Sample records for upper continental crustal

  1. Influence of mid-crustal rheology on the deformation behavior of continental crust in the continental subduction zone (United States)

    Li, Fucheng; Sun, Zhen; Zhang, Jiangyang


    Although the presence of low-viscosity middle crustal layer in the continental crust has been detected by both geophysical and geochemical studies, its influence on the deformation behavior of continental crust during subduction remains poorly investigated. To illustrate the crustal deformation associated with layered crust during continental subduction, we conducted a suite of 2-D thermo-mechanical numerical studies with visco-brittle/plastic rheology based on finite-differences and marker-in-cell techniques. In the experiments, we established a three-layer crustal model with a quartz-rich middle crustal layer embedded between the upper and lower continental crust. Results show that the middle crustal layer determines the amount of the accreted upper crust, maximum subduction depth, and exhumation path of the subducted upper crust. By varying the initial effective viscosity and thickness of the middle crustal layer, the further effects can be summarized as: (1) a rheologically weaker and/or thicker middle crustal layer results in a larger percentage of the upper crust detaching from the underlying slab and accreting at the trench zone, thereby leading to more serious crustal deformation. The rest of the upper crust only subducts into the depths of high pressure (HP) conditions, causing the absence of ultra-high pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks; (2) a rheologically stronger and/or thinner middle crustal layer favors the stable subduction of the continental crust, dragging the upper crust to a maximum depth of ∼100 km and forming UHP rocks; (3) the middle crustal layer flows in a ductile way and acts as an exhumation channel for the HP-UHP rocks in both situations. In addition, the higher convergence velocity decreases the amount of subducted upper crust. A detailed comparison of our modeling results with the Himalayan collisional belt are conducted. Our work suggests that the presence of low-viscosity middle crustal layer may be another possible mechanism for

  2. Crustal volumes of the continents and of oceanic and continental submarine plateaus (United States)

    Schubert, G.; Sandwell, D.


    Using global topographic data and the assumption of Airy isostasy, it is estimated that the crustal volume of the continents is 7182 X 10 to the 6th cu km. The crustal volumes of the oceanic and continental submarine plateaus are calculated at 369 X 10 to the 6th cu km and 242 X 10 to the 6th cu km, respectively. The total continental crustal volume is found to be 7581 X 10 to the 6th cu km, 3.2 percent of which is comprised of continental submarine plateaus on the seafloor. An upper bound on the contintental crust addition rate by the accretion of oceanic plateaus is set at 3.7 cu km/yr. Subduction of continental submarine plateaus with the oceanic lithosphere on a 100 Myr time scale yields an upper bound to the continental crustal subtraction rate of 2.4 cu km/yr.

  3. Deep Crustal Melting and the Survival of Continental Crust (United States)

    Whitney, D.; Teyssier, C. P.; Rey, P. F.; Korchinski, M.


    Plate convergence involving continental lithosphere leads to crustal melting, which ultimately stabilizes the crust because it drives rapid upward flow of hot deep crust, followed by rapid cooling at shallow levels. Collision drives partial melting during crustal thickening (at 40-75 km) and/or continental subduction (at 75-100 km). These depths are not typically exceeded by crustal rocks that are exhumed in each setting because partial melting significantly decreases viscosity, facilitating upward flow of deep crust. Results from numerical models and nature indicate that deep crust moves laterally and then vertically, crystallizing at depths as shallow as 2 km. Deep crust flows en masse, without significant segregation of melt into magmatic bodies, over 10s of kms of vertical transport. This is a major mechanism by which deep crust is exhumed and is therefore a significant process of heat and mass transfer in continental evolution. The result of vertical flow of deep, partially molten crust is a migmatite dome. When lithosphere is under extension or transtension, the deep crust is solicited by faulting of the brittle upper crust, and the flow of deep crust in migmatite domes traverses nearly the entire thickness of orogenic crust in Recognition of the importance of migmatite (gneiss) domes as archives of orogenic deep crust is applicable to determining the chemical and physical properties of continental crust, as well as mechanisms and timescales of crustal differentiation.

  4. Modes of continental extension in a crustal wedge

    KAUST Repository

    Wu, Guangliang


    © 2015 Elsevier B.V. We ran numerical experiments of the extension of a crustal wedge as an approximation to extension in an orogenic belt or a continental margin. We study the effects of the strength of the lower crust and of a weak mid-crustal shear zone on the resulting extension styles. A weak mid-crustal shear zone effectively decouples upper crustal extension from lower crustal flow. Without the mid-crustal shear zone, the degree of coupling between the upper and the lower crust increases and extension of the whole crust tends to focus on the thickest part of the wedge. We identify three distinct modes of extension determined by the strength of the lower crust, which are characterized by 1) localized, asymmetric crustal exhumation in a single massif when the lower crust is weak, 2) the formation of rolling-hinge normal faults and the exhumation of lower crust in multiple core complexes with an intermediate strength lower crust, and 3) distributed domino faulting over the weak mid-crustal shear zone when the lower crust is strong. A frictionally stronger mid-crustal shear zone does not change the overall model behaviors but extension occurred over multiple rolling-hinges. The 3 modes of extension share characteristics similar to geological models proposed to explain the formation of metamorphic core complexes: 1) the crustal flow model for the weak lower crust, 2) the rolling-hinge and crustal flow models when the lower crust is intermediate and 3) the flexural uplift model when the lower crust is strong. Finally we show that the intensity of decoupling between the far field extension and lower crustal flow driven by the regional pressure gradient in the wedge control the overall style of extension in the models.

  5. Modes of continental extension in a crustal wedge

    KAUST Repository

    Wu, Guangliang; Lavier, Luc L.; Choi, Eunseo


    © 2015 Elsevier B.V. We ran numerical experiments of the extension of a crustal wedge as an approximation to extension in an orogenic belt or a continental margin. We study the effects of the strength of the lower crust and of a weak mid-crustal shear zone on the resulting extension styles. A weak mid-crustal shear zone effectively decouples upper crustal extension from lower crustal flow. Without the mid-crustal shear zone, the degree of coupling between the upper and the lower crust increases and extension of the whole crust tends to focus on the thickest part of the wedge. We identify three distinct modes of extension determined by the strength of the lower crust, which are characterized by 1) localized, asymmetric crustal exhumation in a single massif when the lower crust is weak, 2) the formation of rolling-hinge normal faults and the exhumation of lower crust in multiple core complexes with an intermediate strength lower crust, and 3) distributed domino faulting over the weak mid-crustal shear zone when the lower crust is strong. A frictionally stronger mid-crustal shear zone does not change the overall model behaviors but extension occurred over multiple rolling-hinges. The 3 modes of extension share characteristics similar to geological models proposed to explain the formation of metamorphic core complexes: 1) the crustal flow model for the weak lower crust, 2) the rolling-hinge and crustal flow models when the lower crust is intermediate and 3) the flexural uplift model when the lower crust is strong. Finally we show that the intensity of decoupling between the far field extension and lower crustal flow driven by the regional pressure gradient in the wedge control the overall style of extension in the models.

  6. Testing Predictions of Continental Insulation using Oceanic Crustal Thicknesses (United States)

    Hoggard, Mark; Shorttle, Oliver; White, Nicky


    The thermal blanketing effect of continental crust has been predicted to lead to elevated temperatures within the upper mantle beneath supercontinents. Initial break-up is associated with increased magmatism and the generation of flood basalts. Continued rifting and sea-floor spreading lead to a steady reduction of this thermal anomaly. Recently, evidence in support of this behaviour has come from the major element geochemistry of mid-ocean ridge basalts, which suggest excess rifting temperatures of ˜ 150 °C that decay over ˜ 100 Ma. We have collated a global inventory of ˜ 1000 seismic reflection profiles and ˜ 500 wide-angle refraction experiments from the oceanic realm. Data are predominantly located along passive margins, but there are also multiple surveys in the centres of the major oceanic basins. Oceanic crustal thickness has been mapped, taking care to avoid areas of secondary magmatic thickening near seamounts or later thinning such as across transform faults. These crustal thicknesses are a proxy for mantle potential temperature at the time of melt formation beneath a mid-ocean ridge system, allowing us to quantify the amplitude and duration of thermal anomalies generated beneath supercontinents. The Jurassic break-up of the Central Atlantic and the Cretaceous rifting that formed the South Atlantic Ocean are both associated with excess temperatures of ˜ 50 °C that have e-folding times of ˜ 50 Ma. In addition to this background trend, excess temperatures reach > 150 °C around the region of the Rio Grande Rise, associated with the present-day Tristan hotspot. The e-folding time of this more local event is ˜ 10 Ma, which mirrors results obtained for the North Atlantic Ocean south of Iceland. In contrast, crustal thicknesses from the Pacific Ocean reveal approximately constant potential temperature through time. This observation is in agreement with predictions, as the western Pacific was formed by rifting of an oceanic plate. In summary

  7. Continental crustal formation and recycling: Evidence from oceanic basalts (United States)

    Saunders, A. D.; Tarney, J.; Norry, M. J.


    Despite the wealth of geochemical data for subduction-related magma types, and the clear importance of such magmas in the creation of continental crust, there is still no concensus about the relative magnitudes of crustal creation versus crustal destruction (i.e., recycling of crust into the mantle). The role of subducted sediment in the formation of the arc magmas is now well documented; but what proportion of sediment is taken into the deeper mantle? Integrated isotopic and trace element studies of magmas erupted far from presently active subduction zones, in particular basaltic rocks erupted in the ocean basins, are providing important information about the role of crustal recycling. By identifying potential chemical tracers, it is impossible to monitor the effects of crustal recycling, and produce models predicting the mass of material recycled into the mantle throughout long periods of geological time.

  8. Using crustal thickness and subsidence history on the Iberia-Newfoundland margins to constrain lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup (United States)

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


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

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

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

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

  10. Fractal behavior in continental crustal heat production (United States)

    Vedanti, N.; Srivastava, R. P.; Pandey, O. P.; Dimri, V. P.


    The distribution of crustal heat production, which is the most important component in the elucidation of continental thermal structure, still remains a theoretical assumption. In general the heat production values must decrease with depth, but the form of decrease of heat production in the crust is not well understood. The commonly used heat production models are: "block model", in which heat production is constant from the surface to a given depth and the "exponential model", in which heat production diminishes as an exponential function of depth. The exponential model is more widely used wherein sources of the errors are heterogeneity of rock and long wavelength changes due to changes in lithology and tectonic elements, and as such exponential distribution does not work satisfactorily for the entire crust. In the present study, we analyze for the first time, deep crustal heat production data of six global areas namely Dharwar craton (India), Kaapvaal craton (South Africa), Baltic shield (Kola, Russia), Hidaka metamorphic belt (Japan), Nissho pluton (Japan) and Continental Deep Drilling site (KTB, Germany). The power spectrum of all the studied data sets exhibits power law behaviour. This would mean slower decay of heat production with depth, which conforms to the known geologic composition of the crust. Minimum value of the scaling exponent has been found for the KTB borehole, which is apparently related to higher heat production of gneisses, however for other study areas, scaling exponent is almost similar. We also found that the lower values of scaling exponents are related to higher heat production in the crust as is the case in KTB. Present finding has a direct relevance in computation of temperature-depth profiles in continental regions.

  11. What drives the Tibetan crust to the South East Asia? Role of upper mantle density discontinuities as inferred from the continental geoid anomalies (United States)

    Rajesh, S.


    The Himalaya-Tibet orogen formed as a result of the northward convergence of India into the Asia over the past 55 Ma had caused the north south crustal shortening and Cenozoic upliftment of the Tibetan plateau, which significantly affected the tectonic and climatic framework of the Asia. Geodetic measurements have also shown eastward crustal extrusion of Tibet, especially along major east-southeast strike slip faults at a slip rate of 15-20 mm a-1 and around 40 mm a-1. Such continental scale deformations have been modeled as block rotation by fault boundary stresses developed due to the India-Eurasia collision. However, the Thin Sheet model explained the crustal deformation mechanism by considering varying gravitational potential energy arise out of varying crustal thickness of the viscous lithosphere. The Channel Flow model, which also suggests extrusion is a boundary fault guided flow along the shallow crustal brittle-ductile regime. Although many models have proposed, but no consensus in these models to explain the dynamics of measured surface geodetic deformation of the Tibetan plateau. But what remains conspicuous is the origin of driving forces that cause the observed Tibetan crustal flow towards the South East Asia. Is the crustal flow originated only because of the differential stresses that developed in the shallow crustal brittle-ductile regime? Or should the stress transfer to the shallow crustal layers as a result of gravitational potential energy gradient driven upper mantle flow also to be accounted. In this work, I examine the role of latter in the light of depth distribution of continental geoid anomalies beneath the Himalaya-Tibet across major upper mantle density discontinuities. These discontinuity surfaces in the upper mantle are susceptible to hold the plastic deformation that may occur as a result of the density gradient driven flow. The distribution of geoid anomalies across these density discontinuities at 220, 410 and 660 km depth in the

  12. Fractal behavior in continental crustal heat production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Vedanti


    Full Text Available The distribution of crustal heat production, which is the most important component in the elucidation of continental thermal structure, still remains a theoretical assumption. In general the heat production values must decrease with depth, but the form of decrease of heat production in the crust is not well understood. The commonly used heat production models are: "block model", in which heat production is constant from the surface to a given depth and the "exponential model", in which heat production diminishes as an exponential function of depth. The exponential model is more widely used wherein sources of the errors are heterogeneity of rock and long wavelength changes due to changes in lithology and tectonic elements, and as such exponential distribution does not work satisfactorily for the entire crust. In the present study, we analyze for the first time, deep crustal heat production data of six global areas namely Dharwar craton (India, Kaapvaal craton (South Africa, Baltic shield (Kola, Russia, Hidaka metamorphic belt (Japan, Nissho pluton (Japan and Continental Deep Drilling site (KTB, Germany. The power spectrum of all the studied data sets exhibits power law behaviour. This would mean slower decay of heat production with depth, which conforms to the known geologic composition of the crust. Minimum value of the scaling exponent has been found for the KTB borehole, which is apparently related to higher heat production of gneisses, however for other study areas, scaling exponent is almost similar. We also found that the lower values of scaling exponents are related to higher heat production in the crust as is the case in KTB. Present finding has a direct relevance in computation of temperature-depth profiles in continental regions.

  13. Radiogenic isotopes: the case for crustal recycling on a near-steady-state no-continental-growth Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armstrong, R.L.


    The proposition that continental crust is recycled into the mantle and that the Earth is in a near-steady state with essentially constant volumes of oceans and crust through geological time is defended. Constancy of continental freeboard and uniformity of thickness of stable continental crust with age are the only two quantitative measures of crustal volume through time and these imply negligible crustal growth since 2.9 Ga B.P. Planetary analogies, Pb isotopes, atmospheric evolution, and palaeomagnetism also argue for early terrestrial differentiation. Rates of crustal growth and recycling are sufficient to reach a near-steady state over the first 1 Ga of Earth history, before widespread cratonization. Pb, Sr and Nd isotopic compositions of igneous rocks from the mantle are explainable in terms of a near-steady-state model. The recycling process can be observed on the Earth today. The observed escape of primordial 3 He from the mantle is not evidence for continuing continental differentiation or against early differentiation of the Earth. Even if nearly complete equilibrium chemical differentiation occurred at 4.6 Ga B.P., some 3 He would remain dissolved in the interior and would escape as recycling continued. (U.K.)

  14. Crustal characteristic variation in the central Yamato Basin, Japan Sea back-arc basin, deduced from seismic survey results (United States)

    Sato, Takeshi; No, Tetsuo; Miura, Seiichi; Kodaira, Shuichi


    The crustal structure of the Yamato Bank, the central Yamato Basin, and the continental shelf in the southern Japan Sea back-arc basin is obtained based on a seismic survey using ocean bottom seismographs and seismic shot to elucidate the back-arc basin formation processes. The central Yamato Basin can be divided into three domains based on the crustal structure: the deep basin, the seamount, and the transition domains. In the deep basin domain, the crust without the sedimentary layer is about 12-13 km thick. Very few units have P-wave velocity of 5.4-6.0 km/s, which corresponds to the continental upper crust. In the seamount and transition domains, the crust without the sedimentary layer is about 12-16 km thick. The P-wave velocities of the upper and lower crusts differs among the deep basin, the seamount, and the transition domains. These results indicate that the central Yamato Basin displays crustal variability in different domains. The crust of the deep basin domain is oceanic in nature and suggests advanced back-arc basin development. The seamount domain might have been affected by volcanic activity after basin opening. In the transition domain, the crust comprises mixed characters of continental and oceanic crust. This crustal variation might represent the influence of different processes in the central Yamato Basin, suggesting that crustal development was influenced not only by back-arc opening processes but also by later volcanic activity. In the Yamato Bank and continental shelf, the upper crust has thickness of about 17-18 km and P-wave velocities of 3.3-4.1 to 6.6 km/s. The Yamato Bank and the continental shelf suggest a continental crustal character.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Continental Growth and Recycling in Convergent Orogens with Large Turbidite Fans on Oceanic Crust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben D. Goscombe


    Full Text Available Convergent plate margins where large turbidite fans with slivers of oceanic basement are accreted to continents represent important sites of continental crustal growth and recycling. Crust accreted in these settings is dominated by an upper layer of recycled crustal and arc detritus (turbidites underlain by a layer of tectonically imbricated upper oceanic crust and/or thinned continental crust. When oceanic crust is converted to lower continental crust it represents a juvenile addition to the continental growth budget. This two-tiered accreted crust is often the same thickness as average continental crustal and is isostatically balanced near sea level. The Paleozoic Lachlan Orogen of eastern Australia is the archetypical example of a tubidite-dominated accretionary orogeny. The Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Damaran Orogen of SW Africa is similar to the Lachlan Orogen except that it was incorporated into Gondwana via a continent-continent collision. The Mesozoic Rangitatan Orogen of New Zealand illustrates the transition of convergent margin from a Lachlan-type to more typical accretionary wedge type orogen. The spatial and temporal variations in deformation, metamorphism, and magmatism across these orogens illustrate how large volumes of turbidite and their relict oceanic basement eventually become stable continental crust. The timing of deformation and metamorphism recorded in these rocks reflects the crustal thickening phase, whereas post-tectonic magmatism constrains the timing of chemical maturation and cratonization. Cratonization of continental crust is fostered because turbidites represent fertile sources for felsic magmatism. Recognition of similar orogens in the Proterozoic and Archean is important for the evaluation of crustal growth models, particularly for those based on detrital zircon age patterns, because crustal growth by accretion of upper oceanic crust or mafic underplating does not readily result in the addition of voluminous zircon

  18. 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.

  19. Intra-continental subduction and contemporaneous lateral extrusion of the upper plate: insights into Alps-Adria interactions (United States)

    van Gelder, Inge; Willingshofer, Ernst; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Cloetingh, Sierd


    A series of physical analogue experiments were performed to simulate intra-continental subduction contemporaneous with lateral extrusion of the upper plate to study the interferences between these two processes at crustal levels and in the lithospheric mantle. The lithospheric-scale models are specifically designed to represent the collision of the Adriatic microplate with the Eastern Alps, simulated by an intra-continental weak zone to initiate subduction and a weak confined margin perpendicular to the direction of convergence in order to allow for extrusion of the lithosphere. The weak confined margin is the analog for the opening of the Pannonian back-arc basin adjacent to the Eastern Alps with the direction of extension perpendicular to the strike of the orogen. The models show that intra-continental subduction and coeval lateral extrusion of the upper plate are compatible processes. The obtained deformation structures within the extruding region are similar compared to the classical setup where lateral extrusion is provoked by lithosphere-scale indentation. In the models a strong coupling across the subduction boundary allows for the transfer of abundant stresses to the upper plate, leading to laterally varying strain regimes that are characterized by crustal thickening near a confined margin and dominated by lateral displacement of material near a weak lateral confinement. During ongoing convergence the strain regimes propagate laterally, thereby creating an area of overlap characterized by transpression. In models with oblique subduction, with respect to the convergence direction, less deformation of the upper plate is observed and as a consequence the amount of lateral extrusion decreases. Additionally, strain is partitioned along the oblique plate boundary leading to less subduction in expense of right lateral displacement close to the weak lateral confinement. Both oblique and orthogonal subduction models have a strong resemblance to lateral extrusion

  20. Constraints on continental crustal mass loss via chemical weathering using lithium and its isotopes (United States)

    Rudnick, R. L.; Liu, X. M.


    The continental crust has an "intermediate" bulk composition that is distinct from primary melts of peridotitic mantle (basalt or picrite). This mismatch between the "building blocks" and the "edifice" that is the continental crust points to the operation of processes that preferentially remove mafic to ultramafic material from the continents. Such processes include lower crustal recycling (via density foundering or lower crustal subduction - e.g., relamination, Hacker et al., 2011, EPSL), generation of evolved melts via slab melting, and/or chemical weathering. Stable isotope systems point to the influence of chemical weathering on the bulk crust composition: the oxygen isotope composition of the bulk crust is distinctly heavier than that of primary, mantle-derived melts (Simon and Lecuyer, 2005, G-cubed) and the Li isotopic composition of the bulk crust is distinctly lighter than that of mantle-derive melts (Teng et al., 2004, GCA; 2008, Chem. Geol.). Both signatures mark the imprint of chemical weathering on the bulk crust composition. Here, we use a simple mass balance model for lithium inputs and outputs from the continental crust to quantify the mass lost due to chemical weathering. We find that a minimum of 15%, a maximum of 60%, and a best estimate of ~40% of the original juvenile rock mass may have been lost via chemical weathering. The accumulated percentage of mass loss due to chemical weathering leads to an average global chemical weathering rate (CWR) of ~ 1×10^10 to 2×10^10 t/yr since 3.5 Ga, which is about an order of magnitude higher than the minimum estimates based on modern rivers (Gaillardet et al., 1999, Chem. Geol.). While we cannot constrain the exact portion of crustal mass loss via chemical weathering, given the uncertainties of the calculation, we can demonstrate that the weathering flux is non-zero. Therefore, chemical weathering must play a role in the evolution of the composition and mass of the continental crust.

  1. Continental Delamination of the Romanian Eastern Carpathians: A Lower Crustal Origin of the Vrancea Seismogenic Zone? (United States)

    Fillerup, M. A.; Knapp, J. H.; Knapp, C. C.


    Two lithosphere-scale, explosive-source seismic reflection profiles (DRACULA I and DACIA PLAN), inclusive of the hinterland and foreland of the Romanian Eastern Carpathians, provide new evidence for the geodynamic origin of the Vrancea Seismogenic Zone (VSZ) of Romania. These data, collected to evaluate existing subduction-related and delamination geodynamic models proposed to explain the intermediate depth seismicity associated with the Vrancea zone, show evidence of continental crust extending continuously above the VSZ from the Carpathian foreland well into the Transylvanian hinterland. Crustal thicknesses inferred from these data based on reflectivity show a 40-45 km crust below the Transylvanian basin abruptly shallowing to 32 km for ~120 km beneath the fold and thrust belt of the main Carpathian orogen and thickening again to 38-42 km crust in the foreland. This thinned crust outlines an apparent lower crustal sub-orogenic cavity that is overlain by a relatively subhorizontal reflective fabric absent of dipping reflectivity. The northwest dipping Vrancea seismogenic body, a 30x70x200 km volume of intermediate depth earthquakes, is located on the eastern flank of the apparently thin crust beneath the Carpathian orogen. Amplitude decay curves show penetration of seismic energy to a depth of ~60 km in the vicinity of the sub-orogenic cavity, implying this non- reflective zone is a geologic signature. Rotation of the VSZ about a hinge beneath the foreland basin at a depth of ~50 km restores to fill the lower-crustal cavity under the orogen, suggesting the VSZ represents a portion of brittle lower crust delaminated during continental lithospheric delamination which may have caused regional uplift of the Transylvanian basin. The lack of through-going, dipping crustal-scale boundaries along this composite lithospheric transect would appear to preclude subduction as an explanation for seismicity in the VSZ, consistent with abundant surface geologic data. These

  2. 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

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

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


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

  4. Developing a Crustal and Upper Mantle Velocity Model for the Brazilian Northeast (United States)

    Julia, J.; Nascimento, R.


    Development of 3D models for the earth's crust and upper mantle is important for accurately predicting travel times for regional phases and to improve seismic event location. The Brazilian Northeast is a tectonically active area within stable South America and displays one of the highest levels of seismicity in Brazil, with earthquake swarms containing events up to mb 5.2. Since 2011, seismic activity is routinely monitored through the Rede Sismográfica do Nordeste (RSisNE), a permanent network supported by the national oil company PETROBRAS and consisting of 15 broadband stations with an average spacing of ~200 km. Accurate event locations are required to correctly characterize and identify seismogenic areas in the region and assess seismic hazard. Yet, no 3D model of crustal thickness and crustal and upper mantle velocity variation exists. The first step in developing such models is to refine crustal thickness and depths to major seismic velocity boundaries in the crust and improve on seismic velocity estimates for the upper mantle and crustal layers. We present recent results in crustal and uppermost mantle structure in NE Brazil that will contribute to the development of a 3D model of velocity variation. Our approach has consisted of: (i) computing receiver functions to obtain point estimates of crustal thickness and Vp/Vs ratio and (ii) jointly inverting receiver functions and surface-wave dispersion velocities from an independent tomography study to obtain S-velocity profiles at each station. This approach has been used at all the broadband stations of the monitoring network plus 15 temporary, short-period stations that reduced the inter-station spacing to ~100 km. We expect our contributions will provide the basis to produce full 3D velocity models for the Brazilian Northeast and help determine accurate locations for seismic events in the region.

  5. Tracing crustal contamination along the Java segment of the Sunda Arc, Indonesia (United States)

    Jolis, E. M.; Troll, V.; Deegan, F.; Blythe, L.; Harris, C.; Freda, C.; Hilton, D.; Chadwick, J.; Van Helden, M.


    Arc magmas typically display chemical and petrographic characteristics indicative of crustal input. Crustal contamination can take place either in the mantle source region or as magma traverses the upper crust (e.g. [1]). While source contamination is generally considered the dominant process (e.g. [2]), late-stage crustal contamination has been recognised at volcanic arcs too (e.g. [3]). In light of this, we aim to test the extent of upper crustal versus source contamination along the Java segment of the Sunda arc, which, due its variable upper crustal structure, is an exemplary natural laboratory. We present a detailed geochemical study of 7 volcanoes along a traverse from Anak-Krakatau in the Sunda strait through Java and Bali, to characterise the impact of the overlying crust on arc magma composition. Using rock and mineral elemental geochemistry, radiogenic (Sr, Nd and Pb) and, stable (O) isotopes, we show a correlation between upper crustal composition and the degree of upper crustal contamination. We find an increase in 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O values, and a decrease in 143Nd/144Nd values from Krakatau towards Merapi, indicating substantial crustal input from the thick continental basement present. Volcanoes to the east of Merapi and the Progo-Muria fault transition zone, where the upper crust is thinner, in turn, show considerably less crustal input in their isotopic signatures, indicating a stronger influence of the mantle source. Our new data represent a systematic and high-resolution arc-wide sampling effort that allows us to distinguish the effects of the upper crust on the compositional spectrum of individual volcanic systems along the Sunda arc. [1] Davidson, J.P, Hora, J.M, Garrison, J.M & Dungan, M.A 2005. Crustal Forensics in Arc Magmas. J. Geotherm. Res. 140, 157-170; [2] Debaille, V., Doucelance, R., Weis, D., & Schiano, P. 2005. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 70,723-741; [3] Gasparon, M., Hilton, D.R., & Varne, R. 1994. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 126, 15-22.

  6. Density heterogeneity of the upper mantle beneath Siberia from satellite gravity and a new regional crustal model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herceg, Matija; Thybo, Hans; Artemieva, Irina


    We present a new regional model for the density structure of the upper mantle below Siberia. The residual mantle gravity anomalies are based on gravity data derived from the GOCE gravity gradients and geopotential models, with crustal correction to the gravity field being calculated from a new...... on regional and global crustal models. We analyze how uncertainties and errors in the crustal model propagate from crustal densities to mantle residual gravity anomalies and the density model of the upper mantle. The new regional density model for the Siberian craton and the West Siberian Basin complements...... regional crustal model. This newly compiled database on the crustal seismic structure, complemented by additional constraints from petrological analysis of near-surface rocks and lower crustal xenoliths, allows for a high-resolution correction of the crustal effects as compared to previous studies based...

  7. The crustal structure and tectonic development of the continental margin of the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica: implications from geophysical data (United States)

    Kalberg, Thomas; Gohl, Karsten


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

  8. The influence of tectonic inheritance on crustal extension style following failed subduction of continental crust: applications to metamorphic core complexes in Papua New Guinea (United States)

    Biemiller, J.; Ellis, S. M.; Little, T.; Mizera, M.; Wallace, L. M.; Lavier, L.


    The structural, mechanical and geometric evolution of rifted continental crust depends on the lithospheric conditions in the region prior to the onset of extension. In areas where tectonic activity preceded rift initiation, structural and physical properties of the previous tectonic regime may be inherited by the rift and influence its development. Many continental rifts form and exhume metamorphic core complexes (MCCs), coherent exposures of deep crustal rocks which typically surface as arched or domed structures. MCCs are exhumed in regions where the faulted upper crust is displaced laterally from upwelling ductile material along a weak detachment fault. Some MCCs form during extensional inversion of a subduction thrust following failed subduction of continental crust, but the degree to which lithospheric conditions inherited from the preceding subduction phase control the extensional style in these systems remains unclear. For example, the Dayman Dome in Southeastern Papua New Guinea exposes prehnite-pumpellyite to greenschist facies rocks in a smooth 3 km-high dome exhumed with at least 24 km of slip along one main detachment normal fault, the Mai'iu Fault, which dips 21° at the surface. The extension driving this exhumation is associated with the cessation of northward subduction of Australian continental crust beneath the oceanic lithosphere of the Woodlark Plate. We use geodynamic models to explore the effect of pre-existing crustal structures inherited from the preceding subduction phase on the style of rifting. We show that different geometries and strengths of inherited subduction shear zones predict three distinct modes of subsequent rift development: 1) symmetric rifting by newly formed high-angle normal faults; 2) asymmetric rifting along a weak low-angle detachment fault extending from the surface to the brittle-ductile transition; and 3) extension along a rolling-hinge structure which exhumes deep crustal rocks in coherent rounded exposures. We

  9. Upper mantle and crustal structure of the East Greenland Caledonides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiffer, Christian; Balling, N.; Jacobsen, B. H.

    The East Greenland and Scandinavian Caledonides once formed a major coherent mountain range, as a consequence of the collision of the continents of Laurentia and Baltica. The crustal and upper mantle structure was furthermore influenced by several geodynamic processes leading to the formation of ...

  10. Estimating the Crustal Power Spectrum From Vector Magsat Data: Crustal Power Spectrum (United States)

    Lowe, David A. J.; Parker, Robert L.; Purucker, Michael E.; Constable, Catherine G.


    The Earth's magnetic field can be subdivided into core and crustal components and we seek to characterize the crustal part through its spatial power spectrum (R(sub l)). We process vector Magsat data to isolate the crustal field and then invert power spectral densities of flight-local components along-track for R(sub l) following O'Brien et al. [1999]. Our model (LPPC) is accurate up to approximately degree 45 (lambda=900 km) - this is the resolution limit of our data and suggests that global crustal anomaly maps constructed from vector Magsat data should not contain features with wavelengths less than 900 km. We find continental power spectra to be greater than oceanic ones and attribute this to the relative thicknesses of continental and oceanic crust.

  11. Crustal evolution of South American Platform based on Sm-Nd isotope geochemistry; Evolucao crustal da plataforma sul americana com base na geoquimica isotopica Sm-Nd

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sato, Kei


    Sm-Nd isotopic systematics is relevant to the topics of origin and evolution the of continental crust, where model ages refer to the time when crustal material was differentiated from the upper mantle. Alternative interpretations are due to a lack of adequate information on crustal processes and the variable composition of the mantle sources. The Sm-Nd methods are presented, and applied on rock materials from the South American Platform. The main conclusions indicate juvenile accretion with higher growth rates (peaks), around 3.7-3.5 Ga ({approx} 0.5% in volume), 3.1 - 2.9 Ga ({approx}16%), 2.7 - 2.6 ({approx} 9%), 2.2 - 1.9 (35%) and 1.3-1.0 (7%). The continental growth curve indicates that about 35 % of the crust was formed by 2.5 Ga, 88% by 1.8 Ga and 99% by 1.0 Ga, and the remaining {approx} 1 % was added in the Phanerozoic. Rapid crustal growth occurred between 2.2 and 1.9 Ga. The main period of continental crust formation occurred during the Paleoproterozoic, corresponding to 54 % in volume. Sm-Nd model ages, when compared with the crystallisation ages of granitoid rocks, furnish a rough estimate of juvenile vs. reworked material. Within the South American Platform about 45% of juvenile continental crust is still preserved within tectonic provinces of different ages. The remainder represents continental crust reworked in younger tectono-thermal events. In particular crustal reworking was predominating over juvenile accretion during Meso-Neoproterozoic. The Transbrasiliano Lineament is a megasuture, active in the Neoproterozoic, which separates a large northwestern mass, including the Amazonian and Sao Luis Cratons, from a southeastern mass, formed by a collage of cratonic fragments, of which the Sao Francisco and Rio de La Plata are the largest. The crustal evolutions of these two large continental masses are considered individually, and can be resumed following form: I - Old Archean rocks (>3.4 Ga) are found only within the south-eastern part (Gaviao Block

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ramana, M.V.

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

  13. Nd isotopes and crustal growth rate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albarede, F.


    Sm/Nd isotopic constraints on crustal growth is discussed. In order to constrain Sm/Nd fractionation between continental crust and depleted mantle, an extensive data base of isotopic measurements (assumed to be adequately representative of continental crust) was compiled. The results imply that the evolution of depleted mantles was roughly linear, with no major discontinuities over the course of geologic time. This is different from other determinations of depleting mantle evolution, which show nonlinear behavior. The Sm/Nd evolution lines for continental crust and depleted mantle intersect between 3.8 to 4.0 Ga, which may indicate that the onset of continental growth was later than 4.5 Ga. A mathematical model is described, the results of which imply that time integrated crustal additions from the mantle are about 1.8 to 2.5 cu km/a, whereas crustal subtractions by sediment recycling are about 0.6 to 1.5 cu km/a. This results in a net time integrated crustal growth rate of about 1 cu km/a, which is similar to present day rates determined, for example, by Reymer and Schubert

  14. Crustal Gravitational Potential Energy Change and Subduction Earthquakes (United States)

    Zhu, P. P.


    CRW Model) as follows: for Type B and Type C subduction earthquakes, if the seawater average depth on the vertical up side of the rupture area is less than a tenth of the hypocenter depth, then take the approximation that the seawater above the continental plate is replaced by the upper crustal material of the continental plate. The formula of quantitative calculating the crustal GPE change is also provided for this model. Finally, for 16 September 2015 Mw 8.3 Illapel Chile earthquake, we apply CRW Model and obtain the following results: the crustal GPE change is equal to 1.8 × 1019 J, and the hanging wall vertical moving-up height is 1.9 m with respect to the footwall. We believe this paper might be the first report on the quantitative solution of the crustal GPE change for this subduction earthquake; our results and related method will be helpful in research into the earthquakes in Peru-Chile subduction zone and the Andean orogeny. In short, this study expounds a new method for quantitative determining the crustal GPE change caused by subduction earthquakes, which is different from other existing methods.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Pouclet


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

  17. Crustal Viscosity Structure Estimated from Multi-Phase Mixing Theory (United States)

    Shinevar, W. J.; Behn, M. D.; Hirth, G.


    Estimates of lower crustal viscosity are typically constrained by analyses of isostatic rebound, post seismic creep, and laboratory-derived flow laws for crustal rocks and minerals. Here we follow a new approach for calculating the viscosity structure of the lower continental crust. We use Perple_X to calculate mineral assemblages for different crustal compositions. Effective viscosity is then calculated using the rheologic mixing model of Huet et al. (2014) incorporating flow laws for each mineral phase. Calculations are performed along geotherms appropriate for the Basin and Range, Tibetan Plateau, Colorado Plateau, and the San Andreas Fault. To assess the role of crustal composition on viscosity, we examined two compositional gradients extending from an upper crust with ~67 wt% SiO2 to a lower crust that is either: (i) basaltic with ~53 wt% SiO2 (Rudnick and Gao, 2003), or (ii) andesitic with ~64% SiO2 (Hacker et al., 2011). In all cases, the middle continental crust has a viscosity that is 2-3 orders of magnitude greater than that inferred for wet quartz, a common proxy for mid-crustal viscosities. An andesitic lower crust results in viscosities of 1020-1021 Pa-s and 1021-1022 Pa-s for hotter and colder crustal geotherms, respectively. A mafic lower crust predicts viscosities that are an order of magnitude higher for the same geotherm. In all cases, the viscosity calculated from the mixing model decreases less with depth compared to single-phase estimates. Lastly, for anhydrous conditions in which alpha quartz is stable, we find that there is a strong correlation between Vp/Vs and bulk viscosity; in contrast, little to no correlation exists for hydrous conditions.

  18. Crustal and upper mantle velocity structure of the Salton Trough, southeast California (United States)

    Parsons, T.; McCarthy, J.


    This paper presents data and modelling results from a crustal and upper mantle wide-angle seismic transect across the Salton Trough region in southeast California. The Salton Trough is a unique part of the Basin and Range province where mid-ocean ridge/transform spreading in the Gulf of California has evolved northward into the continent. In 1992, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted the final leg of the Pacific to Arizona Crustal Experiment (PACE). Two perpendicular models of the crust and upper mantle were fit to wide-angle reflection and refraction travel times, seismic amplitudes, and Bouguer gravity anomalies. The first profile crossed the Salton Trough from the southwest to the northeast, and the second was a strike line that paralleled the Salton Sea along its western edge. We found thin crust (???21-22 km thick) beneath the axis of the Salton Trough (Imperial Valley) and locally thicker crust (???27 km) beneath the Chocolate Mountains to the northeast. We modelled a slight thinning of the crust further to the northeast beneath the Colorado River (???24 km) and subsequent thickening beneath the metamorphic core complex belt northeast of the Colorado River. There is a deep, apparently young basin (???5-6 km unmetamorphosed sediments) beneath the Imperial Valley and a shallower (???2-3 km) basin beneath the Colorado River. A regional 6.9-km/s layer (between ???15-km depth and the Moho) underlies the Salton Trough as well as the Chocolate Mountains where it pinches out at the Moho. This lower crustal layer is spatially associated with a low-velocity (7.6-7.7 km/s) upper mantle. We found that our crustal model is locally compatible with the previously suggested notion that the crust of the Salton Trough has formed almost entirely from magmatism in the lower crust and sedimentation in the upper crust. However, we observe an apparently magmatically emplaced lower crust to the northeast, outside of the Salton Trough, and propose that this layer in part

  19. 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.

  20. Crustal evolution of South American Platform based on Sm-Nd isotope geochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sato, Kei


    Sm-Nd isotopic systematics is relevant to the topics of origin and evolution the of continental crust, where model ages refer to the time when crustal material was differentiated from the upper mantle. Alternative interpretations are due to a lack of adequate information on crustal processes and the variable composition of the mantle sources. The Sm-Nd methods are presented, and applied on rock materials from the South American Platform. The main conclusions indicate juvenile accretion with higher growth rates (peaks), around 3.7-3.5 Ga (∼ 0.5% in volume), 3.1 - 2.9 Ga (∼16%), 2.7 - 2.6 (∼ 9%), 2.2 - 1.9 (35%) and 1.3-1.0 (7%). The continental growth curve indicates that about 35 % of the crust was formed by 2.5 Ga, 88% by 1.8 Ga and 99% by 1.0 Ga, and the remaining ∼ 1 % was added in the Phanerozoic. Rapid crustal growth occurred between 2.2 and 1.9 Ga. The main period of continental crust formation occurred during the Paleoproterozoic, corresponding to 54 % in volume. Sm-Nd model ages, when compared with the crystallisation ages of granitoid rocks, furnish a rough estimate of juvenile vs. reworked material. Within the South American Platform about 45% of juvenile continental crust is still preserved within tectonic provinces of different ages. The remainder represents continental crust reworked in younger tectono-thermal events. In particular crustal reworking was predominating over juvenile accretion during Meso-Neoproterozoic. The Transbrasiliano Lineament is a megasuture, active in the Neoproterozoic, which separates a large northwestern mass, including the Amazonian and Sao Luis Cratons, from a southeastern mass, formed by a collage of cratonic fragments, of which the Sao Francisco and Rio de La Plata are the largest. The crustal evolutions of these two large continental masses are considered individually, and can be resumed following form: I - Old Archean rocks (>3.4 Ga) are found only within the south-eastern part (Gaviao Block, Contendas

  1. Oblique reactivation of lithosphere-scale lineaments controls rift physiography - the upper-crustal expression of the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone, offshore southern Norway (United States)

    Phillips, Thomas B.; Jackson, Christopher A.-L.; Bell, Rebecca E.; Duffy, Oliver B.


    Pre-existing structures within sub-crustal lithosphere may localise stresses during subsequent tectonic events, resulting in complex fault systems at upper-crustal levels. As these sub-crustal structures are difficult to resolve at great depths, the evolution of kinematically and perhaps geometrically linked upper-crustal fault populations can offer insights into their deformation history, including when and how they reactivate and accommodate stresses during later tectonic events. In this study, we use borehole-constrained 2-D and 3-D seismic reflection data to investigate the structural development of the Farsund Basin, offshore southern Norway. We use throw-length (T-x) analysis and fault displacement backstripping techniques to determine the geometric and kinematic evolution of N-S- and E-W-striking upper-crustal fault populations during the multiphase evolution of the Farsund Basin. N-S-striking faults were active during the Triassic, prior to a period of sinistral strike-slip activity along E-W-striking faults during the Early Jurassic, which represented a hitherto undocumented phase of activity in this area. These E-W-striking upper-crustal faults are later obliquely reactivated under a dextral stress regime during the Early Cretaceous, with new faults also propagating away from pre-existing ones, representing a switch to a predominantly dextral sense of motion. The E-W faults within the Farsund Basin are interpreted to extend through the crust to the Moho and link with the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone, a lithosphere-scale lineament, identified within the sub-crustal lithosphere, that extends > 1000 km across central Europe. Based on this geometric linkage, we infer that the E-W-striking faults represent the upper-crustal component of the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone and that the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone represents a long-lived lithosphere-scale lineament that is periodically reactivated throughout its protracted geological history. The upper-crustal component of

  2. Crustal seismicity and the earthquake catalog maximum moment magnitudes (Mcmax) in stable continental regions (SCRs): correlation with the seismic velocity of the lithosphere (United States)

    Mooney, Walter D.; Ritsema, Jeroen; Hwang, Yong Keun


    A joint analysis of global seismicity and seismic tomography indicates that the seismic potential of continental intraplate regions is correlated with the seismic properties of the lithosphere. Archean and Early Proterozoic cratons with cold, stable continental lithospheric roots have fewer crustal earthquakes and a lower maximum earthquake catalog moment magnitude (Mcmax). The geographic distribution of thick lithospheric roots is inferred from the global seismic model S40RTS that displays shear-velocity perturbations (δVS) relative to the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM). We compare δVS at a depth of 175 km with the locations and moment magnitudes (Mw) of intraplate earthquakes in the crust (Schulte and Mooney, 2005). Many intraplate earthquakes concentrate around the pronounced lateral gradients in lithospheric thickness that surround the cratons and few earthquakes occur within cratonic interiors. Globally, 27% of stable continental lithosphere is underlain by δVS≥3.0%, yet only 6.5% of crustal earthquakes with Mw>4.5 occur above these regions with thick lithosphere. No earthquakes in our catalog with Mw>6 have occurred above mantle lithosphere with δVS>3.5%, although such lithosphere comprises 19% of stable continental regions. Thus, for cratonic interiors with seismically determined thick lithosphere (1) there is a significant decrease in the number of crustal earthquakes, and (2) the maximum moment magnitude found in the earthquake catalog is Mcmax=6.0. We attribute these observations to higher lithospheric strength beneath cratonic interiors due to lower temperatures and dehydration in both the lower crust and the highly depleted lithospheric root.

  3. Crustal seismicity and the earthquake catalog maximum moment magnitude (Mcmax) in stable continental regions (SCRs): Correlation with the seismic velocity of the lithosphere (United States)

    Mooney, Walter D.; Ritsema, Jeroen; Hwang, Yong Keun


    A joint analysis of global seismicity and seismic tomography indicates that the seismic potential of continental intraplate regions is correlated with the seismic properties of the lithosphere. Archean and Early Proterozoic cratons with cold, stable continental lithospheric roots have fewer crustal earthquakes and a lower maximum earthquake catalog moment magnitude (Mcmax). The geographic distribution of thick lithospheric roots is inferred from the global seismic model S40RTS that displays shear-velocity perturbations (δVS) relative to the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM). We compare δVS at a depth of 175 km with the locations and moment magnitudes (Mw) of intraplate earthquakes in the crust (Schulte and Mooney, 2005). Many intraplate earthquakes concentrate around the pronounced lateral gradients in lithospheric thickness that surround the cratons and few earthquakes occur within cratonic interiors. Globally, 27% of stable continental lithosphere is underlain by δVS≥3.0%, yet only 6.5% of crustal earthquakes with Mw>4.5 occur above these regions with thick lithosphere. No earthquakes in our catalog with Mw>6 have occurred above mantle lithosphere with δVS>3.5%, although such lithosphere comprises 19% of stable continental regions. Thus, for cratonic interiors with seismically determined thick lithosphere (1) there is a significant decrease in the number of crustal earthquakes, and (2) the maximum moment magnitude found in the earthquake catalog is Mcmax=6.0. We attribute these observations to higher lithospheric strength beneath cratonic interiors due to lower temperatures and dehydration in both the lower crust and the highly depleted lithospheric root.

  4. A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production (United States)

    Burton-Johnson, A.; Halpin, J.; Whittaker, J. M.; Graham, F. S.; Watson, S. J.


    We present recently published findings (Burton-Johnson et al., 2017) on the variability of Antarctic sub-glacial heat flux and the impact from upper crustal geology. Our new method reveals that the upper crust contributes up to 70% of the Antarctic Peninsula's subglacial heat flux, and that heat flux values are more variable at smaller spatial resolutions than geophysical methods can resolve. Results indicate a higher heat flux on the east and south of the Peninsula (mean 81 mWm-2) where silicic rocks predominate, than on the west and north (mean 67 mWm-2) where volcanic arc and quartzose sediments are dominant. Whilst the data supports the contribution of HPE-enriched granitic rocks to high heat flux values, sedimentary rocks can be of comparative importance dependent on their provenance and petrography. Models of subglacial heat flux must utilize a heterogeneous upper crust with variable radioactive heat production if they are to accurately predict basal conditions of the ice sheet. Our new methodology and dataset facilitate improved numerical model simulations of ice sheet dynamics. The most significant challenge faced remains accurate determination of crustal structure, particularly the depths of the HPE-enriched sedimentary basins and the sub-glacial geology away from exposed outcrops. Continuing research (particularly detailed geophysical interpretation) will better constrain these unknowns and the effect of upper crustal geology on the Antarctic ice sheet. Burton-Johnson, A., Halpin, J.A., Whittaker, J.M., Graham, F.S., and Watson, S.J., 2017, A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 44, doi: 10.1002/2017GL073596.

  5. Crustal Growth: In Defense of the Dogma (United States)

    Albarede, F.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Guitreau, M.


    Plate tectonics was not even in its teens when Armstrong suggested that mantle and crust have interacted at steady-state over Earth's history. With the help of new geochemical tools and large-scale compilations, the concept of steady-state crust (as opposed to continuous crustal growth) is being revived with the implications that the equivalent of several volumes of present-day crust (PDCV) may have been subducted through geological times. Here we argue --or recall-- that four different lines of evidence invalidate this model. (i) The subduction filter must be particularly efficient for argon, even more so than for LILE and most other volatile elements. Atmosphere collects 40Ar degassed from both the extant crust and the crust dragged down at subduction zones over geological time. Regardless of the residence time of the crust at the surface, the amount of atmospheric 40Ar limits subduction of continental crust into the mantle to < 30% of the PDCV [1]. (ii) EM II, the only component that undoubtedly represents subducted continental crust in oceanic basalts, is extremely uncommon. (iii) Crustal age histograms are irrepressibly episodic. It has been argued that erosion selectively removes the crust with the elusive ages [2]. Ages of detrital zircons, which in the selective erosion conjecture should fill the voids, do not support this view [3]. Episodicity is difficult to reconcile with a continental protolith isolated by the common geological processes working either at mid-ocean ridges or subduction zones. A role may be recognized for Wilson cycles, if they can be shown to have prevailed for the entire history of the Earth. Geochemistry demonstrates that superplume material makes up the crustal protolith of all the major juvenile provinces. (iv) The residence time in the mantle of the elements distinctive of the crust is similar to the age of the Earth or even longer [4]. Continental crust finds its source in the instabilities of the lower mantle and the irreversible

  6. Thickening the outer margins of the Tibetan Plateau: The role of crustal shortening (United States)

    Lease, R. O.; Burbank, D. W.


    One of the most direct consequences of the collision of two buoyant continents is large-scale crustal thickening that results in the upward and outward growth of high terrain. As the stronger Indian continent has collided with weaker Asia over at least the past 50 Myr, widespread crustal thickening has occurred over an area that is approximately 2.5 million km^2 at present. The resultant Tibetan crust is the thickest observed on Earth today with an average thickness of 65 km and a maximum that may reach 90 km in places. The mechanisms by which Tibetan crust has thickened, however, as well as the timing and distribution of these mechanisms across the plateau, remain debatable. Two of the most popular mechanisms for thickening the crust beneath the margins of the Tibetan Plateau are: 1) pure shear with faulting and folding in the upper crust and horizontal shortening below; and 2) flow and inflation of lower or middle crust without significant shortening of the upper crust. To help discriminate between the relative contributions of these two mechanisms, well-constrained estimates of upper crustal shortening are needed. Here we document the Cenozoic shortening budget across the northeastern Tibetan Plateau margin near 36°N 102.5°E with several 100- to 145-km-long balanced cross sections. Thermochronological and magnetostratigraphic data indicate that modest NNE-SSW shortening began in middle Eocene time, shortly after initial India-Asia collision. Accelerated east-west shortening, however, did not commence until ~35 Myr later. A five-fold acceleration in shortening rates in middle Miocene-to-Recent time accounts for more than half of the total Cenozoic crustal shortening and thickening in this region. Overall, the balanced cross sections indicate 11 ± 2 % east-west shortening since middle Miocene time, and ~9 ± 2 % NNE-SSW shortening between middle Eocene and middle Miocene times. Given the present-day crustal thickness of 56 ± 4 km in northeastern Tibet, crustal

  7. Along-Axis Structure and Crustal Construction Processes of Spreading Segments in Iceland: Implications for Magmatic Rifts (United States)

    Siler, D. L.; Karson, J. A.


    Magmatic rift systems are composed of discrete spreading segments defined by morphologic, structural, and volcanic features that vary systematically along strike. In Iceland, structural features mapped in the glaciated and exhumed Miocene age upper crust correlate with analogous features in the seismically and volcanically active neovolcanic zone. Integrating information from both the active rift zones and ancient crust provides a three-dimensional perspective of crustal structure and the volcanic and tectonic processes that construct crust along spreading segments. Crustal exposures in the Skagi region of northern Iceland reveal significant along-strike variations in geologic structure. The upper crust at exhumed magmatic centers (segment centers) is characterized by a variety of intrusive rocks, high-temperature hydrothermal alteration, and geologic evidence for kilometer-scale subsidence. In contrast, the upper crust along segment limbs, which extend along strike from magmatic centers, is characterized by thick sections of gently dipping lava flows, cut by varying proportions of subvertical dikes. This structure implies relatively minor upper crustal subsidence and lateral dike intrusion. The differing modes of subsidence beneath segment centers and segment limbs require along-axis mass redistribution in the underlying upper, middle, and lower crust during crustal construction. This along-axis material transport is accomplished through lateral dike intrusion in the upper crust and by along-axis flow of magmatic to high-temperature solid-state gabbroic material in the middle and lower crust. These processes, inferred from outcrop evidence in Skagi, are consistent with processes inferred to be important during active rifting in Iceland and at analogous magmatic oceanic and continental rifts.

  8. 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

  9. Detachments of the subducted Indian continental lithosphere based on 3D finite-frequency tomographic images (United States)

    Liang, X.; Tian, X.; Wang, M.


    Indian plate collided with Eurasian plate at 60 Ma and there are about 3000 km crustal shortening since the continental-continental collision. At least one third of the total amount of crustal shortening between Indian and Eurasian plates could not be accounted by thickened Tibetan crust and surface erosion. It will need a combination of possible transfer of lower crust to the mantle by eclogitization and lateral extrusion. Based on the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary images beneath the Tibetan plateau, there is also at least the same amount deficit for lithospheric mantle subducted into upper/lower mantle or lateral extrusion with the crust. We have to recover a detailed Indian continental lithosphere image beneath the plateau in order to explain this deficit of mass budget. Combining the new teleseismic body waves recorded by SANDWICH passive seismic array with waveforms from several previous temporary seismic arrays, we carried out finite-frequency tomographic inversions to image three-dimensional velocity structures beneath southern and central Tibetan plateau to examine the possible image of subducted Indian lithosphere in the Tibetan upper mantle. We have recovered a continuous high velocity body in upper mantle and piece-wised high velocity anomalies in the mantle transition zone. Based on their geometry and relative locations, we interpreted these high velocity anomalies as the subducted and detached Indian lithosphere at different episodes of the plateau evolution. Detachments of the subducted Indian lithosphere should have a crucial impact on the volcanism activities and uplift history of the plateau.

  10. Rheological and geodynamic controls on the mechanisms of subduction and HP/UHP exhumation of crustal rocks during continental collision : Insights from numerical models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burov, Evgene; Francois, Thomas; Agard, Philippe; Le Pourhiet, Laetitia; Meyer, Bertrand; Tirel, C.; Lebedev, Sergei; Yamato, Philippe; Brun, Jean Pierre


    While subduction of crustal rocks is increasingly accepted as a common scenario inherent to convergent processes involving continental plates and micro-continents, its occurrence in each particular context, as well as its specific mechanisms and conditions is still debated. The presence of

  11. Crustal Magnetic Field Anomalies and Global Tectonics (United States)

    Storetvedt, Karsten


    A wide variety of evidence suggests that the ruling isochron (geomagnetic polarity versus age) hypothesis of marine magnetic lineations has no merit - undermining therefore one of the central tenets of plate tectonics. Instead, variable induction by the ambient geomagnetic field is likely to be the principal agent for mega-scale crustal magnetic features - in both oceanic and continental settings. This revitalizes the fault-controlled susceptibility-contrast model of marine magnetic lineations, originally proposed in the late 1960s. Thus, the marine magnetic 'striping' may be ascribed to tectonic shearing and related, but variable, disintegration of the original iron-oxide mineralogy, having developed primarily along one of the two pan-global sets of orthogonal fractures and faults. In this way, fault zones (having the more advanced mineral alteration) would be characterized by relatively low susceptibility, while more moderately affected crustal sections (located between principal fault zones) would be likely to have less altered oxide mineralogy and therefore higher magnetic susceptibility. On this basis, induction by the present geomagnetic field is likely to produce oscillating magnetic field anomalies with axis along the principal shear grain. The modus operandi of the alternative magneto-tectonic interpretation is inertia-driven wrenching of the global Alpine age palaeo-lithosphere - triggered by changes in Earth's rotation. Increasing sub-crustal loss to the upper mantle during the Upper Mesozoic had left the ensuing Alpine Earth in a tectonically unstable state. Thus, sub-crustal eclogitization and associated gravity-driven delamination to the upper mantle led to a certain degree of planetary acceleration which in turn gave rise to latitude-dependent, westward inertial wrenching of the global palaeo-lithosphere. During this process, 1) the thin and mechanically fragile oceanic crust were deformed into a new type of broad fold belts, and 2) the continents

  12. Interaction between mantle and crustal detachments: a non-linear system controlling lithospheric extension (United States)

    Rosenbaum, G.; Regenauer-Lieb, K.; Weinberg, R. F.


    We use numerical modelling to investigate the development of crustal and mantle detachment faults during lithospheric extension. Our models simulate a wide range of rift systems with varying values of crustal thickness and heat flow, showing how strain localization in the mantle interacts with localization in the upper crust and controls the evolution of extensional systems. Model results reveal a richness of structures and deformation styles, which grow in response to a self-organized mechanism that minimizes the internal stored energy of the system by localizing deformation at different levels of the lithosphere. Crustal detachment faults are well developed during extension of overthickened (60 km) continental crust, even when the initial heat flow is relatively low (50 mW/m2). In contrast, localized mantle deformation is most pronounced when the extended lithosphere has a normal crustal thickness (30-40 km) and an intermediate (60-70 mW/m2) heat flow. Results show a non-linear response to subtle changes in crustal thickness or heat flow, characterized by abrupt and sometime unexpected switches in extension modes (e.g. from diffuse rifting to effective lithospheric-scale rupturing) or from mantle- to crust-dominated strain localization. We interpret this non-linearity to result from the interference of doming wavelengths. Disharmony of crust and mantle doming wavelengths results in efficient communication between shear zones at different lithospheric levels, leading to rupturing of the whole lithosphere. In contrast, harmonious crust and mantle doming inhibits interaction of shear zones across the lithosphere and results in a prolonged rifting history prior to continental breakup.

  13. Moho and magmatic underplating in continental lithosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thybo, Hans; Artemieva, Irina M.


    interacts with the surrounding crustal rocks which leads to smearing of geophysical signals from the underplated material. In terms of processes, there is no direct discriminator between the traditional concept of underplated material and lower crustal magmatic intrusions in the form of batholiths and sill......Underplating was originally proposed as the process of magma ponding at the base of the crust and was inferred from petrologic considerations. This process not only may add high density material to the deep crust, but also may contribute low density material to the upper parts of the crust by magma...... fractionation during cooling and solidification in the lower crust. Separation of the low density material from the high-density residue may be a main process of formation of continental crust with its characteristic low average density, also during the early evolution of the Earth. Despite the assumed...

  14. Interaction between mantle and crustal detachments: A nonlinear system controlling lithospheric extension (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Gideon; Regenauer-Lieb, Klaus; Weinberg, Roberto F.


    We use numerical modeling to investigate the development of crustal and mantle detachments during lithospheric extension. Our models simulate a wide range of extensional systems with varying values of crustal thickness and heat flow, showing how strain localization in the mantle interacts with localization in the upper crust and controls the evolution of extensional systems. Model results reveal a richness of structures and deformation styles as a response to a self-organized mechanism that minimizes the internal stored energy of the system by localizing deformation. Crustal detachments, here referred as low-angle normal decoupling horizons, are well developed during extension of overthickened (60 km) continental crust, even when the initial heat flow is relatively low (50 mW m-2). In contrast, localized mantle deformation is most pronounced when the extended lithosphere has a normal crustal thickness (30-40 km) and an intermediate heat flow (60-70 mW m-2). Results show a nonlinear response to subtle changes in crustal thickness or heat flow, characterized by abrupt and sometimes unexpected switches in extension modes (e.g., from diffuse extensional deformation to effective lithospheric-scale rupturing) or from mantle- to crust-dominated strain localization. We interpret this nonlinearity to result from the interference of doming wavelengths in the presence of multiple necking instabilities. Disharmonic crust and mantle doming wavelengths results in efficient communication between shear zones at different lithospheric levels, leading to rupturing of the whole lithosphere. In contrast, harmonic crust and mantle doming inhibits interaction of shear zones across the lithosphere and results in a prolonged history of extension prior to continental breakup.

  15. 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.

  16. Large-scale subduction of continental crust implied by India-Asia mass-balance calculation (United States)

    Ingalls, Miquela; Rowley, David B.; Currie, Brian; Colman, Albert S.


    Continental crust is buoyant compared with its oceanic counterpart and resists subduction into the mantle. When two continents collide, the mass balance for the continental crust is therefore assumed to be maintained. Here we use estimates of pre-collisional crustal thickness and convergence history derived from plate kinematic models to calculate the crustal mass balance in the India-Asia collisional system. Using the current best estimates for the timing of the diachronous onset of collision between India and Eurasia, we find that about 50% of the pre-collisional continental crustal mass cannot be accounted for in the crustal reservoir preserved at Earth's surface today--represented by the mass preserved in the thickened crust that makes up the Himalaya, Tibet and much of adjacent Asia, as well as southeast Asian tectonic escape and exported eroded sediments. This implies large-scale subduction of continental crust during the collision, with a mass equivalent to about 15% of the total oceanic crustal subduction flux since 56 million years ago. We suggest that similar contamination of the mantle by direct input of radiogenic continental crustal materials during past continent-continent collisions is reflected in some ocean crust and ocean island basalt geochemistry. The subduction of continental crust may therefore contribute significantly to the evolution of mantle geochemistry.

  17. Density of alkaline magmas at crustal and upper mantle conditions by X-ray absorption (United States)

    Seifert, R.; Malfait, W.; Petitgirard, S.; Sanchez-Valle, C.


    Silicate melts are essential components of igneous processes and are directly involved in differentiation processes and heat transfer within the Earth. Studies of the physical properties of magmas (e.g., density, viscosity, conductivity, etc) are however challenging and experimental data at geologically relevant pressure and temperature conditions remain scarce. For example, there is virtually no data on the density at high pressure of alkaline magmas (e.g., phonolites) typically found in continental rift zone settings. We present in situ density measurements of alkaline magmas at crustal and upper mantle conditions using synchrotron X-ray absorption. Measurements were conducted on ID27 beamline at ESRF using a panoramic Paris-Edinburgh Press (PE Press). The starting material is a synthetic haplo-phonolite glass similar in composition to the Plateau flood phonolites from the Kenya rift [1]. The glass was synthesized at 1673 K and 2.0 GPa in a piston-cylinder apparatus at ETH Zurich and characterized using EPMA, FTIR and density measurements. The sample contains less than 200 ppm water and is free of CO2. Single-crystal diamond cylinders (Øin = 0.5 mm, height = 1 mm) were used as sample containers and placed in an assembly formed by hBN spacers, a graphite heater and a boron epoxy gasket [2]. The density was determined as a function of pressure (1.0 to 3.1 GPa) and temperature (1630-1860 K) from the X-ray absorption contrast at 20 keV between the sample and the diamond capsule. The molten state of the sample during the data collection was confirmed by X-ray diffraction measurements. Pressure and temperature were determined simultaneously from the equation of state of hBN and platinum using the the double isochor method [3].The results are combined with available density data at room conditions to derive the first experimental equation of state (EOS) of phonolitic liquids at crustal and upper mantle conditions. We will compare our results with recent reports of the

  18. Growth of the continental crust: constraints from radiogenic isotope geochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, P.N.


    Most models for evolution of continental crust are expressed in the form of a diagram illustrating the cumulative crustal mass (normalized relative to the present crustal mass) as a function of time. Thus, geochronological data inevitably play a major role in either constructing or testing crustal growth models. For all models, determining the start-time for effective crustal accretion is of vital importance. To this end, the continuing search for, and reliable characterization of, the most ancient crustal rock-units remains a worthy enterprise. Another important role for geochronology and radiogenic isotope geochemistry is to assess the status of major geological events as period either of new crust generation or of reworking of earlier formed continental crust. For age characterization of major geological provinces, using the critieria outined, the mass (or volume) of crust surviving to the present day should be determinable as a function of crust formation age. More recent developments, however, appear to set severe limitations on recycling of crust, at least by the process of sediment subduction. In modeling crustal growth without recycling, valuable constaints on growth rate variations through time can be provided if variations in the average age of the continental crust can be monitored through geological history. The question of the average age of the exposed continental crust was addressed by determining Sm-Nd crustal residence model ages (T-CR) for fine-grained sediment loads of many of the world's major rivers

  19. Upper crustal structure of Madeira Island revealed from ambient noise tomography (United States)

    Matos, Catarina; Silveira, Graça; Matias, Luís; Caldeira, Rita; Ribeiro, M. Luísa; Dias, Nuno A.; Krüger, Frank; Bento dos Santos, Telmo


    We present the first image of the Madeira upper crustal structure, using ambient seismic noise tomography. 16 months of ambient noise, recorded in a dense network of 26 seismometers deployed across Madeira, allowed reconstructing Rayleigh wave Green's functions between receivers. Dispersion analysis was performed in the short period band from 1.0 to 4.0 s. Group velocity measurements were regionalized to obtain 2D tomographic images, with a lateral resolution of 2.0 km in central Madeira. Afterwards, the dispersion curves, extracted from each cell of the 2D group velocity maps, were inverted as a function of depth to obtain a 3D shear wave velocity model of the upper crust, from the surface to a depth of 2.0 km. The obtained 3D velocity model reveals features throughout the island that correlates well with surface geology and island evolution.

