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Sample records for eastern continental margin

  1. Carbonate comparison of west Florida continental margin with margins of eastern United States

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, L.J.

    1986-05-01

    Temperate carbonate margins may have as many similarities to clastic margins as to other carbonate systems. An example is the west Florida continental margin north of Florida Bay, a vast area of more than 150,000 km/sup 2/. The facies of this area differ from those of other Holocene carbonates, such as the Bahama Banks, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Caribbean and Pacific bioherms. The west Florida margin is analogous to the predominantly clastic southeastern US in both physiology and sedimentary processes. The shelf facies is a veneer of carbonate sand, primarily molluscan shell fragments, with low sedimentation rates. It is similar to the southeastern US sand veneer with the clastic component removed. Like the US system, the west Florida shelf has a ridge and swale topography replete with sedimentary structures, such as sand waves, with a series of drainage systems incised into its surface at lower stands of sea level. On the outer edge, it is commonly bounded by outcrops with considerable positive relief. The upper slope of the west Florida margin is a calcilutite, a Holocene chalk deposit accumulating at rates of tens of centimeters/1000 years, comparable to the clastic lutite depositional rates of the eastern US continental slope, and two orders of magnitude higher than deep-sea oozes of similar composition. These relatively high rates are probably caused by fines pumped from and across the coarser shelf-sand sheets in both systems.

  2. The role of rifting in the evolution of the continental margin of Eastern Asia: Geophysical evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodnikov, A. G.; Rodnikova, R. D.; Zorina, Yu. G.

    1992-08-01

    The role of rift processes is analysed in the structural evolution of the continental margins of Eastern Asia including the Indo-China Peninsula and North China plain. Paleoreconstructions were made for the Indo-China Peninsula to characterize individual stages of rifting covering the Late Cretaceous-Eocene, Oligocene-Middle Miocene and Late Pliocene-Early Quaternary epochs. The rifting of continental margins occurred synchronously with spreading processes in marginal seas, whereas the formation of rift structures in the North China plain was concurrent with the formation of a deep-water basin of the Philippine Sea. The development of asthenospheric diapire led to crustal extension and was responsible for the formation of rift structures in marginal seas and continental margins.

  3. The development of the continental margin of eastern North America—conjugate continental margin to West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dillon, William P.; Schlee, John S.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    The continental margin of eastern North America was initiated when West Africa and North America were rifted apart in Triassic-Early Jurassic time. Cooling of the crust and its thinning by rifting and extension caused subsidence. Variation in amounts of subsidence led to formation of five basins. These are listed from south to north. (1) The Blake Plateau Basin, the southernmost, is the widest basin and the one in which the rift-stage basement took longest to form. Carbonate platform deposition was active and persisted until the end of Early Cretaceous. In Late Cretaceous, deposition slowed while subsidence persisted, so a deep water platform was formed. Since the Paleocene the region has undergone erosion. (2) The Carolina Trough is narrow and has relatively thin basement, on the basis of gravity modeling. The two basins with thin basement, the Carolina Trough and Scotian Basin, also show many salt diapirs indicating considerable deposition of salt during their early evolution. In the Carolina Trough, subsidence of a large block of strata above the flowing salt has resulted in a major, active normal fault on the landward side of the basin. (3) The Baltimore Canyon Trough has an extremely thick sedimentary section; synrift and postrift sediments exceed 18 km in thickness. A Jurassic reef is well developed on the basin's seaward side, but post-Jurassic deposition was mainly non-carbonate. In general the conversion from carbonate to terrigenous deposition, characteristics of North American Basins, occurred progressively earlier toward the north. (4) The Georges Bank Basin has a complicated deep structure of sub-basins filled with thick synrift deposits. This may have resulted from some shearing that occurred at this offset of the continental margin. Postrift sediments apparently are thin compared to other basins—only about 8 km. (5) The Scotian Basin, off Canada, contains Jurassic carbonate rocks, sandstone, shale and coal covered by deltaic deposits and Upper

  4. The development of the continental margin of eastern North America-conjugate continental margin to West Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.; Schlee, J.S.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1988-01-01

    The continental margin of eastern North America was initiated when West Africa and North America were rifted apart in Triassic-Early Jurassic time. Cooling of the crust and its thinning by rifting and extension caused subsidence. Variation in amounts of subsidence led to formation of five basins. These are listed from south to north. (1) The Blake Plateau Basin, the southernmost, is the widest basin and the one in which the rift-stage basement took longest to form. Carbonate platform deposition was active and persisted until the end of Early Cretaceous. In Late Cretaceous, deposition slowed while subsidence persisted, so a deep water platform was formed. Since the Paleocene the region has undergone erosion. (2) The Carolina Trough is narrow and has relatively thin basement, on the basis of gravity modeling. The two basins with thin basement, the Carolina Trough and Scotian Basin, also show many salt diapirs indicating considerable deposition of salt during their early evolution. In the Carolina Trough, subsidence of a large block of strata above the flowing salt has resulted in a major, active normal fault on the landward side of the basin. (3) The Baltimore Canyon Trough has an extremely thick sedimentary section; synrift and postrift sediments exceed 18 km in thickness. A Jurassic reef is well developed on the basin's seaward side, but post-Jurassic deposition was mainly non-carbonate. In general the conversion from carbonate to terrigenous deposition, characteristics of North American Basins, occurred progressively earlier toward the north. (4) The Georges Bank Basin has a complicated deep structure of sub-basins filled with thick synrift deposits. This may have resulted from some shearing that occurred at this offset of the continental margin. Postrift sediments apparently are thin compared to other basins-only about 8 km. (5) The Scotian Basin, off Canada, contains Jurassic carbonate rocks, sandstone, shale and coal covered by deltaic deposits and Upper

  5. Middle Jurassic to early Cretaceous igneous rocks along eastern North American continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Jansa, L.F.; Pe-Piper, G.

    1988-03-01

    Late Middle Jurassic and Early Cretaceous mafic dikes, sills, flows, and local volcaniclastic sediments are intercalated within continental shelf sediments from the Baltimore Canyon Trough northward to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The igneous rocks on the eastern North American margin are mainly alkali basalts of intraplate affinity. The late Middle Jurassic igneous activity was of short duration, at about 140 Ma, and was restricted to Georges Bank where it led to construction of several volcanic cones. The main period of igneous activity was concentrated at about 120 Ma in the Aptian/Berremian. The activity consists of dike swarms in Baltimore Canyon, occasional dikes on the Scotian Shelf, and the growth of stratovolcanoes on the Scotian Shelf and Grand Banks. Younger dikes (approx. 95 Ma) also are present on the Grand Banks. With regard to oil exploration on the continental margin, care must be taken to properly identify igneous and volcaniclastic rocks on mechanical logs, drill cuttings, and cores. Reflection seismic profiles can be used to map the areal extent of sills, flows, and low-angle dikes, which commonly show distinctive seismic responses. However, steeply dipping dikes generally produce little, if any, seismic response. Isotopic-age determinations of igneous rocks, combined with biostratigraphic-age determinations of adjacent strata, are invaluable for stratigraphic correlation, establishing chronology of seismic sequences, and analysis of basin sedimentation and tectonic history. 9 figures, 2 tables.

  6. Distribution and sources of organic matter in surface sediments of the eastern continental margin of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna, M. S.; Naidu, S. A.; Subbaiah, Ch. V.; Sarma, V. V. S. S.; Reddy, N. P. C.

    2013-12-01

    sources and distribution of organic matter (OM) in surface sediments of the eastern continental margin of India, including the region influenced by river discharge, were investigated using content, molar C:N ratios and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen. Despite relatively high water column integrated chlorophyll-a concentrations were found in the continental shelf than the slope; however, the lower sediment organic carbon (SOC) was found in the former than the latter region suggesting that in situ production did not play significant role on preservation of SOC in the coastal Bay of Bengal. The broad range of δ13C of SOC (-23.2 to -16.7‰) suggests that OM is a broad mixture of terrestrial and marine OM. Relative contributions from terrestrial C3 and C4 plants and marine sources are quantified as 34%, 23%, and 43%, respectively, indicating that dominant source of allochthonous OM (~57%) in the coastal Bay of Bengal. Relatively higher contribution of OM from C4 plants was found in the sediments at off river Krishna indicating that this region received detritus of agricultural crops such as jowar, bajra, and sugar cane, which are dominant in its drainage basin, during SW monsoon. This study revealed that relatively high OM preserved in the slope than shelf region along the coastal Bay of Bengal and the composition of OM is primarily controlled by the type of agricultural crops and vegetation in the drainage basin of the river.

  7. The Brazilian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, L. R.; Coutinho, P. N.

    1981-04-01

    The Brazilian continental margin, with its interesting morphology, structure and sediments, has become better known only during the last two decades. Six physiographical provinces can be recognized at the continental margin and the adjacent coast: (1) Cabo Orange-Parnaiba delta; (2) Parnaiba delta-Cabo Sa˜o Roque; (3) Cabo Sa˜o Roque-Belmonte; (4) Belmonte-Cabo Frio; (5) Cabo Frio-Cabo Santa Marta; and (6) Cabo Santa Marta-Chui. The shelf is rather wide near the Amazon Mouth, becoming narrower eastwards, continuing very narrow along the northeastern and eastern coast, and becoming wider again in the south towards the Plate River. Prominent morphological features along the margin are the Amazon cone, the marginal plateaus off northeastern Brazil, the Sa˜o Francisco cone and canyon, the Abrolhos Bank, and the deep-sea plateaus of Pernambuco and Sa˜o Paulo. On the shelf proper a number of relief elements exist, such as sand waves east of the Amazon, submarine terraces at various places, and irregularities of structural origin. The shelf break is rather smooth in the far north and south, more abrupt in the remainder. Surface sediments of the Brazilian shelf show five distinct facies types: littoral quartz sands, mud, transition sand-mud, coralline algae, and biodetrital. The terrigenous elastic fractions dominate off the Amazon and in southern Brazil; between these areas they occupy a very narrow strip near the coast. The carbonate facies, predominantly composed of calcareous algae, is abundant between the Parnaiba delta and Cabo Frio; to the south this facies is more biodetrital and restricted to the outer shelf. Economically important on the Brazilian continental margin besides oil, are sands and gravels, carbonate deposits, evaporites and some subsurface coal. Other possible mineral resources could be phosphate, heavy minerals and clays for ceramics.

  8. Distributions of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon and radiocarbon in the eastern North Pacific continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, James E.; Druffel, Ellen R. M.; Wolgast, David M.; Griffin, Sheila; Masiello, Caroline A.

    Temporal variations in the natural radiocarbon ( 14C) signatures of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon (DOC and DIC, respectively) in seawater have been studied previously (Druffel, E.R.M., Bauer, J.E., Williams, P.M., Griffin, S., Wolgast, D.M., 1996. Seasonal variability of radiocarbon in particulate organic carbon in the northeast Pacific. J. Geophys. Res. 101, 20 543-20 552; Bauer, J.E., Druffel, E.R.M., Williams, P.M., Wolgast, D.M., Griffin, S., 1998. Temporal variability in dissolved organic carbon and radiocarbon in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. 103, 2867-2882) at a long-term time-series station (Sta. M: 32°N, 123W) in the eastern North Pacific located at the eastern edge of the North Pacific abyssal plain. In June 1995 a transect was made from Sta. M inshore to approximately 500 m depth in order to evaluate the distributions of 14C in DOC and DIC from the abyssal plain to the upper continental slope. Concentrations and Δ 14C values of DOC in mixed layer waters (25 and 85 m) decreased toward the upper slope. In deeper waters, concentrations and Δ 14C values were in general similar at all three sites. Differences in DOC concentrations and Δ 14C-DOC between Sta. M and the rise and upper slope sites were explained in part by the mixing of DOC and Δ 14C along constant density ( σt) surfaces. However, specific deviations from conservative behavior due to mixing were observed for Δ 14C-DOC at mesopelagic (˜700 m) and near-bottom (˜3600- 3900 m) depths of the continental rise. Comparable findings are reported for DIC, where σt-normalized concentrations and Δ 14C values in Sta. M, rise and upper slope waters were similar, with the exception of slight increases in concentrations and Δ 14C values in near-bottom waters of the rise. These observations indicate that both DOC and DIC in continental rise and slope surface waters of the eastern North Pacific Ocean margin are comprised of a component of actively upwelled material derived

  9. An Idealized Model of Organic Carbon Dynamics on the Continental Margin of the Eastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siedlecki, S. A.; Archer, D.; Mahadevan, A.

    2003-12-01

    Continental margins play a significant role in the production and burial of organic carbon in the ocean, bur these areas are poorly resolved global circulation models. In this study, a high-resolution three-dimensional, nonhydrostatic model of an idealized eastern coastal United States after Mahadevan and Archer, 1998, was modified to simulate organic carbon production and export off the shelf. The model assumes a periodic north and south boundary, and an offshore boundary at the shelf-break density front determined by bathymetry. The model uses a free surface and a sigma grid in the vertical. The model is initialized with a vertical nutrient profile taken from the open Atlantic Ocean. As the winds are given time to influence the region, upwelling conditions can result in the vertical movement of water. Vertical diffusion also carries nutrients into the euphotic zone. Excess nutrients in the euphotic zone are converted to particles that advect with the flow while sinking with a velocity of 10-5 m/s. Remineralization is treated as a first-order decay. We will vary the alongshore wind stress, shelf width, and vertical diffusivity to determine their respective impacts on organic carbon export. Eventually, we hope to parameterize the impact of coastal circulation on the carbon cycle with global circulation and carbon models. Mahadevan, A., Archer, D., Modeling a Limited Region of the Ocean, Journal of Computational Physics 145, 555-574, 1998.

  10. Deep continental margin reflectors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  11. How does continental crust thin in a young continental margin? Insights from Oman/Socotra conjugate margins in the eastern Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, Sylvie; d'Acremont, Elia; Lucazeau, Francis; Poort, Jeffrey; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Keir, Derek; Stuart, Graham; Khanbari, Khaled; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Nonn, Chloé

    2013-04-01

    The discovery of hyper-thinned continental crust and exhumed mantle on continental margins has raised several key questions, such as how the crust thins until the breakup or what controls the locus of extreme crustal thinning, exhumation and final oceanic spreading. Reflection seismic lines (ENCENS-Sheba, Encens, Marges-Aden cruises) and seismological investigations (YOCMAL ANR project) across conjugate margins of the Oman/Socotra margins allow a detailed study of the crustal and sedimentary structure and a discussion on the structures and the age of the deformation. Structural analysis of new dataset enables mapping the area where the continental extension seems to be coupled to the mantle illustrating the exhumation phase. The crustal thinning is abrupt occurring mostly at the shoreline on both margins and shows along-margin variations.The thinning progressively migrates towards the locus of final breakup, which is interpreted by a progressive weakening of the mantle by lithospheric thinning and serpentinization. Then, a stage of uplift and erosion is observed in the proximal margins after the thinning phase. Uplift is usually higher where crustal thinning is more important in the deep basin, which could be interpreted by the onset of small-scale convection driven by the lateral temperature gradients at the necking zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClellan, Elizabeth; Gazel, Esteban

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Subsidence and eustasy at the continental margin of eastern North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  14. The crustal structure of the north-eastern Gulf of Aden continental margin: insights from wide-angle seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watremez, L.; Leroy, S.; Rouzo, S.; D'Acremont, E.; Unternehr, P.; Ebinger, C.; Lucazeau, F.; Al-Lazki, A.

    2011-02-01

    The wide-angle seismic (WAS) and gravity data of the Encens survey allow us to determine the deep crustal structure of the north-eastern Gulf of Aden non-volcanic passive margin. The Gulf of Aden is a young oceanic basin that began to open at least 17.6 Ma ago. Its current geometry shows first- and second-order segmentation: our study focusses on the Ashawq-Salalah second-order segment, between Alula-Fartak and Socotra-Hadbeen fracture zones. Modelling of the WAS and gravity data (three profiles across and three along the margin) gives insights into the first- and second-order structures. (1) Continental thinning is abrupt (15-20 km thinning across 50-100 km distance). It is accommodated by several tilted blocks. (2) The ocean-continent transition (OCT) is narrow (15 km wide). The velocity modelling provides indications on its geometry: oceanic-type upper-crust (4.5 km s-1) and continental-type lower crust (>6.5 km s-1). (3) The thickness of the oceanic crust decreases from West (10 km) to the East (5.5 km). This pattern is probably linked to a variation of magma supply along the nascent slow-spreading ridge axis. (4) A 5 km thick intermediate velocity body (7.6 to 7.8 km s-1) exists at the crust-mantle interface below the thinned margin, the OCT and the oceanic crust. We interpret it as an underplated mafic body, or partly intruded mafic material emplaced during a `post-rift' event, according to the presence of a young volcano evidenced by heat-flow measurement (Encens-Flux survey) and multichannel seismic reflection (Encens survey). We propose that the non-volcanic passive margin is affected by post-rift volcanism suggesting that post-rift melting anomalies may influence the late evolution of non-volcanic passive margins.

  15. Impact of gravity processes on the initial post-rift stages of construction and evolution of a continental margin: Insights from the eastern Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baurion, Celine; Gorini, Christian; Leroy, Sylvie; Migeon, Sebastien; Lucazeau, Francis; Bache, Francois; Zaragosi, Sebastien; Smit, Jeroen; Al-Toubi, Khalfan; dos Reis, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    The study of the post-rift sediment architecture and continental slope morphology leads to a reconstruction of the initial stages of formation and evolution of gravity-driven processes on the northern margin of the eastern Gulf of Aden. The slope-related features and associated deposits in the deep basin along this young passive margin are investigated through the analysis of a set of seismic-reflection and multibeam bathymetry data. This study demonstrates how preconditioning and triggering factors (tectonics, climate and eustatic variations) can interact and control the margin morphology and post-rift sediment architecture in a source-to-sink perspective. The combined geomorphological and stratigraphic study of this margin allows us to identify three morphological domains inherited from the structural segmentation. The monsoon climate combined with a major eustatic lowstand is proposed as the most likely set of factors preconditioning slope destabilisation on the whole margin. These factors also enhance the effect of the late post-rift uplift of the eastern morphological domain of the studied margin. The formation and distribution of the slope-related features are thus mainly controlled by active faults on the continental slope and the potential effect of bottom currents at the base of the continental slope. The oversteepening of the continental slope in the eastern domain of the studied margin is probably the main triggering factor controlling the generation of failure processes and subsequent canyon formation by upslope erosion. The analysis of canyon location and morphology along the uplifted part of the continental slope reveals the long-term influence of secondary slope-related features, contour currents and turbidite flows on the development of canyons. As a consequence of the late post-rift uplift that only affected the eastern part of the studied margin, huge volumes of sediment were accumulated in mass-transport complexes at the foot of numerous slope

  16. Controlled-Source Seismic Survey to Constrain Evolution of the Continental Cratonic Margin in Idaho and Eastern Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, R.; Davenport, K.; Hole, J. A.; Harder, S.; Tikoff, B.; Russo, R. M.; Vervoort, J. D.; Han, L.; Sabey, L.; Wang, K.

    2012-12-01

    In August 2012, crustal-scale wide-angle reflection and refraction data were collected across Idaho and eastern Oregon. A unique feature of this area is the narrow juxtaposition between the North American continental craton and accreted oceanic terranes. This narrowness is a result of the sub-vertical Western Idaho Shear Zone (WISZ) formed by late Cretaceous transpression. Geochemical studies suggest that the crustal portion of the WISZ was offset 120-150 km east of the lithospheric mantle portion by Sevier thrusting. Post-WISZ, the cratonic margin has been modified by emplacement of the Idaho Batholith east of the WISZ, Eocene extension and related Challis volcanism, and Miocene extension associated with the Basin and Range and Columbia River Basalts. The seismic survey is part of the multidisciplinary IDOR project, funded by Earthscope, encompassing geochemistry, geochronology, structural geology, and broadband and controlled-source seismology. IDOR's goal is to understand how the steep continental margin modified and was modified by magmatism and deformation that occurred since its formation. Primary targets at depth include the deep geometry of the WISZ, the root of the Idaho Batholith, and deep signatures of Cenozoic extension. The 440 km long seismic line, running from the accreted terranes in the west, across the shear zone, the Idaho Batholith and beyond, is long enough to obtain reflections from the Moho and refractions from upper mantle. Along this line a crew of over 60 volunteers from twenty-two different universities deployed ~2600 vertical component seismometers at a 100-200 meter spacing. These instruments recorded the energy from nine 2000 pound explosive shots. These data will be used to produce a seismic velocity and structure model of the crust and upper-most mantle. Preliminary data and observations will be presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Low temperature thermochronology and topographic evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in the region in eastern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  19. Tectonic-geodynamic settings of OIB-magmatism on the eastern Asian continental margin during the Cretaceous-Paleogene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filatova, N. I.

    2015-11-01

    At the Cretaceous-Paleogene transition, the convergent boundary between the Asian and Pacific plates was replaced by a transform boundary to determine destruction of the continental margin including the Okhotsk-Chukotka Cretaceous subduction-related belt along left-lateral strike-slip and downdip-strikeslip faults. The newly formed East Asian rift system (EARS) continues in the easterly direction the Mongol-Okhotsk zone of left-lateral strike-slip faults, a former transform boundary of the Asian continent. Basaltoids of the East Asian rift system that erupted through fractures onto the former active margin are similar intraplate OIB volcanics related to the lower mantle source. The specific feature of OIB-type magmatism in the system consists in its continental marginal position near the transform boundary.

  20. The eastern Gulf of Aden: A case study for the setting up of the deep-sea gravity sedimentation on a young continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baurion, Celine; Zaragosi, Sebastien; Leroy, Sylvie; Gorini, Christian; Lucazeau, Francis; Migeon, Sebastien; Garlan, Thierry

    2013-04-01

    The study of sedimentary processes across a young and segmented passive margin under the influence of the Asian monsoon-climate, provide a potential record of tectonic, climatic and high-resolution eustatic events. The northern margin of the eastern Gulf of Aden is one of the world rare examples to study the setting up of gravity sedimentation in a deep basin and the related control parameters. Using multibeam data, Chirp profiles, and sediment cores, we show that this gravity sedimentation highlights the importance of flooding of wadis on the sediment transfer from onshore to the deep basin. The drainage network is not mature on this starved margin, which is affected by post-rift uplift. The main channelized turbidite systems are localized in the western part of the margin, while mass-transport deposits and sheet turbidite deposits are concentrated along the eastern part of the margin affected by a late post-rift uplift. The deep-basin sedimentation is composed of many coarse-grained carbonate turbidites that are related to the lithology of the onshore sedimentary cover. The central part of the uplifted margin does not exhibit coarse-grained turbidites since about 70 ka BP, while the eastern part displays turbidites until recently. This monsoon-influenced margin is characterized by strong along-strike variability in tectonics and fluvial input distribution that might directly influence and segment the gravity sedimentation: (i) the western channelized turbidite system formation depend mainly of the wide catchment area onshore in combination with the geometry of the deep basin; (ii) the starved part of the margin, characterized by mass-transport deposits is mainly controlled by the post-rift uplift; (iii) along the eastern part of the uplifted margin, the unchannelized turbidite deposits seem to be primarily controlled by the presence of a well-developed continental shelf combined to the late uplift impact on the sedimentary supply.

  1. DSDP Site 603: First deep (>1000-m) penetration of the continental rise along the passive margin of eastern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hinte, Jan E.; Wise, Sherwood W., Jr.; Biart, Brian N. M.; Mitchener Covington, J.; Dunn, Dean A.; Haggerty, Janet A.; Johns, Mark W.; Meyers, Philip A.; Moullade, Michel R.; Muza, Jay P.; Ogg, James G.; Okamura, Makoto; Sarti, Massimo; von Rad, Ulrich

    1985-06-01

    Drilling at Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 603 has provided the first deep (>1000-m) penetration of strata beneath the continental rise off the Atlantic margin of North America. Nearly continuously cored through 1585 m of section down to Berriasian pelagic limestones, the site 435 km (270 mi) east of Cape Hatteras intersected an extensive Lower Cretaceous deep-sea fan complex, which provides new information on the petroleum potential of the continental rise. Hauterivian to early Aptian in age, this 208-m interval of interbedded limestones, sand, and black shale turbidites begs the existence of any post-Valanginian reefs along the Baltimore Canyon Trough. Less extensive terrigenous turbidites were encountered higher in the section up to the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary, which is marked by a current-laminated sand rich in dark spherules. Pelagic early Paleogene clays are disconformably overlain by Miocene pelagic mud. Turbiditic silts and clays began to accumulate rapidly at this site during the middle Miocene, leading to deposition of muddy contourites that formed the Lower Continental Rise Hills of the Hatteras Outer Ridge as sand turbidites were ponded concurrently on its landward side. The section at Site 603 confirms the concept that eustatic and other large-scale events subdivide Earth history into distinct chapters allowing the correlation of deep-sea seismic sequence boundaries with continental shelf and margin unconformities.

  2. The northern Egyptian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badawy, Ahmed; Mohamed, Gad; Omar, Khaled; Farid, Walid

    2015-01-01

    Africa displays a variety of continental margin structures, tectonics and sedimentary records. The northern Egyptian continental margin represents the NE portion of the North African passive continental margin. Economically, this region is of great importance as a very rich and productive hydrocarbon zone in Egypt. Moreover, it is characterized by remarkable tectonic setting accompanied by active tectonic processes from the old Tethys to recent Mediterranean. In this article, seismicity of the northern Egyptian continental margin has been re-evaluated for more than 100-years and the source parameters of three recent earthquakes (October 2012, January 2013 and July 2013) have been estimated. Moment tensor inversions of 19th October 2012 and 17th January 2013 earthquakes reveal normal faulting mechanism with strike-slip component having seismic moment of 3.5E16 N m and 4.3E15 N m respectively. The operation of the Egyptian National Seismic Network (ENSN) since the end of 1997 has significantly enhanced the old picture of earthquake activity across northern Egyptian continental margin whereas; the record-ability (annual rate) has changed from 2-events/year to 54-event/year before and after ENSN respectively. The spatial distribution of earthquakes foci indicated that the activity tends to cluster at three zones: Mediterranean Ridge (MR), Nile Cone (NC) and Eratosthenes Seamount (ERS). However, two seismic gaps are reported along Levant Basin (LEV) and Herodotus Basin (HER).

  3. Mesozoic magmatism in an upper- to middle-crustal section through the Cordilleran continental margin arc, eastern Transverse Ranges, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Needy, S.K.; Anderson, J.L.; Wooden, J.L.; Fleck, R.J.; Barth, A.P.; Paterson, S.R.; Memeti, V.; Pignotta, G.S.

    2009-01-01

    The eastern Transverse Ranges provide essentially continuous exposure for >100 km across the strike of the Mesozoic Cordilleran orogen. Thermobarometric calculations based on hornblende and plagioclase compositions in Mesozoic plutonic rocks show that the fi rst-order distribution of rock units resulted from differential Laramide exhumation. Mesozoic supracrustal rocks are preserved in the relatively little exhumed eastern part of the eastern Transverse Ranges and south-central Mojave Desert, and progressively greater rock uplift and exhumation toward the west exposed rocks originating at mid-crustal depths. The eastern Transverse Ranges thus constitute a tilted, nearly continuously exposed crustal section of the Mesozoic magmatic arc and framework rocks from subvolcanic levels to paleodepths as great as ??22 km. The base of this tilted arc section is a moderately east-dipping sheeted magmatic complex >10 km in width by 70 km in length, constructed structurally beneath, yet synchronous with Late Jurassic and Cretaceous upper-crustal plutons. Geochronology and regional structural relations thus suggest that arc magmas generated in the lower crust of this continental arc interacted in a complex mid-crustal zone of crystallization and mixing; products of this zone were parental magmas that formed relatively homogeneous upper crustal felsic plutons and fed lavas and voluminous ignimbrites. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  4. East Africa continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Bosellini, A.

    1986-01-01

    New well data from Somalia, together with the history of sea-floor spreading in the Indian Ocean derived from magnetic anomalies, show that the East African margins from latitude 15/sup 0/S into the Gulf of Aden comprise four distinct segments that formed successively by the southward drift of Madagascar from Somalia during the Middle to Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, by the northeastward drift of India along the Owen Transform during the Late Cretaceous and Paleocene, and by the opening of the Gulf of Aden during the Neogene.

  5. Gas hydrates of outer continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Kvenvolden, K.A. )

    1990-05-01

    Gas hydrates are crystalline substances in which a rigid framework of water molecules traps molecules of gas, mainly methane. Gas-hydrate deposits are common in continental margin sediment in all major oceans at water depths greater than about 300 m. Thirty-three localities with evidence for gas-hydrate occurrence have been described worldwide. The presence of these gas hydrates has been inferred mainly from anomalous lacoustic reflectors seen on marine seismic records. Naturally occurring marine gas hydrates have been sampled and analyzed at about tensites in several regions including continental slope and rise sediment of the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Except for some Gulf of Mexico gas hydrate occurrences, the analyzed gas hydrates are composed almost exclusively of microbial methane. Evidence for the microbial origin of methane in gas hydrates includes (1) the inverse relation between methane occurence and sulfate concentration in the sediment, (2) the subparallel depth trends in carbon isotopic compositions of methane and bicarbonate in the interstitial water, and (3) the general range of {sup 13}C depletion ({delta}{sub PDB}{sup 13}C = {minus}90 to {minus}60 {per thousand}) in the methane. Analyses of gas hydrates from the Peruvian outer continental margin in particular illustrate this evidence for microbially generated methane. The total amount of methane in gas hydrates of continental margins is not known, but estimates of about 10{sup 16} m{sup 3} seem reasonable. Although this amount of methane is large, it is not yet clear whether methane hydrates of outer continental margins will ever be a significant energy resource; however, these gas hydrates will probably constitute a drilling hazard when outer continental margins are explored in the future.

  6. Geotechnical Properties of Submarine Sediments from Submarine Landslides on the Eastern Australian Continental Margin and Implications for Slide Initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, S. L.; Hubble, T.; Airey, D.

    2014-12-01

    Geomechanical test data are presented for 12 gravity cores, up to 5 m long, taken at sites from the upper slope (<1200 m) of the east Australian continental margin in or adjacent to five submarine landslide features. Sediments uniformly consist of olive grey to grey sandy silts (MH-ML), with clay content ranging from 2-12% (using the Unified Soil Classification System - USCS). Total unit weight varies between 14.1 to 17.4 kNm-3, bulk density 715-2065 kgm-3, water content 43-90+%, and specific gravity 2.5-2.74. Sediments present low plasticity, liquid limits 43-63%, and plasticity indices of 8.7-34%. Measured strength values, friction angle (Ф') and apparent cohesion (c'), vary between 30-40°, and 0-10 kPa respectively. One slide-adjacent core, and four within-landslide cores present boundary surfaces located at depths of 0.8 to 2.2 meters below the present-day seafloor that are identified by a sharp, colour-change boundary; small increases in sediment stiffness; slight increases in sediment bulk density of 0.1 gcm-3; and distinct gaps in AMS 14C age of at least 25 ka. Compression testing indicates that the sediment above and below the boundary surface is slightly overconsolidated. Triaxial tests indicate a significant increase in the brittleness of the shear response of the sediment with increasing vertical stress, which would cause a progressive increase of pore pressure if the sediment was subjected to cyclic (earthquake) loading. The boundary surfaces are interpreted to represent detachment surfaces or slide plane surfaces. Slope stability models based on classical soil mechanics and measured sediment shear-strengths indicate that the upper slope sediments should be stable. However, multibeam bathymetry data reveal that many upper slope landslides occur across the margin and that submarine landsliding is a common process. We infer from these results that: a) the margin experiences seismic events that act to destabilise the slope sediments, and/or b) an

  7. DUPAL anomaly in the Sea of Japan: Pb, Nd, and Sr isotopic variations at the eastern Eurasian continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tatsumoto, M.; Nakamura, Y.

    1991-01-01

    Volcanic rocks from the eastern Eurasian plate margin (southwestern Japan, the Sea of Japan, and northeastern China) show enriched (EMI) component signatures. Volcanic rocks from the Ulreung and Dog Islands in the Sea of Japan show typical DUPAL anomaly characteristics with extremely high ??208/204 Pb (up to 143) and enriched Nd and Sr isotopic compositions (??{lunate}Nd = -3 to -5, 87Sr 86Sr = ~0.705). The ??208/204 Pb values are similar to those associated with the DUPAL anomaly (up to 140) in the southern hemisphere. Because the EMI characteristics of basalts from the Sea of Japan are more extreme than those of southwestern Japan and inland China basalts, we propose that old mantle lithosphere was metasomatized early (prior to the Proterozoic) with subduction-related fluids (not present subduction system) so that it has been slightly enriched in incompatible elements and has had a high Th/U for a long time. The results of this study support the idea that the old subcontinental mantle lithosphere is the source for EMI of oceanic basalts, and that EMI does not need to be stored at the core/ mantle boundary layer for a long time. Dredged samples from seamounts and knolls from the Yamato Basin Ridge in the Sea of Japan show similar isotopic characteristics to basalts from the Mariana arc, supporting the idea that the Yamato Basin Ridge is a spreading center causing separation of the northeast Japan Arc from Eurasia. ?? 1991.

  8. Geology and metallogeny of the Ar Rayn terrane, eastern Arabian shield: Evolution of a Neoproterozoic continental-margin arc during assembly of Gondwana within the East African orogen

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doebrich, J.L.; Al-Jehani, A. M.; Siddiqui, A.A.; Hayes, T.S.; Wooden, J.L.; Johnson, P.R.

    2007-01-01

    characteristics of the Ar Rayn terrane are analogous to the Andean continental margin of Chile, with opposite subduction polarity. The Ar Rayn terrane represents a continental margin arc that lay above a west-dipping subduction zone along a continental block represented by the Afif composite terrane. The concentration of epithermal, porphyry Cu and IOCG mineral systems, of central arc affiliation, along the AAF suggests that the AAF is not an ophiolitic suture zone, but originated as a major intra-arc fault that localized magmatism and mineralization. West-directed oblique subduction and ultimate collision with a land mass from the east (East Gondwana?) resulted in major transcurrent displacement along the AAF, bringing the eastern part of the arc terrane to its present exposed position, juxtaposed across the AAF against a back-arc basin assemblage represented by the Abt schist of the Ad Dawadimi terrane. Our findings indicate that arc formation and accretionary processes in the Arabian shield were still ongoing into the latest Neoproterozoic (Ediacaran), to about 620-600 Ma, and lead us to conclude that evolution of the Ar Rayn terrane (arc formation, accretion, syn- to postorogenic plutonism) defines a final stage of assembly of the Gondwana supercontinent along the northeastern margin of the East African orogen. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Apatite fission track dating and long-term landscape evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in the region of the Sierras Septentrionales in eastern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfister, S.; Glasmacher, P. A.; Kollenz, S.

    2013-12-01

    To understand the evolution of the passive continental margin in Argentina apatite fission track dating is an appropriate method, which will lead to new conclusions in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills Salado basin is orientated whereas the Claromeó basin is located south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the southamerican passive continental margin the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography ranges between 50 and 250m within the study area and is therefore fairly flat. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-proterozoic in age build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons and is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sediments (Cingolani, 2010). The aim of the study is to evaluate the long-term landscape evolution of the passive continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal history and exhumation. For that purpose samples were taken from the Sierra Septentrionales basement analyzed for the apatite-FT method. The results so far indicate apatite fission track ages between 146.2 (10.1) Ma and 200.4 (12.7) Ma, which shows all samples have been reseted. Still ongoing length measurements will lead to 2D thermo kinematic Hefty (Ketcham, 2005; Ketcham et al., 2009; Ketcham, 2007) models. This will leads to further more insights on the cooling history and tectonic activities in the research area. References: Cingolani C. A. (2010): The Tandilia System of Argentina as a southern extension of the Río de la Plata craton: an overview. Int. J. Earth Sci. (Geol. Rundsch.) (2011) 100:221-242, doi 10.1007/s00531-010-0611-5. Ketcham, R. A. (2005): Forward and inverse modeling of low-temperature thermochronometry data, in Low

  10. Crustal structure of the eastern Algerian continental margin and adjacent deep basin: implications for late Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouyahiaoui, B.; Sage, F.; Abtout, A.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Yelles-Chaouche, K.; Schnürle, P.; Marok, A.; Déverchère, J.; Arab, M.; Galve, A.; Collot, J. Y.

    2015-06-01

    We determine the deep structure of the eastern Algerian basin and its southern margin in the Annaba region (easternmost Algeria), to better constrain the plate kinematic reconstruction in this region. This study is based on new geophysical data collected during the SPIRAL cruise in 2009, which included a wide-angle, 240-km-long, onshore-offshore seismic profile, multichannel seismic reflection lines and gravity and magnetic data, complemented by the available geophysical data for the study area. The analysis and modelling of the wide-angle seismic data including refracted and reflected arrival travel times, and integrated with the multichannel seismic reflection lines, reveal the detailed structure of an ocean-to-continent transition. In the deep basin, there is an ˜5.5-km-thick oceanic crust that is composed of two layers. The upper layer of the crust is defined by a high velocity gradient and P-wave velocities between 4.8 and 6.0 km s-1, from the top to the bottom. The lower crust is defined by a lower velocity gradient and P-wave velocity between 6.0 and 7.1 km s-1. The Poisson ratio in the lower crust deduced from S-wave modelling is 0.28, which indicates that the lower crust is composed mainly of gabbros. Below the continental edge, a typical continental crust with P-wave velocities between 5.2 and 7.0 km s-1, from the top to the bottom, shows a gradual seaward thinning of ˜15 km over an ˜35-km distance. This thinning is regularly distributed between the upper and lower crusts, and it characterizes a rifted margin, which has resulted from backarc extension at the rear of the Kabylian block, here represented by the Edough Massif at the shoreline. Above the continental basement, an ˜2-km-thick, pre-Messinian sediment layer with a complex internal structure is interpreted as allochthonous nappes of flysch backthrusted on the margin during the collision of Kabylia with the African margin. The crustal structure, moreover, provides evidence for Miocene

  11. Geophysical signatures over and around the northern segment of the 85°E Ridge, Mahanadi offshore, Eastern Continental Margin of India: Tectonic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desa, Maria Ana; Ramana, M. V.; Ramprasad, T.; Anuradha, M.; Lall, M. V.; Kumar, B. J. P.

    2013-09-01

    The nature and origin of the subsurface 85°E Ridge in the Bay of Bengal has remained enigmatic till date despite several theories proposed by earlier researchers. We reinterpreted the recently acquired high quality multichannel seismic reflection data over the northern segment of the ridge that traverses through the Mahanadi offshore, Eastern Continental Margin of India and mapped the ridge boundary and its northward continuity. The ridge is characterized by complex topography, multilayer composition, intrusive bodies and discrete nature of underlying crust. The ridge is associated with large amplitude negative magnetic and gravity anomalies. The negative gravity response across the ridge is probably due to emplacement of relatively low density material as well as ∼2-3 km flexure of the Moho. The observed broad shelf margin basin gravity anomaly in the northern Mahanadi offshore is due to the amalgamation of the 85°E Ridge material with that of continental and oceanic crust. The negative magnetic anomaly signature over the ridge indicates its evolution in the southern hemisphere when the Earth's magnetic field was normally polarized. The presence of ∼5 s TWT thick sediments over the acoustic basement west of the ridge indicates that the underlying crust is relatively old, Early Cretaceous age. The present study indicates that the probable palaeo-location of Elan Bank is not between the Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi offshores, but north of Mahanadi. Further, the study suggests that the northern segment of the 85°E Ridge may have emplaced along a pseudo fault during the Mid Cretaceous due to Kerguelen mantle plume activity. The shallow basement east of the ridge may have formed due to the later movement of the microcontinents Elan Bank and Southern Kerguelen Plateau along with the Antarctica plate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  13. Zircon from Mesoproterozoic sediments sheds light on the subduction-collision history at the eastern active continental margin of the Archaean Kalahari-Grunehogna Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschall, H.; Hawkesworth, C. J.; Leat, P. T.; Dhuime, B.; Storey, C.

