated the implementation of management measures such as the restriction of bottom trawling, and the establishment of large protected areas embracing these environments. The Menorca Channel is one of such areas recently included in the European Union Natura 2000 network. Quantitative analysis of video transects recorded at 95-360 m depth by manned submersible and remotely operated vehicles were used to characterize megabenthic assemblages and to assess their geographical and bathymetric distribution. Six different assemblages were identified, mainly segregated by substrate type and depth. Hard substrates hosted coral gardens and sponge grounds, whereas soft sediments were mainly characterized by large extensions of the crinoid Leptometra phalangium and the brachiopod Gryphus vitreus. The good preservation of most of the observed assemblages is probably related to a low bottom trawling pressure, which mainly concentrates deeper on the adjacent continental slope. Because of their biological and ecological value, management and conservation measures need to be established to preserve these benthic assemblages.

  1. Continental weathering as a driver of Late Cretaceous cooling: new insights from clay mineralogy of Campanian sediments from the southern Tethyan margin to the Boreal realm (United States)

    Chenot, Elise; Deconinck, Jean-François; Pucéat, Emmanuelle; Pellenard, Pierre; Guiraud, Michel; Jaubert, Maxime; Jarvis, Ian; Thibault, Nicolas; Cocquerez, Théophile; Bruneau, Ludovic; Razmjooei, Mohammad J.; Boussaha, Myriam; Richard, James; Sizun, Jean-Pierre; Stemmerik, Lars


    New clay mineralogical analyses have been performed on Campanian sediments from the Tethyan and Boreal realms along a palaeolatitudinal transect from 45° to 20°N (Danish Basin, North Sea, Paris Basin, Mons Basin, Aquitaine Basin, Umbria-Marche Basin and Tunisian Atlas). Significant terrigenous inputs are evidenced by increasing proportions of detrital clay minerals such as illite, kaolinite and chlorite at various levels in the mid- to upper Campanian, while smectitic minerals predominate and represented the background of the Late Cretaceous clay sedimentation. Our new results highlight a distinct latitudinal distribution of clay minerals, with the occurrence of kaolinite in southern sections and an almost total absence of this mineral in northern areas. This latitudinal trend points to an at least partial climatic control on clay mineral sedimentation, with a humid zone developed between 20° and 35°N. The association and co-evolution of illite, chlorite and kaolinite in most sections suggest a reworking of these minerals from basement rocks weathered by hydrolysis, which we link to the formation of relief around the Tethys due to compression associated with incipient Tethyan closure. Diachronism in the occurrence of detrital minerals between sections, with detrital input starting earlier during the Santonian in the south than in the north, highlights the northward progression of the deformation related to the anticlockwise rotation of Africa. Increasing continental weathering and erosion, evidenced by our clay mineralogical data through the Campanian, may have resulted in enhanced CO2 consumption by silicate weathering, thereby contributing to Late Cretaceous climatic cooling.

  2. Map showing sediment isopachs in the deep-sea basins of the Pacific continental margin, Point Conception to Point Loma (United States)

    Gardner, J.V.; Cacchione, D.A.; Drake, D.E.; Edwards, B.D.; Field, M.E.; Hampton, M.A.; Karl, Herman A.; Kenyon, Neil H.; Masson, D.G.; McCulloch, D.S.; Grim, M.S.


    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a series of cruises, EEZSCAN 84 (EEZ-SCAN 84 Scientific Staff, 1986), to collect reconnaissance data on the newly proclaimed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the area out to 200 nautical miles from the coastline of the United States. The cruises systematically surveyed the entire conterminous United States west coast EEZ using the Geological Long-Range Inclined Asdic (GLORIA) side-scan sonar, a 160-in3 airgun seismic-reflection profiler, a 3.5-kHz high-resolution seismic-reflection profiler, a 10-kHz echo sounder, and a proton-precession magnetometer. The nominal trackline spacing throughout the survey was 30 km.

  3. Map showing sediment isopachs in the deep-sea basins of the Pacific continental margin, Cape Mendocino to Point Conception (United States)

    Gardner, J.V.; Cacchione, D.A.; Drake, D.E.; Edwards, B.D.; Field, M.E.; Hampton, M.A.; Karl, Herman A.; Kenyon, Neil H.; Masson, D.G.; McCulloch, D.S.; Grim, M.S.


