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Sample records for western continental margin

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

    PubMed

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

    1966-10-14

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

  2. The Continental Margins of the Western North Atlantic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlee, John S.; And Others

    1979-01-01

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

  3. A newly discovered Pliocene volcanic field on the western Sardinia continental margin (western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conforti, Alessandro; Budillon, Francesca; Tonielli, Renato; De Falco, Giovanni

    2016-02-01

    A previously unknown submerged volcanic field offshore western Sardinia (western Mediterranean Sea), has been identified based on swath bathymetric data collected in 2009, 2010 and 2013, and high-resolution seismic profiles collected in 2011 and 2013. About 40 conical-shaped volcanic edifices (maximum width of about 1600 m and maximum height of about 180 m) and several lava outcrops (up to 1,200 m wide) were recognized at 20 to 150 m water depth over an area of 800 km2. The volcanic edifices are mainly eruptive monogenic vents, mostly isolated with a rather distinct shape, or grouped to form a coalescent volcanic body in which single elements are often still recognizable. High-resolution seismics enabled identifying relationships between the volcanic bodies and continental margin successions. The edifices overlie a major erosional surface related to the margin exposure following the Messinian salinity crisis, and are overlain by or interbedded with an early Pliocene marine unit. This seismo-stratigraphic pattern dates the volcanic activity to the early Pliocene, in agreement with the radiometric age of the Catalano island lavas (4.7 Ma) reported in earlier studies. The morphometry of the volcanic bodies suggests that cone erosion was higher at shallow water depths. Indeed, most of the shallow edifices are strongly eroded and flattened at 125 to 130 m water depth, plausibly explained by recurrent sub-aerial exposure during Pleistocene sea-level lowstands, whereas cones in deeper water are much better preserved. Volcanic vents and lava deposits, hereafter named the Catalano volcanic field (CVF), are emplaced along lineaments corresponding to the main directions of the normal fault system, which lowered the Sinis Basin and the western Sardinia continental margin. The CVF represents a volumetrically relevant phase of the late Miocene - Quaternary anorogenic volcanic cycle of Sardinia, which is related to the first stage of the extensional tectonics affecting the island

  4. CDP seismic sections of the western Beaufort continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eittreim, S.; Grantz, A.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilek, Y.

    2001-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, Fred; Hoggard, Mark; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

  10. Continent-ocean transition at the western Barents Sea/Svalbard continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Eldholm, O.; Faleide, J.I.; Myhre, A.M.

    1987-12-01

    The change in crustal type at the western Barents Sea/Svalbard margin takes place over a narrow zone related to primary rift and shear structures reflecting the stepwise opening of the Greenland Sea. Regionally, the margin is composed of two large shear zones and a central rifted-margin segment. Local transtension and transpression at the plate boundary caused the early Cenozoic tectonism in Svalbard and the western Barents Sea, and might explain the prominent marginal gravity and velocity anomalies.

  11. Deep continental margin reflectors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-07-01

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

  14. The Brazilian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1981-04-01

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

  15. Benthic foraminiferal distributions on the Uruguayan continental margin (South-western Atlantic) and controlling environmental factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mello, Camila; Burone, Leticia; Ortega, Leonardo; Franco-Fraguas, Paula; Lahuerta, Nuria; Mahiques, Michel; Marin, Yamandu

    2014-12-01

    The data on benthic foraminifera analysed from 110 box-core samples collected on the Uruguayan continental margin (outer shelf and upper and middle slope, between 36.54-34.64°S and 51.66-53.71°W) were used to evaluate the distribution of the benthic foraminiferal fauna and its relationship with selected abiotic parameters. Primary productivity (PP) and the organic flux (Jz) reaching the sea floor were also estimated for comparison with the foraminiferal distributions. The study area was characterised by elevated PP and Jz values, mainly in the southernmost region, which were associated with thermohaline fronts due to the presence of the Subtropical Shelf Front. The dominant identified taxa were Rhumblerella sepetibaensis (this is the first study recording the ecology of this species) and the opportunistic species Epistominella exigua, Bulimina spp. and Reophax fusiformis, which displayed maximal densities at the southernmost stations, concurrent with the highest Jz levels. The dominant species and vertical foraminiferal distributions responded to the different environmental conditions impacting the area (e.g. PP, grain size, nutrient content), which were most likely related to the hydrodynamic conditions. Hydrodynamic conditions cause differences in PP according to the locations of water masses and their fronts at the surface, according to the depth and current intensity; they determined energetic differences across the benthic environment, controlling organic matter sedimentation as well as grain size, which influenced oxygen availability within sediments.

  16. Biogeochemistry and ecosystems of continental margins in the western North Pacific Ocean and their interactions and responses to external forcing - an overview and synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Comparison of deep structure along three transects of the western North American continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fuis, G.S.; Clowes, R.M.

    1993-01-01

    Similarities in geology and potential field data that have in the past been noted among the regions of southern Alaska, southern Vancouver Island, and central California are now seen to be accompanied by similarities in deep crustal structure. A number of tectonic elements have been identified in the deep structure along transects in these three regions, although not all elements are present along each transect. These elements are A) an actively subducting oceanic plate and B) an overriding continental plate that consists of 1) a Cenozoic accretionary prism, 2) a Mesozoic accretionary prism, 3) a backstop to the Mesozoic prism, 4) a tectonically underplated body of oceanic rocks, and 5) a crustal root. -from Authors

  18. The northern Egyptian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Long-term landscape evolution, cooling and exhumation history at the Moroccan passive continental margin, Western Anti-Atlas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sehrt, Manuel; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2014-05-01

    The ENE-trending Anti-Atlas of Morocco is located at the northwestern fringe of the West African Craton and south of the High Atlas and represents the Phanerozoic foreland of the Late Palaeozoic North African Variscides and the Cenozoic Atlas Belt. The Anti-Atlas mountain belt extends from the Atlantic Ocean over 500 km into the Moroccan interior and shows a rugged topography with elevations of about 2700 m. The exhumation of the Precambrian basement and the deformation and erosion of the Palaeozoic cover is mainly related to the Variscan orogeny in the Upper Carboniferous-Lower Permian. Subsequently, exhumation of the inliers occurred in the Triassic-Jurassic, as the Anti-Atlas formed the shoulder of the Atlantic rift and finally in the Upper Eocene-Pleistocene, contemporaneously with the uplift of the Atlas belt. In Morocco, a large amount of Mesozoic terrigenous sedimentary rocks are deposited in most of the basins along the continental margin indicating a major episode of erosion during the rift and early post-rift period in the Central Atlantic. In the Tarfaya-Laâyoune-Dakhla Basin, south of the Anti-Atlas, the sedimentary cover reach a thickness of up to 12 km. The presence of high surface elevations in the Anti-Atlas mountain belt indicates a potential source area for the surrounding basins. Currently, phases of exhumation in the Anti-Atlas during the Central Atlantic rifting and places where the associated erosion products are deposited are poorly constrained and there is little quantitative data available at present. The present study was focused on the thermal and exhumation history of the Western Anti-Atlas, the burial and inversion history of the Tarfaya-Laâyoune-Dakhla Basin and on provenance analysis of the Meso-Cenozoic sedimentary rocks in the basin. In order to characterize the t-T history, apatite and zircon fission-track dating, apatite and zircon (U-Th-Sm)/He dating and furthermore 2-D modelling with 'HeFTy' software has been carried out at

  20. East Africa continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Bosellini, A.

    1986-01-01

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

  1. Factors controlling late Cenozoic continental margin growth from the Ebro Delta to the western Mediterranean deep sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Maldonado, A.

    1990-01-01

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

  2. Structure and function of nematode communities across the Indian western continental margin and its oxygen minimum zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, R.; Ingole, B. S.

    2016-01-01

    We studied patterns of nematode distribution along the western Indian continental margin to determine the influence of habitat heterogeneity and low oxygen levels on the community's taxonomic and functional structure. A single transect, perpendicular to the coast at 14° N latitude was sampled from 34 to 2546 m depth for biological and environmental variables during August 2007. The oxygen minimum zone extended from 102 to 1001 m. Nematodes (described and undescribed) were identified to species and classified according to biological and functional traits. A total of 110 nematode species belonging to 24 families were found along the transect. Three depth zones were identified: the shelf (depth range: 34-102 m; highest nematode mean density: 176.6 ± 37 ind 10 cm-2), the slope (525-1524 m; 124.3 ± 16 ind 10 cm-2), and the basin (2001-2546 m; 62.9 ± 2 ind 10 cm-2). Across the entire study area, the dominant species were Terschellingia longicaudata, Desmodora sp. 1, Sphaerolaimus gracilis, and Theristus ensifer; their maximum density was at shelf stations. Nematode communities in different zones differed in species composition. Chromadorita sp. 2 (2.78 %) and Sphaerolaimus gracilis (2.21 %) were dominant on the shelf, whereas Terschellingia longicaudata (4.73 %) and Desmodora sp. 1 (4.42 %) were dominant on the slope, but in the basin, Halalaimus sp. 1(1.11 %) and Acantholaimus elegans (1.11 %) were dominant. The information in a particular functional group was not a simple reflection of the information in species abundance. Ecological information captured by adult length, adult shape, and life-history strategy was less site-specific and thus differed notably from information contained in other taxonomic groups. The functional composition of nematodes was strongly linked to the organic-carbon and dissolved-oxygen concentration. Seven species were found exclusively in the oxygen minimum zone: Pselionema sp. 1, Choanolaimus sp. 2, Halichoanolaimus sp. 1, Cobbia dentata

  3. On the Evolution of Glaciated Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Benthic respiration and standing stock on two contrasting continental margins in the western Indian Ocean: the Yemen-Somali upwelling region and the margin off Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duineveld, G. C. A.; De Wilde, P. A. W. J.; Berghuis, E. M.; Kok, A.; Tahey, T.; Kromkamp, J.

    During the Netherlands Indian Ocean Project (NIOP, 1992-1993) sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) was measured on two continental margins in the Indian Ocean with different productivity: the productive upwelling region off Yemen-Somalia and the supposedly less productive Kenyan margin, which lacks upwelling. The two margins also differ in terms of river input (Kenya) and the more severe oxygen minimum in the Arabian Sea. Simultaneously with SCOC, distributions of benthic biomass and phytodetritus were studied. Our expectation was that benthic processes in the upwelling margin of the Arabian Sea would be relatively enhanced as a result of the higher productivity. On the Kenyan margin, SCOC (range l-36 mmol m -2 d -1) showed a clear decrease with increasing water depth, and little temporal variation was detected between June and December. Highest SCOC values of this study were recorded at 50 m depth off Kenya, with a maximum of 36 mmol m -2 d -1 in the northernmost part. On the margin off Yemen-Somalia, SCOC was on average lower and showed little downslope variation, 1.8-5.7 mmol m -2 d -1, notably during upwelling, when the zone between 70 and 1700 m was covered with low O 2 water (10-50 μM). After cessation of upwelling, SCOC at 60 m depth off Yemen increased from 5.7 to 17.6 mmol m -2 d -1 concurrently with an increase of the near-bottom O 2 concentration (from 11 to 153 μM), suggesting a close coupling between SCOC and O 2 concentration. This was demonstrated in shipboard cores in which the O 2 concentration in the overlying water was raised after the cores were first incubated under in situ conditions (17 μM O 2). This induced an immediate and pronounced increase of SCOC. Conversely, at deeper stations permanently within the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), SCOC showed little variation between monsoon periods. Hence, organic carbon degradation in sediments on a large part of the Yemen slope appears hampered by the oxygen deficiency of the overlying water

  6. Organic matter pools, C turnover and meiofaunal biodiversity in the sediments of the western Spitsbergen deep continental margin, Svalbard Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pusceddu, A.; Carugati, L.; Gambi, C.; Mienert, J.; Petani, B.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; Canals, M.; Heussner, S.; Danovaro, R.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated organic matter (OM) quantity, nutritional quality and degradation rates, as well as abundance and biodiversity of meiofauna and nematodes along the deep continental margin off Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard Archipelago. Sediment samples were collected in July 2010 and 2011 along a bathymetric gradient between 600 m and 2000 m depth, and total mass flux measured at the same depths from July 2010 to July 2011. In both sampling periods sedimentary OM contents and C degradation rates increased significantly with water depth, whereas OM nutritional quality was generally higher at shallower depths, with the unique exception at 600 m depth in 2010. Meiofaunal abundance and biomass (largely dominated by nematodes) showed the highest values at intermediate depths (ca 1500 m) in both sampling periods. The richness of meiofaunal higher taxa and nematode species richness did not vary significantly with water depth in both sampling periods. We suggest here that patterns in OM quantity, C degradation rates, and meiofauna community composition in 2011 were likely influenced by the intensification of the warm West Spitsbergen Current (WSC). We hypothesize that the intensity of the WSC inflow to the Arctic Ocean could have an important role on benthic biodiversity and functioning of deep-sea Arctic ecosystems.

  7. The role of continental margins in the final stages of arc formation: Constraints from teleseismic tomography of the Gibraltar and Calabrian Arc (Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argnani, Andrea; Cimini, Giovanni Battista; Frugoni, Francesco; Monna, Stephen; Montuori, Caterina

    2016-05-01

    The deep seismicity and lateral distribution of seismic velocity in the Central Western Mediterranean, point to the existence under the Alboran and Tyrrhenian Seas of two lithospheric slabs reaching the mantle transition zone. Gibraltar and Calabrian narrow arcs correspond to the slabs. Similarities in the tectonic and mantle structure of the two areas have been explained by a common subduction and roll-back mechanism, in which the two arcs are symmetrical end members. We present a new 3-D tomographic model at mantle scale for the Calabrian Arc and compare it with a recently published model for the Gibraltar Arc by Monna et al. (2013a). The two models, calculated with inversion of teleseismic phase arrivals, have a scale and parametrization that allow for a direct comparison. The inclusion in both inversions of ocean bottom seismometer broadband data improves the resolution of the areas underlying the seafloor networks. This additional information is used to resolve the deep structure and constrain the reconstruction of the Central Western Mediterranean geodynamic evolution. The Gibraltar tomography model suggests that the slab is separated from the Atlantic oceanic domain by a portion of African continental margin, whereas the Calabrian model displays a continuous oceanic slab that is connected, via a narrow passage (~ 350 km), to the Ionian basin oceanic domain. Starting from the comparison of the two models we propose the following interpretation: within the Mediterranean geodynamic regime (dominated by slab rollback) the geometry of the African continental margin, located on the lower plate, represents a critical control on the evolution of subduction. As buoyant continental lithosphere entered the subduction zones, slab pull caused tears in the subducted lithosphere. This tectonic response, which occurred in the final stages of arc evolution and was strongly controlled by the paleogeography of the subducted plates, explains the observed differences between the

  8. Geodynamic models for the Neoproterozoic Yenisey Ridge orogenic belt (western Siberian Craton continental margin) and evolution of granitoid and alkaline magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vernikovsky, Valery; Vernikovskaya, Antonina

    2010-05-01

    We assume that the genesis of the Yenisey Ridge accretional orogen is a result of three events: a) syn-collisional events (probably outside the Siberian craton), which resulted in the forming of the S- and I-type 880-860 Ma Teya granites in the Central Angara terrane; b) the collision between the Central Angara terrane and the Siberian craton and the forming of the syn- and post-collisional S- and A- type 760-720 Ma Ayakhta and Glushikha granites; c) the forming of island arcs and ophiolites along the margin of the Siberian craton, their accretion and obduction onto the continent in the interval of 700-630 Ma. The last event is of special interest because at the same time in the Tatarka-Ishimba suture zone of the Yenisey Ridge, which is subparallel to the continental margin, the forming of intrusive and volcanic rocks of various composition and heightened alkalinity was taking place, including alkaline syenites as well as carbonatites and A-type granites, whose magmatic sources vary from mantle to mantle-crustal and crustal. These rocks form small plutons of round or oval shape, dikes, bedded bodies, tracing this tectonic zone along its entire length. Some of the A-type granites may be considered as hybrid rocks as suggested by mineralogical-petrographical features: inclusions of rocks of basic composition and magma-mingling structures. These granites are slightly peraluminous rocks. In contrast to the 760-720 Ma A-type granites, they have higher REE and Nb and Ta contents. They formed synchronously with the rocks of the island arc complex and their accretion and obduction onto the continental margin of Siberia in the interval of 700-630 Ma. It is quite probable that their forming in the back-arc suprasubduction zone was taking place at the same time that the oceanic plate was subducting below the continent from the western margin of the Siberian craton and reached the asthenospheric layer. The obtained data and the developed models uncover the geodynamic evolution

  9. The basins on the Argentine continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Urien, C.M.

    1996-08-01

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

  10. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Structural and functional study of the nematode community from the Indian western continental margin with reference to habitat heterogeneity and oxygen minimum zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, R.; Ingole, B. S.

    2015-07-01

    We studied patterns of nematode distribution along the western Indian continental margin to determine the influence of habitat heterogeneity and oxygen minimum on the community's taxonomic and functional structure. A single transect, perpendicular to the coast at 14° N latitude was sampled from 34 to 2546 m depth for biological and environmental variables during August 2007. Nematodes were identified to species and classified according to biological/functional traits. A total of 110 nematode species belonging to 24 families were found along the transect. Mean nematode density was higher on the shelf (176 ind 10 cm-2, 34 m depth) than on the slope (124 ind 10 cm-2) or in the basin 62.9 ind 10 cm-2). Across the entire study area, the dominant species were Terschellingia longicaudata, (15.2 %), Desmodora sp 1, Sphaerolaimus gracilis, and Theristus ensifer; their maximum density was at shelf stations. Multidimensional scaling ordination (nMDS) of the nematode species abundance data indicated the effect of different zones (ANOSIM; Global R = 0.607; P = 0.028), but it was not the same in case of functional traits. Only seven species were found exclusively in the oxygen minimum zone: Pselionema sp 1, Choanolaimus sp 2, Halichoanolaimus sp 1, Cobbia dentata, Daptonema sp 1, Trissonchulus sp 1, and Minolaimus sp 1. Moreover, in our study, species diversity was higher on the shelf than on the slope or in the basin. The distinctive features of all three zones as based on nematofaunal abundance were also reflected in the functional traits (feeding types, body shape, tail shape, and life history strategy). Correlation with a number of environmental variables indicated that food quality (measured as the organic carbon content and chlorophyll content) and oxygen level were the major factors that influenced the nematode community (structural and functional).

  12. Gas hydrates of outer continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Kvenvolden, K.A. )

    1990-05-01

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

  13. Continental margin tectonics - Forearc processes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-01

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

  14. Dynamics of the continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-11-01

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

  15. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sahay, B.

    1984-05-01

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

  18. Modes of continental decretion in western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, F. A.

    2010-12-01

    Between the Archean Slave Province and the Pacific Ocean, the North American continent in Canada appears to have ‘grown’ westward during Paleoproterozoic (Wopmay) and Paleozoic-Mesozoic (Cordilleran) orogenesis. However, results from geological observations combined with regional geophysical surveys lead to interpretations in which pre-orogenic basement in both the Wopmay and the Cordillera projects far beneath proposed ‘accreted’ terranes. In the Wopmay orogen (1.89-1.84 Ga), deep geophysical images indicate that Archean Slave basement projects in the subsurface up to 50 km west of the Medial zone (formerly Wopmay fault), a boundary that was previously interpreted as the transition from Slave basement to accreted terrane basement. The Slave basement appears as a west-tapering tectonic wedge into accreted(?) rocks, consistent with an interpretation by Hildebrand and Bowring (Geology, 1999) that the Archean lithosphere that was formerly west of the wedge broke off and was recycled. In the Cordillera, cross sections of the lithosphere illustrate that lower crustal and upper mantle rocks as much as 2/3 of the distance across the orogen can be stratigraphically, geologically and seismically correlated to the ancient cratonic margin. Retrodeformation of rocks that were deposited on or adjacent to the craton leads to the conclusion that, prior to the onset of terrane accretion, the North American margin and associated rocks projected even farther west (today’s coordinates) - at least as far as the modern margin. Apparently, as flakes of terranes were added to the surface in the western regions of the Cordillera, the North American lithosphere, which may have been foreshortened during contraction, was tectonically and/or thermally eroded from below. As a result, terrane accretion in the Cordillera apparently resulted in a net decretion of continental lithosphere. Together, these observations lead to the interpretation that the processes responsible for

  19. Evolution of Northeast Atlantic magmatic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    England, Richard; Cornwell, David; Ramsden, Alice

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  1. Systematic mapping of the Spanish continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acosta, Juan; Muñoz, Araceli; Uchupi, Elazar

    2012-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poli, Maria-Serena; Capodivacca, Marco

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Structure of the North American Atlantic Continental Margin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1986-01-01

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

  4. Geophysical Features and Inferred Triggering Factors of Submarine Landslides in the Western Continental Margin of the Ulleung Basin, East Sea of Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cukur, D.; Kim, S. P.; Kong, G. S.; Yoon, Y.; Kim, J. K.; Choi, J. G.

    2015-12-01

    Submarine landslides form very complex features on the seafloor and the associated geological processes are yet to be known completely. Various researches are still undergoing not only for their profound academic significance but also for their hazardous impact potential to seafloor infrastructures and coastal areas. In order to investigate the morphology and cause of landslides along the western margin of the Ulleung Basin in the East Sea, we collected multiple geophysical datasets in the summer of 2015, including sparker, subbottom profiler, and multibeam echosounder. The preliminary analysis of the bathymetric data shows a number of U-shaped scarps that occur on a rather steep slope (up to 10°) in water depths of ~600 m. The scarps cover an area of ~100 km2 and have reliefs of up to 50 m. Seismic data clearly image erosional headwalls and the basal gliding plane which is characterized by a prominent high-amplitude reflector. Chaotic- to transparent-seismic facies, located immediately downslope of the headwall scarps, represent landslide deposits of about 20 m in thickness. At the base of slope, the slides form lens-shaped transparent bodies, resting on well-stratified turbidite deposits. Several V-shaped seafloor depressions near the head of these scarps are seen on the subbottom profiles. These depressions, which are ~5 m deep and ~150 m wide, are interpreted to be representing pockmarks, resulted from upward migration of gas in the sediment layers beneath. The presence of these pockmarks directly above the scars may suggest that the gases and/or gas fluids might be playing an important role for destabilizing slope sediments. Furthermore, subbottom profiles suggest the presence of numerous faults in close vicinity of headwall scarps; some are extending to the seafloor suggesting their recent activity. Earthquakes associated with tectonic activity are indicated to be the cause of these faults. Thus the fault-related earthquakes might be the final triggering

  5. Understanding continental margin biodiversity: a new imperative.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    dependent rheology and isovisous fluid-flow solutions. The effect of incorporating a lithology dependent continental lithosphere rheology (quartz-feldspar crust, olivine mantle) with temperature dependence is also being investigated. The work forms part of the Integrated Seismic Imaging and Modelling of Margins (iSIMM*) project. This work forms part of the NERC Margins iSIMM project. iSIMM investigators are from Liverpool and Cambridge Universities, Schlumberger Cambridge Research & Badley Geoscience, supported by the NERC, the DTI, Agip UK, BP, Amerada Hess Ltd, Anadarko, Conoco-Phillips, Shell, Statoil and WesternGeco. The iSIMM team comprises NJ Kusznir, RS White, AM Roberts, PAF Christie, R Spitzer, N Hurst, ZC Lunnon, CJ Parkin, AW Roberts, LK Smith, V Tymms & D. Healy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helly, John J.; Levin, Lisa A.

    2004-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Whelan, J.K.

    1990-01-01

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

  9. Long-term evolution of the western South Atlantic passive continental margin in a key area of SE Brazil revealed by thermokinematic numerical modeling using the software code Pecube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stippich, Christian; Krob, Florian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Hackspacher, Peter C.

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the research is to quantify the long-term evolution of the western South Atlantic passive continental margin (SAPCM) in SE-Brazil. Excellent onshore outcrop conditions and extensive pre-rift to post-rift archives between São Paulo and Laguna allow a high precision quantification of exhumation, and rock uplift rates, influencing physical parameters, long-term acting forces, and process-response systems. Research will integrate published1 and partly published thermochronological data from Brazil, and test lately published new concepts on causes of long-term landscape and lithospheric evolution in southern Brazil. Six distinct lithospheric blocks (Laguna, Florianópolis, Curitiba, Ilha Comprida, Peruibe and Santos), which are separated by fracture zones1 are characterized by individual thermochronological age spectra. Furthermore, the thermal evolution derived by numerical modeling indicates variable post-rift exhumation histories of these blocks. In this context, we will provide information on the causes for the complex exhumation history of the Florianópolis, and adjacent blocks. The climate-continental margin-mantle coupled process-response system is caused by the interaction between endogenous and exogenous forces, which are related to the mantle-process driven rift - drift - passive continental margin evolution of the South Atlantic, and the climate change since the Early/Late Cretaceous climate maximum. Special emphasis will be given to the influence of long-living transform faults such as the Florianopolis Fracture Zone (FFZ) on the long-term topography evolution of the SAPCM's. A long-term landscape evolution model with process rates will be achieved by thermo-kinematic 3-D modeling (software code PECUBE2,3 and FastScape4). Testing model solutions obtained for a multidimensional parameter space against the real thermochronological and geomorphological data set, the most likely combinations of parameter rates, and values can be constrained. The

  10. Marginal Basins of the Western Pacific: An Overview (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, S. D.

    2010-12-01

    Marginal ocean basins of the Western Pacific fall into several distinct categories based on their mechanisms of formation: 1) Back-arc basins that likely formed associated with island arc rifting and seafloor spreading, such as the Mariana Trough and the Shikoku-Parece Vela Basin. 2) Ocean basins that formed through processes related to continental rifting, such as the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan, and 3) marginal basins of ambiguous or uncertain origin such as the West Philippine Basin and the Celebes Sea, that may have originated by back-arc spreading, by entrapment of a fragment of an older ocean basin, or by rifting from the Southeast Asian continental margin. The origin of the largest of the western Pacific marginal basins, the West Philippine Basin, has been suggested to be either by back-arc rifting or through entrapment from a major ocean basin. Based on the geological/tectonic characteristics of ocean basin margins, the compositions and ages of oceanic basement, and the stratigraphic and paleomagnetic data from the marginal basins, only the Japan Sea, the South China Sea, the Andaman Sea, and perhaps the Celebes Sea are likely candidates for being formed in relation to the uplift off the Tibetan Plateau. While the age of formation of the West Philippine Basin (55-39 Ma) is roughly synchronous with Tibetan Plateau uplift, the lack of continental crustal blocks or continentally-derived sediment argues against an Asian continental margin origin for the West Philippine Basin. In addition, the evidence for active plate boundaries in the Philippines and along the western side of the West Philippine Basin at this time suggests that it was isolated from Asian deformation perhaps related to Tibetan Plateau uplift. The Celebes Sea is of similar age to the West Philippine Basin, and paleomagnetic data from basement rocks indicates that has moved less than 150 relative to Southeast Asia since it was formed. This evidence, coupled with N-MORB samples recovered

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golynsky, Alexander; Ivanov, Sergey; Kazankov, Andrey

    2010-05-01

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

  12. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Glaciomarine sedimentation and bottom current activity on the north-western and northern continental margins of Svalbard during the late Quaternary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chauhan, Teena; Noormets, Riko; Rasmussen, Tine L.

    2016-04-01

    Palaeo-bottom current strength of the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC) and the influence of the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet (SBIS) on the depositional environment along the northern Svalbard margins are poorly known. Two gravity cores from the southern Yermak Plateau and the upper slope north of Nordaustlandet, covering marine isotope stage (MIS) 1 to MIS 5, are investigated. Five lithofacies, based on grain size distribution, silt/clay ratio, content and mean of sortable silt (SS), are distinguished to characterise the contourite-dominated sedimentary environments. In addition, depositional environments are described using total organic carbon (TOC), total sulphur (TS) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) contents of sediments. Facies A, containing coarse SS, suggests strong bottom current activity and good bottom water ventilation conditions as inferred from low TOC content. This facies was deposited during the glacial periods MIS 4, MIS 2 and during the late Holocene. Facies B is dominated by fine SS indicating weak bottom current and poor ventilation (cf. high TOC content of 1.2-1.6%), and correlates with the MIS 4/3 and MIS 2/1 transition periods. With an equal amount of clay and sand, fine SS and high content of TOC, facies C indicates reduced bottom current strength for intervals with sediment supply from proximal sources such as icebergs, sea ice or meltwater discharge. This facies was deposited during the last glacial maximum. Facies D represents mass-flow deposits on the northern Svalbard margin attributed to the SBIS advance at or near the shelf edge. Facies E sediments indicating moderate bottom current strength were deposited during MIS 5 and MIS 3, and during parts of MIS 2. This first late Quaternary proxy record of the WSC flow and sedimentation history from the northern Svalbard margin suggests that the oceanographic conditions and ice sheet processes have exerted first-order control on sediment properties.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. The continental margin off Oregon from seismic investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-12-01

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

  16. Electrical resistivity structure under the western Cosmonauts Sea at the continental margin of East Antarctica inferred via a marine magnetotelluric experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuno, Tetsuo; Nogi, Yoshifumi; Seama, Nobukazu

    2015-06-01

    The western Cosmonauts Sea, off the coast of East Antarctica, was a site of rifting of the Gondwana supercontinent and subsequent early seafloor spreading. To improve our understanding of the breakup of Gondwana, we conducted a marine magnetotelluric experiment to determine the electrical resistivity structure within the uppermost several hundred kilometers beneath the western Cosmonauts Sea. Magnetotelluric response functions at two sites, obtained after considering possible influences of non-plane magnetic field sources, suggest that these responses include distortions by topographic variations and conductive anomalies around the observation sites. Three-dimensional forward modeling confirmed that these distortions due to topographic variations and a thin (∼2-km thick) conductive layer immediately under the sites (mostly sediments) are severe. Furthermore, three-dimensional forward modeling to investigate the resistivity structure at deeper depths revealed an upper resistive layer (≥300 Ω-m), with a thickness of <100 km, and an underlying conductive half-space (∼10 Ω-m). The upper resistive layer and the underlying conductive structure most likely represent dry and water/melt-rich oceanic upper mantle, respectively. The upper resistive layer may be thinner than anticipated under the old seafloor of the study area (likely >90 Ma), and may suggest a conductive anomaly in the upper mantle produced by mantle convection and/or upwelling.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-13

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

  20. Structure of the North American Atlantic Continental Margin.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tymms, V. J.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. The dynamics of continental extension and divergent margin formation

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, D.S. )

    1990-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. On isostasy at Atlantic-type continental margins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeney, J.F.

    1985-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-04-01

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

  11. Climatic controls on arid continental basin margin systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Cenozoic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.B. )

    1990-05-01

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

  13. A contourite depositional system along the Uruguayan continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, Thomas W.

    1989-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  18. North Sinai-Levant rift-transform continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  19. Tectonic evolution of Brazilian equatorial continental margin basins

    SciTech Connect

    Azevedo, R.P. )

    1993-02-01

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

  20. A geophysical study of the northern Svalbard continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissler, Wolfram H.; Jokat, Wilfried

    2004-07-01

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

  1. Tectonic structure and evolution of the Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Paul; Stevens, Calvin H.

    1988-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2015-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Britt, L.W. )

    1991-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thunell, Robert

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick; Leroy, Sylvie

    2013-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, L.J.

    1986-05-01

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

  9. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

    -bathymetry indicators observed in ODP and DSDP wells. Due to errors in the location of Continent-Ocean Boundary within the ocean isochron data set an alternative method may be used to determine the thermal gravity correction. This alternative method ignores the ocean isochron data and the thermal gravity correction is determined using only the rift age specified for continental breakup and lithosphere beta stretching factors derived from crustal basement thickness from gravity inversion. This method has the advantage that it does not assume the location of the COB but has the disadvantage that it fails to predict the increasing thermal gravity correction towards the ocean ridge, and hence overpredicts margin crustal thickness and underpredicts margin beta stretching factors. Failure to include volcanic addition in the gravity inversion for crustal basement thickness results in an overestimate of basement thickness, an underestimate of beta stretching factor and resulting overprediction of palaeo-bathymetry. Sensitivity to lithosphere flexural strength during flexural backstripping has been carried out. This work forms part of the NERC Margins iSIMM project. iSIMM investigators are from Liverpool and Cambridge Universities, Schlumberger Cambridge Research and Badley Geoscience, supported by the NERC, the DTI, Agip UK, BP, Amerada Hess Ltd, Anadarko, Conoco-Phillips, Shell, Statoil and WesternGeco.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  12. Buried Mesozoic rift basins of Moroccan Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Inverse Modelling of Continental Margins and Sedimentary Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-27

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Agrawal, A. )

    1990-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, Dorothea; Cherniavskaia, Ekaterina; Timokhov, Leonid

    2016-09-01

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

  6. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-01

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

  8. Recent carbonate slope development on southwest Florida continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhnt, W.; Obert, D.

    1988-08-01

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

  10. Lomonosov Ridge as a Natural Component of Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Long-term topographic feedbacks along glaciated continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Petroleum possibilities in continental margin off central Chile

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, E.

    1986-07-01

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

  14. Deep-sea Lebensspuren of the Australian continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. Post-rift unroofing of the NW Africa passive continental margin during the Central Atlantic opening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghorbal, B.; Bertotti, G.; Andriessen, P. A. M.

    2009-04-01

    Many passive margins considered as being stable for long times, show however late uplift and exhumation at regional scale as assessed by low temperature geochronometry. A large amount of Lower Cretaceous terrigeneous sediments laid down in most of basins along the NW Africa continental margins indicate that a major episode of erosion occurred during early post-rift period in the Central Atlantic. AFT and (U-Th)/He dating performed, along a roughly >500 km N-S transect, on pre-Mesozoic basement rocks from Western Meseta to the Anti-Atlas (Morocco, NW Africa) document a fully unexpected widespread unroofing during the Middle-Late Jurassic to early Late Cretaceous, with AFT and (U-Th)/He ages ranging respectively between 120-170Ma and 115-165Ma. A well documented age cluster of 140±20Ma measured for the Moroccan Meseta, Atlas domains and Anti-Atlas belt designates those domains as potentially being the source areas of the detritic sediments considering the proximity of the depositional basins. Absence of major fault separating the Anti-Atlas from the rest of the Western African Craton during the Mesozoic suggests the unroofing region to extend further in Morocco, as far south as the Reguibat (Mauritania) or even New Guinea, documented by our investigation, and perhaps even further when confirmed by additional AFT and AHe data.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bazhenova, O.K.

    1986-06-01

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

  18. Hyperextension, rifted margin geometry and its incorporation into mountain belts: Insights from the western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, R.

