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Sample records for western continental margin

  1. 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)

  2. 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 since the late Miocene.

  3. CDP seismic sections of the western Beaufort continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eittreim, S.; Grantz, A.

    1979-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 counterpart of the east-facing S-GV-CR system to the south. The Guerrero intra-oceanic island arc system in Mexico was also part of the ensimatic arc terrane. Incorporation of this super arc terrane into the North American continent occurred diachronously along the irregular continental margin in the Middle Jurassic (in the north) through Early Cretaceous (in the south) during an arc-continent collision, marking a collisional orogenic episode in the North American Cordilleran history. Rifting of this accreted arc in the Late Jurassic (155-148 Ma) might have resulted from a sinistral transtensional deformation associated with the rapid NW motion of North America. Magmas generated during this rifting event probably migrated through the accreted arc crust and the continental margin units in the tectonic lower plate. The Franciscan subduction zone dipping eastwards beneath the continent was established in the latest Jurassic, following the collisional event and restoring the North American Cordillera back into an accretionary-type, Andean-style orogen. Different episodes of orogen-parallel intra-continental strike-slip faulting facilitated lateral dispersion of accreted terranes and continental margin units during the Early Cretaceous and transpressional deformation and batholithic magmatism in the Sierra Nevada magmatic arc in the Late Cretaceous. A Jurassic-Cretaceous island arc system (Wrangellia-Insular Superterrane) that had developed west of the Jurassic archipelago collapsed into the edge of North America during Late Cretaceous-Tertiary time and underwent northward lateral translation along the continental margin. These observations and interpretations have strong implications for the tectonic evolution of Central America and the Caribbean region.

  6. Chirostylidae of Australia's western continental margin (Crustacea : Decapoda: Anomura), with the description of five new species.

    PubMed

    Mccallum, Anna W; Poore, Gary C B

    2013-01-01

    Five new species from the squat lobster family Chirostylidae are described from the continental margin of western Australia: Uroptychus albus sp. nov., Uroptychus bardi sp. nov., Uroptychus jawi sp. nov., Uroptychus taylorae sp. nov., and Uroptychus worrorra sp. nov. New records of Indo-West Pacific species for Australia are: Gastroptychus brachyterus Baba, 2005, Gastroptychus investigatoris Alcock, 1899, Uroptychodes grandirostris (Yokoya, 1933), Uroptychodes inortenseni (Van Dam, 1939), Uroptychus scandens Benedict, 1902, Uroptychus ciliatus (Van Dam, 1933) and Uroptychus vandamae Baba, 1988. New distributional records are given for species previously recorded from Australia: Uroptychus flindersi Ahyong & Poore, 2004, Uroptychus hesperius Ahyong & Poore, 2004, Uroptychusjoloensis Van Dam, 1939, Uroptychus nigricapillis Alcock, 1901, and Uroptychus spinirostris (Ahyong & Poore, 2004). These new records expand the number of chirostylid species in Australia from 34 to 46. Keys to Australian species of the genera Gastroptychus, Uroptychodes and Uroptychus are provided. PMID:26266295

  7. 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).

  8. Inner shelf circulation on the north-western continental margin of the Gulf of Cadiz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Relvas, Paulo; Garel, Erwan; Drago, Teresa; Taborda, Rui

    2014-05-01

    It has been recurrently attested that the inner shelf, generally defined as the region where the surface and bottom boundary layers overlap, shows a circulation pattern somewhat independent of the outer shelf. The forcing set that governs the outer shelf dynamics is considerable modified at the inner shelf. Over the outer shelf alongshore flows are geostrophic, as a result of the balance between cross-shore pressure gradients, induced by the wind driven upwelling mechanism, and the Coriolis forces. Contrarily, over the inner shelf alongshore flows may be directly driven by the existence of any alongshore pressure gradient, because Coriolis force cannot balance the pressure gradient force due to the presence of the coastline. This is one reason why warm counter-currents flowing over the inner shelf attached to the coast, inshore of the cold water previously upwelled, are recurrently observed in the Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems, as revealed by sea surface temperature (SST) satellite imagery. The feature is particularly evident along the western part of the northern continental margin of the Gulf of Cadiz, mainly during the decay of coastal upwelling events. Along this coast the wind driven upwelling prevails roughly from April till October, but it is weak and intermittent. We can define two regimes, upwelling and non-upwelling, that temporally alternate in dominating the alongshore circulation. During non-upwelling conditions, the warm near shore counter-current propagates eastwards, sometimes turning northward at the Cape So Vicente, the western limit of the northern margin of the Gulf of Cadiz. In the present research the flow patterns are studied for two periods, May-Dec 2008 and Aug-Dec 2010. Contemporaneous data of the flow velocity and temperature from a bottom-mounted ADCP deployed on the 25 meters isobaths, along with wind data from the ASCAT scatterometer and from a buoy in the Gulf of Cadiz, remotely sensed SST data and sea level data are analysed. Current reversals associated with relaxation/reversal of upwelling favourable winds and raised water temperatures were identified and the vertical structure of the flow inversion was analysed. Results indicate time lagged temporal agreement between patterns of local wind forcing and current velocities, with propagation of the counter-current during relaxations or reversals of upwelling favourable winds. However, results from a momentum analysis indicate large influence from other factors on this propagation. The magnitude of the external influence calculated by the momentum analysis corresponds to forcing by an alongshore pressure gradient involving sea level differences of around 5 cm over a distance of 100 km in barotropic conditions. This agrees well with earlier sea level measurements, supporting that alongshore pressure gradients are the main factor governing the alongshore circulation along the eastern part of the northern margin of the Gulf of Cadiz.

  9. 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.

  10. Seismic structure of the passive continental margin of SE Spain and the SW Balearic promontory, Western Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pesquer, D.; Grevemeyer, I.; Ranero, C. R.; Gallart, J.

    2009-04-01

    The Western Mediterranean Sea is a natural laboratory to study the processes of continental extension and rifting in a convergent setting. Gravitational collapse due to tectonic thickening of continental lithosphere and the rollback of a subducting oceanic slab during the latest phases of consumption of the Tethys ocean have led to rapid Neogene extension in an area characterized by a constant convergence of the African and European Plates since Cretaceous time, rifting Spain/Balearic Islands from Algeria, causing passive continental margins on both sides of the Western Mediterranean Basin. Unfortunately, little is known about the crustal and upper mantle structure of much of the area, including the Algerian-Balearic Basin and the Spanish/Balearic margin. Here we present results from two onshore/offshore seismic refraction and wide-angle lines surveying the Spanish passive continental margin to the south of the town of Alicante and the southwest of the Balearic promontory to the south of Ibiza. The data were acquired during the cruise M69/2 of the German research vessel METEOR in September of 2006. As seismic source we used two 32-litres BOLT airguns, providing seismic offsets of 30 to 80 km, including wide-angle reflections from the crust/mantle boundary zone (seismic Moho) along both survey lines. Profile P03 approaching Alicante had 20 ocean bottom receivers and 10 landstations; profile P04 had 6 landstations on Ibiza and 22 offshore stations. Both lines extend roughly 100 km into the Algerian-Balearic basin, yielding for the first time constraints on the nature of the crust covering the seafloor between Spain and Algeria. Crust in the Algerian-Balearic basin is roughly 6 km thick and the seismic velocity structure mimics normal oceanic crust. Seismic Moho in the Algerian basin occurs at ~11 km below sea level, reaching >24 km under SE Spain and Ibiza. Profile p03 off Alicante reveals a narrow continent/ocean transition zone while the SW Balearic promontory at Ibiza is characterized by a much wider transition zone. Both transition zones, however, did not provide any evidence for velocities intermediate between lower crustal and upper mantle rocks, representing magmatic under plating or lower crustal intrusions as typical for volcanic margins. Thus, margins in the Western Mediterranean Sea belong to the class of so call non-volcanic margins.

  11. Seismic structure of the passive continental margin of SE Spain and the SW Balearic promontory, Western Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pesquer, D. A.; Grevemeyer, I.; Ranero, C. R.; Gallart, J.

    2008-12-01

    The Western Mediterranean Sea is a natural laboratory to study the processes of continental extension and rifting in a convergent setting. Gravitational collapse due to tectonic thickening of continental lithosphere and the rollback of a subducting oceanic slab during the latest phases of consumption of the Tethys ocean have led to rapid Neogene extension in an area characterized by a constant convergence of the African and European Plates since Cretaceous time, rifting Spain/Balearic Islands from Algeria, causing passive continental margins on both sides of the Western Mediterranean Basin. Unfortunately, little is known about the crustal and upper mantle structure of much of the area, including the Algerian-Balearic Basin and the Spanish/Balearic margin. Here we present results from two onshore/offshore seismic refraction and wide- angle lines surveying the Spanish passive continental margin to the south of the town of Alicante and the southwest of the Balearic promontory to the south of Ibiza. The data were acquired during the cruise M69/2 of the German research vessel METEOR in September of 2006. As seismic source we used two 32-litres BOLT airguns, providing seismic offsets of 30 to 80 km, including wide-angle reflections from the crust/mantle boundary zone (seismic Moho) along both survey lines. Profile P03 approaching Alicante had 20 ocean bottom receivers and 10 landstations; profile P04 had 6 landstations on Ibiza and 22 offshore stations. Both lines extend roughly 100 km into the Algerian-Balearic basin, yielding for the first time constraints on the nature of the crust covering the seafloor between Spain and Algeria. Crust in the Algerian-Balearic basin is roughly 6 km thick and the seismic velocity structure mimics normal oceanic crust. Seismic Moho in the Algerian basin occurs at ~11 km below sea level, reaching >24 km under SE Spain and Ibiza. Profile p03 off Alicante reveals a narrow continent/ocean transition zone while the SW Balearic promontory at Ibiza is characterized by a much wider transition zone. Both transition zones, however, did not provide any evidence for velocities intermediate between lower crustal and upper mantle rocks, representing magmatic under plating or lower crustal intrusions as typical for volcanic margins. Thus, margins in the Western Mediterranean Sea belong to the class of so call non-volcanic margins.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    2014-07-01

    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 amounts of land derived materials. On the other hand, the Kuroshio, the strong western boundary current, which is modulated by climate oscillation, exerts strong influences over all three marginal seas. Because these continental margins sustain arguably the most productive marine ecosystems, changes in these stressed ecosystems may threaten the livelihood of a large human population. This special issue reports the latest observations of the biogeochemical conditions and ecosystem functions in the three marginal seas. The studies exemplify many faceted ecosystem functions and biogeochemical expressions, but they reveal only a few long term trends mainly due to lack of long term records. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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 Precambrian rocks of the Western Anti-Atlas and Cretaceous to Neogene sedimentary rocks from the Northern Tarfaya-Laâyoune-Dakhla Basin. Thermochronological data and t-T path modelling indicate exhumation in the Western Anti-Atlas between Upper Carboniferous and Lower Cretaceous, whereby 9 km of Precambrian-Palaeozoic overburden has been eroded.

  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. 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.

  20. Crustal structure and magnetic lineation along two geo-traverses from western continental margin of India to Eastern Somali Basin, NW Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaubey, A. K.; Anshu, A.; Sreejith, K.; Pandey, A.

    2012-12-01

    Shipborne gravity and magnetic data along two parallel geo-traverses spanning from western continental margin of India to off Seychelles are used to delineate crustal structure and magnetic pattern of major structural features - western continental margin of India, Laxmi Basin, Laxmi Ridge, Arabian Basin, slow spreading Carlsberg Ridge and Eastern Somali Basin. The seismically constrained gravity models along the geo-traverses suggest considerable variation in crustal thickness - about 38 km on continental shelf of western India to about 4 km of the Eastern Somali Basin. The Eastern Somali Basin is characterized by thin oceanic crustal thickness (~3 to 4 km) as compared to its conjugate Arabian Basin where thickness varies from 5 to 6 km. The magnetic anomalies along the geo-traverse reveal three distinct zones: (i) a zone of relative high frequency short wavelength younger anomalies over the axial parts of the Carlsberg Ridge, (ii) a zone of well developed Early Tertiary magnetic anomalies in both the Arabian and Eastern Somali basins, and (iii) relative magnetic quiet zone, between the above two zones, representing a hiatus in spreading. Based on the results, we present a comparative analysis of crustal configuration and magnetic pattern of major structural features of the study area and discuss its tectonic evolution.

  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 controls on Ebro margin growth. Deforestation of the drainage basin more than doubled the normal Holocene sediment supply, and construction of dams then reduced the supply by 95%. This reduction of the past 50 years has caused erosion of the delta and contamination of bottom sediment because normal Holocene sediment discharge is not available to prograde the delta or help dilute pollutants. ?? 1990.

  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, Daptonema sp. 1, Trissonchulus sp. 1, and Minolaimus sp. 1. Correlation with a number of environmental variables indicated that food quantity (measured as the organic-carbon content and chlorophyll content) and oxygen level were the major factors that influenced nematode community structure and function.

  3. Reconstructing Rodinia by Fitting Neoproterozoic Continental Margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, John H.

    2009-01-01

    Reconstructions of Phanerozoic tectonic plates can be closely constrained by lithologic correlations across conjugate margins by paleontologic information, by correlation of orogenic belts, by paleomagnetic location of continents, and by ocean floor magmatic stripes. In contrast, Proterozoic reconstructions are hindered by the lack of some of these tools or the lack of their precision. To overcome some of these difficulties, this report focuses on a different method of reconstruction, namely the use of the shape of continents to assemble the supercontinent of Rodinia, much like a jigsaw puzzle. Compared to the vast amount of information available for Phanerozoic systems, such a limited approach for Proterozoic rocks, may seem suspect. However, using the assembly of the southern continents (South America, Africa, India, Arabia, Antarctica, and Australia) as an example, a very tight fit of the continents is apparent and illustrates the power of the jigsaw puzzle method. This report focuses on Neoproterozoic rocks, which are shown on two new detailed geologic maps that constitute the backbone of the study. The report also describes the Neoproterozoic, but younger or older rocks are not discussed or not discussed in detail. The Neoproterozoic continents and continental margins are identified based on the distribution of continental-margin sedimentary and magmatic rocks that define the break-up margins of Rodinia. These Neoproterozoic continental exposures, as well as critical Neo- and Meso-Neoproterozoic tectonic features shown on the two new map compilations, are used to reconstruct the Mesoproterozoic supercontinent of Rodinia. This approach differs from the common approach of using fold belts to define structural features deemed important in the Rodinian reconstruction. Fold belts are difficult to date, and many are significantly younger than the time frame considered here (1,200 to 850 Ma). Identifying Neoproterozoic continental margins, which are primarily extensional in origin, supports recognition of the Neoproterozoic fragmentation pattern of Rodinia and outlines the major continental masses that, prior to the breakup, formed the supercontinent. Using this pattern, Rodinia can be assembled by fitting the pieces together. Evidence for Neoproterozoic margins is fragmentary. The most apparent margins are marked by miogeoclinal deposits (passive-margin deposits). The margins can also be outlined by the distribution of continental-margin magmatic-arc rocks, by juvenile ocean-floor rocks, or by the presence of continent-ward extending aulacogens. Most of the continental margins described here are Neoproterozoic, and some had an older history suggesting that they were major, long-lived lithospheric flaws. In particular, the western margin of North America appears to have existed for at least 1,470 Ma and to have been reactivated many times in the Neoproterozoic and Phanerozoic. The inheritance of trends from the Mesoproterozoic by the Neoproterozoic is particularly evident along the eastern United States, where a similarity of Mesoproterozoic (Grenville) and Neoproterozoic trends, as well as Paleozoic or Mesozoic trends, is evident. The model of Rodinia presented here is based on both geologic and paleomagnetic information. Geologic evidence is based on the distribution and shape of Neoproterozoic continents and on assembling these continents so as to match the shape, history, and scale of adjoining margins. The proposed model places the Laurasian continents?Baltica, Greenland, and Laurentia?west of the South American continents (Amazonia, Rio de La Plata, and Sa? Francisco). This assembly is indicated by conjugate pairs of Grenville-age rocks on the east side of Laurentia and on the west side of South America. In the model, predominantly late Neoproterozoic magmatic-arc rocks follow the trend of the Grenville rocks. The boundary between South America and Africa is interpreted as the site of a Wilson cycle

  4. Erosion of continental margins in the Western Mediterranean due to sea-level stagnancy during the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Just, Janna; Hübscher, Christian; Betzler, Christian; Lüdmann, Thomas; Reicherter, Klaus

    2011-02-01

    High-resolution multi-channel seismic data from continental slopes with minor sediment input off southwest Mallorca Island, the Bay of Oran (Algeria) and the Alboran Ridge reveal evidence that the Messinian erosional surface is terraced at an almost constant depth interval between 320 and 380 m below present-day sea level. It is proposed that these several hundred- to 2,000-m-wide terraces were eroded contemporaneously and essentially at the same depth. Present-day differences in these depths result from subsidence or uplift in the individual realms. The terraces are thought to have evolved during one or multiple periods of sea-level stagnancy in the Western Mediterranean Basin. According to several published scenarios, a single or multiple periods of relative sea-level stillstand occurred during the Messinian desiccation event, generally known as the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Some authors suggest that the stagnancy started during the refilling phase of the Mediterranean basins. When the rising sea level reached the height of the Sicily Sill, the water spilled over this swell into the eastern basin. The stagnancy persisted until sea level in the eastern basin caught up with the western Mediterranean water level. Other authors assigned periods of sea-level stagnancy to drawdown phases, when inflowing waters from the Atlantic kept the western sea level constant at the depth of the Sicily Sill. Our findings corroborate all those Messinian sea-level reconstructions, forwarding that a single or multiple sea-level stagnancies at the depth of the Sicily Sill lasted long enough to significantly erode the upper slope. Our data also have implications for the ongoing debate of the palaeo-depth of the Sicily Sill. Since the Mallorcan plateau experienced the least vertical movement, the observed terrace depth of 380 m there is inferred to be close to the Messinian depth of this swell.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 Gibraltar and Calabrian Arcs.

  7. High-resolution seismic-reflection interpretations of some sediment deposits, Antarctic continental margin: Focus on the western Ross Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karl, Herman A.

    1989-01-01

    High-resolution seismic-reflection data have been used to a varying degree by geoscientists to interpret the history of marine sediment accumulations around Antarctica. Reconnaissance analysis of 1-, 3.5-, and 12-kHz data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in the western Ross Sea has led to the identification of eight echo-character facies and six microtopographic facies in the sediment deposits that overlie the Ross Sea unconformity. Three depositional facies regions, each characterized by a particular assemblage of echo-character type and microtopographic facies, have been identified on the continental shelf. These suites of acoustic facies are the result of specific depositional processes that control type and accumulation of sediment in a region. Evidence of glacial processes and products is uncommon in regions 1 and 2, but is abundant in region 3. McMurdo Sound, region 1, is characterized by a monospecific set of acoustic facies. This unique assemblage probably represents turbidity current deposition in the western part of the basin. Most of the seafloor in region 2, from about latitude 77??S to 75??S, is deeper than 600 m below sealevel. The microtopographic facies and echo-character facies observed on the lower slopes and basin floor there reflect the thin deposits of pelagic sediments that have accumulated in the low-energy conditions that are typical of deep-water environments. In shallower water near the boundary with region 3, the signature of the acoustic facies is different from that in deeper water and probably indicates higher energy conditions or, perhaps, ice-related processes. Thick deposits of tills emplaced by lodgement during the most recent advance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are common from latitude 75??S to the northern boundary of the study area just south of Coulman Island (region 3). The signature of microtopographic facies in this region reflects the relief of the base of the grounded ice sheet prior to decoupling from the seafloor. Current winnowing and scour of shallow parts of the seafloor inhibits sediment deposition and maintains the irregular, hummocky relief that characterizes much of the region. Seafloor relief of this type in other polar areas could indicate the former presence of grounded ice. ?? 1989.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  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 zone: We image one under SA and we infer that one or more have occurred in the past under the western Mediterranean. The process of subduction-driven continental margin lithosphere removal reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these two subduction zones.

  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. 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.

  13. Geomorphology of the Iberian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maestro, Adolfo; López-Martínez, Jerónimo; Llave, Estefanía; Bohoyo, Fernando; Acosta, Juan; Hernández-Molina, F. Javier; Muñoz, Araceli; Jané, Gloria

    2013-08-01

    The submarine features and processes around the Iberian Peninsula are the result of a complex and diverse geological and oceanographical setting. This paper presents an overview of the seafloor geomorphology of the Iberian Continental Margin and the adjacent abyssal plains. The study covers an area of approximately 2.3 million km2, including a 50 to 400 km wide band adjacent to the coastline. The main morphological characteristics of the seafloor features on the Iberian continental shelf, continental slope, continental rise and the surrounding abyssal plains are described. Individual seafloor features existing on the Iberian Margin have been classified into three main groups according to their origin: tectonic and/or volcanic, depositional and erosional. Major depositional and erosional features around the Iberian Margin developed in late Pleistocene-Holocene times and have been controlled by tectonic movements and eustatic fluctuations. The distribution of the geomorphological features is discussed in relation to their genetic processes and the evolution of the margin. The prevalence of one or several specific processes in certain areas reflects the dominant morphotectonic and oceanographic controlling factors. Sedimentary processes and the resulting depositional products are dominant on the Valencia-Catalán Margin and in the northern part of the Balearic Promontory. Strong tectonic control is observed in the geomorphology of the Betic and the Gulf of Cádiz margins. The role of bottom currents is especially evident throughout the Iberian Margin. The Galicia, Portuguese and Cantabrian margins show a predominance of erosional features and tectonically-controlled linear features related to faults.

  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. 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 emplacement of magmatic intrusions in both the deep basin and the continental margin. Based on the crustal structure, we propose that the eastern Algerian basin opened during the southeastward migration of the European forearc before the collision, along a NW-SE elongated spreading centre that ran perpendicular to the subduction trend. Such an atypical geometry is explained by the diverging directions of the subduction rollback during the backarc opening: eastward for the Corsica-Sardinia block, and southward for the Kabylian blocks. This geometry of the forearc can be interpreted as the surface expression of a slab tear at depth, which is responsible for atypical magmatism in the overlying backarc oceanic basin.

  16. Continental margins: classification and petroleum prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Emery, K.O.

    1980-03-01

    Continental margins can be classified according to their stages of development as judged from published continuous seismic reflection profiles. Mapping of the stages of initial, youth, maturity, and old age (= destruction) shows that their distributions are related to plate movements and to sediment supply. The main information gaps are in the Arctic Sea, off Antarctica, in the open Indian Ocean, and along parts of eastern Asia. Even in these regions the stages of development can be inferred from related regions having available profiles and from general knowledge of the topography and structure. The distribution for the entire earth is about 6% initial, 48% youth, 25% maturity, and 21% old age. Best petroleum prospects are belived to be mature margins and thick basin fills within youthful margins. 6 figures, 1 table.

  17. Crustal Structure and Miocene Geodynamic Evolution of the Easternmost Algerian Back-Arc Basin and Continental Margin (western Mediterranean Sea) from Wide-Angle and Multichannel Seismics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouyahiaoui, B.; Sage, F.; Abtout, A.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Yelles-Chaouche, A.; Schenini, L.; Philippe, S.; Marok, A.; Deverchere, J.; Arab, M.; Galve, A.; Collot, J. Y.

    2014-12-01

    We use new wide-angle seismic and multichannel seismic reflection data (SPIRAL cruise, 2009) and additional geophysical data to study the crustal structure of the eastern Algerian back-arc basin that was born during the Miocene Tethys subduction rollback, before the collision of the European forearc (Kabylian blocks) with the northern African continent ~16-18 Ma ago. In the deep basin, the P-wave velocity model images a thin, 5.5-km-thick oceanic crust with velocity ranging between 4.8 km/s and 7.1 km/s. It is composed of two layers, with a velocity-gradient higher in the upper layer than in the lower one. S-wave modeling indicates a Poisson ratio of 0.28 in the lower crust, supporting a dominant gabbroic composition. Below the continental edge, we define two segments: (1) West of 7°45'E, a typical continental crust with P-wave velocities between 5.2 km/s and 7.0 km/s depicts a gradual seaward thinning of ~15 km over an ~35-km distance characterizing a stretched margin resulting from back-arc extension; (2) East of 7°45'E, the continental crust is a few kilometers thinner, arguing for a variable crustal thickness along the forearc before collision. Based on the deep basin crustal structure and magnetic anomalies, we propose that the eastern Algerian basin opened during the southeastward migration of the European forearc along a NW-SE elongated spreading center that ran perpendicular to the subduction trend, which is an unusual configuration for back-arc opening. Such an atypical geometry of the accretion and the oceanic crustal structure may result from a slab tear at depth related to diverging directions of the subduction rollback (and hence the forearc blocks) during back-arc opening: eastward for the Corsica-Sardinia block, and southward for the Kabylian blocks. The variable thickness of the continental crust along the margin may result from the crustal stretching along the forearc that accommodated the opening of the oceanic domain north of it.

  18. 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.

  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 Afar rift system to try to understand the rifting process. This magmatic rift system provides, along its length, a series of snapshots 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 from fissures which are now observed as the ODRS. The oceanward dip on the ODRS is predominantly the result of post-eruption differential subsidence, as opposed to syn-eruption extension. The timing of intrusion of the lower crustal sill complexes remains unclear but they are most likely to have been emplaced as the supply of magma increased, which implies they are a late stage addition. The structure of the Main Ethiopian rift appears to have been influenced by the pre-existing basement structure at an early stage in the rift process, defining the geometry of the rift and providing a control on the later magmatic phase and modification of the crust. This early influence of existing structure is less clear on the NE Atlantic margins and in the UK and Irish sectors it is difficult to link substantial along strike variations in the properties of the margin to variations in basement structures which can be traced across the continental shelf. It is possible that such variations are completely overprinted by magmatic additions to the crust to the point at which they no longer influence the break-up mechanism.

  20. Repeated Pleistocene glaciation of the East Siberian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Frank; Hong, Jong Kuk; Hegewald, Anne; Matthiessen, Jens; Stein, Rüdiger; Kim, Hyoungjun; Kim, Sookwan; Jensen, Laura; Jokat, Wilfried; Nam, Seung-Il; Kang, Sung-Ho

    2013-10-01

    During the Pleistocene glaciations, Arctic ice sheets on western Eurasia, Greenland and North America terminated at their continental margins. In contrast, the exposed continental shelves in the Beringian region of Siberia are thought to have been covered by a tundra landscape. Evidence of grounded ice on seafloor ridges and plateaux off the coast of the Beringian margin, at depths of up to 1,000m, have generally been attributed to ice shelves or giant icebergs that spread oceanwards during glacial maxima. Here we identify marine glaciogenic landforms visible in seismic profiles and detailed bathymetric maps along the East Siberian continental margin. We interpret these features, which occur in present water depths of up to 1,200m, as traces from grounding events of ice sheets and ice shelves. We conclude that the Siberian Shelf edge and parts of the Arctic Ocean were covered by ice sheets of about 1km in thickness during several Pleistocene glaciations before the most recent glacial period, which must have had a significant influence on albedo and oceanic and atmospheric circulation.

  1. 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…

  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. Understanding Continental Margin Biodiversity: A New Imperative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. 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)

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  8. Geophysical and geologic studies of Ross Sea continental margin, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, A.K.

    1984-04-01

    In February 1984, the US Geological Survey conducted geophysical and geologic investigations of the Ross Sea Shelf and outer continental margin of Antarctica aboard the research vessel S.P. Lee. The geophysical data included 24-channel seismic-reflection, high-resolution seismic-reflection, sonobuoy seismic, gravity, magnetic-gradiometer, bathymetry, and heat-flow measurements. Sea-floor samples were collected for geologic and geochemical studies, using 3-m gravity corer, box corer, and rock dredge. Principal survey areas were along the southern and western Ross Shelf, near Cape Adare and Islin Bank, and along the central outer continental margin. These areas lie adjacent to those covered by earlier multichannel-seismic-reflection surveys made by France, West Germany, and Japan. Three north-south-trending sedimentary basins, containing as much as 5 km (16,404 ft) of Cenozoic sediment, lie beneath the Ross Sea Shelf and extend seaward beyond the continental shelf edge. These basins are separated by basement ridges and are bounded on the west by the Transantarctic mountains and on the east by mountain ranges of Marie Bydr Land. Seismic stratigraphy, crustal-thickness measurements, and rock samples from the Ross Sea region indicate that the three basins may have formed initially by crustal rifting during the middle and Late Cretaceous time and have subsequently filled with early Tertiary (.) as well as Oligocene and younger glacial marine sediment. Sedimentary thickness, heat-flow values, and geochemical analyses indicate that some parts of the Ross Sea Shelf may have favorable conditions for the generation of hydrocarbons.

  9. 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.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:25391963

  16. 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

  17. Western Ross Sea continental slope gravity currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Arnold L.; Orsi, Alejandro H.; Muench, Robin; Huber, Bruce A.; Zambianchi, Enrico; Visbeck, Martin

    2009-06-01

    Antarctic Bottom Water of the world ocean is derived from dense Shelf Water that is carried downslope by gravity currents at specific sites along the Antarctic margins. Data gathered by the AnSlope and CLIMA programs reveal the presence of energetic gravity currents that are formed over the western continental slope of the Ross Sea when High Salinity Shelf Water exits the shelf through Drygalski Trough. Joides Trough, immediately to the east, offers an additional escape route for less saline Shelf Water, while the Glomar Challenger Trough still farther east is a major pathway for export of the once supercooled low-salinity Ice Shelf Water that forms under the Ross Ice Shelf. The Drygalski Trough gravity currents increase in thickness from ˜100 to ˜400 m on proceeding downslope from ˜600 m (the shelf break) to 1200 m (upper slope) sea floor depth, while turning sharply to the west in response to the Coriolis force during their descent. The mean current pathway trends ˜35° downslope from isobaths. Benthic-layer current and thickness are correlated with the bottom water salinity, which exerts the primary control over the benthic-layer density. A 1-year time series of bottom-water current and hydrographic properties obtained on the slope near the 1000 m isobath indicates episodic pulses of Shelf Water export through Drygalski Trough. These cold (<-1 °C), salty (>34.75) pulses correlate with strong downslope bottom flow. Extreme examples occurred during austral summer/fall 2003, comprising concentrated High Salinity Shelf Water (-1.9 °C; 34.79) and approaching 1.5 m s -1 at descent angles as large as ˜60° relative to the isobaths. Such events were most common during November-May, consistent with a northward shift in position of the dense Shelf Water during austral summer. The coldest, saltiest bottom water was measured from mid-April to mid-May 2003. The summer/fall export of High Salinity Shelf Water observed in 2004 was less than that seen in 2003. This difference, if real, may reflect the influence of the large iceberg C-19 over Drygalski Trough until its departure in mid-May 2003, when there was a marked decrease in the coldest, saltiest gravity current adjacent to Drygalski Trough. Northward transport of cold, saline, recently ventilated Antarctic Bottom Water observed in March 2004 off Cape Adare was ˜1.7 Sv, including ˜0.4 Sv of High Salinity Shelf Water.

  18. 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.

  19. Electromagnetic study of the active continental margin in northern Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Echternacht, Friedrich; Tauber, Sebastian; Eisel, Markus; Brasse, Heinrich; Schwarz, Gerhard; Haak, Volker

    1997-06-01

    Magnetotelluric and geomagnetic deep sounding measurements were carried out in the magmatic arc and forearc regions of northern Chile between 19.5° and 22°S to study the electrical conductivity structures of this active continental margin. The instruments used covered a very broad period range from 10 -4 s to approx. 2 × 10 4 s and thus enabled a resolution of deep as well as shallow structures. In this paper we focus on the interpretation of data from an east-west profile crossing Chile from the Pacific coast to the Western Cordillera at 20.5°S. A decomposition of the impedance tensors using the Groom-Bailey decomposition scheme shows that a two-dimensional interpretation is possible. The resulting regional strike direction is N9°W. Two-dimensional models were calculated in this coordinate frame and include the significant bathymetry of the trench as well as the topography of the Andes. The final model shows a generally high resistivity in the forearc and a very good conductor below the Precordillera. Unlike earlier models from areas further south, a good conductor is not observed below the magmatic arc itself. This correlates with the so-called Pica gap in the volcanic chain and a higher age of volcanic activity compared with adjacent areas.

  20. Neogene sedimentation on the outer continental margin, southern Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vallier, T.L.; Underwood, M.B.; Gardner, J.V.; Barron, J.A.

    1980-01-01

    Neogene sedimentary rocks and sediments from sites on the outer continental margin in the southern Bering Sea and on the Alaska Peninsula are dominated by volcanic components that probably were eroded from an emergent Aleutian Ridge. A mainland continental source is subordinate. Most sediment in the marine environment was transported to the depositional sites by longshore currents, debris flows, and turbidity currents during times when sea level was near the outermost continental shelf. Fluctuations of sea level are ascribed both to worldwide glacio-eustatic effects and to regional vertical tectonics. Large drainage systems, such as the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, had little direct influence on sedimentation along the continental slope and Unmak Plateau in the southern Bering Sea. Sediments from those drainage systems probably were transported to the floor of the Aleutian Basin, to the numerous shelf basins that underlie the outer continental shelf, and to the Arctic Ocean after passing through the Bering Strait. Environments of deposition at the sites along the outer continental margin have not changed significantly since the middle Miocene. The site on the Alaska Peninsula, however, is now emergent following shallow-marine and transitional sedimentation during the Neogene. ?? 1980.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Surface Expression of Mantle Shortening at an Active Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourguignon, S.; Stern, T.; Savage, M.

    2008-12-01

    We use teleseismic P-wave advances to show the mantle lithosphere has thickened beneath the central South Island of New Zealand. About 100 km of shortening has been absorbed within the South Island in the last 10 my or so. A 3-D ray tracing model is implemented to model teleseismic rays from a variety of azimuths. Our best fitting shape for the thickened mantle is for a sub-vertical body directly beneath the crustal root of the Southern Alps that has a strike sub-parallel to them. Dimensions of the body are 125 km thick and ~ 100 km, the centre around 110 km deep and an average Vp contrast with the regular mantle of ~0.6 km/s. We interpret the higher Vp within the thickened mantle as being due to colder temperatures compared to regular asthenosphere. Colder mantle will also be more dense than the asthenosphere, and hence the thickened mantle will act like a load pulling down on the overlying crust. Indirect evidence for such a loading is the observation that the crustal root is about 17 km thick, yet the mean elevation of the alps is only about 1600 m - an elevation about half that predicted by Airy isostasy. A further measure of the imbalance and suppression of surface topography comes from a pervasive negative isostatic gravity anomaly of about -30 mgals. In central and western North Island of New Zealand a similar amount (70 -100 km) of shortening occurred from late Oligocene to late Miocene times. Evidence for shortening comes from a Miocene fold and thrust belt with associated foreland basin. Subsidence curves from the basin provide an estimate of total shortening. At 5 Ma compression ceased and the region underwent a regional (400 km in extent) and rapid (few my) rock uplift of 2.5 km (or surface uplift of about 1100 m). Widespread volcanism followed thereafter. Today there is evidence that the mantle lithosphere has either gone from, or been highly attenuated beneath, much of the central and western North Island. In contrast to central South Island, isostatic gravity anomalies are in the + 20-60 mgal range. We interpret both negative and positive dynamic topographies of the South and North Island as, respectively, an early and late response to the same process. i.e. uniform thickening, then rapid release of mantle lithosphere in the early stages of a developing continental margin.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 current subduction along the Peruvian Margin is non-accreting.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Geoacoustic characteristics at the DH-2 long-core sediments in the Korean continental margin of the East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    A long core of 27.2 m was acquired at the DH-2 site (37°34.355'N and 129°19.516'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 316.6 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-2 core site, geoacoustic characteristics of the deeper sedimentary successions were firstly investigated in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. The geoacoustic measurements comprise 86 P-wave velocities and 76 attenuation values. These geoacoustic characteristics of the DH-2 long core probably contribute 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, 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 Agency of Defense Development (UD140003DD).

