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Sample records for rift oblicuo aplicaciones

  1. North Sea rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, P. A.

    1992-07-01

    The Mesozoic North Sea rift forms an integral part of the Arctic-North Atlantic rift system. Rifting activity in the North Sea commenced during the earliest Triassic. During the mid-Jurassic the central North Sea underwent a temporary doming stage. Crustal extension peaked during the Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous, abated subsequently and terminated altogether during the Paleocene. The saucer-shaped Cenozoic post-rift basin straddles the axis of the Viking and Central grabens. This speaks for the applicability of a depth dependent pure shear model rather than a simple shear model. Geophysical data indicate an important discrepancy between upper and lower crustal attenuation across the North Sea rift, suggesting that during rifting processes the Mono-discontinuity was seriously destabilized. This requires a basic modification of currently favoured crustal stretching models.

  2. East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

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

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

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

  3. Volcanism at rifts

    SciTech Connect

    White, R.S.; McKenzie, D.P.

    1989-07-01

    The earth's outer shell rifts continuously, stretching and splitting both on the ocean's floor and on continents. Every 30 million years or so the rifting becomes cataclysmic, releasing continent-size floods of magma. This paper explains that the same mechanism is at work in both cases, the difference being in the slightly hotter temperature of the parent mantle for spectacular volcanic outbursts. Two kinds of evidence are described: quantitative descriptions of rock melting and a wide range of observations made on the rifted edges of continents and in the oceans that have opened between them.

  4. Geometry of propagating continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, W.

    1985-08-01

    The general three-dimensional character of young and aborted continental rifts, which can be used to derive a structural model for the propagation of rifts in continental lithosphere, is described. The rifts become asymmetric as a consequence of the role played by low-angle normal faults in the overall rift geometry. Geometries which may be responsible for the detachments that are thought to underlie rifts are discussed.

  5. Continental rifting: a planetary perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Muehlberger, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    The only inner planet that has abundant evidence of regional extension, and the consequent generation of rifts in the earth. The absence of plate motion on the other inner planets limits their rifts to localized bulges or subsidence areas. The rifting of oceanic lithosphere is seldom preserved in the geological record. Thus, such rifting must be inferred via plate tectonic interpretation: if there is rifting, then there must be subduction whose results are commonly well preserved. Modern continental rifts are found in many tectonic settings: continental breakup, extension transverse to collisional stresses, or wide regions of nearly uniform extension. Recognition of these settings in older rocks becomes more difficult the farther back in geologic time you travel. Rift basin fillings typically show rapid lateral and vertical facies and thickness changes, bimodal volcanism, and distinctive rift-drift sequences. Proterozoic rifts and aulacogens are well-documented in North America; ex. Keweenawan, western margin of Labrador fold belt, Belt-Uinta and the Wopmay-Athapuscow regions. Documented Archean rifts are rare. In Quebec, the truncated margin of the Minto craton bounded on the south by a 2.8 Ga greenstone belt implies an earlier rift event. The oldest proposed rift dated at 3.0 Ga contains the Pongola Supergroup in southeastern Africa. The presence of Archean dikes demonstrates a rigid crust and andesites as old as 3.5 Ga imply plate tectonics and thus, at least, oceanic rifting.

  6. Intracontinental Rifts As Glorious Failures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke, K.

    2012-12-01

    Rifts: "Elongate depressions overlying places where the lithosphere has ruptured in extension" develop in many environments because rocks are weak in extension (Sengor 2nd edn. Springer Encycl. Solid Earth Geophys.). I focus on intra-continental rifts in which the Wilson Cycle failed to develop but in which that failure has led to glory because rocks and structures in those rifts throw exceptional light on how Earth's complex continental evolution can operate: The best studied record of human evolution is in the East African Rift; The Ventersdorp rifts (2.7 Ga) have yielded superb crustal-scale rift seismic reflection records; "Upside-down drainage" (Sleep 1997) has guided supra-plume-head partial melt into older continental rifts leading Deccan basalt of ~66Ma to erupt into a Late Paleozoic (~ 300Ma) rift and the CAMP basalts of ~201 Ma into Ladinian, ~230 Ma, rifts. Nepheline syenites and carbonatites, which are abundant in rifts that overlie sutures in the underlying mantle lithosphere, form by decompression melting of deformed nepheline syenites and carbonatites ornamenting those sutures (Burke et al.2003). Folding, faulting and igneous episodes involving decompression melting in old rifts can relate to collision at a remote plate margin (Guiraud and Bosworth 1997, Dewey and Burke 1974) or to passage of the rift over a plume generation zone (PGZ Burke et al.2008) on the Core Mantle Boundary (e.g.Lake Ellen MI kimberlites at ~206 Ma).

  7. Rift Valley Fever Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a disease of animals and humans that occurs in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A Phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae causes the disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Epidemics occur during years of unusually heavy rainfall that assessment models are being develo...

  8. Volcanism at Rifts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Robert S.; McKenzie, Dan P.

    1989-01-01

    Investigates the nature of catastrophic volcanism and the rifting process. Describes two kinds of evidence: quantitative descriptions of rock melting and a wide range of observations. Discusses examples of continent growth in the North Atlantic, India and the Seychelles islands, and the South Atlantic. (YP)

  9. Continental rifting - Progress and outlook

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, B.H.; Morgan, P.

    1981-07-21

    It is noted that in spite of the flood of new data on continental rifts in the last 15 years, there is little consensus about the basic mechanisms and causes of rifting. The remarkable similarities in rift cross sections (shown in a figure), are considered to suggest that the anomalous lithospheric structure of rifts is more dependent on lithosphere properties than the mode of rifting. It is thought that there is a spectrum of rifting processes for which two fundamental mechanisms can be postulated: an active mechanism, whereby thermal energy is transmitted into the lithosphere from the underlying asthenosphere, and a passive mechanism by which mechanical energy is transmitted laterally through the lithosphere as a consequence of plate interactions at a distance. In order to permit the concept of the two fundamentally different mechanisms to be tested, a tentative classification is proposed that divides rifts into two basic categories: active rifting and passive rifting. Here, the magnitude of active rifting will depend on the rate at which lithosphere moves over the thermal source, with rifts being restricted to stationary or slow-moving plates.

  10. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

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

  11. Rift Valley fever.

    PubMed

    Paweska, J T

    2015-08-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic viral disease affecting domestic and wild ruminants, camels and humans. The causative agent of RVF, the RVF virus (RVFV), has the capacity to cause large and severe outbreaks in animal and human populations and to cross significant natural geographic barriers. Rift Valley fever is usually inapparent in non-pregnant adult animals, but pregnant animals and newborns can be severely affected; outbreaks are characterised by a sudden onset of abortions and high neonatal mortality. The majority of human infections are subclinical or associated with moderate to severe, non-fatal, febrile illness, but some patients may develop a haemorrhagic syndrome and/or ocular and neurological lesions. In both animals and humans, the primary site of RVFV replication and tissue pathology is the liver. Outbreaks of RVF are associated with persistent high rainfalls leading to massive flooding and the emergence of large numbers of competent mosquito vectors that transmit the virus to a wide range of susceptible vertebrate species. Outbreaks of RVF have devastating economic effects on countries for which animal trade constitutes the main source of national revenue. The propensity of the virus to spread into new territories and re-emerge in traditionally endemic regions, where it causes large outbreaks in human and animal populations, presents a formidable challenge for public and veterinary health authorities. The presence of competent mosquito vectors in RVF-free countries, the wide range of mammals susceptible to the virus, altering land use, the global changes in climate, and increased animal trade and travel are some of the factors which might contribute to international spread of RVF. PMID:26601442

  12. Cenozoic rifting in the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  13. Cenozoic rifting in the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  14. Rift basins - Origin, history, and distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke, K. C.

    1985-05-01

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

  15. The geometry of propagating rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenzie, Dan

    1986-03-01

    The kinematics of two different processes are investigated, both of which have been described as rift propagation. Courtillot uses this term to describe the change from distributed to localised extension which occurs during the early development of an ocean basin. The term localisation is instead used here to describe this process, to distinguish it from Hey's type of propagation. Localisation generally leads to rotation of the direction of magnetisation. To Hey propagation means the extension of a rift into the undeformed plate beyond a transform fault. Detail surveys of the Galapagos rift have shown that the propagating and failing rifts are not connected by a single transform fault, but by a zone which is undergoing shear. The principal deformation is simple shear, and the kinematics of this deformation are investigated in some detail. The strike of most of the lineations observed in the area can be produced by such deformation. The mode of extension on the propagating rift appears to be localised for some periods but to be distributed for others. Neither simple kinematic arguments nor stretching of the lithosphere with conservation of crust can account for the observed variations in water depth.

  16. The East African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chorowicz, Jean

    2005-10-01

    This overview paper considers the East African rift system (EARS) as an intra-continental ridge system, comprising an axial rift. It describes the structural organization in three branches, the overall morphology, lithospheric cross-sections, the morphotectonics, the main tectonic features—with emphasis on the tension fractures—and volcanism in its relationships with the tectonics. The most characteristic features in the EARS are narrow elongate zones of thinned continental lithosphere related to asthenospheric intrusions in the upper mantle. This hidden part of the rift structure is expressed on the surface by thermal uplift of the rift shoulders. The graben valleys and basins are organized over a major failure in the lithospheric mantle, and in the crust comprise a major border fault, linked in depth to a low angle detachment fault, inducing asymmetric roll-over pattern, eventually accompanied by smaller normal faulting and tilted blocks. Considering the kinematics, divergent movements caused the continent to split along lines of preexisting lithospheric weaknesses marked by ancient tectonic patterns that focus the extensional strain. The hypothesis favored here is SE-ward relative divergent drifting of a not yet well individualized Somalian plate, a model in agreement with the existence of NW-striking transform and transfer zones. The East African rift system comprises a unique succession of graben basins linked and segmented by intracontinental transform, transfer and accommodation zones. In an attempt to make a point on the rift system evolution through time and space, it is clear that the role of plume impacts is determinant. The main phenomenon is formation of domes related to plume effect, weakening the lithosphere and, long after, failure inducing focused upper mantle thinning, asthenospheric intrusion and related thermal uplift of shoulders. The plume that had formed first at around 30 Ma was not in the Afar but likely in Lake Tana region (Ethiopia), its almost 1000 km diameter panache weakening the lithosphere and preparing the later first rifting episode along a preexisting weak zone, a Pan-African suture zone bordering the future Afar region. From the Afar, the rift propagated afterward from north to south on the whole, with steps of local lithospheric failure nucleations along preexisting weak zones. These predisposed lines are mainly suture zones, in which partial activation of low angle detachment faults reworked former thrust faults verging in opposite directions, belonging to double verging ancient belts. This is responsible for eventual reversal in rift asymmetry from one basin to the next. Supposing the plume migrated southward, or other plumes emplaced, the rift could propagate following former weaknesses, even outside areas influenced by plumes. This view of rift formation reconciles the classical models: active plume effect triggered the first ruptures; passive propagations of failure along lithospheric scale weak zones were responsible for the onset of the main rift segments. Various other aspects are shortly considered, such as tectonics and sedimentation, and relationships of the 'cradle of Mankind' with human evolution. By its size, structure and occurrence of oceanic lithosphere in the Afar, the EARS can be taken as a model of the prelude of oceanic opening inside a continent.

  17. Structural style of the Turkana Rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-03-01

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

  18. Cenozoic rift formation in the northern Caribbean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mann, P.; Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

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

  19. Parga Chasma: Coronae and Rifting on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Magmatism in rifting and basin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thybo, H.

    2008-12-01

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

  1. The diverging volcanic rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tibaldi, A.; Bonali, F. L.; Corazzato, C.

    2014-01-01

    Eruptions and volcano internal growth are mostly fed by dykes. The comprehension of the control factors on dyke paths is fundamental for the assessment of areas prone to vent formation and to the general understanding of how volcanoes work. We analyse an understudied magma path system; field data of nine volcanoes show they have a rectilinear rift zone in the central part passing into fan-arranged dykes at the two opposite volcano flanks. The geological, geomorphological and structural characteristics of these volcanoes and their substrate suggest that the formation of these "diverging rifts" is not specifically linked to substrate lithology and mechanical behaviour. The studied volcanoes have elongation < 0.88 and V > 10 km3 (mostly > 300 km3). Eight volcanoes have the central rift that is normal to the regional tectonic least principal stress (?3reg) and in one case it is sub-perpendicular. Field data have been combined with scaled analogue modelling, suggesting that if the ?3reg is oblique to the volcano elongation axis, dyke geometry in the edifice axial zone is controlled by elongation and thus by local gravity ?3, but dyke strike becomes perpendicular to ?3reg when dykes intrude the more external areas of the volcano. If a dyke is injected under the volcano flanks with slope inclination > 50°, it attains a geometry parallel to the slope. At lower slope inclinations at the edifice terminations, magma paths diverge outwards and crosscut slopes at high angle. Our data are in agreement with the assumption that regional tectonic stresses can affect large volcanoes up to the summit area guiding the development of a rectilinear thoroughgoing rift, both in extensional and transtensional regimes. The diverging pattern takes place due to reorientation of the local stress field guided by topography only when dyke inception localizes laterally respect to the edifice axis.

  2. Uplift history of rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wijk, Jolante; Meyer, Romain; Coblentz, David

    2013-04-01

    Rifted continent margins form after stretching and thinning of continental lithosphere. This process is predicted to result in subsidence and sediment deposition. A compilation of rifted margins of the world shows that margins undergo a phase of uplift starting just prior to rupture. This uplift ranges from ~500 m to ~2000 m, and is found on all margins, both magmatic and magma-starved. After breakup subsidence resumes, but may be interrupted by later periods of (relative) uplift. The uplift changes the lateral distribution of potential energy of the lithosphere, increasing deviatoric tension and facilitating breakup. We investigated processes that could be responsible for the observed uplift around the time of continent rupture. Dynamic uplift by mantle flow only contributes several hundred meters to the uplift. Phase transitions in the shallow mantle may theoretically result in up to 1 km of uplift. Isostatic calculations suggest that removal of mantle lithosphere is a necessary and effective mechanism for the observed uplift. The combination of mantle phase transitions and a very thin mantle lid produces an excess potential energy state and a positive geoid anomaly, and leads to tensional forces favorable for rupture. We propose a new model for continental rupture which includes removal of mantle lithosphere (by detachment or instabilities). Observations of depth-dependent thinning on rifted margins and geochemical data support the model.

  3. Rift reactivation and migration during multiphase extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naliboff, John; Buiter, Susanne J. H.

    2015-07-01

    Passive margins may undergo multiple phases of extension with distinct structural, petrological and sedimentary processes before achieving breakup. Observations of rift axis migration through time may reflect cooling, hardening and subsequent abandonment of the rift axis during either long-term periods of slow extension or periods of tectonic quiescence. Here, we use 2D thermo-mechanical numerical models to examine rift reactivation and migration during multiphase extension where a period of tectonic quiescence separates phases of extension. Our goals are to identify the rheological mechanism(s) controlling rift reactivation versus migration and determine if cooling phases may help explain recent interpretations of passive margin architecture and evolution. Our numerical experiments indicate that the relative integrated brittle strength between the initial rift and surrounding regions, rather than the total integrated strength, largely controls rift reactivation versus migration. The tectonic quiescence (cooling) duration required to induce rift migration ranges between 20 and 60 Myr (minimum bounds). This range reflects variations in extension velocity, magnitude of shear zone healing, crustal rheology and asthenospheric rheology. Reactivated rifts after extensive (>20 Myr) cooling periods in some cases develop asymmetric margins with deformation patterns stepping toward the future rift, such as characterizing most of the Atlantic conjugate margins.

  4. Unloading-Driven Off-Rift Distribution of Volcanism in Rift Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivalta, E.; Maccaferri, F.; Keir, D.; Acocella, V.

    2014-12-01

    Prolonged extension of the continents results in deep elongated rift valleys at the surface and a rift-centered magma ponding zones at the crust-mantle boundary. The ascending magma sometimes erupts to the surface producing volcanism both in the rift valley, or counterintuitively, at off-rift volcanic fields offset by tens of kilometers from the source of magma at depth. The driving forces behind the off-rift surface distribution of magmatism remain enigmatic. Here we demonstrate, with numerical boundary element models of dyke propagation, that the gravitational unloading induced by crustal thinning and rift border faulting can steer dykes away from the deep magma ponding zone towards the rift sides, eventually causing eruptions at tens of kilometers outside the rift border. Furthermore, our models predict the formation of stacked magmatic sills in the lower crust above the magma ponding zone, and the along-rift propagation of shallow dykes in rifting events. Gravitational unloading, which facilitates decompression melting of the asthenosphere, is fundamental in controlling the transfer of magma from depth to the surface. Our predictions are consistent with the location and shape of intrusions, as well as the distribution of volcanism from rift zones around the Earth.

  5. The origin of along-rift variations in faulting and magmatism in the Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keir, Derek; Bastow, Ian D.; Corti, Giacomo; Mazzarini, Francesco; Rooney, Tyrone O.

    2015-03-01

    The geological record at rifts and margins worldwide often reveals considerable along-strike variations in volumes of extruded and intruded igneous rocks. These variations may be the result of asthenospheric heterogeneity, variations in rate, and timing of extension; alternatively, preexisting plate architecture and/or the evolving kinematics of extension during breakup may exert first-order control on magmatism. The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) in East Africa provides an excellent opportunity to address this dichotomy: it exposes, along strike, several sectors of asynchronous rift development from continental rifting in the south to incipient oceanic spreading in the north. Here we perform studies of volcanic cone density and rift obliquity along strike in the MER. By synthesizing these new data in light of existing geophysical, geochemical, and petrological constraints on magma generation and emplacement, we are able to discriminate between tectonic and mantle geodynamic controls on the geological record of a newly forming magmatic rifted margin. The timing of rift sector development, the three-dimensional focusing of melt, and the ponding of plume material where the rift dramatically narrows each influence igneous intrusion and volcanism along the MER. However, rifting obliquity plays an important role in localizing intrusion into the crust beneath en echelon volcanic segments. Along-strike variations in volumes and types of igneous rocks found at rifted margins thus likely carry information about the development of strain during rifting, as well as the physical state of the convecting mantle at the time of breakup.

  6. Magmatic Versus Amagmatic Rifting in the East African Rift System from Pn and Sn Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donnell, J. P.; Nyblade, A.

    2014-12-01

    Geodynamic models of rifting currently rely on the mechanism of hot mantle upwelling and decompressional melting to weaken lithospheric rock to the degree that rifting can initiate. However, many rift segments worldwide are apparently amagmatic. The East African Rift System is a prime example, with large sections of the system subaerially amagmatic. We seek to address the question of whether these apparently amagmatic rift segments merely lack a surficial expression of magmatism which exists at depth, or whether rifting is genuinely amagmatic. Based on regional earthquakes recorded by the Tanzania Broadband Seismic Experiment, the Kenya Broadband Seismic Experiment, the AfricaArray East African Seismic Experiment and several permanent GSN stations, we probe for uppermost mantle melt signatures along the East African Rift System using P- and S-wave speed ratios derived from Pn and Sn tomography. Pn- and Sn-velocity models, and their ratio which can be diagnostic of the presence of fluids, will be presented.

  7. Evidence of Ancient Rifts Beneath Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irie, K.; Velasco, A. A.

    2011-12-01

    Continental rifts are defined as geological features where Earth's lithosphere is pulled away by surface expansion of the Earth. Their physiographic features include linear rift valleys associated with active volcanism. Many rifts fail to split a continent and ancient rifts that failed to split can be found by using seismic waves to image these ancient structures. Using seismic data collected by EarthScope USArray stations in Texas, we calculate teleseismic receiver functions and utilized surface wave dispersion curves to simultaneously invert for the velocity structure beneath each seismic station. With the calculated receiver functions, we generate maps to show preliminary 3-D crust/upper mantle boundary structure, the velocity ratio of P and S waves, and the S-wave velocity structure. We expect to characterize the ancient rift zones that exist in Texas and compare these results with the Rio Grande Rift in New Mexico. The goal for this comparison is to determine whether Rio Grande rift is still active or doomed to be another failed rift.

  8. Rift Valley Fever in Namibia, 2010

    PubMed Central

    Monaco, Federica; Pinoni, Chiara; Khaiseb, Siegfried; Calistri, Paolo; Molini, Umberto; Bishi, Alec; Conte, Annamaria; Scacchia, Massimo; Lelli, Rossella

    2013-01-01

    During May–July 2010 in Namibia, outbreaks of Rift Valley fever were reported to the National Veterinary Service. Analysis of animal specimens confirmed virus circulation on 7 farms. Molecular characterization showed that all outbreaks were caused by a strain of Rift Valley fever virus closely related to virus strains responsible for outbreaks in South Africa during 2009–2010. PMID:24274469

  9. Volcanic rift zones and their intrusion swarms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, George P. L.

    1999-12-01

    Most volcanoes have rift zones, underlain by swarms of dykes or other minor intrusions. This paper reviews the subject and presents some new data and ideas. It plots rift zone width against length for different volcano types, and finds that the zones on strato- and central volcanoes are on the whole narrower and shorter than on other types. Among the longest and narrowest zones are those on Hawaiian shield volcanoes; there are several reasons for the focussing. Hawaiian rift zones however become diffuse when volcanic activity declines. Monogenetic volcano fields include some that have clearly identifiable rift zones, and others that have vent-fields lacking fissures or dykes. Here the vent-field justifiably can be taken to proxy for a rift zone. The zones visited in several volcanic areas, (including the Azores and Samoa), are localised by deep crustal structures or tectonic activity, and often involve strike-slip faults. This paper then suggests how insertion of dykes could cause structural changes such as bending or initiation of a rift zone, and how departures from the "normal" balance between magma flux and extensional strain rate could determine whether rift zones are vertical or horizontal. This leads to a possible mechanism for the circumferential (annular) rift zones of some Galapagos volcanoes.

  10. Pre-rift basement structure and syn-rift faulting at the eastern onshore Gulf of Corinth Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kranis, Haralambos; Skourtsos, Emmanuel; Gawthorpe, Robert; Leeder, Mike; Stamatakis, Michael

    2015-04-01

    %B We present results of recent field-based research with a view to providing information about and constraints on the initiation and evolution of the Gulf of Corinth (GoC) Rift. The onshore geology and structure of the GoC rift has been studied intensively and extensively; however most research efforts have focused on the western and partly the central parts. The last few years, efforts are being made to extend the scope of research in less-studied areas, such as the eastern southern onshore part of the GoC rift, trying to address two major issues in rift initiation and evolution, namely syn-rift faulting and pre-rift basement structure. While fault spacing and length appears to be well-constrained for the western and central parts of the GoC Rift, further east -and especially in the uplifted onshore southern part- this is thought to increase dramatically, as there are practically no mapped faults. We argue, however, that this may be a false image, owing to (i) the difficulty in identifying fault structures within a thick, fairly monotonous syn-rift sequence; (ii) the lesser attention this part has drawn; and (ii) the fact that the published summary geological and tectonic maps of the GoC area are based on the dated geological maps that cover the eastern and northern onshore shoulders of the Rift. Moreover, new field data provide new information on pre-rift structure: while only the topmost thrust sheet of the Hellenide nappe stack (Pindos Unit) was thought to crop out at the eastern southern onshore part, we mapped the underlying, non-metamorphic carbonate Unit (Tripolis Unit), which crops out within the footwall of a key intra-basin block (Xylokastro block). A minor outcrop further east, may also belong to this Unit, providing basement control, in connection with recently published offshore fault data. The mapping of these outcrops, combined with a revised stratigraphical framework for the early syn-rift deposits, allows the identification and mapping of faults within this less studied area. Regarding the pre-rift basement structure, not only the known, or inferred, pre-rift heterogeneities along rift axis, but also ongoing lithospheric processes affect the evolution of the GoC Rift. The suggestion that the exposure of the deeper metamorphic Units at the southern border of the rift is related to an earlier (?Miocene) age, thus constituting an inherited structure, is at odds with results from geothermochronological data from the southern Peloponnesus and Kythira, which suggest that these Units lay at a depth of at least 4 km in the Middle ((?)Late) Miocene. This means that the metamorphic outcrops at the southern border of the GoC Rift are the product of a later (possibly Quaternary) process of uplift, probably resulting from localized N-S culmination, whose locus is in the central Peloponnesus. Moreover, current (and Upper Quaternary) uplift rates along the southern shoulder of the GoC may also be related to and/or reflect the uplift of the nappe pile including the lower, metamorphic basement Units.

  11. Cenozoic rift tectonics of the Japan Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Kimura, K.

    1988-08-01

    The Japan Sea is one of the back-arc basins in trench-arc systems bordering the western Pacific. Recent paleomagnetic works suggest the Japan Sea opened during early to middle Miocene. Radiometric and microfossil ages of the Cenozoic onland sequences in the Japanese Islands elucidate the rift tectonics of the Japan Sea. The rifting history is summarized as follows: nonmarine volcanic formations of prerift stage before 50 Ma, rift-onset unconformity at 40 Ma, nonmarine volcanic formations of synrift stage 20-33 Ma, breakup unconformity 19 Ma showing the opening of the Japan Sea, marine volcanic and sedimentary formations of synrift stage 14.5-18 Ma, beginning of regional subsidence 14.5 Ma corresponding to the end of the Japan Sea opening, marine sedimentary formations of postdrift stage after 14.5 Ma. Rifting is not limited to the synrift stage but is continued to the syndrift stage. Rifting led to a horst-and-graben structure. Thus, the Cenozoic onland sequences in the Japanese Islands are suited for a study of rift tectonics because the sequences were subaerially exposed by the late Miocene-Holocene island-arc tectonics. Rift tectonics cannot be studied as easily in most Atlantic-type passive margins.

  12. Investigation of rifting processes in the Rio Grande Rift using data from unusually large earthquake swarms

    SciTech Connect

    Sanford, A.; Balch, R.; House, L.; Hartse, H.

    1995-12-01

    San Acacia Swarm in the Rio Grande Rift. Because the Rio Grande rift is one of the best seismically instrumented rift zones in the world, studying its seismicity provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the active tectonic processes within continental rifts. We have been studying earthquake swarms recorded near Socorro in an effort to link seismicity directly to the rifting process. For FY94, our research has focused on the San Acacia swarm, which occurred 25 km north of Socorro, New Mexico, along the accommodation zone between the Albuquerque-Belen and Socorro basins of the central Rio Grande rift. The swarm commenced on 25 February 1983, had a magnitude 4.2 main shock on 2 March and ended on 17 March, 1983.

  13. Rapid spatio-temporal variations in rift zone deformation, Corinth rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nixon, Casey; McNeill, Lisa; Bull, Jonathan; Henstock, Timothy; Bell, Rebecca; Gawthorpe, Robert; Christodoulou, Dimitris; Kranis, Haris; Ferentinos, George; Papatheodorou, George; Taylor, Brian; Ford, Mary; Sakellariou, Dimitris; Leeder, Mike; Collier, Richard; Goodliffe, Andrew; Sachpazi, Maria

    2015-04-01

    The Gulf of Corinth is a young and highly active rift (<5 Ma) in its initial stages of development. An abundance of marine geophysical data and onshore exposures makes it an ideal case study for investigating early rift and fault development. Using a high resolution chronstratigraphic and rift fault model we investigate along strike variations in the basin development within the rift over the past 1-2 Myr and establishing a history of fault activity on major basin controlling faults, at temporal resolutions of ca. 100 kyr or less. We focus on variations in depocentre development and the distribution of displacement and faulting along and across the rift axis; focussing on the partitioning of deformation between N-dipping and S-dipping faults. The rift basin geometry has a complex history and varies spatially along strike of the rift. We highlight a major change in rift structure ca. 600 ka, changing from a complex rift zone to a uniform asymmetric graben. Syn-rift isochore maps identify two stages that accommodate this change: 1. a switch in rift polarity from a dominant N-thickening depocentre to a dominant S-thickening depocentre between ca. 620-420 ka (a rapid change in rift structure and strain distribution). This change is accommodated by transfer of activity between major faults but also by formation of numerous non-basement cutting small faults. 2. Progressive localization of deformation onto major N-dipping faults on the rift's southern margin. This is characterised by depocentre growth and linkage and increased activity on major N-dipping faults since ~340 ka, with faults becoming kinematically and geometrically linked with almost equal slip rates along strike by ca. 130 ka. Ultimately our results show that the early evolution of a rift fault network can be complex but that a dominant fault set eventually forms even in the earliest stages of rifting. Furthermore a switch in rift polarity is a progressive process with deformation becoming distributed before localizing onto a final dominant fault set, but this process can occur rapidly on a timescale of 100's kyr.

  14. Rift Zone Abandonment and Reconfiguration in Hawaii: Evidence from Mauna Loa’s Ninole Rift Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, J. K.; Park, J.; Zelt, C. A.

    2009-12-01

    Large oceanic volcanoes commonly develop elongate rift zones that disperse viscous magmas to the distal reaches of the edifice. Intrusion and dike propagation occur under tension perpendicular to the rift zone, controlled by topography, magmatic pressures, and deformation of the edifice. However, as volcanoes grow and interact, the controlling stress fields can change, potentially altering the orientations and activities of rift zones. This phenomenon is probably common, and can produce complex internal structures that influence the evolution of a volcano and its neighbors. However, little direct evidence for such rift zone reconfiguration exists, primarily due to poor preservation or recognition of earlier volcanic configurations. A new onshore-offshore 3-D seismic velocity model for the Island of Hawaii, derived from a joint tomographic inversion of an offshore airgun shot - onshore receiver geometry and earthquake sources beneath the island, demonstrates a complicated history of rift zone reconfiguration on Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii, including wholesale rift zone abandonment. Mauna Loa’s southeast flank contains a massive high velocity intrusive complex, now buried beneath flows derived from Mauna Loa’s active southwest rift zone (SWRZ). Introduced here as the Ninole Rift Zone, this feature extends more than 60 km south of Mauna Loa’s summit, spans a depth range of ~2-14 km below sea level, and is the probable source of the 100-200 ka Ninole volcanics in several prominent erosional hills. A lack of high velocities beneath the upper SWRZ and its separate zone of high velocities on the submarine flank, indicate that the younger rift zone was built upon a pre-existing edifice that emanated from the Ninole rift zone. The ancient Ninole rift zone may stabilize Mauna Loa’s southeast flank, focusing recent volcanic activity and deformation onto the unbuttressed west flank. The upper portion of the Ninole rift zone appears to have migrated westward over time, possibly triggered by landsliding, causing its eventual abandonment in preference to Mauna Loa’s present-day SWRZ. Subsequently, the lower SWRZ broke away, tracking rift intrusions along the trace of the Kahuku detachment fault. Similar rift zone migration is thought to be underway at Kilauea volcano, and may one-day lead to the abandonment of the east rift zone. Such rift zone reconfiguration is a reflection of changing stress conditions within growing volcanoes. It is probably much more common than previously assumed, and may enable the growth of very large volcanic edifices such as Mauna Loa.

  15. The synrift subsidence deficit at rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reston, T.

    2009-04-01

    Across rifted margins, the prerift continental crust thins from ~ 30 km, reaching zero at the continent-ocean transition (COT) beyond which either oceanic crust or unroofed mantle forms top basement. As a result of the crustal thinning, considerable subsidence is both expected and observed. However at several margins, subsidence appears to have occurred largely after rather than during rifting. Examples of such behaviour described in the literature include the West Iberia margin, the salt basins of the South Atlantic, and the Exmouth Plateau margin. This synrift subsidence deficit can be explained by crustal depth-dependent stretching, in which much of the crust is withdrawn after the end of rifting, but considerable problems arise with this model. They can however also be explained at magma-rich margins by thermal uplift during rifting, the addition of igneous intrusions to the lithosphere during rifting, and the partial depletion of the mantle. At magma-poor margins, mantle serpentinization has a similar effect, although as serpentinization can only occur once the entire curst has become brittle, this is likely to be important only at high degrees of stretching. An alternative explanation may be the influx of asthenosphere warmer than the relatively cool sublithospheric mantle observed beneath several continents and which is one explanation for the lack of melt at many rifted margins. These different models would thus imply some modification to the McKenzie model for lithospheric stretching, arising because of the geodynamic processes accompanying continental breakup. But it is also possible that synrift subsidence has been systematically underestimated if local water level was substantially below global sealevel. The presence of thick evaporites at many rifted margins indicates that this was true at the end of rifting. As rifting leading to continental breakup by definition occurs within a continent, it may be expected that the rift initially develops isolated from the global ocean, with consequently unusual salinities and water levels very different from global sealevel. In summary, there are thus several explanations for the synrift subsidence discrepancy which are to be expected at rifted margins formed during continental breakup.

  16. Geodynamics of the Shanxi Rift system, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiwei; Ma, Xingyuan

    1992-07-01

    The Pliocene-Quaternary Shanxi Rift system of northern China transsects the domal axis of the Shanxi Highlands and is defined by an S-shaped string of asymmetric basins, extending from Huailai-Yanqing in the north via Taiyuan to Yuncheng in the south. This rift system has a length of about 1200 km and a width of 20-80 km; it is characterized by strong earthquakes. Its central, NNE-trending, transtensional segment forms the main element of the Shanxi Rift system. Basin subsidence commenced during the early Pliocene along NNE oriented master-faults characterized by large strike-slip rates (5.68-7 mm/yr); crustal extension amounts to some 1.4 km; basins are separated by push-up blocks; destructive earthquakes ( M = 7-8) are unevenly distributed. The ENE trending northern and southern branches of the Shanxi Rift system are characterized by orthogonal crustal extension along ENE striking normal faults, amounting to about 8 km; these areas are characterized by a basin-and-range type structural style and weak seismic activity. The Shanxi Rift system developed on a some 40 km thick, thermally cool Precambrian crustal segment that was overprinted during Mesozoic diastrophic events. There is only minor rift-related volcanic activity. The Moho is pulled up by a few kilometers only under the axial rift zone; sub-Moho compressional velocities are in the 8.0-8.1 km/s range. The Shanxi Rift system evolved in response to the build-up of regional stress fields related to the collision of India and Eurasia; its localization involved reactivation of pre-existing fracture systems.

  17. The 1974 Ethiopian rift geodimeter survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P.

    1977-01-01

    The field techniques and methods of data reduction for five successive geodimeter surveys in the Ethiopian rift valley are enlarged upon, with the considered conclusion that there is progressive accumulation of upper crustal strain, consonant with on-going rift extension. The extension is restricted to the Quaternary volcanotectonic axis of the rift, namely the Wonji fault belt, and is occurring at rates of 3 to 6 mm/yr in the northern sector of the rift valley. Although this concurs with the predictions of platetectonic analysis of the Afar triple junction, it is considered premature to endorse such a concurrence on the basis of only 5 years of observations. This is underlined by the detection of local tectonic contractions and expansions associated with geothermal and gravity anomalies in the central sector of the rift valley. There is a hint of a component of dextral slip along some of the rift-floor fault zones, both from geological evidence and from the strain patterns detected in the present geodetic surveys.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  19. Off-axis volcanism in the Gregory rift, east Africa: implications for models of continental rifting

    SciTech Connect

    Bosworth, W.

    1987-05-01

    The largest volcanic centers of the Gregory rift occur in two belts located 100 to 150 km east and west of the axis of the rift valley. These off-axis volcanic belts include the highest peaks on the continent of Africa and are interpreted to lie above the intersection of low-angle detachment systems with the base of a regionally thinned lithosphere. These detachment systems are manifested at the surface as a series of breakaway zones and regional bounding faults that produce subbasins with half-graben form. The asymmetry of subbasins alternates along the rift axis, indicating that the polarity of the underlying active detachment systems also reverses. The detachments are separated laterally by regional oblique-slip accommodation zones typified by wrench-style tectonism. Off-axis from the rift, the detachments are inferred to merge along strike as they cut to the base of the lithosphere. This results in irregular but persistent paired zones of volcanism and lithospheric thinning off-axis from the rift proper. The development of major volcanic cones such as Mount Kilimanjaro may be controlled by the interaction of leaky accommodation zones with the regions of structurally thinned lithosphere. The central Kenya hot spot has produced the anomalous quantities of volcanic material that fills the Gregory rift and probably enhances the off-axis volcanism but does not directly control its location. The model proposed here for tectonic controls of volcanism in the Gregory rift may be applicable to Phanerozoic continental rifts in general.

  20. Tomographic Imaging of the Northern Ethiopian Rift - a Transition From Continental to Oceanic Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastow, I.; Stuart, G.; Kendall, J.; Ebinger, C.; Ayele, A.

    2003-12-01

    The EAGLE broadband array consisted of 30 sensors distributed over an 250 km x 250 km area of the northern Ethiopian Rift in order to study the crust and upper mantle structure of a region of transition from continental to oceanic rifting. Analyses of teleseismic relative residual travel times indicate a variation of the order of 1 sec; slower arrivals to the NW of the Rift on the uplifted Ethiopian Plateau and faster arrivals to the SE towards the Somali plate. Tomographic inversion of 3614 P-wave and 800 S-wave relative arrival times using the method of VanDecar images a narrow ˜70 km wide low velocity upwelling (1.5% P-wave velocity anomaly), well resolved to 300 km beneath the Rift in the southern part of the array. This anomaly broadens with depth northwards into Afar as asthenospheric (oceanic) rifting processes begin to take over from the lithospheric (continental) ones prevalent in the south. An off-rift axis E-W low velocity anomaly just south of Addis Ababa corresponds to the surface manifestation of a line of Quarternary volcanoes. Interestingly the maximum upper mantle low velocity anomaly is offset by about 25 km to the NW from the location of rift magmatic segments. S-wave anomalies show a similar rift structure to the P-wave results but are of twice the magnitude.

  1. Rift initiation with volatiles and magma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Off rift and on rift volcanism along the southern most extremity of the Reykjanes Ridge.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoskuldsson, Armann; Martinez, Fernando; Hey, Richard

    2014-05-01

    In August-September 2013 R/V Marcus G Langseth conducted a geophysical survey of the southern Reykjanes Ridge and flanks to the Bight transform fault including the first orthogonally spreading segment to the south. The objectives were to better understand how the Reykjanes Ridge replaced the earlier transform fault-dominated structure. The survey acquired full-coverage multibeam bathymetry of some 90,000 km2 and acoustic backscatter imagery and coincident gravity and magnetic profiles. The Rift axis of the RR is defined by a rift valley, striking 36° NE, and deepens from N to S towards the Bight transform fault. Volcanism along the rift axis is characterized by en-echelon volcanic ridges striking 14°NE and rising some 400-1000 m above the valley floor, single circular volcanic sea mounts 400-600 m high, lava flow sheets and craters. Fissures and faults are not very prominent with in the rift valley. However, at both sides bounding the rift valley, fissure, faults and uplifting of the crust is a dominant feature. Surprisingly numerous volcanic edifices are observed on the faulted crust drifting away from the plate boundary. Further these volcanic edifices do not all show any faulting and have cone shape forms, indicating more explosive activity than within the rift. The volcanic edifices range in size from 2-3 km at the base to some hundreds of meters. Backscatter analysis shows that in general the volcanic edifices have higher values than the surrounding basement. These vents are observed as far as 100 km from the rifting center. High backscatter along with little or no faulting indicates that these off rift volcanic vents are younger than the basement they are resting on, thus manifesting that volcanism is not solely confined to the active rift boundary in the area. The segment south of Bight transform fault is highly dotted by these off rift volcanic vents

  3. Tectono-Sedimentary Analysis of Rift Basins: Insights from the Corinth Rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gawthorpe, Robert; Ford, Mary

    2015-04-01

    Existing models for the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins are strongly linked the growth and linkage of normal fault segments and localization of fault activity. Early stages of faulting (rift initiation phase) are characterized by distributed, short, low displacement fault segments, subdued fault-related topography and small depocentres within which sedimentation keeps pace with subsidence. Following linkage and displacement localization (rift climax phase), deformation if focused onto major, crustal-scale fault zones with kilometre-scale displacement. These major faults generate pronounced tilted fault-block topography, with subsidence rates that outpace sedimentation causing a pronounced change to deep-water deposition. Such models have been successful in helping to understand the gross structural and sedimentary evolution of rift basins, but recent work has suggested that pre-existing structures, normal fault interaction with pre-rift salt and antecedent drainage systems significantly alter this initiation-to-climax perspective of rift basin development. The E-W-striking, Pliocene-Pleistocene Corinth rift, central Greece, is an excellent natural laboratory for studying the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins due to its young age, excellent onshore exposure of syn-rift structure and stratigraphy and extensive offshore seismic data. The rift cuts across the NW-SE-striking Hellenide mountain belt and has migrated northward and westward during its evolution. The Hellenide mountain belt significantly influences topography and drainage in the west of the rift. High topography and large antecedent drainage systems, focused along palaeovalleys, provided high sediment flux to NE-flowing alluvial systems that overfilled early-rift depocentres. Further east, away from the main antecedent drainage networks, contemporaneous deposits comprise deep-lacustrine turbidite channel and lobe complexes and basinal marls. Thus the stratigraphic expression within the Pliocene rift fill is similar to rift initiation in high sediment flux locations in the west and rift climax in low sediment flux locations in the east. Major shifts in the locus of fault activity within the Corinth Rift further complicate tectono-stratigraphy analysis of its basin fill. Pliocene depocentres are largely located onshore, south of the present-day Gulf of Corinth and involved activity that was distributed among north- and south-dipping faults. A northward shift in the southern rift margin in the early Pleistocene, established the present-day Gulf of Corinth as the site of several main depocentres and caused abandonment, uplift and reworking of a large portion of the Pliocene rift. Changes in the locus of fault activity during the Pleistocene record a change from activity on north- and south-dipping faults to mainly north-dipping faults. Such shifts in fault activity have a profound effect on the basin fill, with new footwall areas subject to subaerial exposure and incision while contemporaneous hangingwall depocentres undergo rapid subsidence and drowning. Such local complexity is not surprising, but factors such as major antecedent sediment transport pathways and marked temporal and spatial shifts in fault activity make application of conventional tectono-sedimentary subdivsions of pre-, syn-, and post-rift difficult to apply at the basin-scale.

  4. Post Rift Thermal Evolution of Extended Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, R. R.; Hamza, V. M.

    2009-12-01

    An improved thermal model of the lithosphere extension is proposed and its influence in the petroleum system in sedimentary basins examined. The new model assumes existence of time dependent variation in the lithosphere thickness during the post-rift period, which was not take account in the formulation of the Mackenzie model (1978). In the present work we assume that the asymptotic growth of the lithosphere thickness, during the post-rift period, may be represented by an asymptotic relation of the type: L(t)=(L/?)+(L-L/?)erf(?*t) where L(t) is lithospheric thickness at post-rift time t, ? the stretching factor as defined in the McKenzie model, erf the error function and ? a suitable scaling constant. According to the above equation the syn-rift value of L is (L/?). For large times the thickness of the lithosphere approaches asymptotically the pre-rift value of L. The value of ? can be determined by calculating the time necessary for the stretched lithosphere (L/?) to return to original thickness. The results of numerical simulations indicate that the heat flux derived from the new model is substantially lower than the values predicted by the McKenzie model (see Figure 1). The new model has been calibrated using available information on evolution of thermal maturity indices for the Santos Basin, situated in the offshore area of southeast Brazil. Heat flow variations during the post stretch period, for the case in which the stretching factor is 2.5.

  5. Earthquake clusters in Corinth Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mesimeri, Maria; Papadimitriou, Eleftheria; Karakostas, Vasilios; Tsaklidis, George

    2013-04-01

    Clusters commonly occur as main shock-aftershock (MS-AS) sequences but also as earthquake swarms, which are empirically defined as an increase in seismicity rate above the background rate without a clear triggering main shock earthquake. Earthquake swarms occur in a variety of different environments and might have a diversity of origins, characterized by a high b-value in their magnitude distribution. The Corinth Rift, which was selected as our target area, appears to be the most recent extensional structure, with a likely rate of fault slip of about 1cm/yr and opening of 7mm/yr. High seismic activity accommodates the active deformation with frequent strong (M≥6.0) events and several seismic excitations without a main shock with clearly discriminative magnitude. Identification of earthquake clusters that occurred in this area in last years and investigation of their spatio-temporal distribution is attempted, with the application of known declustering algorithms, aiming to associate their occurrence with certain patterns in seismicity behavior. The earthquake catalog of the National Hellenic Seismological Network is used, and a certain number of clusters were extracted from the dataset, with the MS-AS sequences being distinguished from earthquake swarms. Spatio-temporal properties of each subset were analyzed in detail, after determining the respective completeness magnitude. This work was supported in part by the THALES Program of the Ministry of Education of Greece and the European Union in the framework of the project entitled "Integrated understanding of Seismicity, using innovative Methodologies of Fracture mechanics along with Earthquake and non-extensive statistical physics - Application to the geodynamic system of the Hellenic Arc, SEISMO FEAR HELLARC".

  6. Young rift kinematics in the Tadjoura rift, western Gulf of Aden, Republic of Djibouti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daoud, Mohamed A.; Le Gall, Bernard; Maury, René C.; Rolet, JoëL.; Huchon, Philippe; Guillou, Hervé

    2011-02-01

    The Tadjoura rift forms the westernmost edge of the westerly propagating Sheba ridge, between Arabia and Somalia, as it enters into the Afar depression. From structural and remote sensing data sets, the Tadjoura rift is interpreted as an asymmetrical south facing half-graben, about 40 km wide, dominated by a large boundary fault zone to the north. It is partially filled up by the 1-3 Myr old Gulf Basalts which onlapped the older Somali Basalts along its shallower southern flexural margin. The major and trace element analysis of 78 young onshore lavas allows us to distinguish and map four distinct basaltic types, namely the Gulf, Somali, Goumarre, and Hayyabley Basalts. These results, together with radiometric age data, lead us to propose a revised volcano-stratigraphic sketch of the two exposed Tadjoura rift margins and to discriminate and date several distinct fault networks of this oblique rift. Morphological and statistical analyses of onshore extensional fault populations show marked changes in structural styles along-strike, in a direction parallel to the rift axis. These major fault disturbances are assigned to the arrest of axial fault tip propagation against preexisting discontinuities in the NS-oriented Arta transverse zone. According to our model, the sinistral jump of rifting into the Asal-Ghoubbet rift segment results from structural inheritance, in contrast with the en échelon or transform mechanism of propagation that prevailed along the entire length of the Gulf of Aden extensional system.

  7. New Geophysical Results About the Relationship Between the Reelfoot Rift and the Rifted Margin of Laurentia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, L.; Keller, G. R.

    2010-12-01

    The Reelfoot rift beneath the northern Mississippi embayment is an intracratonic graben system, which formed Early Cambrian time as a result of continental breakup, and has been subsequently reactivated by compressional or tensional stresses related to plate tectonic interactions. It strikes northeastward into the continent, and is approximately perpendicular to the rifted margin of the Laurentia that is shaped by the southeast-striking Alabama-Oklahoma transform fault. The northern section of the rift near the town of New Madrid, Missouri, was the site of three great 1811-1812 earthquakes, and it remains the most seismically active area east of the Rocky Mountains. However, the southern end of the rift is obscure, and the relationship between the Reelfoot rift and the rifted margin of Laurentia remains disputed. We analyzed the gravity and magnetic database for the region using new data enhancement techniques to shed some light on this relationship. We analyzed a large area to assess the regional geological structure. Complete Bouguer gravity data and and total magnetic intensity (TMI) data were assembled and gridded on a regular grid with spacing of 2km, the TMI data were then reduced to the magnetic pole. Then the data were processed with standard techniques to attenuate the high-frequency noise, and we analyzed the regional and residual anomalies. Specially, we calculated the tilt-angle derivatives of the data. We then calculated the directional horizontal derivatives of the tilt-angle derivatives both along and perpendicular to the strike of the rift. The maps of these derivatives clearly delineate the boundaries of the edges of the Reelfoot rift, the leading edge of the Ouachita thrust belt and the margin of Laurentia. The results of the preliminary processing indicate that the southern end of the rift is near the leading edge of the Ouachita thrust belt, which produces a more curvilinear shape for the Laurentian margin than the very linear Alabama-Oklahoma transform fault suggesting its structure is more complex than usually depicted.

  8. Rifting Attractor Structures in the Baikal Rift System: Location and Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klyuchevskii, Anatoly V.

    2014-07-01

    The current geodynamics and tectonophysics of the Baikal rift system (BRS) as recorded in lithospheric stress and strain are discussed in the context of self organization of nonlinear dissipative dynamic systems and nonlinear media. The regional strain field inferred from instrumental seismic moment and fault radius data for almost 70,000 MLH ? 2.0 events of 1968 through 1994 shows a complex pattern with zones of high strain anisotropy in the central part and both flanks of the rift system (the South Baikal, Hovsgöl, and Muya rift basins, respectively). The three zones of local strain anisotropy highs coincide with domains of predominantly vertical stress where earthquakes of different magnitudes are mostly of normal slip geometry. Pulse-like reversals of principal stresses in the high-strain domains appear to be nonlinear responses of the system to subcrustal processes. In this respect, the BRS lithosphere is interpreted in terms of the self organization theory as a geological dissipative system. Correspondingly, the domains of high strain anisotropy and stress change, called rifting attractor structures (RAS), are the driving forces of its evolution. The location and nonlinear dynamics of the rifting attractors have controlled lithospheric stress and strain of the rift system over the period of observations, and the same scenario may have been valid also in the Mesozoic-Cenozoic rifting history. The suggested model of a positive-feedback (fire-like) evolution of nonlinear dynamical systems with rifting attractors opens a new perspective on the current geodynamics and tectonophysics of the Baikal rift system.

  9. Submarine thermal springs on the Galapagos Rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corliss, J.B.; Dymond, J.; Gordon, L.I.; Edmond, J.M.; Von Herzen, R. P.; Ballard, Richard D.; Green, K.; Williams, D.; Bainbridge, A.; Crane, K.; Van Andel, T. H.

    1979-01-01

    The submarine hydrothermal activity on and near the Galápagos Rift has been explored with the aid of the deep submersible Alvin. Analyses of water samples from hydrothermal vents reveal that hydrothermal activity provides significant or dominant sources and sinks for several components of seawater; studies of conductive and convective heat transfer suggest that two-thirds of the heat lost from new oceanic lithosphere at the Galápagos Rift in the first million years may be vented from thermal springs, predominantly along the axial ridge within the rift valley. The vent areas are populated by animal communities. They appear to utilize chemosynthesis by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria to derive their entire energy supply from reactions between the seawater and the rocks at high temperatures, rather than photosynthesis

  10. Crustal extension in the Baikal rift zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zorin, Yu; Cordell, L.

    1991-01-01

    Analysis of the gravity field along four profiles crossing the Baikal rift zone permits an estimate of the amount of anomalous mass produced by 1. (1) graben-fill sediments, 2. (2) Moho uplift and intrusion of mantle sills and dikes, 3. (3) an asthenospheric bulge. Crustal extension is evaluated based on the idea of mass and volume balance of material introduced into and removed from the initial volume of the crust. Extension in the Baikal rift increases southwestward from 0.9 km in the Chara depression to 19.3 km in the South Baikal depression. These values generally agree with the position of the Euler pole determined from seismic data (fault plane solutions). Average rotation velocity for the lithospheric plates separated by the rift zone is estimated to be 5.93 ?? 10-4 rad/m.y. over about 30 m.y. ?? 1991.

  11. Variation in styles of rifting in the Gulf of California.

    PubMed

    Lizarralde, Daniel; Axen, Gary J; Brown, Hillary E; Fletcher, John M; González-Fernández, Antonio; Harding, Alistair J; Holbrook, W Steven; Kent, Graham M; Paramo, Pedro; Sutherland, Fiona; Umhoefer, Paul J

    2007-07-26

    Constraints on the structure of rifted continental margins and the magmatism resulting from such rifting can help refine our understanding of the strength of the lithosphere, the state of the underlying mantle and the transition from rifting to seafloor spreading. An important structural classification of rifts is by width, with narrow rifts thought to form as necking instabilities (where extension rates outpace thermal diffusion) and wide rifts thought to require a mechanism to inhibit localization, such as lower-crustal flow in high heat-flow settings. Observations of the magmatism that results from rifting range from volcanic margins with two to three times the magmatism predicted from melting models to non-volcanic margins with almost no rift or post-rift magmatism. Such variations in magmatic activity are commonly attributed to variations in mantle temperature. Here we describe results from the PESCADOR seismic experiment in the southern Gulf of California and present crustal-scale images across three rift segments. Over short lateral distances, we observe large differences in rifting style and magmatism--from wide rifting with minor synchronous magmatism to narrow rifting in magmatically robust segments. But many of the factors believed to control structural evolution and magmatism during rifting (extension rate, mantle potential temperature and heat flow) tend to vary over larger length scales. We conclude instead that mantle depletion, rather than low mantle temperature, accounts for the observed wide, magma-poor margins, and that mantle fertility and possibly sedimentary insulation, rather than high mantle temperature, account for the observed robust rift and post-rift magmatism. PMID:17653189

  12. Thermomechanical models of the Rio Grande rift

    SciTech Connect

    Bridwell, R.J.; Anderson, C.A.

    1980-01-01

    Fully two-dimensional, coupled thermochemical solutions of a continental rift and platform are used to model the crust and mantle structure of a hot, buoyant mantle diapir beneath the Rio Grande rift. The thermomechanical model includes both linear and nonlinear laws of the Weertman type relating shear stress and creep strain rate, viscosity which depends on temperature and pressure, and activation energy, temperature-dependent thermal conductivity, temperature-dependent coefficient of thermal expansion, the Boussinesq approximation for thermal bouyancy, material convection using a stress rate that is invariant to rigid rotations, an elastically deformable crust, and a free surface. The model determines the free surface velocities, solid state flow field in the mantle, and viscosity structure of lithosphere and asthenosphere. Regional topography and crustal heat flow are simulated. A suite of symmetric models, assumes continental geotherms on the right and the successively increasing rift geotherms on the left. These models predict an asthenospheric flow field which transfers cold material laterally toward the rift at > 300 km, hot, buoyant material approx. 200 km wide which ascends vertically at rates of 1 km/my between 175 to 325 km, and spreads laterally away from the rift at the base of the lithosphere. Crustal spreading rates are similar to uplift rates. The lithosphere acts as stiff, elastic cap, damping upward motion through decreased velocities of 1 km/10 my and spreading uplift laterally. A parameter study varying material coefficients for the Weertman flow law suggests asthenospheric viscosities of approx. 10/sup 22/ to 10/sup 23/ poise. Similar studies predict crustal viscosities of approx. 10/sup 25/ poise. The buoyant process of mantle flow narrows and concentrates heat transport beneath the rift, increases upward velocity, and broadly arches the lithosphere. 10 figures, 1 table.

  13. The Offshore East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies have addressed various aspects of the East African Rift system but surprisingly few on the offshore continuation of the south-eastern branch of the rift into the Mozambique Channel. The most prominent article has been published almost 30 years ago by Mougenot et al. (1986) and is based on vintage seismic data. Several studies investigating earthquakes and plate motions from GPS measurements reveal recent deformation along the offshore branch of the East African Rift system. Slip vectors from earthquakes data in Mozambique's offshore basins show a consistent NE direction. Fault plane solutions reveal ~ E-W extensional failure with focal depth clustering around 19 km and 40 km, respectively. Here, we present new evidence for neotectonic deformation derived from modern seismic reflection data and supported by additional geophysical data. The modern rift system obviously reactivates structures from the disintegration of eastern Gondwana. During the Jurassic/Cretaceous opening of the Somali and Mozambique Basins, Madagascar moved southwards along a major shear zone, to its present position. Since the Miocene, parts of the shear zone became reactivated and structurally overprinted by the East African rift system. The Kerimbas Graben offshore northern Mozambique is the most prominent manifestation of recent extensional deformation. Bathymetry data shows that it deepens northwards, with approximately 700 m downthrown on the eastern shoulder. The graben can be subdivided into four subbasins by crosscutting structural lineaments with a NW-SE trend. Together with the N-S striking graben-bounding faults, this resembles a conjugate fault system. In seismic reflection data normal faulting is distinct not only at the earthquake epicenters. The faults cut through the sedimentary successions and typically reach the seafloor, indicating ongoing recent deformation. Reference: Mougenot, D., Recq, M., Virlogeux, P., and Lepvrier, C., 1986, Seaward extension of the East African Rift: Nature, v. 321, p. 599-603

  14. Molecular Epidemiology of Rift Valley Fever Virus

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships were examined for 198 Rift Valley fever virus isolates and 5 derived strains obtained from various sources in Saudi Arabia and 16 countries in Africa during a 67-year period (1944–2010). A maximum-likelihood tree prepared with sequence data for a 490-nt section of the Gn glycoprotein gene showed that 95 unique sequences sorted into 15 lineages. A 2010 isolate from a patient in South Africa potentially exposed to co-infection with live animal vaccine and wild virus was a reassortant. The potential influence of large-scale use of live animal vaccine on evolution of Rift Valley fever virus is discussed. PMID:22172568

  15. Molecular epidemiology of Rift Valley fever virus.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    Phylogenetic relationships were examined for 198 Rift Valley fever virus isolates and 5 derived strains obtained from various sources in Saudi Arabia and 16 countries in Africa during a 67-year period (1944-2010). A maximum-likelihood tree prepared with sequence data for a 490-nt section of the Gn glycoprotein gene showed that 95 unique sequences sorted into 15 lineages. A 2010 isolate from a patient in South Africa potentially exposed to co-infection with live animal vaccine and wild virus was a reassortant. The potential influence of large-scale use of live animal vaccine on evolution of Rift Valley fever virus is discussed. PMID:22172568

  16. Formation and deformation of hyperextended rift systems: Insights from rift domain mapping in the Bay of Biscay-Pyrenees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tugend, J.; Manatschal, G.; Kusznir, N. J.; Masini, E.; Mohn, G.; Thinon, I.

    2014-07-01

    The Bay of Biscay and the Pyrenees correspond to a Lower Cretaceous rift system including both oceanic and hyperextended rift domains. The transition from preserved oceanic and rift domains in the West to their complete inversion in the East enables us to study the progressive reactivation of a hyperextended rift system. We use seismic interpretation, gravity inversion, and field mapping to identify and map former rift domains and their subsequent reactivation. We propose a new map and sections across the system illustrating the progressive integration of the rift domains into the orogen. This study aims to provide insights on the formation of hyperextended rift systems and discuss their role during reactivation. Two spatially and temporally distinct rift systems can be distinguished: the Bay of Biscay-Parentis and the Pyrenean-Basque-Cantabrian rifts. While the offshore Bay of Biscay represent a former mature oceanic domain, the fossil remnants of hyperextended domains preserved onshore in the Pyrenean-Cantabrian orogen record distributed extensional deformation partitioned between strongly segmented rift basins. Reactivation initiated in the exhumed mantle domain before it affected the hyperthinned domain. Both domains accommodated most of the shortening. The final architecture of the orogen is acquired once the conjugate necking domains became involved in collisional processes. The complex 3-D architecture of the initial rift system may partly explain the heterogeneous reactivation of the overall system. These results have important implications for the formation and reactivation of hyperextended rift systems and for the restoration of the Bay of Biscay and Pyrenean domains.

  17. Syn-rift unconformities punctuating the lower-middle Cambrian transition in the Atlas Rift, Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvaro, J. Javier; Ezzouhairi, Hassan; Clausen, Sébastien; Ribeiro, M. Luisa; Solá, Rita

    2015-04-01

    The Cambrian Tamdroust and Bab n'Ali Volcanic Complexes represent two magmatic episodes developed in the latest Ediacaran-Cambrian Atlas Rift of Morocco. Their rifting pulses were accompanied by accumulation of volcanosedimentary edifices (dominated by effusive lava flows in the former and explosive acidic aprons in the latter) associated with active tilting and uplift. Sealing of their peneplaned horst-and-graben palaeotopographies led to the onset of distinct onlapping geometries and angular discordances capping eroded basements ranging from the Ediacaran Ouarzazate Supergroup to the Cambrian Asrir Formation. Previous interpretations of these discordances as pull-apart or compressive events are revised here and reinterpreted in an extensional (rifting) context associated with active volcanism. The record of erosive unconformities, stratigraphic gaps, condensed beds and onlapping patterns across the traditional "lower-middle Cambrian" (or Cambrian Series 2-3) transition of the Atlas Rift must be taken into consideration for global chronostratigraphic correlation based on their trilobite content.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Stratigraphy and rifting history of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Anza rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Winn, R.D. Jr.; Steinmetz, J.C. ); Kerekgyarto, W.L. )

    1993-11-01

    Lithological and compositional relationships, thicknesses, and palynological data from drilling cuttings from five wells in the Anza rift, Kenya, indicate active rifting during the Late Cretaceous and Eocene-Oligocene. The earlier rifting possibly started in the Santonian-Coniacian, primarily occurred in the Campanian, and probably extended into the Maastrichtian. Anza rift sedimentation was in lacustrine, lacustrine-deltaic, fluvial, and flood-basin environments. Inferred synrift intervals in wells are shalier, thicker, more compositionally immature, and more poorly sorted than Lower Cretaceous ( )-lower Upper Cretaceous and upper Oligocene( )-Miocene interrift deposits. Synrift sandstone is mostly feldspathic or arkosic wacke. Sandstone deposited in the Anza basin during nonrift periods is mostly quartz arenite, and is coarser and has a high proportion of probable fluvial deposits relative to other facies. Volcanic debris is absent in sedimentary strata older than Pliocene-Holocene, although small Cretaceous intrusions are present in the basin. Cretaceous sandstone is cemented in places by laumontite, possibly recording Campanian extension. Early Cretaceous history of the Anza basin is poorly known because of the limited strata sampled; Jurassic units were not reached. Cretaceous rifting in the Anza basin was synchronous with rifting in Sudan and with the breakup and separation of South America and Africa; these events likely were related. Eocene-Oligocene extension in the Anza basin reflects different stresses. The transition from active rifting to passive subsidence in the Anza basin at the end of the Neogene, in turn, records a reconfigured response of east African plates to stresses and is correlated with formation of the East Africa rift.

  20. Unexpected Rift Valley Fever Outbreak, Northern Mauritania

    PubMed Central

    El Mamy, Ahmed B. Ould; Baba, Mohamed Ould; Barry, Yahya; Isselmou, Katia; Dia, Mamadou L.; Hampate, Ba; Diallo, Mamadou Y.; El Kory, Mohamed Ould Brahim; Diop, Mariam; Lo, Modou Moustapha; Thiongane, Yaya; Bengoumi, Mohammed; Puech, Lilian; Plee, Ludovic; Claes, Filip; Doumbia, Baba

    2011-01-01

    During September–October 2010, an unprecedented outbreak of Rift Valley fever was reported in the northern Sahelian region of Mauritania after exceptionally heavy rainfall. Camels probably played a central role in the local amplification of the virus. We describe the main clinical signs (hemorrhagic fever, icterus, and nervous symptoms) observed during the outbreak. PMID:22000364

  1. Molecular Rift: Virtual Reality for Drug Designers.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-23

    Recent advances in interaction design have created new ways to use computers. One example is the ability to create enhanced 3D environments that simulate physical presence in the real world--a virtual reality. This is relevant to drug discovery since molecular models are frequently used to obtain deeper understandings of, say, ligand-protein complexes. We have developed a tool (Molecular Rift), which creates a virtual reality environment steered with hand movements. Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display, is used to create the virtual settings. The program is controlled by gesture-recognition, using the gaming sensor MS Kinect v2, eliminating the need for standard input devices. The Open Babel toolkit was integrated to provide access to powerful cheminformatics functions. Molecular Rift was developed with a focus on usability, including iterative test-group evaluations. We conclude with reflections on virtual reality's future capabilities in chemistry and education. Molecular Rift is open source and can be downloaded from GitHub. PMID:26558887

  2. The Midcontinent Rift and Grenville connection

    SciTech Connect

    Cambray, F.W.; Fujita, K. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1994-04-01

    The Mid-Proterozoic, Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) is delineated by an inverted U shaped gravity and magnetic anomaly. It terminates in southeast Michigan but a less continuous series of anomalies and sediments, the Eastcontinent Rift occur on a north-south line through Ohio and Kentucky. The geometry allows for a north-south opening, the Lake Superior section being orthogonal to opening, the western arm transtensional and the north-south trending eastern arm a transform boundary offset by pull-apart basins. The opening and closing of the rift overlaps in time with the Grenville Orogeny. Grenville age rocks can also be found in the Llano uplift of Texas. The authors propose a model to explain the temporal and geographic association of the opening and closing of the MRS with the Grenville Orogeny that involves irregular suturing between two continental masses. Initiation of Grenville suturing, associated with south dipping subduction, in the northeast and in the Llano area of Texas would leave portion of unclosed ocean in between. Tensional stresses in the continental crust adjacent to the oceanic remnant could lead to its fragmentation and the formation of the MRS. The remaining oceanic lithosphere would eventually subduct, limiting the opening of the MRS. Continued convergence of the plates would induce compressional stresses thus accounting for the deformation of the MRS. An analogy is made with more recent opening of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden Rift System in association with irregular collision along the Zagros-Bitlis Sutures.

  3. Diagnostic approaches for Rift Valley Fever

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. The 1973 Ethiopian-Rift geodimeter survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.