    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a series of cruises, EEZSCAN 84 (EEZ-SCAN 84 Scientific Staff, 1986), to collect reconnaissance data on the newly proclaimed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the area out to 200 nautical miles from the coastline of the United States. The cruises systematically surveyed the entire conterminous United States west coast EEZ using the Geological Long-Range Inclined Asdic (GLORIA) side-scan sonar, a 160-in3 airgun seismic-reflection profiler, a 3.5-kHz high-resolution seismic-reflection profiler, a 10-kHz echo sounder, and a proton-precession magnetometer. The nominal trackline spacing throughout the survey was 30 km.

  4. Bottom Sediment Granulometric Data for the Continental Margins of the Bering, Chukchi, East Siberia, Laptev, and Beaufort Seas (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are part of Roberts, Richard W., University of Washington, Department of Oceanography Special Report No. 70, Bottom Sediment Granulometric Data for the...

  5. Deep sea benthic foraminifera as a proxy of methane hydrates from IODP site 890B Cascadia Margin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, A. [Ministry of Petroleum, Noida (India). National Gas Hydrates Program; Gupta, A.K. [Indian Inst. of Technology, Kharagpur (India). Dept of Geology and Geophysics


    The release of methane from marine reservoirs of methane hydrates into the atmosphere has been linked to climate change through variations in benthic foraminifera signatures. This paper investigated deep sea benthic foraminifera from 174 samples taken from the north Pacific Ocean near the Cascadia Margin. The aim of the study was to develop a better understanding of benthic foraminiferal distribution in the methane-rich environment of the Cascadia Margin. Benthic foraminifera are good indicators of paleoproductivity in areas where carbon fluxes are high. Factor and cluster analyses were used to identify 6 biofacies. Ecological data from recent deep sea benthic foraminifera were used to characterize the biofacies. A benthic faunal record was used to determine oxygenation, surface productivity, and organic food supplies. Results of the study indicated that benthic assemblages showed a major shift at 2 to 3 K yrs BP and 6 to 10.5 BP coincided with the increasing amplitude of interstadial cycles, in which methane fluxes may have played a significant role. It was concluded that the dissociation of gas hydrates and the release of methane into the atmosphere may have caused an increase in the population of highly reducing environmental species.. 55 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs.

  6. Iodine-129 concentrations in marginal seas of the North Pacific and Pacific-influenced waters of the Arctic Ocean

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, Lee W.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M. [Tennessee Univ., Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Knoxville, TN (United States); Hong, Gi H. [Korea Ocean Research and Development Inst., Seoul (Korea); Beasley, Tom M. [US Dept. of Energy, New York, NY (United States)


    Water sampling during the 1993 IV Russian-US Joint Expedition to the Bering and Chukchi Seas (BERPAC) indicates that Pacific Ocean burdens of the long-lived radionuclide {sup 129}I are relatively low in the Pacific-influenced Arctic, particularly compared to high latitude water influenced by the North Atlantic. These low concentrations occur despite the presence of potential submerged anthropogenic sources in the East Sea (Sea of Japan), and in the northwest Pacific Ocean, east of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The concentration of {sup 129}I entering the Arctic Ocean through Bering Strait, {approx}0.7x10{sup 8} atoms kg {sup -1}, is only slightly higher than observed in deep Pacific water. Similar concentrations (0.44-0.76x10{sup 8}atoms kg{sup -1}) measured in Long Strait indicate no significant transfer of {sup 129}I eastward into the Chukchi Sea in the Siberian Coastal Current from the Siberian marginal seas to the west, However, the concentrations reported here are more than an order to magnitude higher than the Bering Strait input concentration estimated (1.0x10{sup 6}atoms kg{sup -1}) from bomb fallout mass balances, which supports other existing evidence for a significant atmospheric deposition term for this radionuclide in surface ocean waters. Near-bottom water samples collected in productive waters of the Bering and Chukchi Seas also suggest that sediment regeneration may locally elevate {sup 129}I concentrations, and impact its utility as a water mass tracer. As part of this study, two deep {sup 129}I profiles were also measured in the East Sea in 1993-1994. The near-surface concentration of {sup 129}I ranged from 0.12 to 0.31x10{sup 8}atoms kg{sup -1}. The {sup 129}I concentration showed a steady decrease with depth, although because of active deep water ventilation, the entire 3000 m water column exceeded natural concentrations of the radionuclide. Atom ratios of {sup 129}I/{sup 137}Cs in the East Sea also suggest an excess of {sup 129}I above bomb fallout