    2012-12-01

    Collision orogens are the products of inversion of rifted margins, and components of these rifted margins can be recognised in mountain belts. The roles of pre-existing heterogeneities in localising contractional deformation in thrust belts are well-studied. However, the distribution of hyperextended continental lithosphere at rifted margins, especially the presence of substantial tracts of hydrated upper mantle, is likely to have a strong bearing on how orogens evolve. These issues are developed here using examples drawn from the western Alps. Quantifying the magnitude and distribution of crustal thinning prior to orogenesis is critical for crustal balancing and the related prediction of subduction of continental crust. By invoking pre-orogenic hyperextension it is now possible to balance crustal sections western Alps so that the seismically imaged crust is consistent with estimates of orogenic contraction. Hitherto the same sections have required long-term subduction of continental crust - although these inferred subducted tracts have resisted seismic imaging. Transitional parts of the ancestral rifted margin, where there are rapid changes in basin geometry (Dauphine-SubBrianconnais, Vocontian flanks), appear to focus weak inversion ahead of the developing orogen. Furthermore, the style of rifting (depth-heterogeneous vs quasi-uniform kinematics) with the relative importance of lithospheric detachments and hydrated, weak upper mantle can influence the extent to which continental crust can later be subducted. That the continental crust of the internal basement massifs (Dora Maira, Gran Paradiso) experienced transient subduction (HP peaks of 2-4 GPa) implies initially strong coupling with underlying mantle lithosphere (followed by decoupling for exhumation). These parts of the ancestral continental margin are thus likely to have stretched quasi-uniformly. However, those parts of the margin that stretched heterogeneously (rider blocks that rested on hydrated mantle

  19. Surficial sediments on the western Canadian continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bornhold, Brian D.; Barrie, J. Vaughn

    1991-08-01

    The active continental margin off western Canada is characterized in the south by convergence between the Explorer and Juan de Fuca Plates and the America Plate, and in the north by transform fault motion between the Pacific and America Plates along the Queen Charlotte Fault. Except in some of the deepest troughs and basins shelf sediments are dominated by immature lithic arenites reflecting this tectonic setting. The Vancouver Island shelf is from 5 to 75 km wide and displays complex topography on the inner shelf and a relatively featureless mid- and outer shelf. An exception is the area off southwestern Vancouver Island where large basins bounded by morainal deposits extend more than two-thirds of the distance across the shelf. The shelf edge varies from 180 to 225 m depth and is indented by numerous canyons. Nearshore sediments consist mainly of gravels and boulders and become finer offshore such that muds are slowly accumulating in depths greater than 100 m. Off northwestern Vancouver Island calcareous sediments are abundant with carbonate values often exceeding 75%. High wave and current energies and efficient sediment trapping in coastal fiords have resulted in low rates of accumulation. Olive, glauconitic, Holocene muds and muddy sands are generally less than 0.3 m thick and accumulate only on the outer shelf over an extensive stiff, gray, glaciomarine sandy mud. Queen Charlotte Sound exhibits three broad, shallow, glacially scoured troughs, filled mainly with clayey silts and fine sands and separated by sand and gravel covered banks. Hecate Strait, between the Queen Charlotte Islands and the mainland, consists of a prominent southward-opening trough along the east side of the Strait bounded by Dogfish and Laskeek Banks on the west adjacent to Graham and Moresby Islands, respectively. The trough below 200 m is filled by silts. The banks are covered by discontinuous sands and gravels of variable calcareous content. The bank edges often display megaripples and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  2. Provenance and distribution of clay minerals in the sediments of the western continental shelf and slope of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purnachandra Rao, V.; Ramalingeswara Rao, B.

    1995-12-01

    The distribution of clay minerals from 156 surficial sediments of the western continental margin of India, ranging from 17 to 2000 m water depth, indicate that there are three principal sources of sediments. The illite and chlorite-rich assemblage derived from the Indus (Indus Province) is predominant in the continental margin sediments to the north of the Gulf of Kachchh. An assemblage of smectite with minor kaolinite, illite and chlorite, mostly derived from the Deccan Trap basalts (Deccan Trap Province), occurs all along the inner shelf from Saurashtra to Goa. Illite, however, dominates smectite in the outer shelf of Saurashtra and on the continental slope from Saurashtra to Goa. Some samples on the outer shelf of the Gulf of Cambay-Goa show trace contents of all clay minerals, while others from the same region show the dominance of smectite over illite. A smectite and kaolinite-rich assemblage with minor illite, chlorite and gibbsite derived from the Gneissic Province occurs both on the shelf and slope between Goa and Cochin. It appears that the Indus derived sediments are transported onto the continental slope and, to a lesser extent, the outer shelf of western India by a southerly surface current and admix with clays transported from the hinterland. The influence of the Indus borne sediments on the continental slope decreases from north to south and cross shelf transport processes dominate in the southwestern continental margin between Goa and Cochin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-08-01

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

  4. Influence of the Iceland mantle plume on North Atlantic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, R. S.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

    Early Tertiary breakup of the North Atlantic was accompanied by widespread magmatism. The histories of the Iceland mantle plume, of rifting and of magmatism are intimately related. The magmatism provides a challenge both to imaging structure, and to modelling the subsidence and development of the continental margins. We report new work which integrates state-of-the-art seismic imaging and new acquisition on the Atlantic volcanic margins with new techniques for modelling their evolution. We discuss the distribution of igneous rocks along the North Atlantic margins and discuss the temporal and spatial variations in the Iceland mantle plume in the early Tertiary, which have largely controlled this pattern of magmatism. Igneous rocks are added to the crust on rifted margins as extrusive lavas, as sills intruded into the sub-surface and as lower crustal intrusions or underplate. Each provide different, but tractable problems to seismic imaging. We show that many of these difficulties can be surmounted by using very long offsets (long streamers or two-ship methods) with a broad-band, low-frequency source, and by using fixed ocean bottom receivers. We report results from surveys on the North Atlantic continental margins using these methods. Imaging results are shown from the recent FLARE project and from the iSIMM project, which recorded new seismic data recorded in summer 2002. The iSIMM project acquired two seismic surveys, using 85 4-component ocean bottom seismometers with long streamers for wide-angle data, and vertical arrays for far-field source signature recording. One survey crosses the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin, and a second the Hatton-Rockall Basin, Hatton Bank and adjacent oceanic crust. The Faroes wide-angle profiles were overshot by WesternGeco's Topaz using three single-sensor, Q-Marine streamers, 12km plus two 4km. We designed deep-towed, broad-band low-frequency sources tuned to enhance the bubble pulses, with peak frequencies at 8

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, David

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-09-13

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

  7. Seismic refraction shooting on the continental margin west of the Outer Hebrides, northwest Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, E. J. W.

    1981-12-01

    Seventeen sonobuoy refraction profiles have been shot to determine the nature of the basement and the broad pattern of sedimentation on the continental margin west of the Outer Hebrides, NW Scotland. Under much of the shelf, crystalline rocks (Vp > 5.1 km/s) lie within 100 m of the seafloor, the basement being largely an extension of the Precambrian (Lewisian) metamorphic complex of western Scotland. Vp/Vs gives Poisson's ratios (σ) of 0.26-0.30 for the Lewisian, values which are significantly higher than σ in the deep crust under northern Britain, implying important compositional differences. Comparisons with ultrasonic velocities in rocks from the Scourian (˜ 2700 Ma) and Laxfordian (˜ 2200-1500 Ma) belts of the Scottish mainland suggest that the Lewisian on the inner continental shelf is predominantly Laxfordian (Vp ˜ 5.5 km/s). Higher-velocity rocks, probably Scourian with only a moderate degree of Laxfordian reworking (Vp ˜ 5.9 km/s), and Cenozoic intrusions occur locally. Two seismic profiles indicate that the outer continental shelf may be underlain by a zone of dense Scourian/early Laxfordian granulites, whose presence possibly influenced the siting of the continental slope.The sediments covering the basement are generally thin.Thicknesses exceeding 1 km are restricted to a fault-bounded trough off the Isle of Lewis and to the outer shelf and continental slope. The deposits can be divided into Cenozoic (1.7-1.9 km/s) and Mesozoic (3.0-4.4 km/s)units, velocity variations in the latter probably reflecting the abundance of early Cenozoic basic intrusions. The distribution of the Mesozoic is partly controlled by faults which appear to be related to early Precambrian shear zones in the basement. These highly foliated belts seem to have facilitated stress relief by normal faulting during Permo-Triassic rifting activity. The general lack of subsidence of the Outer Hebridean block is attributed to the buoyancy of granitic material incorporated at an early

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-02-01

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

  9. The geomorphology of a glaciated continental shelf, Western Scotland, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, John; Dove, Dayton; Bradwell, Tom

    2013-04-01

    We present recently collected swath bathymetry and legacy seismic data from two regions of the north-west UK continental shelf: the Sea of the Hebrides; and the Firth of Lorn, western Scotland. Both regions have experienced extensive Pleistocene ice sheet glaciation and both provide abundant geomorphological evidence of subglacial and postglacial processes. The Sea of the Hebrides bathymetry data cover 2200 km2 and provide new geomorphological evidence for an ice stream flowing from western Scotland and the Inner Hebrides focusing towards a trough-mouth fan (the Barra Fan) at the continental shelf break during the height of the last glaciation. Notably, bedrock structures provide a control on the location and orientation of glacially overdeepened basins and troughs on the inner shelf. Whilst around the Islands of Canna and Rum, convergent seabed glacial lineations and other subglacially streamlined features eroded in bedrock preserve the direction of ice sheet movement - indicating ice streaming in a south-westerly direction across the continental shelf. We propose that this fast-flow zone formed part of a larger convergent ice stream system draining much of western Scotland and the north of Ireland. The Firth of Lorn bathymetry acquisition comprises 553km2 of data, collected as part of the INIS Hydro program (Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland Hydrographic Survey). This region of nearshore continental shelf is revealed as predominantly bedrock-dominated seabed, characterised by a series of narrow, strongly fault-controlled troughs, part of the Great Glen Fault Zone complex. Evidence for glaciation is widespread and well preserved in the Firth of Lorn and surrounding seabed with moraines, bedrock lineations (?megagrooves?) and overdeepened basins common across the area. Initial mapping shows that our understanding of the configuration and style of deglaciation in these sectors of the former British-Irish Ice Sheet can be greatly improved by the collection of

  10. Atmospheric methane emissions along the western Svalbard margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohlman, J.; Greinert, J.; Silyakova, A.; Casso, M.; Ruppel, C. D.; Mienert, J.; Lund Myhre, C.; Bunz, S.

    2014-12-01

    Documented warming of intermediate waters by ~1oC over the past 30 years along the western Svalbard margin has been suggested as a driver of climate-change induced dissociation of marine methane hydrate. However, recent evidence suggests methane release from gas hydrate has been occurring for thousands of years near the upper limit of methane hydrate stability and that seasonal changes in bottom water temperature may be more important than longer-term warming of intermediate waters. Nevertheless, this area has been and remains an active area for researching the physical and climate controls of methane release from the seafloor, yet the amount of methane reaching the atmosphere (the ultimate climate driver) in this region is largely unknown. As part of the MOCA project led by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), water column and atmospheric marine boundary layer methane data were collected in June 2014 aboard the R/V Helmer Hanssenduring a collaboration among CAGE at University of Tromsӧ, NILU, GEOMAR, and the USGS. The results provide a continuous record of surface methane concentration and carbon isotope data from continental slope sites near temperature-sensitive hydrate-bearing seeps along the shelf-break and upper slope, the deep-water pockmarked gas-venting Vestnesa Ridge and a shallow water seep area within the Forlandet moraine complex at the shelf. Surface water methane and associated data used to calculate sea-air fluxes were obtained with the cavity ring-down spectrometer-based USGS Gas Analysis System (USGS-GAS). Only the shallow seep site (~90 m water depth) had appreciable methane in surface waters. We conducted an exhaustive survey of this site, mapping the full extent of the surface methane plume. To provide three-dimensional constraints, we acquired 65 vertical dissolved methane profiles to delineate the vertical and horizontal extent of the subsurface methane plume. Using these data, we assess how effectively shallow arctic seeps

  11. Geoacoustic models of the Donghae-to-Gangneung region in the Korean continental margin of the East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryang, Woo Hun; Kim, Seong Pil; Hahn, Jooyoung

    2016-04-01

    Geoacoustic model is to provide a model of the real seafloor with measured, extrapolated, and predicted values of geoacoustic environmental parameters. It controls acoustic propagation in underwater acoustics. In the Korean continental margin of the East Sea, this study reconstructed geoacoustic models using geoacoustic and marine geologic data of the Donghae-to-Gangneung region (37.4° to 37.8° in latitude). The models were based on the data of the high-resolution subbottom and air-gun seismic profiles with sediment cores. The Donghae region comprised measured P-wave velocities and attenuations of the cores, whereas the Gangneung region comprised regression values using measured values of the adjacent areas. Geoacoustic data of the cores were extrapolated down to a depth of the geoacoustic models. For actual modeling, the P-wave speed of the models was compensated to in situ depth below the sea floor using the Hamilton method. These geoacoustic models of this region probably contribute for geoacoustic and underwater acoustic modelling reflecting vertical and lateral variability of acoustic properties in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. Keywords: geoacoustic model, environmental parameter, East Sea, continental margin Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the research grants from the Agency of Defense Development (UD140003DD and UE140033DD).

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-09-01

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

  13. Manganese and copper fluxes from continental margin sediments

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  15. iSIMM (Integrated Seismic Imaging and Modelling of Margins): Seismic Acquisition on the Faroes Shelf, Hatton Bank and adjacent Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, B.; Kusznir, N.; Christie, P.; Roberts, A. M.; Lunnon, Z.; Roberts, A. W.; Hurst, N.; Smith, L.; Parkin, C.; Surendra, A.; Davies, A.

    2002-12-01

    The iSIMM project is using state-of-the art seismic techniques with long-offset and wide-angle data, to image the crust formed on volcanic continental margins in parallel with developing and testing new quantitative models of rifted margin formation, incorporating heterogeneous stretching, the effects of melt generation and emplacement and varying thermal anomalies in the mantle. During June-July 2002, we used RRS Discovery to acquire wide angle and normal incidence seismic data on the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin, Hatton-Rockall Basin, Hatton Bank and the adjacent oceanic crust using OBS and MCS. In August 2002, WesternGeco's Topaz used three single-sensor, Q-Marine streamers, 12km plus two 4km, to overshoot the wide-angle profiles on the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin. In the Faroes region we deployed 85 4-component ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) and 5 vertical arrays along a 350km-long profile extending from the Faroes-Shetland Channel across the Faroes Shelf and continental margin into the oceanic crust of the Norwegian Sea. The entire profile was shot twice. First with a 6,300 cubic inch airgun array towed at 20 m depth and tuned to enhance the initial peak output pressure pulse. Second, with the airguns reconfigured to enhance the low-frequency bubble waveform, producing a source rich in low frequency energy (centred on 10-12 Hz), and with a broad bandwidth. Shots were spaced at either 75 m or 100 m, giving shot repetition rates in excess of 60 secs, thus avoiding contaminating with wrap-round energy from the previous shot. The Q-Marine acquisition used a 48-gun, 10,170 cu. in. airgun array, also tuned to enhance the low-frequency bubble signature, shooting at 50m/20s intervals and recorded on individual sensors for optimal grouping. The streamer configuration provides swath coverage at shorter offsets, while the long offsets record diving waves and wide-angle reflections. Shot-by-shot source signature recording will facilitate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, James

    2014-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bruns, T.R.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-08-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiu, J.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Gang; Huismans, Ritske

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, Evgeny; Grokholsky, Andrey; Makushkina, Anna

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

  3. Geology and physiography of the continental margin north of Alaska and implications for the origin of the Canada Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xiaoxia; Jokat, Wilfried

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Geoacoustic model at the DH-1 long-core site in the Korean continental margin of the East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryang, Woo Hun; Kim, Seong Pil

    2014-05-01

    A long core of 23.6 m was acquired at the DH-1 site (37°36.651'N and 129°19.709'E) in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. The core site is located near the Donghae City and the water depth is 357.8 m deep. The long-core sediment was recovered using the Portable Remotely Operated Drill (PROD), a fully contained drilling system, remotely operated at the seafloor. The recovered core sediments were analyzed for physical, sedimentological, and geoacoustic properties mostly at 10~30 cm intervals. Based on the long-core data with subbottom and air-gun profiles at the DH-1 core site, a geoacoustic model was firstly reconstructed including water mass. The geoacoustic model comprises 7 geoacoustic units of the core sediments, based on the measurements of 125 P-wave velocities and 121 attenuations. The P-wave speed was compensated to in situ depth below the sea floor using the Hamilton method. The geoacoustic model DH-1 probably contributes for reconstruction of geoacoustic models reflecting vertical and lateral variability of acoustic properties in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. Keywords: long core, geoacoustic model, East Sea, continental margin, P-wave speed Acknowledgements: This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0025733) and by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy through the grant of Marine Geology and Geophysical Mapping Project (GP2010-013).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  11. Organic geochemistry of continental margin and deep ocean sediments

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-08-01

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

  12. Localized Deformation along an Inverted Rifted Margin: Example of the Northern Ligurian Margin, Western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    SAGE, F.; Beslier, M.; Mercier De Lepinay, B. F.; Béthoux, N.; Gaullier, V.; Larroque, C.; Corradi, N.; Schenini, L.; Dessa, J.; Bigot, A.; Migeon, S.; Ruiz-Constán, A.

    2013-12-01

    Along rifted margins, continental edges are heterogeneous systems that juxtapose lithospheres with different nature, mechanical behavior and structural inheritance. In this study, we focus on the northern Ligurian margin to examine how such complex systems might deform when they are submitted to a compressive stress field. The northern Ligurian margin, of Oligo-Miocene age, has been undergoing contraction over at least the past ~ 6 Ma. Active thrust faults and folds responsible for the regional uplift of the continental edge have previously been identified below the margin. Although seismicity extends as far as the axis of the basin, no recent or active crustal compressional structure has been identified so far in the oceanic domain. We used new 12-channel high-resolution seismic data (FABLES cruise, 2012) and other seismic reflexion lines from the last decades to image the sedimentary cover in the Ligurian oceanic basin, down to the bottom of the Messinian salt layer ~ 3 km below the seafloor. Because the Messinian event is well dated over the Mediterranean (5.96-5.32 Ma) and well identified in the seismic data, it forms a clear marker characterizing the recent deformation related to both salt and crustal tectonics. Noticeable deformation within the oceanic domain is restricted to large, SW-NE elongated salt walls located 10 to 40 km from the margin toe, over a 70-km length. The salt walls have a specific structure and arrangement that cannot result from salt tectonics only. We thus interpret them as resulting from combined deep-seated crustal and thin-skinned deformations. However, although the salt walls are well expressed in the seafloor morphology, their seismic images do not reveal any significant vertical throw across their trace, and they gradually disappear toward the SW. We thus interpret the salt walls as strike-slip structures with possibly very moderate compression. Overall, the post-Messinian deformation taken along these features is likely moderate

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1968-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Rift basins in western margin of India and their hydrocarbon prospects with special reference to Kutch basin

    SciTech Connect

    Biswas, S.K.

    1982-10-01

    The western continental margin of India can be classed as a divergent or passive margin. The western continental shelf is an extensive carbonate bank (Bombay offshore basin) passing into clastic sediments on the north and south. Three craton-margin embayed basins-Kutch, Cambay, and Narmada- in the northern part of the shelf, are filled predominantly with clastic sediments. These basins occupy grabens bounded by faults diverging seaward. The grabens were formed by three rift systems along major Precambrian tectonic trends. The rifting developed sequentially from north to south around the Saurashtra horst. Kutch basin was formed in the Early Jurassic, followed by Cambay basin in Early Cretaceous time, and the Narmada in the Late Cretaceous. It appears that these rifting events occurred at successive stages during the northward migration of the Indian plate after its break from Gondwanaland in Late Triassic or Early Jurassic. It is inferred that these rift basins opened up successively as a result of the counterclockwise drift of the Indian craton. Bombay offshore and Cambay are two major oil-producing basins in the western margin. These basins are characterized by high geothermal gradients attributed to the shallowness of the mantle in this region. Oil has not been found in KUtch basin, which is mainly an onshore Mesozoic basin. The basin basin depocenter shifted offshore at the northwestern part of the continental shelf where the shelf is wide.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibuet, J.; Tucholke, B. E.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-06-08

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  3. Erosion and tectonics at the margins of continental plateaus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  12. A new reconstruction of the Paleozoic continental margin of southwestern North America: Implications for the nature and timing of continental truncation and the possible role of the Mojave-Sonora megashear

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stevens, C.H.; Stone, P.; Miller, J.S.

    2005-01-01

    Data bearing on interpretations of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic paleogeography of southwestern North America are important for testing the hypothesis that the Paleozoic miogeocline in this region has been tectonically truncated, and if so, for ascertaining the time of the event and the possible role of the Mojave-Sonora megashear. Here, we present an analysis of existing and new data permitting reconstruction of the Paleozoic continental margin of southwestern North America. Significant new and recent information incorporated into this reconstruction includes (1) spatial distribution of Middle to Upper Devonian continental-margin facies belts, (2) positions of other paleogeographically significant sedimentary boundaries on the Paleozoic continental shelf, (3) distribution of Upper Permian through Upper Triassic plutonic rocks, and (4) evidence that the southern Sierra Nevada and western Mojave Desert are underlain by continental crust. After restoring the geology of western Nevada and California along known and inferred strike-slip faults, we find that the Devonian facies belts and pre-Pennsylvanian sedimentary boundaries define an arcuate, generally south-trending continental margin that appears to be truncated on the southwest. A Pennsylvanian basin, a Permian coral belt, and a belt of Upper Permian to Upper Triassic plutons stretching from Sonora, Mexico, into westernmost central Nevada, cut across the older facies belts, suggesting that truncation of the continental margin occurred in the Pennsylvanian. We postulate that the main truncating structure was a left-lateral transform fault zone that extended from the Mojave-Sonora megashear in northwestern Mexico to the Foothills Suture in California. The Caborca block of northwestern Mexico, where Devonian facies belts and pre-Pennsylvanian sedimentary boundaries like those in California have been identified, is interpreted to represent a missing fragment of the continental margin that underwent ???400 km of left

  13. 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

  14. Allochthonous deep-water basin deposits of the western US: Implications for Paleozoic paleogeography and plate margin tectonics

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, E.L. . Geology Dept.)

    1993-04-01

    The stratigraphy and sedimentology of the lower Paleozoic Roberts Mts. and upper Paleozoic Golconda allochthons can be used to reconstruct their general paleogeographic setting in the Paleozoic. Basalt pillow lavas and radiolarian chert, were once considered straightforward evidence that the allochthons represented imbricated ocean crust formed at sites far removed from continental influences. Better stratigraphic definition, provenance studies and geochemistry of lavas now indicate that clastic components were derived from the continental shelf or interior and basalts in the Roberts Mountains allochthon were erupted in an intraplate setting through thinned continental crust (Madrid, 1987). Both in the earliest Mississippian and in the Late Permian, the Antler Basin (Roberts Mts.) and the Havallah Basin (Golconda) received proximal detritus from island arc sources to the west, immediately prior to closure of the basins by thrust-faulting. These data suggest that both systems of basins formed as marginal basins by rifting on the continental shelf (Antler Basin) and along the continental margin (Havallah Basin) and were flanked to the west by active island arcs at least during part of their history. As such, their stratigraphy provides a great deal of insight regarding tectonism along the western plate margin of North America during the Paleozoic.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahraki, Meysam; Schmeling, Harro; Haas, Peter

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Crustal differentiation due to partial melting of granitic rocks in an active continental margin, the Ryoke Belt, Southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akasaki, Eri; Owada, Masaaki; Kamei, Atsushi

    2015-08-01

    The continental margin of Pacific Asia is dominated by the voluminous Cretaceous to Paleogene granitic rocks. The Ryoke granitoids that occur in the Ryoke Belt in the Southwest Japan Arc are divided into the older and younger granites. The high-K Kibe Granite represents the younger granitic intrusion and is exposed in the Yanai area in the western part of Ryoke Belt. The Kibe Granite is associated with the coeval Himurodake Quartz Diorite and their intrusive age is 91 Ma. However, the Gamano-Obatake Granodiorite, the older granite, intruded the host Ryoke gneisses at 95 Ma. The Gamano-Obatake Granodiorite is characterized by the localized development of migmatitic structure attributed to the intrusion of the Himurodake Quartz Diorite into the granodiorite. Leucocratic pools and patches occur in the granodiorite in the vicinity of the quartz diorite. The Sr and Nd isotopic compositions of the Gamano-Obatake Granodiorite corrected to 91 Ma are plotted within those of the Kibe Granite. Geochemical modeling suggests that partial melting took place in the Gamano-Obatake Granodiorite and resulted in the formation of the Kibe Granite magma. The Himurodake Quartz Diorite is believed to be a heat source for this event. This can be considered as an essential process for the formation of the evolved younger Ryoke granite and for the crustal differentiation in the active continental margin.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kevin

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bruns, T.R.

    1982-01-01

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

  2. Quaternary Contourite Drifts of the Western Spitsbergen Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laberg, J. S.; Rebesco, M.; Wahlin, A.; Schauer, U.; Beszczynska-Möller, A.; Lucchi, R. G.; Noormets, R.; Accettella, D.; Zarayskaya, Y.; Diviacco, P.

    2014-12-01

    The study of contourite drifts is an increasingly used tool for understanding the climate history of the oceans. In this paper we analyse two contourite drifts along the continental margin west of Spitsbergen, just south of the Fram Strait where significant water mass exchanges impact the Arctic climate. We detail the internal geometry and the morphologic characteristics of the two drifts on the base of multichannel seismic reflection data, sub-bottom profiles and bathymetry. These mounded features, that we propose to name Isfjorden and Bellsund drifts, are located on the continental slope between 1200 and 1800 m depth, whereas the upper slope is characterized by reduced- or non-deposition. The more distinct Isfjorden Drift is about 25 km wide and 45 km long, and over 200 ms TWT thick. We revise the 13 years-long time series of velocity, temperature, and salinity obtained from a mooring array across the Fram Strait. Two distinct current cores are visible in the long-term average. The shallower current core has an average northward velocity of about 20 cm/s, while the deeper bottom current core at about 1450 m depth has an average northward velocity of about 9 cm/s. We consider Norwegian Sea Deep Water episodically ventilated by relatively dense and turbid shelf water from the Barents Sea responsible for the accumulation of the contourites. The onset of the drift growth west of Spitsbergen is inferred to be about 1.3 Ma and related to the Early Pleistocene glacial expansion recorded in the area. The lack of mounded contouritic deposits on the continental slope of the Storfjorden is related to consecutive erosion by glacigenic debris flows. The Isfjorden and Bellsund drifts are inferred to contain the record of the regional palaeoceanography and glacial history and may constitute an excellent target of future scientific drilling.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1997-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-10-01

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

  5. Crustal and upper mantle structure beneath south-western margin of the Arabian Peninsula from teleseismic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korostelev, Félicie; Basuyau, Clémence; Leroy, Sylvie; Tiberi, Christel; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Stuart, Graham W.; Keir, Derek; Rolandone, Frédérique; Ganad, Ismail; Khanbari, Khaled; Boschi, Lapo

    2014-07-01

    image the lithospheric and upper asthenospheric structure of western continental Yemen with 24 broadband stations to evaluate the role of the Afar plume on the evolution of the continental margin and its extent eastward along the Gulf of Aden. We use teleseismic tomography to compute relative P wave velocity variations in south-western Yemen down to 300 km depth. Published receiver function analysis suggest a dramatic and localized thinning of the crust in the vicinity of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, consistent with the velocity structure that we retrieve in our model. The mantle part of the model is dominated by the presence of a low-velocity anomaly in which we infer partial melting just below thick Oligocene flood basalts and recent off-axis volcanic events (from 15 Ma to present). This low-velocity anomaly could correspond to an abnormally hot mantle and could be responsible for dynamic topography and recent magmatism in western Yemen. Our new P wave velocity model beneath western Yemen suggests the young rift flank volcanoes beneath margins and on the flanks of the Red Sea rift are caused by focused small-scale diapiric upwelling from a broad region of hot mantle beneath the area. Our work shows that relatively hot mantle, along with partial melting of the mantle, can persist beneath rifted margins after breakup has occurred.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, X.; Chan, L. S.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Moira T.; Gehrels, George E.

    1992-06-01

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

  9. Precollisional, multistage exhumation of subducted continental crust: The Sesia Zone, western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babist, J.; Handy, M. R.; Konrad-Schmolke, M.; Hammerschmidt, K.

    2006-12-01

    The Sesia Zone within the Tertiary arc of the western Alps is a relic of the subducted part of the Adriatic continental margin along the SE border of the Tethyan ocean. The Sesia Zone comprises three basement nappes which individuated during Late Cretaceous (65-80 Ma) subduction to different depths at high-pressure (HP, blueschist, eclogite facies) conditions (peak pressures of 1.0-1.2, 1.0-1.5, and 1.5-2.0 GPa). The thrusts bounding these nappes developed where the crust was previously thinned during Jurassic rifting. Crustal-scale shear zones partly overprinted these early thrusts and exhumed coherent slices of crust containing HP rocks. Initial exhumation of the internal part of the accreted margin involved thrusting (D1) and transpressional shearing (D2) along a subvertical, E-W trending mylonitic shear zone under retrograde blueschist- to greenschist-facies conditions. This exhumation was nearly isothermal to a depth of about 25 km, where the basement nappes were juxtaposed. Subsequent exhumation of these nappes to a common depth of about 15-20 km occurred in the footwall of a greenschist-facies, top-SE extensional shear zone (D3) preserved in some of the highest mountain peaks of the Sesia Zone. New Rb-Sr mineral ages constrain D2 to have occurred at about 60-65 Ma and D3 at about 45-55 Ma. Thus top-SE extensional exhumation was broadly coeval with Eocene, SE directed subduction of the Liguro-Piemont oceanic lithosphere beneath the Adriatic margin. Slow cooling and erosional denudation of the Sesia Zone from 45 to 30 Ma occurred in the hanging wall of the Gressoney extensional shear zone (D4), which itself contributed to the exhumation of Eocene HP and ultra-HP oceanic rocks in its footwall. By 30 Ma, HP rocks of the Sesia Zone were intruded by shallow granitic plutons which were eroded and redeposited within volcanoclastic sediments. Oligo-Miocene Insubric backfolding and thrusting (D5) only exhumed northeastern parts of the Sesia Zone, where HP metamorphism

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGregor, B.A.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osler, John C.

    2003-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

    more plausible than a constant corner flow type solution and predicts levels of depth dependent stretching and continent ocean transitions consistent with observation. Depth dependent lithosphere stretching, which is observed at rifted continental margins, is predicted to occur before continental breakup and sea-floor spreading initiation. The model may be used to predict surface heat flow and bathymetry, and to provide estimates of melt production rates and cumulative thickness. We compare model predictions with observed margin structure for four diverse rifted margins: the Lofoten Margin (a mature volcanic margin), Goban Spur (a mature non-volcanic margin), the Woodlark Basin (a neotectonic young ocean basin) and the Faroe-Shetland Basin (a failed attempt at continental breakup). This work forms part of the NERC Margins iSIMM project. iSIMM investigators are from Liverpool and Cambridge Universities, Badley Geoscience & Schlumberger Cambridge Research supported by the NERC, the DTI, Agip UK, BP, Amerada Hess Ltd, Anadarko, Conoco¬Phillips, Shell, Statoil and WesternGeco. The iSIMM team comprises NJ Kusznir, RS White, AM Roberts, PAF Christie, A Chappell, J Eccles, R Fletcher, D Healy, N Hurst, ZC Lunnon, CJ Parkin, AW Roberts, LK Smith, V Tymms & R Spitzer.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lallemand, Serge; Sibuet, Jean-Claude

    1986-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parson, L.

    2005-12-01

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

  11. Geometry of the neoproterozoic and paleozoic rift margin of western Laurentia: Implications for mineral deposit settings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lund, K.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. and Canadian Cordilleran miogeocline evolved during several phases of Cryogenian-Devonian intracontinental rifting that formed the western mangin of Laurentia. Recent field and dating studies across central Idaho and northern Nevada result in identification of two segments of the rift margin. Resulting interpretations of rift geometry in the northern U.S. Cordillera are compatible with interpretations of northwest- striking asymmetric extensional segments subdivided by northeast-striking transform and transfer segments. The new interpretation permits integration of miogeoclinal segments along the length of the western North American Cordillera. For the U.S. Cordillera, miogeoclinal segments include the St. Mary-Moyie transform, eastern Washington- eastern Idaho upper-plate margin, Snake River transfer, Nevada-Utah lower-plate margin, and Mina transfer. The rift is orthogonal to most older basement domains, but the location of the transform-transfer zones suggests control of them by basement domain boundaries. The zigzag geometry of reentrants and promontories along the rift is paralleled by salients and recesses in younger thrust belts and by segmentation of younger extensional domains. Likewise, transform transfer zones localized subsequent transcurrent structures and igneous activity. Sediment-hosted mineral deposits trace the same zigzag geometry along the margin. Sedimentary exhalative (sedex) Zn-Pb-Ag ??Au and barite mineral deposits formed in continental-slope rocks during the Late Devonian-Mississippian and to a lesser degree, during the Cambrian-Early Ordovician. Such deposits formed during episodes of renewed extension along miogeoclinal segments. Carbonate-hosted Mississippi Valley- type (MVT) Zn-Pb deposits formed in structurally reactivated continental shelf rocks during the Late Devonian-Mississippian and Mesozoic due to reactivation of preexisting structures. The distribution and abundance of sedex and MVT deposits are controlled by the

  12. Ophiolitic basement to the Great Valley forearc basin, California, from seismic and gravity data: Implications for crustal growth at the North American continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Godfrey, N.J.; Beaudoin, B.C.; Klemperer, S.L.; Levander, A.; Luetgert, J.; Meltzer, A.; Mooney, W.; Trehu, A.

    1997-01-01

    The nature of the Great Valley basement, whether oceanic or continental, has long been a source of controversy. A velocity model (derived from a 200-km-long east-west reflection-refraction profile collected south of the Mendocino triple junction, northern California, in 1993), further constrained by density and magnetic models, reveals an ophiolite underlying the Great Valley (Great Valley ophiolite), which in turn is underlain by a westward extension of lower-density continental crust (Sierran affinity material). We used an integrated modeling philosophy, first modeling the seismic-refraction data to obtain a final velocity model, and then modeling the long-wavelength features of the gravity data to obtain a final density model that is constrained in the upper crust by our velocity model. The crustal section of Great Valley ophiolite is 7-8 km thick, and the Great Valley ophiolite relict oceanic Moho is at 11-16 km depth. The Great Valley ophiolite does not extend west beneath the Coast Ranges, but only as far as the western margin of the Great Valley, where the 5-7-km-thick Great Valley ophiolite mantle section dips west into the present-day mantle. There are 16-18 km of lower-density Sierran affinity material beneath the Great Valley ophiolite mantle section, such that a second, deeper, "present-day" continental Moho is at about 34 km depth. At mid-crustal depths, the boundary between the eastern extent of the Great Valley ophiolite and the western extent of Sierran affinity material is a near-vertical velocity and density discontinuity about 80 km east of the western margin of the Great Valley. Our model has important implications for crustal growth at the North American continental margin. We suggest that a thick ophiolite sequence was obducted onto continental material, probably during the Jurassic Nevadan orogeny, so that the Great Valley basement is oceanic crust above oceanic mantle vertically stacked above continental crust and continental mantle.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Snavely, P.D. Jr.

