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Sample records for western continental margin

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

    PubMed

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

    1966-10-14

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

  2. Recent acoustic studies of western Canadian continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Bornhold, B.D.; Brandon, M.T.; Clowes, R.M.; Currie, R.G.; Davis, E.E.; Hussong, D.M.; Hyndman, R.D.; Riddihough, R.P.; Rogers, G.C.; Yorath, C.J.

    1986-07-01

    A regional survey of the western Canadian continental margin from the central Queen Charlotte Island, 52/sup 0/40'N, to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 47/sup 0/40'N, has been completed with the acoustic imaging system SeaMARC II. These data, combined with single-channel and multichannel seismic reflection data, reveal many new insights concerning the deep structure of the subduction margin off Vancouver Island. Clearly evident in the imagery are the deformation of sediments at the base of the slope, the surface expression of seismically active faults, the mass wasting of sediment frequently observed at the base of the slope, and the erosional canyons and sediment transport channels on the slope and adjacent abyssal plain. The variability in the surficial and deep structures along the length of the margin is great and corresponds well with the postulated variations in the local ocean/continent motion vectors: motion along the southern Queen Charlotte Islands margin is primarily transform (about 55 mm/year) with a small component of convergence (about 10 mm/year); motion south of the triple junction at the Wilson Knolls is convergent but at a very slow rate (about 10 mm/year); and motion along the central and southern Vancouver Island margin is nearly orthogonal to the coast and more rapid (about 40 mm/year).

  3. 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)

  4. CDP seismic sections of the western Beaufort continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eittreim, S.; Grantz, A.

    1979-01-01

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

  5. 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. Continental margin volcanism at sites of spreading ridge subduction: Examples from southern Alaska and western California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Ronald B.; Stewart, Brian W.

    2009-01-01

    Episodes of spreading ridge subduction occurred during late Oligocene to early Miocene time along western California and during late Paleocene to early Eocene time along southern Alaska. In each case, ridge subduction and subsequent slab window formation has had a profound influence on continental margin magmatism. Foremost, in each setting there was a hiatus in arc magmatism following ridge subduction, followed by the onset of volcanism in zones of local extension within arc-front, forearc, and accretionary prism settings. These near-trench volcanic rocks are distinctive from adjacent arc rocks and represent unique episodes of continental margin magmatism. The western California volcanic rocks were erupted into several local extensional basins and form discrete volcanic centers within each basin. The southern Alaska volcanic rocks, which form the Caribou Creek volcanic field, were erupted in a broad zone of extension that trended orthogonally to the continental margin. Basalts from the western California volcanic centers and the Caribou Creek volcanic field are tholeiitic and have depleted Nd and Sr isotope compositions with ? Nd( t) as high as + 9.3 and + 10.9 and 87Sr/ 86Sr( t) as low as 0.70258 and 0.70278, respectively. These basalts are unique because they are the most geochemically depleted basalts yet documented along the continental margin of the northern Cordillera. The basalts of each group also have high Ti contents (TiO 2 above 1.5%) and low ratios of fluid-mobile and other large ion lithophile elements compared to high field strength elements. For example, Ba/Ta ratios among the basalts range from about 40 to 600, with most samples below 270, while arc basalts typically have Ba/Ta ratios greater than 450. The basalts also have Th/Yb and Ta/Yb ratios in the range of mid-ocean-ridge basalts and do not exhibit the typical enrichment in Th/Yb that characterizes arc basalts. The basaltic andesites through dacites and rhyolites have more enriched isotope compositions, with ? Nd( t) and 87Sr/ 86Sr( t) ranging from + 6.3 to - 3.2 and 0.70390 to 0.71131, respectively, among the western California samples and from + 10.1 to + 7.3 and 0.70299 to 0.70413, respectively, in the southern Alaska Caribou Creek samples. Compared to the basalts, the intermediate to acidic samples of each group also show enrichment in the light rare earth and large ion lithophile elements (e.g., Ba, Rb, Th, K). These data indicate that assimilation of crustal rocks was important in the evolution of each volcanic suite, although in the case of the Caribou Creek volcanic field, the crustal rocks are of oceanic island arc affinity and did not impart a strong geochemical enrichment to the magmas. The depleted Nd and Sr isotope and trace element compositions, coupled with the relatively high Ti content and low Ba/Ta and Th/Yb ratios among the basalts, indicates that the basalt magmas of each group formed by a low-degree of partial melting from a depleted mantle source without a strong flux of fluid-mobile large ion lithophile elements as would occur above an actively dewatering subducted slab. This petrogenesis is consistent with a slab window model in which parental magmas were derived by decompression melting of suboceanic (sub-slab) mantle that upwelled into the opening that formed beneath each continental margin following spreading ridge subduction.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-12-01

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

  9. Deep continental margin reflectors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Characterizing and identifying structural domains at rifted continental margins: application to the Bay of Biscay margins and its Western Pyrenean fossil remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Over the past decade, the occurrence of hyperextended domains at rifted continental margins consisting of extremely thinned crust and/or exhumed mantle has been increasingly recognized both at present-day rifted margins and in fossils analogues preserved in collisional orogens. However, at present, most studies aiming to characterize rifted continental margin structure and the extreme thinning of the continental crust were either focused offshore relying on indirect geophysical methods, or onshore in deformed remnants offering direct access to geological observations. Marine and onshore examples provide complementary datasets, but their different scale and resolution of observations prevent direct correlations to be done. We use the Bay of Biscay and Western Pyrenees as a natural laboratory to develop and apply an innovative approach to characterize and identify distinctive rifted margin domains in offshore and onshore settings. The Bay of Biscay and Western Pyrenees offer the unique possibility to have access to seismically imaged, drilled and exposed parts of one and the same hyperextended rift margin system. Offshore, we use a gravity inversion technique and flexural backstripping combined with seismic interpretation to provide quantitative estimates of accommodation space, crustal thickness and lithosphere thinning. Onshore, we focus on key outcrops preserving remnants of the former rift domain to describe the nature of sediment and basement rocks and of their interface. This qualitative and quantitative characterisation provides the essential diagnostic elements for the identification of five distinct domains at magma-poor rifted margins and their fossil analogues. We name these 5 domains proximal, necking, hyperthinned, exhumed mantle and oceanic. This new approach can be used to reconcile offshore and onshore observations and aid interpretation especially when only local observations are available. Onshore remnants can be placed in an offshore rifted margin context, enabling the prediction of first order crustal architecture. For the interpretation of offshore seismic reflection sections, geological insights on rift structures and basement nature can be suggested based on onshore analogies. This combined onshore-offshore multidisciplinary approach enables us to identify and distinguish the distinct structural domains of rifted margins, resulting in a new paleogeographic map of the Bay of Biscay and Pyrenean rift. The approach underlying this mapping has general application to unravelling the spatial and temporal complexity of rifted margin structural domains.

  12. The Brazilian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1981-04-01

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

  13. NOTES ON DECAPOD AND EUPHAUSIID CRUSTACEANS, CONTINENTAL MARGIN, WESTERN ATLANTIC, GEORGES BANK

    E-print Network

    and 1 species ofeuphausiid are reported from the outer continental shelf. submarine canyons. and nearby. transtridensl. Records of decapod crustaceans from the outer continental shelf, submarine canyons, and nearby crustaceans from submarine canyons, outer listed from north to south, successive visits are arranged

  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.

    2014-12-01

    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.

  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.

    2014-07-01

    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.

  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. 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.

  20. East Africa continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Bosellini, A.

    1986-01-01

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

  1. Comparative biogeochemistryecosystemhuman interactions on dynamic continental margins

    E-print Network

    Meyers, Steven D.

    Comparative biogeochemistry­ecosystem­human interactions on dynamic continental margins Lisa A April 2014 Accepted 24 April 2014 Available online 30 April 2014 Regional terms: Continental margins Europe North Atlantic North Pacific Arctic The oceans' continental margins face strong and rapid change

  2. Sediment-infill volcanic breccia from the Neoarchean Shimoga greenstone terrane, western Dharwar Craton: Implications on pyroclastic volcanism and sedimentation in an active continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manikyamba, C.; Saha, Abhishek; Ganguly, Sohini; Santosh, M.; Lingadevaru, M.; Rajanikanta Singh, M.; Subba Rao, D. V.

    2014-12-01

    We report sediment-infill volcanic breccia from the Neoarchean Shimoga greenstone belt of western Dharwar Craton which is associated with rhyolites, chlorite schists and pyroclastic rocks. The pyroclastic rocks of Yalavadahalli area of Shimoga greenstone belt host volcanogenic Pb-Cu-Zn mineralization. The sediment-infill volcanic breccia is clast-supported and comprises angular to sub-angular felsic volcanic clasts embedded in a dolomitic matrix that infilled the spaces in between the framework of volcanic clasts. The volcanic clasts are essentially composed of alkali feldspar and quartz with accessory biotite and opaques. These clasts have geochemical characteristics consistent with that of the associated potassic rhyolites from Daginkatte Formation. The rare earth elements (REE) and high field strength element (HFSE) compositions of the sediment-infill volcanic breccia and associated mafic and felsic volcanic rocks suggest an active continental margin setting for their generation. Origin, transport and deposition of these rhyolitic clasts and their aggregation with infiltrated carbonate sediments may be attributed to pyroclastic volcanism, short distance transportation of felsic volcanic clasts and their deposition in a shallow marine shelf in an active continental margin tectonic setting where the rhyolitic clasts were cemented by carbonate material. This unique rock type, marked by close association of pyroclastic volcanic rocks and shallow marine shelf sediments, suggest shorter distance between the ridge and shelf in the Neoarchean plate tectonic scenario.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  5. Late tertiary structure and stratigraphy of north Sinai continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Mart, Y.

    1981-06-01

    New seismic data provide information on the structural development and late Tertiary stratigraphy of the continental slope and rise off northern Sinai. The upper continental slope is characterized by a marginal plateau composed of a series of platforms or steps. The lower continental slope is smooth, except for a low ridge paralleling the western part. Numerous diapiric structures along the continental margin north of the Sinai Peninsula emerge from an evaporitic layer of late Tertiary age. The diapirs usually are aligned along west-northwest-trending faults. A salt ridge 90 km long produces a submarine ridge in the lower continental rise. Two main fault trends have been mapped. In the western part of the continental margin they trend west-northwest and, in the eastern part, northeast. These trends parallel the continental slopes of northern Sinai and southern Israel, respectively. The structural grain of the Sinai margin appears to be controlled by two main tectonic elements: (1) rejuvenated basement faults of the continent-ocean transition zone; and (2) salt diapirism due to loading of Messinian evaporites with Nile-derived upper Tertiary clastics.

  6. Sedimentary redox conditions in continental margin sediments (N.E. Pacific) --Influence on the accumulation of

    E-print Network

    Pedersen, Tom

    Sedimentary redox conditions in continental margin sediments (N.E. Pacific) -- Influence in near-surface sediments from the continental margin off western Canada were characterized to determine and Pedersen, 2004). Changes in the intensity of the oxygen minimum zone on the northeastern margin

  7. The Continental Margins Program in Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cocker, M.D.; Shapiro, E.A.

    1999-01-01

    From 1984 to 1993, the Georgia Geologic Survey (GGS) participated in the Minerals Management Service-funded Continental Margins Program. Geological and geophysical data acquisition focused on offshore stratigraphic framework studies, phosphate-bearing Miocene-age strata, distribution of heavy minerals, near-surface alternative sources of groundwater, and development of a PC-based Coastal Geographic Information System (GIS). Seven GGS publications document results of those investigations. In addition to those publications, direct benefits of the GGS's participation include an impetus to the GGS's investigations of economic minerals on the Georgia coast, establishment of a GIS that includes computer hardware and software, and seeds for additional investigations through the information and training acquired as a result of the Continental Margins Program. These addtional investigations are quite varied in scope, and many were made possible because of GIS expertise gained as a result of the Continental Margins Program. Future investigations will also reap the benefits of the Continental Margins Program.From 1984 to 1993, the Georgia Geologic Survey (GGS) participated in the Minerals Management Service-funded Continental Margins Program. Geological and geophysical data acquisition focused on offshore stratigraphic framework studies, phosphate-bearing Miocene-age strata, distribution of heavy minerals, near-surface alternative sources of groundwater, and development of a PC-based Coastal Geographic Information System (GIS). Seven GGS publications document results of those investigations. In addition to those publications, direct benefits of the GGS's participation include an impetus to the GGS's investigations of economic minerals on the Georgia coast, establishment of a GIS that includes computer hardware and software, and seeds for additional investigations through the information and training acquired as a result of the Continental Margins Program. These additional investigations are quite varied in scope, and many were made possible because of GIS expertise gained as a result of the Continental Margins Program. Future investigations will also reap the benefits of the Continental Margins Program.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Age and geochemical characteristics of Paleogene basalts drilled from western Taiwan: Records of initial rifting at the southeastern Eurasian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, K.; Chung, S.; Lo, Y.; Lo, C.; Yang, H.; Shinjo, R.; Lee, T.; Wu, J.; Huang, S.

    2013-12-01

    The southeastern Eurasian continental margin has been characterized by formation of rift basins associated with intraplate basaltic volcanism since early Cenozoic time. In contrast to Paleogene volcanic rocks that occur sporadically in the basins, Neogene basalts are more widespread on land as lava flows and pyroclastics in the Taiwan Strait (Penghu Islands) and northwestern Taiwan. To better understand the tectonomagmatic evolution, in particular the initial rifting record, this study reports new age, major- and trace-elemental, and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data of volcanic rocks drilled from several locations in the Taiwan Strait and western Taiwan. 40Ar/39Ar dating results show two main episodes of volcanic activities: ~56-38 Ma (Eocene) and ~11-8 Ma (late Miocene). The volcanic rocks are composed dominantly of basalts and basaltic andesites, and subordinately of dacites and rhyolites of Eocene age. The two episodes of basaltic volcanism have distinct geochemical characteristics. Comparatively, the Eocene basalts are more depleted in basaltic components such as Ca, Fe and Ti, but have higher Al content. They are also more enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE), and show depletions in high field strength elements (HFSE). Sr-Nd-Pb isotope compositions of the late Miocene basalts are relatively more uniform and unradiogenic (?Nd = +6.0 to +3.8), similar to those of Miocene basalts from NW Taiwan and Penghu Islands, and broadly coeval OIB-type basalts from the South China Sea. However, the Eocene basalts have a wider range in isotope ratios (e.g., ?Nd(T) = +5.6 to -3.2) pointing towards an enriched mantle source. The overall geochemical characteristics suggest two distinct mantle sources: (1) a more refractory mantle source metasomatized by subduction-related processes to generate the Eocene basalts and (2) a fertile but isotopically depleted mantle source for the late Miocene basalts. These two source components are proposed to reside in the lithospheric mantle and asthenosphere, respectively. The change in magma sources with time reflects the evolution of an extensional regime within the Eurasian continental margin from an initial rifting to a well-established stage accomplished by thinning of the lithosphere and associated upwelling of the asthenosphere. The Eocene bimodal volcanism entails a transition from the latest Cretaceous magmatism in the western Taiwan Strait that not only signals incipient rifting in the region, but also records geochemical inputs from the subducted Paleo-Pacific plate to the southeastern Eurasian lithospheric mantle. As the preexisting, subduction-related component had been preferentially overprinted by the Eocene magma generation, there was a magmatic quiescence in the Oligocene before the onset of Miocene basaltic volcanism that resulted essentially from decompression melting of the ascended asthenospheric mantle.

  11. Age and geochemical characteristics of Paleogene basalts drilled from western Taiwan: Records of initial rifting at the southeastern Eurasian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kuo-Lung; Chung, Sun-Lin; Lo, Yi-Ming; Lo, Ching-Hua; Yang, Huai-Jen; Shinjo, Ryuichi; Lee, Tung-Yi; Wu, Jong-Chang; Huang, Shiuh-Tsann

    2012-12-01

    The southeastern Eurasian continental margin has been characterized by formation of rift basins associated with intraplate basaltic volcanism since early Cenozoic time. In contrast to Paleogene volcanic rocks that occur sporadically in the basins, Neogene basalts are more widespread on land as lava flows and pyroclastics in the Taiwan Strait (Penghu Islands) and northwestern Taiwan. To better understand the tectonomagmatic evolution, in particular the initial rifting record, this study reports new age, major- and trace-elemental, and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data of volcanic rocks drilled from several locations in the Taiwan Strait and western Taiwan. 40Ar/39Ar dating results show two main episodes of volcanic activities: ~ 56-38 Ma (Eocene) and ~ 11-8 Ma (late Miocene). The volcanic rocks are composed dominantly of basalts and basaltic andesites, and subordinately of dacites and rhyolites of Eocene age. The two episodes of basaltic volcanism have distinct geochemical characteristics. Comparatively, the Eocene basalts are more depleted in basaltic components such as Ca, Fe and Ti, but have higher Al content. They are also more enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE), and show depletions in high field strength elements (HFSE). Sr-Nd-Pb isotope compositions of the late Miocene basalts are relatively more uniform and unradiogenic (?Nd = + 6.0 to + 3.8), similar to those of Miocene basalts from NW Taiwan and Penghu Islands, and broadly coeval OIB-type basalts from the South China Sea. However, the Eocene basalts have a wider range in isotope ratios (e.g., ?Nd(T) = + 5.6 to -3.2) pointing towards an enriched mantle source. The overall geochemical characteristics suggest two distinct mantle sources: (1) a more refractory mantle source metasomatized by subduction-related processes to generate the Eocene basalts and (2) a fertile but isotopically depleted mantle source for the late Miocene basalts. These two source components are proposed to reside in the lithospheric mantle and asthenosphere, respectively. The change in magma sources with time reflects the evolution of an extensional regime within the Eurasian continental margin from an initial rifting to a well-established stage accomplished by thinning of the lithosphere and associated upwelling of the asthenosphere. The Eocene bimodal volcanism entails a transition from the latest Cretaceous magmatism in the western Taiwan Strait that not only signals incipient rifting in the region, but also records geochemical inputs from the subducted Paleo-Pacific plate to the southeastern Eurasian lithospheric mantle. As the preexisting, subduction-related component had been preferentially overprinted by the Eocene magma generation, there was a magmatic quiescence in the Oligocene before the onset of Miocene basaltic volcanism that resulted essentially from decompression melting of the ascended asthenospheric mantle.

  12. 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).

  13. Geological interpretation of a low-backscatter anomaly found on the New Jersey continental margin

    E-print Network

    New Hampshire, University of

    of the U.S. Atlantic margin, showing submarine canyon-channel systems, seamounts, escarpments and sediment.J.W. Piper Keywords: U.S. mid-Atlantic continental margin continental slope multibeam backscatter submarine canyons Western Boundary Undercurrent Chesapeake Drift An enigmatic low-backscatter, acoustic anomaly

  14. Gas hydrates of outer continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Kvenvolden, K.A. )

    1990-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Continental transformrift interaction adjacent to a continental margin: The Levant case study

    E-print Network

    Lyakhovsky, Vladimir

    Continental transform­rift interaction adjacent to a continental margin: The Levant case study Amit between major pre-existing fault systems and adjacent continental margins. We review, compile and evaluate to the Levant continental margin. We demonstrate that the continuous Late Cretaceous Carmel­Fari'a­ASG fault

  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. Ecological theory and continental margins: where shallow meets deep

    E-print Network

    Levin, Lisa

    Ecological theory and continental margins: where shallow meets deep Lisa A. Levin and Paul K-0218, USA Continental margins, where land becomes ocean and plunges to the deep sea, provide valuable food change. Continental margin ecosystems, with environ- ments, constituents and processes that differ from

  20. Enhanced intraplate seismicity along continental margins: Some causes and consequences

    E-print Network

    Sandiford, Mike

    Enhanced intraplate seismicity along continental margins: Some causes and consequences Mike hundred kilometres wide inboard of continental margins at high angle to the trend in maximum horizontal we explore how the compositional and thermal structuring of continental passive margins may lead

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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)

  6. Southeast Australia: A Cenozoic Continental Margin Dominated by Mass Transport

    E-print Network

    New Hampshire, University of

    to the Great Barrier Reef. Mass transport dominates the continental slope, which stretches from the shelf break continental margin (Boyd et al. 2004) stretches 1,500km north from Bass Strait (37°30 S) to the Great Barrier Reef (24° 15 S). This passive rifted margin fronts the Tasman Sea, and by world standards is nar- row

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Transform continental margins - part 1: Concepts and models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Christophe

    2015-10-01

    This paper reviews the geodynamic concepts and models related to transform continental margins, and their implications on the structure of these margins. Simple kinematic models of transform faulting associated with continental rifting and oceanic accretion allow to define three successive stages of evolution, including intra-continental transform faulting, active transform margin, and passive transform margin. Each part of the transform margin experiences these three stages, but the evolution is diachronous along the margin. Both the duration of each stage and the cumulated strike-slip deformation increase from one extremity of the margin (inner corner) to the other (outer corner). Initiation of transform faulting is related to the obliquity between the trend of the lithospheric deformed zone and the relative displacement of the lithospheric plates involved in divergence. In this oblique setting, alternating transform and divergent plate boundaries correspond to spatial partitioning of the deformation. Both obliquity and the timing of partitioning influence the shape of transform margins. Oblique margin can be defined when oblique rifting is followed by oblique oceanic accretion. In this case, no transform margin should exist in the prolongation of the oceanic fracture zones. Vertical displacements along transform margins were mainly studied to explain the formation of marginal ridges. Numerous models were proposed, one of the most used is being based on thermal exchanges between the oceanic and the continental lithospheres across the transform fault. But this model is compatible neither with numerical computation including flexural behavior of the lithosphere nor with timing of vertical displacements and the lack of heating related to the passing of the oceanic accretion axis as recorded by the Côte d'Ivoire-Ghana marginal ridge. Enhanced models are still needed. They should better take into account the erosion on the continental slope, and the level of coupling of the transform continental margin with the adjacent oceanic lithosphere.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Whelan, J.K.

    1990-01-01

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

  12. Geotechnical characterization of sediments from Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Continental Margin

    E-print Network

    Tan, Brian B. (Brian Bautista), 1979-

    2004-01-01

    Eight whole core sediment samples were obtained from ODP Site 1244, Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Continental Margin with the goal of understanding the stress history, consolidation behavior and strength characteristics of the ...

  13. 2008 Nature Publishing Group Fjord insertion into continental margins

    E-print Network

    Briner, Jason P.

    © 2008 Nature Publishing Group LETTERS Fjord insertion into continental margins driven; doi:10.1038/ngeo201 Fjords commonly punctuate continental edges formerly occupied by Quaternary ice. Ice sheets drain primarily through fjords3,4 ; therefore, widespread fjord insertion may have altered

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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 ?-m), with a thickness of <100 km, and an underlying conductive half-space (˜10 ?-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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Continental transform margins : state of art and future milestones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Christophe

    2010-05-01

    Transform faults were defined 45 years ago as ‘a new class of fault' (Wilson, 1965), and transform margins were consequently individualized as a new class of continental margins. While transform margins represent 20 to 25 % of the total length of continent-ocean transitions, they were poorly studied, especially when compared with the amount of data, interpretations, models and conceptual progress accumulated on divergent or convergent continental margins. The best studied examples of transform margins are located in the northern part of Norway, south of South Africa, in the gulf of California and on both sides of the Equatorial Atlantic. Here is located the Côte d'Ivoire - Ghana margin, where the more complete data set was acquired, based on numerous geological and geophysical cruises, including ODP Leg 159. The first models that encompassed the structure and evolution of transform margins were mainly driven by plate kinematic reconstructions, and evidenced the diachronic end of tectonic activity and the non-cylindrical character of these margins, with a decreasing strike-slip deformation from the convex to the concave divergent-transform intersections. Further thermo-mechanical models were more specifically designed to explain the vertical displacements along transform margins, and especially the occurrence of high-standing marginal ridges. These thermo-mechanical models involved either heat transfer from oceanic to continental lithospheres across the transform faults or tectonically- or gravity-driven mass transfer in the upper crust. These models were far from fully fit observations, and were frequently dedicated to specific example, and not easily generalizable. Future work on transform continental margins may be expected to fill some scientific gaps, and the definition of working directions can benefit from the studies dedicated to other types of margins. At regional scale the structural and sedimentological variability of transform continental margins has to be emphasized. There is not only one type of transform margins, but as for divergent margins huge changes from one margin to another in both structure and evolution. Multiple types have to be evidenced together with the various parameters that should control the variability. As for divergent margins, special attention should be paid to conjugated transform margins as a tool to assess symmetrical / asymmetrical processes in the oceanic opening. Attention should also be focused on the three-dimensional structure of the intersections between transform and divergent margins, such as the one where the giant oil field Jubilee was recently discovered. There is almost no 3D data available in these area, and their structures still have to be described. An other key point to develop is the mechanical behavior of the lithosphere in and in the vicinity of transform margins. The classical behaviors (isostasy, elastic flexure) have be tested extensively. The localization of the deformation by the transform fault, and the coupling of continental and oceanic lithosphere across the transform fault have to be adressed to understand the evolution of these margins. Again as for divergent margins, new concepts are needed to explain the variations in the post-rift and post-transform subsidence, that can not always be explained by classical subsidence models. But the most remarkable advance in our understanding of transform margins may be related to the study of interactions between the lithosphere and adjacent envelops : deep interactions with the mantle, as underplating, tectonic erosion, or possible lateral crustal flow ; surficial interactions between structural evolution, erosion and sedimentation processes in transform margins may affect the topography and bathymetry, thus the oceanic circulation with possible effects on regional and global climate.

  20. Structure of the North American Atlantic Continental Margin.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. The dynamics of continental extension and divergent margin formation

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, D.S. )

    1990-05-01

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

  3. Understanding the thermal evolution of deep-water continental margins.

    PubMed

    White, Nicky; Thompson, Mark; Barwise, Tony

    2003-11-20

    Areas of exploration for new hydrocarbons are changing as the hydrocarbon industry seeks new resources for economic and political reasons. Attention has turned from easily accessible onshore regions such as the Middle East to offshore continental shelves. Over the past ten years, there has been a marked shift towards deep-water continental margins (500-2,500 m below sea level). In these more hostile regions, the risk and cost of exploration is higher, but the prize is potentially enormous. The key to these endeavours is a quantitative understanding of the structure and evolution of the thinned crust and lithosphere that underlie these margins. PMID:14628063

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Upper mantle viscosity and dynamic subsidence of curved continental margins.

    PubMed

    Sacek, Victor; Ussami, Naomi

    2013-01-01

    Continental rifting does not always follow a straight line. Nevertheless, little attention has been given to the influence of rifting curvature in the evolution of extended margins. Here, using a three-dimensional model to simulate mantle dynamics, we demonstrate that the curvature of rifting along a margin also controls post-rift basin subsidence. Our results indicate that a concave-oceanward margin subsides faster than a convex margin does during the post-rift phase. This dynamic subsidence of curved margins is a result of lateral thermal conduction and mantle convection. Furthermore, the differential subsidence is strongly dependent on the viscosity structure. As a natural example, we analyse the post-rift stratigraphic evolution of the Santos Basin, southeastern Brazil. The differential dynamic subsidence of this margin is only possible if the viscosity of the upper mantle is >2-3 × 10(19) Pa s. PMID:23774453

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeney, J.F.

    1985-02-01

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

  9. South Atlantic continental margins of Africa: a comparison of the tectonic vs climate interplay on the evolution of equatorial west Africa and SW Africa margins

    E-print Network

    Seranne, M; Seranne, Michel; Anka, Zahie

    2005-01-01

    The comparative review of 2 representative segments of Africa continental margin: the equatorial western Africa and the SW Africa margins, helps in analysing the main controlling factors on their development. Early Cretaceous active rifting S of the Walvis Ridge resulted in the formation of the SW Africa volcanic margin. The non-volcanic rifting N of the Walvis ridge, led to the formation of the equatorial western Africa margin, with thick and extensive, synrift basins. Regressive erosion of SW Africa prominent shoulder uplift accounts for high clastic sedimentation rate in Late Cretaceous - Eocene, while dominant carbonate production on equatorial western Africa shelf suggests little erosion of a low hinterland. The early Oligocene climate change had contrasted response in both margins. Emplacement of the Congo deep-sea fan reflects increased erosion in equatorial Africa, under the influence of wet climate, whereas establishment of an arid climate over SW Africa induced a drastic decrease of denudation, and ...

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Origin of the West Taiwan basin by orogenic loading and flexure of a rifted continental margin

    E-print Network

    Watts, A. B. "Tony"

    Origin of the West Taiwan basin by orogenic loading and flexure of a rifted continental margin A. T-type continental margin. The most likely source of the loading is Taiwan, where oblique convergence between of the West Taiwan basin by orogenic loading and flexure of a rifted continental margin, J. Geophys. Res., 107

  13. The gravity anomaly at a continen-tal margin can be regarded as the

    E-print Network

    Watts, A. B. "Tony"

    continental margins form as a result of the breakup of continents andtheformationofnewoceanbasins. Some of rifted continental margins is the free-air gravity edge-effect anomaly. In its simplest form, the anomaly 0000 A process-oriented approach to modeling the gravity signature of continental margins A. B. WATTS

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

    E-print Network

    Bishop, James K.B.

    Wintertime phytoplankton bloom in the subarctic Pacific supported by continental margin iron Phoebe a lateral supply of particulate iron from the continental margin off the Aleutian Islands in the winter hot spots trace them to the continental margins. We thus hypothesize that iron hot spots are a marker

  15. The Gulf of Lion continental margin (NW Mediterranean) revisited by IBS: an overview

    E-print Network

    Demouchy, Sylvie

    The Gulf of Lion continental margin (NW Mediterranean) revisited by IBS: an overview MICHEL St and mechanisms of extension of the continental margin. Structural and sedimentological studies onshore led a partitioning of the extensional deformation processes across the continental margin. 3D gravity modelling

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-01-01

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

  17. ELSEVIER Earth and Planetary Science Letters I56 (1998) 239-252 Gravity anomalies and segmentation of the continental margin

    E-print Network

    Watts, A. B. "Tony"

    1998-01-01

    and segmentation of the continental margin offshore West Africa A.B. Watts *, J. Stewart Department qf Earth continental margins provides constraints on the thermal and mechanical properties of the lithosphere; continental margin 1. Introduction Passive continental margins form in response to continental rifting

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, Thomas W.

    1989-09-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Tectonic structure and evolution of the Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Margin-parallel translation in the western Pacific: Paleomagnetic evidence from an allochthonous terrane in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uno, Koji; Furukawa, Kuniyuki; Hada, Shigeki

    2011-02-01

    A new paleomagnetic study illustrates latitudinal translation of ribbon-shaped continental fragments along the western margin of the Pacific Ocean. Though tectonic translations have long been recognized as prominent features in the eastern Pacific margin (i.e., North American Cordillera), we present new, quantitative evidence for similar, margin-parallel motion through large-scale, strike-slip faulting in the western Pacific margin. The Kurosegawa Terrane in Southwest Japan is an attenuated tectonic sliver and considered to be allochthonous with respect to the main part of Southwest Japan. Late Triassic and Early Cretaceous sedimentary rocks from the terrane yielded paleolatitudes of 4°N and 18°N, respectively. Based on paleomagnetic data of the Kurosegawa Terrane and plate reconstructions of East Asia, we suggest that the terrane was the easternmost element of the South China Block at least from the Late Triassic to the Early Cretaceous. The terrane was then translated ~ 1500 km northward from the continental margin to its present position, associated with sinistral strike-slip movement along the East Asian continental margin in mid- to Late Cretaceous times. The average displacement rate is calculated to be 7 cm/yr and is comparable to rates reported for the eastern Pacific margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2015-04-01

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

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

    E-print Network

    - nian continental shelf as the source of pyrite to the water column. The speciation of suspended marineThe speciation of marine particulate iron adjacent to active and passive continental margins Phoebe and passive continental margins. Chemical- species mapping provides speciation information for heterogeneous

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, L.J.

    1986-05-01

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

  9. The Conjugate Volcanic Continental Margins of the South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neben, S.; Franke, D.; Schreckenberger, B.; Temmler, T.

    2005-12-01

    In November-December 2004 the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) undertook a marine geophysical cruise along the South Atlantic continental margin off Uruguay and Southern Argentina. In total more than 3,700 km of combined multi-channel reflection seismic (MCS), magnetic and gravity and an additional of 1,300 km with only magnetic and gravity were acquired. In combination with the extensive MCS (>24,000 km) data set from the Argentine and South African margins we are able to interpret conjugate traverses over almost exact conjugate parts of the South Atlantic. Continental break-up and initial sea-floor spreading were accompanied by large-scale magmatism and volcanism as manifested in the seismic data by a huge wedge of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRS). The interpretation of eight refraction/wide-angle seismic traverses show the SDRS are underlain by a distinct and wide spread high-velocity (values 7.1-7.3 km/s) lower crustal body. From the reflection seismic data we tentatively suggest that the (volcanic) features (associated with break-up volcanism?) are mirror images on both margins. The emplacement of the deeply buried, 60-120km wide SDRS was probably episodic as documented by at least three superimposed SDRS units. A similar distinct partitioning of the SDRS into three to four individual wedges is present on the South African margin. From the data a detailed correlation of timing of these individual pulses is intended. Furthermore, it was possible to estimate the amount of extruded material during the phases of emplacement. The seismic data from the Argentine margin document the presence of a narrow, north-east striking half-graben system beneath the upper continental slope. This buried half-graben system developed during the final stage of rifting in the Early Cretaceous, whereas the east-west trending Colorado-Basin probably formed earlier. Further to the south the new data from the Falkland Plateau show widespread small-scale half grabens.

  10. Buried Mesozoic rift basins of Moroccan Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-08-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Revealing the continental margin of Gondwana: the Ordovician arc of the Cordón de Lila (northern Chile)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, Udo; Niemeyer, Hans; Meffre, Sebastien

    2010-10-01

    The tectonic evolution of the proto-Andean margin of western Gondwana has been commonly seen in terms of terrane accretion processes, requiring the existence of early Palaeozoic terrane boundaries and associated sutures. A new study of the Cordón de Lila Ordovician volcano-sedimentary successions in northern Chile reveals for the first time an arc assemblage deposited on thin crust within a continental arc system, having regional implications. Primitive basalts, rhyolites, volcanogenic wackes and siltstones are associated, bearing not only debris from mainly arc sources but also basement rocks; the latter is only accessory in the form of metamorphic lithoclasts and detrital zircons with ages around 1.0 Ga. Magmatic zircons in rhyolites reveal an eruptive age of ca. 478 Ma, concordant with Upper Arenigian to Lower Llanvirnian ages of brachiopods in overlying conglomerates. Bimodal volcanic associations, including low-K tholeiites, characterize the magmatic rocks, with evolved rhyolitic rocks showing pronounced arc-like geochemical signatures (negative anomalies in Ti, Nb and Ta). Some of the basaltic rocks are tholeiitic and display Ce/Y ratios below 1 and might point to a Moho depth of less than 10 km, hence a thin continental crust, coinciding with depletions in Zr and Hf concentrations. Associated volcaniclastic rocks display generally low Th/Sc (0.4-1), La/Sc (mostly <3.5), Zr/Sc (6-20) and high Ti/Zr (~10-60) ratios. The rock succession resembles the same geochemical and lithostratigraphical trends as retro-arc basin deposits further east in the Argentinean Puna of similar age. However, in the Cordón de Lila, the intercalated mafic rocks are less evolved, and the percentage of arc debris is higher, while the percentage of metamorphic lithoclasts and rounded quartz grains is much lower, indicating the existence of a thinned continental margin underpinning. We propose a transition in the Ordovician of the Central Andes from trench-ward fore-arc deposits to a dominantly intra-arc basin (Cordón de Lila), transitioning further eastwards towards a retro-arc basin (Puna) and foreland basin deposits of the Cordillera Oriental of northwestern Argentina. The Cordón de Lila intra-arc assemblage and associated fore-arc basin deposits therefore defined the western margin of Gondwana during the Ordovician. The absence of any terrane boundaries and sutures across strike is consistent with an evolving continental margin arc constructed on attenuated crust of the proto-Andean margin.

  13. 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.

  14. Development of a Regional Seafloor Surficial Geologic Habitat Map for the Continental Margins

    E-print Network

    Goldfinger, Chris

    209 Development of a Regional Seafloor Surficial Geologic Habitat Map for the Continental Margins of a regional seafloor surficial geologic habitat map for the continental margins of Oregon and Washington, USA, in Todd, B.J., and Greene, H.G., eds., Mapping the Seafloor for Habitat Characterization: Geological

  15. The Continental Margin is a Key Source of Iron to the HNLC North Pacific Ocean

    E-print Network

    and Fe from redox-mobilized labile sources at the continental shelf supplemented by a more variable #12;AGU Index Terms: 4875, Trace elements; 3002, Continental shelf and slope processes; 4808, ChemicalThe Continental Margin is a Key Source of Iron to the HNLC North Pacific Ocean Phoebe J. Lam1

  16. Three-dimensional subsidence analysis and gravity modelling of the continental margin oshore Namibia

    E-print Network

    Watts, A. B. "Tony"

    consists of a gravity high over the shelf break and a gravity low over the continental slope/rise. At someThree-dimensional subsidence analysis and gravity modelling of the continental margin o¢les and gravity anomaly data have been used to determine the structure and evolution of the Namibian continental

  17. Characterizing, identifying and mapping structural domains at rifted continental margins: insights from the Bay of Biscay margins and its Pyrenean fossil analogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tugend, Julie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Kusznir, Nick J.

