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Sample records for african rift system

  1. The East African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chorowicz, Jean

    2005-10-01

    This overview paper considers the East African rift system (EARS) as an intra-continental ridge system, comprising an axial rift. It describes the structural organization in three branches, the overall morphology, lithospheric cross-sections, the morphotectonics, the main tectonic features—with emphasis on the tension fractures—and volcanism in its relationships with the tectonics. The most characteristic features in the EARS are narrow elongate zones of thinned continental lithosphere related to asthenospheric intrusions in the upper mantle. This hidden part of the rift structure is expressed on the surface by thermal uplift of the rift shoulders. The graben valleys and basins are organized over a major failure in the lithospheric mantle, and in the crust comprise a major border fault, linked in depth to a low angle detachment fault, inducing asymmetric roll-over pattern, eventually accompanied by smaller normal faulting and tilted blocks. Considering the kinematics, divergent movements caused the continent to split along lines of preexisting lithospheric weaknesses marked by ancient tectonic patterns that focus the extensional strain. The hypothesis favored here is SE-ward relative divergent drifting of a not yet well individualized Somalian plate, a model in agreement with the existence of NW-striking transform and transfer zones. The East African rift system comprises a unique succession of graben basins linked and segmented by intracontinental transform, transfer and accommodation zones. In an attempt to make a point on the rift system evolution through time and space, it is clear that the role of plume impacts is determinant. The main phenomenon is formation of domes related to plume effect, weakening the lithosphere and, long after, failure inducing focused upper mantle thinning, asthenospheric intrusion and related thermal uplift of shoulders. The plume that had formed first at around 30 Ma was not in the Afar but likely in Lake Tana region (Ethiopia

  2. The Offshore East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, D.; Klimke, J.; Jokat, W.; Stollhofen, H.; Mahanjane, S.

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies have addressed various aspects of the East African Rift system but surprisingly few on the offshore continuation of the south-eastern branch of the rift into the Mozambique Channel. The most prominent article has been published almost 30 years ago by Mougenot et al. (1986) and is based on vintage seismic data. Several studies investigating earthquakes and plate motions from GPS measurements reveal recent deformation along the offshore branch of the East African Rift system. Slip vectors from earthquakes data in Mozambique's offshore basins show a consistent NE direction. Fault plane solutions reveal ~ E-W extensional failure with focal depth clustering around 19 km and 40 km, respectively. Here, we present new evidence for neotectonic deformation derived from modern seismic reflection data and supported by additional geophysical data. The modern rift system obviously reactivates structures from the disintegration of eastern Gondwana. During the Jurassic/Cretaceous opening of the Somali and Mozambique Basins, Madagascar moved southwards along a major shear zone, to its present position. Since the Miocene, parts of the shear zone became reactivated and structurally overprinted by the East African rift system. The Kerimbas Graben offshore northern Mozambique is the most prominent manifestation of recent extensional deformation. Bathymetry data shows that it deepens northwards, with approximately 700 m downthrown on the eastern shoulder. The graben can be subdivided into four subbasins by crosscutting structural lineaments with a NW-SE trend. Together with the N-S striking graben-bounding faults, this resembles a conjugate fault system. In seismic reflection data normal faulting is distinct not only at the earthquake epicenters. The faults cut through the sedimentary successions and typically reach the seafloor, indicating ongoing recent deformation. Reference: Mougenot, D., Recq, M., Virlogeux, P., and Lepvrier, C., 1986, Seaward extension of the East

  3. Innovative tephra studies in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K.; Heiken, Grant

    Geosciences investigations form the foundation for paleoanthropological research in the East African Rift System. However, innovative applications of tephra studies for constraining spatial and temporal relations of diverse geological processes, biostratigraphic records, and paleoenvironmental conditions within the East African Rift System were fueled by paleoanthropological investigations into the origin and evolution of hominids and material culture. Tephra is a collective, size-independent term used for any material ejected during an explosive volcanic eruption.The East African Rift System has become a magnet for paleoanthropological research ever since the discovery of the first hominids at Olduvai Gorge, in Tanzania, in the 1950s [Leakey et al., 1961]. Currently, numerous multidisciplinary scientific teams from academic institutions in the United States and Western Europe make annual pilgrimages for a couple of months to conduct paleoanthropological field research in the fossil-rich sedimentary deposits of the East African Rift System in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. The field expedition consists of geological, paleontological, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental investigations.

  4. The offshore East African Rift System: Structural framework at the toe of a juvenile rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, Dieter; Jokat, Wilfried; Ladage, Stefan; Stollhofen, Harald; Klimke, Jennifer; Lutz, Ruediger; Mahanjane, Estevão. Stefane; Ehrhardt, Axel; Schreckenberger, Bernd

    2015-10-01

    The Cenozoic East African Rift System (EARS) extends from the Red Sea to Mozambique. Here we use seismic reflection and bathymetric data to investigate the tectonic evolution of the offshore branch of the EARS. The data indicate multiple and time transgressive neotectonic deformations along ~800 km of the continental margin of northern Mozambique. We observe a transition from a mature rift basin in the north to a juvenile fault zone in the south. The respective timing of deformation is derived from detailed seismic stratigraphy. In the north, a ~30 km wide and more than 150 km long, N-S striking symmetric graben initiated as half-graben in the late Miocene. Extension accelerated in the Pliocene, causing a continuous conjugate border fault and symmetric rift graben. Coevally, the rift started to propagate southward, which resulted in a present-day ~30 km wide half-graben, approximately 200 km farther south. Since the Pleistocene, the rift has continued to propagate another ~300 km, where the incipient rift is reflected by subrecent small-scale normal faulting. Estimates of the overall brittle extension of the matured rift range between 5 and 12 km, with an along-strike southward decrease of the extension rate. The offshore portion of the EARS evolves magma poor, similar to the onshore western branch. The structural evolution of the offshore EARS is suggested to be related to and controlled by differing inherited lithospheric fabrics. Preexisting fabrics may not only guide and focus extension but also control rift architecture.

  5. Mantle support of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, S.; van Keken, P. E.; Brandenburg, J. P.; Furman, T.; Bryce, J.

    2007-12-01

    The African Superplume is a region of slow seismic wave velocities in the lower mantle under southern Africa. The uplift, volcanism and rifting that defines the much of eastern and southern Africa suggest a dynamic link between lower mantle dynamics and near-surface processes affecting the African plate. The dynamic link between the lower mantle and the surface, and the structure and dynamics of the upper mantle below the East African Rift System (EARS) remain unclear. As part of a comprehensive geochemical and numerical investigation of basaltic magmatism in the EARS we have modeled the interaction between putative upper mantle plumes and the rifting continental lithosphere. The modeling provides dynamically tested scenarios that explain the observed episodes of Cenozoic volcanism. Results from recent models that provided an explanation for the present day distribution of volcanism (Lin et al., EPSL, 237, 2005) suggest two plumes below Afar and Tanzania whose uplift is influenced by lithospheric topography. In new 3D modeling we provide improved quantification of the mantle involvement in generating EARS volcanism as constrained by the timing of uplift and regional volcanism. The time scales of episodicity of the volcanism observed at Turkana (related to the Tanzania-Kenya plume) since 45 Ma can be explained by deep- seated time-dependent plume activity. We suggest that this time-dependence is due to thermochemical interactions of dense recycled oceanic crust in the thermally hot regions in the African superplume region (Lin and Van Keken, Nature, 436, 2005).

  6. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This rare, cloud free view of the East African Rift Valley, Kenya (1.5N, 35.5E) shows a clear view of the Turkwell River Valley, an offshoot of the African REift System. The East African Rift is part of a vast plate fracture which extends from southern Turkey, through the Red Sea, East Africa and into Mozambique. Dark green patches of forests are seen along the rift margin and tea plantations occupy the cooler higher ground.

  7. Hydrothermal vents in Lake Tanganyika, East African, Rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiercelin, Jean-Jacques; Pflumio, Catherine; Castrec, Maryse; Boulégue, Jacques; Gente, Pascal; Rolet, Joël; Coussement, Christophe; Stetter, Karl O.; Huber, Robert; Buku, Sony; Mifundu, Wafula

    1993-06-01

    Sublacustrine hydrothermal vents with associated massive sulfides were discovered during April 1987 at Pemba and Cape Banza on the Zaire side of the northern basin of Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system. New investigations by a team of ten scuba divers during the multinational (France, Zaire, Germany, and Burundi) TANGANYDRO expedition (August-October 1991) found hydrothermal vents down to a depth of 46 m along north-trending active faults bounding the Tanganyika rift on the western side. Temperatures from 53 to 103 °C were measured in hydrothermal fluids and sediments. Veins of massive sulfides 1-10 cm thick (pyrite and marcasite banding) were found associated with vents at the Pemba site. At Cape Banza,active vents are characterized by 1-70-cm-high aragonite chimneys, and there are microcrystalline pyrite coatings on the walls of hydrothermal pipes. Hydrothermal fluid end members show distinctive compositions at the two sites. The Pemba end member is a NaHCO3-enriched fluid similar to the NaHCO3 thermal fluids from lakes Magadi and Bogoria in the eastern branch off the rift. The Cape Banza end member is a solution enriched in NaCl. Such brines may have a deep-seated basement origin, as do the Uvinza NaCl brines on the eastern flank of the Tanganyika basin. Geothermometric calculations have yielded temperatures of fluid-rock interaction off 219 and 179 °C in the Pemba and Cape Banza systems, respectively. Abundant white or reddish-brown microbial colonies resembling Beggiatoa mats were found surrounding the active vents. Thermal fluid circulation is permitted by opening of cracks related to 130 °N normal-dextral faults that intersect the north- south major rift trend. The source of heat for such hydrothermal systems may relate to the existence of magmatic bodies under the rift, which is suggested by the isotopic composition of carbon dioxide released at Pemba and Cape Banza.

  8. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1972-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. ERTS-1 imagery of the African rift system resolves the major Cenozoic faults, zones of warping, and the associated volcanism. It also clearly depicts the crustal grain of the Precambrian rocks where these are exposed. New structural features, or new properties of known features such as greater extent, continuity, linearity, etc., are revealed by the ERTS-1 imagery. This applies to the NE-SW fracture zones in Yemen, the Aswa mylonite zone at the northern end of the Western Rift, the Nandi fault of western Kenya, the arcuate faults of the Elgeyo escarpment in the Gregory rift, and hemi-basins of warped Tertiary lavas on the Red Sea margin of Yemen, matching those of the Ethiopian plateau-Afar margin. A tentative scheme is proposed, relating the effect on the pattern of Cenozoic faulting of the degree of obliquity to Precambrian structural trend. Some ground-mapped lithological boundaries are obscure on ERTS-1 imagery. The present approaches to mapping of Precambrian terrain in Africa may require radical revision with the input of satellite imagery.

  9. Numerical modeling of continental rifting: Implications for the East African Rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift system (EARS) provides a unique system with juxtaposition of two contrasting yet simultaneously formed rift branches, the eastern, magma-rich, and the western, magma-poor, on either side of the old thick Tanzanian craton embedded into younger lithosphere. Here we take advantage of the improvements in our understanding of deep structures, geological evolution and recent kinematics, together with new cutting edge numerical modeling techniques to design a three-dimensional ultra-high resolution viscous plastic thermo-mechanical numerical model that accounts for thermo-rheological structure of the lithosphere and hence captures the essential geophysical features of the central EARS. Based on our experiments, we show that in case of the mantle plume seeded slightly to the northeast of the craton center, the ascending plume material is deflected by the cratonic keel and preferentially channeled along the eastern side of the craton, leading to formation of a large rift zone characterized by important magmatic activity with substantial amounts of melts derived from mantle plume material. This model is in good agreement with the observations in the EARS, as it reproduces the magmatic eastern branch and at the same time, anticlockwise rotation of the craton. However, this experiment does not reproduce the observed strain localization along the western margin of the cratonic bloc. To explain the formation of contrasting magmatic and amagmatic rift branches initiating simultaneously on either side of a non-deforming block as observed in the central EARS, we experimentally explored several scenarios of which three can be retained as specifically pertaining to the EARS: (1) The most trivial first scenario assumes rheologically weak vertical interface simulating the suture zone observed in the geological structure along the western border of the craton; (2) The second scenario involves a second smaller plume initially shifted in SW direction; (3) Finally, a

  10. Hydrothermal vents is Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Tiercelin, J.J.; Pflumio, C.; Castrec, M.

    1993-06-01

    Sublacustrine hydrothermal vents with associated massive sulfides were discovered during April 1987 at Pemba and Cape Banza on the Zaire side of the northern basin of Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system. New investigations by a team of ten scuba divers during the multinational (France, Zaire, Germany, and Burundi) TANGANYDRO expedition (August-October 1991) found hydrothermal vents down to a depth of 46 m along north-trending active faults bounding the Tanganyika rift on the western side. Temperatures from 53 to 103 {degrees}C were measured in hydrothermal fluids and sediments. Veins of massive sulfides 1-10 cm thick (pyrite and marcasite banding) were found associated with vents at the Pemba site. At Cape Banza, active vents are characterized by 1-70-cm-high aragonite chimneys, and there are microcrystalline pyrite coatings on the walls of hydrothermal pipes. Hydrothermal fluid end members show distinctive compositions at the two sites. The Pemba end member is a NaHCO{sub 3}-enriched fluid similar to the NaHCO{sub 3} thermal fluids form lakes Magadi and Bogoria in the eastern branch of the rift. The Cape Banza end member is a solution enriched in NaCl. Such brines may have a deep-seated basement origin, as do the Uvinza NaCl brines on the eastern flank of the Tanganyika basin. Geothermometric calculations have yielded temperatures of fluid-rock interaction of 219 and 179 {degrees}C in the Pemba and Cape Banza systems, respectively. Abundant white or reddish-brown microbial colonies resembling Beggiatoa mats were found surrounding the active vents. Thermal fluid circulation is permitted by opening of cracks related to 130{degrees}N normal-dextral faults that intersect the north-south major rift trend. The sources of heat for such hydrothermal systems may relate to the existence of magmatic bodies under the rift, which is suggested by the isotopic composition of carbon dioxide released at Pemba and Cape Banza. 21 refs., 2 figs.

  11. Gravity study of the Central African Rift system: A model of continental disruption 1. The Ngaoundere and Abu Gabra Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browne, S. E.; Fairhead, J. D.

    1983-05-01

    A regional compilation of published and unpublished gravity data for Central Africa is presented and reveals the presence of a major rift system, called here, the Central African Rift System. It is proposed that the junction area between the Ngaoundere and Abu Gabra rift arms in Western Sudan forms an incipient intraplate, triple-junction with the as yet unfractured, but domally uplifted and volcanically active, Darfur swell. It is only the Darfur swell that shows any similarities to the uplift and rift history of East Africa. The other two rifts arms are considered to be structurally similar to the early stages of passive margin development and thus reflect more closely the initial processes of continental fragmentation than the structures associated with rifting in East Africa.

  12. Combining detrital geochronology and sedimentology to assess basin development in the Rukwa Rift of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah; Roberts, Eric; Mtelela, Cassy; Downie, Bob

    2015-04-01

    We have employed a multifaceted approach to sedimentary provenance analysis in order to assess the timing and magnitude of tectonic events, sedimentation, and landscape development in the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Our approach, termed 'Sedimentary Triple Dating', integrates: (1) U-Pb dating via LA-ICPMS; (2) fission track; and (3) (U-Th)/He thermochronology of detrital zircon and apatite. We integrate geochronology, thermochronology, and provenance analysis to relate the initiation of rifting events to regional dynamic uplift, sedimentation patterns, and interpret the far-reaching climatic and evolutionary effects of fluctuating rift flank topography in the Rukwa Rift, a segment of the Western Branch. This work provides additional data to support the recent concept of synchronous development of the Western and Eastern branches of the East African Rift System ~25 Ma, and better constrains the age, location and provenance of subsequent rifting and sedimentation events in the Rukwa Rift Basin. Investigation of well cuttings and outcrop samples from the Neogene-Recent Lake Beds Succession in the Rukwa Rift Basin revealed a suite of previously unrecognized tuffaceous deposits at the base of the succession. A population of euhedral, magmatic zircons from a basal Lake Beds tuff and Miocene-Pliocene detrital zircons from well cuttings suggest that Neogene rift reactivation and volcanism began ~9-10 Ma. This timing is consistent with demonstrated rifting in Uganda and Malawi, as well as with the initiation of volcanism in the Rungwe Volcanic Province at the southern end of the Rukwa Rift, and the estimated development of Lake Tanganyika to the north. Moreover, there appear to be a suite of unconformity bounded stratigraphic units that make up the Lower Lake Beds succession, and detrital zircon maximum depositional ages from these units suggests episodic sedimentation in the rift, punctuated by long hiatuses or uplift, rather than steady subsidence and

  13. East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Places where the earth's crust has formed deep fissures and the plates have begun to move apart develop rift structures in which elongate blocks have subsided relative to the blocks on either side. The East African Rift is a world-famous example of such rifting. It is characterized by 1) topographic deep valleys in the rift zone, 2) sheer escarpments along the faulted walls of the rift zone, 3) a chain of lakes within the rift, most of the lakes highly saline due to evaporation in the hot temperatures characteristic of climates near the equator, 4) voluminous amounts of volcanic rocks that have flowed from faults along the sides of the rift, and 5) volcanic cones where magma flow was most intense. This example in Kenya displays most of these features near Lake Begoria.

    The image was acquired December 18, 2002, covers an area of 40.5 x 32 km, and is located at 0.1 degrees north latitude, 36.1 degrees east longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  14. Benue trough and the mid-African rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D.

    1996-01-29

    Large areas of the Anambra and Gongola basins have distinct petroleum exploration problems: a geologically persistent high geothermal gradient that promoted Cretaceous source rock maturation into the gas phase very early on; intrusive lead-zinc mineralization veins attributed to the Senonian igneous and folding event; and meteoric water-flushing along the periphery of the basins. From preliminary analysis, these basins have to be considered high risk for the discovery of commercial oil accumulations. On the other hand, the petroleum potential of the Bornu basins seems favorable. This Nigerian northernmost rift basin continues into the Kanem basin of western Chad, which has proven oil accumulations in Coniacian deltaic sands. Cretaceous paleofacies is considered to be relatively continuous throughout both basins. Paleo-geothermal history is also considered to be similar, although some igneous activity is recorded in the Bornu basin (Senonian?). There is a very real possibility of kerogen-rich non-marine basal Albo-Aptian basin fill lacustrine source rocks, as found in the Doba basin, could be present in the deepest sections of the Nigerian rift basins. Due to the depths involved, no well is expected to penetrate the incipient graben-fill stage sequences; however, possible oil migration from these tectono-stratigraphic units would certainly enhance the petroleum potential of cooler sections of the rift system. As opposed to interpreted thermogenic gas which seems to be prevalent in the Anambra basin.

  15. The Lake Albert Rift (uganda, East African Rift System): Deformation, Basin and Relief Evolution Since 17 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brendan, Simon; François, Guillocheau; Cécile, Robin; Olivier, Dauteuil; Thierry, Nalpas; Martin, Pickford; Brigitte, Senut; Philippe, Lays; Philippe, Bourges; Martine, Bez

    2016-04-01

    .5 Ma: Rift stage 1 (subsidence rate: > 500m/Ma up to 600-800 m/Ma; sedimentation rate: 2.4 km3/Ma) - Rifting climax; - 2.5-0.4 Ma: uplift of the Ruwenzori Mountains and shifting from an alluvial system to a network of bedrock river incision - Rift Stage 2 (subsidence rate: 450 to 250 m/Ma; sedimentation rate: 1.5 km3/Ma); - 0.4-0 Ma: long wavelength downwarping of the Tanzanian Craton, initiation of the Lake Victoria trough, drainage network inversion and uplift of the present-day Ugandan escarpment (normal faulting motion of the border faults) with formation of perched valleys associated to the Lower Pleistocene (2.5-0.4 Ma) rivers network. At larger scale, comparison of the Lake Albert Rift evolution with the data available in the basins of both eastern and western branches of the East African Rift System shows that most of the sedimentary basins experienced the same geometrical evolution from large basins with limited fault controls during Late Miocene to narrow true rift in Late Pleistocene (e.g. Northern and Central Kenyan Basins), in agreement with the volcanism distribution, large (width >100 km) during the Miocene times, narrower (width x10 km) from Late Pliocene to Pleistocene times and today limited to narrow rifts.

  16. Earthquakes along the East African Rift System: A multiscale, system-wide perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhaohui; Chen, Wang-Ping

    2010-12-01

    On the basis of a comprehensive data set of precisely determined depths of 121 large to moderate-sized earthquakes along and near the entire East African Rift System (EARS), there are three distinct patterns in focal depths which seem to correlate with progressive stages in the development of the largest active rift in the world. First, away from both ends of the western, younger branch of the EARS, very large (Mw ≥ 7) earthquakes occurred in the top 15 km of the crust where surficial expressions of rifting are yet to appear. Curiously, there are unusually deep aftershocks reaching down to 35 ± 3 km. Second, under well-developed but amagmatic rift segments, focal depths show a bimodal distribution, with peaks centered near depths of about 15 ± 5 km and 35 ± 5 km. This pattern is present both under the main axis of the EARS, where rift zone have lengths approaching 1000 km, and beneath rift units 10 times shorter in length. Underside reflections off the Moho indicate that at least part of the second peak in seismicity is due to mantle earthquakes down to 44 ± 4 km, attesting to high differential stress in the mantle lithosphere which is capable of accumulating seismogenic, elastic strain (the "jelly sandwich" rheology). Third, beneath magmatic segments of well-developed rifts, seismicity is largely confined to the upper 15 km of the crust as observed previously, akin to the pattern along mid-ocean ridges where plastic flow due to high temperature inhibits accumulation of shear stress deep in the lithosphere.

  17. Structural geology of the African rift system: Summary of new data from ERTS-1 imagery. [Precambrian influence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.

    1974-01-01

    ERTS imagery reveals for the first time the structural pattern of the African rift system as a whole. The strong influence of Precambrian structures on this pattern is clearly evident, especially along zones of cataclastic deformation, but the rift pattern is seen to be ultimately independent in origin and nature from Precambrian tectonism. Continuity of rift structures from one swell to another is noted. The widening of the Gregory rift as its northern end reflects an underlying Precambrian structural divergence, and is not a consequence of reaching the swell margin. Although the Western Rift is now proven to terminate at the Aswa Mylonite Zone, in southern Sudan, lineaments extend northeastwards from Lake Albert to the Eastern Rift at Lake Stefanie. The importance of en-echelon structures in the African rifts is seen to have been exaggerated.

  18. Littoral sedimentation of rift lakes: an illustrated overview from the modern to Pliocene Lake Turkana (East African Rift System, Kenya)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Mathieu; Nutz, Alexis

    2015-04-01

    Existing depositional models for rift lakes can be summarized as clastics transported by axial and lateral rivers, then distributed by fan-deltas and/or deltas into a standing water body which is dominated by settling of fine particles, and experiencing occasional coarser underflows. Even if known from paleolakes and modern lakes, reworking of clastics by alongshore drift, waves and storms are rarely considered in depositional models. However, if we consider the lake Turkana Basin (East African Rift System, Kenya) it is obvious that this vision is incomplete. Three representative time slices are considered here: the modern Lake Turkana, the Megalake Turkana which developed thanks to the African Humid Period (Holocene), and the Plio-Pleistocene highstand episodes of paleolake Turkana (Nachukui, Shungura and Koobi Fora Formations, Omo Group). First, remarkable clastic morphosedimentary structures such as beach ridges, spits, washover fans, lagoons, or wave-dominated deltas are very well developed along the shoreline of modern lake Turkana, suggesting strong hydrodynamics responsible for a major reworking of the fluvial-derived clastics all along the littoral zone (longshore and cross-shore transport) of the lake. Similarly, past hydrodynamics are recorded from prominent raised beach ridges and spits, well-preserved all around the lake, above its present water-level (~360 m asl) and up to ~455 m. These large-scale clastic morphosedimentary structures also record the maximum extent of Megalake Turkana during the African Humid Period, as well as its subsequent regression forced by the end of the Holocene climatic optimum. Several hundreds of meters of fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine deposits spanning the Pliocene-Pleistocene are exposed in the Turkana basin thanks to tectonic faulting. These deposits are world famous for their paleontological and archeological content that documents the very early story of Mankind. They also preserve several paleolake highstand episodes with

  19. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Lake Tara lies within a previously recognized asymmetric graben situated on the Ethiopian plateau and about 250 km west of the plateau-Afar margin. ERTS-1 imagery confirms the stronger deformation of the western side of the Tara graben, with intense faulting and some associated monoclinal mapping extending between latitudes 12 deg and 14 deg N, and lying close to meridian 37 deg E. The zone of deformation is gently arcuate in plan, trending NNE in the south NNW in the north. In the north, the Quaternary faulting dies out in the alluvial plains of the Takazze Valley; in the south the faulting appears to die out in coincidence with a large erosional escapement trending S30W from Lake Tara to precisely latitude 11 deg N. This escapement aligns with the massive NE-SW escapement of western Simien, northeast of Lake Tara, and may represent erosional recession from major faulting and tilting much older than that of the superimposed, obliquely trending Tara graben. A 30 km diameter circular feature has been identified from the ERTS-1 imagery of the Tara graben, centered on 13 deg 05 min N, 37 deg 20 min E. ERTS-1 imagery further shows that the Tara graben and its associated young volcanics have no direct connection with the Red Sea or Ethiopian rift valley.

  20. Basement control in the development of the early cretaceous West and Central African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maurin, Jean-Christophe; Guiraud, René

    1993-12-01

    The structural framework of the Precambrian basement of the West and Central African Rift System (WCARS) is described in order to examine the role of ancient structures in the development of this Early Cretaceous rift system. Basement structures are represented in the region by large Pan-African mobile belts (built at ca. 600 Ma) surrounding the > 2 Ga West African, Congo and Sao Francisco cratons. Except for the small Gao trough (eastern Mali) located near the contact nappe of the Pan-African Iforas suture zone along the edge of the West African craton, the entire WCARS is located within the internal domains of the Pan-African mobile belts. Within these domains, two main structural features occur as the main basement control of the WCARS: (1) an extensive network of near vertical shear zones which trend north-south through the Congo, Brazil, Nigeria, Niger and Algeria, and roughly east-west through northeastern Brazil and Central Africa. The shear zones correspond to intra-continental strike-slip faults which accompanied the oblique collision between the West African, Congo, and Sao Francisco cratons during the Late Proterozoic; (2) a steep metamorphic NW-SE-trending belt which corresponds to a pre-Pan-African (ca. 730 Ma) ophiolitic suture zone along the eastern edge of the Trans-Saharian mobile belt. The post-Pan-African magmatic and tectonic evolution of the basement is also described in order to examine the state of the lithosphere prior to the break-up which occurred in the earliest Cretaceous. After the Pan-African thermo-tectonic event, the basement of the WCARS experienced a long period of intra-plate magmatic activity. This widespread magmatism in part relates to the activity of intra-plate hotspots which have controlled relative uplift, subsidence and occasionally block faulting. During the Paleozoic and the early Mesozoic, this tectonic activity was restricted to west of the Hoggar, west of Aïr and northern Cameroon. During the Late Jurassic

  1. Sedimentary budgets of the Tanzania coastal basin and implications for uplift history of the East African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Said, Aymen; Moder, Christoph; Clark, Stuart; Abdelmalak, Mohamed Mansour

    2015-11-01

    Data from 23 wells were used to quantify the sedimentary budgets in the Tanzania coastal basin in order to unravel the uplift chronology of the sourcing area located in the East African Rift System. We quantified the siliciclastic sedimentary volumes preserved in the Tanzania coastal basin corrected for compaction and in situ (e.g., carbonates) production. We found that the drainage areas, which supplied sediments to this basin, were eroded in four episodes: (1) during the middle Jurassic, (2) during the Campanian-Palaeocene, (3) during the middle Eocene and (4) during the Miocene. Three of these high erosion and sedimentation periods are more likely related to uplift events in the East African Rift System and earlier rift shoulders and plume uplifts. Indeed, rapid cooling in the rift system and high denudation rates in the sediment source area are coeval with these recorded pulses. However, the middle Eocene pulse was synchronous with a fall in the sea level, a climatic change and slow cooling of the rift flanks and thus seems more likely due to climatic and eustatic variations. We show that the rift shoulders of the East African rift system have inherited their present relief from at least three epeirogenic uplift pulses of middle Jurassic, Campanian-Palaeocene, and Miocene ages.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. Two Plumes Beneath the East African Rift System: a Geochemical Investigation into Possible Interactions in Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.; van Keken, P. E.; Lin, S.

    2007-12-01

    East African Rift System magmatism began over 40 my ago and has continued through the present. Numerical models have determined two plumes are necessary to create the spatial and temporal distribution of volcanism. Geochemical data support the presence of two chemically distinct plumes initially located beneath the Afar Depression (NE Ethiopia) and the Turkana Depression (SW Ethiopia/N Kenya). The timing and eruptive of the Afar and Kenya plumes are also distinct. While there is growing evidence to support the existence of two dynamically and chemically distinct plumes beneath the East African Rift System, the interactions between them remain unclear. Our study focuses on the geochemistry of mafic shield lavas from three locations on the eastern flank of the Ethiopian plateau. These lavas are spatially located between the surface manifestation of the Afar and Kenya plumes. The majority of the lava is alkaline and has experienced varying degrees of olivine and pyroxene fractionation. The northernmost lavas (9°10'N) are transitional and display the most fractionation. Primitive mantle melts were generated at depths near the fertile mantle garnet-spinel transition zone and deeper (80-100km) and are free of metasomatic influence. Minor HREE depletions also support derivation of melts from a garnet-bearing source. Lavas with lithospheric influence are generated from shallower depths and show minor amphibole influence. Overall, geochemical data show the lavas in this study closely resemble those from various episodes of Kenya plume magmatism with modifications attributed to lithospheric contamination. This interpretation is consistent with current numerical models suggesting episodic northward movement of Kenya plume magmas along the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. The data imply that the Kenya plume has a much larger spatial influence and therefore a larger geodynamic influence in the EARS than previously recognized.

  4. Differential opening of the Central and South Atlantic Oceans and the opening of the West African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairhead, J. D.; Binks, R. M.

    1991-02-01

    Plate tectonic studies of the development of the Central and South Atlantic Oceans using Seasat and Geosat altimeter and magnetic anomaly isochron data now provide quantitative models of seafloor spreading through time. Such models enable an initial assessment of the differential opening between these two oceanic basins to be determined. The Equatorial Atlantic is an integral part of this oceanic rifting process, allowing stresses arising from the differential opening to be dissipated into both the Caribbean and Africa along its northern and southern boundaries respectively. The tectonic model for the West African rift system, based on geological and geophysical studies, shows a series of strike-slip fault zones diverging into Africa from the Gulf of Guinea and dissipating their shear movement into the development of extensional basins orientated perpendicular to these faults zones. The development of the West African rift system was contemporaneous with the early opening of the South Atlantic, continued to develop well after the final breakup of South America from Africa and did not cease until the late Cretaceous when there was a major phase of basin inversion and deformation. Santonian ( ~ 80 Ma) deformation across the Benue Trough (Nigeria) is broadly contemporaneous with dextral shear reactivation of the central African fracture system which, in turn resulted in renewed extension in the Sudan basins during the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. This paper illustrates the close linkage in both time and space between the history of the African rift basins and the opening of the Atlantic. Both exhibit distinct phases of evolution with the rift basins developing in direct response to the differential opening between the Central and South Atlantic in order to dissipate stresses generated by this opening. The Mesozoic tectonic model proposed is therefore one of an intimate interaction between oceanic and continental tectonics.

  5. History of the development of the East African Rift System: A series of interpreted maps through time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macgregor, Duncan

    2015-01-01

    This review paper presents a series of time reconstruction maps of the 'East African Rift System' ('EARS'), illustrating the progressive development of fault trends, subsidence, volcanism and topography. These maps build on previous basin specific interpretations and integrate released data from recent petroleum drilling. N-S trending EARS rifting commenced in the petroliferous South Lokichar Basin of northern Kenya in the Late Eocene to Oligocene, though there seem to be few further deep rifts of this age other than those immediately adjoining it. At various times during the Mid-Late Miocene, a series of small rifts and depressions formed between Ethiopia and Malawi, heralding the main regional rift subsidence phase and further rift propagation in the Plio-Pleistocene. A wide variation is thus seen in the ages of initiation of EARS basins, though the majority of fault activity, structural growth, subsidence, and associated uplift of East Africa seem to have occurred in the last 5-9 Ma, and particularly in the last 1-2 Ma. These perceptions are key to our understanding of the influence of the diverse tectonic histories on the petroleum prospectivity of undrilled basins.

  6. The Lithosphere of The East African Rift System: Insights From Three-Dimensional Density Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woldetinsae, G.; Götze, H. J.

    2004-12-01

    We use the gravity data that cover the large part of the Afro-Arabian rift system, the eastern branch (Ethiopia-Afar and northern Kenya), in order to produce a regional density model. In an earlier work the new and old gravity data were compiled, evaluated and homogenised using a consistent data reduction procedures. Three basic constraints widely spaced over a 1500 km rift length have been generated between 1969 and 2003 by an international consortium with information from isostatic models, global tomography, geological, geochemical evidences, and petrological and experimental results. These are integrated and applied to the model to constrain upper and lower crustal structures underneath the Rift and Plateau areas. New crustal thickness estimations (Dugda et al., 2004 in press) and inferences from recent velocity models along the axis of the Main Ethiopian Rift (Keller et al., 2004) are added to the density model. Thirty parallel planes cutting across the entire plateau region and Rift system (Afar-Ethiopia-Kenya) are interactively modelled using a starting geometry that invoke asthenospheric upwelling. Densities for the upper crust are calculated using Nafe Drake method, averaged from earlier interpretation and measured ones from the Geological Survey of Ethiopia database (e.g. Geothermal project, GSE petrophysical laboratory, pers. communication). Densities for lower crust are estimated using the approach by Sobolov and Babyko (1994). We used also lower crustal densities calculated by (Simyu and Keller, 1997) for the northern part of Kenya rift. The preliminary model offers a possibility to quantify depth, thickness and volumes of different geological interfaces and bodies. As for example, the estimation of the volume of volcanic constructs on the western plateau of Ethiopia is relatively larger than the eastern plateau. The load map derived from the model indicated maximum crustal loads at the crust/mantle interface (ca. 40km) on the eastern and western flanks

  7. Ambient Noise Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, A.; Chamussa, J.; Silveira, G. M.; Custodio, S.; Lebedev, S.; Chang, S.; Ferreira, A. M.; Fonseca, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    A wide range of studies has shown that the cross-correlation of ambient noise can provide an estimate of the Greens functions between pairs of stations. Project MOZART (funded by FCT, Lisbon, PI J. Fonseca) deployed 30 broadband (120s) seismic stations from the SEIS-UK Pool in Central Mozambique and NE South Africa, with the purpose of studying the East African Rift System (EARS) in Mozambique. We applied the Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) method to broadband seismic data recorded from March 2011 until July 2012. Cross-correlations were computed between all pairs of stations, and from these we obtained Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves for all interstation paths, in the period range from 3 to 50 seconds. We tested various approaches for pre-processing the ambient noise data regarding time-domain and spectral normalisation, as well as the use of phase cross-correlations. Moreover, we examined the robustness of our dispersion maps by splitting our dataset into various sub-sets of Green's functions with similar paths and by quantifying the differences between the dispersion maps obtained from the various sub-sets of data. We find that while the geographical distribution of the group velocity anomalies is well constrained, the amplitudes of the anomalies are slightly less robust. We performed a three-dimensional inversion to obtain the S-wave velocity of the crust and upper mantle. In addition, our preliminary results show a good correlation between the Rayleigh wave group velocity and the geology of Mozambique. In order to extend the investigation to longer periods and, thus, to be able to look into the lithosphere-asthenosphere depth range in the upper mantle, we apply a recent implementation of the surface-wave two-station method (teleseismic interferometry) and augment our dataset with Rayleigh wave phase velocities curves in broad period ranges.

  8. Evolutionary model of the oblique rift basins- Central African Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Kenn-Ming; Cheng, I.-Wen; Wu, Jong-Chang

    2016-04-01

    The geometry of oblique-rifting basin is strongly related with the angle (α) between the trend of rift and that of regional major extensional stress. The main purpose of this study is to investigate characteristics of geometry and kinematics of structure and tectono-stratigraphy during basin evolution of Central African Rifts (CAS). In this study, we simulated the formation of oblique-rifting basin with Particle Flow Code 3-Dimensions-(PFC 3D) and compared the simulation results with the tectonic settings of a series of basin in CAS. CAS started to develop in Early Cretaceous (130Ma) and lasted until the Late Cretaceous (85Ma-80Ma). The following collision between the African and Eurasian plates imposed compressional stress on CAS and folded the strata in the rift basins. Although the characteristics of rift basin formation remain controversial, palinspastic sections constructed in this study show that, in the Early Cretaceous, the rift basins are mainly characterized by normal faults and half-grabens. In the Late Cretaceous, the morphology of the rift basins was altered by large-scaled tectonic compression with the active Borogop Fault of regional scale. Also, en echelon trend of normal faults in the basins were measured and the angles between the trend with that of the rift axes of each basin were demonstrated, indicating that the development of CAS was affected by the regional extensional stress with a dextral component during the rifting process and, therefore, the rift basins were formed by oblique-rifting. In this study, we simulated the oblique-rifting basin model of various α with Particle Flow Code 3-Dimensions-(PFC 3D). The main theory of PFC 3D is based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM), in which parameters are applied to every particle in the models. We applied forces acting on both sides of rift axis, which α are 45°, 60°, 75° and 90° respectively, to simulate basin formation under oblique-rifting process. The study results of simulation

  9. A common mantle plume source beneath the entire East African Rift System revealed by coupled helium-neon systematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halldórsson, Sæmundur A.; Hilton, David R.; Scarsi, Paolo; Abebe, Tsegaye; Hopp, Jens

    2014-04-01

    We report combined He-Ne-Ar isotope data of mantle-derived xenoliths and/or lavas from all segments of the East Africa Rift System (EARS). Plume-like helium isotope (3He/4He) ratios (i.e., greater than the depleted MORB mantle (DMM) range of 8 ± 1RA) are restricted to the Ethiopia Rift and Rungwe, the southernmost volcanic province of the Western Rift. In contrast, neon isotope trends reveal the presence of an ubiquitous solar (plume-like) Ne component throughout the EARS, with (21Ne/22Ne)EX values (where (21Ne/22Ne)EX is the air-corrected 21Ne/22Ne ratio extrapolated to Ne-B) as low as 0.034, close to that of solar Ne-B (0.031). Coupling (21Ne/22Ne)EX with 4He/3He ratios indicates that all samples can be explained by admixture between a single mantle plume source, common to the entire rift, and either a DMM or subcontinental lithospheric mantle source. Additionally, we show that the entire sample suite is characterized by low 3He/22NeS ratios (mostly < 0.2)—a feature characteristic of oceanic hot spots such as Iceland. We propose that the origin of these unique noble gas signatures is the deeply rooted African Superplume which influences magmatism throughout eastern Africa. We argue that the Ethiopia and Kenya domes represent two different heads of this common mantle plume source.

  10. Exploring Crustal Structure and Mantle Seismic Anisotropy Associated with the Incipient Southern and Southwestern Branches of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.; Liu, K. H.; Massinque, B.; Mdala, H. S.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Moidaki, M.; Mutamina, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    In spite of numerous geoscientific studies, the mechanisms responsible for the initiation and development of continental rifts are still poorly understood. The key information required to constrain various geodynamic models on rift initiation can be derived from the crust/mantle structure and anisotropy beneath incipient rifts such as the Southern and Southwestern branches of the East African Rift System. As part of a National Science Foundation funded interdisciplinary project, 50 PASSCAL broadband seismic stations were deployed across the Malawi, Luangwa, and Okavango rift zones from the summer of 2012 to the summer of 2014. Preliminary results from these 50 SAFARI (Seismic Arrays for African Rift Initiation) and adjacent stations are presented utilizing shear-wave splitting (SWS) and P-S receiver function techniques. 1109 pairs of high-quality SWS measurements, consisting of fast polarization orientations and splitting times, have been obtained from a total of 361 seismic events. The results demonstrate dominantly NE-SW fast orientations throughout Botswana as well as along the northwestern flank of the Luangwa rift valley. Meanwhile, fast orientations beneath the eastern Luangwa rift flank rotate from NNW to NNE along the western border of the Malawi rift. Stations located alongside the western Malawi rift border faults yield ENE fast orientations, with stations situated in Mozambique exhibiting more E-W orientations. In the northern extent of the study region, fast orientations parallel the trend of the Rukwa and Usangu rift basins. Receiver function results reveal that, relative to the adjacent Pan-African mobile belts, the Luangwa rift zone has a thin (30 to 35 km) crust. The crustal thickness within the Okavango rift basin is highly variable. Preliminary findings indicate a northeastward thinning along the southeast Okavango border fault system congruent with decreasing extension toward the southwest. The Vp/Vs measurements in the Okavango basin are roughly

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-11-01

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

  12. Miocene Onset of Extension in the Turkana Depression, Kenya: Implications for the Geodynamic Evolution of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boone, S.; Gleadow, A. J. W.; Kohn, B. P.; Seiler, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Paleogene-Recent East African Rift System (EARS) is the foremost modern example of continental rifting, providing much of our understanding of the early stages of continental breakup. The EARS traverses two regions of crustal uplift, the Ethiopian and East African Domes, separated by the Turkana Depression. This wide region of subdued topography coincides with the NW-SE trend of the Jurassic-Paleogene Anza Rift. Opinions on the fundamental geodynamic driver for EARS rifting are divided, however, principally between models involving migrating plume(s) and a single elongated 'superplume'. While competing models have similar topographic outcomes, they predict different morphotectonic evolutions for the Turkana Depression. Models inferring southward plume-migration imply that the plume must have passed below the Turkana Depression during the Paleogene, in order to have migrated to the East African Dome by the Miocene. The possible temporal denudational response to such plume activity is testable using low temperature thermochronology. We present apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He (AHe), and zircon (U-Th)/He (ZHe) data from the Lapurr Range, an uplifted Precambrian basement block in northern Turkana. Low radiation damage ZHe results displaying an age range of ~70-210 Ma, and combined with stratigraphic evidence, suggest ~4-6 km of Jurassic-Early Cretaceous denudation, probably associated with early Anza Rift tectonism. AFT ages of ~9-15 Ma imply subsequent burial beneath no more than ~4 km of overburden, thus preserving the Jurassic-Cretaceous ZHe ages. Together with AFT results, AHe data (~3-19 Ma) support ~2-4 km of Miocene-Pliocene uplift of the Lapurr Range in the footwall of the E-dipping Lapurr normal fault. Miocene AFT and AHe ages are interpreted to reflect the initiation of the EARS in the Turkana Depression. If extension is associated with plume activity, then upwelling in the Turkana region is unlikely to have started prior to the Miocene, much

  13. Crustal and mantle structure and anisotropy beneath the incipient segments of the East African Rift System: Preliminary results from the ongoing SAFARI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.; Liu, K. H.; Massinque, B.; Mdala, H. S.; moidaki, M.; Mutamina, D. M.; Atekwana, E. A.; Ingate, S. F.; Reusch, A.; Barstow, N.

    2013-12-01

    Despite the vast wealth of research conducted toward understanding processes associated with continental rifting, the extent of our knowledge is derived primarily from studies focused on mature rift systems, such as the well-developed portions of the East African Rift System (EARS) north of Lake Malawi. To explore the dynamics of early rift evolution, the SAFARI (Seismic Arrays for African Rift Initiation) team deployed 50 PASSCAL broadband seismic stations across the Malawi, Luangwa, and Okavango rifts of the EARS during the summer of 2012. The cumulative length of the profiles is about 2500 km and the planned recording duration is 2 years. Here we present the preliminary results of systematic analyses of data obtained from the first year of acquisition for all 50 stations. A total of 446 high-quality shear-wave splitting measurements using PKS, SKKS, and SKS phases from 84 teleseismic events were used to constrain fast polarization directions and splitting times throughout the region. The Malawi and Okavango rifts are characterized by mostly NE trending fast directions with a mean splitting time of about 1 s. The fast directions on the west side of the Luangwa Rift Zone are parallel to the rift valley, and those on the east side are more N-S oriented. Stacking of approximately 1900 radial receiver functions reveals significant spatial variations of both crustal thickness and the ratio of crustal P and S wave velocities, as well as the thickness of the mantle transition zone. Stations situated within the Malawi rift demonstrate a southward increase in observed crustal thickness, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the Malawi rift originated at the northern end of the rift system and propagated southward. Both the Okavango and Luangwa rifts are associated with thinned crust and increased Vp/Vs, although additional data is required at some stations to enhance the reliability of the observations. Teleseismic P-wave travel-time residuals show a delay of about

  14. Evolution of bimodal volcanism in Gona, Ethiopia: geochemical associations and geodynamic implications for the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, N.; Basu, A. R.; Gregory, R. T.; Richards, I.; Quade, J.; Ebinger, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    The East African rift system in Ethiopia formed in the Earth's youngest flood basalt province, and provides a natural laboratory to study the geochemistry of bimodal volcanism and its implications for plume-derived magmatism, mantle-lithosphere interactions and evolution of continental rifts from plate extension to rupture. Our geochemical studies of the ~6 Ma to recent eruptive products from Gona within the Afar Rift Zone are understood in context of crustal and upper mantle seismic imaging studies that provide constraints on spatial variations. Geochemical (major element, trace element and isotope) analyses of basalts and rhyolitic tuff from Gona indicate a common magma source for these bimodal volcanics. Light rare earth elements (LREEs) are enriched with a strong negative Eu anomaly and a positive Ce anomaly in some of the silicic volcanic rocks. We observe strong depletions in Sr and higher concentrations of Zr, Hf, Th, Nb and Ta. We hypothesize that the silicic rocks may be residues from a plume-derived enriched magma source, following partial melting with fractional crystallization of plagioclase at shallow magma chambers. The absence of Nb-Ta anomaly shows no crustal assimilation by magmas. Sr isotopes, in conjunction with Nd and Pb isotopes and a strong Ce anomaly could reflect interaction of the parent magma with a deep saline aquifer or brine. Nd isotopic ratios (ɛNd = 1.9 to 4.6) show similarity of the silicic tuffs and basalts in their isotopic compositions except for some ~6 Ma lavas showing MORB-like values (ɛNd = 5 to 8.7) that suggest involvement of the asthenosphere with the plume source. Except for one basaltic tuff, the whole rock oxygen isotopic ratios of the Gona basalts range from +5.8‰ to +7.9‰, higher than the δ values for typical MORB, +5.7. The oxygen isotopes in whole rocks from the rhyolite tuffs vary from 14.6‰ to 20.9‰ while their Sr isotope ratios <0.706, indicative of post-depositional low T alteration of these silicic

  15. Martian canyons and African rifts: Structural comparisons and implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H. V.

    1978-01-01

    The resistant parts of the canyon walls of the Martian rift complex Valled Marineris were used to infer an earlier, less eroded reconstruction of the major roughs. The individual canyons were then compared with individual rifts of East Africa. When measured in units of planetary radius, Martian canyons show a distribution of lengths nearly identical to those in Africa, both for individual rifts and for compound rift systems. A common mechanism which scales with planetary radius is suggested. Martian canyons are significantly wider than African rifts. The overall pattern of the rift systems of Africa and Mars are quite different in that the African systems are composed of numerous small faults with highly variable trend. On Mars the trends are less variable; individual scarps are straighter for longer than on earth. This is probably due to the difference in tectonic histories of the two planets: the complex history of the earth and the resulting complicated basement structures influence the development of new rifts. The basement and lithosphere of Mars are inferred to be simple, reflecting a relatively inactive tectonic history prior to the formation of the canyonlands.

  16. Geochemistry of East African Rift basalts: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furman, Tanya

    2007-06-01

    Mafic lavas erupted along the East African Rift System from the Afar triangle in northern Ethiopia to the Rungwe province in southern Tanzania display a wide range of geochemical and isotopic compositions that reflect heterogeneity in both source and process. In areas with the lowest degree of crustal extension (the Western and Southern Kenya Rifts) primitive lavas record the greatest extent of lithospheric melting, manifest in elevated abundances of incompatible elements and highly radiogenic Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions. Where prolonged extension has removed most or all of the mantle lithosphere (the Turkana and Northern Kenya Rifts), a larger role for sub-lithospheric processes is indicated. At intermediate degrees of extension (the Main Ethiopian Rift) both lithospheric and sub-lithospheric contributions are observed, and crustal assimilation occurs in some cases. Despite the wide compositional range of African Rift basalts, a restricted number of source domains contribute to magmatism throughout the area. These individual domains are: (1) the subcontinental mantle lithosphere; (2) a plume source with high-μ Sr-Nd-Pb-He isotopic affinities, present in all areas within and south of the Turkana Depression; and (3) a plume source with isotopic signatures analogous to those observed in some ocean islands, including high 3He/ 4He values, present throughout the Ethiopian Rift and the Afar region. The two plume sources may both be derived from the South African Superplume, which is likely to be a compositionally heterogeneous feature of the lower mantle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-05-01

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

  18. He-Ne-Ar isotope studies of mafic volcanic rocks and mantle xenoliths from the East African Rift System - contrasting isotope signals in different rift branches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halldorsson, S. A.; Hilton, D. R.; Scarsi, P.; Abebe, T.; Massi, K. M.; Barry, P. H.; Fischer, T. P.; de Moor, J.; Rudnick, R. L.

    2010-12-01

    Helium isotope studies of the East African Rift System (EARS) suggest the involvement of a deep mantle plume(s) beneath the northern (Ethiopian) segment [1-3]. The highest 3He/4He (RA) signatures found to date show a close association with the greatest magma volumes erupted since the Early Cenozoic in the region. While the helium isotope characteristics are well established in the Ethiopia-Afar region, Ne and Ar systematics remain poorly constrained. Using a combined He-Ne-Ar isotope approach, our aim is to determine the regional extent of the influence of the Afar plume and to distinguish between subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and/or a possible second mantle plume sources located to the south of the Turkana Depression. Xenoliths and mafic lavas from N-Tanzania display a limited range in He isotopes (5-7 RA) with exceptions at Arusha (7.8RA) and Labait (8.7RA), through 7.1-8.7 RA in N-Kenya and S-Ethiopia, to 14.3 RA in the Main Ethiopian Rift and Afar, spanning nearly the entire range of previously reported values. The mean 3He/4He ratio from of lavas and xenoliths from N-Tanzania is remarkably close to the global average of 6.1±0.9 (RA) for continental xenoliths and basalts, thought to represent the SCLM [4]. Thus far, only MORB-like values of 7.3-8.3 RA have been found in volcanics of the Western rift. Initial Ne isotope data reveal the presence of a solar-like Ne component in xenoliths from the Ethiopia-Afar region, with extrapolated 21Ne/22Neex ratios of 0.0365 (assuming Ne-B = 12.5). This trend overlaps that of the Loihi-Kilauea line (L-K). Interestingly, a xenolith from N-Tanzania has a 21Ne/22Neex ratio of 0.0415, falling on a trajectory intermediate between MORB and L-K. The highest 40Ar/36Ar ratio obtained on phenocrysts/xenoliths to date is 1510. The generally low 3He/4He ratios of N-Tanzania likely result from different mixing proportions of asthenospheric sources with lithospheric material, the latter having developed lower 3He/4He ratios

  19. Multiple mantle upwellings beneath the Northern East-African Rift System from relative P- and S-wave traveltime tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civiero, Chiara; Hammond, James; Goes, Saskia; Fishwick, Stewart; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Ayele, Atalay; Doubre, Cecile; Goitom, Berhe; Keir, Derek; Kendall, Mike; Leroy, Sylvie; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Rumpker, Georg; Stuart, Graham

    2015-04-01

    Mantle plumes have been invoked as the likely cause of East African Rift volcanism and extension. However, the nature of mantle upwelling is debated, with proposed configurations ranging from a single broad plume, the African Superplume, connected to the LLSVP beneath Southern Africa, to one or more distinct lower-mantle sources along the rift. We present a new relative travel-time tomography model that images detailed P- and S- wave velocities from P,S and SKS phases below the northern East-African, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rift. Data comes from stations that cover the area from Tanzania to Saudi Arabia. The aperture of the integrated dataset allows us to image for the first time structures of ~100 km length scale down to depths of 900 km beneath this region. Our images provide evidence of at least two low-velocity structures with a diameter of ~200 km that continue through the transition zone and into the lower mantle: the first extends to at least 900 km beneath Afar, and a second reaching at least 750 km depth just west of the Main Ethiopian Rift, a region with off-rift volcanism. Taking into account seismic sensitivity to temperature and thermally controlled phase boundary topography, we interpret these features as multiple focused upwellings from below the transition zone with excess temperatures of 100±50 K. The scale of the upwellings is smaller than any of the previously proposed lower mantle plume sources. This suggests the ponding or flow of deep-plume material below the transition zone may be spawning smaller upper-mantle upwellings.

  20. Neotectonic faults and stress field in the East African Rift System around the Tanzanian Craton - A contribution to the seismotectonic map of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Macheyeki, Athanas Simon; Fernandes, Rui-Manuel; Ayele, Atalay; Meghraoui, Mustapha

    2015-04-01

    As a contribution to the UNESCO-IUGS IGCP 601 project "Seismotectonics and seismic hazards in Africa" and in preparation of the Seismotectonic Map of Africa, we compiled the neotectonic faults related to the East African Rift System around the Tanzanian craton. The initial aim was to identify and map the potentially active faults. Faults are usually defined as active when they show seismogenic displacement during the last 10,000 to 100,000 years, generally on the basis of paleoseismic investigation. In East Africa, however, very few faults have been studied by paleoseismic techniques and even fewer have known historical seismic activation. To address this issue, we mapped faults that show morphological indications of displacement. We used the SRTM DTM (90 and 30 m when available to us), with artificial shading as basis for identify neotectonic faults, in combination with existing data from geological maps, publications and reports, complemented by our own field observations. Thermal springs often occur along tectonically active faults. We use them to distinguish present-day faulting from other mapped faults as they are in most cases structurally controlled. In parallel, we used also the available focal mechanisms and geological fault-slip data to constrain the stress second-order stress field (at the scale of rift segments) and locally also the third-order stress field (at the local scale). All these elements are combined and compared with existing kinematic models for the East African Rift based on earthquake slip vectors, GPS measurements and geologic indicators. The comparison evidences some local discrepancies between the stress field and the direction of opening, probably due to the interactions between different rift segments, as in the Rukwa rift, Mbeya southern junction between the eastern and western rift branches, and in the Manyara-Natron area.

  1. Seismic anisotropy of the lithosphere/asthenosphere system beneath the Rwenzori region of the East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homuth, Benjamin; Löbl, Ulrike; Batte, Arthur; Link, Klemens; Kasereka, Celestine; Rümpker, Georg

    2014-05-01

    We present results from a temporary seismic network of 32 broad-band stations located around the Rwenzori region of the Albertine rift at the border between Uganda and DR Congo. The study aims to constrain seismic anisotropy and mantle deformation processes in relation to the formation of the rift zone. Shear-wave splitting measurements from local and teleseismic earthquakes are used to investigate the seismic anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle beneath the Rwenzori region. At most stations, shear-wave splitting parameters obtained from individual earthquakes exhibit only minor variations with backazimuth. We therefore employ a joint inversion of SKS waveforms to derive hypothetical one-layer parameters. The corresponding fast polarizations are generally rift-parallel and the average delay time is about 1 s. On the other hand, shear phases from local events within the crust are characterized by a bimodal pattern of fast polarizations and an average delay time of 0.04 s. This observation suggests that the dominant source region for seismic anisotropy beneath the rift is located within the mantle. We use finite-frequency waveform modeling to test different models of anisotropy within the lithosphere/asthenosphere system of the rift. The results show that the rift-parallel fast polarizations are consistent with HTI anisotropy caused by rift-parallel magmatic intrusions or lenses located within the lithospheric mantle - as it would be expected during the early stages of continental rifting. Furthermore, the short-scale spatial variations in the fast polarizations observed in the southern part of the study area can be explained by effects due to sedimentary basins of low isotropic velocity in combination with a shift in the orientation of anisotropic fabrics in the upper mantle. A uniform anisotropic layer in relation to large-scale asthenospheric mantle flow is less consistent with the observed splitting parameters.

  2. Anomalous deep earthquakes beneath the East African Rift: evidence for rift induced delamination of the lithosphere?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindenfeld, Michael; Rümpker, Georg; Schmeling, Harro; Wallner, Herbert

    2010-05-01

    The over 5000 m high Rwenzori Mountains are situated within the western branch of the East African Rift System, at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They represent a basement block within the rift valley whose origin and relation to the evolution of the EARS are highly puzzling. During 2006/2007 a network of 27 seismological stations was operated in this area to investigate crustal and upper mantle structure in conjunction with local seismicity. The data analysis revealed unexpectedly high microseismic activity. On average more than 800 events per month could be located with magnitudes ranging from 0.5 to 5.1. Hypocentral depths go as deep as 30 km with a pronounced concentration of activity at a depth of about 15 km. This presentation focuses on a cluster of seven earthquakes that were located at anomalous depths between 53 and 60 km. According to our present knowledge these are the deepest events so far observed within the EARS and the African Plate. Their origin might be connected to magmatic intrusions. However, the existence of earthquakes at this depth is enigmatic, especially within a rifting regime were one expects hot and weak material close to the surface, which is not capable of seismogenic deformation. We think that these events are closely related to the evolution of the Rwenzoris. A recent hypothesis to explain the extreme uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains is rift induced delamination (RID) of mantle lithosphere that is captured between two approaching rift segments. By numerical modelling we show that the RID-process is also able to bring material that is cold and brittle enough to release seismic energy into greater depth. Therefore the RID-mechanism gives a consistent explanation for the detected deep events as well as for the uplift of a mountain block in a rift setting.

  3. Seismic Anisotropy of the Lithosphere/Asthenosphere System Beneath the Rwenzori Region of the East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homuth, B.; Löbl, U.; Batte, A.; Link, K.; Kasereka, C.; Rumpker, G.

    2014-12-01

    We present results from a temporary seismic network of 32 broad-band stations located around the Rwenzori region of the Albertine rift at the border between Uganda and DR Congo. The study aims to constrain seismic anisotropy and mantle deformation processes in relation to the formation of the rift zone. Shear-wave splitting measurements from local and teleseismic earthquakes are used to investigate the seismic anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle beneath the Rwenzori region. At most stations, shear-wave splitting parameters obtained from individual earthquakes exhibit only minor variations with backazimuth. We therefore employ a joint inversion of SKS waveforms to derive hypothetical one-layer parameters. The corresponding fast polarizations are generally rift-parallel and the average delay time is about 1 s. On the other hand, shear phases from local events within the crust are characterized by an average delay time of 0.04 s. This observation suggests that the dominant source region for seismic anisotropy beneath the rift is located within the mantle. We use finite-frequency waveform modeling to test different models of anisotropy within the lithosphere/asthenosphere system of the rift. The results show that the rift-parallel fast polarizations are consistent with HTI anisotropy caused by magmatic intrusions or lenses located within the lithospheric mantle - as it would be expected during the early stages of continental rifting. Furthermore, the short-scale spatial variations in the fast polarizations observed in the southern part of the study area can be explained by effects due to sedimentary basins of low isotropic velocity in combination with a shift in the orientation of anisotropic fabrics in the upper mantle. A uniform anisotropic layer in relation to large-scale asthenospheric mantle flow is less consistent with the observed splitting parameters.

  4. At the tip of a propagating rift - The offshore East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, Dieter; Jokat, Wilfried; Ladage, Stefan; Stollhofen, Harald; Klimke, Jennifer; Lutz, Ruediger; Mahanjane, Stefane; Ehrhardt, Axel; Schreckenberger, Bernd

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies have addressed various aspects of the East African Rift system (EARS) but surprisingly few the offshore continuation of the south-eastern branch of the rift into the Mozambique Channel. Here, we present new evidence for neotectonic deformation derived from modern seismic reflection data and supported by additional geophysical data. The Kerimbas Graben offshore northern Mozambique is the most prominent manifestation of sub-recent extensional deformation. The seismic reflection data reveals that recent normal faulting often utilizes preexisting, deeply buried half-graben structures which likely are related to the formation of the Somali Basin. The ~30 km wide and ~150 km long symmetric graben is in a stage where the linkage of scattered normal faults already did happen, resulting in increased displacement and accommodation of most of the extension across the basin. However, deep earthquakes below the rift indicate a strong and still preserved lithospheric mantle. Extension is becoming diffuse where an onshore suture, subdividing the northern from the southern metamorphic basement onshore Mozambique, is closest to the offshore rift. It appears likely that this suture is the origin for the variation in rifting style, indicating that mantle fabric resulting from a Cambrian collision has been preserved as mechanical anisotropy of the lithospheric mantle. Further south the rift focuses in an about 30 km wide half-graben. An important finding is that the entire offshore branch of the EARS lacks significant volcanism. Along the offshore EARS there are only negligible indications for recent volcanism in the reflection seismic data such as sills and dikes. Apparently the "Comoros mantle plume" (French and Romanowicz, 2015) has a very minor influence on the progressive extensional deformation along the northern Mozambique continental margin, leading eventually to breakup sometimes in the future. Combining structural with earthquake data reveals that the magma

  5. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system using ERTS-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The structural margin of western Afar with the Ethiopian plateau is marked by a rather wide zone of crustal deformation. ERTS-1 imagery has now permitted a more precise mapping of the structures of this marginal zone, and in particular of the discontinuous marginal graben. The tectonic style of the graben is different in the north from the south, and in the latter region the graben is discordant with the regional tectonic trend. The structural margin of the southern Afar with the Somalian plateau is formed, in the western sector, by a remarkable series of fault-zone splays. Afar-plateau boundary fault-zones successively curve northeast and then NNE to become Afar floor fault-zones, with a distance of about 25 km separating successive turnoffs. The transition from Ethiopian rift to Gulf of Aden tread faulting along this margin is fascinatingly complex. A simplistic crustal thinning model is not adequate to explain all observed structural features of the Afar margins.

  6. How strong ist the impact of changing topography of the East African Rift System on regional climate?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prömmel, Kerstin; Kaspar, Frank; Cubasch, Ulrich

    2010-05-01

    The evolution of the East African Rift System (EARS) leads to a topography change at the surface and the impact of this change on climate in this region can easily be analysed with climate models. In the present study both global and regional climate models are applied. The global climate model is the coupled atmosphere ocean general circulation model ECHO-G and the regional climate model is the non-hydrostatic CLM, which is the climate version of the numerical weather prediction model of the German Meterorological Service. At the lateral boundaries the regional model is driven by the simulations performed with the global model. Different topographical situations representing possible conditions in the past, are simulated with the global and the regional climate model. One assumption affects only the highest peaks of the EARS south of the Turkana Channel by reducing them to 1200 m. The other assumptions affect a much larger area covering the whole of Southern and Eastern Africa. Over this region topography is reduced by 25%, 50%, 75% and 95%. These different topography reductions have an impact on circulation and therefore also on moisture transport. This leads to changes in the precipitation patterns over Africa. One strong effect is the decrease in orographic precipitation windward of the mountains. Wetter conditions can be found over the east coast of Africa, where moisture is transported from the Indian Ocean farther into the continent due to the lower barrier. Both global and regional models show similar results on the continental scale, however the results of the regional model are much more detailed due to the higher horizontal resolution (50 km) compared to the global model (~350 km).

  7. Seismic hazard assessment of the Kivu rift segment based on a new sismo-tectonic zonation model (Western Branch of the East African Rift system)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havenith, Hans-Balder; Delvaux, Damien

    2015-04-01

    In the frame of the Belgian GeoRisCA multi-risk assessment project focused on the Kivu and Northern Tanganyika Region, a seismic hazard map has been produced for this area. It is based on a on a recently re-compiled catalogue using various local and global earthquake catalogues. The use of macroseismic epicenters determined from felt earthquakes allowed to extend the time-range back to the beginning of the 20th century, thus spanning about 100 years. The magnitudes have been homogenized to Mw and the coherence of the catalogue has been checked and validated. The seismo-tectonic zonation includes 10 seismic source areas that have been defined on the basis of the regional geological structure, neotectonic fault systems, basin architecture and distribution of earthquake epicenters. The seismic catalogue was filtered by removing obvious aftershocks and Gutenberg-Richter Laws were determined for each zone. On the basis of this seismo-tectonic information and existing attenuation laws that had been established by Twesigomwe (1997) and Mavonga et al. (2007) for this area, seismic hazard has been computed with the Crisis 2012 (Ordaz et al., 2012) software. The outputs of this assessment clearly show higher PGA values (for 475 years return period) along the Rift than the previous estimates by Twesigomwe (1997) and Mavonga (2007) while the same attenuation laws had been used. The main reason for these higher PGA values is likely to be related to the more detailed zonation of the Rift structure marked by a strong gradient of the seismicity from outside the rift zone to the inside. Mavonga, T. (2007). An estimate of the attenuation relationship for the strong ground motion in the Kivu Province, Western Rift Valley of Africa. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 62, 13-21. Ordaz M, Martinelli F, Aguilar A, Arboleda J, Meletti C, D'Amico V. (2012). CRISIS 2012, Program for computing seismic hazard. Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de M

  8. Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2013 East African Rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Rifting in East Africa is not all coeval; volcanism and faulting have been an ongoing phenomenon on the continent since the Eocene (~45 Ma). The rifting began in northern East Africa, and led to the separation of the Nubia (Africa) and Arabia plates in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and in the Lake Turkana area at the Kenya-Ethiopia border. A Paleogene mantle superplume beneath East Africa caused extension within the Nubia plate, as well as a first order topographic high known as the African superswell which now includes most of the eastern and southern sectors of the Nubia plate. Widespread volcanism erupted onto much of the rising plateau in Ethiopia during the Eocene-Oligocene (45–29 Ma), with chains of volcanoes forming along the rift separating Africa and Arabia. Since the initiation of rifting in northeastern Africa, the system has propagated over 3,000 km to the south and southwest, and it experiences seismicity as a direct result of the extension and active magmatism.

  9. Application of P- and S-receiver functions to investigate crustal and upper mantle structures beneath the Albertine branch of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gummert, Michael; Lindenfeld, Michael; Wölbern, Ingo; Rümpker, Georg; Kasereka, Celestin; Batte, Arthur

    2014-05-01

    The Rwenzori region at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is part of the western (Albertine) branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). The region is characterized by a horst structure, the Rwenzori Mountains, reaching elevations of more than 5 km and covering an area of about 120 km by 50 km. The unusual location of the mountain range, between two segments of the Albertine rift, suggests complex structures of the crust and the upper mantle below. In our study, we employ P- and S-receiver functions in order to investigate the corresponding discontinuities of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system. The analyses are based on recordings from a dense network of 33 seismic broadband stations operating in the region for a period of nearly two years, from September 2009 until August 2011. The crustal thickness is analysed by using P-receiver functions and the grid search method of Zhu & Kanamori (2000) which involves the stacking of amplitudes of direct converted (Ps) and multiple phases (PpPs and PpSs) originating from the Moho. The method of S-receiver functions is more effective in analysing deeper discontinuities of the upper mantle, such as the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). The latter method also has the advantage that the interfering influence of multiple phases from shallower discontinuities is avoided. To simplify the analysis of the S-receiver functions, we use an automatic procedure to determine incidence angles used in the rotation from the ZNE system to the ray-centered LQT system. We apply this approach to confirm and significantly extend results from the study of Wölbern et al. (2012), which provided evidence for an intra-lithospheric discontinuity at depths between 54 km and 104 km and the LAB between 135 km and 210 km. Our results provide evidence for significant variations of crustal thickness beneath the region. The Moho depth varies between 20 km beneath the rift valley and 39 km beneath the adjacent rift

  10. Mapping Extensional Structures in the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana with remote sensing and aeromagnetic data: Implication for the continuation of the East African Rift System in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fetkovich, E. J.; Atekwana, E. A.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Atekwana, E. A.; Katumwehe, A. B.

    2015-12-01

    We used Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and aeromagnetic data to map extensional structures in the Makgadikgadi Pans in northeastern Botswana. These pans are a major morphological feature in Southern Africa characterized by the presence of low lying and flat topography with the highest elevation of 945 m. This topography was a result of multiple filling and desiccation of paleo-lakes that accompanied alternation of wetter and dryer climate during the Late Quaternary period. The objective of our study was to map the extent and distribution of normal faults using their morphological expression and magnetic signature, and examine their relationship with paleo-shorelines of the pans. We: (1) Created a hill shade relief map from the SRTM DEM; (2) Extracted regional NW-SE trending topographic profiles across the pans; (3) Constructed displacement profiles for major normal faults; and (4) Created tilt derivative images from the aeromagnetic data. We found that: (1) The northeastern part of the pan is dissected by three morphologically-defined NE-trending normal faults. The along strike continuity of these faults is in the range of 75 and 170 km and they are spaced at ~30 km apart from each other. (2) The topographic profiles suggest that the exposed minimum vertical displacement (EMVD), defined by poorly developed escarpments, is in the range of 0 m and 49 m. (3) The displacement profiles of the faults is characterized by maximum EMVD in the middle of the faults and that it decays towards the fault tips. These faults are also apparent in the aeromagnetic maps where they seem to displace E-W trending Karoo-age dikes. (4) At least the outer paleo-shoreline of the pans is modified by the NE-trending faults. This suggests that the faults are younger than the paleo-shorelines, which is suggested to have been developed between 500 and 100 ka. Traditionally, the southwestern extension of the East African Rift System has been assigned to the

  11. Parameters influencing the location and characteristics of volcanic eruptions in a youthful extensional setting: Insights from the Virunga Volcanic Province, in the Western Branch of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, Benoît; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, Matthieu; Kervyn, François

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is often mentioned as the modern archetype for rifting and continental break-up (Calais et al., 2006, GSL Special Publication 259), showing the complex interaction between rift faults, magmatism and pre-existing structures of the basement. Volcanism in the EARS is characterized by very active volcanoes, several of them being among the most active on Earth (Wright et al., 2015, GRL 42). Such intense volcanic activity provides useful information to study the relationship between rifting, magmatism and volcanism. This is the case of the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) located in the central part of the Western Branch of the EARS, which hosts two of the most active African volcanoes, namely Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira. Despite the intense eruptive activity in the VVP, the spatial distribution of volcanism and its relationship with the extensional setting remain little known. Here we present a study of the interaction between tectonics, magmatism and volcanism at the scale of the Kivu rift section, where the VVP is located, and at the scale of a volcano, by studying the dense historical eruptive activity of Nyamulagira. Both the complex Precambrian basement and magmatism appear to contribute to the development of the Kivu rift. The presence of transfer zones north and south of the Lake Kivu rift basin favoured the development of volcanic provinces at these locations. Rift faults, including reactivated Precambrian structures influenced the location of volcanism within the volcanic provinces and the rift basin. At a more local scale, the historical eruptive activity of Nyamulagira highlights that, once a composite volcano developed, the gravitational stress field induced by edifice loading becomes the main parameter that influence the location, duration and lava volume of eruptions.