  20. Extreme Mesozoic crustal thinning in the Eastern Iberia margin: The example of the Columbrets Basin (Valencia Trough) (United States)

    Mohn, G.; Etheve, N.; Frizon de Lamotte, D.; Roca, E.; Tugend, J.; Gómez-Romeu, J.


    Eastern Iberia preserves a complex succession of Mesozoic rifts partly or completely inverted during the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic in relation with Africa-Eurasia convergence. Notably, the Valencia Trough, classically viewed as part of the Cenozoic West Mediterranean basins, preserves in its southwestern part a thick Mesozoic succession (locally »10km thick) over a highly thinned continental basement (locally only »3,5km thick). This sub-basin referred to as the Columbrets Basin, represents a Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous hyper-extended rift basin weakly overprinted by subsequent events. Its initial configuration is well preserved allowing us to unravel its 3D architecture and tectono-stratigraphic evolution in the frame of the Mesozoic evolution of eastern Iberia. The Columbrets Basin benefits from an extensive dataset combining high resolution reflection seismic profiles, drill holes, refraction seismic data and Expanding Spread Profiles. Its Mesozoic architecture is controlled by interactions between extensional deformation and halokinesis involving the Upper Triassic salt. The thick uppermost Triassic to Cretaceous succession describes a general synclinal shape, progressively stretched and dismembered towards the basin borders. The SE-border of the basin is characterized by a large extensional detachment fault acting at crustal scale and interacting locally with the Upper Triassic décollement. This extensional structure accommodates the exhumation of the continental basement and part of the crustal thinning. Eventually our results highlight the complex interaction between extreme crustal thinning and occurrence of a pre-rift salt level for the deformation style and tectono-stratigraphic evolution of hyper-extended rift basins.

  1. Crustal structure and sedimentation history over the Alleppey platform, southwest continental margin of India: Constraints from multichannel seismic and gravity data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Unnikrishnan


    Full Text Available The Alleppey Platform is an important morphological feature located in the Kerala-Konkan basin off the southwest coast of India. In the present study, seismic reflection data available in the basin were used to understand the sedimentation history and also to carry out integrated gravity interpretation. Detailed seismic reflection data in the basin reveals that: (1 the Alleppey Platform is associated with a basement high in the west of its present-day geometry (as observed in the time-structure map of the Trap Top (K/T boundary, (2 the platform subsequently started developing during the Eocene period and attained the present geometry by the Miocene and, (3 both the Alleppey platform and the Vishnu fracture zone have had significant impact on the sedimentation patterns (as shown by the time-structure and the isochron maps of the major sedimentary horizons in the region. The 3-D sediment gravity effect computed from the sedimentary layer geometry was used to construct the crustal Bouguer anomaly map of the region. The 3-D gravity inversion of crustal Bouguer anomaly exhibits a Moho depression below the western border of the platform and a minor rise towards the east which then deepens again below the Indian shield. The 2-D gravity modelling across the Alleppey platform reveals the geometry of crustal extension, in which there are patches of thin and thick crust. The Vishnu Fracture Zone appears as a crustal-scale feature at the western boundary of the Alleppey platform. Based on the gravity model and the seismic reflection data, we suggest that the basement high to the west of the present day Alleppey platform remained as a piece of continental block very close to the mainland with the intervening depression filling up with sediments during the rifting. In order to place the Alleppey platform in the overall perspective of tectonic evolution of the Kerala-Konkan basin, we propose its candidature as a continental fragment.

  2. Receiver function and gravity constraints on crustal structure and vertical movements of the Upper Mississippi Embayment and Ozark Uplift (United States)

    Liu, Lin; Gao, Stephen S.; Liu, Kelly H.; Mickus, Kevin


    The Upper Mississippi Embayment (UME), where the seismically active New Madrid Seismic Zone resides, experienced two phases of subsidence commencing in the Late Precambrian and Cretaceous, respectively. To provide new constraints on models proposed for the mechanisms responsible for the subsidence, we computed and stacked P-to-S receiver functions recorded by 49 USArray and other seismic stations located in the UME and the adjacent Ozark Uplift and modeled Bouguer gravity anomaly data. The inferred thickness, density, and Vp/Vs of the upper and lower crustal layers suggest that the UME is characterized by a mafic and high-density upper crustal layer of ˜30 km thickness, which is underlain by a higher-density lower crustal layer of up to ˜15 km. Those measurements, in the background of previously published geological observations on the subsidence and uplift history of the UME, are in agreement with the model that the Cretaceous subsidence, which was suggested to be preceded by an approximately 2 km uplift, was the consequence of the passage of a previously proposed thermal plume. The thermoelastic effects of the plume would have induced wide-spread intrusion of mafic mantle material into the weak UME crust fractured by Precambrian rifting and increased its density, resulting in renewed subsidence after the thermal source was removed. In contrast, the Ozark Uplift has crustal density, thickness, and Vp/Vs measurements that are comparable to those observed on cratonic areas, suggesting an overall normal crust without significant modification by the proposed plume, probably owing to the relatively strong and thick lithosphere.

  3. The thermodynamic properties of the upper continental crust: Exergy, Gibbs free energy and enthalpy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valero, Alicia; Valero, Antonio; Vieillard, Philippe


    This paper shows a comprehensive database of the thermodynamic properties of the most abundant minerals of the upper continental crust. For those substances whose thermodynamic properties are not listed in the literature, their enthalpy and Gibbs free energy are calculated with 11 different estimation methods described in this study, with associated errors of up to 10% with respect to values published in the literature. Thanks to this procedure we have been able to make a first estimation of the enthalpy, Gibbs free energy and exergy of the bulk upper continental crust and of each of the nearly 300 most abundant minerals contained in it. Finally, the chemical exergy of the continental crust is compared to the exergy of the concentrated mineral resources. The numbers obtained indicate the huge chemical exergy wealth of the crust: 6 × 10 6 Gtoe. However, this study shows that approximately only 0.01% of that amount can be effectively used by man.

  4. Crustal structure along the west flank of the Cascades, western Washington (United States)

    Miller, K.C.; Keller, Gordon R.; Gridley, J.M.; Luetgert, J.H.; Mooney, W.D.; Thybo, H.


    Knowledge of the crustal structure of the Washington Cascades and adjacent Puget Lowland is important to both earthquake hazards studies and geologic studies of the evolution of this tectonically active region. We present a model for crustal velocity structure derived from analysis of seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection data collected in 1991 in western Washington. The 280-km-long north-south transect skirts the west flank of the Cascades as it crosses three tectonic provinces including the Northwest Cascades Thrust System (NWCS), the Puget Lowland, and the volcanic arc of the southern Cascades. Within the NWCS, upper crustal velocities range from 4.2 to 5.7 km s-1 and are consistent with the presence of a diverse suite of Mesozoic and Paleozoic metasediments and metavolcanics. In the upper 2-3 km of the Puget Lowland velocities drop to 1.7-3.5 km s-1 and reflect the occurrence of Oligocene to recent sediments within the basin. In the southern Washington Cascades, upper crustal velocities range from 4.0 to 5.5 km s-1 and are consistent with a large volume of Tertiary sediments and volcanics. A sharp change in velocity gradient at 5-10 km marks the division between the upper and middle crust. From approximately 10 to 35 km depth the velocity field is characterized by a velocity increase from ???6.0 to 7.2 km s-1. These high velocities do not support the presence of marine sedimentary rocks at depths of 10-20 km beneath the Cascades as previously proposed on the basis of magnetotelluric data. Crustal thickness ranges from 42 to 47 km along the profile. The lowermost crust consists of a 2 to 8-km-thick transitional layer with velocities of 7.3-7.4 km s-1. The upper mantle velocity appears to be an unusually low 7.6-7.8 km s-1. When compared to velocity models from other regions, this model most closely resembles those found in active continental arcs. Distinct seismicity patterns can be associated with individual tectonic provinces along the seismic transect. In

  5. 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).

  6. Lower crustal earthquakes in the North China Basin and implications for crustal rheology (United States)

    Yuen, D. A.; Dong, Y.; Ni, S.; LI, Z.


    The North China Basin is a Mesozoic-Cenozoic continental rift basin on the eastern North China Craton. It is the central region of craton destruction, also a very seismically active area suffering severely from devastating earthquakes, such as the 1966 Xingtai M7.2 earthquake, the 1967 Hejian M6.3 earthquake, and the 1976 Tangshan M7.8 earthquake. We found remarkable discrepancies of depth distribution among the three earthquakes, for instance, the Xingtai and Tangshan earthquakes are both upper-crustal earthquakes occurring between 9 and 15 km on depth, but the depth of the Hejian earthquake was reported of about 30 72 km, ranging from lowermost crust to upper mantle. In order to investigate the focal depth of earthquakes near Hejian area, we developed a method to resolve focal depth for local earthquakes occurring beneath sedimentary regions by P and S converted waves. With this method, we obtained well-resolved depths of 44 local events with magnitudes between M1.0 and M3.0 during 2008 to 2016 at the Hejian seismic zone, with a mean depth uncertainty of about 2 km. The depth distribution shows abundant earthquakes at depth of 20 km, with some events in the lower crust, but absence of seismicity deeper than 25 km. In particular, we aimed at deducing some constraints on the local crustal rheology from depth-frequency distribution. Therefore, we performed a comparison between the depth-frequency distribution and the crustal strength envelop, and found a good fit between the depth profile in the Hejian seismic zone and the yield strength envelop in the Baikal Rift Systems. As a conclusion, we infer that the seismogenic thickness is 25 km and the main deformation mechanism is brittle fracture in the North China Basin . And we made two hypotheses: (1) the rheological layering of dominant rheology in the North China Basin is similar to that of the Baikal Rift Systems, which can be explained with a quartz rheology at 0 10 km depth and a diabase rheology at 10 35 km

  7. Role of upper-most crustal composition in the evolution of the Precambrian ocean-atmosphere system (United States)

    Large, R. R.; Mukherjee, I.; Zhukova, I.; Corkrey, R.; Stepanov, A.; Danyushevsky, L. V.


    Recent research has emphasized the potential relationships between supercontinent cycles, mountain building, nutrient flux, ocean-atmosphere chemistry and the origin of life. The composition of the Upper-Most Continental Crust (UMCC) also figures prominently in these relationships, and yet little detailed data on each component of this complex relationship has been available for assessment. Here we provide a new set of data on the trace element concentrations, including the Rare Earth Elements (REE), in the matrix of 52 marine black shale formations spread globally through the Archean and Proterozoic. The data support previous studies on the temporal geochemistry of shales, but with some important differences. Results indicate a change in provenance of the black shales (upper-most crustal composition), from more mafic in the Archean prior to 2700 Ma, to more felsic from 2700 to 2200 Ma, followed by a return to mafic compositions from 2200 to 1850 Ma. Around 1850 to 1800 Ma there is a rapid change to uniform felsic compositions, which remained for a billion years to 800 Ma. The shale matrix geochemistry supports the assertion that the average upper-most continental source rocks for the shales changed from a mix of felsic, mafic and ultramafic prior to 2700 Ma to more felsic after 1850 Ma, with an extended transition period between. The return to more mafic UMCC from 2200 to 1850 Ma is supported by the frequency of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) and banded iron formations, which suggest a peak in major mantle-connected plume events and associated Fe-rich hydrothermal activity over this period. Support for the change to felsic UMCC around 1850 Ma is provided by previous geological data which shows that felsic magmas, including, A-type granites and K-Th-U-rich granites intruded vast areas of the continental crust, peaking around 1850 Ma and declining to 1000 Ma. The implications of this change in UMCC are far reaching and may go some way to explain the distinct

  8. 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.

  9. Crustal thickness and velocity structure across the Moroccan Atlas from long offset wide-angle reflection seismic data: The SIMA experiment (United States)

    Ayarza, P.; Carbonell, R.; Teixell, A.; Palomeras, I.; Martí, D.; Kchikach, A.; Harnafi, M.; Levander, A.; Gallart, J.; Arboleya, M. L.; Alcalde, J.; Fernández, M.; Charroud, M.; Amrhar, M.


    The crustal structure and topography of the Moho boundary beneath the Atlas Mountains of Morocco has been constrained by a controlled source, wide-angle seismic reflection transect: the SIMA experiment. This paper presents the first results of this project, consisting of an almost 700 km long, high-resolution seismic profile acquired from the Sahara craton across the High and the Middle Atlas and the Rif Mountains. The interpretation of this seismic data set is based on forward modeling by raytracing, and has resulted in a detailed crustal structure and velocity model for the Atlas Mountains. Results indicate that the High Atlas features a moderate crustal thickness, with the Moho located at a minimum depth of 35 km to the S and at around 31 km to the N, in the Middle Atlas. Upper crustal shortening is resolved at depth through a crustal root where the Saharan crust underthrusts the northern Moroccan crust. This feature defines a lower crust imbrication that, locally, places the Moho boundary at ˜40-41 km depth in the northern part of the High Atlas. The P-wave velocity model is characterized by relatively low velocities, mostly in the lower crust and upper mantle, when compared to other active orogens and continental regions. These low deep crustal velocities together with other geophysical observables such as conductivity estimates derived from MT measurements, moderate Bouguer gravity anomaly, high heat flow, and surface exposures of recent alkaline volcanism lead to a model where partial melts are currently emplaced at deep crustal levels and in the upper mantle. The resulting model supports the existence of a mantle upwelling as mechanism that would contribute significantly to sustain the High Atlas topography. However, the detailed Moho geometry deduced in this work should lead to a revision of the exact geometry and position of this mantle feature and will require new modeling efforts.

  10. Crustal basement controls granitoid magmatism, and implications for generation of continental crust in subduction zones: A Sr-Nd-Hf-O isotopic study from the Paleozoic Tongbai orogen, central China (United States)

    Wang, Hao; Wu, Yuan-Bao; Yang, Jin-Hui; Qin, Zheng-Wei; Duan, Rui-Chun; Zhou, Lian; Yang, Sai-Hong


    Ascertaining the petrogenesis of granitoid rocks in subduction zones holds the key for understanding the processes of how continental crust is produced. The synchronous Taoyuan and Huanggang plutons occur in two different geological units of the Paleozoic Tongbai orogen of central China. They provide an optimal opportunity for a study to address the role of the crustal basement in generating voluminous granitoid magmatism in subduction zones. The Taoyuan and Huanggang plutons have identical U-Pb zircon crystallization ages of 440-444 Ma, which are temporally related to northward subduction of the Paleotethyan Ocean. The Taoyuan samples show high SiO2 (73.36-79.16%) and low Al2O3 (12.00-13.45%) contents, Mg numbers (20.6-38.2), and Sr/Y (2.04-10.1) and (La/Yb)N (2.34-7.32) ratios with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.33-0.93). They yielded positive εNd(t) (+ 3.0 to + 6.7) and εHf(t) (+ 11.8 to + 13.2) values, elevated initial Sr isotopic ratios (0.7040-0.7057) and relatively low zircon δ18O values of 4.62-5.39‰. These suggest that they were produced through partial melting of hydrothermally altered lower crust of the accreted Erlangping oceanic arc. In contrast, the Huanggang samples exhibit variable whole-rock geochemical and isotopic compositions with SiO2 contents of 57.01-64.42 wt.%, initial Sr isotopic ratios of 0.7065-0.7078, and εNd(t) values of - 5.7 to - 9.4. Additionally, they have high zircon δ18O values of 7.57-8.45‰ and strongly negative zircon εHf(t) values of - 14.4 to - 10.5. They were suggested to have been mainly derived from ancient continental crust of the Kuanping crustal unit with the addition of 20-40% juvenile, mantle-derived material. Accordingly, the granitoids in both oceanic and continental arcs are likely to be mainly derived from intracrustal melting of their crustal basement. It is revealed by the Huanggang pluton that little net continental crust growth occurs in continental arcs, and addition of new volume of continental

  11. Lithospheric-scale structures from the perspective of analogue continental collision.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sokoutis, D.; Burg, J.P.; Bonini, M.; Corti, G.; Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.


    Analogue models were employed to investigate continental collision addressing the roles of (1) a suture zone separating different crustal blocks, (2) mid-crustal weak layers and (3) mantle strengths. These models confirmed that low-amplitude lithospheric and crustal buckling is the primary response

  12. The temporal and spatial distribution of upper crustal faulting and magmatism in the south Lake Turkana rift, East Africa (United States)

    Muirhead, J.; Scholz, C. A.


    During continental breakup extension is accommodated in the upper crust largely through dike intrusion and normal faulting. The Eastern branch of the East African Rift arguably represents the premier example of active continental breakup in the presence magma. Constraining how faulting is distributed in both time and space in these regions is challenging, yet can elucidate how extensional strain localizes within basins as rifting progresses to sea-floor spreading. Studies of active rifts, such as the Turkana Rift, reveal important links between faulting and active magmatic processes. We utilized over 1100 km of high-resolution Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse (CHIRP) 2D seismic reflection data, integrated with a suite of radiocarbon-dated sediment cores (3 in total), to constrain a 17,000 year history of fault activity in south Lake Turkana. Here, a set of N-S-striking intra-rift faults exhibit time-averaged slip-rates as high as 1.6 mm/yr, with the highest slip-rates occurring along faults within 3 km of the rift axis. Results show that strain has localized into a zone of intra-rift faults along the rift axis, forming an approximately 20 km-wide graben in central parts of the basin. Subsurface structural mapping and fault throw profile analyses reveal increasing basin subsidence and fault-related strain as this faulted graben approaches a volcanic island in the center of the basin (South Island). The long-axis of this island trends north-south, and it contains a number of elongate cones that support recent emplacement of N-S-striking dike intrusions, which parallel recently active intra-rift faults. Overall, these observations suggest strain localization into intra-rift faults in the rift center is likely a product of both volcanic loading and the mechanical and thermal effects of diking along the rift axis. These results support the establishment of magmatic segmentation in southern Lake Turkana, and highlight the importance of magmatism for focusing upper

  13. Mechanism of crustal extension in the Laxmi Basin, Arabian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anju Pandey


    Full Text Available Continental rifting and magmatism has been extensively studied worldwide as it is believed that continental rifting, break up of continents and associated magmatism lead to genesis of new oceanic crust. However, various regions of the world show that these processes may lead to genesis of other types of crust than the oceanic crust. Laxmi Basin in the western continental margin of the India is one such region with an enigmatic crust. Due to its extreme strategic significance for the palaeogeographic reconstruction of continents during Cretaceous continental breakup of India, this basin has attracted various workers for more than two decades. However, still the issue of nature of crust in the basin remains controversial. In this contribution, in order to identify nature of crust, mechanism of continental extension in the Laxmi Basin has been studied for the first time through newly acquired seismic data from the basin. Here, we propose a plausible mechanism of crustal extension in the Laxmi Basin which eventually constrains the nature of crust of the Laxmi Basin. We have demonstrated that the crust in the Laxmi Basin can be categorised in two zones of stretched and transitional crust. In the stretched zone several fault bounded horst and graben structures are identified which preserve syn- and post-rift sediments along with different periods of hiatus in sedimentations as unconformities. These faults are identified as listric faults in the upper crust which sole out in the detachment faults. Detachment faults decouples the upper brittle and lower ductile crust. The transitional crust is identified as heavily intruded by sills and basaltic volcanic which were emplaced due to melting of subcontinental mantle (SCM after hyper-stretching of crust and serpentinisation of the SCM. Panikkar Ridge is proposed to be one such basaltic volcanic body derived from melting of lower part of the SCM.

  14. Estimating the formation age distribution of continental crust by unmixing zircon ages (United States)

    Korenaga, Jun


    Continental crust provides first-order control on Earth's surface environment, enabling the presence of stable dry landmasses surrounded by deep oceans. The evolution of continental crust is important for atmospheric evolution, because continental crust is an essential component of deep carbon cycle and is likely to have played a critical role in the oxygenation of the atmosphere. Geochemical information stored in the mineral zircon, known for its resilience to diagenesis and metamorphism, has been central to ongoing debates on the genesis and evolution of continental crust. However, correction for crustal reworking, which is the most critical step when estimating original formation ages, has been incorrectly formulated, undermining the significance of previous estimates. Here I suggest a simple yet promising approach for reworking correction using the global compilation of zircon data. The present-day distribution of crustal formation age estimated by the new "unmixing" method serves as the lower bound to the true crustal growth, and large deviations from growth models based on mantle depletion imply the important role of crustal recycling through the Earth history.

  15. Petrology and tectonics of Phanerozoic continent formation: From island arcs to accretion and continental arc magmatism (United States)

    Lee, C.-T.A.; Morton, D.M.; Kistler, R.W.; Baird, A.K.


    Mesozoic continental arcs in the North American Cordillera were examined here to establish a baseline model for Phanerozoic continent formation. We combine new trace-element data on lower crustal xenoliths from the Mesozoic Sierra Nevada Batholith with an extensive grid-based geochemical map of the Peninsular Ranges Batholith, the southern equivalent of the Sierras. Collectively, these observations give a three-dimensional view of the crust, which permits the petrogenesis and tectonics of Phanerozoic crust formation to be linked in space and time. Subduction of the Farallon plate beneath North America during the Triassic to early Cretaceous was characterized by trench retreat and slab rollback because old and cold oceanic lithosphere was being subducted. This generated an extensional subduction zone, which created fringing island arcs just off the Paleozoic continental margin. However, as the age of the Farallon plate at the time of subduction decreased, the extensional environment waned, allowing the fringing island arc to accrete onto the continental margin. With continued subduction, a continental arc was born and a progressively more compressional environment developed as the age of subducting slab continued to young. Refinement into a felsic crust occurred after accretion, that is, during the continental arc stage, wherein a thickened crustal and lithospheric column permitted a longer differentiation column. New basaltic arc magmas underplate and intrude the accreted terrane, suture, and former continental margin. Interaction of these basaltic magmas with pre-existing crust and lithospheric mantle created garnet pyroxenitic mafic cumulates by fractional crystallization at depth as well as gabbroic and garnet pyroxenitic restites at shallower levels by melting of pre-existing lower crust. The complementary felsic plutons formed by these deep-seated differentiation processes rose into the upper crust, stitching together the accreted terrane, suture and former

  16. New constraints on the crustal structure beneath northern Tyrrhenian Sea (United States)

    Levin, V. L.; Park, J. J.


    We present new seismological data on the seismic structure beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea between Corsica and the coast of Italy. Teleseismic receiver functions from two Tyrrhenian islands (Elba and Gorgona) identify clear P-to-S mode-converted waves from two distinct interfaces, at ~20 and ~45 km depth. Both interfaces are characterized by an increase of seismic wavespeed with depth. Using a summation of direct and multiply-reflected body waves within the P wave coda we estimate the mean ratio of compressional and shear wave speeds above the 45 km interface to be 1.75-1.80. Using reflectivity computations in 1D layered models we develop a model of seismic wavespeed distribution that yields synthetic seismograms very similar to those observed. We apply a Ps-multiple summation procedure to the synthetic waveforms to further verify the match between observed and predicted wavefields. The lower layer of our model, between 20 and 45 km, has Vp ~ 7.5 km/sec, a value that can be ascribed to either very fast crustal rocks or very slow upper mantle rocks. The Vp/Vs ratio is ~1.8 in this intermediate layer. On the basis of a well-constrained downward increase in seismic wave speed beneath this second layer, we interpret it as the magmatically reworked lower crust, a lithology that has been proposed to explain high-Vp layers in the crustal roots of island-arc terranes and volcanically altered continental margins, as well as lower-crustal high-Vp features sometimes seen beneath continental rifts. The presence of a thick layer of high-Vp, but crustal, lithology beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea differs considerably from previous estimates that interpreted the interface at ~20 km as the Moho. Our new interpretation obviates a need for a crustal thickness change of over 20 km at the crest of the Apennines orogen. We propose an alteration in the properties of the lower crust instead. We argue that ongoing convergent subduction of the Adriatic lithospehre is not required beneath northern

  17. The PROTEUS Experiment: Active Source Seismic Imaging of the Crustal Magma Plumbing Structure of the Santorini Arc Volcano (United States)

    Hooft, E. E. E.; Morgan, J. V.; Nomikou, P.; Toomey, D. R.; Papazachos, C. V.; Warner, M.; Heath, B.; Christopoulou, M. E.; Lampridou, D.; Kementzetzidou, D.


    The goal of the PROTEUS seismic experiment (Plumbing Reservoirs Of The Earth Under Santorini) is to examine the entire crustal magma plumbing system beneath a continental arc volcano and determine the magma geometry and connections throughout the crust. These physical parameters control magma migration, storage, and eruption and inform the question of how physical and chemical processing of magma at arc volcanoes forms the andesitic rock compositions that dominate the lower continental crust. These physical parameters are also important to understand volcanic-tectonic interactions and geohazards. Santorini is ideal for these goals because the continental crust has been thinned by extension and so the deep magmatic system is more accessible, also it is geologically well studied. Since the volcano is a semi-submerged, it was possible to collect a unique 3D marine-land active source seismic dataset. During the PROTEUS experiment in November-December of 2015, we recorded 14,300 marine sound sources from the US R/V Langseth on 89 OBSIP short period ocean bottom seismometers and 60 German and 5 Greek land seismometers. The experiment was designed for high-density spatial sampling of the seismic wavefield to allow us to apply two state-of-the-art 3D inversion methods: travel time tomography and full waveform inversion. A preliminary travel time tomography model of the upper crustal seismic velocity structure of the volcano and surrounding region is presented in an accompanying poster. We also made marine geophysical maps of the seafloor using multi-beam bathymetry and of the gravity and magnetic fields. The new seafloor map reveals the detailed structure of the major fault system between Santorini and Amorgos, of associated landslides, and of newly discovered volcanic features. The PROTEUS project will provide new insights into the structure of the whole crustal magmatic system of a continental arc volcano and its evolution within the surrounding tectonic setting.

  18. Crustal tomographic imaging and geodynamic implications toward south of Southern Granulite Terrain (SGT), India (United States)

    Behera, Laxmidhar


    The crustal structure toward southern part of SGT is poorly defined leaving an opportunity to understand the tectonic and geodynamic evolution of this high-grade granulite terrain surrounded by major shear and tectonically disturbed zones like Achankovil Shear Zone (AKSZ) and Palghat Cauvery Shear Zone (PCSZ). To develop a geologically plausible crustal tectonic model depicting major structural elements, a comprehensive tomographic image was derived using deep-seismic-sounding data corroborated by Bouguer gravity modeling, coincident-reflection-seismic, heat-flow and available geological/geochronological informations along the N-S trending Vattalkundu-Kanyakumari geotransect. The final tectonic model represents large compositional changes of subsurface rocks accompanied by velocity heterogeneities with crustal thinning (44-36 km) and Moho upwarping from north to south. This study also reveals and successfully imaged anomalous zone of exhumation near AKSZ having transpression of exhumed rocks at mid-to-lower crustal level (20-30 km) with significant underplating and mantle upwelling forming a complex metamorphic province. The presence of shear zones with high-grade charnockite massifs in the upper-crust exposed in several places reveal large scale exhumation of granulites during the Pan-African rifting (~ 550 Ma) and provide important insights of plume-continental lithosphere interaction with reconstruction of the Gondwanaland.

  19. Crustal Seismic Anisotropy: Implications for Understanding Crustal Dynamics (United States)

    Meltzer, A.; Christensen, N.; Okaya, D.


    The Nanga Parbat - Haramosh massif, in the core of the western syntaxis of the Himalaya, represents a unique exposure of mid-lower continental crust from beneath a collisional orogen. The exhumed core of the massif forms a large scale antiformal structure with axial orientation of N10E and associated lineation directed north-south with near-vertical dips. Laboratory measurements of seismic velocity on a suite of quartzofeldspathic gneisses from the massif show a relatively strong degree of anisotropy, up to 12.5% for compressional waves and up to 21% for shear waves. The degree of velocity anisotropy is primarily a function of mica content and rock fabric strength. The strong anisotropy measured in these rocks should be observable in recorded seismic field data and provides a means of mapping rock fabric at depth provided the rock fabric is coherent over appropriate length scales. An IRIS/PASSCAL deployment of 50 short period instruments recorded local and regional earthquakes to characterize seismicity and determine crustal structure beneath the massif as part of a multidisciplinary NSF Continental Dynamics study investigating the active tectonic processes responsible for exhumation and crustal reworking at Nanga Parbat. Microseismicity at Nanga Parbat is distributed along strike beneath the massif but exhibits a sharp drop-off laterally into adjacent terranes and with depth. This data set is ideal for studying crustal seismic anisotropy because the raypaths are restricted to the crust, sharp onsets in P and S allow for clear identification of arrivals, and source-receiver geometries sample a range of azimuths with respect to structure. Preliminary analysis indicates that the majority of local events exhibit some degree of splitting and that splitting patterns, while complicated, are coherent. While splitting delay normally increases with distance traveled through anisotropic material, the range of delay times can be due to heterogeneity in composition, lateral

  20. USArray Imaging of Continental Crust in the Conterminous United States (United States)

    Ma, Xiaofei; Lowry, Anthony R.


    The thickness and bulk composition of continental crust provide important constraints on the evolution and dynamics of continents. Crustal mineralogy and thickness both may influence gravity anomalies, topographic elevation, and lithospheric strength, but prior to the inception of EarthScope's USArray, seismic measurements of crustal thickness and properties useful for inferring lithology are sparse. Here we improve upon a previously published methodology for joint inversion of Bouguer gravity anomalies and seismic receiver functions by using parameter space stacking of cross correlations of modeled synthetic and observed receiver functions instead of standard H-κ amplitude stacking. The new method is applied to estimation of thickness and bulk seismic velocity ratio, vP/vS, of continental crust in the conterminous United States using USArray and other broadband network data. Crustal thickness variations are reasonably consistent with those found in other studies and show interesting relationships to the history of North American continental formation. Seismic velocity ratios derived in this study are more robust than in other analyses and hint at large-scale variations in composition of continental crust. To interpret the results, we model the pressure-/temperature-dependent thermodynamics of mineral formation for various crustal chemistries, with and without volatile constituents. Our results suggest that hydration lowers bulk crustal vP/vS and density and releases heat in the shallow crust but absorbs heat in the lowermost crust (where plagioclase breaks down to pyroxene and garnet resulting in higher seismic velocity). Hence, vP/vS variations may provide a useful proxy for hydration state in the crust.

  1. Satellite measurements of the earth's crustal magnetic field (United States)

    Schnetzler, C. C.


    The literature associated with the Magsat mission has evaluated the capabilities and limitations of satellite measurements of the earth's crustal magnetic field, and demonstrated that there exists a 300-3000 km magnetic field, related to major features in the earth's crust, which is primarily caused by induction. Due to its scale and sensitivity, satellite data have been useful in the development of models for such large crustal features as subduction zones, submarine platforms, continental accretion boundaries, and rifts. Attention is presently given to the lack of agreement between laboratory and satellite estimates of lower crustal magnetization.

  2. Crustal evolution derived from the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc velocity images (United States)

    Takahashi, N.; Kodaira, S.; Tatsumi, Y.; Miura, S.; Sato, T.; Yamashita, M.; No, T.; Takahashi, T.; Noguchi, N.; Takizawa, K.; Kaiho, Y.; Kaneda, Y.


    The Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc is known as one of typical oceanic island arcs, which has developed by subduction between oceanic crusts producing continental materials. Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology has carried out seismic surveys using a multi-channel reflection survey system (MCS) and ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc since 2002, and reported these crustal images. As the results, we identified the structural characteristics of whole Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc. Rough structural characteristics are, 1) middle crust with Vp of 6 km/s, 2) upper part of the lower crust with Vp of 6.5-6.8 km/s, 3) lower part of the lower crust with Vp of 6.8-7.5 km/s, and 4) lower mantle velocity beneath the arc crusts. In addition, structural variation along the volcanic front, for example, thickness variation of andesitic layers was imaged and the distributions is consistent with those of rhyolite volcanoes, that is, it suggested that the cause the structural variation is various degree of crustal growth (Kodaira et al., 2007). Moreover, crustal thinning with high velocity lower crust across arc was also imaged, and it is interpreted that such crust has been influenced backarc opening (Takahashi et al., 2009). According to Tatsumi et al. (2008), andesitic middle crust is produced by differentiation of basaltic lower crust and a part of the restites are transformed to the upper mantle. This means that region showing much crustal differentiation has large volume of transformation of dense crustal materials to the mantle. We calculated volume profiles of the lower crust along all seismic lines based on the petrologic model, and compared them with observed real volumes obtained by seismic images. If the real volume of the lower crust is large, it means that the underplating of dense materials to the crustal bottom is dominant rather than transformation of dense materials to the upper mantle. According to obtained profiles to judge if the

  3. Formation of continental crust in a temporally linked arc magma system from 5 to 30 km depth: ~ 90 Ma plutonism in the Cascades Crystalline Core composite arc section (United States)

    Ratschbacher, B. C.; Miller, J. S.; Kent, A. J.; Miller, R. B.; Anderson, J. L.; Paterson, S. R.


    Continental crust has an andesitic bulk composition with a mafic lower crust and a granodioritic upper crust. The formation of stratified continental crust in general and the vertical extent of processes active in arc crustal columns leading to the differentiation of primitive, mantle-derived melts entering the lower crust are highly debated. To investigate where in the crustal column magma mixing, fractionation, assimilation and crystal growth occur and to what extent, we study the ~ 90 Ma magmatic flare-up event of the Cascades arc, a magma plumbing system from ~ 5 to 30 km depth. We focus on three intrusive complexes, emplaced at different depths during major regional shortening in an exceptionally thick crust (≥ 55 km1) but which are temporally related: the upper crustal Black Peak intrusion (1-3 kbar at 3.7 to 11 km; ~ 86.8 to 91.7 Ma2), the mid-crustal Mt. Stuart intrusion (3.5-4.0 kbar at 13 to 15 km; 90.8 and 96.3 Ma3) and the deep crustal Tenpeak intrusion (7 to 10 kbar at 25 to 37 km; 89.7 to 92.3 Ma4). These intrusive complexes are well characterized by geochronology showing that they have been constructed incrementally by multiple magma batches over their lifespans and thus allow the monitoring and comparison of geochemical parameters over time at different depths. We use a combination of whole rock major and trace element data and isotopes combined with detailed investigation of amphibole, which has been recognized to be important in the generation of calc-alkaline rocks in arcs to test the following hypotheses: (a) compositional bimodality is produced in the lower crust, whereas upper crustal levels are dominated by mixing to form intermediate compositions, or (b) differentiation occurs throughout the crustal column with different crystallizing phases and their compositions controlling the bulk chemistry. 1. Miller et al. 2009: GSA Special Paper 456, p. 125-149 2. Shea 2014: PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3. Anderson et al. 2012

  4. 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.

  5. Decrease in oceanic crustal thickness since the breakup of Pangaea (United States)

    van Avendonk, Harm J. A.; Davis, Joshua K.; Harding, Jennifer L.; Lawver, Lawrence A.


    Earth's mantle has cooled by 6-11 °C every 100 million years since the Archaean, 2.5 billion years ago. In more recent times, the surface heat loss that led to this temperature drop may have been enhanced by plate-tectonic processes, such as continental breakup, the continuous creation of oceanic lithosphere at mid-ocean ridges and subduction at deep-sea trenches. Here we use a compilation of marine seismic refraction data from ocean basins globally to analyse changes in the thickness of oceanic crust over time. We find that oceanic crust formed in the mid-Jurassic, about 170 million years ago, is 1.7 km thicker on average than crust produced along the present-day mid-ocean ridge system. If a higher mantle temperature is the cause of thicker Jurassic ocean crust, the upper mantle may have cooled by 15-20 °C per 100 million years over this time period. The difference between this and the long-term mantle cooling rate indeed suggests that modern plate tectonics coincide with greater mantle heat loss. We also find that the increase of ocean crustal thickness with plate age is stronger in the Indian and Atlantic oceans compared with the Pacific Ocean. This observation supports the idea that upper mantle temperature in the Jurassic was higher in the wake of the fragmented supercontinent Pangaea due to the effect of continental insulation.

  6. Crustal structure of the rifted volcanic margins and uplifted plateau of Western Yemen from receiver function analysis (United States)

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


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

  7. Timing and composition of continental volcanism at Harrat Hutaymah, western Saudi Arabia (United States)

    Duncan, Robert A.; Kent, Adam J R; Thornber, Carl; Schliedler, Tyler D; Al-Amri, Abdullah M


    Harrat Hutaymah is an alkali basalt volcanic field in north-central Saudi Arabia, at the eastern margin of a large Neogene continental, intraplate magmatic province. Lava flow, tephra and spatter cone compositions in the field include alkali olivine basalts and basanites. These compositions contrast with the predominantly tholeiitic, fissure-fed basalts found along the eastern margin of the Red Sea. The Hutaymah lava flows were erupted through Proterozoic arc-associated plutonic and meta-sedimentary rocks of the Arabian shield, and commonly contain a range of sub-continental lithospheric xenoliths, although the lavas themselves show little indication of crustal contamination. Previous radiometric dating of this volcanic field (a single published K–Ar age; 1.8 Ma) is suspiciously old given the field measurement of normal magnetic polarity only (i.e. Brunhes interval, ≤ 780 Ka). We report new age determinations on 14 lava flows by the 40Ar–39Ar laser step heating method, all younger than ~ 850 Ka, to better constrain the time frame of volcanism, and major, trace and rare earth element compositions to describe the chemical variation of volcanic activity at Harrat Hutaymah. Crystal fractionation was dominated by olivine ± clinopyroxene at a range of upper mantle and crustal pressures. Rapid ascent and eruption of magma is indicated by the array of lower crustal and lithospheric xenoliths observed in lava flows and tephra. Modeling suggests 1–7% melting of an enriched asthenospheric mantle source occurred beneath Harrat Hutaymah under a relatively thick lithospheric cap (60–80 km).

  8. Crustal structure and evolution of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian belt: A review and new interpretations from recent concepts and data (United States)

    Teixell, A.; Labaume, P.; Ayarza, P.; Espurt, N.; de Saint Blanquat, M.; Lagabrielle, Y.


    This paper provides a synthesis of current data and interpretations on the crustal structure of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian orogenic belt, and presents new tectonic models for representative transects. The Pyrenean orogeny lasted from Santonian ( 84 Ma) to early Miocene times ( 20 Ma), and consisted of a spatial and temporal succession of oceanic crust/exhumed mantle subduction, rift inversion and continental collision processes at the Iberia-Eurasia plate boundary. A good coverage by active-source (vertical-incidence and wide-angle reflection) and passive-source (receiver functions) seismic studies, coupled with surface data have led to a reasonable knowledge of the present-day crustal architecture of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian belt, although questions remain. Seismic imaging reveals a persistent structure, from the central Pyrenees to the central Cantabrian Mountains, consisting of a wedge of Eurasian lithosphere indented into the thicker Iberian plate, whose lower crust is detached and plunges northwards into the mantle. For the Pyrenees, a new scheme of relationships between the southern upper crustal thrust sheets and the Axial Zone is here proposed. For the Cantabrian belt, the depth reached by the N-dipping Iberian crust and the structure of the margin are also revised. The common occurrence of lherzolite bodies in the northern Pyrenees and the seismic velocity and potential field record of the Bay of Biscay indicate that the precursor of the Pyrenees was a hyperextended and strongly segmented rift system, where narrow domains of exhumed mantle separated the thinned Iberian and Eurasian continental margins since the Albian-Cenomanian. The exhumed mantle in the Pyrenean rift was largely covered by a Mesozoic sedimentary lid that had locally glided along detachments in Triassic evaporites. Continental margin collision in the Pyrenees was preceded by subduction of the exhumed mantle, accompanied by the pop-up thrust expulsion of the off-scraped sedimentary lid above

  9. Orogenic inheritance and continental breakup: Wilson Cycle-control on rift and passive margin evolution (United States)

    Schiffer, C.; Petersen, K. D.


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

  10. A relatively reduced Hadean continental crust (United States)

    Yang, Xiaozhi; Gaillard, Fabrice; Scaillet, Bruno


    Among the physical and chemical parameters used to characterize the Earth, oxidation state, as reflected by its prevailing oxygen fugacity (fO2), is a particularly important one. It controls many physicochemical properties and geological processes of the Earth's different reservoirs, and affects the partitioning of elements between coexisting phases and the speciation of degassed volatiles in melts. In the past decades, numerous studies have been conducted to document the evolution of mantle and atmospheric oxidation state with time and in particular the possible transition from an early reduced state to the present oxidized conditions. So far, it has been established that the oxidation state of the uppermost mantle is within ±2 log units of the quartz-fayalite-magnetite (QFM) buffer, probably back to ~4.4 billion years ago (Ga) based on trace-elements studies of mantle-derived komatiites, kimberlites, basalts, volcanics and zircons, and that the O2 levels of atmosphere were initially low and rose markedly ~2.3 Ga known as the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), progressively reaching its present oxidation state of ~10 log units above QFM. In contrast, the secular evolution of oxidation state of the continental crust, an important boundary separating the underlying upper mantle from the surrounding atmosphere and buffering the exchanges and interactions between the Earth's interior and exterior, has rarely been addressed, although the presence of evolved crustal materials on the Earth can be traced back to ~4.4 Ga, e.g. by detrital zircons. Zircon is a common accessory mineral in nature, occurring in a wide variety of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, and is almost ubiquitous in crustal rocks. The physical and chemical durability of zircons makes them widely used in geochemical studies in terms of trace-elements, isotopes, ages and melt/mineral inclusions; in particular, zircons are persistent under most crustal conditions and can survive many secondary

  11. Quantitative tectonic reconstructions of Zealandia based on crustal thickness estimates (United States)

    Grobys, Jan W. G.; Gohl, Karsten; Eagles, Graeme


    Zealandia is a key piece in the plate reconstruction of Gondwana. The positions of its submarine plateaus are major constraints on the best fit and breakup involving New Zealand, Australia, Antarctica, and associated microplates. As the submarine plateaus surrounding New Zealand consist of extended and highly extended continental crust, classic plate tectonic reconstructions assuming rigid plates and narrow plate boundaries fail to reconstruct these areas correctly. However, if the early breakup history shall be reconstructed, it is crucial to consider crustal stretching in a plate-tectonic reconstruction. We present a reconstruction of the basins around New Zealand (Great South Basin, Bounty Trough, and New Caledonia Basin) based on crustal balancing, an approach that takes into account the rifting and thinning processes affecting continental crust. In a first step, we computed a crustal thickness map of Zealandia using seismic, seismological, and gravity data. The crustal thickness map shows the submarine plateaus to have a uniform crustal thickness of 20-24 km and the basins to have a thickness of 12-16 km. We assumed that a reconstruction of Zealandia should close the basins and lead to a most uniform crustal thickness. We used the standard deviation of the reconstructed crustal thickness as a measure of uniformity. The reconstruction of the Campbell Plateau area shows that the amount of extension in the Bounty Trough and the Great South Basin is far smaller than previously thought. Our results indicate that the extension of the Bounty Trough and Great South Basin occurred simultaneously.

  12. Crustal thickness and Vp/Vs beneath the southeastern United States: Constraints from receiver function stacking (United States)

    Yang, Q.; Gao, S. S.; Liu, K. H.


    To provide new constraints on crustal structure and evolution models beneath a collage of tectonic provinces in the southeastern United States, a total of 10,753 teleseismic receiver functions recorded by 125 USArray and other seismic stations are used to compute crustal thickness and Vp/Vs values. The resulting crustal thicknesses range from 25 km at the coast to 51 km beneath the peak of the southern Appalachians with an average of 36.2 km ± 5.5 km. The resulting crustal thicknesses correlate well with surface elevation and Bouguer gravity anomalies. Beneath the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the crustal thicknesses show a clear eastward thinning with a magnitude of 10 km, from about 40 km beneath the western margin to 30 km beneath the coast. The Vp/Vs values for the entire study area range from 1.71 to 1.90 with a mean value of 1.80 ± 0.04. The mean Vp/Vs value is 1.82±0.035 in the southern Appalachian Mountain. The slightly larger than normal crustal Vp/Vs for this area might be the result of significant erosion of the felsic upper crust over the past 300 million years. Alternatively, it could also suggest the existence of pervasive magmatic intrusion into the Appalachian crust. The Vp/Vs measurements in the Atlantic Coastal Plain increase toward the east, ranging from 1.75 to 1.82, probably indicating a gradual increase of mafic magmatic intrusion into thinner crust during the development of the passive continental margin.

  13. Control of early-formed vesicle cylinders on upper crustal prismatic jointing in compound pāhoehoe lavas of Elephanta Island, western Deccan Traps, India (United States)

    Sheth, Hetu; Patel, Vanit; Samant, Hrishikesh


    Upper crustal prismatic joints and vesicle cylinders, common in pāhoehoe lava flows, form early and late, respectively, and are therefore independent features. However, small-scale compound pāhoehoe lava lobes on Elephanta Island (western Deccan Traps, India), which resemble S-type (spongy) pāhoehoe in some aspects, contain vesicle cylinders which apparently controlled the locations of upper crustal prismatic joints. The lobes are decimeters thick, did not experience inflation after emplacement, and solidified rapidly. They have meter-scale areas that are exceptionally rich in vesicle cylinders (up to 68 cylinders in 1 m2, with a mean spacing of 12.1 cm), separated by cylinder-free areas, and pervasive upper crustal prismatic jointing with T, curved T, and quadruple joint intersections. A majority (≥76.5%) of the cylinders are located exactly on joints or at joint intersections, and were not simply captured by downward growing joints, as the cylinders show no deflection in vertical section. We suggest that large numbers of cylinders originated in a layer of bubble-rich residual liquid at the top of a basal diktytaxitic crystal mush zone which was formed very early (probably within the first few minutes of the emplacement history). The locations where the rising cylinders breached the crust provided weak points or mechanical flaws towards which any existing joints (formed by thermal contraction) propagated. New joints may also have propagated outwards from the cylinders and linked up laterally. Some cylinders breached the crust between the joints, and thus formed a little later than most others. The Elephanta Island example reveals that, whereas thermal contraction is undoubtedly valid as a standard mechanism for forming upper crustal prismatic joints, abundant mechanical flaws (such as large concentrations of early-formed, crust-breaching vesicle cylinders) can also control the joint formation process.

  14. Field-based Constraints on Lower Crustal Flow From the World's Largest Exposure of Lower Continental Crust, Northern Saskatchewan, Canada (United States)

    Dumond, G.; Gonclaves, P.; Williams, M. L.; Bowring, S. A.


    Predictions about the behavior and geometry of lower continental crust during orogenesis have included: it is rheologically weak; it flows under the influence of a tectonic or topographic load; and it is characterized by pervasive shallow fabrics produced by high-temperature deformation mechanisms. Arguably the world's largest exposure of lower continental crust that still preserves much of its deep crustal deformation history is the central portion of the Snowbird tectonic zone in the western Canadian Shield. Recent fieldwork along a ca. 100 km-long transect of this exposure is characterized by an early, penetrative shallow fabric. A 40 km-long segment of this transect, dominated by charnockite and granodiorite orthogneisses, is characterized by km-scale domains of shallow, granulite-grade gneissic foliation (S1) with a spectacular rodding lineation (L1) defined by: 1) discontinuous ribbons of recrystallized Pl + Qtz + Hb + Cpx + Opx, in addition to mm- to cm-scale core-and-mantle structure in Pl and Kfs, and 2) near-continuous, 10s of cm-long rods of compositional banding. Isoclinally-folded layering is locally preserved perpendicular to (L1). We interpret (L1) as a composite lineation with both intersection and extension components. Thermobarometric data, microstructural, and kinematic observations are compatible with high-grade (700-800°C) ductile, top-to-the-ESE flow during production of S1 at 1.0-1.1 GPa (30-40 km paleodepths in the Neoarchean. S1 is variably transposed into upright, open, shallowly-plunging F2 folds with sub-horizontal, NW-striking enveloping surfaces. The weakly folded S1 is locally overprinted by preserve Type 2 (mushroom-crescent) fold interference patterns resulting from superposition of upright F2 folds with sub-vertical NE-striking axial planes onto isoclinal, recumbent F1 folds. Metamorphic reactions that led to Grt-production during development of S1 were intrinsically syn-kinematic, with garnet growing in the Na-rich recrystallized

  15. Along Arc Structural Variation in the Izu-Bonin Arc and its Implications for Crustal Evolution Processes (United States)

    Kodaira, S.; Sato, T.; Takahashi, N.; Ito, A.; Kaneda, Y.


    A continental-type middle crust having Vp = 6.1 - 6.3 km/s has been imaged at several oceanic island arcs (e.g. northern Izu, Mariana, Tonga, Kyushu-Palau ridge) since Suyehiro et al. (1996) has found a felsic middle crust in the northern Izu arc. A high velocity lower crust (Vp > 7.3 km/s) underlying the felsic middle crust has been also underlined as a characteristic structure in the northern Izu arc. A bulk composition of the crust in the Izu arc may indicate more mafic than that of a typical continental crust due to a large volume of the high velocity lower crust. Since a crust becomes more mature toward the north along the Izu-Bonin arc, investigating structural variation along the volcanic front has been believed to provide a fundamental knowledge for a crustal evolution process. In 2004 and 2005, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology has conducted two along arc wide-angle seismic surveys from the Sagami-bay to the Kita-Iwo jima, a total profile length of about 1000 km. Although data from the Bonin-part of the profile which were acquired this year has not been processed yet, a result from the Izu-part, from the Sagami-bay to Tori shima, shows significant structural variations along the volcanic front. The crustal thickness are varied with a wavelength of several tens of km, i.e., thickened up to 25-30 km around the volcanoes (the Miyake jama, Hachijo jima, Aoga sima, Sumisu jima), while thinned down to 20 km between them. The fine seismic velocity image obtained by refraction tomography as well as a wide-angle reflection migration shows that the variation of the crustal block having 6.0 - 6.7 km/s, which is a typical continental crustal velocity, is mainly responsible for the observed variation of the crustal thickness. The thickness of the high velocity lower crust is not significantly varied along the arc. Therefore, an average crustal seismic velocity (varied 6.6 to 7.0 km/s) represents a higher velocity that that of a typical continental

  16. Continental Subduction: Mass Fluxes and Interactions with the Wider Earth System (United States)

    Cuthbert, S. J.


    Substantial parts of ultra-high pressure (UHP) terrains probably represent subducted passive continental margins (PCM). This contribution reviews and synthesises research on processes operating in such systems and their implication for the wider Earth system. PCM sediments are large repositories of volatiles including hydrates, nitrogen species, carbonates and hydrocarbons. Sediments and upper/ mid-crustal basement are rich in incompatible elements and are fertile for melting. Lower crust may be more mafic and refractory. Juvenile rift-related mafic rocks also have the potential to generate substantial volumes of granitoid melts, especially if they have been hydrated. Exposed UHP terrains demonstrate the return of continental crust from mantle depths, show evidence for substantial fluxes of aqueous fluid, anatexis and, in entrained orogenic peridotites, metasomatism of mantle rocks by crust- derived C-O-H fluids. However, substantial bodies of continental material may never return to the surface as coherent masses of rock, but remain sequestered in the mantle where they melt or become entrained in the deeper mantle circulation. Hence during subduction, PCM's become partitioned by a range of mechanisms. Mechanical partitioning strips away weaker sediment and middle/upper crust, which circulate back up the subduction channel, while denser, stronger transitional pro-crust and lower crust may "stall" near the base of the lithosphere or be irreversibly subducted to join the global mantle circulation. Under certain conditions sediment and upper crustal basement may reach depths for UHPM. Further partitioning takes place by anatexis, which either aids stripping and exhumation of the more melt-prone rock-masses through mechanical softening, or separates melt from residuum so that melt escapes and is accreted to the upper plate leading to "undercrusting", late-orogenic magmatism and further refinement of the crust. Melt that traverses sections of mantle will interact with

  17. Crustal heat production and estimate of terrestrial heat flow in central East Antarctica, with implications for thermal input to the East Antarctic ice sheet (United States)

    Goodge, John W.


    Terrestrial heat flow is a critical first-order factor governing the thermal condition and, therefore, mechanical stability of Antarctic ice sheets, yet heat flow across Antarctica is poorly known. Previous estimates of terrestrial heat flow in East Antarctica come from inversion of seismic and magnetic geophysical data, by modeling temperature profiles in ice boreholes, and by calculation from heat production values reported for exposed bedrock. Although accurate estimates of surface heat flow are important as an input parameter for ice-sheet growth and stability models, there are no direct measurements of terrestrial heat flow in East Antarctica coupled to either subglacial sediment or bedrock. As has been done with bedrock exposed along coastal margins and in rare inland outcrops, valuable estimates of heat flow in central East Antarctica can be extrapolated from heat production determined by the geochemical composition of glacial rock clasts eroded from the continental interior. In this study, U, Th, and K concentrations in a suite of Proterozoic (1.2-2.0 Ga) granitoids sourced within the Byrd and Nimrod glacial drainages of central East Antarctica indicate average upper crustal heat production (Ho) of about 2.6 ± 1.9 µW m-3. Assuming typical mantle and lower crustal heat flux for stable continental shields, and a length scale for the distribution of heat production in the upper crust, the heat production values determined for individual samples yield estimates of surface heat flow (qo) ranging from 33 to 84 mW m-2 and an average of 48.0 ± 13.6 mW m-2. Estimates of heat production obtained for this suite of glacially sourced granitoids therefore indicate that the interior of the East Antarctic ice sheet is underlain in part by Proterozoic continental lithosphere with an average surface heat flow, providing constraints on both geodynamic history and ice-sheet stability. The ages and geothermal characteristics of the granites indicate that crust in central

  18. Upper crustal structure beneath East Java from ambient noise tomography: A preliminary result

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martha, Agustya Adi; Widiyantoro, Sri; Cummins, Phil; Saygin, Erdinc; Masturyono


    East Java has a fairly complex geological structure. Physiographically East Java can be divided into three zones, i.e. the Southern Mountains zone in the southern part, the Kendeng zone in the middle part, and the Rembang zone in the northern part. Most of the seismic hazards in this region are due to processes in the upper crust. In this study, the Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) method is used to image the upper crustal structure beneath East Java. We have used seismic waveform data recorded by 8Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) stationary seismographic stations and 16 portable seismographs installed for 2 to 8 weeks. The data were processed to obtain waveforms fromnoise cross-correlation between pairs of seismographic stations. Our preliminary results indicate that the Kendeng zone, an area of low gravity anomaly, is associated with a low velocity zone. On the other hand, the southern mountain range, which has a high gravity anomaly, is related to a high velocity anomaly as shown by our tomographic images

  19. Upper crustal structure beneath East Java from ambient noise tomography: A preliminary result

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martha, Agustya Adi [Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency, Jakarta (Indonesia); Graduate Research on Earthquakes and Active Tectonics, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung (Indonesia); Widiyantoro, Sri [Global Geophysics Group, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung (Indonesia); Center for Disaster Mitigation, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung (Indonesia); Cummins, Phil; Saygin, Erdinc [Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra (Australia); Masturyono [Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency, Jakarta (Indonesia)


    East Java has a fairly complex geological structure. Physiographically East Java can be divided into three zones, i.e. the Southern Mountains zone in the southern part, the Kendeng zone in the middle part, and the Rembang zone in the northern part. Most of the seismic hazards in this region are due to processes in the upper crust. In this study, the Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) method is used to image the upper crustal structure beneath East Java. We have used seismic waveform data recorded by 8Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) stationary seismographic stations and 16 portable seismographs installed for 2 to 8 weeks. The data were processed to obtain waveforms fromnoise cross-correlation between pairs of seismographic stations. Our preliminary results indicate that the Kendeng zone, an area of low gravity anomaly, is associated with a low velocity zone. On the other hand, the southern mountain range, which has a high gravity anomaly, is related to a high velocity anomaly as shown by our tomographic images.

  20. Orphan Basin crustal structure from a dense wide-angle seismic profile - Tomographic inversion (United States)

    Watremez, Louise; Lau, K. W. Helen; Nedimović, Mladen R.; Louden, Keith E.; Karner, Garry D.


    Orphan Basin is located on the eastern margin of Canada, offshore of Newfoundland and East of Flemish Cap. It is an aborted continental rift formed by multiple episodes of rifting. The crustal structure across the basin has been determined by an earlier refraction study using 15 instruments on a 550 km long line. It shows that the continental crust was extended over an unusually wide region but did not break apart. The crustal structure of the basin thus documents stages in the formation of a magma-poor rifted margin up to crustal breakup. The OBWAVE (Orphan Basin Wide-Angle Velocity Experiment) survey was carried out to image crustal structures across the basin and better understand the processes of formation of this margin. The spacing of the 89 recording stations varies from 3 to 5 km along this 500-km-long line, which was acquired along a pre-existing reflection line. The highest resolution section corresponds to the part of the profile where the crust was expected to be the thinnest. We present the results from a joint tomography inversion of first and Moho reflected arrival times. The high data density allows us to define crustal structures with greater detail than for typical studies and to improve the understanding of the processes leading to the extreme stretching of continental crust. The final model was computed following a detailed parametric study to determine the optimal parameters controlling the ray-tracing and the inversion processes. The final model shows very good resolution. In particular, Monte Carlo standard deviations of crustal velocities and Moho depths are generally Orphan Basin is the result of rifting of a non-homogeneous Avalon terrane where the lower crust is primarily ductile.

  1. Regional magnetic anomalies, crustal strength, and the location of the northern Cordilleran fold-and-thrust belt (United States)

    Saltus, R.W.; Hudson, T.L.


    The northern Cordilleran fold-and-thrust belt in Canada and Alaska is at the boundary between the broad continental margin mobile belt and the stable North American craton. The fold-and-thrust belt is marked by several significant changes in geometry: cratonward extensions in the central Yukon Territory and northeastern Alaska are separated by marginward re-entrants. These geometric features of the Cordilleran mobile belt are controlled by relations between lithospheric strength and compressional tectonic forces developed along the continental margin. Regional magnetic anomalies indicate deep thermal and compositional characteristics that contribute to variations in crustal strength. Our detailed analysis of one such anomaly, the North Slope deep magnetic high, helps to explain the geometry of the fold-and-thrust front in northern Alaska. This large magnetic anomaly is inferred to reflect voluminous mafic magmatism in an old (Devonian?) extensional domain. The presence of massive amounts of malic material in the lower crust implies geochemical depletion of the underlying upper mantle, which serves to strengthen the lithosphere against thermal erosion by upper mantle convection. We infer that deep-source magnetic highs are an important indicator of strong lower crust and upper mantle. This stronger lithosphere forms buttresses that play an important role in the structural development of the northern Cordilleran fold-and-thrust belt. ?? 2007 The Geological Society of America.

  2. Processes accompanying of mantle plume emplacement into continental lithosphere: Evidence from NW Arabian plate, Western Syria (United States)

    Sharkov, E. V.


    Lower crustal xenoliths occurred in the Middle Cretaceous lamprophyre diatremes in Jabel Ansaria (Western Syria) (Sharkov et al., 1992). They are represented mainly garnet granulites and eclogite-like rocks, which underwent by deformations and retrograde metamorphism, and younger fresh pegmatoid garnet-kaersutite-clinopyroxene (Al-Ti augite) rocks; mantle peridotites are absent in these populations. According to mineralogical geothermobarometers, forming of garnet-granulite suite rocks occurred under pressure 13.5-15.4 kbar (depths 45-54 kn) and temperature 965-1115oC. At the same time, among populations of mantle xenoliths in the Late Cenozoic platobasalts of the region, quite the contrary, lower crustal xenoliths are absent, however, predominated spinel lherzolites (fragments of upper cooled rim of a plume head), derived from the close depths (30-40 km: Sharkov, Bogatikov, 2015). From this follows that ancient continental crust was existed here even in the Middle Cretaceous, but in the Late Cenozoic was removed by extended mantle plume head; at that upper sialic crust was not involved in geomechanic processes, because Precambrian metamorphic rocks survived as a basement for Cambrian to Cenozoic sedimentary cover of Arabian platform. In other words, though cardinal rebuilding of deep-seated structure of the region occurred in the Late Cenozoic but it did not affect on the upper shell of the ancient lithosphere. Because composition of mantle xenolithis in basalts is practically similar worldwide, we suggest that deep-seated processes are analogous also. As emplacement of the mantle plume heads accompanied by powerful basaltic magmatism, very likely that range of lower (mafic) continental crust existence is very convenient for extension of plume heads and their adiabatic melting. If such level, because of whatever reasons, was not reached, melting was limited but appeared excess of volatile matters which led to forming of lamprophyre or even kimberlite.

  3. The extent of continental crust beneath the Seychelles (United States)

    Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J.-M.; Collier, J. S.; Rümpker, G.


    The granitic islands of the Seychelles Plateau have long been recognised to overlie continental crust, isolated from Madagascar and India during the formation of the Indian Ocean. However, to date the extent of continental crust beneath the Seychelles region remains unknown. This is particularly true beneath the Mascarene Basin between the Seychelles Plateau and Madagascar and beneath the Amirante Arc. Constraining the size and shape of the Seychelles continental fragment is needed for accurate plate reconstructions of the breakup of Gondwana and has implications for the processes of continental breakup in general. Here we present new estimates of crustal thickness and VP/VS from H-κ stacking of receiver functions from a year long deployment of seismic stations across the Seychelles covering the topographic plateau, the Amirante Ridge and the northern Mascarene Basin. These results, combined with gravity modelling of historical ship track data, confirm that continental crust is present beneath the Seychelles Plateau. This is ˜30-33 km thick, but with a relatively high velocity lower crustal layer. This layer thins southwards from ˜10 km to ˜1 km over a distance of ˜50 km, which is consistent with the Seychelles being at the edge of the Deccan plume prior to its separation from India. In contrast, the majority of the Seychelles Islands away from the topographic plateau show no direct evidence for continental crust. The exception to this is the island of Desroche on the northern Amirante Ridge, where thicker low density crust, consistent with a block of continental material is present. We suggest that the northern Amirantes are likely continental in nature and that small fragments of continental material are a common feature of plume affected continental breakup.

  4. Resolving the crustal composition paradox by 3.8 billion years of slab failure magmatism and collisional recycling of continental crust (United States)

    Hildebrand, Robert S.; Whalen, Joseph B.; Bowring, Samuel A.


    In the standard paradigm, continental crust is formed mainly by arc magmatism, but because the compositions of magma rising from the mantle are basaltic and continental crust is estimated to contain about 60% SiO2 and much less MgO than basalt, the two do not match. To resolve this paradox, most researchers argue that large amounts of magmatic fractionation produce residual cumulates at the base of the crust, which because arcs are inferred to have magmatically thickened crust, form eclogites that ultimately founder and sink into the mantle. Not only are there problems with the contrasting bulk compositions, but the standard model also fails because prior to collision most modern arcs do not have thick crust, as documented by their eruption close to sea level, and in cases of ancient arc sequences, their intercalation with marine sedimentary rocks. Our study of Cretaceous batholiths in the North American Cordillera resolves the crustal composition paradox because we find that most are not arc-derived as commonly believed; but instead formed during the waning stages of collision and consequent slab failure. Because the batholiths typically have silica contents >60% and are derived directly from the mantle, we argue that they are the missing link in the formation of continental crust. Slab failure magmas worldwide are compositionally similar to tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite suites as old as 3.8 Ga, which points to their collective formation by slab failure and long-lived plate tectonics. Our model also provides (1) an alternative solution to interpret compiled detrital zircon arrays, because episodic peaks that coincide with periods of supercontinent amalgamation are easily interpreted to represent collisions with formation of new crust by slab failure; and (2) that models of early whole-earth differentiation are more reasonable than those invoking progressive growth of continental crust.

  5. Crustal structure and tectonic model of the Arctic region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petrov, Oleg; Morozov, Andrey; Shokalsky, Sergey


    We present a new model of the crustal and tectonic structure of the Arctic region north of 60° N latitude, constrained as a part of the international Atlas of Geological Maps of the Circumpolar Arctic under the aegis of the Commission for the Geological Map of the World. The region is largely...... formed by (i) Archean-Paleoproterozoic shields and platforms, (ii) orogenic belts of the Neoproterozoic to the Late Mesozoic ages overlain by platform and basin sediments, (iii) Cenozoic rift structures formed in part as a consequence of seafloor spreading in the North East Atlantic Ocean...... and thickness of the sedimentary cover and presents tectonic regionalization based on 18 major crustal types (oceanic, transitional, and continental) recognized in the Arctic. A 7600. km-long crustal geotransect across the region illustrates the details of its crustal and tectonic structure. We discuss...