    1986-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ANCORP Working Group,

    2003-07-01

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

  2. Alkalinity distribution in the western North Atlantic Ocean margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Wei-Jun; Hu, Xinping; Huang, Wei-Jen; Jiang, Li-Qing; Wang, Yongchen; Peng, Tsung-Hung; Zhang, Xin

    2010-08-01

    Total alkalinity (TA) distribution and its relationship with salinity (S) along the western North Atlantic Ocean (wNAO) margins from the Labrador Sea to tropical areas are examined in this study. Based on the observed TA-S patterns, the mixing processes that control alkalinity distribution in these areas can be categorized into a spectrum of patterns that are bracketed by two extreme mixing types, i.e., alongshore current-dominated and river-dominated. Alongshore current-dominated mixing processes exhibit a segmented mixing line with a shared mid-salinity end-member. In such cases (i.e., Labrador Sea, Gulf of Maine, etc.), the y-intercept of the high salinity segment of the mixing line is generally higher than the local river alkalinity values, and it reflects the mixing history of the alongshore current. In contrast, in river-dominated mixing (Amazon River, Caribbean Sea, etc.), good linear relationships between alkalinity and salinity are generally observed, and the zero salinity intercepts of the TA-S regressions roughly match those of the regional river alkalinity values. TA-S mixing lines can be complicated by rapid changes in the river end-member value and by another river nearby with a different TA value (e.g., Mississippi-Atchafalaya/Gulf of Mexico). In the wNAO margins, regression intercepts and river end-members have a clear latitudinal distribution pattern, increasing from a low of ˜300 μmol kg-1 in the Amazon River plume to a high value between ˜500-1100 μmol kg-1 in the middle and high latitude margins. The highest value of ˜2400 μmol kg-1 is observed in the Mississippi River influenced areas. In addition to mixing control, biological processes such as calcification and benthic alkalinity production may also affect ocean margin alkalinity distribution. Therefore, deriving inorganic carbon system information in coastal oceans using alkalinity-salinity relationships, in particular, those of generic nature, may lead to significant errors.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  5. Gas hydrate distribution and hydrocarbon maturation north of the Knipovich Ridge, western Svalbard margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumke, Ines; Burwicz, Ewa B.; Berndt, Christian; Klaeschen, Dirk; Feseker, Tomas; Geissler, Wolfram H.; Sarkar, Sudipta

    2016-03-01

    A bottom-simulating reflector (BSR) occurs west of Svalbard in water depths exceeding 600 m, indicating that gas hydrate occurrence in marine sediments is more widespread in this region than anywhere else on the eastern North Atlantic margin. Regional BSR mapping shows the presence of hydrate and free gas in several areas, with the largest area located north of the Knipovich Ridge, a slow spreading ridge segment of the Mid Atlantic Ridge system. Here heat flow is high (up to 330 mW m-2), increasing toward the ridge axis. The coinciding maxima in across-margin BSR width and heat flow suggest that the Knipovich Ridge influenced methane generation in this area. This is supported by recent finds of thermogenic methane at cold seeps north of the ridge termination. To evaluate the source rock potential on the western Svalbard margin, we applied 1-D petroleum system modeling at three sites. The modeling shows that temperature and burial conditions near the ridge were sufficient to produce hydrocarbons. The bulk petroleum mass produced since the Eocene is at least 5 kt and could be as high as ~0.2 Mt. Most likely, source rocks are Miocene organic-rich sediments and a potential Eocene source rock that may exist in the area if early rifting created sufficiently deep depocenters. Thermogenic methane production could thus explain the more widespread presence of gas hydrates north of the Knipovich Ridge. The presence of microbial methane on the upper continental slope and shelf indicates that the origin of methane on the Svalbard margin varies spatially.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Crustal structure of the rifted volcanic margins and uplifted plateau of Western Yemen from receiver function analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  19. Crustal structure of the rifted volcanic margins and uplifted plateau of Western Yemen from receiver function analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Tiberi, Christel; Leroy, Sylvie; Stuart, Graham; Keir, Derek; Sholan, Jamal; Khanbari, Khaled; Al-Ganad, Ismeal; Basuyau, Clemence

    2013-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryan, Tanya L.; Metaxas, Anna

    2006-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

  4. Transcurrent reactivation of Australia's western passive margin: An example of intraplate deformation from the central Indo-Australian plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hengesh, J. V.; Whitney, B. B.

    2016-05-01

    Australia's northwestern passive margin intersects the eastern termination of the Java trench segment of the Sunda arc subduction zone and the western termination of Timor trough along the Banda arc tectonic collision zone. Differential relative motion between the Sunda arc subduction zone and the Banda arc collision zone has reactivated the former rifted margin of northwestern Australia evidenced by Pliocene to Quaternary age deformation along a 1400 km long offshore fault system. The fault system has higher rates of seismicity than the adjacent nonextended crustal terranes, has produced the largest historical earthquake in Australia (1941 ML 7.3 Meeberrie event), and is dominated by focal mechanism solutions consistent with dextral motion along northeast trending fault planes. The faults crosscut late Miocene unconformities that are eroded across middle Miocene inversion structures suggesting multiple phases of Neogene and younger fault reactivation. Onset of deformation is consistent with the timing of the collision of the Scott Plateau part of the passive continental margin with the former Banda trench between 3.0 Ma and present. The range of estimated maximum horizontal slip rates across the zone is ~1.4 to 2.6 mm yr-1, at the threshold of geodetically detectable motion, yet significant with respect to an intraplate tectonic setting. The folding and faulting along this part of the continental margin provides an example of intraplate deformation resulting from kinematic transitions along a distant plate boundary and demonstrates the presence of a youthful evolving intraplate fault system within the Indo-Australian plate.

  5. Landforms indicative of former glaciations and permafrost along continental margin of the Chukchi and East Siberian seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, F.; Matthiessen, J. J.; Stein, R. H.; Jensen, L.; Jokat, W.; Nam, S. I.

    2015-12-01

    In the western Arctic Ocean glacial landforms are interpreted as a complex pattern of Pleistocene glaciations along the continental margin of the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi borderland. These landforms include moraines, drumlinized features, glacigenic debris flows, till wedges, mega-scale glacial lineations (MSGL), and iceberg plough marks. Orientations of some of the landforms suggest the presence of former ice sheets on the Chukchi Borderland and the East Siberian shelf. In seismic and sub-bottom profiles as well as sediment cores, there is evidence that glaciations have occurred repeatedly. Typically, several generations of glacial wedges intercalate with well-stratified (interglacial) sediments in ice-distal locations. MSGL of former ice grounding in present water depths of more than 1200 m suggests that some ice sheets developed significant thickness and size. The extent of glacial features and deposits into the Arctic Ocean decreased with time. We interpret this as indication that ice sheets in the western Arctic Ocean were thicker and larger during earlier times of the Pleistocene and became restricted to the Chukchi Borderland during the most recent glaciation (Last Glacial Maximum, LGM). Finally, icebergs intensively ploughed the sediments along the Chukchi and East Siberian margin in a range from 350m to 80m present water depth. In water depth shallower than 80m, sub-bottom profiles in the East Siberian Sea exhibit acoustic facies more typical for submarine permafrost. Discontinuous (permafrost) reflectors mask sub-bottom strata beneath an unfrozen 10m thick top sediment layer. In places, unfrozen sediment-filled depressions (taliks) are visible to about 20m below the seafloor, which may be related to former thermokarst and/or channels. We suggest that only during the LGM permafrost formed in the exposed area of the entire East Siberian Sea, whereas some areas have been largely covered by ice sheets during previous glacial periods.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

  9. Structural development of the western margins of the Sirte basin

    SciTech Connect

    Anketell, J.M.; Kumati, S.M.

    1988-08-01

    The Sirte basin, situated in north-central Libya, is a broad, northwest-trending embayment comprising a complex of small horsts and grabens. The basin was initiated in the early Cretaceous by collapse of the Tibisti-Sirte arch and underwent further faulting, notably in Late Cretaceous to early paleocene time and during the latter part of the Eocene. Throughout the greater part of the region, faults are obscured by Neogene cover; however, west of the Dahra-Hofra horst they are exposed. The last major phase of faulting in this region is late Lutetian to early Priabonian in age with minor reactivation during Oligocene and Miocene time. A phase of intra-Lutetian movement is also recognized. Following deposition of open marine limestones and chalks in the early Lutetian, the region was tilted toward the east-northeast with emergence and development of a complex system of east-flowing drainage channels which sculpted the emerging surface. The channels are wide but shallow, ranging up to 2 km wide and 10 m deep. This phase of movement and intraformational erosion was terminated by slow subsidence and/or transgression with development of restricted marine shales. The late Eocene faults which delineate the western margin of the Dahra horst throw down to the west and display a complex en echelon pattern. They are interpreted in terms of Riedel shear mechanics related to oblique-slip reactivation of basement shears. Counterclockwise orientation of the shears indicates they formed in response to sinistral slip.

  10. Crustal structure of the Peruvian continental margin from wide-angle seismic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbenhöft, A.; Bialas, J.; Kopp, H.; Kukowski, N.; Hübscher, C.

    2004-11-01

    Active seismic investigations along the Pacific margin off Peru were carried out using ocean bottom hydrophones and seismometers. The structure and the P-wave velocities of the obliquely subducting oceanic Nazca Plate and overriding South American Plate from 8°S to 15°S were determined by modelling the wide-angle seismic data combined with the analysis of reflection seismic data. Three detailed cross-sections of the subduction zone of the Peruvian margin and one strike-line across the Lima Basin are presented here. The oceanic crust of the Nazca Plate, with a thin pelagic sediment cover, ranging from 0-200 m, has an average thickness of 6.4 km. At 8°S it thins to 4 km in the area of Trujillo Trough, a graben-like structure. Across the margin, the plate boundary can be traced to 25 km depth. As inferred from the velocity models, a frontal prism exists adjacent to the trench axis and is associated with the steep lower slope. Terrigeneous sediments are proposed to be transported downslope due to gravitational forces and comprise the frontal prism, characterized by low seismic P-wave velocities. The lower slope material accretes against a backstop structure, which is defined by higher seismic P-wave velocities, 3.5-6.0 km s-1. The large variations in surface slope along one transect may reflect basal removal of upper plate material, thus steepening the slope surface. Subduction processes along the Peruvian margin are dominated by tectonic erosion indicated by the large margin taper, the shape and bending of the subducting slab, laterally varying slope angles and the material properties of the overriding continental plate. The erosional mechanisms, frontal and basal erosion, result in the steepening of the slope and consequent slope failure.

  11. Evolution of the Southwest Indian continental divergent margin: Constraints from 40Ar-39Ar dating of lateritic paleolandsurfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonnet, Nicolas; Beauvais, Anicet; Chardon, Dominique; Arnaud, Nicolas

    2015-04-01

    The western continental passive margin of Peninsular India is marked by the Western Ghats escarpment, which separates a coastal lowland from an East-dipping highland plateau and is carved both into the 63-Ma old Deccan traps and their Archean basement. Previous studies suggested establishment of the escarpment by differential erosion across an elevated rift shoulder, and thermochronologic models predicted escarpment formation from higher denudation in the coastal lowland than on the plateau until ~ 50 Ma. We provided complementary time constraints on the evolution of the passive margin by 40Ar-39Ar dating of supergene K-Mn oxides (cryptomelane) sampled in lateritic formations exposed on paleosurfaces, which are preserved as relicts on both sides of the escarpment. Three main lateritic paleosurfaces were identified in the highland at altitude ranges of 1200-1000 m (S1), 1000-900 m (S2) and 850-600 m (S3), and a lower paleosurface in the lowland at 150-50 m (S4). All the 40Ar-39Ar ages obtained on either side of the escarpment document major weathering periods for each paleosurface: 53 to 45 Ma (S1-S4) synchronously with the bauxitic weathering, 40 to 32 Ma (S2), 30 to 23 Ma (S3), and 24 to 19 Ma (S4). These ages indicate that most of the incision and dissection of plateau landsurfaces S1, S2, and S3 must therefore have taken place after 45, 32 and 23 Ma respectively, while the coastal lowland surface S4 was incised after 19 Ma. Preservation of laterites as old as 47 Ma in the coastal lowland implies that the escarpment already existed in the Mid-Eocene while intense bauxitic weathering was taking place on both sides of the escarpment. The ages obtained in the lowland are also indicative of limited erosion (~ 4 m Ma-1) at the foot of the escarpment since 45 Ma, and particularly low incipient incision of the lowland (~ 5 m Ma-1) since 19 Ma. Ages obtained on the highland plateau indicate further Neogene denudation inland but at less than 15 m Ma-1 since 45 Ma, and

  12. Grounding-zone wedges (GZWs) on high-latitude continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batchelor, Christine; Dowdeswell, Julian

    2014-05-01

    The grounding-zone of marine-terminating ice sheets is the area at which the ice-sheet base ceases to be in contact with the underlying substrate. The grounding-zone is a key site at which ice, meltwater and sediment are transferred from ice sheets to the marine environment. GZWs are asymmetric sedimentary depocentres which form through the rapid accumulation of glacigenic debris along a line source at the grounding-zone largely through the delivery of deforming subglacial sediments, together with sediment remobilisation from gravity flows. The presence of GZWs in the geomorphological record indicates an episodic style of ice retreat punctuated by still-stands in the grounding-zone position. GZWs may take decades to centuries to form. Moraine ridges and ice-proximal fans may also build up at the grounding-zone during still-stands or re-advances of the ice margin, but these require either considerable vertical accommodation space or are derived from point-sourced subglacial meltwater streams. We present an inventory of GZWs which is compiled from available studies of bathymetric, shallow acoustic and reflection seismic data from high-latitude continental margins. The objectives are to present locations of and morphological data on GZWs from the Arctic and Antarctic, alongside a synthesis of their key architectural and geomorphic characteristics. We use, for example, newly-available two-dimensional seismic reflection data to show the approximate locations of GZWs off northwest and northeast Greenland. Controls on GZW formation are considered in relation to shelf topography and ice-sheet internal dynamics. A total of 129 GZWs are described from high-latitude continental shelves. GZWs are only observed within cross-shelf troughs and major fjord systems, which are the former locations of ice streams and fast-flowing outlet glaciers. Typical high-latitude GZWs are less than 15 km long and 15 to 100 m thick. A positive correlation between GZW length and thickness is

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Two-dimensional numerical modeling of tectonic and metamorphic histories at active continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, Taras; Stöckhert, Bernhard

    2006-04-01

    The evolution of an active continental margin is simulated in two dimensions, using a finite difference thermomechanical code with half-staggered grid and marker-in-cell technique. The effect of mechanical properties, changing as a function of P and T, assigned to different crustal layers and mantle materials in the simple starting structure is discussed for a set of numerical models. For each model, representative P T paths are displayed for selected markers. Both the intensity of subduction erosion and the size of the frontal accretionary wedge are strongly dependent on the rheology chosen for the overriding continental crust. Tectonically eroded upper and lower continental crust is carried down to form a broad orogenic wedge, intermingling with detached oceanic crust and sediments from the subducted plate and hydrated mantle material from the overriding plate. A small portion of the continental crust and trench sediments is carried further down into a narrow subduction channel, intermingling with oceanic crust and hydrated mantle material, and to some extent extruded to the rear of the orogenic wedge underplating the overriding continental crust. The exhumation rates for (ultra)high pressure rocks can exceed subduction and burial rates by a factor of 1.5 3, when forced return flow in the hanging wall portion of the self-organizing subduction channel is focused. The simulations suggest that a minimum rate of subduction is required for the formation of a subduction channel, because buoyancy forces may outweigh drag forces for slow subduction. For a weak upper continental crust, simulated by a high pore pressure coefficient in the brittle regime, the orogenic wedge and megascale melange reach a mid- to upper-crustal position within 10 20 Myr (after 400 600 km of subduction). For a strong upper crust, a continental lid persists over the entire time span covered by the simulation. The structural pattern is similar in all cases, with four zones from trench toward arc

  15. Pyrophaeophorbide- a as a tracer of suspended particulate organic matter from the NE Pacific continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchi, Thomas S.; Bauer, James E.; Druffel, Ellen R. M.; Lambert, Corey D.

    Pyrophaeophorbide- a, a degradation product of chlorophyll- a, is predominantly formed by grazing processes in sediments as well as in the water column. Water column profiles of pyrophaeophorbide- a/suspended particulate organic carbon (SPOC) concentrations, at an abyssal site in the northeast (NE) Pacific (Sta M, 34°50'N, 123°00'W; 4100 m water depth), show low concentrations (0.01-0.1 ng/μg SPOC) at surface and mesopelagic depths, and increasing concentrations with closer proximity to the sea floor (0.05-0.6 ng/μg SPOC). However, in June 1992, the deep maximum of pyrophaeophorbide- a/SPOC in the water column of Sta M extended higher into the water column, as much as 1600 m above the bottom (mab) (2500 m water depth); in other seasons they only extended up to 650 mab (3450 m water depth). Previous studies have demonstrated lateral transport of particulate matter from the continental shelf to the deep ocean off the coast of northern California. Recent work suggests that the benthic boundary layer (BBL) extends to 50 mab, based on sediment trap and transmissometry measurements (Smith, K.L., Kaukmann, R.S., Baldwin, R.J., 1994. Coupling of near-bottom pelagic and benthic processes at abyssal depths. Limnology and Oceanography 39, 1101-1118.), and that lateral transport is significant only during summer, which is consistent with our observations. A partial vertical profile of pyrophaeophorbide- a/SPOC from the north central (NC) Pacific provides some evidence that the deep maximum may be absent due to the distance of this site from the continental margin. Thus, the observed deep maximum of pyrophaeophorbide- a/SPOC at Sta M is likely due mainly to lateral transport from the continental slope rather than to local vertical resuspension in the BBL exclusively. Pyrophaeophorbide- a concentrations in SPOC at Sta M were negatively correlated with Δ 14C values of SPOC (SPOC samples from Druffel, E.R.M., Bauer, J.E., Williams, P.M., Griffin, S.A. and Wolgast, D., 1996

  16. Sn to Sg Conversion at the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallegos, A. C.; Long, M. D.; Benoit, M. H.; Ni, J.

    2015-12-01

    Isacks and Stephens [1975] observed a secondary phase with high frequency Lg characteristics that arrived soon after the Sn wave on seismograms generated by events in the West Indies. They concluded that an Sn-to-Lg conversion occurred at the continental margin, where the crust suddenly thickens. A later study on conversion along the continental margin was done by Seber et al. [1993] in Morocco. They noted that historically Morocco has experienced more damage from earthquakes occurring at the Azores-Gibraltar seismic zone (e.g. the M 8.7-9.0 Lisbon earthquake) at distances up to 500-1000 km than from those within the country. They conclude in their study that there are two parallel Sn-to-Sg conversion zones along the coast and interior of Morocco, where Sg is equivalent to Lg at shorter distances. We have seen similar Sn-to-Sg conversions for a M 5.2 event occurring ~1400 km off the Atlantic Coast on Dec. 23, 2013 using EarthScope's Transportable Array (TA). We perform a travel time back-projection based on the geometry of the raypaths, similar to Seber et al. [1993], to determine the location of the conversion points for several Atlantic events and compare with seismograms generated by continental events. We also investigate the possibility of a second conversion at the crustal boundary between the Appalachians and the Coastal Plain. The MAGIC Array is used in tandem with TA to closely observe the propagation characteristics of the converted wave as it travels through the continent. With the sizeable increase in station coverage we are in a position to study this conversion in greater detail. Understanding the causes of Sn-to-Sg conversion and the conditions needed to produce it can lead to insight into the geometry and characteristics of the continental shelf and inland crustal boundaries. Learning about this conversion is also needed to determine seismic hazard along coastal areas, where high amplitude converted shear waves can cause unexpected levels of damage.

  17. 7Be as a tracer of flood sedimentation on the northern California continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sommerfield, C. K.; Nittrouer, C. A.; Alexander, C. R.

    1999-01-01

    Sediment inventories of the cosmogenic radionuclide 7Be (t1/2=53 d) were measured on the Eel River shelf and slope (northern California continental margin) to investigate sedimentation processes associated with coastal river flooding. Seabed coring shortly after major riverflow events in 1995 and 1997 documented a shelf-wide flood deposit, and subsequent radionuclide studies determined 7Be to be a powerful tracer of fine-grained river sediment. In addition, distinctive signatures of 234Th and 210Pb were observed in oceanic flood deposits and provided additional information regarding depositional processes. During the 1995–1997 monitoring period, 7Be was present (2–35 dpm cm-2) in shelf and slope sediments only after periods of high rainfall and river runoff during the winter months. It is suggested that fluvial input was the primary source of 7Be in shelf sediments after the floods. 7Be sediment inventories and sediment-trap fluxes determined after the 1997 flood revealed that fine-grained fluvial sediments were rapidly (within one month) broadcast over the continental margin, to the 500 m isobath. Dispersal was apparently facilitated by energetic storm waves, which resuspended and redistributed some fraction of the suspended load residing on the shelf prior to accretion as flood deposits. These observations illustrate that floods are an important sedimentary process for modern environments of the Eel shelf and slope, and perhaps for other fluviomarine sedimentary systems of the northern California continental margin. Ratios of the 210Pb sediment-accumulation rate (100 yr average) to the 7Be deposition rate (1–2 month average) for shelf sites illustrate the episodic nature of shelf sedimentation, and suggest that a minimum of 3–30 depositional events complete the most recent stratigraphic record. This observation is consistent with the magnetude and frequency of fluvial sediment input, as Eel River floods with return periods of 3–33 yr (3% of the time of

  18. A geophysical overview of the southern continental margin of North America in the Late Precambrian/Cambrian

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-02-01

    Recent geophysical studies have shed considerable light on the nature and extent of the southern Continental margin of North America which formed during the Late Precambrian/Cambrian. To the east between Arkansas and Alabama, the PASSCAL/Ouachita seismic experiment and older results in Mississippi indicate that this margin is largely preserved beneath allochthonous rocks emplaced during the Ouachita orogeny. Here the margin is fairly abrupt suggesting transtension was important in this origin. The Wiggins and Sabine blocks appear to be continental fragments which may have formed along this margin. In Texas, the margin extends around the Llano uplift in a sinuous fashion. In this area, Mesozoic extension clouds the picture considerably. However, structural complexities along this portion of he margin can be inferred form gravity data. In West Texas, the margin bends westward and then southward. A very deep oil exploration test which was recently drilled in this area provides valuable constraints for geophysical models of this portion of the margin. Recent results in Mexico allows the authors to trace this margin further south into the state of Chihuahua than previously possible.

  19. Dynamic support by the Icelandic plume and vertical tectonics of the northeast Atlantic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clift, Peter D.; Turner, Jonathan

    1995-12-01

    Late Paleocene-early Eocene continental rifting in the northeast Atlantic differs significantly from earlier episodes of margin formation in the Central Atlantic. At a nonvolcanic margin, rifting occurs over a wide area, with little associated magmatism. Postrift subsidence decreases in a predictable, exponential pattern with time. In contrast, subsidence analysis of Ocean Drilling Program and Deep Sea Drilling Project drill sites from the Vøring Plateau, Hatton Bank, and East Greenland Margin show that in these areas the continent-ocean transition (COT) is very sharp, with ß increasing over a horizontal distance of 30-50 km from values of 1.1-1.50 on the continent side to ∞ at the COT. Drilling penetrated the thick seaward dipping basaltic sequences that typify the East Greenland Margin at Site 917. Fluvial sandstones underlying the basalts show that the area was subaerially exposed prior to continental breakup, but the amount and timing of any uplift are presently unconstrained. Sediment backstripping techniques allow a comparison between the reconstructed and predicted subsidence histories and thus an estimate of the thermal anomaly through time. Anomalous slow subsidence in the early postrift period at 63°N offshore East Greenland is attributed to support by the Icelandic plume. Dynamic support is weaker on the Hatton Bank and on the Vøring Plateau. Variations in the strength and duration of the support suggest that the plume was a large, 1000-km-radius structure that lay under the Greenland craton at the time of breakup. Current data suggest that it may have crossed the East Greenland coast at 40 Ma. Discrepancies between uniform stretching models and the reconstructed subsidence for sites on the East Greenland shelf and the Vøring Plateau allow the amount of igneous underplating at the time of breakup to be estimated. Calculations suggest a maximum of around 8.8 km of gabbroic underplating occurred at the time of breakup under the East Greenland shelf

  20. Variscan to Neogene thermal and exhumation history at the Moroccan passive continental margin assessed by low temperature thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sehrt, M.; Glasmacher, U. A.; Stockli, D. F.; Kluth, O.; Jabour, H.

    2012-04-01

    In North Africa, a large amount of Mesozoic terrigenous sedimentary rocks are deposited in most of the basins along the continental margin indicating a major episode of erosion occurred during the rift and early post-rift period in the Central Atlantic. In the Tarfaya-Dakhla Basin, Morocco the sedimentary cover reaches thicknesses of up to 9000 m. The presence of high surface elevations in the Anti-Atlas mountain belt (2500 m) indicates a potential source area for the surrounding basins. The NE-SW oriented Anti-Atlas of Morocco is located at the northwestern fringe of the West African Craton and south of the High Atlas and represents the Phanerozoic foreland of the Late Paleozoic North African Variscides and the Cenozoic Atlas Belt. Variscan deformation affected most of Morocco. Paleozoic basins were folded and thrusted, with the major collision dated as late Devonian to Late Carboniferous. Zircon fission-track ages of 287 (±23) to 331 (±24) Ma confirmed the main exhumation referred to the Variscan folding, followed by rapid exhumation and the post-folding erosion. Currently, phases of uplift and exhumation in the Anti-Atlas during the Central Atlantic rifting and places where the associated erosion products are deposited are poorly constrained and there is little quantitative data available at present. The objective of the study is to determine the thermal and exhumation history of the Anti-Atlas and the connected Tarfaya-Dakhla Basin at the Moroccan passive continental margin. Besides zircon fission-track dating, apatite and zircon (U-Th-Sm)/He and apatite fission-track analyses and furthermore 2-D modelling with 'HeFTy' software has been carried out at Precambrian rocks of the Western Anti-Atlas and Cretaceous to Neogene sedimentary rocks from the Northern Tarfaya-Dakhla Basin. The apatite fission-track ages of 120 (±13) to 189 (±14) Ma in the Anti-Atlas and 176 (±20) to 216 (±18) Ma in the Tarfaya Basin indicate very obvious a Central Atlantic opening

  1. Electrical resistivity image of the South Atlantic continental margin derived from onshore and offshore magnetotelluric data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapinos, G.; Weckmann, U.; Jegen-Kulcsar, M.; Meqbel, N.; Neska, A.; Katjiuongua, T. T.; Hoelz, S.; Ritter, O.

    2016-01-01

    We present a deep electrical resistivity image from the passive continental margin in Namibia. The approximately 700 km long magnetotelluric profile follows the Walvis Ridge offshore, continues onshore across the Kaoko Mobile Belt and reaches onto the Congo Craton. Two-dimensional inversion reveals moderately resistive material offshore, atypically low for oceanic lithosphere, reaching depths of 15-20 km. Such moderate resistivities are consistent with seismic P wave velocity models, which suggest up to 35 km thick crust. The Neoproterozoic rocks of the Kaoko Mobile Belt are resistive, but NNW-striking major shear-zones are imaged as subvertical, conductive structures in the upper and middle crust. Since the geophysical imprint of the shear zones is intact, opening of the South Atlantic in the Cretaceous did not alter the middle crust. The transition into the cratonic region coincides with a deepening of the high-resistive material to depths of more than 60 km.

  2. Exploring the Continental Margin of Israel: “Telepresence” at Work

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  3. Slope Instability and Gas Hydrates in the Hudson Canyon Region, U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rona, P. A.; Robb, J. M.; Butman, B.; Scranton, M. I.; Kingman, K. E.; Tucholke, B. E.; Twichell, D.

    2004-12-01

    The continental slope and the upper rise centered on Hudson Canyon offshore New York and New Jersey lie within a major gas-hydrate province. This region exhibits evidence of gravitational mass movements and possible methane expulsion, as inferred from our bathymetric and water-column surveys conducted in 2002 with support from NOAA/OE, and prior data. The bathymetric data cover our study area (200 km by 110 km; 37\\deg40'N to 39\\deg50'N, 70\\deg00'W to 72\\deg30'W) from the inner edge of the continental slope (depth 200 m) seaward to the middle rise (c.3500 m). The world's largest hub of submarine telecommunications cables partially passes through this area. Evidence of gravitational mass movements and of probable gas release is extensive. Examples of the former include: (1) blocks of landward-dipping strata up to 2-km wide and 150-m high that lie at the base of the continental slope (water depth 2100-2200 m) seaward of an over-pressured zone beneath the continental slope (639 mbsf in ODP Hole 1073A; water depth 650 m; Dugan and Flemings, 2000); (2) boulders of Eocene chalk that litter the lower slope and upper rise; (3) a semicircular, tabular glide block, about 20 km in diameter, which thickens to about 150 m at its seaward margin; the block is centered at 39\\deg23.5'N, 71\\deg10.0'W between 2450 and 2600 m depth on the upper rise, about 15 km downslope from a congruent scarp at 2200 m on the lower slope; (4) apparent penecontemporaneous faulting and gliding in strata inclined sub-parallel to the seafloor along the upper rise; 5) apparent clogging of Hudson Canyon with hummocky sediment at a right-angle turn of the axis (depth 3368 m; 38\\deg39.6'N, 71\\deg01.8'W); 6) changes in stratification from the upper to middle rise; uneven layering beneath the upper rise (seafloor mean inclination 0.75\\deg down to 2700 m) is inferred to reflect disturbance by gravitational mass movements; even layering parallel to the seafloor beneath the middle rise (inclination

  4. Initiation of extension in South China continental margin during the active-passive margin transition: kinematic and thermochronological constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ZUO, Xuran; CHAN, Lung

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Earth-System Scales of Biodiversity Variability in Shallow Continental Margin Seafloor Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Rifted Structure of the Vietnam Continental Margin Near the South China Sea Spreading Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, I. D.; Fyhn, M. B.; Boldreel, L. O.; Nielsen, L. H.; Duc, N. A.; Huyen, N. T.; Thang, L. D.

    2007-12-01

    The extinct spreading center of the South China Sea intersects the continental margin off Vietnam, providing an excellent opportunity to study the interaction of these two features. As part of a collaborative project between the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, the University of Copenhagen and the Vietnam Petroleum Institute, the crustal structure of this area has been investigated by the use of seismic reflection profiles, to provide control on the sedimentary and basement structure, combined with modelling of gravity data from global satellite altimetry, to constrain the crustal thickness. A complex pattern of rifting is seen, which may be ascribed to the complex stress fields of the propagating rift axis, together with an apparent progression in structure. In the more oceanic area, the rifting is relatively sharp, with fairly rapid crustal thnning of about 10 km. Towards the continent, in the region of the tip of the rift axis, the crustal thinning is less, around 5-7 km, and takes place over a greater distance. In the absence of data on the deep crustal structure it is not possible to determine the absolute crustal thickness with certainty, but the gravity modelling suggests that the pre-existing crust was no more than 20 km thick, having been thinned in earlier stages of formation of the South China Sea. A preliminary analysis of the isostatic balance along the various transects was inconclusive but suggests that the sedimentary sequences are largely isostatically compensated, rather than being supported by lithospheric rigidity. Detailed modelling of the rifting and subsidence may provide further insight into the processes that occur when an oceanic spreading center intersects and propagates into a continental margin.

  8. Authigenic carbonate formation at hydrocarbon seeps in continental margin sediments: A comparative study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Naehr, T.H.; Eichhubl, P.; Orphan, V.J.; Hovland, M.; Paull, C.K.; Ussler, W., III; Lorenson, T.D.; Greene, H. Gary

    2007-01-01

    Authigenic carbonates from five continental margin locations, the Eel River Basin, Monterey Bay, Santa Barbara Basin, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the North Sea, exhibit a wide range of mineralogical and stable isotopic compositions. These precipitates include aragonite, low- and high-Mg calcite, and dolomite. The carbon isotopic composition of carbonates varies widely, ranging from -60??? to +26???, indicating complex carbon sources that include 13C-depleted microbial and thermogenic methane and residual, 13C-enriched, bicarbonate. A similarly large variability of ??18O values (-5.5??? to +8.9???) demonstrates the geochemical complexity of these sites, with some samples pointing toward an 18O-enriched oxygen source possibly related to advection of 18O-enriched formation water or to the decomposition of gas hydrate. Samples depleted in 18O are consistent with formation deeper in the sediment or mixing of pore fluids with meteoric water during carbonate precipitation. A wide range of isotopic and mineralogical variation in authigenic carbonate composition within individual study areas but common trends across multiple geographic areas suggest that these parameters alone are not indicative for certain tectonic or geochemical settings. Rather, the observed variations probably reflect local controls on the flux of carbon and other reduced ions, such as faults, fluid conduits, the presence or absence of gas hydrate in the sediment, and the temporal evolution of the local carbon reservoir. Areas with seafloor carbonates that indicate formation at greater depth below the sediment-water interface must have undergone uplift and erosion in the past or are still being uplifted. Consequently, the occurrence of carbonate slabs on the seafloor in areas of active hydrocarbon seepage is commonly an indicator of exhumation following carbonate precipitation in the shallow subsurface. Therefore, careful petrographic and geochemical analyses are critical components necessary for the

  9. Authigenic apatite formation and burial in sediments from non-upwelling, continental margin environments

    SciTech Connect

    Ruttenberg, K.C.; Berner, R.A. )

    1993-03-01

    Evidence for precipitation of authigenic carbonate fluorapatite (CFA) in Long Island Sound and Mississippi Delta sediments suggests that formation of CFA is not restricted to environments of active coastal upwelling. The authors present porewater data suggestive of CFA formation in both these areas. Application of a sequential leaching procedure, designed specifically to separate authigenic carbonate fluorapatite from other phosphorus-containing phases, including detrital apatite of igneous or metamorphic origin, provides strong supporting evidence for authigenic apatite formation in these sediments. The size of the authigenic apatite reservoir increases with depth, indicating continued formation of CFA during early diagenesis. This depth increase is mirrored by a decrease in solid-phase organic P at both sites, suggesting that CFA is forming at the expense of organic P. Mass balance considerations, application of diagenetic models to intersitital water nutrient data, and the saturation state of the interstitial water are consistent with this interpretation. Diagenetic redistribution of phosphorus among the different solid-phase reservoirs is observed at both sites, and results in near perfect retention of P by these sediments over the depth intervals sampled. Formation of CFA in continental margins which do not conform to the classically defined regions of phosphorite formation renders CFA a quantitatively more important sink than has previously been recognized. Including this reservoir as a newly identified sink for reactive P in the ocean, the residence time of P in the modern ocean must be revised downward. The implication for ancient oceans of CFA formation in continental margin sediments other than phosphorites is that phosphorite formation may be less a representation of episodicity in removal of reactive P from the oceans than of localized concentration of CFA in phosphatic sediments by secondary physical processes. 90 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  11. Late Cenozoic tectonic development of the Southeast Asian continental margin in the Banda Sea area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartono, H. M. S.