  12. InSAR and GPS measurements along the Kivu segment of the East African Rift System during the 2011-2012 Nyamulagira volcanic eruption.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nobile, Adriano; Geirsson, Halldor; Smets, Benoît; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, François

    2016-04-01

    Along the East African Rift System (EARS), magma intrusions represent a major component in continental rifting. When these intrusions reach the surface, they cause volcanic eruptions. This is the case of the last flank eruption of Nyamulagira, which occurred from November 6 2011 to April 2012. Nyamulagira is an active shield volcano with a central caldera, located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, along the Kivu segment of the East African Rift System. From 1948 to 2012, Nyamulagira mostly showed a particular eruptive cycle with 1) classical short-lived (i.e., 20-30 days) flank eruptions, sometimes accompanied with intracrateral activity, which occurred every 1-4 years on average, and 2) less frequent long-lived (i.e., several months) eruptions usually emitting larger volumes of lava that take place at larger distance (>8 km) from the central caldera. The 2011-2012 Nyamulagira eruption is of that second type. Here we used InSAR data from different satellite (Envisat, Cosmo SkyMed, TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT) to measure pre-, co and post-eruptive ground displacement associated with the Nyamulagira 2011-2012 eruption. Results suggest that a magma intrusion preceded by two days the eruption. This intrusion corresponded to the migration of magma from a shallow reservoir (~3km) below the caldera to the two eruptive fissures located ~11 km ENE of the central edifice. Available seismic data are in agreement with InSAR results showing increased seismic activity since November 4 2011, with long- and short-period earthquakes swarms. Using analytical models we invert the measured ground displacements during the first co-eruptive month to evaluate the deformation source parameters and the mechanism of magma emplacement for this eruption. GPS data from permanent stations in the KivuGNet network are used to constrain the temporal evolution of the eruption and evaluate far-field deformation, while the InSAR data is more sensitive to the near-field deformation

  13. Strain distribution in the East African Rift from GPS measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, S. D.; Saria, E.; Calais, E.; Delvaux, D.; Ebinger, C.; Combrinck, L.

    2008-12-01

    Rifting of continental lithosphere is a fundamental process that controls the growth and evolution of continents and the birth of ocean basins. Most rifting models assume that stretching results from far-field lithospheric stresses from plate motions, but there is evidence that asthenospheric processes play an active role in rifting, possibly through viscous coupling and/or the added buoyancy and thermal weakening from melt intrusions. The distribution of strain during rifting is a key observable to constrain such models but is however poorly known. The East African Rift (EAR) offers a unique opportunity to quantify strain distribution along and across an active continental rift and to compare a volcanic (Eastern branch) and a non-volcanic (Western branch) segment. In 2006, we established and first surveyed a network of 35 points across Tanzania and installed one continuous station in Dar Es Salaam (TANZ), followed in 2008 by a second occupation campaign. We present a preliminary velocity field for the central part of the EAR, spanning both the Western and Eastern rift branches. We compare our results with a recent kinematic model of the EAR (Stamps et al., GRL, 2008) and discuss its significance for understanding rifting processes.

  14. Geochemistry of 24 Ma Basalts from Northeast Egypt: Implications for Small-Scale Convection Beneath the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endress, C. A.; Furman, T.; Ali Abu El-Rus, M.

    2009-12-01

    Basalts ~24 Ma in the Cairo-Suez and Fayyum districts of NE Egypt represent the youngest and northernmost lavas potentially associated with the initiation of rifting of the Red Sea. The age of these basalts corresponds to a time period of significant regional magmatism that occurred subsequent to emplacement of 30 Ma flood basalts attributed to the Afar Plume in Ethiopia and Yemen. Beginning ~28 Ma, widespread magmatism occurred across supra-equatorial Africa in Hoggar (Algeria), Tibesti (Chad), Darfur (Sudan), Turkana (Kenya) and Samalat, Bahariya, Quesir and the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) (e.g. Allegre et al., 1981; Meneisy, 1990; Baldridge et al., 1991; Wilson and Guiraud, 1992; Furman et al., 2006; Lucassen et al., 2008). Available geochemical and isotopic data indicate that Hoggar and Darfur basalts are similar to Turkana lavas, although no direct link between the N African lavas and the Kenya Plume has been made. New geochemical data on the NE Egyptian basalts provide insight into the thermochemical, isotopic, and mineralogical characteristics of the mantle beneath the region in which they were emplaced. The basalts are subalkaline with OIB-like incompatible trace element abundances and homogeneous major element, trace element and isotopic geochemistry. They display relatively flat ITE patterns, with notable positive Pb and negative P anomalies. Isotopic (143Nd/144Nd = 0.51274-0.51285, 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7049-0.7050) and trace element signatures (Ce/Pb = 16-22, Ba/Nb = 9-14, and La/Nb = 0.9-1.0) are consistent with melting of a sub-lithospheric source that has been slightly contaminated by continental crust during ascent and emplacement. The Pb isotopic ratios (206Pb/204Pb = 18.53-18.62, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.59-15.64, and 208Pb/204Pb = 38.80-39.00) in the Egyptian basalts are close to the range of those found in the 30 Ma Ethiopian flood basalts, which are distinct from the more highly radiogenic, high-μ type signature seen in basalts from Turkana, Darfur, and Hoggar

  15. The life cycle of continental rifting as a focus for U.S.-African scientific collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.; Atekwana, Estella A.; Keller, G. Randy; Klemperer, Simon L.

    2004-11-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) provides the unique opportunity found nowhere else on Earth, to investigate extensional processes from incipient rifting in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, to continental breakup and creation of proto-oceanic basins 3000 km to the north in the Afar Depression in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.The study of continental rifts is of great interest because they represent the initial stages of continental breakup and passive margin development, they are sites for large-scale sediment accumulation, and their geomorphology may have controlled human evolution in the past and localizes geologic hazards in the present. But there is little research that provides insights into the linkage between broad geodynamic processes and the life cycle of continental rifts: We do not know why some rifts evolve into mid-ocean ridges whereas others abort their evolution to become aulacogens. Numerous studies of the EARS and other continental rifts have significantly increased our understanding of rifting processes, but we particularly lack studies of the embryonic stages of rift creation and the last stages of extension when continental breakup occurs.

  16. Multiple mantle upwellings in the transition zone beneath the northern East-African Rift system from relative P-wave travel-time tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civiero, Chiara; Hammond, James O. S.; Goes, Saskia; Fishwick, Stewart; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Ayele, Atalay; Doubre, Cecile; Goitom, Berhe; Keir, Derek; Kendall, J.-Michael; Leroy, Sylvie; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Rümpker, Georg; Stuart, Graham W.

    2015-09-01

    Mantle plumes and consequent plate extension have been invoked as the likely cause of East African Rift volcanism. However, the nature of mantle upwelling is debated, with proposed configurations ranging from a single broad plume connected to the large low-shear-velocity province beneath Southern Africa, the so-called African Superplume, to multiple lower-mantle sources along the rift. We present a new P-wave travel-time tomography model below the northern East-African, Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden rifts and surrounding areas. Data are from stations that span an area from Madagascar to Saudi Arabia. The aperture of the integrated data set allows us to image structures of ˜100 km length-scale down to depths of 700-800 km beneath the study region. Our images provide evidence of two clusters of low-velocity structures consisting of features with diameter of 100-200 km that extend through the transition zone, the first beneath Afar and a second just west of the Main Ethiopian Rift, a region with off-rift volcanism. Considering seismic sensitivity to temperature, we interpret these features as upwellings with excess temperatures of 100 ± 50 K. The scale of the upwellings is smaller than expected for lower mantle plume sources. This, together with the change in pattern of the low-velocity anomalies across the base of the transition zone, suggests that ponding or flow of deep-plume material below the transition zone may be spawning these upper mantle upwellings. This article was corrected on 28 SEP 2015. See the end of the full text for details.

  17. Sensitivity of the East African rift lakes to climate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olaka, L.; Trauth, M. H.

    2009-04-01

    Lakes in the East African Rift have provided excellent proxies to reconstruct past climate changes in the low latitudes. The lakes occupy volcano-tectonic depressions with highly variable climate and hydrological setting, that present a good opportunity to study the climatic and hydrogeological influences on the lake water budget. Previous studies have used lake floor sediments to establish the sensitivity of the East African rift lakes. This study focuses on geomorphology and climate to offer additional or alternative record of lake history that are key to quantifying sensitivity of these lakes as archives to external and internal climatic forcings. By using the published Holocene lake areas and levels, we analyze twelve lakes on the eastern arm of the East African rift; Ziway, Awassa, Turkana, Suguta, Baringo, Nakuru, Elmenteita, Naivasha, Natron, Manyara and compare with Lake Victoria, that occupies the plateau between the east and the western arms of the rift. Using the SRTM data, Hypsometric (area-altitude) analysis has been used to compare the lake basins between latitude 80 North and 30 South. The mean elevation for the lakes, is between 524 and 2262 meters above sea level, the lakes' hypsometric integrals (HI), a measure of landmass volume above the reference plane, vary from 0.31 to 0.76. The aridity index (Ai), defined as Precipitation/ Evapotranspiration, quantifies the water available to a lake, it encompasses land cover and climatic effects. It is lowest (arid) in the basin between the Ethiopian rift and the Kenyan rift and at the southern termination of the Kenyan Rift in the catchments of lake Turkana, Suguta, Baringo and Manyara with values of 0.55, 0.43, 0.43 and 0.5 respectively. And it is highest (wet) in the catchments of, Ziway, Awassa, Nakuru and Naivasha as 1.33,1.03 and 1.2 respectively, which occupy the highest points of the rift. Lake Victoria has an index of 1.42 the highest of these lakes and receives a high precipitation. We use a

  18. Gas isotopic signatures (He, C, and Ar) in the Lake Kivu region (western branch of the East African rift system): Geodynamic and volcanological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, D.; Tassi, F.; Vaselli, O.; Poreda, R. J.; Darrah, T.; Cuoco, E.; Yalire, M. M.

    2010-01-01

    On 17 January 2002, the city of Goma was partly destroyed by two of the several lava flows erupted from a roughly N-S oriented fracture system opened along the southern flank of Mount Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of Congo), in the western branch of the East African rift system. A humanitarian and scientific response was promptly organized by international, governmental, and nongovernmental agencies coordinated by the United Nations and the European Union. Among the different scientific projects undertaken to study the mechanisms triggering this and possible future eruptions, we focused on the isotopic (He, C, and Ar) analysis of the magmatic-hydrothermal and cold gas discharges related to the Nyiragongo volcanic system, the Kivu and Virunga region. The studied area includes the Nyiragongo volcano, its surroundings, and peripheral areas inside and outside the rift. They have been subdivided into seven regions characterized by distinct 3He/4He (expressed as R/Rair) ratios and/or δ13C-CO2 values. The Nyiragongo summit crater fumaroles, whose R/Rair and δ13C-CO2 values are up to 8.73 and from -3.5‰ to -4.0‰ VPDB, respectively, show a clear mantle, mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB)-like contribution. Similar mantle-like He isotopic values (6.5-8.3 R/Rair) are also found in CO2-rich gas emanations (mazukus) along the northern shoreline of Lake Kivu main basin, whereas the 13δC-CO2 values range from -5.3‰ to -6.8‰ VPDB. The mantle influence progressively decreases in (1) dissolved gases of Lake Kivu (2.6-5.5 R/Rair) and (2) the distal gas discharges within and outside the two sides of the rift (from 0.1 to 1.7 R/Rair). Similarly, δ13C-CO2 ratios of the peripheral gas emissions are lighter (from -5.9‰ to -11.6‰ VPDB) than those of the crater fumaroles. Therefore, the spatial distribution of He and C signatures in the Lake Kivu region is mainly produced by mixing of mantle-related (e.g., Nyiragongo crater fumaroles and/or mazukus gases) and crustal-related (e

  19. 3D object-oriented image analysis in 3D geophysical modelling: Analysing the central part of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadel, I.; van der Meijde, M.; Kerle, N.; Lauritsen, N.

    2015-03-01

    Non-uniqueness of satellite gravity interpretation has traditionally been reduced by using a priori information from seismic tomography models. This reduction in the non-uniqueness has been based on velocity-density conversion formulas or user interpretation of the 3D subsurface structures (objects) based on the seismic tomography models and then forward modelling these objects. However, this form of object-based approach has been done without a standardized methodology on how to extract the subsurface structures from the 3D models. In this research, a 3D object-oriented image analysis (3D OOA) approach was implemented to extract the 3D subsurface structures from geophysical data. The approach was applied on a 3D shear wave seismic tomography model of the central part of the East African Rift System. Subsequently, the extracted 3D objects from the tomography model were reconstructed in the 3D interactive modelling environment IGMAS+, and their density contrast values were calculated using an object-based inversion technique to calculate the forward signal of the objects and compare it with the measured satellite gravity. Thus, a new object-based approach was implemented to interpret and extract the 3D subsurface objects from 3D geophysical data. We also introduce a new approach to constrain the interpretation of the satellite gravity measurements that can be applied using any 3D geophysical model.

  20. Stable isotope-based Plio-Pleistocene ecosystem reconstruction of some of the earliest hominid fossil sites in the East African Rift System (Chiwondo Beds, N Malawi)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüdecke, Tina; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Schrenk, Friedemann; Mulch, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    The isotope geochemistry of pedogenic carbonate and fossil herbivore enamel is a powerful tool to reconstruct paleoenvironmental conditions in particular when climate change plays a key role in the evolution of ecosystems. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon (δ13C), oxygen (δ18O) and clumped isotope (Δ47) records from pedogenic carbonate and herbivore teeth in the Malawi Rift. These data represent an important southern hemisphere record in the East African Rift System (EARS), a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna and correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominids across the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. As our study site is situated between the well-known hominid-bearing sites of eastern and southern Africa in the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone and Highveld Grassland it fills an important geographical gap for early hominid research. 5.0 to 0.6 Ma fluviatile and lacustrine deposits of the Chiwondo Beds (NE shore of Lake Malawi) comprise abundant pedogenic carbonate and remains of a diverse fauna dominated by large terrestrial mammals. These sediments are also home to two hominid fossil remains, a mandible of Homo rudolfensis and a maxillary fragment of Paranthropus boisei, both dated around 2.4 Ma. The Chiwondo Beds therefore document early co-existence of these two species. We evaluate δ13C data from fossil enamel of different suid, bovid, and equid species and contrast these with δ13C and δ18O values of pedogenic carbonate. We complement the latter with clumped isotope soil temperature data. Results of almost 800 pedogenic carbonate samples from over 20 sections consistently average δ13C = -8.5 ‰ over the past 5 Ma with no significant short-term δ13C excursions or long-term trends. The data from molar tooth enamel of nine individual suids of the genera Metridiochoerus, Notochoerus and Nyanzachoerus support these findings with average δ13C = -10.0 ‰. The absence

  1. Cenozoic rifting in the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granot, R.; Cande, S. S.; Stock, J. M.; Clayton, R. W.; Davey, F. J.

    2007-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) experienced two episodes of Cenozoic rifting. Seafloor spreading at the Adare spreading axis, north of the Ross Sea, from Middle Eocene to Late Oligocene time (43 - 26 Ma), was directly linked with motions within the WARS. For this time interval, marine magnetic anomalies within the Adare Basin and structural features within the Ross Sea constrain the motion between East and West Antarctica. During this episode, widespread intrusive activity took place in the continental part of the rift. Subsequent Late Oligocene until present-day (26 - 0 Ma) extension was characterized by a transition to volcanic activity. Yet, the details of extension during this episode have been poorly resolved. We present preliminary results of new seismic reflection and seafloor mapping data acquired on geophysical cruise 07-01 aboard the R/VIB Nathaniel Palmer in the northern part of the rift. Our results suggest that the style of deformation changed from spreading-related faulting into diffuse normal faulting (tilted blocks) that trend NE-SW with little resultant E-W extension. Recent volcanism is distributed throughout but tends to align with the NE-SW trend, into a localized zone. Formation of the Terror Rift, Ross Sea, within the same time frame suggests that the pole of rotation has changed its position, reflecting a change in the relative magnitudes of tensile stresses along the rift. Moreover, this change was accompanied with a sharp decrease of extension rates.

  2. Magmatic Processes Beneath the East African Rift System (EARS): Insights From Melt Inclusions in Lavas of Turkana, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waters, C. L.; Bryce, J. G.; Furman, T.

    2004-05-01

    The EARS is an ideal site to study the magmatic processes relevant to continental basaltic volcanism. Within the EARS, the Turkana Depression exhibits maximum extension and crustal thinning [1, 2]. Whole rock elemental and isotopic analyses of Turkana lavas demonstrate heterogeneity that is unlikely due to crustal assimilation during magma transport or storage and is instead attributed to mixing between mantle sources (plume and lithosphere) [3]. In other sites of continental basaltic volcanism, compositional studies of olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MIs) lend perspective on magma chamber processing and source diversity (e.g., [4,5]). MIs hosted in primitive olivine (ol) phenocrysts often sample numerous, discrete melts that existed prior to melt aggregation and homogenization within the continental lithosphere. Thus, ol-hosted MIs from Turkana may also provide insight into magmatic processes beneath continental rifts. Furthermore, Turkana lavas afford an unusual opportunity to study MIs that are likely unaffected by crustal assimilation and provide direct evidence of mantle heterogeneity. We present major element compositional data on ol-hosted MIs from a suite of lavas from the Turkana Depression. To test for geographical control on source heterogeneity beneath the Turkana Rift, analyses in progress encompass basaltic lavas that have been sampled from South and Central Islands and the Barrier. Olivine-hosted MIs in a South Island transitional basalt (MgO= 14.10 wt%, K2O/TiO2= 0.37, K2O/P2O5= 2.08; data from [3]) are dominantly alkaline in composition. Incompatible element ratios between MIs in separate, primitive ol grains (Fo= 83.8-86.7) display significant variability (K2O/TiO2= 0.32-0.63, K2O/P2O5= 1.02-4.36). Also, primitive ol grains (e.g., Fo= 86.2) host multiple MIs that consistently display similar incompatible element variability (e.g., K2O/TiO2= 0.33-0.59, K2O/P2O5=1.27-2.04). These data suggest that melt homogenization occurs at relatively shallow

  3. Minerals as mantle fingerprints: Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf in clinopyroxene and He in olivine distinguish an unusual ancient mantle lithosphere beneath the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Shirey, S. B.; Graham, D. W.

    2011-12-01

    The East African Rift System is a complex region that holds keys to understanding the fundamental geodynamics of continental break-up. In this region, the volcanic record preserves over 30 Myrs of geochemical variability associated with the interplay between shallow and deep asthenospheric sources, continental lithospheric mantle, and continental crust. One fundamental question that is still subject to debate concerns the relationship between the lithospheric mantle and the voluminous flood basalt province that erupted at ~30 Ma in Ethiopia and Yemen. Whole-rock Re-Os isotopic data demonstrate the high-Ti (HT2) flood basalts (187Os/188Ost = 0.1247-0.1329) and peridotite xenoliths (187Os/188Ost = 0.1235-0.1377) from NW Ethiopia have similar isotopic compositions. However, Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic signatures from peridotite clinopyroxene grains are different from those of the flood basalts. The peridotite clinopyroxene separates bear isotopic affinities to anciently depleted mantle (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7019-0.7029; ɛNd = 12.6-18.5; ɛHf = 13.8-27.6) - more depleted than the MORB source - rather than to the OIB-like 30 Ma flood basalts (87Sr/86Sr ~ 0.704; ɛNd = 4.7-6.7; ɛHf = 12.1-13.5). Peridotite clinopyroxenes display two groups of 206Pb/204Pb compositions: the higher 206Pb/204Pb group (18.7-19.3) is compositionally similar to the flood basalts (206Pb/204Pb = 18.97-19.02) whereas the lower 206Pb/204Pb group (17.1-17.9) overlaps with depleted mantle. This suggests that the Pb isotope systematics in some of the peridotites have been metasomatically perturbed. Helium isotopes were analyzed by crushing olivine separated from the peridotites and the flood basalts. Olivine in the peridotites has low He concentrations (0.78-4.7 ncc/g) and low 3He/4He (4.6-6.6 RA), demonstrating that they cannot be the petrogenetic precursor to the high 3He/4He (>12 RA) flood basalts. Notably, these peridotites have 3He/4He signatures consistent with a lithospheric mantle source. Therefore

  4. Fault kinematics and tectonic stress in the seismically active Manyara Dodoma Rift segment in Central Tanzania Implications for the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macheyeki, Athanas S.; Delvaux, Damien; De Batist, Marc; Mruma, Abdulkarim

    2008-07-01

    The Eastern Branch of the East African Rift System is well known in Ethiopia (Main Ethiopian Rift) and Kenya (Kenya or Gregory Rift) and is usually considered to fade away southwards in the North Tanzanian Divergence, where it splits into the Eyasi, Manyara and Pangani segments. Further towards the south, rift structures are more weakly expressed and this area has not attracted much attention since the mapping and exploratory works of the 1950s. In November 4, 2002, an earthquake of magnitude Mb = 5.5 struck Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania. Analysis of modern digital relief, seismological and geological data reveals that ongoing tectonic deformation is presently affecting a broad N-S trending belt, extending southward from the North Tanzanian Divergence to the region of Dodoma, forming the proposed "Manyara-Dodoma Rift segment". North of Arusha-Ngorongoro line, the rift is confined to a narrow belt (Natron graben in Tanzania) and south of it, it broadens into a wide deformation zone which includes both the Eyasi and Manyara grabens. The two-stage rifting model proposed for Kenya and North Tanzania also applies to the Manyara-Dodoma Rift segment. In a first stage, large, well-expressed topographic and volcanogenic structures were initiated in the Natron, Eyasi and Manyara grabens during the Late Miocene to Pliocene. From the Middle Pleistocene onwards, deformations related to the second rifting stage propagated southwards to the Dodoma region. These young structures have still limited morphological expressions compared to the structures formed during the first stage. However, they appear to be tectonically active as shown by the high concentration of moderate earthquakes into earthquake swarms, the distribution of He-bearing thermal springs, the morphological freshness of the fault scarps, and the presence of open surface fractures. Fault kinematic and paleostress analysis of geological fault data in basement rocks along the active fault lines show that recent

  5. Mid-Continent rift system - a frontier hydrocarbon province

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, C.K.; Kerr, S.D. Jr.

    1983-08-01

    Geophysical evidence in the Mid-Continent has led to delineation of a rift system active during the Proterozoic Y Era. The Mid-Continent rift system can be traced by the Mid-Continent gravity high and corresponding aeromagnetic anomaly signature from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan Supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. The aeromagnetic anomaly signature of the rift trend discloses where these sediments have been preserved. Thick accumulations of upper Proterozoic sediments are indicated by both upward continuation of the aeromagnetic profiles across the rift trend and gravity models which incorporate: 1) a deep mafic body to create the narrow gravity high, 2) anomalously thick crust to account for the more regional gravity low, and 3) sedimentary accumulations on the Precambrian surface to explain the small-scale notches which occur within the narrow gravity high. Reflection seismic data are virtually unknown in the rift area; however, data recently acquired by COCORP across the southern end of the feature in Kansas provide evidence of thick stratified sequences in the rift valley. Studies of the East African rift have revealed that the tropical rift valley is an exceptionally fertile environment for deposition and preservation of kerogenous material. The Sirte, Suez, Viking, Dnieper-Donetz, and Tsaidam basins are just a few of the rift basins currently classed as giant producers. The existence of a rift basin trend with thick accumulations of preserved sediments, demonstrably organic rich, introduces the northern Mid-Continent US as a new frontier for hydrocarbon exploration.

  6. What the volcanism of the East African Rift tells us on its evolution and dynamics: a reappraisal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michon, Laurent

    2015-04-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is one of the most studied tectonic structures on Earth. Classically, it is described as extending from Afar in the North to the Malawi rift in the South, along the eastern and western branches, respectively. A widely accepted consensus also exists on two main points: 1- the rift initiated first with plume emplacement below the northern part of the eastern branch and 2- extension and volcanism subsequently migrated southward along the western branch (e.g., Ebinger, 1989). However, an increasing amount of new geochronological data on the volcanic activity in the southern part of the East African Rift tends to weaken these interpretations and imposes a reassessment of the rift dynamics. The volcanic activity being one of the main characteristics of this rift, I use it here to determine the lateral extension of the rift system and to assess the rift activity through times. First, the volcanism unambiguously indicates that the rift is not limited to the African continent but can be traced in the Mozambique Channel and in Madagascar where it is closely related to active tectonics (graben and transfer faults) initiated since at least the Miocene. Moreover, the synthesis of more than 800 published geochronological data of volcanic products distributed over the overal East African Rift allows the distinction of two parts. The first part, the Northern EAR, corresponds to the sole eastern branch, which is characterized by volcanic plateaus resulting from huge magma flux during three main periods (32-28, 18-12, 6-0 Ma). Provinces of the second part, the Southern EAR (the western branch, the Mozambique Channel and Madagascar), share rift-related scattered volcanic centres characterized by coeval periods of activity since the Oligocene (28-24, 20-16 and 12-0 Ma). This synthesis highlights the lack of southward migration of the volcanism during the evolution of the East African Rift and instead reveals the almost synchronous development of the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Geophysical studies of the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrendt, J. C.; Lemasurier, W. E.; Cooper, A. K.; Tessensohn, F.; TréHu, A.; Damaske, D.

    1991-12-01

    The West Antarctic rift system extends over a 3000 × 750 km, largely ice covered area from the Ross Sea to the base of the Antarctic Peninsula, comparable in area to the Basin and Range and the East African rift system. A spectacular rift shoulder scarp along which peaks reach 4-5 km maximum elevation marks one flank and extends from northern Victoria Land-Queen Maud Mountains to the Ellsworth-Whitmore-Horlick Mountains. The rift shoulder has maximum present physiographic relief of 5 km in the Ross Embayment and 7 km in the Ellsworth Mountains-Byrd Subglacial Basin area. The Transantarctic Mountains part of the rift shoulder (and probably the entire shoulder) has been interpreted as rising since about 60 Ma, at episodic rates of ˜1 km/m.y., most recently since mid-Pliocene time, rather than continuously at the mean rate of 100 m/m.y. The rift system is characterized by bimodal alkaline volcanic rocks ranging from at least Oligocene to the present. These are exposed asymmetrically along the rift flanks and at the south end of the Antarctic Peninsula. The trend of the Jurassic tholeiites (Ferrar dolerites, Kirkpatric basalts) marking the Jurassic Transantarctic rift is coincident with exposures of the late Cenozoic volcanic rocks along the section of the Transantarctic Mountains from northern Victoria Land to the Horlick Mountains. The Cenozoic rift shoulder diverges here from the Jurassic tholeiite trend, and the tholeiites are exposed continuously (including the Dufek intrusion) along the lower- elevation (1-2 km) section of Transantarctic Mountains to the Weddell Sea. Widely spaced aeromagnetic profiles in West Antarctica indicate the absence of Cenozoic volcanic rocks in the ice covered part of the Whitmore-Ellsworth-Mountain block and suggest their widespread occurrence beneath the western part of the ice sheet overlying the Byrd Subglacial Basin. A German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)-U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) aeromagnetic

  9. A Review of New and Anticipated High-Resolution Paleoclimate Records from the East African Rift System and Their Implications for Hominin Evolution and Demography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    Our understanding of Late Tertiary/Quaternary climate and environmental history in East Africa has, to date, largely been based on outcrop and marine drill core records. Although these records have proven extremely valuable both in reconstructing environmental change and placing human evolution in an environmental context, their quality is limited by resolution, continuity, uncertainties about superposition and outcrop weathering. To address this problem, long drill core records from extant ancient lakes and lake beds are being collected by several research groups. Long cores (up to 100s of m.) from basin depocenters in both the western and eastern rifts are now available spanning nearly the entire latitudinal range of the East Africa Rift. This network of core records, especially when coupled with outcrop data, is providing an opportunity to compare the nature of important global climate transitions (especially glacial/interglacial events and precessional cycles) across the continent, thereby documenting regional heterogeneity in African climate history. Understanding this heterogeneity is critical for realistically evaluating competing hypotheses of environmental forcing of human evolution, and especially ideas about the dispersal of anatomically modern humans out of Africa in the early Late Pleistocene. In particular, understanding the hydrological and paleoecological history of biogeographic corridors linking eastern Africa, the Nile River Valley and the Levant is likely to be vastly improved through comparative analysis of these new drill cores over the next few years. Because we do not a priori know the primary forcing factors affecting this environmental history, it will essential to develop the best possible age models, employing multiple and novel geochronometric tools to make these comparisons.

  10. The evolving contribution of border faults and intra-rift faults in early-stage East African rifts: insights from the Natron (Tanzania) and Magadi (Kenya) basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Dindi, E.; Gama, R.

    2013-12-01

    In the early stages of continental rifting, East African Rift (EAR) basins are conventionally depicted as asymmetric basins bounded on one side by a ~100 km-long border fault. As rifting progresses, strain concentrates into the rift center, producing intra-rift faults. The timing and nature of the transition from border fault to intra-rift-dominated strain accommodation is unclear. Our study focuses on this transitional phase of continental rifting by exploring the spatial and temporal evolution of faulting in the Natron (border fault initiation at ~3 Ma) and Magadi (~7 Ma) basins of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, respectively. We compare the morphologies and activity histories of faults in each basin using field observations and remote sensing in order to address the relative contributions of border faults and intra-rift faults to crustal strain accommodation as rifting progresses. The ~500 m-high border fault along the western margin of the Natron basin is steep compared to many border faults in the eastern branch of the EAR, indicating limited scarp degradation by mass wasting. Locally, the escarpment shows open fissures and young scarps 10s of meters high and a few kilometers long, implying ongoing border fault activity in this young rift. However, intra-rift faults within ~1 Ma lavas are greatly eroded and fresh scarps are typically absent, implying long recurrence intervals between slip events. Rift-normal topographic profiles across the Natron basin show the lowest elevations in the lake-filled basin adjacent to the border fault, where a number of hydrothermal springs along the border fault system expel water into the lake. In contrast to Natron, a ~1600 m high, densely vegetated, border fault escarpment along the western edge of the Magadi basin is highly degraded; we were unable to identify evidence of recent rupturing. Rift-normal elevation profiles indicate the focus of strain has migrated away from the border fault into the rift center, where

  11. Analogies Between the East African Rift Around the Tanzania Craton and the Southwest Indian Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesi, L. G.

    2013-12-01

    Continental rifts and oceanic spreading centers both accommodate plate divergence but their morphologies are often quite different. Yet, ultraslow spreading centers, especially the Southwest Indian ridge at the 9 to 16°E area (SWIR), present good analogies for the East African Rift (EAR), including localized volcanism, avolcanic segments, and a continuous but not straight rift axis. The archetypal oceanic spreading center features transform offsets. Volcanism is continuous along the ridge axis and is most vigorous at the center of spreading segments. By contrast, continental rifts do not feature transform offsets. The orientation of the rift can change along strike. Several rift segments are purely tectonic, with relatively isolated volcanic centers. The EAR around the Tanzania Craton clearly shows this kind of morphology. Ultraslow spreading centers share many of these features. The SWIR, in particular, displays dramatic changes in orientation, with volcanism localized at the junction between segments of different obliquity. Melt production and transport are controlled by the effective spreading rate, a combination of plate divergence velocity and rift obliquity. Ultraslow spreading center all have an effective spreading rate less than 13 mm/yr. At that speed the thickness of the thermal boundary layer is similar to the depth from which magma can be effectively extracted, opening the possibility for long-distance transport of magma along axis without extraction. Volcanic centers correspond to the location where the magma transport system first encounters a tectonically damaged zone that enables extraction to the surface. The effective velocity of the EAR in the Kenya dome is less than 4mm/yr firmly on par with ultraslow ridges. In fact, to generate magma by mantle upwelling at such a slow opening rate requires a higher mantle temperature or fertility than in the oceanic domain. Both opening rate and effective velocity increase northward along the Eastern branch

  12. Seismicity Patterns and Magmatic Processes in the Rwenzori Region, East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindenfeld, M.; Rumpker, G.; Schmeling, H.; Wallner, H.

    2010-12-01

    The 5000m high Rwenzori Mountains are situated within the western branch of the East African Rift System (EARS), at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They represent a basement block located within the rift valley whose origin and relation to the evolution of the EARS are highly puzzling. During a recent seismological campaign we located more than 800 earthquakes per month with magnitudes ranging from 0.5 to 5.1. Vertical sections across the northern parts of the Rwenzoris show, that west of the mountains (towards the rift valley) the focal depths range from 10 to 20 km, whereas the hypocentres go as deep as 30 km on the eastern side. This is in good agreement with Moho-depths derived from receiver functions and implies that all of these events are located within the crust. However, about 30 km east of the northern mountain ridge we located a cluster of 7 events that exhibit an anomalous depth of about 60 km. We can confidently locate these earthquakes within the mantle lithosphere beneath the rift. The existence of earthquakes at this depth is enigmatic, especially within a rifting regime were one expects hot and weak material relatively close to the surface. We think that these events are possibly related to the evolution of the Rwenzori Mountains. A recent hypothesis to explain the extreme uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains is rift induced delamination (RID) of mantle lithosphere. Here we show that the RID-process is indeed capable of explaining the seismic energy release in the mantle. However, in view of the specific hypocentral location of the event cluster, magmatic impregnation processes associated with dyke propagation into the mantle lithosphere may be a more realistic cause for seismic radiation at the observed depth. Crustal earthquakes northeast of the Rwenzori area are relocated with a double-difference algorithm to improve the spatial resolution of seismicity pattern. Several event clusters in the vicinity of the Fort

  13. Giant seismites and megablock uplift in the East African Rift: evidence for Late Pleistocene large magnitude earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah Louise; Roberts, Eric M

    2015-01-01

    In lieu of comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, short historical records, and limited fault trench investigations for many seismically active areas, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved horizons of soft-sediment deformation features, termed seismites. Here we report on extensive seismites in the Late Quaternary-Recent (≤ ~ 28,000 years BP) alluvial and lacustrine strata of the Rukwa Rift Basin, a segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document examples of the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania. This includes a remarkable, clastic 'megablock complex' that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced blocks of intact strata (megablocks), some in excess of 20 m-wide. Documentation of these seismites expands the database of seismogenic sedimentary structures, and attests to large magnitude, Late Pleistocene-Recent earthquakes along the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Understanding how seismicity deforms near-surface sediments is critical for predicting and preparing for modern seismic hazards, especially along the East African Rift and other tectonically active, developing regions. PMID:26042601

  14. Giant Seismites and Megablock Uplift in the East African Rift: Evidence for Late Pleistocene Large Magnitude Earthquakes

    PubMed Central

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah Louise; Roberts, Eric M.

    2015-01-01

    In lieu of comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, short historical records, and limited fault trench investigations for many seismically active areas, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved horizons of soft-sediment deformation features, termed seismites. Here we report on extensive seismites in the Late Quaternary-Recent (≤ ~ 28,000 years BP) alluvial and lacustrine strata of the Rukwa Rift Basin, a segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document examples of the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania. This includes a remarkable, clastic ‘megablock complex’ that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced blocks of intact strata (megablocks), some in excess of 20 m-wide. Documentation of these seismites expands the database of seismogenic sedimentary structures, and attests to large magnitude, Late Pleistocene-Recent earthquakes along the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Understanding how seismicity deforms near-surface sediments is critical for predicting and preparing for modern seismic hazards, especially along the East African Rift and other tectonically active, developing regions. PMID:26042601

  15. Intracontinental rift comparisons: Baikal and Rio Grande Rift Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipman, P. W.; Logatchev, N. A.; Zorin, Y. A.; Chapman, C. E.; Kovalenko, V.; Morgan, P.

    Both the Baikal rift in Siberia and the Rio Grande rift in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are major intracontinental extensional structures of Cenozoic age that affect regions about 1500 km long and several hundred km wide (Figures 1, 2). In the summer of 1988 these rifts were visited by study groups of U.S. and Soviet geoscientists during cooperative field workshops sponsored by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and U.S. Geological Survey.In the Rio Grande region, we spent 2 weeks examining rift features between El Paso, Tex., and Denver, Colo. Particular emphasis was on the sedimentary record of rift evolution, widespread volcanic activity from inception of rifting to the present, geophysical expression of rift features, and relations between rifting and the larger-scale evolution of the North American Cordillera. In the Baikal region, which presents formidable logistic problems for a workshop, we travelled by bus, truck, helicopter, and ship to examine young seismotectonic features, rift-related basalt, and bounding structures of the Siberian craton that influenced rift development (Figure 3).

  16. Evolution of the East African rift: Drip magmatism, lithospheric thinning and mafic volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furman, Tanya; Nelson, Wendy R.; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.

    2016-07-01

    The origin of the Ethiopian-Yemeni Oligocene flood basalt province is widely interpreted as representing mafic volcanism associated with the Afar mantle plume head, with minor contributions from the lithospheric mantle. We reinterpret the geochemical compositions of primitive Oligocene basalts and picrites as requiring a far more significant contribution from the metasomatized subcontinental lithospheric mantle than has been recognized previously. This region displays the fingerprints of mantle plume and lithospheric drip magmatism as predicted from numerical models. Metasomatized mantle lithosphere is not dynamically stable, and heating above the upwelling Afar plume caused metasomatized lithosphere with a significant pyroxenite component to drip into the asthenosphere and melt. This process generated the HT2 lavas observed today in restricted portions of Ethiopia and Yemen now separated by the Red Sea, suggesting a fundamental link between drip magmatism and the onset of rifting. Coeval HT1 and LT lavas, in contrast, were not generated by drip melting but instead originated from shallower, dominantly anhydrous peridotite. Looking more broadly across the East African Rift System in time and space, geochemical data support small volume volcanic events in Turkana (N. Kenya), Chyulu Hills (S. Kenya) and the Virunga province (Western Rift) to be derived ultimately from drip melting. The removal of the gravitationally unstable, metasomatized portion of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle via dripping is correlated in each case with periods of rapid uplift. The combined influence of thermo-mechanically thinned lithosphere and the Afar plume together thus controlled the locus of continental rift initiation between Africa and Arabia and provide dynamic support for the Ethiopian plateau.

  17. Varying styles of magmatic strain accommodation across the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, James D.; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Le Corvec, Nicolas

    2015-09-01

    Observations of active dike intrusions provide present day snapshots of the magmatic contribution to continental rifting. However, unravelling the contributions of upper crustal dikes over the timescale of continental rift evolution is a significant challenge. To address this issue, we analyzed the morphologies and alignments of >1500 volcanic cones to infer the distribution and trends of upper crustal dikes in various rift basins across the East African Rift (EAR). Cone lineament data reveal along-axis variations in the distribution and geometries of dike intrusions as a result of changing tectonomagmatic conditions. In younger (<10 Ma) basins of the North Tanzanian Divergence, dikes are largely restricted to zones of rift-oblique faulting between major rift segments, referred to here as transfer zones. Cone lineament trends are highly variable, resulting from the interplay between (1) the regional stress field, (2) local magma-induced stress fields, and (3) stress rotations related to mechanical interactions between rift segments. We find similar cone lineament trends in transfer zones in the western branch of the EAR, such as the Virunga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The distributions and orientations of upper crustal dikes in the eastern branch of the EAR vary during continental rift evolution. In early-stage rifts (<10 Ma), upper crustal dikes play a limited role in accommodating extension, as they are confined to areas in and around transfer zones. In evolved rift basins (>10 Ma) in Ethiopia and the Kenya Rift, rift-parallel dikes accommodate upper crustal extension along the full length of the basin.

  18. Contribution of Transverse Structures, Magma, and Crustal Fluids to Continental Rift Evolution: The East African Rift in Southern Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenhorn, S. A.; Muirhead, J.; Dindi, E.; Fischer, T. P.; Lee, H.; Ebinger, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    The Magadi rift in southern Kenya formed at ~7 Ma within Proterozoic rocks of the Mozambique orogenic belt, parallel to its contact with the Archean Tanzania craton. The rift is bounded to the west by the ~1600-m-high Nguruman border fault. The rift center is intensely dissected by normal faults, most of which offset ~1.4-0.8 Ma lavas. Current E-W extensional velocities are ~2-4 mm/yr. Published crustal tomography models from the rift center show narrow high velocity zones in the upper crust, interpreted as cooled magma intrusions. Local, surface-wave, and SKS-splitting measurements show a rift-parallel anisotropy interpreted to be the result of aligned melt zones in the lithosphere. Our field observations suggest that recent fault activity is concentrated at the rift center, consistent with the location of the 1998 seismic swarm that was associated with an inferred diking event. Fault zones are pervasively mineralized by calcite, likely from CO2-rich fluids. A system of fault-fed springs provides the sole fluid input for Lake Magadi in the deepest part of the basin. Many of these springs emanate from the Kordjya fault, a 50-km-long, NW-SE striking, transverse structure connecting a portion of the border fault system (the NW-oriented Lengitoto fault) to the current locus of strain and magmatism at the rift center. Sampled springs are warm (44.4°C) and alkaline (pH=10). Dissolved gas data (mainly N2-Ar-He) suggests two-component mixing (mantle and air), possibly indicating that fluids are delivered into the fault zone from deep sources, consistent with a dominant role of magmatism to the focusing of strain at the rift center. The Kordjya fault has developed prominent fault scarps (~150 m high) despite being oblique to the dominant ~N-S fault fabric, and has utilized an en echelon alignment of N-S faults to accommodate its motion. These N-S faults show evidence of sinistral-oblique motion and imply a bookshelf style of faulting to accommodate dextral-oblique motion

  19. Along-rift Variations in Deformation and Magmatism in the Ethiopian and Afar Rift Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keir, D.; Bastow, I. D.; Corti, G.; Mazzarini, F.; Rooney, T. O.

    2015-12-01

    The geological record at rifts and margins worldwide often reveals along-strike variations in volumes of extruded and intruded igneous rocks. These variations may be the result of asthenospheric heterogeneity, variations in rate, and timing of extension; alternatively, preexisting plate architecture and/or the evolving kinematics of extension during breakup may exert first-order control on magmatism. The Ethiopian and Afar Rift systems provide an excellent opportunity to address this since it exposes, along strike, several sectors of asynchronous rift development from continental rifting in the south to incipient oceanic spreading in the north. Here we perform studies of distribution and style of volcanism and faulting along strike in the MER and Afar. We also incorporate synthesis of geophysical, geochemical, and petrological constraints on magma generation and emplacement in order to discriminate between tectonic and mantle geodynamic controls on the geological record of a newly forming magmatic rift. Along-rift changes in extension by magma intrusion and plate stretching, and the three-dimensional focusing of melt where the rift dramatically narrows each influence igneous intrusion, volcanism and subsidence history. In addition, rift obliquity plays an important role in localizing intrusion into the crust beneath en echelon volcanic segments. Along-strike variations in volumes and types of igneous rocks found at rifted margins thus likely carry information about the development of strain during rifting, as well as the physical state of the convecting mantle at the time of breakup.

  20. Vector Competence of Selected African Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) Species for Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have indicated the potential for this disease to spread from its enzootic areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Because little is known about the potential for most African mosquito species to transmit RVF virus (RVFV), we conducted stud...

  1. Human Dispersals Along the African Rift Valley in the Late Quaternary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tryon, C. A.; Faith, J. T.; Peppe, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate- and tectonic-driven environmental dynamics of the East African Rift System (EARS) during the Quaternary played an important role in the demographic history of early Homo sapiens, including expansions of modern humans across and out of Africa. Human forager population size, geographic range, and behaviors such as hunting strategies and residential mobility likely varied in response to changes in the local and regional environment. Throughout the Quaternary, floral and faunal change was linked at least in part to variations in moisture availability, temperature, and atmospheric CO2, which in addition to uplift and faulting, contributed to the expansion and contraction of a number of large lakes that served as biogeographic barriers to many taxa. This is particularly clear for the Lake Victoria basin, where biogeographic, geological, and paleontological evidence documents repeated expansion and contraction of the ranges of species in response to lake level and vegetation change. Across much of eastern Africa, the topography of the rift facilitated north-south dispersals, the timing of which may have depended in part on the expansion and contraction of the equatorial forest belt. Dispersal potential likely increased during the more arid periods of the late Quaternary, when the roles of lakes and forests as dispersal barriers was reduced and the extent of low net primary productivity dry grasslands increased, the latter requiring large home ranges for human foragers, conditions suitable for range expansions within H. sapiens.

  2. 3D Dynamics of Oblique Rift Systems: Fault Evolution from Rift to Break-up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, S.

    2014-12-01

    Rift evolution and passive margin formation has been thoroughly investigated using conceptual and numerical models in two dimensions. However, the 2D assumption that the extension direction is perpendicular to the rift trend is often invalid. In fact, the majority of rift systems that lead to continental break-up during the last 150 My involved moderate to high rift obliquity. Yet, the degree to which oblique lithospheric extension affects first-order rift and passive margin properties like surface stress pattern, fault azimuths, and basin geometry, is still not entirely clear. This contribution provides insight in crustal stress patterns and fault orientations by applying a 3D numerical rift model to oblique extensional settings. The presented forward experiments cover the whole spectrum of oblique extension (i.e. rift-orthogonal extension, low obliquity, high obliquity, strike-slip deformation) from initial deformation to breakup. They are conducted using an elasto-visco-plastic finite element model and involve crustal and mantle layers accounting for self-consistent necking of the lithosphere. Even though the model setup is very simple (horizontally layered, no inherited faults), its evolution exhibits a variety of fault orientations that are solely caused by the interaction of far-field stresses with rift-intrinsic buoyancy and strength. Depending on rift obliquity, these orientations involve rift-parallel, extension-orthogonal, and intermediate normal fault directions as well as strike-slip faults. Allowing new insights on fault patterns of the proximal and distal margins, the model shows that individual fault populations are activated in a characteristic multi-phase evolution driven by lateral density variations of the evolving rift system. Model results are in very good agreement with inferences from the well-studied Gulf of Aden and provide testable predictions for other rifts and passive margins worldwide.

  3. Giant seismites and megablock uplift in the East African Rift: Evidence for large magnitude Late Pleistocene earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah; Roberts, Eric

    2015-04-01

    Due to rapid population growth and urbanization of many parts of East Africa, it is increasingly important to quantify the risk and possible destruction from large-magnitude earthquakes along the tectonically active East African Rift System. However, because comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, historical records, and fault trench investigations are limited for this region, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved soft-sediment deformation features (seismites). Extensive, previously undescribed seismites of centimeter- to dekameter-scale were identified by our team in alluvial and lacustrine facies of the Late Quaternary-Recent Lake Beds Succession in the Rukwa Rift Basin, of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania, primarily exposed at two, correlative outcrop localities ~35 km apart. This includes a remarkable, clastic 'megablock complex' that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced breccia megablocks, some in excess of 20 m-wide. The megablock complex is comprised of (1) a 5m-tall by 20m-wide injected body of volcanic ash and silt that hydraulically displaced (2) an equally sized, semi-consolidated, volcaniclastic megablock; both of which are intruded by (3) a clastic injection dyke. Evidence for breaching at the surface and for the fluidization of cobbles demonstrates the susceptibility of the substrate in this region to significant deformation via seismicity. Thirty-five km to the north, dekameter-scale asymmetrical/recumbent folds occur in a 3 m-thick, flat lying lake floor unit of the Lake Beds Succession. In between and surrounding these two unique sites, smaller-scale seismites are expressed, including flame structures; cm- to m-scale folded beds; ball-and-pillow structures; syn-sedimentary faults; sand injection features; and m

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Samson; Ghebreab, Woldai

    2013-11-01

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

  5. The role of inherited crustal structures and magmatism in the development of rift segments: Insights from the Kivu basin, western branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, Benoît; Delvaux, Damien; Ross, Kelly Ann; Poppe, Sam; Kervyn, Matthieu; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, François

    2016-06-01

    The study of rift basin's morphology can provide good insights into geological features influencing the development of rift valleys and the distribution of volcanism. The Kivu rift segment represents the central section of the western branch of the East African Rift and displays morphological characteristics contrasting with other rift segments. Differences and contradictions between several structural maps of the Kivu rift make it difficult to interpret the local geodynamic setting. In the present work, we use topographic and bathymetric data to map active fault networks and study the geomorphology of the Kivu basin. This relief-based fault lineament mapping appears as a good complement for field mapping or mapping using seismic reflection profiles. Results suggest that rifting reactivated NE-SW oriented structures probably related to the Precambrian basement, creating transfer zones and influencing the location and distribution of volcanism. Both volcanic provinces, north and south of the Kivu basin, extend into Lake Kivu and are connected to each other with a series of eruptive vents along the western rift escarpment. The complex morphology of this rift basin, characterized by a double synthetic half-graben structure, might result from the combined action of normal faulting, magmatic underplating, volcanism and erosion processes.

  6. Heat flow in the Keweenawan rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry, C.; Mareschal, J.; Jaupart, C. P.

    2012-12-01

    The emplacement of large volumes of mafic volcanic rocks during the Keweenawan rifting has modified the average crustal composition and affects the present steady state heat flux in the region. We have combined new heat flux measurements in the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield and previously published data to characterize the heat flux field around the Keweenawan rift system. For the Nipigon embayment, North of lake Superior in Ontario, mafic intrusions associated with the Keweenawan rifting have resulted in an increase in the volume of mafic rocks in the crust and caused a very small <3mW m-2 decrease in the mean heat flux. There is a very marked decrease in the heat flux (Δ Q ≈ 20mW m-2) beneath the western half of Lake Superior and to the west. The very low values of the surface heat flux (≈ 22mW m-2 correlate with the maximum Bouguer gravity anomaly. The heat flux at the base of the crust in the Canadian Shield has been determined from surface heat flux, heat production, and crustal stucture to be ≈ 15 mW m-2. In the Keweenawan rift, the surface heat flux is only a few mW m-2 higher than the mantle heat flux, which implies that the contribution of the entire crustal column to the surface heat flux is small and that the crust is exclusively made up of depleted mafic volcanic rocks. In the eastern part and northeast of Lake Superior, there is a marked increase in heat flux that correlates with a lower Bouguer anomaly. Local high heat flux anomalies due to intrusions by felsic rocks are superposed with a long wavelength trend of higher heat flow suggesting a more felsic crustal composition in the eastern part of the Keweenawan rift. Simple models suggest that such a thick dense volcanic pile as accumulated in the Keweenawan rift is almost invariably unstable and that very particular conditions were required for it to stabilize in the crust.

  7. Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System, an overview

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, S.D.; Landon, S.M.

    1992-01-01

    The Middle and Late Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) extends across the middle US, from Lake Superior through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska into Kansas on the southwest limb and across upper and lower Michigan on the southeast limb. Exploration for oil and gas generated over 7,000 miles of seismic, a leasehold of near seven million acres, but only three test wells. The initial extension of the MRS was marked by filling with layered basalt. Thickness documented by GLIMPCE suggests crustal separation was nearly achieved. The thick dense basalts and thinned pre-rift crust provide high amplitude gravity anomalies which characterize the rift trend. Extension slowed and eventually ceased, creating a sag phase during which clastic sediments were deposited, including sapropelic shale and siltstone, fluvial sandstones and siltstones, and fluvial/alluvial conglomerates. Tectonic inversion to compressional and transpressional forces occurred late in rift history, possibly during part of the period of clastic fill. The MRS trend is highly segmented, with varied tectonic styles, suggesting complex stress systems in its development. The Nonesuch Formation is marine or lacustrine siltstone and shale containing sufficient organic matter to be an effective source rock for oil and gas. Similar facies have been identified along the extent of the western limb, in the subsurface in Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. TOC values are as high as 3% and maturity ranges from peak oil to advanced. Surface seeps, fluid inclusions, mud log shows and modeling indicate the potential for multiple episodes of generation. Potential reservoir rocks have been identified and seals are present as lacustrine and fluvial shales and possible evaporites. The MRS remains a relatively unexplored frontier hydrocarbon province with giant field potential in the heart of North America.

  8. Petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1991-08-01

    Ten Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) are defined and the petroleum geology is overviewed based on proprietary exploration results derived from more than one million km{sup 2} of aeromagnetics, 10,520 line-km of gravity profiles, 49,721 km of reflection seismic, and 50 exploration wells. The data were acquired by Exxon with partners Shell, Chevron, Elf, Conoco, Texaco, and Amax Oil Gas During 1969-1989. In Niger and Chad, the West African rift subsystem includes the extensional basins of Termit, Tefidet, Tenere, Grein/Kafra, N'Djel Edji, and Bongor. These rift basins contain up to 15,000 m of Cretaceous to Cenozoic continental and marine clastics. Key exploration elements are Tertiary and Cretaceous fluvial to tidal sandstone reservoirs, Tertiary and Cretaceous marine to lacustrine shale source rocks and seals, with traps in normal fault blocks and anticlinal closures. There have been six oil discoveries in the Termit basin. In C.A.R., the Central African rift subsystem incorporates the extensional Doba and transtensional Doseo and Salamat basins flanking the Borogop dextral wrench fault. These basins contain up to 7,500 m of chiefly Cretaceous continental clastics. key exploration elements are Lower and Upper Cretaceous fluvial to lacustrine sandstone reservoirs, Lower Cretaceous lacustrine shale source rocks, lacustrine to flood-plain shale and mudstone seals, with traps in mainly faulted anticlinal closures. There have been six oil discoveries in the Doba basin and three in the Doseo basin. The studied petroleum geology in the rifts of Niger, Chad, and C.A.R. indicates that potentially commercial volumes of oil remain to be discovered.

  9. Petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1991-03-01

    Ten Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) are defined and the petroleum geology is overviewed. This paper is based on proprietary exploration results derived from more than 1 million km{sup 2} of aeromagnetics, 10,520 line km of gravity profiles, 49,721 km of reflection seismic, and 50 exploration wells. The data were acquired by Exxon with partners Shell, Chevron, Elf, Conoco, Texaco, and Amax Oil Gas, Inc., during the years 1969-1989. In Niger and Chad, the West African rift subsystem includes the extensional basins of Termit, Tefidet, Tenere, Grein/Kafra, N'Djel Edji, and Bongor. These rift basins contain up to 15,000 m of Cretaceous to Cenozoic continental and marine clastics. Key exploration elements are Tertiary and Cretaceous fluvial to tidal sandstone reservoirs, Tertiary and Cretaceous marine to lacustrine shale source rocks, and seals, with traps in normal fault blocks and anticlinal closures. There are six oil discoveries in the Termit basin. In Chad and the C.A.R., the Central African rift subsystem incorporates the extensional Doba and transtensional Doseo and Salamat basins flanking the Borogop dextral wrench fault. These basins contain up to 7,500 m of chiefly Cretaceous continental clastics. Key exploration elements are Lower and Upper Cretaceous fluvial to lacustrine sandstone reservoirs, Lower Cretaceous lacustrine shale source rocks, lacustrine to flood plain shale and mudstone seals, with traps in mainly faulted anticlinal closures. There are six oil discoveries in the Doba basin and three in the Doseo basin. The studied petroleum geology in the rifts of Niger, Chad, and the C.A.R. indicates that potentially commercial volumes of oil remain to be discovered.

  10. A new brachypterous scarab species, Orphnus longicornis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Orphninae), from the East African Rift.

    PubMed

    Frolov, Andrey; Akhmetova, Lilia

    2015-01-01

    The Afrotropical Region is the center of the diversity of the scarab beetle genus Orphnus MacLeay, 1819 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Orphninae), with 94 species occurring from Sahel in the north to Little Karoo in the south (Paulian, 1948; Petrovitz, 1971; Frolov, 2008). The East African Rift is one of the richest regions of the Afrotropics housing more than 20 species of Orphnus (Paulian, 1948; Frolov, 2013), most of which are endemic to this region. Yet the scarab beetle fauna of the East African Rift, and especially the Eastern Arc Mountains, is still inadequately studied. Examination of the material housed in the Museum of Natural History of Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany (ZMHUB), revealed a series of brachypterous Orphnus beetles belonging to an undescribed species. The new species is described and illustrated below. PMID:26624632

  11. Failure was not an option- the Mid-Continent Rift system succeeded

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino, M.; Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Keller, G. R.; Flesch, L. M.; Jurdy, D. M.

    2013-12-01

    The 1.1 Ga Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) in North America is often viewed as a failed rift formed by isolated midplate volcanism and extension within the ~1.3-~0.98 Ga Grenville orogeny. An alternative view is suggested by analogy with younger and morphologically similar rift systems, whose plate tectonic settings are more easily understood because their surroundings - including seafloor with magnetic anomalies - have not been deformed or destroyed by subsequent collisions and rifting events. In this view, the MCR was part of a larger plate boundary rifting event that resulted in a successful episode of seafloor spreading. This view is motivated by various pieces of evidence. The MCR rifting looks much like rigid plate block motion, such as associated with the West Central African Rift systems formed during the Mesozoic breakup of Africa and South America and the ongoing rifting in the East African Rift region with seafloor spreading in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. This view explains the affinities of the Grenville-age rocks in the central and southern Appalachians to Amazonia rather than Canadian Grenville-age Appalachian rocks. The MCR extends farther to the south than traditionally assumed along the East Continental Gravity High (a buried feature from Ohio to Alabama). This failed portion of the rift system connected to the rift successfully separating Laurentia and Amazonia. The seafloor spreading separating Amazonia from Laurentia may explain the former's relative motion toward Greenland and Baltica. This model is consistent with some of the ~1.1 Ga geological events in Amazonia. A change in the apparent polar wander path for Laurentia during the period of volcanism of the MCR could be attributed to this plate reconfiguration. The extensional phase on the MCR may have ended because motion was taken up by seafloor spreading between Laurentia and Amazonia rather ending due to another continental collision. Later reverse faulting on the MCR normal faults due to

  12. Molecular genetic analyses of historical lake sediments from the East African Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epp, L. S.; Stoof, K.; Trauth, M. H.; Tiedemann, R.

    2009-04-01

    Ancient DNA research, especially that of environmental samples, has to date focussed mainly on samples obtained from colder regions, owing to better DNA preservation. We explored the potential of using ancient DNA from sediments and sediment cores of shallow lakes in Kenya. These lakes, located in the eastern branch of the East African Rift Valley, are in close proximity, yet display strikingly different hydrological and geological features. Present day lakes range in alkalinity from pH 11 (Lake Elmenteita) to pH 8 (Lake Naivasha), and in depth from less than one meter to 15 meters. Historically they have undergone a number of drastic changes in lake level and environmental conditions, both on geological timescales and during the last centuries. Within this setting we employed molecular genetic methods to study DNA from recent and historic lake sediments, focussing on rotifers and diatoms. We analyzed population and species succession in the alkaline-saline crater lake Sonachi since the beginning of the 19th century, as well as distributions in recent and historic sediments of other lakes of the East African Rift System. To specifically detect diatoms, we developed a protocol using taxon-specific polymerase chain reactions and separation of products by denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC). Employing this protocol we retrieved "ancient" DNA from a number of taxonomically diverse organisms, but found diatoms only in sediments younger than approximately 90 years. Using higly specific reactions for rotifers of the genus Brachionus, we tracked species and population succession in Lake Sonachi during the last 200 years. Populations were dominated by a single mitochondrial haplotype for a period of 150 years, and two putatively intraspecific turnovers in dominance occurred. They were both correlated to major environmental changes documented by profound visible changes in sediment composition of the core: the deposition of a volcanic ash and a

  13. Structural style of the Turkana Rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Dunkelman, T.J.; Karson, J.A.; Rosendahl, B.R.

    1988-03-01

    Multifold seismic reflection and geologic mapping in part of the eastern branch of the East African Rift system of northern Kenya reveal a major rift structure containing at least 3 km of Neogene sediment fill beneath Lake Turkana. This includes a series of half-graben basins, with centrally located quaternary volcanic centers, which are linked end-to-end by structural accommodation zones. Whereas the geometry of rifting is similar to that of the nonvolcanic western branch of the East African Rift system, the Turkana half-grabens are much smaller and may reflect extension of a thinner lithosphere or development of more closely spaced fracture patterns during rift evolution, or both.

  14. Thick lithosphere, deep crustal earthquakes and no melt: a triple challenge to understanding extension in the western branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donnell, J. P.; Selway, K.; Nyblade, A. A.; Brazier, R. A.; Tahir, N. El; Durrheim, R. J.

    2016-02-01

    rift system. Stresses arising from the gravitational force related to the uplift of the East African Plateau provide only one-eighth of the minimum stress necessary to produce observed lower crustal earthquakes in the western branch. We expect that some of this disparity may be accounted for by considering smaller scale bending stresses and dynamic feedbacks between brittle and elastic deformation and between faulting, topography and weathering that are not currently included in models of the East African Rift.

  15. Planation surfaces as a record of medium to large wavelength deformation: the example of the Lake Albert Rift (Uganda) on the East African Dome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brendan, Simon; François, Guillocheau; Cécile, Robin; Jean, Braun; Olivier, Dauteuil; Massimo, Dall'Asta

    2016-04-01

    African relief is characterized by planation surfaces, some of them of continental scale. These surfaces are slightly deformed according to different wavelengths (x10 km; x100 km, x1000 km) which record both mantle dynamics (very long wavelength, x 1000 km) and lithosphere deformation (long wavelength deformation, x 100 km). Different types of these planation surfaces are recognized: - Etchplains capped by iron-duricrust which correspond to erosional nearly flat weathered surfaces resulting from the growth of laterites under warm and humid conditions. - Pediments which define mechanical erosional surfaces with concave or rectilinear profiles delimited by upslope scarps connected upstream with the upper landforms. We here focused on the Lake Albert Rift at the northern termination of the western branch of the East African Rift System of which the two branches are surimposed on the East-African Dome. Different wavelengths of deformation were characterized based on the 3D mapping of stepped planation surfaces: (1) very long wavelength deformations resulting from the uplift of the East African Dome; (2) long wavelength deformations resulting from the opening of the eastern branch and (3) medium wavelength deformations represented by the uplift of rift shoulders like the Rwenzori Mountains. The paleo-landscape reconstruction of Uganda shows the existence of four generations of landforms dated according to their geometrical relationships with volcanic rocks. A four stepped evolution of the Ugandan landforms is proposed: • 70 - 22 Ma: generation of two weathered planation surfaces (etchplain Uw and Iw). The upper one (Uw) records a very humid period culminating at time of the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (70-45 Ma). It corresponds to the African Surface. A first uplift of the East African Dome generates a second lower planation surface (Iw) connected to the Atlantic Ocean base level; • 17-2.7 Ma: planation of large pediplains connected to the local base level induced

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  17. The Mesoproterozoic Midcontinent Rift System, Lake Superior Region, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-06-01

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

  18. Comparative sequence stratigraphy of low-latitude versus high-latitude lacustrine rift basins: Seismic data examples from the East African and Baikal rifts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholz, C.A.; Moore, T.C., Jr.; Hutchinson, D.R.; Golmshtok, A. Ja; Klitgord, Kim D.; Kurotchkin, A.G.

    1998-01-01

    Lakes Baikal, Malawi and Tanganyika are the world's three largest rift valley lakes and are the classic modem examples of lacustrine rift basins. All the rift lakes are segmented into half-graben basins, and seismic reflection datasets reveal how this segmentation controls the filling of the rift basins through time. In the early stages of rifting, basins are fed primarily by flexural margin and axial margin drainage systems. At the climax of syn-rift sedimentation, however, when the basins are deeply subsided, almost all the margins are walled off by rift shoulder uplifts, and sediment flux into the basins is concentrated at accommodation zone and axial margin river deltas. Flexural margin unconformities are commonplace in the tropical lakes but less so in high-latitude Lake Baikal. Lake levels are extremely dynamic in the tropical lakes and in low-latitude systems in general because of the predominance of evaporation in the hydrologic cycle in those systems. Evaporation is minimized in relation to inflow in the high-latitude Lake Baikal and in most high-latitude systems, and consequently, major sequence boundaries tend to be tectonically controlled in that type of system. The acoustic stratigraphies of the tropical lakes are dominated by high-frequency and high-amplitude lake level shifts, whereas in high-latitude Lake Baikal, stratigraphic cycles are dominated by tectonism and sediment-supply variations.

  19. Kinematics and dynamics of Nubia-Somalia divergence along the East African rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, Dorothy Sarah

    Continental rifting is fundamental to the theory of plate tectonics, yet the force balance driving Earth's largest continental rift system, the East African Rift (EAR), remains debated. The EAR actively diverges the Nubian and Somalian plates spanning ˜5000 km N-S from the Red Sea to the Southwest Indian Ridge and ˜3000 km NW-SE from eastern Congo to eastern Madagascar. Previous studies suggest either lithospheric buoyancy forces or horizontal tractions dominate the force balance acting to rupture East Africa. In this work, we investigate the large-scale dynamics of Nubia-Somalia divergence along the EAR driving present-day kinematics. Because Africa is largely surrounded by spreading ridges, we assume plate-plate interactions are minimal and that the major driving forces are gradients in gravitational potential energy (GPE), which includes the effect of vertical mantle tractions, and horizontal basal tractions arising from viscous coupling to horizontal mantle flow. We quantify a continuous strain rate and velocity field based on kinematic models, an updated GPS velocity solution, and the style of earthquake focal mechanisms, which we use as an observational constraint on surface deformation. We solve the 3D force balance equations and calculate vertically averaged deviatoric stress for a 100 km thick lithosphere constrained by the CRUST2.0 crustal density and thickness model. By comparing vertically integrated deviatoric stress with integrated lithospheric strength we demonstrate forces arising from gradients in gravitational potential energy are insufficient to rupture strong lithosphere, hence weakening mechanisms are required to initiate continental rupture. The next step involves inverting for a stress field boundary condition that is the long-wavelength minimum energy deviatoric stress field required to best-fit the style of our continuous strain rate field in addition to deviatoric stress from gradients in GPE. We infer the stress field boundary condition

  20. Do melt-rich shear zones lubricate rift flanks? 3-D spatial gradients in anisotropy beneath the East African Rift in Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holtzman, B. K.; Gaherty, J. B.; Kendall, J.; Stuart, G.

    2006-12-01

    Melt-enhanced weakening of the mantle may be essential for a continent to break apart and rift. A primary means of understanding this aspect of the dynamics of rifting (and other geodynamic settings) is the interpretation of seismic anisotropy in terms of melt distribution and/or mantle flow direction. In recent rock- deformation experiments, the relationships between flow direction and seismic fast direction are complicated by the presence of water (e.g. Katayama et al., 2004) and segregated melt (Holtzman et al. 2003). In the latter, deviatoric stress drives melt to organize into networks of melt-rich shear zones. Scaling from laboratory to upper mantle conditions predicts characteristic network spacings of <1 km, less than wavelengths of measured seismic waves; thus they should cause significant seismic anisotropy. Measurable gradients in anisotropy may be diagnostic indicators of gradients in melt segregation. Because melt-rich shear zones will weaken the mantle on a large scale, the presence of such anisotropy gradients would map to gradients in viscosity. To map melt distribution beneath the rift and test for the presence or absence of this process, we combine measurements of seismic velocities beneath the East African Rift in Ethiopia with modeling of elastic properties of aligned, segregated melt and olivine fabric. Analysis of SKS phases has shown that fast directions parallel magmatic centers in the rift and splitting magnitudes are largest near the rift flanks, consistent with the hypothesis above (e.g. Kendall et al., 2006). Preliminary analysis of Love-Rayleigh differential times across the rift are consistent with a vertical fast axis, suggesting the presence of a vertically aligned, rift parallel melt phase down to the solidus (Pilidou et al., 2005). We expand on these results by applying a cross-correlation procedure to precisely estimate relative amplitude and phase of surface waves traversing the rift. Data are derived from the EAGLE and Ethiopia

  1. The role of inheritance in structuring hyperextended rift systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manatschal, Gianreto; Lavier, Luc; Chenin, Pauline

    2015-04-01

    A long-standing question in Earth Sciences is related to the importance of inheritance in controlling tectonic processes. In contrast to physical processes that are generally applicable, assessing the role of inheritance suffers from two major problems: firstly, it is difficult to appraise without having insights into the history of a geological system; and secondly all inherited features are not reactivated during subsequent deformation phases. Therefore, the aim of our presentation is to give some conceptual framework about how inheritance may control the architecture and evolution of hyperextended rift systems. We use the term inheritance to refer to the difference between an "ideal" layer-cake type lithosphere and a "real" lithosphere containing heterogeneities and we define 3 types of inheritance, namely structural, compositional and thermal inheritance. Moreover, we assume that the evolution of hyperextended rift systems reflects the interplay between their inheritance (innate/"genetic code") and the physical processes at play (acquired/external factors). Thus, by observing the architecture and evolution of hyperextended rift systems and integrating the physical processes, one my get hints on what may have been the original inheritance of a system. Using this approach, we focus on 3 well-studied rift systems that are the Alpine Tethys, Pyrenean-Bay of Biscay and Iberia-Newfoundland rift systems. For the studied examples we can show that: 1) strain localization on a local scale and during early stages of rifting is controlled by inherited structures and weaknesses 2) the architecture of the necking zone seems to be influenced by the distribution and importance of ductile layers during decoupled deformation and is consequently controlled by the thermal structure and/or the inherited composition of the curst 3) the location of breakup in the 3 examples is not significantly controlled by the inherited structures 4) inherited mantle composition and rift

  2. The seismotectonics of Southeastern Tanzania: Implications for the propagation of the eastern branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulibo, Gabriel D.; Nyblade, Andrew A.