  7. Geological development of the Central and South Vietnamese margin: Implications for the establishment of the South China Sea, Indochinese escape tectonics and Cenozoic volcanism (United States)

    Fyhn, Michael B. W.; Boldreel, Lars O.; Nielsen, Lars H.


    The Vietnamese margin forms a key region to the understanding of escape tectonics and the development of the South China Sea (SCS). The existing geological reconstructions of the region are restricted to studies of single basins, are based on limited amounts of geophysical data or analysis of onshore geological features. These models are critically assessed on the basis of interpretation of the most comprehensive 2-D digital seismic database published to date within the area combined with a thorough analysis of existing literature, and a new model is presented. The Vietnamese margin is underlain by a series of Paleogene rift basins established through southeastward extrusion of Indochina. The East Vietnam Boundary Fault (EVBF) forms the almost 1000 km long seaward continuation of the left-lateral Ailao Shan-Red River Shear Zone (ASRRSZ). Toward the southern half of the Phu Khanh Basin the EVBF breaks up into discrete segments and splays into the SE-directed Tua Hoa Fault Zone. Paleogene faults splayed from the EVBF and the Mae Ping Shear Zone and accommodated the coeval motion of these two major left-lateral structural lineaments. During the late Oligocene, basin inversions offshore occurred contemporaneously with initial right-lateral inversion along the Mae Ping Shear Zone and the onset of major uplift of the metamorphic core complexes along the ASRRSZ. It is suggested that a dramatic change of the regional stress pattern occurred in response to the northward movement of India and the effective coupling of the West Burma Block and India, the later resulting in broadening of the indenting continental mass. After the mid-Oligocene, left-lateral movements across the offshore EVBF decreased and eventually ceased. Later, onshore sinistral movements were accommodated by internal shortening and local clockwise block rotations within the Shan-Thai Terrain. Renewed rifting offshore south Vietnam resulted from the jump of the SCS spreading axis and subsequent Neogene

  8. Large-scale single incised valley from a small catchment basin on the western Adriatic margin (central Mediterranean Sea) (United States)

    Maselli, Vittorio; Trincardi, Fabio


    The Manfredonia Incised Valley (MIV) is a huge erosional feature buried below the Apulian shelf, on the western side of the Adriatic margin. The incision extends more than 60 km eastward, from the Tavoliere Plain to the outer shelf, not reaching the shelf edge. High-resolution chirp sonar profiles allow reconstruction of the morphology of the incision and its correlation at regional scale. The MIV records a single episode of incision, induced by the last glacial-interglacial sea level fall that forced the rivers draining the Tavoliere Plain to advance basinward, reaching their maximum extent at the peak of the Last Glacial Maximum. The valley was filled during a relatively short interval of about 10,000 yr during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene sea level rise and almost leveled-off at the time of maximum marine ingression, possibly recording the short-term climatic fluctuations that occurred. The accommodation space generated by the lowstand incision was exploited during the following interval of sea level rise by very high rates of sediment supply that allowed the preservation of up to 45 m of valley fill. High-resolution chirp sonar profiles highlight stratal geometries that are consistent with a typical transgressive valley fill of an estuary environment, including bay-head deltas, central basin and distal barrier-island deposits, organized in a backstepping configuration. The highest complexity of the valley fill is reached in the shallowest and most proximal area, where a kilometric prograding wedge formed during a period dominated by riverine input, possibly connected to high precipitation rates. Based on the depth of the valley margins during this interval, the fill was likely isochronous with the formation of sapropel S1 in the Mediterranean region and may have recorded significant fluctuations within the hydrological cycle.