    2013-12-01

    The Grunehogna Craton (East Antarctica) was a part of the Archean Kalahari Craton of southern Africa prior to Gondwana breakup. Granite from the basement of the craton has been dated by U-Pb zircon dating to 3,067 Ma with inherited grains showing ages of up to 3,433 Ma [1]. At the eastern margin of the craton, the Ahlmannryggen nunataks comprise an ~2000 m thick pile of clastic and volcanic sediments of the Ritscherflya Supergroup. These were sourced from eroding a proximal active continental arc as demonstrated through the age distribution and internal zoning of detrital zircon [2]. Detrital zircon grains from the Ritscherflya Supergroup show an age distribution with a dominant age peak at ~1,130 Ma, i.e., close to the sedimentation age. Older age peaks include those at 1370 Ma, 1725 Ma, 1880 Ma, 2050 Ma, and 2700 Ma. Palaeo- and Mesoarchaean zircon grains (2800-3445 Ma) were also discovered, corresponding to the age of the Kalahari-Grunehogna Craton basement. Most significantly we found a number of inherited Archaean cores in ~1130 Ma zircons. They demonstrate that the volcanic arc was indeed located on Archaean continental crust, rather than in Mesoproterozoic, intra-oceanic island arcs. The age spectrum of the zircons bears strong evidence for (i) derivation of the entire Ritscherflya sediment sequence from an active continental convergent margin; (ii) a cratonic provenance of part of the sediments from population peaks coinciding with major tectono-thermal events in the Kalahari Craton; (iii) at least some of the active volcanism being located on cratonic basement rather than a juvenile island arc. Detrital zircons in the ~1130 Ma age group show several distinct populations in their Hf isotopic compositions. The dominant group shows negative ɛHf values of -11.5 corresponding to a model age (TDM) of ~2700 Ma (average crustal 176Lu/177Hf = 0.015). A smaller group shows ɛHf values of +2 to +6, which may represent mantle-derived subduction-zone volcanism at

  14. Long-term landscape evolution of the South Atlantic "passive" continental margin in Eastern Argentina using apatite fission-track thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    To understand the evolution of the "passive" continental margin in Argentina low temperature thermochronology is an appropriate method, which might lead to new insights in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills the Salado basin is located whereas the Claromecó basin is situated south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the South American "passive" continental margin, the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography is fairly flat with altitudes up to 350 m. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-Proterozoic in age and build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons. It is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sedimentary rocks (Cingolani 2011), like siliciclastic rocks, dolostones, shales and limestones (Demoulin 2005). The aim of the study is to quantify the long-term landscape evolution of the "passive" continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal, exhumation and tectonic evolution. For that purpose, samples were taken from the basement of the Sierra Septentrionales and analyzed with the apatite fission-track method. Further 2-D thermokinematic modeling was conducted with the computer code HeFTy (Ketcham 2005; Ketcham 2007; Ketcham et al. 2009). Because there are different hypotheses in literature regarding the geological evolution of this area two different models were generated, one after Demoulin et al. (2005) and another after Zalba et al.(2007). All samples were taken from the Neoproterozoic igneous-metamorphic basement. Apatite fission-track ages range from 101.6 (9.4) to 228.9 (22.3) Ma, and, therefore, are younger than their formation age, indicating all samples have been thermally reset. Six samples accomplished enough confined

  15. Shallow geological environment of Krishna-Godavari offshore, eastern continental margin of India as inferred from the interpretation of high resolution sparker data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anitha, G.; Ramana, M. V.; Ramprasad, T.; Dewangan, P.; Anuradha, M.

    2014-03-01

    Krishna-Godavari offshore basin, a part of the eastern continental margin of India is a proven petroliferous basin. Recent drilling in this area in search of gas hydrates reveals that the upper ˜300 m thick Quaternary-Recent strata comprised of nannofossil bearing rich clays and, fractures/faults are the suitable zones for gas hydrates accumulation. Therefore, the knowledge about the shallow geological environments and its architecture are significantly important in assessing the gas hydrates potential of this area. In order to enhance the geological understanding, the newly acquired high resolution seismic (HRS) reflection data in this gas hydrates prone area is interpreted. The processed seismic sections show a maximum penetration of 562 ms TWT (˜450 m) underneath the seabed with high resolution stratification. An attempt has been made to: (i) deduce the shallow geological environment from the reflection characteristics, and, (ii) assign tentative ages under the constraints of drilling/coring results. We further explained the observed folded structures on the surface and subsurface through a mechanism linked to shale tectonism and neotectonic activity.

  16. The basins on the Argentine continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Urien, C.M.

    1996-08-01

    After the stabilization of the central Gondwana Craton, orogenic belts were accreted, as a result of convergence events and an extensive passive margin developed in southwestern Gondwana. Thermal subsidence in Parana, Karoo-Ventania basins and the Late Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic rifts, were modified by the Gondwana breakup and the South Atlantic opening. Early Paleozoic marine transgressions deposited the Table Mountain Group in Ventania. In southwestern Patagonia foreland clastics were deposited. Magmatic arcs and marine units indicate a tectonic trough was formed, alternating with continental sequences, over Late Paleozoic metamorphics and intrusives, resulting from plastered terrains along the Gondwana margin. In Patagonia, Permo-Carboniferous continental and glacio marine clastics infill the basins, while in Ventania, paralic sequences, grade from neritic to continental to the northeast, extending beneath the continental margin. The Triassic-Jurassic rift basins progressed onto regional widespread acid lavas and were infilled by lagoonal organic-rich sequences. Early drift phase built basins transverse to the margin, with fluvio-lacustrine sequences: Salado, Colorado, Valdes-Rawson, San Julian and North Malvinas intracratonic basins, which underwent transtensional faulting. Post-Oxfordian to Neocomian brackish sequences, onlapped the conjugate basins during the margin`s drift, with petroleum systems, as in Austral and Malvinas. In the Valanginian, basic extrusions commenced to form on the continental border, heralding the oceanic phase. Due to thermal subsidence, offlaping sediments prograded onto the remaining half-grabens. Several petroleum systems, proven and hypothetical, are identified in this region.

  17. On isostasy at Atlantic-type continental margins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karner, G. D.; Watts, A. B.

    1982-01-01

    The concept of isostasy describes the manner in which topographic features on the earth's surface are compensated at depth. The present investigation is concerned with the isostatic mechanism at Atlantic-type continental margins. Particular attention is given to the question whether the flexure model of isostasy, which has successfully been used at other geological features in oceans, is applicable at margins. Cross-spectral techniques are used to analyze the relationship between free air gravity and topography at Atlantic-type continental margins. The relatively old eastern North America is found to be associated with the highest value of the effective elastic thickness in the range 10-20 km, while the relatively young Coral Sea/Lord Howe rise is associated with the lowest value of less than 5 km. The differences in estimates of effective elastic thickness between margins can be explained by a simple model in which the flexural strength of the basement increases with age.

  18. Continental margin tectonics - Forearc processes

    SciTech Connect

    Lundberg, N.; Reed, D.L. )

    1991-01-01

    Recent studies of convergent plate margins and the structural development of forearc terranes are summarized in a critical review of U.S. research from the period 1987-1990. Topics addressed include the geometry of accretionary prisms (Coulomb wedge taper and vertical motion in response to tectonic processes), offscraping vs underplating or subduction, the response to oblique convergence, fluids in forearc settings, the thermal framework and the effects of fluid advection, and serpentinite seamounts. Also included is a comprehensive bibliography for the period.

  19. Dynamics of the continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-11-01

    On 18--20 June 1990, over 70 oceanographers conducting research in the ocean margins of North America attended a workshop in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The purpose of the workshop was to provide the Department of Energy with recommendations for future research on the exchange of energy-related materials between the coastal and interior ocean and the relationship between the ocean margins and global change. The workshop was designed to optimize the interaction of scientists from specific research disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics and geology) as they developed hypotheses, research questions and topics and implementation plans. The participants were given few restraints on the research they proposed other than realistic time and monetary limits. The interdisciplinary structure of the meeting promoted lively discussion and creative research plans. The meeting was divided into four working groups based on lateral, vertical, air/sea and sediment/water processes. Working papers were prepared and distributed before the meeting. During the meeting the groups revised the papers and added recommendations that appear in this report, which was reviewed by an Executive Committee.

  20. A review of the geology and petroleum possibilities of the continental margins of India

    SciTech Connect

    Sahay, B.

    1984-05-01

    Continental margins which flank western and eastern limits of India are broadly divided into West and East Coast. The width of the Western Continental Shelf varies from 300 km near Bombay to approximately 80 kms near Porbandar, narrowing further towards south to 60 kms near Cochin. The Eastern Continental Shelf which extends from Cape Comorin to Calcutta, has the width varying from 2.5 km, about 150 kms south of Madras to 210 kms upto Ganges river delta, near Calcutta.

  1. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

    Rifted margins are formed by persistent stretching of continental lithosphere until breakup is achieved. It is well known that strain-rate-dependent processes control rift evolution, yet quantified extension histories of Earth's major passive margins have become available only recently. Here we investigate rift kinematics globally by applying a new geotectonic analysis technique to revised global plate reconstructions. We find that rifted margins feature an initial, slow rift phase (less than ten millimetres per year, full rate) and that an abrupt increase of plate divergence introduces a fast rift phase. Plate acceleration takes place before continental rupture and considerable margin area is created during each phase. We reproduce the rapid transition from slow to fast extension using analytical and numerical modelling with constant force boundary conditions. The extension models suggest that the two-phase velocity behaviour is caused by a rift-intrinsic strength--velocity feedback, which can be robustly inferred for diverse lithosphere configurations and rheologies. Our results explain differences between proximal and distal margin areas and demonstrate that abrupt plate acceleration during continental rifting is controlled by the nonlinear decay of the resistive rift strength force. This mechanism provides an explanation for several previously unexplained rapid absolute plate motion changes, offering new insights into the balance of plate driving forces through time. PMID:27437571

  2. On the Evolution of Glaciated Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Neotectonism along the Atlantic passive continental margin: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, Thomas W.

    1989-09-01

    An extensive body of geologic data including the modern state of stress, historical seismicity, surface and subsurface stratigraphy, numerical models of crustal deformation, surficial geomorphic systems, and historical precise leveling and tidal gauge records constrain the style and rate of neotectonic deformation for the Appalachians and Atlantic passive continental margin. There are two major styles of neotectonism in the eastern United States. The northeastern United States is dominated by isostatic uplift and northward migration of peripheral bulge collapse in response to deglaciation. This locally rapid, but decreasing rate of deformation is superimposed upon slower, long-term deformation along the Atlantic margin. Most of the long-term, continental margin deformation is attributed to lithospheric flexuring in response to sediment loading in sedimentary basins (especially the Baltimore Canyon Trough and Carolina Trough), isostatic deformation in response to continental denudation and water loading of the shelf, and stress from far-field plate tectonic sources. Significant deformational features include an uplift anomaly near Cape Fear, N.C.; northward and southward tilting of the Coastal Plain into the Salisbury and Southeast Georgia Embayments respectively; seaward tilting of the Coastal Plain/Piedmont, and a complex pattern of postglacial uplift and later subsidence in the northeast. Estimates of vertical crustal velocities for similar locations vary over several orders of magnitude. Measurement interval bias and systematic leveling errors may account for some of the discrepancies. Evidence for periodic deformation in the eastern United States in substantial and it is possible that historic data indicate a period of accelerated deformation along the Atlantic continental margin.

  4. Evolution of Northeast Atlantic magmatic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    England, Richard; Cornwell, David; Ramsden, Alice

    2014-05-01

    One of the major problems interpreting the evolution of magmatic continental margins such as those which dominate the Irish, UK and Norwegian margins of the NE Atlantic is that the structure which should record the pre-magmatic evolution of the rift and which potentially influences the character of the rifting process is partially or completely obscured by thick basalt lava flows and sills. A limited number of deep reflection seismic profiles acquired with tuned seismic sources have penetrated the basalts and provide an image of the pre-magmatic structure, otherwise the principle data are lower resolution wide-angle/refraction profiles and potential field models which have greater uncertainties associated with them. In order to sidestep the imaging contraints we have examined the Ethiopian ñ Afar rift system to try to understand the rifting process. This magmatic rift system provides, along its length, a series of ësnapshotsí into the possible tectonic evolution of a magmatic continental margin which are associated with different amounts of extension. The Main Ethiopian rift contains an embryonic magmatic passive margin dominated by faulting at the margins of the rift and en-echlon magmatic zones at the centre. Further north toward Afar the rift becomes infilled with extensive lava flows fed from fissure systems in the widening rift zone. Deep seismic profiles crossing the NE Atlantic margins reveal ocean dipping reflector sequences (ODRS) of basaltic lavas overlying extended crust and lower crustal sill complexes of intruded igneous rock, often referred to as underplate, which extend back beneath the continental margin. The ODRS show a variety of morphologies and settings but frequently occur in fault bounded rift structures along the margins. We suggest, by analogy to the observations that can be made in the Ethiopia Afar rift that these fault bounded basins largely form at the embryonic rift stage and are then partially or completely filled with lavas fed

  5. Southern African continental margin: Dynamic processes of a transform margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsiegla, N.; Stankiewicz, J.; Gohl, K.; Ryberg, T.; Uenzelmann-Neben, G.

    2009-03-01

    Dynamic processes at sheared margins associated with the formation of sedimentary basins and marginal ridges are poorly understood. The southern African margin provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the deep crustal structure of a transform margin and to characterize processes acting at these margins by studying the Agulhas-Falkland Fracture Zone, the Outeniqua Basin, and the Diaz Marginal Ridge. To do this, we present the results of the combined seismic land-sea experiments of the Agulhas-Karoo Geoscience Transect. Detailed velocity-depth models show crustal thicknesses varying from ˜42 km beneath the Cape Fold Belt to ˜28 km beneath the shelf. The Agulhas-Falkland Fracture Zone is embedded in a 50 km wide transitional zone between continental and oceanic crust. The oceanic crust farther south exhibits relatively low average crustal velocities (˜6.0 km/s), which can possibly be attributed to transform-ridge intersection processes and the thermal effects of the adjacent continental crust during its formation. Crustal stretching factors derived from the velocity-depth models imply that extension in the Outeniqua Basin acted on regional as well as more local scales. We highlight evidence for two episodes of crustal stretching. The first, with a stretching factor β of 1.6, is interpreted to have influenced the entire Outeniqua Basin. The stresses possibly originated from the beginning breakup between Africa and Antarctica (˜169-155 Ma). The second episode can be associated with a transtensional component of the shear motion along the Agulhas-Falkland Transform from ˜136 Ma. This episode caused additional crustal stretching with β = 1.3 and is established to only have affected the southern parts of the basin. Crustal velocities directly beneath the Outeniqua Basin are consistent with the interpretation of Cape Supergroup rocks underlying most parts of the basin and the Diaz Marginal Ridge. We propose that the formation of this ridge can be either

  6. Systematic mapping of the Spanish continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acosta, Juan; Muñoz, Araceli; Uchupi, Elazar

    2012-07-01

    For economic, environmental, recreational, military, and political reasons it is critical for coastal states to have up-to-date information on their marine margins. Spain began to acquire such data 17 years ago. From 1995 to the present, the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO), a research organization of the state, has carried out a systematic geological and geophysical study of the Spanish margins. Among these projects are (1) the hydrographic and oceanographic study of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that was implemented by the Navy Hydrographic Institute (IHM); (2) the Espace Project, a study of the Spanish continental shelf; and (3) the Capesme Project, which created fisheries maps of the Mediterranean Sea. The latter two projects were carried out in collaboration with the Secretariat General of the Sea (SGM).

  7. Late Holocene diffused interaction between a transform fault and nearby continental margin, extracted by comparing biological sea-level indicators and hydro-isostatic numerical predictions along the eastern Mediterranean coasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schattner, U.; Sivan, D.; Morhange, C.; Lambeck, K.; Boaretto, E.

    2009-04-01

    The Dendropoma petraeum are fixed vermitides that construct the abrasion platform rims. These endemic mollusks are considered good Relative Sea Level (RSL) indicators in the eastern and the southern Mediterranean, due to their narrow habitat at the sea surface (+/- 10cm). The observed RSL values recorded (submerged, uplifted or at present MSL) reflect a superposition of eustatic, isostatic, tectonic and possibly local sedimentary instabilities. The present study examines fossil Dendropoma samples gathered along the Levant coast, from northern Israel to eastern Turkey. Conventional radiocarbon dates (from Turkey, Syria and partly in Lebanon) and C14 AMS (from Lebanon and Israel) yields Dendropoma ages ranging through Late Holocene. A numerical model is used for calculating the change in sea level through the Holocene as a function of glacio-hydrology and isostasy of the eastern Mediterranean. Space-time dependent subtractions of the model values are used to eliminate the eustatic component of the RSL, in order to obtain the tectonic factor. Results show a general northward increase in tectonic uplift of the Levant coast. This differential uplift corresponds well to the major tectonic segments comprising the Levant continental margin since the Pleistocene, from the Carmel fault to the East Anatolian fault.

  8. Investigating Continental Margins: An Activity to Help Students Better Understand the Continental Margins of North America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poli, Maria-Serena; Capodivacca, Marco

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Global distribution of naturally occurring marine hypoxia on continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helly, John J.; Levin, Lisa A.

    2004-09-01

    Hypoxia in the ocean influences biogeochemical cycling of elements, the distribution of marine species and the economic well being of many coastal countries. Previous delineations of hypoxic environments focus on those in enclosed seas where hypoxia may be exacerbated by anthropogenically induced eutrophication. Permanently hypoxic water masses in the open ocean, referred to as oxygen minimum zones, impinge on a much larger seafloor surface area along continental margins of the eastern Pacific, Indian and western Atlantic Oceans. We provide the first global quantification of naturally hypoxic continental margin floor by determining upper and lower oxygen minimum zone depth boundaries from hydrographic data and computing the area between the isobaths using seafloor topography. This approach reveals that there are over one million km 2 of permanently hypoxic shelf and bathyal sea floor, where dissolved oxygen is <0.5 ml l -1; over half (59%) occurs in the northern Indian Ocean. We also document strong variation in the intensity, vertical position and thickness of the OMZ as a function of latitude in the eastern Pacific Ocean and as a function of longitude in the northern Indian Ocean. Seafloor OMZs are regions of low biodiversity and are inhospitable to most commercially valuable marine resources, but support a fascinating array of protozoan and metazoan adaptations to hypoxic conditions.

  10. North Sinai-Levant rift-transform continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Ressetar, R.; Schamel, S.; Travis, C.J.

    1985-01-01

    The passive continental margin of northern Egypt and the Levant coast formed during the Early mesozoic as the relatively small Anatolia plate broke away from northern Africa. The oceanic basin of the eastern Mediterranean and the unusual right-angle bend in the North Sinai-Levant shelf margin are both products of plate separation along a rift-transform fracture system, the south arm of Tethys. The north-south trending Levant transform margin is considerably narrower than the east-west trending rift margin of northern Egypt. Both exhibit similar facies and depositional histories through the mid-Tertiary. Analysis of subsurface data and published reports of the regional stratigraphy point to a three-stage tectonic evolution of this passive margin. The Triassic through mid-Cretaceous was marked by crustal breakup followed by rapid rotational subsidence of the shelf margins about hinge lines located just south and east of the present shorelines. Reef carbonates localized on the shelf edge separated a deep marine basin to the north from a deltaic-shallow marine platform to the south and east. In the Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary, inversion of earlier formed half-grabens produced broad anticlinal upwarps of the Syrian Arc on the shelf margin that locally influenced facies patterns. The episode of inversion corresponds with the onset of northward subduction of the Africa plate beneath southern Asia. Beginning in the Oligocene and continuing to the present, there has been renewed subsidence of the North Sinai shelf margin beneath thick, outward building clastic wedges. The source of this large volume of sediment is the updomed and erosionally stripped margins of the Suez-Red Sea Rift and the redirected Nile River.

  11. Structure of the North American Atlantic Continental Margin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klitgord, K. K.; Schlee, J. S.

    1986-01-01

    Offers explanations on the origin of the North American Atlantic continental margin. Provides an analysis and illustrations of structural and strategraphic elements of cross sections of the Atlantic continental margin. Also explains the operations and applications of seismic-relection profiles in studying ocean areas. (ML)

  12. Understanding continental margin biodiversity: a new imperative.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, the deep continental margins (200-4,000 m) were perceived as monotonous mud slopes of limited ecological or environmental concern. Progress in seafloor mapping and direct observation now reveals unexpected heterogeneity, with a mosaic of habitats and ecosystems linked to geomorphological, geochemical, and hydrographic features that influence biotic diversity. Interactions among water masses, terrestrial inputs, sediment diagenesis, and tectonic activity create a multitude of ecological settings supporting distinct communities that populate canyons and seamounts, high-stress oxygen minimum zones, and methane seeps, as well as vast reefs of cold corals and sponges. This high regional biodiversity is fundamental to the production of valuable fisheries, energy, and mineral resources, and performs critical ecological services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, nursery and habitat support). It is under significant threat from climate change and human resource extraction activities. Serious actions are required to preserve the functions and services provided by the deep-sea settings we are just now getting to know. PMID:22457970

  13. Organic geochemistry of outer continental margins and deep ocean sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Whelan, J.K.

    1990-01-01

    This report discusses the activities and progress made in the study of continental margins and deep ocean sediments. Topics discussed are the calibration of thermal maturation markers, hydrous pyrolysis studies and sample collection. (KS)

  14. Evidence of a dense water vein along the Libyan continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasparini, G. P.; Bonanno, A.; Zgozi, S.; Basilone, G.; Borghini, M.; Buscaino, G.; Cuttitta, A.; Essarbout, N.; Mazzola, S.; Patti, B.; Ramadan, A. B.; Schroeder, K.; Bahri, T.; Massa, F.

    2008-02-01

    For the first time it was possible to investigate a still poorly known region of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Libyan continental margin. An oceanographic cruise, performed during summer 2006, revealed an important and novel feature: a dense vein flowing along the continental slope. The paper describes the vein evolution with some insights on its dynamic and furnishes an estimate of its transport, which results to be comparable with the Adriatic Deep Water production rate. The cascading into a steep canyon which incises the continental shelf suggests that the vein may play an important role in ventilating the deep layers of the Ionian Sea.

  15. Continental margin of Western europe: slope progradation and erosion.

    PubMed

    Curray, J R; Moore, D G; Belderson, R H; Stride, A H

    1966-10-14

    Reflection profiling of the continental margin off western Europe shows seaward-dipping continental-slope deposits that have been dissected by submarine canyons west of the English Channel. These records refute previous interpretation of structural benches of older, nearly horizontal strata outcropping on the slope face. PMID:17810307

  16. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Niu, F.; Palomeras, I.; Thurner, S.; Humphreys, E.; Miller, M. S.; Carbonell, R.; Gallart, J.; Schmitz, M.

    2014-12-01

    While subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere is one of the central themes of plate tectonics, recycling continental lithosphere appears far more complicated and is less well understood. Delamination and convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we describe another process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone: Subducting oceanic plates can entrain and recycle lithospheric mantle from an adjacent continent and disrupt the continental lithosphere far inland from the subduction zone. Seismic images from recent dense broadband arrays on opposite sides of the Atlantic show higher than expected volumes of positive anomalies identified as the subducted Atlantic (ATL) slab under northeastern South America (SA), and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region (GA). The positive anomalies lie under and are aligned with the continental margins at depths greater than 200 km. Closer to the surface we find that the continental margin lithospheric mantle is significantly thinner than expected beneath the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones. Thinner than expected lithosphere extends inland as far as the edges of nearby cratonic cores. These observations suggest that subducting oceanic plates viscously entrain and remove continental mantle lithosphere from beneath adjacent continental margins, modulating the surface tectonics and pre-conditioning the margins for further deformation. The latter can include delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around GA, inferred by results from active and passive seismic experiments. Secondary downwellings develop under the continental interior inland from the subduction zone: We image one under SA and one or more in the past were likely under GA. The process of subduction-driven continental margin lithosphere removal reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually

  17. Continental margin sedimentation: from sediment transport to sequence stratigraphy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nittrouer, Charles A., (Edited By); Austin, James A.; Field, Michael E.; Kravitz, Joseph H.; Syvitski, James P.M.; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2007-01-01

    This volume on continental margin sedimentation brings together an expert editorial and contributor team to create a state-of-the-art resource. Taking a global perspective, the book spans a range of timescales and content, ranging from how oceans transport particles, to how thick rock sequences are formed on continental margins. - Summarizes and integrates our understanding of sedimentary processes and strata associated with fluvial dispersal systems on continental shelves and slopes - Explores timescales ranging from particle transport at one extreme, to deep burial at the other - Insights are presented for margins in general, and with focus on a tectonically active margin (northern California) and a passive margin (New Jersey), enabling detailed examination of the intricate relationships between a wide suite of sedimentary processes and their preserved stratigraphy - Includes observational studies which document the processes and strata found on particular margins, in addition to numerical models and laboratory experimentation, which provide a quantitative basis for extrapolation in time and space of insights about continental-margin sedimentation - Provides a research resource for scientists studying modern and ancient margins, and an educational text for advanced students in sedimentology and stratigraphy

  18. Comparative biogeochemistry-ecosystem-human interactions on dynamic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Comparative biogeochemistry-ecosystem-human interactions on dynamic continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. The Chukchi Borderland: a Sediment-starved Rifted Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutchinson, D. R.; Houseknecht, D.; Mosher, D. C.; Hart, P. E.; Jackson, H. R.; Lebedeva-Ivanova, N. N.; Shimeld, J.; Chian, D.

    2013-12-01

    The origin and geologic structure of the Chukchi Borderland region, approximately 650 by 400 km in size, has been the subject of speculation since the earliest ice island research groups discovered its existence more than 60 years ago. Multichannel seismic reflection and refraction data acquired between 2007 and 2011, together with legacy seismic data show fragments of high-standing basement (continental) horsts. The structure is draped with less than a kilometer of sediment. Between the high-standing blocks are deep grabens with locally tilted but mostly flat-lying deposits generally only 1-2 km thick. Northwind Escarpment, along the eastern boundary of the Borderland, is a 600-km-long fault adjacent to the deeply subsided and hyper-extended crust of the Canada Basin to the east. The long, linear, sub-parallel orientation of the major structures (including Northwind Escarpment) is consistent with transtensional deformation of the Borderland. The general paucity of thick sediments indicates a sediment-starved environment. Both the North Chukchi Basin on the west and an unnamed deeply buried valley east on the Beaufort margin provide sediment-routing conduits through which sediment by-passed the Borderland throughout much of the Cretaceous history of the growing Brooks Range to the south. Canada Basin deposits also show strata thicken towards the southwest, suggesting sediment influx via the deeply buried valley on the Beaufort margin. On the northeastern side of the Canada Basin, the region is underlain by horst and graben structures with orientations similar to the Chukchi Borderland, but the intervening valleys are filled with as much as two km of sediment and the entire feature is buried beneath another 2 km of post-rift sediment. The similarity of structural styles on both sides of the Canada Basin suggests that this style of transtensional rifting could have been widespread during the early extension of this part of the Arctic and perhaps the Chukchi

  1. Spreading and slope instability at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna, imaged by high-resolution 2D seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Felix; Krastel, Sebastian; Behrmann, Jan-Hinrich; Papenberg, Cord; Geersen, Jacob; Ridente, Domenico; Latino Chiocci, Francesco; Urlaub, Morelia; Bialas, Jörg; Micallef, Aaron

    2015-04-01

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. Its volcano edifice is located on top of continental crust close to the Ionian shore in east Sicily. Instability of the eastern flank of the volcano edifice is well documented onshore. The continental margin is supposed to deform as well. Little, however, is known about the offshore extension of the eastern volcano flank and its adjacent continental margin, which is a serious shortcoming in stability models. In order to better constrain the active tectonics of the continental margin offshore the eastern flank of the volcano, we acquired and processed a new marine high-resolution seismic and hydro-acoustic dataset. The data provide new detailed insights into the heterogeneous geology and tectonics of shallow continental margin structures offshore Mt Etna. In a similiar manner as observed onshore, the submarine realm is characterized by different blocks, which are controlled by local- and regional tectonics. We image a compressional regime at the toe of the continental margin, which is bound to an asymmetric basin system confining the eastward movement of the flank. In addition, we constrain the proposed southern boundary of the moving flank, which is identified as a right lateral oblique fault movement north of Catania Canyon. From our findings, we consider a major coupled volcano edifice instability and continental margin gravitational collapse and spreading to be present at Mt Etna, as we see a clear link between on- and offshore tectonic structures across the entire eastern flank. The new findings will help to evaluate hazards and risks accompanied by Mt Etna's slope- and continental margin instability and will be used as a base for future investigations in this region.

  2. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Levander, A; Bezada, M J; Niu, F; Humphreys, E D; Palomeras, I; Thurner, S M; Masy, J; Schmitz, M; Gallart, J; Carbonell, R; Miller, M S

    2014-11-13

    Whereas subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere is one of the central themes of plate tectonics, the recycling of continental lithosphere appears to be far more complicated and less well understood. Delamination and convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we relate oceanic plate subduction to removal of adjacent continental lithosphere in certain plate tectonic settings. We have developed teleseismic body wave images from dense broadband seismic experiments that show higher than expected volumes of anomalously fast mantle associated with the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern South America and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region; the anomalies are under, and are aligned with, the continental margins at depths greater than 200 kilometres. Rayleigh wave analysis finds that the lithospheric mantle under the continental margins is significantly thinner than expected, and that thin lithosphere extends from the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones inland to the edges of nearby cratonic cores. Taking these data together, here we describe a process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone. Subducting oceanic plates can viscously entrain and remove the bottom of the continental thermal boundary layer lithosphere from adjacent continental margins. This drives surface tectonics and pre-conditions the margins for further deformation by creating topography along the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. This can lead to development of secondary downwellings under the continental interior, probably under both South America and the Gibraltar arc, and to delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around the Gibraltar arc. This process reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these subduction zones

  3. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, Alan; Bezada, Maximiliano; Niu, Fenglin; Palomeras, Imma; Thurner, Sally; Humphreys, Eugene; Carbonell, Ramon; Gallart, Josep; Schmitz, Michael; Miller, Meghan

    2015-04-01

    Subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere, a central theme of plate tectonics, is relatively well understood, whereas recycling continental lithosphere is more difficult to recognize, and appears far more complicated. Delamination and localized convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we describe another process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone: Subducting oceanic plates can entrain and recycle lithospheric mantle from an adjacent continent and disrupt the continental lithosphere far inland from the subduction zone. Seismic images from recent dense broadband seismograph arrays in northeastern South America (SA) and in the western Mediterranean show higher than expected volumes of positive anomalies identified as the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern SA, and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region (GA). The positive anomalies lie under and are aligned with the continental margins at depths greater than 200 km. Closer to the surface we find that the continental margin lithospheric mantle is significantly thinner than expected beneath the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones. The thinner than expected lithosphere extends inland as far as the edges of nearby cratonic cores. These observations suggest that subducting oceanic plates viscously entrain and remove continental mantle lithosphere from beneath adjacent continental margins, modulating the surface tectonics and pre-conditioning the margins for further deformation. The latter can include delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around GA, inferred by results from active and passive seismic experiments. Viscous removal of continental margin lithosphere creates lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) topography which can give rise to secondary downwellings under the continental interior far inland from the subduction

  4. Structure of the North American Atlantic Continental Margin.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlee, J.S.; Klitgord, K.K.

    1986-01-01

    Off E N America, where the structure of the continental margin is essentially constructional, seismic profiles have approximated geologic cross sections up to 10-15km below the sea floor and revealed major structural and stratigraphic features that have regional hydrocarbon potential. These features include a) a block-faulted basement hinge zone; b) a deep, broad, rifted basement filled with clastic sediment and salt; and c) a buried paleoshelf-edge complex that has many forms. The mapping of seismostratigraphic units over the continental shelf, slope, and rise has shown that the margin's developmental state included infilling of a rifted margin, buildup of a carbonate platform, and construction of an onlapping continental-rise wedge that was accompanied by erosion of the slope. -from Authors

  5. Closing the North American Carbon Budget: Continental Margin Fluxes Matter!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. The dynamics of continental extension and divergent margin formation

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, D.S. )

    1990-05-01

    Continental breakup is a highly variable process. Differences occur in the relative timing and extent of volcanism, uplift, and graben formation as well as in the mode and amount of continental extension before breakup. The authors propose a model that reconciles this variability with the previously recognized tendency for breakup to occur along preexisting weak trends. Continental lithosphere is viewed as a composite material composed of two strong layers, one in the upper mantle and one in the middle crust. Finite element simulation indicates that extensional failure at weaknesses in the mantle causes concentrated extension in the mantle and diffuse extension in the crust. This leads to early melt segregation and volcanism, margin uplift during the late stages of the extension process, and relatively narrow symmetrical extended margins. In contrast, failure at weaknesses in the crustal strong zone causes focused extension in the crust and diffuse extension in the mantle. This produces initial graben formation, cooling in the lower crust and upper mantle, and broad asymmetrical extended margins. Volcanism only occurs late in the process. Failure at laterally offset weaknesses within both strong layers, perhaps the most common case, leads to a deformation pattern dominated by simple shear. Thus, differences in the prerift configuration of the continental lithosphere can control the overall style of continental breakup. They find that certain features of the evolution of the US Atlantic margin, particularly the formation of the hinge zone and the distribution and timing of extension may be better explained using these models.

  7. Investigating the Asymmetry of Northern North Atlantic Volcanic Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, L. K.; White, R. S.

    2005-12-01

    The Hatton Bank continental margin is a typical example of the volcanic margins present in the northern North Atlantic where voluminous magmatism occurred at the time of continental break-up. The upper crust exhibits characteristically large volumes of extruded lava imaged as seaward-dipping reflectors, which have in the past proved problematic for seismic imaging of the deeper crustal structure. The integrated Seismic Imaging and Modelling of Margins (iSIMM) project recorded profiles in 2002 designed to map specifically the poorly constrained lower crustal structure in this region. 29 four-component ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) were deployed along a strike line over the region of thickest extrusive and intruded igneous material; 53 OBS were deployed through the mid-point of the strike line, along a dip line extending from the stretched continental crust of the Hatton Basin into the fully oceanic crust of the Iceland Basin. We present a new seismic velocity model for the Hatton Bank volcanic continental margin. Joint wide-angle refraction and reflection tomography was used to determine the seismic velocity structure and depth to Moho across the continent-ocean transition (COT) in both the dip and strike directions. The lower crust beneath the margin exhibits elevated crustal velocities in the range of 7.0-7.4 km/s, which represent new igneous material added to the lower crust in this region at the time of continental break-up. The iSIMM survey is located close to the site of a previous survey carried out in 1986. A comparison of the 1986 results and the results from the 1996 SIGMA survey carried out on the conjugate southeast Greenland margin show a marked asymmetry in crustal structure: the Greenland margin appears to have a COT stretched over ~ 150 km compared to the narrower COT of the Hatton Bank margin, which extends for only ~ 50 km. The new iSIMM survey results provide a refined estimate of crustal structure of the Hatton Bank margin and improved

  8. Post-orogenic evolution of the Sierras Septentrionales and the Sierras Australes and links to the evolution of the eastern Argentina South Atlantic passive continental margin constrained by low temperature thermochronometry and 2D thermokinematic modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Rossello, Eduardo A.

    2013-04-01

    The eastern Argentina South Atlantic passive continental margin is distinguished by a very flat topography. Out of the so called Pampean flat two mountain ranges are arising. These mountain ranges, the Sierras Australes and the Sierras Septentrionales, are located in the State of Buenos Aires south of the capital Buenos Aires. North of the Sierras Septentrionales the Salado basin is located. The Sierras Septentrionales and the Sierras Australes are also divided by a smaller intracratonic basin. Further in the South the Colorado basin is located. The Sierras Australes is a variscian fold belt originated by strong phases of metamorphosis, but till now it is unclear by how many tectonic phases the area was influenced (Tomezzoli & Vilas, 1999). It consists of Proterozoic to Paleozoic rocks. The Sierras Septentrionales consists mainly of Precambrian crystalline rocks. The Precambrian sequences are overlain by younger Sediments (Cingolani, 2010). The aim is to understand the long-term landscape evolution of the area by quantifiying erosion- and exhumation-rates and by dating ancient rock-uplift-events. Another goal is to find out how the opening of the south atlantic took effect on this region. To fulfill this goal, thermochronological techniques, such as fission-track dating and (U-Th-Sm)/He dating has been applied to samples from the region. Because there was no low-temperature thermochronology done in this area, both techniques were applied on apatites and zircons. Furthermore, numerical modeling of the cooling history has provided the data base for the quantification of the exhumation rates. The first data-set shows clusters of different ages which can be linked to tectonic activities during late Paleozoic times. Also the thermokinematic modeling is leading to new insights of the evolution of both mountain ranges. References: Renata Nela Tomezzoli and Juan Francisco Vilas (1999): Palaeomagnetic constraints on the age of deformation of the Sierras Australes thrust and

  9. Geomorphic characterization of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, Daniel S.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Andrews, Brian D.; Chaytor, Jason D.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing volume of multibeam bathymetry data collected along continental margins is providing new opportunities to study the feedbacks between sedimentary and oceanographic processes and seafloor morphology. Attempts to develop simple guidelines that describe the relationships between form and process often overlook the importance of inherited physiography in slope depositional systems. Here, we use multibeam bathymetry data and seismic reflection profiles spanning the U.S. Atlantic outer continental shelf, slope and rise from Cape Hatteras to New England to quantify the broad-scale, across-margin morphological variation. Morphometric analyses suggest the margin can be divided into four basic categories that roughly align with Quaternary sedimentary provinces. Within each category, Quaternary sedimentary processes exerted heavy modification of submarine canyons, landslide complexes and the broad-scale morphology of the continental rise, but they appear to have preserved much of the pre-Quaternary, across-margin shape of the continental slope. Without detailed constraints on the substrate structure, first-order morphological categorization the U.S. Atlantic margin does not provide a reliable framework for predicting relationships between form and process.