    2016-04-01

    Seismicity patterns and focal mechanisms in southeastern Tanzania, determined from data recorded on temporary and permanent AfricaArray seismic stations, have been used to investigate the propagation direction of the Eastern branch of the East African Rift System southward from the Northern Tanzania Divergence Zone (NTDZ). Within the NTDZ, the rift zone is defined by three segments, the Eyasi segment to the west, the Manyara segment in the middle, and the Pangani segment to the east. Results show that most of the seismicity (~ 75%) extends to the south of the Manyara segment along the eastern margin of the Tanzania Craton, and at ~ 6-7° S latitude trends to the SE along the northern boundary of the Ruvuma microplate, connecting with a N-S zone of seismicity offshore southern Tanzania and Mozambique. A lesser amount of seismicity (~ 25%) is found extending from the SE corner of the Tanzania Craton at ~ 6-7° S latitude southwards towards Lake Nyasa. This finding supports a model of rift propagation via the Manyara segment to the southeast of the Tanzania Craton along the northern boundary of the Ruvuma microplate. However, given the limited duration of the seismic recordings used in this study, the possibility of another zone of extension developing to the south towards Lake Nyasa (Malawi) cannot be ruled out. Focal mechanisms along the boundary between the Victoria and the Ruvuma microplates and offshore southeastern Tanzania show a combination of normal and strike slip faulting indicating mainly extension with some sinistral motion, consistent with the mapped geologic faults and a clockwise rotation of the Ruvuma microplate.

  3. Volcanic Centers in the East African Rift: Imaging Volcanic Processes with Long-Period Event Identification and Ambient Noise Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patlan, E.; Wamalwa, A. M.; Hardy, S.; Kaip, G.; Velasco, A. A.

    2014-12-01

    Kenya actively seeks to produce geothermal energy, and the country lies within the East African Rift System (EARS). The EARS, an active continental rift zone, appears to be a developing tectonic plate boundary and thus, has a number of active as well as dormant volcanoes through its extent. These volcanic centers can be used as potential sources for geothermal energy. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) began collaborating to monitor several volcanic centers, which have included passive seismic sensor deployments experiment. A number of seismological techniques will be applied to the data being collected at the four volcanic centers: Menengai, Silali, and Paka, and Korosi. In particular, we will identify long-period signals and tremor local using a time-reversal approach. Low-frequency earthquakes are interpreted as magma passing through conduits of the magma chamber and/or fluid being transported as a function of magma movement or hydrothermal activity. The time-reversal locations will help identify the margin of the volcano and caldera, and faults that could form conduits for fluids. We will also perform ambient noise tomography to image the magma chamber and the conduit feeding the volcanoes. The combination of the velocity snapshots of the magma chamber, low-frequency events, and long period events will help us interpret the activity of the calderas and volcanoes. Overall, all these techniques will help us understand magma movement and volcanic processes in the region.

  4. Latitudinal Hydrologic Variability Along the East African Rift, Over the Past 200 Kyr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    Within the deep sediments of the large lakes of Africa's Great Rift Valley are continuous environmental records of remarkable antiquity and fidelity. Not only do stratigraphic sections from these basins extend back millions of years, many of the intervals represented contain high-resolution material of decadal resolution or better. East African lake basins remain sparsely sampled however, with only a few long and continuous records available. Our ability to image the lakes using seismic reflection methods greatly exceeds our opportunities for coring and drilling however; assessing stratal relationships observed in the geophysical data permits powerful inferences about past hydrologic changes. With intensive hydrocarbon exploration work underway in East Africa, industry well data can also help constrain and ground truth basin histories. Substantial spatio-temporal hydrologic variability is observed in East African basins over the past 200 kyr. Paleohydrological changes in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene are now well constrained in the northern hemisphere East African topics, with widespread aridity and in some cases lake desiccation observed during Heinrich Event 1. A climate recovery followed in the northern hemisphere East African tropics, with the early Holocene African Humid Period a time of positive water balance across most of the rift valley. The paleohydrology of southern hemisphere tropical East Africa is more equivocal, for instance with negligible draw-down of Lake Malawi at HE1. Whereas these late Pleistocene events represent substantial climate reorganizations, severe droughts during the middle-late Pleistocene (150-65 kyr BP) were far more intense, and produced much more severe drawdowns of Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. Scientific drill cores, kullenberg cores, and extensive seismic reflection data sets from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika provide indisputable evidence for lowstands of -500m and -600 m respectively. Climate changes that lowered the

  5. The Rift Valley of African Plate in Elasto-Plastic Creeping over Magma Motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Shigehisa

    2016-04-01

    This is a brief note to a problem on the Rift Valley in the eastern Africa. It is said that this valley was formed in an age 20,000,000 years before present though the valley is yet continuing to move eastward at an annual rate of about 5 cm/year in a geographical trend. Adding to some of the scientists tell that the separation threat of the easternAfrica from the mother land of the Africa under the effect of African crust motion over the magma. However, it is now geological understanding that the land of the Africa has been kept its basic coastal configulation in geographic pattern since the time more than 20,000,000 years before present. Sothat, it is hard to consider the above noted African land separation by part could be in the next age in a time scale of 20,000,000 years. As far as, we concern the geographic data obtaoned by the ground based survey of the African typical mountain peaks, the highest mountain peak 5885m (in 1980) is for Kilimanjaro, Kibo Peak though one of the scientific almanacs tells us its peak height as 5890m (in 2009). As for the Mount Kenia, the peak height is as 5199m (in 1980) and 5200m(in 2009). At a glance, it looks to be a trend in altimetry of the African typical mountain. Now, what trends are noted for the peak heights could be taken to suggesting the geological activity on the earth surface to maintain in a spherical shape approximately on the orbit around the Sun. In these several ten years, the digitizing of the data has been promoted even for the topographic patterns on the earth though its time scaling is extremely short comparing to the geological time scaling. Now, it should be found what is effective to monitor any trends of the African crust in motion as well as variations of the mountain peaks.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bingham, Robert; Ferraccioli, Fausto

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Istopically Defined Source Reservoirs of Primitive Magmas in the East African Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, T. O.; Furman, T.; Hanan, B.

    2005-12-01

    Extension within the East African Rift is a function of the interaction between plume-driven uplift and far-field stresses associated with plate tectonic processes. Geochemical and isotopic investigation of primitive basalts from the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) reveals systematic spatial variations in the contributions from distinct and identifiable source reservoirs that, in turn help identify the mechanisms by which along-axis rifting has progressed. The Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic characteristics of MER basalts can be described by a three-component mixing model involving the long-lived Afar plume, a depleted mantle component similar to the source region for Gulf of Aden MORB from east of 48° E and a reservoir that is likely lithospheric (sub-continental mantle lithosphere, magmatic underplate or lower crust). Quaternary basalts in the central MER exhibit a systematic decrease in plume influence southward from 9.5° N to 8° N, i.e., away from the modern surface expression of the Afar plume in Djibouti and Erta 'Ale. The composition of the Afar plume component is comparable to the "C" mantle reservoir. This southward decrease in plume influence is coupled with an increase in the influence of the lithospheric and depleted mantle components. Linear arrays observed within Pb-Pb isotopic space at each eruptive center require distinctive ratio of lithospheric + depleted mantle components mixing with variable amounts of the "C"-like plume component. This isotopic evidence suggests the depleted mantle and lithosphere mixed prior to the generation of the recent magmas. To the south, the Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions of Turkana (Kenya) rift basalts record a mix of a similar "C"-like plume component and a fourth HIMU-like source component. Low 3He/4He values observed in the HIMU-dominated lavas from Turkana contrast with the higher ratios found in basalts associated with the "C"-like Afar plume. Further analysis of "C"-HIMU lavas at Turkana is required to fully constrain the He

  8. East African mid-Holocene wet-dry transition recorded in palaeo-shorelines of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcin, Yannick; Melnick, Daniel; Strecker, Manfred R.; Olago, Daniel; Tiercelin, Jean-Jacques

    2012-05-01

    The 'wet' early to mid-Holocene of tropical Africa, with its enhanced monsoon, ended with an abrupt shift toward drier conditions and was ultimately replaced by a drier climate that has persisted until the present day. The forcing mechanisms, the timing, and the spatial extent of this major climatic transition are not well understood and remain the subject of ongoing research. We have used a detailed palaeo-shoreline record from Lake Turkana (Kenya) to decipher and characterise this marked climatic transition in East Africa. We present a high-precision survey of well-preserved palaeo-shorelines, new radiocarbon ages from shoreline deposits, and oxygen-isotope measurements on freshwater mollusk shells to elucidate the Holocene moisture history from former lake water-levels in this climatically sensitive region. In combination with previously published data our study shows that during the early Holocene the water-level in Lake Turkana was high and the lake overflowed temporarily into the White Nile drainage system. During the mid-Holocene (~ 5270 ± 300 cal. yr BP), however, the lake water-level fell by ~ 50 m, coeval with major episodes of aridity on the African continent. A comparison between palaeo-hydrological and archaeological data from the Turkana Basin suggests that the mid-Holocene climatic transition was associated with fundamental changes in prehistoric cultures, highlighting the significance of natural climate variability and associated periods of protracted drought as major environmental stress factors affecting human occupation in the East African Rift System.

  9. Deriving spatial patterns from a novel database of volcanic rock geochemistry in the Virunga Volcanic Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Sam; Barette, Florian; Smets, Benoît; Benbakkar, Mhammed; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) is situated within the western branch of the East-African Rift. The geochemistry and petrology of its' volcanic products has been studied extensively in a fragmented manner. They represent a unique collection of silica-undersaturated, ultra-alkaline and ultra-potassic compositions, displaying marked geochemical variations over the area occupied by the VVP. We present a novel spatially-explicit database of existing whole-rock geochemical analyses of the VVP volcanics, compiled from international publications, (post-)colonial scientific reports and PhD theses. In the database, a total of 703 geochemical analyses of whole-rock samples collected from the 1950s until recently have been characterised with a geographical location, eruption source location, analytical results and uncertainty estimates for each of these categories. Comparative box plots and Kruskal-Wallis H tests on subsets of analyses with contrasting ages or analytical methods suggest that the overall database accuracy is consistent. We demonstrate how statistical techniques such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and subsequent cluster analysis allow the identification of clusters of samples with similar major-element compositions. The spatial patterns represented by the contrasting clusters show that both the historically active volcanoes represent compositional clusters which can be identified based on their contrasted silica and alkali contents. Furthermore, two sample clusters are interpreted to represent the most primitive, deep magma source within the VVP, different from the shallow magma reservoirs that feed the eight dominant large volcanoes. The samples from these two clusters systematically originate from locations which 1. are distal compared to the eight large volcanoes and 2. mostly coincide with the surface expressions of rift faults or NE-SW-oriented inherited Precambrian structures which were reactivated during rifting. The lava from the Mugogo

  10. Shaded Relief with Height as Color, Virunga and Nyiragongo Volcanoes and the East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Volcanic, tectonic, erosional and sedimentary landforms are all evident in this comparison of two elevation models of a region along the East African Rift at Lake Kivu. The area shown covers parts of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

    These two images show exactly the same area. The image on the left was created using the best global topographic data set previously available, the U.S. Geological Survey's GTOPO30. In contrast, the much more detailed image on the right was generated with data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which collected enough measurements to map 80 percent of Earth's landmass at this level of precision. Elevation is color coded, progressing from green at the lower elevations through yellow to brown at the higher elevations. A false sun in the northwest (upper left) creates topographic shading.

    Lake Kivu is shown as black in the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission version (southwest corner). It lies within the East African Rift, an elongated tectonic pull-apart depression in Earth's crust. The rift extends to the northeast as a smooth lava- and sediment-filled trough. Two volcanic complexes are seen in the rift. The one closer to the lake is the Nyiragongo volcano, which erupted in January 2002, sending lava toward the lake shore and through the city of Goma. East of the rift, even more volcanoes are seen. These are the Virunga volcano chain, which is the home of the endangered mountain gorillas. Note that the terrain surrounding the volcanoes is much smoother than the eroding mountains that cover most of this view, such that topography alone is a good indicator of the extent of the lava flows. But this clear only at the higher spatial resolution of the shuttle mission's data set.

    For some parts of the globe, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission measurements are 30 times more precise than previously available topographical information, according to NASA scientists. Mission data will be a welcome resource for national and local governments

  11. Characterising East Antarctic Lithosphere and its Rift Systems using Gravity Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, Alan P. M.; Kusznir, Nick J.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Leat, Phil T.; Jordan, Tom A. R. M.; Purucker, Michael E.; Golynsky, A. V. Sasha; Rogozhina, Irina

    2013-04-01

    Since the International Geophysical Year (1957), a view has prevailed that East Antarctica has a relatively homogeneous lithospheric structure, consisting of a craton-like mosaic of Precambrian terranes, stable since the Pan-African orogeny ~500 million years ago (e.g. Ferracioli et al. 2011). Recent recognition of a continental-scale rift system cutting the East Antarctic interior has crystallised an alternative view of much more recent geological activity with important implications. The newly defined East Antarctic Rift System (EARS) (Ferraccioli et al. 2011) appears to extend from at least the South Pole to the continental margin at the Lambert Rift, a distance of 2500 km. This is comparable in scale to the well-studied East African rift system. New analysis of RadarSat data by Golynsky & Golynsky (2009) indicates that further rift zones may form widely distributed extension zones within the continent. A pilot study (Vaughan et al. 2012), using a newly developed gravity inversion technique (Chappell & Kusznir 2008) with existing public domain satellite data, shows distinct crustal thickness provinces with overall high average thickness separated by thinner, possibly rifted, crust. Understanding the nature of crustal thickness in East Antarctica is critical because: 1) this is poorly known along the ocean-continent transition, but is necessary to improve the plate reconstruction fit between Antarctica, Australia and India in Gondwana, which will also better define how and when these continents separated; 2) lateral variation in crustal thickness can be used to test supercontinent reconstructions and assess the effects of crystalline basement architecture and mechanical properties on rifting; 3) rift zone trajectories through East Antarctica will define the geometry of zones of crustal and lithospheric thinning at plate-scale; 4) it is not clear why or when the crust of East Antarctica became so thick and elevated, but knowing this can be used to test models of

  12. The Midcontinent rift system in Kansas

    SciTech Connect

    Berendsen, P. . Kansas Geological Survey)

    1993-03-01

    A sequence of rift-related mafic volcanic rocks, volcanoclastic-, and clastic sedimentary rocks are recognized in cuttings and cores from about seventy wells in Kansas. The age (1,097.5 Ma) for gabbro in the Poersch [number sign]1 well in northern Kansas, as well as the general petrographic characteristics of the sedimentary rocks throughout the area favors a correlation with established Keweenawan stratigraphy in the Lake Superior region. Rift-related northeast-trending faults and older northwest-trending faults divide the area up into a number of orthogonal fault blocks or basins. Depending upon the tectonic history of the individual basin all or part of the Keweenawan section may be preserved. It is believed that large amounts of Keweenawan clastic sedimentary rock were eroded from the nemaha uplift east of the central graben of the rift and transported in an easterly direction. Prior to deposition of Paleozoic rocks the area was peneplaned. Correlation of various stratigraphic units over any distance is complicated by tectonic activity occurring at several times during the Precambrian and Paleozoic. Stratabound or stratiform deposits can occur both in the Precambrian as well as the overlying Paleozoic rocks. The possibility of massive sulfides to occur in the mafic intrusive rocks must not be excluded. In the core from the Poersch [number sign]1 well sulfides are recognized in gabbroic sills or dikes. Dark, fissile shale, similar to the Nonesuch Shale in the [number sign]1--4 Finn well averages 0.75% organic carbon. Thermal maturation within the rift probably ranges from within the oil window to over maturity.

  13. Early-stage rifting in the southwest East African Rift: Insights from new reflection seismic data from Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi (Nyasa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Wood, D. A.; Shillington, D. J.; McCartney, T.; Accardo, N. J.

    2015-12-01

    The western branch of the East African Rift is characterized by modest amounts of mainly amagmatic extension; deeply-subsided, fault-controlled basins; and large-magnitude, deep seismicity. Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi are two of the world's largest lakes, with maximum water depths of 1450 and 700 m respectively. Newly acquired seismic reflection data, along with newly reprocessed legacy data reveal thick sedimentary sections, in excess of 5 km in some localities. The 1980's vintage legacy data from Project PROBE have been reprocessed through pre-stack depth migration in Lake Tanganyika, and similar reprocessing of legacy data from Lake Malawi is forthcoming. New high-fold and large-source commercial and academic data have recently been collected in southern Lake Tanganyika, and in the northern and central basins of Lake Malawi as part of the 2015 SEGMeNT project. In the case of Lake Tanganyika, new data indicate the presence of older sediment packages that underlie previously identified "pre-rift" basement (the "Nyanja Event"). These episodes of sedimentation and extension may substantially predate the modern lake. These deep stratal reflections are absent in many localites, possibly on account of attenuation of the acoustic signal. However in one area of southern Lake Tanganyika, the newly-observed deep strata extend axially for ~70 km, likely representing deposits from a discrete paleolake. The high-amplitude Nyanja Event is interpreted as the onset of late-Cenozoic rifting, and the changing character of the overlying depositional sequences reflects increasing relief in the rift valley, as well as the variability of fluvial inputs, and the intermittent connectivity of upstream lake catchments. Earlier Tanganyika sequences are dominated by shallow lake and fluvial-lacustrine facies, whereas later sequences are characterized by extensive gravity flow deposition in deep water, and pronounced erosion and incision in shallow water depths and on littoral platforms. The

  14. Discovery of sublacustrine hydrothermal activity and associated massive sulfides and hydrocarbons in the north Tanganyika trough, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiercelin, Jean-Jacques; Thouin, Catherine; Kalala, Tchibangu; Mondeguer, André

    1989-11-01

    Massive sulfides and carbonate mineral deposits associated with sublacustrine thermal springs were recently discovered along the Zaire side of the north Tanganyika trough, western branch of the East African Rift. This hydrothermal activity, investigated by scuba diving at a maximum depth of 20 m, is located at the intersection of major north-south normal faults and northwest-southeast faults belonging to the Tanganyika-Rukwa-Malawi (TRM) strike-slip fault zone. The preliminary results presented here come from analyses of sulfide deposits, hydrothermal fluids, and associated hydrocarbons that result from geothermal activity in this part of the East African Rift filled by a thick pile of sediment, the north Tanganyika trough.

  15. Estimation of Earthquake Source Properties Along the East African Rift Using Full Waveforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, B.; Roecker, S. W.

    2015-12-01

    Recently, the Continental Rifting in Africa: Fluids-Tectonic Interaction (CRAFTI) experiment was conducted in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya as a means to better evaluate the effect of tectonic and magmatic strain along the east African rift. Towards this goal S. Roecker has computed a 3D structural model by joint inversion of gravity, local seismic body wave, and surface wave data. The joint inversion in turn produces a quality estimate of the compressional, shear, and density structure in the region. In the process of tomography of local body wave data it was observed that there exist some anomalously deep seismic events. To better quantify these events we look towards waveform modeling in this new and laterally heterogeneous structural model. It is thought that better quantification of later arriving direct and scattered phases will provide better resolved estimates of the event locations and lower the trade-off between source time and depth uncertainty inherent in travel time inversions. Since our main objective is testing the validity of seismic depths in the travel time inversion we will favor a grid search based approach around the current hypocenters using a method similar Zhao, 2006. To expedite processing, we make use of seismic reciprocity and save the strain wave fields produced by impulsive sources at receiver locations in the vicinity of the initial hypocenters. We then perform a moment tensor inversion at each location around the hypocenter, estimate the corresponding source time function, compute the resulting synthetics, and finally calculate a cumulative waveform misfit objective function for all stations. It is thought this procedure should well sample the objective function in the neighborhood of the initial hypocenters and thereby provide an avenue for resolution analysis of the event depths.

  16. Surface Wave Analysis of Regional Earthquakes in the Eastern Rift System (Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, S. J. C.; Guidarelli, M.; Ebinger, C. J.; Roecker, S. W.; Tiberi, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Northern Tanzania Divergence (NTD), the youngest part of the East African Rift System, presents the opportunity to obtain insights about the birth and early stages of rifting before it progresses to mature rifting and seafloor spreading. This region is particularly interesting because the Eastern rift splits into three arms in this area and develops in a region of thick and cold lithosphere, amid the Archaean Tanzanian craton and the Proterozoic orogenic belt (the Masai block). We analyzed about two thousand seismic events recorded by the 39 broadband stations of the CRAFTI network during its two-year deployment in the NTD area in 2013 to 2014. We present the results of surface wave tomographic inversion obtained from fundamental-mode Rayleigh waves for short periods (between 4 to 14 seconds). Group velocity dispersion curves obtained via multiple filter analysis are path-averaged and inverted to produce 0.1º x 0.1º nodal grid tomographic maps for discrete periods using a 2D generalization of the Backus and Gilbert method. To quantify our results in terms of S-wave velocity structure the average group velocity dispersion curves are then inverted, using a linearized least-squares inversion scheme, in order to obtain the shear wave velocity structure for the upper 20 km of the crust. Low velocity anomalies are observed in the region 50 km south of Lake Natron, as well as in the area of the Ngorongoro crater. The implications of our results for the local tectonics and the development of the rifting system will be discussed in light of the growing geophysical database from this region.

  17. Fault-related Soil Efflux of Mantle-derived CO2 in the Magadi and Natron Basins, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Muirhead, J.; Fischer, T. P.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Thomas, N.; Kianji, G.; Onguso, B.; Maqway, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    The Magadi (Kenya) and Natron (Tanzania) basins of the East African Rift are in an early stage (< 7 Ma) of continental rifting. The many normal faults observed in these areas create sediment-filled basins and a large number of alkaline springs feed water into two major lakes (Lake Magadi and Natron). Earthquake swarms reported in 1998 (Magadi) and 2007 (Natron) were accompanied by surface ruptures. Although CO2 is a major component of magmatic volatiles and fault-related fluids that may facilitate earthquakes and fault weakening, the soil CO2 efflux of continental rifts is poorly known. Here, we report soil CO2 flux rates measured in the Magadi and Natron basins, and carbon isotope values (δ13C, ‰ vs. PDB) to constrain CO2sources. Soil CO2 fluxes were measured at fault zones, horsts, grabens, and surface ruptures by EGM-4 (PP systems) with a gas accumulation chamber. A t-shaped connector with a needle was used for gas sampling into evacuated glass vials with a rubber septum. δ13C values were measured by isotope ratio mass spectrometer with a gas bench at the stable isotope laboratory, University of New Mexico. The fault zones in the Magadi basin have higher maximum CO2 flux rates (< 533.52 g m-2 d-1) and heavier δ13C values (< -3.8 ‰) than the Natron basin (< 147.12 g m-2 d-1 and < -6.2 ‰, respectively). In both areas, soil CO2 efflux is insignificant (< 10 g m-2 d-1) in both horsts and the middle of grabens with lighter δ 13C values (~ -10 ‰) likely resulting from significant air contribution. The highest CO2 flux rates (< 919.44 g m-2 d-1) were measured at recent surface ruptures, but they have lighter δ13C values (-10 to -15 ‰), implying significant air and biogenic C contributions. Our results indicate that (1) normal faults are pathways that deliver mantle-derived CO2 to the surface, (2) the Magadi basin exhibits greater mantle-derived CO2 than the Natron basin, and (3) recent ruptures are zones of shallow CO2 degassing.

  18. Prebreakup geology of the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean: Its relation to Triassic and Jurassic rift systems of the region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartok, Peter

    1993-01-01

    A review of the prebreakup geology of west central Pangea, comprising northern South America, the Gulf of Mexico, and West Africa, combined with a study of the Mesozoic rift trends of the region confirms a relation between the rift systems and the underlying older grain of deformation. The prebreakup analysis focuses attention on the Precambrian, early Paleozoic, and late Paleozoic tectonic events affecting the region and assumes a Pindell fit. Two late Precambrian orogenic belts are observed in west central Pangea. Along the northern South American margin and Yucatan a paleo northeast trending Pan-African aged fold belt is documented. A second system is observed along West Africa extending from the High Atlas to the Mauritanides and Rockelides. Similar aged orogenies in the Appalachians are compared. During the late Paleozoic, renewed orogenic activity, associated with the Gondwana-Laurentia suture, affected large segments of west central Pangea. The general trend of the system is northeast-southwest and essentially parallels the Guayana craton and West African and eastern North American cratons. Mesozoic rifling closely followed either the Precambrian trends or the late Paleozoic orogenic belt. The Triassic component focused along the western portions of the Gulf of Mexico continuing into eastern Mexico and western South America. The Jurassic rift trend followed along the separation between Yucatan and northern South America. At Lake Maracaibo the Jurassic rift system eventually overlaps the Triassic rifts. The Jurassic rift resulted in the "Hispanic Corridor" that permitted Tethyan and Pacific marine faunas to mix at a time when the Gulf of Mexico underwent continental sedimentation.

  19. Characterising Antarctic and Southern Ocean Lithosphere with Magnetic and Gravity Imaging of East Antarctic Rift Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, A. P.; Kusznir, N. J.; Ferraccioli, F.; Jordan, T. A.; Purucker, M. E.; Golynsky, A. V.; Rogozhina, I.

    2012-12-01

    Since the International Geophysical Year (1957), a view has prevailed that the lithospheric structure of East Antarctica is relatively homogeneous, forming a geological block of largely cratonic nature, consisting of a mosaic of Precambrian terranes, stable since the Pan-African orogeny ~500 million years ago. Recent recognition of a continental-scale rift system cutting the East Antarctic interior indicates that this is incorrect, and has crystallised an alternative view of much more recent geological activity with important implications for tectonic reconstructions and controls on ice sheet formation and stability. The newly defined East Antarctic Rift System appears to extend from at least the South Pole to the continental margin at the Lambert Rift, a distance of 2500 km. This is comparable in scale to the well-studied East African rift system. New analysis of RadarSat data pioneered by Golynsky & Golynsky indicates that further rift zones may extend the East Antarctic Rift System into widely distributed extension zones within the continent. We have carried out a pilot study, using a newly developed gravity inversion technique with existing public domain satellite data, which shows that East Antarctica consists of distinct crustal thickness provinces with anomalously thick areas separated by thin, possibly rifted crust and overall high average thickness. Understanding the nature of crustal thickness in East Antarctica is critical because: 1) Better understanding of crustal thickness in Antarctica, especially along the ocean-continent transition (OCT), will make it possible to improve the plate reconstruction fit between Antarctica, Australia and India in Gondwana and also refine constraints on how and when these continents separated; 2) crustal thickness provinces can be used to aid supercontinent reconstructions and provide new assessments of the influence of basement architecture and mechanical properties on rifting processes; 3) tracking rift zones through

  20. Rifting, Volcanism, and the Geochemical Character of the Mantle Beneath the West Antarctic Rift System (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukasa, S. B.; Aviado, K. B.; Rilling-Hall, S.; Bryce, J. G.; Cabato, J.

    2013-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is one of the largest extensional alkali volcanic provinces on Earth, but the mechanisms responsible for generating the massive amounts of its associated magmatism remain controversial. The failure of both passive and active decompression melting models to adequately explain the observed lava volumes has prompted debate about the relative roles of thermal plume-related melting and ancient subduction-related flux melting. 40Ar/39Ar dating and geochemical analyses of the lavas, as well as volatile and trace-element determinations of olivine-hosted melt inclusions shed light on the relationship between rifting and volcanism, and also improve our understanding of the geochemical character of the mantle beneath the WARS. Results show that the magmatism post-dates the main phase of extension along the Terror Rift within the WARS, which supports a decompression-melting model without the benefit of a significant thermal anomaly. However, the observed large magma volumes seem to require a volatile-fluxed mantle, a notion supported by a long history of subduction (>500 Myr) along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana. In fact, the legacy of that subduction may manifest itself in the high H2O concentrations of olivine-hosted melt inclusions (up to 3 wt% in preliminary results from ion probe measurements). The major oxide compositions of lavas in the WARS are best matched to experimental melts of garnet pyroxenite and carbonated peridotite sources. The Pb and Nd isotopic systems are decoupled from each other, suggesting removal of fluid-mobile elements from the mantle source possibly during the long history of subduction along this Gondwana margin. Extremely unradiogenic 187Os/188Os ranging to as low as 0.1081 × 0.0001 hints at the involvement of lithospheric components in generation of magmas in the WARS.

  1. Volcanic activities in the Southern part of East African rift initiation: Melilitites and nephelinites from the Manyara Basin (North Tanzania rift axis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudouin, Celine; Parat, Fleurice; Tiberi, Christel; Gautier, Stéphanie; Peyrat, Sophie

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift exposes different stages of plate boundary extension, from the initiation of the rift (North (N) Tanzania) to oceanic accretion (Afar). The N Tanzania rift-axis (north-south (S) trend) is divided into 2 different volcanic and seismic activities: (1) the Natron basin (N) with shallow seismicity and intense volcanism and (2) the Manyara basin (S) with deep crustal earthquakes and sparse volcanism. The Natron basin is characterized by extinct volcanoes (2 Ma-0.75 Ma) and active volcano (Oldoinyo Lengai) and a link between seismicity and volcanism has been observed during the Oldoinyo Lengai crisis in 2007. In the S part of the N Tanzanian rift, volcanoes erupted in the Manyara basin between 0.4 and 0.9 Ma. In this study, we used geochemical signature of magmas and deep fluids that percolate into the lithosphere beneath Manyara basin, to define the compositions of magmas and fluids at depth beneath the S part of the N Tanzania rift, compare to the Natron basin and place constrain on the volcanic and seismic activities. The Manyara basin has distinct volcanic activities with mafic magmas as melilitites (Labait) and Mg-nephelinites (carbonatite, Kwaraha), and more differentiated magmas as Mg-poor nephelinites (Hanang). Melilitites and Mg-nephelinites are primary magmas with olivine, clinopyroxene (cpx), and phlogopite recording high-pressure crystallization environment, (melilitites >4 GPa and Mg-nephelinites>1 GPa) with high volatile contents (whole rock: 0.7-4.6 wt% CO2, 0.1-0.3 wt% F and 0.1 wt% Cl). FTIR analyses of olivine constrained the water content of Labait and Kwaraha magmas at 0.1 and 0.4 wt% H2O, respectively. Geochemical modelling suggests that mafic magmas result from a low degree of partial melting (1-2%) of a peridotitic source with garnet and phlogopite (high Tb/Yb (>0.6) and Rb/Sr (0.03-0.12) ratio). Mg-poor nephelinites from Hanang volcano crystallized cpx, Ti-garnet, and nepheline as phenocrysts. Magmas result from fractional

  2. The onshore northeast Brazilian rift basins: An early Neocomian aborted rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Matos, R. )

    1990-05-01

    Early Cretaceous rift basins of northeastern Brazil illustrate key three-dimensional geometries of intracontinental rift systems, controlled mainly by the basement structures. These basins were formed and then abandoned during the early extension associated with the north-south-propagating separation of South America and Africa. During the early Neocomian, extensional deformation jumped from the easternmost basins (group 1: Sergipe Alagoas and Gabon basins; group 2: Reconcavo, Tucano, and Jatoba basins) to the west, forming a series of northeast-trending intracratonic basins (group 3: Araripe, Rio do Peixe, Iguatu, Malhada Vermelha, Lima Campos, and Potiguar basins). The intracratonic basins of groups 2 and 3 consist of asymmetric half-grabens separated by basement highs, transfer faults, and/or accommodation zones. These basins are typically a few tens of kilometers wide and trend northeast-southwest, roughly perpendicular to the main extension direction during the early Neocomian. Preexisting upper crustal weakness zones, like the dominantly northeast-southwest-trending shear zones of the Brazilian orogeny, controlled the development of intracrustal listric normal faults. Internal transverse structures such as transfer faults (Reconcavo basin and onshore Potiguar basin) and accommodation zones (onshore Potiguar basin and Araripe basin) were also controlled by the local basement structural framework. Transverse megafaults and lithostructural associations controlled the three main rift trends. The megashear zones of Pernanbuco (Brazil)-Ngaundere (Africa) apparently behaved like a huge accommodation zone, balancing extensional deformation along the Reconcavo-Jatoba/Sergipe Alagoas-Gabon trends with simultaneous extension along the Araripe-Potiguar trend. The Sergipe Alagoas-Gabon trend and the Potiguar basin represent the site of continued evolution into a marginal open basin following early Neocomian deformation.

  3. Clastic rocks associated with the Midcontinent rift system in Iowa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Raymond R.; McKay, Robert M.

    1997-01-01

    The Middle Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) of North America is a failed rift that formed in response to region-wide stresses about 1,100 Ma. In Iowa, the MRS is buried beneath 2,200?3,500 ft of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks and Quaternary glaciogenic deposits. An extremely large volume of sediments was deposited within basins associated with the rift at several stages during its development. Although the uplift of a rift-axial horst resulted in the erosional removal of most of these clastic rocks from the central region of the MRS in Iowa, thick sequences are preserved in a series of horst-bounding basins. Recent studies incorporating petrographic analysis, geophysical modeling, and other analytical procedures have led to the establishment of a preliminary stratigraphy for these clastic rocks and interpretations of basin geometries. This information has allowed the refinement of existing theories and history of MRS formation in Iowa. Additionally, drill samples previously interpreted as indicating the existence of early Paleozoic basins overlying the Proterozoic MRS basins were re-examined. Samples previously interpreted as deep-lying Paleozoic rocks are now known to have caved from upper levels of the drillhole and were out of stratigraphic position. No deep Paleozoic basins exist in this area. These investigations led to the development of petrographic parameters useful in differentiating the Proterozoic MRS Red clastics from Paleozoic clastic rocks having similar lithologies.

  4. Rheological variations across an active rift system -- results from lithosphere-scale 3D gravity and thermal models of the Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meeßen, Christian; Sippel, Judith; Cacace, Mauro; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Fishwick, Stewart; Heine, Christian; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-04-01

    Due to its tectono-volcanic activity and economic (geothermal and petroleum) potential, the eastern branch of the East African Rift System (EARS) is one of the best studied extensional systems worldwide and an important natural laboratory for the development of geodynamic concepts on rifting and nascent continental break-up. The Kenya Rift, an integral part of the eastern branch of the EARS, has formed in the area of weak Proterozoic crust of the Mozambique mobile belt adjacent to the rheologically stronger Archean Tanzania craton. To assess the variations in lithospheric strength between different tectonic domains and their influence on the tectonic evolution of the region, we developed a set of structural, density, thermal and rheological 3D models. For these models we integrated multi-disciplinary information, such as published geological field data, sediment thicknesses, well information, existing structural models, seismic refraction and reflection data, seismic tomography, gravity and heat-flow data. Our main approach focused on combined 3D isostatic and gravity modelling. The resulting lithosphere-scale 3D density model provides new insights into the depth distribution of the crust-mantle boundary and thickness variations of different crustal density domains. The latter further facilitate interpretations of variations of lithologies and related physical rock properties. By considering lithology-dependent heat production and thermal conductivity, we calculate the conductive thermal field across the region of the greater Kenya Rift. Finally, the assessed variations in lithology and temperature allow deriving differences in the integrated strength of the lithosphere across the different tectonic domains.

  5. Crust and Mantle Structure of a Closed Rift System from the Superior Province Rifting Earthscope Experiment (SPREE) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Lee, S.; Wolin, E.; Bollmann, T. A.; Tekverk, K.

    2013-12-01

    The existence of the 1.1 Ga Mid-continent Rift System (MRS) in the Great Lakes region of North America is well known on account of its prominent gravity and magnetic anomalies. These elongated anomalies are associated with dense igneous rocks, which surface in sparse outcrops and are imaged in a handful of active source profiles. Part of the MRS cuts across the Archean Superior Craton while other parts cut through at least three different Proterozoic terranes, though there are indications that offsets between rift segments, such as the Belle Plaine Fault, may follow pre-existing terrane boundaries. The total volume of igneous rock imaged in active source data is consistently estimated as at least one million km3, which is enough for a sea floor of the size of the current Gulf of California, or five times the size of Lake Baikal. However, cessation of rifting and closure of the rift uplifted the igneous rocks along the axes, causing lateral gravity gradients of 150 mgal over 50 km between the gravity high above the uplifted igneous rift axis and the low above the sediment deposits in the original rift flanks. Our seismic experiment (SPREE) covers an area around a one thousand km long segment of the MRS. A long, interrupted line of stations follows the rift axis, another line cuts across this high gravity gradient, yet another line cuts across the Belle Plaine rift axis offset, and a TA-like station group north of Lake Superior complements surrounding Transportable Array coverage. The Superior Province Rifting Earthscope Flexible Array (FA) Experiment (SPREE) has been running for two years with a data return of over 96%. Preliminary SPREE and other analyses show puzzling low velocities along the rift axis and complex Moho structure beneath thickened crust. Other crustal features include a large diversity of sediments, from soggy Quaternary mud through meta-sedimentary Proterozoic rocks. At the time of writing we are quantifying the effects of this complex geological

  6. Transition from a localized to wide deformation along Eastern branch of Central East African Rift: Insights from 3D numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, S. D.; Koptev, A.; Burov, E. B.; Calais, E.; Gerya, T.

    2015-12-01

    The Central East African Rift (CEAR) bifurcates in two branches (eastern, magma-rich and western, magma-poor) surrounding strong Tanzanian craton. Intensive magmatism and continental flood basalts are largely present in many of the eastern rift segments, but other segments, first of all the western branch, exhibit very small volcanic activity. The Eastern rift is characterized by southward progression of the onset of volcanism, the extensional features and topographic expression of the rift vary significantly north-southward: in northern Kenya the deformation is very wide (some 150-250 km in E-W direction), to the south the rift narrows to 60-70 km, yet further to the south the deformation widens again in the so-called Tanzania divergence zone. Widening of the Eastern branch within its southern part is associated with the impingement of the southward-propagating rift on the strong Masai block situated to east of the Tanzanian craton. To understand the mechanisms behind this complex deformation distribution, we implemented a 3Dl ultra-high resolution visco-plastic thermo-mechanical numerical model accounting for thermo-rheological structure of the lithosphere and hence captures essential features of the CEAR. The preferred model has a plume seeded slightly to the northeast of the craton center, consistent with seismic tomography, and produces surface strain distribution that is in good agreement with observed variation of deformation zone width along eastern side of Tanzanian craton: localized above bulk of mantle material deflected by cratonic keel narrow high strain zone (Kenia Rift) is replaced by wide distributed deformations within areas situated to north (northern Kenya, Turkana Rift) and to south (Tanzania divergence, Masai block) of it. These results demonstrate significant differences in the impact of the rheological profile on rifting style in case of dominant active rifting compared to dominant passive rifting. Narrow rifting, conventionally attributed to

  7. Constraining the Composition of the Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle Beneath the East African Rift: FTIR Analysis of Water in Spinel Peridotite Mantle Xenoliths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, Stephanie Gwen; Nelson, Wendy R.; Peslier, Anne H.; Snow, Jonathan E.

    2014-01-01

    The East African Rift System was initiated by the impingement of the Afar mantle plume on the base of the non-cratonic continental lithosphere (assembled during the Pan-African Orogeny), producing over 300,000 kmof continental flood basalts approx.30 Ma ago. The contribution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) to this voluminous period of volcanism is implied based on basaltic geochemical and isotopic data. However, the role of percolating melts on the SCLM composition is less clear. Metasomatism is capable of hybridizing or overprinting the geochemical signature of the SCLM. In addition, models suggest that adding fluids to lithospheric mantle affects its stability. We investigated the nature of the SCLM using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) to measure water content in mantle xenoliths entrained in young (1 Ma) basaltic lavas from the Ethiopian volcanic province. The mantle xenoliths consist dominantly of spinel lherzolites and are composed of nominally anhydrous minerals, which can contain trace water as H in mineral defects. Eleven mantle xenoliths come from the Injibara-Gojam region and two from the Mega-Sidamo region. Water abundances of olivines in six samples are 1-5ppm H2O while the rest are below the limit of detection (<0.5 ppm H2O); orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene contain 80-238 and 111-340 ppm wt H2O, respectively. Two xenoliths have higher water contents - a websterite (470 ppm) and dunite (229 ppm), consistent with involvement of ascending melts. The low water content of the upper SCLM beneath Ethiopia is as dry as the oceanic mantle except for small domains represented by percolating melts. Consequently, rifting of the East African lithosphere may not have been facilitated by a hydrated upper mantle.

  8. Ouachita trough: Part of a Cambrian failed rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowe, Donald R.

    1985-11-01

    Pre-flysch (Cambrian-Mississippian) strata of the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma include two main sandstone lithofacies: (1) a craton-derived lithofacies made up largely of mature medium- to coarse-grained quartzose and carbonate detritus and, in some units, sediment eroded from exposed basement rocks and (2) an orogen-derived facies made up mainly of fine-grained quartzose sedimentary and metasedimentary debris and possibly, in lower units, a volcaniclastic component. Paleocurrent and distribution patterns indicate that detritus of facies I in the Benton uplift was derived from north and detritus of facies II throughout the Ouachitas was derived from south and east of the depositional basin. Overall sedimentological results suggest that the Ouachita trough was a relatively narrow, two-sided basin throughout most and probably all of its existence and never formed the southern margin of the North American craton. Regional comparisons suggest that it was one of several basins, including the Southern Oklahoma aulacogen, Reelfoot Rift, Illinois Basin, and Rome trough, that formed as a Cambrian failed rift system 150 to 250 m.y. after initial rifting along the Appalachian margin of the North American craton.

  9. Kinematics of Rift-Parallel Deformation Along the Rukwa Rift, Western Branch, and Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D.; Koehn, D.; Burke, K. C.; d'Oreye, N.; Saria, E.; Xu, R.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift System spans N-S ~5000 km and currently experiences E-W extension. Previous kinematic studies of the EARS delineated 3 relatively rigid sub-plates (Victoria, Rovuma, and Lwandle) between the Nubian and Somalian plates. GPS observations of these block interiors confirm the rigid plate model, but we also detect a systematic along-rift deformation pattern at GPS stations located within rift zones bounding the western Victoria block and continuing north between the Nubian and Somalian plates. Here we present a kinematic model of present-day rift-parallel deformation along the Western branch, Rukwa Rift, and Main Ethiopian Rift constrained by a new GPS solution, earthquake slip vectors, and mapped active fault structures. We test the roles of block rotation, elastic deformation, and anelastic deformation by varying block geometry, fault slip distribution parameters, estimating permanent strain rate, and scoring each model with GPS observations. We also explore how the present-day deformation patterns relate to longer-term paleostress indicators. Observations of slickensides and offsets in seismic reflection profiles in the northern Western branch (Albertine rift) indicate a change from ~NNE trending normal faulting to include strike-slip motion within the past 7 My that may be related to previously studied stress changes in the Turkana rift. Preliminary results from the kinematic modeling demonstrate simple elastic strain accumulation on major border faults cannot explain an observed systematic northward component in GPS velocities relative to the Victoria block and the Nubian plate.

  10. The Rwenzori Mountains, a Palaeoproterozoic crustal shear belt crossing the Albertine rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehn, D.; Link, K.; Sachau, T.; Passchier, C. W.; Aanyu, K.; Spikings, A.; Harbinson, R.

    2015-04-01

    This contribution discusses the development of the Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt in the Rwenzori Mountains and its influence on the western part of the East African Rift System in Uganda. The Buganda-Toro belt is composed of several thick-skinned nappes consisting of Archaean Gneisses and Palaeoproterozoic cover units that are thrusted northwards. The high Rwenzori Mountains are located in the frontal unit of this belt with retrograde greenschist facies gneisses towards the north, which are unconformably overlain by metasediments and amphibolites. Towards the south, the metasediments are overthrust by the next migmatitic gneiss unit that belongs to a crustal-scale nappe. The southwards dipping metasedimentary and volcanic sequence in the high Rwenzori Mountains shows an inverse metamorphic grade with greenschist facies conditions in the north and amphibolite facies conditions in the south. Early D1 deformation structures are overgrown by cordierite, which in turn grows into D2 deformation, representing the major northwards directed thrusting event. We argue that the inverse metamorphic gradient develops because higher grade rocks are exhumed in the footwall of a crustal-scale nappe, whereas the exhumation decreases towards the north away from the nappe leading to a decrease in metamorphic grade. The D2 deformation event is followed by a D3 E-W compression, a D4 with the development of steep shear zones with a NNE-SSW and SSE-NNW trend including the large Nyamwamba shear followed by a local D5 retrograde event and D6 brittle reverse faulting. The Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt is relatively stiff and crosses the NNE-SSW running rift system exactly at the node where the highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are situated and where the Lake George rift terminates towards the north. Orientation of brittle and ductile fabrics show some similarities indicating that the cross-cutting Buganda-Toro belt influenced rift propagation and brittle fault development

  11. A Pan African age for the HP-HT granulite gneisses of Zabargad island: implications for the early stages of the Red Sea rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lancelot, Joël R.; Bosch, Delphine

    1991-12-01

    Up to now the age of granulite gneisses intruded by the Zabargad mantle diapir has been an unsolved problem. These gneisses may represent either a part of the adjacent continental crust primarily differentiated during the Pan African orogeny, or new crust composed of Miocene clastic sediments deposited in a developing rift, crosscut by a diabase dike swarm and gabbroic intrusions, and finally metamorphosed and deformed by the mantle diapir. Previous geochronological results obtained on Zabargad island and Al Lith and Tihama-Asir complexes (Saudi Arabia) suggest an Early Miocene age of emplacement for the Zabargad mantle diapir during the early opening of the Red Sea rift. In contrast, Sm sbnd Nd and Rb sbnd Sr internal isochrons yield Pan African dates for felsic and basic granulites collected 500-600 m from the contact zone with the peridotites. Devoid of evidence for retrograde metamorphic, minerals from a felsic granulite provide well-defined Rb sbnd Sr and Sm sbnd Nd dates of 655 ± 8 and 699 ± 34 Ma for the HP-HT metamorphic event (10 kbar, 850°C). The thermal event related to the diapir emplacement is not recorded in the Sm sbnd Nd and Rb sbnd Sr systems of the studied gneisses; in contrast, the development of a retrograde amphibolite metamorphic paragenesis strongly disturbed the Rb sbnd Sr isotopic system of the mafic granulite. The initial 143Nd/ 144Nd ratio of the felsic granulite is higher than the contemporaneous value for CHUR and is in agreement with other Nd isotopic data for samples of upper crust from the Arabian shield. This result suggests that source rocks of the felsic granulite were derived at 1.0 to 1.2 Ga from either an average MORB-type mantle or a local 2.2 Ga LREE-depleted mantle. Zabargad gneisses represent a part of the disrupted lower continental crust of the Pan African Afro-Arabian shield. During early stages of the Red Sea rifting in the Miocene, these Precambrian granulites were intruded and dragged upwards by a rising peridotite

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peron-Pinvidic, Gwenn; Terje Osmundsen, Per

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Pre-breakup geology of the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean: Its relation to Triassic and Jurassic rift systems of the region

    SciTech Connect

    Bartok, P. )

    1993-02-01

    A review of the pre-breakup geology of west-central Pangea, comprised of northern South America, Gulf of Mexico and West Africa, combined with a study of the Mesozoic rift trends of the region confirms a relation between the rift systems and the underlying older grain of deformation. The pre-breakup analysis focuses attention on the Precambrian, Early Paleozoic and Late Paleozoic tectonic events affecting the region and assumes a Pindell fit. Two Late Precambrian orogenic belts are observed in the west central Pangea. Along the northern South American margin and Yucatan a paleo northeast trending Pan-African aged fold belt is documented. A second system is observed along West Africa extending from the High Atlas to the Mauritanides and Rockelides. During the Late Paleozoic, renewed orogenic activity, associated with the Gondwana/Laurentia suture, affected large segments of west central Pangea. The general trend of the system is northeast-southwest and essentially parallels the Gyayana Shield, West African, and eastern North American cratons. Mesozoic rifting closely followed either the Precambrian trends or the Late Paleozoic orogenic belt. The Triassic component focuses along the western portions of the Gulf of Mexico continuing into eastern Mexico and western South America. The Jurassic rift trend followed along the separation between Yucatan and northern South America. At Lake Maracaibo the Jurassic rift system eventually overlaps the Triassic rifts. The Jurassic rift resulted in the [open quotes]Hispanic Corridor[close quotes] that permitted Tethyan and Pacific marine faunas to mix at a time when the Gulf of Mexico underwent continental sedimentation.

  14. Regional assessment of lake ecological states using Landsat: A classification scheme for alkaline-saline, flamingo lakes in the East African Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tebbs, E. J.; Remedios, J. J.; Avery, S. T.; Rowland, C. S.; Harper, D. M.

    2015-08-01

    In situ reflectance measurements and Landsat satellite imagery were combined to develop an optical classification scheme for alkaline-saline lakes in the Eastern Rift Valley. The classification allows the ecological state and consequent value, in this case to Lesser Flamingos, to be determined using Landsat satellite imagery. Lesser Flamingos depend on a network of 15 alkaline-saline lakes in East African Rift Valley, where they feed by filtering cyanobacteria and benthic diatoms from the lakes' waters. The classification developed here was based on a decision tree which used the reflectance in Landsat ETM+ bands 2-4 to assign one of six classes: low phytoplankton biomass; suspended sediment-dominated; microphytobenthos; high cyanobacterial biomass; cyanobacterial scum and bleached cyanobacterial scum. The classification accuracy was 77% when verified against in situ measurements. Classified imagery and timeseries were produced for selected lakes, which show the different ecological behaviours of these complex systems. The results have highlighted the importance to flamingos of the food resources offered by the extremely remote Lake Logipi. This study has demonstrated the potential of high spatial resolution, low spectral resolution sensors for providing ecologically valuable information at a regional scale, for alkaline-saline lakes and similar hypereutrophic inland waters.

  15. Quantifying the morphometric variability of monogenetic cones in volcanic fields: the Virunga Volcanic Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Sam; Grosse, Pablo; Barette, Florian; Smets, Benoît; Albino, Fabien; Kervyn, François; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    Volcanic cone fields are generally made up of tens to hundreds of monogenetic cones, sometimes related to larger polygenetic edifices, which can exhibit a wide range of morphologies and degrees of preservation. The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) developed itself in a transfer zone which separates two rift segments (i.e. Edward and Kivu rift) within the western branch of the East-African Rift. As the result of volcanic activity related to this tectonic regime of continental extension, the VVP hosts eight large polygenetic volcanoes, surrounded by over 500 monogenetic cones and eruptive fissures, scattered over the vast VVP lava flow fields. Some cones lack any obvious geo-structural link to a specific Virunga volcano. Using recent high-resolution satellite images (SPOT, Pléiades) and a newly created 5-m-resolution digital elevation model (TanDEM-X), we have mapped and classified all monogenetic cones and eruptive fissures of the VVP. We analysed the orientation of all mapped eruptive fissures and, using the MORVOLC program, we calculated a set of morphometric parameters to highlight systematic spatial variations in size or morphometric ratios of the cones. Based upon morphological indicators, we classified the satellite cones into 4 categories: 1. Simple cones with one closed-rim crater; 2. Breached cones with one open-rim crater; 3. Complex cones with two or more interconnected craters and overlapping cones; 4. Other edifices without a distinguishable crater or cone shape (e.g. spatter mounds and levees along eruptive fissures). The results show that cones are distributed in clusters and along alignments, in some cases parallel with the regional tectonic orientations. Contrasts in the volumes of cones positioned on the rift shoulders compared to those located on the rift valley floor can possibly be attributed to contrasts in continental crust thickness. Furthermore, higher average cone slopes in the East-VVP (Bufumbira zone) and central-VVP cone clusters suggest

  16. Geochronological and geochemical assessment of Cenozoic volcanism from the Terror Rift region of the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rilling, Sarah E.

    The work presented in this dissertation explains results from three different methods to determine the relation between tectonism and rift-related volcanism in the Terror Rift region of the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS). Alkaline lavas from seven submarine features, Beaufort Island and Franklin Islands, and several locations near Mt Melbourne were dated by 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and analyzed for elemental and isotopic chemical signatures. Each chapter addresses a different aspect of the hypothesis that the presence of volatiles, primarily H2O or CO2, in the magma source has led to anomalously high volumes of magmatism after rift-related decompressional melting rather than requiring an active mantle plume source. Chapter 2 provides the temporal framework, illustrating that the sampled features range in age from 6.7 Ma to 89 ka, post-dating the main Miocene age phase of Terror Rift extension. Chapter 3 illustrates the traditional enriched elemental and isotopic chemical signatures to support the overall homogeneity of these lavas and previously analyzed areas of the WARS. This chapter also provides a new model for the generation of the Pb isotopic signatures consistent with a history of metasomatism in the magma source. Chapter 4 provides an entirely new chemical dataset for the WARS. The first platinum group element (PGE) abundances and extremely unradiogenic Os isotopic signatures of Cenozoic lavas from Antarctica provide the strongest evidence of melting contributions from a lithospheric mantle source. The combined results from these three studies consistently support the original hypothesis of this dissertation. New evidence suggests that WARS related lavas are not related to a mantle plume(s) as previously proposed. Instead, they are generated by passive, decompressional melting of a source, likely a combination of the asthenospheric and lithospheric mantle, which has undergone previous melting events and metasomatism.

  17. Rift Valley fever virus infection in African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) herds in rural South Africa: Evidence of interepidemic transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaBeaud, A.D.; Cross, P.C.; Getz, W.M.; Glinka, A.; King, C.H.

    2011-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an emerging biodefense pathogen that poses significant threats to human and livestock health. To date, the interepidemic reservoirs of RVFV are not well defined. In a longitudinal survey of infectious diseases among African buffalo during 2000-2006, 550 buffalo were tested for antibodies against RVFV in 820 capture events in 302 georeferenced locations in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Overall, 115 buffalo (21%) were seropositive. Seroprevalence of RVFV was highest (32%) in the first study year, and decreased progressively in subsequent years, but had no detectable impact on survival. Nine (7%) of 126 resampled, initially seronegative animals seroconverted during periods outside any reported regional RVFV outbreaks. Seroconversions for RVFV were detected in significant temporal clusters during 2001-2003 and in 2004. These findings highlight the potential importance of wildlife as reservoirs for RVFV and interepidemic RVFV transmission in perpetuating regional RVFV transmission risk. Copyright ?? 2011 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  18. Active fault systems of the Kivu rift and Virunga volcanic province, and implications for geohazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zal, H. J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Wood, D. J.; Scholz, C. A.; d'Oreye, N.; Carn, S. A.; Rutagarama, U.

    2013-12-01

    H Zal, C Ebinger, D. Wood, C. Scholz, N. d'Oreye, S. Carn, U. Rutagarama The weakly magmatic Western rift system, East Africa, is marked by fault-bounded basins filled by freshwater lakes that record tectonic and climatic signals. One of the smallest of the African Great Lakes, Lake Kivu, represents a unique geohazard owing to the warm, saline bottom waters that are saturated in methane, as well as two of the most active volcanoes in Africa that effectively dam the northern end of the lake. Yet, the dynamics of the basin system and the role of magmatism were only loosely constrained prior to new field and laboratory studies in Rwanda. In this work, we curated, merged, and analyzed historical and digital data sets, including spectral analyses of merged Shuttle Radar Topography Mission topography and high resolution CHIRP bathymetry calibrated by previously mapped fault locations along the margins and beneath the lake. We quantitatively compare these fault maps with the time-space distribution of earthquakes located using data from a temporary array along the northern sector of Lake Kivu, as well as space-based geodetic data. During 2012, seismicity rates were highest beneath Nyiragongo volcano, where a range of low frequency (1-3 s peak frequency) to tectonic earthquakes were located. Swarms of low-frequency earthquakes correspond to periods of elevated gas emissions, as detected by Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). Earthquake swarms also occur beneath Karisimbi and Nyamuragira volcanoes. A migrating swarm of earthquakes in May 2012 suggests a sill intrusion at the DR Congo-Rwanda border. We delineate two fault sets: SW-NE, and sub-N-S. Excluding the volcano-tectonic earthquakes, most of the earthquakes are located along subsurface projections of steep border faults, and intrabasinal faults calibrated by seismic reflection data. Small magnitude earthquakes also occur beneath the uplifted rift flanks. Time-space variations in seismicity patterns provide a baseline

  19. Multiproxy Evidence for a Positive Hydrological Budget during the Little Ice Age in the East African Rift, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goman, M.; Ashley, G. M.; Hover, V. C.; Owen, R.

    2011-12-01

    Hominin evolution took place in Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene and climate change is thought to be a factor, with Africa experiencing a general cooling and increasing aridification over the last several million years. Today, the climate of the East African Rift Valley of Kenya is characterized as semi-arid with evapotranspiration four times precipitation. Water resources are a valuable commodity for the many millions of inhabitants of the Valley. The short instrumental record shows precipitation fluctuates at sub-decadal timeframes as a result of the ENSO cycle; while during prehistory variations in monsoonal precipitation occurred on Milankovitch timescales (i.e. African Humid Period). Both timescales exhibit significant impacts on the distribution of surface water. However, little is known regarding precipitation variability over sub-millennial timescales. Emerging paleoclimate data indicates that the near surface presence of water has also varied over century length timescales. We present paleoclimate data from multiple sites along a north-south 600 km transect of the Gregory Rift Valley (Kenya) that indicate the region experienced wetter conditions during the Little Ice Age (A.D. 1400-1850). Our reconstructions of landscape and climate during this time frame rely upon a multiproxy and interdisciplinary approach. We discuss data from a variety of environmental settings (e.g. lakes, wetlands, and springs) that indicate an overall increase in hydrologic balance. Evidence is derived from biologic microfossils such as pollen, diatom and testate amoebae assemblages as well as inorganic components of the sedimentary record and geomorphic changes. The data differs significantly from studies undertaken to the west in Uganda and the Congo, where negative hydrologic balances occurred during the Little Ice Age. While the atmospheric dynamics causing this disparity are not yet recognized, interactions between the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the Congo Air Boundary

  20. The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland and its relationships to volcanic deposits at Olduvai Gorge and East African Rift volcanism.

    PubMed

    Mollel, Godwin F; Swisher, Carl C

    2012-08-01

    The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland (NVH), situated adjacent and to the east of Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, is the source of the immense quantities of lava, ignimbrite, air fall ash, and volcaniclastic debris that occur interbedded in the Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary deposits in the Laetoli and Olduvai areas. These volcanics have proven crucial to unraveling stratigraphic correlations, the age of these successions, the archaeological and paleontological remains, as well as the source materials from which the bulk of the stone tools were manufactured. The NVH towers some 2,000 m above the Olduvai and Laetoli landscapes, affecting local climate, run-off, and providing varying elevation - climate controlled ecosystem, habitats, and riparian corridors extending into the Olduvai and Laetoli lowlands. The NVH also plays a crucial role in addressing the genesis and history of East African Rift (EAR) magmatism in northern Tanzania. In this contribution, we provide age and petrochemical compositions of the major NVH centers: Lemagurut, basalt to benmorite, 2.4-2.2 Ma; Satiman, tephrite to phonolite, 4.6-3.5 Ma; Oldeani, basalt to trachyandesite, 1.6-1.5 Ma; Ngorongoro, basalt to rhyolite, 2.3-2.0 Ma; Olmoti, basalt to trachyte, 2.0-1.8 Ma; Embagai, nephelinite to phonolite, 1.2-0.6 Ma; and Engelosin, phonolite, 3-2.7 Ma. We then discuss how these correlate in time and composition with volcanics preserved at Olduvai Gorge. Finally, we place this into context with our current understanding as to the eruptive history of the NVH and relationship to East African Rift volcanism. PMID:22404967

  1. The Thermal History of the East African Rift Lakes Region Since the Last Glacial Maximum Using TEX86 Paleothermometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berke, M. A.; Johnson, T. C.; Werne, J. P.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J. S.

    2008-12-01

    We present preliminary results from a study using the TEX86 temperature proxy from sediments of East African Rift Lakes (including Lakes Turkana, Albert, and Malawi) to reconstruct the thermal history of tropical Africa for the last ~ 20,000 years at a subcentennial to multicentennial resolution. The TEX86 proxy, based on tetraether membrane lipids produced by lacustrine Crenarchaeota, has been shown to be successful at recording lake surface temperatures of some large lakes, including Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, while providing unreasonable surface temperatures for lakes that receive a large input of soil material. The East African Rift Lakes are climatically sensitive, with the majority of water loss due to evaporation rather than outflow. Thus, they are useful for paleoclimate studies, being sensitive to even small changes in aridity. Temperature records from the northern and central basins of Lake Malawi agree well and fall within modern surface lake temperatures. A 2.5°C cooling is evident during the Younger Dryas in the northern basin record, with no response seen in the central basin. We are currently investigating mechanisms to explain why both records show a gradual cooling of 3°C during the late Holocene. Lake Albert shows an intriguing two-step cooling during the Younger Dryas, reaching temperatures 2.5°C lower than temperatures preceding or following this interval. The temperature record of Lake Turkana shows an interesting ~ 500 year cyclicity of low temperatures punctuated by abrupt warming events. Lakes Turkana and Albert show TEX86 paleotemperatures considerably lower (8°C cooler in Lake Albert and ~ 4°C cooler in Lake Turkana) than modern surface water temperatures. Although these records appear to fall in the range of temporal variability, these temperature discrepancies may indicate varying Crenarcheotal populations between lakes or other influencing factors.

  2. Footwall progradation in syn-rift carbonate platform-slope systems (Early Jurassic, Northern Apennines, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabbi, Simone; Santantonio, Massimo

    2012-12-01

    The so-called Umbria-Marche Domain of Northern Apennines represents a vast depositional system, also stretching across the Adriatic Sea subsurface, that was characterized by dominantly pelagic sedimentation through most of its Jurassic to Oligocene/Early Miocene history. The pelagic succession is underlain by Hettangian shallow-water carbonates (Calcare Massiccio Fm.), constituting a regional carbonate platform that was subjected to tectonic extension due to rifting of the Adria/African Plate in the earliest Jurassic. While tectonic subsidence of the hangingwalls drove the drowning of the platform around the Hettangian/Sinemurian boundary, the production of benthic carbonate on footwall blocks continued parallel to faulting, through a sequence of facies that was abruptly terminated by drowning and development of condensed pelagites in the early Pliensbachian. By then rifting had ceased, so that the Pliensbachian to Early Cretaceous hangingwall deposits represent a post-rift basin-fill succession onlapping the tectonically-generated escarpment margins of the highs. During the early phases of syndepositional faulting, the carbonate factories of footwall blocks were still temporarily able to fill part of the accommodation space produced by the normal faults by prograding into the incipient basins. In this paper we describe for the first time a relatively low-angle (< 10°) clinoform bed package documenting such an ephemeral phase of lateral growth of a carbonate factory. The clinoforms are sigmoidal, and form low-relief (maximum 5-7 m) bodies representing a shallow-water slope that was productive due to development of a Lithocodium-dominated factory. Continued faulting and hangingwall subsidence then decoupled the slope from the platform top, halting the growth of clinoforms and causing the platform margin to switch from accretionary to bypass mode as the pre-rift substrate became exposed along a submarine fault escarpment. The downfaulted clinoform slope was then

  3. Hydrocarbon accumulation on rifted Continental Margin - examples of oil migration pathways, west African salt basins

    SciTech Connect

    Blackwelder, B.W.

    1989-03-01

    Examination of the oil fields in the Gabon, Lower Congo, and Cuanza basins allows modeling of oil migration and a more accurate ranking of prospects using geologic risk factors. Oil accumulations in these basins are in strata deposited during Cretaceous rift and drift phases, thus providing a diversity of geologic settings to examine. Oil accumulations in rift deposits are located on large faulted anticlines or in truncated units atop horst features. Many of these oil fields were sourced from adjacent organic shales along short direct migration paths. In Areas where source rock is more remote to fields or to prospective structures, faulting and continuity of reservoir rock are important to the migration of hydrocarbons. Because Aptian salts separate rift-related deposits from those of the drift stage, salt evacuation and faulting of the salt residuum are necessary for oil migration from the pre-salt sequences into the post-salt section. Oil migration within post-salt strata is complicated by the presence of salt walls and faulted carbonate platforms. Hydrocarbon shows in wells drilled throughout this area provide critical data for evaluating hydrocarbon migration pathways. Such evaluation in combination with modeling and mapping of the organic-rich units, maturation, reservoir facies, structural configurations, and seals in existing fields allows assessment of different plays. Based on this information, new play types and prospective structures can be ranked with respect to geologic risk.

  4. The Corinth Rift Laboratory, Greece (CRL) : A Multidisciplinary Near Fault Observatory (NFO) on a Fast Rifting System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernard, P.; Lyon-Caen, H.; Deschamps, A.; Briole, P.; Lambotte, S.; Ford, M.; Scotti, O.; Beck, C.; Hubert-Ferrari, A.; Boiselet, A.; Godano, M.; Matrullo, E.; Meyer, N.; Albini, P.; Elias, P.; Nercessian, A.; Katsonopoulou, D.; Papadimitriou, P.; Voulgaris, N.; Kapetanidis, V.; Sokos, E.; Serpetsidaki, A.; el Arem, S.; Dublanchet, P.; Duverger, C.; Makropoulos, K.; Tselentis, A.

    2014-12-01

    The western rift of Corinth (Greece) is one of the most active tectonic structures of the euro-mediterranean area. Its NS opening rate is 1.5 cm/yr ( strain rate of 10-6/yr) results into a high microseismicity level and a few destructive, M>6 earthquakes per century, activating a system of mostly north dipping normal faults. Since 2001, monitoring arrays of the European Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL, www.crlab.eu) allowed to better track the mechanical processes at work, with short period and broad band seismometers, cGPS, borehole strainmeters, EM stations, …). The recent (300 kyr) tectonic history has been revealed by onland (uplifted fan deltas and terraces) and offshore geological studies (mapping, shallow seismic, coring), showing a fast evolution of the normal fault system. The microseismicity, dominated by swarms lasting from days to months, mostly clusters in a layer 1 to 3 km thick, between 6 and 9 km in depth, dipping towards north, on which most faults are rooting. The diffusion of the microseismicity suggests its triggering by pore pressure transients, with no or barely detected strain. Despite a large proportion of multiplets, true repeaters seem seldom, suggesting a minor contribution of creep in their triggering, although transient or steady creep is clearly detected on the shallow part of some majors faults. The microseismic layer may thus be an immature, downward growing detachment, and the dominant rifting mechanism might be a mode I, anelastic strain beneath the rift axis , for which a mechanical model is under development. Paleoseismological (trenching, paleoshorelines, turbidites), archeological and historical studies completed the catalogues of instrumental seismicity, motivating attempts of time dependent hazard assessment. The Near Fault Observatory of CRL is thus a multidisciplinary research infrastructure aiming at a better understanding and modeling of multiscale, coupled seismic/aseismic processes on fault systems.

  5. Transition From a Magmatic to a Tectonic Rift System : Seismotectonics of the Eyasi- Manyara Region, Northern Tanzania, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albaric, J.; Perrot, J.; Deschamps, A.; Deverchere, J.; Wambura, R. F.; Tiberi, C.; Petit, C.; Le Gall, B.; Sue, C.

    2008-12-01

    How a rift system propagates and breaks throughout a cold and thick continental crust remains poorly known. Only few places allow to address the question. In the East African Rift System (EARS), the eastern magma- rich branch abruptly splits into two amagmatic arms (the Eyasi and Manyara faulted systems), south of a E-W volcanic chain (the Ngorongoro-Kilimanjaro transverse volcanic belt), as crossing the Archaean Tanzanian craton margin. We present the first detailed seismotectonic picture of the Eyasi-Manyara rifts where a network of ~25 seismometers was settled from June to November 2007 (SEISMO-TANZ'07 seismological experiment). From the seismicity recorded by the network, we identify active faults and discuss the stress field framework obtained from the inversion of focal mechanisms. We use the determined depth of earthquakes (1) to discuss the crustal structure of the transition zone from a magma-rich to a magma-starved section of the EARS and (2) to further emphasize the rheological control on depth distributions in the EARS (Albaric et al., Tectonophysics, 2008). The stress and strain directions deduced from our work are also used to question recently published kinematics and conceptual models of the EARS (Calais et al., Geol. Soc. London, 2006 ; Le Gall et al., Tectonophysics, 2008).

  6. Volcanic water flows could have flooded Ganymede's planetary rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Allison, M.L.; Clifford, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Global expansion on Ganymede of only 1 or 2% created a planetary rift system which was resurfaced over a significant period of the planet's history creating bright, grooved terrain. The most reasonable model entails flooding of grabens by water or slush magmas which rose to the surface along normal faults in the rift system. Various models exist for the origin of the water magmas including isostatic rise of freezing ice I or diapirs of unstable ice III. A model considering the heat balance at the surface of an ice-covered water flow is constructed with the simplifying assumption that both laminar flow and a solid ice cover are achieved relatively soon after eruption. The ice cover will thicken until the underlying flowing water is entirely frozen. Energy into the system comes from solar radiation and the latent heat of freezing. Energy lost will be by evaporative and radiative cooling at the ice surface and by conduction into the substratum. Solving the heat balance allows a prediction for the volume of magma that can flood the surface. For example a flow 5 m thick will take tens of days to freeze, so that discharge rates equal to that of average terrestrial basalt flows could flood relatively large areas of the surface before freezing. Volcanic flooding is therefore a physically viable mechanism for the origin of bright terrain. During freezing the water/ice volume increases, lifting and fracturing the ice cover. These fractures may localize continued tectonic forces producing large displacements and creating the present grooved terrain.

  7. Rio Grande rift: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, Kenneth H.; Scott Baldridge, W.; Callender, Jonathan F.

    1987-11-01

    The Rio Grande rift of the southwestern United States is one of the world's principal continental rift systems. It extends as a series of asymmetrical grabens from central Colorado, through New Mexico, to Presidio, Texas, and Chihuahua, Mexico—a distance of more than 1000 km. Although the Rio Grande rift is closely related in timing and structural style to the contiguous Basin and Range extensional province, the two can be distinguished by a variety of geological and geophysical signatures. Rifts (both oceanic and continental) can be defined as elongate depressions overlying places where the entire lithosphere has ruptured in extension. The lithosphere of the Rio Grande rift conforms to this definition, in that: (1) the crust is moderately thinned—Moho depths range from about 45 km under the flanks to about 33 km beneath the rift axis. (2) anomalously low P n velocities (7.6-7.8 km s -1) beneath the rift and a long wavelength gravity low suggest that the asthenosphere is in contact with the base of the crust. The P-velocity is abnormally low (6.4-6.5 km s -1) in the lower half of the crust beneath the rift, suggesting high crustal temperatures. However, associated seismic and volcanologic data indicate the sub-rift lower crust is not dominated by a massive composite mafic intrusion such as is sometimes inferred for the East African rifts. Seismic and magnetotelluric data suggest the presence of a thin (< 1 km) sill-like contemporary midcrustal magma body which may perhaps extend intermittently along much of the length of the rift. Seismic and structural studies indicate a dominant horizontal fabric in the upper and middle crust. The brittle-ductile transition is at depths -15 km except for the major volcanic fields, where it rises to 2-3 km. Structural development of the rift occurred mainly during two time intervals: the early phase beginning at -30 Ma. and lasting 10-12 m.y., and the late phase extending from -10 to 3 Ma. The early phase involved extensive

  8. Beta Regio rift system on Venus: Geologic interpretation of Magellan images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    Magellan SAR images and altimetric data were used to produce a new geologic map of the Northern part of Beta Regio within the frames of C1-30N279 mapsheet. It was part of our contributions into C1-formate geologic mapping efforts. The original map is at 1:8,000,000 scale. The rift structures are typical for Beta Regio on Venus. There are many large uplifted tessera areas on Beta upland. They occupy areas of higher topography. These tessera are partly burried by younger volcanic cover of plain material. These observations show that Beta upland was formed mainly due to lithospheric tectonical uplifting, and only partly was constructed by volcanic activity. A number of rift valleis traverse Beta upland and spread to the surrounding lowlands. The largest rift crosses Beta N to S. Typical width of rifts is 40 to 160 km. Rift valleis in this region are structurally represented by crustal grabens and half-grabens. There are symmetrical and asymmetrical rifts. A lot of them have shoulder uplifts with the relative high up to 0.5-1 km and width 40 to 60 km. Preliminary analysis of the largest rift valley structural cross-sections leads to the conclusion that it originated due to a 5-10 percent crustal extension. The prominent shield volcano - Theia Mons - is located at the center of Beta rift system. It could be considered as the surface manifestation of the upper mantle hot spot. Most of the rift belts are located radially to Theia Mons. The set of these data leads to conclusion that Beta rift system has an 'active-passive' origin. It was formed due to the regional tectonic lithospheric extension. Rifting was accelerated by the upper mantle hot spot located under the center of passive extension (under Beta Regio).