    1974-01-01

    Remeasurement of the Adama, Lake Langana, and Arba Minch (Lake Margherita) geodimeter networks in 1973 has enabled Mohr's interpretation concerning possible surface ground deformation in the Ethiopian rift to be considerably developed. Extension appears to have occurred across the Mojjo-Adama horst at a rate of about 1 cm yr/1. The opposing rims of the Adama graben have not moved significantly relative to one another (between 1969 and 1973), but stations on the sliced graben floor show possible movement with a large rift-trend component. In the Wolenchiti quadrilateral, significant movement of station RABBIT is confirmed, but the radical change of vector (that of 1970-1971 to that of 1971-1973) casts doubt on a tectonic cause and seems to indicate that stations on steep hillslopes are liable to be unstable. South of the quadrilateral and east of the Adama graben, alternating rift-trend zones of extension and shortening appear to coexist. In the Lake Langana network, significant movements of the order of 0.5 cm yr/1 are directed perpendicular to the rift floor faulting.

  5. Hydrothermal mineralization along submarine rift zones, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hein, J.R.; Gibbs, A.E.; Clague, D.A.; Torresan, M.

    1996-01-01

    Describes mineralization of midplate submarine rift zones and hydrothermal manganese oxide mineralization of midplate volcanic edifices. Hydrothermal Mn oxides were recovered from submarine extensions of two Hawaiian rift zones, along Haleakala and Puna Ridges. These Mn oxides form two types of deposits, metallic stratiform layers in volcaniclastic rocks and cement for clastic rocks; both deposit types are composed of todorokite and birnessite. Unlike most other hydrothermal Mn oxide deposits, those from Hawaiian rift zones are enriched in the trace metals Zn, Co, Ba, Mo, Sr, V, and especially Ni. Metals are derived from three sources: mafic and ultramafic rocks leached by circulating hydrothermal fluids, clastic material (in Mn-cemented sandstone), and seawater that mixed with the hydrothermal fluids. Precipitation of Mn oxide below the seafloor is indicated by its occurrence as cement, growth textures that show mineralizing fluids were introduced from below, and pervasive replacement of original matrix of clastic rocks.Hydrothermal Mn oxides were recovered from submarine extensions of two Hawaiian rift zones, along Haleakala and Puna Ridges. These Mn oxides form two types of deposits, metallic stratiform layers in volcaniclastic rocks and cement for clastic rocks. Both deposit types are composed of todorokite and birnessite. This article describes in detail the specific characteristics of these Mn oxides.

  6. Rift Valley fever: A neglected zoonotic disease?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Prediction of a Rift Valley fever Outbreak

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Using satellite measurements to detect elevated sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and subsequent elevated normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data in Africa, we predicted an outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in humans and animals in the Horn of Africa during September 2006-May 2007. We det...

  8. Seismic anisotropy beneath the incipient Okavango rift: Implications for rifting initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Youqiang; Gao, Stephen S.; Moidaki, Moikwathai; Reed, Cory A.; Liu, Kelly H.

    2015-11-01

    This study represents the first shear-wave splitting investigation of the Okavango rift zone (ORZ), an incipient continental rift belonging to the East African rift system in northern Botswana. Analysis of broadband seismic data recorded along a 750 km long profile of 22 stations traversing the ORZ and adjacent Congo and Kalahari cratons and several Precambrian orogenic zones reveals dominantly NE-SW fast orientations, which are parallel to both the absolute plate motion direction (based on the NNR-NUVEL-1A model) and the trend of most tectonic boundaries, including that of the ORZ. Spatial coherence analysis of the splitting parameters and correspondence between the observed fast orientations and the trend of tectonic features indicate that the main source of observed anisotropy is most likely in the upper asthenosphere, probably due to simple shear associated with the relative movement of the lithosphere against the asthenosphere. The presence of consistently rift-parallel fast orientations and normal splitting times in the ORZ and most parts of southern Africa implies that neither an upper mantle plume nor small-scale convection is the dominant source for rift initiation and development. The first shear-wave splitting measurements in the vicinity of the ORZ favor a model in which continental rifting develops in response to intra-plate relative movement of continental blocks along zones of weakness produced by ancient tectonic events.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  10. Calving of large tabular icebergs from ice shelf rift systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joughin, Ian; MacAyeal, Douglas R.

    2005-01-01

    We used Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar to study the detachment process that allowed two large icebergs to calve from the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Time series of rift geometries indicate that rift widths increased steadily, whereas rift lengths increased episodically through several discrete rift-tip propagation events. We also conducted modeling experiments constrained by the observed rift geometry. Both the observations and model suggest that rift opening, and, thus, tabular-iceberg calving, are largely driven by ``glaciological'' stresses-stress introduced by the effect of gravity on the ice shelf-rather than by stress introduced by the ocean and atmosphere, e.g., tides and storms. This style of rift propagation is expected to determine the steady, background calving rate of ice shelves and, thus, differs significantly from styles that led to the recent disintegration of ice shelves in response to climate warming, e.g., the Larsen B Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jerome; Wilson, Terry; Henrys, Stuart

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Continental rifting on Earth and Mars - A comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grott, M.; Hauber, E.; Kronberg, P.

    2007-08-01

    The formation of continental rift systems on Earth is connected to prerift uplift generated by upwelling mantle plumes and extensional stresses which originate from remote plate boundary forces. Continental rifting and continental breakup on Earth are therefore intimately connected to Earth's plate tectonic environment. Recently, Martian candidate analogues to terrestrial continental rifts have been investigated in detail and it has been shown that the Tempe Fossae, Acheron Fossae and Thaumasia Highland Rifts bear many structural similarities to continental rifts on Earth. However, the question of the rift formation process has so far not been addressed and an active mechanism involving mantle plumes and local doming has usually been assumed. Rifts are also sometimes thought to be at least indirect evidence for plate tectonics, although the connection of Martian rifts to plate tectonic forces has so far not been discussed. We have investigated whether forces connected to plate movement are necessary to initiate rifting and show that lithosphere scale faulting at the Thaumasia Highland Rift is feasible even in the absence of mantle plumes or tensional plate-boundary forces. Rather, stresses originating from horizontal differences of the gravitational potential energy will be shown to be almost sufficient to induce rifting, supporting the hypothesis of a passive rifting mechanism in the Thaumasia Highlands. The emplacement of magma bodies in the upper crust could then sufficiently weaken the lithosphere to initiate lithosphere scale faulting and thus induce rifting. This hypothesis is in good agreement with the observation of rift-related volcanism as well as the fact that faults seem to initiate at volcanoes and propagate away from them before interconnecting. We conclude that rifting on Mars is feasible even if key factors connected to continental rifting on Earth, i.e. plate boundary forces and convection induced drag on the lower lithosphere, are absent. The absence of forces connected to plate tectonics is also consistent with the observed moderate extension of only a few kilometers. These values are typical for young terrestrial rifts (e.g., the Kenya-rift) and failed arms and suggest that large scale plate movement and subduction did not play a role in Martian rifting.

  13. Petrofabrics of olivine in a rift axis and rift shoulder and their implications for seismic anisotropy beneath the Rio Grande rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Munjae; Jung, Haemyeong; Kil, Youngwoo

    2015-04-01

    Mantle-derived xenoliths associated with continental rifting can provide important information about the mantle structure and the physicochemical properties of deformation processes in the upper mantle. Metasomatized spinel peridotites from Adam's Diggings (AD) at a rift shoulder and Elephant Butte (EB) at a rift axis in the Rio Grande rift (RGR) were investigated to understand the deformation processes and seismic anisotropy occurring in the upper mantle. As determined through analysis of the lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of olivine by using a scanning electron microscope equipped with electron backscatter diffraction (SEM/EBSD), AD peridotites exhibited C-type LPO of olivine indicating a dominant slip system of (100)[001] at the rift shoulder, whereas EB peridotites exhibited A-type LPO indicating a dominant slip system of (010)[100] at the rift axis. Both geochemical data and microstructural observations indicate that the localized mantle enrichment processes, including melts with hydrous fluids, controlled multiple mantle metasomatisms and deformation of rocks under wet conditions (with olivine C-type LPO) at the rift shoulder (AD), whereas mantle depletion by decompression partial melting caused deformation of rocks under dry conditions (with olivine A-type LPO) at the rift axis (EB). These observations provide evidence for localized hydration and physicochemical heterogeneity of the upper mantle in the Rio Grande rift (RGR) zone. Seismic anisotropy observed beneath this zone can be attributed to the transtensional rupture, such as inhomogeneous stretching, and the petrofabrics of olivine beneath the study area.

  14. Structural inheritance, segmentation, and rift localization in the Gulf of Aden oblique rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellahsen, Nicolas; Leroy, Sylvie; Autin, Julia; d'Acremont, Elia; Razin, Philippe; Husson, Laurent; Pik, Raphael; Watremez, Louise; Baurion, Celine; Beslier, Marie-Odile; Khanbari, Khaled; Ahmed, Abdulhakim

    2013-04-01

    The structural evolution of the Gulf of Aden passive margins was controlled by its oblique divergence kinematics, inherited structures, and the Afar hot spot. The rifting between Arabia and Somalia started at 35 Ma just before the hot spot paroxysm (at 30Ma) and lasted until 18Ma, when oceanic spreading started. Fieldwork suggests that rift parallel normal faults initiated in the (future) distal margins, after a first stage of distributed rifting, and witness the rift localization, as confirmed by 4-layer analogue models. These faults arise either from crust or lithosphere scale buoyancy forces that are strongly controlled by the mantle temperature under the influence of the Afar hot spot. This implies a transition from a distributed mode to a localized one, sharper, both in space and time, in the West (close to the hot spot) than in the East (far away from the hot spot). In this framework, first order transform F.Z. are here (re-) defined by the fact that they deform continental crust. In the Gulf of Aden, as well as in other continental margins, it appears that these F.Z. are often, if not always, located at continental transfer or "transform" fault zones. Our detailed field-study of an offshore transfer fault zone in the southeastern Gulf of Aden (Socotra Island) shows that these structures are long-lived since early rifting until post rift times. During the early rifting, they are inherited structures reactivated as oblique normal faults before accommodating strike-slip motion. During the Ocean-Continent Transition (OCT) formation ("post syn-rift" times), a significant uplift occurred in the transfer fault zone footwall as shown by stratigraphic and LT thermochronology data. Second order transform F.Z. are defined as deforming only the OCT, thus initiated at the moment of its formation. In the western Gulf of Aden, the hot spot provoked a rift localization strongly oblique to the divergence and, as a consequence, several second order transform F.Z. formed (as well as third order ones that initiated after the onset of oceanic spreading). In the East, the second and third order segmentation is less pronounced as both the OCT and ridge segments are sub-perpendicular to the divergence. During post-rift times, plate reorganization led to oceanic propagator development and second/third transform F.Z. migration along with deformation and vertical movements and normal displacement along the first order transform F.Z. Finally, during Quaternary times, the evolving boundary conditions of the Arabian plate probably also induced vertical movements along the margins.

  15. Tectonics of the South Georgia Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heffner, David M.

    Triassic rifting of the supercontinent Pangea left behind numerous basins on what is now the eastern North American margin. The South Georgia Rift (SGR) was thought to be the best preserved of these basins having been capped by thick basalt flows of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) and later buried beneath the Cretaceous and younger Coastal Plain. Because it is buried beneath the Coastal Plain, the SGR is only known through sparse drilling and geophysical methods. Despite this limited dataset, the SGR is the only one of the eastern North American Triassic basins known to overlie the ancient Alleghanian suture between Laurentia and Gondwana, although it isn't clear what influence this lithospheric weakness played in formation of the rift. The SGR has been variably interpreted as a singular large basin or as isolated sub-basins separated by transfer zones. Transfer zones are rift-transverse structural features that link major faults of rift sub-basins and accommodate differences in extensional strain. Transfer zones have been previously hypothesized to be present in the SGR based on onshore projections of Central Atlantic fracture zones, but observations confirming their existence, such as reversal in sub-basin polarity, have been lacking. Three separate hypotheses are tested related to the SGR: 1) the J-Horizon corresponds everywhere with basalt; 2) transfer zones are an important structural component of the SGR; 3) structural features of the Central Atlantic Ocean are related to transfer zones of the SGR. Reanalysis of existing well and seismic data shows that the extent of the flood basalt in the SGR is restricted and that the J-Horizon coincides with the base of the Coastal Plain. Subsurface mapping reveals reversals in sub-basin polarity, confirming the existence of previously hypothesized transfer zones. Small circle projections of the transfer zones correlate with oceanic features, and Central Atlantic fracture zones project onshore into inferred transfer zones of the SGR. The results of these studies suggest that tectonic inheritance of the Alleghanian suture played an important role in the rifting of Pangea and that tectonic inheritance may be an important process for the formation of an ocean basin.

  16. Dual continental rift systems generated by plume-lithosphere interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

    Although many continental rifts and passive margins are magmatic, some are not. This observation prompted endmember views of the mechanisms driving continental rifting, where magma-rich or active rifts would be caused by deep mantle plumes, whereas magma-poor or passive rifts would result from the stretching of the lithosphere under far-field plate forces. The Central East African Rift provides a unique setting to investigate the mechanisms of continental rifting because it juxtaposes a magma-rich (eastern) branch and magma-poor (western) branch on either side of the 250-km-thick Tanzanian craton. Here we investigate this contrasted behavior using a high-resolution rheologically consistent three-dimensional thermo-mechanical numerical model. The model reproduces the rise of a mantle plume beneath a craton experiencing tensional far-field stress. In our numerical experiments the plume is deflected by the cratonic keel and preferentially channelled along one of its sides. This leads to the coeval development of magma-rich and magma-poor rifts along opposite craton sides, fed by melt from a single mantle source. Our numerical experiments show strong similarities to the observed evolution of the Central East African Rift, reconcile the passive and active rift models, and demonstrate the possibility of developing both magmatic and amagmatic rifts in identical geotectonic environments.

  17. The Role of Rift Obliquity During Pangea Fragmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. )

    1996-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R.

    1996-12-31

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

  20. Evidence for a Nascent Rift in South Sudan: Westward Extension of the East African Rift System?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maceira, M.; Van Wijk, J. W.; Coblentz, D. D.; Modrak, R. T.

    2013-12-01

    Joint inversion of seismic and gravity data of eastern Africa reveals a low seismic wave velocity arm stretching from the southern Main Ethiopian rift westward in an east-west direction that has not been noticed in earlier work. The zone of low velocities is located in the upper mantle and is not overlain by a known structural rift expression. We analyzed the local pattern of seismicity and the stresses in the African plate to interpret this low velocity arm. The zone of low velocities is located within the Central African Fold Belt, which dissects the northern and southern portions of the African continent. It is seismically active with small to intermediate sized earthquakes occurring in the crust. Seven earthquake solutions indicate (oblique) normal faulting and low-angle normal faulting with a NS to NNW-SSE opening direction, as well as strike-slip faulting. This pattern of deformation is typically associated with rifting. The present day stress field in northeastern Africa reveals a tensional state of stress at the location of the low velocity arm with an opening direction that corresponds to the earthquake data. We propose that the South Sudan low velocity zone and seismic center are part of an undeveloped, nascent rift arm. The arm stretches from the East African Rift system westward.

  1. The Midcontinent rift system in Kansas

    SciTech Connect

    Berendsen, P. . Kansas Geological Survey)

    1993-03-01

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

  2. Seismotectonics of Reelfoot rift basement structures

    SciTech Connect

    Dart, R.L.; Swolfs, H.S. )

    1993-03-01

    Contour maps of the Precambrian basement surface show major northwest-trending structural features within the boundaries of the northeast-oriented Reelfoot rift. These northwest-trending features, southeast of New Madrid, Missouri, consist of a trough flanked on the northeast by a 2-km-high ridge. These features correlate with similar features on an updated depth-to-magnetic basement map. The boundary between the trough and the ridge slopes gently to the southwest. The upward projection of this boundary into the overlying Paleozoic strata may be expressed on a structure-contour map of the Cambrian rocks. The vertical relief of this boundary on the younger datum is inferred to be about 1 km. This Precambrian trough-ridge structure may correlate with a southwest dipping, west-northwest-striking normal fault inferred by Schwalb (1982) to offset rocks of the Cambrian-Ordovician Knox Megagroup that subcrop at the Paleozoic surface. Schwalb (1982) inferred 1.22 km of vertical relief on this fault near the bootheel of Missouri. The nature and significance of this tectonic-structural boundary is unclear, but at the top of the Precambrian basement rocks, it coincides with the southwestern terminus of the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) near the end of the Blytheville arch in northeastern Arkansas. Since the mid-1970's, when instrumental recording began, some of the earthquakes in the NMSZ having the largest magnitudes occurred in this area. The authors working hypothesis is that this trough-ridge structural boundary may concentrate stress and/or may be a barrier that defines the southwestern limit of the seismically active axial fault zone in the rift. Future study will concentrate on improving the understanding of the influence of rift-bounding faults on the lateral extent of this structure, as well as constructing a tectonic stress model of seismically active rift faults and this trough-ridge structure.

  3. Sedimentary DNA from East African Rift Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    Ancient DNA research, especially that of environmental samples, has to date focused mainly on samples obtained from colder regions. We are characterizing present-day and historical planktonic communities in Kenyan Rift Lakes with the use of molecular genetic methods, focussing on rotifer and diatom assemblages. Within the eastern branch of the East African Rift System there are a series of shallow lakes in close proximity, yet with strikingly different hydrological and geological features. Between 15 and 5 kyrs ago the rift comprised several large lakes that were fresh and several 100's of meters deep. Tectonically separated, these lakes underwent a tremendously different development in the course of a trend towards a drier climate since 6,000 years ago. Today the lakes range in alkalinity from pH 11 (Lake Elmenteita) to pH 8 (Lake Naivasha) and in depth from less than a meter to 15 meters. Within this setting we are analyzing recent samples as well as samples obtained from sediment cores. Apart from presenting molecular tools to assess the presence and dominance of taxa meaningful for ecological reconstruction, we are also attempting to trace the population structure and history of single species in the course of severe environmental change.

  4. Early Paleozoic sedimentation in Reelfoot rift

    SciTech Connect

    Houseknecht, D.W.; Weaverling, P.H.

    1983-09-01

    Analysis of subsurface data from deep tests drilled in the northern Mississippi embayment and southern Mid-Continent suggests that earliest Paleozoic sedimentation was dominated by the tectonic evolution of the Reelfoot rift. Throughout most of the Mid-Continent, the Upper Cambrian Lamotte (Mt. Simon) sandstone rests nonconformably on Precambrian basement and is overlain by the Bonneterre (Eau Claire) Formation. However, in the area of the Reelfoot rift, both the Lamotte and Bonneterre grade into thick, basinal shales that locally display evidence of episodic deposition of coarse clastics, perhaps on submarine fans. Moreover, two major sedimentary units are present beneath the Lamotte-Bonneterre basinal facies within the Reelfoot rift. Immediately underlying the Lamotte-Bonneterre shale is a carbonate stratum (probably dolomite) that thickens to more than 1,000 ft (300 m) along the axis of the basin in eastern Arkansas. Underlying this carbonate is a detrital unit that grades from arkosic sandstone near the northern terminus of the basin to a basinal shale southward. This basinal shale is at least several hundred feet thick near the axis of the basin. These two strata occupy the stratigraphic position of the Conasauga (Middle Cambrian) and Rome (Lower Cambrian) Formations of the southern Appalachians. The axial and transverse distribution of these strata suggests that the Reelfoot evolved as paired grabens or half grabens during the Early and Middle Cambrian. Subsequently, the Reelfoot remained the axis for more widespread subsidence and sedimentation throughout much of the Paleozoic.

  5. Model of the midcontinent rift system in northeastern Kansas

    SciTech Connect

    Woelk, T.S.; Hinze, W.J. )

    1991-03-01

    Recent drilling of the midcontinent rift system in northeastern Kansas reveals a transposed Keweenawan stratigraphy of mafic volcanic rocks overlying thick clastic sedimentary rocks. A reprocessed version of COCORP Kansas Line 1 indicates that the drillhole penetrated a series of west-dipping reflectors associated with a reverse fault bounding the east side of the rift basin. Reanalysis of the original COCORP line also reveals a west-bounding reverse fault and evidence of crustal thickening. This information is integrated with gravity and magnetic data to define a model of the rift in northeastern Kansas. The model, consisting of an asymmetric basin bounded by reverse faults with thickened crust beaneath the rift, is similar to models proposed for northern segments of the rift system, and argues for homogeneity in the structural style and tectonic evolution along the length of the rift.

  6. The MOZART Project - MOZAmbique Rift Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonseca, J. F.; Chamussa, J. R.; Domingues, A.; Helffrich, G. R.; Fishwick, S.; Ferreira, A. M.; Custodio, S.; Brisbourne, A. M.; Grobbelaar, M.

    2012-12-01

    Project MOZART (MOZAmbique Rift Tomography) is an ongoing joint effort of Portuguese, Mozambican and British research groups to investigate the geological structure and current tectonic activity of the southernmost tip of the East African Rift System (EARS) through the deployment of a network of 30 broad band seismic stations in Central and Southern Mozambique. In contrast with other stretches of the EARS to the North and with the Kapvaal craton to the West and South, the lithosphere of Mozambique was not previously studied with a dense seismographic deployment on account of past political instability, and many questions remain unanswered with respect to the location and characteristics of the EARS to the south of Tanzania. In recent years, space geodesy revealed the existence of three microplates in and off Mozambique - Victoria, Rovuma, Lwandle - whose borders provide a connection of the EARS to the South West Indian Ridge as required by plate tectonics. However, the picture is still coarse concerning the location of the rift structures. The 2006 M7 Machaze earthquake in Central Mozambique highlighted the current tectonic activity of the region and added a further clue to the location of the continental rift, prompting the MOZART deployment. Besides helping unravel the current tectonics, the project is expected to shed light on the poorly known Mesoproterozoic structure described by Arthur Holmes in 1951 as the Mozambique Belt, and on the mechanisms of transition from stable craton to rifted continental crust, through the development of a tomographic model for the lithosphere. The MOZART network is distributed South of the Zambezi river at average inter-station spaces of the order of 100 km and includes four stations across the border in South Africa. Data exchange was agreed with AfricaArray. The deployment proceeded in two phases in March 2011, and November and December 2011. Decommissioning is foreseen for August 2013. We report preliminary results for this previously unexplored region concerning the seismicity and ambient noise (see also Domingues et al, this conference), receiver function analysis, surface wave dispersion and SEM forward modelling. These preliminary results will pave the way for a tomographic model of the lithosphere, to be developed in the next stage of the project.

  7. Tertiary arc rifting in northern Luzon, Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Florendo, Federico F.

    1994-06-01

    The North Luzon terrane (NLT), comprising the section of Luzon north of the Philippine Fault, is one of the largest arc terranes in the Philippine Archipelago. Numerous features suggest that the NLT is a late Oligocene to early Miocene analogue for the processes in the modern intra-arc rift zone at the northern end of the Mariana Trough. First, the NLT has bifurcating magmatic arcs sharing similar magmatic histories. These include the Northern Sierra Madre (NSM) and Cordillera Central (CC) magmatic arcs, which are separated by the Cagayan basin but which are linked in the Caraballo Range to the south. The rock record indicates that the NSM, CC, and Caraballo Ranges were active arcs in late Eocene to late Oligocene time. Second, seismic reflection and well data indicate that the Cagayan basin formed by extensional faulting in late Oligocene to early Miocene time. Third, alkalic arc magmatism, recognized to be a precursor of intra-arc rifting in modern settings, occurred at the juncture of the NSM and CC arcs in late Oligocene to early Miocene time. Fourth, oceanic crust, represented by the Itogon ophiolite, formed at the southwestern end of the Cagayan basin in late Oligocene to early Miocene time. Major and trace element chemistry show that the Itogon sheeted dikes have tholeiitic arc and backarc basin basalt affinities. The rock record and geophysical offshore data suggest that the NLT was developing in an island arc system above the subducting West Philippine plate in late Eocene time. Rifting occurred in the island arc from late Oligocene to early Miocene time but did not mature into backarc spreading, most likely because of the collision of the Benham Rise, a basaltic rise in the West Philippine basin, with the NLT. The arc rifting in the NLT may be another manifestation of the extensional tectonism that affected most of Southeast Asia in late Oligocene to early Miocene time, during which the South China and Southeast Sulu basins formed. Subsequent to arc rifting, the history of the NLT has been linked to the subduction of the South China plate along the Manila Trench. The structural history of the Cagayan basin and magmatic history of the southern CC suggest that the subduction in the Manila Trench at the latitude of the NLT began about 15 Ma.

  8. Initial rifting and long-term landscape evolution of the Albertine Rift in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    In East Africa, the feedback between tectonic uplift, erosional denudation and associated possible climate changes is being studied by a multidisciplinary research group, 'RiftLink'. The group's focus is the Albertine Rift of the East African Rift System (EARS), and therein rising Rwenzori Mountains that stretch along the border of the D.R. Congo (DRC) and Uganda. Major questions relate to temporal and spatial evolution of the Rwenzori Mountains and surrounding Albertine Rift: is the surface uplift of the Rwenzoris (>5 km) directly linked to rift movements in Neogene times, or was there a topographic high long before [1]. To understand the morphological evolution of an area or landscape, knowledge about phases of (dis-)equilibrium between rock exhumation and rock uplift governed by climatic and tectonic processes is essential. Low-temperature thermochronology, like fission-track and (U-Th-Sm)/He dating on apatite and zircon (AFT, AHe, ZHe) are well established tools to trace rock displacements through the upper crust. And, therefore, provide fundamental information helping to decipher the long-term landscape evolution of an area. Thermokinematic modelling, applied to samples from different parts of the working area allow to better constrain the cooling history and landscape evolution of the Rwenzori Mts as well as surrounding Albertine Rift which will be discussed in the frame of this presentation. Samples taken along and across the Albertine Rift, cover the area around the Rwenzori Mts and the mountain range itself. From thermochronological analyses (AFT, AHe & ZHe) and subsequent thermal modelling a protracted cooling history since Palaeozoic times can be revealed. This allows tracing back the thermal evolution of this area, long before initiation of the EARS, with the latter showing only minor effects on the cooling of the samples. Striking is the distinct cooling pattern within the Rwenzori Mts, where different blocks can be distinguished revealing differentiated cooling histories. Samples from the southern to south-central part reveal Carboniferous to Permian AFT ages, whereas samples further to the north show Jurassic to Carboniferous AFT cooling ages. Youngest AHe cooling ages of ~25 (0.5) Ma, obtained from this area point to a near surface position of these rocks since Miocene/Oligocene times and very recent (Plio-/Pleistocene) final surface uplift, where erosion could not compensate for. Thermokinematic modelling, applied to samples from different parts of the working area allow to better constrain the cooling history of the Rwenzori Mts and surrounding Albertine Rift and will be discussed in the frame of this presentation.

  9. Physical characteristics and evolutionary trends of continental rifts

    SciTech Connect

    Ramberg, I.B.; Morgan, P.

    1984-01-01

    Rifts may be defined as zones beneath which the entire lithosphere has ruptured in extension. They are widespread and occur in a variety of tectonic settings, and range up to 2,600 m.y. in age. The object of this review is to highlight characteristic features of modern and ancient rifts, to emphasize differences and similarities in order to help characterize evolutionary trends, to identify physical conditions favorable for initiation as well as termination of rifting, and to provide constraints for future modeling studies of rifting. Rifts are characterized on the basis of their structural, geomorphic, magmatic and geophysical features and the diverse character of these features and their evolutionary trends through time are discussed. Mechanisms of rifting are critically examined in terms of the physical characteristics and evolutionary trends of rifts, and it is concluded that while simple models can give valuable insight into specific processes of rifting, individual rifts can rarely, if ever, be characterized by well defined trends predicted by these models. More data are required to clearly define evolutionary trends, and the models require development to incorporate the effects of lithospheric heterogeneities and complex geologic histories.

  10. Structural and stratigraphic evolution of the Anza rift, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William; Morley, Chris K.

    1994-09-01

    The Anza rift is a large, multi-phase continental rift basin that links the Lamu embayment of southern Kenya with the South Sudan rifts. Extension and deposition of syn-rift sediments are known to have commenced by the Neocomian. Aptian-Albian strata have, thus far, not been encountered during limited drilling campaigns and, in at least one well, are replaced by a significant unconformity. Widespread rifting occurred during the Cenomanian to Maastrichtian, and continued into the Early Tertiary. Marine waters appear to have reached the central Anza rift in the Cenomanian, and a second marine incursion may have occurred during the Campanian. As no wells have yet reached basement in the basinal deeps, the possibility exists that the Anza rift may have initiated in the Late Jurassic, in conjunction with extension to the south in the Lamu embayment and to the north in the Blue Nile rift of Sudan. Structural and stratigraphic evolution in the Anza rift followed a pattern that has now been inferred in several rift settings. Early phases of extension were accommodated by moderately dipping faults that produced large stratal rotations. Sedimentary environments were dominantly fluvial, with associated small lakes and dune fields. Volcanic activity is documented for the early Neocomian, but its extent is unknown. This initial style of deformation and sedimentation may have continued through several of the earliest pulses of rifting. By the Late Cretaceous, a new system of steeply dipping faults was established, that produced a deep basin without significant rotation of strata in the north, and only minor rotation in the south. This basin geometry favored the establishment of large, deep lakes, which occasionally were connected to the sea. The older basins were partly cannibalized during the sedimentary in-filling of these successor basins. Early Senonian volcanism was encountered in one well, and reflection seismic evidence suggests that one or more thick, regionally extensive igneous sills were intruded, probably during the Early Tertiary. The change in rift style from early, strongly rotational, shallow basins to late, non-rotational, deep basins has been observed in the southern Gulf of Suez/northern Red Sea, the Southwestern Turkana/northern Kenyan rift, and at Anza. It therefore takes place in rifts in variable tectonic settings, with a wide range of volcanic activity and, presumably, with different driving mechanisms. The shift in deposition in each case is away from early rift-bounding faults toward the half-graben flexural margins, further in-board to the upper structural plate. This suggests at least some component of regional simple shear in the deformation history of the rifted lithosphere, either via broad shear zones or at discrete detachment surfaces.

  11. Style of rifting and the stages of Pangea breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frizon de Lamotte, Dominique; Fourdan, Brendan; Leleu, Sophie; Leparmentier, François; Clarens, Philippe

    2015-05-01

    Pangea results from the progressive amalgamation of continental blocks achieved at 320 Ma. Assuming that the ancient concept of "active" versus "passive" rifting remains pertinent as end-members of more complex processes, we show that the progressive Pangea breakup occurred through a succession of rifting episodes characterized by different tectonic evolutions. A first episode of passive continental rifting during the Upper Carboniferous and Permian led to the formation of the Neo-Tethys Ocean. Then at the beginning of Triassic times, two short episodes of active rifting associated to the Siberian and Emeishan large igneous provinces (LIPs) failed. The true disintegration of Pangea resulted from (1) a Triassic passive rifting leading to the emplacement of the central Atlantic magmatic province (200 Ma) LIP and the subsequent opening of the central Atlantic Ocean during the lowermost Jurassic and from (2) a Lower Jurassic active rifting triggered by the Karoo-Ferrar LIP (183 Ma), which led to the opening of the West Indian Ocean. The same sequence of passive then active rifting is observed during the Lower Cretaceous with, in between, the Parana-Etendeka LIP at 135 Ma. We show that the relationships between the style of rifts and their breakdown or with the type of resulting margins (as magma poor or magma dominated) are not straightforward. Finally, we discuss the respective role of mantle global warming promoted by continental agglomeration and mantle plumes in the weakening of the continental lithosphere and their roles as rifting triggers.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-05-01

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

  13. How Is Lower Crust Modified As A Neo-Rift Becomes A Paleo-Rift and Part Of The Craton?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, M. C.

    2004-12-01

    The Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen (SOA), at the southern end of Laurentia (present coordinates), if behaving as neo-rifts, such as the Rio Grande Rift, presumably possessed a rift structure in the Cambrian with a continental thickness of about 28km. Seismic data, though sparse, suggest a present thickness of the SOA is about 45km, indistinguishable from adjacent rifted Proterozoic crust. By what process do we add 15km to the original SOA crust: underplating, eclogite-gabbro transformation, or deformation? This question has bearing on how we understand and interpret all paleo-rifts now a part of continental cores. Geology of the southern Midcontinent of North America does not show evidence of significant thermal events in the Phanerozoic. This effectively rules out underplating and phase transformation as a cause of change in M-discontinuity depth. Present SOA outcrops are in the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma, part of the easternmost Ancestral Rockies. These outcrops are in the Wichita-Amarillo crustal block uplifted about 7km in the Pennsylvanian. The Anadarko Basin to the north went down about 7km. Large Pennsylvanian thrust faults in the upper brittle crust are documented. Thus it appears that compressive deformation may be able to account for the change in crustal thickness from neo-rift type to paleo-rift and craton type. However, the accommodation made in the lower crust may be more dramatic than deformation in the upper crust because shortening, and thickening of the order of 2X, is probably required. Comparisons with other paleo-rifts in North America, such as the Middle Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift and the NeoProterozoic Reelfoot Rift, show that their crustal thicknesses now also match their previously rifted margins. Can the same sequence, as seems to be the case with the SOA, apply to other paleo-rifts?

  14. Rifting and breakup in the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, Dieter; Savva, Dimitri; Pubellier, Manuel; Steuer, Stephan; Mouly, Benoit; Auxietre, Jean-Luc; Meresse, Florian; Chamot-Rooke, Nicolas

    2014-05-01

    The magma-poor or intermediate magmatic South China Sea is a natural laboratory for studying rifting and breakup. The basin shows an irregular triangular shape with a SW pointing apex, which manifests a preceding propagating rift. The earliest phase of rifting started in the Early Paleocene when a Mesozoic convergent margin changed to extension. After about 30 Million years of rifting, breakup in the major eastern subbasin of the SCS occurred in the Early Oligocene but rifting continued and subsequent breakup of the southwest subbasin took place in the Late Oligocene. The wide Early Cenozoic South China Sea rift preserves the initial rift architecture at the distal margins. Seismic reflection data imaging conjugate crustal sections at the South China Sea margins result in a conceptual model for rift-evolution at conjugate magma-poor margins in time and space. Most distinct are regular undulations in the crust-mantle boundary. Individual rift basins are bounded to crustal blocks by listric normal faults on either side. Moho uplifts are distinct beneath major rift basins, while the Moho is downbended beneath crustal blocks, with a wavelength of undulations in the crust-mantle boundary that approximately equals the thickness of the continental crust. Most of the basin-bounding faults sole out within the middle crust. At the distal margins, detachment faults are located at a mid-crustal level where a weak zone decouples crust and mantle lithosphere during rifting. The lower crust in contrast is interpreted as being strong. Only in the region within about 50 km from the continent-ocean transition (COT) we suggest that normal faults reach the mantle, enabling potentially a coupling between the crust and the mantle. Here, at the proximal margins detachment fault dip either seaward or landward. This may indicate the presence of exhumed mantle bordering the continental margins. Post-rift shallow-water platform carbonates indicate a delay in subsidence during rifting in the South China Sea. We propose that this is an inherent process in highly-extended continental margins and a common origin may be the influx of warm asthenospheric material into initially cool sub-lithospheric mantle. On a crustal-scale largely symmetric process predominate in the initial rifting stage. At the future COT either of the rift basin bounding faults subsequently penetrates the entire crust, resulting in asymmetry at this location. However, asymmetric deformation which is controlled by large scale detachment faulting is confined to narrow areas and does not result in a margin-wide simple-shear model. Rather considerable along-margin variations are suggested resulting in alternating "upper and lower plate" margins.

  15. Understanding the Transition From Continental to Oceanic Rifting in the Northern Ethiopian Rift - the EAGLE Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuart, G.

    2003-12-01

    A consortium of UK (Leeds, Leicester, Royal Holloway, Edinburgh,), US (Stanford, UTEP, Penn State,) and Ethiopian (Addis Ababa) universities are exploring the kinematics and dynamics of continental breakup through the Ethiopia Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE), which aims to probe the crust and upper mantle structure between the Main Ethiopian (continental) and Afar (ocean spreading) rifts. EAGLE is a multi-disciplinary study centered around a set of passive and controlled-source seismic experiments, and incorporates additional magnetotelluric, gravity, GPS and petrological studies. The initial Phase I seismic experiment consisted of a deployment of 30 broadband seismometers for a period of 16 months (Oct. 2001 to Jan. 2003) over a 250 km x 250 km area of the rift valley and its uplifted flanks. P- and S-wave tompography from teleseismic traveltime residuals, SKS splitting analyses and receiver functions provide images of crust and deep earth structure. The Phase II seismic experiment consisted of a further 50 broadband instruments for a period of 4 months over a 200 km x 100 km area encompassing 4 magmatic segments in the Main Ethiopian Rift. These recordings have furthered our understanding of the location of active seismicity, fault plane mechanisms and segmentation of rift crustal structure. Phase III consisted of the deployment of a further 1100 seismic instruments during a controlled source seismic project involving 20 shots being fired into one 450 km cross-rift profile (Profile 1), one 450 km axial profile (Profile 2), and a dense 2D array of instruments in a 150 km diameter circle around the profiles1 intersection (Profile 3), all centered on the magmatically active Nazret region. The crust and upper mantle velocity models derived provide estimates of total crustal thinning across the rift, assess the role of basement in the location of major faults and magmatic segments, and determine whether significant underplating takes place. An 18 sounding magnetotelluric profile along the cross rift profile I provides additional constraints on the nature and distribution of crustal heterogeneity, and images melt accumulation zones. New gravity and geodetic information have also been acquired.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bingham, Robert; Ferraccioli, Fausto

    2014-05-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) forms one of the largest continental rift systems on Earth. The WARS is of major significance as it forms the lithospheric cradle for the marine-based and potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Seismic refraction, reflection, aeromagnetic, gravity and drilling in the Ross Sea have revealed most of what we know about its structure, tectonic and magmatic patterns and sedimentary basins. Aerogeophysical research and passive seismic networks have considerably extended our knowledge of the WARS and its influence on the overlying WAIS in the Siple Coast and Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) regions. The Bellingshausen Sea Embayment region has however remained largely unexplored, and hence the possible extent of the WARS in this sector has remained poorly constrained. Here we use a combination of reconnaissance ground-based and airborne radar observations, airborne gravity, satellite gravity and aeromagnetic data to investigate the WARS in the Bellingshausen Sea Embayment, in the area of the Ferrigno Ice Stream (Bingham et al., 2012, Nature). This region is of high significance, as it one of the main sectors of the WAIS that is currently exhibiting rapid ice loss, thought to be driven primarily by oceanic warming. Assessing geological controls on subice topography and ice dynamics is therefore of prime importance in this part of the WAIS. Ground-based and airborne radar image a subglacial basin beneath the Ferrigno Ice Stream that is up to 1.5 kilometres deep and that connects the ice-sheet interior to the Bellingshausen Sea margin. We interpret this basin as a narrow, glacially overdeepened rift basin that formed at the northwestern tip of the WARS. Satellite gravity data cannot resolve such a narrow rift basin but indicate that the crust beneath the region is likely thinned, lending support to the hypothesis that this area is indeed part of the WARS. Widely-spaced aeromagnetic data image a linear low along the inferred Ferrigno rift, but provide no evidence for high-amplitude aeromagnetic anomalies, typically associated with Cenozoic magmatism within the WARS. However, the reconnaissance character of these data, do not enable us to rule out the presence of magmatism within this part of the rift and cannot disclose the potential greater variability in subglacial geology either. Bingham et al. (2012) proposed the glacially overdeepened Ferrigno rift basins provided major controls for a palaeo-ice stream on the adjacent continental shelf during glacial maxima. The palaeo-ice stream, in turn, eroded the 'Belgica' trough, which today routes warm open ocean water back to the ice front to potentially reinforce dynamic thinning. Dynamic thinning in the Bellingshausen Sea region appears to be steered back to the ice-sheet interior along the Ferrigno rift system. We conclude that detailed aerogeophysical studies of the inferred rift basins that cut across the WAIS margin in the Bellingshausen Sea sector are a high priority to: a) better comprehend the structure and the tectono-magmatic evolution of the WARS and; b) to test the hypothesis that these rifts play a key role in rapidly transmitting oceanic-driven change inland, potentially promoting accelerated ice-sheet instability.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    We have employed a multifaceted approach to sedimentary provenance analysis in order to assess the timing and magnitude of tectonic events, sedimentation, and landscape development in the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Our approach, termed 'Sedimentary Triple Dating', integrates: (1) U-Pb dating via LA-ICPMS; (2) fission track; and (3) (U-Th)/He thermochronology of detrital zircon and apatite. We integrate geochronology, thermochronology, and provenance analysis to relate the initiation of rifting events to regional dynamic uplift, sedimentation patterns, and interpret the far-reaching climatic and evolutionary effects of fluctuating rift flank topography in the Rukwa Rift, a segment of the Western Branch. This work provides additional data to support the recent concept of synchronous development of the Western and Eastern branches of the East African Rift System ~25 Ma, and better constrains the age, location and provenance of subsequent rifting and sedimentation events in the Rukwa Rift Basin. Investigation of well cuttings and outcrop samples from the Neogene-Recent Lake Beds Succession in the Rukwa Rift Basin revealed a suite of previously unrecognized tuffaceous deposits at the base of the succession. A population of euhedral, magmatic zircons from a basal Lake Beds tuff and Miocene-Pliocene detrital zircons from well cuttings suggest that Neogene rift reactivation and volcanism began ~9-10 Ma. This timing is consistent with demonstrated rifting in Uganda and Malawi, as well as with the initiation of volcanism in the Rungwe Volcanic Province at the southern end of the Rukwa Rift, and the estimated development of Lake Tanganyika to the north. Moreover, there appear to be a suite of unconformity bounded stratigraphic units that make up the Lower Lake Beds succession, and detrital zircon maximum depositional ages from these units suggests episodic sedimentation in the rift, punctuated by long hiatuses or uplift, rather than steady subsidence and sedimentation. A distinct, upward-younging trend in detrital zircon populations associated with each stratigraphic interval suggests that volcanism was also episodic through the Late Miocene-Pliocene, and linked to periods of rifting and basin filling. Detrital zircon populations are dominated by Paleoproterozoic grains of the same age as the metamorphic Ubendian Belt that underlies the rift basin and forms the flanks. This provenance, volcaniclastic-dominated sedimentation, and clasts from the rift flanks suggest an internally draining basin and high rift flanks associated with the most recent rifting episode. There are also dominant populations of Neoproterozoic and Mesoproterozoic zircons, likely reworked from the underlying Cretaceous sandstones and derived from younger metamorphic terranes of the Ubendian Belt. Volcanic pulses associated with rifting are responsible for the young magmatic zircons, and suggest the initiation of a late Cenozoic rifting event, further constraining the timing of rifting and basin development in the Western Branch, as well as the timing of landscape change associated with erosion and uplift. Our dates additionally provide important temporal context for the rich vertebrate record described from the East African Rift, illuminating the tectonic backdrop of important large-scale faunal shifts in East Africa.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha

    2015-04-01

    Present-day knowledge of rifted margin formation is largely based on 2D seismic lines, 2D conceptual models, and corroborated by 2D numerical experiments. However, the 2D assumption that the extension direction is perpendicular to the rift trend is often invalid. In fact, worldwide more than 75% of all rifted margin segments have been formed under significant obliquity exceeding 20° (angle measured between extension direction and rift trend normal): During formation of the Atlantic Ocean, oblique rifting dominated at the sheared margins of South Africa and Patagonia, the Equatorial Atlantic margins, separation of Greenland and North America, and it played a major role in the protracted rift history of the North East Atlantic. Outside the Atlantic Ocean, oblique rifting occurred during the split between East and West Gondwana, the separation of India and Australia, India and Madagascar, Australia and Antarctica, as well as Arabia and Africa. It is presently observed in the Gulf of California, the Aegean and in the East African Rift. Despite its significance, the degree to which oblique lithospheric extension affects first-order rift and passive margin properties like surface stress pattern, fault azimuths, and basin geometry, is still not entirely clear. This contribution provides insight in crustal stress patterns and fault orientations by applying a 3D numerical rift model to oblique extensional settings. The presented forward experiments cover the whole spectrum of oblique extension (i.e. rift-orthogonal extension, low obliquity, high obliquity, strike-slip deformation) from initial deformation to breakup. They are conducted using an elasto-visco-plastic finite element model and involve crustal and mantle layers accounting for self-consistent necking of the lithosphere. Results are thoroughly compared to previous analogue experiments, which yields many similarities but also distinct differences for late rift stages and for high obliquity. Even though the model setup is very simple (horizontally layered, no inherited faults, constant extension velocity and direction), its evolution exhibits a variety of fault orientations that are solely caused by the three-dimensionality of oblique rift systems. Allowing new insights on fault patterns of the proximal and distal margins, the model shows that individual fault populations are activated in a characteristic multi-phase evolution driven by lateral density variations of the evolving rift system. Moreover, the model depicts strain partitioning between rift-parallel and rift-perpendicular far-field velocity components that are accommodated by strike-slip faults in the rift centre and normal faults at the rift sides, respectively. Oblique extensional systems worldwide differ in many aspects and clearly one suit of models cannot explain all rifted margin structures at the same time. However, the distinct pattern of fault populations discussed in this study and their sequence of activity compares very well to previous studies of the Gulf of Aden and holds implications for many other rifted margins worldwide. Note that in nature, the resulting stress and fault pattern will also be affected by inherited heterogeneities, surface processes, as well as melting and dyke dynamics.

  19. Age of rifting and associated volcanism in Atla Regio, Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.

    1993-05-01

    An estimation of the age of rifting and associated volcanism in Atla Regio is carried out based on photogeologic analyses of the stratigraphic relationships between rift-associated features and impact craters which have associated radar-dark paraboloids. The association of impact craters with dark paraboloids indicates that at least the last stages of tectonic and volcanic rift-associated activity in Atla Regio are contemporaneous with the formation of impact craters young enough to preserve the associated dark paraboloids. If these craters represent the youngest 10 percent of the Venus crater population, as is believed, and the average of the Venusian surface is about 500 m.y., then the rifting and rift-associated volcanism in Atla Regio were active as recently as during the last 50 m.y. or so.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Previous studies have discussed how tectonic processes could produce relative tension to initiate and propagate rift zones and estimated the magnitude of the rift-driving forces. Both analytic and semi-analytic models as well as numerical simulations assume that the tectonic force required to initiate rifting is available. However, Buck (2004, 2006) estimated the minimum tectonic force to allow passive rifting and concluded that the available forces are probably not large enough for rifting of thick and strong lithosphere in the absence of basaltic magmatism (the "Tectonic Force" Paradox). The integral of the yielding stress needed for rifting over the thickness of the normal or thicker continental lithosphere are well above the available tectonic forces and tectonic rifting cannot happen (Buck, 2006). This conclusion is based on the assumption that the tectonic stress has to overcome simultaneously the yielding stress over the whole lithosphere thickness and ignore gradual weakening of the brittle rocks under long-term loading. In this study we demonstrate that the rifting process under moderate tectonic stretching is feasible due to gradual weakening and "long-term memory" of the heavily fractured brittle rocks, which makes it significantly weaker than the surrounding intact rock. This process provides a possible solution for the tectonic force paradox. We address these questions utilizing 3-D lithosphere-scale numerical simulations of the plate motion and faulting process base on the damage mechanics. The 3-D modeled volume consists of three main lithospheric layers: an upper layer of weak sediments, middle layer of crystalline crust and lower layer of the lithosphere mantle. Results of the modeling demonstrate gradual formation of the rift zone in the continental lithosphere with the flat layered structure. Successive formation of the rift system and associated seismicity pattern strongly depend not only on the applied tectonic force, but also on the healing parameters of the crustal rocks. Results of the modeling also demonstrate how the lithosphere structure and especially depth to the Moho interface affects the geometry of the propagating rift system. With the same boundary conditions and physical properties of rocks as in the case of the flat continental structure, a rift terminates above the passive continental margin and a new fault system is created normal to the direction of the rift propagation. These results demonstrate that the local lithosphere structure is one of the major key factors controlling the geometry of the evolving rift system, faulting and seismicity pattern. Results of simulations suggest that under wide range of conditions a rift propagating through a continental lithosphere might cease before it reaches the margin where transition to oceanic lithosphere occurs. Close to the margin different tectonic styles might take over the propagation. This behavior has been suggested for the NW continuation of the active Red Sea-Suez rift system and initiation of the Dead Sea Transform (Steckler and ten Brink, 1986). With the onset of the Red Sea opening (about Oligocene) the sub-parallel Azraq-Sirhan rift was also activated and propagated in a NW direction from the Arabian continent toward the Levant basin oceanic crust. By applying our 3-D lithosphere-scale numerical simulations on the Azraq-Sirhan rift system, we conclude that thinning of the crystalline crust and strengthening of the Arabian lithosphere led to a decrease or even termination of the rate of rift propagation next to the continental margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Papers presented to the Conference on the Processes of Planetary Rifting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The basic problems of processes of planetary rifting are addressed from the following viewpoints: (1) speculation as to the origin and development of rifts; (2) rifts on other planets; (3) tectonics; (4) geology; (5) chemistry of the lithosphere; (6) physics of the lithosphere; and (7) resources associated with rifting. The state of ignorance on the subject and its remedy is debated.

  5. Reassessment of the rifting process in the Western Corinth Rift from relocated seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambotte, S.; Lyon-Caen, H.; Bernard, P.; Deschamps, A.; Patau, G.; Nercessian, A.; Pacchiani, F.; Bourouis, S.; Drilleau, M.; Adamova, P.

    2014-06-01

    The seismic activity in the western part of the Corinth Rift (Greece) over the period 2000-2007, monitored by a dense network of three-component stations, is analysed in terms of multiplets and high precision relocation using double difference techniques. This detailed analysis provides new insights into the geometry of faults at depth, the nature and the structure of the active zone at 6-8 km depth previously interpreted as a possible detachment, and more generally into the rifting process. The seismicity exhibits a complex structure, strongly varying along the rift axis. The detailed picture of the seismic zone below the rift indicates that its shallower part (at depths of 6-8 km) is 1-1.5 km thick with a complex microstructure, and that its deeper part (at depths of 9-12 km) gently dipping to the north (10-20°) is 0.1-0.3 km thick with a microstructure consistent with the general slope of the structure. Although the nature of this seismic zone remains an open question, the presence of seismicity beneath the main active area, the strong variability of the structure along the rift over short distances and the complex microstructure of the shallower part revealed by the multiplet analysis are arguments against the hypothesis of a mature detachment under the rift: this active zone more likely represents a layer of diffuse deformation. The geometry of the mapped active faults is not well defined at depth, as no seismicity is observed between 0 and 4 km, except for the Aigion Fault rooting in the seismic layer at 6 km depth with a dip of 60°. A distinct cloud of seismicity may be associated with the antithetic Kalithea Fault, on which the 1909 Fokis earthquake (Ms = 6.3) may have occurred. The link between the 1995 rupture (Ms = 6.2) and the faults known at the surface has been better constrained, as the relocated seismicity favours a rupture on an offshore, blind fault dipping at 30°, rather than on the deeper part of the East Helike Fault. Consequently, the 1995 event is expected to have decreased the Coulomb stress on the East Helike Fault. To explain these seismic observations along with the geodetic observations, a new mechanical model for the rifting process in this region is proposed, involving non-elastic, mostly aseismic uniform NS opening below the rift axis, coupled with the downward and northward growth of a yet immature detachment: the reported GPS rates would mainly result from this deep, silent source, and the seismicity would reveal the detachment position, not yet connected to the ductile lower crust. In such a model, the strong fluctuations of microseismicity would result from small strain instabilities, undetected by continuous GPS and possibly related to pore pressure transients.

  6. Evolution, distribution, and characteristics of rifting in southern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippon, Melody; Corti, Giacomo; Sani, Federico; Bonini, Marco; Balestrieri, Maria-Laura; Molin, Paola; Willingshofer, Ernst; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2014-04-01

    Southern Ethiopia is a key region to understand the evolution of the East African rift system, since it is the area of interaction between the main Ethiopian rift (MER) and the Kenyan rift. However, geological data constraining rift evolution in this remote area are still relatively sparse. In this study the timing, distribution, and style of rifting in southern Ethiopia are constrained by new structural, geochronological, and geomorphological data. The border faults in the area are roughly parallel to preexisting basement fabrics and are progressively more oblique with respect to the regional Nubia-Somalia motion proceeding southward. Kinematic indicators along these faults are mainly dip slip, pointing to a progressive rotation of the computed direction of extension toward the south. Radiocarbon data indicate post 30 ka faulting at both western and eastern margins of the MER with limited axial deformation. Similarly, geomorphological data suggest recent fault activity along the western margins of the basins composing the Gofa Province and in the Chew Bahir basin. This supports that interaction between the MER and the Kenyan rift in southern Ethiopia occurs in a 200 km wide zone of ongoing deformation. Fault-related exhumation at ~10-12 Ma in the Gofa Province, as constrained by new apatite fission track data, occurred later than the ~20 Ma basement exhumation of the Chew Bahir basin, thus pointing to a northward propagation of the Kenyan rift-related extension in the area.

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

    PubMed

    Thybo, H; Nielsen, C A

    2009-02-12

    Continental rift zones are long, narrow tectonic depressions in the Earth's surface where the entire lithosphere has been modified in extension. Rifting can eventually lead to rupture of the continental lithosphere and creation of new oceanic lithosphere or, alternatively, lead to formation of wide sedimentary basins around failed rift zones. Conventional models of rift zones include three characteristic features: surface manifestation as an elongated topographic trough, Moho shallowing due to crustal thinning, and reduced seismic velocity in the uppermost mantle due to decompression melting or heating from the Earth's interior. Here we demonstrate that only the surface manifestation is observed at the Baikal rift zone, whereas the crustal and mantle characteristics can be ruled out by a new seismic profile across southern Lake Baikal in Siberia. Instead we observe a localized zone in the lower crust which has exceptionally high seismic velocity and is highly reflective. We suggest that the expected Moho uplift was compensated by magmatic intrusion into the lower crust, producing the observed high-velocity zone. This finding demonstrates a previously unknown role for magmatism in rifting processes with significant implications for estimation of stretching factors and modelling of sedimentary basins around failed rift structures. PMID:19212408

  8. Implications and applications of rifting patterns on lava lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlstrom, L.; Manga, M.

    2006-12-01

    The solid crust on actively convecting lava lakes exhibits distinctive rift geometries. Based on experiments using paraffin wax as an analog for magma, we identify three regimes of rifting whose morphologies depend on the speed at which solidifying crust is pulled apart, material composition, and the heat transfer mechanisms that result in solidification of newly exposed liquid. We develop a theoretical model for the distinctive "zigzag" rifting regime, which allows us to scale the lab experiments to lava lakes. With a knowledge of the magma composition and temperature, this model enables us to calculate the velocity of spreading crust, or the thickness of solidifying crust, with the measurement of two parameters characteristic of the zigzag rifts: the angle between segments that define the zigzags in the rift and the amplitude of these zigzags. We then compare our calculations directly to the measured crust-spreading velocities on real lava lakes. Although magma composition strongly affects the crust-spreading velocities and size of rift patterns, we predict that the strength of convective resurfacing processes within the lakes may be ascertained based on the morphology and regime of the rifts.

  9. Martian canyons and African rifts - Structural comparisons and implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H.

    1979-01-01

    The resistant parts of the canyon walls of the Martian rift complex Valles Marineris have been used to infer an earlier, less eroded reconstruction of the major troughs. The individual canyons are compared with individual rifts of East Africa. When measured in units of planetary radius, Martian canyons show a distribution of lengths nearly identical to those in Africa, both for individual rifts and for compound rift systems. A common mechanism which scales with planetary radius is suggested. Martian canyons are significantly wider than African rifts. This is consistent with the longstanding idea that rift width is related to crustal thickness: most evidence favors a crust on Mars at least 50% thicker than that of Africa. The overall patterns of the rift systems of Africa and Mars are quite different in that the African systems are composed of numerous small faults with highly variable trend. On Mars the trends are less variable; individual scraps are straighter for longer than on earth. The basement and lithosphere of Mars are inferred to be simple, reflecting a relatively inactive tectonic history prior to the formation of the canyonlands.

  10. Composition of the crust beneath the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooney, W.D.; Christensen, N.I.

    1994-01-01

    We infer the composition of the crust beneath and on the flanks of the Kenya rift based on a comparison of the KRISP-90 crustal velocity structure with laboratory measurements of compressional-wave velocities of rock samples from Kenya. The rock samples studied, which are representative of the major lithologies exposed in Kenya, include volcanic tuffs and flows (primarily basalts and phonolites), and felsic to intermediate composition gneisses. This comparison indicates that the upper crust (5-12 km depth) consists primarily of quartzo-feldspathic gneisses and schists similar to rocks exposed on the flanks of the rift, whereas the middle crust (12-22 km depth) consists of more mafic, hornblende-rich metamorphic rocks, probably intruded by mafic rocks beneath the rift axis. The lower crust on the flanks of the rift may consist of mafic granulite facies rocks. Along the rift axis, the lower crust varies in thickness from 9 km in the southern rift to only 2-3 km in the north, and has a seismic velocity substantially higher than the samples investigated in this study. The lower crust of the rift probably consists of a crust/mantle mix of high-grade metamorphic rocks, mafic intrusives, and an igneous mafic residuum accreted to the base of the crust during differentiation of a melt derived from the upper mantle. ?? 1994.

  11. Tectonic Framework of the Kachchh Rift Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talwani, P.; Gangopadhyay, A. K.

    2001-05-01

    Evaluation of available geological data has allowed us to determine the tectonic framework of the Kachchh rift basin (KRB), the host to the 1819 Kachchh (MW 7.8), 1956 Anjar ( M 6.0) and the recent January 26, 2001 Bhachau (MW 7.6) earthquakes. The ~ 500 km x 200 km east-west trending KRB was formed during the Mesozoic following the break-up of Gondwanaland. It is bounded to the north and south by the Nagar Parkar and Kathiawar faults which separate it from the Precambrian granitic rocks of the Indian craton. The eastern border is the Radanpur-Barmer arch (defined by an elongate belt of gravity highs) which separates it from the early Cretaceous Cambay rift basin. KRB extends ~ 150 km offshore to its western boundary, the continental shelf. Following India's collision with Eurasia, starting ~ 50 MY ago, there was a stress reversal, from an extensional to the (currently N-S) compressional regime. Various geological observations attest to continuous tectonic activity within the KRB. Mesozoic sediments were uplifted and folded and then intruded by Deccan trap basalt flows in late Cretaceous. Other evidence of continuous tectonic activity include seismically induced soft sediment deformation features in the Upper Jurassic Katrol formation on the Kachchh Mainland and in the Holocene sequences in the Great Rann. Pleistocene faulting in the fluvial sequence along the Mahi River (in the bordering Cambay rift) and minor uplift during late Quaternary at Nal Sarovar, prehistoric and historic seismicity associated with surface deformation further attest to ongoing tectonic activity. KRB has responded to N-S compressional stress regime by the formation of east-west trending folds associated with Allah Bund, Kachchh Mainland, Banni, Vigodi, Katrol Hills and Wagad faults. The Allah Bund, Katrol Hill and Kachchh Mainland faults were associated with the 1819, 1956 and 2001 earthquakes. Northeast trending Median High, Bhuj fault and Rajkot-Lathi lineament cut across the east-west trending faults. This tectonic framework suggests that KRB provides a local weak zone in the otherwise stable continental Indian craton and the observed seismicity occurs in response to the N-S compression.

  12. Venus: volcanism and rift formation in Beta regio.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D B; Head, J W; Harmon, J K; Hine, A A

    1984-10-12

    A new high-resolution radar image of Beta Regio, a Venus highland area, confirms the presence of a major tectonic rift system and associated volcanic activity. The lack of identifiable impact craters, together with the apparent superposition of the Theia Mons volcanic structure on the rift system, suggest that at least some of the volcanic activity occurred in relatively recent geologic time. The presence of topographically similar highland areas elsewhere on Venus (Aphrodite Terra, Dali Chasma, and Diana Chasma) suggests that rifting and volcanism are significant processes on Venus. PMID:17814347

  13. Venus - Volcanism and rift formation in Beta Regio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, D. B.; Harmon, J. K.; Hine, A. A.; Head, J. W.

    1984-01-01

    A new high-resolution radar image of Beta Regio, a Venus highland area, confirms the presence of a major tectonic rift system and associated volcanic activity. The lack of identifiable impact craters, together with the apparent superposition of the Theia Mons volcanic structure on the rift system, suggest that at least some of the volcanic activity occurred in relatively recent geologic time. The presence of topographically similar highland areas elsewhere on Venus (Aphrodite Terra, Dali Chasma, and Diana Chasma) suggests that rifting and volcanism are significant processes on Venus.

  14. Venus - Volcanism and rift formation in Beta Regio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, D. B.; Head, J. W.; Harmon, J. K.; Hine, A. A.

    1984-10-01

    A new high-resolution radar image of Beta Regio, a Venus highland area, confirms the presence of a major tectonic rift system and associated volcanic activity. The lack of identifiable impact craters, together with the apparent superposition of the Theia Mons volcanic structure on the rift system, suggest that at least some of the volcanic activity occurred in relatively recent geologic time. The presence of topographically similar highland areas elsewhere on Venus (Aphrodite Terra, Dali Chasma, and Diana Chasma) suggests that rifting and volcanism are significant processes on Venus.

  15. Rift Valley Fever, Sudan, 2007 and 2010

    PubMed Central

    Aradaib, Imadeldin E.; Erickson, Bobbie R.; Elageb, Rehab M.; Khristova, Marina L.; Carroll, Serena A.; Elkhidir, Isam M.; Karsany, Mubarak E.; Karrar, AbdelRahim E.; Elbashir, Mustafa I.

    2013-01-01

    To elucidate whether Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) diversity in Sudan resulted from multiple introductions or from acquired changes over time from 1 introduction event, we generated complete genome sequences from RVFV strains detected during the 2007 and 2010 outbreaks. Phylogenetic analyses of small, medium, and large RNA segment sequences indicated several genetic RVFV variants were circulating in Sudan, which all grouped into Kenya-1 or Kenya-2 sublineages from the 2006–2008 eastern Africa epizootic. Bayesian analysis of sequence differences estimated that diversity among the 2007 and 2010 Sudan RVFV variants shared a most recent common ancestor circa 1996. The data suggest multiple introductions of RVFV into Sudan as part of sweeping epizootics from eastern Africa. The sequences indicate recent movement of RVFV and support the need for surveillance to recognize when and where RVFV circulates between epidemics, which can make data from prediction tools easier to interpret and preventive measures easier to direct toward high-risk areas. PMID:23347790

  16. Regional magnetic anomaly constraints on continental rifting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vonfrese, R. R. B.; Hinze, W. J.; Olivier, R.; Bentley, C. R.

    1985-01-01

    Radially polarized MAGSAT anomalies of North and South America, Europe, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica demonstrate remarkably detailed correlation of regional magnetic lithospheric sources across rifted margins when plotted on a reconstruction of Pangea. These major magnetic features apparently preserve their integrity until a superimposed metamorphoric event alters the magnitude and pattern of the anomalies. The longevity of continental scale magnetic anomalies contrasts markedly with that of regional gravity anomalies which tend to reflect predominantly isostatic adjustments associated with neo-tectonism. First observed as a result of NASA's magnetic satellite programs, these anomalies provide new and fundamental constraints on the geologic evolution and dynamics of the continents and oceans. Accordingly, satellite magnetic observations provide a further tool for investigating continental drift to compliment other lines of evidence in paleoclimatology, paleontology, paleomagnetism, and studies of the radiometric ages and geometric fit of the continents.

  17. Diagnostic approaches for Rift Valley fever.

    PubMed

    Wilson, W C; Weingartl, H M; Drolet, B S; Davé, K; Harpster, M H; Johnson, P A; Faburay, B; Ruder, M G; Richt, J A; McVey, D S

    2013-01-01

    Disease outbreaks caused by arthropod-borne animal viruses (arboviruses) resulting in significant livestock and economic losses world-wide appear to be increasing. Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus is an important arbovirus that causes lethal disease in cattle, camels, sheep and goats in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is concern that this virus could spread because of global warming, increased animal trade or through bioterrorism. This paper discusses the current and developing approaches to diagnosis of RVF. Diagnostic assays are available for RVF, but availability can be limited and there is a need for global harmonization. Continued improvement of standard serological and viral genome amplification approaches, including new embedded/syndromic testing, biosensor, emerging virus detection and characterization technologies is needed. PMID:23689885

  18. Diffuse Radiation from the Aquila Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jyothy, S. N.; Murthy, Jayant; Karuppath, Narayanankutty; Sujatha, N. V.

    2015-12-01

    We present an analysis of the diffuse ultraviolet (UV) background in a low latitude region near the Aquila Rift based on observations made by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). The UV background is at a level of about 2000 ph cm-2 s-1 sr-1 Å-1 with no correlation with either the Galactic latitude or the 100 μm infrared (IR) emission. Rather, the UV emission falls off with distance from the bright B2 star HIP 88149, which is in the centre of the field. We have used a Monte Carlo model to derive an albedo of 0.6-0.7 in the UV with a phase function asymmetry factor (g) of 0.2-0.4. The value for the albedo is dependent on the dust distribution while g is determined by the extent of the halo.