    2014-05-01

    The occurrence of hyperextended domains at rifted continental margins consisting of extremely thinned crust and/or exhumed mantle has been increasingly recognized over the past decades, both at present-day rifted margins and in deformed remnants preserved in collisional orogens. At present, most studies aiming to characterize rifted continental margin structure and the extreme thinning of the continental crust and lithosphere are either focused offshore using geophysical methods, or onshore on fossil analogues relying on geological field observations. Marine and onland examples provide complementary datasets, but their different scale and resolution of observations prevent straightforward correlations to be done. In this contribution, we use the Bay of Biscay and Western Pyrenees to develop and apply a geological/geophysical approach to characterize and identify distinctive rifted margin domains both in offshore and onshore settings. The Bay of Biscay and Western Pyrenees represent a unique natural laboratory that offer the possibility to have access to seismically imaged, drilled and exposed parts of one and the same hyperextended rift system. Quantitative techniques (gravity inversion and flexural backstripping) are used on offshore examples (Western Approach margin and Parentis basin) to estimate accommodation space, crustal thickness and lithosphere thinning while seismic interpretations enable the recognition of extensional settings (low- and high-? settings). Field observations (Mauléon basin) and drill-hole data (Parentis basin) focused on key outcrops enables the description of the nature of sediment and basement rocks and of the structures forming fossil remnants of rifted margins. This qualitative and quantitative characterisation provides diagnostic elements to identify and map structural domains at magma-poor rifted margins and their fossil analogues. We name these 5 domains proximal, necking, hyperthinned, exhumed mantle and oceanic. This new geological/geophysical approach can be further used as an interface between onshore and offshore observations. Offshore seismic interpretations can take advantage of onshore observations on the nature of sediment, basement and of their interface. The large scale geometry and stratigraphic architecture imaged offshore can be used to restore onshore fossil remnants back into a rifted margin context. The application of this multidisciplinary approach to the Bay of Biscay margins and their onshore Pyrenean fossils remnants enables us to propose a new map of the different rift systems preserved at the transition between the European and Iberian plates. The approach underlying this mapping has general global application to unravelling the spatial and temporal complexity of rifted margin structural domains.

  18. Alpine inversion of the North African margin and delamination of its continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roure, FrançOis; Casero, Piero; Addoum, Belkacem

    2012-06-01

    This paper aims at summarizing the current extent and architecture of the former Mesozoic passive margin of North Africa from North Algeria in the west up to the Ionian-Calabrian arc and adjacent Mediterranean Ridge in the east. Despite that most paleogeographic models consider that the Eastern Mediterranean Basin as a whole is still underlain by remnants of the Permo-Triassic or a younger Cretaceous Tethyan-Mesogean ocean, the strong similarities documented here in structural styles and timing of inversion between the Saharan Atlas, Sicilian Channel and the Ionian abyssal plain evidence that this portion of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin still belongs to the distal portion of the North African continental margin. A rim of Tethyan ophiolitic units can be also traced more or less continuously from Turkey and Cyprus in the east, in onshore Crete, in the Pindos in Greece and Mirdita in Albania, as well as in the Western Alps, Corsica and the Southern Apennines in the west, supporting the hypothesis that both the Apulia/Adriatic domain and the Eastern Mediterranean Basin still belong to the former southern continental margin of the Tethys. Because there is no clear evidence of crustal-scale fault offsetting the Moho, but more likely a continuous yet folded Moho extending between the foreland and the hinterland beneath the Mediterranean arcs, we propose here a new model of delamination of the continental lithosphere for the Apennines and the Aegean arcs. In this model, only the mantle lithosphere of Apulia and the Eastern Mediterranean is still locally subducted and recycled in the asthenosphere, most if not all the northern portion of the African crust and coeval Moho being currently decoupled from its former, currently delaminated and subducted mantle lithosphere.

  19. 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

  20. Crustal Recylcing at Ocean Margin and Continental Subduction Zones and the Net Accumulation of Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    CRUSTAL RECYCLING PROCESSES AND VOLUMES: At convergent ocean margins large volumes of rock and sediment are missing from the global length of submerged forearcs. Material is removed by the kindred tectonic process of sediment subduction and subduction erosion, both of which insert sediment and eroded crustal debris into the subduction channel separating the upper and lower plates. The channel transports entrained debris toward the mantle where it is ultimately recycled. Large tracks of exposed high P/T rocks are exposed remnants of subduction channels. Over the past 100-200 my, the average solid-rock volume of recycled crust is estimated to have averaged globally 2.5-3.0 km3/yr--or 2.5 to 3 Armstrong Units (AU). Exposed tracts of UHP rocks at collisional orogens document that crustal material is subducted deep into the mantle at continental subduction zones. Based on missing terranes of extended lower plate, a volume of recycled continental crust detached by slab failure can be estimated at ~5000 km3 for each km of the early Proterozoic Wopmay orogen of the NW Canadian Shield (Hildrenbrand and Bowring, 1999, Geology, v. 27, p.11-14). Averaged over an orogenic episode of ~40 my, the corresponding rate is ~125 km3/my/km of margin. Using the Wopmay- rate as a guide, and assuming that similar to the Cenozoic, collisional orogenic margins averaged 10-12,000 km in global length, then since the early Proterozoic crustal recycling at collisional subduction zones has averaged close to 1.5 AU (i.e., 1.5 km3/yr). Crustal losses from the upper plate have also been recognized for sectors of the Variscan orogen (Oncken, 1998, Geology, v. 26, p. 1975-1078). The missing crust is roughly 40 km3/my for each km of upper plate, thus globally tallying an additional ~0.5 AU. CRUSTAL GROWTH: New information implies that at intra-oceanic subduction zones the long-term (~50 my), global rate of arc magmatic productivity has averaged close to 5 AU, a much higher rate than formerly estimated (~1 AU). It is not clear that this rate, which is based on the growth of the Aleutian and Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc massifs corrected for subduction erosion losses, can be applied to continental or Andean arcs. But allowing that it can, then the combined global rate of additions of juvenile igneous rock to build continents ( 5 AU) is similar to that recycled at ocean margin (2-3 AU) and continental subduction zones (2 AU). Additional losses can arise from delamination of magmatically or tectonically thickened convergent-margin crust. The implication of these estimates and linked assumptions support the Armstrong posit that since the early Archean the yang of magmatic additions to the continents has been matched by the yin of recycling losses.

  1. The western margin of Mexico is ideally suited for testing two opposing models for

    E-print Network

    Busby, Cathy

    controlled crustal growth by continental margin rifting and addition of new igneous and volcaniclastic of a subduction zone produce numerous arc-related basins, some rifted off the continental margin and others formed or the continental margin, and later become accreted to the edge of the continent during contractional or oblique

  2. 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.

  3. New Views of the U.S. Continental Margins James V. Gardner, Larry A. Mayer and Andrew Armstrong

    E-print Network

    New Hampshire, University of

    1 New Views of the U.S. Continental Margins James V. Gardner, Larry A. Mayer and Andrew Armstrong to conduct multibeam mapping of many US continental margins in areas where there is a potential for a claim-m isobath and map the zone of maximum change in gradient of the continental margin that is defined

  4. Lomonosov Ridge as a Natural Component of Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    In geodynamic context, Lomonosov Ridge is interpreted as a rifted passive margin framing the Eurasian oceanic basin. At the same time its near-Siberian segment is intimately associated with the Russian Arctic shelf, as evidenced by morphological data and the results of “Trans-Arctic 1992” and “Arctic-2007” geotransect studies. Coring and ACEX data demonstrated the presence in the uppermost geological section of the ridge of Late Cretaceous through Cenozoic sediments and Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks; the latter may belong to deeper levels of sedimentary cover, or may represent the Mesozoic folded basement. Coarse bottom debris contains also the fragments of Riphean-Paleozoic rocks probably derived from the local bedrock source. Structure of sedimentary cover is imaged by continuous seismic observations from the shelf of East Siberian Sea along the length of Lomonosov Ridge to 85 N. In the upper part of the section there are two sedimentary sequences separated by a regional unconformity; their seismic velocities are 2.4-3.1 km/s in the upper sequence and 3.4-4.0 km/s in the lower one, and the total thickness reaches ~ 8 km in the deepest part of New Siberian Basin. Both these sequences and the unconformity are traced from Lomonosov Ridge into Amundsen Basin on seismic reflection sections obtained by drifting ice stations North Pole 2479 and 2480. The low-velocity sediments are underlain by a metasedimetary sequence with velocities decreasing from 4.7-4.9 km/s on the shelf to 4.4-4.9 km/s beneath continental slope and 4.2-4.8 km/s on Lomonosov Ridge. The thickness of metasedimentary sequence is about 7 km on the shelf, up to 3.5 km under continental slope, and strongly variable (1-5 km) on Lomonosov Ridge. The upper layer of consolidated crust is 8-9 km thick on the shelf with velocities 6.1-6.2 km/s; on Lomonosov Ridge both its thickness and velocities increase to 10 km and 6.0-6.4 km/s, respectively. In the lower crust the velocities do not exceed 6.7 km/; its thickness is 8-9 km on shelf, 5 km under continental slope and gradually increases to 9 km on Lomonosov Ridge. The velocity in upper mantle is approximately 8.0 km/s; the depth to Moho changes from 28 km on the shelf to 22 km on Lomonosov Ridge. Our data demonstrate that principal features of deep crustal structure recognized on Lomonosov Ridge can continuously be traced along its length onto adjacent Siberian shelf, and in orthogonal direction across the periphery of Amundsen Basin. Recognition of these features beneath the Siberian continental slope is somewhat obscured by normal faults but the latter do not appreciably affect the seismic stratigraphy and/or seismic facies characteristics of the distinguished sequences. The northward prolongation of the Kotelny Island horst is articulated by a chain of elevated blocks expressed in the Lomonosov Ridge surface; this offers an additional confirmation of uninterrupted connection between the ridge and the New Siberian Islands shelf. The evidence presented herein suggests an autochtonous position of Lomonosov Ridge which can therefore be regarded a part of submerged natural prolongation of the Russian Arctic landmass.

  5. Crustal growth at active continental margins: Numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Katharina; Gerya, Taras V.; Castro, Antonio

    2012-02-01

    The dynamics and melt sources for crustal growth at active continental margins are analyzed by using a 2D coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical model of an oceanic-continental subduction zone. This model includes spontaneous slab retreat and bending, dehydration of subducted crust, aqueous fluid transport, partial melting, melt extraction and melt emplacement in form of extrusive volcanics and intrusive plutons. We could identify the following three geodynamic regimes of crustal growth: (i) stable arcs, (ii) compressional arcs with plume development, and (iii) extensional arcs. Crustal growth in a stable subduction setting results in the emplacement of flattened intrusions in the lower crust. At first dacitic melts, extracted from partially molten rocks located atop the slab (gabbros and basalts), intrude into the lower crust followed by mantle-derived (wet peridotite) basaltic melts from the mantle wedge. Thus extending plutons form in the lower crust, characterized by a successively increasing mantle component and low magmatic addition rates (10 km3/km/Myrs). Compressional arcs are accomplished by the formation and emplacement of hybrid plumes. In the course of subduction localization and partial melting of basalts and sediments along the slab induces Rayleigh Taylor instabilities. Hence, buoyant plumes are formed, composed of partially molten sediments and basalts of the oceanic crust. Subsequently, these plumes ascend, crosscutting the lithosphere before they finally crystallize within the upper crust in form of silicic intrusions. Additionally, intrusions are formed in the lower crust derived by partial melting of rocks located atop the slab (basalts, gabbros, wet peridotite) and inside the plume (basalts, sediments). Magmatic addition rates are somewhat higher compared to stable arcs (40-70 km3/km/Myrs). Subduction in an extensional arc setting results in decompression melting of dry peridotite. The backward motion of the subduction zone relative to the motion of the plate leads to thinning of the overriding plate. Thus, hot and dry asthenosphere rises into the neck as the slab retreats, triggering decompression melting of dry peridotite. Consequently large volumes of mafic (oceanic) crust are formed in the backarc region with total magmatic addition rates being as high as 90-170 km3/km/Myrs.

  6. 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.

  7. Post-rift km-scale uplift of passive continental margins can be caused by compressive stresses within continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Many passive continental margins are flanked by a mountain range up to more than 2 km high (Elevated Passive Continental Margins; EPCMs), e.g. Norway, east and west Greenland, East Brazil, eastern Australia and other margins elsewhere, that have been uplifted long after continental break-up. Explanations for these uplifted margins have been ad hoc, but there has hitherto been no explanation that accounts for their presence at both volcanic and non-volcanic margins and in both polar and tropical climatic environments. A continent breaks up by extension and thinning of the continental crust. Thinning varies from small amounts in the proximal rift to perhaps a factor of 5 or more adjacent to oceanic crust. Continental crust > ca. 25 km thick contains two weak layers, one between strong upper (quartz-rich) and lower (dioritic) crust and the other between strong lower crust and strong mantle. Continental crust < ca. 20 km thick is too thin for there to be weak layers and the strong layers are effectively annealed to one another and to the underlying strong mantle. Rifting of a passive continental margin must take place under tension. After rifting ceases, however, the margin can come under compression from forces originating elsewhere on or below its plate, e.g. collision between continental plates. The World Stress Map (www.world-stress-mp.org) shows that, where data exists, all EPCMs are currently under compression. Continental crust responds to moderate compression stress in two modes; flow in the weak lower crust and by forming gentle buckle-folds with a wavelength of 200-400 km and an amplitude of ca. 0.5 km. Under moderate compression, material in the crust's weak layers starts to flow towards the rift from under the adjacent continent. The lack of weak layers under the thinned, distal rift basin means, however, that flow cannot continue towards the ocean. Mid- and lower crustal material therefore accumulates under the proximal rift, thickening the crust there and lifting it by isostatic response to the thickening. Material flows into the rift until the crust under it is once more as thick as it was prior to extension, but no thicker. This thickened layer extends gradually further and further below the rift, at speeds of a few km per million years, uplifting it and exposing post-rift sediments. At higher stress, buckling may enhance this uplift, and it may be enhanced even more by the isostatic response to the erosion of deep valleys in the rising mountains. Both the thickening and folding continues until there is a reduction in imposed far-field compressive stress, after which the thickened crust 'freezes' in place.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

    Acorn worms (Enteropneusta), which were previously thought to be a missing link in understanding the evolution of chordates, are an unusual and potentially important component of many deep-sea benthic environments, particularly for nutrient cycling. Very little is known about their distribution, abundance, or behaviour in deep-sea environments around the world, and almost nothing is known about their distribution within Australian waters. In this study, we take advantage of two large-scale deep-sea mapping surveys along the eastern (northern Lord Howe Rise) and western continental margins of Australia to quantify the distribution, abundance and trail-forming behaviour of this highly unusual taxon. This is the first study to quantify the abundance and trail behaviour of acorn worms within Australian waters and provides the first evidence of strong depth-related distributions. Acorn worm densities and trail activity were concentrated between transect-averaged depths of 1600 and 3000 m in both eastern and western continental margins. The shallow limit of their depth distribution was 1600 m. The deeper limit was less well-defined, as individuals were found in small numbers below 3000 down to 4225 m. This distributional pattern may reflect a preference for these depths, possibly due to higher availability of nutrients, rather than a physiological constraint to greater depths. Sediment characteristics alone were poor predictors of acorn worm densities and trail activity. High densities of acorn worms and trails were associated with sandy-mud sediments, but similar sediment characteristics in either shallower or deeper areas did not support similar densities of acorn worms or trails. Trail shapes varied between eastern and western margins, with proportionally more meandering trails recorded in the east, while spiral and meandering trails were both common in the west. Trail shape varied by depth, with spiral-shaped trails dominant in areas of high acorn worm densities (2000-3000 m water depth) while meandering trails were common over a much broader depth range and were the only trails recorded in deep environments >3000 m. While species-specific patterns may in part explain these differences, evidence suggests that nutrient availability is also likely to be an important driving factor, supporting the hypothesis put forward by Smith et al. (2005) that acorn worms meander when searching for food and form a spiral when feeding in a nutrient-rich area.

  9. The evolution of lithospheric deformation and crustal structure from continental margins to oceanic spreading centers

    E-print Network

    Behn, Mark Dietrich, 1974-

    2002-01-01

    This thesis investigates the evolution of lithospheric deformation and crustal structure from continental margins to mid-ocean ridges. The first part (Ch. 2) examines the style of segmentation along the U.S. East Coast ...

  10. Reconstructing the Last Pleistocene (Late Devensian) Glaciation on the Continental Margin of Northwest Britain 

    E-print Network

    Davison, Stephen

    The continental margin in the area west of Shetland was subjected to repeated and extensive ice sheet advances during the Late Pleistocene. Seabed imagery, seismic survey and borehole core data show the Late Devensian ...

  11. Extension of continental crust at the margin of the eastern Grand Banks, Newfoundland

    E-print Network

    Shillington, Donna J.

    margins Continental breakup Rifting Extension Newfoundland Canada Iberia Abyssal Plain Seismic and gravity crust, and small amount of magmatism make the cold rifting model the most applicable to Newfoundland­Iberia

  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. Elevated Passive Continental Margins may form much Later than the time of Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, J. A.; Japsen, P.; Green, P. F.; Bonow, J.; Lidmar-Bergstrom, K.

    2007-12-01

    Many current models of the development of elevated passive continental margins assume that they are either the remains of foot-wall uplift at the time of rifting or due to underplating by magma from a plume or other mantle source. We have studied the rift and post-rift history of such a passive margin in West and South Greenland and have concluded that the present-day elevations developed 25-60 million years after cessation of rifting and local volcanism, suggesting that additional factors need to be considered when modelling such margins. The morphology of West Greenland is similar to that of other elevated passive margins ion many parts of the world. There are high-level, large-scale, quasi-planar landscapes (planation surfaces) at altitudes of 1-2 km cut by deeply incised valleys. The gradient from the highest ground to the coast is much steeper than that away from the coast. We combined analysis of the morphology of the landscape with studies of fission tracks and the preserved stratigraphic record both on- and off-shore. Rifting and the commencement of sea-floor spreading in the Early Paleogene was accompanied by voluminous high-temperature volcanism. Kilometer-scale uplift at the time of rifting was followed shortly afterwards by kilometer-scale subsidence and possibly by transgression of marine sediments across the rift margin. The present elevated margin formed during three episodes of uplift during the Neogene, 25-60 million years after the cessation of rifting and local volcanism. The quasi-planar planation surfaces presently at 1-2 km altitude are the end-products of denudation to near sea-level in the mid- and late Cenozoic and these surfaces were uplifted to their present altitudes during the Neogene events. Rivers then incised the summit surface to form valleys that were further enlarged and deepened by glaciers. Similar elevated margins exist all around the northern North Atlantic and in many other parts of the world; eastern North America, on both sides of the South Atlantic, western India, eastern Australia, and possibly in Antarctica. Our results show that we cannot simply assume that these elevations were produced either at the time of rifting or as underplating at the time of plume impact. There is, however, no general agreement as to what caused them and we suggest that the history of these margins need to be re-assessed in the light of our results.

  14. Elevated Passive Continental Margins may form much Later than the time of Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, J. A.; Japsen, P.; Green, P. F.; Bonow, J.; Lidmar-Bergstrom, K.

    2004-12-01

    Many current models of the development of elevated passive continental margins assume that they are either the remains of foot-wall uplift at the time of rifting or due to underplating by magma from a plume or other mantle source. We have studied the rift and post-rift history of such a passive margin in West and South Greenland and have concluded that the present-day elevations developed 25-60 million years after cessation of rifting and local volcanism, suggesting that additional factors need to be considered when modelling such margins. The morphology of West Greenland is similar to that of other elevated passive margins ion many parts of the world. There are high-level, large-scale, quasi-planar landscapes (planation surfaces) at altitudes of 1-2 km cut by deeply incised valleys. The gradient from the highest ground to the coast is much steeper than that away from the coast. We combined analysis of the morphology of the landscape with studies of fission tracks and the preserved stratigraphic record both on- and off-shore. Rifting and the commencement of sea-floor spreading in the Early Paleogene was accompanied by voluminous high-temperature volcanism. Kilometer-scale uplift at the time of rifting was followed shortly afterwards by kilometer-scale subsidence and possibly by transgression of marine sediments across the rift margin. The present elevated margin formed during three episodes of uplift during the Neogene, 25-60 million years after the cessation of rifting and local volcanism. The quasi-planar planation surfaces presently at 1-2 km altitude are the end-products of denudation to near sea-level in the mid- and late Cenozoic and these surfaces were uplifted to their present altitudes during the Neogene events. Rivers then incised the summit surface to form valleys that were further enlarged and deepened by glaciers. Similar elevated margins exist all around the northern North Atlantic and in many other parts of the world; eastern North America, on both sides of the South Atlantic, western India, eastern Australia, and possibly in Antarctica. Our results show that we cannot simply assume that these elevations were produced either at the time of rifting or as underplating at the time of plume impact. There is, however, no general agreement as to what caused them and we suggest that the history of these margins need to be re-assessed in the light of our results.

  15. Seismic structure, gravity anomalies, and flexure of the Amazon continental margin, NE Brazil

    E-print Network

    Watts, A. B. "Tony"

    Seismic structure, gravity anomalies, and flexure of the Amazon continental margin, NE Brazil A. B to determine the structure of the sediments, crust, and upper mantle that underlie the Amazon continental-way travel time (TWTT) which we interpret as marking the onset of the transcontinental Amazon River

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, R. S.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

    Early Tertiary breakup of the North Atlantic was accompanied by widespread magmatism. The histories of the Iceland mantle plume, of rifting and of magmatism are intimately related. The magmatism provides a challenge both to imaging structure, and to modelling the subsidence and development of the continental margins. We report new work which integrates state-of-the-art seismic imaging and new acquisition on the Atlantic volcanic margins with new techniques for modelling their evolution. We discuss the distribution of igneous rocks along the North Atlantic margins and discuss the temporal and spatial variations in the Iceland mantle plume in the early Tertiary, which have largely controlled this pattern of magmatism. Igneous rocks are added to the crust on rifted margins as extrusive lavas, as sills intruded into the sub-surface and as lower crustal intrusions or underplate. Each provide different, but tractable problems to seismic imaging. We show that many of these difficulties can be surmounted by using very long offsets (long streamers or two-ship methods) with a broad-band, low-frequency source, and by using fixed ocean bottom receivers. We report results from surveys on the North Atlantic continental margins using these methods. Imaging results are shown from the recent FLARE project and from the iSIMM project, which recorded new seismic data recorded in summer 2002. The iSIMM project acquired two seismic surveys, using 85 4-component ocean bottom seismometers with long streamers for wide-angle data, and vertical arrays for far-field source signature recording. One survey crosses the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin, and a second the Hatton-Rockall Basin, Hatton Bank and adjacent oceanic crust. The Faroes wide-angle profiles were overshot by WesternGeco's Topaz using three single-sensor, Q-Marine streamers, 12km plus two 4km. We designed deep-towed, broad-band low-frequency sources tuned to enhance the bubble pulses, with peak frequencies at 8-11 Hz. The OBS survey used a 14-gun, 6,300 cu. in. array towed at 20 m depth, and the Q-marine survey used a 48-gun, 10,170 cu. in. array, with shot-by-shot signature recording. They provided excellent arrivals to ranges beyond 120 km, with penetration through the basalts and well into the upper mantle. iSIMM investigators are R.S. White, N.J. Kusznir, P.A.F. Christie, A.M. Roberts, N. Hurst, Z.C. Lunnon, C.J. Parkin, A.W. Roberts, L.K. Smith, R. Spitzer , V. Tymms, A. Davies and A. Surendra, with funding from NERC, DTI, Agip UK, BP, Amerada Hess Ltd., Anadarko, Conoco, Phillips, Shell, Statoil, and WesternGeco

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. Comparative development of the Western United States and southern Kazakhstan, Soviet Union - Two early Paleozoic carbonate passive margins

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, H.E. ); Taylor, M.E. ); Zhemchuzhnikov, S.V.; Apollonov, M.K.; Ergaliev, G. Kh.; Sargaskaev, Z.S. ); Dubinina, S.V. )

    1991-02-01

    Early Paleozoic passive continental margins of the Western united States and southern Kazakhstan evolved at low latitudes on rifted Precambrian continental crust adjacent to the proto-Pacific Ocean. In the Western United States, early Paleozoic carbonate submarine fans and slides formed on continental slopes in central Nevada. Coeval shoal-water carbonate sediments occurred to the east, in Utah, where they interfingered with siliciclastic sediments and onlapped the craton. In contrast, early Paleozoic carbonate sediments of the Malyi Karatau, southern Kazakhstan, were deposited on isolated microcontinental blocks that developed during Late Proterozoic rifting of the continental crust. Comparison of stratigraphic sections from Nevada and Malyi Karatau indicate a similar upward-shallowing and seaward-prograding evolution. The Hot Creek Range section in Nevada consists of the Upper Cambrian Swarbrick Formation and Tybo Shale, and Upper Cambrian and lowest Ordovician Hales Limestone. These depositional facies include basin plain (about 500 m), carbonate submarine fan and slides (200 m), upperslope (150 m), and platform margin (150 m). The Kyrshabakty and Batyrbay sections in the Malyi Karatau consist of Cambrian and lowest Ordovician rocks of the Shabakty Suite. Stratigraphic sections in both the Western United States and Malyi Karatau record three coeval episodes of sea level lowstands. These lowstands, which the authors interpret to be eustatic, are recognized by times of seaward collapse of large segments of the platform margins and deeper water slopes and by solution breccias and faunal discontinuities in shoal-water platform-interior sites.

  2. Living Bulimina marginata in the SW Atlantic continental margin: Effect of the Subtropical Shelf Front and South Atlantic Central Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eichler, Patrícia P. B.; Pimenta, Felipe M.; Eichler, Beatriz B.; Vital, Helenice

    2014-10-01

    The western South Atlantic continental margin, between 27° and 37°S, is dominated by three main water masses: cold-fresh Subantarctic Shelf Water (SASW), warm-salty Subtropical Shelf Water (STSW) and Plata Plume Water (PPW). Despite the large seasonal variability of PPW extension along the shelf, an intense and relatively stable temperature-salinity gradient separates the SASW and the STSW forming the Subtropical Shelf Front (STSF) around 32°S. This article demonstrates that the distribution of Bulimina marginata, (shelf environment and deep-sea) a species of benthic foraminifera is influenced by the front location and it can be used as a proxy of the STSF in sediment core analysis.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Western Gulf of Mexico continental slope geology, hazards, and processes atlas

    SciTech Connect

    Hardin, N.S.

    1984-04-01

    An analysis of approximately 18,074 km (11,231 mi) of high-resolution geophysical records (3.5 kHz and 1000-joule sparker) in the western Gulf of Mexico has delineated relationships between sedimentation patterns, diapiric activity, tensional tectonic features, and sediment instability. The continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico is the most promising petroleum frontier on the conterminous United States continental margin. However, adequate regional geologic information with which to conduct lease sales and manage lease operations does not exist. Mapping was done at 1:250,000 and selected features were synthesized on a regional scale of 1:1,000,000 as part of the US Geological Survey Continental Margin Mapping Project. Because the reconnaissance spacing of the tracklines makes topical investigations difficult, in a few areas the US Geological Survey has gathered more closely spaced lines to examine particular features. Analysis of one of these areas near the large slide reported by Lehner in 1969 indicates a possible relationship between rapid sediment loading and diapiric rise.

  7. Transition from a passive continental margin to an active margin documented by time-facies profiles and geohistory diagrams

    SciTech Connect

    Kenter, J.A.M.; Reymer, J.J.G.; van der Straaten, H.C.

    1988-08-01

    The Upper Cretaceous to Neogene sediments in the northern part of the external zone of the Betic Cordilleras (southeast Spain) reflect the evolution of a passive continental margin into an active margin. Time-facies profiles and geohistory diagrams were constructed to identify and date tectonic events and sea level changes in the sedimentary record. During Late Cretaceous to middle Eocene time, parallel-trending shallow marine facies belts at the edge of a slowly subsiding basin evidence a passive continental margin setting. The period from middle Eocene to early Miocene is rather poorly documented. After initial shallowing the whole area emerged and continental conditions prevailed from the late Eocene to early Miocene. The subareal exposure may have been caused by the compound effect of the worldwide Oligocene sea level drop and overall tectonic uplift. Miocene sediments reflect the compressional tectonic regime of an active margin. The parallel facies belts were disrupted and the area was segmented into several tectonic blocks, each displaying an individual sedimentary record due to differential vertical movement. During middle to late Miocene time a major compressional phase generated northeast-trending folds and activated strike-slip and thrust faults. This tectonic phase led to a highly differentiated topography, resulting in the development of local depocenters - each with a unique tectonic and depositional record.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bruns, T.R.

    1983-01-01

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

  11. Climate changes control offshore crustal structure at South China Sea continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clift, Peter D.; Brune, Sascha; Quinteros, Javier

    2015-06-01

    Rifted continental lithosphere subsides as a consequence of combined crustal thinning and mantle lithosphere cooling yet basins on some continental margins experience anomalous subsidence events that postdate active extension. Deep basins on the northern margin of the South China Sea, notably the Baiyun Sag, show basement subsidence accelerating after ?21 Ma, postdating extension by several million years. We combine geophysical observations and numerical forward modeling to show that loading of the offshore basins by increased sediment flux caused by faster onshore erosion following Early Miocene monsoon intensification is a viable trigger for ductile flow after the cessation of active extension. This illustrates that offshore basin dynamics at continental margins with weak crust can be controlled by onshore surface processes in a newly recognized form of climate-tectonic coupling.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    A new model is provided for the distribution of magma-poor and magma-rich rifted margins. The South Atlantic, Central Atlantic, North Atlantic - Arctic (Eurasia Basin), and Red Sea all are magma-rich at their distal ends and magma-poor at their proximal ends (with respect to their poles of rotation). The well-known architectural zonation across fully developed magma-poor margins (limited crustal stretching, hyperextension, exhumed mantle, oceanic crust) is also observed along the lengths of many margins at the super-regional scale. Zones of exhumed mantle, marking magma-poor margin, can be mapped for thousands of kilometers. Likewise can zones of seaward dipping reflectors (SDR) marking magma-rich margins. At this scale, the age of the oceanic crust becomes younger in the direction of the rotation pole, implying that the continents ruptured by rift tip propagation (and rotation pole propagation). Propagation is also manifested by the age of pre-break-up magmatism, break-up unconformity, and margin uplift. Hence, the classic cross-sectional depiction of margin evolution has a third dimension. The degree of melting follows the same pattern. At the distal end of e.g. the South Atlantic, SDR zones are wide and gradually thin toward the rotation pole. Eventually exhumed mantle takes over, marking the transition to the magma-poor margins, which remain to the proximal end of rifting. SDR zones also thin laterally from ca 10-15 km thickness at the continent-ocean boundary (COB) to ca 7 km thick oceanic crust beyond the SDRs. Outcrop data demonstrate that also exhumed mantle contains up to ca 12% melt, infiltrated in the peridotites. Thus, melting is largest at the distal ends near the COB, and decreases both laterally toward the evolving ocean and along strike toward the rift tip. Accepting that continents are rigid to a first order, the linear rate of extension at any given location along an evolving rift and ocean, is governed by the angular rate of opening, the distance to the rotation pole, and the rate of propagation of the pole. For a fixed angular rate, the linear extension rate increases away from the pole. Numerical models reveal that both mantle temperature and rate of extension can govern the degree of melting. However, the above empirical observations suggest that to a first order the rifted margin architecture, including the degree of melting, is governed by the linear rate of extension, which is a direct outcome of geometric rules of plate tectonics. Rapid pole propagation, or a pole jump, will induce a rapid increase in the linear rate. Magma-rich margins seem to form when continents break at a high extension/strain rate caused by rapid propagation; this occurs at the distal end of a rupturing plate. Our testable model questions the common ad hoc introduction of mantle plumes to explain "excess" melting along magma-rich margins. This does not rule out that mantle heterogeneities may exist, but such heterogeneities appear second order when it comes to generating magma-rich margins.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Global multi-scale segmentation of continental and coastal waters from the watersheds to the continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laruelle, G. G.; Dürr, H. H.; Lauerwald, R.; Hartmann, J.; Slomp, C. P.; Goossens, N.; Regnier, P. A. G.

    2013-05-01

    Past characterizations of the land-ocean continuum were constructed either from a continental perspective through an analysis of watershed river basin properties (COSCATs: COastal Segmentation and related CATchments) or from an oceanic perspective, through a regionalization of the proximal and distal continental margins (LMEs: large marine ecosystems). Here, we present a global-scale coastal segmentation, composed of three consistent levels, that includes the whole aquatic continuum with its riverine, estuarine and shelf sea components. Our work delineates comprehensive ensembles by harmonizing previous segmentations and typologies in order to retain the most important physical characteristics of both the land and shelf areas. The proposed multi-scale segmentation results in a distribution of global exorheic watersheds, estuaries and continental shelf seas among 45 major zones (MARCATS: MARgins and CATchments Segmentation) and 149 sub-units (COSCATs). Geographic and hydrologic parameters such as the surface area, volume and freshwater residence time are calculated for each coastal unit as well as different hypsometric profiles. Our analysis provides detailed insights into the distributions of coastal and continental shelf areas and how they connect with incoming riverine fluxes. The segmentation is also used to re-evaluate the global estuarine CO2 flux at the air-water interface combining global and regional average emission rates derived from local studies.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Development of a Regional Seafloor Surficial Geologic (Habitat)Development of a Regional Seafloor Surficial Geologic (Habitat) Map for the Continental Margin of OregonMap for the Continental Margin of Oregon CChris Romsos, Chris Goldfinger, Rondi Robison,

    E-print Network

    Goldfinger, Chris

    Development of a Regional Seafloor Surficial Geologic (Habitat)Development of a Regional Seafloor Surficial Geologic (Habitat) Map for the Continental Margin of OregonMap for the Continental Margin level, contemporary marine fisheries management entails habitat management. On the West Coast

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1968-01-01

    The North American continental margin beneath the Bering Sea is nearly 1,300 km long and extends from Alaska to eastern Siberia. The margin is a canyon-scarred 3,200-3,400-m high escarpment separating one of the world's largest epicontinental seas (the shallow Bering Sea) and the Aleutian Basin (the deep-water Bering Sea), a marginal oceanic basin distinguished by having its southern boundary formed by the Aleutian Ridge. Three geomorphic provinces can be recognized: a southeastern province characterized by a gentle continental slope (lacking V-shaped canyons) and an outlying continental borderland (formed by Umnak Plateau); a central province distinguished by a steep canyon-scarred slope, and a northwestern province having a gentler and, apparently, less eroded continental slope. Continuous seismic reflection profiles show that the margin is constructed of three major structural-stratigraphic units: (1) an acoustic basement underlying the outer shelf and upper slope; (2) an overlying main layered sequence; and (3) a stratified rise unit underlying and forming the continental rise at the base of the slope. The existing margin evolved with downbowing and faulting of the acoustic basement, an older margin probably of Late Mesozoic age, consisting in part of well-indurated siltstone and mudstone, in Early Tertiary time. Concomitant with subsidence as much as 1,500 m of main-layered-sequence strata were draped over the basement. Intense canyon cutting, presumed to have been caused by the rapid deposition of unstable masses of riverborn sediment over the outer shelf and upper slope, is thought to have begun in Late Tertiary and Quaternary time. Concurrent with canyon cutting, submarine fans, consisting of turbidites forming the rise unit, accrued at the base of the continental slope. Subsidence of the continental margin during the Tertiary may be related to foundering ("oceanization") of a continental block to form the Aleutian Basin, or to simple isostatic depression of a former segment of the North Pacific oceanic floor in response to sediment infilling north of the Aleutian Ridge. ?? 1968.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Wilson cycles, tectonic inheritance, and rifting of the North American Gulf of Mexico continental margin

    E-print Network

    Huerta, Audrey D.