  9. Seismic Migration Imaging of the Lithosphere beneath the Afar Rift System, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, T. T. Y.; Chen, C. W.; Rychert, C.; Harmon, N.

    2015-12-01

    The Afar Rift system in east Africa is an ideal natural laboratory for investigating the incipient continental rifting, an essential component of plate tectonics. The Afar Rift is situated at the triple junction of three rifts, namely the southern Red Sea Rift, Gulf of Aden Rift and Main Ethiopian Rift (MER). The ongoing continental rifting at Afar transitions to seafloor spreading toward the southern Red Sea. The tectonic evolution of Afar is thought to be influenced by a mantle plume, but how the plume affects and interacts with the Afar lithosphere remains elusive. In this study, we use array seismic data to produce high-resolution migration images of the Afar lithosphere from scattered teleseismic wavefields to shed light on the lithospheric structure and associated tectonic processes. Our preliminary results indicate the presence of lithospheric seismic discontinuities with depth variation across the Afar region. Beneath the MER axis, we detect a pronounced discontinuity at 55 km depth, characterized by downward fast-to-slow velocity contrast, which appears to abruptly deepen to 75 km depth to the northern flank of MER. This discontinuity may be interpreted as the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Beneath the Ethiopian Plateau, on the other hand, a dipping structure with velocity increase is identified at 70-90 km depth. Further synthesis of observations from seismic tomography, receiver functions, and seismic anisotropy in the Afar region will offer better understanding of tectonic significance of the lithospheric discontinuities.

  10. Present-day strain rates and dynamics of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D. S.; Flesch, L. M.; Calais, E.

    2009-04-01

    The forces and physical processes at work during continental rifting remain to be fully understood and quantified. We investigate the balance of large-scale forces affecting present-day rifting in East Africa using a thin sheet approach to quantify strain rates and deviatoric stresses. We develop a strain rate model constrained by a combination of GPS-derived kinematic models and seismic moment tensors (CMT catalog) for our region of interest. We estimate a total deviatoric stress field by combining (1) stresses caused by gravitational potential energy (GPE) gradients within the crust and (2) a buoyancy signal present in the topography that we use to compute stresses. To estimate internal body forces, we assume crustal thicknesses and lateral density variations modeled in Crust 2.0 (G. Laske and G. Masters, http://mahi.ucsd.edu/Gabi/sediment.html, 2000). In our preferred model of deviatoric stresses, we estimate and remove the dynamic topography buoyancy signal by allowing the mantle lithosphere density to vary, compensating the lithosphere to a given reference depth. To test the reliability of our total deviatoric stress field, we compare tensor patterns of deviatoric stresses, with and without contributions from the mantle, to tensor patterns from kinematic deformation indicators. Our results to date suggest that horizontal buoyancy forces arising from variable crustal thicknesses and lateral density variations within the lithosphere contribute significantly to the diverging plate boundary forces of the EAR but do not account for the entire budget of force needed to produce present-day deformation.

  11. Tectonic stress evolution in the Pan-African Lufilian Arc and its foreland (Katanga, DRC): orogenic bending, late orogenic extensional collapse and transition to rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kipata, M. L.; Delvaux, D.; Sebagenzi, M. N.; Cailteux, J.; Sintubin, M.

    2012-04-01

    Between the paroxysm of the Lufilian orogeny at ~ 550 Ma and the late Neogene to Quaternary development of the south-western branch of the East African rift system, the tectonic evolution of the Lufilian Arc and Kundelungu foreland in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo remains poorly unknown although it caused important Cu-dominated mineral remobilizations leading to world-class ore deposits. This long period is essentially characterized by brittle tectonic deformations that have been investigated by field studies in open mines spread over the entire arc and foreland. Paleostress tensors were computed for a database of 1450 fault-slip data by interactive stress tensor inversion and data subset separation, and the relative succession of 8 brittle deformation events established. The oldest brittle structures observed are related to the Lufilian brittle compressional climax (stage 1). They have been re-oriented during the orogenic bending that led to the arcuate shape of the belt. Unfolding the stress directions from the first stage allows to reconstruct a consistent NE-SW direction of compression for this stage. Constrictional deformation occurred in the central part of the arc, probably during orogenic bending (Stage 2). After the orogenic bending, a sequence of 3 deformation stages marks the progressive onset of late-orogenic extension: strike-slip deformations (stages 3-4) and late-orogenic arc-parallel extension (stage 5). It is proposed that these 3 stages correspond to orogenic collapse. In early Mesozoic, NW-SE compression was induced by a transpressional inversion, interpreted as induced by far-field stresses generated at the southern active margin of Gondwana (stage 6). Since then, this region was affected by rift-related extension, successively in a NE-SW direction (stage 7, Tanganyika trend) and NW-SE direction (stage 8, Moero trend).

  12. Depositional and tectonic framework of the rift basins of Lake Baikal from multichannel seismic data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hutchinson, D.R.; Golmshtok, A.J.; Zonenshain, L.P.; Moore, T.C.; Scholz, C.A.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1992-01-01

    Recent multichannel seismic reflection data from Lake Baikal, located in a large, active, continental rift in central Asia, image three major stratigraphic units totalling 3.5 to 7.5 km thick in four subbasins. A major change in rift deposition and faulting between the oldest and middle-rift units probably corresponds to the change from slow to fast rifting. A brief comparison of the basins of Lake Baikal with those of the East African rift system highlights differences in structural style that can be explained by differences in age and evolution of the surrounding basement rocks. -from Authors

  13. ALVIN investigation of an active propagating rift system, Galapagos 95.5° W

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hey, R.N.; Sinton, J.M.; Kleinrock, M.C.; Yonover, R.N.; MacDonald, K.C.; Miller, S.P.; Searle, R.C.; Christie, D.M.; Atwater, T.M.; Sleep, N.H.; Johnson, H. Paul; Neal, C.A.

    1992-01-01

    ALVIN investigations have defined the fine-scale structural and volcanic patterns produced by active rift and spreading center propagation and failure near 95.5° W on the Galapagos spreading center. Behind the initial lithospheric rifting, which is propagating nearly due west at about 50 km m.y.−1, a triangular block of preexisting lithosphere is being stretched and fractured, with some recent volcanism along curving fissures. A well-organized seafloor spreading center, an extensively faulted and fissured volcanic ridge, develops ~ 10 km (~ 200,000 years) behind the tectonic rift tip. Regional variations in the chemical compositions of the youngest lavas collected during this program contrast with those encompassing the entire 3 m.y. of propagation history for this region. A maximum in degree of magmatic differentiation occurs about 9 km behind the propagating rift tip, in a region of diffuse rifting. The propagating spreading center shows a gentle gradient in magmatic differentiation culminating at the SW-curving spreading center tip. Except for the doomed rift, which is in a constructional phase, tectonic activity also dominates over volcanic activity along the failing spreading system. In contrast to the propagating rift, failing rift lavas show a highly restricted range of compositions consistent with derivation from a declining upwelling zone accompanying rift failure. The lithosphere transferred from the Cocos to the Nazca plate by this propagator is extensively faulted and characterized by ubiquitous talus in one of the most tectonically disrupted areas of seafloor known. The pseudofault scarps, where the preexisting lithosphere was rifted apart, appear to include both normal and propagator lavas and are thus more lithologically complex than previously thought. Biological communities, probably vestimentiferan tubeworms, occur near the top of the outer pseudofault scarp, although no hydrothermal venting was observed.

  14. A methodology to track temporal dynamics and rainfall thresholds of landslide processes in the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monsieurs, Elise; Jacobs, Liesbet; Kervyn, François; Kirschbaum, Dalia; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Derauw, Dominique; Kervyn, Matthieu; Nobile, Adriano; Trefois, Philippe; Dewitte, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    The East African rift valley is a major tectonic feature that shapes Central Africa and defines linear-shaped lowlands between highland ranges due to the action of geologic faults associated to earthquakes and volcanism. The region of interest, covering the Virunga Volcanic Province in eastern DRC, western Rwanda and Burundi, and southwest Uganda, is threatened by a rare combination of several types of geohazards, while it is also one of the most densely populated region of Africa. These geohazards can globally be classified as seismic, volcanic and landslide hazards. Landslides, include a wide range of ground movements, such as rock falls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows. Landslides are possibly the most important geohazard in terms of recurring impact on the populations, causing fatalities every year and resulting in structural and functional damage to infrastructure and private properties, as well as serious disruptions of the organization of societies. Many landslides are observed each year in the whole region, and their occurrence is clearly linked to complex topographic, lithologic and vegetation signatures coupled with heavy rainfall events, which is the main triggering factor. The source mechanisms underlying landslide triggering and dynamics in the region of interest are still poorly understood, even though in recent years, some progress has been made towards appropriate data collection. Taking into account difficulties of field accessibility, we present a methodology to study landslide processes by multi-scale and multi-sensor remote sensing data from very high to low resolution (Pléiades, TRMM, CosmoSkyMed, Sentinel). The research will address the evolution over time of such data combined with other earth observations (seismic ground based networks, catalogues, rain gauge networks, GPS surveying, field observations) to detect and study landslide occurrence, dynamics and evolution. This research aims to get insights into the rainfall

  15. The Kinematic Puzzle of the Gulf of California Rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stock, J. M.

    2007-05-01

    Extensive recent studies of the Gulf of California greatly advanced our understanding of the kinematics of this Pacific-North America plate boundary rift and its crustal structure. However, some kinematic discrepancies that need to be resolved, particularly for the time interval 12-6 Ma, after subduction had stopped but possibly before major opening began in the northern Gulf basins. Correlation of pyroclastic flow deposits across the Upper Delfin Basin segment (Oskin et al., 2001 and subsequent papers) indicates that virtually all of the opening between the coastlines in this segment (from San Felipe/Puertecitos in Baja California to the W side of Tiburon Island) occurred since ~6.1 Ma producing ~250 km of opening of the marine basin. This implies that the crust in the basin should have been brought into the region since ca. 6 Ma, perhaps by production of new igneous crust or remobilization of continental crust to fill the ~250-km gap. The total amount of post-6 Ma opening in the rift, including the onland deformation, is consistent with expected Pacific-North America displacement determined from the global plate circuit since 6 Ma, and it is also consistent with the slip history of the southern San Andreas fault. A smaller amount of motion (tens of kms) can be identified geologically post-12.5 Ma and pre-6 Ma. However, this is not sufficient to match the plate circuit results, which seem to require several hundred more km of Pacific-North America plate motion at this latitude between 12 Ma and 6 Ma. This motion has to have been located elsewhere, not between the modern marine basin boundaries. The Pliocene basin history of the Gulf has varied from place to place, as the loci of extension moved around in the rift system Similar variations in late Miocene time could explain this discrepancy, with abandoned extensional or strike-slip fault systems elsewhere, perhaps in the Sonoran coastal plain. However, further geological and geophysical work is needed to

  16. The Okavango Dike Swarm (ODS) of Northern Botswana: Was it associated with a failed Rift System?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LePera, Alan; Atekwana, Estella; Abdelsalam, Mohamed

    2014-05-01

    Dikes and dike swarms often play a significant role in the initiation and extension of rift zones. The giant ODS in northern Botswana, Africa represents a Jurassic aged (~180Ma) thermo-tectonic event which developed during the initial lithospheric weakening phase of Gondwana. Detailed investigations of the mafic dike swarm over the last four decades have provided insights into its age, shape, orientation, and chemistry but have thus far been limited in addressing the crustal structure below the swarm. Historically, the ODS has been interpreted as a failed rift arm based on its association with the Bouvet Hotspot and geometric relationship with two other prominent dike swarms. More recent studies suggest instead that the ODS was emplaced along a preexisting Precambrian basement fabric. Accordingly, the origin of the swarm still remains a matter of debate. The objectives of this study were: (1) determine the role of crustal heterogeneities on the emplacement of the dikes, (2) determine variations in crustal thickness below the ODS and geographically related Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ), a zone of incipient rifting and (3) determine along-strike variations in Curie Point Depth (CPD) below the swarm. We used high resolution aeromagnetic data and applied mathematical filters to enhance structures associated with the swarm's oblique geometry. Crustal thicknesses were estimated using the radial average power spectrum method, applied to 1.2km spatial resolution gravity data. 3D inversions were used to map the magnetic basement and determine the depth to the base of the swarm. Our results showed: (1) There were no apparent basement structures with the same 110° orientation as the ODS. (2) Crustal thickness below the swarm ranges from 39 to 45km with an average of 42± 3km, comparable with thicknesses derived from the Southern African Seismic Experiment (SASE). In contrast, crustal thickness below the ORZ is 9 to 16km thinner than the surrounding blocks. (3) The magnetic

  17. Mesozoic and early Tertiary rift tectonics in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1992-08-01

    A complex history of crustal extension occurred in east and central Africa during the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. Beginning in the Late Jurassic, this resulted in a large system of rifts, the Central African rift system, that spanned from central Sudan to southern Kenya. Late Jurassic rifting is best documented in the White and Blue Nile rifts of the Sudan, and records east-west extension in half-graben that were connected by large-scale shear zones and pull-apart basins. Early Cretaceous rifting re-activated Jurassic basins and spread to the large South Sudan rifts and Anza rift in Kenya. By the Late Cretaceous, the extension direction shifted to the NE-SW, and the presently observed large-scale rift geometry was established. In the early Tertiary, some Mesozoic basins were again reactivated, while other regions underwent wrench faulting and basin inversion. The large number of basins preserved in the Central African rift system can be used to construct an evolutionary model of continental rift tectonics. Early phases of extension at low strains produced alternating half-graben/accommodation zone geometries similar to those observed in most young and active continental rifts. At higher strains, some border faults were abandoned so that through-going, simpler active fault systems could evolve. This is interpreted as representing a switch from complex, oppositely dipping detachment structures, with strike dimensions of 50-150 km, to regional detachment structures that continue for hundreds of kilometers parallel to the rift. This change in the type of detachment was accompanied by a shift in the position of the subsidence away from the breakaway to a position focused further within the regional upper plate. Non-rotational, high angle, normal faulting dominates in the development of these late basin geometries. Deciphering similar rift basin histories from passive continental margins may, in many cases, exceed the limits of available reflection seismic data. East

  18. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: inferring the environmental context of human evolution from eastern African rift lake deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, A.; Campisano, C.; Arrowsmith, R.; Asrat, A.; Behrensmeyer, A. K.; Deino, A.; Feibel, C.; Hill, A.; Johnson, R.; Kingston, J.; Lamb, H.; Lowenstein, T.; Noren, A.; Olago, D.; Owen, R. B.; Potts, R.; Reed, K.; Renaut, R.; Schäbitz, F.; Tiercelin, J.-J.; Trauth, M. H.; Wynn, J.; Ivory, S.; Brady, K.; O'Grady, R.; Rodysill, J.; Githiri, J.; Russell, J.; Foerster, V.; Dommain, R.; Rucina, S.; Deocampo, D.; Russell, J.; Billingsley, A.; Beck, C.; Dorenbeck, G.; Dullo, L.; Feary, D.; Garello, D.; Gromig, R.; Johnson, T.; Junginger, A.; Karanja, M.; Kimburi, E.; Mbuthia, A.; McCartney, T.; McNulty, E.; Muiruri, V.; Nambiro, E.; Negash, E. W.; Njagi, D.; Wilson, J. N.; Rabideaux, N.; Raub, T.; Sier, M. J.; Smith, P.; Urban, J.; Warren, M.; Yadeta, M.; Yost, C.; Zinaye, B.

    2016-02-01

    The role that climate and environmental history may have played in influencing human evolution has been the focus of considerable interest and controversy among paleoanthropologists for decades. Prior attempts to understand the environmental history side of this equation have centered around the study of outcrop sediments and fossils adjacent to where fossil hominins (ancestors or close relatives of modern humans) are found, or from the study of deep sea drill cores. However, outcrop sediments are often highly weathered and thus are unsuitable for some types of paleoclimatic records, and deep sea core records come from long distances away from the actual fossil and stone tool remains. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) was developed to address these issues. The project has focused its efforts on the eastern African Rift Valley, where much of the evidence for early hominins has been recovered. We have collected about 2 km of sediment drill core from six basins in Kenya and Ethiopia, in lake deposits immediately adjacent to important fossil hominin and archaeological sites. Collectively these cores cover in time many of the key transitions and critical intervals in human evolutionary history over the last 4 Ma, such as the earliest stone tools, the origin of our own genus Homo, and the earliest anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Here we document the initial field, physical property, and core description results of the 2012-2014 HSPDP coring campaign.

  19. The Role of Rift Obliquity During Pangea Fragmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    The results of analysis of radio-echo sounding surveys, the RADARSAT satellite data, magnetic and gravity information give evidence that East Antarctica contains 13 riftogenic systems and/or large linear tectonic structures. Among known and suggested rifts of East Antarctica the Lambert rift has a pivotal position and it manifests oneself as symmetry axis. Six additional systems are revealed on both sides of it and any one of them possesses special features in geologic and geomorphologic aspects. In most cases they inherited the anisotropy of long-lived cratonic blocks. Riftogenic and/or large linear tectonic structures along the East Antarctica coastal regions are distributed with a steady regularity with average distance between them about 650 km. For six (7) structures from 13 (Lambert, Jutulstraumen-Pencksökket, Vestfjella, Mellor-Slessor (Bailey), Wilkes Basin, Gaussberg (?) and Rennick) there is a distinct spatial coupling with trough complexes of the Beacon Supergroup and their subsequent reactivation in Late Jurassic - Permian time when the East Gondwana started break-up. Rift system of the Lambert-Amery Glaciers and Prydz Bay is related to Mesozoic extension events and it inherited structures of Paleozoic grabens. The total length of the rift system exceeds 4000 km of the same scale as largest the World rift belts. The length of the western branch of the Lambert rift that includes the Mellor rift and graben-like structures of the Bailey and Slessor glaciers exceeds 2300 km. Results of radio-echo sounding investigation of the subglacial Aurora Basin allow to suggest that this large basin of sub-meridian extension is underlain by an extensive (> 1000 km) riftogenic structure that is running towards the Transantarctic Mountains where it forms a triple junction with the eastern branch of the Lambert rift and structures of the Wilkes Basin. It is hereby proposed that Aurora-Scott rift is formed by complex system of sub-parallel depressions divided by

  1. CASERTZ aeromagnetic data reveal late Cenozoic flood basalts (?) in the West Antarctic rift system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1994-01-01

    The late Cenozoic volcanic and tectonic activity of the enigmatic West Antarctic rift system, the least understood of the great active continental rifts, has been suggested to be plume driven. In 1991-1992, as part of the CASERTZ (Corridor Aerogeophysics of the Southeast Ross Transect Zone) program, an ~25 000 km aeromagnetic survey over the ice-covered Byrd subglacial basin shows magnetic "texture' critical to interpretations of the underlying extended volcanic terrane. The aeromagnetic data reveal numerous semicircular anomalies ~100-1100 nT in amplitude, interpreted as having volcanic sources at the base of the ice sheet; they are concentrated along north-trending magnetic lineations interpreted as rift fabric. The CASERTZ aeromagnetic results, combined with >100 000 km of widely spaced aeromagnetic profiles, indicate at least 106 km3 of probable late Cenozoic volcanic rock (flood basalt?) in the West Antarctic rift beneath the ice sheet and Ross Ice Shelf. -from Authors

  2. Convection pattern and stress system under the African plate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, H.-S.

    1977-01-01

    Studies on tectonic forces from satellite-derived gravity data have revealed a subcrustal stress system which provides a unifying mechanism for uplift, depression, rifting, plate motion and ore formation in Africa. The subcrustal stresses are due to mantle convection. Seismicity, volcanicity and kimberlite magmatism in Africa and the development of the African tectonic and magnetic features are explained in terms of this single stress system. The tensional stress fields in the crust exerted by the upwelling mantle flows are shown to be regions of structural kinship characterized by major concentration of mineral deposits. It is probable that the space techniques are capable of detecting and determining the tectonic forces in the crust of Africa.

  3. Distribution of fault activity in the early stages of continental breakup: an analysis of faults and volcanic products of the Natron Basin, East African Rift, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J. D.; Kattenhorn, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Recent magmatic-tectonic crises in Ethiopia (e.g. 2005 Dabbahu rifting episode, Afar) have informed our understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of strain in magmatic rifts transitioning to sea-floor spreading. However, the evolving contributions of magmatic and tectonic processes during the initial stages of rifting, is a subject of ongoing debate. The <5 Ma northern Tanzania and southern Kenya sectors of the East Africa Rift provide ideal locations to address this problem. We present preliminary findings from an investigation of fault structures utilizing aerial photography and satellite imagery of the ~35 km wide Natron rift-basin in northern Tanzania. Broad-scale structural mapping will be supplemented by field observations and 40Ar-39Ar dating of lava flows cut by faults to address three major aspects of magma-assisted rifting: (1) the relative timing of activity between the border fault and smaller faults distributed across the width of the rift; (2) time-averaged slip rates along rift-zone faults; and (3) the spatial distribution of faults and volcanic products, and their relative contributions to strain accommodation. Preliminary field observations suggest that the ~500 m high border fault system along the western edge of the Natron basin is either inactive or has experienced a reduced slip rate and higher recurrence interval between surface-breaking events, as evidence by a lack of recent surface-rupture along the main fault escarpments. An exception is an isolated, ~2 km-long segment of the Natron border fault, which is located in close proximity (< 5km) to the active Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. Here, ~10 m of seemingly recent throw is observed in volcaniclastic deposits. The proximity of the fault segment to Oldoinyo Lengai volcano and the localized distribution of fault-slip are consistent with magma-assisted faulting. Faults observed within the Natron basin and on the flanks of Gelai volcano, located on the eastern side of the rift, have

  4. Volatile Chemistry of the 2007 to Present Explosive Eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai Volcano, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Moor, J.; Fischer, T. P.; King, P. L.; Sharp, Z.; Shaw, A. M.; Mangasini, F.

    2008-12-01

    We characterize the volatile chemistry of the ongoing explosive eruption at Oldoinyo Lengai (OL) in the Gregory Rift Valley of N Tanzania. Fieldwork was conducted from 4-8 April 2008, during which time OL exhibited Strombolian to ash plume-producing activity. Eight distinct ash lapilli layers were sampled 900m from the crater. Mini-DOAS SO2 flux measurements were conducted on 6, 7, and 8 April. Despite moderate eruptive activity, SO2 concentrations were very low, from ~ 20ppm.m to below detection. A low concentration plume was detected on 7 April, allowing a SO2 flux estimate of 0.2-0.4 tons/day. SIMS analyses of carbonatite lavas erupted in 2005 show very high S concentrations (0.62wt %), suggesting that the low SO2 flux is due to partitioning of S into the melt. Ash leachates were analyzed as a proxy for plume chemistry and to assess health risks associated with mobile elements in the ashes. The solutions had high pH of 10.6 to 11.1. This has implications for pH fluctuations of Lake Natron (pH ~10; located 20km N of the crater), which may correlate with lacustrine ash deposition during passed explosive activity at OL. In the uppermost ash layer (deposited on 4/5/2008; not influenced by rain) dominant mobile ions are Cl (18120mg/kg), SO4 (26616mg/kg), PO4 (2393mg/kg), and F (534mg/kg), Na (101679mg/kg), K (22544mg/kg), Ca (721mg/kg), and Si (189mg/kg). Leachate S/Cl from this pristine ash is 0.49, compared to 0.29 measured by SIMS in lavas from 2005. Using the SO2 flux and the S/Cl in the leachates, the Cl flux was 0.5-0.8 tons/day. High concentrations of leachable ions, particularly F, on ash presents health hazards (F poisoning; water source contamination) to local communities. Concentrations in the underlying ashes are lower (40-129 mg/kg Cl, 965-3223 mg/kg SO4 , 66-104 mg/kg F, 40-335 mg/kg PO4 ) than those in the upper deposit due to leaching by rain prior to deposition of the uppermost ash layer. FTIR spectroscopy of ashes shows at least two carbonate

  5. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Eric M.; Todd, Christopher N.; Aanen, Duur K.; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L.; O’Connor, Patrick M.; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66–24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7–10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape. PMID:27333288

  6. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Eric M; Todd, Christopher N; Aanen, Duur K; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L; O'Connor, Patrick M; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66-24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7-10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape. PMID:27333288

  7. Combining hydrologic and groundwater modelling to characterize a regional aquifer system within a rift setting (Gidabo River Basin, Main Ethiopian Rift)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birk, Steffen; Mechal, Abraham; Wagner, Thomas; Dietzel, Martin; Leis, Albrecht; Winkler, Gerfried; Mogessie, Aberra

    2016-04-01

    The development of groundwater resources within the Ethiopian Rift is complicated by the strong physiographic contrasts between the rift floor and the highland and by the manifold hydrogeological setting composed of volcanic rocks of different type and age that are intersected by numerous faults. Hydrogeochemical and isotope data from various regions within the Ethiopian Rift suggest that the aquifers within the semi-arid rift floor receive a significant contribution of groundwater flow from the humid highland. For example, the major ion composition of groundwater samples from Gidabo River Basin (3302 km²) in the southern part of the Main Ethiopian Rift reveals a mixing trend from the highland toward the rift floor; moreover, the stable isotopes of water, deuterium and O-18, of the rift-floor samples indicate a component recharged in the highland. This work aims to assess if the hydrological and hydrogeological data available for Gidabo River Basin is consistent with these findings and to characterize the regional aquifer system within the rift setting. For this purpose, a two-step approach is employed: First, the semi-distributed hydrological model SWAT is used to obtain an estimate of the spatial and temporal distribution of groundwater recharge within the watershed; second, the numerical groundwater flow model MODFLOW is employed to infer aquifer properties and groundwater flow components. The hydrological model was calibrated and validated using discharge data from three stream gauging stations within the watershed (Mechal et al., Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 2015, doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.09.001). The resulting recharge distribution exhibits a strong decrease from the highland, where the mean annual recharge amounts to several hundred millimetres, to the rift floor, where annual recharge largely is around 100 mm and below. Using this recharge distribution as input, a two-dimensional steady-state groundwater flow model was calibrated to hydraulic

  8. Rift systems on Venus: An assessment of mechanical and thermal models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Solomon, S. C.; Head, J. W.

    1985-01-01

    The formation and distribution of major tectonic features on Venus are closely linked to the dominant mechanism of lithospheric heat loss. Among the most spectacular and extensive of the major tectonic features on Venus are the Chasmata, deep linear valleys generally interpreted to be the products of lithospheric extension and rifting. Systems of chasmata and related features can be traced along several tectonic zones up to 20,000 km in linear extent. Mechanical and thermal models for terrestrial continental-rifting are applied to the rift systems of Venus. The models are tested against known topographic and tectonic characteristics of Venus chasmata as well as independent information on the physical properties of the Venus crust and lithosphere.

  9. The hydrothermal system associated with the Kilauea East Rift Zone, Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D.M.; Conrad, M.E.

    1997-12-31

    During the last twenty years drilling and fluid production on the Kilauea East Rift Zone (KERZ) has shown that an active hydrothermal system is associated with much of the rift. Well logging and fluid geochemistry indicate that reservoir temperatures exceed 360 C but are highly variable. Although neither well testing nor pressure decline data have clearly demonstrated the lateral limits of the reservoir, divergent fluid compositions over short distances suggest that the larger hydrothermal system is strongly compartmentalized across the rift zone. The chemical compositions of production fluids indicate that recharge is derived from ocean water and meteoric recharge and isotopic data suggest that the latter may be derived from subsurface inflow from the flanks of Mauna Loa.

  10. Where is the West Antarctic Rift System in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea sectors?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gohl, Karsten; Kalberg, Thomas; Eagles, Graeme; Dziadek, Ricarda; Kaul, Norbert; Spiegel, Cornelia; Lindow, Julia

    2015-04-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is one of the largest continental rifts globally, but its lateral extent, distribution of local rifts, timing of rifting phases, and mantle processes are still largely enigmatic. It has been presumed that the rift and its crustal extensional processes have widely controlled the history and development of West Antarctic glaciation with an ice sheet of which most is presently based at sub-marine level and which is, therefore, likely to be highly sensitive to ocean warming. While the western domain of the WARS in the Ross Sea has been studied in some detail, only recently have various geophysical and geochemical/thermochronological analyses revealed indications for its eastern extent in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea sectors of the South Pacific realm. The current model, based on these studies and additional data, suggests that the WARS activity included tectonic translateral, transtensional and extensional processes from the Amundsen Sea Embayment to the Bellingshausen Sea region of the southern Antarctic Peninsula. We present the range of existing hypotheses regarding the extent of the eastern WARS as well as published and yet unpublished data that support a conceptual WARS model for the eastern West Antarctica with implications for glacial onset and developments.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Magnavita, L.P.; Silva, T.F. da

    1995-11-01

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

  12. Extension and Basin Evolution of the East Kivu Graben, Rwanda, East African Rift: Results of New Multichannel Seismic Reflection Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Zhang, X.; Wood, D.; Mburu, D.

    2012-12-01

    The East Kivu Graben resides within the eastern part of Lake Kivu, the highest Great Lake in the western branch of the East African Rift. The lake is more than 440 m deep in the East Kivu Basin, with a catchment comprised of Precambrian metasedimentary rocks and late-Cenozoic volcanics. Lake Kivu is renowned for its uniquely stratified water column, which is charged with considerable quantities of dissolved CO2 and methane, the former due to magmatic degassing. In February and March 2012 514 km of single- and multi-channel seismic reflection data were acquired in the Rwandan waters of Lake Kivu. The 24-fold multichannel seismic data were acquired aboard a modular research vessel, using a 600 m-long hydrophone streamer and single 40 cubic inch airgun. Extension in the East Kivu basin is largely accommodated along a major N-S striking, east-dipping boundary fault observed along the eastern edge of Iwawa Island, and extending for ~40 km along the length of the basin. Numerous intrabasinal normal faults occur to the east of the boundary fault, commonly displacing the lake floor and controlling the location of modern sublacustrine channels. The deepest sedimentary reflections observed on the new MCS data are 1.2-1.5 km below lake floor, near the center of the basin and boundary fault. Crystalline basement is not observed in these deepest areas however, suggesting the presence of a substantial sedimentary section below the imaged strata. Stratal surfaces dip steeply to the west over large areas of the half-graben basin. An acoustically transparent seismic sequence up to ~25 m thick is observed at the lake floor, which overlies a pronounced erosional unconformity over much of the basin. Some intrabasinal normal faults are draped by and do not penetrate the upper sequences, indicating several generations of fault activity in the basin. The late-Pleistocene exposure surface likely correlates to the previous lake level low stage that persisted prior to volcanic damming by

  13. Insights into extensional processes during magma assisted rifting: Evidence from aligned scoria cones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, Tyrone O.; Bastow, Ian D.; Keir, Derek

    2011-04-01

    Mechanical and magmatic processes exert first-order control on the architecture and evolution of rifts. As a continental rift develops towards a new oceanic spreading centre, extension that is initially accommodated in a broad zone of faulting and ductile stretching must transition towards a narrow zone of focused magmatic intrusion. The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), part of the East African Rift System, is an ideal location to study this transition because it captures rifting processes during continental breakup. In this contribution we synthesise geochemical data from scoria cones in the Wonji Fault Belt (WFB) and Silti-Debre Zeyit Fault Zone (SDFZ) in the MER to provide new constraints on the development of mantle melting columns and magmatic plumbing systems since the onset of rifting. We utilize the extensive geophysical and geochemical databases, collected in the Ethiopian Rift, to show that geochemical evidence of heterogeneity in the depth of the mantle melting column which produced Quaternary rift basalts correlates with lithospheric structure. When combined with existing observations of asymmetry across the rift in terms of depth of melting column and magmatic plumbing systems, it is evident that the mechanical structure of the rift, defined during the initial stages of breakup, has played a dominant role in the initial development of magma assisted rifting in the MER. Surface structures and crustal-scale geophysical studies have suggested the WFB is analogous to a sea-floor spreading centre. However, the geochemical characteristics of rift basalts are consistent with mantle tomography that shows no evidence beneath the MER for passive magmatic upwelling beneath discrete rift segments as is observed in the ocean basins. Collectively, the Ethiopian data show that the distribution of mantle melts during the initiation of magma assisted rifting is fundamentally influenced by lithospheric structures formed during earlier syn-rift stretching.

  14. Earthquakes and Geological Structures of the St. Lawrence Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamontagne, M.; Ranalli, G.

    2013-12-01

    The St. Lawrence Rift System (SLRS), which includes the Ottawa-Bonnechère and Saguenay grabens, is located well inside the North American plate. Most historic and the some 350 earthquakes recorded yearly occur in three main seismically active zones, namely Charlevoix (CSZ), Western Quebec (WQSZ), and Lower St. Lawrence (LSLSZ)). Outside these areas, most of the Canadian Shield and bordering regions have had a very low level of earthquake activity. In the SLRS, moderate to large earthquakes (Moment magnitude (M) 5.5 to M 7) are known to have occurred since 1663 causing landslides and damage mostly to unreinforced masonry elements of buildings located on ground capable of amplifying ground motions. Most earthquakes in these seismic zones share common characteristics such as mid- to upper crustal focal depths, no known surface ruptures and proximity to SLRS faults. Variations also exist such as vast seismically-active region (WQSZ and LSLSZ), presence of a large water body (CSZ and LSLSZ), and absence of SLRS faults near concentration of earthquakes (WQSZ). The CSZ is the best studied seismic zone and there, earthquakes occur in the Canadian Shield, mostly in a 30 X 85 km rectangle elongated along the trend of the St. Lawrence River with local variations in focal depth distribution. Faults related to the SLRS and to a meteor impact structure exist and earthquakes occur along the SLRS faults as well as in between these faults. Overall, the SLRS faults are probably reactivated by the larger earthquakes (M ≥ 4.5) of the 20th century (CSZ in 1925; WQCSZ in 1935 and 1944; Saguenay in 1988) for which we have focal mechanisms. We propose that caution be exercised when linking historical events that have uncertain epicentres with SLRS faults. Similarly, SLRS faults should not be necessarily considered to be the reactivated structures for most small to moderate earthquakes (M < 4.5). A good example of this is the earthquakes of the WQSZ that tend to concentrate in a well

  15. Rift initiation with volatiles and magma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebinger, Cynthia; Muirhead, James; Roecker, Steve; Tiberi, Christel; Muzuka, Alfred; Ferdinand, Rrichard; Mulibo, Gabrile; Kianji, Gladys

    2015-04-01

    Rift initiation in cratonic lithosphere remains an outstanding problem in continental tectonics, but strain and magmatism patterns in youthful sectors of the East African rift provide new insights. Few teleseisms occur in the Eastern rift arm of the East African rift system, except the southernmost sector in northern Tanzania where extension occurs in Archaean lithosphere. The change in seismic energy release occurs over a narrow along-axis zone, and between sectors with and without volcanoes in the central rift valley. Are these differences in strain behavior indicative of along-strike variations in a) rheology; b) strain transfer from border faults to magma intrusion zones; c) dike vs fault slip; and/or d) shallow vs deep magma chambers? We present time-space relations of seismicity recorded on a 38-station array spanning the Kenya-Tanzania border, focal mechanisms for the largest events during those time periods, and compare these to longer-term strain patterns. Lower crustal seismicity occurs along the rift length, including sectors on and off craton, and those with and without central rift valley volcanoes, and we see no clear along-strike variation in seismogenic layer thickness. One explanation for widespread lower crustal seismicity is high gas pressures and volatile migration from active metasomatism of upper mantle and magma degassing, consistent with very high volatile flux along fault zones, and widespread metasomatism of xenoliths. Volatile release and migration may be critical to strength reduction of initially cold, strong cratonic lithosphere. Seismicity patterns indicate strain (and fluid?) transfer from the Manyara border fault to Gelai shield volcano (faulting, diking) via Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. Our focal mechanisms and Global CMTs from an intense fault-dike episode (2007) show a local, temporally stable, rotation from ~E-W extension to NE-SE extension in this linkage zone, consistent with longer term patterns recorded in vent and eruptive

  16. Chemistry and chronology of magmatic processes, Central Kenya Peralkaline province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anthony, E.; Deino, A. L.; White, J. C.; Omenda, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    We report here a synthesis of the geochemistry of magma evolution correlated with 40Ar/39Ar, 14 C, and U-series chronology for volcanoes in the Central Kenya Peralkaline Province (CKPP). The volcanic centers - Menengai, Eburru, Olkaria, Longonot, and Suswa - are at the apex of the Kenya Dome, and consist of trachyte, phonolite, comendite, and pantellerite. These volcanic centers are within the graben of the EARS and are characterized by a shield-building phase followed by caldera collapse and subsequent post-caldera eruptions. Geochemical modeling demonstrates that the magmas are the result of fractional crystallization of alkali basaltic magmas and magma mixing. Longonot and Suswa have the most chronologic data -14 C, Ar/Ar and U-series - and they show that the youngest eruptions have 230 Th/232Th of 0.8, which was inherited from the magma system prior to eruption. Subsequent changes in 230 Th/232 Th are due to post-eruptive decay of 230 Th and correlate well with 14 C and Ar/Ar.

  17. Continental rift evolution: From rift initiation to incipient break-up in the Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo

    2009-09-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift is a key sector of the East African Rift System that connects the Afar depression, at Red Sea-Gulf of Aden junction, with the Turkana depression and Kenya Rift to the South. It is a magmatic rift that records all the different stages of rift evolution from rift initiation to break-up and incipient oceanic spreading: it is thus an ideal place to analyse the evolution of continental extension, the rupture of lithospheric plates and the dynamics by which distributed continental deformation is progressively focused at oceanic spreading centres. The first tectono-magmatic event related to the Tertiary rifting was the eruption of voluminous flood basalts that apparently occurred in a rather short time interval at around 30 Ma; strong plateau uplift, which resulted in the development of the Ethiopian and Somalian plateaus now surrounding the rift valley, has been suggested to have initiated contemporaneously or shortly after the extensive flood-basalt volcanism, although its exact timing remains controversial. Voluminous volcanism and uplift started prior to the main rifting phases, suggesting a mantle plume influence on the Tertiary deformation in East Africa. Different plume hypothesis have been suggested, with recent models indicating the existence of deep superplume originating at the core-mantle boundary beneath southern Africa, rising in a north-northeastward direction toward eastern Africa, and feeding multiple plume stems in the upper mantle. However, the existence of this whole-mantle feature and its possible connection with Tertiary rifting are highly debated. The main rifting phases started diachronously along the MER in the Mio-Pliocene; rift propagation was not a smooth process but rather a process with punctuated episodes of extension and relative quiescence. Rift location was most probably controlled by the reactivation of a lithospheric-scale pre-Cambrian weakness; the orientation of this weakness (roughly NE-SW) and the Late

  18. Seismic tomography of continental rifts revisited: from relative to absolute heterogeneities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Achauer, Ulrich; Masson, Frédéric

    2002-11-01

    Tomographic images for four major continental rift zones, namely the southern Rhine Graben (SRG, Germany/France), the Gregory rift (Kenya) which is the central part of the East African rift system, the Rio Grande rift (RGR) in the United States and the Lake Baikal rift zone (LBR) in Russia have been revisited by calculating and comparing absolute velocity models. The four rifts exhibit strong structural differences in the uppermost mantle down to more than 300-km depth, suggesting major differences in their geodynamic evolution albeit their similarity in age and similar surface expression. The comparative analysis suggests that tomographic images of rift zones can be used to characterize continental rifts, once the corrections to obtain absolute velocities have been carried out. Our results suggest that while the Kenya and the Rio Grande rift may be considered active with large upwelling plumes being the main controlling factor in the evolution, the southern Rhine Graben and the Lake Baikal rift are more likely passive rifts, where complex regional stress fields and inherited structures play the governing role in the evolution.

  19. The Midcontinent rift system and the Precambrian basement in southern Michigan

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, W.A. . Dept. of Geology)

    1994-04-01

    The Precambrian basement within Michigan consists of at least three provinces, each characterized by distinctive potential field anomalies: (1) the Eastern Granite-Rhyolite Province (EGRP) in the south, (2) the Grenville Province in the southeast and (3) the Penokean Province to the north. Also located within the basement is the Mid-Michigan rift (MMR), which is the eastern arm of the Midcontinent rift system (MRS). Southwest and parallel to the MMR is a series of linear positive gravity anomalies which has been referred to as the Ft. Wayne rift (FWR) and the Southwest Michigan Anomaly (SWMA). The EGRP, which is characterized by undeformed and unmetamorphosed rhyolite to dacite and epizonal granites, was emplaced ca. 1510--1450 Ma. However, the EGRP may be comprised of several terranes of varying extent and origin based on analysis of potential field data and rock and mineral ages. The MMR and the FWR/SWMA are characterized by linear arrays of positive magnetic and gravity anomalies, which are probably due to thick accumulations of mafic igneous rocks within the rifts. The extent and trends of the FWR/SWMA have been largely inferred from geophysical data with a presumption of the age of about 1,100 Ma. The continuation of the MMR southward into Ohio and Kentucky as a sequence of gravity highs is questionable and needs further resolution. The FWR/SWMA may be part of the East Continent Rift Basin (ECRB). The ECRB, which is a large complex of related rift basins of Keweenawan age (1300 --1100 Ma), may be an extension of the MRS but it is not physically continuous with it. The ECRB lies to the west of the Grenville Front and extends at least from northwest Ohio to central Kentucky. Extensions of the ECRB north and south are speculative.

  20. Geoscience Methods Lead to Paleo-anthropological Discoveries in Afar Rift, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Renne, Paul R.; Hart, William K.; Ambrose, Stanley; Asfaw, Berhane; White, Tim D.

    2004-07-01

    With few exceptions, most of the hominid evolutionary record in Africa is closely associated with the East African Rift System. The exceptions are the South African and Chadian hominids collected from the southern and west-central parts of the continent, respectively. The Middle Awash region stands alone as the most prolific paleoanthropological area ever discovered (Figure 1). Its paleontological record has yielded over 13,000 vertebrate fossils, including several hominid taxa, ranging in age from 5.8 Ma to the present. The uniqueness of the Middle Awash hominid sites lies in their occurrence within long, > 6 Ma volcanic and sedimentary stratigraphic records. The Middle Awash region has yielded the longest hominid record yet available. The region is characterized by distinct geologic features related to a volcanic and tectonic transition zone between the continental Main Ethiopian and the proto-oceanic Afar Rifts. The rift floor is wider-200 km-than other parts of the East African Rift (Figure 1). Moreover, its Quaternary axial rift zone is wide and asymetrically located close to the western margin. The fossil assemblages and the lithostratigraphic records suggest that volcanic and tectonic activities within the broad rift floor and the adjacent rift margins were intense and episodic during the late Neogene rift evolution.

  1. Clinopyroxene-host disequilibrium (Sr-Nd-Pb isotope systematics) in ultra-potassic magmas from East-African Rift: Implications for magma mixing and source heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muravyeva, Natalya; Belyatsky, Boris; Senin, Valeriy

    2014-05-01

    Nd, Pb and Sr isotope ratios have been determined for kamafugite lava and clinopyroxene and phlogopite phenocrysts from Toro-Ankole and Virunga volcanic fields of the East African Rift. The whole rock Sr - Nd isotopic signatures of kamafugites (87Sr/86Sr: 0.70463 - 0.70536; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51249 - 0.51255) suggest derivation from an EM1-type mantle source. In contrast, Pb isotopic compositions of the same samples (206Pb/204Pb: 19.00 - 19.57; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.69 - 15.74; 208Pb/204Pb: 39.30 - 40.26) reveal a similarity to EM2-type mantle. New Nd, Pb and Sr isotopic data for clinopyroxene (87Sr/86Sr: 0.70473 - 0.70503; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51250 - 0.51254; 206Pb/204Pb: 18.04 - 18.17; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.58 - 15.60; 208Pb/204Pb: 38.09 - 38.23) suggest derivation from an EM1-like source, and indicate Sr and Pb isotope disequilibrium between clinopyroxene and corresponding host rock. Moreover, clinopyroxenes demonstrating a greater degree of isotopic disequilibrium with their host rock are more sodic in composition. The isotopic disequilibrium is corroborated by the presence of chemical zoning within clinopyroxene, which suggests rapid magma ascent rates preventing melt homogenization. The Pb isotopic ratios for both mineral and corresponding whole rock, together with published data on East African rift-related alkaline centers, define a trend interpreted to represent a mixing line for melts derived from sources such as EM1 and as HIMU. The similar isotopic compositions for clinopyroxene from the different volcanic rocks within the East African Rift suggest the existence of a common, older mantle source for their parental melts. The origin of these melts can be attributed to an enrichment event ~ 400-500 Ma, i.e., significantly prior the younger (Quaternary) ultrapotassic magmatism. Our preferred interpretation for the results reported here involves the mixing of the melts derived from EM1- and HIMU-like sources, which were rapidly transported to the Earth's surface. The primary

  2. Morphotectonic evolution of two depressions at the southern border of the Baikal rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Henri; Vogt, Thea

    2007-05-01

    Detailed study of two dry depressions in the Baikal rift system: the E-W Khoito Ghol-Tunka-Bistraya depression and the SW-NE Gusinoje-Ivolga depression, aims to provide a better understanding of tectonic control on the intershoulder relief evolution after the rift opened. Both depressions are grabens and both feature a suite of 10-20 km-wide basins alternating with more or less massive highs. Field and laboratory analysis shows that this pattern is of recent tectonic origin and that local breaking-up and subsidence followed the general sinking which originally formed the grabens. The subsidence belts seem to have gradually shifted north and northeastwards. Geomorphological analysis reveals that in both depressions the highs are remnants of a former pediment which was broken up. The young basins display numerous relevant hydrographic anomalies of the secondary channels and a general water-logging. They also suggest that the subsidence belts have gradually shifted north-and northeastwards. In the Gusinoje-Ivolga depression evidence was found of a Plio-Pleistocene river course, parallel to the Selenga river, which was later dismantled by the breaking-up. This depression, parallel to the Baikal rift and belonging to the Mesozoic system of grabens in the Caledonian fold belt, seems to have been included into the general system of rifts during the Pliocene tectonic phase. As for the main hydrographic axes, the Selenga river was set on a Palaeogene-age planation surface before the first tectonic phase and kept its original course. The Irkut river flowed in the Khoito Gol-Tunka-Bistraya depression after the first tectonic phase and was not affected by the later breaking-up. In contrast, the secondary drainage network is largely discordant. Despite their different geotectonic contexts, the two depressions show a similar development of relief pattern ,which poses the question of the style of rift dynamics after the main Pliocene tectonic phase.

  3. Tectonic development of the SW Arabian Plate margin within the central Arabian flank of the Red Sea rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szymanski, E.; Stockli, D. F.; Johnson, P. R.; Kattan, F. H.; Cosca, M. A.

    2009-12-01

    The Red Sea rift system is a prime example of continental rifting and has contributed significantly to our understanding of the geologic processes that manage the rupture of continental lithosphere. Using a combined geo- and thermochronometric approach, we explore the modes and mechanisms of rift margin development by studying Red Sea rift-related geologic products along the central Saudi Arabian flank of the rift system, north of Jeddah. We use apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronometry and whole-rock 40Ar/39Ar dating of basalt to define the spatiotemporal relationship between rift flank extensional structures and rift-related harrat volcanism. This technical approach permits the reconstruction of the tectonic margin from early rift architecture, to strain distribution during progressive rifting, and through subsequent whole-scale modifications of the rift flank due to thermal and isostatic factors. Constraints on the dynamics of rift flank deformation are achieved through the collection of geologic samples along long-baseline thermochronometric transects that traverse the entire Arabian shield from the coastal escarpment to the inland Paleozoic sedimentary cover sequences. Long-baseline transects resolve the timing of rift flank uplift and reveal the pattern of lithospheric modification during the rupturing of continental lithosphere. Locally, short-baseline elevation transects map the footwall exhumation of major normal faults that delineate both the modern rift margin and inland extensional basins such as the NW-trending Hamd-Jizil basin, a prominent syn-extensional basin comprised of two distinct half-grabens (Jizil and Hamd) located NW of Medina. Diffuse lithospheric extension during the Oligo-Miocene affected a widespread area well inboard from the modern rift margin; samples from footwall blocks that bound the inland Jizil and Hamd half-grabens yield apatite (U-Th)/He cooling ages of 14.7 ± 0.9 Ma and 24.5 ± 1.5 Ma, respectively. The mid-Miocene age

  4. Statistical Modeling of the Abundance of Vectors of West African Rift Valley Fever in Barkédji, Senegal

    PubMed Central

    Talla, Cheikh; Diallo, Diawo; Dia, Ibrahima; Ba, Yamar; Ndione, Jacques-André; Sall, Amadou Alpha; Morse, Andy; Diop, Aliou; Diallo, Mawlouth

    2014-01-01

    Rift Valley fever is an emerging mosquito-borne disease that represents a threat to human and animal health. The exophilic and exophagic behavior of the two main vector in West Africa (Aedes vexans and Culex poicilipes), adverse events post-vaccination, and lack of treatment, render ineffective the disease control. Therefore it is essential to develop an information system that facilitates decision-making and the implementation of adaptation strategies. In East Africa, RVF outbreaks are linked with abnormally high rainfall, and can be predicted up to 5 months in advance by modeling approaches using climatic and environmental parameters. However, the application of these models in West Africa remains unsatisfactory due to a lack of data for animal and human cases and differences in the dynamics of the disease emergence and the vector species involved in transmission. Models have been proposed for West Africa but they were restricted to rainfall impact analysis without a spatial dimension. In this study, we developed a mixed Bayesian statistical model to evaluate the effects of climatic and ecological determinants on the spatiotemporal dynamics of the two main vectors. Adult mosquito abundance data were generated from July to December every fortnight in 2005–2006 at 79 sites, including temporary ponds, bare soils, shrubby savannah, wooded savannah, steppes, and villages in the Barkédji area. The results demonstrate the importance of environmental factors and weather conditions for predicting mosquito abundance. The rainfall and minimum temperature were positively correlated with the abundance of Cx. poicilipes, whereas the maximum temperature had negative effects. The rainfall was negatively correlated with the abundance of Ae. vexans. After combining land cover classes, weather conditions, and vector abundance, our model was used to predict the areas and periods with the highest risks of vector pressure. This information could support decision-making to improve

  5. The Olorgesailie Drilling Project (ODP): a high-resolution drill core record from a hominin site in the East African Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dommain, R.; Potts, R.; Behrensmeyer, A. K.; Deino, A. L.

    2014-12-01

    The East African rift valley contains an outstanding record of hominin fossils that document human evolution over the Plio-Pleistocene when the global and regional climate and the rift valley itself changed markedly. The sediments of fossil localities typically provide, however, only short time windows into past climatic and environmental conditions. Continuous, long-term terrestrial records are now becoming available through core drilling to help elucidate the paleoenvironmental context of human evolution. Here we present a 500,000 year long high-resolution drill core record obtained from a key fossil and archeological site - the Olorgesailie Basin in the southern Kenya Rift Valley, well known for its sequence of archeological and faunal sites for the past 1.2 million years. In 2012 two drill cores (54 and 166 m long) were collected in the Koora Plain just south of Mt. Olorgesailie as part of the Olorgesailie Drilling Project (ODP) to establish a detailed climate and ecological record associated with the last evidence of Homo erectus in Africa, the oldest transition of Acheulean to Middle Stone Age technology, and large mammal species turnover, all of which are documented in the Olorgesailie excavations. The cores were sampled at the National Lacustrine Core Facility. More than 140 samples of tephra and trachytic basement lavas have led to high-precision 40Ar/39Ar dating. The cores are being analyzed for a suite of paleoclimatic and paleoecological proxies such as diatoms, pollen, fungal spores, phytoliths, ostracodes, carbonate isotopes, leaf wax biomarkers, charcoal, and clay mineralogy. Sedimentological analyses, including lithological descriptions, microscopic smear slide analysis (242 samples), and grain-size analysis, reveal a highly variable sedimentary sequence of deep lake phases with laminated sediments, diatomites, shallow lake and near shore phases, fluvial deposits, paleosols, interspersed carbonate layers, and abundant volcanic ash deposits. Magnetic

  6. The Lava sequence of the East African Rift escarpment in the Oldoinyo Lengai - Lake Natron sector, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neukirchen, Florian; Finkenbein, Thomas; Keller, Jörg

    2010-12-01

    A 500 m sequence of horizontal lava flows forms the Gregory rift escarpment of the western rift shoulder between Lake Natron and Oldoinyo Lengai. A detailed volcanic stratigraphy of this >1.2 Ma evolution of the EAR in Northern Tanzania is presented. The sequence is formed by several distinct rock suites, with increasing alkalinity from base to top. Alkali olivine basalts of the Waterfall Sequence at the base are followed by a basanite series, and by a range of evolved nephelinites forming the upper part of the escarpment. Numerous dykes and Strombolian scoria deposits indicate local fissure eruptions as opposed to or in addition to more distant sources. Primitive compositions within each of the series indicate variable candidates for primary magmas. The composition of the basanite suite ranges from primitive mantle melts (high Mg#, Cr, Ni) to more evolved rocks, in particular hawaiites, generated by fractionation of olivine, pyroxene and magnetite. Inter-bedded within the basanite suite, one single olivine melilitite flow with high Mg# and abundant olivine and pyroxene megacrysts is the only primitive candidate for the nephelinite suite. However, in view of the large compositional gap and marked differences in incompatible element ratios, a relation between this flow and the nephelinites remains hypothetical. The variation within the evolved nephelinite series can be partly explained by fractionation of pyroxene, apatite, perovskite (and some nepheline), while magma mixing is indicated by zonation patterns of pyroxene. The most evolved nephelinite, however, differs significantly from all other nephelinites in major and trace elements. Thus the entire sequence is petrologically not a coherent evolution, rather the result of different mantle melts fractionating under variable conditions. Carved into the rift scarp of the study area west of Engare Sero is a young explosion crater, the Sekenge Crater. Sekenge Tuffs are olivine melilitites, similar to other craters and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  8. Upper mantle seismic anisotropy beneath the West Antarctic Rift System and surrounding region from shear wave splitting analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardo, Natalie J.; Wiens, Douglas A.; Hernandez, Stephen; Aster, Richard C.; Nyblade, Andrew; Huerta, Audrey; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Wilson, Terry; Heeszel, David S.; Dalziel, Ian W. D.

    2014-07-01

    We constrain azimuthal anisotropy in the West Antarctic upper mantle using shear wave splitting parameters obtained from teleseismic SKS, SKKS and PKS phases recorded at 37 broad-band seismometres deployed by the POLENET/ANET project. We use an eigenvalue technique to linearize the rotated and shifted shear wave horizontal particle motions and determine the fast direction and delay time for each arrival. High-quality measurements are stacked to determine the best fitting splitting parameters for each station. Overall, fast anisotropic directions are oriented at large angles to the direction of Antarctic absolute plate motion in both hotspot and no-net-rotation frameworks, showing that the anisotropy does not result from shear due to plate motion over the mantle. Further, the West Antarctic directions are substantially different from those of East Antarctica, indicating that anisotropy across the continent reflects multiple mantle regimes. We suggest that the observed anisotropy along the central Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and adjacent West Antarctic Rift System (WARS), one of the largest zones of extended continental crust on Earth, results from asthenospheric mantle strain associated with the final pulse of western WARS extension in the late Miocene. Strong and consistent anisotropy throughout the WARS indicate fast axes subparallel to the inferred extension direction, a result unlike reports from the East African rift system and rifts within the Basin and Range, which show much greater variation. We contend that ductile shearing rather than magmatic intrusion may have been the controlling mechanism for accumulation and retention of such coherent, widespread anisotropic fabric. Splitting beneath the Marie Byrd Land Dome (MBL) is weaker than that observed elsewhere within the WARS, but shows a consistent fast direction, possibly representative of anisotropy that has been `frozen-in' to remnant thicker lithosphere. Fast directions observed inland from the

  9. The Timing of Early Magmatism and Extension in the Southern East African Rift: Tracking Geochemical Source Variability with 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology at the Rungwe Volcanic Province, SW Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mesko, G. T.; Class, C.; Maqway, M. D.; Boniface, N.; Manya, S.; Hemming, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Rungwe Volcanic Province is the southernmost expression of volcanism in the East African Rift System. Rungwe magmatism is focused in a transfer zone between two weakly extended rift segments, unlike more developed rifts where magmatism occurs along segment axes (e.g. mid-ocean ridges). Rungwe was selected as the site of the multinational SEGMeNT project, an integrated geophysical, geochronological and geochemical study to determine the role of magmatism during early stage continental rifting. Argon geochronology is underway for an extensive collection of Rungwe volcanic rocks to date the eruptive sequence with emphasis on the oldest events. The age and location of the earliest events remains contested, but is critical to evaluating the relationship between magmatism and extension. Dated samples are further analyzed to model the geochemistry and isotopic signature of each melt's source and define it as lithospheric, asthenospheric, or plume. Given the goals, the geochronology focuses on mafic lavas most likely to preserve the geochemical signature of the mantle source. Groundmass was prepared and analyzed at the LDEO AGES lab. Twelve preliminary dates yield ages from 8.5 to 5.7Ma, consistent with prior results, supporting an eruptive episode concurrent with tectonic activity on the Malawi and Rukwa border faults (Ebinger et al., JGR 1989; 1993). Three additional samples yield ages from 18.51 to 17.6 Ma, consistent with the 18.6 ±1.0 Ma age obtained by Rasskazov et al. (Russ. Geology & Geophys. 2003). This eruptive episode is spatially limited to phonolite domes in the Usangu Basin and a mafic lava flow on the uplifted Mbeya Block. These eruptions predate the current tectonic extensional structure, suggesting magmatism predates extension, or that the two are not highly interdependent. No Rungwe samples dated yet can be the source of the of 26Ma carbonatitic tuffs in the nearby Songwe River Basin sequence (Roberts et al., Nature Geoscience 2012). Isochron ages

  10. Fault evolution in the Potiguar rift termination, Equatorial margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Castro, D. L.; Bezerra, F. H. R.

    2014-10-01

    The transform shearing between South American and African plates in the Cretaceous generated a series of sedimentary basins on both plate margins. In this study, we use gravity, aeromagnetic, and resistivity surveys to identify fault architecture and to analyse the evolution of the eastern Equatorial margin of Brazil. Our study area is the southern onshore termination of the Potiguar rift, which is an aborted NE-trending rift arm developed during the breakup of Pangea. The Potiguar rift is a Neocomian structure located in the intersection of the Equatorial and western South Atlantic and is composed of a series of NE-trending horsts and grabens. This study reveals new grabens in the Potiguar rift and indicates that stretching in the southern rift termination created a WNW-trending, 10 km wide and ~40 km long right-lateral strike-slip fault zone. This zone encompasses at least eight depocenters, which are bounded by a left-stepping, en-echelon system of NW- to EW-striking normal faults. These depocenters form grabens up to 1200 m deep with a rhomb-shaped geometry, which are filled with rift sedimentary units and capped by post-rift sedimentary sequences. The evolution of the rift termination is consistent with the right-lateral shearing of the Equatorial margin in the Cretaceous and occurs not only at the rift termination, but also as isolated structures away from the main rift.

  11. Diachronous Growth of Normal Fault Systems in Multiphase Rift Basins: Structural Evolution of the East Shetland Basin, Northern North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claringbould, Johan S.; Bell, Rebecca E.; A-L. Jackson, Christopher; Gawthorpe, Robert L.; Odinsen, Tore

    2015-04-01

    Our ability to determine the structural evolution and interaction of fault systems (kinematically linked group of faults that are in the km to 10s of km scale) within a rift basin is typically limited by the spatial extent and temporal resolution of the available data and methods used. Physical and numerical models provide predictions on how fault systems nucleate, grow and interact, but these models need to be tested with natural examples. Although field studies and individual 3D seismic surveys can provide a detailed structural evolution of individual fault systems, they are often spatially limited and cannot be used examine the interaction of fault systems throughout the entire basin. In contrast, regional subsurface studies, commonly conducted on widely spaced 2D seismic surveys, are able to capture the general structural evolution of a rift basin, but lack the spatial and temporal detail. Moreover, these studies typically describe the structural evolution of rifts as comprising multiple discrete tectonic stages (i.e. pre-, syn- and post-rift). This simplified approach does not, however, consider that the timing of activity can be strongly diachronous along and between faults that form part of a kinematically linked system within a rift basin. This study focuses on the East Shetland Basin (ESB), a multiphase rift basin located on the western margin of the North Viking Graben, northern North Sea. Most previous studies suggest the basin evolved in response to two discrete phases of extension in the Permian-Triassic and Middle-Late Jurassic, with the overall geometry of the latter rift to be the result of selective reactivation of faults associated with the former rift. Gradually eastwards thickening intra-rift strata (deposited between two rift phases) that form wedges between and within fault blocks have led to two strongly contrasting tectonic interpretations: (i) Early-Middle Jurassic differential thermal subsidence after Permian-Triassic rifting; or (ii

  12. Next-generation Geotectonic Data Analysis: Using pyGPlates to quantify Rift Obliquity during Supercontinent Dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butterworth, Nathaniel; Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon; Müller, Dietmar

    2015-04-01

    Fragmentation of a supercontinent by rifting is an integral part of plate tectonics, yet the dynamics that govern the success or failure of individual rift systems are still unclear. Recently, analytical and thermo-mechanical modelling has suggested that obliquely activated rifts are mechanically favoured over orthogonal rift systems. Hence, where two rift zones compete, the more oblique rift proceeds to break-up while the less oblique one stalls and becomes an aulacogen. This implies that the orientation and shape of individual rift systems affects the relative motion of Earth's continents during supercontinent break-up. We test this hypothesis using the latest global plate tectonic reconstructions for the past 200 million years. The analysis is performed using pyGPlates, a recently developed Python library that allows script-based access to the plate reconstruction software GPlates. We quantify rift obliquity, extension velocity and their temporal evolution for all small-scale rift segments that constituted a major rift system during the last 200 million years. Boundaries between continental and oceanic crust (COBs) mark the end of rifting and the beginning of sea floor spreading, which is why we use a global set of updated COBs in order to pinpoint continental break-up and as a proxy for the local trend of former rift systems. Analysing the entire length of all rift systems during the last 200 My, we find a mean obliquity of ~40° (measured as the angle between extension direction and local rift trend normal), with a standard deviation of 25°. More than 75% of all rift segments exceeded an obliquity of 20° highlighting the fact that oblique rifting is the rule, not the exception. More specifically, East and West Gondwana split along the East African coast with a mean obliquity of 45°. While rifting of the central and southern South Atlantic segment involved a low obliquity of 10°, the Equatorial Atlantic opened under a high angle of 60°. The separation of

  13. Post pan-african denudation history of southwestern Madagascar during the complex rift-drift evolution of the island: new aspects from titanite and apatite fission track analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmel, B.; Jacobs, J.

    2003-04-01

    Titanite and apatite fission track (FT) thermochronology from 53 basement outcrops in southwest Madagascar reveal a protracted post Pan-African history of extensional tectonism, denudation and sedimentation. The titanite FT ages range between 276 ± 14 Ma and 379 ± 38 Ma. Apatite FT ages vary between 117 ± 26 Ma and 379 ± 19 Ma with mean track length scattering between 11.7 ± 0.59 μm and 13.74 ± 0.21 μm. Combined titanite and apatite FT data were used to calculate denudation rates. Samples from the paleo western margin of Madagascar along the N-S striking Pan-African Ejeda shear zone give above-average denudation rates (100-205 mMa-1) during Carboniferous times. The shear zone was probably reactivated during this times. In contrast the calculated denudation rates for samples from the interior of the island are moderate (25-120 mMa-1). Vitrinite reflectance data from the Sakoa coal area as well as titanite and apatite FT data imply that during the Permo-Triassic rifting, the areas along the paleo western margin that previously underwent fast denudation were buried by a sedimentary cover of up to ˜4.5 km. At this time, a graben developed further inland along the NW-SE striking transcontinental Bongolava-Ranotsara shear zone (BRSZ). Modelled time-temperature paths indicate that the area within the BRSZ remained cool and unaffected since Carboniferous times whereas the samples northeast and southwest of the BRSZ suggest phases of differential cooling during Permian-Triassic times. Seismic data from the Morondava basin indicate that during the Middle Jurassic drift between Madagascar and East-Africa a rift jump towards the west occurred. Modelled time-temperature histories of basement units from the paleo western margin, buried during Permo Triassic times, were exhumed during Jurassic times. This is most probably related with the modified rift kinematics and the associated southwest migration of the margin. Modelled time-temperature paths of all samples from

  14. Crustal Structure of the Ethiopian Rift and Adjacent Plateaus: Results of new integrated interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tadesse, K.; Keller, G. R.

    2006-12-01

    The Ethiopian rift is the large part of the East African Rift system, which represents an incipient divergent plate boundary. This important structure provides excellent opportunities to study the transition from continental to oceanic. As a result, geophysical data are becoming increasingly available but some results are contradictory. We used a newly enhanced gravity database and seismic information to produce an integrated interpretation of the crustal structure beneath the Ethiopian rift and the adjacent plateaus. Wide regions have been covered to assess the regional structures including the Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts and the area covered by the Ethiopian flood basalt. Broad negative Bouguer gravity anomalies are delineated over the Ethiopian Plateaus and the Kenyan dome. Residual gravity anomalies, which parallel the major border faults clearly highlight the segregation between the plateaus and the rift valleys. Results of other filtering techniques have clearly revealed individual volcanic centers within the rift valleys. Positive gravity anomalies outside the rift valleys may be associated with older structures, shield volcanoes, or structures that are related to the initiation and propagation of rifting. A long axial profile from the central part of Kenya to the Afar triple junction has been modeled to investigate along-axis crustal variation of the East African rift system, with emphasis on the Ethiopian rift. This modeling has been constrained using seismic refraction data from the Ethiopian Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) and Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP) results. We are able to see a thin crust (~26 km) in the Afar triangle with a gradual thickening (~40 km) southwards towards the Main Central Ethiopian rift (MER). The crust thickness decreases towards Turkana rift (~22 km), and increases again towards the central eastern rift section in Kenya. Our profile model across the MER has revealed that the eastern rift

  15. Volcanic field elongation, vent distribution and tectonic evolution of continental rift: The Main Ethiopian Rift example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzarini, Francesco; Le Corvec, Nicolas; Isola, Ilaria; Favalli, Massimiliano

    2015-04-01

    Magmatism and faulting operate in continental rifts and interact at a variety of scales, however their relationship is complex. The African rift, being the best example for both active continental rifting and magmatism, provides the ideal location to study the interplay between the two mechanisms. The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), which connects the Afar depression in the north with the Turkana depression and Kenya Rift to the south, consists of two distinct systems of normal faults and its floor is scattered with volcanic fields formed by tens to several hundreds monogenetic, generally basaltic, small volcanoes and composite volcanoes and small calderas. The distribution of vents defines the overall shape of the volcanic field. Previous work has shown that the distribution of volcanic vents and the shape of a field are linked to its tectonic environment and its magmatic system. In order to distinguish the impact of each mechanism, we analyzed four volcanic fields located at the boundary between the central and northern MER, three of them (Debre Zeyit, Wonji and Kone) grew in the rift valley and one (Akaki) on the western rift shoulder. The elongation and shape of the fields were analyzed based on their vent distribution using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA), the Vent-to-Vent Distance (VVD), and the two dimensional symmetric Gaussian kernel density estimate methods. We extracted from these methods several parameters characterizing the spatial distribution of points (e.g., eccentricity (e), eigenvector index (evi), angular dispersion (Da)). These parameters allow to define at least three types of shape for volcanic fields: strong elongate (line and ellipse), bimodal/medium elongate (ellipse) and dispersed (circle) shapes. Applied to the natural example, these methods well differentiate each volcanic field. For example, the elongation of the field increases from shoulder to rift axis inversely to the angular dispersion. In addition, the results show that none of

  16. Enemies and turncoats: bovine tuberculosis exposes pathogenic potential of Rift Valley fever virus in a common host, African buffalo (Syncerus caffer).

    PubMed

    Beechler, B R; Manore, C A; Reininghaus, B; O'Neal, D; Gorsich, E E; Ezenwa, V O; Jolles, A E

    2015-04-22

    The ubiquity and importance of parasite co-infections in populations of free-living animals is beginning to be recognized, but few studies have demonstrated differential fitness effects of single infection versus co-infection in free-living populations. We investigated interactions between the emerging bacterial disease bovine tuberculosis (BTB) and the previously existing viral disease Rift Valley fever (RVF) in a competent reservoir host, African buffalo, combining data from a natural outbreak of RVF in captive buffalo at a buffalo breeding facility in 2008 with data collected from a neighbouring free-living herd of African buffalo in Kruger National Park. RVF infection was twice as likely in individual BTB+ buffalo as in BTB- buffalo, which, according to a mathematical model, may increase RVF outbreak size at the population level. In addition, co-infection was associated with a far higher rate of fetal abortion than other infection states. Immune interactions between BTB and RVF may underlie both of these interactions, since animals with BTB had decreased innate immunity and increased pro-inflammatory immune responses. This study is one of the first to demonstrate how the consequences of emerging infections extend beyond direct effects on host health, potentially altering the dynamics and fitness effects of infectious diseases that had previously existed in the ecosystem on free-ranging wildlife populations. PMID:25788592

  17. Enemies and turncoats: bovine tuberculosis exposes pathogenic potential of Rift Valley fever virus in a common host, African buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

    PubMed Central

    Beechler, B. R.; Manore, C. A.; Reininghaus, B.; O'Neal, D.; Gorsich, E. E.; Ezenwa, V. O.; Jolles, A. E.