  6. Crustal and upper mantle structure of Siberia from teleseismic receiver functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soliman, Mohammad Youssof Ahmad; Thybo, Hans; Artemieva, Irina


    ). With this method, we determine seismic P- and S-velocities that are comparable to the results of teleseismic body wave and surface wave tomography techniques. The RF model shows variations in the crustal thickness between 35 and 55 km. Intracrustal structures are identified, in particular using the high......This study presents seismic images of the crustal and lithospheric structure in Siberia based on the available broadband seismic data using teleseismic receiver functions (RFs). We invert P- and S-RFs jointly. The inversion technique is carried out by approach described by Vinnik et al. (2004....... The current results of RF analysis of the crustal and mantle structure will help to build a model for tectonic and geodynamic evolution of different provinces of Siberia. We compare our results to the recent detailed models of crustal structure in the area and with seismic models for similar geodynamic...

  7. Mars - Crustal structure inferred from Bouguer gravity anomalies. (United States)

    Phillips, R. J.; Saunders, R. S.; Conel, J. E.


    Bouguer gravity has been computed for the equatorial region of Mars by differencing free air gravity and the gravity predicted from topographic variations. The free air gravity was generated from an eighth-order set of spherical harmonic coefficients. The gravity from topographic variations was generated by integrating a two-dimensional Green's function over each contour level. The Bouguer gravity indicates crustal inhomogeneities on Mars that are postulated to be variations in crustal thickness. The Tharsis ridge is a region of thick continental type crust. The gravity data, structural patterns, topography, and surface geology of this region lead to the interpretation of the Tharsis topographic high as a broad crustal upwarp possibly associated with local formation of lower-density crustal material and subsequent rise of a thicker crust. The Amazonis region is one of several basins of relatively thin crust, analogous to terrestrial ocean basins. The Libya and Hellas basins, which are probable impact features, are also underlain by thin crust and are possible regions of mantle upwelling.

  8. The origin of continental crust: Outlines of a general theory (United States)

    Lowman, P. D., Jr.


    The lower continental crust, formerly very poorly understood, has recently been investigated by various geological and geophysical techniques that are beginning to yield a generally agreed on though still vague model (Lowman, 1984). As typified by at least some exposed high grade terranes, such as the Scottish Scourian complex, the lower crust in areas not affected by Phanerozoic orogeny or crustal extension appears to consist of gently dipping granulite gneisses of intermediate bulk composition, formed from partly or largely supracrustal precursors. This model, to the degree that it is correct, has important implications for early crustal genesis and the origin of continental crust in general. Most important, it implies that except for areas of major overthrusting (which may of course be considerable) normal superposition relations prevail, and that since even the oldest exposed rocks are underlain by tens of kilometers of sial, true primordial crust may still survive in the lower crustal levels (of. Phinney, 1981).

  9. Crustal and upper mantle investigations of the Caribbean-South American plate boundary (United States)

    Bezada, Maximiliano J.

    The evolution of the Caribbean --- South America plate boundary has been a matter of vigorous debate for decades and many questions remain unresolved. In this work, and in the framework of the BOLIVAR project, we shed light on some aspects of the present state and the tectonic history of the margin by using different types of geophysical data sets and techniques. An analysis of controlled-source traveltime data collected along a boundary-normal profile at ˜65°W was used to build a 2D P-wave velocity model. The model shows that the Caribbean Large Igenous Province is present offshore eastern Venezuela and confirms the uniformity of the velocity structure along the Leeward Antilles volcanic belt. In contrast with neighboring profiles, at this longitude we see no change in velocity structure or crustal thickness across the San Sebastian - El Pilar fault system. A 2D gravity modeling methodology that uses seismically derived initial density models was developed as part of this research. The application of this new method to four of the BOLIVAR boundary-normal profiles suggests that the uppermost mantle is denser under the South American continental crust and the island arc terranes than under the Caribbean oceanic crust. Crustal rocks of the island arc and extended island arc terranes of the Leeward Antilles have a relatively low density, given their P-wave velocity. This may be caused by low iron content, relative to average magmatic arc rocks. Finally, an analysis of teleseismic traveltimes with frequency-dependent kernels produced a 3D P-wave velocity perturbation model. The model shows the structure of the mantle lithosphere under the study area and clearly images the subduction of the Atlantic slab and associated partial removal of the lower lithosphere under northern South America. We also image the subduction of a section of the Caribbean plate under South America with an east-southeast direction. Both the Atlantic and Caribbean subducting slabs penetrate the

  10. The effects of lower crustal strength and preexisting midcrustal shear zones on the formation of continental core complexes and low-angle normal faults

    KAUST Repository

    Wu, Guangliang


    To investigate the formation of core complexes and low-angle normal faults, we devise thermomechanical simulations on a simplified wedge-like orogenic hinterland that has initial topography, Moho relief, and a preexisting midcrustal shear zone that can accommodate shear at very low angles (<20°). We mainly vary the strength of the lower crust and the frictional strength of the preexisting midcrustal shear zone. We find that the strength of the lower crust and the existence and strength of a preexisting shear zone significantly affect the formation and evolution of core complexes. With increasing lower crustal strength, we recognize varying extensional features with decreasing exhumation rate: these are characterized by bivergent metamorphic massifs, classic Cordilleran metamorphic core complexes, multiple consecutive core complexes (or boudinage structures), and a flexural core complex underlined by a large subsurface low-angle detachment fault with a small convex curvature. Topographic loading and mantle buoyancy forces, together with divergent boundaries, drive a regional lower crustal flow that leads to the exhumation of the lower crust where intensive upper crustal faulting induces strong unloading. The detachment fault is a decoupling zone that accommodates large displacement and accumulates sustained shear strain at very low angle between upper and lower crust. Though the regional stress is largely Andersonian, we find non-Andersonian stress in regions adjacent to the preexisting shear zone and those with high topographic gradient. Our new models provide a view that is generally consistent with geological and geophysical observations on how core complexes form and evolve.

  11. The effects of lower crustal strength and preexisting midcrustal shear zones on the formation of continental core complexes and low-angle normal faults

    KAUST Repository

    Wu, Guangliang; Lavier, Luc L.


    To investigate the formation of core complexes and low-angle normal faults, we devise thermomechanical simulations on a simplified wedge-like orogenic hinterland that has initial topography, Moho relief, and a preexisting midcrustal shear zone that can accommodate shear at very low angles (<20°). We mainly vary the strength of the lower crust and the frictional strength of the preexisting midcrustal shear zone. We find that the strength of the lower crust and the existence and strength of a preexisting shear zone significantly affect the formation and evolution of core complexes. With increasing lower crustal strength, we recognize varying extensional features with decreasing exhumation rate: these are characterized by bivergent metamorphic massifs, classic Cordilleran metamorphic core complexes, multiple consecutive core complexes (or boudinage structures), and a flexural core complex underlined by a large subsurface low-angle detachment fault with a small convex curvature. Topographic loading and mantle buoyancy forces, together with divergent boundaries, drive a regional lower crustal flow that leads to the exhumation of the lower crust where intensive upper crustal faulting induces strong unloading. The detachment fault is a decoupling zone that accommodates large displacement and accumulates sustained shear strain at very low angle between upper and lower crust. Though the regional stress is largely Andersonian, we find non-Andersonian stress in regions adjacent to the preexisting shear zone and those with high topographic gradient. Our new models provide a view that is generally consistent with geological and geophysical observations on how core complexes form and evolve.

  12. Continental basalts record the crust-mantle interaction in oceanic subduction channel: A geochemical case study from eastern China (United States)

    Xu, Zheng; Zheng, Yong-Fei


    Continental basalts, erupted in either flood or rift mode, usually show oceanic island basalts (OIB)-like geochemical compositions. Although their depletion in Sr-Nd isotope compositions is normally ascribed to contributions from the asthenospheric mantle, their enrichment in large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE) is generally associated with variable enrichments in the Sr-Nd isotope compositions. This indicates significant contributions from crustal components such as igneous oceanic crust, lower continental crust and seafloor sediment. Nevertheless, these crustal components were not incorporated into the mantle sources of continental basalts in the form of solidus rocks. Instead they were processed into metasomatic agents through low-degree partial melting in order to have the geochemical fractionation of the largest extent to achieve the enrichment of LILE and LREE in the metasomatic agents. Therefore, the mantle sources of continental basalts were generated by metasomatic reaction of the depleted mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) mantle with hydrous felsic melts. Nevertheless, mass balance considerations indicate differential contributions from the mantle and crustal components to the basalts. While the depleted MORB mantle predominates the budget of major elements, the crustal components predominate the budget of melt-mobile incompatible trace elements and their pertinent radiogenic isotopes. These considerations are verified by model calculations that are composed of four steps in an ancient oceanic subduction channel: (1) dehydration of the subducting crustal rocks at subarc depths, (2) anataxis of the dehydrated rocks at postarc depths, (3) metasomatic reaction of the depleted MORB mantle peridotite with the felsic melts to generate ultramafic metasomatites in the lower part of the mantle wedge, and (4) partial melting of the metasomatites for basaltic magmatism. The composition of metasomatites is quantitatively dictated by

  13. Combined Gravimetric-Seismic Crustal Model for Antarctica (United States)

    Baranov, Alexey; Tenzer, Robert; Bagherbandi, Mohammad


    The latest seismic data and improved information about the subglacial bedrock relief are used in this study to estimate the sediment and crustal thickness under the Antarctic continent. Since large parts of Antarctica are not yet covered by seismic surveys, the gravity and crustal structure models are used to interpolate the Moho information where seismic data are missing. The gravity information is also extended offshore to detect the Moho under continental margins and neighboring oceanic crust. The processing strategy involves the solution to the Vening Meinesz-Moritz's inverse problem of isostasy constrained on seismic data. A comparison of our new results with existing studies indicates a substantial improvement in the sediment and crustal models. The seismic data analysis shows significant sediment accumulations in Antarctica, with broad sedimentary basins. According to our result, the maximum sediment thickness in Antarctica is about 15 km under Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. The Moho relief closely resembles major geological and tectonic features. A rather thick continental crust of East Antarctic Craton is separated from a complex geological/tectonic structure of West Antarctica by the Transantarctic Mountains. The average Moho depth of 34.1 km under the Antarctic continent slightly differs from previous estimates. A maximum Moho deepening of 58.2 km under the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in East Antarctica confirmed the presence of deep and compact orogenic roots. Another large Moho depth in East Antarctica is detected under Dronning Maud Land with two orogenic roots under Wohlthat Massif (48-50 km) and the Kottas Mountains (48-50 km) that are separated by a relatively thin crust along Jutulstraumen Rift. The Moho depth under central parts of the Transantarctic Mountains reaches 46 km. The maximum Moho deepening (34-38 km) in West Antarctica is under the Antarctic Peninsula. The Moho depth minima in East Antarctica are found under the Lambert Trench (24

  14. Changing styles of crustal growth in Southern Africa: constraints from geochemical and Sr-Nd isotope studies in Archaean to Pan African terrains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McDermott, F.; Hawkesworth, C.J.; Harris, N.B.W.


    Nd isotopic data was presented for southern Africa in support of episodic crustal growth. Over 50 percent of the continental crust there had formed before 2.5 Ga, and less than 10 percent was produced after about 1.0 Ga. The data imply a mean crustal age of about 2.4 Ga for southern Africa, and a higher rate of crustal growth than that derived from Australian shale data, particularly during the Proterozoic. Isotopic data from Damara metasediments imply that there is no need to invoke decoupling of the Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd systems in the continental crust

  15. Changing styles of crustal growth in Southern Africa: Constraints from geochemical and Sr-Nd isotope studies in Archaean to Pan African terrains (United States)

    Mcdermott, F.; Hawkesworth, C. J.; Harris, N. B. W.


    Nd isotopic data was presented for southern Africa in support of episodic crustal growth. Over 50 percent of the continental crust there had formed before 2.5 Ga, and less than 10 percent was produced after about 1.0 Ga. The data imply a mean crustal age of about 2.4 Ga for southern Africa, and a higher rate of crustal growth than that derived from Australian shale data, particularly during the Proterozoic. Isotopic data from Damara metasediments imply that there is no need to invoke decoupling of the Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd systems in the continental crust.

  16. Oxygen isotope geochemistry of the lassen volcanic center, California: Resolving crustal and mantle contributions to continental Arc magmatism (United States)

    Feeley, T.C.; Clynne, M.A.; Winer, G.S.; Grice, W.C.


    This study reports oxygen isotope ratios determined by laser fluorination of mineral separates (mainly plagioclase) from basaltic andesitic to rhyolitic composition volcanic rocks erupted from the Lassen Volcanic Center (LVC), northern California. Plagioclase separates from nearly all rocks have ??18O values (6.1-8.4%) higher than expected for production of the magmas by partial melting of little evolved basaltic lavas erupted in the arc front and back-arc regions of the southernmost Cascades during the late Cenozoic. Most LVC magmas must therefore contain high 18O crustal material. In this regard, the ??18O values of the volcanic rocks show strong spatial patterns, particularly for young rhyodacitic rocks that best represent unmodified partial melts of the continental crust. Rhyodacitic magmas erupted from vents located within 3.5 km of the inferred center of the LVC have consistently lower ??18 O values (average 6.3% ?? 0.1%) at given SiO2 contents relative to rocks erupted from distal vents (>7.0 km; average 7.1% ?? 0.1%). Further, magmas erupted from vents situated at transitional distances have intermediate values and span a larger range (average 6.8% ?? 0.2%). Basaltic andesitic to andesitic composition rocks show similar spatial variations, although as a group the ??18O values of these rocks are more variable and extend to higher values than the rhyodacitic rocks. These features are interpreted to reflect assimilation of heterogeneous lower continental crust by mafic magmas, followed by mixing or mingling with silicic magmas formed by partial melting of initially high 18O continental crust (??? 9.0%) increasingly hybridized by lower ??18O (???6.0%) mantle-derived basaltic magmas toward the center of the system. Mixing calculations using estimated endmember source ??18O values imply that LVC magmas contain on a molar oxygen basis approximately 42 to 4% isotopically heavy continental crust, with proportions declining in a broadly regular fashion toward the

  17. Stagnant lids and mantle overturns: Implications for Archaean tectonics, magmagenesis, crustal growth, mantle evolution, and the start of plate tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean H. Bédard


    Full Text Available The lower plate is the dominant agent in modern convergent margins characterized by active subduction, as negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere sinks into the asthenosphere under its own weight. This is a strong plate-driving force because the slab-pull force is transmitted through the stiff sub-oceanic lithospheric mantle. As geological and geochemical data seem inconsistent with the existence of modern-style ridges and arcs in the Archaean, a periodically-destabilized stagnant-lid crust system is proposed instead. Stagnant-lid intervals may correspond to periods of layered mantle convection where efficient cooling was restricted to the upper mantle, perturbing Earth's heat generation/loss balance, eventually triggering mantle overturns. Archaean basalts were derived from fertile mantle in overturn upwelling zones (OUZOs, which were larger and longer-lived than post-Archaean plumes. Early cratons/continents probably formed above OUZOs as large volumes of basalt and komatiite were delivered for protracted periods, allowing basal crustal cannibalism, garnetiferous crustal restite delamination, and coupled development of continental crust and sub-continental lithospheric mantle. Periodic mixing and rehomogenization during overturns retarded development of isotopically depleted MORB (mid-ocean ridge basalt mantle. Only after the start of true subduction did sequestration of subducted slabs at the core-mantle boundary lead to the development of the depleted MORB mantle source. During Archaean mantle overturns, pre-existing continents located above OUZOs would be strongly reworked; whereas OUZO-distal continents would drift in response to mantle currents. The leading edge of drifting Archaean continents would be convergent margins characterized by terrane accretion, imbrication, subcretion and anatexis of unsubductable oceanic lithosphere. As Earth cooled and the background oceanic lithosphere became denser and stiffer, there would be an increasing

  18. Lithospheric strength in the active boundary between the Pacific Plate and Baja California microplate constrained from lower crustal and upper mantle xenoliths (United States)

    Chatzaras, Vasileios; van der Werf, Thomas; Kriegsman, Leo M.; Kronenberg, Andreas; Tikoff, Basil; Drury, Martyn R.


    The lower crust is the most poorly understood of the lithospheric layers in terms of its rheology, particularly at active plate boundaries. We studied naturally deformed lower crustal xenoliths within an active plate boundary, in order to link their microstructures and rheological parameters to the well-defined active tectonic context. The Baja California shear zone (BCSZ), located at the western boundary of the Baja California microplate, comprises the active boundary accommodating the relative motion between the Pacific plate and Baja California microplate. The basalts of the Holocene San Quintin volcanic field carry lower crustal and upper mantle xenoliths, which sample the Baja California microplate lithosphere in the vicinity of the BCSZ. The lower crustal xenoliths range from undeformed gabbros to granoblastic two-pyroxene granulites. Two-pyroxene geothermometry shows that the granulites equilibrated at temperatures of 690-920 oC. Phase equilibria (P-T pseudosections using Perple_X) indicate that symplectites with intergrown pyroxenes, plagioclase, olivine and spinel formed at 3.6-5.4 kbar, following decompression from pressures exceeding 6 kbar. FTIR spectroscopy shows that the water content of plagioclase varies among the analyzed xenoliths; plagioclase is relatively dry in two xenoliths while one xenolith contains hydrated plagioclase grains. Microstructural observations and analysis of the crystallographic texture provide evidence for deformation of plagioclase by a combination of dislocation creep and grain boundary sliding. To constrain the strength of the lower crust and upper mantle near the BCSZ we estimated the differential stress using plagioclase and olivine grain size paleopiezomtery, respectively. Differential stress estimates for plagioclase range from 10 to 32 MPa and for olivine are 30 MPa. Thus the active microplate boundary records elevated crustal temperatures, heterogeneous levels of hydration, and low strength in both the lower crust and

  19. Zircon evidence for incorporation of terrigenous sediments into the magma source of continental basalts. (United States)

    Xu, Zheng; Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Zi-Fu


    Crustal components may be incorporated into continental basalts by either shallow contamination or deep mixing. While the former proceeds at crustal depths with common preservation of refractory minerals, the latter occurs at mantle depths with rare survival of relict minerals. Discrimination between the two mechanisms has great bearing to subcontinental mantle geochemistry. Here we report the occurrence of relict zircons in Cenozoic continental basalts from eastern China. A combined study of zircon U-Pb ages and geochemistry indicates that detrital zircons were carried by terrigenous sediments into a subcontinental subduction zone, where the zircon were transferred by fluids into the magma sources of continental basalts. The basalts were sampled from three petrotectonic units with distinct differences in their magmatic and metamorphic ages, making the crustal contamination discernible. The terrigenous sediments were carried by the subducting oceanic crust into the asthenospheric mantle, producing both soluble and insoluble materials at the slab-mantle interface. These materials were served as metasomatic agents to react with the overlying mantle wedge peridotite, generating a kind of ultramafic metasomatites that contain the relict zircons. Therefore, the occurrence of relict zircons in continental basalts indicates that this refractory mineral can survive extreme temperature-pressure conditions in the asthenospheric mantle.

  20. Provenance and tectonic setting of the supra-crustal succession of the Qinling Complex: Implications for the tectonic affinity of the North Qinling Belt, Central China (United States)

    Shi, Yu; Huang, Qianwen; Liu, Xijun; Krapež, Bryan; Yu, Jinhai; Bai, Zhian


    The Qinling Complex lies in the Qinling orogenic belt of Central China and holds the key to understanding the evolution of this feature. The Qinling Complex comprises a basement complex composed of amphibolite and ecologite, overlain by a supra-crustal succession that has been metamorphosed to the upper greenschist facies at approximately 516-509 Ma. The protoliths of the meta-sedimentary rocks are graywackes, which are divided into lower, middle and upper units. Detrital zircons from nine samples of the supra-crustal succession have ages ranging from 1182 to 1158 Ma for the lower unit, 957 to 955 Ma for the middle unit and 917 to 840 Ma for the upper unit. The lower unit is intruded by a ca. 960 Ma pluton. The bulk compositions of these meta-sedimentary rocks and their detrital zircon ages clearly indicate derivation from Meso- and Neo-proterozoic granites. Thus, we suggest that the sedimentary succession was derived from an arc-related tectonic setting and that none of the detritus was sourced from the southern margin of the North China Block or from the northern and western margins of the South China Block. We conclude that the North Qinling Belt was an independent micro-continental block during the Meso- to Neo-proterozoic.

  1. 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

  2. A New Comprehensive Model for Crustal and Upper Mantle Structure of the European Plate (United States)

    Morelli, A.; Danecek, P.; Molinari, I.; Postpischl, L.; Schivardi, R.; Serretti, P.; Tondi, M. R.


    We present a new comprehensive model of crustal and upper mantle structure of the whole European Plate — from the North Atlantic ridge to Urals, and from North Africa to the North Pole — describing seismic speeds (P and S) and density. Our description of crustal structure merges information from previous studies: large-scale compilations, seismic prospection, receiver functions, inversion of surface wave dispersion measurements and Green functions from noise correlation. We use a simple description of crustal structure, with laterally-varying sediment and cristalline layers thickness and seismic parameters. Most original information refers to P-wave speed, from which we derive S speed and density from scaling relations. This a priori crustal model by itself improves the overall fit to observed Bouguer anomaly maps, as derived from GRACE satellite data, over CRUST2.0. The new crustal model is then used as a constraint in the inversion for mantle shear wave speed, based on fitting Love and Rayleigh surface wave dispersion. In the inversion for transversely isotropic mantle structure, we use group speed measurements made on European event-to-station paths, and use a global a priori model (S20RTS) to ensure fair rendition of earth structure at depth and in border areas with little coverage from our data. The new mantle model sensibly improves over global S models in the imaging of shallow asthenospheric (slow) anomalies beneath the Alpine mobile belt, and fast lithospheric signatures under the two main Mediterranean subduction systems (Aegean and Tyrrhenian). We map compressional wave speed inverting ISC travel times (reprocessed by Engdahl et al.) with a non linear inversion scheme making use of finite-difference travel time calculation. The inversion is based on an a priori model obtained by scaling the 3D mantle S-wave speed to P. The new model substantially confirms images of descending lithospheric slabs and back-arc shallow asthenospheric regions, shown in

  3. Thermal and petrologic constraints on lower crustal melt accumulation under the Salton Sea Geothermal Field (United States)

    Karakas, Ozge; Dufek, Josef; Mangan, Margaret T.; Wright, Heather M.; Bachmann, Olivier


    In the Salton Sea region of southern California (USA), concurrent magmatism, extension, subsidence, and sedimentation over the past 0.5 to 1.0 Ma have led to the creation of the Salton Sea Geothermal Field (SSGF)-the second largest and hottest geothermal system in the continental United States-and the small-volume rhyolite eruptions that created the Salton Buttes. In this study, we determine the flux of mantle-derived basaltic magma that would be required to produce the elevated average heat flow and sustain the magmatic roots of rhyolite volcanism observed at the surface of the Salton Sea region. We use a 2D thermal model to show that a lower-crustal, partially molten mush containing Salton Trough, and are consistent with seismic observations. Our results indicate limited melting and assimilation of pre-existing rocks in the lower crust. Instead, we find that basalt fractionation in the lower crust produces derivative melts of andesitic to dacitic composition. Such melts are then expected to ascend and accumulate in the upper crust, where they further evolve to give rise to small-volume rhyolite eruptions (Salton Buttes) and fuel local spikes in surface heat flux as currently seen in the SSGF. Such upper crustal magma evolution, with limited assimilation of hydrothermally altered material, is required to explain the slight decrease in δ18 O values of zircons (and melts) that have been measured in these rhyolites.

  4. The geophysical character of southern Alaska - Implications for crustal evolution (United States)

    Saltus, R.W.; Hudson, T.L.; Wilson, Frederic H.


    The southern Alaska continental margin has undergone a long and complicated history of plate convergence, subduction, accretion, and margin-parallel displacements. The crustal character of this continental margin is discernible through combined analysis of aeromagnetic and gravity data with key constraints from previous seismic interpretation. Regional magnetic data are particularly useful in defining broad geophysical domains. One of these domains, the south Alaska magnetic high, is the focus of this study. It is an intense and continuous magnetic high up to 200 km wide and ∼1500 km long extending from the Canadian border in the Wrangell Mountains west and southwest through Cook Inlet to the Bering Sea shelf. Crustal thickness beneath the south Alaska magnetic high is commonly 40–50 km. Gravity analysis indicates that the south Alaska magnetic high crust is dense. The south Alaska magnetic high spatially coincides with the Peninsular and Wrangellia terranes. The thick, dense, and magnetic character of this domain requires significant amounts of mafic rocks at intermediate to deep crustal levels. In Wrangellia these mafic rocks are likely to have been emplaced during Middle and (or) Late Triassic Nikolai Greenstone volcanism. In the Peninsular terrane, the most extensive period of mafic magmatism now known was associated with the Early Jurassic Talkeetna Formation volcanic arc. Thus the thick, dense, and magnetic character of the south Alaska magnetic high crust apparently developed as the response to mafic magmatism in both extensional (Wrangellia) and subduction-related arc (Peninsular terrane) settings. The south Alaska magnetic high is therefore a composite crustal feature. At least in Wrangellia, the crust was probably of average thickness (30 km) or greater prior to Triassic mafic magmatism. Up to 20 km (40%) of its present thickness may be due to the addition of Triassic mafic magmas. Throughout the south Alaska magnetic high, significant crustal growth

  5. Continental smokers couple mantle degassing and distinctive microbiology within continents (United States)

    Crossey, Laura J.; Karlstrom, Karl E.; Schmandt, Brandon; Crow, Ryan R.; Colman, Daniel R.; Cron, Brandi; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina D.; Dahm, Clifford N.; Northup, Diana E.; Hilton, David R.; Ricketts, Jason W.; Lowry, Anthony R.


    The discovery of oceanic black (and white) smokers revolutionized our understanding of mid-ocean ridges and led to the recognition of new organisms and ecosystems. Continental smokers, defined here to include a broad range of carbonic springs, hot springs, and fumaroles that vent mantle-derived fluids in continental settings, exhibit many of the same processes of heat and mass transfer and ecosystem niche differentiation. Helium isotope (3He/4He) analyses indicate that widespread mantle degassing is taking place in the western U.S.A., and that variations in mantle helium values correlate best with low seismic-velocity domains in the mantle and lateral contrasts in mantle velocity rather than crustal parameters such as GPS, proximity to volcanoes, crustal velocity, or composition. Microbial community analyses indicate that these springs can host novel microorganisms. A targeted analysis of four springs in New Mexico yield the first published occurrence of chemolithoautotrophic Zetaproteobacteria in a continental setting. These observations lead to two linked hypotheses: that mantle-derived volatiles transit through conduits in extending continental lithosphere preferentially above and at the edges of mantle low velocity domains. High CO2 and other constituents ultimately derived from mantle volatiles drive water-rock interactions and heterogeneous fluid mixing that help structure diverse and distinctive microbial communities.

  6. Seismic imaging of lithospheric discontinuities and continental evolution (United States)

    Bostock, M. G.


    Discontinuities in physical properties within the continental lithosphere reflect a range of processes that have contributed to craton stabilization and evolution. A survey of recent seismological studies concerning lithospheric discontinuities is made in an attempt to document their essential characteristics. Results from long-period seismology are inconsistent with the presence of continuous, laterally invariant, isotropic boundaries within the upper mantle at the global scale. At regional scales, two well-defined interfaces termed H (˜60 km depth) and L (˜200 km depth) of continental affinity are identified, with the latter boundary generally exhibiting an anisotropic character. Long-range refraction profiles are frequently characterized by subcontinental mantle that exhibits a complex stratification within the top 200 km. The shallow layering of this package can behave as an imperfect waveguide giving rise to the so-called teleseismic Pn phase, while the L-discontinuity may define its lower base as the culmination of a low velocity zone. High-resolution, seismic reflection profiling provides sufficient detail in a number of cases to document the merging of mantle interfaces into lower continental crust below former collisional sutures and magmatic arcs, thus unambiguously identifying some lithospheric discontinuities with thrust faults and subducted oceanic lithosphere. Collectively, these and other seismic observations point to a continental lithosphere whose internal structure is dominated by a laterally variable, subhorizontal layering. This stratigraphy appears to be more pronounced at shallower lithospheric levels, includes dense, anisotropic layers of order 10 km in thickness, and exhibits horizontal correlation lengths comparable to the lateral dimensions of overlying crustal blocks. A model of craton evolution which relies on shallow subduction as a principal agent of craton stabilization is shown to be broadly compatible with these characteristics.

  7. Magma addition rates in continental arcs: New methods of calculation and global implications (United States)

    Ratschbacher, B. C.; Paterson, S. R.


    The transport of mass, heat and geochemical constituents (elements and volatiles) from the mantle to the atmosphere occurs via magma addition to the lithosphere. Calculation of magma addition rates (MARs) in continental arcs based on exposed proportions of igneous arc rocks is complex and rarely consistently determined. Multiple factors influence MAR calculations such as crust versus mantle contributions to magmas, a change in MARs across the arc and with depths throughout the arc crustal column, `arc tempos' with periods of high and low magmatic activity, the loss of previous emplaced arc rocks by subsequent magmatism and return to the mantle, arc migration, variations in the intrusive versus extrusive additions and evolving arc widths and thicknesses during tectonism. All of these factors need to be considered when calculating MARs.This study makes a new attempt to calculate MARs in continental arcs by studying three arc sections: the Famatinian arc, Argentina, the Sierra Nevada batholith, California and the Coast Mountain batholith, Washington and British Columbia. Arcs are divided into fore-arc, main arc and back arc sections and `boxes' with a defined width, length and thickness spanning upper middle and lower crustal levels are assigned to each section. Representative exposed crustal slices for each depth are then used to calculate MARs based on outcrop proportions for each box. Geochemical data is used to infer crustal recycling percentages and total thickness of the arc. Preliminary results show a correlation between MARs, crustal thicknesses and magmatic flare-up durations. For instance, the Famatinian arc shows a strong decrease in MARs between the main arc section (9.4 km3/Ma/arc-km) and the fore-arc (0.61 km3/Ma/arc-km) and back-arc (1.52 km3/Ma/arc-km) regions and an increase in the amount of magmatism with depth.Global MARs over geologic timescales have the potential to investigate mantle melt generation rates and the volatile outgassing contribution

  8. Crustal structure beneath two seismic stations in the Sunda-Banda arc transition zone derived from receiver function analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Syuhada, E-mail: [Graduate Research on Earthquake and Active Tectonics (GREAT), Bandung Institute of Technology, Jalan Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132 (Indonesia); Research Centre for Physics - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Kompleks Puspiptek Serpong, Tangsel 15314, Banten Indonesia (Indonesia); Hananto, Nugroho D.; Handayani, Lina [Research Centre for Geotechnology - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jl. Sangkuriang (Kompleks LIPI) Bandung 40135 (Indonesia); Puspito, Nanang T; Yudistira, Tedi [Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering ITB, Jalan Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132 (Indonesia); Anggono, Titi [Research Centre for Physics - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Kompleks Puspiptek Serpong, Tangsel 15314, Banten Indonesia (Indonesia)


    We analyzed receiver functions to estimate the crustal thickness and velocity structure beneath two stations of Geofon (GE) network in the Sunda-Banda arc transition zone. The stations are located in two different tectonic regimes: Sumbawa Island (station PLAI) and Timor Island (station SOEI) representing the oceanic and continental characters, respectively. We analyzed teleseismic events of 80 earthquakes to calculate the receiver functions using the time-domain iterative deconvolution technique. We employed 2D grid search (H-κ) algorithm based on the Moho interaction phases to estimate crustal thickness and Vp/Vs ratio. We also derived the S-wave velocity variation with depth beneath both stations by inverting the receiver functions. We obtained that beneath station PLAI the crustal thickness is about 27.8 km with Vp/Vs ratio 2.01. As station SOEI is covered by very thick low-velocity sediment causing unstable solution for the inversion, we modified the initial velocity model by adding the sediment thickness estimated using high frequency content of receiver functions in H-κ stacking process. We obtained the crustal thickness is about 37 km with VP/Vs ratio 2.2 beneath station SOEI. We suggest that the high Vp/Vs in station PLAI may indicate the presence of fluid ascending from the subducted plate to the volcanic arc, whereas the high Vp/Vs in station SOEI could be due to the presence of sediment and rich mafic composition in the upper crust and possibly related to the serpentinization process in the lower crust. We also suggest that the difference in velocity models and crustal thicknesses between stations PLAI and SOEI are consistent with their contrasting tectonic environments.

  9. Geophysical Investigations of Crustal and Upper Mantle Structure of Oceanic Intraplate Volcanoes (OIVs) (United States)

    Robinson, A. H.; Peirce, C.; Funnell, M.; Watts, A. B.; Grevemeyer, I.


    Oceanic intraplate volcanoes (OIVs) represent a record of the modification of the oceanic crust by volcanism related to a range of processes including hot-spots, small scale mantle convection, and localised lithospheric extension. Geophysical studies of OIVs show a diversity in crustal and upper mantle structures, proposed to exist on a spectrum between two end-members where the main control is the age of the lithosphere at the time of volcanism. This hypothesis states that where the lithosphere is older, colder, and thicker it is more resistant to vertical magmatism than younger, hotter, thinner lithosphere. It is suggested that the Moho acts as a density filter, permitting relatively buoyant magma to vertically intrude the crust, but preventing denser magma from ascending to shallow levels. A key control may therefore be the melting depth, known to affect magma composition, and itself related to lithosphere age. Combined geophysical approaches allow us to develop robust models for OIV crustal structures with quantifiable resolution and uncertainty. As a case study, we present results from a multi-approach geophysical experiment at the Louisville Ridge Seamount Chain, believed to have formed on young (travel-time modelling of picked arrivals, is tested against reflection and gravity data. We compare our observations with studies of other OIVs to test whether lithospheric age controls OIV structure. Comparisons are limited by the temporal and spatial distribution of lithosphere and volcano ages, but suggest the hypothesis does not hold for all OIV features. While age may be the main control on OIV structure, as it determines lithosphere thermal and mechanical properties, other factors such as thermal rejuvenation, mechanical weakening, and volcano load size and distribution, may also come into play.

  10. The development of continental crust through geological time: the South African case

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dia, A.; Allegre, C.J.; Erlank, A.J.


    Nd isotopic compositions and 147 Sm/ 144 Nd ratios were measured in fifty-eight South African shales and greywackes with depositional ages ranging from 0.2 to 3.3 b.y. Elements such as the rare earths, which are poorly soluble in water and not fractionated during exogeneous processes, preserve the signature of the original crustal source. The 147 Sm/ 144 Nd ratios appear to be approximately constant throughout the time interval sampled. We calculated Nd model ages of crustal differentiation. Knowing that the shales represent a true blend of different continental areas we consider these model ages representative of the mean ages of their primitive continental sources. Then, using the inverse technique developed by Allegre and Rousseau in 1984, we computed a growth curve for the continental crust in South Africa. Two periods of important crustal genesis (Archaean and around 1.5 b.y.) can be compared with the observed geology and with other continental crust growth curves obtained in previous studies in southern Africa and in Australia. The observation of large variations in the MgO content and Ni, Cr, U and Th concentrations between Archaean South African shales and post-Archaean samples compared to the constancy of the 147 Sm/ 144 Nd ratios leads us to propose that the Archaean crust was composed of both granite (70.5%) and a mafic component (29.5%) which could have been komatiite. The small dispersion of 147 Sm/ 144 Nd ratios suggests that erosion and sedimentation processes yielded homogeneous Archaean shales. The present-day continental crust is much more heterogeneous, because it has undergone several episodes of recycling. Thus recent shales are characterized by more variable 147 Sm/ 144 Nd ratios. (orig.)

  11. Temporal Evolution of the Upper Continental Crust: Implications for the Mode of Crustal Growth and the Evolution of the Hydrosphere (United States)

    Rudnick, R. L.; Gaschnig, R. M.; Li, S.; Tang, M.; Qiu, L.; Valley, J. W.; Zurkowski, C.; McDonough, W. F.


    The upper continental crust (UCC), the interface between the atmosphere and solid Earth, is the site of weathering that produces sedimentary rocks, influences ocean chemistry through runoff of soluble elements, and affects climate through CO2 draw-down. The UCC also contains more than 50% of the crust's highly incompatible element budget (including K, Th, and U). Therefore, understanding its composition and evolution provides insight into how continents have formed, evolved, and interacted with the hydrosphere. New major and trace element compositions of >100 glacial diamictites and >100 Archean shales, plus δ7Li and δ18O for a subset of these samples, combined with data from the literature, show that the average composition of the UCC has changed through time, reflecting both the rise of atmospheric oxygen and its attendant effects on weathering, as well as the mode of crust formation and differentiation. Some changes that occur as a step function near the Archean/Proterozoic boundary (increased Th/U, decreased Mo/Pr, V/Lu) reflect the rise of oxygen at the great oxidation event (GOE) and its influence on chemical weathering signatures in the UCC. Other changes are more gradual with time (e.g., higher Th/Sc and δ18O, lower Ni/Co, La/Nb, Eu/Eu* and transition metal abundances) and reflect an UCC that has transitioned from a more mafic to a more felsic bulk composition, and which experienced increased interaction with the hydrosphere with time. The gradual nature of these compositional changes likely reflects the waning heat production of the Earth, rather than an abrupt change in tectonics or style of crust formation. These more gradual changes in crust composition, which contrast with the abrupt changes associated with the GOE, suggest that a fundamental change in the nature of crust differentiation is unlikely to be responsible for the rise of atmospheric oxygen (cf. Keller and Schoene, 2012). Indeed, it appears that the opposite may be true: that the rise of

  12. Summary of the GK15 ground‐motion prediction equation for horizontal PGA and 5% damped PSA from shallow crustal continental earthquakes (United States)

    Graizer, Vladimir;; Kalkan, Erol


    We present a revised ground‐motion prediction equation (GMPE) for computing medians and standard deviations of peak ground acceleration (PGA) and 5% damped pseudospectral acceleration (PSA) response ordinates of the horizontal component of randomly oriented ground motions to be used for seismic‐hazard analyses and engineering applications. This GMPE is derived from the expanded Next Generation Attenuation (NGA)‐West 1 database (see Data and Resources; Chiou et al., 2008). The revised model includes an anelastic attenuation term as a function of quality factor (Q0) to capture regional differences in far‐source (beyond 150 km) attenuation, and a new frequency‐dependent sedimentary‐basin scaling term as a function of depth to the 1.5  km/s shear‐wave velocity isosurface to improve ground‐motion predictions at sites located on deep sedimentary basins. The new Graizer–Kalkan 2015 (GK15) model, developed to be simple, is applicable for the western United States and other similar shallow crustal continental regions in active tectonic environments for earthquakes with moment magnitudes (M) 5.0–8.0, distances 0–250 km, average shear‐wave velocities in the upper 30 m (VS30) 200–1300  m/s, and spectral periods (T) 0.01–5 s. Our aleatory variability model captures interevent (between‐event) variability, which decreases with magnitude and increases with distance. The mixed‐effect residuals analysis reveals that the GK15 has no trend with respect to the independent predictor parameters. Compared to our 2007–2009 GMPE, the PGA values are very similar, whereas spectral ordinates predicted are larger at T<0.2  s and they are smaller at longer periods.

  13. An assessment of the Th-Hf-Ta diagram as a discriminant for tectomagnetic classifications and in the detection of crustal contamination of magmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thompson, R.N.; Morrison, M.A.; Mattey, D.P.; Dickin, A.P.; Moorbath, S.


    The Th-Hf-Ta diagram, recently proposed as a means of discriminating basalts erupted in various tectonic environments and of detecting crustal contamination in such magmas, is shown to be unsatisfactory for both of its stated purposes. Data are presented for Th, Hf, Ta, Sr and Sr- and Pb-isotopes in basic lavas and a dolerite sill from the ensialic British Tertiary Volcanic Province (BTVP). Taken in conjunction with published results, the isotopic ratios show that some of the BTVP basic magmas are essentially uncontaminated by continental crust, except for the selective introduction of small variable amounts of unradiogenic Pb. Those BTVP magmas which show appreciable isotopic contamination have interacted with either upper or lower crust, or both. Th/(Hf + Ta) is insensitive to contamination with the Th-poor lower crust of cratons but rises during gross contamination with Th-rich upper crust. BTVP basic magmas containing negligible to moderate crustal isotopic components plot in the field of the Th-Hf-Ta diagram occupied by normal mid-ocean ridge basalts. Other volcanic provinces of known tectonic setting which plot wholly or partially outside their appropriate fields on the Th-Hf-Ta diagram are: the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain, the Snake River Plain (Idaho, U.S.A.), the Azores and the Gregory Rift (Kenya). (orig.)

  14. Lithospheric controls on crustal reactivation and intraplate mountain building in the Gobi Corridor, Central Asia (United States)

    Cunningham, D.


    This talk will review the Permian-Recent tectonic history of the Gobi Corridor region which includes the actively deforming Gobi Altai-Altai, Eastern Tien Shan, Beishan and North Tibetan foreland. Since terrane amalgamation in the Permian, Gobi Corridor crust has been repeatedly reactivated by Triassic-Jurassic contraction/transpression, Late Cretaceous extension and Late Cenozoic transpression. The tectonic history of the region suggests the following basic principle for intraplate continental regions: non-cratonized continental interior terrane collages are susceptible to repeated intraplate reactivation events, driven by either post-orogenic collapse and/or compressional stresses derived from distant plate boundary convergence. Thus, important related questions are: 1) what lithospheric pre-conditions favor intraplate crustal reactivation in the Gobi Corridor (simple answer: crustal thinning, thermal weakening, strong buttressing cratons), 2) what are the controls on the kinematics of deformation and style of mountain building in the Gobi-Altai-Altai, Beishan and North Tibetan margin (simple answer: many factors, but especially angular relationship between SHmax and `crustal grain'), 3) how does knowledge of the array of Quaternary faults and the historical earthquake record influence our understanding of modern earthquake hazards in continental intraplate regions (answer: extrapolation of derived fault slip rates and recurrence interval determinations are problematic), 4) what important lessons can we learn from the Mesozoic-Cenozoic tectonic history of Central Asia that is applicable to the tectonic evolution of all intraplate continental regions (simple answer: ancient intraplate deformation events may be subtly expressed in the rock record and only revealed by low-temperature thermochronometers, preserved orogen-derived sedimentary sequences, fault zone evidence for younger brittle reactivation, and recognition of a younger class of cross-cutting tectonic

  15. The Glacial BuzzSaw, Isostasy, and Global Crustal Models (United States)

    Levander, A.; Oncken, O.; Niu, F.


    The glacial buzzsaw hypothesis predicts that maximum elevations in orogens at high latitudes are depressed relative to temperate latitudes, as maximum elevation and hypsography of glaciated orogens are functions of the glacial equilibrium line altitude (ELA) and the modern and last glacial maximum (LGM) snowlines. As a consequence crustal thickness, density, or both must change with increasing latitude to maintain isostatic balance. For Airy compensation crustal thickness should decrease toward polar latitudes, whereas for Pratt compensation crustal densities should increase. For similar convergence rates, higher latitude orogens should have higher grade, and presumably higher density rocks in the crustal column due to more efficient glacial erosion. We have examined a number of global and regional crustal models to see if these predictions appear in the models. Crustal thickness is straightforward to examine, crustal density less so. The different crustal models generally agree with one another, but do show some major differences. We used a standard tectonic classification scheme of the crust for data selection. The globally averaged orogens show crustal thicknesses that decrease toward high latitudes, almost reflecting topography, in both the individual crustal models and the models averaged together. The most convincing is the western hemisphere cordillera, where elevations and crustal thicknesses decrease toward the poles, and also toward lower latitudes (the equatorial minimum is at ~12oN). The elevation differences and Airy prediction of crustal thickness changes are in reasonable agreement in the North American Cordillera, but in South America the observed crustal thickness change is larger than the Airy prediction. The Alpine-Himalayan chain shows similar trends, however the strike of the chain makes interpretation ambiguous. We also examined cratons with ice sheets during the last glacial period to see if continental glaciation also thins the crust toward

  16. Noble gases preserve history of retentive continental crust in the Bravo Dome natural CO2 field, New Mexico (United States)

    Sathaye, Kiran J.; Smye, Andrew J.; Jordan, Jacob S.; Hesse, Marc A.


    Budgets of 4He and 40Ar provide constraints on the chemical evolution of the solid Earth and atmosphere. Although continental crust accounts for the majority of 4He and 40Ar degassed from the Earth, degassing mechanisms are subject to scholarly debate. Here we provide a constraint on crustal degassing by comparing the noble gases accumulated in the Bravo Dome natural CO2 reservoir, New Mexico USA, with the radiogenic production in the underlying crust. A detailed geological model of the reservoir is used to provide absolute abundances and geostatistical uncertainty of 4He, 40Ar, 21Ne, 20Ne, 36Ar, and 84Kr. The present-day production rate of crustal radiogenic 4He and 40Ar, henceforth referred to as 4He* and 40Ar*, is estimated using the basement composition, surface and mantle heat flow, and seismic estimates of crustal density. After subtracting mantle and atmospheric contributions, the reservoir contains less than 0.02% of the radiogenic production in the underlying crust. This shows unequivocally that radiogenic noble gases are effectively retained in cratonic continental crust over millennial timescales. This also requires that approximately 1.5 Gt of mantle derived CO2 migrated through the crust without mobilizing the crustally accumulated gases. This observation suggests transport along a localized fracture network. Therefore, the retention of noble gases in stable crystalline continental crust allows shallow accumulations of radiogenic gases to record tectonic history. At Bravo Dome, the crustal 4He*/40Ar* ratio is one fifth of the expected crustal production ratio, recording the preferential release of 4He during the Ancestral Rocky Mountain orogeny, 300 Ma.

  17. Imaging of upper crustal structure beneath East Java-Bali, Indonesia with ambient noise tomography (United States)

    Martha, Agustya Adi; Cummins, Phil; Saygin, Erdinc; Sri Widiyantoro; Masturyono


    The complex geological structures in East Java and Bali provide important opportunities for natural resource exploitation, but also harbor perils associated with natural disasters. Such a condition makes the East Java region an important area for exploration of the subsurface seismic wave velocity structure, especially in its upper crust. We employed the ambient noise tomography method to image the upper crustal structure under this study area. We used seismic data recorded at 24 seismographs of BMKG spread over East Java and Bali. In addition, we installed 28 portable seismographs in East Java from April 2013 to January 2014 for 2-8 weeks, and we installed an additional 28 seismographs simultaneously throughout East Java from August 2015 to April 2016. We constructed inter-station Rayleigh wave Green's functions through cross-correlations of the vertical component of seismic noise recordings at 1500 pairs of stations. We used the Neighborhood Algorithm to construct depth profiles of shear wave velocity (Vs). The main result obtained from this study is the thickness of sediment cover. East Java's southern mountain zone is dominated by higher Vs, the Kendeng basin in the center is dominated by very low Vs, and the Rembang zone (to the North of Kendeng zone) is associated with medium Vs. The existence of structures with oil and gas potential in the Kendeng and Rembang zones can be identified by low Vs.

  18. EUNAseis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina; Thybo, Hans


    ; (4) The thickness ratio between upper-middle (Vp b 6.8 km/s) and lower (Vp N 6.8 km/s) crystalline crust is indicative of crustal origin: oceanic, transitional, platform, or extended crust; (5) Continental rifting generally thins the upper-middle crust significantly without changing Vp. Lower crust...... experiences less thinning, also without changing Vp, suggesting a complex interplay of magmatic underplating, gabbro-eclogite phase transition and delamination; (6) Crustal structure of the Barents Sea shelf differs from rifted continental crust; and (7) Most of the North Atlantic Ocean north of 55°N has...

  19. Continental extension, magmatism and elevation; formal relations and rules of thumb (United States)

    Lachenbruch, A.H.; Morgan, P.


    To investigate simplified relations between elevation and the extensional, magmatic and thermal processes that influence lithosphere buoyancy, we assume that the lithosphere floats on an asthenosphere of uniform density and has no flexural strength. A simple graph relating elevation to lithosphere density and thickness provides an overview of expectable conditions around the earth and a simple test for consistancy of continental and oceanic lithosphere models. The mass-balance relations yield simple general rules for estimating elevation changes caused by various tectonic, magmatic and thermal processes without referring to detailed models. The rules are general because they depend principally on buoyancy, which under our assumptions is specified by elevation, a known quantity; they do not generally require a knowledge of lithosphere thickness and density. The elevation of an extended terrain contains important information on its tectonic and magmatic history. In the Great Basin where Cenozoic extension is estimated to be 100%, the present high mean elevation ( ~ 1.75 km) probably requires substantial low-density magmatic contributions to the extending lithosphere. The elevation cannot be reasonably explained solely as the buoyant residue of a very high initial terrane, or of a lithosphere that was initially very thick and subsequently delaminated and heated. Even models with a high initial elevation typically call for 10 km or so of accumulated magmatic material of near-crustal density. To understand the evolution of the Great Basin, it is important to determine whether such intruded material is present; some could replenish the stretching crust by underplating and crustal intrusion and some might reside in the upper mantle. The elevation maintained or approached by an intruded extending lithosphere depends on the ratio B of how fast magma is supplied from the asthenosphere ( b km/Ma) to how fast the lithosphere spreads the magma out by extension (?? Ma-1). For a

  20. Crustal structure of an exhumed IntraCONtinental Sag (ICONS): the Mekele Basin in Northern Ethiopia. (United States)

    Alemu, T. B.; Abdelsalam, M. G.


    The Mekele Sedimentary Basin (MSB) in Ethiopia is a Paleozoic-Mesozoic IntraCONtinental Sag (ICONS) exposed due to Cenozoic domal and rift flank uplift associated with the Afar mantle plume and Afar Depression (AD). ICONS are formed over stable lithosphere, and in contrast to rift and foreland basins, show circular-elliptical shape in map view, saucer shaped in cross section, and concentric gravity minima. Surface geological features of the MSB have been shown to exhibit geologic characteristics similar to those of other ICONS. We used the World Gravity Map (WGM 2012) data to investigate subsurface-crustal structure of the MSB. We also used 2D power spectrum analysis and inversion of the gravity field to estimate the Moho depth. Our results show the Bouguer anomalies of the WGM 2012 ranges between 130 mGal and - 110 mGal with the highest values within the AD. Despite the effect of the AD on the gravity anomalies, the MSB is characterized by the presence of gravity low anomaly that reaches in places -110 mGal, especially in its western part. The Moho depth estimates, from both spectral analysis and inversion of the gravity data, is between 36 and 40 km depth over most of the western and southern margins of the MSB. However, as the AD is approached, in the eastern margins of the MSB, crustal thickness estimates are highly affected by the anomalously thin and magmatic segment of the AD, and the Moho depth range between 30 and 25 km. Our results are consistent with that of seismic studies in areas far from the MSB, but within the Northwestern Ethiopian Plateau where the MSB is located. Those studies have reported an abrupt decrease in Moho depth from 40 km beneath the Northwestern plateau, to 20 km in the adjacent AD. Though the MSB is small (100 kmX100 km) compared to other ICONS, and affected by the neighboring AD, it is characterized by elliptical gravity minima and a relatively thicker crust that gradually thickens away from the rift. In addition, seismic imaging

  1. Impacts of continental arcs on global carbon cycling and climate (United States)

    Lee, C. T.; Jiang, H.; Carter, L.; Dasgupta, R.; Cao, W.; Lackey, J. S.; Lenardic, A.; Barnes, J.; McKenzie, R.


    On myr timescales, climatic variability is tied to variations in atmospheric CO2, which in turn is driven by geologic sources of CO2 and modulated by the efficiency of chemical weathering and carbonate precipitation (sinks). Long-term variability in CO2 has largely been attributed to changes in mid-ocean ridge inputs or the efficiency of global weathering. For example, the Cretaceous greenhouse is thought to be related to enhanced oceanic crust production, while the late Cenozoic icehouse is attributed to enhanced chemical weathering associated with the Himalayan orogeny. Here, we show that continental arcs may play a more important role in controlling climate, both in terms of sources and sinks. Continental arcs differ from island arcs and mid-ocean ridges in that the continental plate through which arc magmas pass may contain large amounts of sedimentary carbonate, accumulated over the history of the continent. Interaction of arc magmas with crustal carbonates via assimilation, reaction or heating can significantly add to the mantle-sourced CO2 flux. Detrital zircons and global mapping of basement rocks shows that the length of continental arcs in the Cretaceous was more than twice that in the mid-Cenozoic; maps also show many of these arcs intersected crustal carbonates. The increased length of continental arc magmatism coincided with increased oceanic spreading rates, placing convergent margins into compression, which favors continental arcs. Around 50 Ma, however, nearly all the continental arcs in Eurasia and North America terminated as India collided with Eurasia and the western Pacific rolled back, initiating the Marianas-Tonga-Kermadec intra-oceanic subduction complex and possibly leading to a decrease in global CO2 production. Meanwhile, extinct continental arcs continued to erode, resulting in regionally enhanced chemical weathering unsupported by magmatic fluxes of CO2. Continental arcs, during their magmatic lifetimes, are thus a source of CO2, driving

  2. Crustal structure of the Murray Ridge, northwest Indian Ocean, from wide-angle seismic data (United States)

    Minshull, T. A.; Edwards, R. A.; Flueh, E. R.


    The Murray Ridge/Dalrymple Trough system forms the boundary between the Indian and Arabian plates in the northern Arabian Sea. Geodetic constraints from the surrounding continents suggest that this plate boundary is undergoing oblique extension at a rate of a few millimetres per year. We present wide-angle seismic data that constrains the composition of the Ridge and of adjacent lithosphere beneath the Indus Fan. We infer that Murray Ridge, like the adjacent Dalrymple Trough, is underlain by continental crust, while a thin crustal section beneath the Indus Fan represents thinned continental crust or exhumed serpentinized mantle that forms part of a magma-poor rifted margin. Changes in crustal structure across the Murray Ridge and Dalrymple Trough can explain short-wavelength gravity anomalies, but a long-wavelength anomaly must be attributed to deeper density contrasts that may result from a large age contrast across the plate boundary. The origin of this fragment of continental crust remains enigmatic, but the presence of basement fabrics to the south that are roughly parallel to Murray Ridge suggests that it separated from the India/Seychelles/Madagascar block by extension during early breakup of Gondwana.

  3. Interrelation between rifting, faulting, sedimentation, and mantle serpentinization during continental margin formation (United States)

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


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

  4. Thallium isotope composition of the upper continental crust and rivers - An investigation of the continental sources of dissolved marine thallium (United States)

    Nielsen, S.G.; Rehkamper, M.; Porcelli, D.; Andersson, P.; Halliday, A.N.; Swarzenski, P.W.; Latkoczy, C.; Gunther, D.


    The thallium (Tl) concentrations and isotope compositions of various river and estuarine waters, suspended riverine particulates and loess have been determined. These data are used to evaluate whether weathering reactions are associated with significant Tl isotope fractionation and to estimate the average Tl isotope composition of the upper continental crust as well as the mean Tl concentration and isotope composition of river water. Such parameters provide key constraints on the dissolved Tl fluxes to the oceans from rivers and mineral aerosols. The Tl isotope data for loess and suspended riverine detritus are relatively uniform with a mean of ??205Tl = -2.0 ?? 0.3 (??205Tl represents the deviation of the 205Tl/203Tl isotope ratio of a sample from NIST SRM 997 Tl in parts per 104). For waters from four major and eight smaller rivers, the majority were found to have Tl concentrations between 1 and 7 ng/kg. Most have Tl isotope compositions very similar (within ??1.5 ??205Tl) to that deduced for the upper continental crust, which indicates that no significant Tl isotope fractionation occurs during weathering. Based on these results, it is estimated that rivers have a mean natural Tl concentration and isotope composition of 6 ?? 4 ng/kg and ??205Tl = -2.5 ?? 1.0, respectively. In the Amazon estuary, both additions and losses of Tl were observed, and these correlate with variations in Fe and Mn contents. The changes in Tl concentrations have much lower amplitudes, however, and are not associated with significant Tl isotope effects. In the Kalix estuary, the Tl concentrations and isotope compositions can be explained by two-component mixing between river water and a high-salinity end member that is enriched in Tl relative to seawater. These results indicate that Tl can display variable behavior in estuarine systems but large additions and losses of Tl were not observed in the present study. Copyright ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. 3-D Upper-Mantle Shear Velocity Model Beneath the Contiguous United States Based on Broadband Surface Wave from Ambient Seismic Noise (United States)

    Xie, Jun; Chu, Risheng; Yang, Yingjie


    Ambient noise seismic tomography has been widely used to study crustal and upper-mantle shear velocity structures. Most studies, however, concentrate on short period (structure on a continental scale. We use broadband Rayleigh wave phase velocities to obtain a 3-D V S structures beneath the contiguous United States at period band of 10-150 s. During the inversion, 1-D shear wave velocity profile is parameterized using B-spline at each grid point and is inverted with nonlinear Markov Chain Monte Carlo method. Then, a 3-D shear velocity model is constructed by assembling all the 1-D shear velocity profiles. Our model is overall consistent with existing models which are based on multiple datasets or data from earthquakes. Our model along with the other post-USArray models reveal lithosphere structures in the upper mantle, which are consistent with the geological tectonic background (e.g., the craton root and regional upwelling provinces). The model has comparable resolution on lithosphere structures compared with many published results and can be used for future detailed regional or continental studies and analysis.

  6. 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

  7. Crustal Structure of Active Deformation Zones in Africa: Implications for Global Crustal Processes (United States)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Keir, D.; Bastow, I. D.; Whaler, K.; Hammond, J. O. S.; Ayele, A.; Miller, M. S.; Tiberi, C.; Hautot, S.


    The Cenozoic East African rift (EAR), Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL), and Atlas Mountains formed on the slow-moving African continent, which last experienced orogeny during the Pan-African. We synthesize primarily geophysical data to evaluate the role of magmatism in shaping Africa's crust. In young magmatic rift zones, melt and volatiles migrate from the asthenosphere to gas-rich magma reservoirs at the Moho, altering crustal composition and reducing strength. Within the southernmost Eastern rift, the crust comprises 20% new magmatic material ponded in the lower crust and intruded as sills and dikes at shallower depths. In the Main Ethiopian Rift, intrusions comprise 30% of the crust below axial zones of dike-dominated extension. In the incipient rupture zones of the Afar rift, magma intrusions fed from crustal magma chambers beneath segment centers create new columns of mafic crust, as along slow-spreading ridges. Our comparisons suggest that transitional crust, including seaward dipping sequences, is created as progressively smaller screens of continental crust are heated and weakened by magma intrusion into 15-20 km thick crust. In the 30 Ma Recent CVL, which lacks a hot spot age progression, extensional forces are small, inhibiting the creation and rise of magma into the crust. In the Atlas orogen, localized magmatism follows the strike of the Atlas Mountains from the Canary Islands hot spot toward the Alboran Sea. CVL and Atlas magmatism has had minimal impact on crustal structure. Our syntheses show that magma and volatiles are migrating from the asthenosphere through the plates, modifying rheology, and contributing significantly to global carbon and water fluxes.

  8. The interplay between subduction and lateral extrusion : A case study for the European Eastern Alps based on analogue models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gelder, I. E.; Willingshofer, E.; Sokoutis, D.; Cloetingh, S. A.P.L.


    A series of analogue experiments simulating intra-continental subduction contemporaneous with lateral extrusion of the upper plate are performed to study the interference between these two processes at crustal levels and in the lithospheric mantle. The models demonstrate that intra-continental

  9. The Effects of Rapid Sedimentation upon Continental Breakup: Kinematic and Thermal Modeling of the Salton Trough, Southern California, Based upon Recent Seismic Images (United States)

    Han, L.; Hole, J. A.; Lowell, R. P.; Stock, J. M.; Fuis, G. S.


    The Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) illuminated crustal and upper mantle structure of the Salton Trough, the northern-most rift segment of the Gulf of California plate boundary. The crust is 17-18 km thick and homogeneous for 100 km in the plate motion direction. New crust is being created by distributed rift magmatism, Colorado River sedimentation, and metamorphism of the sediment. A 5 km thick pre-existing crustal layer may still exist. The crust has not broken apart to enable initiation of seafloor spreading. A one-dimensional time-dependent kinematic and thermal model was developed to simulate these observations. We assume that all crustal layers are stretched uniformly during extension. Distributed mafic magmatism and sedimentation are added simultaneously to compensate for the crustal thinning. The ratio of magmatism to sedimentation is constrained by the seismic observations. Heat is transported by thermal conduction and by advection due to stretching of the crust. A constant temperature boundary at the Moho is used to represent partial melting in the upper mantle. Assuming a constant plate motion rate, the zone of active rifting extends linearly with time. The crustal thickness and internal structure also evolve with time. The model constraints are the observed seismic structure and heat flow. The model rapidly reaches quasi-steady state, and could continue for many millions of years. The observed seismic structure and heat flow are reproduced after 3 Myr. The yield strength profile calculated from lithology and model temperature indicates that ductile deformation in the middle and lower crust dominates the crustal rheology. Rapid sedimentation delays crustal breakup and the initiation of seafloor spreading by maintaining the thickness of the crust and keeping it predominantly ductile. This process probably occurs wherever a large river flows into an active rift driven by far-field extension. It may have built passive margins in many locations

  10. Opening of the Central Atlantic Ocean: Implications for Geometric Rifting and Asymmetric Initial Seafloor Spreading after Continental Breakup (United States)

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


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

  11. The upper crust laid on its side: tectonic implications of steeply tilted crustal slabs for extension in the basin and range (United States)

    Howard, Keith A.


    Tilted slabs expose as much as the top 8–15 km of the upper crust in many parts of the Basin and Range province. Exposures of now-recumbent crustal sections in these slabs allow analysis of pre-tilt depth variations in dike swarms, plutons, and thermal history. Before tilting the slabs were panels between moderately dipping, active Tertiary normal faults. The slabs and their bounding normal faults were tilted to piggyback positions on deeper footwalls that warped up isostatically beneath them during tectonic unloading. Stratal dips within the slabs are commonly tilted to vertical or even slightly overturned, especially in the southern Basin and Range where the thin stratified cover overlies similarly tilted basement granite and gneiss. Some homoclinal recumbent slabs of basement rock display faults that splay upward into forced folds in overlying cover sequences, which thereby exhibit shallower dips. The 15-km maximum exposed paleodepth for the slabs represents the base of the brittle upper crust, as it coincides with the depth of the modern base of the seismogenic zone and the maximum focal depths of large normal-fault earthquakes in the Basin and Range. Many upended slabs accompany metamorphic core complexes, but not all core complexes have corresponding thick recumbent hanging-wall slabs. The Ruby Mountains core complex, for example, preserves only scraps of upper-plate rocks as domed-up extensional klippen, and most of the thick crustal section that originally overlay the uplifted metamorphic core now must reside below little-tilted hanging-wall blocks in the Elko-Carlin area to the west. The Whipple and Catalina Mountains core complexes in contrast are footwall to large recumbent hanging-wall slabs of basement rock exposing 8-15 km paleodepths that originally roofed the metamorphic cores; the exposed paleodepths require that a footwall rolled up beneath the slabs.

  12. Precambrian continental crustal evolution of Southeastern Sao Paulo state - Brazil: based on isotopic evidences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tassinari, C.C.G.


    The isotopic studies on granitic intrusions, orthogneissic rocks and migmatitic terranes in the Southeastern Sao Paulo are presented, indicating the age and the geochemical nature of the continental crust of this area. Approximately 300 Ar, Sr and Pb isotopic age determinations are included in this paper, categorized as to their reliability and significance. Looking for the continental crust growth related to the geological time, at the end of the lower Proterozoic, at least 85% of the continental crust has already accreted and differentiated. (C.G.C.)

  13. Barents Sea Crustal and Upper Mantle Structure from Deep Seismic and Potential Field Data (United States)

    Aarseth, I.; Mjelde, R.; Breivik, A. J.; Minakov, A.; Huismans, R. S.; Faleide, J. I.


    the Moho gives basement velocities from 6.2 km/s at the top to 6.7 km/s at the base of the crust. In the middle of the profile, a rapid deepening of Moho creates a root structure that may be interpreted in terms of a Caledonian suture zone, with the crustal root representing a remnant of the continental collision.

  14. Electrical structure and its implication across the lower- and upper-crustal settings of South India (United States)

    Raval, U.