    1990-09-01

    The late Cenozoic tectonic development of the Southeast Asian continental margin around the Banda Sea is complicated by interaction with external geological elements. Southeast Asian internal elements are the Banda Volcanic Arc and previous older arcs. External elements are the Australian continental crust and the Indian and Pacific oceanic crusts. These external elements are now trapped behind the Banda Volcanic Arc. Three main geological events are responsible for the present configuration of the Banda Sea and adjacent areas: (1) collision between the Banda Volcanic Arc and Australian continental crust; (2) emplacement of the Banda Sea oceanic crust; and (3) emplacement of microcontinents now present in and around the Banda Sea. The geology of Timor is fundamental to tectonic interpretations of the collision between the Banda Volcanic Arc and Australia. Differences exist in the tectonic interpretation of Timor and include either overthrusting, upthrusting or mélange formation. The present paper follows geological data contained in geological maps published by the Geological Survey of Indonesia in which overthrust structures are clearly shown. Paleomagnetic and paleontologic data indicate that the overthrust units were from southern paleolatitudes. Depth and magnetic lineation data support the interpretation that the Banda Sea is underlain by old oceanic crust. Similar orientation of magnetic lineations in the Banda Sea and the Argo Abyssal Plain suggests that they have the same origin. Geological data from northern Banda microcontinents, dredged samples from the Banda/Lucipara ridges and comprehensive geological development of the northern Banda Arc support the interpretation that the microcontinents were translated left-laterally westward from Irian Jaya.

  12. Crustal Structure of the Gulf of Aden Continental Margins, from Afar to Oman, by Ambient Noise Seismic Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Hydrogen sulfide hydrates and saline fluids in the continental margin of South Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swart, P. K.; Wortmann, U. G.; Mitterer, R. M.; Malone, M. J.; Smart, P. L.; Feary, D. A.; Hine, A. C.

    2000-11-01

    During the drilling of the southern Australian continental margin (Leg 182 of the Ocean Drilling Program), fluids with unusually high salinities (to 106‰) were encountered in Miocene to Pleistocene sediments. At three sites (1127, 1129, and 1131), high contents of H2S (to 15%), CH4 (50%), and CO2 (70%) were also encountered. These levels of H2S are the highest yet reported during the history of either the Deep Sea Drilling Project or the Ocean Drilling Program. The high concentrations of H2S and CH4 are associated with anomalous Na+/Cl- ratios in the pore waters. Although hydrates were not recovered, and despite the shallow water depth of these sites (200 400 m) and relative warm bottom water temperatures (11 14 °C), we believe that these sites possess disseminated H2S-dominated hydrates. This contention is supported by calculations using the measured gas concentrations and temperatures of the cores, and depths of recovery. High concentrations of H2S necessary for the formation of hydrates under these conditions were provided by the abundant SO42- caused by the high salinities of the pore fluids, and the high concentrations of organic material. One hypothesis for the origin of these fluids is that they were formed on the adjacent continental shelf during previous lowstands of sea level and were forced into the sediments under the influence of hydrostatic head.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Late Cretaceous - Cenozoic development of outer continental margin, southwestern Nova Scotia

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, S.A.

    1987-06-01

    The growth pattern for the outer continental margin of Nova Scotia during the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic was studied using seismic stratigraphy and well data. Sediment accumulation was broadly controlled by temporal changes in relative sea level, but significant spatial and temporal changes in accumulation patterns were caused by changes in sediment supply rate, morphology, erosion by abyssal currents, and salt tectonics. A Jurassic-Early Cretaceous carbonate platform remained exposed until the Late Cretaceous and controlled the location and steepness of the paleoslope until the late Miocene. Local erosion of the outer shelf and slope in the late Paleocene-early Eocene produced chalky fans on the upper rise. The relationship between erosion of the shelf in the late Eocene and early Oligocene, and abyssal current erosion of the upper rise in the Oligocene, is unclear. Seaward extensions of Tertiary shelf-edge canyons are poorly defined except for the Eocene fans. In the Miocene, abyssal currents eroded a bench on the upper continental rise. Subsequently, sediments lapped onto and buried the paleoslope. The lower rise above horizon A/sup u/ (Oligocene) is composed of fans and olistostromes shed from halokinetic uplift of the upper rise. Current eroded unconformities are common in the rise sequence, but the only current deposit is a Pliocene interval (< 300 m) restricted to the lowermost rise. Pleistocene turbidity currents eroded the present canyon morphology. 15 figures, 2 tables.

  16. Uplift along passive continental margins, changes in plate motion and mantle convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Japsen, Peter; Green, Paul F.; Chalmers, James A.; Bonow, Johan M.

    2014-05-01

    The origin of the forces that produce elevated, passive continental margins (EPCMs) is a hot topic in geoscience. It is, however, a new aspect in the debate that episodes of uplift coincide with changes in plate motion. This has been revealed, primarily, by studies of the burial, uplift and exhumation history of EPCMs based on integration on stratigraphic landscape analysis, low-temperature thermochronology and evidence from the geological record (Green et al., 2013). In the Campanian, Eocene and Miocene, uplift and erosion affected the margins of Brazil and Africa (Japsen et al., 2012b). The uplift phases in Brazil coincided with main phases of Andean orogeny which were periods of relatively rapid convergence at the Andean margin of South America (Cobbold et al., 2001). Because Campanian uplift in Brazil coincides, not only with rapid convergence at the Andean margin of South America, but also with a decline in Atlantic spreading rate, Japsen et al. (2012b) suggested that all these uplift events have a common cause, which is lateral resistance to plate motion. Because the uplift phases are common to margins of diverging plates, it was also suggested that the driving forces can transmit across the spreading axis; probably at great depth, e.g. in the asthenosphere. Late Eocene, Late Miocene and Pliocene uplift and erosion shaped the elevated margin of southern East Greenland (Bonow et al., in review; Japsen et al., in review). These regional uplift phases are synchronous with phases in West Greenland, overlap in time with similar events in North America and Europe and also correlate with changes in plate motion. The much higher elevation of East Greenland compared to West Greenland suggests dynamic support in the east from the Iceland plume. Japsen et al. (2012a) pointed out that EPCMs are typically located above thick crust/lithosphere that is closely juxtaposed to thinner crust/lithosphere. The presence of mountains along the Atlantic margin of Brazil and in East

  17. New High-Resolution Mapping of Submarine Canyons in the Mid-Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Brink, U. S.; Chaytor, J. D.; Brothers, D. S.; Twichell, D. C.; Ross, S. W.; Brooke, S.

    2011-12-01

    During June 2011, a BOEMRE/NOAA/USGS -funded multibeam bathymetry survey mapped the upper reaches (<900-m depths) of the Norfolk, Washington, and Baltimore canyons. Combined with existing multibeam bathymetry of the continental slope and rise, the new data provide a detailed view of the sedimentary processes that shaped the mid-Atlantic margin. The shelf-breaching canyon heads are surrounded by two terraces at depths of 95-100 m and 115-125 m in the Norfolk and Washington canyons and at depths of 115-125 m and 135-145 m in the Baltimore canyon. These terraces may represent paleo-shorelines formed during sea level stillstands. The canyon thalwegs within the shelf appear to be filled with sand in accord with old core results. The gradient of their thalweg profile is variable and relatively low across the shelf, slope, and upper rise, in contrast to the concave gradient of most non-shelf breaching canyons in the region. A few of the non-shelf breaching canyons in the mid-Atlantic margin also have relatively low and variable gradients suggesting that they once breached the shelf but are now completely filled. The seaward extensions of the Norfolk, Washington, and Baltimore canyons onto the continental rise are characterized by channels bordered by 100-200 m high levees. In places, these channels meander tightly. The extensions of other canyons onto the rise are either defined by subtle, linear depressions or cannot be traced. Channel-capture by adjacent canyons and channel abandonment originate in the lower slope and were prompted by either landslides or levee breaching. These observations indicate dynamic outer shelf deltas fed by large rivers, which were active at the last glacial maximum (LGM). The river channels on the shelf have been progressively filled during the Holocene. The clear expression of levied channels on the continental rise that extend from shelf-breaching canyons suggests that these canyons were the last ones to deliver turbidity flows to the rise

  18. Origin of increased terrigenous supply to the NE South American continental margin during Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Younger Dryas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. The Alegre Lineament and its role over the tectonic evolution of the Campos Basin and adjacent continental margin, Southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calegari, Salomão Silva; Neves, Mirna Aparecida; Guadagnin, Felipe; França, George Sand; Vincentelli, Maria Gabriela Castillo

    2016-08-01

    The structural framework and tectonic evolution of the sedimentary basins along the eastern margin of the South American continent are closely associated with the tectonic framework and crustal heterogeneities inherited from the Precambrian basement. However, the role of NW-SE and NNW-SSE structures observed at the outcropping basement in Southeastern Brazil and its impact over the development of those basins have not been closely investigated. In the continental region adjacent to the Campos Basin, we described a geological feature with NNW-SSE orientation, named in this paper as the Alegre Fracture Zone (AFZ), which is observed in the onshore basement and can be projected to the offshore basin. The main goal of this work was to study this structural lineament and its influence on the tectonic evolution of the central portion of the Campos Basin and adjacent mainland. The onshore area was investigated through remote sensing data joint with field observations, and the offshore area was studied through the interpretation of 2-D seismic data calibrated by geophysical well logs. We concluded that the AFZ occurs in both onshore and offshore as a brittle deformation zone formed by multiple sets of fractures that originated in the Cambrian and were reactivated mainly as normal faults during the rift phase and in the Cenozoic. In the Campos Basin, the AFZ delimitates the western side of the Corvina-Parati Low, composing a complex fault system with the NE-SW faults and the NW-SE transfer faults.

  20. Maturation of Tertiary sediments in the Asian Continental Margins: A basis for hydrocarbon generation studies

    SciTech Connect

    Miki, Takashi )

    1994-07-01

    In the marginal areas of the Asian continent, the Paleogene and Miocene coal-bearing formations are sporadically distributed. In some areas, particularly in the sea regions, their equivalents are possibly explored for oil and gas. The basins mainly formed as tectonic depressions, and are filled with fluvial to marine clastic rocks. The formations show marked lateral variation in thickness, lithology, and sediment characteristics, which are related to the geotectonic settings of the basins at active plate margins. Remarkable accumulation of overburden and high paleogeothermal conditions, which are marked in northern Kyushu, Japan, and Thailand, influenced diagenesis. Organic and inorganic maturation studies in northern Kyushu reveal a progress of diagenesis from the inland of Kyushu toward the sea region essentially controlled by additional heat supply from the sea region during and after sedimentation. The sediments on the land surface are chiefly overmatured, and/or contain minor amounts of organic carbon. High paleogeothermal influence on Tertiary maturation is clear also in northern Thailand. The high paleotemperature conditions in these areas may be related to tectonic interaction between the oceanic and continental plates.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  2. Cretaceous source rock characterization of the Atlantic Continental margin of Morocco

    SciTech Connect

    Jabour, H. )

    1993-02-01

    Characterization of the petroleum potential for the Atlantic margin of Morocco has been based primarily on limited, antiently acquired organic geochemical data. These indicate the area of drilling behind the paleoshelf edge to be only fair in organic carbon and C15+ extract values with predominantly terrestrial kerogen types. Recently acquired geochemical data obtained from relatively recent drilling both behind and beyond the paleoshelf edge indicate 4 depositional facies containing hydrogen rich amorphous kerogen assemblages. These are: (1) Lower to Mid Jurassic inner shelf facies probably deposited in algal rich lagoon-like, (2) Lower Cretaceous non marine coaly facies probably deposited in algal rich swamplike environments, (3) Middle Cretaceous facies characterized by restrited anoxic environment with sediments rich in marine kerogen types deposited under sluggish wather circulation, (4) Upper Cretaceous to Tertiary outer-shelf to Upper slope facies probably deposited under algal-rich upwelling systems. Of these, the Cretaceous facies is the most widespread and represents the best source rock potential characteristics. Correlation of these facies to recently acquired good quality seismic packages allows for extrapolation of probable organic facies distribution throughout the continental margin. This should enhance the hydrocarbon potential of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments both landward and seaward of the paleoshelf edge and thus permits refinement of strategies for hydrocarbon exploration in the area.

  3. Upper Devonian depositional system of Bel'kov Island (New Siberian Islands): An intracontinental rift or a continental margin?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danukalova, M. K.; Kuzmichev, A. B.; Aristov, V. A.

    2014-09-01

    The archipelago of New Siberian Islands situated on the northeastern continental shelf of Eurasia is considered a part of an exotic terrane that collided with Siberia in the Early Cretaceous. Bel'kov Island is located close to the inferred western boundary of this terrane and thus should demonstrate attributes of its localization at the margin of the Paleozoic oceanic basin. The Upper Devonian section on Bel'kov Island is a continuous sequence of deepwater terrigenous rocks, which indicates a tendency toward deepening of the basin previously revealed on adjacent Kotel'ny Island. The lowermost Upper Devonian unit on Bel'kov Island is represented by thin Domanik-like strata resting on the Middle Devonian carbonate platform. The main body of the Upper Devonian sequence, more than 4 km in total thickness, is made up of gravity-flow sediments including turbidites, clay and block diamictites, and olistostromes in the upper part of the section, which accumulated at the slope of the basin or its rise. At many levels, these sediments have been redeposited by along-slope currents. The uppermost unit of organogenic limestone is evidence for compensation of the trough. According to conodont assemblages, the deepwater terrigenous rocks were deposited from the early Frasnian to the early Tournaisian. This time is known for extensive rifting in the eastern Siberian Platform. The data obtained allowed us to reconstruct a NNW-trending Late Devonian rift basin on the Laptev Sea shelf similar to other rifts at the eastern margin of the Siberian Platform.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  5. Geology of the continental margin beneath Santa Monica Bay, Southern California, from seismic-reflection data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, M.A.; Normark, W.R.; Bohannon, R.G.; Sliter, R.W.; Calvert, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    We interpret seismic-reflection data, which were collected in Santa Monica Bay using a 70-in3 generator-injector air gun, to show the geologic structure of the continental shelf and slope and of the deep-water, Santa Monica and San Pedro Basins. The goal of this research is to investigate the earthquake hazard posed to urban areas by offshore faults. These data reveal that northwest of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Palos Verdes Fault neither offsets the seafloor nor cuts through an undeformed sediment apron that postdates the last sea level rise. Other evidence indicates that this fault extends northwest beneath the shelf in the deep subsurface. However, other major faults in the study area, such as the Dume and San Pedro Basin Faults, were active recently, as indicated by an arched seafloor and offset shallow sediment. Rocks under the lower continental slope are deformed to differing degrees on opposite sides of Santa Monica Canyon. Northwest of this canyon, the continental slope is underlain by a little-deformed sediment apron; the main structures that deform this apron are two lower-slope anticlines that extend toward Point Dume and are cored by faults showing reverse or thrust separation. Southeast of Santa Monica Canyon, lower-slope rocks are deformed by a complex arrangement of strike-slip, normal, and reverse faults. The San Pedro Escarpment rises abruptly along the southeast side of Santa Monica Canyon. Reverse faults and folds underpinning this escarpment steepen progressively southeastward. Locally they form flower structures and cut downward into basement rocks. These faults merge downward with the San Pedro Basin fault zone, which is nearly vertical and strike slip. The escarpment and its attendant structures diverge from this strike-slip fault zone and extend for 60 km along the margin, separating the continental shelf from the deep-water basins. The deep-water Santa Monica Basin has large extent but is filled with only a thin (less than 1.5-km

  6. A model of the methane cycle, permafrost, and hydrology of the Siberian continental margin

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Archer, D.

    2014-06-03

    A two-dimensional model of a passive continental margin was adapted to the simulation of the methane cycle on Siberian continental shelf and slope, attempting to account for the impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to freezing conditions with deep permafrost formation during glacial times, and immersion in the ocean in interglacial times. The model is used to gauge the impact of the glacial cycles, and potential anthropogenic warming in the deep future, on the atmospheric methane emission flux, and the sensitivities of that flux to processes such as permafrost formation and terrestrial organic carbonmore » (Yedoma) deposition. Hydrological forcing drives a freshening and ventilation of pore waters in areas exposed to the atmosphere, which is not quickly reversed by invasion of seawater upon submergence, since there is no analogous saltwater pump. This hydrological pump changes the salinity enough to affect the stability of permafrost and methane hydrates on the shelf. Permafrost formation inhibits bubble transport through the sediment column, by construction in the model. The impact of permafrost on the methane budget is to replace the bubble flux by offshore groundwater flow containing dissolved methane, rather than accumulating methane for catastrophic release when the permafrost seal fails during warming. By far the largest impact of the glacial/interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is attenuation by dissolution of bubbles in the ocean when sea level is high. Methane emissions are highest during the regression (soil freezing) part of the cycle, rather than during transgression (thawing). The model-predicted methane flux to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate is small, relative to the global methane production rate, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. A slight increase due to warming could be completely counteracted by sea level rise on geologic time

  7. A model of the methane cycle, permafrost, and hydrology of the Siberian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, D.

    2014-06-01

    A two-dimensional model of a passive continental margin was adapted to the simulation of the methane cycle on Siberian continental shelf and slope, attempting to account for the impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to freezing conditions with deep permafrost formation during glacial times, and immersion in the ocean in interglacial times. The model is used to gauge the impact of the glacial cycles, and potential anthropogenic warming in the deep future, on the atmospheric methane emission flux, and the sensitivities of that flux to processes such as permafrost formation and terrestrial organic carbon (Yedoma) deposition. Hydrological forcing drives a freshening and ventilation of pore waters in areas exposed to the atmosphere, which is not quickly reversed by invasion of seawater upon submergence, since there is no analogous saltwater pump. This hydrological pump changes the salinity enough to affect the stability of permafrost and methane hydrates on the shelf. Permafrost formation inhibits bubble transport through the sediment column, by construction in the model. The impact of permafrost on the methane budget is to replace the bubble flux by offshore groundwater flow containing dissolved methane, rather than accumulating methane for catastrophic release when the permafrost seal fails during warming. By far the largest impact of the glacial/interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is attenuation by dissolution of bubbles in the ocean when sea level is high. Methane emissions are highest during the regression (soil freezing) part of the cycle, rather than during transgression (thawing). The model-predicted methane flux to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate is small, relative to the global methane production rate, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. A slight increase due to warming could be completely counteracted by sea level rise on geologic time scales

  8. A nitrogen budget for the continental margin of the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dengler, Marcus; Bryant, Lee; Sommer, Stefan; Bourbonnais, Annie; Dullo, Christian; Dale, Andy

    2015-04-01

    In oxic environments, nitrogen (N) is frequently a limiting nutrient for primary production and hence a controlling element in marine ecosystems. The fixed form of N, i.e., bioavailable N for primary production, is primarily in the oxidized form of nitrate (NO3-). However, in the sub-oxic environments of oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), N-species are biochemically converted to biogenic N2 gas which is then released, or lost, to the atmosphere. N-cycling under sub-oxic conditions thus diminishes the oceanic pool of bioavailable N. It has been suggested that although OMZs constitute only about 1% of global ocean volume, they account for about 20-40% of global oceanic N loss. However, to date these estimates are subject to largely uncertainties. Here, we quantify the rate of N-cycling and the associated N-loss by evaluating all terms of a benthic-pelagic nutrient transport budget at the continental margin off Peru using observations from an extensive measurement program conducted along the continental slope and shelf region at 12°S. The data set was collected during austral summer in 2013 and consists of nutrient, microstructure and CTD/O2 profiles as well as shipboard velocity data from two research cruises, a glider swarm experiment and current time series from a moored array. To constrain the benthic contribution to the nutrient budget, benthic nutrient fluxes were measured in benthic chambers using Biogeochemical Observatory (BIGO) landers. Detailed budget determinations were performed on the upper continental slope and shelf break as well as at the shelf. Both regions were anoxic but different with regard to nutrient distribution as well as benthic nutrient release rates. Three major conclusions can be inferred from the study: (1) Unexpectedly, the results showed that diapycnal nutrient fluxes, driven by turbulent mixing caused by the breaking of non-linear internal waves, was one to two orders of magnitude larger than advective and lateral-diffusive fluxes. (2) The

  9. Continental margin deformation along the Andean subduction zone: Thermo-mechanical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbault, Muriel; Cembrano, J.; Mpodozis, C.; Farias, M.; Pardo, M.

    2009-12-01

    The Chilean Andes extend north-south for about 3000 km over the subducting Nazca plate, and show evidence of local rheological controls on first-order tectonic features. Here, rheological parameters are tested with numerical models of a subduction driven by slab-pull and upper plate velocities, and which calculate the development of stress and strain over a typical period of 4 Myr. The models test the effects of subduction interface strength, arc and fore-arc crust rheology, and arc temperature, on the development of superficial near-surface faulting as well as viscous shear zones in the mantle. Deformation geometries are controlled by the intersection of the subduction interface with continental rheological heterogeneities. Upper plate shortening and trench advance are both correlated, and favored, to a first-order by upper plate weakness, and to a second-order by interface strength. In cases of a strong interface, a weak fore-arc crust is dragged downward by “tectonic erosion”, a scenario for which indications are found along the northern Chilean margin. In contrast for a resistant fore-arc, the slab-pull force transmits to the surface and produces topographic subsidence. This process may explain present-day subsidence of the Salar de Atacama basin and/or the persistence of a Central Depression. Specific conditions for northern Chile produce a shear zone that propagates from the subduction zone in the mantle, through the Altiplano lower crust into the Sub-Andean crust, as proposed by previous studies. Models with a weak interface in turn, allow buoyant subducted material to rise into the continental arc. In case of cessation of the slab-pull, this buoyant material may rise enough to change the stress state in the continental crust, and lead to back-arc opening. In a case of young and hydrated oceanic plate forced by the slab-pull to subduct under a resistant continent, this plate is deviated and indented by the continental mantle, and stretches horizontally

  10. Recent seismic investigations on gas hydrates at continental margins by BGR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boennemann, C.; Mueller, C.; Behain, D.; Meyer, H.; Neben, S.

    2002-12-01

    In the last years all marine seismic cruises of BGR on continental margins revealed deposits of gas hydrates. The standard analysis of these data begins with the mapping of BSRs in the processed reflection seismic data to estimate the minimal extension of gas hydrates. This is followed by derivation of heat flow from BSR depths at selected locations. The work of BGR with these data has a variety of objectives: reservoir investigations, structural studies, comparative studies to understand the origin of the gas and to assess the role of gas hydrates and free gas beneath as a possible future energy resource. Data from four areas are presented. The Sunda subduction zone formed the Mentawai and the Java forearc basins. Gas hydrates are observed predominantly in boundary parts of the basins and in the anticlinal structures which run nearly parallel to the subduction zone. Gas hydrate occurrence off Sabah appears to be linked to structural and tectonic units and to be focused mainly in the folded, thrusted, and uplifted structures. The BSRs occur mainly in the hanging walls of the individual thrust sheets which form anticline-like structures. Due to the tectonically controlled morphology of the seafloor the distribution of BSRs appear mainly as elongated bodies which run parallel to each other. At the active margin of middle Chile gas hydrate has only been observed in the southern part. They occur mainly on the middle slope and form lengthy patches parallel to the coast. The convergent continental margin of Costa Rica is an area with large known gas hydrate occurrences. The mapping of BSRs from these data reveals different areas of gas hydrates and indications for strong variability of the heat flow. One area is subject of an ongoing detailed seismic reservoir study. High-resolution and long-offset seismic data open the way for pre-stack analyses with methods such as amplitude variation with angle (AVA). First results indicate the possibility to differentiate between

  11. Gas hydrate stability and the assessment of heat flow through continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grevemeyer, Ingo; Villinger, Heinrich

    2001-06-01

    A prominent feature across some continental margins is a bottom-simulating reflector (BSR). This seismic reflection generally coincides with the depth predicted for the base of the gas hydrate stability field. Because the occurrence of gas hydrates is controlled by temperature and pressure conditions, it has been suggested that BSRs mark an isotherm and they have therefore been used to estimate the heat flow through continental margins; crucial parameters are the temperature at BSR depth and at the seafloor and the thermal conductivity structure between the BSR and the seabed. However, very often the required parameters are not available and therefore they have been derived from models for gas hydrate stability and empirical relationships to obtain thermal conductivities from seismic velocities. Here, we use downhole temperature, thermal conductivity, porosity and logging data from 10 Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) sites drilled into and through the gas hydrate field to investigate the quality of estimates. Our analyses and application of constraints to the Makran margin off Pakistan indicate the following. (i) The temperature at BSR depth could be approximated by a seawater-methane system, although capillary forces, chemical impurities or non-equilibrium conditions can lower (or increase) the temperature. If calibration by heat probe measurements is possible, errors of geothermal gradients are less than 10 per cent, otherwise uncertainties of 20 per cent (or even higher) may arise. In addition, seasonal variations of bottom water temperature have to be considered, because they may affect thermal gradients by up to ~10 per cent. (ii) The impact of typical quantities of low-thermal-conductivity gas hydrate on the bulk thermal conductivity is insignificant. (iii) The thermal conductivity profile between the BSR and the seabed can generally be approximated by a mean value. Thus, (iv) seabed measurements should be used instead of empirical relationships, which may

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. The continental Etirol-Levaz slice (Western Alps, Italy): Tectonometamorphic evolution of an extensional allochthon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewerling, Kathrin; Obermüller, Gerrit; Kirst, Frederik; Froitzheim, Nikolaus; Nagel, Thorsten; Sandmann, Sascha

    2013-04-01

    The Etirol-Levaz slice (ELS) in the western Valtournenche of Italy is a continental fragment trapped between two oceanic units, the eclogite-facies Zermatt-Saas Zone in the footwall and the greenschist-facies Combin Zone in the hanging wall. It has been interpreted as an extensional allochthon derived from the Adriatic continental margin and stranded inside the Piemont-Ligurian oceanic domain during Jurassic rifting (Dal Piaz et al., 2001; Beltrando et al., 2010). The slice consists of Variscan high-grade gneisses, micaschists and metabasics overprinted under eclogite-facies conditions during Early Tertiary Alpine subduction. Eclogites generally consist of garnet + omphacite ± epidote ± amphibole ± phengite ± quartz. We investigate their metamorphic history using equilibrium phase diagrams, mineral compositions, and textural relations between prograde, peak, and retrograde phases. In sample FD328, garnets have compositions of Alm52-61 Grs18-41 Prp5-22 Sps0.5-2 and typical growth zoning. Some garnet grains are brittlely fractured, strongly corroded and overgrown by epidote. Amphibole occurs as a major phase in the matrix and shows a progressive evolution from glaucophane in the core to pargasitic hornblende towards the rim. Sample FD329 with a particular Ca-rich bulk composition (18.3 wt% Ca) displays two distinct garnet generations. Perfectly euhedral cores show compositions of Grs42-45 Alm47-51 Prp3-6 Sps2-7 and typical prograde growth zoning. These cores are overgrown by irregularly shaped rims characterised by an initial rise in Mn and the Fe-Mg ratio. Omphacite in this sample with jadeite-contents of 19-28 mol% apparently has been fractured and annealed by jadeite-poor (7-12 mol%) omphacite suggesting brittle behaviour at eclogite-facies conditions or two high-pressure stages with lower metamorphic conditions in between. We discuss whether the ELS experienced the same monocyclic metamorphic history as the Zermatt-Saas Zone or not. Some of our observations

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-03-01

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

  15. The Davie Ridge: a Marginal Transform Ridge not Formed During Continental Breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phethean, J. J. J.; Van Hunen, J.; McCaffrey, K. J. W.; Davies, R. J.

    2014-12-01

    The breakup of Gondwana translated Madagascar southwards relative to Africa along the Davie Fracture Zone (DFZ). This fracture zone now forms the Transform Passive Continental Margin (TPCM) from Kenya to Mozambique. The Davie Ridge (DR), a transform marginal ridge, has formed along the DFZ between 5 and 2°S and 22 and 11°S, but with little expression in-between. It has been proposed that this marginal ridge was formed by the thermal effects of a passing Mid Ocean Ridge (MOR) during the separation of Gondwana. Plate kinematic reconstructions, however, constrained by ocean magnetic anomalies, show that the MOR only passed between the north and south expressions of the DR. Therefore the positive linear gravity anomalies of the DR cannot be attributed to the effects of a passing MOR, and some other mechanism must be found to explain their formation. Interpretation of seismic reflection profiles along the DR shows that the gravity highs occur adjacent to large basin structures. In the north this correlates with a basin-bounding basement high of ~Albian age, and in the south with the rift flank uplifts of the currently active Quirimbas graben. This suggests that the northern and southern DR segments are instead shoulder uplifts resulting from two separate extensional episodes during different stress regimes. These are the Cretaceous NE-SW extension during the breakup of the south Atlantic, and the E-W extension of the Neogene-recent Afar-East Africa rift system, respectfully. The lack of deformation and DR formation along the region of the TPCM passed by the MOR suggests it has been coupled by thermal effects and/or the injection of magma.

  16. Geochemistry of sediments of the western Canadian continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macdonald, R. W.; Pedersen, T. F.

    1991-08-01

    Few chemical data exist for the sedimentary environment off the Canadian west coast. Here we define the chemical nature of the shelf sediments by examining the important sources of material (natural and anthropogenic) to the region and processes relevant to diagenesis. Slightly more data exist for the continental shelf to the south (Washington) and north (Alaska), however it is clear that the sedimentary environment of these neighbouring shelves differs importantly from the Canadian portion. The British Columbia shelf receives little modern terrigenous detritus due mainly to isolation from terrestrial sediment sources by fiords, inland seas, or bypassing by shelf canyons. The chemical state of the sediments depends on the rate of supply of material, the energy of the depositional or erosional environment and the organic and inorganic composition of the material. These features in concert with bottom water characteristics control the redox state. Although no basins hosting continuous depositional records for the Holocene on the open British Columbia shelf have been identified or studied in a manner described by BUCKLEY ( Continental Shelf Research, 11, 1099-1122), some coastal embayments and fiords provide valuable historical records of post-glacial sedimentation. Such environments will prove to be increasingly useful in future studies of changes in regional climate and in establishing the chronology of natural disasters and anthropogenic impacts. Recommendations are given for a variety of research projects that would help us to understand better both chemical interactions at the seabed and Late Quaternary depositional history.

  17. Quaternary mass wasting on the western Black Sea margin, offshore of Amasra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dondurur, Derman; Küçük, H. Mert; Çifçi, Günay

    2013-04-01

    In recent years, the western Black Sea margin has become well-studied due to its potential for petroleum plays in relatively deeper waters. In 2010, multi-channel seismic, multibeam bathymetry and Chirp high resolution seismic data were collected in order to define the existing geohazards along the margin, to identify the seabed morphology and to determine mass movement types and their run-out distances. Seismic data indicate that the western Black Sea margin is an unstable region with sediment erosion. Particularly, an unstable area offshore of Amasra in the NW consisting of four slides and four buried debris lobes is named the Amasra mass failure zone. Different types of sliding with varying sizes and different mechanisms are observed. These include sliding in the steep slope zones where block-type sliding occurs, smaller-scale slides on the canyon walls, and relatively larger slides in the Amasra mass failure zone. Block-type sliding is observed on the upper continental slope to the south as well as on the canyon walls. They are formed along the rotational faults and occur due to the gravitational loading on the steep slope zones possibly triggered by local seismic activity. In addition, seven large debris lobes identified in the northern toe of the slope buried in the Quaternary sediments triggered by excess pore pressures due to high sediment input and submarine fluid flow. We suggest that earthquake activity may be an important agent for all kind of mass movements in the area. In addition, we propose that the slides in the Amasra mass failure zone are triggered by excess pore pressures in shallow sediments due to the submarine fluid flow possibly produced from gas hydrate dissociation. Warmer Mediterranean seawater input during the rapid transgression period after the Last Glacial Maximum in the Black Sea together with the rapid sedimentation resulted in destabilization of gas hydrates, which caused excess pore pressures in shallow sediments leading to

  18. Late quarternary glacioeustatic sea-level fluctuations: What are the sedimentologic processes and stratigraphic responses on continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Riggs, S.R. ); Snyder, S.W. ); Hine, A.C. )

    1990-01-09

    Published stable isotope data from deep-sea sediments clearly show that the earth's climatic cycles have oscillated through at least 10 major glacial and interglacial episodes during the last million years. These high-frequency, orbitally-forced events should have resulted in major glacioeustatic sea-level fluctuations on the continental margins with dramatic sedimentologic effects and stratigraphic responses. However, such high-frequency events have proven difficult to resolve. Are they too short-lived to be recorded, to complex to decipher, or have traditional stratigraphic tools not been adequate to recognize them in continental margin sequences A detailed, multidisciplinary study of various continental margins is necessary to test the sensitivity of sedimentologic systems and response in stratigraphic records. This study must utilize (1) high-resolution event stratigraphy to define the depositional and erosional sediment sequences; (2) sediment analyses to delineate depositional environments and characterize lithofacies of specific system tracts; and (3) biostratigraphic and geochronologic analyses to place the depositional sequences in time. Integration of these data sets will (4) determine the resolving power of sequence stratigraphy; (5) develop working stratal models for recognizing short-pulsed, glacioeustatic sea-level events within the stratigraphic record; and (6) define a chronostratigraphy of changing paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic events operating on continental margin systems during the late Quaternary.

  19. Unravelling the process of continental breakup: a case study of the Australia-Antarctica conjugate margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillard, Morgane; Autin, Julia; Karpoff, Anne-Marie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Munschy, Marc; Sauter, Daniel; Schaming, Marc

    2013-04-01

    ) with variations occurring across and along the margin. The results also provide new constraints on the proposed East-West diachronous opening and on the two main directions of extension (first NW-SE then N-S). Moreover, we suggest that polyphase detachment faulting may play an important role, in particular during the mantle exhumation phase potentially leading to the breakup and onset of steady state seafloor spreading. Another important observation is that the current interpretations of magnetic anomalies for the breakup identification may not work. Indeed, these interpretations are based on a symmetric model of accretion, whereas in our assumption, the first magnetic anomalies have been recorded during an asymmetric phase related to continental mantle exhumation. The comparison with other magma-poor rifted margins such as the central segment of the South Atlantic or the southern North Atlantic, will allow determining if these observations result from similar processes in magma-poor rifted margins or if they are specific and restricted to the Australian-Antarctic margins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santantonio, Massimo; Fabbi, Simone; Aldega, Luca

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Heat-Flow at the edges of continental lithosphere and implications for the evolution of extensional margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goutorbe, B.; Lucazeau, F.; Perry, C.; Bonneville, A.