  15. Crustal thinning and topography at passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terje Osmundsen, Per; Redfield, Thomas F.; Ebbing, Jörg

    2010-05-01

    There is a relationship between crustal thinning patterns and onshore topography at passive continental margins. This relationship appears to be governed principally by the crustal thinning gradient (taper) of the crystalline crust from unrifted crustal thickness down to a thickness less than 10 km. Surprisingly, the relationship appears to hold for very long time intervals (> 150 ma) after rifting and breakup. Offshore Norway, two end-member styles of crustal thinning are observed. Along the Møre margin, a basin-flank detachment complex thinned the crust dramatically from c. 40 to less than 10 km over a horizontal distance of < 100 km. Along the Trøndelag Platform, however, thinning down to less than 10 km was distributed between 2-3 large-magnitude normal faults over a much broader region, which evolved into platform and terrace areas. The location, displacement magnitude and lateral arrangement of faults that developed in the margińs `thinninǵ phase governed the position of the proximal-distal margin boundary and thus the gross-scale thinning gradient, or taper, of the crystalline crust. In the onshore areas, the effects on topography, landscape and fault reactivation patterns are profound. The highest escarpment and the most asymmetric margin topography developed inboard of sharply tapering crystalline crust. Inboard of sharp tapers, strong landscape contrasts developed across lineaments that were reactivated after the main phase of Mesozoic rifting, but prior to the glaciations. Glacial erosion enhanced tectonically induced drainage patterns, resulting in an asymmetric landscape distribution with high-relief alpine topography preferentially developed on the footwall sides of reactivated faults. This, in turn, pre-destined these landscapes to increased rockslide susceptibility because in the deeply incised escarpment topography, glacial incision undercut structures that had been reactivated in the brittle mode. The above relationships indicate that extensional faulting exerts a long-term control on escarpment topography, landscape contrasts, geohazard susceptibility and sediment routing patterns along passive margins, through the establishment of the taper. On more than 40 published profiles through passive margins, we have measured the distance from the taper break (where the crust is thinned to 10 km or less) to the point of maximum topographic elevation on the adjacent escarpment (apparent taper length) and plotted it against the maximum escarpment elevation measured on each profile. Our analysis indicates that breakup age, glaciations and calculated mantle effects are all subordinate to the taper in controlling escarpment topography. Also, substituting the taper break with the COB does not yield a particularly tight relationship. These observations indicate that it is the thinning of continental crystalline crust down to <10 km and not the replacement of continental with oceanic crust that matters for the topography of the escarpment. Moreover, sharp reductions in the thickness of crystalline crust from <30 km down to less than 10 km do not appear to produce long-standing escarpments.

  16. Geology and resource potential of the continental margin of Western North America and Adjacent Ocean Basins: Beaufort Sea to Baja California. Circum-Pacific council for energy and mineral resources earth science series, Volume 6

    SciTech Connect

    Scholl, D.W.; Grantz, A.; Vedder, J.G.

    1987-12-31

    This collection of papers summarizes the geologic framework and resource potential of offshore western North America from the Arctic Ocean to Baja California, including ocean regions of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The idea that these papers should be prepared and brought together in a single volume arose late in 1982. At that time the US Geological Survey`s program of marine studies, which began in the early 1960s, completed its regional reconnaissance of the stratigraphy and structure of almost the entire margin of western North America and adjacent sea floor. It was therefore deemed timely and appropriate to summarize the important results of this effort and provide a systematic, region-by-region description of the framework geology and resource potential of this extensive, submerged region. It also appeared--as economic conditions ultimately become more favorable for the commercial development of marine georesources--that such a summary would be useful to the petroleum and mineral industries, and to public agencies and officials concerned with management of the offshore domains of the United States. Each paper has been processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  17. Some depositional patterns at continental margin of southeastern Mediterranean Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Mart, Y.; Gai, Y.B.

    1982-04-01

    The upper Miocene to Holocene sedimentary strata in the continental margin of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea depict two depositional regimes. The upper Miocene sequence is predominantly evaporitic and forms the southeastern portion of the upper Miocene evaporites present throughout the Mediterranean region. The Pliocene-Quaternary sequence is predominantly detrital and its major source of sediments has been the Nile River. Interpretation of data derived from several multichannel seismic profiles suggested facial variations in the upper Miocene and the Pliocene-Pleistocene formations. Two depositional facies of the upper Miocene evaporites, indicating basinal and shelf depositional environments, were found. Statistical analyses show correlations of the thickness of the evaporites with their interval seismic velocity, their depth, and the present bathymetry, indicating the autochthonous characteristics of the sequence. The basinal and the shelf depositional facies are separated by a transition zone that trends NNE-SSW and is associated with faulting. It is suggested that this zone, commonly known as The Pelusium Line, was the shelf-edge zone during the late Miocene. Facial analysis of the data pertaining to the Pliocene-Pleistocene sequence depicts its allochthonous characteristics. Statistical negative correlation was calculated between the distance from the continental shelf and the thickness of this sequence, indicating its detrital origin. Variations in thicknesses of both formations compared with the bathymetric depths suggest a post-Miocene subsidence of the southeast Mediterranean basin. 6 figures, 4 tables.

  18. Effects of Trawling on Sedimentation of Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palanques, A.; Martn, J.; Puig, P.; Guilln, J.; Demestre, M.

    2006-12-01

    Human activities have become relevant control factors of sediment transfer in continental margins during the last decades. In the framework of several projects, different findings demonstrate that trawling has been one of the most relevant human-induced factors affecting the proprieties of the seabed during the last decades, since this activity increased dramatically. The direct physical effects of trawling include scraping and ploughing of the seabed and sediment resuspension. In mud prodeltas fishing grounds, it has been observed that trawling increases near-bottom turbidity (feeding constantly the bottom nepheloid layer), winnowing part of the finer sediment fraction and causing a slight coarsening upwards trend and an increase of organic matter content in the upper centimeters of the sediment column. On the continental slopes, it has been observed that trawling in canyon walls can trigger sediment gravity flows and increase sediment accumulation rates in deep canyon depositional areas. Thus, trawling is transferring sediment, changing the seabed and altering the habitat of marine organisms, and must be considered as a dynamic process whose effects should be taken into account in addition to natural processes.

  19. Fault reactivation within Avalonia: plate margin to continental interior deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, J. Brendan; Keppie, J. Duncan; Nance, R. Damian

    1999-05-01

    Lithotectonic terranes commonly have faults with movement histories that reflect their original tectonic setting and their subsequent re-activation during terrane accretion and post-accretionary dispersal. Since later movements tend to overprint evidence of earlier motions, documenting fault reactivation can be a difficult task. Avalonia, the largest terrane within the Canadian Appalachians preserves evidence for repeated episodes of movement along NE-trending fault zones in a variety of tectonic settings between the late Neoproterozoic and late Paleozoic. Evidence of Neoproterozoic motion is preserved in pre-final crystallization deformation fabrics in arc-related igneous complexes which intrude shear zones. These record strike-slip motion related to oblique subduction along the continental margin of Gondwana. In the Paleozoic, Avalonia migrated from its original peri-Gondwanan setting. Mid-Ordovician to earliest Silurian deformation and magmatism is attributed to the sinistral accretion of Avalonia to Laurentia. This reactivated Neoproterozoic shear zones and resulted in basin inversion in mainland Nova Scotia and the formation of mylonites and injection of dikes into brittle fractures in southern New Brunswick. Sinistral motion was accompanied by terrane dispersal and was followed in the Late Silurian and Early Devonian by further reactivation in the form of dextral strike-slip that reflects convergence between Laurentia and Gondwana. Following the accretion and dispersal of Avalonia, the fault zones became stranded within the continental interior. Subsequently, the fault zones accommodated local stresses which were far-field responses to collisional tectonics associated with the mid-Late Devonian Acadian and the Late Carboniferous Alleghanian orogenies. Hence, the generation of these fault systems along plate margins in the late Neoproterozoic and early Paleozoic profoundly influenced the tectonic evolution of late Paleozoic intra-continental deformation. Late Carboniferous deformation is recorded in (a) the mylonitic and cataclastic fabrics of the shear zones themselves, (b) the orientations of spatially related fold structures, (c) local controls on basin formation and sedimentary facies and (d) offsets in stratigraphy. This motion was predominantly dextral and records continued convergence between Laurentia and Gondwana during the amalgamation of Pangea.

  20. Lake Vostok: From a Continental Margin to a Subglacial Lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.; Bell, R. E.; KArner, G. D.; Tikku, A. A.; Levin, V.; Raymond, C. A.; Lerner-Lam, A.

    2002-05-01

    Subglacial ecosystems, in particular subglacial lakes, represent the most oligothrophic environments on Earth. The geologic origin of Lake Vostok is a critical boundary condition for both the stability of the lake and energy fluxes into the lake. Microbial life may use geothermal energy, similar to life discovered at deep sea hydrothermal vents. Significant geothermal anomalies are often associated with active faulting. The topographic depression which forms the craddle for Lake Vostok is part of a regional tectonic structure ranging from the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains to the Aurora Subglacial Basin. This geologic boundary was formed by emplacement of a thrust sheet from the east over a pre-existing passive continental margin beneath the present-day Lake Vostok. No data exist to directly date either the timing of passive margin formation or the subsequent crustal shortening. Minor extensional reactivation of the thrust sheet explains a simple mechanism to explain the formation of the Lake Vostok basin. The steep slopes bounding this depression are likley being fault-controlled. Our recent discovery of microseismic activity suggest that this faults might be active and could act as conduits for convecting fluids. The tectonic processes can have an important influence on the ecosystem within the lake.

  1. 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 Borderland and parts of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago margin were conjugates prior to rifting. Seismic data also show that volcanism associated with the High-Arctic Large Igneous Province to the north has intruded or flowed over the northern parts of the Borderland. The Chukchi Borderland, because of its lack of sedimentary cover, offers a unique window into the early rifting history of the Canada Basin and the transition from rifted to hyper-extended continental crust.

  2. How warm are passive continental margins? A 3D case study from the Norwegian margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheck-Wenderoth, M.; Maystrenko, Y.

    2004-12-01

    Though being of increasing economic relevance, the heat flow regime at passive continental margins is debated. This is due to different hypotheses on the thermal structure below continents and oceans which, in turn, is related to the difference in thickness of the lithosphere and in thermal properties between both areas. Accordingly, the lithosphere-scale thermal field from the continent over the margin to the ocean is poorly understood. Here we show how far detailed knowledge of the crustal part of the system provides constraints for the thermal field of the lithosphere. We calculate the 3D conductive thermal field for a detailed structural model of the Norwegian passive margin and evaluate the lithospheric configuration consistent with two independent observables: temperature and gravity. We find that the thickness of a 55 Ma year old oceanic lithosphere controls to a large degree the conductive thermal field of the entire margin and needs to be less than 70 km. Our results support thickness estimates from seismology and disagree with predictions derived from cooling models assuming an equilibrium thickness of the oceanic lithosphere of 125 km. We obtain higher upper mantle temperatures and heat flows beneath the ocean than beneath the continent that can explain the reduced p-wave velocities and the smaller densities derived for the oceanic lithospheric mantle compared to the continent. The lateral temperature variation across the margin is ~100°K at 5 km depth and increases to ~400°K at 50 km depth. Thus, knowing the lithosphere configuration appears to be essential to correctly assess the present temperature conditions at passive margins and the related impact on the maturity of organic matter for petroleum exploration.

  3. How warm are passive continental margins? A 3D case study from the Norwegian margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheck-Wenderoth, M.; Maystrenko, Y.

    2007-12-01

    Though being of increasing economic relevance, the heat flow regime at passive continental margins is debated. This is due to different hypotheses on the thermal structure below continents and oceans which, in turn, is related to the difference in thickness of the lithosphere and in thermal properties between both areas. Accordingly, the lithosphere-scale thermal field from the continent over the margin to the ocean is poorly understood. Here we show how far detailed knowledge of the crustal part of the system provides constraints for the thermal field of the lithosphere. We calculate the 3D conductive thermal field for a detailed structural model of the Norwegian passive margin and evaluate the lithospheric configuration consistent with two independent observables: temperature and gravity. We find that the thickness of a 55 Ma year old oceanic lithosphere controls to a large degree the conductive thermal field of the entire margin and needs to be less than 70 km. Our results support thickness estimates from seismology and disagree with predictions derived from cooling models assuming an equilibrium thickness of the oceanic lithosphere of 125 km. We obtain higher upper mantle temperatures and heat flows beneath the ocean than beneath the continent that can explain the reduced p-wave velocities and the smaller densities derived for the oceanic lithospheric mantle compared to the continent. The lateral temperature variation across the margin is ~100°K at 5 km depth and increases to ~400°K at 50 km depth. Thus, knowing the lithosphere configuration appears to be essential to correctly assess the present temperature conditions at passive margins and the related impact on the maturity of organic matter for petroleum exploration.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Fishing down the coast: Historical expansion and collapse of oyster fisheries along continental margins

    PubMed Central

    Kirby, Michael Xavier

    2004-01-01

    Estuarine ecosystems have changed dramatically from centuries of fishing, habitat disturbance, sedimentation, and nutrient loading. Degradation of oyster reefs by destructive fishing practices in particular has had a profound effect on estuarine ecology, yet the timing and magnitude of oyster-reef degradation in estuaries is poorly quantified. Here, I evaluate the expansion and collapse of oyster fisheries in 28 estuaries along three continental margins through the analysis of historical proxies derived from fishery records to infer when oyster reefs were degraded. Exploitation for oysters did not occur randomly along continental margins but followed a predictable pattern. Oyster fisheries expanded and collapsed in a linear sequence along eastern North America (Crassostrea virginica), western North America (Ostreola conchaphila), and eastern Australia (Saccostrea glomerata). Fishery collapse began in the estuaries that were nearest to a developing urban center before exploitation began to spread down the coast. As each successive fishery collapsed, oysters from more distant estuaries were fished and transported to restock exploited estuaries near the original urban center. This moving wave of exploitation traveled along each coastline until the most distant estuary had been reached and overfished. PMID:15326294

  8. Continental margin molybdenum isotope signatures from the early Eocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickson, Alexander J.; Cohen, Anthony S.; Coe, Angela L.

    2014-10-01

    Molybdenum (Mo) isotope compositions of marine sedimentary deposits that span the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, approximately 56 Ma) are presented from two Tethys Ocean sites (Guru Fatima, Tajikistan and Kheu River, Georgia). Local redox indicators suggest that both locations experienced anoxia and intervals of euxinia (with hydrogen sulphide present in seawater) during the early part of the PETM. However, the Mo-isotope compositions (expressed as δMo98/95) for each site differ significantly. Local redox conditions were very stable at Guru Fatima, where δMo98/95 reached a maximum of 0.96‰, which is ∼0.7‰ lower than for early Eocene seawater as recently inferred from euxinic Arctic Ocean deposits. This observation supports the argument that a ∼0.7‰ difference between seawater and anoxic continental margin marine sediments documented at the present day might also be found in the paleo-record. In contrast, local redox conditions at Kheu River were not stable over the study interval, and δMo98/95 were much lower than at Guru Fatima. The low δMo98/95 values at Kheu River are attributed to the influence of post-depositional remobilization of Mo by repeated adsorption and dissolution of Fe-Mn oxides during brief intervals of bottom water oxidation. The data highlight the importance of obtaining multi-proxy constraints on both local redox and paleoceanographic setting before the Mo-isotope compositions of sedimentary deposits can be interpreted accurately.

  9. Formation of high-pressure metabasites in the southern Appalachian Blue Ridge via Taconic continental subduction beneath the Laurentian margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Eric Douglas; Moecher, David P.

    2009-10-01

    Tectonic models that account for the occurrence of eclogite, retrograde eclogite, peridotite, and migmatitic basement gneisses in the southern Blue Ridge invoke closure of a small ocean basin between the eastern Blue Ridge (EBR) and western Blue Ridge (WBR). In this "obducted ophiolite" model, Franciscan-type, eastward subduction of oceanic crust beneath the Piedmont arc occurred prior to obduction of the arc onto the Laurentian margin. The discovery of kilometer-scale eclogite bodies near the EBR-WBR boundary are cited as evidence for obducted ophiolite/accreted island arc models. However, thermobarometric estimates based on mineral chemistry from HP metabasites of the western, central, and eastern Blue Ridge indicate that eclogites and granulites are medium-temperature type (550-900°C), inconsistent with the obducted ophiolite model. Mid-ocean ridge basalt subducted beneath continental margins and island arcs rarely reaches temperatures in excess of 550°C. Thermobarometric comparisons of the present study and a reexamination of deep seismic profiles from the Blue Ridge allow for a model of westward subduction of continental material beneath Laurentia during the Taconic orogeny that produced a megamélange now preserved in the central and eastern Blue Ridge tectonic provinces. P-T paths determined from Blue Ridge HP metabasites are similar to P-T paths determined previously from Caledonian and Variscan eclogites. Thermobarometric similarities imply a common tectonic history of continental collision, subduction of continental crust to depths of 50-65 km, followed by rapid eduction.

  10. New Low-Temperature Thermochronology Reveals Contrasting Modes of Continental Extension Across the Sonoran Rifted Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohn, B. P.; Fletcher, J. M.; Gleadow, A. J.; Calmus, T.; Nourse, J. A.

    2003-12-01

    The Sonoran rifted margin extends 250 km from the western flanks of the Sierra Madre Occidental to the Gulf of California and contains a classic Basin and Range morphology that indicates "broad-rift" mode of continental extension. However, new low-temperature thermochronology reveals that the Sonoran rifted margin is also internally composed of at least two temporally and spatially distinct belts that display other distinct styles of extension. Mountain ranges that lie within a narrow belt (20 km wide) along the coast of the Gulf of California between Puerto Libertad and Bahia Kino yield highly discordant apatite fission track (AFT) ages that range from 5 to 54 Ma and likely reflect the strong tilting of these tectonic blocks. The widespread occurrence of AFT ages between 5 and 7 Ma, which are typically found in the deepest crustal levels of the tilt blocks, and the presence of Quaternary scarps indicate that extension in the coastal region largely occurred from late Miocene to recent times. We infer that this belt is dominated by a "narrow-rift" mode of extension where deformation has been focused to produce the Gulf depression. Well inland from the coast (175 km east) is a belt of metamorphic core complexes that extends more than 200 km from Magdalena to Mazatan and typically yields older and more concordant AFT ages from 14 to 23 Ma. However, the presence of ages as young as 8 to 11 Ma indicate that the "metamorphic-core-complex" mode of extension in this belt likely overlapped in time with the "narrow-rift" mode of extension in the Gulf of California. We conclude that the juxtaposition of major deformation belts each with different modes of continental extension reflects the diverse processes that have affected the Sonoran margin through time.

  11. First amphibian magnetotelluric experiment at the passive continental margin in northern Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapinos, G.; Weckmann, U.; Ritter, O.; Jegen, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    An amphibian magnetotelluric (MT) study across the passive continental margin of northern Namibia was conducted in December/January 2010/2011 and October/November 2011 to image the subsurface electrical conductivity structure. The MT experiment is part of the interdisciplinary SAMPLE project (South Atlantic Margin Processes and Links with onshore Evolution) which focusses on imaging and understanding processes related to rifting and the breakup history of the supercontinent Gondwana, in particular the opening of the South Atlantic and the post breakup evolution of the continental passive margins of Africa and South America. The onshore MT data were acquired in the Kaoko Mobile Belt at 167 sites in a ~140 km wide and ~260 km long EW extending corridor, from the Atlantic Ocean onto the Congo Craton. The Kaoko Mobile Belt is a transpressional strike slip orogen with NNW striking sinistral shear zones, folds and thrusts, which was formed during the Pan-African orogeny and the amalgamation of West Gondwana. This onshore network is extended offshore with MT measurements along 2 transects parallel and perpendicular to the Walvis Ridge - an approximately 3400km long seamount volcanic chain, trending NE-SW, from Africa to the Middle Atlantic Ridge, thought to be formed by the volcanic activity of the Tristan da Cunha Plume since the early Cretaceous. The onshore impedances and vertical magnetic transfer functions are generally of excellent quality but indicate significant three-dimensional structures in the crust and upper mantle, particularly in the Western Kaoko Zone, in the vicinity of the prominent shear zones. 2-D inversion of a sub-section of the entire data set, where two-dimensional modeling is consistent with the MT data revealed spatial correlations of a resistive zone and the Archean Congo Craton as well as of conductive structures and surface expressions of prominent faults.

  12. Magma-Assisted Continental Break-up Encroached on Previously Stretched Continental Lithosphere - the NE Greenland Composite Passive Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazur, S.; Rippington, S.; Houghton, P.

    2014-12-01

    Volcanic continental margins have a number of distinctive features that are different from those typical of magma-poor continental margins. However, in some places volcanic margins may develop parallel to older, highly extended rift systems. In such situations the resultant continental margin shows a complex structure that merges the characteristics of volcanic and non-volcanic margins. Furthermore, the evolution of this younger magma-rich margin is restricted by the pre-existing lithospheric architecture, causing it to diverge from the generally assumed formation model. We use the case of NE Greenland to demonstrate the structure of a composite margin firstly subjected to extensive extension and later overprinted by magma-assisted continental break-up. The NE Greenland continental margin is a highly extended margin, that is up to 250km wide, with crystalline crust attaining the maximum thickness near to the coast of Greenland and at the Danmarkshaven Ridge. The latter represents a major basement horst formed during an Early Cretaceous rifting event. To the east of the Danmarkshaven Ridge, crust is stretched and onlapped by the Early Cretaceous sedimentary basin. The effects of Tertiary break-up are observable in a relatively narrow zone 80 km wide that usually includes an extended edge of continental crust and an adjacent section of oceanic crust. A volcano-sedimentary succession produced during the break-up reaches the maximum thickness of c. 8000 m above a continent-ocean transition (COB). Oceanic crust overlain by mixed volcanic and sedimentary rocks is thicker than usual. No observable SDRs or igneous transitional crust are present near to the COB. Instead, a chain of high density bodies follow the COB at the base of crust. The features observed suggest relatively little extension associated with the Tertiary break-up. Instead localised mantle melting presumably led to rapid break-up with crustal dilatation promptly balanced by production of thick oceanic crust and magma underplating at Moho level. There was practically no syn-rift phase but volcanism and deposition of extensive sedimentary succession followed the initial separation of continental crust.

  13. 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 sand waves. Shore-parallel and oblique sand and gravel ridges occur along northernmost Dogfish Bank. Except for the inshore area (less than 100 m) off northern Graham Island little is known of the sediment distribution in Dixon Entrance. Off northwestern Graham Island the near shore zone is dominated by bedrock and discontinuous sands and gravels made up of up to 90% skeletal carbonate. Off northeastern Graham Island sandy sediments predominate in the nearshore. No studies have been undertaken on the narrow shelf off the western Queen Charlotte Islands.

  14. Abbot Ice Shelf, the Amundsen Sea Continental Margin and the Southern Boundary of the Bellingshausen Plate Seaward of West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, J. R.; Tinto, K. J.; Bell, R. E.

    2014-12-01

    The Abbot Ice Shelf extends 450 km along the coast of West Antarctica between 103°W and 89°W and straddles the boundary between the Bellingshausen Sea continental margin, which overlies a former subduction zone, and Amundsen Sea rifted continental margin. Inversion of NASA Operation IceBridge airborne gravity data for sub-ice bathymetry shows that the western part of the ice shelf, as well as Cosgrove Ice Shelf to the south, are underlain by a series of east-west trending rift basins. The eastern boundary of the rifted terrain coincides with the eastern boundary of rifting between Antarctica and Zealandia and the rifts formed during the early stages of this rifting. Extension in these rifts is minor as rifting quickly jumped north of Thurston Island. The southern boundary of the Cosgrove Rift is aligned with the southern boundary of a sedimentary basin under the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf to the west, also formed by Antarctica-Zealandia rifting. The shelf basin has an extension factor, β, of 1.5 - 1.7 with 80 -100 km of extension occurring in an area now ~250 km wide. Following this extension early in the rifting process, rifting centered to the north of the present shelf edge and proceeded to continental rupture. Since then, the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf has been tectonically quiescent and has primarily been shaped though subsidence, sedimentation and the passage of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet back and forth across it. The former Bellingshausen Plate was located seaward of the Amundsen Sea margin prior to its incorporation into the Antarctic Plate at ~62 Ma. During the latter part of its existence, Bellingshausen plate motion had a clockwise rotational component relative to Antarctica producing convergence between the Bellingshausen and Antarctic plates east of 102°W. Seismic reflection and gravity data show that this convergence is expressed by an area of intensely deformed sediments beneath the continental slope from 102°W to 95°W and by incipient subduction beneath the Bellingshausen Gravity Anomaly on the western edge of a salient of the Antarctic plate near 94°W. West of 102°W, relative motion was extensional and occurred in a diffuse zone occupied by the Marie Byrd Seamounts that are dated at 65-56 Ma and extend 800 km along the continental margin near the base of the continental rise.

  15. 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.

  16. Wintertime phytoplankton bloom in the subarctic Pacific supported by continental margin iron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-03-01

    Heightened biological activity was observed in February 1996 in the high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) subarctic North Pacific Ocean, a region that is thought to be iron-limited. Here we provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that Ocean Station Papa (OSP) in the subarctic Pacific received a lateral supply of particulate iron from the continental margin off the Aleutian Islands in the winter, coincident with the observed biological bloom. Synchrotron X-ray analysis was used to describe the physical form, chemistry, and depth distributions of iron in size fractionated particulate matter samples. The analysis reveals that discrete micron-sized iron-rich hot spots are ubiquitous in the upper 200 m at OSP, more than 900 km from the closest coast. The specifics of the chemistry and depth profiles of the Fe hot spots trace them to the continental margins. We thus hypothesize that iron hot spots are a marker for the delivery of iron from the continental margin. We confirm the delivery of continental margin iron to the open ocean using an ocean general circulation model with an iron-like tracer source at the continental margin. We suggest that iron from the continental margin stimulated a wintertime phytoplankton bloom, partially relieving the HNLC condition.

  17. Morpho-tectonic Evolution of the Western Afar Margin (southern Red Sea, Ethiopia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pik, R.; Lave, J.; Foeken, J.; Carignan, J.; Ayalew, D.; Yirgu, G.

    2009-12-01

    The western Afar margin represents the southern end of the Red Sea rift system. It developed in the heart of the Afar plume related volcanic province which lies at the famous triple junction connecting the East African, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea rifted systems. This margin is presently separating the Afar depression from the Ethiopian Highlands and is topographically expressed by an impressive altitudinal gradient (more than 3000 m in less than 50 km). This topographical passive margin has been developed during Miocene times from the top of an uplifted dome, which has been related principally to the Afar plume impingement and the associated extrusion and differentiation of Ethiopian Continental Flood Basalts 30 Ma ago (Pik et al. 2003). This margin is also typically separating the edge of a thick continental block (below the Oligocene CFB) from an extremely thinned domain (the Afar depression) which most probably represents one of the rare worldwide rifting step corresponding to the Ocean Continent Transition zone at the rift to drift transition. Mechanisms invocated to explain this geodynamical phenomenon of extreme lithospheric thinning, predating continental break-up and sea floor spreading, are up to know controversial and do not really satisfy geological and geophysical observations along old passive margins bounding well developed oceanic domains. In this context, the on-shore western Afar margin is an ideal case study to try to precise geodynamic and structural thinning processes because time lapse since the initiation of rifting is so reduce (less than 30 Ma) that outcropping morphological expression of implicated geological events has been preserved and can be easily documented and investigated with traditional approaches. A particular geological characteristic of this southern part of the Red Sea margin resides in the well developed marginal basins, morphologically expressed (but at various altitude) all along the topographical gradient from the Eritrean margin to the heart of the volcanic province at the transition with the East African Rift branch. Such morphological steps have been variously described and interpreted in the past. In this study we will present a new geomorphological view and interpretation of these marginal basins development, as well as the potential structural and geodynamic implications of this new interpretation in the margin development and thinning.

  18. Permo-Triassic anatexis, continental rifting and the disassembly of western Pangaea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochrane, Ryan; Spikings, Richard; Gerdes, Axel; Ulianov, Alexey; Mora, Andres; Villagómez, Diego; Putlitz, Benita; Chiaradia, Massimo

    2014-03-01

    Crustal anatectites are frequently observed along ocean-continent active margins, although their origins are disputed with interpretations varying between rift-related and collisional. We report geochemical, isotopic and geochronological data that define an ~ 1500 km long belt of S-type meta-granites along the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, which formed during 275-223 Ma. These are accompanied by amphibolitized tholeiitic basaltic dykes that yield concordant zircon U-Pb dates ranging between 240 and 223 Ma. A model is presented which places these rocks within a compressive Permian arc setting that existed during the amalgamation of westernmost Pangaea. Anatexis and mafic intrusion during 240-223 Ma are interpreted to have occurred during continental rifting, which culminated in the formation of oceanic crust and initiated the break-up of western Pangaea. Compression during 275-240 Ma generated small volumes of crustal melting. Rifting during 240-225 Ma was characterized by basaltic underplating, the intrusion of tholeiitic basalts and a peak in crustal melting. Tholeiitic intrusions during 225-216 Ma isotopically resemble depleted mantle and yield no evidence for contamination by continental crust, and we assign this period to the onset of continental drift. Dissected ophiolitic sequences in northern Colombia yield zircon U-Pb dates of 216 Ma. The Permo-Triassic margin of Ecuador and Colombia exhibits close temporal, faunal and geochemical similarities with various crustal blocks that form the basement to parts of Mexico, and thus these may represent the relict conjugate margin to NW Gondwana. The magmatic record of the early disassembly of Pangaea spans ~ 20 Ma (240-216 Ma), and the duration of rifting and rift-drift transition is similar to that documented in Cretaceous-Tertiary rift settings such as the West Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins, and the Taupo-Lau-Havre System, where rifting and continental disassembly also occurred over periods lasting ~ 20 Ma.

  19. 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

  20. Seismic-reflection signature of cretaceous continental breakup on the Wilkes Land margin, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eittreim, S.L.; Hampton, M.A.; Childs, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    The passive (rifted) continental margin of Wilkes Land, Antarctica, is characterized on seismic reflection records by (i) in the south, a block-faulted sequence of highly stratified continental beds overlain by two distinct unconformities; (ii) a transitional, greatly thinned continental crust overlain by material interpreted to be flood basalt; and (iii) in the north, oceanic crust with a boundary ridge at its edge. The Mohorovic??ic?? discontinuity can be followed across the continent-ocean boundary and shows a progressive thinning of continental crust to a minimum of 2.5 kilometers at its northern edge.

  1. 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 these new high-resolution bathymetric datasets.

  2. 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 transmit methane to the atmosphere by determining what fraction of methane in the geochemical plume is emitted to the atmosphere. We also compare the methane mass flux from the seep site to an adjacent section of the Prins Karls Forland coastal margin to constrain the relative importance of different types of high-latitude seafloor methane emissions.

  3. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Pleistocene marine ice sheets and ice shelves at the East Siberian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Frank; Kuk Hong, Jong; Hegewald, Anne; Matthiessen, Jens; Stein, Rüdiger; Kim, Sookwan; Jensen, Laura; Jokat, Wilfried; Nam, Seung Il

    2014-05-01

    RV "Polarstern" cruise ARK-XIII/3 (2008) and RV "Araon" cruise ARA03B (2012) investigated an area in the Arctic Ocean located between the Chukchi Borderland and the East Siberian Sea (between 165°W and 170°E). Based on swath bathymetry, sediment echosounding, seismic profiling and sediment coring we present evidence that the western Arctic Ocean had a glaciated continental margin during several glacial periods of the Pleistocene (Niessen et al. 2013). At the southern end of the Mendeleev Ridge and on the Chukchi and East Siberian continental slopes ice sheets and ice shelves grounded in up to 1200 m present water depth. We found mega-scale glacial lineations (MSGL) associated with deposition of glaciogenic wedges and debris-flow deposits indicative of sub-glacial erosion and deposition close to the former grounding lines. Glacially lineated areas are associated with large-scale erosion, capped with diamicton and draped by, in places, several metres of pelagic sediments. On the Arlis Plateau, a detailed bathymetric map exhibits several generations of MSGL, which we interpret as relicts of different Pleistocene glaciations. Traces of former grounding line positions suggest that an ice shelf of approximately 900 m in thickness has spread across the Southern Mendeleev Ridge in a north-easterly direction. According to our results, ice sheets of more than one km in thickness continued onto, and likely centered over, the East Siberian Shelf. A preliminary age model suggests that the youngest and shallowest grounding event of an ice sheet should be within Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 and clearly predates the Last Glacial Maximum. The oldest and deepest event predates MIS 6. The youngest grounding event on the Arlis Plateau is tentatively dated to have occurred during MIS 4. These results have important implication for the former distribution of thick ice masses in the Arctic Ocean during the Pleistocene. They are relevant for albedo, ocean-atmosphere heat exchange, moisture supply to and freshwater export from the Arctic Ocean and the formation of submarine permafrost on the East Siberian Shelf. Niessen, F., Hong, J. K. , Hegewald, A. , Matthiessen, J. , Stein, R. , Kim, H. , Kim, S. , Jensen, L. , Jokat, W. , Nam, S. I. and Kang, S. H. (2013) Repeated Pleistocene glaciation of the East Siberian continental margin, Nature Geoscience, 6 (10), pp. 842-846.

  7. 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 the integration of high-quality, long-offset streamer data with 4-component bottom recording on the OBS to allow imaging of the sub-basalt and deep underplated crust in this region. In the Hatton Bank region we deployed 89 4-component OBS and 1 vertical array along a 450 km dip line, running perpendicular to the continental margin from the centre of the Hatton-Rockall Basin across Hatton Bank into the oceanic South Iceland Basin, with two strike lines totalling 240 km length (one on the continental margin and one oceanic). MCS was acquired simultaneously with airgun shooting into the OBS, using the same 6,300 cubic inch airgun array with peak-pulse tuning. Excellent recordings of crustal and mantle arrivals were made to ranges in excess of 150 km. The vertical arrays were deployed to monitor the far-field waveforms, and to test theoretical modelling of the array signature. Gravity and magnetic data was acquired simultaneously with seismic data. The iSIMM project is supported by NERC, WesternGeco, 8 oil companies and DTI.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-08-28

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

  9. Preface - 'Biogeochemistry-ecosystem interaction on changing continental margins in the Anthropocene'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, K.-K.; Emeis, Kay-Christian; Levin, Lisa A.; Naqvi, Wajih; Roman, Michael

    2015-01-01

    This special issue is a product of Workshop 1 of IMBIZO III held in Goa, India in January 2013 (Bundy et al., 2013). This IMBIZO (a Zulu word for gathering) has been organized by IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research) biannually since 2008. It employs a format of three concurrent but interacting workshops designed to synthesize information on topical research areas in marine science. Workshop 1 addressed the issue, "Biogeochemistry-ecosystem interaction in changing continental margins," which belongs to the purview of the Continental Margins Working Group (CMWG), co-sponsored by IMBER and LOICZ (Land-Ocean Interaction in the Coastal Zone). As a way to explore the emerging issues that concern the CMWG, the workshop had attracted 25 talks and 18 posters that explored the following topics: Human impacts on continental margins

  10. The structure of the Alpine distal margin: insights from the proximal margin shortening kinematics during collision, Western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellahsen, N.; Mouthereau, F.; Lacombe, O.; Jolivet, L.

    2011-12-01

    In mountain belts, along strike variations of inherited passive margin structure can affect the collision dynamics. Particularly, the structure the distal part can potentially drive the collision evolution and thus the proximal part inversion. In most orogens however (as in the Alps for example), the initial structure of the subducted distal margin is largely hidden by subduction- and exhumation-related deformations and metamorphism. In this contribution, the structure of the European distal margin in Western Alps is discussed in the light of the collision kinematics. More precisely, we aim at constraining the structure of the "distal" Dauphinois/Helvetic that might be the western lateral termination of the Valais ocean in Switzerland separating Europe and the Brianconnais block. The Dauphinois/Helvetic zone deformation is characterized and described using several balanced cross-sections. The timing, amount of shortening and exhumation of various External Crystalline Massifs from France to Switzerland (Oisans, Mont Blanc, Aar) are compared. In the Aar and Mont Blanc massifs, the averaged amount of shortening and exhumation during Oligo-Miocene times is around three times higher than in the Oisans massif. The P,T conditions are of higher grade in the Aar and Mont Blanc and the foreland basin (the Oligo-miocene molasse) is more developed. Finally, deformation mechanisms and geometries are significantly different, from brittle-ductile to ductile, from south to north, respectively. We tentatively propose that these differences can be due to an evolution from hyper-extended crust with mantle exhumation in the Northeast (Aar) to an "aborted rift" configuration in the Southwest (Oisans). The presence of a (light) continental crust in the Southwest may have prevented a strong tectonic burying of the proximal margin and promoted its early shortening.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    How the lithosphere and asthenosphere deforms during continental rifting leading to breakup and sea-floor spreading initiation is poorly understood. Observations at present-day and fossil analogue rifted margins show a complex OCT architecture which cannot be explained by a single simplistic lithosphere deformation modes. This OCT complexity includes hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, detachments faults, exhumed mantle, continental slivers and scattered embryonic oceanic crust. We use a coupled kinematic-dynamic model of lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation to determine the sequence of lithosphere deformation modes leading to continental breakup for Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margin profiles. We quantitatively calibrate the models using observed present-day water loaded subsidence and crustal thickness, together with subsidence history and the age of melt generation. Flow fields, representing a sequence of lithosphere deformation modes, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FE-Margin), and used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FE-Margin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the upper 15-20 km of the lithosphere inducing passive upwelling below. Buoyancy enhanced upwelling (Braun et al. 2000) is also kinematically included. Melt generation by decompressional melting is predicted using the methodology of Katz et al., 2003. The extension magnitudes used in the lithosphere deformation models are taken from Sutra et al (2013). The best fit calibrated models of lithosphere deformation evolution for the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins require (i) an initial broad region of lithosphere deformation and passive upwelling, (ii) lateral migration of deformation, (iii) an increase in extension rate with time, (iv) focussing of deformation and (v) buoyancy induced upwelling. The preferred calibrated models predict faster extension rates and earlier continental crustal rupture and mantle exhumation for the Iberia Abyssal Plain - Flemish Pass conjugate margin profile than for the Galicia Bank - Flemish Cap profile. The predicted N-S differences in deformation mode evolution give insights into the 3D evolution of Iberia-Newfound margin breakup.