    Wilson cycles, tectonic inheritance, and rifting of the North American Gulf of Mexico continental during opening of the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike the Atlantic margins, where Wilson cycles were first recognized, breakup in the Gulf of Mexico did not initially focus within the orogen, but was instead

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Shelf sedimentation on a tectonically active margin: A modern sediment budget for Poverty continental shelf, New Zealand

    E-print Network

    Fabrizio, Mary C.

    continental shelf, New Zealand Andrea J. Miller, Steven A. Kuehl Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 1208 Available online xxxx Keywords: Waipaoa River continental margin shelf sedimentation 210 Pb geochronology a sediment budget for the continental shelf, which is compared to long-term Holocene trends. 210 Pb and 239

  11. Interactions of 3D mantle flow and continental lithosphere near passive margins R.J. Farrington a,

    E-print Network

    Sandiford, Mike

    northward drift commenced (Tikku and Cande, 1999). The continental insulation mechanism has also beenInteractions of 3D mantle flow and continental lithosphere near passive margins R.J. Farrington a and thick continental lithosphere. The resultant flow in the upper mantle is driven by a combination

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. The Case for a Thermal Origin of Magmatism on the North Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, R.

    2008-12-01

    The cause of the magmatism on 'volcanic' continental margins is still disputed, specifically as to whether it is due to increased mantle temperatures. New normal incidence and wide-angle seismic profiles across the Faroe and Hatton Bank volcanic margins in the NE Atlantic enable us to constrain the seismic velocities and volumes of both the extruded and intruded melt. Near the Faroe Islands, for every 1 km along strike, 360-- 400 cubic kilometers of basalt was extruded, while 540--600 cubic kilometers was intruded into the continent- ocean transition (COT). Lower-crustal intrusions are focused mainly into a narrow zone about 50 km wide on the COT, whereas extruded basalts flow more than 100 km from the rift. Deep-penetration seismic profiles show that melt is intruded into the lower crust as sills which cross-cut the continental fabric, rather than as 'underplate' of 100 per cent melt as has previously often been assumed. This means that measured lower-crustal velocities represent a mixture of continental crust and new igneous rock. Tomographic inversion of wide-angle traveltimes from 85 ocean bottom seismometers constrain average lower-crustal seismic velocities as 6.9-7.3 km/s under the COT, intermediate between the velocities of the continental crust and fully igneous oceanic crust on either side. By comparison with theoretical curves of igneous thickness versus seismic velocity (H- Vp), our observations are consistent with the dominant control on the melt production being elevated mantle temperatures, with no requirement for either significant active small-scale mantle convection under the rift or of the presence of fertile mantle at the time of continental breakup as suggested for the North Atlantic by other authors. The mantle temperature anomaly was c. 130-150°C above normal at the time of continental breakup, decreasing steadily by about 75°C over the first 10 Ma of seafloor spreading. Comparison with the conjugate Greenland margins reveal a similar history of elevated mantle temperatures at breakup time, but asymmetry in the conjugate structures suggests that initial continental stretching led to asymmetric crustal structures, as is frequently observed on non-volcanic margins, before the entire rift region was covered by igneous rocks. White, R. S. et al. (2008). Lower-crustal intrusion on the North Atlantic continental margin, Nature, v. 452, pp. 460-464.

  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. Quaternary Contourite Drifts of the Western Spitsbergen Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Erosion and tectonics at the margins of continental plateaus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  4. Structure of continental margin off Mid-Atlantic states (Baltimore Canyon Trough)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlee, John Stevens; Behrendt, John Charles; Mattick, Robert E.; Taylor, P.T.

    1975-01-01

    Increasing interest in the Atlantic continental margin as a future petroleum province has resulted in several recent papers (Emmerich, 1974; Burk and Drake, 1974) that attempt to summarize the structure and stratigraphic framework of this area. Most papers tend to portray the margin as a wedge of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediment that thins at the edge of the shelf over a "basement ridge" and then thickens again under the continental rise. Off the northeastern United States, the sediment wedge under the shelf attains a thickness of 8-11 km in the Georges Bank basin (Schultz and Glover, 1974; Mattick and others, 1974; Sheridan, 1974b; Behrendt and others, 1974) and 12 km in thickness in the Baltimore Canyon trough off the middle Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey (fig. 1). Seaward of the continental shelf and its sediment prism, Emery and Uchupi (1972, figs. 133-135) infer slump deposits (eroded in some areas) covering a buried ridge thought to extend from the Laurentian Channel to Cape Hatteras, where it splits in two. The lower slope and continental rise are inferred by Drake and later investigators to be a thick prism of deep sea sediment (turbidites, hemipelagic clays, slump deposits) overlying oceanic basement in a welt that parallels the continental edge and reaches a maximum thickness of 6 km (Emery and Uchupi, 1972, fig. 188).

  5. Crustal structure of the Hatton and the conjugate east Greenland rifted volcanic continental margins, NE Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Robert S.; Smith, Lindsey K.

    2009-02-01

    We show new crustal models of the Hatton continental margin in the NE Atlantic using wide-angle arrivals from 89 four-component ocean bottom seismometers deployed along a 450 km dip and a 100 km strike profile. We interpret prominent asymmetry between the Hatton and the conjugate Greenland margins as caused by asymmetry in the initial continental stretching and thinning, as ubiquitously observed on "nonvolcanic" margins elsewhere. This stretched continental terrain was intruded and flooded by voluminous igneous activity which accompanied continental breakup. The velocity structure of the Hatton flank of the rift has a narrow continent-ocean transition (COT) only ˜40 km wide, with high velocities (6.9-7.3 km/s) in the lower crust intermediate between those of the continental Hatton Bank on one side and the oldest oceanic crust on the other. The high velocities are interpreted as due to intrusion of igneous sills which accompanied the extrusion of flood basalts at the time of continental breakup. The variation of thickness (h) and P wave velocities (vp) of the igneous section of the COT and the adjacent oceanic crust are consistent with melt formation from a mantle plume with a temperature ˜120-130°C above normal at breakup, followed by a decrease of ˜70-80°C over the first 10 Ma of seafloor spreading. The h-vp systematics are consistent with the dominant control on melt production being elevated mantle temperatures, with no requirement for either significant active small-scale mantle convection under the rift or of the presence of significant volumes of volatiles or fertile mantle.

  6. 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).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1985-01-01

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

  8. Storm-induced upwelling of high pCO2 waters onto the continental shelf of the western Arctic Ocean

    E-print Network

    Pickart, Robert S.

    Storm-induced upwelling of high pCO2 waters onto the continental shelf of the western Arctic Ocean in open water along the continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea in the western Arctic Ocean. During the continental shelf of the western Arctic Ocean and implications for carbonate mineral satu- ration states

  9. 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.

  10. Tectonic features associated with the overriding of an accretionary wedge on top of a rifted continental margin: An example from Taiwan

    E-print Network

    Lin, Andrew Tien-Shun

    obliquely impinged on the northern continental slope of the South China Sea (SCS) margin. We analyzed setting. In the upper SCS slope and adjacent to the accretionary wedge, the rifted continental margin continental margin: An example from Taiwan Andrew T. Lin a, , Char-Shine Liu b , Che-Chuan Lin a , Philippe

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Tectonics and sea-level changes recorded in Late Triassic Sequences at rifted margins of eastern and western Tethys (Northwest Australia, Leg 122; Western Europe)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumont, Thierry; Röhl, Ursula

    During ODP Leg 122 upper Triassic (Carnian to Rhaetian) sediments were recovered at the sediment-starved passive continental margin off Northwest Australia [Haq et al., 1990]. The early-rift series of the Wombat Plateau, a northern sub-plateau of the Exmouth Plateau, consists of upper Triassic fluviodeltaics and shallow-marine carbonates including reefal facies. These sequences are capped by an erosional "post-rift unconformity" with a 70 m.y. hiatus during the Jurassic. The Wombat Plateau bears only a thin pelagic post-rift sedimentary cover of Cretaceous to Cenozoic age. Detailed investigations of microfacies, wireline logs and high-resolution seismics allow the reconstruction of paleoenvironments and identification of the depositional sequences. The Rhaetian paleoenvironments and facies are very similar to those of the Western Tethys (Western and Eastern Alps). Some of the Australian sequences fit well with the sequences of the Haq et al. [1987] global cycle chart, and with the sequences in Western Europe. Their boundaries seem to correspond to global events (especially the Norian/Rhaetian boundary), suggesting that the most important causal factor was eustasy. However, short-lived tectonic or volcanic events have affected the Australian and European continental margins at the same time (Carnian, Triassic/Jurassic boundary). This unexpected synchronism suggests that these short tectonic events are not confined to the Australian margin and may have played a significant role in the globally synchronous deposition of third-order sequences in addition to eustasy. The erosional "post-rift unconformity" which overlies the Rhaetian series corresponds to several superimposed events related to the multi-stage rifting and opening of the oceanic domains surrounding the Northwest Australian shelf. These events began with a tectonic reorganization around the Trias sic/Jurassic boundary, which also affected the Exmouth Plateau and the Rankin Platform, and which is known from other plate margins (Western Tethys, Central Atlantic).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Mesozoic sedimentary and magmatic evolution of the Arabian continental margin, northern Syria: evidence from the Baer–Bassit Melange 

    E-print Network

    Al-Riyami, Khalil; Robertson, Alastair H F

    2002-01-01

    One of the few detailed records of Mesozoic deep-water sedimentation and volcanism preserved along the tectonically emplaced Arabian continental margin is from the Baer–Bassit region of northern Syria. South-Tethyan units ...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Seismic investigation of the transition from continental to oceanic subduction along the western Hellenic Subduction Zone

    E-print Network

    Pearce, Frederick Douglas

    The western Hellenic subduction zone (WHSZ) exhibits well-documented along-strike variations in lithosphere density (i.e., oceanic versus continental), subduction rates, and overriding plate extension. Differences in slab ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  4. Geological evolution of the late Mesozoic continental margin of Northwestern Anatolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Y?lmaz, Y.; Genç, ?. C.; Yi?itba?, E.; Bozcu, M.; Y?lmaz, K.

    1995-03-01

    The Armutlu peninsula is a composite tectonic entity made up of sections of the Sakarya continent, the Rhodope-Pontide fragment and an ophiolite. These were assembled following a continental collision between Gondwanaland and Laurasia during the Late Cretaceous. The northern margin of the Sakarya continent underwent progressively increasing deformation prior to and during the advancing collision, due to continued convergence between the two continents. Initially, the leading edge of the continent subsided under the load of an approaching ophiolitic slab. Following this, a north-directed thrusting and folding occurred during the Turonian. Progressive elimination and eventual closure of the ocean preceded the thrusting of northerly situated, collisiondashinduced, nappe packages over the leading edge of the Sakarya continent. The nappe-laden edge of the continental margin then collapsed and steadily subsided under the heavy load of the ophiolitic slab and the northern continental fragment. Consequently, the nappe packages and the ophiolite were collectively metamorphosed during the ConiaciandashSantonian interval. During the subsidence the main body of the Sakarya continent partially detached from its collapsed edge along a fault zone and thus suffered an independent but less severe deformation, which lasted until the uplift of the collapsed edge in the Campanian. From the late Campanian onward, throughout later orogenic stages, the metamorphic and nondashmetamorphic units amalgamated into a single tectonic entity, forming a basement for younger cover rocks.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Crustal structure of the northern Nova Scotia rifted continental margin (eastern Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funck, Thomas; Jackson, H. Ruth; Louden, Keith E.; Dehler, Sonya A.; Wu, Yue

    2004-09-01

    The Nova Scotia continental margin off eastern Canada marks a transition from a volcanic to a nonvolcanic style of rifting. The northern (nonvolcanic) segment of the margin was studied by a 490-km-long refraction seismic line with dense air gun shots, coincident with previous deep reflection profiles. A P wave velocity model was developed from forward and inverse modeling of the wide-angle data from 19 ocean bottom seismometers and coincident normal incidence reflection profiles. The continental crust has a maximum thickness of 36 km and is divided into three layers with velocities of 5.7-6.9 km/s. Crustal thinning down to 3 km occurs in a 180-km-wide zone and the sediment cover in this area is up to 15 km thick. Farther seaward, a 150-km-wide transition zone is observed with a 5-km-thick lower layer (7.2-7.6 km/s) interpreted as partially serpentinized mantle. At the landward end, this layer is overlain by highly altered continental crust (5.4 km/s) extending up to the seaward limit of the Jurassic salt province. Farther seaward, the upper layer is interpreted as exhumed and highly serpentinized mantle (5.1 km/s) separated from the lower layer by subhorizontal reflectivity, which probably represents a serpentinization front. Oceanic crustal thickness is 4 km with layer 2 velocities of 4.6-5.0 km/s. Layer 3 velocities of 6.4-6.55 km/s are lower than typical lower oceanic crust velocities but consistent with a low magma supply and increased tectonism as observed on the reflection profile. This reduced magma production might be related to the proximity of the Newfoundland transform margin.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-09-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

  12. Neotectonic evolution of the Brazilian northeastern continental margin based on sedimentary facies and ichnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gandini, Rosana; Rossetti, Dilce de Fátima; Netto, Renata Guimarães; Bezerra, Francisco Hilário Rego; Góes, Ana Maria

    2014-09-01

    Quaternary post-Barreiras sediments are widespread along Brazil's passive margin. These deposits are well exposed in the onshore Paraíba Basin, which is one of the rift basins formed during the Pangean continental breakup. In this area, the post-Barreiras sediments consist of sandstones with abundant soft-sediment deformation structures related to seismicity contemporaneous with deposition. The trace fossils Thalassinoides and Psilonichnus are found up to 38 m above modern sea level in sandstones dated between 60.0 (± 1.4) and 15.1 (± 1.8) ka. The integration of ichnological and sedimentary facies suggests nearshore paleoenvironments. Such deposits could not be related to eustatic sea-level rise, as this time coincides with the last glaciation. Hence, an uplift of 0.63 mm/yr, or 1.97 mm/yr if sea level was 80 m lower in the last glaciation, would have been required to ascend the post-Barreiras sediments several meters above the present-day sea level during the last 60 ka. This would suggest that the post-rift stage of the South American eastern passive margin may have experienced tectonic reactivation more intense than generally recognized. Although more complete data are still needed, the information presented herein may play an important role in studies aiming to decipher the Quaternary evolution of this passive margin.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Link between Mid-Ocean Ridge kinematics and uplift of passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Døssing, A.; Japsen, P.; Nielsen, T.; Thybo, H.; Dahl-Jensen, T.

    2012-04-01

    Tectonic models predict post-rift subsidence of rift margins after initial flexural rebound and transgression of a sedimentary wedge over the subsiding mar¬gin as the lithosphere cools with time. However, studies of North Atlantic rifted margins show that thermal subsidence following breakup at the Paleocene-Eocene transition was interrupted by significant uplift movements. These vertical movements represent a long-standing enigma and they have been linked to sea-level fluctuations, climate deterioration and tectonics but as yet they remain unexplained. Here we combine regional Multi-Channel Seismic reflection data across the NE Greenland Shelf, the Greenland Fracture Zone (GFZ) and continental East Greenland Ridge (EGR) in the northern NE Atlantic and stratigraphic data from a drill core. We show that a mid-Miocene change from down-faulting to uplift along the GFZ-EGR correlates with significant uplift of the NE Greenland margin. This tectonic change is associated with a regional unconformity that marks the first occurrences of mass-¬wasted deposits in the deep sea off the NE Greenland Shelf and the development of prograd¬ing mega-sequences and angular truncation of hemipelagic sediments below the unconformity, respectively, on the outer and inner NE Greenland Shelf. We attribute the tectonic changes at the GFZ to the development of a modern, continuous spreading system along the Mohns-Knipovich Ridge segments that led to an opening of the Fram Strait corridor, to large-scale changes in ocean circulation and climate and possibly to medium-scale (20-30 m) sea-level fluctuations. While these consequences of the tectonic changes may have affected the amplitude of uplift in NE Greenland, they cannot explain the uplift at the GFZ-EGR in deep sea. We therefore find that plate-tectonic changes produced the driving force for the mid-Miocene uplift in NE Greenland.

  18. Age and significance of sequence boundaries on Jurassic and early Cretaceous rifted continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, R.J.

    1988-01-01

    The age and significance of sequence boundaries on Jurassic to Early Cretaceous rifted continental margins in three ocean basins have been documented. The margins are the Santos basin in the South Atlantic, the Grand Banks in the North Atlantic, and the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean. Large industry data bases were used for the interpretation of each area. Megasequence boundaries separate the major phases of basin evolution, for example syn-rift and post-rift. Boundaries developed with an average periodicity of 49 m.y. Sequence boundaries define the component parts of each megasequence and developed with a modal periodicity of 10-15 m.y. Out of 27 total boundary ages, most (16) are developed on just one margin. Only two possible age ranges overlap on all three margins. 80% of the megasequence boundaries and 50% of the sequence boundaries show a direct causal connection with coveal faulting and/or folding. The rest of the boundaries appear as unstructured surfaces separating transgressive and/or regressive sedimentary wedges and are interpreted to result from changes in the rate of basin subsidence, sediment input, and long-term eustatic sea level. These data do not support theories advocating synchronous worldwide boundary development resulting from periodic, short-term falls in global eustatic sea level. Only in like basins of the same age, with identical subsidence and sediment input rates, are boundaries likely to develop synchronously. Hence, the concept of global synchroneity of sequence boundary development may well be an illusion created by the similarity in age of the majority of basins studied. As a result of this study, it seems wise to discard the global approach to basin analysis. 13 figures, 1 table.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ?Nd(0)) throughout the last 30 ka. Whereas the homogeneous ?Nd(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 ?Nd(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.

  1. Fine-grained sediment budget on the continental margin of the Bay of Biscay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jouanneau, J. M.; Weber, O.; Cremer, M.; Castaing, P.

    1999-10-01

    Under present-day conditions, rivers are the main source of fine sediments dispersed to the Bay of Biscay. They deliver about 2.5×10 6 t yr -1 of continental fine sediments, 60% of which is derived from the Gironde estuary. Of this flux, 65% is believed stored on the shelf. Two kinds of mud fields can be found in the Bay of Biscay: coastal mud and shelf mud belts. The total mass of fine sediments stored during the past 2000 years is 3.2×10 9 t. Consequently, about 0.9×10 6 t yr -1 could reach the shelf edge and eventually the open sea. From this amount of displaced material and the deposition surface areas, an evaluation of sediment fluxes across the margin during the late Holocene period is discussed. This evaluation is compared with results obtained from ECOsystéme du canyon du cap-FERret (ECOFER) data from sediment traps and surficial box cores.

  2. 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).

  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. 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.

  5. Tectonic framework of interior Alaska - a model of Continental Margin extension, collapse, and dispersion

    SciTech Connect

    Dover, J.H.

    1985-04-01

    Preliminary results of geologic mapping and structural studies raise questions about terrane accretion models as presently applied to interior Alaska and suggest an alternative model of tectonic development. Among the regional geologic patterns and problems pertinent to any model for interior Alaska are (a) the present Z-shaped configuration of the northern Cordilleran fold-and-thrust belt (CFTB), (b) the means by which 450 km of dextral strike-slip is dispersed on splays of the Tintina fault system (c) the original continuity of the crystalline terranes of interior Alaska and their pre-Tintina Z-shaped distribution paralleling that of CFTB, and (d) the origins of two belts of deep-water deposits with mafic-igneous and locally ophiolitic associations - one outboard and the other inboard of the crystalline belt. The proposed model features (1) a relatively straight and passive North American margin with a Proterozoic to Middle Devonian sedimentary prism that underwent intermittent extension and volcanism in its distal part, (2) a Devonian-Mississippian continental arc at the outer edge of (1) and flanked cratonward by (3), an extending and rapidly subsiding basin also developed on (1) but containing Mississippian to Triassic deep-water sediments and abundant mafic-igneous material. Collapse and structural telescoping of the margin and intense reactivation of the continental arc occurred in Jurassic through Early Cretaceous time as oceanic crust converged with North America, and exotic terranes were accreted to the outboard side of arc. Oroclinal Z-bending of Cordilleran trends probably accompanied Late Cretaceous and earliest Tertiary strike-slip movement on the tintina and other fault systems based and rearranged.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ?13C 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Modern dolomite deposition in continental, saline lakes, western Victoria, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    De Deckker, P.; Last, W.M.

    1988-01-01

    Microcrystalline dolomite forms a major constituent of Holocene sediments of numerous continental, saline playa lakes in southeastern Australia. The lake waters are highly supersaturated with respect to dolomite as well as other Mg carbonates, but undersaturated or near saturation with respect to calcite and aragonite. The dolomite shows no replacement textures and most likely formed by direct precipitation. Conditions in these lakes that appear conducive to the precipitation of dolomite are (1) high salinity, (2) high Mg/Ca ratios, and (3) high alkalinity. The moderate sulfate levels of the brines do not seem to be inhibiting carbonate precipitation.

  13. Cenozoic Tectonism of the Southeastern United States Continental Margin from Deep Seismic Reflection Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Addison, A. D.; Knapp, C. C.; Knapp, J. H.

    2004-12-01

    A deep seismic reflection profile, SEISDATA 6 (SD 6), was collected in the state of Georgia (United States), in 1981, with the main purpose to study the crustal structure and tectonic evolution of the southeastern North American continental margin. The SD 6 profile, with a total length of approximately 430 km, was collected by Seisdata Services Inc. of Houston, Texas in conjunction with the USGS in two separate transects, the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Provinces (8 s) and the Atlantic Coastal Plain Province (6 s). The Piedmont Province consists of metamorphic and igneous rocks that record tectonic regional metamorphism with the intrusion of igneous plutons. The Piedmont is bounded by the Brevard fault zone to the NW and the Fall line to the SE. Exposed faults and Mesozoic rift basins and complex folding are present in the Piedmont. The Atlantic Coastal Plain (ACP) Province is bounded by the Fall line to the NW and the Atlantic Ocean to the SE. Marine and fluvial/deltaic sediments make up the strata and irregularly cover the Piedmont Province. While only limited parts of the SD 6 seismic profile had been processed in the past, the main target of this study is to reprocess the entire profile using more modern techniques in order to obtain a crustal-scale image of the southeastern U. S. continental margin, and evaluate evidence for, still disputable, (1) reactivation and sense of movement of preexisting basement faults in the Piedmont region, (2) recognition of potentially multiple stages of deformation on these faults in the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic times, and (3) identification of the differences in rheology of the crystalline basement from west to east. Reprocessing of the SD 6 line has focused on reflection enhancement at large depths, static corrections from first break picking, velocity analysis, wavelet deconvolution, time-variant amplitude gain, and post-stacking migration. Preliminary results of the reprocessing show evidence for large offsets in the crystalline basement in the Piedmont, with reverse sense of movement, indicating basement faults that trend predominately toward the northeast. High amplitude crustal reflectors that slightly dip toward the SE are present in the Piedmont and in the ACP below the marine and fluvial/deltaic sediments. Coastal marine sediments reflectors are parallel to sub-parallel with a sharp high amplitude reflector between the coastal plain sediments and the basement. Reprocessing of the data has shown further evidence of Cenozoic movement on the preexisting basement faults. Although it is widely accepted that the Southeastern margin of the U.S. has been a passive boundary since the Cretaceous time, however, there is evidence of Cenozoic tectonism including regional scale uplift from these seismic data.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Trace Metals in Marine Organic-Rich Sediments: Distinguishing Continental Margin Upwelling Settings from Restricted Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sweere, T.; van den Boorn, S.; Dickson, A.; Reichart, G. J.

    2014-12-01

    Trace metal enrichments in sedimentary deposits are related to the processes also controlling production and preservation of organic matter (e.g. Brumsack, 2006; Tribovillard et al., 2006). Consequently, trace metals have been used in reconstructions of the depositional environment of organic-rich deposits, however most of these studies focused mainly on the redox chemistry of these trace metals. Here we present the results of a comprehensive database that has been constructed for comparing trace metal concentrations in modern organic-rich sediments from a variety of different marine settings. This database allows us to define proxies that effectively differentiate between two fundamentally different settings with enhanced organic-carbon burial: continental margin upwelling areas (e.g. Namibian Margin) and hydrographically restricted marginal marine basins (e.g. Black Sea). It is observed that relatively high Cd/Mo values are typical for samples from upwelling settings whereas Co*Mn values are relatively high in samples from restricted basins. Cd/Mo ratios are thought to reflect the relative influence of productivity versus preservation on organic carbon accumulation, in which high values in productivity driven systems (i.e. upwelling) are attributed to the enhanced transfer of Cd to the sediment by incorporation of Cd into plankton biomass. Co*Mn, on the other hand, might be used to assess circulation patterns and the relative contribution of sub-surface versus surface/river water and/or dust influx to the basin, because of the differences in the supply and reactive behaviour of Co and Mn in the water column. As both independent parameters show similar discriminating behaviour, it is proposed that cross-plotting Cd/Mo and Co*Mn provides a highly effective way to distinguish sediments deposited in upwelling versus restricted settings.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Architecture of the continental margin in the Gulf of Guinea as revealed by reprocessed deep-imaging seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosendahl, Bruce R.; Groschel-Becker, Henrike

    Post-stack reprocessing of the PROBE seismic data set has resulted in a refined tectonic model of the continental margin between Cameroon and Southern Gabon. The margin is divided into the North Douala and Gabon Basins by the Kribi Fracture Zone, a 75 km-wide transform fault that trends NE-SW and intersects the coastline between 2-3°N. North of the Kribi Fracture Zone, oceanic crust extends essentially to the coastline and floors the narrow margin off Cameroon. Little or no offshore rift margin exists in the North Douala Basin. Reflection Moho beneath oceanic crust is relatively weak but continuous throughout the North Douala Basin, except under the aprons of the Cameroon Volcanic Line. Oceanic crustal thickness is extremely uniform in the North Douala Basin, averaging about 1.75 s in two-way travel time. A distinct NE-SW trending structural grain at both basement and reflection Moho levels occurs within the Kribi Fracture Zone. Much of the margin off Equatorial Guinea is influenced or controlled by fracture zone tectonics. South of the Kribi Fracture Zone, oceanic crust is offset about 350 km to the south-west, resulting in the broad rift margin off Gabon. Extension here has largely progressed without the complications (or simplifications) introduced by fracture zone tectonics. Rifting of the margin seems to involve brittle, upper continental crustal sheets overlying a series of ductile lower sheets or lenses that generally dip easterly to southeasterly. The ductile sheets may unroof toward outer highs, which mark the boundary between oceanic and continental lithosphere. Strong reflection events are often associated with the ductile shear zones that define the lower sheets, but a single, continuous event representing reflection Moho cannot be delineated. We suggest the concept of a regional reflection Moho beneath rifted continental crust is invalid in this area. The tectonic and rheological models presented here may be useful in framing hydrocarbon exploration tactics and strategies along this passive margin. In a broader context, elucidation of margin architecture may be a cost-effective way to approach frontier passive margins in the next century.

  5. 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 ?13C = -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.

  6. 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 ?13C = -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.

  7. Wide Angle Converted Shear Wave Analysis of North Atlantic Volcanic Rifted Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eccles, J. D.; White, R. S.; Christie, P. A.

    2007-12-01

    High-quality, wide-angle, ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) data have been acquired with a low frequency (9 Hz) seismic source across the Faroes and Hatton Bank volcanic rifted continental margins in the North Atlantic. In these regions thick Tertiary flood basalt sequences provide a challenge to deep seismic imaging. S-wave arrivals, which are dominantly converted from P- to S-waves at the sediment-top basalt interface, were recorded at 170 4-component OBS locations. Variation in the conversion efficiency was observed along the profiles. Tomographic inversion of over 70,000 converted S-wave crustal diving waves and Moho reflections was performed to produce S-wave velocity models and hence, when combined with pre-existing P-wave velocity models, a measure of the Vp/Vs ratio structure of the crust. Resolution testing shows the structure of the oceanic crust and continent-ocean transition is generally well resolved on both profiles. Lateral and vertical changes in Vp/Vs resolves changing crustal composition within, and between, oceanic and continental crust, including regions in the lower crust at the continent-ocean transition with high P-wave velocities of up to 7.5 km/s and low Vp/Vs ratios of ~ 1.75 associated with intense high-temperature intrusion at the time of break-up. Vp/Vs ratios of 1.75-1.80 at the base of the thickened oceanic crust are also lower than generally reported in normal oceanic crust. The P-wave travel-time tomography revealed a low velocity zone (LVZ) beneath the basalt on the Faroes margin and additional constraint on the Vp/Vs of the LVZ beneath the Fugloy Ridge has been gained by analysing the relative travel-time delays between basalt and basement refractions for P- and S-waves. This approach is less subject to the velocity-depth ambiguity associated with velocity inversions than is the determination of P- or S- wave velocity alone. Comparison of the calculated Vp/Vs ratio and P-wave velocity with measurements from relevant lithologies reveals that the LVZ is likely to contain sill-intruded Paleocene sedimentary rock rather than igneous hyaloclastites similar to those found beneath the basalt in a nearby well. Immediately beneath the LVZ, a unit with Vp/Vs ratios of 1.80-1.85 and P-wave velocities of 5.5-6.0 km/s is interpreted as sill-intruded sedimentary rock of a pre-breakup Mesozoic basin. We thank C.J. Parkin, A.W. Roberts and L.K. Smith for their contributions.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Tectonic development of passive continental margins of the southern and central Red Sea with a comparison to Wilkes Land, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohannon, R.G.; Eittreim, S.L.

    1991-01-01

    The continental margins of the southern and central Red Sea and most of Wilkes Land, Antarctica have bulk crustal configurations and detailed structures that are best explained by a prolonged history of magmatic expansion that followed a brief, but intense period of mechanical extension. Extension on the Red Sea margins was spatially confined to a rift that was 20-30 km in width. The rifting phase along the Arabian margin of the central and southern Red Sea occurred 25-32 Ma ago, primarily by detachment faulting at upper crustal levels and ductile uniform stretching at depth. Rifting was followed by an early magmatic phase during which the margin was invaded by dikes and plutons, primarily of gabbro and diorite, at 20-24 Ma, after the crust was mechanically thinned from 40 km to ??? 20 km. We infer continued spreading after that in which broad shelves were formed by a process of magmatic expansion, because the offshore crust is only 8-15 km thick, including sediment, and seismic reflection data do not depict horst and graben or half graben structures from which mechanical extension might be inferred. The Wilkes Land margin is similar to the Arabian example. The margin is about 150 km in width, the amount of upper crustal extension is too low to explain the change in sub-sediment crustal thickness from ??? 35 km on the mainland to < 10 km beneath the margin and reflectors in the deepest seismic sequence are nearly flat lying. Our model requires large volumes of melt in the early stages of continental rifting. The voluminous melt might be partly a product of nearby hot spots, such as Afar and partly the result of an initial period of partial fusion in the deep continental lithosphere under lower temperatures than ordinarily required by dry solidus conditions. ?? 1991.

  12. Potential tsunamigenic hazard associated to submarine mass movement along the Ionian continental margin (Mediterranean Sea).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceramicola, S.; Tinti, S.; Praeg, D.; Zaniboni, F.; Planinsek, P.

    2012-04-01

    Submarine mass movements are natural geomorphic processes that transport marine sediment down continental slopes into deep-marine environments. Type of mass wasting include creep, slides, slump, debris flows, each with its own features and taking place over timescale from seconds to years. Submarine landslides can be triggered by a number of different causes, either internal (such as changes in physical chemical sediment properties) or external (e.g. earthquakes, volcanic activity, salt movements, sea level changes etc.). Landslides may mobilize sediments in such a way as to form an impulsive vertical displacement of a body of water, originating a wave or series of waves with long wavelengths and long periods called tsunamis ('harbor waves'). Over 600 km of continental margin has been investigated by OGS in the Ionian sea using geophysical data - morpho-bathymetry (Reson 8111, 8150) and sub-bottom profiles (7-10 KHz) - collected aboard the research vessel OGS Explora in the framework of the MAGIC Project (Marine Geohazard along the Italian Coasts), funded by the Italian Civil Protection. The objective of this project is the definition of elements that may constitute geological risk for coastal areas. Geophysical data allowed the recognition of four main types of mass wasting phenomena along the slopes of the ICM: 1) mass transport complexes (MTCs) within intra-slope basins. Seabed imagery show the slopes of all the seabed ridges to be marked by headwall scarps recording widespread failure, multiple debris flows in several basins indicate one or more past episodes of failure that may be linked to activity on the faults bounding the structural highs. 2) submarine landslide - a multiple failure event have been identified (Assi landslide) at about 6 km away from the coastline nearby Riace Marina. Headwall scars up to 50 m high across water depths of 700 to 1400 m, while sub-bottom profiles indicate stacked slide deposits at and near seabed. 4) canyon headwalls - in the upper parts of all canyons, numerous headwall scarps are consistent with retrogressive activity of the canyons. 3) possible gravity sliding -elongate seabed features oriented subparallel to contours are observed, associated with diapiric structures suggest that the elongate seabed features may record a form of downslope sediment sliding above salt. The aim of this work is to reconstruct the dynamics of different type of submarine mass movements on the tectonically active Ionian Calabrian margin (ICM), calculate the volume of sediment mobilized and assess the potential tsunamigenic hazard associated to different type of mass movements. Assessments of tsunami arrival time in adjacent coastal areas, period and wavelength of the tsunami and implication for coastal geohazards have been formulated for the Calabrian margin (small scale) and extrapolated to adjacent margins of the Mediterranean basin (large scale).

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    Much progress has been made in estimating recurrence intervals of great and giant subduction earthquakes using terrestrial, lacustrine, and marine paleoseismic archives. Recent detailed records suggest these earthquakes may have variable recurrence periods and magnitudes forming supercycles. Understanding seismic supercycles requires long paleoseismic archives that record timing and magnitude of such events. Turbidite paleoseismic archives may potentially extend past earthquake records to the Pleistocene and can thus complement commonly shorter-term terrestrial archives. However, in order to unambiguously establish recurring seismicity as a trigger mechanism for turbidity currents, synchronous deposition of turbidites in widely spaced, isolated depocenters has to be ascertained. Furthermore, characteristics that predispose a seismically active continental margin to turbidite paleoseismology and the correct sample site selection have to be taken into account. Here we analyze 8 marine sediment cores along 950 km of the Chile margin to test for the feasibility of compiling detailed and continuous paleoseismic records based on turbidites. Our results suggest that the deposition of areally widespread, synchronous turbidites triggered by seismicity is largely controlled by sediment supply and, hence, the climatic and geomorphic conditions of the adjacent subaerial setting. The feasibility of compiling a turbidite paleoseismic record depends on the delicate balance between sufficient sediment supply providing material to fail frequently during seismic shaking and sufficiently low sedimentation rates to allow for coeval accumulation of planktonic foraminifera for high-resolution radiocarbon dating. We conclude that offshore northern central Chile (29-32.5°S) Holocene turbidite paleoseismology is not feasible, because sediment supply from the semi-arid mainland is low and almost no Holocene turbidity-current deposits are found in the cores. In contrast, in the humid region between 36 and 38°S frequent Holocene turbidite deposition may generally correspond to paleoseismic events. However, high terrigenous sedimentation rates prevent high-resolution radiocarbon dating. The climatic transition region between 32.5 and 36°S appears to be best suited for turbidite paleoseismology.

  16. Particle export during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi in the North-West European continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, S.; Harlay, J.; Borges, A. V.; Groom, S.; Delille, B.; Roevros, N.; Christodoulou, S.; Chou, L.

    2013-01-01

    Coccolithophores, the dominant pelagic calcifiers in the oceans, play a key role in the marine carbon cycle through calcification, primary production and carbon export, the main drivers of the biological CO2 pump. In May 2002 a cruise was conducted on the outer shelf of the North-West European continental margin, from the north Bay of Biscay to the Celtic Sea (47.0°-50.5°N, 5.0°-11.0°W), an area where massive blooms of Emiliania huxleyi are observed annually. Biogeochemical variables including primary production, calcification, partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), particle load, particulate organic and inorganic carbon (POC, PIC) and 234Th, were measured in surface waters to assess particle dynamic and carbon export in relation to the development of a coccolithophore bloom. We observed a marked northward decrease in Chl-a concentration and calcification rates: the bloom exhibited lower values and may be less well developed in the Goban Spur area. The export fluxes of POC and PIC from the top 80 m, determined using the ratios of POC and PIC to 234Th of particles, ranged from 81 to 323 mg C m- 2 d- 1 and from 30 to 84 mg C m- 2 d- 1, respectively. The highest fluxes were observed in waters presenting a well-developed coccolithophore bloom, as shown by high reflectance of surface waters. This experiment confirms that the occurrence of coccolithophores promotes efficient export of organic and inorganic carbon on the North-West European margin.

  17. Upper Carboniferous retroarc volcanism with submarine and subaerial facies at the western Gondwana margin of Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koukharsky, M.; Kleiman, L.; Etcheverría, M.; Quenardelle, S.; Bercowski, F.