  10. Tectonic significance of Synrift sediment packages across the Congo continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    McGinnis, J.P.; Karner, G.D.; Driscoll, N.W. ); Brumbaugh, W.D. ); Cameron, N. )

    1993-09-01

    The tectonic and stratigraphic development of the Congo continental margin reflects the timing, magnitude, and distribution of lithospheric extension responsible for its formation. Details of the lithospheric extension process are recorded in the stratigraphic successions preserved along and across the margin. By using the stratal relationships (e.g., onlap, downlap, and truncation) and lithofacies determined from seismic reflection and exploratory well data as input into our basin-modeling strategy, we have developed an integrated approach to determine the relationship between the timing, magnitude, and distribution of lithospheric extension across the margin. Two hinge zones, an eastern and Atlantic hinge formed along the Congo margin in response to discrete extensional events occurring from the Berriasian to the Aptian. The eastern hinge zone demarcates the eastern limit of the broadly distributed Berriasian extension. This extension resulted in the formation of deep anoxic, lacustrine systems. In contrast, the Atlantic hinge, located [approximately]90 km west of the eastern hinge, marks the eastern limit of a second phase of extension, which began in the Hauterivian. Consequent footwall uplift and rotation exposed the earlier synrift and prerift stratigraphy to at least wave base causing varying amounts of erosional truncation across the Atlantic hinge zone along much of the Gabon, Congo, and Angola margins. The absence of the Melania Formation across the Congo margin implies that uplift of the Atlantic hinge was relatively minor compared to that across the Angola and Gabon margins. In addition, material eroded from the adjacent and topographically higher hinge zones may in part account for the thick wedge of sediment deposited seaward of the Congo Atlantic hinge. A third phase of extension reactivated both the eastern and Atlantic hinge zones and was responsible for creating the accommodation space for Marnes Noires source rock deposition.

  11. The Continental Margins of the Western North Atlantic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlee, John S.; And Others

    1979-01-01

    Presents an interpretation of geological and geophysical data, which provides a summary of the structural and sedimentary history of the United States Atlantic Margin. The importance of an understanding of the development of the outer continental shelf to future hydrocarbon exploration is detailed. (BT)

  12. Canada basin: age and history of its continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeney, J.F.

    1985-02-01

    Presently available age controls suggest that the Canada basin formed during the Cretaceous Period between about 131 and 79 Ma. The opening process began with continental breakup that may have involved all parts of the North American polar margin at about the same time. The opening was completed by the formation of oceanic crust during the extended Cretaceous interval of normal geomagnetic polarity. Features characteristics of continental breakup, insofar as they are known, show systematic regional differences. From Brock to Axel Heiberg Island, continental breakup was associated with an extended (100 + Ma) stratigraphic hiatus and, northeastward from Ellef Ringnes Island, with extensive tholeiitic igneous activity. From Banks Island to northeastern Alaska, the breakup interval was abbreviated (20-30 Ma), and sparse igneous activity occurred. These differences can be produced by changes in the rate and/or amount of crustal stretching during margin formation and would imply relatively faster or more stretching northeast of Brock island. A continental margin of fixed age, exhibiting the indicated pattern of crustal stretching, could be produced along the trailing edge of a rotating block (Arctic Alaska terrane AA) with its pivot near the Mackenzie delta. When the rotation is restored, however, geological discrepancies are evident between Devonian and older rocks across the conjugate margins, suggesting an earlier history of drifting for the AA. Early Paleozoic correlations appear improved if the AA is placed, polar margin to polar margin, against northern Ellesmere Island and Greenland, where in the middle Paleozoic, it was sheared sinistrally along the Canadian margin to its pre-rotated position opposite Banks Island.

  13. Flow of material under compression in weak lower continental crust can cause post-rift uplift of passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, James

    2014-05-01

    There are mountain ranges up to more than 2 km high along many passive continental margins (e.g. Norway, eastern Australia, eastern Brazil, SE and SW Africa, east and west Greenland etc.), dubbed Elevated Passive Continental Margins (EPCMs). EPCMs contain several features in common and observations indicate that uplift of these margins took place after continental break-up. There are many explanations for their formation but none that satisfy all the observations. Lack of a geodynamical mechanism has meant that there has been difficulty in getting the community to accept the observational evidence. Formation of a passive continental margin must take place under conditions of tension. After rifting ceases, however, the margin can come under compression from forces originating elsewhere on or below its plate, e.g. orogeny elsewhere in the plate or sub-lithospheric drag. The World Stress Map (www.world-stress-mp.org) shows that, where data exists, all EPCMs are currently under compression. Under sufficient compression, crust and/or lithosphere can fold, and Cloetingh & Burov (2010) showed that many continental areas may have folded in this way. The wavelengths of folding observed by Cloetingh & Burov (2010) imply that the lower crust is likely to be of intermediate composition; granitic lower crust would fold with a shorter wavelength and basic lower crust would mean that the whole lithosphere would have to fold as a unit resulting in a much longer wavelength. Continental crust more than 20 km thick would be separated from the mantle by a weak layer. However, crust less thick than that would contain no weak layers would become effectively annealed to the underlying strong mantle. Under sufficient horizontal compression stress, material can flow in the lower weak layer towards a continental margin from the continental side. The annealed extended crust and mantle under the rift means, however, that flow cannot continue towards the ocean. Mid- and lower crustal material

  14. ODP Leg 107 results from continental margin east of Sardinia (Mediterranean Sea): a transect across a very young passive margin

    SciTech Connect

    Kastens, K.A.; Mascle, J.; Auroux, C.; Bonatti, E.; Broglia, C.; Channell, J.; Curzi, P.; Emeis, K.; Glacon, G.; Hasegawa, S.; Hieke, W.

    1987-05-01

    A 200-km wide zone east of Sardinia, characterized by thin continental crust with tilted, listric(.)-fault-bounded blocks, has been interpreted as a passive continental margin formed during back-arc opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Leg 107 of the Ocean Drilling Project drilled a transect of four sites across this margin plus three sites in the basaltic basin. Site 654, closest to Sardinia, recovered a transgressive sequence attributed to basin subsidence: coarse-grained, iron-oxide rich, subaerial conglomerates underlie oyster-bearing sands followed upsection by open-water Tortonian marine marls. The synrift sequence, as inferred from seismic reflection profiles, correlates with sediments of Tortonian to Messinian age. Farther east the synrift sediments are younger: site 652, near the continental/oceanic transition, recovered an inferred synrift sequence of Messinian to early Pliocene age. The pan-Mediterranean Messinian desiccation event is represented at the western two sites (654 and 653) by a basinal facies including laminated gypsum, whereas at the eastern two sites the Messinian facies are terrestrial (lacustrine at 652 and subaerial at 656). They therefore infer that subsidence was more advanced at the western sites than at the eastern sites as of 5 Ma. Leg 107 results suggest that subsidence and stretching were diachronous across the passive margin, beginning and ending several million years earlier in the west than in the east. This asynchroneity may result from the inherent asymmetry of back-arc basin opening, or it may be a common characteristic of passive margins which has been revealed by the unusually precise time resolution of this data set.

  15. Geologic history of the continental margin of North America in the Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholl, D. W.; Buffington, E.C.; Hopkins, D.M.

    1968-01-01

    The North American continental margin beneath the Bering Sea is nearly 1,300 km long and extends from Alaska to eastern Siberia. The margin is a canyon-scarred 3,200-3,400-m high escarpment separating one of the world's largest epicontinental seas (the shallow Bering Sea) and the Aleutian Basin (the deep-water Bering Sea), a marginal oceanic basin distinguished by having its southern boundary formed by the Aleutian Ridge. Three geomorphic provinces can be recognized: a southeastern province characterized by a gentle continental slope (lacking V-shaped canyons) and an outlying continental borderland (formed by Umnak Plateau); a central province distinguished by a steep canyon-scarred slope, and a northwestern province having a gentler and, apparently, less eroded continental slope. Continuous seismic reflection profiles show that the margin is constructed of three major structural-stratigraphic units: (1) an acoustic basement underlying the outer shelf and upper slope; (2) an overlying main layered sequence; and (3) a stratified rise unit underlying and forming the continental rise at the base of the slope. The existing margin evolved with downbowing and faulting of the acoustic basement, an older margin probably of Late Mesozoic age, consisting in part of well-indurated siltstone and mudstone, in Early Tertiary time. Concomitant with subsidence as much as 1,500 m of main-layered-sequence strata were draped over the basement. Intense canyon cutting, presumed to have been caused by the rapid deposition of unstable masses of riverborn sediment over the outer shelf and upper slope, is thought to have begun in Late Tertiary and Quaternary time. Concurrent with canyon cutting, submarine fans, consisting of turbidites forming the rise unit, accrued at the base of the continental slope. Subsidence of the continental margin during the Tertiary may be related to foundering ("oceanization") of a continental block to form the Aleutian Basin, or to simple isostatic depression

  16. Cenozoic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.B. )

    1990-05-01

    Cenozoic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin has involved a series of ridge (Aluk Ridge)-trench collisions between the Pacific and Antarctic plates. Subduction occurred episodically between segments of the Pacific plate that are bounded by major fracture zones. The age of ridge-trench collisions decreases from south to north along the margin. The very northern part of the margin, between the Hero and Shackleton fracture zones, has the last surviving Aluk-Antarctic spreading ridge segments and the only remaining trench topography. The sedimentary cover on the northern margin is relatively thin generally less than 1.5 km, thus providing a unique setting in which to examine margin evolution using high resolution seismic methods. Over 5,000 km of high resolution (water gun) seismic profiles were acquired from the Antarctic Peninsula margin during four cruises to the region. The margin is divided into discrete fracture-zone-bounded segments; each segment displays different styles of development. Highly tectonized active margin sequences have been buried beneath a seaward-thickening sediment wedge that represents the passive stage of margin development Ice caps, which have existed in the Antarctic Peninsula region since at least the late Oligocene, have advanced onto the continental shelf on numerous occasions, eroding hundreds of meters into the shelf and depositing a thick sequence of deposits characterized by till tongues and glacial troughs. Glacial erosion has been the main factor responsible for overdeepening of the shelf; isostasy is of secondary importance. As the shelf was lowered by glacial erosion, it was able to accommodate thicker and more unstable marine ice sheets. The shelf also became a vast reservoir for cold, saline shelf water, one of the key ingredients of Antarctic bottom water.

  17. The speciation of marine particulate iron adjacent to active and passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Ohnemus, Daniel C.; Marcus, Matthew A.

    2012-03-01

    We use synchrotron-based chemical-species mapping techniques to compare the speciation of suspended (1-51 μm) marine particulate iron collected in two open ocean environments adjacent to active and passive continental margins. Chemical-species mapping provides speciation information for heterogeneous environmental samples, and is especially good for detecting spectroscopically distinct trace minerals and species that could not be detectable by other methods. The average oxidation state of marine particulate iron determined by chemical-species mapping is comparable to that determined by standard bulk X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure spectroscopy. Using chemical-species mapping, we find that up to 43% of particulate Fe in the Northwest Pacific at the depth of the adjacent active continental margin is in the Fe(II) state, with the balance Fe(III). In contrast, particulate iron in the eastern tropical North Atlantic, which receives the highest dust deposition on Earth and is adjacent to a passive margin, is dominated by weathered and oxidized Fe compounds, with Fe(III) contributing 90% of total iron. The balance is composed primarily of Fe(II)-containing species, but we detected individual pyrite particles in some samples within an oxygen minimum zone in the upper thermocline. Several lines of evidence point to the adjacent Mauritanian continental shelf as the source of pyrite to the water column. The speciation of suspended marine particulate iron reflects the mineralogy of iron from the adjacent continental margins. Since the solubility of particulate iron has been shown to be a function of its speciation, this may have implications for the bioavailability of particulate iron adjacent to passive compared to active continental margins.

  18. Sequence stratigraphy and continental margin development of the northwestern shelf of the South China Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, P.P.H. ); Zhi Yuong Chen; Qi Min Zhang )

    1993-05-01

    Based on the sequence stratigraphic analyses of the Tertiary in the northwestern continental margin of the South China Sea, this paper summarizes the regional tectonics and their influences on the basin developments and discusses the systems tract distributions through the continental margin growth. The study area is underlain by two Tertiary basins separated by a major basin boundary fault across which two distinctly different basin structural styles developed. The Qiongdongnan basin shows characteristic rift structures and is closely related to the opening of the South China Sea. The Yinggehai basin is filled with thick Neogene monoclines overlying basement without apparent rift structures. The Yinggehai's genesis has been linked to the tectonism along the Red River suture zone. The margin development is characterized by depositional environments of sediment influx constantly exceeding accommodation space. Under these environments, the highstand deltas frequently developed near shelf edges, where vertically stacked shallow water sands of both highstand deltas and lowstand wedges/deltas could produce favorable exploration targets. High rates of sedimentation in the study area allow the identification of fourth-order cyclicity in the Quaternary. Regional sequence stratigraphic correlations suggest that many sequence boundaries appear to be synchronous, but not all boundaries exist in all basins along the eastern and southern continental margins of mainland China. The margin evolved through the repeated development of lowstand fans, lowstand wedges, transgressive systems tracts, and highstand deltas. Prior to the Pliocene, the shelf was sourced both from Vietnam and Hainan Island and, as a result, two shelf margins developed. The southwestern margin stopped growing in the late Miocene, and the northern margin continued to prograde with possible additional sediment inputs through the Red River system in the Quaternary. 29 refs., 22 figs.

  19. A contourite depositional system along the Uruguayan continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández Molina, F. J.; Soto, M.; Piola, A. R.; Tomasini, J.; Preu, B.; Thompson, P.; Badalini, G.; Creaser, A.; Violante, R.; Morales, E.; Paterlini, M.; de Santa Ana, H.

    2015-12-01

    For the first time, a multidisciplinary approach for evaluating the influence of bottom currents in the Uruguayan continental margin is presented. Bathymetric data and multichannel 2D and 3D seismic reflection profiles were used to construct a morphosedimentary map to interpret and decode sedimentary and oceanographic processes along the Uruguayan continental margin. Based on these results a significant contourite depositional system on the margin is described, which contains a spectacular array of large erosive, depositional (drifts) and mixed (terrace) features, which have been generated primarily by water masses of Antarctic and subantarctic origin. From the Eocene-Oligocene boundary up to present time, the long-term influence of water masses from higher southern latitudes, in combination with down-slope sedimentary processes have strongly controlled the overall margin morphology. Most of the features described here, were formed during the middle/late Miocene epoch due to paleoceanographic shifts that include the arrival of Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) along the margin, which in combination with deeper Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) are fundamental in the margin evolution. In combination with Quaternary climatic and eustatic changes in sea level, fluctuations of the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence influenced subsequently glacial and interglacial stages that appear in sedimentary features defined here. These paleoceanographic changes controlled the sedimentary stacking pattern and the locations of high amplitude reflections (HAR) along the contourite terraces, which could be associated to sandier deposits. Fundamental understanding of the above described margin morphologies and the development of associated bedforms in deep marine environments are essential to fully leverage their conceptual implications for hydrocarbon exploration efforts. Futhermore, a more detailed understanding of the margin and its ancient to modern day current dynamics will improve

  20. The Antarctic continental margin: Geology and geophysics of offshore Wilkes land

    SciTech Connect

    Eittreim, S.L.; Hampton, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 14 chapters. Some of the chapter titles are: An Interpretation of the Multichannel Seismic Reflection Profiles across the Continental Margin of the Dumont D'Urville Sea, off Wilkes Land, East Antarctica; Hydrocarbon Geochemistry of Sediments Offshore from Antarctica: Wilkes Land Continental margin; and the Conjugate Continental margins of Antarctica and Australia.

  1. The Peruvian Continental Margin: Results from wide angle seismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbenhoeft, A.; Bialas, J.; Kopp, H.; Kukowski, N.; Huebscher, C.

    2003-04-01

    Within the scope of the GEOPECO (Geophysical Experiments at the Peruvian Continental Margin) project, seismic investigations along the Pacific margin of Peru were carried out using ocean bottom hydrophones (OBH) and seismometers (OBS) recording marine airgun shots. The structure and the P- wave velocity of the oblique subducting Nazca and overriding South-American Plates from 8°S to 15°S were determined by forward modeling and tomographic inversion of the wide-angle seismic data combined with the analysis of reflection seismic data. The region south of 12°S has been influenced by the southward migration of the aseismic Nazca Ridge the past 11 Ma. The oceanic Nazca Plate is divided by Mendana Fracture Zone (MFZ) which marks a transition zone of a different crustal age of approximately 28 Ma in the north to 38 Ma in the south at the Peruvian trench. North of MFZ the oceanic crust is influenced by Trujillo Trough trending N15E and the surrounding extensional stresses leading to a crustal thinning as can be seen in the northernmost refraction seismic model. The oceanic crust south of MFZ is overall homogeneous with a thin pelagic sedimentary layer and normal oceanic crustal layers. The P-wave velocity of the mantle is overall 7.9-8.1km/s. The Peruvian Continental Margin is characterized by the continental slope and several basins, Trujillo and Yaquina basin, Lima basin and Pisco basin, which are partly affected by the southward migration of the subducting Nazca Ridge. This caused uplift and subsidence along the margin leading to erosional tectonic features. The basins and continental basement could be mapped with forward modeling and tomographic inversion as well as the continental backstop on each profile. An accretionary prism is set up with a width of 20 to 30 km and 4 to 5 km thickness which does not further increase in size as revealed by the profiles recorded further north of Nazca Ridge. This and a taper of 14- 17 degrees at the collision zone indicates that

  2. Tectonic evolution of Brazilian equatorial continental margin basins

    SciTech Connect

    Azevedo, R.P. )

    1993-02-01

    The structural style and stratigraphic relationships of sedimentary basins along the Brazilian Equatorial Atlantic Continental Margin were used to construct an empirical tectonic model for the development of ancient transform margins. The model is constrained by detailed structural and subsidence analyses of several basins along the margin. The structural framework of the basins was defined at shallow and deep levels by the integration of many geophysical and geological data sets. The Barreirinhas and Para-Maranhao Basins were divided in three tectonic domains: the Tutoia, Caete, and Tromai subbasins. The Caete area is characterized by northwest-southeast striking and northeast-dipping normal faults. A pure shear mechanism of basin formation is suggested for its development. The structure of the Tutoia and Tromai subbasins are more complex and indicative of a major strike-slip component with dextral sense of displacement, during early stages of basin evolution. These two later subbasins were developed on a lithosphere characterized by an abrupt transition (<50 km wide) from an unstretched continent to an oceanic lithosphere. The subsidence history of these basins do not comply with the classical models developed for passive margins or continental rifting. The thermo-mechanical model proposed for the Brazilian equatorial margin includes heterogeneous stretching combined with shearing at the plate margin. The tectonic history comprises: (1) Triassic-Jurassic limited extension associated with the Central Atlantic evolution; (2) Neocomian intraplate deformation consisting of strike-slip reactivation of preexisting shear zones; (3) Aptian-Cenomanian two-phase period of dextral shearing; and (4) Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic sea-floor spreading.

  3. Tectonic structure and evolution of the Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Klitgord, K.D.; Schouten, H.; Hutchinson, D.R.

    1985-01-01

    The Atlantic continental margin developed across the boundary between continental and oceanic crust as rifting and then sea-floor spreading broke apart and separated the North American and African plates, forming the Atlantic Ocean Basin. Continental rifting began in Late Triassic with reactivation of Paleozoic thrust faults as normal faults and with extension across a broad zone of subparallel rift basins. Extension became localized in Early to Middle Jurassic along the zone that now underlies the large marginal basins, and other rift zones, such as the Newark, Hartford, and Fundy basins, were abandoned. Rifting and crustal stretching between the two continents gave way to sea-floor spreading Middle Jurassic and the formation of oceanic crust. This tectonic evolution resulted in formation of distinctive structural features. The marginal basins are underlain by a thinner crust and contain a variety of fault-controlled structures, including half-grabens, seaward- and landward-tilted blocks, faults that die out within the crust, and faults that penetrate the entire crust. This variable structure probably resulted from the late Triassic-Early Jurassic pattern of normal, listric, and antithetic faults that evolved from the Paleozoic thrust fault geometry. The boundary between marginal basins and oceanic crust is marked approximately by the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly (ECMA). A major basement fault is located in the Baltimore Canyon trough at the landward edge of the ECMA and a zone of seaward dipping reflectors is found just seaward of the ECMA off Georges Bank. The fracture zone pattern in Mesozoic oceanic crust can be traced landward to the ECMA.

  4. A geophysical study of the northern Svalbard continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissler, Wolfram H.; Jokat, Wilfried

    2004-07-01

    In the summer of 1999, the first systematic seismic profiles were acquired across the northern Svalbard continental margin east of 15°E. Approximately 1470 km of multi-channel seismic reflection data as well as sonobuoy wide-angle data were collected up to 82°N. With few exceptions the signals imaged the whole sedimentary cover down to the acoustic basement. The uppermost sedimentary deposits of the inner shelf yield P-wave velocities of 2 km s-1 and higher, indicating erosion and compaction due to a former ice load. The inner shelf east of Hinlopen Strait has only a thin veneer of over-consolidated sediments above the acoustic basement. Beneath the outer shelf, up to 3.5 km of sedimentary deposits cover the down-faulted acoustic basement. The continental slope is heavily eroded due to bottom current activity and slumping. At about 30°E the morphology of the continental slope has a smooth appearance. Shelf progradation only in the vicinity of glacial troughs crossing the shelf (associated with submarine fans) indicates main sediment transport by ice streams during former glacial periods. The maximum sedimentary thickness in the Sophia Basin is more than 9 km, and the Nansen Basin has a sediment thickness of 4.5 km close to the margin. Gravity modelling along the seismic profiles was performed to constrain the position of the continent-ocean transition. Existing sedimentary thickness and structural maps were extended over the area investigated. The new data provide no evidence for the presence of former extensive subaerial volcanic sequences (seaward-dipping reflectors), which would have been emplaced during the break-up along the margin. Thus, we consider this part of the margin as non-volcanic.

  5. Origins and fates of DOM along the New England continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Fry, B.; Hopkinson, C. . Ecosystems Center); Altabet, M. )

    1993-01-01

    We have focused on methods development and completed an initial survey of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) concentration and isotopic composition during the 1994 spring bloom on Georges Bank. The methods development phase assures that high quality measurements will be made in years 2 and 3, and emphasizes developing two independent methods for DON determination. The survey work on Georges Bank will be extended in years 2 and 3 to determine seasonal and spatial changes in DOM concentrations and isotopic compositions along the eastern US continental margin, from Georges Bank to Cape Hatteras.

  6. Origins and fates of DOM along the New England continental margin. Techical progress report, Year 1

    SciTech Connect

    Fry, B.; Hopkinson, C.; Altabet, M.

    1993-06-01

    We have focused on methods development and completed an initial survey of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) concentration and isotopic composition during the 1994 spring bloom on Georges Bank. The methods development phase assures that high quality measurements will be made in years 2 and 3, and emphasizes developing two independent methods for DON determination. The survey work on Georges Bank will be extended in years 2 and 3 to determine seasonal and spatial changes in DOM concentrations and isotopic compositions along the eastern US continental margin, from Georges Bank to Cape Hatteras.

  7. Anomalous Subsidence at the Ocean Continent Transition of the Gulf of Aden Rifted Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick; Leroy, Sylvie

    2013-04-01

    It has been proposed that some rifted continental margins have anomalous subsidence and that at break-up they were elevated at shallower bathymetries than the isostatic response predicted by classical rift models (McKenzie, 1978). The existence of anomalous syn- or early-post break-up subsidence of this form would have important implications for our understanding of the geodynamics of continental break-up and sea-floor spreading initiation. We have investigated subsidence of the young rifted continental margin of the eastern Gulf of Aden, focussing on the western Oman margin (break-up age 17.6 Ma). Lucazeau et al. (2008) have found that the observed bathymetry here is approximately 1 km shallower than the predicted bathymetry. In order to examine the proposition of an anomalous early post break-up subsidence history of the Omani Gulf of Aden rifted continental margin, we have determined the subsidence of the oldest oceanic crust adjacent to the continent-ocean boundary (COB) using residual depth anomaly (RDA) analysis corrected for sediment loading and oceanic crustal thickness variation. RDAs corrected for sediment loading using flexural backstripping and decompaction have been calculated by comparing observed and age predicted oceanic bathymetries in order to identify anomalous subsidence of the Gulf of Aden rifted continental margin. Age predicted bathymetric anomalies have been calculated using the thermal plate model predictions of Crosby and McKenzie (2009). Non-zero RDAs at the Omani Gulf of Aden rifted continental margin can be the result of non standard oceanic crustal thickness or the effect of mantle dynamic topography or a non-classical rift and break-up model. Oceanic crustal basement thicknesses from gravity inversion together with Airy isostasy have been used to predict a "synthetic" gravity RDA, in order to determine the RDA contribution from non-standard oceanic crustal thickness. Gravity inversion, used to determine crustal basement thickness

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2015-04-01

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

  9. The Aravalli sequence of Rajasthan, India: A Precambrian continental margin?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdougall, J. D.; Willis, R.; Lugmair, G. W.; Roy, A. B.; Gopalan, K.

    1985-01-01

    The extent to which plate tectonics in its present form operated during the Precambrian is unknown, but is a subject of considerable current interest. A remarkable succession of Precambrian rocks in Rajasthan, Northwestern India, which may help to shed more light on this question are discussed. Data indicates that the Aravalli sequence has a number of characteristics generally ascribed to active continental margins. Although much more work is required to bear this out, the evidence suggests that the processes operating in such an environment in the early Proterozoic or late Archean were not vastly different from today.

  10. An Assessment of Global Organic Carbon Flux Along Continental Margins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thunell, Robert

    2004-01-01

    This project was designed to use real-time and historical SeaWiFS and AVHRR data, and real-time MODIS data in order to estimate the global vertical carbon flux along continental margins. This required construction of an empirical model relating surface ocean color and physical variables like temperature and wind to vertical settling flux at sites co-located with sediment trap observations (Santa Barbara Basin, Cariaco Basin, Gulf of California, Hawaii, and Bermuda, etc), and application of the model to imagery in order to obtain spatially-weighted estimates.

  11. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, L. C.; Hall, S. A.; Ball, P.; Bird, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana. Previously proposed reconstruction models often contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate margin of Antarctica near the Riiser Larsen Sea. New satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones in the study area. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Information on crustal thickness along with the identification of fracture zones reveal the COBs that are located significantly closer to the coasts of Africa and Antarctica than previously recognized. Correlation of both fracture zone azimuths and the identified COBs over the conjugate margins suggest Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. Of several scenarios examined, the Beira High is most likely oceanic and may be a conjugate feature of the southern Astrid Ridge. An areal-balancing method that involves restoring the crust to a uniform pre-rift thickness has been used to perform the non-rigid reconstruction for both non-volcanic and volcanic margin with magmatic underplating. Based on the results, Africa underwent extension of 65-105 km while Antarctic crust was stretched by 90-190 km. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica underwent a counter-clockwise rotation with respect to Africa between 186-171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

  12. Manganese and copper fluxes from continental margin sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Heggie, D.; Klinkhammer, G.; Cullen, D.

    1987-05-01

    Total dissolvable Cu and Mn have been measured in sea water collected from the continental shelf of the eastern Bering Sea. Copper concentrations of <3 nmole kg/sup -1/ were measured over the shelf break but concentrations increased to >4 nmole kg/sup -1/ inshore of a hydrographic front over the 100 m isobath. Manganese concentrations also were low over the shelf break, <10 nmole kg/sup -1/, and increased systematically to concentrations >10 nmole kg/sup -1/ inshore of the hydrographic front. Depth distributions of Mn at all continental shelf stations showed gradients into the sediments, with concentrations typically >20 nmole kg/sup -1/ in a bottom layer extending about 30 m off the bottom. Benthic Cu and Mn fluxes are indicated by cross-shelf pore water profiles that show interfacial concentrations more than an order of magnitude greater than in bottom water. These data and the results of a model of metal transport across the shelf suggest that Cu and Mn fluxes, estimated at 2 and 18 nmole cm/sup -2/y/sup -1/, respectively, from continental shelf sediments may be one source of these metals to the deep sea.

  13. Cenozoic prograding sequences of the Antarctic continental margin - What balance between structural and eustatic control

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, A.K. ); Barrett, P. ); Hinz, K. ); Stagg, H. ); Traube, V. )

    1990-05-01

    Multichannel seismic reflection profiles across the Antarctic continental margin commonly reveal prograding sedimentary sequences that are bounded by unconformities. These sequences are as much as 5 km thick and, where sampled, are composed entirely of late Eocene( )-early Oligocene and younger glacial rocks. On nonpolar margins, prograding sequences generally are attributed to relative changes in sea level, sediment supply, and tectonism. Around Antarctica, ice sheets have also been important in controlling the geometry and location of prograding sequences. The Antarctic sequences may provide a proximal record of major Cenozoic ice volume changes and related sea level changes not obtainable from low-latitude continental shelves. Presently, the Antarctic record is poorly known because of limited core data. Two categories of prograding (P) and aggrading (A) sigmoidal sequences are observed around Antarctica: (1) P sequences that build principally outward (common) and (2) AP sequences that build largely upward and outward (less common). P sequences may result principally from grounded ice sheets, and AP sequences from open-marine basinal processes. Major rift embayments of Antarctica (e.g., eastern Ross Sea eastern Weddell Sea Lambert graben Wilkes basin) are also pathways for major ice movement. In general, most areas with P sequences lie within or adjacent to Mesozoic or older rift embayment, whereas the primary area with AP sequences (eastern Ross Sea) lies within a likely Cenozoic rift embayment. The Pacific side of the Antarctic Peninsula where Cenozoic ice sheets and Cenozoic tectonism have been active, is also marked by a P sequence. Scientific drilling on the Antarctic continental shelf has recovered openwater glacial deposits (Ross Sea) as well as glacial diamicts that were deposited beneath and in front of grounded glacier ice (Ross Sea and Prydz Bay).

  14. Linking margin morphology to sedimentary processes along the US East Coast passive continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brothers, D. S.; ten Brink, U. S.; Andrews, B.; Twichell, D.

    2010-12-01

    The morphology of the US East Coast continental slope and rise has a surprising amount of along-margin variation. Multibeam bathymetry datasets that cover the slope and rise from Cape Hatteras to Georges Bank provide a unique opportunity to analyze both first-order and higher-order morphologies, including submarine canyons, landslides, slumps and sedimentary bedforms. Using the morphological characterization coupled with seismic and core data, we hope to better understand how ancient and modern sedimentary processes control the shape of the margin. As a first step, the margin bathymetry was subdivided into 20 shelf-perpendicular regions from which several statistical parameters were analyzed. Within each region, the slope gradient was computed separately for down-slope and across-slope aspect directions. Distribution curves in each region for down- and across-slope gradients and seafloor roughness as functions of depth were grouped according to their statistical similarities. Four basic groups emerge and each approximately corresponds to known regions of Quaternary glacial, fluvial, current-controlled and gravity-driven sedimentary transport. In the second part of the study, published lithologic and chronostratigraphic frameworks of this margin were used to examine the relationship between seafloor morphology and the underlying geology. Along the upper continental rise, thick Quaternary deposits appear to have a strong influence on the short- and long-wavelength variation in rise topography, revealing a complex interplay between down-slope and along-slope sediment transport. Despite the close correlation between continental slope morphology and Quaternary environmental conditions, initial results suggest that the underlying, older, stratigraphy also plays a primary role. Along the continental slope, Quaternary processes appear to control the relief of slope-confined canyons and other short-wavelength (<5 km) topography, but the first order morphology of the slope

  15. Stratigraphic evolution of Mesozoic continental margin and oceanic sequences northwest Australia and north Himalayas

    SciTech Connect

    Gradstein, F.M. ); Von Rad, U. )

    1990-05-01

    The authors are investigating continental margin to ocean sequences of the incipient Indian Ocean as it replaced central Tethys. Objectives of this study are the dynamic relation between sedimentation, tectonics, and paleogeography. Principal basins formation along the northern edge of eastern Gondwana started in the Late Permian to the Triassic. By the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic, platform carbonates with thin, organic-rich lagoonal shales were laid down in a subtropical climate. This unit, which harbors some of the oldest known nannofossils, shows repeated shallowing-upward sequences. Subsequent southward drift of the Gondwana margin during the Middle Jurassic increased siliciclastic input in Nepal, when widespread sediment starvation or erosion during local uplift took place off parts of northwest Australia. A middle Callovian-early Oxfordian hiatus in Nepal is submarine and appears global in extent. The overlying 250-m-thick organic-rich black shales, correlative to the Oxford/Kimmeridge clays of circum-Atlantic petroleum basins, may be traced along the northern Himalayan Range, and probably represent an extensive continental slope deposit formed under an oxygen minimum layer in southern Tethys. The deposit's diverse foraminiferal microfauna was previously only known from boreal Laurasia. The Callovian breakup unconformity, off northwest Australia, precedes onset of sea-floor spreading at least 15-25 Ma. Sea-floor spreading, leading to the present Indian Ocean started in the Argo Abyssal Plain around 140 Ma, at the end of the Jurassic, was about 15 m.y. later than previously postulated. Australia and Greater India separated as early as the Late Valanginian, about 130 Ma. Mafic volcaniclastics in Nepalese deltaic sediments probably testify to concurrent continental margin volcanic activity, which may be a precursor to the slightly younger Rajmahal traps in eastern India.

  16. Buried Mesozoic rift basins of Moroccan Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Mohamed, N.; Jabour, H.; El Mostaine, M.

    1995-08-01

    The Atlantic continental margin is the largest frontier area for oil and gas exploration in Morocco. Most of the activity has been concentrated where Upper Jurassic carbonate rocks have been the drilling objectives, with only one significant but non commercial oil discovery. Recent exploration activities have focused on early Mesozoic Rift basins buried beneath the post-rift sediments of the Middle Atlantic coastal plain. Many of these basins are of interest because they contain fine-grained lacustrine rocks that have sufficient organic richness to be classified as efficient oil prone source rock. Location of inferred rift basins beneath the Atlantic coastal plain were determined by analysis of drilled-hole data in combination with gravity anomaly and aeromagnetic maps. These rift basins are characterized by several half graben filled by synrift sediments of Triassic age probably deposited in lacustrine environment. Coeval rift basins are known to be present in the U.S. Atlantic continental margin. Basin modeling suggested that many of the less deeply bored rift basins beneath the coastal plain are still within the oil window and present the most attractive exploration targets in the area.

  17. Antarctic glacial history from numerical models and continental margin sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barker, P.F.; Barrett, P.J.; Cooper, A. K.; Huybrechts, P.

    1999-01-01

    The climate record of glacially transported sediments in prograded wedges around the Antarctic outer continental shelf, and their derivatives in continental rise drifts, may be combined to produce an Antarctic ice sheet history, using numerical models of ice sheet response to temperature and sea-level change. Examination of published models suggests several preliminary conclusions about ice sheet history. The ice sheet's present high sensitivity to sea-level change at short (orbital) periods was developed gradually as its size increased, replacing a declining sensitivity to temperature. Models suggest that the ice sheet grew abruptly to 40% (or possibly more) of its present size at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, mainly as a result of its own temperature sensitivity. A large but more gradual middle Miocene change was externally driven, probably by development of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and Polar Front, provided that a few million years' delay can be explained. The Oligocene ice sheet varied considerably in size and areal extent, but the late Miocene ice sheet was more stable, though significantly warmer than today's. This difference probably relates to the confining effect of the Antarctic continental margin. Present-day numerical models of ice sheet development are sufficient to guide current sampling plans, but sea-ice formation, polar wander, basal topography and ice streaming can be identified as factors meriting additional modelling effort in the future.

  18. Morphology of turbidite systems within an active continental margin (the Palomares Margin, western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Hernandez, S.; Comas, M. C.; Escutia, C.

    2014-08-01

    The Palomares Margin, an NNE-SSW segment of the South Iberian Margin located between the Alboran and the Algerian-Balearic basins, is dissected by two major submarine canyon systems: the Gata (in the South) and the Alías-Almanzora (in the North). New swath bathymetry, side-scan sonar images, accompanied by 5 kHz and TOPAS subbottom profiles, allow us to recognize these canyons as Mediterranean examples of medium-sized turbidite systems developed in a tectonically active margin. The Gata Turbidite System is confined between residual basement seamounts and exhibits incised braided channels that feed a discrete deep-sea fan, which points to a dominantly coarse-grained turbiditic system. The Alías-Almanzora Turbidite System, larger and less confined, is a good example of nested turbiditic system within the canyon. Concentric sediment waves characterize the Alías-Almanzora deep-sea fan, and the size and acoustic character of these bedforms suggest a fine-grained turbidite system. Both canyons are deeply entrenched on a narrow continental shelf and terminate at the base of the continental slope as channels that feed deep sea fans. While the Alías-Almanzora Turbidite System is the offshore continuation of seasonal rivers, the Gata Turbidite System is exclusively formed by headward erosion along the continental slope. In both cases, left-lateral transpressive deformation influences their location, longitudinal profiles, incision at the upper sections, and canyon bending associated with specific fault segments.

  19. Macrobenthic community structure over the continental margin of Crete (South Aegean Sea, NE Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tselepides, Anastasios; Papadopoulou, Konstantia-N.; Podaras, Dimitris; Plaiti, Wanda; Koutsoubas, Drosos

    2000-08-01

    Macrobenthic faunal composition, abundance, biomass and diversity together with a suite of sedimentary environmental parameters were investigated on a seasonal basis in order to determine factors regulating faunal distribution over the oligotrophic continental margin of the island of Crete (South Aegean Sea, North Eastern Mediterranean). Macrofaunal species composition was similar to that of the western Mediterranean and the neighboring Atlantic having several common dominant species. Mean benthic biomass, abundance and diversity decreased with depth, with a major transition zone occurring at 540 m, beyond which values declined sharply. At comparable depths biomass and abundance values were considerably lower to those found in the Atlantic, high-lighting the extreme oligotrophy of the area. The continental margin of Crete was characterised by a high diversity upper continental shelf environment (dominated by surface deposit feeding polychaetes) and a very low diversity slope and deep-basin environment (dominated by carnivorous and filter feeding polychaetes). Classification and ordination analyses revealed the existence of four principle clusters divided by a faunal boundary between 200 and 540 m, as well as beyond 940 m depth. Significant correlations between macrofauna and sediment parameters led to the conclusion that besides depth, food availability (as manifested by the concentration of chloroplastic pigments) is the principle regulating factor in the system. Such being the case, the prevailing hydrographic features that structure the pelagic food web and are directly responsible for the propagation of organic matter to the benthos also affect its community structure.

  20. Tectonic elements of the continental margin of East Antarctica, 38-164ºE

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Brien, P.E.; Stagg, H.M.J.

    2007-01-01

    The East Antarctic continental margin from 38–164ºE is divided into western and eastern provinces that developed during the separation of India from Australia–Antarctica (Early Cretaceous) and Australia from Antarctica (Late Cretaceous). In the overlap between these provinces the geology is complex and bears the imprint of both extension/spreading episodes, with an overprinting of volcanism. The main rift-bounding faults appear to approximately coincide with the outer edge of the continental shelf. Inboard of these faults, the sedimentary cover thins above shallowing basement towards the coast where crystalline basement generally crops out. The continental slope and the landward flanks of the ocean basins, are blanketed by up to 9–10 km of mainly post-rift sediments in margin-parallel basins, except in the Bruce Rise area. Beneath this blanket, extensive rift basins are identified off Enderby and Wilkes Land/Terre Adélie; however, their extent and detailed structures are difficult to determine.