  14. 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 (3736.651'N and 12919.709'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).

  15. 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.

  16. Internal tidal mixing as a control on continental margin ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharples, Jonathan; Moore, C. Mark; Hickman, Anna E.; Holligan, Patrick M.; Tweddle, Jacqueline F.; Palmer, Matthew R.; Simpson, John H.

    2009-12-01

    We show that a breaking internal tide at a shelf edge is a fundamental control on the structural and functional properties of ecosystems. Contrasts in vertical mixing of nitrate between the shelf and the open ocean correspond with horizontal and vertical changes in phytoplankton communities, with largest cells found in surface waters at the shelf edge. Intense fishing activity is commonly seen at continental shelf edges, targeting spawning fish stocks. We suggest that the internal tide, a globally ubiquitous physical process at steep shelf edge bathymetry, supports shelf edge fisheries by providing large-celled phytoplankton for first-feeding fish larvae. The repeatability of the internal tide removes fish from the need to time spawning with a spring bloom. Also, with large phytoplankton cells dominating particulate organic carbon export, the internal tides could be an important influence on spatial and temporal variability in patterns of global carbon sequestration in deep water and sediments.

  17. Cenozoic transtensional to transpressional basin development at the sheared Western Barents Sea - Svalbard Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leever, Karen; Faleide, Jan Inge; Gabrielsen, Roy H.

    2010-05-01

    The Western margin of the Barents Sea evolved as a sheared margin in response to early Cenozoic continental breakup and subsequent opening of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. An Oligocene change in spreading direction led to oblique opening of the Fram Strait between Greenland and Eurasia and ended the transform margin stage. In such a sheared margin setting, sedimentation is strongly controlled by tectonic uplift and subsidence which vary in space and in time. The tectonic evolution of sedimentary basins associated with a sheared margin is determined by (1) the orientation of the margin with respect to the relative displacement of the plates, as well as (2) changes in spreading direction and (3) earlier tectonic events affecting the crustal thickness and shaping the basement grain. The Western Barents -- Svalbard margin may be subdivided in different segments based on its geometry. South of Bjrnya, the margin forms a releasing bend with right stepping dextral shear zones and is characterized by transtension and pull-apart basin formation (Troms and Srvestsnaget basins and Vestbakken volcanic province). Transpression was dominant in the restraining bend to the north, leading to the formation of the Paleocene-Eocene West Spitsbergen fold and thrust belt and its associated 'foreland basin'. Before it evolved into a sheared margin, the southern part of the margin experienced a series of post-Caledonian rift episodes which caused crustal thinning and formed the basement grain of major horst and graben structures trending in a generally NE-SW to N-S direction. The northern part, in contrast, has been largely unaffected by rifting since Carboniferous time. Besides the two main stages in the first order plate tectonic model for the region, recent refined models (e.g. Gaina et al., 2009) propose local complexities due to minor changes in the spreading direction. The margin segments are thus characterized by distinct structural and magmatic styles, expressed in the geometry and kinematics of the Cenozoic sedimentary basins along the margin. Not only the style, also the age of the basin forming events changes along strike due to the factors mentioned above: different areas are in the same tectonic setting at different points in time. Interpretation of seismic reflection and refraction data combined with insight from analogue and numerical modelling allowed us to highlight the differences and similarities in the evolution of the sedimentary basins in the different margin segments. Reference: Gaina, C., Gernigon, L. and Ball, P., 2009. Palaeocene-Recent plate boundaries in the NE Atlantic and the formation of the Jan Mayen microcontinent. Journal of the Geological Society, 166: 601-616.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skogseid, Jakob

    2014-05-01

    Mapping the signature of extensional deformation on rifted margins is often hampered by thick sedimentary or volcanic successions, or because salt tectonics makes sub-salt seismic imaging challenging. Over the past 20 years the literature is witnessing that lack of mapable faults have resulted in a variety of numerical models based on the assumption that the upper crust takes little or no extensional thinning, while the observed reduction of crustal thickness is taken up in the middle and lower crust, as well as in the mantle. In this presentation two case studies are used to highlight the difference that 3D seismic data may have on our understanding. The small patches of 3D resolution data allow us to get a glance of the 'real' signature of extensional faulting, which by analogy can be extrapolate from one margin segment to the next. In the South Atlantic salt tectonics represents a major problem for sub-salt imaging. The conjugate margins of Brazil and Angola are, however, characterized by pronounced crustal thinning as documented by crustal scale 2D reflection and refraction data. Off Angola the 3D 'reality' demonstrates that upper crustal extension by faulting is comparable to the full crustal, as well as lithospheric thinning as derived from refraction data and basin subsidence analysis. The mapped faults are listric low angle faults that seem to detach at mid crustal levels. 2D seismic has in the past been interpreted to indicate that almost no extensional faulting can be mapped towards the base of the so-called 'sag basin'. The whole concept of the 'sag basin', often ascribed to as crustal thinning without upper crustal deformation, is in fact related to this 'lack of observation', and furthermore, have caused the making of different types of dynamic models attempting to account for this. In the NE Atlantic significant Paleocene extensional faulting is locally seen adjacent to the 50 to more than 200 km wide volcanic cover on each side of the breakup axis. The associated amount of lateral motion on these, mainly listric, normal faults represents several tens of km. These observations contrast with the general lack of observed faults along volcanic margins due to the overall problem with sub-basalt imaging. A variety of models with respect to mode and duration of extension, including narrow and fast breakup, melt generation by small scale convection, and different modes of mantle flow have been suggested. The interesting aspect is that it is all based on features we can't see. Both study areas clearly points towards the importance of improved seismic imaging, a need for revised understanding of strain rates and strain partitioning during rift development, and the necessity of moving from 2D cross section modeling to more realistic 3D spatial distribution of rift elements and subsequent break-up processes. One important aspect is that both volcanic and non-volcanic margins are rifted margins formed by a protracted rift development.

  20. 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 as well. Thus, most of the contractional deformation would be focused along the margin since ~5 Ma. The synchronicity of the crustal deformation in the oceanic and the continental domains supports the idea that the lower deformation rates observed within the deep basin are related to somewhat different mechanical behaviors within the continental margin and the adjacent oceanic domain, rather than resulting from a recent basinward propagation of the deformation. Thermo-mechanical models suggest that mainly two factors could control the focused deformation along the margin: (1) the locus of highest topographic gradient of the main crustal interfaces, (2) the thermal contrast between the cooling subsiding oceanic domain and the warming uplifting margin. According to these models, the continental versus oceanic nature of the lithospheres would be of second order in the localization of the deformation.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. Salt diapirs bordering the continental margin of northern kenya and southern somalia.

    PubMed

    Rabinowitz, P D; Coffin, M F; Falvey, D

    1982-02-01

    The presence of newly discovered diapirs of presumed salt origin is documented for the continental margin of northeastern Kenya and southeastern Somalia. These structures are probably a manifestation of a significant thickness of Lower Jurassic evaporites deposited during the rift and early-drift stages of the separation of Madagascar from the African continent. PMID:17842401

  6. Bending and slicing of eastern Gondwana's continental margin: late Paleozoic to early Mesozoic reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenbaum, G.; Li, P.; Babaahmadi, A.; Shaanan, U.; Mochales, T.

    2012-12-01

    The SW Pacific is a classic example of "ribbon tectonics" whereby continental fragments were either accreted to the continental margins by subduction processes or separated from it by backarc extension. While the more recent tectonic processes (e.g. the latest Mesozoic and Cenozoic opening of the Tasman Sea), are relatively well constrained, the earlier tectonic history of eastern Gondwana is poorly understood. Here we present results from onshore study in eastern Australia, showing that bending and fragmentation of eastern Gondwana's continental margin in a backarc extensional environment commenced at ~300 Ma, giving rise to large vertical-axis block rotations and oroclinal bending. The subduction zone has subsequently migrated eastward, in a series of episodes of trench rollback and backarc extension, alternating with episodes of contractional and transpressional tectonism. We attribute this behavior to switches between trench rollback and trench advance, controlled by the heterogeneous nature of the subducted oceanic lithosphere.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 down the gullies, which fill with sediment from the distal Eel River. Approximately one-half of the subsurface gullies have no expression on the seafloor, because they have completely filled with sediment following the last glacial maximum lowstand of sea level. Copyright ?? 2001, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

  11. Trophic state of sediments from two deep continental margins off Iberia: a biomimetic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    The trophic state of benthic deep-sea ecosystems can greatly influence key ecological processes (e.g. biomass production and nutrient cycling). Thus, assessing the trophic state of the sediment at different spatial and temporal scales is crucial for a better understanding of deep-sea ecosystem functioning. Here, using a biomimetic approach based on enzymatic digestion of protein and carbohydrate pools, we assess the bioavailability of organic detritus and its nutritional value in the uppermost layer 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. 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. 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 higher primary production processes occur in surface waters, than in summer and autumn. In both continental margins, bioavailable organic C concentrations did not vary or increase with increasing water depth. Differences in the benthic trophic state of canyons against open slopes were more evident in the Portuguese than in the Catalan margin. Overall our findings indicate that deep-sea sediments are characterized by relatively high amounts of bioavailable organic matter. We suggest that the interactions between biological-related processes in surface waters and particle transport and deposition dynamics can play a crucial role in shaping the quantity and distribution of bioavailable organic detritus and its nutritional value along deep continental margins.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 little faulting. Seismic profiles also show a clear change in the tectonic structure of the margin from NE to SW. On the two NE-most lines, the abrupt crustal thinning occurs over a 20-40 km wide area resulting in final breakup. To the SW, the area of stretched continental crust extends over a comparatively broader ~100-110 km segment of tilted fault-blocks. We interpret that the 3D structural variability and the narrow COT is related to the lateral NE to SW propagation of a spreading center. The early spreading center propagation in the NE suddenly stopped continental stretching during ongoing rifting, causing an abrupt break-up and a narrow COT. Later arrival of spreading center to the SW resulted in a comparatively broader segment of highly stretched continental crust. We suggest that the final structure of the northwest South China continental margin have been governed by the 3D interaction between rifting and oceanic spreading center propagation to a degree larger than by the local lithospheric structure during rifting.

  15. 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 and use of resources; (3) to design governance regimes to stem unsustainable practices; (4) to investigate how to enable equitable sharing of costs and benefits from sustainable use of resources; and (5) to evaluate alternative research approaches and partnerships that address the challenges faced on the Margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drachev, S. S.

    2003-04-01

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

  17. 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-lateral displacement along this fault zone. If this model is correct, the Mojave-Sonora megashear played a direct role in the Pennsylvanian truncation of the continental margin, and any younger displacement on this fault has been relatively small. ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

  18. 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.

  19. On the Origin of Late Cretaceous and Younger Continental Interior Magmatism, Western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailley, T. L.; Farmer, G. L.

    2005-12-01

    It has long been recognized that the continental interior of the western U.S. experienced discrete pulses of magmatic activity during Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary (Laramide; 70-55 Ma) and the mid-Tertiary (35-25 Ma). However, the relative importance of plate boundary vs. sublithospheric processes in triggering magmatism, and the controls on the space-time-composition patterns in magmatism remain unclear. Laramide magmatism was small volume and largely restricted to three linear ``bands'' in Montana, Colorado, and southern Arizona. The Laramide magmatism in Colorado (the Colorado Mineral Belt) is aligned with the southern margin of a ``flat slab'' segment of subducted oceanic lithosphere known to have been present beneath Colorado. Mantle melting may have been induced by convective instabilities along the slab margin and account for the localization in this region. In contrast to the Laramide igneous activity, mid-Tertiary magmatism was widespread from Colorado to northern Mexico and corresponds to the continental interior portion of the ``ignimbrite flare-up'' that produced large volumes of silicic magmas throughout the western United States. Rollback of shallowly subducted oceanic lithosphere beneath North America which induces melting in slab-metasomatized upper mantle(?) has been proposed by many workers as the trigger mechanism for melting, but it is not obvious whether this hydrated mantle is upwelling asthenosphere or what had been, prior to Tertiary hydration, mantle lithosphere. We suggest that the spacing of major continental interior volcanic centers may bear on this issue. The large volumes of magmas generated in the western U.S. during the mid-Tertiary event (>10,000 km3 in the San Juans alone) require either ``dynamic'' melting in upwelling asthenosphere, or ``static'' melting of recently hydrated lithosphere over a large area. The regular, but wide, spacing (~300km apart) of major mid-Tertiary volcanic centers in the western U.S., the San Juans, Mogollon-Datil and Trans Pecos fields may be a function of geometry of the source volume. The wide spacing may be a result of each center tapping magmas generated over a wide area in ``static'', lithospheric mantle. Fluid dynamic calculations further help constrain the plausible width of the mantle source footprint responsible for generating the magmas.

  20. Emplacement of the Peridotite Ridge Within the Ocean-Continent Transition on the West Iberia Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henning, A. T.; Sawyer, D. S.

    2003-12-01

    The West Iberia continental margin began to form in the Late Triassic with the breakup of Pangea and culminated with the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean in the Early Cretaceous. While it is perhaps the best-studied continental margin in the world, the formation of a north-south segmented ridge of serpentinized peridotite located within the ocean-continent transition is not fully understood. The relatively thin sediment cover and lack of obvious volcanics make the Iberia margin an ideal place to study crustal features using seismic methods, and in 1997 the Iberia Seismic Experiment (ISE 97) collected over 4000 km of two-dimensional seismic reflection data off Iberia. Nine lines were recorded normal to the margin at a 10-25 km spacing and therefore provide cross-sections of the margin at regular intervals over a 200 km north-south distance. We prestack depth migrated the western portions of the nine margin-normal ISE 97 seismic lines. Interpretation of the depth sections suggests that the peridotite ridge is located within a broad zone of exhumed upper mantle that has been serpentinized. Total tectonic subsidence analyses provide minimum bounds on the thickness of the serpentinized layer, which extends from the zone of exhumed mantle landward under thinned continental crust. Exhumed upper mantle has previously been identified in the wider ocean-continent transition to the south in the southern Iberia Abyssal Plain, and we conclude that similar but narrower exposures occur to the north in the Galicia Bank area. While upper mantle appears to have been exhumed along all the ISE 97 lines, it does not always form a distinct basement ridge. Three ISE 97 profiles do not image a well-defined basement ridge, offering the first seismic evidence of a gap in the otherwise continuous peridotite ridge. Where it is well-developed, the peridotite ridge parallels a deeply-penetrating normal fault that developed near the end of rifting. This fault appears to penetrate into the upper mantle. We propose that this fault served as a conduit for water to localize serpentinization and cause the peridotite ridge to form diapirically within a broader zone of tectonically exhumed mantle.

  1. 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.

  2. Temporal and spatial patterns of Cenozoic and Late Mesozoic erosion and deposition along the western margin of southern Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, R.W.; Gleadow, A.J.W. ); Rust, D.J.; Summerfield, M.A. )

    1990-05-01

    Compared with subsidence history and eustatic sea level change, sediment supply has been a neglected component of studies of passive margin stratigraphy. The spatial and temporal pattern of sediment supply to continental margin, however, is a critical factor in determining the architecture of offshore sedimentary sequences. Sediment routing across passive margins is controlled primarily by their tectonic development and the consequent morphological evolution of the subaerial part of the margin. By combining offshore sediment volume and sedimentation rate data based on isopach maps and borehole records with apatite fission-track analysis and denudational modeling onland, the depositional history of the western margin of southern Africa has been related to its geomorphic response to continental rifting. The sediment volume data indicate a declining rate of sedimentation after rifting in the Early Cretaceous despite a probable enlargement of the sediment source area through time. Similarly, apatite fission-track ages and confined track length distributions indicate an Early Cretaceous episode of relatively high erosion rates which affected areas both inland and oceanward of the major topographic discontinuity along the margin represented by the Great Escarpment. Late Cenozoic rates of erosion and sediment supply have been low, although much of the sediment source area is still at a significant elevation. Although aridity may have contributed to this reduction in sediment supply, the morphological response to the tectonic evolution of the margin has also been crucial.

  3. 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 the base of the slope where faulting may have occurred. Observed deformation at the base of the slope is primarily related to the late Cenozoic uplift of Fairweather Ground, and to Quaternary folding perpendicular to the Pacific-North America relative convergence vector. No accretionary section or major deformation is observed along the continental slope. The absence of these features suggests that no major subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the Yakutat margin has occurred during the late Cenozoic. However, transform faulting along the base of the slope has occurred, because probable Oligocene oceanic basement is juxtaposed against Mesozoic and Paleogene sedimentary strata of the Yakutat slope. This juxtaposition most likely occurred during late Oligocene and Miocene time. During much of the late Cenozoic, and especially during Pliocene-Pleistocene time, the Yakutat segment has apparently been moving northward with the Pacific plate. Dredge samples from the continental slope recovered potential hydrocarbon source and reservoir rocks from the Paleogene sedimentary sequence. Most of the organic matter from these samples is immature to marginally mature. Lopatin calculations suggest that rocks beneath the shelf are likely to be thermally mature at a depth of 4 to 5 km and deeper. In general, the strata at these depths are largely of Paleogene age. Thus, the Paleogene strata may have significant resource potential if source and reservoir rocks similar to those dredged at the slope are present below the shelf. The Paleogene strata are contained primarily within the western subbasin; strata in the east subbasin appear to have little resource potential. Structural traps are apparently present in parts of the basin near and along the Dangerous River zone. These traps are in an updip position from potentially mature strata of the western subbasin, and may hold commercial accumulations of hydrocarbons, if sufficient hydrocarbon generation and migration has occurred

  4. Exhumation of the Baltoscandian continental margin during late-stage (Early Devonian) Caledonian contraction, northern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, M. W.; Steltenpohl, M. G.; Key, T. B.; Andresen, A.; Hames, W. E.

    2012-04-01

    The western Norwegian Caledonides have been the focus of investigations into how continental crust is exhumed from ultra-high pressure conditions for over 25 years. In particular, understanding the timing, geometry and kinematics of deformation partitioning during exhumation places important constraints on continental crustal rheology in collisional settings. Furthermore, such studies have bearing on wider plate configurations during exhumation in such settings, most notably the role of post-collisional plate divergence, in this case between Baltica and Laurentia during the Devonian. The Caledonian allochthons of north-central Scandinavia (Torneträsk-Troms-Ofoten) are dominated by a series of crystalline thrust sheets ("nappes") that were emplaced ESE-wards across the margin of Baltica, mainly during and immediately after the Scandian orogenic event (435-370 Ma). Several major shear zones cross-cut both the basement-cover contact and higher structural levels within the previously assembled thrust-stack and document late-stage, deformation partitioning under amphibolite-greenschist facies metamorphic conditions. 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of muscovite from mylonites and phyllonites within several of these shear zones record cooling during synchronous, but partitioned, tops-east thrusting and tops-west extension over the period 420-370 Ma. The Gullesfjord-Austerfjord shear zone (GASZ) records cooling from 420-380 Ma tops-east thrusting, whereas muscovites from the lower plate of the GASZ record cooling from 380-370 Ma. Muscovites from the tops-east Øse thrust, which cuts and possibly duplicates higher levels of the nappe stack east of Gullesfjord, record cooling from 400-370 Ma. This is synchronous with tops-east motion along the thrust contact between the allochthon and the Baltic Shield basement in this area. Recrystallised muscovite along the Eidsfjord-Fiskefjord detachment, dated at 403.6 Ma, document tops-west extensional movement directly west of Gullesfjord and implies that contraction was followed closely by extensional movement. Late-to-post-Caledonian extension in Lofoten-Ofoten thus is interpreted as having been accommodated by gravity-driven, foreland- and hinterland-directed movement away from a thermal dome created beneath over-thickened Caledonian crust, without significant plate divergence.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 Atlantic is an ideal test bed for the hypothesis of velocity-dependent margin width since rifting was fast in the south, but slow in the northern part. As predicted by our numerical models, the maximum present-day margin width increases almost linearly from the conjugate Equatorial margin segments to the Florianopolis/Walvis ridge. Even though the polarity of the magma-poor South Atlantic margins alternates, the asymmetry and the width of the wider margin are in very good agreement with our simulations. The described rift evolution has three fundamental implications: (1) It implies sustained transfer of material across the extensional plate boundary thereby predicting that large portions of a wide margin originate from its conjugate side. (2) Migration of the deformation locus causes faulting in the distal parts of the margin to postdate that of the proximal parts by as much as 10 million years. This means that syn-rift and post-rift phase are location-dependent. (3) Lateral movement of the rift centre generates drastically different peak heat flow and subsidence histories at the proximal and the distal margin.

  7. Thermomechanical evolution of the South Alpine rifted margin (North Italy): constraints on the strength of passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertotti, G.; ter Voorde, M.; Cloetingh, S.; Picotti, V.

    1997-01-01

    We have reconstructed the kinematic, thermal and rheological evolution of the Triassic-Cretaceous South Alpine passive continental margin (Northern Italy) and estimated lateral strength variations associated with rifting. Rifting initially caused the formation of a roughly symmetrical, ca. 100 km wide graben located 150-200 km away from the future break-up site. 30 Myr after the onset of rifting, the rift axis shifted laterally and eventually led to oceanic crust formation. The thermal evolution of the margin was first controlled by the waning of a thermal anomaly, which was emplaced shortly before rifting and was cooling during the first extensional stages. Numerical modelling of rifting and drifting, constrained by field data, is used to trace thermal and rheological changes affecting the rifted margin. The effects of the thermal anomaly are restricted to the first 10-20 Myr of rifting. Subsequently, isotherms are slightly affected by lithospheric thinning and show very little distortion after break-up. Rheological modelling demonstrates that the South Alpine lithosphere preserved substantial strength even shortly before break-up and became stronger thereafter. The modelling also shows that, at break-up and 100 Myr later, thinned domains of the margin are stronger than the less thinned ones.

  8. Quaternary contourite drifts of the Western Spitsbergen margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebesco, Michele; Wåhlin, Anna; Laberg, Jan Sverre; Schauer, Ursula; Beszczynska-Möller, Agnieszka; Lucchi, Renata Giulia; Noormets, Riko; Accettella, Daniela; Zarayskaya, Yulia; Diviacco, Paolo

    2013-09-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Geodynamics Models of the Active Continental of Eurasia-Pacific Margins Transition Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodnikov, Alexander; Sergeyeva, Natalia; Zabarinskaya, Ludmila

    2010-05-01

    The active continental margins of the transition zone from Eurasian continent to the Pacific Ocean are characterized by high seismicity, volcanic eruption and natural cataclysms hazardous for the people living there. It is also area of recent intense tectonic movements and hydrothermal processes, place of accumulation of different kinds of useful minerals. The task of the research is (1) to study the deep structure and processes in the subduction and paleosubduction zones, beneath seismic hazardous zones, volcanic areas, mineragenetic fields, and sedimentary basins; (2) to determine the role of the deep processes going on in the upper mantle in the formation of major structural units of active continental and oceanic margins; (3) the study of the deep causes of geological phenomena to assess, predict and mitigate the natural disasters, specifically earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. The distinctive feature of the deep structure of the continental margins is the presence of an asthenosphere in the upper mantle. The tectonically active regions, such as the island arcs and the rifts of the marginal seas, correlate with a thick asthenosphere. The asthenosphere resides in a depth of 50-80 km under the old Paleogene deep basins of the marginal seas, at about 30 km under the Neogene basins, and at a depth of 10-20 km under the Pliocene-Quaternary and recent inter-arc basins, causing the breaks of the lithosphere, the formation of rifts, basalt lava eruptions, and hydrothermal activity. The asthenospheric diapirs are marked on the surface by rift formations and mainly tholeiitic magma eruption. Rifts in the marginal seas and island arcs may by accompanied by intense mineralization. The asthenospheric diapirs represent the channels by which hot mantle fluids from the asthenosphere penetrate to the geological structures of the transition zone from Eurasian Continent to the Pacific Ocean. The work was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research. No 09-05-00406-a

  11. Morphology of late Quaternary submarine landslides along the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twichell, D.C.; Chaytor, J.D.; ten Brink, U.S.; Buczkowski, B.

    2009-01-01

    The nearly complete coverage of the U.S. Atlantic continental slope and rise by multibeam bathymetry and backscatter imagery provides an opportunity to reevaluate the distribution of submarine landslides along the margin and reassess the controls on their formation. Landslides can be divided into two categories based on their source areas: those sourced in submarine canyons and those sourced on the open continental slope and rise. Landslide distribution is in part controlled by the Quaternary history of the margin. They cover 33% of the continental slope and rise of the glacially influenced New England margin, 16% of the sea floor offshore of the fluvially dominated Middle Atlantic margin, and 13% of the sea floor south of Cape Hatteras. The headwall scarps of open-slope sourced landslides occur mostly on the lower slope and upper rise while they occur mostly on the upper slope in the canyon-sourced ones. The deposits from both landslide categories are generally thin (mostly 20-40??m thick) and comprised primarily of Quaternary material, but the volumes of the open-slope sourced landslide deposits can be larger (1-392??km3) than the canyon-sourced ones (1-10??km3). The largest failures are located seaward of shelf-edge deltas along the southern New England margin and near salt domes that breach the sea floor south of Cape Hatteras. The spatial distribution of landslides indicates that earthquakes associated with rebound of the glaciated part of the margin or earthquakes associated with salt domes were probably the primary triggering mechanism although other processes may have pre-conditioned sediments for failure. The largest failures and those that have the potential to generate the largest tsunamis are the open-slope sourced landslides.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Prebreakup sedimentary and volcanic sequences on rifted Continental Margin of Wilkes Land, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-07-01

    The transition zone from continental crust to oceanic crust on the Wilkes Land, Antarctica, margin was surveyed with 24-fold multichannel seismic reflection along 1800 line-km in 1984. The northward transition from extended continental crust to normal oceanic crust is characterized by a progression through three distinct volcanic sequences. The first, deposited on extremely thin continental crust, is interpreted to be a flood basalt, presumably deposited during the late rifting stage. The second, which overlaps the first at its northern end, is a seaward-dipping reflector sequence that forms anomalously thick oceanic crust. The third, which in turn onlaps the second, is normal oceanic crust with a rough upper surface and no internal reflectors.

  15. Deep structure of the Namibia continental margin as derived from integrated geophysical studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Klaus; Neben, SöNke; Schreckenberger, Bernd; Emmermann, Rolf; Hinz, Karl; Fechner, Notker; Gohl, Karsten; Schulze, Albrecht; Trumbull, Robert B.; Weber, Klaus

    2000-11-01

    During the Geophysical Measurements Across the Continental Margin of Namibia (MAMBA) experiments, offshore and onshore refraction and reflection seismic as well as magnetic data were collected. Together with the existing free-air gravity data, these were used to derive two crustal sections across the ocean-continent transition. The results show that the Early Cretaceous continental breakup and the separation of South Africa and South America were accompanied by excessive igneous activity offshore. Off Namibia we found a 150-200 km wide zone of igneous crust up to 25 km thick. The upper part of this zone consists of an extrusive section comprising three units of basaltic composition: two distinct wedges of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs) separated by flat-lying volcanic flows. The inner wedge of SDRs can be modeled as the source of a long-wavelength magnetic anomaly that borders long parts of both South Atlantic margins (anomaly G). The crust underneath these extrusives is characterized by high-velocity and high-density material (average values 7 km s-1, 3×103 kg m-3). Free-air gravity anomalies along both sides of the high-density crust are interpreted as edge effects resulting from juxtaposition with normal oceanic and continental crust on either side. We define the abrupt landward termination of this zone as the continent-ocean boundary, and consequently, the crust seaward is interpreted as exclusively igneous material and not intruded continental crust. Extrapolation of the interpreted geophysical features along the southwest African margin suggests a fast prograding narrow rift zone and sharp lithospheric rupture leading to the formation of a margin-parallel magmatic belt south of the Walvis Ridge. The influence of the Tristan da Cunha mantle plume may explain the widening of this thick igneous crust near the Walvis Ridge.

  16. Meiofauna of the western continental shelf of India, Arabian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sajan, S.; Joydas, T. V.; Damodaran, R.

    2010-03-01

    Meiofaunal standing stock and nematode community structure were investigated in the western continental shelf of India by collecting samples from every degree square of the shelf during two cruises of the FORV ( Fishery and Oceanographic Research Vessel) Sagar Sampada, conducted in 1998 and 2001. Samples were collected from 30, 50, 100 and 200 m depths using a Smith Mc Intyre grab. Meiofaunal density ranged from 8 Ind. 10 cm -2 to 1208 Ind. 10 cm -2 and biomass from 0.07 mg 10 cm -2 to 6.11 mg 10 cm -2. Nematodes were the dominant meiofaunal group, contributing 88% of the density and 44% of the biomass. Harpacticoid copepods were the second important taxa, contributing 8% of both biomass and density. Altogether, 154 species of nematodes belonging to 28 families were recorded from the study area. Numerically, Desmodora spp., Dorylaimopsis sp. , Tricoma spp., Theristus spp. and Halalaimus spp. were the dominant species. In general, there was a decrease in biomass and density of meiofauna and species diversity of nematodes with increase in depth. There was a 67% drop in species number from 51 to 100 m (106 species) to the shelf edge (35 species). Species richness and diversity indices showed consistent decrease with depth. The species dominance index was higher below 150 m depth. ANOSIM (from PRIMER) showed a significant difference between the nematodes of the near shore and shelf edge. Latitudinal variation was observed only in the number of nematode species. Biomass and abundance of nematodes were found to increase from coarse to fine sediment, while copepods showed an opposite trend. Multivariate analyses of nematode communities did not reveal any latitudinal or substratum differences. Variables such as depth, latitude, organic matter (OM) and amount of clay were the most relevant parameters influencing the biomass and density of meiofauna, while depth and temperature were the important parameters explaining the distribution of the nematode communities along the western Indian shelf.

  17. 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 temperature and excess flux, and magmatism dies off as this rift-restricted material is spent. The buoyancy of the plume-material also elevates the plate boundaries and enhances plate spreading forces initially. The rapid drop in magma productivity to the north correlates with the northern boundary of the wide and deep Cretaceous Vøring Basin, thus less plume material was accommodated off Lofoten. This model predicts that the magma segmentation will show little variation in the geochemical signature.

  18. 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 temperature and excess flux, and magmatism dies off as this rift-restricted material is spent. The buoyancy of the plume-material also elevates the plate boundaries and enhances plate spreading forces initially. The rapid drop in magma productivity to the north correlates with the northern boundary of the wide and deep Cretaceous Vøring Basin, thus less plume material was accommodated off Lofoten. This model predicts that the magma segmentation will show little variation in the geochemical signature.

  19. 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.

  20. Interrelation between rifting, faulting, sedimentation, and mantle serpentinization during continental margin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 3d Gravity and Magnetic Modelling Along The Peruvian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinbockel, R.; Dehghani, G. A.

    Along the Peruvian continental margin gravity and magnetic measurements were car- ried out during the expedition SO146 (GEOPECO) in March - May 2000. A total length of 12,500 km gravity and 3,577 km magnetic profiles were collected. The po- tential field data were measured to model the crustal structures of the Peruvian sub- duction zone. Three-dimensional models of the continental margin were constructed for the areas Nazca Ridge (-14.20 S to - 16.74 S) as well as Lima Basin Area (-10.63 S to -14.41 S) and Yaquina Basin Area (-6.94 S to -11.71 S). The objectives of the gravity and magnetic investigations were the determination of the geometry of the subducting Nazca Plate, the reconstruction of uplift and subsidence of the continental margin due to the subduction of the Nazca Ridge, the accretion and tectonic erosion of the margin, the examination of the isostatic equilibrium and the tracing of magnetic anomalies within the subducting oceanic crust. Various magnetic lineations can be identified and traced along the Peruvian margin. These magnetic anomalies are helpful in reconstructing plate movement. Based on the available seis- mic velocity models three-dimensional gravity and magnetic models of the continental margin were constructed. The angle of subduction, the age and temperature of the oceanic plate as well as the crustal layers vary along the Peruvian margin and lead to different densities and degrees of magnetization. The presented three-dimensional models show these dif- ference between the northern research area that includes the Yaquina Basin and the southern area of the Nazca Ridge. The model of the Nazca Ridge is 220.5 km by 178 km in size and consists of 17 parallel vertical planes. The Lima Basin Area model is composed of 19 planes and is 330 km by 351 km in size. The model comprising the Yaquina Basin and surrounding area is 448.6 km by 295 km in size and includes 23 parallel vertical planes. Each of the vertical planes comprises part of the oceanic plate, the Peru trench and the continental shelf. Generally the gravity modelling supports the seismic velocity models. An exception is given in the Nazca Ridge model where the density of the continental crust seems to have to be higher to satisfy the measured gravity values. Compilation of the potential field data with the results of the other available geophys- ical and geological informa tion allows a better understanding of the dynamics in the 1 continental and oceanic crust along the Peruvian Margin. The combined and simulta- neous three-dimensional modelling of the gravity and magnetic data provides further constraints on the imaged structures. 2

  2. 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.

  3. 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 well-defined horst and graben topography. Off El Salvador slope failure is least developed and mainly occurs in the uppermost continental slope at canyon walls. Off Guatemala mass wasting is abundant and possibly related to normal faulting across the slope. Collapse in the wake of subducting ocean plate topography is a likely failure trigger of slumps. Rapid oversteepening above subducting relief may trigger translational slides in the middle Nicaraguan upper Costa Rican slope. Earthquake shaking may be a trigger, but we interpret that slope failure rate is lower than recurrence time of large earthquakes in the region. Generally, our analysis indicates that the importance of mass wasting processes in the evolution of margins dominated by subduction erosion and its role in sediment dynamics may have been previously underestimated.

  4. Diagenetic Ge-Si fractionation in continental margin environments: further evidence for a nonopal Ge sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McManus, James; Hammond, Douglas E.; Cummins, Kathy; Klinkhammer, Gary P.; Berelson, William M.

    2003-12-01

    We present data for dissolved germanic and silicic acids from several settings: sediment pore water profiles collected from the Peru-Chile continental margin, fluxes measured with in situ benthic flux chambers and shipboard whole-core incubations, and water column profiles from the California continental margin. Collectively, these data show that Ge and Si are fractionated in these continental margin sedimentary environments during diagenesis with ˜50% of the Ge released by opal dissolution being sequestered within the sediments. The areal extent of this diagenetic fractionation covers station depths from ˜100 m to >1000 m. Sediments from these sites typically have high pore water Fe 2+ present in the upper ˜2 cm. At sites with low Fe 2+ concentrations in the upper pore waters, the Ge:Si benthic regeneration ratio indicates little or no fractionation during diatom dissolution. Consistent with the sedimentary fractionation, water column dissolved Ge:Si ratios along the continental margin are on average lower (0.66 μmol/mol) than the global average ratio (0.72 μmol/mol, Mortlock and Froelich, 1996). This lower "average" ratio is driven by two distinct ΔGe:ΔSi data trends having similar slopes but different intercepts. Data from the upper ˜150 m has a Ge:Si slope of 0.74 ± 0.04 μmol/mol (2σ) and an intercept of 0.5 ± 0.4; whereas below ˜550 m the slope is 0.70 ± 0.06 μmol/mol, but the intercept is -5.0 ± 8.0. Assuming that the sediments sampled here are representative of all reducing marine environments, an assumption requiring further testing, our calculations indicate that sequestration of Ge into a nonopal phase throughout the global ocean in the depth range 0.2-1 km is sufficient to balance the Ge budget. Thus, we tentatively conclude that sequestering of Ge in reducing continental margin sediments is the "missing" Ge sink.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Geologic hazards on the Atlantic continental margin of the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Folger, D.W.