    2015-01-01

    The ubiquity and importance of parasite co-infections in populations of free-living animals is beginning to be recognized, but few studies have demonstrated differential fitness effects of single infection versus co-infection in free-living populations. We investigated interactions between the emerging bacterial disease bovine tuberculosis (BTB) and the previously existing viral disease Rift Valley fever (RVF) in a competent reservoir host, African buffalo, combining data from a natural outbreak of RVF in captive buffalo at a buffalo breeding facility in 2008 with data collected from a neighbouring free-living herd of African buffalo in Kruger National Park. RVF infection was twice as likely in individual BTB+ buffalo as in BTB− buffalo, which, according to a mathematical model, may increase RVF outbreak size at the population level. In addition, co-infection was associated with a far higher rate of fetal abortion than other infection states. Immune interactions between BTB and RVF may underlie both of these interactions, since animals with BTB had decreased innate immunity and increased pro-inflammatory immune responses. This study is one of the first to demonstrate how the consequences of emerging infections extend beyond direct effects on host health, potentially altering the dynamics and fitness effects of infectious diseases that had previously existed in the ecosystem on free-ranging wildlife populations. PMID:25788592

  18. Hierarchical segmentation of the Malawi Rift: The influence of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity and kinematics in the evolution of continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laó-Dávila, Daniel A.; Al-Salmi, Haifa S.; Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.; Atekwana, Estella A.

    2015-12-01

    We used detailed analysis of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission-digital elevation model and observations from aeromagnetic data to examine the influence of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity and kinematics in the segmentation of largely amagmatic continental rifts. We focused on the Cenozoic Malawi Rift, which represents the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. This north trending rift traverses Precambrian and Paleozoic-Mesozoic structures of different orientations. We found that the rift can be hierarchically divided into first-order and second-order segments. In the first-order segmentation, we divided the rift into Northern, Central, and Southern sections. In its Northern Section, the rift follows Paleoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic terrains with structural grain that favored the localization of extension within well-developed border faults. The Central Section occurs within Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic terrain with regional structures oblique to the rift extent. We propose that the lack of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity favoring extension localization resulted in the development of the rift in this section as a shallow graben with undeveloped border faults. In the Southern Section, Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic rocks were reactivated and developed the border faults. In the second-order segmentation, only observed in the Northern Section, we divided the section into five segments that approximate four half-grabens/asymmetrical grabens with alternating polarities. The change of polarity coincides with flip-over full-grabens occurring within overlap zones associated with ~150 km long alternating border faults segments. The inherited lithospheric heterogeneity played the major role in facilitating the segmentation of the Malawi Rift during its opening resulting from extension.

  19. Nature of the Mantle Sources and Bearing on Tectonic Evolution in the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukasa, S. B.; Rilling-Hall, S.; Marcano, M. C.; Wilson, T. J.; Lawver, L. A.; LeMasurier, W. E.

    2012-12-01

    We collected samples from subaerial lava flows and dredged some Neogene basanitic lavas from seven volcanic edifices in the Ross Sea, Antarctica - a part of the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) and one of the world's largest alkaline magmatic provinces - for a study aimed at two principal objectives: (1) Geochemical interrogation of the most primitive magmatic rocks to try and understand the nature of the seismically abnormal mantle domain recently identified beneath the shoulder of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), the Ross Sea Embayment and Marie Byrd Land; and (2) Using 40Ar/39Ar geochronology to establish a temporal link between magmatism and tectonism, particularly in the Terror Rift. We have attempted to answer the questions of whether magmatism is due to a hot mantle or wet mantle, and whether rifting in the area triggered magmatic activity or vice versa. Results show that the area does not have an age-progressive hotspot track, and the magmatism post-dates the main phase of extension along the Terror Rift within the WARS, which supports a decompression-melting model without the benefit of a significant thermal anomaly. In fact, preliminary volatile measurements on olivine-hosted melt inclusions have yielded water concentrations in excess of 2 wt%, indicating that flux melting was an important complementary process to decompression melting. The major oxide compositions of lavas in the WARS are best matched to experimental melts of carbonated peridotite, though garnet pyroxenite can also be a minor source. The Pb and Nd isotopic systems are decoupled from each other, suggesting removal of fluid-mobile elements from the mantle source possibly during the long history of subduction along the Paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana. Extremely unradiogenic 187Os/188Os ranging to as low as 0.1081 ± 0.0001 hints at the involvement of lithospheric components in generation of magmas in the WARS.

  20. Low lower crustal velocity across Ethiopia: Is the Main Ethiopian Rift a narrow rift in a hot craton?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keranen, K.M.; Klemperer, S.L.; Julia, J.; Lawrence, J. F.; Nyblade, A.A.

    2009-01-01

    [1] The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is a classic narrow rift that developed in hot, weak lithosphere, not in the initially cold, thick, and strong lithosphere that would be predicted by common models of rift mode formation. Our new 1-D seismic velocity profiles from Rayleigh wave/receiver function joint inversion across the MER and the Ethiopian Plateau indicate that hot lower crust and upper mantle are present throughout the broad region affected by Oligocene flood basalt volcanism, including both the present rift and the adjacent Ethiopian Plateau hundreds of kilometers from the rift valley. The region of hot lithosphere closely corresponds to the region of flood basalt volcanism, and we interpret that the volcanism and thermal perturbation were jointly caused by impingement of the Afar plume head. Across the affected region, Vs is 3.6-3.8 km/s in the lowermost crust and ???4.3 km/s in the uppermost mantle, both ??0.3 km/s lower than in the eastern and western branches of the East African Rift System to the south. We interpret the low Vs in the lower crust and upper mantle as indicative of hot lithosphere with partial melt. Our results lead to a hybrid rift mode, in which the brittle upper crust has developed as a narrow rift along the Neoproterozoic suture between East and West Gondwana, while at depth lithospheric deformation is distributed over the broad region (??400 km wide) thermally perturbed by the broad thermal upwelling associated with the Afar plume head. Development of both the East African Rift System to the south (in cold, strong lithosphere) and the MER to the north (in hot, weak lithosphere) as narrow rifts, despite their vastly different initial thermal states and depth-integrated lithospheric strength, indicates that common models of rift mode formation that focus only on temperature, thickness, and vertical strength profiles do not apply to these classic continental rifts. Instead, inherited structure and associated lithospheric weaknesses are

  1. Genetic Evidence for Rift Valley Fever Outbreaks in Madagascar Resulting from Virus Introductions from the East African Mainland rather than Enzootic Maintenance▿†‡

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Serena A.; Reynes, Jean-Marc; Khristova, Marina L.; Andriamandimby, Soa Fy; Rollin, Pierre E.; Nichol, Stuart T.

    2011-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a mosquito-borne phlebovirus, has been detected in Madagascar since 1979, with occasional outbreaks. In 2008 to 2009, a large RVFV outbreak was detected in Malagasy livestock and humans during two successive rainy seasons. To determine whether cases were due to enzootic maintenance of the virus within Madagascar or to importation from the East African mainland, nine RVFV whole genomic sequences were generated for viruses from the 1991 and 2008 Malagasy outbreaks. Bayesian coalescent analyses of available whole S, M, and L segment sequences were used to estimate the time to the most recent common ancestor for the RVFVs. The 1979 Madagascar isolate shared a common ancestor with strains on the mainland around 1972. The 1991 Madagascar isolates were in a clade distinct from that of the 1979 isolate and shared a common ancestor around 1987. Finally, the 2008 Madagascar viruses were embedded within a large clade of RVFVs from the 2006–2007 outbreak in East Africa and shared a common ancestor around 2003 to 2004. These results suggest that the most recent Madagascar outbreak was caused by a virus likely arriving in the country some time between 2003 and 2008 and that this outbreak may be an extension of the 2006–2007 East African outbreak. Clustering of the Malagasy sequences into subclades indicates that the viruses have continued to evolve during their short-term circulation within the country. These data are consistent with the notion that RVFV outbreaks in Madagascar result not from emergence from enzootic cycles within the country but from recurrent virus introductions from the East African mainland. PMID:21507967

  2. Understanding Chad Basin Evolution Since Miocene: Climate and Vegetation Simulations, Roles of Orbital Parameters and East African Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sepulchre, P.; Ramstein, G.; Krinner, G.; Schuster, M.; Fluteau, F.; Kageyama, M.; Tiercelin, J.; Vignaud, P.; Brunet, M.

    2004-12-01

    Since the discovery of the earliest hominid known, Chad basin is a major place to study paleoclimates and hominid evolution. This discovery implies to re-evaluate the "East Side Story" paradigm for early hominids. To achieve this goal, we have performed numerical simulations to quantify the climatic and vegetation response of the Rift Uplift. We used a zoomed (144 X 108) AGCM (LMDz from IPSL). On the one hand, offline continental biosphere model (ORCHIDEE) has been used to simulate the vegetation response over western and eastern parts of the rift. On the other hand, since geomorphologic evidences have shown that from Upper Miocene to mid-Holocene Lake Chad had known several level oscillations leading to a huge lake known as Mega Lake Chad (MLC), we also ran atmospheric simulations to demonstrate, with boundary conditions at 6 000 BP, that orbital forcing allowed the existence of a MLC. Volume and surface of the lake have been calculated using an adapted lake model. These simulations have shown that the ITCZ shift induced by the mid-Holocene orbital parameters drives the existence of a MegaChad. Our model result having been tested successfully for the last occurrence of the MLC, we will apply it to Upper Miocene accounting for topographic changes, in order to reconstruct as accurately as possible the first hominids environments.

  3. Continental rifting and the origin of Beta Regio, Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgill, G. E.; Steenstrup, S. J.; Barton, C.; Ford, P. G.

    1981-01-01

    Topographic maps based on Pioneer Venus altimetry suggest that Beta Regio, an elevated feature centered at 27 deg N, 282 deg E, is analogous to domes associated with continental rift systems on earth. This interpretation is consistent with the commonly quoted analogy between the East African rift system and the topography of the region from Beta Regio southward to Phoebe Regio. If Beta Regio is a dome, major structural uplift of the crust of Venus is implied, suggesting a more dynamic upper mantle than would be the case if Beta Regio were simply a large volcanic construct.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. Orthorhombic faults system at the onset of the Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic Barents Sea rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collanega, Luca; Breda, Anna; Massironi, Matteo

    2016-04-01

    The structures of the Late Mesozoic/Cenozoic Barents Sea rifting have been investigated with multichannel 3D seismics, covering an area of 7700 sqKm in the Hoop Fault Complex, a transitional area between the platform and the marginal basins. The main structural lineaments have been mapped in a time domain 3D surface and their activity ranges have been constrained through the sin-sedimentary thickness variations detected in time-thickness maps. Two main fault systems have been identified: an orthorhombic fault system consisting of two fault sets trending almost perpendicularly one to the other (WNW-ESE and NNE-SSW) and a graben/half-graben system, elongated approximately N-S in the central part of the study area. While the graben/half-graben system can be explained through the theory of Anderson, this landmark theory fails to explain the simultaneous activity of the two fault sets of the orthorhombic system. So far, the models that can better explain orthorhombic fault arrangements are the slip model by Reches (Reches, 1978; Reches, 1983; Reches and Dieterich, 1983) and the odd-axis model by Krantz (Krantz, 1988). However, these models are not definitive and a strong quest to better understand polymodal faulting is actual (Healy et al., 2015). In the study area, the presence of both a classical Andersonian and an orthorhombic system indicates that these models are not alternative but are both effective and necessary to explain faulting in different circumstances. Indeed, the Andersonian plain strain and the orthorhombic deformation have affected different part of the succession during different phases of the rifting. In particular, the orthorhombic system has affected only the Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic interval of the succession and it was the main active system during the initial phase of the rifting. On the other hand, the graben/half-graben system has affected the whole sedimentary succession, with an increasing activity during the development of the rifting. It has

  6. Fault Orientations at Obliquely Rifted Margins: Where? When? Why?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha

    2015-04-01

    Present-day knowledge of rifted margin formation is largely based on 2D seismic lines, 2D conceptual models, and corroborated by 2D numerical experiments. However, the 2D assumption that the extension direction is perpendicular to the rift trend is often invalid. In fact, worldwide more than 75% of all rifted margin segments have been formed under significant obliquity exceeding 20° (angle measured between extension direction and rift trend normal): During formation of the Atlantic Ocean, oblique rifting dominated at the sheared margins of South Africa and Patagonia, the Equatorial Atlantic margins, separation of Greenland and North America, and it played a major role in the protracted rift history of the North East Atlantic. Outside the Atlantic Ocean, oblique rifting occurred during the split between East and West Gondwana, the separation of India and Australia, India and Madagascar, Australia and Antarctica, as well as Arabia and Africa. It is presently observed in the Gulf of California, the Aegean and in the East African Rift. Despite its significance, the degree to which oblique lithospheric extension affects first-order rift and passive margin properties like surface stress pattern, fault azimuths, and basin geometry, is still not entirely clear. This contribution provides insight in crustal stress patterns and fault orientations by applying a 3D numerical rift model to oblique extensional settings. The presented forward experiments cover the whole spectrum of oblique extension (i.e. rift-orthogonal extension, low obliquity, high obliquity, strike-slip deformation) from initial deformation to breakup. They are conducted using an elasto-visco-plastic finite element model and involve crustal and mantle layers accounting for self-consistent necking of the lithosphere. Results are thoroughly compared to previous analogue experiments, which yields many similarities but also distinct differences for late rift stages and for high obliquity. Even though the model

  7. Neogene-Quaternary Volcanic Alignments in the Transantarctic Mountains and West Antarctic Rift System of Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulsen, T. S.; Wilson, T. J.

    2004-12-01

    Neogene-Quaternary volcanism in southern Victoria Land, Antarctica, produced the Erebus Volcanic Province, a suite of alkaline volcanic rocks that extend from the Transantarctic Mountains rift-flank uplift to offshore localities within the West Antarctic rift system. We are mapping volcanic vent patterns in the province to detect alignments indicative of stress/strain patterns during rift evolution. In the southern sector of the Erebus Volcanic Province in the Royal Society Range Block of the Transantarctic Mountains, mapping shows that elliptical scoria cones, fissures, dikes, and linear vent arrays define volcanic alignments that have a dominant NNE trend, with subsidiary WNW trends. Age data for the alignments suggest that this pattern persisted from 14.6 to 0.25 Ma. We are currently completing mapping along an east-west transect crossing the rift margin, and results obtained so far within the rift region indicate a similar pattern of alignments. On the northern flank of Mount Morning, a large volcano just to the east of the Royal Society Range, elliptical scoria cones and linear vent arrays define volcanic alignments that have a dominant NE trend, with a subsidiary NNW trend. Available age data suggest that many of these cone alignments may be of Quaternary age. At Brown Peninsula, further east from the rift flank, cone alignments trend NNE and available ages range from 2 to 3 Ma. To the east of Brown Peninsula, cone alignments trend NW at Black Island, but are of uncertain age; age data on Black Island range from 11 to 3.4 Ma. At White Island, the farthest east into the rift, cone alignments trend NNE and available age data suggest volcanism as young as 0.2 Ma. Although some differences in cone alignment trends are apparent between the rift flank and the rift system across our transect, both regions appear to be dominated by NE trending alignments, which implies a WNW to NW minimum horizontal stress (Shmin) direction. This is oblique to the ENE Shmin Cape

  8. Melt generation in the West Antarctic Rift System: the volatile legacy of Gondwana subduction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aviado, K.; Rilling-Hall, S.; Mukasa, S. B.; Bryce, J. G.; Cabato, J.

    2013-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) represents one of the largest extensional alkali volcanic provinces on Earth, yet the mechanisms responsible for driving rift-related magmatism remain controversial. The failure of both passive and active models of decompression melting to explain adequately the observed volume of volcanism has prompted debate about the relative roles of thermal plume-related melting and ancient subduction-related flux melting. The latter is supported by roughly 500 Ma of subduction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana, although both processes are capable of producing the broad seismic anomaly imaged beneath most of the Southern Ocean. Olivine-hosted melt inclusions from basanitic lavas provide a means to evaluate the volatile budget of the mantle responsible for active rifting beneath the WARS. We present H2O, CO2, F, S and Cl concentrations determined by SIMS and major oxide compositions by EMPA for olivine-hosted melt inclusions from lavas erupted in Northern Victoria Land (NVL) and Marie Byrd Land (MBL). The melt inclusions are largely basanitic in composition (4.05 - 17.09 wt % MgO, 37.86 - 45.89 wt % SiO2, and 1.20 - 5.30 wt % Na2O), and exhibit water contents ranging from 0.5 up to 3 wt % that are positively correlated with Cl and F. Coupling between Cl and H2O indicates metasomatic enrichment by subduction-related fluids produced during dehydration reactions; coupling between H2O and F, which is more highly retained in subducting slabs, may be related to partial melting of slab remnants [1]. Application of source lithology filters [2] to whole rock major oxide data shows that primitive lavas (MgO wt % >7) from the Terror Rift, considered the locus of on-going tectonomagmatic activity, have transitioned from a pyroxenite source to a volatilized peridotite source over the past ~4 Ma. Integrating the volatile data with the modeled characteristics of source lithologies suggests that partial melting of lithosphere modified by

  9. Rifting of Continental Interiors: Some New Geophysical Data and Interpretations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, G. R.

    2005-12-01

    Rifting is one of the major processes that affect the evolution of the continents. This process sometimes leads to continental breakup and the formation of new oceans, but more often does not. This is presumably due to extension not progressing sufficiently to form a new plate margin resulting in a structure, which remains isolated in an intra-plate environment. The Southern Oklahoma aulacogen is such a feature, and the continental portion of the East African rift system may be a modern example. As more detailed geophysical and geological studies of rifts have become available in recent years, a complex picture of rift structure and evolution has emerged. Global patterns that reveal the connections between lithospheric structure (deep and shallow), magmatism (amount and style), amount of extension, uplift, and older structures remain elusive. However, our geophysical studies of modern and paleo rifts in North America, East Africa, and Europe makes it possible to make some general observations: 1). Magmatism in rifts is modest without the presence of a (pre-existing?) thermal anomaly in the mantle. 2). Magmatic modification of the crust takes many forms which probably depend on the nature of older structures present and the state of the lithosphere when rifting is initiated (i.e. cold vs. hot; fertility), 3) There is no clear relation between amount of extension and the amount of magmatic modification of the crust. 4) Brittle deformation in the upper crustal is complex, often asymmetrical and older features often play important roles in focusing deformation. However on a lithospheric scale, rift structure is usually symmetrical. 5) A better understanding of rift processes is emerging as we achieve higher levels of integration of a wide variety of geoscience data.

  10. Drinking water quality in the Ethiopian section of the East African Rift Valley I--data and health aspects.

    PubMed

    Reimann, Clemens; Bjorvatn, Kjell; Frengstad, Bjørn; Melaku, Zenebe; Tekle-Haimanot, Redda; Siewers, Ulrich

    2003-07-20

    Drinking water samples were collected throughout the Ethiopian part of the Rift Valley, separated into water drawn from deep wells (deeper than 60 m), shallow wells (<60 m deep), hot springs (T>36 degrees C), springs (T<32 degrees C) and rivers. A total of 138 samples were analysed for 70 parameters (Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Bi, Br, Ca, Cd, Ce, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Dy, Er, Eu, F, Fe, Ga, Gd, Ge, Hf, Hg, Ho, I, In, K, La, Li, Lu, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Nb, Nd, Ni, NO(2), NO(3), Pb, Pr, Rb, Sb, Se, Si, Sm, Sn, SO(4), Sr, Ta, Tb, Te, Th, Ti, Tl, Tm, U, V, W, Y, Yb, Zn, Zr, temperature, pH, conductivity and alkalinity) with ion chromatography (anions), spectrometry (ICP-OES and ICP-MS, cations) and parameter-specific (e.g. titration) techniques. In terms of European water directives and WHO guidelines, 86% of all wells yield water that fails to pass the quality standards set for drinking water. The most problematic element is fluoride (F), for which 33% of all samples returned values above 1.5 mg/l and up to 11.6 mg/l. The incidence of dental and skeletal fluorosis is well documented in the Rift Valley. Another problematic element may be uranium (U)-47% of all wells yield water with concentrations above the newly suggested WHO maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 2 microg/l. Fortunately, only 7% of the collected samples are above the 10 microg/l EU-MAC for As in drinking water. PMID:12826384

  11. Spatial instability of the rift in the St. Paul multifault transform fracture system, Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sokolov, S. Yu.; Zaraiskaya, Yu. A.; Mazarovich, A. O.; Efimov, V. N.; Sokolov, N. S.

    2016-05-01

    The structure of the acoustic basement of the eastern part of the St. Paul multifault transform fracture system hosts rift paleovalleys and a paleonodal depression that mismatch the position of the currently active zones. This displacement zone, which is composed of five fault troughs, is unstable in terms of the position of the rift segments, which jumped according to redistribution of stresses. The St. Paul system is characterized by straightening of the transform transition between two remote segments of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). The eastern part of the system contains anomalous bright-spot-like reflectors on the flattened basement, which is a result of atypical magmatism, that forms the standard ridge relief of the acoustic basement. Deformations of the acoustic basement have a presedimentation character. The present-day deformations with lower amplitude in comparison to the basement are accompanied by acoustic brightening of the sedimentary sequence. The axial Bouguer anomalies in the east of the system continue to the north for 120 km from the active segments of the St. Paul system. Currently seismically active segments of the spreading system are characterized by increasing amplitudes of the E-W displacement along the fault troughs. Cross-correlation of the lengths of the active structural elements of the MAR zone (segments of the ridge and transform fracture zones of displacement) indicates that, statistically, the multifault transform fracture system is a specific type of oceanic strike-slip faults.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Anatomy of a river drainage reversal in the Neogene Kivu Nile Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holzförster, F.; Schmidt, U.

    2007-07-01

    The Neogene geological history of East Africa is characterised by the doming and extension in the course of development of the East African Rift System with its eastern and western branches. In the centre of the Western Rift Rise Rwanda is situated on Proterozoic basement rocks exposed in the strongly uplifted eastern rift shoulder of the Kivu-Nile Rift segment, where clastic sedimentation is largely restricted to the rift axis itself. A small, volcanically and tectonically controlled depository in northwestern Rwanda preserved the only Neogene sediments known from the extremely uplifted rift shoulder. Those (?)Pliocene to Pleistocene/Holocene fluvio-lacustrine muds and sands of the Palaeo-Nyabarongo River record the influence of Virunga volcanism on the major drainage reversal that affected East Africa in the Plio-/Pleistocene, when the originally rift-parallel upper Nile drainage system became diverted to the East in order to enter the Nile system via Lake Victoria. Sedimentary facies development, heavy mineral distributions and palaeobiological controls, including hominid artefacts, signal a short time interval of <300-350 ka to complete this major event for the sediment supply system of the Kivu-Nile Rift segment.

  14. Tectonoestratigraphic and Thermal Models of the Tiburon and Wagner Basins, northern Gulf of California Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras, J.; Ramirez Zerpa, N. A.; Negrete-Aranda, R.

    2014-12-01

    The northern Gulf of California Rift System consist sofa series faults that accommodate both normal and strike-slip motion. The faults formed a series of half-greens filled with more than 7 km of siliciclastic suc­cessions. Here, we present tectonostratigraphic and heat flow models for the Tiburón basin, in the southern part of the system, and the Wag­ner basin in the north. The models are constrained by two-dimensional seis­mic lines and by two deep boreholes drilled by PEMEX­-PEP. Analysis of the seismic lines and models' results show that: (i) subsidence of the basins is controlled by high-angle normal faults and by flow of the lower crust, (ii) basins share a common history, and (iii) there are significant differences in the way brittle strain was partitioned in the basins, a feature frequently observed in rift basins. On one hand, the bounding faults of the Tiburón basin have a nested geometry and became active following a west-to-east sequence of activation. The Tiburon half-graben was formed by two pulses of fault activity. One took place during the protogulf extensional phase in the Miocene and the other during the opening of Gulf of California in the Pleistocene. On the other hand, the Wagner basin is the result of two fault generations. During the late-to middle Miocene, the west-dipping Cerro Prieto and San Felipe faults formed a domino array. Then, during the Pleistocene the Consag and Wagner faults dissected the hanging-wall of the Cerro Prieto fault forming the modern Wagner basin. Thermal modeling of the deep borehole temperatures suggests that the heat flow in these basins in the order of 110 mW/m2 which is in agreement with superficial heat flow measurements in the northern Gulf of California Rift System.

  15. Initiation and development of the Kivu rift segment in Central Africa by reactivating un-favorably oriented structural weaknesses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Smets, Benoît

    2015-04-01

    The Kivu rift region forms the central segment of the western branch of the East African rift system, between the northern termination of the Tanganyika rift and the southern extension of the Edward-George rift. Its structure and geological evolution has been revised in the light of a compilation of existing data on earthquake epicenters, focal depth, focal mechanisms, thermal springs and neotectonic faults. It has long been shown that the link between the Kivu rift basin and the Northern termination of the Tanganyika rift basin forms an accommodation zone in which the Rusizi tectonic depression occupies a central place (Ebinger, 1989). In addition, our compilation suggests that the NNE-trending Kivu rift basin and the N-S northern half of the Tanganyika rift basin initiated as separated, partly overlapping and differently oriented basins. The orientation and development of the Kivu rift basin was controlled by an inferred Mid-Proterozoic crustal shear zone and a Pan-African reverse fault front. It was not optimally oriented with the general (first-order) stress field characterized by roughly E-W extension. In a later stage, the more optimally N-S oriented North Tanganyika basin progressed towards the North and connected to Kivu rift in its middle in a region now occupied by the town of Bukavu. This accommodation zone is marked by Quaternary volcanism, warm thermal springs, frequent and relatively shallow seismicity. The southwestern part of the Kivu rift became progressively abandoned but it is still seismically active and hosts a number of warm thermal springs. This particular architecture influences the present-day stress field. This work is a contribution to the Belgian GeoRisCA project. Ebinger, C.J. 1989. Geometric and kinematic development of border faults and accommodation zones, Kivu-Rusizi Rift, Africa. Tectonics, 8, 117-133

  16. Geochemical evidence of mantle reservoir evolution during progressive rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, T. O.; Mohr, P.; Dosso, L.; Hall, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    The Afar region in East Africa, which represents the triple junction of three well-exposed Cenozoic rift systems, is a pivotal domain in the study of rift evolution. The western margin of Afar, defined by a wide transitional region from plateau to rift floor, developed in response to the rifting of the Red Sea commencing shortly after the eruption of the ~31-29 Ma Ethiopian-Yemen flood basalts. The Oligocene lava sequence which covers this rift margin was fed from intensive diking. The dikes and the block-faulting and monoclinal warping that followed provide an opportunity to probe the geochemical reservoirs preserved in the magmatic record and the development of the rifting processes. Argon geochronology reveals that dikes along the western Afar margin span the entire history of rift evolution from the initial Oligocene flood basalt event to the development of focused zones of intrusion in rift marginal basins. Major and trace element, and isotopic results (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf) from these dikes demonstrate temporal geochemical heterogeneity defined by variable contributions from the Afar plume, depleted mantle and African lithosphere, consistent with studies of Quaternary basalts from the Ethiopian Rift. On a broader scale our results show that as the western Afar margin matures, the initially significant contribution from the Afar plume wanes in favor of shallow asthenospheric and lithospheric reservoirs. The early dikes, which are coincident with the initial weakening of the lithosphere in a magma-assisted rifting model, geochemically resemble the widespread plume-derived flood basalts and shields that constitute the Ethiopian Plateau. Subsequent diking is characterized by a lesser role for the Afar plume and greater contributions from the African lithosphere and depleted mantle. During the terminal stage of dike emplacement, where focused magmatic intrusion accommodated extension, a more significant fraction is derived from the depleted mantle and less of a

  17. 13C/Palynological evidence of differential residence times of organic carbon prior to its sedimentation in East African Rift Lakes and peat bogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillaire-Marcel, Claude; Aucour, Anne-Marie; Bonnefille, Raymonde; Riollet, Guy; Vincens, Annie; Williamson, David

    Most terrestrial plants producing large amounts of organic matter in the East African Rift follow the Calvin (C3) photosynthetic pathway. Their end products have δ13C values of ca. -27 ± 2‰ (vs. PDB). On the contrary, most Cyperaceae (notably Cyperus papyrus and C. latifolius) are characterized by higher 13C contents ° 13C = -10.5 ± 1‰ ) in relation to their Hatch and Slack (C4) photosynthetic cycle. In consequence, δ13C values in total organic matter (TOM) from peat bog or lake cores essentially responded to the proportion of detritus from C4-Cyperaceae. Immediate evidence of the development or disappearance of Cyperaceae around lake margins or in peat bogs can be found in pollen assemblages. Lag times between pollen signals and correlative ° 13C shifts in TOM from cores are therefore indicative of the residence time of organic matter prior to its sedimentation. Delayed sedimentation of TOM will result in 14C anomalies which depend on several parameters, most of them being site specific as shown by examples from a peat bog in Burundi and from southern Lake Tanganyika. An independent assessment of the chronology by high resolution paleomagnetic correlations indicates a ca. 1.5 ka apparent 14C age of TOM in Lake Tanganyika at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

  18. Magmatic expression of lithospheric thinning across continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, R. N.; Gibson, S. A.

    1994-05-01

    Studies of magmatism associated with continental rifting have traditionally focused only on volcanism within the downfaulted axial zone and along its immediate flanks. Teleseismic travel-time delay studies during the last decade have confirmed the results of earlier gravity surveys of rifted areas, showing that thinning at the base of the continental lithosphere occurs throughout a zone up to about 10 times wider than the physiographic expression of the rift. It is, therefore, logical to consider rifting-related magmatism on the same scale. Potential sources of mafic magmas in rift zones are the thinned subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM), the convecting mantle beneath the continental plate and mixtures of the two. Detailed elemental and radiogenic isotope geochemical studies show that, during the initial extension of continental rifts, the associated mafic magmatism tends to be: (1) relatively sodic and from predominantly convecting mantle sources at the rift axis; (2) relatively potassic and from predominantly lithospheric mantle sources at the margins of the thinned-plate zone. This underlying geochemical pattern is obscured in many instances by such processes as crustal contamination and magma mixing within open-system reservoirs. The mafic ultrapotassic component that provides a distinctive input to SCLM-source magmas appears to be largely fusible at temperatures well below the dry solidus of SCLM; so that, in some cases, prolonged magmatism at a site causes removal of most or all of the potassic lithosphere-source melt (as mafic ultrapotassic magmas or as a contribution to mixed-source melts) without destruction of that lithosphere segment as a geophysically defined unit. Such a zone of refractory lithosphere permits subsequent, recognisable, convecting mantle source melts to penetrate it and reach the surface. These principles are illustrated by discussion of the Neogene-Quaternary magmatism of the Rio Grande, East African, Rhine and Baikal rifts, in

  19. Age relationships for magmatic units of Mid-Continent rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Van Schmus, W.R.

    1989-03-01

    K-Ar ages ranging from about 600 to 1000 Ma have recently been reported for gabbro and basalt recovered from the Texaco 1 Poersch well in Kansas. This has prompted suggestions that rift magmatism there may be distinctly younger than that in the Lake Superior region, and that development of the rift may have lasted several hundred million years. Review of ages from Keweenawan volcanic and plutonic rocks in the Lake Superior region shows that the best results are obtained from U-Pb analyses of zircon and baddeleyite; recent published results range from 1087 to 1108 Ma, with uncertainties on individual ages of /plus minus/ 4 m.y. This finding is consistent with earlier reported U-Pb zircon results. Virtually all other techniques are susceptible to geologic error and generally yield ages of significant less than 1100 Ma. The reliability decreases approximately in the sequence Rb-Sr (whole rock), K-Ar (biotite), Ar/sup 39/-Ar/sup 40/ (whole rock), K-Ar (whole rock), with fresh, coarse-grained plutonic rocks yielding older ages than altered, fine-grained volcanic rocks. K-Ar data on altered, fine-grained mafic rocks, therefore, are very poor indicators of original crystallization ages. Since the rocks from the Texaco 1 Poersch well are fine grained and slightly to moderately altered, their true ages are probably substantially older than 800-900 Ma. Interpretations based on the K-Ar ages from this well are ill advised; tectonic interpretation of the Mid-Continent rift system must wait for more accurate results. Several possibilities exist for obtaining more reliable ages from samples of the Poersch well and other, older wells in the region. These studies are in progress, and any available results will be presented.

  20. Mineralization potential along the trend of the Keweenawan- age Central North American Rift System in Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berendsen, P.

    1989-01-01

    The tectonic and sedimentary environment of the Central North American Rift System (CNARS) provides an excellent setting for major mineral deposits. Major north-northeast-trending high-angle normal or reverse faults and northwest-trending transcurrent fault systems may exercise control over ore forming processes. Gabbro and basalt are the dominant igneous rock types. Carbonatite and kimberlite occur in Nebraska and Kansas. Concentrations of Cu, Ni, Co, Ti, Au, Ag and PG minerals are known to occur in this setting. Arkosic sandstone, siltstone, shale, and minor carbonate units occur on top of the rift basalts and in flanking basins where they may reach thicknesses of 10 km (6 miles). The potential for stratiform or unconformity-related metalliferous deposits should be considered. The rift as a whole remains largely unexplored.

  1. Serological Evidence of Rift Valley Fever Virus Circulation in Domestic Cattle and African Buffalo in Northern Botswana (2010-2011).

    PubMed

    Jori, Ferran; Alexander, Kathleen A; Mokopasetso, Mokganedi; Munstermann, Suzanne; Moagabo, Keabetswe; Paweska, Janusz T

    2015-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is endemic in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and is responsible for severe outbreaks in livestock characterized by a sudden onset of abortions and high neonatal mortality. During the last decade, several outbreaks have occurred in Southern Africa, with a very limited number of cases reported in Botswana. To date, published information on the occurrence of RVF in wild and domestic animals from Botswana is very scarce and outdated, despite being critical to national and regional disease control. To address this gap, 863 cattle and 150 buffalo sampled at the interface between livestock areas and the Chobe National Park (CNP) and the Okavango Delta (OD) were screened for the presence of RVF virus (RVFV) neutralizing antibodies. Antibodies were detected in 5.7% (n = 863), 95% confidence intervals (CI) (4.3-7.5%) of cattle and 12.7% (n = 150), 95% CI (7.8-19.5%) of buffalo samples. The overall prevalence was significantly higher (p = 0.0016) for buffalo [12.7%] than for cattle [5.7%]. Equally, when comparing RVF seroprevalence in both wildlife areas for all pooled bovid species, it was significantly higher in CNP than in OD (9.5 vs. 4%, respectively; p = 0.0004). Our data provide the first evidence of wide circulation of RVFV in both buffalo and cattle populations in Northern Botswana and highlight the need for further epidemiological and ecological investigations on RVF at the wildlife-livestock-human interface in this region. PMID:26664990

  2. Serological Evidence of Rift Valley Fever Virus Circulation in Domestic Cattle and African Buffalo in Northern Botswana (2010–2011)

    PubMed Central

    Jori, Ferran; Alexander, Kathleen A.; Mokopasetso, Mokganedi; Munstermann, Suzanne; Moagabo, Keabetswe; Paweska, Janusz T.

    2015-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is endemic in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and is responsible for severe outbreaks in livestock characterized by a sudden onset of abortions and high neonatal mortality. During the last decade, several outbreaks have occurred in Southern Africa, with a very limited number of cases reported in Botswana. To date, published information on the occurrence of RVF in wild and domestic animals from Botswana is very scarce and outdated, despite being critical to national and regional disease control. To address this gap, 863 cattle and 150 buffalo sampled at the interface between livestock areas and the Chobe National Park (CNP) and the Okavango Delta (OD) were screened for the presence of RVF virus (RVFV) neutralizing antibodies. Antibodies were detected in 5.7% (n = 863), 95% confidence intervals (CI) (4.3–7.5%) of cattle and 12.7% (n = 150), 95% CI (7.8–19.5%) of buffalo samples. The overall prevalence was significantly higher (p = 0.0016) for buffalo [12.7%] than for cattle [5.7%]. Equally, when comparing RVF seroprevalence in both wildlife areas for all pooled bovid species, it was significantly higher in CNP than in OD (9.5 vs. 4%, respectively; p = 0.0004). Our data provide the first evidence of wide circulation of RVFV in both buffalo and cattle populations in Northern Botswana and highlight the need for further epidemiological and ecological investigations on RVF at the wildlife–livestock–human interface in this region. PMID:26664990

  3. Post-rift uplift, paleorelief and sedimentary fluxes: the case example of the African margin of the South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillocheau, F.; Dauteuil, O.

    2012-04-01

    Several attempts have been made to identify different paleosurfaces since the classical works of Lester King (1942, 1949) at the scale of Africa. Thermochronologists and river geomorphologists criticized this approach. This criticism mainly concerned the age of the surfaces, that were (1) poorly constraints and (2) a king of catechism on which all studies must refer. Nevertheless, those planation surfaces exist and are key features of the present-day morphology of Africa. In details, real planation surfaces are (1) no more than two or three and (2) can be deformed and then merged together. Those surfaces are incised by large smooth valleys, called pediments or glacis (with some semantic differences between English and French-speaking geomorphologists). Those pediments formed a pre-network of rivers, later re-incised by the present-day incised narrow valleys. Those different morphological structures can be dated using (1) their merge with sedimentary basins, (2) their relationship with the different types of dated weathering periods and (3) their relationships with volcanism. They also can be used as a proxy of the deformation based on the differences of elevation of the planations surfaces or on the shape of the pediments. From the Orange River to the Cameroon Volcanic Line, including the Congo Cuvette, two planations surfaces were identified (the Bauxitic or African surface, the intermediate surface), at least two generations of pediment valleys and the present-day incised valley network. The African surface is of Late Paleocene to Middle Eocene age with a climax during this last period and two major periods of uplift can be identified and mapped (1) Late Eocene-Early Oligocene and (2) Lower Miocene. Most of the relief is fossil since that period, excepted in the Angola Mountains were deformations are active during Plio-Pleistocene times. Those uplifts of smoother, most of the time weathered, relief than today, had important consequences on the petrology and the

  4. Stratigraphy of Mid-Continent rift system in Kansas as revealed by recent exploration wells

    SciTech Connect

    Newell, K.D.; Berendsen, P.; Watney, W.L.; Doveton, J.H.; Steeples, D.

    1989-03-01

    The Texaco 1 Poersch well in Kansas (11,300 ft TD) was the first significant exploration test of the Mid-Continent Rift System (MRS). An upper succession of rift-related rocks (2846-7429 ft) contains approximately 90% mafic igneous rocks with minor pegmatites and 10% oxidized siltstone and arkose. Arkose and subarkose with minor siltstone and shale make up 90% of a lower succession (7429 ft to TD). The remaining lower succession is composed of mafic igneous rocks. Mafic rocks are typically alkali basalts. Individual flows (detected by presence of amygdules, interflow sediments, compositional differences, and oxidized zones) range in thickness from 20 to 250 ft. Sedimentary rocks in the lower succession are divided into three sequences, each 1000-2000 ft thick. The sequences overlie relatively thin mafic flows or intrusives. Each sequence is generally composed of fining-upward units (50-150 ft thick) attributed to episodic movement and erosion of fault blocks in alluvial fan-dominated sedimentary environments. Shales and siltstones are too oxidized to be viable petroleum source rocks, but gray shale with approximately 0.5% total organic carbon was found in the MRS by the 1-4 Finn well, 21 mi to the northeast. Geologic examination of several shallower Precambrian tests holes near 1 Poersch shows considerable variability in sedimentary and tectonic settings along the MRS. Correlation between wells in Kansas and exposed areas of the MRS is still problematic. Additional wells will be necessary to better understand its hydrocarbon potential.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Variations in the reflectivity of the moho transition zone beneath the Midcontinent Rift System of North America: results from true amplitude analysis of GLIMPCE data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hutchinson, Deborah R.; Lee, Myung W.; Behrendt, John C.; Cannon, William F.; Green, Adrian

    1992-01-01

    True amplitude processing of The Great Lakes International Multidisciplinary Program on Crustal Evolution seismic reflection data from the Midcontinent Rift System of North America shows large differences in the reflectivity of the Moho transition zone beneath the axial rift, beneath the rift flanks, and outside of the rift. The Moho reflection from the axial rift has a discontinuous, diffractive character marginally stronger (several decibels) than an otherwise transparent lower crust and upper mantle. Beneath the axial rift, Moho is interpreted to be a synrift igneous feature. Beneath the rift flanks, the reflectivity of the Moho transition is generally well developed with two identifiable boundaries, although in places it is weakly reflective to nonreflective, similar to Moho outside the rift. The two boundaries are interpreted as the base of essentially intact, although stretched, prerift Archean crust (upper boundary) and new synrift Moho 1-2 s (6-7 km) deeper (lower boundary). Beneath the rift flanks, the layered reflection Moho transition results from the preexisting crustal composition and fabric modified by synrift igneous processes and extensional tectonic/metamorphic processes. The geologic evidence for extensive basaltic magmatism in the rift is the basis for interpreting the Moho signature as a Keweenawan structure that has been preserved for 1.1 b.y. Extension and magmatism appear to enhance reflectivity in the lower crust and Moho transition zone only where stretching factors are moderate (rift flanks) and not where they are extreme (axial rift). This leads to the prediction that the reflectivity across analogous volcanic passive continental margins should be greatest beneath the moderately stretched continental shelves and should decrease towards the ocean-continent boundary.

  7. Mid-lithospheric Discontinuity Beneath the Malawi Rift, Deduced from Gravity Studies and its Relation to the Rifting Process.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njinju, E. A.; Atekwana, E. A.; Mickus, K. L.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Atekwana, E. A.; Laó-Dávila, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The World Gravity Map satellite gravity data were used to investigate the lithospheric structure beneath the Cenozoic-age Malawi Rift which forms the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. An analysis of the data using two-dimensional (2D) power spectrum methods indicates the two distinctive discontinuities at depths of 31‒44 km and 64‒124 km as defined by the two steepest slopes of the power spectrum curves. The shallower discontinuity corresponds to the crust-mantle boundary (Moho) and compares well with Moho depth determined from passive seismic studies. To understand the source of the deeper discontinuity, we applied the 2D power spectrum analysis to other rift segments of the Western Branch as well as regions with stable continental lithospheres where the lithospheric structure is well constrained through passive seismic studies. We found that the deeper discontinuity corresponds to a mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD), which is known to exist globally at depths between 60‒150 km and as determined by passive seismic studies. Our results show that beneath the Malawi Rift, there is no pattern of N-S elongated crustal thinning following the surface expression of the Malawi Rift. With the exception of a north-central region of crustal thinning (< 35 km), most of the southern part of the rift is underlain by thick crust (~40‒44 km). Different from the Moho, the MLD is shallower beneath the axis of the Malawi Rift forming a N-S trending zone with depths of 64‒80 km, showing a broad and gentle topography. We interpret the MLD as representing a sharp density contrast resulting from metasomatized lithosphere due to lateral migration along mobile belts of hot mantle melt or fluids from a distant plume and not from an ascending asthenosphere. These fluids weaken the lithosphere enhancing rift nucleation. The availability of satellite gravity worldwide makes gravity a promising technique for determining the MLD globally.

  8. Syn-Rift Systems of East Godavari Sub Basin: Its Evolution and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dash, J., Jr.; Zaman, B.

    2014-12-01

    Krishna Godavari (K.G.) basin is a passive margin basin developed along the Eastern coast of India. This basin has a polyhistoric evolution with multiple rift systems. Rift basin exploration has provided the oil and gas industry with almost one third of discovered global hydrocarbon resources. Understanding synrift sequences, their evolution, depositional styles and hydrocarbon prospectivity has become important with recent discovery of the wells, G-4-6,YS-AF and KG-8 in the K.G. offshore basin. The East Godavari subbasin is a hydrocarbon producing basin from synrift and pre-rift sediments, and hence this was selected as the study area for this research. The study has been carried out by utilizing data of around 58 wells (w1-w58) drilled in the study area 25 of which are hydrocarbon bearing with organic thickness varying from 200 m to 600 m. Age data generated by palaentology and palynology studies have been utilized for calibration of key well logs to differentiate between formations within prerift and synrift sediments. The electrologs of wells like resistivity, gamma ray, neutron, density and sonic logs have been utilized for correlation of different formations in all the drilled wells. The individual thicknesses of sand, shale and coal in the formations have been calculated and tabulated. For Golapalli formation, the isopach and isolith maps were generated which revealed that there were four depocentres with input from the north direction. Schematic geological cross sections were prepared using the well data and seismic data to understand the facies variation across the basin. The sedimentological and petrophysical analysis reports and electro log suites were referred to decipher the environment of deposition, the reservoir characteristics, and play types. The geochemical reports [w4 (Tmax)= 455-468 °C; w1 (Tmax) = 467-514 °C; w4(VRO)= 0.65-0.85; w1(VRO)= 0.83-1.13] revealed the source facies, its maturation and migration timings i.e. the petroleum systems

  9. The stratigraphic architecture of hyper-extended rift systems: A field perspective from Aps, Pyrenees and Baja-California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masini, Emmanuel; Manatschal, Gianreto; Tugend, Julie; Mohn, Geoffroy; Robin, Cécile; Geoffroy, Laurent; Unternehr, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    The discovery of hyper-extended domains in deep water rifted margins challenged the classical view of the evolution of rift systems leading to continental breakup. In these hyper-extended domains, rift basins occur over less than 10km thick extended continental crust or exhumed subcontinental mantle. Neither their imaged stratigraphic architecture and drilled facies nor the subsidence history can be explained by classical McKenzie-type rift models. Studies performed on off- and on-shore examples demonstrate the importance of tectonic exhumation by detachment faulting. However, despite their apparent widespread occurrence in present-day rifted margins, the overall tectono-sedimentary evolution of these systems remains poorly understood. In this study we review and compare key multi-scale observations from 3 different hyper-extended rift systems. 1) The first example, in the Western Pyrenees, corresponds to a complete sediment-rich Cretaceous hyper-extended rift system that can be investigated. 2) The second example in the Swiss Alps, gives the access to supra-detachment sedimentary evolution in a sediment-starved context. 3) The last example exposed in Baja California Sur, shows supra-detachment sedimentary evolution in sediment-rich and shallow water environment. Based on these studies in three different settings, we conclude that the basins forming in the lower and upper plate position respective to detachment fault polarity develop as two different types of basins. Lower plate basins develop over top-basement detachment systems and discontinuous pieces of pre-rift strata (extensional allochthons). In this setting, the sequential development of low-angle detachment systems implies the creation of new real estate crust (new seafloor surfaces) and a complex syn-rift stratigraphic architecture. Through this domain, the deposition of syn- and post-tectonic sediments above exhumation surfaces are diachronous along stretching direction illustrating relative migration of

  10. Attractor structures of riftogenesis in the lithosphere of Baikal Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klyuchevskii, A. V.

    2011-03-01

    The study results of modern geodynamics and tectonophysics of the lithosphere of Baikal Rift System (BRS) are generalized. By the data on radii of dislocations, three areas of maximal strain-strength anisotropy of the medium are distinguished, while analysis of seismic moments of earthquakes has showed that in these parts of the lithosphere mostly dip-slip fault-causing quakes of various energy classes take place; i.e., riftogenesis processes dominate. Within the framework of the theory of nonlinear dissipative dynamical systems, these areas are classified as attractor structures of riftogenesis (ASR). ASRs are located in the central part and in the flanks of the BRS, and they form nonlinearity and instability of modern geodynamical and tectonophysical processes in the lithosphere, which are manifested in seismicity of the Baikal Region and Mongolia.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    With several rift segments at different stages of the rifting cycle, and the last orogenic episode more than 500 Mya, the young (<7 My) Eastern rift system in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya offers an ideal venue to study the role of magma and other fluids in continental rifting. To estimate both the location and volume of magma beneath the rift system, we generated 3D elastic wave images of the crust and uppermost mantle of this region by analyzing data recorded by a local deployment of 40 broad band seismic stations over a period of two years. We jointly inverted P and S wave arrival times from locally recorded earthquakes with Rayleigh wave dispersion curves derived from cross correlating ambient noise. These results were combined with Bouguer gravity anomalies to increase resolution and add constraints. The ambient noise signal appears to be channeled along the axis of the rift system, suggesting a waveguide effect. Tests with synthetic data estimate a spatial resolution in our images on the order of a few km. Our results demonstrate fundamental modifications of continental crustal structure by magmatic processes during the first few My of rift basin development. To first order, our models are dominated by regions of exceptionally low (by 10-20%) shear wavespeed relative to that of average continental crust. To a large extent the wavespeeds mimic the topography, with the slowest shear wave speeds corresponding to the lowest elevations, and tracing out a NE-SW striking region about 20 km wide from the Natron basin in the north to a NW-SE region of similar width beneath the Manyara basin in the south. These low wavespeeds are likely to be a consequence of the presence of magma and other fluids from at least 30 km depth, the limit of depth resolution for this dataset and near the base of the crust (~35 km), and extending to upper crustal levels in some areas. Somewhat surprisingly, a second region of significant low wavespeed beneath the Ngorongoro caldera

  12. Rift zones and magma plumbing system of Piton de la Fournaise volcano: How do they differ from Hawaii and Etna?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michon, Laurent; Ferrazzini, Valérie; Di Muro, Andrea; Villeneuve, Nicolas; Famin, Vincent

    2015-09-01

    On ocean basaltic volcanoes, magma transfer to the surface proceeds by subvertical ascent from the mantle lithosphere through the oceanic crust and the volcanic edifice, possibly followed by lateral propagation along rift zones. We use a 19-year-long database of volcano-tectonic seismic events together with detailed mapping of the cinder cones and eruptive fissures to determine the geometry and the dynamics of the magma paths intersecting the edifice of Piton de la Fournaise volcano. We show that the overall plumbing system, from about 30 km depth to the surface, is composed of two structural levels that feed distinct types of rift zones. The deep plumbing system is rooted between Piton des Neiges and Piton de la Fournaise volcanoes and has a N30-40 orientation. Above 20 km below sea level (bsl), the main axis switches to a N120 orientation, which permits magma transfer from the lithospheric mantle to the base of the oceanic crust, below the summit of Piton de la Fournaise. The related NW-SE rift zone is 15 km wide, linear, spotted by small to large pyroclastic cones and related lava flows and emits slightly alkaline magmas resulting from high-pressure fractionation of clinopyroxene ± olivine. This rift zone has low magma production rate of ~ 0.5-3.6 × 10- 3 m3s- 1 and an eruption periodicity of around 200 years over the last 30 ka. Seismic data suggest that the long-lasting activity of this rift zone result from regional NNE-SSW extension, which reactivates inherited lithospheric faults by the effect of underplating and/or thermal erosion of the mantle lithosphere. The shallow plumbing system (< 11 km bsl) connects the base of the crust with the Central Cone. It is separated from the deep plumbing system by a relatively large aseismic zone between 8 and 11 km bsl, which may represent a deep storage level of magma. The shallow plumbing system feeds frequent, short-lived summit and flank (NE and SE flanks) eruptions along summit and outer rift zones, respectively

  13. Rift basins - Origin, history, and distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K. C.

    1985-01-01

    Rifts are elongate depressions overlying places where the lithosphere has ruptured in extension. Where filled with sediment they may contain exploitable quantities of oil and gas. Because rits form in a variety of tectonic settings, it is helpful to define the particular tectonic environment in which a specific rift or set of rifts has developed. A useful approach has been to relate that environment to the Wilson Cycle of the opening and the closing of oceans. This appreciation of tectonic setting can help in better understanding of the depositional, structural and thermal history of individual rift systems. The global distribution of rifts can also be related to tectonic environment. For example, rifts associated with continental rupture at a temporary still-stand of a continent over the mantle convective system (rifts like those active in East Africa today) can be distinguished from those associated with continental collision (rifts like the Cenozoic rifts of China).

  14. Along-axis transition between narrow and wide rifts: Insights from 3D numerical experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koptev, Alexander; Calais, Eric; Burov, Evgueni; Leroy, Sylvie; Gerya, Taras

    2016-04-01

    Based on performed high-resolution rheologically consistent three-dimensional thermo-mechanical numerical models, we show that there is a significant difference in the influence of the rheological profile on rifting style in the case of dominant active (plume-activated) rifting compared to dominant passive (far-field tectonic stresses) rifting. Narrow rifting, conventionally attributed to cold strong lithosphere in passive rifting mode, may develop in weak hot ultra-stretched lithosphere during active rifting, after plume impingement on a tectonically pre-stressed lithosphere. In that case, initially ultra-wide small-amplitude rift patterns focus, in a few Myr, in large-scale faults that form a narrow rift. Also, wide rifting may develop during ultra-slow spreading of strong lithosphere, and "switch" to the narrow rifting upon plume impingement. For further understanding the mechanisms behind the interactions between the mantle plume and far-field stresses in case of realistic horizontally heterogeneous lithosphere, we have tested our models on the case of the central East African Rift system (EARS). The EARS south of the Ethiopian Rift Valley bifurcates in two branches (eastern, magma-rich and western, magma-poor) surrounding the strong Tanzanian craton. Broad zones of low seismic velocity observed throughout the upper mantle beneath the central part of the EARS are consistent with the spreading of a deep mantle plume. The extensional features and topographic expression of the Eastern rift varies significantly north-southward: in northern Kenya the area of deformation is very wide (some 150-250 km in E-W direction), to the south the rift narrows to 60-70 km, yet further to the south this localized deformation widens again. Here we investigate this transition between localized and wide rifting using thermo-mechanical numerical modeling that couples, in a dynamic sense, the rise of the upper mantle material with the deformation of the African lithosphere below the

  15. Hawaii Rifts

    SciTech Connect

    Nicole Lautze

    2015-01-01

    Rifts mapped through reviewing the location of dikes and vents on the USGS 2007 Geologic Map of the State of Hawaii, as well as our assessment of topography, and, to a small extent, gravity data. Data is in shapefile format.

  16. The Goodman swell: a lithospheric flexure caused by crustal loading along the Midcontinent rift system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterman, Z.E.; Sims, P.K.

    1988-01-01

    Rb-Sr biotite ages of Archean and Early to Middle Proterozoic crystalline rocks in northern Wisconsin and adjacent Upper Peninsula of Michigan describe a regionally systematic pattern related to differential uplift. An "age low' occurs in northern Wisconsin where values range from 1070-1172 Ma for rocks with crystallization ages of 1760 to 1865 Ma. These values overlap with the main episode of mafic igneous activity (1090 to 1120 Ma) along the Midcontinent rift system (MRS). We interpret these low biotite ages as registering closure due to cooling below the 300??C isotherm as a consequence of uplift and rapid erosion of an area that we are informally naming the Goodman swell. We interpret the swell to be a forebulge imposed on an elastic crust by loading of mafic igneous rocks along and within the axis of the MRS. -from Authors

  17. Modelling Rift Valley fever (RVF) disease vector habitats using active and passive remote sensing systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ambrosia, Vincent G.; Linthicum, K. G.; Bailey, C. L.; Sebesta, P.

    1989-01-01

    The NASA Ames Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases are conducting research to detect Rift Valley fever (RVF) vector habitats in eastern Africa using active and passive remote-sensing. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) calculated from Landsat TM and SPOT data is used to characterize the vegetation common to the Aedes mosquito. Relationships have been found between the highest NDVI and the 'dambo' habitat areas near Riuru, Kenya on both wet and dry data. High NDVI values, when combined with the vegetation classifications, are clearly related to the areas of vector habitats. SAR data have been proposed for use during the rainy season when optical systems are of minimal use and the short frequency and duration of the optimum RVF mosquito habitat conditions necessitate rapid evaluation of the vegetation/moisture conditions; only then can disease potential be stemmed and eradication efforts initiated.

  18. Rift propagation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parmentier, E. M.; Schubert, G.

    1989-01-01

    A model for rift propagation which treats the rift as a crack in an elastic plate which is filled from beneath by upwelling viscous asthenosphere as it lengthens and opens. Growth of the crack is driven by either remotely applied forces or the pressure of buoyant asthenosphere in the crack and is resisted by viscous stresses associated with filling the crack. The model predicts a time for a rift to form which depends primarily on the driving stress and asthenosphere viscosity. For a driving stress on the order of 10 MPa, as expected from the topography of rifted swells, the development of rifts over times of a few Myr requires an asthenosphere viscosity of 10 to the 16th Pa s (10 to the 17th poise). This viscosity, which is several orders of magnitude less than values determined by postglacial rebound and at least one order of magnitude less than that inferred for spreading center propagation, may reflect a high temperature or large amount of partial melting in the mantle beneath a rifted swell.

  19. Fault evolution in the Potiguar rift termination, equatorial margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Castro, D. L.; Bezerra, F. H. R.

    2015-02-01

    The transform shearing between South American and African plates in the Cretaceous generated a series of sedimentary basins on both plate margins. In this study, we use gravity, aeromagnetic, and resistivity surveys to identify architecture of fault systems and to analyze the evolution of the eastern equatorial margin of Brazil. Our study area is the southern onshore termination of the Potiguar rift, which is an aborted NE-trending rift arm developed during the breakup of Pangea. The basin is located along the NNE margin of South America that faces the main transform zone that separates the North and the South Atlantic. The Potiguar rift is a Neocomian structure located at the intersection of the equatorial and western South Atlantic and is composed of a series of NE-trending horsts and grabens. This study reveals new grabens in the Potiguar rift and indicates that stretching in the southern rift termination created a WNW-trending, 10 km wide, and ~ 40 km long right-lateral strike-slip fault zone. This zone encompasses at least eight depocenters, which are bounded by a left-stepping, en echelon system of NW-SE- to NS-striking normal faults. These depocenters form grabens up to 1200 m deep with a rhomb-shaped geometry, which are filled with rift sedimentary units and capped by postrift sedimentary sequences. The evolution of the rift termination is consistent with the right-lateral shearing of the equatorial margin in the Cretaceous and occurs not only at the rift termination but also as isolated structures away from the main rift. This study indicates that the strike-slip shearing between two plates propagated to the interior of one of these plates, where faults with similar orientation, kinematics, geometry, and timing of the major transform are observed. These faults also influence rift geometry.

  20. Drilling to Resolve the Evolution of the Corinth Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeill, Lisa; Sakellariou, Dimitris; Nixon, Casey

    2014-05-01

    The initiation and evolution of continental rifting, ultimately leading to rifted margin and ocean basin formation, are major unanswered questions in solid Earth-plate tectonics. Many previous insights have come from mature rifted margins where activity has ceased or from computer models. The Gulf of Corinth Rift in central Greece presents an ideal laboratory for the study of young, highly active rifting that complements other rift zones (e.g., the East African and Gulf of California rifts). Exposure and preservation of syn-rift stratigraphy, high rates of extension, and an existing network of offshore seismic data offer a unique opportunity to constrain the rift history and basin development at exceptionally high resolution in the Gulf of Corinth.

  1. Structure of backarc inner rifts as a weakest zone of arc-backarc system: a case study of the Sea of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Hiroshi; Ishiyama, Tasuya; Kato, Naoko; Abe, Susumu; Saito, Hideo; Shiraishi, Kazuya; Abe, Shiori; Iwasaki, Takaya; Inaba, Mitsuru; No, Tetsuo; Sato, Takeshi; Kodaira, Shuichi; Takeda, Tetsuya; Matsubara, Makoto; Kodaira, Chihiro

    2015-04-01

    compression, the boundary of rock units reactivated as reverse faults, commonly forming a large-scale wedge thrust and produced subsidence of rift basin under compressional stress regime. Large amount of convergence of overriding plate is accommodated along the inner rift, suggesting that it is a weakest zone in whole arc-backarc system. The convergence between young (15 Ma) Shikoku basin and SW Japan arc produced intense shortening along the inner failed rift along the Sea of Japan coast. After the onset of subduction along the Nankai trough, the fold-and-thrust belt was covered by Pliocene marine sediment. Before the 2011 off-Tohoku earthquake (M9), several damaging earthquakes occurred along the backarc fold-and-thrust belt. These represents that a weak backarc inner rift is very sensitive for the stress produce by the subduction interface.

  2. Distribution of incompatible trace elements between the constituents of spinel peridotite xenoliths: ICP-MS data from the East African rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bedini, R. M.; Bodinier, J.-L.

    1999-11-01

    To constrain the geochemical models of the lithospheric mantle, we have carried out a detailed study of the distribution of incompatible trace elements between the various constituents of spinel peridotites. Predominant and accessory minerals were separated in 12 mantle xenoliths from Mega (East African Rift, Sidamo region, SE Ethiopia). The samples range in composition from cpx-rich lherzolites to refractory harzburgites and are devoid of modal metasomatism, except for minor amount of apatite in some of them. Their trace element concentration encompasses almost the whole range reported in the literature for basalt-born xenoliths. Mineral separates (ol, opx, cpx, spinel and apatite) and their leachates were analyzed by ICP-MS, for rare earth elements (REE) and several incompatible trace elements (Rb, Sr, Ba, Zr, Hf, Nb, Ta, Th, U, and Ti). Spinel surfaces were investigated by SEM and EPMA to determine the composition of the attached micro-phases. Mass-balance inversion shows that the trace element composition of whole rocks is controlled by five distinct components: 1). the silicate minerals which account for the total HREE abundance, and 50-90% of LREE, Sr, and Zr-Hf, in the apatite-free peridotites; 2). the mineral-hosted fluid inclusions which play a significant role for Rb (20-25%), and to a lesser degree for the other LILEs; 3). a pervasive grain-boundary component selectively enriched in highly incompatible elements, which contributes 25-90% of the whole-rock budget for Ba, Th and U, and 10-50% for Nb and LREE, in the apatite-free samples; 4). thin reaction layers (<10 μm thick) coating the surfaces of spinel grains and mainly composed of Ti-oxides and phlogopite. They are the predominant repository of Nb-Ta (45-60%) and Rb-Ba (30-80%) in all the studied xenoliths; 5). apatite which largely predominates the budget of Th, U, Sr and LREE (25-75%) in the samples containing this mineral. Compared to the other peridotite constituents, fluid-derived inclusions in

  3. Geomorphometric reconstruction of post-eruptive surfaces of the Virunga Volcanic Province (East African Rift), constraint of erosion ratio and relative chronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahitte, Pierre; Poppe, Sam; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    Quaternary volcanic landforms result from a complex evolution, involving volcanic constructional events and destructive ones by collapses and long-term erosion. Quantification, by morphometric approaches, of the evolution through time of the volcano shape allows the estimation of relative ages between volcanoes sharing the same climate and eruptive conditions. We apply such method to six volcanoes of the Virunga Volcanic Province in the western branch of the East African Rift Valley that still has rare geochronological constraints. As they have comparable sizes, volcanic history and erupted products, these edifices may have undergone comparable conditions of erosion which justify the deduction of relative chronology from their erosion pattern. Our GIS-based geomorphometric approach, the SHAPEVOLC algorithm, quantifies erupted or dismantled volumes by numerically modeling topographies resulting from the eruptive construction of each volcano. Constraining points are selected by analyses of morphometric properties of each cell of the current DEM, as the loci where the altitude is still representative of the un-eroded volcanic surfaces. A primary elevation surface is firstly adjusted to these constraining points by modeling a first-order pseudo-radial surface defined by: 1. the curve best fitting the concave-upwards volcano profile; 2. the location and elevation of the volcano summit; and 3. the possible eccentricity and azimuth parameters that allow to stretch and contract contours to adjust the shape of the model to the elliptically-shaped surface of the volcano. A second-order surface is next computed by local adjustment of the first-order surface to the constraining points to obtain the definitive primary elevation surface of the considered volcanic construct. Amount of erosion is obtained by summing the difference in elevation between reconstructed surfaces and current ones that allows to establish relative ages of volcanoes. For the 6 studied Virunga volcanoes

  4. Melt inclusion evidence for CO2-rich melts beneath the western branch of the East African Rift: implications for long-term storage of volatiles in the deep lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudgins, T. R.; Mukasa, S. B.; Simon, A. C.; Moore, G.; Barifaijo, E.

    2015-05-01

    We present new major element, trace element, and volatile (H2O, CO2, S, F, and Cl) concentrations of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from five high-K, low-silica basanites from the western branch of the East African Rift System and use these data to investigate the generation of H2O- and CO2-rich melts at up to ~150 km depth. Measured H2O and CO2 concentrations reach ~2.5 and ~1 wt%, respectively, representing some of the highest CO2 concentrations measured in a melt inclusion to date. These measurements represent direct evidence of the high CO2 and H2O concentrations required to generate high-K alkaline lavas, and the CO2 that has been previously inferred to be necessary for the low mantle potential temperatures in the area. Ratios of CO2/Nb, CO2/Ba, and CO2/Cl are used to estimate an initial melt CO2 concentration of 5-12 wt%. The measured CO2 concentrations are consistent with CO2 solubilities determined by molecular dynamics calculations and high-pressure experiments for melt generation at 3-6 GPa; the depth of melting suggested by previous studies in the area. These melt inclusions measurements represent direct evidence for the presence of H2O- and CO2-rich melts in the deep upper mantle that have been proposed based on experimental and seismic evidence. Primitive-mantle normalized trace element patterns more closely resemble those found in subduction settings rather than ocean island basalt, and ratios of slab fluid tracers such as Li/Dy and B/Be indicate that the measured volatile abundances may be related to Neoproterozoic subduction during the assembly of Gondwana, implying the storage of volatiles in the mantle by subduction-related metasomatism.

  5. Constraining the Thermal History of the Midcontinent Rift System with Clumped Isotopes and Organic Thermal Maturity Indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallagher, T. M.; Sheldon, N. D.; Mauk, J. L.; Gueneli, N.; Brocks, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Mesoproterozoic (~1.1 Ga) North American Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) has been of widespread interest to researchers studying its economic mineral deposits, continental rifting processes, and the evolution of early terrestrial life and environments. For their age, the MRS rocks are well preserved and have not been deeply buried, yet a thorough understanding of the regional thermal history is necessary to constrain the processes that emplaced the mineral deposits and how post-burial alteration may have affected various paleo-records. To understand the thermal history of the MRS better, this study presents carbonate clumped isotope (Δ47) temperatures from deposits on the north and south sides of the rift. Due to the age of these deposits and known post-depositional processes, uncertainties exist about whether the clumped isotope signature has been reset. To test this, three generations of calcite were analyzed from the Nonesuch Fm. from the White Pine mine in Michigan including: sedimentary limestone beds, early diagenetic carbonate nodules, and hydrothermal calcite veins associated with the emplacement of copper mineralization. Clumped isotope temperatures from the White Pine mine range from 84 to 131°C, with a hydrothermal vein producing the hottest temperature. The clumped isotope temperature range for samples throughout the rift expands to 41-134°C. The hottest temperatures are associated with areas of known copper mineralization, whereas the coolest temperatures are found on the northern arm of the rift in Minnesota, far from known basin-bounding faults. Our hottest temperatures are broadly consistent with preexisting maximum thermal temperature estimates based on clay mineralogy, fluid inclusions, and organic geochemistry data. Clumped isotope results will also be compared to new hydrocarbon maturity data from the Nonesuch Fm., which suggest that bitumen maturities consistently fall within the early oil window across Michigan and Wisconsin.

  6. Seismic anisotropy across the east African plateau from shear wave splitting analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagley, B. C.; Nyblade, A.; Mulibo, G.; Tugume, F.

    2011-12-01

    Previous studies of the east African plateau reveal complicated patterns of seismic anisotropy that are not easily explained by a single mechanism. The pattern is defined by rift-parallel fast directions for stations within or near Cenozoic rift valleys, and near-null results in Precambrian terrains away from the rift. Data from 65 temporary Africa Array stations deployed between 2007 and 2011 are being used to make new shear wave splitting measurements. The stations span the east African plateau and cover both the eastern and western branches of the east African rift system, as well as unrifted Proterozoic and Archean terrains in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia. Through analysis of shear wave splitting we will better constrain the distribution of seismic anisotropy, and and from it gain new insight into the tectonic evolution of east Africa.

  7. Rapid spatiotemporal variations in rift structure during development of the Corinth Rift, central Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nixon, Casey W.; McNeill, Lisa C.; Bull, Jonathan M.; Bell, Rebecca E.; Gawthorpe, Robert L.; Henstock, Timothy J.; Christodoulou, Dimitris; Ford, Mary; Taylor, Brian; Sakellariou, Dimitris; Ferentinos, George; Papatheodorou, George; Leeder, Mike R.; Collier, Richard E. LI.; Goodliffe, Andrew M.; Sachpazi, Maria; Kranis, Haralambos

    2016-05-01

    The Corinth Rift, central Greece, enables analysis of early rift development as it is young (<5 Ma) and highly active and its full history is recorded at high resolution by sedimentary systems. A complete compilation of marine geophysical data, complemented by onshore data, is used to develop a high-resolution chronostratigraphy and detailed fault history for the offshore Corinth Rift, integrating interpretations and reconciling previous discrepancies. Rift migration and localization of deformation have been significant within the rift since inception. Over the last circa 2 Myr the rift transitioned from a spatially complex rift to a uniform asymmetric rift, but this transition did not occur synchronously along strike. Isochore maps at circa 100 kyr intervals illustrate a change in fault polarity within the short interval circa 620-340 ka, characterized by progressive transfer of activity from major south dipping faults to north dipping faults and southward migration of discrete depocenters at ~30 m/kyr. Since circa 340 ka there has been localization and linkage of the dominant north dipping border fault system along the southern rift margin, demonstrated by lateral growth of discrete depocenters at ~40 m/kyr. A single central depocenter formed by circa 130 ka, indicating full fault linkage. These results indicate that rift localization is progressive (not instantaneous) and can be synchronous once a rift border fault system is established. This study illustrates that development processes within young rifts occur at 100 kyr timescales, including rapid changes in rift symmetry and growth and linkage of major rift faults.

  8. DoD-GEIS Rift Valley Fever Monitoring and Prediction System as a Tool for Defense and US Diplomacy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anyamba, Assaf; Tucker, Compton J.; Linthicum, Kenneth J.; Witt, Clara J.; Gaydos, Joel C.; Russell, Kevin L.