  19. The role of inheritance in structuring hyperextended rift systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manatschal, Gianreto; Lavier, Luc; Chenin, Pauline

    2015-04-01

    A long-standing question in Earth Sciences is related to the importance of inheritance in controlling tectonic processes. In contrast to physical processes that are generally applicable, assessing the role of inheritance suffers from two major problems: firstly, it is difficult to appraise without having insights into the history of a geological system; and secondly all inherited features are not reactivated during subsequent deformation phases. Therefore, the aim of our presentation is to give some conceptual framework about how inheritance may control the architecture and evolution of hyperextended rift systems. We use the term inheritance to refer to the difference between an "ideal" layer-cake type lithosphere and a "real" lithosphere containing heterogeneities and we define 3 types of inheritance, namely structural, compositional and thermal inheritance. Moreover, we assume that the evolution of hyperextended rift systems reflects the interplay between their inheritance (innate/"genetic code") and the physical processes at play (acquired/external factors). Thus, by observing the architecture and evolution of hyperextended rift systems and integrating the physical processes, one my get hints on what may have been the original inheritance of a system. Using this approach, we focus on 3 well-studied rift systems that are the Alpine Tethys, Pyrenean-Bay of Biscay and Iberia-Newfoundland rift systems. For the studied examples we can show that: 1) strain localization on a local scale and during early stages of rifting is controlled by inherited structures and weaknesses 2) the architecture of the necking zone seems to be influenced by the distribution and importance of ductile layers during decoupled deformation and is consequently controlled by the thermal structure and/or the inherited composition of the curst 3) the location of breakup in the 3 examples is not significantly controlled by the inherited structures 4) inherited mantle composition and rift-related mantle processes may control the rheology of the mantle, the magmatic budget, the thermal structure and the localization of final rifting Conversely, the deformation in hyperextended domains is strongly controlled by weak hydrated minerals (e.g. clay, serpentinite) that result form the breakdown of feldspar and olivine due to fluid and reaction assisted deformation and is consequently not inherited but the result of rift induced processes. These key observations show that both inheritance and rift-induced processes play a significant role in the development of magma-poor rift systems and that the role of inheritance may change as the physical conditions vary during the evolving rifting and as rift-induced processes (serpentinization; magma) become more important. Thus, it is not only important to determine the "genetic code" of a rift system, but also to understand how it interacts and evolves during rifting. Understand how far these new ideas and concepts derived from the southern North Atlantic and Alpine Tethys can be translated to other less explored hyperextended rift systems will be one of the challenges of the future research in rifted margins.

  20. Teleseismic body wave tomography within a highly extended continental rift: the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eilon, Z.; Abers, G. A.; Jin, G.; Kim, Y.; Gaherty, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    The Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea, has been a region of westward-propagating continental extension for 6-8 Ma, grading westward from seafloor spreading to newly thinned continent. The D'Entrecasteaux Islands (DIs) lie immediately to the west of the youngest spreading centres in continental crust that has undergone 140-190 km of extension. These islands are dominated by metamorphic core complexes (MCCs) containing 5-6 Ma ultra-high pressure (UHP) coesite-eclogite exhumed at ~20 mm/yr coeval with extension. An array of 31 PASSCAL broadband seismometers and 8 broadband OBSs was installed around the region from 2010-2011 to investigate the thinned continent close to the onset of seafloor spreading. We present results of a teleseismic P- and S- wave tomography study that images the mantle beneath the rapidly extending continent. Preliminary observations include strong azimuthal dependence of differential travel times, indicating significant lateral velocity variations and inferred thermal gradients. Using Ps receiver functions and SsPmP reflections, we estimate variations in Moho depth to correct for the crustal effect on travel times. We observe large (>1s) travel time delays beneath the DIs in both P and S arrivals, while stations on the Trobriand Islands and Papuan Peninsula exhibit travel time deficits of 1-2 s. This indicates that lithosphere is thinnest beneath the DIs, along the axis of the rift, in agreement with the location of Quaternary volcanism and consistent with results from surface waves [Ge et al., AGU2013 abstract] and a previous, lower-resolution tomographic study nearby. There is also evidence for moderately thinned lithosphere in the basin immediately south of the DIs. We have previously established strong, spreading-parallel anisotropy from SKS splitting caused by mantle olivine fabric beneath the DIs and the Trobriand Platform, inferred to represent asthenospheric flow in response to rifting. Detailed tomography will reveal how thinning of mantle lithosphere varies with depth and distance from the rift axis, and possibly other features related to UHP exhumation. We anticipate an improved understanding of the kinematics of lithospheric thinning, and the transition in deep structure between rifted continent and adjacent spreading centers. Differential teleseismic P-wave travel times from cross-correlation of 192 earthquakes between March 2010 and August 2011, with crustal correction applied assuming Vp_crust = 6.2 km/s. Delay times at each station are plotted by back azimuth.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

    [1] The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is a classic narrow rift that developed in hot, weak lithosphere, not in the initially cold, thick, and strong lithosphere that would be predicted by common models of rift mode formation. Our new 1-D seismic velocity profiles from Rayleigh wave/receiver function joint inversion across the MER and the Ethiopian Plateau indicate that hot lower crust and upper mantle are present throughout the broad region affected by Oligocene flood basalt volcanism, including both the present rift and the adjacent Ethiopian Plateau hundreds of kilometers from the rift valley. The region of hot lithosphere closely corresponds to the region of flood basalt volcanism, and we interpret that the volcanism and thermal perturbation were jointly caused by impingement of the Afar plume head. Across the affected region, Vs is 3.6-3.8 km/s in the lowermost crust and ???4.3 km/s in the uppermost mantle, both ??0.3 km/s lower than in the eastern and western branches of the East African Rift System to the south. We interpret the low Vs in the lower crust and upper mantle as indicative of hot lithosphere with partial melt. Our results lead to a hybrid rift mode, in which the brittle upper crust has developed as a narrow rift along the Neoproterozoic suture between East and West Gondwana, while at depth lithospheric deformation is distributed over the broad region (??400 km wide) thermally perturbed by the broad thermal upwelling associated with the Afar plume head. Development of both the East African Rift System to the south (in cold, strong lithosphere) and the MER to the north (in hot, weak lithosphere) as narrow rifts, despite their vastly different initial thermal states and depth-integrated lithospheric strength, indicates that common models of rift mode formation that focus only on temperature, thickness, and vertical strength profiles do not apply to these classic continental rifts. Instead, inherited structure and associated lithospheric weaknesses are the primary control on the mode of extension. ?? 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  2. Relationship of coronae, regional plains and rift zones on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krassilnikov, A. S.; Kostama, V.-P.; Aittola, M.; Guseva, E. N.; Cherkashina, O. S.

    2012-08-01

    Coronae and rifts are the most prominent volcano-tectonic features on the surface of Venus. Coronae are large radial-concentric structures with diameters of 100 to over 1000 km. They have varied topographical shapes, radial and concentric fracturing and compressional tectonic structures are common for their annuli. Massive volcanism is also connected with some of the structures. Coronae are interpreted to be the result of updoming and fracturing on the surface due to interaction of mantle diapirs with the lithosphere and its subsequent gravitational relaxation. According to Stofan et al. (2001), two types of coronae are observed: type 1 - coronae that have annuli of concentric ridges and/or fractures (407 structures), and type 2 that have similar characteristics to type 1 but lack a complete annulus of ridges and fractures (107 structures). We analyzed 20% of this coronae population (we chose each fifth structure from the Stofan et al. (2001) catalog; 82 coronae of type 1 and 22 coronae of type 2, in total 104 coronae) for the (1) spatial distribution of rift structures and time relationship of rift zones activity with time of regional volcanic plains emplacement, and (2) tectonics, volcanism, age relative to regional plains and relationship with rifts. Two different age groups of rifts on Venus were mapped at the scale 1:50 000 000: old rifts that predate and young rifts that postdate regional plains. Most of young rifts inherit strikes of old rifts and old rifts are reworked by them. This may be evidence of rift-produced uplift zones that were probably mostly stable during both types of rifts formation. Evolution of distribution of rift systems with time (decreasing of distribution and localization of rift zones) imply thickening of the lithosphere with time. Coronae-producing mantle diapirism and uplift of mantle material in rift zones are not well correlated at least in time in most cases, because majority of coronae (77%) of both types has no genetic association with rifts. Majority of coronae (72%) were mostly active before regional plains formation, and only 3% appear to have begun to form after the plains emplacement, which may be also due to thickening of the lithosphere. According to the relationship with regional plains type 2 coronae are in general older than type 1 coronae. Three types of corona-related volcanic activity were observed: shield volcanoes and their clusters, as well as extensive lobate lava flows and smooth volcanic plains. Shield volcanoes during coronae evolution were mostly active before regional plains emplacement. Most active phase of volcanism of corona may not coincide with the time of the major tectonic activity of corona, as majority of coronae (77%) were most active before regional plains formation, but almost half of all coronae have traces of post regional plains volcanism. Detailed mapping and stratigraphic analysis of seven regions with 34 examples of coronae showed a similarity in the sequence of regional geologic units.

  3. Sociocultural and economic dimensions of Rift Valley fever.

    PubMed

    Muga, Geoffrey Otieno; Onyango-Ouma, Washington; Sang, Rosemary; Affognon, Hippolyte

    2015-04-01

    Health researchers have advocated for a cross-disciplinary approach to the study and prevention of infectious zoonotic diseases, such as Rift Valley Fever. It is believed that this approach can help bring out the social determinants and effects of the zoonotic diseases for the design of appropriate interventions and public health policy. A comprehensive literature review using a systematic search strategy was undertaken to explore the sociocultural and economic factors that influence the transmission and spread of Rift Valley Fever. Although the findings reveal a paucity of social research on Rift Valley Fever, they suggest that livestock sacrificial rituals, food preparation and consumption practices, gender roles, and inadequate resource base for public institutions are the key factors that influence the transmission. It is concluded that there is need for cross-disciplinary studies to increase the understanding of Rift Valley Fever and facilitate appropriate and timely response and mitigation measures. PMID:25688166

  4. The geology and geophysics of the Oslo rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruder, M. E.

    1981-01-01

    The regional geology and geophysical characteristics of the Oslo graben are reviewed. The graben is part of a Permian age failed continental rift. Alkali olivine, tholefitic, and monzonitic intrusives as well as basaltic lavas outline the extent of the graben. Geophysical evidence indicates that rifting activity covered a much greater area in Skagerrak Sea as well as the Paleozoic time, possibly including the northern Skagerrak Sea as well as the Oslo graben itself. Much of the surficial geologic characteristics in the southern part of the rift have since been eroded or covered by sedimentation. Geophysical data reveal a gravity maximum along the strike of the Oslo graben, local emplacements of magnetic material throughout the Skagerrak and the graben, and a slight mantle upward beneath the rift zone. Petrologic and geophysical maps which depict regional structure are included in the text. An extensive bibliography of pertinent literature published in English between 1960 and 1980 is also provided.

  5. Sociocultural and Economic Dimensions of Rift Valley Fever

    PubMed Central

    Muga, Geoffrey Otieno; Onyango-Ouma, Washington; Sang, Rosemary; Affognon, Hippolyte

    2015-01-01

    Health researchers have advocated for a cross-disciplinary approach to the study and prevention of infectious zoonotic diseases, such as Rift Valley Fever. It is believed that this approach can help bring out the social determinants and effects of the zoonotic diseases for the design of appropriate interventions and public health policy. A comprehensive literature review using a systematic search strategy was undertaken to explore the sociocultural and economic factors that influence the transmission and spread of Rift Valley Fever. Although the findings reveal a paucity of social research on Rift Valley Fever, they suggest that livestock sacrificial rituals, food preparation and consumption practices, gender roles, and inadequate resource base for public institutions are the key factors that influence the transmission. It is concluded that there is need for cross-disciplinary studies to increase the understanding of Rift Valley Fever and facilitate appropriate and timely response and mitigation measures. PMID:25688166

  6. Lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions of Southern California.

    PubMed

    Lekic, Vedran; French, Scott W; Fischer, Karen M

    2011-11-11

    The stretching and break-up of tectonic plates by rifting control the evolution of continents and oceans, but the processes by which lithosphere deforms and accommodates strain during rifting remain enigmatic. Using scattering of teleseismic shear waves beneath rifted zones and adjacent areas in Southern California, we resolve the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and lithospheric thickness variations to directly constrain this deformation. Substantial and laterally abrupt lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions suggests efficient strain localization. In the Salton Trough, either the mantle lithosphere has experienced more thinning than the crust, or large volumes of new lithosphere have been created. Lack of a systematic offset between surface and deep lithospheric deformation rules out simple shear along throughgoing unidirectional shallow-dipping shear zones, but is consistent with symmetric extension of the lithosphere. PMID:21979933

  7. The stress shadow induced by the Krafla rifting episode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccaferri, F.; Rivalta, E.; Passarelli, L.; Jonsson, S.

    2012-12-01

    The Krafla rifting episode (1975 - 1984) was a major stress-changing event in northern Iceland. It consisted of a series of about 20 dike intrusions, originating from the Krafla central volcano in the Northern Volcanic Zone, causing a cumulative spreading of about 8 - 9 meters at maximum and 3.5 meters in average along a 70 - 80 km part of the Krafla rift segment. A notable change in seismicity was observed in the region following the rifting episode, in particular in the near-by transform zone, called the Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ), which consists of a two parallel transform structures, the Grímsey Oblique Rift (GOR) and the Húsavík-Flatey Fault (HFF). The rifting episode clearly triggered a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on the GOR while apparently putting most of the HFF into a stress shadow. Here we model the static stress perturbation due to the rifting episode and study the influence of the Coulomb stress shadow on the HFF. In the time frame 1995 - 2011, for which a high quality seismic catalog exists, we observe a relatively sharp seismicity rate increase along a large part of the fault. The change from low to high seismicity rate takes place gradually along the fault, with a later transition taking place closer to the rift axis. These locations coincide with areas on the Coulomb stress maps invested by negative Coulomb stresses of 0.1 - 0.4 MPa. Larger negative Coulomb stresses [> 0.5 MPa] are found on the easternmost part of the fault, the portion that is closest to the rift, and there the locking effect appears to persist today and no seismicity rate increase has taken place. In addition, we find significantly different b-values of the Gutenberg-Richter magnitude-frequency relation for time periods before and after the seismicity rate transition. Very low b-values (~ 0.7) are replaced after the increase in seismicity rate by values of ~1.0 or larger, which are more typical for a strike-slip regime with abundance of fluids, such as the TFZ. We interpret the low b-values and seismic rates as due to the strong static compression and clamping caused by the rifting episode, and the increases thereof as due to a gradual recovery to the pre-rifting state of stress. Our study implies that earthquake statistics and mechanics in the TFZ have been dramatically affected by the Krafla rifting episode, and that volcanic events of similar magnitude, which have a recurrence time of ~ 200 years, have the potential of triggering large earthquakes and overturning the current state of stress over the vast, partially populated area.

  8. Geochemical evidence of mantle reservoir evolution during progressive rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

    We present an updated global earthquake catalogue for stable continental regions (SCRs; i.e. intraplate earthquakes) that is available on the Internet. Our database contains information on location, magnitude, seismic moment and focal mechanisms for over 1300 M (moment magnitude) ??? 4.5 historic and instrumentally recorded crustal events. Using this updated earthquake database in combination with a recently published global catalogue of rifts, we assess the correlation of intraplate seismicity with ancient rifts on a global scale. Each tectonic event is put into one of five categories based on location: (i) interior rifts/taphrogens, (ii) rifted continental margins, (iii) non-rifted crust, (iv) possible interior rifts and (v) possible rifted margins. We find that approximately 27 per cent of all events are classified as interior rifts (i), 25 per cent are rifted continental margins (ii), 36 per cent are within non-rifted crust (iii) and 12 per cent (iv and v) remain uncertain. Thus, over half (52 per cent) of all events are associated with rifted crust, although within the continental interiors (i.e. away from continental margins), non-rifted crust has experienced more earthquakes than interior rifts. No major change in distribution is found if only large (M ??? 6.0) earthquakes are considered. The largest events (M ??? 7.0) however, have occurred predominantly within rifts (50 per cent) and continental margins (43 per cent). Intraplate seismicity is not distributed evenly. Instead several zones of concentrated seismicity seem to exist. This is especially true for interior rifts/taphrogens, where a total of only 12 regions are responsible for 74 per cent of all events and as much as 98 per cent of all seismic moment released in that category. Of the four rifts/taphrogens that have experienced the largest earthquakes, seismicity within the Kutch rift, India, and the East China rift system, may be controlled by diffuse plate boundary deformation more than by the presence of the ancient rifts themselves. The St. Lawrence depression, Canada, besides being an ancient rift, is also the site of a major collisional suture. Thus only at the Reelfoot rift (New Madrid seismic zone, NMSZ, USA), is the presence of features associated with rifting itself the sole candidate for causing seismicity. Our results suggest that on a global scale, the correlation of seismicity within SCRs and ancient rifts has been overestimated in the past. Because the majority of models used to explain intraplate seismicity have focused on seismicity within rifts, we conclude that a shift in attention more towards non-rifted as well as rifted crust is in order. ?? 2005 RAS.

  10. Mantle Dynamics Beneath the Rio Grande Rift and Colorado Plateau.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, W.; Grand, S.; West, M.; Gok, R.; Ni, J.; Wilson, D.; Aster, R.; Schlue, J.; Baldridge, S.; Semken, S.

    2002-12-01

    We have inverted P and S wave teleseismic delay times recorded by the LA RISTRA (Colorado PLateau, Rio Grande Rift, Great Plains Seismic TRansect) array. The RISTRA array consisted of 57 broad band seismic stations most of which were deployed in a line extending 950 km from Lake Powell, Utah to Pecos, Texas. P, PKP, S, and SKS travel time delays were inverted using the LSQR algorithm to determine lateral variations in seismic velocity to about 600 km depth beneath the line. The small station spacing along the line as well as its great length result in a well resolved image of the mantle beneath the line. Within the upper 200km of the mantle slow seismic anomalies are obvious beneath the Rift with the slowest anomalies beneath Mt Taylor on the west of the Rift and Carrizozo near the east of the rift. The mantle beneath the Great Plains and Colorado Plateau is seismically faster than within the Rift but within each of the other two provinces, there are significant variations. In particular, the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau has faster seismic wavespeeds than in the center of the Plateau (near the four corners region) and the western edge of the Great Plains shows a narrow (about 75 km wide) fast structure that is faster than the mantle further to the east in the Great Plains. These fast mantle anomalies in the upper 200 km of the mantle at the edges of the Rift may represent lithosphere that has been removed from the Rift region. Alternatively, if the fast mantle anomalies are more ancient, they may provide structural control on where rifting and volcanism have occurred.

  11. Does rift lateral propagation depend on climate and surface processes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steer, P.; Huismans, R. S.; Cowie, P. A.; Allken, V.; Thieulot, C.

    2012-12-01

    Initiation and linkage of rift segments is a fundamental aspect of tectonics in extensional settings. Despite that, the factors controlling the structural and topographic expression of individual rift segments are still not well resolved. Here, we investigate the impact of surface processes, including both erosion and deposition, on the lateral dynamic propagation of individual rift segments. We use a fully-coupled 3D model which is based on the landscape evolution model CASCADE and the 3D tectonics code FANTOM. We present results of numerical simulations designed to study the response of viscous-plastic crustal materials subjected to extension and to surface processes. In particular, we focus on the evolution in time and space of both the tectonic structures and of the surface morphology of the rift segments, under different climatic conditions. At first order, we show that the dynamic lateral propagation of a single rift segment, composed of two conjugate shear zones, is dictated not only by its rheological properties but also by the efficiency of erosion and sedimentation acting on its surface, which in turn depends on climate and precipitation. Especially, we demonstrate that increasing the efficiency of fluvial erosion or decreasing the viscosity of the lower crust, increase the velocity of rift lateral propagation and also tend to localize strain on only one of the shear zones, resulting in a half-graben like structure. This illustrates the strong coupling between tectonic, surface processes and climate, and demonstrates that surface processes, by enhancing localization of deformation, act as a positive forcing to rift lateral propagation. We suggest that our results may have important consequences for understanding the propagation of rift structures for varying climatic conditions in space and time.

  12. Neotectonic activity along the Shanxi rift system, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiwei; Ma, Xingyuan; Deng, Qidong

    1993-03-01

    The Shanxi rift system is one of the most outstanding Pliocene-Quaternary continental rift systems and strong earthquake belts in China. It extends as a series of en echelon left-stepping asymmetrical half-graben basins on the Shanxi Highlands over a distance of more than 1200 km. It describes a sinous S-shaped curve with a NNE-trending transtensional segment in the middle, and NE-ENE-trending extensional domains on both terminal segments. The latter are characterized by apparently synchronous, high-angle normal faulting, accommodating large vertical and relatively smaller lateral strains (3.5-8.5%), which produces the modern basin and range structure. The rift system has been intermittently active since the Pliocene. Geomorphological, neotectonic and seismic studies indicate that the rift system is at present still developing, as demonstrated by the occurrence of strong destructive historical earthquakes of magnitudes 7-8 and the large slip rates on the NNE-trending transtensional faults in the middle segment. The slip rates of these faults reached 4.9-6.4 mm per year during the Holocene. Geophysical studies show that the rifting occurred in a thickened crust, and no compelling evidence exists for the major thermal event in the mantle uniquely associated with the rifting. The development of the Shanxi rift system is consistent with the regional brittle strain pattern of a right-lateral shear belt and a regional stress field of ENE-WSW compression and NNW-SSE extension of the North China subplate. This structural setting corroborates the hypothesis that the deformation is in response to the escape tectonics caused by the Himalayan indenter from the southwest, and at the same time by the counter-clockwise rotation of the intervening crustal blocks. This provides the mode of formation of the Shanxi rift system.

  13. Crustal structure of central Lake Baikal: Insights into intracontinental rifting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.S.; Taylor, M.H.

    2002-01-01

    The Cenozoic rift system of Baikal, located in the interior of the largest continental mass on Earth, is thought to represent a potential analog of the early stage of breakup of supercontinents. We present a detailed P wave velocity structure of the crust and sediments beneath the Central Basin, the deepest basin in the Baikal rift system. The structure is characterized by a Moho depth of 39-42.5 km; an 8-km-thick, laterally continuous high-velocity (7.05-7.4 km/s) lower crust, normal upper mantle velocity (8 km/s), a sedimentary section reaching maximum depths of 9 km, and a gradual increase of sediment velocity with depth. We interpret the high-velocity lower crust to be part of the Siberian Platform that was not thinned or altered significantly during rifting. In comparison to published results from the Siberian Platform, Moho under the basin is elevated by <3 km. On the basis of these results we propose that the basin was formed by upper crustal extension, possibly reactivating structures in an ancient fold-and-thrust belt. The extent and location of upper mantle extension are not revealed by our data, and it may be offset from the rift. We believe that the Baikal rift structure is similar in many respects to the Mesozoic Atlantic rift system, the precursor to the formation of the North Atlantic Ocean. We also propose that the Central Baikal rift evolved by episodic fault propagation and basin enlargement, rather than by two-stage rift evolution as is commonly assumed.

  14. Sedimentary deposits in response to rift geometry in Malawi, Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, M.G. )

    1991-03-01

    Sedimentary deposits of the Malawi continental rift basin are a direct result of topography and tectonics unique to rift structure. Recent models describe rifts as asymmetric half-graben connected in series by transfer of accommodation zones. Half-graben consist of roughly parallel, tilted fault blocks stepping up from the bounding fault zone where maximum subsidence occurs. The rift becomes a local baselevel and depocenter as regional drainage is shed away by the rift shoulders. Most of the sediments are derived locally due to internal drainage of connected basins, individual basins, and individual fault blocks. The patterns of sedimentation and facies associations depend on structural position at both fault block and half-graben scales. Drainage is directed and dammed by tilted fault blocks. Forward-tilted fault blocks form basinward-thickening sediment wedges filled with facies of axial fluvial systems, alluvial fault-scarp fans, and ponded swamp and lake deposits. These deposits are asymmetrically shifted toward the controlling fault and onlap the upthrown side of the block, ordinarily the site of erosion or nondeposition. Rivers entering the lake on back tilted fault blocks form large deltas resulting in basinward fining and thinning sediment wedges. Lacustrine, nearshore, shoreline, and lake shore plain deposits over multiple fault blocks record lake levels, water chemistry, and tectonic episodes. Tectonic movement periodically changes the basin depth, configuration, and baselevel. This movement results in widespread unconformities deposition and reworking of sediments within the rift.

  15. Topographic controls on dike injection in volcanic rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behn, Mark D.; Buck, W. Roger; Sacks, I. Selwyn

    2006-06-01

    Dike emplacement in volcanic rift zones is often associated with the injection of "blade-like" dikes, which propagate long distances parallel to the rift, but frequently remain trapped at depth and erupt only near the tip of the dike. Over geologic time, this style of dike injection implies that a greater percentage of extension is accommodated by magma accretion at depth than near the surface. In this study, we investigate the evolution of faulting, topography and stress state in volcanic rift zones using a kinematic model for dike injection in an extending 2-D elastic-viscoplastic layer. We show that the intrusion of blade-like dikes focuses deformation at the rift axis, leading to the formation of an axial rift valley. However, flexure associated with the development of the rift topography generates compression at the base of the plate. If the magnitude of these deviatoric compressive stresses exceeds the deviatoric tensile stress associated with far-field extension, further dike injection will be inhibited. In general, this transition from tensile to compressive deviatoric stresses occurs when the rate of accretion in the lower crust is greater than 50-60% of the far-field extension rate. These results indicate that, over geologic timescales, the injection of blade-like dikes is a self-limiting process in which dike-generated faulting and topography result in an efficient feedback mechanism that controls the time-averaged distribution of magma accretion within the crust.

  16. Two types of rifting: dependence on the condition of extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazmin, V.

    1987-11-01

    Rifting of continental lithosphere occurs in two ways: (1), through continuous extension and subsequent sinking (2), in a series of pulses separated by quiet periods, sometimes of considerable duration. In the first case rifting is not accompanied by significant uplifts; in the second, uplifts of various sizes from 100 to 2000 km are typical. Rifting of the first type takes place when continental fragments are freely dispersed, as was the case with Pangea during its Late Triassic- Early Jurassic break up. In the Cenozoic, rifts developed in the course of continental collision, when relative plate motion was restricted and occurred in short pulses. Uplift is caused by accumulation of anomalous mantle at the base of the crust during the intervals between phases of extension. Geological evidence is not consistent with the idea of rifting being directly related to a local source of energy in the mantle (mantle plumes and diapirs). It is produced by regional stresses in the lithosphere which, in their turn, may have different origins. The "lithospheric inhomogeneities" observed below the present day rifts are not the cause, but a consequence of extension.

  17. Turbidite systems of lacustrine rift basins: Examples from the Lake Kivu and Lake Albert rifts, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xuewei; Scholz, Christopher A.

    2015-07-01

    The Holocene turbidite systems of Lake Kivu and the Pliocene turbidite systems of Lake Albert in the East African Rift were examined using high-resolution 2-D and 3-D seismic reflection data and sediment core information. Based on investigations of seismic facies and lithofacies, several key turbidity-flow depositional elements were observed, including channels, overbank levees with sediment waves, and depositional lobes. Analyses of the sources of the recent and ancient turbidite systems in these two extensional basins suggest that flood-induced hyperpycnal flows are important triggers of turbidity currents in lacustrine rift basins. From source to sink, sediment dispersal, facies distribution, and depositional thickness of the turbidite systems are strongly influenced by rift topography. The Lake Kivu and Lake Albert rifts serve as excellent analogues for understanding the sedimentary patterns of lacustrine turbidites in extensional basins.

  18. Along-strike supply of volcanic rifted margins: Implications for plume-influenced rifting and sudden along-strike transitions between volcanic and non-volcanic rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranero, C. R.; Phipps Morgan, J.

    2006-12-01

    The existence of sudden along-strike transitions between volcanic and non-volcanic rifted margins is an important constraint for conceptual models of rifting and continental breakup. We think there is a promising indirect approach to infer the maximum width of the region of upwelling that exists beneath a rifted margin during the transition from rifting to seafloor-spreading. We infer this width of ~30km from the minimum length of the ridge-offsets that mark the limits of the `region of influence' of on-ridge plumes on the axial relief, axial morphology, and crustal thickness along the ridge and at the terminations of fossil volcanic rifted margins. We adopt Vogt's [1972] hypothesis for along-ridge asthenospheric flow in a narrow vertical slot beneath the axis of plume-influenced `macro-segments' and volcanic rifted margins. We find that: (1) There is a threshold distance to the lateral offsets that bound plume-influenced macrosegments; all such `barrier offsets' are greater than ~30km, while smaller offsets do not appear to be a barrier to along-axis flow. This pattern is seen in the often abrupt transitions between volcanic and non-volcanic rifted margins; these transitions coincide with >30km ridge offsets that mark the boundary between the smooth seafloor morphology and thick crust of a plume- influenced volcanic margin and a neighboring non-volcanic margin, as recorded in 180Ma rifting of the early N. Atlantic, the 42Ma rifting of the Kerguelen-Broken Ridge, and the 66Ma Seychelles-Indian rifting in the Indian Ocean. (2) A similar pattern is seen in the often abrupt transitions between `normal' and plume-influenced mid- ocean ridge segments, which is discussed in a companion presentation by Phipps Morgan and Ranero (this meeting). (3) The coexistance of adjacent volcanic and non-volcanic rifted margin segments is readily explained in this conceptual framework. If the volcanic margin macrosegment is plume-fed by hot asthenosphere along an axial ridge slot, while adjacent non-volcanic margin segments stretch and upwell ambient cooler subcontinental mantle, then there will be a sudden transition from volcanic to non-volcanic margins across a transform offset. (4) A 30km width for the region of ridge upwelling and melting offers a simple conceptual explanation for the apparent 30km threshold length for the existence of strike-slip transform faults and the occurrence of non-transform offsets at smaller ridge offset-distances. (5) The conceptual model leads to the interpretation of the observed characteristic ~1000km-2000km-width of plume-influenced macro- segments as a measure of the maximum potential plume supply into a subaxial slot of 5-10 cubic km per yr. (6) If asthenosphere consumption by plate-spreading is less than plume-supply into a macro-segment, then the shallow seafloor and excess gravitational spreading stresses associated with a plume-influenced ridge can lead to growth of the axial slot by ridge propagation. We think this is a promising conceptual framework with which to understand the differences between volcanic and non-volcanic rifted margins.

  19. Tectonic controls on rift basin morphology: Evolution of the northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Deino, A. L.; Tesha, A. L.; Becker, T.; Ring, U.

    1993-01-01

    Radiometric (K-Ar and Ar-40/Ar-39) age determinations of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, combined with structural, gravity, and seismic reflection data, are used to constrain the age of sedimentary strata contained within the seismically and volcanically active northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift and to characterize changes in basin and flank morphologies with time. Faulting and volcanism within the Tukuyu-Karonga basin began at approximately 8.6 Ma, when sediments were deposited in abroad, initially asymmetric lake basin bounded on its northeastern side by a border fault system with minor topographic relief. Extensions, primarily by a slip along the border fault, and subsequent regional isostatic compensation led to the development of a 5-km-deep basin bounded by broad uplifted flanks. Along the low-relief basin margin opposite border fault, younger stratigraphic sequences commonly onlap older wedge-shaped sequences, although their internal geometry is often progradational. Intrabasinal faulting, flankuplift, and basaltic and felsic volcanism from centers at the northern end of the basin became more important at about 2.5 Ma when cross-rift transfer faults developed to link the Tukuyu-Karonga basin to the Rukwa basin. Local uplift and volcanic construction at the northern end of the basin led to a southeastward shift in the basin's depocenter. Sequence boundaries are commonly erosional along this low-relief (hanging wall) margin and conformable in the deep lake basin. The geometry of stratigraphic sequences and the distribution of the erosion indicate that horizontal and vertical crustal movements both across and along the length of the rift basin led to changes in levels of the lake, irrespective of paleoclimatic fluctuations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Geodynamic models of the Wilson Cycle: From rifts to mountains to rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, Susanne; Tetreault, Joya; Torsvik, Trond

    2015-04-01

    The Wilson Cycle theory that oceans close and reopen along the former suture is a fundamental concept in plate tectonics. The theory suggests that subduction initiates at a passive margin, closing the ocean, and that future continental extension localises at the ensuing collision zone. Each stage of the Wilson Cycle will therefore be characterised by inherited structural and thermal heterogeneities. Here we investigate the role of Wilson Cycle inheritance by considering the influence of (1) passive margin structure on continental collision and (2) collision zones on passive margin formation. Passive margins may be preferred locations for subduction initiation because inherited faults and areas of exhumed serpentinized mantle may weaken a margin enough to localise shortening. If subduction initiates at a passive margin, the shape and structure of the passive margins will affect future continental collision. Our review of present-day passive margins along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans reveals that most passive margins are located on former collision zones. Continental break-up occurs on relatively young sutures, such as Morocco-Nova Scotia, and on very old sutures, such as the Greenland-Labrador and East Antarctica-Australia systems. This implies that it is not always post-collisional collapse that initiates the extensional phase of a Wilson Cycle. We highlight the impact of collision zone inheritance on continental extension and rifted margin architecture. We show numerical experiments of one Wilson Cycle of subduction, collision, and extension. Subduction initiates at a tapered passive margin. Closure of a 60 Ma ocean leads to continental collision and slab break-off, followed by some tens of kilometres of slab eduction. Mantle flow above the sinking detached slab enhances deformation in the rift area. The resulting rift exposes not only continental crust, but also subduction-related sediments and oceanic crust remnants. Renewed subduction in the post-collision phase is enabled by lithosphere delamination and slab rollback, leading to back-arc extension in a style similar to the Tyrrhenian Sea.

  2. Tectonic and climatic control on evolution of rift lakes in the Central Kenya Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergner, A. G. N.; Strecker, M. R.; Trauth, M. H.; Deino, A.; Gasse, F.; Blisniuk, P.; Dühnforth, M.

    2009-12-01

    The long-term histories of the neighboring Nakuru-Elmenteita and Naivasha lake basins in the Central Kenya Rift illustrate the relative importance of tectonic versus climatic effects on rift-lake evolution and the formation of disparate sedimentary environments. Although modern climate conditions in the Central Kenya Rift are very similar for these basins, hydrology and hydrochemistry of present-day lakes Nakuru, Elmenteita and Naivasha contrast dramatically due to tectonically controlled differences in basin geometries, catchment size, and fluvial processes. In this study, we use eighteen 14C and 40Ar/ 39Ar dated fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary sections to unravel the spatiotemporal evolution of the lake basins in response to tectonic and climatic influences. We reconstruct paleoclimatic and ecological trends recorded in these basins based on fossil diatom assemblages and geologic field mapping. Our study shows a tendency towards increasing alkalinity and shrinkage of water bodies in both lake basins during the last million years. Ongoing volcano-tectonic segmentation of the lake basins, as well as reorganization of upstream drainage networks have led to contrasting hydrologic regimes with adjacent alkaline and freshwater conditions. During extreme wet periods in the past, such as during the early Holocene climate optimum, lake levels were high and all basins evolved toward freshwater systems. During drier periods some of these lakes revert back to alkaline conditions, while others maintain freshwater characteristics. Our results have important implications for the use and interpretation of lake sediment as climate archives in tectonically active regions and emphasize the need to deconvolve lacustrine records with respect to tectonics versus climatic forcing mechanisms.

  3. Groundwater fluoride enrichment in an active rift setting: Central Kenya Rift case study.

    PubMed

    Olaka, Lydia A; Wilke, Franziska D H; Olago, Daniel O; Odada, Eric O; Mulch, Andreas; Musolff, Andreas

    2016-03-01

    Groundwater is used extensively in the Central Kenya Rift for domestic and agricultural demands. In these active rift settings groundwater can exhibit high fluoride levels. In order to address water security and reduce human exposure to high fluoride in drinking water, knowledge of the source and geochemical processes of enrichment are required. A study was therefore carried out within the Naivasha catchment (Kenya) to understand the genesis, enrichment and seasonal variations of fluoride in the groundwater. Rocks, rain, surface and groundwater sources were sampled for hydrogeochemical and isotopic investigations, the data was statistically and geospatially analyzed. Water sources have variable fluoride concentrations between 0.02-75mg/L. 73% exceed the health limit (1.5mg/L) in both dry and wet seasons. F(-) concentrations in rivers are lower (0.2-9.2mg/L) than groundwater (0.09 to 43.6mg/L) while saline lake waters have the highest concentrations (0.27-75mg/L). The higher values are confined to elevations below 2000masl. Oxygen (δ(18)O) and hydrogen (δD) isotopic values range from -6.2 to +5.8‰ and -31.3 to +33.3‰, respectively, they are also highly variable in the rift floor where they attain maximum values. Fluoride base levels in the precursor vitreous volcanic rocks are higher (between 3750-6000ppm) in minerals such as cordierite and muscovite while secondary minerals like illite and kaolinite have lower remnant fluoride (<1000ppm). Thus, geochemical F(-) enrichment in regional groundwater is mainly due to a) rock alteration, i.e. through long residence times and natural discharge and/or enhanced leakages of deep seated geothermal water reservoirs, b) secondary concentration fortification of natural reservoirs through evaporation, through reduced recharge and/or enhanced abstraction and c) through additional enrichment of fluoride after volcanic emissions. The findings are useful to help improve water management in Naivasha as well as similar active rift setting environments. PMID:26775113

  4. The South China sea margins: Implications for rifting contrasts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, D.E.; Nissen, S.S.

    2005-01-01

    Implications regarding spatially complex continental rifting, crustal extension, and the subsequent evolution to seafloor spreading are re-examined for the northern and southern-rifted margins of the South China Sea. Previous seismic studies have shown dramatic differences in the present-day crustal thicknesses as the manifestations of the strain experienced during the rifting of the margin of south China. Although the total crustal extension is presumed to be the same along the margin and adjacent ocean basin, the amount of continental crustal extension that occurred is much less along the east and central segments of the margin than along the western segment. This difference was accommodated by the early formation of oceanic crust (creating the present-day South China Sea basin) adjacent to the eastern margin segment while continued extension of continental crust was sustained to the west. Using the observed cross-sectional areas of extended continental crust derived from deep penetration seismics, two end-member models of varying rift zone widths and varying initial crustal thicknesses are qualitatively examined for three transects. Each model implies a time difference in the initiation of seafloor spreading inferred for different segments along the margin. The two models examined predict that the oceanic crust of the South China Sea basin toward the west did not begin forming until sometime between 6-12 my after its initial formation (???32 Ma) toward the east. These results are compatible with crustal age interpretations of marine magnetic anomalies. Assuming rifting symmetry with conjugate margin segments now residing along the southern portions of the South China Sea basin implies that the total width of the zone of rifting in the west was greater than in the east by about a factor of two. We suggest the most likely causes of the rifting differences were east-west variations in the rheology of the pre-rift crust and associated east-west variations in the thermal structure of the pre-rift lithosphere. The calculated widths of rifted continental crust for the northern and southern margins, when combined with the differential widths of seafloor generated during the seafloor spreading phase, indicate the total crustal extension that occurred is about 1100 km and is remarkably consistent to within ???10% for all three (eastern, central, western) segments examined. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Hydrocarbon potential of Dead Sea Rift valley

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, J.E.; Kashai, E.L.; Croker, P.F.

    1983-03-01

    The Dead Sea Rift is one of the world's unique geologic and topographic features, whose petroleum potential has not yet been evaluated. The sector of the Dead Sea is an asymmetric graben 20 km (12 mi) from rim to rim and over 120 km (75 mi) long. The total throw from the west rim, where the Upper Cretaceous crops out to the deeper portion of the grabens, is more than 8 km (26,200 ft). Throw on the eastern side is considerably greater as the valley wall is largely Precambrian. The level of the Dead Sea is -400 m (-1300 ft) - the lowest place on earth. Asphalt blocks floating from the Dead Sea, along with asphalt and heavy oil seeps in the valley, have been known since biblical times. These are suggestive of leaks from deeper accumulations. Although some exploration drilling has been done, no test has yet reached objectives in the deeper sunken block where the Miocene is figured to be at a depth of at least 7 km (23,000 ft.)

  6. [Rift Valley fever virus: evolution in progress].

    PubMed

    Tolou, H; Plumet, S; Leparc-Goffart, I; Couissinier-Paris, P

    2009-06-01

    Several viruses now circulating in tropical zones around the globe are potential threats for ever-increasing human populations even in temperate zones that have long remained unaffected. The mechanisms underlying transport and transmission, which can be enhanced by human activity, can be even stronger in zones where factors needed to support development of these viruses, i.e., hosts, reservoirs and vectors, are already present. This possibility has been illustrated by dengue virus, and now by the rapid spread of the Chikungunya virus on Reunion Island in 2005 and then in Italy in 2007. The spreading of Chikungunya virus despite its mild reputation had a major unexpected impact. It showed that the evolution of the virus, whether a cause or consequence of observed events, could be determinant. The risk of extension of more pathogenic viruses due to similar mechanisms must be considered as a possibility. In this regard the Rift Valley fever virus, that already involves a large area and has a major reservoir, is one of the viruses that deserves close surveillance. PMID:19702138

  7. Investigation of rifting processes in the Rio Grande Rift using data from an unusually large earthquake swarm. Final report, October 1, 1992--September 30, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Sanford, A.; Balch, R.; Hartse, H.; House, L.

    1995-03-01

    Because the Rio Grande Rift is one of the best seismically instrumented rift zones in the world, studying its seismicity provides an exceptional opportunity to elucidate the active tectonic processes within continental rifts. Beginning on 29 November 1989, a 15 square km region near Bernardo, NM, produced the strongest and longest lasting sequence of earthquakes in the rift in 54 years. Our research focuses on the Bernardo swarm which occurred 40 km north of Socorro, New Mexico in the axial region of the central Rio Grande rift. Important characteristics concerning hypocenters, fault mechanisms, and seismogenic zones are discussed.

  8. The Fenwei rift and its recent periodic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jing-Ming

    1987-02-01

    The Fenwei rift on the southern sector of the Jin—Shaan rift system of China is marked by a crescent-shaped valley 600 km in length and 30-90 km in width depressed up to 10 km and filled with about 7000 m of Cenozoic deposits, bounded on both northern and southern sides by majestic mountain ranges. The geometry of the rift valley is characterized by six branch depressions and five intervening swells extending east-northeastward in a dextral en-echelon pattern and bounded on both sides by abrupt topographic slopes reflecting the underlying faults. These are typically a system of growth faults having downthrows ranging from 800 m to 10 km and dipping toward the centre of the valley forming an asymmetric graben structure. The geometry, kinematics and evolution of these faults have had controlling influences on the neotectonic movement of the rift and its recent periodic activity as the present overall form of the rift valley. Estimates of the amount of extension across the rift for various recent geological periods were obtained from calculations made on the fault separation of corresponding stratigraphie horizons. The total amount of extension in response to tensile stresses, acting in a direction varying from 25° NW on the west to 70° NW on the northeast is estimated to be 9065 m, since the beginning of the rift formation in the Eocene whereas the rate of extension in the Recent is 4.5 mm/yr and in modern times it is 8-24 mm/yr. The amount of left-lateral displacement across the rift during various stages of its development was also calculated from the observed effects of strike-slip movement on the drainage system. The left-lateral offset since the mid-Pleistocene is approximately 7170 m and the offset rate in modern times is 6 mm/yr. These estimates suggest that the Fenwei rift has been a place of intense neotectonic activity. Details of more recent activity of the rift were investigated in terms of the various rift-related phenomena such as seismic events, ground fissuring, epeirogenic movement, shifting of streams or lakes and climatic changes which have occurred in the historic period. Seven highly periodic cycles of seismicity are recognized from available historic records of the earthquakes that have occurred in the rift region during the last 4000 yrs. Each cycle appears to begin with a period of intense seismicity consisting of a series of violent shocks chiefly of M6-8 and lasting approximately 200 yrs, and then passes on to a prolonged period of quiescence of about 600 yrs during which only minor seismic events occur. The 22 events of ground-fissuring recorded in the historic annals are also concentrated in several distinctive periods of intense activity which coincide with seven corresponding periods of active seismicity, suggesting that seismic events and ground fissures resulted from the same cause, both being indications of periodic tectonic activity of the rift. Moreover, periodic and coincident with periods of tectonic activity are the occurrences of the natural phenomena related to rifting such as the appearance and disappearance of lakes, the shifting of streams and changes of river water from clear to turbid.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-17

    The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains are the least understood tectonic feature on Earth, because they are completely hidden beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Their high elevation and youthful Alpine topography, combined with their location on the East Antarctic craton, creates a paradox that has puzzled researchers since the mountains were discovered in 1958. The preservation of Alpine topography in the Gamburtsevs may reflect extremely low long-term erosion rates beneath the ice sheet, but the mountains' origin remains problematic. Here we present the first comprehensive view of the crustal architecture and uplift mechanisms for the Gamburtsevs, derived from radar, gravity and magnetic data. The geophysical data define a 2,500-km-long rift system in East Antarctica surrounding the Gamburtsevs, and a thick crustal root beneath the range. We propose that the root formed during the Proterozoic assembly of interior East Antarctica (possibly about 1 Gyr ago), was preserved as in some old orogens and was rejuvenated during much later Permian (roughly 250 Myr ago) and Cretaceous (roughly 100 Myr ago) rifting. Much like East Africa, the interior of East Antarctica is a mosaic of Precambrian provinces affected by rifting processes. Our models show that the combination of rift-flank uplift, root buoyancy and the isostatic response to fluvial and glacial erosion explains the high elevation and relief of the Gamburtsevs. The evolution of the Gamburtsevs demonstrates that rifting and preserved orogenic roots can produce broad regions of high topography in continental interiors without significantly modifying the underlying Precambrian lithosphere. PMID:22094700

  10. Hydrogeochemical and lake level changes in the Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alemayehu, Tamiru; Ayenew, Tenalem; Kebede, Seifu

    2006-01-01

    The Ethiopian Rift is characterized by a chain of lakes varying in size, hydrological and hydrogeological settings. The rift lakes and feeder rivers are used for irrigation, soda extraction, commercial fish farming and recreation, and support a wide variety of endemic birds and wild animals. The level of some lakes shows dramatic changes in the last few decades. Lakes Abiyata and Beseka, both heavily impacted by human activities, show contrasting lake level trends: the level of Abiyata has dropped by about 5 m over three decades while Beseka has expanded from an area of 2.5-40 km 2 over the same span of time. Changes in lake levels are accompanied by dilution in ionic concentration of lake Beseka and increase in salinity of lake Abiyata. Although the principal hydrogeochemical process in the rift lakes is controlled by the input and output conditions and carbonate precipitation, anthropogenic factors such as water diversion for irrigation and soda ash extraction played important role. The recent changes appear to have grave environmental consequences on the fragile rift ecosystem, which demands an integrated basin-wide water management practice. This paper demonstrates the drastic changes of lake levels and associated changes in lake chemistry of the two studied lakes. It also gives the regional hydrogeochemical picture of the other rift lakes that do not show significant response due to climate change and human impact.

  11. Episodic rifting and subsidence in the South China sea

    SciTech Connect

    Ru, K.; Pigott, J.D.

    1986-09-01

    The South China Sea experienced at least three stages of rifting and two intervening stages of sea-floor spreading since the Early Cretaceous. Its evolution can be described by an episodic model of tectonism, one of thermal cooling and subsidence, pulsed by temporally and spatially confined heating events. Analysis of regional geologic and geophysical data suggests episodes of rifting and associated thermal activities initiated during the Late Cretaceous, the late Eocene, and the late early Miocene. The rift system corresponding to the first episode trends northeast-southwest, whereas those of the second and third trend east-west. These two trends coincide with the orientations of the major tectonic lineations within the basin. Age estimates from heat-flow and bathymetric data suggest the oceanic crust in the Southwest subbasin is considerably older (55 Ma) than that in the Northwest (35-36 Ma) or East (32 Ma) subbasins. In terms of hydrocarbon potential, the episodes of rifting and drifting would be conducive to the development of overprinted structures and the deposition of several discrete transgressive packages of source rocks and reservoirs, separated by widespread unconformities. The thermal maturity of sedimentary organic matter affected by episodic rifting and subsidence may be greater than expected on a purely passive margin of equivalent age that had not experienced repeated heating. 21 figures.

  12. Field Studies of Geothermal Reservoirs Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    James C Witcher

    2002-07-30

    The Rio Grande rift provides an excellent field laboratory to study the nature of geothermal systems in an extensional environment. Much of the geologic complexity that is found in the Basin and Range is absent because the rift is located on cratonic crust with a thin and well-characterized Phanerozoic stratigraphy and tectonic history. On the other hand, the Neogene thermo-tectonic history of the rift has many parallels with the Basin and Range to the west. The geology of the southern Rio Grande rift is among the best characterized of any rift system in the world. Also, most geologic maps for the region are rather unique in that detailed analyses of Quaternary stratigraphic and surficial unit are added in concert with the details of bedrock geology. Pleistocene to Holocene entrenchment of the Rio Grande and tributaries unroofs the alteration signatures and permeability attributes of paleo outflow plumes and upflow zones, associated with present-day, but hidden or ''blind,'' hydrothermal systems at Rincon and San Diego Mountain.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    An integral part of plate tectonic theory is that the fate of rifted margins is to be accreted into mountain belts. Thus, rift-related inheritance is an essential parameter controlling the evolution and architecture of collisional orogens. Although this link is well accepted, rift inheritance is often ignored. The Pyrenees, located along the Iberian and European plate boundary, can be considered as one of the best places to study the reactivation of former rift structures. In this orogen the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary convergence overprints a Late Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous complex intracontinental rift system related to the opening of the North Atlantic. During the rifting, several strongly subsiding basins developed in the axis of the Pyrenees showing evidence of extreme crustal extension and even locale mantle exhumation to the seafloor. Although the exact age and kinematics of rifting is still debated, these structures have an important impact in the subsequent orogenic overprint. In our presentation we discuss the example of the Mauléon basin, which escaped from the most pervasive deformations because of its specific location at the interface between the western termination of the chain and the Bay of Biscay oceanic realm. Detailed mapping combined with seismic reflection, gravity data and industry wells enabled to determine the 3D rift architecture of the Mauléon basin. Two major diachronous detachment systems can be mapped and followed through space. The Southern Mauléon Detachment (SMD) develops first, starts to thin the crust and floors the Southern Mauléon sub-Basin (SMB). The second, the Northern Mauléon Detachment (SMD) is younger and controls the final crustal thinning and mantle exhumation to the north. Both constitute the whole Mauléon basin. Like at the scale of the overall Pyrenees, the reactivation of the Mauléon Basin increases progressively from west to east, which enables to document the progressive reactivation of an aborted hyper-extended rift system. In our presentation, we discuss the compressional reactivation of the rift structures by the study of dip sections across the basin, from weakly reactivated sections in the west to strongly reactivated sections in the east. Comparing the sections, it results that the compression reactivated the rift structures (mainly the detachment faults) and that this reactivation occurred in 2 steps. It corresponds to the reactivation through time of the NMB before the SMB. This evolution is in line with an early proto-subduction of the hyper-extended domain beneath the European plate whereas the NMB sediments are wedged, folded and thrust onto the Iberia and Europe margins ("thin-skin" tectonics). The second step occurs when the deformation started to migrate southward resulting in the formation of the axial Pyrenees nappe stack (thick-skin tectonics). These results suggest that the inherited rift structures strongly controlled the initial convergence. Future work will revisit the more reactivated Albian basins throughout the chain to investigate how far the results from western Pyrenees can be used to understand the Central and Eastern Pyrenees. Moreover, this field-oriented study can serve as an example of how rift structures may control style and timing of orogenic processes.

  14. The First Prediction of a Rift Valley Fever Outbreak

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anyamba, Assaf; Chretien, Jean-Paul; Small, Jennifer; Tucker, Compton J.; Formenty, Pierre; Richardson, Jason H.; Britch, Seth C.; Schnabel, David C.; Erickson, Ralph L.; Linthicum, Kenneth J.

    2009-01-01

    El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) related anomalies were analyzed using a combination of satellite measurements of elevated sea surface temperatures, and subsequent elevated rainfall and satellite derived normalized difference vegetation index data. A Rift Valley fever risk mapping model using these climate data predicted areas where outbreaks of Rift Valley fever in humans and animals were expected and occurred in the Horn of Africa from December 2006 to May 2007. The predictions were subsequently confirmed by entomological and epidemiological field investigations of virus activity in the areas identified as at risk. Accurate spatial and temporal predictions of disease activity, as it occurred first in southern Somalia and then through much of Kenya before affecting northern Tanzania, provided a 2 to 6 week period of warning for the Horn of Africa that facilitated disease outbreak response and mitigation activities. This is the first prospective prediction of a Rift Valley fever outbreak.

  15. A groundwater convection model for Rio Grande rift geothermal resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.; Harder, V.; Daggett, P. H.; Swanberg, C. A.

    1981-01-01

    It has been proposed that forced convection, driven by normal groundwater flow through the interconnected basins of the Rio Grande rift is the primary source mechanism for the numerous geothermal anomalies along the rift. A test of this concept using an analytical model indicates that significant forced convection must occur in the basins even if permeabilities are as low as 50-200 millidarcies at a depth of 2 km. Where groundwater flow is constricted at the discharge areas of the basins forced convection can locally increase the gradient to a level where free convection also occurs, generating surface heat flow anomalies 5-15 times background. A compilation of groundwater data for the rift basins shows a strong correlation between constrictions in groundwater flow and hot springs and geothermal anomalies, giving strong circumstantial support to the convection model.

  16. Patterns of Rift Valley fever activity in Zambia.

    PubMed Central

    Davies, F. G.; Kilelu, E.; Linthicum, K. J.; Pegram, R. G.

    1992-01-01

    An hypothesis that there was an annual emergence of Rift Valley fever virus in Zambia, during or after the seasonal rains, was examined with the aid of sentinel cattle. Serum samples taken during 1974 and 1978 showed evidence of epizootic Rift Valley fever in Zambia, with more than 80% positive. A sentinel herd exposed from 1982 to 1986 showed that some Rift Valley fever occurred each year. This was usually at a low level, with 3-8% of the susceptible cattle seroconverting. In 1985-6 more than 20% of the animals seroconverted, and this greater activity was associated with vegetational changes--which could be detected by remote-sensing satellite imagery--which have also been associated with greater virus activity in Kenya. PMID:1547835

  17. Groundwater convection model for Rio Grande rift geothermal resources

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, P.; Harder, V.; Swanberg, C.A.; Daggett, P.H.; Ruscetta, C.A.; Foley, D.

    1981-05-01

    It has been proposed that forced convection, driven by normal groundwater flow through the interconnected basins of the Rio Grande rift is the primary source mechanism for the numerous geothermal anomalies along the rift. A test of this concept using an analytical model indicates that significant forced convection must occur in the basins even if permeabilities are as low as 50-200 millidarcies at a depth of 2 km. Where groundwater flow is constricted at the discharge areas of the basins forced convection can locally increase the gradient to a level where free convection also occurs, generating surface heat flow anomalies 5-15 times background. A compilation of groundwater data for the rift basins shows a strong correlation between constrictions in groundwater flow and hot springs and geothermal anomalies, giving strong circumstantial support to the convection model.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favre, P.; Stampfli, G. M.

    1992-12-01

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

  19. Flexural analysis of uplifted rift flanks on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Susan A.; Simons, Mark; Solomon, Sean C.

    1992-01-01

    Knowledge of the thermal structure of a planet is vital to a thorough understanding of its general scheme of tectonics. Since no direct measurements of heat flow or thermal gradient are available for Venus, most estimates have been derived from theoretical considerations or by analog with the Earth. The flexural response of the lithosphere to applied loads is sensitive to regional thermal structure. Under the assumption that the yield strength as a function of depth can be specified, the temperature gradient can be inferred from the effective elastic plate thickness. Previous estimates of the effective elastic plate thickness of Venus range from 11-18 km for the foredeep north of Uorsar Rupes to 30-60 km for the annular troughs around several coronae. Thermal gradients inferred for these regions are 14-23 K km(exp -1) and 4-9 K km(exp -1) respectively. In this study, we apply the same techniques to investigate the uplifted flanks of an extensional rift. Hypotheses for the origin of uplifted rift flanks on Earth include lateral transport of heat from the center of the rift, vertical transport of heat by small-scale convection, differential thinning of the lithosphere, dynamical uplift, and isostatic response to mechanical uploading of the lithosphere. The 1st hypothesis is considered the dominant contributor to terrestrial rift flanks lacking evidence for volcanic activity, particularly for rift structures that are no longer active. In this study, we model the uplifted flanks of a venusian rift as the flexural response to a vertical end load.

  20. 77 FR 68783 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Veterinary Vaccines for Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-16

    ...: Veterinary Vaccines for Rift Valley Fever Virus AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC... Rift Valley Fever Virus Utilizing Reverse Genetics,'' US Provisional Application 61/ ] 042,987, filed 4/7/2008, entitled ``Recombinant Rift Valley Fever (RVF) Viruses and Method of Use,'' PCT...

  1. Geophysical studies of the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-12-01

    The West Antarctic rift system extends over a 3000 × 750 km, largely ice covered area from the Ross Sea to the base of the Antarctic Peninsula, comparable in area to the Basin and Range and the East African rift system. A spectacular rift shoulder scarp along which peaks reach 4-5 km maximum elevation marks one flank and extends from northern Victoria Land-Queen Maud Mountains to the Ellsworth-Whitmore-Horlick Mountains. The rift shoulder has maximum present physiographic relief of 5 km in the Ross Embayment and 7 km in the Ellsworth Mountains-Byrd Subglacial Basin area. The Transantarctic Mountains part of the rift shoulder (and probably the entire shoulder) has been interpreted as rising since about 60 Ma, at episodic rates of ˜1 km/m.y., most recently since mid-Pliocene time, rather than continuously at the mean rate of 100 m/m.y. The rift system is characterized by bimodal alkaline volcanic rocks ranging from at least Oligocene to the present. These are exposed asymmetrically along the rift flanks and at the south end of the Antarctic Peninsula. The trend of the Jurassic tholeiites (Ferrar dolerites, Kirkpatric basalts) marking the Jurassic Transantarctic rift is coincident with exposures of the late Cenozoic volcanic rocks along the section of the Transantarctic Mountains from northern Victoria Land to the Horlick Mountains. The Cenozoic rift shoulder diverges here from the Jurassic tholeiite trend, and the tholeiites are exposed continuously (including the Dufek intrusion) along the lower- elevation (1-2 km) section of Transantarctic Mountains to the Weddell Sea. Widely spaced aeromagnetic profiles in West Antarctica indicate the absence of Cenozoic volcanic rocks in the ice covered part of the Whitmore-Ellsworth-Mountain block and suggest their widespread occurrence beneath the western part of the ice sheet overlying the Byrd Subglacial Basin. A German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)-U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) aeromagnetic survey over the Ross Sea continental shelf indicates rift fabric and suggests numerous submarine volcanoes along discrete NNW trending zones. A Bouguer anomaly range of approximately 200 (+50 to -150) mGal having 4-7 mGal/km gradients where measured in places marks the rift shoulder from northern Victoria Land possibly to the Ellsworth Mountains (where data are too sparse to determine maximum amplitude and gradient). The steepest gravity gradients across the rift shoulder require high density (mafic or ultramafic?) rock within the crust as well as at least 12 km of thinner crust beneath the West Antarctic rift system in contrast to East Antarctica. Sparse land seismic data reported along the rift shoulder, where velocities are greater than 7 km/s, and marine data indicating velocities above 7 km/s beneath the Ross Sea continental shelf support this interpretation. The maximum Bouguer gravity range in the Pensacola Mountains area of the Transantarctic Mountains is only about 130 mGal with a maximum 2 mGal/km gradient, which can be explained solely by 8 km of crustal thickening. Large offset seismic profiles over the Ross Sea shelf collected by the German Antarctic North Victoria Land Expedition V (GANOVEX V) combined with earlier USGS and other results indicate 17-21 km thickness for the crust beneath the Ross Sea shelf which we interpret as evidence of extended rifted continental crust. A regional positive Bouguer anomaly (0 to +50 mGal), the width of the rift, extends from the Ross Sea continental shelf throughout the Ross Embayment and Byrd Subglacial Basin area of the West Antarctic rift system and indicates that the Moho is approximately 20 km deep tied to the seismic results (probably coincident with the top of the asthenosphere) rather than the 30 km reported in earlier interpretations. The interpretation of horst and graben structures in the Ross Sea, made from marine seismic reflection data, probably can be extended throughout the rift (i.e., the Ross Ice shelf and the Byrd Subglacial Basin areas). The near absence of earthquakes in the West Antarctic r

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  3. Intermittent upwelling of asthenosphere beneath the Gregory Rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki Kyoto Univ. ); Kimura, Nobukazu ); Itaya, Tetsumaru ); Koyaguchi, Takehiro ); Suwa, Kanenori )

    1991-06-01

    K-Ar dates and chemical compositions of basalts in the Gregory Rift, Kenya, demonstrate marked secular variation of lava chemistry. Two magmatic cycles characterized by incompatible element relative depletion are recognized; both occurring immediately after the peak of basaltic volcanism and coeval with both trachyte/phonolite volcanism and domal uplift of the region. These cycles may be attributed to increasing degree of partial melting of mantle source material in association with thinning of the lithosphere by thermal erosion through contact with hot upwelling asthenospheric mantle. Cyclic variation in asthenosphere upwelling may be considered an important controlling process in the evolution of the Gregory Rift.

  4. Thermal budget of the lower east rift zone, Kilauea Volcano

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Delaney, Paul T.; Duffield, Wendell A.; Sass, John H.; Kauahikaua, James P.

    1993-01-01

    The lower east rift zone of Kilauea has been the site of repeated fissure eruptions fed by dikes that traverse the depths of interest to geothermal explorations. We find that a hot-rock-and-magma system of low permeability extending along the rift zone at depths below about 4 km and replenished with magma at a rate that is small in comparison to the modern eruption rate Kilauea can supply heat to an overlying hydrothermal aquifer sufficient to maintain temperatures of about 250??C if the characteristic permeability to 4-km depth is about 10-15m2.

  5. Basalt volatile fluctuations during continental rifting: An example from the Rio Grande Rift, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowe, Michael C.; Lassiter, John C.; Goff, Kathleen

    2015-05-01

    Hydration and metasomatism of the lithospheric mantle potentially influences both the magmatic and tectonic evolution of southwestern North America. Prior studies have suggested that volatile enrichments to the mantle underlying western North America resulted from shallow subduction of the Farallon Plate during the Laramide (˜74-40 Ma). This study examines temporal and spatial variations in volatile elements (H2O, Cl, F, and S) determined from olivine and orthopyroxene-hosted melt inclusions along and across the Rio Grande Rift, the easternmost extent of Laramide shallow subduction. Maximum chlorine enrichments are observed in the southern rift with a Cl/Nb of ˜210 and reduce with time to MORB-OIB levels (˜5-17). Measured water abundances are <0.8 wt % in rehomogenized inclusions; however, calculated H2O, based on Cl/Nb systematics, primarily varies from 0.5 to 2 wt % H2O. Sulfur abundances (<0.61 wt %), and calculated sulfide saturation, indicate magmas with high Cl/Nb also contain oxidized sulfur. The abundance of fluorine in melt inclusions (up to 0.2 wt %) is not correlated to other volatile elements. Temporal variations in melt inclusion volatile abundances coupled with varying isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb) whole-rock systematics suggest a transition from lithospheric to asthenospheric melt generation in the southern RGR and potential lithosphere-asthenosphere melt mixing in the central RGR. East to west decrease in volatile enrichment likely reflects a combination of varying mantle sources and early removal of metasomatized lithospheric mantle underlying regional extension. Results indicate, from multiple causes, subduction-related volatile enrichment to the lithospheric mantle is ephemeral, and strong enrichments in volatiles are not preserved in active magmatic-tectonic provenances.

  6. Stress and slip partitioning during oblique rifting: comparison between data from the Main Ethiopian Rift and laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, G.; Philippon, M.; Sani, F.; Keir, D.