  1. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Luan C.; Hall, Stuart A.; Bird, Dale E.; Ball, Philip J.

    2016-06-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana and Pangea. Previous reconstruction models contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean-boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate Antarctic margin near the Riiser-Larsen Sea. Satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Crustal thicknesses together with fracture zone terminations reveal COBs that are significantly closer to the African and Antarctic coasts than previously recognized. Correlation of fracture zone azimuths and identified COBs suggests Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. An areal-balancing method has been used to restore the crust to a uniform prerift thickness so as to perform a nonrigid reconstruction for both nonvolcanic and volcanic margins. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Our results suggest Africa underwent extension of 60-120 km, while Antarctic crust was stretched by 105-180 km. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica moved away from Africa in a WNW-ESE direction during the period between 184 and 171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

  2. A Geo-traverse at a Passive Continental Margin: the Tagus Abyssal Plain, West Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afilhado, A.; Matias, L.; Mendes-Victor, L.

    2006-12-01

    The crustal and lithospheric mantle structure was investigated along a 370km profile at the south segment of the west Iberian margin, from 12.9W to 8.7W, at approximately 38N. The profile crosses from inland unthinned continental to oceanic crust, IAM5. Both MCS data and wide-angle, WA, data were considered. WA data set includes 6 OBSs and 2 inland seismic stations. Free air and total field magnetic anomalies profiles were extracted from available grided data. WA data cinematic and dynamic modeling provided a 2D velocity model that proved to be consistent with the free air anomaly profile. 2.5D generalized inversion on pseudo- susceptibility was performed. A Bouguer anomaly grid was calculated and a similar procedure was performed for the undulation of the geoid grid. First and second derivatives grids of this surface and its upward continued surfaces were calculated to locate lineated lows and highs. MCS and WA data sets indicate four main crustal domains. East of 9.4W the complete crustal section of slightly thinned continental crust is present. From 9.4W to 9.7W crustal thinning is abrupt and the lower continental crust pinches out. From 9.7W to 10.5W the transitional crust has a complex structure that varies both horizontally and vertically. Within the eastern most transitional domain the exhumed mid continental crust thins to zero; small scale heterogeneities exist at its lower interface; the under-laying lower crust nature is unknown, correlating both to exhumed continental mantle and to continental gabbros. From 10.2W to 10.5W the transitional crust is very heterogeneous, having higher than usual density at its upper levels; the absence of Moho reflections suggests that exhumed and intruded mantle might be present at the lower transitional crust. West of 10.5W thin oceanic crust is found, probably generated in a slow spreading environment; around 12W the data suggests a very thin or even absent layer 3. Deep reflectors imaged within the oceanic domain and

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

    SciTech Connect

    Best, J.A.; Barazangi, M. ); Al-Saad, D.; Sawaf, T.; Gebran, A. )

    1993-02-01

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

  4. Seismicity and Attenuation of the Continental Margin Off New York and Southern/ New England from OBS Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ten Brink, U. S.; Flores, C. H.; McGuire, J. J.; Collins, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Earthquake data recorded during two ocean-bottom-seismometer (OBS) deployments on the continental slope off New York and Southern New England are used to evaluate micro-seismicity and attenuation of the continental margin. The deployments were partly motivated by the detection by land seismometers of several ML2.5-3.8 continental margin earthquakes in this region during the previous four years. The data come from a five-month-long cluster deployment (1 km radius) of eleven short-period OBS in July 2012 at a water depth of ~835 m and a subsequent nine-month deployment of a network of five short-period OBS spaced 50 km apart at water depths between 900-2400 m. The land-based seismic network did not identify seismic activity on the margin during the two deployments. The OBS network located only one earthquake of ML~1 near the shelf edge, suggesting that seismic activity of the margin is probably successfully monitored by land seismometers. A successful land-based detection of earthquakes on the margin may indicate that low seismic attenuation extends from the Eastern U.S. to the continental shelf and slope. To better quantify the attenuation of the margin we derive the peak spectral attenuation of 6-8 ML2.8-4.1 earthquakes recorded by the OBS during the two deployments. These earthquakes were located on land close to shore and offshore between New Jersey and Nova Scotia, and propagation paths are almost entirely within the continental margin. Onshore earthquakes of ML ≤2.6 were not detected by the OBS. Information about the seismicity and attenuation of the margin will be used to evaluate the probability of earthquake-generated landslides.

  5. Inverse Modelling of Continental Margins and Sedimentary Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, G. R.; White, N.; Haines, J.

    2004-12-01

    The wealth of data available from the hydrocarbon industry provides us with detailed information about the subsidence histories of extensional sedimentary basins and passive margins. This resource is often exploited in forward models of basin and margin evolution although little attempt has been made to invert such data. We are interested in developing an inverse methodology in order to constrain the spatial and temporal variation of strain rate in these regions. Any inversion scheme which searches the possible movements of the lithosphere over geological time requires a fast forward model at its heart. We present a new kinematic model for use in such an inversion. Our finite-difference model is capable of simulating the thermal and subsidence effects of basins and margins that have undergone differential stretching with both depth and distance across the stretching area. Speed is achieved by a modular design and optimisation of the code for the architecture on which it is running. The model can simulate fifty million years of extension in around a second on a desktop computer. Currently there is much interest in cold continental margins such as the Newfoundland/Iberia system where crust has been thinned to zero but lithospheric mantle has been exhumed without extension. We believe this is not possible without differential thinning and will be testing this hypothesis with our new model. The inversion scheme is also being used to investigate flanks of actively rifting regions, such as those around Lake Baikal and the Albertine rift, and older extensional systems such as those in the Northern North sea.

  6. The continental margin off Oregon from seismic investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerdom, M.; Trehu, A. M.; Flueh, E. R.; Klaeschen, D.

    2000-12-01

    In April and May 1996, a geophysical study of the Cascadia continental margin off Oregon and Washington was carried out aboard the German RV Sonne as a cooperative experiment between GEOMAR, the USGS and COAS. Offshore central Oregon, which is the subject of this study, the experiment involved the collection of wide-angle refraction and reflection data along three profiles across the continental margin using ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) and hydrophones (OBH) as well as land recorders. Two-dimensional modelling of the travel times provides a detailed velocity structure beneath these profiles. The subducting oceanic crust of the Juan de Fuca plate can be traced from the trench to its position some 10 km landward of the coastline. At the coastline, the Moho has a depth of 30 km. The dip of the plate changes from 1.5° westward of the trench to about 6.5° below the accretionary complex and to about 16° further eastward below the coast. The backstop forming western edge of the Siletz terrane, an oceanic plateau that was accreted to North America about 50 Ma ago, is well defined by the observations. It is located about 60 km to the east of the deformation front and has a seaward dip of 40°. At its seaward edge, the base of the Siletz terrane seems to be in contact with the subducting oceanic crust implying that sediments are unlikely to be subducted to greater depths. The upper oceanic crust is thinner to the east of this contact than to the west. At depths greater than 18 km, the top of the oceanic crust is the origin of pre-critical reflections observable in several land recordings and in the data of one ocean bottom instrument. These reflections are most likely caused by fluids that are released from the oceanic crust by metamorphic facies transition.

  7. Lower-crustal intrusion on the North Atlantic continental margin.

    PubMed

    White, R S; Smith, L K; Roberts, A W; Christie, P A F; Kusznir, N J; Roberts, A M; Healy, D; Spitzer, R; Chappell, A; Eccles, J D; Fletcher, R; Hurst, N; Lunnon, Z; Parkin, C J; Tymms, V J

    2008-03-27

    When continents break apart, the rifting is sometimes accompanied by the production of large volumes of molten rock. The total melt volume, however, is uncertain, because only part of it has erupted at the surface. Furthermore, the cause of the magmatism is still disputed-specifically, whether or not it is due to increased mantle temperatures. We recorded deep-penetration normal-incidence and wide-angle seismic profiles across the Faroe and Hatton Bank volcanic margins in the northeast Atlantic. Here we show that near the Faroe Islands, for every 1 km along strike, 360-400 km(3) of basalt is extruded, while 540-600 km(3) is intruded into the continent-ocean transition. We find that lower-crustal intrusions are focused mainly into a narrow zone approximately 50 km wide on the transition, although extruded basalts flow more than 100 km from the rift. Seismic profiles show that the melt is intruded into the lower crust as sills, which cross-cut the continental fabric, rather than as an 'underplate' of 100 per cent melt, as has often been assumed. Evidence from the measured seismic velocities and from igneous thicknesses are consistent with the dominant control on melt production being increased mantle temperatures, with no requirement for either significant active small-scale mantle convection under the rift or the presence of fertile mantle at the time of continental break-up, as has previously been suggested for the North Atlantic Ocean. PMID:18368115

  8. New magnetic anomaly map of the East Antarctic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golynsky, Alexander; Ivanov, Sergey; Kazankov, Andrey

    2010-05-01

    Marine magnetic survey coverage of the southern part of Indian Ocean is to a certain extent limited for defining the magnetic pattern of the continental margin of East Antarctica. The USA research vessels collected the bulk of the marine magnetic data in the beginning of 1960's. During the succeeding years Australian, German, Japanese, Russian and other international scientific programs made major contributions to the network of marine magnetic data. Since the beginning of new century only two nations (Russian and Australian) have acquired the marine magnetic data in the southern part of Indian Ocean. The marine surveys in the Cosmonaut Sea, the western part of the Cooperation Sea in the Davis and Mawson Seas were accomplished by the PMGRE in 2000-2009 field seasons. The marine magnetic data collected during two seasons (2001-2002) within the AASOPP Project which was established in early 2000 to define the outer limits of the continental shelf offshore of the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) covered the full length of the AAT from 40OE to 160OE. The new magnetic anomaly map of the East Antarctic continental margin incorporates all available data acquired by the international community since the IGY 1957-58 through to 2009. Results of the compilation do not radically alter recent models describing first-order motions between the Antarctic, Australian and Indian plates, but they help to resolve uncertainties in early break-up history of opening between these plates. The timing and direction of early seafloor spreading in the area off the Antarctic margin, once conjugate to part of the Southern Greater Indian margin and to Australian margin, along the largely unknown region of the Enderby Basin, Davis Sea and Mawson Sea has been analyzed by many authors using different data sets. It is highly likely that spreading in the Enderby Basin occurred around the same time as the well documented M-sequence (anomalies M10 to M0) off the Perth Basin, Western Australia

  9. Shelf basin exchange along the Siberian continental margin: Modification of Atlantic Water and Lower Halocline Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, Dorothea; Cherniavskaia, Ekaterina; Timokhov, Leonid

    2016-09-01

    Salinity and stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) evidence shows a modification of Atlantic Water in the Arctic Ocean by a mixture of sea-ice meltwater and meteoric waters along the Barents Sea continental margin. On average no further influence of meteoric waters is detectable within the core of the Atlantic Water east of the Kara Sea as indicated by constant δ18O, while salinity further decreases along the Siberian continental slope. Lower Halocline Waters (LHW) may be divided into different types by Principal Component Analysis. All LHW types show the addition of river water and an influence of sea-ice formation to a varying extent. The geographical distribution of LHW types suggest that the high salinity type of LHW forms in the Barents and Kara seas, while other LHW types are formed either in the northwestern Laptev Sea or from southeastern Kara Sea waters that enter the northwestern Laptev Sea through Vilkitsky Strait. No further modification of LHW is seen in the eastern Laptev Sea but the distribution of LHW-types suggest a bifurcation of LHW at this location, possibly with one branch continuing along the continental margin and a second branch along the Lomonosov Ridge. We see no pronounced distinction between onshore and offshore LHW types, as the LHW components that are found within the halocline over the basin also show a narrow bottom-bound distribution at the continental slope that is consistent with a shelf boundary current as well as a jet of water entering the western Laptev Sea from the Kara Sea through Vilkitsky Strait.

  10. Seafloor morphology of the Montenegro/N. Albania Continental Margin (Adriatic Sea-Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Bianco, Fabrizio; Gasperini, Luca; Giglio, Federico; Bortoluzzi, Giovanni; Kljajic, Zoran; Ravaioli, Mariangela

    2014-12-01

    High-resolution multibeam morpho-bathymetric maps and a dense grid of seismic reflection profiles show relict and palimpsest geomorphologic features along the Montenegro/Northern Albanian Continental Margin. This sector of the Eastern Adriatic shelf, at the external front of the Dinarides Chain, is characterized by highly variable seafloor patterns and depositional styles, and shows a peculiar alternation of large-scale troughs and ridges, probably caused by tectonic compressive deformations. These tectonically controlled morphologies are overprinted by the result of sedimentary processes, such as progradation at river outflows, erosion, and reworking of sediments by longshore currents, as well as gravity-driven process caused by sediment loading and seismic shaking. Physiographic domains along this shelf-slope margin include (i) an inner and an outer shelf, separated by two major topographic highs, the Kotor and the Bar ridges; (ii) a drowned lobate delta formed during the last phase of sea level fall, likely fed by the Buna/Bojana drainage basin; and (iii) a continental slope affected by gravity-driven faulting and mass-wasting processes. Seafloor reflectivity maps, ground-truthed by grain-size analysis of bottom sediments, reveal that fine-grained deposits accumulate in the inner shelf, while other sectors appear starved. The effects of the last sea-level rise is testified by the presence of seabed forms diagnostic of erosion or depositional processes, such us large dunes, sediment ridges and sediment waves, which were studied to infer the effect of bottom currents under the present-day oceanographic regime and in the recent past. This paper presents a first description of geomorphologic features observed along the Montenegro/Northern Albanian Continental Margin, in the context of Late Quaternary sea-level changes.

  11. Crustal structure of the NE Gulf of Aden continental margin from wide-angle seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watremez, L.; Leroy, S.; Rouzo, S.; D'Acremont, E.; Lucazeau, F.

    2009-04-01

    The Encens survey wide-angle data (Leroy et al., Feb. March 2006, including MCS and gravity) allow us to determine the deep structure of the northeastern Gulf of Aden magma-poor divergent margin. Gulf of Aden is a young oceanic basin, its accretion began at least 17.6 Ma ago (Leroy et al., 2004 ; d'Acremont et al., 2006). The first order segmentation separates the Gulf in three parts: western, central and eastern Gulf of Aden. Northeastern Gulf of Aden margin, between Alula-Fartak (in the West) and Socotra-Hadbeen (in the East) fracture zones, is divided in three second order segments. Our study focus on the westernmost one: the Ashawq-Salalah segment. The studied velocity models show (1) a continental thinning (15-20 km on 50-80 km distance) accommodated by one or two tilted blocks and clearly observed on wide-angle data, (2) a narrow transition from continental to oceanic domain (OCT) showing 5.5 km/s upper-crust velocities comparable to oceanic ones and more than 6.5 km/s lower-crust velocities comparable to continental ones, (3) a diminution of oceanic crust thicknesses from 10 km in the centre of the Ashawq-Salalah segment to 5.5 km near to the second order segmentation discontinuity, probably linked to a diminution of magma supply eastward the discontinuity of paleo-spreading ridge axis, and (4) a 5 km thick intermediate velocity/density body at the crust-mantle interface, with P-wave velocities ranging from 7.6 to 7.8 km/s and densities of 2.9 to 3, and interpreted as post-rift underplated material that may be linked to the presence of a volcano evidenced by heat flow measurement (Lucazeau et al., subm) and multichannel seismic reflection (Autin et al., subm). Furthermore, a persistent thermal activity has been evidenced in the adjoining eastern Mirbat segment (Lucazeau et al., 2008). These results show an abrupt thinning of the continental crust, a narrow OCT and a post-rift volcanism inducing magmatic underplating affecting this magma-poor margin. This

  12. The limits of seaward spreading and slope instability at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna, imaged by high-resolution 2D seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Felix; Krastel, Sebastian; Geersen, Jacob; Behrmann, Jan Hinrich; Ridente, Domenico; Chiocci, Francesco Latino; Bialas, Jörg; Papenberg, Cord; Cukur, Deniz; Urlaub, Morelia; Micallef, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. Instability of its eastern flank is well documented onshore, and continuously monitored by geodetic and InSAR measurements. Little is known, however, about the offshore extension of the eastern volcano flank, defining a serious shortcoming in stability models. In order to better constrain the active tectonics of the continental margin offshore the eastern flank of the volcano, we acquired a new high-resolution 2D reflection seismic dataset. The data provide new insights into the heterogeneous geology and tectonics at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna. The submarine realm is characterized by different blocks, which are controlled by local- and regional tectonics. A compressional regime is found at the toe of the continental margin, which is bound to a complex basin system. Both, the clear link between on- and offshore tectonic structures as well as the compressional regime at the easternmost flank edge, indicate a continental margin gravitational collapse as well as spreading to be present at Mt Etna. Moreover, we find evidence for the offshore southern boundary of the moving flank, which is identified as a right lateral oblique fault north of Catania Canyon. Our findings suggest a coupled volcano edifice/continental margin instability at Mt Etna, demonstrating first order linkage between on- and offshore tectonic processes.

  13. Deep-sea Lebensspuren of the Australian continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. Biodiversity response to natural gradients of multiple stressors on continental margins.

    PubMed

    Sperling, Erik A; Frieder, Christina A; Levin, Lisa A

    2016-04-27

    Sharp increases in atmospheric CO2 are resulting in ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation that threaten marine organisms on continental margins and their ecological functions and resulting ecosystem services. The relative influence of these stressors on biodiversity remains unclear, as well as the threshold levels for change and when secondary stressors become important. One strategy to interpret adaptation potential and predict future faunal change is to examine ecological shifts along natural gradients in the modern ocean. Here, we assess the explanatory power of temperature, oxygen and the carbonate system for macrofaunal diversity and evenness along continental upwelling margins using variance partitioning techniques. Oxygen levels have the strongest explanatory capacity for variation in species diversity. Sharp drops in diversity are seen as O2 levels decline through the 0.5-0.15 ml l(-1) (approx. 22-6 µM; approx. 21-5 matm) range, and as temperature increases through the 7-10°C range. pCO2 is the best explanatory variable in the Arabian Sea, but explains little of the variance in diversity in the eastern Pacific Ocean. By contrast, very little variation in evenness is explained by these three global change variables. The identification of sharp thresholds in ecological response are used here to predict areas of the seafloor where diversity is most at risk to future marine global change, noting that the existence of clear regional differences cautions against applying global thresholds. PMID:27122565

  15. Macrofaunal Biodiversity Response to Natural Gradients of Multiple Stressors on Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sperling, E. A.; Frieder, C.; Levin, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    Sharp increases in atmospheric CO2 are resulting in ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation. Rates of change are unprecedented, raising questions about whether (and how) communities will adapt and if responses will reflect synergistic interactions among multiple stressors. Changes to benthic biodiversity on continental margins have important implications for carbon cycle processes and other ecosystem services. One strategy to interpret adaptation potential and predict future faunal change is to examine ecological shifts along natural gradients in the modern ocean. Here, we assess the explanatory power of major climate stressors for macrofaunal diversity and evenness along continental margins using variance partitioning techniques. Sharp drops in diversity are seen as O2 levels decline through the 0.5 - 0.15 ml/l (~22 - 6 μM; ~21 - 5 matm) range, and as temperature increases through the 7-10°C range. pCO2 shows a strong effect in the Arabian Sea but very little effect in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. In contrast, very little variation in evenness is explained by these three global change variables. The identification of sharp thresholds in ecological response are used here to predict seafloor areas most at risk to future marine global change, although the existence of clear regional differences cautions against applying global thresholds.

  16. The Effect of Temperature Dependent Rheology on a Kinematic Model of Continental Breakup and Rifted Continental Margin Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    The effect of temperature dependent rheology has been examined for a model of continental lithosphere thinning by an upwelling divergent flow field within continental lithosphere and asthenosphere leading to continental breakup and rifted continental margin formation. The model uses a coupled FE fluid flow and thermal solution and is kinematically driven using a half divergence rate Vx and upwelling velocity Vz. Viscosity structure is modified by the evolving temperature field of the model through the temperature dependent Newtonian rheology. Continental lithosphere and asthenosphere material are advected by the fluid-flow field in order to predict crustal and mantle lithosphere thinning leading to rifted continental margin formation. The results of the temperature dependent rheology model are compared with those of a simple isoviscous model. The temperature dependent rheology model predicts continental lithosphere thinning and depth dependent stretching, similar to that predicted by the uniform viscosity model. However compared with the uniform viscosity model the temperature dependent rheology predicts greater amounts of thinning of the continental crust and lithospheric mantle than the isoviscous solutions. An important parameter within the kinematic model of continental lithosphere breakup and rifted continental margin development is the velocity ratio Vz/Vx. For non-volcanic margins, Vz/Vx is thought to be around unity. Applying a velocity ratio Vz/Vx of unity gives a diffuse ocean-continent transition and exhumation of continental lithospheric mantle. For volcanic margins, Vz/Vx is of order 10, falling to unity with a half-life of order 10 Ma, leading to a more sharply defined ocean-continent transition. While Vx during continental breakup may be estimated, Vz can only be inferred. FE fluid flow solutions, in which Vz is not imposed and without an initial buoyancy driven flow component, predict a velocity ratio Vz/Vx of around unity for both temperature

  17. Late Quaternary sedimentation on the North Aegean continental margin, Greece

    SciTech Connect

    Piper, D.J.W. ); Perissoratis, C. )

    1991-01-01

    The late Quaternary seismic stratigraphy of the North Aegean continental shelf and adjacent basins has been interpreted from boomer and 3.5-kHz seismic profiles. Ages derived from shallow cores and offshore wells, and relative offsets on small synsedimentary faults, provide chronological control. Sea level history inferred from seismic stratigraphy correlates with the global eustatic sea level record based on oxygen isotopic curves. The present depth of the delta plain formed on the outer shelf during the late stage 6 lowstand provides a dated and originally horizontal marker for estimating rates of tectonic subsidence. Gross distribution of sediment facies is similar in both tectonically stable and active areas. The shell break formed by delta progradation, but is marked by faults in most places because of the accommodation provided by graben subsidence rates of 0.3-1.5 mm/yr. Standard sequence stratigraphic analysis can be applied to these sediments deposited during high-amplitude Quaternary sea level oscillations. High rates of subsidence result in the preservation an unusually complete record of sea level change. Major lowstand progradation is dependent on the duration, rather than the magnitude, of sea level lowstand. The long glaciations in isotopic stages 6, 12, 16, and 22 resulted in the most prominent seaward progradation on the margin. Sandy lowstand turbidite deposits formed only when there was rapid fall in sea level; otherwise sand was trapped on delta tops and silty muds were deposited in deep water.

  18. Recent carbonate slope development on southwest Florida continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, G.R.; Holmes, C.W.

    1987-05-01

    The southwest Florida continental slope bordering the Florida Strait contains a thick sequence of seaward-prograding sediments. Sediments consist principally of a mixture of shallow water and pelagic carbonate sands and muds deposited rapidly on the upper slope. Sedimentary patterns are interpreted to be a function of high-frequency sea level fluctuations. Most vigorous off-shelf transport and highest sedimentation rates (exceeding 2.5 m/1000 years) occur during early transgressions and late regressions when water depths on the shelf are shallow. During sea level highstands, off-shelf transport is less vigorous and sedimentation rates decrease. During sea level lowstands, no off-shelf transport takes place and erosion of the previously deposited sequence occurs as a result of an increase in erosional capacity of the Florida Current. The presence of at least nine such sequences, all with similar characteristics, indicates that these processes have been occurring since at least the late Pleistocene in response to high-frequency glacial fluctuations. The location of the southwest Florida slope between the rimmed Bahama platform and the nonrimmed remainder of the west Florida margin, as well as similarities with ancient carbonate slope deposits formed during periods when shelf-edge reef-forming organisms were lacking, suggest that depositional patterns on the southwest Florida slope may be indicative of a transition between rimmed and nonrimmed carbonate platform environments. The southwest Florida slope may provide a valuable modern analog for identifying similar transitional environments in the geologic record.

  19. Climatic controls on arid continental basin margin systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Built-up of the continental margin offshore Central Mozambique from marine geophysical investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyde, I.; Block, M.; Ehrhardt, A.; Reichert, C. J.; Schreckenberger, B.

    2009-12-01

    In September/October 2007, along with institutes from Germany, France and Portugal BGR conducted the cruise MoBaMaSis (Mozambique Basin Marine Seismic Survey) using RV MARION DUFRESNE. The goal of the marine geophysical measurements offshore central Mozambique was the investigation of the continental margin in terms of its structure and formation history with special focus on the opening history of Eastern Gondwana and the hydrocarbon potential. A total of four long transects (450 to 225 km long) and a number of connection lines were acquired from the shelf and the slope into the deep Mozambique Basin. The data comprises multichannel seismic reflection (MCS), magnetic, gravimetric and swath bathymetry. On the eastern two transects two on-/offshore seismic refraction studies were carried out. Apart from results of the MCS and the magnetic work, in particular the results of the gravity data are presented. A 3D density model was developed. In the Mozambique Basin a large thick sedimentary succession of up to 8 km thickness from Jurassic to present is observed. Two deep reaching wells supported, at least in part, the identification of stratigraphy. Faint indications for SDR sequences related to volcanic flows are found in the northern part of the study area. In the south, the Beira High represents a prominent structure. The basement high with sediments of considerable reduced thickness is characterized by a distinct gravity minimum. A possible explanation is that the high is formed by a continental fragment. In addition, no clear magnetic chrons are identifiable. Thus, stretched continental crust is assumed underlying this part of the Mozambique Basin.

  1. Structure and evolution of the eastern Gulf of Aden conjugate margins from seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    d'Acremont, Elia; Leroy, Sylvie; Beslier, Marie-Odile; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Fournier, Marc; Robin, Cécile; Maia, Marcia; Gente, Pascal

    2005-03-01

    The Gulf of Aden is a young and narrow oceanic basin formed in Oligo-Miocene time between the rifted margins of the Arabian and Somalian plates. Its mean orientation, N75°E, strikes obliquely (50°) to the N25°E opening direction. The western conjugate margins are masked by Oligo-Miocene lavas from the Afar Plume. This paper concerns the eastern margins, where the 19-35 Ma breakup structures are well exposed onshore and within the sediment-starved marine shelf. Those passive margins, about 200 km distant, are non-volcanic. Offshore, during the Encens-Sheba cruise we gathered swath bathymetry, single-channel seismic reflection, gravity and magnetism data, in order to compare the structure of the two conjugate margins and to reconstruct the evolution of the thinned continental crust from rifting to the onset of oceanic spreading. Between the Alula-Fartak and Socotra major fracture zones, two accommodation zones trending N25°E separate the margins into three N110°E-trending segments. The margins are asymmetric: offshore, the northern margin is narrower and steeper than the southern one. Including the onshore domain, the southern rifted margin is about twice the breadth of the northern one. We relate this asymmetry to inherited Jurassic/Cretaceous rifts. The rifting obliquity also influenced the syn-rift structural pattern responsible for the normal faults trending from N70°E to N110°E. The N110°E fault pattern could be explained by the decrease of the influence of rift obliquity towards the central rift, and/or by structural inheritance. The transition between the thinned continental crust and the oceanic crust is characterized by a 40 km wide zone. Our data suggest that its basement is made up of thinned continental crust along the southern margin and of thinned continental crust or exhumed mantle, more or less intruded by magmatic rocks, along the northern margin.

  2. Lomonosov Ridge as a Natural Component of Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poselov, V.; Kaminsky, V. D.; Butsenko, V. V.; Grikurov, G. E.

    2010-12-01

    In geodynamic context, Lomonosov Ridge is interpreted as a rifted passive margin framing the Eurasian oceanic basin. At the same time its near-Siberian segment is intimately associated with the Russian Arctic shelf, as evidenced by morphological data and the results of “Trans-Arctic 1992” and “Arctic-2007” geotransect studies. Coring and ACEX data demonstrated the presence in the uppermost geological section of the ridge of Late Cretaceous through Cenozoic sediments and Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks; the latter may belong to deeper levels of sedimentary cover, or may represent the Mesozoic folded basement. Coarse bottom debris contains also the fragments of Riphean-Paleozoic rocks probably derived from the local bedrock source. Structure of sedimentary cover is imaged by continuous seismic observations from the shelf of East Siberian Sea along the length of Lomonosov Ridge to 85 N. In the upper part of the section there are two sedimentary sequences separated by a regional unconformity; their seismic velocities are 2.4-3.1 km/s in the upper sequence and 3.4-4.0 km/s in the lower one, and the total thickness reaches ~ 8 km in the deepest part of New Siberian Basin. Both these sequences and the unconformity are traced from Lomonosov Ridge into Amundsen Basin on seismic reflection sections obtained by drifting ice stations North Pole 2479 and 2480. The low-velocity sediments are underlain by a metasedimetary sequence with velocities decreasing from 4.7-4.9 km/s on the shelf to 4.4-4.9 km/s beneath continental slope and 4.2-4.8 km/s on Lomonosov Ridge. The thickness of metasedimentary sequence is about 7 km on the shelf, up to 3.5 km under continental slope, and strongly variable (1-5 km) on Lomonosov Ridge. The upper layer of consolidated crust is 8-9 km thick on the shelf with velocities 6.1-6.2 km/s; on Lomonosov Ridge both its thickness and velocities increase to 10 km and 6.0-6.4 km/s, respectively. In the lower crust the velocities do not exceed 6

  3. The Wilkes subglacial basin eastern margin electrical conductivity anomaly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzello, Daniele; Armadillo, Egidio; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Caneva, Giorgio

    2014-05-01

    We have analyzed the deep conductivity structure at the transition between the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and the eastern margin of the WSB in NVL, by means of the GDS (Geomagnetic Deep Sounding) technique, in order to constrain the geodynamical interpretation of this antarctic sector. The TAM form the uplifted flank of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic West Antarctic Rift System. Structure of the TAM rift flank has been partially investigated with different geophysical approaches.The Wilkes Subglacial Basin is a broad depression over 400 km wide at the George V Coast and 1200 km long. Geology, lithospheric structure and tectonics of the Basin are only partially known because the Basin is buried beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and is located in a remote region which makes geophysical exploration logistically challenging. Different authors have proposed contrasting hypothesis regarding the origin of the WSB: it could represent a region of rifted continental crust, or it may have a flexural origin or might represent an "extended terrane". Recently aerogeophysical investigations have demonstrated a strong structural control on the margin. Magnetovariational studies carried out at high geomagnetic latitudes are often hampered by source effects, mainly due to the closeness to the Polar Electrojet currents systems (PEJ). Its presence, in fact, makes the uniform magnetic field assumption, on which the magnetovariational methods are based on, often invalid, which outcome is a bias in the GDS transfer functions and to compromise the reliability of the inverted models. Data from the aforementioned campaigns have been then processed under the ISEE project (Ice Sheet Electromagnetic Experiment), aimed at evaluate and mitigate the bias effect of the PEJ on geomagnetic an magnetotelluric transfer functions at high geomagnetic latitudes, by means of suitable processing algorithms, developed upon a statistical analysis study on PEJ effects (Rizzello et al. 2013). Recent results

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  5. Convective Removal of Continental Margin Lithosphere at the Edges of Subducting Oceanic Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Palomeras, I.; Masy, J.; Humphreys, E.; Niu, F.

    2013-12-01

    Although oceanic lithosphere is continuously recycled to the deeper mantle by subduction, the rates and manner in which different types of continental lithospheric mantle are recycled is unclear. Cratonic mantle can be chemically reworked and essentially decratonized, although the frequency of decratonization is unclear. Lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts can be lost to the deeper mantle by convective downwellings and delamination phenomena. Here we describe how subduction related processes at the edges of oceanic plates adjacent to passive continental margins removes the mantle lithosphere from beneath the margin and from the continental interior. This appears to be a widespread means of recycling non-cratonic continental mantle. Lithospheric removal requires the edge of a subducting oceanic plate to be at a relatively high angle to an adjacent passive continental margin. From Rayleigh wave and body wave tomography, and receiver function images from the BOLIVAR and PICASSO experiments, we infer large-scale removal of continental margin lithospheric mantle from beneath 1) the northern South American plate margin due to Atlantic subduction, and 2) the Iberian and North African margins due to Alboran plate subduction. In both cases lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed several hundred kilometers inland from the subduction zones. This type of ';plate-edge' tectonics either accompanies or pre-conditions continental margins for orogenic activity by thinning and weakening the lithosphere. These processes show the importance of relatively small convective structures, i.e. small subducting plates, in formation of orogenic belts.

  6. Northern and eastern margins of the Siberian continent in Triassic

    SciTech Connect

    Egorov, A.Yu. )

    1993-09-01

    Siliciclastic sedimentation has been predominant on the northern and eastern margins of the Siberian continent since the Triassic period. Seven transgression-regression cycles can be recognized in the Triassic succession: Griesbachien-Dienerian, Smithian-Low Spathian, Upper Spathian, Anissian (with subcycles), Ladian, Carnian, and Norlan (with subcycles). All zonal units were distinguished within transgressive portions of the cycles. Regressive portions of the cycles formed practically instantaneously. Very high sedimentation rate (300-3000 mm/1000 yr), specific structures of sedimentary rocks, and distribution of unconformities led to the conclusion that active avalanche sedimentation at the basin margins was of major significance. six facies regions are recognized in the sedimentation area: Taimyr, Kotuy-Anabar, Leno-Anabar, Bur-Olenek, Verkhoyansk, and Novosibirsk (New Siberian Islands). The main source areas were located at the Patoma Mountains for the eastern margin and at the Anabar anticline and Olenek uplift for the northern margin. Most sediments were transported to the eastern margin by a large river with a huge delta which was similar in size to the modern Lena's delta. Sediments were further distributed by contour streams. Local synsedimentary structures controlled the paleogeography of the entire area. The paleogeographical evolution of the eastern margin is the history of this delta development. The rifting activities with the trappean magmatism were the main events at the northern margin, especially in the Talmyr area. The pelagic sedimentation has been predominant in the New Siberian Islands area and most of the Laptev Sea aquatoria. The organic-rich sediments have been distinguished in Low Olenekian (Smithian), Low Anissian, Low Ladinian, and Low Carnian substages. Most of them could be hydrocarbon source rocks. Triassic oil and gas seeps have been discovered at the northern portion of the Vilyui syncline, near the Lena's delta and the Nordvic Bay.

  7. Long-term topographic feedbacks along glaciated continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egholm, David L.; Jansen, John; Knudsen, Mads F.; Pedersen, Vivi K.; Brædstrup, Christian F.; Ugelvig, Sofie V.; Andersen, Jane L.; Skov, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Deep troughs carved by glaciers during Quaternary cold intervals dominate high-latitude mountain ranges in Greenland, Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Chile and Antarctica (Sugden & John, 1976). In addition, areas of relatively low relief are typically found at high elevations between the troughs. These high areas are often draped by block-fields, indicating that slow weathering processes dominated their evolution, at least throughout the most recent series of interglacial periods (Ballantyne, 2010). Ice sheets must have repeatedly covered the high areas during glacial maxima, but the ice did not erode the underlying bedrock; most likely because the ice was predominantly frozen to its bed (Kleman & Stroeven, 1997). The geomorphic contrast between the troughs and the high-elevation, low-relief areas shows that factors controlling glacial erosion can fluctuate dramatically across short distances, and that landscapes in cold regions concurrently support some of the fastest and slowest surface-erosion processes on Earth (Sugden & John, 1976). However, the strong contrast in efficiency of subglacial erosion has likely evolved in response to landscape evolution. The gradual emergence of glacial troughs over time establishes a feedback between ice flux and subglacial erosion, leading to focused ice drainage and accelerating erosion in the troughs and stalling erosion in the high-elevation areas between the troughs (Kessler et al. 2008). This distinct pattern of selective erosion along cold-region continental margins during the Late Quaternary may therefore reflect the product of topographical feedbacks that focus glacial erosion over time. We used computational landscape evolution models to study these topographic feedbacks, with the objective to evaluate landscape evolution in the high areas prior to the development of deep glacial troughs. Our experiments suggest that early overriding ice-sheets most likely eroded the highs and smoothed the regional topography before

  8. Petroleum possibilities in continental margin off central Chile

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, E.

    1986-07-01

    The continental margin off central Chile, from Valparaiso to Valdivia, encompassing an area of 100,000 km/sup 2/, has been the target of exploratory activity by Empresa Nacional del Petroleo since 1970. Exploratory drilling began in 1972. By August 1984, total exploratory efforts had resulted in drilling 14 offshore wells and acquiring 12,130 km of seismic reflection lines. A biogenic gas accumulation was discovered in the F well. Because these attempts to find oil were unsuccessful and because drilling costs have escalated, exploratory activities have been curtailed. Forearc basins off central Chile are characterized by low geothermal gradient and a sedimentary filling of Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. Tertiary sequences are characterized by low organic carbon content, immature humic-type organic matter, and a biogenic gas potential. Cretaceous sequences are characterized by higher organic carbon content, good reservoir rocks, and fair to good source rocks. The organic matter is sapropelic, with vitrinite and liptinites, and is favorable for oil and gas generation. Seismic and well data suggest that Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rock sequences filling the basins (more than 4000 m thick at the shelf edge) extend 40-70 km beyond the present shelf edge. Mesozoic rocks deposited on the slope may generate petroleum and gas that could migrate upslope and accumulate in traps associated with the faulted basement highs and graben-type depressions existing at the shelf edge. This geologic setting favors the development of large petroleum accumulations along the shelf edge and graben on the sedimentary basins off central Chile.

  9. Cenozoic vertical motions of the western continental margin of Peninsular India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, Fred; Hoggard, Mark; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

    Despite the cessation of rifting at ˜65 Ma and its remoteness from active convergence, the topography of Peninsular India is dominated by a dramatic, high-elevation escarpment along its western margin: the Western Ghats (˜1 - 1.5 km amsl). Inland of the escarpment, South Indian topography exhibits a long-wavelength (>1000 km), low-angle (˜0.1°) eastward tilt down to the Krishna-Godavari and Cauvery deltas on the eastern continental margin. Offshore, oceanic residual depth measurements show an identical long-wavelength asymmetry from highs of +1 km in the Arabian Sea to lows of -1.2 km in the Bay of Bengal. Strong evidence from margin stratigraphy, dated palaeosurfaces, thermochronology, cosmogenic nuclides and marine terraces combine to suggest that, following a period of relative quiescence from 50 Ma - 25 Ma, the present-day topography evolved in response to Neogene uplift and erosion along the western Indian margin. By jointly inverting 530 longitudinal river profiles for uplift rate and calibrating our inversions against these geological constraints, we successfully place this Cenozoic landscape evolution into a more complete spatio-temporal framework. The results demonstrate slow growth of the eastward tilt from 50 Ma - 25 Ma (≤0.02 mm a‑1), preceding a phase of increasingly rapid development - initiating in the south - from 25 Ma onwards (≤0.2 mm a‑1). The onset of rapid uplift pre-dates the initial intensification of the Indian monsoon by >15 Ma, suggesting that rock uplift and not climate change is primarily responsible for the modern-day relief of the peninsula. Previous studies have aimed to explain this topographic evolution by invoking flexural isostatic mechanisms involving denudation, sediment loading and/or underplating. However, seismological constraints show that South Indian topography deviates significantly from crustal isostatic expectations, while the 9.8‑2.2+3.8 km effective elastic thickness of the region generates ˜125 km

  10. The conjugate passive margins of the eastern gulf of Aden : structure and oceanic initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Acremont, E.; Leroy, S.; Beslier, M. O.; Fournier, M.; Bellahsen, N.; Patriat, P.; Maia, M.