    2011-01-01

    Over the last 10 years the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center's Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS) partnering with NASA'S Goddard Space Flight Center and USDA's USDA-Center for Medical, Agricultural & Veterinary Entomology established and have operated the Rift Valley fever Monitoring and Prediction System to monitor, predict and assess the risk of Rift Valley fever outbreaks and other vector-borne diseases over Africa and the Middle East. This system is built on legacy DoD basic research conducted by Walter Reed Army Institute of Research overseas laboratory (US Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya) and the operational satellite environmental monitoring by NASA GSFC. Over the last 10 years of operation the system has predicted outbreaks of Rift Valley fever in the Horn of Africa, Sudan, South Africa and Mauritania. The ability to predict an outbreak several months before it occurs provides early warning to protect deployed forces, enhance public health in concerned countries and is a valuable tool use.d by the State Department in US Diplomacy. At the international level the system has been used by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to support their monitoring, surveillance and response programs in the livestock sector and human health. This project is a successful testament of leveraging resources of different federal agencies to achieve objectives of force health protection, health and diplomacy.

  9. Melt Distribution in the Ethiopian Rift System: Constraints From Seismic Observations and Finite-Frequency Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angus, D.; Hammond, J. O.; Kendall, J.; Wookey, J.

    2008-12-01

    As part of the Ethiopian Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) 79 seismic stations were deployed, for up to 18 months, in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER). Many indicators of melt were observed leading to the idea that magma was driving the rifting process in this region. Some of the best evidence for melt came from observations of anisotropy in studies of surface waves and shear-wave splitting. The shear- wave splitting shows fast directions which change abruptly from being rift parallel on the rift flanks to magmatic-segment parallel in the rift valley. This was interpreted in terms of melt-induced anisotropy. The abrupt change in splitting parameters over small lateral distances suggests that the source of anisotropy is shallow. To further constrain the location of the anisotropy and study the ability of shear-wave splitting to identify sharp lateral changes in anisotropy, we model finite-frequency waveforms for a suite of model representations of the rift zone. This allows us to determine the lateral and vertical extent of the melt-induced anisotropy. The results show how a simple model with two regimes of anisotropy can explain the variability across the rift, in both delay time and shear-wave polarization, over short length scales of the order 20- 40 km. Our models have enabled us to constrain the anisotropic characteristics beneath the MER. Our best model has a 9% anisotropy on the western rift margin, with fast directions of 30°, a 100 km wide rift zone with fast direction of 20° inside the rift zone and with 9% anisotropy close to the western margin, 7% elsewhere, and 7% anisotropy on the eastern margin with fast directions of 30°. In all regions of the model we constrain anisotropy to begin at a depth of 90 km. The depth of anisotropy co-incides with the proposed depth of melt initiation beneath the region, based on geochemistry. Also the elevated splitting beneath the western margin supports evidence of low velocities and highly conductive

  10. Groundwater dynamics in the complex aquifer system of Gidabo River Basin, southern Main Ethiopian Rift: Evidences from hydrochemistry and isotope hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degu, Abraham; Birk, Steffen; Dietzel, Martin; Winkler, Gerfried; Moggessie, Aberra

    2014-05-01

    Located in the tectonically active Main Ethiopian Rift system, the Gidabo River Basin in Ethiopia has a complex hydrogeological setting. The strong physiographic variation from highland to rift floor, variability in volcanic structures and disruption of lithologies by cross-cutting faults contribute for their complex nature of hydrogeology in the area. Until now, the groundwater dynamics and the impact of the tectonic setting on groundwater flow in this region are not well understood, though the local population heavily depends on groundwater as the major water supply. A combined approach based on hydrochemical and isotopic data was applied to investigate the regional flow dynamics of the groundwater and the impact of tectonic setting. Groundwater evolves from slightly mineralized Ca-Mg-HCO3 on the highland to highly mineralized Na-HCO3 dominating type in the deep rift floor aquifers. δ18O and δD composition of groundwater show a general progressive enrichment from the highland to the rift floor, except in thermal and deep rift floor aquifers. Relatively the thermal and deep rift floor aquifers are depleted and show similar signature to the groundwaters of highland, indicating groundwater inflow from the highland. Correspondingly, rising HCO3 and increasingly enriched signatures of δ 13C points to hydrochemical evolution of DIC and diffuse influx of mantle CO2 into the groundwater system. Thermal springs gushing out along some of the fault zones, specifically in the vicinity of Dilla town, display clear influence of mantle CO2 and are an indication of the role of the faults acting as a conduit for deep circulating thermal water to the surface. By considering the known geological structures of the rift, hydrochemical and isotopic data we propose a conceptual groundwater flow model by characterizing flow paths to the main rift axis. The connection between groundwater flow and the impact of faults make this model applicable to other active rift systems with similar

  11. Crystallization, Fluid Exsolution, and Eruption of Extremely Volatile-rich Silicate Magma at Oldoinyo Lengai Volcano, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Moor, J.; Fischer, T. P.; King, P. L.; Hervig, R. L.; Hilton, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    , however CO2/Nb ratios are much lower than depleted upper mantle values indicating that the magma experienced prior exsolution of C-rich fluid. The MI display a trend of decreasing H2O and increasing CO2 with evolution of the melt. This trend is interpreted to reflect crystallization-driven melt evolution in a stream of C-rich fluid percolating from deeper in the magma system. Melt evolution to higher alkali and lower SiO2 contents resulted in less polymerized melt compositions and increasing CO2 solubility, whereas H2O was partitioned into the fluid phase. Crystallization and degassing of H2O led to increasing magma viscosity, which ultimately inhibited gas-magma separation and triggered the explosive eruption. Once the viscous apex of the magma chamber was expelled then quiescent degassing and NC effusion were able to resume. [1] Klaudius, J., and Keller, J. (2006) Lithos, 91: 173-190. [2] Dawson, J.B., et al. (1995) IAVCEI Proc. in Volc., 4: 70-86. [3] Mitchell, R.H. (2009) Contrib. Min. Pet.,158: 589-598.

  12. Stable isotope variation in tooth enamel from Neogene hippopotamids: monitor of meso and global climate and rift dynamics on the Albertine Rift, Uganda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachert, Thomas Christian; Brügmann, Gerhard B.; Mertz, Dieter F.; Kullmer, Ottmar; Schrenk, Friedemann; Jacob, Dorrit E.; Ssemmanda, Immaculate; Taubald, Heinrich

    2010-10-01

    The Neogene was a period of long-term global cooling and increasing climatic variability. Variations in African-Asian monsoon intensity over the last 7 Ma have been deduced from patterns of eolian dust export into the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea as well as from lake level records in the East African Rift System (EARS). However, lake systems not only depend on rainfall patterns, but also on the size and physiography of river catchment areas. This study is based on stable isotope proxy data (18O/16O, 13C/12C) from tooth enamel of hippopotamids (Mammalia) and aims in unravelling long-term climate and watershed dynamics that control the evolution of palaeolake systems in the western branch of the EARS (Lake Albert, Uganda) during the Late Neogene (7.5 Ma to recent). Having no dietary preferences with respect to wooded (C3) versus grassland (C4) vegetation, these territorial, water-dependant mammals are particularly useful for palaeoclimate analyses. As inhabitants of lakes and rivers, hippopotamid tooth enamel isotope data document mesoclimates of topographic depressions, such as the rift valleys and, therefore, changes in relative valley depth instead of exclusively global climate changes. Consequently, we ascribe a synchronous maximum in 18O/16O and 13C/12C composition of hippopotamid enamel centred around 1.5-2.5 Ma to maximum aridity and/or maximum hydrological isolation of the rift floor from rift-external river catchment areas in response to the combined effects of rift shoulder uplift and subsidence of the rift valley floor. Structural rearrangements by ~2.5 Ma within the northern segment of the Albertine Rift are well constrained by reversals in river flow, cannibalisation of catchments, biogeographic turnover and uplift of the Rwenzori horst. However, a growing rain shadow is not obvious in 18O/16O signatures of the hippopotamid teeth of the Albertine Rift. According to our interpretation, this is the result of the overriding effect of evaporation on 18

  13. Interaction between transform faults and rift systems: a combined field and experimental approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tibaldi, Alessandro; Bonali, Fabio; Pasquaré Mariotto, Federico

    2016-04-01

    We present a detailed field structural survey of the area of interaction between the active NW-striking transform Husavik-Flatey Fault (HFF) and the N-S Theystareykir Fissure Swarm (TFS), in North Iceland, integrated by analogue scaled models. Field data contribute to a better understanding of how transform faults work, at a much higher detail than classical marine geophysical studies. Analogue experiments are conducted to analyse the fracture patterns resulting from different possible cases where transform faulting accompanies or postpones the rift motions; different tectonic block configurations are also considered. West of the intersection between the transform fault (HFF) and the rift zone (TFS), the former splays with a gradual bending giving rise to a leading extensional imbricate fan. The westernmost structure of the rift, the N-S Gudfinnugja Fault (GF), is divided into two segments: the southern segment makes a junction with the HFF and is part of the imbricate fan; north of the junction instead, the northern GF appears right-laterally offset by about 20 m. Southeast of the junction, along the possible prolongation of the HFF across the TFS, the strike of the rift faults rotates in an anticlockwise direction, attaining a NNW-SSE orientation. Moreover, the TFS faults north of the HFF prolongation are fewer and have smaller offsets than those located to the south. Through the comparison between the structural data collected in the field at the HFF-TFS connection zone and a set of scaled experiments, we confirm a prolongation of the HFF through the rift, although here the transform fault has a much lower slip-rate than west of the junction. Our data suggest that transform fault terminations may be more complex than previously known, and propagate across a rift through a modification of the rift pattern.

  14. Massive and prolonged deep carbon emissions associated with continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyunwoo; Muirhead, James D.; Fischer, Tobias P.; Ebinger, Cynthia J.; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Sharp, Zachary D.; Kianji, Gladys

    2016-02-01

    Carbon from Earth’s interior is thought to be released to the atmosphere mostly via degassing of CO2 from active volcanoes. CO2 can also escape along faults away from active volcanic centres, but such tectonic degassing is poorly constrained. Here we use measurements of diffuse soil CO2, combined with carbon isotopic analyses to quantify the flux of CO2 through fault systems away from active volcanoes in the East African Rift system. We find that about 4 Mt yr-1 of mantle-derived CO2 is released in the Magadi-Natron Basin, at the border between Kenya and Tanzania. Seismicity at depths of 15-30 km implies that extensional faults in this region may penetrate the lower crust. We therefore suggest that CO2 is transferred from upper-mantle or lower-crustal magma bodies along these deep faults. Extrapolation of our measurements to the entire Eastern rift of the rift system implies a CO2 flux on the order of tens of megatonnes per year, comparable to emissions from the entire mid-ocean ridge system of 53-97 Mt yr-1. We conclude that widespread continental rifting and super-continent breakup could produce massive, long-term CO2 emissions and contribute to prolonged greenhouse conditions like those of the Cretaceous.

  15. African Americans, hypertension and the renin angiotensin system

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Sandra F; Nicholas, Susanne B; Vaziri, Nosratola D; Norris, Keith C

    2014-01-01

    African Americans have exceptionally high rates of hypertension and hypertension related complications. It is commonly reported that the blood pressure lowering efficacy of renin angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors is attenuated in African Americans due to a greater likelihood of having a low renin profile. Therefore these agents are often not recommended as initial therapy in African Americans with hypertension. However, the high prevalence of comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease makes treatment with RAS inhibitors more compelling. Despite lower circulating renin levels and a less significant fall in blood pressure in response to RAS inhibitors in African Americans, numerous clinical trials support the efficacy of RAS inhibitors to improve clinical outcomes in this population, especially in those with hypertension and risk factors for cardiovascular and related diseases. Here, we discuss the rationale of RAS blockade as part of a comprehensive approach to attenuate the high rates of premature morbidity and mortality associated with hypertension among African Americans. PMID:25276290

  16. Oil source rocks in lacustrine sequences from Tertiary grabens, western Mediterranean rift system, northeast Spain

    SciTech Connect

    Anadon, P.; Cawley, S.J.; Julia, R.

    1988-08-01

    Lacustrine sequences, 100-250 m thick, containing oil-prone, organic-rich mudstones (ORM) are exposed in five Tertiary basins in northeastern Spain. They were deposited in small lacustrine basins (up to 50 km/sup 2/) that developed in grabens of the western Mediterranean rift system. ORMs from the Rubielos basin comprise laminated gray mudstones with interbedded rhythmite intervals (up to 2.5 m thick) formed by couplets of organic- and carbonate-rich laminae (< 1 mm thick). In marginal zones, ORMs (up to 10 m thick) alternate with lean, bioturbated green marls (up to 5 m thick). ORMs (Rock-Eval yields /approximately/ 40 kg/MT, HI /approximately/ 850 mg HC/g TOC) had a dominant waxy terrestrial plant input, with significant and variable algal/bacterial input. ORMs in these basins are immature for petroleum generation. Larger lacustrine basins similar to those described above, in more appropriate burial/thermal situations, can be envisioned as zones of potential interest for lacustrine oil exploration in the western Mediterranean.

  17. Deep crustal earthquakes in North Tanzania, East Africa: Interplay between tectonic and magmatic processes in an incipient rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albaric, Julie; Déverchère, Jacques; Perrot, Julie; Jakovlev, Andrey; Deschamps, Anne

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we explore the origin of lower crustal seismicity and the factors controlling rift propagation using seismological data recorded within the youngest part of the East African Rift System, the North Tanzanian Divergence (NTD). Most earthquakes below Lake Manyara occur at depth ranging between 20 and 40 km and have a swarm-like distribution. Focal mechanisms of 26 events indicate a combination of strike-slip and normal faulting involving Archaean basement structures and forming a relay zone. The derived local stress regime is transtensive and the minimum principal stress is oriented N110°E. Crustal seismic tomography reveals low-velocity anomalies below the rifted basins in the NTD, interpreted as localized thermomechanical perturbations promoting fluid release and subsequent seismicity in the lower crust. SKS splitting analysis in the NTD indicates seismic anisotropy beneath 17 stations most likely due to aligned magma lenses and/or dikes beneath the rift and to the lithospheric fabrics. Our results favor a strain pattern intermediate between purely mechanical and purely magmatic. We suggest that melt products arising from a large asthenospheric thermal anomaly enhance lithospheric weakening and facilitate faulting and creeping on critically oriented inherited structures of the Precambrian lower crust. Although the crust is unlikely weakened at a point comparable to other parts of the East African Rift System, this deep-seated thermomechanical process is efficient enough to allow slow rift propagation within the eastern Tanzanian cratonic edge.

  18. Land - Ocean Climate Linkages and the Human Evolution - New ICDP and IODP Drilling Initiatives in the East African Rift Valley and SW Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahn, R.; Feibel, C.; Co-Pis, Icdp/Iodp

    2009-04-01

    , and Interocean Exchanges"; IODP ref. no. 702-full) aims at deciphering the late Neogene ocean history of the SW Indian Ocean. SAFARI specifically targets the Agulhas Current in the SW Indian Ocean that constitutes the strongest western boundary current in the southern hemisphere oceans. The Current transports warm and saline surface waters from the tropical Indian Ocean to the southern tip of Africa. Exchanges with the atmosphere influence eastern and southern African climates including individual weather systems such as extra-tropical cyclone formation in the region and rainfall patterns. Ocean models further suggest the "leakage" of Agulhas water around South Africa into the Atlantic potentially modulates the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) with consequences for climate globally. The SAFARI drilling initiative aims to retrieve a suite of long drill cores along the southeast African margin and in the Indian-Atlantic ocean gateway. SAFARI will shed light on the history of Agulhas Current warm water transports along the southeast African margin during the late Neogene and its linking with ocean-climate developments. Specific objectives of SAFARI are to test (1) the sensitivity of the Agulhas Current to changing climates of the Plio/Pleistocene, including upstream forcing linked with equatorial Indian Ocean changes and Indonesian Throughflow; (2) the Current's influence on eastern and southern Africa climates, including rain fall patterns and vegetation changes; (3) buoyancy transfer to the Atlantic by Agulhas leakage around southern Africa, and (4) the contribution of variable Agulhas Leakage to shifts of the Atlantic MOC during episodes of major ocean and climate reorganizations of the past 5 Ma. These studies will provide insight into the Current's influence on eastern and southern African terrestrial climates, including its possible impact on the late Neogene evolution of large mammals including hominids. The ICDP and IODP drilling campaigns will

  19. Complex seismicity patterns in the Rwenzori region: insights to rifting processes at the Albertine Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindenfeld, M.; Rümpker, G.; Wölbern, I.; Batte, A. G.; Schumann, A.

    2012-04-01

    Numerous seismological studies in East Africa have focused on the northern and eastern branches of the East African Rift System (EARS). However, the seismic activity along the western branch is much more pronounced. Here, the Rwenzori Mountains are located within the Albertine rift valley, at the border between Uganda and D.R. Congo. During a seismic monitoring campaign between February 2006 and September 2007 we have recorded more than 800 earthquakes per month in the Rwenzori area. The earthquake distribution is highly heterogeneous. The majority of located events lie within faults zones to the East and West of the Rwenzoris with the highest seismic activity observed in the northeastern area, were the mountains are in contact with the rift shoulders. The hypocentral depth distribution peaks at 16 km depth and extends down to the Moho which was found at 20 - 32 km depths by teleseismic receiver functions. Local magnitudes range from -0.5 to 5.1 with a b-value of 1.1. Fault plane solutions of 304 events were derived from P-polarities and SV/P amplitude ratios. More than 70% of the source mechanisms exhibit normal faulting. T-axis trends are highly uniform and oriented WNW-ESE, which is perpendicular to the rift axis and in good agreement with kinematic rift models. The area of highest seismic activity NE of the Rwenzoris is characterized by the occurrence of several earthquake clusters in 5 -20 km depth. They have stable positions throughout time and form elongated pipes with 1-2 km diameter and vertical extensions of 3-5 km. From petrological considerations we presume that these earthquake swarms are triggered by fluids and gasses which originate from a magmatic source below the crust. The existence of a magmatic source within the lithosphere is supported by the detection of a shear-wave velocity reduction in 55-80 km depth from receiver-function analysis and the location of mantle earthquakes at about 60 km. We interpret these observations as indication for an

  20. Sr-Nd-Pb isotope systematics and clinopyroxene-host disequilibrium in ultra-potassic magmas from Toro-Ankole and Virunga, East-African Rift: Implications for magma mixing and source heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muravyeva, N. S.; Belyatsky, B. V.; Senin, V. G.; Ivanov, A. V.

    2014-12-01

    Nd, Pb and Sr isotope ratios have been determined for kamafugite lava and clinopyroxene phenocrysts from Bunyaruguru (Toro-Ankole) and Virunga volcanic fields of the East African Rift. The whole rock Sr-Nd isotopic signatures of kamafugites (87Sr/86Sr: 0.70463-0.70536; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51249-0.51255) suggest derivation from an EM1-type mantle source. In contrast, Pb isotopic compositions of the same samples (206Pb/204Pb: 19.00-19.57; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.69-15.74; 208Pb/204Pb: 39.30-40.26) reveal a similarity to EM2-type mantle. New Nd, Pb and Sr isotopic data for clinopyroxene (87Sr/86Sr: 0.70473-0.70503; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51250-0.51254; 206Pb/204Pb: 18.04-18.17; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.58-15.60; 208Pb/204Pb: 38.09-38.23) suggest derivation from an EM1-like source, and indicate Sr and Pb isotope disequilibrium between clinopyroxene and corresponding host rock. Moreover, clinopyroxenes exhibiting a greater degree of isotopic disequilibrium with their host rock are more sodic in composition. The isotopic disequilibrium is corroborated by the presence of chemical zoning within clinopyroxene, which suggests rapid magma ascent rates preventing melt homogenization. The Pb isotopic ratios for both mineral and corresponding whole rock, together with published data on East African rift-related alkaline centers, define a trend interpreted to represent a mixing line for melts derived from sources such as EM1 and as HIMU. The similar isotopic compositions for clinopyroxene from the different volcanic rocks within the East African Rift suggest the existence of a common, older mantle source for their parental melts. The origin of these melts can be attributed to an enrichment event ~ 400-500 Ma, i.e., significantly prior the younger ultrapotassic magmatism. Our preferred interpretation for the results reported here involves the mixing of melts derived from EM1- and HIMU-like sources, which were rapidly transported to the Earth's surface. The primary magmas formed as the result of melting of a

  1. A hydrogeologic model of stratiform copper mineralization in the Midcontinent Rift System, Northern Michigan, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swenson, J.B.; Person, M.; Raffensperger, J.P.; Cannon, W.F.; Woodruff, L.G.; Berndt, M.E.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a suite of two-dimensional mathematical models of basin-scale groundwater flow and heat transfer for the middle Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System. The models were used to assess the hydrodynamic driving mechanisms responsible for main-stage stratiform copper mineralization of the basal Nonesuch Formation during the post-volcanic/pre-compressional phase of basin evolution. Results suggest that compaction of the basal aquifer (Copper Harbor Formation), in response to mechanical loading during deposition of the overlying Freda Sandstone, generated a pulse of marginward-directed, compaction-driven discharge of cupriferous brines from within the basal aquifer. The timing of this pulse is consistent with the radiometric dates for the timing of mineralization. Thinning of the basal aquifer near White Pine, Michigan, enhanced stratiform copper mineralization. Focused upward leakage of copper-laden brines into the lowermost facies of the pyrite-rich Nonesuch Formation resulted in copper sulfide mineralization in response to a change in oxidation state. Economic-grade mineralization within the White Pine ore district is a consequence of intense focusing of compaction-driven discharge, and corresponding amplification of leakage into the basal Nonesuch Formation, where the basal aquifer thins dramatically atop the Porcupine Mountains volcanic structure. Equilibrium geochemical modeling and mass-balance calculations support this conclusion. We also assessed whether topography and density-driven flow systems could have caused ore genesis at White Pine. Topography-driven flow associated with the Ottawan orogeny was discounted because it post-dates main-stage ore genesis and because recent seismic interpretations of basin inversion indicates that basin geometry would not be conductive to ore genesis. Density-driven flow systems did not produce focused discharge in the vicinity of the White Pine ore district.

  2. Fluvial systems response to rift margin tectonics: Makhtesh Ramon area, southern Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben-David, Ram; Eyal, Yehuda; Zilberman, Ezra; Bowman, Dan

    2002-06-01

    The geomorphic evolution of Makhtesh Ramon, a feather-shaped erosional valley, and the Nahal Neqarot drainage system to the south occurred largely in response to tectonic activity along the Dead Sea Rift and its western shoulder. Remnants of Miocene clastic sediments (Hazeva Formation) deposited on an erosional peneplain that formed over this area during the Oligocene epoch provide a datum plane for reconstructing subsequent fluvial evolution. These clastic remnants are presently located on the shoulders of Makhtesh Ramon at various elevations. The peneplain truncating the Makhtesh Ramon block has been tilted 0.7% northeastward since the Pliocene epoch (post-Hazeva Formation), whereas that of the Neqarot syncline, south of the Ramon, has been tilted 1.2%. The elliptical exposure of friable Lower Cretaceous sandstone, exposed in the core of the truncated Ramon structure, governed the development of a new ENE directed (riftward) drainage system through capture of streams that previously drained toward the Mediterranean Sea to the northwest. Incised fluvial gaps in the southern rim of Makhtesh Ramon and alluvial fan relicts within Makhtesh Ramon attest to original drainage into the Makhtesh from the south. Remnants of the Plio-Pleistocene Arava Conglomerate on the eastern end of the Neqarot syncline contain clasts from rocks exposed within Makhtesh Ramon, also indicating that streams flowed into the Makhtesh from the southern Neqarot block through the western gaps, then turning eastward and exiting the Makhtesh via the next (Sha'ar-Ramon) gap to the east. Further down-faulting of the Neqarot block during Mid-Late Pleistocene time led to westward retreat of the Neqarot valley and capture of the last stream flowing northward into the Ramon, leaving the modern Makhtesh Ramon isolated from the southern drainage system.

  3. Tag team tectonics: mantle upwelling and lithospheric heterogeneity ally to rift continents (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.

    2013-12-01

    The configuration of continents we know today is the result of several billion years of active Wilson Cycle tectonics. The rifting of continents and subsequent development of ocean basins is an integral part of long-term planetary-scale recycling processes. The products of this process can be seen globally, and the East African Rift System (EARS) provides a unique view of extensional processes that actively divide a continent. Taken together with the adjoining Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the EARS has experienced over 40 Ma of volcanism and ~30 Ma of extension. While early (pre-rift) volcanism in the region is attributed to mantle plume activity, much of the subsequent volcanism occurs synchronously with continental rifting. Numerous studies indicate that extension and magmatism are correlated: extension leads to decompression melting while magmatism accommodates further extension (e.g. Stein et al., 1997; Buck 2004; Corti 2012). Evaluation of the entire EARS reveals significant geochemical patterns - both spatial and temporal - in the volcanic products. Compositional variations are tied directly to the melt source(s), which changes over time. These variations can be characterized broadly by region: the Ethiopian plateau and Turkana Depression, the Kenya Rift, and the Western Rift. In the Ethiopian plateau, early flood basalt volcanism is dominated by mantle plume contributions with variable input from lherzolitic mantle lithosphere. Subsequent alkaline shield volcanism flanking the juvenile Main Ethiopian Rift records the same plume component as well as contributions from a hydrous peridotitic lithosphere. The hydrous lithosphere does not contribute indefinitely. Instead, young (< 2 Ma) volcanism taps a combination of the mantle plume and anhydrous depleted lithospheric mantle. In contrast, volcanism in the Kenya Rift and the Western Rift are derived dominantly from metasomatized lithospheric mantle rather than mantle plume material. These rifts lie in the mobile

  4. Sedimentation and reservoir distribution related to a tilted block system in the Sardinia Oligocene-Miocene rift (Italy)

    SciTech Connect

    Tremolieres, P.; Cherchi, A.; Eschard, R.; De Graciansky, P.C.; Montadert, L.

    1988-08-01

    In the western Mediterranean basin lies a rift system about 250 km long and 50 km wide and its infilling outcrop (central Sardinia). Seismic reflection surveys show its offshore extension. Block tilting started during the late Oligocene and lasted during Aquitanian-early Burdigalian time. Two main fault trends, with synthetic and antithetic throws, define the more-or-less collapsed blocks. This morphology guided the transit and trapping of sediments. The sedimentation started in a continental environment then, since the Chattian, in marine conditions. In the central part, the series can reach a thickness of 2,000 m. The basement composition and the volcanics products related to the main fault motion controlled the nature of the synrift deposits. According to their location in the rift context, the tilted blocks trap either continental deposits or marine siliciclastic or carbonate deposits. In the deeper part of the graben, sands were redeposited by gravity flows into the basinal marls. The younger prerift deposits are from Eocene to early Oligocene age and locally comprise thick coal layers. Postrift deposits, mainly marls, sealed the blocks and synrift sedimentary bodies. In middle and late Miocene time some faults were reactivated during compressional events. Then, a quaternary extensional phase created the Campidano graben, filled with about 1,000 m of sediments superimposed on the Oligocene-Miocene rift.

  5. Tectonics of the baikal rift deduced from volcanism and sedimentation: a review oriented to the Baikal and Hovsgol lake systems.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Alexei V; Demonterova, Elena I

    2009-01-01

    As known from inland sedimentary records, boreholes, and geophysical data, the initiation of the Baikal rift basins began as early as the Eocene. Dating of volcanic rocks on the rift shoulders indicates that volcanism started later, in the Early Miocene or probably in the Late Oligocene. Prominent tectonic uplift took place at about 20 Ma, but information (from both sediments and volcanics) on the initial stage of the rifting is scarce and incomplete. A comprehensive record of sedimentation derived from two stacked boreholes drilled at the submerged Akademichesky ridge indicates that the deep freshwater Lake Baikal existed for at least 8.4 Ma, while the exact formation of the lake in its roughly present-day shape and volume is unknown. Four important events of tectonic/environmental changes at about approximately 7, approximately 5, approximately 2.5, and approximately 0.1 Ma are seen in that record. The first event probably corresponds to a stage of rift propagation from the historical center towards the wings of the rift system. Rifting in the Hovsgol area was initiated at about this time. The event of ~5 Ma is a likely candidate for the boundary between slow and fast stages of rifting. It is reflected in a drastic change of sedimentation rate due to isolation of the Akademichesky ridge from the central and northern Lake Baikal basins. The youngest event of 0.1 Ma is reflected by the (87)0Sr/ (86)Sr ratio increase in Lake Baikal waters and probably related to an increasing rate of mountain growth (and hence erosion) resulting from glacial rebounding. The latter is responsible for the reorganization of the outflow pattern with the termination of the paleo-Manzurka outlet and the formation of the Angara outlet. The event of approximately 2.5 Ma is reflected in the decrease of the (87)Sr/(86)Sr and Na/Al ratios in Lake Baikal waters. We suggest that it is associated with a decrease of the dust load due to a reorganization of the atmospheric circulations in Mainland

  6. Cenozoic extension in the Kenya Rift from low-temperature thermochronology: Links to diachronous spatiotemporal evolution of rifting in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres Acosta, Verónica; Bande, Alejandro; Sobel, Edward R.; Parra, Mauricio; Schildgen, Taylor F.; Stuart, Finlay; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-12-01

    The cooling history of rift shoulders and the subsidence history of rift basins are cornerstones for reconstructing the morphotectonic evolution of extensional geodynamic provinces, assessing their role in paleoenvironmental changes and evaluating the resource potential of their basin fills. Our apatite fission track and zircon (U-Th)/He data from the Samburu Hills and the Elgeyo Escarpment in the northern and central sectors of the Kenya Rift indicate a broadly consistent thermal evolution of both regions. Results of thermal modeling support a three-phased thermal history since the early Paleocene. The first phase (~65-50 Ma) was characterized by rapid cooling of the rift shoulders and may be coeval with faulting and sedimentation in the Anza Rift basin, now located in the subsurface of the Turkana depression and areas to the east in northern Kenya. In the second phase, very slow cooling or slight reheating occurred between ~45 and 15 Ma as a result of either stable surface conditions, very slow exhumation, or subsidence. The third phase comprised renewed rapid cooling starting at ~15 Ma. This final cooling represents the most recent stage of rifting, which followed widespread flood-phonolite emplacement and has shaped the present-day landscape through rift shoulder uplift, faulting, basin filling, protracted volcanism, and erosion. When compared with thermochronologic and geologic data from other sectors of the East African Rift System, extension appears to be diachronous, spatially disparate, and partly overlapping, likely driven by interactions between mantle-driven processes and crustal heterogeneities, rather than the previously suggested north-south migrating influence of a mantle plume.

  7. GLIMPCE Seismic reflection evidence of deep-crustal and upper-mantle intrusions and magmatic underplating associated with the Midcontinent Rift system of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Hutchinson, D.R.; Lee, M.; Thornber, C.R.; Trehu, A.; Cannon, W.; Green, A.

    1990-01-01

    Deep-crustal and Moho reflections, recorded on vertical incidence and wide angle ocean bottom Seismometer (OBS) data in the 1986 GLIMPCE (Great Lakes International Multidisciplinary Program on Crustal Evolution) experiment, provide evidence for magmatic underplating and intrusions within the lower crust and upper mantle contemporaneous with crustal extension in the Midcontinent Rift system at 1100 Ma. The rift fill consists of 20-30 km (7-10 s) of basalt flows, secondary syn-rift volcaniclastic and post-basalt sedimentary rock. Moho reflections recorded in Lake Superior over the Midcontinent Rift system have times from 14-18 s (about 46 km to as great as 58 km) in contrast to times of about 11-13 s (about 36-42 km crustal thickness) beneath the surrounding Great Lakes. The Seismically complex deep-crust to mantle transition zone (30-60 km) in north-central Lake Superior, which is 100 km wider than the rift half-graben, reflects the complicated products of tectonic and magmatic interaction of lower-crustal and mantle components during evolution or shutdown of the aborted Midcontinent Rift. In effect, mantle was changed into crust by lowering Seismic velocity (through intrusion of lower density magmatic rocks) and increasing Moho (about 8.1 km s-1 depth. ?? 1990.

  8. Rift Fault Geometry and Distribution in Layered Basaltic Rocks: A Comparison Between the Koa'e (Hawai'i) and Krafla (Iceland) Fault Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubeck, A.; Walker, R. J.; MacLeod, C. J.; Imber, J.

    2014-12-01

    Fault systems within incipient rifts that cut basaltic rocks comprise an array of fine-scale structures, including networks of fractures and small displacement (<15 m) faults that accommodate regional extension. These zones of damaged rock have mechanical and physical properties distinct from the surrounding intact host rock. As the rift system evolves this early-formed damage can be reactivated, and influence the distribution and growth of new fractures. Constraining the role of this inter-fault deformation in rift zone development is therefore important to characterizing the regional distribution of extensional strains, and the evolving physical and fluid flow properties of the host rock. Here we use high resolution field and remote mapping of the Koa'e insipient rift fault system on the south flank of Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, and the Krafla rift system, Iceland, to investigate the evolution of segmented rift fault systems in layered basalts, formed at low confining pressures. Extension in the Koa'e system is accommodated dominantly by interaction of zones of opening-mode fractures and areas of surface flexure rather than surface-breaching normal faults, which is attributed to gravitational collapse of Kilauea. Extension in the Krafla system is localised on segmented, large displacement (>20 m) normal faults, the development of which may have been controlled by dyke emplacement. Preliminary comparison between the Koa'e and Krafla systems suggests that strain rate and/or the effective stress path plays a primary role in controlling the geometry, characteristics, and distribution of major faults, and the scale and distribution of secondary (oblique) brittle structures within rift zones.

  9. Hydrogeological structure of a seafloor hydrothermal system related to backarc rifting in a continental margin setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishibashi, Jun-ichiro

    2016-04-01

    Seafloor hydrothermal systems in the Okinawa Trough backarc basin are considered as related to backarc rifting in a continental margin setting. Since the seafloor is dominantly covered with felsic volcaniclastic material and/or terrigenous sediment, hydrothermal circulation is expected to be distributed within sediment layers of significantly high porosity. Deep drilling through an active hydrothermal field at the Iheya North Knoll in the middle Okinawa Trough during IODP Expedition 331 provided a unique opportunity to directly access the subseafloor. While sedimentation along the slopes of the knoll was dominated by volcanic clasts of tubular pumice, intense hydrothermal alteration was recognized in the vicinity of the hydrothermal center even at very shallow depths. Detailed mineralogical and geochemical studies of hydrothermal clay minerals in the altered sediment suggest that the prevalent alteration is attributed to laterally extensive fluid intrusion and occupation within the sediment layer. Onboard measurements of physical properties of the obtained sediment revealed drastic changes of the porosity caused by hydrothermal interactions. While unaltered sediment showed porosity higher than 70%, the porosity drastically decreased in the layer of anhydrite formation. On the other hand, the porosity remained high (~50%) in the layer of only chlorite alteration. Cap rock formation caused by anhydrite precipitation would inhibit the ascent of high temperature fluids to the seafloor. Moreover, an interbedded nature of pelagic mud units and matrix-free pumice deposits may prompt formation of a tightly layered architecture of aquifers and aquicludes. This sediment architecture should be highly conducive to lateral flow pseudo-parallel to the surface topography. Occurrence of sphalerite-rich sulfides was recognized as associated with detrital and altered sediment, suggesting mineralization related to subsurface chemical processes. Moreover, the vertical profiles of

  10. Initiation and evolution of the Oligo-Miocene rift basins of southwestern Europe: Contribution of deep seismic reflection profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bois, C.

    1993-11-01

    Southwestern European Oligo-Miocene rift basins have recently been investigated by deep seismic reflection profiling. The study of these data, together with other geophysical and geological data, shows that the rifts, which run from the Rhinegraben to the western Mediterranean, do not form a single clearcut system. The N-trending rifts (Rhinegraben, Bresse and Limagne) were developed on a cold and rigid lithosphere affected by the Alpine collision. The NE-trending rifts (southeastern France, Gulf of Lions and Valencia Trough) were formed slightly later in a backarc basin associated with an active segment of the European-Iberian plate that was heated, affected by widespread calcalkaline volcanism and probably weakened. All the southwestern European rifts and basins together may, however, be related to a common heritage represented by the boundary between the European-Iberian and African-Apulian plates that was created in the Jurassic with the initiation of the Tethys Ocean. The present features of the southwestern European Oligo-Miocène rift basins may be explained by a combination of three geodynamic mechanisms: mechanical stretching of the lithosphere, active mantle uplifting, and subordinate lithospheric flexuring. All the rifts were probably initiated by passive stretching. A systematic discrepancy between stretching derived from fault analysis and attenuation of the crust has been observed in all the rifts. This suggests that these rifts were subsequently reworked by one or several active mantle upwelling events associated with late shoulder uplift, asthenosphere upwelling and anomalous P-wave velocities in the lowermost crust and the uppermost mantle. Crustal attenuation may have been achieved by mantle intrusion, metamorphism of the deep crust and/or its delamination. Some of the rifts were affected by lithospheric flexuring. Combinations, in various proportions, of a small number of geodynamic mechanisms probably controlled many basins in the world. This

  11. Early Cretaceous rifts of Western and Central Africa: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guiraud, René; Maurin, Jean-Christophe

    1992-10-01

    The structure and evolution of Early Cretaceous rift basins in Western and Central Africa are described. Two stages of rift development and fracturing have been identified: (1) from Neocomian to Early Aptian roughly E-W and NW trending troughs (Upper Benue, N Cameroon, S Chad, Sudan etc.) opened in response to a submeridian extensional regime in Central Africa while in Western Africa the N-S trending transsaharian fault zone acted as a sinistral wrench; (2) from Middle Aptian to Late Albian large northwest trending troughs (E Niger, Sudan, Sirte, etc.) opened in response to a northeast extensional regime while the Central African fault zone (from Benue to Sudan) exhibited strike-slip movements, generating pull-apart basins. These rift and fracture systems delimit three large blocks within the African plate: a Western block, an Arabian-Nubian block and an Austral block. The Arabian-Nubian block tends to separate from the two other blocks, migrating towards the north during the first stage of basin development and then towards the NE during the second stage. The opening of the Atlantic Ocean was the dominant driving force for the Western and Austral blocks while the Arabian-Nubian block probably moved in response to the opening of the Indian Ocean and to the evolution of the Tethyan margin.

  12. Cenozoic rift formation in the northern Caribbean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mann, P.; Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

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

  13. How oblique extension and structural inheritance control rift segment linkage: Insights from 4D analogue models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido

    2016-04-01

    INTRODUCTION During the early stages of rifting, rift segments may form along non-continuous and/or offset pre-existing weaknesses. It is important to understand how these initial rift segments interact and connect to form a continuous rift system. A previous study of ours (Zwaan et al., in prep) investigated the influence of dextral oblique extension and rift offset on rift interaction. Here we elaborate upon our previous work by using analogue models to assess the added effects of 1) sinistral oblique extension as observed along the East African Rift and 2) the geometry of linked and non-linked inherited structures. METHODS Our set-up involves a base of foam and plexiglass that forces distributed extension in the overlying model materials: a sand layer for the brittle upper crust and a viscous sand/silicone mixture for ductile lower crust. A mobile base plate allows lateral motion for oblique extension. We create inherited structures, along which rift segments develop, with right-stepping offset lines of silicone (seeds) on top of the basal viscous layer. These seeds can be connected by an additional weak seed that represents a secondary inherited structural grain (model series 1) or disconnected and laterally discontinuous (over/underlap, model series 2). Selected models are run in an X-ray computer topographer (CT) to reveal the 3D evolution of internal structures with time that can be quantified with particle image velocitmetry (PIV) techniques. RESULTS Models in both series show that rift segments initially form along the main seeds and then generally propagate approximately perpendicular to the extension direction: with orthogonal extension they propagate in a parallel fashion, dextral oblique extension causes them to grow towards each other and connect, while with sinistral oblique extension they grow away from each other. However, sinistral oblique extension can also promote rift linkage through an oblique- or strike-slip zone oriented almost parallel to

  14. Paleoseismology and Fault Interactions of the Pajarito Fault System, Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, J. N.; Lewis, C. J.; Lavine, A.; Reneau, S. L.; Schultz, E. S.

    2006-12-01

    The Pajarito fault system is the local active boundary fault of the Rio Grande rift in the vicinity of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Detailed geologic and geomorphic mapping, and displacement-length profiles, reveal a complex pattern of structural deformation that suggests interaction and connective growth among the principal faults in the system (Pajarito, Rendija Canyon, Guaje Mountain, and Santa Clara faults, totaling ~55 km in length). At the surface, the Pajarito fault is not a single shear surface but a complex zone of deformation with considerable lateral variation in structural style from south to north. In the area of detailed mapping, the Pajarito fault is a broad zone of distributed deformation: at the southwest corner of the area, structure is dominated by a large monocline, but small faults and monoclines span a breadth of about 2 km with about 125 m of displacement in the last 1.2 million years; at the west central part of the area, the Pajarito fault is expressed as mainly a large normal fault with smaller faults spread across about 1 km with about 80 m of displacement in the last 1.2 million years; and, in the northwestern part of the area, structure is again dominated by a large monocline with normal faulting in a zone about 1.5 km wide with about 65 m of displacement in the last 1.2 million years. These along-strike variations in the deformation of the Pajarito fault suggest that in most places the tip of the master fault does not break the surface; instead, most of what can be observed is subsidiary structure. The implication of the complex structure and styles of deformation in the fault is that it severely complicates paleoseismic exploration for hazard analyses because different subsidiary structures rupture in different seismic events; no individual structure can be identified with even a near- complete paleoseismic record. Additionally, surface rupture hazards must be associated with broad zones instead of individual faults. Seven paleoseismic

  15. Inversion tectonics during continental rifting: The Turkana Cenozoic rifted zone, northern Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; VéTel, W.; Morley, C. K.

    2005-04-01

    Remote sensing data and revised seismic reflection profiles provide new insights about the origin of inverted deformation within Miocene-Recent basins of the Turkana rift (northern Kenya) in the eastern branch of the East African rift system. Contractional structures are dominated by weakly inverted sets of fault blocks within <3.7 Myr old synrift series. Most of reverse extensional faults involve components of oblique-slip, whereas associated hanging wall folds are characterized by large wavelength upright folding. The area of basin inversion is restricted to a 40 × 100 km elongated zone overlying a first-order N140°E trending fault zone in the basement, referred to as the N'Doto transverse fault zone (NTFZ). In the proposed kinematic model, inversion tectonics is assigned to permutation of principal stress axes (σ1/σ2) in addition to the clockwise rotation of extension (from nearly N90°E to N130°E) during Pliocene. The transition from pure extension (Miocene) to a wrench faulting regime (Pliocene) first results in the development of T-type fault networks within a dextrally reactivated shear zone (NTFZ). Inversion tectonics occurred later (<3.7 Ma) in response to a still rotated (˜20°) shortening axis (σ1) oriented N40°E that caused the oblique compression of earlier (NS to N20°E) extensional structures within the NTFZ. The origin of basin inversion and strain concentration in the Turkana rift is thus directly linked to a crustal weakness zone, transverse to the rift axis, and involving steep prerift anisotropies.

  16. The Albertine Rift, East Africa: Initial rifting, long-term landscape evolution and final surface uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Friederike U.; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Ring, Uwe; Grobe, René W.; Starz, Matthias; Mambo, Vikandy S.

    2013-04-01

    The Albertine Rift and associated Rwenzori Mountains form a striking feature at the north-western portion of the East African Rift System. The Rwenzori Mtns are built up by a dissected Precambrian metamorphic basement block that has been uplifted to heights of more than 5 km. The fundamental subject addressed by this study is the temporal and spatial evolution of the Rwenzori Mtns and adjacent Albertine Rift (western Uganda and Eastern Congo) at different time scales. In order to unlock how and at what time the extreme surface uplift occurred, low-temperature thermochronology methods were applied and combined with thermokinematic modelling. By means of apatite fission-track, apatite and zircon (U-Th-Sm)/He dating, combined with 2D (HeFTy) and 3D (Pecube) thermokinematic modelling different phases of landscape evolution could be determined for the Albertine area, where movements of surface uplift can be traced from Palaeozoic to Neogene times. Since the Palaeozoic several cooling events affected the Albertine area and Rwenzori Mtns, as revealed from samples along the rift shoulders and across the mountain range. Results from low-temperature thermochronology and thermokinematic modelling demonstrate that the Rwenzoris were not exhumed as a coherent block but are composed of distinct decoupled blocks with diverging exhumation histories and block movements along inherited faults. Thus, the evolution of the Rwenzoris was not solely triggered by Neogene rifting; moreover, a Mesozoic topographic Albertine high is conceivable. Since the Miocene renewed rock and surface uplift of distinct blocks with forced movements at the western flank of the Rwenzoris occurred. Rock uplift, thereby, outweighed erosion, resulting in the recent high topography of the Rwenzoris and their asymmetric character. Detrital thermochronology data confirm a Neogene surface uplift and indicate transition of erosional forces in Plio-/Pleistocene times. Thermokinematic modelling, applied to samples

  17. Mapping Mantle Mixing and the Extent of Superplume Influence Using He-Ne-Ar-CO2-N2 Isotopes: The Case of the East Africa Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilton, D. R.; Halldorsson, S. A.; Scarsi, P.; Castillo, P.; Abebe, T.; Kulongoski, J. T.

    2014-12-01

    Earth's mantle possesses distinct and variable volatile characteristics as sampled by magmatic activity in different tectonic environments. In general, trace element depleted mid-ocean ridge basalts, with low Sr and Pb isotope values (but high ɛNd and ɛHf), release mantle-derived noble gases characterised by 3He/4He ~8 ± 1RA, (21Ne/22Ne)ex ~0.06 and 40Ar/36Ar ≥ 10,000 with CO2 and N2 having δ13C~-5‰ and δ15N ~-5‰, respectively. In contrast, enriched intraplate lavas possess higher 3He/4He (up to 50RA), lower (21Ne/22Ne)ex ~0.035 and 40Ar/36Ar ≤ 10,000 with generally higher but variable δ13C and δ15N. These isotopic attributes of mantle-derived volatiles can be exploited to map the extent, and mixing characteristics, of enriched (plume) mantle with depleted asthenospheric mantle ± the effects of over-riding lithosphere and/or crust. The East African Rift System (EARS) is superimposed upon two massive plateaux - the Ethiopia and Kenya domes - regarded as geophysical manifestations of a superplume source, a huge thermochemical anomaly originated at the core-mantle boundary and providing dynamic support for the plateaux. We present new volatile isotopic and relative abundance data (on the same samples) for geothermal fluids (He-CO2-N2), lavas (He-Ne-Ar) and xenoliths (He-Ne-Ar-CO2-N2) which provide an unprecedented overview of the distribution of mantle volatiles of the Ethiopia Dome, from the Red Sea via the Afar region and Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) to the Turkana Depression. Notably, peaks in geothermal fluid 3He/4He (16RA) and δ15N (+6.5‰) are coincident within the MER but the maximum δ13C (-0.78‰) lies ~100 km to the south. Highs in 3He/4He (14RA), δ13C (~-1‰) and δ15N (+3.4‰) for mafic crystals occur in the Afar region ~ 500km to the north. We assess the significance of the off-set in these volatile isotope signals, for sampling volatile heterogeneity in the plume source and/or the relative sensitivity of different volatiles to

  18. Rift-related active fault-system and a direction of maximum horizontal stress in the Cairo-Suez district, northeastern Egypt: A new approach from EMR-Technique and Cerescope data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagag, Wael; Obermeyer, Hennes

    2016-09-01

    An active fault system has been detected along the Cairo-Suez district in northeastern Egypt, applying the EMR-Technique using Cerescope. The E-W (old Mediterranean) and NW-SE (Red Sea-Gulf of Suez) fault-trends are estimated to have ongoing activity. Horizontal EMR-measurements indicate a NW to NNW orientation as a maximum horizontal stress direction (σ1), whereas an E-W orientation to has a secondary tendency. A simplified stress map for the Cairo-Suez district is constructed from the horizontal stress data measured at about 20 locations within the district. The mapped stresses will contribute to the stress data of the Cairo-Suez region on the world stress map (WSM). The present study results indicate rejuvenation of the inherited Mesozoic E-W oriented and Oligocene-Miocene rift-related NW-SE oriented faults. The transfer of rift-related deformation from Red Sea-Gulf of Suez region, which is currently undergoing an extensional stress regime in NE to NNE direction, would explain a seismotectonic activity of the Cairo-Suez district. These results are consistent with a present day NNW oriented compressional stresses attributed to a convergence between the African and Eurasian plates.

  19. Volcano deformation in central Main Ethiopian Rift system (Aluto Volcano) inferred from continuous GPS and dynamic gravity observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birhanu, Yelebe; Biggs, Juliet; Gottsmann, Joachim; Lewi, Elias; Lloyd, Ryan; Bekele, Berhanu

    2016-04-01

    Silicic volcanic centres in the rift systems frequently experience unrest indicating long-term activity in the underlying magmatic system, but it is difficult to distinguish the contributions of hydrothermal fluids, magma or gasses. Aluto volcano which is located in the central MER system is situated between the Lakes Ziway and Langano in the north and south respectively. Continuous GPS installed from April 2013 to October 2015 shows subsidence initially, with the largest subsidence observed in the eastern part of the caldera (2 cm/yr). InSAR observations from TerraSAR-X show a radially-symmetric pattern of long-term subsidence. Dynamic gravity surveys carried out in October 2014 and 2015 showed that there is a net mass loss in the western and central part of the caldera and mass gain in the eastern and southern part of the caldera, with a sharp gradient between the two. This complex spatial pattern of gravity change is significantly different to the simple pattern of deformation indicating multiple sources of pressure and mass change exist within the caldera. We explain the ratio of gravity to height change (dg/dh) throughout the volcano by considering cooling and crystallisation of magma body, draining and precipitation of hydrothermal fluids and changes in the water table and lake levels. Keywords: volcano deformation, dynamic gravity, continental rift

  20. Crustal Structure of and near the North American Mid-continent Rift System from Receiver Function Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; van der Lee, S.; Wolin, E.; Bollmann, T. A.; Revenaugh, J.; Aleqabi, G. I.; Wiens, D. A.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Darbyshire, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    The more than 1000-km-long main branch of the mid-continent rift system (MRS) near Lake Superior and the Minnesota-Wisconsin border nearly took North America apart, but ceased rifting soon after it began. Thermal and magmatic events and subsidence- related sedimentary processes significantly changed the structure of the upper crust across and along the MRS. To map the depth extent and lateral changes in deep lithospheric structure related to the MRS, we estimated and studied receiver functions (RFs) from 82 SPREE (Superior Province Rifting EarthScope Experiment) broadband seismic stations and seven EarthScope Transportable Array stations. We inverted the RFs for depths of seismic-velocity discontinuities and shear-velocity structure of the crust. The RFs for each station are derived from the deconvolution of the radial component with the vertical component in the time domain (Ammon et al., 1991). Using a relatively high corner frequency in the deconvolution passband helps us resolve multiple layers within the crust. The most prominent feature of the RFs is the P-to-S wave converted at the Moho (Fig. 1), which reflects the contrast in rock properties between the lower crust and upper mantle. This Moho-generated P-to-S converted wave is very clear in RFs for stations outside of the MRS. Inside the MRS, the RFs are more ambiguous and suggestive of a basal crustal layer with shear velocities in between typical lower crust and upper mantle values. There is more variation among the RFs for stations within the MRS than among stations outside of the MRS.

  1. Continental Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosendahl, B. R.

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

  2. Tectonics of the West Antarctic rift system: new light on the history and dynamics of distributed intracontinental extension

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siddoway, C.S.

    2007-01-01

    The West Antarctic rift system (WARS) is the product of multiple stages of intracontinental deformation from Jurassic to Present. The Cretaceous rifting phase accomplished >100 percent extension across the Ross Sea and central West Antarctica, and is widely perceived as a product of pure shear extension orthogonal to the Transantarctic Mountains that led to breakup and opening of the Southern Ocean between West Antarctica and New Zealand. New structural, petrological, and geochronological data from Marie Byrd Land reveal aspects of the kinematics, thermal history, and chronology of the Cretaceous intracontinental extension phase that cannot be readily explained by a single progressive event. Elevated temperatures in "Lachlan-type" crust caused extensive crustal melting and mid-crustal flow within a dextral transcurrent strain environment, leading to rapid extension and locally to exhumation and rapid cooling of a migmatite dome and detachment footwall structures. Peak metamorphism and onset of crustal flow that brought about WARS extension between 105 Ma and 90 Ma is kinematically, temporally, and spatially linked to the active convergent margin system of East Gondwana. West Antarctica-New Zealand breakup is distinguished as a separate event at 83-70 Ma, from the standpoint of kinematics and thermal evolution

  3. Parga Chasma: Coronae and Rifting on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Stofan, E. R.; Buck, W. R.; Martin, P.

    2005-01-01

    The majority of coronae (quasicircular volcano-tectonic features) are found along rifts or fracture belts, and the majority of rifts have coronae [e.g. 1,2]. However, the relationship between coronae and rifts remains unclear [3-6]. There is evidence that coronae can form before, after, or synchronously with rifts [3,4]. The extensional fractures in the rift zones have been proposed to be a result of broad scale upwelling and traction on the lower lithosphere [7]. However, not all rift systems have a significant positive geoid anomaly, as would be expected for an upwelling site [8]. This could be explained if the rifts lacking anomalies are no longer active. Coronae are generally accepted to be sites of local upwelling [e.g. 1], but the observed rifting is frequently not radial to the coronae and extends well beyond the coronae into the surrounding plains. Thus the question remains as to whether the rifts represent regional extension, perhaps driven by mantle tractions, or if the coronae themselves create local thinning and extension of the lithosphere. In the first case, a regional extension model should be consistent with the observed characteristics of the rifts. In the latter case, a model of lithospheric loading and fracturing would be more appropriate. A good analogy may be the propagation of oceanic intraplate volcanoes [9].

  4. Is the Ventersdorp rift system of southern Africa related to a continental collision between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons at 2.64 Ga AGO?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K.; Kidd, W. S. F.; Kusky, T.

    1985-01-01

    Rocks of the Ventersdorp Supergroup were deposited in a system of northeast trending grabens on the Kaapvaal Craton approximately 2.64 Ga ago contemporary with a continental collision between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons. It is suggested that it was this collision that initiated the Ventersdorp rifting. Individual grabens strike at high angles toward the continental collision zone now exposed in the Limpopo Province where late orogenic left-lateral strike-slip faulting and anatectic granites are recognized. The Ventersdorp rift province is related to extension in the Kaapvaal Craton associated with the collision, and some analogy is seen with such rifts as the Shansi and Baikal Systems associated with the current India-Asia continental collision.

  5. Evidence of rapid Cenozoic uplift of the shoulder escarpment of the Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system and a speculation on possible climate forcing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Cooper, A.

    1991-01-01

    The Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system, characterized by Cenozoic bimodal alkalic volcanic rocks, extends over a largely ice-covered area, from the Ross Sea nearly to the Bellingshausen Sea. Various lines of evidence lead to the following interpretation: the transantarctic Mountains part of the rift shoulder (and probably the entire shoulder) has been rising since about 60 Ma, at episodic rates of ~1 km/m.y., most recently since mid-Pliocene Time, rather than continuously at the mean rate of 100 m/m.y. Uplift rates vary along the scarp, which is cut by transverse faults. It is speculated that this uplift may have climatically forced the advance of the Antarctic ice sheet since the most recent warm period. A possible synergistic relation is suggested between episodic tectonism, mountain uplift, and volcanism in the Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system and waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice sheet beginning about earliest Oligocene time. -from Authors

  6. The inverted Triassic rift of the Marrakech High Atlas: A reappraisal of basin geometries and faulting histories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domènech, Mireia; Teixell, Antonio; Babault, Julien; Arboleya, Maria-Luisa

    2015-11-01

    The High Atlas of Morocco is an aborted rift developed during the Triassic-Jurassic and moderately inverted during the Cenozoic. The Marrakech High Atlas, with large exposures of basement and Triassic early syn-rift deposits, is ideal to investigate the geometries of the deepest parts of a rift, constituting a good analogue for pre-salt domains. It allows unraveling geometries and kinematics of the extensional and compressional structures and the influence that they exert over one another. A detailed structural study of the main Triassic basins and basin-margin faults of the Marrakech High Atlas shows that only a few rift faults were reactivated during the Cenozoic compressional stage in contrast to previous interpretations, and emphasizes that fault reactivation cannot be taken for granted in inverted rift systems. Preserved extensional features demonstrate a dominant dip-slip opening kinematics with strike-slip playing a minor role, at variance to models proposing a major strike-slip component along the main basin-bounding faults, including faults belonging to the Tizi n'Test fault zone. A new Middle Triassic paleogeographic reconstruction shows that the Marrakech High Atlas was a narrow and segmented orthogonal rift (sub-perpendicular to the main regional extension direction which was ~ NW-SE), in contrast to the central and eastern segments of the Atlas rift which developed obliquely. This difference in orientation is attributed to the indented Ouzellarh Precambrian salient, part of the West African Craton, which deflected the general rift trend in the area evidencing the major role of inherited lithospheric anisotropies in rift direction and evolution. As for the Cenozoic inversion, total orogenic shortening is moderate (~ 16%) and appears accommodated by basement-involved large-scale folding, and by newly formed shortcut and by-pass thrusting, with rare left-lateral strike-slip indicators. Triassic faults commonly acted as buttresses.

  7. Magmatism in rifting and basin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thybo, H.

    2008-12-01

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

  8. Trends and variability of East African rainfall and its relationship to the Mascarene High pressure system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seregina, Larisa; Pinto, Joaquim G.; Fink, Andreas H.; Ermert, Volker

    2016-04-01

    In the recent decades, East Africa needs to deal with strong fluctuations in seasonal rainfall including precipitation extremes. In context of climate change, such extremes can become more frequent in the future. However, regional climate projections are uncertain about the future development of seasonal precipitation in the region. Rainfall regimes over East Africa are influenced by multiple factors, including two monsoon systems, several convergence zones and the Rift Valley lakes. In addition, local conditions, like topography, modulate the large-scale rainfall pattern. East African rainfall variability is also influenced by various teleconnections like the Indian Ocean Zonal Mode and El Niño Southern Oscillation. The study of past climate variability in East Africa requires sufficient observational data coverage in the region. As East Africa does not have a dense observational network of meteorological stations, satellite rainfall observations gain on importance in studies on climate variability in the region. The specific aim of the present study is the analysis of historic data from weather stations in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Ruanda and Uganda), the use of gridded satellite products, and three-dimensional atmospheric reanalysis (e.g., ERA-Interim) to quantify climate variability in the recent past and to understand its causes. Climate variability and trends, including changes in extreme events, are evaluated using ETCCDI climate change and standardized precipitation indices. These climate indices are determined in order to investigate the variability of rainfall and its trends with the focus on recent decades. For seasonal trend analysis, an independent and non-calendaric rainfall onset criterion is introduced. In the follow-up, statistical and dynamical analyses are conducted to quantify the local impact of Mascarene High as a part of the Subtropical High Pressure Ridge on East African seasonal rainfall. Possible connections to pertinent large

  9. Lower Crustal Seismicity, Volatiles, and Evolving Strain Fields During the Initial Stages of Cratonic Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, C.; Muirhead, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Tiberi, C.; Roecker, S. W.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kianji, G.; Mulibo, G. D.

    2014-12-01

    The volcanically active East African rift system in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania transects thick cratonic lithosphere, and comprises several basins characterized by deep crustal seismicity. The US-French-Tanzania-Kenya CRAFTI project aims to understand the role of magma and volatile movement during the initiation and evolution of rifting in cratonic lithosphere. Our 38-station broadband network spans all or parts of fault-bounded rift segments, enabling comparison of lithospheric structure, fault kinematics, and seismogenic layer thickness with age and proximity to the deeply rooted Archaen craton. Seismicity levels are high in all basins, but we find profound differences in seismogenic layer thickness along the length of the rift. Seismicity in the Manyara basin occurs almost exclusively within the lower crust, and in spatial clusters that have been active since 1990. In contrast, seismicity in the ~ 5 My older Magadi basin is localized in the upper crust, and the long border fault bounding the west side of the basin is seismically inactive. Between these two basins lies the Natron rift segment, which shows seismicity between ~ 20 and ~2 km depth, and high concentrations at Oldoinyo Lengai and Gelai volcanoes. Older volcanoes on the uplifted western flank (e.g., Ngorongoro) experience swarms of activity, suggesting that active magmatism and degassing are widespread. Focal mechanisms of the frequent earthquakes recorded across the array are spatially variable, and indicate a stress field strongly influenced by (1) Holocene volcanoes, (2) mechanical interactions between adjacent rift basins, and (3) a far-field ESE-WNW extensional stress regime. We explore the spatial correlation between zones of intense degassing along fault systems and seismicity, and examine the influence of high gas pressures on lower and upper crustal seismicity in this youthful cratonic rift zone.

  10. Geochemical evidence of mantle reservoir evolution during progressive rifting along the western Afar margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, Tyrone O.; Mohr, Paul; Dosso, Laure; Hall, Chris

    2013-02-01

    The Afar triple junction, where the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and African Rift System extension zones converge, is a pivotal domain for the study of continental-to-oceanic rift evolution. The western margin of Afar forms the southernmost sector of the western margin of the Red Sea rift where that margin enters the Ethiopian flood basalt province. Tectonism and volcanism at the triple junction had commenced by ˜31 Ma with crustal fissuring, diking and voluminous eruption of the Ethiopian-Yemen flood basalt pile. The dikes which fed the Oligocene-Quaternary lava sequence covering the western Afar rift margin provide an opportunity to probe the geochemical reservoirs associated with the evolution of a still active continental margin. 40Ar/39Ar geochronology reveals that the western Afar margin dikes span the entire history of rift evolution from the initial Oligocene flood basalt event to the development of focused zones of intrusion in rift marginal basins. Major element, trace element and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf) data demonstrate temporal geochemical heterogeneities resulting from variable contributions from the Afar plume, depleted asthenospheric mantle, and African lithosphere. The various dikes erupted between 31 Ma and 22 Ma all share isotopic signatures attesting to a contribution from the Afar plume, indicating this initial period in the evolution of the Afar margin was one of magma-assisted weakening of the lithosphere. From 22 Ma to 12 Ma, however, diffuse diking during continued evolution of the rift margin facilitated ascent of magmas in which depleted mantle and lithospheric sources predominated, though contributions from the Afar plume persisted. After 10 Ma, magmatic intrusion migrated eastwards towards the Afar rift floor, with an increasing fraction of the magmas derived from depleted mantle with less of a lithospheric signature. The dikes of the western Afar margin reveal that magma generation processes during the evolution of this continental rift margin

  11. Kinematics and Dynamics of the Kivu Rift System from Seismic Anisotropy, Seismicity, and Structural Analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zal, H. J.; Wood, D. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Scholz, C. A.; d'Oreye, N.; Carn, S. A.; Rutagarama, U.

    2014-12-01

    The westward-tilted Kivu rift in East Africa is bounded by the ~100 km-long, seismically active West Kivu border fault, and dammed at its northern end by flows from the Virunga Volcanic Province. Earlier work delineated faults along the basin margins, but little was known of active faults beneath Lake Kivu, and the lithospheric structure was unexplored. The aims of this study are to determine the kinematics of normal faults and their relation to pre-existing basement structures; to examine the locations of earthquakes with respect to faults in order to delineate zones of active faulting; to evaluate models for the modification of lithosphere by extension and mantle plume processes using seismic shear wave splitting measurements; and to evaluate the role of volcanic loading within the Virunga volcanic province on the evolution of the Kivu basin. We determine rift fault and volcanic fissure locations and orientations using merged high-resolution CHIRP bathymetric and Space Radar Topography Mission data. The majority of faults in the northern sector strike NNE, whereas NE faults are equally important in the southern basin, marking the Kivu-Rusizi accommodation zone. Seismic data was acquired from an 8-station array deployed between March 2012 and April 2013. Although the majority of earthquakes beneath the rift (excluding the active volcanoes) occur at depths of 8-20 km, unusually shallow earthquakes (2-4 km) are located along submerged faults within the East Kivu basin and suggest high pore pressures within the upper crust. Using simple elastic plate flexure model calculations we estimate the maximum deflection of the plate to be ~7 km, using an effective elastic thickness of ~7.5 km. We propose that the rapid subsidence of the ~400 m deep northern Kivu basin occurred in response to volcanic construction. We evaluate models for the modification of lithosphere using shear wave splitting measurements. Splitting results with backazimuths ranging from 88˚ - 98˚ and 240

  12. Inter-Rifting and Inter-Seismic Strain Accumulation in a Propagating Ridge System: A Geodetic Study from South Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travis, M. E.; La Femina, P. C.; Geirsson, H.

    2012-12-01

    The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a slow spreading (~19 mm/yr) mid-ocean ridge boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates, is exposed subaerially in Iceland as the result of ridge-hotspot interaction. Plate spreading in Iceland is accommodated along neovolcanic zones comprised of central volcanoes and their fissure swarms. In south Iceland plate motion is partitioned between the Western Volcanic Zone (WVZ) and Eastern Volcanic Zone (EVZ). The EVZ is propagating to the southwest, while the WVZ is dying out from the northeast. Plate motion across both systems has been accommodated by repeated rifting events and fissure eruptions. In this study we investigate whether the WVZ is active and accumulating strain, and how strain is partitioned between the WVZ and EVZ. We also test how strain is accumulating along fissure swarms within the EVZ (i.e. is strain accumulation localized to one fissure swarm, or are multiple systems active?). We use GPS data and elastic block models run using the program DEFNODE to investigate these issues. GPS data are processed using the GIPSY-OASIS II software, and have been truncated to the 2000.5-2011 time period to avoid co-seismic displacement from the two June 2000 South Iceland Seismic Zone earthquakes. We also truncate the time series for sites within 20 km of Eyjafjallajökull to the beginning of 2010 to eliminate deformation associated with the March 2010 eruption of that volcano. We correct for co-seismic displacement from the two May 2008 SISZ earthquakes, inflation at Hekla volcano and the horizontal component of glacial isostatic rebound (GIA). Our best-fit model for inter-rifting and inter-seismic elastic strain accumulation suggests 80-90% of spreading is accommodated in the EVZ with the other 10-20% accommodated by the WVZ. The best-fit location of the EVZ is between Veidivotn and Lakigigar in an area of no Holocene volcanic activity. We suggest the WVZ is only active at Hengill and its associated fissure swarm. Geologic and

  13. Constraining the thermal and erosional evolution of the Rwenzori Mtns, Albertine Rift, by detrital thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, F. U.; Roller, S.; Grobe, R. W.; Glasmacher, U. A.; Hinderer, M.; Ring, U.; Mambo, V. S.

    2012-04-01

    In East Africa, the feedback between tectonic uplift, erosional denudation and associated possible climate changes is being studied by a multidisciplinary research group, 'RiftLink'. The group's focus is the Albertine Rift of the East African Rift System, and therein rising Rwenzori Mountains that stretch along the border of Uganda and Eastern D.R. Congo. Data from low-temperature thermochronology analysis of hardrocks comprising apatite fission-track (AFT), zircon and apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He dating (ZHe, AHe) and thermal modelling point to a prolonged cooling history with differentiated exhumation in Neogene times. The final rock uplift in Plio- to Pleistocene times, thereby, was very fast that the erosion could not keep pace [1]. In order to narrow the final exhumation stage detrital thermochronology has proven to be very useful. Therefore, sedimentary successions of the Albertine Rift valley in western Uganda and Eastern D.R. Congo were sampled to perform AFT, ZHe and AHe dating of detrital sediments. In the frame of the presentation we will present first results from the detrital thermochronology study of the Albertine Rift and will discuss its implications for the landscape evolution of this area.

  14. Using remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, and Geographic Information Systems for Rift Valley fever risk assessment in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedrow, Christine Atkins

    The primary goal in this study was to explore remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as aids in predicting candidate Rift Valley fever (RVF) competent vector abundance and distribution in Virginia, and as means of estimating where risk of establishment in mosquitoes and risk of transmission to human populations would be greatest in Virginia. A second goal in this study was to determine whether the remotely-sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) can be used as a proxy variable of local conditions for the development of mosquitoes to predict mosquito species distribution and abundance in Virginia. As part of this study, a mosquito surveillance database was compiled to archive the historical patterns of mosquito species abundance in Virginia. In addition, linkages between mosquito density and local environmental and climatic patterns were spatially and temporally examined. The present study affirms the potential role of remote sensing imagery for species distribution prediction, and it demonstrates that ecological niche modeling is a valuable predictive tool to analyze the distributions of populations. The MaxEnt ecological niche modeling program was used to model predicted ranges for potential RVF competent vectors in Virginia. The MaxEnt model was shown to be robust, and the candidate RVF competent vector predicted distribution map is presented. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was found to be the most useful environmental-climatic variable to predict mosquito species distribution and abundance in Virginia. However, these results indicate that a more robust prediction is obtained by including other environmental-climatic factors correlated to mosquito densities (e.g., temperature, precipitation, elevation) with NDVI. The present study demonstrates that remote sensing and GIS can be used with ecological niche and risk modeling methods to estimate risk of virus establishment in mosquitoes and

  15. Interactions between Oceanic Saharan Air Layer and African Easterly Jet- African Easterly Waves System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseinpour, F.; Wilcox, E. M.