    2012-04-01

    Oblique rifting in the central and northern Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) has resulted in a complex structural pattern characterized by two differently oriented fault systems: a set of NE-SW-trending boundary faults and a system of roughly NNE-SSW-oriented fault swarms affecting the rift floor (Wonji faults). Boundary faults formed oblique to the regional extension vector, likely as a result of the oblique reactivation of a pre-existing deep-seated rheological anisotropy, whereas internal Wonji faults developed sub-orthogonal to the stretching direction. Previous works have successfully reconciled this rift architecture and fault distribution with the long-term plate kinematics; however, at a more local scale, fault-slip and earthquake data reveal significant variations in the orientation the minimum principal stress and related fault-slip direction across the rift valley. Whereas fault measurements indicate a roughly N95°E extension on the axial Wonji faults, a N105°E to N110°E directed minimum principal stress is observed along boundary faults. Both fault-slip data and analysis of seismicity indicate a roughly pure dip-slip motion on the boundary faults, despite their orientation (oblique to the regional extension vector) should result in an oblique displacement. To shed light on the process driving the variability of data derived from fault-slip (and seismicity) analysis we present crustal-scale analogue models of oblique rifting, deformed in a large-capacity centrifuge by using materials and boundary conditions described in several previous modeling works. As in these previous works, the experiments show the diachronous activation of two fault systems, boundary and internal, whose pattern strikingly resemble that observed in previous lithospheric-scale modeling, as well as that described in the MER. Internal faults arrange in two different, en-echelon segments connected by a transfer zone where strike-slip displacement dominates. Whereas internal faults develop roughly orthogonal to the extension direction, boundary faults form oblique to the imposed stretching vector: as a group, the faults follow the rift trend, controlled by a pre-existing weak anisotropy, but individually they form oblique to both the rift margin and the extension vector. Detailed analysis of fault displacements suggest that whereas the average displacement on single internal faults is consistent with the imposed direction of extension, slip on boundary faults does not parallel this direction; the average motion on these faults is orthogonal to the faults, resulting in a roughly pure dip-slip motion. This gives rise to a marked difference in fault-slip direction between internal faults (where slip orientation follow the regional extension) and boundary faults (where displacement is oblique to the "regional" extension). A similar scenario is observed for the reconstructed direction of the minimum principal stress that follows the regional stress field within the rift and is re-oriented at rift margins. Minor counterclockwise block rotations accommodate the different slip along the different fault systems. The model-to-nature striking is striking in terms of fault orientation, stress and slip orientation and its across-axis variations. The analogue models thus allows explaining the across-axis variability observed in natural fault-slip and earthquake data. Modeling results support that boundary faults form in response to a local stress re-orientation imposed by a deep seated anisotropy: their displacement trajectories deviate from those imposed by the regional extension, resulting in a pure dip-slip motion in an overall oblique rifting kinematics, as observed in other sectors of the East African Rift. Conversely, internal faults -which form later and affect a weaker, more uniform lithosphere- respond directly to the regional extension direction resulting in a fault slip sub-parallel to the Nubia-Somalia motion. Minor counterclockwise block rotations are required to accommodate the difference in slip along the different fault systems.

  7. What created the Proterozoic Ladoga rift (SE Baltic shield): Testing rifting versus supercontinent reconfiguration origin by geophysical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemieva, I. M.; Shulgin, A.

    2014-12-01

    Mesoproterozoic mafic magmatism at the southern part of the Baltic Shield (the Lake Ladoga region) is conventionally ascribed to epicratonic rifting. The region hosts a series of mafic dykes and sills of Mesoproterozoic ages, including a ca. 1.53-1.46 Ga sheet-like gabbro-dolerite sills and the Salmi plateau-basalts from the Lake Ladoga region. Based on chiefly geochemical data, the region is conventionally interpreted as an intracratonic Ladoga rift (graben). We question the validity of this geodynamic interpretation by analyzing regional geophysical data (crustal structure, heat flow, Bouguer gravity anomalies, magnetic anomalies, and mantle Vs velocities). We provide a complete list of tectonic, magmatic, and geophysical characteristics typical of continental rifts in general and demonstrate that, except for magmatic and, perhaps, some gravity signature, the Lake Ladoga region lacks any other rift features. We also compare the geophysical data from the Lake Ladoga region with a similar in age Midcontinent rift (USA) and the Valday rift (NW Russia), and provide alternative explanations for the Mesoproterozoic geodynamic evolution of the southern Baltic Shield. We propose that Mesoproterozoic mafic intrusions in southern Fennoscandia may be associated with a complex deformation pattern during reconfiguration of (a part of) Nuna (Columbia) supercontinent, which led to magma intrusions as a series of mafic dykes along lithosphere weakness zones and ponding of small magma pockets within the cratonic lithosphere. Consequent magma cooling and its partial transition to eclogite facies could have led to the formation of a series of basement depressions, similar to the intracratonic basins of North America, while spatially heterogeneous thermo-chemical subsidence, with phase transitions locally speeded by the presence of (subduction-related) fluids, could have produced a series of faults bounding graben-like structures.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  9. Rift Valley Fever Overview and Recent Developments at USDA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral disease with significant health and economic impacts to domestic animals and humans in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Human infections are believed to occur mainly from mosquito bites and from infectious aerosols. The available strategies for protection...

  10. Innovative tephra studies in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  11. Rift Valley fever Entomology, Ecology, and Outbreak Risk Factors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease of domestic ruminants and humans in Africa. The disease is most severe in cattle, sheep, and goats, and it causes high mortality in young animals and abortion in adults. Exotic aanimal breeds from areas where RVF is not endemic tend to be ...

  12. Predicting the Next Outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease of domestic ruminants in Africa. The disease is most severe in cattle, sheep, and goats, and it causes high mortality in young animals and abortion in adults. Exotic aanimal breeds from areas where RVF is not endemic tend to be more suscep...

  13. Potential for Rift Valley to be Introduced into North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease of domestic ruminants in Africa. The disease is most severe in cattle, sheep, and goats, causing mortality in young animals and abortion in adults. Human infection causes significant morbidity and mortality. RVF occurs in sub-Saharan Afri...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1985-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (principal investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The new fault map of the main Ethiopian rift, based on aerial photo compilations, generally agrees well with the maps produced from ERTS-1 imagery. Characteristically, the ERTS-1 imagery shows some of the major faults to be more extensive than realized from ground studies, though due to the angle of sun illumination some east-facing fault scarps are not easily discernible on the imagery. The Corbetti caldera, shows up surprisingly poor on the imagery, and is shown to be an adjunct to an older, larger caldera now occupied by Lakes Awassa and Shallo. The lithological boundaries mapped by De Paola in the rift are difficult to discern on the ERTS-1 imagery. On the Somalian plateau, east of the rift, a denuded caldera has been identified as the source of much of the lavas of the Batu Mountains. Further south, ERTS-1 imagery amplifies the structural and lithological mapping of the Precambrian rocks of the Shakisso-Arero area, and of the Kenya-Ethiopia border region. For the first time with some certainty, it is now possible to say that on the evidence of the ERTS-1 imagery, the Western Rift does not continue northeast beyond the Sudan-Uganda border, and is thus not to be sought in western Ethiopia.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  17. Comparing Two Profiles: The Amazing Size of the Rift Valleys.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Housepian, Jean

    1983-01-01

    Describes an activity for grade 7-9 students previously introduced to topographic maps and profile lines. Two profiles of equal scale are used to help students appreciate the tremendous size of mid-ocean rift valleys. Procedures and examples of completed profiles are provided. (JN)

  18. Forecast and Outbreak of Rift valley fever in Sudan, 2007

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks occur during heavy rainfall in various sub-Saharan countries including Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania and more recently in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Given the wide geographic and ecological range of RVF virus, it is necessary to monitor large areas for condit...

  19. Masirah Graben, Oman: A hidden Cretaceous rift basin

    SciTech Connect

    Beauchamp, W.H.; Ries, A.C.; Coward, M.P.

    1995-06-01

    Reflection seismic data, well data, geochemical data, and surface geology suggest that a Cretaceous rift basin exists beneath the thrusted allochthonous sedimentary sequence of the Masirah graben, Oman. The Masirah graben is located east of the Huqf uplift, parallel to the southern coast of Oman. The eastern side of the northeast-trending Huqf anticlinorium is bounded by an extensional fault system that is downthrown to the southeast, forming the western edge of the Masirah graben. This graben is limited to the east by a large wedge of sea floor sediments and oceanic crust, that is stacked as imbricate thrusts. These sediments/ophiolites were obducted onto the southern margin of the Arabian plate during the collision of the Indian/Afghan plates at the end of the Cretaceous. Most of the Masirah graben is covered by an allochthonous sedimentary sequence, which is complexly folded and deformed above a detachment. This complexly deformed sequence contrasts sharply with what is believed to be a rift sequence below the ophiolites. The sedimentary sequence in the Masirah graben was stable until further rifting of the Arabian Sea/Gulf of Aden in the late Tertiary, resulting in reactivation of earlier rift-associated faults. Wells drilled in the Masirah graben in the south penetrated reservoir quality rocks in the Lower Cretaceous Natih and Shuaiba carbonates. Analyses of oil extracted from Infracambrian sedimentary rocks penetrated by these wells suggest an origin from a Mesozoic source rock.

  20. Development of a sheep challenge model for Rift Valley fever

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic disease that causes severe epizootic disease in ruminants, characterized by mass abortion and high mortality rates in younger animals. The development of a reliable challenge model is an important prerequisite for evaluation of existing and novel vaccines. A stu...

  1. Potential Effects of Rift Valley Fever in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) has been the cause of disease outbreaks throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and the infection often results in heavy economic costs through loss of livestock. If RVFV, which is common to select agent lists of the US Department of Health and Human Services and ...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Monitoring Volcanic Gases on Kilauea's East Rift Zone II

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geochemist Jeff Sutton and CSAV international volcanology students visit a continuous gas monitoring site on Kilauea's east rift zone during field studies portion of the summer training course. Instrumentation at this site measures ambient concentration of noxious su...

  4. Monitoring Volcanic Gases on Kilauea's East Rift Zone

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geochemist Jeff Sutton and CSAV international volcanology students visit a continuous gas monitoring site on Kilauea's east rift zone during field studies portion of the summer training course. Instrumentation at this site measures ambient concentration of noxious sulfur...

  5. Late cretaceous and cenozoic stratigraphy of the Baikal Rift sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mats, V. D.

    2013-11-01

    The data obtained from long-term field studies in the Baikal Rift area are summarized. A new stratigraphic scheme is developed on the basis of previous stratigraphic research of N.A. Logachev. The new elements of the scheme are (1) the use of regional correlation horizons; (2) recognition of pre-Tankhoi (pre-Late Oligocene) sediments correlated with the Maastrichtian-Early Oligocene deposits of the Baikal Fore-deep; (3) elimination from the scheme of the Khalagai and Anosovka formations and distinction on their basis of the Tagai, Sasa, Osinovka, and Shankhaikha formations; (4) recognition of several weathering crust beds and Neogene paleosols. The "lower Eopleistocene (Upper Pliocene)" red-rock formation of Logachev is subdivided into the following stratigraphic units: the Cretaceous-Paleogene unit characterized by a few finds of Early Oligocene fossils, the Upper Miocene-Lower Pliocene red clay bearing numerous fossil remains, and the Upper Pliocene reddish clay with abundant localities of fossils. The sections examined in the land portion of the Baikal Rift are correlated with bottom sediments of the Baikal depression and are subdivided into three instead of the two commonly accepted large tectonic-lithological-stratigraphic complexes. Stratigraphic studies provide a new insight into the history of the Baikal Rift and into some general questions of the continental rift formation.

  6. Helium isotopes in fluids of the Baykal rift zone

    SciTech Connect

    Polyak, B.G.; Prasolov, E.M.; Tolstikhin, I.N.; Kozlovtseva, S.V.; Kononov, V.I.; Khutorskoy, M.D. All-Union Petroleum Geologic Exploration Research Inst., Saint Petersburg Kola Research Center, Apatity )

    1993-02-01

    The isotopic composition of helium in subterranean fluids from 34 locations in southern Siberia and northern Mongolia has been measured. The ratio [sup 3]He/[sup 4]He ranges from radiogenic ([approximately]10[sup [minus]8]) to mantle ([approximately]10[sup [minus]5]) values. For the most part, the hydrocarbon fluids of the Irkutsk amphitheater contain only radiogenic helium; this distinguishes the amphitheater from ancient platforms. In contrast, fluids from the Baykal rift zone are distinguished by the presence of helium with a mantle component; this component reaches almost 100% in thermal fluids in the Tunka basin. The ratios CH[sub 4]/[sup 3]He and (CO[sub 2] + CH[sub 4])/[sup 3]He suggest that the methane and carbon dioxide in the rift zone fluids may be partially magmatogenic; in the Irkutsk amphitheater, on the other other hand, such gases originated as a result of purely crustal processes. The [sup 3]He/[sup 4]He ratio varies along the length of the Baikal rift zone, with decreasing values correlating with decreasing heat flow, increasing thickness of crust, and decreasing dimensions of rift basins. 39 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  7. The protracted development of focused magmatic intrusion during continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, Tyrone O.; Bastow, Ian D.; Keir, Derek; Mazzarini, Francesco; Movsesian, Emily; Grosfils, Eric B.; Zimbelman, James R.; Ramsey, Michael S.; Ayalew, Dereje; Yirgu, Gezahegn

    2014-06-01

    The transition from mechanical thinning toward focused magmatic intrusion during continental rifting is poorly constrained; the tectonically active Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) provides an ideal study locale to address this issue. The presence of linear magmatic-tectonic belts in the relatively immature central MER may indicate that the transition from mechanical to magmatic rifting is more spatially distributed and temporally protracted than has previously been assumed. Here we examine lava geochemistry and vent distribution of a Pliocene-Quaternary linear magmatic chain along the western margin of the central MER—the Akaki Magmatic Zone. Our results show limited variability in parental magma that evolve in a complex polybaric fractionation system that has not changed significantly over the past 3 Ma. Our results suggest the following: (1) channeling of plume material and the localization of shear- or topography-induced porosity modulates melt intrusion into the continental lithosphere. (2) Pre-existing lithospheric structures may act as catalysts for intrusion of magmas into the lithospheric mantle. (3) The midcrustal to upper crustal strain regime dictates the surface orientation of volcanic vents. Therefore, although linear magmatic belts like those in the central MER may young progressively toward the rift axis and superficially resemble oceanic style magmatism, they actually represent prebreakup magmatism on continental crust. The oldest linear magmatic belts observed seismically and magnetically at the edge of the ocean basins thus may not, as is often assumed, actually mark the onset of seafloor spreading.

  8. The Porcupine Basin: from rifting to continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reston, Timothy; Gaw, Viola; Klaeschen, Dirk; McDermott, Ken

    2015-04-01

    Southwest of Ireland, the Porcupine Basin is characterized by axial stretching factors that increase southward to values greater than six and typical of rifted margins. As such, the basin can be regarded as a natural laboratory to investigate the evolution and symmetry of rifting leading towards continental separation and breakup, and in particular the processes of mantle serpentinisation, and the onset of detachment faulting. We have processed through to prestack depth migration a series of E-W profiles crossing the basin at different axial stretching factors and linked by a N-S profile running close to the rift axis. Our results constrain the structure of the basin and have implications for the evolution of rifted margins. In the north at a latitude of 52.25N, no clear detachment is imaged, although faults do appear to cut down into the mantle, so that serpentinisation may have started. Further south (51.75N), a bright reflection (here named P) cuts down to the west from the base of the sedimentary section, is overlain by small fault blocks and appears to represent a detachment fault. P may in part follow the top of partially serpentinized mantle: this interpretation is consistent with gravity modelling, with numerical models of crustal embrittlement and mantle serpentinization during extension and with wide-angle data (see posters of Prada and of Watremez). Furthermore, P closely resembles the S reflection west of Iberia, where such serpentinites are well documented. P develops where the crust was thinned to less than 3 km during rifting, again similar to S. Although overall the basin remains symmetrical, the consistent westward structural dip of the detachment implies that, at high stretching factors, extension became asymmetric. Analysis of the depth sections suggests that the detachment may have been active as a rolling hinge rooting at low-angle beneath the Porcupine Bank, consistent with the presence of a footwall of serpentinites. This requires very weak fault rocks, such as serpentinites. Reconstructions suggest that the detachment developed after the onset of serpentinisation and thus represents late stage of faulting within a complex polyphase rift history. Farther south still, a N-S running profile shows that P cuts up to form the top of the basement, and locally forms the top of what we interpret as exhumed mantle, since buried by postrift sediments. Thus detachment here appear to have been both responsible for the late-stage extension of the crust and the unroofing of the mantle. The same processes are likely to have occurred at magma poor rifted margins.

  9. Thermal perturbations beneath the incipient Okavango Rift Zone, northwest Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leseane, Khumo

    We use aeromagnetic and Bouguer gravity data from the incipient Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ), the surrounding Archean cratons and Proterozoic mobile belts in northwestern Botswana to estimate the depth to the Curie isotherm and the crustal thickness beneath the rift. Imaging the depth to the base of magnetic sources is important in understanding and in constraining the thermal structure of the continental crust in zones of incipient continental rifting where no other data are available to image the crustal thermal structure. Our objective was to determine if there are thermal perturbations within the lithosphere under this young rift that might be suggestive of the presence of magmatic processes associated with rift initiation. The top and bottom of the magnetized crust were calculated using the two dimensional (2D) power-density spectrum analyses and three dimensional (3D) inversion of the total field magnetic data in overlapping windows of 1o x 1o. We found out that the Curie Point Depth (CPD) estimates vary between ~7 and ~23 km. The deepest CPD values (16 to 23 km) occur within the cratons which have lithospheric thickness greater than 200 km. Within the orogenic mobile belts, the CPD estimates range between 15 and 17 km. The shallowest CPD values of 7 - 14 km occur beneath the ORZ. In the northeastern part of ORZ with more developed rift structures, hot springs are known to occur. The shallowest CPD values, high heat flow and thin crust occur within a zone of ~60 km along the southeastern boundary of the ORZ and coincide with a strong NE-trending basement fabric, possibly acting as conduits for upward migration of hot fluids. These observations suggest the existence of a possible thermal anomaly within the lithosphere at shallow crustal depths beneath ORZ. We interpret the thermal anomaly as resulting from an infiltration front of melts/fluids due to ascending asthenosphere. Additional detailed tomographic imaging to be obtained as part of the Project for Rift Initiation, Development and Evolution experiments is needed to confirm this proposition. ..

  10. Seismic structure of the uppermost mantle beneath the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, Gordon R.; Mechie, J.; Braile, L.W.; Mooney, W.D.; Prodehl, C.

    1994-01-01

    A major goal of the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP) 1990 experiment was the determination of deep lithospheric structure. In the refraction/wide-angle reflection part of the KRISP effort, the experiment was designed to obtain arrivals to distances in excess of 400 km. Phases from interfaces within the mantle were recorded from many shotpoints, and by design, the best data were obtained along the axial profile. Reflected arrivals from two thin (< 10 km), high-velocity layers were observed along this profile and a refracted arrival was observed from the upper high-velocity layer. These mantle phases were observed on record sections from four axial profile shotpoints so overlapping and reversed coverage was obtained. Both high-velocity layers are deepest beneath Lake Turkana and become more shallow southward as the apex of the Kenya dome is approached. The first layer has a velocity of 8.05-8.15 km/s, is at a depth of about 45 km beneath Lake Turkana, and is observed at depths of about 40 km to the south before it disappears near the base of the crust. The deeper layer has velocities ranging from 7.7 to 7.8 km/s in the south to about 8.3 km/s in the north, has a similar dip as the upper one, and is found at depths of 60-65 km. Mantle arrivals outside the rift valley appear to correlate with this layer. The large amounts of extrusive volcanics associated with the rift suggest compositional anomalies as an explanation for the observed velocity structure. However, the effects of the large heat anomaly associated with the rift indicate that composition alone cannot explain the high-velocity layers observed. These layers require some anisotropy probably due to the preferred orientation of olivine crystals. The seismic model is consistent with hot mantle material rising beneath the Kenya dome in the southern Kenya rift and north-dipping shearing along the rift axis near the base of the lithosphere beneath the northern Kenya rift. This implies lithosphere thickening towards the north and is consistent with a thermal thinning of the lithosphere from below in the south changing to thinning of the lithosphere due to stretching in the north. ?? 1994.

  11. Large-scale variation in lithospheric structure along and across the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Kaminski, W.; Fuchs, K.; Grosse, C.; Hoffmann, H.; Stangl, R.; Stellrecht, R.; Khan, M.A.; Maguire, Peter K.H.; Kirk, W.; Keller, Gordon R.; Githui, A.; Baker, M.; Mooney, W.; Criley, E.; Luetgert, J.; Jacob, B.; Thybo, H.; Demartin, M.; Scarascia, S.; Hirn, A.; Bowman, J.R.; Nyambok, I.; Gaciri, S.; Patel, J.; Dindi, E.; Griffiths, D.H.; King, R.F.; Mussett, A.E.; Braile, L.W.; Thompson, G.; Olsen, K.; Harder, S.; Vees, R.; Gajewski, D.; Schulte, A.; Obel, J.; Mwango, F.; Mukinya, J.; Riaroh, D.

    1991-01-01

    The Kenya rift is one of the classic examples of a continental rift zone: models for its evolution range from extension of the lithosphere by pure shear1, through extension by simple shear2, to diapiric upwelling of an asthenolith3. Following a pilot study in 19854, the present work involved the shooting of three seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection profiles along the axis, across the margins, and on the northeastern flank of the rift (Fig. 1). These lines were intended to reconcile the different crustal thickness estimates for the northern and southern parts of the rift4-6 and to reveal the structure across the rift, including that beneath the flanks. The data, presented here, reveal significant lateral variations in structure both along and across the rift. The crust thins along the rift axis from 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; there are abrupt changes in Mono depth and uppermost-mantle seismic velocity across the rift margins, and crustal thickening across the boundary between the Archaean craton and PanAfrican orogenic belt immediately west of the rift. These results suggest that thickened crust may have controlled the rift's location, that there is a decrease in extension from north to south, and that the upper mantle immediately beneath the rift may contain reservoirs of magma generated at greater depth.

  12. The Pongola structure of southeastern Africa - The world's oldest preserved rift?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    Rocks of the Pongola Supergroup form an elongate belt in the Archean Kaapvaal Craton of southern Africa. Because these rocks exhibit many features that are characteristic of rocks deposited in continental rifts, including rapid lateral variations in thickness and character of sediments, volcanic rocks that are bimodal in silica content, coarse, basement derived conglomerates and thick sequences of shallow water sedimentary facies associations, it is suggested that the Pongola Supergroup was deposited in such a rift. The age of these rocks (approximately 3.0 Ga) makes the Pongola structure the world's oldest well-preserved rift so far recognized, and comparison of the Pongola Rift with other rifts formed more recently in earth history reveals striking similarities, suggesting that the processes that formed this rift were not significantly different from those that form continental rifts today.

  13. Strain accommodation by slow slip and dyking in a youthful continental rift, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Calais, Eric; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Albaric, Julie; Deschamps, Anne; Delvaux, Damien; Déverchère, Jacques; Ebinger, Cynthia; Ferdinand, Richard W; Kervyn, François; Macheyeki, Athanas S; Oyen, Anneleen; Perrot, Julie; Saria, Elifuraha; Smets, Benoît; Stamps, D Sarah; Wauthier, Christelle

    2008-12-11

    Continental rifts begin and develop through repeated episodes of faulting and magmatism, but strain partitioning between faulting and magmatism during discrete rifting episodes remains poorly documented. In highly evolved rifts, tensile stresses from far-field plate motions accumulate over decades before being released during relatively short time intervals by faulting and magmatic intrusions. These rifting crises are rarely observed in thick lithosphere during the initial stages of rifting. Here we show that most of the strain during the July-August 2007 seismic crisis in the weakly extended Natron rift, Tanzania, was released aseismically. Deformation was achieved by slow slip on a normal fault that promoted subsequent dyke intrusion by stress unclamping. This event provides compelling evidence for strain accommodation by magma intrusion, in addition to slip along normal faults, during the initial stages of continental rifting and before significant crustal thinning. PMID:19079058

  14. Closing of the Midcontinent-Rift - a far-field effect on Grenvillian compression

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.

    1994-01-01

    The Midcontinent rift formed in the Laurentian supercontinent between 1109 and 1094 Ma. Soon after rifting, stresses changed from extensional to compressional, and the central graben of the rift was partly inverted by thrusting on original extensional faults. Thrusting culminated at about 1060 Ma but may have begun as early as 1080 Ma. On the southwest-trending arm of the rift, the crust was shortened about 30km; on the southeast-trending arm, strike-slip motion was dominant. The rift developed adjacent to the tectonically active Grenville province, and its rapid evolution from an extensional to a compressional feature at c1080 Ma was coincident with renewal of northwest-directed thrusting in the Grenville, probably caused by continent-continent collision. A zone of weak lithosphere created by rifting became the locus for deformation within the otherwise strong continental lithosphere. Stresses transmitted from the Grenville province utilized this weak zone to close and invert the rift. -Author

  15. Thermal Evolution of Continental Rifting in Corsica (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seymour, N. M.; Stockli, D. F.; Beltrando, M.; Smye, A.

    2014-12-01

    Present thermal evolution models for continental rifting are based on pure-shear extension (McKenzie 1978), in which crustal and mantle strain is co-located and all rocks cool throughout rifting. However, the multi-phase rift model of Lavier and Manatschal (2006) accommodates lithospheric extension via spatially offset crustal and mantle strains, producing depth-dependent thinning and exhumation of lithospheric mantle. Significant reheating of the upper plate is a natural consequence of this model. We seek to constrain the temperature-time history of the upper-plate Tethyan margin preserved in Corsica to discriminate between the two thermal models. A record of the conditions and timing of reheating is preserved in the age and trace element compositions of metamorphic zircon overgrowths. Zircon from the hanging wall and footwall of the Jurassic-age Belli Piani shear zone (Beltrando et al 2013) were depth-profiled for both U-Pb and trace element concentrations via LA-ICP-MS split streaming. Across both sides of the shear zone, U-Pb ages show a strong population of 275-300 Ma grains. However, a subset of footwall grains show 165-210 Ma overgrowths. These ages indicate that the margin reached temperature conditions sufficient for zircon saturation and subsequent zircon growth. These lower crustal findings are consistent with prior observations made within the sedimentary succession, which records rapid thermal uplift, karstification, and subsequent drowning of Triassic dolostones contemporaneous with the opening of the Alpine Tethys (Decarlis and Lualdis 2008). Ti-in-zircon thermometry yields temperatures of ~720°C in the hanging wall and ~830°C in the footwall. This is consistent with the appearance of overgrowths, and provides further support that the Belli Piani shear zone was active during Jurassic rifting. Collectively, these data point directly to a rift-coeval reheating event that affected the entire crustal pile and lend support to the multi-stage Lavier and Manatschal model.

  16. The West Antarctic Rift System - some outstanding issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davey, F. J.

    2010-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is the product of several phases of deformation since the Jurassic with an early history related to that of New Zealand and Tasmania. Several outstanding issues exist in reconstructing the evolution of the West Antarctic Rift System. An early (mid-Cretaceous) intracontinental extensional episode led to the broad crustal thinning of WARS. Recent models propose a 50 km thick crust prior to the onset of extension, but the broad evidence for this is equivocal, as it must have also affected Tasmania and southern New Zealand as well as Antarctica prior to break-up of this part of Gondwana. Several more recent extensional episodes, largely W-E extension, have been proposed, in the early, mid and late Cenozoic, that give rise to a series of N-S trending extensional sedimentary basins. How well are these episodes defined, spatially distributed and how do they relate to a further hypothesis that NW-SE dextral strike slip faulting has had a dominant influence on this extension and basin formation? WARS sedimentary basins are moderately well defined under the Ross Sea, although their age of origin is often not well constrained, but their extension under the Ross Ice Shelf is also controversial. Gravity data have been used to infer their existence but the limited seismic data available do not confirm these models. A direct relationship between the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), a major mountain range forming the major rift margin of the WARS, and the extensional structures is also equivocal as a major sedimentary basin in the adjacent rift floor only occurs along part of the rift margin.

  17. East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Crustal structure beneath the Kenya Rift from axial profile data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mechie, J.; Keller, Gordon R.; Prodehl, C.; Gaciri, S.; Braile, L.W.; Mooney, W.D.; Gajewski, D.; Sandmeier, K.-J.

    1994-01-01

    Modelling of the KRISP 90 axial line data shows that major crustal thinning occurs along the axis of the Kenya Rift from Moho depths of 35 km in the south beneath the Kenya Dome in the vicinity of Lake Naivasha to 20 km in the north beneath Lake Turkana. Low Pn velocities of 7.5-7.7 km/s are found beneath the whole of the axial line. The results indicate that crustal extension increases to the north and that the low Pn velocities are probably caused by magma (partial melt) rising from below and being trapped in the uppermost kilometres of the mantle. Along the axial line, the rift infill consisting of volcanics and a minor amount of sediments varies in thickness from zero where Precambrian crystalline basement highs occur to 5-6 km beneath the lakes Turkana and Naivasha. Analysis of the Pg phase shows that the upper crystalline crust has velocities of 6.1-6.3 km/s. Bearing in mind the Cainozoic volcanism associated with the rift, these velocities most probably represent Precambrian basement intruded by small amounts of igneous material. The boundary between the upper and lower crusts occurs at about 10 km depth beneath the northern part of the rift and 15 km depth beneath the southern part of the rift. The upper part of the lower crust has velocities of 6.4-6.5 km/s. The basal crustal layer which varies in thickness from a maximum of 2 km in the north to around 9 km in the south has a velocity of about 6.8 km/s. ?? 1994.

  19. Two-stage magmatism during the evolution of the transitional Ethiopian rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornwell, D. G.; England, R. W.; Maguire, P. K.; Kendall, M.; Stuart, G. W.

    2008-12-01

    The Ethiopian rift marks the transition between continental rifting and incipient seafloor spreading. The Ethiopia Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) included a 400 km-long cross-rift profile with 97 broadband passive seismometers with the aim to investigate the change from mechanical to magmatic extension by defining the lithospheric structure and extent of magmatism beneath the rift. Complimentary studies of P-wave receiver functions, shear-wave splitting and teleseismic earthquake arrival times show that the lithospheric structure is inherently different beneath the north-western rift flank, rift valley and south- eastern rift flank, with contrasting crustal thickness and composition, upper mantle velocity and lithospheric anisotropy. Two stages of magmatic addition are interpreted: 1) a 6--18 km-thick underplate lens at the base of the crust, which probably formed synchronous with an Oligocene flood basalt event (and therefore pre-dates the adjacent rifting by ~20 Myr); and 2) a 20--30 km-wide zone of intense dyking and partial melt, which most likely pervades the entire crust beneath the rift valley and marks the locus of current rift extension. Furthermore, Precambrian collision-related lithospheric fabric is proposed to be the main source of the strong anisotropy that is observed along the entire cross-rift profile, which may be augmented by magmatism beneath the rift. An active, followed by a passive magma-assisted rifting model that is controlled by a combination of far-field plate stresses, the pre-existing lithospheric framework and magmatism is invoked to explain the rift evolution.

  20. Control of lineament in fluid migration and ore-mineral localization in rifts and rift-faulted basins

    SciTech Connect

    Bhattacharji, S.; Rampertapp, A.

    1984-12-01

    Many paleorifts and rift-faulted basins are characterized by high gravity, magnetic, and thermal anomalies, and high-density mantle cushions in the crust. Base metals are among the many important ore minerals and hydrocarbon accumulations occurring in the sedimentary formations and fracture zones of such rifts, and basins are commonly related to thermal processes and fluid migration through fractures, faults, and other micro or macro passages. Experimental and theoretical studies show that thermomechanical stresses owing to diapirism result in 1) development of fractures or faults and their patterns, 2) rejuvenation and opening of preexisting fractures, faults, or lineaments providing passages for migration of fluids or hydrothermal solutions, and 3) orientation of fracture pattern of preexisting anisotropy in rocks. Experiments show that changing property from brittle to brittle-ductile to ductile influences the volume percentage of dilation of the preexisting fractures and exerts control on the orientation, patterns, and opening of fractures in the overlying rocks. Rock mechanics experiments also show that extensive en echelon fractures or faults that develop under high fluid pressure by brittle to brittle-ductile extensional fracturing provide additional passage for the migration of fluid during active thermal uplift or rift formation, but they close during subsidence or basin formation. However, marginal fractures or thrust faults formed during dooming and uplift open during subsidence and rift-basin formation, and facilitate fluid migration and late hydrothermal ore-mineral localization.

  1. Sedimentology of rift climax deep water systems; Lower Rudeis Formation, Hammam Faraun Fault Block, Suez Rift, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leppard, Christopher W.; Gawthorpe, Rob L.

    2006-09-01

    In most marine rift basins, subsidence outpaces sedimentation during rift climax times. Typically this results in sediment-starved hangingwall depocentres dominated by deep-marine mudstones, with subordinate local development of coarser clastics in the immediate hangingwall derived from restricted catchments on the immediate footwall scarp. To highlight the spatial variability of rift climax facies and the controls upon them, we have investigated the detailed three-dimensional geometry and facies relationships of the extremely well exposed Miocene, rift climax Lower Rudeis Formation in the immediate hangingwall to the Thal Fault Zone, Suez Rift, Egypt. Detailed sedimentological analyses allows the Lower Rudeis Formation to be divided into two contemporaneous depositional systems, (1) a laterally continuous slope system comprising, hangingwall restricted (< 250 m wide) slope apron, slope slumps, fault scarp degradation complex and laterally extensive lower slope-to-basinal siltstones, and (2) a localized submarine fan complex up to 1 km wide and extending at least 2 km basinward of the fault zone. Interpretation of individual facies, facies relationships and their spatial variability indicate that deposition in the immediate hangingwall to the Thal Fault occurred via a range of submarine concentrated density flows, surge-like turbidity flows, mass wasting and hemipelagic processes. Major controls on the spatial variability and stratigraphic architecture of the depositional systems identified reflect the influence of the steep footwall physiography, accommodation and drainage evolution associated with the growth of the Thal Fault. The under-filled nature of the hangingwall depocentre combined with the steep footwall gradient result in a steep fault-controlled basin margin characterised by either slope bypass or erosion, with limited coastal plain or shelf area. Sediment supply to the slope apron deposits is controlled in part by the evolution and size of small footwall drainage catchments. In contrast, the localized submarine fan is interpreted to have been fed by a larger, antecedent drainage network. The structural style of the immediate footwall is also believed to exert a control on facies development and stratigraphic evolution. In particular, fault scarp degradation is enhanced by fault propagation folding which creates basinward-dipping bedding planes in the pre-rift footwall strata that large pre-rift blocks slide on.

  2. Fluid history in hyper-extended rifted margins: Examples from the fossil Alpine and western Pyrenean rift systems and the present-day Iberia rifted continental margin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, Victor Hugo; Manatschal, Gianreto; Karpoff, Anne Marie; Masini, Emmanuel; Lemarchand, Damien; Hayman, Nicholas; Trow, Rudolph; Viana, Adriano

    2013-04-01

    The evolution of deep-water, magma-poor rifted margins is intimately linked with complex and polyphase fault structures. These structures, known as detachment faults, are responsible for extreme crustal thinning and mantle exhumation. During the evolution of detachment faults fluid-rock interaction plays an important role, changing the chemical and physical properties of rocks. These processes likely have major implications for the strain localization and structural evolution of the margin. The change in rock chemistry and rheology is best indicated by the breakdown of feldspars and olivine into clay and serpentine minerals and the pervasive cementation and precipitation of quartz along the fault zones. Although the chemical and mineral reactions are well known, it is still unclear to what extent these reactions lead to changes in the overall rheology of the extending lithosphere and how they can affect the thermal evolution of the hyper-extended rifted margins. In order to answer to these questions it is important to understand the origin, timing, pathways and composition of the fluids generated during rifting. Are fluids solely of marine origin or do they have a metamorphic- or mantle-derived component? Can we determine the range of temperature and consequently at what depth these fluids are formed? And can we constrain the age of their migration? These questions can be addressed in the well-known hyper-extended rift systems such as the Alpine Tethys margins exposed in the Alps, the Mauléon basin in the Western Pyrenees and the Deep Iberia margin drilled and seismically imaged offshore Portugal. All of these rift settings show evidence for detachment systems associated with hyper-extension and mantle exhumation. The aim of this ongoing study is to characterize the fluid signature in hyper-extended domain in magma-poor rifted margins. Including different sites with different degrees of compressional and metamorphic overprint enables us to compare results and to define the general importance of fluid systems in the development of hyper-extended rifts systems. The first results show that in all three geological settings fluid percolation can be recognized in fault rocks linked to the detachment systems. Evidence for the presence of fluids comes from the analyses of hydration reactions in fault zones. In the Alps the major and trace elements show a gain in elements typical from mantle rocks (Mg, Ni, Cu, Co, V). In the Pyrenees, microstructural studies show that detachment faulting crossed a range of crustal depths providing constraints on the depths of fluid migration. Future analyses will focus on additional major and trace elements and isotopic ratios (Sr and B) of hydrated rocks recovered from these hyper-extended domains, which will be linked with the temporal and spatial evolution of the major detachment structures.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Colorado Basin Structure and Rifting, Argentine passive margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autin, Julia; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Loegering, Markus; Anka, Zahie; Vallejo, Eduardo; Rodriguez, Jorge; Marchal, Denis; Reichert, Christian; di Primio, Rolando

    2010-05-01

    The Argentine margin presents a strong segmentation with considerable strike-slip movements along the fracture zones. We focus on the volcanic segment (between the Salado and Colorado transfer zones), which is characterized by seaward dipping reflectors (SDR) all along the ocean-continent transition [e.g. Franke et al., 2006; Gladczenko et al., 1997; Hinz et al., 1999]. The segment is structured by E-W trending basins, which differs from the South African margin basins and cannot be explained by classical models of rifting. Thus the study of the relationship between the basins and the Argentine margin itself will allow the understanding of their contemporary development. Moreover the comparison of the conjugate margins suggests a particular evolution of rifting and break-up. We firstly focus on the Colorado Basin, which is thought to be the conjugate of the well studied Orange Basin [Hirsch et al., 2009] at the South African margin [e.g. Franke et al., 2006]. This work presents results of a combined approach using seismic interpretation and structural, isostatic and thermal modelling highlighting the structure of the crust. The seismic interpretation shows two rift-related discordances: one intra syn-rift and the break-up unconformity. The overlying sediments of the sag phase are less deformed (no sedimentary wedges) and accumulated before the generation of oceanic crust. The axis of the Colorado Basin trends E-W in the western part, where the deepest pre-rift series are preserved. In contrast, the basin axis turns to a NW-SE direction in its eastern part, where mainly post-rift sediments accumulated. The most distal part reaches the margin slope and opens into the oceanic basin. The general basin direction is almost orthogonal to the present-day margin trend. The most frequent hypothesis explaining this geometry is that the Colorado Basin is an aborted rift resulting from a previous RRR triple junction [e.g. Franke et al., 2002]. The structural interpretation partly supports this hypothesis and shows two main directions of faulting: margin-parallel faults (~N30°) and rift-parallel faults (~N125°). A specific distribution of the two fault sets is observed: margin-parallel faults are restrained to the most distal part of the margin. Starting with a 3D structural model of the basin fill based on seismic and well data the deeper structure of the crust beneath the Colorado Basin can be evaluate using isostatic and thermal modelling. Franke, D., et al. (2002), Deep Crustal Structure Of The Argentine Continental Margin From Seismic Wide-Angle And Multichannel Reflection Seismic Data, paper presented at AAPG Hedberg Conference "Hydrocarbon Habitat of Volcanic Rifted Passive Margins", Stavanger, Norway Franke, D., et al. (2006), Crustal structure across the Colorado Basin, offshore Argentina Geophysical Journal International 165, 850-864. Gladczenko, T. P., et al. (1997), South Atlantic volcanic margins Journal of the Geological Society, London 154, 465-470. Hinz, K., et al. (1999), The Argentine continental margin north of 48°S: sedimentary successions, volcanic activity during breakup Marine and Petroleum Geology 16(1-25). Hirsch, K. K., et al. (2009), Tectonic subsidence history and thermal evolution of the Orange Basin, Marine and Petroleum Geology, in press, doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.1006.1009

  5. Radial Anisotropy beneath the Main Ethiopian Rift and Afar Depression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardo, N. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Jin, G.; Shillington, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and Afar uniquely capture the final stages of transition from continental rifting in the broader East African Rift System to incipient seafloor spreading above a mantle hotspot. Studies of the region increasingly point to magmatism as a controlling factor on continental extension. However, the character and depth extent of these melt products remain contentious. Radial anisotropy derived from surface waves provides a unique diagnostic constraint on the presence of oriented melt pockets versus broader oriented anisotropic fabrics. This study investigates the thermal and radially anisotropic structure beneath the broader MER and Afar to resolve the magmatic character of the region and ultimately to understand the role of magmatism in present day rift development. We utilize 104 stations from 4 collocated arrays in the MER/Afar region to constrain radial anisotropy within the upper mantle via the inversion of Love- and Rayleigh-wave observations between 25 and 100 s period. We employ a multi-channel cross-correlation algorithm to obtain inter-station phase and amplitude information. The multi-channel phase observations are inverted for dynamic phase velocity across the array, which are then corrected for focusing and multipathing using the amplitude observations via Helmholtz tomography. We jointly invert Love- and Rayleigh-wave structural phase velocity measurements employing crustal constraints from co-located active source experiments to obtain estimates of Vsv and Vsh between 50 - 170 km depth. Preliminary results readily reveal the distinct shear velocity structure beneath the MER and Afar. Within the MER, shear velocity structure suggests pronounced low velocities accompanied by strong anisotropy between 80 - 140 km depth beneath the western Ethiopian plateau and rift valley. Within Afar, shear velocity structure is more varied with the slowest velocities found at shallow depths (less than 70 km depth), accompanied by weak anisotropy. The pronounced changes in the depth extent of slow velocities and strength of anisotropy interpreted to be associated with asthenosphere may reflect variations in the distribution and magnitude of temperature anomalies/melt between continental rifting in the MER and incipient, hot-spot influenced seafloor spreading in Afar.

  6. Albertine Rift, Uganda: Deformation-Sedimentation-Erosion relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The Albertine Rift is the northern part of the western branch of the East African Rift that runs over a distance of around 2000 km from Lake Albert in the north to Lake Malawi in the south. Lake Albert Basin is assumed to be a classical half-graben initiated around 12 Ma and oriented NNW-SSW, with a major northwesterly bounding fault - the Bunia fault - located along the western Congolese shoreline (Ebinger, 1989; Pickford & al., 1993). The aim of this study is to understand the relationships between deformation, erosion, and sedimentation of the rift through time by restoring (1) the timing and amplitude of vertical movements (subsidence, uplift), (2) the geometry and paleo-environmental evolution (including climate) of the sedimentary infilling and (3) the geomorphological evolution of the surrounding area and associated erosion budget. Seismic data and outcrops studies suggest a much more complex history than previously described. (1) The age model, mainly based on mammal fossils (Pickford et al., 1993; Van Damme and Pickford, 2003), is debated, but the early stage of the rift is probably Middle Miocene. (2) No half-graben geometry has been characterized: the infilling consists of juxtaposed tabular compartments with sharp thicknesses variations along bounding faults, in response of either low rate extensional or combined strike-slip/extensional movements. The following onshore-offshore evolution is proposed: - Middle Miocene (~ 13 Ma) to Late Miocene (?): rifting 1 - differential subsidence along N60° faults - major deepening from fluvio-deltaic to deep lacustrine environments (maximum flooding at 8 Ma) - uplift, erosion and reworking of weathered profiles - first generation of pediments. - Late Miocene (?) to Late Pliocene (~ 3 Ma): quiescence phase - homogenous subsidence - lacustrine clays interbedded with sandy flood-lobes - uplift, erosion and reworking of ferruginous laterite (iron duricrusts) - second generation of pediments. - Late Pliocene (~ 3Ma) to Early Pleistocene (~ 2 Ma): rifting 2 - major uplift and growth of the Ruwenzori Mountains (5000 m of elevation) - differential subsidence - deltaic to wave-dominated coast (shoreface) sandy deposits - pediments degradation by fluvial erosion. - Middle-Late Pleistocene: late regional uplift and tilting - drainage inversion and present-day scarp formation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  9. Aerosol and Cloud Microphysical Characteristics of Rifts and Gradients in Maritime Stratocumulus Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharon, Tarah M.; Albrecht, Bruce A.; Jonsson, Haflidi H.; Minnis, Patrick; Khaiyer, Mandana M.; Van Reken, Timothy; Seinfeld, John; Flagan, Rick

    2008-01-01

    A cloud rift is characterized as a large-scale, persistent area of broken, low reflectivity stratocumulus clouds usually surrounded by a solid deck of stratocumulus. A rift observed off the coast of Monterey Bay, California on 16 July 1999 was studied to compare the aerosol and cloud microphysical properties in the rift with those of the surrounding solid stratus deck. Variables measured from an instrumented aircraft included temperature, water vapor, and cloud liquid water. These measurements characterized the thermodynamic properties of the solid deck and rift areas. Microphysical measurements made included aerosol, cloud drop and drizzle drop concentrations and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. The microphysical characteristics in a solid stratus deck differ substantially from those of a broken, cellular rift where cloud droplet concentrations are a factor of 2 lower than those in the solid cloud. Further, CCN concentrations were found to be about 3 times greater in the solid cloud area compared with those in the rift and aerosol concentrations showed a similar difference as well. Although drizzle was observed near cloud top in parts of the solid stratus cloud, the largest drizzle rates were associated with the broken clouds within the rift area. In addition to marked differences in particle concentrations, evidence of a mesoscale circulation near the solid cloud rift boundary is presented. This mesoscale circulation provides a mechanism for maintaining a rift, but further study is required to understand the initiation of a rift and the conditions that may cause it to fill.

  10. Estimation of age of Dali-Ganis rifting and associated volcanic activity, Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.

    1993-01-01

    This paper deals with the estimation of age for the Dali and Ganis Chasma rift zones and their associated volcanism based on photogeologic analysis of stratigraphic relations of rift-associated features with impact craters which have associated features indicative of their age. The features are radar-dark and parabolic, and they are believed to be mantles of debris derived from fallout of the craters' ejecta. They are thought to be among the youngest features on the Venusian surface, so their 'parent' craters must also be very young, evidently among the youngest 10 percent of Venus' crater population. Dali Chasma and Ganis Chasma are a part of a system of rift zones contained within eastern Aphrodite and Atla Regio which is a significant component of Venus tectonics. The rifts of this system are fracture belts which dissect typical Venusian plains with rare islands of tessera terrain. The rift zone system consists of several segments following each other (Diane, Dali, Ganis) and forming the major rift zone line, about 10,000 km long, which has junctions with several other rift zones, including Parga Chasma Rift. The junctions are usually locations of rift-associated volcanism in the form of volcanic edifices (Maat and Ozza Montes) or plain-forming flows flooding some areas within the rift zones and the adjacent plains.

  11. Contour mapping of relic structures in the Precambrian basement of the Reelfoot rift, North American midcontinent

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dart, R.L.; Swolfs, H.S.

    1998-01-01

    A new contour map of the basement of the Reelfoot rift constructed from drill hole and seismic reflection data shows the general surface configuration as well as several major and minor structural features. The major features are two asymmetric intrarift basins, bounded by three structural highs, and the rift margins. The basins are oriented normal to the northeast trend of the rift. Two of the highs appear to be ridges of undetermined width that extend across the rift. The third high is an isolated dome or platform located between the basins. The minor features are three linear structures of low relief oriented subparallel to the trend of the rift. Two of these, located within the rift basins, may divide the rift basins into paired subbasins. These mapped features may be the remnants of initial extensional rifting, half graben faulting, and basement subsidence. The rift basins are interpreted as having formed as opposing half graben, and the structural highs are interpreted as having formed as associated accommodation zones. Some of these features appear to be reactivated seismogenic structures within the modem midcontinent compressional stress regime. A detailed knowledge of the geometries of the Reelfoot rift's basement features, therefore, is essential when evaluating their seismic risk potential.

  12. Estimation of age of Dali-Ganis rifting and associated volcanic activity, Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.

    1993-03-01

    This paper deals with the estimation of age for the Dali and Ganis Chasma rift zones and their associated volcanism based on photogeologic analysis of stratigraphic relations of rift-associated features with impact craters which have associated features indicative of their age. The features are radar-dark and parabolic, and they are believed to be mantles of debris derived from fallout of the craters' ejecta. They are thought to be among the youngest features on the Venusian surface, so their 'parent' craters must also be very young, evidently among the youngest 10 percent of Venus' crater population. Dali Chasma and Ganis Chasma are a part of a system of rift zones contained within eastern Aphrodite and Atla Regio which is a significant component of Venus tectonics. The rifts of this system are fracture belts which dissect typical Venusian plains with rare islands of tessera terrain. The rift zone system consists of several segments following each other (Diane, Dali, Ganis) and forming the major rift zone line, about 10,000 km long, which has junctions with several other rift zones, including Parga Chasma Rift. The junctions are usually locations of rift-associated volcanism in the form of volcanic edifices (Maat and Ozza Montes) or plain-forming flows flooding some areas within the rift zones and the adjacent plains.

  13. Active transsection faults in rift transfer zones: evidence for complex stress fields and implications for crustal fragmentation processes in the western branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehn, D.; Lindenfeld, M.; Rümpker, G.; Aanyu, K.; Haines, S.; Passchier, C. W.; Sachau, T.

    2010-10-01

    New structural and seismologic evidence from the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda, indicate that continental rifts can capture and rotate fragments of the lithosphere while rift segments interact, in a manner analogous to the interaction of small-scale fractures. The Rwenzori Mountains are a basement block within the western branch of the East African Rift System that is located at the intersection of two rift segments and is apparently rotating clockwise. Structural data and new seismological data from earthquake epicentres indicate a large-scale, 20-km-long transsection fault is currently detaching the Rwenzori micro-plate on its northern margin from the larger Victoria plate (Tanzania craton), whereas it is already fully detached in the south. We propose that this fault develops due to the rotation of the Rwenzori block. In a numerical model we show how rift segment interaction, block rotation and the development of transsection faults (faults that cut through the Rwenzori Mountains) evolve through time. The model suggests that uplift of the Rwenzori block can only take place after the rift has opened significantly, and rotation leads to the development of transsection faults that connect two rift segments, so that the block is captured within the rifts. Our numerical model suggests that the majority of the uplift has taken place within the last 8 Ma.

  14. Dykes and structures of the NE rift of Tenerife, Canary Islands: a record of stabilisation and destabilisation of ocean island rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delcamp, A.; Troll, V. R.; van Wyk de Vries, B.; Carracedo, J. C.; Petronis, M. S.; Pérez-Torrado, F. J.; Deegan, F. M.

    2012-07-01

    Many oceanic island rift zones are associated with lateral sector collapses, and several models have been proposed to explain this link. The North-East Rift Zone (NERZ) of Tenerife Island, Spain offers an opportunity to explore this relationship, as three successive collapses are located on both sides of the rift. We have carried out a systematic and detailed mapping campaign on the rift zone, including analysis of about 400 dykes. We recorded dyke morphology, thickness, composition, internal textural features and orientation to provide a catalogue of the characteristics of rift zone dykes. Dykes were intruded along the rift, but also radiate from several nodes along the rift and form en échelon sets along the walls of collapse scars. A striking characteristic of the dykes along the collapse scars is that they dip away from rift or embayment axes and are oblique to the collapse walls. This dyke pattern is consistent with the lateral spreading of the sectors long before the collapse events. The slump sides would create the necessary strike-slip movement to promote en échelon dyke patterns. The spreading flank would probably involve a basal decollement. Lateral flank spreading could have been generated by the intense intrusive activity along the rift but sectorial spreading in turn focused intrusive activity and allowed the development of deep intra-volcanic intrusive complexes. With continued magma supply, spreading caused temporary stabilisation of the rift by reducing slopes and relaxing stress. However, as magmatic intrusion persisted, a critical point was reached, beyond which further intrusion led to large-scale flank failure and sector collapse. During the early stages of growth, the rift could have been influenced by regional stress/strain fields and by pre-existing oceanic structures, but its later and mature development probably depended largely on the local volcanic and magmatic stress/strain fields that are effectively controlled by the rift zone growth, the intrusive complex development, the flank creep, the speed of flank deformation and the associated changes in topography. Using different approaches, a similar rift evolution has been proposed in volcanic oceanic islands elsewhere, showing that this model likely reflects a general and widespread process. This study, however, shows that the idea that dykes orient simply parallel to the rift or to the collapse scar walls is too simple; instead, a dynamic interplay between external factors (e.g. collapse, erosion) and internal forces (e.g. intrusions) is envisaged. This model thus provides a geological framework to understand the evolution of the NERZ and may help to predict developments in similar oceanic volcanoes elsewhere.

  15. Potential for autoimmune pathogenesis of Rift Valley Fever virus retinitis.

    PubMed

    Newman-Gerhardt, Shoshana; Muiruri, Samuel; Muchiri, Eric; Peters, Clarence J; Morrill, John; Lucas, Alexander H; King, Charles H; Kazura, James; LaBeaud, Angelle Desiree

    2013-09-01

    Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a significant threat to human health because it can progress to retinitis, encephalitis, and hemorrhagic fever. The timing of onset of Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) retinitis suggests an autoimmune origin. To determine whether RVFV retinitis is associated with increased levels of IgG against retinal tissue, we measured and compared levels of IgG against healthy human eye tissue by immunohistochemical analysis. We found that serum samples from RVFV-exposed Kenyans with retinitis (n = 8) were slightly more likely to have antibodies against retinal tissue than control populations, but the correlation was not statistically significant. Further investigation into the possible immune pathogenesis of RVFV retinitis could lead to improved therapies to prevent or treat this severe complication. PMID:23918215

  16. Novel approaches to develop Rift Valley fever vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Indran, Sabarish V.; Ikegami, Tetsuro

    2012-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, and has spread into Madagascar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) of the family Bunyaviridae, genus Phlebovirus causes hemorrhagic fever, neurological disorders or blindness in humans, and high rate abortion and fetal malformation in ruminants. RVFV is classified as a Category A Priority pathogen and overlap select agent by CDC/USDA due to its potential impact on public health and agriculture. There is a gap in the safety and immunogenicity in traditional RVF vaccines; the formalin-inactivated RVFV vaccine TSI-GSD-200 requires three doses for protection, and the live-attenuated Smithburn vaccine has a risk to cause abortion and fetal malformation in pregnant ruminants. In this review, problems of traditional vaccines and the safety and efficacy of recently reported novel RVF candidate vaccines including subunit vaccines, virus vector, and replicons are discussed. PMID:23112960

  17. Potential for Autoimmune Pathogenesis of Rift Valley Fever Virus Retinitis

    PubMed Central

    Newman-Gerhardt, Shoshana; Muiruri, Samuel; Muchiri, Eric; Peters, Clarence J.; Morrill, John; Lucas, Alexander H.; King, Charles H.; Kazura, James; LaBeaud, Angelle Desiree

    2013-01-01

    Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a significant threat to human health because it can progress to retinitis, encephalitis, and hemorrhagic fever. The timing of onset of Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) retinitis suggests an autoimmune origin. To determine whether RVFV retinitis is associated with increased levels of IgG against retinal tissue, we measured and compared levels of IgG against healthy human eye tissue by immunohistochemical analysis. We found that serum samples from RVFV-exposed Kenyans with retinitis (n = 8) were slightly more likely to have antibodies against retinal tissue than control populations, but the correlation was not statistically significant. Further investigation into the possible immune pathogenesis of RVFV retinitis could lead to improved therapies to prevent or treat this severe complication. PMID:23918215

  18. The East African rift system in the light of KRISP 90

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, G. R.; Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Fuchs, K.; Khan, M. A.; Maguire, P. K. H.; Mooney, W. D.; Achauer, U.; Davis, P. M.; Meyer, R. P.; Braile, L. W.; Nyambok, I. O.; Thompson, G. A.

    1994-09-01

    On the basis of a test experiment in 1985 (KRISP 85) an integrated seismic-refraction/teleseismic survey (KRISP 90) was undertaken to study the deep structure beneath the Kenya rift down to depths of 100-150 km. This paper summarizes the highlights of KRISP 90 as reported in this volume and discusses their broad implications as well as the structure of the Kenya rift in the general framework of other continental rifts. Major scientific goals of this phase of KRISP were to reveal the detailed crustal and upper mantle structure under the Kenya rift, to study the relationship between mantle updoming and the development of sedimentary basins and other shallow structures within the rift, to understand the role of the Kenya rift within the Afro-Arabian rift system and within a global perspective and to elucidate fundamental questions such as the mode and mechanism of continental rifting. The KRISP results clearly demonstrate that the Kenya rift is associated with sharply defined lithospheric thinning and very low upper mantle velocities down to depths of over 150 km. In the south-central portion of the rift, the lithospheric mantle has been thinned much more than the crust. To the north, high-velocity layers detected in the upper mantle appear to require the presence of anistropy in the form of the alignment of olivine crystals. Major axial variations in structure were also discovered, which correlate very well with variations in the amount of extension, the physiographic width of the rift valley, the regional topography and the regional gravity anomalies. Similar relationships are particularly well documented in the Rio Grande rift. To the extent that truly comparable data sets are available, the Kenya rift shares many features with other rift zones. For example, crustal structure under the Kenya, Rio Grande and Baikal rifts and the Rhine Graben is generally symmetrically centered on the rift valleys. However, the Kenya rift is distinctive, but not unique, in terms of the amount of volcanism. This volcanic activity would suggest large-scale modification of the crust by magmatism. Although there is evidence of underplating in the form of a relatively high-velocity lower crustal layer, there are no major seismic velocity anomalies in the middle and upper crust which would suggest pervasive magmatism. This apparent lack of major modification is an enigma which requires further study.

  19. [Neurologic and neurosensory forms of Rift Valley fever in Mauritania].

    PubMed

    Riou, O; Philippe, B; Jouan, A; Coulibaly, I; Mondo, M; Digoutte, J P

    1989-01-01

    During and after a Rift Valley fever epidemic in Southern Mauritania, we observed 348 patients infected by RVF virus. 17 of them had encephalitis. These belonged to 2 groups, acute febrile forms with short duration and possibility of death, and sub-acute forms, with a longer duration and with sequelae. They were pure encephalitis, without clinical or biological meningeal signs. We also noticed 5 brutal ocular attacks, running very slowly, with sequelae. PMID:2633869

  20. Undiscovered petroleum of the Brazilian Interior Rift Basins

    SciTech Connect

    Kingston, J.; Matzko, J.R.

    1995-05-01

    Brazil is estimated to contain 52% of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of South America, outside of Venezuela and Colombia. The Reconcavo, Tucano-Jatoba, and Tacutu interior rift basins of Brazil are investigated in this paper, the first in a series dealing with undiscovered petroleum of South America (exclusive of Venezuela and Colombia). Preliminary estimates of the undiscovered petroleum resources are 0.273 billion barrels of oil (BBO) and 1.234 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCFG) for the four basins. A review of the 1983-1993 history of petroleum reserves in South America indicated that an initial consensus estimate of 0.27 BBO and 4.15 TCFG (mean values) by the World Energy Program Group at the U.S. Geological Survey is too low. An adjusted range of probabilities is recalculated from original identified reserves, resulting in revised means values of 0.29 BBO and 4.15 TCGF for the four interior rift basins. Of these four basins, the Reconcavo is in a mature stage of exploration with 80 fields; the other rift basins, as well as most of the other basins in brazil, have not been as extensively investigated. In the Reconcavo basin, the principal plays are found in the pre-rift fault blocks, and in lower Cretaceous turbidites and sand lenses. Three gas fields are known in the southern Tucano subbasin. The three subbasins (southern, central, and northern) and the adjacent Jatoba basin become progressively less prospective northward because of lower levels of source-rock-maturation. The plays in these basins are similiar to those of the Reconcavo. The main play in the small Tacutu basin of northwestern Brazil is in deltaic sandstones; fractured basement rocks and volcanics constitute a minor play. The best reservoirs may be expected on the margins of the basin, although the reservoir seals are absent or poorly developed. 12 refs., 11 figs., 5 tabs.

  1. Intracontinental rifting and inversion: Missour basin and Atlas Mountains, Morocco

    SciTech Connect

    Beauchamp, W.; Barazangi, M.; Demnati, A.; Alji, M.E.

    1996-09-01

    The intracontinental High and Middle Atlas mountain belts in Morocco intersect to form the southern and western margins of the Missour basin, an intermontane basin formed as a result of the uplift and inversion of the Mesozoic Atlas paleorifts. These rifts were areas where the crust was greatly attenuated and more subject to deformation in response to nearby plate boundary tectonics. Data from observations based on seismic reflection profiles and wells over the Missour basin for hydrocarbon exploration and field mapping were used to understand the basin evolution, structural styles, and inversion timing of the nearby Atlas Mountains. Hercynian and Mesozoic normal faults were reactivated into high-angle reverse and thrust faults in the Mesozoic during the Jurassic, Early Cretaceous (early Alpine phase), and the Paleogene (late Alpine phase). The reactivation of synrift normal faults of the paleo-Atlas rifts inverted previous half grabens into anticlinal structures, with the axis of the half graben centered below the axis of the inverted anticline. The resulting inverted fold geometries are controlled by the geometries of the extensional planar or listric faults. The Atlas paleorift system is one of the largest rift systems in Africa. Little hydrocarbon exploration has occurred within the Atlas Mountains and the margins of the paleo-Atlas rift system. Inversion of synrift structures can lead to both the destruction and preservation of synrift traps and the creation of new hydrocarbon traps. The study of the effects of inversion in the Missour basin may lead to the discovery of footwall subthrust hydrocarbon traps in the Mesozoic sedimentary sequence of the Atlas Mountains.

  2. Erosion of Terrestrial Rift Flank Topography: A Quantitative Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissel, Jeffrey K.

    1999-01-01

    Many rifted or passive continental margins feature a seaward-facing erosional escarpment which abruptly demarcates deeply weathered, low relief, interior uplands from a deeply incised, high relief coastal zone. It is generally accepted that these escarpments originate at the time of continental rifting and propagate inland through the elevated rift flank topography at rates on the order of 1 km/Myr over the course of a margin's history. Considering the length of passive margins worldwide and an average rift flank plateau height of several hundred meters, it is clear that sediment eroded from passive margins is an important component of the mass flux from continents to oceans through geologic time. The overall goal of the research reported here is to develop a quantitative understanding of the kinematics of escarpment propagation across passive margins and the underlying geological processes responsible for this behavior. Plateau-bounding escarpments in general exhibit two basic forms depending on the direction of surface water drainage on the plateau interior relative to the escarpment. Where surface water flows away from the escarpment, the escarpment takes the form of subdued embayments and promontories, such that its overall trend remains fairly straight as it evolves with time. Where upland streams flow across the escarpment, it takes the form of dramatic, narrow gorges whose heads appear to propagate up the plateau drainage systems as large-scale knickpoints. From work on the Colorado Plateau, Schmidt (1987) noted that the Colorado River is located much closer to the Grand Canyon's south rim, a drainage divide escarpment, than to the north rim, which is a gorge-like escarpment. The main implication is that the gorge-like form might be associated with higher long-term average erosion rates compared to the drainage divide escarpment type.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowe, Donald R.

    1985-11-01

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

  4. Present-day kinematics of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saria, E.; Calais, E.; Stamps, D. S.; Delvaux, D.; Hartnady, C. J. H.

    2014-04-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is a type locale for investigating the processes that drive continental rifting and breakup. The current kinematics of this ~5000 km long divergent plate boundary between the Nubia and Somalia plates is starting to be unraveled thanks to a recent augmentation of space geodetic data in Africa. Here we use a new data set combining episodic GPS measurements with continuous measurements on the Nubian, Somalian, and Antarctic plates, together with earthquake slip vector directions and geologic indicators along the Southwest Indian Ridge to update the present-day kinematics of the EAR. We use geological and seismological data to determine the main rift faults and solve for rigid block rotations while accounting for elastic strain accumulation on locked active faults. We find that the data are best fit with a model that includes three microplates embedded within the EAR, between Nubia and Somalia (Victoria, Rovuma, and Lwandle), consistent with previous findings but with slower extension rates. We find that earthquake slip vectors provide information that is consistent with the GPS velocities and helps to significantly reduce uncertainties of plate angular velocity estimates. We also find that 3.16 Myr MORVEL average spreading rates along the Southwest Indian Ridge are systematically faster than prediction from GPS data alone. This likely indicates that outward displacement along the SWIR is larger than the default value used in the MORVEL plate motion model.

  5. The Sagatu Ridge dike swarm, Ethiopian rift margin. [tectonic evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.; Potter, E. C.

    1976-01-01

    A swarm of dikes forms the core of the Sagatu Ridge, a 70-km-long topographic feature elevated to more than 4000 m above sea level and 1500 m above the level of the Eastern (Somalian) plateau. The ridge trends NNE and lies about 50 km east of the northeasterly trending rift-valley margin. Intrusion of the dikes and buildup of the flood-lava pile, largely hawaiitic but with trachyte preponderant in the final stages, occurred during the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene and may have been contemporaneous with downwarping of the protorift trough to the west. The ensuing faulting that formed the present rift margin, however, bypassed the ridge. The peculiar situation and orientation of the Sagatu Ridge, and its temporary existence as a line of crustal extension and voluminous magmatism, are considered related to a powerful structural control by a major line of Precambrian crustal weakness, well exposed further south. Transverse rift structures of unknown type appear to have limited the development of the ridge to the north and south.

  6. Intraplate stresses, nonthermal subsidence, and fluid regimes in rifted basins

    SciTech Connect

    Van Balen, R.T.; Cloetingh, A.P.L. )

    1993-09-01

    Short-term fluctuations of the level of intraplate stresses modulate the shape of rifted basins and therefore affect the stratigraphic record. We investigated the effect of such stress variations on fluid flow and sedimentation patterns in sedimentary basins using a dynamic numerical model which combines the stretching mechanism for rifted-basin formation with the lithospheric necking concept. The results show that increases in the level of compressive intraplate stresses strongly influence the hydrodynamic regime during the postrift phase of sedimentary basins by causing an increase of meteoric water influx and compactional driven flow. These short-term perturbations in fluid-flow patterns occur simultaneously with subsidence rates far in excess of those predicted by thermal models. The results of the modeling enable us to discriminate the effect of tectonically induced distortions of the basin shape (and associated differential vertical motions in rifted basins) on the fluid-flow regime from perturbations induced by changes in eustatic sea level. We discuss implications of the modeling predictions for maturation and migration of hydrocarbons and diagenesis. Episodic diagenetic and expulsion events can be explained by short-term changes in the magnitude of nonthermal subsidence.