    2003-04-01

    The geophysical data set of the Encens-Sheba cruise in the eastern gulf of Aden allows us to define and compare the structure of the conjugate passive margins and to locate the continental ocean transition zone (COT). Between the Alula-Fartak and Socotra transform faults, the non-volcanic margins are segmented by two transfer fault zones trending N027°E. These transfer zones with left-lateral offsets define three N110°E trending segments. The two margins display titled blocks, horsts and grabens bounded by landward and seaward dipping faults, responsible for two syn-rift antithetic sequences observed on the seismic profile. Normal faulting prevails on the northern margin, with prominent basement rises and basins, and is less important on the southern margin. The latter being characterised by a deep basin at the toe of the continental slope in the vicinity of the continent-ocean transition. Moreover, the offsets along the transfer zones are greater on the northern margin than on the southern one. The conjugate margins are asymmetrical: the southern rifted domain is about twice as large as the northern one. This asymmetry could be due to reactivation of inherited faults. Indeed, the Jurassic rifting has affected the southern margin and not the northern one. The segmentation of the first oceanic spreading centre which is dated at least at 17.6 Ma by the magnetic anomaly An-5d identification seems to be directly related to the segmentation of the margins. The segmentation of the oceanic crust between the Alula-Fartak and Socotra transform faults evolves from three segments (an5d to an5) to two segments (an5 to an1). At the onset of the accretion process, the western segment propagated eastward at the expense of the eastern segment. Reconstruction of the oceanisation process suggests a complex non-uniform opening along the COT by punctiform initiation of seafloor spreading. Several arguments lead to propose a rifting model by mantle exhumation in the COT. The gravity

  11. Geohistory analysis of the Santa Maria basin, California, and its relationship to tectonic evolution of the continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    McCrory, P.A.; Arends, R.G. ); Ingle, J.C. Jr. ); Isaacs, C.M.; Stanley, R.G. ); Thornton, M.L.C. )

    1991-02-01

    The Santa Maria basin of central California is a geologically complex area located along the tectonically active California continental margin. The record of Cenozoic tectonism preserved in Santa Maria strata provides an opportunity to compare the evolution of the region with plate tectonic models for Cenozoic interactions along the margin. Geohistory analysis of Neogene Santa Maria basin strata provides important constraints for hypotheses of the tectonic evolution of the central California margin during its transition from a convergent to a transform plate boundary. Preliminary analyses suggest that the tectonic evolution of the Santa Maria area was dominated by coupling between adjacent oceanic plates and the continental margin. This coupling is reflected in the timing of major hiatuses within the basin sedimentary sequence and margin subsidence and uplift which occurred during periods of tectonic plate adjustment. Stratigraphic evidence indicates that the Santa Maria basin originated on the continental shelf in early Miocene time. A component of margin subsidence is postulated to have been caused by cessation of spreading on adjacent offshore microplates approximately 19-18 ma. A sharp reduction in rate of tectonic subsidence in middle Miocene time, observed in the Santa Maria basin both onshore and offshore, was coeval with rotation of crustal blocks as major shearing shifts shoreward. Tectonic uplift of two eastern sites, offshore Point Arguello and near Point Sal, in the late Miocene may have been related to a change to transpressional motion between the Pacific and North American plates, as well as to rotation of the western Transverse Ranges in a restraining geometry.

  12. Eastern Venezuela Basin's Post-Jurassic evolution as a passive transform margin basin

    SciTech Connect

    George, R.P. Jr. ); Sams, R.H. )

    1993-02-01

    Passive transform margins are segments of rifted continental margins bounded by transform faults that are active during rifting and that become inactive during drifting. Examples include the northern coast of Brazil and its matching margin along the Liberia-Nigeria coast. We propose that the northern margin of the Eastern Venezuela Basin was dominantly a passive transform margin during the Cretaceous and early Paleogene, rather than a purely passive margin. Published microplate reconstructions of the southern Caribbean show Jurassic separation of the Bahamas platform from northern South America along a northwest-trending transform fault postulated to lie just northeast of Trinidad and the Guianas. We conjecture that the [open quotes]Deflexion de Barcelona[close quotes] (a northwest-trending zone of strike slip faults along the southwestern edge of the Serrania del Interior) is controlled by a basement geofracture that is the onshore expression of Jurassic transform fault southwest of and subparallel to the southwestern Bahamas transform. Implications of this conjecture for the Eastern Venezuela Basin include: (1) absence of McKenzie-type regional crustal stretching, Mesozoic thermal anomaly, and Mesozoic thermal-tectonic subsidence; (2) abrupt rather than gradual seaward changes in crustal thickness; (3)abrupt lateral changes in thickness and facies of Mesozoic sediments, as in the Piaui-Ceara basins of northern Brazil; (4) tendency for structural styles developed during Neogene compression to include more strike-slip faults and en enchelon fold sets (because of reactivation of Mesozoic transforms) than would be expected by structural inversion of a purely passive margin.

  13. Three dimensional lithospheric structure of the western continental margin of India constrained from gravity modelling: implication for tectonic evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arora, K.; Tiwari, V. M.; Singh, B.; Mishra, D. C.; Grevemeyer, I.

    2012-07-01

    This paper describes a 3-D lithospheric density model of the Western Continental Margin of India (WCMI) based on forward modelling of gravity data derived from satellite altimetry over the ocean and surface measurements on the Indian peninsula. The model covers the north-eastern Arabian Sea and the western part of the Indian Peninsula and incorporates constraints from a wide variety of geophysical and geological information. Salient features of the density model include: (1) the Moho depth varying from 13 km below the oceanic crust to 46 km below the continental interior; (2) the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) located at depths between 70 km in the southwestern corner (under oceanic crust) and about 165 km below the continental region; (3) thickening of the crust under the Chagos-Laccadive and Laxmi Ridges and (4) a revised definition of the continent-ocean boundary. The 3-D density structure of the region enables us to propose an evolutionary model of the WCMI that revisits earlier views of passive rifting. The first stage of continental-scale rifting of Madagascar from India at about 90 Ma is marked by relatively small amounts of magmatism. A second episode of rifting and large-scale magmatism was possibly initiated around 70 Ma with the opening of the Gop Rift. Subsequently at around 68 Ma, the drifting away of the Seychelles and formation of the Laxmi Ridge was a consequence of the down-faulting of the northern margin. During this second episode of rifting, the northern part of the WCMI witnessed massive volcanism attributed to interaction with the Reunion hotspot at around 65 Ma. Subsequent stretching of the transitional crust between about 65 and 62 Ma formed the Laxmi Basin, the southward extension of the failed Gop Rift. As the interaction between plume and lithosphere continued, the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge was emplaced on the edge of the nascent oceanic crust/rifted continental margin in the south as the Indian Plate was moving northwards.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, David

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Edge Driven Convection along the Eastern North American Margin from Ambient Noise Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The eastern North American margin is the result of nearly a billion years of continental collision and rifting. Here we present a new wave speed model of the eastern North American margin from full-wave ambient noise tomography with the USArray data. Transitions in lithosphere thickness occur at the intersection of the North American craton to the west and the Atlantic Ocean basin. We observe a continuous low wave speed feature at the edge of the continent between depths of 120 and 190 km into the Earth. The dramatic change in lithosphere thickness at this boundary may drive asthenosphere upwelling along the edge of the continent. Edge driven convection is hypothesized as the result of induced mantle convection due to plate motions and abrupt thickness changes in the lithosphere. Additionally, the insulating effect of large continents has been hypothesized to result in the formation of "hot" convection cells along their boundaries. Localized higher amplitude slow anomalies are seen adjacent to Maryland and Virginia and offshore of South Carolina and Georgia; these may be the locales of enhanced edge driven convection that exploits weaknesses in the lithosphere from past episodes of volcanism. Additionally, a large slow wave speed anomaly beneath New England continues offshore aligned with the New England Seamount chain, and is possibly a remnant of the Monteregian hot spot active 100 - 120 Ma. Slow wave speeds extending to depths greater than 50 km reflect thickened continental crust in the Appalachians.

  16. The Mississippian Antler foreland and continental margin in southern Nevada: The Eleana Formation reinterpreted

    SciTech Connect

    Cashman, P.H.; Trexler, J.H. Jr. )

    1991-02-01

    Rocks mapped as the Mississippian Eleana Formation at the type locality on the Nevada Test Site appear to comprise two completely different, but coeval, sedimentary units. In the Eleana Range (Western Eleana Formation), the strata are siliciclastic and carbonate turbidites of Mississippian age. From immediately east of the Eleana Range to Syncline Ridge (Eastern Eleana Formation), the strata are Devonian-Mississippian mudstone and quartzite conformably overlying Devonian limestone and underlying Pennsylvanian limestone. Although the contact between the two sedimentary packages is not exposed, small-scale structures document an east-dipping fault contact and reverse motion. Sandstone petrography and stratigraphic considerations support the age data in identifying two separate Mississippian units. Sandstones from the Western Eleana are chert litharenites with significant amount of feldspar and both volcanic and sedimentary lithic grains. These rocks are interpreted to be a submarine fan deposit; southwest-directed paleocurrent indicators suggest that they were deposited in an elongate trough, filled axially from the northeast. The source of the sediments was the antler allochthon and foreland basin. The authors tentatively correlate this section with the Dale Canyon-Chainman-Diamond Peak section near Eureka, Nevada. Sandstones from the Eastern Eleana are quartz arenites with rare chert and detrital heavy minerals. These strata are tentatively interpreted to be a shallow shelf deposit, with sediments derived from the continent to the east. They tentatively correlate this section with the Guilmette-Pilot-Scotty Wash-Chainman section of eastern Nevada. These sedimentary systems are initially separated an unknown distance across the late Paleozoic continental margin.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Francisco, N.F.; Azambuja, N.C.; Mello, M.R. )

    1993-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-09-13

    The rifting of continents involves faulting (tectonism) and magmatism, which reflect the strain-rate and temperature dependent processes of solid-state deformation and decompression melting within the Earth. Most models of this rifting have treated tectonism and magmatism separately, and few numerical simulations have attempted to include continental break-up and melting, let alone describe how continental rifting evolves into seafloor spreading. Models of this evolution conventionally juxtapose continental and oceanic crust. Here we present observations that support the existence of a zone of exhumed continental mantle, several tens of kilometres wide, between oceanic and continental crust on continental margins where magma-poor rifting has taken place. We present geophysical and geological observations from the west Iberia margin, and geological mapping of margins of the former Tethys ocean now exposed in the Alps. We use these complementary findings to propose a conceptual model that focuses on the final stage of continental extension and break-up, and the creation of a zone of exhumed continental mantle that evolves oceanward into seafloor spreading. We conclude that the evolving stress and thermal fields are constrained by a rising and narrowing ridge of asthenospheric mantle, and that magmatism and rates of extension systematically increase oceanward. PMID:11557977

  19. Bathymetric and regional changes in benthic macrofaunal assemblages on the deep Eastern Brazilian margin, SW Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernardino, Angelo Fraga; Berenguer, Vanessa; Ribeiro-Ferreira, Venina P.

    2016-05-01

    Deep-sea continental slopes have valuable mineral and biological resources in close proximity to diverse, undersampled and fragile marine benthic ecosystems. The eastern Brazilian Continental Margin (19.01°S to 21.06°S, 37.88°W to 40.22°W) is an important economic region for both fishing and oil industries, but is poorly understood with respect to the structure of the soft-sediment benthic fauna, their regional distribution and their bathymetric patterns. To identify spatial and temporal patterns of benthic macrofaunal assemblages on the slope (400 to 3000 m), the Espirito Santo Basin Assessment Project (AMBES, coordinated by Cenpes-Petrobras) sampled 42 stations across the Brazilian Eastern Slope during both Summer 2012 and Winter 2013. We found a significant decrease in macrofaunal abundance at the 400 m isobath along the slope near the northern region of the Espirito Santo Basin, suggesting benthic responses to upwelling events towards the south in Campos Basin and southern Espirito Santo Basin. The taxonomic diversity and assemblage composition also changed significantly across depth zones with mid-slope peaks of diversity at 1000-1300 m. In general, macrofaunal assemblages were strongly related to slope depth, suggesting a strong influence of productivity gradients and water mass distribution on this oligotrophic margin. Sediment grain size was marginally important to macrofaunal composition on the upper slope. In general, macrofaunal assemblages on the slope of Espirito Santo Basin are similar to other areas of the SE Brazilian margin, but regional changes in response to productivity and depth need to be considered for management strategies in the face of increasing economic activities off-shore.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tymms, V. J.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

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

  1. Deformation of the Continental Lithosphere at the Margins of the North American Craton: Constraints from Seismic Anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, M. D.; Benoit, M. H.; Ford, H. A.; Wirth, E. A.; Aragon, J. C.; Abrahams, L.; McNamara, J.; Jackson, K.

    2015-12-01

    Earth's continents exhibit striking properties, including relatively thick and low-density crust and a strong, thick, long-lived mantle lithosphere. Major questions related to the formation, stability, evolution, and dynamics of cratonic lithosphere remain unanswered. One promising avenue for understanding the stability of cratonic lithosphere through geologic time is to understand how their margins are deformed via tectonic processes such as orogenesis and rifting. Here we present results of several recent and ongoing studies which aim to constrain past lithospheric deformation along the eastern margin of the North American craton. Each of these studies focuses on constraining seismic anisotropy, or the directional dependence of seismic wavespeeds, in the lithospheric upper mantle. Because there is a causative link between upper mantle deformation and the resulting seismic anisotropy, studies of anisotropic structure in the upper mantle beneath continental interiors can shed light on the deformation processes associated with past tectonic events. The recent explosion in the availability of seismic data in the eastern United States, largely due to the EarthScope initiative, has enabled detailed studies of lithospheric deformation using anisotropic receiver function (RF) analysis and SKS splitting analysis. A comparison of lithospheric structure inferred from RFs for stations located to the east of the Grenville deformation front with those located within the cratonic interior argues for extensive deformation of the lithosphere during the formation and/or breakup of Rodinia. The pattern of fast SKS splitting directions measured at USArray Transportable Array (TA) stations shows clear evidence for a specific lithospheric anisotropy signature at stations beneath the Appalachian Mountains, indicating strong, coherent lithospheric deformation associated with Appalachian orogenesis. The Mid-Atlantic Geophysical Integrative Collaboration (MAGIC) experiment, a linear array

  2. Neoproterozoic-Early Paleozoic rifting of the craton margin in eastern Kentucky: Evidence from subsidence analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Goodman, P.T. . Dept. of Geological Sciences); Walker, D. )

    1992-01-01

    Analysis of subsidence along the craton margin in eastern Kentucky indicates a Neoproterozoic to Early through Middle Cambrian rifting event developing on a subsiding passive margin of the Laurentian craton to the Iapetus Ocean. Subsidence associated with rifting is confined to the Rome Trough; an internally broken half-graben within the Laurentian craton; the trough trends sub-parallel to the Appalachian orogenic belt. In cross section the through as an abrupt faulted margin on the carton side and a tapering, gentle extension toward the orogenic belt. The stratigraphic sequence within the Rome Trough and toward the orogen consists of Neoproterozoic or early Cambrian basal sands overlying Grenville basement, and succeeded by silts, shales and discontinuous carbonates of the Rome Fm. that are overlain by shales and carbonates of the Conesauga Fm. Stratigraphic relationships suggest that an out-of-sequence, inboard rift developed along the Laurentian margin adjacent to a drift-phase continental shelf represented by strata of the Blue Ridge and Valley and Ridge. Analysis of the subsidence history of this region reveals trends which support the notion that the subsidence history of this area cannot be accounted for by typical passive-margin development. The subsidence history of the area within the Rome Trough presents a pattern of high thermal subsidence and produces beta values greater than in areas nearer the craton margin. These data indicate that an inboard locus of anomalous crustal extension occurred in the area of the Rome Trough while the remainder of the cratonal margin underwent drift-phase subsidence, and that the timing and magnitude of this event is related to the development of the Iapetan margin.

  3. CDP seismic sections of the western Beaufort continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eittreim, S.; Grantz, A.

    1979-01-01

    The continental rise, slope, and shelf in the Beaufort Sea off northern Alaska were surveyed with 5600 km of common-depth-point (CDP) seismic data by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1977. The lower continental rise consists of a wedge of at least 4.5 km of low-velocity, generally flat-lying, parallel-bedded sediments. Slump-related diapiric folds, probably cored by shale, occur on the upper rise and lower slope. The observed minimum depth to oceanic basement in the Canada Basin requires an age for this basin of at least 120 m.y., assuming it to be floored by oceanic crust with a subsidence history similar to that of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. ?? 1979.

  4. Geologic development and characteristics of continental margins, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, J.M.; Prior, D.B.; Roberts, H.H.

    1986-09-01

    The continental slope of the Gulf basin covers more than 500,000 km/sup 2/ and consists of smooth and gently sloping surfaces, prominent escarpments, knolls, intraslope basins, and submarine canyons and channels. It is an area of extremely diverse topographic and sedimentologic conditions. The slope extends from the shelf break, roughly at the 200-m isobath, to the upper limit of the continental rise at a depth of 2800 m. The most complex province in the basin, and the one of most interest to the petroleum industry, is the Texas-Louisiana slope, occupying 120,000 km/sup 2/ and in which bottom slopes range from less than 1/sup 0/ to greater than 20/sup 0/ around the knolls and basins. The near-surface geology and topography of the slope is a function of the interplay between episodes of rapid shelf-edge and slope progradation and contemporaneous modification of the depositional sequence by diapirism. Development of discrete depocenters throughout the Neogene results in rapid shelf-edge progradation, often exceeding 15-20 km/m.y. This rapid progradation of the shelf edge leads to development of thick wedges of sediment accumulation on the continental slope. Slope oversteepening, high pore pressures in rapidly deposited soft sediments, and changes in eustatic sea level cause subaqueous slope instabilities such as landslides and debris flows. Large-scale features such as shelf-edge separation scars and landslide-related canyons often result from such processes.

  5. New Data From the Southern Levantine Continental Margin and outer Nile Cone - the GEMME Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huebscher, C. P.; Ben-Avraham, Z.; Dehghani, A.; Gohl, K.; Paetzold, J.

    2002-12-01

    In order to investigate the tectonic and sedimentary setting of the southern Levantine continental margin as well as the Late Quaternary paleoceanography of the outer Nile Cone a geophysical and geological survey - the GEMME project - was carried out in the eastern Mediterranean between February and March 2002. The German research vessel METEOR operated for 5 weeks in the territorial waters of Israel and Egypt. The experiments included refraction and reflection seismics, gravity and magnetics, swath sounding and subbottom profiling, and sediment sampling with gravity and multi-corer. We found a strong correlation between salt tectonic features and the position of channel levee complexes evolved on the outer Nile Cone, which is different to other submarine fans without a mobile layer beneath where the location of the complexes is an autocyclic process. The high-resolution stratigraphy of the Post-Messinian sediment prism reflects the interplay between sediment input, transport mechanisms, uplift and subsidence, halokinetics, and changes of sea level and climate. We found a wide abundance of gassy clastic sediments above the basal Pliocene unconformity and relation between chemoherms, faulting, and gas/fluid migration. The dominant disturbances along the continental slope off Israel are most likely triggered by salt (gravity) tectonic. The position of the landward termination of the Messinian evaporites is located beneath the present shelf in the north but beneath the lower continental slope of bottomset in the south. The salt tectonic is most likely responsible for the along-strike variation of the margin morphology. The Pelusium line reflects the salt tectonic and is presumably not a basement tectonic feature. We found evidence of active tectonic off Haifa Bay in the prolongation of the Carmel rift and it related branches. The paleoclimate history of the Nile deposits will be studied from the extensive sediment core collection. Four different sediment profiles were

  6. Rifted continental margins: geometric control on crustal architecture and melting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundin, Erik; Redfield, Tim; Peron-Pinvidic, Gwenn

    2014-05-01

    A new model is provided for the distribution of magma-poor and magma-rich rifted margins. The South Atlantic, Central Atlantic, North Atlantic - Arctic (Eurasia Basin), and Red Sea all are magma-rich at their distal ends and magma-poor at their proximal ends (with respect to their poles of rotation). The well-known architectural zonation across fully developed magma-poor margins (limited crustal stretching, hyperextension, exhumed mantle, oceanic crust) is also observed along the lengths of many margins at the super-regional scale. Zones of exhumed mantle, marking magma-poor margin, can be mapped for thousands of kilometers. Likewise can zones of seaward dipping reflectors (SDR) marking magma-rich margins. At this scale, the age of the oceanic crust becomes younger in the direction of the rotation pole, implying that the continents ruptured by rift tip propagation (and rotation pole propagation). Propagation is also manifested by the age of pre-break-up magmatism, break-up unconformity, and margin uplift. Hence, the classic cross-sectional depiction of margin evolution has a third dimension. The degree of melting follows the same pattern. At the distal end of e.g. the South Atlantic, SDR zones are wide and gradually thin toward the rotation pole. Eventually exhumed mantle takes over, marking the transition to the magma-poor margins, which remain to the proximal end of rifting. SDR zones also thin laterally from ca 10-15 km thickness at the continent-ocean boundary (COB) to ca 7 km thick oceanic crust beyond the SDRs. Outcrop data demonstrate that also exhumed mantle contains up to ca 12% melt, infiltrated in the peridotites. Thus, melting is largest at the distal ends near the COB, and decreases both laterally toward the evolving ocean and along strike toward the rift tip. Accepting that continents are rigid to a first order, the linear rate of extension at any given location along an evolving rift and ocean, is governed by the angular rate of opening, the distance

  7. Structure and petroleum potential of the Yakutat segment of the northern Gulf of Alaska continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Bruns, T.R.

    1983-01-01

    This report discusses the structure, geologic history, and petroleum potential of the Yakutat segment, the part of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska. As part of a program of geological and geophysical investigations of the continental margin in the northern Gulf of Alaska, the US Geological Survey collected multichannel seismic reflection data along about 2000 km of tracklines in the study area during 1975, 1977, and 1978. In addition, dredge samples from the continental slope were acquired during the 1977, 1978, and 1979 field seasons. The first part of this paper presents an interpretation of the seismic reflection and refraction data, including structure contour maps, isopach maps, and interpreted seismic sections; the second part is a discussion of the implications for petroleum potential. The primary area of interest is the continental shelf and slope, but some data from strata at the base of the slope are also included.

  8. Manganese flux from continental margin sediments in a transect through the oxygen minimum

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, K.S. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Inst., Pacific Grove, CA ); Berelson, W.M.; Iams, H.D.; Kilgore, T.E. ); Coale, K.H.; Coley, T.L.; Elrod, V.A.; Fairey, W.R.; Nowicki, J.L. )

    1992-08-28

    The flux of manganese from continental margin sediments to the ocean was measured with a free-vehicle, benthic flux chamber in a transect across the continental shelf and upper slope of the California margin. The highest fluxes were observed on the shallow continental shelf. Manganese flux decreased linearly with bottom water oxygen concentration, and the lowest flux occurred in the oxygen minimum zone (at a depth of 600 to 1,000 meters). Although the flux of manganese from continental shelf sediments can account for the elevated concentrations observed in shallow, coastal waters, the flux from sediments that intersect the oxygen minimum cannot produce the subsurface concentration maximum of dissolved manganese that is observed in the Pacific Ocean.

  9. Sediment deformation related to the submarine failure in northeastern South China Sea continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiu, J.

    2012-12-01

    In northeastern South China Sea continental margin, geological structure is complex due to the passive continental margin meets the Taiwan mountain belt. Submarine slope failures, turbidity flows and so on are the main sedimentary processes in this continental slope, but these processes play different roles along the passive continental slope. So Chirp subbottom profiles, include analog and digital data, and cores collected in this region were analyzed to study the difference of sedimentation of the Late Quaternary. We found that more sediment deformations near seafloor, e.g. sediment layer pulled by sliding block and formed a shape like "pinch-out", were observed in the west region of the study area. This phenomenon could be related to finer sediments from mainland China, comparing with coarser sediments from Taiwan mountain belt deposited in the east region of the study area.

  10. Magmatism at passive margins: Effect of depth-dependent rifting and depleted continental lithospheric counterflow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Gang; Huismans, Ritske

    2016-04-01

    Rifted continental margins may have a variety of structural and magmatic styles, resulting in narrow or wide, magma-dominated or magma-poor conjugate margins. Some magma-poor margins differ from the classical uniform extension (McKenzie) model in that continental crust breaks up significantly earlier or later than continental mantle lithosphere and establishment of mature mid-ocean ridge is significantly delayed. The best-known examples are observed at: 1) the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins (Type I) with a narrow transition between oceanic and continental crust; and 2) ultra-wide central South Atlantic margins (Type II) where the continental crust spans wide regions while the mantle lithosphere beneath has been removed. These margins are explained by depth-dependent extension. In this study, we perform 2D thermo-mechanical finite element numerical experiments to investigate magmatism at passive margins with depth-dependent extension. A melting prediction model is coupled with the thermo-mechanical model, in which temperature, density and viscosity feedbacks are considered. For the standard models, the crust is either strong and coupled (Type I-A models), or weak and decoupled (Type II-A models) with mantle lithosphere. In addition, models with a buoyant, depleted (cratonic) lower mantle lithosphere (referred as C models) are also investigated. We illustrate that Type I-A/C models develop Type I narrow margins, whereas Type II-A/C models develop Type II wide margins. In the C models, the buoyant lower mantle lithosphere flows laterally towards the ridge (i.e. the counterflow), resulting in the exhumation (in Type I-C models) or underplating (in Type II-C models) of the continental mantle lithosphere. Magmatic productivity is strongly prohibited when counterflow is developed. We argue that Type I-A and I-C models are comparable with the Aden Gulf rifted margins and the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins, respectively. The Type II-A/C models are consistent

  11. Geodynamic settings of microcontinents, non-volcanic islands and submerged continental marginal plateau formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, Evgeny; Grokholsky, Andrey; Makushkina, Anna

    2016-04-01

    Complex process of continental lithosphere breakup is often accompanied by full or semi isolation of small continental blocks from the parent continent such as microcontinents or submerged marginal plateaus. We present different types of continental blocks formed in various geodynamic settings. The process depends on thermo-mechanical properties of rifting. 1) The continental blocks fully isolated from the parent continent. This kind of blocks exist in submerged form (Elan Bank, the Jan-Mayen Ridge, Zenith Plateau, Gulden Draak Knoll, Batavia Knoll) and in non-submerged form in case of large block size. Most of listed submerged blocks are formed in proximity of hot-spot or plume. 2) The continental blocks semi-isolated from the parent continent. Exmouth Plateau, Vøring, Agulhas, Naturaliste are submerged continental plateaus of the indicated category; Sri Lanka, Tasmania, Socotra are islands adjacent to continent here. Nowadays illustration of this setting is the Sinai block located between the two continental rifts. 3) The submerged linear continental blocks formed by the continental rifting along margin (the Lomonosov Ridge). Suggested evolution of this paragraph is the rift propagation along existing transtensional (or another type) transform fault. Future example of this type might be the California Peninsula block, detached from the North American plate by the rifting within San-Andreas fault. 4) The submerged continental blocks formed by extensional processes as the result of asthenosphere flow and shear deformations. Examples are submerged blocks in the central and southern Scotia Sea (Terror Bank, Protector Basin, Discovery Bank, Bruce Bank etc.). 5) The continental blocks formed in the transform fault systems originated in setting of contradict rifts propagation in presence of structure barriers, rifts are shifted by several hundreds kilometers from each other. Examples of this geodynamic setting are Equatorial Atlantic at the initial development stage

  12. Illustrations of the importance of mass wasting in the evolution of continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Pratson, L.; Ryan, W. ); Twichell, D. )

    1990-05-01

    Side-looking sonar imagery and swath bathymetry from a variety of contemporary continental slopes all display erosional scars and debris aprons, illustrating the importance of mass wasting in the evolution of continental margins. The continental slopes examined include slopes fed directly from the fronts of ice sheets, slopes adjacent to continental shelves that were the sites of glacial outwash, slopes supplied exclusively by fluvial drainage, slopes at carbonate platforms, and slopes on accretionary prisms. Examples are drawn from the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mediterranean Sea in both passive and active continental margin settings. The sonar imagery and bathymetry used in this study indicate that continental slopes in different tectonic and climatic environments show similar forms of mass wasting. However, in some cases the dominant mode of erosion and/or the overall degree of mass wasting appears to be distinct to particular sedimentary environments. Timing of both recent and older exhumed erosional surfaces identified in the imagery and in seismic reflection profiles is obtained by ground truth observations using submersibles, towed camera sleds, drilling, and coring. These observations suggest that eustatic fluctuations common to all the margins examined do not explain the range in magnitude and areal density of the observed mass wasting. More localized factors such as lithology, diagenesis, pore fluid conditions, sediment supply rates, and seismic ground motion appear to have a major influence in the evolution of erosional scars and their corresponding unconformities.

  13. Constraining Lithosphere Deformation Modes during Continental Breakup for the Iberia-Newfoundland Conjugate Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    How the lithosphere and asthenosphere deforms during continental rifting leading to breakup and sea-floor spreading initiation is poorly understood. Observations at present-day and fossil analogue rifted margins show a complex OCT architecture which cannot be explained by a single simplistic lithosphere deformation modes. This OCT complexity includes hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, detachments faults, exhumed mantle, continental slivers and scattered embryonic oceanic crust. We use a coupled kinematic-dynamic model of lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation to determine the sequence of lithosphere deformation modes leading to continental breakup for Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margin profiles. We quantitatively calibrate the models using observed present-day water loaded subsidence and crustal thickness, together with subsidence history and the age of melt generation. Flow fields, representing a sequence of lithosphere deformation modes, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FE-Margin), and used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FE-Margin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the upper 15-20 km of the lithosphere inducing passive upwelling below. Buoyancy enhanced upwelling (Braun et al. 2000) is also kinematically included. Melt generation by decompressional melting is predicted using the methodology of Katz et al., 2003. The extension magnitudes used in the lithosphere deformation models are taken from Sutra et al (2013). The best fit calibrated models of lithosphere deformation evolution for the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins require (i) an initial broad region of lithosphere deformation and passive upwelling, (ii) lateral migration of deformation, (iii) an increase in extension rate with time, (iv) focussing of deformation and (v) buoyancy induced upwelling. The preferred calibrated models predict faster extension rates and earlier continental crustal rupture and

  14. Crustal-Scale Images of the Continent-Ocean Transition Across the Eastern Canadian Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louden, K.; Gerlings, J.

    2009-05-01

    The acquisition and analysis of ~10, 400-500-km-long, deep MCS reflection and wide-angle reflection/refraction (WAR/R) profiles across the eastern Canadian continental margins from Nova Scotia to Baffin Is. have been accomplished over the past 20 years during a number of joint Canadian and international programs. The combination of both reflectivity and velocity images from separate MCS and WAR/R profiles have detailed the large-scale patterns of crustal extension, mantle serpentinization and exhumation, and ocean crustal formation both within and between rifted segments from full thickness continental crust to oceanic crust produced by sea-floor spreading. A number of striking features are documented by these crustal-scale sections. In particular, a wide transition region with very thin seismic crust is delineated by a well-defined upper mantle zone with reduced velocities interpreted as partially serpentinized peridotite. The geological nature of the transitional crust is quite complex and may consist of various regions dominated by highly stretched continental crust, highly serpentinized continental mantle or thin ultra-slow spread ocean crust. It is difficult to define the nature of this region from its velocity structure alone, however, since it is only poorly resolved by standard travel-time methods. One robust characteristic that is generally observed is an abrupt change to typical ocean crust at the seaward edge of the transition zone. This boundary shows characteristic and coincident variations in both velocity structure and basement morphology. New results from the eastern margin of Flemish Cap demonstrate such a pattern particularly well. This observation suggests that once melt begins to form it causes an abrupt shift from a diffuse pattern of lithospheric extension to a focused zone of melt formation. Based on our profiles, we suggest that such transitions have occurred at a number of discrete pulses, which progress in age from south to north and may

  15. Anomalous Subsidence of the Ocean Continent Transition at Rifted Continental Margins: Observations from the Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2011-12-01

    It has been proposed that some continental rifted margins have anomalous early subsidence histories and that at break-up they were elevated at shallower bathymetries than the isostatic response of classical rift models (McKenzie 1978) would predict. The existence of anomalous syn- or early post-breakup subsidence, of this form, would have important implications for our understanding of the geodynamics of continental breakup and sea-floor spreading initiation and important consequences for syn- and post-breakup depositional systems. Possible explanations for anomalous subsidence during continental breakup could include transient effects as the continental geotherm evolves towards an oceanic form, or small scale convection. Lucazeau et al. (2008) have reported anomalously high heat-flows in the ocean continent transition (OCT) of the young rifted margin of the Eastern Gulf of Aden which would have implications for its subsidence history. In order to verify (or otherwise) the proposition of an anomalous early post-breakup subsidence history in the Eastern Gulf of Aden, we have determined anomalous oceanic subsidence using residual depth anomaly (RDA) analysis and have compared lithosphere thinning across the OCT measured using subsidence analysis with continental crustal basement thinning from gravity inversion. Both 3D regional and localised 2D analyses have been carried out. The localised studies focus on published seismic reflection lines (Autin et al, 2010; D'Acremont et al, 2005; Fournier et al, 2007; Leroy et al, 2004; Leroy et al, 2010; Lucazeau et al 2008; Lucazeau et al 2010). RDAs have been calculated by comparing observed and predicted oceanic bathymetries. Regional 3D RDAs for the Gulf of Aden, without a sediment correction, show positive RDAs between 3km and 4km at the rifted margins decreasing to 0.5km at the ocean ridge axis. Localised 2D sediment corrected RDA profiles determined within and adjacent to the OCT of the Eastern Gulf of Aden are also

  16. Reactivation of Precambrian faults on the southwestern continental margin of India: Evidence from gravity anomalies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-03-01

    Gravimetric and bathymetric studies on the southwestern continental margin of India confirm the extension of onshore NW-SE-, NNW-SSE-, N-S-, NE-SW-, ENE-WSW- and E-W-trending lineaments of Precambrian age over a considerable distance into the offshore region. The bight in the bathymetry off Coondapoor the offsets of Bessas de Pedro bank and the Cora Divh Island of the Laccadive group, the Prathap Ridge, and the inferred mid-shelf basement ridge suggest block movements on the southwestern continental margin. The physiographic expression on the Prathap Ridge (around 14° 20' N and 72° 50' E) is unaffected by some of the ENE-WSW lineaments, which probably indicates that these lineaments predate, the evolution of the topographic expression. As seafloor spreading advanced with respect to the Carlsberg Ridge, some of the ENE-WSW and NE-SW lineaments on the western continental margin appear to have been reactivated, and block movements took place. The presence of a basement ridge in the mid-shelf and the shelf margin basement high (Prathap Ridge) west of the slope resembles the structural style of a passive continental margin.

  17. Glacial erosion, transport, and deposition on the rifted continental margin of Dronning Maud Land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xiaoxia; Jokat, Wilfried

    2015-04-01

    The seismic refraction data suggest that the continental margin off Dronning Maud Land had complex and long-lived rift history, which were formed during break-up of Gondwana. The relief of the Dronning Maud Land by middle and late Mesozoic tectonic activity had a strong spatial control on both early fluvial and subsequent glacial erosion. In the later, ice streams have formed along pre-existing tectonic grabens and fluvial valleys and played significant role in transporting sediments. The existing topography determines where ice grows, flows, and erodes as well as how sediment has been deposited. The East Antarctic Ice sheet is moist erosive near its margins, where high driving forces, flow velocities and basal pressure gradients combine to create distinct glacial geomorphology. However, Our multichannel seismic reflection data and marine records demonstrate lack of glacial sediments and severe glacial erosions on the Dronning Maud Land continental margin. We proposed that the continuous uplift of Dronning Maud Land had acted as barrier, which blocked the sediments to be transported further to the continental margin and deep sea since the Middle and Late Mesozoic. A series of glacial erosional and sedimentary features will be reported based on seismic reflection data from several surveys to understand the sedimentation process and geomorphology of the glaciated Dronning Maud Land continental margin.

  18. Cenozoic ice sheet history from East Antarctic Wilkes Land continental margin sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Escutia, C.; De Santis, L.; Donda, F.; Dunbar, R.B.; Cooper, A. K.; Brancolini, Giuliano; Eittreim, S.L.

    2005-01-01

    The long-term history of glaciation along the East Antarctic Wilkes Land margin, from the time of the first arrival of the ice sheet to the margin, through the significant periods of Cenozoic climate change is inferred using an integrated geophysical and geological approach. We postulate that the first arrival of the ice sheet to the Wilkes Land margin resulted in the development of a large unconformity (WL-U3) between 33.42 and 30 Ma during the early Oligocene cooling climate trend. Above WL-U3, substantial margin progradation takes place with early glacial strata (e.g., outwash deposits) deposited as low-angle prograding foresets by temperate glaciers. The change in geometry of the prograding wedge across unconformity WL-U8 is interpreted to represent the transition, at the end of the middle Miocene "climatic optimum" (14-10 Ma), from a subpolar regime with dynamic ice sheets (i.e., ice sheets come and go) to a regime with persistent but oscillatory ice sheets. The steep foresets above WL-U8 likely consist of ice proximal sediments (i.e., water-lain till and debris flows) deposited when grounded ice-sheets extended into the shelf. On the continental rise, shelf progradation above WL-U3 results in an up-section increase in the energy of the depositional environment (i.e., seismic facies indicative of more proximal turbidite and of bottom contour current deposition from the deposition of the lower WL-S5 sequence to WL-S7). Maximum rates of sediment delivery to the rise occur during the development of sequences WL-S6 and WL-S7, which we infer to be of middle Miocene age. During deposition of the two uppermost sequences, WL-S8 and WL-S9, there is a marked decrease in the sediment supply to the lower continental rise and a shift in the depocenters to more proximal areas of the margin. We believe WL-S8 records sedimentation during the final transition from a dynamic to a persistent but oscillatory ice sheet in this margin (14-10 Ma). Sequence WL-S9 forms under a polar

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Von Huene, R.; Suess, E.; Emeis, K.C.

    1987-01-01

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

  20. The Late Paleozoic Southern Margin of the Siberian paleocontinent: transformation from an active continental margin to intracontinental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlovsky, A. M.; Yarmolyuk, V. V.; Sal'Nikova, E. B.