    2009-04-01

    During Late Carboniferous times a continental magmatic arc developed at the western margin of Gondwana in South America, as several marine sedimentary basins were formed at the same time in the retroarc region. North of 33°S, at Cordón Agua del Jagüel, Precordillera of Mendoza, Argentina, a volcanic sequence crops out which was emplaced in a submarine environment with some subaerial exposures, and it is intercalated in marine sediments of Agua del Jagüel Formation, which fills of one of these retroarc basins. This paper presents, for the first time, a facies analyses together with geochemical and isotopic data of this volcanic suite, suggesting its deposition in an ensialic retroarc marine basin. The volcanic succession comprises debris flows with either sedimentary or volcanic fragments, base surge, resedimented massive and laminated dacitic-andesitic hyaloclastite, pillow lava, basic hyaloclastite and dacitic-andesitic lavas and hyaloclastite facies. Its composition is bimodal, either basaltic or dacitic-andesitic. The geochemistry data indicate a subalkaline, low K calk-alkaline and metaluminous affinity. The geochemistry of the basalts points to an origin of the magmas from a depleted mantle source with some crustal contamination. Conversely, the geochemistry of the dacites-andesites shows an important participation of both crustal components and subduction related fluids. A different magmatic source for the basalts than for the dacites-andesites is also supported by Sr and Nd isotopic initial ratios and Nd model ages. The characteristics of this magmatic suite suggest its emplacement in an extensional setting probably associated with the presence of a steepened subduction zone at this latitude during Upper Carboniferous times.

  18. Increased continental-margin slumping frequency during sea-level lowstands above gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Buelow, W.J.; Ussler, W. III; Borowski, W.S.

    1996-02-01

    We present {sup 14}C data on sediment samples from cores of the upper 7 m of the sediment column overlying a major continental-rise gas hydrate field on the southern Carolina Rise and inner Blake Ridge offshore the southeastern United States. The data show that glacial-age sediments are underrepresented in the cores. The observation is consistent with a previously predicted association between sea-level lowstands and increased frequency of sea-floor slumping on continental margins containing gas hydrates. 26 refs., 3 figs.

  19. 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.

  20. Aggregation processes in the benthic boundary layer at the Celtic Sea continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, L. A.; McCave, I. N.

    2000-08-01

    Small particle scavenging rates in the benthic boundary layer (BBL) are calculated for the interaction between measured large particles and single particles at five stations (204, 667, 1445, 2285, 3660 m) at the Celtic Sea continental margin. In summer particle scavenging of small particles ?10 ?m at the study site takes place under typical flow conditions of u ?>0.2 cm s -1. Scavenging of 10 ?m particles can take place only at high particle concentrations, which result from sediment erosion. It is expected that the BBL aggregates found in the Celtic Sea at the mid- and lower-slope areas originate in sediment resuspension events. During these times of enhanced flow conditions, aggregates are formed and compacted by shear, which accounts for the fact that they do not disaggregate when they enter the viscous sublayer. Total clearance of bottom nepheloid layers occurs only during times of transport of large aggregates >1000 ?m after the arrival of phytodetrital aggregates on the sea floor with number concentrations >200 dm -3 and flow conditions with u ?>1 cm s -1.

  1. Occurrence and formation of dolomite in organic-rich continental margin sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, P.A.; Burns, S.J.

    1985-11-01

    Dolomite is presently forming at rates less than 500 m/m.y. in continental margin marine sediments having organic carbon contents greater than 0.5 wt. %. At higher sedimentation rates, the dolomite content of the sediments is greatly diluted. At lower organic carbon content, the pore-water chemistry precludes dolomite formation. The reactants for dolomite formation have the following sources: magnesium supplied from overlying seawater, calcium supplied by the dissolution of calcium carbonate, and carbon supplied from carbonate dissolution and organic carbon oxidation. The rate of dolomite formation appears to be limited by the rate of calcium carbonate dissolution. This rate can be quantitatively calculated from the magnesium diffusional and advective fluxes. Conversely, in ancient sediments the depth and timing of dolomite formation can be calculated from the amount of dolomite and the sedimentation rate. In dolomite-rich sediments these calculations demonstrate that most of the dolomite formed within a few tens of meters of the sea floor within the zone of microbial sulfate reduction. Such dolomites have negative values of delta/sup 13/C. In dolomite-poor sediments dolomite may form at greater burial depth, below the zone of sulfate reduction, resulting in positive values of delta/sup 13/C. The distribution coefficient of strontium in dolomite has been determined to have an average value of 0.06. Using this value, predicted strontium contents for submarine dolomites range from 150 ppm in dolomite-rich sections to 1,290 ppm in dolomite-poor sections.

  2. Fluid flow during early compartmentalisation of rafts: A North Sea analogue for divergent continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alves, Tiago M.; Elliott, Claire

    2014-11-01

    High-quality 3D seismic data tied to eighteen (18) boreholes are used to investigate the styles of faulting and associated fluid flow features in Triassic-early Jurassic rafts of the Broad Fourteens Basin, Southern North Sea. The study area is presented as an analogue for continental margins experiencing early stage gravitational gliding, i.e. prior to complete separation and downslope translation of individual rafts. In such a setting, and for present-day stress conditions, fault slip data indicate that chasms and faults separating rafts in the Broad Fourteens Basin comprise structures subject to dip slip and strike-slip reactivation. Chasms and faults sub-parallel to these latter chasms comprise the most significant bypass areas for fluid sourced from pre-salt strata. Faults sub-parallel to the main chasms show limited propagation into Early Cretaceous and Cenozoic strata draping the rafts, a character further stressed by the depth of occurrence of fluid pipes and dim spots. This is an important observation, and leads us to postulate that faults formed during early stage rafting control fluid flow in regions where gravitational gliding is limited such as West and Equatorial Africa, Southeast Brazil and parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

  3. 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 ?m) 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 ?mol 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.

  4. 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. A.; Kitazato, H.

    2014-12-01

    Surface sediments from sites across the Indian margin of the Arabian Sea were analysed for their elemental and stable isotopic organic carbon (Corg) and total nitrogen compositions, 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 oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) on the upper slope (~ 200-1300 m) and the seasonal hypoxic zone that appears on the shelf. Source indices showed mixed marine and terrigenous OM within the estuaries, but consistent predominance (80-100%) of marine OM on the shelf and slope. Thus, riverine terrigenous OM is diluted or replaced by autochthonous marine OM and/or is efficiently re-mineralised, within or immediately offshore of the estuaries. Organic C contents of surface shelf sediments varied from < 0.5 wt% in relict shelf sands to up to ~ 4 wt% for nearshore muds, while upper slope sites within the OMZ showed a wide range (~ 2 to 7 + wt%), progressively decreasing below the OMZ to ? 1 wt% at 2000 m. Thus, major variability (~ 5 wt%) was found at slope sites within the OMZ of similar depth and near-identical bottom-water O2 concentrations. A strong relationship between %Corg and sediment grain size was seen for sediments within the OMZ, but lower relative Corg contents were found for sites on the shelf and below the OMZ. Further, Corg loadings, when related to estimated sediment surface area, indicated distinct enrichment of Corg in the OMZ sediments relative to sites above and below the OMZ and to sediments from normoxic margins. Diagenetic indices confirmed that lower Corg content below the OMZ is associated with more extensive OM degradation, but that shelf sediment OM is not consistently more degraded than that found within the OMZ. Together, the results indicate that OM distribution across the margin is controlled by interplay between hydrodynamic processes and varying preservation associated with O2 availability. This inference is supported by multiple regression analysis. Hydrodynamic processes (expressed as %Silt) followed by O2 availability, can explain the large majority of %Corg variability when the shelf and slope are considered as a whole. However, while O2 becomes the primary influence on %Corg for sediments below the OMZ, %Silt is the primary influence across the OMZ and, apparently, the shelf. Thus, reduced O2 exposure is responsible for OM enrichment within the OMZ, but hydrodynamic processes are the overriding control on sediment OM distributions across both the shelf and the OMZ.

  5. 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.

  6. Very large dune formation along the Ebro outer continental shelf (Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Iacono, Claudio; Guillén, Jorge; Puig, Pere; Ribó, Marta; Ballesteros, Maria; Palanques, Albert; Farrán, Marcelli; Acosta, Juan

    2010-05-01

    Large and very large subaqueous dunes have been observed in a number of outer shelf regions around the world, tipically developing on fossil sand bodies and ridges. Dunes observed on outer shelves usually display large dimensions with maximum wavelength reaching up to 500 m and heights up to 20 m. Forcing mechanisms able to induce their formation have been described as strong bottom currents related to tidal variations and water masses flowing under geostrophic conditions, generally controlled and enhanced by local geomorphologic configurations. In this study, such bed features have been recognized, mapped and measured around the Columbretes Islands (Ebro continental shelf - Western Mediterranean) with the aim to reconstruct which are the potential forcing processes that could generate them in relation to the local settings of the area. Swath-bathymetry around the Columbretes Islands was collected using 30 kHz and 180 kHz Multi Beam echo-sounders for a 50-400 m water depth range. Bathymetric data revealed the presence of three main relict sand bodies along the outer shelf, for a 80-116 m depth range, above which asymmetrical, slightly asymmetrical and symmetrical large and very large 2D and 3D subaqueous dunes were observed. Dunes range from 150 to 760 m in wavelength and from tens of cm to 6 m in height. These bedforms are composed of sandy sediments, presumably coming from the degraded relict sand bodies on which they developed, mixed to the fine fractions coming from the recent draping holocenic sediments. The orientation of the dunes is SSW and progressively turns to W directions moving towards the southernmost sector of the area, following the trend of the shelf-edge. Observed dunes display a strong asymmetric profile for those occurring along the shelf-edge (Symmetry Index (SI): 2.6) and lose progressively their asymmetry towards the inner portion of the shelf (SI: 0.5), being 0.6 the minimum SI value to classify the dunes as asymmetric. The subaqueous dunes observed along the studied region are amongst the largest ever recognized on an outer shelf setting. Morphologic characters and the orientation towards SW and W directions suggest the Liguro-Provenzal-Catalan geostrophic current as the primary forcing factor in their formation. Contemporary hydrodynamic measurement at the Ebro continental shelf-edge show that near-bottom wave action is negligible in this area, whereas maximum shear stresses induced by currents are able to resuspend fine sand particles and prevent the relict transgressive deposits from being covered by mud. However, recorded nearbottom currents generate shear stresses below the critical value for transport the relict coarse sands found in the study area and form large bedforms. The comparison of successive bathymetric images and the relation wavelength/height suggest that the described very large dunes are inactive features over long periods, as observed in similar environments along several continental margins. Thus, the morphological configuration of the Columbretes outer shelf must have played a crucial role in enhancing the southward flowing bottom currents during energetic hydrodynamic events, giving them the potential to generate such bedforms.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Spatial Extent of Wave-Supported Fluid Mud on the Waipaoa Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, R. P.; Ogston, A. S.; Walsh, J. P.; Orpin, A. R.

    2013-12-01

    Data from acoustic and optical sensors provide a powerful tool to connect near-bed water-column processes with the deposits they generate. Ideally, the product of water-column and seabed interactions can then be applied more broadly to understand systems as a whole, in both space and time. Recent observational research has allowed for an improved understanding of shelf sediment-transport dynamics in many coastal systems, including the dynamic Waipaoa Sedimentary System (WSS), on the east coast of the north island of New Zealand. This narrow shelf (~20 km) on an active continental margin is subject to strong environmental forcings in the form of high waves (>5 m), strong currents (>50 cm/s), and frequent floods of the Waipaoa River, which delivers an average of 15 MT of sediment to Poverty Bay and the coastal environment each year. A year-long study of the WSS during 2010-2011 combined observational data from instrumented tripods at three locations on the continental shelf, with repeat sediment cores collected in four-month intervals, to identify and assess the mechanisms of cross- and off-shelf sediment transport. Observational data identified that cross-shelf sediment transport is stochastic, typically driven by high-wave events, with 40% of the net annual cross-shelf flux for one tripod location occurring during a single wave-supported fluid mud (WSFM) in July 2010. Fortunately, this event was recorded in the instrument data, and the resulting deposit was plainly visible in x-radiograph images. This particular WSFM was observed in x-radiographs collected as deep as ~50 m, and as far as ~28 km from the mouth of the Waipaoa River, and is more prevalent on the northern portion of the shelf. A critical water depth is not the only criteria for WSFM deposition, as some shallower areas on the southern shelf, which were subject to high bed stress, show no evidence of WSFM in this event, while cores collected in deeper areas (e.g. lower bed stress) on the northern shelf did observe WSFM. Interestingly, several cores on the southern shelf do appear to preserve evidence of previous wave-reworking of the seabed. It appears that the presence of a river plume and associated sediment, as well as the direction in which it is advected, are instrumental in WSFM generation.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Fluids and halogens at the diagenetic-metamorphic boundary: evidence from veins in continental basins, western Norway

    E-print Network

    Svensen, Henrik

    Fluids and halogens at the diagenetic-metamorphic boundary: evidence from veins in continental ABSTRACT Seven vein types are recognized in three continental Devonian molasse basins (the Hornelen, Kvamshesten and Solund basins) in western Norway. These include calcite-, quartz- and epidote-dominated veins

  13. Geomorphic Thresholds of Submarine Canyons Along the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brothers, D. S.; ten Brink, U. S.; Andrews, B. D.; Chaytor, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    Vast networks of submarine canyons and associated channels are incised into the U.S. Atlantic continental slope and rise. Submarine canyons form by differential erosion and deposition, primarily from sedimentary turbidity flows. Theoretical and laboratory studies have investigated the initiation of turbidity flows and their capacity to erode and entrain sedimentary material at distances far from the shelf edge. The results have helped understand the nature of turbidite deposits on the continental slope and rise. Nevertheless, few studies have examined the linkages between down-canyon sediment transport and the morphology of canyon/channel networks using mesoscale analyses of swath bathymetry data. We present quantitative analysis of 100-m resolution multibeam bathymetry data spanning ~616,000 km2 of the slope and rise between Georges Banks and the Blake Plateau (New England to North Carolina). Canyons are categorized as shelf-indenting or slope-confined based on spatial scale, vertical relief and connection with terrestrial river systems during sea level low stands. Shelf-indenting canyons usually represent the trunk-canyon of submerged channel networks. On the rise, shelf-indenting canyons have relatively well-developed channel-levees and sharp inner-thalwag incision suggesting much higher frequency and volume of turbidity flows. Because of the similarities between submarine canyon networks and terrestrial river systems, we apply methods originally developed to study fluvial morphology. Along-canyon profiles are extracted from the bathymetry data and the power-law relationship between thalwag gradient and drainage area is examined for more than 180 canyons along an ~1200 km stretch of the US Atlantic margin. We observe distinct thresholds in the power-law relationship between drainage area and gradient. Almost all canyons with heads on the upper slope contain at least two linear segments when plotted in log-log form. The first segment along the upper slope is flat (constant gradient, low area). The second segment dips (exponentially decreasing gradient with increasing area). We interpret the transition between the two segments to be either diffusive creep/landslide processes that evolve into turbidity flows or the boundary that separates up-canyon infilling from relic, lower-canyon incision. Furthermore, the threshold occurs at a nearly constant drainage area regardless of location and morphology of the drainage network. This suggests that time-averaged erosion rate in submarine canyons depends on frequency of turbidity flows, which in turn depends on the volume of unstable sediments deposited near canyon heads and along canyon walls. We find that the gradient-area relationship does not follow a power-law in shelf-indenting canyons, most likely due to allogenic processes of the continental shelf and linkage to terrestrial river discharge.

  14. Post-early cretaceous landform evolution along the western margin of the banca~nnia trough, western nsw

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gibson, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    Previously undated post-Devonian sediments outcropping north of Fowlers Gap station near the western margin of the Bancannia Trough are shown by plant macro- and microfossil determinations to be of Early Cretaceous (most likely Neocomian and/or Aptian) age, and thus part of the Eromanga Basin. They are assigned to the previously defined Telephone Creek Formation. Study of the structural configuration of this unit and the unconformably underlying Devonian rocks suggests that the gross landscape architecture of the area results from post-Early Cretaceous monoclinal folding along blind faults at the western margin of the trough, combined with the effects of differential erosion. This study shows that, while landscape evolution in the area has been dynamic, the major changes that have occurred are on a geological rather than human timescale.

  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. 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.

  17. Generation of granitic batholiths along a proposed proterozoic continental margin in east-central Minnesota

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, K.J.; Hanson, G.N.; Horan, M.F.

    1985-01-01

    The 1800 m.y. igneous terrane of East-Central Minnesota is composed of mafic plutons and dikes, diorites (54% SiO2), and a range of granodiorites to granites (63-75% SiO2). Basalts through granite appear to be genetically related because they show similar enrichment of LILE, have similar incompatible element ratios, similar Nd isotope initial values which average -1 epsilon, and lie about the same 1800 m.y. /sup 207/Pb//sup 204/Pb vs. /sup 206/Pb//sup 204/Pb isochron. /sup 18/O isotope values for the felsic rocks lie between 8.2 and 9.6, for the mafic rocks between 6 and 9.2. The Reformatory Granite has the lowest SiO/sub 2/ (ca. 64%) of the granitic rocks, has Mgnumber's of 0.40-0.50, 557-652 ppm Sr, and 18-22 ppm Ni. Its Sr content and REE pattern are not consistent with its derivation from the exposed basic rocks, but may be by differentiation of mantle derived alkali basalt or high- Mg andesite. The major and trace element chemistry for the more siliceous granitic rocks is compatible with their being more extensively differentiated from a similar melt. These granites have apatite and zircon saturation temperatures of 800/sup 0/-940/sup 0/ C, which is higher than what might be expected for partial melting of crustal rocks. A convergent continental margin has been proposed for the tectonic setting for the terrane. The parent melts or their sources could have mixed with a component that provided the high /sup 18/O relative to mantle values and negative epsilon Nd.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Automatic detection of Floating Ice at Antarctic Continental Margin from Remotely Sensed Image with Object-oriented Matching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Z.

    2011-12-01

    Changes in ice sheet and floating ices around that have great significance for global change research. In the context of global warming, rapidly changing of Antarctic continental margin, caving of ice shelves, movement of iceberg are all closely related to climate change and ocean circulation. Using automatic change detection technology to rapid positioning the melting Region of Polar ice sheet and the location of ice drift would not only strong support for Global Change Research but also lay the foundation for establishing early warning mechanism for melting of the polar ice and Ice displacement. This paper proposed an automatic change detection method using object-based segmentation technology. The process includes three parts: ice extraction using image segmentation, object-baed ice tracking, change detection based on similarity matching. An approach based on similarity matching of eigenvector is proposed in this paper, which used area, perimeter, Hausdorff distance, contour, shape and other information of each ice-object. Different time of LANDSAT ETM+ data, Chinese environment disaster satellite HJ1B date, MODIS 1B date are used to detect changes of Floating ice at Antarctic continental margin respectively. We select different time of ETM+ data(January 7, 2003 and January 16, 2003) with the area around Antarctic continental margin near the Lazarev Bay, which is from 70.27454853 degrees south latitude, longitude 12.38573410 degrees to 71.44474167 degrees south latitude, longitude 10.39252222 degrees,included 11628 sq km of Antarctic continental margin area, as a sample. Then we can obtain the area of floating ices reduced 371km2, and the number of them reduced 402 during the time. In addition, the changes of all the floating ices around the margin region of Antarctic within 1200 km are detected using MODIS 1B data. During the time from January 1, 2008 to January 7, 2008, the floating ice area decreased by 21644732 km2, and the number of them reduced by 83080. The results show that the object-based information extraction algorithm can obtain more precise details of a single object, while the change detection method based on similarity matching can effectively tracking the change of floating ice.

  9. 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.

  10. A time-transgressive Holocene onset from Globorotalia menardii records on Brazilian continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwai, F. S.; Costa, K. B.; Toledo, F. A. D. L.; Santarosa, A. C. A.; Chiessi, C. M.; Camillo, E., Jr.; Quadros, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    The planktic foraminifer Globorotalia menardii presents a cyclic behavior within Pleistocene glacial cycles on Atlantic; it disappears during glacial periods and returns to this ocean after deglaciations. Therefore, G. menardii has been used to identify limits between those cycles and the last limit is recognized as the Holocene onset. The Holocene onset has been reported before as being more than 4 kyrs later than expected at the equatorial Atlantic Ocean based on a G. menardii record (Broecker & Pena, 2014). In this study, we explore the time-transgressive Holocene onset of G. menardii in the Atlantic from 21 piston cores collected along the Brazilian continental margin, between 7 ?N and 33 ?S. Radiocarbon dating was conducted on Globigerinoides ruber on samples prior to and after G. menardii reappearance in the cores. Reservoir-age corrected 14C dates vary between 17 and 6.5 cal kyrs; the older ages are found at ~14 ?S and younger ages at 6 ?N and 33 ?S. From these ages and latitudes, we hypothesize that G. menardii's population has spread at higher rates southward. From the scenario observed on Brazilian coast it is possible to conclude that although ocean circulation has an important role on dispersion of planktonic foraminifera, it may be superimposed by ecological constraints of the species. G. menardii absence during glacials is linked to the Agulhas Leakage activity, which is prevented from getting to the Atlantic due the northern position of the Subtropical Convergence Zone during glacials. On interglacials, warm and saline waters carrying G. menardii are transported into the Subtropical Gyre currents, achieving Brazil's coast through the South Equatorial Current and spreading south and northward through Brazil Current and North Brazil Current, respectively. Nonetheless, from velocity and volume registered for this currents, we would expect a higher G. menardii dispersion rate northward. A faster southward dispersal during the deglaciation suggests 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Journal of the Geological Society, London, Vol. 162, 2005, pp. 135146. Printed in Great Britain. Subsidence history of the north Indian continental margin, ZanskarLadakh

    E-print Network

    Watts, A. B. "Tony"

    . 135 Subsidence history of the north Indian continental margin, Zanskar­Ladakh Himalaya, NW India R. I of the tectonic subsidence and uplift through the pre- collisional history of the margin have been constructed.2. This model accounts for the general exponential decrease in the backstripped tectonic subsidence. The model

  16. 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.

  17. In: Rheology and Deformation in the Lithosphere at Continental Margins, Edited by Karner, G. D., B. Taylor, N. W. Driscoll, and D. L. Kohlstedt, Columbia University Press, New York, 2004.

    E-print Network

    Chester, Frederick M.

    Page 1 In: Rheology and Deformation in the Lithosphere at Continental Margins, Edited by Karner, G at Continental Margins, Edited by Karner, G. D., B. Taylor, N. W. Driscoll, and D. L. Kohlstedt, Columbia. Structure of large-displacement, strike-slip fault zones in the brittle continental crust 1 F. M. Chester, 1

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Sediment deposition rates on the continental margins of the eastern Arabian Sea using 210Pb, 137Cs and 14C.

    PubMed

    Somayajulu, B L; Bhushan, R; Sarkar, A; Burr, G S; Jull, A J

    1999-09-30

    Eight gravity cores from the active eastern continental margins of the Arabian Sea were dated using 210Pbxs, 137Cs and 14C. The short-term (< or = 100 years) sedimentation rates range from 0.06 to 0.66 cm/year where as the long-term (> or = 1000 years) ones using AMS 14C on planktonic foraminifera varied from 0.004 to 0.13 cm/year. For long-term chronology (< or = 50,000 years) AMS dating of well-cleaned planktonic foraminifera is most suited. PMID:10568293

  2. Halocline water modification and along-slope advection at the Laptev Sea continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

    A general pattern in water mass distribution and potential shelf-basin exchange is revealed at the Laptev Sea continental slope based on hydrochemical and stable oxygen isotope data from the summers 2005-2009. Despite considerable interannual 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 ice cover 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 between 122° E and 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. Thus a significant contribution of Laptev Sea bottom waters to the LHW at the continental slope can be excluded. The silicate maximum within the LHW at the continental slope may be formed locally or at the outer Laptev Sea shelf. 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 halocline formation in the northern Laptev Sea.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Multichannel seismic depth sections and interval velocities over outer continental shelf and upper continental slope between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod: rifted margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grow, John A.; Mattick, Robert E.; Schlee, John S.

    1979-01-01

    Six computer-generated seismic depth sections over the outer continental shelf and upper slope reveal that subhorizontal Lower Cretaceous reflectors continue 20 to 30 km seaward of the present shelf edge. Extensive erosion on the continental slope has occurred primarily during the Tertiary, causing major unconformities and retreat of the shelf edge to its present position. The precise age and number of erosional events is not established, but at least one major erosional event is thought to be Oligocene and related to a marine regression in response to a worldwide eustatic lowering of sea level. Velocities derived from the multichannel data reveal distinctive ranges and lateral trends as functions of sediment age, depth of burial, and distance from the coastline. Seismic units beneath the shelf and slope of inferred Tertiary age range from 1.7 to 2.7 km/sec, increasing with age and depth of burial. Units interpreted as Upper Cretaceous rocks beneath the shelf range from 2.3 to 3.6 km/sec and show a distinct lateral increase across the shelf followed by a decrease beneath the present continental slope. Inferred Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic rocks beneath the shelf increase from 3.7 to 4.8 km/sec from nearshore to offshore and indicate a change in facies from clastic units below the inner shelf to carbonate units beneath the outer shelf and upper continental slope. Both reflection and refraction data suggest that thin, high-velocity limestone units (5.0 km/sec) are present within the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic units beneath the outermost shelf edge, but that these change lithology or pinch out before reaching the middle shelf. Although lateral changes in velocity across the shelf and local velocity inversions appear, the interval velocities along the length of the margin show excellent continuity between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod. The high-velocity horizons within the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic shelf-edge complex indicate the presence of a carbonate bank or reef. The continental shelf off New Jersey is underlain by a trough approximately 150 km wide with up to 12 km of sedimentary fill. The oceanic basement beneath the upper continental rise is usually at a depth of 10 to 11 km and is overlain by 6 to 8 km of sediments. The rise sediment trough is separated from the shelf trough by an acoustic basement ridge 25 to 75 km wide where penetration never exceeds 6 km beneath sea level, although faulting and carbonate bank or reef complexes frequently limit penetration to 3 to 4 km in this zone. The acoustic basement ridge coincides with the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly and is interpreted as thick oceanic crust formed during the initial phase of seafloor spreading between North America and Africa. Rapid differential subsidence occurred on opposite sides of the basement ridge during the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. Differential subsidence beneath the shelf also occurred along the margins, with narrower and shallower shelf troughs occurring off platform areas such as Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Michael J.; Ternon, Jean-François; Morris, Tamaryn

    2014-02-01

    Sea Level Anomaly (SLA) data were used to track a southward propagating eddy dipole along the western slope of the Mozambique Channel over some 6 months. In April 2005, this dipole (with the cyclone to the south) was close to the continental slope off southern Mozambique. The contact zone between the contra-rotating vortices and the slope was surveyed by ship using onboard (S-)ADCP and CTD lines. The data showed strong (>1.4 m s-1) southward (geostrophic) currents over the slope adjacent to the anticyclone with horizontal divergence over the shelf edge. Significant slope upwelling between the dipole and the shelf was evident, concomitant with enhanced nutrient and chlorophyll levels enriching shelf near-surface waters. Satellite observations depicted a 300 km long surface chlorophyll filament extending offshore in the frontal zone between the contra-rotating vortices. A satellite-tracked drifter deployed at the coastal base of this filament confirmed the offshore advection of chlorophyll-enriched shelf water, which ultimately wrapped around the cyclone and filling its centre. The slope upwelling was also clearly evident in hourly temperature data collected by a recorder deployed on a nearby reef (Zambia Reef) in a depth of 18 m. According to the SLA data, the dipole took several weeks to pass Zambia Reef causing prolonged bouts of upwelling that finally ceased when it left the continental slope and moved southwards into the open ocean. Further analysis showed that lone anticyclones and cyclones against the Mozambique continental shelf also induce slope upwelling as a result of horizontal divergence created by the radial circulation of the vortex. In the case of cyclones, the divergence occurs north of the contact zone. Overall, this case study confirms that eddies moving southwards along the western side of the Mozambique Channel are the main mechanism for pumping nutrients into the otherwise oligotrophic surface waters, and moreover, provide a vigorous mechanism for shelf-open ocean exchange.

  7. Influence of the continental margin on the stress field and seismicity in the intraplate Acaraú Seismic Zone, NE Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Paulo H. S.; Ferreira, Joaquim M.; Bezerra, Francisco H. R.; Assumpção, Marcelo; do Nascimento, Aderson F.; Sousa, Maria O. L.; Menezes, Eduardo A. S.

    2015-09-01

    The Borborema province in NE Brazil is characterized by seismic sequences with small earthquakes that can last 10 yr or more. The seismicity in this region is concentrated in three main seismic zones. In this work, we investigate the stress field in one of these zones, the Acaraú Seismic Zone, which is located in the NW part of the Borborema province. This seismic zone exhibits earthquake sequences that contain repeated earthquakes with similar waveforms and a shallow depth. Using a local network, we investigated a seismic sequence close to the town of Santana do Acaraú from December 2009 to December 2010, and we present detailed results (velocity model, hypocentres and focal mechanism) from this network. In addition, we inverted seven focal mechanisms, including six that were used in previous studies, and determined the directions of the three main axes of the regional stress field. Selecting a very precise set of 12 earthquakes, we found an active seismic zone with a depth between 3.5 and 4.8 km and with a horizontal dimension of approximately 2.5 km in the NW-SE direction (azimuth of 118°) and a strike-slip focal mechanism. The new seismic fault and some of the previous seismic faults determined in previous studies occur near the continental-scale Transbrasiliano lineament, but they exhibit no direct relationship with that ancient structure. The stress field is characterized by NW-SE trending compression and NE-SW trending extension. This result suggests that the rheological contrast between the continental-oceanic crusts created flexural stresses with maximum horizontal compression parallel to the continental margin. This stress pattern occurs along the Potiguar basin and continues west as far as the Amazon fan along the Equatorial margin of Brazil. This stress field and related seismicity may be a characteristic of this type of passive margin that is generated during the transform shearing between the South America and Africa plates and that exhibits an abrupt oceanic-continent transition, steep continental slopes and high bathymetric gradients.

  8. Survival Of Magnetic Paleoclimatic Signals From Shallow To Deep Water Marine Redoxomorphic Sediments Across The Northwest Iberian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohamed Falcon, K. J.; Rey, D.; Rubio, B.

    2013-05-01

    The magnetic properties of marine sediments on the North Atlantic Iberian continental Margin are strongly dependent on the organic matter input to the sediments and the onset of reductive diagenesis. An onshore-offshore gradient in the intensity of early diagenesis was recently described for the Ría de Vigo, matched by similar patterns in the adjacent rias of Pontevedra and Muros. In the ria environments of NW Iberia, early diagenetic dissolution of magnetic minerals can lead to magnetite half-lives of a few decades, and virtually obliterates any paleoenvironmental signal carried by magnetic minerals, rendering magnetic properties especially useful for the study of early diagenesis dynamics. Early diagenesis has also been identified in sediments of the adjacent continental shelf and deeper environments of the Galician Bank and Iberian Abyssal Plain. However, in these settings, slower dissolution of magnetic minerals allows the preservation of paleoclimatic signatures on different temporal scales. For instance, magnetic properties of continental shelf sediments reveal periods of enhanced rainfall and continental sediment input to the shelf, coincident with the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Climatic Optimum. On the contrary, cold periods are associated with less detrital input. Furthermore, levels of intensified diagenesis are also recorded during cold periods, which have been interpreted as periods of intensified coastal upwelling probably related to long-term North Atlantic Oscillation positive state. At the Galician Bank and Iberian Abyssal Plain sediments early diagenesis is also pervasive, although a paleoceanographic record of changes in the concentration of magnetic minerals transported by water masses flowing from the Portuguese Margin can still be identified. In addition to the progressive dissolution of magnetic minerals with depth, bulk magnetic properties in these deep marine settings show strong dependence on the pelagic carbonate sedimentation and low-magnetic turbiditic sediments that originate in the Galician Bank. Thin levels of highly magnetic sediments have been identified as Heinrich events, which provide an easily identifiable chronostratigraphic marker and a very fast and cost-effective tool for core correlation on a regional scale. These case-studies on the magnetic properties of sediments from the NW Iberian Margin provide examples of the range of applications of environmental magnetism in marine sediments with variable degrees of early diagenetic alteration of their magnetic mineral assemblage.

  9. Morphology and Dynamics of Subaqueous Dunes in a Tideless Outer Shelf (murcia Continental Shelf, Western Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durán, R.; Rivera, J.; Guillén, J.; de Cárdenas, E.; Muñoz, A.; Acosta, J.

    2014-12-01

    During the last years, the increasing application of multibeam sonar systems for mapping the seafloor has revealed the occurrence of sedimentary bedforms on the continental shelves worldwide. In addition, repeated multibeam surveys are used to monitor and compare the temporal evolution of such morphologies providing important insights into the sedimentary processes on the continental shelf. In the Murcia continental shelf, Western Mediterranean Sea, a large filed of subaqueous dunes has been observed in the middle and outer shelf. Here, we present a detailed morphologic and sedimentological analysis of these features with the aim to discuss their possible mechanism of formation and assess their potential mobility. The findings are based on swath-bathymetry collected using a SIMRAD EM 710 and EM3000D multibeam echosounders, high-resolution seismic profiles acquired with a TOPAS 018 system and sediment samples. Dunes are widely distributed between 60 and 110 m depth, from the Cope Cape, to the north, to the Águilas submarine canyon head rim, to the south. Dunes range from 18 to 140 m in wavelength and from 0.29 to 1.28 m in height. Dunes have asymmetrical profiles (average asymmetry of 0.065) with the lee slope facing towards the southwest that indicate a net south-westward sediment transport. Seabed samples collected in the crests and troughs of individual dunes show a similar grain-size distribution curve, but differ in the content of fines, which is higher in the trough, whereas the crests are dominated by coarse particles. High resolution seismic profiles reveal the presence of a continuous strong reflector that constitutes the base of the subaqueous dunes and could likely correspond to the Holocene transgressive ravinement surface.Dune migration rates were determined from the net displacement of the crests and troughs positions deduced from repeated multibeam surveys (2003 and 2013). Results indicate that the subaqueous dunes remain stationary or migrate at low rates towards the southwest (migration rates < 1 m yr-1). Bedform asymmetry and migration are consistent with the general circulation of the margin, characterized by a predominant geostrophic current flowing south-westward along the shelf break.

  10. 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...

  11. Ice-sheet grounding-zone wedges (GZWs) on high-latitude continental margins

    E-print Network

    Batchelor, C. L.; Dowdeswell, J. A.

    2015-02-17

    that is relatively stable for probably decades to centuries. Although the long-term stability of the grounding zone is controlled by ice-sheet mass balance, the precise location of any still-stands is influenced strongly by the geometry of the continental shelf...

  12. 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.

  13. Neodymium, strontium, and oxygen isotopic variations in the crust of the western United States: Origin of Proterozoic continental crust and tectonic implications

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, V.C.

    1989-01-01

    Initial Nd isotopic ratios of crystalline rocks from an area of about 1.5 {times} 10{sup 6} km{sup 2} of the western United States have been determined in order to map Precambrian age province boundaries and thus document the growth and modification of the North American continent in the Proterozoic. Three age provinces have been delineated. It is demonstrated that large regions of Early Proterozoic continental crust were formed with anomalous isotopic compositions ({sup 143}Nd/{sup 144}Nd ratios lower than Early Proterozoic depleted-mantle). The variations in the initial {epsilon}{sub Nd} and {delta}{sup 18}O values correlate with each other, and correspond to the previously determined Nd isotopic provinces. The Pelona, Rand, Chocolate Mountain and Orocopia Schists are represented by 15 lithologically and structurally similar schist bodies exposed along the San Andreas and Garlock faults in southern California. The grayschists have measured {epsilon}{sub Nd} values from -1.7 to -11.7 with depleted-mantle model ages of 0.9 to 1.7 Ga. The Nd isotopic compositions can be modeled as variable mixtures of Early Proterozoic continental crust with a Mesozoic are component. The measured {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios are from 0.7087 to 0.7129 and reflect the presence of an old continental source. Independent of age, the high initial {epsilon}{sub Nd} values ({sup +}9 {plus minus} 1.5) are consistent with derivation at an oceanic spreading center, either at a MORB or in a back-arc basin environment. The presence of both Early Proterozoic continental detritus and a younger sedimentary component in the grayschist protolith, and the MORB affinity of the metabasalts are compatible with formation of the protoliths of the Pelona and related schists in a Mesozoic basin adjacent to the southwestern United States continental margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Early Cretaceous rifting and exposure of periodotite on the Galicia continental margin: preliminary results of ocean drilling program Leg 103

    SciTech Connect

    Winterer, E.; Boillot, G.; Meyer, A.; Applegate, J.; Baltuck, M.; Bergen, J.; Comas, M.; Davies, T.; Dunham, K.; Evans, C.; Girardeau, J.