  9. Limited grounding-line advance onto the West Antarctic continental shelf in the easternmost Amundsen Sea Embayment during the last glacial period. (United States)

    Klages, Johann P; Kuhn, Gerhard; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Smith, James A; Graham, Alastair G C; Nitsche, Frank O; Frederichs, Thomas; Jernas, Patrycja E; Gohl, Karsten; Wacker, Lukas


    Precise knowledge about the extent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; c. 26.5-19 cal. ka BP) is important in order to 1) improve paleo-ice sheet reconstructions, 2) provide a robust empirical framework for calibrating paleo-ice sheet models, and 3) locate potential shelf refugia for Antarctic benthos during the last glacial period. However, reliable reconstructions are still lacking for many WAIS sectors, particularly for key areas on the outer continental shelf, where the LGM-ice sheet is assumed to have terminated. In many areas of the outer continental shelf around Antarctica, direct geological data for the presence or absence of grounded ice during the LGM is lacking because of post-LGM iceberg scouring. This also applies to most of the outer continental shelf in the Amundsen Sea. Here we present detailed marine geophysical and new geological data documenting a sequence of glaciomarine sediments up to ~12 m thick within the deep outer portion of Abbot Trough, a palaeo-ice stream trough on the outer shelf of the Amundsen Sea Embayment. The upper 2-3 meters of this sediment drape contain calcareous foraminifera of Holocene and (pre-)LGM age and, in combination with palaeomagnetic age constraints, indicate that continuous glaciomarine deposition persisted here since well before the LGM, possibly even since the last interglacial period. Our data therefore indicate that the LGM grounding line, whose exact location was previously uncertain, did not reach the shelf edge everywhere in the Amundsen Sea. The LGM grounding line position coincides with the crest of a distinct grounding-zone wedge ~100 km inland from the continental shelf edge. Thus, an area of ≥6000 km2 remained free of grounded ice through the last glacial cycle, requiring the LGM grounding line position to be re-located in this sector, and suggesting a new site at which Antarctic shelf benthos may have survived the last glacial period.

  10. Pore water geochemistry along continental slopes north of the East Siberian Sea: inference of low methane concentrations (United States)

    Miller, Clint M.; Dickens, Gerald R.; Jakobsson, Martin; Johansson, Carina; Koshurnikov, Andrey; O'Regan, Matt; Muschitiello, Francesco; Stranne, Christian; Mörth, Carl-Magnus


    Continental slopes north of the East Siberian Sea potentially hold large amounts of methane (CH4) in sediments as gas hydrate and free gas. Although release of this CH4 to the ocean and atmosphere has become a topic of discussion, the region remains sparingly explored. Here we present pore water chemistry results from 32 sediment cores taken during Leg 2 of the 2014 joint Swedish-Russian-US Arctic Ocean Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere-Carbon Interactions (SWERUS-C3) expedition. The cores come from depth transects across the slope and rise extending between the Mendeleev and the Lomonosov ridges, north of Wrangel Island and the New Siberian Islands, respectively. Upward CH4 flux towards the seafloor, as inferred from profiles of dissolved sulfate (SO42-), alkalinity, and the δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), is negligible at all stations east of 143° E longitude. In the upper 8 m of these cores, downward SO42- flux never exceeds 6.2 mol m-2 kyr-1, the upward alkalinity flux never exceeds 6.8 mol m-2 kyr-1, and δ13C composition of DIC (δ13C-DIC) only moderately decreases with depth (-3.6 ‰ m-1 on average). Moreover, upon addition of Zn acetate to pore water samples, ZnS did not precipitate, indicating a lack of dissolved H2S. Phosphate, ammonium, and metal profiles reveal that metal oxide reduction by organic carbon dominates the geochemical environment and supports very low organic carbon turnover rates. A single core on the Lomonosov Ridge differs, as diffusive fluxes for SO42- and alkalinity were 13.9 and 11.3 mol m-2 kyr-1, respectively, the δ13C-DIC gradient was 5.6 ‰ m-1, and Mn2+ reduction terminated within 1.3 m of the seafloor. These are among the first pore water results generated from this vast climatically sensitive region, and they imply that abundant CH4, including gas hydrates, do not characterize the East Siberian Sea slope or rise along the investigated depth transects. This contradicts previous modeling and discussions, which