    2009-04-01

    The large volcanoplutonic belt was formed on the southern margin of Siberian paleocontinent in the Early Carboniferous-Early Permian. Now it's stretched through whole Mongolia and the adjacent region of China. In the belt structure there are defined the successive rock complexes: the older one represented by differentiated basalt-andesite-rhyodacite series and younger bimodal complex of basalt-comendite-trachyrhyolite composition. The granodiorite-plagiogranite and diorite-monzonite-granodiorite plutonic massifs are associated with the former, while peralkaline granite massifs are characteristic of the latter. Geochronological results and geological relations between rocks of the bimodal and differentiated complexes showed first that rocks of the differentiated complex originated 350 to 330 Ma ago at the initial stage of forming of the marginal continental belt, linked with development active continental margin. This is evident from geochronological dates obtained for the Adzh-Bogd and Edrengiyn-Nuruu massifs and for volcanic associations of the complex. The dates are consistent with paleontological data. The bimodal association was formed later, 320 to 290 Ma ago. The time span separating formation of two igneous complexes ranges from several to 20-30 m.y. in different areas of the marginal belt. The bimodal magmatism was interrelated with rifting responsible for development of the Gobi-Tien Shan rift zone in the belt axial part and the Main Mongolian lineament along the belt northern boundary. Loci of bimodal rift magmatism likely migrated with time: the respective magmatic activity first initiated on the west of the rift system and then advanced gradually eastward with development of rift structures. Normal granitoids untypical but occurring nevertheless among the products of rift magmatism in addition to peralkaline massifs are assumed to have been formed, when the basic magmatism associated with rifting stimulated crustal anatexis and generation of crustal

  1. Organic geochemistry of continental margin and deep ocean sediments

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-08-01

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

  2. Extension on rifted continental margins: Observations vs. models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skogseid, Jakob

    2014-05-01

    Mapping the signature of extensional deformation on rifted margins is often hampered by thick sedimentary or volcanic successions, or because salt tectonics makes sub-salt seismic imaging challenging. Over the past 20 years the literature is witnessing that lack of mapable faults have resulted in a variety of numerical models based on the assumption that the upper crust takes little or no extensional thinning, while the observed reduction of crustal thickness is taken up in the middle and lower crust, as well as in the mantle. In this presentation two case studies are used to highlight the difference that 3D seismic data may have on our understanding. The small patches of 3D resolution data allow us to get a glance of the 'real' signature of extensional faulting, which by analogy can be extrapolate from one margin segment to the next. In the South Atlantic salt tectonics represents a major problem for sub-salt imaging. The conjugate margins of Brazil and Angola are, however, characterized by pronounced crustal thinning as documented by crustal scale 2D reflection and refraction data. Off Angola the 3D 'reality' demonstrates that upper crustal extension by faulting is comparable to the full crustal, as well as lithospheric thinning as derived from refraction data and basin subsidence analysis. The mapped faults are listric low angle faults that seem to detach at mid crustal levels. 2D seismic has in the past been interpreted to indicate that almost no extensional faulting can be mapped towards the base of the so-called 'sag basin'. The whole concept of the 'sag basin', often ascribed to as crustal thinning without upper crustal deformation, is in fact related to this 'lack of observation', and furthermore, have caused the making of different types of dynamic models attempting to account for this. In the NE Atlantic significant Paleocene extensional faulting is locally seen adjacent to the 50 to more than 200 km wide volcanic cover on each side of the breakup axis

  3. The geodynamic province of transitional crust adjacent to magma-poor continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibuet, J.; Tucholke, B. E.

    2011-12-01

    Two types of 'transitional crust' have been documented along magma-poor rifted margins. One consists of apparently sub-continental mantle that has been exhumed and serpentinized in a regime of brittle deformation during late stages of rifting. A second is highly thinned continental crust, which in some cases is known to have been supported near sea level until very late in the rift history and thus is interpreted to reflect depth-dependent extension. In both cases it is typically assumed that formation of oceanic crust occurs shortly after the breakup of brittle continental crust and thus that the transitional crust has relatively limited width. We here examine two representative cases of transitional crust, one in the Newfoundland-Iberia rift (exhumed mantle) and one off the Angola-Gabon margin (highly thinned continental crust). Considering the geological and geophysical evidence, we propose that depth-dependent extension (riftward flow of weak lower/middle continental crust and/or upper mantle) may be a common phenomenon on magma-poor margins and that this can result in a much broader zone of transitional crust than has hitherto been assumed. Transitional crust in this extended zone may consist of sub-continental mantle, lower to middle continental crust, or some combination thereof, depending on the strength profile of the pre-rift continental lithosphere. Transitional crust ceases to be emplaced (i.e., final 'breakup' occurs) only when emplacement of heat and melt from the rising asthenosphere becomes dominant over lateral flow of the weak lower lithosphere. This model implies a two-stage breakup: first the rupture of the brittle upper crust and second, the eventual emplacement of oceanic crust. Well-defined magnetic anomalies can form in transitional crust consisting of highly serpentinized, exhumed mantle, and they therefore are not diagnostic of oceanic crust. Where present in transitional crust, these anomalies can be helpful in interpreting the rifting

  4. Joint geophysical and petrological models for the lithosphere structure of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yegorova, Tamara; Bakhmutov, Vladimir; Janik, Tomasz; Grad, Marek

    2011-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is a composite magmatic arc terrane formed at the Pacific margin of Gondwana. Through the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic subduction has stopped progressively from southwest to northeast as a result of a series of ridge trench collisions. Subduction may be active today in the northern part of the AP adjacent to the South Shetland Islands. The subduction system is confined by the Shackleton and Hero fracture zones. The magmatic arc of the AP continental margin is marked by high-amplitude gravity and magnetic anomaly belts reaching highest amplitudes in the region of the South Shetland Islands and trench. The sources for these anomalies are highly magnetic and dense batholiths of mafic bulk composition, which were intruded in the Cretaceous, due to partial melting of upper-mantle and lower-crustal rocks. 2-D gravity and magnetic models provide new insights into crustal and upper-mantle structure of the active and passive margin segments of the northern AP. Our models incorporate seismic refraction constraints and physical property data. This enables us to better constrain both Moho geometry and petrological interpretations in the crust and upper mantle. Model along the DSS-12 profile crosses the AP margin near the Anvers Island and shows typical features of a passive continental margin. The second model along the DSS-17 profile extends from the Drake Passage through the South Shetland Trench/Islands system and Bransfield Strait to the AP and indicates an active continental margin linked to slow subduction and on-going continental rifting in the backarc region. Continental rifting beneath the Bransfield Strait is associated with an upward of hot upper mantle rocks and with extensive magmatic underplating.

  5. Block glides offshore Newport Beach, Southern California continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, H.G.; Clarke, S.H. Jr.; Kennedy, M.P.

    1988-01-01

    The continental slope offshore Newport Beach, California, is characterized by a relatively gentle (approximately 1/sup 0/) grade and is dissected by numerous channels and canyons, of which the most conspicuous is Newport Canyon. An unusual series of block-glide landslides have developed on this lope adjacent to many of these channels. Locally, secondary channels that develop along pull-apart fractures between the slide blocks may service as conduits for downslope sediment movement. A detailed seismic-reflection survey of the area shows that the slope is underlain by soft water-saturated unstable sediment of Quaternary age. The block-glides lie wholly within this sediment; displaced blocks appear to have moved only a short distance downslope and are preserved as intact masses that exhibit downward increasing internal deformation. This deformation reaches a maximum near the front of the displaced mass and in basal beds nearest the slip surface. The morphology of the blocks and their intervening channellike erosional scarps is similar to that of glacial blocks and their associated bergschrunds. The formation of new scarps and the widening of channels formed as pull-aparts by the ongoing process of block movement may contribute to headward erosion and widening of Newport Canyon and its tributaries. Slope failure might be greatly enhanced by strong ground motion associated with nearby earthquakes. The authors suspect that renewed movement occurs on these blocks during major seismic events on the nearby Newport-Inglewood fault (e.g., 1933 M/sub L/ 6.3 event).

  6. Predicting Rifted Continental Margin Subsidence History From Satellite Gravity Derived Crustal Thinning: Application to North Atlantic Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurst, N. W.; Kusznir, N. J.; Roberts, A. M.; White, R. S.

    2004-05-01

    3D spectral inversion of satellite derived gravity anomaly data (Smith and Sandwell 1997) and bathymetry data (Gebco 2003) has been used to determine oceanic and continental margin crustal thickness for the North Atlantic between 50 and 70 degrees N. The inverse technique incorporates a correction for the large negative thermal gravity anomaly present in the oceanic and stretched continental lithosphere. This correction can be determined using ocean isochron data for oceanic lithosphere, and margin rift age and beta stretching estimates derived iteratively from crustal basement thickness determined from the gravity inversion for the stretched continental lithosphere. A correction for the gravity anomaly contribution from sediments may be determined using thickness estimates derived from seismic reflection MCS data. Density depth variation within sediments is predicted assuming compaction. Crustal thicknesses determined using a thermal gravity correction derived from ocean isochron data give crustal thicknesses that are consistent with seismic observations. The resulting basement thickness determined from gravity inversion for the thinned continental margin lithosphere may be used to produce estimates of crustal thinning and stretching. Flexural backstripping and reverse post-breakup thermal subsidence modelling may be used to restore present 2D (or 3D) stratigraphic cross sections to earlier post-breakup times. Thermal subsidence arises from the cooling of stretched continental lithosphere and the recently formed oceanic lithosphere, and may be predicted from beta stretching factor (McKenzie 1978) and rift age. Beta stretching factors derived from gravity anomaly inversion have been used to predict reverse thermal subsidence for N Atlantic rifted margins. The resulting palaeo-bathymetric restorations show emergence of the Hatton Bank and NE Faroes rifted margins in early post-breakup times. The predicted palaeo-bathymetries are consistent with palaeo

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Bishop, James K. B.

    2008-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahraki, Meysam; Schmeling, Harro; Haas, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Isostatic equilibrium is a good approximation for passive continental margins. In these regions, geoid anomalies are proportional to the local dipole moment of density-depth distributions, which can be used to constrain the thickness of lithospheric jumps and corresponding tectonic stress. We analysed satellite derived geoid data and, after filtering, extracted typical averaged profiles across the Western and Eastern passive margins of the South Atlantic. They show geoid jumps of 8.1 m and 7.0 m for the Argentinian and African sides, respectively. Together with topography data and reasonable assumptions about densities these jumps are interpreted as isostatic geoid anomalies and yield best-fitting crustal and lithospheric thicknesses. They reveal a small asymmetry between the African and S-American crusts and lithospheres by a few kilometers. On both sides, the continental lithosphere is about 15 - 30km thicker than the oceanic lithosphere. To keep such geoid jumps stable over O(100Ma) fully dynamic models show that lithospheric viscosities must be of the order of 1e23 Pa s.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-06-08

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

  11. Data based 3D modelling of the southwest African continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freymark, J.; Sippel, J.; Scheck-Wenderoth, M.; Götze, H.-J.; Reichert, C.

    2012-04-01

    The volcanic passive continental margin of southwest Africa was formed in consequence of rifting and continental break-up of Gondwana in the Late Mesozoic. Our study focusses on an area extending from the Walvis Ridge in the north to the Agulhas Falkland Fracture Zone in the south including some important petroliferous sedimentary basins such as the Walvis Basin, the Luderitz Basin, and the Orange Basin. Due to decades of industrial exploration and scientific research, some of these areas reveal a large pool of structural and geophysical data. Thus, much is known about the individual tectonic and depositional histories of several subdomains of the area. The goal of our study is to understand the margin in its entirety. We present a 3D model of the present-day configuration of the southwest African continental margin. This model integrates well information, seismic reflection and refraction data, a previously published 3D structural model (Maystrenko et al., 2011), as well as freely available global data sets on the crustal structure (e.g. crust2.0 of Bassin, Laske & Masters, 2000). To extrapolate local information on crustal thickness (respectively the depth of the Moho) across the whole margin, we perform 3D gravity modelling using the software IGMAS+ (Götze & Schmidt, 2010; Schmidt et al., 2011). As parts of the first results, we show margin-wide depth and thickness distributions of a Palaeozoic to Cenozoic sedimentary layer and a Paleoproterozoic to Mesozoic crystalline crustal layer.

  12. Cenozoic prograding sequences of the Antarctic continental margin: a record of glacio-eustatic and tectonic events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, A. K.; Barrett, P.J.; Hinz, K.; Traube, V.; Letichenkov, G.; Stagg, H.M.J.

    1991-01-01

    Sedimentary sections up to 6-14 km thick lie beneath many areas of the Antarctic continental margin. The upper parts of the sections contain up to 6 km of Cenozoic glacial and possibly non-glacial sequences that have prograded the continental shelf up to 85 km. We describe the Cenozoic sequences using two general categories based on their acoustic geometries. Type IA sequences, which account for most prograding of the Antarctic continental shelf, have complex sigmoidal geometries and some acoustic characteristics atypical of low-latitude margins, such as troughs and mounds lying parallel and normal to the shelf edge and high velocities (2.0-2.6 km/s) for flat layers within 150 m of the seafloor. Type IIA sequences, which principally aggrade the paleoshelf, lie beneath type IA sequences and have mostly simple geometries and gently dipping reflections. The prograding sequences are commonly located near the seaward edges of major Mesozoic and older margin structures. Relatively rapid Cenozoic subsidence has occured due to the probable rifting in the Ross Sea, thermal subsidence in the Antarctic Peninsula, and isostatic crustal flexure in Wilkes Land. In Prydz Bay and the Weddell Sea, prograding sequences cover Mesozoic basins that have undergone little apparent Cenozoic tectonism. Grounded ice sheets are viewed by us, and others, as the principal mechanism for depositing the Antarctic prograding sequences. During the initial advance of grounded ice the continental shelf is flexurally overdeepened, the inner shelf is heavily eroded, and gently dipping glacial strata are deposited on the shelf (i.e type IIA sequences). The overdeepened shelf profile is preserved (a) during glacial times, by grounded ice sheets episodically crossing the shelf, eroding sediments from onshore and inner shelf areas, and depositing sediments at the front of the ice sheet as outer shelf topset-banks and continental slope foreset-aprons (i.e. type IA sequences), and (b) during interglacial

  13. Erosion and tectonics at the margins of continental plateaus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masek, Jeffrey G.; Isacks, Bryan L.; Gubbels, Timothy L.; Fielding, Eric J.

    1994-01-01

    We hypothesize that the steep frontal slope and high peaks of the Beni region and Himalayan front largely reflect the high orographic precipitation and high erosion rates occurring in these regions and that the more gentle topography of the semiarid Pilcomayo region reflects a tectonic landform only slightly modified by erosion. We propose that orographic precipitation impinging on a plateau margin will generally tend to drop moisture low on the slope, eroding back the plateau while enhancing or maintaining the steep long-wavelength slope. A numerical model coupling orographic precipitation, erosion, and tectonic uplift demonstrates the plausibility of this hypothesis. The erosional efflux in both the Beni and Nepal Himalaya have been considerable, and simple mass balance calculations for the Himalaya suggest that during the Neogene, the erosional mass efflux has generally outpaced the tectonic mass influx. This contrasts with the apparent prior domination of tectonic influx and may reflect a decrease in the rate of tectonic addition during the same period, and/or increased late Cenozoic erosion rates.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bazhenova, O.K.

    1986-06-01

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

  15. Trophic state of benthic deep-sea ecosystems from two different continental margins off Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Anno, A.; Pusceddu, A.; Corinaldesi, C.; Canals, M.; Heussner, S.; Thomsen, L.; Danovaro, R.

    2013-05-01

    The bioavailability of organic matter in benthic deep-sea ecosystems, commonly used to define their trophic state, can greatly influence key ecological processes such as biomass production and nutrient cycling. Here, we assess the trophic state of deep-sea sediments from open slopes and canyons of the Catalan (NW Mediterranean) and Portuguese (NE Atlantic) continental margins, offshore east and west Iberia, respectively, by using a biomimetic approach based on enzymatic digestion of protein and carbohydrate pools. Patterns of sediment trophic state were analyzed in relation to increasing water depth, including repeated samplings over a 3 yr period in the Catalan margin. Two out of the three sampling periods occurred a few months after dense shelf water cascading events. The benthic deep-sea ecosystems investigated in this study were characterized by high amounts of bioavailable organic matter when compared to other deep-sea sediments. Bioavailable organic matter and its nutritional value were significantly higher in the Portuguese margin than in the Catalan margin, thus reflecting differences in primary productivity of surface waters reported for the two regions. Similarly, sediments of the Catalan margin were characterized by significantly higher food quantity and quality in spring, when the phytoplankton bloom occurs in surface waters, than in summer and autumn. Differences in the benthic trophic state of canyons against open slopes were more evident in the Portuguese than in the Catalan margin. In both continental margins, bioavailable organic C concentrations did not vary or increase with increasing water depth. Overall, our findings suggest that the intensity of primary production processes along with the lateral transfer of organic particles, even amplified by episodic events, can have a role in controlling the quantity and distribution of bioavailable organic detritus and its nutritional value along these continental margin ecosystems.

  16. The continent-ocean transition of the rifted South China continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The continent to ocean transition (COT) architecture of rifted margins represents a key aspect in the study of the variability of different rifting systems and thus, to understand lithospheric extension and final break-up processes. We used 2250 km of reprocessed multichannel seismic data along 4 regional lines and magnetic data acquired across the NW South China continental margin to investigate a previously poorly defined COT. The along-strike structure of the NW subbasin of the South China Sea presents different amounts of extension allowing the study of conjugate pairs of continental margins and their COT in a relative small region. The time-migrated seismic sections allow us to interpreted clear continental and oceanic domains from differences in internal reflectivity, faulting style, fault-block geometry, the seismic character of the top of the basement, the geometry of sediment deposits, and Moho reflections. The continental domain is characterized by arrays of normal faults and associated tilted blocks overlaid by syn-rift sedimentary units. The Moho is imaged as sub-horizontal reflections that define a fairly continuous boundary typically at 8-10 s TWT. Estimation of the thickness of the continental crust using 6 km/s average velocity indicates a ~22 km-thick continental crust under the uppermost slope thinning abruptly to ~9-6 km under the lower slope. The oceanic crust has a comparatively highly reflective top of basement, little-faulting, not discernible syn-tectonic strata, and fairly constant thickness (4-8 km) over tens of km distance defined by usually clear Moho reflections. The COT can be very well defined based on MSC images and occurs across a ~5-10 km narrow zone. Rifting in the NW subbasin resulted in asymmetric conjugate margins. Arrays of tilted fault blocks covered by abundant syn-rift sediment are displayed across the northwestern South China continental margin, whereas the conjugate Macclesfield Bank margin shows abrupt thinning and

  17. Recent Russian Geophysical and Geological Investigations on Siberian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    P. v., A.; K. v., D.; B. v., V.

    2007-12-01

    In July-August, 2005 new geophysical and geological data were acquired in the Mendeleev Rise (MR) region during "Arctic-2005" cruise aboard M/V "Akademik Fedorov". The study was concentrated in the southern part of MR in the area of its junction with East Siberian shelf. On-ice deep seismic sounding investigations (with offsets up to 250 km) and helicopter-supported seismic reflection soundings were performed along 600 km-long sub- longitudinal profile. Seismic survey was accompanied by on-ice gravity observations and geological sampling. Air-borne magnetic and air gravity measurements at scale 1:1,000,000 were also performed within a 100 km- wide corridor along the central seismic profile. Processing and analysis of new evidence included the compilation of deep seismic section, 2D seismic-gravity modeling of the Earth crust, 3D modeling of basement and Moho relief, and estimation of sediment and earth crust thickness. The results were integrated with earlier data and used for advanced structural and tectonic interpretations. The following main conclusions were obtained: Thickness of sediment cover along seismic line varies from 12 km in the south (in the North-Chukchi Trough) to 3-4 km in the northern MR. Crust thickness beneath MR is on the order of 30-35 km with a maximum value of 38 km in its southern part. The thinnest crust (28 km) is observed in the North-Chukchi Trough. Potential fields indicate existence of several blocks differing in gravity and magnetic anomalies. In the southern MR these blocks appear separated by grabens and display distinct continental characteristics accentuated by thickness of the crust, its seismic velocities and potential field pattern. At some of the shallowest (possibly eroded?) bathymetric highs the results of bottom sampling seem to point to the possibility of local derivation of coarse bottom debris. The proposed tectonic model implies structural continuity between MR and the adjacent East Siberian shelf. Brief information

  18. Evolution of continental slope gullies on the northern california margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  19. The Formation of Non-Volcanic Rifted Margins by the Progressive Extension of the Continental Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reston, T. J.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Gaw, V.; Phipps Morgan, J.

    2003-12-01

    Rifted margins include two main end-members: those termed "Volcanic Rifted Margins - VRMs" where magmatism is much more voluminous than predicted by passive asthenospheric upwelling (e.g. White et al., 1989), and those where magmatism is consistent or even less than the same predictions. The latter are termed "Non-Volcanic Rifted Margins - NVRMs" to emphasise the contrast with the VRMs: the name does not exclude the presence of minor amounts of magmatic activity. The NVRMs are typified by the North Biscay, south Australian, SW Greenland, and the West Iberian margins, which share a number of common characteristics: - extreme crustal thinning, increasing towards the ocean; - presence of well-defined rotated fault blocks. However at the feather edge of the continent there is an extension discrepancy: the amount that can be inferred from the geometry of these faults is far less than that indicated by the crustal thinning observed; - presence in places of a detachment fault at the base of the fault blocks; - little evidence for synrift magmatism; - the presence of a broad zone of partially serpentinised mantle (Boillot et al., 1988; Whitmarsh et al., 1996; Krawczyk et al., 1996; Pickup et al., 1996), both occurring beneath the highly thinned and faulted continental crust, and as a zone of exhumed continental mantle, now largely buried by postrift sediments. We show that such margins are the logical result of progressive extension of continental lithosphere above cool sub-lithospheric mantle. The key factors controlling the development of the margin are the rheological evolution of the crust (explaining the serpentinisation of the mantle), the occurrence of multiple phases of faulting (explaining the apparent extension discrepancy), and the temperature structure of the sub-continental mantle (explaining the lack of magmatism).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Accretion, subduction, and underplating along the southern Alaska continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Plafker, G.; Ambos, E.L.; Fuis, G.S.; Mooney, W.D.; Nokleberg, W.J.; Campbell, D.L.

    1985-01-01

    In 1984-1985 the Trans Alaska Crustal Transect (TACT) program completed geologic, seismic refraction, gravity, and magnetic studies along a 350-km-long corridor that extends northward from the Gulf of Alaska coast near Cordova to the Denali fault at the Richardson Highway. From south to north, this segment of the transect traverses: 1) part of the Prince William terrance (PWT), composed of an accreted Paleocene and Eocene deep-sea fan complex, oceanic volcanic rocks, and pelagic sediments; 2) the Chugach terrane (CGT) composed of a) accreted Late Cretaceous flysch and oceanic basaltic rocks, b) accreted and subducted (.) Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous sheared melange, and c) subducted Early (.) Jurassic or older blueschist/greenschist; and 3) Wrangellia-Peninsular terranes (WRT/PET) consisting primarily of late Paleozoic intraoceanic andesitic arc rocks with associated mafic and ultramafic plutonic rocks, an overlying distinctive Triassic sedimentary and volcanic sequence, and superposed intrusive and extrusive magmatic rocks of the Jurassic Talkeetna arc. At the southern margin of both the CGT and WRT/PET, shallow high-velocity zones characterized by positive gravity and magnetic anomalies reflect uplift of mafic and ultramafic basement along these thrusts. The Contact and Border Ranges fault systems appear to merge into a subhorizontal low-velocity zone of uncertain origin that underlies the CGT and southern WRT/PET at 5-9 km depth. A few kilometers beneath the shallow low-velocity zone in a 30-km-thick stack of eight northward-dipping layers of alternating high and low velocity, interpreted as subducted and underplated mantle and oceanic crust rocks. Distribution of earthquake hypocenters suggests that active subduction involves at least the lowest two and possibly the lower four layers.

  2. Thermal history and evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in northern Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menges, Daniel; Karl, Markus; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton

    2013-04-01

    From Permo-Carboniferous to Mid Jurassic northern Namibia was affected by deep erosion of the Damara Orogen, Permo-Triassic collisional processes along the southern margin of Gondwana and eastern margin of Africa (Coward and Daly 1984, Daly et al. 1991), and the deposition of the Nama Group sediments and the Karoo megasequence. The lithostratigraphic units consist of Proterozoic and Cambrian metamorphosed rocks with ages of 534 (7) Ma to 481 (25) Ma (Miller 1983, Haack 1983), as well as Mesozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks. The Early Jurassic Karoo flood basalt lavas erupted rapidly at 183 (1) Ma (Duncan et al. 1997). The Early Cretaceous Paraná-Etendeka flood basalts (132 (1) Ma) and mafic dike swarms mark the rift stage of the opening of the South Atlantic (Renne et al. 1992, Milner et al. 1995, Stewart et al. 1996, Turner et al. 1996). The "passive" continental margin in northern Namibia is a perfect location to quantify exhumation and uplift rates, model the long-term landscape evolution and provide information on the influence of mantle processes on a longer time scale. The poster will provide first information on the long-term landscape evolution and thermochronological data. References Coward, M. P. and Daly, M. C., 1984. Crustal lineaments and shear zones in Africa: Their relationships to plate movements, Precambrian Research 24: 27-45. Duncan, R., Hooper, P., Rehacek, J., March, J. and Duncan, A. (1997). The timing and duration of the Karoo igneous event, southern Gondwana, Journal of Geophysical Research 102: 18127-18138. Haack, U., 1983. Reconstruction of the cooling history of the Damara Orogen by correlation of radiometric ages with geography and altitude, in H. Martin and F. W. Eder (eds), Intracontinental fold belts, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 837-884. Miller, R. M., 1983. Evolution of the Damara Orogen, Vol. 11, Geological Society, South Africa Spec. Pub.. Milner, S. C., le Roex, A. P. and O'Connor, J. M., 1995. Age of Mesozoic igneous rocks in

  3. Comparison of marine gas hydrates in sediments of an active and passive continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1985-01-01

    Two sites of the Deep Sea Drilling Project in contrasting geologic settings provide a basis for comparison of the geochemical conditions associated with marine gas hydrates in continental margin sediments. Site 533 is located at 3191 m water depth on a spit-like extension of the continental rise on a passive margin in the Atlantic Ocean. Site 568, at 2031 m water depth, is in upper slope sediment of an active accretionary margin in the Pacific Ocean. Both sites are characterized by high rates of sedimentation, and the organic carbon contents of these sediments generally exceed 0.5%. Anomalous seismic reflections that transgress sedimentary structures and parallel the seafloor, suggested the presence of gas hydrates at both sites, and, during coring, small samples of gas hydrate were recovered at subbottom depths of 238m (Site 533) and 404 m (Site 568). The principal gaseous components of the gas hydrates wer methane, ethane, and CO2. Residual methane in sediments at both sites usually exceeded 10 mll-1 of wet sediment. Carbon isotopic compositions of methane, CO2, and ??CO2 followed parallel trends with depth, suggesting that methane formed mainly as a result of biological reduction of oxidized carbon. Salinity of pore waters decreased with depth, a likely result of gas hydrate formation. These geochemical characteristics define some of the conditions associated with the occurrence of gas hydrates formed by in situ processes in continental margin sediments. ?? 1984.

  4. Supercritical Submarine Channel Morphodynamics from Integrated Investigation of the Western North American Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covault, J. A.; Fildani, A.; Hubbard, S. M.; Hughes Clarke, J. E.; Kostic, S.; Paull, C. K.; Sylvester, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Submarine channels are conduits through which turbidity currents and related mass movements transport sediment into the deep sea, thereby playing important roles in the development of continental margins and biogeochemical cycles. To gain a better understanding of submarine channel morphodynamic evolution we explore a variety of channel systems from the western North American continental margin with varying sinuosity and levee geometry, terraces, channel cut-offs, and sediment waves in incipient channels, along thalwegs of well-developed channels, and on levees. Repeat bathymetric surveys of submarine channels in fjords of British Columbia and the Monterey canyon underscore the transience of fine-scale detail in channelized geomorphology, and multi-phase bed reworking, local deposition, and bypass of turbidity currents. Numerical modeling is combined with interpretations of channel geomorphology and strata in the Monterey and San Mateo canyon-channel systems to demonstrate that some of the sediment waves are likely to be cyclic steps. Submarine cyclic steps are long-wave, upstream-migrating bedforms in which each bedform in the series is bounded by a hydraulic jump in an overriding turbidity current, which is Froude-supercritical over the lee side of the bedform and Froude-subcritical over the stoss side. Submarine turbidity currents are susceptible to supercritical flow because of the reduced gravitational acceleration of dilute suspensions. Higher submarine slopes common to the North American continental margin also promote supercritical flow, which might not be as common across lower slopes of large passive margins such as the Amazon, Indus, and Bengal submarine fans. We posit that cyclic steps are a common morphodynamic expression in many continental margins. Continued integration of high-resolution data, such as repeat geophysical surveys, acoustic doppler current profiler measurements, and turbidite outcrops, which provide insights into the longer

  5. Arctic and Antarctic submarine gullies—A comparison of high latitude continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gales, J. A.; Forwick, M.; Laberg, J. S.; Vorren, T. O.; Larter, R. D.; Graham, A. G. C.; Baeten, N. J.; Amundsen, H. B.

    2013-11-01

    Submarine gullies are common features of high latitude continental slopes and, over the last decade, have been shown to play a key role in continental margin evolution, submarine erosion, downslope sediment transport, slope deposits, and the architecture of petroleum reservoirs. However, the processes that form these gullies, the timescales over which they develop, and the environmental controls influencing their morphology remain poorly constrained. We present the first systematic and comparative analysis between Arctic and Antarctic gullies with the aim of identifying differences in slope character, from which we infer differences in processes operating in these environments. Quantitative analysis of multibeam echosounder data along 2441 km of the continental shelf and upper slope and morphometric signatures of over 1450 gullies show that six geomorphically distinct gully types exist on high latitude continental margins. We identify distinct differences between Arctic and Antarctic gully morphologies. In the Arctic data sets, deep relief (> 30 m gully incision depth at 50 m below the shelf edge) and shelf-incising gullies are lacking. These differences have implications for the timescales over which the gullies were formed and for the magnitude of the flows that formed them. We consider two hypotheses for these differences: (1) some Antarctic gullies developed through several glacial cycles; and (2) larger Antarctic gullies were formed since the Last Glacial Maximum as a result of erosive flows (i.e., sediment-laden subglacial meltwater) being more abundant on parts of the Antarctic margin over longer timescales. A second difference is that unique gully signatures are observed on Arctic and on Antarctic margins. Environmental controls, such as the oceanographic regime and geotechnical differences, may lead to particular styles of gully erosion observed on Arctic and Antarctic margins.

  6. Ophiolites and Continental Margins of the Mesozoic Western U.S. Cordillera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilek, Y.

    2001-12-01

    The Mesozoic tectonic history of the western U.S. Cordillera records evidence for multiple episodes of accretionary and collisional orogenic events and orogen-parallel strike-slip faulting. Paleozoic-Jurassic volcanic arc complexes and subduction zone assemblages extending from Mexico to Canada represent an East-Pacific magmatic arc system and an accretionary-type orogen evolved along the North American continental margin. Discontinuous exposures of Paleozoic upper mantle rocks and ophiolitic units structurally beneath this magmatic arc system are remnants of the Panthalassan oceanic lithosphere, which was consumed beneath the North American continent. Pieces of this subducted Panthalassan oceanic lithosphere that underwent high-P metamorphism are locally exposed in the Sierra Nevada foothills (e.g. Feather River Peridotite) indicating that they were subsequently (during the Jurassic) educted in an oblique convergent zone along the continental margin. This west-facing continental margin arc evolved in a broad graben system during much of the Jurassic as a result of extension in the upper plate, keeping pace with slab rollback of the east-dipping subduction zone. Lower to Middle Jurassic volcanoplutonic complexes underlain by an Upper Paleozoic-Lower Mesozoic polygenetic ophiolitic basement currently extend from Baja California-western Mexico through the Sierra-Klamath terranes to Stikinia-Intermontane Superterranes in Canada and represent an archipelago of an east-facing ensimatic arc terrane that developed west and outboard of the North American continental margin arc. The Smartville, Great Valley, and Coast Range ophiolites (S-GV-CR) in northern California are part of this ensimatic terrane and represent the island arc, arc basement, and back-arc tectonic settings, respectively. The oceanic Josephine-Rogue-Chetco-Rattlesnake-Hayfork tectonostratigraphic units in the Klamath Mountains constitute a west-facing island arc system in this ensimatic terrane as a

  7. Paleogeography and evolution of the Ordovician/Silurian (Whiterockian-Llandoverian) continental margin in central Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Britt, L.W. )

    1991-02-01

    In central Nevada, stratigraphic successions of Whiterockian-Llandoverian lithofacies, transitional with autochthonous platform/shelf carbonates to the east, occur in isolated windows in outer slope to basinal lithotopes of the Roberts Mountains allochthon. Petrologic, chronostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic, and paleontologic comparison of those successions with platform/shelf facies to the east is integral for reconstruction of Ordovician-Silurian platform margin paleogeography and pre-Antler genesis of the western North American continental margin. Numerous facies changes and/or stratigraphic omissions in central Nevada can be related to sea level fluctuation and aggradation/progradation of the carbonate platform to the east, and not to a postulated, offshore geanticline (i.e., the Toiyabe Ridge). Stratigraphic omission of the Eureka Quartzite above Pogonip equivalents in transitional successions of the Toquima Range and the presence of correlative quartzite in outer slope/basinal parautochthonous facies of the Toiyabe Range suggest development of a possible bypass-margin during the Middle Ordovician. Deposition of Late Ordovician platform margin dolostones (Ely Springs Dolostone) and upper ramp limestones (Hanson Creek Formation and Martin Ridge strata) followed Late Ordovician transgression that drowned the margin and reestablished the carbonate factory. Glacioeustatic drawdown of Late Ordovician-earliest Silurian seas due to the Gondwanan glacial fluctuation can be recognized in strata along the platform margin and upper ramp. Rapid, Early Silurian transgression produced dark-gray carbonates and may have induced marginal flexure and regional, massive slope failure in central Nevada, generating stratigraphic hiatuses west of the platform margin.

  8. How widely is the Andean type of continental margin represented in the Archean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kevin

    1988-01-01

    Application of the principle of uniformitarianism to the Archean was discussed in a search for evidence of Archean-type continental margins in Archean rocks. The author cautioned that Archean rocks represent only 2 percent of the current exposure of the continents, half of which is in the North American Superior Province. Care must be taken in interpreting the global tectonic significance of relatively small exposures of Archean rocks, such as South India. Andean margins were characterized by their elongate shape, magmatic associations, and isotopic signatures. Although the compositional evidence alone will always be ambiguous, it was suggested that supporting structural evidence may aid in the identification of Archean Andean margins. Andean margin remains have been recognized in the Superior Province of Canada by these criteria, and the author suggested that the Closepet granite of South India may represent another example.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The architecture of magma-poor continental margins is remarkably variable. The width of highly thinned continental crust (with a thickness < 10 km) varies from 70 km off Iberia, and 200 km offshore Angola, to over 300 km in the Antarctic Enderby Basin. The respective conjugate margin, however, is restricted to few tens of kilometres resulting in large scale crustal asymmetry. Growing evidence from rifted continental margins in the North and South Atlantic, as well as from the East Australia/Lord Howe Rise margin pair supports the idea that rifts with a very wide margin and a narrow conjugate are rather the rule than the exception. In this study, we use numerical thermo-mechanical models to investigate the dynamics of rifting. Our simulations apply an elasto-visco-plastic rheology formulation that relies on laboratory-derived flow laws for crustal and mantle rock. The models are constrained by geophysical and geological observations like limited melt generation, cold initial geotherms, and mafic lower crustal rheology. We show that small-scale lateral rift migration simultaneously explains the observed margin asymmetry and the presence of highly thinned continental crust. Rift migration results from two fundamental processes: (1) Strain hardening in the rift centre due to cooling of upwelling mantle material; (2) Formation of a low viscosity exhumation channel adjacent to the rift centre that is generated by heat transfer from the upwelling mantle and enhanced by viscous strain softening. Rift migration takes place in a steady-state manner and is accomplished by oceanward-younging sequential faults within the upper crust and balanced through lower crustal flow. We demonstrate that the rate of extension has paramount control on margin width. Since higher velocities lead to elevated heat flow within the rift and hence to hot and weak lower crust, a larger low-viscosity exhumation channel is generated that facilitates rift migration leading to wider margins. The South

  10. The Crustal Structure of the Northern South China Sea continental margin revealed by Multi-Channel Seismic Reflection and Ocean Bottom Seismometer Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hao; Chao Huang, I.; Shine Liu, Char; Chang, Emmy T. Y.

    2015-04-01

    The South China Sea (SCS) is an ideal place to examine the nature of continental rifting, break-up, and the onset of seafloor spreading. Being mostly inactive today, the SCS basin is measured to get spreading in the early Oligocene and to generate a series of syn-rift structures on the margins, therefore, to know the crustal structures of continental margin can help us to understand the evolution of the SCS. In this study, we use multi-channel seismic (MCS) reflection data to reveal the upper crustal structures and ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) data to probe the lower crustal structures. Accompanying the MCS experiments with active sources, 39 OBS stations were deployed along 2 NW-SE trending profiles in the northern SCS. The eastern profile is located southeast of Dongsha atoll, while the western profile extends from the Zhu II depression to the NW sub-basin of SCS. For construction crustal velocity models, we extract shallow velocity structure from the MCS profile data, then we conduct travel-time tomographic inversion on OBS data to derive 2D velocity models. Finally, forward modeling using RAYINVR is subsequently applied to refine the velocity models. Both MCS profiles show that the basement has been offset by normal faults and thick sediments are deposited in the grabens. Many volcanic bodies are observed in the eastern profile, but few appear in the western profile. The OBS velocity model of the eastern profile reveals that the crustal thickness decreases gradually toward the oceanic basin. However the continental crust thins abruptly from continental slope toward the NW sub-basin. A high velocity layer (>7km/s) in the lower crust can be identified in the eastern profile, but not in the western profile. This high velocity layer has been interpreted to be underplating material, however, another possibility is that it might be serpentinized upper mantle, which frequently found in necking zones and COTs zones.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Crustal structure of Edoras Bank continental margin and mantle thermal anomalies beneath the North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barton, A. J.; White, R. S.

    1997-02-01

    We discuss the structure of the continent-ocean transition of the Edoras Bank area of the NE Atlantic margin and the influence of the Iceland mantle plume during continental breakup. Edoras Bank lies close to the present-day limit of influence of the Iceland plume. Sequences of seaward dipping reflectors imaged on multichannel seismic profiles are well-developed over much of the margin. They form aerially extensive, dipping sheets, with individual reflectors imaged on margin-parallel profiles as laterally continuous and subhorizontal features. We interpret them as basalt flows extruded from linear fissure vents close to sea level at the time of continental breakup. A crustal velocity model for the margin was developed by travel time modeling of wide-angle refractions and reflections recorded on digital ocean bottom hydrophones and the structure confirmed by gravity modeling. Oceanic crust formed immediately after breakup is 10 km thick and exhibits classic layer 2 and layer 3 seismic velocities. The crustal thickness increases to the SE reaching 17 km beneath the continental fragment of Edoras Bank. The continent-ocean transition is dominated in the lower crust by a lens up to 8 km thick of high-velocity material (7.2-7.5 km s-1), which exhibits a very low velocity gradient. It extends over a 60 km wide region beneath the seaward dipping reflectors. The high velocities and densities of the lower crust are probably caused by igneous rock with a high MgO content that underplated the margin or heavily intruded pre-existing crustal material during continental breakup. Both the addition of large quantities of melt to the margin and the subsidence curves inferred from postrift sediments sampled by Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) boreholes on the margin indicate the presence of abnormally hot mantle beneath the area at the time of continental breakup. Comparison of the structure and subsidence history of the Edoras Bank margin with other areas of the NW European margin

  13. Tectonics and Evolution of the Conjugate Passive Margins of the Eastern Gulf of Aden (Encens-Sheba cruise)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Acremont, E.; Leroy, S.; Ruellan, P.; Bellahsen, N.; Beslier, M.; Fournier, M.; Gente, P.; Patriat, P.