    1985-01-01

    Although 46 exploratory holes have failed to reveal commercial hydrocarbon accumulations on the US Atlantic margin, about twice that number were drilled on the contiguous Canadian margin before large reserves were discovered. Thus, despite the initial results, exploration on the US margin will probably continue and additional information will be needed to augment the extensive environmental data base acquired over the past 10 years. The extent, timing, causes, and importance of sediment instability of the Continental Slopes of Georges Bank, Baltimore Canyon Trough and Carolina Trough--where future exploration will take place--remain controversial. Many question remain to be answered regarding such phenomena as creep on the upper slope, mass wasting in canyons and gullies, and slumping associated with faults and salt diapirs. Along the southeastern margin, the distribution of cavernous porosity below the shelf is only broadly known. Caverns pose a potential threat to drilling operations ranging from collapse of rigs to circulation loss and sheared drill strings. In deeper waters of the Continental Slope (700-2000 m), clathrates or frozen gas hydrates are common. The potential hazard of blow-outs from gas trapped beneath this layer are unknown. Additional information is needed to assess the bottom stresses imposed by tidal, storm, and geostrophically-driven currents on offshore rigs and structures, particularly in such areas as Georges Bank, the Carolina Trough, and the Blake Plateau.

  8. 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 predominantly the result of post-eruption differential subsidence, as opposed to syn-eruption extension. The timing of intrusion of the lower crustal sill complexes remains unclear but they are most likely to have been emplaced as the supply of magma increased, which implies they are a late stage addition.

  9. 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 of post-rift compression that leads to the formation of EPCMs and that the necessary forces build up during changes in plate motion (e.g. Leroy et al., 2004; Cobbold et al., 2010; Japsen et al., 2012a,b).

  10. How is continental break-up recorded in magma-poor rifted margins?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peron-Pinvidic, G.; Manatschal, G.; Minshull, T.; Sawyer, D.

    2006-12-01

    In classical models of continental break-up, rifting is immediately followed by seafloor spreading, which implies that break-up can be identified as a specific spatial and temporal boundary. However, this simple concept is not supported by observations at rifted margins. The classical indicators for determining break-up (break-up unconformity, magnetic anomalies, distribution of high-angle faults and sedimentary wedges) may no longer be relied upon to identify unambiguously the location and age of break-up. We studied the spatial and temporal evolution of the deep Iberia-Newfoundland margins, which are the type examples of magma-poor rifted margins. Our study was based on borehole data and on a mapping of the sedimentary and basement architecture in 3D on seismic reflection profiles. Our results allow us to describe the tectono-sedimentary and morpho-tectonic evolution of final rifting and show that continental break-up is complex. In the Iberia-Newfoundland rift system, the tectono-sedimentary evolution of final rifting can be reconstructed back to 145Ma, when the crust was already thinned to less than 10km. Two major deformation phases have been identified: a first, Tithonian to Barremian in age (145-128Ma) and a second, dated as latest Aptian (112Ma). The Tithonian-Barremian phase is characterized by a migration of the tectonic activity oceanwards and a change of the deformation mechanisms from south to north, from zones of mantle exhumed via downward concave faults to classical half-grabens formed by the normal tilting of thinned continental blocks along upward concave faults. This phase terminates with the formation of the first unequivocal magnetic anomaly (M3 128Ma) and the accretion of more than 170km of crust, at rates of about 1cm/yr, that is neither oceanic nor continental, commonly referred to as Zone of Exhumed Continental Mantle (ZECM). The late-Aptian phase is associated with a major tectono-magmatic event and is responsible for the observed basement topography in the ZECM. Although short-lived, this event is widely distributed over previously accreted crust. Our results show that the Iberia-Newfoundland rift system is polyphase and is characterized by the interaction of different modes of extension. These modes overlap one another in time and space. In contrast to what we expected, distributed deformation was still wide-spread after formation of the first magnetic anomalies. Therefore, break-up can not be defined as a sharp boundary or as an isochron in the deep margin. The concept of continental break-up marking the beginning of the oceanic accretion is not applicable to magma-poor rifted margins such as Iberia-Newfoundland. The transition from rifting to seafloor spreading in deep margins is transitional. This observation has strong implications for frequently used concepts such as the break-up unconformity and the partition of the sedimentary cover into pre-, syn- and post-rift intervals. Given the length and the polyphase nature of the rifting, several pre-, syn- and post-rift intervals have to be defined to respect the original definitions; and no single break-up unconformity can be generated given the transitional nature from rift to drift. Moreover, traditionally computed accretion rates have to take into account the superposition of different tectonic mechanisms, interacting with each other and re-utilizing old structures within the deep margin, and the potential redistribution of deformation even after generation of first magnetic anomalies.

  11. Ocean Drilling Program Leg 178 (Antarctic Peninsula): Sedimentology of glacially influenced continental margin topsets and foresets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eyles, N.; Daniels, J.; Osterman, L.E.; Januszczak, N.

    2001-01-01

    Ocean Drilling Program Leg 178 (February-April 1998) drilled two sites (Sites 1097 and 1103) on the outer Antarctic Peninsula Pacific continental shelf. Recovered strata are no older than late Miocene or early Pliocene (<4.6 Ma). Recovery at shallow depths in loosely consolidated and iceberg-turbated bouldery sediment was poor but improved with increasing depth and consolidation to allow description of lithofacies and biofacies and interpretation of depositional environment. Site 1097 lies on the outer shelf within Marguerite Trough which is a major outlet for ice expanding seaward from the Antarctic Peninsula and reached a maximum depth drilled of 436.6 m below the sea floor (mbsf). Seismic stratigraphic data show flat-lying upper strata resting on strata that dip gently seaward. Uppermost strata, to a depth of 150 mbsf, were poorly recovered, but data suggest they consist of diamictites containing reworked and abraded marine microfauna. This interval is interpreted as having been deposited largely as till produced by subglacial cannibalization of marine sediments (deformation till) recording ice sheet expansion across the shelf. Underlying gently dipping strata show massive, stratified and graded diamictite facies with common bioturbation and slump stuctures that are interbedded with laminated and massive mudstones with dropstones. The succession contains a well-preserved in situ marine microfauna typical of open marine and proglacial marine environments. The lower gently dipping succession at Site 1097 is interpreted as a complex of sediment gravity flows formed of poorly sorted glacial debris. Site 1103 was drilled in that part of the continental margin that shows uppermost flat-lying continental shelf topsets overlying steeper dipping slope foresets seaward of a structural mid-shelf high. Drilling reached a depth of 363 mbsf with good recovery in steeply dipping continental slope foreset strata. Foreset strata are dominated by massive and chaotically stratified diamictites interbedded with massive and graded sandstones and mudstones. The sedimentary record and seismic stratigraphy is consistent with deposition on a continental slope from debris flows and turbidity currents released from a glacial source. Data from Sites 1097 and 1103 suggest the importance of aggradation of the Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf by tilt deposition and progradation of the slope by mass flow. This may provide a model for the interpretation of Palaeozoic and Proterozoic glacial successions that accumulated on glacially influenced continental margins.

  12. 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

    We numerically model continental lithosphere deformation leading to breakup and sea floor spreading initiation in response to an imposed upwelling and divergent flow field applied to continental lithosphere and asthenosphere. The model is used to predict rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and temperature structure. Model predictions are compared with observed rifted margin structure for four diverse case studies. Prior to application of the upwelling divergent flow field the continental lithosphere is undeformed with a uniform temperature gradient. The upwelling divergent flow field is defined kinematically using boundary conditions consisting of the upwelling velocity Vz at the divergence axis and the half divergence rate Vx . The resultant velocity field throughout the continuum is computed using finite element (FE) code incorporating a Newtonian temperature dependent rheology. The flow field is used to advect the continental lithosphere material and lithospheric and asthenospheric temperatures. Viscosity structure is hence modified and the velocities change correspondingly in a feedback loop. We find the kinematic boundary conditions Vz and Vx to be of first order importance. A high Vz/Vx (greater than10), corresponding to buoyancy assisted flow, leads to minimal mantle exhumation and a well defined continent ocean transition consistent with observations at volcanic margins. For Vz/Vx near unity, corresponding to plate boundary driven divergence, mantle exhumation over widths of up to 100 km is predicted which is consistent with observations at non-volcanic margins. The FE method allows the upwelling velocity Vz to be propagated upwards from the top of the asthenosphere to the Earth's surface without the requirement of imposing Vx. When continental breakup is achieved the half divergence velocity Vx can be applied at the lithosphere surface and the upwelling velocity Vz left free. We find this time and space dependent set of boundary conditions is 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 next four years an unprecedented phase of surveying and analysis on margins will take place in order to prepare for the deadline. The international scientific community as a whole must recognise the potential for research in this work and ensure the data is made available as soon as practically possible for the scientific community. In conclusion, by way of a reality check, this presentation highlights the likely areas of most intense UNCLOS-driven research activity up to 2009, the type of data acquisition anticipated and their likely location, and speculates on the areas of understanding of margin evolution which will be most advanced by this process.

  15. The influence of tectonics on flank margin cave formation on a passive continental margin: Naracoorte, Southeastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Susan; Webb, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Intensive cave development within the highly porous and permeable Eocene-Middle Miocene Gambier Limestone in southeastern South Australia is restricted to a 1 × 11 km area at Naracoorte. The caves are overwhelmingly horizontal, consisting of large solutional domes connected by smaller passages, with bell holes, small pendants and large non-directional scallops on the walls and ceilings. Orientation is strongly controlled by NW/SE joints. Cave entrances have been opened by subsequent collapse, and breakdown is common. The caves are located on the Kanawinka Fault escarpment, which was uplifted in the Late Miocene-Early Pliocene and then overlain by a series of Pleistocene carbonate strandline dunes, deposited as the sea retreated following a Late Miocene transgression. The coastline lay along the Kanawinka escarpment at ~ 0.9-1.1 Ma, when the caves formed just inland of the shoreline within the zone of enhanced dissolution at the seaward margin of the freshwater lens. They have the typical flank margin cave morphology, except that joint development adjacent to the fault caused the strong linear orientation parallel to the coastline. The beach dune deposited to the west of the Kanawinka escarpment shows that sea-level had dropped sufficiently to completely drain the caves at 780-880 ka. Cave development was therefore confined to a period spanning ~ 0.8-1.1 Ma. Continuing gradual uplift through the Pleistocene means that the caves are now > 100 km inland, obscuring the essentially coastal nature of the Naracoorte karst. Speleogenesis at Naracoorte reflects the interaction of neotectonics with coastal dissolution, and emphasizes the role that tectonism can play in Pleistocene karst development even on passive continental margins, where glacio/eustatic sea-level fluctuations are generally ascribed as the dominant role.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Si-WEBS, a European network for the study of Si fluxes on continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ragueneau, O.; Si-Webs Team

    2003-04-01

    Diatoms play an essential role in the export of carbon (C) towards both higher trophic levels and the deep ocean. They have a crucial need for silicon (Si) to build their frustule, but this element has clearly been neglected in studies of carbon and nutrient (N, P) fluxes in continental margins. Over the last 20 years however, coastal ecosystems of temperate regions became particularly sensitive to declining Si:N and Si:P nutrient ratios. Such declines have been related to increased eutrophication and the build-up of dams in river systems. As a result of these anthropogenic perturbations, many ecosystems have switched from nitrate limitation to silicic acid (DSi) limitation, with important consequences for phytoplankton dynamics (from diatoms to less desirable species) and cascading effects on pelagic and benthic food webs. Short-term consequences of Si availability on the shelf mostly affect the resource whereas long-term consequences may affect carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration on the shelf and the auxiliary biological pump. Continental margins also play a filtering role so that changes in Si delivery to the hydrosphere and/or retention along the Land-Ocean-Continuum (LOC) may have a long-term impact on the oceanic C cycle. Here, we suggest an approach to improve our understanding of (1) the role of Si in the functioning of coastal ecosystems and (2) Si delivery to the open ocean at global scale. This approach implies (1) extending the LOICZ budgeting approach to the element Si to derive worldwide Si budgets on continental margins; (2) improving our knowledge of the processes that control Si transformations along the LOC. The EU-SiWEBS Research Training Network (2002-2006) will work in this last direction, by (a) improving the parameterization of the Si cycle in three river, coastal zone and open ocean models, (b) building quantitative modeling tools to describe Si transformations along the land-ocean continuum, and (c) using these tools to evaluate the ecological, biogeochemical and socio-economical consequences of natural and anthropogenic perturbations of the Si cycle. Although centered on coastal zone processes, SiWEBS will clearly build links towards the two ends of continental margins, by linking the terrestrial and aquatic Si cycles and by providing a means of quantifying temporal variations in Si river inputs to the global ocean.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 reservoirs. Geochemical mixing models reveal that the measured 129I/I ratios in Atacama are in agreement with multiple sources of iodine that include variable contributions from old organic iodine sources (i.e., marine sedimentary rocks) and younger fluids such as pore waters, geothermal fluids and meteoric waters. Our results show that the large variation observed in the iodine isotopic ratios of different reservoirs (129I/I from 150 to 1580 × 10-15) is indicative of significant mixing and circulation of fluids of meteoric, sedimentary and volcanic origin along the Chilean continental margin in the last 30 million years. We conclude that this protracted and large-scale fluid flow was driven by tectonic uplift and highly influenced by the climatic history of the Atacama Desert. The combination of such factors has played an unforeseen role in transporting and accumulating iodine and other soluble components in the Atacama region, and is evidence that elemental remobilization is a key process in the overall crustal cycle of iodine over scales of millions of years.

  4. 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.

  5. Numerical Models of Salt Tectonics and Associated Thermal Evolution of Rifted Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goteti, R.; Beaumont, C.; Ings, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    Salt tectonics at rifted continental margins reflects the interplay between the geometry of the initial evaporite basin and subsequent mobilization of the salt which is partly controlled by the density and strength of the overburden. Salt mobility is also influenced by the overall thermo-mechanical evolution of the margin which includes factors such as: initial seaward tilt of the margin basement owing to crustal thinning; an initial thermal anomaly owing to the rifting and the subsequent long-term postrift thermal subsidence; and the flexural isostatic response to sedimentation which may reverse the basal tilt. The high thermal conductivity of salt also has a significant impact on the thermal evolution of rifted margin sedimentary basins. We present two-dimensional thermo-mechanical finite element models designed to assess salt mobility and its impact on the thermal evolution of the surrounding sediments and underlying crust in the context of an evolving rifted margin, that includes the processes listed above. Model experiments include: the initial geometry of the rifted margin and the embedded autochthonous salt basin, and its subsequent thermal subsidence, sedimentation and water loading and their flexural response, erosion and, sediment compaction. Salt is mobilized by aggrading sediments with a sinusoidally perturbed surface that represents natural bathymetric unevenness. The model results indicate that the presence of a highly conductive salt layer perturbs the initial thermal structure of the rifted margin resulting in a negative thermal anomaly beneath the autochthonous salt basin. For a given thickness of the salt layer, the depth of this perturbation increases with the width of the salt basin. Flow of salt initially occurs by gliding owing to the initial seaward tilt of the margin which is enhanced by thermal subsidence as the margin cools and, subsequently by a combination of gliding and gravitational spreading when loaded by aggrading sediments. Uneven sediment loading results in well-developed minibasins and intervening salt diapirs. The seaward flow of salt, and down-dip contraction owing to the evolving margin tilt, result in wider diapirs at the seaward end of the basin; a geometry consistent with observations in rifted margins (e.g., south Atlantic margins). Salt flow results in the migration of the associated thermal perturbation. The expulsion of salt by the sediment loading results in higher temperatures beneath the grounded minibasins. However, owing to the thermal focusing of heat by salt, the minibasins remain significantly cooler than the sediments outside the salt basin where standard geothermal gradients are established as the margin cools. Under these circumstances hydrocarbons generation will be delayed until sediments of significant thickness are deposited in salt minibasins. With all other parameters being equal, the down-dip flow of salt, maximum temperature (thickness) attained in the basin are higher for narrower margins. The thermal refraction of heat owing to the salt basin observed in our models has important implications for thermal and petroleum systems modeling of rifted margin sedimentary basins.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Seismic stratigraphy of Long Island platform, United States Atlantic Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Jowett, R.A.; Hutchinson, D.R.

    1987-09-01

    Approximately 2000 km of single- and multichannel seismic reflection profiles collected over the Long Island platform on the US Atlantic continental margin show that the basement beneath the platform was rifted prior to the separation of Africa from North America and that it subsided after the separation. Postrift sediment thicknesses range from less than 1 km in the northwest part of the platform to several kilometers in the southeast, near the Atlantis and Nantucket rift basins. Flanking the platform are the Georges Bank basin to the east and Baltimore Canyon Trough to the south, where sedimentary rocks are 10-15 km thick. Nine major unconformities have been delineated in analysis of the seismic profiles. The most conspicuous unconformities are correlated with the end of rifting and the upper surfaces of the Bathonian, Tithonian, Albian, Turonian-Coniacian, Maestrichtian, upper Eocene, mid-Oligocene, and mid-Miocene sections. Ages are determined by tracing reflectors and unconformities to the COST (Continental Offshore Stratigraphic Test), AMCOR (Atlantic Margin Coring Project), and coastal wells. Several of these unconformities coincide with pronounced fluctuations in the Vail curve of relative sea level.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Shear wave velocity structure of Reed Bank, southern continental margin of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Xiaodong; Ruan, Aiguo; Zhao, Minghui; Qiu, Xuelin; Wu, Zhenli; Niu, Xiongwei

    2015-03-01

    The shear wave velocity structure of a wide angle seismic profile (OBS973-2) across Reed Bank in the southern continental margin of the South China Sea (SCS) is simulated by 2-D ray-tracing method, based on its previous P-wave model. This profile is 369-km-long and consists of fifteen three-component ocean bottom seismometers (OBS). The main results are as follows.(1) The model consists of seven layers and the shear wave velocity increases from 0.7 km/s at the top of sediment layer to 4.0 km/s in the lower crust. (2) The Moho depth decreases from 20-22 km at the Reed Bank to 9-11 km at the deep oceanic basin with the shear wave velocity of 4.2 km/s below the Moho. (3) The Vp/Vs ratio decreases with depth through the sedimentary layers, attributed to increased compaction and consolidation of the rocks. (4) In the continental upper crust (at model distance 90-170 km), S-wave velocity (2.5-3.2 km/s) is relatively low and Vp/Vs ratio (1.75-1.82) is relatively high compared with the other parts of the crust, corresponding to the lower P-wave velocity in the previous P-wave model and normal faults revealed by MCS data, indicating that a strong regional extensional movement had occurred during the formation process of the SCS at the Reed Bank area. (5) The S-wave structures indicate that Reed Bank crust has different rock compositions from that in the east section of the northern margin, denying the presence of conjugate relationship of Reed Bank with Dongsha islands. According to P-wave models and other data, we inferred that Reed Bank and Macclesfield were separated from the same continental crust during the rifting and break-up process.

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. Observations at convergent margins concerning sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and the growth of continental crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Von Huene, R.; Scholl, D. W.

    1991-01-01

    At ocean margins where two plates converge, the oceanic plate sinks or is subducted beneath an upper one topped by a layer of terrestrial crust. This crust is constructed of continental or island arc material. The subduction process either builds juvenile masses of terrestrial crust through arc volcanism or new areas of crust through the piling up of accretionary masses (prisms) of sedimentary deposits and fragments of thicker crustal bodies scraped off the subducting lower plate. At convergent margins, terrestrial material can also bypass the accretionary prism as a result of sediment subduction, and terrestrial matter can be removed from the upper plate by processes of subduction erosion. Sediment subduction occurs where sediment remains attached to the subducting oceanic plate and underthrusts the seaward position of the upper plate's resistive buttress (backstop) of consolidated sediment and rock. Sediment subduction occurs at two types of convergent margins: type 1 margins where accretionary prisms form and type 2 margins where little net accretion takes place. At type 2 margins (???19,000 km in global length), effectively all incoming sediment is subducted beneath the massif of basement or framework rocks forming the landward trench slope. At accreting or type 1 margins, sediment subduction begins at the seaward position of an active buttress of consolidated accretionary material that accumulated in front of a starting or core buttress of framework rocks. Where small-to-mediumsized prisms have formed (???16,300 km), approximately 20% of the incoming sediment is skimmed off a detachment surface or decollement and frontally accreted to the active buttress. The remaining 80% subducts beneath the buttress and may either underplate older parts of the frontal body or bypass the prism entirely and underthrust the leading edge of the margin's rock framework. At margins bordered by large prisms (???8,200 km), roughly 70% of the incoming trench floor section is subducted beneath the frontal accretionary body and its active buttress. In rounded figures the contemporary rate of solid-volume sediment subduction at convergent ocean margins (???43,500 km) is calculated to be 1.5 km3/yr. Correcting type 1 margins for high rates of terrigenous seafloor sedimentation during the past 30 m.y. or so sets the long-term rate of sediment subduction at 1.0 km3/yr. The bulk of the subducted material is derived directly or indirectly from continental denudation. Interstitial water currently expulsed from accreted and deeply subducted sediment and recycled to the ocean basins is estimated at 0.9 km3/yr. The thinning and truncation caused by subduction erosion of the margin's framework rock and overlying sedimentary deposits have been demonstrated at many convergent margins but only off northern Japan, central Peru, and northern Chile has sufficient information been collected to determine average or long-term rates, which range from 25 to 50 km3/m.y. per kilometer of margin. A conservative long-term rate applicable to many sectors of convergent margins is 30 km3/km/m.y. If applied to the length of type 2 margins, subduction erosion removes and transports approximately 0.6 km3/yr of upper plate material to greater depths. At various places, subduction erosion also affects sectors of type 1 margins bordered by small- to medium-sized accretionary prisms (for example, Japan and Peru), thus increasing the global rate by possibly 0.5 km3/yr to a total of 1.1 km3/yr. Little information is available to assess subduction erosion at margins bordered by large accretionary prisms. Mass balance calculations allow assessments to be made of the amount of subducted sediment that bypasses the prism and underthrusts the margin's rock framework. This subcrustally subducted sediment is estimated at 0.7 km3/yr. Combined with the range of terrestrial matter removed from the margin's rock framework by subduction erosion, the global volume of subcrustally subducted materia

  1. Transition from magma dominant to magma poor rifting along the Nova Scotia Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, K. H.; Louden, K. E.; Nedimović, M. R.; Whitehead, M.; Farkas, A.; Watremez, L.; Dehler, S. A.

    2011-12-01

    Passive margins have been characterized as magma-dominant (volcanic) or magma-poor (non-volcanic). However, the conditions under which margins might switch states are not well understood as they typically have been studied as end member examples in isolation to each other. The Nova Scotia (NS) continental margin, however, offers an opportunity to study the nature of such a transition between the magma-dominant US East Coast margin to the south and the magma-poor Newfoundland margin to the north within a single rift segment. This transition is evidenced by a clear along-strike reduction in features characteristic of syn-rift volcanism from south-to-north along the NS margin, such as the weakening of the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly (ECMA) and the coincident disappearance of seaward dipping reflector sequences (SDRS) on multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiles. Results from recent industry MCS profiles along and across the margin suggest a potentially narrow magma-dominant to magma-poor along-strike transition between the southern and the central NS margin. Such a transition is broadly consistent with results of several widely-spaced, across-strike ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) wide-angle profiles. In the southern region, the crustal structure exhibits a narrow (~120-km wide) ocean-continent transition (OCT) with a high velocity (7.2 km/s) lower crust, interpreted as a gabbro-rich underplated melt, beneath the SDRS and the ECMA, similar to crustal models across the US East Coast. In contrast, profiles across the central and northern margin contain a much wider OCT (150-200-km wide) underlain by a low velocity mantle layer (7.3-7.9 km/s), interpreted as partially serpentinized olivine, which is similar to the magma-poor Newfoundland margin to the north. However, the central-to-northern OBS profiles also exhibit significant variations within the OCT and the along-strike continuity of these OCT structures is not yet clear. In November 2010, we acquired, in the OCTOPUS survey, wide-angle seismic data along a 240-km-long margin parallel profile extending from the central to the northern margin segments along an existing industry MCS profile (Ion/GX Technology NovaSPAN 5100). Twenty OBSs at 10-km spacing were analysed. A preliminary p-wave velocity model along the profile indicates that the cross-strike structures are continuous within the OCT. However, a substantial anisotropy in velocity (~8% lower parallel to the margin) is observed within the OCT. This result is consistent with an interpretation of partially serpentinized mantle that flowed perpendicular to the margin during its extension. In addition, along strike variations are also observed along the profile, which suggest a higher degree of volcanism and a thinner layer of serpentinized mantle to the southwest. These results provide a framework for future studies to the southwest to further investigate the transition to a magma-dominant regime towards the US East Coast.

  2. Continental Margin of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia: the Mode and Nature of Crustal Growth in the Accretionary Orogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konstantinovskaya, E. A.; Bindeman, I. N.

    2001-12-01

    Tectonic accretion of island arc terranes is the process widely developed in Pacific Rim in the present and in the past. The mode and nature of crustal growth of continental margins during arc accretion are various and essentially determined by deformation of the margin. The Cenozoic Kamchatka orogen formed by the accretion of two island arc terranes: Achaivayam-Valaginskaya arc (A-V, Eocene) (2) and Kronotskaya arc (terminal Miocene) to the continental margin of Asia. During the Early Eocene, the southern segment of the A-V arc collided with the Sredinny metamorphic massif, which was the frontal part of the Asian continental margin (3). New results from SHRIMP dating of zircons (1) from metamorphic rocks of Sredinny massif (Kolpakovskaya series) show that the massif contains an abundance of Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic detrital zircon cores, and ubiquitous 77 Ma rims. The youngest ages are from four 47-53 Ma unzoned zircon cores, with dull cathodoluminescence, and irregular morphology. We regard the 47-53 Ma episode of zircon growth in the Sredinny massif as evidence for superimposed metamorphism induced by continental margin subduction at the beginning of its collision with the A-V arc in the early Eocene. Physical modeling experiments of arc-continent collision suggest that deformation at continental margin is controlled by strength of the subducting crust. Failure, accretion and erosion-activated extrusion/exhumation of the subducted crust occur in the continental margin in the case when the margin is weakened by pre-existing faulting, extension, or heating. At the beginning of the continental margin subduction, crust of the margin fails along the continent-vergent thrust. The subducted crustal slice is, then, completely scraped from the mantle base and accreted to the fore-arc block. Subsequent thrusting and thickening of the subducting crust within the continental margin lead to formation of the accretionary orogen composed of crustal slices in front of the collided arc. Erosional unloading causes the previously subducted crustal slice of the continental margin to slide with a strong horizontal compressional squeezing, and buoyant force. After some subduction of the continental margin, the overriding plate fails in the arc area along the continent-vergent fault, which results in subduction of the fore-arc block. In Kamchatka, the Sredinny massif is considered to represent the crustal slice detached from the mantle base of the leading edge of the Asian continental margin, accreted and exhumed in front of the collided A-V arc. This work is supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research, project no 316, Geosphaera Research Center, and DOE. (1) Bindeman I.N., Vinogradov V.I., Valley J.W., Wooden J.L. (2001) Archean protolith, and accretion of crust in Kamchatka: SHRIMP dating of zircons from Sredinny and Ganal Massifs, subm to J Geol (2) Garver J.I., Soloviev A.V., Bullen M.E., Brandon M.T. (2000) Toward a more complete record of magmatism and exhumation in continental arcs, using detrital fission-track thermochronometry. Phys Chem Earth (A) 25, 565. (3) Konstantinovskaia E.A. (2001) Arc-continent collision and subduction reversal in the Cenozoic evolution of the Northwest Pacific: an example from Kamchatka (NE Russia), Tectonophysics, 333, 75-94.

  3. 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.

  4. Variations in sediment transport at the central Argentine continental margin during the Cenozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruetzner, Jens; Uenzelmann-Neben, Gabriele; Franke, Dieter

    2012-10-01

    The construction of the sedimentary cover at most passive continental margins includes gravitational downslope transport and along-slope contourite deposition, which are controlled by tectonics, climate and oceanography. At the eastern continental margin of Argentina the history of deposition and erosion is intimately linked to the evolution of the South Atlantic and its water masses. Here we present a detailed seismic investigation of the mixed depositional system located between 41°S and 45°S. The study provides a northward complement to prior investigations from the southern Argentine margin and together with these may be used as background information for future ocean drilling in the region. Prominent features in our seismic cross sections are submarine canyons, mass wasting deposits, contourite channels, and sediment drifts. Four major seismic units above regional reflector PLe (˜65 Ma) are separated by distinct unconformities of regional extent. Using a dense grid of reflection seismic profiles, we mapped the depocenter geometries of the seismic units and derived a chronology of the depositional processes during the Cenozoic. While the Paleocene/Eocene (˜65-34 Ma) is characterized by hemipelagic sedimentation under relatively sluggish bottom water conditions, strong Antarctic bottom water (AABW) circulation led to widespread erosion on the slope and growth of a detached sediment drift during the Oligocene and early Miocene (˜34-17 Ma). After deposition of an aggradational seismic unit interpreted to represent the Mid-Miocene climatic optimum (˜17-14 Ma), gravitational downslope sediment transport increased during the middle to late Miocene (˜14-6 Ma) possibly related to tectonic uplift in South America. The Pliocene to Holocene unit (<˜6 Ma) is very heterogeneous and formed by interactions of downslope and along-slope sediment transport processes as indicated by the evolution of canyons, slope plastered drifts and channels.

  5. Thermal history of the Rio Muni (West Africa) NE Brazil margins during continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Jonathan P.; Green, Paul F.; Holford, Simon P.; Lawrence, Stephen R.

    2008-06-01

    We document the thermal record of breakup of the conjugate Rio Muni (West Africa) and NE Brazil margins using apatite fission track analysis, vitrinite reflectance data and stratigraphic observations from both margins. These results permit determination of the timing of four cooling episodes, and the temperature of samples at the onset of each episode. All samples are interpreted to have experienced higher temperatures in the geological past due to i) elevated basal heatflow (palaeogeothermal gradient in Rio Muni-1 well decaying from 58 °C/km during the Mid Cretaceous to 21.5 °C/km in the Late Cenozoic) and ii) progressive exhumation from formerly greater burial depth. A well constrained history of changing palaeogeothermal gradient allows for much more precise quantification of the thickness of eroded section (exhumation) than if a constant heatflow is assumed. Cooling episodes identified from the palaeotemperature data at 110-95 Ma (both margins) and 85-70 Ma (Rio Muni only) coincide with major unconformities signifying, respectively, the cessation of rifting (breakup) and compressional shortening that affected the African continent following the establishment of post-rift sedimentation (drift). The interval between these separate unconformities is occupied by allochthonous rafts of shallow-water carbonates recording gravitational collapse of a marginal platform. The rift shoulder uplift that triggered this collapse was enhanced by local transpression associated with the obliquely divergent Ascension Fracture Zone, and thermal doming due to the coeval St Helena and Ascension Plumes. The data also reveal a c.45-35 Ma cooling episode, attributed to deep sea erosion at the onset of Eo-Oligocene ice growth, and a c.15-10 Ma episode interpreted as the record of Miocene exhumation of the West African continental margin related to continent-wide plume development. Integration of thermal history methods with traditional seismic- and stratigraphy-based observations yields a dynamic picture of kilometre-scale fluctuations in base level through the breakup and early drift phases of development of these margins. Major unconformities at ocean margins are likely to represent composite surfaces recording not only eustasy, but also regional plate margin-generated deformation, local 'intra-basinal' reorganization, and the amplifying effect of negative feedbacks between these processes.

  6. 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 incision lower than 6 m Ma-1 since 23 Ma. Limited erosion in the coastal lowland contrasts with Late Neogene increase in clastic fluxes on the offshore margin, which may therefore be attributed to erosion of the shelf edge or material imported from the Indus fan. Our results attest to the antiquity of the first-order relief and topography of the high-elevation margin of Southwest India and to a divergent erosion pattern on either side of its escarpment since at least 47 Ma.

  7. 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.

  8. Global Occurrences of Marine Gas Hydrate Beyond Active and Passive Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kvenvolden, K. A.

    2003-12-01

    Natural gas hydrate occurs worldwide in oceanic sediment mainly in slopes and rises of active and passive continental margins. The Blake Outer Ridge, a passive margin in the Atlantic Ocean, and Hydrate Ridge, an active margin in the Pacific Ocean, are two regions of gas-hydrate occurrence that are particularly well studied. But gas hydrate occurs in other geologic settings where conditions of temperature, pressure, and amount and composition of gas and water are appropriate. For example, gas hydrate has been recovered from inland seas and lakes (Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Lake Baikal). Gas hydrate has been inferred, based mainly on geophysical evidence, to be present in sediment of the Central Argentine Basin, the Bering Sea, and the Barents Sea. Submarine mud volcanoes such as Haakon Mosby in the Norwegian Sea and Kula in the Mediterranean Sea have yielded samples of gas hydrate, and near-surface sediment of the Gulf of Mexico contains gas hydrate associated with submarine gas vents. In fact, submarine gas hydrate was first observed by Russian scientists about thirty years ago when near-surface sediment recovered from the Black Sea was found to contain micro-crystalline aggregates of gas hydrate resembling hoarfrost. Most marine gas hydrate contains micorbially-generated methane; however, thermogenic methane has been observed in gas hydrate from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea. Although most marine gas hydrate is found in sediment of active and passive margins, various occurrences beyond these margins demonstrate how globally extensive natural gas-hydrate phenomena actually are.

  9. 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.

  10. 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, Seasonal variability of particulate organic radiocarbon in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research 101, 20543-20552), further supporting our contention that pyrophaeophorbide- a peaks in the deep water column are derived from "older" resuspended sediments that were laterally transported from continental margin sediments. Our molecular biomarker (pyrophaeophorbide- a) data are reflective of a specific fraction of SPOC that likely remains in the water column for long periods of time or is derived from resuspended sediments.

  11. Assessment of OSCAT winds for coastal circulation on the north western continental shelf of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salim, M.; Nagendra, K.; Bansal, S.; Nayak, R. K.; Rao, M. S.; Sasmal, S. K.; Dutt, C. B. S.; Rao, K. H.; Dadhwal, V. K.

    2014-11-01

    Winds and tides are the major driving forces of the circulation in the coastal and marginal seas. Data Interpolating Variation Analysis (DIVA) method is used to generate spatial and time series data of sea surface winds for the period 2010-2013 at daily time scale from the OSCAT observations. Validity and consistency of the data were examined against the in situ observations and ECMWF re-analysis at different time scales. Amplitude of semi-annual cycle of OSCAT winds in the coastal domain is 30 % larger than the ECMWF winds while the amplitude of annual cycle of OSCAT winds is 20 % smaller than the ECMWF winds. On the open oceans, intensity of respective semi-annual cycles are mostly similar while annual cycle of OSCAT wind is 20 % smaller than the ECMWF winds. Wind driven currents over the western continental shelf of India were simulated by forcing OSCAT and ECMWF winds to a coastal circulation model. It is observed that the mean seasonal circulations from both the simulations are identical spatial pattern however the magnitude of simulated currents based on OSCAT winds are much stronger than ECMWF wind forcing. These currents used in a lagrangian tracer transport code to model the oil-spill events occurred in this region. It revealed that OSCAT based ocean currents has performed better in simulating the trajectory than the ECMWF wind driven currents.

  12. 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 record) have supplied >80% of the total 85 yr suspended load. Based on radionuclide and hydrologic data, it can be concluded that a small number of flood depositional events have had a disproportionate impact on the sedimentary record of the Eel shelf.