    2007-12-01

    Heat-Flow variations across continental rifted margins are difficult to obtain for methodological reasons: direct measurements are not possible below a certain water depth and values derived from oil exploration are often biased by perturbations on temperature records and unreliable conductivity estimates. We have developed recently a methodology that provides better estimates of thermal conductivity in oil exploration wells, based on neural networks linking this physical property to geophysical well logs. The method has been applied systematically on a large number of wells on Atlantic and Australian margins, providing almost 1,000 new heat- flow estimates. In all cases, the mantle heat-flow below the margins is comparable to that of oceanic domain, and in some cases higher. These conclusions arise from old margins (>50 Ma), but measurements on young margins (e.g. Red Sea, Aden) show unexpected high values. This is interpreted as a consequence of temperature differences at depth between continental and oceanic lithospheres. Several 2D numerical experiments show that such anomalies are likely to develop with variable amplitude and pattern depending on the temperature regime of the continental lithosphere, rheology of the mantle and geometry of the interface. It seems that such anomalies can appear rapidly after the break-up of continents and maintain permanently. This changes significantly the subsidence evolution and the relations with the pre-existing thermal regime of the continent.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Alastair

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Investigation of the shelf break and continental slope in the Western part of the Black Sea using acoustic methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutu, F.; Ion, G.; Jugaru Tiron, L.

    2009-04-01

    The Black Sea is a large marginal sea surrounded by a system of Alpine orogenic chains, including the Balkanides-Pontides, Caucasus, Crimea and North Dobrogea located to the south, northeast, north and northwest, respectively (Dinu et al., 2005). The north-western part of the Black Sea is the main depocentre for sediment supply from Central Europe via the Danube River, but also from Eastern Europe through the Ukrainian rivers Dniepr, Dniestr and Southern Bug (Popescu et al., 2004). The shelfbreak is located at water depths of 120-140 m southward of the Danube Canyon, and up to 170 m northward of the canyon possibly due to recent faulting which is very common in this area. The continental slope is dissected by numerous canyons, each of which is fed by several tributaries. The Danube Canyon (also known as Viteaz Canyon) is a large shelf-indenting canyon located in the north-western Black Sea and connected to the youngest channel-levee system of the Danube Fan (Popescu et al., 2004). The acoustic methods are a useful way for investigate the shelf break and the continental slope giving us information about landslides on the continental slope, the topography of the investigated area, the sedimentary zones affected by instability and to quantify the geometry of the underwater landslides. The measurements made on the continental slope from north-western part of the Black Sea gave us the possibility to make a digital terrain model. After processing the data the model offer information about the main access ways of the sediments through gravitational slide on the submarines canyons, with forming of turbidity currents, debris flows and also other transport/transformation phenomena of the sediments on the continental slope like submarine landslides and submarine collapse. References Dinu, C., Wong, H.K., Tambrea, D., Matenco, L., 2005. Stratigraphic and structural characteristics of the Romanian Black Sea shelf. Tectonophysics 410, 417-435. Popescu, I., Lericolais, G., Panin

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filatova, N. I.

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Geometry of the Iapetus Baltoscandian continental margin; evidence for basement highs from the external imbricate zone.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, A. Hugh N.

    2015-04-01

    The geometry of the Iapetus Baltoscandian continental margin prior to Scandinavian Caledonian collision is important, since only with a detailed initial input can synthetic palaeogeographic and deformation models be correctly applied. The Scandes comprise ~SE-directed nappes pierced by tectonic windows exposing basement with condensed, post-Gaskiers-glaciation (582-580Ma) cover sequences. Here, evidence, largely from the Lower Allochthon (external imbricate zone), for major displacement of these basement rocks ('Window Allochthon'), is summarized; palaeogeographically they formed a topographic-high along the Baltoscandian continental margin. In the Oslo Graben and East Finnmark areas (southernmost/northernmost Scandinavia), the transition from (par)-autochthon to allochthon is preserved (Osen-Roa Nappe Complex/Gaissa Thrust Belt; ORNC/GTB). These areas give reliable templates for other parts of the orogen, where the orogen leading edge has been extensively eroded. In the ORNC and GTB, bulk shortening was ~50%, with values rising towards the hinterland; metamorphic grades also increase towards the hinterland. Balanced-sections restore the trailing-edges of the ORNC and GTB to Norwegian coastal areas. In Finnmark, restoration places pre-Marinoan (pre~650 Ma) GTB anchizone-grade rocks above epizone-grade post-Gaskiers rocks lying unconformably on basement in the Komagfjord tectonic window. In southern Norway, restored pre-Gaskiers ORNC rocks overlie Cambro-Ordovician sediments unconformable on basement in the Atnsjøen/Spekedalen windows and WGR. Caledonian Middle Allochthon deformation in Finnmark was SE-directed and in the GTB E- to ESE-directed. In the Komagfjord window basement, Caledonian imbrication was SE-directed, but the overlying basal Middle Allochthon mylonites have an out-of-sequence E-ESE overprint. Thus the Komagfjord basement/cover lies structurally between the Middle and Lower Allochthons. In the Atnsjøen/Spekedalen windows, SE-directed Caledonian

  6. Germanium-silicon fractionation in a river-influenced continental margin: The Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Mass transport deposits as witness of Holocene seismic activity on the Ligurian margin, Western Mediterranean (ASTARTE project)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samalens, Kevin; Cattaneo, Antonio; Migeon, Sébastien

    2016-04-01

    The Ligurian Margin (Western Mediterranean) is at the transition between the Southern Alpes and the Liguro-Provençal margin and it is one of the most seismic areas of France. Several historic earthquakes have been indexed; the strongest, on February 23rd, 1887, occurred offshore Menton and Imperia and also caused a tsunami wave. Its equivalent magnitude has been estimated between 6 and 6.5. In addition, a moderate recurrent seismicity shakes the margin. The aim of this study is to understand the link between seismic activity and slope destabilization, and to identify the sedimentary deposits resulting from mass transport or turbidity currents. During Malisar (Geoazur laboratory), Prisme 2 and Prisme 3 (Ifremer) cruises, bathymetry, seafloor imagery (SAR), geophysics data (CHIRP SYSIF and high resolution seismics), and sediment cores have been acquired on the continental slope, focussing on canyons and submarine landslides, and in the basin. These data record numerous mass transport deposits (slump, debrites) in the different physiographic areas of the margin. To search for evidences of past Ligurian margin seismicity during the Holocene, we focused on the northeast part of the margin, the Finale area. We identified and sampled acoustically transparent Mass Transport Deposits up to 20-m thick in the bottom of three coaleshing canyons: Noli, Pora and Centa canyons from W to E in the area offshore Finale Ligure. We also recovered an MTD in the collecting deeper canyon system. MTDs in cores appear as sediment with different degrees of deformation (tilted blocks, slump, debrites) and are topped by hemipelagites. The radiocarbon age of the top of MTDs can be considered synchronous and centered around 4900 yr BP. Mass wasting occurring over more than 50 km of the Ligurian margin could indicate that an earthquake stroke the Finale area sector at that time.

  8. Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Crustal Growth at Active Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  9. Methane Derived Authigenic Carbonates from the Upper Continental Margin of the Bay of Biscay (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre, C.; Blanc-Valleron, M. M.; Dupré, S.

    2014-12-01

    Extensive seafloor carbonate pavements are present at water depth from 140 to 180 meters on the upper continental margin of the Bay of Biscay, 50 to 60 km away from the present-day coastline. They form at the seafloor meter-high sub-circular reliefs with a diameter from 10 m to 100 m that are surrounded by light brown silto-sandy unconsolidated sediments. All these structures are associated with active methane seeps that cover an area of 80km from N to S and up to 8km from W to E. These carbonates were sampled during the two cruises GAZCOGNE 1 (july-august 2013) and GAZCOGNE 2 (september 2013). The carbonate crusts are porous sandstones, dark brown to black by impregnation with Fe-Mn oxides/hydroxides. Subseafloor concretions are homogenous light to medium grey fine-grained sandstones. The bulk carbonate content varies in the range 36-42 weight %. The carbonate mineralogy is dominated by aragonite that cements the detrital grains whereas calcite comes from the biogenic carbonates. Dolomite occurs in significant amount in a few samples. Circular cavities of 5 to 10 µm of diameter in the carbonate cement represent traces of gas bubbles; smaller holes in the aragonite crystals are due to carbonate dissolution by CO2 issued from aerobic oxidation of methane. The oxygen isotopic compositions of the bulk carbonate (+1.7 to +4.5‰) and aragonite cement (-0.2 to +1.4‰) are lower than the values in equilibrium with the present-day temperature and salinity conditions. This indicates that the carbonate precipitated in mixtures of seawater and continental water, i.e. in a context of submarine groundwater discharge. The carbon isotopic compositions of the bulk carbonate (-51.9 to -38.2‰) and aragonite cement (-49.9 to -29.3‰) demonstrate that most carbon derived from methane oxidized as bicarbonate during microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane. The GAZCOGNE study is co-funded by TOTAL and IFREMER as part of the PAMELA (Passive Margin Exploration Laboratories

  10. Key controls of surface carbonate system dynamics around the northwest European continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Z.; Hydes, D. J.; Hartman, S. E.; Hartman, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    Monthly sampling coupled to continuous underway observation from a ship-of-opportunity (Pride of Bilbao) provides new insights into the relative importance of processes controlling the seasonal to inter-annual variability of the carbonate system around the northwest European continental margin. Total alkalinity (TA) and total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were determined alongside measurements of nutrients and continuous records of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen (DO). The northwest European continental margin is temperate latitude system with a strong seasonal cycle in biological productivity determined by light, nutrient supply, and stratification. Here we contrast findings in two areas: the shallow non stratified English Channel (depth ~50 m) and seasonally stratified oligotrophic waters of the central Bay of Biscay (depth >3000 m). In the Bay of Biscay, the seasonal variations of the carbonate system, nutrient, and DO were mainly controlled by the winter mixing and spring phytoplankton bloom. DIC and nutrients in the Bay increased from autumn and reached the annual maxima in later winter, they then decreased significantly during the spring bloom corresponding to the biological uptake. DIC fell during the spring bloom with a near Redfield ratio in relation to the nutrient uptake. In contrast, post bloom in summer, a continued decrease in DIC in the absence of measurable nitrate was possibly related to the nutrient supply from the turbulent mixing. pCO2 and pH showed a double peak in the annual cycles modulated by temperature which counterbalanced the influence of winter mixing and biological production. The inter-annual biogeochemical variability was closely related to the changes in winter mixed layer depth and the phytoplankton biomass. The Bay of Biscay acted as a sink for atmospheric CO2 in all seasons, with higher air-to-sea CO2 fluxes observed in cold winter and the productive spring season. In the more dynamic

  11. Gas emissions at the continental margin west off Svalbard: mapping, sampling, and quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, H.; Römer, M.; Pape, T.; Bergès, B.; dos Santos Fereirra, C.; Boelmann, J.; Geprägs, P.; Tomczyk, M.; Nowald, N.; Dimmler, W.; Schroedter, L.; Glockzin, M.; Bohrmann, G.

    2014-05-01

    We mapped, sampled, and quantified gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard during R/V Heincke cruise He-387 in late summer 2012. Hydroacoustic mapping revealed that gas emissions were not limited to a zone just above 396 m below sea level (m b.s.l.). Flares from this depth gained significant attention in the scientific community in recent years because they may be caused by bottom water-warming induced hydrate dissolution in the course of global warming and/or by recurring seasonal hydrate formation and decay. We found that gas emissions occurred widespread between about 80 and 415 m b.s.l. which indicates that hydrate dissolution might only be one of several triggers for active hydrocarbon seepage in that area. Gas emissions were remarkably intensive at the main ridge of the forlandet moraine complex in 80 to 90 m water depths, and may be related to thawing permafrost. Focused seafloor investigations were performed with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) "Cherokee". Geochemical analyses of gas bubbles sampled at about 240 m b.s.l. as well as at the 396 m gas emission sites revealed that the vent gas is primarily composed of methane (> 99.70%) of microbial origin (average δ13C = -55.7‰ V-PDB). Estimates of the regional gas bubble flux from the seafloor to the water column in the area of possible hydrate decomposition were achieved by combining flare mapping using multibeam and single beam echosounder data, bubble stream mapping using a ROV-mounted horizontally-looking sonar, and quantification of individual bubble streams using ROV imagery and bubble counting. We estimated that about 53 × 106 mol methane were annually emitted at the two areas and allow a large range of uncertainty due to our method (9 to 118 × 106 mol yr-1). These amounts, first, show that gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard were in the same order of magnitude as bubble emissions at other geological settings, and second, may be used to calibrate models

  12. Gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard: mapping, sampling, and quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, H.; Römer, M.; Pape, T.; Bergès, B.; dos Santos Fereirra, C.; Boelmann, J.; Geprägs, P.; Tomczyk, M.; Nowald, N.; Dimmler, W.; Schroedter, L.; Glockzin, M.; Bohrmann, G.

    2014-11-01

    We mapped, sampled, and quantified gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard during R/V Heincke cruise He-387 in late summer 2012. Hydroacoustic mapping revealed that gas emissions were not limited to a zone just above 396 m water depth. Flares from this depth have gained significant attention in the scientific community in recent years because they may be caused by bottom-water warming-induced hydrate dissolution in the course of global warming and/or by recurring seasonal hydrate formation and decay. We found that gas emissions occurred widespread between about 80 and 415 m water depth, which indicates that hydrate dissolution might only be one of several triggers for active hydrocarbon seepage in that area. Gas emissions were remarkably intensive at the main ridge of the Forlandet moraine complex in 80 to 90 m water depths, and may be related to thawing permafrost. Focused seafloor investigations were performed with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) "Cherokee". Geochemical analyses of gas bubbles sampled at about 240 m water depth as well as at the 396 m gas emission sites revealed that the vent gas is primarily composed of methane (> 99.70%) of microbial origin (average δ13C = -55.7‰ V-PDB). Estimates of the regional gas bubble flux from the seafloor to the water column in the area of possible hydrate decomposition were achieved by combining flare mapping using multibeam and single-beam echosounder data, bubble stream mapping using a ROV-mounted horizontally looking sonar, and quantification of individual bubble streams using ROV imagery and bubble counting. We estimated that about 53 × 106 mol methane were annually emitted at the two areas and allow for a large range of uncertainty due to our method (9 to 118 × 106 mol yr-1). First, these amounts show that gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard were on the same order of magnitude as bubble emissions at other geological settings; second, they may be used to calibrate

  13. The Hatton Basin and continental margin: Crustal structure from wide-angle seismic and gravity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-06-01

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

  14. Using crustal thickness and subsidence history on the Iberia-Newfoundland margins to constrain lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Shelfal sediment transport by undercurrents forces turbidity current activity during high sea level, Chile continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhardt, Anne; Hebbeln, Dierk; Regenberg, Marcus; Lückge, Andreas; Strecker, Manfred. R.

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the links between terrigenous sediment supply and marine transport and depositional processes along tectonically active margins is essential to decipher turbidite successions as potential archives of climatic and seismic forcings and to comprehend timing and quantity of marine clastic deposition. Sequence stratigraphic models predict coarse-grained terrigenous sediment delivery to deep-marine sites mainly during sea-level fall and lowstand. Marine clastic deposition during periods of transgression and highstand has been attributed to the continued geomorphic connectivity between terrestrial sediment sources and marine sinks (e.g., rivers connected to submarine canyons) often facilitated by narrow shelves, high sediment supply causing delta migration to the shelf edge, and/or abrupt increases in sediment supply due to climatic variability or catastrophic events. To decipher the controls on Holocene highstand turbidite deposition, we analyzed twelve sediment cores of spatially disparate, coeval Holocene turbidite systems along the Chile margin (29-40°S) with changing climatic and geomorphic characteristics but uniform changes of sea level. Intraslope basins in north-central Chile (29-33°S) offshore a narrow to absent shelf record a shut-off of turbidite activity during the Holocene. In contrast, core sites in south-central Chile (36-40°S) offshore a wide continental shelf have repeatedly experienced turbidite deposition during sea-level highstand conditions, even though most of the depocenters are not connected via canyons to sediment sources. The interplay of stable high sediment supply related to strong onshore precipitation in combination with a wide shelf, over which undercurrents move sediment towards the shelf edge, appears to control Holocene turbidite sedimentation and sediment export to the deep sea.

  16. Turbidite paleoseismology along the active continental margin of Chile - Feasible or not?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhardt, Anne; Melnick, Daniel; Hebbeln, Dierk; Lückge, Andreas; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-07-01

    Much progress has been made in estimating recurrence intervals of great and giant subduction earthquakes using terrestrial, lacustrine, and marine paleoseismic archives. Recent detailed records suggest these earthquakes may have variable recurrence periods and magnitudes forming supercycles. Understanding seismic supercycles requires long paleoseismic archives that record timing and magnitude of such events. Turbidite paleoseismic archives may potentially extend past earthquake records to the Pleistocene and can thus complement commonly shorter-term terrestrial archives. However, in order to unambiguously establish recurring seismicity as a trigger mechanism for turbidity currents, synchronous deposition of turbidites in widely spaced, isolated depocenters has to be ascertained. Furthermore, characteristics that predispose a seismically active continental margin to turbidite paleoseismology and the correct sample site selection have to be taken into account. Here we analyze 8 marine sediment cores along 950 km of the Chile margin to test for the feasibility of compiling detailed and continuous paleoseismic records based on turbidites. Our results suggest that the deposition of areally widespread, synchronous turbidites triggered by seismicity is largely controlled by sediment supply and, hence, the climatic and geomorphic conditions of the adjacent subaerial setting. The feasibility of compiling a turbidite paleoseismic record depends on the delicate balance between sufficient sediment supply providing material to fail frequently during seismic shaking and sufficiently low sedimentation rates to allow for coeval accumulation of planktonic foraminifera for high-resolution radiocarbon dating. We conclude that offshore northern central Chile (29-32.5°S) Holocene turbidite paleoseismology is not feasible, because sediment supply from the semi-arid mainland is low and almost no Holocene turbidity-current deposits are found in the cores. In contrast, in the humid region

  17. Natural constraints on exploring Antarctica's continental margin, existing geophysical and geological data basis, and proposed drilling program

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.B.

    1987-05-01

    There have been a number of multichannel seismic reflection and seismic refraction surveys of the Antarctic continental shelf. While glacial erosion has left acoustic basement exposed on portions of the inner shelf, thick sedimentary sequences occur on the passive margin of east Antarctica. The thickness and age of these strata vary due to different breakup histories of the margin. Several sedimentary basins have been identified. Most are rift basins formed during the early stages of Antarctica's separation from other Gondwana continents and plateaus. The west Antarctic continental shelf is extensive, being approximately twice the size of the Gulf of Mexico shelf. It has been poorly surveyed to date, owing mainly to its perennial sea ice cover. Gradual subduction of the spreading center from south to north along the margin resulted in old active margin sequences being buried beneath passive margin sequences. The latter should increase in thickness from north to south along the margin although no data bear this out. Hydrocarbon potential on the northern portion of the west Antarctic margin is considered low due to a probable lack of reservoir rocks. Establishment of ice sheets on Antarctica caused destruction of land vegetation and greatly restricted siliciclastic sand-producing environments. So only sedimentary basins which contain pre-early Miocene deposits have good hydrocarbon prospectivity. The Antarctic continental shelf is the deepest in the world, averaging 500 m and in places being more than a kilometer deep. The shelf has been left rugged by glacial erosion and is therefore prone to sediment mass movement. Widespread sediment gravity flow deposits attest to this. The shelf is covered with sea ice most of the year and in a few areas throughout the year. Icebergs, drift freely in the deep waters of the shelf; drift speeds of 1 to 2.5 km/year are not uncommon.

  18. Causes of long-term landscape evolution of "passive" margins and adjacent continental segments at the South Atlantic Ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Hackspacher, Peter C.

    2013-04-01

    During the last 10 years research efforts have been devoted to understand the coupling between tectonic and surface processes in the formation of recent topography. Quantification of the rate at which landforms adapt to a changing tectonic, heat flow, and climate environment in the long term has become an important research object and uses intensively data revealed by low-temperature thermochronology, terrigenous cosmogenic nuclides, and geomorphological analyses. The influence of endogenic forces such as mantle processes as one of the causes for "Dynamic Topography Evolution" have been explored in a few studies, recently. In addition, the increased understanding how change in surface topography, and change in the amount of downward moving cold surface water caused by climate change affects warping isotherms in the uppermost crust allows further interpretation of low-temperature thermochronological data. "Passive" continental margins and adjacent continental segments especially at the South Atlantic ocean are perfect locations to quantify exhumation and uplift rates, model the long-term landscape evolution, and provide information on the influence of mantle processes on a longer time scale. This climate-continental margin-mantle process-response system is caused by the interaction between endogenic and exogenic forces that are related to the mantle-process driven rift - drift - "passive" continental margin evolution of the South Atlantic, and the climate change since the Early/Late Cretaceous climate maximum. Furthermore, the influence of major transform faults (also called: transfer zones, Fracture Zones (FZ)) on the long-term evolution of "passive" continental margins is still very much in debate. The presentation will provide insight in possible causes for the differentiated long-term landscape evolution along the South Atlantic Ocean.

  19. Late Cretaceous - early Tertiary dextral transpression in north Sinai: Reactivation of the Tethyan Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Moustafa, A.R.; Khalil, M.H. )

    1988-08-01

    Detailed photogeologic study and field checks indicate the North Sinai folds are associated with northwest-dipping upthrusts, especially on their southeastern steeply dipping flanks. These northeast-southwest-plunging folds include both large folded ranges (tens of kilometers long, e.g., Gebels Yelleq, El Maghara, and El Halal) and smaller folds (2-10 km long). The smaller folds have right-stepping en echelon arrangement and define six east-northeast elongated belts which were probably formed by right-lateral wrenching in Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary time. These belts are called the G, El Amrar belt, the G. El Mistan belt, the G. Um Latiya belt, the G. Falig belt, the El Giddi Pass-G. El Minsherah-G. El Burqa belt, and the Mitla Pass-G. Kherim-G. Araif El Naq belt. The existence of northwest-dipping upthrusts within and between these en echelon fold belts probably indicates the wrenching was convergent. The en echelon fold belts are proposed to overlie pre-existing deep-seated faults which could have been formed by the Late Triassic-Liassic rifting of north Africa-Arabia to form the southern passive continental margin of the Tethys sea. Mesozoic rocks thicken across these faults. Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary reactivation of these faults by dextral transpression probably resulted from the oblique movement between Africa and Eurasia to close the Tethys sea.

  20. Gas hydrate and spatial venting variations in the continental margin offshore Southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, S.; Lim, Y.; Hsieh, W.; Yang, T.; Wang, Y.

    2006-12-01

    Strong BSR, high methane contents and rapid sulfate reduction were found in the continental margin sediments offshore southwestern Taiwan. In order to identify the venting phenomena and its relationship with gas hydrate, this research investigate sea floor vent features using WHOI?|s Towcam system as well as piston core in the study region. A total of 10 dives were conducted on board the r/v OR-1. Pore water sulfate, dissolved sulfide, methane, chloride, del O18 ratio, sediment organic carbon, carbonate content and carbonate del C13 ratio, pyrite-S were measured Large spatial variations were found based on pictures obtained from Towcam system and piston cores. Active venting features include bacteria mat, live dense bivalve patches, gas plume, temperature and salinity fluctuations, rapid sulfate reduction and high concentrations of methane in sediments. In addition, vent chimney, pockmark and large authigenic carbonate buildup were also observed in the active venting area. In contrast, in some areas without active venting features, scatter dead chimney, semi- buried carbonate structures, and dead bivalves were found. Total sulfate depletion was found at depth as shallow as 1 meter below sediment water interface in area near active vent whereas almost no sulfate depletion was observed in areas without any vent feature. Stages of carbonate build up existed, with initial phase dominated by small tube, chimney, and later with massive carbonate structures protruding the sea floor. The appearances of massive carbonate buildup structures seemed to indicate the end stage of gas hydrate venting phenomena.

  1. High-Resolution Holocene Records of Paleoceanographic and Paleoclimatic Variability from the Southern Alaskan Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finney, B. P.; Jaeger, J. M.; Mix, A. C.; Cowan, E. A.; Gulick, S. S.; Mayer, L. A.; Pisias, N. G.; Powell, R. D.; Prahl, F.; Stoner, J. S.

    2004-12-01

    We are investigating sediments from the fjords and continental margin of southern Alaska to develop high-resolution climatic and oceanographic records for the Late Quaternary. Our goal is to better understand linkages between climatic, terrestrial and oceanic systems in this tectonically active and biologically productive region. A field program was conducted aboard the R/V Maurice Ewing in August/September 2004 utilizing geophysical surveys (high-resolution swath bathymetric and backscatter imaging, shallow sub-bottom profiling, and where permitted, high-resolution seismic reflection profiling), piston and multi-coring, and CTD/water sampling at about 30 sites in this region. Cores are being analyzed for sedimentological, microfossil, geochemical and stable isotopic proxies, with chronologies constrained by Pb-210, AMS radiocarbon, tephrochronolgic and paleomagnetic dating. Our preliminary results demonstrate that these rapidly accumulating sedimentary archives can resolve environmental changes on annual to decadal timescales. Records of recent changes in lithogenic sediment accumulation and biological productivity on the Gulf of Alaska shelf track historical climatic data that extends to the early 20th century in this region. The records also correlate with multi-decadal climate regimes during the Little Ice Age as suggested by tree-ring, glacial advance and salmon abundance records from nearby coastal sites. Jack Dymond's enthusiasm for collaborative, interdisciplinary research will help guide us in unraveling the fingerprints of key processes in this relatively unexplored region.

  2. Formation of modern and Paleozoic stratiform barite at cold methane seeps on continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torres, M.E.; Bohrmann, G.; Dube, T.E.; Poole, F.G.

    2003-01-01

    Stratiform (bedded) Paleozoic barite occurs as large conformable beds within organic- and chert-rich sediments; the beds lack major sulfide minerals and are the largest and most economically significant barite deposits in the geologic record. Existing models for the origin of bedded barite fail to explain all their characteristics: the deposits display properties consistent with an exhalative origin involving fluid ascent to the seafloor, but they lack appreciable polymetallic sulfide minerals and the corresponding strontium isotopic composition to support a hydrothermal vent source. A new mechanism of barite formation, along structurally controlled sites of cold fluid seepage in continental margins, involves barite remobilization in organic-rich, highly reducing sediments, transport of barium-rich fluids, and barite precipitation at cold methane seeps. The lithologic and depositional framework of Paleozoic and cold seep barite, as well as morphological, textural, and chemical characteristics of the deposits, and associations with chemosymbiotic fauna, all support a cold seep origin for stratiform Paleozoic barite. This understanding is highly relevant to paleoceanographic and paleotectonic studies, as well as to economic geology.

  3. Evidence for current-controlled sedimentation along the southern Mozambique continental margin since Early Miocene times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preu, Benedict; Spieß, Volkhard; Schwenk, Tilmann; Schneider, Ralph

    2011-12-01

    Major plastered drift sequences were imaged using high-resolution multichannel seismics during R/V Meteor cruises M63/1 and M75/3 south of the Mozambique Channel along the continental margin of Mozambique off the Limpopo River. Detailed seismic-stratigraphic analyses enabled the reconstruction of the onset and development of the modern, discontinuous, eddy-dominated Mozambique Current. Major drift sequences can first be identified during the Early Miocene. Consistent with earlier findings, a progressive northward shift of the depocenter indicates that, on a geological timescale, a steady but variable Mozambique Current existed from this time onward. It can furthermore be shown that, during the Early/Middle Miocene, a coast-parallel current was established off the Limpopo River as part of a lee eddy system driven by the Mozambique Current. Modern sedimentation is controlled by the interplay between slope morphology and the lee eddy system, resulting in upwelling of Antarctic Intermediate Water. Drift accumulations at larger depths are related to the reworking of sediment by deep-reaching eddies that migrate southward, forming the Mozambique Current and eventually merging with the Agulhas Current.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

  5. Uplift, exhumation and erosion along the Angolan continental margin: an integrated approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gröger, Heike R.; Machado, Vladimir; Di Pinto, Giuseppe

    2013-04-01

    The topographical development along the SW African margin is not exclusively rift-related. In addition to the onset of rifting in the Early Cretaceous, additional Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic events of uplift, exhumation and erosion are discussed. Thermochronology has proven to be a valuable tool to constrain phases of exhumation in passive continental margins. For South Africa and Namibia a large number of thermochronological data are available. Angola on the other hand is still scarcely investigated. This study is based on thermochronological data from onshore Angola, integrated with quantitative morphotectonic analysis and the on- and offshore stratigraphic record. In South Africa and Namibia published thermochronological data document pronounced Early and Late Cretaceous cooling events, which can be related to 2.5-3.5 km of removed section during the Cretaceous. An additional 1-2 km of removed section are estimated during the Cenozoic. In Angola predominantly Permo-Triassic apatite fission track ages indicate significantly less Cretaceous to Cenozoic erosion (< 2.5 km). The apatite fission track data do not provide high resolution constraints on the syn-post rift topographical development along the Angolan margin. However, thermal modelling points to a pronounced Miocene final cooling event. River bed topography upstream the Angolan escarpment is in equilibrium, while the escarpment itself forms a major knick zone. Downstream the main knick point towards the coast, river long-profiles are characterised by convex reaches which are the evidence of an immature, non steady-state topography. Estimation from knick point migration reveals about 1 km uplift within the Cenozoic (< 57 Ma). Published basin reconstructions offshore South Africa and Namibia confirm the general picture of pronounced Cretaceous erosion in the offshore sedimentary record of the basins south of the Walvis ridge (Walvis, Lüderitz and Orange basin). More pronounced Cenozoic erosion in Angola

  6. Meso and small-scale variations of 210Pb fluxes on the Northwestern Mediterranean continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radakovitch, O.; Sanchez-Cabeza, J. A.; Abassi, A.; Masqué, P.; Heussner, S.

    2003-05-01

    210Pb was analysed in samples collected from (16) sediment traps, deployed during 1 year on the Northwestern Mediterranean continental margins, within the framework of the (MTP I)-EUROMARGE-NB programme. The traps were moored within (5) submarine canyons and their adjacent open slope, corresponding to contrasting conditions of particle inputs (fluxes and constituents). The major meso-scale observation (at the margin) is the variation in 210Pb fluxes along the slope, increasing by a factor of 2-3 between the entrance and the exit of the slope, in relation to the general (water) circulation. At a smaller scale (canyon), the 210Pb fluxes showed trends which were common to the various sites, i.e. a seaward decrease at 500 m depth and an increase, with depth, in the canyons. All these features are related to mass flux variations, except for periods with huge mass fluxes, when 210Pb fluxes reached a constant value. 210Pb activities decreased with increasing mass flux; then did not show clear relationship with the concentration of the major constituents of the flux. 210Pb fluxes, obtained from the traps were mainly in excess of the theoretical 210Pb flux, available in the overlying water column. Since 210Pb inventories, measured on the basis of the shelf and slope bottom sediments, were also in excess in relation to the available flux. The margin, as a whole, appears as a sink for 210Pb. This boundary-scavenging process appears to be controlled completely by the mass flux of particles. Differences were observed between 210Pb fluxes in the near-bottom traps and in the underlying sediments; there can be linked to mass flux and/or morphobathymetry (the trap flux is higher than the sediment flux in the canyon, but lower on the open slope). Overall, the differences were not in excess of 50%, confirming good representation of data collected by the sediment traps. However, this finding must be taken into account when comparing organic carbon or other constituent fluxes, between

  7. Timing and Magnitude of Depth-dependent Lithosphere Stretching on the Lofoten Segment of the Norwegian Rifted Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, N.; Roberts, A.; Hunsdale, R.

    2002-12-01

    Flexural backstripping and forward structural-and-stratigraphic modelling show that depth-dependent lithosphere stretching occurs on the outer part of the Norwegian rifted margin. Subsidence analysis on the Lofoten segment of the margin shows substantial thinning of the continental lithosphere within 100 km of the COB at continental breakup time (at approx. 54 Ma), while the upper crust shows no significant faulting and extension at breakup or immediately preceding breakup in the Palaeocene. For the Lofoten Margin beta stretching-factors approaching infinity are required at 54 Ma west of the Utroest Ridge to restore Top Basalt and the Top Taare to presumed sub-aerial depositional environments. Breakup age beta stretching-factors are predicted to rapidly reduce towards the east of the Utroest Ridge. For the mid-Lofoten margin, an additional Eocene crustal thinning event younger than 54 Ma is required to explain observed margin subsidence; post-breakup subsidence with a beta stretching-factor of infinity is insufficient to generate observed post-breakup subsidence. The absence of significant Palaeocene extension on the Lofoten margin, and the additional Eocene subsidence and faulting, implies that depth-dependent stretching of the Norwegian rifted margin occurred during early sea-floor spreading rather than during pre-breakup intra-continental rifting. For the Voering segment of the Norwegian rifted margin, south of the Bivroest Transform and Lineament System, smaller b stretching-factors of ~ 1.8 to 2.5 are needed to restore Top Basalt and Top Taare to sea level. No similar magnitude of extension by faulting is observed in the upper crust (Roberts et al.1997). Depth dependent stretching of margin lithosphere is also observed in the northern Moere Basin. Depth-dependent stretching has been observed at other rifted continental margins including the Galicia, Goban Spur, NW Australian and South China Sea rifted margins (Driscoll and Karner 1998, Davis and Kusznir 2002

  8. Increased continental-margin slumping frequency during sea-level lowstands above gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Buelow, W.J.; Ussler, W. III; Borowski, W.S.