    Measurements of a large scale MMA experiment covering both the granulite and greenstone terrains of Archeans in the southern part of India is re-visited and re-analyzed. The induced field variations contain the signatures of crustal and subcrustal electrical conductivities, although substantially distorted by the sea-land interfaces and cenozoic sediments. However, through a selection of some reconnaissance profiles and temporal variations, an attempt is made to deduce whether: (1) significant differences exist between the electrical structures of the high and low grade complexes (i.e., if the electrical conductivity of the lower crust is due to minerological composition or is intrinsic to the positioning at depths greater than 15 km); (2) the probable seaward extension of the continental crust and its transition to oceanic type may also contribute (through intracrustal DC-like telluric sheets) to the induction field in addition to or rather than the sharply localized zones; (3) the observed parameters are indicative of a formal anisotropy and/or undulations in the deep crust; and (4) the postulate of relatively hotter Indian shield is reflected particularly with regard to differential metamorphism. In the last case, the crust-mantle coupling in this region - unlike other similar areas - seems to be markedly affected by the evolution of Ne-plate velocity field.

  15. Continents as lithological icebergs: The importance of buoyant lithospheric roots (United States)

    Abbott, D.H.; Drury, R.; Mooney, W.D.


    An understanding of the formation of new continental crust provides an important guide to locating the oldest terrestrial rocks and minerals. We evaluated the crustal thicknesses of the thinnest stable continental crust and of an unsubductable oceanic plateau and used the resulting data to estimate the amount of mantle melting which produces permanent continental crust. The lithospheric mantle is sufficiently depleted to produce permanent buoyancy (i.e., the crust is unsubductable) at crustal thicknesses greater than 25-27 km. These unsubductable oceanic plateaus and hotspot island chains are important sources of new continental crust. The newest continental crust (e.g., the Ontong Java plateau) has a basaltic composition, not a granitic one. The observed structure and geochemistry of continents are the result of convergent margin magmatism and metamorphism which modify the nascent basaltic crust into a lowermost basaltic layer overlain by a more silicic upper crust. The definition of a continent should imply only that the lithosphere is unsubductable over ??? 0.25 Ga time periods. Therefore, the search for the oldest crustal rocks should include rocks from lower to mid-crustal levels.

  16. Sensitivity analysis of crustal correction for calculation of lithospheric mantle density from gravity data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herceg, Matija; Artemieva, Irina; Thybo, Hans


    for the crust and (ii) uncertainties in the seismic crustal structure (thickness and average VP velocities of individual crustal layers, including the sedimentary cover). We examine the propagation of these uncertainties into determinations of lithospheric mantle density and analyse both sources of possible......We investigate how uncertainties in seismic and density structure of the crust propagate to uncertainties in mantle density structure. The analysis is based on interpretation of residual upper-mantle gravity anomalies which are calculated by subtracting (stripping) the gravitational effect...... mantle, knowledge on uncertainties associated with incomplete information on crustal structure is of utmost importance for progress in gravity modelling. Uncertainties in the residual upper-mantle gravity anomalies result chiefly from uncertainties in (i) seismic VP velocity-density conversion...

  17. Joint inversion of ambient noise surface wave and gravity data to image the upper crustal structure of the Tanlu fault zone to the southeast of Hefei, China (United States)

    Wang, K.; Gu, N.; Zhang, H.; Zhou, G.


    The Tanlu fault is a major fault located in the eastern China, which stretches 2400 km long from Tancheng in the north to Lujiang in the south. It is generally believed that the Tanlu fault zone was formed in Proterozoic era and underwent a series of complicated processes since then. To understand the upper crustal structure around the southern segment of the Tanlu fault zone, in 2017 we deployed 53 short period seismic stations around the fault zone to the southeast of Hefei, capital city of Anhui province. The temporary array continuously recorded the data for about one month from 17 March to 26 April 2017. The seismic array spans an area of about 30km x 30Km with an average station spacing of about 5-6km. The vertical component data were used for extracting Rayleigh wave phase and group velocity dispersion data for the period of 0.2 to 5 seconds. To improve imaging the upper crustal structure of the fault zone, we jointly inverted the surface wave dispersion data and the gravity data because they have complementary strengths. To combine surface wave dispersion data and gravity observations into a single inversion framework, we used an empirical relationship between seismic velocity and density of Maceira and Ammon (2009). By finding the optimal relative weighting between two data types, we are able to find a shear wave velocity (Vs) model that fits both data types. The joint inversion can resolve the upper crustal fault zone structure down to about 7 km in depth. The Vs model shows that in this region the Tanlu fault is associated with high velocity anomalies, corresponding well to the Feidong complex seen on the surface. This indicates that the Tanlu fault zone may provide a channel for the intrusion of hot materials.

  18. Effect of thicker oceanic crust in the Archaean on the growth of continental crust through time

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilks, M.E.


    Present crustal evolution models fail to account for the generation of the large volume of continental crust in the required time intervals. All Archaean plate tectonic models, whether invoking faster spreading rates, similar to today's spreading rates, or longer ridge lengths, essentially propose that continental crust has grown by island arc accretion due to the subduction of oceanic crust. The petrological differences that characterize the Archaean from later terrains result from the subduction of hotter oceanic crust into a hotter mantle. If the oceanic crust was appreciably thicker in the Archaean, as geothermal models would indicate, this thicker crust is surely going to have an effect on tectonic processes. A more valid approach is to compare the possible styles of convergence of thick oceanic crust with modern convergence zones. The best modern analog occurs where thick continental crust is colliding with thick continental crust. Oceanic crustal collision on the scale of the present-day Himalayan continental collision zone may have been a frequent occurrence in the Archaean, resulting in extensive partial melting of the hydrous underthrust oceanic crust to produce voluminous tonalite melts, leaving a depleted stabilized basic residuum. Present-day island arc accretion may not have been the dominant mechanism for the growth of the early Archaean crust

  19. Crustal structure across Tancheng-Lujiang fault belt in East China (United States)

    Zhang, Zhongjie; Xu, Tao; Tian, Xiaobo; Teng, Jiwen; Bai, Zhiming


    Tancheng-Lujiang (T-L) fault extends more than 3,000km in the eastern China continent. T-L fault is closely related to strong earthquake occurrences such as Ms 7.8 Tangshan earthquake in 1976, basin development with rich oil/gas reserves and mineral resource concentration. The mechanism to form this fault is still in dispute. The proposed models include: post-collisional offset model (Okay and Sengor, 1992); indenter model (Yin and Nie, 1994); thrust model (Li, 1994); North China Craton penetration into South China model (Yokoyama et al., 2001) and Scissor collision model (Zhang et al., 2002, 2006). T-L fault is characterized with its segmentation, while the south segment is favored to understand the deep continental subduction and ultra-high pressure rocks extrusion from the collision between the convergence between Yangtze and North China Craton. In order to provide constraints on the evaluation of the proposed tectonic models, we carried out a 400-km-long wide-angle seismic profiling across the southern segment of the T-L fault. Here we present seismic P-wave data and the interpretation results. Seismic events of reflection and refraction from Moho discontinuity and other intracrustal reflections are remarkably observed with high signal/noise ratio. Crustal P-wave velocity model was reconstructed with forward modelling inversion, and T-L fault penetrates the whole crust, with gentle penetration angle in the upper crust, but very steep angle in the lower crust, which are probably seismic indicators of two phases of lateral escaping to accommodate the collision and extrusion of continental crust of the Yangtze block.

  20. 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.

  1. Global variations in gravity-derived oceanic crustal thickness: Implications on oceanic crustal accretion and hotspot-lithosphere interactions (United States)

    Lin, J.; Zhu, J.


    the relatively wide partial melting zones in the upper mantle beneath the fast and intermediately fast ridges might act as "buffer" zones, thus diluting the melt anomalies from the underlying hotspots or regions of mantle heterogeneities. (3) As the crustal age increases and the lithospheric plate thickens, regions of thickened crust start to develop on ocean basins that were originally created at fast and intermediately fast ridges. The integrated crustal volume for fast and intermediately fast ocean crust appears to reach peak values for certain geological periods, such as 40-50 Ma and 70-80 Ma. The newly constructed global models of gravity-derived crustal thickness, combining with geochemical and other constraints, can be used to investigate the processes of oceanic crustal accretion and hotspot-lithosphere interactions.

  2. The Upper- to Middle-Crustal Section of the Alisitos Oceanic Arc, (Baja, Mexico): an Analog of the Izu-Bonin-Marianas (IBM) Arc (United States)

    Medynski, S.; Busby, C.; DeBari, S. M.; Morris, R.; Andrews, G. D.; Brown, S. R.; Schmitt, A. K.


    The Rosario segment of the Cretaceous Alisitos arc in Baja California is an outstanding field analog for the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc, because it is structurally intact, unmetamorphosed, and has superior three-dimensional exposures of an upper- to middle-crustal section through an extensional oceanic arc. Previous work1, done in the pre-digital era, used geologic mapping to define two phases of arc evolution, with normal faulting in both phases: (1) extensional oceanic arc, with silicic calderas, and (2) oceanic arc rifting, with widespread diking and dominantly mafic effusions. Our new geochemical data match the extensional zone immediately behind the Izu arc front, and is different from the arc front and rear arc, consistent with geologic relations. Our study is developing a 3D oceanic arc crustal model, with geologic maps draped on Google Earth images, and GPS-located outcrop information linked to new geochemical, geochronological and petrographic data, with the goal of detailing the relationships between plutonic, hypabyssal, and volcanic rocks. This model will be used by scientists as a reference model for past (IBM-1, 2, 3) and proposed IBM (IBM-4) drilling activities. New single-crystal zircon analysis by TIMS supports the interpretation, based on batch SIMS analysis of chemically-abraded zircon1, that the entire upper-middle crustal section accumulated in about 1.5 Myr. Like the IBM, volcanic zircons are very sparse, but zircon chemistry on the plutonic rocks shows trace element compositions that overlap to those measured in IBM volcanic zircons by A. Schmitt (unpublished data). Zircons have U-Pb ages up to 20 Myr older than the eruptive age, suggesting remelting of older parts of the arc, similar to that proposed for IBM (using different evidence). Like IBM, some very old zircons are also present, indicating the presence of old crustal fragments, or sediments derived from them, in the basement. However, our geochemical data show that the magmas are

  3. Developing Tools to Test the Thermo-Mechanical Models, Examples at Crustal and Upper Mantle Scale (United States)

    Le Pourhiet, L.; Yamato, P.; Burov, E.; Gurnis, M.


    Testing geodynamical model is never an easy task. Depending on the spatio-temporal scale of the model, different testable predictions are needed and no magic reciepe exist. This contribution first presents different methods that have been used to test themo-mechanical modeling results at upper crustal, lithospheric and upper mantle scale using three geodynamical examples : the Gulf of Corinth (Greece), the Western Alps, and the Sierra Nevada. At short spatio-temporal scale (e.g. Gulf of Corinth). The resolution of the numerical models is usually sufficient to catch the timing and kinematics of the faults precisely enough to be tested by tectono-stratigraphic arguments. In active deforming area, microseismicity can be compared to the effective rheology and P and T axes of the focal mechanism can be compared with local orientation of the major component of the stress tensor. At lithospheric scale the resolution of the models doesn't permit anymore to constrain the models by direct observations (i.e. structural data from field or seismic reflection). Instead, synthetic P-T-t path may be computed and compared to natural ones in term of rate of exhumation for ancient orogens. Topography may also help but on continent it mainly depends on erosion laws that are complicated to constrain. Deeper in the mantle, the only available constrain are long wave length topographic data and tomographic "data". The major problem to overcome now at lithospheric and upper mantle scale, is that the so called "data" results actually from inverse models of the real data and that those inverse model are based on synthetic models. Post processing P and S wave velocities is not sufficient to be able to make testable prediction at upper mantle scale. Instead of that, direct wave propagations model must be computed. This allows checking if the differences between two models constitute a testable prediction or not. On longer term, we may be able to use those synthetic models to reduce the residue

  4. The nature of crustal reflectivity at the southwest Iberian margin (United States)

    Buffett, G. G.; Torne, M.; Carbonell, R.; Melchiorre, M.; Vergés, J.; Fernàndez, M.


    Reprocessing of multi-channel seismic reflection data acquired over the northern margin of the Gulf of Cádiz (SW Iberian margin) places new constraints on the upper crustal structure of the Guadalquivir-Portimão Bank. The data presented have been processed with optimized stacking and interval velocity models, a better approach to multiple attenuation, preserved amplitude information to derive the nature of seismic reflectivity, and accurate time-to-depth conversion after migration. The reprocessed data reveal a bright upper crustal reflector just underneath the Paleozoic basement that spatially coincides with the local positive free-air gravity high called the Gulf of Cádiz Gravity High. To investigate the nature of this reflector and to decipher whether it could be associated with pieces of mantle material emplaced at upper crustal levels, we calculated its reflection coefficient and compared it to a buried high-density ultramafic body (serpentinized peridotite) at the Gorringe Bank. Its reflection coefficient ratio with respect to the sea floor differs by only 4.6% with that calculated for the high-density ultramafic body of the Gorringe Bank, while it differs by 35.8% compared to a drilled Miocene limestone unconformity. This means that the Gulf of Cádiz reflector has a velocity and/or density contrast similar to the peridotite at the Gorringe Bank. However, considering the depth at which it is found (between 2.0 and 4.0 km) and the available geological information, it seems unlikely that the estimated shortening from the Oligocene to present is sufficient to emplace pieces of mantle material at these shallow levels. Therefore, and despite the similarity in its reflection coefficient with the peridotites of the Gorringe Bank, our preferred interpretation is that the upper crustal Gulf of Cádiz reflector represents the seismic response of high-density intracrustal magmatic intrusions that may partially contribute to the Gulf of Cádiz Gravity High.

  5. Papers presented to the Conference on Heat and Detachment in Crustal Extension on Continents and Planets (United States)


    Several topics relative to heat and detachment in crustal extension on continents and planets are discussed. Rifting on Venus, heat flow and continental breakup, magnetism, the mountains and tectonic processes of Io, and the ductile extension of planetary lithospheres are among the topics covered.

  6. 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.

  7. Transformation of juvenile Izu-Bonin-Mariana oceanic arc into mature continental crust: An example from the Neogene Izu collision zone granitoid plutons, Central Japan (United States)

    Saito, Satoshi; Tani, Kenichiro


    Granitic rocks (sensulato) are major constituents of upper continental crust. Recent reviews reveal that the average composition of Phanerozoic upper continental crust is granodioritic. Although oceanic arcs are regarded as a site producing continental crust material in an oceanic setting, intermediate to felsic igneous rocks occurring in modern oceanic arcs are dominantly tonalitic to trondhjemitic in composition and have lower incompatible element contents than the average upper continental crust. Therefore, juvenile oceanic arcs require additional processes in order to get transformed into mature continental crust enriched in incompatible elements. Neogene granitoid plutons are widely exposed in the Izu Collision Zone in central Japan, where the northern end of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc (juvenile oceanic arc) has been colliding with the Honshu arc (mature island arc) since Middle Miocene. The plutons in this area are composed of various types of granitoids ranging from tonalite to trondhjemite, granodiorite, monzogranite and granite. Three main granitoid plutons are distributed in this area: Tanzawa plutonic complex, Kofu granitic complex, and Kaikomagatake granitoid pluton. Tanzawa plutonic complex is dominantly composed of tonalite and trondhjemite and characterized by low concentration of incompatible elements and shows geochemical similarity with modern juvenile oceanic arcs. In contrast, Kofu granitic complex and Kaikomagatake granitoid pluton consists mainly of granodiorite, monzogranite and granite and their incompatible element abundances are comparable to the average upper continental crust. Previous petrogenetic studies on these plutons suggested that (1) the Tanzawa plutonic complex formed by lower crustal anatexis of juvenile basaltic rocks occurring in the IBM arc, (2) the Kofu granitic complex formed by anatexis of 'hybrid lower crust' comprising of both basaltic rocks of the IBM arc and metasedimentary rocks of the Honshu arc, and (3) the

  8. Seabed fluid expulsion along the upper slope and outer shelf of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin (United States)

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


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

  9. Density heterogeneity of the North American upper mantle from satellite gravity and a regional crustal model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herceg, Matija; Artemieva, Irina; Thybo, Hans


    -density conversion and (ii) uncertainties in knowledge of the crustal structure (thickness and average Vp velocities of individual crustal layers, including the sedimentary cover). In this study, we address both sources of possible uncertainties by applying different conversions from velocity to density...... and by introducing variations into the crustal structure which corresponds to the uncertainty of its resolution by highquality and low-quality seismic models. We examine the propagation of these uncertainties into determinations of lithospheric mantle density. Given a relatively small range of expected density...

  10. Oceanic-type accretion may begin before complete continental break-up (United States)

    Geoffroy, L.; Zalan, P. V.; Viana, A. R.


    Oceanic accretion is thought to be the process of oceanic crust (and lithosphere) edification through adiabatic melting of shallow convecting mantle at oceanic spreading ridges. It is usually considered as a post-breakup diagnostic process following continents rupturing. However, this is not always correct. The structure of volcanic passive margins (representing more than 50% of passive continental margins) outlines that the continental lithosphere is progressively changed into oceanic-type lithosphere during the stage of continental extension. This is clear at least, at crustal level. The continental crust is 'changed' from the earliest stages of extension into a typical -however thicker- oceanic crust with the typical oceanic magmatic layers (from top to bottom: lava flows/tuffs, sheeted dyke complexes, dominantly (sill-like) mafic intrusions in the lower crust). The Q-rich continental crust is highly extended and increases in volume (due to the magma) during the extensional process. At the continent-ocean transition there is, finally, no seismic difference between this highly transformed continental crust and the oceanic crust. Using a large range of data (including deep seismic reflection profiles), we discuss the mantle mechanisms that governs the process of mantle-assisted continental extension. We outline the large similarity between those mantle processes and those acting at purely-oceanic spreading axis and discuss the effects of the inherited continental lithosphere in the pattern of new mafic crust edification.

  11. Trophic model of the outer continental shelf and upper slope demersal community of the southeastern Brazilian Bight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela C. Nascimento


    Full Text Available It is increasingly recognized that demersal communities are important for the functioning of continental shelf and slope ecosystems around the world, including tropical regions. Demersal communities are most prominent in areas of high detritus production and transport, and they link benthic and pelagic biological communities. To understand the structure and role of the demersal community on the southeastern Brazilian Bight, we constructed a trophodynamic model with 37 functional groups to represent the demersal community of the outer continental shelf and upper slope of this area, using the Ecopath with Ecosim 6 (EwE approach and software. The model indicates high production and biomass of detritus and benthic invertebrates, and strong linkages of these components to demersal and pelagic sub-webs. The level of omnivory indexes in this ecosystem was high, forming a highly connected trophic web reminiscent of tropical land areas. Although high levels of ascendency may indicate resistance and resilience to disturbance, recent and present fisheries trends are probably degrading the biological community and related ecosystem services.

  12. Variation in Crustal Structure of the Lesser Caucasus Region from Teleseismic Receiver Functions (United States)

    Lin, C. M.; Tseng, T. L.; Huang, B. S.; Legendre, C. P.; Karakhanian, A.


    The Caucasus, including the mountains of Greater and Lesser Caucasus, is formed by the continental collision between Arabia and Eurasia. The crustal thickness for this region was mostly constrained by joint analysis of receiver functions and surface waves. Although the thickest value of 52 km was reported under the Lesser Caucasus, the resolution of earlier studies were often limited by sparse array. Large gradient across Moho also makes the definition of Moho difficult. Moreover, higher value of the Vp/Vs ratio is commonly reported in the northeastern Turkey but no estimates had been made for the Caucasus. To further investigate the detail structure around the Lesser Caucasus, we constructed a new seismic network in Georgia and Armenia. We also include other broadband stations to enhance the coverage. The average interval in the Lesser Caucasus is roughly 30 km, much denser than any previous experiments. We selected P-waveforms from teleseismic earthquakes during the operation (January 2012 - June 2016) to calculate receiver functions and then estimate the crustal thickness (H) and Vp/Vs ratio (k) with the H-k stacking technique. Our preliminary results show that Moho depth increases from 40 km under the northeastern Turkey to 50 km beneath northern Georgia, no station with Moho deeper than 50 km under the Lesser Caucasus. The Vp/Vs ratios in the northeastern Anatolian plateau are around 1.8, which is slightly higher than the average of global continents but consistent with the previous estimates. Further to the east, some stations show anomalously higher Vp/Vs ratio in central & southern Armenia that may be associated with Holocene volcanism. In the future, we plan to join locally measured dispersion curves to invert the velocity model without velocity-depth trade-off. We expect to resolve the velocity variations of the crust beneath this region in small scale that may be tied to the continental collision and surface volcanism. Keywords: Caucasus, receiver

  13. Sensitivity analysis of crustal correction and its error propagation to upper mantle residual gravity and density anomalies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herceg, Matija; Artemieva, Irina; Thybo, Hans


    ) uncertainties in the velocity-density conversion and (ii) uncertainties in knowledge of the crustal structure (thickness and average Vp velocities of individual crustal layers, including the sedimentary cover). In this study, we address both sources of possible uncertainties by applying different conversions...... from velocity to density and by introducing variations into the crustal structure which corresponds to the uncertainty of its resolution by high-quality and low-quality seismic models. We examine the propagation of these uncertainties into determinations of lithospheric mantle density. The residual...

  14. Crustal Deformation In the Northwestern Margin of the South China Sea: Results From Wide-angle Seismic Modeling (United States)

    Huang, H.; Klingelhoefer, F.


    The South China Sea (SCS) has undergone episodic spreading during the Cenozoic Era. The long-term extension has shaped the continental margins of the SCS, leading to a progressive breakup of the lithosphere. Separated blocks and rift troughs, as controlled by tectonic stretching, contains key information about the deforming mechanism of the crust. In this work, we present a P-wave velocity model of a wide-angle seismic profile OBS2013-1 which passes through the NW margin of the SCS. Modeling of 25 ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) data revealed a detailed crustal structure and shallow complexities along the profile (Figure 1). The crust thins symmetrically across the Xisha Trough, from more than 20 km on flanks to 10 km in the central valley where the sediments thickens over 5 km; A volcano is situated on top of the centre basement high where the Moho drops slightly. At the distal margin around the Zhongsha Trough, the upper crust was detached and accordingly made the middle crust exhumed in a narrow area ( 20 km wide). Meanwhile, materials from the lower crust rises asymmetrically, increasing the crustal velocity by 0.3 km/s and may also giving rise to volcanisms along the hanging side. A 40 km wide hyper-stretched crust (with thickness of 5 km) was identified next to the Zhongsha Trough and covered by overflowing magma and post-rift sediments on the top. These observations argue for a depth-related and asymmetrically extension of the crust, including (1) detachment fault controls the deformation of the upper crust, leading to exhumation of the middle crust and asymmetrically rising of the lower crust, (2) The region adjacent to the exhumation region and with highly thinned crust can be considered as extinct OCT due to magma-starved supplying.

  15. Crustal structure beneath Beijing and its surrounding regions derived from gravity data (United States)

    Jiang, Wenliang; Zhang, Jingfa; Lu, Xiaocui; Lu, Jing


    In this paper we use gravity data to study fine crustal structure and seismogenic environment beneath Beijing and its surrounding regions. Multi-scale wavelet analysis method is applied to separating gravity fields. Logarithmic power spectrum method is also used to calculate depth of gravity field source. The results show that the crustal structure is very complicated beneath Beijing and its surrounding areas. The crustal density exhibits laterally inhomogeneous. There are three large scale tectonic zones in North China, i.e., WNW-striking Zhangjiakou-Bohai tectonic zone (ZBTZ), NE-striking Taihang piedmont tectonic zone (TPTZ) and Cangxian tectonic zone (CTZ). ZBTZ and TPTZ intersect with each other beneath Beijing area and both of them cut through the lithosphere. The upper and middle crusts consist of many small-scale faults, uplifts and depressions. In the lower crust, these small-scale tectonic units disappear gradually, and they are replaced by large-scale tectonic units. In surrounding regions of Beijing, ZBTZ intersects with several other NE-striking tectonic units, such as Cangxian uplift, Jizhong depression and Shanxi Graben System (SGS). In west of Taihangshan uplift, gravity anomalies in upper and middle crusts are correlated with geological and topographic features on the surface. Compared with the crust, the structure is comparatively simple in uppermost mantle. Earthquakes mainly occurred in upper and middle crusts, especially in transitional regions between high gravity anomaly and low gravity anomaly. Occurrence of large earthquakes may be related to the upwelling of upper mantle and asthenosphere heat flow materials, such as Sanhe earthquake ( M S8.0) and Tangshan earthquake ( M S7.8).

  16. Crustal deformation mechanism in southeastern Tibetan Plateau: Insights from numerical modeling (United States)

    Li, Y.; Liu, S.; Chen, L.


    The Indo-Asian collision developed the complicated crustal deformation around the southeastern Tibetan plateau. Numerous models have proposed to explain the crustal deformation, but the mechanism remains controversial, especially the increasing multi-geophysics data, which demonstrate the existence of lower velocity, lower resistivity and high conductivity, implying that lower crustal flow is responsible for the crustal deformation, arguing for the lower crust flow model. To address the relations between the crust flow and the surface deformation, we employ a three-dimensional viscoelastic finite model to investigate the possible influence on the surface deformation, and discuss the stress field distribution under the model. Our preliminary results suggest that lower crustal flow plays an important role in crustal deformation in southeastern Tibetan plateau. The best fitting is achieved when the flow velocity of the lower crust is approximately 10-11 mm/a faster than that of the upper crust. Crustal rheological properties affect regional crustal deformation, when the viscosity of the middle and lower crust in the South China block reaches 1022 and 1023 Pa.s, respectively; the predicted match observations well, especially for the magnitude within the South China block. The maximum principal stress field exhibits clear zoning, gradually shifting from an approximately east-west orientation in the northern Bayan Har block to southeast in the South China block, southwest in the western Yunnan block, and a radially divergent distribution in the Middle Yunnan and Southern Yunnan blocks.

  17. Seismic crustal structure of the North China Craton and surrounding area: Synthesis and analysis (United States)

    Xia, B.; Thybo, H.; Artemieva, I. M.


    We present a new digital model (NCcrust) of the seismic crustal structure of the Neoarchean North China Craton (NCC) and its surrounding Paleozoic-Mesozoic orogenic belts (30°-45°N, 100°-130°E). All available seismic profiles, complemented by receiver function interpretations of crustal thickness, are used to constrain a new comprehensive crustal model NCcrust. The model, presented on a 0.25° × 0.25°grid, includes the Moho depth and the internal structure (thickness and velocity) of the crust specified for four layers (the sedimentary cover, upper, middle, and lower crust) and the Pn velocity in the uppermost mantle. The crust is thin (30-32 km) in the east, while the Moho depth in the western part of the NCC is 38-44 km. The Moho depth of the Sulu-Dabie-Qinling-Qilian orogenic belt ranges from 31 km to 51 km, with a general westward increase in crustal thickness. The sedimentary cover is 2-5 km thick in most of the region, and typical thicknesses of the upper crust, middle crust, and lower crust are 16-24 km, 6-24 km, and 0-6 km, respectively. We document a general trend of westward increase in the thickness of all crustal layers of the crystalline basement and as a consequence, the depth of the Moho. There is no systematic regional pattern in the average crustal Vp velocity and the Pn velocity. We examine correlation between the Moho depth and topography for seven tectonic provinces in the North China Craton and speculate on mechanisms of isostatic compensation.

  18. 3-D Numerical Modelling of Oblique Continental Collisions with ASPECT (United States)

    Karatun, L.; Pysklywec, R.


    Among the fundamental types of tectonic plate boundaries, continent-continent collision is least well understood. Deformation of the upper and middle crustal layers can be inferred from surface structures and geophysical imaging, but the fate of lower crustal rocks and mantle lithosphere is not well resolved. Previous research suggests that shortening of mantle lithosphere generally may be occurring by either: 1) a distributed thickening with a formation of a Raleigh-Tailor (RT) type instability (possibly accompanied with lithospheric folding); or 2) plate-like subduction, which can be one- or two-sided, with or without delamination and slab break-off; a combination of both could be taking place too. 3-D features of the orogens such as along-trench material transfer, bounding subduction zones can influence the evolution of the collision zone significantly. The current study was inspired by South Island of New Zealand - a young collision system where a block of continental crust is being shortened by the relative Australian-Pacific plate motion. The collision segment of the plate boundary is relatively small ( 800 km), and is bounded by oppositely verging subduction zones to the North and South. Here, we present results of 3-D forward numerical modelling of continental collision to investigate some of these processes. To conduct the simulations, we used ASPECT - a highly parallel community-developed code based on the Finite Element method. Model setup for three different sets of models featured 2-D vertical across strike, 3-D with periodic front and back walls, and 3-D with open front and back walls, with velocities prescribed on the left and right faces. We explored the importance of values of convergent velocity, strike-slip velocity and their ratio, which defines the resulting velocity direction relative to the plate boundary (obliquity). We found that higher strike-slip motion promotes strain localization, weakens the lithosphere close to the plate boundary and

  19. Lower crustal strength controls on melting and type of oceanization at magma-poor margins (United States)

    Ros, E.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Araujo, M. N.; Thoaldo Romeiro, M.; Andres-Martinez, M.; Morgan, J. P.


    Geodynamical models have been widely used to explain the variability in the architectonical style of conjugate rifted margins as a combination of lithospheric deformation modes, which are strongly influenced by lower crustal strength. We use 2D numerical models to show that the lower crustal strength also plays a key role on the onset and amount of melting and serpentinization during continental rifting. The relative timing between melting and serpentinization onsets controls whether the continent-ocean transition (COT) of margins will be predominantly magmatic or will mainly consist of exhumed and serpentinized mantle. Based on our results for magma-poor continental rifting, we propose a genetic link between margin architecture and COT styles that can be used as an additional tool to help interpret and understand the processes leading to margin formation. Our results show that strong lower crusts and very slow extension velocities (architecture of the magma-poor section of the South Atlantic, we suggest that the COT of the northern sector, Camamu-Gabon basins, is more likely to consist of exhumed mantle with intruded magmatism, while to the South, the Camamu-Kwanza and North Santos-South Kwanza conjugates, may be better characterized by a predominantly magmatic COT.

  20. Crustal structure in Tengchong Volcano-Geothermal Area, western Yunnan, China (United States)

    Wang, Chun-Yong; Huangfu, Gang


    Based upon the deep seismic sounding profiles carried out in the Tengchong Volcano-Geothermal Area (TVGA), western Yunnan Province of China, a 2-D crustal P velocity structure is obtained by use of finite-difference inversion and forward travel-time fitting method. The crustal model shows that a low-velocity anomaly zone exists in the upper crust, which is related to geothermal activity. Two faults, the Longling-Ruili Fault and Tengchong Fault, on the profile extend from surface to the lower crust and the Tengchong Fault likely penetrates the Moho. Moreover, based on teleseismic receiver functions on a temporary seismic network, S-wave velocity structures beneath the geothermal field show low S-wave velocity in the upper crust. From results of geophysical survey, the crust of TVGA is characterized by low P-wave and S-wave velocities, low resistivity, high heat-flow value and low Q. The upper mantle P-wave velocity is also low. This suggests presence of magma in the crust derived from the upper mantle. The low-velocity anomaly in upper crust may be related to the magma differentiation. The Tengchong volcanic area is located on the northeast edge of the Indian-Eurasian plate collision zone, away from the eastern boundary of the Indian plate by about 450 km. Based on the results of this paper and related studies, the Tengchong volcanoes can be classified as plate boundary volcanoes.

  1. The composition and structure of volcanic rifted continental margins in the North Atlantic: Further insight from shear waves (United States)

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


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

  2. The crust and upper mantle of central East Greenland - implications for continental accretion and rift evolution (United States)

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


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

  3. A deep crustal fluid channel into the San Andreas Fault system near Parkfield, California (United States)

    Becken, M.; Ritter, O.; Park, S.K.; Bedrosian, P.A.; Weckmann, U.; Weber, M.


    Magnetotelluric (MT) data from 66 sites along a 45-km-long profile across the San Andreas Fault (SAF) were inverted to obtain the 2-D electrical resistivity structure of the crust near the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD). The most intriguing feature of the resistivity model is a steeply dipping upper crustal high-conductivity zone flanking the seismically defined SAF to the NE, that widens into the lower crust and appears to be connected to a broad conductivity anomaly in the upper mantle. Hypothesis tests of the inversion model suggest that upper and lower crustal and upper-mantle anomalies may be interconnected. We speculate that the high conductivities are caused by fluids and may represent a deep-rooted channel for crustal and/or mantle fluid ascent. Based on the chemical analysis of well waters, it was previously suggested that fluids can enter the brittle regime of the SAF system from the lower crust and mantle. At high pressures, these fluids can contribute to fault-weakening at seismogenic depths. These geochemical studies predicted the existence of a deep fluid source and a permeable pathway through the crust. Our resistivity model images a conductive pathway, which penetrates the entire crust, in agreement with the geochemical interpretation. However, the resistivity model also shows that the upper crustal branch of the high-conductivity zone is located NE of the seismically defined SAF, suggesting that the SAF does not itself act as a major fluid pathway. This interpretation is supported by both, the location of the upper crustal high-conductivity zone and recent studies within the SAFOD main hole, which indicate that pore pressures within the core of the SAF zone are not anomalously high, that mantle-derived fluids are minor constituents to the fault-zone fluid composition and that both the volume of mantle fluids and the fluid pressure increase to the NE of the SAF. We further infer from the MT model that the resistive Salinian block

  4. Crustal thickness variations in the Zagros continental collision zone (Iran) from joint inversion of receiver functions and surface wave dispersion (United States)

    Tatar, M.; Nasrabadi, A.


    Variations in crustal thickness in the Zagros determined by joint inversion of P wave receiver functions (RFs) and Rayleigh wave group and phase velocity dispersion. The time domain iterative deconvolution procedure was employed to compute RFs from teleseismic recordings at seven broadband stations of INSN network. Rayleigh wave phase velocity dispersion curves were estimated employing two-station method. Fundamental mode Rayleigh wave group velocities for each station is taken from a regional scale surface wave tomographic imaging. The main variations in crustal thickness that we observe are between stations located in the Zagros fold and thrust belt with those located in the Sanandaj-Sirjan zone (SSZ) and Urumieh-Dokhtar magmatic assemblage (UDMA). Our results indicate that the average crustal thickness beneath the Zagros Mountain Range varies from ˜46 km in Western and Central Zagros beneath SHGR and GHIR up to ˜50 km beneath BNDS located in easternmost of the Zagros. Toward NE, we observe an increase in Moho depth where it reaches ˜58 km beneath SNGE located in the SSZ. Average crustal thickness also varies beneath the UDMA from ˜50 km in western parts below ASAO to ˜58 in central parts below NASN. The observed variation along the SSZ and UDMA may be associated to ongoing slab steepening or break off in the NW Zagros, comparing under thrusting of the Arabian plate beneath Central Zagros. The results show that in Central Iran, the crustal thickness decrease again to ˜47 km below KRBR. There is not a significant crustal thickness difference along the Zagros fold and thrust belt. We found the same crystalline crust of ˜34 km thick beneath the different parts of the Zagros fold and thrust belt. The similarity of crustal structure suggests that the crust of the Zagros fold and thrust belt was uniform before subsidence and deposition of the sediments. Our results confirm that the shortening of the western and eastern parts of the Zagros basement is small and

  5. Yellowstone-Snake River Plain seismic profilling experiment: Crustal structure of the eastern Snake River Plain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braile, L.W.; Smith, R.B.; Ansorge, J.; Baker, M.R.; Sparlin, M.A.; Prodehl, C.; Schilly, M.M.; Healy, J.H.; Mueller, S.; Olsen, K.H.


    Seismic refraction profiles recorded along the eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) in southeastern Idaho during the 1978 Yellowstone-Snake River Plain cooperative seismic profiling experiment are interpreted to infer the crustal velocity and attenuation (Q-1) structure of the ESRP. Travel-time and synthetic seismogram modeling of a 250 km reversed refraction profile as well as a 100 km detailed profile indicate that the crust of the ESRP is highly anomalous. Approximately 3 to 6 km of volcanic rocks (with some interbedded sediments) overlie an upper-crustal layer (compressional velocity approx. =6.1 km/s) which thins southwestward along the ESRP from a thickness of 10 km near Island Park Caldera to 2 to 3 km beneath the central and southwestern portions of the ESRP. An intermediate-velocity (approx. =6.5 km/s) layer extends from approx. =10 to approx. =20 km depth. a thick (approx. =22 km) lower crust of compressional velocity 6.8 km/s, a total crustall thickness of approx. =42 km, and a P/sub n/ velocity of approx. =7.9 km/s is observed in the ESRP, similar to the western Snake River Plain and the Rocky Mountains Provinces. High attenuation is evident on the amplitude corrected seismic data due to low-Q values in the volcanic rocks (Q/sub p/ = 20 to 200) and throughout the crust (Q/sub p/ = 160 to 300). Based on these characteristics of the crustal structure and volcanic-age progression data, it is suggested that the ESRP has resulted from an intensitive period of intrusion of mantle-derived basaltic magma into the upper crust generating explosive silicic volcanism and associated regional uplift and caldera collapse. This activity began about 15 m.y. ago in southwestern Idaho and has migrated northeast to its present position at Yellowstone. Subsequent cooling of the intruded upper crust results in the 6.5 km/s velocity intermediate layer. Crustal subsidence and periodic basaltic volcanism as represented by the ESRP complete the sequence of crustal evolution

  6. Crustal Structure and Evolution of the Eastern Himalayan Plate Boundary System, Northeast India (United States)

    Mitra, S.; Priestley, K. F.; Borah, Kajaljyoti; Gaur, V. K.


    We use data from 24 broadband seismographs located south of the Eastern Himalayan plate boundary system to investigate the crustal structure beneath Northeast India. P wave receiver function analysis reveals felsic continental crust beneath the Brahmaputra Valley, Shillong Plateau and Mikir Hills, and mafic thinned passive margin transitional crust (basement layer) beneath the Bengal Basin. Within the continental crust, the central Shillong Plateau and Mikir Hills have the thinnest crust (30 ± 2 km) with similar velocity structure, suggesting a unified origin and uplift history. North of the plateau and Mikir Hills the crustal thickness increases sharply by 8-10 km and is modeled by ˜30∘ north dipping Moho flexure. South of the plateau, across the ˜1 km topographic relief of the Dawki Fault, the crustal thickness increases abruptly by 12-13 km and is modeled by downfaulting of the plateau crust, overlain by 13-14 km thick sedimentary layer/rocks of the Bengal Basin. Farther south, beneath central Bengal Basin, the basement layer is thinner (20-22 km) and has higher Vs (˜4.1 km s-1) indicating a transitional crystalline crust, overlain by the thickest sedimentary layer/rocks (18-20 km). Our models suggest that the uplift of the Shillong Plateau occurred by thrust faulting on the reactivated Dawki Fault, a continent margin paleorift fault, and subsequent back thrusting on the south dipping Oldham Fault, in response to flexural loading of the Eastern Himalaya. Our estimated Dawki Fault offset combined with timing of surface uplift of the plateau reveals a reasonable match between long-term uplift and convergence rate across the Dawki Fault with present-day GPS velocities.

  7. 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.

  8. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous continental convergence and intracontinental orogenesis in East Asia: A synthesis of the Yanshan Revolution (United States)

    Dong, Shuwen; Zhang, Yueqiao; Zhang, Fuqin; Cui, Jianjun; Chen, Xuanhua; Zhang, Shuanhong; Miao, Laicheng; Li, Jianhua; Shi, Wei; Li, Zhenhong; Huang, Shiqi; Li, Hailong


    The basic tectonic framework of continental East Asia was produced by a series of nearly contemporaneous orogenic events in the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. Commonly, the Late Mesozoic orogenic processes were characterized by continent-continent collision, large-scale thrusting, strike-slip faulting and intense crustal shortening, crustal thickening, regional anatexis and metamorphism, followed by large-scale lithospheric extension, rifting and magmatism. To better understand the geological processes, this paper reviews and synthesizes existing multi-disciplinary geologic data related to sedimentation, tectonics, magmatism, metamorphism and geochemistry, and proposes a two-stage tectono-thermal evolutionary history of East Asia during the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (ca. 170-120 Ma). In the first stage, three orogenic belts along the continental margins were formed coevally at ca. 170-135 Ma, i.e., the north Mongol-Okhotsk orogen, the east paleo-Pacific coastal orogen, and the west Bangong-Nujiang orogen. Tectonism related to the coastal orogen caused extensive intracontinental folding and thrusting that resulted in a depositional hiatus in the Late Jurassic, as well as crustal anatexis that generated syn-kinematic granites, adakites and migmatites. The lithosphere of the East Asian continent was thickened, reaching a maximum during the latest Jurassic or the earliest Cretaceous. In the second stage (ca. 135-120 Ma), delamination of the thickened lithosphere resulted in a remarkable (>120 km) lithospheric thinning and the development of mantle-derived magmatism, mineralization, metamorphic core complexes and rift basins. The Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous subduction of oceanic plates (paleo-Pacific, meso-Tethys, and Mongol-Okhotsk) and continent-continent collision (e.g. Lhasa and Qiangtang) along the East Asian continental margins produced broad coastal and intracontinental orogens. These significant tectonic activities, marked by

  9. Using aerogravity and seismic data to model the bathymetry and upper crustal structure beneath the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica (United States)

    Muto, A.; Peters, L. E.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Alley, R. B.; Riverman, K. L.


    Recent estimates indicate that ice shelves along the Amundsen Sea coast in West Antarctica are losing substantial mass through sub-ice-shelf melting and contributing to the accelerating mass loss of the grounded ice buttressed by them. For Pine Island Glacier (PIG), relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water has been identified as the key driver of the sub-ice-shelf melting although poor constraints on PIG sub-ice shelf have restricted thorough understanding of these ice-ocean interactions. Aerogravity data from NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) have been useful in identifying large-scale (on the order of ten kilometers) features but the results have relatively large uncertainties due to the inherent non-uniqueness of the gravity inversion. Seismic methods offer the most direct means of providing water thickness and upper crustal geological constraints, but availability of such data sets over the PIG ice shelf has been limited due to logistical constraints. Here we present a comparative analysis of the bathymetry and upper crustal structure beneath the ice shelf of PIG through joint inversion of OIB aerogravity data and in situ active-source seismic measurements collected in the 2012-13 austral summer. Preliminary results indicate improved resolution of the ocean cavity, particularly in the interior and sides of the PIG ice shelf, and sedimentary drape across the region. Seismically derived variations in ice and ocean water densities are also applied to the gravity inversion to produce a more robust model of PIG sub-ice shelf structure, as opposed to commonly used single ice and water densities across the entire study region. Misfits between the seismically-constrained gravity inversion and that estimated previously from aerogravity alone provide insights on the sensitivity of gravity measurements to model perturbations and highlight the limitations of employing gravity data to model ice shelf environments when no other sub-ice constraints are available.

  10. Estimating susceptibility and magnetization within the Earth's continental crust: Petrophysical and Satellite approaches (United States)

    Purucker, M. E.; McEnroe, S. A.


    Magnetic models (Xchaos) made from Champ and Orsted data are used to place constraints on the average magnetic susceptibility and its variability in the continental crust. Estimates of magnetic crustal thickness are made in a two-step process. The first step uses a recent seismic model (Crust1.0) to estimate the thickness of crystalline crust above the Moho, modified in the Andes and the Himalayas to account for the non-magnetic lower crust there. The second step calculates the magnetic field expected from such a layer of crystalline rock assuming the magnetization is solely induced in the earth's main field by rock of constant magnetic susceptibility, and modifies the starting crustal thickness to bring it into agreement with the Xchaos model. This global model removes spherical harmonic degrees less than 15 to account for the core field mask. We restrict our attention to the continental crust, in particular to Australia, western North America, and Scandinavia. Petrophysical and petrological data from Scandinavian rocks that have been deep in the crust help place limits on susceptibility values. Our simulations use two susceptibilities, 0.02 and 0.04 SI. The mean crystalline crustal thickness from the seismic model is 42 and 37 km in western North America and Australia, respectively, and the modification with the magnetic data makes little change to the mean crustal thickness, irrespective of whether the susceptibility is 0.02 or 0.04 SI. However, the modification with the magnetic data does make a significant difference to the standard deviation of the crustal thickness, increasing it by a factor of two in the case of a susceptibility of 0.04, and by a factor of four in the case of a susceptibility of 0.02. The changes to the standard deviation of the crustal thickness are also evident in the Scandinavian data, but the mean crystalline crustal thickness of 45 km is significantly larger than that found from either magnetic model (33 and 30 km). The differences

  11. Holocene limestones of part of the western continental shelf of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nair, R.R.; Hashimi, N.H.; Guptha, M.V.S.

    , while those on te upper continental slope (130-180 m) are algal bryozoan limestones. The limestones have a radiocarbon age ranging between 9,000 and 11,000 years. Depositional environmental on the continental shelf during the Holocene appears...

  12. From a collage of microplates to stable continental crust - an example from Precambrian Europe (United States)

    Korja, Annakaisa


    Svecofennian orogen (2.0-1.7 Ga) comprises the oldest undispersed orogenic belt on Baltica and Eurasian plate. Svecofennian orogenic belt evolved from a series of short-lived terrane accretions around Baltica's Archean nucleus during the formation of the Precambrian Nuna supercontinent. Geological and geophysical datasets indicate W-SW growth of Baltica with NE-ward dipping subduction zones. The data suggest a long-lived retreating subduction system in the southwestern parts whereas in the northern and central parts the northeasterly transport of continental fragments or microplates towards the continental nucleus is also documented. The geotectonic environment resembles that of the early stages of the Alpine-Himalayan or Indonesian orogenic system, in which dispersed continental fragments, arcs and microplates have been attached to the Eurasian plate margin. Thus the Svecofennian orogeny can be viewed as proxy for the initial stages of an internal orogenic system. Svecofennian orogeny is a Paleoproterozoic analogue of an evolved orogenic system where terrane accretion is followed by lateral spreading or collapse induced by change in the plate architecture. The exposed parts are composed of granitoid intrusions as well as highly deformed supracrustal units. Supracrustal rocks have been metamorphosed in LP-HT conditions in either paleo-lower-upper crust or paleo-upper-middle crust. Large scale seismic reflection profiles (BABEL and FIRE) across Baltica image the crust as a collage of terranes suggesting that the bedrock has been formed and thickened in sequential accretions. The profiles also image three fold layering of the thickened crust (>55 km) to transect old terrane boundaries, suggesting that the over-thickened bedrock structures have been rearranged in post-collisional spreading and/or collapse processes. The middle crust displays typical large scale flow structures: herringbone and anticlinal ramps, rooted onto large scale listric surfaces also suggestive

  13. The nature of Mesoarchaean seawater and continental weathering in 2.85 Ga banded iron formation, Slave craton, NW Canada (United States)

    Haugaard, Rasmus; Ootes, Luke; Creaser, Robert A.; Konhauser, Kurt O.


    Banded iron formations (BIF) have been extensively used as proxies to infer the chemical composition of ancient bulk seawater. However, their proximity to ancient crust suggests that they might also be used to reveal the composition of emergent continental landmass at the time of their deposition. Here we use the combination of geochemistry and Sm-Nd isotopes on a layer-by-layer basis to interpret the relative contributions of hydrothermal, hydrogenous and terrestrial input to one of the oldest documented Superior-type BIF in the world. The ∼2.85 Ga Central Slave Cover Group BIF is deposited within a rift basin related to a continental margin and is found associated with basement gneisses, as well as shoreline and shallow-shelf type facies, such as fuchsitic quartzite and pebble-to-cobble conglomerate, that confirm a near-shore depositional setting for the BIF. The BIF ranges from a pure chemical oxide (magnetite)-silicate (grunerite + actinolite) sediment with low Al2O3 (aged BIF. High-resolution geochemistry shows that there is more silica (19.4 wt.% SiO2) in the iron bands than iron (8.7 wt.% Fe2O3) in the silica bands, implying that dissolved Fe2+ came to the BIF site in pulses and that silica likely represents background deposition. Consistently radiogenic εNd(t) values for the iron bands (average +1.7) show that the dissolved REY in the source water during ferric iron precipitation was provided by submarine hydrothermal fluids with relatively uniform 143Nd/144Nd. The silica bands, by contrast, reveal high variation in seawater 143Nd/144Nd as evident from the bimodal εNd(t) distribution with one segment exhibiting negative εNd(t) values averaging -1.1 and another with positive εNd(t) values averaging +2.5. This suggests input of dissolved REY into the upper seawater from weathering of isotopically different crustal components in the source region. Collectively, we speculate that the low REY in the upper seawater and the overall low Ni content implies a

  14. Crustal nature and origin of the Russian Altai: Implications for the continental evolution and growth of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) (United States)

    Cai, Keda; Sun, Min; Buslov, M. M.; Jahn, Bor-ming; Xiao, Wenjiao; Long, Xiaoping; Chen, Huayong; Wan, Bo; Chen, Ming; Rubanova, E. S.; Kulikova, A. V.; Voytishek, E. E.


    The Central Asian Orogenic Belt is a gigantic tectonic collage of numerous accreted terranes. However, its geodynamic evolution has been hotly debated primarily due to incomplete knowledge on the nature of these enigmatic terranes. This work presents new detrital zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopic data to constrain the crustal nature and origin of the Russian Altai, a critical segment of Altai-Mongolian terrane. The youngest zircon 206Pb/238U ages of 470 Ma constrain that the Terekta Formation, previously envisaged as Precambrian basement, was actually deposited after the Middle Ordovician. As for the three more sedimentary sequences above the Terekta Formation, they have youngest zircon 206Pb/238U ages of 425 Ma, 440 Ma and 380 Ma, respectively, indicating their depositions likely in the Late Silurian to Devonian. From all analyses, it is noted that many zircon U-Pb ages cluster at ca. 520 Ma and ca. 800 Ma, and these zircons display oscillatory zoning and have subhedral to euhedral morphology, which, collectively, suggests that adjacent Neoproterozoic to Paleozoic igneous rocks were possibly dominant in the sedimentary provenance. Additionally, a few rounded Archean to Mesoproterozoic zircon grains are characterized by complex texture, which are interpreted as recycling materials probably derived from the Tuva-Mongolian microcontinent. Precambrian rocks have not been identified in the Russian Altai, Chinese Altai and Mongolian Altai so far, therefore, Precambrian basement may not exist in the Altai-Mongolian terrane, but this terrane probably represents a large subduction-accretion complex built on the margin of the Tuva-Mongolian microcontinent in the Early Paleozoic. Multiple episodes of ridge-trench interaction may have caused inputs of mantle-derived magmas to trigger partial melting of the newly accreted crustal materials, which contributed to the accretionary complex. During accretionary orogenesis of the CAOB, formation of such subduction-accretion complex is

  15. The T-Reflection and the deep crustal structure of the Vøring Margin offshore Mid-Norway (United States)

    Abdelmalak, M. M.; Faleide, J. I.; Planke, S.; Gernigon, L.; Zastrozhnov, D.; Shephard, G. E.; Myklebust, R.


    Volcanic passive margins are characterized by massive occurrence of mafic extrusive and intrusive rocks, before and during plate breakup, playing major role in determining the evolution pattern and the deep structure of magma-rich margins. Deep seismic reflection data frequently provide imaging of strong continuous reflections in the middle/lower crust. In this context, we have completed a detailed 2D seismic interpretation of the deep crustal structure of the Vøring volcanic margin, offshore mid-Norway, where high-quality seismic data allow the identification of high-amplitude reflections, locally referred to as the T-Reflection (TR). Using the dense seismic grid we have mapped the top of the TR in order to compare it with filtered Bouguer gravity anomalies and seismic refraction data. The TR is identified between 7 and 10 s. Sometimes it consists of one single smooth reflection. However, it is frequently associated with a set of rough multiple reflections displaying discontinuous segments with varying geometries, amplitude and contact relationships. The TR seems to be connected to deep sill networks and locally located at the continuation of basement high structures or terminates over fractures and faults. The spatial correlation between the filtered positive Bouguer gravity anomalies and the TR indicates that the latter represents a high impedance boundary contrast associated with a high-density/velocity body. Within an uncertainty of ± 2.5 km, the depth of the mapped TR is found to correspond to the depth of the top of the Lower Crustal Body (LCB), characterized by high P-wave velocities (>7 km/s), in 50% of the outer Vøring Margin areas, whereas different depths between the TR and the top LCB are estimated for the remaining areas. We present a tectonic scenario, where a large part of the deep structure could be composed of preserved upper continental basement and middle to lower crustal lenses of inherited and intruded high-grade metamorphic rocks. Deep

  16. Sm-Nd study of Precambrian crustal development in the Prieska-Copperton region, Cape Province

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cornell, D.H.; Hawkesworth, C.J.; Van Calsteren, P.; Scott, W.D.


    Samples representing the major lithological units between Copperton and Prieskapoort in the Cape Province have been analysed for Sm and Nd concentrations and Nd isotopic compositions. The ∼ 3000 Ma Marydale Group is shown to extend without major chronostratigraphic breaks from slightly metamorphosed basalt and arkose west of the Doornberg Fault at Prieskapoort to highly metamorphosed gneisses east of the Brakbos Fault at Copperton. Evidence is found of plutonic alkaline igneous activity, and possibly volcanism, which occurred during the ∼ 1 900 Ma Kheis tectogenesis. Early Proterozoic material apparently dominates the lower crustal region of the eastern Namaqua Province sampled by kimberlites. Sm-Nd data for the Copperton Formation of the Namaqua Province places an upper limit of ∼ 1 514 Ma and lower limit of ∼ 1 350 Ma on its origin. Omission of basaltic samples from the isochron regression yields the younger age, which is more easily reconciled with Pb isotope data. Volcanism is envisaged from a mantle source with a history of light rare-earth depletion relative to the chondritic earth model. By analogy with modern tectonic environments, the Copperton Formation probably formed in an active continental margin or island arc environment

  17. How Deep is Shallow? Improving Absolute and Relative Locations of Upper Crustal Seismicity in Switzerland (United States)

    Diehl, T.; Kissling, E. H.; Singer, J.; Lee, T.; Clinton, J. F.; Waldhauser, F.; Wiemer, S.


    Information on the structure of upper-crustal fault systems and their connection with seismicity is key to the understanding of neotectonic processes. Precisely determined focal depths in combination with structural models can provide important insight into deformation styles of the upper crust (e.g. thin- vs. versus thick-skinned tectonics). Detailed images of seismogenic fault zones in the upper crust, on the other hand, will contribute to the assessment of the hazard related to natural and induced earthquakes, especially in regions targeted for radioactive waste repositories or geothermal energy production. The complex velocity structure of the uppermost crust and unfavorable network geometries, however, often hamper precise locations (i.e. focal depth) of shallow seismicity and therefore limit tectonic interpretations. In this study we present a new high-precision catalog of absolute locations of seismicity in Switzerland. High-quality travel-time data from local and regional earthquakes in the period 2000-2017 are used to solve the coupled hypocenter-velocity structure problem in 1D. For this purpose, the well-known VELEST inversion software was revised and extended to improve the quality assessment of travel-time data and to facilitate the identification of erroneous picks in the bulletin data. Results from the 1D inversion are used as initial parameters for a 3D local earthquake tomography. Well-studied earthquakes and high-quality quarry blasts are used to assess the quality of 1D and 3D relocations. In combination with information available from various controlled-source experiments, borehole data, and geological profiles, focal depths and associated host formations are assessed through comparison with the resolved 3D velocity structure. The new absolute locations and velocity models are used as initial values for relative double-difference relocation of earthquakes in Switzerland. Differential times are calculated from bulletin picks and waveform cross

  18. Upper-Mantel Earthquakes in the Australia-Pacific Plate Boundary Zone and the Roots of the Alpine Fault (United States)

    Boese, C. M.; Warren-Smith, E.; Townend, J.; Stern, T. A.; Lamb, S. H.


    Seismicity in the upper mantle in continental collision zones is relatively rare, but observed around the world. Temporary seismometer deployments have repeatedly detected mantle earthquakes at depths of 40-100 km within the Australia-Pacific plate boundary zone beneath the South Island of New Zealand. Here, the transpressive Alpine Fault constitutes the primary plate boundary structure linking subduction zones of opposite polarity farther north and south. The Southern Alps Microearthquake Borehole Array (SAMBA) has been operating continuously since November 2008 along a 50 km-long section of the central Alpine Fault, where the rate of uplift of the Southern Alps is highest. To date it has detected more than 40 small to moderate-sized mantle events (1≤ML≤3.9). The Central Otago Seismic Array (COSA) has been in operation since late 2012 and detected 15 upper mantle events along the sub-vertical southern Alpine Fault. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the occurrence of upper mantle seismicity in the South Island, including intra-continental subduction (Reyners 1987, Geology); high shear-strain gradients due to depressed geotherms and viscous deformation of mantle lithosphere (Kohler and Eberhart-Phillips 2003, BSSA); high strain rates resulting from plate bending (Boese et al. 2013, EPSL), and underthrusting of the Australian plate (Lamb et al. 2015, G3). Focal mechanism analysis reveals a variety of mechanisms for the upper mantle events but predominantly strike-slip and reverse faulting. In this study, we apply spectral analysis to better constrain source parameters for these mantle events. These results are interpreted in conjunction with new information about crustal structure and low-frequency earthquakes near the Moho and in light of existing velocity, attenuation and resistivity models.

  19. Detailed crustal structure of the North China and its implication for seismicity (United States)

    Jiang, Wenliang; Wang, Xin; Tian, Tian; Zhang, Jingfa; Wang, Donglei


    Since the Mesozoic-Cenozoic era the North China Craton has experienced an important tectonic transition and it has given rise to complicated crustal structure and strong earthquake activity. Based on the large-scale surface gravity data, we studied the detailed crustal structure and seismogenic mechanism of the North China. The results indicate that the North China presents typical characteristics of adjoining depression and uplift, alternating basins and hills, inhomogeneous density and also great differences in crustal structure and Moho topography. The upper and middle crustal structures are dominated by the NNE-striking tectonic units, with many faults cut down to the middle crust. The lower crust is characterized by the folding-structure, with high and low-density placed alternately from west to east, presenting lateral heterogeneous feature. Adjusted by the gravity isostasy, Moho topography of the North China fluctuates greatly. Compared with the North China Basin, crustal thickness in the Western Taihang, northern Yanshan and Luzhong areas are much thicker while those densities are lower than the North China Basin. The dominating tectonic direction of the Moho topography strikes NE to NNE and undulates alternately from west to east. The epicenters are mostly concentrated in the upper and middle crust, especially the transitional areas between the high and low-gravity anomalies. The Tancheng earthquake in 1668, Sanhe earthquake in 1673, Tangshan earthquake in 1976, and all other seismic tectonic zones of the North China are all distributed in area where magma moves strongly beneath the crust, which is considered to be related to the movement of the high density, unstable and heat flows along the deep passage from the uppermost and asthenosphere due to the subduction of the Pacific slab towards the Eurasian plate.

  20. a Baseline for Upper Crustal Velocity Variations Along the East Pacific Rise (United States)

    Kappus, Mary Elizabeth

    Seismic measurements of the oceanic crust and theoretical models of its generation at mid-ocean ridges suggest several systematic variations in upper crustal velocity structure, but without constraints on the inherent variation in newly-formed crust these suggestions remain tentative. The Wide Aperture Profiles (WAPs) which form the database for this study have sufficient horizontal extent and resolution in the upper crust to establish a zero-age baseline. After assessing the adequacy of amplitude preservation in several tau - p transform methods we make a precise estimate of the velocity at the top of the crust from analysis of amplitudes in the tau - p domain. Along a 52-km segment we find less than 5% variation from 2.45 km/s. Velocity models of the uppermost crust are constructed using waveform inversion for both reflection and refraction arrivals. This method exploits the high quality of both primary and secondary phases and provides an objective process for iteratively improving trial models and for measuring misfit. The resulting models show remarkable homogeneity: on-axis variation is 5% or less within layers 2A and 2B, increasing to 10% at the sharp 2A/2B boundary. The extrusive volcanic layer is only 130 m thick along-axis and corresponds to the triangular -shaped neovolcanic zone. From this we infer that the sheeted dikes feeding the extrusive layer 2A come up to very shallow depths on axis. Along axis, a fourth-order deviation from axial linearity identified geochemically is observed as a small increase in thickness of the extrusive layer. Off -axis, the velocity increases only slightly to 2.49 km/s, while the thickness of the extrusives increases to 217 km and the variability in both parameters increases with distance from the ridge axis. In a separate section we present the first published analysis of seismic records of thunder. We calculate multi -taper spectra to determine the peak energy in the lightning bolt and apply time-dependent polarization

  1. Crustal heterogeneity and seismotectonics of the region around Beijing, China (United States)

    Huang, Jinli; Zhao, Dapeng


    A detailed three-dimensional (3-D) P-wave velocity model of the crust and uppermost mantle under the Chinese capital (Beijing) region is determined with a spatial resolution of 25 km in the horizontal direction and 4-17 km in depth. We used 48,750 precise P-wave arrival times from 2973 events of local crustal earthquakes, controlled seismic explosions and quarry blasts. These events were recorded by a new digital seismic network consisting of 101 seismic stations equipped with high-sensitivity seismometers. The data are analyzed by using a 3-D seismic tomography method. Our tomographic model provides new insights into the geological structure and tectonics of the region, such as the lithological variations and large fault zones across the major geological terranes like the North China Basin, the Taihangshan and the Yanshan mountainous areas. The velocity images of the upper crust reflect well the surface geological and topographic features. In the North China Basin, the depression and uplift areas are imaged as slow and fast velocities, respectively. The Taihangshan and Yanshan mountainous regions are generally imaged as broad high-velocity zones, while the Quaternary intermountain basins show up as small low-velocity anomalies. Velocity changes are visible across some of the large fault zones. Large crustal earthquakes, such as the 1976 Tangshan earthquake ( M=7.8) and the 1679 Sanhe earthquake ( M=8.0), generally occurred in high-velocity areas in the upper to middle crust. In the lower crust to the uppermost mantle under the source zones of the large earthquakes, however, low-velocity and high-conductivity anomalies exist, which are considered to be associated with fluids. The fluids in the lower crust may cause the weakening of the seismogenic layer in the upper and middle crust and thus contribute to the initiation of the large crustal earthquakes.

  2. 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.

  3. Initiation of extension in South China continental margin during the active-passive margin transition: kinematic and thermochronological constraints (United States)

    ZUO, Xuran; CHAN, Lung


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

  4. Shear wave splitting and crustal anisotropy in the Eastern Ladakh-Karakoram zone, northwest Himalaya (United States)

    Paul, Arpita; Hazarika, Devajit; Wadhawan, Monika


    Seismic anisotropy of the crust beneath the eastern Ladakh-Karakoram zone has been studied by shear wave splitting analysis of S-waves of local earthquakes and P-to-S or Ps converted phases originated at the crust-mantle boundary. The splitting parameters (Φ and δt), derived from S-wave of local earthquakes with shallow focal depths, reveal complex nature of anisotropy with NW-SE and NE oriented Fast Polarization directions (FPD) in the upper ∼22 km of the crust. The observed anisotropy in the upper crust may be attributed to combined effects of existing tectonic features as well as regional tectonic stress. The maximum delay time of fast and slow waves in the upper crust is ∼0.3 s. The Ps splitting analysis shows more consistent FPDs compared to S-wave splitting. The FPDs are parallel or sub parallel to the Karakoram fault (KF) and other NW-SE trending tectonic features existing in the region. The strength of anisotropy estimated for the whole crust is higher (maximum delay time δt: 0.75 s) in comparison to the upper crust. This indicates that the dominant source of anisotropy in the trans-Himalayan crust is confined within the middle and lower crustal depths. The predominant NW-SE trending FPDs consistently observed in the upper crust as well as in the middle and lower crust near the KF zone support the fact that the KF is a crustal-scale fault which extends at least up to the lower crust. Dextral shearing of the KF creates shear fabric and preferential alignment of mineral grains along the strike of the fault, resulting in the observed FPDs. A Similar observation in the Indus Suture Zone (ISZ) also suggests crustal scale deformation owing to the India-Asia collision.

  5. The effects of thick sediment upon continental breakup: seismic imaging and thermal modeling of the Salton Trough, southern California (United States)

    Han, L.; Hole, J. A.; Lowell, R. P.; Stock, J. M.; Fuis, G. S.; Driscoll, N. W.; Kell, A. M.; Kent, G. M.; Harding, A. J.; Gonzalez-Fernandez, A.; Lázaro-Mancilla, O.