  13. Pockmarks and seafloor instability in the Olbia continental slope (northeastern Sardinian margin, Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalla Valle, Giacomo; Gamberi, Fabiano

    2011-03-01

    The seafloor morphology and the subsurface of the continental slope of the Olbia intraslope basin located along the eastern, passive Sardinian margin (Tyrrhenian Sea) has been mapped through the interpretation of high-resolution multibeam bathymetric data, coupled with air-gun and sparker seismic profiles. Two areas, corresponding to different physiographic domains, have been recognized along the Olbia continental slope. The upper slope domain, extending from 500 to 850 m water depth, exhibits a series of conical depressions, interpreted as pockmarks that are particularly frequent in seafloor sectors coincident with buried slope channels. In one case, they are aligned along a linear gully most likely reflecting the course of one of the abandoned channels. The location of the pockmarks thus highlights the importance of the distribution of lithologies within different sedimentary bodies in the subsurface in controlling fluid migration plumbing systems. A linear train of pockmarks is, however, present also away from the buried channels being related to a basement step, linked to a blind fault. Two bathymetric highs, interpreted as possible carbonate mounds, are found in connection with some of the pockmark fields. Although the genetic linkage of the carbonate mounds with seafloor fluid venting cannot be definitively substantiated by the lack of in situ measurements, the possibility of a close relationship is here proposed. The lower slope domain, from 850 m down to the base of the slope at 1,200 m water depth is characterized by a sudden gradient increase (from 2° to 6°) that is driven by the presence of the basin master fault that separates the continental slope from the basin plain. Here, a series of km-wide headwall scars due to mass wasting processes are evident. The landslides are characterized by rotated, relatively undeformed seismic strata, which sometimes evolve upslope into shallow-seated (less than 10 m), smaller scale failures and into headless chutes. Slope gradient may act as a major controlling factor on the seafloor instability along the Olbia continental slope; however, the association of landslides with pockmarks has been recognized in several continental slopes worldwide, thus the role of over-pressured fluids in triggering sediment failure in the Olbia slope can not be discarded. In the absence of direct ground truthing, the geological processes linked to subsurface structures and their seafloor expressions have been inferred through the comparison with similar settings where the interpretation of seafloor features from multibeam data has been substantiated with seafloor sampling and geochemical data.

  14. 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 signal and confirm the Anti-Atlas as a potential source area of the Mesozoic basins along the passive continental margin. Young apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He ages of 49 (±3) Ma to 89 (±5) Ma in the Anti-Atlas and 64 (±4) to 73 (±4) Ma in the Tarfaya Basin are related to the interplay between the African and Eurasian plates. The time-temperature models of samples from the AA indicate that the main exhumation in the Anti-Atlas occurred during the Variscan folding, the post-folding erosion and besides the Central Atlantic rifting phase until the Upper Triassic. After this event large parts of the Western Anti-Atlas hold a stable position without significant movements during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, followed by an exhumation phase during the Atlasian orogeny.

  15. Structural and depositional styles of Gulf Coast tertiary continental margins: application to hydrocarbon exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, M.P.A.; Galloway, W.E.

    1984-01-01

    The interrelationship of the structure and genetic stratigraphy of the Gulf of Mexico continental margin is the basis of this course, which provides a summary of the key concepts, models, and tools needed for successful hydrocarbon exploration. It recognizes that, as hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation advance to and beyond the present shelf edge and into the deeply buried Tertiary basin fill, interpretation of the complex depositional and structural styles of the outer shelf and upper slope setting will be increasingly challenging to interpreters. The course presents material in a series of short chapters, each dealing with a specific topic and containing illustrations and citations of key references for further reading. Although the units are self-contained, they are arranged in a logical sequence leading to a general synthesis of exploration concepts. 54 references, 165 figures, 5 tables.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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-early Paleogene in South China. It appears that the red bed basins could have formed during the late stage of the subduction process, accounting for the observations why concurrent volcanic rocks could be found in some sedimentary basin formation. We propose that the extensional events started as early as the Late Cretaceous, probably before the cessation of subduction process. (Funding from Total Company and matching support from UGC are gratefully acknowledged).

  19. 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.

  20. 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 increase seaward from 0.25\\deg to 0.76\\deg) may reflect less disrupted hemipelagic sedimentation. Evidence of gas release includes: (1) a zone of irregular pits, each up to 500-m in diameter and spaced kilometers apart, that extends along the upper rise (2600-2650 m); (2) a line of eight depressions each 50-70 m in diameter with several meters relief and spaced 100-120 m apart that trends NNW (2150 m; near 39\\degN, 71\\deg52'W)and that may indicate gas or porewater escape along a local fault; 3) a plume of sediment suspended in fluid that is discharging through the seafloor and rising about 1 m at 2625 m depth on the SW margin of Hudson Canyon (38\\deg52.4'N, 71\\deg31.0'W) recorded on deep-towed video; and 4) three zones of regional, water-column, methane anomalies, which exceed background values, deeper than 2500-m depth, centered at 1200-m depth, and near 200-m depth. These features indicate past and present dissociation of gas hydrates and/or venting of free gas. They also indicate that coherent gravitational mass movements over low seafloor slopes (< 1\\deg) have been facilitated by excess fluid (water and/or gas) pressures. The continental slope and rise in the Hudson Canyon region comprise a natural laboratory in which to study slope instability in a gas hydrate province and to assess the hazards to telecommunications cables. Dugan, B. and P.B. Flemings (2000), Overpressure and fluid flow in the New Jersey continental slope: implications for slope failure and cold seeps, Science, 289, 288-291.

  1. The CARIACO Time Series: Carbon fluxes in a tropical, continental upwelling margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller-Karger, F.; Varela, R.; Thunell, R. C.; Scranton, M. I.; Taylor, G. T.; Astor, Y. M.; Benitez-Nelson, C.; Lorenzoni, L.; Tappa, E. J.; Goni, M. A.; Rueda, D. T.; Hu, C.

    2007-12-01

    Continental margins play an important role in the global carbon cycle, accounting for about 10-15% of the carbon produced in oceanic systems, and 40% of carbon deposition on the global ocean floor. In an effort to understand some of the processes operating along a wind-driven coastal upwelling margin, the CARIACO time-series project (CArbon Retention In A Colored Ocean) has carried out monthly oceanographic cruises to the Cariaco Basin on the continental shelf off Eastern Venezuela to collect hydrographic, biogeochemical and bio-optical observations since November 1995. Subtropical Underwater (SUW) provides new nutrients to the Basin, which support annual primary production of ~500 mgCm-2. These estimates are comparable to Monterrey Bay and higher than other upwelling sites such as off West Africa and the Oregon shelf. However, there is a disconnect between vertical, sinking Particulate Organic Carbon fluxes and primary production in the Basin, possibly due to lateral advection of particles. The POC budget between the surface and 275m indicates that about ~2.8x1011 mol C yr-1 are either remineralized or available for export as POC out of the Basin. Most of the carbon fixed by primary producers in the upper 20-50 m of the water column is exported out of the basin. Remineralization can contribute between 1-10% to the DIC values between the surface and 275 m per day. Rivers play a minor role in nutrient input. The data obtained from the CARIACO time-series helps assess the carbon budget and the seasonality of hydrographic variables in the South-Eastern Caribbean. Ultimately, these data are critical to understand the paleoclimate record of changes in the Atlantic Ocean stored in the laminated sediments at the bottom of the Cariaco Basin.

  2. 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 correct interpretation of processes related to hydrocarbon seepage in continental margin environments and elsewhere. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. A synopsis of the circulation in the Gulf Of Mexico and on its continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, W. J., Jr.; Biggs, D. C.; Lugo-Fernandez, A.; Oey, L.-Y.; Sturges, W.

    This article is a synopsis of the state-of-the-art knowledge and understanding of the circulation in the deep Gulf of Mexico as well as in the coastal flow regimes on its continental margins. The primary purpose is to review the ideas and results in this special new volume on the circulation in the Gulf of Mexico and integrate them with material from selected previous publications. This overview therefore contains more repetition and expository discussion than normally found in journal articles. An extensive reference list is provided for interested readers, a special feature for students. This volume is also meant to appeal to an audience beyond the general population of physical oceanographers, to include a more diverse community of Marine Scientists and Engineers, along with social interests of a scientific/technical nature. The article in this volume by Biggs et al. is focused on a study of some specific biogeochemical implications of on- and off-margin flow (on- and off- continental shelf/slope regions) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The articles by Chassignet et al. [this volume] and Morey et al. [this volume], for example, note particular applications. Potential influences by the currents in the Gulf of Mexico on processes of interest in other branches of Marine Science are occasionally considered in this synopsis (for example, there is a special section on the effects of current patterns on coral reefs). The reader may also refer to a comparatively recent review of some of the physical oceanographic influences that regulate the biology of the Gulf of Mexico by Wiseman and Sturges [1999]. Finally, this synopsis is meant to complement and expand upon the Introduction to this volume by Sturges et al., which includes consideration of some general societal interests motivating marine research in the Gulf of Mexico.

  4. Geological and Sediment Thickness Data Sources From the U.S. Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutchinson, D. R.; Childs, J. R.; Edgar, N. T.; Barth, G.; Hammar-Klose, E.; Dadisman, S. V.; Rowland, R.

    2005-12-01

    Although the United States has not yet ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), work has begun to assess the geophysical and geological data sources that might be applied to an extended continental shelf submission under Article 76 of the UNCLOS. The U.S. Geological Survey, as a follow-up to the Congressional Report published by the University of New Hampshire on data relevant to a potential U.S. submission (Mayer and others, 2002), has identified existing seismic reflection, seismic refraction, and drill-hole data on the U.S. margins for the areas where an extended continental shelf submission could be considered. This work complements ongoing NOAA efforts to map the foot-of-the-slope. The USGS compilation includes more than 80,000 km of multichannel seismic data, 70,000 km of single-channel seismic reflection data, 25 refraction experiments, and 12 drill holes that penetrate to basement. Data quality varies according to year collected and acquisition system used. Data coverage is generally excellent within the 200-nm EEZ boundary, but new data will be required to adequately assess sediment thickness in the area beyond 200-nm in some of the poorly surveyed regions (e.g., the Arctic). Velocity and drill-hole control for deeper sedimentary units is generally poor; this deficiency will also need to be addressed in new data gathering efforts. Subsea mineral resources that might exist in the region of an extended continental shelf vary by region and include conventional hydrocarbons, gas hydrate, ferro-manganese crusts and nodules, and possibly phosphorite deposits. On-going efforts are directed at interpreting these data with reference to UNCLOS criteria and guidelines, as well as evaluating how recent submissions to the United Nations by other States might affect a possible U.S. submission.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Petroleum geology of the mid-Atlantic continental margin, offshore Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bayer, K.C.; Milici, R.C.

    1989-01-01

    The Baltimore Canyon Trough, a major sedimentary basin on the Atlantic continental shelf, contains up to 18 km of Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata. The basin has been studied extensively by multichannel common depth point (CDP) seismic reflection profiles and has been tested by drilling for hydrocarbon resources in several places. The Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata contained in the basin were deposited in littoral to bathyal depositional settings and contain immature to marginally mature oil-prone and gas-prone kerogen. The more deeply buried strata of Early Mesozoic age are more likely to be thermally mature than are the younger strata with respect to hydrocarbon generation, but contain terrestrially derived coaly organic matter that would be prone to yield gas, rather than oil. An analysis of available CDP seismic reflection data has indicated that there are several potential hydrocarbon plays in the area offshore of Virginia. These include: (1) Lower Mesozoic synrift basins that appear similar to those exposed in the Appalachian Piedmont, (2) a stratigraphic updip pinchout of strata of Early Mesozoic age in the offshore region near the coast, (3) a deeply buried paleoshelf edge, where seismic reflectors dip sharply seaward; and (4) a Cretaceous/Jurassic shelf edge beneath the present continental rise. Of these, the synrift basins and Cretaceous/Jurassic shelf edge are considered to be the best targets for exploration. ?? 1989.

  8. 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 and West Greenland, close to where continental crust starts to thin towards oceanic crust, illustrates the common association between EPCMs and the edges of cratons. These observations indicate that the elevation of EPCMs may be due to processes operating where there is a rapid change in crustal/lithosphere thickness. Vertical motion of EPCMs may thus be related to lithosphere-scale folding caused by compressive stresses at the edge of a craton (e.g. Cloetingh et al., 2008). The compression may be derived either from orogenies elsewhere on a plate or from differential drag at the base of the lithosphere by horizontal asthenospheric flow (Green et al., 2013). Bonow, Japsen, Nielsen. Global Planet. Change in review. Cloetingh, Beekman, Ziegler, van Wees, Sokoutis, 2008. Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. (London) 306. Cobbold, Meisling, Mount, 2001. AAPG Bull. 85. Green, Lidmar-Bergström, Japsen, Bonow, Chalmers, 2013. GEUS Bull. 2013/30. Japsen, Chalmers, Green, Bonow 2012a, Global Planet. Change 90-91. Japsen, Bonow, Green, Cobbold, Chiossi, Lilletveit, Magnavita, Pedreira, 2012b. GSA Bull. 124. Japsen, Green, Bonow, Nielsen. Global Planet. Change in review.

  9. 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.

  10. Gas hydrates and active mud volcanism on the South Shetland continental margin, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinivella, U.; Accaino, F.; Della Vedova, B.

    2008-04-01

    During the Antarctic summer of 2003 2004, new geophysical data were acquired from aboard the R/V OGS Explora in the BSR-rich area discovered in 1996 1997 along the South Shetland continental margin off the Antarctic Peninsula. The objective of the research program, supported by the Italian National Antarctic Program (PNRA), was to verify the existence of a potential gas hydrate reservoir and to reconstruct the tectonic setting of the margin, which probably controls the extent and character of the diffused and discontinuous bottom simulating reflections. The new dataset, i.e. multibeam bathymetry, seismic profiles (airgun and chirp), and two gravity cores analysed by computer-aided tomography as well as for gas composition and content, clearly shows active mud volcanism sustained by hydrocarbon venting in the region: several vents, located mainly close to mud volcanoes, were imaged during the cruise and their occurrence identified in the sediment samples. Mud volcanoes, vents and recent slides border the gas hydrate reservoir discovered in 1996 1997. The cores are composed of stiff silty mud. In core GC01, collected in the proximity of a mud volcano ridge, the following gases were identified (maximum contents in brackets): methane (46 μg/kg), pentane (45), ethane (35), propane (34), hexane (29) and butane (28). In core GC02, collected on the flank of the Vualt mud volcano, the corresponding data are methane (0 μg/kg), pentane (45), ethane (22), propane (0), hexane (27) and butane (25).

  11. 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.

  12. Physiography of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and implications about continental margin development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greene, H.D.; Maher, N.M.; Paull, C.K.

    2002-01-01

    Combined EM-300 multibeam bathymetric data and satellite photography reveal the physiography of the continental margin between 35°50′ and 37°03′N and from the shoreline west of 122°40′ and 122°37′W, which includes Monterey Bay, in a previously unprecedented detail. Patterns in these images clearly reveal the processes that are actively influencing the current geomorphology of the Monterey Bay region, including the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Our data indicates that seafloor physiography within the MBNMS results from plate margin tectonic deformation, including uplift and erosion along structural lineaments, and from fluid flow. Mass wasting is the dominant process active within the Ascension–Monterey and Sur–Partington submarine canyon systems and along the lower slopes. Meanders, slump dams, and constricted channels within the submarine canyons, especially within Monterey Canyon, slow and interrupt down-canyon sediment transport. We have identified for the first time thin sediment flows, rotational slumps, rills, depressions that may be associated with pipes, and other fluid-induced features we call ‘scallops’ off the Ascension slope, and suggest that fluid flow has sculptured the seafloor morphologies here. These unusual seafloor morphologies are similar to morphologies found in terrestrial areas modified by ground-water flow.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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 suggest that the ELS experienced two independent stages of high-pressure metamorphism during the Alpine orogeny, e.g. as proposed by Rubatto et al. (2011) for the Sesia Nappe. A lower-pressure stage in between might have been associated with brittle fracturing of high-pressure phases like garnet, glaucophane, and omphacite while the second generations of these minerals might indicate a new stage of increasing pressures and/or temperatures. References Beltrando, M., Rubatto, D. & Manatschal, G. (2010): From passive margins to orogens: The link between ocean-continent transition zones and (ultra)high-pressure metamorphism. Geology, 6, 559-562. Dal Piaz, G.V., Cortiana, G., Del Moro, A., Martin, S., Pennacchioni, G. & Tartarotti, P. (2001): Tertiary age and paleostructural inferences of the eclogitic imprint in the Austroalpine outliers and Zermatt-Saas ophiolite, western Alps. Int. J. Earth Sci., 90, 668-684. Rubatto, D., Regis, D., Hermann, J., Boston, K., Engi, M., Beltrando, M. & McAlpine, S.R.B. (2011): Yo-yo subduction recorded by accessory minerals in the Italian Western Alps. Nature Geoscience, 4, 338-342.

  18. 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 covered, i.e. three core transects representing the three different provinces of the Nile fan and one core transect across the continental margin of southern Israel. High resolution dating by AMS 14C and high resolution logger methods will reveal detailed sedimentological and geochemical chronologies in proximal and distal provinces of the marine Nile fan. High resolution geochemical and stable isotope chronologies will reveal climatic and oceanographic changes in the southeastern Mediterranean under the impact of the Nile. Special emphasis will be given to reconstruct the late glacial and Holocene climatic record and to compare it with the terrestrial archives of African and Middle East climate change. It will be also possible to reconstruct changes in sedimentation in post-Aswan dam times. To better understand land-ocean interactions it will be needed to link our high resolution marine sediment records with terrestrial paleoclimate archives. We also expect an improved understanding of the impact of short term global climatic changes on the deposition of Nile sediments and the climate of the southeastern Mediterranean. The analysis of the data will be carried out within a science network, that developed during the initial phase of the EUROCORES/EUROMARGIN program of the ESF. Institutions form Germany, Egypt, England, France, Israel, Netherlands, and Palestine are involved.

  19. 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 scales, decreasing the efficiency of bubble transit through the water column. The methane cycle on the shelf responds to climate change on a long time constant of thousands of years, because hydrate is excluded thermodynamically from the permafrost zone by water limitation, leaving the hydrate stability zone at least 300 m below the sediment surface.« less

  20. 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 at 100 km depth. This situation might explain the flat Wadati-Benioff zone of Central Chile.

  1. 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, decreasing the efficiency of bubble transit through the water column. The methane cycle on the shelf responds to climate change on a long time constant of thousands of years, because hydrate is excluded thermodynamically from the permafrost zone by water limitation, leaving the hydrate stability zone at least 300 m below the sediment surface.

  2. 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) section of what are probably post-Miocene rocks and sediment. Extrapolating ages obtained from Ocean Drilling Program site 1015 indicates that this sedimentary cover is Quaternary, possibly no older than 600 ka. Folds and faults along the base of the San Pedro Escarpment began to form during 8-13 ka ago. Refraction-velocity data show that high-velocity rocks, probably the Catalina Schist or Miocene volcanic rocks, underlie the sedimentary section. The San Pedro Basin developed along a strike-slip fault, widens to the southeast, and is deformed by faults having apparent reverse separation and by folds near Redondo Canyon and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

  3. 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 relative contribution of benthic nutrient fluxes to nutrient cycling was between 30% and 50%. (3) Nitrogen conversion rates on the shelf (50m-100m water depth) were an order of magnitude larger that at the continental slope (200m-300m water depth). The strong differences in the magnitude of the nutrient cycling rates most likely originate from the presence of sulfidic bottom waters that were observed on the shelf.

  4. 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 regime during the Pliocene-Pleistocene, when most sediment delivered to the margin is trapped in the outer shelf and slope-forming steep prograding wedges. During the warmer but still polar, Holocene, biogenic sediment accumulates quickly in deep inner-shelf basins during the high-stand intervals. These sediments contain an ultrahigh resolution (annual to millennial) record of climate variability. Validation of our inferences about the nature and timing of Wilkes Land glacial sequences can be achieved by deep sampling (i.e., using IODP-type techniques). The most complete record of the long-term history of glaciation in this margin can be obtained by sampling both (1) the shelf, which contains the direct (presence or no presence of ice) but low-resolution record of glaciation, and (2) the rise, which contains the distal (cold vs. warm) but more complete record of glaciation. The Wilkes Land margin is the only known Antarctic margin where the presumed "onset" of glaciation unconformity (WL-U3) can be traced from shelf to the abyssal plain, allowing links between the proximal and the distal records of glaciation to be established. Additionally, the eastern segment of the Wilkes Land margin may be more sensitive to climate change because the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) is grounded below sea level. Therefore, the Wilkes Land margin is not only an ideal location to obtain the long-term EAIS history but also to obtain the shorter-term record of ice sheet fluctuations at times that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is thought to have been more stable (after 15 Ma-recent). ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 massive sediment failures. Small-scale normal faults around the scarps may be a secondary factor promoting the failures providing the suitable pathways for the fluid flow as well as the suitable weak surfaces for the sliding.

  7. The structural features and petroleum resource potential of basins in the western and northwestern Australian margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabanbark, A.

    2010-04-01

    The oil and gas basins of Australia are confined to its western and northwestern margins. They are typical pericontinental depressions in the continent-ocean transition zone with a passive tectonic regime. The following oil and gas basins are definable from the south to northward: the Perth, Carnarvon, Canning, Browse, and Bonaparte. All these basins are well studied. Among them, the Carnarvon basin is the most productive. Despite the discovery of approximately a hundred oil and gas fields in this basin, its continental slopes are still insufficiently known. In this connection, the morphostructural features of the productive areas were analyzed using a specialized GIS technique. The performed analysis of the Carnarvon hydrocarbon-bearing basin demonstrated the efficiency of this technique and allowed several promising zones located west, north, and south of the discovered oil and gas fields and forming a single trend with them to be outlined. The total reserves of the country are as high as 2.1 × 109 t of oil and 840 × 109 m3 of gas. The annual oil production in Australia by January 1, 2008 was 22.25 × 106 t of oil and 14 × 109 m3 of gas. Approximately 95% of the oil and 80% of the gas produced in Australia by the beginning of 2008 were obtained from offshore parts of its basins.

  8. 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, N., Normand, A., Dinu, C., Le Drezen, E., 2004. The Danube submarine canyon (Black Sea): morphology and sedimentary processes. Marine Geology 206, 249- 265.

  9. 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 Western Tethys, and for estimating displacements and slip rates along synsedimentary faults.

  10. 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 greenschist facies stretching lineations underlie SSE-directed very-low metamorphic grade deformation in the restored ORNC. In both sections, restorations place lower metamorphic grades rocks over higher grades. Thus, stratigraphic, structural and metamorphic evidence indicate that the basement rocks in the windows in southernmost and northernmost Scandinavia are fully allochthonous. Elsewhere, metamorphic data from the Luo-Pakte/Rombak section indicates that the Rombak window basement is allochthonous. Restoration of the Blaik Nappe Complex (LA) in the Central Scandes produces a stratigraphic repetition over cover sediments on basement in the Børgefjellet tectonic window. The basement window rocks are given to be allochthonous. Thus where data is available, an allochthonous model has been applied. An allochthonous origin for the Window Allochthon is expected, since the lower part of the overlying Middle Allochthon is often dominated by basement, sometimes with massively thick debris-flow deposits requiring a proximal topographic-high source area. A simplified palaeogeographic model for the Iapetus Baltoscandian continental margin, applicable with minor variations to all of the orogen, shows a thin-shelf sequence seen in the Autochthon, which extends for an unknown distance under the nappe pile, and in the Lower Allochthon, passing into a deeper water basin (Lower Allochthon). Outboard, lay a topographic basement high, with a thin cover succession (Window Allochthon). The basement dominated parts of the Middle Allochthon which lay west of the restored Window Allochthon should properly be assigned to the latter. These passed into a deeper basin (Middle Allochthon sediments) which merged with Iapetus oceanic crust.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Compressional tectonic inversion of the Algero-Balearic basin: Latemost Miocene to present oblique convergence at the Palomares margin (Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giaconia, Flavio; Booth-Rea, Guillermo; Ranero, César R.; Gràcia, Eulàlia; Bartolome, Rafael; Calahorrano, Alcinoe; Lo Iacono, Claudio; Vendrell, Montserrat G.; Cameselle, Alejandra L.; Costa, Sergio; Gómez de la Peña, Laura; Martínez-Loriente, Sara; Perea, Hector; Viñas, Marina

    2015-07-01

    Interpretation of new multichannel seismic reflection profiles indicates that the Palomares margin was formed by crustal-scale extension and coeval magmatic accretion during middle to late Miocene opening of the Algero-Balearic basin. The margin formed at the transition between thinned continental crust intruded by arc volcanism and back-arc oceanic crust. Deformation produced during the later positive inversion of the margin offshore and onshore is partitioned between ~N50°E striking reverse faults and associated folds like the Sierra Cabrera and Abubacer anticlines and N10-20°E sinistral strike-slip faults like Palomares and Terreros faults. Parametric subbottom profiles and multibeam bathymetry offshore, structural analysis, available GPS geodetic displacement data, and earthquake focal mechanisms jointly indicate that tectonic inversion of the Palomares margin is currently active. The Palomares margin shows a structural pattern comparable to the north Maghrebian margins where Africa-Eurasia plate convergence is accommodated by NE-SW reverse faults, NNW-SSE sinistral faults, and WNW-ESE dextral ones. Contractive structures at this margin contribute to the general inversion of the Western Mediterranean since ~7 Ma, coeval to inversion at the Algerian margin. Shortening at the Alboran ridge and Al-Idrisi faults occurred later, since 5 Ma, indicating a westward propagation of the compressional inversion of the Western Mediterranean.

  14. Seasonal anoxia Over the Western Indian Continental Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naqvi, S. Wajih A.; Naik, Hema; Jayakumar, Amal; Pratihary, Anil K.; Narvenkar, Gayatri; Kurian, Siby; Agnihotri, Rajesh; Shailaja, M. S.; Narvekar, Pradip V.

    The eastern Arabian Sea contains the only eastern-boundary-type upwelling environment in the entire Indian Ocean, albeit on a seasonal basis. During the southwest monsoon, when the surface current flows equatorward, upwelling brings oxygen-poor, nutrient-rich subsurface waters to the Indian continental shelf that turn anoxic (sulfate-reducing) by late summer due to exhaustion of oxygen and nitrate by heterotrophic microorganisms. This natural oxygen-deficient system, by far the world's largest in the coastal ocean, is apparently more intense now than it was three decades ago. This is consistent with the sedimentary record, which indicates that productivity over the past few decades has been the highest ever in the last seven centuries. However, a trend of ongoing intensification is not seen in the data collected during the last 10 years at a coastal time series station off Goa. These data, nevertheless, show considerable interannual variability with the most severe anoxia having occurred in 2001, adversely impacting local fisheries (especially demersal fish catch). While increased nutrient loading to the coastal zone largely through atmospheric deposition of nitrogen most likely occurred in the last few decades, contributing to a shift to fully anoxic conditions, the observed interannual variability suggests that subtle changes in local hydrography/circulation could also modulate coastal anoxia in the region.

  15. Holocene sponge bioherms on the western Canadian continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, K. W.; Barrie, J. V.; Austin, W. C.; Luternauer, J. L.

    1991-08-01

    Bioherms dominated by hexactinellid sponges occur in the three major troughs which cross the north-central continental shelf of British Columbia, Canada. The preferred substrate of the bioherms is till, glaciomarine sediments or bedrock in 150 to 250 m water depth. These bioherms began to develop in the early Holocene and have expanded since that time to discontinuously mantle more than 700 km 2 today. The sponge colonies form mounds and sheet-like structures up to 15 m thick and several kilometres wide and accrete new material to the bioherm through the removal of silty clay from suspension by the baffling of bottom currents. The sedimentologic and morphologic characteristics of the bioherms are in part due to fused siliceous mainframe skeletons of the sponges that provide the framework for the construction of the bioherm. The locus of sponge habitation on the surface of the bioherms changes with time in response to sediment accretion and microtopographic changes which affect delivery of sediment and nutrients entrained in bottom currents.

  16. Dynamic sedimentation of Paleoproterozoic continental margin iron formation, Labrador Trough, Canada: Paleoenvironments and sequence stratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pufahl, P. K.; Anderson, S. L.; Hiatt, E. E.

    2014-07-01

    The Paleoproterozoic Sokoman Formation (ca. 1.88 Ga) of the Labrador Trough, eastern Canada, is a ca. 100-m-thick succession of interbedded iron formation and fine-grained, terrigenous clastic sedimentary rocks. Detailed examination of drill cores and outcrops indicates a dynamic paleoshelf where an oxygen-stratified water column, coastal upwelling of hydrothermally derived Fe and Si, as well as tide- and storm-generated currents controlled lithofacies character. Vertical and lateral facies stacking patterns record deposition through two relative sea-level cycles that produced seven distinct lithofacies comprising two unconformity-bounded sequences. Sequence 1 reflects deposition of hematitic peritidal iron formation as deep as the upper shoreface. Sequence 2 is truncated by later erosion and encompasses the change to deeper-water accumulation of magnetite and Fe silicate-rich iron formation. The character and lateral distribution of redox-sensitive facies indicate that iron formation accumulation was controlled as much by shelf hydraulics as oxygen levels. The development of a suboxic surface ocean is interpreted to reflect photosynthetic oxygen production from a combination of peritidal stromatolites and cyanobacterial phytoplankton that flourished in nutrient-rich, upwelled waters offshore. Deposition of other continental margin iron formations also occurred on Paleoproterozoic shelves that were favorably positioned for coastal upwelling. Variability between iron formations reflects intrinsic factors such as shelf profile, fluvial contribution, eolian input, evaporation rates, and coastal current systems, which influenced upwelling dynamics and the delivery of Fe, Si, and nutrients. Aridity onshore was a primary depositional control since it governed the transport and type of diluting terrigenous clastics as well as evaporative precipitation along the coastline. As in the Phanerozoic, unconformities, and transgressive and maximum flooding surfaces frame iron formation sequences, but with important differences. The absence of trace and body fossils as well as lack of terrestrial vegetation can make the recognition of these surfaces difficult. Transgressive surfaces can also be easily mistaken for Phanerozoic-style maximum flooding surfaces since stratigraphic condensation was restricted to inboard environments during ravinement. Outboard the accumulation of fresh precipitates increased sedimentation to produce a maximum flooding surface not usually marked by a prominent depositional hiatus. Understanding these differences is essential for establishing an accurate sequence stratigraphic framework. Such context is the backdrop for properly interpreting the sedimentology, oceanography, microbial ecology, and geochemistry of continental margin iron formations.

  17. Seismic study of the '41st Parallel' Fault System offshore the Campanian Latial continental margin, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruno, Pier Paolo; Di Fiore, Vincenzo; Ventura, Guido

    2000-09-01

    A set of seismic reflection lines, collected in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea offshore the Campanian-Latial continental margin has been selected and interpreted. The aim is to characterize: (1) the structural features of the 41st Parallel Line (41PL), an E-W elongated magnetic anomaly zone separating the Northern Tyrrhenian domain from the Southern Tyrrhenian domain; and (2) to study the relationships between the 41PL and the Ortona-Roccamonfina Line (ORL), a tectonic structure transversal to the Apennines along which the Northern Apennine Arc merges the Southern Arc. The interpretation of the seismic lines is discussed in light of the available geological (stratigraphic and structural) and geophysical (gravimetric and magnetic) information. Results show that the Campanian-Latial continental margin is characterized by a series of structural lows and highs that match with the main structures on the mainland (Mt. Massico horst, the Volturno and Garigliano depressions). The study area is characterized by ESE-WNW to E-W and NE-SW striking faults. The activity of these faults developed during Pliocene-Early Pleistocene times. ESE-WNW to E-W faults display structures consistent with strike-slip movements. These faults, which are located on the maximum gradient of the E-W elongated magnetic alignment of 41PL, are responsible for the SSE translation of the offshore sector of the Mt. Massico horst. The horizontal dislocation of Mt. Massico suggests left-lateral movements for the ESE-WNW to E-W faults. The NE-SW faults that affect the Mt. Massico horst, which represents the southern tip of ORL, show seismic features consistent with normal movements, as also revealed by inland data. Since: (1) background seismicity is virtually absent along the study area; and (2) the uppermost seismic reflectors seem unaffected by faults, it is very likely that both the ORL and 41PL fault zones are now inactive, at least in the Campanian-Latial area. Seismic data indicate that ORL is older than 41PL and support the interpretation that the 41PL represents a deep-seated transfer fault system formed in response to the different rates of opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The strike-slip movements along the 41PL faults and the normal movements along the ORL faults are consistent with a NW-SE extension, which is responsible for the longitudinal extension in the Southern Apennines belt.

  18. 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 the finger-like plumes. We demonstrate the potential applicability of our model to clustering of arc magmatism in several subduction zones, such as Baja California (Ramos-Velázquez et al., Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geológicas,2008), North Island of New Zealand (Booden et al., J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 2010), Northeast Japan (Kimura and Yoshida,Journal of Petrology, 2006); Ecuador (Schütte et al., Tectonophysics,2010) and Lesser Antilles (Labanieh et al., EPSL,2010).

  19. 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 predicting hydrate dissolution at present and in the future, third, may serve as baseline (year 2012) estimate of the bubble flux that will potentially increase in future due to ever-increasing global-warming induced bottom water-warming and hydrate dissolution.

  20. 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 models predicting hydrate dissolution at present and in the future; and third, they may serve as a baseline (year 2012) estimate of the bubble flux that will potentially increase in the future due to ever-increasing global-warming-induced bottom water warming and hydrate dissociation.

  1. 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) scientific project.

  2. Preliminary 10Be Chronology for the Last Deglaciation of the Western Margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinterknecht, V. R.; Gorokhovich, Y.; Schaefer, J. M.; Comer, G. C.; Broecker, W. S.

    2005-12-01

    Paleoclimatic trends in the polar region have become increasingly important following the recognition of a probable polar amplification to global warming. High latitude feedback mechanisms play an important role in the climate system, but in the absence of long term meteorological records, natural climate variability and feedback mechanisms remain poorly understood. Arctic areas are rich in glacial features of all sizes and their deposition time and mode contain one of the few continuous archives for deciphering past climate variability in present-day arid continental subarctic areas. On the largest ice free land of Western Greenland we identified a 175 km long eastward transect from the town of Sisimiut on the coast to the Isunguata Sermia Glacier ice margin. In addition, one of the glacial valleys was selected for the large-scale dating and terrain mapping. In this area, ice cover extended beyond the present day coastline during the larger parts of the Sisimiut glaciation of Late Wisconsinan-Weichselian age. During the course of deglaciation, the Inland Ice margin progressively recessed about 175 km east in the study area. Frequent halts or re-advances interrupted the retreat and formed extensive moraine systems: Sisimiut (associated to the Younger Dryas cold event), Taserqat, Sarfartôq-Advedtleq, Fjord, Umivit-Keglen, and Orkendalen (close to the modern ice margin). These moraine systems were identified 50 km south of Sisimiut, however the dating and the mapping are poor to inexistent in our study area. We present here the first results of surface exposure dating and terrain mapping for this previously unexplored area. The first surface exposure ages constrain a preliminary chronology for the last deglaciation of the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Satellite imagery complemented with our ground measurements and observations define the geomorphological settings that allow us to reconstruct the last deglaciation pattern of the ice sheet margin as well as its thickness variation through the last deglaciation.

  3. GAS HYDRATES ON THE MID-NORWEGIAN CONTINENTAL MARGIN: PACEMAKERS OF SLOPE STABILITY THROUGH TIME

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waldmann, N.; Haflidason, H.; Hjelstuen, B.; Sejrup, H. P.

    2009-12-01

    Gas hydrate is stable in marine sediments on many Arctic continental slopes under present temperature and pressure fields. Yet, changes in the physical conditions have been shown to trigger dissolution and emanation of methane into the ocean. Access to a huge database of 2D and 3D seismic records, covering the entire mid-Norwegian margin, now provide an exceptional opportunity to test the relationship between methane release and slope stability. On the mid-Norwegian margin wedges of thick glacigenic units were deposited during past glacial intervals and covers older sequences of fine-grained hemipelagic siliceous ooze. This stratigraphic architecture combined with subsidence, large amount of biogenic methane, deep thermogenic methane reservoirs and thermal processes, provide a natural laboratory where to study the development and dynamics of methane hydrates and other digenetic processes through Cenozoic time. Gas hydrate bearing sediments are commonly detected in our seismic profiles by the presence of cross-cutting bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs). We also recognize the presence of a second, deeper BSR. This reflector has previously been interpreted as a fossil base of the gas hydrate stability zone caused by hydrate dissociation during postglacial sea level rise and increase bottom water temperature. Several submarine slides confine the spatial distribution of present day gas hydrates, whereas the occurrence of the second BSR is patchy and discontinuous, but appears to be detached from the mass wasting structures. This observation indicates the possible link between methane dissociation and migration from the deeper BSR to the present-day gas hydrate stability depth with ocean floor destabilization at different temporal scales. The presence of a diagenetic-related BSR deeper in the stratigraphical sequence may also suggest thermal gradient increase at depth, thus providing a complementary scenario for methane hydrates dynamics through time.