    1985-01-01

    Results of drilling near the ocean-continent boundary on the Galicia margin of Iberia shed new light on the timing of rifting and demonstrate the presence at the foot of the margin of a ridge of foliated, lineated, sheared and serpentinized harzburgite, probably representing oceanic mantle. Fifty km east of the periodotite ridge, on a continental fault block, the stratigraphic section sampled during Leg 103 above Hercynian basement comprises: (1) at least 250m of Upper Jurassic and possibly lowest Cretaceous limestone, dolomite and minor sandstone and claystone deposited in relatively shallow water before rifting began; (2) about 20m of Valanginian calpionellid marlstone, probably deposited in moderate depths at the onset of rifting; (3) from about 500 to 1500m of Valanginian and Hauterivian turbidite sandstone rich in terrestrial plant debris, and Barremian and Aptian( ) claystone and marlstone deposited in deeper water during rifting; and (4) about 700m of sediments deposited after Aptian time, when rifting ceased and oceanic spreading between Iberia and Newfoundland began. The lithology and seismic stratigraphy of the wedges of clastic sediments laid down during rifting show the progressive filling of basins that formed by episodic listric faulting that began very early in the Cretaceous and continued for about 25 my. The Lower Cretaceous turbidite sandstone cored on the Galicia margin correlates with thick Lower Cretaceous turbidites cored off Morocco during DSDP Leg 50, and with Wealden deltaic and fluviatile deposits on both sides of the Atlantic.

  19. 22. Yorath, C. J. et al. Marine Multichannel Seismic Reflection, Gravity and Magnetic Profiles--Vancouver Island Continental Margin and Juan De Fuca Ridge (Open File Report 1661, Geological Survey of

    E-print Network

    Ostling, Annette

    --Vancouver Island Continental Margin and Juan De Fuca Ridge (Open File Report 1661, Geological Survey of Canada erosion along the Middle America convergent margin. Nature 404, 748­752 (2003). 29. Wells, R. E., Blakely

  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. Rayleigh wave tomography beneath the oceanic and continental margin of the North-America and Pacific plate boundary.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathnayaka, S.; Escobar, L., Sr.; Weeraratne, D. S.; Kohler, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    The inception of the San Andreas fault, a transform plate boundary system, is the result of subduction of the EPR spreading center, rifting of the Borderland in the Miocene and subsequent plate rotation that is ongoing today. To address the lack of offshore data at this plate boundary, we use Rayleigh waves recorded by a marine seismic array of 34 ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) to tomographically image phase velocities beneath the oceanic and continental margin of the North America-Pacific plate boundary. The OBSs were deployed as part of the ALBACORE project offshore southern California on 18-32 Ma seafloor. The marine seismic array recorded data from August 2010 to 2011 and are combined with 82 land stations from the CISN network. We analyze ~100 teleseismic events at distances ranging from 30° to 120° for Mw ? 5.9, filtered at periods between 16 and 78 s. Strong structural gradients are present across this plate margin; therefore, we perform amplitude corrections for OBS stations that account for velocity variations in water, sediment layer, crustal thickness, marine fossil layers and lithospheric thickness as a function of seafloor age. We use a surface wave inversion that considers a two plane wave method and perform a grid search for inversion parameters. Our results indicate that averaged phase velocities are 1.3% lower than previous studies for the seafloor age bin 20-52 Ma. Phase velocities at lithospheric depths are 5% higher in the oceanic mantle compared to the continental mantle indicating compositional and structural differences due to formation history in the two tectonic environments. Anisotropy in the offshore region of our study is consistent with Pacific plate motion, N 78.5? W, except for periods longer than 40 s in the Borderland where anisotropy demonstrates N-S alignment. The Borderland, a transitional region between the continental and oceanic plate margin where rotation of the transverse ranges involved rifting and extension, shows unique velocity and anisotropic structure compared to the land and deep seafloor regions.

  2. Subduction of European continental crust to 70 km depth imaged in the Western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Anne; Zhao, Liang; Guillot, Stéphane; Solarino, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    The first conclusive evidence in support of the burial (and exhumation) of continental crust to depths larger than 90 km was provided by the discovery of coesite-bearing metamorphic rocks in the Dora Maira massif of the Western Alps (Chopin, 1984). Since then, even though similar outcrops of exhumed HP/UHP rocks have been recognized in a number of collisional belts, direct seismic evidences for subduction of continental crust in the mantle of the upper plate remain rare. In the Western Alps, the greatest depth ever recorded for the European Moho is 55 km by wide-angle seismic reflection (ECORS-CROP DSS Group, 1989). In an effort to image the European Moho at greater depth, and unravel the very complex lithospheric structure of the W-Alps, we have installed the CIFALPS temporary seismic array across the Southwestern Alps for 14 months (2012-2013). The almost linear array runs from the Rhône valley (France) to the Po plain (Italy) across the Dora Maira massif where exhumed HP/UHP metamorphic rocks of continental origin were first discovered. We used the receiver function processing technique that enhances P-to-S converted waves at velocity boundaries beneath the array. The receiver function records were migrated to depth using 4 different 1-D velocity models to account for the strongest structural changes along the profile. They were then stacked using the classical common-conversion point technique. Beneath the Southeast basin and the external zones, the obtained seismic section displays a clear converted phase on the European Moho, dipping gently to the ENE from ~35 km at the western end of the profile, to ~40 km beneath the Frontal Penninic thrust (FPT). The Moho dip then noticeably increases beneath the internal zones, while the amplitude of the converted phase weakens. The weak European Moho signal may be traced to 70-75 km depth beneath the eastern Dora Maira massif and the westernmost Po plain. At shallower level (20-40 km), we observe a set of strong amplitude negative-polarity converted phases (generated by downward velocity decreases) beneath the Dora Maira massif and the westernmost Po plain. Records in the Po plain display a strong but intricate converted signal from the Adria Moho between 10 and 35 km depth. We propose that the negative-polarity converted phases are generated by downward decreasing velocity between, from top to bottom, the Ivrea body of mantle origin, a thick wedge of HP/UHP metamorphic rocks and the European lower crust. Our receiver-function section thus displays the classical wedge-shaped image of the Alpine crust, but with the deepest European Moho ever recorded (70-75 km), and clear evidence of continental subduction of the European lower crust beneath the Ivrea mantle body (and possibly Adria mantle) as a negative-polarity converted phase indicative of an inverted Moho. Based on our seismic section, complemented with seismic and gravity modelling and geological arguments, we propose a new crustal-scale cross-section of the Western Alps.

  3. How does the continental crust thin during rifting in magma-poor rifted margins: evidence from the Bernina/Campo/Grosina units in the Central Alps (SE-Switzerland and N-Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohn, G.; Manatschal, G.; Masini, E.; Beltrando, M.; Muntener, O.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2010-12-01

    A long-standing problem in Earth Sciences is to understand how continents break apart to form new oceanic basins. Many of the questions that currently frame ongoing debates about continental break-up are related to the mechanics of extreme lithospheric extension. Studies conducted in several present-day magma-poor rifted margins revealed that the transition from continental crust that underwent minor thinning in proximal margins to hyper extended crust (?10 km) in distal margins occurs within a well-defined necking zone. The low resolution of the available offshore data and the lack of drilling make it difficult to study the structures and processes associated with crustal thinning in present-day rifted margins. A more direct access to the stratigraphic record and crustal architecture of deep-water rifted margins is exposed in the Alps in Western Europe. We focused our study on the Austroalpine Bernina-Campo-Grosina units, which preserve relics of the former necking zone of the Alpine Tethys rifted margin. Within this necking zone, different high-strain shear zones responsible for lithospheric thinning can be defined including: 1) a system of conjugate low-angle shear zones/detachment faults active in the brittle upper crust (Grosina detachment) and lower crust (Pogallo type shear zone); 2) mid-crustal decollements decoupling the deformation in the upper and lower crust (e.g. Eita shear zone); and 3) an extraction shear zone, whose activity resulted in the total excision of the middle crust (e.g. Margna shear zone). These high-strain zones are interpreted to accommodate crustal thinning from 30 to 10 km during Piensbachian to Toarcian time (190-180Ma). Thinning resulted in exhumation of mid-crustal rocks in the necking zone, while in the distal margin upper and lower crust are juxtaposed and overprinted by late detachment faults that cut across the thinned crust and exhume mantle rocks to the seafloor. These structures can explain the first-order crustal architecture observed at many present-day rifted margins.The results of this study will permit to better constraints the extreme thinning of the crust leading finally to the continental break up. These results have major implications for the thermal evolution and consequently for the rheology and isostasy of the extending lithosphere.

  4. Crustal structure of the Southeast Georgia embayment-Carolina trough: Preliminary results of a composite seismic image of a continental suture ( ) and a volcanic passive margin

    SciTech Connect

    Austin, J.A. Jr.; Stoffa, P.L.; Phillips, J.D. ); Oh, Jinyong ); Sawyer, D.S. ); Purdy, G.M.; Reiter, E. ); Makris, J. )

    1990-10-01

    New deep-penetration multichannel seismic reflection data, combined with refraction results and magnetics modeling, support a hypothesis that the Carolina trough is a Mesozoic volcanic passive margin exhibiting a seaward-dipping wedge and associated underplating. The structure of Carolina platform continental crust is consistent with the late Paleozoic continental collision that produced the Appalachians, but imbrication has had no obvious effect on shallower structures produced by Mesozoic extension and volcanism. The origin of prominent magnetic anomalies crossing the Southeast Georgia embayment can be explained by processes attending Mesozoic separation of Africa and North America, and is not related to a Paleozoic continental suture, as previously postulated.

  5. Changing Styles of Deformation Along the Western Margin of the Andean Plateau, Southern Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schildgen, T. F.; Hodges, K. V.; Whipple, K. X.; van Soest, M.

    2007-12-01

    The Cordillera Occidental in southern Peru provides an important record of the deformational signature of the Andean Plateau formation. Early deformation along the western margin of the developing plateau was primarily accommodated along a series of high-angle, west-vergent reverse faults. This fault system crops out in a 100-km wide region from the Cordillera Occidental to the Peruvian coast. Although several research teams have attributed much of the construction of the western plateau margin to these features, a wide variety of high-angle faults and broad monoclines also occur along this margin. Understanding the relative significance of these features to plateau margin development has been hampered by limited of constraints on the timing and magnitude of fault movement, as well as uncertainty about the history of surface uplift. Structural mapping and thermochronologic studies in southern Peru provide new insights into the timing and magnitude of late Cenozoic surface uplift as well as the style of structural accommodation. The west-vergent reverse fault system deforms Oligocene sediments and older bedrock, but is covered by 14-16 Ma volcanic units. More recent faulting close to the range front is extensional in nature and has been an important contributing factor to the formation of the modern range-front escarpment. These structures deform the 14-16 Ma volcanic units, but most show only limited offsets. Valley-bottom transects of thermochronologic data from Cotahuasi valley show no major discontinuities in age, indicating that offset on any of the structures cannot exceed several hundred meters. Farther to the east, normal fault movement has not been as tightly constrained, but empirical relationships between fault length and maximum throw suggest at most 1 km of movement, or 500 to 800 m of vertical offset considering a reasonable range of fault dips. We combine these observations with new apatite (U- Th)/He data from vertical and valley-bottom transects of samples that provide robust constraints on the timing of surface uplift. These data suggest that the major phase of 2 to 2.5 km of plateau uplift that started at c. 10-12 Ma cannot have been solely accommodated by surface-breaking fault movement. Instead, regional long-wavelength warping and possibly a component of block uplift dominated the late Cenozoic deformation history of the western margin.

  6. Cenozoic unconformities and depositional supersequences of North Atlantic continental margins: testing the Vail model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C. Wylie; Ward, Lauck W.

    1987-01-01

    Integrated outcrop, borehole, and seismic reflection stratigraphy from the U.S. and Irish margins of the North Atlantic basin reveals a framework of Cenozoic depositional supersequences and interregional unconformities that resembles the Vail depositional model. Paleo-bathymetric and paleoceanographic analyses of associated microfossil assemblages indicate a genetic link between the depositional framework and the relative position of sea level.

  7. Cenozoic unconformities and depositional supersequences of North Atlantic continental margins: testing the Vail model

    SciTech Connect

    Poag, C.W.; Ward, L.W.

    1987-02-01

    Integrated outcrop, borehole, and seismic reflection stratigraphy from the US and Irish margins of the North Atlantic basin reveals a framework of Cenozoic depositional supersequences and interregional unconformities that resembles the Vail depositional model. Paleobathymetric and paleoceanographic analyses of associated microfossil assemblages indicate a genetic link between the depositional framework and the relative position of sea level.

  8. The continental shelf and upper slope of the Oregon Cascadia margin are underlain by an

    E-print Network

    Goldfinger, Chris

    , whereas the seaward correlative discon- formity may have been produced by submarine erosion; alternatively synclines and uplifted submarine banks. Regional margin- parallel variations in uplift rates of the shelf was breached, possibly con- tributing to Astoria Canyon incision, the pri- mary downslope conduit of Columbia

  9. 76 FR 82319 - Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Western Planning Area (WPA) and Central...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-30

    ... regulations (40 CFR 1503) implementing the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969... http://www.boem.gov/Environmental-Stewardship/Environmental-Assessment/NEPA/nepaprocess.aspx . Several... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Western...

  10. Data file, Continental Margin Program, Atlantic Coast of the United States: vol. 2 sample collection and analytical data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hathaway, John C.

    1971-01-01

    The purpose of the data file presented below is twofold: the first purpose is to make available in printed form the basic data relating to the samples collected as part of the joint U.S. Geological Survey - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution program of study of the Atlantic continental margin of the United States; the second purpose is to maintain these data in a form that is easily retrievable by modern computer methods. With the data in such form, repeate manual transcription for statistical or similar mathematical treatment becomes unnecessary. Manual plotting of information or derivatives from the information may also be eliminated. Not only is handling of data by the computer considerably faster than manual techniques, but a fruitful source of errors, transcription mistakes, is eliminated.

  11. High-pressure amphibolite facies dynamic metamorphism and the Mesozoic tectonic evolution of an ancient continental margin, east- central Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dusel-Bacon, C.; Hansen, V.L.; Scala, J.A.

    1995-01-01

    Ductilely deformed amphibolite facies tectonites comprise two adjacent terranes in east-central Alaska: the northern, structurally higher Taylor Mountain terrane and the southern, structurally lower Lake George subterrane of the Yukon-Tanana terrane. The pressure, temperature, kinematic and age data are interpreted to indicate that the metamorphism of the Taylor Mountain terrane and Lake George subterrane took place during different phases of a latest Palaeozoic through early Mesozoic shortening episode resulting from closure of an ocean basin now represented by klippen of the Seventymile-Slide Mountain terrane. High- to intermediate-pressure metamorphism of the Taylor Mountain terrane took place within a SW-dipping (present-day coordinates) subduction system. High- to intermediate-pressure metamorphism of the Lake George subterrane and the structural contact zone occurred during NW-directed overthrusting of the Taylor Mountain, Seventymile-Slide Mountain and Nisutlin terranes, and imbrication of the continental margin in Jurassic time. -from Authors

  12. Salt tectonics in the SW Alps (Italy-France): From rifting to the inversion of the European continental margin in a context of oblique convergence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decarlis, A.; Maino, M.; Dallagiovanna, G.; Lualdi, A.; Masini, E.; Seno, S.; Toscani, G.

    2014-12-01

    The SW Alps result from the inversion of the European continental margin during the oblique convergence between Europe and Adria since the Cretaceous. The orogenic deformation is controlled by two factors: the inherited sedimentary and structural record and the geodynamic interaction between the two plates. In this paper we present a stratigraphic and structural analysis of the external SW Alps (Ventimiglia-Menton area) in order to define the sedimentary and deformational geometries of the chain and to reconstruct the evolutionary history. The field-data highlight the preeminent role played by inherited salt-structures, which derive from the depositional history experienced by the European margin since the Mesozoic onwards. From Late Triassic to Jurassic, evaporites and carbonates deposited as a response to the Thetyan rifting. The following emplacement of the Cretaceous flysch and of the Eocene foreland basin succession was strongly influenced by the extensionally-triggered salt diapirism and by the interactions with deformations connected to the Pyrenees dynamics. The resulting geologic discontinuities (i.e. diapir-induced highs and basins, inherited normal and trasform faults) strongly influenced the successive Oligo-Miocene evolution of the belt in the study area. Observed changes in the thrusts and folds kinematics are considered as the results of rotation during their approaching to inherited highs. Furthermore, the overturning of thrusts and folds in the front of the diapiric flanks are associated with the progressively salt squeezing into the anticlines cores promoted by ongoing Alpine compression. Finally, the kinematic data from the study area show radical differences in the tectonic transport direction with respect to the rest of the SW Alps (NW- to W-ward in the Ventimiglia-Menton area, S- to SW-ward in Provence and Ligurian Alps). This difference is interpreted to be caused by the relative motions of crustal blocks dominated by transpressive tectonics in the frame of the Oligo-Miocene western Mediterranean geodynamics.

  13. Deposition and Burial Efficiency of Terrestrial Organic Carbon Exported from Small Mountainous Rivers to the Continental Margin, Southwest of Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, F.; Lin, S.; Wang, C.; Huh, C.

    2007-12-01

    Terrestrial organic carbon exported from small mountainous river to the continental margin may play an important role in global carbon cycle and it?|s biogeochemical process. A huge amount of suspended materials from small rivers in southwestern Taiwan (104 million tons per year) could serve as major carbon source to the adjacent ocean. However, little is know concerning fate of this terrigenous organic carbon. The purpose of this study is to calculate flux of terrigenous organic carbon deposited in the continental margin, offshore southwestern Taiwan through investigating spatial variation of organic carbon content, organic carbon isotopic compositions, organic carbon deposition rate and burial efficiency. Results show that organic carbon compositions in sediment are strongly influenced by terrestrial material exported from small rivers in the region, Kaoping River, Tseng-wen River and Er-jan Rver. In addition, a major part of the terrestrial materials exported from the Kaoping River may bypass shelf region and transport directly into the deep sea (South China Sea) through the Kaoping Canyon. Organic carbon isotopic compositions with lighter carbon isotopic values are found near the Kaoping River and Tseng-wen River mouth and rapidly change from heavier to lighter values through shelf to slope. Patches of lighter organic carbon isotopic compositions with high organic carbon content are also found in areas west of Kaoping River mouth, near the Kaoshiung city. Furthermore, terrigenous organic carbons with lighter isotopic values are found in the Kaoping canyon. A total of 0.028 Mt/yr of terrestrial organic carbon was found in the study area, which represented only about 10 percent of all terrestrial organic carbon deposited in the study area. Majority (~90 percent) of the organic carbon exported from the Kaoping River maybe directly transported into the deep sea (South China Sea) and become a major source of organic carbon in the deep sea.

  14. Ascension Submarine Canyon, California - Evolution of a multi-head canyon system along a strike-slip continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nagel, D.K.; Mullins, H.T.; Greene, H. Gary

    1986-01-01

    Ascension Submarine Canyon, which lies along the strike-slip (transform) dominated continental margin of central California, consists of two discrete northwestern heads and six less well defined southeastern heads. These eight heads coalesce to form a single submarine canyon near the 2700 m isobath. Detailed seismic stratigraphic data correlated with 19 rock dredge hauls from the walls of the canyon system, suggest that at least one of the two northwestern heads was initially eroded during a Pliocene lowstand of sea level ???3.8 m.y. B.P. Paleogeographic reconstructions indicate that at this time, northwestern Ascension Canyon formed the distal channel of nearby Monterey Canyon and has subsequently been offset by right-lateral, strike-slip faulting along the San Gregorio fault zone. Some of the six southwestern heads of Ascension Canyon may also have been initially eroded as the distal portions of Monterey Canyon during late Pliocene-early Pleistocene sea-level lowstands (???2.8 and 1.75 m.y. B.P.) and subsequently truncated and offset to the northwest. There have also been a minimum of two canyon-cutting episodes within the past 750,000 years, after the entire Ascension Canyon system migrated to the northwest past Monterey Canyon. We attribute these late Pleistocene erosional events to relative lowstands of sea level 750,000 and 18,000 yrs B.P. The late Pleistocene and Holocene evolution of the six southeastern heads also appears to have been controlled by structural uplift of the Ascension-Monterey basement high at the southeastern terminus of the Outer Santa Cruz Basin. We believe that uplift of this basement high sufficiently oversteepened submarine slopes to induce gravitational instability and generate mass movements that resulted in the erosion of the canyon heads. Most significantly, though, our results and interpretations support previous proposals that submarine canyons along strike-slip continental margins can originate by tectonic trunction and lateral offset. ?? 1986.

  15. Quantifying the distribution and abundance of rippled scour depressions (RSDs) on the seafloor of California's continental margin using autoclassfication models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, A. C.; Mueller, C.; Hallenbeck, T.; Carrillo, J.; Gomez, J.

    2010-12-01

    The California Seafloor Mapping Project (CSMP) is a cooperative initiative creating a comprehensive, high-resolution (2-5m) coastal/marine geologic and habitat base map for all of California’s State waters (Mean high water to three nautical miles). This massive dataset covering > 8500 sq. km of coastal seafloor is enabling researchers to study patterns and distribution of near shore habitats and geomorphology on a scale never before possible. Data from CSMP reveal the presence of rippled scour depressions (RSD) as the most prominent features on the continental shelf. These features are found worldwide and are characterized as depressions (.4m-1m) of coarse grain sediment and long period sand waves surrounded by a fine sediment plateau. While previous studies have described the geomorphologies of RSDs and speculated on their origin, this is the first regional study describing their patterns of abundance and distribution on a scale of 1000s of km. The purpose of this study is to use auto classification methods to quantify the spatial extent and distribution of three benthic habitats (rock, sediment, RSD) within the state waters of California. Using CSMP acoustic backscatter imagery and derived bathymetric products (rugosity, bathymetric position index, and slope), we developed a habitat classification model in ArcGIS to assign benthic habitat into one of these three classes. These results will then be used to quantify and characterize spatial patterns in the distribution and abundance of these habitats along the California continental margin.

  16. Mass-physical properties of surficial sediments on the Rhoˆne continental margin: implications for the nepheloid benthic layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chassefiere, Bernard

    1990-09-01

    Mass-physical properties of the surficial (upper 5 m) sediments on the Gulf of Lions continental margin were analysed, from more than 100 short (1 m) and longer (5 m) cores obtained during several cruises. Data include water content, unit weight, Atterberg limits (liquid limit, plastic limit, plasticity index), shear strength and compression index, and are used to determine: first, the mass property distribution, according to the main parameters influencing mass-physical properties; the relationships between these properties and the nepheloid layer on the shelf. The shoreline (lagoons) and inner shelf are characterized by low density and shear strength and high water content deposits, due to electrochemical flocculation of the sediment. The outer shelf is blanketed by higher density and shear strength and lower water content deposits generated by normal settling of suspended particles. On the inner shelf, during river peak discharges, a short-term thin bottom layer of "yogurt-like" [ FASS (1985) Geomarine Letters, 4, 147-152; FASS (1986) Continental Shelf Research, 6, 189-208] fluid-mud (unit weight lower than 1.3 mg m -3) is supplied, by a bottom nepheloid layer. During stormy periods, this "yogurt-like" layer (about 10 cm thick) partly disappears by resuspension of suspended particulate matter; this is advected, in the bottom nepheloid layer, over the shelf and the canyons within the upper slope.

  17. Two modes of Weddell Sea Bottom Water Production: continental margin gravity currents and open ocean convection, which wins and when?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Arnold L.

    2014-05-01

    There are 2 processes by which Southern Ocean surface waters may reach into the deep ocean: gravity currents over the continental slope and convection within the open ocean. In February 1977 the Islas Orcadas found clear evidence of the latter process, when it observed the remnants of a convective 'chimney' near Maud Rise, in the Weddell Sea. This observation was key in linking deep ocean convective processes to the "Great Weddell Polynya", a 250,000-km2 area virtually free of sea ice during the winters of 1974-1976. Further research from AWI research vessel Polarstern revealed the vulnerability of central Weddell gyre, particularly in the Maud Rise region, to breakdown of water column stability. Climate forcing related to prolonged period of negative or neutral Southern Annular Mode, as was the situation before the "Great Weddell Polynya", acts to reduce freshwater input to the Weddell Sea and thus serves as a trigger for open ocean convection and Polynya development. Similar condition may be occurred during the1912 Deutschland expedition into the Weddell Sea. We speculate that during glacial times, with sea level 130 m lower and the glacial ice extended to shelf break, with the Southern Annular Mode very much in a prolonged negative mode, open ocean production of Weddell Sea Bottom Water [and perhaps that of the Ross Sea too] was prevalent. The bottom water product during the open ocean convection mode may be expected to be saltier than that produced along the continental margin, which would incorporate glacial melt.

  18. Strike-Slip Deformation at the Ocean-Continent Boundary of the Algerian Continental Margin : Surface Expression of a STEP?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badji, R.; Beslier, M. O.; Bracene, R.; Charvis, P.; Mercier De Lepinay, B. F.; Galve, A.; Badsi, M.; Graindorge, D.; Benaissa, Z.; Aidi, C.

    2014-12-01

    The complex geodynamic evolution of westernmost Mediterranean during Tertiary suggests the occurrence of STEPs (Subduction-Transform Edge Propagators) along the south-east Iberian-Balearic and the west Algerian margins, in relation to the westward roll-back of the Tethyan slab. Conceptual and numerical modelings of STEP predict strike-slip deformation above the deep tear of the slab, which has not been evidenced so far. We present here the first structural evidence of strike-slip deformation offshore Algeria likely associated to a STEP. New deep multichannel seismic lines of the Algerian-French SPIRAL cruise (September 2009, R/V Atalante) and complementary industrial lines from Sonatrach on the westernmost Algerian margin display a narrow and straight asymmetric basin, bounded by two steep conjugate faults parallel to the margin toe. This basin is divided in two main segments following the change in direction of the margin in the Tenes area. The downward offset of the base of the Messinian salt layer in the basin attests of a thick-skin tectonics. The overall geometry of this basin is in favor of a Miocene to Plio-Quaternary crustal strike-slip deformation, with a transtensional component in the eastern segment, and possibly a dextral shear sense. Wide-angle SPIRAL seismic data modeling indicates that the basin is located at the ocean-continent transition (OCT). Although less clearly expressed in the Khayr-al-Din segment, a comparable basin is also present eastward in the central part of the margin offshore Great Kabylia. Its geometry there is similar to the one observed offshore Tenes, or with a transpressional component at its easternmost end northward of Tigzirt. It is also located at the OCT that is further north in this area. We discuss the interpretation of this more than 400 km-long basin as the surface expression of a STEP offshore Algeria and the implications for the geodynamic evolution of Western Mediterranean.

  19. Cenomanian-Turonian organic facies in the western Mediterranean and along the adjacent Atlantic margin

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhnt, W.; Herbin, J.P.; Thurow, J.; Wiedmann, J.

    1988-08-01

    Pre-Cenomanian sediments of the western Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic margin are characterized by low total organic content (TOC) with an important terrestrial component. During the Cenomanian, TOC increased and the marine component became dominant, culminating around the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary with TOC up to 40%. After the Turonian, organic-rich sediments progressively disappeared and were replaced by more oxygenated sediments. Study methods include considering data from outcrops, DSDP/ODP sites, or petroleum wells. Detailed data from onshore locations allowed the development of high-resolution stratigraphy, analysis of depositional environment, and calculation of sedimentation rates. Analysis of these data indicates Cenoamnian-Turonian organic-rich sediments can be observed in a wide range of bathymetric settings. They are widespread in the western Mediterranean and Atlantic and have been especially studied in Italy (Apennines, southern Alps), Tunisia (Bahloul), Algeria, Morocco (Rif Mountains, Atlas Mountains, Tarfaya), Gibraltar arch, Spain (Betics, Bay of Biscay, Galicia margin), Senegal (Cape Verde basin, Casamance), and Nigeria (Benue, Calabar flank).

  20. Principles of Geological Mapping of Marine Sediments (with Special Reference to the African Continental Margin). Unesco Reports in Marine Science No. 37.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lisitzin, Alexandre P.

    Designed to serve as a complement to the Unesco Technical Papers in Marine Science, this report concentrates on theoretical and practical problems of geological mapping of the sea floor. An introduction is given to geological mapping procedures at continental margins as well as some practical recommendations taking as an example the African region…

  1. Tectonic Inversion of the Algerian Continental Margin off Great Kabylia (North Algeria) - Insights from new MCS data (SPIRAL cruise)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beslier, M.; Aidi, C.; Yelles-Chaouche, A.; Ribodetti, A.; Bracene, R.; Schenini, L.; Djellit, H.; Sage, F.; Deverchere, J.; Medaouri, M.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Abtout, A.; Charvis, P.; Bounif, A.

    2013-12-01

    Sub-marine active faulting threatens the coastline of Algeria, as shown by the major Mw 6.9 May 21, 2003 earthquake that occurred in Great Kabylia close to Boumerdes. We present here the structures associated to the Plio-Quaternary (P-Q) tectonic inversion of the central part of the Algerian margin offshore Great Kabylia using new deep multichannel seismic (MCS) lines. The large-scale structure of the margin deduced from wide-angle seismic (WAS) data modeling is presented in a companion abstract. Five MCS lines were acquired in the study area during the Algerian-French SPIRAL cruise (September 2009, R/V Atalante). Four lines were acquired using a 3040 cu. in. air-gun array and a 4.5 km 360 channel digital streamer and a 8350 cu. in. source favoring deep penetration was used for one coincident WAS profile and the fifth MCS line. All profiles are pre-stack time migrated and additional pre-stack depth migration was performed in key areas. The MCS lines crosscut the margin from the upper slope to the deep Algero-Provençal Basin either in a N-S direction sub-perpendicular to the structural trend of the margin, or in a NW-SE direction parallel to the actual convergence between Africa and Eurasia plates. Tectonic inversion is expressed on all profiles at the deep margin. The eastern line displays a flat-ramp compressive system in the deep sedimentary series, which emerges at the foot of the continental slope and marks the seaward limit of a P-Q basin perched at mid-slope. The south-dipping ramps are neo-formed structures, whereas the flats use inherited lithologic discontinuities (base of the Messinian evaporitic series, top of the acoustic basement). Westward in the Boumerdes area, the compressive deformation is expressed deeper in the acoustic basement where a southward dipping reflector is interpreted as a blind thrust on top of which all the sedimentary series (Miocene to P-Q) are bent in an antiform that uplifts the base of the Messinian series. A second antiform prolongates this uplift 20 km northward although no clear reverse structure is imaged underneath. These antiforms delimit two asymmetric sub-basins filled with a southward thickening P-Q wedge. As a whole, the geometry of the reverse structures supports fault-propagation or fault-bent fold models, as previously inferred from HR seismic interpretation. They are likely to participate to large uplifts such as the coastal one related to the Boumerdes earthquake. Reverse structures in the thinned continental crust co-exist with transtensional deformation at the transition with the oceanic domain 50 km northward of the margin toe, where a narrow asymmetric basin shows a downward offset of the base of the Messinian series and a southward thickening P-Q wedge. A transcurrent component on crustal faults playing since the P-Q may explain both basin geometry and lateral variations in width and depth.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Archer, D.

    2015-05-21

    A two-dimensional model of a sediment column, with Darcy fluid flow, biological and thermal methane production, and permafrost and methane hydrate formation, is subjected to glacial–interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to the cold atmosphere during glacial times and immersing it in the ocean in interglacial times. The glacial cycles are followed by a "long-tail" 100 kyr warming due to fossil fuel combustion. The salinity of the sediment column in the interior of the shelf can be decreased by hydrological forcing to depths well below sea level when the sediment is exposed to the atmosphere.more »There is no analogous advective seawater-injecting mechanism upon resubmergence, only slower diffusive mechanisms. This hydrological ratchet is consistent with the existence of freshwater beneath the sea floor on continental shelves around the world, left over from the last glacial period. The salt content of the sediment column affects the relative proportions of the solid and fluid H2O-containing phases, but in the permafrost zone the salinity in the pore fluid brine is a function of temperature only, controlled by equilibrium with ice. Ice can tolerate a higher salinity in the pore fluid than methane hydrate can at low pressure and temperature, excluding methane hydrate from thermodynamic stability in the permafrost zone. The implication is that any methane hydrate existing today will be insulated from anthropogenic climate change by hundreds of meters of sediment, resulting in a response time of thousands of years. The strongest impact of the glacial–interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is due to bubbles dissolving in the ocean when sea level is high. When sea level is low and the sediment surface is exposed to the atmosphere, the atmospheric flux is sensitive to whether permafrost inhibits bubble migration in the model. If it does, the atmospheric flux is highest during the glaciating, sea level regression (soil-freezing) part of the cycle rather than during deglacial transgression (warming and thawing). The atmospheric flux response to a warming climate is small, relative to the rest of the methane sources to the atmosphere in the global budget, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. The increased methane flux due to ocean warming could be completely counteracted by a sea level rise of tens of meters on millennial timescales due to the loss of ice sheets, decreasing the efficiency of bubble transit through the water column. The model results give no indication of a mechanism by which methane emissions from the Siberian continental shelf could have a significant impact on the near-term evolution of Earth's climate, but on millennial timescales the release of carbon from hydrate and permafrost could contribute significantly to the fossil fuel carbon burden in the atmosphere–ocean–terrestrial carbon cycle.« less

  3. Seismic stratigraphic framework of Louisiana Continental Margin: clues to hydrocarbon sourcing

    SciTech Connect

    Dinkelman, M.G.

    1986-09-01

    Interpretation of several thousand miles of multichannel seismic data indicates that large volumes of continental rise and basinal sediments have been continuously entrapped and are overridden by the basinward flow or creep of broad, extensive salt tongues that form the lower slope and Sigsbee Escarpment. Thick accumulations of Lower Cretaceous to upper Miocene sediments are identified beneath the salt at least 60 km landward of the escarpment. Spotty seismic data suggest that the Cretaceous to middle Miocene succession extends up to 120 km landward of the escarpment and beneath the present shelf break. Pleistocene-Holocene sequences of the deep gulf can be traced up to 15 km landward of the escarpment, where they are truncated by the base of the salt. Similar truncation of older deep gulf sequences by salt occurs progressively farther landward of the escarpment. Recently, the case has been made that hydrocarbons found in seeps and reservoirs on the outer shelf and upper slope are generated from Miocene anoxic basins buried at depth. Anoxic slope basins are presently rare, and their total sediment volume is small. It is unlikely that these anoxic basins were significantly more numerous during the Miocene or that their sediment volume was significantly greater. Therefore, the scenario of large allochthonous salt tongues, or flows, overriding flat continental rise and basinal sediments high in organics suggests that: (1) much of the hydrocarbon found in shallow Pliocene-Pleistocene reservoirs along the shelf and upper slope may have been generated from the now deeply buried Cretaceous to early Tertiary marine sedimentary sequences since the late Miocene-early Pliocene, and (2) hydrocarbons migrated vertically upward relatively recently along postsedimentary faults that cut the decollement.

  4. Morphology of central California continental margin, revealed by long-range side-scan sonar (GLORIA)

    SciTech Connect

    Gardner, J.V.; McCulloch, D.S.; Eittreim, S.L.; Masson, D.G.

    1985-02-01

    Leg 2 of the 4-leg USGS EEZ-SCAN 84 program used GLORIA long-range side-scan sonar to survey the region from Pt. Conception to just south of Pt. Arena, from the shelf break to the 200-nmi coverage. The overlapping digital sonographs were slant-range and anamorphically corrected, and a photomosaic of the sonographs was constructed at a scale of 1:375,000 (1 in. = 11.1 km). The underlying bed rock appears to be an important control in shaping the morphology of this margin. Several faults have sea-floor expression and lie subparallel to the margin. The density of canyons and gullies on the slope varies from south to north, probably because of variations in the characteristics of the bed rock. The slope west of San Francisco is the most dissected segment of the central California slope. Monterey Fan is covered by large-scale bed forms (5-15 m amplitude and 1.5-2.0 km wavelength) over much of its surface. Monterey channel crosses southwestward across the fan, but abruptly turns south along a 40-km long surface fault that coincides with a well-mapped meander loop. The channel loops to the north then turns southward crossing the entire Monterey Fan, at its distal reaches, changes to a broad, braided pattern. Major slumps on the margin have long (> 30 km) scarps, some have slump folds, and one has a debris-flow deposit that can be acoustically traced for more than 75 km. Seventeen new seamounts were mapped. Taney Seamounts are large, rimmed, calderas with diameters of about 15 km each; these appear to be very large explosive or summit-collapse features.