    1996-02-01

    We present {sup 14}C data on sediment samples from cores of the upper 7 m of the sediment column overlying a major continental-rise gas hydrate field on the southern Carolina Rise and inner Blake Ridge offshore the southeastern United States. The data show that glacial-age sediments are underrepresented in the cores. The observation is consistent with a previously predicted association between sea-level lowstands and increased frequency of sea-floor slumping on continental margins containing gas hydrates. 26 refs., 3 figs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  11. Crustal structure of a transform plate boundary: San Francisco Bay and the central California continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holbrook, W.S.; Brocher, T.M.; ten Brink, U.S.; Hole, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    Wide-angle seismic data collected during the Bay Area Seismic Imaging Experiment provide new glimpses of the deep structure of the San Francisco Bay Area Block and across the offshore continental margin. San Francisco Bay is underlain by a veneer (<300 m) of sediments, beneath which P wave velocities increase rapidly from 5.2 km/s to 6.0 km/s at 7 km depth, consistent with rocks of the Franciscan subduction assemblage. The base of the Franciscan at-15-18 km depth is marked by a strong wide-angle reflector, beneath which lies an 8- to 10-km-thick lower crust with an average velocity of 6.75??0.15 km/s. The lower crust of the Bay Area Block may be oceanic in origin, but its structure and reflectivity indicate that it has been modified by shearing and/or magmatic intrusion. Wide-angle reflections define two layers within the lower crust, with velocities of 6.4-6.6 km/s and 6.9-7.3 km/s. Prominent subhorizontal reflectivity observed at near-vertical incidence resides principally in the lowermost layer, the top of which corresponds to the "6-s reflector" of Brocher et al. [1994]. Rheological modeling suggests that the lower crust beneath the 6-s reflector is the weakest part of the lithosphere; the horizontal shear zone suggested by Furlong et al. [1989] to link the San Andreas and Hayward/Calaveras fault systems may actually be a broad zone of shear deformation occupying the lowermost crust. A transect across the continental margin from the paleotrench to the Hayward fault shows a deep crustal structure that is more complex than previously realized. Strong lateral variability in seismic velocity and wide-angle reflectivity suggests that crustal composition changes across major transcurrent fault systems. Pacific oceanic crust extends 40-50 km landward of the paleotrench but, contrary to prior models, probably does not continue beneath the Salinian Block, a Cretaceous arc complex that lies west of the San Andreas fault in the Bay Area. The thickness (10 km) and high

  12. Crustal structure of a transform plate boundary: San Francisco Bay and the central California continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holbrook, W. Steven; Brocher, Thomas M.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Hole, John A.

    1996-10-01

    Wide-angle seismic data collected during the Bay Area Seismic Imaging Experiment provide new glimpses of the deep structure of the San Francisco Bay Area Block and across the offshore continental margin. San Francisco Bay is underlain by a veneer (<300 m) of sediments, beneath which P wave velocities increase rapidly from 5.2 km/s to 6.0 km/s at 7 km depth, consistent with rocks of the Franciscan subduction assemblage. The base of the Franciscan at 15-18 km depth is marked by a strong wide-angle reflector, beneath which lies an 8- to 10-km-thick lower crust with an average velocity of 6.75 ± 0.15 km/s. The lower crust of the Bay Area Block may be oceanic in origin, but its structure and reflectivity indicate that it has been modified by shearing and/or magmatic intrusion. Wide-angle reflections define two layers within the lower crust, with velocities of 6.4-6.6 km/s and 6.9-7.3 km/s. Prominent subhorizontal reflectivity observed at near-vertical incidence resides principally in the lowermost layer, the top of which corresponds to the "6-s reflector" of Brocher et al. [1994]. Rheological modeling suggests that the lower crust beneath the 6-s reflector is the weakest part of the lithosphere; the horizontal shear zone suggested by Furlong et al. [1989] to link the San Andreas and Hayward/Calaveras fault systems may actually be a broad zone of shear deformation occupying the lowermost crust. A transect across the continental margin from the paleotrench to the Hayward fault shows a deep crustal structure that is more complex than previously realized. Strong lateral variability in seismic velocity and wide-angle reflectivity suggests that crustal composition changes across major transcurrent fault systems. Pacific oceanic crust extends 40-50 km landward of the paleotrench but, contrary to prior models, probably does not continue beneath the Salinian Block, a Cretaceous arc complex that lies west of the San Andreas fault in the Bay Area. The thickness (10 km) and high

  13. Measurement of sediment and crustal thickness corrected RDA for 2D profiles at rifted continental margins: Applications to the Iberian, Gulf of Aden and S Angolan margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick

    2014-05-01

    Subsidence analysis of sedimentary basins and rifted continental margins requires a correction for the anomalous uplift or subsidence arising from mantle dynamic topography. Whilst different global model predictions of mantle dynamic topography may give a broadly similar pattern at long wavelengths, they differ substantially in the predicted amplitude and at shorter wavelengths. As a consequence the accuracy of predicted mantle dynamic topography is not sufficiently good to provide corrections for subsidence analysis. Measurements of present day anomalous subsidence, which we attribute to mantle dynamic topography, have been made for three rifted continental margins; offshore Iberia, the Gulf of Aden and southern Angola. We determine residual depth anomaly (RDA), corrected for sediment loading and crustal thickness variation for 2D profiles running from unequivocal oceanic crust across the continental ocean boundary onto thinned continental crust. Residual depth anomalies (RDA), corrected for sediment loading using flexural backstripping and decompaction, have been calculated by comparing observed and age predicted oceanic bathymetries at these margins. Age predicted bathymetric anomalies have been calculated using the thermal plate model predictions from Crosby & McKenzie (2009). Non-zero sediment corrected RDAs may result from anomalous oceanic crustal thickness with respect to the global average or from anomalous uplift or subsidence. Gravity anomaly inversion incorporating a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction and sediment thickness from 2D seismic reflection data has been used to determine Moho depth, calibrated using seismic refraction, and oceanic crustal basement thickness. Crustal basement thicknesses derived from gravity inversion together with Airy isostasy have been used to correct for variations of crustal thickness from a standard oceanic thickness of 7km. The 2D profiles of RDA corrected for both sediment loading and non-standard crustal

  14. A volcanic province near the western termination of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone at the rifted margin, offshore northeast Newfoundland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keen, C. E.; Dafoe, L. T.; Dickie, K.

    2014-06-01

    A mid-Cretaceous to Late Cretaceous volcanic province, named here the Charlie-Gibbs Volcanic Province, is described near the western termination of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, against the rifted continental margin northeast of Newfoundland. We used seismic data to map 14 volcanic seamounts, now buried below younger sediments. They rise 0.7 to 2 s two-way time (twt) above the surrounding basement level and are about 8-30 km wide. Some are conical while others are more flat-topped. Underlying igneous units resembling flows and sills are also observed. Based on magnetic modeling of the large positive magnetic anomalies associated with the seamounts, the total thickness of igneous rocks can locally reach about 8 km. This magmatism occurred in the vicinity of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone and extends about 150 km to the north along the rifted continental margin. The volcanic province also forms the northern boundary of the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Orphan Basin, along a major transform margin there. Truncation of rift-related structures which extend to deep crustal levels is observed at the transform, along trends similar to those of prerift Appalachian terrane boundaries on the adjacent shelf. This suggests the existence of a preexisting weak zone in the continental lithosphere within which a complex strike-slip fault system developed and may have controlled the location of final continental breakup between the Rockall and North American plates in the Late Cretaceous.

  15. Subglacial geomorphology reveals connections between glacial dynamics and deeper hydrocarbon reservoir leakages at the Polar north Atlantic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreassen, Karin; Deryabin, Alexey; Rafaelsen, Bjarne; Richarsen, Morten

    2014-05-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) seismic data from the Barents Sea continental shelf and margin reveal spatial links between subsurface distributions of inferred glacitectonic geomorphic landforms and seismic indications of fluid flow from deeper hydrocarbon reservoirs. Particularly 3D seismic techniques allow detailed mapping and visualization of buried glacial geomorphology and geophysical indications of fluid flow and gas accumulations. Several subsurface glacitectonic landforms show pronounced depressions up to 200 m deep and several km wide. These appear in many locations just upstream from hills of similar sizes and volumes, and are inferred to be hill-hole pairs. The hills are interpreted as thrusted and compressed slabs of sediments and bedrock which have been removed from their original location by moving glaciers during the last glacial, leaving the holes as depressions. The mapped depressions seem often to appear in sediments of different lithology and age. The appearance of mega-scale glacial lineations indicates that fast-flowing ice streams, draining the former Barents Sea and Fennoscandian ice sheets were the main agents of these glacitectonic landforms. Mapped fluid flow migration pathways from deeper reservoirs and shallow gas accumulations show evidence of active fluid migration systems over longer time periods, and their spatial relationship with the glacitectonic landforms is documented for several areas of the Barents Sea continental shelf. A conceptual model is proposed for the depressions, where brittle glacitectonic deformation takes place along a weak layer at the base of gas-hydrate cemented sediments. Fluid flow from deeper hydrocarbon reservoirs is inferred to be associated with cycles of glaciations and unloading due to glacial erosion and ice retreat, causing gas to expand, which in turn potentially breaks the traps, reactivates faults and creates new faults. Gas hydrate stability modeling indicates that the south-western Barents Sea is today

  16. Gulf of Aden: Structure and evolution of a young ocean basin and continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Cochran, J.R.

    1981-01-10

    New marine geophysical data are used to describe the structure and history of the Gulf of Aden. Magnetic anomaly data shows seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies of Sheba Ridge from the axial anomaly to anomaly 5 (10 m.y. B.P.) between the Owen fracture zone and 45 /sup 0/E and to anomaly 2' (3 m.y. B.P.) or anomaly 3 (4 m.y. B.P.) west of 45 /sup 0/E. The data does not support the two episodes of seafloor spreading recently proposed. Landward of the seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies is a magnetic quiet zone of uncorrelatable anomalies. The magnetic quiet zone boundary is also a structural boundary effectively marking the edge of Sheba Ridge, with deeper basement lacking a significant topographic gradient found on the landward side. A magnetic quiet zone is found not only where Sheba Ridge splits continental lithosphere but also on East Sheba Ridge where the ridge splits the old oceanic lithosphre of the Owen and Somali basins. There the position occupied by the continental margin within the gulf is marked by nonmagnetic ridge complexes that stretch from the continents to the Owen fracture zone. The magnetic quiet zone boundary is not an isochron in either the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea, suggesting that significant horizontal motions can occur prior to the initiation of seafloor spreading. The offset on the Dead Sea Rift is used to estimate that from 80 to 160 km of opening, amounting to between 65% and 200% extension of the initial rift valley, occurred in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea prior to the establishment of a mid-ocean ridge. It is suggested that the development of a new ocean basin occurs in two stages. The first involves diffuse extension over an area perhaps 10 km wide in a rift valley environment without an organized spreading center. This is followed by concentration of the extension at a single axis and the beginning of true seafloor spreading.

  17. Tectonomagmatic Evolution of the Neo - Tethyan Region in the Iranian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monsef, R.; Monsef, I.; Rahgoshay, M.; Emami, M. H.; Shafaii Moghadam, H.

    2009-04-01

    The tectonic history of Neo - Tethyan realm in Iran began with the rifting of the Central Iranian Block (CIB) separated from Arabia and Gondwana during Late Permian - Early Triassic time. This realm travelled to the north to creation of the Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere. The subduction of the Neo-Tethys could start to the south of the Central Iranian Block at Late Triassic to Plio-Quaternary time. The subduction of the Neo - Tethyan ocean beneath the active continental margin of the Iranian block was established by arc magmatism and back - arc spreading. These magmatic activities are marked from SW to NE by the presence of: calc-alkaline arc magmatism from Late Triassic to Late Jurassic in the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone (SSZ), back - arc spreading with Late Cretaceous in the Esfandagheh Colour Melange Zone (ECMZ), back-arc spreading with Late Cretaceous - Palaeocene Nain-Baft Ophiolitic Belt (NBOB) and calc-alkaline arc magmatism from Eocene to Plio-Quaternary in the Urumieh-Dokhtar Magmatic Zone (UDMZ). Urumieh-Dokhtar magmatic zone has been considered as a place for the main magmatic activities in the Central Iranian continent in the Cenozoic age. This magmatic arc is situated to the North of the Mesozoic arc of the Sanandaj-Sirjan zone and the back-arc basin of the Central Iranian Block of Cretaceous age. During Oligocene-Miocene time the magmatic activity favored to alkaline magmatism. Geochemical data confirm the presence of transtensional tectonic setting along the Urumieh-Dokhtar magmatic zone, opened during Paleogene and early Neogene due to the collision of the Arabia platform and Central Iranian continent. These magmatic activities are linked to the subduction of the Neo-Tethys to the North below the CIB, followed by the Paleogene collision and continental subduction of the Gondwana (Arabia) beneath the CIB along the Main Zagros Thrust (MZT). Keywords: Neo - Tethys; Gondwana; Central Iranian Block (CIB); Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone (SSZ); Esfandagheh Colour Melange

  18. Geology of the Continental Margin of Enderby and Mac. Robertson Lands, East Antarctica: Insights from a Regional Data Set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stagg, H. M. J.; Colwel, J. B.; Direen, N. G.; O'Brien, P. E.; Bernardel, G.; Borissova, I.; Brown, B. J.; Ishirara, T.

    2004-09-01

    In 2001 and 2002, Australia acquired an integrated geophysical data set over the deep-water continental margin of East Antarctica from west of Enderby Land to offshore from Prydz Bay. The data include approximately 7700 km of high-quality, deep-seismic data with coincident gravity, magnetic and bathymetry data, and 37 non-reversed refraction stations using expendable sonobuoys. Integration of these data with similar quality data recorded by Japan in 1999 allows a new regional interpretation of this sector of the Antarctic margin.

  19. Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous facies relationships in a passive margin basin, western North Atlantic

    SciTech Connect

    Prather, B.E.

    1988-02-01

    Correlation of facies from hydrocarbon-bearing continental and transitional marine sandstones to time-equivalent high-energy shelf-margin carbonates provide insight into hydrocarbon habitats of the Baltimore Canyon basin. These facies occur within a thick (> 10,000 ft) prograded wedge of shelf sediments in this passive margin basin. Wells drilled to test structural closures in shallow-water (< 600 ft) areas of Baltimore Canyon penetrate clastic facies which are time-equivalent to the downdip carbonate facies tested in deep-water wells. Numerous hydrocarbon shows, including a noncommercial gas and gas-condensate accumulation, occur with sandstone units that were deposited in prograding continental/fluvial and transitional marine environments located updip of the Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian carbonate shelf edge. The continental and transitional facies are overlain by a fine-grained deltaic complex which forms a regionally extensive top seal unit. The deltaic complex was deposited during aggradation of the Kimmeridgian through Berriasian shelf-margin carbonates penetrated by the deep-water wells. Deep-water wells (> 5000 ft) drilled off the continental shelf edge to test large structural closures along the downdip termination of the Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous carbonate shelf edge encountered no significant hydrocarbon shows. Reservoir rocks in these wells consist of (1) oolite grainstone which was deposited within a shoal-water complex located at the Aptian shelf edge, and (2) coral-stromatoporoid grainstone and boundstone which formed an aggraded shelf-margin complex located at the Kimmeridgian through Berriasian shelf edge. Structural closures with reservoir and top seals are present in both updip and downdip trends. The absence of hydrocarbon shows in downdip carbonate reservoirs suggests a lack of source rocks available to charge objectives at the shelf margin.

  20. Estimated post-Messinian sediment supply and sedimentation rates on the Ebro continental margin, Spain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.

    1990-01-01

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

  1. Paleozoic archipelagic tectonic evolution of Western Junggar, NW China: implications for continental growth of southern Altaids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jien; Xiao, Wenjiao; Han, Chunming; Ma, Chong; Song, Dongfang

    2013-04-01

    The Western Junggar, NW China, a dominant site for continental growth in Southern Altaids, bridges the Circum-Balkhash and Junggar belts and exposes ophiolite, igneous rocks and strata from Cambrian to Carboniferous. Recent updated data on structure, geochronology, geochemisty and paleomagnetism, integrated with previous data, present a newly Paleozoic spatial and temporal framework of Western Junggar. In Cambrian, the Western Junggar begins to birth at the Tangbale area to south, where occurs Ordovician blueschist and top-to-south vergence structures, indicating north-dipping subduction. This event triggers intra-arc extension to generate Ordovician island arc in the Hongguleleng-Xiemisitai area to north and seamount in the Mayile area, middle of Western Junggar. Until Silurian, a southeastward subduction begins in the extended back-arc basin to west of Mayile, occurring blueschist at the Barleik trench and the Nalunsuo magmatic arc, at the rear of which generates Devonian back-arc basin around the Durbut area. Meanwhile, a Silurian Xiemisitai magmatic arc has been developed at the northern part of Western Junggar, along which a northward subduction has emplaced the Tarbahatai ophiolite and generates the Carboniferous Sawur magmatic arc. At the middle part of Western Junggar, the coeval adakite and sanukitic dykes, charnockite, multiple properties of ophiolite and plutons, SSZ-like andesite, dacite and rhyolite and regional structures suggest that there develop double-subduction systems with ridge-trench interaction in Carboniferous. These features suggest that the Western Junggar experiences rollback, intra-oceanic extension and subduction polarity reversal/flip in back-arc basin settings. Furthermore, positive ɛNd(t) values and no huge movements of blocks suggest that the Western Junggar is amalgamated by juvenile elements with different orientations. Therefore, we conclude that the Western Junggar enlarges from an island arc to Paleozoic tectonic regime with

  2. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in the Concepción Methane Seep Area, Chilean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Linke, P.; Scholz, F.; Schmidt, M.; Liebetrau, V.; Treude, T.

    2012-04-01

    Within subduction zones of active continental margins, large amounts of methane can be mobilized by dewatering processes and transported to the seafloor along migration pathways. A recently discovered seep area located off Concepción (Chile) at water depth between 600 to 1100 mbsl is characterized by active methane vent sites as well as massive carbonates boulders and plates which probably are related to methane seepage in the past. During the SO210 research expedition "Chiflux" (Sept-Oct 2010), sediment from the Concepción Methane Seep Area (CSMA) at the fore arc of the Chilean margin was sampled to study microbial activity related to methane seepage. We sampled surface sediments (0-30cm) from sulfur bacteria mats, as well as clam, pogonophoran, and tubeworm fields with push cores and a TV-guided multicorer system. Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and sulfate reduction rates were determined using ex-situ radioisotope tracer techniques. Additionally, porewater chemistry of retrieved cores as well as isotopic composition and age record of surrounding authigenic carbonates were analyzed. The shallowest sulfate-methane-transition zone (SMTZ) was identified at 4 cm sediment depth hinting to locally strong fluid fluxes. However, a lack of Cl- anomalies in porewater profiles indicates a shallow source of these fluids, which is supported by the biogenic origin of the methane (δ13C -70‰ PDB). Sulfide and alkalinity was relatively high (up to 20 mM and 40 mEq, respectively). Rates of AOM and sulfate reduction within this area reached magnitudes typical for seeps with variation between different habitat types, indicating a diverse methane supply, which is affecting the depths of the SMTZ. Rates were highest at sulfur a bacteria mats (20 mmol m-2 d-1) followed by a large field of dead clams, a pogonophoran field, a black sediment spot, and a carbonate rich clam field. Lowest rates (0.2 mmol m-2 d-1) were measured in close vicinity to these hot spots. Abundant massive

  3. H/V spectral ratios of the continental margin sediments offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jing-Yi; Cheng, Win-Bin; Chin, Shao-Jinn; Hsu, Shu-Kun

    2015-04-01

    For decades, it has been mentioned that submarine slope failures are spatially linked to the presence of gas hydrates/gas-charged sediments. When triggered by earthquakes, over steepen and instable sediments may prompt breakouts of the slopes containing gas hydrates and cause submarine landslides and tsunamis. Widely distributed BSRs have been observed in the area offshore of southwestern Taiwan where the active accretionary complex meets with the passive China continental margin. In the region, large or small scale landslides were also reported based on seismic interpretations. In order to clarify the link between earthquake, landslide and the presence of gas hydrate, we evaluate the response of seafloor sediments in regard to passive dynamic loads. Horizontal-to-vertical (H/V) spectral ratios are used to characterize the local sediment response. Ambient noise as well as distant earthquake is used as generators of the passive dynamic loads. Based on this study, we aim to characterize the site in terms of its physical properties and the local site effect produced by shallow marine sediments. Estimating H/V spectral ratios of data recorded by the short period OBSs (Ocean Bottom Seismometer) deployed in the active and paqssive margin offshore southwestern Taiwan show similar spectral characteristics and provide a general understanding of the preferential vibration modes of sediment systems. The results show that the maximal H/V ratios appeared in the range of 5-10 Hz, where the horizontal amplitudes increased by an order of magnitude relative to the vertical amplitude. The stations located in the northwestern part of study area were characterized by another relatively small peak at proximately 2 Hz, which may indicates the presence of a discontinuity of sediments. For most stations, the H/V ratios estimated based on the earthquakes (i.e. strong input signal) and noise (background, micro-seismic noise) records were characterized by different pattern. No distinct peak

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1985-06-01

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

  5. Evolution of the continental margin of southern Spain and the Alboran Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.; Robb, James M.; Greene, H. Gary; Lucena, Juan Carlos

    1980-01-01

    Seismic reflection profiles and magnetic intensity measurements were collected across the southern continental margin of Spain and the Alboran basin between Spain and Africa. Correlation of the distinct seismic stratigraphy observed in the profiles to stratigraphic information obtained from cores at Deep Sea Drilling Project site 121 allows effective dating of tectonic events. The Alboran Sea basin occupies a zone of motion between the African and Iberian lithospheric plates that probably began to form by extension in late Miocene time (Tortonian). At the end of Miocene time (end of Messinian) profiles show that an angular unconformity was cut, and then the strata were block faulted before subsequent deposition. The erosion of the unconformity probably resulted from lowering of Mediterranean sea level by evaporation when the previous channel between the Mediterranean and Atlantic was closed. Continued extension probably caused the block faulting and, eventually the opening of the present channel to the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar and the reflooding of the Mediterranean. Minor tectonic movements at the end of Calabrian time (early Pleistocene) apparently resulted in minor faulting, extensive transgression in southeastern Spain, and major changes in the sedimentary environment of the Alboran basin. Active faulting observed at five locations on seismic profiles seems to form a NNE zone of transcurrent movement across the Alboran Sea. This inferred fault trend is coincident with some bathymetric, magnetic and seismicity trends and colinear with active faults that have been mapped on-shore in Morocco and Spain. The faults were probably caused by stresses related to plate movements, and their direction was modified by inherited fractures in the lithosphere that floors the Alboran Sea.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishibashi, Jun-ichiro

    2016-04-01

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

  7. A statistical overview of mass movement characteristics on the North American atlantic outer continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booth, James S.; O'Leary, Dennis W.

    1992-01-01

    An analysis of 179 mass movements on the North American Atlantic continental slope and upper rise shows that slope failures have occurred throughout the geographic extent of the outer margin. Although the slope failures show no striking affinity for a particular depth as an origination level, there is a broad, primary mode centered at about 900 m. The resulting slides terminate at almost all depths and have a primary mode at 1100 m, but the slope/rise boundary (at 2200 m) also is an important mode. Slope failures have occurred at declivities ranging from 1° to 30° (typically, 4°); the resultant mass movement deposits vary in width from 0.2 to 50 km (typically, 1-2 km) and in length from 0.3 to 380 km (typically, 2–4 km), and they have been reported to be as thick as 650 m. On a numeric basis, mass movements are slightly more prevalent on open slopes than in other physiographic settings, and both translational and rotational failure surfaces are common. The typical mass movement is disintegrative in nature. Open slope slides tend to occur at lower slope angles and are larger than canyon slides. Further, large‐scale slides rather than small‐scale slides tend to originate on gentle slopes (≍ 3-4°). Rotational slope failures appear to have a slightly greater chance of occurring in canyons, but there is no analogous bias associated with translational failures. Similarly, disintegrative slides seem more likely to be associated with rotational slope failures than translational ones and are longer than their nondisintegrative counterparts. The occurrence of such a variety of mass movements at low declivities implies that a regional failure mechanism has prevailed. We suggest that earthquakes or, perhaps in some areas, gas hydrates are the most likely cause of the slope failures.

  8. Buried Mesozoic rift basins of the U. S. middle Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, R.N. )

    1991-08-01

    The Atlantic continental margin is one of the frontier areas for oil and gas exploration in the US. Most the activity has been offshore where Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous siliciclastic and carbonate rocks have been the drilling objectives, with only one significant but noncommercial gas discover. Onshore, recent exploration activities have focused on early Mesozoic rift basins buried beneath the postrift sediments of the middle Atlantic coastal plain. Many of the basins are of interest because they contain fine-grained lacustrine rocks that have sufficient organic richness, if not lost through hydrocarbon generation, to be classified as source beds for oil or gas. Locations of inferred rift basins beneath the middle Atlantic coastal plain were determined by analysis of drill-hole data in combination with gravity anomaly and aeromagnetic maps. Two basins in Delaware and the Queen Anne basin of Maryland are imaged on a regional Vibroseis profile. Areas enclosing inferred rift basins in the offshore region were mapped from interpretation of seismic reflection profiles. Assuming that petroleum source beds are present in the basin (synrift) rocks, hydrocarbon-generation models (Lopatin method) indicate that for a basin just offshore Delaware that is buried by 7 km of postrift sediments, only dry gas would be present in reservoir rocks; for the Norfolk basin of the Virginia coast buried by only 3 km of postrift rocks, the upper few hundred meters of synrift rocks are still within the oil-generation window. The less deeply buried basins beneath the coastal plain likely are still within the oil window.

  9. Wave-theory modeling of oceanic T-phase coupling at continental margins and seamounts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Henrik; Baggeroer, Arthur B.; Sperry, Brian J.

    2001-05-01

    The role of seismo-acoustic seabed scattering as a mechanism for coupling of seismic energy into oceanic teleseismic waves or T-phases is investigated using a new versatile modeling capability for seismo-acoustic propagation in laterally inhomogeneous or range-dependent ocean waveguides. The Virtual Source Approach (VISA) uses a local Rayleigh-Kirchhoff approximation to handle the transmission and reflection of plane waves at the vertical interfaces separating horizontally ocean stratified sectors. Combined with the wavenumber integration approach which inherently computes the plane-wave decomposition of the seismo-acoustic field in stratified fluid-elastic waveguides, this approach provides a robust approximation to the seismo-acoustic coupling phenomena in shallow and deep ocean waveguides. The VISA approach has been implemented in the OASES seismo-acoustic modeling framework and used to investigate the role of seismo-acoustic conversion and scattering by seabed topography and roughness in generating oceanic T-phases at continental margins and seamounts. It is demonstrated that the excitation of the oceanic T-phases can be explained by the coupling of crustal shear body-waves into seismic interface waves, or seabed Scholte waves, which then subsequently scatter into the waterborne modal spectrum. This wavenumber conversion mechanism implies that the excitation of the T-phases will be significantly stronger by earthquakes producing crustal SV-waves than those producing predominantly P-waves. This in turn suggests that earthquakes associated with dip-slip failure modes excite significantly stronger T-phases than buried explosive sources.

  10. Gas and Fluid Expulsion at the Congo continental margin identfied from seismoacoustic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiess, V.; Fekete, N.; Ding, F.; Caparachin, C.; Foucher, J.

    2008-12-01

    During R/V Meteor Cruise M76/3 in June/July 2008, seismic and acoustic methods were applied to study the distribution of seep structures and associated subsurface feeder systems. From the combination of swath bathymetry and backscatter, sediment echosounder, water column imaging and high-resolution multichannel seismics, numerous new seep sites could be identified. From previous studies, a few 'giant' pockmarks had been documented, representing deeply rooted migration zones and a few hundred meters wide and a few meters to more than ten meters deep depressions as the morphological expressions of fluid and gas expulsions. The new studies confirmed a widespread occurrence of such structures for the wider area of the continental margins of Gabon, Congo and Angola in deeper water. Spatial surveys have further shown that seep structures are present on different scales, in particular also with smaller sizes of tens of meters in diameter and a morphology on the meter scale. While these structures seem to be related to relatively shallow gas reservoirs, larger structures reveal roots to gas reservoirs in several hundred meters sub-bottom depth. At some of these locations, gas flares could be identified in the water column of some hundred to over thousand meters height. In comparison of working areas north and south of the Congo Canyon, it became evident that different driving forces and sedimentary and tectonic boundary conditions may be responsible for fluid seepage and its distribution. While in the North a thick sediment cover restricts seepage to selected zones of weakness and higher permeability, salt diapirism in the South is massively fracturing overlying sediments, have created numerous promising morphological features at the seafloor. However, only few active seeps could be found in the area of salt diapirism. Future work will particularly focus on the details of seep systems, the comparison with site-specific information from coring and video surveys and the

  11. Quantification of gas bubble emissions from submarine hydrocarbon seeps at the Makran continental margin (offshore Pakistan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    RöMer, Miriam; Sahling, Heiko; Pape, Thomas; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Spieß, Volkhard

    2012-10-01

    Evidence for twelve sites with gas bubble emissions causing hydroacoustic anomalies in 18 kHz echosounder records (`flares') was obtained at the convergent Makran continental margin. The hydroacoustic anomalies originating from hydrocarbon seeps at water depths between 575 and 2870 m disappeared after rising up to 2000 m in the water column. Dives with the remotely operated vehicle `Quest 4000 m' revealed that several individual bubble vents contributed to one hydroacoustic anomaly. Analyzed gas samples suggest that bubbles were mainly composed of methane of microbial origin. Bubble size distributions and rise velocities were determined and the volume flux was estimated by counting the emitted bubbles and using their average volume. We found that a low volume flux (Flare 1 at 575 mbsl: 90 ml/min) caused a weak hydroacoustic signal in echograms whereas high volume fluxes (Flare 2 at 1027 mbsl: 1590 ml/min; Flare 5 C at 2870 mbsl: 760 ml/min) caused strong anomalies. The total methane bubble flux in the study area was estimated by multiplying the average methane flux causing a strong hydroacoustic anomaly in the echosounder record with the total number of equivalent anomalies. An order-of-magnitude estimate further considers the temporal variability of some of the flares, assuming a constant flux over time, and allows a large range of uncertainty inherent to the method. Our results on the fate of bubbles and the order-of-magnitude estimate suggest that all of the ˜40 ± 32 × 106 mol methane emitted per year within the gas hydrate stability zone remain in the deep ocean.

  12. Lena Trough (Arctic Ocean): Active mantle exhumation on a continental rifted margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, J. E.; Hellebrand, E.; von der Handt, A.; Nauret, F.

    2004-12-01

    Lena Trough is the northern continuation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge through Fram Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. The rifting of Lena Trough began in the Miocene, and significantly, is the final and the most recent event in the separation of the North American from the Eurasian continent. Lena Trough was mapped in 1999, 2001 and 2004 by PFS Polarstern (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany), revealing sea floor structures that are inconsistent with any normally conceived mid-ocean ridge spreading, and instead indicative of late continental rifting. Lena Trough is shown to be a deep, fault-bounded basin with depths of 3800-4200m, and irregular, steep valley sides that are oblique to the spreading direction. Basement horst structures that outcrop as sigmoidal ridges with steeply dipping sides project out of the valley floor. These basement ridges are roughly parallel along flow lines to the valley walls on either side. Ridge-orthogonal topography is simply absent (ie no segments trending parallel nor fracture zones perpendicular to Gakkel Ridge). Most faults trend approximately SSE-NNW, an obliquity with respect to Gakkel Ridge (SW-NE) of about 55°. The basement ridges are composed nearly entirely of fertile mantle peridotite, as are the valley walls. Only at the northern and southern extremities of Lena Trough do basalts appear at all. The peridotites compositions are consistent with either continental or oceanic (asthenospheric) mantle. They show evidence of low-degree mantle melting, followed by high-level stagnation in a thick lithosphere. This evidence (veining, impregnation) is more evident where little or no basaltic cover is present, while peridotites dredged in the vicinity of basalts tend to be more residual. This may indicate some degree of magmatic focusing in the absence of a basaltic crust per se. Lena Trough contains rare, highly alkaline basalts that are unlike any compositions dredged from mid-ocean ridges

  13. Lena Trough (Arctic Ocean): Active mantle exhumation on a continental rifted margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, J. E.; Hellebrand, E.; von der Handt, A.; Nauret, F.

    2007-12-01

    Lena Trough is the northern continuation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge through Fram Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. The rifting of Lena Trough began in the Miocene, and significantly, is the final and the most recent event in the separation of the North American from the Eurasian continent. Lena Trough was mapped in 1999, 2001 and 2004 by PFS Polarstern (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany), revealing sea floor structures that are inconsistent with any normally conceived mid-ocean ridge spreading, and instead indicative of late continental rifting. Lena Trough is shown to be a deep, fault-bounded basin with depths of 3800-4200m, and irregular, steep valley sides that are oblique to the spreading direction. Basement horst structures that outcrop as sigmoidal ridges with steeply dipping sides project out of the valley floor. These basement ridges are roughly parallel along flow lines to the valley walls on either side. Ridge-orthogonal topography is simply absent (ie no segments trending parallel nor fracture zones perpendicular to Gakkel Ridge). Most faults trend approximately SSE-NNW, an obliquity with respect to Gakkel Ridge (SW-NE) of about 55°. The basement ridges are composed nearly entirely of fertile mantle peridotite, as are the valley walls. Only at the northern and southern extremities of Lena Trough do basalts appear at all. The peridotites compositions are consistent with either continental or oceanic (asthenospheric) mantle. They show evidence of low-degree mantle melting, followed by high-level stagnation in a thick lithosphere. This evidence (veining, impregnation) is more evident where little or no basaltic cover is present, while peridotites dredged in the vicinity of basalts tend to be more residual. This may indicate some degree of magmatic focusing in the absence of a basaltic crust per se. Lena Trough contains rare, highly alkaline basalts that are unlike any compositions dredged from mid-ocean ridges

  14. New insights into the structure of Norwegian continental margins from modern aeromagnetic compilations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebbing, J.; Olesen, O.; Gernigon, L.; Skilbrei, J. R.

    2007-12-01

    We present the aeromagnetic compilation of the Norwegian mainland and its shelf area and its importance for geological models and tectonic studies. The combined data-set reveal that the bedrock structures are continuous from the Baltic Shield under the Caledonian orogen into the continental shelf and that the late-Caledonian collapse of the Caledonian orogene has influenced the style of extension on the Norwegian shelf. On the margin, modern high-resolution aeromagnetic surveys with small line-spacing, more accurate navigation and sensitive magnetometers have revealed the existence of significant magnetic anomalies arising from sedimentary layers. Sub-cropping Late Paleozoic to Tertiary sedimentary units along the Trøndelag-Nordland coast produce a very distinct anomaly pattern. The asymmetry of the anomalies, with a steep gradient and a negative anomaly to the east and a more gentle gradient to the west, relate the anomalies to a strata gently dipping westward. Susceptibility measurements on core samples, hand specimens and in situ on bedrock exposures are essential for the interpretation of these anomalies. Remapping of the oceanic crust has also improved our under-standing of the Tertiary opening of the North Atlantic as previously interpreted oceanic fracture zones zones do not exist; these were artefacts of poor navigation and wide line spacing of the vintage datasets. Tectonic reconstruction has shown that the opening of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea between the Jan Mayen and Senja fracture zones occurred along a stable axis without offsets of the oceanic spreading anomalies and without jumps in spreading axis. Transfer zones have previously been associated with oceanic fracture zones along the Mid-Norwegian and East-Greenland margins. Transfer zones are important entry points for sedimentary drainage systems, a relationship that has also been suggested for the transport of Cretaceous sands to the mid-Norwegian margin. Our new interpretation has consequently

  15. Petrology and age of volcanic-arc rocks from the continental margin of the Bering Sea: implications for Early Eocene relocation of plate boundaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, A.S.; Pickthorn, L.-B.G.; Vallier, T.L.; Marlow, M. S.