    Continental rifting ultimately creates a deep accommodation space for sediment. When a major river flows into a late-stage rift, thick deltaic sediment can change the thermal regime and alter the mechanisms of extension and continental breakup. The Salton Trough, the northernmost rift segment of the Gulf of California plate boundary, has experienced the same extension as the rest of the Gulf, but is filled to sea level by sediment from the Colorado River. Unlike the southern Gulf, seafloor spreading has not initiated. Instead, seismicity, high heat flow, and minor volcanoes attest to ongoing rifting of thin, transitional crust. Recently acquired controlled-source seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection data in the Salton Trough provide constraints upon crustal architecture and active rift processes. The crust in the central Salton Trough is only 17-18 km thick, with a strongly layered but relatively one-dimensional structure for ~100 km in the direction of plate motion. The upper crust includes 2-4 km of Colorado River sediment. Crystalline rock below the sediment is interpreted to be similar sediment metamorphosed by the high heat flow and geothermal activity. Meta-sediment extends to at least 9 km depth. A 4-5 km thick layer in the middle crust is either additional meta-sediment or stretched pre-existing continental crust. The lowermost 4-5 km of the crust is rift-related mafic magmatic intrusion or underplating from partial melting in the hot upper mantle. North American lithosphere in the Salton Trough has been almost or completely rifted apart. The gap has been filled by ~100 km of new transitional crust created by magmatism from below and sedimentation from above. These processes create strong lithologic, thermal, and rheologic layering. While heat flow in the rift is very high, rapid sedimentation cools the upper crust as compared to a linear geotherm. Brittle extension occurs within new meta-sedimentary rock. The lower crust, in comparison, is

  6. Recent crustal movements (United States)

    Maelzer, H.

    Calculation of temporal height changes for the determination of recent vertical crustal movements in northern, western, and southern Germany is described. Precise geodetic measurements and their analysis for the determination of recent crustal movements in north-eastern Iceland, western Venezuela, and central Peru are described. Determination of recent vertical crustal movements by leveling and gravity data; geodetic modeling of deformations and recent crustal movements; geodetic modeling of plate motions; and instrumental developments in geodetic measuring are discussed.

  7. Lateral variation in upper mantle temperature and composition beneath mid-ocean ridges inferred from shear-wave propagation, geoid, and bathymetry. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Sheehan, Anne Francis


    Resolution of both the extent and mechanism of lateral heterogeneity in the upper mantle constraints the nature and scales of mantle convection. Oceanic regions are of particular interest as they are likely to provide the closest glimpse at the patterns of temperature anomalies and convective flow in the upper mantle because of their young age and simple crustal structure relative to continental regions. Lateral variations were determined in the seismic velocity and attenuation structure of the lithosphere and astenosphere beneath the oceans, and these seismological observations were combined with the data and theory of geoid and bathymetry anomalies in order to test and improve current models for seafloor spreading and mantle convection. Variations were determined in mantle properties on a scale of about 1000 km, comparable to the thickness of the upper mantle. Seismic velocity, geoid, and bathymetry anomalies are all sensitive to variations in upper mantle density, and inversions were formulated to combine quantitatively these different data and to search for a common origin. Variations in mantle density can be either of thermal or compositional origin and are related to mantle convection or differentiation.

  8. Crustal balance and crustal flux from shortening estimates in the Central Andes (United States)

    Hindle, David; Kley, Jonas; Oncken, Onno; Sobolev, Stephan


    The Central Andes of South America form the second largest high elevation plateau on earth. Extreme elevations have formed on a noncollisional margin with abundant associated arc magmatism. It has long been thought that the crustal thickness necessary to support Andean topography was not accounted for by known crustal shortening alone. We show that this may in part be due to a two-dimensional treatment of the problem. A three-dimensional analysis of crustal shortening and crustal thickness shows that displacement of material towards the axis of the bend in the Central Andes has added a significant volume of crust not accounted for in previous comparisons. We find that present-day crustal thickness between 12°S and 25°S is accounted for (∼-10% to ∼+3%)with the same shortening estimates, and the same assumed initial crustal thickness as had previously led to the conclusion of a ∼25-35% deficit in shortening relative to volume of crustal material. We suggest that the present-day measured crustal thickness distribution may not match that predicted due to shortening, and substantial redistribution of crust may have occurred by both erosion and deposition at the surface and lower crustal flow in regions of the thermally weakened middle and lower crust.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, K.S.

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

  10. Implications of Nb/U, Th/U and Sm/Nd in plume magmas for the relationship between continental and oceanic crust formation and the development of the depleted mantle (United States)

    Campbell, Ian H.


    The Nb/U and Th/U of the primitive mantle are 34 and 4.04 respectively, which compare with 9.7 and 3.96 for the continental crust. Extraction of continental crust from the mantle therefore has a profound influence on its Nb/U but little influence on its Th/U. Conversely, extraction of midocean ridge-type basalts lowers the Th/U of the mantle residue but has little influence on its Nb/U. As a consequence, variations in Th/U and Nb/U with Sm/Nd can be used to evaluate the relative importance of continental and basaltic crust extraction in the formation of the depleted (Sm/Nd enriched) mantle reservoir. This study evaluates Nb/U, Th/U, and Sm/Nd variations in suites of komatiites, picrites, and their associated basalts, of various ages, to determine whether basalt and/or continental crust have been extracted from their source region. Emphasis is placed on komatiites and picrites because they formed at high degrees of partial melting and are expected to have Nb/U, Th/U, and Sm/Nd that are essentially the same as the mantle that melted to produce them. The results show that all of the studied suites, with the exception of the Barberton, have had both continental crust and basaltic crust extracted from their mantle source region. The high Sm/Nd of the Gorgona and Munro komatiites require the elevated ratios seen in these suites to be due primarily to extraction of basaltic crust from their source regions, whereas basaltic and continental crust extraction are of subequal importance in the source regions of the Yilgarn and Belingwe komatiites. The Sm/Nd of modern midocean ridge basalts lies above the crustal extraction curve on a plot of Sm/Nd against Nb/U, which requires the upper mantle to have had both basaltic and continental crust extracted from it. It is suggested that the extraction of the basaltic reservoir from the mantle occurs at midocean ridges and that the basaltic crust, together with its complementary depleted mantle residue, is subducted to the core

  11. Crustal and uppermost mantle structure and deformation in east-central China (United States)

    Li, H.; Yang, X.; Ouyang, L.; Li, J.


    We conduct a non-linear joint inversion of receiver functions and Rayleigh wave dispersions to obtain the crustal and upper mantle velocity structure in east-central China. In the meanwhile, the lithosphere and upper mantle deformation beneath east-central China is also evaluated with teleseismic shear wave splitting measurements. The resulting velocity model reveals that to the east of the North-South Gravity Lineament, the crust and the lithosphere are significantly thinned. Furthermore, three extensive crustal/lithospheric thinning sub-regions are clearly identified within the study area. This indicates that the modification of the crust and lithosphere in central-eastern China is non-uniform due to the heterogeneity of the lithospheric strength. Extensive crustal and lithospheric thinning could occur in some weak zones such as the basin-range junction belts and large faults. The structure beneath the Dabie orogenic belt is complex due to the collision between the North and South China Blocks during the Late Paleozoic-Triassic. The Dabie orogenic belt is generally delineated by a thick crust with a mid-crust low-velocity zone and a two-directional convergence in the lithospheric scale. Obvious velocity contrast exhibits in the crust and upper mantle at both sides of the Tanlu fault, which suggests the deep penetration of this lithospheric-scale fault. Most of our splitting measurements show nearly E-W trending fast polarization direction which is slightly deviating from the direction of plate motion. The similar present-day lithosphere structure and upper mantle deformation may imply that the eastern NCC and the eastern SCB were dominated by a common dynamic process after late Mesozoic, i.e., the westward subduction of Pacific plate and the retreat of the subduction plate. The westward subduction of the Philippine plate and the long-range effects of the collision between the Indian plate and Eurasia plate during Cenozoic may have also contributed to the present

  12. Variation in the crustal structure across central Iceland (United States)

    Du, Zhijun; Foulger, G. R.


    We determine the crustal structures beneath 12 broad-band seismic stations deployed in a swath across central Iceland along and around the ICEMELT explosion seismic profile by combining teleseismic receiver functions, surface wave dispersion curves and the waveforms of a large, local event in Iceland. By using teleseisms that approach from different backazimuths, we study lateral structural variability out of the line of the ICEMELT profile. Beneath Tertiary areas, the thickness of the upper crust, as defined by the 6.5kms-1 velocity horizon, is ~8km and the depth to the base of the lower crust, as defined by the 7.2kms-1 velocity horizon, is ~29-32km. Beneath the currently active rift zone the upper crust thins to ~6.0km and the depth to the base of the lower crust increases to ~35-40km. A substantial low-velocity zone underlies the Middle Volcanic Zone in the lower crust, which may indicate anomalously high geothermal gradients there. This suggests that the large-scale thermal centre of the hotspot may be more westerly than northwest Vatnajokull, where it is generally assumed to lie. Simplified description of the results notwithstanding, there is substantial variability in the overall style of crustal structure throughout Iceland, and a clear, tripartite division into upper and lower crusts and a sharp Moho is poorly supported by many of our results. The nature, distinctiveness and continuity of the Moho is variable and in many areas the crust-mantle transition is a zone with enhanced velocity gradients several kilometres thick.

  13. Permo-Carboniferous volcanism in late Variscan continental basins of the Bohemian Massif (Czech Republic): geochemical characteristic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ulrych, Jaromír; Pešek, J.; Štěpánková-Svobodová, Jana; Bosák, Pavel; Lloyd, F. E.; Seckendorff, von, V.; Lang, Miloš; Novák, Jiří Karel


    Roč. 66, č. 1 (2006), s. 37-56 ISSN 0009-2819 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA3013903 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Permo-Carboniferous * volcanics * continental basin * Bohemian Massif * underplating * crustal anatexis * Sr-Nd isotopes Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.824, year: 2006

  14. Continental lithosphere of the Arabian Plate: A geologic, petrologic, and geophysical synthesis (United States)

    Stern, Robert J.; Johnson, Peter


    The Arabian Plate originated ˜ 25 Ma ago by rifting of NE Africa to form the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. It is one of the smaller and younger of the Earth's lithospheric plates. The upper part of its crust consists of crystalline Precambrian basement, Phanerozoic sedimentary cover as much as 10 km thick, and Cenozoic flood basalt (harrat). The distribution of these rocks and variations in elevation across the Plate cause a pronounced geologic and topographic asymmetry, with extensive basement exposures (the Arabian Shield) and elevations of as much as 3000 m in the west, and a Phanerozoic succession (Arabian Platform) that thickens, and a surface that descends to sea level, eastward between the Shield and the northeastern margin of the Plate. This tilt in the Plate is partly the result of marginal uplift during rifting in the south and west, and loading during collision with, and subduction beneath, the Eurasian Plate in the northeast. But a variety of evidence suggests that the asymmetry also reflects a fundamental crustal and mantle heterogeneity in the Plate that dates from Neoproterozoic time when the crust formed. The bulk of the Plate's upper crystalline crust is Neoproterozoic in age (1000-540 Ma) reflecting, in the west, a 300-million year process of continental crustal growth between ˜ 850 and 550 Ma represented by amalgamated juvenile magmatic arcs, post-amalgamation sedimentary and volcanic basins, and granitoid intrusions that make up as much as 50% of the Shield's surface. Locally, Archean and Paleoproterozoic rocks are structurally intercalated with the juvenile Neoproterozoic rocks in the southern and eastern parts of the Shield. The geologic dataset for the age, composition, and origin of the upper crust of the Plate in the east is smaller than the database for the Shield, and conclusions made about the crust in the east are correspondingly less definitive. In the absence of exposures, furthermore, nothing is known by direct observation about the

  15. Compositional stratigraphy of crustal material from near-infrared spectra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pieters, C.M.


    An Earth-based telescopic program to acquire near-infrared spectra of freshly exposed lunar material now contains data for 17 large impact craters with central peaks. Noritic, gabbroic, anorthositic and troctolitic rock types can be distinguished for areas within these large craters from characteristic absorptions in individual spectra of their walls and central peaks. Norites dominate the upper lunar crust while the deeper crustal zones also contain significant amounts of gabbros and anorthosites. Data for material associated with large craters indicate that not only is the lunar crust highly heterogeneous across the nearside, but that the compositional stratigraphy of the lunar crust is nonuniform. Crustal complexity should be expected for other planetary bodies, which should be studied using high spatial and spectral resolution data in and around large impact craters

  16. Compositional stratigraphy of crustal material from near-infrared spectra (United States)

    Pieters, Carle M.


    An Earth-based telescopic program to acquire near-infrared spectra of freshly exposed lunar material now contains data for 17 large impact craters with central peaks. Noritic, gabbroic, anorthositic and troctolitic rock types can be distinguished for areas within these large craters from characteristic absorptions in individual spectra of their walls and central peaks. Norites dominate the upper lunar crust while the deeper crustal zones also contain significant amounts of gabbros and anorthosites. Data for material associated with large craters indicate that not only is the lunar crust highly heterogeneous across the nearside, but that the compositional stratigraphy of the lunar crust is nonuniform. Crustal complexity should be expected for other planetary bodies, which should be studied using high spatial and spectral resolution data in and around large impact craters.

  17. 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

  18. Ages and Growth of the Continental Crust from Radiogenic Isotopes (United States)

    Patchett, P. J.; Samson, S. D.


    The development and application of radiogenic isotopes to dating of geologic events, and to questions of growth, evolution, and recycling processes in the continental crust are mature areas of scientific inquiry. By this we understand that many of the approaches used to date rocks and constrain the evolution of the continents are well established, even routine, and that the scope of data available on age and evolution of continents is very large. This is not to say that new approaches have not been developed in recent years, or that new approaches and/or insights cannot be developed in the future. However, the science of continental crustal evolution is definitely a domain where many of the problems are well defined, the power of the techniques used to solve them are well known, and the limitations of field and laboratory databases, as well as the preserved geologic record, are understood.From the very early days of crustal evolution studies, it was innovations and improvements in laboratory techniques that drove the pace of discovery (e.g., Holmes, 1911; Nier, 1939). This remained true through all the increments in capability reviewed in this chapter, up to the present day. Thus, continental crustal evolution is an area of Earth science where a species of very laboratory-oriented investigator, the "radiogenic isotope geologist" or "geochronologist," has made major advances, even breakthroughs, in understanding. This is true in spite of the fact that many of the individuals of the species may have lacked field expertise, or even more than a primitive level of geologic background. Because design and building of instruments like radiation detectors or mass spectrometers requires a knowledge of physics, many of the early practitioners of rock dating were physicists, like Alfred Nier (cited above). Since the 1970s, essentially all mass spectrometers have been constructed by specialized commercial firms, and the level of physics expertise among isotope geologists has

  19. Geometry and subsidence history of the Dead Sea basin: A case for fluid-induced mid-crustal shear zone? (United States)

    ten Brink, Uri S.; Flores, C.H.


    Pull-apart basins are narrow zones of crustal extension bounded by strike-slip faults that can serve as analogs to the early stages of crustal rifting. We use seismic tomography, 2-D ray tracing, gravity modeling, and subsidence analysis to study crustal extension of the Dead Sea basin (DSB), a large and long-lived pull-apart basin along the Dead Sea transform (DST). The basin gradually shallows southward for 50 km from the only significant transverse normal fault. Stratigraphic relationships there indicate basin elongation with time. The basin is deepest (8-8.5 km) and widest (???15 km) under the Lisan about 40 km north of the transverse fault. Farther north, basin depth is ambiguous, but is 3 km deep immediately north of the lake. The underlying pre-basin sedimentary layer thickens gradually from 2 to 3 km under the southern edge of the DSB to 3-4 km under the northern end of the lake and 5-6 km farther north. Crystalline basement is ???11 km deep under the deepest part of the basin. The upper crust under the basin has lower P wave velocity than in the surrounding regions, which is interpreted to reflect elevated pore fluids there. Within data resolution, the lower crust below ???18 km and the Moho are not affected by basin development. The subsidence rate was several hundreds of m/m.y. since the development of the DST ???17 Ma, similar to other basins along the DST, but subsidence rate has accelerated by an order of magnitude during the Pleistocene, which allowed the accumulation of 4 km of sediment. We propose that the rapid subsidence and perhaps elongation of the DSB are due to the development of inter-connected mid-crustal ductile shear zones caused by alteration of feldspar to muscovite in the presence of pore fluids. This alteration resulted in a significant strength decrease and viscous creep. We propose a similar cause to the enigmatic rapid subsidence of the North Sea at the onset the North Atlantic mantle plume. Thus, we propose that aqueous fluid flux

  20. Evaluating the influence of chemical weathering on the composition of the continental crust using lithium and its isotopes (United States)

    Rudnick, R. L.; Liu, X.


    The continental crust has an "intermediate" bulk composition that is distinct from primary melts of peridotitic mantle (basalt or picrite). This mismatch between the "building blocks" and the "edifice" of the continental crust points to the operation of processes that preferentially remove mafic to ultramafic material from the continents. Such processes include lower crustal recycling (via density foundering or lower crustal subduction - e.g., relamination, Hacker et al., 2011, EPSL), generation of evolved melts via slab melting, and/or chemical weathering. Stable isotope systems document the influence of chemical weathering on the bulk crust composition: the oxygen isotope composition of the bulk crust is distinctly heavier than that of primary, mantle-derived melts (Simon and Lecuyer, 2005, G-cubed) and the Li isotopic composition of the bulk crust is distinctly lighter than that of mantle-derive melts (Teng et al., 2004, GCA; 2008, Chem. Geol.). Both signatures mark the imprint of chemical weathering on the bulk crust composition. Here, we use a simple mass balance model for lithium inputs and outputs from the continental crust to quantify the mass lost due to chemical weathering. We find that a minimum of 15%, a maximum of 60%, and a best estimate of ~40% of the original juvenile rock mass may have been lost via chemical weathering. The accumulated percentage of mass loss due to chemical weathering leads to an average global chemical weathering rate (CWR) of ~ 8×10^9 to 2×10^10 t/yr since 3.5 Ga, which is about an order of magnitude higher than the minimum estimates based on modern rivers (Gaillardet et al., 1999, Chem. Geol.). While we cannot constrain the exact portion of crustal mass loss via chemical weathering, given the uncertainties of the calculation, we can demonstrate that the weathering flux is non-zero. Therefore, chemical weathering must play a role in the evolution of the composition and mass of the continental crust.

  1. Episodic nature of continental arc activity since 750 Ma: A global compilation (United States)

    Cao, Wenrong; Lee, Cin-Ty A.; Lackey, Jade Star


    Continental arcs have been recently hypothesized to outflux large amounts of CO2 compared to island arcs so that global flare-ups in continental arc magmatism might drive long-term greenhouse events. Quantitative testing of this hypothesis, however, has been limited by the lack of detailed studies on the spatial distribution of continental arcs through time. Here, we compile a worldwide database of geological maps and associated literature to delineate the surface exposure of granitoid plutons, allowing reconstruction of how the surface area addition rate of granitoids and the length of continental arcs have varied since 750 Ma. These results were integrated into an ArcGIS framework and plate reconstruction models. We find that the spatial extent of continental arcs is episodic with time and broadly matches the detrital zircon age record. Most vigorous arc magmatism occurred during the 670-480 Ma and the 250-50 Ma when major greenhouse events are recognized. Low continental arc activity characterized most of the Cryogenian, middle-late Paleozoic, and Cenozoic when climate was cold. Our results indicate that plate tectonics is not steady, with fluctuations in the nature of subduction zones possibly related in time to the assembly and dispersal of continents. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that variations in continental arc activity may play a first order role in driving long-term climate change. The dataset presented here provides a quantitative basis for upscaling continental arc processes to explore their effects on mountain building, climate, and crustal growth on a global scale.

  2. Nd isotopes in French Phanerzoic shales: external vs. internal aspects of crustal evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michard, A.; Gurriet, P.; Soudant, M.; Alberede, F.; Ecole Nationale Superieure de Geologie Appliquee et de Prospection Miniere, 54 - Nancy


    Nd isotopic composition has been determined on shales of Paleozoic (Brittany and Languedoc) and Mesozoic (Lorraine) age. epsilonsub(Nd)(T) values range from -6 to -12 while Nd crustal residence ages are typically in excess over their stratigraphic ages by some 1.4 Ga. Exceptions to this rule are the sediments coeval with Hercynian, Caledonian and Cadomian orogenic events, the epsilonsub(Nd)(T) values of which suggest addition of mantle material to the sediment in the form of volcanoclastic detritus. In Brittany, this is confirmed by the local zircon chronology which provides upper intercepts of Concordia up to 800 m.y. in excess of Nd crustal residence ages. Comparison of crustal residence ages with stratigraphic ages through geologic time suggests a three stage history: a) for rocks older than 2 Ga, stratigraphic and crustal residence ages coincide, b) from 2 to 1 Ga, crustal residence ages level off at ca. 2 Ga and then c) decrease down to 1.4 Ga in recent sediments. Two extreme models can account for the observed variations: an internally driven model, in which variable quantities of mantle material are added to the crust, and an externally driven model, in which the rate of crustal recycling is low in the Archean but increases rapidly at the onset of the atmospheric oxygen buildup. (author)

  3. Normal-Faulting in Madagascar: Another Round of Continental Rifting? (United States)

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


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

  4. Seismotectonics and Crustal Thickness of Northwest Mindoro, Philippines (United States)

    Chen, P. F.; Olavere, E. A.; Lee, K. M.; Bautista, B.; Solidum, R., Jr.; Huang, B. S.


    Mindoro Island locates where the Palawan Continental Block (PCB) indented into the Philippine Mobile Belt (PMB) during the Early Miocene and where the Manila Trench terminates, having ceased convergence due to collision. On the transition from subduction to collision, Northwest Mindoro exhibits vigorous seismic activity and has been debated about its affiliation being PCB or PMB. Here, we use data from both the EHB and Global Centroid Moment Tensor catalogues to study the regional seismotectonics. We also deployed five broadband stations to probe the crustal thickness beneath NW Mindoro using receiver function analysis. Results show that, following the southeasterly reduction of convergence rates at the southern termination of the Manila Trench, the slab dipping angles steepen, were initiated at depth (~200 km) and propagate upwards. The horizontal distances of the trench and slab, as measured from the Wadati-Benioff zone at 200 km depth, also reduce in a southeasterly direction. Observations of intermediate-depth earthquakes that exhibit predominantly down-dip extensional stress patterns attest that the steepening of slab dipping angles is due to the negative buoyancy of the slab. Preliminary results of receiver function analysis suggest that the crustal thickness beneath NW Mindoro is about 40 km and is probably PCB affiliated.

  5. Anomalous Structure of Oceanic Lithosphere in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans: A Preliminary Analysis Based on Bathymetry, Gravity and Crustal Structure (United States)

    Barantsrva, O.


    We present a preliminary analysis of the crustal and upper mantle structure for off-shore regions in the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. These regions have anomalous oceanic lithosphere: the upper mantle of the North Atlantic ocean is affected by the Iceland plume, while the Arctic ocean has some of the slowest spreading rates. Our specific goal is to constrain the density structure of the upper mantle in order to understand the links between the deep lithosphere dynamics, ocean spreading, ocean floor bathymetry, heat flow and structure of the oceanic lithosphere in the regions where classical models of evolution of the oceanic lithosphere may not be valid. The major focus is on the oceanic lithosphere, but the Arctic shelves with a sufficient data coverage are also included into the analysis. Out major interest is the density structure of the upper mantle, and the analysis is based on the interpretation of GOCE satellite gravity data. To separate gravity anomalies caused by subcrustal anomalous masses, the gravitational effect of water, crust and the deep mantle is removed from the observed gravity field. For bathymetry we use the global NOAA database ETOPO1. The crustal correction to gravity is based on two crustal models: (1) global model CRUST1.0 (Laske, 2013) and, for a comparison, (2) a regional seismic model EUNAseis (Artemieva and Thybo, 2013). The crustal density structure required for the crustal correction is constrained from Vp data. Previous studies have shown that a large range of density values corresponds to any Vp value. To overcome this problem and to reduce uncertainty associated with the velocity-density conversion, we account for regional tectonic variations in the Northern Atlantics as constrained by numerous published seismic profiles and potential-field models across the Norwegian off-shore crust (e.g. Breivik et al., 2005, 2007), and apply different Vp-density conversions for different parts of the region. We present preliminary results

  6. Boron isotope fractionation in magma via crustal carbonate dissolution. (United States)

    Deegan, Frances M; Troll, Valentin R; Whitehouse, Martin J; Jolis, Ester M; Freda, Carmela


    Carbon dioxide released by arc volcanoes is widely considered to originate from the mantle and from subducted sediments. Fluids released from upper arc carbonates, however, have recently been proposed to help modulate arc CO2 fluxes. Here we use boron as a tracer, which substitutes for carbon in limestone, to further investigate crustal carbonate degassing in volcanic arcs. We performed laboratory experiments replicating limestone assimilation into magma at crustal pressure-temperature conditions and analysed boron isotope ratios in the resulting experimental glasses. Limestone dissolution and assimilation generates CaO-enriched glass near the reaction site and a CO2-dominated vapour phase. The CaO-rich glasses have extremely low δ(11)B values down to -41.5‰, reflecting preferential partitioning of (10)B into the assimilating melt. Loss of (11)B from the reaction site occurs via the CO2 vapour phase generated during carbonate dissolution, which transports (11)B away from the reaction site as a boron-rich fluid phase. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of boron isotope fractionation during crustal carbonate assimilation and suggest that low δ(11)B melt values in arc magmas could flag shallow-level additions to the subduction cycle.

  7. Boron isotope fractionation in magma via crustal carbonate dissolution (United States)

    Deegan, Frances M.; Troll, Valentin R.; Whitehouse, Martin J.; Jolis, Ester M.; Freda, Carmela


    Carbon dioxide released by arc volcanoes is widely considered to originate from the mantle and from subducted sediments. Fluids released from upper arc carbonates, however, have recently been proposed to help modulate arc CO2 fluxes. Here we use boron as a tracer, which substitutes for carbon in limestone, to further investigate crustal carbonate degassing in volcanic arcs. We performed laboratory experiments replicating limestone assimilation into magma at crustal pressure-temperature conditions and analysed boron isotope ratios in the resulting experimental glasses. Limestone dissolution and assimilation generates CaO-enriched glass near the reaction site and a CO2-dominated vapour phase. The CaO-rich glasses have extremely low δ11B values down to -41.5‰, reflecting preferential partitioning of 10B into the assimilating melt. Loss of 11B from the reaction site occurs via the CO2 vapour phase generated during carbonate dissolution, which transports 11B away from the reaction site as a boron-rich fluid phase. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of boron isotope fractionation during crustal carbonate assimilation and suggest that low δ11B melt values in arc magmas could flag shallow-level additions to the subduction cycle.

  8. Hafnium isotope evidence for a transition in the dynamics of continental growth 3.2 Gyr ago. (United States)

    Næraa, T; Scherstén, A; Rosing, M T; Kemp, A I S; Hoffmann, J E; Kokfelt, T F; Whitehouse, M J


    Earth's lithosphere probably experienced an evolution towards the modern plate tectonic regime, owing to secular changes in mantle temperature. Radiogenic isotope variations are interpreted as evidence for the declining rates of continental crustal growth over time, with some estimates suggesting that over 70% of the present continental crustal reservoir was extracted by the end of the Archaean eon. Patterns of crustal growth and reworking in rocks younger than three billion years (Gyr) are thought to reflect the assembly and break-up of supercontinents by Wilson cycle processes and mark an important change in lithosphere dynamics. In southern West Greenland numerous studies have, however, argued for subduction settings and crust growth by arc accretion back to 3.8 Gyr ago, suggesting that modern-day tectonic regimes operated during the formation of the earliest crustal rock record. Here we report in situ uranium-lead, hafnium and oxygen isotope data from zircons of basement rocks in southern West Greenland across the critical time period during which modern-like tectonic regimes could have initiated. Our data show pronounced differences in the hafnium isotope-time patterns across this interval, requiring changes in the characteristics of the magmatic protolith. The observations suggest that 3.9-3.5-Gyr-old rocks differentiated from a >3.9-Gyr-old source reservoir with a chondritic to slightly depleted hafnium isotope composition. In contrast, rocks formed after 3.2 Gyr ago register the first additions of juvenile depleted material (that is, new mantle-derived crust) since 3.9 Gyr ago, and are characterized by striking shifts in hafnium isotope ratios similar to those shown by Phanerozoic subduction-related orogens. These data suggest a transitional period 3.5-3.2 Gyr ago from an ancient (3.9-3.5 Gyr old) crustal evolutionary regime unlike that of modern plate tectonics to a geodynamic setting after 3.2 Gyr ago that involved juvenile crust generation by plate

  9. Development and sexual dimorphism of the sonic system in three deep-sea neobythitine fishes and comparisons between upper mid and lower continental slope (United States)

    Fine, Michael L.; Ali, Heba A.; Nguyen, Thanh Kim; Mok, Hin-Kiu; Parmentier, Eric


    Based on morphology, NB Marshall identified cusk-eels (family Ophidiidae) as one of the chief sound-producing groups on the continental slope. Due to food scarcity, we hypothesized that sonic systems will be reduced at great depths despite their potential importance in sexual reproduction. We examined this hypothesis in the cusk-eel subfamily Neobythitinae by comparing sonic morphology in Atlantic species from the upper-mid (Dicrolene intronigra) and deeper continental slope (Porogadus miles and Bathyonus pectoralis) with three Taiwanese species previously described from the upper slope (Hoplobrotula armatus, Neobythites longipes and N. unimaculatus). In all six species, medial muscles are heavier in males than in females. Dicrolene has four pairs of sonic muscles similar to the shallow Pacific species, suggesting neobythitine sonic anatomy is conservative and sufficient food exists to maintain a well-developed system at depths exceeding 1 km. The sonic system in Porogadus and Bathyonus was reduced to a single pair of ventral medial muscles that connects to a smaller and thinner swimbladder via a long tendon. Small muscle fiber diameters, a likely indicator of rapid contraction, were present in males of five of the species. However, in Bathyonus, the deepest species (pale coloration, reduced eye size, shorter sonic muscles and longer tendons), muscle fibers were larger suggesting an adaptation to facilitate rapid bladder movement for sound production while using slower contractions and less metabolic energy. The six species separate into three groups in length-weight regressions: the three upper slope species have the greatest weights per unit length, Dicrolene is lower, and the two deep species are further reduced consistent with the hypothesis that food limitation affects sonic anatomy at great depths.

  10. Microstructural and seismic properties of the upper mantle underneath a rifted continental terrane (Baja California): An example of sub-crustal mechanical asthenosphere?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palasse, L.N.; Vissers, R.L.M.; Paulssen, H.; Basu, A.R.; Drury, M.R.


    The Gulf of California rift is a young and active plate boundary that links the San Andreas strike-slip fault system in California to the oceanic spreading system of the East Pacific Rise. The xenolith bearing lavas of the San Quintin volcanic area provide lower crust and upper mantle samples from

  11. Upper mantle seismic structure beneath southwest Africa from finite-frequency P- and S-wave tomography (United States)

    Youssof, Mohammad; Yuan, Xiaohui; Tilmann, Frederik; Heit, Benjamin; Weber, Michael; Jokat, Wilfried; Geissler, Wolfram; Laske, Gabi; Eken, Tuna; Lushetile, Bufelo


    We present a 3D high-resolution seismic model of the southwestern Africa region from teleseismic tomographic inversion of the P- and S- wave data recorded by the amphibious WALPASS network. We used 40 temporary stations in southwestern Africa with records for a period of 2 years (the OBS operated for 1 year), between November 2010 and November 2012. The array covers a surface area of approximately 600 by 1200 km and is located at the intersection of the Walvis Ridge, the continental margin of northern Namibia, and extends into the Congo craton. Major questions that need to be understood are related to the impact of asthenosphere-lithosphere interaction, (plume-related features), on the continental areas and the evolution of the continent-ocean transition that followed the break-up of Gondwana. This process is supposed to leave its imprint as distinct seismic signature in the upper mantle. Utilizing 3D sensitivity kernels, we invert traveltime residuals to image velocity perturbations in the upper mantle down to 1000 km depth. To test the robustness of our tomographic image we employed various resolution tests which allow us to evaluate the extent of smearing effects and help defining the optimum inversion parameters (i.e., damping and smoothness) used during the regularization of inversion process. Resolution assessment procedure includes also a detailed investigation of the effect of the crustal corrections on the final images, which strongly influenced the resolution for the mantle structures. We present detailed tomographic images of the oceanic and continental lithosphere beneath the study area. The fast lithospheric keel of the Congo Craton reaches a depth of ~250 km. Relatively low velocity perturbations have been imaged within the orogenic Damara Belt down to a depth of ~150 km, probably related to surficial suture zones and the presence of fertile material. A shallower depth extent of the lithospheric plate of ~100 km was observed beneath the ocean

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

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


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

  13. Rock mechanics observations pertinent to the rheology of the continental lithosphere and the localization of strain along shear zones (United States)

    Kirby, S.H.


    Emphasized in this paper are the deformation processes and rheologies of rocks at high temperatures and high effective pressures, conditions that are presumably appropriate to the lower crust and upper mantle in continental collision zones. Much recent progress has been made in understanding the flexure of the oceanic lithosphere using rock-mechanics-based yield criteria for the inelastic deformations at the top and base. At mid-plate depths, stresses are likely to be supported elastically because bending strains and elastic stresses are low. The collisional tectonic regime, however, is far more complex because very large permanent strains are sustained at mid-plate depths and this requires us to include the broad transition between brittle and ductile flow. Moreover, important changes in the ductile flow mechanisms occur at the intermediate temperatures found at mid-plate depths. Two specific contributions of laboratory rock rheology research are considered in this paper. First, the high-temperature steady-state flow mechanisms and rheology of mafic and ultramafic rocks are reviewed with special emphasis on olivine and crystalline rocks. Rock strength decreases very markedly with increases in temperature and it is the onset of flow by high temperature ductile mechanisms that defines the base of the lithosphere. The thickness of the continental lithosphere can therefore be defined by the depth to a particular isotherm Tc above which (at geologic strain rates) the high-temperature ductile strength falls below some arbitrary strength isobar (e.g., 100 MPa). For olivine Tc is about 700??-800??C but for other crustal silicates, Tc may be as low as 400??-600??C, suggesting that substantial decoupling may take place within thick continental crust and that strength may increase with depth at the Moho, as suggested by a number of workers on independent grounds. Put another way, the Moho is a rheological discontinuity. A second class of laboratory observations pertains to

  14. Deep crustal structure of the UAE-Oman mountain belt from seismic and gravity data (United States)

    Pilia, S.; Tanveer, M.; Ali, M.; Watts, A. B.; Searle, M. P.; Keats, B. S.


    The UAE-Oman mountains constitute a 700 km long, 50 km wide compressional orogenic belt that developed during the Cenozoic on an underlying extensional Tethyan rifted margin. It contains the world's largest and best-exposed thrust sheet of oceanic crust and upper mantle (Semail Ophiolite), which was obducted onto the Arabian rifted continental margin during the Late Cretaceous. Although the shallow structure of the UAE-Oman mountain belt is reasonably well known through the exploitation of a diverse range of techniques, information on deeper structure remains little. Moreover, the mechanisms by which dense oceanic crustal and mantle rocks are emplaced onto less dense and more buoyant continental crust are still controversial and remain poorly understood. The focus here is on an active-source seismic and gravity E-W transect extending from the UAE-mountain belt to the offshore. Seismic refraction data were acquired using the survey ship M/V Hawk Explorer, which was equipped with a large-volume airgun array (116 liters). About 400 air gun shots at 50-second time interval were recorded on land by eight broadband seismometers. In addition, reflection data were acquired at 20 seconds interval and recorded by a 5-km-long multichannel streamer. Results presented here include an approximately 85 km long (stretching about 35 km onshore and 50 km offshore) P-wave velocity crustal profile derived by a combination of forward modelling and inversion of both diving and reflected wave traveltimes using RAYINVR software. We employ a new robust algorithm based on a Monte Carlo approach (VMONTECARLO) to address the velocity model uncertainties. We find ophiolite seismic velocities of about 5.5 km/s, underlain by a thin layer of slower material (about 4.5 km/s). Furthermore, the velocity model reveals a Moho depth that rises from ca 30 km in the west to ca 20 km in the east. A poststack depth-migrated profile (about 50 km long) coincident with the offshore part of the refraction

  15. Crustal structure of the southeast Greenland margin from joint refraction and reflection seismic tomography (United States)

    Korenaga, J.; Holbrook, W. S.; Kent, G. M.; Kelemen, P. B.; Detrick, R. S.; Larsen, H.-C.; Hopper, J. R.; Dahl-Jensen, T.


    We present results from a combined multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) and wideangle onshore/offshore seismic experiment conducted in 1996 across the southeast Greenland continental margin. A new seismic tomographic method is developed to jointly invert refraction and reflection travel times for a two-dimensional velocity structure. We employ a hybrid ray-tracing scheme based on the graph method and the local ray-bending refinement to efficiently obtain an accurate forward solution, and we employ smoothing and optional damping constraints to regularize an iterative inversion. We invert 2318 Pg and 2078 PmP travel times to construct a compressional velocity model for the 350-km-long transect, and a long-wavelength structure with strong lateral heterogeneity is recovered, including (1) ˜30-km-thick, undeformed continental crust with a velocity of 6.0 to 7.0 km/s near the landward end, (2) 30- to 15-km-thick igneous crust within a 150-km-wide continent-ocean transition zone, and (3) 15- to 9-km-thick oceanic crust toward the seaward end. The thickness of the igneous upper crust characterized by a high-velocity gradient also varies from 6 km within the transition zone to ˜3 km seaward. The bottom half of the lower crust generally has a velocity higher than 7.0 km/s, reaching a maximum of 7.2 to 7.5 km/s at the Moho. A nonlinear Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis is performed to estimate the a posteriori model variance, showing that most velocity and depth nodes are well determined with one standard deviation of 0.05-0.10 km/s and 0.25-1.5 km, respectively. Despite significant variation in crustal thickness, the mean velocity of the igneous crust, which serves as a proxy for the bulk crustal composition, is surprisingly constant (˜7.0 km/s) along the transect. On the basis of a mantle melting model incorporating the effect of active mantle upwelling, this velocity-thickness relationship is used to constrain the mantle melting process during the breakup of Greenland

  16. Periglacial fires and trees in a continental setting of Central Canada, Upper Pleistocene. (United States)

    Bélanger, N; Carcaillet, C; Padbury, G A; Harvey-Schafer, A N; Van Rees, K J C


    Fire is a key factor controlling global vegetation patterns and carbon cycling. It mostly occurs under warm periods during which fuel builds up with sufficient moisture, whereas such conditions stimulate fire ignition and spread. Biomass burning increased globally with warming periods since the last glacial era. Data confirming periglacial fires during glacial periods are very sparse because such climates are likely too cold to favour fires. Here, tree occurrence and fires during the Upper Pleistocene glacial periods in Central Canada are inferred from botanical identification and calibrated radiocarbon dates of charcoal fragments. Charcoal fragments were archived in sandy dunes of central Saskatchewan and were dated >50000-26600 cal BP. Fragments were mostly gymnosperms. Parallels between radiocarbon dates and GISP2-δ¹⁸O records deciphered relationships between fire and climate. Fires occurred either hundreds to thousands of years after Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) interstadial warming events (i.e., the time needed to build enough fuel for fire ignition and spread) or at the onset of the DO event. The chronological uncertainties result from the dated material not precisely matching the fires and from the low residual ¹⁴C associated with old sample material. Dominance of high-pressure systems and low effective moisture during post-DO coolings likely triggered flammable periglacial ecosystems, while lower moisture and the relative abundance of fuel overshadowed lower temperatures for fire spread. Laurentide ice sheet (LIS) limits during DO events are difficult to assess in Central Canada due to sparse radiocarbon dates. Our radiocarbon data set constrains the extent of LIS. Central Saskatchewan was not covered by LIS throughout the Upper Pleistocene and was not a continental desert. Instead, our results suggest long-lasting periods where fluctuations of the northern tree limits and fires after interstadials occurred persistently. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Deep seismic studies of conjugate profiles from the Nova Scotia - Moroccan and the Liguro-Provencal margin pairs (United States)

    Klingelhoefer, F.; Biari, Y.; Sahabi, M.; Aslanian, D.; Philippe, S.; Schnabel, M.; Moulin, M.; Louden, K. E.; Funck, T.; Reichert, C. J.


    The structure of conjugate passive margins provides information about rifting styles, opening of an ocean and formation of it's associated sedimentary basins. In order to distinguish between tectonic inheritance and structures directly related to rifting of passive margins conjugate profiles have to be acquired on margins on diverse locations and different ages. In this study we use new and existing reflection and wide-angle seismic data from two margin pairs, the 200 Ma year old Nova-Scotia - Morocco margin pair and the only 20 Ma Gulf of Lions - Sardinia margin pair. On both margin pairs wide-angle seismic data combined with reflection seismic data were acquired on conjugate profiles on sea and extended on land. Forward modelling of the deep crustal structure along the four transects indicates that a high velocity zone (HVZ) (> 7.2 km/s) is present at the base of the lower crust on all four margins along the ocean-continental transition zone (OCT). This may represent either exhumed upper mantle material or injection of upper mantle material into proto-oceanic crust at the onset of sea-floor spreading. However the width of the HVZ might strongly differ between conjugates, which may be the result of tectonic inheritance, for example the presence of ancient subduction zones or orogens. Both margin pairs show a similar unthinned continental crustal thickness. Crustal thinning and upper-to-lower crustal thickness vary between margin pairs, but remain nearly symmetric on conjugate profiles and might therefore depend on the structure and mechanical properties of the original continental crust. For the Mediterranean margin pair, the oceanic crust is similar on both sides, with a thickness of only 4-5 km. For the Atlantic margin pair, oceanic crustal thickness is higher on the Moroccan Margin, a fact that can be explained by either asymmetric spreading or by the volcanic underplating, possibly originating from the Canary Hot Spot.

  18. Variable crustal thickness beneath Thwaites Glacier revealed from airborne gravimetry, possible implications for geothermal heat flux in West Antarctica (United States)

    Damiani, Theresa M.; Jordan, Tom A.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Young, Duncan A.; Blankenship, Donald D.


    Thwaites Glacier has one of the largest glacial catchments in West Antarctica. The future stability of Thwaites Glacier's catchment is of great concern, as this part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has recently been hypothesized to already be en route towards collapse. Although an oceanic trigger is thought to be responsible for current change at the grounding line of Thwaites Glacier, in order to determine the effects of this coastal change further in the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet it is essential to also better constrain basal conditions that control the dynamics of fast glacial flow within the catchment itself. One major contributor to fast glacial flow is the presence of subglacial water, the production of which is a result of both glaciological shear heating and geothermal heat flux. The primary goal of our study is to investigate the crustal thickness beneath Thwaites Glacier, which is an important contributor to regional-scale geothermal heat flux patterns. Crustal structure is an indicator of past tectonic events and hence provides a geophysical proxy for the thermal status of the crust and mantle. Terrain-corrected Bouguer gravity disturbances are used here to estimate depths to the Moho and mid-crustal boundary. The thin continental crust we reveal beneath Thwaites Glacier supports the hypothesis that the West Antarctic Rift System underlies the region and is expressed topographically as the Byrd Subglacial Basin. This rifted crust is of similar thickness to that calculated from airborne gravity data beneath neighboring Pine Island Glacier, and is more extended than crust in the adjacent Siple Coast sector of the Ross Sea Embayment. A zone of thinner crust is also identified near the area's subaerial volcanoes lending support to a recent interpretation predicting that this part of Marie Byrd Land is a major volcanic dome, likely within the West Antarctic Rift System itself. Near-zero Bouguer gravity disturbances for the subglacial highlands

  19. The Athabasca Granulite Terrane and Evidence for Dynamic Behavior of Lower Continental Crust (United States)

    Dumond, Gregory; Williams, Michael L.; Regan, Sean P.


    Deeply exhumed granulite terranes have long been considered nonrepresentative of lower continental crust largely because their bulk compositions do not match the lower crustal xenolith record. A paradigm shift in our understanding of deep crust has since occurred with new evidence for a more felsic and compositionally heterogeneous lower crust than previously recognized. The >20,000-km2 Athabasca granulite terrane locally provides a >700-Myr-old window into this type of lower crust, prior to being exhumed and uplifted to the surface between 1.9 and 1.7 Ga. We review over 20 years of research on this terrane with an emphasis on what these findings may tell us about the origin and behavior of lower continental crust, in general, in addition to placing constraints on the tectonic evolution of the western Canadian Shield between 2.6 and 1.7 Ga. The results reveal a dynamic lower continental crust that evolved compositionally and rheologically with time.

  20. Seismological observations at the Northern Andean region of Colombia: Evidence for a shallowly subducting Caribbean Slab and an extensional regime in the upper plate (United States)

    Monsalve, G.; Cardona, A.; Yarce, J.; Alvira, D.; Poveda, E.


    A number of seismological observations, among which we can mention teleseismic travel time residuals, P to S receiver functions and Pn velocity quantification, suggest a clear distinction between the seismic structure of the crust and uppermost mantle between the plains on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and the mountains at the Northern Andean region. Absolute and relative travel time residuals indicate the presence of a seismically fast material in the upper mantle beneath northern Colombia; preliminary results of Pn studies show a region of relatively slow Pn velocities (between 7.8 and 7.9 km/s) underneath the Caribbean coast, contrasting with values greater than 8 km/s beneath the Central and Western cordilleras of Colombia, and the Pacific coast; receiver functions suggest a significantly thinner crust beneath the Caribbean coast, with a crustal thickness between 25 and 30 km, than beneath the Northern Andean zone at the cordilleras of Colombia, where it exceeds 40 km and reaches about 57 km at the location of Bogota. Besides the obviuos discrepancies that appear in response to different topography, we think that the seismological observations are a consequence of the presence of two very distinct slab segments beneath Colombia and contrasting behaviors of the upper plate, which correspond to Caribbean and Nazca subductions. Our seismic observations can be explained by a shallowly subducting Caribbean Plate, in the absence of an asthenospheric wedge, that steepens at about the location of the Bucaramanga nest, and a thinned continental crust that reflects an extensional component linked to oblique convergence of the Caribbean, which contrasts with the crustal thickening in the Andean Cordillera linked to crustal shortening and Nazca plate subuction. These new data are consistent with the idea of of a relatively warm Nazca slab of Neogene age which seems to have a relatively frontal convergence, and a colder, more buoyant Caribbean slab which represents an

  1. Earthquake cycle deformation and the Moho: Implications for the rheology of continental lithosphere


    Wright, TJ; Elliott, JR; Wang, H; Ryder, I


    The last 20. years has seen a dramatic improvement in the quantity and quality of geodetic measurements of the earthquake loading cycle. In this paper we compile and review these observations and test whether crustal thickness exerts any control. We found 78 earthquake source mechanisms for continental earthquakes derived from satellite geodesy, 187 estimates of interseismic "locking depth", and 23 earthquakes (or sequences) for which postseismic deformation has been observed. Globally we est...

  2. 3D crustal model of the US and Canada East Coast rifted margin (United States)

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


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

  3. Correlation of Crustal Structures and Seismicity Patterns in Northern Appalachians (United States)

    Yang, X.; Gao, H.


    The earthquake distributions in northern Appalachians are bounded by major geologically-defined terrane boundaries. There is a distinct seismic gap within Taconic Belt between the Western Quebec Seismic Zone (WQSZ) to the west and the seismically active Ganderia terrane to the east. It is not clear, however, what crustal structures control the characteristics of earthquake clustering in this region. Here we present a newly constructed crustal shear velocity model for the northern Appalachians using Rayleigh wave data extracted from ambient noises. Our tomographic model reveals strongly heterogeneous seismic structures in the crust. We observe multiple NW-dipping patches of high-velocity anomalies in the upper crust beneath the southeastern WQSZ. The upper crust shear velocities in the Ganderia and Avalonia region are generally lower than those beneath the WQSZ. The middle crust has relatively lower velocities in the study area. The earthquakes in the study area are constrained within the upper crust. Most of the earthquake hypocenters within the WQSZ are concentrated along the NW-dipping boundaries separating the high-velocity anomalies. In contrast, most of the earthquake hypocenters in the Ganderia and Avalonia region are diffusely distributed without clear vertical lineaments. The orientations of maximum compressive stresses change from W-E in the Ganderia and Avalonia region to SW-NE in the WQSZ. The contrasts in seismicity, velocity, and stress field across the Taconic Belt indicate that the Taconic Belt terrane may act as a seismically inactive buffer zone in northern Appalachians.

  4. "Storms of crustal stress" and AE earthquake precursors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. P. Gregori


    Colfiorito – and (maybe in 2002 also the Molise earthquake can be reckoned to this "storm". During the "storm", started in 2008, the l'Aquila earthquake occurred.

    Additional logical analysis envisages the possibility of distinguishing some kind of "elementary" constituents of a "crustal storm", which can be briefly called "crustal substorms". The concept of "storm" and "substorm" is a common logical aspect, which is shared by several phenomena, depending on their common intrinsic and primary logical properties that can be called lognormality and fractality. Compared to a "crustal storm", a "crustal substorm" is likely to be reckoned to some specific seismic event. Owing to brevity purposes, however, the discussion of "substorms" is given elsewhere.

    AE is an effective tool for monitoring these phenomena, and other processes that are ongoing within the crust. Eventually they result to be precursors of some more or less violent earthquake. It should be stressed, however, that the target of AE monitoring is diagnosing the Earth's crust. In contrast, earthquake prediction implies a much different perspective, which makes sense only by means of more detailed multiparametric monitoring. An AE array can provide real physical information only about the processes that are objectively ongoing inside different and contiguous large slabs of the crust. The purpose is to monitor the stress propagation that crosses different regions, in order to envisage where and when it can eventually trigger a catastrophe of the system. The conclusion is that continental – or planetary – scale arrays of AE monitoring stations, which record a few different AE frequencies, appear to be the likely first step for diagnosing the evolution of local structures preceding an earthquake. On the other hand, as it is well known, the magnitude of the shock is to be related to the elastic energy stored in

  5. Spatial Relationship Between Crustal Structure and Mantle Seismicity in the Vrancea Seismogenic Zone of Romania (United States)

    Knapp, C. C.; Enciu, D. M.; Knapp, J. H.


    Active crustal deformation and subsidence in the Southeast Carpathian foreland has previously been attributed to active foundering of thickened continental lithosphere beneath the Carpathian bend region (Knapp et al, 2005). The present study involves integration of active and passive-source seismic data in order to place constraints on the duration, timing, and scale of crustal deformation in the Carpathian foreland, and in particular to assess the genetic relationship with the Vrancea intermediate-depth seismogenic zone (VSZ). Relocated crustal earthquakes and focal mechanisms were correlated with four deep industry seismic profiles, the reprocessed DACIA PLAN deep seismic profile, and the DRACULA (Deep Reflection Acquisition Constraining Unusual Lithospheric Activity) II and III profiles. Projection of foreland crustal hypocenters onto the deep seismic lines correlates well with previously identified crustal faults such as the Trotus and Sinaia, as well as the newly identified Ialomita Fault. Specifically, results of this study (1) image the full crustal and uppermost mantle structure of the Focsani Basin in the close proximity of the VSZ, (2) show evidence for a sub-horizontal, slightly east-dipping Moho in the vicinity of the VSZ and thinning of the crust towards the Carpathian orogen, (3) illustrate the conspicuous absence of west-dipping fabrics or structures in the crust and across the Moho, (4) present evidence that the Trotus Fault is a crustal-scale active fault with a dextral sense of motion, (5) suggest that the Paleozoic age Peceneaga-Camena and Capidava-Ovidiu Faults have not been active in post-Paleozoic time, and (6) show evidence for a new active crustal scale sinistral fault, named the Ialomita fault. Both the seismogenic Vrancea body and deformation in the Focsani Basin appear to be concentrically bound by the Trotus Fault in the north and east and the Sinaia-Ialomita Fault in the south, suggesting a coupled deformation between the VSZ and the

  6. On the dynamics and the geochemical mechanism of the evolution of the continental crust. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetzel, K.


    An investigation of the isotopic composition of oxygen in the continental crust, in the oceans, in the oceanic crust and in the upper mantle shows the dynamics of plate tectonics and continental growthto be more or less constant during the last three or four aeons independent on the geochemical mechanism of continental growth. (author)

  7. New constraints on the age and style of continental breakup in the South Atlantic from magnetic anomaly data (United States)

    Collier, Jenny S.; McDermott, Carl; Warner, George; Gyori, Noemi; Schnabel, Michael; McDermott, Ken; Horn, Brian W.


    We present new constraints on the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean from a joint interpretation of marine magnetic anomaly grids and forward modelling of conjugate profiles. We use 45,000 km of recently collected commercial ship track data combined with 561,000 km of publically available data. The new data cover the critical ocean-continental transition zones and allow us to identify and downgrade some poorly navigated older ship tracks relied upon in earlier compilations. Within the final grids the mean cross-over error is 14 nT computed from 8,227 ship track intersections. The forward modelling used uniformly magnetised bodies whose shapes were constrained from coincident deep-seismic reflection data. We find the oldest magnetic anomalies to date from M10r (134.2 Ma, late Valanginian) north of the Falkland-Agulhas Fracture Zone and M3 (129.3 Ma, Barremian) south of the Rio Grande Fracture Zone. Hence, assuming the GPTS used is correct, continental breakup was contemporaneous with the Parana and Etendeka continental flood basalts. Many of the landward linear anomalies overlap seismically mapped Seaward Dipping Reflectors (SDRs). We interpret this to mean that a significant portion of the SDRs overlay crust formed by subaerial seafloor spreading. Here crustal accretion is envisaged to be similar to that at mid-ocean ridges, but sheet lava flows (that later form the SDRs) rather than pillow basalts form the extrusive component. Segmentation of the linear anomalies generated implies that this stage of continental breakup is organised and parallels the seafloor spreading centre that follows. Our results call into question the common assumption that at volcanic continental margins the first linear magnetic anomalies represent the start of conventional (submarine) oceanic crustal generation.

  8. Constraints on the formation of the Martian crustal dichotomy from remnant crustal magnetism (United States)

    Citron, Robert I.; Zhong, Shijie


    The Martian crustal dichotomy characterizing the topographic difference between the northern and southern hemispheres is one of the most important features on Mars. However, the formation mechanism for the dichotomy remains controversial with two competing proposals: exogenic (e.g., a giant impact) and endogenic (e.g., degree-1 mantle convection) mechanisms. Another important observation is the Martian crustal remnant magnetism, which shows a much stronger field in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere and also magnetic lineations. In this study, we examine how exogenic and endogenic mechanisms for the crustal dichotomy are constrained by the crustal remnant magnetism. Assuming that the dichotomy is caused by a giant impact in the northern hemisphere, we estimate that the average thickness of ejecta in the southern hemisphere is 20-25 km. While such a giant impact may cause crustal demagnetization in the northern hemisphere, we suggest that the impact could also demagnetize the southern hemisphere via ejecta thermal blanketing, impact demagnetization, and heat transfer from the hot layer of ejecta, thus posing a challenge for the giant impact model. We explore how the pattern of magnetic lineations relates to endogenic theories of dichotomy formation, specifically crustal production via degree-1 mantle convection. We observe that the pattern of lineations roughly corresponds to concentric circles about a single pole, and determine the pole for the concentric circles at 76.5° E and 84.5° S, which nearly overlaps with the centroid of the thickened crust in the southern hemisphere. We suggest that the crustal magnetization pattern, magnetic lineations, and crustal dichotomy (i.e., thickened crust in the highlands) can be explained by a simple endogenic process; one-plume convection causes melting and crustal production above the plume in the southern hemisphere, and strong crustal magnetization and magnetic lineations are formed in the southern

  9. Arc-continent collision and the formation of continental crust: A new geochemical and isotopic record from the Ordovician Tyrone Igneous Complex, Ireland (United States)

    Draut, Amy E.; Clift, Peter D.; Amato, Jeffrey M.; Blusztajn, Jerzy; Schouten, Hans


    Collisions between oceanic island-arc terranes and passive continental margins are thought to have been important in the formation of continental crust throughout much of Earth's history. Magmatic evolution during this stage of the plate-tectonic cycle is evident in several areas of the Ordovician Grampian-Taconic orogen, as we demonstrate in the first detailed geochemical study of the Tyrone Igneous Complex, Ireland. New U-Pb zircon dating yields ages of 493 2 Ma from a primitive mafic intrusion, indicating intra-oceanic subduction in Tremadoc time, and 475 10 Ma from a light rare earth element (LREE)-enriched tonalite intrusion that incorporated Laurentian continental material by early Arenig time (Early Ordovician, Stage 2) during arc-continent collision. Notably, LREE enrichment in volcanism and silicic intrusions of the Tyrone Igneous Complex exceeds that of average Dalradian (Laurentian) continental material that would have been thrust under the colliding forearc and potentially recycled into arc magmatism. This implies that crystal fractionation, in addition to magmatic mixing and assimilation, was important to the formation of new crust in the Grampian-Taconic orogeny. Because similar super-enrichment of orogenic melts occurred elsewhere in the Caledonides in the British Isles and Newfoundland, the addition of new, highly enriched melt to this accreted arc terrane was apparently widespread spatially and temporally. Such super-enrichment of magmatism, especially if accompanied by loss of corresponding lower crustal residues, supports the theory that arc-continent collision plays an important role in altering bulk crustal composition toward typical values for ancient continental crust. ?? 2009 Geological Society of London.

  10. Diapir versus along-channel ascent of crustal material during plate convergence: constrained by the thermal structure of subduction zones (United States)

    Liu, M. Q.; Li, Z. H.


    Crustal rocks can be subducted to mantle depths, interact with the mantle wedge, and then exhume to the crustal depth again, which is generally considered as the mechanism for the formation of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks in nature. The crustal rocks undergo dehydration and melting at subarc depths, giving rise to fluids that metasomatize and weaken the overlying mantle wedge. There are generally two ways for the material ascent from subarc depths: one is along subduction channel; the other is through the mantle wedge by diapir. In order to study the conditions and dynamics of these contrasting material ascent modes, systematic petrological-thermo-mechanical numerical models are constructed with variable thicknesses of the overriding and subducting continental plates, ages of the subducting oceanic plate, as well as the plate convergence rates. The model results suggest that the thermal structures of subduction zones control the thermal condition and fluid/melt activity at the slab-mantle interface in subcontinental subduction channels, which further strongly affect the material transportation and ascent mode. Thick overriding continental plate and low-angle subduction style induced by young subducting oceanic plate both contribute to the formation of relatively cold subduction channels with strong overriding mantle wedge, where the along-channel exhumation occurs exclusively to result in the exhumation of HP-UHP metamorphic rocks. In contrast, thin overriding lithosphere and steep subduction style induced by old subducting oceanic plate are the favorable conditions for hot subduction channels, which lead to significant hydration and metasomatism, melting and weakening of the overriding mantle wedge and thus cause the ascent of mantle wedge-derived melts by diapir through the mantle wedge. This may corresponds to the origination of continental arc volcanism from mafic to ultramafic metasomatites in the bottom of the mantle wedge. In addition, the plate

  11. Crustal structure of the Gulf of Aden southern margin: Evidence from receiver functions on Socotra Island (Yemen) (United States)

    Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Leroy, Sylvie; Keir, Derek; Korostelev, Félicie; Khanbari, Khaled; Rolandone, Frédérique; Stuart, Graham; Obrebski, Mathias


    Breakup of continents in magma-poor setting occurs primarily by faulting and plate thinning. Spatial and temporal variations in these processes can be influenced by the pre-rift basement structure as well as by early syn-rift segmentation of the rift. In order to better understand crustal deformation and influence of pre-rift architecture on breakup we use receiver functions from teleseismic recordings from Socotra which is part of the subaerial Oligo-Miocene age southern margin of the Gulf of Aden. We determine variations in crustal thickness and elastic properties, from which we interpret the degree of extension related thinning and crustal composition. Our computed receiver functions show an average crustal thickness of ~ 28 km for central Socotra, which decreases westward along the margin to an average of ~ 21 km. In addition, the crust thins with proximity to the continent-ocean transition to ~ 16 km in the northwest. Assuming an initial pre-rift crustal thickness of 35 km (undeformed Arabian plate), we estimate a stretching factor in the range of ~ 2.1-2.4 beneath Socotra. Our results show considerable differences between the crustal structure of Socotra's eastern and western sides on either side of the Hadibo transfer zone; the east displays a clear intracrustal conversion phase and thick crust when compared with the western part. The majority of measurements across Socotra show Vp/Vs ratios of between 1.70 and 1.77 and are broadly consistent with the Vp/Vs values expected from the granitic and carbonate rock type exposed at the surface. Our results strongly suggest that intrusion of mafic rock is absent or minimal, providing evidence that mechanical thinning accommodated the majority of crustal extension. From our observations we interpret that the western part of Socotra corresponds to the necking zone of a classic magma-poor continental margin, while the eastern part corresponds to the proximal domain.

  12. Continental Extensional Tectonics in the Basins and Ranges and Aegean Regions: A Review (United States)

    Cemen, I.


    The Basins and Ranges of North America and the Aegean Region of Eastern Europe and Asia Minor have been long considered as the two best developed examples of continental extension. The two regions contain well-developed normal faults which were considered almost vertical in the 1950s and 1960s. By the mid 1980s, however, overwhelming field evidence emerged to conclude that the dip angle normal faults in the two regions may range from almost vertical to almost horizontal. This led to the discovery that high-grade metamorphic rocks could be brought to surface by the exhumation of mid-crustal rocks along major low-angle normal faults (detachment faults) which were previously either mapped as thrust faults or unconformity. Within the last three decades, our understanding of continental extensional tectonics in the Basins and Ranges and the Aegean Region have improved substantially based on fieldwork, geochemical analysis, analog and computer modeling, detailed radiometric age determinations and thermokinematic modelling. It is now widely accepted that a) Basin and Range extension is controlled by the movement along the San Andreas fault zone as the North American plate moved southeastward with respect to the northwestward movement of the Pacific plate; b) Aegean extension is controlled by subduction roll-back associated with the Hellenic subduction zone; and c) the two regions contain best examples of detachment faulting, extensional folding, and extensional basins. However, there are still many important questions of continental extensional tectonics in the two regions that remain poorly understood. These include determining a) precise amount and percentage of cumulative extension; b) role of strike-slip faulting in the extensional processes; c) exhumation history along detachment surfaces using multimethod geochronology; d) geometry and nature of extensional features in the middle and lower crust; e) the nature of upper mantle and asthenospheric flow; f) evolutions

  13. Crustal structure of the Arabian plate: new constraints of receiver functions (United States)

    Cui, Z.; Mai, P. M.; Pei, S.


    We perform P-wave receiver function analysis across Saudi Arabia to constrain crustal thickness and Poisson's ratio to investigate the role of Afar super plume, on-going sea-floor spreading and mechanical crustal thinning during continental breakup. We include analysis of data from 132 stations, many of them new stations to improve upon previous analysis from a sparse array (30 stations). We first select 201 earthquakes with high signal-to-noise seismogram, using IRIS-station RAYN as reference to pick the events, recorded on 101 stations operated by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) during 2007-2011. SGS continually deploys stations every year and we added a second data set of 96 earthquakes on 30 newly deployed stations in 2012, again station RAYN is used as reference for picking high quality recordings. Two way, 4th order band-pass Butterworth filter with pass band of 0.01 - 3 Hz is applied to eliminate low-frequency noise, then deconvolution is performed in time-domain. We deploy the slant stack method to determine both the Moho depth and Poisson's ratio at each station; this method combines the later multiples (PpPs and PpSs+PsPs) with the Moho Ps converted phase to mitigate the trade-off between the Moho depth and crustal Poisson's ratio. Average crustal P wave velocities of 6.5km/s for Arabian Shield and 6.1 km/s for Arabian Platform are assigned, respectively. In addition, we add the semblance parameter through semblance analysis into the objective function of the slant stack method to suppress the incoherent noise. Our results show that Moho depth is 38-42 km at the central boundary between the Arabian Shield and the Arabian Platform, where the crust is not extended and there is little sediment deposited. To the east beneath the Arabian Platform the crust thickens to 43-46 km, then decreases to 37-41km against the Persian Gulf. To the west the crust gradually thins to 33-35 km over a distance of approximately 400-500 km. Farther east, toward the Red Sea

  14. Southern Sierra Nevada Continental Dynamics Project: 1993 field observations of the NPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keller, G.R. [Univ. of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States); Malin, P.E. [Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States); Ruppert, S.D. [LLNL, Livermore, CA (United States)


    The Southern Sierra Nevada Continental Dynamics Project is a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional investigation of the cause of the uplift of the Sierra Nevada and its relationship to extension in the adjacent Basin and Range. A broad range of geologic and geophysical data have been collected as part of this project. These data include both passive and active seismic measurements, as well as gravity and magnetotelluric observations. Three seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles were recorded: (1) a 325-km-long, north-south profile extending from just east of Mono Lake south across the Garlock fault, (2) a 400-km-long, east-west profile extending from Death Valley west across the Sierra Nevada to near the San Andreas fault, and (3) a 480-km-long, east-west profile deployed for the NPE. This profile extended from Beatty, Nevada, west across the Sierra Nevada along the previously recorded east-west profile and continued nearly to the Pacific Ocean. Up to 675 seismic recorders were deployed for each profile. These data are allowing us to develop refined models of the crustal and upper mantle structure of the southern Sierra Nevada and to evaluate alternative hypotheses for its uplift and for Basin and Range extension. They also provide insight into the propagation of regional phases across complex structures.