  5. The impact of U.S. continental outflow on ozone and aerosol distributions over the western Atlantic

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, B.E.; Gregory, G.L.; Barrick, J.D.W.; Collins, J.E. Jr.; Sachse, G.W.; Bagwell, D.; Shipham, M.C.; Bradshaw, J.D.; Sandholm, S.T. ||

    1993-12-01

    Aircraft measurements of selected trace gas species, aerosols, and meteorological parameters were performed in the lower troposphere off the U.S. east coast during August and September 1989 as part of the NASA Global Tropospheric Experiment (GTE) Chemical Instrumentation Test and Evaluation (CITE 3) expedition. In this paper, we examine these data to assess the impact of continental outflow on western Atlantic O3 and small aerosol budgets. Results show that mixed layer (ML) O3 concentrations and small aerosol number densities (Np) were enhanced by factors of 3 and 6, respectively, within air masses of predominantly continental origin compared with clean maritime background air. These enhancements exhibited a marked altitude dependence, declining rapidly above the ML to the point where only slight to moderate differences in O3 and Np, respectively, were notable above 2.4 km. Within continentally influenced ML`s, both O3 and Np were correlated with CO, exhibiting linear regression slopes averaging 0.4 ppbv (O3)/ppbv(CO) for O3 and 7.7 (particles/cc)/ppbv(CO) for Np and indicating a primarily anthropogenic origin for the observed enhancement of these species. Comparisons between profiles in continental and background maritime air masses suggest that photochemical production below 1.4-km altitude adds over 10% to western Atlantic tropospheric column O3 abundance in continental outflow regimes. For aerosols, eastward advection of low-level continental air contributes an average net flux of 2.8 metric tons of submicron (accumulation mode) particles per kilometer of shoreline per day to the western Atlantic troposphere.

  6. The impact of U.S. continental outflow on ozone and aerosol distributions over the western Atlantic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, B. E.; Gregory, G. L.; Barrick, J. D. W.; Collins, J. E., Jr.; Sachse, G. W.; Bagwell, D.; Shipham, M. C.; Bradshaw, J. D.; Sandholm, S. T.

    1993-01-01

    Aircraft measurements of selected trace gas species, aerosols, and meteorological parameters were performed in the lower troposphere off the U.S. east coast during August and September 1989 as part of the NASA Global Tropospheric Experiment (GTE) Chemical Instrumentation Test and Evaluation (CITE 3) expedition. In this paper, we examine these data to assess the impact of continental outflow on western Atlantic O3 and small aerosol budgets. Results show that mixed layer (ML) O3 concentrations and small aerosol number densities (Np) were enhanced by factors of 3 and 6, respectively, within air masses of predominantly continental origin compared with clean maritime background air. These enhancements exhibited a marked altitude dependence, declining rapidly above the ML to the point where only slight to moderate differences in O3 and Np, respectively, were notable above 2.4 km. Within continentally influenced ML's, both O3 and Np were correlated with CO, exhibiting linear regression slopes averaging 0.4 ppbv (O3)/ppbv(CO) for O3 and 7.7 (particles/cc)/ppbv(CO) for Np and indicating a primarily anthropogenic origin for the observed enhancement of these species. Comparisons between profiles in continental and background maritime air masses suggest that photochemical production below 1.4-km altitude adds over 10% to western Atlantic tropospheric column O3 abundance in continental outflow regimes. For aerosols, eastward advection of low-level continental air contributes an average net flux of 2.8 metric tons of submicron (accumulation mode) particles per kilometer of shoreline per day to the western Atlantic troposphere.

  7. Hydrothermal Petroleum in Active Continental Rift: Lake Chapala, Western Mexico, Initial Results.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarate-del Valle, P. F.; Simoneit, B. R.; Ramirez-Sanchez, H. U.

    2003-12-01

    Lake Chapala in western Mexico is located partially in the Citala Rift, which belongs to the well-known neotectonic Jalisco continental triple junction. The region is characterized by active volcanism (Ceboruco, Volcan de Fuego), tectonic (1995 earthquake, M=8, 40-50 mm to SW) and hydrothermal (San Juan Cosala & Villa Corona spas and La Calera sinter deposit) activities. Hydrothermal petroleum has been described in active continental rift (East African Rift) and marine spreading zones (Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California). In 1868 the Mexican local press reported that manifestations of bitumen were appearing in front of the Columba Cap on the mid south shore of Lake Chapala. This bitumen is linked to the lake bottom and when the water level decreases sufficiently it is possible to access these tar bodies as islands. Because of these manifestations the Mexican oil company (PEMEX) drilled an exploration well (2,348m) at Tizapan El Alto without success. Hydrothermal activity is evident in the tar island zone as three in-shore thermal springs (26.8 m depth, 48.5° C, pH 7.8 and oriented N-S). The preliminary analyses by GC-MS of the tar from these islands indicate hydrothermal petroleum derived from lake sedimentary organic matter, generated at low temperatures (150° -200° C). The tars contain no n-alkanes, no PAH or other aromatics, but a major UCM of branched and cyclic hydrocarbons and mature biomarkers derived from lacustrine biota. The biomarkers consist of mainly 17? (H),21? (H)-hopanes ranging from C27 to C34 (no C28), gammacerane, tricyclic terpanes (C20-C26), carotane and its cracking products, and drimanes (C14-C16). The biomarker composition indicates an organic matter source from bacteria and algae, typical of lacustrine ecosystems. 14C dating of samples from two tar islands yielded ages exceeding 40 kyrs, i.e., old carbon from hydrothermal/tectonic remobilization of bitumen from deeper horizons to the surface. The occurrence of hydrothermal petroleum in continental rift systems is now well known and should be included as a target in exploration for future energy resources in such regions.

  8. Hyper-extended rifted margins in Alpine-type orogenic belts: evidences from the Valaisan Domain (Western Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frasca, Gianluca; Beltrando, Marco; Compagnoni, Roberto; Vitale-Brovarone, Alberto

    2013-04-01

    The Valaisan Domain, in the Petit St. Bernard Pass area (Punta Rossa unit, Western Alps), consists of largely serpentinized sub-continental mantle juxtaposed with Paleozoic basement, meta-pillow lavas and Mesozoic to Tertiary meta-sediments. The complex lithostratigraphy was largely acquired during rift-related extensional tectonics, when mantle peridotites were exhumed at the bottom of the North Penninic basin. Extensional faulting resulted in widespread cataclasis of continental basement rocks, which rested above serpentinized mantle as extensional allochthons. The serpentinite-Paleozoic basement pair was sealed by locally sourced polymictic breccias, prior to the deposition of radiolaria bearing gray micaschists, followed by other basinal meta-sediments, including calcschists. Despite subsequent Alpine deformation and metamorphism, resulting in multi-stage folding and high Pressure-low Temperature metamorphism, the rift-related relationships between the different rock types can still be observed or inferred in several localities. The Punta Rossa unit preserves evidence of a multi-stage Alpine evolution. Post-high pressure isoclinal folding (Fctd) is associated with a pervasive axial planar cleavage (Sctd), defined by chloritoid and white mica. Following re-heating to ~400 °C, Sctd was statically overgrown by garnet and chloritoid, prior to large-scale recumbent folding at greenschist facies conditions (Frec). Interference between Fctd and Frec is responsible for the regional occurrence of basement rocks resting upon Mesozoic metasediments. Following Frec, shear zones with top-to-the-south kinematics dissected the tectonic pile, prior to the formation of upright folds with NNE-SSW trending fold axes. Therefore, the Punta Rossa unit preserves evidence of complete crustal excision in the Valaisan basin, with exhumation of ultramafics and minor mafic magmatism. Multi-stage deformation and a laterally discontinuous pre-Alpine architecture, typical of hyper extended rifted margins, are responsible for the complex outcrop pattern observed in the field. This study adds evidences indicating that a large part of the apparent complexity of Alpine-type orogens is related to inheritance from the rifting history, rather than to complex subduction dynamics.

  9. Sea floor cycling of organic matter in the continental margin of the mid-Atlantic Bight. Final report, May 1, 1995--April 30, 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Jahnke, R.A.

    1998-12-31

    The objective of this project was to examine quantitatively the cycling of organic matter at the sea floor of the mid-Atlantic Bight continental margin. This information would be used to better understand sedimentary geochemical processes and, when used in conjunction with other measurements made within the DOE Ocean Margins Program, would be used to constrain the offshore and surface-to-deep water transport of organic carbon in this region. The latter information is critical in assessing the role of continental margins in the sequestration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas, in the deep ocean. Because the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may cause significant changes in climate, this project had major societal importance.

  10. Tectonic Inversion of the Algerian Continental Margin off Great Kabylia (North Algeria) - Insights from new MCS data (SPIRAL cruise)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aidi, Chafik; Beslier, Marie-Odile; Yelles-Chaouche, Karim; Ribodetti, Alessandra; Bracene, Rabah; Schenini, Laure; Djellit, Hamou; Sage, Françoise; Déverchère, Jacques; Medaouri, Mourad; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Abtout, Abdeslam; Charvis, Philippe; Bounif, Abdallah

    2014-05-01

    Sub-marine active faulting threatens the coastline of Algeria, as shown by the major Mw 6.9 May 21, 2003 earthquake that occurred in Great Kabylia close to Boumerdes. We present here the structures associated to the Plio-Quaternary (P-Q) tectonic inversion of the central part of the Algerian margin offshore Great Kabylia using new deep multichannel seismic (MCS) lines. Five MCS lines were acquired in the study area during the Algerian-French SPIRAL cruise (September 2009, R/V Atalante). Four lines were acquired using a 3040 cu. in. air-gun array and a 4.5 km 360 channel digital streamer and a 8350 cu. in. source favoring deep penetration was used for one coincident WAS profile and the fifth MCS line. All profiles are pre-stack time migrated and additional pre-stack depth migration was performed in key areas. The MCS lines crosscut the margin from the upper slope to the deep Algero-Provençal Basin either in a N-S direction sub-perpendicular to the structural trend of the margin, or in a NW-SE direction parallel to the actual convergence between Africa and Eurasia plates. Tectonic inversion is expressed on all profiles at the deep margin. The eastern line displays a flat-ramp compressive system in the deep sedimentary series, which emerges at the foot of the continental slope and marks the seaward limit of a P-Q basin perched at mid-slope. The south-dipping ramps are neo-formed structures, whereas the flats use inherited lithologic discontinuities (base of the Messinian evaporitic series, top of the acoustic basement). Westward in the Boumerdes area, the compressive deformation is expressed deeper in the acoustic basement where a southward dipping reflector is interpreted as a blind thrust on top of which all the sedimentary series (Miocene to P-Q) are bent in an antiform that uplifts the base of the Messinian series. A second antiform prolongates this uplift 20 km northward although no clear reverse structure is imaged underneath. These antiforms delimit two asymmetric sub-basins filled with a southward thickening P-Q wedge. As a whole, the geometry of the reverse structures supports fault-propagation or fault-bent fold models, as previously inferred from HR seismic interpretation. They are likely to participate to large uplifts such as the coastal one related to the Boumerdes earthquake. Reverse structures in the thinned continental crust co-exist with transtensional deformation at the transition with the oceanic domain 50 km northward of the margin toe, where a narrow asymmetric basin shows a downward offset of the base of the Messinian series and a southward thickening Miocene to P-Q wedge. A transcurrent component on crustal faults playing since the Miocene may explain both basin geometry and lateral variations in width and depth.

  11. Constraints on the thermal evolution of the Adriatic margin during Jurassic continental break-up: U-Pb dating of rutile from the Ivrea-Verbano Zone, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, Tanya A.; Rubatto, Daniela; Beltrando, Marco; Hermann, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    The Ivrea-Verbano Zone (IVZ), northern Italy, exposes an attenuated section through the Permian lower crust that records high-temperature metamorphism under lower crustal conditions and a protracted history of extension and exhumation associated partly with the Jurassic opening of the Alpine Tethys ocean. This study presents SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology of rutile from seven granulite facies metapelites from the base of the IVZ, collected from locations spanning ~35 km along the strike of Paleozoic fabrics. Rutile crystallised during Permian high-temperature metamorphism and anatexis, yet all samples give Jurassic rutile U-Pb ages that record cooling through 650-550 °C. Rutile age distributions are dominated by a peak at ~160 Ma, with a subordinate peak at ~175 Ma. Both ~160 and ~175 Ma age populations show excellent agreement between samples, indicating that the two distinctive cooling stages they record were synchronous on a regional scale. The ~175 Ma population is interpreted to record cooling in the footwall of rift-related faults and shear zones, for which widespread activity in the Lower Jurassic has been documented along the western margin of the Adriatic plate. The ~160 Ma age population postdates the activity of all known rift-related structures within the Adriatic margin, but coincides with extensive gabbroic magmatism and exhumation of sub-continental mantle to the floor of the Alpine Tethys, west of the Ivrea Zone. We propose that this ~160 Ma early post-rift age population records regional cooling following episodic heating of the distal Adriatic margin, likely related to extreme lithospheric thinning and associated advection of the asthenosphere to shallow levels. The partial preservation of the ~175 Ma age cluster suggests that the post-rift (~160 Ma) heating pulse was of short duration. The regional consistency of the data presented here, which is in contrast to many other thermochronometers in the IVZ, demonstrates the value of the rutile U-Pb technique for probing the thermal evolution of high-grade metamorphic terrains. In the IVZ, a significant decoupling between Zr-in-rutile temperatures and U-Pb ages of rutile is observed, with the two systems recording events ~120 Ma apart.

  12. Preliminary report on geology along Atlantic Continental Margin of northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Minard, J.P.; Perry, W.J.; Weed, E.G.A.; Rhodehamel, E.C.; Robbins, E.I.; Mixon, R.B.

    1974-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a geologic and geophysical study of the northeastern United States outer continental shelf and the adjacent slope from Georges Bank to Cape Hatteras. The study also includes the adjacent coastal plain because it is a more accessible extension of the shelf. The total study area is about 324,000 sq km, of which the shelf and slope constitute about 181,000 sq km and the coastal plain constitutes 143,000 sq km. The shelf width ranges from about 30 km at Cape Hatteras to about 195 km off Raritan Bay and on Georges Bank. Analyses of bottom samples make it possible to construct a preliminary geologic map of the shelf and slope to a water depth of 2,000 m. The oldest beds cropping out in the submarine canyons and on the slope are of early ate Cretaceous age. Beds of Early Cretaceous and Jurassic age are present in deep wells onshore and probably are present beneath the shelf in the area of this study. Such beds are reported beneath the Scotian shelf on the northeast where they include limestone, salt, and anhydrite. Preliminary conclusions suggest a considerably thicker Mesozoic sedimentary sequence than has been described previously. The region is large; the sedimentary wedge is thick; structures seem favorable; and the hydrocarbon potential may be considerable.

  13. Methylmercury accumulation in plankton on the continental margin of the northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Hammerschmidt, Chad R; Finiguerra, Michael B; Weller, Robert L; Fitzgerald, William F

    2013-04-16

    Accumulation of monomethylmercury (MMHg) by plankton is a key process influencing concentrations of this toxic mercury species in marine food webs and seafood. We examined bioaccumulation and biomagnification of MMHg in microseston and four size fractions of zooplankton on the continental shelf, slope, and rise of the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF, L/kg) for MMHg in microseston averaged 10(4.3±0.3) among 21 locations, and concentrations were unrelated to those in colocated, filtered surface water. Instead, concentrations and the BAF of MMHg in microseston were related inversely with total suspended solids in surface water, a proxy for planktonic biomass at these remote locations. MMHg was biomagnified by a factor of 4 from microseston to zooplankton, and both concentrations of MMHg and the fraction of total mercury as MMHg increased with larger size fractions of zooplankton. These results suggest that the initial magnitude of MMHg uptake into pelagic marine food webs is influenced by the degree of primary production in surface waters and propagated up through large zooplankton. Accordingly, biological productivity, in addition to inputs of MMHg to surface waters, must be considered when predicting how MMHg bioaccumulation will vary spatially and temporally in the ocean. PMID:23488773

  14. 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)

    Biari, Y.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Sahabi, M.; Aslanian, D.; Philippe, S.; Louden, K. E.; Berglar, K.; Moulin, M.; Mehdi, K.; Graindorge, D.; Evain, M.; Benabellouahed, M.; Reichert, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    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 three study regions along the margin located in the North Moroccan salt basin, on the central continental margin offshore Safi and in the south, offshore Dakhla. In each of the study areas several combined wide-angle and reflection seismic profiles perpendicular and parallel to the margin have been acquired and forward modelled using comparable methods. The thickness of unthinned continental crust decreases from 36 km in the North to about 27 km in the South. In the North Moroccan Basin continental crust thins from originally 36 km to about 8 km in a 150 km wide zone. The basin itself is underlain by highly thinned continental crust. Offshore safi thinning of the continental crust is confined to a 130 km wide zone with no neighboring sedimentary basin underlain by continental crust. In both areas the zone of crustal thinning is characterised by the presence of large blocks and abundant salt diapirs. In the south crustal thinning is more rapid in a zone of 90 km and asymmetric with the upper crust thinning more closely to the continent than the lower crust, probably due to depth-dependent stretching and the presence of the precambrian Reguibat Ridge on land. Oceanic crust is characterised 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 reorganisation. Volcanic activity seems to be confined to the region next to the Canary Islands, and is thus not related to the initial opening of the oceanic, which was related to no or only weak volcanism.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    To understand the evolution of the passive continental margin in Argentina low temperature thermochronology is an appropriate method, which will lead to new conclusions in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills Salado basin is located whereas the Claromecó basin is situated south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the southamerican passive continental margin the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography is fairly flat with altitudes of. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-proterozoic in age and build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons it is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sediments (Cingolani, 2010), like siliciclastics, dolostones, shales and limestones (Demoulin et al., 2005). The aim of the study is to quantify the long-term landscape evolution of the passive continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal history, exhumation and tectonic activities. For that purpose, samples were taken from the Sierra Septentrionales and analyzed with the apatite fission-track method. Further 2-D thermokinematic modeling was conducted with the computer code HeFTy (Ketcham, 2005; Ketcham 2007; Ketcham et al., 2009). The results indicate apatite fission track ages between 101.6 (9.4) to 228.9 (22.3) Ma, what means all measured ages are younger as their formation age. That shows all samples have been reset. Six samples accomplished enough confined tracks and were used to test geological t-T models against the AFT data set. These models give a more detailed insight on the cooling history and tectonic activities in the research area. References: Cingolani C. A. (2010): The Tandilia System of Argentina as a southern extension of the Río de la Plata craton: an overview. Int. J. Earth Sci. (Geol. Rundsch.) (2011) 100:221-242, doi 10.1007/s00531-010-0611-5. Demoulin, A., Zarate, M., Rabassa, J.; (2005) Longterm landscape development: a perspective from the southern Buenos Aires ranges of east central Argentina; Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Vol. 19, pp. 193-204. Ketcham, R. A. (2005): Forward and inverse modeling of low-temperature thermochronometry data, in Low-Temperature Thermochronology: Techniques, Interpretations, and Applications, edited by P. W. Reiners and T. A. Ehlers, pp. 275-314, Mineralogical Society of America/Geochemical Society, Chantilly, Virginia. Ketcham, R. A., et al. (2007): Improved modeling of fission-track annealing in apatite, American Mineralogist, 92, 789-798. Ketcham, R. A., Donelick, R. A., Balestrieri, M. L., Zattin, M. (2009): Reproducibility of apatite fission-track length data and thermal history reconstruction, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 284 (2009), 504-515.

  16. Methane Hydrate and Gas In The Continental Margin of West Svalbard - Preliminary Results of The Hydratech Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westbrook, G. K.; Hydratech Consortium

    In July 2001, two sites in the continental margin west of Svalbard were the subject of seismic investigation as part of the EC-FP5-EESD project HYDRATECH - Tech- niques for the Quantification of Methane Hydrate in European Continental Margins. The northern of the two sites, is underlain by a bottom-simulating reflector (BSR), be- lieved to mark the downward transition from sediment containing hydrate to sediment containing free gas [Posewang &Mienert, Geo-Marine Letters, 19, 150-156, 1999]. At the southern site, bright spots, associated with a decrease in seismic velocity, occur above active mud diapirs that intrude a local basin near the foot of the continental margin. At each site, an array of 20 four-component OBS at 400-m spacing was de- ployed at the centre of a grid of seismic lines shot with 200-m line spacing and a 20-m shot spacing. The seismic source comprised two 0.65-litre sleeve guns, and single- channel reflection profiles were recorded along each shot line. At the northern site, a BSR is seen in most of the reflection profiles, at a depth of about 250 ms below the sea bed. It has opposite polarity to the seabed reflector, and obliquely cuts across the reflectors related to bedding, which show increased amplitude and lower frequency content beneath the BSR. Some of these reflectors show a change in polarity where they cross the BSR. Generally, the BSR is a reflector that exists independently of the other reflectors, at the scale of the seismic resolution of the profiles, although in parts of the profiles the hydrate/gas transition is only evident from the change in amplitude of the bedding reflectors. A preliminary inversion of the travel-time data recorded by one OBS from one shot line shows that P-wave velocity increases steadily with depth to 1800 m/s at the BSR, at a depth of 205 m, beneath which the velocity decreases rapidly to about 1460 m/s. This zone of low velocity, about 50-m thick, beneath the BSR is interpreted to be caused by the presence of free gas. It is underlain by a 60- m thick zone of velocity ~1700 m/s, indicating gas at lower concentration or marked undercompaction. Above the BSR, the positive departure of the velocity curve from that of Hamilton[1980] by 60 m/s in the 90-m thick zone immediately above the BSR, indicates that the presence of hydrate in this zone is likely. Further work on the data from both sites is designed to map the 3D distributions of velocity and quality factor, for P- and S-waves, to provide a quantified distribution of hydrate and free gas.

  17. Tectonic configuration of the western Arabian continental margin, southern Red Sea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohannon, R.G.

    1987-01-01

    A tectonic reconstruction of pre-Red Sea Afro/Arabia suggests that the early rift was narrow with intense extension confined to an axial belt 20 to 40 km wide. Steep Moho slopes probably developed during rift formation as indicated by published gravity data, two published seismic interpretations and the surface geology.

  18. Deep structure and structural inversion along the central California continental margin from EDGE seismic profile RU-3

    SciTech Connect

    McIntosh, K.D.; Reed, D.L.; Silver, E.A. ); Meltzer, A.S. )

    1991-04-10

    Deep-penetration seismic reflection profile RU-3 reveals a subducted oceanic plate, a modified accretionary prism, and complex structures of the overlying sedimentary basins. This structural framework was established by subduction processes during Paleogene and earlier time and subsequently was modified by Neogene transform motion combined with apparent components of extension and compression. Subducted rocks are indicated by deep, gently dipping reflectors that extend beneath the continental margin for at least 38 km at a depth of about 15 km. The authors interpret the subducted crust as either a part of the Pacific plate or, more likely, a subducted fragment derived from the Farallon plate. A set of more steeply dipping, deep events may indicate faulting within the subducted plate or its boundary with a no-slab zone. The overlying, largely nonreflective layer of accreted material rapidly reaches 10 km in thickness landward of the paleotrench and increases to 15 km in thickness near the coast. The Santa Lucia Basin, landward of the steep continental slope, originated as a slope basin during Paleogene subduction. The lower strata of this basin were deposited onto and partially incorporated into the accretionary complex. The offshore Santa Maria Basin exhibits a variety of compressional structures that formed in the last 3.5 m.y. and whose locations correspond to an earlier framework of extensional faults. Structural inversion has occurred in Miocene depocenters adjacent to the Santa Lucia Bank fault and at the Queenie structure. Miocene and lower Pliocene strata also thicken toward the Hosgri fault zone where subsequent compression is characterized by low-angle thrusts and folding.

  19. Tectonic denudation of upper mantle along passive margins: a model based on drilling (ODP Leg 103) and diving (Galinaute cruise) results, western Galicia Margin, Spain

    SciTech Connect

    Boillot, G.; Winterer, E.L.; Recq, M.; Girardeau, J.; Kornprobst, J.; Loreau, J.P.; Malod, J.; Mougenot, D.

    1987-05-01

    During ODP Leg 103 (April-June 1985) and the Galinaute cruise (June-July 1986), serpentinized peridotite (clinopyroxene-spinel harzburgite) was recovered within the basement approximately at the boundary between the North Atlantic ocean crust to the west and the thinned continental crust of the Galicia passive margin (Spain) to the east. The exposure of mantle-derived peridotite on the sea floor occurred at the end of the period of rifting, roughly 110 Ma. Ductile shear zones observed in the peridotite are consistent with movements along a deep, low-angle normal fault rooted within the upper mantle and dipping eastward beneath the Galicia margin. To explain the tectonic denudation of the mantle at the ocean-continent boundary, they use a nonuniform stretching model for the lithosphere, set up from Wernicke's model.

  20. Tectonics and stratigraphic development of a rifted continental margin: An example from the Eocene-middle Miocene, Taishi Basin, central Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yan-Ching; Lin, Andrew. T.

    2015-04-01

    The rifting and forming age of South China Sea crust is about 58~37 Ma, and the shallow marine sequences of South China Sea were uplifted and exposed in Taiwan mountain belt. While most strata of Backbone Range and Hsueshan Range are metamorphosed, Western Foothills are the remaining strata. As to central Taiwan, those sequences are the critical place to explore the Cenozoic history of South China Sea rifting, since the stratigraphy record includes syn-rift to post-breakup strata. This study synthesizes field survey and borehole data to draft the tectonic and geological background of northern margin of the South China Sea, and thereby establish an evolutionary model of the target basin, Taishi Basin, from late Eocene to middle Miocene. Itemized stratigraphy strata examined from field can be nicely correlated to those of wells, and the result can be used to outline Taishi Basin. The trend shows the succession thickening toward the west and north. Most of well data shows pyroclastic deposits at bottom, succession covered on top are all sedimentary deposits. The lithology transfers from mud-dominated to sand-occupied for three times, which indicates converting of sequence. Twenty onshore and offshore exploration wells in the western Taiwan were incorporated. We identify eight types of electro-facies, which can be concluded into depositional environments. The vertical change of paleo-environments indicates different types of parasequences. By stacking individual parasequence, twelve sequences were recognized. In Western Foothills, central Taiwan, strata of more than one kilometer thickness was examined by this study, twenty-four lithofacies were discriminated, including five mudstones, three Sand-Mud laminations, seven sandstones, one conglomerate and seven types of pyroclastic deposits. Depositional environments were delivered, including (1) wave-dominated and tidal-influenced coasts, (2) wave-dominated estuary, (3) offshore continental shelf and (4) volcano apron shallow marine. The study establishes the evolution of the basin from late syn-rift to post-breakup, and provides the regional changing of environments dispersing.

  1. Satellite-Based Investigations of the Transition from an Oceanic to Continental Transform Margin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, M. Meghan

    1998-01-01

    Detailed characterization of neotectonics evolution of the Valle de San Felipe and Arroyo Grande regions in northern Baja California. Reoccupied GEOMEX GPS sites, and occupied a regional GPS (Global Positioning System) network. The Baja California peninsula in Mexico offers a unique setting for studying the kinematic evolution of a complex, active strike-slip/rift plate boundary. We are currently conducting remote sensing, geologic, and geodetic studies of this boundary. The combined data sets will yield instantaneous and time integrated views of its evolution. This proposal solicits renewed funding from NASA to support remote sensing and geologic studies. During the late Cenozoic, Baja California has been the locus of changing fault geometry that has accommodated components of the relative motion between the North America and Pacific plates. Contemporary slip between the two plates occurs in a broad zone that encompasses much of southern California and the Baja California Peninsula. The transfer of slip across this zone in southern California is relatively well understood. South of the border, the geometry and role of specific faults and structural provinces in transferring plate margin deformation across the peninsula is enigmatic. Results We use Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery of the Baja California Peninsula to identify recent and active faults, and then conduct field studies that characterize the temporal and spatial structural evolution of the plate margin. These data address questions concerning the neotectonic development of the Gulf of California, the Baja California Peninsula, and their role in evolution of the post-Miocene Pacific - North American plate boundary. Moreover, these studies provide constraints on the geometry of active faults, allowing more exact understanding of the results of ongoing NASA-supported geodetic experiments. In addition, anticipated publication of the TM scenes will provide a widely available geological data base for relatively little-known peninsula California. Achievements include development of an ArcInfo data base of Landsat and SPOT imagery, detailed field studies of Neogene structures in northeastern Baja California, and new constraint on Pacific - North America plate motion at Baja California latitudes. These results are reported in maps, manuscripts and data products which are published or near completion.

  2. Diverse Approaches USED to Characterize the Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards Along the Southern Alaska Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haeussler, P. J.; Witter, R. C.; Liberty, L. M.; Brothers, D. S.; Briggs, R. W.; Armstrong, P. A.; Freymueller, J. T.; Parsons, T.; Ryan, H. F.; Lee, H. J.; Roland, E. C.

    2014-12-01

    Earthquakes and tsunamis are the principal geohazards of southern Alaska. The entire margin has ruptured in megathrust earthquakes, including the M9.2 1964 event, and these earthquakes have launched deadly local and trans-Pacific tsunamis. Tsunamis have been by far the largest killer in these earthquakes. Moreover, the subduction zone displays a range in locking behavior from completely locked beneath Prince William Sound, to ­­­­nearly freely slipping beneath the Shumagin Islands. Characterizing earthquake-related tsunami sources requires a diverse set of methods, and we discuss several examples. One important source for tsunamis is from megathrust splay faults. The Patton Bay splay fault system ruptured during the 1964 earthquake and generated a tsunami that impacted coastlines tens of minutes after the earthquake. A combination of multibeam mapping, high-resolution and crustal-scale seismic data, thermochronology, and detrital zircon geochronology show focused exhumation along this splay fault system for the last 2-3 Ma. Moreover, this long term pattern of exhumation mimics the pattern of uplift in 1964. Submarine landslides are another example of a tsunami source. Numerous devastating slides were triggered by the 1964 earthquake. Multibeam bathymetry, bathymetry difference maps, high-resolution seismic data, and records of paleotsunamis in coastal marshes reveal a long history of submarine landsliding in the coastal fjords of Alaska. The Little Ice Age appears to have had a significant influence on the submarine landslides in the 1964 earthquake through increased sediment production, transport to fjord margins, and, locally, compaction by glacier advances. Glacial retreat before 1964 gave rise to over-steepened slopes susceptible to dynamic failure. Numerous blocks in the submarine landslides were particularly effective in generating high tsunami run up. Finally, regional tectonic displacements of the seafloor have launched trans-Pacific tsunamis. Coastal evidence of high tsunamis in the eastern Aleutians has helped us understand the frequency of megathrust earthquakes west of Kodiak Island. Recent studies of vertical displacements produced by tsunamigenic earthquakes has led to new insights about the persistence of rupture boundaries and long term constraints on locking behavior.

  3. The bog landforms of continental western Canada in relation to climate and permafrost patterns

    SciTech Connect

    Vitt, D.H.; Halsey, L.A. ); Zoltai, S.C. )

    1994-02-01

    In continental western Canada, discontinuous permafrost is almost always restricted to ombrotrophic peatlands (bogs). Bogs occur mostly as islands or peninsulas in large, often complex fens or are confined to small basins. Permafrost may be present in extensive peat plateaus (or more locally as palsas) and was preceded by a well-developed layer of Sphagnum that served to insulate the peat and lower the pore water temperatures. Air photo interpretation reveals the occurrence of bogs with five types of surface physiography. Concentrated to the south are bogs without internal patterns that have never had permafrost. Dominating the mid-latitudes are bogs with internal lawns and fens with internal lawns (mostly representing former bogs) that had permafrost lenses in the past that have recently degraded. Concentrated in the northwest are peat plateaus without internal lawns or distinct collapse scars, but with permafrost; dominating in the northernmost area are peat plateaus with extensive permafrost and collapse scars. Relationships are apparent between the current - 1[degrees]C isotherm and the southern occurrence of peat plateaus and between the 0[degrees]C isotherm and the southern edge of bogs and fens with internal lawns. We interpret bogs and fens with internal lawns to represent areas where permafrost degradation is currently occurring at a greater rate than aggradation, seemingly in response to warmer regional climate, although fire frequency may also be of local importance. 54 refs., 21 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. Gas hydrate volume estimations on the South Shetland continental margin, Antarctic Peninsula

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jin, Y.K.; Lee, M.W.; Kim, Y.; Nam, S.H.; Kim, K.J.

    2003-01-01

    Multi-channel seismic data acquired on the South Shetland margin, northern Antarctic Peninsula, show that Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) are widespread in the area, implying large volumes of gas hydrates. In order to estimate the volume of gas hydrate in the area, interval velocities were determined using a 1-D velocity inversion method and porosities were deduced from their relationship with sub-bottom depth for terrigenous sediments. Because data such as well logs are not available, we made two baseline models for the velocities and porosities of non-gas hydrate-bearing sediments in the area, considering the velocity jump observed at the shallow sub-bottom depth due to joint contributions of gas hydrate and a shallow unconformity. The difference between the results of the two models is not significant. The parameters used to estimate the total volume of gas hydrate in the study area were 145 km of total length of BSRs identified on seismic profiles, 350 m thickness and 15 km width of gas hydrate-bearing sediments, and 6.3% of the average volume gas hydrate concentration (based on the second baseline model). Assuming that gas hydrates exist only where BSRs are observed, the total volume of gas hydrates along the seismic profiles in the area is about 4.8 ?? 1010 m3 (7.7 ?? 1012 m3 volume of methane at standard temperature and pressure).

  5. Neotectonic reactivation of shear zones and implications for faulting style and geometry in the continental margin of NE Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezerra, F. H. R.; Rossetti, D. F.; Oliveira, R. G.; Medeiros, W. E.; Neves, B. B. Brito; Balsamo, F.; Nogueira, F. C. C.; Dantas, E. L.; Andrades Filho, C.; Góes, A. M.

    2014-02-01

    The eastern continental margin of South America comprises a series of rift basins developed during the breakup of Pangea in the Jurassic-Cretaceous. We integrated high resolution aeromagnetic, structural and stratigraphic data in order to evaluate the role of reactivation of ductile, Neoproterozoic shear zones in the deposition and deformation of post-rift sedimentary deposits in one of these basins, the Paraíba Basin in northeastern Brazil. This basin corresponds to the last part of the South American continent to be separated from Africa during the Pangea breakup. Sediment deposition in this basin occurred in the Albian-Maastrichtian, Eocene-Miocene, and in the late Quaternary. However, our investigation concentrates on the Miocene-Quaternary, which we consider the neotectonic period because it encompasses the last stress field. This consisted of an E-W-oriented compression and a N-S-oriented extension. The basement of the basin forms a slightly seaward-tilted ramp capped by a late Cretaceous to Quaternary sedimentary cover ~ 100-400 m thick. Aeromagnetic lineaments mark the major steeply-dipping, ductile E-W- to NE-striking shear zones in this basement. The ductile shear zones mainly reactivated as strike-slip, normal and oblique-slip faults, resulting in a series of Miocene-Quaternary depocenters controlled by NE-, E-W-, and a few NW-striking faults. Faulting produced subsidence and uplift that are largely responsible for the present-day morphology of the valleys and tablelands in this margin. We conclude that Precambrian shear zone reactivation controlled geometry and orientation, as well as deformation of sedimentary deposits, until the Neogene-Quaternary.

  6. Triassic deposits of the Chukotka Arctic continental margin (sedimentary implications and detrital zircon data)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuchkova, Marianna; Sokolov, Sergey; Verzhbitsky, Vladimir

    2013-04-01

    Triassic clastic deposits of Chukotka are represented by rhythmic intercalation of sandstones, siltstones and mudstones. During the Triassic, sedimentation was represented by continental slope progradation. Detrital zircons from Triassic sedimentary rocks were collected for constrain its paleogeographic links to source terranes. Zircons populations from three Chukotka's samples are very similar, and youngest zircon ages show peaks at 236-255 Ma (Miller et al., 2006). Lower Triassic sandstones from the Chaun subterrane do not contain the young population 235-265 Ma that is characteristic of the Upper Triassic rocks from the Anyui subterrane and Wrangel Island. The young zircon population is missing also from the coeval Sadlerochit Group (Alaska) and Blind Fiord Formation of the Sverdrup basin (Miller et al., 2006; Omma et al., 2011). Our data of Triassic sandstones of Wrangel island demonstrate detrital zircons ages dominated by Middle Triassic (227-245 Ma), Carboniferous (309-332 Ma) and Paleoproterozoic (1808-2500 Ma) ages. The new data on Chukotka show that populations of detrital zircons from Chukotka, the Sverdrup basin, and Alaska, the Sadlerochit Mountains included, demonstrate greater similarity than it was previously thought. Consequently, it may be assumed that they originate from a single source situated in the north. The data on zircon age of gabbro-dolerite magmatism in eastern Chukotka (252 Ma. Ledneva et al., 2011) and K-Ar ages obtained for sills and small intrusive bodies (Geodynamics…, 2006) in Lower Triassic deposits allow the local provenance. The presence of products of synchronous magmatism and shallow-water facies in the Lower Triassic sequences confirm this assumption. At the same time, coeval zircons appear only in the Upper Triassic strata. It is conceivable that the young zircon population originates from intrusive, not volcanic rocks, which were subjected to erosion only in the Late Triassic. In our opinion, the assumption of the local source with synchronous magmatism is consistent with the evolution of the petrological-mineralogical and geochemical compositions in the Triassic sandstones of Chukotka. Similar zircon peaks in Triassic rocks of northern Wrangel Island, Sverdrup basin, and Alaska indicate the same provenances for the Triassic periods. It is possible that all obtained data may indirectly support existence of the hypothetical "Hyperborean Platform" or Crockerland-Arctida microcontinent Work was supported by RBRR projects 11-05-00787, 11-05-00074, Scientific school # NSh-5177.2012.5, kontrakts 01/14/20/11; and we are extremely grateful to the TGS company for execution of a joint research project "Geological history of Wrangel Island".