  11. Extraordinary slow degradation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in a cold marginal sea. (United States)

    Kim, Tae-Hoon; Kim, Guebuem; Lee, Shin-Ah; Dittmar, Thorsten


    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the largest organic carbon reservoir in the ocean, and the amount of carbon in this reservoir rivals that in atmospheric CO2. In general, DOC introduced into the deep ocean undergoes a significant degradation over a centennial time scale (i.e., ~50 μM to ~34 μM in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea). However, we here show that high concentrations of DOC (58 ± 4 μM) are maintained almost constantly over 100 years in the entire deep East/Japan Sea (EJS). The degradation rate in this sea is estimated to be 0.04 μmol C kg(-1) yr(-1), which is 2-3 times lower than that in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Since the source of DOC in the deep EJS is found to be of marine origin on the basis of δ(13)C-DOC signatures, this slow degradation rate seems to be due to low temperature (DOC in the world ocean is very sensitive to global warming and slowdown of global deep-water overturning.

  12. Black Sea Cooperation: a Difficult Path to Overcoming Divisions and Marginalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panagiota Manoli


    Full Text Available The Black Sea area is mostly discussed for its security relevance to Europe and to the rest of the international community. Suffering from a long transition period to market economy and parliamentary democracy, the peoples living in the area have been struggling to overcome the new divisions of the post Soviet era and join the European community of stability and prosperity. Regionalism has been used as a means towards this end. Embraced already by the early 1990s by local political elites of the newly established countries in the region, regionalism became a fashionable policy tool responding to needs of sovereignty boosting, global integration and good neighbourly relations. Primarily used as a foreign policy tool, regionalism has followed a difficult path. This chapter presents an overview of the evolution of Black Sea regionalism, looking at actors, interests and processes. Then it discusses its achievements and shortcomings.

  13. Propagation and Directional Scattering of Ocean Waves in the Marginal Ice Zone and Neighboring Seas (United States)


    geometry ocean topography, described in the previous section. vi. Real storm tests: Implementation WW3, with wave- ice interactions code the Arctic, or where there is high-quality ice -ocean data, for tests with real storms and high waves. Perform in conjunction with other available...5 REFERENCES 1. Kohout, A. L., M. J. Williams, S. Dean, and M. H. Meylan. Storm -induced sea ice breakup and the implications for ice extent

  14. Importance of flexure in response to sedimentation and erosion along the US Atlantic passive margin in reconciling sea level change and paleoshorelines (United States)

    Moucha, R.; Ruetenik, G.; de Boer, B.


    Reconciling elevations of paleoshorelines along the US Atlantic passive margin with estimates of eustatic sea level have long posed to be a challenge. Discrepancies between shoreline elevation and sea level have been attributed to combinations of tectonics, glacial isostatic adjustment, mantle convection, gravitation and/or errors, for example, in the inference of eustatic sea level from the marine 18O record. Herein we present a numerical model of landscape evolution combined with sea level change and solid Earth deformations to demonstrate the importance of flexural effects in response to erosion and sedimentation along the US Atlantic passive margin. We quantify these effects using two different temporal models. One reconciles the Orangeburg scarp, a well-documented 3.5 million-year-old mid-Pliocene shoreline, with a 15 m mid-Pliocene sea level above present-day (Moucha and Ruetenik, 2017). The other model focuses on the evolution of the South Carolina and northern Georgia margin since MIS 11 ( 400 Ka) using a fully coupled ice sheet, sea level and solid Earth model (de Boer et al, 2014) while relating our results to a series of enigmatic sea level high stand markers. de Boer, B., Stocci, P., and van de Wal, R. (2014). A fully coupled 3-d ice-sheet-sea-level model: algorithm and applications. Geoscientific Model Development, 7:2141-2156. Moucha, R. and Ruetenik, G. A. (2017). Interplay between dynamic topography and flexure along the US Atlantic passive margin: Insights from landscape evolution modeling. Global and Planetary Change, 149: 72-78

  15. 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...