  4. Epi-benthic megafaunal zonation across an oxygen minimum zone at the Indian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, William R.; Oguri, Kazumasa; Kitazato, Hiroshi; Ansari, Zakir A.; Witte, Ursula

    2011-06-01

    The Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) impinges upon the Indian continental margin at bathyal depths (150-1500 m) producing changes in ambient oxygen availability and sediment geochemistry across the seafloor. The influence of these environmental changes upon the epi-benthic megafaunal assemblage was investigated by video survey at six stations spanning the OMZ core (540 m), lower boundary (800-1100 m) and below the OMZ (2000 m), between September and November 2008. Structural changes in the megafaunal assemblage were observed across the six stations, through changes in both megafaunal abundance and lebensspuren (biogenic traces). Most megafauna were absent in the OMZ core (540 m), where the assemblage was characterised by low densities of fishes (0.02-0.03 m -2). In the lower OMZ boundary, megafaunal abundance peaked at 800 m, where higher densities of ophiuroids (0.20-0.44 m -2) and decapods (0.11-0.15 m -2) were present. Total abundance declined with depth between 800 and 2000 m, as the number of taxa increased. Changes in the megafaunal assemblage were predicted by changes in abundance of seven taxonomic groups, correlated to both oxygen availability and sediment organic matter quality. Lebensspuren densities were highest in the OMZ boundary (800-1100 m) but traces of large infauna (e.g., echiurans and enteropneusts) were only observed between 1100 and 2000 m station, where the influence of the OMZ was reduced. Thus, changes in the megafaunal assemblage across the Indian margin OMZ reflect the responses of specific taxa to food availability and oxygen limitation.

  5. Evolution of a Lower Paleozoic continental margin carbonate platform, northern Canadian Appalachians

    SciTech Connect

    James, N.P.; Barnes, C.R.; Stevens, R.K.; Knight, I.

    1987-05-01

    The western margin of the northern Appalachian orogene and adjacent craton is composed of a lower Paleozoic, low-latitude carbonate platform which originally lay along the northern margin of Iapetus Ocean. Parts of the platform interior are now exposed in Quebec, much lies beneath the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the outer shelf and deep-water deposits crop out in western Newfoundland. The shelf break and upper slope are nowhere exposed, but their nature has been determined from numerous clasts in sediment gravity flows redeposited on the lower slope and now stacked in allochthonous thrust complexes. Four separate phases recording platform growth and demise can be differentiated, reflecting the interplay between tectonics, eustasy and the evolving lower Paleozoic biota. Phase 1, Preplatform Shelf, reflects initial siliciclastic deposition on rifted crystalline basement followed by a short phase of carbonate sedimentation dominated by archeocyathan buildups and ooid shoals that was terminated by offlap of thick quartzarenites. Phase 2, Narrow, High-Energy Platform, is characterized by mixed siliciclastic-carbonate peritidal sedimentation throughout, manifest as three grand cycles. Contemporaneous deep-water sediments comprise basal welded conglomerates overlain by quartzose carbonate turbidites. Phase 3, Wide Low-Energy Platform is an onlap package of muddy fossiliferous subtidal and peritidal carbonates arranged in the form of two unconformity-bounded megacycles. The adjacent deep-water slope was a narrow belt of debris flows and wide carbonate-shale apron, deposited in the lower part of an oxygen minimum zone. Phase 4, Foundered Platform, documents the initial uplift, faulting, subsidence, and fragmentation of the platform in a sequence of peritidal to subtidal to deep-water carbonates, reflecting the initial stages of the Taconic orogeny.

  6. Geology, geophysics, and hydrocarbon potential of Antarctica continental margin of Weddell Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Hinz, K.; Kristoffersen, Y.

    1987-05-01

    A prominent escarpment, called the Explora-Andenes Escarpment, has been recognized between long. 40/sup 0/W, lat. 72/sup 0/40'S and long. 10/sup 0/W, lat. 69/sup 0/20'S. It separates the continental margin from the Weddell Sea basin. Their recent MCS data have revealed the presence of some remarkably symmetric structures beneath a thick pile of tectonically undisturbed sediments. For example, two extensive wedge-shaped basement units occur between 20/sup 0/W and 40/sup 0/W. These units are characterized by a pattern of divergent reflectors which surround an elongated depression in basement. The northern wedge terminates against the Explora-Andenes Escarpment between 25/sup 0/W and 30/sup 0/W. The southern wedge, known as the Explora Wedge, shows a northward-dipping reflection pattern. The seismic characteristics suggest that both wedges consist of volcanic rocks. The basement depression is interpreted as a failed rift basin. The initial fragmentation of Gondwana was accompanied by prolific volcanism, which led to the emplacement of the wedges of dipping reflectors. The tectonomagmatic/volcanic period was followed by transtensional movements between Africa and Antarctica. This phase was heralded by the formation of the Explora-Andenes Escarpment as a new plate boundary and the opening of the Weddell Sea by sea-floor spreading. The Explora-Andenes Escarpment cuts across the early rift structures.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Silicon uptake by sponges: a twist to understanding nutrient cycling on continental margins

    PubMed Central

    Maldonado, Manuel; Navarro, Laura; Grasa, Ana; Gonzalez, Alicia; Vaquerizo, Isabel

    2011-01-01

    About 75% of extant sponge species use dissolved silicon (DSi) to build a siliceous skeleton. We show that silicon (Si) uptake by sublittoral Axinella demosponges follows an enzymatic kinetics. Interestingly, maximum uptake efficiency occurs at experimental DSi concentrations two orders of magnitude higher than those in the sponge habitats, being unachievable in coastal waters of modern oceans. Such uptake performance appears to be rooted in a former condition suitable to operate at the seemingly high DSi values characterizing the pre-Tertiary (>65 mya) habitats where this sponge lineage diversified. Persistence of ancestral uptake systems causes sponges to be outcompeted by the more efficient uptake of diatoms at the low ambient DSi levels characterizing Recent oceans. Yet, we show that sublittoral sponges consume substantial coastal DSi (0.01–0.90 mmol Si m−2 day−1) at the expenses of the primary-production circuit. Neglect of that consumption hampers accurate understanding of Si cycling on continental margins. PMID:22355549

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Polychaete community structure in the South Eastern Arabian Sea continental margin (200-1000 m)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdul Jaleel, K. U.; Anil Kumar, P. R.; Nousher Khan, K.; Correya, Neil S.; Jacob, Jini; Philip, Rosamma; Sanjeevan, V. N.; Damodaran, R.

    2014-11-01

    Macrofaunal polychaete communities (>500 μm) in the South Eastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) continental margin (200-1000 m) are described, based on three systematic surveys carried out in 9 transects (at ~200 m, 500 m and 1000 m) between 7°00‧and 14°30‧N latitudes. A total of 7938 polychaetes belonging to 195 species were obtained in 136 grab samples collected at 27 sites. Three distinct assemblages were identified in the northern part of the SEAS margin (10-14°30‧N), occupying the three sampled depth strata (shelf edge, upper and mid-slope) and two assemblages (shelf edge and slope) in the south (7-10°N). Highest density of polychaetes and dominance of a few species were observed in the shelf edge, where the Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) impinged on the seafloor, particularly in the northern transects. The resident fauna in this region (Cossura coasta, Paraonis gracilis, Prionospio spp. and Tharyx spp.) were characteristically of smaller size, and well suited to thrive in the sandy sediments in OMZ settings. Densities were lowest along the most northerly transect (T9), where dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations were extremely low (<0.15 ml l-1, i.e.<6.7 μmol l-1). Beyond the realm of influence of the OMZ (i.e. mid-slope, ~1000 m), the faunal density decreased while species diversity increased. The relative proportion of silt increased with depth, and the dominance of the aforementioned species decreased, giving way to forms such as Paraprionospio pinnata, Notomastus sp., Eunoe sp. and lumbrinerids. Relatively high species richness and diversity were observed in the sandy sediments of the southern sector (7-9°N), where influence of the OMZ was less intense. The area was also characterized by certain species (e.g. Aionidella cirrobranchiata, Isolda pulchella) that were nearly absent in the northern region. The gradients in DO concentration across the core and lower boundary of the OMZ, along with bathymetric and latitudinal variation in sediment texture, were responsible for differences in polychaete size and community structure on the SEAS margin. Spatial and temporal variations were observed in organic matter (OM) content of the sediment, but these were not reflected in the density, diversity or distribution pattern of the polychaetes.

  14. Late Mesozoic magmatism and Cenozoic tectonic deformations of the Barents Sea continental margin: Effect on hydrocarbon potential distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipilov, E. V.

    2015-01-01

    The paper is focused on the two tectonic-geodynamic factors that made the most appreciable contribution to the transformation of the lithospheric and hydrocarbon potential distribution at the Barents Sea continental margin: Jurassic-Cretaceous basaltic magmatism and the Cenozoic tectonic deformations. The manifestations of Jurassic-Cretaceous basaltic magmatism in the sedimentary cover of the Barents Sea continental margin have been recorded using geological and geophysical techniques. Anomalous seismic units related to basaltic sills hosted in terrigenous sequences are traced in plan view as a tongue from Franz Josef Land Archipelago far to the south along the East Barents Trough System close to its depocentral zone with the transformed thinned Earth's crust. The Barents Sea igneous province has been contoured. The results of seismic stratigraphy analysis and timing of basaltic rock occurrences indicate with a high probability that the local structures of the hydrocarbon (HC) fields and the Stockman-Lunin Saddle proper were formed and grew almost synchronously with intrusive magmatic activity. The second, no less significant multitectonic stress factor is largely related to the Cenozoic stage of evolution, when the development of oceanic basins was inseparably linked with the Barents Sea margin. The petrophysical properties of rocks from the insular and continental peripheries of the Barents Sea shelf are substantially distinct as evidence for intensification of tectonic processes in the northwestern margin segment. These distinctions are directly reflected in HC potential distribution.

  15. 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). Stretching estimates, independently determined from upper crustal faulting, whole crustal thinning and post-rift lithosphere thermal subsidence, show that extension increases with depth within 100 to 150 km of the COB such that upper-crustal extension is significantly smaller than whole-crustal or whole-lithosphere extension. Finite-element models of early sea-floor spreading predict depth-dependent lithosphere stretching and imply that depth dependent stretching of young rifted margin lithosphere is an inevitable consequence of early sea-floor spreading. The timing of depth dependent stretching on the Lofoten margin supports the hypothesis that depth dependent stretching of continental rifted margin lithosphere occurs during early sea-floor spreading rather than during pre-breakup rifting. Depth dependent stretching may have a similar causal mechanism to that responsible for observed mantle exhumation on the Iberian rifted margin (Pickup et al 1996, Whitmarsh et al 2001). *current address Teknologi, Tektonikk og Stratigrafi, Statoil ASA, Grensveien 21, 4035 Stavanger, Norway

  16. 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 from deeper offshore waters and a component of recent surface-derived material. Our data suggest that contributions of both 14C-enriched and 14C-depleted DOC and DIC to localized regions of the water column occur in waters of the continental rise and slope. The sources of material having anomalous Δ 14C values are not certain, but may include organic matter derived from off-shelf and slope transport, particulate organic carbon solubilization, and sediment porewaters. We also examine the relationships between Δ 14C-DOC and both Δ 14C-DIC and Δ 14C of suspended POC measured in a companion study as a means of evaluating similarities or differences in the mechanisms responsible for the distributions of each at all three sites.

  17. 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 northwestern Namibia, and their relationship to continental breakup, Journal of the Geological Society of London 152: 97-104. Renne, P.R., Ernesto, M., Pacca, I.I., G. Coe, R.S., Glen, J. M., Prévot, M., Perrin, M., 1992. The age of Paraná flood volcanism, rifting of Gondwanaland, and the Jurassic -Cretaceous boundary. Science 258, 975 - 979. Stewart, K. S., Turner, S., Kelly, S., Hawkesworth, C. J., Kirstein, L. and Mantovani, M. S. M., 1996. 3D 40Ar-39Ar geochronology in the Parańa flood basalt province, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 143: 95-110. Turner, S., Hawkesworth, C., Gallagher, K., Stewart, K., Peate, D. and Mantovani, M., 1996. Mantle plumes, flood basalts, and thermal models for melt generation beneath continents: Assessment of a conductive heating model and application to the Parana, Journal of Geophysical Research 101: 11503- 11518.

  18. 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 lower-crustal velocity of Pacific oceanic crust suggest that it was underplated by magmatism associated with the nearby Pioneer seamount. The Salinian Block consists of a 15-km-thick layer of velocity 6.0-6.2 km/s overlying a 5-km-thick, high-velocity (7.0 km/s) lower crust that may be oceanic crust, Cretaceous arc-derived lower crust, or a magmatically underplated layer. The strong structural variability across the margin attests to the activity of strike-slip faulting prior to and during development of the transcurrent Pacific/North American plate boundary around 29 Ma. Copyright 1996 by the American Geophysical Union.

  19. 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 thickness provide a measurement of anomalous uplift or subsidence which we attribute to mantle dynamic topography. We compare our sediment and crustal thickness corrected RDA analysis results with published predictions of mantle dynamic topography from global models.

  20. 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 outside the stability area for methane gas hydrates of structure I, but hydrates of this type would have been stable when grounded ice covered the area. Structure II hydrates, with a few percent of heavier hydrocarbons are likely stable within the area today. Acknowledgements. This research is part of the Centre of Excellence for Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) grant 223259. It is also a contribution to the project "Glaciations in the Barents Sea area (GlaciBar)" RCN grant 20067 and to the Research Centre for Arctic Petroleum Exploration (ARCEx) RCN grant 228107.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 progressive change in location of depocenters and amount of sediment supply, but Pleistocene climatic change and deforestation alone can be observed to double river sediment discharge. The latter observation helps explain the anomalously high deposition rates in Pleistocene turbidite systems compared with older systems that may be controlled more by tectonic and sea-level changes alone. During the past 2000 years, in contrast, man has controlled deposition in the Ebro margin system, first by deforestation that more than doubled river sediment discharge and shelf deposition rates to equal those of Pleistocene time; and second by dam contruction that reduced sediment discharge to less than 5% of the normal Holocene discharge. Similar recent discharge reductions from the Nile and Rhone Rivers suggest that loss of the majority of the river sediment supply in the Mediterranean Sea may result in significant erosion of biologically and agriculturally important lobate delta areas. ?? 1990.

  4. Multiphase structural evolution of the western margin of the Girardot subbasin, Upper Magdalena Valley, Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramon, J. C.; Rosero, A.

    2006-09-01

    More than 1400 km of two-dimensional seismic data were used to understand the geometries and structural evolution along the western margin of the Girardot Basin in the Upper Magdalena Valley. Horizons are calibrated against 50 wells and surface geological data (450 km of traverses). At the surface, low-angle dipping Miocene strata cover the central and eastern margins. The western margin is dominated by a series of en echelon synclines that expose Cretaceous-Oligocene strata. Most synclines are NNE-NE trending, whereas bounding thrusts are mainly NS oriented. Syncline margins are associated mostly with west-verging fold belts. These thrusts started deformation as early as the Eocene but were moderately to strongly reactivated during the Andean phase. The Girardot Basin fill records at least four stratigraphic sequences limited by unconformities. Several periods of structural deformation and uplifting and subsidence have affected the area. An early Tertiary deformation event is truncated by an Eocene unconformity along the western margin of the Girardot Basin. An Early Oligocene-Early Miocene folding and faulting event underlies the Miocene unconformity along the northern and eastern margin of the Girardot Basin. Finally, the Late Miocene-Pliocene Andean deformation folds and erodes the strata along the margins of the basin against the Central and Eastern Cordilleras.

  5. Comparative geochemistry of Indian margin (Arabian Sea) sediments: Estuary to continental slope.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Greg; Mowbray, Stephen; Kurian, Siby; Sarkar, Amit; White, Carol; Anderson, Amy; Vergnaud, Bianca; Johnstone, Gisele; Brear, Samuel; Woulds, Clare; Naqvi, Wajih; Kitazato, Hiroshi

    2014-05-01

    Factors controlling the distribution of organic matter in the Arabian Sea have been the subject of much research and debate ever since organic-rich slope deposits were associated with the mid-water oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) However, the debate remains open, and numerous interacting factors have been invoked as important controls. A limitation of most previous studies is that they have been restricted to limited portions of the margin, and have not included molecular-level tracers that allow distinction of organic matter (OM) source and degradation state as factors in OM distribution. We report results from sites across the Indian margin of the Arabian Sea, which were analysed for carbon and nitrogen compositions (elemental and isotopic), grain size and indices of OM source and degradation state. Site locations ranged from the Mandovi/Zuari estuaries to depths of ~2000m on the continental slope, thus spanning both the semi-permanent OMZ on the upper slope (~200-1300m) and the seasonal hypoxic zone that impinges on the shelf. Source indices showed mixed marine and terrigenous OM within the estuaries, but overwhelming predominance (80%+) of marine OM on the shelf and slope, even in nearshore deposits. Thus, riverine OM is heavily diluted or efficiently remineralised within or immediately offshore of the estuaries. Any terrigenous OM that is exported appears to be retained in nearshore muds; lignin phenols indicate that the small terrigenous OM content of slope sediments is of different origin, potentially from rivers to the north. Organic C contents of surface shelf and slope sediments varied from <0.5 wt% in relict shelf sands to a maximum of >7 wt% at upper slope sites within the OMZ, then decreasing to ≤1wt% at 2000m. However, major variability (~5 wt%) occured within the OMZ at sites with near-identical depths and bottom-water oxygen. A strong relationship between organic C and grain size was seen for OMZ sediments, but lower C loadings were found for sites on the shelf and below the OMZ. Diagenetic indices confirmed that lower C content below the OMZ is associated with greater extent of OM degradation, but that C-poor shelf sediments are not consistently more degraded than those within the OMZ. Together, results indicate that OM enrichment on the upper slope, where it occurs, can be explained by winnowing or other physical processes on the shelf combined with progressive OM degradation with increasing oxygen exposure below the OMZ. Reduced oxygen exposure may contribute to observed OM enrichment with the OMZ, but hydrodynamic processes are the overriding control on sediment OM distribution, even within the OMZ.

  6. 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 carbonate blocks and plates hint to a very old seep system with a probably much higher activity in the past. The U-Th age record of these authigenic carbonates reach back to periods of venting activity with more than 150 ka ago. Carbon isotopic signatures of authigenic carbonates (δ13C -50 to -40‰ PDB) suggest a biogenic carbon source (i.e. methane), also in the past. We found several indications for the impact of recent earthquakes within the seep area (cracks, shifted seafloor), which could be an important mechanism for the triggering of new seepage activity, change in fluid expulsion rates and colonization patterns of the cold seep fauna.

  7. 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 is observed for the H/V pattern calculated during earthquakes. This phenomenon may suggest that no clear sedimentary boundary exist when a stronger motion applies. We found that the resonance frequency for the relative rigid material, such as mud diapir, is relatively higher, about 9 Hz. Moreover, their main resonance frequency is not affected by occurrence of earthquakes. On the general sedimentary layer and marine landslide, the resonance frequency shows relatively low value, about 7~8 Hz. When the site is affected by earthquakes, the main frequency becomes unclear. Finally, when a site is characterized by very thick sedimentary layer, the frequency of about 5 Hz is the lowest observed in the experiment.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Three multichannel seismic reflection profiles across the North Sicily continental mar- gin have been reprocessed and interpreted. Data consist of an unpublished high pene- tration seismic profile (deep crust Italian CROP Project) and a high-resolution seismic line. These lines run in the NNE-SSW direction, from the Sicilian continental shelf to the Tyrrhenian abyssal plain (Marsili area), and are tied by a third, high penetration seismic line MS104 crossing the Sisifo High. The North Sicily continental margin represents the inner sector of the Sicilian-Maghrebian chain that is collapsed as con- sequence of extensional tectonics. The chain is formed by a tectonic wedge (12-15 km thick. It includes basinal Meso-Cenozoic carbonate units overthrusting carbonate platform rock units (Catalano et al., 2000). Presently, main culmination (e.g. Monte Solunto) and a number of tectonic depressions (e.g. Cefalù basin), filled by >1000 m thick Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary wedge, are observed along the investigated tran- sect. Seismic attributes and reflector pattern depicts a complex crustal structure. Be- tween the coast and the M. Solunto high, a transparent to diffractive band (assigned to the upper crust) is recognised above low frequency reflective layers (occurring be- tween 9 and 11 s/TWT) that dips towards the North. Their bottom can be correlated to the seismological (African?) Moho discontinuity which is (26 km deep in the Sicilian shelf (Scarascia et al., 1994). Beneath the Monte Solunto ridge, strongly deformed re- flectors occurring between 8 to 9.5 s/TWT (European lower crust?) overly the African (?) lower crust. The resulting geometry suggests underplating of the African crust respect to the European crust (?). The already deformed crustal edifice is dissected by a number of N-dipping normal faults that open extensional basins and are associ- ated with crustal thinning. The Plio-Pleistocene fill of the Cefalù basin can be subdi- vided into three subunits by well-developed unconformities. The stratal pattern of the lower subunit (Early Pliocene?) points out thrust-top basin. The intermediate subunit (Middle-Late Pliocene?) shows a wide sedimentary lateral accretion with syntectonic growth geometries. Upper Pliocene layers are overlain by well-stratified sediments of supposedly Pleistocene to Recent age, which drape and smooth underlying features (Pepe et al., 2000). Crustal thinning is (2 in the Cefalù basin and reach (3.54 north of Sisifo volcano, where crustal separation occurs and oceanic crust emplaced (Marsili 1 basin). In this area the Moho is located at (8 s/TWT, corresponding to 10-km depth. References Catalano R., Franchino A., Merlini S. e Sulli A., 2000. Mem. Soc. Geol. It., 55, 5-16. Pepe F., Bertotti G., Cella F. Marsella E., 2000. Tectonics, 19, 241-257. Scarascia S., Lozej A. Cassinis R., 1994. Boll. Geof. Teor. Appl., 36 (141-144), 5-19. 2

  9. 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. While nearly all alkaline E-MORB have less then 49 wt. % SiO2 and less than 15% Al2O3, the Lena Basalts have nearly 52% SiO2, and 18% Al2O3. This suggests that the melts formed at the quartz eclogite peritectic with residual garnet rather than at the peridotitic peritectic usual for MORB. Their trace element and isotopic characteristics moreover reflect a ubiquitous enriched component found in the Western Gakkel Ridge and the Mohn’s Ridge. We suggest that the Lena Trough has undergone almost no partial melting, and that the rare basalts found there are nearly uniquely the result of melting of early-melting heterogeneities (veins) in the upwelling asthenosphere.

  10. 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. While nearly all alkaline E-MORB have less then 49 wt. % SiO2 and less than 15% Al2O3, the Lena Basalts have nearly 52% SiO2, and 18% Al2O3. This suggests that the melts formed at the quartz eclogite peritectic with residual garnet rather than at the peridotitic peritectic usual for MORB. Their trace element and isotopic characteristics moreover reflect a ubiquitous enriched component found in the Western Gakkel Ridge and the Mohn’s Ridge. We suggest that the Lena Trough has undergone almost no partial melting, and that the rare basalts found there are nearly uniquely the result of melting of early-melting heterogeneities (veins) in the upwelling asthenosphere.

  11. 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.

  12. Lithium isotope systematics of deep-sourced pore fluids at continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, Florian; Hensen, Christian; de Lange, Gert J.; Haeckel, Matthias; Liebtrau, Volker; Meixner, Anette; Reitz, Anja; Romer, Rolf L.

    2010-05-01

    In the past two decades, the behavior of lithium (Li) isotopes has been studied in various marine systems, including mid-ocean ridge and sediment-hosted hydrothermal systems, subduction zone settings and normal coastal and deep-sea sediments recovered by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). Major processes identified to cause deviations from the seawater isotopic composition are adsorption/desorption reactions, formation and transformation of silicate minerals, and leaching of Li from sediments or underlying crust at high temperature. As a result of the accomplished work, Li isotopes are considered a promising tracer for the diagenetic evolution and provenance of pore fluids in overpressured sedimentary environments. Here, we present Li concentration and isotope data of 18 cold seep locations and reference fluids from shallow marine sediments, a sediment-hosted hydrothermal system and two Mediterranean brine basins. The new reference data and literature data of hydrothermal fluids and pore fluids from the ODP follow an empirical relationship reflecting increasing Li release and decreasing isotope fractionation during clay mineral authigenesis with increasing temperature. Lithium concentration and isotope data of cold seep fluids are mostly in agreement with this empirical relationship. Ubiquitous diagenetic signals of clay dehydration in all cold seep fluids indicate that authigenic smectite-illite is an important sink for light pore water Li in deeply buried continental margin sediments. Deviations from the general relationship are attributed to the varying proportion of weatherable (e.g. volcanogenic) components and to transport-related fractionation trends. A simple transport-reaction model was applied to simulate Li isotope fractionation during upwelling of pore fluids to the seafloor. It is demonstrated that slow pore water advection (order of mm a-1) suffices to convey much of the deep-seated diagenetic Li signal into shallow sediments. If carefully applied, Li isotope systematics may, thus, provide a valuable record of fluid/mineral interaction that has been inherited several hundreds or thousands of meters below the seafloor.

  13. Multiproxy characterization and budgeting of terrigenous end-members at the NW African continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Just, Janna; Heslop, David; Dobeneck, Tilo; Bickert, Torsten; Dekkers, Mark J.; Frederichs, Thomas; Meyer, Inka; Zabel, Matthias

    2012-09-01

    Grain-size, terrigenous element and rock magnetic remanence data of Quaternary marine sediments retrieved at the NW African continental margin off Gambia (gravity core GeoB 13602-1, 13°32.71'N, 17°50.96'W) were jointly analyzed by end-member (EM) unmixing methods to distinguish and budget past terrigenous fluxes. We compare and cross-validate the identified single-parameter EM systems and develop a numerical strategy to calculate associated multiparameter EM properties. One aeolian and two fluvial EMs were found. The aeolian EM is much coarser than the fluvial EMs and is associated with a lower goethite/hematite ratio, a higher relative concentration of magnetite and lower Al/Si and Fe/K ratios. Accumulation rates and grain sizes of the fluvial sediment appear to be primarily constrained by shore distance (i.e., sea level fluctuations) and to a lesser extent by changes in hinterland precipitation. High dust fluxes occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and during Heinrich Stadials (HS) while the fluvial input remained unchanged. Our approach reveals that the LGM dust fluxes were ˜7 times higher than today's. However, by far the highest dust accumulation occurred during HS 1 (˜300 g m-2 yr -1), when dust fluxes were ˜80 fold higher than today. Such numbers have not yet been reported for NW Africa, and emphasize strikingly different environmental conditions during HSs. They suggest that deflation rate and areal extent of HSs dust sources were much larger due to retreating vegetation covers. Beyond its regional and temporal scope, this study develops new, in principle, generally applicable strategies for multimethod end-member interpretation, validation and flux budgeting calibration.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 implications for evaluating the petroleum potential in the Vøring Basin, Mid-Norway. A high-resolution survey of the Oslo Graben changed our understanding of this Permian Rift. The magnetic field data of the Oslo Graben area are unique since two surveys recorded at different flight altitudes (50 m above ground and 3400 m above sea level) exist. The magnetic anomaly reaches values up to 1500 nT over an elongated area of 75 by 30 km. Local structures, such as calderas, ring fracture zones and their associated circular-shaped magnetic anomalies are a first order feature in the aeromagnetic data. Analysis of the depth-to- bottom of the magnetic sources and forward modeling indicates the presence of a more than 15 km thick intrusion beneath the Oslo Graben. The intrusion is interpreted to indicate a differentiation series from base (gabbro) to top (granite). This petrological variation with depth is not detectable in the gravity anomaly because of the small density contrast to the surrounding crust.

  17. 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.

  18. Conductivity model of the passive continental margin derived from an amphibian magnetotelluric study on the Walvis Ridge and at the Kaoko Belt in Northern Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weckmann, U.; Kapinos, G.; Ritter, O.; Jegen, M.

    2013-12-01

    The magnetotelluric (MT) study is a part of the interdisciplinary SAMPLE project investigating processes related to the breakup of supercontinent Gondwana and the post breakup evolution of the passive continental margins of Africa and South America. We present an electrical conductivity image from the Southern African passive continental margin, derived from an amphibian MT experiment crossing the entire Kaoko Belt in Northern Namibia and the Walvis Ridge in the Atlantic Ocean. The MT data at 167 onshore sites are generally of a high quality but large diagonal components of impedance tensor, phases over 90° at some sites and a strong variability of transfer functions within short distances indicate three-dimensional structures in the crust and upper mantle. Such 3D effects are observed particularly in the Western Kaoko Zone in the vicinity of the prominent Neoproterozoic shear zones. Thus, we apply a two-part inversion strategy: In areas and frequency ranges where the 3D effects are not dominant, we apply 2D inversion of data sub-sets in order to identify the prominent conductivity features and assess their resolution and robustness; however, the entire data set can only be explained by 3D inversion. The 2D models of the crust beneath the profile from the Walvis Ridge onto the Congo Craton reveal a spatial correlation of resistive zones with the cratonic Northern Platform. Zones of high electrical conductivity seem to correlate with surface expressions of prominent faults such as the Purros Mylonite Zone and the Three Palm Mylonite Zone of the Kaoko Belt. Outcropping Etendeka flood basalts in the Western Kaoko Zones correlate with zones of high resistivity. The offshore part of the models shows a thin conductive layer corresponding to sea floor sediments. Interestingly, the Walvis Ridge exhibits a more resistive and deeper reaching seafloor compared to what typically is expected from oceanic crust. These results are complemented by 3D inversion, which generally confirms the 2D results but reveals some additional off-profiles structures.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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)...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The influence of oceanic fracture zones on the segmentation of continental margins and the evolution of intra-continental rift systems: Case studies from the Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masterton, S.; Fairhead, J. D.; Green, C. M.

    2012-12-01

    It has been a long held view that oceanic fracture zones play an important role in the segmentation of continental margins and therefore provide a major structural control on their evolution and the development of associated petroleum systems. The geometry of fracture zones reflects the spreading history of the seafloor: subtle changes in plate motion causes stress-field reorientation, which in turn results in changes in the orientation of the fracture zone. These changes can introduce strike-perpendicular compression or extension across transform faults; the latter may lead to increased ridge segmentation and the initiation of new spreading centres. We present two examples of secondary fracture zone initiation and disappearance within the Atlantic Ocean between 1) the Atlantis and Kane major fracture zones in the Central Atlantic and 2) the Ascension and Rio de Janeiro fracture zones in the South Atlantic. We investigate the discontinuous nature of these fracture zones by exploring their relationship with major plate re-organisation events and seafloor spreading geometry. Using a series of stage reconstruction poles that represent the motion of both North and South America relative to Africa since the initiation of Atlantic seafloor spreading, we have performed a quantitative analysis of spreading directions along major Atlantic fracture zones. Our results demonstrate a notable correlation between the timing of major plate reorganisation events and the initiation and disappearance of secondary fracture zones. Such events are clearly recorded in the Atlantic margin stratigraphic record as major unconformities. We are therefore able to interpret fracture zone abundance in terms of palaeo-spreading geometry and the opening history of the Atlantic Ocean. This allows us to make important inferences about the influence of fracture zones on the segmentation and structural control of continental margins. Specifically, in our South Atlantic case study, where secondary fracture zones do not extend up to the offshore Angolan and conjugate Brazilian margins, we conclude that small offset transform faulting did not influence the evolution of the continental margin as has been previously suggested. On a regional scale, the evolution of the Africa-wide Mesozoic rift system is intimately linked to global plate tectonics and to changes in plate interactions. On a basinal scale, changes in the orientation of the dominant stress field resulting from plate reorganisation have had a clear impact on the deformation history and fault geometries of rift basins. We demonstrate this relationship by correlating the timing of changes in South Atlantic fracture zone geometries and African margin unconformities with major unconformities that are observed in a unified stratigraphy chart for the West and Central African Rift System. We propose a controlling mechanism in which changes in plate stress control the effective elastic strength of a plate, resulting in a focused change in isostatic response over continental margins.

  5. Pleistocene deformations in the contexte of the Rharb foredeep basin (north western Atlantic Moroccan margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maad, N.; Le Roy, P.; Sahabi, M.; Gutscher, M. A.; Dakki, M.; Hssain, M.; van Vliet-Lanoë, B.; Brahim, L. Ait; M'hammdi, N.; Trenteseaux, A.

    2009-04-01

    This study relates to the Cenozoic post rift deformations of Rharb foredeep basin in response to the Europe-Africa convergence. Here we are going to retail the tectonic structures of the Rharb basin, in particular the active front of the Prerifaine nappe in the area of Lalla Zahra. The method is based on the interpretations of the high resolution seismic reflection data acquired during the Protit2 (2003) and the Nomads cruises (2007). The surveys were conducted by the University of Brest in France and the Faculté des Sciences d'El Jadida in Morocco. They allowed to record more than 2000 km of seismic lines through the Rharb continental shelf. The integration of new data with industrial seismic lines provided by ONHYM and field observations collected along the coastline allows us to identify the formation and the recent evolution of the western termination of the Southern Rif Corridor. This coastal basin corresponds to the foredeep basin linked to the Rif Cordillera and extends southwards through the northern Moroccan Meseta that defines the foreland region of the Western Rif (Flinch,93). The integrated study clarifies the post-nappe evolution of the offshore Rharb basin during Neogene and quaternary times. A succession of deformations affect the Rharb basin with separating episodes of relaxation and quiescence. Their ages are based on chronostratigraphical attribution of mean unconformities. A Lower Pliocene episode is characterized by reactivation of faults affecting the Nappe. The uplift of the basin and the individualization of the Lallah Zarah ridge increases and controls the terrigenous fluxes. A Middle Pleistocene still active episode and corresponds to a new uplift of the two margins of the basin. Faulting remains more active in the North along the Lallah Zarah ridge and offshore Larache where large active listric faults are observed. The progressive segmentation of the basin determinates the sedimentary filling with cyclic sequences extending progressively Southward. Seismic analysis allows to describe successive episodes of faults reactivation with uplift of the southern forebulge and individualization of the northern topographic front. The detailed analysis of the post-nappe sedimentary evolution underlines the tectonic control of the Rharb basin with important lateral shift of the depocenter during Upper Pliocene and Quaternary.

  6. 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 (?8) 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 large spatial extent as observed by similar trends in cores from across and along the margin.

  7. Probable Occurrence of Gas Hydrates Along the Continental Margins of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramprasad, T.

    2004-12-01

    The gas hydrates have gained the importance of being potential to be an alternate energy resource and are know to occur world wide in the sediments of the outer continental margins and polar regions associated with permafrost and are stable under certain temperature-pressure conditions. A gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) thickness map of Indian offshore has been created from spatial analysis of physical parameters that influence the formation and preservation of gas hydrates by using Arc/Info GIS software. These parameters include bathymetry and heatflow/geothermal gradient data obtained from published literature, digital databases and unpublished sources, and the seabed temperature from extrapolation of the best-fit polynomial of hydrothermal profile. In addition to the measured heatflow/geothermal data, the values were predicted in the regions devoid of data by considering the Indian offshore comprising of three provinces such as: oceanic, stretched continental crust and the crust influenced by the hotspot. Heatflow versus age relationship is used in case of oceanic crust in Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Andaman Sea in the regions beyond the shelf edge. The stretched crust criterion is applied only in the northern Arabian Sea between shelf and the inferred oceanic crust. A regression line is fitted between the available heatflow data and the corresponding age of the crust to compute heatflow values, in the region where the crust influenced by the Reunion hotspot. Seabed temperature data were also predicted in deficient areas based on the regression analysis of available bathymetry versus seabed temperature relationship. The thickness of gas hydrate stability zone was computed both in TWT (msec) and meters, by solving the gas hydrate phase and pressure-temperature equations at each GIS grid node. The GHSZ thickness map is reliable to the extent it can be used as an important indicator for gas hydrate potential of an area. Large volumes of multi-channel seismic reflection data acquired by oil majors in India have been examined and inferred the probable presence of bottom simulating reflections (BSR) in the offshore areas of India. The depths of the BSRs on several seismic profiles in the offshore regions of Goa and Saurashtra (west coast), Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi (east coast) of India and the Northern Andaman Sea are within the zone of computed gas hydrate stability. Assuming the depth of BSR observed from seismic data as the base of the gas hydrate stability zone, the geothermal gradient values have been computed. Most of the values are in close agreement with the observed geothermal gradient data. Sediment thickness and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) content maps were prepared from the compiled data, which were used as constraints in assessing the GHSZ thickness and the probable occurrence of gas hydrates in the marine sediments in Indian offshore. The non-geophysical proxies, derived from the analysis of 5m long sediment cores, such as chlorine anomalies, reduction trend of sulphate concentration, enrichment of methane and abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria, fomenters and nitrate reducing bacteria with depth provide indirect clue for the occurrence of gas hydrates at deeper depths. The high-resolution seismic data and sediment cores longer than 20m, perhaps would enhance the understanding of occurrence of gas hydrates in the marine sediments.