  7. Regional Mesozoic basin development along the Irish continental margins: evidence from regional gravity studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, B. M.; Readman, P. W.

    2003-04-01

    Sedimentary basins, which formed in response to multiphase rifting episodes during the early to late Mesozoic Era, comprise a global assemblage distributed across the entire North Atlantic region from eastern North America to the European Platform. This assemblage of basins has as its centre the region around and to the west of Ireland where tectonic re-activation of a strong NE-SW trending Caledonian basement fabric partly controlled the siting of the basins. The development of individual basins was contemporaneous with the onset of sea-floor-spreading within the Atlantic south of the Charlie Gibbs and Azores Fracture Zones. In this study a compilation of marine and satellite gravity data is primarily used to produce a regional interpretation of the tectonic fabrics in the region. A series of gravity models across the various sedimentary basins including the Rockall Basin, the Porcupine Basin and the Celtic and Irish Sea basins are used with vertical incidence and wide-angle seismic data to define crustal structure and its relationship with basin geometries. Two end-member sedimentary basin types are recognized in a regional preliminary model for Mesozoic basin development. The deep-water Rockall and Porcupine basins overlie North Atlantic lithosphere where large amounts of extensional strain were focused into the upper and mid-crust producing large amounts of syn-rift subsidence. In the shallow water shelf sea basin areas of the Celtic and Irish Sea generally smaller strains occur equally throughout all levels of the lithosphere and is distributed across wide regions of the lower crust and mantle lithosphere. This model for basin structuring requires that the strain field varies erratically within the upper to mid-crust across the North Atlantic. These changes in the pattern of strain are accommodated by rotation of continental crustal blocks (about vertical axes) and also by large-scale crustal transfer fault systems that penetrate at least to a lower crustal level. These fault systems may have been important in controlling fluid flow at a lithospheric scale.

  8. Late Neogene and Quaternary evolution of the northern Albemarle Embayment (mid-Atlantic continental margin, USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mallinson, D.; Riggs, S.; Thieler, E.R.; Culver, S.; Farrell, K.; Foster, D.S.; Corbett, D.R.; Horton, B.; Wehmiller, J. F.

    2005-01-01

    Seismic surveys in the eastern Albemarle Sound, adjacent tributaries and the inner continental shelf define the regional geologic framework and provide insight into the sedimentary evolution of the northern North Carolina coastal system. Litho- and chronostratigraphic data are derived from eight drill sites on the Outer Banks barrier islands, and the Mobil #1 well in eastern Albemarle Sound. Within the study area, parallel-bedded, gently dipping Miocene beds occur at 95 to > 160 m below sea level (m bsl), and are overlain by a southward-thickening Pliocene unit characterized by steeply inclined, southward-prograding beds. The lower Pliocene unit consists of three seismic sequences. The 55-60 m thick Quaternary section unconformably overlies the Pliocene unit, and consists of 18 seismic sequences exhibiting numerous incised channel-fill facies. Shallow stratigraphy (< 40 m bsl) is dominated by complex fill patterns within the incised paleo-Roanoke River valley. Radiocarbon and amino-acid racemization (AAR) ages indicate that the valley-fill is latest Pleistocene to Holocene in age. At least six distinct valley-fill units are identified in the seismic data. Cores in the valley-fill contain a 3-6 m thick basal fluvial channel deposit that is overlain by a 15 m thick unit of interlaminated muds and sands of brackish water origin that exhibit increasing marine influence upwards. Organic materials within the interlaminated deposits have ages of 13-11 cal. ka. The interlaminated deposits within the valley are overlain by several units that comprise shallow marine sediments (bay-mouth and shoreface environments) that consist of silty, fine- to medium-grained sands containing open neritic foraminifera, suggesting that this area lacked a fronting barrier island system and was an open embayment from ???10 ka to ???4.5 ka. Seismic data show that initial infilling of the paleo-Roanoke River valley occurred from the north and west during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. Later infilling occurred from the south and east and is characterized by a large shoal body (Colington Island and Shoals) and adjacent inlet fill. Establishment of a continuous barrier island system across the bay-mouth resulted in deposition of the latest phase of valley-fill, characterized by estuarine organic-rich muds. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Linking Late Pleistocene alpine glacial erosion and continental margin sedimentation: Insights from 40Ar/39Ar dating of silt-sized sediment, Canterbury Basin, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villaseñor, Tania; Jaeger, John M.; Foster, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Quaternary climatic and eustatic cycles in mid-latitude regions have led to more extensive alpine glaciations and continental shelf progradation, respectively. However, the glacial influence on sediment fluxes to the ocean creating continental margin strata is poorly documented. This contribution analyzes the provenance of fine sediment accumulating on the continental shelf during the Late Pleistocene to evaluate the influence of glacial cycles on sediment erosion and routing to the continental shelf. Taking advantage of the contrasting bedrock ages exposed across the Southern Alps, New Zealand, we perform 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating on the bulk silt-size sediment from three drill sites of IODP Expedition 317, Canterbury Basin, New Zealand. The results suggest that a large proportion of sediment accumulating on the continental shelf results from erosion within the Main Divide fault zone of the Southern Alps. Sediment 40Ar/39Ar age fluctuations over this time period suggest that bedrock with various 40Ar/39Ar cooling ages has been differentially eroded in the upper Waitaki River catchment and mixed in the Waitaki-Canterbury sediment-routing system. Across-shelf variations in sediment 40Ar/39Ar age reflect changing modes of sediment dispersal on the continental shelf. Fluvial material, likely derived from the main drainage divide zone, preferentially accumulates in the middle continental shelf, whereas material representing erosion of older bedrock (Torlesse Terrane), located lower in the drainage basin, is dispersed uniformly across the shelf. The age signature of the muddy sediment accumulating on the continental shelf reflects Late Pleistocene landscape evolution of the Southern Alps and its influence on sediment dispersal to the continental shelf.

  10. Barite-forming environments along a rifted continental margin, Southern California Borderland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hein, James R.; Zierenberg, Robert A.; Maynard, J. Barry; Hannington, Mark D.

    2007-01-01

    The Southern California Continental Borderland (SCCB) is part of the broad San Andreas transform-fault plate boundary that consists of a series of fault-bounded, petroleum-generating basins. The SCCB has high heat flow and geothermal gradients produced by thinned continental crust and Neogene volcanism. Barite deposits in the SCCB occur along faults. Barite samples from two sea-cliff sites and four offshore sites in the SCCB were analyzed for mineralogy, chemical (54 elements) and isotopic (S, Sr) compositions, and petrography. Barite from Palos Verdes (PV) Peninsula sea-cliff outcrops is hosted by the Miocene Monterey Formation and underlying basalt; carbonate rocks from those outcrops were analyzed for C, O, and Sr isotopes and the basalt for S isotopes. Cold-seep barite from Monterey Bay, California was analyzed for comparison. SCCB offshore samples occur at water depths from about 500 to 1800 m. Those barites vary significantly in texture and occurrence, from friable, highly porous actively growing seafloor mounds to dense, brecciated, vein barite. This latter type of barite contrasts with cold-seep barite in being much more coarse grained, forms thick veins in places, and completely replaced rock clasts in breccia. The barite samples range from 94 to 99 wt% BaSO4, with low trace-element contents, except for high Sr, Zr, Br, U, and Hg concentrations compared to their crustal abundances. ?34S for SCCB offshore barites range from 21.6‰ to 67.4‰, and for PV barite from 62‰ to 70‰. Pyrite from PV sea-cliff basalt and sedimentary rocks that host the barites averages 7.8‰ and 2.2‰, respectively. Two offshore barite samples have ?34S values (21.6‰, 22.1‰) close to that of modern seawater sulfate, whereas all other samples are enriched to strongly enriched in 34S. 87Sr/86Sr ratios for the barites vary over a narrow range of 0.70830–0.70856 and are much lower than that of modern seawater and also lower than the middle Miocene seawater ratio, the time of deposition of the host rocks for the PV samples. This indicates that the mineralizing fluids were not unaltered seawater. We develop a model in which the barites precipitated both below the sediment–water interface and at the seafloor from low-temperature fluids that circulated along faults. The isotopic, chemical, and textural data indicate that the barites formed by several processes. Mesozoic and Cenozoic basement rocks (crystalline and overlying sedimentary rocks), Quaternary basin fill, turbidite fans, and seawater provided various elements for the barites in different environments. The fluids had a deep-seated source and were hydrothermal in the deeper parts of the system for all the barite types, including the seafloor cold-seep deposit, based on Sr isotopes and regional geothermal gradients. These deep-seated fluids mixed with other fluids as they ascended, including seawater at and near the seafloor. The high ?34S values may have resulted from extreme Rayleigh fractionation during bacterially mediated (semi)closed-system sulfate reduction, probably driven by the flux of methane- and hydrocarbon-bearing fluids through basement rocks and basin sediments. Early diagenetic dolomite and pyrite in the host Monterey Formation in the PV Headland also formed in a zone of sulfate reduction, but within sediment buried only centimeters to a few meters and with a predominantly seawater source for the sulfur. Dolomite occurring with vein barite in the PV Headland formed at temperatures in the range of 40–90 °C. The cold-seep barites have ?34S values near that of modern seawater, although still somewhat fractionated. The barites that precipitated below the sediment–water interface have higher ?34S values, suggesting that the fluids were relatively reduced with molar dissolved barium in excess of dissolved sulfate. Those samples were exposed at the seafloor by uplift along faults and are composed predominantly of massive, brecciated, and vein barite.

  11. Benthic-Pelagic Coupling: Effects on Nematode Communities along Southern European Continental Margins

    PubMed Central

    Pape, Ellen; Jones, Daniel O. B.; Manini, Elena; Bezerra, Tania Nara; Vanreusel, Ann

    2013-01-01

    Along a west-to-east axis spanning the Galicia Bank region (Iberian margin) and the Mediterranean basin, a reduction in surface primary productivity and in seafloor flux of particulate organic carbon was mirrored in the in situ organic matter quantity and quality within the underlying deep-sea sediments at different water depths (1200, 1900 and 3000 m). Nematode standing stock (abundance and biomass) and genus and trophic composition were investigated to evaluate downward benthic-pelagic coupling. The longitudinal decline in seafloor particulate organic carbon flux was reflected by a reduction in benthic phytopigment concentrations and nematode standing stock. An exception was the station sampled at the Galicia Bank seamount, where despite the maximal particulate organic carbon flux estimate, we observed reduced pigment levels and nematode standing stock. The strong hydrodynamic forcing at this station was believed to be the main cause of the local decoupling between pelagic and benthic processes. Besides a longitudinal cline in nematode standing stock, we noticed a west-to-east gradient in nematode genus and feeding type composition (owing to an increasing importance of predatory/scavenging nematodes with longitude) governed by potential proxies for food availability (percentage of nitrogen, organic carbon, and total organic matter). Within-station variability in generic composition was elevated in sediments with lower phytopigment concentrations. Standing stock appeared to be regulated by sedimentation rates and benthic environmental variables, whereas genus composition covaried only with benthic environmental variables. The coupling between deep-sea nematode assemblages and surface water processes evidenced in the present study suggests that it is likely that climate change will affect the composition and function of deep-sea nematodes. PMID:23565176

  12. Microbial Communities of Deep-Sea Methane Seeps at Hikurangi Continental Margin (New Zealand)

    PubMed Central

    Ruff, S. Emil; Arnds, Julia; Knittel, Katrin; Amann, Rudolf; Wegener, Gunter; Ramette, Alban; Boetius, Antje

    2013-01-01

    The methane-emitting cold seeps of Hikurangi margin (New Zealand) are among the few deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere known to date. Here we compared the biogeochemistry and microbial communities of a variety of Hikurangi cold seep ecosystems. These included highly reduced seep habitats dominated by bacterial mats, partially oxidized habitats populated by heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes and deeply oxidized habitats dominated by chemosynthetic frenulate tubeworms. The ampharetid habitats were characterized by a thick oxic sediment layer that hosted a diverse and biomass-rich community of aerobic methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria. These bacteria consumed up to 25% of the emanating methane and clustered within three deep-branching groups named Marine Methylotrophic Group (MMG) 1-3. MMG1 and MMG2 methylotrophs belong to the order Methylococcales, whereas MMG3 methylotrophs are related to the Methylophaga. Organisms of the groups MMG1 and MMG3 are close relatives of chemosynthetic endosymbionts of marine invertebrates. The anoxic sediment layers of all investigated seeps were dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) of the ANME-2 clade and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. Microbial community analysis using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) showed that the different seep habitats hosted distinct microbial communities, which were strongly influenced by the seep-associated fauna and the geographic location. Despite outstanding features of Hikurangi seep communities, the organisms responsible for key ecosystem functions were similar to those found at seeps worldwide. This suggests that similar types of biogeochemical settings select for similar community composition regardless of geographic distance. Because ampharetid polychaetes are widespread at cold seeps the role of aerobic methanotrophy may have been underestimated in seafloor methane budgets. PMID:24098632

  13. The North American Atlantic outer continental margin landslides data base: Summary and observations

    SciTech Connect

    Booth, J.S.; O'Leary, D.W. )

    1990-06-01

    A compilation of published data from 179 Quaternary mass movement features was analyzed to determine the common attributes of the slides, to reveal general trends, and to classify and compare slide types. The data set was derived primarily from high-resolution, seismic-reflection data and sidescan-sonar images. In general, evidence of slope failure is found throughout the length of the margin and in all water depths. Slides have occurred on slope angles ranging from 1{degree} to 30{degree} (avg.{approximately}5{degree}); they vary in width from 0.2 to 50 km (avg. {approximately}4 km) and in length from 0.3 to 380 km (avg. {approximately}10 km) and have been reported to be as thick as 650 m. They are slightly more prevalent on open slopes than in other physiographic settings (e.g., canyons, ridges, spurs) and more commonly translational than rotational (i.e., slumps). The slides show no striking affinity for a particular depth range, either in the data set as a whole or when analyzed in terms of physiographic setting, size, slope angle, or other basis for classification. Comparison of slides found on the open slope with those found within canyons shows that the average open slope slide tends to occur at lower slope angles and is much larger (by an order of magnitude) than the average canyon slide. Regardless of the physiographic setting or other characteristic, large-scale slides (area >100 km{sup 2}) rather than small-scale slides (area <10 km{sup 2}) tend to be associated with gentle slopes ({approximately}3-4{degree}) Similarly, slides generated on steep slopes ({>=}10{degree}), regardless of other attributes, tend to be small (avg. area <5 km{sup 2}). With few exceptions, comparisons between slide categories show only minor differences.

  14. Cratonic platform and foredeep response to plate margin convergence: Devonian through Mississippian subsidence history in western Montana and east-central Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Dorobek, S.L.; Reid, S.K. ); Elrich, M. ); Bond, G.C. ); Kominz, M.A. )

    1990-05-01

    Devonian and Mississippian sedimentary rocks of western Montana and east-central Idaho were deposited on a cratonic platform that faced a northern extension of the Antler foredeep. Subsidence analyses of this sequence and isopach maps illustrate regional patterns of subsidence related to convergence along the western North American plate margin. Tectonic stresses affected deposition on platform areas which were hundreds of kilometers inboard from the ancient continental margin. Wavelengths of paleostructural elements, tectonic inversion of these structures (i.e., transition of a paleohigh into a depocenter), and time scales involved in the inversion process cannot be attributed solely to flexure or to vertical displacements by in-plane stresses but suggest reactivation of Precambrian structural trends. Late Devonian (Frasnian) platform sedimentation began during a brief interval of increased subsidence across western Montana. This interval of increased platform subsidence is greater than a Late Devonian eustatic sea level rise (determined from subsidence analyses of Devonian strata from stable cratonic areas) and suggests some tectonic event must have influenced subsidence in Montana. Thin uppermost Devonian Strata contain numerous unconformities that may be related to flexure of the platform plus eustatic sea level fluctuations. Rapid subsidence across Montana during the Early Mississippian (Kinderhookian) resulted in a condensed platform sequence, which is overlain by deep water shaly carbonates. Rapid subsidence continued into the Osagean then slowed, allowing progradation of carbonate platform facies across Montana. A regional karst surface on top of the Meramecian platform coincides with conglomerate deposition and increased subsidence rates in the foredeep; unconformity durations on the platform also increase to the east.

  15. The Geology of the Western Margin of the Upper Klamath Basin, Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mertzman, S. A.

    2005-12-01

    The aspect of my work and that of my students that will be of interest to this group is the bedrock geologic mapping that has been completed between Mt. Shasta-Medicine Lake Highland region to the south and the southern boundary of Crater Lake National Park to the north. Combining the mapping with lithologic, structural, and geochronology information provides the foundation on which a geologic history of an area can be constructed. Within this region Western Cascades volcanic rocks, ranging in age from 22 to 20 M. Y. old, are overlain by High Cascades volcanic rocks that are ? 7.6 M. Y. old. There is one anomalous area located on the Oregon-California border where volcanic rocks in the age range 14 to 12.5 M. Y. old are abundant. In general the older the volcanic rock the lower both the porosity and permeability will be and therefore affect groundwater flow characteristics. In three regions where the unconformity between the Western Cascades and the High Cascades is exposed near the Klamath Basin western margin, it does so at an elevation of approximately 4500 feet. The erosion surface suggests modest relief, which further indicates that the total thickness of volcanic rocks of High Cascades age is not great in a number of areas. The thickness or rather the thinness of these ? 7.6 M. Y. old volcanic rocks coupled with fault location information may help to constrain well recharge calculations. Also, the limited geographic extent of individual volcanic units and the large number of volcanic point sources with their attendant pyroclastic material will affect the regional hydrology; it makes for a heterogeneous scene when it comes to modeling a variety of hydrologic parameters.

  16. X-ray Scanner for ODP Leg 204: Drilling Gas Hydrates on Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Freifeld, Barry; Kneafsey, Tim; Pruess, Jacob; Reiter, Paul; Tomutsa, Liviu

    2002-08-08

    An x-ray scanner was designed and fabricated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to provide high speed acquisition of x-ray images of sediment cores collected on the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 204: Drilling Gas Hydrates On Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Continental Margin. This report discusses the design and fabrication of the instrument, detailing novel features that help reduce the weight and increase the portability of the instrument. Sample x-ray images are included. The x-ray scanner was transferred to scientific drilling vessel, the JOIDES Resolution, by the resupply ship Mauna Loa, out of Coos Bay, Oregon on July 25. ODP technicians were trained in the instruments operation. The availability of the x-ray scanner at the drilling site allows real-time imaging of cores containing methane hydrate immediately after retrieval. Thus, imaging experiments on cores can yield information on the distribution and quantity of methane hydrates. Performing these measurements at the location of core collection eliminates the need for high pressures or low temperature core handling while the cores are stored and transported to a remote imaging laboratory.

  17. Early carboniferous transgression on a passive continental margin: Deposition of the Kekiktuk Conglomerate, northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    LePain, D.L. Shell Offshore, Inc., New Orleans, LA ); Crowder, R.K.; Wallace, W.K. )

    1994-05-01

    The base of the Ellesmerian sequence in the northeastern Brooks Range is a widespread, terrigenous, clastic succession assigned to the Kekiktuk Conglomerate, a potential hydrocarbon reservoir across much of the North Slope of Alaska and adjacent offshore regions of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The Kekiktuk is situated above a regional angular unconformity and is the base of a transgressive succession that is thought to record coastal onlap associated with the formation of a passive continental margin. Six depositional units have been recognized in the Kekiktuk Conglomerate. A systematic description of the sedimentologic organization of the Kekituk Conglomerate as developed in outcrop in the northeastern Brooks Range is presented and the regional stratigraphic distribution of depositional units is shown. From the data, it is suggested that thermal subsidence landward of the tectonic hinge zone produced the regional accommodation to which the Kekiktuk dispersal system responded. In addition, it is proposed that the primary control on the distribution of reservoir-quality strata within this setting was a regional variation in erosional relief along the sub-Mississippian unconformity. A paleographic reconstruction of the evolution of Kekiktuk depositional environments is presented which we believe will serve as a predictive model for the distribution of lithologies and potential reservoir strata in the subsurface. 101 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab.

  18. Conference on Continental margin mass wasting and Pleistocene sea-level changes, August 13-15, 1980

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Folger, David W., (Edited By); Hathaway, J.C.

    1987-01-01

    A conference on Continental Margin Mass Wasting and Pleistocene Sea-Level Changes was held in Woods Hole, Mass., August 13-15, 1980. Forty-seven participants, representing many government, academic, and industrial organizations, discussed the current state of knowledge of the features of marine mass wasting and of the interrelations of factors influencing them. These factors include sediment source, composition, textures, sedimentation rates, climatic and sea-level changes, gas and gas hydrate (clathrate) contents of sediments, geotechnical characteristics, oceanographic and morphological factors, ground-water processes, and seismic events. The part played by these factors in the processes and features of mass movement and the engineering considerations imposed by the emplacement of manmade structures on the sea floor were considered vital to the evaluation of hazards involved in offshore exploration and development. The conference concluded with a call for bold programs to establish the probability of occurrence and the quantitative importance of these factors and to devise more reliable means of measurement, particularly in place, of the characteristics of the sediment and features involved.

  19. Petrology and isotopic composition of Quaternary basanites dredged from the Bering Sea continental margin near Navarin Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, A.S.; Gunn, S.H.; Gray, L.-B.; Marlow, M. S.; Wong, F.L.

    1993-01-01

    Quaternary basanites were recovered from the continental margin of the Bering Sea near Navarin Basin. The basanites are highly vesicular flow rock and hyaloclastites similar to other alkalic volcanic rocks erupted repeatedly during the last Cenozoic on islands in the Bering Sea region and in mainland Alaska. K-Ar ages for the basanites indicate at least two episodes of volcanism at about 1.1 and 0.4 Ma. Trace-element data indicate these alkalic lavas have been generated by small, but variable, amounts of partial melting of a metasomatized lherzolite source. The relativley primitive compositions (MgO >9%), presence of mantle-derived xenoliths in some alkalic lavas, and presence of forsteritic olivine with low CaO and high NiO suggest that magma rose rapidly from great depth without spending time in large, long-lived magma chambers. Alkalic volcanism apparently resulted from upwelling and decompressional melting of small isolated mantle diapirs in response to local lithospheric attenuation associated with jostling of blocks during adjustment to regional stresses. -from Authors

  20. Response of infaunal macrobenthos to the sediment granulometry in a tropical continental margin southwest coast of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayaraj, K. A.; Sheeba, P.; Jacob, Josia; Revichandran, C.; Arun, P. K.; Praseeda, K. S.; Nisha, P. A.; Rasheed, K. A.

    2008-05-01

    Surficial sediment samples, collected from the continental margin of the southwest coast of India in July 2004, were examined for the grain size and soft-bottom macrobenthic fauna, to understand the sediment granulometry and its effect on the faunal distribution. Samples were collected using Smith-McIntyre Grab, from 20 to 200 m depth range, consisting of mid-shelf, outer shelf and slope. Fine-grained sediment located in the mid shelf and supported low faunal abundance. Polychaetes constituted the bulk of the fauna. Feeding guild changed with depth and sediment granulometry. Coexistence of deposit feeders and carnivores in outer shelf and deposit feeders and filter feeders in the slope region indicated the effective utilization of different food resources. In general, richness and diversity were high in the southern region. Depth wise, the diversity and abundance were relatively high in the 50-75 m depth range. Correlation and BIO-ENV analysis showed that combination of different factors such as sediment texture, sediment sorting and depth were found to influence the distribution of macrobenthos. Hence, spatial variations observed in benthic community were presumably linked to the variations in sediment granulometry and the energy level conditions prevailing in the area.

  1. Large Spatial Scale Variability in Bathyal Macrobenthos Abundance, Biomass, ?- and ?-Diversity along the Mediterranean Continental Margin

    PubMed Central

    Baldrighi, Elisa; Lavaleye, Marc; Aliani, Stefano; Conversi, Alessandra; Manini, Elena

    2014-01-01

    The large-scale deep-sea biodiversity distribution of the benthic fauna was explored in the Mediterranean Sea, which can be seen as a miniature model of the oceans of the world. Within the framework of the BIOFUN project (“Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Contrasting Southern European Deep-sea Environments: from viruses to megafauna”), we investigated the large spatial scale variability (over >1,000 km) of the bathyal macrofauna communities that inhabit the Mediterranean basin, and their relationships with the environmental variables. The macrofauna abundance, biomass, community structure and functional diversity were analysed and the ?-diversity and ?-diversity were estimated across six selected slope areas at different longitudes and along three main depths. The macrobenthic standing stock and ?-diversity were lower in the deep-sea sediments of the eastern Mediterranean basin, compared to the western and central basins. The macrofaunal standing stock and diversity decreased significantly from the upper bathyal to the lower bathyal slope stations. The major changes in the community composition of the higher taxa and in the trophic (functional) structure occurred at different longitudes, rather than at increasing water depth. For the ?-diversity, very high dissimilarities emerged at all levels: (i) between basins; (ii) between slopes within the same basin; and (iii) between stations at different depths; this therefore demonstrates the high macrofaunal diversity of the Mediterranean basins at large spatial scales. Overall, the food sources (i.e., quantity and quality) that characterised the west, central and eastern Mediterranean basins, as well as sediment grain size, appear to influence the macrobenthic standing stock and the biodiversity along the different slope areas. PMID:25225909

  2. Large spatial scale variability in bathyal macrobenthos abundance, biomass, ?- and ?-diversity along the Mediterranean continental margin.

    PubMed

    Baldrighi, Elisa; Lavaleye, Marc; Aliani, Stefano; Conversi, Alessandra; Manini, Elena

    2014-01-01

    The large-scale deep-sea biodiversity distribution of the benthic fauna was explored in the Mediterranean Sea, which can be seen as a miniature model of the oceans of the world. Within the framework of the BIOFUN project ("Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Contrasting Southern European Deep-sea Environments: from viruses to megafauna"), we investigated the large spatial scale variability (over >1,000 km) of the bathyal macrofauna communities that inhabit the Mediterranean basin, and their relationships with the environmental variables. The macrofauna abundance, biomass, community structure and functional diversity were analysed and the ?-diversity and ?-diversity were estimated across six selected slope areas at different longitudes and along three main depths. The macrobenthic standing stock and ?-diversity were lower in the deep-sea sediments of the eastern Mediterranean basin, compared to the western and central basins. The macrofaunal standing stock and diversity decreased significantly from the upper bathyal to the lower bathyal slope stations. The major changes in the community composition of the higher taxa and in the trophic (functional) structure occurred at different longitudes, rather than at increasing water depth. For the ?-diversity, very high dissimilarities emerged at all levels: (i) between basins; (ii) between slopes within the same basin; and (iii) between stations at different depths; this therefore demonstrates the high macrofaunal diversity of the Mediterranean basins at large spatial scales. Overall, the food sources (i.e., quantity and quality) that characterised the west, central and eastern Mediterranean basins, as well as sediment grain size, appear to influence the macrobenthic standing stock and the biodiversity along the different slope areas. PMID:25225909

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Surface control on contrasts in deformation between eastern and western margins of the Central Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlunegger, F.; Norton, K. P.

    2012-04-01

    The deformation style and climate between the eastern and western escarpments of the Central Andes are strikingly different. The eastern side is in a tropical climate; it receives annual precipitation amounts of >3500 mm and experiences active shortening and thrusting, while the western side is one of the driest places on Earth and is deformed by long-wavelength warping. Indeed, climate is so dry that the western slopes can go decades without recorded rainfall. Here we show that the modern distribution of deformation in the Central Andes can be a result of enhanced orographic precipitation pattern beginning ca. 7-10 Ma (Norton and Schlunegger, 2011). Reduced erosion on the western side would have steepened the orogen, forcing deformation to shift to the east where high precipitation amounts would have enhanced erosion. We support this hypothesis with low erosion rates and a well-defined retreating knickzone in the Western Andes, and likewise by high erosion rates and channel morphologies indicative of transient orographic feedbacks in the east. Indeed, erosion rates as measured by cosmogenic nuclides are < 0.01 mm yr-1 in the west (Kober et al., 2007) and more than an order of magnitude higher, > 0.2 mm yr-1, in the east (Safran et al. 2005). Stream profiles from the Western Escarpment are indicative of slow knickzone retreat in the absence of modern tectonic forcing while streams on the Eastern Escarpment are the product of strong climate-tectonic feedbacks, indicated by steep and strongly concave segments in the orographically-affected reach. Reconstructions of the accretionary wedge geometry and high angle fault movements between the Miocene and today further support an erosion driven shift in the locus of deformation. In particular, at orogenic scales, critical taper calculations indicate that the near cessation of erosion on the western side ca. 7-10 Ma ago shifted the orogen into a super-critical state where deformation only occurs along the basal décollement, while the eastern margin resided in sub-critical to critical conditions and experienced enhanced orographic rainfall, which promotes thrusting and internal shortening. A fault-scale coupled erosion-deformation model also shows that low erosion rates and steep topographic angles would have forced a migration of deformation from the Western Escarpment to the eastern side. These findings illustrate the strong control of orographic precipitation on the deformation of the Central Andes. Kober, F. et al. Denudation rates and topography-driven rainfall threshold in northern Chile: multiple cosmogenic nuclide data and sediment budgets. Geomorphology 83, 97-120 (2007). Norton, K. & Schlunegger, F. Migrating deformation in the Central Andes from enhanced orographic rainfall. Nat. Commun. 2, 584 (2011). Safran, E. B et al. Erosion rates driven by channel network incision in the Bolivian Andes. Earth Surf. Process Landforms 30, 1007-1024 (2005).

  5. Surface uplift, fluvial incision, and geodynamics of plateau evolution, from the western margin of the Central Andean plateau

    E-print Network

    Schildgen, Taylor F. (Taylor Frances)

    2008-01-01

    The Colca-Majes and Cotahuasi-Ocona rivers in southwest Peru that cut through the western margin of the Andean plateau en route to the Pacific Ocean incised canyons over 3 km deep in response to late Cenozoic surface uplift. ...

  6. Tectono-stratigraphic analysis of the Malvinas Basin, offshore the southernmost Argentinean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baristeas, N.; Anka, Z.; di Primio, R.; Rodriguez, J. F.; Marchal, D.; Dominguez, F.

    2012-04-01

    A detailed tectono-stratigraphic analysis of the Malvinas Basin development, located offshore the Argentinean margin, was carried out. This was achieved through the interpretation of around 65,000 km of 2D seismic reflection profiles, spanning a dense grid on the shelf and the upper-slope of the basin. Five main seismo-stratigraphic units and their sub-units, informally named U1 to U5 a/b, bound by major unconformities were identified and correlated with the Mesozoic to Cenozoic main tectonic phases of the basin. U1 (Pre-168 Ma) represents the seismic basement and deepens gradually southwards. U2 (168-150.5 Ma, syn rift phase) fills regional depressions, onlapping the basement, and it thickens and deepens southwards. U1 and U2 are affected by several syn-rift normal faults, which have a main NE-SW strike direction in the south of the basin and a NW-SE strike direction in the centre of the basin. This suggests that the Malvinas Basin may have been developed initially as a rift basin with two different extensional directions. (1) a NW-SE directed extension probably linked with the opening of the Weddell Sea (Early Mid-Jurassic) and (2) a NE-SW directed extension most likely linked with the opening of the South Atlantic during Mid-Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. U3 (150.5-68 Ma, sag phase) is mainly an aggradational wedge-shaped unit. Some syn-rift faults continue into the Cretaceous. Sedimentation in this unit is mainly derived from the north and during Mid-Cretaceous also from the northeast, as documented by the presence of a southwestward prograding sedimentary fan located in the northeast of the basin. U4 (68-42.5 Ma, transtensional foredeep phase) overlies unconformly U3 and thickens to the south. Sediment input decreases dramatically during that time and only a thin sedimentary succession was deposited over the entire basin. Although a regional compressional regime is established from late Cretaceous to Cenozoic due to the Andean orogenesis, an extensional regime established in the Malvinas Basin during the Paleocene to early Eocene. This period was accompanied by the development of a deep sedimentary trough in the south. Extension was possibly related to the opening of the Drake Passage or to lithospheric flexure and bending. Structures mainly consist of reactivated normal faults, strike-slip faults and some minor reverse faults. The units U5a and U5b (42.5-5.5 and 5.5-0 Ma, transpressional foredeep phase) represent a stratigraphic switch from aggradation to progradation. While on the west of the basin downlapping clinoforms prograding eastwards are present, a northward onlapping wedge is identified in the deeper southern part of the basin. During this time, the sediment supply was considerably higher. The entire basin was filled and the depocenter migrated southeastwards. The tectonic regime changed to compression and later during the Oligocene to transpression, developing a major sinistral transpressional fault in the south of the basin. In summary, the basin developed initially as a Mesozoic rift basin which switches to a foreland basin with a sinistral wrench component and increased sediment input in the south during the Cenozoic.

  7. Reflection surveys conducted on the western side of the mid-continental gravity high

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, R.W.; Fromm, A.J. ); Okita, P. )

    1992-01-01

    The few spatially isolated deeper drill holes available on the western side of the mid-continental gravity high have established elevation changes in the Sioux quartzite that exceed 500m within a few hundred kilometers. Thirteen, 12-fold, CMP, reflection surveys were conducted within this area to supplement the limited drilling data. These surveys used an elastic wave generator as the energy source and a digital 24 channel IFP system for recording. The survey locations were selected to best supplement the existing drill hole data. Phone spacings and near offsets were selected on the basis of walk-out surveys conducted at each reflection site. No velocity control was available and the stacking velocities were selected based on graded velocity stacks. Interval velocities, constrained by general stratigraphic considerations, were calculated from the stacking velocities. For the near surface, interval velocities were extracted from the first arrivals. The lack of velocity control did not appear to seriously degrade the interpretation of gross structural features. Both the Sioux quartzite and a deeper interface, assumed to be the top of igneous basement, were reliably mapped. The two-way times of the basement reflector varied from 400m sec to 200m sec, approximately 500m to 300m respectively. The two-way times to the top of the quartzite varied from 300 m secs to 135m secs, approximately 350m to 160m respectively. The results suggest a major northeast, southwest trending basement fault with displacements exceeding 100m. The structure of both the basement and the quartzite appear to be a faulted anticline or dome. The reflection surveys provided a cost effective method for reconnaissance studies required to establish gross structural features.

  8. Organic geochemistry of sediments from the continental margin off southern New England, U.S.A.--Part I. Amino acids, carbohydrates and lignin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steinberg, S. M.; Venkatesan, M. I.; Kaplan, I. R.

    1987-01-01

    Total organic carbon (TOC), lignin, amino acids, sugars and amino sugars were measured in recent sediments for the continental margin off southern New England. The various organic carbon fractions decreased in concentration with increasing distance from shore. The fraction of the TOC that was accounted for by these major components also decreased with increasing distance from shore. The concentration of lignin indicated that only about 3-5% of the organic carbon in the nearshore sediment was of terrestrial origin. The various fractions were highly correlated, which was consistent with a simple linear mixing model of shelf organic matter with material form the slope and rise and indicated a significant transport of sediment from the continental shelf to the continental slope and rise.

  9. Deglaciation of the western coastal margin of Greenland: an insight through the latest integrated studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorokhovich, Y.; Rinterknecht, V. R.