    2013-12-01

    Aerosols have robust influences on multi-scale climatic systems and variability. Non-linear aerosol-cloud-climate interactions depend on many parameters such as aerosol features, regional atmospheric dynamics and variability. Although there are remarkable modeling studies indicating that aerosols induce robust modifications in cloud properties, circulations and the hydrological cycle, many of the physical and dynamical processes involving in these complex interactions between aerosols and Earth's system are still poorly understood. Better understanding the contribution of aerosols with atmospheric phenomena and their transient changes are crucial for efforts to evaluate climate predictions by next generation climate models. This study provides strong evidence of mechanistic relationships between perturbations of the oceanic Saharan air layer (OSAL) and anomalies of atmospheric circulations over the eastern tropical Atlantic/Africa. These relationships are characterized using an ensemble of daily datasets including the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS), and the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWIFS) for the boreal summer season. The study is motivated by previous results suggesting that oceanic dust-induced large-scale to meso-scale climatic adjustments. Our hypothesis is that perturbations in OSAL significantly interact with regional climate variability through African Easterly Jet- African Easterly Waves (AEJ-AEW) system. Passive/ active phases of AEWs in the northern and southern-track wave packets are associated with dipole patterns of thermal/dynamical anomalies correlated with perturbations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) in OSAL. Enhanced (suppressed) dust AOD in OSAL are significantly correlated with convective re-circulation within subsidence region of Hadley cell as well as robust mid-level dipole vorticity disturbances downstream of the AEJ core

  16. Fault Growth and Propagation and its Effect on Surficial Processes within the Incipient Okavango Rift Zone, Northwest Botswana, Africa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atekwana, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) is suggested to be a zone of incipient continental rifting occuring at the distal end of the southwestern branch of the East African Rift System (EARS), therefore providing a unique opportunity to investigate neotectonic processes during the early stages of rifting. We used geophysical (aeromagnetic, magnetotelluric), Shuttle Radar Tomography Mission, Digital Elevation Model (SRTM-DEM), and sedimentological data to characterize the growth and propagation of faults associated with continental extension in the ORZ, and to elucidate the interplay between neotectonics and surficial processes. The results suggest that: (1) fault growth occurs by along axis linkage of fault segments, (2) an immature border fault is developing through the process of “Fault Piracy” by fault-linkages between major fault systems, (3) significant discrepancies exits between the height of fault scarps and the throws across the faults compared to their lengths in the basement, (4) utilization of preexisting zones of weakness allowed the development of very long faults (> 25-100 km) at a very early stage of continental rifting, explaining the apparent paradox between the fault length versus throw for this young rift, (5) active faults are characterized by conductive anomalies resulting from fluids, whereas, inactive faults show no conductivity anomaly; and 6) sedimentlogical data reveal a major perturbation in lake sedimentation between 41 ka and 27 ka. The sedimentation perturbation is attributed to faulting associated with the rifting and may have resulted in the alteration of hydrology forming the modern day Okavango delta. We infer that this time period may represent the age of the latest rift reactivation and fault growth and propagation within the ORZ.

  17. Coulomb stress evolution in the Shanxi rift system, North China, since 1303 associated with coseismic, post-seismic and interseismic deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bin; Sørensen, Mathilde Bøttger; Atakan, Kuvvet

    2015-12-01

    The Shanxi rift system is one of the most active intraplate tectonic zones in the North China Block, resulting in devastating seismicity. Since 1303, the rift has experienced fifteen Ms ≥ 6.5 earthquakes. Aiming at a better understanding of Coulomb stress evolution and its relationship with the seismicity in the rift system, we investigated the Coulomb stress changes due to coseismic slip and post-seismic relaxation processes following strong earthquakes as well as the interseismic tectonic loading since the 1303 Hongdong Ms = 8.0 earthquake. Our calculation applies a specified regional medium model, takes the gravity effect into account and uses the fault geometry of the next event as the receiver fault in a given calculation. Our results show that nine out of 12 Ms ≥ 6.5 earthquakes since the 1303 Hongdong earthquake and more than 82 per cent of small-medium instrumental events after the 1989 Datong-Yanggao Ms = 6.1 earthquake fall into the total stress increased areas. Our results also reveal the different roles of the coseismic, post-seismic and interseismic Coulomb stress changes in the earthquake triggering process in the Shanxi rift system. In a short period after a strong event, the stress field changes are dominated by coseismic Coulomb stress due to sudden slip of the ruptured fault, while in the long term, the stress field is mainly dominated by the accumulation of interseismic tectonic loading. Post-seismic stress changes play an important role by further modifying the distribution of stress and therefore cannot be ignored. Based on the current stress status in the Shanxi rift system, the Linfen basin, southern and northern Taiyuan basin, Xinding basin and the north part of the rift system are identified as the most likely locations of large events in the future. The results of this study can provide important clues for the further understanding of seismic hazard in the Shanxi rift system and thus help guiding earthquake risk mitigation efforts in

  18. Mercury isotopic composition of hydrothermal systems in the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field and Guaymas Basin sea-floor rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherman, L.S.; Blum, J.D.; Nordstrom, D.K.; McCleskey, R.B.; Barkay, T.; Vetriani, C.

    2009-01-01

    To characterize mercury (Hg) isotopes and isotopic fractionation in hydrothermal systems we analyzed fluid and precipitate samples from hot springs in the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field and vent chimney samples from the Guaymas Basin sea-floor rift. These samples provide an initial indication of the variability in Hg isotopic composition among marine and continental hydrothermal systems that are controlled predominantly by mantle-derived magmas. Fluid samples from Ojo Caliente hot spring in Yellowstone range in δ202Hg from - 1.02‰ to 0.58‰ (± 0.11‰, 2SD) and solid precipitate samples from Guaymas Basin range in δ202Hg from - 0.37‰ to - 0.01‰ (± 0.14‰, 2SD). Fluid samples from Ojo Caliente display mass-dependent fractionation (MDF) of Hg from the vent (δ202Hg = 0.10‰ ± 0.11‰, 2SD) to the end of the outflow channel (&delta202Hg = 0.58‰ ± 0.11‰, 2SD) in conjunction with a decrease in Hg concentration from 46.6pg/g to 20.0pg/g. Although a small amount of Hg is lost from the fluids due to co-precipitation with siliceous sinter, we infer that the majority of the observed MDF and Hg loss from waters in Ojo Caliente is due to volatilization of Hg0(aq) to Hg0(g) and the preferential loss of Hg with a lower δ202Hg value to the atmosphere. A small amount of mass-independent fractionation (MIF) was observed in all samples from Ojo Caliente (Δ199Hg = 0.13‰ ±1 0.06‰, 2SD) but no significant MIF was measured in the sea-floor rift samples from Guaymas Basin. This study demonstrates that several different hydrothermal processes fractionate Hg isotopes and that Hg isotopes may be used to better understand these processes.

  19. Quantitative challenges to our understanding of the tectonostratigraphic evolution of rift basin systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, P. E.; Kent, D. V.

    2012-12-01

    Pervasive orbitally-paced lake level cycles combined with magnetic polarity stratigraphy in central Pangean early Mesozoic rift basins provide a thus far unique and very large-scale quantitative basis for observing patterns of basin fill and comparisons with other basins. The 32 Myr accumulation rate history of the Newark basin is segmented into intervals lasting millions of years with virtually no change in the long-term accumulation rate (at the 400-kyr-scale), and the transitions between segments are abrupt and apparently basin-wide. This is startling, because the basin geometry was, and is, a half graben - triangular in cross section and dish-shaped in along-strike section. The long periods of time with virtually no change is challenging given a simple model of basin growth (1), suggesting some kind of compensation in sediment input for the increasing surface of the area of the basin through time. Perhaps even more challenging are observations based on magnetic polarity stratigraphy and the cyclicity, that basins distributed over a huge area of central Pangea (~700,000 km2) show parallel and correlative quantitative changes in accumulation rate with those of the Newark basin. The synchronous changes in the accumulation rate in these basins suggests a very large-scale linkage, the only plausible mechanism for which would seem to be at the plate-tectonic scale, perhaps involving extension rates. Together, we can speculate that some kind of balance between extension rates, basin accommodation space and perhaps regional drainage basin size might have been in operation The most dramatic accumulation rate change in the basins' histories occurred close to, and perhaps causally related to, the Triassic-Jurassic boundary and end-Triassic extinction. The Newark basin, for example exhibits a 4-to-5-fold increase in accumulation rate during the emplacement of the brief (<1 Myr) and aerially massive Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) beginning at 201.5 Ma, the only

  20. Trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope geochemistry of Rungwe Volcanic Province, Tanzania: Implications for a superplume source for East Africa Rift magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, Paterno; Hilton, David; Halldórsson, Sæmundur

    2014-09-01

    The recently discovered high, plume-like 3He/4He ratios at Rungwe Volcanic Province (RVP) in southern Tanzania, similar to those at the Main Ethiopian Rift in Ethiopia, strongly suggest that magmatism associated with continental rifting along the entire East African Rift System (EARS) has a deep mantle contribution (Hilton et al., 2011). New trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic data for high 3He/4He lavas and tephras from RVP can be explained by binary mixing relationships involving Early Proterozoic (+/- Archaean) lithospheric mantle, present beneath the southern EARS, and a volatile-rich carbonatitic plume with a limited range of compositions and best represented by recent Nyiragongo lavas from the Virunga Volcanic Province also in the Western Rift. Other lavas from the Western Rift and from the southern Kenya Rift can also be explained through mixing between the same endmember components. In contrast, lavas from the northern Kenya and Main Ethiopian rifts can be explained through variable mixing between the same mantle plume material and the Middle to Late Proterozoic lithospheric mantle, present beneath the northern EARS. Thus, we propose that the bulk of EARS magmatism is sourced from mixing among three endmember sources: Early Proterozoic (+/- Archaean) lithospheric mantle, Middle to Late Proterozoic lithospheric mantle and a volatile-rich carbonatitic plume with a limited range of compositions. We propose further that the African Superplume, a large, seismically anomalous feature originating in the lower mantle beneath southern Africa, influences magmatism throughout eastern Africa with magmatism at RVP and Main Ethiopian Rift representing two different heads of a single mantle plume source. This is consistent with a single mantle plume origin of the coupled He-Ne isotopic signatures of mantle-derived xenoliths and/or lavas from all segments of the EARS (Halldorsson et al., 2014).

  1. Paleoseismologic studies of the Pajarito fault system, western margin of the Rio Grande rift near Los Alamos, NM

    SciTech Connect

    Kelson, K.I. ); Hemphill-Haley, M.A.; Wong, I.G. ); Gardner, J.N.; Reneau, S.L. )

    1993-04-01

    As in much of the Basin and Range province, low levels of historical seismicity in the Rio Grande rift (RGR) are inconsistent with abundant geologic evidence for large-magnitude, late Pleistocene and Holocene earthquakes. Recent trenching and surficial mapping along the 40-km-long, north-trending Pajarito fault system (PFS) near Los Alamos provide evidence for multiple surface-rupture events during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Near Los Alamos, the Pajarito fault (PAF) exhibits an east-facing scarp up to 120 m high that has had at least four surface-rupture events in the past few hundred thousand years. Four trenches across the base of the highest, easternmost fault scarp show that the most-recent rupture occurred prior to about 9 ka, and possible prior to deposition of the 100- to 150-ka El Cajete Pumice. The long-term (post-1.1 Ma) slip rate on the PAF is about 0.1 mm/yr. The down-to-the-west Rendija Canyon (RCF) and Guaje Mountain (GMF) faults both have had at least two surface ruptures since the middle Pleistocene, including most-recent events at about 7.4 ka along the RCF and about 4 to 6 ka along the GMF. Slickensides and other indirect evidence suggest right-oblique normal slip on the RCF and GMF. Long-term (post-1.1 Ma) slip rates on these two faults are approximately an order of magnitude less than that on the PAF. Based on the observed spatial and temporal variations in activity, the subparallel PAF, RCF, and GMF apparently act as independent seismic sources, although they are located only about 1 to 3 km apart. Nevertheless, the average recurrence interval for faults within the PFS is probably comparable to intervals of 10[sup 4] yr estimated along the eastern rift margin near Taos.

  2. Regional analysis of convective systems during the West African monsoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guy, Bradley Nicholas

    The West African monsoon (WAM) occurs during the boreal summer and is responsible for a majority of precipitation in the northern portion of West Africa. A distinct shift of precipitation, often driven by large propagating mesoscale convective systems, is indicated from satellite observations. Excepting the coarser satellite observations, sparse data across the continent has prevented understanding of mesoscale variability of these important systems. The interaction between synoptic and mesoscale features appears to be an important part of the WAM system. Without an understanding of the mesoscale properties of precipitating systems, improved understanding of the feedback mechanism between spatial scales cannot be attained. Convective and microphysical characteristics of West African convective systems are explored using various observational data sets. Focus is directed toward meso -alpha and -beta scale convective systems to improve our understanding of characteristics at this spatial scale and contextualize their interaction with the larger-scale. Ground-based radar observations at three distinct geographical locations in West Africa along a common latitudinal band (Niamey, Niger [continental], Kawsara, Senegal [coastal], and Praia, Republic of Cape Verde [maritime]) are analyzed to determine convective system characteristics in each domain during a 29 day period in 2006. Ancillary datasets provided by the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA) and NASA-AMMA (NAMMA) field campaigns are also used to place the radar observations in context. Results show that the total precipitation is dominated by propagating mesoscale convective systems. Convective characteristics vary according to environmental properties, such as vertical shear, CAPE, and the degree of synoptic forcing. Data are bifurcated based on the presence or absence of African easterly waves. In general, African easterly waves appear to enhance mesoscale convective system strength

  3. Structure of continental rifts: Role of older features and magmatism

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. )

    1996-01-01

    Recent geological and geophysical studies in several continental rifts have begun to shed light on the details of the processes which govern the structural evolution of these important exploration targets. In Kenya and Tanzania, the classic East African rift has been the object of several investigations which reveal that its location follows the boundary (suture ) between the Tanzanian craton (Archean) and Mozambiquan belt (Proterozoic), The Baikal rift also follows a similar boundary, and the Mid-continent rift of North America appears to do the same. Rifts themselves often act as zones of weakness which are reactivated by younger tectonic regimes. The classic North American example of this effect is the Eocambrian Southern Oklahoma aulacogen which was deformed to create the Anadarko basin and Wichita uplift in the late Paleozoic. The Central basin platform has a similar history although the original rift formed at [approximately]1,100Ma. Integration of geophysical data with petrologic and geochemical data from several rift zones has also provided a new picture of the nature and extent of magmatic modification of the crust. An interesting contradiction is that Phanerozoic rifts, except the Afar region, show little evidence for major magmatic modification of the crust whereas, at least in North America, many Precambrian rifts are associated with very large mafic bodies in the crust. The Kenya rift displays evidence for modification of the lower crust in a two-phase magmatic history, but upper crustal magmatic features are limited to local intrusions associated with volcanoes. In this rift, complex basement structure plays a much more important role than previously realized, and the geophysical signatures of basement structure and magmatism are easy to confuse. If this is also the case in other rifts, additional rift basins remain to be discovered.

  4. Structure of continental rifts: Role of older features and magmatism

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R.

    1996-12-31

    Recent geological and geophysical studies in several continental rifts have begun to shed light on the details of the processes which govern the structural evolution of these important exploration targets. In Kenya and Tanzania, the classic East African rift has been the object of several investigations which reveal that its location follows the boundary (suture ?) between the Tanzanian craton (Archean) and Mozambiquan belt (Proterozoic), The Baikal rift also follows a similar boundary, and the Mid-continent rift of North America appears to do the same. Rifts themselves often act as zones of weakness which are reactivated by younger tectonic regimes. The classic North American example of this effect is the Eocambrian Southern Oklahoma aulacogen which was deformed to create the Anadarko basin and Wichita uplift in the late Paleozoic. The Central basin platform has a similar history although the original rift formed at {approximately}1,100Ma. Integration of geophysical data with petrologic and geochemical data from several rift zones has also provided a new picture of the nature and extent of magmatic modification of the crust. An interesting contradiction is that Phanerozoic rifts, except the Afar region, show little evidence for major magmatic modification of the crust whereas, at least in North America, many Precambrian rifts are associated with very large mafic bodies in the crust. The Kenya rift displays evidence for modification of the lower crust in a two-phase magmatic history, but upper crustal magmatic features are limited to local intrusions associated with volcanoes. In this rift, complex basement structure plays a much more important role than previously realized, and the geophysical signatures of basement structure and magmatism are easy to confuse. If this is also the case in other rifts, additional rift basins remain to be discovered.

  5. Reconstructing African topography over the past 30 Myrs with high-resolution tomography-based convection modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moucha, R.; Forte, A. M.; Rowley, D. B.; Braun, J.; Mitrovica, J. X.; Simmons, N. A.; Grand, S. P.

    2009-12-01

    Geologists (e.g. Krenkel 1922; Holmes 1944; Burke 1996) have long recognized the unique 'basin and swell' structure of the African continent and adjoining ocean basins. This topography is unique on our planet and is characterized by large-scale extensional features such as the East African Rift, recent widespread magmatic activity, and epeirogeny. These enigmatic surface features have long suggested that the African continent is shaped by significant dynamic forcing originating in the underlying mantle. Utilizing present-day heterogeneity derived from a high-resolution joint seismic-geodynamic tomography model (Simmons et al., 2009), we reconstruct the late Cenozoic dynamic topography of Africa by carrying out backward-in-time mantle flow simulations. In this presentation we will explore the geological implications, and associated uncertainties, of our predictions of the temporal evolution of African topography, with a particular focus on the most dynamic surface features such as the East African Rift system and adjacent basins.

  6. Basement Structure Controls on the Evolution and Geometry of Rift Systems - Insights from Offshore S. Norway using 3D Seismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Thomas; Jackson, Christopher; Bell, Rebecca; Duffy, Oliver; Fossen, Haakon

    2015-04-01

    Rift basins form within lithosphere containing a range of heterogeneities, such as thin-skinned thrust belts and larger scale structures such as thick-skinned shear zones or crustal sutures. How the presence and reactivation of these structures during later rift events affect the geometry and evolution of rifts remains poorly understood as they are not typically well imaged on seismic data. The main reasons for this are that crystalline basement is often buried beneath thick sedimentary successions and contains small impedance contrasts. Furthermore, larger, crustal-scale, lineaments and sutures may not be imaged at all on seismic data due to their large scale and depth. In this study, we use borehole-constrained 2D and 3D seismic reflection data located around the Egersund and Farsund Basins, offshore south Norway. In both areas, crystalline basement is exceptionally well-imaged on typical 2D and 3D reflection data due to large impedance contrasts within a highly heterogeneous, shallow basement. This allows us to map a series of intrabasement reflections and overlying rift systems. Within the Egersund area, two main types of intrabasement structure are identified and mapped: i) thin (100 m), shallowly dipping (0-10°W) reflections showing a ramp-flat geometry; and ii) thick (1-1.5 km), low angle (c. 30°W) structures comprising of packages of reflections. These structures correlate along-strike northwards to Caledonian orogeny related structures mapped onshore Norway. The thin structures are interpreted as thin-skinned Caledonian thrusts, whereas the thicker structures represent thick-skinned Devonian shear zones formed through orogenic collapse of the Caledonides. Through seismic-stratigraphic analysis of the cover, we document multiple stages of extensional reactivation along these structures during Devonian, Permian-Triassic and Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous extension followed by reverse reactivation during Late Cretaceous compression. The Farsund Basin is

  7. Discussion of Continental Rifts and Their Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    When continental crust rifts, two chief modifications of that crust occur: 1)stretching of older, existing crust; 2)addition of new rift mass--sediments and mantle mafic units. However, paleorifts, such as the Cambrian Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen differ from neorifts, such as the East African. Much of this difference may be reflected in the nature of the lower rift crust. Stretching of the upper crust is accomplished primarily through faulting while the lower crust flows. Concurrently addition of sediments occurs in downdropped faulted blocks in the upper crust, and of mafic magmas risen and emplaced as intrusive layered complexes through the rift and as extrusive flows. All this happens in a regime of higher temperatures and higher heat flow. Consequences of this can include either melting of the stretched existing crust, or direct fractionation of rising mafic magma or melting of already crystallized mafic complexes, forming new silicic magmas. Geochemistry of these different magmatic bodies elucidates which of these possible processes seems dominant. Most geophysical studies of rifts have two results: 1)higher gravity anomalies indicating addition of new mafic masses, usually interpreted to be concentrated in the upper rift crust; and 2)seismic characteristics indicating crustal mottling and layering of the upper rift crust. What is not clearly indicated is nature of the lower crust, and of the mantle-crust contact (M discontinuity). Comparison of paleorifts and neorifts, and later geological history of paleorifts, suggests interesting interpretations of lower rift crust,especially in paleorifts, and some of the difficulties in sorting out answers.

  8. The 1.1-Ga Midcontinent Rift System, central North America: sedimentology of two deep boreholes, Lake Superior region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojakangas, Richard W.; Dickas, Albert B.

    2002-03-01

    The Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) of central North America is a 1.1-Ga, 2500-km long structural feature that has been interpreted as a triple-junction rift developed over a mantle plume. As much as 20 km of subaerial lava flows, mainly flood basalts, are overlain by as much as 10 km of sedimentary rocks that are mostly continental fluvial red beds. This rock sequence, known as the Keweenawan Supergroup, has been penetrated by a few deep boreholes in the search for petroleum. In this paper, two deep boreholes in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are described in detail for the first time. Both the Amoco Production #1-29R test, herein referred to as the St. Amour well, and the nearby Hickey Creek well drilled by Cleveland Cliffs Mining Services, were 100% cored. The former is 7238 ft (2410 m) deep and the latter is 5345 ft (1780 m) deep. The entirety of the stratigraphic succession of the Hickey Creek core correlates very well with the upper portion of the St. Amour core, as determined by core description and point-counting of 43 thin sections selected out of 100 studied thin sections. Two Lower Paleozoic units and two Keweenawan red bed units—the Jacobsville Sandstone and the underlying Freda Sandstone—are described. The Jacobsville is largely a feldspatholithic sandstone and the Freda is largely a lithofeldspathic sandstone. Below the Freda, the remaining footage of the St. Amour core consists of a thick quartzose sandstone unit that overlies a heterogenous unit of intercalated red bed units of conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, and shale; black shale; individual basalt flows; and a basal ignimbritic rhyolite. This lower portion of the St. Amour core presents an enigma, as it correlates very poorly with other key boreholes located to the west and southwest. While a black shale sequence is similar to the petroleum-bearing Nonesuch Formation farther west, there is no conglomerate unit to correlate with the Copper Harbor Conglomerate. Other key boreholes are

  9. Summary and Final Recommendations of the University System of Georgia's African-American Male Initiative.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgia Univ. System, Atlanta. Board of Regents.

    In 2000, the University System of Georgia (USG) verified that USG institutions enrolled a low percentage of African American males in comparison with the percentage of African American males in the state's population. In 2001, the USG developed a special funding initiative to conduct a study of barriers to the participation of African American…

  10. Mechanical response of the south flank of kilauea volcano, hawaii, to intrusive events along the rift systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dvorak, J.J.; Okamura, A.T.; English, T.T.; Koyanagi, R.Y.; Nakata, J.S.; Sako, M.K.; Tanigawa, W.T.; Yamashita, K.M.

    1986-01-01

    Increased earthquake activity and compression of the south flank of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, have been recognized by previous investigators to accompany rift intrusions. We further detail the temporal and spatial changes in earthquake rates and ground strain along the south flank induced by six major rift intrusions which occurred between December 1971 and January 1981. The seismic response of the south flank to individual rift intrusions is immediate; the increased rate of earthquake activity lasts from 1 to 4 weeks. Horizontal strain measurements indicate that compression of the south flank usually accompanies rift intrusions and eruptions. Emplacement of an intrusion at a depth greater than about 4 km, such as the June 1982 southwest rift intrusion, however, results in a slight extension of the subaerial portion of the south flank. Horizontal strain measurements along the south flank are used to locate the January 1983 east-rift intrusion, which resulted in eruptive activity. The intrusion is modeled as a vertical rectangular sheet with constant displacement perpendicular to the plane of the sheet. This model suggests that the intrusive body that compressed the south flank in January 1983 extended from the surface to about 2.4 km depth, and was aligned along a strike of N66??E. The intrusion is approximately 11 km in length, extended beyond the January 1983 eruptive fissures, which are 8 km in length and is contained within the 14-km-long region of shallow rift earthquakes. ?? 1986.

  11. Evidence of rapid Cenozoic uplift of the shoulder escarpment of the Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system and a speculation on possible climate forcing

    SciTech Connect

    Behrendt, J.C. ); Cooper, A. )

    1991-04-01

    The Cenzoic West Antarctic rift system, characterized by Cenozoic bimodal alkalic volcanic rocks, extends over a largely ice-covered area, from the Ross Sea nearly to the Bellingshausen Sea. It is bounded on one side by a spectacular 4-to 5-km-high rift-shoulder scarp (maximum bedrock relief 5 to 7 km) from northern Victoria Land-Queen Maud Mountains to the Ellsworth-Whitmore-Horlick Mountains. Jurassic tholeiites crop out with the late Cenozoic volcanic rocks along the section of the Transantarctic Mountains from northern Victoria Land to the Horlick Mountains. The Cenozoic rift shoulder diverges here from the Jurassic tholeiite trend, and the tholeiites are exposed discontinuously along the lower elevation (1-2 km) section of the Transantarctic Mountains to the Weddell Sea. Various lines of evidence, no one of which is independently conclusive, lead the authors (as others have also suggested) to interpret the following. The Transantarctic Mountains part of the rift shoulder (and probably the entire shoulder) has been rising since about 60 Ma, at episodic rates of {approximately}1 km/m.y., most recently since mid-Pliocene time, rather than continuously at the mean rate of 100m/m.y. Uplift rates vary along the scarp, which is cut by transverse faults. The authors speculate that this uplift may have climatically forced the advance of the Antarctic ice sheet since the most recent warm period. They suggest a possible synergistic relation between episodic tectonism, mountain uplift, and volcanism in the Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system and waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice sheet beginning about earliest Oligocene time.

  12. Continental rift jumps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Charles A.

    1983-05-01

    Continental rift jumps, analogous to jumps of oceanic spreading ridges, are here proposed to be common. Good examples exist in Iceland and Afar (both transitional from ridge to rift jumps), West Africa (Benue Trough and Cameroon Volcanic Line), and Kenya. Indeed, the Kenya rift appears to have jumped c. 100 km eastward c. 10 m.y. ago and is currently jumping further to the east. Possible jumps exist in the Baikal rift, the Limagne-Bresse rift pair, and parallel to ancient continental margins (e.g., the Triassic basins of the eastern U.S. to Baltimore Canyon and Georges Bank). Continental rifts jump distances that are approximately equal to local lithosphere thickness, suggesting that jumped rifts are controlled by lithosphere fracturing, but there appears to be no reason for the fracturing except migration of hot spots.

  13. Evidence of rift valley fever seroprevalence in the Sahrawi semi-nomadic pastoralist system, Western Sahara

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The increasing global importance of Rift Valley fever (RVF) is clearly demonstrated by its geographical expansion. The presence of a wide range of host and vector species, and the epidemiological characteristics of RVF, have led to concerns that epidemics will continue to occur in previously unaffected regions of Africa. The proximity of the Sahrawi territories of Western Sahara to endemic countries, such as Mauritania, Senegal, and Mali with periodic isolation of virus and serological evidence of RVF, and the intensive livestock trade in the region results in a serious risk of RVF spread in the Sahrawi territories, and potentially from there to the Maghreb and beyond. A sero-epidemiological survey was conducted in the Saharawi territories between March and April 2008 to investigate the possible presence of the RVF virus (RVFV) and associated risk factors. A two-stage cluster sampling design was used, incorporating 23 sampling sites. Results A total of 982 serum samples was collected from 461 sheep, 463 goats and 58 camels. Eleven samples (0.97%) tested positive for IgG against the RVFV. There were clusters of high seroprevalence located mostly in the Tifariti (7.69%) and Mehaires (7.14%) regions, with the Tifariti event having been found in one single flock (4/26 positive animals). Goats and older animals were at a significantly increased risk being seropositive (p = 0.007 and p = 0.007, respectively). Conclusion The results suggest potential RVF activity in the study area, where intense livestock movement and trade with neighbouring countries might be considered as a primary determinant in the spread of the disease. The importance of a continuous field investigation is reinforced, in light of the risk of RVF expansion to historically unaffected regions of Africa. PMID:24758592

  14. Earthquake Rupture Forecast of M>= 6 for the Corinth Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, O.; Boiselet, A.; Lyon-Caen, H.; Albini, P.; Bernard, P.; Briole, P.; Ford, M.; Lambotte, S.; Matrullo, E.; Rovida, A.; Satriano, C.

    2014-12-01

    Fourteen years of multidisciplinary observations and data collection in the Western Corinth Rift (WCR) near-fault observatory have been recently synthesized (Boiselet, Ph.D. 2014) for the purpose of providing earthquake rupture forecasts (ERF) of M>=6 in WCR. The main contribution of this work consisted in paving the road towards the development of a "community-based" fault model reflecting the level of knowledge gathered thus far by the WCR working group. The most relevant available data used for this exercise are: - onshore/offshore fault traces, based on geological and high-resolution seismics, revealing a complex network of E-W striking, ~10 km long fault segments; microseismicity recorded by a dense network ( > 60000 events; 1.5=5 19th century events and a few paleoseismological investigations, allowing to consider time-dependent ERF. B-value estimates are found to be catalogue-dependent (WCR, homogenized NOA+Thessaloniki, SHARE), which may call for a potential break in scaling relationship. Furthermore, observed discrepancies between seismicity rates assumed for the modeled faults and those expected from GPS deformation rates call for the presence of aseismic deformation. Uncertainty in the ERF resulting from the lack of precise knowledge concerning both, fault geometries and seismic slip rates, is quantified through a logic tree exploration. Median and precentile predictions are then compared to ERF assuming a uniform seismicity rate in the WCR region. The issues raised by this work will be discussed in the light of seismic hazard assessment.

  15. A Rift Valley fever risk surveillance system for Africa using remotely sensed data: potential for use on other continents.

    PubMed

    Linthicum, Kenneth J; Anyamba, Assaf; Britch, Seth C; Chretien, Jean-Paul; Erickson, Ralph L; Small, Jennifer; Tucker, Compton J; Bennett, Kristine E; Mayer, Richard T; Schmidtmann, Edward T; Andreadis, Theodore G; Anderson, John F; Wilson, William C; Freier, Jerome E; James, Angela M; Miller, Ryan S; Drolet, Barbara S; Miller, Scott N; Tedrow, Christy A; Bailey, Charles L; Strickman, Daniel A; Barnard, Donald R; Clark, Gary G; Zou, Li

    2007-01-01

    The authors developed a monitoring and risk mapping system using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) times series data derived from the advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) instrument on polar orbiting national oceanographic and atmospheric administration (NOAA) satellites to map areas with a potential for a Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks in sub-Saharan Africa. This system is potentially an important tool for local, national and international organisations involved in the prevention and control of animal and human disease, permitting focused and timely implementation of disease control strategies several months before an outbreak. We are currently developing a geographic information system (GIS)-based remotely sensed early warning system for potential RVF vectors in the United States. Forecasts of the potential emergence of mosquito vectors will be disseminated throughout the United States, providing several months' warning in advance of potentially elevated mosquito populations. This would allow timely, targeted implementation of mosquito control, animal quarantine and vaccine strategies to reduce or prevent animal and human disease. PMID:20422546

  16. Radial Anisotropy beneath the Main Ethiopian Rift and Afar Depression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardo, N. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Jin, G.; Shillington, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and Afar uniquely capture the final stages of transition from continental rifting in the broader East African Rift System to incipient seafloor spreading above a mantle hotspot. Studies of the region increasingly point to magmatism as a controlling factor on continental extension. However, the character and depth extent of these melt products remain contentious. Radial anisotropy derived from surface waves provides a unique diagnostic constraint on the presence of oriented melt pockets versus broader oriented anisotropic fabrics. This study investigates the thermal and radially anisotropic structure beneath the broader MER and Afar to resolve the magmatic character of the region and ultimately to understand the role of magmatism in present day rift development. We utilize 104 stations from 4 collocated arrays in the MER/Afar region to constrain radial anisotropy within the upper mantle via the inversion of Love- and Rayleigh-wave observations between 25 and 100 s period. We employ a multi-channel cross-correlation algorithm to obtain inter-station phase and amplitude information. The multi-channel phase observations are inverted for dynamic phase velocity across the array, which are then corrected for focusing and multipathing using the amplitude observations via Helmholtz tomography. We jointly invert Love- and Rayleigh-wave structural phase velocity measurements employing crustal constraints from co-located active source experiments to obtain estimates of Vsv and Vsh between 50 - 170 km depth. Preliminary results readily reveal the distinct shear velocity structure beneath the MER and Afar. Within the MER, shear velocity structure suggests pronounced low velocities accompanied by strong anisotropy between 80 - 140 km depth beneath the western Ethiopian plateau and rift valley. Within Afar, shear velocity structure is more varied with the slowest velocities found at shallow depths (less than 70 km depth), accompanied by weak

  17. Rifting to spreading in the Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, S.; Razin, P.; Lucazeau, F.; D'Acremont, E.; Autin, J.; Watremez, L.; Robinet, J.; Baurion, C.

    2011-12-01

    The Gulf of Aden margins systems are volcanic to the West, where they are influenced by the Afar hotspot, and non-volcanic East of longitude 46°E. The combined use of magnetics, gravity, seismic reflection, field observations (tectonic and sedimentological) allowed us to obtain better constraints on the timing of continental rifting and seafloor spreading. From the Permo-Triassic to the Oligocene, the Arabian-African plate was subject to distributed extension, probably due, at least from the Cretaceous, to tensile stresses related to the subduction of the Tethysian slab in the north. In Late Eocene, 35 Ma ago, rifting started to localize along the future area of continental breakup. Initially guided by the inherited basins, continental rifting then occurred synchronously over the entire gulf before becoming localized on the northern and southern borders of the inherited grabens, in the direction of the Afar hot-spot. In the areas with non-volcanic margins (in the East), the faults marking the end of rifting trend parallel to the inherited grabens. Only the transfer faults cross-cut the inherited grabens, and some of these faults later developed into transform faults. The most important of these transform faults follow a Precambrian trend. Volcanic margins were formed in the West of the Gulf, up to the Guban graben in the south-east and as far as the southern boundary of the Bahlaf graben in the North-East. Seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs) can be observed on many oil-industry seismic profiles. The influence of the hotspot during rifting was concentrated on the western part of the gulf. Therefore, it seems that the western domain was uplifted and eroded at the onset of rifting, while the eastern domain was characterized by more continuous sedimentation. The phase of distributed deformation was followed by a phase of strain localization during the final rifting stage, just before formation of the Ocean-Continent Transition (OCT), in the most distal graben (DIM

  18. Granular mechanics and rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reber, Jacqueline E.; Hayman, Nicholas W.; Lavier, Luc L.

    2013-04-01

    Numerical models have proved useful in the interpretation of seismic-scale images of rifted margins. In an effort to both test and further illuminate predictions of numerical models, workers have made some strides using map-scale field relations, microstructures, and strain analyses. Yet, fundamental predictions of modeling and tectonic restorations are not able to capture critical observations. For example, many models and interpretations call on continuous faults with restorable kinematic histories. In contrast, s-reflectors and other interpreted shear fabrics in the middle crust tend to be discontinuous and non-planar across a margin. Additionally, most rift-evolution models and interpretations call on end-member ductile flow laws over a range of mechanical and thermal conditions. In contrast, field observations have found that a range of "brittle" fault rocks (e.g., cataclasites and breccias) form in the deeper crust. Similarly, upper crustal materials in deep basins and fault zones can deform through both distributed and localized deformation. Altogether, there appears to be reason to bring a new perspective to aspects of the structural evolution of rifted margins. A granular mechanics approach to crustal deformation studies has several important strengths. Granular materials efficiently localize shear and exhibit a range of stick-slip behaviors, including quasi-viscous rheological responses. These behaviors emerge in discrete element models, analog-materials experiments, and natural and engineered systems regardless of the specific micromechanical flow law. Yet, strictly speaking, granular deformation occurs via failure of frictional contacts between elastic grains. Here, we explore how to relate granular-mechanics models to mesoscale (outcrop) structural evolution, in turn providing insight into basin- and margin- scale evolution. At this stage we are focusing on analog-materials experiments and micro-to-mesoscale observations linking theoretical predictions

  19. Exploring for geothermal resource in a dormant volcanic system: The Haleakala Southwest Rift Zone, Maui, Hawai'i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martini, B. A.; Lewicki, J. L.; Kennedy, B. M.; Lide, C.; Oppliger, G.; Drakos, P. S.

    2011-12-01

    Suites of new geophysical and geochemical surveys provide compelling evidence for geothermal resource at the Haleakala Southwest Rift Zone (HSWRZ) on Maui Island, Hawai'i. Ground-based gravity (~400 stations) coupled with heli-borne magnetics (~1500 line kilometers) define both deep and shallow fractures/faults while also delineating potentially widespread subsurface hydrothermal alteration on the lower flanks (below approximately 1800 feet a.s.l.). Multi-level, upward continuation calculations and 2-D gravity and magnetic modeling provide information on source depths, but lack of lithologic information leaves ambiguity in the estimates. Lithology and physical property data from future drilling will improve these interpretations. Additionally, several well-defined gravity lows (possibly vent zones) lie coincident with magnetic highs suggesting the presence of dike intrusions at depth; a potentially young source of heat for a modern geothermal system. Soil CO2 fluxes were measured along transects across geophysically-defined faults and fractures as well as young cinder cones along the HSWRZ; a weak anomalous flux signal was observed at one young cinder cone location. Dissolved inorganic carbon concentrations and δ13C compositions and 3He/4He values measured in several shallow groundwater samples indicate addition of magmatic CO2 and He to the groundwater system. The general lack of observed magmatic surface CO2 signals on the HSWRZ is therefore likely due to a combination of groundwater 'scrubbing' of CO2 and relatively high biogenic surface CO2 fluxes that mask magmatic CO2. Similar surveys at the Puna geothermal field on the Kilauea Lower East Rift Zone (KLERZ) also showed a lack of surface CO2 flux signals attributed to a magmatic source, while aqueous geochemistry indicated contribution of magmatic CO2 and He to shallow groundwaters at both Maui and Puna. As magma has been intercepted in geothermal drilling at the Puna field, the lack of measured surface CO2

  20. Mesozoic fault reactivation along the St. Lawrence Rift System as constrained by (U-Th/He) thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouvier, L.; Pinti, D. L.; Tremblay, A.; Minarik, W. G.; Roden-Tice, M. K.; Pik, R.

    2011-12-01

    The Saint Lawrence Rift System (SLRS) is a half-graben, extending for 1000 km along St. Lawrence River valley. Late Proterozoic-Early Paleozoic faults of the graben form the contact with the metamorphic Grenvillian basement to the northwest and extend under the Paleozoic sedimentary sequences of the St. Lawrence Lowlands to the southeast. The SLRS is the second most seismically active area in Canada, but the causes of this activity remain unclear. Reactivation of the SLRS is believed to have occurred along Late Proterozoic to Early Paleozoic normal faults related to the opening of the Iapetus Ocean. The absence of strata younger than the Ordovician makes difficult to determine when the faults reactivated after the Ordovician. Field relations between the normal faults bordering the SLRS and those produced by the Charlevoix impact crater suggest a reactivation of the rift younger than the Devonian, the estimated age of the impact. Apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology is an adequate tool to recognize thermal events related to fault movements. A thermochronology study was then started along three transects across the SLRS, from Québec up to Charlevoix. Apatites were extracted and separated from five granitic to charnockitic gneisses and an amphibolite of Grenvillian age. The samples were exposed on hanging wall and footwall of the Montmorency and Saint-Laurent faults at three different locations along the SLRS. For precision and accuracy, each of the six samples was analyzed for radiogenic 4He and U-Th contents at least twice. Apatite grains were isolated by heavy liquids and magnetic separation. For each sample, ten apatite grains were selected under optical microscope and inserted into Pt capsules. Particular care was taken to isolate apatite free of mineral and fluid inclusions. Indeed, SEM investigations showed that some inclusions are U-rich monazite, which is a supplementary source of 4He to be avoided. The 4He content was determined by using a static noble gas

  1. Evolution of a magma-driven earthquake swarm and triggering of the nearby Oldoinyo Lengai eruption, as resolved by InSAR, ground observations and elastic modeling, East African Rift, 2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baer, G.; Hamiel, Y.; Shamir, G.; Nof, R.

    2008-07-01

    An earthquake swarm struck the North Tanzania Divergence, East African Rift over a 2 month period between July and September 2007. It produced approximately 70 M > 4 earthquakes (peak magnitude Mw 5.9), and extensive surface deformation, concurrent with eruptions at the nearby Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. The spatial and temporal evolution of the entire deformation event was resolved by Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) observations, owing to a particularly favorable acquisition programming of the Envisat and ALOS satellites, and was verified by detailed ground observations. Elastic modeling based on the InSAR measurements clearly distinguishes between normal faulting, which dominated during the first week of the event, and intermittent episodes of dike propagation, oblique dike opening and dike-induced faulting during the following month. A gradual decline in the intensity of deformation occurred over the final weeks. Our observations and modeling suggest that the sequence of events was initiated by pressurization of a deep-seated magma chamber below Oldoinyo Lengai which opened the way to lateral dike injection, and dike-induced faulting and seismicity. As dike intrusion terminated, silicate magma ascended the volcano conduit, reacted with the carbonatitic magma, and set off a major episode of explosive ash eruptions producing mixed silicate-carbonatitic ejecta. The rise of the silicate magma within the volcano conduit is attributed to bubble growth and buoyancy increase in the magma chamber either due to a temporary pressure drop after the termination of the diking event, or due to the dynamic effects of seismic wave passage from the earthquake swarm. Similar temporal associations between earthquake swarms and major explosive ash eruptions were observed at Oldoinyo Lengai over the past half century.

  2. Receiver function imaging of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and melt beneath the Afar Rift in comparison to other systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rychert, Catherine A.; Harmon, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

    Heating, melting, and stretching destroy continents at volcanic rifts. Mantle plumes are often invoked to thermally weaken the continental lithosphere and accommodate rifting through the influx of magma. However the relative effects of mechanical stretching vs. melt infiltration and weakening are not well quantified during the evolution of rifting. S-to-p (Sp) imaging beneath the Afar Rift provides additional constraints. We use two methodologies to investigate structure and locate robust features: 1) binning by conversion point and then simultaneous deconvolution in the frequency domain, and 2) extended multitaper followed by migration and stacking. We image a lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary at ~75 km beneath the flank of the Afar Rift vs. its complete absence beneath the rift. Instead, a strong velocity increase with depth at ~75 km depth is imaged. Beneath the rift axis waveform modeling suggests the lack of a mantle lithosphere with a velocity increase at ~75 km depth. Geodynamic models that include high melt retention and suppress thermal convection easily match the required velocity-depth profile, the velocity increase arising from a drop in melt percentage at the onset of decompression melting. Whereas, models with conservative melt retention that include thermal buoyancy effects cannot reproduce the strong velocity increase. The shallow depth of the onset of melting is consistent with a mantle potential temperature = 1350 - 1400°C, i.e., typical for adiabatic decompression melting. Trace element signatures and geochemical modeling have been used to argue for a thick lithosphere beneath the rift and slightly higher mantle potential temperatures ~1450°C, although overall, given modeling assumptions, the results are not in disagreement. Therefore, although a plume initially destroyed the mantle lithosphere, its influence directly beneath Afar today is not strong. Volcanism continues via adiabatic decompression melting assisted by strong melt buoyancy

  3. Lower Pliensbachian caldera volcanism in high-obliquity rift systems in the western North Patagonian Massif, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedini, Leonardo; Gregori, Daniel; Strazzere, Leonardo; Falco, Juan I.; Dristas, Jorge A.

    2014-12-01

    In the Cerro Carro Quebrado and Cerro Catri Cura area, located at the border between the Neuquén Basin and the North Patagonian Massif, the Garamilla Formation is composed of four volcanic stages: 1) andesitic lava-flows related to the beginning of the volcanic system; 2) basal massive lithic breccias that represent the caldera collapse; 3) voluminous, coarse-crystal rich massive lava-like ignimbrites related to multiple, steady eruptions that represent the principal infill of the system; and, finally 4) domes, dykes, lava flows, and lava domes of rhyolitic composition indicative of a post-collapse stage. The analysis of the regional and local structures, as well as, the architectures of the volcanic facies, indicates the existence of a highly oblique rift, with its principal extensional strain in an NNE-SSW direction (˜N10°). The analyzed rocks are mainly high-potassium dacites and rhyolites with trace and RE elements contents of an intraplate signature. The age of these rocks (189 ± 0.76 Ma) agree well with other volcanic sequences of the western North Patagonian Massif, as well as, the Neuquén Basin, indicating that Pliensbachian magmatism was widespread in both regions. The age is also coincident with phase 1 of volcanism of the eastern North Patagonia Massif (188-178 Ma) represented by ignimbrites, domes, and pyroclastic rocks of the Marifil Complex, related to intraplate magmatism.

  4. A Strong Stress Shadow Effect of the 2004 M=9.2 Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake on the Andaman Sea Transform-Rift System 250 km Away

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sevilgen, V.; Stein, R. S.

    2010-12-01

    The 26 December 2004 earthquake ruptured a 1,300-km section of the Sunda megathrust. A transform-rift back-arc system accommodates most of the trench-parallel component of the highly oblique subduction. We used the NEIC earthquake catalog at its M≥4.7 completeness level since 1999, and at M≥4.8 since 1975, to examine the seismicity rate along the transform-rift system. We also combined teleseismic double-difference earthquake relocations from Pesicek et al (JGR, 2010) with Global CMT mechanisms, to more accurately associate focal mechanisms with their fault systems. We find a strong drop in seismicity rate along the Andaman Sea transform system east of the northern end of the 2004 rupture zone. This occurs immediately following the Sumatra-Andaman mainshock and persists to this day. The rate drop is associated with strike-slip mechanisms only; along the portions of the rift system with normal-faulting mechanisms, the seismicity rate increased. We calculate that the Sagaing-West Andaman transform in this region was subjected to a static Coulomb stress drop of 0.25 bar (for an assumed fault friction of 0.4), whereas the rift segments sustained stress increases greater than 1 bar. Both of these calculations are in accord with the observations. Because of the large distance between the megathrust source and the back-arc receiver faults, the imparted stresses are insensitive to the unknown details of the megathrust slip and geometry; because the 2004 slip is so large, the imparted stresses are nevertheless substantial 200-300 km east of the trench, where the seismicity rate changes are observed. Thus, the seismicity shutdown associated with the 2004 earthquake stress shadow furnishes an important test of the static Coulomb stress triggering hypothesis.

  5. Crustal Structure beneath the Rwenzori Region of the Albertine Rift using Ambient-Noise Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaviani, A.; Paul, A.; Rumpker, G.

    2015-12-01

    In this study we investigate the crustal structure beneath the Rwenzori region by analyzing a 1-year ambient-noise data set recorded by a network of 33 broadband seismic stations that have operated between September 2009 and August 2011. The Rwenzori region, located between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, is part of the western (Albertine) branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). The region of study is situated between the Albert Rift and the Edward Rift segments and covers an area of approximately 120 km by 50 km. The main objective of the seismological experiment was to address the questions of the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains in an extensional regime and the absence of a crustal root beneath the mountain range. Any model proposed to address these questions requires the knowledge of the structure of the Rwenzori horst and surrounding rift shoulders. Previous results from local travel-time tomography revealed the presence of low-velocity anomalies in the upper crust beneath the mountain range relative to higher velocities in the surrounding shoulders. However, since the stations used in the previous study only covered the northern part of the region, the resolution of the models proposed by the body-wave tomography was very low beneath the Rwenzori Mountains. Hence, the limits of the Rwenzori horst at depth relative to the rift shoulders are still poorly known. The main objective of our ambient-noise tomography (ANT) is to provide an explanation for the building of Rwenzori Mountains. Due to the small aperture of the seismological network, we are mainly interested in the shallow crustal structure including the boundaries between the central Rwenzori horst and the surrounding rift shoulders as well as the variations in the thickness of the sedimentary basins. We expect that the ANT images will be able to delineate the boundaries between the main tectonic features including the limits of the Rwenzori horst at depth.

  6. Trade in Educational Services: Reflections on the African and South African Higher Education System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sehoole, Chika Trevor

    2004-01-01

    This article discusses and analyses the emergence of globalisation and its impact on developments within the African continent. Africa's response at a regional level through the New Partnership for Africa's Development and at a subregional level through the Southern African Development Community's "Protocol on Education" come under scrutiny. These…

  7. Teleseismic P-wave Delay Time Tomography of the southern Superior Province and Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Superior Province Rifting Earthscope Experiment (SPREE) and the northern midwest footprint of USArray's Transportable Array recorded continuous ground motion for a period of 2.5 years. From around 400 M>5.5 teleseismic earthquakes recorded at 337 stations, we measured body wave delay times for 255 of these earthquakes. The P wave delays are accumulated over more than 45 thousand wave paths with turning points in the lower mantle. We combine these delay times with a similar number delay times used in previous tomographic studies of the study region. The latter delay times stem from fewer stations, including Polaris and CNSN stations, and nearly a thousand earthquakes. We combine these two sets of delay times to image the three-dimensional distribution of seismic velocity variations beneath the southern Superior Province and surrounding provinces. This combined data coverage is illustrated in the accompanying figure for a total number of 447 stations . The coverage and the combined delays form the best configuration yet to image the three-dimensional distribution of seismic P and S-wave velocity variations beneath the southern Superior and surrounding provinces. Closely spaced stations (~12 km) along and across the MRS provide higher resolving power for lithospheric structure beneath the rift system. Conforming to expectations that the entire region is underlain by thick, cool lithosphere, a mean delay of -.55 +/- .54 s. This is very similar to the mean delays -.6s +/- .37s measured for this region before 2012. Event corrections range from -.2 +/-.54 s and correlate with tectonics for 80% of the earthquakes. An inversion of these nearly one hundred thousand P and around thirty thousand S-wave delay times for high-resolution P and S-wave velocity structure, respectively, does not show structures that are obviously related to the crustal signature of the MRS. None of structures imaged, align with or have a similar shape to the high Mid-continent Gravity Anomaly

  8. Crustal Structure in the area of the North American Mid-Continent Rift System from P-wave Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The Mid-continent Geophysical Anomaly (MGA) represents the largest gravity anomaly in the North American continental interior, its strongest portion stretching from Iowa to Lake Superior, and is the direct result of 1.1 Ga deposition and uplift of volcanic rocks in the Mid-continent Rift System (MRS). The Superior Province Rifting Earthscope Experiment (SPREE) collected broadband seismic data around this prominent portion of the MGA for 2.5 years from 82 seismic stations, simultaneously with about 30 Transportable Array (TA) stations in the region. To image crustal structure around the MGA, we analyzed the P-wave trains of 119 teleseismic earthquakes at these stations using the time-domain iterative-deconvolution method of Ligorria and Ammon (1999), the waveform-fitting method of Van der Meijde et al. (2003), and the H-κ stacking method of Zhu and
Kanamori (2000). Our aim was to resolve intra-crustal layering and Moho characteristics. Despite considerable noise related to station installation constraints, we find that outside of the MGA, the Moho is sharp and relatively flat, both beneath the Archean Superior Province as well as beneath the Proterozoic terranes to its south. This Moho produces consistent P to S converted phases in the analyzed receiver functions. Receiver functions show much more complexity along the MGA, where P to S converted phases from the Moho are much weaker and more variable with azimuth and epicentral distance. Similar results have been found in Iowa by French et al. (2009). For many stations along the MGA, multiple weak S phases arrive around the time expected for the Moho-converted phase. In addition, strong P-to-S converted phases are observed from the base of shallow sedimentary layers. The base of the sedimentary layer is fairly shallow outside of the MGA, thickens near the flanks where gravity anomalies are low and shallows again in the center where the gravity peaks. We conclude that the Moho is not a strong feature of the MRS

  9. Fault-Controlled Fluid Migration during Early-Stage Continental Rifting in the Magadi Basin, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J.; Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Kianji, G.; Maqway, M. D.; Thomas, N.; Onguso, B.

    2014-12-01

    The mechanisms controlling the migration of mantle-derived, CO­2-rich fluids in early-stage continental rifts are poorly constrained, yet have important implications for processes occurring during the initiation of continental breakup. Within the East African Rift specifically, the role of normal fault structures in transporting fluids, and the role these fluids play in driving deformation, is yet to be addressed. The 7 Ma Magadi Basin of the EAR exhibits active hydrothermal fluid flow amongst an excellently exposed array of normal faults, providing a unique opportunity to test the mechanics of fault-controlled fluid migration at an early-stage continental rift setting. We present a study utilizing both geochemical and structural data collected from active and fossilized fluid systems observed along faults in the Magadi Basin. The distribution and orientation of veins and systematic fracture sets around fault zones were recorded in the field, and fault throws were measured using a Trimble GPS. Larger faults were analyzed remotely using aerial imagery and the Aster GDEM v.2. Fault data were then compared with CO2 flux measured on soil and from gas-emitting fractures in and around fault zones using an accumulation chamber. Our data reveal that CO2-rich fluids travel along fault-parallel fractures within fault zones, and fault-oblique fracture sets in the accommodation zones between fault segments. Fluids rising through faults may additionally be diverted along lithologic boundaries in fault grabens, such as the contact between lavas and overlying sedimentary fill. The highest CO2 flux observed in the Magadi region occurs in the central axis of the rift, along faults with the highest observable throws (>150 m) as well as the 1998 earthquake rupture. This study illustrates a direct link between fluid flow and faulting during the earliest stages of continental rifting. High CO2 soil flux and active hydrothermal fluid flow is, therefore, a potential indicator of faults

  10. The Rwenzori Mountains of western Uganda - Aspects on the evolution of their remarkable morphology within the Albertine Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, F. U.; Karl, M.; Glasmacher, U. A.; Nagudi, B.; Schumann, A.; Mroszewski, L.

    2012-09-01

    The Rwenzori Mountains form a narrow mountain range within the western branch of the East African Rift System. They rise to heights of more than 5000 m a.s.l. and are composed of Precambrian metamorphic rocks. Lacking a volcanic origin the Rwenzoris are regarded as an extreme example of rift flank uplift and a key area to study rift-related uplift processes within an extensional setting. To determine these processes and underlying rift dynamics, the presented study provides constraints on the temporal and spatial exhumation history of the Rwenzori Mts. Recent and former geomorphology is investigated, addressing geomorphologic proxies as well as the cooling history. Associated erosion rates are derived from thermochronological data, allowing constraining relief changes over time. It could be demonstrated, that inherited tectonic structures play a major role in routing erosion processes. The cooling history of the Rwenzori Mts derived from low-temperature thermochronology reaches back to Jurassic times. Final exhumation was recorded for Neogene times, with differentiated erosion and uplift movements during the last 10 Ma and a fast final uplift of the Rwenzoris in the near past, where erosion could not compensate for (Bauer et al., 2010a). This paper integrates geomorphologic and thermochronological constraints, in order to provide a basis for understanding the development of the evolution of the Albertine Rift area, with focus placed on the Mesozoic and Cenozoic history of the central Rwenzori Mts.

  11. 40Ar/ 39Ar dating constraints on the high-angle normal faulting along the southern segment of the Tan-Lu fault system: An implication for the onset of eastern China rift-systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu; Zhou, Su

    2009-01-01

    High-angle normal faulting in eastern China was an important tectonic process responsible for the rifting of the eastern Asian continental margin. Along the southern segment of the Tan-Lu fault system, part of the eastern China rift-system, 55-70° east-dipping normal faults are the oldest structures within this rift-system. Chlorite, pseudotachylite, and fault breccia are found in fault zones, which are characterized by microstructures and syn-deformation chlorite minerals aligned parallel to a down-dip stretching lineation. 40Ar/ 39Ar dating of syn-deformation chlorite and K-feldspar from the fault gouge zone yields cooling ages of ˜75-70 Ma, interpreted as the timing of slip along the normal faults. This age is older than that of opening of the Japanese sea and back-arc extension in the west Pacific, but similar to the onset of the Indo-Asian (soft?) collision.

  12. African Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Relevance of Higher Education in South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaya, Hassan O.; Seleti, Yonah N.

    2013-01-01

    The higher education system in Africa and South Africa in particular, is still too academic and distant from the developmental challenges of African local communities. The integration of African indigenous knowledge systems (AIKS) into the higher educational system could improve its relevance. This is due to the holistic, community-based nature…

  13. Stratigraphy and rifting history of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Anza rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Winn, R.D. Jr.; Steinmetz, J.C. ); Kerekgyarto, W.L. )

    1993-11-01

    Lithological and compositional relationships, thicknesses, and palynological data from drilling cuttings from five wells in the Anza rift, Kenya, indicate active rifting during the Late Cretaceous and Eocene-Oligocene. The earlier rifting possibly started in the Santonian-Coniacian, primarily occurred in the Campanian, and probably extended into the Maastrichtian. Anza rift sedimentation was in lacustrine, lacustrine-deltaic, fluvial, and flood-basin environments. Inferred synrift intervals in wells are shalier, thicker, more compositionally immature, and more poorly sorted than Lower Cretaceous ( )-lower Upper Cretaceous and upper Oligocene( )-Miocene interrift deposits. Synrift sandstone is mostly feldspathic or arkosic wacke. Sandstone deposited in the Anza basin during nonrift periods is mostly quartz arenite, and is coarser and has a high proportion of probable fluvial deposits relative to other facies. Volcanic debris is absent in sedimentary strata older than Pliocene-Holocene, although small Cretaceous intrusions are present in the basin. Cretaceous sandstone is cemented in places by laumontite, possibly recording Campanian extension. Early Cretaceous history of the Anza basin is poorly known because of the limited strata sampled; Jurassic units were not reached. Cretaceous rifting in the Anza basin was synchronous with rifting in Sudan and with the breakup and separation of South America and Africa; these events likely were related. Eocene-Oligocene extension in the Anza basin reflects different stresses. The transition from active rifting to passive subsidence in the Anza basin at the end of the Neogene, in turn, records a reconfigured response of east African plates to stresses and is correlated with formation of the East Africa rift.

  14. The African superswell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyblade, Andrew A.; Robinson, Scott W.

    1994-01-01

    Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500 m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

  15. Crustal Thickness and Seismic Anisotropy of the Rwenzori Region (Albertine Rift) From Receiver Functions and Shear-Wave Splitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woelbern, I.; Rümpker, G.; Schumann, A.; Batte, A.

    2008-12-01

    The Rwenzori mountain range is situated within the western branch of the East-African rift system. It is composed of metamorphic rocks and reaches altitudes of more than 5000 meters. Within the framework of the multidisciplinary RiftLink research group we have carried out a passive-source seismological study in western Uganda close to the Congo border. The project aims to constrain the development and uplift of the Rwenzori range and its relation to the formation of the rift zone. The temporary network consisted of 8 broad- band and 15 short-period seismic stations. The initial deployment started during April of 2006. The network was in operation until September 2007. Receiver functions computed for stations on the eastern rift shoulder reveal a rather simple crust. However, the Rwenzori range is characterized by a complex inter-crustal structure, which causes interference and masking of the Moho signal at several stations. Different techniques based on traveltime and waveform information are applied to derive Moho depths beneath the network. The mapping of crustal thickness provides evidence for the absence of a deep crustal root underneath the Rwenzori mountains. The receiver functions exhibit a pronounced negative phase at stations in the southeastern part of the network. This anomaly is interpreted as resulting from a low-velocity layer at roughly 15 km depth. The strong decrease of the S-wave velocity within this layer may be indicative for the presence of partial melt. The measured splitting parameters from teleseismic SKS phases exhibit fast-polarization directions that are parallel to the rift with delay times of about 1.2 seconds. The rift-parallel polarizations indicate that rifting in this region is probably assisted by magmatic intrusions. Indications for spatial changes in anisotropy come from the frequency dependence of the splitting parameters at some stations of the network.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jerome; Wilson, Terry; Henrys, Stuart

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Crustal structure and kinematics of the TAMMAR propagating rift system on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from seismic refraction and satellite altimetry gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahle, Richard L.; Tilmann, Frederik; Grevemeyer, Ingo

    2016-06-01

    The TAMMAR segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge forms a classic propagating system centred about two degrees south of the Kane Fracture Zone. The segment is propagating to the south at a rate of 14 mm/yr, 15 % faster than the half-spreading rate. Here we use seismic refraction data across the propagating rift, sheared zone and failed rift to investigate the crustal structure of the system. Inversion of the seismic data agrees remarkably well with crustal thicknesses determined from gravity modelling. We show that the crust is thickened beneath the highly magmatic propagating rift, reaching a maximum thickness of almost 8 km along the seismic line and an inferred (from gravity) thickness of about 9 km at its centre. In contrast, the crust in the sheared zone is mostly 4.5-6.5 km thick, averaging over 1 km thinner than normal oceanic crust, and reaching a minimum thickness of only 3.5 km in its NW corner. Along the seismic line it reaches a minimum thickness of under 5 km. The PmP reflection beneath the sheared zone and failed rift is very weak or absent, suggesting serpentinisation beneath the Moho, and thus effective transport of water through the sheared zone crust. We ascribe this increased porosity in the sheared zone to extensive fracturing and faulting during deformation. We show that a bookshelf-faulting kinematic model predicts significantly more crustal thinning than is observed, suggesting that an additional mechanism of deformation is required. We therefore propose that deformation is partitioned between bookshelf faulting and simple shear, with no more than 60 % taken up by bookshelf faulting.

  18. Crustal structure and kinematics of the TAMMAR propagating rift system on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from seismic refraction and satellite altimetry gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahle, Richard L.; Tilmann, Frederik; Grevemeyer, Ingo

    2016-08-01

    The TAMMAR segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge forms a classic propagating system centred about two degrees south of the Kane Fracture Zone. The segment is propagating to the south at a rate of 14 mm yr-1, 15 per cent faster than the half-spreading rate. Here, we use seismic refraction data across the propagating rift, sheared zone and failed rift to investigate the crustal structure of the system. Inversion of the seismic data agrees remarkably well with crustal thicknesses determined from gravity modelling. We show that the crust is thickened beneath the highly magmatic propagating rift, reaching a maximum thickness of almost 8 km along the seismic line and an inferred (from gravity) thickness of about 9 km at its centre. In contrast, the crust in the sheared zone is mostly 4.5-6.5 km thick, averaging over 1 km thinner than normal oceanic crust, and reaching a minimum thickness of only 3.5 km in its NW corner. Along the seismic line, it reaches a minimum thickness of under 5 km. The PmP reflection beneath the sheared zone and failed rift is very weak or absent, suggesting serpentinisation beneath the Moho, and thus effective transport of water through the sheared zone crust. We ascribe this increased porosity in the sheared zone to extensive fracturing and faulting during deformation. We show that a bookshelf-faulting kinematic model predicts significantly more crustal thinning than is observed, suggesting that an additional mechanism of deformation is required. We therefore propose that deformation is partitioned between bookshelf faulting and simple shear, with no more than 60 per cent taken up by bookshelf faulting.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinabo, Baraka Damas

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

  20. Iowa portion of rift trend hosts wildcats

    SciTech Connect

    McCaslin, J.C.

    1984-05-07

    Definite signs point to an exploratory effort beginning at the far southwestern end of Iowa's Keweenawan rift - a new frontier for oil and gas hunters. This new round of wildcatting is located on the Midcontinent rift trend, a major geological feature extending to great depths under parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota (the Keweenawan rift system), Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. Recent reports hint that leasing is underway in Minnesota, with interest developing in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska sectors. Geophysical evidence has led to the delineation of a rift system active during the Proterozoic Y era. Geologists have traced this system by the Midcontinent gravity high and corresponding aeromagnetic signature from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through the northern Midcontinent states.

  1. Cenozoic rift tectonics of the Japan Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Kimura, K.

    1988-08-01

    The Japan Sea is one of the back-arc basins in trench-arc systems bordering the western Pacific. Recent paleomagnetic works suggest the Japan Sea opened during early to middle Miocene. Radiometric and microfossil ages of the Cenozoic onland sequences in the Japanese Islands elucidate the rift tectonics of the Japan Sea. The rifting history is summarized as follows: nonmarine volcanic formations of prerift stage before 50 Ma, rift-onset unconformity at 40 Ma, nonmarine volcanic formations of synrift stage 20-33 Ma, breakup unconformity 19 Ma showing the opening of the Japan Sea, marine volcanic and sedimentary formations of synrift stage 14.5-18 Ma, beginning of regional subsidence 14.5 Ma corresponding to the end of the Japan Sea opening, marine sedimentary formations of postdrift stage after 14.5 Ma. Rifting is not limited to the synrift stage but is continued to the syndrift stage. Rifting led to a horst-and-graben structure. Thus, the Cenozoic onland sequences in the Japanese Islands are suited for a study of rift tectonics because the sequences were subaerially exposed by the late Miocene-Holocene island-arc tectonics. Rift tectonics cannot be studied as easily in most Atlantic-type passive margins.

  2. Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Understanding the thermal and tectonic evolution of Marie Byrd Land from a reanalysis of airborne geophysical data in the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quartini, E.; Powell, E. M.; Richter, T.; Damiani, T.; Burris, S. G.; Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2013-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is a region characterized by a significant topographic range, a complex tectonic history, and active subglacial volcanism. Those elements exert a large influence on the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which flows within the cradle-shaped rift system and is currently grounded well below sea level. This potentially unstable configuration is the motivation for gaining a better understanding of the ice sheet boundary conditions dictated by rift evolution and how they impact the ice flow. In this study we focus on characterizing the distribution of and transition between sedimentary basins and inferred geothermal heat flux from the flanks to the floor of the rift system. We do so through analysis of gravity data both for sources within the deep lithosphere and near surface targets in the crust. A compilation of gravity datasets over West and Central Antarctica and the analysis thereof is presented. In particular we use gravity data collected during several airborne geophysical surveys: CASERTZ (1994-1997), SOAR/WMB (1997-1998), AGASEA (2004-2005), ICEBRIDGE (2008-2011), and GIMBLE (2012-2013). New processing and data reduction methodologies are applied to the older gravity surveys to improve the high frequency signal content and to make these surveys compatible with modern works (i.e. AGASEA, ICEBRIDGE, GIMBLE). The high frequency signal provides better resolution of small-scale features within survey blocks but long-wavelength integrity is retained by registering the airborne free-air disturbance within those blocks to the gravity disturbance derived from the GOCE global satellite gravity field. This allows for consistent long wavelength interpretation across the merged surveys and provides improved gravity analysis of the deep lithosphere while retaining the capacity to study smaller scale features. A crustal model for the area is produced using the Bouguer anomaly and spectral analyses of the Bouguer anomaly and free

  4. Segmented lateral dyke growth in a rifting event at Bárðarbunga volcanic system, Iceland.

    PubMed

    Sigmundsson, Freysteinn; Hooper, Andrew; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrún; Vogfjörd, Kristín S; Ófeigsson, Benedikt G; Heimisson, Elías Rafn; Dumont, Stéphanie; Parks, Michelle; Spaans, Karsten; Gudmundsson, Gunnar B; Drouin, Vincent; Árnadóttir, Thóra; Jónsdóttir, Kristín; Gudmundsson, Magnús T; Högnadóttir, Thórdís; Fridriksdóttir, Hildur María; Hensch, Martin; Einarsson, Páll; Magnússon, Eyjólfur; Samsonov, Sergey; Brandsdóttir, Bryndís; White, Robert S; Ágústsdóttir, Thorbjörg; Greenfield, Tim; Green, Robert G; Hjartardóttir, Ásta Rut; Pedersen, Rikke; Bennett, Richard A; Geirsson, Halldór; La Femina, Peter C; Björnsson, Helgi; Pálsson, Finnur; Sturkell, Erik; Bean, Christopher J; Möllhoff, Martin; Braiden, Aoife K; Eibl, Eva P S

    2015-01-01

    Crust at many divergent plate boundaries forms primarily by the injection of vertical sheet-like dykes, some tens of kilometres long. Previous models of rifting events indicate either lateral dyke growth away from a feeding source, with propagation rates decreasing as the dyke lengthens, or magma flowing vertically into dykes from an underlying source, with the role of topography on the evolution of lateral dykes not clear. Here we show how a recent segmented dyke intrusion in the Bárðarbunga volcanic system grew laterally for more than 45 kilometres at a variable rate, with topography influencing the direction of propagation. Barriers at the ends of each segment were overcome by the build-up of pressure in the dyke end; then a new segment formed and dyke lengthening temporarily peaked. The dyke evolution, which occurred primarily over 14 days, was revealed by propagating seismicity, ground deformation mapped by Global Positioning System (GPS), interferometric analysis of satellite radar images (InSAR), and graben formation. The strike of the dyke segments varies from an initially radial direction away from the Bárðarbunga caldera, towards alignment with that expected from regional stress at the distal end. A model minimizing the combined strain and gravitational potential energy explains the propagation path. Dyke opening and seismicity focused at the most distal segment at any given time, and were simultaneous with magma source deflation and slow collapse at the Bárðarbunga caldera, accompanied by a series of magnitude M > 5 earthquakes. Dyke growth was slowed down by an effusive fissure eruption near the end of the dyke. Lateral dyke growth with segment barrier breaking by pressure build-up in the dyke distal end explains how focused upwelling of magma under central volcanoes is effectively redistributed over long distances to create new upper crust at divergent plate boundaries. PMID:25517098

  5. Contemporary surface ruptures in the zone of the Baikal-Mondy fault (Baikal rift system): dynamics of formation and origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankov, Vladimir; Sankov, Aleksei; Lebedeva, Marina; Ashurkov, Sergey; Parfeevets, Anna

    2014-05-01

    Sublatitudinal Baikal-Mondy (Tunka) left-lateral strike-slip fault accommodates North Mongolia submeridional rift basins opening (Darkhad and Khubsugul). It is the connecting link between the central and south-western parts of the Baikal rift system. We investigated the present-day activity of faulting on southern border of Mondy basin, which is due to their position at the junction of east-west trending active faults of the Baikal-Mondy fault system with submeridional structures of Khubsugul basin. The investigated area is characterized by high seismic activity. The epicenter of one of the strongest Mondy earthquake 1950 (Mw = 7.0) is located within the Mondy basin. Reconstruction of Late Cenozoic tectonic stress field shows a predominance of strike-slip deformation regime with NW-SE direction of the minimum compression axis and NE-SW direction of the maximum compression axis, which correlates with the present-day stress field derived from the data on earthquake focal mechanisms. On the top of the southern shoulder of Mondy basin a series of extended NE trending surface ruptures that cut the crust of weathering and bedrock across the local watershed were discovered. The rupture length reaches 180 m, width ruptures bedrock reaches 0.6 m. In the bedrock tectonic microfractures of NW and NE directions are dominated, but the NW trending surface ruptures are not observed. In the area of contemporary ruptures the geodetic measurements were carried out in the period 2009-2013. The results of processing the measurement data on the local testing ground showed that most divergent baselines undergoes extension with maximum values reaching 30 mm/year. The block experienced elongation in all directions, but the morphology of ruptures suggests that the main direction of stretching is NW-SE. The intensity of cracks opening decreases markedly with time. According to eyewitnesses known that active crack opening at about 100 mm/year started 4 years before Kultuk earthquake (27

  6. TerraSAR-X high-resolution radar remote sensing: an operational warning system for Rift Valley fever risk.

    PubMed

    Vignolles, Cécile; Tourre, Yves M; Mora, Oscar; Imanache, Laurent; Lafaye, Murielle

    2010-11-01

    In the vicinity of the Barkedji village (in the Ferlo region of Senegal), the abundance and aggressiveness of the vector mosquitoes for Rift Valley fever (RVF) are strongly linked to rainfall events and associated ponds dynamics. Initially, these results were obtained from spectral analysis of high-resolution (~10 m) Spot-5 images, but, as a part of the French AdaptFVR project, identification of the free water dynamics within ponds was made with the new high-resolution (down to 3-meter pixels), Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite (TerraSAR-X) produced by Infoterra GmbH, Friedrichshafen/Potsdam, Germany. During summer 2008, within a 30 x 50 km radar image, it was found that identified free water fell well within the footprints of ponds localized by optical data (i.e. Spot-5 images), which increased the confidence in this new and complementary remote sensing technique. Moreover, by using near real-time rainfall data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), NASA/JAXA joint mission, the filling-up and flushing-out rates of the ponds can be accurately determined. The latter allows for a precise, spatio-temporal mapping of the zones potentially occupied by mosquitoes capable of revealing the variability of pond surfaces. The risk for RVF infection of gathered bovines and small ruminants (~1 park/km(2)) can thus be assessed. This new operational approach (which is independent of weather conditions) is an important development in the mapping of risk components (i.e. hazards plus vulnerability) related to RVF transmission during the summer monsoon, thus contributing to a RVF early warning system. PMID:21080318

  7. Rift Valley Fever Virus Nonstructural Protein NSs Promotes Viral RNA Replication and Transcription in a Minigenome System

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Tetsuro; Peters, C. J.; Makino, Shinji

    2005-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), which belongs to the genus Phlebovirus, family Bunyaviridae, has a tripartite negative-strand genome (S, M, and L segments) and is an important mosquito-borne pathogen for domestic animals and humans. We established an RVFV T7 RNA polymerase-driven minigenome system in which T7 RNA polymerase from an expression plasmid drove expression of RNA transcripts for viral proteins and minigenome RNA transcripts carrying a reporter gene between both termini of the M RNA segment in 293T cells. Like other viruses of the Bunyaviridae family, replication and transcription of the RVFV minigenome required expression of viral N and L proteins. Unexpectedly, the coexpression of an RVFV nonstructural protein, NSs, with N and L proteins resulted in a significant enhancement of minigenome RNA replication. Coexpression of NSs protein with N and L proteins also enhanced minigenome mRNA transcription in the cells expressing viral-sense minigenome RNA transcripts. NSs protein expression increased the RNA replication of minigenomes that originated from S and L RNA segments. Enhancement of minigenome RNA synthesis by NSs protein occurred in cells lacking alpha/beta interferon (IFN-α/β) genes, indicating that the effect of NSs protein on minigenome RNA replication was unrelated to a putative NSs protein-induced inhibition of IFN-α/β production. Our finding that RVFV NSs protein augmented minigenome RNA synthesis was in sharp contrast to reports that Bunyamwera virus (genus Bunyavirus) NSs protein inhibits viral minigenome RNA synthesis, suggesting that RVFV NSs protein and Bunyamwera virus NSs protein have distinctly different biological roles in viral RNA synthesis. PMID:15827175

  8. Paleomagnetism and paleointensity of Mid-Continental Rift System basalts at Silver Mountain and Sturgeon River Falls (Upper Michigan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulakov, E.; Piispa, E. J.; Laird, M. S.; Smirnov, A. V.; Diehl, J. F.