  15. Geochronological synthesis of Bahia state and the crustal evolution, based in evolution diagram of Sr and initial rate of Sr87/Sr86

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sato, K.


    The crustal evolution of the ancient terrains of the State of Bahia, Brazil, is attempted with the aid of Sr isotopic results as natural tracers. Some Nd and Pb isotopic data are also available, and support the main conclusions based on Sr evolution diagrams. The analysis of the Sr evolution diagrams shows that the Archean Terrains are mainly formed by accretion from mantle-derived material, but crustal reworking is indicated by the high initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr value of the Jequie Complex. The Transamazonian mobile belt include both types of materials, but the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr value, generally lower than those of the Jequie Complex, markes improbable a direct derivation. During Middle and Late Proterozoic, the continental crust was already well consolidated, and reworking of crustal material predominated within the Espinhaco and Brasiliano folded systems [pt

  16. Influence of crustal layering and thickness on co-seismic effects of Wenchuan earthquake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Hongbo


    Full Text Available Using the PSGRN/PSCMP software and the fault model offered by USGS and on the basis of finite rectangular dislocation theory and the local layered wave velocity structures of the crust-upper-mantle, the influences of crustal layering and thickness on co-seismic gravity changes and deformation of Wenchuan earthquake have been simulated. The results indicate that; the influences have a relationship with the attitude of faults and the relative position between calculated points and fault. The difference distribution form of simulated results between the two models is similar to that of co-seismic effect. For the per centum distribution, it’s restricted by the zero line of the co-seismic effects obviously. Its positive is far away from the zero line. For the crustal thickness, the effect is about 10% – 20%. The negative and the effect over 30% focus around the zero line. The average influences of crustal layering and thickness for the E-W displacement, N-S displacement, vertical displacement and gravity changes are 18.4%,18.0%, 15.8% and 16.2% respectively, When the crustal thickness is 40 km, they are 4.6%, 5.3%, 3.8% and 3.8%. Then the crustal thickness is 70 km, the average influences are 3.5%, 4.6%, 3.0% and 2.5% respectively.

  17. Small-scale convection at a continental back-arc to craton transition: Application to the southern Canadian Cordillera (United States)

    Hardebol, N. J.; Pysklywec, R. N.; Stephenson, R.


    A step in the depth of the lithosphere base, associated with lateral variations in the upper mantle temperature structure, can trigger mantle flow that is referred to as edge-driven convection. This paper aims at outlining the implications of such edge-driven flow at a lateral temperature transition from a hot and thin to a cold and thick lithosphere of a continental back-arc. This configuration finds application in the southern Canadian Cordillera, where a hot and thin back-arc is adjacent to the cold and thick North American Craton. A series of geodynamical models tested the thermodynamical behavior of the lithosphere and upper mantle induced by a step in lithosphere thickness. The mantle flow patterns, thickness and heat flow evolution of the lithosphere, and surface topography are examined. We find that the lateral temperature transition shifts cratonward due to the vigorous edge-driven mantle flow that erodes the craton edge, unless the craton has a distinct high viscosity mantle lithosphere. The mantle lithosphere viscosity structure determines the impact of edge-driven flow on crustal deformation and surface heat flow; a dry olivine rheology for the craton prevents the edge from migrating and supports a persistent surface heat flow contrast. These phenomena are well illustrated at the transition from the hot Canadian Cordillera to craton that is supported by a rheological change and that coincides with a lateral change in surface heat flow. Fast seismic wave velocities observed in the upper mantle cratonward of the step can be explained as downwellings induced by the edge-driven flow.

  18. Study on 3-D velocity structure of crust and upper mantle in Sichuan-yunnan region, China (United States)

    Wang, C.; Mooney, W.D.; Wang, X.; Wu, J.; Lou, H.; Wang, F.


    Based on the first arrival P and S data of 4 625 regional earthquakes recorded at 174 stations dispersed in the Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces, the 3-D velocity structure of crust and upper mantle in the region is determined, incorporating with previous deep geophysical data. In the upper crust, a positive anomaly velocity zone exists in the Sichuan basin, whereas a negative anomaly velocity zone exists in the western Sichuan plateau. The boundary between the positive and negative anomaly zones is the Longmenshan fault zone. The images of lower crust and upper mantle in the Longmenshan fault, Xianshuihe fault, Honghe fault and others appear the characteristic of tectonic boundary, indicating that the faults litely penetrate the Moho discontinuity. The negative velocity anomalies at the depth of 50 km in the Tengchong volcanic area and the Panxi tectonic zone appear to be associated with the temperature and composition variations in the upper mantle. The overall features of the crustal and the upper mantle structures in the Sichuan-Yunnan region are the lower average velocity in both crust and uppermost mantle, the large crustal thickness variations, and the existence of high conductivity layer in the crust or/and upper mantle, and higher geothermal value. All these features are closely related to the collision between the Indian and the Asian plates. The crustal velocity in the Sichuan-Yunnan rhombic block generally shows normal.value or positive anomaly, while the negative anomaly exists in the area along the large strike-slip faults as the block boundary. It is conducive to the crustal block side-pressing out along the faults. In the major seismic zones, the seismicity is relative to the negative anomaly velocity. Most strong earthquakes occurred in the upper-mid crust with positive anomaly or normal velocity, where the negative anomaly zone generally exists below.

  19. Seismotectonics of Taiwan Shoal region in northeastern SCS: Insights from crustal structure (United States)

    Kuiyuan, Wan; Jinlong, Sun; Shaohong, Xia; Xiaoling, Xie; Xiang, Zhang; Huilong, Xu; Jinghe, Cao


    A seismicity cluster and a great 16 September 1994 earthquake occur in the Taiwan Shoal region, outer rise of the Manila subduction zone. To understand what mechanisms control and generate the earthquake cluster, it is important to investigate the deep crustal structure of the Taiwan Shoal region. We present a 2-D seismic tomographic image of the crustal structure along the OBS2012 profile based on ocean bottom seismographic (OBS) data. The structure exhibits that a high velocity anomaly in the upper crust beneath the Taiwan Shoal is flanked by lower velocity anomalies. Based on the crustal structure, we study the 765 earthquakes, which occurred in the period 1991-2015. These epicenters, combined with the regional faults, and crustal structure, allow us to better understand the nature of the active tectonics in this region. The high velocity area is interpreted as representing stronger, defining major asperities where stress is concentrated corresponding to the location of the earthquake cluster. The earthquake cluster is influenced by the fault interactions. However, the 16 September 1994 earthquake is independents of the seismic activities but associated with the reactivation of the preexisting fault. In Taiwan region, the slab-pull was resisted by the exposed pre-collision accretionary prism and the resistive force caused the in-plane compressive stress accumulation. This condition may favor the triggering of future damaging earthquakes in this region. Key words: earthquake cluster; crustal structure; fault interactions; outer rise; Taiwan Shoal

  20. Upper crustal stress and seismotectonics of the Garhwal Himalaya using small-to-moderate earthquakes: Implications to the local structures and free fluids (United States)

    Prasath, R. Arun; Paul, Ajay; Singh, Sandeep


    The work presents new focal-mechanism data of small-to-moderate (3.0 ⩾ ML ⩽ 5.0) upper crustal earthquakes for the Garhwal Himalaya from a local seismic network installed in July 2007. Majority of the epicenters of these earthquakes are located close to the Main Central Thrust (MCT) zone. We retrieved Moment Tensor (MT) solutions of 26 earthquakes by waveform inversion. The MT results and 11 small-to-moderate earthquakes from the published records are used for stress inversions. The MT solutions reveal dominatingly thrust mechanisms with few strike slip earthquakes near Chamoli. The seismic cross sections illustrate that, these earthquakes are located around the Mid-Crustal-Ramp (MCR) in the detachment. The optimally oriented faults from stress inversions suggest that, the seismogenic fault in this region is similar to a fault plane having dip angle between 12 and 25 degrees, which is compatible with the dip angle of the MCR (∼16°) in this region. P-axes and the maximum horizontal compressive stress are NE-SW oriented; the direction of the relative motion of Indian plate with respect to the Eurasian plate. The Friction Coefficient estimated from stress inversions show that the Chamoli region having low friction in comparison to the overall values. The free fluids trapped beneath the detachment are penetrating into the local faults, hence, decreasing the frictional strength and altering the prevailing stress conditions of the surroundings. The present study reveals that the MCR structure is seismogenically active and producing the small-moderate earthquakes in the region, while the MCT is probably dormant at present.

  1. Upper crustal structure of the northern part of the Bohemian ­Massif in ­rel­ation­ t­o geological, potential field data and new deep seismic data (Eger/Ohře Rift, Central Europe)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Skácelová, Z.; Mlčoch, B.; Novotný, Miroslav; Mrlina, Jan


    Roč. 39, č. 1 (2011), s. 1-18 ISSN 0303-4534 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA300460602; GA MŽP SB/630/3/02 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : upper crustal structure * Bohemian Massif * Eger/Ohře Rift * Saxothuringian Zone * Teplá-Barrandian Unit * Moldanubian Zone Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure

  2. Spatial relationships between crustal structures and mantle seismicity in the Vrancea Seismogenic Zone of Romania: Implications for geodynamic evolution (United States)

    Enciu, Dana-Mihaela

    Integration of active and passive-source seismic data is employed to study the relationships between crustal structures and seismicity in the SE Carpathian foreland of Romania, and the connection with the Vrancea Seismogenic Zone. Relocated crustal epicenters and focal mechanisms are correlated with industry seismic profiles Comanesti, Ramnicu Sarat, Braila and Buzau, the reprocessed DACIA PLAN profile and the DRACULA (Deep Reflection Acquisition Constraining Unusual Lithospheric Activity) II and III profiles in order to understand the link between neo-tectonic foreland deformation and Vrancea mantle seismicity. Projection of crustal foreland hypocenters onto deep seismic profiles identified active crustal faults suggesting a mechanical coupling between sedimentary, crustal and upper mantle structures on the Trotus, Sinaia and newly observed Ialomita Faults. Seismic reflection imaging revealed the absence of west dipping reflectors in the crust and an east dipping to horizontal Moho in the proximity of the Vrancea area. These findings argue against both 'subduction-in-place' and 'slab break-off' as viable mechanisms for generating Vrancea mantle seismicity.

  3. Aeromagnetic and gravity investigations of the Coastal Area and Continental Shelf of Liberia, West Africa, and their relation to continental drift (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Wotorson, Cletus S.


    anomalies exist over two Cretaceous basins in the coastal area; a negative Bouguer anomaly exists over one of the basins southwest of Monrovia, as shown by a marine traverse, suggesting that Cretaceous or younger sedimentary rocks fill these basins also. A 50 to 60 mgal positive Bouguer anomaly area exists along the coast from Sierra Leone to Ivory Coast. This anomaly correlates with mafic granulites in the Monrovia region, where the gradient is too steep to be entirely due to crustal thickening at the continental margin and may be related to tectonic activity associated with the basins. The only major break in this positive anomaly above basement rocks along the entire coast of Liberia is over granite gneiss adjacent to (and presumably underlying) the only onshore basins on the Liberian coast. Three seismic reflection profiles support the interpretation of a substantial section of sedimentary rock offshore. A suggested sequence of events indicates tectonic activity in the periods about 2700, about 2000, and about 550 m.y. B.P.; uplift and exposure of deep crustal rocks; deposition of Paleozoic sediments; intrusion of diabase dikes in inland zones; intrusion of 176 to 192 m.y.-old dikes and sills accompanying separation of Africa and South and North America; block faulting along coast and continental shelf, and active sea-floor spreading; filling of basins in Cretaceous and Tertiary(?) time; basaltic extrusion on spreading sea floor and sedimentation on continental shelf and slope.

  4. Crustal structure across the NE Tibetan Plateau and Ordos Block from the joint inversion of receiver functions and Rayleigh-wave dispersions (United States)

    Li, Yonghua; Wang, Xingchen; Zhang, Ruiqing; Wu, Qingju; Ding, Zhifeng


    We investigated the crustal structure at 34 stations using the H-κ stacking method and jointly inverting receiver functions with Rayleigh-wave phase and group velocities. These seismic stations are distributed along a profile extending across the Songpan-Ganzi Terrane, Qinling-Qilian terranes and southwestern Ordos Basin. Our results reveal the variation in crustal thickness across this profile. We found thick crust beneath the Songpan-Ganzi Terrane (47-59 km) that decreases to 45-47 km in the west Qinling and Qilian terranes, and reaches its local minimum beneath the southwestern Ordos Block (43-51 km) at an average crustal thickness of 46.7 ± 2.5 km. A low-velocity zone in the upper crust was found beneath most of the stations in NE Tibet, which may be indicative of partial melt or a weak detachment layer. Our observations of low to moderate Vp/Vs (1.67-1.79) represent a felsic to intermediate crustal composition. The shear velocity models estimated from joint inversions also reveal substantial lateral variations in velocity beneath the profile, which is mainly reflected in the lower crustal velocities. For the Ordos Block, the average shear wave velocities below 20 km are 3.8 km/s, indicating an intermediate-to-felsic lower crust. The thick NE Tibet crust is characterized by slow shear wave velocities (3.3-3.6 km/s) below 20 km and lacks high-velocity material (Vs ≥ 4.0 km/s) in the lower crust, which may be attributed to mafic lower crustal delamination or/and the thickening of the upper and middle crust.

  5. Crustal structure of the Eastern Alps and their foreland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grad, M.; Brückl, E.; Majdanski, M.


    The subject of this paper concerns the seismic modelling of the crustal structure in the transition zone from the Bohemian Massif, across the Molasse basin and the Eastern Alps to the Southern Alps, mainly on the territory of Austria. The CEL10/Alp04 profile crosses the triple point of the European......) are distinct up to 60-90 km offset and are characterized by large variations in apparent velocity and amplitude. The contact between the Molasse basin and the Eastern Alps represents a barrier for seismic waves. Mid-crustal reflections (Pc) are usually recorded at short distance intervals (20-50 km......, was undertaken using a ray-tracing technique. The P-wave velocity in the crystalline upper crust of the Bohemian Massif and Molasse basin is about 6.15 km s-1, which is slightly higher than in the Alpine area (about 6.0 km s-1). Below the northern accretionary wedge of the Eastern Alps low-velocity sediments...

  6. Deep crustal structure of the northeastern margin of the Arabian plate from seismic and gravity data (United States)

    Pilia, Simone; Ali, Mohammed; Watts, Anthony; Keats, Brook; Searle, Mike


    The United Arab Emirates-Oman mountains constitute a 700 km long, 50 km wide compressional orogenic belt that developed during the Cainozoic on an underlying extensional Tethyan rifted margin. It contains the world's largest and best-exposed thrust sheet of oceanic crust and upper mantle (Semail Ophiolite), which was obducted onto the Arabian rifted continental margin during the Late Cretaceous. Although the shallow structure of the UAE-Oman mountain belt is reasonably well known through the exploitation of a diverse range of techniques, information on deeper structure remains little. Moreover, the mechanisms by which dense oceanic crustal and mantle rocks are emplaced onto less dense and more buoyant continental crust are still controversial and remain poorly understood. The focus here is on an active-source seismic and gravity E-W transect extending from the UAE-mountain belt to the offshore. Seismic refraction data were acquired using the survey ship M/V Hawk Explorer, which was equipped with a large-volume airgun array (7060 cubic inches, 116 liters). About 400 air gun shots at 50-second time interval were recorded on land by eight broadband seismometers. In addition, reflection data were acquired at 20 seconds interval and recorded by a 5-km-long multichannel streamer. Results presented here include an approximately 85 km long (stretching about 35 km onshore and 50 km offshore) P-wave velocity crustal profile derived by a combination of forward modelling and inversion of both diving and reflected wave traveltimes using RAYINVR software. We employ a new robust algorithm based on a Monte Carlo approach (VMONTECARLO) to address the velocity model uncertainties. We find ophiolite seismic velocities of about 5.5 km/s and a thick sedimentary package in the offshore. Furthermore, the velocity model reveals a highly stretched crust with the Moho discontinuity lying at about 20 km. A prestack depth-migrated profile (about 50 km long) coincident with the offshore part

  7. Svecofennian orogeny in an evolving convergent margin setting (United States)

    Korja, Annakaisa


    The dominant tectonic mode changes from extension to convergence at around 1.9 Ga in Fennoscandian. The lithological record suggests short lived subduction-related magmatic events followed by deformation and low-pressure high temperature metamorphism. At around 1.8 Ga the subduction systems seem to have stabilized implying continuous supply of oceanic lithosphere. The evolution of the convergent margin is recorded in the rock record and crustal architecture of the long lived Svecofennian orogeny (1.9-1.7 Ga). A closer look at the internal structure of the Svecofennian orogen reveals distinct regional differences. The northern and central parts of the Svecofennian orogen that have been formed during the initial accretionary phase - or compilation of the nucleus - have a thick three-layer crust and with thick mafic lower crust (10-30 km) and block-like internal architecture. Reflection profiles (FIRE1-3) image listric structures flattening on crustal scale décollement zones at the upper-middle crust and middle-upper crust boundaries. The crustal architecture together with large volumes of exposed granitoid rocks suggests spreading of the orogen and the development of an orogenic plateau west of the continental convergence boundary. The architecture is reminiscent of a large hot orogen. Within the western and southwestern part of the Svecofennian orogen (BABEL B, 1, 2, 3&4), which have been envisioned to have formed during continuous subduction phase, the crust is thinner (45-50 km) and it is hosting crustal blocks having one to two crustal layers. Layering is poorly developed in crustal blocks that are found S-SW of NE-dipping mantle reflections previously interpreted as paleo-subduction zones. Within these blocks, the crustal scale reflective structures dip NE (prowedge) or form pop-up wedges (uplifted plug) above the paleo-subduction zones. Crustal blocks with well-developed two-layer crust are located NE of the paleo-subduction zone. The architecture can be

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

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


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

  9. Crustal thickness controlled by plate tectonics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina M.; Meissner, Rolf


    /gabbro–eclogite phase transition in crustal evolution and the links between lithosphere recycling, mafic magmatism, and crustal underplating. We advocate that plate tectonics processes, togetherwith basalt/gabbro–eclogite transition, limit crustal thickness worldwide by providing effective mechanisms of crustal...

  10. Devonian granitoids and their hosted mafic enclaves in the Gorny Altai terrane, northwestern Central Asian Orogenic Belt: crust-mantle interaction in a continental arc setting (United States)

    Chen, Ming; Sun, Min


    Granitoids are a major component in the upper continental crust and hold key information on how did the continental crust grow and differentiate. This study focuses on the Yaloman intrusive complex from the Gorny Altai terrane, northwestern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). The association of granitoids and mafic enclaves can provide important clues on the source nature, petrogenetic processes and geodynamic setting of the Yaloman intrusive complex, which in turn will shed light on the crustal evolution in the northwestern CAOB. Zircon U-Pb dating shows that the granitoids, including quartz diorites and granodiorites, were emplaced in ca. 389-387 Ma. The moderate Na2O + K2O contents and low A/CNK values indicate that these rocks belong to the sub-alkaline series with metaluminous to weakly peraluminous compositions. The granitoids yield two-stage zircon Hf model ages of ca. 0.79-1.07 Ga and whole-rock Nd model ages of ca. 0.90-0.99 Ga, respectively, implying that they were mainly sourced from Neoproterozoic juvenile crustal materials. The mafic enclaves show an almost identical crystallization age of ca. 389 Ma. The identification of coarse-grained xenocrysts and acicular apatites, together with the fine-grained texture, makes us infer that these enclaves are likely to represent magmatic globules commingled with the host magmas. The low SiO2 and high MgO contents of the mafic enclaves further suggest that substantial mantle-derived mafic melts were probably involved in their formation. Importantly, the SiO2 contents of the granitoids and mafic enclaves are well correlated with other major elements and most of the trace elements. Also a broadly negative correlation exists between the SiO2 contents and whole-rock epsilon Nd (390 Ma) values of the granitoids. Given the observation of reversely zoned plagioclases within the granitoids and the common occurrence of igneous mafic enclaves, we propose that magma mixing probably played an important role in the formation

  11. Crustal thickness and Moho sharpness beneath the Midcontinent rift from receiver functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moikwathai Moidaki


    Full Text Available The Mesoproterozoic Midcontinent rift (MCR in the central US is an approximately 2000 km long, 100 km wide structure from Kansas to Michigan. During the 20-40 million years of rifting, a thick (up to 20 km layer of basaltic lava was deposited in the rift valleys. Quantifying the effects of the rifting and associated volcanic eruptions on the structure and composition of the crust and mantle beneath the MCR is important for the understanding of the evolution of continental lithosphere. In this study we measure the crustal thickness (H, and the sharpness of the Moho (R at about 24 portable and permanent stations in Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota by stacking Pto- S converted waves (PmS and their multiples (PPmS and PSmS. Under the assumption that the crustal mean velocity in the study area is the same as the IASP91 earth model, we find a significantly thickened crust beneath the MCR of about 53 km. The crustal Vp/Vs ratios increases from about 1.80 off rift to as large as 1.95 within the rift, which corresponds to an increase of Poisson’s ratio from 0.28 to 0.32, suggesting a more mafic crust beneath the MCR. The R measurements are spatially variable and are relatively small in the vicinity of the MCR, indicating the disturbance of the original sharp Moho by the rifting and magmatic intrusion and volcanic eruption.

  12. Relationships between crustal structure and extension in the Basin and Range Province and East Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keller, G R [University of Oklahoma, School of Geology and Geophysics, Norman, Oklahoma, 73019 (United States)], E-mail:


    The Basin and Range Province of the western United States and northern Mexico is often cited as a classic example of a wide rift. It is also a region where metamorphic core complexes such as the ones observed in the Aegean region are observed. On the other hand, the eastern arm (Kenya rift) of the East African rift is considered to be the classic example of a continental rift, which is by some definitions narrow. In this paper, these two features are briefly compared in terms of crustal structure and associated manifestations of extension.

  13. Crustal growth of the Izu-Ogasawara arc estimated from structural characteristics of Oligocene arc (United States)

    Takahashi, N.; Yamashita, M.; Kodaira, S.; Miura, S.; Sato, T.; No, T.; Tatsumi, Y.


    Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) carried out seismic surveys using a multichannel reflection system and ocean bottom seismographs, and we have clarified crustal structures of whole Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin)-Marina (IBM) arc since 2002. These refection images and velocity structures suggest that the crustal evolution in the intra-oceanic island arc accompanies with much interaction of materials between crust and mantle. Slow mantle velocity identified beneath the thick arc crusts suggests that dense crustal materials transformed into the mantle. On the other hand, high velocity lower crust can be seen around the bottom of the crust beneath the rifted region, and it suggests that underplating of mafic materials occurs there. Average crustal production rate of the entire arc is larger than expected one and approximately 200 km3/km/Ma. The production rate of basaltic magmas corresponds to that of oceanic ridge. Repeated crustal differentiation is indispensable to produce much light materials like continental materials, however, the real process cannot still be resolved yet. We, therefore, submitted drilling proposals to obtain in-situ middle crust with P-wave velocity of 6 km/s. In the growth history of the IBM arc, it is known by many papers that boninitic volcanisms preceded current bimodal volcanisms based on basaltic magmas. The current volcanisms accompanied with basaltic magmas have been occurred since Oligocene age, however, the tectonic differences to develop crustal architecture between Oligocene and present are not understood yet. We obtained new refraction/reflection data along an arc strike of N-S in fore-arc region. Then, we estimate crustal structure with severe change of the crustal thickness from refraction data, which are similar to that along the volcanic front. Interval for location of the thick arc crust along N-S is very similar to that along the volcanic front. The refection image indicates that the basement of the fore

  14. Geophysical and geochemical models of the Earth's shields and rift zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chung, D.H.


    This report summarizes a collection of, synthesis of, and speculation on the geophysical and geochemical models of the earth's stable shields and rift zones. Two basic crustal types, continental and oceanic, and two basic mantle types, stable and unstable, are described. It is pointed out that both the crust and upper mantle play a strongly interactive role with surface geological phenomena ranging from the occurrence of mountains, ocean trenches, oceanic and continental rifts to geographic distributions of earthquakes, faults, and volcanoes. On the composition of the mantle, there is little doubt regarding the view that olivine constitutes a major fraction of the mineralogy of the earth's upper mantle. Studies are suggested to simulate the elasticity and composition of the earth's lower crust and upper mantle

  15. ADMAP-2: The second generation Antarctic crustal magnetic anomaly map. (United States)

    Ferraccioli, F.; Golynsky, A.; Golynsky, D.; Young, D. A.; Eagles, G.; Damaske, D.; Finn, C.; Aitken, A.; von Frese, R. R. B.; Ghidella, M. E.; Kim, H. R.; Hong, J.


    ADMAP-2 is the second generation crustal magnetic anomaly compilation for the Antarctic region south of 60°S. It was produced from more than 3.5 million line-km of near-surface terrestrial, airborne and marine magnetic observations collected since the International Geophysical Year 1957/58 through 2013. The data were edited, IGRF corrected, profile levelled and gridded at a 1.5-km interval on a polar stereographic projection using the minimum curvature technique. Given the ubiquitous polar cover of snow, ice and sea water, the magnetic anomaly compilation offers important constraints on the global tectonic processes and crustal properties of the Antarctic. It also links widely separated areas of outcrop to help unify disparate geologic studies, and provides insights on the lithospheric transition between Antarctica and adjacent oceans, as well as the geodynamic evolution of the Antarctic lithosphere in the assembly and break-up of the Gondwana, Rodinia, and Columbia supercontinents and key piercing points for reconstructing linkages between the protocontinents. The magnetic data together with ice-probing radar and gravity information greatly facilitate understanding the evolution of fundamental large-scale geological processes such as continental rifting, intraplate mountain building, subduction and terrane accretion processes, and intraplate basin formation.

  16. Teleseismic P-wave tomography and the upper mantle structure of the Sulu orogenic belt (China): implications for Triassic collision and exhumation mechanism (United States)

    Peng, Miao; Tan, Handong; Jiang, Mei; Xu, Zhiqin; Li, Zhonghai; Xu, Lehong


    As the largest ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic tectonic unit outcropping in the world, the Dabie-Sulu UHP metamorphic belt is considered to be one of the best areas for studying the continental dynamics. However, their continental collision and exhumation mechanism are still debated. We performed a 3D teleseismic P-wave tomography beneath the Sulu orogen for the purpose of understanding the deep structure. The tomographic results show that there is a prominently near-SN-trending low-velocity zone (LVZ) close to the Tanlu fault (TLF), indicating a slab tear of the subducted Yangtze plate (YZP) during the initial Early Triassic collision. Our results also suggest that both the Yangze crustal slab and the North China lithospheric slab were dragged downwards by the subducted oceanic slab, which constituted a ‘two-sided’ subduction mode. A conceptual geodynamic model is proposed to explain the exhumation of Sulu high- to UHP rocks and imply a polyphase exhumation driven by buoyancy of continental materials at different depth and upward extrusion of crustal partial melting rocks to the surface at the later stage.

  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 (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.

  18. Using 81Kr-age of groundwater in the Guarani Aquifer, Brazil, to constrain estimates of continental degassing flux of 4He (United States)

    Aggarwal, P. K.; Matsumoto, T.; Sturchio, N. C.; Chang, H. K.; Gastmans, D.; Lu, Z.; Jiang, W.; Müller, P.; Yokochi, R.; Han, L.; Klaus, P.; Torgersen, T.


    Continental degassing flux of helium is the dominant component of dissolved helium in deep groundwater together with that produced in-situ in the aquifer. A reliable estimate of the degassing flux is critical to the use of 4He as a dating tool in groundwater studies. The degassing flux is also important for understanding fluid and heat transport in the mantle and the rust. An independent tracer of groundwater age is required in order to deconvolute the two signals of the external, degassing flux and in situ production. Estimates of degassing flux mostly have relied upon shorter-lived radionuclides such as 14C and tritium and the resulting flux estimates have a significant variability (Torgersen, 2010). In the Guarani Aquifer in Brazil, an effective crustal 4He degassing flux into the aquifer was estimated from 81Kr ages ranging from about 70 Ka to 570 Ka. We then used the model framework of Toregesen and Ivey (1985), modified to include a diffusive reduction of originally uniform crustal helium flux from basement rocks through a thick sedimentary layer beneath the aquifer, to calculate a distribution of radiogenic 4He within the aquifer. With this framework, we obtain 4He ages that are consistent with ages based on 81Kr and 14C, and with a crustal degassing flux equivalent to that estimated from U and Th contents in the crust. The model framework for the Guarani Aquifer is also applied to data from other deep aquifers in Africa and Australia and our results suggest that the continental flux of 4He may be uniform, at least in stable continental areas. Additionally, a reliable estimate of the 4He degassing flux also helps to constrain the surficial discharge of deep groundwater.

  19. Strain transformation between tectonic extrusion and crustal thickening in the growth of the Tibetan Plateau (United States)

    Liu, M.; Li, Y.; Sun, Y.; Shen, X.


    The Indo-Eurasian continental collision since 50 Ma has thickened the crust to raise the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau and driven lateral extrusion of Asian lithospheric blocks to affect Cenozoic tectonics in central and east Asia. The relative roles of crustal thickening and tectonic extrusion, and the strain partitioning between them over time and space, remain controversial. We have analyzed the strain rates using GPS velocities, and correlated the results with vertical motion derived from precise leveling. We found that tectonic extrusion largely transforms to crustal thickening near the margins of the Tibetan Plateau. Near the NW margin of the Tibetan Plateau, the shear stain transforms to compressive strain, consistent with neotectonic studies that indicate crustal shortening and uplift. Around the SE margin, shear stain largely terminates in the southern Yunnan province of China. The present-day crustal motion in SE Tibetan Plateau can be well explained by gravitational spreading without invoking plate-edge push as envisioned in the tectonic extrusion model. Using data collected from local seismic arrays, we derived receiver functions to image the lithospheric structures across the Tibetan Plateau and the Alashan block to its north and the Ordos block to its east. Our results indicate that the mantle lithosphere of these bounding Asian blocks has not been reworked by Tibetan tectonics; instead they have acted as restrictive walls to the growing Tibetan Plateau. Our finite element modeling shows that crustal deformation along the margins of the Tibetan Plateau are consistent with the notion that the east- and southeastward extrusion of the Tibetan lithosphere is largely confined to the Tibetan Plateau because of the restrictive bounding blocks of the Asian lithosphere. Thus the tectonic impact of the Indo-Eurasian collision on the Cenozoic Asian tectonics may not be as extensive as previously thought.

  20. Magmatic and Crustal Differentiation History of Granitic Rocks from Hf-O Isotopes in Zircon (United States)

    Kemp, , A. I. S.; Hawkesworth, , C. J.; Foster, , G. L.; Paterson, , B. A.; Woodhead, , J. D.; Hergt, , J. M.; Gray, , C. M.; Whitehouse, M. J.


    Granitic plutonism is the principal agent of crustal differentiation, but linking granite emplacement to crust formation requires knowledge of the magmatic evolution, which is notoriously difficult to reconstruct from bulk rock compositions. We unlocked the plutonic archive through hafnium (Hf) and oxygen (O) isotope analysis of zoned zircon crystals from the classic hornblende-bearing (I-type) granites of eastern Australia. This granite type forms by the reworking of sedimentary materials by mantle-like magmas instead of by remelting ancient metamorphosed igneous rocks as widely believed. I-type magmatism thus drives the coupled growth and differentiation of continental crust.

  1. Crust and uppermost-mantle structure of Greenland and the Northwest Atlantic from Rayleigh wave group velocity tomography (United States)

    Darbyshire, Fiona A.; Dahl-Jensen, Trine; Larsen, Tine B.; Voss, Peter H.; Joyal, Guillaume


    The Greenland landmass preserves ˜4 billion years of tectonic history, but much of the continent is inaccessible to geological study due to the extensive inland ice cap. We map out, for the first time, the 3-D crustal structure of Greenland and the NW Atlantic ocean, using Rayleigh wave anisotropic group velocity tomography, in the period range 10-80 s, from regional earthquakes and the ongoing GLATIS/GLISN seismograph networks. 1-D inversion gives a pseudo-3-D model of shear wave velocity structure to depths of ˜100 km with a horizontal resolution of ˜200 km. Crustal thickness across mainland Greenland ranges from ˜25 km to over 50 km, and the velocity structure shows considerable heterogeneity. The large sedimentary basins on the continental shelf are clearly visible as low velocities in the upper ˜5-15 km. Within the upper continental basement, velocities are systematically lower in northern Greenland than in the south, and exhibit a broadly NW-SE trend. The thinning of the crust at the continental margins is also clearly imaged. Upper-mantle velocities show a clear distinction between typical fast cratonic lithosphere (Vs ≥4.6 km s-1) beneath Greenland and its NE margin and anomalously slow oceanic mantle (Vs ˜4.3-4.4 km s-1) beneath the NW Atlantic. We do not observe any sign of pervasive lithospheric modification across Greenland in the regions associated with the presumed Iceland hotspot track, though the average crustal velocity in this region is higher than that of areas to the north and south. Crustal anisotropy beneath Greenland is strong and complex, likely reflecting numerous episodes of tectonic deformation. Beneath the North Atlantic and Baffin Bay, the dominant anisotropy directions are perpendicular to the active and extinct spreading centres. Anisotropy in the subcontinental lithosphere is weaker than that of the crust, but still significant, consistent with cratonic lithosphere worldwide.

  2. Mantle weakening and strain localization: Implications for the long-term strength of the continental lithosphere


    Précigout , Jacques; Gueydan , Frédéric


    International audience; Mechanics of the continental lithosphere require the presence of a high-strength uppermost mantle that defines the "jelly sandwich" model for lithosphere strength layering. However, in deforming regions, growing numbers of geological and geophysical data predict a sub-Moho mantle strength lower than the crustal strength, or a "crème brûlée" model. To reconcile these two opposite views of lithosphere strength layering, we account for a new olivine rheology, which could ...

  3. Fine-scale crustal structure of the Azores Islands from teleseismic receiver functions (United States)

    Spieker, K.; Rondenay, S.; Ramalho, R. S.; Thomas, C.; Helffrich, G. R.


    The Azores plateau is located near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and consists of nine islands, most of which lie east of the MAR. Various methods including seismic reflection, gravity, and passive seismic imaging have been used to investigate the crustal thickness beneath the islands. They have yielded thickness estimates that range between roughly 10 km and 30 km, but until now models of the fine-scale crustal structure have been lacking. A comparison of the crustal structure beneath the islands that lie west and east of the MAR might give further constraints on the evolution of the islands. For example, geochemical studies carried out across the region predict the existence of volcanic interfaces that should be detected seismically within the shallow crust of some of the islands. In this study, we use data from ten seismic stations located on the Azores Islands to investigate the crustal structure with teleseismic P-wave receiver functions. We query our resulting receiver functions for signals associated with the volcanic edifice, the crust-mantle boundary, and potential underplated layers beneath the various islands. The islands west of the MAR have a crustal structure comprising two discontinuities - an upper one at 1-2 km depth marking the base of the volcanic edifice, and a lower one at 10 km depth that we interpret as crust-mantle boundary. The islands east of the MAR can be subdivided into two groups. The central islands that are closer to the MAR exhibit a crustal structure similar to that of the western islands, with a volcanic edifice reaching a depth of 2 km and an average crust-mantle boundary at around 12 km depth. The easternmost islands, located on the oldest lithosphere, exhibit a more complex crustal structure with evidence for a mid-crustal interface and an underplated layer, yielding an effective crust-mantle boundary at >15 km depth. The difference in structure between proximal and distal islands might be related to the age of the plate at the

  4. Crustal and Upper Mantle Structure from Joint Inversion of Body Wave and Gravity Data (United States)


    We use both free-air and Bouguer gravity anomalies derived from the global gravity model of the GRACE satellite mission. The gravity data provide...relocation analysis. We use both free-air and Bouguer gravity anomalies derived from the global gravity model of the GRACE satellite mission. The gravity...topographic relief this effect needs to be removed; thus, we converted free-air anomalies into Bouguer anomalies assuming a standard density for crustal rocks

  5. Evolution of deep crustal magma structures beneath Mount Baekdu volcano (MBV) intraplate volcano in northeast Asia (United States)

    Rhie, J.; Kim, S.; Tkalcic, H.; Baag, S. Y.


    Heterogeneous features of magmatic structures beneath intraplate volcanoes are attributed to interactions between the ascending magma and lithospheric structures. Here, we investigate the evolution of crustal magmatic stuructures beneath Mount Baekdu volcano (MBV), which is one of the largest continental intraplate volcanoes in northeast Asia. The result of our seismic imaging shows that the deeper Moho depth ( 40 km) and relatively higher shear wave velocities (>3.8 km/s) at middle-to-lower crustal depths beneath the volcano. In addition, the pattern at the bottom of our model shows that the lithosphere beneath the MBV is shallower (interpret the observations as a compositional double layering of mafic underplating and a overlying cooled felsic structure due to fractional crystallization of asthenosphere origin magma. To achieve enhanced vertical and horizontal model coverage, we apply two approaches in this work, including (1) a grid-search based phase velocity measurement using real-coherency of ambient noise data and (2) a transdimensional Bayesian joint inversion using multiple ambient noise dispersion data.

  6. Sub-crustal seismic activity beneath Klyuchevskoy Volcano (United States)

    Carr, M. J.; Droznina, S.; Levin, V. L.; Senyukov, S.


    Seismic activity is extremely vigorous beneath the Klyuchevskoy Volcanic Group (KVG). The unique aspect is the distribution in depth. In addition to upper-crustal seismicity, earthquakes take place at depths in excess of 20 km. Similar observations are known in other volcanic regions, however the KVG is unique in both the number of earthquakes and that they occur continuously. Most other instances of deep seismicity beneath volcanoes appear to be episodic or transient. Digital recording of seismic signals started at the KVG in early 2000s.The dense local network reliably locates earthquakes as small as ML~1. We selected records of 20 earthquakes located at depths over 20 km. Selection was based on the quality of the routine locations and the visual clarity of the records. Arrivals of P and S waves were re-picked, and hypocentral parameters re-established. Newl locations fell within the ranges outlined by historical seismicity, confirming the existence of two distinct seismically active regions. A shallower zone is at ~20 km depth, and all hypocenters are to the northeast of KVG, in a region between KVG and Shiveluch volcano. A deeper zone is at ~30 km, and all hypocenters cluster directly beneath the edifice of the Kyuchevskoy volcano. Examination of individual records shows that earthquakes in both zones are tectonic, with well-defined P and S waves - another distinction of the deep seismicity beneath KVG. While the upper seismic zone is unquestionably within the crust, the provenance of the deeper earthquakes is enigmatic. The crustal structure beneath KVG is highly complex, with no agreed-upon definition of the crust-mantle boundary. Rather, a range of values, from under 30 to over 40 km, exists in the literature. Similarly, a range of velocity structures has been reported. Teleseismic receiver functions (RFs) provide a way to position the earthquakes with respect to the crust-mantle boundary. We compare the differential travel times of S and P waves from deep

  7. Density Sorting During the Evolution of Continental Crust (United States)

    Kelemen, P. B.; Behn, M. D.; Hacker, B. R.


    We consider two settings - in addition to "delamination" of arc lower crust - in which dense, mafic eclogites founder into the convecting mantle while buoyant, felsic lithologies accumulate at the base of evolving continental crust. Arc processes play a central role in generating continental crust, but it remains uncertain how basaltic arc crust is transformed to andesitic continental crust. Dense, SiO2-poor products of fractionation may founder from the base of arc crust by "delamination", but lower arc crust after delamination has significantly different trace elements compared to lower continental crust (LCC). In an alternative model, buoyant magmatic rocks generated at arcs are first subducted, mainly via subduction erosion. Upon heating, these buoyant lithologies ascend through the mantle wedge or along a subduction channel, and are "relaminated" at
the base of overlying crust (e.g., Hacker et al EPSL 11, AREPS 15). Average buoyant lavas and plutons
for the Aleutians, Izu-Bonin-Marianas, Kohistan and Talkeetna arcs fall within the range of estimated LCC major and trace elements. Relamination is more efficient in generating continental crust than delamination. Himalayan cross-sections show Indian crust thrust beneath Tibetan crust, with no intervening mantle. There is a horizontal Moho at ca 80 km depth, extending from thickened Indian crust, across the region where Tibetan crust overlies Indian crust, into thickened Tibetan crust. About half the subducted Indian crust is present, whereas the other half is missing. Data (Vp/Vs; Miocene lavas formed by interaction of continental crust with mantle; xenolith thermometry) indicate 1000°C or more from ca 50 km depth to the Moho since the Miocene. We build on earlier studies (LePichon et al Tectonics 92, T'phys 97; Schulte-Pelkum et al Nature 05; Monsalve et al JGR 08) to advance the hypothesis that rapid growth of garnet occurs at 70-80 km and 1000°C within subducting Indian crust. Dense eclogites founder

  8. 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

  9. Métodos gravi-magnetométricos modernos para analizar las características estructurales de la plataforma continental Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Introcaso


    the frame of an academic agreement with COPLA (National Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which leads to determine the limits of our shelf, a preliminary study on the Claromecó Basin (Buenos Aires province and the continental shelf was performed. To the traditional gravi-magnetometric methods employed to define the model from 2D, 2½D and 3D inversions, we have incorporated the following ones to our study: a Semi-empirical methods: Euler and Werner deconvolution, analytical signal and gradients, which allow finding lineaments, contacts and faults. b Determination of the Curie isoterm from spectral analysis of magnetic anomalies (determination of the basement top and bottom depths and the Curie temperature. Its rises or falls are important to understand the actual crustal state. c Studies of the crustal characteristics (thickness and densities, isostatic balance from the geoid undulations N, and the future mobility. d Double inversion of gravity and geoid, in order to obtain a more consistent model. Alter the application of this methodology to the Claromecó basin, very important lineaments were found, and the isostatic balance was certified. The basin was found to present a sedimentary thickness of one third the normal crustal thickness of the area.

  10. From the Variscan to the Alpine Orogeny: crustal structure of the Bohemian Massif and the Western Carpathians in the light of the SUDETES 2003 seismic data

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hrubcová, Pavla; Środa, P.; Grad, M.; Geissler, W.H.; Guterch, A.; Vozár, J.; Hegedüs, E.


    Roč. 183, č. 2 (2010), s. 611-633 ISSN 0956-540X R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP210/10/2063 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : controlled source seismology * body waves * continental margins: convergent * crustal structure * Europe Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 2.411, year: 2010

  11. Reworked crustal of early Paleozoic WuYi Orogen revealed by receiver function data (United States)

    Wei, Y.; Duan, Y.; Tian, X.; Zhao, Y.


    Intraplate orogenic belt, which occurs at the rigid and undeformable plate interiors, is a distinct new type of orogen rather than an interplate or plate marginal orogenic belt, whose deformation occurs exclusively at plate margins. Therefore, intraplate orogenic belts are the most obvious exception to the plate-tectonic paradigm, they are uncommon in Earth's history. The early Paleozoic Wuyi orogen in South China is one of the few examples of intraplate orogen, and is a key to understanding the process of intraplate orogenesis and global early Paleozoic geodynamics. In this study, we select teleseismic records from 45 mobile linear seismic stations deployed in Wuyi Mountain and 58 permanent stations setting in Jiangxi and Fujian provinces, from January 2011 to December 2012, and calculate the crustal thickness and average crustal Vp/Vs ratio using the H-κ stacking method. The main results include the following: 1) the crustal average Poission's ratio shows an increase tendency from land to sea, the interior of Wuyi orogen belt with an low ration less than 0.23, and the coastline with high ration which is up to 0.28, which indicate a very heterogeneous crustal structure and composition in Wuyi orogen and coast belt. 2) the crustal thickness ranges 28-34 km and shows a tendency of thinning from inland to coast in the region of SE China margin, which maight mean the eastern Eurasia lithospheric is extension and thinning induced by the subducted paleo-Pacific slab. To conclusion, we assume that Wuyi orogen experienced upper crustal thickening, lower crust and lithosphere delamination during the early Paleozoic orogeny, and lithosphere extension in Mesozoic. This research is founded by the Natural Science Foundation of China (41174052 and 41604048).

  12. Strong SH-to-Love wave scattering off the Southern California Continental Borderland (United States)

    Yu, Chunquan; Zhan, Zhongwen; Hauksson, Egill; Cochran, Elizabeth S.


    Seismic scattering is commonly observed and results from wave propagation in heterogeneous medium. Yet, deterministic characterization of scatterers associated with lateral heterogeneities remains challenging. In this study, we analyze broadband waveforms recorded by the Southern California Seismic Network and observe strongly scattered Love waves following the arrival of teleseismic SH wave. These scattered Love waves travel approximately in the same (azimuthal) direction as the incident SH wave at a dominant period of ~10 s but at an apparent velocity of ~3.6 km/s as compared to the ~11 km/s for the SH wave. Back-projection suggests that this strong scattering is associated with pronounced bathymetric relief in the Southern California Continental Borderland, in particular the Patton Escarpment. Finite-difference simulations using a simplified 2-D bathymetric and crustal model are able to predict the arrival times and amplitudes of major scatterers. The modeling suggests a relatively low shear wave velocity in the Continental Borderland.

  13. REE, Sm-Nd and U-Pb zircon study of eclogites from the Alpine External Massifs (Western Alps): Evidence for crustal contamination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paquette, J.L.; Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule, Zurich; Menot, R.P.; Peucat, J.J.


    A geochemical and geochronological study of the Alpine External Crystalline Massifs (AECM) of Aiguilles Rouges, Belledonne and Argentera was undertaken in order to constrain the geodynamic evolution of this segment of the Variscan foldbelt. Another aim of the study is to characterize the behaviour of isotopic markers, in particular the U-Pb zircon system, under high-grade metamorphic conditions. The whole-rock geochemistry of eclogites and amphibolites was investigated using major and trace element (including the REE) analytical techniques; isotopic studies were performed by application of the Sm-Nd whole-rock and U-Pb zircon methods. In terms of regional geological history, the early development of metamorphic and magmatic activity in the AECM is typical of the extensional tectonic regime observed throughout the Variscan foldbelt during the Cambro-Ordovician (i.e. basic magmatism dated at 475-450 Ma). The composition of the metabasic rocks is closely similar to tholeiites emplaced into thinned continental crust which are generally associated with the initial stages of oceanic rifting. The source regions for these metabasics are characterized by initial ε Nd values between +6 and +8, suggesting depleted mantle sources influenced by a weak crustal component and/or the existence of a metasomatised lithosphere. The multi-stage eclogite-facies metamorphism is dated at 425-395 Ma (i.e. Silurian). An application of the U-Pb method, associated with the artificial abrasion of zircon grains, has led to the recognition of a weak crustal contamination in the metabasic protoliths. This is implied by the Archaean and Lower Proterozoic upper intercepts on Concordia - devoid of geological significance - which reflect the presence of a pre-existing basement to the AECM. (orig./WL)

  14. Subsidence history, crustal structure and evolution of the Nogal Rift, Northern Somalia (United States)

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


    zone which begins beneath the Kali-1 and Nogal-1 wells and ends beneath the upper continental rise.

  15. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  17. Late Cretaceous-recent tectonic assembly of diverse crustal blocks in Central America, the Nicaraguan Rise, the Colombian Basin and northern South America as seen on a 1600-km-long, geologic and structural transect (United States)

    Sanchez, J.; Mann, P.


    We have constructed a 1600-km-long transect from northern Honduras to northern Colombia that crosses northeastward-striking crustal blocks using a combination of offshore seismic data, gravity and magnetic data, well subsidence information, nearby outcrop information, and results from previous thermochronological, geochronological, geochemical and paleostress studies. The transect defines three major crustal and structural provinces: 1) Precambrian-Paleozoic, Chortis continental block whose northern edge is defined by the North America-Caribbean plate boundary. Events in this ~20-25-km-thick province include two major unconformities at the top of the Cretaceous and Eocene, associated southeast-dipping thrust faults related to collision of the Great Arc of the Caribbean (GAC) and Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) with the Chortis continental block. A third event is Eocene to recent subsidence and transtensional basins formed during the opening of the Cayman trough; 2) Late Cretaceous GAC and CLIP of oceanic arc and plateau origin, whose northern, deformed edge corresponds to the mapped Siuna belt of northern Nicaragua. This crustal province has a ~15-20-km-thick crust and is largely undeformed and extends across the Lower Nicaraguan Rise, Hess fault, to the southern limit of the Colombian basin where about 300 km of this province has been subducted beneath the accretionary wedge of the South Caribbean deformed belt of northwestern South America; and 3) Eocene to recent accretionary prism and intramontane basins on continental crust of northern South America, where Miocene accelerated exhumation and erosion of Paleogene and Cretaceous rocks reflect either shallow subduction of the CLIP or the Panama collisional event to the southwest.

  18. Recording the transition from flare-up to steady-state arc magmatism at the Purico-Chascon volcanic complex, northern Chile (United States)

    Burns, Dale H.; de Silva, Shanaka L.; Tepley, Frank; Schmitt, Axel K.; Loewen, Matthew W.


    The long-term evolution of continental magmatic arcs is episodic, where a few transient events of high magmatic flux or flare-ups punctuate the low-flux magmatism or "steady state" that makes up most of the arc history. How this duality manifests in terms of differences in crustal architecture, magma dynamics and chemistry, and the time scale over which transitions occur is poorly known. Herein we use multiscale geochemical and isotopic characteristics coupled with geothermobarometry at the Purico-Chascon Volcanic Complex (PCVC) in the Central Andes to identify a transition from flare-up to steady state arc magmatism over ∼800 kyr during which significant changes in upper crustal magmatic dynamics are recorded. The PCVC is one of the youngest volcanic centers related to a 10-1 Ma ignimbrite flare-up in the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex of the Central Andes. Activity at the PCVC initiated 0.98 ± 0.03 Ma with the eruption of a large 80-100 km3 crystal-rich dacite ignimbrite. High, restricted 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios between 0.7085 and 0.7090 in the bulk rock and plagioclase crystals from the Purico ignimbrite, combined with mineral chemistry and phase relationships indicate the dacite magma accumulated and evolved at relatively low temperatures around 800-850 °C in the upper crust at 4-8 km depth. Minor andesite pumice erupted late in the ignimbrite sequence records a second higher temperature (965 °C), higher pressure environment (17-20 km), but with similar restricted radiogenic bulk rock 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7089-0.7091 to the dacites. The compositional and isotopic characteristics of the Purico ignimbrite implicate an extensive zone of upper crustal mixing, assimilation, storage and homogenization (MASH) between ∼30 and 4 km beneath the PCVC ∼1 Ma. The final eruptions at the PCVC engine". High magmatic fluxes during the flare-up would lead to elevated geothermal gradients and efficient crustal processing leading to a dominantly "crustal" magmatism feeding the

  19. Excess europium content in Precambrian sedimentary rocks and continental evolution (United States)

    Jakes, P.; Taylor, S. R.


    It is proposed that the europium excess in Precambrian sedimentary rocks, relative to those of younger age, is derived from volcanic rocks of ancient island arcs, which were the source materials for the sediments. Precambrian sedimentary rocks and present-day volcanic rocks of island arcs have similar REE patterns, total REE abundances, and excess Eu, relative to the North American shale composite. The present upper crustal REE pattern, as exemplified by that of sediments, is depleted in Eu, relative to chondrites. This depletion is considered to be a consequence of development of a granodioritic upper crust by partial melting in the lower crust, which selectively retains europium.

  20. Geology of the Ulugh Muztagh area, northern Tibet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burchfiel, B.C.; Molnar, P.


    Within the Ulugh Muztagh area, north central Tibet, an east-west-trending ophiolitic melange marks a suture that apparently was formed during a late Triassic or slightly younger collision between a continental fragment to the south and the rest of Asia. The southern continental fragment carries a thick sequence of upper Triassic sandstone, but the contact between the sandstone and the ophiolitic melange is covered by a younger redbed sequence of unknown age. A suite of 2-mica, tourmaline-bearing leucogranite plutons and dikes intruded the Triassic sandstone at shallow crustal levels 10.5 to 8.4 Ma. These rocks range from granite to tonalite in composition, are geochemically very similar to slightly older High Himalayan leucogranite and are interpreted to have been derived by the partial melting of crustal material. We interpret this to mean that crustal thickening began in this part of the Tibetan plateau at least by 10.5 Ma. Welded rhyolitic tuff rests on a conglomerate that consists of abundant debris from the Ulugh Muztagh intrusive rocks and has yielded Ar/Ar ages of about 4 Ma. The tuffs are geochemically identical to the intrusive rocks suggesting that crustal thickening may have continued to 4 Ma. Crustal thickening probably occurred by distributed crustal shortening similar to shortening now occurring north of Ulugh Muztagh along the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. (orig.)

  1. Magnesium Isotopes as a Tracer of Crustal Materials in Volcanic Arc Magmas in the Northern Cascade Arc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron W. Brewer


    Full Text Available Fifteen North Cascade Arc basalts and andesites were analyzed for Mg isotopes to investigate the extent and manner of crustal contributions to this magmatic system. The δ26Mg of these samples vary from within the range of ocean island basalts (the lightest being −0.33 ± 0.07‰ to heavier compositions (as heavy as −0.15 ± 0.06‰. The observed range in chemical and isotopic composition is similar to that of other volcanic arcs that have been assessed to date in the circum-pacific subduction zones and in the Caribbean. The heavy Mg isotope compositions are best explained by assimilation and fractional crystallization within the deep continental crust with a possible minor contribution from the addition of subducting slab-derived fluids to the primitive magma. The bulk mixing of sediment into the primitive magma or mantle source and the partial melting of garnet-rich peridotite are unlikely to have produced the observed range of Mg isotope compositions. The results show that Mg isotopes may be a useful tracer of crustal input into a magma, supplementing traditional methods such as radiogenic isotopic and trace element data, particularly in cases in which a high fraction of crustal material has been added.

  2. Recent crustal movements and seismicity in the western coastal region of peninsular India (United States)

    Kailasam, L. N.


    Recent crustal movements, tectonics and seismicity of the western coastal region of peninsular India have been studied in detail in the very recent past. Prominent geomorphic features and large-scale manifestation of Holocene deformation and crustal movements have been noticed and studied over this coastal region from the Gulf of Cambay to the southernmost parts of Kerala, evidence for which is afforded in the form of Recent and sub-Recent raised beaches, sandbars, raised old terraces, pebble beds, etc. The sedimentary formations in this narrow coastal belt include Neogene and Quaternary sediments. The Bouguer gravity map of the western coastal tract shows some prominent gravity features extending into the offshore regions, suggestive of some significant tectonic and structural features. The seismic data in the offshore regions bring out some prominent roughly northwest-southeast as well as east-west faults and shears, in addition to prominent structural "highs" off the Bombay and Ratnagiri coast which have proved oil. The seismicity in this coastal tract as well as the faulted western margin of the western continental shelf in the Arabian Sea is generally of magnitude 3-6.

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

    Cuthbert, Simon


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

  4. Extension style in the Orphan Basin during the Mesozoic North Atlantic rifting (United States)

    Gouiza, Mohamed; Hall, Jeremy


    The Orphan Basin, lying along the Newfoundland passive continental margin, has formed in Mesozoic time during the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean and the breakup of Iberia/Eurasia from North America. Regional deep seismic reflection profiles across the basin indicate that the Neoproterozoic basement has been affected by repeated extensional episodes between the Late Triassic/Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous. Deformation initiated in the eastern part of the Orphan basin in the Jurassic and migrated toward the west in the Early Cretaceous, resulting in numerous rift structures filled with Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous syn-rift successions and sealed by thick Upper Cretaceous-Cenozoic post-rift sediments. The seismic data show an extremely attenuated crust underneath the eastern and western part of the deep basin, forming two sub-basins associated with the development of rifting. The two sub-basins are separated by a wide structural high with a relatively thick crust and are bounded to the west by the continental shelf domain. Restoration of the Orphan Basin along a 2D crustal section (520 km long), yields a total amount of stretching of about 144 km, while the total crustal thinning indicates an extension of around 250 km, assuming mass conservation along the section and an initial crustal thickness of 28 km. Brittle deformation accommodated by normal faults is documented in the seismic profiles and affected essentially the present-day upper portion of the crust, and represents only 60% of the total extension which thinned the Orphan crust. The remaining crustal thinning must involve other deformation processes which are not (easily) recognizable in the seismic data. We propose two models that could explain discrepancies between brittle deformation and total crustal thinning during lithospheric extension. The first model assumes the reactivation of pre-rift inherited structures, which act as crustal-scale detachments during the early stages of rifting. The second

  5. A First Layered Crustal Velocity Model for the Western Solomon Islands: Inversion of Measured Group Velocity of Surface Waves using Ambient Noise Cross-Correlation (United States)

    Ku, C. S.; Kuo, Y. T.; Chao, W. A.; You, S. H.; Huang, B. S.; Chen, Y. G.; Taylor, F. W.; Yih-Min, W.


    Two earthquakes, MW 8.1 in 2007 and MW 7.1 in 2010, hit the Western Province of Solomon Islands and caused extensive damage, but motivated us to set up the first seismic network in this area. During the first phase, eight broadband seismic stations (BBS) were installed around the rupture zone of 2007 earthquake. With one-year seismic records, we cross-correlated the vertical component of ambient noise recorded in our BBS and calculated Rayleigh-wave group velocity dispersion curves on inter-station paths. The genetic algorithm to invert one-dimensional crustal velocity model is applied by fitting the averaged dispersion curves. The one-dimensional crustal velocity model is constituted by two layers and one half-space, representing the upper crust, lower crust, and uppermost mantle respectively. The resulted thickness values of the upper and lower crust are 6.4 and 14.2 km, respectively. Shear-wave velocities (VS) of the upper crust, lower crust, and uppermost mantle are 2.53, 3.57 and 4.23 km/s with the VP/VS ratios of 1.737, 1.742 and 1.759, respectively. This first layered crustal velocity model can be used as a preliminary reference to further study seismic sources such as earthquake activity and tectonic tremor.

  6. 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...

  7. Crustal Poisson’s ratio anomalies in the eastern part of North China and their origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wencai Yang


    Full Text Available Seismic tomography can provide both fine P-wave and S-wave velocity structures of the crust and upper mantle. In addition, with proper computation, Poisson’s ratio images from the seismic velocities can be determined. However, it is unknown whether Poisson’s ratio images have any advantages when compared with the P-wave and S-wave velocity images. For the purposes of this study, high-resolution seismic tomography under the eastern part of North China region was used to determine detailed 3-D crustal P- and S-wave seismic velocities structure, as well as Poisson’s ratio images. Results of Poisson’s ratio imaging show high Poisson’s ratio (high-PR anomalies located in the Hengshan-North Taihang-Zhangjiakou (H-NT-Z region, demonstrating that Poisson’s ratio imaging can provide new geophysical constraints for regional tectonic evolution. The H-NT-Z region shows a prominent and continuous high-PR anomaly in the upper crust. Based on Poisson’s ratio images at different depths, we find that this high-PR anomaly is extending down to the middle crust with thickness up to about 26 km. According to rock physical property measurements and other geological data, this crustal Poisson’s ratio anomaly can be explained by Mesozoic partial melting of the upper mantle and basaltic magma underplating related to the lithospheric thinning of the North China craton.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Crustal Structure of the North-South Earthquake Belt in China Revealed from Deep Seismic Soundings and Gravity Data (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Guo, Lianghui; Shi, Lei; Li, Yonghua


    The North-South earthquake belt (NSEB) is one of the major earthquake regions in China. The studies of crustal structure play a great role in understanding tectonic evolution and in evaluating earthquake hazards in this region. However, some fundamental crustal parameters, especially crustal interface structure, are not clear in this region. In this paper, we reconstructed the crustal interface structure around the NSEB based on both the deep seismic sounding (DSS) data and the gravity data. We firstly reconstructed the crustal structure of crystalline basement (interface G), interface between upper and lower crusts (interface C) and Moho in the study area by compiling the results of 38 DSS profiles published previously. Then, we forwardly calculated the gravity anomalies caused by the interfaces G and C, and then subtracted them from the complete Bouguer gravity anomalies, yielding the regional gravity anomalies mainly due to the Moho interface. We then utilized a lateral-variable density interface inversion technique with constraints of the DSS data to invert the regional anomalies for the Moho depth model in the study area. The reliability of our Moho depth model was evaluated by comparing with other Moho depth models derived from other gravity inversion technique and receiver function analysis. Based on our Moho depth model, we mapped the crustal apparent density distribution in the study area for better understanding the geodynamics around the NSEB.

  11. Three-dimensional crust and upper mantle structure at the Nevada test site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, S.R.


    The three-dimensional crust and upper mantle structure at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) is derived by combining teleseismic P wave travel time residuals with Pn source time terms. The NTS time terms and relative teleseismic residuals are calculated by treating the explosions as a network of 'receivers' which record 'shots' located at the surrounding stations. Utilization of the Pn time terms allows for better crustal resolution than is possible from teleseismic information alone. Average relative teleseismic P wave residuals show a consistent progression of positive (late arrivals) to negative residuals from east to west across the NTS. However, Pn time terms beneath Rainier Mesa are at least 0.3 and 0.5 s less than those beneath Pahute Mesa and Yucca Flat, respectively, indicating the presence of high-velocity crustal material or crustal thinning beneath Rainier Mesa. The time terms at Pahute Mesa are surprisingly uniform, and the largest time terms and residuals are observed in the northwest and southern parts of Yucca Flat. The Pn time terms show a slight correlation with the working-point velocity at the shot point for Pahute Mesa and Yucca Flat, indicating that part of the observed lateral variations are caused by shallow effects of the upper crust. Three-dimensional inversion of the travel time residuals suggests that Yucca Flat is characterized by low-velocity anomalies confined to the upper crust, Rainer Mesa by very high velocities in the upper and middle crust, and Pahute Mesa by a high-velocity anomaly extending through the crust and into the upper mantle. Relatively low velocities are observed in the lower crust beneath the Timber Mountain caldera south of Pahute Mesa with no expression in the upper mantle. These observed differences in velocity beneath the Tertiary Silent Canyon and Timber Mountain calderas may be related to their magma volume and mode of enrichment from a mantle-derived magma source

  12. Continentward-Dipping Normal Faults, Boudinage and Ductile Shear at Rifted Passive Margins (United States)

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


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

  13. Crustal velocity structure of central Gansu Province from regional seismic waveform inversion using firework algorithm (United States)

    Chen, Yanyang; Wang, Yanbin; Zhang, Yuansheng


    The firework algorithm (FWA) is a novel swarm intelligence-based method recently proposed for the optimization of multi-parameter, nonlinear functions. Numerical waveform inversion experiments using a synthetic model show that the FWA performs well in both solution quality and efficiency. We apply the FWA in this study to crustal velocity structure inversion using regional seismic waveform data of central Gansu on the northeastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Seismograms recorded from the moment magnitude ( M W) 5.4 Minxian earthquake enable obtaining an average crustal velocity model for this region. We initially carried out a series of FWA robustness tests in regional waveform inversion at the same earthquake and station positions across the study region, inverting two velocity structure models, with and without a low-velocity crustal layer; the accuracy of our average inversion results and their standard deviations reveal the advantages of the FWA for the inversion of regional seismic waveforms. We applied the FWA across our study area using three component waveform data recorded by nine broadband permanent seismic stations with epicentral distances ranging between 146 and 437 km. These inversion results show that the average thickness of the crust in this region is 46.75 km, while thicknesses of the sedimentary layer, and the upper, middle, and lower crust are 3.15, 15.69, 13.08, and 14.83 km, respectively. Results also show that the P-wave velocities of these layers and the upper mantle are 4.47, 6.07, 6.12, 6.87, and 8.18 km/s, respectively.