  7. Dike intrusions during rifting episodes obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Passarelli, L; Rivalta, E; Shuler, A

    2014-01-01

    As continental rifts evolve towards mid-ocean ridges, strain is accommodated by repeated episodes of faulting and magmatism. Discrete rifting episodes have been observed along two subaerial divergent plate boundaries, the Krafla segment of the Northern Volcanic Rift Zone in Iceland and the Manda-Hararo segment of the Red Sea Rift in Ethiopia. In both cases, the initial and largest dike intrusion was followed by a series of smaller intrusions. By performing a statistical analysis of these rifting episodes, we demonstrate that dike intrusions obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes. We find that the dimensions of dike intrusions obey a power law analogous to the Gutenberg-Richter relation, and the long-term release of geodetic moment is governed by a relationship consistent with the Omori law. Due to the effects of magma supply, the timing of secondary dike intrusions differs from that of the aftershocks. This work provides evidence of self-similarity in the rifting process. PMID:24469260

  8. Dike intrusions during rifting episodes obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes

    PubMed Central

    L., Passarelli; E., Rivalta; A., Shuler

    2014-01-01

    As continental rifts evolve towards mid-ocean ridges, strain is accommodated by repeated episodes of faulting and magmatism. Discrete rifting episodes have been observed along two subaerial divergent plate boundaries, the Krafla segment of the Northern Volcanic Rift Zone in Iceland and the Manda-Hararo segment of the Red Sea Rift in Ethiopia. In both cases, the initial and largest dike intrusion was followed by a series of smaller intrusions. By performing a statistical analysis of these rifting episodes, we demonstrate that dike intrusions obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes. We find that the dimensions of dike intrusions obey a power law analogous to the Gutenberg-Richter relation, and the long-term release of geodetic moment is governed by a relationship consistent with the Omori law. Due to the effects of magma supply, the timing of secondary dike intrusions differs from that of the aftershocks. This work provides evidence of self-similarity in the rifting process. PMID:24469260

  9. Dike intrusions during rifting episodes obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passarelli, L.; Rivalta, E.; Shuler, A.

    2014-01-01

    As continental rifts evolve towards mid-ocean ridges, strain is accommodated by repeated episodes of faulting and magmatism. Discrete rifting episodes have been observed along two subaerial divergent plate boundaries, the Krafla segment of the Northern Volcanic Rift Zone in Iceland and the Manda-Hararo segment of the Red Sea Rift in Ethiopia. In both cases, the initial and largest dike intrusion was followed by a series of smaller intrusions. By performing a statistical analysis of these rifting episodes, we demonstrate that dike intrusions obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes. We find that the dimensions of dike intrusions obey a power law analogous to the Gutenberg-Richter relation, and the long-term release of geodetic moment is governed by a relationship consistent with the Omori law. Due to the effects of magma supply, the timing of secondary dike intrusions differs from that of the aftershocks. This work provides evidence of self-similarity in the rifting process.

  10. Mantle viscosity beneath the Galapagos 95.5 deg W propagating rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, G.; Hey, R. N.

    1986-01-01

    Detailed geophysical surveys in the vicinity of the Galapagos 95.5 deg W propagating rift tip establish the opening history of the rift and its velocity of propagation. These data together with a theory for mantle upwelling into slowly widening lithospheric cracks constrain the viscosity of the asthenosphere beneath the propagating rift to be less than about 10 to the 17th to 10 to the 18th Pa s.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Seismic Investigations of an Accommodation zone in the Northern Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldridge, W. S.; Valdes, J.; Nedorub, O.; Phrampus, B.; Braile, L. W.; Ferguson, J. F.; Benage, M. C.; Litherland, M.

    2010-12-01

    Seismic reflection and refraction data acquired in the Rio Grande rift near Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2009 and 2010 by the SAGE (Summer of Applied Geophysical Experience) program imaged the La Bajada fault (LBF) and strata offset across the associated, perpendicular Budagher fault (BF). The LBF is a major basin-bounding normal fault, offset down to the west; the smaller BF is an extensional fault that breaks the hanging wall ramp of the LBF. We chose this area because it is in a structurally complex region of the rift, comprising a small sub-basin and plunging relay ramps, where north-trending, en echelon basin-bounding faults (including the LBF) transfer crustal extension laterally between the larger Española (to north) and Albuquerque rift basins. Our data help determine the precise location and geometry of the poorly exposed LBF, which, near the survey location, offsets the rift margin vertically about 3,000 m. When integrated with industry reflection data and other SAGE seismic, gravity, and magnetotelluric surveys, we are able to map differences in offset and extension laterally (especially southward) along the fault. We interpret only about 200 m of normal offset across the BF. Our continuing work helps define multiple structural elements, partly buried by syn-rift basin-filling sedimentary rocks, of a complex intra-rift accommodation zone. We are also able to discriminate pre-Eocene (Laramide) from post-Miocene (rift) structures. Our data help determine the amount of vertical offset of pre-rift strata across structural elements of the accommodation zone, and depth and geometry of basin fill. A goal is to infer the kinematic development of this margin of the rift, linkages among faults, growth history, and possible pre-rift structural controls. This information will be potentially useful for evaluation of resources, including oil and/or gas in pre-rift strata and ground water in Late Miocene to Holocene rift-filling units.

  13. Crustal shear wave velocity and radial anisotropy beneath the Rio Grande rift from ambient noise tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Yuanyuan V.; Li, Aibing

    2015-02-01

    Shear wave velocity and radial anisotropy beneath New Mexico are obtained from ambient seismic noise tomography using data from the Transportable Array. Besides the distinct seismic structure imaged across the Rio Grande rift from the Colorado Plateau to the Great Plains, both velocity and anisotropy models also reveal significant variations along the rift. The rift at Albuquerque is characterized by remarkably low velocity in the shallow crust, high velocity and strong positive anisotropy in the middle and lower crust, and low velocity in the upper mantle. These observations can be interpreted as magma accumulation in the shallow crust and significant mafic underplating in the lower crust with abundant melt supply from the hot mantle. We propose that the Albuquerque region has recently been experiencing the most vigorous extensional deformation in the rift. Positive anisotropy with Vsh > Vsv appears in the central and southern rifts with a stronger anisotropy beneath younger volcanoes, reflecting layering of magma intrusion due to past and recent rifting activities. The low velocities in the uppermost mantle are observed under high-elevation places, the Jemez Lineament, northern rift, and east rift boundary, implying that the buoyancy of hot mantle largely compensates the local high topography. Low mantle velocities appear at the boundary of the southern rift, corresponding to the large lithosphere thickness change, instead of the rift center, consistent with the prediction from the small-scale, edge-driven mantle convection model. We conclude that the edge-driven upper mantle convection is probably the dominant mechanism for the recent and current rifting and uplift in the Rio Grande rift.

  14. A model for Iapetan rifting of Laurentia based on Neoproterozoic dikes and related rocks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burton, William C.; Southworth, Scott

    2010-01-01

    Geologic evidence of the Neoproterozoic rifting of Laurentia during breakup of Rodinia is recorded in basement massifs of the cratonic margin by dike swarms, volcanic and plutonic rocks, and rift-related clastic sedimentary sequences. The spatial and temporal distribution of these geologic features varies both within and between the massifs but preserves evidence concerning the timing and nature of rifting. The most salient features include: (1) a rift-related magmatic event recorded in the French Broad massif and the southern and central Shenandoah massif that is distinctly older than that recorded in the northern Shenandoah massif and northward; (2) felsic volcanic centers at the north ends of both French Broad and Shenandoah massifs accompanied by dike swarms; (3) differences in volume between massifs of cover-sequence volcanic rocks and rift-related clastic rocks; and (4) WNW orientation of the Grenville dike swarm in contrast to the predominately NE orientation of other Neoproterozoic dikes. Previously proposed rifting mechanisms to explain these features include rift-transform and plume–triple-junction systems. The rift-transform system best explains features 1, 2, and 3, listed here, and we propose that it represents the dominant rifting mechanism for most of the Laurentian margin. To explain feature 4, as well as magmatic ages and geochemical trends in the Northern Appalachians, we propose that a plume–triple-junction system evolved into the rift-transform system. A ca. 600 Ma mantle plume centered east of the Sutton Mountains generated the radial dike swarm of the Adirondack massif and the Grenville dike swarm, and a collocated triple junction generated the northern part of the rift-transform system. An eastern branch of this system produced the Long Range dike swarm in Newfoundland, and a subsequent western branch produced the ca. 554 Ma Tibbit Hill volcanics and the ca. 550 Ma rift-related magmatism of Newfoundland.

  15. Structural evolution of the Rio Grande rift: Synchronous exhumation of rift flanks from 20-10 Ma, embryonic core complexes, and fluid-enhanced Quaternary extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricketts, Jason William

    The Rio Grande rift in Colorado and New Mexico is one of the well-exposed and well-studied continental rifts in the world. Interest in the rift is driven not only by pure scientific intrigue, but also by a desire and a necessity to quantify earthquake hazards in New Mexico as well as to assess various water related issues throughout the state. These motivating topics have thus far led to the publication of two Geological Society of America Special Publication volumes in 1994 and 2013. This dissertation aims at building on the wealth of previous knowledge about the rift, and is composed of three separate chapters that focus on the structural evolution of the Rio Grande rift at several different time and spatial scales. At the largest scale, apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronologic data suggest synchronous extension along the entire length of the Rio Grande rift in Colorado and New Mexico from 20-10 Ma, which is important for understanding and evaluating possible driving mechanisms which are responsible for the rift. Previous tectonic and magmatic events in western North America were highly influential in the formation of the Rio Grande rift, and the new thermochronologic data suggest that its formation may have been closely linked to foundering and removal of the underlying Farallon Plate. A fundamental result of rift development at these scales is a concentration of strain is some regions of the rift. In these regions of maximum extension, fault networks display a geometry involving both high- and low-angle fault networks. These geometries are similar to the early stages in the development of metamorphic core complexes, and thus these regions in the rift link incipient extensional environments to highly extended terranes. At shorter time scales, heterogeneous strain accumulation may be governed in part by fluids in fault zones. As an example, along the western edge of the Albuquerque basin, travertine deposits are cut by extensional veins that record anomalously high strain rates during the Quaternary at this location. The fluids that precipitated the travertine and calcite in veins also contain a small component of deeply-derived fluids such that surface extension in this part of the rift is coupled with processes at deeper levels. Together, these studies suggest that removal of the Farallon slab beneath Colorado and New Mexico may have been a primary mechanism establishing extension in the Rio Grande rift, while continued extension is heterogeneous in time and space and provides an important link between surface processes and processes that operate at mid-crustal levels.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. The 2003 Potrillo Volcanic Field Seismic Experiment, Southern Rio Grande Rift: New Refraction Results From a Classic Continental Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Averill, M. G.; Miller, K. C.; Harder, S. M.

    2004-12-01

    The Rio Grande Rift is a major Tertiary tectonic feature that profoundly modifies the lithospheric structure of the southern Rocky Mountains. Patterns of magmatism and extensional structures of the rift both crosscut and reoccupy older structures including those associated with Precambrian continental assembly, late Paleozoic Ancestral Rockies and late Mesozoic to Early Tertiary Laramide tectonism. Modern active source experiments allow us to illuminate the connection between mantle, crustal, and surfaces processes. In May of 2003, the Potrillo Volcanic Field (PVF) experiment was carried out to investigate the crustal structure of the southern Rio Grande Rift and relate it to xenoliths from within PVF. This experiment was comprised of 8 shots of 1000-2000 lbs., 793 seismic recorders (TEXANS) deployed at variable spacing of 100 m, 200m and 600m over 205 km. Near vertical reflection shot data image numerous intracrustal reflections, complex reflectivity at Moho near 11 s, particularly beneath the PVF, and reflected energy due to the conversion of P to S at the Moho. A tomographic velocity model shows a change in mid-crustal velocities from 5.5 - 6 km/s west of the PVF to 6 - 6.5 km/s to its east. The Moho may be as deep as 35 km and likely dips to the east. Here we present a new velocity model from ray-based modeling of secondary arrivals from within the crust and from the crust-mantle boundary, and interpret the model in light of xenolith data.

  20. Rift flank segmentation, basin initiation and propagation: a neotectonic example from Lake Baikal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Agar, S.M.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1995-01-01

    New surficial data (field, Landsat TM and topography) define morpho-tectonic domains and rift flank segmentation in the Ol'khon region of the Central Baikal rift. Deformation, drainage and depositional patterns indicate a change in the locus of active extension that may relate to a recent (rift with concomitant shifts in depocentres. Within the hanging wall of the new western border fault, distinct segments control the location of drainage paths and syn-rift deposits. Morphology, sediment thicknesses and fault scarp amplitude indicate that a segmented rift flank graben has propagated southwards along the rift flank and is still actively fragmenting. These surficial data are used to constrain a model for the time-dependent topographic variations during progressive subsidence along a rift flank, involving the transfer of footwall units to hanging-wall domains. Rapid changes in border fault footwall relief in this model are associated with change in the active border fault location with widespread mass-wasting. The model shows that time-dependent histories need to be integrated with flexural uplift models for active normal faults. The active, syn-rift depositional systems of the Ol'khon region provide a valuable analogue for the early evolution of continental margins and the structural controls on syn-rift hydrocarbon sources and reservoirs.

  1. Upper-mantle seismic structure in a region of incipient continental breakup: northern Ethiopian rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastow, Ian D.; Stuart, Graham W.; Kendall, J.-Michael; Ebinger, Cynthia J.

    2005-08-01

    The northern Ethiopian rift forms the third arm of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden triple junction, and marks the transition from continental rifting in the East African rift to incipient oceanic spreading in Afar. We determine the P- and S-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Ethiopian rift using independent tomographic inversion of P- and S-wave relative arrival-time residuals from teleseismic earthquakes recorded by the Ethiopia Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) passive experiment using the regularised non-linear least-squares inversion method of VanDecar. Our 79 broad-band instruments covered an area 250 × 350 km centred on the Boset magmatic segment ~70 km SE of Addis Ababa in the centre of the northern Ethiopian rift. The study area encompasses several rift segments showing increasing degrees of extension and magmatic intrusion moving from south to north into the Afar depression. Analysis of relative arrival-time residuals shows that the rift flanks are asymmetric with arrivals associated with the southeastern Somalian Plate faster (~0.65 s for the P waves; ~2 s for the S waves) than the northwestern Nubian Plate. Our tomographic inversions image a 75 km wide tabular low-velocity zone (?VP~-1.5 per cent, ?VS~-4 per cent) beneath the less-evolved southern part of the rift in the uppermost 200-250 km of the mantle. At depths of >100 km, north of 8.5°N, this low-velocity anomaly broadens laterally and appears to be connected to deeper low-velocity structures under the Afar depression. An off-rift low-velocity structure extending perpendicular to the rift axis correlates with the eastern limit of the E-W trending reactivated Precambrian Ambo-Guder fault zone that is delineated by Quaternary eruptive centres. Along axis, the low-velocity upwelling beneath the rift is segmented, with low-velocity material in the uppermost 100 km often offset to the side of the rift with the highest rift flank topography. Our observations from this magmatic rift zone, which is transitional between continental and oceanic rifting, do not support detachment fault models of lithospheric extension but instead point to strain accommodation via magma assisted rifting.

  2. Seismic structure of the Central US crust and shallow upper mantle: Uniqueness of the Reelfoot Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollitz, Fred F.; Mooney, Walter D.

    2014-09-01

    Using seismic surface waves recorded with Earthscope's Transportable Array, we apply surface wave imaging to determine 3D seismic velocity in the crust and uppermost mantle. Our images span several Proterozoic and early Cambrian rift zones (Mid-Continent Rift, Rough Creek Graben-Rome trough, Birmingham trough, Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen, and Reelfoot Rift). While ancient rifts are generally associated with low crustal velocity because of the presence of thick sedimentary sequences, the Reelfoot Rift is unique in its association with low mantle seismic velocity. Its mantle low-velocity zone (LVZ) is exceptionally pronounced and extends down to at least 200 km depth. This LVZ is of variable width, being relatively narrow (?50 km wide) within the northern Reelfoot Rift, which hosts the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). We hypothesize that this mantle volume is weaker than its surroundings and that the Reelfoot Rift consequently has relatively low elastic plate thickness, which would tend to concentrate tectonic stress within this zone. No other intraplate ancient rift zone is known to be associated with such a deep mantle low-velocity anomaly, which suggests that the NMSZ is more susceptible to external stress perturbations than other ancient rift zones.

  3. Tectonics and stratigraphy of the East Brazil Rift system: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung Kiang Chang; Kowsmann, Renato Oscar; Figueiredo, Antonio Manuel Ferreira; Bender, AndréAdriano

    1992-10-01

    The East Brazilian Rift system (Ebris) constitutes the northern segment of the South Atlantic rift system which developed during the Mesozoic breakup of South America and Africa. Following crustal separation in the Late Aptian, it evolved into a passive continental margin. Along the continental margin six basins are recognized, while three onshore basins form part of an aborted rift. Three continental syn-rift stratigraphic sequences are recognized, spanning Jurassic to Barremian times. The Jurassic (Syn-rift I) and Neocomian (Syn-rift II) phases were most active in the interior rift basins. During the Barremian (Syn-rift III), rift subsidence rates were twice as large as during the Neocomian (Syn-rift II), both in the interior rift and in the marginal rift segments, indicating that rift axis did not migrate from the interior to the marginal setting. Rift magmatism was centered on the southern EBRIS and peaked between 130 and 120 Ma during syn-rift phase II. Rift phase III was followed by a transitional marine, evaporitic megasequence of Aptian age, which directly overlies the rift unconformity and a marine drift megasequence which spans Albian to Recent times. During the Late Cretaceous, sedimentation rates responded to first-order eustatic sea-level fluctuations. Tertiary accelerated sedimentation rates can be related to local clastic supply which filled in spaces inherited from previous starved conditions. Between 60 and 40 Ma, post-rift magmatism, centered on the Abrolhos and Royal Charlotte banks, is probably related to development of a hot spot associated with the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain. Although crossing three distinct Precambrian tectono-thermal provinces, ranging from Archean through Late Proterozoic, rift structures follow a general NE trend, subparallel to the principal basement fabric. A NW-SE oriented stress field appears to be compatible with both Neocomian and Barremian phases of crustal extension. Profiles transverse to the rift axis indicate crustal stretching factors ranging between ? = 2.16 and 2.88. In the shallow portions of the rift, surface extension and crustal thinning seem to be compatible; however, in the deep portions of the basins, this relationship could not be tested. Reinterpretation of refraction profiles, north and south of the Walvis-São Paulo Ridge transform, indicates that seafloor spreading, from M3 anomaly to Aptian off Pelotas Basin, was taken up by crustal extension in the São Paulo Plateau. Differences in stretching rates may have been accommodated by extension across the Ponta Grossa Arch. The Early Aptian syn-rift/post-rift transition in the EBRIS marginal basins does not coincide with the onset of the drift phase during the Early Albian. This apparent discrepancy may be explained by a change from distributed margin-wide extension to a focused mode of extension near the future continent/ocean boundary.

  4. Fluoride and Geothermal Activities In Continental Rift Zones, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldesenbet, S. F.

    2012-12-01

    The Central Main Ethiopian Rift basin is a continental rift system characterized by volcano-tectonic depression endowed with huge geothermal resource and associated natural geochemical changes on groundwater quality. Chemical composition of groundwater in the study area showed a well defined trend along flow from the highland and escarpment to the rift floor aquifer. The low TDS (< 500mg/l) Ca-Mg-HCO3 dominated water at recharge area in the highlands and escarpments evolve progressively into Ca-Na-HCO3 and Na-Ca-HCO3 type waters along the rift ward groundwater flow paths. These waters finally appear as moderate TDS (mean 960mg/l) Na-HCO3 type and as high TDS (> 1000 mg/l) Na-HCO3-Cl type in volcano-lacustrine aquifers of the rift floor. High concentrations of fluoride (up to 97.2 mg/l) and arsenic (up to 98?g/l) are recognized feature of groundwaters which occur mostly in the vicinity of the geothermal fields and the rift lakes in the basin. Fluoride and arsenic content of dry volcaniclastic sediments close to these areas are in the range 666-2586mg/kg and 10-13mg/kg respectively. The relationship between fluoride and calcium concentrations in groundwaters showed negative correlation. Near-equilibrium state attained between the mineral fluorite (CaF2) and the majority of fluoride-rich (>30mg/l) thermal groundwater and shallow cold groundwater. This indicated that the equilibrium condition control the high concentration of fluoride in the groundwaters. Whereas undersaturation state of fluorite in some relatively low-fluoride (<30mg/l) thermal waters indicated a dilution by cold waters. Laboratory batch leaching experiments showed that fast dissolution of fluoride from the sediment samples suddenly leached into the interacting water at the first one hour and then remain stable throughout the experiment. The concentrations of leached fluoride from the hot spring deposits, the lacustrine sediments, and the pyroclastic rock are usually low (1% of the total or less than the content in the sediment or rock) but strongly correlated with the concentrations in groundwaters in the local vicinity. The readily leachable hot spring deposits and local lacustrine sediments, which were leached easily as high as three fold of other sediments leachability, are considered as the reservoir for the potential fluoride contamination of the rift groundwater. Leaching of fluoride in the sub-surface system is simulated with sediment-packed column leached by flowing water and applying temporary interruption of flow during the experiment. The result indicated that a sharp increase of fluoride concentration (up to 58mg/kg) observed in leachates before one pore-volume of water eluted from the column. The concentration of leached fluoride consequently declined with the increased flowing pore-volume of water and finally the lowest concentrations of leached fluoride occurred in the end of the experiment. Flow interruption during column leaching experiment causes a noticeable fluoride concentration perturbation due to the heterogeneity of the sediment.

  5. High Fluoride and Geothermal Activities In Continental Rift Zones, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldesenbet, S. F.; Wohnlich, S.

    2012-12-01

    The Central Main Ethiopian Rift basin is a continental rift system characterized by volcano-tectonic depression endowed with huge geothermal resource and associated natural geochemical changes on groundwater quality. Chemical composition of groundwater in the study area showed a well defined trend along flow from the highland and escarpment to the rift floor aquifer. The low TDS (< 500mg/l) Ca-Mg-HCO3 dominated water at recharge area in the highlands and escarpments evolve progressively into Ca-Na-HCO3 and Na-Ca-HCO3 type waters along the rift ward groundwater flow paths. These waters finally appear as moderate TDS (mean 960mg/l) Na-HCO3 type and as high TDS (> 1000 mg/l) Na-HCO3-Cl type in volcano-lacustrine aquifers of the rift floor. High concentrations of fluoride (up to 97.2 mg/l) and arsenic (up to 98?g/l) are recognized feature of groundwaters which occur mostly in the vicinity of the geothermal fields and the rift lakes in the basin. Fluoride and arsenic content of dry volcaniclastic sediments close to these areas are in the range 666-2586mg/kg and 10-13mg/kg respectively. The relationship between fluoride and calcium concentrations in groundwaters showed negative correlation. Near-equilibrium state attained between the mineral fluorite (CaF2) and the majority of fluoride-rich (>30mg/l) thermal groundwater and shallow cold groundwater. This indicated that the equilibrium condition control the high concentration of fluoride in the groundwaters. Whereas undersaturation state of fluorite in some relatively low-fluoride (<30mg/l) thermal waters indicated a dilution by cold waters. Laboratory batch leaching experiments showed that fast dissolution of fluoride from the sediment samples suddenly leached into the interacting water at the first one hour and then remain stable throughout the experiment. The concentrations of leached fluoride from the hot spring deposits, the lacustrine sediments, and the pyroclastic rock are usually low (1% of the total or less than the content in the sediment or rock) but strongly correlated with the concentrations in groundwaters in the local vicinity. The readily leachable hot spring deposits and local lacustrine sediments, which were leached easily as high as three fold of other sediments leachability, are considered as the reservoir for the potential fluoride contamination of the rift groundwater. Leaching of fluoride in the sub-surface system is simulated with sediment-packed column leached by flowing water and applying temporary interruption of flow during the experiment. The result indicated that a sharp increase of fluoride concentration (up to 58mg/kg) observed in leachates before one pore-volume of water eluted from the column. The concentration of leached fluoride consequently declined with the increased flowing pore-volume of water and finally the lowest concentrations of leached fluoride occurred in the end of the experiment. Flow interruption during column leaching experiment causes a noticeable fluoride concentration perturbation due to the heterogeneity of the sediment.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    In the early stages of continental rifting, East African Rift (EAR) basins are conventionally depicted as asymmetric basins bounded on one side by a ~100 km-long border fault. As rifting progresses, strain concentrates into the rift center, producing intra-rift faults. The timing and nature of the transition from border fault to intra-rift-dominated strain accommodation is unclear. Our study focuses on this transitional phase of continental rifting by exploring the spatial and temporal evolution of faulting in the Natron (border fault initiation at ~3 Ma) and Magadi (~7 Ma) basins of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, respectively. We compare the morphologies and activity histories of faults in each basin using field observations and remote sensing in order to address the relative contributions of border faults and intra-rift faults to crustal strain accommodation as rifting progresses. The ~500 m-high border fault along the western margin of the Natron basin is steep compared to many border faults in the eastern branch of the EAR, indicating limited scarp degradation by mass wasting. Locally, the escarpment shows open fissures and young scarps 10s of meters high and a few kilometers long, implying ongoing border fault activity in this young rift. However, intra-rift faults within ~1 Ma lavas are greatly eroded and fresh scarps are typically absent, implying long recurrence intervals between slip events. Rift-normal topographic profiles across the Natron basin show the lowest elevations in the lake-filled basin adjacent to the border fault, where a number of hydrothermal springs along the border fault system expel water into the lake. In contrast to Natron, a ~1600 m high, densely vegetated, border fault escarpment along the western edge of the Magadi basin is highly degraded; we were unable to identify evidence of recent rupturing. Rift-normal elevation profiles indicate the focus of strain has migrated away from the border fault into the rift center, where faults pervasively dissect 1.2-0.8 Ma trachyte lavas. Unlike Natron, intra-rift faults in the Magadi basin exhibit primarily steep, little-degraded fault scarps, implying greater activity than Natron intra-rift faults. Numerous fault-associated springs feed water into perennial Lake Magadi, which has no surface drainage input, yet survives despite a high evaporation rate that has created economically viable evaporite deposits. Calcite vein-filled joints are common along fault zones around Lake Magadi, as well as several cm veins around columnar joints that imply isotropic expansion of the fracture network under high pressures of CO2-rich fluids. Our work indicates that the locus of strain in this portion of the EAR transfers from the border fault to the center of the rift basin some time between 3 and 7 million years after rift initiation. This transition likely reflects the evolving respective roles of crustal flexure and magma budget in focusing strain, as well as the hydrothermal fluid budget along evolving fault zones.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  8. Seismicity within a propagating ice shelf rift: the relationship between icequake locations and ice shelf structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heeszel, David S.; Fricker, Helen A.; Bassis, Jeremy N.; O'Neel, Shad; Walter, Fabian

    2014-01-01

    Iceberg calving is a dominant mass loss mechanism for Antarctic ice shelves, second only to basal melting. An important known process involved in calving is the initiation and propagation of through-penetrating fractures called rifts; however, the mechanisms controlling rift propagation remain poorly understood. To investigate the mechanics of ice-shelf rifting, we analyzed seismicity associated with a propagating rift tip on the Amery Ice Shelf, using data collected during the Austral summers of 2004-2007. We investigated seismicity associated with fracture propagation using a suite of passive seismological techniques including icequake locations, back projection, and moment tensor inversion. We confirm previous results that show that seismicity is characterized by periods of relative quiescence punctuated by swarms of intense seismicity of one to three hours. However, even during periods of quiescence, we find significant seismic deformation around the rift tip. Moment tensors, calculated for a subset of the largest icequakes (MW?>?-2.0) located near the rift tip, show steeply dipping fault planes, horizontal or shallowly plunging stress orientations, and often have a significant volumetric component. They also reveal that much of the observed seismicity is limited to the upper 50?m of the ice shelf. This suggests a complex system of deformation that involves the propagating rift, the region behind the rift tip, and a system of rift-transverse crevasses. Small-scale variations in the mechanical structure of the ice shelf, especially rift-transverse crevasses and accreted marine ice, play an important role in modulating the rate and location of seismicity associated with propagating ice shelf rifts.

  9. Optical televiewer imaging of ice facies within and around an Antarctic ice shelf rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, Bryn; Tison, Jean-Louis; Samyn, Denis; Pattyn, Frank; Matsuoka, Kenny

    2010-05-01

    Five 10-40 m-long boreholes has been cored through snow and ice in and around a rift near the seaward edge of the Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, as part of the BELISSIMA research programme. Deployment of a digital optical televiewer (OPTV) in four of these holes has resulted in the first complete borehole images of several ice shelf and rift facies. Outside the rift, the uppermost tens of metres of the shelf is composed of snow, progressing to firn at depth. Here, the snow and firn contain frequent mm- to cm- thick horizontal ice layers, presumably reflecting surface firnification frequently disrupted by seasonal or shorter-term melting events. In contrast, snow within the rift's apex ramp is homogeneous to depths of tens of metres, containing only very occasional ice layers. These properties are consistent with this facies being formed predominantly from wind-blown snow deposited in the lee of the rift's steep edges. Within the rift itself, boreholes intersect translucent ice with a greenish hue that shows no apparent layering but which contains occasional aggregated clusters of irregularly-shaped gas bubbles. This ice commonly extends to the surface of the rift and can be only metres to tens of metres thick before the base of the rift is intersected. This visually-distinctive ice is interpreted as marine ice that has formed within the rift and now crops out at the rift surface. The rift base was penetrated at a depth of ~13 m by one borehole, revealing the presence of an unknown (but at least 5 m) additional thickness of unconsolidated ice platelets. While these platelets could not be retrieved by coring, OPTV images from below the base of the borehole indicate that these ‘sub-shelf' platelets are layered in a highly irregular and contorted manner. We believe these OPTV images are the first that have been reported of the structure of in situ sub-shelf platelet ice.

  10. Stress perturbation associated with the Amazonas and other ancient continental rifts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zoback, M.L.; Richardson, R.M.

    1996-01-01

    The state of stress in the vicinity of old continental rifts is examined to investigate the possibility that crustal structure associated with ancient rifts (specifically a dense rift pillow in the lower crust) may modify substantially the regional stress field. Both shallow (2.0-2.6 km depth) breakout data and deep (20-45 km depth) crustal earthquake focal mechanisms indicate a N to NNE maximum horizontal compression in the vicinity of the Paleozoic Amazonas rift in central Brazil. This compressive stress direction is nearly perpendicular to the rift structure and represents a ???75?? rotation relative to a regional E-W compressive stress direction in the South American plate. Elastic two-dimensional finite element models of the density structure associated with the Amazonas rift (as inferred from independent gravity modeling) indicate that elastic support of this dense feature would generate horizontal rift-normal compressional stresses between 60 and 120 MPa, with values of 80-100 MPa probably most representative of the overall structure. The observed ???75?? stress rotation constrains the ratio of the regional horizontal stress difference to the rift-normal compressive stress to be between 0.25 and 1.0, suggesting that this rift-normal stress may be from 1 to 4 times larger than the regional horizontal stress difference. A general expression for the modification of the normalized local horizontal shear stress (relative to the regional horizontal shear stress) shows that the same ratio of the rift-normal compression relative to the regional horizontal stress difference, which controls the amount of stress rotation, also determines whether the superposed stress increases or decreases the local maximum horizontal shear stress. The potential for fault reactivation of ancient continental rifts in general is analyzed considering both the local stress rotation and modification of horizontal shear stress for both thrust and strike-slip stress regimes. In the Amazonas rift case, because the observed stress rotation only weakly constrains the ratio of the regional horizontal stress difference to the rift-normal compression to be between 0.25 and 1.0, our analysis is inconclusive because the resultant normalized horizontal shear stress may be reduced (for ratios >0.5) or enhanced (for ratios <0.5). Additional information is needed on all three stress magnitudes to predict how a change in horizontal shear stress directly influences the likelihood of faulting in the thrust-faulting stress regime in the vicinity of the Amazonas rift. A rift-normal stress associated with the seismically active New Madrid ancient rift may be sufficient to rotate the horizontal stress field consistent with strike-slip faults parallel to the axis of the rift, although this results in a 20-40% reduction in the local horizontal shear stress within the seismic zone. Sparse stress data in the vicinity of the seismically quiescent Midcontinent rift of the central United States suggest a stress state similar to that of New Madrid, with the local horizontal shear stress potentially reduced by as much as 60%. Thus the markedly different levels of seismic activity associated with these two subparallel ancient rifts is probably due to other factors than stress perturbations due to dense rift pillows. The modeling and analysis here demonstrate that rift-normal compressive stresses are a significant source of stress acting on the lithosphere and that in some cases may be a contributing factor to the association of intraplate seismicity with old zones of continental extension.

  11. Modern and ancient mineralization in the Salton Trough Rift

    SciTech Connect

    McKibben, M.A. . Dept. Earth Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    The Salton Trough of SW North America is an active continental rift, the landward extension of the divergent tectonics of the Gulf of California. Shallow magmatic heat sources, thick porous sediments, tectonic activity and saline lakes interact to yield a variety of Pleistocene to modern hydrothermal systems. The oldest mineralization, the fish Creek evaporite, is a CASO[sub 4] deposit formed by a pre-rift Tertiary marine incursion. 4--5 million years ago the prograding Colorado River delta bisected the Trough, influencing the character of Pliocene and younger hydrothermal activity. The northern part of the Trough became a closed basin filled intermittently by large freshwater lakes. Along the W margin of the rift lies the Modoc hot spring gold deposit. This deposit occurs at the intersection of a range-front growth fault with fossil lake levels, suggesting paleohydrologic control by ancient lakes. Active geothermal systems within the Trough include low-T systems such as Heber and East Mesa, localized along high-angle faults where shallow groundwaters are conductively heated above basement highs. These blind systems have no surface expression and only moderate geophysical anomalies. High-T (> 250 C) active systems occur in sediment filled pull-apart basins developed over spreading center fragments (e.g., Salton Sea, Brawley, Cerro Prieto). These systems exhibit high heat flow, strong gravity and magnetic anomalies, and often have surface manifestations such as Quaternary volcanoes and thermal features. Many contain hot metalliferous brines that have evolved in the saline lake environment of the northern Trough.

  12. Early Continental Rifting of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Chiu, M.; Chan, C.

    2010-12-01

    Combined two years (2007 and 2008) of OBS and MCS studies in the northern slope of the South China Sea, we suggest that the early rifting, probably during 60 - 30 mabp, is an asymmetrical Atlantic-type continental rifting. The crust thin out from 35-40 km of possible continental crust to about 10-15 km of typical oceanic crust. Along the continent-ocean boundary, we observe an intrusion of the high P-wave velocity (about 7.5-8.0 km/sec). This is possible of mantle exhumation as comparable to other Atlantic-type continental margins. The OBS result is revealed by the gravity data. Along the upper layers of the continental crust as well as the oceanic crust, the MCS and multi-beam bathymetry data show that they are covered by numerous submarine seamounts. This probably relate to a volcanic origin of the Cenozoic sea-floor spreading during 30-15 mabp as mapped by previous magnetic anomalies in this region. The sea-floor spreading spread apart in the central, NW and SW sub-basins with several different episodes. Lack of the deep crustal data in the southern slope of the South China Sea, particularly around the Sprately area, the interpretation is speculative. However, several very large-size atolls (150 - 200 km in diameter), such as the Chen-Ho, Shun-Zu, Chung-Yeh and Chiu-Cheng fringing reefs, are sub-parallel located along the south margins. We interpret that these are the upper portions of the continental rifting. Combined the two tectonic stories in the northern and southern slope of the South China Sea, we believe that it is in consistent with the complicate nature of the South China Sea crust.

  13. Stratigraphy, structure, and extent of the East Continent Rift Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Wickstrom, L.H. )

    1992-01-01

    The proven existence of pre-Mt. Simon sedimentary rocks named the Middle Run Formation in southwestern Ohio led to the establishment of the Cincinnati Arch Consortium, a joint industry-government partnership to investigate the areal extent, nature, and origin of this new unit. Utilizing available well, seismic, and potential-field data, the consortium has shown that the Middle Run was deposited in a Precambrian rift basin, named the East Continent Rift Basin (ECRB). These data indicate the ECRB assemblage consists of a large folded and faulted wedge of interlayered volcanic and sedimentary rocks, unconformably overlain by Cambrian strata. This wedge is estimated to be thickest (up to about 22,000 feet) on the western edge, where it is in fault contact with Grenville Province rocks. To the west, the ECRB may extend as far as central Illinois and postdates the Precambrian Granite-Rhyolite Province rocks. The contact between the ECRB and this older province appears to be in part an angular unconformity and in part block faulted. The northern limit of this basin was not encountered in the study area; this may indicate a connection with the Midcontinent Rift in Michigan. In central Kentucky, the boundary conditions are more complex. It appears that the ECRB is constricted between a large block of the Granite-Rhyolite Province to the west and the Grenville Front on the east. Large Cambrian extensional structures (Rough Creek Graben and Rome Trough) were overprinted on the Granite-Rhyolite and Grenville Provinces. The ECRB may have acted as a stable block between these Cambrian features. The relationships of the ECRB to overlying Paleozoic features may be profound. Indeed, the ECRB may prove to be the reason for the very existence of the Cincinnati and Kankakee Arches.

  14. Present-day Kinematics of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D. S.; Calais, E.; Saria, E.; Mbede, E.; Ebinger, C.; Delvaux, D.; Kervyn, F.; Combrinck, L.; Hartnady, C.; Nocquet, J.; Fernandes, R.

    2007-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR), a ~5000 km-long series of seismically active structures that mark the divergent boundary between the Somalia and Nubia plates, is often cited as a modern archetype for rifting and continental breakup. Paradoxically, its current kinematics is the least well-known of all major plate boundaries, owing to its tremendous extent, difficult access, and lack of geodetic data. The existence of two "new" tectonic plates within the EAR (Victoria and Rovuma) between the main Nubian and Somalian plates has recently been proposed through combined analysis of earthquake slip vector and (sparse) space-geodetic data (Calais et al., 2006). A third, dominantly oceanic Lwandle plate was recently postulated by a re-analysis of the post 3.2 Ma spreading rates and transform-fault azimuths along the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR; Horner-Johnson et al., 2007). Here we use an updated geodetic solution -- a combination of all continuous GPS stations on the Nubia, Somalia, and Antarctic plates, campaign GPS measurements in Africa, and a global DORIS solution -- together with earthquake slip vectors in the EAR and transform azimuth and spreading rates along the SWIR. We show that the space geodetic data and the 3.2 Ma average oceanic data along the SWIR are consistent with each other at the 95% confidence level. The data support a kinematic model with (1) a present-day Nubia-Somalia Euler pole located to the SE of the southern tip of Africa, (2) the existence of three distinct microplates embedded in the EAR: Victoria, Rovuma, and Lwandle. Additional geodetic data in the EAR are now needed to confirm and further refine this model. References Calais, E., C. Hartnady, C. Ebinger, and J.M. Nocquet, Kinematics of the East African Rift from GPS and earthquake slip vector data, In: Yirgu, G., Ebinger, C.J. & Maguire, P.K.H. (eds) Structure and Evolution of the Rift Systems within the Afar volcanic province, Northeast Africa, Geological Society Special Publications, 259, p.9-22, 2006. Horner-Johnson, B., R.G. Gordon, D.F. Argus, Plate kinematic evidence for the existence of a distinct plate between the Nubian and Somalian plates along the Southwest Indian Ridge, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, 2007

  15. Graben formation during the Bárðarbunga rifting event in central Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruch, Joël; Jónsson, Sigurjón; Wang, Teng; Xu, Wenbin; Trippanera, Daniele

    2015-04-01

    On the 16th of August 2014, an intense seismic swarm was detected at the Bárðarbunga caldera (central Iceland), which migrated to the east and then to the northeast during the following days. The swarm, highlighting magma propagation pathway from the caldera, migrated laterally during the following two weeks over 40 km. By the end of August, a volcanic eruption had started along a north-south oriented fissure located ~45 km from the caldera. Here we focus on the near-field deformation related to the dike emplacement in the shallow crust, which generated in few days an 8 km long by 0.8 km wide graben (depression) structure. The new graben extends from the northern edge of the Vatnajökull glacier and to the north to the eruptive fissure. We analyze the temporal evolution of the graben by integrating structural mapping using multiple acquisitions of TerraSAR-X amplitude radar images, InSAR and ground-truth data with GPS and structural measurements. Pixel-offset tracking of radar amplitude images shows clearly the graben subsidence, directly above the intrusion pathway, of up to 6 meters in the satellite line-of-sight direction. We installed a GPS profile of 15 points across the graben in October 2014 and measured its depth up to 8 meters, relative to the flanks of the graben. Field structural observations show graben collapse structures that typically accompany dike intrusions, with two tilted blocks dipping toward the graben axis, bordered by two normal faults. Extensive fractures at the center of the graben and at the graben edges show a cumulative extension of ~8 meters. The formation of the graben was also accompanied by strong seismic activity locally, constraining the time frame period of the main graben formation subsidence. Our results show a rare case of a graben formation captured from space and from ground observations. Such structures are the dominant features along rift zones, however, their formation remain poorly understood. The results also provide information about transient deformation occurring along rift zones, suggesting that rapid dike intrusions modify the topography permanently in only a few days. This supports that rift morphologies are primarily generated during rifting events rather than by long-term regional tectonic processes.

  16. Images of Kilauea East Rift Zone eruption, 1983-1993

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Takahashi, Taeko Jane; Abston, C.C.; Heliker, C.C.

    1995-01-01

    This CD-ROM disc contains 475 scanned photographs from the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaii Observatory Library. The collection represents a comprehensive range of the best photographic images of volcanic phenomena for Kilauea's East Rift eruption, which continues as of September 1995. Captions of the images present information on location, geologic feature or process, and date. Short documentations of work by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in geology, seismology, ground deformation, geophysics, and geochemistry are also included, along with selected references. The CD-ROM was produced in accordance with the ISO 9660 standard; however, it is intended for use only on DOS-based computer systems.

  17. Trace element characteristics of lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle in the Rio Grande rift region

    SciTech Connect

    Perry, F.V.

    1994-06-01

    Trace element analyses of 10 mafic volcanic rocks from the Colorado Plateau transition zone, Colorado Plateau, Rio Grande rift, and Great Plains were obtained to characterize the trace element characteristics of asthenospheric and lithospheric mantle beneath these regions. Characterization of these mantle reservoirs using the trace element contents of basalts allows one to track the response of the lithosphere to continental rifting and extension.

  18. The distribution and implications of heat flow from the gregory rift in kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Kathleen; O'Connell, Suzanne

    1983-05-01

    Data from geothermal mapping along the Kenyan Gregory Rift zone using ground and aerial infrared techniques indicate that an average of 11-30 MW/km are advectively emitted along the rift. The bulk of the advected heat is lost through the central part of the Kenyan dome. Two other secondary geothermal sites are at the northern and southern limits of the rift adjacent to rift bifuration zones. These three geothermal sites are separated by ? 300 km. Active thermal fields occur only {1}/{7} as frequently as rift volcanoes. Geothermal spacing could be controlled by the length of the heat source at the lithosphere-upper mantle boundary, the thickness of the crust and the length of the rift segment between major structural breaks. At faster spreading centers the heat source is probably more continuous and following Elder's models should produce upwelling domes much more frequently than along the East African Rift. Advective cooling on one section of the East Pacific Rise at 21°N indicates that domes should appear every 40-80 km. If this is the case then approximately four times more heat is given off along a kilometer of East Pacific Rise crest as it is emitted along the Gregory Rift.

  19. A network-based meta-population approach to model Rift Valley fever epidemics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) has been expanding its geographical distribution with important implications for both human and animal health. The emergence of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in the Middle East, and its continuing presence in many areas of Africa, has negatively impacted both medical and vet...

  20. Melting during late-stage rifting in Afar is hot and deep.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, D J; Maclennan, J; Bastow, I D; Pyle, D M; Jones, S M; Keir, D; Blundy, J D; Plank, T; Yirgu, G

    2013-07-01

    Investigations of a variety of continental rifts and margins worldwide have revealed that a considerable volume of melt can intrude into the crust during continental breakup, modifying its composition and thermal structure. However, it is unclear whether the cause of voluminous melt production at volcanic rifts is primarily increased mantle temperature or plate thinning. Also disputed is the extent to which plate stretching or thinning is uniform or varies with depth with the entire continental lithospheric mantle potentially being removed before plate rupture. Here we show that the extensive magmatism during rifting along the southern Red Sea rift in Afar, a unique region of sub-aerial transition from continental to oceanic rifting, is driven by deep melting of hotter-than-normal asthenosphere. Petrogenetic modelling shows that melts are predominantly generated at depths greater than 80 kilometres, implying the existence of a thick upper thermo-mechanical boundary layer in a rift system approaching the point of plate rupture. Numerical modelling of rift development shows that when breakup occurs at the slow extension rates observed in Afar, the survival of a thick plate is an inevitable consequence of conductive cooling of the lithosphere, even when the underlying asthenosphere is hot. Sustained magmatic activity during rifting in Afar thus requires persistently high mantle temperatures, which would allow melting at high pressure beneath the thick plate. If extensive plate thinning does occur during breakup it must do so abruptly at a late stage, immediately before the formation of the new ocean basin. PMID:23823795

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holzförster, F.; Schmidt, U.

    2007-07-01

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

  2. Rift valley fever in the US: Commerce networks, climate, and susceptible vector and host populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne hemorrhagic viral disease with substantial negative impacts on public and animal health in its endemic range of sub-Saharan Africa. Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) could enter the United States and lead to widespread morbidity and mortality in humans, domes...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-07-01

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

  4. The origin and geologic evolution of the East Continent Rift Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Drahovzal, J.A. . Kentucky Geological Survey)

    1992-01-01

    The East Continent Rift Basin (ECRB) is a newly recognized, dominantly sedimentary-volcanic Proterozoic rift basin that apparently represents the southern extension of the Keweenawan Midcontinent Rift. The ECRB extends from central Michigan at least as far south as south-central Kentucky. The inferred age of the rift fill is approximately 1,000 Ma. Evidence supporting a rift origin for the ECRB includes: interbedding of continental flood basalts and felsic volcanics with siliciclastics; sedimentary fill consisting of distal, arid-climate alluvial fan sediments that lack metamorphic lithologies; close proximity and similar lithologic succession to the Keweenawan rift-fill rocks of the Michigan Basin; and inferred marginal block faulting of Granite-Rhyolite Province rocks near the western edge of the ECRB. ECRB evolution is interpreted as follows: (1) formation of Granite-Rhyolite Province rocks (1,500--1,340 Ma); (2) Keweenawan crustal extension and rifting with development of central mafic complexes, emplacement of volcanic rocks, and deposition of siliciclastic fill from eroded marginal Granite-Rhyolite Province tilted fault blocks (ca 1,000 Ma); (3) overthrusting of the Grenville allochthon and associated foreland thrusting and folding of the rift sequence rocks together with deposition of foreland basin sediments (975---890 Ma); (4) Late Proterozoic erosional removal of the foreland basin sediments and interpreted wrench faulting along the Grenville Front (post-975 to pre-570 Ma); and (5) tectonic inversion, with the ECRB area remaining relatively high during major cambrian subsidence in central Kentucky (590--510 Ma).

  5. Strain partitioning in hyper-extended, strongly segmented rift systems: insights from the Cretaceous Bay of Biscay- Pyrenean rift system and comparison with present-day mature rift-transform margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Continental margins are often subdivided into transform and volcanic and non-volcanic rifted margins, although, in reality, such end-member type margins do not exist and the distribution of strain and magma leading to lithospheric breakup is more complex. Key questions related to the development of oblique and/or segmented rift-transform margins include the importance of inheritance, the partitioning of deformation in time and space, the interplay between deformation and magmatism, the timing and location of breakup, and the isostatic evolution of these systems during and after final rifting. At present-day continental margins the initial stages associated with the development of highly segmented rift-transform margins are often masked by thick sedimentary sequences and the relation between the rift structures, syn-tectonic sediments and magmatic additions remain poorly understood. Moreover, it looks as if the oceanic transform faults do not develop from transfer or transform faults within continental rifts, suggesting that the continental and oceanic systems are decoupled within the ocean continent transition. In this study we use the Bay of Biscay - Pyrenean system to understand how deformation was distributed in time and space during the evolution of a highly segmented rift-transform system along the Iberian/European plate boundary during Late Jurassic to Mid Cretaceous time. We will show that the rift basins (Parentis, Arzacq-Mauléon, Cantabrian basins) that developed along this embryonic plate boundary record a complex poly-phase deformation history, showing locale evidence for extreme crustal thinning and locally also mantle exhumation. Because these basins are preserved to the west (Bay of Biscay-Parentis), but reactivated and exposed in the east (Pyrenees), the basins and related structures can be studied using geological and geophysical methods. In our presentation we will show new observations and preliminary results that enable discussion about how a segmented rift-transform plate boundary formed in time and space. We will also show that the poly-phase evolution recorded along the European-Iberian plate boundary has important kinematic implications for the pre-breakup evolution that cannot be taken into account by kinematic models based on magnetic anomaly restorations only. These results, combined with those of present day margins, may give some insights on the pre-breakup evolution and processes that are at the origin of highly segmented rift-transform margins as seen in the Equatorial Atlantic.

  6. Rift flank uplift and thermal evolution of an intracratonic rift basin (eastern Canada) determined by combined apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardie, Rebecca; Schneider, David; Metcalf, James; Flowers, Rebecca

    2015-04-01

    As a significant portion of the world's oil reserves are retrieved from rift systems, a better understanding of the timing of thermal evolution and burial history of these systems will increase the potential for the discovery of hydrocarbon-bearing rifts. The Ottawa Embayment of the St. Lawrence Platform of eastern Canada is a reactivated intracratonic rift basin related to the opening of the Iapetus Ocean at ca. 620-570 Ma, followed by the formation of the well-developed continental passive margin. Siliciclastic sediments derived from the adjacent uplifted Neoproterozoic Grenville basement provide the basin fill material. Apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronology allows for low-temperature analysis across the exposed crystalline rift flank into the synrift sedimentary sequence to resolve the unroofing, burial and subsidence history of the region. Samples were collected along a ~250 km NE-SW transect, oblique to the axis of the rift, from Mont-Tremblant, Québec (~900 m) to the central axis of the Paleozoic rift in the Southern Ontario Lowlands (~300 m). Targets included Neoproterozoic metamorphic rocks of the Grenville Province along the rift flank and basinal Cambro-Ordovician Potsdam Group. Samples from the rift flank yield zircon ages from ca. 650 Ma to ca. 560 Ma and apatite ages from ca. 290 Ma to ca. 190 Ma, with a weak positive correlation between age and grain size. Zircon ages demonstrate a strong negative correlation with radiation damage: as eU increases, age decreases. By incorporating (U-Th)/He ages with regional constraints in the thermal modelling program HeFTy, viable temperature time paths for the region can be determined. Through inverse and forward modeling, preliminary rift flank (U-Th)/He ages correspond to post-Grenville cooling with <4 km of post-Carboniferous burial. The data define slow and long episodes of syn- to post-rift cooling with rates between 0.4 and 0.1 °C/Ma. (U-Th)/He dating of samples along the full-length of the transect will resolve thermal changes in the basin-orogen system and improve our understanding of the rift related history of the region.

  7. Rifting and Post-Rift Reactivation of The Eastern Sardinian Margin (Western Tyrrhenian Back-Arc Basin) Evidenced by the Messinian Salinity Crisis Markers and Salt Tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaullier, V.; Chanier, F.; Vendeville, B.; Lymer, G.; Lofi, J.; Sage, F.; Maillard, A.; Thinon, I.

    2014-12-01

    The Eastern Sardinian margin formed during the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea, a back-arc basin created by continental rifting and oceanic spreading related to the eastward migrating Apennine subduction system from middle Miocene to Pliocene times. We carried out the "METYSS" project aiming at better understanding the Miocene-Pliocene relationships between crustal tectonics and salt tectonics in this key-area, where rifting is pro parte coeval with the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.96-5.33 Ma) and Messinian salt décollement creates thin-skinned tectonics. Thereby, 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 quantifying vertical and horizontal movements. Our mapping of the Messinian Erosion Surface and of Messinian Upper and Mobile Units shows that a rifted basin already existed by the Messinian times, revealing a major pre-MSC rifting episode across the entire domain. Because salt tectonics can create fan-shaped geometries in sediments, syn-rift deposits have to be carefully re-examined in order to decipher the effects of crustal tectonics (rifting) and salt tectonics. Our data surprisingly showed that there are no clues for Messinian syn-rift sediments along the East-Sardinia Basin and Cornaglia Terrace, hence no evidence for rifting after Late Tortonian times. Nevertheless, widespread deformation occurred during the Pliocene and is attributed to post-rift reactivation. Some Pliocene vertical movements have been evidenced by discovering localized gravity gliding of the salt and its Late Messinian (UU) and Early Pliocene overburden. To the South, crustal-scale southward tilting triggered along-strike gravity gliding of salt and cover recorded by upslope extension and downslope shortening. To the North, East of the Baronie Ridge, there was some post-salt crustal activity along a narrow N-S basement trough, bounded by crustal faults. The salt geometry would suggest that nothing happened after Messinian times, but some structural features (confirmed by analogue modelling) show that basement fault slip was accommodated by lateral salt flow, which thinned upslope and inflated downslope, while the overlying sediments remained sub-horizontal.

  8. Shear-Wave Splitting due to Rifting and Precambrian Accretion of Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gashawbeza, E.; Keranen, K.; Nyblade, A.; Klemperer, S. L.; Walker, K.

    2003-12-01

    We have utilized a dataset from the broadband seismic experiment of Nyblade and Langston (EOS v.83 p. 405, 2002) for a shear-wave splitting analysis in Ethiopia. A total of twenty-five broadband seismic stations, widely distributed in various physiographic regions in Ethiopia, were used. Six stations were installed on the southeastern plateau, twelve stations on the western plateau, and seven stations inside the Rift Valley, which runs northeast-southwest and separates the western and eastern highlands. The distribution of the broadband stations in the present study spans a broad region and allows us to compare the results of shear-wave splitting analysis inside the rift and on the rift-bounding plateaus. Previous shear-wave splitting results in Kenya, located south of Ethiopia, show fast polarization azimuths sub-parallel to the strike of the rift which are interpreted to be the result of vertical magma-filled cracks in the lithosphere opening in the direction perpendicular to the extension direction (Gao et al., 1997; Barruol and Ismail, 2001). However, this orientation is also perpendicular to the collision direction for the Mozambique belt and thus consistent with the fast azimuth being the result of fossilized anisotropy in the Precambrian lithosphere. Results from an SKS splitting analysis in Ethiopia (Maguire et al., EOS 2003 in press; Kendall et al., this session) show the orientation of the fast polarization azimuth within the Main Ethiopian Rift to be approximately NNE-SSW. Similar to the results from Kenya, this is parallel to the volcanic centers in the rift and perpendicular to the geodetically determined opening direction. Splitting directions on the rift shoulders are closer to NE, parallel to both the rift-bounding faults (perpendicular to the inferred average Neogene opening direction) and to the Precambrian accretionary structures. Our preliminary result from Addis Ababa suggests a fast azimuth of N23E, sub-parallel to the rift orientation in agreement with previous results by other workers. Further south near Arbaminch, results suggest an azimuth of N6E possibly due to the shift of rift orientation from NE-SW to nearly N-S in this region. Stations 250 km NW of the rift axis (Debre Markos) and 250 km SE of the rift axis (Goba) both show more north-easterly trends (N37E and N21E, respectively). Because of the distance of these stations from the rift, we suggest that this NE fast splitting direction is more likely related to fossilized anisotropy in the Precambrian lithosphere than to Neogene rifting.

  9. Gas Geochemistry of Volcanic and Geothermal Areas in the Kenya Rift: Implications for the Role of Fluids in Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Ranka, L. S.; Onguso, B.; Kanda, I.; Opiyo-Akech, N.; Sharp, Z. D.; Hilton, D. R.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Muirhead, J.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is an active continental rift and ideal to investigate the processes of rift initiation and the breaking apart of continental lithosphere. Mantle and crust-derived fluids may play a pivotal role in both magmatism and faulting in the EAR. For instance, large quantities of mantle-derived volatiles are emitted at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano [1, 2]. Throughout the EAR, CO2-dominated volatile fluxes are prevalent [3, 4] and often associated with faults (i.e. Rungwe area, Tanzania, [5, 6]). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between volcanism, faulting and the volatile compositions, focusing on the central and southern Kenyan and northern Tanzanian section of the EAR. We report our analysis results for samples obtained during a 2013 field season in Kenya. Gases were sampled at fumaroles and geothermal plants in caldera volcanoes (T=83.1-120.2°C) and springs (T=40-79.6°C and pH 8.5-10) located near volcanoes, intra-rift faults, and a transverse fault (the Kordjya fault, a key fluid source in the Magadi rift) by 4N-NaOH solution-filled and empty Giggenbach bottles. Headspace gases were analyzed by a Gas Chromatograph and a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer at the University of New Mexico. Both N2/Ar and N2/He ratios of all gases (35.38-205.31 and 142.92-564,272, respectively) range between air saturated water (ASW, 40 and ?150,000) and MORB (100-200 and 40-50). In addition, an N2-Ar-He ternary diagram supports that the gases are produced by two component (mantle and air) mixing. Gases in the empty bottles from volcanoes and springs have N2 (90.88-895.99 mmom/mol), CO2 (2.47-681.21 mmom/mol), CH4 (0-214.78 mmom/mol), O2 (4.47-131.12 mmom/mol), H2 (0-35.78 mmom/mol), Ar (0.15-10.65 mmom/mol), He (0-2.21 mmom/mol), and CO (0-0.08 mmom/mol). Although some of the samples show an atmospheric component, CO2 is a major component in most samples, indicating both volcanoes and springs are emitting CO2. Gases from volcanoes are enriched in CH4 and H2, denoting their sources are reduced (oxygen-poor) magma chambers or hydrothermal systems. 40Ar/36Ar ratios (average of all samples=299.15) are similar to our air standard value (299.65×4.05), however, some volcanoes (~308.75) and springs (~321.96) have slightly higher ratios. The springs with elevated 40Ar imply that both the intra-rift (Lake Bogoria) and transverse (Lake Magadi) faults are possibly pathways to carry volatiles from deep sources to the surface. In future work, we will carry out wet chemistry and ion chromatography analyses of the NaOH solutions, measure 3He/4He ratios and complete C, N, and S isotope analyses to further constrain fluid sources and migration processes. [1] Fischer et al., 2009, Nature 459. [2] de Moor et al., 2013, EPSL 361. [3] Sawyer et al., 2008, G-cubed 9. [4] Tassi et al., 2009, G-cubed 10. [5] Barry et al., 2013, Chem Geol 339. [6] de Moor et al., 2013, Chem Geol 339.

  10. Rifting and Subsidence in the Gulf of Mexico: Implications for Syn-rift, Sag, and Salt Sections, and Subsequent Paleogeography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pindell, J. L.; Graham, R.; Horn, B.

    2013-05-01

    Thick (up to 5 km), rapid (<3 Ma), salt deposition is problematic for basin modelling because such accommodation cannot be thermal, yet GoM salt deposits (Late Callovian-Early Oxfordian) appear to be post-rift (most salt overlies planar sub-salt unconformities on syn-rift section). One possible solution is that the pre-drift GoM was a deep (~2 km) air-filled rift depression where basement had already subsided tectonically, and thus could receive up to 5 km of salt, roughly the isostatic maximum on exhumed mantle, hyper-thinned continent, or new ocean crust. ION-GXT and other seismic data along W Florida and NW Yucatán show that (1) mother salt was only 1 km thick in these areas, (2) that these areas were depositionally connected to areas of thicker deposition, and (3) the top of all salt was at global sea level, and hence the sub-salt unconformity along Florida and Yucatán was only 1 km deep by end of salt deposition. These observations fit the air-filled chasm hypothesis; however, two further observations make that mechanism highly improbable: (1) basinward limits of sub-salt unconformities along Florida/Yucatán are deeper than top of adjacent ocean crust emplaced at ~2.7 km subsea (shown by backstripping), and (2) deepest abyssal sediments over ocean crust onlap the top of distal salt, demonstrating that the salt itself was rapidly drowned after deposition. Study of global ION datasets demonstrates the process of "rapid outer marginal collapse" at most margins, which we believe is achieved by low-angle detachment on deep, landward-dipping, Moho-equivalent surfaces such that outer rifted margins are hanging walls of crustal scale half-grabens over mantle. The tectonic accommodation space produced (up to 3 km, < 3 Ma) can be filled by ~5 km of sag/salt sequences with little apparent hanging wall rifting. When salt (or other) deposition lags behind, or ends during, outer marginal collapse, deep-water settings result. We suggest that this newly identified, "outer marginal detachment phase", normally separates the traditional "rift" from "drift" stages during continental margin creation. Importantly, this 2-3 km of subsidence presently is neither treated as tectonic nor as thermal in traditional subsidence analysis; thus, Beta estimates may be excessive at many outer margins. Outer marginal collapse was probably eastwardly diachronous with initiation of spreading in the GoM. Additionally, recent paleo-climate studies suggest humid Early/Middle Jurassic conditions in equatorial GoM, hindering air-filled chasm development, but North America's northward flight into middle latitudes initiated Callovian aridity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.

    2013-12-01

    The configuration of continents we know today is the result of several billion years of active Wilson Cycle tectonics. The rifting of continents and subsequent development of ocean basins is an integral part of long-term planetary-scale recycling processes. The products of this process can be seen globally, and the East African Rift System (EARS) provides a unique view of extensional processes that actively divide a continent. Taken together with the adjoining Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the EARS has experienced over 40 Ma of volcanism and ~30 Ma of extension. While early (pre-rift) volcanism in the region is attributed to mantle plume activity, much of the subsequent volcanism occurs synchronously with continental rifting. Numerous studies indicate that extension and magmatism are correlated: extension leads to decompression melting while magmatism accommodates further extension (e.g. Stein et al., 1997; Buck 2004; Corti 2012). Evaluation of the entire EARS reveals significant geochemical patterns - both spatial and temporal - in the volcanic products. Compositional variations are tied directly to the melt source(s), which changes over time. These variations can be characterized broadly by region: the Ethiopian plateau and Turkana Depression, the Kenya Rift, and the Western Rift. In the Ethiopian plateau, early flood basalt volcanism is dominated by mantle plume contributions with variable input from lherzolitic mantle lithosphere. Subsequent alkaline shield volcanism flanking the juvenile Main Ethiopian Rift records the same plume component as well as contributions from a hydrous peridotitic lithosphere. The hydrous lithosphere does not contribute indefinitely. Instead, young (< 2 Ma) volcanism taps a combination of the mantle plume and anhydrous depleted lithospheric mantle. In contrast, volcanism in the Kenya Rift and the Western Rift are derived dominantly from metasomatized lithospheric mantle rather than mantle plume material. These rifts lie in the mobile belts flanking the Archean Tanzanian craton, suggesting the lithosphere in these regions has a complex geodynamic history that provides an avenue of weakness for rift development around the craton. In the Tanzanian portion of the Kenya Rift, highly sodic mafic and carbonatitic lavas dominate both the rift valleys and rift shoulders. Mantle xenoliths from this region show petrographic and isotopic evidence for ancient and recent metasomatic events. In the Western Rift, highly potassic mafic lavas dominate the volcanic landscape in the rift valley and rift margins. The lithospheric mantle underlying this region is highly metasomatized, as evidenced by the presence of clinopyroxenite, websterite and glimmerite xenoliths and the absence of peridotite. The highly fusible metasomatized mantle beneath both the Kenya and Western rifts enables lithospheric melting with comparatively minor P-T perturbation. Regardless of which process begot the other, lithospheric thinning promotes melting while volcanism promotes lithospheric weakness and enables rift propagation. When viewed holistically, both mantle plume activity and lithospheric heterogeneities have played a vital role in the initiation and subsequent evolution of the rifting throughout eastern Africa.