  16. Chemical characterization of fractions of dissolved humic substances from a marginal sea—a case from the Southern Yellow Sea (United States)

    Zhang, Yaoling; Yang, Keli; Du, Jinzhou; Zhang, Fenfen; Dong, Yaping; Li, Wu


    Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is one of the largest dynamic pools of organic carbon in the global carbon cycle, yet DOM is still chemically poorly characterized. To better understand the origin, composition, and cycling of DOM in the China marginal sea, dissolved humic substances (DHS) were isolated from seawaters in two locations in the Southern Yellow Sea. The DHS were subdivided into fulvic acids (FAs), humic acids (HAs) and the XAD-4 fractions. Complementary analytical approaches were used to characterize the isolated DHS samples including stable carbon isotopic composition, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), 13C cross polarization magic angle spinning (CP/MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). The results demonstrated that both DHS samples encountered the influences from marine source, indicating that algal and microbial-derived materials are the predominant precursors for the studied samples. The three fractions of DHS showed different properties. FAs presented more aromatic features, whereas HAs contained more aliphatic lipids and proteinaceous materials. The XAD-4 fractions were enriched in 13C and contained more carbohydrates but less aromatic compounds. The lower molecular weight and higher heteroatom content and number of carboxyl groups for the XAD-4 fractions may give them considerable geochemical significance for aspects of trace metal species, bioavailability of pollutants, mineral weathering and water acidification in marine environments.

  17. Repeat AUV Mapping and ROV Observations of Active Mud Volcanos on the Canadian Beaufort Sea Continental Slope (United States)

    Caress, D. W.; Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S.; Lundsten, E. M.; Anderson, K.; Gwiazda, R.; Melling, H.; Lundsten, L.; Graves, D.; Thomas, H. J.; Cote, M.


    Two active submarine mud volcano sites located at 420 and 740 m depths on the margin of the Canadian Beaufort Sea were mapped in 2013 and again in 2016 using the same survey line pattern allowing detection of change over three years. The surveys were conducted using MBARI's mapping AUVs which fields a 200 kHz or 400 kHz multibeam sonar, a 1-6 kHz chirp sub-bottom profiler, and a 110 kHz chirp sidescan from a 50 m altitude. The resulting bathymetry has 1 m lateral resolution and 0.1 m vertical precision and sidescan mosaics have 1 m lateral resolution. Vertical changes of ≥0.2 m are observable by differencing repeat surveys. These features were also visited with MBARI's miniROV, which was outfitted for these dives with a manipulator mounted temperature probe. The 420 m mud volcano is nearly circular, 1100 m across, flat-topped, and superimposed on the pre-existing smooth slope. The central plateau has low relief ROV temperature probe inserted 2 cm into the flow measured 23°C, compared to ambient water (-0.4°C), indicating the rapid ascent of the mud from considerable subsurface depths. Bubbles (presumably methane) were escaping from the active mudflow. Combining seafloor mapping with ROV observations indicates that new sediment flows with entrained methane bubbles exhibit very high backscatter which rapidly changes to very low backscatter following degassing of the smooth, bare mud. To our knowledge this is the first time an eruption on a submarine mud volcano has been observed.

  18. Thick massive gas hydrate deposits were revealed by LWD in Off-Joetsu area, eastern margin of Japan Sea. (United States)

    Tanahashi, M.; Morita, S.; Matsumoto, R.