    2001-12-01

    The gulf of Aden is one of the few oceanic basins in the world where the two conjugate passive margins are preserved beneath a thin post-rift sedimentary cover and can be correlated within a lateral error smaller than 10 km. It is also one of the few basins where the structures can be followed from the oceanic ridge to the margins. It is therefore an adequate site to compare conjugate margins and to study the oceanisation process from the continental break-up to the emplacement of an active spreading ridge. The geophysical data set of the Encens-Sheba cruise in the eastern Gulf of Aden and previous experiment, allow us to define the structure of the two conjugate passive margin in this area. These data show that the basement can be divided into three domains from east to west, with distinct morphologic and sedimentary character. (1) an area of rifted continental crust exhibiting one or two parallel horst blocks trending N110{ ~}E (2) a 20-30km long continent-ocean transition and (3) an oceanic crust with rough basement but smoother relief than the rifted crust. The two conjugate margins are narrow and asymmetrical. The northern margin (southern Yemen and Oman) is steep whereas the southern one (northern and western of Socotra island) is broad. Titled blocks, horsts and grabens bounded by faults dipping towards the ocean or the continent compose the northern margin, whereas a deep basin near the continental slope in the vicinity of the continent-ocean transition characterizes the southern margin. The continent-ocean transition is marked by a negative gradient of the free-air gravity anomalies. The two conjugate margins are divided by transfer faults in 3 major segments. This segmentation that occurs during the continental rifting seems to be directly correlated to the segmentation of the inception oceanic spreading center. The first identifiable magnetic anomalies is the An 5C-An 5D that gives an age of opening of the Gulf of Aden as 16-17Ma ago.

  14. Neogene rotations and quasicontinuous deformation of the Pacific Northwest continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    England, P. ); Wells, R.E. )

    1991-10-01

    Paleomagnetically determined rotations about vertical axes of 15 to 12 Ma flows of the Miocene Columbia River Basalt Group of Oregon and Washington decrease smoothly with distance from the plate margin, consistent with a simple physical model for continental deformation that assumes the lithosphere behaves as a thin layer of fluid. The average rate of northward translation of the continental margin since 15 Ma calculated from the rotations, using this model, is about 15 mm/year, which suggests that much of the tangential motion between the Juan de Fuca and North American plates since middle Miocene time has been taken up by deformation of North America. The fluid-like character of the large-scale deformation implies that the brittle upper crust follows the motions of the deeper parts of the lithosphere.

  15. Buoyancy and localizing properties of continental mantle lithosphere: Insights from thermomechanical models of the eastern Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watremez, L.; Burov, E.; d'Acremont, E.; Leroy, S.; Huet, B.; Pourhiet, L.; Bellahsen, N.

    2013-08-01

    Physical properties of the mantle lithosphere have a strong influence on the rifting processes and rifted structures. In particular, in context of rifting, two of these properties have been overlooked: (1) Mohr-Coulomb plasticity (localizing pressure dependent) may not be valid at mantle depths as opposed to nonlocalizing pressure-independent plasticity (hereafter, perfect plasticity), and (2) lithosphere buoyancy can vary, depending on the petrological composition of the mantle. Focussing on the Arabian plate, we show that the lithosphere may be negatively buoyant. We use thermomechanical modeling to investigate the importance of mantle rheology and composition on the formation of a passive margin, ocean-continent transition (OCT) and oceanic basin. We compare the results of this parametric study to observations in the eastern Gulf of Aden (heat flow, refraction seismics and topography) and show that (1) mantle lithosphere rheology controls the margin geometry and timing of the rifting; (2) lithosphere buoyancy has a large impact on the seafloor depth and the timing of partial melting; and (3) a perfectly plastic mantle lithosphere 20 kg m-3 denser than the asthenosphere best fits with observed elevation in the Gulf of Aden. Finally, thermomechanical models suggest that partial melting can occur in the mantle during the Arabian crustal breakup. We postulate that the produced melt could then infiltrate through the remnant continental mantle lithosphere, reach the surface and generate oceanic crust. This is in agreement with the observed narrow OCT composed of exhumed continental mantle intruded by volcanic rocks in the eastern Gulf of Aden.

  16. Geometries of hyperextended continental crust in northeastern continental brazilian margin: insights from potential field and seismic interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magalhães, José; Barbosa, José; Ribeiro, Vanessa; Oliveira, Jefferson; Filho, Osvaldo; Buarque, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    The study region encompasses a set of three basins located at Northeast Brazilian continental margin: Pernambuco (south sector), Paraíba and Natal platform (north sector). These basins were formed during the last stage of separation between South America and African plates during Cretaceous. The continental breakup in these regions occurred probably during the Middle-Upper Albian (~102 m.y). The adjacent basement rocks belong to Borborema Province (BP), which was formed due a complex superposition between Pre-Cambrian orogenic cycles. The structural framework of BP is dominated by large shear zones that divided this province in three main tectonic domains: South, Central and North. The Pernambuco Basin is located in the South Domain and the Paraíba and Natal platform basins are related to the Central Domain. The tectonic and magmatic evolution of the Pernambuco Basin was influenced by oblique rifting (~ 35° to rift axis) and a thermal anomaly probably caused by the Santa Helena hotspot. The north sector represents a continental shelf characterized by basement high with a narrow platform and an abrupt shelf break on transition to the abyssal plain. The continental platform break of this sector was parallel to the rift axis. In this way, we present a regional structural interpretation of these sectors of Brazilian rifted margin based on interpretation and 2D forward modeling of potential field and 2D seismic data. The magnetic maps (Reduction to magnetic pole and Analytic signal) revealed the influence of an alternating pattern of large narrow magnetic and non-magnetic lineaments, oriented NE-SW, E-W and NW-SE. In the Pernambuco Basin these lineaments (NE-SW and E-W) are related to shear zones in the hyperextended basement which is interpreted as a continuation of the granitic-gneissic and metasedimentary rocks of the South Domain of BP. The Paraíba and Natal platform basins show a slight change in the orientation of structures trending E-W (shear zones in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, X.; Chan, L. S.

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Structure and Evolution of The Conjugate Passive Margins of The Eastern Gulf of Aden: The Oceanisation Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Acremont, E.; Leroy, S.; Bellahsen, N.; Beslier, M. O.; Fournier, M.; Gente, P.; Patriat, P.; Fleury, J. M.

    The geophysical data set of the Encens-Sheba cruise recorded in the eastern Gulf of Aden and previous experiment, allow us to define the structure of the two conjugate margins, to localise the position of the ocean-continent transition zone (OCT), and fi- nally to study the oceanisation process from the continental break-up to the emplace- ment of an active spreading ridge, the Sheba ridge. Through the two margins, the base- ment, observed by seismic reflection, can be individualised into three domains from continental area to oceanic area, with distinct morphology and sedimentary charac- ters: (1) an area of rifted continental crust composed by a series of titled blocks, horsts and grabens bounded by faults N110E trending which can be related with onshore structures (2) a 20-30km wide ocean-continent transition and (3) an oceanic crust with a smoother relief than the rifted crust. The two conjugate margins are characterised by three major segments bounded from west to east respectively by the Alula-Fartak and the Socotra fracture zones, divided by two transfer faults N027E trending. The ocean- continent transition is marked by a negative gradient of the free-air gravity anomalies; by a seismic reflection pattern of the top acoustic basement that becomes rough in the oceanic domain; by the last presence of syn-rift sediment before the oceanic crust; and finally by the lack of well-constrained oceanic magnetic anomalies. The first identi- fiable magnetic anomaly is the An5d that gives 17Ma as opening age for the oriental Gulf of Aden. The crustal section of the margins constrained by gravity model and seismic profiles, shows that the steep and starved northern margin and the broad and thickly sedimented southern margin are asymmetric. On the northern side, the crust is slightly less thick than on the southern side. The width of the rifted continental crust varies between the two margins and from west to east, testifying an asymme- try during the continental break

  19. Stratigraphy and tectonic significance of Lower Paleozoic continental margin strata in northeastern Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Moira T.; Gehrels, George E.

    1992-06-01

    Lower Paleozoic eugeoclinal strata in the Kootenay Arc in northeastern Washington and southeastern British Columbia are transitional between autochthonous lower Paleozoic miogeoclinal strata and outboard volcanic arc terranes of uncertain paleogeographic affinity. They provide a record of lower Paleozoic continental margin depositional and tectonic processes oceanward of the continental shelf. The southernmost stratigraphic unit, the Covada Group, is divided into two formations, the Daisy Formation, a mid fan sequence of arkosic and subarkosic wacke and arenite, and the Early Ordovician Butcher Mountain Formation, consisting of alkalic(?) pillow basalt and tuff of within-plate affinity. Another unit, formerly part of the Covada Group, is excluded and informally named the Bradeen Hill assemblage. It contains chert, chert-quartz arenite, quartz arenite, chert pebble conglomerate, shale, and basalt, and may be Ordovician to Devonian on the basis of stratigraphic evidence and regional correlations. The Covada Group and Bradeen Hill assemblage record (1) deposition of continentally derived sediments in a submarine fan setting, (2) relatively quiescent starved basin conditions, (3) local faulting; and (4) intermittent periods of volcanism, perhaps reflecting local extension. They can be correlated with other stratigraphic units in the Kootenay Arc and resemble units as far north as the Selwyn basin in northern Canada and as far south as the Roberts Mountains allochthon in central Nevada. This unites the stratigraphic record and implies a high degree of synchroneity of tectonic events along over 2500 km of the outer continental margin during early Paleozoic time.

  20. The dynamics of continental breakup-related magmatism on the Norwegian volcanic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breivik, A. J.; Faleide, J. I.; Mjelde, R.

    2004-12-01

    The Vøring margin off mid-Norway was initiated during the earliest Eocene (~54 Ma), and large volumes of magmatic rocks were emplaced during and after continental breakup. In 2003, an ocean bottom seismometer survey was acquired on the Norwegian margin to constrain continental breakup and early seafloor spreading processes. The profile P-wave model described here crosses the northern part of the Vøring Plateau. Maximum igneous crustal thickness was found to be 18 km, decreasing to ~6.5 km over ~6 M.y. after continental breakup. Both the volume and the duration of excess magmatism after breakup is about twice of what is observed off the Møre Margin south of the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone, which offsets the margin segments by ~170 km. A similar reduction in magmatism occurs to the north over an along-margin distance of ~100 km to the Lofoten margin, but without a margin offset. There is a strong correlation between magma productivity and early plate spreading rate, which are highest just after breakup, falling with time. This is seen both at the Møre and the Vøring margin segments, suggesting a common cause. A model for the breakup- related magmatism should be able to (1) explain this correlation, (2) the magma production peak at breakup, and (3) the magmatic segmentation. Proposed end-member hypotheses are elevated upper-mantle temperatures caused by a hot mantle plume, or edge-driven small-scale convection fluxing mantle rocks through the melt zone. Both the average P-wave velocity and the major-element data at the Vøring margin indicate a low degree of melting consistent with convection. However, small scale convection does not easily explain the issues listed above. An elaboration of the mantle plume model by N. Sleep, in which buoyant plume material fills the rift-topography at the base of the lithosphere, can explain these: When the continents break apart, the buoyant plume-material flows up into the rift zone, causing excess magmatism by both elevated

  1. The dynamics of continental breakup-related magmatism on the Norwegian volcanic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breivik, A. J.; Faleide, J. I.; Mjelde, R.

    2007-12-01

    The Vøring margin off mid-Norway was initiated during the earliest Eocene (~54 Ma), and large volumes of magmatic rocks were emplaced during and after continental breakup. In 2003, an ocean bottom seismometer survey was acquired on the Norwegian margin to constrain continental breakup and early seafloor spreading processes. The profile P-wave model described here crosses the northern part of the Vøring Plateau. Maximum igneous crustal thickness was found to be 18 km, decreasing to ~6.5 km over ~6 M.y. after continental breakup. Both the volume and the duration of excess magmatism after breakup is about twice of what is observed off the Møre Margin south of the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone, which offsets the margin segments by ~170 km. A similar reduction in magmatism occurs to the north over an along-margin distance of ~100 km to the Lofoten margin, but without a margin offset. There is a strong correlation between magma productivity and early plate spreading rate, which are highest just after breakup, falling with time. This is seen both at the Møre and the Vøring margin segments, suggesting a common cause. A model for the breakup- related magmatism should be able to (1) explain this correlation, (2) the magma production peak at breakup, and (3) the magmatic segmentation. Proposed end-member hypotheses are elevated upper-mantle temperatures caused by a hot mantle plume, or edge-driven small-scale convection fluxing mantle rocks through the melt zone. Both the average P-wave velocity and the major-element data at the Vøring margin indicate a low degree of melting consistent with convection. However, small scale convection does not easily explain the issues listed above. An elaboration of the mantle plume model by N. Sleep, in which buoyant plume material fills the rift-topography at the base of the lithosphere, can explain these: When the continents break apart, the buoyant plume-material flows up into the rift zone, causing excess magmatism by both elevated

  2. Stages in evolution of Paleozoic carbonate platform and basin margin types - western United States passive Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, H.E.; Taylor, M.E.

    1987-05-01

    Late Precambrian rifting along the western edge of North America established a passive continental margin that became the site of 5000 m of platform and basin carbonate sediments over a 150-m.y. interval (Cambrian-Devonian). This megaplatform evolved through several stages: (1) Cambrian-Silurian, distally steepened nonrimmed ramp with base-of-slope fan (Hales Limestone) to homoclinal ramp (Hanson Creek Formation); to (2) Silurian-Devonian, rimmed platform (Lone Mountain Dolomite) having low-angle depositional slopes and slope aprons (Roberts Mountains Formation) and basinal debris sheets (Tor Limestone); to (3) Devonian, rimmed platforms having high-angle bypass slopes, slides, and base-of-slope aprons (McColley Canyon Formation and Devils Gate Limestone). The position of the rifted continental margin controlled the overall trend of the platform-slope break. Postrift subsidence with superimposed eustatic sea level changes allowed the platform to accumulate 5000 m of sediment. The stratigraphic progression from nonrimmed ramps in the Cambrian to rimmed platforms with high-angle bypass slopes in the Devonian was a function of both the gradual steepening of the slope, as the platform margin built up and prograded seaward, and the evolution of reef and bank-building organisms through time. Evolution of adjacent basinal carbonates was strongly influenced by slope declivity and relative sea level changes. As slope declivity increased through time, sedimentary processes on the slope changed from small-scale sediment gravity flows that accreted on the slope (ex: Roberts Mountains Formation slope apron) to large-scale sediment gravity flows that deposited debris in base-of-slope settings (ex: Devils Gate Limestone base-of-slope apron).

  3. Ice Sheet History from Antarctic Continental Margin Sediments: The ANTOSTRAT Approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barker, P.F.; Barrett, P.J.; Camerlenghi, A.; Cooper, A. K.; Davey, F.J.; Domack, E.W.; Escutia, C.; Kristoffersen, Y.; O'Brien, P.E.

    1998-01-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet is today an important part of the global climate engine, and probably has been so for most of its long existence. However, the details of its history are poorly known, despite the measurement and use, over two decades, of low-latitude proxies of ice sheet volume. An additional way of determining ice sheet history is now available, based on understanding terrigenous sediment transport and deposition under a glacial regime. It requires direct sampling of the prograded wedge of glacial sediments deposited at the Antarctic continental margin (and of derived sediments on the continental rise) at a small number of key sites, and combines the resulting data using numerical models of ice sheet development. The new phase of sampling is embodied mainly in a suite of proposals to the Ocean Drilling Program, generated by separate regional proponent groups co-ordinated through ANTOSTRAT (the Antarctic Offshore Acoustic Stratigraphy initiative). The first set of margin sites has now been drilled as ODP Leg 178 to the Antarctic Peninsula margin, and a first, short season of inshore drilling at Cape Roberts, Ross Sea, has been completed. Leg 178 and Cape Roberts drilling results are described briefly here, together with an outline of key elements of the overall strategy for determining glacial history, and of the potential contributions of drilling other Antarctic margins investigated by ANTOSTRAT. ODP Leg 178 also recovered continuous ultra-high-resolution Holocene biogenic sections at two sites within a protected, glacially-overdeepened basin (Palmer Deep) on the inner continental shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula. These and similar sites from around the Antarctic margin are a valuable resource when linked with ice cores and equivalent sections at lower latitude sites for studies of decadal and millenial-scale climate variation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. Crustal architecture of the eastern margin of Japan Sea: back-arc basin opening and contraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    No, T.; Sato, T.; Takahashi, N.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.; Ishiyama, T.; Sato, H.

    2012-12-01

    Although large earthquakes such as the 1964 Niigata earthquake (M 7.5), 1983 Nihonkai-Chubu earthquake (M 7.8), and 1993 Hokkaido Nansei-Oki earthquake (M 7.8) have caused large amounts of damage to the eastern margin of the Japan Sea, a substantial number of seismic studies have been conducted for the seismogenic zone on the Pacific Ocean side of Japan. In addition, the detail of the source fault model for the eastern margin of the Japan Sea is not well defined for all cases. This highlights the need for further studies to investigate seismic imaging. Therefore, we have collaborated with other Japanese research institutions for a project titled "Priority Investigations of Strain Concentration Areas" (which is funded by Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology, Japan). This project has conducted seismic surveys from 2009 to 2012 using the deep-sea research vessel, Kairei, from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. There is a strain concentration area in the eastern part of the survey area (Okamura et al., 1995). The western part of the survey area includes the Yamato Basin and Japan Basin. It is very important to study the crustal structure in the seismotectonic studies of the eastern margin of the Japan Sea. We conducted a marine seismic survey by using a multichannel seismic (MCS) system and ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) along the eastern margin of the Japan Sea. Seismic data were acquired along 42 lines with a total length of approximately 9,000 km. The following results were obtained from seismic imaging. On the basis of the results of the MCS imaging, active reverse faults and folds were observed in the margin of the Toyama Trough; however, the sedimentary layers in the trough were flat. In the sedimentary layers and crusts of the Sado Ridge, Mogami Trough, and source area of the 1964 Niigata earthquake located north of the Sado Island, greater deformation was observed. The deformation weakened toward the Yamato

  6. Submarine canyon and slope processes of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGregor, B.A.

    1983-01-01

    Two regions on the U.S. Atlantic continental margin were surveyed using single-channel, seismic-reflection profiling techniques: the Mid-Atlantic Continental Slope and Rise seaward of New Jersey in the vicinity of Baltimore Canyon and the Continental Slope and upper Rise just north of Cape Hatteras. Submarine canyons are the dominant morphologic feature in both areas. The Continental Slope in the Baltimore Canyon area has a general sea-floor gradient of 3?-4? and a width of approximately 40 km, whereas the study area north of Cape Hatteras has a general sea-floor gradient of approximately 9? and a width of 20 km. The dominant slope process differs in each area. In the Baltimore Canyon area, subbottom reflectors suggest that sediment deposition with progradation of the slope is related to canyon processes. In the study area north of Cape Hatteras, the canyons appear erosional and mass wasting is the dominant erosional process. Dominant slope processes appear to be correlated with the width and sea-floor gradient of the Continental Slope. Although the absolute age of the canyons is difficult to determine without rotary-drill cores for stratigraphic control, Baltimore Canyon is suggested to be older than the shelf-indenting canyon just north of Cape Hatteras. An anomalously large ridge flanking Baltimore Canyon on the upper rise appears to be related to canyon depositional and erosional processes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  8. Quantitative woody cover reconstructions from eastern continental Asia of the last 22 kyr reveal strong regional peculiarities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Fang; Cao, Xianyong; Dallmeyer, Anne; Ni, Jian; Zhao, Yan; Wang, Yongbo; Herzschuh, Ulrike

    2016-04-01

    We present a calibration-set based on modern pollen and satellite-based Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) observations of woody cover (including needleleaved, broadleaved and total tree cover) in eastern continental Asia, which shows good performance under cross-validation with the modern analogue technique (all the coefficients of determination between observed and predicted values are greater than 0.65). The calibration-set is used to reconstruct woody cover from a taxonomically harmonized and temporally standardized fossil pollen dataset (including 274 cores) with 500-year resolution over the last 22 kyr. The spatial range of forest has not noticeably changed in eastern continental Asia during the last 22 kyr, although woody cover has, especially at the margin of the eastern Tibetan Plateau and in the forest-steppe transition area of north-central China. Vegetation was sparse during the LGM in the present forested regions, but woody cover increased markedly at the beginning of the Bølling/Allerød period (B/A; ca. 14.5 ka BP) and again at the beginning of the Holocene (ca. 11.5 ka BP), and is related to the enhanced strength of the East Asian Summer Monsoon. Forest flourished in the mid-Holocene (ca. 8 ka BP) possibly due to favourable climatic conditions. In contrast, cover was stable in southern China (high cover) and arid central Asia (very low cover) throughout the investigated period. Forest cover increased in the north-eastern part of China during the Holocene. Comparisons of these regional pollen-based results with simulated forest cover from runs of a global climate model (for 9, 6 and 0 ka BP (ECHAM5/JSBACH ∼1.125° spatial resolution)) reveal many similarities in temporal change. The Holocene woody cover history of eastern continental Asia is different from that of other regions, likely controlled by different climatic variables, i.e. moisture in eastern continental Asia; temperature in northern Eurasia and North America.

  9. Determining OCT structure and COB Location of the Omani Gulf of Aden Continental Margin from Gravity Inversion, Residual Depth Anomaly and Subsidence Analysis.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick; Leroy, Sylvie; Manatshal, Gianreto

    2013-04-01

    Knowledge and understanding of the ocean-continent transition (OCT) structure and continent-ocean boundary (COB) location, the distribution of thinned continental crust and lithosphere, its distal extent and the start of unequivocal oceanic crust are of critical importance in evaluating rifted continental margin formation and evolution. In order to determine the OCT structure and COB location for the eastern Gulf of Aden, along the Oman margin, we use a combination of gravity inversion, subsidence analysis and residual depth anomaly (RDA) analysis. Gravity inversion has been used to determine Moho depth, crustal basement thickness and continental lithosphere thinning; subsidence analysis has been used to determine the distribution of continental lithosphere thinning; and RDAs have been used to investigate the OCT bathymetric anomalies with respect to expected oceanic bathymetries at rifted margins. The gravity inversion method, which is carried out in the 3D spectral domain, incorporates a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly and includes a correction for volcanic addition due to decompression melting. Reference Moho depths used in the gravity inversion have been calibrated against seismic refraction Moho depths. RDAs have been calculated by comparing observed and age predicted oceanic bathymetries, using the thermal plate model predictions from Crosby and McKenzie (2009). RDAs have been computed along profiles and have been corrected for sediment loading using flexural back-stripping and decompaction. In addition, gravity inversion crustal basement thicknesses together with Airy isostasy have been used to predict a synthetic RDA. The RDA results show a change in RDA signature and may be used to estimate the distal extent of thinned continental crust and where oceanic crust begins. Continental lithosphere thinning has been determined using flexural back-stripping and subsidence analysis assuming the classical rift model of McKenzie (1978) with a correction for

  10. Rift migration explains continental margin asymmetry and crustal hyper-extension.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    When continents break apart, continental crust and lithosphere are thinned until break-up is achieved and an oceanic basin is formed. The most remarkable and least understood structures associated with this process are up to 200 km wide areas of hyper-extended continental crust, which are partitioned between conjugate margins with pronounced asymmetry. Here we show, using high-resolution thermo-mechanical modelling, that hyper-extended crust and margin asymmetry are produced by steady state rift migration. We demonstrate that rift migration is accomplished by sequential, oceanward-younging, upper crustal faults, and is balanced through lower crustal flow. Constraining our model with a new South Atlantic plate reconstruction, we demonstrate that larger extension velocities may account for southward increasing width and asymmetry of these conjugate magma-poor margins. Our model challenges conventional ideas of rifted margin evolution, as it implies that during rift migration large amounts of material are transferred from one side of the rift zone to the other. PMID:24905463

  11. Rift migration explains continental margin asymmetry and crustal hyper-extension

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    When continents break apart, continental crust and lithosphere are thinned until break-up is achieved and an oceanic basin is formed. The most remarkable and least understood structures associated with this process are up to 200 km wide areas of hyper-extended continental crust, which are partitioned between conjugate margins with pronounced asymmetry. Here we show, using high-resolution thermo-mechanical modelling, that hyper-extended crust and margin asymmetry are produced by steady state rift migration. We demonstrate that rift migration is accomplished by sequential, oceanward-younging, upper crustal faults, and is balanced through lower crustal flow. Constraining our model with a new South Atlantic plate reconstruction, we demonstrate that larger extension velocities may account for southward increasing width and asymmetry of these conjugate magma-poor margins. Our model challenges conventional ideas of rifted margin evolution, as it implies that during rift migration large amounts of material are transferred from one side of the rift zone to the other. PMID:24905463

  12. Continental break-up history of a deep magma-poor margin based on seismic reflection data (northeastern Gulf of Aden margin, offshore Oman)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autin, Julia; Leroy, Sylvie; Beslier, Marie-Odile; d'Acremont, Elia; Razin, Philippe; Ribodetti, Alessandra; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Robin, Cécile; Al Toubi, Khalfan

    2010-02-01

    Rifting between Arabia and Somalia started around 35 Ma followed by spreading at 17.6 Ma in the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden. The first-order segment between Alula-Fartak and Socotra-Hadbeen fracture zones is divided into three second-order segments with different structure and morphology. Seismic reflection data were collected during the Encens Cruise in 2006 on the northeastern margin. In this study, we present the results of Pre-Stack Depth Migration of the multichannel seismic data from the western segment, which allows us to propose a tectono-stratigraphic model of the evolution of this segment of the margin from rifting to the present day. The chronological interpretation of the sedimentary sequences is mapped out within relation to the onshore observations and existing dating. After a major development of syn-rift grabens and horsts, the deformation localized where the crust is the thinnest. This deformation occurred in the distal margin graben (DIM) at the northern boundary of the ocean-continent transition (OCT) represented by the OCT ridge. At the onset of the OCT formation differential uplift induced a submarine landslide on top of the deepest tilted block and the crustal deformation was restricted to the southern part of the DIM graben, where the continental break-up finally occurred. Initial seafloor spreading was followed by post-rift magmatic events (flows, sills and volcano-sedimentary wedge), whose timing is constrained by the analysis of the sedimentary cover of the OCT ridge, correlated with onshore stratigraphy. The OCT ridge may represent exhumed serpentinized mantle intruded by post-rift magmatic material, which modified the OCT after its emplacement.

  13. Formation of Australian continental margin highlands driven by plate-mantle interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, R. Dietmar; Flament, Nicolas; Matthews, Kara J.; Williams, Simon E.; Gurnis, Michael

    2016-05-01

    Passive margin highlands occur on most continents on Earth and play a critical role in the cycle of weathering, erosion, and atmospheric circulation. Yet, in contrast to the well-developed understanding of collisional mountain belts, such as the Alps and Himalayas, the origin of less elevated (1-2 km) passive margin highlands is still unknown. The eastern Australian highlands are a prime example of these plateaus, but compared to others they have a well-documented episodic uplift history spanning 120 million years. We use a series of mantle convection models to show that the time-dependent interaction of plate motion with mantle downwellings and upwellings accounts for the broad pattern of margin uplift phases. Initial dynamic uplift of 400-600 m from 120-80 Ma was driven by the eastward motion of eastern Australia's margin away from the sinking eastern Gondwana slab, followed by tectonic quiescence to about 60 Ma in the south (Snowy Mountains). Renewed uplift of ∼700 m in the Snowy Mountains is propelled by the gradual motion of the margin over the edge of the large Pacific mantle upwelling. In contrast the northernmost portion of the highlands records continuous uplift from 120 Ma to present-day totalling about 800 m. The northern highlands experienced a continuous history of dynamic uplift, first due to the end of subduction to the east of Australia, then due to moving over a large passive mantle upwelling. In contrast, the southern highlands started interacting with the edge of the large Pacific mantle upwelling ∼ 40- 50 million years later, resulting in a two-phase uplift history. Our results are in agreement with published uplift models derived from river profiles and the Cretaceous sediment influx into the Ceduna sub-basin offshore southeast Australia, reflecting the fundamental link between dynamic uplift, fluvial erosion and depositional pulses in basins distal to passive margin highlands.

  14. Scheme of 3 interfaces with local isostatic compensation on the Argentine continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedraza De Marchi, A. C.; Ghidella, M. E.; Tocho, C.

    2013-05-01

    The segment of Argentine continental margin located between 39°S and the Malvinas platform (~49°S) is of passive type and volcanic characteristics revealed by seaward-dipping seismic reflectors sequences (SDRs). The free air gravity edge-effect associated with passive continental margins is one of the most distinctive characteristics of gravity in marine regions. This effect is in large part due to the transition between continental and oceanic crusts, because of their different thicknesses. In this presentation we investigate the Airy type isostatic compensation scheme by using three interfaces in a forward calculation with different approximations of Parker's expression to obtain the isostatic anomaly. After that we perform the inversion of the anomaly thus obtained in order to find the Moho's deflection necessary to compensate it (or minimize it) by using the same scheme of interfaces and the iterative Parker-Oldenburg method (Oldenburg, D., 1974) with more terms in the inversion. The crust-mantle interface (Moho) thus calculated represents a more realistic surface than the one calculated using one term in the inversion and the surface estimated with topographic data and sediment thickness. Even considering that the experiment constitutes a schematic assumption just to test the numerical methods involved, we find that in the comparison with the only available digitized refraction profile, the inverted Moho interface reproduces fairly well the Moho that the seismic profile yields, for the case of the iterative method. This suggests that the inverse calculation with the iterative method is sensible to the presence of the SDRS, at least for this sole profile. Keywords: isostatic anomaly, Moho, passive continental margins Oldenburg, D., 1974. The inversion and interpretation of gravity anomalíes, Geophysics, vol. 39, no. 4, p. 526-536.

  15. Evolution of the Red Sea Continental Margin from Integrated Analyses of Gravity, Magnetic, and Receiver Function Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, C. A.; Mohamed, A. A.; Gao, S. S.; Mickus, K. L.; Liu, K. H.; Yu, Y.; Elsheikh, A. A.

    2014-12-01

    The development of evolutionary models and constraints for the extensional mechanisms which govern continental rifting is of fundamental significance toward understanding the breakup of continents and the role of volcanism in achieving successful rifting. To analyze the transitional nature of the Red Sea rift (RSR) passive margins and to quantify the mechanism through which extension has been accommodated, we examined a total of 3531 high-quality radial receiver functions from multiple temporary deployments in Saudi Arabia and the Levant as well as data recently acquired by the Egyptian National Seismic Network. Egypt is characterized by a relatively constant crustal thickness of approximately 37 km, while the southern Arabian Shield is roughly 35 km on average. The crust beneath the Eastern Desert of Egypt is significantly thinned with an average thickness of about 26 km. Observations of Vp/Vs across the Arabian-Nubian Shield indicate highly similar intermediate to mafic compositions, supporting well-accepted theories for juvenile arc accretion of relatively uniform makeup. Thinned crust as far as 130 km inland on the Egyptian margin indicates a highly asymmetric crustal structure across the Red Sea, supporting a model invoking simple shear extensional mechanisms. Joint modeling using satellite gravity and magnetic data with RF Moho depth constraints reveals the presence of high-density high-magnetic susceptibility mafic complexes which we interpret as volcanic margins in the northern RSR at ~25.5°N and the southern RSR at ~19.5°N. We believe the development of the northern RSR margin is accompanied by isolated volcanism associated with slow spreading rates since the Oligocene.

  16. Evolution of Northeast Atlantic Magmatic Continental Margins from an Ethiopian-Afar Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    England, R. W.; Cornwell, D. G.; Ramsden, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    One of the major problems interpreting the evolution of magmatic continental margins is that the structure which should record the pre-magmatic evolution of the rift and which potentially influences the character of the rifting process is partially or completely obscured by thick basalt lava flows and sills. A limited number of deep reflection seismic profiles acquired with tuned seismic sources have penetrated the basalts and provide an image of the pre-magmatic structure, otherwise the principle data are lower resolution wide-angle/refraction profiles and potential field models which have greater uncertainties associated with them. In order to sidestep the imaging constraints we have examined the Ethiopian - Afar rift system to try to understand the rifting process. The Main Ethiopian rift contains an embryonic magmatic passive margin dominated by faulting at the margins of the rift and en-echelon magmatic zones at the centre. Further north toward Afar the rift becomes in-filled with extensive lava flows fed from fissure systems in the widening rift zone. This rift system provides, along its length, a series of 'snapshots' into the possible tectonic evolution of a magmatic continental margin. Deep seismic profiles crossing the NE Atlantic margins reveal ocean dipping reflector sequences (ODRS) overlying extended crust and lower crustal sill complexes of intruded igneous rock, which extend back beneath the continental margin. The ODRS frequently occur in fault bounded rift structures along the margins. We suggest, by analogy to the observations that can be made in the Ethiopia-Afar rift that these fault bounded basins largely form at the embryonic rift stage and are then partially or completely filled with lavas fed from fissures which are now observed as the ODRS. Also in the seismic profiles we identify volcanic constructs on the ODRS which we interpret as the equivalent of the present day fissure eruptions seen in Afar. The ocean ward dip on the ODRS is

  17. Are buried river channels sources of geoclutter on the New Jersey Continental Margin?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osler, John C.

    2003-10-01

    Geological features on a continental shelf may be responsible for anomalous acoustic scatter that are identified as (false) targets, or GeoClutter, on active sonar systems. Features on the New Jersey Continental Margin include a drainage system that formed when sea-level was much lower, ran across the shelf, and incised channels approximately 10 meters deep into the surrounding seabed. These channels have since been filled with sediments that are not apparent on bathymetric maps. The potential for these channels to create GeoClutter depends in part on the contrast in geoacoustic properties between the sediments filling the channels and the adjacent flanks. To study this matter, an experiment was conducted to measure the reflection loss from 1 to 10 kHz of channel fill and flank sediments in an area where GeoClutter has been observed and where there is supporting geophysical data. The measurements were made using the WARBLE technique [C. W. Holland and J. C. Osler, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 1263-1279 (2000)], adapted for use in rapid environmental assessment using modified sonobuoys. Results from the experiment will be presented and the role of buried channels acting as sources of GeoClutter on the New Jersey Continental Margin will be discussed.

  18. Changes in plate motion and vertical movements along passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Japsen, P.; Cobbold, P. R.; Chalmers, J. A.; Green, P. F.; Bonow, J. M.

    2012-04-01

    The origin of the forces that produce elevated, passive continental margins (EPCMs) has been a hot topic in geoscience for many years. Studies of individual margins have led to models, which explain high elevations by invoking specific conditions for each margin in question. We have studied the uplift history of several margins and have found some striking coincidences between episodes of uplift and changes in plate motion. In the Campanian, Eocene and Miocene, pronounced events of uplift and erosion affected not only SE Brazil (Cobbold et al., 2001), but also NE Brazil and SW Africa (Japsen et al., 2012a). The uplift phases in Brazil also coincided with three main phases of Andean orogeny (Cobbold et al., 2001, 2007). These phases, Peruvian (90-75 Ma), Incaic (50-40 Ma), and Quechuan (25-0 Ma), were also periods of relatively rapid convergence at the Andean margin of South America (Pardo-Casas and Molnar, 1987). Because Campanian uplift in Brazil coincides, not only with rapid convergence at the Andean margin of South America, but also with a decline in Atlantic spreading rate, we suggest that all these uplift events have a common cause, which is lateral resistance to plate motion (Japsen et al., 2012a). Because the uplift phases in South America and Africa are common to the margins of two diverging plates, we also suggest that the driving forces can transmit across the spreading axis, probably at great depth, e.g. in the asthenosphere (Japsen et al., 2012a). Similarly, a phase of uplift and erosion at the Eocene-Oligocene transition (c. 35 Ma), which affected margins around the North Atlantic, correlates with a major plate reorganization there (Japsen et al., 2012b). Passive continental margins clearly formed as a result of extension. Despite this, the World Stress Map shows that, where data exist, all EPCMs are today under compression. We maintain that folds, reverse faults, reactivated normal faults and strike-slip faults that are typical of EPCMs are a result

  19. Tectonic structure of the continental Rifting of the northern margin of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    We present multichannel seismic reflection images of about 2250 km of reprocessed seismic records collected during Sonne cruise 49 across the northern margin of the South China Sea. The data were collected in four seismic lines striking perpendicular to the strike of the margin. The lines cross the outer continental shelf and slope, and two of them continue across the central region of the basin. The four lines have been carefully reprocessed to improve signal to noise ratio including pre-stack statistical predictive deconvolution, pre-stack multiple attenuation by radon filtering and by FK filtering. Semblance-based velocity picking was before and after processing with analyses every 5 km or closer in areas of rough basement topography. Constant velocity stacks were also used in areas of interest. The data were stacked and subsequently post-stack time migrated using an FD algorithm and time and space variant smooth velocity models. The resulting sections display in detail the structure of post-rift and syn-rift sediment, the basement structure of fault-bounded blocks, often fault reflections, and very often clear and fairly continuous reflections from crust - mantle boundary. The four seismic images show the tectonic structure formed during -now inactive- rifting. From west to east the tectonic structure changes considerably as the amount of extension attained increases towards the east. In the western region the lines show the structure of the Xisha Trough, from the region where continental rifting stopped before continental-crust break up and separation to the east where a extension may have led to break up and subsequent to seafloor spreading. The images show clearly how the continental crust-mantle boundary progressively shallows to reach close to the top of the basement. The conjugate continental flanks of the rift display rather different styles of faulting producing a very asymmetric structure. The conjugate flanks display rather different amounts of fault

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

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Moore, Chester G

    2013-05-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Shallow-mantle Recycling and Anomalous, Voluminous Volcanism along the Northern and Northwestern African Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryce, J. G.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Graham, D. W.; Miller, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle-derived volcanism on Earth's surface is generally associated with magma generation as a consequence of volatile addition to suprasubduction zone mantle or in response to decompression melting at diverging plates or in thermochemical anomalies thought to originate deep in the convecting mantle. Many of the hotspots surrounding the northern and northwestern African margin are thought to originate from decompression melting due to upwellings from deep thermochemical anomalies. Similar compositions of lavas erupted in Sicily in the Hyblean Plateau and Mount Etna, Europe's largest most active volcano, have been attributed to contributions from subduction zone enrichments. Considering high-MgO lavas from the northern to northwestern African-Mediterranean margins in the context of recent petrologic models we find the strong majority of the lavas in this region are predominantly alkaline and bear geochemical signatures consistent with derivation from fusible lithologies (volatilized peridotite and/or pyroxenite) [1]. Such results are consistent with implications from recent experimental results that suggest that the mobilization of hydrous, carbonate-rich melts commonly occurs during subduction zone processing [2]. Accordingly, we argue many products generally considered "hot spot" volcanism in this region largely result from partial melting of easily fusible pyroxene-rich and carbonated mantle domains that are relics of shallow-level recycling of volatile-rich melts and/or lithosphere shed during plate boundary processes along the African margin. Long-lived volcanism near continental margins subsequently develops as a consequence of convective anomalies associated with unique tectonic arrangements (oversteepened slabs or slab windows) [3] or, alternatively, as manifestations of convective tectonic anomalies beneath thin lithosphere juxtaposed next to thicker, more stable continental margins [4]. [1] Herzberg and Asimow, 2008; [2] Poli, 2015; [3] Schellart, 2010; [4

  3. Sedimentary sequences of the Pacific-Indian Ocean sector of the Antarctic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, A.; Eittreim, S. ); Anderson, J. ); Stagg, H. )

    1990-06-01

    Seismic-reflection data across the Pacific-Indian Ocean sector of the Antarctic continental margin commonly reveal preglacial and glacial sedimentary sections up to 14 km thick. In this sector, diverse tectonic regimes have controlled the locations of preglacial rift deposits as well as glacial-till deltas. These regimes include major rift embayments, passive margins, formerly active and presently active margins, and active rifts. The sedimentary sections are principally of Mesozoic and Cenozoic age, although Paleozoic strata may exist at great depth. The upper parts of these sections commonly comprise prograding and aggrading sigmoidal sequences that are separated by unconformities and are up to 6 km thick. Where drilled in Prydz Bay and the Ross Sea, these upper sequences are solely glacial marine rocks of early Oligocene and younger age. The lower portions of the sections are commonly well-layered sequences that infill structural basins. The evolution of these sedimentary sequences is strongly controlled by extensional tectonic processes. Depocenters are located primarily within rift structures that formed initially during Gondwana breakup and later during magmatic-arc development. Rift-related deposits fill the basement grabens and are unconformably covered by glacial-till deltas. The till deltas apparently have been deposited beneath and at the front of former grounded ice sheets that selectively moved through rift embayments and over thermally subsiding margins. Since initial Cenozoic glaciation, these thick till deltas have prograded the continental shelf edge up to 70 km seaward to its present location. The sedimentary sequences underlying the Antarctic margin hold a record of Antarctic (Gondwana) rifting and glaciation - a record that would, if drilled, greatly improve their understanding of global climate and sea-level changes.