    1989-01-01

    Eocene volcanic flow and dike rocks from the Beringian margin have arc characteristics, implying a convergent history for this region during the early Tertiary. Chemical and mineralogical compositions are similar to those of modern Aleutian-arc lavas. They also resemble volcanic-arc compositions from western mainland Alaska, although greater chemical diversity and a stronger continental influence are observed in the Alaskan mainland rocks. Early Eocene ages of 54.4-50.2 Ma for the Beringian samples are well constrained by conventional K-Ar ages of nine plagioclase separates and by concordant 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating and total-fusion experiments. A concordant U-Pb zircon age of 53 Ma for the quartz-diorite dike is in good agreement with the K-Ar data. Plate motion studies of the North Pacific Ocean indicate more northerly directed subduction prior to the Tertiary and a continuous belt of arc-type volcanism extending from Siberia, along the Beringian margin, into mainland Alaska. Around 56 Ma (chron 25-24), subduction changed to a more westerly direction and subduction-related volcanism ceased for most of mainland Alaska. The increasingly oblique angle of convergence should have ended subduction along the Beringian margin as well. However, consistent ages of 54-50 Ma indicate a final pulse in arc-type magmatism during this period of plate adjustment. -from Authors

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Hanging canyons of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada: Fault-control on submarine canyon geomorphology along active continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Peter T.; Barrie, J. Vaughn; Conway, Kim W.; Greene, H. Gary

    2014-06-01

    Faulting commonly influences the geomorphology of submarine canyons that occur on active continental margins. Here, we examine the geomorphology of canyons located on the continental margin off Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, that are truncated on the mid-slope (1200-1400 m water depth) by the Queen Charlotte Fault Zone (QCFZ). The QCFZ is an oblique strike-slip fault zone that has rates of lateral motion of around 50-60 mm/yr and a small convergent component equal to about 3 mm/yr. Slow subduction along the Cascadia Subduction Zone has accreted a prism of marine sediment against the lower slope (1500-3500 m water depth), forming the Queen Charlotte Terrace, which blocks the mouths of submarine canyons formed on the upper slope (200-1400 m water depth). Consequently, canyons along this margin are short (4-8 km in length), closely spaced (around 800 m), and terminate uniformly along the 1400 m isobath, coinciding with the primary fault trend of the QCFZ. Vertical displacement along the fault has resulted in hanging canyons occurring locally. The Haida Gwaii canyons are compared and contrasted with the Sur Canyon system, located to the south of Monterey Bay, California, on a transform margin, which is not blocked by any accretionary prism, and where canyons thus extend to 4000 m depth, across the full breadth of the slope.

  18. Nitrogen exchange at the continental margin: A numerical study of the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, John J.; Dieterle, Dwight A.; Meyers, Mark B.; Müller-Karger, Frank E.

    A two-layered baroclinic circulation model and a 21-layered biochemical model are used to explore the consequences of Loop Current-induced upwelling and terrestrial eutrophication on “new” production within the Gulf of Mexico. During a quasi-annual penetration and eddy-shedding cycle of the Loop Current, the simulated seasonal changes of incident radiation, wind stress, and surface mixed layer depth induce an annual cycle of algal biomass that corresponds to in situ and satellite time series of chlorophyll. The simulated nitrate fields match those of shipboard surveys, while fallout of particulate matter approximates that caught in sediment traps and accumulating in bottom sediments. Assuming an f ratio of 0.06-0.12, the total primary production of the Gulf of Mexico might be 105-210g C m -2y -1 in the absence of anthropogenic nutrient loadings, i.e. 2-3 fold that of oligotrophic regions not impacted by western boundary currents. Less than 25% of the nitrogen effluent of the Mississippi River may be stored in bottom sediments, with most of this input dispersed in dissolved from beneath the pycnocline, after remineralization of particulate detritus within several production cycles derived from riverine loading. At a sinking rate of 3m d -1, however, sufficient phytodetritus survives oxidation in the water column to balance estimates of bottom metabolism and burial at the margins.

  19. Variations in Organic Matter Burial and Composition in Sediments from the Indian Ocean Continental Margin Off SW Indonesia (Sumatra - Java - Flores) Since the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jennerjahn, T. C.; Gesierich, K.; Schefuß, E.; Mohtadi, M.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change is a mosaic of regional changes to a large extent determined by region-specific feedbacks between climate and ecosystems. At present the ocean is forming a major sink in the global carbon cycle. Organic matter (OM) storage in sediments displays large regional variations and varied over time during the Quaternary. Upwelling regions are sites of high primary productivity and major depocenters of organic carbon (OC), the least understood of which is the Indian Ocean upwelling off Indonesia. In order to reconstruct the burial and composition of OM during the Late Quaternary, we analyzed five sediment cores from the Indian Ocean continental margin off the Indonesian islands Sumatra to Flores spanning the last 20,000 years (20 kyr). Sediments were analyzed for bulk composition, stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of OM, amino acids and hexosamines and terrestrial plant wax n-alkanes and their stable carbon isotope composition. Sedimentation rates hardly varied over time in the western part of the transect. They were slightly lower in the East during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and deglaciation, but increased strongly during the Holocene. The amount and composition of OM was similar along the transect with maximum values during the deglaciation and the late Holocene. High biogenic opal covarying with OM content indicates upwelling-induced primary productivity dominated by diatoms to be a major control of OM burial in sediments in the East during the past 20 kyr. The content of labile OM was low throughout the transect during the LGM and increased during the late Holocene. The increase was stronger and the OM less degraded in the East than in the West indicating that continental margin sediments off Java and Flores were the major depocenter of OC burial along the Indian Ocean margin off SW Indonesia. Temporal variations probably resulted from changes in upwelling intensity and terrestrial inputs driven by variations in monsoon strength.

  20. Crustal rheological strength heterogeneities control the formation of continental plateau margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chang; Zhu, Bojing; Yang, Xiaolin

    2015-08-01

    The margins bordering the Tibetan Plateau show two end-member morphologies in topographic gradient: steep margins and low-gradient margins. To investigate the formation mechanism of convergent intracontinental plateau margins, we conduct 2D numerical experiments to simulate crustal deformation process across plateau margins. Our numerical experiments demonstrate that heterogeneities in crustal rheological strength control significantly the formation of plateau margins when subjected to crustal convergence. A very steep margin is the result of crustal convergence between plateau with weak lower crust and foreland basin with strong lower crust. By contrast, a low-gradient margin could result from crustal convergence between plateau and foreland with less strength contrast. This finding suggests that the diversity in topographic gradient along the Tibetan Plateau borders reflects heterogeneities in crustal rheological strength across the plateau margins. Steep gradient at the margins indicate large crustal rheological strength contrasts between the weak ductile lower crust of the Tibetan Plateau and its strong surrounding foreland basins, like the Sichuan Basin, the Tarim Basin and the Qaidam Basin. Beneath these steep margins the horizontal flow of the Tibetan ductile lower crust is inhibited and forced to extrude to support escarpments. Low-gradient at the margins indicate less crustal strength variations between the plateau and outer forelands, like at the northeastern and southeastern margins, where they might be outlets for the weak ductile Tibetan lower crust to flow away from the plateau.

  1. Strain partitioning along the western margin of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, Christopher F.; Snay, R. A.

    2014-07-01

    This paper describes an elastic block model for the interseismic horizontal crustal velocity field occurring in that part of the United States located west of longitude 100° W and between latitudes 31°N and 49°N. We developed the model by simultaneously inverting 6873 GPS-derived velocity vectors and 166 geological fault slip rates for the angular velocities (i.e. the Euler poles relative to the North America plate) of 46 elastic blocks, horizontal strain rate tensors for 38 of these blocks, and the spatially variable elastic coupling coefficients on faults that bound adjacent blocks. While the model covers all of the western United States located between Canada and Mexico, this paper focuses on the region residing south of Cape Mendocino where plate boundary deformation is accommodated predominantly by slip on the San Andreas fault system. Block strain rates (which account for deformation associated with distributed faults within blocks) are systematically higher in blocks located in the western part of the model and adjacent to the plate boundary. Strain rate magnitudes range from over 10-7/yr for some blocks adjacent to the San Andreas fault system to values of about 10-9/yr for blocks located in eastern Nevada and western Utah. Blocks adjacent to the San Andreas fault system are characterized by strain rate tensors that correspond to uniaxial contraction perpendicular to the local strike of the San Andreas. The highest rates of fault normal contraction are associated with the northern end of the fault (north of San Francisco) and in the southern end (south of Los Angeles). The central San Andreas (including the creeping segment of the fault) is characterized by strain rate tensors more consistent with dextral shear. Thus the northern and southern ends of the fault are consistent with a transpressional strain partitioning model with strike slip occurring on the San Andreas fault system and distributed shortening occurring within the blocks adjacent to this

  2. Historical changes in terrestrially derived organic carbon inputs to Louisiana continental margin sediments over the past 150 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  3. 75 FR 17156 - Gulf of Mexico, Outer Continental Shelf, Western Planning Area, Oil and Gas Lease Sale 215 (2010...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-05

    ... Minerals Management Service Gulf of Mexico, Outer Continental Shelf, Western Planning Area, Oil and Gas Lease Sale 215 (2010) Environmental Assessment AGENCY: Minerals Management Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of an environmental assessment. SUMMARY: The Minerals Management Service (MMS)...

  4. Evolution of the central Catalan margin of the Valencia trough (western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartrina, M. T.; Cabrera, L.; Jurado, M. J.; Guimerà, J.; Roca, E.

    1992-03-01

    The evolution of the central Catalan margin was conditioned by major fault activity and thermal processes generated by crustal thinning. The continental margin structure is characterised by major NE-SW-striking, southeast-dipping basement faults which have given rise to a graben, half-graben and horst system. These faults acted essentially as normal faults. No major Neogene strike-slip activity has affected the continental margin, although minor episodic variations from the dominant extensional regime to strike-slip tectonics cannot be discounted. Two major structural evolutionary stages took place at the margin, the transition from one stage to the other being gradual: (1) rifting stage (Late Oligocene? to early Burdigalian) related to the opening of the Valencia trough and from which originated both the Barcelona and Vallès-Penedès half-grabens; (2) thermal subsidence stage (late Burdigalian to present) generated by the subsequent crustal cooling and thinning. Fault activity during this stage was essentially concentrated in the major half-graben bounding faults. The sedimentary evolution of the central sector of the Catalan margin was controlled by the tectonic and crustal evolution as well as by the successive sea-level and paleoclimatic changes which affected the region. Drastic changes in the depositional systems took place during the transition from the rifting stage into the thermal subsidence stage. During Aquitanian-Langhian time—characterized by an overall trend of pulsating encroachment of marine conditions over the continental margin—a noticeable diversity of depositional systems (alluvial, lacustrine, coastal evaporitic, fan delta-bay-shelf, carbonate platform systems) developed. From the latest Serravallian up to the present, the depositional framework was less varied due to a general lowering of sea-level and to the final onlapping of most of older structural highs, which are now buried below the Miocene sediments. Two progradational

  5. Sequence stratigraphy and systems tract analysis of the Neogene-Quaternary continental margin off the Zambezi delta, Mozambique

    SciTech Connect

    Kolla, V. ); Macurda, D.B. Jr. ); Nelson, H.R. Jr. )

    1991-03-01

    During the Neogene and Quaternary, the Zambezi River built a broad delta-platform from 75 to over 100 km into the Indian Ocean. A regional seismic grid shows numerous discontinuities in the delta platform, slope, and deeper basinal areas. Based on downward shifts of reflection terminations and onlaps at or below shelf edge, more than 25 sequences have been identified. Within the gross Neogene package, the basal section is characterized by aggradation, followed by rapid and significant (oblique) progradation, which is then followed by numerous aggradational-progradation and progradation packages in the upper, younger sections. From recognition of aggradation-progradation patterns and from well information, it appears that the first, significant, and rapid progradation occurred since mid-Miocene. The earliest of the Neogene sequence appears thicker towards south and thinner towards north, opposite of the younger sequences. The number of sequences, their modes of stacking, and thickness distributions reflect relative sea-level changes and the points of sediment input as the Zambezi River shifted in position from south to north in time. The Zambezi passive continental margin, located in the Indian Ocean basin, is a stable platform as opposed to the unstable continental margins off the Mississippi, McKenzie, and Niger deltas and is far from the stable margins that were the basis of the Haq et al. cycle-chart (1987). Thus the Zambezi continental margin provides an independent test case for verification of eustatic cycles and for the evaluation of allogenic (eustatic) versus autogenic (subsidence and delta switching) effects on depositional systems and systems tracts.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClellan, Elizabeth; Gazel, Esteban

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Pathways of carbon oxidation in continental margin sediments off central Chile.

    PubMed

    Thamdrup, B; Canfield, D E

    1996-12-01

    Rates and oxidative pathways of organic carbon mineralization were determined in sediments at six stations on the shelf and slope off Concepcion Bay at 36.5 degrees S. The depth distribution of C oxidation rates was determined to 10 cm from accumulation of dissolved inorganic C in 1-5-d incubations. Pathways of C oxidation were inferred from the depth distributions of the potential oxidants (O2, NO3-, and oxides of Mn and Fe) and from directly determined rates of SO4(2-) reduction. The study area is characterized by intense seasonal upwelling, and during sampling in late summer the bottom water over the shelf was rich in NO3- and depleted of O2. Sediments at the four shelf stations were covered by mats of filamentous bacteria of the genera Thioploca and Beggiatoa. Carbon oxidation rates at these sites were extremely high near the sediment surface (>3 micromol cm-3 d-1) and decreased exponentially with depth. The process was entirely coupled to SO4(2-) reduction. At the two slope stations where bottom-water O2 was > 100 microM, C oxidation rates were 10-fold lower and varied less with depth; C oxidation coupled to the reduction of O2, NO3-, and Mn oxides combined to yield an estimated 15% of the total C oxidation between 0 and 10 cm. Carbon oxidation through Fe reduction contributed a further 12-29% of the depth-integrated rate, while the remainder of C oxidation was through SO4(2-) reduction. The depth distribution of Fe reduction agreed well with the distribution of poorly crystalline Fe oxides, and as this pool decreased with depth, the importance of SO4(2-) reduction increased. The results point to a general importance of Fe reduction in C oxidation in continental margin sediments. At the shelf stations, Fe reduction was mainly coupled to oxidation of reduced S. These sediments were generally H2S-free despite high SO4(2-) reduction rates, and precipitation of Fe sulfides dominated H2S scavenging during the incubations. A large NO3- pool was associated with the

  8. Subduction evolution and mantle dynamics at a continental margin: Central North Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, T. A.; Stratford, W. R.; Salmon, M. L.

    2006-12-01

    Central North Island, New Zealand, provides an unusually complete geological and geophysical record of the onset and evolution of subduction at a continental margin. Whereas most subduction zones are innately two-dimensional, North Island of New Zealand displays a distinct three-dimensional character in the back-arc regions. Specifically, we observe "Mariana-type" subduction in the back-arc areas of central North Island in the sense of back-arc extension, high heat flow, prolific volcanism, geothermal activity, and active doming and exhumation of the solid surface. Evidence for emplacement of a significant percent of new lithosphere beneath the central North Island comes from heat flux of 25 MW/km of strike (of volcanic zone) and thinned crust underlain by rocks with a seismic wave speed consistent with underplated new crust. Seismic attenuation (Qp-1) is high (˜240), and rhyolitic and andesitic volcanism are widespread. Almost complete removal of mantle lithosphere is inferred here in Pliocene times on the basis of the rock uplift history and upper mantle seismic velocities as low as 7.4 ± 0.1 km/s. In contrast, southwestern North Island exhibits "Chilean-type" back-arc activity in the sense of compressive tectonics, reverse faulting, low-heat-flow, thickened lithosphere, and strong coupling between the subducted and overriding plates. This rapid switch from Mariana-type to Chilean-type subduction occurs despite the age of the subducted plate being constant under North Island. Moreover, stratigraphic evidence shows that processes that define the extensional back-arc area (the Central Volcanic Region) are advancing southward into the compressional system (Wanganui Basin) at about 10 mm/yr. We link the progression from one system to another to a gradual and viscous removal of thickened mantle lithosphere in the back-arc regions. Thickening occurred during the Miocene within the Taranaki Fault Zone. The process of thickening and convective removal is time- and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentz, Torben; Damm, Ellen; Schneider von Deimling, Jens; Mau, Susan; McGinnis, Daniel Frank; Schlüter, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In the Arctic Seas, the West Spitsbergen continental margin represents a prominent methane seep area. In this area, free gas formation and gas ebullition as a consequence of hydrate dissociation due to global warming are currently under debate. Recent studies revealed shallow gas accumulation and ebullition of methane into the water column at more than 250 sites in an area of 665 km2. We conducted a detailed study of a subregion of this area, which covers an active gas ebullition area of 175 km2 characterized by 10 gas flares reaching from the seafloor at~245 m up to 50 m water depth to identify the fate of the released gas due to dissolution of methane from gas bubbles and subsequent mixing, transport and microbial oxidation. The oceanographic data indicated a salinity-controlled pycnocline situated ~20 m above the seafloor. A high resolution sampling program at the pycnocline at the active gas ebullition flare area revealed that the methane concentration gradient is strongly controlled by the pycnocline. While high methane concentrations of up to 524 nmol L-1 were measured below the pycnocline, low methane concentrations of less than 20 nmol L-1 were observed in the water column above. Variations in the δ13CCH4 values point to a 13C depleted methane source (~-60‰ VPDB) being mainly mixed with a background values of the ambient water (~-37.5‰ VPDB). A gas bubble dissolution model indicates that ~80% of the methane released from gas bubbles into the ambient water takes place below the pycnocline. This dissolved methane will be laterally transported with the current northwards and most likely microbially oxidized in between 50 and 100 days, since microbial CH4 oxidation rates of 0.78 nmol d-1 were measured. Above the pycnocline, methane concentrations decrease to local background concentration of ~10 nmol L-1. Our results suggest that the methane dissolved from gas bubbles is efficiently trapped below the pycnocline and thus limits the methane concentration in

  10. A time-transgressive Holocene onset from Globorotalia menardii records on Brazilian continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwai, F. S.; Costa, K. B.; Toledo, F. A. D. L.; Santarosa, A. C. A.; Chiessi, C. M.; Camillo, E., Jr.; Quadros, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    The planktic foraminifer Globorotalia menardii presents a cyclic behavior within Pleistocene glacial cycles on Atlantic; it disappears during glacial periods and returns to this ocean after deglaciations. Therefore, G. menardii has been used to identify limits between those cycles and the last limit is recognized as the Holocene onset. The Holocene onset has been reported before as being more than 4 kyrs later than expected at the equatorial Atlantic Ocean based on a G. menardii record (Broecker & Pena, 2014). In this study, we explore the time-transgressive Holocene onset of G. menardii in the Atlantic from 21 piston cores collected along the Brazilian continental margin, between 7 ˚N and 33 ˚S. Radiocarbon dating was conducted on Globigerinoides ruber on samples prior to and after G. menardii reappearance in the cores. Reservoir-age corrected 14C dates vary between 17 and 6.5 cal kyrs; the older ages are found at ~14 ˚S and younger ages at 6 ˚N and 33 ˚S. From these ages and latitudes, we hypothesize that G. menardii's population has spread at higher rates southward. From the scenario observed on Brazilian coast it is possible to conclude that although ocean circulation has an important role on dispersion of planktonic foraminifera, it may be superimposed by ecological constraints of the species. G. menardii absence during glacials is linked to the Agulhas Leakage activity, which is prevented from getting to the Atlantic due the northern position of the Subtropical Convergence Zone during glacials. On interglacials, warm and saline waters carrying G. menardii are transported into the Subtropical Gyre currents, achieving Brazil's coast through the South Equatorial Current and spreading south and northward through Brazil Current and North Brazil Current, respectively. Nonetheless, from velocity and volume registered for this currents, we would expect a higher G. menardii dispersion rate northward. A faster southward dispersal during the deglaciation suggests

  11. Thermal history and evolution of the Rio de Janeiro - Barbacena section of the southeastern Brazilian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neri Gezatt, Julia; Stephenson, Randell; Macdonald, David

    2015-04-01

    The transect between the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Barbacena (22°54'S, 43°12'W and 21°13'S, 43°46'W, respectively) runs through a segment of a complex range of N-NE/S-SW trending basement units of the Ribeira Belt and southern Sao Francisco Craton, intensely reworked during the Brasiliano-Pan-African orogenic cycle. The ortho- and paragneisses in the area have metamorphic ages between 650 and 540 Ma and are intruded by pre-, syn- and post-tectonic granitic bodies. The transect, perpendicular to the strike direction of the continental margin, crosses the Serra do Mar escarpment, where the sample density is higher in order to better constrain occasional significant age changes. For logistical reasons, the 40 samples collected were processed in two separate batches for apatite fission track (AFT) analysis. The first batch comprised 19 samples, from which 15 produced fission track ages. Analyses were carried out at University College London (UCL), following standard procedures. Preliminary results for the study show AFT ages between 85.9±6.3 and 54.1±4.2 Ma, generally with younger ages close to the coast and progressively older ages towards the continental interior. The highest area sampled, around the city of Teresopolis, ranges from 740 to 1216 m above sea level and shows ages between 85.9±6.3 and 71.3±5.3 Ma. There is no evident lithological or structural distribution control. Medium track length values range from 12.57 to 13.89 µm and distributions are unimodal. Thermal history modelling was done using software QTQt. Individual sample model cooling curves can be divided into two groups: a dominant one, showing a single, slower cooling trend, and a second one with a rapid initial cooling curve, which becomes less steep around 65 Ma. In both groups the maximum paleotemperatures are around 110 Ma. The thermal history model for the first batch of samples is compatible with a single cooling event for the area following continental rifting and

  12. Influence of the Afar plume on the deep structure of Aden and Red Sea margins - Insight from teleseismic tomography in western Yemen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  13. Metallogeny of the northeastern Pacific Rim: an example of the distribution of ore deposits along a growing continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldfarb, R.J.; Hart, C.J.; Mortensen, J.K.

    1999-01-01

    The distribution of mineral deposits within northwestern North America (Alaska, Yukon, and northern British Columbia) allows for an in-depth examination of the metallogenic patterns of a growing continental margin. A more complete understanding of the tectonic evolution of this part of the Pacific Rim, achieved over the last 15 to 20 years, now allows for the placement of ore systems into a well-defined plate tectonic framework. Ore deposits older than about 185 Ma represent hydrothermal systems that were active in the platform/shelf environment of ancestral North America's miogeocline or hydrothermal systems developed in oceanic arcs and continental fragments more distal to the craton. These include important SEDEX, VMS, and pre-accretionary porphyry deposits. In contrast, most mineral deposits younger than about 185 Ma were formed within the growing Cordilleran orogen, as terranes were accreted to the continental margin during interactions between the North America and Pacific/Farallon/Kula plates. Such syn- to post-accretionary mineralised systems include many large lode gold and porphyry/skarn systems.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

    The Neoproterozoic Ar Rayn terrane is exposed along the eastern margin of the Arabian shield. The terrane is bounded on the west by the Ad Dawadimi terrane across the Al Amar fault zone (AAF), and is nonconformably overlain on the east by Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks. The terrane is composed of a magmatic arc complex and syn- to post-orogenic intrusions. The layered rocks of the arc, the Al Amar group (>689 Ma to ???625 Ma), consist of tholeiitic to calc-alkaline basaltic to rhyolitic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks with subordinate tuffaceous sedimentary rocks and carbonates, and are divided into an eastern and western sequence. Plutonic rocks of the terrane form three distinct lithogeochemical groups: (1) low-Al trondhjemite-tonalite-granodiorite (TTG) of arc affinity (632-616 Ma) in the western part of the terrane, (2) high-Al TTG/adakite of arc affinity (689-617 Ma) in the central and eastern part of the terrane, and (3) syn- to post-orogenic alkali granite (607-583 Ma). West-dipping subduction along a trench east of the terrane is inferred from high-Al TTG/adakite emplaced east of low-Al TTG. The Ar Rayn terrane contains significant resources in epithermal Au-Ag-Zn-Cu-barite, enigmatic stratiform volcanic-hosted Khnaiguiyah-type Zn-Cu-Fe-Mn, and orogenic Au vein deposits, and the potential for significant resources in Fe-oxide Cu-Au (IOCG), and porphyry Cu deposits. Khnaiguiyah-type deposits formed before or during early deformation of the Al Amar group eastern sequence. Epithermal and porphyry deposits formed proximal to volcanic centers in Al Amar group western sequence. IOCG deposits are largely structurally controlled and hosted by group-1 intrusions and Al Amar group volcanic rocks in the western part of the terrane. Orogenic gold veins are largely associated with north-striking faults, particularly in and near the AAF, and are presumably related to amalgamation of the Ar Rayn and Ad Dawadimi terranes. Geologic, structural, and metallogenic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-02-01

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

  17. Continental breakup and the dynamics of rifting in back-arc basins: The Gulf of Lion margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolivet, Laurent; Gorini, Christian; Smit, Jeroen; Leroy, Sylvie

    2015-04-01

    Deep seismic profiles and subsidence history of the Gulf of Lion margin reveal an intense stretching of the distal margin and strong postrift subsidence, despite weak extension of the onshore and shallow offshore portions of the margin. We revisit this evolution from the geological interpretation of an unpublished multichannel seismic profile and other published geophysical data. We show that an 80 km wide domain of thin lower continental crust, the "Gulf of Lion metamorphic core complex," is present in the ocean-continent transition zone and exhumed mantle makes the transition with oceanic crust. The exhumed lower continental crust is bounded upward and downward by shallow north dipping detachments. The presence of exhumed lower crust in the deep margin explains the discrepancy between the amount of extension deduced from normal faults in the upper crust and total extension. We discuss the mechanism responsible for exhumation and present two scenarios: the first one involving a simple coupling between mantle extension due to slab retreat and crustal extension and the second one involving extraction of the lower crust and mantle from below the margin by the southeastward flow of hot asthenosphere in the back-arc region during slab rollback. In both scenarios, the combination of Eocene crustal thickening related to the Pyrenees, the nearby volcanic arc, and a shallow lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary weakened the upper mantle and lower crust enough to make them flow southeastward. The overall hot geodynamic environment also explains the subaerial conditions during most of the rifting stage and the delayed subsidence after breakup.

  18. Stratigraphic and isotopic link between the northern Stikine terrane and an ancient continental margin assemblage, Canadian Cordillera

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, J.L.; Gehrels, G.E.; Patchett, P.J. ); Mihalynuk, M.G. )

    1991-12-01

    Geologic and isotopic data strongly imply a Late Triassic depositional link between a juvenile volcanic arc (northern Stikine terrane) and an outboard ancient continental margin assemblage (Nisling terrane) in the Canadian Cordillera. Two sandstone samples and a schist clast from a conglomerate layer at the base of the Upper Triassic Stuhini Group (northern Stikine terrane) have Nd-depleted mantle model ages of 1400-1430 and 1600 Ma, respectively; other Stuhini Group rocks have model ages of 390,660 and 690 Ma. Three samples of Nisling terrane schist and gneiss yield Nd model ages of 910, 1770, and 2450 Ma and highly radiogenic {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios. These isotopic data corroborate stratigraphic evidence that detritus at the base of northern Stikine was shed from the Nisling terrane and strengthen interpretations that these terranes became linked by Late Triassic time. Thus, Upper Triassic strata of the northern Stikine terrane may have accumulated on top of or adjacent to an exotic continental fragment, a rifted fragment of the North American margin, or the in situ North American margin.

  19. Post-early cretaceous landform evolution along the western margin of the banca~nnia trough, western nsw

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gibson, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    Previously undated post-Devonian sediments outcropping north of Fowlers Gap station near the western margin of the Bancannia Trough are shown by plant macro- and microfossil determinations to be of Early Cretaceous (most likely Neocomian and/or Aptian) age, and thus part of the Eromanga Basin. They are assigned to the previously defined Telephone Creek Formation. Study of the structural configuration of this unit and the unconformably underlying Devonian rocks suggests that the gross landscape architecture of the area results from post-Early Cretaceous monoclinal folding along blind faults at the western margin of the trough, combined with the effects of differential erosion. This study shows that, while landscape evolution in the area has been dynamic, the major changes that have occurred are on a geological rather than human timescale.

  20. Dyke belt in North Western margin of Siberian platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryabov, Victor

    2015-04-01

    The Early Triassic dyke swarm belt is strengthening at about 500 km (50-60 km width) along the northern margin of Siberian platform. Its locations is limited from the north by rift structure of the Yenisei-Khatanga trough, and from the south by Kystyktah-Ayan-Ambardah uprise. From west to east dyke belt is crossing Norilsk, Kamensky and Maimecha-Kotuiskaya province. In this direction the composition of dykes changing from basic rthrough alkali-basic to alkali-ultramafic varieties. The sickness of dykes varies from 0,5-10m up to 90 m and length - from 5-15 m to 140 km. The orientation of the bulk of dykes coincides with the direction of the major structural and tectonic lineaments of the region. Dykes are often refer to the fault planes. The composition of dykes may vary along the stretches. The density of hundreds of basaltic dykes and small intrusions in the dyke swarms is not permanent and sometimes essentially uneven. They form a compact dyke swarms of dykes, stocks and sub layering bodies veins. In dyke package on Huor-Uyallah river here are 20 subparallel dykes of different chemical composition at a distance of 2 km Lack of the evidence of the dykes crossing allows to assume their formation during the same magmatic cycle. Dykes cross cut through the entire incision of basaltic plateau. They did not created the flow effusions and refer to the final stage trap magmatism. Ar/Ar age of the youngest dykes in the province Kamenska 238-247 Ma. the age of lamproite dyke in Norilsk province is 235 Ma. Dykes are represented by dolerites trachydolerites, syenites, minettes, lamprophyres (camptonite, spessartite, vosgesite), avgitites, melanephelinite, alnoites, limburgites alkaline picrites, meimechites. Their content vary widely: SiO2 - 35,7-62,6; TiO2- 0,4-7,5; Al2O3- 4,4-17,5; Fe2O3- 4,6-20,6; MnO- 0,08-0,44; MgO- 0,8-31,5; CaO- 0,7-15,4; Na2O- 0,01-6,5; K2O 0,8-5,3 wt.%; P2O5 0,1-1,2 wt.%. The h Bolsheavamskaya volcanic basin in Kamensky province is most abundant in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    depth, but becoming especially prominent at 12 km and 16 km depth, there is an embayment of relatively high Vp that can be interpreted as the onshore projection of a basement high that occurs between the Mesozoic basement shelf break and the Taihsi Basin. Southward, there is a notable northeast-southwest-oriented increase in seismicity across the on land projection of the Mesozoic basement shelf break, with seismicity predominantly located beneath the Alishan Ranges, the highest topography in this part of the mountain belt. The topography also shows a pronounced re-entrant that coincides with the orientation and onshore projection of the Mesozoic basement shelf break that extends northeastward across the Western Foothills and into the Hsuehshan Range. The shallow structure of south-central Taiwan contains a number of features, such as changes in structural grain, or basement involvement in the deformation, that can be attributed to the presence of pre-existing structures in the Eurasian continental margin as it enters into the deformation of the Taiwan fold and thrust belt.

  2. Ancient impact structures on modern continental shelves: The Chesapeake Bay, Montagnais, and Toms Canyon craters, Atlantic margin of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C. Wylie; Plescia, J.B.; Molzer, P.C.

    2002-01-01

    Three ancient impact craters (Chesapeake Bay - 35.7 Ma; Toms Canyon - 35.7 Ma; Montagnais - 51 Ma) and one multiring impact basin (Chicxulub - 65 Ma) are currently known to be buried beneath modern continental shelves. All occur on the passive Atlantic margin of North America in regions extensively explored by seismic reflection surveys in the search for oil and gas reserves. We limit our discussion herein to the three youngest structures. These craters were created by submarine impacts, which produced many structural and morphological features similar in construction, composition, and variability to those documented in well-preserved subaerial and planetary impact craters. The subcircular Chesapeake Bay (diameter 85 km) and ovate Montagnais (diameter 45-50 km) structures display outer-rim scarps, annular troughs, peak rings, inner basins, and central peaks similar to those incorporated in the widely cited conceptual model of complex impact craters. These craters differ in several respects from the model, however. For example, the Montagnais crater lacks a raised lip on the outer rim, the Chesapeake Bay crater displays only small remnants of a raised lip, and both craters contain an unusually thick body of impact breccia. The subtriangular Toms Canyon crater (diameter 20-22 km), on the other hand, contains none of the internal features of a complex crater, nor is it typical of a simple crater. It displays a prominent raised lip on the outer rim, but the lip is present only on the western side of the crater. In addition, each of these craters contains some distinct features, which are not present in one or both of the others. For example, the central peak at Montagnais rises well above the elevation of the outer rim, whereas at Chesapeake Bay, the outer rim is higher than the central peak. The floor of the Toms Canyon crater is marked by parallel deep troughs and linear ridges formed of sedimentary rocks, whereas at Chesapeake Bay, the crater floor contains

  3. Geology of the offshore Southeast Georgia Embayment, U.S. Atlantic continental margin, based on multichannel seismic reflection profiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buffler, Richard T.; Watkins, Joel S.; Dillon, William P.

    1979-01-01

    The sedimentary section is divided into three major seismic intervals. The intervals are separated by unconformities and can be mapped regionally. The oldest interval ranges in age from Early Cretaceous through middle Late Cretaceous, although it may contain Jurassic rocks where it thickens beneath the Blake Plateau. It probably consists of continental to nearshore clastic rocks where it onlaps basement and grades seaward to a restricted carbonate platform facies (dolomite-evaporite). The middle interval (Upper Cretaceous) is characterized by prograding clinoforms interpreted as open marine slope deposits. This interval represents a Late Cretaceous shift of the carbonate shelf margin from the Blake Escarpment shoreward to about its present location, probably due to a combination of co tinued subsidence, an overall Late Cretaceous rise in sea level, and strong currents across the Blake Plateau. The youngest (Cenozoic) interval represents a continued seaward progradation of the continental shelf and slope. Cenozoic sedimentation on the Blake Plateau was much abbreviated owing mainly to strong currents.