  14. Sombrero uplift above the Altiplano-Puna Magma Body: evidence of a ballooning mid-crustal diapir. (United States)

    Fialko, Yuri; Pearse, Jill


    The Altiplano-Puna ultralow-velocity zone in the central Andes, South America, is the largest active magma body in Earth's continental crust. Space geodetic observations reported an uplift in the Altiplano-Puna proper at a rate of ~10 mm/year; however, the nature of the inferred inflation source has been uncertain. We present data showing that the uplift has persisted at a nearly constant rate over the past two decades, and is surrounded by a broad zone of subsidence. We show that the ongoing uplift and peripheral subsidence may result from a large mid-crustal diapir fed by partial melt from the Altiplano-Puna Magma Body.

  15. A coupled petrological-geodynamical model to investigate the evolution of crustal magmatic systems (United States)

    Kaus, B. J. P.; Rummel, L.; White, R. W.


    The evolution of crustal magmatic systems can be analyzed from different physical and chemical perspectives. Most previous work focus either on the petrological side (considering thermal effects and ignoring mechanics), or on the mechanical evolution (assuming a fixed melt chemistry). Here, we consider both by combining a 2D finite element code, MVEP2, with a thermodynamic modelling approach (Perple_X). Density, melt fraction and the chemical composition of the liquid and solid phase are computed for different starting rock compositions and the evolving chemistry is tracked on markers via 10 main oxides (SiO2-TiO2-Al2O3-Cr2O3-MgO-FeO-CaO-Na2O-K2O-H2O). As soon as the local chemistry changes due to melt extraction, new phase diagrams are computed based on the residual solid chemistry for the deflated magma chamber or on the liquid chemistry for newly generated magma filled fractures. To investigate the chemical evolution in magma chambers and magma filled fractures, we inject mafic sills periodically at varying depth levels into the continental crust. The initial sill injections are focused in either one or two main zones in the crust and may interact with each other. The formation of magma filled fractures from this partially molten zone is tracked with a semi analytical dike initiation algorithm that forms new dikes as a function of the local stress field above the partially molten region and subsequently depletes and compacts the magma source region. Dike generation is thus affected by the background strain rate, amount and depth of melt accumulations as well as parameters that control the plastic and viscous behaviour of the crust (e.g. cohesion, viscous creep flow low etc.). Results show that magma filled fractures triggered by sill injections preferentially form under extensional conditions, particularly within the middle crust (in ca. 25 km depth). Magma chambers in the lower continental crust, on the other hand, are stable over a longer period of time due a

  16. Crustal anisotropy from Moho converted Ps wave splitting and geodynamic implications in Northeastern margin of Tibetan Plateau (United States)

    Xie, Z.; Wu, Q.; Zhang, R.


    Collision between Indian and Eurasian result in intense deformation and crustal shortening in the Tibetan Plateau. NE margin of Tibetan Plateau experienced complex deformation between Qilian orogen and its adjacent blocks, Alxa Block in the north and Ordos Block in the east. We focus on if there any evidences exist in the NE margin of Tibetan Plateau, which can support crustal channel flow model. China Earthquake Administration had deployed temporary seismic array which is called ChinaArray Phase Ⅱ, dense seismic stations covered NE margin of Tibetan Plateau. Seismic data recorded by 81 seismic stations is applied in this research. We calculated receiver functions with time-domain deconvolution. We selected RFs which have clear Ps phase both in radial and transverse components to measure Ps splitting owing to crustal anisotropy, and 130 pairs of anisotropy parameters of 51 seismic stations were obtained. We would like to discuss about dynamic mechanism of this area using crustal anisotropy associated with the result of SKS-splitting and surface constrains like GPS velocity. The result can be summarized as follows. The large scale of delay time imply that the crustal anisotropy mainly derives from middle to lower crust rather than upper crust. In the southeastern part of the research area, crustal anisotropy is well agree with the result computed form SKS-splitting and GPS velocity directions trending NWW-SEE or E-W direction. This result imply a vertically coherent deformation in the area as the directions of crustal anisotropy trend to be perpendicular to the direction of normal stress. In the middle and north part of the research area, the fast polarization direction of crustal anisotropy is NEE-SWW or E-W direction, parallels with direction of GPS velocity, but differ to the direction of the result of SKS-splitting. This result may imply that decoupled deformation in this area associated with middle to lower crustal flow.

  17. 3D Numerical Examination of Continental Mantle Lithosphere Response to Lower Crust Eclogitization and Nearby Slab Subduction (United States)

    Janbakhsh, P.; Pysklywec, R.


    2D numerical modeling techniques have made great contribution to understanding geodynamic processes involved in crustal and lithospheric scale deformations for the past 20 years. The aim of this presentation is to expand the scope covered by previous researchers to 3 dimensions to address out-of-plane intrusion and extrusion of mantle material in and out of model space, and toroidal mantle wedge flows. In addition, 3D velocity boundary conditions can create more realistic models to replicate real case scenarios. 3D numerical experiments that will be presented are designed to investigate the density and viscosity effects of lower crustal eclogitization on the decoupling process of continental mantle lithosphere from the crust and its delamination. In addition, these models examine near-field effects of a subducting ocean lithosphere and a lithospheric scale fault zone on the evolution of the processes. The model solutions and predictions will also be compared against the Anatolian geology where subduction of Aegean and Arabian slabs, and the northern boundary with the North Anatolian Fault Zone are considered as two main contributing factors to anomalous crustal uplift, missing mantle lithosphere, and anomalous surface heat flux.

  18. A Review of Recent Developments in the Study of Regional Lithospheric Electrical Structure of the Asian Continent (United States)

    Zhang, Letian


    The Asian continent was formed through the amalgamation of several major continental blocks that were formerly separated by the Paleo-Asian and Tethyan Oceans. During this process, the Asian continent underwent a long period of continental crustal growth and tectonic deformation, making it the largest and youngest continent on Earth. This paper presents a review of the application of geophysical electromagnetic methods, mainly the magnetotelluric (MT) method, in recent investigations of the diverse tectonic features across the Asian continent. The case studies cover the major continental blocks of Asia, the Central Asian orogenic system, the Tethyan orogenic system, as well as the western Pacific subduction system. In summary, most of the major continental blocks of Asia exhibit a three-layer structure with a resistive upper crust and upper mantle and a relatively conductive mid-lower crust. Large-scale conductors in the upper mantle were interpreted as an indication of lithospheric modification at the craton margins. The electrical structure of the Central Asian orogenic system is generally more resistive than the bordering continental blocks, whereas the Tethyan orogenic system displays more conductive, with pervasive conductors in the lower crust and upper mantle. The western Pacific subduction system shows increasing complexity in its electrical structure from its northern extent to its southern extent. In general, the following areas of the Asian continent have increasingly conductive lithospheric electrical structures, which correspond to a transition from the most stable areas to the most active tectonic areas of Asia: the major continental blocks, the accretionary Central Asian orogenic system, the collisional Tethyan orogenic system, and the western Pacific subduction system. As a key part of this review, a three-dimensional (3-D) model of the lithospheric electrical structure of a large portion of the Tibetan Plateau is presented and discussed in detail

  19. Regional implications of heat flow of the Snake River Plain, Northwestern United States (United States)

    Blackwell, D. D.


    The Snake River Plain is a major topographic feature of the Northwestern United States. It marks the track of an upper mantle and crustal melting event that propagated across the area from southwest to northeast at a velocity of about 3.5 cm/yr. The melting event has the same energetics as a large oceanic hotspot or plume and so the area is the continental analog of an oceanic hotspot track such as the Hawaiian Island-Emperor Seamount chain. Thus, the unique features of the area reflect the response of a continental lithosphere to a very energetic hotspot. The crust is extensively modified by basalt magma emplacement into the crust and by the resulting massive rhyolite volcanism from melted crustal material, presently occurring at Yellowstone National Park. The volcanism is associated with little crustal extension. Heat flow values are high along the margins of the Eastern and Western Snake River Plains and there is abundant evidence for low-grade geothermal resources associated with regional groundwater systems. The regional heat flow pattern in the Western Snake River Plains reflects the influence of crustal-scale thermal refraction associated with the large sedimentary basin that has formed there. Heat flow values in shallow holes in the Eastern Snake River Plains are low due to the Snake River Plains aquifer, an extensive basalt aquifer where water flow rates approach 1 km/yr. Below the aquifer, conductive heat flow values are about 100 mW m -2. Deep holes in the region suggest a systematic eastward increase in heat flow in the Snake River Plains from about 75-90 mW m -2 to 90-110 mW m -2. Temperatures in the upper crust do not behave similarly because the thermal conductivity of the Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary rocks in the west is lower than that in the volcanic rocks characteristic of the Eastern Snake River Plains. Extremely high heat loss values (averaging 2500 mW m -2) and upper crustal temperatures are characteristic of the Yellowstone caldera.

  20. Pb-Sr-Nd-O isotopic characterization of Mesozoic rocks throughout the northern end of the Peninsular Ranges batholith: Isotopic evidence for the magmatic evolution of oceanic arc–continental margin accretion during the Late Cretaceous of southern California (United States)

    Kistler, Ronald W.; Wooden, Joseph L.; Premo, Wayne R.; Morton, Douglas M.


    contaminated magmatic arc. The Peninsular Ranges batholith magmatic arc was initially an oceanic arc built on Panthalassan lithosphere that eventually evolved into a continental margin magmatic arc collision zone, eventually overriding North American cratonic lithosphere. Our Pb-Sr-Nd data further suggest that the western arc rocks represent a nearshore or inboard oceanic arc, as they exhibit isotopic signatures that are more enriched than typical mid-ocean-ridge basalt (MORB). Isotopic signatures from the central zone are transitional and indicate that enriched crustal magma sources were becoming involved in the northern Peninsular Ranges batholith magmatic plumbing. As the oceanic arc–continental margin collision progressed, a mixture of oceanic mantle and continental magmatic sources transpired. Magmatic production in the northern Peninsular Ranges batholith moved eastward and continued to tap enriched crustal magmatic sources. Similar modeling has been previously proposed for two other western margin magmatic arcs, the Sierra Nevada batholith of central California and the Idaho batholith.Calculated initial Nd signatures at ca. 100 Ma for Permian–Jurassic and Proterozoic basement rocks from the nearby San Gabriel Mountains and possible source areas along the southwestern Laurentian margin of southern California, southwestern Arizona, and northern Sonora strongly suggest their involvement with deep crustal magma mixing beneath the eastern zones of the Peninsular Ranges batholith, as well as farther east in continental lithospheric zones.Last, several samples from the allochthonous, easternmost upper-plate zone, which are considerably younger (ca. 84 Ma) than any of the rocks from the northern Peninsular Ranges batholith proper, have even more enriched average Sri, 206Pbi, 208Pbi, and εNdisignatures of 0.7079, 19.344, 38.881, and −6.6, respectively, indicative of the most-evolved magma sources in the northern Peninsular Ranges batholith and similar to radioisotopic

  1. Regionalization of Crustal and Upper Mantle Q Structure in Eastern Eurasia Using Multiple Regional Waves

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gaherty, James; Lerner-Lam, Arthur


    We have mapped lateral variations in seismic Q in eastern Eurasia, including continental China, central Asia, Mongolia and Siberia, using high-frequency regional phases Lg and Pn, as well as long-period Rayleigh waves...

  2. Crustal Structure and Mantle Transition Zone Thickness beneath the Central Mongolia from Teleseismic Receiver Functions (United States)

    He, J.; Wu, Q.; Gao, M.; Munkhuu, U.; Demberel, S. G.


    The Mongolian Plateau (northern Asia) is situated between the Gobi-Altai range and the Siberian craton. In order to understand the crustal and mantle structure environmental characteristics, we use the teleseismic data recorded by 69 broadband stations located in the Central Mongolia(103.5°-111.5°E, 42°-50°N). The teleseismic events are selected from the global earthquakes between Aug. 2011 and Dec. 2013 with magnitude >5.5and the epicentral distance range from 30° to 95° to the center of the network. Lateral variations of the crustal thicknesses H and Vp/Vs ratios are obtained by using receiver function method. The crust thins gradually from northwest to southeast in the studying field. We found that the thinnest crust is ~37.5km in the southeast which is Gobi. The distribution of Vp/Vs ratios are between 1.68 and 1.84, which shows the heterogeneity. There are three high-anomaly areas: the Gobi range which is the Later Paleozoic Orogeny; the Khentei Mountains which is in the Jurassic-Cretaceous Reactive Continental Margin; the northwest area which is granite. Our research not only reveals the powerful evident of the crustal formation and evolution mechanism, but also provides some constraints on the mechanism of uplift of the Mongolian Plateau.This study was supported by the international cooperation project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2011DFB20120).

  3. Geological constraints on continental arc activity since 720 Ma: implications for the link between long-term climate variability and episodicity of continental arcs (United States)

    Cao, W.; Lee, C. T.


    Continental arc volcanoes have been suggested to release more CO2 than island arc volcanoes due to decarbonation of wallrock carbonates in the continental upper plate through which the magmas traverse (Lee et al., 2013). Continental arcs may thus play an important role in long-term climate. To test this hypothesis, we compiled geological maps to reconstruct the surface distribution of granitoid plutons and the lengths of ancient continental arcs. These results were then compiled into a GIS framework and incorporated into GPlates plate reconstructions. Our results show an episodic nature of global continental arc activity since 720 Ma. The lengths of continental arcs were at minimums during most of the Cryogenian ( 720-670 Ma), the middle Paleozoic ( 460-300 Ma) and the Cenozoic ( 50-0 Ma). Arc lengths were highest during the Ediacaran ( 640-570 Ma), the early Paleozoic ( 550-430 Ma) and the entire Mesozoic with peaks in the Early Triassic ( 250-240 Ma), Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous ( 160-130 Ma), and Late Cretaceous ( 90-65 Ma). The extensive continental arcs in the Ediacaran and early Paleozoic reflect the Pan-African events and circum-Gondwana subduction during the assembly of the Gondwana supercontinent. The Early Triassic peak is coincident with the final closure of the paleo-Asian oceans and the onset of circum-Pacific subduction associated with the assembly of the Pangea supercontinent. The Jurassic-Cretaceous peaks reflect the extensive continental arcs established in the western Pacific, North and South American Cordillera, coincident with the initial dispersal of the Pangea. Continental arcs are favored during the final assembly and the early-stage dispersal of a supercontinent. Our compilation shows a temporal match between continental arc activity and long-term climate at least since 720 Ma. For example, continental arc activity was reduced during the Cryogenian icehouse event, and enhanced during the Early Paleozoic and Jurassic-Cretaceous greenhouse

  4. Ancient Continental Lithosphere Dislocated Beneath Ocean Basins Along the Mid-Lithosphere Discontinuity: A Hypothesis (United States)

    Wang, Zhensheng; Kusky, Timothy M.; Capitanio, Fabio A.


    The documented occurrence of ancient continental cratonic roots beneath several oceanic basins remains poorly explained by the plate tectonic paradigm. These roots are found beneath some ocean-continent boundaries, on the trailing sides of some continents, extending for hundreds of kilometers or farther into oceanic basins. We postulate that these cratonic roots were left behind during plate motion, by differential shearing along the seismically imaged mid-lithosphere discontinuity (MLD), and then emplaced beneath the ocean-continent boundary. Here we use numerical models of cratons with realistic crustal rheologies drifting at observed plate velocities to support the idea that the mid-lithosphere weak layer fostered the decoupling and offset of the African continent's buoyant cratonic root, which was left behind during Meso-Cenozoic continental drift and emplaced beneath the Atlantic Ocean. We show that in some cratonic areas, the MLD plays a similar role as the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary for accommodating lateral plate tectonic displacements.

  5. Distribution of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water on the warming continental shelf of the West Antarctic Peninsula (United States)

    Couto, Nicole; Martinson, Douglas G.; Kohut, Josh; Schofield, Oscar


    We use autonomous underwater vehicles to characterize the spatial distribution of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) on the continental shelf of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) and present the first near-synoptic measurements of mesoscale features (eddies) containing UCDW on the WAP. Thirty-three subsurface eddies with widths on the order of 10 km were detected during four glider deployments. Each eddy contributed an average of 5.8 × 1016 J to the subpycnocline waters, where a cross-shelf heat flux of 1.37 × 1019 J yr-1 is required to balance the diffusive loss of heat to overlying winter water and to the near-coastal waters. Approximately two-thirds of the heat coming onto the shelf diffuses across the pycnocline and one-third diffuses to the coastal waters; long-term warming of the subpycnocline waters is a small residual of this balance. Sixty percent of the profiles that contained UCDW were part of a coherent eddy. Between 20% and 53% of the lateral onshore heat flux to the WAP can be attributed to eddies entering Marguerite Trough, a feature in the southern part of the shelf which is known to be an important conduit for UCDW. A northern trough is identified as additional important location for eddy intrusion.

  6. Low-pressure evolution of arc magmas in thickened crust: The San Pedro-Linzor volcanic chain, Central Andes, Northern Chile (United States)

    Godoy, Benigno; Wörner, Gerhard; Kojima, Shoji; Aguilera, Felipe; Simon, Klaus; Hartmann, Gerald


    Magmatism at Andean Central Volcanic Zone (CVZ), or Central Andes, is strongly influenced by differentiation and assimilation at high pressures that occurred at lower levels of the thick continental crust. This is typically shown by high light to heavy rare earth element ratios (LREE/HREE) of the erupted lavas at this volcanic zone. Increase of these ratios with time is interpreted as a change to magma evolution in the presence of garnet during evolution of Central Andes. Such geochemical signals could be introduced into the magmas be high-pressure fractionation with garnet on the liquidus and/or assimilation from crustal rocks with a garnet-bearing residue. However, lavas erupted at San Pedro-Linzor volcanic chain show no evidence of garnet fractionation in their trace element patterns. This volcanic chain is located in the active volcanic arc, between 22°00‧S and 22°30‧S, over a continental crust ˜70 km thick. Sampled lavas show Sr/Y and Sm/Yb ratios Chile. We relate our geochemical observations to shallow crustal evolution of primitive magmas involving a high degree of assimilation of upper continental crust. We emphasize that low pressure AFC- (Assimilation Fractional Crystallization) type evolution of the San Pedro-Linzor volcanic chain reflects storage, fractionation, and contamination of mantle-derived magmas at the upper felsic crust (<40 km depth). The ascent of mantle-derived magmas to mid-crustal levels is related with the extensional regime that has existed in this zone of arc-front offset since Late-Miocene age, and the relatively thin portion of mafic lower crust observed below the volcanic chain.

  7. Modeling of periodic great earthquakes on the San Andreas fault: Effects of nonlinear crustal rheology (United States)

    Reches, Ze'ev; Schubert, Gerald; Anderson, Charles


    We analyze the cycle of great earthquakes along the San Andreas fault with a finite element numerical model of deformation in a crust with a nonlinear viscoelastic rheology. The viscous component of deformation has an effective viscosity that depends exponentially on the inverse absolute temperature and nonlinearity on the shear stress; the elastic deformation is linear. Crustal thickness and temperature are constrained by seismic and heat flow data for California. The models are for anti plane strain in a 25-km-thick crustal layer having a very long, vertical strike-slip fault; the crustal block extends 250 km to either side of the fault. During the earthquake cycle that lasts 160 years, a constant plate velocity v(sub p)/2 = 17.5 mm yr is applied to the base of the crust and to the vertical end of the crustal block 250 km away from the fault. The upper half of the fault is locked during the interseismic period, while its lower half slips at the constant plate velocity. The locked part of the fault is moved abruptly 2.8 m every 160 years to simulate great earthquakes. The results are sensitive to crustal rheology. Models with quartzite-like rheology display profound transient stages in the velocity, displacement, and stress fields. The predicted transient zone extends about 3-4 times the crustal thickness on each side of the fault, significantly wider than the zone of deformation in elastic models. Models with diabase-like rheology behave similarly to elastic models and exhibit no transient stages. The model predictions are compared with geodetic observations of fault-parallel velocities in northern and central California and local rates of shear strain along the San Andreas fault. The observations are best fit by models which are 10-100 times less viscous than a quartzite-like rheology. Since the lower crust in California is composed of intermediate to mafic rocks, the present result suggests that the in situ viscosity of the crustal rock is orders of magnitude

  8. Mechanical Stability of Stratified Sediments along the upper continental Slope off Vesterålen, northern Norway - Insights from in situ CPTU Tests (United States)

    Voelker, D.; Stegmann, S.; Kreiter, S.; L'Heureux, J. S.; Vanneste, M. W. B.; Baeten, N. J.; Knudsen, S.; Rise, L.; Longva, O.; Brendryen, J.; Haflidason, H.; Chand, S.; Mörz, T.; Kopf, A.


    High-resolution single channel-seismic data (3.5 kHz) reveal small-scale submarine landslide structures and superficial deformation features (e.g. tension cracks) along the gently dipping (3°) upper continental slope west of the Vesterålen Archipelago off northern Norway. Previous laboratory-based geotechnical studies attest that the slope is per sestable and that seismic events in an order of magnitude M5.7 may have triggered the slope sediments to fail. Here we present geotechnical in situ data (sedimentary strength, pore pressure), which were obtained with RV Poseidon in summer 2014 using the static CPTU system GOST. The CPTU system provided high-resolution geotechnical profiles of the uppermost sediments to a maximum penetration depth of ~ 20 m at six sites within the landslide features and beside them in undisturbed slope sediments as reference. The CPTU data reveal the occurrence of mechanically weaker zones (MWZ) by the drop of sedimentary strength. These zones are interbedded by coarser, more competent layers. The occurrence of sensitive fine-grained material may be responsible for the loss of strength in the deeper portion (appx. 12 to 18 m below seafloor). An 1D infinite pseudo-static stability analysis attests that the mechanically weaker zones (MWZ) correlate well with portions, where the Factor of Safety (FoS) ≤ 1 (meta-stable to unstable) indicates permanent deformation or failure in case additional dynamic load is induced by an earthquake. Thus, the mechanically weak layers can be considered as one important pre-condition for landslide activity. In conclusion, the integration of in situ CPTU data with geophysical data improves soil characterization and hence foster a better understanding of the pre-conditioning factors for slope instability at the upper continental slope off Vesterålen. Risk assessment for the present-day slope off Vesterålen is particularly crucial, because the opening of the region for offshore oil and gas exploration is

  9. New Paleomagnetic Data From Upper Gabbros Supports Limited Rotation of Central Semail Massif in Oman Ophiolite (United States)

    Horst, A. J.; Sarah, T.; Hartley, E.; Martin, J.


    Paleomagnetic data from northern massifs of the Oman ophiolite demonstrate substantial clockwise rotations prior to or during obduction, yet data from southern massifs are recently suggested to be remagnetized during obduction and show subsequent smaller counterclockwise rotations. To better understand paleomagnetic data from the southern massifs, we conducted a detailed paleomagnetic and rock magnetic study of 21 sites in upper gabbros and 5 sites in lower crustal gabbros within the central Semail massif. Samples treated with progressive thermal demagnetization yield interpretable magnetizations with dominant unblocking between 500-580°C that implies characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) components carried by low-titanium magnetite and nearly pure magnetite. Rock magnetic and scanning electron microscopy data provide additional support of the carriers of magnetization. ChRMs from sites with samples containing partially-serpentinized olivine are similar to sites with samples lacking olivine, where the carriers appear to be fine magnetite intergrowths in pyroxene. The overall in situ and tilt-corrected mean directions from upper gabbros are distinct from the lower gabbros, from previous data within the massif, and also directions from similar crustal units in adjacent Rustaq and Wadi Tayin massifs. After tilt correction for 10-15° SE dip of the crust-mantle boundary, the mean direction from upper gabbros is nearly coincident with in situ lower gabbros. The tilt-corrected direction from upper gabbros is also consistent with an expected direction from the Late Cretaceous apparent polar wander path for Arabia at the age of crustal accretion ( 95Ma). These results suggest the upper crustal section in Semail has likely only experienced minor tilting since formation and acquisition of magnetization. Due to slow cooling of middle to lower gabbros in fast-spread crust, the lower gabbro sites likely cooled later or after obduction, and thus yield a distinct

  10. A tomographic image of upper crustal structure using P and S wave seismic refraction data in the southern granulite terrain (SGT), India (United States)

    Rajendra Prasad, B.; Behera, Laxmidhar; Rao, P. Koteswara


    We present a 2-D tomographic P and S wave velocity (Vp and Vs) image with Vp/Vs ratios along N-S trending 220 km long deep seismic profile acquired in 2005, which traverses across major shear and tectonically disturbed zones in southern granulite terrain (SGT), India. The 2-D velocity model constrained down to maximum 8 km depth shows velocity anomalies (>0.2 km/s) beneath major shear zones with good spatial resolution (>0.05 km/s). The presence of high Vp (6.3-6.5 km/s), Vs (3.5-3.8 km/s), Vp/Vs (>1.75) and Poisson's ratio (0.25-0.29) indicate significant compositional changes of rocks at shallow depths (0.5 to 8 km) reveal rapid crustal exhumation of mid to lower crustal rocks. This crustal exhumation could be responsible due to Pan-African tectonothermal activity during Neoproterozoic period.

  11. Continental crust formation: Numerical modelling of chemical evolution and geological implications (United States)

    Walzer, U.; Hendel, R.


    Oceanic plateaus develop by decompression melting of mantle plumes and have contributed to the growth of the continental crust throughout Earth's evolution. Occasional large-scale partial melting events of parts of the asthenosphere during the Archean produced large domains of precursor crustal material. The fractionation of arc-related crust during the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic contributed to the growth of continental crust. However, it remains unclear whether the continents or their precursors formed during episodic events or whether the gaps in zircon age records are a function of varying preservation potential. This study demonstrates that the formation of the continental crust was intrinsically tied to the thermoconvective evolution of the Earth's mantle. Our numerical solutions for the full set of physical balance equations of convection in a spherical shell mantle, combined with simplified equations of chemical continent-mantle differentiation, demonstrate that the actual rate of continental growth is not uniform through time. The kinetic energy of solid-state mantle creep (Ekin) slowly decreases with superposed episodic but not periodic maxima. In addition, laterally averaged surface heat flow (qob) behaves similarly but shows peaks that lag by 15-30 Ma compared with the Ekin peaks. Peak values of continental growth are delayed by 75-100 Ma relative to the qob maxima. The calculated present-day qob and total continental mass values agree well with observed values. Each episode of continental growth is separated from the next by an interval of quiescence that is not the result of variations in mantle creep velocity but instead reflects the fact that the peridotite solidus is not only a function of pressure but also of local water abundance. A period of differentiation results in a reduction in regional water concentrations, thereby increasing the temperature of the peridotite solidus and the regional viscosity of the mantle. By plausibly varying the

  12. 3D upper crustal seismic structure across Santorini volcanic field: Constraints on magmatic and tectonic interactions (United States)

    Heath, B.; Hooft, E. E. E.; Toomey, D. R.; Papazachos, C. V.; Walls, K.; Paulatto, M.; Morgan, J. V.; Nomikou, P.; Warner, M.


    To investigate magmatic-tectonic interactions at an arc volcano, we collected a dense, active-source, seismic dataset across the Santorini Volcano, Greece, with 90 ocean bottom seismometers, 65 land seismometers, and 14,300 marine sound sources. We use over 140,000 travel-time picks to obtain a P-wave tomography model of the upper crustal structure of the Santorini volcano and surrounding tectonically extended region. Regionally, the shallow (Bouguer gravity anomalies and preliminary shallow attenuation results (using waveform amplitudes and t* values). We find regional Pliocene and younger faults bounding basement grabens and horsts to be predominately oriented in a NE-SW direction with Santorini itself located in a graben bounded by faults striking in this direction. In contrast, volcanic vents and dikes expressed at the surface seem to strike about 20° clockwise relative to these regional faults. In the northern caldera of Santorini, a 4-km wide region of anomalously low velocities and high attenuation directly overlies an inferred source of 2011-2012 inflation (4-4.5 km depth), however it is located at shallower depths ( 1-2km). The imaged low-velocity anomaly may correspond to hydrothermal activity (due to increased porosity and alteration) and/or brecciation from a prior episode of caldera collapse. It is bounded by anomalously fast velocities (at 1-2 km depth) that parallel the regional fault orientation and are correspondingly rotated 20° to surface dikes. At 4-5 km depth beneath the northern caldera basin, low-velocity anomalies and attenuated seismic arrivals provide preliminary evidence for a magma body; the low-velocity anomaly is elongated in the same direction as regional volcanic vents. The difference in strike of volcanic and tectonic features indicates oblique extension and potential time-variation in the minimum stress direction.

  13. Magnitude and Surface Rupture Length of Prehistoric Upper Crustal Earthquakes in the Puget Lowland, Washington State (United States)

    Sherrod, B. L.; Styron, R. H.


    Paleoseismic studies documented prehistoric earthquakes after the last glaciation ended 15 ka on 13 upper-crustal fault zones in the Cascadia fore arc. These fault zones are a consequence of north-directed fore arc block migration manifesting as a series of bedrock uplifts and intervening structural basins in the southern Salish Sea lowland between Vancouver, B.C. to the north and Olympia, WA to the south, and bounded on the east and west by the Cascade Mountains and Olympic Mountains, respectively. Our dataset uses published information and includes 27 earthquakes tabulated from observations of postglacial deformation at 63 sites. Stratigraphic offsets along faults consist of two types of measurements: 1) vertical separation of strata along faults observed in fault scarp excavations, and 2) estimates from coastal uplift and subsidence. We used probabilistic methods to estimate past rupture magnitudes and surface rupture length (SRL), applying empirical observations from modern earthquakes and point measurements from paleoseismic sites (Biasi and Weldon, 2006). Estimates of paleoearthquake magnitude ranged between M 6.5 and M 7.5. SRL estimates varied between 20 and 90 km. Paleoearthquakes on the Seattle fault zone and Saddle Mountain West fault about 1100 years ago were outliers in our analysis. Large offsets observed for these two earthquakes implies a M 7.8 and 200 km SRL, given the average observed ratio of slip/SRL in modern earthquakes. The actual mapped traces of these faults are less than 200km, implying these earthquakes had an unusually high static stress drop or, in the case of the Seattle fault, splay faults may have accentuated uplift in the hanging wall. Refined calculations incorporating fault area may change these magnitude and SRL estimates. Biasi, G.P., and Weldon, R.J., 2006, Estimating Surface Rupture Length and Magnitude of Paleoearthquakes from Point Measurements of Rupture Displacement: B. Seismol. Soc. Am., 96, 1612-1623.

  14. Alps, Carpathians and Dinarides-Hellenides: about plates, micro-plates and delaminated crustal blocks (United States)

    Schmid, Stefan


    thickened crust ripped of the African plate, invaded the northern part of this oceanic embayment, virtually floating on asthenospheric mantle. The presently still surviving semi-detached Vrancea slab in Romania manifests of the combined effect of roll back and delamination of mantle lithosphere. On the other hand Tisza-Dacia, another crustal block formerly ripped off the European plate and forming a single entity since mid-Cretaceous times, also at least partly floating on asthenospheric mantle, invaded the Carpathian embayment from the south. Thereby the Tisza-Dacia crustal block underwent clockwise rotation by as much as 90° due to the corner effect of the Moesian platform firmly attached to Europe since mid-Cretaceous times (Ustaszewski et al. 2008). In the Dinaric-Aegean realm collision occurred much earlier than in the Alps and the Carpathians, i.e. at around the Cretaceous-Cenozoic boundary, provided that one accepts that there is yet no convincing evidence for the existence of a second "Pindos oceanic domain" closing later, i.e. in Eocene times. However, in spite of early collision, the old subduction zone that consumed the northern branch of Neotethys (Meliata-Vardar) since at least mid-Cretaceous times persisted in the eastern Hellenides (but not in the Dinarides) until now, penetrating the transition zone all the way to a depth of some 1500km (Bijwaard et al. 1998). Continued subduction of mantle lithosphere in the Aegean since 60 Ma was concomitant with complete delamination of lithospheric mantle and lower crust from non-subducted or re-exhumed high pressure crustal flakes of largely continental derivation that were piled up to form the subsequently extended Hellenic orogen (Jolivet & Brun 2010). At around 25 Ma when the southern branch of Neotethys (the present-day Eastern Mediterranean ocean) entered this subduction zone, massive extension and core complex formation in the upper plate combined with an acceleration of south-directed hinge retreat of the lower

  15. Cumulate xenoliths from St. Vincent, Lesser Antilles Island Arc: a window into upper crustal differentiation of mantle-derived basalts (United States)

    Tollan, P. M. E.; Bindeman, I.; Blundy, J. D.


    In order to shed light on upper crustal differentiation of mantle-derived basaltic magmas in a subduction zone setting, we have determined the mineral chemistry and oxygen and hydrogen isotope composition of individual cumulus minerals in plutonic blocks from St. Vincent, Lesser Antilles. Plutonic rock types display great variation in mineralogy, from olivine-gabbros to troctolites and hornblendites, with a corresponding variety of cumulate textures. Mineral compositions differ from those in erupted basaltic lavas from St. Vincent and in published high-pressure (4-10 kb) experimental run products of a St. Vincent high-Mg basalt in having higher An plagioclase coexisting with lower Fo olivine. The oxygen isotope compositions (δ18O) of cumulus olivine (4.89-5.18‰), plagioclase (5.84-6.28‰), clinopyroxene (5.17-5.47‰) and hornblende (5.48-5.61‰) and hydrogen isotope composition of hornblende (δD = -35.5 to -49.9‰) are all consistent with closed system magmatic differentiation of a mantle-derived basaltic melt. We employed a number of modelling exercises to constrain the origin of the chemical and isotopic compositions reported. δ18OOlivine is up to 0.2‰ higher than modelled values for closed system fractional crystallisation of a primary melt. We attribute this to isotopic disequilibria between cumulus minerals crystallising at different temperatures, with equilibration retarded by slow oxygen diffusion in olivine during prolonged crustal storage. We used melt inclusion and plagioclase compositions to determine parental magmatic water contents (water saturated, 4.6 ± 0.5 wt% H2O) and crystallisation pressures (173 ± 50 MPa). Applying these values to previously reported basaltic and basaltic andesite lava compositions, we can reproduce the cumulus plagioclase and olivine compositions and their associated trend. We conclude that differentiation of primitive hydrous basalts on St. Vincent involves crystallisation of olivine and Cr-rich spinel at depth

  16. Basinal Structure Of Yola Arm Of The Upper Benue Trough Nigeria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Aeromagnetic data interpretation of the Yola arm of the Upper Benue Trough has previously been carried out. However, no detail modeling of the Crustal Structures has been undertaken. Two composite reduced Aeromagnetic maps on a scale of 1:250,000 were digitized and processed using computer techniques.

  17. Lithosphere erosion and continental breakup : Interaction of extension, plume upwelling and melting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lavecchia, Alessio; Thieulot, Cedric; Beekman, Fred; Cloetingh, Sierd; Clark, Stuart


    We present the results of thermo-mechanical modelling of extension and breakup of a heterogeneous continental lithosphere, subjected to plume impingement in presence of intraplate stress field. We incorporate partial melting of the extending lithosphere, underlying upper mantle and plume, caused by

  18. Complex, multilayered azimuthal anisotropy beneath Tibet: evidence for co-existing channel flow and pure-shear crustal thickening (United States)

    Agius, Matthew R.; Lebedev, Sergei


    Of the two debated, end-member models for the late-Cenozoic thickening of Tibetan crust, one invokes 'channel flow' (rapid viscous flow of the mid-lower crust, driven by topography-induced pressure gradients and transporting crustal rocks eastward) and the other 'pure shear' (faulting and folding in the upper crust, with viscous shortening in the mid-lower crust). Deep-crustal deformation implied by each model is different and would produce different anisotropic rock fabric. Observations of seismic anisotropy can thus offer a discriminant. We use broad-band phase-velocity curves-each a robust average of tens to hundreds of measurements-to determine azimuthal anisotropy in the entire lithosphere-asthenosphere depth range and constrain its amplitude. Inversions of the differential dispersion from path pairs, region-average inversions and phase-velocity tomography yield mutually consistent results, defining two highly anisotropic layers with different fast-propagation directions within each: the middle crust and the asthenosphere. In the asthenosphere beneath central and eastern Tibet, anisotropy is 2-4 per cent and has an NNE-SSW fast-propagation azimuth, indicating flow probably driven by the NNE-ward, shallow-angle subduction of India. The distribution and complexity of published shear wave splitting measurements can be accounted for by the different anisotropy in the mid-lower crust and asthenosphere. The estimated splitting times that would be accumulated in the crust alone are 0.25-0.8 s; in the upper mantle-0.5-1.2 s, depending on location. In the middle crust (20-45 km depth) beneath southern and central Tibet, azimuthal anisotropy is 3-5 and 4-6 per cent, respectively, and its E-W fast-propagation directions are parallel to the current extension at the surface. The rate of the extension is relatively low, however, whereas the large radial anisotropy observed in the middle crust requires strong alignment of mica crystals, implying large finite strain and

  19. Crustal and Upper Mantle Velocity Structure beneath Northwestern South America revealed by the CARMArray (United States)

    Miao, W.; Cornthwaite, J.; Levander, A.; Niu, F.; Schmitz, M.; Dionicio, V.; Nader-Nieto, M. F.


    report the initial results of the inversion and discuss the lateral variations of crustal and upper mantle structure and their potential links with surface geology and regional tectonics.

  20. Crustal response to lithosphere evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina; Thybo, Hans; Cherepanova, Yulia


    We present a new model for the structure of the crust in an area which stretches from the North Atlantic region in the west to the Verkhoyansk Ridge in the east and encompasses Greenland, Iceland, most of Europe, West Siberian basin, and the Siberian cratons. The model is based on critically asse......, thicknesses of different crustal layers, and Pn seismic velocities....... assessed results from various seismic studies, including reflection and refraction profiles and receiver function studies. The region includes a nearly continuous age record for crustal evolution over ca. 3.6-3.8 billion years. We present an analysis of the crustal structure heterogeneity in relation...

  1. Crustal rifting and magmatic underplating in the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) intra-oceanic arc detected by active source seismic studies (United States)

    Takahashi, N.; Kodaira, S.; Yamashita, M.; Miura, S.; Sato, T.; No, T.; Tatsumi, Y.; Kaneda, Y.


    Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) has carried out seismic experiments using a multichannel reflection system and ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) in the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin)-Mariana (IBM) arc region since 2002 to understand growth process of continental crust. The source was an airgun array with a total capacity of 12,000 cubic inches and the OBSs as the receiver were deployed with an interval of 5 km for all seismic refraction experiments. As the results, we obtained crustal structures across the whole IBM arc with an interval of 50 km and detected the structural characteristics showing the crustal growth process. The IBM arc is one of typical oceanic island arc, which crustal growth started from subduction of an oceanic crust beneath the other oceanic crust. The arc crust has developed through repeatedly magmatic accretion from subduction slab and backarc opening. The volcanism has activated in Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene and Quaternary (e.g., Taylor, 1992), however, these detailed locations of past volcanic arc has been remained as one of unknown issues. In addition, a role of crustal rifting for the crustal growth has also been still unknown issue yet. Our seismic structures show three rows of past volcanic arc crusts except current arc. A rear arc and a forearc side have one and two, respectively. The first one, which was already reported by Kodaira et al. (2008), distributes in northern side from 27 N of the rear arc region. The second one, which develops in the forearc region next to the recent volcanic front, distributes in whole of the Izu-Ogasawara arc having crustal variation along arc direction. Ones of them sometimes have thicker crust than that beneath current volcanic front and no clear topographic high. Last one in the forearc connects to the Ogasawara Ridge. However, thickest crust is not always located beneath these volcanic arcs. The initial rifting region like the northern end of the Mariana Trough and the Sumisu

  2. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  4. Lower Crustal Strength Controls on Melting and Serpentinization at Magma-Poor Margins: Potential Implications for the South Atlantic (United States)

    Ros, Elena; Pérez-Gussinyé, Marta; Araújo, Mario; Thoaldo Romeiro, Marco; Andrés-Martínez, Miguel; Morgan, Jason P.


    Rifted continental margins may present a predominantly magmatic continent-ocean transition (COT), or one characterized by large exposures of serpentinized mantle. In this study we use numerical modeling to show the importance of the lower crustal strength in controlling the amount and onset of melting and serpentinization during rifting. We propose that the relative timing between both events controls the nature of the COT. Numerical experiments for half-extension velocities serpentinized mantle underlain by some magmatic products. In contrast, a weak lower crust promotes margins with a gentle crustal tapering, small faults dipping both ocean- and landward and small syn-rift subsidence. Their COT is predominantly magmatic at any ultra-slow extension velocity and perhaps underlain by some serpentinized mantle. These margins can also be either symmetric or asymmetric. Our models predict that magmatic underplating mostly underlies the wide margin at weak asymmetric conjugates, whereas the wide margin is mainly underlain by serpentinized mantle at strong asymmetric margins. Based on this conceptual template, we propose different natures for the COTs in the South Atlantic.

  5. Effects of upper mantle heterogeneities on the lithospheric stress field and dynamic topography (United States)

    Osei Tutu, Anthony; Steinberger, Bernhard; Sobolev, Stephan V.; Rogozhina, Irina; Popov, Anton A.


    The orientation and tectonic regime of the observed crustal/lithospheric stress field contribute to our knowledge of different deformation processes occurring within the Earth's crust and lithosphere. In this study, we analyze the influence of the thermal and density structure of the upper mantle on the lithospheric stress field and topography. We use a 3-D lithosphere-asthenosphere numerical model with power-law rheology, coupled to a spectral mantle flow code at 300 km depth. Our results are validated against the World Stress Map 2016 (WSM2016) and the observation-based residual topography. We derive the upper mantle thermal structure from either a heat flow model combined with a seafloor age model (TM1) or a global S-wave velocity model (TM2). We show that lateral density heterogeneities in the upper 300 km have a limited influence on the modeled horizontal stress field as opposed to the resulting dynamic topography that appears more sensitive to such heterogeneities. The modeled stress field directions, using only the mantle heterogeneities below 300 km, are not perturbed much when the effects of lithosphere and crust above 300 km are added. In contrast, modeled stress magnitudes and dynamic topography are to a greater extent controlled by the upper mantle density structure. After correction for the chemical depletion of continents, the TM2 model leads to a much better fit with the observed residual topography giving a good correlation of 0.51 in continents, but this correction leads to no significant improvement of the fit between the WSM2016 and the resulting lithosphere stresses. In continental regions with abundant heat flow data, TM1 results in relatively small angular misfits. For example, in western Europe the misfit between the modeled and observation-based stress is 18.3°. Our findings emphasize that the relative contributions coming from shallow and deep mantle dynamic forces are quite different for the lithospheric stress field and dynamic

  6. Western Continental Margin of India - Re-look using potential field data (United States)

    Rajaram, M.; S P, A.


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

  7. Magnetotelluric evidence for a deep-crustal mineralizing system beneath the Olympic Dam iron oxide copper-gold deposit, southern Australia (United States)

    Heinson, Graham S.; Direen, Nicholas G.; Gill, Rob M.


    The iron oxide copper-gold Olympic Dam deposit, situated along the margin of the Proterozoic Gawler craton, South Australia, is the world's largest uranium deposit and sixth-largest copper deposit; it also contains significant reserves of gold, silver, and rare earth elements. Gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms for genesis of the economic liberalization is fundamental for defining exploration models in similar crustal settings. To delineate crustal structures that may constrain mineral system fluid pathways, coincident deep crustal seismic and magnetotelluric (MT) transects were obtained along a 220 km section that crosses Olympic Dam and the major crustal boundaries. In this paper we present results from 58 long-period (10 104 s) MT sites, with site spacing of 5 10 km. A two-dimensional inversion of MT data from 33 sites to a depth of 100 km shows four notable features: (1) sedimentary cover sequences with low resistivity (1000 Ω·m) Archean crustal core from a more conductive crust and mantle to the north (typically Olympic Dam, the upper-middle crust to ˜20 km is quite resistive (˜1000 Ω·m), but the lower crust is much more conductive (Olympic Dam, we image a low-resistivity region (Olympic Dam may be due to the upward movement of CO2-bearing volatiles near the time of deposit formation that precipitated conductive graphite liberalization along grain boundaries, simultaneously annihilating acoustic impedance boundaries. The source of the volatiles may be from the mantle degassing or retrograde metamorphism of the lower crust associated with Proterozoic crustal deformation.

  8. Crustal structure beneath the Paleozoic Parnaíba Basin revealed by airborne gravity and magnetic data, Brazil (United States)

    de Castroa, David L.; Fuck, Reinhardt A.; Phillips, Jeffrey D.; Vidotti, Roberta M.; Bezerra, Francisco H. R.; Dantas, Elton L.


    The Parnaíba Basin is a large Paleozoic syneclise in northeastern Brazil underlain by Precambrian crystalline basement, which comprises a complex lithostructural and tectonic framework formed during the Neoproterozoic–Eopaleozoic Brasiliano–Pan African orogenic collage. A sag basin up to 3.5 km thick and 1000 km long formed after the collage. The lithologic composition, structure, and role in the basin evolution of the underlying basement are the focus of this study. Airborne gravity and magnetic data were modeled to reveal the general crustal structure underneath the Parnaíba Basin. Results indicate that gravity and magnetic signatures delineate the main boundaries and structural trends of three cratonic areas and surrounding Neoproterozoic fold belts in the basement. Triangular-shaped basement inliers are geophysically defined in the central region of this continental-scale Neoproterozoic convergence zone. A 3-D gravity inversion constrained by seismological data reveals that basement inliers exhibit a 36–40.5 km deep crustal root, with borders defined by a high-density and thinner crust. Forward modeling of gravity and magnetic data indicates that lateral boundaries between crustal units are limited by Brasiliano shear zones, representing lithospheric sutures of the Amazonian and São Francisco Cratons, Tocantins Province and Parnaíba Block. In addition, coincident residual gravity, residual magnetic, and pseudo-gravity lows indicate two complex systems of Eopaleozoic rifts related to the initial phase of the sag deposition, which follow basement trends in several directions.

  9. West-directed thrusting south of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis indicates clockwise crustal flow at the indenter corner during the India-Asia collision (United States)

    Haproff, Peter J.; Zuza, Andrew V.; Yin, An


    Whether continental deformation is accommodated by microplate motion or continuum flow is a central issue regarding the nature of Cenozoic deformation surrounding the eastern Himalayan syntaxis. The microplate model predicts southeastward extrusion of rigid blocks along widely-spaced strike-slip faults, whereas the crustal-flow model requires clockwise crustal rotation along closely-spaced, semi-circular right-slip faults around the eastern Himalayan syntaxis. Although global positioning system (GPS) data support the crustal-flow model, the surface velocity field provides no information on the evolution of the India-Asia orogenic system at million-year scales. In this work, we present the results of systematic geologic mapping across the northernmost segment of the Indo-Burma Ranges, located directly southeast of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis. Early research inferred the area to have experienced either right-slip faulting accommodating northward indentation of India or thrusting due to the eastward continuation of the Himalayan orogen in the Cenozoic. Our mapping supports the presence of dip-slip thrust faults, rather than strike-slip faults. Specifically, the northern Indo-Burma Ranges exposes south- to west-directed ductile thrust shear zones in the hinterland and brittle fault zones in the foreland. The trends of ductile stretching lineations within thrust shear zones and thrust sheets rotate clockwise from the northeast direction in the northern part of the study area to the east direction in the southern part of the study area. This clockwise deflection pattern of lineations around the eastern Himalayan syntaxis mirrors the clockwise crustal-rotation pattern as suggested by the crustal-flow model and contemporary GPS velocity field. However, our finding is inconsistent with discrete strike-slip deformation in the area and the microplate model.

  10. Upper Carboniferous retroarc volcanism with submarine and subaerial facies at the western Gondwana margin of Argentina (United States)

    Koukharsky, M.; Kleiman, L.; Etcheverría, M.; Quenardelle, S.; Bercowski, F.


    During Late Carboniferous times a continental magmatic arc developed at the western margin of Gondwana in South America, as several marine sedimentary basins were formed at the same time in the retroarc region. North of 33°S, at Cordón Agua del Jagüel, Precordillera of Mendoza, Argentina, a volcanic sequence crops out which was emplaced in a submarine environment with some subaerial exposures, and it is intercalated in marine sediments of Agua del Jagüel Formation, which fills of one of these retroarc basins. This paper presents, for the first time, a facies analyses together with geochemical and isotopic data of this volcanic suite, suggesting its deposition in an ensialic retroarc marine basin. The volcanic succession comprises debris flows with either sedimentary or volcanic fragments, base surge, resedimented massive and laminated dacitic-andesitic hyaloclastite, pillow lava, basic hyaloclastite and dacitic-andesitic lavas and hyaloclastite facies. Its composition is bimodal, either basaltic or dacitic-andesitic. The geochemistry data indicate a subalkaline, low K calk-alkaline and metaluminous affinity. The geochemistry of the basalts points to an origin of the magmas from a depleted mantle source with some crustal contamination. Conversely, the geochemistry of the dacites-andesites shows an important participation of both crustal components and subduction related fluids. A different magmatic source for the basalts than for the dacites-andesites is also supported by Sr and Nd isotopic initial ratios and Nd model ages. The characteristics of this magmatic suite suggest its emplacement in an extensional setting probably associated with the presence of a steepened subduction zone at this latitude during Upper Carboniferous times.

  11. Petrographic, geochemical and isotopic evidence of crustal assimilation processes in the Ponte Nova alkaline mafic-ultramafic massif, SE Brazil (United States)

    Azzone, Rogério Guitarrari; Montecinos Munoz, Patricio; Enrich, Gaston Eduardo Rojas; Alves, Adriana; Ruberti, Excelso; Gomes, Celsode Barros


    be responsible for the increse in the K2O/Na2O, Ba/Sr and Rb/Sr ratios. This enrichment was associated with the relevant role of biotite breakdown in the assimilated host rock partial melts. The petrological model for the Ponte Nova massif is explained as repeated influxes of antecryst-laden basanite magmas that deposited most of their suspended crystals on the floor of the upper-crust magma chamber. Each intrusion is representative of relatively primitive olivine- and clinopyroxene-phyric basanites that had assimilated different degrees of partial melts of heterogeneous host rocks. This study reveals the relevant role of crustal assimilation processes in the magmatic evolution of nepheline-normative rocks, especially in upper-crust chamber environments.

  12. Magnetotelluric Investigations of the Yellowstone Caldera: Understanding the Emplacement of Crustal Magma Bodies (United States)

    Gurrola, R. M.; Neal, B. A.; Bennington, N. L.; Cronin, R.; Fry, B.; Hart, L.; Imamura, N.; Kelbert, A.; Bowles-martinez, E.; Miller, D. J.; Scholz, K. J.; Schultz, A.


    Wideband magnetotellurics (MT) presents an ideal method for imaging conductive shallow magma bodies associated with contemporary Yellowstone-Snake River Plain (YSRP) magmatism. Particularly, how do these magma bodies accumulate in the mid to upper crust underlying the Yellowstone Caldera, and furthermore, what role do hydrothermal fluids play in their ascent? During the summer 2017 field season, two field teams from Oregon State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison installed forty-four wideband MT stations within and around the caldera, and using data slated for joint 3-D inversion with existing seismic data, two 2-D vertical conductivity sections of the crust and upper mantle were constructed. These models, in turn, provide preliminary insight into the emplacement of crustal magma bodies and hydrothermal processes in the YSRP region.

  13. Crustal structure along the DESERT 2000 Transect inferred from 3-D gravity modelling (United States)

    El-Kelani, R.; Goetze, H.; Rybakov, M.; Hassouneh, M.; Schmidt, S.


    A three-dimensional interpretation of the newly compiled Bouguer anomaly map is part of the DESERT 2000 Transect. That is multi-disciplinary and multinational project studying for first time the Dead Sea Transform (DST) fault system (DST) from the Mediterranean Sea to Saudi Arabia across the international border in the NW-SE direction. The negative Bouguer anomalies (with magnitude reached "C130 mGal), located into transform valley, are caused by the internal sedimentary basins filled by the light density young sediments (­Y10 km). A high-resolution 3-D model constrained with the seismic results reveals a possible crustal thickness and density distribution beneath the DST valley. The inferred zone of intrusion coincides with the maximum gravity anomaly over the eastern flank of the DST. The intrusion is displaced at different sectors along the NW-SE direction. The zone of the maximum crustal thinning (­30 km) is attained in the western sector at the Mediterranean. The southeastern plateau, on the other hand, shows by far the largest crustal thickness in the region (38-42 km). Linked to the left lateral movement of ~ 105 km at the boundary between the African and Arabian plate, and constrained with the DESERT 2000 seismic data, a small asymmetric topography of the Moho beneath the DST was modelled. The thickness and density of the crust suggest that a continental crust underlies the DST. The deep basins, the relatively large nature of the intrusion and the asymmetric topography of the Moho lead to the conclusion that a small-scale asthenospheric upwelling(?) might be responsible for the thinning of the crust and subsequent rifting of the Dead Sea graben during the left lateral movement.

  14. Microseismicity in Southern South Island, New Zealand: Implications for the Mechanism of Crustal Deformation Adjacent to a Major Continental Transform (United States)

    Warren-Smith, Emily; Lamb, Simon; Stern, Tim A.; Smith, Euan


    Shallow (convergent Australian-Pacific plate boundary zone. It has recently been proposed that continental convergence here is accommodated by oblique slip on a low-angle detachment that underlies the region, and as such, forms a previously unrecognized mode of oblique continental convergence. We test this model using microseismicity, presenting a new, 15 month high-resolution microearthquake catalog for the Southern Lakes and northern Fiordland regions adjacent to the Alpine Fault. We determine the spatial distribution, moment release, and style of microearthquakes and show that seismicity in the continental lithosphere is predominantly shallower than 20 km, in a zone up to 150 km wide, but less frequent deeper microseismicity extending into the mantle, at depths of up to 100 km is also observed. The geometry of the subducted oceanic Australian plate is well imaged, with a well-defined Benioff zone to depths of 150 km. In detail, the depth of continental microseismicity shows considerable variation, with no clear link with major active surface faults, but rather represents diffuse cracking in response to the ambient stress release. The moment release rate is 0.1% of that required to accommodate relative plate convergence, and the azimuth of the principal horizontal axis of contraction accommodated by microseismicity is 120°, 15-20° clockwise of the horizontal axis of contractional strain rate observed geodetically. Thus, short-term microseismicity, independent of knowledge of intermittent large-magnitude earthquakes, may not be a good guide to the rate and orientation of long-term deformation but is an indicator of the instantaneous state of stress and potential distribution of finite deformation. We show that both the horizontal and vertical spatial distribution of microseismicity can be explained in terms of a low-angle detachment model.

  15. Thick deltaic sedimentation and detachment faulting delay the onset of continental rupture in the Northern Gulf of California: Analysis of seismic reflection profiles (United States)

    Martin, A.; González-Escobar, M.; Fletcher, J. M.; Pacheco, M.; Oskin, M. E.; Dorsey, R. J.


    The transition from distributed continental extension to the rupture of continental lithosphere is imaged in the northern Gulf of California across the obliquely conjugate Tiburón-Upper Delfín basin segment. Structural mapping on a 5-20 km grid of seismic reflection lines of Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) demonstrates that ~1000% extension is accommodated on a series of NNE-striking listric-normal faults that merge at depth into a detachment fault. The detachment juxtaposes a late-Neogene marine sequence over thinned continental crust and contains an intrabasinal divide due to footwall uplift. Two northwest striking, dextral-oblique faults bound both ends of the detachment and shear the continental crust parallel to the tectonic transport. A regional unconformity in the upper 0.5 seconds (TWTT) and crest erosion of rollover anticlines above the detachment indicates inversion and footwall uplift during the lithospheric rupture in the Upper Delfin and Lower Delfin basins. The maximum length of new crust in both Delfin basins is less than 40 km based on the lack of an acoustic basement and the absence of a lower sedimentary sequence beneath a wedge shaped upper sequence that reaches >5 km in thickness. A fundamental difference exists between the Tiburón-Delfin segment and the Guaymas segment to the south in terms of presence of low angle normal faults and amount of new oceanic lithosphere, which we attribute to thermal insulation, diffuse upper-plate extension, and slip on low angle normal faults engendered by a thick sedimentary lid.

  16. Basins in ARC-continental collisions (United States)

    Draut, Amy E.; Clift, Peter D.; Busby, Cathy; Azor, Antonio


    Arc-continent collisions occur commonly in the plate-tectonic cycle and result in rapidly formed and rapidly collapsing orogens, often spanning just 5-15 My. Growth of continental masses through arc-continent collision is widely thought to be a major process governing the structural and geochemical evolution of the continental crust over geologic time. Collisions of intra-oceanic arcs with passive continental margins (a situation in which the arc, on the upper plate, faces the continent) involve a substantially different geometry than collisions of intra-oceanic arcs with active continental margins (a situation requiring more than one convergence zone and in which the arc, on the lower plate, backs into the continent), with variable preservation potential for basins in each case. Substantial differences also occur between trench and forearc evolution in tectonically erosive versus tectonically accreting margins, both before and after collision. We examine the evolution of trenches, trench-slope basins, forearc basins, intra-arc basins, and backarc basins during arc-continent collision. The preservation potential of trench-slope basins is low; in collision they are rapidly uplifted and eroded, and at erosive margins they are progressively destroyed by subduction erosion. Post-collisional preservation of trench sediment and trench-slope basins is biased toward margins that were tectonically accreting for a substantial length of time before collision. Forearc basins in erosive margins are usually floored by strong lithosphere and may survive collision with a passive margin, sometimes continuing sedimentation throughout collision and orogeny. The low flexural rigidity of intra-arc basins makes them deep and, if preserved, potentially long records of arc and collisional tectonism. Backarc basins, in contrast, are typically subducted and their sediment either lost or preserved only as fragments in melange sequences. A substantial proportion of the sediment derived from

  17. Provenance, Source Rock Characteristics And Paleoweathering Conditions Of The Nearshore Continental Sediments Off Pondicherry, South East Coast Of India (United States)

    Natarajan, T.; Seshachalam, S.; Ponniah, J.; Varadhan, R.; M, S.


    Geochemical studies, comprising major elements and trace elements, including the Rare Earth Elements (REE), have been carried out on the modern sediments of inner continental shelf representing nearshore marine environments. Concentrations were normalized with Chondrite and PAAS show LREE enriched and flat HREE patterns with slight positive Eu anomaly which is due to the influence of feldspar rich source materials. The LREE enriched and flat HREE patterns with positive Eu anomaly have been considered as the typical character of post- Archaean Sediments. The La/Th ratio ranges from 1.66 to 8.84 with an average value of 4.09, which indicates a heterogenitic source for the sediments of the study area. The La-Th-Sc ternary plot suggests all the samples fall close to the field dominated by tonalite to granite and away from the basalt and komatiite compositions and appear to be derived from sources enriched in felsic components. The transition metal ratios such as Cr/V, Ni/CO and V/Ni indicate both Archaean and Post-Archaean nature to the sediments indicating that the sediments have been derived from heterogenitic sources. The ternary diagram plot of Th-Hf-Co and La-Th-Sc falls in the field of upper continental crust of post Archaean age. This clearly indicates the terrestrial source for the sediments from the nearby landmass. The data are slightly offset from the upper crustal composition away from the Hf apex. This is probably a result of Zircon concentration. Geochemical data have also helped in ascertaining the weathering trends. The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) has been used to quantify the degree of weathering. The calculated CIA values for sediments demonstrate both low CIA values of less than 50 percent (low silicate weathering) and intermediate CIA values (60-70 percent) indicating that the sediments are possibly the product of sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks that have undergone intermediate chemical weathering. On an A—CN—K diagram, the data

  18. Low crustal velocities and mantle lithospheric variations in southern Tibet from regional Pnl waveforms (United States)

    Rodgers, Arthur J.; Schwartz, Susan Y.

    We report low average crustal P-wave velocities (5.9-6.1 km/s, Poisson's ratio 0.23-0.27, thickness 68-76 km) in southern Tibet from modelling regional Pnl waveforms recorded by the 1991-1992 Tibetan Plateau Experiment. We also find that the mantle lithosphere beneath the Indus-Tsangpo Suture and the Lhasa Terrane is shield-like (Pn velocity 8.20-8.25 km/s, lid thickness 80-140 km, positive velocity gradient 0.0015-0.0025 s-1). Analysis of relative Pn travel time residuals requires a decrease in the mantle velocities beneath the northern Lhasa Terrane, the Banggong-Nujiang Suture and the southern Qiangtang Terrane. Tectonic and petrologic considerations suggest that low bulk crustal velocities could result from a thick (50-60 km) felsic upper crust with vertically limited and laterally pervasive partial melt. These results are consistent with underthrusting of Indian Shield lithosphere beneath the Tibetan Plateau to at least the central Lhasa Terrane.

  19. Assessment of deep electrical conductivity features of Northern Victoria Land (Antarctica under other geophysical constraints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Caneva


    Full Text Available The lithospheric and crustal structure of the Victoria Land continental block (Antarctica has been studied by geological and geophysical surveys. Among them magnetovariational investigations (MV have been addressed to highlight the deep electrical conductivity patterns which contribute to the understanding of continental rifting and tectonic setting of the region. The hypothetical event map for H linearly polarized perpendicular to the coast indicates a possible broad coast parallel conductivity anomaly zone. Despite the coast effect, this feature could be related to the deep upper mantle thermal anomaly leading to Cenozoic uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains rift flank. However, both the hypothetic event map polarized parallel to the coast and the induction arrows suggest that the area of enhanced conductivity may be confined to the Deep Freeze Range crustal block along the western flank of the Mesozoic Rennick Graben. We also discuss the possible association between increased conductivity over the Southern Cross block and extensive Cenozoic alkaline plutonism.

  20. From continental to oceanic rifting in the Gulf of California (United States)

    Ferrari, Luca; Bonini, Marco; Martín, Arturo


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

  1. Pb isotope constaints on the extent of crustal recycling into a steady state mantle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galer, S.J.G.; Goldstein, S.L.; Onions, R.K.


    Isotopic and geochemical evidence was discussed against recycling of continental crust into the mantle. Element ratios such as Sm/Nd, Th/Sc, and U/Pb in sedimentary masses have remained relatively constant throughout Earth history, and this can only be reconciled with steady state recycling models if new crustal materials added from the mantle have had similar ratios. Such recycling models would also require shorter processing times for U, Th, and Pb through the mantle than are geodynamically reasonable. Models favoring subduction of pelagic sediments as the only recycling mechanism fail to account for the Pb isotopic signature of the mantle. Recycling of bulk crust with Pb isotopic compositions similar to those expected for primitive mantle would be permissable with available data, but there appear to be no plausible tectonic mechanisms to carry this out

  2. A Crustal Cross Section over the Central North Iberian Margin: New Insights into the Bay of Biscay Inverted Hyperextended Rift (United States)

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


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

  3. New Crustal Boundary Revealed Beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, through ROSETTA-Ice Integrated Aerogeophysics, Geology, and Ocean Research (United States)

    Tinto, K. J.; Siddoway, C. S.; Bell, R. E.; Lockett, A.; Wilner, J.


    Now submerged within marine plateaus and rises bordering Antarctica, Australia and Zealandia, the East Gondwana accretionary margin was a belt of terranes and stitched by magmatic arcs, later stretched into continental ribbons separated by narrow elongate rifts. This crustal architecture is known from marine geophysical exploration and ocean drilling of the mid-latitude coastal plateaus and rises. A concealed sector of the former East Gondwana margin that underlies the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS), Antarctica, is the focus of ROSETTA-ICE, a new airborne data acquisition campaign that explores the crustal makeup, tectonic boundaries and seafloor bathymetry beneath RIS. Gravimeters and a magnetometer are deployed by LC130 aircraft surveying along E-W lines spaced at 10 km, and N-S tie lines at 55 km, connect 1970s points (RIGGS) for controls on ocean depth and gravity. The ROSETTA-ICE survey, 2/3 completed thus far, provides magnetic anomalies, Werner depth-to-basement solutions, a new gravity-based bathymetric model at 20-km resolution, and a new crustal density map tied to the 1970s data. Surprisingly, the data reveal that the major lithospheric boundary separating East and West Antarctica lies 300 km east of the Transantarctic Mountains, beneath the floating RIS. The East and West regions have contrasting geophysical characteristics and bathymetry, with relatively dense lithosphere, low amplitude magnetic anomalies, and deep bathymetry on the East Antarctica side, and high amplitude magnetic anomalies, lower overall density and shallower water depths on the West Antarctic side. The Central High, a basement structure cored at DSDP Site 270 and seismically imaged in the Ross Sea, continues beneath RIS as a faulted but coherent crustal ribbon coincident with the tectonic boundary. The continuity of Gondwana margin crustal architecture discovered beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet requires a revision of the existing tectonic framework. The sub-RIS narrow rift basins and

  4. Integrating EarthScope Data to Constrain the Long-Term Effects of Tectonism on Continental Lithosphere (United States)

    Porter, R. C.; van der Lee, S.