    GR14 and HR15 survey cruises, which were dedicated to the LWD (Logging While Drilling), were carried out in summers of 2014 and 2015, respectively, by Meiji University and Geological Survey of Japan, AIST to explore the "gas chimney" structures in eastern margin of Japan Sea. Shallow (33 to 172m-bsf, average 136m-bsf) 33 LWD drilling were performed in Oki Trough, Off-Joetsu, and Mogami Trough areas along eastern margin of Japan Sea during two cruises. Schlumberger LWD tools, GeoVISION (resistivity), TeleScope, ProVISION (NMR) and SonicVISION were used during GR14. NeoScope (neutron) was added and SonicScope was replaced for SonicVISION during HR14. The data quality was generally good. "Gas chimney" structures with acoustic blanking columns on the high frequency seismic sections with mound and pockmark morphologic features on the sea bottom, are well developed within survey areas. Every LWD records taken from gas chimney structures during the cruises show high resistivity and acoustic velocity anomalies which suggest the development of gas hydrate. Characteristic development of massive gas hydrate was interpreted at the Umitaka CW mound structure, Off-Joetsu. The mound lies at 890-910m in water depth and has very rough bottom surface, regional high resistivity, regional high heat flow, several natural seep sites, 200m x 300m area, and 10-20m height. 8 LWD holes, J18L to J21L and J23L to J26L, were drilled on and around the mound. There are highly anomalous intervals which suggest the development of massive gas hydrate at J24L, with high resistivity, high Vp and Vs, high neutron porosity, low natural gamma ray intensity, low neutron gamma density, low NMR porosity, low NMR permeability, low formation sigma, from 10 to 110m-bsf with intercalating some thin less hydrate layers. It is interpreted that there is several tens of meter thick massive gas hydrate in the gas chimney mound. It is partly confirmed by the later nearby coring result which showed the repetition of

  19. Air-sea exchange and gas-particle partitioning of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons over the northwestern Pacific Ocean: Role of East Asian continental outflow. (United States)

    Wu, Zilan; Lin, Tian; Li, Zhongxia; Jiang, Yuqing; Li, Yuanyuan; Yao, Xiaohong; Gao, Huiwang; Guo, Zhigang


    We measured 15 parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in atmosphere and water during a research cruise from the East China Sea (ECS) to the northwestern Pacific Ocean (NWP) in the spring of 2015 to investigate the occurrence, air-sea gas exchange, and gas-particle partitioning of PAHs with a particular focus on the influence of East Asian continental outflow. The gaseous PAH composition and identification of sources were consistent with PAHs from the upwind area, indicating that the gaseous PAHs (three-to five-ring PAHs) were influenced by upwind land pollution. In addition, air-sea exchange fluxes of gaseous PAHs were estimated to be -54.2-107.4 ng m -2 d -1 , and was indicative of variations of land-based PAH inputs. The logarithmic gas-particle partition coefficient (logK p ) of PAHs regressed linearly against the logarithmic subcooled liquid vapor pressure (logP L 0 ), with a slope of -0.25. This was significantly larger than the theoretical value (-1), implying disequilibrium between the gaseous and particulate PAHs over the NWP. The non-equilibrium of PAH gas-particle partitioning was shielded from the volatilization of three-ring gaseous PAHs from seawater and lower soot concentrations in particular when the oceanic air masses prevailed. Modeling PAH absorption into organic matter and adsorption onto soot carbon revealed that the status of PAH gas-particle partitioning deviated more from the modeling K p for oceanic air masses than those for continental air masses, which coincided with higher volatilization of three-ring PAHs and confirmed the influence of air-sea exchange. Meanwhile, significant linear regressions between logK p and logK oa (logK sa ) for PAHs were observed for continental air masses, suggesting the dominant effect of East Asian continental outflow on atmospheric PAHs over the NWP during the sampling campaign. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Study on the sedimentation rate near to the radial sand ridges in the western continental shelf of South Yellow Sea (United States)

    Lv, X.; Pang, B.; Song, J.; Li, X.; Yuan, H.; Li, N.; Yang, Y.


    It is difficult to get the sedimentation rate of coastal sediment by normal methods for complex materials sources and active hydrodynamics, especially of the coastal relicit sediment. In this article, 14C age of humin in sediment was introduced to help to get the sedimentation rate in complex tidal sand ridge conditions. Humin is the production of ancient soil, which was accreted with soil. The age of humin can truly reflect that of ancient soil stratum. In coastal sediment, if the material sources were relatively stable and the sedimentation was uninterrupted, the 14C age of humin should be negative correlative with the depth. Site D7 (33o34.7', 122o32.0') was located near to the radial sand ridges in the west continental shelf of south Yellow Sea. A shallow core of 81 cm was drilled in October, 2006. The concentrations of major elements and REE, 210Pb and 137Cs isotopes, the 14C isotopes of humin (HM) and foraminifer were determined. It was got that the sediment was mainly from the East China crust carried by Changjiang and Yellow River water, not only because the chondrite-normalize