  13. Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic rifting and its dynamic setting in Eastern China and adjacent areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Jianye; Tamaki, Kensaku; Li, Sitian; Junxia, Zhang

    2002-02-01

    During the Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic, extension was widespread in Eastern China and adjacent areas. The first rifting stage spanned in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous times and covered an area of more than 2 million km 2 of NE Asia from the Lake Baikal to the Sikhot-Alin in EW direction and from the Mongol-Okhotsk fold belt to North China in NS direction. This rifting was characterized by intracontinental rifts, volcanic eruptions and transform extension along large-scale strike-slip faults. Based on the magmatic activity, filling sequence of basins, tectonic framework and subsidence analysis of basins, the evolution of this area can be divided into three main developmental phases. The first phase, calc-alkaline volcanics erupted intensely along NNE-trending faults, forming Daxing'anling volcanic belt, NE China. The second phase, Basin and Range type fault basin system bearing coal and oil developed in NE Asia. During the third phase, which was marked by the change from synrifting to thermal subsidence, very thick postrift deposits developed in the Songliao basin (the largest oil basin in NE China). Following uplift and denudation, caused by compressional tectonism in the near end of Cretaceous, a Paleogene rifting stage produced widespread continental rift systems and continental margin basins in Eastern China. These rifted basins were usually filled with several kilometers of alluvial and lacustrine deposits and contain a large amount of fossil fuel resources. Integrated research in most of these rifting basins has shown that the basins are characterized by rapid subsidence, relative high paleo-geothermal history and thinned crust. It is now accepted that the formation of most of these basins was related to a lithospheric extensional regime or dextral transtensional regime. During Neogene time, early Tertiary basins in Eastern China entered a postrifting phase, forming regional downwarping. Basin fills formed in a thermal subsidence period onlapped the fault basin margins and were deposited in a broad downwarped lacustrine depression. At the same time, within plate rifting of the Lake Baikal and Shanxi graben climaxed and spreading of the Japan Sea and South China Sea occurred. Quaternary rifting was marked by basalt eruption and accelerated subsidence in the area of Tertiary rifting. The Okinawa Trough is an active rift involving back-arc extension. Continental rifting and marginal sea opening were clearly developed in various kind of tectonic settings. Three rifting styles, intracontinental rifting within fold belt, intracontinental rifting within craton and continental marginal rifting and spreading, are distinguished on the basis of nature of the basin basement, tectonic location of rifting and relations to large strike-slip faults. Changes of convergence rates of India-Eurasia and Pacific-Eurasia may have caused NW-SE-trending extensional stress field dominating the rifting. Asthenospheric upwelling may have well assisted the rifting process. In this paper, a combination model of interactions between plates and deep process of lithosphere has been proposed to explain the rifting process in East China and adjacent areas. The research on the Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic extensional tectonics of East China and adjacent areas is important because of its utility as an indicator of the dynamic setting and deformational mechanisms involved in stretching Lithosphere. The research also benefits the exploration and development of mineral and energy resources in this area.

  14. Tracing mantle-reacted fluids in magma-poor rifted margins: The example of Alpine Tethyan rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

    The thinning of the crust and the exhumation of subcontinental mantle in magma-poor rifted margins is accompanied by a series of extensional detachment faults. We show that exhumation along these detachments is intimately related to migration of fluids leading to changes in mineralogy and chemistry of the mantle, crustal, and sedimentary rocks. Using field observation and analytical methods, we investigate the role of fluids in the fossil distal margins of the Alpine Tethys. Using Cr-Ni-V, Fe, and Mn as tracers, we show that fluids used detachment faults as pathways and interacted with the overlying crust and sediments. These observations allow us to discuss when, where, and how this interaction happened during the formation of the rifted margin. The results show that: (i) serpentinization of mantle rocks during their exhumation results in the depletion of elements and migration of mantle-reacted fluids that are channeled along active detachment system; (ii) in earlier-stages, these fluids affected the overlying syntectonic sediments by direct migration from the underlying detachments;(iii) in later-stages, these fluids arrived at the seafloor, were introduced into, or "polluted" the seawater and were absorbed by post tectonic sediments. We conclude that a significant amount of serpentinization occurred underneath the hyperextended continental crust, and that the mantle-reacted fluids might have modified the chemical composition of the sediments and seawater. We propose that the chemical signature of serpentinization related to mantle exhumation is recorded in the sediments and may serve as a proxy to date serpentinization and mantle exhumation at present-day magma-poor rifted margins.

  15. Spatial variation of primordial 3-He in crustal fluids along the East-African Rift system (the Ethiopian and the Kenya Rift section)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griesshaber, E.; Weise, S.; Darling, G.

    1994-01-01

    (3)He/(4)He compositions are presented for groundwater samples from the Ethiopian segment of the East-Afrikan Rift and from its northern extension, the adjacent Afar region (Djibuti). Helium isotope data are compared to those obtained previously from the Gregory Rift, south of Ethiopia. The distribution pattern of mantle-derived volatiles along the entire East-African-Rift (-from south Kenya to Djibuti-) is discussed and their sources are identified. Helium isotope ratios (R) for samples from the Ethiopian part of the Rift range from 6.3 to 16.0 times the atmospheric ratio (Ra=1.4 x 10(exp -6) and thus show together with a MOR component a considerable hotspot helium component. These mantle helium concentrations are comparable to those observed in groundwaters and volcanic rocks from the Afar plume region in Djibuti. Here R/Ra values range from 9 to 13 times the atmospheric composition, with mantle-derived helium concentrations being higher than at spreading ocean ridges. R/Ra values from Ethiopia and Djibuti are entirely different from those observed in groundwaters at the southerly extending Gregory Rift in Kenya, where R/Ra values scatter between 0.5 and 6. At the northernmost part of the Gregory Rift, close to Ethiopia mantle helium contents are slightly higher, with R/Ra-values varying between 6.5 and 8.0.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Fragmentation of a supercontinent by rifting is an integral part of plate tectonics, yet the dynamics that govern the success or failure of individual rift systems are still unclear. Recently, analytical and thermo-mechanical modelling has suggested that obliquely activated rifts are mechanically favoured over orthogonal rift systems. Hence, where two rift zones compete, the more oblique rift proceeds to break-up while the less oblique one stalls and becomes an aulacogen. This implies that the orientation and shape of individual rift systems affects the relative motion of Earth's continents during supercontinent break-up. We test this hypothesis using the latest global plate tectonic reconstructions for the past 200 million years. The analysis is performed using pyGPlates, a recently developed Python library that allows script-based access to the plate reconstruction software GPlates. We quantify rift obliquity, extension velocity and their temporal evolution for all small-scale rift segments that constituted a major rift system during the last 200 million years. Boundaries between continental and oceanic crust (COBs) mark the end of rifting and the beginning of sea floor spreading, which is why we use a global set of updated COBs in order to pinpoint continental break-up and as a proxy for the local trend of former rift systems. Analysing the entire length of all rift systems during the last 200 My, we find a mean obliquity of ~40° (measured as the angle between extension direction and local rift trend normal), with a standard deviation of 25°. More than 75% of all rift segments exceeded an obliquity of 20° highlighting the fact that oblique rifting is the rule, not the exception. More specifically, East and West Gondwana split along the East African coast with a mean obliquity of 45°. While rifting of the central and southern South Atlantic segment involved a low obliquity of 10°, the Equatorial Atlantic opened under a high angle of 60°. The separation of Australia and Antarctica involved a protracted extension history involving two stages with ~25° prior to 100 Ma followed by more than 50° obliquity. In many cases both obliquity and extension velocity increase during rift evolution (e.g. South Atlantic, India-Antarctica, Australia-Antarctica, Gulf of California), suggesting an underlying geodynamic correlation. Considering that most conceptual models of rift evolution assume 2D deformation, we here quantify the degree to which 2D rift models are globally applicable, and highlight the importance of 3D models where oblique rifting is the dominant mode of deformation.

  19. Young Stellar Object Candidates in the Aquila Rift Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Miao-miao; Wang, Hong-chi; Stecklum, B.

    2010-10-01

    Using the 2m telescope of the Turingia State Observatory at Tauten-berg (TLS), imaging observations in 3 wavebands (H ?, R and I) are performed in the 16 fields in the Aquila Rift region. The observed fields cover about 7 square degrees. Excluding the 3 fields with unqualified data, the photometrical analysis is made for the remaining 13 fields, from which point sources are identified, and finally 7 H ? emission-line star candidates are identified by color-color diagrams. The 7 candidates are located in five fields. Three of them are located near the Galactic plane, while the galactic latitudes of the rest are greater than 4°. The 2 M ASS counterparts of the point sources are identified, and the properties of the 7 H ? emission-line star candidates are further analyzed by using the two-color diagrams. It is found that the near-infrared radiation from these H ? emission-line star candidates has no obvious infrared excess, one of them even falls on the main-sequence branch. This indicates that the H ?-emissive young stellar objects (YSOs) are not always accompanied with the infrared excess, and that the results of the H ? emission line observation and the infrared excess observation are mutually supplemented. If the 7 H ? emission-line star candidates are regarded as YSO candidates, then the number of YSOs in the Aquila Rift region is quite small. The further confirmation of these candidates needs subsequent spectral observations.

  20. Rift Valley Fever: Recent Insights into Pathogenesis and Prevention?

    PubMed Central

    Boshra, Hani; Lorenzo, Gema; Busquets, Núria; Brun, Alejandro

    2011-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a zoonotic pathogen that primarily affects ruminants but can also be lethal in humans. A negative-stranded RNA virus of the family Bunyaviridae, this pathogen is transmitted mainly via mosquito vectors. RVFV has shown the ability to inflict significant damage to livestock and is also a threat to public health. While outbreaks have traditionally occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, recent outbreaks in the Middle East have raised awareness of the potential of this virus to spread to Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Although the virus was initially characterized almost 80 years ago, the only vaccine approved for widespread veterinary use is an attenuated strain that has been associated with significant pathogenic side effects. However, increased understanding of the molecular biology of the virus over the last few years has led to recent advances in vaccine design and has enabled the development of more-potent prophylactic measures to combat infection. In this review, we discuss several aspects of RVFV, with particular emphasis on the molecular components of the virus and their respective roles in pathogenesis and an overview of current vaccine candidates. Progress in understanding the epidemiology of Rift Valley fever has also enabled prediction of potential outbreaks well in advance, thus providing another tool to combat the physical and economic impact of this disease. PMID:21450816

  1. An Epidemiological Model of Rift Valley Fever with Spatial Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Tianchan; Gaff, Holly D.; Papelis, Yiannis E.; Hartley, David M.

    2012-01-01

    As a category A agent in the Center for Disease Control bioterrorism list, Rift Valley fever (RVF) is considered a major threat to the United States (USA). Should the pathogen be intentionally or unintentionally introduced to the continental USA, there is tremendous potential for economic damages due to loss of livestock, trade restrictions, and subsequent food supply chain disruptions. We have incorporated the effects of space into a mathematical model of RVF in order to study the dynamics of the pathogen spread as affected by the movement of humans, livestock, and mosquitoes. The model accounts for the horizontal transmission of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) between two mosquito and one livestock species, and mother-to-offspring transmission of virus in one of the mosquito species. Space effects are introduced by dividing geographic space into smaller patches and considering the patch-to-patch movement of species. For each patch, a system of ordinary differential equations models fractions of populations susceptible to, incubating, infectious with, or immune to RVFV. The main contribution of this work is a methodology for analyzing the likelihood of pathogen establishment should an introduction occur into an area devoid of RVF. Examples are provided for general and specific cases to illustrate the methodology. PMID:22924058

  2. Correlation of geophysical datasets in rifted margin studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peron-Pinvidic, Gwenn; Terje Osmundsen, Per; Ebbing, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    A robust interpretation protocol for defining offshore rifted margin architecture includes interpretation of seismic reflection data supplemented by refraction and/or potential field modeling. In combination, this workflow is believed to provide better constraints on sedimentary, basement and Moho geometries at depth and/or the presence of magmatic material. Interpretation of the new generation of long-offset seismic reflection data shows that conflicts may arise between structural observations made from high-resolution seismic reflection profiles and a simple translation of density and velocity values into specific rock-types. We illustrate variations over this topic using three type-examples from the Mid-Norwegian rifted system. We show, for instance, that dense sediments wrongly interpreted as crystalline basement, can lead to incorrect mapping of the top of basement and thus to a wrong distribution of crustal and sedimentary material in the margin. This would directly impact margin restoration exercises, modeled plate kinematics and basin analyses. Our examples show that, in the absence of a seismic reflection dataset with good local coverage and high resolution, interpretation of potential field and/or velocity models in terms of structures or lithologies should be handled with care in order to avoid misunderstanding of the margin's tectonic and stratigraphic evolution.

  3. Active compressional tectonics in the Jericho area, Dead Sea rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rotstein, Y.; Bartov, Y.; Hofstetter, A.

    1991-11-01

    The results of several seismic reflection surveys in the Jericho area, north of the Dead Sea, are described and the data are used to analyze the structure of this part of the Dead Sea Rift. In particular, we describe the structure of the Dead Sea Transform, which in this area is a zone of intense deformation, rather than a distinct fault plane. The transform has a westerly dip, away from the rift, suggesting that it may have a reverse-faulting component. Associated with the transform are several folds, of which the best documented is the Kalia Monocline, immediately north of the Dead Sea. The Kalia Monocline lies along the transform and appears to be a young structure associated with it, indicating that this part of the plate boundary is characterized by local compression. The southerly extent of the Kalia Monocline is not clear presently, but the available data suggest that the compressional field also characterize the northwestern part of the Dead Sea Basin. The other folds appear north of the Kalia Monocline and seem to be similar to it. They are, most probably, also the result of recent compression along the transform. A number of mechanisms of small earthquakes in this area are computed and several of them show thrusting, suggesting that the local compression is still active.

  4. Kinematic problem of oblique rift zones in Iceland

    SciTech Connect

    Jancin, M.

    1985-01-01

    Regional distribution of surficial isochrons on Iceland locally lacks the oceanic-ridge subparallel alignment that is characteristic of the adjoining North Atlantic sea floor. Strikes of Icelandic lava isochrons generally reflect dips imparted by continued lava accumulation, subsidence, and burial. The angle between trends of central volcano-related fissure swarms, dikes, and faults, and regionally-adjacent approximate isochrons, defines the Obliquity Angle (OA). The OA is measured from the isochron to the extensional structures, and may vary from 0/sup 0/ to 90/sup 0/; cw angles are (+), ccw (-). Three large-OA neovolcanic zones are present in Iceland: the WNW-trending zone is central Iceland; the ENE zone along Reykjanes peninsula; and, possibly, the WNW and largely submarine Tjornes Fracture Zone (TFZ). The TFZ shares characteristics of a highly-oblique rift zone and a transform-related shear zone. In north-central Iceland, OA's along 7-11 Ma isochrons vary continuously from +40/sup 0/ to 90/sup 0/ to -50/sup 0/, over 130 km from West to East. As subaerial isochrons on Iceland range up to 90/sup 0/ to spatially-associated extensional structures, isochron trends locally parallel presumed plate-flow lines (N8OW); offshore, isochrons are approximately normal to flow lines. However extension in central Iceland occurs within the long-lived, WNW-trending oblique rift zone, with little or no commensurate extension and volcanism parallel to structural strike to the South and North, constitutes a major kinematic problem.

  5. Using Lake Superior Parks to Present the Midcontinent Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Blavascunas, E.

    2014-12-01

    Some of the Midwest's most spectacular scenery occurs near Lake Superior, in places like Pictured Rocks and Apostle Islands National Lakeshores, Isle Royale National Park, Interstate Park, and Porcupine Mountains State Park. These landscapes provide an enormous, but underutilized opportunity for park interpreters and educators to explain some of the most exciting concepts of modern geology. A crucial aspect of doing this is recognizing that many of the rocks and landforms in individual parks are pieces of a huge regional structure. This structure, called the Midcontinent Rift System (MCRS), is a 1.1 billion year old 3000 km (2000 mile) long scar along which the North American continent started to tear apart, just as Africa is splitting today along the East African Rift, but for some reason failed to form a new ocean. Drawing on our experience as researchers and teachers studying the MCRS (Steins) and as an interpreter at Isle Royale National Park (Blavascunas), we seek to give interpreters a brief introduction to MCRS to help them present information about what geologists know already and what they are learning from continuing research. Our goal is to help interpreters visualize how what they see at a specific site fits into an exciting regional picture spanning much of the Midwest.

  6. Generation of Continental Rifts, Basins and Swells by Lithosphere Instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milelli, L.; Fourel, L.; Jaupart, C. P.

    2012-12-01

    Domal uplifts, volcanism, basin formation and rifting have often struck the same continent in different areas at the same time. Their characteristics and orientations are difficult to reconcile with mantle convection or tectonic forces and suggest a driving mechanism that is intrinsic to the continent. The rifts seem to develop preferentially at high angles to the edge of the continent whereas swells and basins seem confined to the interior. Another intriguing geometrical feature is that the rifts often branch out in complicated patterns at their landward end. In Western Africa, for example, magmatic activity currently occurs in a number of uplifted areas including the peculiar Cameroon Volcanic Line that stretches away from the continental margin over about 1000 km. Magmatic and volcanic activity has been sustained along this line for 70 My with no age progression. The mantle upwelling that feeds the volcanoes is not affected by absolute plate motions and hence is attached to the continent. The Cameroon Volcanic Line extends to the Biu swell to the North and the Jos plateau to the West defining a striking Y-shaped pattern. This structure segues into several volcanic domes including the Air, the Hoggar, the Darfur, the Tibesti and the Haruj domes towards the Mediterranean coast. Another example is provided by North America, where the late Proterozoic-early Ordovician saw the formation of four major basins, the Michigan, Illinois, Williston and Hudson Bay, as well as of major rifts in southern Oklahoma and the Mississipi Valley within a short time interval. At the same time, a series of uplifts developed, such as the Ozark and Nashville domes. Motivated by these observations, we have sought an explanation in the continental lithosphere itself. We describe a new type of convective instability at the base of the lithosphere that leads to a remarkable spatial pattern at the scale of an entire continent. We carried out fluid mechanics laboratory experiments on buoyant blocks of finite size that became unstable due to cooling from above and describe the peculiar horizontal planform that developed. Dynamical behaviour depends on three dimensionless numbers, a Rayleigh number for the unstable block, a buoyancy number that scales the intrinsic density contrast to the thermal one and the aspect ratio of the block. Within the block, instability develops in two different ways in an outer annulus and in an inner region. In the outer annulus, upwellings and downwellings take the form of radial rolls spaced regularly. In the interior region, the planform adopts the more familiar form of polygonal cells. Translated to geological conditions, such instabilities should manifest themselves as linear rifts striking at a right angle to the continent-ocean boundary and an array of domal uplifts, volcanic swells and basins in the continental interior. The laboratory data lead to simple scaling laws for the dimensions and spacings of the convective structures. For the sub-continental lithospheric mantle, these dimensions and distances take values in the 500-1000 km range, close to geological examples. The large intrinsic buoyancy of Archean lithospheric roots prevents this type of instability, which explains why the widespread volcanic activity that currently affects Western Africa is confined to post-Archean domains.

  7. 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. The associated amount of lateral motion on these, mainly listric, normal faults represents several tens of km. These observations contrast with the general lack of observed faults along volcanic margins due to the overall problem with sub-basalt imaging. A variety of models with respect to mode and duration of extension, including narrow and fast breakup, melt generation by small scale convection, and different modes of mantle flow have been suggested. The interesting aspect is that it is all based on features we can't see. Both study areas clearly points towards the importance of improved seismic imaging, a need for revised understanding of strain rates and strain partitioning during rift development, and the necessity of moving from 2D cross section modeling to more realistic 3D spatial distribution of rift elements and subsequent break-up processes. One important aspect is that both volcanic and non-volcanic margins are rifted margins formed by a protracted rift development.

  8. From Rifting to Ultra-High-Pressure Metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beltrando, Marco; Rubatto, Daniela; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2010-05-01

    In Alpine-type orogens Ultra-High-Pressure (UHP) rocks are often found associated with serpentinites. This juxtaposition is generally interpreted to originate in subduction channels, where the hydration of the mantle wedge overlying a subduction zone, leading to the buoyant rise of newly formed serpentinites, has the potential to drive the early phases of exhumation. A study of the lithostratigraphy of the Zermatt-Saas Zone, in the Lago di Cignana area (Western Alps) contradicts this hypothesis, suggesting that the UHP rocks were already juxtaposed with serpentinites prior to orogenesis and that pre-orogenic rift-related lithostratigraphic associations may be preserved during burial to UHP conditions and subsequent exhumation. The Zermatt-Saas Zone, in the Lago di Cignana area, consists of abundant serpentinized mantle, intruded by Jurassic gabbros and locally overlain by syn- and post- rift sediments. The Lago di Cignana syn- and post-rift metasediments crop out along the upper part of the Zermatt-Saas Zone, where slivers of continental crust and pre-rift-sediments are also found. The association of continental basement rocks, pre-rift sediments and ophiolites has generally been ascribed to the formation of a tectonic melange during the Alpine orogeny. Here, we report a new study on zircons from Permian plutonic rocks of the Etirol-Levaz continental basement slice, which crops out in Valtournenche, only a few hundred meters from Lago di Cignana, at the same structural level. Our study shows that a distinctive phase of zircon growth occurred at ca. 170-160 Ma. High U/Th ratios and zoning patterns suggest that zircons grew as a result of melt infiltration related to the intrusion of mafic magmas, also dated at ca. 170-160 Ma, in the underlying serpentinites. Therefore, the continental basement slices and the oceanic basement rocks were already juxtaposed in the Jurassic and they were probably part of an Ocean-Continent Transition Zone (OCTZ), where the Lago di Cignana sediments were deposited. Omphacite-bearing zircon rims from the Etirol-Levaz slice crystallized at 47.3±1.3 Ma, showing that the continental basement underwent the same Alpine history as the underlying serpentinites and gabbros and as the Lago di Cignana metasediments. Alpine tectonics resulted only in minor reworking of the Jurassic contacts, generally preserving the original geometry. The partial preservation on a regional scale of the original relationships between rock units that underwent subduction to UHP conditions indicates that (1) the association of serpentinites and UHP rock units does not necessarily derive from chaotic counter-flow in a subduction channel, but may also be an inherited feature from the OCTZ and (2) the process of tectonic burial and exhumation is not necessarily chaotic. Indeed, OCTZ's are placed in a favorable position to reach UHP conditions, following negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere into subduction, and then be accreted to the orogen, in response to the arrival of more buoyant continental lithosphere, resisting subduction.

  9. Do Processes of Rhyolite Genesis Change as Icelandic Rifts Drift off of the Plume?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, B. T.

    2004-12-01

    The abandoned Snaefellsnes rift zone in western Iceland was the on-land manifestation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between 15 and 7 Ma. The rift zone was abandoned at 7 Ma, after it had drifted westward off of the Iceland hotspot, generally interpreted as a mantle plume. The position of the abandoned rift was initially recognized as the axis of a regional syncline analogous to the syncline developed in response to active rifting. Previous paleomagnetic and geochronologic studies have confirmed the position of the abandoned rift axis. Recent seismic tomography shows that the abandoned rift is also characterized by relatively thin crust (<20 km, versus up to 46 km above the plume). In the context of supervising Keck Geology Consortium undergraduate research projects in northwestern Iceland in 2003 and 2004, I have studied several silicic centers erupted at different times along the northern Snaefellsnes rift. A compilation of preliminary geochemical data from the Skagi area near the rift reveals several interesting trends that bear on the origin of silicic magmas as activity in the rift was waning. The compositional spectrum of silicic rocks in this area is from dacite (67 wt.% SiO2) to rhyolite (75 wt.% SiO2). Positive correlation between Na2O and SiO2 is consistent with either fractionation or decreasing degrees of crustal melting to get from dacite to rhyolite. However, Zr correlates negatively with SiO2, consistent with zircon fractionation, but inconsistent with variation in the degree of melting unless zircon is present in the source, unlikely for the meta-basaltic crust of Iceland. Therefore, I suggest these rocks reflect extreme (>90%) fractionation of a basaltic parent. A similar argument was advanced by Furman et al. (1992, J. Pet., 1405-1445) for rhyolites at Austerhorn in eastern Iceland. Compelling arguments have been previously advanced that most rhyolites erupted in the modern rifts of Iceland are the products of crustal melting. The same has been argued for some older centers erupted from the Snaefellsnes rift (Kroksfjordur, 9-10 Ma?). I propose the hypothesis that as a rift drifts off of the plume, and becomes more like a normal mid-ocean ridge (thinner crust), rhyolite genesis by crustal melting becomes uncommon, and that what rhyolites are generated are the result of extreme fractionation of a basaltic parent. Ongoing studies will test this hypothesis by more detailed trace element and O-isotope studies and the systematic study of a series of silicic centers erupted at the northern Snaefellsnes rift over its history of activity.

  10. Upper Mantle Seismic Structure of the Northern Ethiopian Rift - a Region of Incipient Continental Breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastow, I. D.; Stuart, G. W.; Kendall, M. J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Ayele, A.

    2004-12-01

    The northern Ethiopian rift forms the third arm of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden triple junction and captures the transition from continental rifting in East Africa to oceanic sea-floor spreading in Afar. As rifting proceeds to sea-floor spreading, it is expected that fault controlled (mechanical) segmentation associated with the continental rift setting will be superceded by asthenospheric and magmatic processes, which are more prevalent in oceanic settings. The EAGLE passive networks consisted of 79 broadband seismometers over an area 250x250km centred on the Boset magmatic segment 70km SE of Addis Ababa, in the centre of the rift. We image upper-mantle structure between depths of 40-300km depth using teleseismic tomographic inversion of P and S wave travel-time data. Crustal structure, unresolvable in our inversions, is accounted for using an a priori crustal model which we derive from receiver function analyses of Moho P-to-S converted phases and from the results of recent EAGLE refraction experiments in Ethiopia. Analysis of relative arrival-time residuals shows that the rift flanks are asymmetric with arrivals associated with the south-eastern Somalian Plate faster ( ˜0.65s for the P waves; ˜2s for the S waves) than the north-western Nubian Plate. Our tomographic inversions image a 75km-wide tabular low velocity zone (Vp=-1.5%, Vs=-4%) between 40-300km depth, interpreted as upwelling in the upper mantle beneath the less evolved southern part of the rift. At depths of ˜100km, north of 9 degrees N this anomaly broadens towards the oceanic spreading centre of Afar where it appears to be connected to deeper low-velocity structure. Along axis, the low velocity upwelling beneath the rift is segmented, with low velocity material in the uppermost 100 km always offset to whichever side of the rift has the highest rift flank topography. Lateral velocity contrasts and comparison of P and S travel-times suggests high temperatures and partial melt in the upper-mantle beneath the rift. We propose, that magma emplacement has occured within the lithosphere, thereby allowing rifting in an area where large scale tectonic forces may be too small for amagmatic rifting to occur.

  11. Upper Mantle Seismic Structure of the Northern Ethiopian Rift - a Region of Incipient Continental Breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendall, J.; Bastow, I. D.; Stuart, G. W.; Ebinger, C. J.; Ayele, A.

    2005-12-01

    The northern Ethiopian rift forms the third arm of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden triple junction and captures the transition from continental rifting in East Africa to oceanic sea-floor spreading in Afar. As rifting proceeds to sea-floor spreading, it is expected that fault controlled (mechanical) segmentation associated with the continental rift setting will be superseded by asthenospheric and magmatic processes, which are more prevalent in oceanic settings. The EAGLE passive networks consisted of 79 broadband seismometers over an area 250x350km centered on the Boset magmatic segment 70km SE of Addis Ababa, in the center of the rift. Analysis of absolute travel-time residuals from the stations shows that the northern Ethiopian rift is one of the most seismically slow regions on Earth. We have imaged upper-mantle structure between depths of 40-300km depth using teleseismic tomographic inversion of P and S wave travel-time data. Our tomographic inversions image a 75km-wide tabular low velocity zone (Vp=-1.5%, Vs=-4%) between 40-300km depth, interpreted as upwelling in the upper mantle beneath the less evolved southern part of the rift. At depths of ~100km, north of 9 degrees N this anomaly broadens towards the oceanic spreading centre of Afar where it may be connected to deeper low-velocity structure. Along axis, the low velocity upwelling beneath the rift is segmented, with low velocity material in the uppermost 100 km always offset to whichever side of the rift has the highest rift flank topography. Lateral velocity contrasts and comparison of P and S travel-times suggests high temperatures and partial melt in the upper-mantle beneath the rift. Furthermore, the travel-time data indicate that the melt beneath the study area exists in elongate inclusions - consistent with interpretations of SKS shear wave splitting data. We propose, that magma emplacement has occurred within the lithosphere, thereby allowing rifting in an area where large-scale tectonic forces may be too small for amagmatic rifting to occur.

  12. Matching conjugate volcanic rifted margins: 40Ar/ 39Ar chrono-stratigraphy of pre- and syn-rift bimodal flood volcanism in Ethiopia and Yemen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ukstins, Ingrid A.; Renne, Paul R.; Wolfenden, Ellen; Baker, Joel; Ayalew, Dereje; Menzies, Martin

    2002-05-01

    40Ar/ 39Ar dating of mineral separates and whole-rock samples of rhyolitic ignimbrites and basaltic lavas from the pre- and syn-rift flood volcanic units of northern Ethiopia provides a temporal link between the Ethiopian and Yemen conjugate rifted volcanic margins. Sixteen new 40Ar/ 39Ar dates confirm that basaltic flood volcanism in Ethiopia was contemporaneous with flood volcanism on the conjugate margin in Yemen. The new data also establish that flood volcanism initiated prior to 30.9 Ma in Ethiopia and may predate initiation of similar magmatic activity in Yemen by ˜0.2-2.0 Myr. Rhyolitic volcanism in Ethiopia commenced at 30.2 Ma, contemporaneous with the first rhyolitic ignimbrite unit in Yemen at ˜30 Ma. Accurate and precise 40Ar/ 39Ar dates on initial rhyolitic ignimbrite eruptions suggest that silicic flood volcanism in Afro-Arabia post-dates the Oligocene Oi2 global cooling event, ruling out a causative link between these explosive silicic eruptions (with individual volumes ?200 km 3) and climatic cooling which produced the first major expansion of the Antarctic ice sheets. Ethiopian volcanism shows a progressive and systematic younging from north to south along the escarpment and parallel to the rifted margin, from pre-rift flood volcanics in the north to syn-rift northern Main Ethiopian Rift volcanism in the south. A dramatic decrease in volcanic activity in Ethiopia between 25 and 20 Ma correlates with a prominent break-up unconformity in Yemen (26-19 Ma), both of which mark the transition from pre- to syn-rift volcanism (˜25-26 Ma) triggered by the separation of Africa and Arabia. The architecture of the Ethiopian margin is characterized by accumulation and preservation of syn-rift volcanism, while the Yemen margin was shaped by denudational unloading and magmatic starvation as the Arabian plate rifted away from the Afar plume. A second magmatic hiatus and angular unconformity in the northern Main Ethiopian Rift is evident at 10.6-3.2 Ma, and is also observed throughout the Arabian plate in Jordanian, Saudi Arabian and Yemeni intraplate volcanic fields and is possibly linked to tectonic re-organization and initiation of sea floor spreading in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea at 10 and 5 Ma, respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  14. Crustal structure and magmato-tectonic processes in an active rift (Asal-Ghoubbet, Afar, East Africa): 2. Insights from the 23-year recording of seismicity since the last rifting event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doubre, C.; Manighetti, I.; Dorbath, L.; Dorbath, C.; Bertil, D.; Delmond, J. C.

    2007-05-01

    The Asal-Ghoubbet (AG) Rift has sustained a major volcano-tectonic rifting episode in 1978 and has been subsequently monitored with continuous geodetic and seismological surveys. It is therefore an ideal place to study the transient magmato-tectonic processes that operate after a rifting episode. We examine the space-time evolution of ˜2500 Md ? 2.8 earthquakes recorded in the rift from 1979 to 2001. We focus on the relationships between this seismic activity and both the three-dimensional structure of the rift and its postrifting behavior depicted from geodesy. The results highlight the major role of the central magmatic system (Fieale-Shark Bay) on the structure, seismic activity, and overall behavior of the rift. From 1978 to 1986, the rift opens at a fast rate, yet mainly aseismically; the opening is magmatically driven and accommodated. Since 1986, when the opening rate abruptly decreased, the seismicity is concentrated in the central part of the rift and reveals pulses of activity of the central volcanic system. These pulses result from that magmatic zone undergoing alternating stretching and inflating episodes. Thus, while the plate-driven induced stresses have been rebuilding in the rift since 1987, the rift opening is still essentially accommodated in the axial magmatic zone. The AG Rift has thus sustained a postrifting unsteady opening over more than 23 years following its stretching episode. That transient opening has essentially occurred aseismically, and most tectonic faults remain relaxed and locked.

  15. Long-term cooling history of the Albertine Rift: new evidence from the western rift shoulder, D.R. Congo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

    To determine the long-term landscape evolution of the Albertine Rift in East Africa, low-temperature thermochronology was applied and the cooling history constrained using thermal history modelling. Acquired results reveal (1) "old" cooling ages, with predominantly Devonian to Carboniferous apatite fission-track ages, Ordovician to Silurian zircon (U-Th)/He ages and Jurassic to Cretaceous apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He ages; (2) protracted cooling histories of the western rift shoulder with major phases of exhumation in mid-Palaeozoic and Palaeogene to Neogene times; (3) low Palaeozoic and Neogene erosion rates. This indicates a long residence time of the analysed samples in the uppermost crust, with the current landscape surface at a near-surface position for hundreds of million years. Apatite He cooling ages and thermal history models indicate moderate reheating in Jurassic to Cretaceous times. Together with the cooling age distribution, a possible Albertine high with a distinct relief can be inferred that might have been a source area for the Congo Basin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Observation of deep structures related to break-up processes at volcanic passive margins (VPM) is often a troublesome exercise: thick pre- to syn-breakup seaward-dipping reflectors (SDR) usually mask the continent-ocean boundary and hide the syn-rift tectonic structures that accommodate crustal stretching and thinning. Some of the current challenges are about clarifying 1) if tectonic stretching fits the observed thinning and 2) what is the effect of continuous magma supply and re-thickening of the crust during extension from a rheological point of view? The Afar region in Ethiopia is an ideal natural laboratory to address those questions, as it is a highly magmatic rift that is probably close enough to breakup to present some characteristics of VPM. Moreover, the structures related to rifting since Oligocene are out-cropping, onshore and well preserved. In this contribution, we present new structural field data and lavas (U-Th/He) datings along a cross-section from the Ethiopian Plateau, through the marginal graben down to the Manda-Hararo active rift axis. We mapped continent-ward normal fault array affecting highly tilted trapp series unconformably overlain by tilted Miocene (25-7 Ma) acid series. The main extensional and necking/thinning event took place during the end of this Miocene magmatic episode. It is itself overlain by flat lying Pliocene series, including the Stratoid. Balanced cross-sections of those areas allow us to constrain a surface stretching factor of about 2.1-2.9. Those findings have the following implications: - High beta factor constrained from field observations is at odd with thinning factor of ~1.3 predicted by seismic and gravimetric studies. We propose that the continental crust in Central Afar has been re-thickened by the emplacement of underplated magma and SDR. - The deformation in Central Afar appears to be largely distributed through space and time. It has been accommodated in a 200-300 km wide strip being a diffuse incipient plate boundary until the formation of present-day magmatic segments. - The difference in tectono-magmatic style between Central Afar (distributed extension and thick crust) and Northern Afar, i.e. Erta Ale segment (narrow graben, thin crust) may be explained by the difference of magma volume (extruded & underplated) brought to the crust during extension. Magma supply in Central Afar allows the crust to be stretched without subsequent thinning despite high degree of extension. - Presence or absence of thinned crust does not necessarily announce break-up. It may occur in both Central and Northern Afar, depending upon a sudden change in magmatic regime. The striking difference between the two tectono-magmatic styles of Central and Northern Afar are probably due to a combination of: 1) magma supply that affects both crustal thickness and rheology, 2) the amount of extension that may be higher in Central Afar, 3) the distance to the magmatic province, and 4) the presence of an early syn-rift transfer/transform between the two segments that might have controlled the distribution of magmatic activity.

  17. Transition From Rift to Drift at Obliquely Divergent Continental Rifts: the Paired Rio Muni (W Africa) and NE Brazilian Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, J. P.; Green, P. F.; Wilson, P. G.; Westbrook, G. K.; Lawrence, S.

    2005-12-01

    We develop a synoptic model for the breakup and drift of a major sheared continental margin system: the Rio Muni basin and its NE Brazilian counterpart. It relates the evolution of crustal structure determined from seismic interpretation (including gravity-modelling of the deep-imaging PROBE dataset) to the cooling history of this margin system yielded from thermal history data (mainly apatite fission track analysis - AFTAr - and vitrinite reflectance data). Shear margins initiate as a leaky transform fracture system accommodating the oblique (i.e. non-orthogonal) divergence of opposing rifted continental margins. As such, the transition from continental breakup (i.e. rupture) to continental drift (i.e. ocean opening) at shear margins exhibits significant differences from that of the much better understood normally divergent rifts, where the spreading vector is normal to the strike of the opposing rift margins. For example, unlike at normally divergent rifts, continental breakup and drift are separate episodes in the early evolution of shear margins. In Rio Muni-NE Brazil, they are recorded by separate breakup and drift unconformities spanning a 15-20Ma. interval, the time taken for the ocean ridge to traverse the length of the margin before a continuous arm of oceanic crust separated Rio Muni from its Brazilian counterpart. In the Rio Muni basin, the c.70km-wide Ascension Fracture Zone (AFZ) exhibits oblique-slip faulting and synrift half-graben formation that accommodated oblique extension during the period leading up to and immediately following whole-lithosphere failure and continental breakup 117Ma. Gravity-modelling of PROBE seismic profiles reveals a land-locked precursor oceanic basin that preceded full ocean opening and which subsequently was stranded on the African margin. Its existence supports the idea of multiple rift suture lines accommodating episodic breakup and it emphasizes the significance of separate breakup and drift episodes at shear margins. Oblique extension is recorded also by strike- and oblique-slip fault geometry within the AFZ and buckling of Aptian synrift rocks in response to block rotation and local transpression. Principal cooling episodes affecting both margins identified from the AFTAr occurred in the Mid-Cretaceous 110-90Ma., following a period of high heatflow during which the geothermal gradient was more than twice that of the present day 25°C/km gradient, and 45-35Ma. coinciding with a major change in the pole of rotation at Chron 34 some 84Ma. Additional cooling episodes between 85-75Ma. and 10-2Ma. are restricted to the African side. Given that this margin system underwent breakup some 117Ma., it appears that thermal equilibrium was maintained throughout the initial breakup meaning that no significant uplift and erosion is recorded by the thermal history data during this period. Instead, Mid-Cretaceous cooling is interpreted as a response to the influence of i) the c.105Ma. St Helena Plume and ii) transpressional shortening and inversion that accompanied the breakup to drift period.

  18. Volcanic evolution of an active magmatic rift segment on a 100 Kyr timescale: exposure dating of lavas from the Manda Hararo/Dabbahu segment of the Afar Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, S.; Williams, A.; Pik, R.; Burnard, P.; Vye, C.; France, L.; Ayalew, D.; Yirgu, G.

    2012-12-01

    In the Afar depression (Ethiopia), extension is already organised along rift segments which morphologically resemble oceanic rifts. Segmentation here results from interactions between dyke injection and volcanism, as observed during the well documented 2005 event on the Dabbahu rift segment. During this tectono-volcanic crisis, a megadyke was injected, followed by 12 subsequent dike intrusions, sometimes associated with fissure flow eruptions. Despite the accurate surveying of the magmatic and tectonic interplay during this event via remote sensing techniques, there is a lack of data on timescales of 1 to 100 kyr, the period over which the main morphology of a rift is acquired. The Dabbahu rift segment represents an ideal natural laboratory to study the evolution of rift morphology as a response to volcanic and tectonic influences. It is possible to constrain the timing of fault growth relative to the infilling of the rift axial depression by lava flows, and to assess the influence of the different magma bodies involved in lava production along the rift-segment. We use cosmogenic nuclides (3He) to determine the ages of young (<100 kyr) lava flows and to date the initiation and movement of fault scarps which cut the lavas. Combined with major & trace element compositions, field mapping and digital cartography (Landsat, ASTER and SPOT imagery), the rift geomorphology can be linked to the magmatic and tectonic history defined by surface exposure dating. The results show that over the last 100 ka the Northern part of the Dabbahu segment was supplied by two different magma reservoirs which can be identified based on their distinctive chemistries. The main reservoir is located beneath Dabbahu volcano, and has been supplied with magma for at least 72 ka. This magmatic centre supplies magma to most of the northern third of the rift segment. The second reservoir is located further south, on the axis, close to the current mid-segment magma chamber, which was responsible for the 2005 rifting episode. This second magmatic centre supplies magma to the remaining 2/3 of the segment, but scarcely impacts its Northern termination (where the Dabbahu activity predominates) - except during extraordinary events when dykes are long enough to reach those parts, as in 2005. The eruption ages of the different lava units correlates with their degrees of differentiation, allowing different magmatic cycles of about a few tens of years each to be distinguished. During the first recorded magmatic cycle (~70 ka to ~55 ka), Dabbahu is built of wide-spreading p?hoehoe flows around localised eruptive centres. The resulting topography of the volcanic edifice remains low, and is only slightly affected by rift-related fault activity, with the development of minor scarps. The second recorded magmatic cycle (~50 ka to ~20 ka) coincides with a strong development of Dabbahu topography - underlined by the change in lava morphology with well channelized 'a'? flows since 50 ka. Tectonic activity also clearly increases over this period, with the initiation of the major fault scarps of the rift, which have been dated at around 35 ka. Our study underlines the role of the magma supply and availability beneath Dabbahu in the evolution both topographies of Dabbahu volcano and of the rift depression morphology.

  19. New perspectives on the evolution of narrow, modest extension continental rifts: Embryonic core complexes and localized, rapid Quaternary extension in the Rio Grande rift, central New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricketts, J.; Karlstrom, K. E.; Kelley, S.

    2013-12-01

    Updated models for continental rift zones need to address the role and development of low-angle normal fault networks, episodicity of extension, and interaction of 'active and passive' driving mechanisms. In the Rio Grande rift, USA, low-angle normal faults are found throughout the entire length of the rift, but make up a small percentage of the total fault population. The low-angle Jeter and Knife Edge faults, for example, crop out along the SW and NE margins of the Albuquerque basin, respectively. Apatite fission track (AFT) age-elevation data and apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) ages from these rift flank uplifts record cooling between ~21 - 16 Ma in the NE rift flank and ~20 - 10 Ma in the SW, which coincides with times of rapid extension and voluminous syntectonic sedimentation. The timing of exhumation is also similar to rift flanks farther north in active margins based on AFT data alone. In addition, synthetic faults in the hanging wall of each low-angle fault become progressively steeper and younger basinward, and footwall blocks are the highest elevation along the rift flanks. These observations are consistent with a model where initially high-angle faults are shallowed in regions of maximum extension. As they rotate, new intrabasinal faults emerge which also can be rotated if extension continues. These relationships are similarly described in mature core complexes, and if these processes continued in the Rio Grande rift, it could eventually result in mid-crustal ductily deformed rocks in the footwall placed against surficial deposits in the hanging wall across faults that have been isostatically rotated to shallow dips. Although existing data are consistent with highest strain rates during a pulse of extension along the entire length of the rift 20-10 Ma., GPS-constrained measurements suggest that the rift is still actively-extending at 1.23-1.39 nstr/yr (Berglund et al., 2012). Additional evidence for Quaternary extension comes from travertine deposits that are cut by multiple tensile vein sets along the western margin of the Albuquerque basin in the Lucero uplift. At this location, U-series ages on travertine deposits are used to calculate strain rates at this location. These strain rates (15-105 nstr/yr) are higher than both the modern strain rates as well as the average long-term strain rates (3-14 nstr/yr) obtained from restored cross-sections across different basins in the rift. To explain these observations, we propose a model involving high fluid pressures, which promote the formation of tensile veins that are oriented with respect to the modern day stress field in the rift. These regions of anomalously-high strain need not be widespread, and are only active on timescales of the hydraulic system, but they are nevertheless an underappreciated mechanism of progressive extension in the rift. Berglund, H.T., Sheehan, A.F., Murray, M.H., Roy, M., Lowry, A.R., Nerem, R.S., and Blume, F., 2012, Distributed deformation across the Rio Grande Rift, Great Plains, and Colorado Plateau: Geology, v. 40, p. 23-26.

  20. Transient cracks and triple junctions induced by Cocos-Nazca propagating rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schouten, H.; Smith, D. K.; Zhu, W.; Montesi, L. G.; Mitchell, G. A.; Cann, J. R.

    2009-12-01

    The Galapagos triple junction is a ridge-ridge-ridge triple junction where the Cocos, Nazca, and Pacific plates meet around the Galapagos microplate (GMP). On the Cocos plate, north of the large gore that marks the propagating Cocos-Nazca (C-N) Rift, a 250-km-long and 50-km-wide band of NW-SE-trending cracks crosscuts the N-S-trending abyssal hills of the East Pacific Rise (EPR). These appear as a succession of minor rifts, accommodating some NE-SW extension of EPR-generated seafloor. The rifts successively intersected the EPR in triple junctions at distances of 50-100 km north of the tip of the C-N Rift. We proposed a simple crack interaction model to explain the location of the transient rifts and their junction with the EPR. The model predicts that crack locations are controlled by the stress perturbation along the EPR, induced by the dominant C-N Rift, and scaled by the distance of its tip to the EPR (Schouten et al., 2008). The model also predicts that tensile stresses are symmetric about the C-N Rift and thus, similar cracks should have occurred south of the C-N Rift prior to formation of the GMP about 1 Ma. There were no data at the time to test this prediction. In early 2009 (AT 15-41), we mapped an area on the Nazca plate south of the C-N rift out to 4 Ma. The new bathymetric data confirm the existence of a distinctive pattern of cracks south of the southern C-N gore that mirrors the pattern on the Cocos plate until about 1 Ma, and lends support to the crack interaction model. The envelope of the symmetric cracking pattern indicates that the distance between the C-N Rift tip and the EPR varied between 40 and 65 km during this time (1-4 Ma). The breakdown of the symmetry at 1 Ma accurately dates the onset of a southern plate boundary of the GMP, now Dietz Deep Rift. At present, the southern rift boundary of the GMP joins the EPR with a steep-sided, 80 km long ridge. This ridge releases the stress perturbation otherwise induced along the EPR by elastic interaction with the C-N Rift and prevents the formation of minor rifts of the type in the North of the C-N Rift. However, the seafloor displays traces of rifts formed as the Dietz Deep Rift was approaching the EPR. In fact, the present day ridge appears to have originated as one of these minor rifts, probably stabilized by enhanced magma supply from a nearby volcano at the southwestern end of Dietz Deep.

  1. Basin-scale migration of continental-rift brines: Paleohydrologic modeling of the Dead Sea basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanislavsky, Eyal; Gvirtzman, Haim

    1999-09-01

    It was suggested that brine of the Dead Sea rift has originated from a residual product of intensively evaporated seawater that invaded the rift, precipitated halite, and later interacted through dolomitization with the host rock during subsurface migration. Detection of this brine in many deep wells located at distances as far as 100 km away from the rift was attributed to long-distance migration of the brine. The physical feasibility of such migration, which probably spanned the past 3 6 m.y., is quantitatively tested and verified in this study by using paleohydrologic modeling. The structural formation of the rift is described by a chronological sequence of geologic cross sections serving as the basis for hydrodynamic calculations, which assess the effects of the structure on fluid migration, salinity redistribution, and heat transport across the sedimentary basin. Results indicate that two basin-scale ground-water systems, one atop the other but with opposite flow directions, coexisted in the Dead Sea rift valley. The first is a topography-driven flow of meteoric water from the surrounding highlands toward the rift through relatively shallow aquifers (? 1 km). The second is a density-driven migration of the Dead Sea brine through deep aquifers (4 5 km) in the opposite direction. The configuration of these flow systems has changed during the structural evolution of the Dead Sea rift, illustrating the interrelationships among basin formation, paleohydrology, and paleogeochemistry.

  2. Brittle reactivation of ductile shear zones in NW Namibia in relation to South Atlantic rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salomon, Eric; Koehn, Daniel; Passchier, Cees

    2015-01-01

    Rifting has occurred worldwide along preexisting mobile belts, which are therefore thought to control rift orientation on a large scale. On a smaller scale, shear zones within mobile belts are reactivated as rift faults. In NW Namibia, shear zones of the Neoproterozoic Kaoko Belt run subparallel to the present-day continental passive margin and are inferred to have been reactivated during the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean. However, the extent of this reactivation and the influence of the reactivated shear zones on South Atlantic rifting are largely unknown. A combined remote sensing and field study was conducted to quantify offsets that are a direct function of shear zone reactivation. The shear zones of the Kaoko Belt are partly overlain by the Paraná-Etendeka volcanic rocks, which were emplaced shortly before or simultaneously to the Atlantic rifting. Faulting within these volcanic rocks can be linked to synrift or postrift movements. Along the shear zones, downfaulting of the basalts is widespread along listric faults where half-graben form in the hanging wall. At three sites we could determine vertical offsets of ~1180 m, ~470 m, and ~70 m. Although many shear zones were reactivated as faults, these are isolated, and offsets are small, suggesting that reactivation occurred only as a side effect of the rifting and that the Kaoko Belt shear zones have not exerted a significant influence on the rift orientation.

  3. Which mantle below the active rift segments in Afar?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pik, Raphael; Stab, Martin; Ancellin, Marie-Anne; Sarah, Medynski; Cloquet, Christophe; Vye-Brown, Charlotte; Ayalew, Dereje; Chazot, Gilles; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Leroy, Sylvie

    2014-05-01

    The evolution of mantle sources beneath the Ethiopian volcanic province has long been discussed and debated with a long-lived controversy in identifying mantle reservoirs and locating them in the mantle. One interpretation of the isotopic composition of erupted lavas considers that the Afar mantle plume composition is best expressed by recent lavas from Afar and Gulf of Aden (e.g. Erta Ale, Manda Inakir and the 45°E torus anomaly on the Gulf of Aden) implying that all other volcanics (including other active segments and the initial flood basalt province) result from mixing of this plume component with additional lithospheric and asthenospheric components. A completely opposite view considers that the initial Oligocene continental flood basalts best represent the isotopic composition of the Afar mantle plume, which is subsequently mixed in various proportions with continental lithospheric mantle for generating some of the specific signature of Miocene and Quaternary volcanics. The precise and correct identification of mantle components involved in the generation of magmas is of particular importance because this is the only way to document the participation of mantle during extension and its potential role in break-up processes. In this contribution we provide new isotopic data for central Afar and we revisit the whole data set of the Ethiopian volcanic province in order to: (i) precisely identify the distinct mantle components implicated and (ii) discuss their location and evolution not only considering geochemical mixings, but also taking into account additional characteristics of erupted magmatic suites (volumes, location and relationships with amount of extension and segmentation). This new interpretation of geochemical data allows reconsidering the evolution of mantle in the course of rift evolution. In terms of mantle sources, two populations of active segments are frontally opposed in the volcanic province: those that share exactly the same composition with plume related CFBs (e.g. the Manda Hararo and the Main Ethiopian rift segments), and those that involve the participation of additional components characterized by more radiogenic lead isotopes (Erta Ale, Manda Inakir, Asal). We show that the material of the Afar mantle plume is not dispersed and attenuated laterally away from the centre of the province, but instead distributed and controlled spatially by rift segmentation.

  4. A NEW (or old) RIFT IN EASTERN CALIFORNIA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calzia, J.

    2009-12-01

    The Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) includes a broad network of right-lateral faults in the Mojave Desert and southern Basin-Ranges of California. Seven large earthquakes, including the 1992 M7.4 Landers and 1999 M7.1 Hector Mine earthquakes, have occurred within this zone in the last 60 years. This severe seismic activity is complicated by two puzzling facts: 1) the hypocenter of the Landers and Hector Mine earthquakes occur at shallow crustal depths (10±4 km); and 2) the aftershock patterns associated with these earthquakes cross cut the structural grain of the ECSZ at an acute angle. GPS data indicate that crustal rocks within the Mojave Desert segment of the ECSZ are moving as much as 14 mm/year to the northwest relative to Station FUNE in Death Valley; crustal rocks within the Basin-Ranges segment are moving 12.5 mm/year northwestward. Dokka and Travis (1990) concluded that the ECZS accommodates 20-25 percent of relative plate motion along the North American-Pacific plate margin inboard of the San Andreas Fault Zone. Nur and others (1993) reported that the large earthquakes may occur along a new fault system that cuts across the older faults; they named this young fault the Landers-Mojave earthquake line. Neither model, however, considers Quaternary volcanic centers in eastern CA and NV just east of and locally within the ECSZ. Rocks within these volcanic centers, including (from north to south) Lathrop Wells, Cima, Pisgah, Amboy, and Obsidian Butte, are younger than but chemically and isotopically similar to Neogene volcanic rocks that bound the rift province of the northern Gulf of California. The seismic and GPS data, combined with petrologic data from nearby volcanic centers, suggests that the ECZS is the active margin of an incipient transtensional rift as the Gulf of California propagates northward. Given the volume of volcanic rocks and prehistoric seismic history in California, it is not certain if this rift is growing or dying; only time will tell.

  5. Lithospheric Decoupling and Rotations: Hints from Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muluneh, A. A.; Cuffaro, M.; Doglioni, C.; Kidane, T.

    2014-12-01

    Plates move relative to the mantle because some torques are acting on them. The shear in the low-velocity zone (LVZ) at the base of the lithosphere is the expression of these torques. The decoupling is allowed by the low viscosity in the LVZ, which is likely few orders of magnitudes lower than previously estimated. The viscosity value in the LVZ controls the degree of coupling/decoupling between the lithosphere and the underlying mantle. Lateral variations in viscosity within the LVZ may explain the velocity gradient among tectonic plates as the one determining the Ethiopian Rift (ER) separating Africa from Somalia. While it remains not fully understood the mechanisms of the torques acting on the lithosphere (thermally driven mantle convection or the combination of mantle convection with astronomical forces such as the Earth's rotation and tidal drag), the stresses are transmitted across the different mechanical layers (e.g., the brittle upper crust, down to the viscous-plastic ductile lower crust and upper mantle). Differential basal shear traction at the base of the lithosphere beneath the two sides of the East African Rift System (EARS) is assumed to drive and sustain rifting. In our analysis, the differential torques acting on the lithospheric/crustal blocks drive kinematics and block rotations. Since, ER involves the whole lithosphere, we do not expect large amount of rotation. Rotation can be the result of the whole plate motion on the sphere moving along the tectonic equator, or the second order sub-rotation of a single plate. Further rotation may occur along oblique plate boundaries (e.g., left lateral transtensional setting at the ER). Small amount of vertical axis rotation of blocks in northern ER could be related to the presence of local, shallower decollement layers. Shallow brittle-ductile transition (BDT) zone and differential tilting of crustal blocks in the northern ER could hint a possibility of detachment surface between the flow in the lower crust relative to the brittle crust above. Our study suggests that kinematics of crustal blocks in the ER is controlled by Africa and Somalia plates interaction at different scale and layers.

  6. Geodetic determination of plate velocity vector in the Ethiopia Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boku, E.; Teklemariam, E.; Rivalta, E.

    2011-12-01

    The Red sea, Gulf of Aden and the Main Ethiopian rift form a triple junction in the Afar Region. Although the East African Rift, the divergent plate boundary between Nubian and Somalia, is often cited as a modern archetype for rifting and continental breakup, its current kinematics is the least known of all major plate boundaries. Moreover, geodetic datum in such tectonically active area is subject to distortion that increases with time. Therefore, a close study of the positions and velocities of reference stations in such tectonic active areas is necessary, if one wants to have high precise geodetic measurement for any developmental activity. In this study phase and pseudo-range GPS measurements were processed to derive the daily solutions of positions in reference to the ITRF05. This solution from 8 continuous stations in Ethiopia, with a length of 0.75 to 2.67 years, is then combined into a cumulative solution with position and velocity estimates. Here a method that combines GPS observation data from 2007 to 2009 to estimate time-dependent motion of stations in a region of active deformation is implemented. First, observations were analysed separately to produce loosely constrained estimates of station positions and coordinate system parameters which are then combined with appropriate constraints to estimate velocities and co-seismic displacements. The result archived gives a good insight about the velocity at which the three major plates, namely the Nubian, Arabian and Somalia plates are moving with respect to each other. The study shows the relative velocity between Nubia and Somalia plates with 4.6±0.3 mm/yr. While, the Nubia and Arabia plates are moving with 33±0.15mm/yr.Moreover; positions of stations are computed with high precession for any future reference purpose. Due to short duration of measurements at some stations further observation are recommended to compute positions and velocity fields after all stations have data at least for two years time. Key words: GPS, Space geodesy, ITRF05, Deformation

  7. Dyke intrusion dynamics during the ongoing rifting episode in Afar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacques, E.; Grandin, R.; Nercessian, A.; Ayele, A.; Keir, D.; Doubre, C.; Socquet, A.; Lemarchand, A.

    2010-12-01

    Dyke intrusion is one of the main processes of crustal accretion occurring along magma-assisted divergent plate boundaries, in particular along Mid-Ocean Ridges. Seismology, through the analysis of earthquake migration coeval to dyke intrusion, is one of the few tools, with geodesy, which allows studying the dynamics of this fundamental process. In Afar (Ethiopia), the major Dabbahu-Manda Hararo rifting episode started in September 2005 with the intrusion a 60 km-long, 5 m-wide mega-dyke. Between June 2006 and May 2010, 13 smaller dykes (~10 km long) were emplaced, giving an outstanding opportunity to perform such studies. A few weeks after the rifting episode commenced, a regional seismological network of broadband stations was installed in Afar (part of a multinational project including UK, US and Ethiopia). In November 2007, in collaboration with the Geophysical Observatory of Addis Ababa University, IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris) installed a local telemetered seismological network including 5 short-period stations around the southern half of the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo rift. We focus here on the microseismicity related to five dyke intrusions, which occurred between June 2006 and February 2009. The dykes propagated away from the Walis magma reservoir (WMR, 12.3°N, 40.6°E) at velocities ranging from 0.5km/h to 2km/h. Earthquake migrations during dyke intrusions involved a narrow (less than 5 km wide), seismically-active strip around the dykes, and seem to show the following pattern: first, near the tip of the propagating dyke, probably in the damage zone, small to moderate earthquakes are detected. Subsequent, more energetic earthquakes may have been triggered only after sufficient dyke inflation had occurred. Earthquake sequences, which occurred north of WMR, migrated faster (~2km/h) than those that took place south of WMR (0.5-1km/h), and liberated a greater amount of seismic energy. This is in keeping with results of normal stress modeling derived from InSAR, which indicate that before the mega-dyke of September 2005, differential stress in the region 10 km north of WMR may have been greater than south of the reservoir. This suggests a heterogeneous state of stress, with a tectonic stretching greater north of WMR than toward the south. We plan to extend the local seismological network to better constrain seismic rupture mechanisms and the precise depth at which earthquakes occur during dyke propagation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.

    1974-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Samson; Ghebreab, Woldai

    2013-11-01

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

  10. The tectonic evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift/São Miguel region (Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiß, B. J.; Hübscher, C.; Lüdmann, T.

    2015-07-01

    The eastern Azores Archipelago with São Miguel being the dominant subaerial structure is located at the intersection of an oceanic rift (Terceira Rift) with a major transform fault (Gloria Fault) representing the westernmost part of the Nubian-Eurasian plate boundary. The evolution of islands, bathymetric highs and basin margins involves strong volcanism, but the controlling geodynamic and tectonic processes are currently under debate. In order to study this evolution, multibeam bathymetry and marine seismic reflection data were collected to image faults and stratigraphy. The basins of the southeastern Terceira Rift are rift valleys whose southwestern and northeastern margins are defined by few major normal faults and several minor normal faults, respectively. Since São Miguel in between the rift valleys shows an unusual W-E orientation, it is supposed to be located on a leaky transform. South of the island and separated by a N120° trending graben system, the Monacco Bank represents a N160° oriented flat topped volcanic ridge dominated by tilted fault blocks. Up to six seismic units are interpreted for each basin. Although volcanic ridges hamper a direct linking of depositional strata between the rift and adjacent basins, the individual seismic stratigraphic units have distinct characteristics. Using these units to provide a consistent relative chrono-stratigraphic scheme for the entire study area, we suggest that the evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift occurred in two stages. Considering age constrains from previous studies, we conclude that N140° structures developed orthogonal to the SW-NE direction of plate-tectonic extension before ~ 10 Ma. The N160° trending volcanic ridges and faults developed later as the plate tectonic spreading direction changed to WSW-ENE. Hence, the evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift domain is predominantly controlled by plate kinematics and lithospheric stress forming a kind of a re-organized rift system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  12. Crustal structure of the northern mississippi embayment and a comparison with other continental rift zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooney, W.D.; Andrews, M.C.; Ginzburg, A.; Peters, D.A.; Hamilton, R.M.

    1983-01-01

    Previous geological and geophysical investigations have suggested that the Mississippi Embayment is the site of a Late Precambrian continental rift that was reactivated in the Mesozoic. New information on the deep structure of the northern Mississippi Embayment, gained through an extensive seismic refraction survey, supports a rifting hypothesis. The data indicate that the crust of the Mississippi Embayment may be characterized by six primary layers that correspond geologically to unconsolidated Mesozoic and Tertiary sediments (1.8 km/s), Paleozoic carbonate and clastic sedimentary rocks (5.9 km/s), a low-velocity layer of Early Paleozoic sediments (4.9 km/s), crystalline upper crust (6.2 km/s), lower crust (6.6 km/s), modified lower crust (7.3 km/s), and mantle. Average crustal thickness is approximately 41 km. The presence and configuration of the low-velocity layer provide new evidence for rifting in the Mississippi Embayment. The layer lies within the northeast-trending upper-crustal graben reported by Kane et al. (1981), and probably represents marine shales deposited in the graben after rifting. The confirmation and delineation of a 7.3 km/s layer, identified in previous studies, implies that the lower crust has been altered by injection of mantle material. Our results indicate that this layer reaches a maximum thickness in the north-central Embayment and thins gradually to the southeast and northwest, and more rapidly to the southwest along the axis of the graben. The apparent doming of the 7.3 km/s layer in the north-central Embayment suggests that rifting may be the result of a triple junction located in the Reelfoot Basin area. The crustal structure of the Mississippi Embayment is compared to other continental rifts: the Rhinegraben, Limagnegraben, Rio Grande Rift, Gregory Rift, and the Salton Trough. This comparison suggests that alteration of the lower crust is a ubiquitous feature of continental rifts. ?? 1983.

  13. Stress control of deep rift intrusion at Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Amelung, Falk; Yun, Sang-Ho; Walter, Thomas R; Segall, Paul; Kim, Sang-Wan

    2007-05-18

    Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii, deforms by a combination of shallow dike intrusions in the rift zones and earthquakes along the base of the volcano, but it is not known how the spreading is accommodated in the lower part of the volcanic edifice. We present evidence from interferometric synthetic aperture radar data for secular inflation of a dike-like magma body at intermediate depth in the southwest rift zone during 2002 to 2005. Magma accumulation occurred in a section of the rift zone that was unclamped by previous dikes and earthquakes, suggesting that stress transfer plays an important role in controlling subsurface magma accumulation. PMID:17510364

  14. Active volcanism on Venus in the Ganiki Chasma rift zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shalygin, E. V.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Head, J. W.

    2015-06-01

    Venus is known to have been volcanically resurfaced in the last third of solar system history and to have undergone a significant decrease in volcanic activity a few hundred million years ago. However, fundamental questions remain: Is Venus still volcanically active today, and if so, where and in what geological and geodynamic environment? Here we show evidence from the Venus Express Venus Monitoring Camera for transient bright spots that are consistent with the extrusion of lava flows that locally cause significantly elevated surface temperatures. The very strong spatial correlation of the transient bright spots with the extremely young Ganiki Chasma, their similarity to locations of rift-associated volcanism on Earth, provide strong evidence for their volcanic origin and suggests that Venus is currently geodynamically active.

  15. Crystal structure of glycoprotein C from Rift Valley fever virus

    PubMed Central

    Dessau, Moshe; Modis, Yorgo

    2013-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), like many other Bunyaviridae family members, is an emerging human and animal pathogen. Bunyaviruses have an outer lipid envelope bearing two glycoproteins, GN and GC, required for cell entry. Bunyaviruses deliver their genome into the host-cell cytoplasm by fusing their envelope with an endosomal membrane. The molecular mechanism of this key entry step is unknown. The crystal structure of RVFV GC reveals a class II fusion protein architecture found previously in flaviviruses and alphaviruses. The structure identifies GC as the effector of membrane fusion and provides a direct view of the membrane anchor that initiates fusion. A structure of nonglycosylated GC reveals an extended conformation that may represent a fusion intermediate. Unanticipated similarities between GC and flavivirus envelope proteins reveal an evolutionary link between the two virus families and provide insights into the organization of GC in the outer shell of RVFV. PMID:23319635

  16. Rift Valley Fever Outbreaks in Mauritania and Related Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Caminade, Cyril; Ndione, Jacques A.; Diallo, Mawlouth; MacLeod, Dave A.; Faye, Ousmane; Ba, Yamar; Dia, Ibrahima; Morse, Andrew P.