  8. Back-arc rifting at a continental margin: A case study from the Okinawa trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, R.; Kaiho, Y.; Takahashi, T.; Nakanishi, A.; Fujie, G.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.

    2014-12-01

    The Okinawa trough, a back-arc basin formed behind the Ryukyu arc-trench system, southwest Japan, represents an active rifting zone associated with extension of the continental lithosphere. The basin is located at the southeastern margin of the Eurasian plate and characterized by axial rift valleys with over 1.0 km depth and ~100 km width. Previous studies suggest that the early rifting phase started late Miocene and crustal extension is currently active at a full rate of 30 to 50 mm/yr. Within the basin, numerous active hydrothermal vents are observed, suggesting that the crustal rifting enhances melt/heat transfer from the deep mantle up to the seafloor. However, internal structure beneath the back-arc basin and its relation to the rifting system are little documented. Complex regional tectonic setting, such as active collision in Taiwan to the west, oblique subduction of the Philippine Sea slab, and changing spreading rate along the rift axis, may also have significant influences on the thermal structure and flow within the mantle wedge, but their relative roles in controlling the rifting mode and magmatic supply are still poorly understood. As a step toward filling this gap in knowledge, we started a new 7-year project that consists of four two-dimensional active-source seismic experiments and extensive passive-source seismic observations along the Ryukyu arc. In 2013, active-source seismic data were collected on the first line that crosses the southernmost part of the Ryukyu arc-trench and Okinawa trough at 124-125°E. For refraction/wide-angle reflection analyses, a total of 60 ocean bottom seismographs were deployed with approximately 6 km spacing on a ~390-km-long profile. On the same line, multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiling was also carried out. Seismic velocity models obtained by first arrival tomography show that beneath the volcanic arc a thick layer (~10 km) of the middle crust with Vp = 6.0-6.8 km/s is developed, a typical feature in the major volcanic arc in the circum-Pacific region, but such thick layers are not observed beneath the Okinawa trough. Correspondingly, crustal thickness significantly varies: Crust thins from over 20 km beneath the volcanic arc to ~15 km beneath the back-arc basin.

  9. 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 water column conditions along the south Brazilian coast were more suitable for this species than along the north coast. Fossil records are likely to be time-transgressive and a synchronous global record cannot be expected from them. Global time-scale boundaries based on the occurrence of fossils, such as the G. menardii biozonation, need to be revisited.

  10. Four-dimensional numerical modeling of crustal growth at active continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Guizhi; Gerya, Taras V.; Tackley, Paul J.; Kissling, Eduard

    2013-09-01

    growth and topography development in subduction-related arcs are intimately related to magmatic processes and melt production above subducting slabs. Lateral and temporal variations in crustal thickness and composition have been observed in nature, but until now no integrated approach has been developed to comprehensively understand magmatic activity in subduction-related arcs. Here we investigate the 4-D spatial, temporal, and compositional character of continental crustal growth at active margins using a new 4-D (space-time) petrological-thermomechanical numerical model of a subduction-related magmatic arc. Based on a series of numerical experiments, we demonstrate that crustal growth inside the arc is inherently clustered in both space and time. The characteristic wavelength of variations in crustal thickness and topography along the arc is on the order of 30-80 km and is comparable to volcano clustering in natural arcs. The clusters of new crust are formed mainly by basaltic melt episodically extracted from partially molten peridotite due to lateral variation of water release and transport in the mantle wedge. Melts derived from subducted oceanic crust and sediments could contribute up to 15-50 vol% to the arc crust growth and their relative proportion is maximal at the onset of subduction. The total amount of newly formed crust correlates mainly with the amount of convergence since the beginning of subduction and is not strongly influenced by the plate convergence velocity. Indeed, slower subduction and lower melt extraction efficiency helps partially molten sediments and oceanic crust to be transported into the mantle wedge by hydrated, partially molten diapiric structures. For the modeled regime of stable subduction, the maximum crustal additional rate (25-40 km3/km/Myr) occurs when the amount of convergence reaches around 700 km. Mantle wedge structures developed in our models correlate well with available geophysical (seismological) observations for the Alaskan subduction zone. In particular, partially molten mantle plumes found in our models could explain low seismic anomalies in the mantle wedge, whereas mobile water and water release patterns could reflect paths and sources for magmatic activity evidenced by seismic b-value and Vp/Vs ratio analysis.

  11. 4-D Numerical Modeling of Crustal Growth at Active Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Guizhi; Gerya, Taras; Tackley, Paul; Kissling, Eduard

    2013-04-01

    Crustal growth and topography development in subduction-related arcs are intimately related to magmatic processes and melt production above subducting slabs. Lateral and temporal variations in crustal thickness and composition have been observed in nature, but until now no integrated approach has been developed to comprehensively understand magmatic activity in subduction-related arcs. Here we investigate the 4-D spatial, temporal and compositional character of continental crustal growth at active margins using a new 4-D (space-time) petrological-thermomechanical numerical model of a subduction-related magmatic arc. Based on a series of numerical experiments we demonstrate that crustal growth inside the arc is inherently clustered in both space and time. The characteristic wavelength of variations in crustal thickness and topography along the arc is defined mainly by plate convergence velocity: faster subduction favors longer wavelength. The clusters of new crust are formed mainly by basaltic melt episodically extracted from partially molten peridotite due to lateral variation of water release and transport in the mantle wedge. Melts derived from subducted oceanic crust and sediments could contribute up to 15-50 vol% to the arc crust growth and their relative proportion is maximal at the onset of subduction. The total amount of newly formed crust correlates mainly with the amount of convergence since the beginning of subduction and is not strongly influenced by the plate convergence velocity. Indeed, slower subduction and lower melt extraction efficiency helps partially molten sediments and oceanic crust to be transported into the mantle wedge by hydrated, partially molten diapiric structures. For our modeled type of stable subduction, the maximum crustal additional rate (25-40 km**3/km/Myr) occurs when amount of convergence reaches around 700 km. Mantle wedge structures developed in our models correlate well with available geophysical (seismological) observations for the Alaskan subduction zone. In particular, partially molten mantle plumes found in our models could explain low seismic anomalies in the mantle wedge, whereas mobile water and water release patterns could reflect paths and sources for magmatic activity evidenced by seismic b-value and Vp/Vs ratio analysis.

  12. Comparative organic geochemistry of Indian margin (Arabian Sea) sediments: estuary to continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, G.; Mowbray, S.; Kurian, S.; Sarkar, A.; White, C.; Anderson, A.; Vergnaud, B.; Johnstone, G.; Brear, S.; Woulds, C.; Naqvi, S. W.; Kitazato, H.

    2014-02-01

    Surface sediments from sites across the Indian margin of the Arabian Sea were analysed for their carbon and nitrogen compositions (elemental and stable isotopic), grain size distributions and biochemical indices of organic matter (OM) source and/or degradation state. Site locations ranged from the estuaries of the Mandovi and Zuari rivers to depths of ~ 2000 m on the continental slope, thus spanning nearshore muds and sands on the shelf and both the semi-permanent oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) on the upper slope (~ 200-1300 m) and the seasonal hypoxic zone that impinges on the shelf. Source indices showed mixed marine and terrigenous OM within the estuaries, and overwhelming predominance (80%+) of marine OM on the shelf and slope. Thus, riverine OM is heavily diluted by autochthonous marine OM and/or is efficiently remineralised within or immediately offshore of the estuaries. Any terrigenous OM that is exported appears to be retained in nearshore muds; lignin phenols indicate that the small terrigenous OM content of slope sediments is of different origin, potentially from rivers to the north. Organic C contents of surface shelf and slope sediments varied from < 0.5 wt % in relict shelf sands to over 7 wt % at slope sites within the OMZ, decreasing to ≤ 1 wt % at 2000 m. Major variability (~ 5 wt %) was found at slope sites within the OMZ of similar depth and near-identical bottom-water oxygen concentration. A strong relationship between organic C and sediment grain size was seen for sediments within the OMZ, but lower C loadings were found for sites on the shelf and below the OMZ. Diagenetic indices confirmed that lower C content below the OMZ is associated with greater extent of OM degradation, but that C-poor shelf sediments are not consistently more degraded than those within the OMZ. Together, the results indicate that OM enrichment on the upper slope can be explained by physical controls (winnowing and/or dilution) on the shelf and progressive OM degradation with increasing oxygen exposure below the OMZ. Reduced oxygen exposure may contribute to OM enrichment at some sites within the OMZ, but hydrodynamic processes are the overriding control on sediment OM distribution.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 formation of the Atlantic Ocean. The preliminary results add to the growing thermochronological data base for the southeastern Brazilian continental margin and to deciphering the complex evolution of the region, as well as to the knowledge about the development and evolution of divergent continental margins in general. In a regional setting, AFT ages from this study, though not broadly variant locally, are distinct from basement rock AFT ages for adjacent areas produced by other authors along the southeastern continental margin. Similar ages are found at the southern Bocaina Plateau, for example, where structural control of age distribution is evident. Such regional thermal age difference has been previously attributed to continental scale structural compartmentalization throughout the continental passive margin, related to Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic reactivation of the E-W fracture zones linked to rifting of the South Atlantic. The present AFT results are compatible with Late Cretaceous reactivation but show no relation with younger events.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 times, like today, by little or no clastic sedimentation on the continental shelf other than beneath retreated ice shelves lying far from the continental sheld edge. Ice streams carve broad depressions across the shelf and carry abundant basal sediments directly to the continental shelf edge, thereby creating troughmouth fans and sheet-like prograding sequences (i.e. type IA sequences). Numerous acoustic unconformities and multiple overcompacted layers within the prograding sequences suggest major fluctuations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The available drilling and seismic interpretations provide the following history: (1) Cenozoic ice sheets have existed in places near the continental shelf since middle to late Eocene time. (2) A grounded Antarctic ice sheet first expanded to the continental shelf edge, with probable overdeepening of the outer shelf, in late Eucene to early Oligocene time in Prydz Bay, possibly in early Miocene time in the Ross Sea, and at least by middle Miocene time in the Weddell Sea. (3) The relative amounts of shelf prograding and inferred ice-volume variations (and related sea-level changes) have increased since middle to late Miocene time in the eastern Ross Sea, Prydz Bay, and possibly Weddell Sea. Our analysis is preliminary. Further acoustic surveys and scientific drilling are needed to resolve the proximal Antarctic record of glacio-eustatic, climatic, and tectonic events recorded by the prograding sequences. ?? 1991.

  19. Gravity field and deep structure of the Bengal Fan and its surrounding continental margins, northeast Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukhopadhyay, Manoj; Krishna, M. R.

    1991-02-01

    A revised gravity anomaly map for the northeast Indian Ocean shows that the shelf edge underlying the eastern continental margin of India is a rather narrow but extensively linear gravity low (minimum free-air = -149 mGal). The Bengal Fan seaward of the shelf has a depressed gravity field (average free-air = -20 to -30 mGal) in spite of the enormous thickness of sediments of as much as 10-15 km. The two buried ridges below the Bengal Fan—the 85° East and 90° East Ridges—have a large negative (-75 mgal) and a substantial positive (40 mGal) free-air anomaly, respectively. The Andaman and Burmese arcs lying along the east margin of the Bengal Fan are active subduction areas which have typical bipolar gravity signatures with a maximum amplitude of 300 mGal. Gravity interpretation for three regional traverses across the central and northern parts of the Bengal Fan and their surrounding continental margins suggests that a thickened oceanic crustal wedge juxtaposes the transitional crust under the eastern continental slope of India; the 85° East Ridge, that was created when the Indian Ocean lithosphere was very juvenile, appears to underlie a nearly 10 km thick and 120 km wide oceanic crustal block consisting of the ridge material embedded in the upper lithosphere; while the 90° East Ridge submarine topography/buried load below the Bengal Fan is probably isostatically compensated by a low-density mass acting as a cushion at the base of the crust. The Bengal Fan crust, with its thick sediment layer, is carried down the Andaman subduction zone to a depth of about 27 km where, possibly, phase transition takes place under higher pressure. The maximum sediment thickness at the Andaman-Burmese subduction zone is of the order of 10-12 km. The gravity model predicts a low density zone about 60 km wide below the Andaman-Burmese volcanic arc, penetrating from crustal to subcrustal depths in the overriding Burma plate. A more complex density distribution is however, envisaged for the Andaman volcanic arc that is split by the Neogene back arc spreading ridge. The ocean-continent crustal transition possibly occurs farther east of the volcanic arc; below the Shan plateau margin in Burma or below the Mergui terrace at the Malayan continental margin east of the Andaman Sea.

  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 ighly alkali-basicdykes. There are undifferentiated and layered dykes, glassy and crystalline, single and multi-phase, with symmetric and asymmetric internal structure, with uniform or contrasting composition of the individual phases. Multiphase dykes along the. Namakan river have symmetrical "dyke dyke" structure. Glassy dykes are usually composed of olivine clinopyroxenite or picritic olivine porphyres. The number of dykes phases in the same locality may reaches 5. The internal structure of dykes are symmetric. The dyke in dyke consists of the quench zone in inner contact zone with silicate glass and carbonate globules and enriched by rounded K-feldspar, potassium feldspar with kaersutite +- mica glomeroporhyric intergrowth. In crystalline dykes contact zones are composed of variolitic clinopyroxenites and central by picritic porphyries. Contact zone composed of clinopyroxenites crystallized from a supercooled melt. Having elevated CaTi- and CaAl-tschermak components. This Dyke belt was formed by scattered spreading. Multiphase dykes were formed during multiple tectonic fracturing. Wide chemical variations c are caused by fluid-magmatic melt interaction in magma feeding channels. Multistage splitting of magmatic melts to different in composition liquids took place with the participation of CO2, H2, F, Cl, CH4.

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

  2. Advection of Sea-Ice Meltwater and Halocline Water Along the Siberian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, D.; Torres-Valdes, S.; Polyakov, I.; Chernyavskaya, E.; Novikhin, A.; Dmitrenko, I.; McKay, J. L.; Mix, A. C.

    2014-12-01

    Our study is based on hydrochemical and stable oxygen isotope data at the Laptev Sea continental slope from summers 2005-2009 and reveals a general pattern in water mass distribution and potential shelf-basin exchange. Despite considerable inter-annual variations, a frontal system can be inferred between shelf, continental slope and central Eurasian Basin waters in the upper 100 m of the water column along the continental slope. Net sea-ice melt is consistently found at the continental slope. However, the sea-ice meltwater signal is independent from the local retreat of the sea-ice edge and appears to be advected from upwind locations. In addition to the along-slope frontal system at the continental shelf break, a strong gradient is identified on the Laptev Sea shelf at ~122-126°E with an eastward increase of riverine and sea-ice related brine water contents. These waters cross the shelf break at ~140°E and feed the Low Salinity Halocline Water (LSHW, salinity S<33) in the upper 50 m of the water column. High silicate concentrations in Laptev Sea bottom waters may lead to speculation about a link to the local silicate maximum found within the salinity range of ~33 to 34.5, typical for the Lower Halocline Water (LHW) at the continental slope. However brine signatures and nutrient ratios from the central Laptev Sea differ from those observed at the continental slope. Similar to the advection of the sea-ice melt signal along the Laptev Sea continental slope the nutrient signal at 50-70 m water depth within the LHW might also be fed by advection parallel to the slope. Thus, our analyses suggest that advective processes from upstream locations play a significant role in the meltwater distribution and halocline formation in the northern Laptev Sea. Inter-annual variations within the properties of LHW are further investigated.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Core- and log-based geophysical investigations of Neogene deposition on continental margins of the Southern Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handwerger, David Allen

    Geophysical studies were undertaken during two Ocean Drilling Program cruises in and around the Southern Ocean. Log data were collected during Legs 181 and 188, and rock-magnetic data were collected from samples taken during Leg 181. A combination of downhole logging and continuous-core geophysical measurements was used to create synthetic seismograms to ground-truth seismic profiles recorded in Prydz Bay, Antarctica, and to derive high-resolution mass accumulation rate (MAR) curves of Neogene deposition around the margins of the Southern Ocean. The synthetic seismograms identify the causes of several major regional reflectors in the Prydz Bay region by tying the reflectors to observed petrophysical changes in holes drilled on the continental shelf and rise. The MAR curves document changes in the extent of Antarctic glacial ice and its relationship to deep current activity in the surrounding Southern Ocean. Also recorded in the MAR curves are movements of oceanographic fronts, the northward drift of Australia and Tasmania from Antarctica, changes in the climate of New Zealand and the desertification of Australia. Rock-magnetic models were created with synthetic-magnetite hysteresis data. They suggest that for broad lognormal grain size distributions, centered around the pseudo-single domain size range, changes in hysteresis parameters are not a reliable indicator of changes in mean magnetic grain size. Extending this concept to the use of relative magnetic grain size as a proxy for relative terrigenous grain size, natural sediments tend to have lognormal grain size distributions sufficiently broad that this is an issue. Therefore, hysteresis parameters are a problematical proxy for relative changes in mean terrigenous grain size. Parameters sensitive to the abundance of magnetic material, however, are good proxies for terrigenous concentration. These predictions were explored (1) by Leg 181 studies, (2) by combined rock-magnetic measurements, statistical analysis of wireline logs, and conventional grain size analyses, and (3) by evaluation of all three as indicators of terrigenous grain size and abundance. The results were used to document changes in the intensity of the Deep Western Boundary Current east of New Zealand, expansion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and acceleration of the tectonic uplift of the Southern Alps.

  6. A seismic study to investigate the prospect of gas hydrate in Mahanadi deep water basin, northeastern continental margin of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prakash, Anand; Samanta, B. G.; Singh, N. P.

    2010-12-01

    The presence of gas hydrates, one of the new alternative energy resources for the future, along the Indian continental margins has been inferred mainly from bottom simulating reflectors (BSR) and the gas stability zone thickness mapping. Gas hydrate reserves in Krishna Godawari Basin have been established with the help of gas-hydrate related proxies inferred from multidisciplinary investigations. In the present study, an analysis of 3D seismic data of nearly 3,420 km2 area of Mahanadi deep water basin was performed in search of seismic proxies related with the existence of natural gas hydrate in the region. Analysis depicts the presence of BSR-like features over a large areal extent of nearly 250 km2 in the central western part of the basin, which exhibit all characteristics of a classical BSR associated with gas hydrate accumulation in a region. The observed BSR is present in a specific area restricted to a structural low at the Neogene level. The coherency inversion of pre-stack time migration (PSTM) gathers shows definite inversion of interval velocity across the BSR interface which indicates hydrate bearing sediments overlying the free gas bearing sediments. The amplitude versus offset analysis of PSTM gathers shows increase of amplitude with offset, a common trend as observed in BSR associated with gas hydrate accumulation. Results suggest the possibility of gas hydrate accumulation in the central part of the basin specifically in the area of structural low at the Neogene level. These results would serve as preliminary information for selecting prospective gas hydrate accumulation areas for further integrated or individual study from geophysical, geological, geochemical and microbiological perspectives for confirmation of gas hydrate reserves in the area. Further, on the basis of these results it is envisaged that biogenic gas might have been generated in the region which under suitable temperature and pressure conditions might have been transformed into the gas hydrates, and therefore, an integrated study comprising geophysical, geological, geochemical and microbiological data is suggested to establish the gas hydrate reserves in Mahanadi deep water basin.

  7. 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 concentric faults and compression ridges formed in rocks of the crystalline basement. The Chesapeake Bay crater is distinguished further by its cluster of at least 23 adjacent secondary craters. The North American tektite strewn field, a widespread deposit of distal ejecta, is thought to be derived from the Chesapeake Bay impact, perhaps with a small contribution from the Toms Canyon impact. No ejecta field is known to be associated with the Montagnais impact. No immediate major extinction event is directly linked to any of these three impacts. There is evidence, however, that the Chesapeake Bay and Toms Canyon impacts helped initiate a long-term pulse of warm global climate, whose eventual dissipation coincided with an early Oligocene mass extinction event, 2 Ma after the impacts.

  8. Circulation over the continental shelf of the western and southwestern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubranna, Jean; PéRez-Brunius, Paula; López, Manuel; Candela, Julio

    2011-08-01

    The circulation over the continental shelf break of the western and southwestern Gulf of Mexico is inferred from the analysis of drifter trajectories and 12-19 months of continuous current measurements at seven different locations. The interpretation of the data is backed up by satellite altimetry, coastal sea level from tide gauges and wind model outputs. In accordance with previous numerical results, subinertial surface currents are driven by the wind along the shelves of the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz. Northern wind regimes would force southward currents, whereas southern wind regimes would force northward currents at the surface but southward near the bottom, through a process involving Ekman drift and geostrophic balance. Our results show, however, that alongshore current variations are not correlated with the wind over the Western Campeche Bank. In addition, we identify other sources of current forcing. The transient eddies that collapse along the continental shelf can force strong alongshore currents and overwhelm the influence of established wind regimes. Their erratic occurrence is likely to be a major factor of interannual variability of the alongshore currents. Also, we point out the existence of coastally trapped waves generated by the wind in the northern shelf of Tamaulipas and propagating down to the Western Campeche Bank. The period of these waves ranges between 6 and 10 days, with phase speeds in the 4 m/s range.

  9. 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.

  10. 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, and West Africa Margin) world-wide by using the substantial archive of satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. An automated system for satellite image interpretation will make it possible to process hundreds of SAR images to increase the geographic and temporal coverage. Field programs will quantify the flux and fate of hydrate methane in sediments and the water column.

  11. Morphotectonic evolution of rifted continental margins: Inferences from a coupled tectonic-surface processes model and fission track thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Beek, Peter; Andriessen, Paul; Cloetingh, Sierd

    1995-04-01

    We use a numerical model to study the topographic evolution and erosional history of rifted continental margins. The model combines a kinematic description of lithospheric extension (``tectonic model'') with a surface processes model that includes short-range hillslope and long-range fluvial transport. The tectonic model predicts the evolution of the lithospheric temperature and strength (elastic thickness) distribution as well as the tectonic uplift through time. This is input into the surface processes model which calculates the degradation of topography and associated isostatic rebound. Modeled denudation histories across the margin are used to predict apatite fission track age and length patterns. Modeling results indicate that, depending on the adopted parameters, an uplifted rift flank should degrade by erosion within 50-100 m.y., without significant retreat of the topographic elevation maximum. The development of an escarpment system at rifted continental margins is in itself not an indication of tectonic rift flank uplift, but results from the existence of a high elevation interior plateau, erosional base-level lowering as a consequence of rifting and regional isostatic response to erosion of the margin. However, apatite fission track thermochronology reveals that the areas seaward of the escarpment at a number of rifted margins have been exhumed from several kilometers depth. Such amounts of denudation cannot be accommodated with isostatic rebound alone and require additional tectonic uplift of the rift flanks. Modeling of apatite fission track patterns suggests that fission track thermochronology dates the onset of rapid erosion which coincides with the initiation of strong relief (i.e., initiation of rifting). Fission track ages which are younger than the age of rifting thus cannot be unambiguously interpreted as excluding prerift uplift. The timing of margin uplift can be established only be careful track length analysis and integration with regional stratigraphic data. The model is applied to the Saudi Arabian Red Sea margin and the southeastern Australian highlands, where it is constrained by present-day topography and apatite fission track data, as well as seismic and gravity data. For the Saudi Arabian Red Sea margin, synrift regional plateau uplift with a magnitude of approximately 1 km is inferred, possibly as a result of asthenospheric upwelling. Flexurally induced tectonic uplift of the rift flank with a magnitude of 2 km is superimposed on this regional uplift. The relatively high elevation of the southeastern Australian highlands, their steep front and the relatively high amounts of erosion suggest that, apart from Mesozoic synrift flexural uplift, Tertiary rejuvenation of topography has occurred, possibly as a result of renewed lithospheric thinning and underplating. The low elevation of the Australian interior would inhibit the evolution of a major escarpment in the absence of such renewed uplift.

  12. Sediment provenance and dispersal on tropical starved continental margins: Example of the Potiguar Basin margin, NE Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vital, H.; Gomes, M. P.; Dantas, E. L.; Soares, C. H.

    2013-12-01

    Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks from the Potiguar Basin have been investigated to determine the provenance of terrigenous and carbonate sediments on the Brazilian Continental shelf offshore of the Acu River. Located in the northern coast of the Rio Grande do Norte State (NE Brazil), the Acu River is submitted to highly dynamic coastal processes, such as mesotidal regime (up to 2.6 m), waves, winds and currents. It is inserted in the geological context of Potiguar Basin and is the largest source of freshwater in this area, as the biggest hydrographic basin. Bottom sediments characterization, including heavy mineral and Nd isotopes studies, associated with an integrated shallow water geophysical investigation was carried out on this area, The integration between currents velocity, particles transported by the current of water and other physical parameters with bedforms characterization and different sedimentary textures in the study area allows a better knowledge of the active sedimentary processes, which are responsible for the formation of morphologic features of this area. The distribution patterns of the principal heavy minerals indicate the major point sources of sediment supply onto the shelf and reveal intensive mixing, sorting processes and that a westerly (E-W) longshore current plays an important role in the sediment dispersal. As a result, the mineral distribution E of the Acu River is rich in stable heavy minerals (mainly zircon and tourmaline) whilst of the Acu River is rich in unstable ones (mainly hornblende and epidote.). In addition to provenance-induced variability, mineralogical differences between E and W provinces could indicate that environmental processes have contributed to the total variability of the inner continental shelf sediments. The Sm-Nd isotopic signatures of the rocks yielded model ages (TDM) in the range of 2,19-2,88 Ga, indicating archean to paleoproterozoic sources from the basement. The terrigenous sediments yielded model ages (TDM) in the range of 2,31-2,26 Ga, from 17,5 to 0 cm depth. Limited variations of provenance ages indicates the homogenization of the sediments, probably due to the strong influence of the basement, as the main source of sediments to the shelf. The results also indicate that the shelf sediments are mainly derived from the Acu River or other small rivers from the Setentrional Sector of Rio Grande do Norte State.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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 Águilas and Al-Mansour seamounts, and the Algero-Balearic abyssal plain where prominent halokinetic deformation structures have been observed.

  16. 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-Arctic has not been thoroughly assessed, but the shape of Laurentia and the ages of its Paleozoic margins suggest that promontories dating from breakup of Rodinia may have jutted from its NE and (or) NW corners. The NE corner lies at the junction of an eastern (Caledonian) passive margin that existed from ca. 815 to 444 Ma and a northern (Innuitian) passive margin that existed from ca. 620 to 444 Ma. The hypothetical NE promontory would have attached to northern East Greenland where early Paleozoic passive-margin deposits are notably lacking. Nearby remnants of the NE promontory might include the Yermak plateau off North Greenland, the Morris Jessup plateau off Svalbard, or parts of Svalbard itself. A hypothetical NW Laurentian promontory would have attached somewhere between Banks Island in the Canadian Arctic, where the 620-444 Ma Innuitian margin is truncated along the present-day rifted margin, and east-central Alaska, site of the most northerly rocks that can be confidently placed along the ca. 710-385 Ma Cordilleran passive margin. Remnants of this promontory might include older rocks of the Ruby terrane and (or) the northeastern Brooks Range, both in Alaska. Either hypothetical promontory would have been involved in orogenesis associated with the postulated extrusion of terranes through the gap between Laurentia and Siberia.

  17. 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-phase amplitudes. For this paper we will focus on validating the finite difference method for modeling T-phases in the ocean and land environments and on modeling T-phases observed by the May 1999 Ascension Island Experiment. A network of broadband seismometers on Ascension Island recorded a large number of offshore airgun shots. The shots occurred at all azimuths around the island and at ranges from 1-45 km. Measurements of signal amplitude and duration will be made to understand the variability of T-phase behavior on Ascension Island. The sensitivity to topographic slope and island structure will also be investigated.

  18. Seabed fluid expulsion along the upper slope and outer shelf of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Glaciogenic bedforms on the Chukchi Borderland, Morris Jesup Rise and Yermak Plateau: three prolongations of the Arctic Ocean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobsson, M.; Mayer, L.; Scientific Party, H.; Scientific Party, L.

    2008-12-01

    The US Coast Gard Cutter Healy and Swedish icebreaker Oden have collected multibeam bathymetry and subbottom profiles from the Chukchi Borderland, extending out from the continental shelf of northern Alaska, the Morris Jesup Rise north of Greenland and the Yermak Plateau protruding out from the northwestern Svalbard continental margin. The collected data show glaciogenic bedforms in the form of mega scale glacial lineations, flutings, iceberg scours, morainic ridges and conspicuous erosional channels cutting into a glacially striated seabed. These Arctic Ocean glaciogenic seafloor features show similarities to features mapped on the Antarctic continental margin, both regarding their morphology and dimensions. In this presentation, results from geophysical mapping in the Arctic Ocean with icebreaker Oden during the LOMROG 07 expedition and with USCGC Healy during the HOTRAX 05 and HLY0703 expeditions are presented and compared with published results from the Antarctic continental margin. On the Yermak Plateau, multibeam data from the LOMROG 07 expedition show subdued glacial striations, flutes, which are extending in a northwesterly direction towards the central Arctic Ocean. The mapped portion of the Yermak Plateau where the flutes exist is between 500-600 m deep. Chirp sonar profiles collected along with the multibeam bathymetry reveal that these flutes comprise the top of a glacially eroded surface which extends down to a water depth of approximately 830 m below present sea level, although the glacially eroded surface is draped by sediments from a depth of approximately 600 m. This suggests that the Yermak Plateau has been overridden by an ice sheet. Results from the nearby shallow continental margin suggest that the Svalbard ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), however, never reached the deeper Yermak Plateau and, thus, the flutes must originate from older glaciations. On the Morris Jessup Rise deep iceberg scours are mapped down to a water depth of 1012 m. These iceberg scours cut across the Morris Jesup Rise and it is possible to see from the multibeam data that the deep drafting icebergs causing them came from a westerly direction. Studies of sediment cores acquired directly from the scours indicate that the scouring took place during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6. On the Chukchi Cap the multibeam data from USCGC Healy show closely-spaced striations and bedform-like features at approximately 410 m depth at approximately 760 32' N, 1630 49' W. The striations are curvilinear and oriented roughly northwest-southeast. They are typically 1-3 m deep and spaced 100 - 200 m apart. The bedform-like features are about 10 m high with wavelengths of 1-2 km. These features, currently more than 660 km from the nearest coastline suggest the presence, at some time, of a grounded ice sheet on the Chukchi Cap. Conspicuous erosional channels found slightly deeper than the striations, possible suggest intense sub-glacial water flow. Taken together, the mapped glacial morphology combined with coring results providing chronostratigraphic information constrain the extents of former ice sheets and ice shelves on the continental margins respective deep Arctic Ocean during past glacial periods.

  20. Seismic evidence of continental subduction and upper mantle deformation beneath the western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, L.; Paul, A.; Solarino, S.; Guillot, S.; Malusa', M. G.; Zheng, T.; Aubert, C.; Salimbeni, S.; Dumont, T.; Schwartz, S.; Pondrelli, S.; Zhu, R.; Wang, Q.

    2014-12-01

    The finding of ultra-high pressure minerals in continental orogens like the Western Alps implies that continental crust can subduct to depths as great as 100 km and then be exhumed to the Earth's surface. The onset mechanism of continental subduction, including how the continental plate overwhelms the buoyancy resistance and how it is exhumed, however remains elusive. Using data of a new temporary seismic array deployed in the French-Italian Alps, we present here new evidence that in the Western Alps the European plate subducted deeply beneath the Adria plate. This study uses teleseismic P receiver functions and shear-wave splitting measurements from SKS phases. In the depth-migrated receiver function cross-section, the positive P to S (Ps) conversions (corresponding to velocity increase with depth) on the Moho interface can be continuously traced beneath the European plate. This Moho conversion fluctuates in depth, amplitude and dipping angle. Beneath the external zone, the Moho shows up strongly at depths of 25-40 km, exhibiting an eastward dip angle < 5°. Starting from beneath the outcrop of the Frontal Penninic Thrust (FPT) eastward, the dip of the European Moho strongly increases and Moho conversions can be traced to 70-80 km depth beneath the Adria plate. Shear wave splitting measurements demonstrate that fast polarization directions of seismic anisotropy are parallel to the strike of the orogen, which is consistent with previous studies. The most prominent new result is that the delay time increases rapidly from the external zone to the internal zone and then decreases rapidly from the FPT to the westernmost Po Plain. This rapid change of delay time suggests that the mantle lithosphere, partly serpentinized, has a major contribution to the observed SKS splitting. The largest delay times in the vicinity to the west of the Frontal Penninic Thrust may suggest localized strong shear in the lithospheric mantle beneath the boundary zone between the European and Adria plates. In summary, our receiver function cross-section is the first direct evidence of subduction of the European lower crust in the Adria mantle beneath the Western Alps; SKS splitting data demonstrate that the left-lateral shear due to the post-Miocene counterclockwise rotation of the internal zone may also be detected in the lithospheric mantle.

  1. 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 detrital apatite fission track ages from younger sedimentary sequences suggest a Late Campanian age for this deformational event. Continuous convergence and the formation of a new subduction zone in the South American margin were responsible for the remobilization of inland extensional structures and the associated growth of an Early Paleocene mylonitic belt. During the Eocene the installation of a short duration magmatic arc and a widespread cooling event record the final installation of an oblique subduction setting. We argue that the pre-collisional tectonic evolution of the South American continental margin have prepare a warm continental margin with significant weakness zone that determined an arc-continent collisional style characterized by frontal accretion of the South American plate over the intra-oceanic Caribbean domain, and in which the younger compressional and thermal events are link to the remobilization of older structures.

  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. Interaction of dipole eddies with the western continental slope of the Mozambique Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Michael J.; Ternon, Jean-Franois; 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 for shelf-open ocean exchange.

  4. 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.

  5. Permo-Triassic Collision, Subduction-Zone Metamorphism, and Tectonic Exhumation Along the East Asian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernst, W. G.; Tsujimori, Tatsuki; Zhang, Ruth; Liou, J. G.

    2007-05-01

    Convergent plate motion at 320-210 Ma generated the Tongbai-Dabie-Sulu (east-central China)-Imjingang-Gyeonggi (central Korea)-Renge-Suo (Southwestern Japan)-Sikhote-Alin orogen along the paleo-Pacific edge of cratonal Asia. This amalgamated belt reflects collision between the Sino-Korean and Yangtze cratons on the SW portion, and accretion of outboard oceanic arcs ± sialic fragments against the NE margin. Subducted Proterozoic-Paleozoic continental and oceanic crustal complexes underwent high- and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism at low to moderate temperatures. Tectonic slices of sialic crust episodically disengaged from the downgoing plate and, driven by buoyancy, ascended rapidly to midcrustal levels from depths exceeding 90-200 km after continental collision in east-central China plus or minus Korea, and from 30-50 km after arrival of far-traveled oceanic terranes in SW Japan and the Russian Far East. On achieving neutral buoyancy and stalling out at 10-20 km depth, later doming, gravitational collapse, and erosion exposed parts of the high- and ultrahigh-pressure complexes. This curvilinear orogen has been segmented and offset by major and minor transverse faults. Also, regional backarc spreading opened marginal basins behind the Permo-Triassic convergent suture zone, further disturbing portions oceanward.

  6. Distributions of Pu, Am and Cs in margin sediments from the western Mediterranean (Spanish coast).

    PubMed

    Gascó, C; Antón, M P; Pozuelo, M; Meral, J; González, A M; Papucci, C; Delfanti, R

    2002-01-01

    Continental margins are important areas to be considered when studying the distributions and depositions of pollutants, both conventional and radioactive. Coastal sediments accumulate most of those contaminants which can be introduced following atmospheric and/or fluvial pathways. Moreover, their residence times within the water column are usually shortened due to their affinity to associate with the downward falling particulate matter, more abundant at shallower depths. In this paper the distribution profiles and inventories of plutonium, americium and cesium are detailed, providing useful information about recent sedimentation phenomena such as sediment mixing, slumping processes and bioturbation. Unsupported 210Pb data are used as reliable indicators of enhanced/reduced deposition events. Also, the calculated inventories have enabled the estimation of the radiological contribution of the Spanish Mediterranean margin to the total radioactivity deposited onto the Mediterranean sea floor. PMID:11848153

  7. The Mesozoic Continental Magmatism in Brazil: its Role in the Western Gondwana Evolution from Integrated Paleomagnetic and Geochemical Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernesto, M.; Marques, L. S.