    2009-12-01

    Understanding past ice sheet/climate/ocean interaction is a key to modeling present and future ice sheet dynamics. Limited availability of empirical data and funding associated with the collection of new field data make modeling an attractive alternative, especially for large and remote geographic areas. However, models require calibration and validation to improve the simulations reliability. Field data can provide valuable high-resolution benchmarks for these tasks and new hypothesis for testing. The present study shows the value of integrated field studies to supply such benchmarks and new hypothesis based on field data. The latest glacial models of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) were developed by Huybrechts (2002) and Tarasov and Peltier (2002) to reconstruct its morphology using climatic variables. One of the morphological parameters is ice thickness that influences the process of deglaciation. The modeled ice thickness on the western Greenland coastal deglaciated margin (WGCDM) between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and 10.5 Kyr was established within the range of 1,100 - 1,300 m. These models were calibrated using paleo-records derived from available ice cores and oceanic sediments. In contrast to the modeling results, our hypothesis is based on field data collected in 2005 and 2008 and suggests a lower ice sheet profile, less than 840 m a.s.l. This elevation interval range was obtained from the analysis of 12 cosmogenic samples (Rinterknecht et al., 2009) and was later supported by the analysis of glacial lakes and kettle lakes distribution obtained from the remote sensing data (Gorokhovich et al., 2009). Testing our low ice sheet profile hypothesis requires additional sampling for cosmogenic dating from altitudinal transects on the WGCDM. These samples were collected during the 2008 field campaign along with Schmidt hammer data to identify the weathering limits within the altitudinal transect. Previous results from the 2005 campaign demonstrate the necessity of an integrated approach using geomorphologic mapping and cosmogenic dating on which to build glacial models that can then be ran with paleoclimatic records. These methods complement each other and will provide a comprehensive insight into deglaciation processes by studying temporal and morphological characteristics of the terrain at different scales. The results of such an integrated approach can ultimately improve glacial models performances. References: Gorokhovich Y., V. Rinterknecht, J.Rogers. 2009. Post-Younger Dryas deglaciation of the Greenland western margin as revealed by spatial analysis of lakes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 34, pp. 801-809 Huybrechts P. 2002. Sea-level changes at the LGM fromice-dynam ic reconstructions of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets during the glacial cycles. Quaternary Science Reviews 21 (2002) 203-231 Rinterknecht V.R., Y. Gorokhovich, J. Schaefer, M. Caffee. 2009. Preliminary 10Be Chronology for the Last Deglaciation of the Western Margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. 2007, Journal of Quternary Research, 24 (3), pp. 270-278 Tarasov, L., and W.R. Peltier. 2002. Greenland glacial history and local geodynamic consequences. Geophys. J. Int., 150, pp. 198-229

  10. Overview on the Plate Boundaries Along the Western Mexican Pacific Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Bandy, W. L.; Michaud, F.; Ortega Ramírez, J.

    2013-05-01

    The cinematic of the Pacific, Rivera and Cocos oceanic plates have a significant impact on the subduction process and seismic cycles occurring along the western Mexican Pacific margin of the North American and Caribbean plates. Sections of Pacific (PAC), Rivera (RIV), Cocos (COC), North American (NAM) and Caribbean (CAB) plate boundaries along the western margin of Mexico are not well constrained. From north to south: the transform-rift system at Gulf of California has been generally considered as part of PAC-NAM plate boundary. However results of the FAMEX cruise at 2002 evidenced that Tosco-Abreojos Fault System along the western margin of Baja California Peninsula is active. Should this tectonic structure be considered as a plate boundary? At the RIV plate northern corner (including Mazatlan Basin), the scatter seismicity recorded between Tamayo FZ and the Marias Islands restricts the characterization of the plate boundary between the RIV and NAM plates. Some authors have proposed that Tamayo FZ and Marias I. Escarpment are the RIV-NAM plate boundary. Recently other authors have called that RIV-NAM boundary is a geomorphology lineament that runs from a Rivera Rise transform at 23N to the northern end of Marias I. Escarpment. Even so this concept is not sustained with seismic activity. Further this thought would imply that the oceanic lithosphere of Mazatlan Basin would form part of NAM plate. Other thoughts are either that there is a diffuse RIV-NAM plate boundary to the north of the Maria Archipelago, or Middle America Subduction Zone is gradually extending northward of the Maria Is. While the plate boundary at SE corner of the RIV plate is neither well defined morphologically nor seismically constraint, offshore Colima Coast. Some authors have proposed that this zone is a diffuse plate boundary between RIV and COC plates, result of a NE-SW shear plate motion. Other authors have proposed that the RIV-COC boundary extends E-W from the El Gordo Graben (EGG) at the Middle American Trench (MAT) to northern tip of the East Pacific Rise (EPR). Results of recently multibeam and magnetic surveys indicate that this boundary is possible segmented as an echelon E-W structure, north of EGG. Clearly these hypotheses on the RIV-COC plate boundary show that its configuration is neither well seismic nor morphology constrained. To the south, the triple junction point of COC, NAM, and CAB plate boundaries is also another case where the boundaries are poorly constrained seismically and morphologically. Traditionally, the COC-NAM-CAB triple junction point has been positioned where the MAT trend bends by the Tehuantepec Ridge (TR) collision, but no offshore geophysical data sustain that NAM-CAB plate boundary extends to MAT-TR point. In the last decade, the Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN) has extended its seismic station network at the southern Mexican territory. From this data, the distribution of offshore earthquakes covers a broad marine zone in front the Chiapas and Guatemala coastline and does not show a defined earthquake concentration associated to the proposed offshore extension of the Polochic-Motogua Fault through Guatemala and Mapastepec Fault through Chiapas, Mexico.

  11. Model of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet from glacio-isostatic adjustment analysis and revised margin locations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gowan, E. J.; Tregoning, P.; Purcell, A.

    2013-12-01

    Uncertainties in ice sheet extent and thickness during the retreat of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet from the last glacial maximum affect estimates of its contribution to global climate and sea level change during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. These difficulties arise due to a lack of chronological constraints on the timing of margin retreat in many areas and a lack of observations of the glacio-isostatic deformation due the ice sheet. We present a model of the western Laurentide ice sheet in North America based on new ice margin reconstructions and well dated glacial lake strandlines. The model of the Laurentide ice sheet is constructed based on the assumption of perfectly plastic, steady state conditions with temporally variable basal shear stress and margin location. Initial models of basal shear stress were based on modern surficial geology and geography, and adjusted in an iterative process to reflect the volume of ice needed to fit observations of earth deformation caused by the ice sheet. The ice margins were developed by determining the minimum timing of retreat and using that as a constraint on the absolute maximum possible ice margin location. By using the ice margin as the starting point of modelling, assumptions on the location of ice domes and saddles were avoided. Initial results of the modelling indicate that ice thickness remained below 1500 m throughout the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin region at the last glacial maximum as a result of low basal shear stress. Modelled flow direction matches geomorphic ice flow indicators lending confidence to the glaciological model. Ice sheet margin retreat was limited until after 15,000 cal yr BP. The most significant ice volume losses happened after retreat from southern Alberta and after retreat began on the Canadian Shield.

  12. Sources and distributions of branched tetraether lipids and crenarchaeol along the Portuguese continental margin: Implications for the BIT index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zell, Claudia; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Dorhout, Denise; Baas, Marianne; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2015-03-01

    The branched vs. isoprenoid tetraethers (BIT) index, which is based on the relative abundance of non-isoprenoidal, so-called branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) versus a structurally related isoprenoid GDGT "crenarchaeol", has been used to trace soil organic carbon (OC) from the continent to the ocean. However, it has been found in some locations that the BIT index can be primarily influenced by crenarchaeol concentrations and brGDGT production in fresh water rather than by soil-derived brGDGT concentrations. This may hamper the application of this proxy as an indicator for the input of soil OC. In order to constrain the applicability of the BIT index along the southern Portuguese continental margin, we examined the source of brGDGTs and crenarchaeol, by investigating their concentration and distribution as well as variations in the BIT index in marine surface sediments from five transects (Douro, Mondego, Estremadura, Tagus, and Sado) and in marine suspended particulate matter (SPM) from the Douro and Tagus transects. Higher BIT values and brGDGT concentrations (normalized to OC content) were found close to the river mouths and coast than in deep offshore sites. This clearly indicated the continental input of brGDGTs and revealed that, at least in this setting, the BIT index was primarily influenced by the delivery of brGDGTs from the rivers. BrGDGT concentrations and distributions in sediments and SPM close to the rivers were similar to those of SPM in the Tagus River. This indicates that degradation processes in the estuaries had no significant effect on the riverine brGDGTs. Therefore, brGDGTs should be a good indicator for the recalcitrant OC fraction transported from the continent to the ocean. Our results also indicated that there are multiple sources of brGDGTs in the marine environment, i.e. the water column and the sediment, which complicates the use of the brGDGT distribution as an indicator for terrestrial vs. marine produced brGDGTs.

  13. Mid-Permian shelf margin erosion surfaces, western escarpment, Guadalupe Mountains, Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Franseen, E.K.; Pray, L.C.; Fekete, T.E.

    1987-05-01

    Three basin-sloping erosion surfaces, interpreted as submarine seismic sequence boundaries, are spectacularly exposed along the Guadalupe Mountains' western escarpment. Each surface has about 300 m of basin margin relief over 2 to 3 km and displays 30 to 80 m of local channeling and/or listric-shaped relief. The upper (post-Grayburg) and lower (post-Victorio Peak) surfaces truncate predominantly flat-bedded, shoaling-upward bank (or low-angle ramp) dolomite strata. The middle surface (post-Cutoff) locally cuts through the deep marine drape of 300 m relief of the 75-m thick Cutoff formation. The post-Grayburg surface is listric-shaped and truncates about 140 m of Grayburg in a basinward distance of 1.5 km. This post-Grayburg erosion surface marks a major change in Permian carbonate sedimentation from earlier bank strata to the steep foreslopes of 400 + relief of the Goat Seep-Capitan reef complex. Erosional retreat of the Grayburg and Victorio Peak bank margin may have been 100 m to 1 km or more. Evidence of submarine erosion includes deep marine facies directly overlying the erosion surfaces, the regional improbability of hundreds of meters of sea level lowering, and the lack of recognition of subaerial or coastal features. The erosion processes remain uncertain. Retrograde slumping is favored for the listric-shaped post-Grayburg surface. Bottom-hugging density currents were likely important for the lower two surfaces and perhaps for all three surfaces. Bare and eroded slopes are increasingly being recognized in modern submarine environments. They are likely more abundant and important in the geologic record than has been recognized to date.

  14. Tectonics of Precambrian basement along the Pacific margin of Antarctica and relation to western North America

    SciTech Connect

    Goodge, J.W.; Hansen, V.L. . Dept. of Geological Sciences); Walker, N.W. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-02-01

    High-grade metamorphic rocks of the Precambrian Nimrod Group (NG) constitute one of few cratonal basement exposures in the Transantarctic Mountains. These rocks represent an outlier of the East Antarctic craton, evolved as part of Gondwana and pre-Gondwana (Rodinia) supercontinents. Despite pervasive, high-strain ductile deformation at T [>=] 650 C, they preserve petrologic and geochronologic evidence of an earlier history. Sm-Nd model ages from several NG lithologies, including that of a [approximately]1.7 Ga orthogneiss, range from about 2.7--2.9 Ga; these ages reflect both sedimentary and magmatic derivation from Archean crust. Individual detrital zircon U-Pb ages (about 1.7--2.6 Ga) from NG quartzites indicate clastic input from Archean to Paleoproterozoic source terrains. The Sm-Nd and U-Pb ages are reminiscent of both the Yavapai-Mazatzal (1.6--1.8 Ga) and Wyoming (> 2.5 Ga) provinces in western North America. U-Pb ages from syn-tectonic metaigneous and pelitic NG tectonites indicate that this basement complex was re-worked by the major ductile deformation in latest neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian time. Supracrustal assemblages that lie outboard of the Nimrod craton include Neoproterozoic graywacke, impure carbonate, and minor mafic volcanics (Beardmore Group), and Cambrian to Lower Ordovician carbonate and siliciclastic rocks (Byrd Group). Neoproterozoic ([approximately]750 Ma) rifting along the proto-Pacific margin of East Antarctica is reflected by deposition of Beardmore turbidites and coeval mafic magmatism. Latest Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic orogenesis occurred along a left-oblique convergent plate margin of East Antarctica is reflected by deposition of Beardmore turbidites and coeval mafic magmatism.

  15. Molecular and biogeochemical evidence for methane cycling beneath the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    Dieser, Markus; Broemsen, Erik L J E; Cameron, Karen A; King, Gary M; Achberger, Amanda; Choquette, Kyla; Hagedorn, Birgit; Sletten, Ron; Junge, Karen; Christner, Brent C

    2014-11-01

    Microbial processes that mineralize organic carbon and enhance solute production at the bed of polar ice sheets could be of a magnitude sufficient to affect global elemental cycles. To investigate the biogeochemistry of a polar subglacial microbial ecosystem, we analyzed water discharged during the summer of 2012 and 2013 from Russell Glacier, a land-terminating outlet glacier at the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The molecular data implied that the most abundant and active component of the subglacial microbial community at these marginal locations were bacteria within the order Methylococcales (59-100% of reverse transcribed (RT)-rRNA sequences). mRNA transcripts of the particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) from these taxa were also detected, confirming that methanotrophic bacteria were functional members of this subglacial ecosystem. Dissolved methane ranged between 2.7 and 83??M in the subglacial waters analyzed, and the concentration was inversely correlated with dissolved oxygen while positively correlated with electrical conductivity. Subglacial microbial methane production was supported by ?(13)C-CH4 values between -64‰ and -62‰ together with the recovery of RT-rRNA sequences that classified within the Methanosarcinales and Methanomicrobiales. Under aerobic conditions, >98% of the methane in the subglacial water was consumed over ?30 days incubation at ?4?°C and rates of methane oxidation were estimated at 0.32??M per day. Our results support the occurrence of active methane cycling beneath this region of the Greenland Ice Sheet, where microbial communities poised in oxygenated subglacial drainage channels could serve as significant methane sinks. PMID:24739624

  16. Joint analysis of continental and regional background environments in the western Mediterranean: PM1 and PM10 concentrations and composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ripoll, A.; Minguillón, M. C.; Pey, J.; Pérez, N.; Querol, X.; Alastuey, A.

    2015-01-01

    The complete chemical composition of atmospheric particulate matter (PM1 and PM10) from a continental (Montsec, MSC, 1570 m a.s.l.) and a regional (Montseny, MSY, 720 m a.s.l) background site in the western Mediterranean Basin (WMB) were jointly studied for the first time over a relatively long-term period (January 2010-March 2013). Differences in average PMX concentration and composition between both sites were attributed to distance to anthropogenic sources, altitude, and different influence of atmospheric episodes. All these factors result in a continental-to-regional background increase of 4.0 ?g m-3 for PM10 and 1.1 ?g m-3 for PM1 in the WMB. This increase is mainly constituted by organic matter, sulfate, nitrate, and sea salt. However, higher mineral matter concentrations were measured at the continental background site owing to the higher influence of long-range transport of dust and dust resuspension. Seasonal variations of aerosol chemical components were attributed to evolution of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) height throughout the year, variations in the air mass origin, and differences in meteorology. During warmer months, weak pressure gradients and elevated insolation generate recirculation of air masses and enhance the development of the PBL, causing the aging of aerosols and incrementing pollutant concentrations over a large area in the WMB, including the continental background. This is reflected in a more similar relative composition and absolute concentrations of continental and regional background aerosols. Nevertheless, during colder months the thermal inversions and the lower vertical development of the PBL leave MSC in the free troposphere most of the time, whereas MSY is more influenced by regional pollutants accumulated under winter anticyclonic conditions. This results in much lower concentrations of PMX components at the continental background site with respect to those at the regional background site. The influence of certain atmospheric episodes caused different impacts at regional and continental scales. When long-range transport from central and eastern Europe and from north Africa occurs, the continental background site is frequently more influenced, thus indicating a preferential transport of pollutants at high altitude layers. Conversely, the regional background site was more influenced by regional processes. Continental and regional aerosol chemical composition from the WMB revealed (a) high relevance of African dust transport and regional dust resuspension; (b) low biomass burning contribution; (c) high organic matter contribution; (d) low summer nitrate concentrations; and (e) high aerosol homogenization in summer.

  17. Geotechnical characteristics and slope stability on the Ebro margin, western Mediterranean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baraza, J.; Lee, H.J.; Kayen, R.E.; Hampton, M.A.

    1990-01-01

    Sedimentological and geotechnical analyses of core samples from the Ebro continental slope define two distinct areas on the basis of sediment type, physical properties and geotechnical behavior. The first area is the upper slope area (water depths of 200-500 m), which consists of upper Pleistocene prodeltaic silty clay with a low water content (34% dry weight average), low plasticity, and high overconsolidation near the seafloor. The second area, the middle and lower slope (water depths greater than 500 m), contains clay- and silt-size hemipelagic deposits with a high water content (90% average), high plasticity, and a low to moderate degree of overconsolidation near the sediment surface. Results from geotechnical tests show that the upper slope has a relatively high degree of stability under relatively rapid (undrained) static loading conditions, compared with the middle and lower slopes, which have a higher degree of stability under long-term (drained) static loading conditions. Under cyclic loading, which occurs during earthquakes, the upper slope has a higher degree of stability than the middle and lower slopes. For the surface of the seafloor, calculated critical earthquake accelerations that can trigger slope failures range from 0.73 g on the upper slope to 0.23 g on the lower slope. Sediment buried well below the seafloor may have a critical acceleration as low as 0.09 g on the upper slope and 0.17 g on the lower slope. Seismically induced instability of most of the Ebro slope seems unlikely given that an earthquake shaking of at least intensity VI would be needed, and such strong intensities have never been recorded in the last 70 years. Other cyclic loading events, such as storms or internal waves, do not appear to be direct causes of instability at present. Infrequent, particularly strong earthquakes could cause landslides on the Ebro margin slope. The Columbretes slide on the southwestern Ebro margin may have been caused by intense earthquake shaking associated with volcanic emplacement of the Columbretes Islands. Localized sediment slides on steep canyon and levee slopes could have been caused by less intense shaking. In general, the slope is stable under present environmental loading conditions and is fundamentally constructional. Nevertheless, rapid progradation caused by high sedimentation rates and other processes acting during low sea-level periods, such as more intense wave loading near the shelfbreak, may have caused major instability in the past. ?? 1990.

  18. Pliocene-Pleistocene coastal events and history along the western margin of Australia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendrick, G.W.; Wyrwoll, K.-H.; Szabo, B. J.

    1991-01-01

    Coastal deposits along the western coastal margin of Australia, a region of relative tectonic stability, record Plio-Pleistocene events and processes affecting the inner shelf and adjacent hinterland. Tectonic deformation of these deposits is more apparent in the Carnarvon Basin, and rather less so in the Perth Basin. The most complete record comes from the Perth Basin, where units of Pliocene and Pleistocene ages are well represented. In the Perth Basin, the predominantly siliciclastic Yoganup Formation, Ascot Formation and Bassendean Sand represent a complex of shoreline, inner shelf and regressive-dune facies equivalents, the deposition of which began at an undetermined stage of the Pliocene, through to the Early Pleistocene. The deposition of this sequence closed with a major regression and significant faunal extinction. Bioclastic carbonates characterize the Middle and Late Pleistocene of the Perth and Carnarvon basins. Fossil assemblages include a distinct subtropical element, unknown from the Ascot Formation and suggesting a strengthening of the Leeuwin Current. The estuarine arcoid bivalve Anadara trapezia characterizes assemblages of Oxygen Isotope Stages 5 and 7 in the Perth and Carnarvon basins, where it is now extinct. Deposits of Substage 5e (Perth Basin) also record a southerly expansion of warm-water corals and other fauna consistent with shelf temperatures warmer than present. New uranium-series ages on corals from marine sequences of the Tantabiddi Member, of the Bundera Calcarenite of the western Cape Range are consistent with the 'double peak' hypothesis for levels of Substage 5e but the evidence remains less than conclusive. Initial uranium-series dates from the Bibra and Dampier formations of Shark Bay indicate that both derive from the Late Pleistocene. These numerical ages contradict previous interpretations of relative ages obtained from field studies. The age relationship of the units requires further investigation. ?? 1991.

  19. Pliocene-Pleistocene coastal events and history along the western margin of Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, George W.; Wyrwoll, Karl-Heinz; Szabo, Barney J.

    Coastal deposits along the western coastal margin of Australia, a region of relative tectonic stability, record Plio-Pleistocene events and processes affecting the inner shelf and adjacent hinterland. Tectonic deformation of these deposits is more apparent in the Carnarvon Basin, and rather less so in the Perth Basin. The most complete record comes from the Perth Basin, where units of Pliocene and Pleistocene ages are well represented. In the Perth Basin, the predominantly siliciclastic Yoganup Formation, Ascot Formation and Bassendean Sand represent a complex of shoreline, inner shelf and regressive-dune facies equivalents, the deposition of which began at an undetermined stage of the Pliocene, through to the Early Pleistocene. The deposition of this sequence closed with a major regression and significant faunal extinction. Bioclastic carbonates characterize the Middle and Late Pleistocene of the Perth and Carnarvon basins. Fossil assemblages include a distinct subtropical element, unknown from the Ascot Formation and suggesting a strengthening of the Leeuwin Current. The estuarine arcoid bivalve Anadara trapezia characterizes assemblages of Oxygen Isotope Stages 5 and 7 in the Perth and Carnarvon basins, where it is now extinct. Deposits of Substage 5e (Perth Basin) also record a southerly expansion of warm-water corals and other fauna consistent with shelf temperatures warmer than present. New uranium-series ages on corals from marine sequences of the Tantabiddi Member, of the Bundera Calcarenite of the western Cape Range are consistent with the 'double peak' hypothesis for levels of Substage 5e but the evidence remains less than conclusive. Initial uranium-series dates from the Bibra and Dampier formations of Shark Bay indicate that both derive from the Late Pleistocene. These numerical ages contradict previous interpretations of relative ages obtained from field studies. The age relationship of the units requires further investigation.

  20. Linking the tectonic evolution with fluid history in magma-poor rifted margins: tracking mantle- and continental crust-related fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, V. H. G.; Manatschal, G.; Karpoff, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    The thinning of the crust and the exhumation of subcontinental mantle is accompanied by a series of extensional detachment faults. Exhumation of mantle and crustal rocks is intimately related to percolation of fluids along detachment faults leading to changes in mineralogy and chemistry of the mantle, crustal and sedimentary rocks. Field observation, analytical methods, refraction/reflection and well-core data, allowed us to investigate the role of fluids in the Iberian margin and former Alpine Tethys distal margins and the Pyrenees rifted system. In the continental crust, fluid-rock interaction leads to saussuritization that produces Si and Ca enriched fluids found in forms of veins along the fault zone. In the zone of exhumed mantle, large amounts of water are absorbed in the first 5-6 km of serpentinized mantle, which has the counter-effect of depleting the mantle of elements (e.g., Si, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Ni and Cr) forming mantle-related fluids. Using Cr-Ni-V and Fe-Mn as tracers, we show that in the distal margin, mantle-related fluids used detachment faults as pathways and interacted with the overlying crust, the sedimentary basin and the seawater, while further inward parts of the margin, continental crust-related fluids enriched in Si and Ca impregnated the fault zone and may have affected the sedimentary basin. The overall observations and results enable us to show when, where and how these interactions occurred during the formation of the rifted margin. In a first stage, continental crust-related fluids dominated the rifted systems. During the second stage, mantle-related fluids affected the overlying syn-tectonic sediments through direct migration along detachment faults at the future distal margin. In a third stage, these fluids reached the seafloor, "polluted" the seawater and were absorbed by post-tectonic sediments. We conclude that a significant amount of serpentinization occurred underneath the thinned continental crust, that the mantle-related fluids might have modified the chemical composition of the sediments and seawater. We propose that the chemical signature of serpentinization that occurs during the mantle exhumation is recorded in the sediments and may serve as a proxy to date serpentinization and mantle exhumation in present day magma-poor rifted margins.

  1. Biological source and provenance of deep-water derived isoprenoid tetraether lipids along the Portuguese continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jung-Hyun; Villanueva, Laura; Zell, Claudia; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that nitrifying Thaumarchaeota in the deep ocean waters may contribute to the sedimentary composition of isoprenoid glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (isoGDGTs), impacting TEX86 paleothermometry. We investigated the potential effect of deep-water dwelling Thaumarchaeota in the warm and saline Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW) on the distribution of isoGDGTs by analysing suspended particulate matter (SPM) and surface sediments collected along five land-ocean transects along the southern Portuguese continental margin. To this end, we directly compared for the first time the composition of intact polar lipid (IPL)-derived isoGDGTs of SPM with the diversity, abundance, and activity of Thaumarchaeota based on the genetic analysis of the genes coding for the archaeal ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) and the geranylgeranylglyceryl phosphate (GGGP) synthase involved in the isoGDGT biosynthetic pathway. Our results revealed a strong positive relationship between water depth and TEX86H values for both SPM and surface sediments. The increasing TEX86H trends for both core lipid (CL) and IPL-derived fractions were accompanied by increasing fractional abundances of GDGT-2 and crenarchaeol regio-isomer and decreasing fractional abundances of GDGT-1 and GDGT-3 with increasing water depth. Phylogenetic analyses based on the archaeal amoA and the GGGP synthase proteins showed that Thaumarchaeota populations detected at 1 m and 50 m water depth were different from those detected in 200 m and 1000 m water depth, which had an increased contribution of so-called 'deep water' Thaumarchaeota. The differences in the fractional abundances of isoGDGTs with water depth were compatible with the increasing contribution of 'deep water' Thaumarchaeota harboring a different GGGP synthase enzyme which has been suggested to relate to changes in the relative proportion of synthesized isoGDGTs. Accordingly, it appears that the sedimentary distribution of CL isoGDGTs used in TEX86H along the Portuguese margin is primarily influenced by water depth due to the increasing contribution of the deep-water population of Thaumarchaeota residing in the MOW. Our study also reveals that the effect of deep water Thaumarchaeotal communities on sedimentary isoGDGT distributions should be considered globally.

  2. Features of the distribution of hydrocarbon accumulations in lithologically different-type deposits at the ancient continental margins of the North American and South American platforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabanbark, A.; Lobkovskiy, L. I.

    2015-03-01

    Lithologically diverse sedimentary complexes were formed within the North and South American platforms. The most general groups of the sediments are distinguished as follows: continental (alluvial, limnic), deltaic, shallow-marine, and deepwater—for the terrigeneous formations, reef limestones and limestones of other origins (oolitic, algaes, etc.), and dolomites—for carbonate varieties. In addition to this, tuffs, tuff-sandstones, and crystalline schists (quartzites) were studied separately. The lasts were marked only in the Permian Basin. The comparative analysis of the sedimentary basins located in the peripheral parts of the North American and South American platforms showed the following: the most important stage in the evolution of the North American platform is the first stage of existence of the ancient Paleozoic continental margins, which developed under passive tectonic conditions and determined its future potential of oil and gas bearing. At this stage, the main resources of oil and gas hydrocarbons are concentrated in carbonate rocks. As for the sedimentary basins located on the margins of the South American platform, the second stage is the most important stage in their evolution when the foredeeps were formed and developed laying on the earlier structures. This period is related to the oil and gas bearing potential of the basins on the margins of the South American platform. For both platforms, a common circumstance is that, at the second stage of development of all the sedimentary basins, all the resources of hydrocarbons are focused in the terrigeneous sediments.The stratigraphic range of oil and gas occurrence in the basins of the ancient continental margins is determined by the following regularity: the fold structures is younger confining these margins, the age range of the oil and gas reservoirs is broader.

  3. The Cinder Lake Intrusive Complex, Knee Lake area, Central Manitoba: a Syenite- Carbonatite Association from a Neoarchean Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakhmouradian, A. R.; Böhm, C. O.; Kressall, R. D.; Lenton, P. G.

    2009-05-01

    The Cinder Lake intrusive complex is the only known occurrence of feldspathoid rocks in Manitoba. These rocks were initially mapped in the southeastern part of the Lake by Elbers (in Gilbert, 1985) and Lenton (1985), but have not been adequately studied. On the basis of new field, petrographic and geochemical evidence acquired in 2008, three discrete intrusive phases can be presently identified at Cinder Lake: fine-grained aegirine-nepheline syenite, fine-grained biotite-vishnevite syenite and syenitic pegmatite. There is also convincing mineralogical and geochemical evidence for the presence of unexposed clinopyroxenite and carbonatitic units genetically associated with the alkaline syenitic rocks. The evidence for the presence of unexposed carbonatite includes pervasive calcitization of the syenitic rocks, occurrence of rare-earth minerals (britholite, monazite and REE-rich apatite) in association with Sr-rich calcite in metasomatised pegmatite, and andradite veins crosscutting the syenites. The geochemistry of the Cinder Lake rocks is most consistent with the HFSE-depleted, potassic, high-Ba/La and high-Th/Nb signature of arc magmas (Edwards et al., 1994). In common with island-arc and continental-margin phonolites, the Cinder Lake syenites are potassic rocks with a chondritic Zr/Hf ratio, strong enrichment in Ba relative to La and Th relative to Nb. Uranium-lead dating of zircon crystals recovered from the biotite-vishnevite syenite yielded an age of 2705±2 Ma, interpreted as the timing of syenite emplacement. This value is close to the age of the incipient accretion of subprovinces in the northwestern Superior province at 2.70-2.71 Ga (Davis et al. 2005). Given this age relationship, the Cinder Lake complex is probably derived from magmas produced in a Neoarchean subduction zone underlying the North Caribou microcontinent. The regional geological setting of the complex (abundance of tonalite and granodiorite among the plutonic rocks and the predominance of subaerially deposited sediments and calc- alkaline volcanics in the local stratigraphy) is more consistent with an active continental margin, rather than an island-arc environment.The economic potential of the Cinder Lake complex remains undetermined. According to Müller et al. (2001), over 20% of the world's largest gold deposits are associated with alkaline volcanics in subduction-zone settings. The unexposed carbonatite unit may also be of economic interest as a source of rare earth elements, Ba and Sr. Carbonanites in collisional settings are known for their enrichment in these elements and have been exploited for REE in the United States and China (Xu et al., 2004). Further work is required to ascertain the extent and petrographic makeup of the Cinder Lake complex and to gain a better understanding of its resources. References: Davis, D.W., Amelin, Y., Nowell, G.M. and Parrish, R.R. 2005: Precambrian Research, v. 140, p. 132-156. Edwards, C.M.H., Menzies, M.A., Thirlwall, M.F., Morris, J.D., Leeman, W.P. and Harmon, R.S. 1994: Journal of Petrology, v. 35, p. 1557-1595. Gilbert, H.P. 1985: Manitoba Energy and Mines, Geological Services, Geological Report GR83-1B, 76 p. Lenton, P.G. 1985: Report of Field Activities, Manitoba Energy and Mines, Geological Services, Mines Branch, p. 203-208. Müller, D., Franz, L., Herzig, P.M. and Hunt, S. 2001: Lithos, v. 57, p. 163-186. Xu, C., Zhang, H., Huang, Z., Liu, C., Qi, L., Li, W. and Guan, T. 2004: Geochemical Journal, v. 38, p. 67-76.

  4. Spatial and temporal patterns of benthic macrofaunal communities on the deep continental margin in the Gulf of Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galéron, J.; Menot, L.; Renaud, N.; Crassous, P.; Khripounoff, A.; Treignier, C.; Sibuet, M.

    2009-12-01

    Density, taxonomic composition at higher taxon level and vertical distribution of benthic macrofaunal communities and sediment characteristics (pore water, nitrogen, organic carbon, sulfur, C/N ratio, n-alcohol biomarkers) were examined at three deep sites on the Congo-Gabon continental margin. This study was part of the multidisciplinary BIOZAIRE project that aimed at studying the deep benthic ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea. Sampling of macrofaunal communities and of sediment was conducted during three cruises (January 2001, December 2001 and December 2003) at two downslope sites (4000 m depth), one located near the Congo submarine channel (15 km in the south) and the other one far from the channel (150 km in the South). The third area located 8 km north of the Congo channel in the surroundings of a giant pockmark at 3160 m depth was sampled during one cruise in December 2003. At these three locations the macrofaunal communities presented relatively high densities (327-987 ind. 0.25 m -2) compared with macrofaunal communities at similar depths; that is due to high levels of food input related to the Congo river and submarine system activities that affect the whole study area. The communities were different from each other in terms of taxonomic composition at higher taxon level (phylum, class, order for all the groups except for the polychaetes classified into families). The polychaetes dominated the communities and were responsible for the increase in densities observed at both deep sites (4000 m) between January 2001 and December 2003 whereas the tanaidaceans, the isopods and the bivalves were the other most abundant taxa responsible for the spatial differences between these sites. The community at 3150 m differed from the two deep communities by higher abundances in bivalves, nemerteans and holothuroids. The composition of the polychaete community also differed among sites. In the vicinity of the Congo channel, the expected positive effect of the additional organic matter transported through the turbiditic currents on to the surrounding benthic communities was not observed, as the increase in densities during the study period was higher at the site located away from the Congo channel than near the channel (80% vs 30%). That may be due to the low food value of the organic matter of terrestrial origin carried through the turbidites, and/or to the disturbance caused by these turbidites. Conversely, far from the channel the macrofaunal communities benefit from organic matter of higher energetic value originating mainly from marine sources, but also from continental sources, carried by the Congo plume or by near-bed currents across or along the continental slope. Spatial and temporal variability in trophic and physical characteristics of the sediment habitat at both deep sites also affected the vertical distribution of the macrofaunal communities. The activities of the very active Congo system structure the deep macrofaunal communities on a large area in terms of densities, composition and vertical distribution. The food input is enhanced at regional scale as well as the heterogeneity of the sediment characteristics, mainly in terms of organic matter quality (marine vs terrigenous). In turn, the densities are enhanced as well as the regional diversity of the macrofaunal communities in terms of taxonomic composition and distribution.

  5. Chalcophile elements and Ir in continental Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary clays from the western interior of the USA

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, B. )

    1992-04-01

    This study presents data for Ir and the chalcophile elements As, Sb, and Zn in seventeen samples from continental K/T boundary layers in the western interior of the USA. The results show that in contrast to previously studied marine boundary clays, the continental boundary layers show no correlation between Ir and any of the chalcophile elements. Compared with average shale, the continental boundary layers are significantly to strongly enriched in Ir, As, and Sb, but show ordinary Zn concentrations. The Ir enrichments can be attributed to fallout of extraterrestrial matter, whereas As and Sb enrichments can be readily explained by the close spatial association of the boundary layers with coal and the abundance in the layers of jarosite, goethite, and other weathering products of pyrite. If compared to jarosite-rich coal-associated background samples, the boundary layers show much higher Ir concentrations but similar (or possibly slightly enhanced) concentrations of As, Sb, and Zn. The correlation between chalcophile elements and Ir in marine boundary clays, and the absence of such a correlation in continental boundary clays, concurs with the idea that a major fraction of the Ir in extremely Ir-rich (30-460 ppb Ir) marine boundary clays has precipitated from seawater that was enriched in Ir being derived from a vaporized asteroid.

  6. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities.

    PubMed

    Quattrini, Andrea M; Nizinski, Martha S; Chaytor, Jason D; Demopoulos, Amanda W J; Roark, E Brendan; France, Scott C; Moore, Jon A; Heyl, Taylor; Auster, Peter J; Kinlan, Brian; Ruppel, Carolyn; Elliott, Kelley P; Kennedy, Brian R C; Lobecker, Elizabeth; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial exploration revealed the NEUS region to be both geologically dynamic and biologically diverse, further research into the abiotic conditions and the biotic interactions that influence species abundance and distribution is needed. PMID:26509818

  7. Strong Depth-Related Zonation of Megabenthos on a Rocky Continental Margin (?700–4000 m) off Southern Tasmania, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Thresher, Ronald; Althaus, Franziska; Adkins, Jess; Gowlett-Holmes, Karen; Alderslade, Phil; Dowdney, Jo; Cho, Walter; Gagnon, Alex; Staples, David; McEnnulty, Felicity; Williams, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Assemblages of megabenthos are structured in seven depth-related zones between ?700 and 4000 m on the rocky and topographically complex continental margin south of Tasmania, southeastern Australia. These patterns emerge from analysis of imagery and specimen collections taken from a suite of surveys using photographic and in situ sampling by epibenthic sleds, towed video cameras, an autonomous underwater vehicle and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Seamount peaks in shallow zones had relatively low biomass and low diversity assemblages, which may be in part natural and in part due to effects of bottom trawl fishing. Species richness was highest at intermediate depths (1000–1300 m) as a result of an extensive coral reef community based on the bioherm-forming scleractinian Solenosmilia variabilis. However, megabenthos abundance peaked in a deeper, low diversity assemblage at 2000–2500 m. The S. variabilis reef and the deep biomass zone were separated by an extensive dead, sub-fossil S. variabilis reef and a relatively low biomass stratum on volcanic rock roughly coincident with the oxygen minimum layer. Below 2400 m, megabenthos was increasingly sparse, though punctuated by occasional small pockets of relatively high diversity and biomass. Nonetheless, megabenthic organisms were observed in the vast majority of photographs on all seabed habitats and to the maximum depths observed - a sandy plain below 3950 m. Taxonomic studies in progress suggest that the observed depth zonation is based in part on changing species mixes with depth, but also an underlying commonality to much of the seamount and rocky substrate biota across all depths. Although the mechanisms supporting the extraordinarily high biomass in 2000–2500 m depths