    2014-01-01

    Four large outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) occurred in Mauritania in 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2012 which caused lots of animal and several human deaths. We investigated rainfall and vegetation conditions that might have impacted on RVF transmission over the affected regions. Our results corroborate that RVF transmission generally occurs during the months of September and October in Mauritania, similarly to Senegal. The four outbreaks were preceded by a rainless period lasting at least a week followed by heavy precipitation that took place during the second half of the rainy season. First human infections were generally reported three to five weeks later. By bridging the gap between meteorological forecasting centers and veterinary services, an early warning system might be developed in Senegal and Mauritania to warn decision makers and health services about the upcoming RVF risk. PMID:24413703

  17. The Risk of Nosocomial Transmission of Rift Valley Fever.

    PubMed

    Al-Hamdan, Nasser A; Panackal, Anil A; Al Bassam, Tami H; Alrabea, Abdullah; Al Hazmi, Mohammed; Al Mazroa, Yagoub; Al Jefri, Mohammed; Khan, Ali S; Ksiazek, Thomas G

    2015-12-01

    In 2000, we investigated the Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak on the Arabian Peninsula-the first outside Africa-and the risk of nosocomial transmission. In a cross-sectional design, during the peak of the epidemic at its epicenter, we found four (0.6%) of 703 healthcare workers (HCWs) IgM seropositive but all with only community-associated exposures. Standard precautions are sufficient for HCWs exposed to known RVF patients, in contrast to other viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) such as Ebola virus disease (EVD) in which the route of transmission differs. Suspected VHF in which the etiology is uncertain should be initially managed with the most cautious infection control measures. PMID:26694834

  18. [Severe hemorrhagic form of Rift Valley Fever in Mauritania].

    PubMed

    Boushab, M B; Savadogo, M; Sow, M S; Fall-Malick, F Z; Seydi, M

    2015-03-01

    We report three severe cases of hemorrhagic form of Rift Valley Fever which have been observed in the Hospital of Aïoun (two cases) and in the regional hospital of Tidjikdja (one case). The disease manifested itself by an infectious syndrome, an early infectious syndrome (on the second day) with onset of hemorrhagic complications and disorder of consciousness ranging from an agitation to deep coma. The biological examinations showed a severe anemia. Multiple organ failures were also observed. Of the three patients treated one died. Therefore, the management of both suspected and confirmed cases must be initiated as soon as possible in order to control organ damages and prevent fatality. There is no specific treatment. The importance of the epidemiological survey must be emphasized to avoid outbreaks and control any epidemic due to this virus. PMID:25925806

  19. The Risk of Nosocomial Transmission of Rift Valley Fever

    PubMed Central

    Al-Hamdan, Nasser A.; Panackal, Anil A.; Al Bassam, Tami H.; Alrabea, Abdullah; Al Hazmi, Mohammed; Al Mazroa, Yagoub; Al Jefri, Mohammed; Khan, Ali S.; Ksiazek, Thomas G.

    2015-01-01

    In 2000, we investigated the Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak on the Arabian Peninsula—the first outside Africa—and the risk of nosocomial transmission. In a cross-sectional design, during the peak of the epidemic at its epicenter, we found four (0.6%) of 703 healthcare workers (HCWs) IgM seropositive but all with only community-associated exposures. Standard precautions are sufficient for HCWs exposed to known RVF patients, in contrast to other viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) such as Ebola virus disease (EVD) in which the route of transmission differs. Suspected VHF in which the etiology is uncertain should be initially managed with the most cautious infection control measures. PMID:26694834

  20. Molecular biology and genetic diversity of Rift Valley fever virus

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Tetsuro

    2013-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a member of the family Bunyaviridae, genus Phlebovirus, is the causative agent of Rift Valley fever (RVF), a mosquito-borne disease of ruminant animals and humans. The generation of a large sequence database has facilitated studies of the evolution and spread of the virus. Bayesian analyses indicate that currently circulating strains of RVFV are descended from an ancestral species that emerged from a natural reservoir in Africa when large-scale cattle and sheep farming were introduced during the 19th century. Viruses descended from multiple lineages persist in that region, through infection of reservoir animals and vertical transmission in mosquitoes, emerging in years of heavy rainfall to cause epizootics and epidemics. On a number of occasions, viruses from these lineages have been transported outside the enzootic region through the movement of infected animals or mosquitoes, triggering outbreaks in countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Madagascar, where RVF had not previously been seen. Such viruses could potentially become established in their new environments through infection of wild and domestic ruminants and other animals and vertical transmission in local mosquito species. Despite their extensive geographic dispersion, all strains of RVFV remain closely related at the nucleotide and amino acid level. The high degree of conservation of genes encoding the virion surface glycoproteins suggests that a single vaccine should protect against all currently circulating RVFV strains. Similarly, preservation of the sequence of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase across viral lineages implies that antiviral drugs targeting the enzyme should be effective against all strains. Researchers should be encouraged to collect additional RVFV isolates and perform whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, so as to enhance our understanding of the continuing evolution of this important virus. This review forms part of a series of invited papers in Antiviral Research on the genetic diversity of emerging viruses. PMID:22710362

  1. The Influence of Mantle Petrology on Basin Subsidence During Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, N. S.; Podladchikov, Y. Y.

    2005-12-01

    The density distribution of the lithosphere is non-linear and discontinuous due to complex mineralogy and, most importantly, phase transitions. It was shown that the garnet-spinel and spinel plagioclase transitions in the lithospheric mantle have the most profound effect on uplift/subsidence during lithospheric extension. Here we evaluate the influence of changes in mantle composition on lithospheric density and behaviour during stretching. Lithospheric mantle enters the plagioclase stability field if the crust is thin and the geotherm is relatively hot (stretching factor 2 to 3, depending on composition). This causes a large decrease in density (80-100 kg/m3). The extent of syn-rift uplift and post-rift subsidence recorded in the basin is directly proportional to the total amount of plagioclase in the column. This is controlled by the depth of the plagioclase-in reaction and the bulk Al2O3 in the mantle. The depth to which plagioclase is stable is mainly governed by bulk Na2O. Since Al2O3 and Na2O decrease with decreasing fertility of the mantle the effect of phase transitions on basin subsidence is most pronounced for relatively fertile mantle (and strong extension). The incompatible nature and strong mobility of sodium, however, may lead to large changes in bulk Na2O during minor melting (Na extraction) or metasomatism (Na addition). The sensitivity of mantle mineralogy to variations in sodium can therefore cause sudden changes in density without changes in P-T regime. The combination of 2-D finite element deformation modeling and phase diagram calculations allows us to evaluate and quantify the feedback between geochemical variations and lithospheric stretching.

  2. No thermal anomalies in the mantle transition zone beneath an incipient continental rift: evidence from the first receiver function study across the Okavango Rift Zone, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Liu, K. H.; Moidaki, M.; Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.

    2015-08-01

    Mechanisms leading to the initiation and early-stage development of continental rifts remain enigmatic, in spite of numerous studies. Among the various rifting models, which were developed mostly based on studies of mature rifts, far-field stresses originating from plate interactions (passive rifting) and nearby active mantle upwelling (active rifting) are commonly used to explain rift dynamics. Situated atop of the hypothesized African Superplume, the incipient Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) of northern Botswana is ideal to investigate the role of mantle plumes in rift initiation and development, as well as the interaction between the upper and lower mantle. The ORZ developed within the Neoproterozoic Damara belt between the Congo Craton to the northwest and the Kalahari Craton to the southeast. Mantle structure and thermal status beneath the ORZ are poorly known, mostly due to a complete paucity of broad-band seismic stations in the area. As a component of an interdisciplinary project funded by the United States National Science Foundation, a broad-band seismic array was deployed over a 2-yr period between mid-2012 and mid-2014 along a profile 756 km in length. Using P-to-S receiver functions (RFs) recorded by the stations, the 410 and 660 km discontinuities bordering the mantle transition zone (MTZ) are imaged for the first time. When a standard Earth model is used for the stacking of RFs, the apparent depths of both discontinuities beneath the Kalahari Craton are about 15 km shallower than those beneath the Congo Craton. Using teleseismic P- and S-wave traveltime residuals obtained by this study and lithospheric thickness estimated by previous studies, we conclude that the apparent shallowing is the result of a 100-150 km difference in the thickness of the lithosphere between the two cratons. Relative to the adjacent tectonically stable areas, no significant anomalies in the depth of the MTZ discontinuities or in teleseismic P- and S-wave traveltime residuals are found beneath the ORZ. These observations imply an absence of significant thermal anomalies in the MTZ and in the upper mantle beneath the incipient rift, ruling out the role of mantle plumes in the initiation of the ORZ. We propose that the initiation and development of the ORZ were the consequences of relative movements between the South African block and the rest of the African plate along a zone of lithospheric weakness between the Congo and Kalahari cratons. An area of thinner-than-normal MTZ is found at the SW corner of the study area. This anomaly, if confirmed by future studies, could suggest significant transferring of heat from the lower to the upper mantle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Mathieu; Nutz, Alexis

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Active Tectonics In The Rukwa Rift (sw Tanzania): A Study of The Potential For Large Earthquakes In A Continental Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kervyn, F.

    The Rukwa rift is a deep sedimentary basin that is considered as a tectonic trans- fer zone between the Tanganyika and the Malawi troughs. The tectonic evolution of the depression is controlled by the reactivation of proterozoic structures and started with the deposition of the permo-triasic Karoo sediments. In the southeast, the rift is divided into two facing half graben separated by a Precambrian horst, whereas its northwestern part has a more symmetrical graben structure. Although most of the vertical displacement is accommodated by the Lupa eastern boundary fault, onshore shallow seismic profiles have confirmed the co-occurrence of intrabasin synthetic- and strike-slip faults within the sub surface sediments. Both normal and dextral strike-slip movement are indeed observed in the basin in response to the E-W to WNW-SSE ex- tension. The region has a moderate seismic activity and the earthquakes magnitude is generally below M 6.5. However, a M 7.4 earthquake occurred in the Rukwa region in 1910 but its exact location remains uncertain. The current research aimed at the identi- fication of active faults within the recent deposits of the basin by the combination in a GIS of radar interferometric data with topographical and geological maps, geophysical data, and field observations. Radar interferometry (InSAR) was found to be especially suitable for DEM computation in low relief areas where available topographic data are limited in accuracy. Numerous topographic lineaments were observed on InSAR DEM, and follow two main directions, both oblique to the main NW-SE trend of the rift. On the one hand, the GIS analysis confirms that the observed lineaments corre- spond to real natural alignment such like the drainage for example, and are therefore not related to atmospheric artefacts. On the other hand, the field observations revealed that in most cases, the topographic lineaments are very subtle and difficult to identify. However, direct correlations with tectonic structures (faults, fissures, ...) were recog- nized in some places. From the satellite imagery, the northwestern part of the basin is marked by the succession of paleo-shorelines evidencing the lake level fluctuations. The highest level was dated to 10.000 yrs BP, when the Rukwa was supposed to flow into lake Tanganyika. The corresponding shoreline is cut by a fault, ~ 40 km long, striking NNW-SSE, evidenced on the InSAR DEM and confirmed by the LANDSAT and ASTER optical imagery. Although a possible strike-slip component, the 5 to 10 1 meters of vertical offset from one to the other side of the fault would yield to a slip rate of 0.5 U 1mm/yr. 2

  5. Climatic influence on rift structure: Axial rift evolution in Guaymas Basin during the past 250,000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluesner, J. W.; Lonsdale, P.; Kirtland, S. E.

    2009-12-01

    Newly collected, high-resolution seismic profiles in the Southern Trough of Guaymas Basin display temporal changes in axial graben structure; ages of these structures correlate to glacial-interglacial cycles over the past quarter millennium. During glacial periods the southern spreading trough in Guaymas Basin is overwhelmed with turbidites, whereas during interglacials, extension out-paces sedimentation and the trough deepens. Glacial low-stand shedding--caused by lower sea level, shelf exposure, and enhanced precipitation--results in the erosion of shelf sediments and transportation of these to the deeper basins in the Gulf. Major offshore canyon systems directly southwest of the Southern Trough capture eroded sediments from the exposed continental shelf and funnel these sediments into the axial graben as turbidites. In contrast, the higher sea level and reduced precipitation characteristic of interglacials limits the introduction of terrestrial sediments into the axial trough; sedimentation during these periods predominately consists of redistributed pelagic sediments swept into the trough by tidal and bottom currents. These sediments, dominated by diatomaceous ooze, appear as acoustically transparent layers in seismic profiles, whereas turbidites composed of fluvial and reworked shelf material appear as high-amplitude reflector packages. Systematic changes between the two sediment types are apparent on seismic profiles within the Southern Trough of Guaymas Basin as well as Carmen Basin. In addition, the regional extent of the youngest acoustically transparent layer imaged with multichannel seismic profiling approximately matches modern distribution and deposition patterns of sediments dominated by diatomaceous ooze, further supporting our interpretation that the acoustically transparent layers represent sediment packages composed mainly of pelagic material. Plotting paleo-temperature and sea-level curves along the MCS profile crossing the Southern Trough shows a striking correlation between climatic cycles, sedimentation rate, acoustic character of sediment packages, and changes in rift structure. Off-axis intrusion of young sills masks past trough floor structures resulting in only the paleo-rift flanks being imaged on seismic profiles. Assuming a constant spreading rate of 45 km/My and the relationship between different sediment packages and changes in climate, sediments imaged on off-axis flanks in the Southern Trough of Guaymas Basin record the evolution of the axial graben and flanks during the past 250,000 years. The relationship between climatic change and rift structure observed in the Southern Trough, Guaymas Basin may provide insight into how sedimentation and axial structure of a young intercontinental ocean basin have been modulated by climate change.

  6. From surface observations to in depth structures and plate kinematics in oblique rifts. Insights from the Main Ethiopian Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippon, Melody; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Corti, Giacomo; Bonini, Marco; Sani, Federico; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2013-04-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is the oblique NE-SW trending plate boundary between Nubia and Somalia that developed above an inherited lithospheric-scale weak zone, the Mozambique Ocean Suture Zone (MOSZ). In this area, plate's kinematics has been estimated from various sources including: GPS and seismic data, spreading rate estimates, magnetic anomaly & paleostress reconstruction from field and seismic data. These various data sets give a range for the orientation of the stretching direction between N105° and 115°. However, in the MER, it is shown that strain is strongly partitioned between boundary and internal faults. Far field stress is re-oriented along the boundary faults that are activated in pure extension. This observation questions the use of paleostress reconstructions based on fault slip data and focal mechanisms to estimate the direction of plate motion. Detailed analysis of fault orientation and fault kinematics in analogue model illustrates that strain partitioning is triggered by the geometry of the deep-seated weak zone and that fault orientations give a better insight on the direction of stretching than paleostress tensors. Moreover, our model allows the recovering of the far field stress direction and the orientation of the weak zone in depth from surface observation of fault trend data. Applying this model to surface data of the MER give a different stretching direction for the formation of the boundary and the internal fault suggesting a clockwise rotation of Somalia. Also the model gives major constraints on the direction of the deep-seated weak zone. Its orientation is evolving from N62° in the Northern MER, to N18° in the Wide Rifted Zone (passing from N35° and N25° for the Central MER and the Southern MER).

  7. Potential for North American Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) to Transmit Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To determine which biting insects should be targeted for control should Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) be detected in North America, we evaluated Culex erraticus, Culex erythrothorax, Culex pipiens, Culex quinquefasciatus, Culex tarsalis, Aedes dorsalis, Aedes vexans, Anopheles quadrimaculatus, and ...

  8. Three-Dimensional (3D) Structure of the Malawi Rift from Remote Sensing and Geophysics Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salmi, Haifa S. Al; Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.

    2014-05-01

    The Malawi rift is a Cenozoic aged rift representing the southernmost segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). This rift extends over 900 km from the Rungwe volcanic province (Tanzania) in the north to the Urema graben (Mozambique) to the south, with an average width of 50km. It traverses a complex array of Proterozoic orogenic belts of different ages and Permo-Triassic (Karoo) and cretaceous graben systems. The rift's depth is between 3 to 5km partitioned between the topographic escarpment and the sediments fill. The basin's subsidence reflects accumulation of sediments and rift flank uplift. Regardless of its importance in understanding rift tectonics, especially in Africa, the three-dimensional (3D) geometry of the rift is not fully understood. This research presents results from detailed analysis of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) extracted from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data to map surface morphological expressions of the entire basin. These results are compared with available seismic data to provide along-strike and at depth variation of the geometry of the border fault systems, nature of rift segmentation and alternation of the polarity of half-grabens, and the partitioning of displacement between exposed and sub-surface border faults. Our results show the following: (1) Surface expression of border faults show that, unlike the typical half-graben en-echelon rift model, where half-graben segments with opposite polarity are linked together through accommodation zones indicative of soft linkage, the Malawi rift shows along-strike segmentation by changing geometry from half-graben to full graben geometry. A half-graben with specific polarity passes through a full-graben geometry before giving place to a half-graben with the opposite polarity. The length of half-gaben and graben segments becomes shorter as the rift progresses from north to south, and this is accompanied by a decrease in displacement within border faults. This geometry is indicative of the propagation of border faults through hard linkage. (2) The continuation of border faults at the subsurface show patterns consistent with those observed at the surface. At the sub-surface, the general trend of rift segmentation, formation of full grabens at the end of each segment, and the decreases in the length of the segments from north to south is consistent with observations at the surface. This suggests the homogeneity of strain accommodation throughout the depth of border faults. (3) Zones of segmentation of the Malawi rift coincide with regions where the pre-existing structures (both the Proterozoic basement and the Karoo grabens) are at high angle to the trend of the rift whereas well-developed border faults of the basin coincides with N-trending pre-existing structures sub-parallel to the rift.

  9. Early growth of Kohala volcano and formation of long Hawaiian rift zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lipman, P.W.; Calvert, A.T.

    2011-01-01

    Transitional-composition pillow basalts from the toe of the Hilo Ridge, collected from outcrop by submersible, have yielded the oldest ages known from the Island of Hawaii: 1138 ?? 34 to 1159 ?? 33 ka. Hilo Ridge has long been interpreted as a submarine rift zone of Mauna Kea, but the new ages validate proposals that it is the distal east rift zone of Kohala, the oldest subaerial volcano on the island. These ages constrain the inception of tholeiitic volcanism at Kohala, provide the first measured duration of tholeiitic shield building (???870 k.y.) for any Hawaiian volcano, and show that this 125-km-long rift zone developed to near-total length during early growth of Kohala. Long eastern-trending rift zones of Hawaiian volcanoes may follow fractures in oceanic crust activated by arching of the Hawaiian Swell in front of the propagating hotspot. ?? 2011 Geological Society of America.

  10. Shear wave velocity and radial anisotropy along the Rio Grande rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, A.; Fu, Y. V.

    2011-12-01

    We have determined shear wave velocity and radial anisotropy beneath the Rio Grande rift by analyzing ambient seismic noise recorded at the USArray Transportable Array in New Mexico. The results reveal a variable degree of lithosphere extension along the rift. Magma chambers are imaged as significant low velocity anomalies under the Albuquerque volcano in the shallow crust and beneath Socorro in the mid-crust. The central and southern rift is characterized by high velocity anomaly in the lower crust and uppermost mantle, reflecting residual materials after the extraction of melt, and by strong radial anisotropy with VSH > VSV in the mid to lower crust, implying horizontal alignment of crustal minerals due to the vigorous extensional deformation. However, low velocity anomaly and small radial anisotropy are observed in the rift in northern New Mexico, suggesting the presence of partial melt in the lower crust and uppermost mantle and a weak lithosphere extension.

  11. Late Proterozoic rift control on the shape of the Appalachians: The Pennsylvania reentrant

    SciTech Connect

    Gates, A.E. New York Geological Survey, Albany, NY ); Valentino, D.W. New York Geological Survey, Albany, NY )

    1991-11-01

    The Pennsylvania reentrant, the most prominent deviation in the trend of the Appalachians, is the product of Late Proterozoic rifting. The Peters Creek Formation, Pennsylvania-Maryland Piedmont, contains rift-generated, deep-water turbidite deposits of Late Proterozoic-Cambrian( ) age. These rocks are an extension of the Westminster terrane and lie well to the northeast of the southern Appalachian Late Proterozoic-Cambrian rift basin (Lynchburg-Chilhowee Group basin). The basin into which the Peters Creek Formation was deposited may have connected the southern rift basin with one to the north. The preservation of the Peters Creek Formation and other age equivalent units within the Pennsylvania reentrant indicates that the New York promontory acted as a buttress to Paleozoic orogenic activity.

  12. Arshan palaeoseismic feature of the Tunka fault (Baikal rift zone, Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smekalin, Oleg P.; Shchetnikov, Alexander A.; White, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    The traditional concept of the rift development of flank depressions in the Baikal rift zone is now doubted in view of some indicators for compression deformations identified by the seismogeological and geodetic methods. Besides, the paleoseismological investigations revealed seismogenic strike-slips and reverse faults in the Tunka fault zone that is a major structure-controlling element of the Tunka rift depression. However, a detailed study of the upslope-facing scarp in the Arshan paleoseismogenic structure zone has shown that its formation might be due to rift mechanism of basin formation. Age estimation has been made for the previously unknown pre-historic earthquake whose epicentral area coincides with the western flank of the Arshan paleoseismogenic structure. Judging from previously determined ages of paleoearthquakes, the mean recurrence period for faulting events on the central Tunka fault is 2780-3440 years.

  13. Magmatism on rift flanks: Insights from ambient noise phase velocity in Afar region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korostelev, Félicie; Weemstra, Cornelis; Leroy, Sylvie; Boschi, Lapo; Keir, Derek; Ren, Yong; Molinari, Irene; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Stuart, Graham W.; Rolandone, Frédérique; Khanbari, Khaled; Hammond, James O. S.; Kendall, J. M.; Doubre, Cécile; Ganad, Ismail Al; Goitom, Berhe; Ayele, Atalay

    2015-04-01

    During the breakup of continents in magmatic settings, the extension of the rift valley is commonly assumed to initially occur by border faulting and progressively migrate in space and time toward the spreading axis. Magmatic processes near the rift flanks are commonly ignored. We present phase velocity maps of the crust and uppermost mantle of the conjugate margins of the southern Red Sea (Afar and Yemen) using ambient noise tomography to constrain crustal modification during breakup. Our images show that the low seismic velocities characterize not only the upper crust beneath the axial volcanic systems but also both upper and lower crust beneath the rift flanks where ongoing volcanism and hydrothermal activity occur at the surface. Magmatic modification of the crust beneath rift flanks likely occurs for a protracted period of time during the breakup process and may persist through to early seafloor spreading.

  14. A joint receiver function and gravity study of crustal structure beneath the incipient Okavango Rift, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Youqiang; Liu, Kelly H.; Reed, Cory A.; Moidaki, Moikwathai; Mickus, Kevin; Atekwana, Estella A.; Gao, Stephen S.

    2015-10-01

    Rifting incorporates the fundamental processes concerning the breakup of continental lithosphere and plays a significant role in the formation and evolution of sedimentary basins. In order to decipher the characteristics of rifting at its earliest stage, we conduct the first teleseismic crustal study of one of the world's youngest continental rifts, the Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ), where the magma has not yet breached the surface. Results from receiver function stacking and gravity modeling indicate that the crust/mantle boundary beneath the ORZ is uplifted by 4-5 km, and the initiation of the ORZ is closely related to lithospheric stretching. Possible decompression melting of the subcrustal lithosphere occurs beneath the ORZ, as evidenced by a relatively low upper mantle density based on the gravity modeling.

  15. Workshop on The Rio Grande Rift: Crustal Modeling and Applications of Remote Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blanchard, D. P. (Editor)

    1980-01-01

    The elements of a program that could address significant earth science problems by combining remote sensing and traditional geological, geophysical, and geochemical approaches were addressed. Specific areas and tasks related to the Rio Grande Rift are discussed.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  18. Structural characteristics and tectonic evolution of the east-margin blocks of the Suez rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moustafa, Adel R.

    1993-08-01

    Detailed field study of the east-margin blocks of the Suez rift indicates that rift initiation was marked by 22-24 Ma old volcanicity followed by second-order (relatively small) extensional faulting without block rotation. Slight rotation of first-order (large) rift blocks took place shortly before or during the deposition of the earliest rift sediments (Nukhul Formation). The shallow-water environment of deposition of the Nukhul Formation became deeper during the deposition of the overlying Rudeis Formation in response to rapid tectonic subsidence. A major event (mid-clysmic, 17 Ma ago) led to the rejuvenation of many faults bounding the large rift blocks, the development of several intra-block faults, and an abrupt change in the environment of deposition. At that time, tectonic deformation increased towards the rift axis where the width of the active part of the rift decreased. As a result of this mid-clysmic event, coarse elastics were deposited close to the major faults; later these deposits were faulted in a younger event. NW-NNW (clysmic) and N-NNE (transfer) faults are the two predominant normal fault sets in the east-margin blocks and link up in a characteristic zig-zag pattern. Block rotation is related to slip on NW-NNW listric faults. Fault plane slickenside lineations indicate predominant NE-SW extension as well as a subordinate E-W to ESE-WNW extension. The latter is perhaps related to post-Miocene mild deformation. Slip on the major faults of the rift is associated with drape folding and footwall deformation. Both lead to the development of rift-facing monoclines. The deformed parts of the footwall are spindle-shaped and link to the main faults via N-NNE transfer faults. Footwall deformation also results where a major fault bends out leaving a protrusion of the footwall. Rift extension is transferred beyond the rift boundary via some transfer faults and affects some parts of the shoulder.

  19. Origin of three-armed rifts in volcanic islands: the case of El Hierro (Canary Islands)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galindo Jiménez, Inés; Becerril Carretero, Laura; Martí Molist, Joan; Gudmundsson, Agust

    2015-04-01

    Rifts zones in volcanic oceanic islands are common structures that have been explained through several theories/models. However, despite all these models it is as yet unclear whether it is the intense intrusive activity or the sector collapses that actually control the structural evolution and geometry of oceanic-island rift zones. Here we provide a new hypothesis to explain the origin and characteristics of the feeding system of oceanic-island rift zones based on the analysis of more than 1700 surface, subsurface (water galleries), and submarine structural data from El Hierro (Canary Islands). El Hierro's geological structure is primarily controlled by a three-armed rift-zone, the arms striking NE, WSW and S. Between the rift axes there are three valleys formed during huge landslides: El Golfo, El Julan, and Las Playas. Our results show: (1) a predominant NE-SW strike of structural elements, which coincides with the main regional trend of the Canary Archipelago as a whole; (2) a clear radial strike distribution of structural elements for the whole volcanic edifice (including submarine flanks) with respect to the centre of the island; (3) that the rift zones are mainly subaerial structures and do not propagate through the submarine edifice; (4) that it is only in the NE rift that structures have a general strike similar to that of the rift as a whole, and; (5) that in the W and S rifts there is not clear main direction, showing the structural elements in the W rift a fan distribution coinciding with the general radial pattern in the island as a whole. Based on these data, we suggest that the radial-striking structures reflect comparatively uniform stress fields that operated during the constructive episodes, mainly conditioned by the combination of overburden pressure, gravitational spreading, and magma-induced stresses. By contrast, in the shallower parts of the edifice, that is, the NE-SW, N-S and WNW-ESE-striking structures, reflect local stress fields related to the formation of mega-landslides and mask the general radial pattern. Thus, the rift zones on El Hierro are shallow structures that commonly capture and divert ascending magma towards different parts of the island but do not condition magma ascent at depth.

  20. Rift to drift transition in Siberian Arctic and its impact on continental margin architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drachev, S. S.

    2003-04-01

    The East Siberian Arctic Continental Margin (ESAM) represents a rare case of rifting to spreading transition. Present-day geodynamics of this plate tectonic interplay is characterized by a very slow plate divergence in the Laptev Sea as this regions is located just landward of the slowest spreading center worldwide (the Gakkel Ridge), close to the pole of North American/Eurasian plate rotation. However the existing geological and geophysical data, mainly seismic reflection and potential field data, allow conclusion that this situation has been far different in the past. Just after its formation at the end of Late Cretaceous through a series of plate convergence and folding episodes the crust of the ESAM has been strongly modified by an intense rifting. The earliest rift episode took place eastward of the present Laptev Sea, in the East Siberian Sea and probably Chukchi seas, where presently abandoned rifts are stretched landward along the principal weakened zones in the ESAM basement. This rifting might have been related to a spreading episode in the Amerasia Basin and perhaps was triggered by a mantle plume ca. 120 mln. yr. ago (De Long and Franz Joseph Land basalts). Outer parts of the ERAM might have also been rifted away to create marginal blocks, as the Arlis and Chukchi plateau. Second rift event was clearly related to the opening of the Eurasia Basin, preceding it and remaining active through the Cenozoic. The rift to drift transition has been taking place in a huge, “dry” and still active Laptev Rift System, which is a landward projection of the Gakkel Ridge spreading axis. This extension had a major effect on the western ERAM causing strong normal faulting and crustal thinning, up to 70% in some places. However, total crustal extension in the Laptev Rift System is considerably smaller than a value of total opening of the Eurasia Basin, so the spreading is not completely accommodated by the rifting. It may be speculated that a major portion of this extension, especially at its initial stage, has been transferred along the Khatanga-Lomonosov Fracture (Charlie Fault by A. Grantz) far to the east. These transcurrent movements shifted the Lomonosov Ridge eastward along the Laptev Sea margin. Further to the east the Early Tertiary extensional features of the Chukchi Borderland and Maastrichtian-Paleocene alkaline volcanism of the Chukchi Peninsula may be attributed to that eastward transferred extension. This work was supported by the Russian Basic Research Foundation (grant 01-05-64979).

  1. Renewed melting at the abandoned Skagi rift, northern Iceland: control by plume pulsing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walters, R. L.; Jones, S. M.; Maclennan, J.

    2010-12-01

    The production of oceanic crust at Iceland has been subject to a series of rift relocations occurring on a 5-7 Ma cycle. These events have a significant impact on the rate of melt and crust production at each rift since associated changes in spreading rate directly affect mantle upwelling rate. Another cause of melt production variation at Iceland is plume pulsing. An excellent record of this phenomenon is provided by V-shaped topographic ridges formed at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 300-1400 km south of Iceland. Rift relocation cycles and V-shaped Ridge melt productivity oscillations occur at a similar frequency, which might indicate a causal connection. In order to probe this link between rift relocation and plume pulsing, we carried out a detailed study of Quaternary activity (<2 Ma) on the abandoned Skagi rift in northern Iceland. Field observations and existing estimates of extinction age suggest that these Quaternary lavas were produced by a reactivation of the rift following several Myr of inactivity in the rift zone. New geochemical data show that these young lava flows have enriched incompatible element ratios (Nb/Y, Zr/Y and Sm/Yb) compared to Icelandic rift zone lavas. There is no field evidence for significant extension associated with the Skagi Quaternary lavas so a mechanism other than transient rifting and passive upwelling is required to rejuvinate melt production. One such mechanism may involve the passage of a pulse of hot mantle under a recently abandoned rift axis. We use a time-dependent numerical model of melting beneath a mid-ocean ridge to test the plausability of this mechanism. We assess the impact of a thermal pulse on melting under a recently abandoned rift zone. The model results show that it is possible to induce a short period of renewed melt production using a pulse, with a mantle potential temperature difference of less than 30°C. Renewed magmatism at fossil spreading centres has also been observed at several other locations; for example the Davidson Seamount in the eastern Pacific. The mantle processes which cause this anomalous magmatism are still not clear. Studying these anomalous oceanic features may provide further insights into other dynamic processes which may operate in the mantle and impact the production of oceanic crust.

  2. Imaging continental breakup using teleseismic body waves: The Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eilon, Zachary; Abers, Geoffrey A.; Gaherty, James B.; Jin, Ge

    2015-09-01

    This study images the upper mantle beneath the D'Entrecasteax Islands, Papua New Guinea, providing insight into mantle deformation beneath a highly rifted continent adjacent to propagating spreading centers. Differential travel times from P and S-wave teleseisms recorded during the 2010-2011 CDPapua passive seismic experiment are used to invert for separate VP and VS velocity models of the continental rift. A low-velocity structure marks the E-W axis of the rift, correlating with the thinnest crust, high heat flow, and a linear trend of volcanoes. This slow region extends 250 km along strike from the oceanic spreading centers, demonstrating significant mantle extension ahead of seafloor breakup. The rift remains narrow to depth indicating localization of extension, perhaps as a result of mantle hydration. A high-VP structure at depths of 90-120 km beneath the north of the array is more than 6.5% faster than the rift axis and contains well-located intermediate depth earthquakes. These independent observations place firm constraints on the lateral thermal contrast at depth between the rift axis and cold lithosphere to the north that may be related to recent subduction, although the polarity of subduction cannot be resolved. This geometry is gravitationally unstable; downwelling or small-scale convection could have facilitated rifting and rapid lithospheric removal, although this may require a wet mantle to be realistic on the required time scales. The high-V structure agrees with the maximum P,T conditions recorded by young ultra-high pressure rocks exposed on the rift axis and may be implicated in their genesis.

  3. Imaging the midcontinent rift beneath Lake Superior using large aperture seismic data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trehu, Anne M.; Morel-a-l'Huissier, Patrick; Meyer, R.; Hajnal, Z.; Karl, J.; Mereu, R. F.; Sexton, J.; Shay, J.; Chan, W. K.; Epili, D.; Jefferson, T.; Shih, X. R.; Wendling, S.; Milkereit, B.; Green, A.; Hutchinson, Deborah R.

    1991-01-01

    We present a detailed velocity model across the 1.1 billion year old Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) in central Lake Superior. The model was derived primarily from onshore-offshore large-aperture seismic and gravity data. High velocities obtained within a highly reflective half-graben that was imaged on coincident seismic reflection data demonstrate the dominantly mafic composition of the graben fill and constrain its total thickness to be at least 30km. Strong wide-angle reflections are observed from the lower crust and Moho, indicating that the crust is thickest (55–60km) beneath the axis of the graben. The total crustal thickness decreases rapidly to about 40 km beneath the south shore of the lake and decreases more gradually to the north. Above the Moho is a high-velocity lower crust interpreted to result from syn-rift basaltic intrusion into and/or underplating beneath the Archean lower crust. The lower crust is thickest beneath the axis of the main rift half-graben. A second region of thick lower crust is found approximately 100km north of the axis of the rift beneath a smaller half graben that is interpreted to reflect an earlier stage of rifting. The crustal model presented here resembles recent models of some passive continental margins and is in marked contrast to many models of both active and extinct Phanerozoic continental rift zones. It demonstrates that the Moho is a dynamic feature, since the pre-rift Moho is probably within or above the high-velocity lower crust, whereas the post-rift Moho is defined as the base of this layer. In the absence of major tectonic activity, however, the Moho is very stable, since the large, abrupt variations in crustal thickness beneath the MRS have been preserved for at least a billion years.

  4. Impact of lithospheric heterogeneities on continental rifting evolution: Constraints from analogue modelling on South Atlantic margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cappelletti, A.; Tsikalas, F.; Nestola, Y.; Cavozzi, C.; Argnani, A.; Meda, M.; Salvi, F.

    2013-11-01

    Lithospheric-scale experiments integrated with restored crustal transects are used to study the evolution of the Central Segment (confined between the Rio Grande Fracture Zone to the south and the Chain Fracture Zone to the north) of the South Atlantic margin. The presence of crustal inhomogeneities, located within the Brazilian Santos and Campos basins, have been analysed and modelled in order to better understand their effects on the rift evolution and resulting structural architecture of the conjugate rifted margins. The results show that heterogeneities located within the lower crust can have a remarkable impact on the along-margin segmentation promoting articulated basins with horsts and grabens in response to a relative “strong” rheology, and focused and deeper basins related to a relatively “weak” rheology on the equivalent parts of the conjugate pairs. In particular, at the early-stage rift evolution the deformation is concentrated at the inner margin where, in the presence of a weak lower crust rheology, a main deep listric half-graben fault and associated thick and wedge-shaped syn-rift basin sequences are developed. A strong lower crust rheology, instead, gives rise to more planar, rotated, domino-type faulted basins with thinner sequences directly controlled by the individual fault-blocks. At the late-stage rift evolution, once the effects of the initial crustal rheology inhomogeneities are reduced due to the lithosperic thinning process, the outer margin records a late syn-rift sequence which shows comparable thicknesses for both cases of lower crust rheologies. This tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the rifting process gives rise to along-margin alterations in symmetry versus asymmetry of the width and structural architecture. The performed analogue modelling experiments also indicate that during the rifting evolution pieces of brittle mantle are preserved and could be elevated beneath the developed upper crustal structures, giving rise to complicated predictions for the along-margin heat-flow.

  5. Petroleum geology of Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1993-08-01

    This overview of the petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic (CAR) is based on exploration work by Exxon and partners in the years 1969-1991. The work included 50,000 km of modern reflection seismic, 53 exploration wells, 1,000,000 km[sup 2] of aeromagnetic coverage, and about 10,500 km of gravity profiles. The results outline ten Cretaceous and Tertiary rift basins, which constitute a major part of the West and Central African rift system (WCARS). The rift basins derive from a multiphased geologic history dating from the Pan-African (approximately 750-550 Ma) to the Holocene. WCARS in the study area is divided into the West African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (CAS). WAS basins in Niger and Chad are chiefly extensional, and are filled by up to 13,000 m of Lower Cretaceous to Holocene continental and marine clastics. The basins contain five oil (19-43[degrees]API) and two oil and gas accumulations in Upper Cretaceous and Eocene sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced and sealed by Upper Cretaceous and Eocene marine and lacustrine shales. The most common structural styles and hydrocarbon traps usually are associated with normal fault blocks. CAS rift basins in Chad and CAR are extensional and transtensional, and are filled by up to 7500 m of chiefly Lower Cretaceous continental clastics. The basins contain eight oil (15-39[degrees]API) and one oil and gas discovery in Lower and Upper Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced by Lower Cretaceous shales and sealed by interbedded lacustrine and flood-plain shales. Structural styles range from simple fault blocks through complex flower structures. The main hydrocarbon traps are in contractional anticlines. Geological conditions favor the discovery of potentially commercial volumes of oil in WCARS basins, of Niger, Chad and CAR. 108 refs., 24 figs., 4 tabs.

  6. Deformation during the 1975-1984 Krafla rifting crisis, NE Iceland, measured from historical optical imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollingsworth, James; Leprince, SéBastien; Ayoub, FrançOis; Avouac, Jean-Philippe

    2012-11-01

    We measure the displacement field resulting from the 1975-1984 Krafla rifting crisis, NE Iceland, using optical image correlation. Images are processed using the COSI-Corr software package. Surface extension is accommodated on normal faults and fissures which bound the rift zone, in response to dike injection at depth. Correlation of declassified KH-9 spy and SPOT5 satellite images reveals extension between 1977-2002 (2.5 m average opening over 80 km), while correlation of aerial photos between 1957-1990 provide measurements of the total extension (average 4.3 m opening over 80 km). Our results show ˜8 m of opening immediately north of Krafla caldera, decreasing to 3-4 m at the northern end of the rift. Correlation of aerial photos from 1957-1976 reveal a bi-modal pattern of opening along the rift during the early crisis, which may indicate either two different magma sources located at either end of the rift zone (a similar pattern of opening was observed in the 2005 Afar rift crisis in East Africa), or variations in rock strength along the rift. Our results provide new information on how past dike injection events accommodate long-term plate spreading, as well as providing more details on the Krafla rift crisis. This study also highlights the potential of optical image correlation using inexpensive declassified spy satellite and aerial photos to measure deformation of the Earth's surface going back many decades, thus providing a new tool for measuring Earth surface dynamics, e.g. glaciers, landsliding, coastal erosion, volcano monitoring and earthquake studies, when InSAR and GPS data are not available.

  7. Rifting to drifting transition of the Southwest Subbasin of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Taoran; Li, Chun-Feng

    2015-09-01

    Continental rupturing process and related dynamics on the onset of seafloor spreading remain poorly understood in the opening of the South China Sea. To constrain the timing and cause of major tectonic events, we focus on the rifting-to-drifting transition of the Southwest Subbasin, which has very wide extended continental margins. By carefully interpreting rifting structures and carbonate platforms and reefs, we distinguished two major unconformities, i.e., the breakup unconformity (BRU) and the mid-Miocene unconformity, in the two conjugate margins of the Southwest Subbasin. The age of the BRU in our study area is near the Oligocene/Miocene boundary (~23 Ma). Pre-stack depth migration of a recently acquired multichannel reflection seismic profile reveals complex structures and strong lateral velocity variations associated with a 3.5 km thick syn-rifting sequence developed right at the continent-ocean boundary (COB) of the Southwest Subbasin. This syn-rifting sequence is bounded landwards by a large seaward dipping fault, and tapers out seawards. An erosional truncation, which represents the mid-Miocene unconformity landwards but the older breakup unconformity on the seaward side, occurred at the top of this sequence. The overall transitional deformation style from the rifting to drifting suggests a successive episode of rifting, faulting, compression, tilting, and erosion at the COB during the crustal thinning and mantle upwelling. Localized thick syn-rifting deposition and early deposition beneath the BRU in the oceanic domain exist only at the seaward concave part of the COB, indicating discrete rifting and seafloor spreading prior to the buildup of a unified spreading center for the entire subbasin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tandon, Kush; Brown, Larry; Hearn, Thomas

    1999-02-01

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

  9. Earthquake swarms in continental rifts — A comparison of selected cases in America, Africa and Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibs-von Seht, M.; Plenefisch, T.; Klinge, K.

    2008-06-01

    The occurrence of earthquake swarms is typically related to magmatic activity in volcanoes, yet swarms are also common in other intracontinental regions such as continental rifts. We present here a summary of geophysical observations that have been made in earthquake swarm areas of the Rio Grande, Kenya, and Eger rifts, focusing on characteristic parameters for the origin and generation of the swarm earthquakes. Our compilation of seismological parameters such as spatial distribution and focal parameters of hypocenters, magnitude statistics, and the location of the swarm centres in the rift environments reveals major similarities. The earthquake swarms take place at shallow depth between 0 and 10 km. The maximum magnitudes are mostly less than 4.5. The b-values, indicating the magnitude frequency relation of the seismicity, are about 0.8. They are hence not deviating from a normal non-volcanic intraplate environment, but are considerably lower than those of volcanic earthquake swarms. Focal mechanism studies give uniform pictures of stress field orientation and faulting style for the swarm areas. In all three rifts, the centres of swarm activity seem to be restricted to rift valley sections that may be influenced by large-scale fracture or shear zones that intersect the rifts. We conclude that these deep-reaching zones of weakness allow intrusions of upper mantle material into crustal layers, where magma-related fluids or fluctuations of the magma bodies themselves cause the generation of earthquake swarms.

  10. Extending Thickened Continental Crust: Implications for the Transantarctic Mountains and West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialas, R. W.; Buck, W. R.; Studinger, M.; Fitzgerald, P. G.

    2005-12-01

    The Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) are often described as the largest rift related mountains in the world. They define the western edge of the West Antarctic rift system (WARS) and are usually assumed to have uplifted in the Eocene during a phase of rapid denudation associated with Eocene rifting in the WARS. Previous models have difficulty reconciling large uplift of the TAM with distributed extension of the WARS. We propose a model where the TAM represents an edge of a plateau comprising parts of East and West Antarctica and New Zealand that retains significant elevation, even as the plateau is lowered and extended during the Cretaceous WARS rifting event. Regional scale two-dimensional numerical models are presented showing a layer of thickened continental crust and adjacent crust of normal thickness underlain by a mantle layer extended by pulling at the edges. The temperature-dependent viscous rheology is based on power-law creep flow law for diabase. Temperature profiles are calculated using conductive heat transport and radiogenic heat production that decreases exponentially with depth. Temperature profiles are altered by varying the bottom mantle heat flow and thermal conductivities within acceptable ranges. Different styles of extension including core complex, wide rifting, and narrow rifting are observed for different temperature structures. In the models, a remnant edge, analogue to the ancestral TAM, are observed.

  11. Structure and kinematics of the Livingstone Mountains border fault zone, Nyasa (Malawi) Rift, southwestern Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, Walter H.; Karson, Jeffrey A.

    Reconnaissance mapping of the Livingstone Mountains border fault zone (LMBFZ) at the northern end of the Nyasa (Malawi) Rift in SW Tanzania constrains the geometry and movement history of this typical rift border fault. The fault is a narrow zone of complex brittle deformation, striking 320°, that overprints and reactivates an older ductile shear zone. Long, straight, NW-trending border fault segments are offset by minor NE-trending faults. These two orthogonal fault sets integrate along strike to produce an overall curved fault trace that is concave towards a major depositional basin in the rift. A typical section through the fault zone shows an E to W progression from gneissic country rock through ductilely deformed country rock, into a zone overprinted by closely spaced fractures and grading into an intensely fractured, massive, flinty, aphanitic mylonite band at the lakeshore. Pseudotachylite veins, probably generated during seismic movement on the border fault, are common within and near the aphanitic mylonite. Slickensides indicate dextral oblique-slip, whereas shear belts and rolled porphyroclasts with complex tails in the older ductile shear zone indicate sub-horizontal sinistral motion. The adjacent rift basin is typical of other East African Rift Basins, and contains at least 4 km of Recent to perhaps Mesozoic sediment. Whereas the minimum net slip on the LMBFZ, in the dominant slickenside direction, is on the order of 10 km, regional geologic considerations suggest that dominantly strike-slip motion preceded the oblique-slip phase that produced the LMBFZ and the adjacent rift basin.

  12. Basaltic volcanism in Ethiopia: Constraints on continental rifting and mantle interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Hart, W. K.; WoldeGabriel, G.; Walter, R. C.; Mertzman, S. A.

    1989-06-10

    Middle to late Cenozoic mafic lavas from the Ethiopian volcanic province exhibit considerable chemical and isotopic diversity that is linked to eruption age and eruption location. These variations provide a geochemical framework in which continental rifting can be examined. Trace element and Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic data are interpreted to indicate involvement of up to two depleted and two enriched mantle reservoirs throughout Cenozoic rift development in Ethiopia. Superimposed on the characteristics imparted by varying degrees of melting of these distinct reservoirs are the effects of crystal fractionation and, in some instances, crustal contamnation. Initial stages of Oligocene rifting and volcanism, as manifested by the rift-bounding plateau flood basalts, are attributed to asthenospheric upwelling and melting of a heterogeneous, enriched subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Mildly alkaline lavas were produced from an enriched source with characteristics similar to those of the inferred source of other mantle/minus/derived lavas and xenoliths from east Africa (LoNd array, EMI to HIMU). Contemporaneous tholeiitic lavas were derived from a source similar to that producing oceanic basalts from Samoa and the Society Islands (EMII). As lithospheric thinning and rifting continued into the Miocene, upwelling depleted asthenosphere (depleted OIB reservoir, PREMA) interacted with the lithospheric sources producing lavas with hybrid elemental and isotopic characteristics (11-6 Ma plateau and rift margin basalts).

  13. Accumulation of fossil fuels and metallic minerals in active and ancient rift lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, E.I.

    1983-01-01

    A study of active and ancient rift systems around the world suggests that accumulations of fossil fuels and metallic minerals are related to the interactions of processes that form rift valleys with those that take place in and around rift lakes. The deposition of the precursors of petroleum, gas, oil shale, coal, phosphate, barite, Cu-Pb-Zn sulfides, and uranium begins with erosion of uplifted areas, and the consequent input of abundant nutrients and solute loads into swamps and tectonic lakes. Hot springs and volcanism add other nutrients and solutes. The resulting high biological productivity creates oxidized/reduced interfaces, and anoxic and H2S-rich bottom waters which preserves metal-bearing organic tissues and horizons. In the depositional phases, the fine-grained lake deposits are in contact with coarse-grained beach, delta, river, talus, and alluvial fan deposits. Earthquake-induced turbidites also are common coarse-grained deposits of rift lakes. Postdepositional processes in rifts include high heat flow and a resulting concentration of the organic and metallic components that were dispersed throughout the lakebeds. Postdepositional faulting brings organic- and metal-rich sourcebeds in contact with coarse-grained host and reservoir rocks. A suite of potentially economic deposits is therefore a characteristic of rift valleys. ?? 1983.

  14. Rates of volcanic activity along the southwest rift zone of Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lipman, P.W.

    1981-01-01

    Flow-by-flow mapping of the 65 km long subaerial part of the southwest rift zone and adjacent flanks of Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii, and about 50 new 14C dates on charcoal from beneath these flows permit estimates of rates of lava accumulation and volcanic growth over the past 10 000 years. The sequence of historic eruptions along the southwest rift zone, beginning in 1868, shows a general pattern of uprift migration and increasing eruptive volume, culminating in the great 1950 eruption. No event comparable to 1950, in terms of volume or vent length, is evident for at least the previous 1000 years. Rates of lava accumulation along the zone have been subequal to those of Kilauea Volcano during the historic period but they were much lower in late prehistoric time (unpubl. Kilauea data by R. T. Holcomb). Rates of surface covering and volcanic growth have been markedly asymmetric along Mauna Loa's southwest rift zone. Accumulation rates have been about half again as great on the northwest side of the rift zone in comparison with the southeast side. The difference apparently reflects a westward lateral shift of the rift zone of Mauna Loa away from Kilauea Volcano, which may have acted as a barrier to symmetrical growth of the rift zone. -Author

  15. Formation of the Shanxi Rift in North China: The control of preexisting lithospheric weakness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, F.; Liu, M.; Ye, J.

    2012-12-01

    The Shanxi Rift is an active seismic zone in North China, developed mainly since Pliocene (~5 Ma). Its formation has been associated with the Indo-Asian collision; other hypothesized causes include a regional extensional stress field associated with subduction of the western pacific plate and mantle upwelling under the North China Plain. However, these mechanisms do not explain why the rift system did not form along the western boundary of the North China Plain, where lithospheric thickness changes sharply from more than 150 km under the Ordos block and the Taihangshan Mountains to the west, to less than 70 km under the North China Plain. We have used a viscoplastic finite element model to explore the conditions for localized rifting in North China. Our results show that, for all the hypothesized causes, the preferred site of rifting would be along the boundary zone of changing lithospheric thickness. The only way to initiate the Shanxi rift in its current location, which is between the Ordos block and the Taihangshan Mountains with thick lithosphere, is to have preexisting lithospheric weakening there. This lithospheric weakness was likely formed during the collision between the Easter North China block and the Western North China block during the Paleoproterozoic (~1.8 Ga). Hence the ancient tectonic event still controls the young continental rifting.

  16. Structural evolution of the southern transfer zone of the Gulf of Suez rift, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abd-Allah, Ali M. A.; Abdel Aal, Mohamed H.; El-Said, Mohamed M.; Abd El-Naby, Ahmed

    2014-08-01

    We present a detailed study about the initiation and reactivations of Zeit-El Tor transfer zone, south Gulf of Suez rift, and its structural setting and tectonic evolution with respect to the Cretaceous-Cenozoic tectonic movements in North Egyptian margin. NE trending zone of opposed-dipping faults (22 km wide) has transferred the NE and SW rotations of the sub-basins in central and south Gulf of Suez rift, respectively. The evolution of this zone started by reactivation of the NE oriented late Neoproterozoic fractures that controlled the occurrence of Dokhan Volcanics in the rift shoulders. Later, the Syrian Arc contraction reactivated these fractures by a sinistral transpression during the Late Cretaceous-Eocene time. N64°E extension of the Oligo-Miocene rift reactivated the NE fractures by a sinistral transtension. During this rifting, the NE trending faults forming the transfer zone were more active than the rift-bounding faults; the Upper Cretaceous reverse faults in the blocks lying between these NE trending faults were rotated; and drape-related reverse faults and the positive flower structures were formed. Tectonic inversion from contraction to extension controlled the distribution and thickness of the Upper Cretaceous-Miocene rocks.

  17. Quantification and restoration of extensional deformation along the Western Iberia and Newfoundland rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutra, Emilie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy; Unternehr, Patrick

    2013-08-01

    Many recent papers describe the structure of the Iberia and Newfoundland rifted margins; however, none of them propose kinematic restorations of the complete rift system to quantify the amount of extension necessary to exhume mantle and initiate seafloor spreading. In our study, we use two pairs of cross sections considered as conjugate lines: one across the Galicia Bank-Flemish Cap and the other across the Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain-Flemish Pass. Both transects have been imaged by reflection- and refraction-seismic methods and have been drilled during Ocean Drilling Program Legs 103, 149, 173, and 210. Drilling penetrated parts of the rift stratigraphy and the underlying basement. The cross sections can therefore be considered as the best-documented conjugate transects across present-day hyperextended, magma-poor rifted margins. The aim of this paper is threefold: (1) provide a detailed description of the crustal architecture of the two conjugate sections, (2) define the extensional structures and their ages, and (3) quantify the amount of strain and strain rate accommodated along these lines. This paper proposes a quantitative description of extension along the Iberia-Newfoundland rift system and discusses the limitations and problems in quantifying extensional deformation along hyperextended rifted margins.

  18. Three-Dimensional Modelling of Rift Basin Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longshaw, S. M.; Finch, E.; Turner, M.; Gawthorpe, R. L.

    2009-12-01

    Numerical simulation of faulting is gaining interest, typically utilising the Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) technique. As computational power increases, so does the ability to run larger and more complex experiments. This research aims to explore rift basin evolution, with emphasis placed on the interaction of multiple faults as they evolve. Importance is placed on the technical aspects of implementing a complex and large DEM, specifically parallelism and whether currently popular software libraries known as physics engines can be a useful tool in their development. The technique employed is a variation of Mora and Place’s Lattice-Solid Model (1994). We use a 3D block of spheres, initially packed into a defined volume, interconnected using spring-damper structures. Elemental position is controlled throughout the simulation using Newtonian physics, while underlying plate movement is introduced by applying a specific force to each element. The spring-damper components provide a compressive force in the system, restricting each element to its neighbours, until the point the spring-damper has reached a pre-defined maximum extension, at which point it breaks resulting in a fault. Physical calculations are performed using using a publically available engine. The technical implementation of a physics engine is markedly more advanced than that found in many DEM codes used to date, specifically that of the collision detection system, which is implemented as a broad and then narrow phase process, which is solved as a Linear Complementarity Problem. In order to make use of large, distributed computing resources, a method by which to split the DEM into smaller sub-DEMs and then calculate each on an individual CPU has been defined. Typically results are accurate to within four decimal places compared to idealised values; this is comparable to other integration techniques such as Verlet or RK4. Through splitting the model and using multiple instances of a physics engine, it has been possible to limit the scale of simulation to available computing hardware, rather than software libraries. Extension of the crust results in an initial phase of a large number of small faults over which extensional strain is accommodated. As extension progresses, these faults are noted to either link to become larger structures or become inactive and passively rotated in the hanging-wall and footwalls of neighbouring structures. This does not mean, however, that they cannot be reactivated later during rift development. As deformation within the system reaches the rift climax phase, extension is focused on a small number of large faults within the basin. The timing, location, linkage and strain accommodated by these structures is determined during extension and examined as it progresses in three-dimensions. It can also be concluded that using a physics engine in the design of a geological DEM can be beneficial for development time, speed of execution and ensuring physical correctness. Model splitting provides a neat and scalable method by which to distribute computation of a large DEM over multiple CPUs and memory resources.

  19. Morphostructural evidence for Recent/active extension in Central Tanzania beyond the southern termination of the Kenya Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; Rolet, J.; Gernigon, L.; Ebinger, C.; Gloaguen, R.

    2003-04-01

    The southern tip zone of the Kenya Rift on the eastern branch of the East African System is usually thought to occur in the so-called North Tanzanian Divergence. In this region, the narrow (50 km-wide) axial graben of southern Kenya splays southwards, via a major EW-trending volcanic lineament, into a 200 km-wide broad rifted zone with three separate arms of normal faulting and tilted fault blocks (Eyasi, Manyara and Pangani arms from W to E). Remote sensing analysis from Central Tanzania demonstrates that rift morphology exists over an area lying 400 km beyond the southern termination of the Kenya Rift. The most prominent rift structures are observed in the Kilombero region and consist of a 100 km-wide range of uplifted basement blocks fringed to the west by an E-facing half-graben inferred to reach depths of 6-8 km from aeromagnetic dataset. Physiographic features (fault scarps), and river drainage anomalies suggest that the present-day rift pattern in the Kilombero extensional province principally results from Recent/Neogene deformation. That assumption is also supported by the seismogenic character of a number of faults. The Kilombero half-graben is superimposed upon an earlier rift system, Karoo in age, which is totally overprinted and is only evidenced from its sedimentary infill. On the other hand, the nature and thickness of the inferred Neogene synrift section is still unknown. The Kilombero rifted zone is assumed to connect northwards into the central rift arm (Manyara) of the South Kenya Rift via a seismically active transverse fault zone that follows ductile fabrics within the Mozambican crystalline basement. The proposed rift model implies that incipient rifting propagates hroughout the cold and strong crust/lithosphere of Central Tanzania along Proterozoic (N140=B0E) basement weakness zones and earlier Karoo (NS)rift structures. A second belt of Recent-active linked fault/basins also extends further East from the Pangani rift arm to the offshore Zanzibar-Kerimbas graben system. The structural connection of the Kilombero rifted zone with the Lake Malawi rift further south is also envisaged and should imply the link of the eastern and western branchs of the East African Rift System south of the Tanzanian craton.

  20. Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Unlike the majority of the East African Rift, the Mozambique region has not been deeply studied, not only due to political instabilities but also because of the difficult access to its most interior regions. An earthquake with M7 occurred in Machaze in 2006, which triggered the investigation of this particular region. The MOZART project (funded by FCT, Lisbon) installed a temporary seismic network, with a total of 30 broadband stations from the SEIS-UK pool, from April 2011 to July 2013. Preliminary locations of the seismicity were estimated with the data recorded from April 2011 to July 2012. A total of 307 earthquakes were located, with ML magnitudes ranging from 0.9 to 3.9. We observe a linear northeast-southwest distribution of the seismicity that seems associated to the Inhaminga fault. The seismicity has an extension of ~300km reaching the Machaze earthquake area. The northeast sector of the seismicity shows a good correlation with the topography, tracing the Urema rift valley. In order to obtain an initial velocity model of the region, the ambient noise method is used. This method is applied to the entire data set available and two additional stations of the AfricaARRAY project. Ambient noise surface wave tomography is possible by computing cross-correlations between all pairs of stations and measuring the group velocities for all interstation paths. With this approach we obtain Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves in the period range from 3 to 50 seconds. Group velocity maps are calculated for several periods and allowing a geological and tectonic interpretation. In order to extend the investigation to longer wave periods and thus probe both the crust and upper mantle, we apply a recent implementation of the surface-wave two-station method (teleseismic interferometry - Meier el al 2004) to augment our dataset with Rayleigh wave phase velocities curves in a broad period range. Using this method we expect to be able to explore the lithosphere-asthenosphere depth range beneath Mozambique.

  1. The development of the Midcontinent Rift in the context of rapid paleogeographic change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson-Hysell, N.; Vaughn, A. A.; Mustain, M. R.; Feinberg, J. M.

    2012-12-01

    Despite being active for >20 million years and resulting in the thinning of pre-rift crust by a factor of 3 or more, the 1.1 Ga Midcontinent Rift failed to dismember the Laurentian craton. This failure resulted in the preservation of a thick record of rift-related volcanic and sedimentary rocks that give geoscientists a powerful window into the development of this ancient rift. Most models for the development of the Midcontinent Rift attribute its origin to the upwelling and decompression melting of a mantle plume. On the basis of the great volume of generated magma and interpretation of geochemical data, it is argued that the early stage plateau flood basalts of the rift (~1110-1105 Ma) and the main stage volcanics that erupted into the central basin (~1100-1095 Ma) were both dominated by plume-sourced melts. However, this model needs to be reconciled with paleomagnetic data from rift volcanics that reveal a significant decrease in inclination between the early and main stage volcanics. New data we have developed from 90+ flows of the early stage Osler Volcanic Group bolster evidence from the succession at Mamainse Point that this change in inclination is the result of fast equatorward plate motion during the early stage and into the main stage of rift volcanism. Even with >20° of latitudinal motion from the time of initial volcanism to eruption of the thick main stage volcanics, magmatism was largely confined to the same geographic region in a relatively narrow central basin. If a long-lived plume was in a fixed position relative to Earth's spin axis, the large relative motion of Laurentia would make it unable to continue to be a source of melt to the rift. Two possible explanations to reconcile a plume-contribution in the main stage with this latitudinal change are: (1) That the active contribution from an underlying plume was limited to the early stage of volcanism, but substantial volume of material accreted to the lithosphere that was subsequently sampled during the main stage. While such a scenario could explain the geochemical signature, it removes an active plume as a heat source contributing to voluminous melt generation. (2) That the North American plate and a deep-seated mantle plume traveled in unison to lower latitudes as a result of large-scale true polar wander. An interpretation of an active contribution from a plume throughout rift development implicitly favors this true polar wander hypothesis.

  2. The Role of Rift Obliquity in Formation of the Gulf of California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Scott Edmund Kelsey

    The Gulf of California illustrates how highly oblique rift geometries, where transform faults are kinematically linked to large-offset normal faults in adjacent pull-apart basins, enhance the ability of continental lithosphere to rupture and, ultimately, hasten the formation of new oceanic basins. The Gulf of California rift has accommodated oblique divergence of the Pacific and North America tectonic plates in northwestern Mexico since Miocene time. Due to its infancy, the rifted margins of the Gulf of California preserve a rare onshore record of early continental break-up processes from which to investigate the role of rift obliquity in strain localization. Using new high-precision paleomagnetic vectors from tectonically stable sites in north-central Baja California, I compile a paleomagnetic transect of Miocene ignimbrites across northern Baja California and Sonora that reveals the timing and distribution of dextral shear associated with inception of this oblique rift. I integrate detailed geologic mapping, basin analysis, and geochronology of pre-rift and syn-rift volcanic units to determine the timing of fault activity on Isla Tiburon, a proximal onshore exposure of the rifted North America margin, adjacent to the axis of the Gulf of California. The onset of strike-slip faulting on Isla Tiburon, ca. 8 - 7 Ma, was synchronous with the onset of transform faulting along a significant length of the nascent plate boundary within the rift. This tectonic transition coincides with a clockwise azimuthal shift in Pacific-North America relative motion that increased rift obliquity. I constrain the earliest marine conditions on southwest Isla Tiburon to ca. 6.4 - 6.0 Ma, coincident with a regional latest Miocene marine incursion in the northern proto-Gulf of California. This event likely flooded a narrow, incipient topographic depression along a ˜650 km-long portion of the latest Miocene plate boundary and corresponds in time and space with formation of a newly-constrained ˜50-100 kilometer-wide transtensional belt of focused strike-slip faulting, basin formation, and rotating crustal blocks. This proto-Gulf of California shear zone, embedded within the wider Mexican Basin and Range extensional province and connected to the San Andreas fault in southern California, hosted subsequent localization of the plate boundary and rupture of the continental lithosphere.

  3. Insights into rifting from SKS splitting and receiver functions: examples from Ethiopia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayele, A.; Kendall, M.; Stuart, G.

    2001-12-01

    Rifting in northern Ethiopia represents a transition from continental- to incipient oceanic- rifting. In an effort to obtain a better understanding of the role of asthenospheric dynamics in this transition, we re-analyse and enhance SKS splitting at stations distributed along the E.African Rift. New observations of shear-wave splitting and receiver functions are investigated at two Ethiopian stations near Addis Ababa, one broad-band (FURI) and the other short-period (AAE) close to the rift. Stations on or near the E. African Rift show the polarisation of the fast shear-wave (? ) aligned parallel to the rift axis. However, the magnitude of the splitting increases northward and may be explained by the higher melt production observed in the Ethiopian part of the rift. Stations in Kenya show smallest splitting values ( ~ 1s.), whilst the Djibouti station, ATD, shows the largest splitting (1.6s.). The Ethiopian results show a constancy in ? t and ? with respect to backazimuth, thus suggesting a single anisotropic layer beneath the stations. There is no observed correlation in ? with APM direction. Shear-wave splitting in local events recorded at FURI also reveal anisotropy in the crust with a similar orientation to the SKS results. Receiver function analysis at FURI and AAE supports evidence from refraction experiments of thick crust ( ~38km) in the region of continental rifting. There is also evidence for a deeper interface, ~60km below Moho, in the broadband FURI data, but not in the short-period AAE data, thus suggesting this may not be a sharp interface. This interface may mark the base of the lithosphere in this region. Azimuthal asymmetry in the receiver functions suggests the layer is dipping away from the rift and anisotropy may be affecting the results. One interpretation is that the anisotropy is due to aligned melt in upper c.90km of lithosphere. A <1% volume fraction of melt aligned in vertical ellipsoidal pockets generates sufficient splitting to explain the data. The deeper interface seen in the receiver functions could mark the onset of melting so might not be a sharp seismic boundary. Alternatively, the anisotropy may be due to the alignment of olivine parallel to the ridge axis as material flows laterally to fill the gap caused by lithospheric extension. Assuming a uniform magnitude of anisotropy this would suggest a northward thickening anisotropic layer beneath the rift. Current broadband seismic experiments (1999-2003) in Ethiopia will allow us to test these ideas.