  4. HyFlux - Part I: Regional Modeling of Methane Flux From Near-Seafloor Gas Hydrate Deposits on Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Asper, V.; Garcia, O. P.; Kastner, M.; Leifer, I.; Naehr, T.; Solomon, E.; Yvon-Lewis, S.; Zimmer, B.

    2008-12-01

    HyFlux - Part I: Regional modeling of methane flux from near-seafloor gas hydrate deposits on continental margins MacDonald, I.R., Asper, V., Garcia, O., Kastner, M., Leifer, I., Naehr, T.H., Solomon, E., Yvon-Lewis, S., and Zimmer, B. The Dept. of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) has recently awarded a project entitled HyFlux: "Remote sensing and sea-truth measurements of methane flux to the atmosphere." The project will address this problem with a combined effort of satellite remote sensing and data collection at proven sites in the Gulf of Mexico where gas hydrate releases gas to the water column. Submarine gas hydrate is a large pool of greenhouse gas that may interact with the atmosphere over geologic time to affect climate cycles. In the near term, the magnitude of methane reaching the atmosphere from gas hydrate on continental margins is poorly known because 1) gas hydrate is exposed to metastable oceanic conditions in shallow, dispersed deposits that are poorly imaged by standard geophysical techniques and 2) the consumption of methane in marine sediments and in the water column is subject to uncertainty. The northern GOM is a prolific hydrocarbon province where rapid migration of oil, gases, and brines from deep subsurface petroleum reservoirs occurs through faults generated by salt tectonics. Focused expulsion of hydrocarbons is manifested at the seafloor by gas vents, gas hydrates, oil seeps, chemosynthetic biological communities, and mud volcanoes. Where hydrocarbon seeps occur in depths below the hydrate stability zone (~500m), rapid flux of gas will feed shallow deposits of gas hydrate that potentially interact with water column temperature changes; oil released from seeps forms sea-surface features that can be detected in remote-sensing images. The regional phase of the project will quantify verifiable sources of methane (and oil) the Gulf of Mexico continental margin and selected margins (e.g. Pakistan Margin, South China Sea

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Denudation history and landscape evolution of the northern East-Brazilian continental margin from apatite fission-track thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jelinek, A. R.; Chemale, F.; van der Beek, P. A.; Guadagnin, F.; Cupertino, J. A.; Viana, A.

    2014-10-01

    We reconstruct the history of denudation and landscape evolution of the northern East- Brazilian continental margin using apatite fission-track thermochronology and thermal history modeling. This part of the Brazilian Atlantic margin is morphologically characterized by inland and coastal plateaus surrounding a wide low-lying inland region, the Sertaneja Depression. The apatite fission track ages and mean track lengths vary from 39 ± 4 to 350 ± 57 Ma and from 10.0 ± 0.3 to 14.2 ± 0.2 μm, respectively, implying a protracted history of spatially variable denudation since the Permian at relatively low rates (<50 m My-1). The Sertaneja Depression and inland plateaus record Permian-Early Jurassic (300-180 Ma) denudation that precedes rifting of the margin by > 60 Myrs. In contrast, the coastal regions record up to 2.5 km of Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous (150-120 Ma) denudation, coeval with rifting of the margin. The samples from elevated coastal regions, the Borborema Plateau and the Mantiqueira Range, record cooling from temperatures above 120 °C since the Late Cretaceous extending to the Cenozoic. We interpret this denudation as related to post-rift uplift of these parts of the margin, possibly resulting from compressional stresses transmitted from the Andes and/or magmatism at that time. Several samples from these areas also record accelerated Neogene (<30 Ma) cooling, which may record landscape response to a change from a tropical to a more erosive semi-arid climate during this time. The inferred denudation history is consistent with the offshore sedimentary record, but not with evolutionary scenarios inferred from the recognition of “planation surfaces” on the margin. The denudation history of the northeastern Brazilian margin implies a control of pre-, syn- and post-rift tectonic and climatic events on landscape evolution.

  7. Low-Temperature Thermochronology Applied to Constrain the Multi-Episodic Thermotectonic Evolution of the Southeastern Continental Margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, L. D.; Heilbron, M. C. P. L.; Hodges, K. V.; Van Soest, M. C.; Silva, L. G. A. E.

    2015-12-01

    Low-temperature thermochronology was applied to constrain the Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the continental margin of southeast Brazil. Using apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology (AHe), we acquired data from 107 crystals of basement samples collected from a NW-SE transect in the Mantiqueira Mountains to the Guanabara Graben, as well as from the NE-SE transverse faults. The data range from 43.5 ± 1.9 Ma to 250.1 ± 8.7 Ma (2 σ) for corrected ages. The Neo-Cretaceous, Eo-Cretaceous, and Paleocene are the main recorded AHe ages, in order of importance. The Eo-Cretaceous ages indicate the occurrence of older thermal events related to a pre-rifting phase (~121 Ma). The Neo-Cretaceous ages signify the importance of tectonic and magmatic events, and regional uplifting for the thermal history of the study area, including ages related to the Serra do Mar Mountains uplift (~86 Ma). Paleocene ages seem to be related to the reactivation (~65 Ma), which was responsible for the continental rifts in the southeastern Brazil. Finally, the Eocene ages (49.7 Ma and 43.5 Ma), which are from samples restricted to the Resende Basin border faults, indicate a continental rift reactivation. Time-temperature (t-T) paths obtained from inverse modeling, performed using HeFTy (Ketcham, 2005) with a Radiation Damage Diffusion and Annealing Model (Flowers et al., 2009), suggests rapid cooling episodes for all samples. The main thermal events show a direct correlation with the timing of regional tectonic events: reactivation phases, continental margin uplift, and the sedimentary record. Apatite (U-Th)/He ages increase with distance from the coast and with elevation. However, these patterns are discontinued by samples of younger ages as a result of the reactivation process of pre-existing structures. The total estimated denudation range from 1.2 to 2.8 km. The erosion rates range from 15.2 to 35.3 m/My. Thus, the multi-episodic thermal events, which led to the formation of important

  8. Genesis of giant promontories during two-stage continental breakup and implications for post-Rodinia circum-Arctic margins (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, D. C.

    2013-12-01

    Giant promontories are a seldom-noted feature of the present-day population of passive margins. A number of them formed during the breakup of Pangea: the South Tasman Rise and Naturaliste Plateau off Australia, the Grand Banks and Florida off North America, the Falkland Plateau off South America, and the Horn of Africa. Giant promontories protrude hundreds of kms seaward from a corner of the continent and are not to be confused with the low-amplitude irregularies that occur at intervals along most passive margins. Giant promontories that might have formed during the breakup of the earlier supercontinents, Rodinia and Nuna, have not been recognized. Properties of the modern examples suggest some identifying criteria. They are cored by continental crust that was created or last reworked during the previous collisional cycle. Judging from the examples listed, the early histories of the two flanks of a promontory will differ because separate continents or microcontinents drift away in different directions at different times. For example, the eastern flank of the >500-km-long South Tasman Rise formed when the Lord Howe Rise separated from Australia at ca. 85 Ma, whereas the western flank formed when Antarctica moved past at ca. 65-33 Ma. (Age spans of various passive margins quoted herein are from Bradley, 2008, Earth Sci. Rev. 91:1-26.) During ocean closure (typically, arc-passive margin collision), a promontory may be exposed to earlier and more intense tectonism than elsewhere along the margin. Unique events are also possible. For example, the tip of Florida experienced a glancing collision with Cuba during the Paleogene, an event that was not felt elsewhere along the Gulf or Atlantic margins of the southeastern U.S. Giant promontories are unlikely to have deep lithospheric keels and may be prone to being dislodged and rotated during collision. Thus, what starts as a promontory may end up as a microcontinent in an orogen. The case for giant promontories in the circum

  9. Modeling the conversion of hydroacoustic to seismic energy at island and continental margins: preliminary analysis of Ascension Island data

    SciTech Connect

    Harben, P.; Rodgers, A.

    1999-07-26

    Seismic stations at islands and continental margins will be an essential component of the International Monitoring System (IMS) for event location and identification in support of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) monitoring. Particularly important will be the detection and analysis of hydroacoustic-to-seismic converted waves (T-phases) at island or continental margins. Acoustic waves generated by sources in or near the ocean propagate for long distances very efficiently due to the ocean sound speed channel (SOFAR) and low attenuation. When ocean propagating acoustic waves strike an island or continental margin they are converted to seismic (elastic) waves. We are using a finite difference code to model the conversion of hydroacoustic T-waves at an island or continental margin. Although ray-based methods are far more efficient for modeling long-range (> 1000 km) high-frequency hydroacoustic propagation, the finite difference method has the advantage of being able to model both acoustic and elastic wave propagation for a broad range of frequencies. The method allows us to perform simulations of T-phases to relatively high frequencies ({>=}10 Hz). Of particular interest is to identify factors that affect the efficiency of T-phase conversion, such as the topographic slope and roughness at the conversion point and elastic velocity structure within the island or continent. Previous studies have shown that efficient T-phase conversion occurs when the topographic slope at the conversion point is steep (Cansi and Bethoux, 1985; Talandier and Okal, 1998). Another factor impacting T-phase conversion may be the near-shore structure of the sound channel. It is well known that the depth to the sound channel axis decreases in shallow waters. This can weaken the channeled hydroacoustic wave. Elastic velocity structure within the island or continent will impact how the converted seismic wave is refracted to recording stations at the surface and thus impact the T

  10. Seafloor Mapping of the Southeast Iberian Continental Slope and Western Algero-Balearic Abyssal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lastras, G.; Canals, M.; León, C.; Elvira, E.; Pascual, L.; Muñoz, A.; de Cárdenas, E.; Acosta, J.

    2014-12-01

    We present the multibeam bathymetry and derived maps of the southeast Iberian margin from Cabo de Palos to Cabo de Gata, 37º35'N to 35º45'N and 2º10'W to 0º20'E, from the coastline down to the Algero-Balearic abyssal plain at depths exceeding 2,600 m. Data were obtained during different surveys in 2004, 2006 and 2007 on board R/V Vizconde de Eza with a Simrad EM300 multibeam echo-sounder, as part of the CAPESME Project, a collaboration between the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and General Secretariat of Fisheries (SGP), aiming at creating maps of the fishing grounds of the Mediterranean continental margins of Spain. The edition of the maps has been carried out within the Complementary Action VALORPLAT (Scientific valorisation of multibeam bathymetry data from the Spanish continental shelf and slope), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity. Multibeam bathymetry data from the continental shelf obtained within the ESPACE project, also in a cooperative frame between IEO and SGP, completes the whole picture from the coastline to the deep abyssal plain. The map series is constituted by a general map at 1:400,000 scale and 14 detailed maps at 1:75,000 scale, which include inset maps on slope gradients and seafloor nature (rock or sediment type), the later obtained with rock dredges and Shipeck sediment dredges. Both the detailed maps and the general map are available in paper print, and the whole collection is also distributed in an edited USB. The geological features displayed in the different maps include the continental shelf, with abundant geomorphic features indicative of past sea-level changes, the continental slope carved by a large number of submarine canyons and gullies, including Palos, Tiñoso, Cartagena Este, Cartagena Oeste, Águilas, Almanzora, Alias, Garrucha and Gata submarine canyons, the Mazarrón, Palomares and Al-Mansour escarpments of probable tectonic origin, the Abubácer, Maimonides and Yusuf ridges, the

  11. Constraints of mapped and unfolded slabs on Oligocene to present-day Western Mediterranean plate reconstructions: potential role of north Iberia continental delamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yi-Te; Wu, Jonny; Wu, Yi-Min; Suppe, John; Sibuet, Jean-Claude; Chevrot, Sebastien

    2015-04-01

    Seismic tomographic images of subducted lithospheric remnants under the western Mediterranean have provided new constraints for Oligocene to present-day plate reconstructions. In this study, we mapped slabs under the western Mediterranean and Iberia from regional seismic tomography (Chevrot et al., 2014; Bezada et al., 2013) and from MITP08 global tomography (Li et al., 2008). A newly developed method was used to unfold (ie. structurally restore) the mapped slabs to a model spherical Earth surface, minimizing area and shape distortion. Slab constraints were input into plate tectonic reconstructions using Gplates software. Our mapping confirms the existence of western Mediterranean slabs including the Betic-Alboran, Algerian, and Calabrian slabs that were previously identified by Spakman and Wortel (2004). When unfolded these mapped slabs fit together in an Oligocene plate reconstruction, within tomographic resolution limits. Slab stretching was not required. Slab segmentation supports the existence of a North Balearic transform. Here we emphasize the potential importance for western Mediterranean tectonics of antoher slab under Iberia that we call the 'mid-Iberia slab'. This slab was first identified by Sibuet et al. (2004) and interpreted to be a Neotethyan suture. We have mapped this slab in detail from recent regional tomography (Chevrot et al., 2014). Our mapped slab is sub-vertical and strikes E-W under the southern margins of the Duero and Ebro basins. We newly interpret this slab to be delaminated northern Iberian continental lithosphere. We propose that continental delamination occurred during the Oligocene and produced uplifted Iberian Meseta topography, internally-drained basins, and high mean elevations that still persist today. We show how Oligocene northern Iberian continental delamination could have initiated subduction and rollback of the western Mediterranean

  12. Slope failures and stability analysis of shallow water prodeltas in the active margins of Western Greece, northeastern Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lykousis, V.; Roussakis, G.; Sakellariou, D.

    2009-06-01

    Sediment instabilities are common on the prodeltas of the seismically active continental margins of Western Greece. Sediment failures on the low-angle (0.5°-2°) prodelta slopes manifest themselves as successions of peripheral rotational block slumps restricted to the foresets of the late highstand systems tract (HST). The individual slump blocks are about 80-150 m long and are bounded by growth faults acting as curved slip planes that extend to a mean depth of 10-15 m below seafloor. Shear planes develop in the lower part of muddy and/or gas charged HST foresets. Deeper basal transparent muddy layers of the early HST bottomset, together with the late Pleistocene transgressive systems tract sequences (TST), are mostly unaffected. On the steeper (2°-6°) fan delta slopes of the western Gulf of Corinth debris flows and avalanches with a significant retrogressive component dominate slope destabilisation. Sediment cores taken from landslide scarps and slide planes penetrated gas bubble releasing sediments thereby indicating that failure planes are in the late HST foresets/upper part of the early HST bottomsets gas charged zone. The foresets of the HST prodelta deposits display high water content (30-80%), low bulk density (1.4-1.9 g cm-3) and relatively low values of undrained shear strength (3-20 kPa). The water content of the HST distal muddy bottomsets is relatively higher (50-110%) and bulk density relatively lower (1.3-1.7 g cm-3) with low values of shear strength (2-10 kPa). The shear strength of the gas releasing sediment layer displays lower values (2-9 kPa) relative to the overlying, post failure, muddy sediments of the late 100-300 years. Slope stability was calculated using the normalised soil parameter (NSP) method under undrained conditions for normally consolidated prodelta sediments. This analysis indicates that instabilities could be induced by critical earthquake ground accelerations of 26.6-29.6% g for the HST foresets and 12.4-14.1% g for the basal

  13. 77 FR 40380 - Outer Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, Oil and Gas Lease Sales, Western Planning Area Lease...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-09

    ... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Outer Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, Oil and Gas Lease Sales, Western Planning Area Lease Sale 233 and Central Planning Area Lease Sale 231 AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean... proposed Western Planning Area (WPA) Lease Sale 233 and Central Planning Area (CPA) Lease Sale 231...

  14. Multichannel seismic depth sections and interval velocities over outer continental shelf and upper continental slope between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod: rifted margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grow, John A.; Mattick, Robert E.; Schlee, John S.

    1979-01-01

    Six computer-generated seismic depth sections over the outer continental shelf and upper slope reveal that subhorizontal Lower Cretaceous reflectors continue 20 to 30 km seaward of the present shelf edge. Extensive erosion on the continental slope has occurred primarily during the Tertiary, causing major unconformities and retreat of the shelf edge to its present position. The precise age and number of erosional events is not established, but at least one major erosional event is thought to be Oligocene and related to a marine regression in response to a worldwide eustatic lowering of sea level. Velocities derived from the multichannel data reveal distinctive ranges and lateral trends as functions of sediment age, depth of burial, and distance from the coastline. Seismic units beneath the shelf and slope of inferred Tertiary age range from 1.7 to 2.7 km/sec, increasing with age and depth of burial. Units interpreted as Upper Cretaceous rocks beneath the shelf range from 2.3 to 3.6 km/sec and show a distinct lateral increase across the shelf followed by a decrease beneath the present continental slope. Inferred Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic rocks beneath the shelf increase from 3.7 to 4.8 km/sec from nearshore to offshore and indicate a change in facies from clastic units below the inner shelf to carbonate units beneath the outer shelf and upper continental slope. Both reflection and refraction data suggest that thin, high-velocity limestone units (5.0 km/sec) are present within the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic units beneath the outermost shelf edge, but that these change lithology or pinch out before reaching the middle shelf. Although lateral changes in velocity across the shelf and local velocity inversions appear, the interval velocities along the length of the margin show excellent continuity between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod. The high-velocity horizons within the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic shelf-edge complex indicate the presence of a

  15. Geochemical zonation and characteristics of cold seeps along the Makran continental margin off Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, D.; Bohrmann, G.; Zabel, M.; Kasten, S.

    2009-04-01

    Several highly dynamic and spatially extended cold seeps were found and analyzed on the Makran accretionary wedge off Pakistan during R/V Meteor cruise M74-3 in 2007. In water depths of 550m to 2870m along the continental slope nine different gas escape structures were examined some of which are situated within a stable oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) between 150m and 1100m water depth (von Rad et al., 1996, 2000). Echosounder data indicate several gas bubble streams in the water column. The gas seepage presumably originates from squeezing of massive sediment packages being compressed by subduction at the continental margin off Pakistan. Gas- and fluid venting and associated surface-near anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) feed several cold seepage systems in the seabed. The seep sites show strong inter- and intraspecific variability of benthic chemosynthetic microhabitats. Singular seeps are often colonized by different chemosynthetic organisms in a concentric fashion. The seep-center, where active bubble ebullition occurs, is often colonized by large hydrogen sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, which are surrounded by a rim inhabited by small chemosynthetic clams and tube worms. These different habitats and the associated sediments show distinct geochemical zonations and gradients. Geochemical analyses of pore water and sediment samples obtained via ROV (push corer) show that concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and alkalinity rapidly increase to >15 mmol/l and >35 mmol/l respectively several cm below the seafloor in the center of the cold seep. In places, sulfate is depleted to concentrations below detection limit at the same depth (ROV push core GeoB 12313-6). Ammonium concentrations in this core on the other hand show a different pattern: In the center of the cold seep, which is colonized by bacterial assemblages, ammonium concentrations fluctuate around 100 µmol/l and peak with 274.4 µmol/l just above the aforementioned sulfide maximum values at 5 cm followed by a rapid

  16. Continuous Mantle Exhumation at the Outer Continental Margin of the Santos, Campos and Espírito Santo Basins, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalan, P. V.; Severino, M. G.; Rigoti, C. A.; Magnavita, L. P.; Oliveira, J. B.; Viana, A. R.

    2011-12-01

    The interpretation of 12,000 km of very deep (PSTM to 16 sec., PSDM to 25 km) 2D seismic sections, coupled with gravimetric and magnetometric modeling line-by-line, and the integration of the results with the regional data bank of Petrobras, all together viewed in terms of the recent tectonic models developed for the rupturing and separation of mega-plates, led to a regional (500,000 km2), first-time ever, 3D-view of the deep structure underlying the prolific sedimentary basins of Santos, Campos and Espírito Santo in southeastern Brazil. The three basins are situated onto a continental margin that narrows gradually, from south to north, from a very wide (Santos), through an intermediate (Campos), and then to a narrow (Espírito Santo) passive margin. The seismic sections shows very well the dual rheological behavior of the continental crust, consisting of a deeper and plastic lower crust (with numerous short and strong reflections that display sub-horizontal ductile flow) and a shallower and brittle upper crust (represented by a mostly transparent and faulted seismic facies topped by the sedimentary sections of the rift and thermal subsidence phases). The crustal structure of the Santos Basin shows a zonation from west to east of alternating bands of NE-SW-trending thin (plastic basement terrains) and thick (resistant basement terrains) stretched continental crust. In vertical section this zonation is displayed as a series of necking zones, leading to a highly irregular, low to moderate crustal taper. Such zonation is less developed in the Campos Basin, where the crustal taper is moderate and regular, and practically non-existent in the Espírito Santo Basin, where the crustal taper is high. The most outstanding crustal feature shared in common by the three basins is the exhumation of mantle between the tip of the hyper-extended continental crust and the tabular-shaped oceanic crust. Although the crustal taper varies significantly from basin to basin their

  17. The role of Variscan to pre-Jurassic active extension in controlling the architecture of the rifted passive margin of Adria: the example of the Canavese Zone (Western Southern Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Succo, Andrea; De Caroli, Sara; Centelli, Arianna; Barbero, Edoardo; Balestro, Gianni; Festa, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    The Canavese Zone, in the Italian Western Southern Alps, represents the remnant of the Jurassic syn-rift stretching, thinning and dismemberment of the distal passive margin of Adria during the opening of the Penninic Ocean (i.e., Northern Alpine Tethys). Our findings, based on detailed geological mapping, structural analysis and stratigraphic and petrographic observations, document however that the inferred hyper-extensional dismemberment of this distal part of the passive margin of Adria, up to seafloor spreading, was favored by the inherited Variscan geometry and crustal architecture of the rifted margin, and by the subsequent Alpine-related strike-slip deformation. The new field data document, in fact, that the limited vertical displacement of syn-extensional (syn-rift) Jurassic faults was ineffective in producing and justifying the crustal thinning observed in the Canavese Zone. The deformation and thinning of the continental basement of Adria are constrained to the late Variscan time by the unconformable overlying of Late Permian deposits. Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene and Late Cenozoic strike-slip faulting (i.e., Alpine and Insubric tectonic stages) reactivated previously formed faults, leading to the formation of a complex tectonic jigsaw which only partially coincides with the direct product of the Jurassic syn-rift dismemberment of the distal part of the passive margin of Adria. Our new findings document that this dismemberment of the rifted continental margin of Adria did not simply result from the syn-rift Jurassic extension, but was strongly favored by the inheritance of older (Variscan and post-Variscan) tectonic stages, which controlled earlier lithospheric weakness. The formation of rifted continental margins by extension of continental lithosphere leading to seafloor spreading is a complex and still poorly understood component of the plate tectonic cycle. Geological mapping of rifted continental margins may thus provide significant information to

  18. Reconstruction of multiple tectonic events in continental margins by integrated tectonostratigraphic and geochronological analysis: the Mesozoic to Paleogene Caribbean-South American interaction in northeastern Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardona, Agustin; Montes, Camilo; Bayona, German; Valencia, Victor; Ramirez, Diego; Zapata, Sebastian; Lara, Mario; Lopez-Martinez, Margarita; Thomson, Stuart; Weber, Marion

    2013-04-01

    Although the older record and successive tectonic scenarios experienced by a continental margin is commonly fragmentary, integrated field, petrological and geochronological analysis can reconstruct the long term tectonic evolution of continental margins and characterized major controls on the orogenic style. We present new geochronological constraints from igneous and low to very low grade metasedimentary rocks from the Caribbean continental margin of northeastern Colombia (Guajira region) in order to reconstruct the different tectonic events recorded by the margin before, during and following the arc-continent collision with the front of the Caribbean plate. Zircon U-Pb LA-ICP-MS geochronology results from leucogranites associated with garnet amphibolites, tonalites and volcanic rocks that made the continental basement of northeastern Colombia reveals and Early to Middle Mesozoic tectonic activity with peaks at ca. 220-230 Ma and 170-180 Ma. This magmatic record is related to a collisional belt link to the final agglutination of Pangea and was followed by an overimposed far field back-arc setting associated to the subduction of the Pacific (Farrallon) plate under the Pangea supercontinent. Muscovite and biotite Ar-Ar geochronology from basement rocks and low grade Mesozoic metasediments also reveals the existence of Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous thermal events link to the final opening of the proto-Caribbean ocean. The South American continental margin was subsequently affected by an arc-continent collisional event with the front of the Caribbean plate. This event is recorded by the growth of a Banda-type collisional melange that mixed South American continental margin sediments with mafic and ultramafic blocks of intra-oceanic arc origin, the formation of a coherent metasedimentary belt also made of South American margin sediments, and the mylonitization of the continental basement. Ar-Ar temporal constraints on the low grade metasedimentary rocks and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  20. Long-term subsidence, cooling, and exhumation history along the South Atlantic passive continental margin in NW-Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menges, Daniel; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Salomon, Eric; Hackspacher, Peter Christian; Schneider, Gabi

    2016-04-01

    In northwest Namibia the Kaoko Belt is one of the most important Precambrian crustal segments that have stored the subsidence, cooling, and exhumation history of Namibia since the Neoproterozoic. ZFT-ages are processed to give new insights on this early evolution. Paleozoic to Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Karoo Supergroup and the Lower Cretaceous volcanic rocks of the Etendeka sequence overlay the Proterozoic metamorphic and intrusive rocks (1). New apatite fission-track (AFT) ages range from 390.9 (17.9) Ma to 80.8 (6.0) Ma. Along the coast apatites of Proterozoic rock samples reveal the youngest ages. Further inland the ages increase significantly. In addition, rapid change of AFT-ages occurs on both sides of major thrust and shear zones. Using the oldest thermochronological data the revealed t-T paths indicate a long era of exhumation, starting at the end of the Pan-African Orogeny in the Neoproterozoic and continuing into the Permo-Carboniferous. The subsequent sedimentation of the Karoo Supergroup initiates a new era of subsidence until the end of Triassic (2). The subsequent period of denudation ends abruptly with the rapid deposition of the Etendeka basalts in the Early Cretaceous (3). The maximum thickness of the Etendeka volcanic suite has been estimated, using the apatite fission-track data, to about 3.2 (1.2) km. With the ongoing opening of the South Atlantic and the formation of the continental margin the Kaoko Belt went through a rapid cooling event starting ~ 130 Ma and ending ~ 80 Ma, at a mean rate of 0.034 km/Ma for the western, and 0.018 km/Ma for the northern and eastern Kaoko Belt. This cooling event was accompanied by a reactivation of major fault zones, like the Purros Mylonite Zone (4). Thereafter, stable conditions were established, with denudation rates generally lower than 0.010 km/Ma, until the Neogene, where a second cooling event led to increased exhumation rates around 0.042 km/Ma. The total amount of denudation in the last 130 Ma

  1. Evidence for the Late Cenozoic Antarctic Ice Sheet evolution and bottom current dynamics in the central-western Ross Sea outer margin, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sookwan; De Santis, Laura; Kuk Hong, Jong; Cottlerle, Diego; Petronio, Lorenzo; Colizza, Ester; Bergamasco, Andrea; Kim, Young-Gyun; Kang, Seung-Goo; Kim, Hyoungjun; Kim, Suhwan; Wardell, Nigel; Geletti, Riccardo; McKay, Robert; Jin, Young Keun; Kang, Sung-Ho

    2016-04-01

    Sedimentary records in polar continental margins provide clues for understanding paleo-depositional environments, related to ice sheet evolution and bottom-water current dynamics, during times of past climate and global sea level changes. Previous seismostratigraphic studies of the Ross Sea embayment, Antarctica, illustrated its general stratigraphic framework and the distribution of glacial sedimentary features over the continental shelf, since the onset of Antarctic ice-sheets at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (~34.0 Ma). In contrast, there are a fewer studies for the outer continental margin, where continuous sedimentary deposits generally preserve the record of past climate cycles with minimum hiatus, comparing to the inner- and mid-continental shelf, where grounding ice streams eroded most of the sediments. Here we present a seismostratigraphic analysis of 2-D multichannel seismic reflection profiles, from the Central Basin located in the central-western Ross Sea outer margin. A glacial prograding wedge developed at the mouth of the Joides Basin since early-middle Miocene times (RSU4: ~14.0 Ma). And the Central Basin was filled with stacked debris-flow deposits and turbidites. The sediment depocenter shifted from the Central Basin toward the slope in the Pliocene (after RSU2: ~3.3 Ma). Pliocene foreset beds are steep and pinch out at the base of the continental slope. Bottom current controlled sediment drifts well developed since the middle Miocene, along the western slope of the central Basin and on the basement highs These areas are far from the mouth of the Joides trough, where most of the glacial sediment is deposited, and they are also more elevated than the basinal areas, where gravity flow maximum thickness accumulated. Along the western slope of the central Basin and over the basement highs, the signature in the sediments of the action of bottom current reworking and shaping the sea floor can be then clearly recognized. We present the sediment drifts

  2. Nutrient distributions, transports, and budgets on the inner margin of a river-dominated continental shelf

    EPA Science Inventory

    Physical and biogeochemical processes determining the distribution and fate of nutrients delivered by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers to the inner (<50 m depth) Louisiana continental shelf (LCS) were examined using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the LCS and obse...

  3. Geological history and petroleum resources of the continental margins in the central sector of Tethys

    SciTech Connect

    Geodekyan, A.A.; Zabanbark, A.; Konyukov, A.I.

    1993-01-01

    The history of the closure of Tethys explains the distribution and nature of occurrence of petroleum. The enormous resources known in basins of the former passive Gondwanan margin, including those of the Persian Gulf, are mostly in carbonate reservoirs. In contrast, the resources in basins of the former active Eurasian margin, from Spain to Iran, are very much smaller. 4 refs., 3 figs., 6 tabs.

  4. Multichannel Seismic Imaging of the Rivera Plate Subduction at the Seismogenic Jalisco Block Area (Western Mexican Margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartolome, Rafael; Górriz, Estefanía; Dañobeitia, Juanjo; Cordoba, Diego; Martí, David; Cameselle, Alejandra L.; Núñez-Cornú, Francisco; Bandy, William L.; Mortera-Gutiérrez, Carlos A.; Nuñez, Diana; Castellón, Arturo; Alonso, Jose Luis

    2016-06-01

    During the TSUJAL marine geophysical survey, conducted in February and March 2014, Spanish, Mexican and British scientists and technicians explored the western margin of Mexico, considered one of the most active seismic zones in America. This work aims to characterize the internal structure of the subduction zone of the Rivera plate beneath the North American plate in the offshore part of the Jalisco Block, to link the geodynamic and the recent tectonic deformation occurring there with the possible generation of tsunamis and earthquakes. For this purpose, it has been carried out acquisition, processing and geological interpretation of a multichannel seismic reflection profile running perpendicular to the margin. Crustal images show an oceanic domain, dominated by subduction-accretion along the lower slope of the margin with a subparallel sediment thickness of up to 1.6 s two-way travel time (approx. 2 km) in the Middle American Trench. Further, from these data the region appears to be prone to giant earthquake production. The top of the oceanic crust (intraplate reflector) is very well imaged. It is almost continuous along the profile with a gentle dip (<10°); however, it is disrupted by normal faulting resulting from the bending of the plate during subduction. The continental crust presents a well-developed accretionary prism consisting of highly deformed sediments with prominent slumping towards the trench that may be the result of past tsunamis. Also, a bottom simulating reflector (BSR) is identified in the first half a second (twtt) of the section. High amplitude reflections at around 7-8 s twtt clearly image a discontinuous Moho, defining a very gentle dipping subduction plane.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2011-12-01

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

  6. Interaction of dipole eddies with the western continental slope of the Mozambique Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Michael J.; Ternon, Jean-François; Morris, Tamaryn

    2014-02-01

    Sea Level Anomaly (SLA) data were used to track a southward propagating eddy dipole along the western slope of the Mozambique Channel over some 6 months. In April 2005, this dipole (with the cyclone to the south) was close to the continental slope off southern Mozambique. The contact zone between the contra-rotating vortices and the slope was surveyed by ship using onboard (S-)ADCP and CTD lines. The data showed strong (>1.4 m s-1) southward (geostrophic) currents over the slope adjacent to the anticyclone with horizontal divergence over the shelf edge. Significant slope upwelling between the dipole and the shelf was evident, concomitant with enhanced nutrient and chlorophyll levels enriching shelf near-surface waters. Satellite observations depicted a 300 km long surface chlorophyll filament extending offshore in the frontal zone between the contra-rotating vortices. A satellite-tracked drifter deployed at the coastal base of this filament confirmed the offshore advection of chlorophyll-enriched shelf water, which ultimately wrapped around the cyclone and filling its centre. The slope upwelling was also clearly evident in hourly temperature data collected by a recorder deployed on a nearby reef (Zambia Reef) in a depth of 18 m. According to the SLA data, the dipole took several weeks to pass Zambia Reef causing prolonged bouts of upwelling that finally ceased when it left the continental slope and moved southwards into the open ocean. Further analysis showed that lone anticyclones and cyclones against the Mozambique continental shelf also induce slope upwelling as a result of horizontal divergence created by the radial circulation of the vortex. In the case of cyclones, the divergence occurs north of the contact zone. Overall, this case study confirms that eddies moving southwards along the western side of the Mozambique Channel are the main mechanism for pumping nutrients into the otherwise oligotrophic surface waters, and moreover, provide a vigorous mechanism

  7. The chronology and tectonic style of landscape evolution along the elevated Atlantic continental margin of South Africa resolved by joint apatite fission track and (U-Th-Sm)/He thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wildman, Mark; Brown, Roderick; Beucher, Romain; Persano, Cristina; Stuart, Fin; Gallagher, Kerry; Schwanethal, James; Carter, Andrew

    2016-03-01

    Atlantic-type continental margins have long been considered "passive" tectonic settings throughout the entire postrift phase. Recent studies question the long-term stability of these margins and have shown that postrift uplift and reactivation of preexisting structures may be a common feature of a continental margin's evolution. The Namaqualand sector of the western continental margin of South Africa is characterized by a ubiquitously faulted basement but lacks preservation of younger geological strata to constrain postrift tectonic fault activity. Here we present the first systematic study using joint apatite fission track and apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He thermochronology to achieve a better understanding on the chronology and tectonic style of landscape evolution across this region. Apatite fission track ages range from 58.3 ± 2.6 to 132.2 ± 3.6 Ma, with mean track lengths between 10.9 ± 0.19 and 14.35 ± 0.22 µm, and mean (U-Th-Sm)/He sample ages range from 55.8 ± 31.3 to 120.6 ± 31.4 Ma. Joint inverse modeling of these data reveals two distinct episodes of cooling at approximately 150-130 Ma and 110-90 Ma with limited cooling during the Cenozoic. Estimates of denudation based on these thermal histories predict approximately 1-3 km of denudation coinciding with two major tectonic events. The first event, during the Early Cretaceous, was driven by continental rifting and the development and removal of synrift topography. The second event, during the Late Cretaceous, includes localized reactivation of basement structures as well as regional mantle-driven uplift. Relative tectonic stability prevailed during the Cenozoic, and regional denudation over this time is constrained to be less than 1 km.