    2011-12-01

    Most of the Paleozoic era in the South American platform represents a period of tectonic quiescence during which large sedimentary basins evolved. Subsequently an intense magmatic activity took place preceding the disclosure of the Gondwana from Pangea, and later the disruption of the western Gondwana blocks (South America and Africa separation). In Brazil Early Jurassic (~220-180 Ma) tholeiitic basalts erupted mostly in the northern area (Amazonas and Parnaíba basins), whereas the Early Cretaceous (~140-120 Ma) is best represented by the huge magmatism of the Serra Geral Formation (Paraná basin, southeastern Brazil). An intense associated intrusive activity in the form of dykes and sills of both ages is widespread all over the country but tends to concentrate towards the continental margins. The integration of paleomagnetic and geochemical data on the Brazilian Mesozoic magmatism put some constraints on the timing, duration and the mantle sources involved in the generation of the magma products related to the different magmatic events.

  8. Origin of Volcanic Seamounts Offshore California Related to Interaction of Abandoned Spreading Centers with the Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, A. S.; Clague, D. A.; Paduan, J. B.; Cousens, B. L.; Huard, J.

    2007-12-01

    The numerous NE-SW trending volcanic seamounts at the continental margin offshore central to Southern California owe their existence to the complex tectonics that resulted when small spreading ridge segments intersected and partly subducted beneath the continental margin during the Miocene plate reorganization. A limited number of dredged samples had indicated multiple episodes of coeval, alkalic volcanism at geographically widely separated sites (Davis et al., 2002, GSA Bull. 114, 316-333). 450 new samples were collected from 8 seamounts from 37. 5°N to 32.3°N with MBARI's ROV Tiburon. Ar-Ar ages for 50 of these samples extend the ages of volcanism from 18 Ma to 2.8 Ma. The dominant whole rock compositions are differentiated alkalic basalt, hawaiite, and mugearite, but include minor benmoreite, trachyte, and rare tholeiitic basalt. This entire range of compositions is also present in glassy margins or in volcaniclastic breccias, except for the trachyte, which had no glassy margins. Trace element abundances and ratios (e.g. REE, Zr, Nb, Ta, Th, Ba, etc.) are typical for ocean island basalt, whether the seamount is located on the Pacific plate (e.g. Pioneer, Gumdrop, Guide, Davidson, San Juan, San Marcos) or on the continental slope (Rodriguez) or within the Southern Continental Borderland (Northeast Bank). Nine samples, predominantly from Rodriguez Seamount, show a calc-alkaline trend with lower Nb, Ta, and higher Th. These samples may be erratics (Paduan et al., 2007, Marine Geology, in press). Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions plot within the Pacific N-MORB field for the northern seamounts (Pioneer, Gumdrop, Guide) but suggest progressively more radiogenic sources southward. There is considerable scatter at each site, especially with regard to 87Sr/86Sr, despite severe acid-leaching of the samples. Isotopic and trace element compositions indicate sources that are heterogeneous at a small scale. Chondrite-normalized Ce/Yb suggest smaller degree of melting and more alkalic compositions with decreasing age, although there is again considerable scatter. Chondrite-normalized La/Sm versus Zr/Nb form a continuum from the seamount lavas to depleted N-MORB and E-MORB suggesting a common origin by decompression melting of a mantle source with randomly distributed enriched heterogeneities, which are incorporated to a greater degree with decreasing degree of melting. Based on symmetric magnetic anomalies, only Davidson Seamount has been identified as straddling a fossil spreading center (Lonsdale, 1991, AAPG Mem. 47, 87-125). However, the other seamounts along the continental margin with the same NE-SW orientation and similar geochemical characteristics probably originated in a similar setting, erupting lavas along zones of weakness in the ocean floor fabric related to past seafloor spreading. Small volumes of magma can apparently rise long after spreading ceases if there is enough enriched source component to facilitate melting combined with zones of weakness in the underlying ocean crust fabric and/or extensional tectonics.

  9. 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.

  10. Crustal structure variations along the NW-African continental margin: A comparison of new and existing models from wide-angle and reflection seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Biari, Youssef; Sahabi, Mohamed; Aslanian, Daniel; Schnabel, Michael; Matias, Luis; Benabdellouahed, Massinissa; Funck, Thomas; Gutscher, Marc-André; Reichert, Christian; Austin, James A.

    2016-04-01

    Deep seismic data represent a key to understand the geometry and mechanism of continental rifting. The passive continental margin of NW-Africa is one of the oldest on earth, formed during the Upper Triassic-Lower Liassic rifting of the central Atlantic Ocean over 200 Ma. We present new and existing wide-angle and reflection seismic data from four study regions along the margin located in the south offshore DAKHLA, on the central continental margin offshore Safi, in the northern Moroccan salt basin, and in the Gulf of Cadiz. The thickness of unthinned continental crust decreases from 36 km in the North to about 27 km in the South. Crustal thinning takes place over a region of 150 km in the north and only 70 km in the south. The North Moroccan Basin is underlain by highly thinned continental crust of only 6-8 km thickness. The ocean-continent transition zone shows a variable width between 40 and 70 km and is characterized by seismic velocities in between those of typical oceanic and thinned continental crust. The neighbouring oceanic crust is characterized by a thickness of 7-8 km along the complete margin. Relatively high velocities of up to 7.5 km/s have been imaged between magnetic anomalies S1 and M25, and are probably related to changes in the spreading velocities at the time of the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian plate reorganization. Volcanic activity seems to be mostly confined to the region next to the Canary Islands, and is thus not related to the initial opening of the ocean, which was associated to only weak volcanism. Comparison with the conjugate margin off Nova Scotia shows comparable continental crustal structures, but 2-3 km thinner oceanic crust on the American side than on the African margin.

  11. First results from the SARDINIA deep seismic cruise on the Western Sardinia and Gulf of Lions conjugate margin pair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gailler, A.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Beslier, M.; Olivet, J.; Aslanian, D.; Bache, F.; Moulin, M.; Matias, L.; Afilhado, A.; Nouze, H.

    2008-12-01

    The deep North-Western Mediterranean (or Provencal) basin was formed by thinning and rotation of the Corsica-Sardinia block which started 30-20 Ma ago. It is bounded by the Gulf of Lions to the north, the Catalan margin to the west, the Ligurian Sea to the east, and the Valencia Trough to the south-west, in which rifting started at roughly the same time as in the Provencal basin. The basin has a depth of up to 2.8 km and a sedimentary layer thickness of up to 8 km. The central part of the basin is presumed to be underlain by a crust of oceanic nature, while the neighboring Valencia Trough is situated on thinned continental crust. During the SARDINIA cruise of the R/V Atalante in December 2006, three wide-angle seismic profiles were acquired in the Gulf of Lions area and three profiles on the conjugate margin offshore Sardinia. The main goals of the SARDINIA project were to image the deep structure of the conjugate margin pair, to characterize the nature of the crust, detect any exhumed upper mantle materiel and to define the geometry of the basins to better constrain the opening history of the basin. During the cruise, a total of 57 ocean bottom seismometers/hydrophones (OBS/OBH) from Ifremer, the University of Brest and Geomar, Kiel were deployed in the Gulf of Lions region and 47 OBS and OBH offshore Sardinia. The lines perpendicular to the margins were recorded by landstations onshore, thus prolonging the profiles. Tomographic and forward wide-angle seismic models of the deep seismic data from the margin perpendicular profile located in the Gulf of Lions image a sedimentary layer up to 8 km thickness, which is locally strongly disturbed by salt tectonics. They indicate, that crustal thinning in the Gulf of Lions area occurs within a 100 km wide zone. East of this zone of crustal thinning is a zone characterized by high velocities in the lower crust (7.2-7.4 km/s) atypical for either thinned continental or normal oceanic crust. The boundary of this layer coincides with a prominent reflector (T-reflector) found in existing reflection seismic data. This reflector has been proposed to be the limit between thinned continental crust and exhumed material. The boundary between the region of high crustal velocities and more normal oceanic crust coincides with the boundary between a region of layered evaporites and and a region of large salt domes. Oceanic crust found in the deepest part of the basin is thinner than normal oceanic crust (only 4-5 km) and lies deeper than can be explained by its thickness alone, which might be due to its formation as a back-arc basin.

  12. Sedimentology of seismo-turbidites off the Cascadia and northern California active tectonic continental margins, Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez Pastor, Julia; Nelson, Hans; Goldfinger, Chris; Escutia, Carlota

    2013-04-01

    Holocene turbidites from turbidite channel systems along the active tectonic continental margins of the Cascadia subduction zone (offshore Vancouver Island to Mendocino Triple Junction) and the northern San Andreas Transform Fault (the Triple Junction to San Francisco Bay), have been analyzed for sedimentologic features related to their seismic origin. Centimeter thick silt/sand beds (turbidite base) capped by mud layers (turbidite tail) and interbedded with hemipelagic silty clay intervals with high biogenic content have been characterized by visual core descriptions, grain-size analysis, X-ray radiographs and physical properties. Along the northern California margin in upstream single tributary canyons and channels, most turbidites are uni-pulsed (classic fining up) whereas downstream below multiple tributary canyon and channel confluences, most deposits are stacked turbidites. Because each set of stacked turbidites has no hemipelagic sediment between each turbidite unit and each unit has a distinct mineralogy from a different tributary canyon, we interpret that a stacked turbidite is deposited by several coeval turbidity currents fed by multiple tributary canyons and channels with synchronous triggering from a single San Andreas Fault earthquake. The Cascadia margin is characterized by individual multi-pulsed turbidites that contain multiple coarse-grained sub-units without hemipelagic sediment between pulses. Because the number and character of multiple coarse-grained pulses for each correlative multi-pulsed turbidite is almost always constant both upstream and downstream in different channel systems for 600 km along the margin,we interpret that the earthquake shaking or aftershock signature is usually preserved, for the much stronger Cascadia (≥9 Mw) compared to weaker California (≥8Mw) earthquakes, which result in upstream uni-pulsed turbidites and downstream stacked turbidites. Consequently, both the strongest (≥9 Mw) great earthquakes and downstream confluences cause multi-pulsed and stacked turbidites that are typical for seismo-turbidites generated by a single great earthquake. Along both margins, earthquake triggering and multi-pulsed or stacked turbidites become an alternative explanation for amalgamated turbidite beds in active tectonic margins and show that multiple grain-size pulses and reverse grading are not unique criteria for hyperpycnites, thalweg levee turbidites, or mini-basin margin turbidites. Analyses of the turbidites along the Cascadia and northern California margins reveal common sedimentologic characteristics of turbidites triggered by great earthquakes that can be used to distinguish seismo-turbidites in other active tectonic margins around the world. Gutierrez-Pastor, J., Nelson C. H., Goldfinger, C., and Escutia, C., Sedimentology of seismo-turbidites off the Cascadia and northern California active tectonic continental margins, northwest Pacific Ocean, Marine Geology 336 (2013) 99-119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2012.11.010

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Reproductive biology and recruitment of the deep-sea fish community from the NW Mediterranean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-Arcaya, U.; Rotllant, G.; Ramirez-Llodra, E.; Recasens, L.; Aguzzi, J.; Flexas, M. M.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; López-Fernández, P.; García, J. A.; Company, J. B.

    2013-11-01

    Temporal patterns in deep-sea fish reproduction are presently unknown for the majority of deep continental margins. A series of seasonal trawling surveys between depths of 300 to 1750 m in the Blanes submarine canyon and its adjacent open slope (NW Mediterranean) were conducted. The bathymetric size distributions and reproductive cycles of the most abundant species along the NW Mediterranean margin were analyzed to assess the occurrence of (i) temporal patterns in reproduction (i.e., spawning season) along a bathymetric gradient and (ii) preferential depth strata for recruitment. The fish assemblages were grouped in relation to their bathymetric distribution: upper slope, middle slope and lower slope species. Middle-slope species (i.e., 800-1350 m) showed short (i.e., highly seasonal) reproductive activity compared to the upper (300-800 m) and lower (1350-1750 m) ones. Our results, together with those previously published for megabenthic crustacean decapods in the area, suggest a cross-phyla depth-related trend of seasonality in reproduction. In the middle and lower slope species, the reproductive activity reached a maximum in the autumn-winter months and decreased in the spring. The observed seasonal spawning patterns appear to be ultimately correlated with changes in the downward transport of organic particles and with seasonal changes in the physicochemical characteristics of the surrounding water masses. The distribution of juveniles was associated with the bathymetric stratum where intermediate nepheloid layers interact with the continental margins, indicating that this stratum acts as a deep-sea fish nursery area.

  15. Assessing lateral plume drainage and thermal craton-edge convection as possible causes of continental margin basaltic volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, T.; Morgan, J. P.

    2011-12-01

    The origin(s) of basaltic volcanism along passive continental margins have yet to reach a state of a preferred conventional wisdom hypothesis. The idea that lateral temperature differences between continents and suboceanic mantle leads to efficient edge-convection has been championed by Anderson and King. However the lateral density anomalies that drive this mode of flow are so small that any effect of partial melt-extraction on decreasing the density of the residual mantle will effectively stop this hypothesized process for convective melt generation. (This conclusion was previously reached by John Hopper and coworkers; here we present additional 2-D numerical experiments that support this null result.) Lateral plume drainage has also been proposed to lead to continental margin volcanism. A major technical difficulty in assessing this process with 2-D numerical experiments is that mantle plumes are intrinsically a 3-D pipe instead of a 2-D sheet. The consequence is that in 2-D experiments a deep-sourced 'plume' will separate surrounding mantle into two isolated regions, while a 3-D pipe would still allow mantle to flow around plume structures. We will discuss several numerical experiments that explore the consequences of lateral drainage of Iceland Plume-fed asthenosphere switching from the W- to E-edge of the Greenland craton at ~58Ma. We first show how 2-D experiments with a deep-rooted plume have intrinsic artifacts due to the 2-D realization of plume upwelling. Then we discuss a suite of experiments where we idealize the plume as a source at the base of the asthenosphere below which mantle can readily flow without a disrupting 2-D plume 'sheet'. In contrast to edge-driven convection, these experiment better reproduce the timing and volume of Greenland margin basaltic volcanism as Greenland migrated over the Iceland Plume.

  16. Geomorphic characterization of four shelf-sourced submarine canyons along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Obelcz, Jeffrey; Brothers, Daniel S.; Chaytor, Jason D.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    Shelf-sourced submarine canyons are common features of continental margins and are fundamental to deep-sea sedimentary systems. Despite their geomorphic and geologic significance, relatively few passive margin shelf-breaching canyons worldwide have been mapped using modern geophysical methods. Between 2007 and 2012 a series of geophysical surveys was conducted across four major canyons of the US Mid-Atlantic margin: Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, and Norfolk canyons. More than 5700 km2 of high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and 890 line-km of sub-bottom CHIRP profiles were collected along the outer shelf and uppermost slope (depths of 80-1200 m). The data allowed us to compare and contrast the fine-scale morphology of each canyon system. The canyons have marked differences in the morphology and orientation of canyon heads, steepness and density of sidewall gullies, and the character of the continental shelf surrounding canyon rims. Down-canyon axial profiles for Washington, Baltimore and Wilmington canyons have linear shapes, and each canyon thalweg exhibits morphological evidence for recent, relatively small-scale sediment transport. For example, Washington Canyon displays extremely steep wall gradients and contains ~100 m wide, 5–10 m deep, v-shaped incisions down the canyon axis, suggesting modern or recent sediment transport. In contrast, the convex axial thalweg profile, the absence of thalweg incision, and evidence for sediment infilling at the canyon head, suggest that depositional processes strongly influence Norfolk Canyon during the current sea-level high-stand. The north walls of Wilmington, Washington and Norfolk canyons are steeper than the south walls due to differential erosion, though the underlying cause for this asymmetry is not clear. Furthermore, we speculate that most of the geomorphic features observed within the canyons (e.g., terraces, tributary canyons, gullies, and hanging valleys) were formed during the Pleistocene, and show only subtle modification by Holocene processes active during the present sea-level high-stand.

  17. The intertropical convergence zone modulates intense hurricane strikes on the western North Atlantic margin

    PubMed Central

    van Hengstum, Peter J.; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Fall, Patricia L.; Toomey, Michael R.; Albury, Nancy A.; Kakuk, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Most Atlantic hurricanes form in the Main Development Region between 9°N to 20°N along the northern edge of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Previous research has suggested that meridional shifts in the ITCZ position on geologic timescales can modulate hurricane activity, but continuous and long-term storm records are needed from multiple sites to assess this hypothesis. Here we present a 3000 year record of intense hurricane strikes in the northern Bahamas (Abaco Island) based on overwash deposits in a coastal sinkhole, which indicates that the ITCZ has likely helped modulate intense hurricane strikes on the western North Atlantic margin on millennial to centennial-scales. The new reconstruction closely matches a previous reconstruction from Puerto Rico, and documents a period of elevated intense hurricane activity on the western North Atlantic margin from 2500 to 1000 years ago when paleo precipitation proxies suggest that the ITCZ occupied a more northern position. Considering that anthropogenic warming is predicted to be focused in the northern hemisphere in the coming century, these results provide a prehistoric analog that an attendant northern ITCZ shift in the future may again return the western North Atlantic margin to an active hurricane interval. PMID:26906670

  18. The intertropical convergence zone modulates intense hurricane strikes on the western North Atlantic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hengstum, Peter J.; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Fall, Patricia L.; Toomey, Michael R.; Albury, Nancy A.; Kakuk, Brian

    2016-02-01

    Most Atlantic hurricanes form in the Main Development Region between 9°N to 20°N along the northern edge of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Previous research has suggested that meridional shifts in the ITCZ position on geologic timescales can modulate hurricane activity, but continuous and long-term storm records are needed from multiple sites to assess this hypothesis. Here we present a 3000 year record of intense hurricane strikes in the northern Bahamas (Abaco Island) based on overwash deposits in a coastal sinkhole, which indicates that the ITCZ has likely helped modulate intense hurricane strikes on the western North Atlantic margin on millennial to centennial-scales. The new reconstruction closely matches a previous reconstruction from Puerto Rico, and documents a period of elevated intense hurricane activity on the western North Atlantic margin from 2500 to 1000 years ago when paleo precipitation proxies suggest that the ITCZ occupied a more northern position. Considering that anthropogenic warming is predicted to be focused in the northern hemisphere in the coming century, these results provide a prehistoric analog that an attendant northern ITCZ shift in the future may again return the western North Atlantic margin to an active hurricane interval.

  19. The intertropical convergence zone modulates intense hurricane strikes on the western North Atlantic margin.

    PubMed

    van Hengstum, Peter J; Donnelly, Jeffrey P; Fall, Patricia L; Toomey, Michael R; Albury, Nancy A; Kakuk, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Most Atlantic hurricanes form in the Main Development Region between 9°N to 20°N along the northern edge of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Previous research has suggested that meridional shifts in the ITCZ position on geologic timescales can modulate hurricane activity, but continuous and long-term storm records are needed from multiple sites to assess this hypothesis. Here we present a 3000 year record of intense hurricane strikes in the northern Bahamas (Abaco Island) based on overwash deposits in a coastal sinkhole, which indicates that the ITCZ has likely helped modulate intense hurricane strikes on the western North Atlantic margin on millennial to centennial-scales. The new reconstruction closely matches a previous reconstruction from Puerto Rico, and documents a period of elevated intense hurricane activity on the western North Atlantic margin from 2500 to 1000 years ago when paleo precipitation proxies suggest that the ITCZ occupied a more northern position. Considering that anthropogenic warming is predicted to be focused in the northern hemisphere in the coming century, these results provide a prehistoric analog that an attendant northern ITCZ shift in the future may again return the western North Atlantic margin to an active hurricane interval. PMID:26906670

  20. Geologic development and characteristics of the continental margins, Gulf of Mexico. Research report, 1983-1986

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

    The continental slope of the Gulf Basin covers more than 500,000 sq km 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 sq km and in which bottom slopes range from < 1 deg to > 20 deg around the knolls and basins. The near-surface geology and topography of the slope are functions of the interplay between episodes of rapid shelf-edge and slope progradation and contemporaneous modification of the depositional sequence by diapirism. Development of discrete depo-centers throughout the Neogene results in rapid shelf-edge progradation, often in excess of 15-20 km/my. This rapid progradation of the shelf edge leads to development of thick wedges of sediment accumulation on the continental slope. Oversteeping, high pore pressures in rapidly deposited soft sediments and changes in eustatic sea level cause subaqueous slope instabilities such as landsliding and debris flows. Large scale features such as shelf edge separation scars and landslide related canyons often results from such processes.

  1. Structural profile of pre-Mesozoic rocks along U. S. Atlantic Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Milici, R.C.; Bayer, K.C.

    1986-05-01

    The US Geological Survey (USGS) seismic common-depth-point lines extending along the continental shelf from offshore New England to Florida transect several major geologic features, including the Cornwall-Kelvin fault near lat. 40/sup 0/N and a possible continental suture on the Georgia shelf near lat. 32/sup 0/N. Seismic reflectors in the Precambrian(.) to Paleozoic(.) terrane range from subhorizontal bands of significant contrast to disaggregated, greatly contorted reflectors. North of lat. 40/sup 0/N, on the shelf east of Long Island, USGS line 12 trends eastward and contains numerous reflectors indicating thrust faults. Near the Cornwall-Kelvin fault, reflectors are disaggreated and contorted. To the south, along the coast from New Jersey to North Carolina, reflectors are subhorizontal to broadly folded and wavy bedded to disaggregated. Farther south, off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia, subhorizontal reflectors generally occupy the upper part of the sequence, overlying more disaggregated patterns down to the Moho discontinuity. In contrast, to the south of the proposed continental suture, subhorizontral seismic reflectors of high contrast extend downward from the base of the Mesozoic sequence to the Moho.

  2. Cenozoic magmatism in the northern continental margin of the South China Sea: evidence from seismic profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiao; Wu, Shiguo; Dong, Dongdong

    2016-03-01

    Igneous rocks in the northern margin of the South China Sea (SCS) have been identified via high resolution multi-channel seismic data in addition to other geophysical and drilling well data. This study identified intrusive and extrusive structures including seamounts and buried volcanoes, and their seismic characteristics. Intrusive features consist of piercement and implicit-piercement type structures, indicating different energy input associated with diapir formation. Extrusive structures are divided into flat-topped and conical-topped seamounts. Three main criteria (the overlying strata, the contact relationship and sills) were used to distinguish between intrusive rocks and buried volcanos. Three criteria are also used to estimate the timing of igneous rock formation: the contact relationship, the overlying sedimentary thickness and seismic reflection characteristics. These criteria are applied to recognize and distinguish between three periods of Cenozoic magmatism in the northern margin of the SCS: before seafloor spreading (Paleocene and Eocene), during seafloor spreading (Early Oligocene-Mid Miocene) and after cessation of seafloor spreading (Mid Miocene-Recent). Among them, greater attention is given to the extensive magmatism since 5.5 Ma, which is present throughout nearly all of the study area, making it a significant event in the SCS. Almost all of the Cenozoic igneous rocks were located below the 1500 m bathymetric contour. In contrast with the wide distribution of igneous rocks in the volcanic rifted margin, igneous rocks in the syn-rift stage of the northern margin of the SCS are extremely sporadic, and they could only be found in the southern Pearl River Mouth basin and NW sub-sea basin. The ocean-continent transition of the northern SCS exhibits high-angle listric faults, concentrated on the seaward side of the magmatic zone, and a sharply decreased crust, with little influence from a mantle plume. These observations provide further evidence to suggest that the northern margin of the SCS is a magma-poor rifted margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Timing and composition of continental volcanism at Harrat Hutaymah, western Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  5. Timing and composition of continental volcanism at Harrat Hutaymah, western Saudi Arabia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Ocean acidification research alongside extended continental shelf exploration in the western Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wynn, J. G.; Robbins, L. L.; Knorr, P. O.; Byrne, R. H.; Takahashi, T.; Onac, B. P.

    2013-12-01

    Research investments funded to fulfill the requirements of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the western Arctic have allowed simultaneous acquisition of marine chemistry data, including baseline monitoring of changes in ocean acidification. Our participation in the Extended Continental Shelf cruises on the USCGC Healy in the western Arctic have allowed us to collect data focused on understanding processes driving rapid changes in seawater chemistry that result from increased oceanic uptake of CO2 (ocean acidification), increased freshwater runoff, changes in sea ice growth and decay processes and changes in biogeochemical processes. Carbonate mineral saturation data collected during HLY1002, HLY1102, and HLY1202 (summers 2010-2012) document undersaturation with respect to aragonite (Ωaragonite) in ~20% of the surface waters of the Canada and Makarov Basins, in direct association with areas of recently accelerated sea ice loss. Conservative tracer studies using salinity, stable oxygen isotopic composition, dissolved silica and barium augment this work by elucidating contributions from distinct water sources. These data show that while surface water in this entire area retains abundant freshwater from meteoric sources, it is freshwater additions from melting of multiyear sea ice which is most closely linked to the areas of aragonite undersaturation. Depth profiles from 20 oceanographic stations taken during the cruises show a ~100 m thick lens of Ωaragonite undersaturated water at ~150 m depth in the western Arctic, but not further north than 85°N. The surface waters in the Canada and Makarov Basins have pCO2 values much lower than the atmospheric pCO2 (~390 uatm), ranging between 350 μatm and 100 μatm, and are a strong sink for atmospheric CO2. The strong sink areas are found in the Chukchi Sea and western Beaufort shelf areas. These studies represent the frontiers of ocean acidification research in the western Arctic, in which baseline data have been greatly expanded with the support of the ECS surveys.

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

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Moore, Chester G

    2013-05-01

    After more than a half century without recognized local dengue outbreaks in the continental United States, there were recent outbreaks of autochthonous dengue in the southern parts of Texas (2004-2005) and Florida (2009-2011). This dengue reemergence has provoked interest in the extent of the future threat posed by the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.), the primary vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses in urban settings, to human health in the continental United States. Ae. aegypti is an intriguing example of a vector species that not only occurs in the southernmost portions of the eastern United States today but also is incriminated as the likely primary vector in historical outbreaks of yellow fever as far north as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, from the 1690s to the 1820s. For vector species with geographic ranges limited, in part, by low temperature and cool range margins occurring in the southern part of the continental United States, as is currently the case for Ae. aegypti, it is tempting to speculate that climate warming may result in a northward range expansion (similar to that seen for Ixodes tick vectors of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in Scandinavia and southern Canada in recent decades). Although there is no doubt that climate conditions directly impact many aspects of the life history of Ae. aegypti, this mosquito also is closely linked to the human environment and directly influenced by the availability of water-holding containers for oviposition and larval development. Competition with other container-inhabiting mosquito species, particularly Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse), also may impact the presence and local abundance of Ae. aegypti. Field-based studies that focus solely on the impact of weather or climate factors on the presence and abundance of Ae. aegypti, including assessments of the potential impact of climate warming on the mosquito's future range and abundance, do not consider the potential confounding effects of socioeconomic factors or biological competitors for establishment and proliferation of Ae. aegypti. The results of such studies therefore should not be assumed to apply in areas with different socioeconomic conditions or composition of container-inhabiting mosquito species. For example, results from field-based studies at the high altitude cool margins for Ae. aegypti in Mexico's central highlands or the Andes in South America cannot be assumed to be directly applicable to geographic areas in the United States with comparable climate conditions. Unfortunately, we have a very poor understanding of how climatic drivers interact with the human landscape and biological competitors to impact establishment and proliferation of Ae. aegypti at the cool margin of its range in the continental United States. A first step toward assessing the future threat this mosquito poses to human health in the continental United States is to design and conduct studies across strategic climatic and socioeconomic gradients in the United States (including the U.S.-Mexico border area) to determine the permissiveness of the coupled natural and human environment for Ae. aegypti at the present time. This approach will require experimental studies and field surveys that focus specifically on climate conditions relevant to the continental United States. These studies also must include assessments of how the human landscape, particularly the impact of availability of larval developmental sites and the permissiveness of homes for mosquito intrusion, and the presence of other container-inhabiting mosquitoes that may compete with Ae. aegypti for larval habitat affects the ability of Ae. aegypti to establish and proliferate. Until we are armed with such knowledge, it is not possible to meaningfully assess the potential for climate warming to impact the proliferation potential for Ae. aegypti in the United States outside of the geographic areas where the mosquito already is firmly established, and even less so for dengue virus transmission and dengue disease in humans. PMID:23802440

  8. Deformation of plate boundaries associated with subduction of continental margins: insights from 3D thermo-mechanical laboratory experiments (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutelier, D. A.; Cruden, A. R.

    2013-12-01

    The general sequence of tectonic events leading to the formation of collisional mountain belts includes closure of an ocean basin through oceanic subduction, subduction of a continental margin and deformation of the lithosphere. Laboratory experiments reproducing this fundamental chain of events investigate the three-dimensional and thermo-mechanical mechanics of the associated processes. Experiments reveal that this basic scenario can be considerably modified at the beginning of continental subduction. The buoyancy of the subducted passive margin causes a strong horizontal compression in the plates, which can lead to the formation of new thrusts in the magmatic arc or back-arc spreading center if the collision was preceded by oceanic subduction in the tensile regime. Several complex scenarios can develop, depending on the polarity of the new thrusts. If the new thrust in the arc or back-arc has the same polarity as the main subduction zone, the entire area located between the trench and the new thrust can be subducted, leaving little evidence of its former existence in the geological record. This process also modifies the thermal and mechanical regime of the subducted lithosphere, resulting in lower temperatures in the subducted crust thereby allowing deeper subduction. If the polarity of the new thrust is opposite to that of the existing subduction zone, the two slabs collide at depth, with the new slab generally cutting through the pre-existing slab. The distribution of convergence across several thrusts necessarily leads to a reduction of the convergence rate on the pre-existing subduction thrust. This leads to a reduction of the viscous coupling supporting the subducted lithosphere, causing an increase in downdip tension in the slab, and a rapid decrease of the slab strength due to temperature increase, eventually leading to slab break-off. Finally, the deformation caused by the subduction of the buoyant continental crust is fundamentally three-dimensional. Three-dimensional, non-cylindrical thermomechanical laboratory experiments of arc-continent collision investigate the impact of the flexural strength of the orogen and along-strike coupling of the neighboring segments of the plate boundary in the cases of diachronous collisions because of obliquity of the subducting passive margin or obliquity of the convergence in the subduction zone. The experiments reveal that deformation is continuous along-strike, but also fundamentally three-dimensional. Progressive along-strike structural variations arise because coupling between neighboring segments induces either advanced or delayed failure of the arc lithosphere and passive margin. The modeling results suggest that orogenic belts should experience deeper subduction of continental crust and hence higher-pressure metamorphism where the two plates first collided than elsewhere along the plate boundary where collision subsequently propagated. Furthermore, during the initial stage of collision the accretionary wedge is partially subducted, which leads to lubrication of the interplate zone and a reduction of shear traction. Therefore, a large convergence obliquity angle does not produce a migrating fore-arc sliver. Rather, the pressure force generated by subduction of the buoyant continental crust causes fore-arc motion. It follows that convergence obliquity during collision does not yield trench-parallel deformation of the fore arc and its influence on the collision process is limited.

  9. Gravimetric determination of the continental-oceanic boundary of the Argentine continental margin (from 36°S to 50°S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arecco, María Alejandra; Ruiz, Francisco; Pizarro, Guillermo; Giménez, Mario; Martínez, Patricia; Ramos, Víctor A.

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the gravimetric analysis together with seismic data as an integral application in order to identify the continental-oceanic crust boundary (COB) of the Argentine continental margin from 36°S to 50°S in a continuous way. The gravimetric and seismic data are made up of large grids of data obtained from satellite altimetry and marine research. The methodology consists of three distinct methods: (i) the application of enhancement techniques to gravimetric anomalies, (ii) the calculation of crustal thinning from 3-D gravity inversion modelling of the crust-mantle discontinuity and (iii) 2-D gravimetric modelling supported by multichannel reflection and refraction seismic profiles. In the first method, the analytic signal, Theta map, and tilt angle and its horizontal derivative were applied. In the second method, crustal thickness was obtained as the difference in the depths of the crystalline basement and the crust-mantle discontinuity; the latter was obtained via gravimetric inversion. Finally, 2-D modelling was performed from free-air anomalies in two representative sections by considering as restriction surfaces those coming from the interpretation of seismic data. The results of the joint application of enhancement techniques and 2-D and 3-D modelling have enabled continuous interpretation of the COB. In this study, the COB was determined continuously from the integration of 2-D profiles of the enhancement techniques, taking account of crustal thickness and performing 2-D gravimetric modelling. The modelling technique was complemented by regional studies integrated with multichannel seismic reflection and seismic refraction lines, resulting in consistent enhancement techniques.

  10. Establishing the Temporal Resolution of High-Latitude Paleoclimatic and Paleomagnetic Signals in Bioturbated Gulf of Alaska Continental Margin Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosen, G. P.; Jaeger, J. M.; Stoner, J. S.; Channell, J. E.

    2005-12-01

    Under the right depositional conditions, continental margin strata may preserve valuable records of climatic, tectonic and geochemical changes in the adjacent landscapes. Whereas anoxic basins containing laminated strata are a preferred depositional environment for paleoclimate records, they are geographically limited, thus diminishing their usefulness at examining global landscape changes. Bioturbated margin strata are far more ubiquitous, but under slow sediment accumulation, proxies of decadal-scale climate changes, which may have a large impact on landscape modification, may not be preserved. Additionally, paleosecular variations (PSV) and relative paleointensity of natural remanent magnetization (NRM) in sediments are increasingly being used as global chronometers, but little field data exists from continental margins to examine the use of these tools in rapidly bioturbated strata common to this setting. When utilizing marine sedimentary proxies and strata to interpret paleoclimatic and paleomagnetic signals, respectively, it is necessary to consider the temporal resolution and fidelity of those signals and the conditions under which they are emplaced and preserved. Specifically, to what degree is bioturbation degrading or time-integrating the signal? The degree of degradation is proposed to vary with the transit time (TT) through the biologically mixed surface layer (TT= layer thickness/sediment accumulation rate) and the intensity of bioturbation in this layer, as represented by the biodiffusivity coefficient, Db, which has been shown to be highly variable (10~100 cm2/yr) on continental margins. Theoretically, weakly mixed strata undergoing rapid accumulation provide the best signal preservation. To quantify preservation potential, samples were collected along the Gulf of Alaska (GoA) margin aboard the R/V Maurice Ewing in 2004 (EW0408). Coring locations included fjord, shelf and fan sites and spanned a range of depositional environments from glacimarine to biologically productive bays. Multicores that preserved the sediment-water interface were x-rayed and subsampled for radioisotopic activity measurement by gamma spectroscopy. Multicores also were subsampled with ODP-style u-channels for measurement of NRM. X-radiographs and 234Th and 210Pb activities were used to establish Db, sediment accumulation rates and the thickness of the surface mixed layer. Db values from representative depositional environments are >50 cm2/yr in biogenic-rich fjord sediments, 10-20 cm2/yr in the glacially sourced sediments of the continental shelf and upper slope, and <10 cm2/yr for submarine fan sites based on 100-d 234Th time scales. The thickness of the annually mixed surface layer covaries with Db from a high of 15-20 cm to a low of <5 cm. Given the relatively thin mixed layer, low Db values for shelf and upper slope sites and 210Pb-based accumulation rates (1-20 mm/yr), these glacially derived sediments are weakly mixed with signal transit times of only 1-25 years. Estimates of lock-in depth of the NRM appear to also correlate with the intensity and depth of bioturbation. Therefore, GoA environments supplied with more glacially derived sediments have the best potential to record and preserve decadal-scale paleoclimate and paleomagnetic fluctuations with minor degradation attributable to bioturbation.

  11. Fluid Venting Along the Central Chilean Continental Margin: A Geophysical Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaucke, I.; Weinrebe, W.; Bialas, J.; Klaeschen, D.; Scientists, J. S.

    2008-12-01

    The Central Chilean subduction zone between S35 and S37 was recently investigated during a cruise with RV James Cook in order to identify, document and possibly understand fluid flow and fluid venting within the forearc region. Several areas were mapped using multibeam bathymetry, multibeam backscatter, high- resolution Sidescan sonar, Chirp subbottom profiling and reflection seismic data. First analysis of the dataset shows surprisingly little indications for fluid venting along the mid-slope region, which is different from other subduction zones such as Central America or New Zealand. In particular, accretionary ridges between S35.5 and S36 were suspected to show fluid venting, but this fact could not be