  4. Middle Stone Age starch acquisition in the Niassa Rift, Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercader, Julio; Bennett, Tim; Raja, Mussa

    2008-09-01

    The quest for direct lines of evidence for Paleolithic plant consumption during the African Middle Stone Age has led scientists to study residues and use-wear on flaked stone tools. Past work has established lithic function through multiple lines of evidence and the spatial breakdown of use-wear and microscopic traces on tool surfaces. This paper focuses on the quantitative analysis of starch assemblages and the botanical identification of grains from flake and core tools to learn about human ecology of carbohydrate use around the Niassa woodlands, in the Mozambican Rift. The processing of starchy plant parts is deduced from the occurrence of starch assemblages that presumably got attached to stone tool surfaces by actions associated with extractive or culinary activities. Specifically, we investigate starch grains from stone tools recently excavated in northern Mozambique at the site of Mikuyu; which presumably spans the middle to late Pleistocene and represents similar sites found along the Malawi/Niassa corridor that links East, Southern, and Central Africa. Starch was extracted and processed with a diverse tool kit consisting of scrapers, cores, points, flakes, and other kinds of tools. The microbotanical data suggests consumption of seeds, legumes, caryopses, piths, underground storage organs, nuts, and mesocarps from more than a dozen families. Our data suggest a great antiquity for starch use in Africa as well as an expanded diet and intensification.

  5. Rift Valley Fever Virus Infection in Golden Syrian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Scharton, Dionna; Van Wettere, Arnaud J.; Bailey, Kevin W.; Vest, Zachary; Westover, Jonna B.; Siddharthan, Venkatraman; Gowen, Brian B.

    2015-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a formidable pathogen that causes severe disease and abortion in a variety of livestock species and a range of disease in humans that includes hemorrhagic fever, fulminant hepatitis, encephalitis and blindness. The natural transmission cycle involves mosquito vectors, but exposure can also occur through contact with infected fluids and tissues. The lack of approved antiviral therapies and vaccines for human use underlies the importance of small animal models for proof-of-concept efficacy studies. Several mouse and rat models of RVFV infection have been well characterized and provide useful systems for the study of certain aspects of pathogenesis, as well as antiviral drug and vaccine development. However, certain host-directed therapeutics may not act on mouse or rat pathways. Here, we describe the natural history of disease in golden Syrian hamsters challenged subcutaneously with the pathogenic ZH501 strain of RVFV. Peracute disease resulted in rapid lethality within 2 to 3 days of RVFV challenge. High titer viremia and substantial viral loads were observed in most tissues examined; however, histopathology and immunostaining for RVFV antigen were largely restricted to the liver. Acute hepatocellular necrosis associated with a strong presence of viral antigen in the hepatocytes indicates that fulminant hepatitis is the likely cause of mortality. Further studies to assess the susceptibility and disease progression following respiratory route exposure are warranted. The use of the hamsters to model RVFV infection is suitable for early stage antiviral drug and vaccine development studies. PMID:25607955

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (principal investigator)

    1973-01-01

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

  7. Climate-disease connections: Rift Valley Fever in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Anyamba, A; Linthicum, K J; Tucker, C J

    2001-01-01

    All known Rift Valley fever(RVF) outbreaks in Kenya from 1950 to 1998 followed periods of abnormally high rainfall. On an interannual scale, periods of above normal rainfall in East Africa are associated with the warm phase of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Anomalous rainfall floods mosquito-breeding habitats called dambos, which contain transovarially infected mosquito eggs. The eggs hatch Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the RVF virus preferentially to livestock and to humans as well. Analysis of historical data on RVF outbreaks and indicators of ENSO (including Pacific and Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures and the Southern Oscillation Index) indicates that more than three quarters of the RVF outbreaks have occurred during warm ENSO event periods. Mapping of ecological conditions using satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data show that areas where outbreaks have occurred during the satellite recording period (1981-1998) show anomalous positive departures in vegetation greenness, an indicator of above-normal precipitation. This is particularly observed in arid areas of East Africa, which are predominantly impacted by this disease. These results indicate a close association between interannual climate variability and RVF outbreaks in Kenya. PMID:11426274

  8. Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vaccine Provides Multispecies Protection against Rift Valley Fever.

    PubMed

    Warimwe, George M; Gesharisha, Joseph; Carr, B Veronica; Otieno, Simeon; Otingah, Kennedy; Wright, Danny; Charleston, Bryan; Okoth, Edward; Elena, Lopez-Gil; Lorenzo, Gema; Ayman, El-Behiry; Alharbi, Naif K; Al-Dubaib, Musaad A; Brun, Alejandro; Gilbert, Sarah C; Nene, Vishvanath; Hill, Adrian V S

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) causes recurrent outbreaks of acute life-threatening human and livestock illness in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. No licensed vaccines are currently available for humans and those widely used in livestock have major safety concerns. A 'One Health' vaccine development approach, in which the same vaccine is co-developed for multiple susceptible species, is an attractive strategy for RVFV. Here, we utilized a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine platform with an established human and livestock safety profile, ChAdOx1, to develop a vaccine for use against RVFV in both livestock and humans. We show that single-dose immunization with ChAdOx1-GnGc vaccine, encoding RVFV envelope glycoproteins, elicits high-titre RVFV-neutralizing antibody and provides solid protection against RVFV challenge in the most susceptible natural target species of the virus-sheep, goats and cattle. In addition we demonstrate induction of RVFV-neutralizing antibody by ChAdOx1-GnGc vaccination in dromedary camels, further illustrating the potency of replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine platforms. Thus, ChAdOx1-GnGc warrants evaluation in human clinical trials and could potentially address the unmet human and livestock vaccine needs. PMID:26847478

  9. Persistence of Rift Valley fever virus in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gachohi, J.; Hansen, F.; Bett, B.; Kitala, P.

    2012-04-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFv) is a mosquito-borne pathogen of livestock, wildlife and humans that causes severe outbreaks in intervals of several years. One of the open questions is how the virus persists between outbreaks. We developed a spatially-explicit, individual-based simulation model of the RVFv transmission dynamics to investigate this question. The model, is based on livestock and mosquito population dynamics. Spatial aspects are explicitly represented by a set of grid cells that represent mosquito breeding sites. A grid cell measures 500 by 500m and the model considers a grid of 100 by 100 grid cells; the model thus operates on the regional scale of 2500km2. Livestock herds move between grid cells, and provide connectivity between the cells. The model is used to explore the spatio-temporal dynamics of RVFv persistence in absence of a wildlife reservoir in an east African semi-arid context. Specifically, the model assesses the importance of local virus persistence in mosquito breeding sites relative to global virus persistence mitigated by movement of hosts. Local persistence is determined by the length of time the virus remains in a mosquito breeding site once introduced. In the model, this is a function of the number of mosquitoes that emerge infected and their lifespan. Global persistence is determined by the level of connectivity between isolated grid cells. Our work gives insights into the ecological and epidemiological conditions under which RVFv persists. The implication for disease surveillance and management are discussed.

  10. A statistical model of Rift Valley fever activity in Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Ali N.; Beier, John C.

    2014-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral disease of animals and humans and a global public health concern due to its ecological plasticity, adaptivity, and potential for spread to countries with a temperate climate. In many places, outbreaks are episodic and linked to climatic, hydrologic, and socioeconomic factors. Although outbreaks of RVF have occurred in Egypt since 1977, attempts to identify risk factors have been limited. Using a statistical learning approach (lasso-regularized generalized linear model), we tested the hypotheses that outbreaks in Egypt are linked to (1) River Nile conditions that create a mosquito vector habitat, (2) entomologic conditions favorable to transmission, (3) socio-economic factors (Islamic festival of Greater Bairam), and (4) recent history of transmission activity. Evidence was found for effects of rainfall and river discharge and recent history of transmission activity. There was no evidence for an effect of Greater Bairam. The model predicted RVF activity correctly in 351 of 358 months (98.0%). This is the first study to statistically identify risk factors for RVF outbreaks in a region of unstable transmission. PMID:24581353

  11. Climate-disease connections: Rift Valley Fever in Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anyamba, A.; Linthicum, K. J.; Tucker, C. J.

    2001-01-01

    All known Rift Valley fever(RVF) outbreaks in Kenya from 1950 to 1998 followed periods of abnormally high rainfall. On an interannual scale, periods of above normal rainfall in East Africa are associated with the warm phase of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Anomalous rainfall floods mosquito-breeding habitats called dambos, which contain transovarially infected mosquito eggs. The eggs hatch Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the RVF virus preferentially to livestock and to humans as well. Analysis of historical data on RVF outbreaks and indicators of ENSO (including Pacific and Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures and the Southern Oscillation Index) indicates that more than three quarters of the RVF outbreaks have occurred during warm ENSO event periods. Mapping of ecological conditions using satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data show that areas where outbreaks have occurred during the satellite recording period (1981-1998) show anomalous positive departures in vegetation greenness, an indicator of above-normal precipitation. This is particularly observed in arid areas of East Africa, which are predominantly impacted by this disease. These results indicate a close association between interannual climate variability and RVF outbreaks in Kenya.

  12. Rift Valley fever--a threat for Europe?

    PubMed

    Chevalier, V; Pépin, M; Plée, L; Lancelot, R

    2010-03-11

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a severe mosquito-borne disease affecting humans and domestic ruminants, caused by a Phlebovirus (Bunyaviridae). It is widespread in Africa and has recently spread to Yemen and Saudi Arabia. RVF epidemics are more and more frequent in Africa and the Middle East, probably in relation with climatic changes (episodes of heavy rainfall in eastern and southern Africa), as well as intensified livestock trade. The probability of introduction and large-scale spread of RVF in Europe is very low, but localized RVF outbreaks may occur in humid areas with a large population of ruminants. Should this happen, human cases would probably occur in exposed individuals: farmers, veterinarians, slaughterhouse employees etc. Surveillance and diagnostic methods are available, but control tools are limited: vector control is difficult to implement, and vaccines are only available for ruminants, with either a limited efficacy (inactivated vaccines) or a residual pathogenic effect. The best strategy to protect Europe and the rest of the world against RVF is to develop more efficient surveillance and control tools and to implement coordinated regional monitoring and control programmes. PMID:20403309

  13. Rift Valley Fever: An Emerging Mosquito-Borne Disease.

    PubMed

    Linthicum, Kenneth J; Britch, Seth C; Anyamba, Assaf

    2016-03-11

    Rift Valley fever (RVF), an emerging mosquito-borne zoonotic infectious viral disease caused by the RVF virus (RVFV) (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus), presents significant threats to global public health and agriculture in Africa and the Middle East. RVFV is listed as a select agent with significant potential for international spread and use in bioterrorism. RVFV has caused large, devastating periodic epizootics and epidemics in Africa over the past ∼60 years, with severe economic and nutritional impacts on humans from illness and livestock loss. In the past 15 years alone, RVFV caused tens of thousands of human cases, hundreds of human deaths, and more than 100,000 domestic animal deaths. Cattle, sheep, goats, and camels are particularly susceptible to RVF and serve as amplifying hosts for the virus. This review highlights recent research on RVF, focusing on vectors and their ecology, transmission dynamics, and use of environmental and climate data to predict disease outbreaks. Important directions for future research are also discussed. PMID:26982443

  14. Probable rift origin of Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tailleur, Irvin L.

    1973-01-01

    Formation of the Canada basin by post-Triassic rifting seems the most workable and logical hypothesis on the basis of available information. Speculated counterclockwise rotation of the Alaska-Chukchi continental edge best rationalizes the complex geology of northern Alaska, whereas the assumption that a single continental block was present before the Jurassic makes the best palinspastic fit for Arctic America. The Arctic Ocean is the focus of present-day spreading and probably was the focus of earlier stages of spreading in which spread of the Canada basin would have been an initial stage. Spread of the Canada basin is probable if the Atlantic formed by sea-floor spreading, because analogies between the Arctic and Atlantic edges indicate a common origin for the ocean basins. Late Cretaceous and younger deflections of the Cordillera in the Arctic and diabasic emplacements in the northern Arctic Islands may reflect later stages of spreading. Pre-Mesozoic plate tectonism may be represented by the widespread Proterozoic diabasic emplacements in the Canadian Arctic and by the Franklinian-lnnuitian tract, where the volcanogenic rocks and deformation resulted not from a classical eugeosyncline-miogeosyncline couple, but from the junction of a mid-Paleozoic continental edge and another plate on closure of a pre-Arctic Ocean.

  15. Probable rift origin of the Canada basin, Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tailleur, Irvin L.

    1973-01-01

    Formation of the Canada basin by post-Triassic rifting seems the most workable and logical hypothesis with information available. Speculated counterclockwise rotation of the Alaska-Chukchi continental edge best rationalizes the complex geology of northern Alaska, whereas a single continental block before the Jurassic makes the best palinspastic fit for Arctic America. The Arctic Ocean is the focus of present-day spreading and probably was the focus of earlier stages of spreading in which spread of the Canada basin would be an initial stage. If the Atlantic formed by seafloor spreading, spread of the Canada basin is probable because analogies between the Arctic and Atlantic edges indicate a common origin for the ocean basins. Late Cretaceous and younger deflections of the Cordillera in the Arctic and diabasic emplacements in the northern Arctic Islands may reflect later stages of spreading. Pre-Mesozoic plate tectonism may be represented by the widespread Proterozoic diabasic emplacements in the Canadian Arctic and by the Franklinian-Innuitian tract where the volcanogenic rocks and deformation resulted not from a classical eugeosyncline-miogeosyncline couple but from the junction of a mid-Paleozoic continental edge and another plate on closure of a pre-Arctic Ocean.

  16. Rift Valley fever: an uninvited zoonosis in the Arabian peninsula.

    PubMed

    Balkhy, Hanan H; Memish, Ziad A

    2003-02-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an acute viral disease, affecting mainly livestock but also humans. The virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites or by exposure to blood and bodily fluids. Drinking raw, unpasteurized milk from infected animals can also transmit RVF. Routine vaccination of livestock in Africa has been prohibitively expensive, leading to endemicity of RVF in most African countries. Reports in September 2000 first documented RVF occurring outside of Africa in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Prior to this outbreak, the potential for RVF spread into the Arabian Peninsula had already been exemplified by a 1977 Egyptian epidemic. This appearance of RVF outside the African Continent might be related to importation of infected animals from Africa. In the most recent outbreak patients presented with a febrile haemorrhagic syndrome accompanied by liver and renal dysfunction. By the end of the outbreak, April 2001 statistics from the Saudi Ministry of Health documented a total of 882 confirmed cases with 124 deaths. Both the severity of disease and the relatively high 14% death rate might be a consequence of underreporting of less severe disease. Travellers to endemic areas may be at risk of acquiring the disease if exposed to animals or their body fluids directly or through mosquito bites. Special education regarding both modes of transmission and the geographical distribution of this disease needs to be given to travellers at risk. PMID:12615379

  17. Genetic Reassortment of Rift Valley Fever Virus in Nature

    PubMed Central

    Sall, A. A.; Zanotto, P. M. de A.; Sene, O. K.; Zeller, H. G.; Digoutte, J. P.; Thiongane, Y.; Bouloy, M.

    1999-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a phlebovirus of the Bunyaviridae family, is an arthropod-borne virus which emerges periodically throughout Africa, emphasizing that it poses a major threat for animal and human populations. To assess the genetic variability of RVFV, several isolates from diverse localities of Africa were investigated by means of reverse transcription-PCR followed by direct sequencing of a region of the small (S), medium (M), and large (L) genomic segments. Phylogenetic analysis showed the existence of three major lineages corresponding to geographic variants from West Africa, Egypt, and Central-East Africa. However, incongruences detected between the L, M, and S phylogenies suggested that genetic exchange via reassortment occurred between strains from different lineages. This hypothesis, depicted by parallel phylogenies, was further confirmed by statistical tests. Our findings, which strongly suggest exchanges between strains from areas of endemicity in West and East Africa, strengthen the potential existence of a sylvatic cycle in the tropical rain forest. This also emphasizes the risk of generating uncontrolled chimeric viruses by using live attenuated vaccines in areas of endemicity. PMID:10482570

  18. Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vaccine Provides Multispecies Protection against Rift Valley Fever

    PubMed Central

    Warimwe, George M.; Gesharisha, Joseph; Carr, B. Veronica; Otieno, Simeon; Otingah, Kennedy; Wright, Danny; Charleston, Bryan; Okoth, Edward; Elena, Lopez-Gil; Lorenzo, Gema; Ayman, El-Behiry; Alharbi, Naif K.; Al-dubaib, Musaad A.; Brun, Alejandro; Gilbert, Sarah C.; Nene, Vishvanath; Hill, Adrian V. S.

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) causes recurrent outbreaks of acute life-threatening human and livestock illness in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. No licensed vaccines are currently available for humans and those widely used in livestock have major safety concerns. A ‘One Health’ vaccine development approach, in which the same vaccine is co-developed for multiple susceptible species, is an attractive strategy for RVFV. Here, we utilized a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine platform with an established human and livestock safety profile, ChAdOx1, to develop a vaccine for use against RVFV in both livestock and humans. We show that single-dose immunization with ChAdOx1-GnGc vaccine, encoding RVFV envelope glycoproteins, elicits high-titre RVFV-neutralizing antibody and provides solid protection against RVFV challenge in the most susceptible natural target species of the virus-sheep, goats and cattle. In addition we demonstrate induction of RVFV-neutralizing antibody by ChAdOx1-GnGc vaccination in dromedary camels, further illustrating the potency of replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine platforms. Thus, ChAdOx1-GnGc warrants evaluation in human clinical trials and could potentially address the unmet human and livestock vaccine needs. PMID:26847478

  19. Development of a sheep challenge model for Rift Valley fever.

    PubMed

    Faburay, Bonto; Gaudreault, Natasha N; Liu, Qinfang; Davis, A Sally; Shivanna, Vinay; Sunwoo, Sun Young; Lang, Yuekun; Morozov, Igor; Ruder, Mark; Drolet, Barbara; Scott McVey, D; Ma, Wenjun; Wilson, William; Richt, Juergen A

    2016-02-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic disease that causes severe epizootics in ruminants, characterized by mass abortion and high mortality rates in younger animals. The development of a reliable challenge model is an important prerequisite for evaluation of existing and novel vaccines. A study aimed at comparing the pathogenesis of RVF virus infection in US sheep using two genetically different wild type strains of the virus (SA01-1322 and Kenya-128B-15) was performed. A group of sheep was inoculated with both strains and all infected sheep manifested early-onset viremia accompanied by a transient increase in temperatures. The Kenya-128B-15 strain manifested higher virulence compared to SA01-1322 by inducing more severe liver damage, and longer and higher viremia. Genome sequence analysis revealed sequence variations between the two isolates, which potentially could account for the observed phenotypic differences. We conclude that Kenya-128B-15 sheep infection represents a good and virulent challenge model for RVF. PMID:26748334

  20. Protein Phosphatase-1 regulates Rift Valley fever virus replication.

    PubMed

    Baer, Alan; Shafagati, Nazly; Benedict, Ashwini; Ammosova, Tatiana; Ivanov, Andrey; Hakami, Ramin M; Terasaki, Kaori; Makino, Shinji; Nekhai, Sergei; Kehn-Hall, Kylene

    2016-03-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), genus Phlebovirus family Bunyaviridae, is an arthropod-borne virus endemic throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Recent outbreaks have resulted in cyclic epidemics with an increasing geographic footprint, devastating both livestock and human populations. Despite being recognized as an emerging threat, relatively little is known about the virulence mechanisms and host interactions of RVFV. To date there are no FDA approved therapeutics or vaccines for RVF and there is an urgent need for their development. The Ser/Thr protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) has previously been shown to play a significant role in the replication of several viruses. Here we demonstrate for the first time that PP1 plays a prominent role in RVFV replication early on during the viral life cycle. Both siRNA knockdown of PP1α and a novel PP1-targeting small molecule compound 1E7-03, resulted in decreased viral titers across several cell lines. Deregulation of PP1 was found to inhibit viral RNA production, potentially through the disruption of viral RNA transcript/protein interactions, and indicates a potential link between PP1α and the viral L polymerase and nucleoprotein. These results indicate that PP1 activity is important for RVFV replication early on during the viral life cycle and may prove an attractive therapeutic target. PMID:26801627

  1. Magma paths at Piton de la Fournaise volcano: a synthesis of Hawaiian and Etnean rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michon, Laurent; Ferrazzini, Valérie; Di Muro, Andrea; Chaput, Marie; Famin, Vincent

    2014-05-01

    On ocean basaltic volcanoes, magma transfer to the surface occurs along sub-vertical ascent from the mantle lithosphere through the oceanic crust and the volcanic edifice, eventually followed by lateral propagation along rift zones. We use a 17-years-long database of volcano-tectonic seismic events and a detailed mapping of the pyroclastic cones to determine the geometry and the dynamics of the magma paths intersecting the edifice of Piton de la Fournaise volcano. We show that the overall plumbing system, from about 30 km depth to the surface, is composed of two structural levels that feed distinct types of rift zones. The lower plumbing system has a southeastward (N120) orientation and permits magma transfer from the lithospheric mantle to the base of the La Réunion edifice (5 km bsl). The related rift zone is wide, linear, spotted by small to large pyroclastic cones and related lava flows and involving magma resulting from high-pressure fractionation of ol ± cpx and presents an eruption periodicity of around 200 years over the last 30 kyrs. Seismic data suggest that the long-lasting activity of this rift zone result from a regional NNE-SSW extension reactivating inherited lithospheric faults by the effect of underplating and/or thermal erosion of the mantle lithosphere. The upper plumbing system originates at the base of the edifice in the vertical continuity of the lower plumbing system. It feeds frequent (1 eruption every 9 months on average), short-lived summit and distal (flank) eruptions along summit and outer rift zones, respectively. Summit rift zones are short and present an orthogonal pattern restricted to the central active cone of Piton de la Fournaise whereas outer rift zones extend from inside the Enclos Fouqué caldera to the NE and SE volcano flanks. We show that the outer rift zones are genetically linked to the east flank seaward displacements, whose most recent events where detected in 2004 and 2007. The lateral movements are themselves triggered by shallow sill intrusions below the east flank. We propose that the sub-vertical magma intrusions along the perpendicular summit rift zones, sill intrusions and subsequent magma injections along the outer rift zones are controlled by cycles of stress permutations. Recurrent dyke injections along the summit rift zone in an extensional stress field reduce the deviatoric stress until a switch of the axes of principal stresses and a sill intrusion. The related flank lateral destabilization restores the extensional stress field and initiates a new cycle of stress permutations. To sum up, rift zones of Piton de la Fournaise present strong geometrical and dynamical differences. On the one hand, the lower plumbing system feeds rift zones showing striking similarities to those developed in Hawaii during the alkaline postshield stage. On the other hand, the rift zones connected to upper plumbing system and the related volcano flank movement can be compared to the eruptive and east flank dynamics of Mount Etna.

  2. Morpho-structural evolution of a volcanic island developed inside an active oceanic rift: S. Miguel Island (Terceira Rift, Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibrant, A. L. R.; Hildenbrand, A.; Marques, F. O.; Weiss, B.; Boulesteix, T.; Hübscher, C.; Lüdmann, T.; Costa, A. C. G.; Catalão, J. C.

    2015-08-01

    The evolution of volcanic islands is generally marked by fast construction phases alternating with destruction by a variety of mass-wasting processes. More specifically, volcanic islands located in areas of intense regional deformation can be particularly prone to gravitational destabilisation. The island of S. Miguel (Azores) has developed during the last 1 Myr inside the active Terceira Rift, a major tectonic structure materializing the present boundary between the Eurasian and Nubian lithospheric plates. In this work, we depict the evolution of the island, based on high-resolution DEM data, stratigraphic and structural analyses, high-precision K-Ar dating on separated mineral phases, and offshore data (bathymetry and seismic profiles). The new results indicate that: (1) the oldest volcanic complex (Nordeste), composing the easternmost part of the island, was dominantly active between ca. 850 and 750 ka, and was subsequently affected by a major south-directed flank collapse. (2) Between at least 500 ka and 250 ka, the landslide depression was massively filled by a thick lava succession erupted from volcanic cones and domes distributed along the main E-W collapse scar. (3) Since 250 kyr, the western part of this succession (Furnas area) was affected by multiple vertical collapses; associated plinian eruptions produced large pyroclastic deposits, here dated at ca. 60 ka and less than 25 ka. (4) During the same period, the eastern part of the landslide scar was enlarged by retrogressive erosion, producing the large Povoação valley, which was gradually filled by sediments and young volcanic products. (5) The Fogo volcano, in the middle of S. Miguel, is here dated between ca. 270 and 17 ka, and was affected by, at least, one southwards flank collapse. (6) The Sete Cidades volcano, in the western end of the island, is here dated between ca. 91 and 13 ka, and experienced mutliple caldera collapses; a landslide to the North is also suspected from the presence of a subtle morphologic scar covered by recent lava flows erupted from alignments of basaltic strombolian cones. The predominance of the N150° and N75° trends in the island suggest that the tectonics of the Terceira Rift controlled the location and the distribution of the volcanism, and to some extent the various destruction events.

  3. ENAM: A community seismic experiment targeting rifting processes and post-rift evolution of the Mid Atlantic US margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Avendonk, H. J.; Magnani, M. B.; Shillington, D. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Hornbach, M. J.; Dugan, B.; Long, M. D.; Lizarralde, D.; Becel, A.; Benoit, M. H.; Harder, S. H.; Wagner, L. S.; Christeson, G. L.

    2014-12-01

    The continental margins of the eastern United States formed in the Early Jurassic after the breakup of supercontinent Pangea. The relationship between the timing of this rift episode and the occurrence of offshore magmatism, which is expressed in the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly, is still unknown. The possible influence of magmatism and existing lithospheric structure on the rifting processes along margin of the eastern U.S. was one of the motivations to conduct a large-scale community seismic experiment in the Eastern North America (ENAM) GeoPRISMS focus site. In addition, there is also a clear need for better high-resolution seismic data with shallow penetration on this margin to better understand the geological setting of submarine landslides. The ENAM community seismic experiment is a project in which a team of scientists will gather both active-source and earthquake seismic data in the vicinity of Cape Hatteras on a 500 km wide section of the margin offshore North Carolina and Virginia. The timing of data acquisition in 2014 and 2015 facilitates leveraging of other geophysical data acquisition programs such as Earthscope's Transportable Array and the USGS marine seismic investigation of the continental shelf. In April of 2014, 30 broadband ocean-bottom seismometers were deployed on the shelf, slope and abyssal plain of the study site. These instruments will record earthquakes for one year, which will help future seismic imaging of the deeper lithosphere beneath the margin. In September and October of 2014, regional marine seismic reflection and refraction data will be gathered with the seismic vessel R/V Marcus Langseth, and airgun shots will also be recorded on land to provide data coverage across the shoreline. Last, in the summer of 2015, a land explosion seismic refraction study will provide constraints on the crustal structure in the adjacent coastal plain of North Carolina and Virginia. All seismic data will be distributed to the community through IRIS/DMC and the LDEO/UTIG Seismic data center. Two workshops are planned for 2015, where new users get an opportunity to engage in basic processing and analysis of the new data set.

  4. The accuracy of the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display during cervical spine mobility measurement.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xu; Chen, Karen B; Lin, Jia-Hua; Radwin, Robert G

    2015-02-26

    An inertial sensor-embedded virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display, the Oculus Rift (the Rift), monitors head movement so the content displayed can be updated accordingly. While the Rift may have potential use in cervical spine biomechanics studies, its accuracy in terms of cervical spine mobility measurement has not yet been validated. In the current study, a VR environment was designed to guide participants to perform prescribed neck movements. The cervical spine kinematics was measured by both the Rift and a reference motion tracking system. Comparison of the kinematics data between the Rift and the tracking system indicated that the Rift can provide good estimates on full range of motion (from one side to the other side) during the performed task. Because of inertial sensor drifting, the unilateral range of motion (from one side to neutral posture) derived from the Rift is more erroneous. The root-mean-square errors over a 1-min task were within 10° for each rotation axis. The error analysis further indicated that the inertial sensor drifted approximately 6° at the beginning of a trial during the initialization. This needs to be addressed when using the Rift in order to more accurately measure cervical spine kinematics. It is suggested that the front cover of the Rift should be aligned against a vertical plane during its initialization. PMID:25636855

  5. Galapagos rift at 86 /sup 0/W: 4. Structure and morphology of hydrothermal fields and their relationship to the volcanic and tectonic processes of the rift valley

    SciTech Connect

    Crane, K.; Ballard, R.D.

    1980-03-10

    The Angus camera system is used to investigate the detailed structure and morphology of the active hydrothermal vent fields of the Galapagos Rift. Precision navigational data are combined with microtopographic information and detailed geological and biological observations obtained from an analysis of the color bottom pictures to create a series of three-dimensional models for each vent field.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  7. Rifting-to-drifting transition of the South China Sea: early Cenozoic syn-rifting deposition imaged with prestack depth migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, T.; Li, C.; Li, J.

    2012-12-01

    One of the major unsolved questions of the opening of the South China Sea (SCS) is its opening sequences and episodes. It has been suggested, for example, that the opening of the East and Northwest Sub-basins predated, or at least synchronized with, that of the Southwest Sub-basin, a model contrasting with some others in which an earlier opening in the Southwest Sub-basin is preferred. Difficulties in understanding the perplexing relationships between different sub-basins are often compounded by contradicting evidences leading to different interpretations. Here we carry out pre-stack depth migration of a recently acquired multichannel reflection seismic profile from the Southwest Sub-basin of the SCS in order to reveal complicated subsurface structures and strong lateral velocity variations associated with a thick syn-rifting sequence on the southern margin of the Southwest Sub-basin. Combined with gravimetric and magnetic inversion and modeling, this depth section helps us understand the complicated transitional processes from continental rifting to seafloor spreading. This syn-rifting sequence is found to be extremely thick, over 2 seconds in two-way travel time, and is located directly within the continent-ocean transition zone. It is bounded landwards by a seaward dipping fault, and tapers out seaward. The top of this sequence is an erosional truncation, representing mainly the Oligocene-Miocene unconformity landward but slightly an older unconformity on the seaward side. Stronger erosions of this sequence are found toward the ocean basin. The sequence itself is severely faulted by a group of seaward dipping faults developed mainly within the sequence. The overall deformation style suggests a successive episode of rifting, faulting, compression, tilting, and erosion, prior to seafloor spreading. Integrating information from gravity anomalies and seismic velocities, we interpret that this sequence represents a syn-rifting sequence developed during a long period of rifting in the Southwest Sub-basin prior to the inception of seafloor spreading. The initial rifting in the Southwest Sub-basin appears to be no later, if not earlier, than in the East Sub-basin. Initial seafloor spreading incurred significant shortening, erosion, inversion, and fault tilting.

  8. Surface displacements on faults triggered by slow magma transfers between dyke injections in the 2005-2010 rifting episode at Dabbahu-Manda-Hararo rift (Afar, Ethiopia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumont, S.; Socquet, A.; Grandin, R.; Doubre, C.; Klinger, Y.

    2016-01-01

    The rifting episode that occurred in Dabbahu-Manda-Hararo (Ethiopia) between 2005 and 2010 during which 14 dyke intrusions were emitted, was a unique opportunity to study interactions between tectonic deformation and magmatic processes. While magmatism has been shown to control primarily the spatial and temporal distribution of dyke intrusions during this accretion sequence, the role of faults in accommodating plate spreading in rift segments is poorly understood. During interdyking periods, transient ground deformation due to magma movement is generally observed. Investigating such a small-scale deformation and in particular the movement along faults during these periods will help understanding the factors that trigger fault movement in magmatic rifts. We analyse fault activity during three interdyking periods: 2006 December-June (d0-d1), 2007 January-July (d5-d6) and 2009 November-January (d10-d11). The time-space evolution of surface displacements along ˜700 faults is derived from pairs of ascending and descending SAR interferograms. Surface slip distributions are then compared with codyking ground deformation fields. The results show that faults are mainly activated above the areas affected by magma emplacement during interdyking periods. A detailed analysis of brittle deformation during the six months following the 2005 September intrusion shows asymmetric deformation on the rift shoulders, with significant opening on faults located to the west of the dyke. We explain this feature by the activation of westward dipping pre-existing faults, with block rotations in between. In addition, we observe that the strip encompassing the activated faults narrows by 30 per cent from co- to interdyking period. This suggests that magma keeps migrating to shallower depths after the dyke intrusion. During a rifting episode, activation of faults in a pre-existing fracture network therefore seems to be mainly controlled by deep magma processes.

  9. Sediment infill within rift basins: Facies distribution and effects of deformation: Examples from the Kenya and Tanganyika Rifts, East Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Tiercelin, J.J.; Lezzar, K.E. ); Richert, J.P. )

    1994-07-01

    Oil is known from lacustrine basins of the east African rift. The geology of such basins is complex and different depending on location in the eastern and western branches. The western branch has little volcanism, leading to long-lived basins, such as Lake Tanganyika, whereas a large quantity of volcanics results in the eastern branch characterized by ephemeral basins, as the Baringo-Bogoria basin in Kenya. The Baringo-Bogoria basin is a north-south half graben formed in the middle Pleistocene and presently occupied by the hypersaline Lake Bogoria and the freshwater Lake Baringo. Lake Bogoria is fed by hot springs and ephemeral streams controlled by grid faults bounding the basin to the west. The sedimentary fill is formed by cycles of organic oozes having a good petroleum potential and evaporites. On the other hand, and as a consequence of the grid faults, Lake Baringo is fed by permanent streams bringing into the basin large quantities of terrigenous sediments. Lake Tanganyika is a meromictic lake 1470 m deep and 700 km long, of middle Miocene age. It is subdivided into seven asymmetric half grabens separated by transverse ridges. The sedimentary fill is thick and formed by organic oozes having a very good petroleum potential. In contrast to Bogoria, the lateral distribution of organic matter is characterized by considerable heterogeneity due to the existence of structural blocks or to redepositional processes.

  10. Cretaceous intracontinental rifting and post-rift inversion in NE Brazil: Insights from the Rio do Peixe Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nogueira, Francisco C. C.; Marques, Fernando O.; Bezerra, Francisco H. R.; de Castro, David L.; Fuck, Reinhardt A.

    2015-03-01

    The breakup of Pangea in the Mesozoic placed the South American and African plates under horizontal extension, which triggered rifting and the formation of intracontinental basins in NE Brazil. The subsequent geodynamic evolution changed the forces acting upon the South American plate because of the simultaneous development of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and the Andes. The problem we address in this work is the effect of the changing stress field on intracontinental deformation in NE Brazil, and we used the intracontinental Rio do Peixe Basin (RPB) as case study. We used remote sensing, shuttle radar topography, geophysical data, and detailed structural geology to address this problem. Based on the integrated analysis of brittle deformation within the basin, at the basin boundaries, and in the host basement, we conclude the following: (1) In the Cretaceous, the Rio do Peixe Basin formed from an approximately NW-SE tension, as deduced from brittle deformation in sedimentary rocks within the RPB and bounding master faults. (2) Subsequently, the maximum compressive stress that acted upon the study area shifted from vertical to horizontal, and was oriented approximately ENE-WSW. The new compressive stress field inverted the RPB, which is recorded in the basin at all scales. (3) The inversion of the RPB is consistent with the stress field imposed by the MAR push (to the west) and the Andean push (to the east), which have kept the South American plate under ENE-WSW horizontal compression since the late Cretaceous.

  11. Complexities in rift initiation and development within the Iceland Plateau, North-Atlantic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandsdóttir, Bryndís; Hooft, Emilie; Mjelde, Rolf; Murai, Yoshio

    2015-04-01

    Spreading north of Iceland has been complex since the break-up of the North Atlantic in late Paleocene-early Eocene. Magnetic anomalies within the Iceland Plateau, west of the Ægir Ridge and along the Greenland-Iceland-Faeroe Ridge are irregular, formed by plate boundary complexities at breakup, branched accretion zones, westward rifting relocations, and large overlapping rifts. The 700 km long KRISE7 seismic refraction/reflection and gravity profile, straddles 66.5°N, between the Kolbeinsey and Ægir Ridges, crossing the three physiographic provinces that characterize this region: the Iceland Shelf, Iceland Plateau and Norway Basin. On the basis of crustal thickness and velocity structure, combined with older seismic reflection profiles and drill cores, these provinces correspond to three individual spreading rifts that were active at different time periods. The deep, fan shaped Norway basin was formed during the initial opening of the Atlantic by spreading at the now extinct Ægir Ridge. The oldest crust in the western Norway Basin has thickness 8-10 km and this thins to 4-5 km at the Ægir Ridge reflecting the progressive abandonment of spreading at this rift axis. The eastern Iceland Plateau was the locus of an extinct spreading center, which was segmented and overlapped the Ægir Ridge by 300 km. Spreading on the Iceland Plateau rift occurred simultaneously with that on the Ægir Ridge prior to 26 Ma, when the Kolbeinsey Ridge was initiated by a westward rift jump. The Iceland Plateau rift formed by rifting along the continent-ocean transition at the former central E-Greenland margin, associated with the formation of the Jan Mayen Ridge. Lower crustal domes and corresponding gravity highs across the Iceland Plateau mark the location of the extinct rift axis. The crust at the Iceland Plateau rift is thicker (12-15 km) that that at the conjugate Ægir Ridge and formed under active upwelling conditions (normal lower crustal velocities), which we attribute to the influence of the Iceland plume. The overlapping geometry of the Ægir and Iceland Plateau rift, led to progressive south to north abandonment of spreading on the Ægir Ridge. Rifting at the Kolbeinsey Ridge in the last 26 Ma formed the shallowest physiographic province, the Iceland Shelf. Initiation of the Kolbeinsey Ridge is recorded in very thick crust (24-28 km) at the eastern Iceland Shelf, due to significant increase in melt flux (active, plume driven upwelling) which caused the spreading axis to jump from the Iceland Plateau to the new Kolbeinsey ridge. Magmatism at the new Kolbeinsey Ridge was also associated with unusual large amounts of extrusive volcanism as recorded by an extremely thick (6 km) layer of low velocities in this region. As the Iceland plume approached the Mid-Atlantic ridge from the west, three separate spreading centers formed - each progressively further west. Magma from the plume generated new zones of weakness at the continent-ocean boundary and thus facilitated new spreading rifts. The plume influence is documented in thicker crust as each successive spreading center was initiated.

  12. Lithospheric and Upper Mantle Structure of the Rio Grande Rift: Implications for Pure Shear Extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, D. C.; West, M.; Aster, R.; Ni, J.; Gao, W.; Grand, S.; Baldridge, W. S.; Semken, S.

    2003-12-01

    Results from the Colorado Plateau-Rio Grande Rift-Great Plains seismic transect (LA RISTRA) experiment are consistent with a pure shear extension mechanism for the Rio Grande rift (RGR). LA RISTRA was a 950 km-long PASSCAL broadband seismic line with approximately 18 km station spacing deployed during 1999-2001 along a great circle from Lake Powell, UT to Pecos, TX, crossing the RGR near 34.5 degrees N. We image crust and uppermost mantle discontinuity structure along the transect by migrating receiver functions to produce a high resolution P-to-S converted phase image. Receiver function results show crustal thickness ranging from 45 to 50 km beneath both the Colorado Plateau and the Great Plains, thinning to a minimum of approximately 37 km centered beneath the RGR axis. The centering of the thinnest crust on the rift axis indicates that the deep crust has undergone primarily pure shear extension. Inversion of LA RISTRA surface wave data and tomographic inversion of teleseismic body-wave delay times for upper-mantle structure show a broad low velocity region, also centered beneath the rift axis. This low-velocity region is interpreted as rift-centered lithospheric thinning, indicating that lithospheric deformation, like that of the deep crust, is also primarily pure shear. A pure shear extensional mechanism for the RGR is consistent with geochemical evidence suggesting that the source region for rift related magmatism has evolved from predominantly lithospheric to asthenospheric mantle sources. This geochemical evolution of magmatism has been interpreted as lithospheric thinning, with the greatest thinning centered beneath the rift axis. Pure shear extension is further supported by processing regional gravity data to produce the decompensative gravity anomaly, which again shows symmetric thinning of the lithosphere closely tracking the rift axis. We conclude that while the upper crust along the RGR has undergone brittle deformation expressed as a series of asymmetric grabens, the lower crust and mantle lithosphere of the RGR have thinned symmetrically about the rift axis, indicating a pure shear mode of lithospheric deformation.

  13. Crustal and lithospheric structure of the west Antarctic Rift System from geophysical investigations: a review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1999-01-01

    The active West Antarctic Rift System, which extends from the continental shelf of the Ross Sea, beneath the Ross Ice Shelf and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is comparable in size to the Basin and Range in North America, or the East African rift systems. Geophysical surveys (primarily marine seismic and aeromagnetic combined with radar ice sounding) have extended the information provided by sparse geologic exposures and a few drill holes over the ice and sea covered area. Rift basins developed in the early Cretaceous accompanied by the major extension of the region. Tectonic activity has continued episodically in the Cenozoic to the present, including major uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains. The West Antarctic ice sheet, and the late Cenozoic volcanic activity in the West Antarctic Rift System, through which it flows, have been coeval since at least Miocene time. The rift is characterized by sparse exposures of late Cenozoic alkaline volcanic rocks extending from northern Victoria Land throughout Marie Byrd Land. The aeromagnetic interpretations indicate the presence of > 5 x 105 km2 (> 106 km3) of probable late Cenozoic volcanic rocks (and associated subvolcanic intrusions) in the West Antarctic rift. This great volume with such limited exposures is explained by glacial removal of the associated late Cenozoic volcanic edifices (probably hyaloclastite debris) concomitantly with their subglacial eruption. Large offset seismic investigations in the Ross Sea and on the Ross Ice Shelf indicate a ~ 17-24-km-thick, extended continental crust. Gravity data suggest that this extended crust of similar thickness probably underlies the Ross Ice Shelf and Byrd Subglacial Basin. Various authors have estimated maximum late Cretaceous-present crustal extension in the West Antarctic rift area from 255-350 km based on balancing crustal thickness. Plate reconstruction allowed < 50 km of Tertiary extension. However, paleomagnetic measurements suggested about 1000 km of post-middle Cretaceous translation between East Antarctica and Pacific West Antarctica. Because a great amount of crustal extension in late Cenozoic time is unlikely, alternate mechanisms have been proposed for the late Cenozoic volcanism. Its vast volume and the ocean island basalt chemistry of the exposed late Cenozoic alkaline volcanic rocks were interpreted as evidence for a mantle plume head. An alternative or supplemental explanation to the mantle plume hypothesis is significantly greater lower lithosphere (mantle) stretching resulting in greater decompression melting than the limited Cenozoic crustal extension allows. Because of very slow rates of late Cenozoic extension in the West Antarctic Rift System, the amount of advected heat is small compared with the conductive heat. Therefore, phase transition probably would not explain the large subsidence with low extension observed in the West Antarctic Rift System. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

  14. Force Required to Breakup a Continent: Implications on Rifting Localization and Migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svartman Dias, A. E.; Lavier, L. L.; Hayman, N. W.

    2014-12-01

    The maximum force from ridge push available is about 5 TN/m, lower than that required by 2D and 3D numerical experiments to rift the lithosphere in the absence of magmatic input. We carry out 2D numerical experiments without any magmatic input to study the extensional force necessary to start a rift basin and to breakup a continent. We assume a range of initial temperature structure, crust and mantle initial thicknesses and composition. In a first step, we use velocity boundary conditions (1cm/yr) and we monitor the force necessary to breakup the continent. Results can be classified in two groups according to the amount of force needed to rift through time: (1) The initial force builds up rapidly to 12-20 TN/m within 0.4-1.0 Myr. This is followed by an exponential decrease due to early strain localization and lithospheric weakening. The force is < 5TN/m after 4.4-7.0 Myr of extension. Continental breakup occurs approximately 10 Myr after the onset of extension forming narrow conjugate margins. This group encompasses experiments with initial Tmoho < 650oC and crustal thicknesses ≤ 35 km, where crust and mantle deformation are coupled from the early stages of rifting. (2) The initial build-up is more discrete, from < 3 TN/m to 4-6.5 TN/m in the first 0.1 Myr, followed by a decrease to a nearly constant value of 3-5 TN/m from 0.4 Myr to 10 Myr, when strain starts localizing. The constant force through time reflects lithosphere strengthening and migration of the deformation. This rift migration forms a wide basin (> 250 km wide) that may evolve to form very asymmetric conjugate margins. Breakup occurs 18 Myr after the onset of rifting or later. This second group corresponds to experiments with initial Tmoho > 650 km and crustal thicknesses ≥ 35 km. High bending stresses result in upper crust brittle failure and on enhancement of lower crust lateral flow. Interaction between ductile failure in the lower crust and brittle failure in the upper crust controls the migration of the deformation. In a second step, we repeat the same experiments applying a constant extensional force ≤ 5 TN/m to test whether and how the limited ridge push force naturally available can rift and breakup a continent. We then compare our results to the evolution of aborted rifts and to along strike variations in rifted magins such as the South Atlantic.

  15. The Role of Rheological Weakening in the Formation of Narrow Rifts on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martone, Alexis; Montesi, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    The rift zones on Venus are remarkably similar to those seen on Earth, despite Venus’ current lack of plate tectonics. The Devana Chasma rift on Beta Regio accommodates extension in a narrow zone and is associated with volcanism. As a result, it has often been compared to the East African Rift (Burov and Gerya, 2014; Foster and Nimmo, 1996). It has been suggested that plate boundaries develop on Earth because an interconnected network of localized shear zones (areas of concentrated weakening) can form through the lithosphere (Regenauer-Lieb and Yuen, 2001). If Venusian rifts, such as Devana Chasma, are similar to terrestrial plate boundaries, then it is possible that shear zones should form in those locations.Montesi (2013) showed that water-bearing minerals, such as micas, which are probably not present on Venus, largely dominate weakening in the Earth’s crust. On Venus, melts are likely to play the role of the weak phase that allows for localization, due to its low viscosity relative to host rocks. Weakening due to grain size reduction is also possible if a dislocation-accommodated grain boundary sliding mechanism is active on Venus (Montesi, 2013).Rift stability for Venus-like conditions has been analyzed using the model of Buck (1991). This model links the evolution of lithospheric strength with the style of rifting (wide, narrow, or metamorphic core complex). The crust and mantle are assumed to be dry diabase and dry olivine, respectively (diabase rheological parameters are from Mackwell et. al. (1998), olivine rheological parameters are from Hirth and Kohlstedt (2003)). The crustal thickness and surface heat flux are varied based on estimated values from the literature (Nimmo and McKenzie, 1998; Buck, 2002). Without the inclusion of a weakening mechanism the large majority of model runs predict wide rifts developing. Adding a simplistic exponential decay to the lithospheric yield strength allows for more narrow rift formation to occur. Including explicit weakening processes, which may be associated with grain size reduction or development of a foliation, appears necessary to explain the presence of narrow rifts on Venus.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  17. 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. iSIMM investigators are V Tymms, NJ Kusznir, RS White, AM Roberts, PAF Christie, N Hurst, Z Lunnon, CJ Parkin, AW Roberts, LK Smith, R Spitzer, A. Davies and A. Surendra, with funding from NERC, DTI, Agip UK, BP, Amerada Hess Ltd., Anadarko, Conoco, Phillips, Shell, Statoil, and WesternGeco.

  18. Sedimentologic and tectonic patterns in Dead Sea rift and their application to hydrocarbon exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Eshet, Y.; Robbins, E.I.

    1986-05-01

    The Dead Sea rift was produced primarily by sinistral strike-slip movement that offset many prominent geologic features along its 600-km length, from the Red Sea to the Lebanon Mountains. Unique structural patterns such as pull-apart basins arranged en echelon show that east-west extension and compression also occurred. The sedimentologic history includes deposits of Miocene lacustrine and continental clastic sediments, Pliocene lagoonal evaporites from a marine tongue, and Pleistocene peat in the north with various clastic and chemical sediments derived from narrow, closed lakes in the south. The southern sediments were penetrated by the rising Sedom salt diapir. Recent sedimentologic features include alluvial fans along the rift margins that are being dissected during the winter by runoff. At the eastern rift margin, sands are being offset by active faults. The Dead Sea, a remnant of an earlier lake, is halite saturated and is precipitating carbonates, sulfates, and halite. Tar sands and asphalt seeps in marginal outcrops, oil and gas shows in cores, and the huge Sedom salt body have attracted hydrocarbon exploration to the Dead Sea area. Hydrocarbons may originate from (1) Senonian oil shales that occur both east and west of the rift, or (2) older (Permian-Triassic.) reservoirs that have undergone hydrologic changes brought on by rift-valley formation. An exploration model is being tested to evaluate the possibility of oil being generated by deep circulation of heavy, organic matter-rich brines along fault boundaries.

  19. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-11-01

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

  1. Transfer zones with en echelon faulting at the northern end of the Suez Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moustafa, A. R.; Ashour-Abdallah, A. M.

    1992-06-01

    Detailed field mapping of the central part of the area between the northern end of the Suez rift to the Nile Valley (Cairo-Suez area) shows that the Eocene to Miocene rocks are affected by E-W elongated belts of left-stepped en echelon normal faults. These belts act as transfer zones between NW oriented normal faults synchronous with faults of the same trend in the Suez rift. Individual faults within the en echelon fault belts are oriented E-W to WNW and dip in the same direction as the linked NW faults. Step faulting or horsts and grabens are two possible fault arrangements in the transfer zones depending on the geometry of the linked faults. The linked faults and the transfer zones are joined together in zigzag fault belts that extend northwest-ward from the northern part of the Suez rift into the Cairo-Suez area and possibly further northwestward. A substantial amount of the throw of the NW faults of the Suez rift is transferred northwestward by these zigzag fault belts. The throw generally decreases northwestward away from the rift. The en echelon fault belts were probably formed by right-lateral divergent wrenching on E-W oriented, deep-seated, preexisting faults. This right-lateral divergent wrenching is kinematically related to the dip-slip movement on the linked, NW oriented, normal faults.

  2. 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

  3. Cenozoic thermal, mechanical and tectonic evolution of the Rio Grande rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.; Seager, W. R.; Golombek, M. P.

    1986-01-01

    Two areas of New Mexico which exhibit complex but similar Cenozoic histories of extensional tectonism are analyzed. The first study area is the Basin and Range province and southern Rio Gande rift in southern New Mexico; the second study area is the central Rio Grande rift in central and northern New Mexico, the southern San Luis basin, the Espanola basin, and the Albuquerque basin. Two phases of extension were identified: the first phase which began in mid-Oligocene was characterized by local high-strain extension events, low-angle faulting, and the development of broad, shallow basins, all indicating an approximately NE-SW + or - 25 deg extension direction; the later phase which occurred primarily in the late Miocene, was characterized by synchronous, high-angle faulting, resulting in large vertical strains which produced the modern Rio Grande rift morphology. Extension direction was approximately E-W. Geotherms were estimated and lithospheric strength curves were calculated for these two phases of extension. A high geotherm was deduced for the early phase resulting in a shallow crustal brittle transition, and insignificant mantle strength. The lithosphere subsequently cooled, resulting in a significant zone of mantle strength beneath the Moho. It is concluded that the interrelationship among regional and local prerifting, synrifting, and postrifting events in the Rio Grande rift attests to the fact that the rifting (in the region studied) should be considered in the context of other geologic events.

  4. Synrift sedimentation in the Gulf of Suez rift controlled by eustatic sea level variations

    SciTech Connect

    Perry, S.K.; Schamel, S.

    1985-01-01

    Laterally persistent stratigraphic variations in the southern Gulf of Suez rift indicate that eustatic variations in sea level predominate over local tectonic effects in controlling Neogene basin-fill sedimentation. Low sea level allows extensive erosion of tilt-block crests and rift shoulders, sending clastic aprons into the intervening subbasins and allowing evaporite deposition. High sea level minimizes clastic input, allowing marls and shales to build up off structure and reefs to form on and around tilt blocks. Thus variations in sediment character indicate relative sea level. Early rifting events in the upper Oligocene are marked by deposition of continental red beds. Overlying lowest Miocene clastics and evaporites are cut by a lower Burdigalian unconformity, indicating a minor transgression in the Aquitanian. Above a disconformity, laterally varying clastics and evaporites suggest regression followed by intermittent shallow-water conditions. A higher unconformity is overlain by thick cyclic evaporites representing periodic flooding and drying of the rift, a result of sea level remaining close to the height of the Suez sill to the north. A major Messinian unconformity cuts the section, indicating major regression, and is overlain by largely clastic sediments of both continental and marine affinities, showing rapid sea level fluctuations. Regional synrift sedimentation has been controlled more by eustatic sea level change, modified by the Suez sill to the north, than by tectonic movements within the rift.

  5. Volcanics and structure of the famous narrowgate rift: Evidence for cyclic evolution: AMAR 1

    SciTech Connect

    Crane, K.; Ballard, R.D.

    1981-06-10

    A near-bottom photographic survey on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from the FAMOUS region south to Transform B reveals structural and volcanologic evidence for an alternating widening and narrowing rift valley. Extension wedges appear to be propagating south from Transform A and north from Transform B. These merge at Mt. Mars, where the rift valley is narrowest and shallowest (Narrowgate), giving the valley a symmetrical hourglass shape. Three major volcanic en echelon lineaments trend N10 /sup 0/E, 10/sup 0/ oblique to the strike of the inner walls. Faulting and fissuring are antisymmetrical across the rift valley in contrast to the major extension. This contrasting antisymmetry reflects the surficial distribution of stress across crust of varying strengths, whereas the large-scale wedge phenomenon determines the periodicity of transition from a narrow valley to a wide valley. Using vector analysis, the extension wedges are propagating at about 9 cm/yr toward each other. At this rate a narrow rift valley will be fully transformed into wide rift in 0.64 m.y.

  6. Inland extent of the Weddell Sea Rift imaged by new aerogeophysical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Tom A.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Ross, Neil; Corr, Hugh F. J.; Leat, Philip T.; Bingham, Rob G.; Rippin, David M.; le Brocq, Anne; Siegert, Martin J.

    2013-02-01

    The Weddell Sea Rift was a major focus for Jurassic extension and magmatism during the early stages of Gondwana break-up and underlies the Weddell Sea Embayment, which separates East Antarctica from a collage of crustal blocks in West Antarctica. Newly-collected aerogeophysical data over the catchments of Institute and Möller ice streams reveal the inland extent of the Weddell Sea Rift against the Ellsworth-Whitmore block and a hitherto unknown major left-lateral strike slip boundary between East and West Antarctica. Aeromagnetic and gravity anomalies define the regional subglacial extent of Proterozoic basement, Middle Cambrian rift-related volcanic rocks, Jurassic intrusions and sedimentary rocks of inferred post-Jurassic age. 2D and 3D magnetic depth-to-source estimates were used to help constrain joint magnetic and gravity models for the region. The models reveal that Proterozoic crust similar to that exposed at Haag Nunataks, extends southeast of the Ellsworth Mountains to the margin of the Coastal Basins. Thick granitic Jurassic intrusions are modelled at the transition between the Ellsworth-Whitmore block and the thinner crust of the Weddell Sea Rift and within the Pagano Shear Zone. The crust beneath the inland extension of the Weddell Sea Rift is modelled as being either ~ 4 km thinner compared to the adjacent Ellsworth-Whitmore block or as underlain by an up to 8 km thick mafic underplate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Geodyamic Models of the Tectonomagmatic Evolution of the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anoka, J. L.; Harry, D. L.

    2007-12-01

    Finite element geodynamic models reproduce the general aspects of the style and timing of extension in the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS). In particular, the models simulate a prolonged period of diffuse extension throughout the WARS during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic followed by later focused extension in the Victoria Land Basin during the middle Paleogene. Two families of models are identified that are consistent with the Paleogene onset of magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System under both normal and warm (70-120º hotter than global average) mantle potential temperatures. The two families of models produce distinctly different melt distribution patterns across the WARS. In models invoking normal mantle temperatures the greatest thickness of melt is confined to the Victoria Land Basin region. In models invoking warmer mantle temperatures, the greatest thickness of melt is widely distributed in the region currently underlaying the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The models indicate that 1) the onset of Cenozoic magmatism in the Victoria Land Basin can be explained as rift induced without requiring the impingement of a plume or a change in plate motion, 2) if rifting is associated with a plume then the magmatic rocks under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet should be late Cretaceous to early Cenozoic in age, and 3) if the magmatic rocks under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are older or younger than the main stage of rifting (ca. 105 Ma to 35 Ma), a syn-extensional plume could not have been present.

  10. Crustal structure of the Southern Rio Grande rift determined from seismic refraction profiling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sinno, Y. A.; Keller, G. R.; Harder, S. H.; Daggett, P. H.; Morgan, P.

    1986-01-01

    As part of a major cooperative seismic experiment, a series of seismic refraction profiles have been recorded in south-central New Mexico with the goal of determining the crustal structure in the southern Rio Grande rift. The data gathered greatly expand the seismic data base in the area, and consist of three interlocking regional profiles: a reversed E-W line across the rift, an unreversed N-S axial line, and an unreversed SW-SE line. The reversed E-W line shows no significant dip along the Moho (32 km thick crust) and a 7.7 km/s Pn velocity. Results from the N-S axial line and the NW-SE line indicate an apparent Pn velocity of 7.95 km/s and significant dip along the Moho with crustal thinning toward the south and southeast. When interpreted together, these data indicate a crustal thinning in the southern rift of 4-6 km with respect to the northern rift and the adjacent Basin and Range province, and establish the regional Pn velocity to be approximately 7.7 km/s. These results suggest that the Rio Grande rift can be identified as a crustal feature separate and distinct from the Basin and Range province.

  11. Strain partitioning evolution and segmentation in hyperextended rift systems: insights from the Bay of Biscay and Pyrenees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tugend, Julie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Kusznir, Nick J.

    2014-05-01

    The understanding of the formation of hyper-extended domains has greatly benefited from combined studies at present-day and fossil rift systems preserved in collisional orogens. However, even though domains of extreme crustal and lithosphere thinning have been increasingly recognized, the spatial and temporal evolution of their tectonic processes remains poorly constrained. The Bay of Biscay and Pyrenees correspond to a Late Jurassic to Mid Cretaceous rift system including both oceanic and hyper-extended rift domains. The transition from preserved oceanic and rift domains to the West to their complete inversion in the East provide simultaneous access to seismically imaged and exposed parts of a hyper-extended rift system. We combine seismic interpretations and gravity inversion results with field mapping to identify and map former rift domains from the Bay of Biscay margins to their fossil analogues preserved in the Pyrenean orogen. This onshore/offshore map of the rift systems enables us to investigate the spatial and temporal evolution and the strain distribution related to the formation of a strongly segmented rift system preserved at the transition between the European and Iberian plate boundary. The restoration of the hyper-extended domains reveals the occurrence of spatially disconnected rift systems separated by weakly thinned continental ribbons (e.g. Landes High, Ebro block). While the offshore Bay of Biscay represent a former mature oceanic domain, the fossil remnants of hyper-extended domains preserved onshore in the Pyrenean-Cantabrian orogen record distributed extensional deformation partitioned between strongly segmented rift basins (e.g. Basque-Cantabrian, Arzacq-Mauléon basins). Rift system segmentation controls lateral variations of architecture and may be partly inherited from the pre-rift structuration. The relative timing of hyper-extensional processes is diachronous between the different rift systems recording the polyphased evolution of the European - Iberian plate boundary. Based on the subsidence and deformation history, we propose a scenario illustrating the strain partitioning evolution between the different rift systems. The results of this work may provide insights on the spatial and temporal evolution of the embryonic stages of other segmented rifted continental margins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  13. Left-lateral transtension along the Ethiopian Rift and constrains on the mantle-reference plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muluneh, Ameha A.; Cuffaro, Marco; Doglioni, Carlo

    2014-09-01

    We present the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift, in the northern part of East African Rift System, derived from compilation of geodetic velocities, focal mechanism inversions, structural data analysis and geological profiles. In the central Ethiopian Rift, the GPS velocity field shows a systematic magnitude increase in ENE direction, and the incremental extensional strain axes recorded by earthquake focal mechanisms and fault slip inversion show ? N100°E orientation. This deviation between direction of GPS velocity vectors and orientation of incremental extensional strain is developed due to left lateral transtensional deformation along the NE-SW trending segment of the rift. This interpretation is consistent with the en-échelon pattern of tensional and transtensional faults, plus the distribution of the volcanic centers, and the asymmetry of the rift itself. We analyzed the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift also relative to the mantle comparing the results in the deep and shallow hotspot reference frames. While the oblique orientation of the rift was controlled by the pre-existing lithospheric fabric, the two reference frames predict different kinematics of Africa and Somalia plates along the rift itself, both in magnitude and direction, and with respect to the mantle. However, the observed kinematics and tectonics along the rift are more consistent with a faster WSW-ward motion of Africa than Somalia observed in the shallow hotspot framework. The faster WSW motion of Africa with respect to Somalia plate is inferred to be due to the lower viscosity in the top asthenosphere (LVZ-low-velocity zone) beneath Africa. These findings have significant implication for the evolution of continental rifting in transtensional settings and provide evidence for the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift in the context of the Africa-Somalia plate interaction in the mantle reference frame.

  14. Seismic stratigraphy and subsidence history of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) rifted margin and overlying foreland basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Regional seismic reflection profiles and deep exploratory well data have been used to determine the structure and evolution of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) rifted margin and overlying foreland basins. We recognized three major tectonostratigraphic sequences in the seismic profiles. A lower rifted margin sequence which is characterised by an early syn-rift sequence of mainly Late Permian age that is overlain by a post-rift sequence of Triassic-Jurassic to Late Cretaceous age, and an upper foreland basin sequences of Aruma (Late Cretaceous) and Pabdeh (Palaeocene - Oligocene) Groups. Backstripping of the well data provides new constraints on the age of rifting, the amount of crustal and mantle extension, and the development of the UAE rifted margin and foreland basins. The tectonic subsidence and uplift history at the wells can be explained by a uniform extension model with at least two episodes of rifting punctuated by periods of relative tectonic quiescence and thermal subsidence. An initial age of rifting of 260 Ma and a stretching factor, ?, of 1.2 was followed by second period of stretching with an initial age of rifting of 180 Ma, and ?, of 1.1 (Fig. 1). This model accounts for the general exponential decrease observed in the backstripped tectonic subsidence. The model, fails, however, to completely explain the slow subsidence and uplift history of the margin during Late Triassic to Early Jurassic. We attribute this slow subsidence to combine effect of a sea-level fall and regional uplift which caused major unconformity particularly offshore western Abu Dhabi. The backstrip curves suggest that the transition from an extensional rifted margin to a compressional foreland basin occurred at ~90 Ma, which is within the range for the emplacement of the Semail Ophiolite (95-68 Ma). The history during this time is characterised by uplift followed by rapid subsidence. We attribute these differential vertical movements to orogenic loading and flexure of the Arabian rifted margin by the Semail Ophiolite and development of Aruma foreland basin

  15. Topography, river network and recent fault activity at the margins of the Central Main Ethiopian Rift (East Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molin, Paola; Corti, Giacomo

    2015-11-01

    Along its length, the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) in East Africa records a transition from early fault-dominated morphology in the South to axial magma assisted-rifting typical of continental break-up in the North. It is one of the few locations on Earth offering a complete picture of the evolution of continental rifting and thus provides a unique opportunity to directly analyze how the drainage network reorganizes under extensional tectonic forcing. In this paper we present a new analysis of the river network and relative landforms-complemented with a summary of recent geological data-at both rift margins of the Central MER, a key sector of the rift capturing the phase of drainage reorganization between incipient and mature rifting. This analysis shows that hydrography is strongly influenced by recent tectonics. Rectangular drainage patterns, windgaps, and lacustrine/swampy areas formed by structural dams document that the rivers are in continuous competition with fault activity. The irregular longitudinal profiles (with knickpoints/knickzones in correspondence with faults) also suggest that rivers are in a transient state of disequilibrium related to recent tectonic activity at rift margins, in agreement with previous geological and seismological data. A more regional analysis extended to the adjoining Northern and Southern MER indicates that rifting evolves from initial stages characterized by margins poorly incised by rivers with gentle channel gradients (except in correspondence with faults), to mature phases in which rift margins are highly incised by a well organized fluvial network composed by concave and steep rivers. Our regional analysis also indicates a stronger and/or more recent tectonic activity at the rift margins proceeding to the south, in line with previous models of rift development.

  16. Evaporation Estimation of Rift Valley Lakes: Comparison of Models

    PubMed Central

    Melesse, Assefa M.; Abtew, Wossenu; Dessalegne, Tibebe

    2009-01-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) accounts for a substantial amount of the water flux in the arid and semi-arid regions of the World. Accurate estimation of ET has been a challenge for hydrologists, mainly because of the spatiotemporal variability of the environmental and physical parameters governing the latent heat flux. In addition, most available ET models depend on intensive meteorological information for ET estimation. Such data are not available at the desired spatial and temporal scales in less developed and remote parts of the world. This limitation has necessitated the development of simple models that are less data intensive and provide ET estimates with acceptable level of accuracy. Remote sensing approach can also be applied to large areas where meteorological data are not available and field scale data collection is costly, time consuming and difficult. In areas like the Rift Valley regions of Ethiopia, the applicability of the Simple Method (Abtew Method) of lake evaporation estimation and surface energy balance approach using remote sensing was studied. The Simple Method and a remote sensing-based lake evaporation estimates were compared to the Penman, Energy balance, Pan, Radiation and Complementary Relationship Lake Evaporation (CRLE) methods applied in the region. Results indicate a good correspondence of the models outputs to that of the above methods. Comparison of the 1986 and 2000 monthly lake ET from the Landsat images to the Simple and Penman Methods show that the remote sensing and surface energy balance approach is promising for large scale applications to understand the spatial variation of the latent heat flux. PMID:22303142

  17. A cluster of outflows in the Vulpecula <