  4. Evidence of multiple stretching and episodic subsidence of a passive continental margin: Indian examples

    SciTech Connect

    Agrawal, A. )

    1990-05-01

    The western continental margin of India, south of the Narmada lineament underwent two major phases of stretching and rapid tectonic subsidence, as seen in more than 30 deep offshore wells. The initial phase of unloaded basement subsidence took place in the Paleocene, and was probably related to K/T rifting of India along this margin. At this time, the continental crust underwent some stretching leading to the formation of several north-south-trending depressions, namely the Vijayadurg, Surat-Panna, the Kori-Comorin, and on-land Cambay graben, which provided a site for the rapid accumulation of hydrocarbon source rocks in the depressions. The second phase of rapid basement subsidence along this margin occurred in the Early Miocene Further stretching of the already blockfaulted crust caused the complete development of the westernmost Kori-Comorin depression but the effect was less significant on the main shelf. The possibility of a heating event associated with the stretching, inducing maturation of hydrocarbons in the area, is under investigation. Similar early Miocene tectonic subsidence also is seen along the peripheries of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. This phase of tectonic movements was probably related to the locking of the Owen fracture zone, the 20-Ma plate reorganization in the Indian Ocean and the renewed uplift of the Himalayas.

  5. Tectonic Implications of Canyon Directions Over the Northeast Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lallemand, Serge; Sibuet, Jean-Claude

    1986-12-01

    The basis of this study is a new bathymetric map of the northeast Atlantic compiled from previously published maps made from conventional echosounder data, plus all Sea Beam data acquired on board the R/V JEAN CHARCOT since 1977. As most of the Sea Beam data have been obtained on the continental margin from Porcupine Seabight to the south of the Iberian Peninsula, a precise picture of the continental slope is given. A statistical analysis of the canyons, based on 750 measurements, reveals that many of the canyons present sharp changes in their direction, indicating a structural control mainly linked to the late Hercynian trends, especially around the Iberian Peninsula. Nevertheless, the paths of canyons may merely reflect recent gravity processes, as in the Porcupine Seabight. Canyons locally follow the directions of listric and associated transecting faults (Permian to Triassic and upper Jurassic to lower Cretaceous), as on the Celtic margin, and every type of tectonic lineament—for example, the North Pyrenean Paleogene thrust front which fringes the Gouf of Cap Breton. A comparison of diagrams for the northern and southern Bay of Biscay margin (especially trends predating the opening) is compatible with a 25° rotation of Iberia with respect to Europe.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouiza, M.; Bertotti, G.; Hafid, M.; Cloetingh, S.

    2010-10-01

    The Atlantic passive margin of Morocco developed during Mesozoic times in association with the opening of the Central Atlantic and the Alpine Tethys. Extensional basins formed along the future continental margin and in the Atlas rift system. In Alpine times, this system was inverted to form the High and Middle Atlas fold-and-thrust belts. To provide a quantitative kinematic analysis of the evolution of the rifted margin, we present a crustal section crossing the Atlantic margin in the region of the Doukkala Basin, the Meseta and the Atlas system. We construct a post-rift upper crustal section compensating for Tertiary to present vertical movements and horizontal deformations, and we conduct numerical modeling to test quantitative relations between amounts and distribution of thinning and related vertical movements. Rifting along the transect began in the Late Triassic and ended with the appearance of oceanic crust at 175 Ma. Subsidence, possibly related to crustal thinning, continued in the Atlas rift in the Middle Jurassic. The numerical models confirm that the margin experienced a polyphase rifting history. The lithosphere along the transect preserved some strength throughout rifting with the Effective Elastic Thickness corresponding to an isotherm of 450°C. A mid-crustal level of necking of 15 km characterized the pre-rift lithosphere.

  7. Sources, sinks and long-term cycling of iodine in the hyperarid Atacama continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvarez, Fernanda; Reich, Martin; Pérez-Fodich, Alida; Snyder, Glen; Muramatsu, Yasuyuki; Vargas, Gabriel; Fehn, Udo

    2015-07-01

    The Atacama region in northern Chile hosts the driest desert on Earth and is the world's premier iodine production province. The origin of iodine enrichment in Atacama is controversial and fundamentally different processes have been invoked over the years that involve marine, eolian and more recently deep sedimentary fluid and groundwater sources. As a result of the very limited geochemical iodine data in Atacama and the western South American margin, the origin of iodine enrichment in this region still remains elusive. In this study, we present a comprehensive survey of iodine concentrations and isotopic ratios (129I/I) of different reservoirs in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, including nitrate soils, supergene copper deposits, marine sedimentary rocks, geothermal fluids, groundwater and meteoric water. Nitrate soils along the eastern slope of the Coastal Cordillera are found to have mean iodine concentrations of at least three orders of magnitude higher than the mean crustal abundances of ∼0.12 ppm, with a mean concentration of ∼700 ppm. Soils above giant copper deposits in the Central Depression are also highly enriched in iodine (100's of ppm range), and Cu-iodide and iodate minerals occur in the supergene enrichment zones of some of these deposits. Further east in the Precordillera, Jurassic sedimentary shales and limestones show above-background iodine concentrations, the latter averaging ∼50 ppm in the southern portion of the study area. The highest iodine concentrations in fluids were measured in groundwater below nitrate soils in the Coastal Range (∼3.5-10 ppm) and in geothermal waters (1-3 ppm) along the volcanic arc. Although highly variable, the iodine isotopic ratios (129I/I) of Jurassic marine sedimentary rocks (∼300-600 × 10-15), nitrate soils (∼150-1500 × 10-15) and waters (∼215 × 10-15) are consistently low (<1500 × 10-15), indicating that recent anthropogenic additions are almost negligible in most surficial and deeper

  8. Pennsylvanian and Early Permian paleogeography of east-central California: Implications for the shape of the continental margin and the timing of continental truncation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Paul; Stevens, Calvin H.

    1988-04-01

    Pennsylvanian and Early Permian paleogeographic features in east-central California include a southeast-trending carbonate shelf edge and turbidite basin that we infer paralleled a segment of the western margin of the North American continent. This segment of the continental margin was oblique to an adjoining segment on the north that trended southwestward across Nevada into easternmost California. We propose that the southeast-trending segment of the margin originated by tectonic truncation of the originally longer southwest-trending segment in Early or Middle Pennsylvanian to late Early Permian time, significantly earlier than a previously hypothesized Late Permian or Early Triassic continental truncation event. We interpret the truncating structure to have been a sinistral transform fault zone along which a continental fragment was removed and carried southeastward into the Caborca-Hermosillo region of northern Mexico, where it is now represented by exposures of Late Proterozoic and Paleozoic miogeoclinal rocks.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parson, L.

    2005-12-01

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

  10. Tertiary evolution and petroleum potential of Oregon-Washington continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Snavely, P.D. Jr.

    1986-07-01

    The Oregon-Washington continental margin was the site of a deep marginal basin in which more than 7000 m of Tertiary sedimentary and volcanic rocks accumulated. Oceanic basalts of Paleocene to early Eocene age form the basin floor and are interpreted to represent eruptions in an elongate trough formed by rifting of the continental margin. Middle Eocene turbidite sandstone overlapped both the oceanic crust and the pre-Tertiary rocks of the Klamath Mountains, thus indicating that suturing of the Coast Range-Olympic terrane to North America was about 50 Ma. Oblique convergence between the Farallon and North American plates occurred during most of the middle Eocene to middle Miocene. Sedimentation, punctuated by episodes of volcanism, was essentially continuous in a forearc basin whose axis lay along the present inner continental shelf. The oblique interaction between the plates was interrupted by two periods of more head-on convergence during the middle late Eocene and late middle Miocene. Thick accretionary melange wedges of Eocene and of late Oligocene to late middle Miocene ages were formed during these strongly compressive episodes. Geochemical analyses indicate that the accretionary melange wedges, which crop out along the west side of the Olympic Peninsula and beneath the adjacent shelf, have the highest potential for oil and gas generation. They are the source rocks for numerous gas seeps and oil and gas shows in exploratory wells, and for the 12,000 bbl of 38.9 /sup 0/ API paraffin-based oil produced from a well drilled on the southwest Washington coast. Potential exploration targets exist where the Eocene and Oligocene-Miocene melanges are underplated to a position beneath the lower Eocene oceanic basalt. Hydrocarbons generated in the melanges could migrate upward into structures in strata that overlie the basalt in the upper plate.

  11. Molybdenum isotope signatures from the Yangtze block continental margin and its indication to organic burial rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, L.; Zhou, H. B.; Huang, J. H.

    2007-12-01

    The paper presents the molybdenum isotope data, along with the trace element content, to investigate the geochemical behavior of authigenic Mo during long-term burial in sediments in continental margin settings of the Yangtze block, as well as their indication to the burial of original organic carbon. The burial rate of original organic carbon were estimated on the basis of the amount of sedimentary sulfur (TS content), whilst the carbon loss by aerobic degradation was estimated according to calculated Mn contents. On these points, the original organic carbon flux was calculated, exhibiting a large range of variation (2.54-15.82 mmol/m2/day). The strong correlation between sedimentary Mo isotope values and organic carbon burial rates previously proposed on the basis of the investigations on modern ocean sediments was also used here to estimate the organic carbon burial rate. The data gained through this model showed that organic carbon burial rates have large variations, ranging from 0.43- 2.87mmol/m2/day. Although the two sets of data gained through different geochemical records in the Yangtze block show a deviation of one order of magnitude, they do display a strong correlation. It is thus tempting to speculate that the Mo isotope signature of sediments may serve as a tracer for the accumulation rate of original organic carbon in the continental margin sediments. Keywords: Molybdenum isotopes; organic carbon burial rate; ancient continental margin setting ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank Professor Xie Shucheng for his constructive review comments. This research is co-supported by the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (grants IRT0441), the SinoPec project (grant no. G0800-06-ZS-319) and the National Nature Science Foundation of China (grants 40673020).

  12. Seismic imaging of a convergent continental margin and plateau in the central Andes (Andean Continental Research Project 1996 (ANCORP'96))

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oncken, O.; Asch, G.; Haberland, C.; Metchie, J.; Sobolev, S.; Stiller, M.; Yuan, X.; Brasse, H.; Buske, S.; Giese, P.; GöRze, H.-J.; Lueth, S.; Scheuber, E.; Shapiro, S.; Wigger, P.; Yoon, M.-K.; Bravo, P.; Vieytes, H.; Chong, G.; Gonzales, G.; Wilke, H.-G.; Lüschen, E.; Martinez, E.; RöSsling, R.; Ricaldi, E.; Rietbrock, A.

    2003-07-01

    A 400-km-long seismic reflection profile (Andean Continental Research Project 1996 (ANCORP'96)) and integrated geophysical experiments (wide-angle seismology, passive seismology, gravity, and magnetotelluric depth sounding) across the central Andes (21°S) observed subduction of the Nazca plate under the South American continent. An east dipping reflector (Nazca Reflector) is linked to the down going oceanic crust and shows increasing downdip intensity before gradual breakdown below 80 km. We interpret parts of the Nazca Reflector as a fluid trap located at the front of recent hydration and shearing of the mantle, the fluids being supplied by dehydration of the oceanic plate. Patches of bright (Quebrada Blanca Bright Spot) to more diffuse reflectivity underlie the plateau domain at 15-30 km depth. This reflectivity is associated with a low-velocity zone, P to S wave conversions, the upper limits of high conductivity and high Vp/Vs ratios, and to the occurrence of Neogene volcanic rocks at surface. We interpret this feature as evidence of widespread partial melting of the plateau crust causing decoupling of the upper and lower crust during Neogene shortening and plateau growth. The imaging properties of the continental Moho beneath the Andes indicate a broad transitional character of the crust-mantle boundary owing to active processes like hydration of mantle rocks (in the cooler parts of the plate margin system), magmatic underplating and intraplating under and into the lowermost crust, mechanical instability at Moho, etc. Hence all first-order features appear to be related to fluid-assisted processes in a subduction setting.

  13. Seismic imaging of a convergent continental margin and plateau in the central Andes (Andean Continental Research Project 1996 (ANCORP'96))

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ANCORP Working Group,

    2003-07-01

    A 400-km-long seismic reflection profile (Andean Continental Research Project 1996 (ANCORP'96)) and integrated geophysical experiments (wide-angle seismology, passive seismology, gravity, and magnetotelluric depth sounding) across the central Andes (21°S) observed subduction of the Nazca plate under the South American continent. An east dipping reflector (Nazca Reflector) is linked to the down going oceanic crust and shows increasing downdip intensity before gradual breakdown below 80 km. We interpret parts of the Nazca Reflector as a fluid trap located at the front of recent hydration and shearing of the mantle, the fluids being supplied by dehydration of the oceanic plate. Patches of bright (Quebrada Blanca Bright Spot) to more diffuse reflectivity underlie the plateau domain at 15-30 km depth. This reflectivity is associated with a low-velocity zone, P to S wave conversions, the upper limits of high conductivity and high V p /V s ratios, and to the occurrence of Neogene volcanic rocks at surface. We interpret this feature as evidence of widespread partial melting of the plateau crust causing decoupling of the upper and lower crust during Neogene shortening and plateau growth. The imaging properties of the continental Moho beneath the Andes indicate a broad transitional character of the crust-mantle boundary owing to active processes like hydration of mantle rocks (in the cooler parts of the plate margin system), magmatic underplating and intraplating under and into the lowermost crust, mechanical instability at Moho, etc. Hence all first-order features appear to be related to fluid-assisted processes in a subduction setting.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Structure and petroleum potential of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bruns, T.R.

    1982-01-01

    Major structural features of the Yakutat segment, the segment of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska, are delineated by multichannel seismic reflection data. A large structural high is centered on Fairweather Ground and lies generally at the edge of the shelf from Cross Sound to west of the Alsek Valley. A basement uplift, the Dangerous River zone, along which the seismic acoustic basement shallows by up to two kilometers, extends north from the western edge of Fairweather Ground towards the mouth of the Dangerous River. The Dangerous River zone separates the Yakutat segment into two distinct subbasins. The eastern subbasin has a maximum sediment thickness of about 4 km, and the axis of the basin is near and parallel to the coast. Strata in this basin are largely of late Cenozoic age (Neogene and Quaternary) and approximately correlate with the onshore Yakataga Formation. The western subbasin has a maximum of at least 9 km of sediment, comprised of a thick (greater than 4.5 km) Paleogene section overlain by late Cenozoic strata. The Paleogene section is truncated along the Dangerous River zone by a combination of erosion, faulting, and onlap onto the acoustic basement. Within the western subbasin, the late Cenozoic basin axis is near and parallel to the coast, but the Paleogene basin axis appears to trend in a northwest direction diagonally across the shelf. Sedimentary strata throughout the Yakutat shelf show regional subsidence and only minor deformation except in the vicinity of the Fairweather Ground structural high, near and along the Dangerous River zone, and at the shoreline near Lituya Bay. Seismic data across the continental slope and adjacent deep ocean show truncation at the continental slope of Paleogene strata, the presence of a thick (to 6 km) undeformed or mildly deformed abyssal sedimentary section at the base of the slope that in part onlaps the slope, and a relatively narrow zone along the slope or at

  16. Late Mesozoic North African continental margin: Sedimentary sequences and subsidence history

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhnt, W.; Obert, D.

    1988-08-01

    Cretaceous facies types and subsidence history have been studied along two well outcropping and almost complete transversals through the Tellian units of the Mesozoic North African margin, the Western Rif (Morocco), and the Babors (Algeria). Sedimentologic observations and characteristic foraminiferal assemblages enabled estimates for Late Cretaceous paleobathymetries. Both palinspastic reconstruction and sedimentologic and biofacies analyses led to the following results. (1) The morphology and evolution of the Cretaceous North African margin, which in general represents a classic passive continental margin, were complicated by various factors such as Late Cretaceous compressional and lateral movements, the onset of (tectonically controlled ) diapirism, and the existence of intramarginal highs and basins. (2) The Cretaceous subsidence history of both areas can be divided into four stages which are accompanied by characteristic sedimentary formations: (I) distension and subsidence of the margin (Early Cretaceous); (II) a first compressional phase with uplift and slight metamorphism in the Albian/early Cenomanian which affected mainly the northerly paleogeographic zones, accompanied by first diapiric movements and resedimentation of Triassic saliferous material; (III) a Late Cretaceous stage of subsidence (Cenomanian-Santonian); and (IV) a second compressional phase starting with the Campanian and reflected by the formation of sedimentary klippes and olistostromes. (3) As a general trend, sedimentary basins deepened from south to north during Campanian/Maastrichtian time, giving rise to a characteristic succession of bathymetric zones which have been observed on both transversals.

  17. Variability of subseafloor viral abundance at the geographically and geologically distinct continental margins.

    PubMed

    Yanagawa, Katsunori; Morono, Yuki; Yoshida-Takashima, Yukari; Eitoku, Masamitsu; Sunamura, Michinari; Inagaki, Fumio; Imachi, Hiroyuki; Takai, Ken; Nunoura, Takuro

    2014-04-01

    We studied the relationship between viral particle and microbial cell abundances in marine subsurface sediments from three geographically distinct locations in the continental margins (offshore of the Shimokita Peninsula of Japan, the Cascadia Margin off Oregon, and the Gulf of Mexico) and found depth variations in viral abundances among these sites. Viruses in sediments obtained offshore of the Shimokita and in the Cascadia Margin generally decreased with increasing depth, whereas those in sediments from the Gulf of Mexico were relatively constant throughout the investigated depths. In addition, the abundance ratios of viruses to microbial cells notably varied among the sites, ranging between 10(-3) and 10(1) . The subseafloor viral abundance offshore of the Shimokita showed a positive relationship with the microbial cell abundance and the sediment porosity. In contrast, no statistically significant relationship was observed in the Cascadia Margin and the Gulf of Mexico sites, presumably due to the long-term preservation of viruses from enzymatic degradation within the low-porosity sediments. Our observations indicate that viral abundance in the marine subsurface sedimentary environment is regulated not only by in situ production but also by the balance of preservation and decay, which is associated with the regional sedimentation processes in the geological settings. PMID:24308555

  18. Sinking Jelly-Carbon Unveils Potential Environmental Variability along a Continental Margin

    PubMed Central

    Lebrato, Mario; Molinero, Juan-Carlos; Cartes, Joan E.; Lloris, Domingo; Mélin, Frédéric; Beni-Casadella, Laia

    2013-01-01

    Particulate matter export fuels benthic ecosystems in continental margins and the deep sea, removing carbon from the upper ocean. Gelatinous zooplankton biomass provides a fast carbon vector that has been poorly studied. Observational data of a large-scale benthic trawling survey from 1994 to 2005 provided a unique opportunity to quantify jelly-carbon along an entire continental margin in the Mediterranean Sea and to assess potential links with biological and physical variables. Biomass depositions were sampled in shelves, slopes and canyons with peaks above 1000 carcasses per trawl, translating to standing stock values between 0.3 and 1.4 mg C m2 after trawling and integrating between 30,000 and 175,000 m2 of seabed. The benthopelagic jelly-carbon spatial distribution from the shelf to the canyons may be explained by atmospheric forcing related with NAO events and dense shelf water cascading, which are both known from the open Mediterranean. Over the decadal scale, we show that the jelly-carbon depositions temporal variability paralleled hydroclimate modifications, and that the enhanced jelly-carbon deposits are connected to a temperature-driven system where chlorophyll plays a minor role. Our results highlight the importance of gelatinous groups as indicators of large-scale ecosystem change, where jelly-carbon depositions play an important role in carbon and energy transport to benthic systems. PMID:24367499

  19. Fission track analysis, rift shoulder uplift, and tectonic modeling of the Norwegian Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Andriessen, P.; Van Der Beek, P.; Cloetingh, S.; Rohrman, M. )

    1993-09-01

    Apatite fission track analysis from southern Norway and Sweden, across the Permian Carboniferous Oslo rift, are presented and discussed in relation to different rifting scenarios. Vertical and horizontal apatite fission tack profiles in middle and southern Norway unravel the post-Carboniferous history of the Fennoscandian shield. Fission track apatite ages range from 240 Ma in the south to 160 Ma in the north, and according to spontaneous fission track length measurements, they must be interpreted as mixed ages, indicating minor amounts of Paleozoic-Mesozoic sedimentary cover. Apatite fission track length and age modeling suggest rapid cooling and uplift in the Tertiary for the southernmost part of Norway, suggesting a differential uplift of the basement. the obtained data are important for the reconstruction of burial and thermal histories of Cenozoic sedimentary basins of the Norwegian continental margin in the northern North Sea, where diverse rifting events, intraplate stress regimes, and inversion tectonics are involved. Fission track analysis puts constraints on tectonic modeling of uplift of rift flanks and the Norwegian continental margin and yields information for these assessment of hydrocarbon potentials of the sedimentary basins.

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

    PubMed

    Rubin-Blum, Maxim; Antler, Gilad; Tsadok, Rami; Shemesh, Eli; Austin, James A; Coleman, Dwight F; Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly N; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-01-01

    During the 2010-2011 E/V Nautilus exploration of the Levantine basin's sediments at the depth of 300-1300 m, densely patched orange-yellow flocculent mats were observed at various locations along the continental margin of Israel. Cores from the mat and the control locations were collected by remotely operated vehicle system (ROV) operated by the E/V Nautilus team. Microscopic observation and phylogenetic analysis of microbial 16S and 23S rRNA gene sequences indicated the presence of zetaproteobacterial stalk forming Mariprofundus spp.-like prokaryotes in the mats. Bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing determined that zetaproteobacterial populations were a dominant fraction of microbial community in the biofilm. We show for the first time that zetaproteobacterial may thrive at the continental margins, regardless of crustal iron supply, indicating significant fluxes of ferrous iron to the sediment-water interface. In light of this discovery, we discuss the potential bioavailability of sediment-water interface iron for organisms in the overlying water column. PMID:24614177

  1. First Evidence for the Presence of Iron Oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria at the Levantine Continental Margins

    PubMed Central

    Rubin-Blum, Maxim; Antler, Gilad; Tsadok, Rami; Shemesh, Eli; Austin, James A.; Coleman, Dwight F.; Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly N.; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-01-01

    During the 2010–2011 E/V Nautilus exploration of the Levantine basin’s sediments at the depth of 300–1300 m, densely patched orange-yellow flocculent mats were observed at various locations along the continental margin of Israel. Cores from the mat and the control locations were collected by remotely operated vehicle system (ROV) operated by the E/V Nautilus team. Microscopic observation and phylogenetic analysis of microbial 16S and 23S rRNA gene sequences indicated the presence of zetaproteobacterial stalk forming Mariprofundus spp. – like prokaryotes in the mats. Bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing determined that zetaproteobacterial populations were a dominant fraction of microbial community in the biofilm. We show for the first time that zetaproteobacterial may thrive at the continental margins, regardless of crustal iron supply, indicating significant fluxes of ferrous iron to the sediment-water interface. In light of this discovery, we discuss the potential bioavailability of sediment-water interface iron for organisms in the overlying water column. PMID:24614177

  2. Sinking jelly-carbon unveils potential environmental variability along a continental margin.

    PubMed

    Lebrato, Mario; Molinero, Juan-Carlos; Cartes, Joan E; Lloris, Domingo; Mélin, Frédéric; Beni-Casadella, Laia

    2013-01-01

    Particulate matter export fuels benthic ecosystems in continental margins and the deep sea, removing carbon from the upper ocean. Gelatinous zooplankton biomass provides a fast carbon vector that has been poorly studied. Observational data of a large-scale benthic trawling survey from 1994 to 2005 provided a unique opportunity to quantify jelly-carbon along an entire continental margin in the Mediterranean Sea and to assess potential links with biological and physical variables. Biomass depositions were sampled in shelves, slopes and canyons with peaks above 1000 carcasses per trawl, translating to standing stock values between 0.3 and 1.4 mg C m(2) after trawling and integrating between 30,000 and 175,000 m(2) of seabed. The benthopelagic jelly-carbon spatial distribution from the shelf to the canyons may be explained by atmospheric forcing related with NAO events and dense shelf water cascading, which are both known from the open Mediterranean. Over the decadal scale, we show that the jelly-carbon depositions temporal variability paralleled hydroclimate modifications, and that the enhanced jelly-carbon deposits are connected to a temperature-driven system where chlorophyll plays a minor role. Our results highlight the importance of gelatinous groups as indicators of large-scale ecosystem change, where jelly-carbon depositions play an important role in carbon and energy transport to benthic systems. PMID:24367499

  3. Submarine erosion and karstification on the west Florida Continental margin: disparate environments yield similar features

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, L.J.; Brooks, G.; Herbert, J.H.

    1985-01-01

    Thousands of kilometers of high resolution seismic profiles from the carbonate West Florida continental margin reveal two large bands of solution features. One band is found on the inner portion of the shelf and includes a variety of buried and filled karst features, the most spectacular of which are large solution valleys, paleodrainage extensions of the extent Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor estuaries. These features were probably formed subaerially during lower stands of sea level. This band of karst dies out in a line at mid-shelf between 75 m and 100 m water depth, marking a low stand of sea level. A second band of solution features is found on the upper slope at water depths of between 500 and 800 m. It is partially exposed in outcrop. Although many of the features are similar in appearance to those of the karst inner shelf band, their origin in submarine. They could have formed from dissolution by groundwater percolating down from the Florida mainland, from submarine erosion by the Loop Current which sweeps this portion of the slope or by a combination of the above processes. Although karstification is considered a continental process, extensive solution feature scan also form in the marine environment. Subsequently, these can be raised above sea level and be modified by continental processes, making it difficult to distinguish marine or partially marine solution features form those of traditional subaerial origin.

  4. Solonker ophiolite in Inner Mongolia, China: A late Permian continental margin-type ophiolite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Zhi-wen; Xu, Bei; Shi, Guan-zhong; Zhao, Pan; Faure, M.; Chen, Yan

    2016-09-01

    The Solonker ophiolite is exposed along the border between Mongolia and China within the Solonker zone, the southeastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), and it is composed dominantly of serpentinized peridotite with subordinate gabbro, basaltic lava, radiolarian-bearing siliceous rocks, and minor plagiogranite. Meanwhile, layered mafic-ultramafic cumulates are not ubiquitous. In this study, zircon grains from two gabbros and a plagiogranite yield 206Pb/238U ages of 259 ± 6 Ma, 257 ± 3 Ma and 263 ± 1 Ma. These data were interpreted to represent the formation age of the Solonker ophiolite. The studied gabbros and basalts have a tholeiitic composition, showing a MORB affinity. They are also characterized by enrichment of Pb and depletion of Nb relative to La and Th. Furthermore, the studied gabbros contain inherited zircon grains and display a large range of zircon Hf isotopes (εHf(t) = - 5.27 to + 10.19). These features imply that crustal contamination played an important role in the generation of these mafic rocks. Major elements derived from the radiolarian-bearing siliceous rocks suggest a continental margin setting. This is confirmed by rock association. Terrigenous rocks (sandstones and siltstones) interstratified with siliceous rocks. U-Pb dating of detrital zircon grains in sandstones from both the northern and southern sides of the Solonker ophiolite belt, along with published data, reveals that the Late Carboniferous-Early Permian strata in fault contact with the Solonker ophiolite was deposited above Early Paleozoic orogens. The lines of petrological, geochemical, geochronological, and isotopic evidence led us to propose that the Solonker ophiolite is a Late Permian continental margin-type body formed during the early stages of opening of an ocean basin, following rifting and break-up of the Early Paleozoic orogens. Accordingly, the Permian Solonker zone is characterized by an intra-continental extensional setting.

  5. Distribution of deep-water corals along the North American continental margins: Relationships with environmental factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryan, Tanya L.; Metaxas, Anna

    2006-12-01

    Despite the increasing attention to assemblages of deep-water corals in the past decade, much of this research has been focused on documenting and enumerating associated fauna. However, an understanding of the distribution of most species of coral and the ecological processes associated with these assemblages is still lacking. In this study, we qualitatively and quantitatively described the habitats of two families of deep-water corals in relation to six oceanographic factors (depth, slope, temperature, current, chlorophyll a concentration and substrate) on the Pacific and Atlantic Continental Margins of North America (PCM and ACM study areas, respectively). This study focused primarily on the distributions of Primnoidae and Paragorgiidae because of the large number of documented occurrences. For each environmental factor, deep-water coral locations were compared to the surrounding environment using χ2 tests. On both continental margins, coral locations were found to be not randomly distributed within the study areas, but were within specific ranges for most environmental factors. In the PCM study area, Paragorgiidae and Primnoidae locations were found in areas with slopes ranging from 0° to 10.0°, temperature from -2.0 to 11.0 °C and currents from 0 to 143 cm s -1. In the ACM study area, Paragorgiidae and Primnoidae locations were found in areas with slopes ranging from 0° to 1.4°, temperature ranging from 0 to 11.0 °C and currents ranging from 0 to 207 cm s -1. Although the patterns in habitat characteristics were similar, differences existed between families with respect to particular environmental factors. In both study areas, most environmental parameters in locations where corals occurred were significantly different from the average values of these parameters as determined with χ2 tests ( p<0.05) except for substrate in Paragorgiidae locations and depth in Primnoidae locations on the PCM. This is the first study to show coral distributional patterns

  6. The Hamburg klippe: Record of the destruction of the proto-North American continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Lash, G.G. . Dept. of Geosciences)

    1993-03-01

    The Hamburg klippe, a Taconic allochthon in the central Appalachian orogen of southeastern Pennsylvania, has long been in the focus of debate. Although initially interpreted by some to be either autochthonous or simply a facies of the parautochthonous Martinsburg Formation, essentially all workers now agree that rocks of the Hamburg klippe comprise a far-travelled sequence of deep-marine deposits thrust onto the proto-North American platform in Ordovician time. The klippe is composed of two tectonic slices that contain rocks that formed in very different tectonic environments. The structurally lowest slice, the Greenwich slice, is interpreted to be an ancient subduction complex that formed in Cambrian-Ordovician time. This slice consists chiefly of turbidite sandstone and hemipelagic mudstone of Middle Ordovician age (85%) underlain by relatively thin sequences of red and light-green pelagic mudstone, deep-water limestone and chert of Early to Middle Ordovician age (14%). The vertical stratigraphy of the deposits of the Greenwich slice is interpreted to reflect migration of a site on oceanic lithosphere from an abyssal plain setting toward and ultimately into a trench southeast of the proto-North American continental margin by Middle Ordovician time. The tectonically highest slice, the Richmond slice, is composed predominantly of Middle Ordovician carbonate turbidites and black shale interpreted to have accumulated on the subsiding proto-North American continental margin as it approached the trench to the southeast. Eventually the Richmond slice was thrust to the northwest over the subduction complex which was, by this time, on the continental platform. Similar rock types in other allochthons in the Appalachian orogen may reflect an analogous mode of origin.

  7. Lithoprobe east: marine deep seismic reflection results across the Appalachians and the rifted continental margin northeast of Newfoundland

    SciTech Connect

    Keen, C.E.; Stockmal, G.S.; O'Brien, S.J.; Quinlan, G.

    1985-01-01

    Marine deep seismic reflection data have been collected across the Appalachian Orogen and the rifted continental margin northeast of Newfoundland. Results across the Appalachian Orogen show the extent of the ancient Grenvillian passive margin beneath the terranes to the east, the nature of terrane boundaries at depth, and the relationships between surface geological features and the seismically defined crustal geometry. The results across the rifted margin define a decollement zone below the faulted continental basement. These basement fault blocks do not exhibit a listric geometry. The continental crust thins beneath the sedimentary basins occupying the rifted margin, although there does not appear to be a simple relationship between crustal thickness and basin subsidence. The ocean-continent transition is marked by a landward dip of the oceanic crust which disappears below the thinned continental crust near the transition. The ocean-continent boundary is not a vertical boundary between crustal types, rather there appears to be continuity of oceanic-type crust below the continent, perhaps forming a high velocity lower crustal layer across the continental margin.

  8. Anomalous Subsidence at Rifted Continental Margins: Distinguishing Mantle Dynamic Topography from Anomalous Oceanic Crustal Thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2012-12-01

    It has been proposed that some continental rifted margins have anomalous subsidence histories and that at breakup they were elevated at shallower bathymetries than the isostatic response of classical rift models (McKenzie 1978) would predict. The existence of anomalous syn or post breakup subsidence of this form would have important implications for our understanding of the geodynamics of continental breakup and rifted continental margin formation, margin subsidence history and the evolution of syn and post breakup depositional systems. We have investigated three rifted continental margins; the Gulf of Aden, Galicia Bank and the Gulf of Lions, to determine whether the oceanic crust in the ocean-continent transition of these margins has present day anomalous subsidence and if so, whether it is caused by mantle dynamic topography or anomalous oceanic crustal thickness. Residual depth anomalies (RDA) corrected for sediment loading, using flexural backstripping and decompaction, have been calculated by comparing observed and age predicted oceanic bathymetries in order to identify anomalous oceanic bathymetry and subsidence at these margins. Age predicted bathymetric anomalies have been calculated using the thermal plate model predictions from Crosby & McKenzie (2009). Non-zero sediment corrected RDAs may result from anomalous oceanic crustal thickness with respect to the global average, or from mantle dynamic uplift. Positive RDAs may result from thicker than average oceanic crust or mantle dynamic uplift; negative RDAs may result from thinner than average oceanic crust or mantle dynamic subsidence. Gravity inversion incorporating a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction and sediment thickness from 2D seismic data has been used to determine Moho depth and oceanic crustal basement thickness. The reference Moho depths used in the gravity inversion have been calibrated against seismic refraction Moho depths. The gravity inversion crustal basement thicknesses

  9. Structure and Development Processes of the Sediment Ridges on the Continental Rise off the Prydz Bay Margin, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Z.; Yang, C.; Gao, J.; Ji, F.

    2015-12-01

    Several sediment ridges (SRs) are located on the continental slope and rise off the Prydz Bay margin, East Antarctica. These SRs contain the history of the regional glacial movements and bottom current activities. Multichannel seismic reflection data and bathymetric data in this region have been interpreted to know the planar distribution, cross-section structures along strike, and the formation and development processes of the SRs. Based on the above work, two different groups of the SRs have been identified. The first one includes two SRs which were asymmetric levees on both sides of the Wild Canyon in the western part of the study area. The second one includes SRs in the eastern part of the study area whose formation and development are closely related to the local, diachronous hiatuses generated by the turbidity flow. The onset time of the turbidity activities in different canyons are not concurrent. For Wild Canyon in the west, the onset time is P1, which is the base of the glaciomarine deposit on the continental rise, while for Wilkins and Murray Canyon in the east, it is a later time P3 (~26.1 Ma), which represents an expansion of the glaciers in Prydz Bay area. All the canyons and the turbidity currents within them both extend seaward with time and so does the consequent SRs. In the areas north of the seaward edge of the SRs, large deep-sea sediment waves consisting of fine-grain sediments supplied mainly by down-slope turbidity currents were generated under westward-flowing bottom currents.

  10. Geology and tectonic development of the continental margin north of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, A.; Eittreim, S.; Dinter, D.A.

    1979-01-01

    The continental margin north of Alaska, as interpreted from seismic reflection profiles, is of the Atlantic type and consists of three sectors of contrasting structure and stratigraphy. The Chukchi sector, on the west, is characterized by the deep late Mesozoic and Tertiary North Chukchi basin and the Chukchi Continental Borderland. The Barrow sector of central northern Alaska is characterized by the Barrow arch and a moderately thick continental terrace build of Albian to Tertiary clastic sediment. The terrace sedimentary prism is underlain by lower Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks. The Barter Island sector of northeastern Alaska and Yukon Territory is inferred to contain a very thick prism of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary marine and nonmarine clastic sediment. Its structure is dominated by a local deep Tertiary depocenter and two regional structural arches. We postulate that the distinguishing characteristics of the three sectors are inherited from the configuration of the rift that separated arctic Alaska from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago relative to old pre-rift highlands, which were clastic sediment sources. Where the rift lay relatively close to northern Alaska, in the Chukchi and Barter Island sectors, and locally separated Alaska from the old source terranes, thick late Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary prisms extend farther south beneath the continental shelf than in the intervening Barrow sector. The boundary between the Chukchi and Barrow sectors is relatively well defined by geophysical data, but the boundary between the Barrow and Barter Island sectors can only be inferred from the distribution and thickness of Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. These boundaries may be extensions of oceanic fracture zones related to the rifting that is postulated to have opened the Canada Basin, probably beginning during the Early Jurassic. ?? 1979.