    One of the most significant products of the EarthScope experiment has been the development of new seismic tomography models that take advantage of the consistent station design, regular 70-km station spacing, and wide aperture of the EarthScope Transportable Array (TA) network. These models have led to the discovery and interpretation of additional compositional, thermal, and density anomalies throughout the continental US, especially within tectonically stable regions. The goal of this work is use data from the EarthScope experiment to better elucidate the temporal relationship between tectonic activity and seismic velocities. To accomplish this, we compile several upper-mantle seismic velocity models from the Incorporated Research Institute for Seismology (IRIS) Earth Model Collaboration (EMC) and compare these to a tectonic age model we compiled using geochemical ages from the Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance: EarthChem Database. Results from this work confirms quantitatively that the time elapsed since the most recent tectonic event is a dominant influence on seismic velocities within the upper mantle across North America. To further understand this relationship, we apply mineral-physics models for peridotite to estimate upper-mantle temperatures for the continental US from tomographically imaged shear velocities. This work shows that the relationship between the estimated temperatures and the time elapsed since the most recent tectonic event is broadly consistent with plate cooling models, yet shows intriguing scatter. Ultimately, this work constrains the long-term thermal evolution of continental mantle lithosphere.

  5. Linking the tectonic evolution with fluid history in magma-poor rifted margins: tracking mantle- and continental crust-related fluids (United States)

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


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

  6. Crustal structure of Australia from ambient seismic noise tomography (United States)

    Saygin, Erdinc; Kennett, B. L. N.


    Surface wave tomography for Australian crustal structure has been carried out using group velocity measurements in the period range 1-32 s extracted from stacked correlations of ambient noise between station pairs. Both Rayleigh wave and Love wave group velocity maps are constructed for each period using the vertical and transverse component of the Green's function estimates from the ambient noise. The full suite of portable broadband deployments and permanent stations on the continent have been used with over 250 stations in all and up to 7500 paths. The permanent stations provide a useful link between the various shorter-term portable deployments. At each period the group velocity maps are constructed with a fully nonlinear tomographic inversion exploiting a subspace technique and the Fast Marching Method for wavefront tracking. For Rayleigh waves the continental coverage is good enough to allow the construction of a 3D shear wavespeed model in a two stage approach. Local group dispersion information is collated for a distribution of points across the continent and inverted for a 1D SV wavespeed profile using a Neighbourhood Algorithm method. The resulting set of 1D models are then interpolated to produce the final 3D wavespeed model. The group velocity maps show the strong influence of thick sediments at shorter periods, and distinct fast zones associated with cratonic regions. Below the sediments the 3D shear wavespeed model displays significant heterogeneity with only moderate correlation with surface tectonic features. For example, there is no evident expression of the Tasman Line marking the eastern edge of Precambrian outcrop. The large number of available inter-station paths extracted from the ambient noise analysis provide detailed shear wavespeed information for crustal structure across the Australian continent for the first time, including regions where there was no prior sampling because of difficult logistics.

  7. Morphology and sedimentology of glacigenic submarine fans on the west Greenland continental margin (United States)

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


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

  8. Development and sexual dimorphism of the sonic system in deep sea neobythitine fishes: The upper continental slope (United States)

    Ali, Heba A.; Mok, Hin-Kiu; Fine, Michael L.


    The anatomy of sound production in continental-slope fishes has been ignored since the work of NB Marshall in the 1960s. Due to food scarcity at great depths, we hypothesize that sonic muscles will be reduced in deep-water neobythitine cusk-eels (family Ophidiidae). Here we describe and quantify dimensions of the swimbladder and sonic muscles of three species from the upper slope. They have four pairs of well-developed sonic muscles (two medial and two lateral) with origins on the skull and insertions on the medial swimbladder (medial pair) or on modified epineural ribs that attach to the lateral swimbladder (lateral pair). Despite minor differences, relatively similar swimbladder dimensions, muscle length and external morphology suggest a conservative body plan. However, there are major differences in sonic muscle mass: medial muscles are heavier in males and made of relatively small fibers (ca 10 μm in diameter). Lateral muscles are generally larger in females and consist of larger fibers, as in epaxial trunk muscle. Muscle weight varies between species, and we suggest males produce advertisement calls that vary in amplitude and duration in different species. Due to differences in fiber size, we hypothesize that lateral muscles with larger fibers remain contracted during sound production, and medial muscles with smaller fibers will oscillate to drive swimbladder sound production.

  9. The major tectonic boundaries of the Northern Red Sea rift, Egypt derived from geophysical data analysis (United States)

    Saleh, Salah; Pamukçu, Oya; Brimich, Ladislav


    In the present study, we have attempted to map the plate boundary between Arabia and Africa at the Northern Red Sea rift region including the Suez rift, Gulf of Aqaba-Dead Sea transform and southeastern Mediterranean region by using gravity data analysis. In the boundary analysis method which was used; low-pass filtered gravity anomalies of the Northern Red Sea rift region were computed. Different crustal types and thicknesses, sediment thicknesses and different heat flow anomalies were evaluated. According to the results, there are six subzones (crustal blocks) separated from each other by tectonic plate boundaries and/or lineaments. It seems that these tectonic boundaries reveal complex structural lineaments, which are mostly influenced by a predominant set of NNW-SSE to NW-SE trending lineaments bordering the Red Sea and Suez rift regions. On the other side, the E-W and N-S to NNE-SSW trended lineaments bordering the South-eastern Mediterranean, Northern Sinai and Aqaba-Dead Sea transform regions, respectively. The analysis of the low pass filtered Bouguer anomaly maps reveals that the positive regional anomaly over both the Red Sea rift and South-eastern Mediterranean basin subzones are considered to be caused by the high density of the oceanic crust and/or the anomalous upper mantle structures beneath these regions whereas, the broad medium anomalies along the western half of Central Sinai with the Suez rift and the Eastern Desert subzones are attributed to low-density sediments of the Suez rift and/or the thick upper continental crustal thickness below these zones. There are observable negative anomalies over the Northern Arabia subzone, particularly in the areas covered by Cenozoic volcanics. These negative anomalies may be attributed to both the low densities of the surface volcanics and/or to a very thick upper continental crust. On the contrary, the negative anomaly which belongs to the Gulf of Aqaba-Dead Sea transform zone is due to crustal thickening

  10. Geothermal Heat Flux and Upper Mantle Viscosity across West Antarctica: Insights from the UKANET and POLENET Seismic Networks (United States)

    O'Donnell, J. P.; Dunham, C.; Stuart, G. W.; Brisbourne, A.; Nield, G. A.; Whitehouse, P. L.; Hooper, A. J.; Nyblade, A.; Wiens, D.; Aster, R. C.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Huerta, A. D.; Wilson, T. J.; Winberry, J. P.


    Quantifying the geothermal heat flux at the base of ice sheets is necessary to understand their dynamics and evolution. The heat flux is a composite function of concentration of upper crustal radiogenic elements and flow of heat from the mantle into the crust. Radiogenic element concentration varies with tectonothermal age, while heat flow across the crust-mantle boundary depends on crustal and lithospheric thicknesses. Meanwhile, accurately monitoring current ice mass loss via satellite gravimetry or altimetry hinges on knowing the upper mantle viscosity structure needed to account for the superimposed glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) signal in the satellite data. In early 2016 the UK Antarctic Network (UKANET) of 10 broadband seismometers was deployed for two years across the southern Antarctic Peninsula and Ellsworth Land. Using UKANET data in conjunction with seismic records from our partner US Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET) and the Antarctic Seismographic Argentinian Italian Network (ASAIN), we have developed a 3D shear wave velocity model of the West Antarctic crust and uppermost mantle based on Rayleigh and Love wave phase velocity dispersion curves extracted from ambient noise cross-correlograms. We combine seismic receiver functions with the shear wave model to help constrain the depth to the crust-mantle boundary across West Antarctica and delineate tectonic domains. The shear wave model is subsequently converted to temperature using a database of densities and elastic properties of minerals common in crustal and mantle rocks, while the various tectonic domains are assigned upper crustal radiogenic element concentrations based on their inferred tectonothermal ages. We combine this information to map the basal geothermal heat flux variation across West Antarctica. Mantle viscosity depends on factors including temperature, grain size, the hydrogen content of olivine and the presence of melt. Using published mantle xenolith and magnetotelluric

  11. Continental tectonics and continental kinetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allegre, C.J.; Jaupart, C.; Paris-7 Univ., 75


    We present a model of continental growth which combines the results of geochemical studies and tectonic ideas about the evolution of continents through geological time. The process of continental growth is mainly controlled by surface phenomena. Continental material is extracted from the mantle along subduction zones at the periphery of oceans, and is destroyed in collision zones where it is remobilized and made available for subduction. We derive an equation for S, the portion of the Earth's surface occupied by continents, which reads as follows: dS/dt=a . √(1-S)-b . S. Coefficients a and b depend on the geometry of plates, on their number and on their velocities. We assume that they decrease exponentially with time with the same time-scale α. This model satisfies both geochemical and tectonic constraints, and allows the integration of several current observations in a single framework. (orig.)

  12. Petrotectonic characteristics, geochemistry, and U-Pb geochronology of Jurassic plutons in the Upper Magdalena Valley-Colombia: Implications on the evolution of magmatic arcs in the NW Andes (United States)

    Rodríguez, G.; Arango, M. I.; Zapata, G.; Bermúdez, J. G.


    Field, petrographic, and geochemical characterization along with U-Pb zircon geochronology of the Jurassic plutons exposed in the Upper Magdalena Valley (Colombia) allowed recognizing distinct western and eastern suites formed in at least three magmatic pulses. The western plutons crop out between the eastern flank of the Central Cordillera and the Las Minas range, being limited by the Avirama and the Betania-El Agrado faults. The western suite comprises a quartz monzonite - quartz monzodiorite - quartz diorite series and subordinate monzogranites. Chemically, the rocks are high-K calc-alkaline I-type granitoids (some reaching the shoshonitic series) with metaluminous of magnesium affinity. Trace-element tectonic discrimination is consistent with magmatism in a continental arc environment. Most rocks of this suite crystallized between 195 and 186 Ma (Early Jurassic, Pliensbachian), but locally some plutons yielded younger ages between 182 and 179 Ma (Early Jurassic, Toarcian). The eastern suite crops out in the eastern margin of the Upper Magdalena Valley, east of the Betania - El Agrado fault. Plutons of this unit belong to the monzogranite series with rock types ranging between syenogranites and granodiorites. They are high-K calc-alkaline continental granitoids, some metaluminous and some peraluminous, related to I-type granites generated in a volcanic arc. Crystallization of the suite was between 173 and 169 Ma (Middle Jurassic, Aalenian-Bajocian), but locally these rocks contain zircon with earlier inherited ages related to the magmatic pulse of the western suite between 182 and 179 Ma (Early Jurassic, Toarcian). The evolution of the Jurassic plutons in the Upper Magdalena Valley is best explained by onset or increase in subduction erosion of the accretionary prism. This explains the eastward migration of the arc away from the trench. Subduction of prism sediments increased the water flux from the subducting slab, decreasing solidus temperatures, therefore

  13. Lithospheric Structure across the Alaskan Cordillera from Surface Waves and Receiver Functions (United States)

    Ward, K. M.; Lin, F. C.


    The long awaited Transportable Array (TA) deployment in Alaska and western Canada is nearing its final deployment stage. With only one more deployment season, most of the TA station locations have been occupied and begun providing data. These TA stations combined with upgraded existing locations have provided enough high-quality data to begin investigating the crustal and upper mantle structure across the entire Alaskan Cordillera. From a tectonic standpoint, many interesting questions remain unanswered. For example, how does the transition from oceanic-oceanic subduction to continental-oceanic normal subduction to continental-oceanic "flat-slab" subduction to strike-slip conservative plate motion affect the deformation/uplift of the overriding plate and mantle geodynamic characteristics? How does the long and completed terrene accretion process partition stress/strain in the crust? On more local scales, are there any significant mid-crustal magmatic systems as observed in other sections of the American Cordillera, and if so, what is there role in uplift and crustal deformation? Our approach to investigating these questions is though surface wave imaging from ambient noise and earthquake generated sources along with Rayleigh wave ellipticity paired with Ps receiver functions. Our preliminary tomography results agree with previous studies but expand the spatial coverage showing additional detail. Our ellipticity results show a heterogeneous but spatially consistent anisotropic shallow crust. Although the complete TA data set has not yet been collected, we have jointly inverted surface waves with receiver functions for a 3-D shear-wave velocity model across the entire Alaskan Cordillera. Key features of our velocity model include a high-velocity feature in the upper mantle associated with the subducting Pacific plate that extends north of the seismicity used to contour the geometry of the slab and mid-crustal low-velocity zones associated with the active volcanics in

  14. Crustal Ages of the Ocean Floor - Poster (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Crustal Ages of the Ocean Floor Poster was created at NGDC using the Crustal Ages of the Ocean Floor database draped digitally over a relief of the ocean floor...

  15. Distribution of lithium in agricultural and grazing land soils at European continental scale (GEMAS project) (United States)

    Negrel, Philippe; Reimann, Clemens; Ladenberger, Anna; Birke, Manfred


    The environmental chemistry of Li has received attention because Li has been shown to have numerous and important implications for human health and agriculture and the stable isotope composition of lithium is a powerful geochemical tool that provides quantitative information about Earth processes such as sediment recycling, global chemical weathering and its role in the carbon cycle, hydrothermal alteration, and groundwater evolution. However, the role of bedrock sources, weathering and climate changes in the repartition of Li at the continental scale has been scarcely investigated. Agricultural soil (Ap-horizon, 0-20 cm) and grazing land soil (Gr-horizon, 0-10 cm) samples were collected from a large part of Europe (33 countries, 5.6 million km2) as a part of the GEMAS (GEochemical Mapping of Agricultural and grazing land Soil) soil mapping project. GEMAS soil data have been used to provide a general view of element mobility and source rocks at the continental scale, either by reference to average crustal abundances or to normalized patterns of element mobility during weathering processes. The survey area includes a diverse group of soil parent materials with varying geological history, a wide range of climate zones and landscapes. The concentrations of Li in European soil were determined by ICP-MS after a hot aqua regia extraction, and their spatial distribution patterns generated by means of a GIS software. Due to the partial nature of the aqua regia extraction, the mean concentration of Li in the European agricultural soil (ca 11.4 mg/kg in Ap and Gr soils) is about four times lower than in the Earth's upper continental crust (UCC = 41 mg/kg). The combined plot histogram - density trace one- dimensional scattergram - boxplot of the aqua regia data displays the univariate data distribution of Li. The one-dimensional scattergram and boxplot highlight the existence of many outliers at the lower end of the Li distribution and very few at the upper end. Though the

  16. The crustal thickness of Australia (United States)

    Clitheroe, G.; Gudmundsson, O.; Kennett, B.L.N.


    We investigate the crustal structure of the Australian continent using the temporary broadband stations of the Skippy and Kimba projects and permanent broadband stations. We isolate near-receiver information, in the form of crustal P-to-S conversions, using the receiver function technique. Stacked receiver functions are inverted for S velocity structure using a Genetic Algorithm approach to Receiver Function Inversion (GARFI). From the resulting velocity models we are able to determine the Moho depth and to classify the width of the crust-mantle transition for 65 broadband stations. Using these results and 51 independent estimates of crustal thickness from refraction and reflection profiles, we present a new, improved, map of Moho depth for the Australian continent. The thinnest crust (25 km) occurs in the Archean Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia; the thickest crust (61 km) occurs in Proterozoic central Australia. The average crustal thickness is 38.8 km (standard deviation 6.2 km). Interpolation error estimates are made using kriging and fall into the range 2.5-7.0 km. We find generally good agreement between the depth to the seismologically defined Moho and xenolith-derived estimates of crustal thickness beneath northeastern Australia. However, beneath the Lachlan Fold Belt the estimates are not in agreement, and it is possible that the two techniques are mapping differing parts of a broad Moho transition zone. The Archean cratons of Western Australia appear to have remained largely stable since cratonization, reflected in only slight variation of Moho depth. The largely Proterozoic center of Australia shows relatively thicker crust overall as well as major Moho offsets. We see evidence of the margin of the contact between the Precambrian craton and the Tasman Orogen, referred to as the Tasman Line. Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.

  17. Crustal evolution inferred from apollo magnetic measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dyal, P.; Daily, W.D.; Vanyan, L.L.


    Magnetic field and solar wind plasma density measurements were analyzed to determine the scale size characteristics of remanent fields at the Apollo 12, 15, and 16 landing sites. Theoretical model calculations of the field-plasma interaction, involving diffusion of the remanent field into the solar plasma, were compared to the data. The information provided by all these experiments shows that remanent fields over most of the lunar surface are characterized by spatial variations as small as a few kilometers. Large regions (50 to 100 km) of the lunar crust were probably uniformly magnetized during early crustal evolution. Bombardment and subsequent gardening of the upper layers of these magnetized regions left randomly oriented, smaller scale (5 to 10 km) magnetic sources close to the surface. The larger scale size fields of magnitude approximately 0.1 gammas are measured by the orbiting subsatellite experiments and the small scale sized remanent fields of magnitude approximately 100 gammas are measured by the surface experiments

  18. Full 40 km crustal reflection seismic datasets in several Indonesian basins (United States)

    Dinkelman, M. G.; Granath, J. W.; Christ, J. M.; Emmet, P. A.; Bird, D. E.


    Long offset, deep penetration regional 2D seismic data sets have been acquired since 2002 by GX Technology in a number of regions worldwide ( Typical surveys consist of 10+ lines located to image specific critical aspects of basin structure. Early surveys were processed to 20 km, but more recent ones have extended to 40-45 km from 16 sec records. Pre-stack time migration is followed by pre-stack depth migration using gravity and in some cases magnetic modeling to constrain the velocity structure. We illustrate several cases in the SE Asian and Australasian area. In NatunaSPAN™ two generations of inversion can be distinguished, one involving Paleogene faults with Neogene inversion and one involving strike slip-related uplift in the West Natuna Basin. Crustal structure in the very deep Neogene East Natuna Basin has also been imaged. The JavaSPAN™ program traced Paleogene sediments onto oceanic crust of the Flores Sea, thus equating back arc spreading there to the widespread Eocene extension. It also imaged basement in the Makassar Strait beneath as much as 6 km of Cenozoic sedimentary rocks that accumulated Eocene rift basins (the North and South Makassar basins) on the edge of Sundaland, the core of SE Asia. The basement is seismically layered: a noisy upper crust overlies a prominent 10 km thick transparent zone, the base of which marks another change to slightly noisier reflectivity. Eocene normal faults responsible for the opening of extensional basins root in the top of the transparent layer which may be Moho or a brittle-ductile transition within the extended continental crust. Of particular significance is the first image of thick Precambrian basins comprising the bulk of continental crust under the Arafura Sea in the ArafuraSPAN™ program. Four lines some 1200 km long located between Australia and New Guinea on the Arafura platform image a thin Phanerozoic section overlying a striking Precambrian basement composed of

  19. Amphibole Fractional Crystallization and Delamination in Arc Roots: Implications for the `Missing' Nb Reservoir in the Earth (United States)

    Galster, F.; Chatterjee, R. N.; Stockli, D. F.


    Most geologic processes should not fractionate Nb from Ta but Earth's major silicate reservoirs have subchondritic Nb/Ta values. Nb/Ta of >10000 basalts and basaltic andesites from different tectonic settings (GEOROC) cluster around 16, indistinguishable from upper mantle values. In contrast, Nb/Ta in more evolved arc volcanics have progressively lower values, reaching continental crust estimates, and correlate negatively with SiO2 (see figure) and positively with TiO2 and MgO. This global trend suggests that differentiation processes in magmatic arcs could explain bulk crustal Nb/Ta estimates. Understanding processes that govern fractionation of Nb from Ta in arcs can provide key insights on continental crust formation and help identify Earth's `missing' Nb reservoir. Ti-rich phases (rutile, titanite and ilmenite) have DNb/DTa values in the evolved liquid. Lack of correlation between Nb/Ta and K2O in global volcanic rocks implies that biotite plays a minor role in fractionating Nb from Ta during differentiation. Experimental petrology and evidence from exposed arc sections indicate that amphibole fractionation and delamination of island arc roots can explain the andesitic composition of bulk continental crust. Experimental studies have shown that amphibole Mg# correlate with DNb/DTa and amphibole could effectively fractionate Nb from Ta. Preliminary data from lower to middle crustal amphiboles from preserved arcs show sub- to super-chondritic Nb/Ta up to >60. This suggests that delamination of amphibole-rich cumulates can be a viable mechanism for the preferential removal of Nb from the continental crust. Future examination of Nb/Ta ratios in lower crustal amphiboles from various preserved arcs will provide improved constraints on the Nb-Ta paradox of the silicate Earth.

  20. Constraints on the crustal structure beneath the Sinai subplate, SE Mediterranean, from analysis of local and regional travel times

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed K. Salah


    Full Text Available The Sinai Peninsula has been recognized as a subplate of the African Plate located at the triple junction of the Gulf of Suez rift, the Dead Sea Transform fault, and the Red Sea rift. The upper and lower crustal structures of this tectonically active, rapidly developing region are yet poorly understood because of many limitations. For this reason, a set of P- and S-wave travel times recorded at 14 seismic stations belonging to the Egyptian National Seismographic Network (ENSN from 111 local and regional events are analyzed to investigate the crustal structures and the locations of the seismogenic zones beneath central and southern Sinai. Because the velocity model used for routine earthquake location by ENSN is one-dimensional, the travel-time residuals will show lateral heterogeneity of the velocity structures and unmodeled vertical structures. Seismic activity is strong along the eastern and southern borders of the study area but low to moderate along the northern boundary and the Gulf of Suez to the west. The crustal Vp/Vs ratio is 1.74 from shallow (depth ≤ 10 km earthquakes and 1.76 from deeper (depth > 10 km crustal events. The majority of the regional and local travel-time residuals are positive relative to the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM, implying that the seismic stations are located above widely distributed, tectonically-induced low-velocity zones. These low-velocity zones are mostly related to the local crustal faults affecting the sedimentary section and the basement complex as well as the rifting processes prevailing in the northern Red Sea region and the ascending of hot mantle materials along crustal fractures. The delineation of these low-velocity zones and the locations of big crustal earthquakes enable the identification of areas prone to intense seismotectonic activities, which should be excluded from major future development projects and large constructions in central and southern Sinai.

  1. Crustal anisotropy across northern Japan from receiver functions. (United States)

    Bianchi, I; Bokelmann, G; Shiomi, K


    Northern Japan is a tectonically active area, with the presence of several volcanoes, and with frequent earthquakes among which the destructive M w  = 8.9-9.0 Tohoku-oki occurred on 11 March 2011. Tectonic activity leaves an imprint on the crustal structures, on both the upper and the lower layers. To investigate the crust in northern Japan, we construct a receiver function data set using teleseismic events recorded at 58 seismic stations belonging to the Japanese National (Hi-net) network. We isolate the signals, in the receiver function wavelet, that witness the presence of anisotropic structures at depth, with the aim of mapping the variation of anisotropy across the northern part of the island. This study focuses on the relation among anisotropy detected in the crust, stresses induced by plate convergence across the subduction zone, and the intrinsic characteristics of the rocks. Our results show how a simple velocity model with two anisotropic layers reproduces the observed data at the stations. We observe a negligible or small amount of signal related to anisotropy in the eastern part of the study area (i.e., the outer arc) for both upper and lower crust. Distinct anisotropic features are observed at the stations on the western part of the study area (i.e., the inner arc) for both upper and lower crust. The symmetry axes are mostly E-W oriented. Deviation from the E-W orientation is observed close to the volcanic areas, where the higher geothermal gradient might influence the deformation processes.

  2. The evolution of magma during continental rifting: New constraints from the isotopic and trace element signatures of silicic magmas from Ethiopian volcanoes (United States)

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


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

  3. Crustal structure and tectonic deformation of the southern Ecuadorian margin (United States)

    Calahorrano, Alcinoe; Collot, Jean-Yves; Sage, Françoise; Ranero, César R.


    Multichannel seismic lines acquired during the SISTEUR cruise (2000) provide new constraints on the structure and deformation of the subduction zone at the southern Ecuadorian margin, from the deformation front to the continental shelf of the Gulf of Guayaquil. The pre-stack depth migrated images allows to characterise the main structures of the downgoing and overriding plates and to map the margin stratigraphy in order to propose a chronology of the deformation, by means of integrating commercial well data and industry seismic lines located in the gulf area. The 100-km-long seismic lines show the oceanic Nazca plate underthrusting the South American plate, as well as the subduction channel and inter-plate contact from the deformation front to about 90 km landward and ~20 km depth. Based on seismic structure we identify four upper-plate units, consisting of basement and overlaying sedimentary sequences A, B and C. The sedimentary cover varies along the margin, being few hundreds of meters thick in the lower and middle slope, and ~2-3 km thick in the upper slope. Exceptionally, a ~10-km -thick basin, here named Banco Peru basin, is located on the upper slope at the southernmost part of the gulf. This basin seems to be the first evidence of the Gulf of Guayaquil opening resulting from the NE escaping of the North Andean Block. Below the continental shelf, thick sedimentary basins of ~6 to 8 km occupy most of the gulf area. Tectonic deformation across most of the upper-plate is dominated by extensional regime, locally disturbed by diapirism. Compression evidences are restricted to the deformation front and surrounding areas. Well data calibrating the seismic profiles indicate that an important portion of the total thickness of the sedimentary coverage of the overriding plate are Miocene or older. The data indicate the extensional deformation resulting from the NE motion of the North Andean Block and the opening of the Gulf of Guayaquil, evolves progressively in age

  4. Insights upon upper crustal arhitecture of a subduction zone and its surroundings - Vrancea Zone and Focsani Basin - substantiated by geophysical studies (United States)

    Bocin, A.; Stephenson, R.; Mocanu, V.


    The DACIA PLAN (Danube and Carpathian Integrated Action on Processes in the Lithosphere and Neotectonics) deep seismic reflection survey was performed in August-September 2001, with the proposed objective of obtaining new information on the deep structure of the external Carpathians nappes and the architecture of Tertiary/Quaternary basin developed within and adjacent to the Vrancea zone, including the rapidly subsiding Focsani Basin. The DACIA-PLAN profile is about 140 km long, having a roughly NW-SE direction, from near the southeast Transylvanian Basin, across the mountainous southeastern Carpathians and their foreland to near the Danube River. A high resolution 2.5D velocity model of the upper crust along the seismic profile has been determined from a tomographic inversion and a 2D ray tracing forward modelling of the DACIA PLAN first arrival data. Peculiar shallow high velocities indicate that pre-Tertiary basement in the Vrancea Zone (characterised by velocities greater than 5.6 km/s) is involved in Carpathian thrusting while rapid alternance, vertically or horizontally, of velocity together with narrowingly contemporary crustal events suggests uplifting. Further to the east, at the foreland basin-thrust belt transition zone (well defined within velocity values), the velocity model suggests a nose of the Miocene Subcarpathians nappe being underlain by Focsani Basin units. A Miocene and younger Focsani Basin sedimentary succession of ~10 km thickness is ascertained by a gradual increase of velocities and strongly defined velocity boundaries.

  5. Using mineral thermal diffusivities measured with Laser-Flash Analysis to redefine the continental geotherm (United States)

    Branlund, J. M.; Hofmeister, A.; Merriman, J. D.; Nabelek, P. I.; Whittington, A. G.


    We've created a new model for the average continental geotherm by incorporating accurate thermal conductivity values into Fourier's law. Previous geotherm models used thermal conductivities (k) with systematic errors: (1) Pores and microcracks in polycrystalline samples provide artificially low k compared to buried rocks, (2) conventional measurement techniques involve contact losses between thermocouples and samples, especially at high temperature, and/or (3) many techniques inadequately remove ballistic radiative transfer, which does not represent true heat transfer in the earth. To provide k values appropriate for Earth’s interior, we measured thermal diffusivity and its temperature derivatives using laser-flash analysis (LFA) for common rock-forming minerals. To avoid problems of pores and microcracks artificially lowering measured k values, we mathematically mixed mineral data to create synthetic rocks representative of the upper and lower crust and mantle, and checked our values against measurements of rocks least contaminated. Compared to previous models using k of rocks measured with non-LFA methods, our mixture models give higher k of crustal rocks at room temperature, but lower values at higher temperatures. Calculating a geotherm with these revised thermal conductivity values gives a lower temperature throughout the lower crust and mantle lithosphere. Altering the composition of the crust will change the geotherm; crust with more quartz, olivine and/or pyroxene has higher k and a lower geothermal gradient. Adding calcic plagioclase lowers k and steepens the geotherm. The new constraints on k allow us to set bounds on the steady-state geotherm based on ranges of possible mineralogy, chemistry, and radiogenic contents.

  6. Sediment underthrusting within a continental magmatic arc: Coast Mountains batholith, British Columbia (United States)

    Pearson, David M.; MacLeod, Douglas R.; Ducea, Mihai N.; Gehrels, George E.; Jonathan Patchett, P.


    Though continental magmatic arcs are factories for new continental crust, a significant proportion of continental arc magmas are recycled from supracrustal material. To evaluate the relative contributions of retroarc underthrusting and trench side partial sediment subduction for introducing supracrustal rocks to the middle and lower crust of continental magmatic arcs, we present results from the deeply exposed country rocks of the Coast Mountains batholith of western British Columbia. Prior work demonstrates that these rocks underwent widespread partial melting that contributed to the Coast Mountains batholith. We utilize U-Pb zircon geochronology, Sm-Nd thermochronology, and field-based studies to document the protoliths and early burial history of amphibolite and granulite-facies metasedimentary rocks in the Central Gneiss Complex. U-Pb detrital zircon data from the structurally highest sample localities yielded 190 Ma unimodal age peaks and suggest that retroarc rocks of the Stikine terrane constitute a substantial portion of the Central Gneiss Complex. These supracrustal rocks underwent thrust-related burial and metamorphism at >25 km depths prior to 80 Ma. These rocks may also be underlain at the deepest exposed structural levels by Upper Cretaceous metasedimentary rocks, which may have been emplaced as a result of trench side underplating or intraarc burial. These results further our understanding of the mechanisms of material transport within the continental lithosphere along Cordilleran subduction margins.

  7. Upper bounds of deformation in the Upper Rhine Graben from GPS data - First results from GURN (GNSS Upper Rhine Graben Network) (United States)

    Masson, Frederic; Knoepfler, Andreas; Mayer, Michael; Ulrich, Patrice; Heck, Bernhard


    In September 2008, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg (Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre, EOST) and the Geodetic Institute (GIK) of Karlsruhe University (TH) established a transnational cooperation called GURN (GNSS Upper Rhine Graben Network). Within the GURN initiative these institutions are cooperating in order to establish a highly precise and highly sensitive network of permanently operating GNSS sites for the detection of crustal movements in the Upper Rhine Graben region. At the beginning, the network consisted of the permanently operating GNSS sites of SAPOS®-Baden-Württemberg, different data providers in France (e.g. EOST, Teria, RGP) and some further sites (e.g. IGS). In July 2009, the network was extended to the South when swisstopo (Switzerland) and to the North when SAPOS®-Rheinland-Pfalz joined GURN. Therefore, actually the GNSS network consists of approx. 80 permanently operating reference sites. The presentation will discuss the actual status of GURN, main research goals, and will present first results concerning the data quality as well as time series of a first reprocessing of all available data since 2002 using GAMIT/GLOBK (EOST working group) and the Bernese GPS Software (GIK working group). Based on these time series, the velocity as well as strain fields will be calculated in the future. The GURN initiative is also aiming for the estimation of the upper bounds of deformation in the Upper Rhine Graben region.

  8. Seismic evidence for central Taiwan magnetic low and deep-crustal deformation caused by plate collision (United States)

    Cheng, Win-Bin


    Crustal seismic velocity structure was determined for the northern Taiwan using seismic travel-time data to investigate the northeastern extension of the northern South China Sea's high-magnetic belt. In order to increase the model resolution, a joint analysis of gravity anomaly and seismic travel-time data have been conducted. A total of 3385 events had been used in the inversion that was collected by the Central Weather Bureau Seismological Network from 1990 to 2015. The main features of the obtained three-dimensional velocity model are: (1) a relatively high Vp zone with velocity greater than 6.5 km/s is observed in the middle to lower crust, (2) the high Vp zone generally parallels to the north-south structural trending of the Chuchih fault and Hsuehshan Range, (3) at 25 km depth-slice, the high Vp zone shows structural trends change from northeastward to northward in central Taiwan, where the values of high-magnetic anomalies are rapidly decreasing to low values. A combination of seismic, GPS, and structural interpretations suggests that the entire crust has been deformed and demagnetized in consequence of the collision between the Philippine Sea plate and the Asian continental margin. We suggest that the feature of sharp bending of the high Vp zone would migrate southwestward and cause further crustal deformation of the Peikang High in the future.

  9. Seismic cycle feedbacks in a mid-crustal shear zone (United States)

    Melosh, Benjamin L.; Rowe, Christie D.; Gerbi, Christopher; Smit, Louis; Macey, Paul


    Mid-crustal fault rheology is controlled by alternating brittle and plastic deformation mechanisms, which cause feedback cycles that influence earthquake behavior. Detailed mapping and microstructural observations in the Pofadder Shear Zone (Namibia and South Africa) reveal a lithologically heterogeneous shear zone core with quartz-rich mylonites and ultramylonites, plastically overprinted pseudotachylyte and active shear folds. We present evidence for a positive feedback cycle in which coseismic grain size reduction facilitates active shear folding by enhancing competency contrasts and promoting crystal plastic flow. Shear folding strengthens a portion of a shear zone by limb rotation, focusing deformation and promoting plastic flow or brittle slip in resulting areas of localized high stress. Using quartz paleopiezometry, we estimate strain and slip rates consistent with other studies of exhumed shear zones and modern plate boundary faults, helping establish the Pofadder Shear Zone as an ancient analogue to modern, continental-scale, strike-slip faults. This feedback cycle influences seismicity patterns at the scale of study (10s of meters) and possibly larger scales as well, and contributes to bulk strengthening of the brittle-plastic transition on modern plate boundary faults.

  10. Crustal structure of the Western Carpathians and Pannonian Basin System: seismic models from CELEBRATION 2000 data and geological implication (United States)

    Janik, Tomasz; Grad, Marek; Guterch, Aleksander; Vozár, Jozef; Bielik, Miroslav; Vozárova, Anna; Hegedżs, Endre; Attila Kovács, Csaba; Kovács, István.; Celebration 2000 Working Group


    During CELEBRATION 2000 experiment the area of the Western Carphathians and Pannonian Basin System on the territory of southeastern Poland, Slovak Republic and Hungary was investigated by dense system of the deep seismic sounding profiles. In this paper, we present results of modelling of refracted and reflected waves with use 2-D ray tracing technique for profiles CEL01, CEL04, CEL05, CEL06, CEL11, CEL12 and CEL28. All seven profiles were jointly interpreted with verification and control the models at crossing points. Obtained P-wave velocity models of the crust and uppermost mantle are very complex and show differentiation of the seismic structure, where the depth of the Moho discontinuity is changing from about 25 to about 45 km. In the southern part of the area the relatively thin Pannonian Basin System crust consists of 3-7 km thick sediments and two crustal layers with 5.9-6.3 km/s in the upper crust and 6.3-6.6 km/s in the lower crust. In the upper crust of ALCAPA beneath profile CEL05 a high velocity body of Vp≥ 6.4 km/s was detected in the uppermost 5 km, which corresponds to the Bükk Composite Terrane. The total thickness of the ALCAPA crust is 1-2 km bigger than in the Tisza-Dacia. In the northern part of the area we observe 10-20 km thick uppermost crust with low velocity (Vp≤6.0 km/s), connected with TESZ and Carpathian Foredeep. Together with ca. 6.2-6.5 km/s and 6.5-6.9 km/s crustal layers they have a total thickness of 30-45 km (north of the Pieniny Klippen Belt). A sub-Moho velocities have in average values of 7.8-8.0 km/s for the Pannonian basin System, while in the Western Carpathian, the Trans-European suture zone (TESZ) and the East European Craton (EEC) part they are slightly bigger, 8.0-8.1 km/s. Lower velocities beneath the microplates ALCAPA and Tisza-Dacia could be caused by the different mineralogical and petrological compositions and the significant higher surface heat flow and temperature within the upper mantle. Beneath some

  11. Rapid heterogeneous assembly of multiple magma reservoirs prior to Yellowstone supereruptions. (United States)

    Wotzlaw, Jörn-Frederik; Bindeman, Ilya N; Stern, Richard A; D'Abzac, Francois-Xavier; Schaltegger, Urs


    Large-volume caldera-forming eruptions of silicic magmas are an important feature of continental volcanism. The timescales and mechanisms of assembly of the magma reservoirs that feed such eruptions as well as the durations and physical conditions of upper-crustal storage remain highly debated topics in volcanology. Here we explore a comprehensive data set of isotopic (O, Hf) and chemical proxies in precisely U-Pb dated zircon crystals from all caldera-forming eruptions of Yellowstone supervolcano. Analysed zircons record rapid assembly of multiple magma reservoirs by repeated injections of isotopically heterogeneous magma batches and short pre-eruption storage times of 10(3) to 10(4) years. Decoupled oxygen-hafnium isotope systematics suggest a complex source for these magmas involving variable amounts of differentiated mantle-derived melt, Archean crust and hydrothermally altered shallow-crustal rocks. These data demonstrate that complex magma reservoirs with multiple sub-chambers are a common feature of rift- and hotspot related supervolcanoes. The short duration of reservoir assembly documents rapid crustal remelting and two to three orders of magnitude higher magma production rates beneath Yellowstone compared to continental arc volcanoes. The short pre-eruption storage times further suggest that the detection of voluminous reservoirs of eruptible magma beneath active supervolcanoes may only be possible prior to an impending eruption.

  12. Paleoescatology in the sopas formation (Upper Pleistocene) form Uruguay, paleobilogic focus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verde, M.; Ubilla, M.; Soloviy, J.


    Continental tetrapod coprolites are reported for the first time for Uruguay, these remains come from the Sopas Formation (Upper Pleistocene). They are assigned to carnivore mammals based on morphology and inclusions of micrommmal remains besides of other attributes.(author)

  13. Improved H-κ Method by Harmonic Analysis on Ps and Crustal Multiples in Receiver Functions with respect to Dipping Moho and Crustal Anisotropy (United States)

    Li, J.; Song, X.; Wang, P.; Zhu, L.


    The H-κ method (Zhu and Kanamori, 2000) has been widely used to estimate the crustal thickness and Vp/Vs ratio with receiver functions. However, in regions where the crustal structure is complicated, the method may produce uncertain or even unrealistic results, arising particularly from dipping Moho and/or crustal anisotropy. Here, we propose an improved H-κ method, which corrects for these effects first before stacking. The effect of dipping Moho and crustal anisotropy on Ps receiver function has been well studied, but not as much on crustal multiples (PpPs and PpSs+PsPs). Synthetic tests show that the effect of crustal anisotropy on the multiples are similar to Ps, while the effect of dipping Moho on the multiples is 5 times that on Ps (same cosine trend but 5 times in time shift). A Harmonic Analysis (HA) method for dipping/anisotropy was developed by Wang et al. (2017) for crustal Ps receiver functions to extract parameters of dipping Moho and crustal azimuthal anisotropy. In real data, the crustal multiples are much more complicated than the Ps. Therefore, we use the HA method (Wang et al., 2017), but apply separately to Ps and the multiples. It shows that although complicated, the trend of multiples can still be reasonably well represented by the HA. We then perform separate azimuthal corrections for Ps and the multiples and stack to obtain a combined receiver function. Lastly, the traditional H-κ procedure is applied to the stacked receiver function. We apply the improved H-κ method on 40 CNDSN (Chinese National Digital Seismic Network) stations distributed in a variety of geological setting across the Chinese continent. The results show apparent improvement compared to the traditional H-κ method, with clearer traces of multiples and stronger stacking energy in the grid search, as well as more reliable H-κ values.

  14. Tectonic activity as a significant source of crustal tetrafluoromethane emissions to the atmosphere: observations in groundwaters along the San Andreas Fault (United States)

    Deeds, Daniel A.; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Muhle, Jens; Weiss, Ray F.


    Tetrafluoromethane (CF4) concentrations were measured in 14 groundwater samples from the Cuyama Valley, Mil Potrero and Cuddy Valley aquifers along the Big Bend section of the San Andreas Fault System (SAFS) in California to assess whether tectonic activity in this region is a significant source of crustal CF4 to the atmosphere. Dissolved CF4 concentrations in all groundwater samples but one were elevated with respect to estimated recharge concentrations including entrainment of excess air during recharge (CreCre; ∼30 fmol kg−1 H2O), indicating subsurface addition of CF4 to these groundwaters. Groundwaters in the Cuyama Valley contain small CF4 excesses (0.1–9 times CreCre), which may be attributed to an in situ release from weathering and a minor addition of deep crustal CF4 introduced to the shallow groundwater through nearby faults. CF4 excesses in groundwaters within 200 m of the SAFS are larger (10–980 times CreCre) and indicate the presence of a deep crustal flux of CF4 that is likely associated with the physical alteration of silicate minerals in the shear zone of the SAFS. Extrapolating CF4 flux rates observed in this study to the full extent of the SAFS (1300 km × 20–100 km) suggests that the SAFS potentially emits (0.3–1)×10−1 kg(0.3–1)×10−1 kg CF4 yr−1 to the Earth's surface. For comparison, the chemical weathering of ∼7.5×104 km2∼7.5×104 km2 of granitic rock in California is estimated to release (0.019–3.2)×10−1 kg(0.019–3.2)×10−1 kg CF4 yr−1. Tectonic activity is likely an important, and potentially the dominant, driver of natural emissions of CF4 to the atmosphere. Variations in preindustrial atmospheric CF4 as observed in paleo-archives such as ice cores may therefore represent changes in both continental weathering and tectonic activity, including changes driven by variations in continental ice cover during glacial–interglacial transitions.

  15. Evidence for crustal low shear-wave speed in western Saudi Arabia from multi-scale fundamental-mode Rayleigh-wave group-velocity tomography

    KAUST Repository

    Tang, Zheng


    We investigate the crustal and upper-mantle shear-velocity structure of Saudi Arabia by fundamental-mode Rayleigh-wave group-velocity tomography and shear-wave velocity inversion. The seismic dataset is compiled using ∼140 stations of the Saudi National Seismic Network (SNSN) operated by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS). We measure Rayleigh-wave group-velocities at periods of 8–40 s from regional earthquakes. After obtaining 1-D shear-wave velocity models by inverting group-velocities at each grid node, we construct a 3-D shear-velocity model for Saudi Arabia and adjacent regions by interpolating the 1-D models. Our 3-D model indicates significant lateral variations in crustal and lithospheric thickness, as well as in the shear-wave velocity over the study region. In particular, we identify zones of reduced shear-wave speed at crustal levels beneath the Cenozoic volcanic fields in the Arabian Shield. The inferred reductions of 2–5% in shear-wave speed may be interpreted as possibly indicating the presence of partial melts. However, their precise origin we can only speculate about. Our study also reveals an upper-mantle low velocity zone (LVZ) below the Arabian Shield, supporting the model of lateral mantle flow from the Afar plume. Further geophysical experiments are needed to confirm (or refute) the hypothesis that partial melts may exist below the Cenozoic volcanism in western Saudi Arabia, and to build a comprehensive geodynamic–geological model for the evolution and present state of the lithosphere of the Arabian Plate and the Red Sea.

  16. Evidence for crustal low shear-wave speed in western Saudi Arabia from multi-scale fundamental-mode Rayleigh-wave group-velocity tomography

    KAUST Repository

    Tang, Zheng; Mai, Paul Martin; Chang, Sung-Joon; Zahran, Hani


    We investigate the crustal and upper-mantle shear-velocity structure of Saudi Arabia by fundamental-mode Rayleigh-wave group-velocity tomography and shear-wave velocity inversion. The seismic dataset is compiled using ∼140 stations of the Saudi National Seismic Network (SNSN) operated by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS). We measure Rayleigh-wave group-velocities at periods of 8–40 s from regional earthquakes. After obtaining 1-D shear-wave velocity models by inverting group-velocities at each grid node, we construct a 3-D shear-velocity model for Saudi Arabia and adjacent regions by interpolating the 1-D models. Our 3-D model indicates significant lateral variations in crustal and lithospheric thickness, as well as in the shear-wave velocity over the study region. In particular, we identify zones of reduced shear-wave speed at crustal levels beneath the Cenozoic volcanic fields in the Arabian Shield. The inferred reductions of 2–5% in shear-wave speed may be interpreted as possibly indicating the presence of partial melts. However, their precise origin we can only speculate about. Our study also reveals an upper-mantle low velocity zone (LVZ) below the Arabian Shield, supporting the model of lateral mantle flow from the Afar plume. Further geophysical experiments are needed to confirm (or refute) the hypothesis that partial melts may exist below the Cenozoic volcanism in western Saudi Arabia, and to build a comprehensive geodynamic–geological model for the evolution and present state of the lithosphere of the Arabian Plate and the Red Sea.

  17. A frozen record of density-driven crustal overturn in lava lakes: The example of Kilauea Iki 1959 (United States)

    Stovall, W.K.; Houghton, Bruce F.; Harris, A.J.L.; Swanson, D.A.


    Lava lakes are found at basaltic volcanoes on Earth and other planetary bodies. Density-driven crustal foundering leading to surface renewal occurs repeatedly throughout the life of a lava lake. This process has been observed and described in a qualitative sense, but due to dangerous conditions, no data has been acquired to evaluate the densities of the units involved. Kilauea Iki pit crater in Hawai'i houses a lava lake erupted during a 2 month period in 1959. Part of the surface of the Kilauea Iki lake now preserves the frozen record of a final, incomplete, crustal-overturn cycle. We mapped this region and sampled portions of the foundering crust, as well as overriding and underlying lava, to constrain the density of the units involved in the overturn process. Overturn is driven by the advance of a flow front of fresh, low-density lava over an older, higher density surface crust. The advance of the front causes the older crust to break up, founder, and dive downwards into the lake to expose new, hot, low-density lava. We find density differences of 200 to 740 kg/m3 between the foundering crust and over-riding and under-lying lava respectively. In this case, crustal overturn is driven by large density differences between the foundering and resurfacing units. These differences lead, inevitably, to frequent crustal renewal: simple density differences between the surface crust and underlying lake lava make the upper layers of the lake highly unstable. ?? Springer-Verlag 2008.

  18. Crustal surface wave velocity structure of the east Albany-Fraser Orogen, Western Australia, from ambient noise recordings (United States)

    Sippl, C.; Kennett, B. L. N.; Tkalčić, H.; Gessner, K.; Spaggiari, C. V.


    Group and phase velocity maps in the period range 2-20 s for the Proterozoic east Albany-Fraser Orogen, Western Australia, are extracted from ambient seismic noise recorded with the 70-station ALFREX array. This 2 yr temporary installation provided detailed coverage across the orogen and the edge of the Neoarchean Yilgarn Craton, a region where no passive seismic studies of this scale have occurred to date. The surface wave velocities are rather high overall (>3 km s-1 nearly everywhere), as expected for exposed Proterozoic basement rocks. No clear signature of the transition between Yilgarn Craton and Albany-Fraser Orogen is observed, but several strong anomalies corresponding to more local geological features were obtained. A prominent, NE-elongated high-velocity anomaly in the northern part of the array is coincident with a Bouguer gravity high caused by the upper crustal metamorphic rocks of the Fraser Zone. This feature disappears towards longer periods, which hints at an exclusively upper crustal origin for this anomaly. Further east, the limestones of the Cenozoic Eucla Basin are clearly imaged as a pronounced low-velocity zone at short periods, but the prevalence of low velocities to periods of ≥5 s implies that the uppermost basement in this area is likewise slow. At longer periods, slightly above-average surface wave velocities are imaged below the Eucla Basin.

  19. Subduction and volcanism in the Iberia-North Africa collision zone from tomographic images of the upper mantle (United States)

    Villaseñor, Antonio; Chevrot, Sébastien; Harnafi, Mimoun; Gallart, Josep; Pazos, Antonio; Serrano, Inmaculada; Córdoba, Diego; Pulgar, Javier A.; Ibarra, Pedro


    New tomographic images of the upper mantle beneath the westernmost Mediterranean suggest that the evolution of the region experienced two subduction-related episodes. First subduction of oceanic and/or extended continental lithosphere, now located mainly beneath the Betics at depths greater than 400 km, took place on a NW-SE oriented subduction zone. This was followed by a slab-tear process that initiated in the east and propagated to the west, leading to westward slab rollback and possibly lower crustal delamination. The current position of the slab tear is located approximately at 4°W, and to the west of this location the subducted lithosphere is still attached to the surface along the Gibraltar Arc. Our new P-wave velocity model is able to image the attached subducted lithosphere as a narrow high-velocity body extending to shallow depths, coinciding with the region of maximum curvature of the Gibraltar Arc, the occurrence of intermediate-depth earthquakes, and anomalously thick crust. This thick crust has a large influence in the measured teleseismic travel time residuals and therefore in the obtained P-wave tomographic model. We show that removing the effects of the thick crust significantly improves the shallow images of the slab and therefore the interpretations based on the seismic structure.

  20. OESbathy version 1.0: a method for reconstructing ocean bathymetry with generalized continental shelf-slope-rise structures (United States)

    Goswami, A.; Olson, P. L.; Hinnov, L. A.; Gnanadesikan, A.


    We present a method for reconstructing global ocean bathymetry that combines a standard plate cooling model for the oceanic lithosphere based on the age of the oceanic crust, global oceanic sediment thicknesses, plus generalized shelf-slope-rise structures calibrated at modern active and passive continental margins. Our motivation is to develop a methodology for reconstructing ocean bathymetry in the geologic past that includes heterogeneous continental margins in addition to abyssal ocean floor. First, the plate cooling model is applied to maps of ocean crustal age to calculate depth to basement. To the depth to basement we add an isostatically adjusted, multicomponent sediment layer constrained by sediment thickness in the modern oceans and marginal seas. A three-parameter continental shelf-slope-rise structure completes the bathymetry reconstruction, extending from the ocean crust to the coastlines. Parameters of the shelf-slope-rise structures at active and passive margins are determined from modern ocean bathymetry at locations where a complete history of seafloor spreading is preserved. This includes the coastal regions of the North, South, and central Atlantic, the Southern Ocean between Australia and Antarctica, and the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of South America. The final products are global maps at 0.1° × 0.1° resolution of depth to basement, ocean bathymetry with an isostatically adjusted multicomponent sediment layer, and ocean bathymetry with reconstructed continental shelf-slope-rise structures. Our reconstructed bathymetry agrees with the measured ETOPO1 bathymetry at most passive margins, including the east coast of North America, north coast of the Arabian Sea, and northeast and southeast coasts of South America. There is disagreement at margins with anomalous continental shelf-slope-rise structures, such as around the Arctic Ocean, the Falkland Islands, and Indonesia.

  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. Reconnaissance isotopic investigations in the Namaqua mobile belt and implications for proterozoic crustal evolution - Namaqualand geotraverse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barton, E.S.


    Fourteen rock units in the western portion of the Namaqua mobile belt were investigated by some or all of the following isotopic methods: Rb-Sr, Pb-Pb, Th-Pb total-rock and Rb-Sr mineral age measurements. Two major tectogenetic events are recongnised. The early Orange River event is represented by the emplacement and metamorphism of the volcanic rocks of the Haib Subgroup and the emplacement of granitoids of the Vioolsdrif and Gladkop suites in the regions of the Richtersveld Province and the Steinkopf domain. The later Namaqua event is represented mainly by extensive granitoid emplacement and high-grade granulite facies metamorphism in the Okiep Copper District, with minor granitoid and dyke emplacement taking place in the Steinkopf domain. The polymetamorphism associated with these tectonic events had far-reaching effects in the form of long continued isotopic resetting of rock and mineral systems. In the instances where the regression of the total-rock isotopic data define errorchron results, geological disturbance is inferred. The Sr-isotopic results indicate substrantial crustal reworking and two periods of mantle differentiation producing continental crust at approximately 2 000 and approximately 1 200 Ma ago. The Pb-isotopic data for these rocks indicate μ 2 values for the source regions that are compatible with crustal reworking for the felsic rocks or a significant amount of crustal recycling into the mantle for the mafic rocks. On this basis a magmatic arc environment is envisaged for the rocks generated during the Orange River event. The deformation fabrics associated with the Orange River and Namaqua tectogenetic episodes are dated by the time of emplacement of syn- and post-tectonic granitic rocks. The regional fabric observed in the Steinkopf domain and in the Okiep Copper District was not synchronously developed

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, B.R.; Veerayya, M.

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

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

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


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

  5. 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

  6. Evidence for submarine landslides and continental slope erosion related to fault reactivation during the last glaciation offshore eastern Canada (United States)

    Saint-Ange, F.; Campbell, C.; MacKillop, K.; Mosher, D. C.; Piper, D. J.; Roger, J.


    Many studies have proposed that reactivation of dormant faults during deglaciation is a source of neotectonic activity in glaciated regions, but few have demonstrated the relationship to submarine landslides. In this study, seabed morphology and shallow geology of the outer continental margin adjacent to the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone off Newfoundland, Canada was investigated for evidence of this relationship. The glacial history and morphology of the margin suggest that the entire continental shelf in the area, coincident with major continental crustal lineaments, was ice-covered during the Last glacial cycle, and transverse troughs delineate the paleo-icestream drainage patterns. A recent investigation of Notre Dame Trough revealed the existence of large sediment failures on the shelf. The current study investigates complex seafloor erosion and widespread mass transport deposition (MTD) on the continental slope seaward of Notre Dame Trough, using recently-acquired high resolution seismic reflection data and piston cores. The new data reveal that a trough mouth fan (TMF) is present on the slope seaward of Notre Dame Trough. The Notre Dame TMF is characterized by a succession of stacked debris flows, but does not show a lobate shape in plan view like other classic TMFs. Instead, the Notre Dame TMF has abruptly-truncated margins suggesting post-depositional failure and erosion of the fan deposits. Seismic reflection data show that the locations of the failures along the TMF margin are coincident with a set of shallow faults; however the current dataset does not image the deeper portion of the faults. On the upper slope immediately south of the TMF, a narrow and deeply incised canyon is located along-trend with the Notre Dame Trough. The location of this canyon appears to be controlled by a fault. Downslope from this canyon, along the southern margin of the TMF, a 25 km wide, flat-floored, U-shaped valley was eroded into a succession of stacked MTD-filled channels

  7. Crustal growth history of the Korean Peninsula:Constraints from detrital zircon ages in modern river sediments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Taejin Choi; Yong Il Lee; Yuji Orihashi


    U-Pb analyses were carried out on detrital zircon grains from major river-mouth sediments draining South Korea to infer provenance characteristics and the crustal growth history of the southern Korean Peninsula, using a laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS). The Korean Peninsula is located in the East Asian continental margin and mainly comprises three Precambrian massifs and two metamorphic belts in between them. We obtained 515 concordant to slightly discordant zircon ages ranging from ca. 3566 to ca. 48 Ma. Regardless of river-mouth location, predominance of Mesozoic (249e79 Ma) and Paleoproterozoic (2491e1691 Ma) ages with subordinate Archean ages in-dicates that the zircon ages reflect present exposures of plutonic/metamorphic rocks in the drainage basins of the South Korean rivers and the crustal growth of the southern Korean Peninsula was focused in these two periods. Comparison of detrital zircon-age data between the North and South Korean river sediments reveals that the Paleoproterozoic zircon age distributions of both regions are nearly identical, while the NeoproterozoicePaleozoic ages exist and the Mesozoic ages are dominant in southern Korean Peninsula. This result suggests that Precambrian terrains in Korea record the similar pre-Mesozoic magmatic history and that the influence of Mesozoic magmatism was mainly focused in South Korea.

  8. Crustal and upper mantle shear velocities of Iberia, the Alboran Sea, and North Africa from ambient noise and ballistic finite-frequency Rayleigh wave tomography (United States)

    Palomeras, I.; Villasenor, A.; Thurner, S.; Levander, A.; Gallart, J.; mimoun, H.


    The complex Mesozoic-Cenozoic Alpine deformation in the western Mediterranean extends from the Pyrenees in northern Spain to the Atlas Mountains in southern Morocco. The Iberian plate was accreted to the European plate in late Cretaceous, resulting in the formation of the Pyrenees. Cenozoic African-European convergence resulted in subduction of the Tethys oceanic plate beneath Europe. Rapid Oligocene slab rollback from eastern Iberia spread eastward and southward, with the trench breaking into three segments by the time it reached the African coast. One trench segment moved southwestward and westward creating the Alboran Sea, floored by highly extended continental crust, and building the encircling Betics Rif mountains comprising the Gibraltar arc, and the Atlas mountains, which formed as the inversion of a Jurassic rift. A number of recent experiments have instrumented this region with broad-band arrays (the US PICASSO array, Spanish IberArray and Siberia arrays, the University of Munster array), which, including the Spanish, Portuguese, and Moroccan permanent networks, provide a combined array of 350 stations having an average interstation spacing of ~60 km. Taking advantage of this dense deployment, we have calculated the Rayleigh waves phase velocities from ambient noise for short periods (4 s to 40 s) and teleseismic events for longer periods (20 s to 167 s). Approximately 50,000 stations pairs were used to measure the phase velocity from ambient noise and more than 160 teleseismic events to measure phase velocity for longer periods. The inversion of the phase velocity dispersion curves provides a 3D shear velocity for the crust and uppermost mantle. Our results show differences between the various tectonic regions that extend to upper mantle depths (~200 km). In Iberia we obtain, on average, higher upper mantle shear velocities in the western Variscan region than in the younger eastern part. We map high upper mantle velocities (>4.6 km/s) beneath the

  9. Atmospheric Residence Times of Continental Aerosols. (United States)

    Balkanski, Yves Jacques

    The global atmospheric distributions of ^{222}Rn and ^{210 }Pb are simulated with a three-dimensional model of atmospheric transport based on the meteorology of the NASA GISS^1>=neral circulation model. The short-lived radioactive gas ^ {222}Rn (half-life = 3.8d) is emitted almost exclusively from land, at a relatively uniform rate; hence it is an excellent tracer of continental influences. Lead -210 is produced by decay of ^{222} Rn and immediately condenses to preexisting aerosol surfaces. It provides an excellent measure of aerosol residence times in the atmosphere because its source is accurately defined by the ^{222} Rn distribution. Results from the three-dimensional model are compared to measurements of ^ {222}Rn and ^{210 }Pb atmospheric concentrations to evaluate model's long-range transport over oceanic regions and to study the deposition mechanisms of atmospheric aerosols. Model results for ^{222} Rn are used to examine the long-range transport of continental air over two selected oceanic regions, the subantartic Indian Ocean and the North Pacific. It is shown that fast transport of air from southern Africa causes substantial continental pollution at southern mid-latitudes, a region usually regarded as pristine. Air over the North Pacific is heavily impacted by continental influences year round, but the altitude at which the transport occurs varies seasonally. Observations of aerosols at island sites, which are commonly used as diagnostics of continental influences, may be misleading because they do not account for influences at high altitude and because aerosols are efficiently scavenged by deposition during transport. The study of ^{210}Pb focuses on defining the residence times of submicron aerosols in the troposphere. Scavenging in wet convective updrafts is found to provide the dominant sink on a global scale. The globally averaged residence time for ^{210 }Pb-containing aerosols in the troposphere is 7 days. The average increase in residence time

  10. Lateral variations in the crustal structure of the Indo-Eurasian collision zone (United States)

    Gilligan, Amy; Priestley, Keith


    The processes involved in continental collisions remain contested, yet knowledge of these processes is crucial to improving our understanding of how some of the most dramatic features on Earth have formed. As the largest and highest orogenic plateau on Earth today, Tibet is an excellent natural laboratory for investigating collisional processes. To understand the development of the Tibetan Plateau we need to understand the crustal structure beneath both Tibet and the Indian Plate. Building on previous work, we measure new group velocity dispersion curves using data from regional earthquakes (4424 paths) and ambient noise data (5696 paths), and use these to obtain new fundamental mode Rayleigh Wave group velocity maps for periods from 5-70 s for a region including Tibet, Pakistan and India. The dense path coverage at the shortest periods, due to the inclusion of ambient noise measurements, allows features of up to 100 km scale to be resolved in some areas of the collision zone, providing one of the highest resolution models of the crust and uppermost mantle across this region. We invert the Rayleigh wave group velocity maps for shear wave velocity structure to 120 km depth and construct a 3D velocity model for the crust and uppermost mantle of the Indo-Eurasian collision zone. We use this 3D model to map the lateral variations in the crust and in the nature of the crust-mantle transition (Moho) across the Indo-Eurasian collision zone. The Moho occurs at lower shear velocities below north eastern Tibet than it does beneath western and southern Tibet and below India. The east-west difference across Tibet is particularly apparent in the elevated velocities observed west of 84° E at depths exceeding 90 km. This suggests that Indian lithosphere underlies the whole of the Plateau in the west, but possibly not in the east. At depths of 20-40 km our crustal model shows the existence of a pervasive mid-crustal low velocity layer (˜10% decrease in velocity, Vs Vsv. The

  11. Common Pb isotope mapping of UHP metamorphic zones in Dabie orogen, Central China: Implication for Pb isotopic structure of subducted continental crust (United States)

    Shen, Ji; Wang, Ying; Li, Shu-Guang


    We report Pb isotopic compositions for feldspars separated from 57 orthogneisses and 2 paragneisses from three exhumed UHPM slices representing the North Dabie zone, the Central Dabie zone and the South Dabie zone of the Dabie orogen, central-east China. The feldspars from the gneisses were recrystallized during Triassic continental subduction and UHP metamorphism. Precursors of the orthogneisses are products of Neoproterozoic bimodal magmatic events, those in north Dabie zone emplaced into the lower crust and those in central and south Dabie zones into middle or upper crust, respectively. On a 207Pb/204Pb vs. 206Pb/204Pb diagram, almost all orthogneisses data lie to the left of the 0.23 Ga paleogeochron and plot along the model mantle evolution curve with the major portion of the data plotting below it. On a 208Pb/204Pb vs. 206Pb/204Pb diagram the most of data of north Dabie zone extend in elongate arrays along the lower crustal curve and others extend between the lower crustal curve to near the mantle evolution curve for the plumbotectonics model. This pattern demonstrates that the Pb isotopic evolution of the feldspars essentially ended at 0.23 Ga and the orthogneiss protoliths were principally dominated by reworking of ancient lower crust with some addition of juvenile mantle in the Neoproterozoic rifting tectonic zone. According to geological evolution history of the locally Dabie orogen, a four-stage Pb isotope evolution model including a long time evolution between 2.0 and 0.8 Ga with a lower crust type U/Pb ratio (μ = 5-6) suggests that magmatic emplacement levels of the protoliths of the orthogneisses in the Dabie orogen at 0.8 Ga also play an important role in the Pb evolution of the exhumed UHPM slices, corresponding to their respective Pb characters at ca. 0.8-0.23 Ga. For example, north Dabie zone requires low μ values (3.4-9.6), while central and south Dabie zones require high μ values (10.9-17.2). On the other hand, Pb isotopic mixing between

  12. The Transition from Volcanic to Rift Dominated Crustal Breakup - From the Vøring Plateau to the Lofoten Margin, Norway (United States)

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


    The Vøring Plateau was part of the Northeast Atlantic igneous province (NAIP) during early Cenozoic crustal breakup. Crustal breakup at the Vøring Plateau occurred marginal to the deep Cretaceous basins on the shelf, with less extension of the crust. Intrusive magmatism and oceanic crust up to three times normal thickness caused a period of sub-aerial magmatism around breakup time. The transition to the Lofoten Margin is rapid to a deep-water plain. Still, there is some excess magmatism north of this transition, where early oceanic crustal thickness is reduced to half of that of the Vøring Plateau 150 km away. Our estimates of the earliest seafloor spreading rates using new ship-track magnetic profiles on different margin segments offer a clue to what caused this rapid transition. While crustal breakup occurred within the magnetic polarity C24r in other parts of the NAIP, there is a delayed breakup for the Lofoten/Vesterålen margin. Modeling of the earliest seafloor spreading with geomagnetic reversals, indicate a breakup within C24n.3n (anomaly 24b), approximately 1 m.y. later. Both old wide-angle seismic models (from Ocean Bottom Seismometers) off southern Lo