    2009-12-01

    Paleomagnetic and paleointensity data from Precambrian rocks are of great importance for understanding the early geodynamo and tectonic evolution of the Earth. We will present results from a rock magnetic and paleomagnetic investigation of basaltic lava flow sequences at Silver Mountain and Sturgeon River Falls in Upper Michigan. While the Silver Mountain and Sturgeon River Falls lava flows have not been radiometrically dated, these rocks have been assigned to the Siemens Creek Volcanics, the lowermost member of ~1.1 Ga Powder Mill Group (PMG). The PMG represents one of the oldest volcanic units associated with the Mid-Continental Rift System (MCRS). We sampled 13 lava flows from the Silver Mountain and two lava flows from the Sturgeon River Falls exposures (a minimum of 15 cores per flow were taken). Paleomagnetic directions were determined from detailed thermal and/or alternating field demagnetization preceded by an initial low-temperature (liquid nitrogen) demagnetization. Most specimens revealed a single- or a two-component remanent magnetization. At both locations, the characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) has a reversed direction with very steep inclination similar to that found in other rocks representing the early stages of MCRS. Our magnetic hysteresis measurements, unblocking temperature spectra, and scanning electron microscopy analyses suggest low-Ti, pseudosingle-domain titanomagnetite as the principal magnetic carrier in these rocks. For paleointensity determinations, we applied the multispecimen parallel differential pTRM method. These data add to the Precambrian paleointensity database which otherwise remains limited because of alteration and other factors hampering the applicability of conventional Thellier double-heating method.

  9. Pristine Rhyolite Glass Melt Inclusions in Quartz Phenocrysts From the 1.1 Ga Midcontinent Rift System, Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Student, J. J.; Wark, D. A.; Mutchler, S. R.; Bodnar, R. J.

    2006-12-01

    Pristine rhyolite glass from the Proterozoic eon is rarely reported in the literature. Glass-bearing melt inclusions (MI) have been identified in quartz phenocrysts from rhyolite cobbles found in rift related conglomerates within the Portage Lake Volcanics (PLV) near Calumet, Michigan. The rhyolites represent an aspect of mantle plume related bi-modal magmatism that is contemporaneous with the 1.1 Ga Midcontinent Rift System (MRS). Previous studies classified felsic rocks from the PLV into two types, one that is similar to Icelandic rhyolites (Type I) and another similar to Cenozoic topaz rhyolites (Type II). The MRS rhyolite magmas are thought to have been at high temperatures (900-1100 °C) and low water contents prior to eruption. Low-grade burial metamorphism and hydrothermal alteration has affected some rocks in the region. The MI in this study have been categorized based on their phase assemblages and preservation history. Type 1 MI contain clear glass and a shrinkage bubble, Type 2 contain clear glass, a shrinkage bubble and 1 or more, coarser grained (> 3 um) crystals, and Type 3 MI are totally devitrified or otherwise breached. The MI range in size from 1 to over 200 um in diameter and have a negative hexagonal bi-pyramidal morphology. Major element oxide compositions (75.4-SiO2, 0.09-TiO2, 11.3-Al2O3, 2.2-FeO, 0.04- MnO, 0.06-MgO, 0.84-CaO, 5.9-K2O and 2.85-Na2O in wt %) determined by EPMA for Type 1 MI are similar to whole rock compositions reported for rhyolites in the MRS. The water contents of MI are low, as evidenced by the high totals (98.67 wt %) from the EPMA and the fact that a water peak was not observed during Raman analysis (indicating that the MI contain less than 1 wt % H2O). LA-ICPMS analysis for additional trace elements (Cu, Rb, Sr, Zr, Nb, Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Eu, Yb, Ta, Th and U) were preformed on both Type 1 and Type 2 MI. Discrimination based on Ba/Rb and Ba/Th indicate that the MI are most similar to the Type II rhyolites in the region

  10. InSAR observations of post-rifting deformation around the Dabbahu rift segment, Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamling, Ian J.; Wright, Tim J.; Calais, Eric; Lewi, Elias; Fukahata, Yukitoshi

    2014-04-01

    Increased displacement rates have been observed following manylarge earthquakes and magmatic events. Although an order of magnitude smaller than the displacements associated with the main event, the post-seismic or post-rifting deformation may continue for years to decades after the initial earthquake or dyke intrusion. Due to the rare occurrence of subaerial rifting events, there are very few observations to constrain models of post-rifting deformation. In 2005 September, a 60-km-long dyke was intruded along the Dabbahu segment of the Nubia-Arabia Plate boundary (Afar, Ethiopia), marking the beginning of an ongoing rifting episode. Continued activity has been monitored using satellite radar interferometry and data from global positioning system instruments deployed around the rift in response to the initial intrusion. Using multiple satellite passes, we are able to separate the rift perpendicular and vertical displacement fields around the Dabbahu segment. Rift perpendicular and vertical rates of up to 180 and 240 mm yr-1, respectively. Here, we show that models of viscoelastic relaxation alone are insufficient to reproduce the observed deformation field and that a large portion of the observed signal is related to the movement of magma within the rift segment. Our models suggest upper mantle viscosities of 1018-19 Pa s overlain by an elastic crust of between 15 and 30 km. To fit the observations, inflation and deflation of magma chambers in the centre of the rift and to the south east of the rift axis is required at rates of ˜0.13 and -0.08 km3 yr-1.

  11. Petrofabrics of olivine in a rift axis and rift shoulder and their implications for seismic anisotropy beneath the Rio Grande rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Munjae; Jung, Haemyeong; Kil, Youngwoo

    2015-04-01

    Mantle-derived xenoliths associated with continental rifting can provide important information about the mantle structure and the physicochemical properties of deformation processes in the upper mantle. Metasomatized spinel peridotites from Adam's Diggings (AD) at a rift shoulder and Elephant Butte (EB) at a rift axis in the Rio Grande rift (RGR) were investigated to understand the deformation processes and seismic anisotropy occurring in the upper mantle. As determined through analysis of the lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of olivine by using a scanning electron microscope equipped with electron backscatter diffraction (SEM/EBSD), AD peridotites exhibited C-type LPO of olivine indicating a dominant slip system of (100)[001] at the rift shoulder, whereas EB peridotites exhibited A-type LPO indicating a dominant slip system of (010)[100] at the rift axis. Both geochemical data and microstructural observations indicate that the localized mantle enrichment processes, including melts with hydrous fluids, controlled multiple mantle metasomatisms and deformation of rocks under wet conditions (with olivine C-type LPO) at the rift shoulder (AD), whereas mantle depletion by decompression partial melting caused deformation of rocks under dry conditions (with olivine A-type LPO) at the rift axis (EB). These observations provide evidence for localized hydration and physicochemical heterogeneity of the upper mantle in the Rio Grande rift (RGR) zone. Seismic anisotropy observed beneath this zone can be attributed to the transtensional rupture, such as inhomogeneous stretching, and the petrofabrics of olivine beneath the study area.

  12. Tectono-Sedimentary Analysis of Rift Basins: Insights from the Corinth Rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gawthorpe, Robert; Ford, Mary

    2015-04-01

    Existing models for the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins are strongly linked the growth and linkage of normal fault segments and localization of fault activity. Early stages of faulting (rift initiation phase) are characterized by distributed, short, low displacement fault segments, subdued fault-related topography and small depocentres within which sedimentation keeps pace with subsidence. Following linkage and displacement localization (rift climax phase), deformation if focused onto major, crustal-scale fault zones with kilometre-scale displacement. These major faults generate pronounced tilted fault-block topography, with subsidence rates that outpace sedimentation causing a pronounced change to deep-water deposition. Such models have been successful in helping to understand the gross structural and sedimentary evolution of rift basins, but recent work has suggested that pre-existing structures, normal fault interaction with pre-rift salt and antecedent drainage systems significantly alter this initiation-to-climax perspective of rift basin development. The E-W-striking, Pliocene-Pleistocene Corinth rift, central Greece, is an excellent natural laboratory for studying the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins due to its young age, excellent onshore exposure of syn-rift structure and stratigraphy and extensive offshore seismic data. The rift cuts across the NW-SE-striking Hellenide mountain belt and has migrated northward and westward during its evolution. The Hellenide mountain belt significantly influences topography and drainage in the west of the rift. High topography and large antecedent drainage systems, focused along palaeovalleys, provided high sediment flux to NE-flowing alluvial systems that overfilled early-rift depocentres. Further east, away from the main antecedent drainage networks, contemporaneous deposits comprise deep-lacustrine turbidite channel and lobe complexes and basinal marls. Thus the stratigraphic expression within

  13. Understanding African American Adolescents' Identity Development: A Relational Developmental Systems Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brittian, Aerika S.

    2012-01-01

    This article examines the development of African American adolescents' identity using a relational developmental systems theory framework, which led to the expectation that identity development is linked to both the reduction of risk behaviors and the promotion of African American adolescents' healthy development. Different personological theories…

  14. Unheard and Unseen: How Housing Insecure African American Adolescents Experience the Education System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Addie Lucille; Geller, Kathy D.

    2016-01-01

    This narrative study is based on stories told by African American adolescents experiencing homelessness. It offers insights into their lived experiences and describes the challenges faced in negotiating the urban education system. African American youth are disproportionately represented in the adolescent homeless demographic. "Unheard and…

  15. Indigenous African Knowledge Systems and Innovation in Higher Education in South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higgs, P.; Higgs, L. G.; Venter, E.

    2003-01-01

    The importance of innovation in higher education is recognised in South African educational discourse. The South African White Paper on Science and Technology, issued in September 1996 and entitled, "Preparing for the 21st Century", states that, "the White Paper is built upon the twin concepts of "innovation" and a "national system of innovation"…

  16. Controls on (anomalous) topography in rifted margin settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.

    2015-04-01

    Contrasting end members of volcanic and non-volcanic passive margin formation show a large variability in basin shape and structure, subsidence history, and associated topographic evolution of the onshore rifted margins. The large range of structural style and associated topography of these systems imply a strong variability in the underlying thermo-mechanical conditions at the time of rifting. Rift - passive margin styles ranging from narrow to ultra wide are explained using forward numerical models with varying rheological structure, with strong crust lithosphere leading to narrow rift formation associated with highly elevated rift shoulders and conversely weak crust lithosphere resulting in highly stretched wide rifted conjugate margins and little flank morphology. In some cases rifted margins appear to indicate the formation of anomalous post rift topography. A number of mechanisms including small-scale convective removal of the lower lithosphere, lithosphere counter-flow, and dynamic topography, have been invoked to explain the anomalous topography. Forward numerical models are used to predict the magnitude and characteristic topography associated with each of these mechanisms and to evaluate their potential for explaining these apparent anomalous characteristics of rifts and rifted margins.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  18. Indigenous Systems within the African-American Community

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marbley, Aretha Faye; Rouson, Leon

    2011-01-01

    For the African-American family, life ain't been no crystal stair. The African-American family has trotted for over 400 years through a wilderness of racism, poverty, discrimination of all kinds, crossing seas of monsters and forests of demons. Yet, despite the numerous obstacles and attacks that society has mounted against it since slavery, the…

  19. Oil exploration in nonmarine rift basins of interior Sudan

    SciTech Connect

    Schull, T.J.

    1984-04-01

    In early 1975 Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. commenced a major petroleum exploration effort in previously unexplored interior Sudan. With the complete cooperation of the Sudanese Government, Chevron has acquired a vast amount of geologic and geophysical data during the past 9 years. These data include extensive aeromagnetic and gravity surveys, 25,000 mi (40,200 km) of seismic data, and the results of 66 wells. This information has defined several large rift basins which are now recognized as a major part of the Central African rift system. The sedimentary basins of interior Sudan are characterized by thick Cretaceous and Tertiary nonmarine clastic sequences. Over 35,000 ft (10,600 m) of sediment have been deposited in the deepest trough, and extensive basinal areas are underlain by more than 20,000 ft (6100 m) of sediment. The depositional sequence includes thick lacustrine shales and claystones, flood plain claystones, and lacustrine, fluvial, and alluvial sandstones and conglomerates. Those lacustrine claystones which were deposited in an anoxic environment provide oil-prone source rocks. Reservoir sandstones have been found in a wide variety of nonmarine sandstone facies. The extensional tectonism which formed these basins began in the Early Cretaceous. Movement along major fault trends continued intermittently into the Miocene. This deformation resulted in a complex structural history which led to the formation of several deep fault-bounded troughs, major interbasin high trends, and complex basin flanks. This tectonism has created a wide variety of structures, many of which have become effective hydrocarbon traps.

  20. Using Lake Superior Parks to Present the Midcontinent Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Blavascunas, E.

    2014-12-01

    Some of the Midwest's most spectacular scenery occurs near Lake Superior, in places like Pictured Rocks and Apostle Islands National Lakeshores, Isle Royale National Park, Interstate Park, and Porcupine Mountains State Park. These landscapes provide an enormous, but underutilized opportunity for park interpreters and educators to explain some of the most exciting concepts of modern geology. A crucial aspect of doing this is recognizing that many of the rocks and landforms in individual parks are pieces of a huge regional structure. This structure, called the Midcontinent Rift System (MCRS), is a 1.1 billion year old 3000 km (2000 mile) long scar along which the North American continent started to tear apart, just as Africa is splitting today along the East African Rift, but for some reason failed to form a new ocean. Drawing on our experience as researchers and teachers studying the MCRS (Steins) and as an interpreter at Isle Royale National Park (Blavascunas), we seek to give interpreters a brief introduction to MCRS to help them present information about what geologists know already and what they are learning from continuing research. Our goal is to help interpreters visualize how what they see at a specific site fits into an exciting regional picture spanning much of the Midwest.

  1. Rift Valley Fever (RVF)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Outbreak resources, VHF information for specific groups, virus ecology, references... RVF Distribution Map Rift Valley Fever Transmission ... Outbreaks Outbreak Summaries RVF Distribution Map Resources Virus Ecology File Formats Help: How do I view different ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulte, Saskia M.; Mooney, Walter D.

    2005-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. The role of tephra studies in African paleoanthropology as exemplified by the Sidi Hakoma Tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Endale, Tamrat; White, Tim D.; Thouveny, Nicolas; Hart, William K.; Renne, Paul R.; Asfaw, Berhane

    2013-01-01

    Beginning in the 1960s, geological and paleoanthropological exploration of the Ethiopian rift system's basins have led to the discovery and assembly of the most comprehensive record of human biological and technological change during the last 6 million years. The hominid fossils, including partial skeletons, were primarily discovered in the Afar Rift, the Main Ethiopian Rift, and in the Omo Basin of the broadly rifted zone of SW Ethiopia. The paleoanthropological research areas within the SW Afar Rift that have yielded many diverse hominid species and the oldest stone tools are, from north to south, Woranso-Mille (aff. Ardipithecus and Au. afarensis), Hadar (Au. afarensis, Homo sp.), Dikika (Au. afarensis), Gona (Ar. kadabba, Ar. ramidus, H. erectus, and oldest stone tools), Middle Awash (Ar. kadabba, Ar. ramidus, Au. anamensis, Au. afarensis, Au. garhi, H. erectus, H. rhodesiensis, H. sapiens idaltu, and the oldest paleo-butchery locality), and Galili (Au. afarensis). Additional hominid remains were discovered at Melka Kunture on the banks of the Awash River near its source along the western margin of the central part of the Main Ethiopian Rift (H. erectus), at Konso (H. erectus and A. boisei), and at the southern end of the MER, and in the Omo Basin (Au. anamensis, Au. afarensis, Au. aethiopicus, Au. boisei, H. habilis, and H. erectus). Distal and sometimes proximal tephra units interbedded within fossilifeous sedimentary deposits have become key elements in this work by providing chronological and correlative control and depositional contexts. Several regional tephra markers have been identified within the northern half of the eastern African rift valley in Ethiopia and Kenya, and in marine sediments of the Gulf of Aden Rift and the NW Indian Ocean. Out of the many regional tephra stratigraphic markers that range in age from the early Pliocene (3.97 Ma) to the late Pleistocene (0.16 Ma), the Sidi Hakoma Tuff (SHT) has been more widely identified and thoroughly

  5. Volatiles and subduction-recycled lithologies in the petrogenesis of Cenozoic alkaline magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aviado, K.; Rilling-Hall, S.; Mukasa, S. B.; Bryce, J. G.; Fahnestock, M. F.

    2015-12-01

    In the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS), the failure of both passive and active models of decompression melting to explain unusually voluminous Cenozoic volcanism has prompted debate about the roles of thermal plume-related melting and ancient subduction-related flux melting. The latter is supported by ~500 Ma of subduction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana[1], a process capable of generating easily fusible, volatile-rich lithologies and producing the broad seismic low-velocity anomaly imaged beneath the Southern Ocean[2]. We present new geochemical information from submarine lavas in the Ross Sea and subaerial lavas from Franklin Island, Beaufort Island, and Mt. Melbourne in Northern Victoria Land (NVL) supportive of an evolving fluxed mantle source. Lavas exhibit ocean island basalt (OIB)-like trace element signatures and isotopic affinities for the C/FOZO mantle endmember consistent with subduction processing of recycled ocean lithosphere. Lava major-oxide compositions suggest multiple recycled source components, including pyroxenite (associated with older lavas), amphibole-rich metasomes, and volatilized peridotite (associated with the youngest lavas). In-situ analyses of olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MIs) from a subset of host lavas confirm high H2O and CO2 ranging up to 2.94 wt % and 4657 ppm, respectively. MIs exhibit OIB-like trace element compositions and Ba/Rb and Rb/Sr consistent with melting in the presence of hydrated, amphibole-bearing lithosphere[3,4]. We interpret these observations as evidence that ongoing tectonomagmatic activity in the WARS is facilitated by melting of subduction-modified mantle generated by 550 - 100 Ma Gondwana subduction. Following radiogenic ingrowth in high-µ (U/Pb) domains, Cenozoic extension triggered decompression melting of easily fusible, hydrated metasomes and volatilized mantle. This multistage magma model attempts to reconcile geochemical observations with increasing geophysical evidence that the seismic

  6. Young rift kinematics in the Tadjoura rift, western Gulf of Aden, Republic of Djibouti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daoud, Mohamed A.; Le Gall, Bernard; Maury, René C.; Rolet, JoëL.; Huchon, Philippe; Guillou, Hervé

    2011-02-01

    The Tadjoura rift forms the westernmost edge of the westerly propagating Sheba ridge, between Arabia and Somalia, as it enters into the Afar depression. From structural and remote sensing data sets, the Tadjoura rift is interpreted as an asymmetrical south facing half-graben, about 40 km wide, dominated by a large boundary fault zone to the north. It is partially filled up by the 1-3 Myr old Gulf Basalts which onlapped the older Somali Basalts along its shallower southern flexural margin. The major and trace element analysis of 78 young onshore lavas allows us to distinguish and map four distinct basaltic types, namely the Gulf, Somali, Goumarre, and Hayyabley Basalts. These results, together with radiometric age data, lead us to propose a revised volcano-stratigraphic sketch of the two exposed Tadjoura rift margins and to discriminate and date several distinct fault networks of this oblique rift. Morphological and statistical analyses of onshore extensional fault populations show marked changes in structural styles along-strike, in a direction parallel to the rift axis. These major fault disturbances are assigned to the arrest of axial fault tip propagation against preexisting discontinuities in the NS-oriented Arta transverse zone. According to our model, the sinistral jump of rifting into the Asal-Ghoubbet rift segment results from structural inheritance, in contrast with the en échelon or transform mechanism of propagation that prevailed along the entire length of the Gulf of Aden extensional system.

  7. Deformation, annealing, reactive melt percolation, and seismic anisotropy in the lithospheric mantle beneath the southeastern Ethiopian rift: Constraints from mantle xenoliths from Mega

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tommasi, Andréa; Baptiste, Virginie; Vauchez, Alain; Holtzman, Benjamin

    2016-07-01

    We explore the relations between deformation, annealing, and melt percolation during rifting and the effect of these processes on seismic anisotropy by analyzing the microstructures and crystal preferred orientations (CPO) in a suite of mantle xenoliths from Mega, in the southern end of the Ethiopian rift. Previous geochemical studies on these xenoliths showed evidence for interactions with variable melt types and volumes during the rifting process. The peridotites have dominantly coarse-porphyroclastic microstructures, but coarse granular or partially recrystallized microstructures also occur. The olivine CPO, characterized by orthorhombic to fiber-[100] patterns and moderate intensities, the common occurrence of (100) tilt walls, and the predominance of <0vw> rotation axes accommodating low angle misorientations in olivine support deformation by dislocation creep with dominant activation of the [100](010) system. Annealing (static recrystallization) of variable intensity followed this deformation. Modal enrichment in pyroxenes in > 60% of the studied peridotites corroborates extensive, but spatially heterogeneous reactive melt percolation leading to refertilization of the lithospheric mantle beneath the southern Ethiopian rift. The common interstitial shapes of the pyroxenes and lack of correlation between the pyroxenes and the olivine CPOs in many samples suggest that part of the refertilization is post-kinematic. However, there is no simple relation between reactive melt percolation and annealing of the olivine deformation microstructure. Comparison with data from other xenolith localities points to changes in the metasomatic imprint in the lithospheric mantle along the East African rift system correlated with the evolution in the rift maturity. Seismic properties averaged over all samples show typical lithospheric mantle patterns with fast propagation of P- and polarization of the fast S-waves parallel to the lineation. The anisotropy is moderate (< 6% for P

  8. Regional view of a Trans-African Drainage System

    PubMed Central

    Abdelkareem, Mohamed; El-Baz, Farouk

    2014-01-01

    Despite the arid to hyperarid climate of the Great Sahara of North Africa, pluvial climates dominated the region. Radar data shed some light on the postulated Trans-African Drainage System and its relationship to active and inactive tributaries of the Nile basin. Interpretations of recent elevation data confirm a source of the river water from the Red Sea highlands did not connect the Atlantic Ocean across Tushka basin, highlands of Uwinate and Darfur, and Chad basin, but northward to the ancestral Nile Delta. Elements of topography and climate were considered. They show that the former segments of the Nile closely mirror present-day tributaries of the Nile basin in drainage geometry, landscape, and climate. A rainfall data interpolation scenario revealed that this basin received concurrent runoff from both flanks such as Gabgaba-Allaqi to the east and Tushka basin to the west, similar to present-day Sobat and White Nile tributaries, respectively. Overall the western tributaries such as those of Tushka basin and Howar lead to the Nile, which was (and still is) the biggest river system in Africa. PMID:26257941

  9. Regional view of a Trans-African Drainage System.

    PubMed

    Abdelkareem, Mohamed; El-Baz, Farouk

    2015-05-01

    Despite the arid to hyperarid climate of the Great Sahara of North Africa, pluvial climates dominated the region. Radar data shed some light on the postulated Trans-African Drainage System and its relationship to active and inactive tributaries of the Nile basin. Interpretations of recent elevation data confirm a source of the river water from the Red Sea highlands did not connect the Atlantic Ocean across Tushka basin, highlands of Uwinate and Darfur, and Chad basin, but northward to the ancestral Nile Delta. Elements of topography and climate were considered. They show that the former segments of the Nile closely mirror present-day tributaries of the Nile basin in drainage geometry, landscape, and climate. A rainfall data interpolation scenario revealed that this basin received concurrent runoff from both flanks such as Gabgaba-Allaqi to the east and Tushka basin to the west, similar to present-day Sobat and White Nile tributaries, respectively. Overall the western tributaries such as those of Tushka basin and Howar lead to the Nile, which was (and still is) the biggest river system in Africa. PMID:26257941

  10. Kantis: A new Australopithecus site on the shoulders of the Rift Valley near Nairobi, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mbua, Emma; Kusaka, Soichiro; Kunimatsu, Yutaka; Geraads, Denis; Sawada, Yoshihiro; Brown, Francis H; Sakai, Tetsuya; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Saneyoshi, Mototaka; Omuombo, Christine; Muteti, Samuel; Hirata, Takafumi; Hayashida, Akira; Iwano, Hideki; Danhara, Tohru; Bobe, René; Jicha, Brian; Nakatsukasa, Masato

    2016-05-01

    Most Plio-Pleistocene sites in the Gregory Rift Valley that have yielded abundant fossil hominins lie on the Rift Valley floor. Here we report a new Pliocene site, Kantis, on the shoulder of the Gregory Rift Valley, which extends the geographical range of Australopithecus afarensis to the highlands of Kenya. This species, known from sites in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and possibly Kenya, is believed to be adapted to a wide spectrum of habitats, from open grassland to woodland. The Kantis fauna is generally similar to that reported from other contemporaneous A. afarensis sites on the Rift Valley floor. However, its faunal composition and stable carbon isotopic data from dental enamel suggest a stronger C4 environment than that present at those sites. Although the Gregory Rift Valley has been the focus of paleontologists' attention for many years, surveys of the Rift shoulder may provide new perspective on African Pliocene mammal and hominin evolution. PMID:27178456

  11. Submarine and subaerial lavas in the West Antarctic Rift System: Temporal record of shifting magma source components from the lithosphere and asthenosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aviado, Kimberly B.; Rilling-Hall, Sarah; Bryce, Julia G.; Mukasa, Samuel B.

    2015-12-01

    The petrogenesis of Cenozoic alkaline magmas in the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) remains controversial, with competing models highlighting the roles of decompression melting due to passive rifting, active plume upwelling in the asthenosphere, and flux melting of a lithospheric mantle metasomatized by subduction. In this study, seamounts sampled in the Terror Rift region of the Ross Sea provide the first geochemical information from submarine lavas in the Ross Embayment in order to evaluate melting models. Together with subaerial samples from Franklin Island, Beaufort Island, and Mt. Melbourne in Northern Victoria Land (NVL), these Ross Sea lavas exhibit ocean island basalt (OIB)-like trace element signatures and isotopic affinities for the C or FOZO mantle endmember. Major-oxide compositions are consistent with the presence of multiple recycled lithologies in the mantle source region(s), including pyroxenite and volatile-rich lithologies such as amphibole-bearing, metasomatized peridotite. We interpret these observations as evidence that ongoing tectonomagmatic activity in the WARS is facilitated by melting of subduction-modified mantle generated during 550-100 Ma subduction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana. Following ingrowth of radiogenic daughter isotopes in high-µ (U/Pb) domains, Cenozoic extension triggered decompression melting of easily fusible, hydrated metasomes. This multistage magma generation model attempts to reconcile geochemical observations with increasing geophysical evidence that the broad seismic low-velocity anomaly imaged beneath West Antarctica and most of the Southern Ocean may be in part a compositional structure inherited from previous active margin tectonics.

  12. An integrated geophysical study of the northern Kenya rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariita, Nicolas O.; Keller, G. Randy

    2007-06-01

    The Kenyan part of the East African rift is among the most studied rift zones in the world. It is characterized by: (1) a classic rift valley, (2) sheer escarpments along the faulted borders of the rift valley, (3) voluminous volcanics that flowed from faults and fissures along the rift, and (4) axial and flank volcanoes where magma flow was most intense. In northern Kenya, the rift faults formed in an area where the lithosphere was weakened and stretched by Cretaceous-Paleogene extension, and in central and southern Kenya, it formed along old zones of weakness at the contact between the Archean Tanzania craton and the Proterozoic Mozambique orogenic belt. Recent geophysical investigations focused on the tectonic evolution of the East African rift and on exploration for geothermal energy in the southern portion of the Kenyan rift provide considerable information and insight on the structure and evolution of the lithosphere. In the north, a variety of other data exist. However, the lack of an integrated regional analysis of these data was the motivation for this study. Our study began with the collection and compilation of gravity data, and then we used the seismic refraction results from the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP), published seismic reflection data, aeromagnetic data, and geologic and drilling data as constraints in the construction of integrated gravity models. These models and gravity anomaly maps provide insight on spatial variations in crustal thickness and upper mantle structure. In addition, they show the distribution of basins and help characterize the distribution of magmatism along the axis of the northern sector of the rift. Our main observations are the following: (1) the region of thinning and anomalous mantle widens northward in agreement with previous studies showing that the crust thins from about 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; (2) as observed in the south, gravity highs observed along the axis are due to mafic

  13. Petrogenesis of the Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide-bearing Tamarack Intrusive Complex, Midcontinent Rift System, Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taranovic, Valentina; Ripley, Edward M.; Li, Chusi; Rossell, Dean

    2015-01-01

    The Tamarack Intrusive Complex (TIC, 1105.6 ± 1.2 Ma) in NE Minnesota, was emplaced during the early stages of the development of the Midcontinent Rift System (MRS, "Early Stage": 1110-1106 Ma). Country rocks of the TIC are those of the Paleoproterozoic Thomson Formation, part of the Animikie Group including sulfide-bearing metasedimentary black shale. The magmatic system is composed of at least two principal mafic-ultramafic intrusive sequences: the sulfide-barren Bowl Intrusion in the south and the "dike" area intrusions in the north which host Ni-Cu-Platinum Group Elements (PGE) mineralization with up to 2.33% Ni, 1.24% Cu, 0.34 g/t Pt, 0.23 g/t Pd and 0.18 g/t Au. Two distinct intrusive units in the "dike" area are the CGO (coarse-grained olivine-bearing) Intrusion, a sub-vertical dike-like body, and the overlying sub-horizontal FGO (fine-grained olivine-bearing) Intrusion. Both intrusions comprise peridotite, feldspathic peridotite, feldspathic pyroxenite, melatroctolite and melagabbro. Massive sulfides are volumetrically minor and mainly occur as lenses emplaced into the country rocks associated with both intrusions. Semi-massive (net-textured) sulfides are distributed at the core of the CGO Intrusion, surrounded by a halo of the disseminated sulfides. Disseminated sulfides also occur in lenses along the base of the FGO Intrusion. Olivine compositions in the CGO Intrusion are between Fo89 and Fo82 and in the FGO Intrusion from Fo84 to Fo82. TIC intrusions have more primitive olivine compositions than that of olivine in the sheet-like intrusions in the Duluth Complex (below Fo70), as well as olivine from the smaller, conduit-related, Eagle and East Eagle Intrusions in Northern Michigan (Fo86 to Fo75). The FeO/MgO ratios of the CGO and FGO Intrusion parental magmas, inferred from olivine compositions, are similar to those of picritic basalts erupted during the early stages of the MRS formation. Trace element ratios differ slightly from other intrusions in the

  14. New data on seismic wave attenuation in the lithosphere and upper mantle of the northeastern flank of the Baikal rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrynina, A. A.; Sankov, V. A.; Chechelnitsky, V. V.

    2016-05-01

    The investigation data on seismic wave attenuation in the lithosphere and upper mantle of the northeastern flank of the Baikal rift system obtained with a seismic coda envelope and sliding window are considered. Eleven local districts were described by one-dimensional attenuation models characterized by alternation of high and low attenuation layers, which are consistent with the results obtained previously by Yu.F. Kopnichev for the southwestern flank of the Baikal rift system [9]. The subcrust of the lithosphere contains a thin layer with high attenuation of seismic waves likely related to higher heterogeneity (fragmentation) and occurrence of fluids. The lithosphere basement depth varies from 100-120 km in the west within the Baikal folded area to 120-140 km in the east within the Siberian Platform. It is concluded that there are two asthenosphere layers. Based on specific features of the lithosphere and upper mantle structure, it can be assumed that they were subject to gradual modification involving fluidization processes and partial melting in the Late Cenozoic extension under the influence of distant tectogenesis sources.

  15. Continental rifting: a planetary perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Muehlberger, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    The only inner planet that has abundant evidence of regional extension, and the consequent generation of rifts in the earth. The absence of plate motion on the other inner planets limits their rifts to localized bulges or subsidence areas. The rifting of oceanic lithosphere is seldom preserved in the geological record. Thus, such rifting must be inferred via plate tectonic interpretation: if there is rifting, then there must be subduction whose results are commonly well preserved. Modern continental rifts are found in many tectonic settings: continental breakup, extension transverse to collisional stresses, or wide regions of nearly uniform extension. Recognition of these settings in older rocks becomes more difficult the farther back in geologic time you travel. Rift basin fillings typically show rapid lateral and vertical facies and thickness changes, bimodal volcanism, and distinctive rift-drift sequences. Proterozoic rifts and aulacogens are well-documented in North America; ex. Keweenawan, western margin of Labrador fold belt, Belt-Uinta and the Wopmay-Athapuscow regions. Documented Archean rifts are rare. In Quebec, the truncated margin of the Minto craton bounded on the south by a 2.8 Ga greenstone belt implies an earlier rift event. The oldest proposed rift dated at 3.0 Ga contains the Pongola Supergroup in southeastern Africa. The presence of Archean dikes demonstrates a rigid crust and andesites as old as 3.5 Ga imply plate tectonics and thus, at least, oceanic rifting.

  16. Mapping Precambrian Basement Fabric with Magnetic Data in the Karonga Basin Area and its Control on the Development of the Malawi Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, T.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Atekwana, E. A.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Clappe, B.; Laó-Dávila, D. A.; Dawson, S.; Hull, C. D.; Nyalugwe, V.; Salima, J.

    2015-12-01

    The Malawi Rift forms the southern termination of the western branch of the East African Rift System. It is suggested that it propagates from the Rungwe Volcanic Province in the north for ~700 km into Mozambique in the south. The northern portion of the Malawi Rift is dominated by the Mesoproterozoic basement rocks of the Ubendian-Usagaran belts to the north and west and the Irumide Belt in the south. The Mugese shear zone (MSZ) forms the boundary between the Ubendian-Usagaran and Irumide Belts. We used magnetic data to determine the relationship between the geology of the nascent Malawi Rift and the strong magnetic fabric observed in the Mugese shear zone from aeromagnetic maps. We integrated the aeromagnetic data with ground magnetic data acquired along two W-E transects using a cesium vapor magnetometer at a nominal station spacing of 500 m. We also acquired kinematic data (strike and dip) on exposed basement geology and Karoo sediments. Both transects extend from the uplifted basement areas cutting across the MSZ into the rift floor sediments. Our results show that the MSZ is characterized by a prominent WNW-ESE magnetic anomaly that is parallel to the basement fabric north of the town of Karonga but changes orientation to NNW-SSE south of Karonga. This shear zone is composed of gneisses in amphibolite to granulite facies that are steeply dipping (50-80°) to the west. The strong magnetization and magnetic lineation of the MSZ results from alternating light and dark colored gneissic bands. This magnetization is strongest in unweathered basement rocks and lowest in weathered basement rocks and Karoo sediments. The orientation of the strong magnetic fabric of the Mugese shear zone may play an important role on the accommodation of strain within the rift basin. Detailed mapping of the magnetic fabric can improve our understanding of the formation of faults in the nascent Malawi Rift.

  17. Inheritance and refertilization of Upper Mantle rocks in Alpine type orogens and rift systems: what and why

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muntener, O.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle peridotites and their serpentinized counterparts from ocean-continent transition zones (OCT's) and (ultra-) slow spreading ridges question a series of 'common beliefs' that have been applied to understand Alpine-type collisional orogens in the framework of the ophiolite concept. I will show that inherited mantle signatures play a key role for the interpretation of ophiolites, and similar processes are relevant for present-day passive margins. Field data and petrology demonstrates that ancient, thermally undisturbed, pyroxenite-veined subcontinental mantle formed parts of the ocean floor next to thinned continental crust. These heterogeneities might comprise an ancient subduction component. Mantle upwelling and decompression melting during rifting forms partial melts that enter a thick conductive lithospheric mantle and inevitably leads to freezing of the melt and refertilization of the lithospheric mantle. Mafic bodies (gabbros, basalts) are small and discontinous. The abundance of plagioclase peridotites in the Alpine ophiolites and elswhere along rifted margins are interpreted as recorders of refertilization processes related to thinning and exhumation of mantle lithosphere. Similar features are found (ultra-) slow spreading ridges. Another important result is the discovery of extremely refractory Nd-isotopic compositions with highly radiogenic 147Sm/144Nd, which indicates that partial melting processes and Jurassic magmatism in the Western Tethys are locally decoupled. Although the isotopic variability along ridges is generally explained by mantle heterogeneities such as pyroxenites, an alternative is that these depleted domains represent snapshots of melting processes that are related to Permian and/or even older crust forming processes, and during the most recent decompression they were unffected by (further) melting. Similarly, refractory rocks from rifted margins and (ultra-) slow spreading ridges have been interpreted to represent ancient melting

  18. Upper Devonian depositional system of Bel'kov Island (New Siberian Islands): An intracontinental rift or a continental margin?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danukalova, M. K.; Kuzmichev, A. B.; Aristov, V. A.

    2014-09-01

    The archipelago of New Siberian Islands situated on the northeastern continental shelf of Eurasia is considered a part of an exotic terrane that collided with Siberia in the Early Cretaceous. Bel'kov Island is located close to the inferred western boundary of this terrane and thus should demonstrate attributes of its localization at the margin of the Paleozoic oceanic basin. The Upper Devonian section on Bel'kov Island is a continuous sequence of deepwater terrigenous rocks, which indicates a tendency toward deepening of the basin previously revealed on adjacent Kotel'ny Island. The lowermost Upper Devonian unit on Bel'kov Island is represented by thin Domanik-like strata resting on the Middle Devonian carbonate platform. The main body of the Upper Devonian sequence, more than 4 km in total thickness, is made up of gravity-flow sediments including turbidites, clay and block diamictites, and olistostromes in the upper part of the section, which accumulated at the slope of the basin or its rise. At many levels, these sediments have been redeposited by along-slope currents. The uppermost unit of organogenic limestone is evidence for compensation of the trough. According to conodont assemblages, the deepwater terrigenous rocks were deposited from the early Frasnian to the early Tournaisian. This time is known for extensive rifting in the eastern Siberian Platform. The data obtained allowed us to reconstruct a NNW-trending Late Devonian rift basin on the Laptev Sea shelf similar to other rifts at the eastern margin of the Siberian Platform.

  19. Assessing Nutritional Diversity of Cropping Systems in African Villages

    PubMed Central

    DeClerck, Fabrice; Diru, Willy; Fanzo, Jessica; Gaynor, Kaitlyn; Lambrecht, Isabel; Mudiope, Joseph; Mutuo, Patrick K.; Nkhoma, Phelire; Siriri, David; Sullivan, Clare; Palm, Cheryl A.

    2011-01-01

    Background In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children under five years in age are chronically undernourished. As new investments and attention galvanize action on African agriculture to reduce hunger, there is an urgent need for metrics that monitor agricultural progress beyond calories produced per capita and address nutritional diversity essential for human health. In this study we demonstrate how an ecological tool, functional diversity (FD), has potential to address this need and provide new insights on nutritional diversity of cropping systems in rural Africa. Methods and Findings Data on edible plant species diversity, food security and diet diversity were collected for 170 farms in three rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nutritional FD metrics were calculated based on farm species composition and species nutritional composition. Iron and vitamin A deficiency were determined from blood samples of 90 adult women. Nutritional FD metrics summarized the diversity of nutrients provided by the farm and showed variability between farms and villages. Regression of nutritional FD against species richness and expected FD enabled identification of key species that add nutrient diversity to the system and assessed the degree of redundancy for nutrient traits. Nutritional FD analysis demonstrated that depending on the original composition of species on farm or village, adding or removing individual species can have radically different outcomes for nutritional diversity. While correlations between nutritional FD, food and nutrition indicators were not significant at household level, associations between these variables were observed at village level. Conclusion This study provides novel metrics to address nutritional diversity in farming systems and examples of how these metrics can help guide agricultural interventions towards adequate nutrient diversity. New hypotheses on the link between agro-diversity, food security and human nutrition are generated and strategies for

  20. Reducing uncertainty in nitrogen budgets for African livestock systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rufino, M. C.; Brandt, P.; Herrero, M.; Butterbach-Bahl, K.

    2014-10-01

    Livestock is poorly represented in N budgets for the African continent although some studies have examined livestock-related N flows at different levels. Livestock plays an important role in N cycling and therefore on N budgets including livestock-related flows. This study reviews the literature on N budgets for Africa to identify factors contributing to uncertainties. Livestock densities are usually modelled because of the lack of observational spatial data. Even though feed availability and quality varies across seasons, most studies use constant livestock excretion rates, and excreta are usually assumed to be uniformly distributed onto the land. Major uncertainties originate in the fraction of manure managed, and emission factors which may not reflect the situation of Africa. N budgets use coarse assumptions on production, availability, and use of crop residues as livestock feed. No flows between croplands-livestock and rangelands reflect the lack of data. Joint efforts are needed for spatial data collection of livestock data, crowdsourcing appears to be a promising option. The focus of the assessment of N budgets must go beyond croplands to include livestock and crop-livestock flows. We propose a nested systems definition of livestock systems to link local, regional level, and continental level and to increase the usefulness of point measurements of N losses. Scientists working at all levels should generate data to calibrate process-based models. Measurements in the field should not only concentrate on greenhouse gas emissions, but need to include crop and livestock production measurements, soil stock changes and other N loss pathways such as leaching, run-off and volatilization to assess management practices and trade-offs. Compared to the research done in other continents on N flows in livestock systems, there are few data for Africa, and therefore concerted effort will be needed to generate sufficient data for modelling.

  1. Antecedent rivers and early rifting: a case study from the Plio-Pleistocene Corinth rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemelsdaël, Romain; Ford, Mary; Malartre, Fabrice

    2016-04-01

    Models of early rifting present syn-rift sedimentation as the direct response to the development of normal fault systems where footwall-derived drainage supplies alluvial to lacustrine sediments into hangingwall depocentres. These models often include antecedent rivers, diverted into active depocentres and with little impact on facies distributions. However, antecedent rivers can supply a high volume of sediment from the onset of rifting. What are the interactions between major antecedent rivers and a growing normal fault system? What are the implications for alluvial stratigraphy and facies distributions in early rifts? These questions are investigated by studying a Plio-Pleistocene fluvial succession on the southern margin of the Corinth rift (Greece). In the northern Peloponnese, early syn-rift deposits are preserved in a series of uplifted E-W normal fault blocks (10-15 km long, 3-7 km wide). Detailed sedimentary logging and high resolution mapping of the syn-rift succession (400 to 1300 m thick) define the architecture of the early rift alluvial system. Magnetostratigraphy and biostratigraphic markers are used to date and correlate the fluvial succession within and between fault blocks. The age of the succession is between 4.0 and 1.8 Ma. We present a new tectonostratigraphic model for early rift basins based on our reconstructions. The early rift depositional system was established across a series of narrow normal fault blocks. Palaeocurrent data show that the alluvial basin was supplied by one major sediment entry point. A low sinuosity braided river system flowed over 15 to 30 km to the NE. Facies evolved downstream from coarse conglomerates to fined-grained fluvial deposits. Other minor sediment entry points supply linked and isolated depocentres. The main river system terminated eastward where it built stacked small deltas into a shallow lake (5 to 15 m deep) that occupied the central Corinth rift. The main fluvial axis remained constant and controlled

  2. African oil plays

    SciTech Connect

    Clifford, A.J. )

    1989-09-01

    The vast continent of Africa hosts over eight sedimentary basins, covering approximately half its total area. Of these basins, only 82% have entered a mature exploration phase, 9% have had little or no exploration at all. Since oil was first discovered in Africa during the mid-1950s, old play concepts continue to bear fruit, for example in Egypt and Nigeria, while new play concepts promise to become more important, such as in Algeria, Angola, Chad, Egypt, Gabon, and Sudan. The most exciting developments of recent years in African oil exploration are: (1) the Gamba/Dentale play, onshore Gabon; (2) the Pinda play, offshore Angola; (3) the Lucula/Toca play, offshore Cabinda; (4) the Metlaoui play, offshore Libya/Tunisia; (5) the mid-Cretaceous sand play, Chad/Sudan; and (6) the TAG-I/F6 play, onshore Algeria. Examples of these plays are illustrated along with some of the more traditional oil plays. Where are the future oil plays likely to develop No doubt, the Saharan basins of Algeria and Libya will feature strongly, also the presalt of Equatorial West Africa, the Central African Rift System and, more speculatively, offshore Ethiopia and Namibia, and onshore Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

  3. Structural and stratigraphic evolution of the Anza rift, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William; Morley, Chris K.

    1994-09-01

    The Anza rift is a large, multi-phase continental rift basin that links the Lamu embayment of southern Kenya with the South Sudan rifts. Extension and deposition of syn-rift sediments are known to have commenced by the Neocomian. Aptian-Albian strata have, thus far, not been encountered during limited drilling campaigns and, in at least one well, are replaced by a significant unconformity. Widespread rifting occurred during the Cenomanian to Maastrichtian, and continued into the Early Tertiary. Marine waters appear to have reached the central Anza rift in the Cenomanian, and a second marine incursion may have occurred during the Campanian. As no wells have yet reached basement in the basinal deeps, the possibility exists that the Anza rift may have initiated in the Late Jurassic, in conjunction with extension to the south in the Lamu embayment and to the north in the Blue Nile rift of Sudan. Structural and stratigraphic evolution in the Anza rift followed a pattern that has now been inferred in several rift settings. Early phases of extension were accommodated by moderately dipping faults that produced large stratal rotations. Sedimentary environments were dominantly fluvial, with associated small lakes and dune fields. Volcanic activity is documented for the early Neocomian, but its extent is unknown. This initial style of deformation and sedimentation may have continued through several of the earliest pulses of rifting. By the Late Cretaceous, a new system of steeply dipping faults was established, that produced a deep basin without significant rotation of strata in the north, and only minor rotation in the south. This basin geometry favored the establishment of large, deep lakes, which occasionally were connected to the sea. The older basins were partly cannibalized during the sedimentary in-filling of these successor basins. Early Senonian volcanism was encountered in one well, and reflection seismic evidence suggests that one or more thick, regionally

  4. Exploring the contrasts between fast and slow rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Jason P.; de Monserrat, Albert; White, Lloyd; Hall, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Researchers are now finding that extension sometimes occurs at rates much faster than the mean rates observed in the development of passive margins. Examples of rapid and ultra-rapid extension are found in several locations in Eastern Indonesia. This includes in northern and central Sulawesi as well as in eastern- and westernmost New Guinea. The periods of extension are associated with sedimentary basin growth as well as phases of crustal melting and rapid uplift. This is recorded through seismic imagery of basins offshore Sulawesi and New Guinea as well as through new field studies of the onshore geology in these regions. A growing body of new geochronological and biostratigraphic data provide some control on the rates of processes, indicating that rates of extension are typically at least twice as fast and potentially an order of magnitude faster than the fastest rates applied for more commonly studied rift settings (e.g. Atlantic opening, East African Rift, Australia-Antarctica opening). Here we explore a suite of experiments more appropriate for rifting episodes in Eastern Indonesia, and compare the evolution of these 'fast' (20-100 mm/year full rate) rifting models to experiments with the same crustal geometries rifting at ~5-20 mm/year. In particular, we explore to what depths hot lower crust and mantle can be exhumed by fast rifting, and whether we can produce the p-T-t paths implied by recent onshore geological studies.

  5. Geochemistry of hypabyssal rocks of the Midcontinent Rift system in Minnesota, and implications for a Keweenawan magmatic ``family tree``

    SciTech Connect

    Jerde, E.A.

    1998-11-01

    The hypabyssal rocks associated with the Keweenawan (1.1 Ga) Midcontinent Rift along the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior are a distinct suite within the rock associations of this region. These rocks are found predominantly as ophitic diabase dikes and sills of various sizes, ranging from a few meters to several hundred meters across. Chilled margins were sampled and analyzed by neutron activation analysis and microprobe fused-bead techniques for bulk chemistry. Mineral compositions were obtained by electron microprobe. Variations in composition were found that are consistent with fractionation. Major-element modeling of fractionation indicates that the majority of the hypabyssal rocks formed at moderate pressures ({approximately}6 kbar), although a number show evidence of fractionation at near-surface levels, and some deeper ({approximately}10 kbar). Resorption features seen in plagioclase phenocrysts are evidence for magmatic evolution at varying levels in the crust. It is possible to relate the varied hypabyssal rocks to a single primary parent through polybaric fractionation. This parent is a high-Al primitive olivine tholeiite--a magma composition common among the volcanic rocks associated with the Midcontinent Rift. Trace-element modeling with this same parent composition yields results consistent with the formation of some hypabyssal rocks as products of a periodically tapped and replenished, constantly fractionating magma chamber, which can decouple the behavior of major and trace elements.

  6. Torque exerted on the side of crustal blocks controls the kinematics of Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muluneh, Ameha A.; Kidane, Tesfaye; Cuffaro, Marco; Doglioni, Carlo

    2016-04-01

    Plate tectonic stress at active plate boundary can arises from 1) a torque applied on the side of lithospheric blocks and 2) a torque at the base of the lithosphere due to the flow of the underlying mantle. In this paper we use a simple force balance analysis to compare side and basal shear stresses and their contribution in driving kinematics and deformation in the Ethiopian Rift (ER), in the northern part of the East African Rift System (EARS). Assuming the constraints of the ER given by the dimension of the lithospheric blocks, the strain rate, the viscosity of the low velocity zone (LVZ) and the depth of the brittle-ductile transition zone, the lateral torque is several orders of magnitude higher than the basal torque. The minor contribution of basal torque might be due to low viscosity in the LVZ. Both Africa and Somalia plates are moving to the "west" relative to the mantle and there are not slabs that can justify this pull and consequent motion. Therefore, we invoke that westerly oriented tidal torque on Africa and Somalia plates in providing the necessary side torque in the region. This plate motion predicts significant sinistral transtension along the ER and rift parallel strike-slip faulting similar to the estimated angular velocity vector for tectonic blocks and GPS observations. Vertical axis block rotations are observed in areas where the lithospheric mantle is removed and strain is widely distributed.

  7. The Impact of the Geologic History and Paleoclimate on the Diversification of East African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Danley, Patrick D.; Husemann, Martin; Ding, Baoqing; DiPietro, Lyndsay M.; Beverly, Emily J.; Peppe, Daniel J.

    2012-01-01

    The cichlid fishes of the East African Great Lakes are the largest extant vertebrate radiation identified to date. These lakes and their surrounding waters support over 2,000 species of cichlid fish, many of which are descended from a single common ancestor within the past 10 Ma. The extraordinary East African cichlid diversity is intricately linked to the highly variable geologic and paleoclimatic history of this region. Greater than 10 Ma, the western arm of the East African rift system began to separate, thereby creating a series of rift basins that would come to contain several water bodies, including the extremely deep Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi. Uplifting associated with this rifting backponded many rivers and created the extremely large, but shallow Lake Victoria. Since their creation, the size, shape, and existence of these lakes have changed dramatically which has, in turn, significantly influenced the evolutionary history of the lakes' cichlids. This paper reviews the geologic history and paleoclimate of the East African Great Lakes and the impact of these forces on the region's endemic cichlid flocks. PMID:22888465

  8. Understanding African American Adolescents’ Identity Development: A Relational Developmental Systems Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Brittian, Aerika S.

    2012-01-01

    This article examines the development of African American adolescents’ identity using a relational developmental systems theory framework, which led to the expectation that identity development is linked to both the reduction of risk behaviors and the promotion of African American adolescents’ healthy development. Different personological theories of identity development were discussed, including Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development and Marcia’s theory of identity statuses. Developmental systems theory was used to further the literature on African American adolescents’ identity development, by integrating various views of identity development as they pertain to these youth. Furthermore, the formation of many aspects of identity may be an important coping and resilience process for such youth. In addition, directions for future research are discussed, including a consideration of the complexity of diversity that exists within the African American adolescent population, and a call for more longitudinal assessments of identity development is presented. PMID:23243325

  9. Evolutionary and comparative anatomical investigations of the autonomic cardiac nervous system in the African Cercopithecidae.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Akita, Keiichi; Sato, Kenji; Sasaki, Hiroshi

    2007-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to clarify the general architecture and morphological variations of the autonomic cardiac nervous system (ACNS) in the African Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys), and to discuss the evolutionary changes between this system in African/Asian Cercopithecidae and humans. A detailed macroscopic comparative morphological investigation of the ACNS was performed by examining the left and right sides of 11 African cercopithecid specimens, including some previously unreported species (Abyssinian colobus, Angola pied colobus, Savanna monkey, and lesser white-nosed guenon). The common characteristics of the ACNS in the African Cercopithecidae are described in detail. Consequently, homologies of the ACNS between Asian (macaques) and African Cercopithecidae, and differences between the Asian/African Cercopithecidae and humans, were found. In particular, differences in the sympathetic (cardiac) systems of the Cercopithecidae and humans were recognized, despite the similar morphology of the parasympathetic vagal (cardiac) system. These differences include the composition of the cervicothoracic ganglion, the lower positions of the middle cervical and cervicothoracic ganglia, and the narrow range for the origin of the cardiac nerves in the Cercopithecidae, compared with that in humans. In conclusion, these findings are considered with regard to the morphology of the last common ancestors of the Cercopithecidae. PMID:17591730

  10. South Atlantic sag basins: new petroleum system components

    SciTech Connect

    Henry, S.G. Mohriak, W.U.; Mello, M.R.

    1996-08-01

    Newly discovered pre-salt source rocks, reservoirs and seals need to be included as components to the petroleum systems of both sides of the South Atlantic. These new components lie between the pre-salt rift strata and the Aptian salt layers, forming large, post-rift, thermal subsidence sag basins. These are differentiated from the older rift basins by the lack of syn-rift faulting and a reflector geometry that is parallel to the base salt regional unconformity rather than to the Precambrian basement. These basins are observed in deep water regions overlying areas where both the mantle and the crust have been involved in the extension. This mantle involvement creates post-rift subsiding depocenters in which deposition is continuous while proximal rift-phase troughs with little or no mantle involvement are bypassed and failed to accumulate potential source rocks during anoxic times. These features have been recognized in both West African Kwanza Basin and in the East Brasil Rift systems. The pre-salt source rocks that are in the West African sag basins were deposited in lacustrine brackish to saline water environment and are geochemically distinct from the older, syn-rift fresh to brackish water lakes, as well as from younger, post-salt marine anoxic environments of the drift phase. Geochemical analyses of the source rocks and their oils have shown a developing source rock system evolving from isolated deep rift lakes to shallow saline lakes, and culminating with the infill of the sag basin by large saline lakes to a marginally marine restricted gulf. Sag basin source rocks may be important in the South Atlantic petroleum system by charging deep-water prospects where syn-rift source rocks are overmature and the post-salt sequences are immature.

  11. Westward drift, rift asymmetry and continental uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doglioni, C.; Carminati, E.; Bonatti, E.

    2003-04-01

    Although not predicted by classic plate tectonics theory, the topography of ocean ridges and rifts show a distinct asymmetry, when depth is plotted both vs. distance from the ridge and square root of the age of the oceanic crust. The eastern sides of the East Pacific Rise, of the mid Atlantic ridge, of the NW Indian ridge are in average more elevated than the conjugate flank to the west and eastern sides show slower subsidence rates. A similar asymmetry can be observed across the Red Sea and Baikal rifts. We suggest that depleted and lighter asthenosphere generated by partial melting below the ocean ridges shifts 'eastward' relative to the lithosphere, determining a density deficit below the eastern flank. The 'eastward' migration of the lighter Atlantic asthenosphere under the African continent, could eventually have contributed to the anomalous post-rift uplift of Africa and explain the anomalously higher topography of Africa with respect to other continents. This model suggests that the 'westward' drift of the lithosphere relative to the underlying mantle might be a global phenomenon and not just a mean delay.

  12. African Educational Systems: A Comparative Approach. Edu 510.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Rose T.

    This course of study for college students is about educational development in tropical Africa, or Africa south of the Sahara, excluding North Africa and the Republic of South Africa. The major goals of the course are to help students gain knowledge about the educational policies and practices of African countries under the rule of Belgium,…

  13. Rift Valley Fever Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a disease of animals and humans that occurs in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A Phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae causes the disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Epidemics occur during years of unusually heavy rainfall that assessment models are being develo...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  15. Continental rifting - Progress and outlook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, B. H.; Morgan, P.

    1981-01-01

    It is noted that in spite of the flood of new data on continental rifts in the last 15 years, there is little consensus about the basic mechanisms and causes of rifting. The remarkable similarities in rift cross sections (shown in a figure), are considered to suggest that the anomalous lithospheric structure of rifts is more dependent on lithosphere properties than the mode of rifting. It is thought that there is a spectrum of rifting processes for which two fundamental mechanisms can be postulated: an active mechanism, whereby thermal energy is transmitted into the lithosphere from the underlying asthenosphere, and a passive mechanism by which mechanical energy is transmitted laterally through the lithosphere as a consequence of plate interactions at a distance. In order to permit the concept of the two fundamentally different mechanisms to be tested, a tentative classification is proposed that divides rifts into two basic categories: active rifting and passive rifting. Here, the magnitude of active rifting will depend on the rate at which lithosphere moves over the thermal source, with rifts being restricted to stationary or slow-moving plates.

  16. Gas Geochemistry of Volcanic and Geothermal Areas in the Kenya Rift: Implications for the Role of Fluids in Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Ranka, L. S.; Onguso, B.; Kanda, I.; Opiyo-Akech, N.; Sharp, Z. D.; Hilton, D. R.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Muirhead, J.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is an active continental rift and ideal to investigate the processes of rift initiation and the breaking apart of continental lithosphere. Mantle and crust-derived fluids may play a pivotal role in both magmatism and faulting in the EAR. For instance, large quantities of mantle-derived volatiles are emitted at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano [1, 2]. Throughout the EAR, CO2-dominated volatile fluxes are prevalent [3, 4] and often associated with faults (i.e. Rungwe area, Tanzania, [5, 6]). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between volcanism, faulting and the volatile compositions, focusing on the central and southern Kenyan and northern Tanzanian section of the EAR. We report our analysis results for samples obtained during a 2013 field season in Kenya. Gases were sampled at fumaroles and geothermal plants in caldera volcanoes (T=83.1-120.2°C) and springs (T=40-79.6°C and pH 8.5-10) located near volcanoes, intra-rift faults, and a transverse fault (the Kordjya fault, a key fluid source in the Magadi rift) by 4N-NaOH solution-filled and empty Giggenbach bottles. Headspace gases were analyzed by a Gas Chromatograph and a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer at the University of New Mexico. Both N2/Ar and N2/He ratios of all gases (35.38-205.31 and 142.92-564,272, respectively) range between air saturated water (ASW, 40 and ≥150,000) and MORB (100-200 and 40-50). In addition, an N2-Ar-He ternary diagram supports that the gases are produced by two component (mantle and air) mixing. Gases in the empty bottles from volcanoes and springs have N2 (90.88-895.99 mmom/mol), CO2 (2.47-681.21 mmom/mol), CH4 (0-214.78 mmom/mol), O2 (4.47-131.12 mmom/mol), H2 (0-35.78 mmom/mol), Ar (0.15-10.65 mmom/mol), He (0-2.21 mmom/mol), and CO (0-0.08 mmom/mol). Although some of the samples show an atmospheric component, CO2 is a major component in most samples, indicating both volcanoes and springs are emitting CO2. Gases from volcanoes are enriched in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Kanda fault: A major seismogenic element west of the Rukwa Rift (Tanzania, East Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vittori, Eutizio; Delvaux, Damien; Kervyn, François

    1997-09-01

    The NW-SE trending Rukwa Rift, part of the East African Rift System, links the approximately N-S oriented Tanganyika and Nyassa (Malawi) depressions. The rift has a complex half-graben structure, generally interpreted as the result of normal and strike-slip faulting. Morphological and structural data (e.g. fault scarps, faceted spurs, tilting of Quaternary continental deposits, volcanism, seismicity) indicate Late Quaternary activity within the rift. In 1910 an earthquake of M = 7.4 (historically the largest felt in Africa) struck the Rukwa region. The epicentre was located near the Kanda fault, which affects the Ufipa plateau, separating the Rukwa depression from the south-Tanganyika basin. The geomorphic expression of the Kanda fault is a prominent fresh-looking scarp more than 180 km long, from Tunduma to north of Sumbawanga, that strikes roughly NW-SE, and dips constantly northeast. No evidence for horizontal slip was observed. Generally, the active faulting affects a very narrow zone, and is only locally distributed over several subparallel scarps. The height of the scarp progressively decreases towards the northwest, from about 40-50 m to a few metres north of Sumbawanga. Faulted lacustrine deposits exposed in a road cut near Kaengesa were dated as 8340 ± 700 and 13 600 ± 1240 radiocarbon years. These low-energy deposits now hang more than 15 m above the present-day valley floor, suggesting rapid uplift during the Holocene. Due to its high rate of activity in very recent times, the Kanda Fault could have produced the 1910 earthquake. Detailed paleoseismological studies are used to characterize its recent history. In addition, the seismic hazard posed by this fault, which crosses the fast growing town of Sumbawanga, must be seriously considered in urban planning.

  19. Feedbacks between deformation and reactive melt transport in the mantle lithosphere during rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tommasi, A.; Baptiste, V.; Vauchez, A. R.; Fort, A.

    2014-12-01

    The East-African rift associates lithospheric thinning with extensive volcanism. Melts, even at low fractions, reduce the mantle viscosity. They also carry and exchange heat, mainly via reactions (latent heat), modifying the temperature and the rheology, which in turn controls their transport through the lithospheric mantle. Analysis of microstructures and crystal preferred orientations of mantle xenoliths from different localities along the East-African rift system highlights strong feedbacks between deformation, melt transport, and thermal evolution in the lithospheric mantle. Microstructures change markedly from south (young) to north (mature rift). In Tanzania, mylonitic to porphyroclastic peridotites predominate in on-axis localities, while off-axis ones are coarse-granular to porphyroclastic, pointing to heterogeneous deformation and variable annealing due to local interaction with fluids or to different time lags between deformation and extraction. Mylonites point to strain localization but there is no evidence for dominant grain boundary sliding: ubiquituous intracrystalline deformation in olivine and orthopyroxene and strong CPO record dislocation creep with dominant [100] glide in olivine. Synkinematic replacement of opx by olivine in both mylonitic and porphyroclastic peridotites suggests that deformation continued in the presence of melt under near-solidus conditions. This heating was transient: exsolutions in opx record cooling before extraction. Mega peridotites, which sample the southern border of the Ethiopian plateau, are coarse-porphyroclastic and show widespread metasomatism by basalts or by evolved volatile-rich low melt fractions. The former predated or was coeval to deformation, since olivine and pyroxene CPO are coherent. Exsolutions in opx imply that the high primary equilibration temperatures, which are consistent with the coarse-grained microstructures, are linked to transient heating. Finally, the fine-grained polygonal microstructures

  20. How sensitive are sediment routing systems to tectonics and climate? A comparison of sediment fluxes and depositional volumes in the Corinth rift, Greece, over the past 130 ky

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watkins, Stephen E.; Whittaker, Alexander C.; Bell, Rebecca E.; McNeill, Lisa C.; Gawthorpe, Robert L.

    2016-04-01

    Sediment supply is a fundamental control on the stratigraphic record. However, a key question is the extent to which tectonics and climate affect sediment fluxes in time and space. To address this question estimates of sediment fluxes must be compared with measured sediment volumes within a closed basin. The Corinth rift in Greece is one of the most actively extending rift basins on Earth, with modern day extension rates of up to 15 mm/yr. The Gulf of Corinth is a closed system and has periodically become a lake during marine lowstands over at least the last 400,000 ky. We have estimated suspended sediment fluxes through time for rivers draining into the Gulf of Corinth using an empirically-derived BQART method. WorldClim climate data, palaeoclimate models and palaeoclimate proxies were used to estimate discharges and temperatures over the last 130 ky. We used high-resolution 2D seismic surveys to interpret the 12 ky highstand, 70 ky lowstand and 130 ky highstand horizons to derive actual basin sedimentary volumes to compare with our sediment input flux estimates. Our results estimate integrated Holocene sediment fluxes into the Gulf of Corinth to be 19 km3 and we constrain how they vary spatially around the Gulf. This number compares exceptionally well with Holocene basin deposit volumes measured from seismic data (30 km3). We estimate sediment fluxes during the last glacial maximum to be significantly lower than the Holocene, likely driven by lower mean annual temperatures. Our results demonstrate that sediment routing systems and sediment export to the Gulf of Corinth is sensitive to glacial-interglacial climate changes from the late Pleistocene to recent.

  1. Deformation rates and localization of an active fault system in relation with rheological and frictional slip properties: The Corinth Rift case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Arem, S.; Lyon-Caen, H.; Bernard, P.; Garaud, J. D.; Rolandone, F.; Briole, P.

    2012-04-01

    The Gulf of Corinth in Greece has attracted increasing attention because of its seismically active complex fault system and considerable seismic hazard. It is one of the most active extensional regions in the Mediterranean area. However, there are still open questions concerning the role and the geometry of the numerous active faults bordering the basin, as well as the mechanisms governing the seismicity. The Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL http://crlab.eu) project is based on the cooperation of various European institutions that merge their efforts to study fault mechanics and related hazards in this natural laboratory with 10 destructive earthquakes per century (Magnitude > 6), among which 4 in the selected region of CRL. This active rift continues to open over 10-12 Km of width at a rate of 1:5 cm=yr. Most of the faults of the investigated area are in their latest part of cycle, so that the probability of at least one moderate to large earthquake (Magnitude = 6 to 6:7) is very high within a few decades. In the first part of this work, two-dimensional finite element models of a fault system is considered to estimate the effects of the crust rheological parameters on the stress distribution, the horizontal and vertical deformation in the vicinity of the faults, and the plastic deformation localization. We consider elasto-visco-plastic rheology with a power law viscosity for dislocation creep modelling and the Drucker-Prager yield criterion for plasticity. We investigate the rheological properties of the crust and examine their compatibility with both horizontal and vertical GPS observations recorded during campaigns conducted in the last twenty years. The second part is devoted to simulations involving rate and slip history friction laws for earthquake occurence prediction and seismogenic depth approximation. The case of a single fault is examined first, then two active faults are considered to highlight the effect of their interactions on the seismic cycle

  2. Forensic investigation of rift-to-drift transitions and volcanic rifted margins birth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, R.; Hertogen, J.

    2008-12-01

    Volcanic rifted margins (VRM) reflect excess magmatism generated during the rift-to-drift transition of a continental rift system evolving into a Mid-Ocean Ridge (MOR). As a result many VRM (e.g. NAIP and CAMP) are recognized as Large Igneous Provinces (LIP). The prominent structural characteristics of VRM are Continental Flood Basalts, High-Velocity Lower Crustal bodies (HVLC) and Seaward Dipping Reflector Sequences (SDRS). However, the causes of these anomalously high eruption rates and magma volumes are presently poorly understood. Controversial issue opinions are based on two competing hypotheses: 1) Mantle plume related mechanisms where the excess magmatism results from elevated mantle temperatures; and 2) Rift induced small scale convection processes causing temperature anomalies and enhancing the mantle rock flux through the melt window. Largely because of difficulties to sample oceanic basement at VRM -due to thick sediment covers- the composition of rift-to-drift transition magmas is generally poorly constrained. We reviewed the geodynamic histories and magma compositions from well known VRM (e.g. NE Australia, E USA, Madagascar) and compared these data with own geochemical data from different NE Atlantic tectono-magmatic VRM zones. These comparisons point to a consistent, general VRM formation model. This model has to explain the primary observation, that geological long periods of extension have been reported -in all investigated VRM areas- prior to the breakup. Extensional far field stress looks to be the main geodynamic cause for continental breakup. Small scale convection during the late phase of a continental rift system is probably the key process generating excess magmatism in LIP related to rift-to-drift transitions.

  3. The GLIMPCE seismic experiment: Onshore refraction and wide-angle reflection observations from a fan line over the Lake Superior Midcontinent Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epili, Duryodhan; Mereu, Robert F.

    The 1986 GLIMPCE experiment (Great Lakes Inter